Chronicling the follies of religion and superstition, the virtues of skepticism, and the wonders of the real (natural) universe as revealed by science. Plus other interesting and educational stuff.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Lawrence Krauss explains the gravitational wave discovery [VIDEO]

Lawrence Krauss appears on his local PBS station in Arizona each month to talk about science news. This month his appearance happened to fall on the day of the big announcement that gravitational waves had been observed, empirically confirming the Big Bang and the predictions of Inflation.

With much excitement, he explains the impact this will have on cosmology and how we know it’s the real deal.

Lawrence Krauss | Why’s there something rather than nothing?

iranianatheist:

Outspoken atheist, and incredibly intelligent Theoretical Physicist and Cosmologist, Lawrence Krauss, destroys Islam and organized religion, in front of a huge group of ignorant Muslims.

I love Lawrence Krauss and his intelligence, nearly as much as I despise Hamza Tzortzis’ ignorance, lies, and pathetic comebacks that prove absolutely nothing.

Why The One Appealing Part of Creationism is Wrong

Earlier this month, Ken Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum, in Petersburg, Kentucky, held a debate with Bill Nye at the museum. Within the creationist crowd, Ham represents the young-Earth wing, which believes that the planet is around six thousand years old. He also has other extreme interpretations of biblical claims: for example, he believes that the Tyrannosaurus rex and other dinosaurs were actually vegetarians that lived in the Garden of Eden before the fall of Adam and Eve.

Ham often stresses a line of argument made within the broader creationist community, which resonates, at least somewhat, with the public at large. “There’s experimental or observational science, as we call it. That’s using the scientific method, observation, measurement, experiment, testing,” he said during the debate. “When we’re talking about origins, we’re talking about the past. We’re talking about our origins. You weren’t there, you can’t observe that…. When you’re talking about the past, we like to call that origins or historical science.” In other words, Ham was saying that there is a fundamental difference between what creationists call the “historical sciences”—areas of study, like astronomy, geology, and evolutionary biology, that give us information about the early Earth and the evolution of life—and other sciences, like physics and chemistry, which appear to be based on experiments done in the laboratory today.

On the surface, this does not seem completely unreasonable. There is, after all, a difference between an observation and an experiment. In the laboratory, one can have much better control when attempting to establish cause-and-effect relationships. However, to suggest that somehow this qualitative difference between observation and experiment translates into any sort of deep qualitative difference between the different sciences mentioned above is to demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of science itself.

In the first place, science doesn’t involve merely telling stories about history. If it did, scientific explanations might not have any claim to a higher level of veracity than religious stories. The stories that science does tell have empirical consequences, and make physical predictions that can be tested….

…take my favorite example: the prediction of a genetic relationship between the great apes and humans via a common ancestor, as taught in many (I wish it were all) introductory biology courses. Humans have twenty-three pairs of chromosomes, where all the great apes have twenty-four pairs. If they have a common ancestor, this difference must be explained. One possibility is that two of the chromosomes in the great apes fused together at some point in the human lineage. But this makes two testable predictions. Each chromosome has a characteristic end, called a telomere, and a distinctive central part, called a centromere. If fusion had occurred, then one of the human chromosomes should, in its central region, include the remnants of the two fused telomeres, lined up end to end. It also should have, at between roughly a quarter and three-quarters of the way along the chromosome, a structure identical to that of the centromeres of the great-ape chromosomes. This prediction, tested in the laboratory today, and not in the distant past, has been beautifully verified…

More

confrontingbabble-on:

The battle for hearts and minds…is largely a battle for the undecided’s: Given unemotional reason and rational consideration…undecided’s tend to move towards reason and rationality…and away from fantasy religion…
The deluded, having suppressed their reason and rationality…tend to remain deluded…!
Watch the full debate… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKNd_S3iXfs

confrontingbabble-on:

The battle for hearts and minds…is largely a battle for the undecided’s: Given unemotional reason and rational consideration…undecided’s tend to move towards reason and rationality…and away from fantasy religion…

The deluded, having suppressed their reason and rationality…tend to remain deluded…!

Watch the full debate… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKNd_S3iXfs

String Theory - Lawrence Krauss and Brian Greene

A casual conversation about the history and future of String Theory

Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss, and Massimo Pigliucci - “The Limits Of Science” - Not Quite A Debate

Is science the only way of knowing?
Is there a limit to its reach? To human understanding?
Is philosophy relevant? Can/how does it inform science?
What do these words even mean?

Lawrence Krauss: Atheism and the Spirit of Science

The unmovable mover, the first cause, the Big Bang. For centuries, we have grappled with the moment of creation: How did something come from nothing? Physicist Lawrence Krauss says it just does. In fact, he says 70% of the energy in our universe is contained in the empty space between quarks, atoms, and galaxies. He sits down with Steve Paikin to discuss the notion of a creator-less universe, and how science can be “spiritual”.

The Unbelievers - Official Trailer

Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss take a road trip.

Physicist Lawrence Krauss endured 11 hours of body painting to become the Borg.

"Conductus of Borg"

Concept, Photography, Bodypainting: Victoria Gugenheim Body Art 

Digital Art: Wolfs BodyMagic Bodypainting

Physicist Lawrence Krauss endured 11 hours of body painting to become the Borg.

"Conductus of Borg"

Concept, Photography, Bodypainting: Victoria Gugenheim Body Art

Digital Art: Wolfs BodyMagic Bodypainting

Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss - Discussing their documentary ‘The Unbelievers’ on The Morning Show

About a year ago, after Hitchens died, I remember hoping that Lawrence Krauss would step in as the fourth horseman. I’d say he’s done it!

When it comes to understanding how our universe evolves, religion and theology have been at best irrelevant. They often muddy the waters, for example, by focusing on questions of nothingness without providing any definition of the term based on empirical evidence. While we do not yet fully understand the origin of our universe, there is no reason to expect things to change in this regard. Moreover, I expect that ultimately the same will be true for our understanding of areas that religion now considers its own territory, such as human morality.

Science has been effective at furthering our understanding of nature because the scientific ethos is based on three key principles: (1) follow the evidence wherever it leads; (2) if one has a theory, one needs to be willing to try to prove it wrong as much as one tries to prove that it is right; (3) the ultimate arbiter of truth is experiment, not the comfort one derives from one’s a priori beliefs, not the beauty or elegance one ascribes to one’s theoretical models.

…The tapestry that science weaves in describing the evolution of our universe is far richer and far more fascinating than any revelatory images or imaginative stories that humans have concocted. Nature comes up with surprises that far exceed those that the human imagination can generate.

Lawrence Krauss (2012. A Universe From Nothing, p. xvi)