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Comments by Darwinorlose

Go to: Conversion on Mount Improbable: How Evolution Challenges Christian Dogma

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Darwinorlose

Beautifully written and well-put. I remember when Daniel Dennet's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" came out and I picked it up, I had this intuition that reading this was going to change everything. I did read it and it did change everything for me. I came to see, as you did, that Evolution thought touches everything, or just about everthing. No wonder the fundies hate it so. Darwin's revolution was one of the most important transformative events in my life. I'm still building on it! I hope you'll keep writing.

Sun, 06 May 2012 23:53:59 UTC | #940225

Go to: Scientists Last Supper

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Darwinorlose

Archimedes would have been a better choice than Aristotle. Archimedes actually experimented. Was this close to getting the Calculus way before Newton. Aristotle's errors hampered us for centuries.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 02:42:15 UTC | #927262

Go to: Darwin’s Papers Show the Evolution of His Ideas

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Darwinorlose

Well then! This is a good article to start with commencing celebrating Darwin Day today!! Happy Darwin Day to All!!

Sun, 12 Feb 2012 14:24:17 UTC | #916880

Go to: Freud and psycho-analysis: still useful?

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Darwinorlose

For what it's worth I'd like to recommend Freud's book "The Future of an Illusion." It is a classic work, short and to the point, on aspects on the psychology of religion, and as a work questioning why people believe in a god. I found it challenging when I first read it, and I still reread it for inspiration. It's not the final word on the subject, but it was a pretty good first word for me to consider.

Tue, 01 Nov 2011 02:01:05 UTC | #885863

Go to: Salvation wear for the atheist

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by Darwinorlose

I'm ready to play dress-up!

Fri, 12 Aug 2011 01:32:45 UTC | #860292

Go to: Salvation wear for the atheist

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Darwinorlose

Let's not forget the Jockstrap of Jocularity! - The ability to see the joke in ourselves as we see the joke in our opponents positions keeps us humbly joyful and yet uplifted!

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 13:13:43 UTC | #859680

Go to: Asia to Africa, or Vice Versa: New Clues to Primates’ Origins

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Darwinorlose

Africa? Asia? MY ancestors came from Pangaea!

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 18:54:08 UTC | #540279

Go to: What is the best way to protest against the pledge in public schools?

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Darwinorlose

Oops! I meant to write that "we decided to wear flag lapels on the left collar to show that the flag belonged to the left as well as the right." Of course, everyone on the right wears their flag on the left lapel. Maybe we had started a meme way back then? Nah! You're suppose to put your right hand over the heart, which is a little left of center in the body. Still the metaphor works.

Sat, 23 Oct 2010 00:46:30 UTC | #537519

Go to: What is the best way to protest against the pledge in public schools?

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Darwinorlose

Given the situation that there is a lot of encouragement (demand) from the right to say the pledge, but that there is the option to have options in many cases then let's play up options. I'd like to share an experience I had back in 1968/9 (no it wasn't a drug experience!).

I remember my high school in Los Angeles was involved in protesting the Vietnam War, as well as many of us were involved in other matters such as civil rights, fighting corruption in government and so on. We had seen Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy assassinated, Nixon entering the White House, the war growing and nowhere near ending, racial tensions, student riots and so on. We were sitting around in our social studies class talking about things and how we were feeling. We noted how the flag was being preempted already by the Republicans. As an aside, I and some friends ran for student body offices as the "Renaissance Party " (yeah, we were into the Ren Fairs), we decided to wear flag lapels on the left color to show that the flag belonged to the left as well as the right. Anyway, the teacher remarked that he couldn't remember the last time we engaged in the Pledge. Neither could we. Just one of those things from childhood that had passed away.

We discussed how meaningless the Pledge had become to us. The Pledge describes what some think America actually is - One, Indivisible with liberty and justice for all -- and it wasn't. It was a lie to say the pledge during such a time as ours, if ever at any time till its conditions were exemplified. The "under God" part left as bemused. At the time the Jesus Freak movement was starting out, Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar was our religion of the day. Even then a few of us had trouble with the meaning of that phrase. Just what was it saying really? Which God? Whose God?

Then someone said, "How about something else instead? After all we all loved our country in our own way. I did not follow "America, Love it or Leave it" like my father. I followed "America, Change it or Lose it". (No that was never on a bumper sticker). The Constitution was mentioned, and then we all hit on the Preamble! We got out our books, found the text. Then we stood up on our own, faced, the flag, hands over our hearts and recited together the Preamble, beginning with those great words, "WE the people of the United States..." I don't think I ever felt so patriot in my life as at that moment. It was everything I wanted for my country. I want a more perfect union. I want justice established. I want domestic tranquility. I want a defense that is for all, not special power interests. I want to promote the general welfare - and I'd like to see right-wing Republicans affirm that one! And I dearly want to secure the blessings of liberty for myself and for all children. But it was in saying that all of us in that class were now ordaining and establishing this Constitution for the United States of America that brought it all home. We were establishing the Constitution for ourselves. Not some dead white guys from two centuries ago. This is our document now. This was so patriotic that it reached and affirmed the heart of our radicalism.

So demand as an alternative that we show our respect for our Constitution by reciting the Preamble as well. And if not in replacement of the Pledge, then along with it. I suspect more people will be excited by that, and it may encourage more real citizenship than the Pledge ever could. And if not the Preamble then I am certain there must be other texts, as for example, the "American Creed". It has, like the Preamble, no mention of a deity, but reaffirms our constitutional ideals: "I believe in the United States of America, as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies." It works for me too as an alternative.

So yeah, we may never ever get rid of the Pledge, but in time we might supplant it with far more worthier alternatives. And it doesn't get better than the Preamble.

Sat, 23 Oct 2010 00:35:02 UTC | #537516

Go to: Questions for my Los Angeles talk

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Darwinorlose

Sometimes we get into difficulties because of the metaphors we use, such as saying "when the Universe was made", which implies to some that there must be a "maker". Stephen Hawkings, while correctly arguing that the Universe has no need of the maker, makes use of terms like "laws of nature" or "laws of science". The fundies argue back now that "see, if you have laws there must be a lawgiver. Where did these laws come from?" I think there is need to unpack what scientist mean by laws, "where they come from", etc. Sometimes I think half our battles and problems is how we use our language and how its understood. I remember how in The Greatest Show on Earth you had to deal with the whole issue of how the word "Theory" is used. "Law" needs the same kind of treatment. Thank you!

Sat, 02 Oct 2010 15:33:16 UTC | #528058

Go to: Cardinal Newman's "miracle"

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by Darwinorlose

Of course, the glorious thing about the paltriness of this "miracle" shows how much the Church has had, against its will, to deal with scientific understandings of medical cures. It short they're grasping at any straws to get a sainthood done. Look at how John Paul II expanded the qualifications for passing sainthood, such as no need of a miracle if the person was a martyr -- after all, it would take a miracle for anyone to die for such a church these days!

Still, I'm glad in many ways to see Newman being "promoted" though I think he would be quite opposed to the whole thing for himself. I had studied his writings many years ago, and he was a master stylist of the English language, as well as a famed controversialist. One of his most famous quotes dealt with the uproar when Papal infallibility was promulgated, where he wrote, "Certainly, if I am obliged to bring religion into after-dinner toasts, (which indeed does not seem quite the thing) I shall drink to the Pope, if you please, still, to Conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards." This stuck in my mind because some years later I was talking with a priest about this, who was my confessor at the time, who told me that if it ever came down between following my conscience or the Church I had an absolute duty to follow my conscience even if it required me to leave the church. Some years later, I did! I have always been grateful to that advice. Perhaps that might be a real miracle courtesy of Newman. ;-)

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 01:58:28 UTC | #525006

Go to: The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuses by Geoffrey Robertson

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by Darwinorlose

Comment 24 by Alive :

Darwinorlose -thanks for that, but the last two sentences do not do you justice. What 'generalised statements'? Are you being subjective here?

Oh dear! Living inside my head I do get quite subjective! I believe I was thinking of some passages in 1 Corinthians. Let's see, gotta get out that book -- haven't touched it in quite a while! Ah. Chapter 5, (Phillips translation) "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and immorality of a kind that even pagans condemn--a man has apparently taken his father's wife! Are you still proud of your church? Shouldn't you be overwhelmed with sorrow and shame? The man who has done such a thing should certainly be expelled from your fellowship!" Then follows a rather odd passage about turning the fellow over to Satan. And then there are a number of passages, I believe in Romans, dealing with antinominalism -- the view that Xians are no longer under the law, so they can do as they pleased, since they're already redeemed. I think Romans 6:15: "Shall we go on sinning because we have no Law to condemn us any more, but are living under grace?" There would not be much point in warning people about these problems unless they were already engaged in them! Thanks!!

Sat, 11 Sep 2010 21:37:56 UTC | #516285

Go to: The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuses by Geoffrey Robertson

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Darwinorlose

The article, "Sexual Abuse of Children and Young People by Catholic Priests and Religious: Description of the Problem from a Church Perspective" by the Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (what a title!), has the reference to 153 A.D. from Justin Martyr's First Apology, Chapter 27. I looked it up and it reads to me like he's condemning the abuse of children for sexual purposes done by the culture at large. What this is is a quote that the Church has condemned the practice from at least 153 A.D. not that they were doing it themselves at that time. But there are generalized passages, going back to St. Paul, that believers were doing what everyone else was doing. So I would not be surprised that child abuse was being practiced by church members all the way back.

Sat, 11 Sep 2010 19:13:42 UTC | #516208

Go to: ‘Rendering unto God that which is Caesar’s’: the fatal flaw at the heart of the Vatican

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Darwinorlose

I wish there was a God so I could say, "Oh my God!" Paula, you have opened up doors of understanding for me on this pernicious organization. That one sentence, "The Vatican is not interested in crime. The Vatican is only interested in sin", puts it all so simply and succinctly in perspective. Everything follows in place. Thank you.

Thu, 09 Sep 2010 01:25:26 UTC | #514309

Go to: Focus On The Family: Anti-Bullying Efforts Promote Homosexuality

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Darwinorlose

It's a point I picked up on at the end, but I gather FOTF parents don't want homosexuality brought up in grammar school. But it is the kids of those parents who brought it up on the playground. Where did those kids pick it up in the first place? In their homes I would think. The problem of bullying begins in the homes of the bullies. And perhaps Focus on the Family should be focusing on that. But what can I expect from a group whose god is the greatest bully in all literature.

Mon, 06 Sep 2010 23:10:30 UTC | #512691

Go to: Slogans for Protest the Pope

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by Darwinorlose

Jesus had Two Daddies!

Sun, 05 Sep 2010 19:52:51 UTC | #511965

Go to: Colombia cardinal defends church's abuse policies

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 51 by Darwinorlose

"By no stretch of the imagination does an organization such as a church's clerical hierarchy enjoy testimonial privileges similar to the spousal privilege."


Oh I don't know. Aren't priests "married to the Church"? And Nuns are "Brides of Christ"? Gosh, such celestial bigamy!

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 02:11:00 UTC | #462903

Go to: Happy Birthday Richard Dawkins!

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Darwinorlose

Happy Birthday Professor, with many thanks for many enlightening books and lectures. I don't know how Brits celebrate birthdays but I hope you have some good cake and ice cream, and maybe a nice dinner out with family and friends. And, as we often end singing "Happy Birthday to You", "And Many More!!

Fri, 26 Mar 2010 17:30:00 UTC | #452621

Go to: Church waited in Italian sex abuse case

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Darwinorlose

The moral head of the Catholic Church has no morals.

Fri, 26 Mar 2010 17:21:00 UTC | #452613

Go to: Simon Singh at the Royal Courts of Justice and MPs to report on libel reform

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Darwinorlose

I've just signed. Please join with me and sign too.

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 18:57:00 UTC | #443226

Go to: Forgotten Assyrian God Revived To Name Sports Drink

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Darwinorlose

I can't wait for Jehovah Jockstraps - for that manly feeling when you gird up your loins!

Sat, 13 Feb 2010 17:40:00 UTC | #441135

Go to: Biblical scholar's date for rapture: May 21, 2011

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Darwinorlose

And after 2011, I suppose it will be 2030 or 2033, being the 2000th anniversary of Christ's ministry or crucifixion -- depending on how you date things. Me, I'm looking forward for 2034 for the Rupture! That's when all those who've been fooled over and over by failed prophecy will finely wise up and leave this nonsense! Hopefully!

Sun, 03 Jan 2010 04:22:00 UTC | #427956

Go to: Brief Scientific Autobiography

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 93 by Darwinorlose

Richard,
I enjoyed reading your scientific autobiography very much! When I was young, back in the '60s I had a great interest in the sciences, and I read just about every book in the school and public library on the great science heroes, ancient and modern. So please tell your story! Some things may appear, I don't know, dated, like the English school "fagging" system, but the fact that you would have refused it, says volumes about you, and would provide you an opportunity to speak abut education system as they've been and are. For a young person, I think that can be helpful. (By the way, growing up I watched "Tom Brown's School Days", and thought that's how most English schools were like). I suspect many Americans have images of all you Brits as Victorian/Dickensonian characters - Young Richard holds up a microscope to his school master, "Please, sir,' replied Richard, 'I want some more!" So please Richard, continue with your life story, take your time, frame the narrative -- perhaps an "Ancestor's Tale" of your life, from now to the past. And who knows, maybe we Americans' will get to see it portrayed on Masterpiece Theater!

By the way, due to not having great memory skills in math, lackluster grades, and economics, I never went into the sciences, but I did enter Library Science! And as a librarian I still have access to the great works of science!

Mon, 14 Dec 2009 00:25:00 UTC | #423172

Go to: Evidence of life on Mars lurks beneath surface of meteorite, Nasa experts claim

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Darwinorlose

It would be a whole lot easier to "start a stone from a planet" like Mars simply because the escape velocity is a whole lot less. From Mars, it's 5 km/s while Earth's is about 11 km/s. Plus thinner atmosphere means less resistance, and Mars has been hit by a lot of asteroids/meteor's (or is it meteorite?), which would have kicked up and out a lot of martian material. Heck! An eruption from Mons Olympia - whose summit is above the "air line" might send a lot of stuff up! What an adventure that would be to climb Mons Olympia from base to summit!

Sat, 28 Nov 2009 15:52:00 UTC | #417624

Go to: Chaplain's E-mail Sparks Controversy

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 74 by Darwinorlose

I just heard about this. I thought at first the Iman meant Islamic students who apostatized to Yale! How could they! Rah, Crimson, Rah!

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 16:50:00 UTC | #349646

Go to: No atheist burials in Co Donegal

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Darwinorlose

"My wife asked if it meant they were going to start an atheist section and the woman said, 'oh no, she can go in with the Protestants'."

Reminds me of the story of Bertrand Russell, who when he was jailed during WWI for being a pacifist, wrote: "I was much cheered upon my arrival (in prison) by the warden at the gate who had to take particulars about me. He asked my religion, and I replied, Agnostic. He asked how to spell it, and remarked with a sigh, Well, there are many religions, but I suppose they all worship the same God."

Anyway, why not be buried with the Protestants? Being an atheist is the ultimate protestation anyway! The problem with Protestantism is that they didn't go far enough to protesting the source of religious corruption, namely belief in the deity itself.

Fri, 29 Aug 2008 07:17:00 UTC | #226439

Go to: Saudi Arabia Bans Dog Walking in Capital

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Darwinorlose

When I was a young lad I had read a story about Muhammed's pet cat. Apparently when it was time to pray Muhammed found that his cat had fallen asleep on the sleeve of his robe. Instead of disturbing the cat he cut of the sleeve so that his cat could sleep undisturbed. I was very touched by that story. In later years when I married and we had our own cats that when my wife wanted me to get up and the cat was asleep on me, I would just remark, "Muhammed's cat", and she would let us be.

I just read in Wiki that "Muslims are traditionally encouraged to regard cats as lovable and cherished creatures, and mistreating a cat (or any other animal) is seen as a severe sin in Islam." Given this, isn't it wrong to forbid walking dog who need the exercise as well as the chance to relieve themselves? The oafs who came up with this law must never had had the joys of a pet when growing up. How sad and pathetic all this is.

Mon, 11 Aug 2008 17:14:00 UTC | #216150

Go to: Darwin Day (Feb 12th) E-Cards

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 54 by Darwinorlose

Since Darwin Day is celebrated on the same day as Lincoln's Birthday in much of the U.S. that a card featuring both would be appropriate, perhaps facing towards each other. And a caption saying: "They Freed Minds and Peoples."

Thu, 24 Jan 2008 20:27:00 UTC | #110335

Go to: Television evangelist Falwell dies at 73

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 117 by Darwinorlose

Instead of watching Falwell's funeral I'll watch the Teletubbies instead! (If that harmless and innocent program is still on). There is more moral goodness and simplicity in "Tinky Winky" (whom Falwell claimed to be a gay role model for children) than there ever was in that man.

Tue, 15 May 2007 17:20:00 UTC | #38555

Go to: Vote for the Time 100 - Are They Worthy?

Darwinorlose's Avatar Jump to comment 61 by Darwinorlose

Gasp! We've almost there! Colbert is falling to Rain -- they're tied at 80. RD is at 78! Rawlings (Harry Potter) is approaching from behind. Keep it going! Give RD 100 and Colbert and Rain a 1 and 2 to drag them down! About another day left of "voting" ;-) Let's go for the top spot!

Tue, 01 May 2007 05:58:00 UTC | #33869