SCIENCE VS RELIGION

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Duane
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Postby Duane » Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:01 pm

Hmmm. Some are able to access the link; others aren't. Does the stated article, then, really exist?

Cosmic.

Perhaps Dawkins can write a book about it.

ps. I plan to remain neutral and NOT click on it, thus avoiding this whole thorny "the article exists / the article does not exist" debate altogether. This defines me as "open minded", I suppose.

pss. The link works fine. DAMN!! DOES THIS MEAN I'M ALIGNED POLITICALLY WITH ALL THE OTHERS WHO WERE ABLE TO VIEW THE ARTICLE???

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Postby Moderator » Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:08 pm

K. Let's try it this way:

I'm on a PC behind my company's firewall.

Are those who can see it a) on Macs, or b) outside a firewall, or c) both of the above, or d) none of the above?
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Duane
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Postby Duane » Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:17 pm

Hmmm. Let me consult the Holy Manual and ponder about it in a grove of trees for a while. Perhaps an IT professional will appear before me and.... ok, that's getting old.

I'm on a PC behind a corporate firewall, but I don't think that's the issue. You may need to clear out your internet explorer cache, since you may have accessed an article with a similar number that no longer exists. If you're on a Mac, you PROBABLY aren't using internet explorer, so it's beyond my limited understanding. Want me to PM a text copy to you?

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Postby Moderator » Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:51 pm

Thanks Duane, but having never accessed msnbc.msn.com from the office before I don't think it's a caching issue. I'm now at home and using a Mac, so...

Speaking of which, you all missed an interesting exchange on a radio call-in show this afternoon. Here in LA the local Air America affiliate runs a number of other programs to complement the network feed (Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz) -- and in afternoon Drive-Time they have a local call in show with Marc Germain (Mr. K, formerly Mr KABC).

It seems that there is yet another lawsuit -- this time in Florida -- to have books banned in a school district. Usual suspects: pornography, abortion, satanism, homosexuality and the like. From the High School libraries, it should be pointed out. Among the listed titles were The Cider House Rules and "Medical Ethics".

The complainant -- a very nice articulate woman who insisted that "children" of 16, 17, and 18 years of age "shouldn't be reading this sort of pornography". It might turn them gay, or into abortion doctors (I am not making this up). Her sole notated resource: the Bible.

Dhe also cited scripture abut stoning adulters (she thought it a bad idea), and the 6,000 year old Earth, etc.

Referencing that, Marc pointed out that recent news reports announced the discovery of a 40,000 year old wooly mammoth, but the woman was undeterred: "Do you believe everything you see on tv?"

Marc asked her what references she had to prove the 6,000 year old Earth -- the Bible.

Marc asked whether the sun orbitted the Earth, or vice versa. The woman, now getting testy, said "of course the Earth goes around the sun".

Marc asked her how she knew. "The scientists proved it."

"But if those same scientists said the Earth is older than 6,000 years...."

"They'd be wrong."

...

It went downhill from there. She really didn't like that line of questioning, and got very defensive.

But it did make for damned good radio.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:39 am

Thanks for that Steve. Wonderful. I've had a few of those "down the rabbit hole" conversations with family and friends back home as well.

Of course they're the same people who think the Pope is damned cause he belongs to the "wrong" church instead of the one true "real" church (Southern Baptist in case you wondered).

But shhhhh don't tell him, it'll make him sad.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Postby Moderator » Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:57 am

Actually, Ezra, I believe the Pope recently "clarified" that Protestant religions were not the one true path.

"Protestant churches this week reacted with dismay to a new declaration approved by Pope Benedict XVI insisting they are mere "ecclesial communities" and their ministers effectively phonies with no right to give communion."

http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?ar ... rnational/
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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:04 pm

They shouldn't give communion to Harry Potter fans. Hoho.

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Postby Ezra Lb. » Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:04 pm

Interesting discussion from BBC 4 radio show Beyond Belief with guest British philosopher A. C. Grayling (among others) discussing relevant issues.

http://www.richarddawkins.net/article,1 ... BC-Radio-4
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:16 pm

Hitchens is still number two on the NY Times Bestseller list. This is the weirdest thing I have ever seen. Who in the hell is buying the books? America does religion like Wendy's does grease. Saying God is not great is like saying the troops suck, especially here. There's hope, I tell ya. Too bad it had to be Hitchens--anyone but him.

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The Happy Heathens

Postby LarryF » Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:50 pm

It is odd to see all these atheist books riding so high for so long on the bestseller lists. Maybe there are more heathens out there in God's favorite country than I thought.

Frank, my view of Hitchens is that he fucked up royally in going over to the Dark Side and supporting the invasion of Iraq. That said, he did do a great and good thing in writing The Missionary Position, which exposed Mother Teresa for what she was: a shill for the Powers That Be, and a sadistic old bat who got four-star healthcare for herself while letting the poor and dying wretches in her care languish in pain and suffering. And one more thing: she thought birth control was murder. (Sorry about the rant, but the old geezer conned me too, for a while.) Then he wrote God Is Not Great, for which I am grateful. So, that's two good marks and one very bad one.

Oh yeah: shortly after Rev. Falwell croaked, Hitchens was massively rude about the fallen saint. Outraged everyone at Fox News. But he still didn't slam ol' Jer quite as hard as Harlan has at various times and sundry places.

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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:18 am

Frank asked

Hitchens is still number two on the NY Times Bestseller list. This is the weirdest thing I have ever seen. Who in the hell is buying the books?

Well people like me who are sick of "faith based" reality. But I wouldn't worry too much. To be a hardback bestseller in this country requires, say, sales of maybe 250,000 at the outside. There are upwards of 300 MILLION people in this Christ haunted land.

Look Frank, about Hitchens...

You seem to think that people are either totally right about everything or totally wrong about everything. In "reality based" reality, people can be right aboout some things and wrong about others.

People like Hitchens and Paul Berman tried to make an ethical leftish case for going to war with Saddam. The fact that you or I might disagree doesn't mean that these gentlemen are possessed of the devil.

My favorite part of Hitchen's output actually, aside from his sceptical writings, is his literary criticism, which is always first rate.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:31 am

Ezra Lb. wrote:Frank asked

Hitchens is still number two on the NY Times Bestseller list. This is the weirdest thing I have ever seen. Who in the hell is buying the books?

Well people like me who are sick of "faith based" reality. But I wouldn't worry too much. To be a hardback bestseller in this country requires, say, sales of maybe 250,000 at the outside. There are upwards of 300 MILLION people in this Christ haunted land.



It's long been acknowledged that if the New York Times actually included popular romance novels in their figures, the bestseller list would be dominated by them.

It wouldn't surprise me if some of the books put out by independent Christian publishers may occasionally outsell some of the lower rungs of the NY Times list. It's not a terribly inclusive survey.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:40 pm

Paul Berman is a shitheel.

"The reason Noam Chomsky is not invited on CNN is because he is a crank."

Yea, Berman is a genius. Sharpens his knife.

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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:21 pm

Frank sez

Paul Berman is a shitheel.

No he's not.



From the Wall St Journal...

Summer beach-reading season is just beginning, and already several books have broken out from the pack, such as Walter Isaacson's biography of Albert Einstein, and Conn and Hal Iggulden's "The Dangerous Book for Boys."

But the biggest surprise is a blazing attack on God and religion that is flying off bookshelves, even in the Bible Belt. "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything," by Christopher Hitchens, wasn't expected to be a blockbuster. Its publisher, Twelve, a fledgling imprint owned by France's Lagardère SCA, initially printed a modest 40,000 copies. Today, seven weeks after the book went on sale, there are 296,000 copies in print. Demand has been so strong that booksellers and wholesalers were unable to get copies a short time after it hit stores, creating what the publishing industry calls a "dark week." One experienced publishing veteran suggests that Mr. Hitchens will likely earn more than $1 million on this book.


and

...Bertelsmann AG's Alfred Knopf had a surprise hit with Sam Harris's "Letter to a Christian Nation," which questioned whether the Bible is the work of God, and Houghton Mifflin Co., a unit of Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep Group PLC, successfully published "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. Today there are 500,000 hardcover copies of Mr. Dawkins's book in print, and 185,000 hardcover copies of Mr. Harris's book in print.

Extremely successful harcover sales figures. But once again remember there are upwards of 300 million people in this country.

As a naturalist and a skeptic I would love to believe the tide is turning but I must be realistic. I applaud their success and congratulate these authors on so powerfully entering the national conversation (such as it is), but let's get real.

Credulity and ignorance still run rampant. The fight continues.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Postby Quester » Mon Jul 30, 2007 1:22 pm

Atheism is unscientific. In order to be confidently atheist you would require knowledge that no human can have.


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