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."
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.
“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”
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.
The mass of an object never seems to change: a spinning top has the same weight as a still one. So a “law” was invented: mass is constant, independent of speed. That “law” is now found to be incorrect. Mass is found to increase with velocity, but appreciable increases require velocities near that of light. A true law is: if an object moves with a speed of less than one hundred miles a second the mass is constant to within one part in a million. In some such approximate form this is a correct law. So in practice one might think that the new law makes no significant difference. Well, yes and no. For ordinary speeds we can certainly forget it and use the simple constant-mass law as a good approximation. But for high speeds we are wrong, and the higher the speed, the more wrong we are.
Finally, and most interesting, philosophically we are completely wrong with the approximate law. Our entire picture of the world has to be altered even though the mass changes only by a little bit. This is a very peculiar thing about the philosophy, or the ideas, behind the laws. Even a very small effect sometimes requires profound changes in our ideas.
Now, what should we teach first? Should we teach the correct but unfamiliar law with its strange and difficult conceptual ideas, for example the theory of relativity, four-dimensional space-time, and so on? Or should we first teach the simple “constant-mass” law, which is only approximate, but does not involve such difficult ideas? The first is more exciting, more wonderful, and more fun, but the second is easier to get at first, and is a first step to a real understanding of the first idea. This point arises again and again in teaching physics. At different times we shall have to resolve it in different ways, but at each stage it is worth learning what is now known, how accurate it is, how it fits into everything else, and how it may be changed when we learn more.
- Men being thrown in jail for holding Bible studies
- eHarmony being forced to include gays
- Photographer being fined by the Court for not photographing a lesbian ceremony
Are you really trying to equate religious freedom with treating other people like they’re not actually, you know, people?
Like, omg, how dare a dating site actually acknowlege that homosexual people may be looking for love, ooohhhhh totally infringing on your religious rightttsss.
People wanting to be treated equally and be spared your religious discrimination is not taking away your religious freedom. Christians DO have a freedom in their religion that no other religion in this country has.
1 - That dude violated his probation, he got in trouble not for practicing religion in his home but for violating zoning laws and building codes.
Religion doesn’t get to trump other laws when it comes to these things, sorry, that’s not what “freedom of religion” means. Climb down off your cross.
2 - E-Harmony violated discrimination laws, again, religion doesn’t get to trump law in these cases. Deal with it. How is “not allowing someone to discriminate” somehow an affront to your religion?
3 - Oh look. I’m sounding like a broken record, but again, violation of discrimination laws.
Your so-called assault on religious freedom here boils down to Christians having to follow the same laws as everyone else in these cases.
Awwww, poor babies.
Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Why the Marijuana Renaissance Is Here to Stay | AlterNet (via fuckyeahdrugpolicy)