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KABOOM's Avatar Joined almost 3 years ago
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Go to: Marriage - two viewpoints

KABOOM's Avatar Jump to comment 56 by KABOOM

The level of "group think" that pervades many topics on this forum is no different than that found within the cults of most religions. "Beware thy lord of jealousy forth it is a green-eyed monster who doth mock the meat it feeds upon".

So any atheist who is not an impassioned supporter of gay marriage is a BIGOT?

Any atheist who does not espouse liberal views on all social topics and does not express disdain for any and all "conservative" political positions is a phony and likely still suffering repression from religious ideology that they have not been freed from?

Frankly, I don't really have a strong opinion on "gay marriage". I think that it is great that gay people can live their lives more openly and fully and have legal rights akin to marriage vis-a-vis civil unions. However, I don't need gay marriage shoved down my throat as a basic fundamental atheist principle, for it is NOT.

I also understand that people have become atheist for different reasons and due to different "forcing functions". Scientists over the ages who have had their work chastised by religion as being antithecal to the word of god would have a natural predisposition to embrace atheist views over those who's chosen field of work was not subject to such biases. Gay people, who have been ostracized by religious dogma, would also be quicker to embrace the soundness of intellectual reason that atheism affords them as compared to heterosexuals who have not experienced such prejudice. However, there are also plenty of atheists who have come to such a landing without any such flesh wounds or emotional trauma but purely based upon our own view of the rationale universe.

I simply don't feel inclined to "alter" and "expand" traditional definitions that have pertained to any and all heterosexual practices such that they can now fully incorporate all similar homosexual endeavors.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 12:47:16 UTC | #927448

Go to: The "So" meme

KABOOM's Avatar Jump to comment 100 by KABOOM

Comment 10 by DrDroid :

The word "like" appears everywhere in the sentences uttered by teenage girls these days, at least in the USA. I'm not sure how the fad got started or what it's intended to convey. It's almost like (no pun intended) the girl is broadcasting "like me" messages into your subconcious.

"Like". Like many expressions I believe that the usage harkens back to the "hippy" drug culture. I am 52 and remember sitting around stoned as a teenager, saying "like wow man" and it was used to make sort of "cosmic comparisons" -- "the chords of that guitar riff were like transendental".

So I belive that was the origin on the abusive usage of the term "like" in the USA in the mid to to late '70s. Subsequently, the phrase was adopted by the "Valley Girl" speak in the early '80s when terms "like tubular" took off. The current teenage usage of "like" is really a remnant of this Valley Girl "usage" as a "cool way" of comparing things.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 13:09:06 UTC | #924574

Go to: 'Space Chronicles': Why Exploring Space Still Matters

KABOOM's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by KABOOM

Comment 22 by The Jersey Devil :

I'm not particularly enthusiastic about space colonization. A few points: 1) The OP states that having a space program transforms the culture to one that values science and technology. Also, that it gets kids excited for science. I have no reason to doubt that however it's not like that is the only way to get kids excited about science. It's not the only way a culture can come to value science and technology. Other science based initiatives could accomplish that.

2) You want to set up 20,000 people on the Moon or on Mars? It can probably be done. But why? Is there some great commodity which we can mine once we get there? What's the payoff? 3) As far as interstellar travel, forget it. Recently discovered planet Kepler 22b is 600 light years away. That's prohibitively far away, even with time dialation. I don't have the exact figures in front of me, but it's something like at 99.5% the speed of light it would take 60 years to get there. That's a speed north of 650 million miles an hour. A 60 year one way trip is problematic to say the least. One problem would be the smaller the crew the more likely they would all be dead from old age by time they got there. The larger the crew the more energy needed to attain the proper speed!

4) A science based initiative designed to fix more pressing issues is likely to have spin off products and whatever other side benefits the space program would have. I'm more interested in building a better Earth, not pie in the sky plans to escape Earth. The Gleise 581 system may be just as promising and only 40 light years away. However, Voyager currently only traves at ~ 1/14,000th the speed of light. As a concept nuclear pulse detonation technology could possibly increase speeds to 1/20th the speed of light. However, there is an incredible amount of progress that would be required to develop the technology and then implement it. Still would make for an ~ 800 year 1-way trip.

Wed, 29 Feb 2012 15:58:01 UTC | #923138

Go to: New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America

KABOOM's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by KABOOM

Comment 22 by huzonfurst :

Once the route to North America was discovered, 1500 miles would not be much of a barrier. A determined band of hunters could probably do it in 100 days with enough provisions and luck - I wonder if they had "Stone Man" competitions and raced each other across?

This does not make sense to me. There would have been no "discovery" of this route that would have made its way back to Europe in terms of information flow. It is posited that over many generations hunters and gatherers migrated along the ice sheet and finally reached points in Maryland/Virginia. There would have been no mechansim for anyone to travel back to Europe and "give directions" to others.

Wed, 29 Feb 2012 15:42:55 UTC | #923133

Go to: "Great Dying" Lasted 200,000 Years

KABOOM's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by KABOOM

Comment 4 by Nunbeliever :

Yes, 200 000 years is a very short period of time from a geological point of view... still, if this was a continuous rather smooth process, then from a human perspective it would have been a remarkably undramatic event. If humans had been alive any generation during this period would probably not have suffered noticeably more than the former or the next. There might of course have been tresholds where significant changes happened very quickly but, I assume for most part this period would have been very undramatic indeed. I only say this as these events are often portrayed as Hollywood type disasters where lifeforms are brutally wiped of the planet in ways that leave the desert earth filled with blood and gore. And I think one important lesson we should learn from the earth's past is that potentially disastrous events can be in the making without us understanding what's going on before it's much too late.

This is definately true with regard to climate change. Climate deniers look out their windows and the world look the same. Then how on earth can we be on the brink of a disaster? I guess this is a fundamental human flaw. We tend to believe things only when we see them with our own eyes. This is of course a good rule of thumb but can also be a very dangerous attitude. That's why we so desperately need science to be our eyes and ears, to prevent us from fooling ourselves. To prevent us from blindness. Or as Galadriel says in the first movie of the LOFTR trilogy: "The world is changed. I can feel it in the water, I can feel it in the earth, I can smell it in the air." Science is our lady Galadriel. Yeah, yeah! I know that was a cheezy analogy. But the nerd got the best of me this time ;-)

In fact, Peter Ward in his book, "Under a a Green Sky - Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past and What they Can Tell us About our Future" indicates that rapid climate change can happen within a human's lifespan.

"The ice core work indicated that a global temperature change of 10 degrees Fahrenheit could take place in as little as 10 years".

"Stuiver and many others working on the ice-core record showed that 200,000 years ago, the average global temperature had changeda as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit in a few decades".

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 20:32:08 UTC | #893973

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