“If you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomena of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that - and there is nothing wrong with you at all.”—Alan Watts (via whats-out-there)
Metabolic processes that underpin life on Earth have arisen spontaneously outside of cells. The serendipitous finding that metabolism – the cascade of reactions in all cells that provides them with the raw materials they need to survive – can happen in such simple conditions provides fresh insights into how the first life formed. It also suggests that the complex processes needed for life may have surprisingly humble origins.
"People have said that these pathways look so complex they couldn’t form by environmental chemistry alone," says Markus Ralser at the University of Cambridge who supervised the research.
But his findings suggest that many of these reactions could have occurred spontaneously in Earth’s early oceans, catalysed by metal ions rather than the enzymes that drive them in cells today.
The origin of metabolism is a major gap in our understanding of the emergence of life. “If you look at many different organisms from around the world, this network of reactions always looks very similar, suggesting that it must have come into place very early on in evolution, but no one knew precisely when or how,” says Ralser.
“In fact men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth – often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable”—Hypatia of Alexandria
I am a computer technician and in my day to day work, I have to communicate with people on a regular basis via phone or chat.
I was just speaking with a woman who near the end of our call asked me if I was a Christian. I told her that due to work place policies, I was not able to discuss that and would need to end the conversation. She cut me off and started telling me that Jesus loves me and that he died for my sins and what not. It upset me. Not because she told me that Jesus loves me, which as any Atheist can attest, is something we’ve all heard countless times, but because I stepped back and thought about this scenario.
I realized that Christians are the only people who push their beliefs on people in the manner. I’ve never once heard someone who practices Judaism say, “Hey, are you Jewish? No? Well just so you know, Jesus wasn’t the son of God and as such should not be worshiped or adored. If you continue to do so, you will never experience salvation since you are worshiping a false God.”. Better yet, you NEVER hear an Atheist say “Are you religious? Oh you are? Well just so you know, there is no God. Nothing happens when you die. Everything you believe is a lie and nobody in the sky loves and watches over you.”.
It just really blew my mind because I’ve never thought of this scenario in that way. And that is what upset me. That Christians can spew their beliefs on to anyone and everyone they come across and make them fell uncomfortable, but nobody else does or would. I feel like Christianity is the USA of religions. They can say whatever they want because they feel like they are right and everyone else is wrong. And since I have dated a Christian, whose favorite movie was Jurassic Park but only for the action because dinosaurs never existed(yes, she said this to me), they believe that they are right and everyone else is wrong and will be proven wrong when they die. This is also the same group of people who, in a very un-christ-like manner, condemn and chastise people who do not believe that Jesus Christ died for our since and rose from the dead and all that stuff and who do not follow the writing of a 5000 year old book written in a dead language.
The whole thing boggled my mind and I had to vent a bit and share my thoughts. Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this and thanks for any feedback or comments.
Making a career out of ripping people off takes a special kind of asshole. But to make a career out of defrauding the general public, get exposed as a fraud, and then keep right on defrauding people as if nothing ever happened takes a special kind of asshole with balls of industrial steel. Either that, or a sociopathic lack of self-awareness. Here are five people who just can’t stop making shit up (and are inexplicably rewarded for it).
A Facebook friend of mine posted this story this morning:
"I have learned the God often uses things that annoy me to teach me to give thanks. Today I got cut off by a woman coming out of a gas station driving a Honda Civic. While I was stewing about rude drivers, she went through the next green light and was slammed into (tboned) by a teenager in a huge pick-up truck running a red light. I stopped to make sure she was ok and she had a badly broken arm and was bleeding but otherwise would be ok. I am sad she was hurt, but I couldn’t help but be thankful to God that she cut me off or that would have been me."
Really? God punished her for cutting you off? Or god protects you and is pretty much okay with fucking over other people? WTF??
What was even more appalling was the comments she got — mostly of the “praise god” and “amen” sort. One said, “I guess she ran over her own guardian angel when she cut you off, lol!”
What kind of people think this way? I’m not even referring to their theism — that’s obvious — but that they think the deity that they call “loving and all-forgiving” on the one hand is simultaneously petty, vicious, vengeful, and full of malice.
“In the Old Canaanite religion, Baal had married the soil and the people had celebrated this with ritual orgies, but Hosea insisted that since the covenant, Yahweh had taken the place of Baal and had wedded the people of Israel.
They had to understand that it was Yahweh, not Baal, who would bring fertility to the soil.
He was still wooing Israel like a lover, determined to lure her back from the Baals who had seduced her:”
…“I will take the names of the Baals off her lips”…
-Excerpt From: Armstrong, Karen. “History of God.” Ballantine Books, 2011-06-08. iBooks.
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1. We like to think of romantic feelings as spontaneous and indescribable things that come from the heart. But it’s actually your brain running a complex series of calculations within a matter of seconds that’s responsible for determining attraction.
2. Playing an instrument is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout. As you play, your brain simultaneously processes different information in intricate, interrelated, and astonishingly fast sequences.
4. As we grow, we install pain detectors in most areas of our body. Just like all nerve cells, these detectors conduct electrical signals, sending information from wherever they’re located back to your brain. But, unlike other nerve cells, nociceptors only fire if something happens that could cause or is causing damage.
Okay, I understand the point you were trying to make in your celibacy post, but it came off as kind of offensive to asexuals. I realise you probably didn't mean it that way, but that's how it came off. Also, celibacy is a choice, not an orientation
For the life of me, I don’t know which post you are referring to. I can’t remember writing or sharing anything regarding celibacy.
“All science asks is to employ the same levels of skepticism we use in buying a used car or in judging the quality of analgesics or beer from their television commercials.”—Carl Sagan (via whats-out-there)
“What else do you call it when someone knows nothing about science and thinks they can blather on and on about it anyway? What do you call it when someone refuses to change their beliefs when faced with evidence? What do you call it when they try to tell us there’s some nonexistent “controversy” to be debated? What do you call it when they think their own intuition and baseless conjecture are more reliable than any research? And what do you call it when they don’t even care that this lack of acceptance makes life so much worse for trans people? I sure wouldn’t call that a secular value.
How is believing I’m a woman any different from believing in God? Really? Here’s a question: How is believing that transitioning is “mutilation” any different from believing that vaccines cause brain damage? How is believing that trans people have an unfair advantage in sports any different from believing the earth is 6,000 years old? How is believing in an epidemic of transgender rapists any different from believing in “irreducible complexity”? And how is believing that trans people are “deluded” any different from believing that atheists are just angry at God?
Sorry, but you’re not Neil deGrasse Tyson giving a science lesson to middle America. You’re Ken Ham telling an audience of faithfully ignorant sycophants how Adam and Eve rode around on a T. rex. Science and observation and reality should matter to everyone, and I hope they matter to you. But if you’re leaving out the science, the observation, and the reality, you suck at being a skeptic.”—Atheist transphobia: Superstition over science » Zinnia Jones (via brutereason)
On any social media website there is no shortage of sensational science headlines, old, recycled urban myths and rumors and flat out lies being spread around without any questions or critical thought from the people perpetuating them.
The 10,000 hour rule—first proposed by a Swedish psychologist and later made famous in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers—states that exceptional expertise requires at least 10,000 hours of practice. The best of the best (the Beatles, Bill Gates) all amassed more than 10,000 hours of practice before rising to the top, Gladwell argued. So greatness is within virtually any person’s grasp, so long as they can put in the time to master their skill of choice.
A new meta-analysis, however, indicates that the 10,000 hour rule simply does not exist. As Brain’s Idea reports, authors of the new study undertook the largest literature survey on this subject to date, compiling the results of 88 scientific articles representing data from some 11,000 research participants. Practice, they found, on average explains just 12 percent of skill mastery and subsequent success. “In other words the 10,000-Hour rule is nonsense,” Brain’s Idea writes. “Stop believing in it. Sure, practice is important. But other factors (age? intelligence? talent?) appear to play a bigger role.”
While this is the largest study to date to arrive at this conclusion, it’s not the first. Soon after Outliers was published, experts began calling foul—including the expert who supposedly coined the rule, Anders Ericsson. As the Guardian pointed out in 2012:
There is nothing magical about the 10,000 figure, as Ericsson said recently, because the best group of musicians had accumulated an average, not a total, of over 10,000 hours by the age of twenty. In the world of classical music it seems that the winners of international competitions are those who have put in something like 25,000 hours of dedicated, solitary practice – that’s three hours of practice every day for more than 20 years.
Ericsson is also on record as emphasising that not just any old practice counts towards the 10,000-hour average. It has to be deliberate, dedicated time spent focusing on improvement.
So despite the new evidence that the 10,000 rule is bull, like the studies and articles that came before it, that message will likely fall on many deaf ears. The 10,000 hour rule seems to have entered into the common lore about success: it’s a nice idea, that hard work will actually pay off. And no peer-reviewed study has so far succeeded in toppling that catchy message.
I saw the video you posted with ISIS, and I just wanted to tell you that that is not Islam. Islam does not allow for killing people based on religion, and strictly tells us that it is our obligation to protect people of other religions and to not damage any places of prayer, even non-Muslim. ISIS is not muslim, it's an extremist religion. Don't let them make you look at the rest if Islam badly. What they are doing is disgusting and is in no way justified in Islam.
Well, they have their Islam and you have yours. As for the “true” Islam, that doesn’t exist. Every religious believer thinks they have the right view or they would have a different one. And maybe these actions are not justified in your Islam (and your fellow humans thank you for that), but their Quran contains verses such as these below which, meh- could go either way I suppose.
Quran (2:191-193) - And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief] is worse than killing
Quran (4:104) - And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…
Quran (8:12) - I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them
Quran (8:15) - O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.
Quran (9:5) - So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.
In a recent online video for Crossfire, CNN political pundit and self-proclaimed atheist S.E. Cupp claimed conservative atheists are “better” than liberal atheists, and said she does not believe the “myth” that conservatism is “hostile” to atheism. “In fact, I’d go so far as to say conservatism is far more intellectually honest and respectful of atheism than liberalism has been,” she said.
Cupp says she believes it is atheists who are disseminating “the idea that they are somehow disenfranchised or left out of the political process,” but that has not been her experience as a conservative.
Now, CNN is not Fox News, but she acts like she has never heard of the Republican Party’s media arm: Fox News.
For the past few years, Fox News and its right-wing talking heads have waged a relentless war on atheism. Their annual war on Christmas spoof-ganza is their reverse victimhood effort to convince viewers that America’s godless community is coming to take away your toys and your right to say, “Merry Christmas.” In other words, bah humbug.
Comparing atheists to Dr. Seuss’ Grinch is one thing, but on Wednesday Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck asserted that Christianity should be kept in schools because Islamic militants in Iraq were persecuting Christians. Ipso facto, atheists are as dangerous as al-Qaeda, which is exactly what they want their conservative audience to believe without Fox News having to actually say it.
After reading a select few comments from viewers who accused atheists of demanding to have more rights than Christians, Hasselbeck connected the situation to violence in Iraq. “You know, in light of what’s going on in the world and the persecution of Christians right now, how close do we want to get to eliminating religious freedom in the globe?” she asked.
It’s so accidently Orwellian it’s almost adorable. Or more likely she was reading from a script handed down to her from the string-pullers high above. The only way she could’ve been less subtle was if she said, “Some people say atheists are terrorists.”….
..On Fox News, Obama is coming for your guns; Madonna is coming for your straight kids; immigrants are coming for your jobs; liberals are coming for your way of life; and atheists are coming for your Bibles..
…Since atheists represent such a small percentage of the population, and an even smaller percentage of both the conservative base and the network’s audience, it’s a no-brainer to blame the decline of American civilization on atheists who wish to take away school prayer, rather than talk about problems whose solutions require a pro-government response i.e. safety nets, regulation, workers’ rights, and environmental protection.
Cleverly, Fox News conflates atheism with big government i.e. secular government officials want to take away your religious freedom. The narrative becomes: atheists are bad, the government is atheists, and therefore the government is not part of the solution, the government is the problem….
…the culture war descendants of those Puritans are feeling increasingly alienated and even persecuted in the society they once claimed as their own. They’re shifting to another favorite image from Scripture — that of the Babylonian exile, preparing, as the ancient Judeans did, to preserve their faith in a hostile world….
….Rampant secularism and widespread acceptance of sexual mores once deemed taboo, Trueman said, mean that “the Western public square is no longer a place where Christians feel they belong with any degree of comfort.”
Trueman was so convinced of that reality that he didn’t argue whether internal exile was an option. Instead, he wondered which form of Christianity was best equipped to survive this inevitable relocation.
His answer, perhaps not surprisingly, was that his own Reformed Protestantism was superior. That prompted a number of well-known Christian commentators to weigh in and champion their particular denomination…
…Yet others see all this talk as indulging in what Alan Noble called the “Evangelical Persecution Complex.” Writing this month in The Atlantic, Noble, an assistant professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University, defined that complex as the temptation “to interpret personal experiences and news events as signs of oppression, which are ostensibly validations of our commitment to Christ.”
In The Christian Century, the flagship magazine of liberal mainline Protestantism, Lutheran pastor Benjamin Dueholm also weighed in, echoing Noble’s criticism and calling the exile idea “a dubious and highly troubling premise” because it “trivializes” the experience of real exile, such as Christians and religious minorities who are suffering today in actual Babylon, or what we call Iraq.
“Nothing in the experience of white American Christianity bears the slightest resemblance (to that), and it is unlikely that anything will any time soon,” said Dueholm, associate pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in Wauconda, Ill. “We still enjoy a kind of wealth, prestige, institutional heft, political clout, and legal protection that would stupefy Jesus of Nazareth.”…
Afterword to Popular Mechanics magazine’s book, Debunking 9/11 Myths, by editor-in-chief James B. Meigs, analyzing the nature of conspiracies theories related to September 11.
…A common refrain in conspiracy circles is the claim that "We’re just asking questions." One would think that at least some quarters of the conspiracy movement might welcome a mainstream publication’s serious, nonideological attempt to answer those questions. One would be wrong…
…In a few short weeks, Popular Mechanics had gone from being a 100-year-old journal about science, engineering, car maintenance, and home improvement to being a pivotal player in a global conspiracy on a par with Nazi Germany…
…The 9/11 Truth Movement invariably describes the mainstream account of 9/11 as the “government version” or “the official version.” In fact, the generally accepted account of 9/11 is made up of a multitude of sources: thousands of newspaper, TV, and radio reports produced by journalists from all over the world; investigations conducted by independent organizations and institutions, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, Purdue University, Northwestern University, Columbia University, the National Fire Protection Association, and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.; eyewitness testimony from literally thousands of people; recordings and transcripts of phone calls, air traffic control transmissions, and other communications; thousands of photographs; thousands of feet of video footage; and, let’s not forget the words of Osama bin Laden, who discussed the operation in detail on more than one occasion, including in an audio recording released in May 2006 that said: “I am responsible for assigning the roles of the 19 brothers to conduct these conquests …”
The mainstream view of 9/11 is, in other words, a vast consensus. By presenting it instead as the product of a small coterie of insiders, conspiracists are able to ignore facts they find inconvenient and demonize people with whom they disagree….
“The mistaken belief that a handful of unexplained anomalies can undermine a well-established theory lies at the heart of all conspiratorial thinking (as well as creationism, Holocaust denial and the various crank theories of physics).”—Michael Shermer
People use this tactic when they want you to accept something that has no scientific evidence to support it. They try to convince you that there is a mechanism which justifies their claims. All sorts of terms are used – life force, cosmic power, psychic energy – it doesn’t really matter what it’s called. Each one is meaningless. It’s simply an attempt to congeal wishful thinking into a pseudo-explanation. The tactic is widespread in alternative medicine, being employed in such practices as thought field therapy, reiki, cosmic energy healing, touch therapy, traditional Chinese medicine, life force energy healing … and so on.