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423 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 329682 13-May-2010 10:42
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I'm an atheist myself, but I've never seen any reason to promote atheism.

I've noticed that quite a few atheists tend to regard religion as something that should be fought and destroyed, and I'm just not sure what benefit that would bring.

If anything, the desire to dictate what other people think is the aspect of religion that I find least appealing.

We need to make sure we have clear separation of church and state, and no legislated morality. In particular, to me that means that unless you're harming somebody else or their property, what you do yourself (or with consenting adults) should be your own business (ie. homosexuality, abortion, drugs, etc. should be legal).

Beyond that, I don't see any reason to care what other people believe. Just seems to me that people shrug off religion because they don't like being told what to think, and then proceed to do the same to others.

Michael

fab

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Master Geek


  Reply # 329694 13-May-2010 11:01
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You know I saw an interesting movie a while back. - name escapes me right now.
The makers went to the Galapagos Islands where Charles Dawin based some of his scientific evidence supporting the theory of evolution.

What was interesting was that Dawin, who was on the islands for 3 months, noted that between islands there the finches had differences in beak sizes - some quite large on one island, some quite small on another. He then thoerised that evolution must have caused this change over some millions of years.

But the makers of the movie took along sicentists, who stayed there for 12 months, and noted that the beak size on finches on a single island could change within that 12-month period. They deduced that it was the type of food supply that was available that actually caused the sudden (compared to millions of years) change to the size of the finches' beak.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 329716 13-May-2010 11:31
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michaelt: I've noticed that quite a few atheists tend to regard religion as something that should be fought and destroyed, and I'm just not sure what benefit that would bring.


I don't know about "fought and destroyed"; I'd prefer to see it stamped out by educating people. However we can't go around forcing it onto people - that's what some religions do.

Imagine how much safer the world would be if there was no Islamic religion. 
Think of all the scientific inquiry that has been stifled over the years.
Think of al the silly ways people use religious texts to justify genocide, bigotry, slavery etc. 
Pro-lifers killing doctors.
The opposition to teaching evolution in American schools.
Not to mention the millions and millions of kids who are absolutely petrified of burning in hell forever.
People dying during "exorcisms"
Cults and religious groups that fleece people for money
The list goes on and on and on.


Many spiritual beliefs (woo woo, as I call it) are downright dangerous and hold back social, moral and scientific progress.

It won't happen over night.. argh, it probably won't happen at all unfortunately.

Men like Dawkins ARE causing people to re-evaluate their beliefs and drop woo-woo altogether. So there's hope yet.




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  Reply # 329718 13-May-2010 11:32
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fab: You know I saw an interesting movie a while back. - name escapes me right now.
The makers went to the Galapagos Islands where Charles Dawin based some of his scientific evidence supporting the theory of evolution.

What was interesting was that Dawin, who was on the islands for 3 months, noted that between islands there the finches had differences in beak sizes - some quite large on one island, some quite small on another. He then thoerised that evolution must have caused this change over some millions of years.

But the makers of the movie took along sicentists, who stayed there for 12 months, and noted that the beak size on finches on a single island could change within that 12-month period. They deduced that it was the type of food supply that was available that actually caused the sudden (compared to millions of years) change to the size of the finches' beak.


Yeah that was FASCINATING! Can't remember the name either and I only stubmled across some of it by chance.

We're surrounded by evolutionary "in-betweens". Those very in-betweens that creationists seem reluctant to grasp.




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  Reply # 329737 13-May-2010 12:29
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BurningBeard:
fab: You know I saw an interesting movie a while back. - name escapes me right now.
The makers went to the Galapagos Islands where Charles Dawin based some of his scientific evidence supporting the theory of evolution.

What was interesting was that Dawin, who was on the islands for 3 months, noted that between islands there the finches had differences in beak sizes - some quite large on one island, some quite small on another. He then thoerised that evolution must have caused this change over some millions of years.

But the makers of the movie took along sicentists, who stayed there for 12 months, and noted that the beak size on finches on a single island could change within that 12-month period. They deduced that it was the type of food supply that was available that actually caused the sudden (compared to millions of years) change to the size of the finches' beak.


Yeah that was FASCINATING! Can't remember the name either and I only stubmled across some of it by chance.

We're surrounded by evolutionary "in-betweens". Those very in-betweens that creationists seem reluctant to grasp.


yep. Every fossil is an example of a transitional fossil.

whilst we do have some woos in theis country, (and some silly hangovers like 'God Defend New Zealand' as the national anthem)  we are a lot better off than the states where some really crazy stuff happens - like Fred Phelps and the people who so admantly oppose evolution is schools.
the evidence for evolution is just so massive that to deny it just seems ridiculous.  might as well deny the heliocentric model of the solar system.

As for Dawkins, I haven't read the god delusion (I'm already familiar with the arguments rpesented anyway) but I really enjoyed The Selfish Gene  and the Ancestors Tale  (about evolution rather than religion).
The Root of all Evil?  was a documentary series he made for the BBC (I thjink)  and is on youtube.  worht watching IMO.  (one of the pastors in America he talks to who lectures him about how religion is great and necessary for family values was, IIRC, later arrested for having sex with a male prostitute and I think, buying crack off him.)

fab

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Master Geek


  Reply # 329750 13-May-2010 13:05
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I am glad we can have a freindly debate here, and agree to disagree. I used to think that the theory of evolution could not be beaten until I read lots (and lots) more on it - now I reliase that science cannot prove the theory of evolution by a long shot.

There is also a God Delusion Debate where Dawkins flounders quite seriously and in the end, "loses" the debate.

Yes there are bad Christians out there, there are 'bad' religions where killing of innocent people is part of the religion. But can you honestly say that every non-Christian is a model citizen? Yeah sorry a bit sarky there but you get my drift.

For me - coming from a totally pro-evolution mindset, I had to take God etc out of the equation as I felt I could not look at the theory of evolution with that niggling at the back of my mind. If you look at the theory of evolution with a purely scientific mindset and using facts proven by science, you will find that there are so many gaps in it (and gaps that even Darwin admitted to) that it's not possible...in my opinion. Yours may differ :)

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  Reply # 329760 13-May-2010 13:18
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fab: I am glad we can have a freindly debate here, and agree to disagree. I used to think that the theory of evolution could not be beaten until I read lots (and lots) more on it - now I reliase that science cannot prove the theory of evolution by a long shot.

There is also a God Delusion Debate where Dawkins flounders quite seriously and in the end, "loses" the debate.
science does not work based on who is the best speaker.  it works on the facts.  Losing a debate is not only entirely subjective,  but also entirely meaningless in the context of whether evolution is true or not


Yes there are bad Christians out there, there are 'bad' religions where killing of innocent people is part of the religion. But can you honestly say that every non-Christian is a model citizen? Yeah sorry a bit sarky there but you get my drift.
there is a pretty famous quote that goes
"with or without religion, good men will do good things, and evil men will do evil things.  for a good man to do evil,  that takes religion"
that is why religion can be bad.


For me - coming from a totally pro-evolution mindset, I had to take God etc out of the equation as I felt I could not look at the theory of evolution with that niggling at the back of my mind. If you look at the theory of evolution with a purely scientific mindset and using facts proven by science, you will find that there are so many gaps in it (and gaps that even Darwin admitted to) that it's not possible...in my opinion. Yours may differ :)


You will struggle to find any good evidence against evolution that doesn;t have a religious (i.e. nonscientific) origin.

As for Darwin - he was only the originator of the theory (arguably) and the science has come along quite a bit in the last 200 years.

'theory' in a scientific context does not mean the same as 'theory' in a layman context.

the Theory of Evolution is as 'proved' as the Theory of Gravity or Germ Theory i.e. about as well as anything can be proved.


did you have a particular example of a hole in evolution?  I'm willing to bet that what you think is a 'hole' is anything but, and that the explanation can probably be found here

261 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 329764 13-May-2010 13:24
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fab: 
 If you look at the theory of evolution with a purely scientific mindset and using facts proven by science, you will find that there are so many gaps in it (and gaps that even Darwin admitted to) that it's not possible...in my opinion. Yours may differ :)


There are gaps in the science of evolution, for instance, how important sexual selection is comparied to mutation. But there are no gaps in evolution as a whole. There is no scientific reason to believe that evolution is not real. There are no 'Gaps' in the theory of evolution, just in the details of how evolution works in different areas. Evolution is a scientific truth. The details of how evolution works (as with all science) are being worked out with different ideas on the role of sexual selection verses gene mutations etc - but that is how science works.





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Master Geek
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  Reply # 329789 13-May-2010 14:33
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I think the ability to agree to disagree is great and it is neat that we share about some of our own points of view.

Here is a link to a website that explains more http://www.intelligentdesignversusevolution.com/

Also, if one of you guys can give proof for evolution you can get yourself US$10,000 - turns out no one has ever been able to claim the US$10,000.







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  Reply # 329799 13-May-2010 14:54
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cyberhub: I have to agree, Richard Dawkins has a brilliant mind and is really good at writing convincing books. 

However he does get stumped by a simple question that you would think an atheist of his reputation should have an answer to.

It is my understanding that Richard Dawkins has not answered this question yet. I could be wrong on that point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YddmGJofbL0

If you know of an answer to this question please share as I have not come across one.



I've seen that video and I've read Dawkins followup to it.

It's a dumb question.

It's up to people asserting the all-powerful, all-knowing, life-centering existence of a deity to prove s/he DOES exist.

Placing the onus of proof on everyone else to prove it DOESNT exist is absurd and irrational....but that sorta fits with faith-based thinking. Most recent exmaple in a secular context was the US case for WMD in Iraq....with Bush demanding everyone else prove they don't exist.

Well.....d'uh. 




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 329804 13-May-2010 14:59
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I work as a molecular biologist / systematist and have a PhD in microbiology.

I find evolution deniers a bit weird because that's what I do all day. Wander into my office and I can show you proof of evolution. We can go into the lab and select for antibiotic resistant bacteria, or evolve fungi to grow at higher temperatures. We can sequence the genes and you can see the differences.

It is like telling a bricklayer that his bricks are held apart by magic, not mortar.

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Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 329809 13-May-2010 15:02
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cyberhub:

Also, if one of you guys can give proof for evolution you can get yourself US$10,000 - turns out no one has ever been able to claim the US$10,000.



Of course no one has won the cash. But then scientists and 'that website' would most probably disagree on the definition of the word 'proof'. 

The proof for evolution is scientifically accepted. There is no 'missing link'. No fossils that disprove evolution. No eye that is too complex to have evolved. There is no controversy in evolution, (apart from some of the mechanics of evolution, as discussed before). Anyone that claims to have looked at evolution 'scientifically' and found gaps that disprove it is either (a) not fully understanding the science behind evolution, (b) being disingenuous or (c) deserves a nobel prize for discovering a new scientific reason explaining life on earth and how it changed throughout time. 

Note that if you can prove that you have not committed any one of the ten commandments, they will also give you $10,000. 

 

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  Reply # 329821 13-May-2010 15:15
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cyberhub: I think the ability to agree to disagree is great and it is neat that we share about some of our own points of view.

Here is a link to a website that explains more http://www.intelligentdesignversusevolution.com/

Also, if one of you guys can give proof for evolution you can get yourself US$10,000 - turns out no one has ever been able to claim the US$10,000.



Hee hee, a bit like the James Randi paranormal challenge - he's put a cool MILLION up for grabs. No takers! Likewise with the $40,000 challenge offered to the Sensing Murder psychics actors.

Ray Comfort's challenge is totally bogus.   http://www.skepticalmonkey.com/you-just-can%E2%80%99t-win-with-these-guys

On April 10, 2008, BBC News reported on the discovery of a fossil animal found in Lebanese limestone. This was a fossil of the 85cm-long Eupodophis descouens—a snake with two legs.

Scientists had already theorized that Eupodophis descouens had two legs, so this new finding only confirmed the “evolutionary narrative that goes from ancient lizard to limbless serpents” as we know them today.

Ray Comfort Must Be Shaking in His Boots, Huh?

So…surely this new discovery would be enough to win the $10,000? Why not bring the fossil remains to Comfort—and just in case he wants to see some live things, we can bring a duckbilled platypus, a crawling anglerfish, and newly-discovered lungless Barbourula kalimantanensis. All of these, of course, fit perfectly within the framework of what we would expect to find if evolution were true.



Sadly, Cameron and Comfort would likely refuse to accept any of these creatures as a winner of their challenge. By narrowing the contest to include only “transitional forms” which no one expects will ever be found, Cameron and Comfort have all but insured that no one will ever walk away with their money, and more importantly, no one will ever feel the great sense of achievement for having set these, ahem, bozos, straight. Watch the tape until about 9:55—Cameron himself mentions the platypus, clearly stating that it wouldn’t count as a transitional form because, “That’s exactly how god made it.”

He’d probably say the same thing if someone actually brought him a crockoduck.


 




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  Reply # 329830 13-May-2010 15:27
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cyberhub: I think the ability to agree to disagree is great and it is neat that we share about some of our own points of view.

Here is a link to a website that explains more http://www.intelligentdesignversusevolution.com/

Also, if one of you guys can give proof for evolution you can get yourself US$10,000 - turns out no one has ever been able to claim the US$10,000.





ah, Comfort and Cameron,  the guys who brought you the Banana as the Atheist's Nightmare and therefore incontrovertable proof of intelligent design by god.

"it's curved towards the face to make the eating process so much easier"  HAHAHAHAH


it was pointed out that modern bananas possesing the traits they discuss are entirely engineered by humans from wild bananas that posess none of the traits they discuss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4yBvvGi_2A

fricken 'tards



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  Reply # 329836 13-May-2010 15:35
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NonprayingMantis: ah, Comfort and Cameron,  the guys who brought you the Banana as the Atheist's Nightmare and therefore incontrovertable proof of intelligent design by god.

"it's curved towards the face to make the eating process so much easier"  HAHAHAHAH


it was pointed out that modern bananas possesing the traits they discuss are entirely engineered by humans from wild bananas that posess none of the traits they discuss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4yBvvGi_2A

fricken 'tards


Hee hee, I nearly fell over when I heard that argument. I'm by no means an expert on the topic, but THE BANANA? REALLY? That thing that WE'VE made into that shape? 'tards indeedy!

Dawkins was presented with a banana at the end of his ChCh talk, much to his amusement.

I got a free copy of Origin of the Species from one of Comfort's posse - I said thank you and the lady thanked me back for being so polite... she spoke too soon - I ripped out the first 56 pages (the creationist intro) and put it in the bin before her very eyes. She looked GUTTED!




My very metal Doctor Who theme

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