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11.29.2012

Wholesome Goodness

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A while ago, I dated a girl who would probably fit the definition of fundamentalist Christian. She was one of the nicest goodest people I ever met and was a super positive influence on my life. She continues to be, in fact, which is a matter of some consternation to me. Even though we are no longer together, I find myself holding other people to the high standard of wholesome goodness that she set, and few can achieve it. But that's OK. All that matters is that I achieve it, and I am not trying to change anyone else.

So that's the long of the short of it. But today I was reflecting on the positive influence this woman had on my life, and it still confuses me that she always viewed herself as a bad person at heart, a sinner. Like, you literally could not be less of a sinner than this girl. But she was convinced that no matter how good her actions and deeds in life, she was always letting Jesus down and thus a sinner.

I never could relate to that and perhaps that's why we are no longer dating. It's a shame, but not a sin. The end result is that her striving to be as good a person as JC, even though she was, by Biblical definition, failing utterly (the logic goes something like: Jesus is infinitely good. No mortal can ever be infinitely good. The best we can do is accept that Jesus died for our inferior imperfections), it rubbed off on me and made me a significantly better person than I was.

So while she was experiencing the Law of Diminishing Returns in her quest to asymptotically inch closer to the divine standard, and suffering for it mentally, I would say that I probably doubled or tripled my wholesome goodness quotient as a result of her.

That's cool in an objective sense, but kind of sad in that she's the Christian! She's the one who is supposed to feel good about having JC in her life as a guidepost. I am still a total atheist, but now I am 10 times better and happier because of HER devotion to Christ.

Man, this world is not fair.

11.24.2012

Evidence of Evolution - Darwin's Theory of Evolution

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There is little hope of convincing Creationists that Darwin's Theory of Evolution is right and they are totally wrong. So let's forget about them for a minute.

There are surely a lot of people out there who are not fundamentally religious and just want to understand Darwin's Theory and the mountains of evidence for evolution that exist. Not everyone is a scientist, but many people are curious about science and seek truth.

As with global climate change, it is hard to get correct and rational information when there is so much misinformation flying around from people who are willfully ignorant, or more diabolically want to deceive (mostly hardcore church people have a vested interest in deception against evolution, because their livelihood depends on people rejecting Darwin's theory and the evolution timeline of billions of years, in favor of the patently false Biblical creation story and it's absurdly short timeline).

The best and brightest book for lay people about evolution by natural selection is Richard Dawkins' "The Greatest Show On Earth."

In it, Dawkins explains it all in very easy to understand words, and he destroys all religious rebukes and rebuttals easily (it's not hard to disprove falsehoods). It's by far the best and clearest overview of evolution by natural selection in general. If you are an evolution skeptic before reading this book, you will have no doubt that the theory of evolution is real and correct afterwards. So if you are a fundamentalist religious person and want to keep your head firmly in the sand, DO NOT read this book. Conversely, if you are secure in your faith, you have nothing to fear from reading this book and might learn something (CAUTION: It's the Devil's work, ha ha ha!). Everyone else can read it knowing they will be well informed and even entertained.


If you want to learn about the timeline of evolution on earth, I must once again refer you to Dawkins. His book, "The Ancestor's Tale," illustrates the evolution timeline beautifully, by working backwards from the humans of the present to the first lifeforms on earth.

Interestingly, on the tree of life, there are only about 40 branch points between us and the first microbes. This is actually mathematically verifiable, although it seems counterintuitive. You can take any two life forms on earth today and if you go back far enough, they will share a common ancestor. Consider that our most recent branch point is shared with chimpanzees, considerably different from us. Nothing has branched off from the human line since the ancestor of chimps did, although chimps subsequently split into several species. But we don't count the chimp branch points on our line because our ancestors had already split off by then.

One thing that even non-religious people don't get is that humans did not evolve from chimps. Both chimps and humans evolved from a common ancestor who was partly chimp-like and partly human-like (we'd probably say it was more chimp-like, and chimps would probably say it was more human-like). As soon as the two species split off, the ancestral species ceased to exist. One group gradually evolved over time into chimps and the other gradually evolved over time into humans. The ancestral species lived on the earth up until the time of the branching of the two species, but it does not exist today, except in the fossil record.


Dawkins also has a book called "The Blind Watchmaker," about the biological mechanics of evolution. Here he explains how animals evolve through incremental changes over long periods of time and how complex organs like eyes can develop. Critics of evolution argue that something as complex as an eye could not evolve incrementally because there is no such thing as a partially formed eye in nature.

"Hogwash!" says Dawkins (he probably doesn't say that really). Nature is full of examples of partially formed eyes, from simple light sensitive cells in worms, to compound eyes in insects, to pinhole camera style eyes in other organisms. In fact, the human eye, he points out, is designed horribly (unintelligent design, from an engineering standpoint), back to front, but still performs amply well for our needs. The squid has an even better eye than we do.

Another mistake the anti-evolutionists make is to suggest that evolution can't be true because otherwise there would be intermediate species in the fossil record. They say this as if they are fully confident there are no intermediate species in the fossil record. The only problem is that the fossil record is rich with intermediate species, especially younger fossils like the putative common ancestors of humans and chimps. Dawkins exposes this Creationist fallacy in "The Greatest Show On Earth" as well.


For the more advanced students of the science of evolution, have a look at "The Extended Phenotype," by Dawkins. This is a more technical text, akin to a college level textbook, which Dawkins disclaims right away in the foreward, so no one can call him out on that. This book is not the best choice for a first encounter with Dawkins' writing, unless you are technically savvy and well versed in the biological jargon of genetics and evolution by natural selection. Even then it can be a decent sedative. Definitely read one of the books above, or perhaps his seminal work, "The Selfish Gene (even my scientifically timid mom enjoyed that one)," if you want to ease into the writing of Dawkins. "The Extended Phenotype" is more of a plunge into deep, exotic waters.

Comments or questions are welcomed.

11.22.2012

Does God Play Fair?

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In the few tragic discourses I have had with Biblical literalists, the same fundamental question always arises when it inevitably comes around to the fact that science contradicts creationism.

If there is a God, science clearly must be the method of examining His design in the cosmos. Mathematics and the Laws of Physics are apparently universal.

In the 17th century, when Newton et al and the Royal Society were beginning to explore the mathematical workings of nature, they did so reverentially to God. They fully believed they were exploring and understanding God's design, His blueprint for nature. Why would God gift humans with the ability to reason if he did not want them to use that ability to know Him and His plan?

The other option is that God does not play fair, but instead willfully deceives people. But God is not a deceiver. The Devil is. So the only way that you can deny science and reason is to say they are the Devil's work. That is the only alternative.

Because if God wants us to use reason and the process of science to understand His design, these must be good and pure things. If they are good and pure things, then one must reason that the Bible cannot be interpreted literally, because it contradicts God's true design as shown by scientific evidence and mathematics.

If the Bible is to be taken literally, one must deny science and mathematics are Godly, but rather are the Devil's work, and they must be shunned. Even the fundamentally religious Amish rely on mathematics and the Laws of Nature to build their barns, till their fields, and grow their crops. Nature follows a design, verifiably and repeatably.

This is how we are able to have modern tools and medicine. If you want to deny science and reason as the Devil's deceptions, you must shun all technology built using pure science and reason. Otherwise you are complicit with the Devil.

But you are better served to accept that Reason is God's gift to humanity, allowing us to understand His design for the universe through science and math. In other words, God plays fair and the Bible cannot be literally true.

Comments?

11.09.2012

Rare Mammoth Found in Great Shape (Neanderthals?)

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This is cool: http://news.yahoo.com/rare-mammoth-found-great-shape-182855066--abc-news-tech.html

But I question the scientists claim that "it is unlikely the cavemen killed Helmut; the pieces of flint [discovered at the site] are too small."

Because, you know, hunting weapons were probably important to Neanderthals and it's not like they were just going to leave their spears behind to impress some future archaeologists.

What do you think?

10.24.2012

Stressed? Jesus Can Help

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There is a billboard outside of Cambridge WI that offers a religious solution to a stressed life.
Research has shown that stress reduces a person's ability to resist persuasive messages, like "join our cult."

10.20.2012

12/21/12: Zombies

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Only the fundamentalist Christian dead rose on 12/21/12.

They were zombies when they were alive, so it seems apt.

They aren't like in the horror movies though. Whatever power or powers saw fit to re-animate them restored them fully back to their normal selves at what looks to be about 30 years of age, completely free of morbidity of any kind, as far as I can tell.

They don't eat people either.

But they do eat food. And since humanity wasn't really expecting a few million more mouths to feed, it looks like an apocalypse will go down anyway.

The risen dead are ornery, and they are assembling, in churches mostly. So those are not a safe haven.

It's not a textbook zombie apocalypse. But it seems like a rather semantic argument at this point.

10.19.2012

Christian Radio

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I sometimes enjoy listening to fundamentalist Christian radio when I'm driving. I'm simultaneously amused and entertained they are just as convinced that Jesus is coming back tomorrow as they were 2 millenia ago. Less amused when they politicize their outdated superstitions. Believe what you want but "judge not, lest you be judged." Matthew said that.

Death

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Heaven has a PR problem.

Their ad campaign isn't selling me.

The idea of spending eternity in the "paradise" described in their brochures, with the type of people I usually can only take in small doses, sounds more like torment.

If they want to persuade me that heaven is a desirable place to go when I die, they should make it sound like Hawaii, spefically the underpopulated Big Island. The South Island of New Zealand would be an even more compelling sales pitch.

I've been told by fundamentalist Christian friends that it is not my place to question God's plan for us in the afterlife. I don't have a problem with that. I have a problem with them referring to it as "paradise" when it clearly isn't everyone's idea of paradise.

I'd rather have nothing. Since the universe is infinite in space and time, eventually my consciousness should emerge again, sometime someplace.

10.07.2012

Heaven on Earth

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People give fundamentalist Christians a hard time.

But if you think about it, compared to ancient times when Jesus lived in the Roman Empire, today's world is pretty fuckin' heavenly.

I mean, if you were a poor peasant living in squalor under oppressive Roman domination and were suddenly transported to today's "future," you would pretty much have to concur that even the United States are pretty badass by comparison.

Even if you were penniless, useless, and could not speak the language, which would be likely, society would more or less take care of you and you might be inclined to think modern people were angels, by comparison to the murderous sots of old.

Of course, there are a lot of devils today too. Which are you?

Comments?

Are We Going To Church?

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It's Sunday morning, and no. We are not going to church. Church was yesterday. I attended the Osh Kosh Indie Horror Film Fest with my friends who live in OK. It was bloody, thrilling, and irreverent. And totally fictional, which is exactly what religion is.

The difference, of course, is that I and the other attendees of the film fest know that horror movies are not real. We don't believe they are and we don't want them to be. Well, there might be one or two crazies who do believe they are real and want them to be reality. But this is true of religion too.

Because more religious people believe their myths are real, there are more psychotic extremists who do f-ed up things. It is interesting that horror movie buffs are generally more nice and peaceful than religious nuts.

9.18.2012

Bible Study

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Here is a misleading piece of journalism about biblical history. These journalists are totally ignorant of biblical historical research and what FORGERY means in that context.

When Biblical scholars talk of forgery, they are not meaning someone alive today trying to fabricate an ancient text (as these journalists think).

Religious writing in early Christianity was rife with authors "writing as" apostles and sidekicks who observed the whole thing go down - forgers. That is what forgery refers to in historical Biblical research. Some did it well and some did it poorly. Biblical historians analyze many factors to determine if a biblical text is a forgery. One way is to compare a piece of writing with other known works of the presumed author. For example, Paul may have written a lot of his own stuff. He was educated and literate. But some texts claiming to be Paul's don't fit his writing style or even his known beliefs in some cases. In the New Testament, only a portion of Paul's writings are considered authentic. Some are forged and almost ALL of the other NT books are forgeries. Click the thumbnail upper right for more.

Think about it. The apostles and probably Jesus were poor illiterate working class stiffs. They didn't write shit. Centuries later, oral traditions were written down by Greeks and others who claimed they were mere scribes writing down verbatim exactly what they saw and heard the apostles and Jesus do and say (even though some of them were writing as much as 4 centuries later!).

So when the biblical scholars say they do not think THIS text is a forgery, it means they have a pretty good idea that it matches other writings by a known and credible author of the time. I am not sure if they specify the author in this article, because it's a shitty article.

By the way, historical Biblical study (as opposed to lame ignorant devotional study) is pretty awesome, in much the same way that studying history or anthropology or evolution is awesome. Your eyes will truly be opened and your mind enlightened if you go at the Bible from a scientific angle. Just saying...

SOURCE: http://news.yahoo.com/jesus-had-wife-newly-discovered-gospel-suggests-202727064.html

7.07.2012

Eclipses

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Can it be a coincidence that although the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, it is also 400 times closer than the sun, such that the apparent size of the moon equals that of the sun?

I would say yes it is a coincidence, although fundamentalist religious people may disagree (but they could make a lot stronger case for an eclipse loving God using this fact than some of the other unscientific claims about the age of the earth and what fossils tell us...). In any case, thanks to this fact, we have eclipses that allow scientists to get a good look at and study the corona (atmosphere) of the sun.

Yes, I watched an episode of a documentary series about the universe and I learned a lot about the sun, even things I did not already know.

Temperature

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Right now there is a massive heat wave (and drought) across most of the U.S. Of course, there is no global warming, and even if there were, it would not be caused by human activity.

Oh man, I still cannot say that with a straight face.

But that is neither here nor there. This morning as I was drinking ice cold water to stay cool, I got to thinking about temperature, and more importantly the sensory experience of temperature.

Hot and cold is, physically speaking, really nothing more than the excitation of atoms and molecules in a substance. Cold things have less molecular excitation and hot things have more. By excitation, we are talking about the motion of atoms and to some extent the excitation of electrons (generating radiant heat, such as that given off by a hot surface).

But the sensation of temperature by an organism such as you or me, is quite fascinating. We don't think about atomic excitation when we experience temperature. We only sense cold or hot. That means we evolved cellular and molecular machinery to translate atomic excitation into the subjective experience of temperature. Temperature has meaning and value as a result. A rock doesn't care if it is hot or cold.

Our temperature sensing neurons basically translate the physical energy of an object into action potentials, the combined strength of which is determined by the energy of the object. These signals are transmitted to the brain, where they are processed and subjectively interpreted as hot or cold.

I say subjectively, because there is a relativity to the interpretation of temperature sense, and indeed all sense. For example, in the winter time, when the temperature rises to, say, 50 degrees, we think it is a balmy warm winter day in a relative sense. But a 50 degree day in mid summer would be downright chilly.

If you go outside in the winter without gloves and your hands get really cold, you can run them under luke warm water and it will feel "hot" at first.

Temperature is a physical absolute when measured as atomic excitation with objective scientific instruments. But try explaining that to your brain. Temperature is totally a subjective thing when it comes to experience.

6.25.2012

Exploiting Nessy for Political Gain

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I really almost could not believe THIS STORY.

So desperate are the fundamentalists to debunk evolution and support creationism are the fundamentalists that they have to resort to claiming the Loch Ness Monster is real.

And at a state funded school, no less!

That is truly a desperate move. Thankfully, even religious people are rational enough to see through this ruse.

Or are they? Your comments please.

I think they should have their state funding terminated.

6.20.2012

Science is Awesome

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You know what the great thing about science is?

It is awesome. That's what.

It is easy to make predictions when you use solid science. The predictions aren't always that awesome, at least for humanity. But they are totally correct. And that's awesome, should we care to pay attention.

Take global warming. You can deny it all you want, but science doesn’t lie. Not ever. It's internally consistent, no matter what we (even scientists) may believe.

Scientists lie. That's true. But only the ones on the payroll of multinational oil companies.

Using science, I can easily predict that the world is going to be f-ed by ecological disasters more and more over the next few years unless we do something dramatic about it. In fact, it may even be too late.

Southwestern states in the U.S. are literally going up in flames with record wildfires.

Record high temperatures and flash flooding are plaguing the upper Midwest as I write this.

I can predict ecological disasters at the hands of climate change with better than 95% certainty. Not only do more than 95% of scientists confirm this kind of future, but so does their scientific research.

So if you want to go on making predictions based on beliefs, like "God will save us," then by all means do so. And be wrong.

I will use science and be right.

Good day.

6.19.2012

I Think the Rapture Might Be Here

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I think the Rapture may have started.

I have had two recent experiences of people simply vanishing.

Last Sunday, I did a 60 mile bicycle ride out of Fort Atkinson, WI. I was supposed to meet a friend there and ride with her. I wasn't late or anything, but she wasn't there.

There were only 50 people on the ride and she wasn't one of them. I didn't see her at the social after the ride either.

Notwithstanding the $40 registration for the ride that we all paid, I thought maybe she just decided not to come on the ride after all (the fee was for charity, so not such a bad thing if she had to forfeit). But she did not respond to my text in the morning telling her I was on my way to meet her, nor the one I sent after the ride, which was more perplexed as to her whereabouts (they had $1 PBRs after the ride, and that is a very peculiar thing to pass up no matter how tired you might be from biking).

Later in the day I e-mailed her about the ride and how much fun it was. I actually had met another dude with whom I rode the ride and we made friends along the way.

Complete silence. Although I do not know this particular female friend that well (more a friend of a friend), it seemed uncharacteristic of her to be so quiet after we had been talking excitedly about the ride the week before.

It's now Tuesday and I still haven't heard from her. I am starting to get a little bit worried, to be honest. Where is she? Was she Raptured? She is Catholic, I know that much. Or did she just overdo it and get sun stroke? It was a scorcher on the route. Still, that does not explain why she did not text me back before the ride.

She belongs to a Thursday golf league with two of my other friends. If she does not show up for that, then I will be fairly certain she was Raptured. And God bless her soul.

Today, I e-mailed one of my friends about getting lunch. He is usually very quick to respond to e-mails regarding food, but he did not respond either. Was he Raptured? I guess I will know tonight, because we are supposed to have a martial arts class after work and I am an invited guest with him at the dojo. If he is not there, that will be almost certain proof that the Rapture is slowly but surely beginning.

It's odd though, because this friend is a self-described atheist. So if he was Raptured, then I think the whole criterion for Rapturing might need to be re-evaluated.

If he was Raptured, I hope that he won't mind if I adopt his sweet road bike. We are about equally sized and I really like the bike he bought a few weeks ago. I am sure he won't mind, even if he is able to see me take it from the bliss of the afterlife. I am sure they have much sweeter bikes there.

So anyway, let me know your thoughts. Have you got any people in your life that have been missing get togethers and what not with no explanation? Do you think it's a Rapture thing?

6.18.2012

Heaven is Real But...

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...you create it yourself by living a good life, being moral and ethical, and avoiding bad people and things.

Only reason and science can guide you in proper choices. Use these gifts that 3.5 billion years of evolution gave you.

5.26.2012

The Pope's Butler Was Arrested

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The Pope's butler was arrested for pilfering secret documents.

Who cares?

It seems to me a lot more newsworthy that the Pope has a butler in the first place.

A man-servant I could understand.

But a butler?

CLICK HERE for the story.

5.20.2012

Solar Eclipse - Zombies and Loss of Super Powers

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I learned a historical fact about eclipses while watching the live feed of the annular eclipse of the sun going on right now.

The Bible says God created the light (and dark) on the first day, but He did not create the sun until day 4.

Ancient biblical literalists thus believed the sun was not the source of the light that hits the earth, but was rather a lens that focused the previously created divine light.

They also believed that it was made not from glass, but ice. Their logic was that when you get closer to a flame, it feels hotter. But when you climb a mountain (and thus get closer to the sun) it gets colder.

So the sun could not possibly be the source of the light, but only a lens of ice, focusing the light from somewhere else.

You gotta love the logic. I wonder if any modern day Christians still believe this...

4.15.2012

Non-Golfers

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People who do not play golf usually don't identify themselves as non-golfers. Similarly, non-believers do not need to identify themselves as atheists.

On the other hand, golfers don't usually go about trying to make everyone else play golf and they usually don't feel threatened or insecure around people who don't like golf.

4.06.2012

Zombies

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They consume the body and blood.

They will attack you if you are not one of them.

They do not bother their own kind, no matter what horrific things they do.

They do not listen to reason.

The are persistent and difficult to escape from.

They congregate in large groups.

Science cannot fix them.

Oh wait, we are talking about zombies?

They are mythological creatures who rise from the dead.

3.28.2012

3.22.2012

Low Temp Ties Record High Temp @ International Falls, MN

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Think about this for a moment.

In the past week, the LOW temperature for the day in Int'l Falls, MN (oft referred to as the "Ice Box" of the country) tied the record HIGH temperature for the day, historically.

That is, it never got colder than the record high temperature. But it did get hotter.

And yet, global warming deniers (not to be confused with skeptics, which every rational free thinker ought to be...) still want you to believe this is a totally normal fluctuation in local temperatures.

Record highs are being beaten daily all over the country and the average annual temperature is increasing every year.

How do we disenfranchise the deniers from the public discourse? What's the scientific stringency needed to qualify climate change deniers' claims?

They are insane. And they are dragging us all into hell with them. That ain't right.

3.03.2012

You Are the 1% (When Viewed on the Scale of the Entire Universe)

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The universe is far crazier than any religion could ever imagine.

It is no wonder people turn to simplistic mythologies for answers. Much easier on the brain.

But the universe is way more potent and creative than any finite religious "definition" of God could predict.

And it doesn't even require any intelligence or design. Those things are PRODUCTS of the awesomeness of quantum physics.

The scientific evidence to date suggests that the entire visible universe (and by visible, I mean everything we can detect with our scientific instruments here on earth, including our eyeballs) represents only 1% of the matter and energy actually comprising the universe.

That means on the scale of the entire universe, YOU are in the 1%. Doesn't that make you feel special?

Now the bad news... The mathematics of quantum mechanics suggests our visible "universe," including you and I and everyone and the planet and the solar system and galaxy, and every other galaxy, is actually insignificant, and the future is no more optimistic. Some few trillion years from now, the universe will "disappear."

Oh, it will still be there. But no one will be able to see it or visit it anymore, because it will be expanding away from us at faster than the speed of light. All our descendents will see, assuming they are still restricted by the laws of physics, is their own galaxy (whatever galaxy they have managed to migrate to by then). This is because gravity acts locally on small scales, holding galaxies together, but the invisible matter and energy of the universe between galaxies (in empty space) actually acts as ANTI-gravity, repelling galaxies apart faster and faster.

Leave it to scientists to kill your buzz and bring everyone down. But you can embrace your insignificance and actually bring some meaning to your own LOCAL insignificant part of the cosmos, if you understand the reality of the situation. Enjoy it while you can, because it is really quite amazing.

99% of the matter and energy of the universe is NOTHING. Literally nothing. We know from studying subatomic particles in nuclear accelerators that matter and energy are appearing and disappearing all the time, without violating any physical laws. We can "see" these particles briefly when particles are collided at close to the speed of light in nuclear accelerators.

When a particle appears, it's anti-particle also appears, and both particles annihilate each other in a fraction of time that does not violate any physical laws. Scientists theorize this from the evidence in particle accelerators, but it holds up in nature too. Empirically, this can be observed by examining black holes.

At the event horizon of a black hole, this quantum manifestation of particles is happening just like it happens everywhere else (even all around you right now). However, the black hole provides a unique opportunity to observe particle physics in action. When the particle and anti-particle pop into existence right at the event horizon, one of the particles crosses the event horizon and cannot escape to rejoin its partner. The other particle, which would normally annihilate its anti-particle by recombining with it, now has a dilemma. It can't violate the laws of physics by remaining in existence beyond its very very short normal lifespan. So it become energy instead.

Sure enough, when observed, black holes give off phenomenal amounts of high energy x-rays. Black holes are not really black. They are quite bright when viewed in other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. The energy given off is a product of quantum fluctuations at the edge of the black hole.

Throughout the entire universe, particles and energy are being created and destroyed on microscopic quantum scales EVERYWHERE. At any one point in space, this basically looks to you and I like NOTHING. We can't observe spontaneous matter/energy creation without particle accelerators and black holes. When we observe these particles in accelerators, we have to use massive quantities of energy to create them. When these particles manifest next to black holes, massive amounts of energy are produced.

Taken on the aggregate level of the entire universe, at any given moment in time, there is a massive amount of matter/energy very briefly in existence. A moment later, all that matter/energy has disappeared again, but it has been replaced by an equally massive amount of instantaneous matter/energy. And so on and so forth forever.

So NOTHING is basically almost everything, on the scale of the universe. In fact, it's 99% of the matter/energy in the universe. We just can't ever detect it locally without scientific instruments and a lot of energy input. This is why it is referred to as "dark" matter/energy. It's "invisible" to us most of the time, looking a lot like NOTHING.

The universe is simultaneously mostly nothing and mostly something. In fact, it is mostly everything we can't see or detect. Even more importantly, as long as there is nothing, there will always be something (aka, a universe). So that's good to know.

Have a good day.

2.29.2012

Reason and Moral Behavior

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The idea that God is necessary to have moral behavior is unsound for a couple of reasons.

The first is pretty obvious. There are plenty of immorally behaving people who "have" God.

The second reason is less obvious, but can be illustrated with a thought experiment.

1. Let's ask the question, what if God required his followers to rape and kill (setting aside for now the fact that the Old Testament Biblical God does ask this of his people occaasionally...).

2. The religious counter argument is that God would never ask this because such behavior is morally wrong.

3. Thus, it would appear that God herself makes an appeal to reason before determining what behavior is acceptable for humans to perform.

This thought experiment illustrates that it is REASON, not religion, that determines moral behavior.

God is not needed, and sometimes gets in the way of it (now bringing back the aforementioned reference to the Old Testament).

Go atheism!

2.19.2012

Santorum is Fooling You

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Rick Santorum thinks reason and science are a theology.

If you don't believe me, READ THIS. It's right there in the mainstream news media.

Rick Santorum must think the majority of Americans are fools.

At the very least he must think that government is a theocracy, that can only be based on religious guidance.

Isn't that was fundamentalist Islamic leaders believe? Just saying.

President Obama knows that religious belief is neither here nor there when it comes to reality and running a government.

Only reason and science are relevant to the lives of ALL Americans. Only the Laws of Physics can be relied on to create technology and innovation, which leads to jobs. Religion doesn't matter, as our forefathers knew.

Reason and science are not a theology, as Rick Santorum would have you believe. Maybe Rick Santorum actually believes this. But at the very least, Rick Santorum thinks you will believe it, and wants you to believe it, or else he wouldn't have said it.

He expects you to not spend 30 seconds REASONING through what he said. He expects you to accept it, hook, line, and sinker. He believes you will accept it, because you will let your emotions (mostly fear and hatred of President Obama, liberals, non-Christians, atheists, etc.) overpower your ability to THINK.

So he must think you are not a thinker.

Do you want a President who thinks most of you are fools?

I don't.

1.12.2012

Reason

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It is critical that reason be the top priority of all spiritual people. Anything else is self deception, and deception is the domain of Satan and the root of all evil.

Scientists should be the messengers of the cosmos. They use reason to seek truth and they are intolerant of deception, collectively.

Although it is true that money and emotion can cloud the reason and judgment of individual scientists, the scientific community as a whole is stringent on disenfranchising such irrational behavior.

I wish religious institutions would use the same degree of stringency in disenfranchising their irrational extremists as scientific institutions do.