News Briefs 31-10-2006

Unbelievable amount of fascinating news (and videos) today – and I even tried to avoid all the usual crappy Halloween stories floating about. I hope you have *lots* of time up your sleeve…

Oops, I almost forgot… Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

Thomas Jefferson

Editor
  1. re: Atheists top book charts by deconstructing God
    If these books are coming out, then the bookstore and the library should have a section devoted to ‘Religious Deconstructionalism.’ In addition I love the question that Woody Allen asked in Deconstructing Harry (1997). “If the an Afro-American man and a jew were to die. Why would it be the bigger tragedy if the jew had died?” In that scene, Woody Allen’s character had asked such a question to his supposed orthodox brother in law. What is faith? Faith defines religion. In modernation it is good. I met someone who once told me religion should be banned. He said this because in light of both his parents converting to being a Jehovah Witness. Loss of faith is a precuser to a Renaissance in thinking. Look areound you, everyone has an Ipod, or a Blackberry. In the libraries everyone is at a computer, or behind a lap top. Tech gadgets are the new bibles. Whatever gives you meaning can substitute for faith in any religious institution. Look at the flicker of joy Ned Flanders exudes in The Simpsons. Have we lost that? If the pope says the next generationis is godless, I would say no. I would say this next generation is informal, nonconventional, flexible, highly connected, functionally illiterate, and spiritual in it’s own way. I know that is a mouth full (laughing) but I was being honest. I remember riding the bus downtown, I suddenly jumped up realizing I had to make an important phone call. A 20 something hip hop clone in baggy pants and chains offered the use of his cell phone for free. That is a form of being christian, giving when another is in need.

  2. Dogged Dogma
    Greg describes it best in the latest issue of Sub Rosa:

    Dawkins would be apopleptic at the suggestion that science is as close-minded and vicious as the religions he despises so much.

    and:

    One has only to read through the writings of James Randi or Michael Shermer to see through the veneer of their ‘science delusion’, and glimpse the zealot within

    The highlight for me is this exchange between Dr Rupert Sheldrake and a skeptic:

    Dr Atkins: Well, you can’t rely on any of these experiments…there is no serious work done in this field. The samples that people use are very tiny, the effects are statistically insignificant, the controls are not done in a scientific way.

    Dr Sheldrake: Well I’d like to ask him if he’s actually read the evidence? May I ask you Professor Atkins if you’ve actually studied any of this evidence or any other evidence?

    Dr Atkins: No, but I would be very suspicious of it.

    1. I wonder…
      “Dawkins would be apopleptic at the suggestion that science is as close-minded and vicious as the religions he despises so much.”

      I am reminded of how the Catholic church took some three centuries to apologize for its persecution of Galileo. Oddly, I can’t think of any case in which science-as though it was some monolithic entity-has persisted in hounding any particular theorist…in fact, some people think it politically incorrect to point out how often science has over-thrown and re-invented itself. As just one example, look at what Einstein did to physics; the ripples are still spreading. On the other hand, some people bring up Tesla in proof of how narrow-minded science is, claiming that Tesla’s dying penniless is proof that science is a rigged game…not willing to accept that however brilliant Tesla may have been in some ways, he definitely was an excreble businessman. Well, folk will see what they want to see.

      “Cuisvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore persevare.”

      Cheers

      Good News: There’s a guiding force at work in the Universe. Bad News: It’s Irony.

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