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Go to: [Update 5 Nov -Q&A added to “The Video”]The video! (Jerry Coyne & John Haught)

NathanH's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by NathanH

Comment 23 by Peter Grant :

Ladies and gentlemen, I present sophisticated theology.


Would you believe I only finished downloading this now? Started when Jerry posted it on his blog, but links on Vimeo only stay active for a few hours so without a download manager it would have timed out altogether. As it is I had to manually resume it with a new URL 4 times. Would appreciate it if someone would post a torrent, this will take me days to seed. If you include "Jerry Coyne" in the title my search feeds should pick it up.

I think us torrenters are waiting for the promised "professional version" with slides shown on the video before we torrent it (at least... I know I am):

The video! (Jerry Coyne's blog: Why Evolution is True)

Sadly, the Powerpoint slides that accompanied both of our talks aren't shown, but the organizers are working on a professional version with the slides. I'll put that up when it's done. But if you really must have the slides, just shoot me an email.

And if that doesn't come out within the next couple days, then I'll make a torrent with the video and both slides.

Thu, 03 Nov 2011 14:08:19 UTC | #886870

Go to: “Curiosity” with Stephen Hawking

NathanH's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by NathanH

Here's what I wrote on Jerry Coyne's post about the series:


Okay… so here’s my take. I should note at the start that I’m a layman. At best, I can be called a science fan. I am studying to be an Anthropologist (I’m an undergrad), so that’s something, but it’s not Physics. I’m merely warning you so that you know who you’re dealing with.

I think Hawking may have been playing a little too much with knowledge we just don’t have right now, but I also tend to think that future revelations will only prove Hawking right… maybe not about there being no time before the Big Bang (I’m a fan of M-Theory, myself), but about how we simply don’t need God to explain how everything got here.

I have always thought that science and religion were in perpetual conflict (though not by design). They may have started out being indistinguishable, but they are not the same thing and, indeed, in my mind, they compete for the answers to all questions. And the reason why science wins is not because it immediately jumps upon an answer, as religion does, but because when it finds an answer, it immediately questions the answer, looking for more. As such, science is always improving, always finding the “best answer”, then making it better.

I think we can say today, with a certain degree of reasonable, that no God was needed to create the Earth and the life in it, including us. And it’s only perhaps an atom less reasonable to say that our solar system was “created” naturally, as well.

Indeed, based upon what we know of what’s been called “Stellar Evolution”, I think it’s reasonable to say that the “constructs” within the universe (the galaxies, nebula, black holes, stars, planets, etc) are naturally-born, with no creator needed.

Why is it wrong to extrapolate back and say that the same is most likely true for the origin of our universe itself? It’s common sense to me, when everything else has a natural origin, that the universe itself would also have a natural origin.

As to the after-discussion, it just pissed me off. The deck was stacked against Sean Carroll. They would have done well to bring on at least one other atheist… maybe even Stephen Hawking himself. What I had hoped for, honestly, was to see a panel, like they had, but with Michio Kaku and Stephen Hawking also present. It would have been interesting to see Michio make his assertions and have Stephen respond.

Michio Kaku himself appealed to NOMA, saying that whether or not God exists is entirely outside the purview of science. Please forgive the language, but I’m so sick and tired of this bullshit it’s actually begun to tick me off every time I hear it (in case you’re wondering why I let something like this stress me: willful ignorance seriously pisses me off immensely, and this idea seems to me to be willful ignorance).

To me, at least, science can best be described as the tool we use to answer questions about the nature of reality. If there is a God, then he/she/it is most certainly part of reality, and, as such, effects the nature of reality. Therefore, the question of God’s existence is no more outside the purview of science than the question of a star’s existence. If God exists, then science will find God eventually. We may see the year 4000 before we even know how to begin answering the question, but it is not a question science cannot answer.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that if there truly is a question science cannot answer, then the question is a meaningless one because it’s subject is not part of reality; or, otherwise, is not real… and, therefore, not worth bothering about, since, as it’s not real, it has no bearing upon reality.

So if science is the tool we use to answer questions about the nature of reality, but the question of God’s existence is outside the purview of science, then, by definition, God is not real.

Of course, you’re free to accept or reject my definition of science as you please… I make no claim to it being the actual definition. It is merely how I like to describe science, and that is all. But yes, to be fair, it does effect my view of all this.

Mon, 15 Aug 2011 17:22:05 UTC | #861390

Go to: Atheist group’s frivolous lawsuit aims to bar ‘cross’ from 9/11 museum

NathanH's Avatar Jump to comment 67 by NathanH

Comment 23 by Fujikoma :

The reality is that the ends were cut off by workers to resemble a cross. This was not a naturally occurring event. It's not a big deal to me if it's in the museum, but I think they should be honest about how the shape came about.


Comment 38 by Steven Mading :

The only complaint I would have about the cross is that I strongly doubt the museum will teach the truth that the crucifix shape was artificially manufactured by workers in the debris field who thought it would look good to cut off the twisty bits and force it into that shape. There are plenty of people who spread the lie that it was a message from God because it just happened to end up looking like that on its own. (Not that it would mean much if it had been entirely an accident, since a crucifix shape is simple enough that it's not that unusual to get one randomly, especially when you start from steel beams that are already joined at perpendicular angles in tens of thousands of places).

I'm not opposed to having the symbol in the museum. I am only opposed to lying about the history of how it got that way.

This is a very interesting claim, and one I'd like to see more evidence of if available. Anyone?

Fri, 05 Aug 2011 20:18:06 UTC | #858364

Go to: Tardigrades: Water bears in space

NathanH's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by NathanH

So... am I the only one who thinks it's just a little bit cute?

I wish I had my own electron microscope, too! I would love to see the world at this tiny level!

Wed, 18 May 2011 04:19:53 UTC | #627775

Go to: Richard Dawkins is the best argument for the existence of God

NathanH's Avatar Jump to comment 134 by NathanH

He's no Stephen Fry, or Hugh Laurie. He's also no Ricky Gervais, or Woody Allen. He's also no George Carlin, or Bill Hicks.

He's also no Christopher Hitchens.

He's no Tim Minchin.

And, most importantly, he's no Richard Dawkins.

I was never too sure about Russell Brand. His special I saw on Comedy Central was amusing. I did laugh at a few points.

But now I know to stay away from him. He's just another "spiritual" idiot.

Katy Perry, BTW, is not a fundamentalist Christian. She is not, however, on the "atheist side", either. She's "spiritual".

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 04:05:37 UTC | #614774

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