Monday, October 25, 2010

PZ Myers: Sophisticated Theology?

On his blog, Pharyngula, PZ Myers brilliantly criticizes the notion of "sophisticated theology."  He says what I have been thinking for a while, and I couldn't say it better myself.

Notable tidbit:
"...theology adds nothing to our knowledge, no matter how intricate or voluminous, and in fact it detracts from it when the sophisticated theologians insist that we must ignore the evidence where it conflicts with their fairy tales. I don't care how sophisticated it is, and I have no problem admitting that clever minds have constructed an elaborate castle of wind and vapor for their fairy tales, but bullshit shoveled into majestic mountains must still slump into shapeless, decaying mounds when the props are knocked out with the facts."
Read it here.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Atheist Blogroll

This blog has been added to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see the blogroll in my sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.  Check it out for links to many other non-believing sites.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Poetry of Science: Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson


Watch as two science rockstars talk about the wonders of science, the limit of our human viewpoint, and the strange possibilities that are yet unrealized.

Original article here.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Richard Feynman: Fun to Imagine

The 1983 BBC series of conversations with Richard Feynman in which he tries to express the joy he gets from thinking scientifically about the world is available on the BBC's website.  Feynman was a genius physicist and Nobel prize winner, who had a passion for science.  His excitement when discussing simple (and not so simple) concepts is contagious.  Check it out here.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Our Place in the Universe

Delusions of Grandeur

Humans have the amazing inclination to feel like we are the most important thing in the universe.  In the not so distant past, nearly everyone thought our solar system was all there was to the cosmos.  Not only that, but they also largely believed that the Sun and planets all revolved around the Earth.  We have since learned that the Earth revolves around the Sun (with all the other planets in our solar system), and our entire solar system revolves around the center of our own Milky Way galaxy.  In fact, up until as recently as the 1920's, astronomers were under the impression that our immense galaxy was all that existed.

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Difficulties in Understanding Evolution: Dividing Lines of Species

There are many impediments to understanding the theory of evolution.  I really had to struggle out of the misinformation I had gathered about it in order to accept it as fact, and when I did, it was like a cartoon lightbulb appeared above my head.  It explains so much of the world around us!  No doubt many people have always accepted it as fact, and maybe some of the eureka! moment is lost on them.  But there are many people who do not accept it as anything other than an impossible fairy tale.  I believe that many of these doubters have an incorrect idea of what evolution really is (as I once did).  While I am in no position to correct all of the possible misunderstandings of the theory of evolution (I am a layman, and my own knowledge is severely limited), I can offer some helpful bits that I found very insightful.  For now, I will cover just one.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

"A Glorious Dawn" featuring Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking

I know it's old, but there are still some who have not seen this.  It's a wonderful music video by John Boswell of the website Symphony of Science.  John takes clips from Carl Sagan's Cosmos, along with footage of Stephen Hawking, and masterfully works it into original music, using autotune.  The result is something that shows the raw passion and love for science that Sagan had, and it's beautiful.  Be sure to watch all John's videos on his site,

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This blog is about thinking.  It's about being free to pursue the truth about ourselves and the world around us.

My perspective is one of a former Christian who has become an atheist.  For about 20 years, I was a believer.  As time went on, I got more and more interested in my Christian faith, but also in knowing why I believed what I did.  I took an interest in philosophy and Christian apologetics, and enjoyed lively discussion about issues of faith.  I had reasons to believe in God, and I wanted to convince others why it was reasonable to believe.

Turns out I was too skeptical for my own good.  Over the years, less and less about my faith seemed defensible as I tried to think honestly and from someone else's perspective.  More and more of my beliefs about God and Jesus were questioned and marginalized, until I had a very agnostic view of God.  I believed in God, and the resurrection of Jesus, but that was really all I could defend.  Eventually, even those were called into question, and I have finally broken free of the mental gymnastics I was doing in order to make my faith seem reasonable.

Now I do not believe a god exists - I see no good reason to.  I find the world around me is exactly how I would expect it to be if there was no divine creator.  The explanatory power of God is, to me, profoundly impotent when compared to the secular options.  The world makes more sense to me now, and I am free to follow the evidence.

As a result, I have accepted science back into my heart, and asked for forgiveness from my mind for hiding the beautiful and elegant truths that were more than just a little uncomfortable to my faith-infected intellect.  The world is a much more wonderful and mysterious place to me now, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  It is the great joy and excitement I still feel knowing that I am free to accept those things that I couldn't before due to my religious state of mind that drives me to want to manage this blog.  I want others to know that feeling, to experience that freedom of mind.  Ironically, Jesus said, "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  Indeed it has.
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