SCIENCE VS RELIGION

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

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:16 am

uses names and places that do exist

Jehova will be glad to hear this.

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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:26 am

My reply to the "argument from biblical archeology" has always been, well would you convert to Buddhism or Islam just because their sacred texts refer to actual historical places?

Steve Evil is correct. All pre-scientific cultures have their creation stories. The Genesis version(s) are variants of common semitic stories found all over the middle east. The garden of Eden was called Dilmun in babylonian myths. Noah was named Utnapishtim in Sumeria.

Genesis is not lousy science, it's not science at all. What it is, is beautiful stunning poetry containing some great stories.

If I may let me recommend Robert Alter's modern english translation of Genesis. It's worth it just for the notes on some of the more disputed passages. For instance, Christians assume that the serpent in the garden is Satan come to tempt Adam & Eve into sin. But that's not what it meant to the ancient Hebrews at all.

http://www.amazon.com/Genesis-Translati ... 076&sr=1-1

Imagine starting your college class on Homer by arguing whether the Iliad or the Odyssey actually happened!
“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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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:28 pm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7232661.stm

my god the mind reels...

The principle of seperation of church (or mosque in another context) and state was not an afterthought on the minds of our founders. It was and remains the foundation of liberty. Any crack in that wall, however slight, is an attack on that liberty.

These religious sons of bitches will sell us all down the river if given half a chance.
“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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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:34 am

File this under "You thought you were living in the 21st Century didn't you?" department...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7244579.stm


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/preps/351219_ref14.html


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... lam403.xml

http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe ... t_returns/

All you politically correct multiculturists out there take note no discrimination between different brands of religious lunacy exists here!

You know maybe we could get the Polish exorcist to cast the Muslim demon out of the Saudi witch. No I'm not laughing either.
“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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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:06 am

“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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Chuck Messer
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Postby Chuck Messer » Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:59 pm

Which bolsters my own impression that the Earth is one big spherical looney bin, and there are no doctors.
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:05 pm

Quick story about using subversive tactics to get evolution "thru the doors":

The other night I was with my ex-girlfriend, her friend, Monica, and Monica's 4-year-old daughter, Skylar.

Skyler has a very high IQ. She's inquisitive and articulate. I got a lotta kicks talking and joking around with her.

While we were all carousing, the tv was airing children's educational cartoons (this was around 9pm Saturday). One of these shows featured fish characters talking in broken syllables while goin' about in the water.

Skyler asks her mom, "how do fish live in water?"

Her mom replies, simply: "Because God made them that way".

That was it. God made them that way. Period. Dead silence follows. Skyler gave no response.

I winced, man. I kept my mouth shut, and that's saying a LOT - because WUZ a time I'd be steppin' out of line tellin' her mom what she SHOULD be tellin her own kid.

Instead, when her mom and my ex left the room, I told Skylar about adaptation and evolution; how different forms of life are designed to breath and thrive in their own environment. And how the gills of fish allow them to breath in water as we have lungs that allow us to breath air. And that these features developed over a "loooooooong" period of time (she doesn't know yet what "millions" or "billions" are in her counting system). I told her that constant change is a law of nature and she'll learn about it as she gets older.

And that's all I told her. I mentioned nothing about God. Nothing about the religious stuff her mom was her on.

I HAD to say something, though. It seemed like SUCH a waste of a bright mind to deprive her of knowledge, simply leaving her with a popped bubble like "God made 'em that way". That's what I can't stand by religion - and I don't care WHAT faith we're talking about. It deprives people of knowledge - hanging it's head on blind gospel - locking minds in provincialism and ignorance.

I bright kid like Skylar deserves more than that.

BTW, her eyes lit up with interest when I told her about the basis of evolution. She seemed to understand now why fish could thrive in water.

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:36 pm

Infidel.

Blasphemer.





Be fruitful and multiply.
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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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:13 am

...and...LLLLLLLUVING it!

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:21 pm

You guys should check out this debate between Hitchens and Shmuley Boteach, that idiot right wing Rabbi. His points about why God exist are weak tea at best. Sure, Hitchens takes the atheist thing to far, but Boteach said with a straight face that the Jews are against murder. Has he read the old testament? Losta God ordered murder there. Sorry, when God orders it then it is justified, I forgot. Even the blessed babies god killed under this swell God's orders.

He also said that belief in God gives you joy and a sense of belonging, that you cannot have that wite non belief. Isaac Asimov seemed like a pretty joyful guy to me, so did Carl Sagan.

Hitchens we know is a crumb, that doesn't mean he is the typical atheist, even though I believe in God myself. Long story.

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:07 pm

Frank,

Rent the film "Touching The Void", and listen to it carefully. The man had no need for made-up beings to survive.

Belief, however - in the sense, "whatever works for that individual" - isn't so much the tract here. It's the condition of supplanting knowledge with this cognitive equivalent of a soap bubble. You're gonna tell your 4-year-old there's a "God"? Fine. But don't deprive her of knowledge when she has such an inquisitive mind.

Not everyone who happens to BE religious does this. Unfortunately, there are TOO many who DO!

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:48 pm

Isn't that a porn film?

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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:15 pm

robochrist, excellent post on 2/19.

Watching religious parents kill the natural curiousity and capacity for wonder in their children is one of life's great tragedies. I'm not sure I don't agree with Prof Dawkins that it comes dang close to child abuse.


Frank sez

Hitchens we know is a crumb, that doesn't mean he is the typical atheist...

No WE don't agree that Hitchens is a crumb. I admire much of his writing (especially his literary criticism) while disagreeing with some of his opinions (like the war). I've met him (he lives here) and talked with him and believe me Frank old buddy you wouldn't last five minutes if you crossed swords with him in verbal combat.

And what the hell is a "typical atheist" pray tell?
“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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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:38 pm

Ezra,

"Watching religious parents kill the natural curiousity and capacity for wonder in their children is one of life's great tragedies"

Yep. Absolutely!

I'm just glad this kid was bright enough to listen.

And, Ezra, as one Atheist to another, may no God ever bless you!

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Duane
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Postby Duane » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:08 pm

>> may no God ever bless you! <<

I dare you to say that the next time someone sneezes!


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