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Junior Detectives Club
Free Skeptics Mix Tape “Bonus Track”

TO START 2012 OFF RIGHT, we’re pleased to share a small gift from Junior Skeptic: the upbeat and apt song, “Junior Detectives Club” from science-themed children’s musician Monty Harper. We’ve added “Junior Detectives Club” as a bonus track for the the kid-friendly Skeptics Mix Tape 2009 project.

Harper recorded this song in 2007 for the Collaborative Summer Library Program (a reading program shared by many states) and for his album Get a Clue. “I wanted it to sound like a real club, singing a song to open their meeting,” Harper told eSkeptic. To achieve that sound, he enlisted the help of Oklahoma music teacher Rana McCoy and her children’s voice group, The Center Stage Singers.

The result is a light-hearted skeptical manifesto for kids, performed by kids—and it’s yours to enjoy.

Monty Harper writes award-winning children’s songs about science, reading, and creativity. His audiences laugh, clap, sing, wiggle, shout, roar, giggle, jump, hoot, pop, snap, and most of all… think! To learn more about Monty Harper visit his website, or check out his latest album, Songs From the Science Frontier, on iTunes.

DOWNLOAD JUNIOR DETECTIVES CLUB (MP3)


Announcing the Spring 2012 Season
of Our Distinguished Lectures at Caltech

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! The Skeptics Society is pleased to announce another season of our Distinguished Lecture Series at Caltech.

All lectures are in Baxter Lecture Hall on a Sunday at 2 pm with the exception of the Monday, March 19 lecture which will be held at 7:30 pm and the Sunday, March 25 debate which will be held in Beckman Auditorium at 2 pm. All events include an author book signing. First up…

Lawrence Krauss
A Universe from Nothing:
Why There is Something
Rather Than Nothing

with Dr. Lawrence Krauss
Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 2 pm

WHERE DID THE UNIVERSE COME FROM? What was there before it? Why is there something rather than nothing? Such questions have been at the center of religious and philosophical debates about the existence of God, but in recent years science has been closing in on answers. In a cosmological story that rivets as it enlightens, pioneering theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss explains the groundbreaking new scientific advances that turn the most basic philosophical questions on their heads. One of the few prominent scientists today to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss reveals that modern science is addressing the question of why there is something rather than nothing, with surprising and fascinating results. With his characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations, Krauss takes us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end. As Richard Dawkins writes: This could potentially be the most important scientific book with implications for supernaturalism since Darwin.

Followed by…
  • Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith
    with Dr. Andy Thomson
    Sunday February 12, 2012 at 2 pm
  • Abundance: Why the Future Will Be Much Better Than You Think
    with Dr. Peter Diamandis
    Saunday, February 26, 2012 at 2 pm
  • The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution
    Will Create Better Health Care

    with Dr. Eric Topol
    Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 2 pm
  • Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, & Politics in the Book of Revelation
    with Dr. Elaine Pagels
    Monday, March 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm
  • The Great Debate: “Has Science Refuted Religion?”
    Sean Carroll & Michael Shermer v. Dinesh D’Souza & Ian Hutchinson
    Beckman Auditorium
    Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 2 pm
  • Born Believers: The Science of Children’s Religious Belief
    with Dr. Justin Barrett
    Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 2 pm
  • Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
    with Dr. Leonard Mlodinow
    Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 2 pm
  • Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist
    with Dr. Christof Koch
    Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 2 pm
  • The Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician’s Guide
    to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks

    with Dr. Art Benjamin
    Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 2 pm

NEW ON MICHAELSHERMER.COM
In the Year 9595

We have all heard about Watson, the computer that beat the two best champions on Jeopardy. But, how close are we to having computers emulate human though, become self-aware and take over the world? In this, the January Skeptic column for Scientific American, Michael Shermer ponders the question of artificial intelligence.

READ THE POST

NEW ON SKEPTICBLOG.ORG
More God Less Crime, or More Guns Less Crime

During the last week of 2011, Michael Shermer spoke at and attended a salon in Santa Fe, New Mexico at which two of the speakers addressed the topic of the decline of crime, one (Byron Johnson) attributing it to god and the other (John Lott) to guns. In this week’s Skepticblog, Michael Shermer reports on their findings…

READ THE POST

FOLLOW MICHAEL SHERMER ON TWITTERFacebookSkepticblog

Christopher Hitchens on:
“Does Science Make Belief in God Obsolete?”

That was the Templeton Foundation’s Big Question in the third of a series of questions posed to leading scientist and scholars, among them: Steven Pinker, Victor Stenger, Mary Midgley, William D. Phillips, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn and Michael Shermer. In this week’s eSkeptic, we present Christopher Hitchens’ answer. Christopher Hitchens is the author of God Is Not Great. Hitchens died on December 15, 2011 at the age of 62. In tribute to Hitchens, we present this article which was edited by Michael Shermer for the Templeton Foundation’s Big Question Series. Tune in next week for a debate between Hitchens and Kenneth Miller (also part of the Big Questions Series).

No, But it Should

by Christopher Hitchens

Does science make belief in god obsolete? No, but it should. Until about 1832, when it first seems to have become established as a noun and a concept, the term “scientist” had no really independent meaning. “Science” meant “knowledge” in much the same way as “physic” meant medicine, and those who conducted experiments or organized field expeditions or managed laboratories were known as “natural philosophers.” To these gentlemen (for they were mainly gentlemen) the belief in a divine presence or inspiration was often merely assumed to be a part of the natural order, in rather the same way as it was assumed—or actually insisted upon—that a teacher at Cambridge University swear an oath to be an ordained Christian minister. For Sir Isaac Newton—an enthusiastic alchemist, a despiser of the doctrine of the Trinity and a fanatical anti-Papist—the main clues to the cosmos were to be found in Scripture. Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen, was a devout Unitarian as well as a believer in the phlogiston theory. Alfred Russel Wallace, to whom we owe much of what we know about biogeography and natural selection, delighted in nothing more than a session of ectoplasmic or spiritual communion with the departed.

And thus it could be argued—though if I were a believer in god I would not myself attempt to argue it—that a commitment to science by no means contradicts a belief in the supernatural. The best known statement of this opinion in our own time comes from the late Stephen Jay Gould, who tactfully proposed that the worlds of science and religion commanded “non-overlapping magisteria.” How true is this on a second look, or even on a first glance? Would we have adopted monotheism in the first place if we had known:

  1. That our species is at most 200,000 years old, and very nearly joined the 98.9 percent of all other species on our planet by becoming extinct, in Africa, 60,000 years ago, when our numbers seemingly fell below 2,000 before we embarked on our true “exodus” from the savannah?
  2. That the universe, originally discovered by Edwin Hubble to be expanding away from itself in a flash of red light, is now known to be expanding away from itself even more rapidly, so that soon even the evidence of the original “big bang” will be unobservable?
  3. That the Andromeda galaxy is on a direct collision course with our own, the ominous but beautiful premonition of which can already be seen with a naked eye in the night sky?

These are very recent examples, post-Darwinian and post-Einsteinian, and they make pathetic nonsense of any idea that our presence on this planet, let alone in this of so many billion galaxies, is part of a plan. Which design, or designer, made so sure that absolutely nothing (see above) will come out of our fragile current “something”? What plan, or planner, determined that millions of humans would die without even a grave-marker, for our first 200,000 years of struggling and desperate existence, and that there would only then at last be a “revelation” to save us, about 3,000 years ago, but disclosed only to gaping peasants in remote and violent and illiterate areas of the Middle East?

To say that there is little “scientific” evidence for the last proposition is to invite a laugh. There is no evidence for it, period. And if by some strenuous and improbable revelation there was to be any evidence, it would only argue that the creator or designer of all things was either (a) very laborious, roundabout, tinkering and incompetent and/or (b) extremely capricious and callous, and even cruel. It will not do to say, in reply to this, that the lord moves in mysterious ways. Those who dare to claim to be his understudies and votaries and interpreters must either accept the cruelty and the chaos or disown it: they cannot pick and choose between the warmly benign and the frigidly indifferent. Nor can the religious claim to be in possession of secret sources of information that are denied to the rest of us. That claim was, once, the prerogative of the Pope and the witch-doctor, but now it’s gone. This is as much as to say that reason and logic reject god, which (without being conclusive) would be a fairly close approach to a scientific rebuttal. It would also be quite near to saying something that lies just outside the scope of this essay, which is that morality shudders at the idea of god, as well.

Religion, remember, is theism not deism. Faith cannot rest itself on the argument that there might or might not be a prime mover. Faith must believe in answered prayers, divinely-ordained morality, heavenly warrant for circumcision, the occurrence of miracles or what you will. Physics and chemistry and biology and palaeontology and archaeology have, at a minimum, given us explanations for what used to be mysterious, and furnished us with hypotheses that are at least as good as, or very much better than, the ones offered by any believers in other and inexplicable dimensions.

Does this mean that the inexplicable or superstitious has become “obsolete”? I myself would wish to say no, if only because I believe that the human capacity for wonder neither will nor should be destroyed or superseded. But the original problem with religion is that it is our first, and our worst, attempt at explanation. It is how we came up with answers before we had any evidence. It belongs to the terrified childhood of our species, before we knew about germs or could account for earthquakes. It belongs to our childhood, too, in the less charming sense of demanding a tyrannical authority: a protective parent who demands compulsory love even as he exacts a tithe of fear. This unalterable and eternal despot is the origin of totalitarianism, and represents the first cringing human attempt to refer all difficult questions to the smoking and forbidding altar of a Big Brother. This of course is why one desires that science and humanism would make faith obsolete, even as one sadly realizes that as long as we remain insecure primates we shall remain very fearful of breaking the chain. END

Skeptical perspective on faith and spirituality…
cover The End of Faith: Religion, Terror,
and the Future of Reason

by Sam Harris

Harris’ first book was an instant bestseller because of its cogent arguments and literary clarity, in which the author argues that because of weapons of mass destruction the world can no longer tolerate violent religions, and that in fact even moderate religious beliefs only encourage extremists by enabling their supernatural beliefs.
READ more and order the book.

cover Atheism: The Case Against God
by George Smith

With considerable scholarship and fairness for the “other side,” Smith reviews the history and philosophy of the various forms of atheism, agnosticism, and theism, and gives the reader enough information to debate the most serious believers. READ more and order the book.

cover The Soul of Science
by Michael Shermer

Can we find spiritual meaning and purpose in a scientific worldview? Yes! There are many sources of spirituality; religion may be the most common, but it is by no means the only. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality. Science does this in spades. READ more and order the book.

cover Living Without Religion
by Paul Kurtz

One of America’s foremost expositors of humanist philosophy, Paul Kurtz shows how we can live the good life filled with morality, commitment, and dedication, without having to depend on the existence of a higher being. Drawing upon the disciplines of the sciences, philosophy, and ethics, Kurtz also offers concrete recommendations for the development of the humanism of the future. READ more and order the book.



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20 Comments »

20 Comments

  1. Roo.Bookaroo says:

    This essay by Christopher Hitchens is reminiscent of Richard Feynman’s lecture on “The Uncertainty of Values” in his book “The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen Scientist.” (1963).

    James Gleick in “Genius”, his exciting biography of Feynman, provides some fine expressions of Feynman’s conceptions, in those terms:

    “Feynman found this style of accommodation (between religion and science, à la Gould) to be intolerable. He repudiated the conventional God: ‘The kind of a personal God, characteristic of Western religions, to whom you pray and who has something to do with creating the universe and guiding you in morals.'” Some theologians had retreated from the conception of God as a kind of superperson — Father and King — willful, white-haired, and male. Any God who might take an interest in human affairs was too anthropomorphic for Feynman — implausible in the less and less human-centered universe discovered by science. Many scientists agreed, but his views were so rarely expressed that in 1959 a local television station, KNXT, felt obliged to suppress an interview in which he declared:

    ‘It doesn’t seem to me that this fantastically marvelous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil — which is the view that religion has. THE STAGE IS TOO BIG FOR THE DRAMA.’ (My emphasis, ROO.)

    Religion meant superstition: reincarnation, miracles, virgin birth. It replaced ignorance and doubt with certainty and faith; Feynman was happy to embrace ignorance and doubt.”

    We have to remark that this skepticism in a great scientist in the 20th century comes after thousands of years since the discovery by the Ancient Greeks of the methods of inquiry, debate and critical thinking leading to the first rudiments of scientific and experimental knowledge.
    So it may not be possible to extirpate from the brain the emotional and “primitive” source of religious thinking, with a crusader’s hope of replacing this primary mental mode with abstract reason. Christopher Hitchens is perspicacious enough to emphasize that “science” is NOT going to make religious beliefs in God obsolete. And this for some fundamental reasons related to the structure of the brain and human thinking, well enumerated by Hitchens:
    1) The brain activity that produces ideas of Gods is more primary (primitive) and immediate than the reasonings of science;
    2) The immediate power of strong emotions on the brain is an ineradicable given: Hitchens cite the “human capacity for wonder,” the fact that “religion is our first, and our worst, attempt at explanation. It is how we came up with answers before we had any evidence”;
    3) The subjugation of the childish mind to the authority of parents, and more widely, the hierarchical respect of the average tribal member for the authority of the leaders of the group: what Hitchens terms “the terrified childhood of our species,” and the need for a “tyrannical authority: a protective parent…the first cringing human attempt to refer all difficult questions to the smoking and forbidding altar of a Big Brother.”
    And so, wisely, and (for an avowed crusader against religious superstitions) courageously, Hitchens concludes that the progress of science and humanism, in spite of the wishful thinking of fanatical, pure rationalists, will not make religious beliefs obsolete in our species of “insecure primates”.

    The Enlightenment first stood up against the tyranny of religion and the supernatural, and with the intense conviction of the new convert, declared war on God and Church in the 18th century, naively hoping that the new cultural fight will succeed in replacing faith with reason, once and for all. This was the major fight of the 19th century.
    But our progress in psychology, brain science, sociology and anthropology have made us aware that superstition and religious beliefs are natural immediate responses to the mysteries and dangers of our environment, and the product of a primary mode of brain activity not only in the child, but also in the member of the social group subjected to the authority of a leader.
    Evaluation of evidence, and construction of theories take time, and are a secondary response of the brain that is never immediate and fast, as it needs a pause in action for the patient processing of data and the persuasive task of implanting new ideas (which Socrates called “new gods” to dislodge the “old gods”) through critical thinking.
    We have now come to accept the reality that faith and science do co-habit the same brain. We are not split between two natures: emotional and rational, superstition and science, but are thinking only with one brain, where both modes are active, at different levels of intensity.

    That is why we should be interested to add this book to our library: “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, a modern psychologist in the field of judgment and decision-making and a 2002 Nobel Prize in economics.
    
His work resulted in getting rid of the thesis that there are different systems or structures of thinking in the brain: childish vs mature, emotional vs analytical, spiritual vs practical. Those are only different levels of activity of the same system in the brain.
    “Fast” thinking uses immediate, well-known knowledge, habits, routine skills, immediate beliefs from childhood or personal experience, etc…what Hitchens referred to as “childish” in his text.
    “Slow” thinking involves the hard work of reflection, comparison, analysis, inference, what we would call “mature” and Hitchens called in his text “science and humanism”.
    One is immediate and a prompt reaction to our social group (family, tribe, groups) and the physical environment. The other requires making a pause and processing the information more slowly. The two modes are always at work together in the brain, with various levels of intensity.
    
It looks as if religious belief does belong to the “fast thinking” process of the brain, while analysis and examination of evidence are indubitably (excruciatingly) ” slow thinking”.
 An adult can use his brain analytically on some issues and still use a huge quantity of responses based on “fast” thinking, including his religious beliefs from childhood.
 A scientist can still harbor religious beliefs.

    You’ll find excellent reviews of Daniel Kahneman’s book on the Web. Also his Nobel Prize autobiography (available online) is an exciting description of his psychological work.
    Wikipedia also has an excellent article on him, and a link to his famous Sept 27, 1974 article in Science which started it all.


    In any event this book is a fundamental breakthrough and in a positive way, reinforces Christopher Hitchens’s insightful conclusions. We have to start thinking about “faith” and “reason”, “childish” and “mature” thinking in a modern scientific way, as belonging to the same brain system, and no longer in terms of antiquated notions of “two natures”, or two opposed “systems”. Faith and reason, religion and science are at the extreme ends of the same continuum. There are no demons in the brain, and no angels either, in spite of Steve Pinker’s latest writing.

  2. poch peralta says:

    What Science made semi-obsolete was the Christian bible. Science has proven that the earth is more than 4,000 years old. But there is one biblical prophecy that is happening right now and that is the prophecy about the Number of the Beast (microchip implanting).

  3. Dr. Sidethink says:

    Is this the beast you can come up with?

    Dr. S

  4. Mister john says:

    You might have pointed out that Christopher Hitchens died on December 15th, 2011, and probably didn’t go to Heaven.

    • Dr. Sidethink says:

      Maybe, maybe not.

      The sneaky rhetoric here implies that folks who don’t follow the rules of YOUR religion don’t go to Heaven and probably go to HAY’ Hull!!

      (even Armstrongites, who don’t believe in Hay-Hull)

      as Holden Caulfield would say
      “Jesus would puke!” about this kind of back-patting.

      Dr S

  5. BaronP says:

    Hitchens was disappointingly another of the relative dummies that think plans that are made for the short term are not really plans. I suggest that the opposite would more likely be the case.

  6. Carl Olson says:

    Hitches would have made a better argument if he had provided a definition of “god”. He expressed concern about the definition of “science” and “physic”, but not for the key concept of “God/god”.

    Let’s have a competition for a definition of “God/god” so that an intelligent conversation can proceed. This would really prove interesting to all concerned.

    • Mike says:

      God- Imaginary magic being that lives in the sky.(for other cultures,one may substitute that particular groups deities’ bullshit magic powers.)
      That should cover it.

  7. Doug says:

    I agree with Carl Olson. When most Westerners refer to ”God,” they have a specific deity in mind–Yahveh, the god of the Bible. This god created the universe as described in Genesis (even Jews and Christians who do not take Genesis literally believe that it is true on some level), spoke to the Old Testament prophets, gave the 10 Commandments to Moses, inspired the authors of the various books of the Bible, performed the miracles described in the Bible, sent his son Jesus to Earth, and so on. However, it is possible to believe that there is a god without believing in Yahveh–in fact, most of the humans down through history did so. When discussing the existence [or lack thereof] of God, we should specify whether we are discussing the god of the Bible, or any god. ”Is there a god?” and ”If so, is he the same as the God of the Bible?” are two different questions.

    For instance, many proponents of Intelligent Design believe that if the complexity of life proves the existence of a creator, then this means that Christianity is true. Far from it. If–for the sake of argument–we grant the existence of a creator, it does not follow that this creator is Yahveh. In fact, some creationists oppose Intelligent Design for this very reason; it allows one to believe in some unspecified ”designer” while still rejecting the Bible.

    So I agree that we need to define ”God.” If each of us is using the word to mean something different, then our conversation will go nowhere.

  8. delphine says:

    I, too, have a problem with the term “God/god.” What does it in fact mean? What other terminology is available? Providence? Essence? Unknowable mystery? Will any specific word other than “God” work? As Doug says, if the word means something different to each individual, where do we go with that? What does John Shelby Spong come up with?

  9. Ted Fontenot says:

    Let’s not kid ourselves. Most everyone who speaks about “god” has in mind something like God in the Bible, a god who was creator and is an intervenor in the affairs of creation and the lives of people. Otherwise, what’s the point? A god who doesn’t do that is an irrelevancy and eminently a thing that can be ignored. A god without power or effect is not a God. And pure BS–or just another term for unknowable supervening natural law principle (and,again, why call that god?) Epicurus said it a long time ago:

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?”

  10. Jeffrey says:

    Define God?

    God will not be revealed to those who do not believe, the God (of the Bible) is foolishness to non-believers and is the power of God to those who believe. God is accessible to everyone, Jesus Christ’s death burial and resurrection made that possible and only a God could do that. To those non-believers this is absolutely, without a doubt, foolishness. Now don’t flare up and get mad, but God is rather easy to define once you get to know him. After all, isn’t that the whole reason the universe was made-so God could love us and we could love Him?
    I’m sure this fly’s in the face to those who do not believe in Jesus Christ (the God of the Bible), and that is not the intent of my reply, but rather to lead up to how we define God.
    Can man define God, especially a nonbeliever? The natural man may try and define Him, even though he has no fellowship with God. However, you could ask a believer. I mean a true believer-one who has taken time to submit to God, identifying with himself as undeserving of going to heaven. Confessing with his mouth he is a sinner and believes the gospel (Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection) will be saved. You will find out who God is just for the asking. Sorry for rambling on but, when you take this first step to admit you are a sinner and ask for God help in understanding, God will intervene. It’s a Holy Spirit inspired event. Then God will slowly feed (reveal) truths to you, milk at the beginning, but meat later as you mature.

    God is:

    God is Holy
    God is omnipresent
    God is omniscient
    God is omnipotent
    God is forgiving
    God is merciful
    God is able
    God is love
    God is faithful
    God is truth
    God is forever
    God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow
    God is eternal
    God is grace
    God is Wonderful
    God is Counselor
    God is I AM
    God is the Word (In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God). All things were made by Him. John 1:1-2
    God is Jesus (Jehovah in the Old Testament)
    God is the light of this world
    God is without sin
    God is the Father
    God is the Son (The Lord Jesus Christ)
    God is the Holy Spirit
    God is One
    God is Lord
    God is good all the time
    God is above everything
    God is rejected
    God is hated
    God is cursed
    God is scoffed at
    God is accessible
    God is a healing God
    God is a rewarder
    God is coming back to earth for the believers
    God is a Big God
    God is not undone, where sin abounds God’s merci abounds higher.
    God is heard by His sheep
    God is reaching out to you.
    God is inexhaustible

    How can I believe in something I don’t believe in?

    Even though God’s handiwork is all around you for proof, including the amazing complexities of the human body. He will show you. Just ask Him, have you ever thought of that, just ask Him? He’ll do the rest! Just say the sinners prayer and just watch as the Holy Spirit moves in and reveals Himself.

    Jeffrey

  11. I'll bite... says:

    Wow to be first after Jeffery… its like staring into an abyss and a puddle at the same time. Remarkable ability to boil a complex discussion into a cliche. Touche jeffy boy.

    God exists for two reasons because of our consciousness and the anthropic principle. Humans have overlaid their own minds to create some definition of god. Anthripic because since we find ourself existing we believe that any ultimate “answer” to everything must involve us right now.

    Not exactlly a definition in fact you will never get a common definition. Jeffery above is clear evidence of the narrow position of a single mind and an inclination to disregard all other thoughts of what “god” may be. Because they have been given a devine lobotomy. AKA the bliss of ignorance.

    I am glad that Jeffy graced us with this drivel because we can clearly see the poetic pleas of a faith in “god” and how they pale if subjected to the rigours of the scientific method. This clear deliniation between science and leaving little to no room for “god”. That all the claims tht Jeff made were not testable in any way and merely exist in his mind.

    If we are to go down the route of god or no god, I would first propose an argument to the effect… or an argument for the existence of god…

    since everything in the universe can be described by mathematics, mathematics is a mental exercise, therefore the universe is the creation of a mind.

    now I’m bored…

    • Jeffrey says:

      A wonderful teacher (Steve Brown) once told me: When you have truth you have God there. For example, when you have a math problem however big or small, for instance 1+1=2, that’s truth-that’s God there. I’ll not boast here nor take any credit for my comments, because I know everything I know has been learned or revealed to me. But be careful I’ll Bite, because you see.. I’ll not even take credit for the next statement: C.S. Lewis once said…like a math problem it always seems like you have the right answer until you get to the end.
      We all will have a part in eternity.

      Best Regards,
      Jeffrey

      • Scott says:

        What if your initial statement “When you have truth you have God there.” is false? Then what? Your thought process here is based on beliefs, not facts. Because you believe in God, that statement can be true for you and all others who believe. For us skeptics or non-believers, it is laughable.

  12. Norse Pantheon says:

    Well…

    So everything is the creation of a mind. Thanks for that revelation. To which singular “a mind” do you refer?

    Us laymen (not all inclusive, but, show off if you must) have some idea about biology’s encroachment into the philosopher’s domain.

    I think there has to be some sense that…well…the discussion, the notions, have no atmosphere of exclusion.

    I’ll bite failed. And Jeffrey failed. And I don’t have the answer.

  13. john says:

    Two reasons i believe god exists

    1. When athiests get mad the first thing they do is blame god

    2. Even if he did not exist before man he does now, becouse if god was not real before we invented him. At the least he is a thought and thoughts are very real and can drive people to do things.

  14. David says:

    @John. Please tell us that your post is a joke, meant to get responses such as what I am doing right now.
    Where do you get your evidence for reason #1? I am an atheist and when I get mad, blaming god isn’t the first thing I do. Or the 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th, or …….or 999th, or 1000th, or …….

    Reason 2: so any thought any person has makes it a reality? PLEASE, tell me your post is a joke!!!

  15. George Capehart says:

    @Jeffrey,

    1. God is omnipotent.
    2. God is omniscient.
    3. God is omnipresent.
    4. God is good all the time.

    Sorry, Jeff. Pick three of the four. Can’t have all four. You’ve run slap into the Problem of Evil, among other things . . .

  16. naga says:

    God as an object predicated to a subject, a know-er or believer, is what is/will be debated. Reconciliation is possible once It is taken to be the
    ultimate Subject that supports all objects (read, thoughts) both from within/without, Itself not affected by the process(es).

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Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall, M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods. The lectures each range from 32 to 45 minutes.

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Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

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The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

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Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and why do they tend to proliferate? Why does belief in one conspiracy correlate to belief in others? What are the triggers of belief, and how does group identity factor into it? How can one tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

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The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Do you know someone who has had a mind altering experience? If so, you know how compelling they can be. They are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

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Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

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Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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