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Comments by Moq

Go to: Imagine No Religion

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Moq

One of the best and most succinct articles I've had the pleasure of reading lately. Normally, I wouldn't consider a book like "50 Voices of Disbelief" amongst the most pressing of purchases, but I'm intrigued after reading this and being familiar with some of the other authors.

Mon, 09 Nov 2009 23:30:00 UTC | #412360

Go to: Richard Dawkins: Universal DNA Code Is 'Knockdown' Evidence of Evolution

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Moq

I like the comparison with the scholar and the scrolls, ie. the proper scientific analysis of the text rather than the irrational religious application.

And it doesn't hurt to use an analogy familiar to the potential reader.

Wed, 21 Oct 2009 18:08:00 UTC | #407353

Go to: From the Heavens or From Nature: The Origins of Morality

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Moq

Thank you for making an interesting lecture available (and the quality of the production). Origins of morality is indeed an interesting question to examine and I'm grateful for the references provided in the talk.

Fri, 16 Oct 2009 14:29:00 UTC | #405955

Go to: Showcasing the evidence for evolution

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Moq

The more books about evolution and science in general, regardless of approach, the merrier.

Wed, 07 Oct 2009 13:32:00 UTC | #404067

Go to: A radio show and three book reviews

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Moq

She didn't seem crazy at all. The interviewer has to ask questions or add comments which her audience have, eg. the ridiculous "other ways of knowing" and the obviously true statement "there are a lot of people who are believers". Then Coyne responds to that amongst other topics.

It might be interesting to discuss parts of the book in greater detail, but it would be far less engaging for the listeners. That's the same issue as when Dawkins is interviewed and get questions about TGD instead of TGSoE.

Tue, 29 Sep 2009 16:46:00 UTC | #401839

Go to: Robert Fulford - Evolution's champion Dawkins returns with a new book

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Moq

Jebus, there's a lot of stupidity in the comments section of the article. You would think that people knew the difference between cosmology and evolution.

Sometimes I want to answer the question of Big Bang with "Just imagine that Dog exploded".

Tue, 29 Sep 2009 14:49:00 UTC | #401805

Go to: A radio show and three book reviews

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Moq

A good radio show with excellent answers by Coyne.

The host seemed rather impressed with his book, which I can understand.

Mon, 28 Sep 2009 19:01:00 UTC | #401604

Go to: Richard Dawkins on CNN's Connect the World

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Moq

Disregard the less than charming format of the interview. It is rather common on most networks, even those not waiting for breaking news on a car chase. There were reasonable questions and good answers, which is all that matters.

Thu, 24 Sep 2009 10:08:00 UTC | #400387

Go to: The Greatest Show on Earth: the Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins: review

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Moq

Nice commentary/review by Steve Jones from a viewpoint of knowledge. Reminds me to get "Almost like a whale" for my collection, which is an earlier evidence for evolution book based on the OOS template.

I'm disappointed by the lack of Monty Python reference when blancmanges where mentioned.

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 15:57:00 UTC | #398973

Go to: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Moq

There are indeed few excuses for ignorance about evolution given the current selection of accessible books on the subject.

Wed, 16 Sep 2009 18:12:00 UTC | #397855

Go to: The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Moq

A not entirely inept attempt at satire.

There's also a "digested read" of Karen Armstrong's latest book.

Tue, 15 Sep 2009 03:22:00 UTC | #397093

Go to: 'The Greatest Show on Earth' debuts at #1 on the Sunday Times Bestseller List!

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 91 by Moq

Impressive rise to the top of TGSOE. My copy should be on its way.

The bestseller list also reminds me that there's a new Rankin novel. Another necessary expense.

Mon, 14 Sep 2009 21:57:00 UTC | #397031

Go to: Charles Darwin film 'too controversial for religious America'

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Moq

The comment by the producer is spot on. It's difficult to understand this kind of attitude in the 21st century. The ignorance seems pervasive and unbecoming of a supposedly civilized country.

Sat, 12 Sep 2009 12:46:00 UTC | #396278

Go to: Review: The Greatest Show on Earth

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Moq

Finally, a proper review. The book's structure, style and specific content. Fulfillment of intended goals by the author, and the positive/negative points from the viewpoint of the reviewer. Good to see.

Fri, 11 Sep 2009 17:10:00 UTC | #396044

Go to: Review: The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 73 by Moq

No matter how you try to make something idiot proof the world keeps on turning out better idiots.

Another piece of evidence in favour of evolution. ;-)

Thu, 10 Sep 2009 13:33:00 UTC | #395809

Go to: Review: The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by Moq

Perhaps I'm expecting to much, but the quality of the reviews are not impressive. The tone and character of the author as understood by the reviewer is still the main topic while a few token tidbits from the book is tossed in to make it seem genuine. My guess is that they misinterpret the tone similarly to the reviews of TGD. But I've ordered the book, so I'll see for myself.

As far as Coyne is concerned, he makes quite a few references to the idiotic viewpoints of creationist throughout as he presents the evidence for evolution. There's also the incredulity of the enterprise in common, ie. the necessity of having to state the case once again. All in all, I don't think the principles behind the books differ much between Dawkins and Coyne, though their approaches might be different. Either way, a creationist reading either book will have his/her feelings hurt.

Thu, 10 Sep 2009 09:33:00 UTC | #395772

Go to: A skull that rewrites the history of man

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Moq

I can't access the article itself, but after reading the link provided by GfA I see little controversy. As far as I understand Homo Erectus was among the first to migrate from Africa almost two million years ago, and the Dmanisi find seems to confirm that timeline.

The assertion that they moved "back into Africa to complete the story of man" seems rather nonsensical. Homo Sapiens was another migration (or migrations), not Homo Erectus moving back and forth between Africa and Europe/Asia while evolving.

Perhaps there's something I've misunderstood.

Wed, 09 Sep 2009 12:22:00 UTC | #395560

Go to: Molecular Decay Of Enamel-specific Gene In Toothless Mammals Supports Theory Of Evolution

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Moq

So the discovery supports theory of evolution.

Who knew? (Apart from most reasonably informed people.)

Tue, 08 Sep 2009 20:48:00 UTC | #395417

Go to: Review of The Greatest Show on Earth

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by Moq


You're correct, the expenditure is limited and not a real concern. Like you I have quite the book pile awaiting my immediate attention, so it's more a question of priority than anything else. Is it sufficiently different from the book I just read, or can I wait for the translation to my native language and reduce the pile in the meantime.

The reviews haven't made me doubt the quality of the book, but rather the quality of reviewers. It seems they prefer to discuss the author, or validating their personal construct of the author, rather than structure and content of the actual book.

Mon, 07 Sep 2009 17:24:00 UTC | #395108

Go to: Review of The Greatest Show on Earth

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Moq


Why not make up your own mind ? Read it and decide for yourself!

It's not a question of doubting the quality of the book, because I've read several books authored by RD with great delight.

As I wrote, I've just finished a book with a similar purpose and content by Coyne. So the question is one of priority, ie. buying it now or later. That's why I'm reading reviews, to get a feel for the differences. Unfortunately, the reviews have been rather dismal so far. It seems like it's becoming a lost art.

Mon, 07 Sep 2009 16:16:00 UTC | #395089

Go to: Review of The Greatest Show on Earth

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Moq

After finishing Coyne's "Why Evolution Is True" a few days ago, I'm still a little uncertain about buying TGSoE, at least immediately, based on the reviews so far.

I think I'll wait for Coyne's review to get a feel for the differences.

Mon, 07 Sep 2009 15:26:00 UTC | #395069

Go to: Speech by Lord May of Oxford, the president of the British Science Association

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Moq

Whether we like it or not, alienating those of faith is problematic when arguing for change on a global scale. Especially a topic like climate change and the measures required to handle the problem. Perhaps Lord May was trying to navigate the usual problem of not alienating the religious while criticizing the "fundamentalists".

The problem is that the advantages of authoritarian control of the submissive masses in the shape of religion doesn't sound like a tenable solution. You might as well argue that a totalitarian climate ideology spanning the globe would solve everything.

Mon, 07 Sep 2009 15:15:00 UTC | #395066

Go to: Review of a Review

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Moq

I don't visit the websites of Holocaust deniers to see the finer points of their deranged argumentation, nor read their fictional articles.

I see no reason to visit the biological equivalent and ruin my weekend.

Sat, 05 Sep 2009 15:40:00 UTC | #394676

Go to: Students must learn about other religions: judge

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by Moq

In Denmark there's been some debate now and then about whether the course in public schools should be the broader 'Religion' versus the current 'Christianity'. The course does cover other religions when the children gets older, so the practical difference is minimal.

Personally, I would prefer a more philosophical "History of Ideas" approach where religion is one of the components instead of dominant. Perhaps a little too complicated for the youngest, but they can get a few extra math lessons instead. That'll serve them better than listening to stories from the bible anyway.

Thu, 03 Sep 2009 22:47:00 UTC | #394323

Go to: Secular kids' camp in Collin County aims to provide questions, not answers

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by Moq

It's difficult to gauge the content of various camps based solely on articles. Personally, I'm a little weary when it comes to camps, whether they're religious or non-religious. Especially when I read things like this:

Her atheist father, Clancy Cummings, said he brought her to the camp to introduce her to his belief system.

Introduction to various beliefs aren't necessarily bad, but the borders between introduction and indoctrination are blurry. Especially in the relationship between children and adults where the latter possesses some kind of authority.

My idea of an ideal camp purpose would be closer to something like a (secular) scout movement. Getting to know, respect and navigate nature with essential bits of science added when appropriate. Not to mention various skills and quizzes along the way. They probably do something similar at Camp Quest.

The exercises involving creation myths, staged UFO sightings, unicorns, and other types of contrived skepticism seems redundant to me.

Wed, 02 Sep 2009 12:15:00 UTC | #393835

Go to: [UPDATE 8-28]From mousy to blonde - in 8,000 years

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Moq

Jos, I think you're either referring to the wrong comment, and meant Bolland's instead, or misunderstanding mine.

Fri, 28 Aug 2009 18:45:00 UTC | #392688

Go to: Darwin Song Project

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Moq


Just out of curiosity, what does this song actually have to do with Darwin?

My guess is that the song is from the perspective of Darwin's wife, Emma, ie. the problem of reconciling his consuming work, family life, and her faith.

But I'm just speculating on the lyrics that I can make out.

Fri, 28 Aug 2009 18:42:00 UTC | #392687

Go to: [UPDATE 8-28]From mousy to blonde - in 8,000 years

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Moq

Generally speaking, wouldn't it be rather difficult to evaluate if the genetic dominance of a certain trait x within y years/generations is fast or slow due to complex variations of an environment z by comparing it to different variables connected to another biological entity.

Did that make sense? Well, I'm not a biologist either. ;-)

Fri, 28 Aug 2009 16:48:00 UTC | #392637

Go to: Darwin Song Project

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Moq

I feared it was pathetic, but it's actually quite good.

There's also a website.

Fri, 28 Aug 2009 16:03:00 UTC | #392608

Go to: Religion and schools don't mix

Moq's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Moq

Unfortunately the European Convention on Human Rights doesn't permit the banning of independent religious schools.

I'm not in favour of this sentence from the article. Any sort of banning is a bad response to most questions, especially the complicated ones. Not to mention the inevitable bureaucracy and legislative mess that follows. But you can make the hoops for state funding difficult to pass through for religiously inspired independent schools.

The Swedish situation sounds a lot like the Danish, though I'm not an expert on independently managed schools. Apparently, 500 out of 2100 primary schools are independently managed. Not all with a religious foundation, of course. The receive 75% of a normal grant per pupil, and there are six levels of supervision.

There's a basis for independent education institutions in the constitution, ie. compulsory education but not compulsory school, so any unwanted results are difficult to limit beyond rigorous supervision.

Thu, 27 Aug 2009 13:04:00 UTC | #392050