"The meaning of the world is the separation of wish and fact." - KURT GÖDEL
"According to Peirce's doctrine of fallibilism, the conclusions of science are always tentative. The rationality of the scientific method does not depend on the certainty of its conclusions, but on its self-corrective character: by continued application of the method science can detect and correct its own mistakes, and thus eventually lead to the discovery of truth".
A guiding principle for accepting claims of catastrophic global events, miracles, incredible healing, invisible friends, or fill in the blank is:
“extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” - Carl Sagan
"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable." - H. L. Mencken
I would add irrational and highly delusional to the mix when faith requires one to accept magical violations of the well known, well tested or easily demonstrated laws of Nature. - PWL
"Science is Progress and the Future. Faith is regression to the Dark Ages." - PWL
“It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.” - Carl Sagan
"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan
"Two important characteristics of maps should be noticed. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness." - Alfred Korzybski
"Science is a search for basic truths about the Universe, a search which develops statements that appear to describe how the Universe works, but which are subject to correction, revision, adjustment, or even outright rejection, upon the presentation of better or conflicting evidence." - James Randi
"Hypotheses are nets: only he who casts will catch." - Novalis
"Nullius in verba. Take no one's word for it." - Motto of the Royal Society
"I'm trying to find out NOT how Nature could be, but how Nature IS." - Richard Feynman
"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." - Thomas Henry Huxley
“A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.” Albert Einstein
"Science is empirical. Knowing the answer means nothing. Testing your knowledge means everything." - Lawrence Krauss
"Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism - and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency." - Stephen Jay Gould
"Science is best defined as a careful, disciplined, logical search for knowledge about any and all aspects of the universe, obtained by examination of the best available evidence and always subject to correction and improvement upon discovery of better evidence. What's left is magic. And it doesn't work." - James Randi
Thank you Christopher Hitchens for your incredible and erudite explanations of the pure evil of all forms of religion. You’ve made an amazing positive difference in the world. Focus on healing. You deserve to live life to it’s maximum potential even as you’ve burned the candle at both ends. Get well now!
By DAN BARKER – FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION
Added: Tuesday, 24 August 2010 at 7:26 AM
Rev. Marion “Pat” Robertson August 23, 2010 The Christian Broadcasting Network 977 Centerville Turnpike Virginia Beach VA 23463
Dear Rev. Robertson,
On behalf of our organization’s more than 16,000 members nationwide, and representing millions of atheists and agnostics, I am writing to protest your inflammatory and slanderous hate speech against nonbelievers, specifically your advice that no Christian should marry an atheist. During a program aired last year on the Christian Broadcast Network that has been recently rebroadcast, a woman with an atheist fiancé asked, “How do you think we can interact with each other peacefully when it comes to spiritual matters?” You responded unpeaceably:
I’m sure this is a nice guy, and you like him a lot, but the bible says, “What fellowship hath Christ with Belial?” There is no fellowship between an atheist and somebody who is a believer in God. . . . I hate to tell you, you’ve got to go find somebody else. . . . I mean, he’s gonna be serving the Devil and you’re gonna be serving God. It’s just that simple.
That remark is a blanket prejudicial smear against the character of all nonbelievers. If you had said the same thing about other minority groups — such as the recent controversy caused by Laura Schlessinger’s thoughtless use of the N-word on her show, suggesting to a caller that she should not have married “outside your race” — the country would be demanding your resignation, asking affiliates to cancel your show and calling on viewers to boycott your extremist, intolerant program. If you had told the woman to break up with a Jewish fiancé because Jews are “reprobate, dissolute and uncouth” (which is what “Belial” means), you would be properly branded an anti-Semite. If you had told her to dump her African-American fiancé because blacks are “worthless and useless” (which is also what “Belial” means), you would be quickly exposed as a racist. Likewise, labeling the entire class of nonbelievers as “demonic and evil,” and as the Devil itself (the meaning of “Belial” in the verse you misquoted), is equally abhorrent. Read the rest of this entry »
Stephen Wolfram proves with his New Kind of Science that certain systems generate randomness from within the system – no outside randomness needed, no randomness in initial conditions needed. The system itself generates randomness thus making it unpredictable as a first principle of science. Oh, and these systems can be incredibly simple and yet generate inherent randomness from within the systems. Let that sink in. Read the rest of this entry »
“Adnan Oktar (born Ankara, February 2, 1956), also known by his pen name, Harun Yahya, is a Turkish proponent of Islamic creationism, anti-Zionism, and, more particularly, supports Old Earth creationism. Oktar denounces Zionism as racism and Freemasonry, and Darwinism as the source of terrorism. He has created controversies in the past few years by sending out thousands of unsolicited texts advocating Islam and creationism to schools and colleges in several European countries and USA. Oktar had defended his views by litigation; he is responsible for the blocking of numerous, high-profile Web sites in Turkey. Read the rest of this entry »
”Faith is belief in the absence of evidence, science is belief in the presence of evidence.” ‘When the evidence disagrees with a scientific proposition, the proposition is discarded. When the evidence disagrees with a religious proposition, the evidence is thrown out’. – Victor J. Stenger
I work to eliminate belief and faith from my life, now I’m not talking about the “belief” that I left my car parked in it’s spot and whether or not it’s still there, I know I left it there but it’s possible that it is no longer there for a variety of reasons all possible within the known limits of objective reality. I’m talking about the kind of belief and faith that asserts “truths” or “facts” or “aspects” of the objective reality of Nature, about the very nature of Nature itself without any evidence to stand on. That is the kind of belief and faith that is the most pernicious and dangerous. I prefer knowledge that can be verified or proven with hard evidence or even better, proven with experiment done by yourself.
The problem is that the word “belief” has SO many meanings and people often don’t mean the same thing by the word. In addition when talking with “believers” it’s a huge pile of dogma that you’re taking about when you use the word “belief”, it’s not just one belief.
The point Stegner is making is which determines what you accept as real, the faith based beliefs and dogma, or the hard evidence? If the beliefs and dogma determine what is real, that is religion, that is highly dangerous, that is what leads to delusions. If the evidence determines what is real that is science, that is rationality, that is being connected with the objective reality of Nature where we actually exist.
Of course it all hinges on what the evidence is. There is good evidence and then there is bad evidence and faulty proofs. Read the rest of this entry »