Finally, my view is represented! And wait, a better point from this project: You don't actually need to know the answer to something to make good decisions about it! This applies to many areas, and it is a mark of an intelligent person to be able to see these features in a given area without even knowing much about that area.
I am speaking very liberally and it is probably unwise of me to do so, but here is a more concrete example: I was asked by several people about the possibility that the Large Hadron Collider might create a blackhole that would then destroy the Earth. I explained that it seemed highly unlikely, than I gave my arguments, which are mainly: physicists are not reckless people (we don't want to risk our existence any more than the average person, maybe even less so), and nature very frequently produces much higher energies, which we would expect to display these very visible events more often on the cosmic stage. In one instance, (speaking to my friend/coworker, Matt, at lunch), I made the mistake of bringing up the Manhattan project, and how some physicists were concerned with igniting the atmosphere and destroying the Earth. Turns out there is a paper that showed it was not a reasonable concern. But again, without me personally being able to make a decision (i.e., do the required calculations), I still felt confident that I could claim it was unlikely. Why? Because again, physicists, whether 1940s physicists or 2000s physicists, are not reckless people. And additionally, the universe generates some very high energy events that humans can not reproduce (without inconceivably orchestrated efforts), such as large comet impacts. In the case of the atomic bomb igniting the atmosphere, we now know (though they didn't in 1940), that very large impact events have occurred on the Earth, releasing billions of times as much energy as an atomic bomb. Since the Earth's atmosphere seems to have large quantities of nitrogen following those events, it seems unreasonable that a man-made device will somehow trigger a catastrophic reaction of Earth's nitrogen.
LESS INVASIONS! MORE EQUATIONS!
t-shirt of Russell & Whitehead's proof of 1+1=2
"Every single scientific statement carries with it some sort of estimate of how big the uncertainty is."
The relationship between scientific thinking and humility, was I born with a natural humility? Maybe I'm just shy.
Oh right, I want to watch all of this.
and this is funny.
What I like about Chris Rock is that he is always happy sounding. He has a contagious laugh.
I heard they put uppers in his embalming fluid (joke about McCain).
Is it just me, or is it somewhat surreal to see that people have gone through so much trouble to set and break records that utterly waste food. Granted I'm sure it's not that much food, and it's not very healthy food, still. Aren't there thousands of people dying of dehydration right now? I know sending them diet Coke would be insult to injury, but still, what went into making or purchasing the drink?
The next link lead to this one.
Exactly. Though he's kind of annoying sounding. But good points.
I don't think I watched this.
A small explosion? Impressive!
One of the biggest hurdles in talking about the origin of life is, I think, clearly defining life. The difficulty is that as scientists we conceive of a continuous spectrum of structures all the way from non-life to life, meaning that the definition is arbitrary, and the exact origin of life is as much a problem of the heap as it is the actual scientific question of the specific sequence of mechanical constructs that led from non-life to life.
It's really hard for me to remember that a girl could like me as much as I like her. And my experience has not helped me overcome that difficulty much.
Science teaches you that certainty isn't. You begin to realize that the notion of certainty was born to human language long before the idea it represented could be fully verified, which ultimately it couldn't be (the whole point). Science teaches you to always be open to the possibility that new evidence will prove you wrong, on whatever it was you thought you couldn't be wrong about. Religion, and tradition in general, contradict this principle outright, by claiming to know the truth. Inevitably this results in religion looking silly over longer periods of time, during which new evidence often makes old ideas begin to appear so obviously outdated that it becomes very embarrassing to deny the new view.
Well, at least I'm not making excuses for all the excuses I've made. Unless this is me doing that?
What a minute, what are we thinking? Let's just make a religion in which gay marriage is a basic tenet? Listen, either marriage is, or is not a religious deal. If it is, then the government shouldn't get involved with it, which includes all the various policy benefits. If it isn't, then at best it should apply to homosexual couples, and at worst it should have a completely analogous counter part which by definition would be marriage for homosexual couples.
Lean your head back. Try and relax. Hold on.
Initiate a cycle no one but you can stop.
"Spare me your space aged technobabble, Attilla the Hun."
"If you want to saw off the end of your penis, you're welcome. (laughter) You're not to do it to a child who hasn't asked for it. Same with the genitals of a little girl. If she thinks later on she'd be better off without them, let her take, or have taken to her, a sharp instrument. If it proves that it's good for AIDS - it might well be, I've heard that it's said to be good for cervical cancer - let it be decided by the grown-up. It is not right, it is not moral, it is in fact wicked, to submit children to the mutilation of their genitalia, or to anyone without consent. (applause. Hitchens bangs podium) Do you understand that this elementary point only needs to be made because of wickedness enjoined by religion. The rabbi here's a fairly humane guy. He wouldn't - if he didn't think God was involved - ever consider mutilating the genitals of a child, but because it's a covenant with God, anything can be done. (laughter), Now don't you see - you laugh, but you should be crying. (laughter) I said crying! (laughter) Okay, suit yourself. (laughter)"
-Christopher Hitchens debating with Rabbi Schmuley Boteach
, January 30, 2008 [Youtube, 42' 30"]
I am confident that Hitchens was in fact not joking, and though his effort to convey his seriousness was laughed at, was nothing other than serious.
With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
Ah, yes, tradition. The finest way of making decisions in the world, even the dead get their say.
"irate_atheist" writing at RichardDawkins.net, October 23, 2007
Picking up the pieces.
You meant a lot to me. More than you know. And I just want to thank you for that.
Damn, I wish I was your lover.
I had a dream I was your hero.
You're a GOD, don't you forget it.
Join us. Join us or fuck you.
Tie you to the murphy bed.
Roll over to me.
And I have stopped drinking. And smoking. And eating. And breathing.
Can I tell you how beautiful you are? Is that okay?
"It's so great that you can't remember pain."
"Remember what FDR said, 'we have nothing to fear, but another great depression'".
I think I should do something great. So why haven't I?
And where are you?
And where am I.
And why does any of that affect me still?
What monstrous things has thinking brought about?
What monstrous things has thinking overcome.