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Comments by Friend Giskard

Go to: Child abuse overshadows another scandal – the Church’s abuse of women

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Friend Giskard

...victims of sexual exploitation by clergy often also suffer loss of faith...
Every cloud has a silver lining.

Fri, 02 Apr 2010 14:26:00 UTC | #455268

Go to: Richard Dawkins interview on religion, evolution and Iraq

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they are now doing what Christianity used to do in the Middle Ages, in much more dangerous circumstances because now there are much more terrible weapons than the Crusaders, for example, ever had.
This is quite right, of course, but, as I was reading it, the thought occurred to me the the absence of nuclear weapons in the 11th century did not prevent the crusaders from going nuclear on the people of Jerusalem when they invaded that city. They slaughtered the entire population, numbering tens of thousands. Bloody crusaders.

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:52:00 UTC | #451140

Go to: Dismiss dinosaurs as failures...and pave a path to a bleak future

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Friend Giskard

The saying is, actually, 'Dead as a dodo'.

And I dispute that dinosaurs are frequently cited as the ultimate exemplars of failure.

Who thumbs their nose at dinosaurs, and laughs derisively at their present-day absence? Nobody. That never happens.

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:36:00 UTC | #451131

Go to: AC Grayling and Russell Blackford discuss Atheism

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I could hear it better when I set my computer's audio manager to 'Rock'.

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 17:29:00 UTC | #450851

Go to: Mysterious 'Dark Flow' May Be Tug of Other Universe

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Friend Giskard

One million miles per hour relative to what?

Edit: I see from Wikipedia that it is relative to the cosmic background radiation (which I congratulate myself on having sort of guessed).

Edit 2: Oh wait. The article says that the flow dates back to the first fraction of a second. But the origin of the cosmic background radiation is much more recent than that. So I'm still in baffled.

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 17:13:00 UTC | #450845

Go to: Celebrating life beyond belief

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"But we should always say that I may refrain from publishing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed, but it's because I fear you. Don't for one moment think it's because I respect you."
[exasperated splutter] Oh for goodness sake, why do I keep hearing atheists calling him that?

Nobody in the history of the word has ever been a prophet. Prophets do not exist. Prophets have never existed, any more than psychics, wizards or unicorns.

Cut it out already! It shows too much respect for a delusion!

[edited for extra irateness]

Mon, 15 Mar 2010 13:09:00 UTC | #449539

Go to: Public Statement Concerning Science and Christian Faith

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65. Comment #469105 by Roger Stanyard on March 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm
Your right Friend Giskard. These 14 people can't be dismissed. They are scientists who support science.
Actually I was being sarcastic. I do dismiss them.

Sat, 13 Mar 2010 22:20:00 UTC | #449178

Go to: Public Statement Concerning Science and Christian Faith

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 64 by Friend Giskard

Looking at the signatories, I think perhaps we are dismissing them too lightly.

Jeff Tallon has won a medal. That makes it more likely that his opinions are right.

Well done Jeff.

Sat, 13 Mar 2010 14:38:00 UTC | #449075

Go to: Q and A - Adventures in Democracy

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The mp4 which I downloaded stops playing at about 8 minutes. I don't know if it's just me.

Mon, 08 Mar 2010 15:56:00 UTC | #447426

Go to: Q and A - Adventures in Democracy

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Any priest worthy of the name (2:10)? What is that supposed to mean? Does it, perhaps, refer to the "true churchmen like the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Pope" which Richard has mentioned elsewhere? (http://richarddawkins.net/articles/4736)

I suppose when someone talks publicly as often as Richard does, daft things are bound to slip out from time to time. I hope it was a mistake. It is worrying.

Mon, 08 Mar 2010 15:50:00 UTC | #447423

Go to: Let the atheist bus ads proceed

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This is the caricature God attacked in The God Delusion:

A superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed the universe and everthing in it, including us.

No wonder this fellow is so agitated. Nobody believes in that god.

Mon, 01 Mar 2010 13:05:00 UTC | #445340

Go to: What Is Time? One Physicist Hunts for the Ultimate Theory

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Friend Giskard

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind. LOL

Sun, 28 Feb 2010 23:21:00 UTC | #445079

Go to: Five Minutes With: Professor Brian Cox

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Asked about science heroes:

"Carl Sagan blah-blah...Richard Feynman, if you want to come closer to my generation."

Uh? Exactly how old is he?

[Edit: oh, I see, the comparison was with Einstein and Newton. It just didn't sound like it]

Sun, 21 Feb 2010 23:27:00 UTC | #442929

Go to: Malaysia canes women for adultery

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9. Comment #462152 by Mitch Kahle

Friend Giskard: "Caning in not that big a deal."

Are you nuts?
Are you soft?

Caning is not nice. Being thrown in prison is not nice. Punishments are not nice. They are not supposed to be nice.

If I had to choose between receiving a whacking and a jail term, I am not sure which I would choose. I would have to think hard about it, taking into consideration the length of the term, and the number and nature of the whacks.

It's just a pity when people get punished for non-crimes like adultery.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 19:59:00 UTC | #442441

Go to: Malaysia canes women for adultery

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Friend Giskard

There are two problems here,

(1) Adultery is a punishable crime.
(2) Some criminals are caned.

I see (1) as the much greater problem. Caning in not that big a deal. Until relatively recently it was common in schools in the UK.

edit: Also, of course, there's the uneqaul treatment of men and women. I account this a BAD THING.

Fri, 19 Feb 2010 15:36:00 UTC | #442368

Go to: 1000 Rabbis Warn: Open Homosexuality in the Military is a Disaster and May Cause Further Natural Disasters

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This guy should come out of the closet. He'd be much happier. He sounds quite sad.

Wed, 17 Feb 2010 20:53:00 UTC | #441968

Go to: The closed minds that deny a civilisation's glories

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Friend Giskard

The earliest flying machine manuals? LOL

That's inspiring. I think I might write a time machine manual this evening. I am sure to win lots of praise for my intellectual energy.

Mon, 15 Feb 2010 19:12:00 UTC | #441603

Go to: Christopher Hitchens: The Orthodox Protestant Atheist

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Friend Giskard

Yada-yada-yada.

But I say that in a powerful and meaningful way, you understand.

Mon, 15 Feb 2010 01:23:00 UTC | #441378

Go to: A conversation with Richard Dawkins

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Friend Giskard

What impertinence, asking about Richard's daughter like that. It's none of our business what she's doing now, or if she goes to church. I felt uncomfortable watching that exchange.

Mon, 08 Feb 2010 03:39:00 UTC | #439587

Go to: Secular society upset by Judge Cherie decision

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Friend Giskard

A.C. Grayling was debating this on PM tonight (starts at 33 minutes)

http://tinyurl.com/ydqof4m

Fri, 05 Feb 2010 01:40:00 UTC | #438640

Go to: The Great Disappointment

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The enormous wasps are giving me pause for thought.

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 18:53:00 UTC | #437153

Go to: Please sign our petition urging President Obama to recognize Darwin Day

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Friend Giskard

I agree with blakjack. This is daft.

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 16:10:00 UTC | #437108

Go to: Hear the rumble of Christian hypocrisy

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Friend Giskard

This article makes the case that Pat Robertson's bullshit is more authentic to tradition than nice, middle-of-the-road theologians' brand of bullshit. That isn't much of a stick with which to beat the latter, give that it's all bullshit anyway. I don't see the point of this piece.

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 23:07:00 UTC | #436463

Go to: Dinosaur had ginger feathers

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They call it Mohican in the UK. Don't know why.

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 20:52:00 UTC | #436011

Go to: Haiti and the hypocrisy of Christian theology

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Friend Giskard

[Robertson] is the Christian who stands squarely in the Christian tradition...

those faux-anguished hypocrites are denying the centrepiece of their own theology...

Just read your own Bible. Pat Robertson is true to it. But you?

Sure. Those "nice, middle-of-the-road theologians and clergymen" are just as clownish and contemptible as Pat Robertson, and this is something that is worth drawing attention to. But is making points like these really the best way to do it?

Why does the professor lower himself to addressing questions about who is truer to the bible? Who cares? It's theology.

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 01:00:00 UTC | #435264

Go to: Atheism as extremism

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Friend Giskard

Jacobson either hasn't read the God Delusion, or hasn't understood it. Or he has read and understood it, and is deliberately mis-representing it. So he's either a liar or a moron.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 19:06:00 UTC | #435140

Go to: Helping Haiti because it makes us feel good

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Friend Giskard

OFF TOPIC

Holy crap. look at this:

http://tinyurl.com/yay7gp5

Unbelievable!

[For those who might not know, Cherie Booth is Tony Blair's missus]

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:37:00 UTC | #435091

Go to: Chemistry: A Volatile History | Ep1 Discovering the Elements

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Friend Giskard

I have a yellow question mark over my head. Are these programs (this one and How Earth Made Us) on YouTube with the BBC's blessing, or are they likely to be taken down soon?

(Someone should upload Aristotle's Lagoon. It's a good one.)

Sun, 24 Jan 2010 20:42:00 UTC | #434813

Go to: Nerdstock: 9 Lessons and Carols for Godless People

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Friend Giskard

Nice to see some physics jokes in there, which reminded me of this one:

"Milk production at a dairy farm was low so the farmer wrote to the local university, asking help from academia. A multidisciplinary team of professors was assembled, headed by a theoretical physicist, and two weeks of intensive on-site investigation took place. The scholars then returned to the university, notebooks crammed with data, where the task of writing the report was left to the team leader. Shortly thereafter the farmer received the write-up, and opened it to read on the first line: "Consider a spherical cow in vacuum. . . ."

ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_cow

I first heard a version of this joke in the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, but with spherical chickens instead of cows.

Sun, 24 Jan 2010 16:31:00 UTC | #434771

Go to: Chemistry: A Volatile History | Ep1 Discovering the Elements

Friend Giskard's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Friend Giskard

Poor Lavoisier.

Sun, 24 Jan 2010 16:18:00 UTC | #434768