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Comments by foxfire

Go to: The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins (illustrated by Dave McKean)

foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 83 by foxfire

This guy (Colin Tudge) has no clue. I posted a response at the independent (why use caps if they pay hacks like that to write).

My Brit copy of the book came today (US version not out until Oct 4) and I am on p51 (until I stopped to comment)

Richard Dawkins, this is a stunningly wonderful book. Page 19, second paragraph: absolutely eloquent. (And, as usual, supported by evidence - see recent neuroscience findings oggie-boogie people). I was suprised by the quality vs the price - absolutely worth it (despite all the Lb conversions to Euros, VAT thingies and whatevers) The shipping was around 2/3rds total before conversion to dollars.

My U.S. copies when they arrive, will indeed be sent out (I'm keepin' one of those too)

Richard Dawkins, you ROCK!

Sat, 24 Sep 2011 01:57:41 UTC | #874658

Go to: Dawkins's new children's book

foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by foxfire

I have been SO waiting for this.....started worring that I'd die first (turned 60 this year). Reserved a copy at Amazon the minute I saw it would be out.... Amazon USA. No joy at the release date here across the pond plus no "look inside" option. Totally irritated that the UK and USA covers are different! Watched the wonderful video Richard made about the inside. LOVE IT. CANNOT WAIT!

Bought a copy from Amazon UK too ($28.16 US at today's 9/9/11 exchange rate) and updated my Amazon US pre-order from 1 to 5 to include copies for: local library, 2 sets of grandkids, and husband's sister*

Richard, If I could just get you to sign that UK copy, I will make sure my Will stipulates that my skeleton (after research use of remains is compleated) be donated to an educational organization for display, provided said bones are positioned as if reading the book.

  • Husband's sister: She sent us that horrid Mel Gibson movie for Christmas a couple of years ago. She's a devouted Christian and I love her ver much. She know's I'm an atheist and has given up any attempt to convert. Now we have agreed to discust "ist"."Ist" appears to be some kind of common denominator in the words "theist" and "atheist". Having gotten that agreement, Richard's book sounds like an ideal opportunity to open a discussion on the nature of "ist" or "Ist", depending upon one's preference. One step at a time.
  • YEEE-HAW!!!

    Sat, 10 Sep 2011 02:21:49 UTC | #869078

    Go to: Death of a Madman

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 81 by foxfire

    Well said Christopher Hitchens! May you live to see The Photo when it shows up on the Internet.

    Wed, 04 May 2011 02:35:46 UTC | #622830

    Go to: High School Biology Teachers in U.S. Reluctant to Endorse Evolution in Class, Study Finds

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 95 by foxfire

    Comment 28 by Mr. Rerek :

    The problem that exists in America is one of critical thinking. The last decades have been aimed at entertaining people rather than informing or aiding in how they come to know the world. Perception is taken as seriously as facts and popular superstitions are entertained as seriously as the discovery of the human genome. Secondary schools are micro managed by politically based school boards where not only science is attenuated, but also literature.

    That has to be one of the most concise and accurate statements describing the problem I have yet seen. I had a similar experience as yours (with your niece) tutoring a high-school freshman (9th grade, 15 year-old) in chemistry and pre-Algebra. He too was clueless about science, yet he knew an incredible amount of detail about every popular rock group on the planet, every popular video game to be had, the actors in any popular disaster movie currently playing etc..

    Sat, 29 Jan 2011 22:40:04 UTC | #585752

    Go to: Religion must be in key school exam, insist faith leaders

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 81 by foxfire

    Comment 29 by Drosera :

    All this nonsense can easily be boiled down to a single lesson in History class, giving the broad outlines of the idiocy in each case ("Christians believe that the first humans were a couple called Adam and Eve, who listened to a talking snake, and because of that etc., etc.").

    I agree that the subject would best be taught in history because of the impact religion has had on the course of human events. I think the focus should be on how particular religious beliefs/conflicts over beliefs etc. have influenced events, not on overall details about how particular religions operate or their particular doctrines.

    With respect to:

    As a species we should really try to outgrow religion, which is best done by ignoring it as much as possible, and ridiculing it when we can't ignore it.

    I disagree completely. That would be like trying to outgrow war by ignoring it as much as possible or treating it like a silly little joke. Personally, I think religion (actually, superstition, which includes and is not limited to religion) exerts a very powerful influence on the human mind (well, most human minds on the planet) and can be extremely dangerous. I'm no more willing to ignore religion as I would be a rattlesnake in my path.

    Sun, 23 Jan 2011 23:01:30 UTC | #583164

    Go to: Hitchens and Berlinski debate religion

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by foxfire

    Berlinski is a classic example in support of the hypothesis: because smooth talkers can throw around big words doesn't mean they have anything worthy to say.

    The Q&A was particularly telling where Hitchens addressed issues and Berlinski rather unskillfully (perhaps he is accustomed to a less educated audience?) avoided them. Except (chuckle) Hitchens did volunteer to give up his own time for a Berlinski second chance. I was completely surprised when Berlinski's rationale for "atheism poisons everything" was nothing more than the old NAZI canard and a remembrance of liberty gone wrong in the French revolution (a reaction against the age-old "divine right of kings" forced on those literally poor people by religion?).

    Anyway, IMHO, Berlinski not only did NOT present any evidence that "atheism poisons everything", he also presented NO reason why "faith" might be a better approach than, say, logic, reason AND evidence. His diatribe about Hawking's latest did nothing more than put religion and M-Theory on the equal platform of no observable evidence (ignoring the concept of "hypothesis" being something that IS testable and "faith" not having that restraint).

    Ah will be missed but not forgotten. Leave us more good stuff like this JUST because you CAN and so that those who follow us in time can know you too. Thank you Christopher Hitchens for sharing with us the remainder of your life instead of retreating into isolation. You emulate the principles you espouse. You have the courage of a lioness!

    Wed, 22 Sep 2010 02:19:00 UTC | #523112

    Go to: Fury over Richard Dawkins's burka jibe as atheist tells of his 'visceral revulsion' at Muslim dress

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 159 by foxfire

    Comment 43 by Schrodinger's Cat :

    Never mind banning the Burka......something far more important seems to have been banned from liberal thinking some time ago. The ability to exclaim 'nonsense !' something that quite evidently is.

    Exactly. But we all know how politically incorrect blasphemy has become.

    Tue, 10 Aug 2010 22:18:08 UTC | #498694

    Go to: Argentina legalises gay marriage

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by foxfire

    "Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, leader of the opposition, said "children need to have the right to be raised and educated by a father and a mother."

    I suppose that includes heterosexual couples who stick their kids in front of the TV at the earliest opportunity, feed them overly processed fat/sugar high foods and don't have time/money to participate in child developmental activities such as school events or taking their kids to museums or zoos, much less spending any personal time with them to discuss how they feel or what they think. Just as long as the kids learn to love Jesus and fear the wrath of god.

    Why the next thing ya know, those homosexual MARRIED couples will want to adopt children! What a nightmare! Those homos might read to their children (develop their kids' minds), take them places (fill their kids' minds with knowledge), discuss ideas (develop their kids' ability to reason) and WORST OF ALL hug and kiss their kids, perhaps sing to them, DURING THE ENTIRE TIME their kids are growing up! Those kids might not even learn about the wrath of god or the love of Jesus!!!!

    Those evil homos belong right there with evil pedophiles (except those exempt under the new and improved Vatican norms), and evil women priests!!!!!! May his god bless pope Benedict because Ratzi obviously has taken advantage of his early education.

    Sat, 17 Jul 2010 02:33:56 UTC | #489412

    Go to: Titan: Nasa scientists discover evidence 'that alien life exists on Saturn's moon'

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by foxfire

    Comment 23 by RMIV: Uh... are you suggesting the quote in Comment 12 by glenister_m was NOT sarcasm:

    "Astronomers claim the moon is generally too cold to support even liquid water on its surface."

    It should be rather obvious by now that the problem is bad reporting. The scientists involved have an interesting hypothesis based on observation that requires further investigation (additional data/thoughts on the matter).

    The reporter/editors who apparently are under the illusion that science works like religion (IT'S A REVELATION!) need to either find other day jobs or go back to school. Well, they need to do that if understanding or accuracy is the objective.....If the objective is to acquire readership and attention, then apparently they have succeeded.

    Mon, 07 Jun 2010 03:09:35 UTC | #477396

    Go to: Titan: Nasa scientists discover evidence 'that alien life exists on Saturn's moon'

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by foxfire

    @ Comment 6 by neander:

    Neander please don't blame NASA for crappy science reporting by some newsrag whose point in life appears to be selling and DO read the news reports initiated by NASA.

    Here is the title of NASA's announcement on the NASA website: "What is Consuming Hydrogen and Acetylene on Titan?"

    Here is the link:

    Sun, 06 Jun 2010 01:46:54 UTC | #476917

    Go to: Pat Condell - No Mosque At Ground Zero

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 120 by foxfire

    Comment 44 by RightWingAtheist: Kudos sir, we apparently have the same understanding of our Constitution (for example, we have a Senate to minimize the possibility of a tyranny of the majority).

    I remember working in New York for a period of time in 1982 - driving from my hotel in New Jersey (I was on a task force) to Hoboken where I picked up the Path to the World Trade Center. I remember having dinner at Windows on the World during a magnificent thunderstorm; Watching a brilliant summer full moon from the Jersey side of the Hudson river casting its glow over the twin towers; Seeing the towers on an unusually crystal clear day in March 1999 from a tour boat traveling from Ellis Island to the Statue of Liberty; Purchasing coffee (black not "regular") from a vendor in the WTC prior to dashing up the escalator, before I found the little known tunnel/stairs to street level; Shopping in the underground mall and buying a purse or a pair of shoes (I don't remember). I remember getting up early on September 11, 2001 in my new West coast home, looking at the picture on the TV my husband was watching and asking him: "What movie is that?". He replied: "It's not a movie".

    Do I want a mosque ON the WTC site? Absolutely NOT. Nor do I want some Christian mega-church, Jewish temple-like synagogue, or any place of worship to a god/goddess on that ground. IMHO, religion exacerbates our human inclination to create in-group/out-group categories and religion encourages its in-group believers to abandon any kind of evolutionary based "morality" we might possess that encourages us to live in peace, in vicious suppression of out-group PEOPLE.

    And like you said RightWingAtheist, 200 yards in NYC is great distance - it can take one though multiple cultures and economic levels as I remember.

    Wouldn't it be fun to play with an idea the physicist Lee Smolin offered in his book "The Life of the Cosmos" (Chapter 7 "Did the Universe Evolve"): The physical constants/nature of the universe that support life also support the creation of black holes so is the universe evolving? Let's play from a teleological perspective: What if there is an ultimate something - could the point be black holes and life is but a spandrel?

    In conclusion, I think Pat needs to revise his current focus on Islam to direct his videos to the danger of religion in general. Islam is about 600 years younger than Christianity - and look what Christianity was doing around 1400 C.E. (think Spanish Inquisition and destruction of indigenous cultures in Central and South America). Look at America right now: having somewhat failed in denigrating Darwin, the target (from a Texas school board perspective) appears to be re-writing history so America is a Christian nation inspired by Thomas Aquinas rather than Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine.

    Sun, 06 Jun 2010 01:34:47 UTC | #476913

    Go to: New Site Feedback

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 191 by foxfire

    Love it - absolutely love it! Easy to navigate, gravatar thingie is really neat. THANKS!

    Wed, 05 May 2010 21:03:54 UTC | #467019

    Go to: The Internet: Where religions come to die

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by foxfire

    Another excellent Thunderf00t production!

    And guess what the Internet just spawned: Everybody Draw Mohammed Day . Of course now the artist initiating the idea wants to back out.....

    [edited] Couldn't get the darn html to work for the link. Oh well, here is the link the old fashioned way:

    Wed, 28 Apr 2010 20:19:00 UTC | #463736

    Go to: The Improbability Pump

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by foxfire

    @ Border Collie (Comment #483220). I agree. I was tutoring a 15 year old kid last year for about 3 months in my home, in math and science (the science was chemistry - I started after chapters about the scientific method ). One day he said to me "I don't believe in the theory of evolution". I said to him (something like): Well, that's perfectly OK and could you agree that Evolution is the best and most well supported scientific explanation for the way life works? He said OK and looked confused.

    Point being, he had no clue how science operates (I did try my best to communicate that) and had not yet studied Biology. This was his first semester in high school. Yet he had a preconceived opinion on the validity of Evolution vs, say a magic sky-fairy breathed on dirt.

    Sun, 25 Apr 2010 00:41:00 UTC | #462514

    Go to: The Third Strike

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by foxfire

    @ LWS (comment #478680)re:

    "So many priests were leaving the priesthood after the Second Vatican Council that Pope John Paul II "really slowed down the process and made it much more deliberate."

    So I guess we won't be seeing the beatification of JP2 anytime soon?

    Hey, if Ratzi manages to get out of this one, wouldn't that qualify as a miracle for an attempt to canonize him? The "Canonization of J.R." - sounds like the title of a porno film.

    Sun, 11 Apr 2010 13:40:00 UTC | #458070

    Go to: Jon Stewart's Crusade Against the Catholic Church Rolls On

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by foxfire

    In typical fashion, all the media frenzy will die down and Teh Poopie can go back to his current effort to getting the Church back to a more orthodox perspective as the bastion of moral integrity (see LA's new archbishop)

    Oh well, one does have to recognize that they (as an organization) don't back down, do not apologize, and play by whatever means that guarantees their ends. As in WHATEVER means...

    They have been successful for the past 1700 years, using ignorance and brutality as a weapon and the pretense of being a victim as a defense.

    Why would any rational, knowledgeable, individual think they would suddenly change a strategy that has worked for so long?

    This issue will die down over time and they will continue to do what they have successfully done in the past, for a very long time in the future.

    About the best any average person can do is ignore the contraceptive bull-shit and if one does have children, love them, read to them, educate them and do not allow them to be alone with a Catholic Priest.

    Fri, 09 Apr 2010 01:27:00 UTC | #457349

    Go to: The New Atheism

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by foxfire

    Comment #476922 by Jos

    Thanks Jos - I apparently missed the discussion about negative energy in Stenger's book (not to mention elsewhere) and was wondering if ridelo meant entropy. I read the book (GOD The failed Hypothesis) back when it was published and should probably (obviously)read it again.

    Comment #476884 by Bonzai gives an excellent explanation of it.

    Yes, that was wonderful- I really enjoy reading Bonzai's posts, as well as yours. Thanks for pointing out what I clearly missed - that ridelo really did mean "energy"!

    Tue, 06 Apr 2010 14:39:00 UTC | #456408

    Go to: The New Atheism

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by foxfire

    @ ridelo # 476558 regarding:

    I read 'God, the failed hypothesis' but I didn't understand what Victor Stenger meant by 'negative energy'. All the energy I know (heath, light, electricity and so on) is positive as far as I know. Where is that negative energy in the universe?

    Are you sure you mean "negative energy" or could you possibly mean "negative entropy"? Energy and entropy being different critters, so to speak.

    Stenger discusses this on page 57 of "GOD The Failed Hypothesis" (Prometheus Books 2007 - ISBN:978-1-59102-481-1) where he demolished William Dembski's bullshit argument about "chance and law working in tandem cannot generate information". It's the same dumb-shit argument associated with "The second law of thermodynamics shows that god exists" crap, because the god-groupies somehow ignore that big bright ball of energy output that we call the sun. And fail to understand the significance of a closed system.

    In English, Stenger demolishes Dumbski's argument that information/"negative entropy" (aka order, complexity, us) exists on earth because of some god, by pointing out that there is NO conservation of ENTROPY law in Physics, like there IS with ENERGY. Entropy and energy being two DIFFERENT critters. It's perfectly fine if the tendency to seek equilibrium (disorder - positive entropy) IS violated because an energy source exists for the system (see reference to sun. Clue: Earth is *not* a closed system).

    The Egyptians and other ancient civilizations didn't worship our sun without a reason. Science discovered that one doesn't need to worship, try to communicate with, or try to establish a personal relationship with a star. No disrespect intended for the inorganic beautiful wonder of fusion that gives our world life. Long may it live.

    Stenger cannot be a horseman because he is a Sherman tank - guns pointed and firing at the anthropomorphic iron-age god that, without form or substance, so influences and interferes with current human affairs. Like a tank, he doesn't address the residual small-stuff on the sidelines. Possibly because that requires the finesse of a horseman?

    Tue, 06 Apr 2010 00:17:00 UTC | #456279

    Go to: Faith and unbelief aren't what they used to be

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 69 by foxfire

    @ Ron Millam (#476358) re:

    Do not feed the troll!

    Oh Ron, you killjoy....;-)

    OK (besides, it would be hard to beat that basement portrait).

    On the original topic: Hey Russell, nice response to the "The Age" article.

    Sun, 04 Apr 2010 14:24:00 UTC | #455820

    Go to: Faith and unbelief aren't what they used to be

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by foxfire

    @ Jan Sobieski regarding:

    aside from this, I fail to see how your repeated personal attacks do anything other than paint yourself in a bad light: I have no idea why you would represent yourself in such a terrible way.

    Consider taking your own advice, Aristotle.

    BTW, I believe SaintStephen offered to debate a particular aspect of one of your posts, in particular:
    The truth of the matter is that 99% of people who frequent these forums have very little understanding of logic, history, epistemology, and philosophy in general

    Looks to me like you didn't have an answer and therefore reverted to an ad hominem. Care to try again?

    Sat, 03 Apr 2010 23:57:00 UTC | #455688

    Go to: Atheism's true believers gather

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 51 by foxfire

    Something you will never see: an atheist boarding a plane with a bomb strapped to him, waving a copy of On The Origin Of Species, before he blows himself up in a violent attempt to further his cause.

    That's a classic! Says it all....

    Sat, 13 Feb 2010 03:13:00 UTC | #441003

    Go to: Atheist Richard Dawkins aids Haiti, touts God-free giving

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by foxfire

    @ Twix, regarding comments #35&36 above:

    Do please share what you are smoking/eating/drinking because I would NOT want to be close to the substance(s).

    Looking at some of your other posts, I'm wonder if you don't have some very unscientific...precepts... about skin color and culture.....

    Mon, 18 Jan 2010 02:09:00 UTC | #432451

    Go to: Atheist Richard Dawkins aids Haiti, touts God-free giving

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by foxfire

    Just donated and Thank YOU, Richard Dawkins, for covering the paypal fee! I split this donation 50/50 since I believe both charities accomplish fantastic work with minimal funds wasted on unnecessary administrative efforts.

    Mon, 18 Jan 2010 01:46:00 UTC | #432447

    Go to: Happy Saganseve, Everybody

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 62 by foxfire

    @ Nunbeliever

    Carl Sagan! They don't make 'em like that anymore :-(

    What you said!

    @ Sheol99
    Saganseve? Merry or Happy?

    Or Fondly? Or perhaps some word that captures the phrase "to feel a sadness because of the loss, yet a happiness that he existed and that memory of his works have been preserved in writing and video" Alas.... a meme in search of a label ;-)

    Sun, 08 Nov 2009 02:19:00 UTC | #411917

    Go to: Charles Darwin's Brave New World: A Dangerous Idea

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by foxfire

    @ Tiki Al #428725

    Perhaps a potential godbot riot is keeping us from seeing it here in Jebusland.

    Yeah, hoards of angry tea-baggers lead by Bill Donohue waving Glenn Beck's latest would descend upon any network that dared to air the program. Oh well, Maybe PBS will show it someday.

    Meanwhile, back @ the ranch, every other program on the Discovery, History and History Intentional channels focuses on Nostradamus, Ghosts or UFOs.

    It would be nice if the woo could be limited to Thriller, Syfi and Fox News.

    Sun, 01 Nov 2009 23:31:00 UTC | #410500

    Go to: 'Good Without God,' Atheist Subway Ads Proclaim

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by foxfire

    52. Comment #425092 by root2squared on October 19, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Please point me to where I say I expect "obsequious deference".

    I guess you are missing the point I'm attempting to make. Let's try this:

    One doesn't have to explicitly state something to get a point across. I found your initial post offensive and judgmental. You used offensive adjectives to attack the people who placed the ad, as opposed to stating your objections to the ad itself and explaining why. You furthermore misrepresented your personal opinion as an extension beyond yourself.

    Therefore, on a tit-for-tat basis, I chose a "tat", so to speak.

    Your shot.

    P.S., Please excuse the difficulty I'm having with hyperlinks, depending upon when you read this

    Tue, 20 Oct 2009 00:14:00 UTC | #406864

    Go to: 'Good Without God,' Atheist Subway Ads Proclaim

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 56 by foxfire

    54. Comment #425096 by rud on October 20, 2009 at 12:19 am

    it's an honour to be hated by morons.

    Oh rud, absolutely BEST slogan for a T-shirt, envision this:

    Evolution is only a theory;
    Thomas Jefferson wanted a theocracy.


    (I changed the spelling of honour to reflect my American version)

    Kudos rud!

    Mon, 19 Oct 2009 23:37:00 UTC | #406854

    Go to: 'Good Without God,' Atheist Subway Ads Proclaim

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 53 by foxfire

    46. Comment #425079 by rud on October 19, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Are they so clueless?
    What's next? A dog for the blind?

    Sadly, in the case of America, the answer is probably "yes". Go here and look around. There are other issues (one big issue is regarding Texas education standards and a re-write of American history which could influence textbooks used in all states).

    Sad but true. There is an intense effort from the religious right in America to create the impression that morality can only originate from a belief in god. The subtle implications in that ad campaign is that it has to be the "right" (as in "correct") god. Guess which god that might be? I am not placing my bet on Zeus, Thor or Isis...

    Mon, 19 Oct 2009 23:06:00 UTC | #406850

    Go to: 'Good Without God,' Atheist Subway Ads Proclaim

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 51 by foxfire

    43. Comment #425073 by root2squared on October 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Please point me to where I say I expect "obsequious deference". I have an opinion and I made it, just as you are free to make yours.

    The fact that you state:
    It's quite insulting to those of us who have some self respect.
    after you state your opinion about the people who are placing the ad. You expand "your opinion" to include all members of some nebulous "us" group.

    Mon, 19 Oct 2009 22:33:00 UTC | #406847

    Go to: 'Good Without God,' Atheist Subway Ads Proclaim

    foxfire's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by foxfire

    I really don't like these cowardly atheists who feel the need to convince everyone that you can be good without god. It's quite insulting to those of us who have some self respect.

    root2squared, aside from the supposition that you have entirely missed the point of the advertisement, it's curious that you appear to expect obsequious deference to your particular point of view.

    From *my* point of view (feel free to be insulted by my opinion and understand that I have quite a bit of self respect), the ad is not an attempt to convince anyone of anything. I see it as an effort to let people who think that morality is not bestowed by some deity, know that they are not alone in that belief. I find the individuals who arranged for the ad far from cowardly, since they identify their organization on the ad.

    Mon, 19 Oct 2009 21:08:00 UTC | #406827