ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.
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  • Joan Denoo

  • Joan Denoo

    Madhukar, I have been reading your writings and I highly recommend them for a good solid background on atheism and its roots. Your quotes accurately reflect the authors' intent, and your organization makes reading flow ... indeed you are creating a "page turner".
  • Joan Denoo

    Science writer Matt Ridley and Douglas Kenrick, worry that reproductive patterns favor greater population growth among those “…who harness the human capacity for superstition and panic.” In essence, the dumb, who can’t reason as well, are outbreeding the smart, threatening “…the triumph of faith over reason.”
    http://bigthink.com/risk-reason-and-reality/edge-big-thinkers-miss-...
  • Joseph P

    Something similar to the premise of Idiocracy, in other words.

  • Idaho Spud

    Joan, thanks for the Big Think article.  I'm not familiar with that site, but have added it to my Bookmarks.

    Joseph, I've not seen Idiocracy.  It has a very good premise, but sounds like it beats you over the head with it's moral.  What did you think of it?

  • Joseph P

    Its premise is over-exaggerated, even if it wasn't horribly flawed.  And its premise is simplistic and flawed, in its treatment of the factors that contribute to intelligence.

    You can translate the metaphor into other areas, though.

    A more serious issue is the spread of memes, with nut-jobs like the Duggars pumping out 19 kids and passing on their fucked-up, fundie-Christian memes to their children.  On our side, we have people like TNT666 not having any children, when I think she'd do a much better job of raising contributing members of society, were she so inclined.

    The bright point in that is that we're siphoning off members of the religious community, into our number.  The internet and the increased spread of scientific information is helping with that.  We've got almost no attrition due to children from secular families becoming religious, later in life, since religiosity requires childhood indoctrination, which they're not getting.

    Hell, we've got at least one of the Phelps clan who's gone secular, so maybe we can pick off a couple of the Duggar children, if they ever receive sufficient outside education ... although, I admit that's doubtful, considering that they're all home-schooled.

    All that aside, Idiocracy is a fairly amusing movie.  I wouldn't put it on any list of greats, but it's worth watching.

  • Joseph P

    Speaking of Fred Phelps's clan, did you know that:

     

    Conservative bikers turned out yesterday to protect Newtown mourners from Democrat Fred Phelps and his Westboro cult from protesting.

    From http://nation.foxnews.com/connecticut-elementary-school-shooting/20...

    You didn't know that the Westboro Baptist Church was a left-wing cult, did you?

  • Joan Denoo

    Left-wing, right-wing, the key word is church. 

    Those who hate, ostracize, monger-war, dominate, exploit, and exclude do not engender honor.

  • Joseph P

    ... hate, ostracize, monger-war, dominate, exploit, and exclude do not engender honor

    You're referring to Fox News with all of that, right?

  • Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Joan Denoo

    "You know the elephant seal I made"

    Evolution "fixes problems ... like dirty noses. 

  • Chris Dodds

  • Gerard R.Johnson

    Happy Darwin day everyone.

  • Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Troy Warner

    The fact that we are here due to the deaths of many stars makes life more awesome than we were created by some being for that being's amusement.

  • Dr. Terence Meaden

    Wisely put, Troy.

  • Joan Denoo

    Troy, that is my thinking as well.
  • Thomas Moore

    Yeah, my wife says we are "animated stardust". It's one thing to make up stories about how we came to be, but to try to pass off them as true is just wrong. And it's worse to make laws and public policy based on those stories.

  • Joan Denoo

    And OI see no reason to remain silent about playing "Let's Pretend" when it comes to the origins of the universe and the beginning of life. Some say respect the believer even as we disrespect the beliefs. I am not able to compartmentalize that way. I know the grief believers put me through when I first expressed doubts and then renounced the existence of god and the spirit world. 

  • John Jubinsky

    There is certainly no doubt that our existence is not attributable to a god. However, in my opinion, being in awe of the physics to which it is attributable would be almost as bad as worshiping. Remember, nature is indiscriminately ruthless. It would sacrifice good as much as anything. Accordingly, I don't care to honor it. I think our perspective should be to understand it, not only to satisfy our curiosity, but to render it harmless against us.

  • Chris Birdsong

    I saw this earlier today and thought the group might be interested.  Betting has commenced for the next Pope and it appears that we might have a horse in this race, albeit a long shot.  The line on Richard Dawkins as the next pope is set at 666/1...  fingers crossed.  http://www.paddypower.com/bet/novelty-betting/current-affairs/pope-...

  • Zohaib Javed

    Chris, that is one hilarious comment you got there! haha.

  • Joan Denoo

    Evolution evidence:

    Glyptodon Skeleton & Shell 

    Glyptodon,  Pleistocene epoch 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. It was roughly the same size and weight as a Volkswagen Beetle relative of modern armadillos.

    Armadillo, modern, The giant armadillo grows up to 59 in. and weighs up to 130 lb, while the pink fairy armadillos are diminutive species, with an overall length of 5 to 6 in. All species are native to the Americas, where they inhabit a variety of environments.

  • Joan Denoo

    Notice the very narrow line at 2 Ma: were the first hominoids. Humans  have been on this Earth for such a short period of time, there have been many extinctions, and the only constant is change. This beautiful planet is our home. 

  • Plinius

    A good clock, thanks Joan!

  • Idaho Spud

    Thanks for the earth clock Joan.

  • Chris Dodds

  • The Flying Atheist

    This seemed like the logical group to post this photo.....

  • Joan Denoo

    Oh! That is rich! Anatomy of an urban thug! Thanks for the laugh TFA.
  • Idaho Spud

    I predict Homo sapiens urbanthugensis will die-out quickly.

  • Ron Chernick

  • Jim Greenamyer

    Thank you for the invitation to join this group.  I am so happy to have found this page!  I was reading Atheism for Dummies, and they had a link to this page, which is how I found you.  Anyway, thanks again for the invite!:-)

  • Joan Denoo

    Another specimen of evolution:
    Extraordinary! This Newly Discovered Species of Moth Has Evolved to Mimic a Spider (Credit: John Horstman)
    http://twitpic.com/ccxmu8
  • Steph S.

    Wonderful posts Joan, Flying Atheist, Riomarcos and others.

    I love this group too.

  • Joan Denoo

    Mammoths, Overkill, and a Deep-Time Perspective on Pleistocene Exti...

    Human beings do what human beings do, they kill. As technology advances, the ability to kill becomes more sophisticated, and more extinctions occur. 

    Will human beings become "native" before the next extinction? 

    Connie Barlow + Overkill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHHPSQkrDlA&list=PLDFCAB0EDFED8B282

  • Steph S.

    Thanks Joan for the mammoths link!

  • Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Joan Denoo

    Study Charts 2,000 Years of Continental Climate Changes

    Notice the Arctic, Asia, and Australia have very high temperature rises. 

    "A comprehensive new analysis of temperature changes over the continents through 2,000 years has found that a long slide in temperatures in most regions preceded the unusual global warming of recent decades, but with a lot of regional variability and other fascinating details. A National Science Foundation news release has ample background."

  • Joan Denoo

    Carolyn Porco, Planetary scientist shows images from the Cassini voyage to Saturn, focusing on its largest moon, Titan, and on frozen Enceladus, which seems to shoot jets of ice. The leader of the Imaging Team on the Cassini mission to Saturn, she interprets and shares the pictures coming back from this fascinating planet, its rings and its moons.

  • Joan Denoo

  • Joan Denoo

  • Dominik P. Offermann

    What a beauty. I love Saturn :)

  • Joan Denoo

    Humanity Explores the Solar System

    "Presently, every inner planet has at least one robotic explorer, while several others are monitoring our Sun, some are mapping Earth's Moon, a few are chasing asteroids and comets, one is orbiting Saturn, and several are even heading out into deep space. The above illustration gives more details, with the inner Solar System depicted on the upper right and the outer Solar System on the lower left. Given the present armada, our current epoch might become known as the time when humanity first probed its own star system. Sometimes widely separated spacecraft act together as an InterPlanetary Network to determine the direction of distant explosions by noting when each probe detects high energy photons. Future spacecraft milestones, as indicated along the bottom of the graphic, include Dawn reaching Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt, and New Horizons reaching Pluto, both in 2015."

  • The Flying Atheist

  • Plinius

    Ha, Einstein on the beach!

  • Lex Allen

    Thanks for the invite, Dr. Meaden.  I'm looking forward to learning a few things... :o).

  • Steph S.

    Napoleon that is cool.

  • Napoleon Bonaparte

    Hi Steph,

    It's for my new video 'Metal Urbain - Snuff movie.' It's only 2 minutes and 47 seconds long and is the second video I have done for the punk band. The image is a google doodle celebrating Saul Bass who made movie posters and the like. I messed around with it on Paint and Moviemaker and used acted snuff movie clips instead of the real thing and applied effects. It took about 12 hours to think of it, find the materials and make it.

    I like punk art and will make more videos in the future.

  • Joan Denoo

    I am so grateful that science refused to be subdued by religion. My life with breast cancer has so much more meaning with science and the options it offers me than faith in delusions could ever have. My team of medical professionals and my team of emotional supporters have something to offer that is real and does not depend on denial of reality.
    Thank you, all my atheist professionals and friends who do more than rub their hands together and make verbal noises; just so much babel in a sea of platitudes signifying nothing.
    Why Evolution is True and Why Many People Still Don't Believe It (Jerry Coyne, 2012)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW9G2YVtBYc&list=WL3DB291F0C3DC9DC9
  • Ruth Anthony-Gardner