The Compendium of Reason sometimes approaches the asylum

stooshie:

Chris Hadfield turns up at Hammersmith.

Originally posted on Robinince's Blog:

As usual, about an hour before the first Hammersmith show, all became chaos. the afternoon had been a quiet one of propelling bottles in the audience using hydrogen and a cannon, seeing how many things could be set on fire securely, safely and with as big a flame as possible, working out the jazz/piano entrance of our secret astronaut, the humdrum normality. Once the acts started to arrive, the powerpoints piled up, the offstage banter about quarks increased, the bottles of mercury and poison clattered, the audience walked into the auditorium making that noise of chatter that suggests expectation but uncertainty. 

So for all those that asked, here is what happened from 7pm onwards.

It began with a laser harp, one so powerful you could light your cigarette off the beams (well you couldn’t of course, as there is no smoking indoors, just great big lasers), the harpists speedy playing…

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One more attack on New Atheism from an atheist who should know better

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

Atheism is nothing more than a commitment to the most basic standard of intellectual honesty: One’s convictions should be proportional to one’s evidence. Pretending to be certain when one isn’t—indeed, pretending to be certain about propositions for which no evidence is even conceivable—is both an intellectual and a moral failing.  (Sam Harris, 2005)

I really don’t like to spend over an hour each morning criticizing poorly-argued essays against New Atheism written by atheists.  But I’ll do so if they appear on a reputable site or, if, as in this case, they make arguments that are seemingly novel.  What’s annoying about David V. Johnson’s piece, “A refutation of the undergraduate atheists, is that it appears on 3 Quarks Daily, a site that I thought was science friendly and dedicated to rational thought. The site had garnered a lot of prizes for its science and philosophy…

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Again? Phil Zuckerman wins debate with Christian, church refuses to post video

stooshie:

Doesn’t the 9th commandment say something about bearing false witness?

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

Sound familiar? Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, who studies the geography and sociology of atheism (he wrote Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion, Atheism and Secularity, and Society Without God), is asked to debate Christian author David Marshall at Adventure Christian Church in Sacramento.

The topic: “What provides a better foundation for civil society, Christianity or Secular Humanism?” Zuckerman, of course, took the secularist stand.

The preparation was arduous: months of work for everyone. And, as Zuckerman reports at PuffHo, everything was in order. They had agreed to film the debate and post it on Vimeo, and even provided the speakers with nice noms.

But then the unexpected happened: Zuckerman won.

You can imagine what happened next. As he reports:

And so we had the debate. And I won. Now, that’s not my opinion — its the opinion of…

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Dawkins gets a break at last

stooshie:

A voice of reason.

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

At last the British press has given Richard Dawkins a break! In truth, I can’t remember the last pro-Dawkins piece they’ve published, although there are dozens taking the other side, every one a carbon copy of the others.  Strident. Bigot. Racist. Superannuated.  You know the tropes. While people have every right to differ with Richard’s ideas, the wolf-pack behavior of the British press is more like a feeding frenzy than a reasoned assessment of his ideas.

But in the August 24 Spectator, British journalist and author Nick Cohen analyzes this phenomenon in a piece called “Richard Dawkins attacks Muslim bigots, not just Christian ones. If only his enemies were as brave.” He not only decries the press for its herd mentality, but indicts it for cowardice: its refusal to defend liberal Muslims who stand up against their oppressive and conservative coreligionists.

How refreshing is this beginning?

It’s August…

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A new exposé of Mother Teresa shows that she—and the Vatican—were even worse than we thought

stooshie:

” … though the facts were surprising, [Hitchens] was never sued and his accusations were never refuted—nor even rebutted. … “

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

First Christopher Hitchens took her down, then we learned that her faith wasn’t as strong as we thought, and now a new study from the Université de Montréal is poised to completely destroy what shreds are left of Mother Teresa’s reputation. She was the winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, was beatified and is well on her way to becoming a saint, and she’s universally admired. As Wikipedia notes:

[She was] named 18 times in the yearly Gallup’s most admired man and woman poll as one of the ten women around the world that Americans admired most. In 1999, a poll of Americans ranked her first in Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century. In that survey, she out-polled all other volunteered answers by a wide margin, and was in first place in all major demographic categories except the very young.

The criticisms of…

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A new exposé of Mother Teresa shows that she—and the Vatican—were even worse than we thought

stooshie:

” … though the facts were surprising, he was never sued and his accusations were never refuted—nor even rebutted. … “

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

First Christopher Hitchens took her down, then we learned that her faith wasn’t as strong as we thought, and now a new study from the Université de Montréal is poised to completely destroy what shreds are left of Mother Teresa’s reputation. She was the winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, was beatified and is well on her way to becoming a saint, and she’s universally admired. As Wikipedia notes:

[She was] named 18 times in the yearly Gallup’s most admired man and woman poll as one of the ten women around the world that Americans admired most. In 1999, a poll of Americans ranked her first in Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century. In that survey, she out-polled all other volunteered answers by a wide margin, and was in first place in all major demographic categories except the very young.

The criticisms of…

View original 1,628 more words

Six Day Creationist publicly endorses Stephen Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt

stooshie:

1 step forwards, 2 steps back.

Originally posted on Eat Your Brains Out; Exploring Science, Exposing Creationism:

The reasoning behind Stephen Meyer’s latest offering will not stand up to examination. However, the Discovery Institute have proudly announced that it has been endorsed by one of Britain’s leading scientists. It turns out, however, that the leading scientist is actually a doctor, not an evolutionary biologist, that he has been deeply involved with the Discovery Institute for many years, and that he required no convincing of the book’s central claim that biological information is the work of a designer. Nor, perhaps, is he the right person to evaluate Meyer’s critique of evolutionary science, because he never accepted evolutionary science in the first place. He believes that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, that Genesis I through XI is a historically accurate account, and that biological information actually originated on Days Three through Six of Creation, some 6000 years ago, at God’s say-so.

Darwin’s Doubt has been billed…

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Sensuous Curmudgeon too kind to DI’s vanity press style promotion of Discovery Institute’s latest

Originally posted on Eat Your Brains Out; Exploring Science, Exposing Creationism:

Tuesday saw the launch of Stephen Meyer’s latest book, Darwin’s Doubt. I doubt if I will be reading it, but here’s a little of what the blurb on amazon.com says about it:

In Darwin’s Doubt, Stephen C. Meyer tells the story of the mystery surrounding this [the Cambrian] explosion of animal life—a mystery that has intensified, not only because the expected ancestors of these animals have not been found, but because scientists have learned more about what it takes to construct an animal. During the last half century, biologists have come to appreciate the central importance of biological information—stored in DNA and elsewhere in cells—to building animal forms.

Expanding on the compelling case he presented in his last book, Signature in the Cell, Meyer argues that the origin of this information, as well as other mysterious features of the Cambrian event, are best explained by intelligent design, rather than…

View original 485 more words

Sensuous Curmudgeon too kind to DI’s vanity press style promotion of Discovery Institute’s latest

Originally posted on Eat Your Brains Out; Exploring Science, Exposing Creationism:

Tuesday saw the launch of Stephen Meyer’s latest book, Darwin’s Doubt. I doubt if I will be reading it, but here’s a little of what the blurb on amazon.com says about it:

In Darwin’s Doubt, Stephen C. Meyer tells the story of the mystery surrounding this [the Cambrian] explosion of animal life—a mystery that has intensified, not only because the expected ancestors of these animals have not been found, but because scientists have learned more about what it takes to construct an animal. During the last half century, biologists have come to appreciate the central importance of biological information—stored in DNA and elsewhere in cells—to building animal forms.

Expanding on the compelling case he presented in his last book, Signature in the Cell, Meyer argues that the origin of this information, as well as other mysterious features of the Cambrian event, are best explained by intelligent design, rather than…

View original 485 more words

Invent the Truth II

Originally posted on The Shogun of Sin:

When engaging with a conservative on a social media website, one expects to find what you would with any common debater:

 

  • a series of easy-to-grasp talking points
  • data to back up their assertions
  • reliable sources of information, taken from independent parties
  • a lack of logical fallacies
  • ZERO shameless gimmicks that serve no purpose

 

Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. While, admittedly there are many wonderful examples of well-versed modern conservatives who have a true grasp on current events, and have a talent for balancing various different topics including politics, the majority of them lack any clear direction with their arguments, which usually forces them to become belligerent and resort to defensive techniques. Instead of putting in an effort to add a bit of substance to their party-obsessed aggression, they avoid the conflict from the start by outlining a disgustingly useless wall of text that denotes their…

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