adriftonhistory:

takethisandeatit:

Mythbusters: Does God Exist?
by CollegeHumor

(Definitely not a mistake that testicles are outside the body, if they were inside permanently then the sperm would overheat and die, rendering about half of humans infertile, which would kind of screw our chances of propagation of the species…)

There’s a difference between “it hurts when you get kicked in the balls” and “this is clearly a design flaw”. Because, yeah, it hurts, but being able to pass on your genetic material is kind of more important to evolutionary pressure, which is why it puts them outside the body.

If you’re going to pick holes in ID (please do, it’s really easy), at least pick holes that are worth picking.

Please remember that this post is about completely redesigning the human body. We can design sperm that can survive high temps. But clearly you would have to be intelligent to design it that way.

In its most generic and well-subscribed form, Christianity amounts to the following claims: Jesus Christ, a carpenter by trade, was born of a virgin, ritually murdered as a scapegoat for the collective sins of his species, and then resurrected from death after an interval of three days. He promptly ascended, bodily, to “heaven”—where, for two millennia, he has eavesdropped upon (and, on occasion, even answered) the simultaneous prayers of billions of beleaguered human beings. Not content to maintain this numinous arrangement indefinitely, this invisible carpenter will one day return to earth to judge humanity for its sexual indiscretions and sceptical doubts, at which time he will grant immortality to anyone who has had the good fortune to be convinced, on Mother’s knee, that this baffling litany of miracles is the most important series of truth-claims ever revealed about the cosmos. Every other member of our species, past and present, from Cleopatra to Einstein, no matter what his or her terrestrial accomplishments, will (probably) be consigned to a fiery hell for all eternity.
Sam Harris (via blackestdespondency)

Deep resistance to knowledge that betokens a change in a whole way of thinking has a long history. Think only of the horror displayed by the cardinals in Rome when Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter with his amazing new tool, the telescope. The cardinals refused to even take a look. Galileo realized that Jupiter’s moons are circling Jupiter and that Venus is circling the sun, and so … crikey … probably Copernicus was right. Earth is also circling the sun—meaning that Earth is not the center of the universe. Not long after his announcement, Galileo was placed under house arrest and forced to recant his hypothesis that Earth revolves around the sun. His decision to recant had been influenced by his having been “shown the implements of torture.” So what was the big deal about Earth circling the sun? Every schoolchild learns that now and it does not stir up a hornet’s nest.

Why did the cardinals care so much? Did they “hate” Earth’s revolution about the sun? The general answer is that they cared because of what they believed about the physics of the universe. The conventional wisdom of the day assumed that Earth is at the center of the universe. Everything below the level of the moon is corruptible, changeable, earthly, imperfect. That is the realm of sublunar physics. Everything above the level of the moon is perfect, heavenly, unchanging, and so forth. This is the realm of supralunar physics. Different laws were thought to apply. The stars were widely thought to be holes in a huge sphere (literally made of crystal) that enclosed the universe—Earth at the center, of course. This cosmology was derived from biblical text.

Copernicus and Galileo threw that cosmology under the bus. The moons of Jupiter looked pretty much like our moon, meaning that they might be dirt balls, too. And so Jupiter might just be like Earth. But then, did God not create Earth at the center of the universe? Does this mean that the crystal sphere does not exist? But where, then, is heaven, if not just above the moon? Where did Jesus go when he ascended bodily into the sky? A specific, long-held worldview was fundamentally challenged, and the challenge generated fear of what might replace that worldview. The very institution of the Christian Church was founded on the belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus into an actual place—heaven. And this actual place is above the moon, and maybe even above the stars. If you believe something to be absolutely certain and foundational, it is profoundly shocking to find that your “truth” may be mushy, or worse, quite likely false.

Think next of the impact of the discovery by the English scientist William Harvey in 1628 that the heart is actually a pump made of muscle. Consternation! Say it is not so! Not a mere meat pump! What was the big deal about the heart?

The conventional wisdom of Harvey’s time accepted a very different story that had been proposed by the Roman physician and philosopher Galen (129–199 CE). Galen’s idea was that being alive entails animal spirits vivifying the body. Where do the animal spirits come from? They are continuously made in the heart. That is the job of the heart—to concoct animal spirits. Vivifying? Means keeping alive. So it was a rather circular
and unhelpful explanation after all. In any case, the idea was that the animal spirits are continuously put into the blood by the heart, and the heart constantly makes new blood.

Harvey’s discovery that the heart is really a pump acknowledged that while a living animal is indeed different from a dead animal, spirits are probably not what make the difference. Blood is made somewhere else, and the heart merely circulates the blood.

Harvey’s colleagues were of course deeply steeped in the unquestioned “truth” of Galen’s account of animal spirits. Upon seeing Harvey’s data, they did in effect cry painfully, “I hate the heart, I hate the heart!” What was actually said was in a way worse. They said they would “rather err with Galen than proclaim the truth with Harvey.” This is the familiar strategy of let’s pretend. Let’s believe what we prefer to believe. But like the rejection of the discovery that Earth revolves around the sun, the let’s pretend strategy regarding the heart could not endure very long.

Why the anxiety about Harvey’s discovery that the heart is a pump? Because it was not merely the discovery of a little fact about an organ in your chest. For those alive in the seventeenth century, it challenged a whole framework of thinking about spirits and life that had been taken for granted as true since about 150 CE. It threatened the tight connection between the religious framework of life as a matter of spirits and the scientific framework that explored the nature of those very spirits. After Harvey, after Copernicus and Galileo, that connection ceased to be conveniently tight. Religion could either drop dogma and go with science, or religion and science would move apart.

Patricia Churchland, Touching a Nerve: The Self as Brain
brosephbroland:
Atheism

I’m sorry but atheism is not the understanding of the big bang and/or evolution. It’s simply the lack of belief in gods, or the belief that there are no gods, and nothing more.

brosephbroland:

Atheism

I’m sorry but atheism is not the understanding of the big bang and/or evolution. It’s simply the lack of belief in gods, or the belief that there are no gods, and nothing more.

You are all aware, of course, that the Quran exists and claims to be the perfect word of the creator of the universe. You’re aware that once having heard this possibility and then rejecting it, you’re all going to (the Muslim) hell for eternity. Needless to say, Dr. (William Lane) Craig and I are both going to hell if this vision of life is true. The problem is that everything Dr. Craig has said tonight, with a few modifications, could be said in defense of Islam, and in fact, has been said in defense of Islam. The logic is exactly the same: we have a book that claims to be the word of the creator of the universe and tells us about the nature of moral reality and how to live within it.

What if Muslims are right? What if Islam is true? How should we view (Allah) in moral terms? How would we (non-muslims) view (Allah) in moral terms? We have been born in the wrong place, to the wrong parents, given the wrong culture, given the wrong theology. Needless to say, Dr. Craig is doomed. He has been thoroughly confused by Christianity. Just appreciate the position he’s now in to appreciate the word of God. I have been thoroughly misled by science. Where is Allah’s compassion? He’s omnipotent, he could change this in an instant. He could give us a sign that would convince everyone in this room, and yet he’s not gonna do it. And hell awaits (for us). And hell awaits our children because we can’t help but mislead our children.

Now just hold this vision in mind, and first appreciate how little sleep you have lost over this possibility. Just feel in yourself, at this moment, how carefree you are, and will continue to be, in the face of this possibility. What are the chances that we’re all gonna go to hell for eternity because we haven’t recognized the Quran to be the perfect word of the creator of the universe? Please know that this is exactly how Christianity appears to someone who’s not been indoctrinated by it.

Sam Harris, The God Debate II, vs. William Lane Craig.

Watch the full debate here

In talking about morality and human values, I think we really are talking about mental health and the health of societies. The truth is science has always been in the values business. We simply cannot speak of facts without resorting to values. Consider the simplest statement of scientific fact: water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. This seems as value free an utterance as human beings ever made. But what do we do when someone doubts the truth of this proposition? All we can do is appeal to scientific values, the value of understanding the world, the value of evidence, the value of logical consistency. What if someone says, "Well that’s not how I choose to think about water. I’m a biblical chemist and I read in Genesis 1 that God created water before he created light. So I take that to mean that there were no stars to fuse helium and hydrogen into heavier elements like oxygen. Therefore there was no oxygen to put in the water. So, either water has no oxygen, or God created special oxygen to put in the water." What can we say to such a person? All we can do is appeal to scientific values. And if he doesn’t share those values, the conversation is over. If someone doesn’t value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?

Sam Harris, The God Debate II, vs. William Lane Craig.

Watch the full debate here

Let’s say that the consensus is that our species, being the higher primates, Homo Sapiens, has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years, maybe more. Francis Collins says maybe 100,000. Richard Dawkins thinks maybe a quarter-of-a-million. I’ll take 100,000. In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years. Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks “That’s enough of that. It’s time to intervene,” and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Don’t let us appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let’s go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can’t be believed by a thinking person.
Christopher Hitchens (via blackestdespondency)
The infallible Pope Francis calls the Virgin Mary a man.

The infallible Pope Francis calls the Virgin Mary a man.

Richard Dawkins, Poetry of Science, w/ Neil Degrasse TysonWatch full discussion here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGenk99YDwY

Richard Dawkins, Poetry of Science, w/ Neil Degrasse Tyson

Watch full discussion here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGenk99YDwY

-Sam Harris, The God Debate II, vs. William Lane Craig.
Watch the full debate here

-Sam Harris, The God Debate II, vs. William Lane Craig.

Watch the full debate here

A Reasonable Thanksgiving

We don’t need to be thankful TO anything;  just be thankful in general. Just admire how lucky we all are to have the things we have, and a relatively non-threatening planet on which to live. It was not because of a “God’s” grace, or even the mercy of nature. It was just the way things turned out that you and I have a life to live, food to eat, and a computer on which to read this. If God did not exist (or abandoned us), some people would still have more than others, coincidences would still happen, events of great joy and great sorrow would still happen. Don’t be thankful, just recognize how much worse your life could have been, and how the environmental events in your life did not make it that way. Heck, you could use the moment as an opportunity to recognize how your life could be so much better, and how the environmental events in your life did not make it that way. Have a reasonable and happy Thanksgiving.

-takethisandeatit

comedycentralstandup:

Your Joke of the Day from Anthony Jeselnik, Watch the full clip here. 

comedycentralstandup:

Your Joke of the Day from Anthony Jeselnik, Watch the full clip here