Hubble Telescope Video, What an exciting time to be alive! So much time and space; you and I are part of the whole thing.
Aug 5, 2012
Thanks for the astounding Hubble Ultra Deep Field image Joan.
It's hard to comprehend what that image shows: There are 10,000 lights in that image, most of which are galaxies. Light from some of them has been traveling about 13 billion years. Thats how they looked just about one-half of a billion years after the Big Bang.
That image was the result of 260 hours of exposure. The dark spot that Hubble looked at to get that image is so small, that it would take a million years to image the entire sky at that resolution.
The universe is an amazing place, and scientists are discovering amazing things, despite all that religion can do to put the brakes on those discoveries.
Curiosity will be landing on Mars Aug 5th, 10:31 PDT (1:31 EDT Aug 6th)! Watch it from JPL Live here:
That Hubble ultra deep field photo is one of my favourites. Really puts perspective on how insignificant we are in the universe.
Sep 15, 2012
Yes quite so, Joan, Idaho and Ken.
By the way, are you on Facebook?
If so, you are welcome to join me at
Thank you for the invite Dr. Terence Meaden, I appreciate it. =)
Welcome new members! So glad you are here with us.
Sep 19, 2012
Tajorde, thanks for joining up and being a part of this awesome community. Welcome! It's great having you here. Enjoy! --Carl :)
Sep 20, 2012
Ron Paul n' co. are evolution denying throwback to the KKK just got money from corporate healthcare welfare now. is all.. pffft
Sep 25, 2012
Cool cartoon Napoleon.
Oct 12, 2012
Jeeze, Daniel, don't delete entire discussion threads, like that. What the hell, man? You just destroyed everything said on the subject, for anyone who was going to come along later and be enlightened by the discussion.
Oct 21, 2012
Joseph P, what happened?
Maybe I just can't spell but, I didn't find Daniel in the members search.
Susan, the only Daniel I know is Sentient Biped and the reason I asked was for more information.
Nope, not that Daniel. Daniel Hunt.
Perhaps he dropped the last name from his profile or changed it entirely. Lots of people do that. Crap-loads of Daniels around here.
It was a discussion thread called, "Is Agnosticism cowardly or a cop-out?" And, now it's gone.
I hate when people do that. Yeah, he started the discussion thread, but the 30 or 40 comments that others added got nuked along with it.
It's like a discussion I was having with Michael Pianko, over in Atheist Singles. It was a very productive conversation that others might have benefited from, and then he wiped all 20 or 30 posts he had made to the discussion thread, making my responses fairly meaningless.
Joseph P, I was not aware of the process of deleting remarks and the consequences. Thanks for the information.
Too bad the Cowardly Agnostic posts disappeared. I thought there were some very interesting comments.
Oct 22, 2012
Does anyone know the current status of Tiktaalik (fishapod)? When it was first described, it was thought to be a transitional fossil sharing traits of both fish and tetrapods . In a subsequent article it was no longer considered a transitional form. If anyone can give me any info I would appreciate it. Thank you in advance.
Oct 25, 2012
Nice to see a science ad at the top of the page for a change.
Oct 30, 2012
I've got a Snorg TShirts ad. :-p
Google Ad Service picks a random ad for each page-load, based upon your browsing history.
Jimmy: Leaving my religion was the scariest thing I've ever done. I may as well have been throwing myself off a cliff. I went through about a six month depression, then into the present stage where I want to grab everyone by the shoulders and tell them I finally know the truth. Yes, the truth does make you free. And I've freed up a lot of brain-space. Xians always "knew best" what I was supposed to do with my time and my thoughts.
You expressed it very well.
Nov 6, 2012
Jimmy McCann, Yes, to everything you wrote. Powerfully, honestly, beautifully. For me, it was realizing I had put my trust into something that was not trustworthy; that I have all that I need to explore and experiment and test all those things of which you write without guilt or shame. My moral compass has not failed me and I am so grateful to know I am made up of the elements of the universe, that the universe is part of me and I am part of it.
Sondra Brooks, you describe a very familiar feeling. Some may have a moment of understanding; it is taking me a long time. The journey is not only interesting but fun and exciting.
Jimmy M, I like your post.
When I was in my mid-20s, I was having a hard time with a lot of personal things, so I read the entire buybull from cover to cover, looking for answers.
Guess what! If you really read the whole thing, instead of selected "buybull study" chapters, it becomes obvious that it's fiction. BAD fiction.
I read it again to make sure, and when I finished, it felt as if a 100 lb bag of fertilizer had fallen off my shoulders. It was the most liberating experience of my life, and I never looked back.
I pity my friends who are still mired in fear and slavery to a myth, but I keep my mouth shut. Unless somebody asks. Sometimes I get snarky and say I'm a Druid...most people doon't know Jack about Druidism.
There is no satisfactory answer. Believers claim that the Big Bang could not have caused the universe "out of nothing." Nobody said it did.The most likely theory is the explosion of the Monobloc. But at the same time, they are claiming that their god came into existence out of nothing. Can't have it both ways.
As for "Who made god?", Dan Barker goes into that quite thoroughly in Losing Faith in Faith and Godless.
It's a great conversation-stopper, IMO. Shuts the fundies right up. If that's the result you want. They can't answer it because there IS no answer...because there never was a god, for one thing.
YHWH, and all the other gods came from the mind(lessness) of human beings, which means they are lesser beings than we are..
There is a book by Susan Jacoby that I haven't read yet called Man Made God. I MUST read it!
I was going to say "man made god". Didn't know it was a book!
Many Christians say God was just always there, he never started and won't stop. When I point out that if their god can be beyond time and space, why can't something else which science might someday discover, they don't like that very much.
I like the theory that "god" is simply one's own self, playing "hide-and-seek" with itself, a sort of mild disassociative disorder if you will. Certainly explains why people fight over it so much.
The book Man Made God that I have is by Barbara Walker. It's very good in my opinion. A lot of it pertains to women's issues. I highly recommend it.
Also, from what I've observed in my lifetime, god is only created in the minds of the believers. Everyone creates their own and they are all different. Basically, we are all godless, but some people just don't believe that. I like to tell them that I don't have any invisible pretend friends. But I may have some real pretend friends. lol (so to speak)
Roy...you're right, it IS Barbara Walker. Mah brayne nawt wurkin 2dai. Sorry.
''Who made God?'' is a question asked by many and it doesn't make sense to me. "Who made lightning?" "Who made sunshine?" "Who made water and who makes it flow downslope?"
A concept that some might call god, to me, is a process; a process that made the universe out of nothing as far as astrophysicist can tell. Lightning comes from natural forces that include at least electro-magnetic forces and perhaps other energies as well. Sun is part of the process of energies in the universe and I have no idea how it works and why, but I don't think I need to know that, at least as a little old lady trying to work up enough energy to repot my violets. Water comes from elements forming molecules of hydrogen and oxygen but I can't make them myself, they just develop because of natural processes. Water running down hill is a little easier if the explanation of gravity proves to be true. A bee gets up in the morning and flies from flower to flower and in the process pollenates seed bearing plants. It doesn't intend to do so, it intends to feed its appetite, whatever that is. A bee with yellow pollen flying overloaded with cargo perform an impossible task with those tiny little wings. But bee doesn't know his wings are tiny; it is just what nature calls it to do.
Not a very sophisticated answer, indeed. I just know that I exist as a survivor of survivors who had children. My genetic code passes to my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, for who knows how long. I am alive, I have sensing organs, a brain and the usual systems that everyone else has, from a heart that pumps blood through the cardio-vascular system, lungs that pump air and gases through my pulmonary system, an intake chamber and gastro-intestinal system with filters along the way and an outflow orifice. A system with intake and outflow are called "open systems". Several other system, of which I am unaware, like sweat glands, lymph nodes, and who knows how many other things exist and operate, not because I do anything, they just go about their work without any input from me.
Of these things I am very sure. I exist, I have work that needs to be done to survive (food, water, shelter, stuff like that). I belong to a community who loves me and whom I love. I have a mind that thinks and reasons and explores and experiments, and notices cause and effect, and I am capable of learning a great deal more. I see stars and constellation unaided, but can see other stars, universes in far distant space, taking more time than I have to visit them, or more equipment to successfully flourish if I go past the living zone of Earth.
There is no "purpose" for my life, nor for anyone else's life. I come into being by some spark of life through sperm meeting egg, I grow, live and die going back into the stuff of stars. Nothing has a plan for me. I simply have some things I am good at and enjoy, and can create a life that flourishes.
I exist as an inquisitive, curious, observing, happy human being, loving morning and rising to a new day, and going to rest after a day full of challenges that occasionally resolve satisfactorily. How could I ask for more?
sk8eycat, Susan Jacoby is a great read. She is also good at debate, doesn't stand still for nonsense and challenges with confidence and competence. I do little reading any more and there are many interviews on video or radio broadcasts to enjoy with eyes closed, a cup of tea in my lap, and a piece of chocolate to munch on.
Neal Schermerhorn, your statement makes as much sense as any I have run across.
"I like the theory that "god" is simply one's own self, playing "hide-and-seek" with itself, a sort of mild disassociative disorder if you will. Certainly explains why people fight over it so much."
Nov 7, 2012
Nov 8, 2012
I always thought that the definition of a regligion was that a religon was a set of beliefs that include and revolve around some supernatural component of life (particularly human life) that continues on after the death of the physical body.
Thank you Littlejohn Dellar, clear, concise, easy to understand. I reposted with attribution to you.
Religion is a consruct, as is politics and economics. They are notion developed in the minds of humans, taught through family and culture, added to, changed, adjusted as fits the times. Some reject constructs of the past because new information emerges, values change, unintended problems emerge and for other reasons.
The test is, How are constructs that influence your life working for you?
The Catholic church is a perfect example of a political organization hiding behind it's priestly robes.
Joan, I like your long post and especially the paragraph about there being no "purpose". It expresses my thoughts better than I can.
Spud, thanks for your note. As more of us come to realize there is nothing out there telling us what is right or good or fair or decent we have to come to terms with our own thoughts and actions. We can too easily blame or praise a delusion; "God said ..." or "The Devil made me ...".
The Catholic church is a perfect example of a political criminal organization hiding behind it's priestly robes.
Nov 9, 2012
But yes William Sams, exactly so.
In one word: fiction.
I think political and criminal can be interchangeable in many cases.
Beware the Religio-Industrial Complex
The "Prosperity Gospel" does not seem to understand, or chooses not to recognize, "To whom much is given,much is required".
How religion evolved, and the concept of God took Shape, what kind of of thoughts the pre-sprtualistic people had, is contained in the Indian Rgveda, this is the biggest literary proof we have. I am trying to bring the great atheistic literature and traditions and debates, which lasted for almost 2500 years
Nov 10, 2012