August 10, 2010 § 3 Comments
July 30, 2010 § 1 Comment
Stephen Fry, for those who don’t know him, is a brilliant actor, writer, quiz show host and all around great guy. I stumbled upon this interview on bigthink.com from December 2009. I missed it so I am sure others did as well. Despite his fascination with European football, my husband and I are huge fans.
“You can’t just say there is a God because well, the world Is beautiful. You have to account for bone cancer in children. You have to account for the fact that almost all animals in the wild live under stress with not enough to eat and will die violent and bloody deaths. There is not any way that you can just choose the nice bits and say that means there is a God and ignore the true fact of what nature is. The wonder of nature must be taken in its totality and it is a wonderful thing. It is absolutely marvelous and the idea that an atheist or a humanist if you want to put it that way, doesn’t marvel and wonder at reality, at the way things are, is nonsensical. The point is we wonder all the way. We don’t just stop and say that which I cannot understand I will call God, which is what mankind has done historically. That’s to say God was absolutely everything a thousand or two thousand years ago because we understood almost nothing about the natural world, so it could all be God and then as we understood more God receded and receded and receded, so suddenly now he is barely anywhere. He is just in those things we don’t understand, which are important, but I think it just is such an insult to humanity and the Greeks got it right. The Greeks understood perfectly that if there were divine beings they are capricious, unkind, malicious mostly, temperamental, envious and mostly deeply unpleasant because that you can say well yes, all right, if there is going to be god or gods then you have to admit that they’re very at the very least capricious. They’re certainly not consistent. They’re certainly not all loving. I mean really it’s just not good enough.” Read or see Video of the full interview.
July 24, 2010 § 5 Comments
I learn more about biology reading PZ Myer’s blog than I ever did in school. Of course I went to mostly private religious schools, and then their were the dark ages spent in the Utah public school system. I don’t remember them teaching biology in Utah. They did have an animal husbandry class. I skipped that one.
“Here’s the problem, and also a brief introduction to Evolutionary Biology 201.
First, [evolutionary biology 101] it’s not exactly wrong — it’s more like taking one good explanation of certain kinds of evolution and making it a sweeping claim that that is how all evolution works. By reducing it to this one scheme, though, it makes evolution far too plodding and linear, and reduces it all to a sort of personal narrative. It isn’t any of those things. What’s left out in the 101 story, and in creationist tales, is that: evolution is about populations, so many changes go on in parallel; selectable traits are usually the product of networks of genes, so there are rarely single alleles that can be categorized as the effector of change; and genes and gene networks are plastic or responsive to the environment. All of these complications make the actual story more complicated and interesting, and also, perhaps to your surprise, make evolutionary change faster and more powerful.” Please read the full story on Science Blogs
June 21, 2010 § Leave a comment
by Dorothy Rowe is an intriguing look into how our minds work. I must say I do not share many of her fears. “Each of us lives alone, in our own world of meaning. This is frightening.” I find them exciting and comforting. However I do agree with her insights on lying.