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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  • Joseph P

    So, I'm not really down with hanging out on a group where people make threats--excuse me, "promises"--like "when I take over you will be punished". Can we please do something about this?

    I'm all for things like that said in jest.  Plus, snarky comments in general are always fun.  This guy isn't nearly as funny as he thinks he is, though.  He's just an asshole.

  • Richard ∑wald

    "So, I'm not really down with hanging out on a group where people make threats"

    Well, it's very much against the rules (on a few levels) so you really don't have to be down with it.

    "Can we please do something about this?"

    Here.

    Usually actioned within 12-24 hours.

  • Richard ∑wald

    I'm all for things like that said in jest.  Plus, snarky comments in general are always fun.  This guy isn't nearly as funny as he thinks he is, though.  He's just an asshole.

    This too...

  • Sarah Walton

    Yeah, I like to think I have a pretty good sense of humor but I also have a pretty good sense of when things have crossed a line.

  • Richard ∑wald

    Yup, line that have no business even being tip=toed on this site, of all places.

  • Sarah Walton

    Greg: Me too. Hopefully more than one complaint will make an impression.

  • Richard ∑wald

    One will probably do.

  • Sarah Walton

    Good to know. Here's hoping!

  • Jon T

    Is it possible that knowledge has evolved as an independent body of thought, and is the reason that becomes the instruction of the hive mind in people? And is it possible that religion is a body of knowledge whose time of influence is passing? And is it possible that the vacuum of ignorance needs to be filled with modern information to satiate the hive mind to alleviate the current struggles of dogmas that persist in the absence of education? Is it possible that our current system of education that bars less affluent and the greater body of people along economic restraints, from an education, cheating those people of the mental evolution of their minds through understanding our current evolutionary position in time? Grammar not checked--Please forgive any additional brain strain.

  • Sarah Walton

    Seems action was taken in regards to our little problem here of late. Good to know the mods listen!

  • Neil Thompson

    @Jon & @Greg
    That sounds like the idea of "memes" as coined by Richard Dawkins, when he drew a comparison with genes which cause physical attributes to be inherited with memes which are ideas which are selected for and are perpetuated or die out in a similar Darwinian way. Of course the term has become popularised and now refers to all sorts of trivia circulating the Internet but it has still retained something of its meaning. It is good to notice that thanks to the efforts of Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris et al and us in our own ways the cause of reason is getting a higher profile and enabling people who may have been previously a bit unsure about it to own their atheism.
  • Alice

    Please sign this petition to support a campaign towards justice against the Catholic Church: http://www.change.org/petitions/update-the-case-of-the-pope-by-geof...

  • Dr. Terence Meaden

    Done, Alice.

    Terry

  • Donna Darko

    I signed it a few minutes ago myself from another source, but thank you for posting this, Alice.

  • Alice

    Thanks... :)

  • Jon T

    Alice, i signed the petition.

  • Jon T

    @Greg & @ Neil or anyone

    The meme idea i will research, it sounds promising. Yet, I am sensing that as a function of our socialization, we gather together and around central controlling ideas driven by our nature for the good of the group and to satisfy belonging, as opposed to reason. It is as though the religious have a natural drive or compulsion to answer first to the group requirements and rationale without question. I think even Academia has this kind of blind following as well, although the body of academic information supports a different out look and understanding of the world. What I am considering is the idea that knowledge gives us our soul or identity; irregardless of how we expound upon the base of knowledge or bring things to the logical conclusion to grow our understanding, I believe our conscience is part of our acting within the body of knowledge. In other words, we are a part of a human group conscience finding its way through space and time learning as we are kind of blown by this wind of revelation that utilizes our intellect and brain in a maturing and growing collective conscience. This is why our morality changes and is thought anew to the next generation, such that old teachings begin to fail rather than be regurgitated throughout time, like both our nature and our practice would have as religion reflects. I think that some of our subconscious functions to manifest this collective body of thought and thinking to carry knowledge growth into the future, and is the driving force behind recording and transmitting to add to the knowledge base in the evolution of our awareness. Any ideas where I could find thought on this?

  • John Jubinsky

    Thanks Alice - I signed it.

  • Marc Draco

    Courtesy of Eugine Scott

    http://www.webcitation.org/67Prx6lgG

    How many of the speakers are climate change experts? I don't know, but I do note that they claim a UK MP - he's not, he's an MEP (for Europe) and does not hold anything like as much respect; and let's be honest, not many MPs do have much respect these days.

  • Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Lillie

    This is one of my favorite topics.  My favorite quote is from Colbert:  "Everyone knows reality has a liberal bias."  Glad to join.

  • booklover

    Lillie Fleur, thanks for that quote from Colbert.  Love it! ~ Melinda

  • Lillie

    Read this today in New Science, one of the most hopeful things I have read in a long time.

    Stephen Hawking is a scientific rock star, we all know that. But what is surprising is the youth of the 70-year-old physicist’s fan base. Before his lecture in Seattle this weekend, pre-teen boys and girls pressed against a velvet rope in the gilded lobby of the Paramount Theater, hoping to catch a glimpse or maybe even snap a picture of him.

    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2012/06/hawking-and-ra...

  • AgeOfAtheists14

    amazing times! not so amazing distractions and corruptions though...

    Is The Hunt For The 'God Particle' Finally Over?

    NPR - 5 hours ago
    The buzz is that they're closing in on the elusive Higgs particle. That would be a ... Physicists hope they are hot on the trail of the Higgs particle.

    In-Depth: Scientists may announce discovery of Higgs Boson, the 'God particle ...New York Post
    Blog: David Willetts: I'm just a science minister, not a particle physicistThe Guardian (blog)
    God Particle: Is Higgs boson really found?Economic Times
    Phys.Org - Fox News
    all 465 news articles »

    now as for learning about the not-so-distant church/state past.. this book is #1 w/how things went down for the USA in courts...
    made pic small as to not hog up wall here
    just click or right click open larger etc.. cyapeace!

  • The Flying Atheist

    The news about the Higgs particle is very exciting.  I was, however, quite disappointed (outright pissed, actually) with the ignorant "journalism" from Yahoo! article author, Jeff Stacklin. 

    Scientists unveil proof of 'God particle'

    The last line of his article:  "Oh, those wacky scientists."

    If you want to get depressed, continue past the end of the article and read the comments by our "enlightened" masses. 

  • booklover

    I agree Flying Atheist.  I can't even read the comments.  Makes me sick.

  • James Bradford

    I read through most of the comments and I can honestly say that the combined I.Q. of these people is about the equivalent of an eggplant. It's sad that so many people in today's society are completely clueless when it comes to intellectual topics.

  • Alice

    LOL - exciting news!

  • Neil Thompson

    @James The problem with these people is not necessarily lack of intelligence, it's more likely to be lack of education.  I didn't really "get" science until I met real scientists and discovered the scientific method and some of the clever ways used to get nature to reveal its secrets, thanks to the Open University.  There is also a difficulty, at least for the religious, that in order to accept science as real they may have to give up a lifetime's investment in another philosophy.  Daniel Dennett had some interesting thoughts on that in Melbourne recently http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/183745/watch-daniel-dennetts-how-to...

  • Joseph P

    Seriously, guys.  You should know better than to pay attention to the thoughts of a bunch of Yahoo users who have nothing better to do with their time than comment on news stories.

  • Loren Miller

    The worst thing that happened to the Higgs Boson was being called "the goddamned particle."  It was given that name because it was so illusive.  When time came to get published and someone wanted to refer to the Higgs as something other than "the Higgs Boson," the editor didn't want to use "the goddamned particle" for fear of offending someone ... so the "damned" was edited out.

    How I'd love to go back in time and shoot that editor!  Would save SO MUCH BS!

  • Lillie

    Neither the Maya Calendar--nor the World--Ends on December 21, 2012

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=neither-maya-nor-world-calendar-ends-december-21-2012

     

    From Scientific American:

    This is a relief!  lol

  • Idaho Spud

    Wheeuu!  That's a load off my mind.  NOT.  Hehe.

  • taslima nasrin

  • Lillie

    James, not only are they clueless but proud to be clueless.

  • Larry Smith

    Lillie Fluer.....What Little research I have read is that the Round Stone Mayan Calendar does end. They used a base 13 for counting. The calendar ends because they ran out of numbers and would have had to start all over again. That is if they had survived that long. See

    http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-mayan.html

    But I could be wrong.......duhno

  • Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Plinius

    Thanks for the picture Napoleon! It makes me feel so powerful.. :-)

  • Joan Denoo

    Hubble Telescope Video, What an exciting time to be alive! So much time and space; you and I are part of the whole thing. 

  • Joan Denoo

  • booklover

    Love your pic of Willy Wonka (is that his name?), and what it says Joan.

    And yes, awesome time to be alive with all the scientific discoveries!  I wonder what my 18 and 20-year olds will live to see, if humans don't destroy our planet first!~Melinda

  • Idaho Spud

    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.

  • sk8eycat

    ATTENTION!

     Curiosity will be landing on Mars Aug 5th, 10:31 PDT (1:31 EDT Aug 6th)!  Watch it from JPL Live here:

    http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/nasatv/

  • Ken Allen

    That Hubble ultra deep field photo is one of my favourites.  Really puts perspective on how insignificant we are in the universe.

  • Dr. Terence Meaden

    Yes quite so, Joan, Idaho and Ken.

    By the way, are you on Facebook?

    If so, you are welcome to join me at

    http://www.facebook.com/terence.meaden

  • foulmouthgandhi

    Thank you for the invite Dr. Terence Meaden, I appreciate it. =)

  • Tajorde

    Hello everyone!!! I've been an atheist for about 4 years now and have been open about it for the last 2 years. I am eager to learn more and hear what other people have to say.

  • booklover

    welcome
    Tajorde!

  • Steph S.

    Welcome new members! So glad you are here with us.

  • The Flying Atheist

    Tajorde, thanks for joining up and being a part of this awesome community.  Welcome!  It's great having you here.  Enjoy!  --Carl  :)