Proving yet again that the inmates are running the asylum
Things like this make me glad that I'm living in another country where I get to watch this foolishness rather than have to live it.
A petition asking from the removal of Representative Paul Broun (R-GA) from the House Science, Space and Technology Committee has garnered well over 40,000 signatures in the two days since a video of his views on the topics he oversees was made public. "All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, …
Recall, please, that Bishop Usher was one of you.
I'll just deface a British classic, shall I?
There is no need with bribes to twist
The Biblical misogynist,
For when we see what he will do
Unbribed, we know _that_ job is through!
Holmes, because it's elementary, Doctor Watson.
Apart from the fact that he spelt the word wrongly, who is this guy to tell me what I "need" and don't "need"? What an arrogant seman stain. And that goes for all happy-clappy Christians. Practice your religion but keep your views to yourself. As to the Catholics: you've forgone any right to the debate since you harboured all of those Paedos and put a Nazi in charge.
This guy needs to go. The next thing you know he'll be preaching hate against all non-believers. Just like Abu Hamza but with both hands.
"This guy needs to go. The next thing you know he'll be preaching hate against all non-believers."
He hasn't done such a thing yet and he is 66 years old. What makes you think that he is going to change?
"As to the Catholics: you've forgone any right to the debate since you harboured all of those Paedos and put a Nazi in charge."
I know some Catholics. To the best of my knowledge, and theirs too, they have never harbored pedophiles or put a Nazi in charge of anything. But seeing as how you are tarring people with guilt by association, then considering that you are in the UK, you will, of course, admit to being responsible for every crime committed by anyone who was employed by the UK or British government whether at home or in any of the colonies, right? Since you are European, like Leopold II, then you will admit to being culpable for Leopold's crimes and genocide in the Congo, correct? Or, if you are an atheist, you will admit guilt for any crime every committed by any other atheist, yes? If you are male, then of course you will admit to being personally responsible for the murder of hundreds of women in Ciudad Juarez, won't you? You will, at the very least, admit that you are monster with no real right to live, because of all the guilt accruing to you by association.
You worry needlessly about Broun's narrow-mindedness and bigotry - there is no way that he even comes close to yours.
PS: "Savior" is a perfectly legitimate spelling. It might not be current in the UK but then, Broun is not in the UK, now is he?
A term to differentiate real, physical rape from several other things, such as "verbal rape" and "visual rape" (and possibly others); both postulated by feminists in an attempt to criminalize certain behaviors of which they disapprove, and to strengthen the perception of all women as victims deserving of special protections, compensation and other advantages and considerations.
Women who have actually been raped know the difference, however.
No-one has ever seen a metaphor in a song before?
Literalism is a larger problem than I thought.
However, my experience with the US university system is that the correct answer is the one which matches the wording in the textbook. Any thought at all is discouraged. That was in a Comp-Sci degree, so its probably a cultural rather than religious problem.
It's my greatest fear that one day people who believe this will actually have enough power to actually do something monumentally fucking stupid to the rest of us. What's scary at the moment is that there are enough nutcases around to get this guy the support he needs to speak at anything bigger than a church luncheon.
I thought The Big Bang Theory and the vastness of the universe were difficult concepts to comprehend, but the limits of stupidity seem to extend even further.
Esskay: How about two people? The father & son team, George & TheShrub Bush. Between 'em (and that clown Reagan setting the stage), world politics is in the sad state of affairs that it is today.
I grieve for my "born in the USofA" generation's lasting legacy in world history.
^ I thought the concept sounded familiar - I seem to have channelled the thoughts of someone much more intelligent than myself. ( Although to be honest It wasn't my intention to paraphrase Einstein - it was more "I'm trying to explain to myself how someone could believe the earth is 9,000 years old, but every time I feel I'm getting close - it slips away". Akin to trying to comprehend the size of the universe, concept of the Big Bang, etc).
Grammar Nazi is for me - need to brush up on my einstein quotes, I'm getting rusty...
I'm honestly staggered people like him end up in positions of power and influence... Hell I'm a religious man, a Christian, and I think this guy is a wackjob that shouldn't be allowed near a slide-rude, let alone influencing critical science oversight...
The quest to understand the universe and how it works is a quest understand God... To disregard evidence out of knee-jerk moronic fundamentalism is to spit on God's work.
>"I'm honestly staggered people like him end up in positions of power and influence... "
Isn't the answer right in the article:
"According to the latest Gallup data, 46 per cent of US voters believes God created mankind in its current form, compared to 15 per cent who think we evolved without a guiding hand from a deity."
So Americans are getting precisely the politicians they want. Given the statistics, it would be quite unrepresentative if there weren't a lot of pols who believe in a 9000 year old Earth.
Cause and effect. Nobody gets a politician "they want".
The best model for a politician is a cephalopod - relatively high intelligence for something that is inherently spineless combined with a similarly inherent ability to change its colors to match the environment around it.
The politician which gets elected is the one which matches their environment best of all. He matches his environment which says everything you want to know about it.
According to the latest Gallup data, 46 per cent of US voters believes God created mankind in its current form, compared to 15 per cent who think we evolved without a guiding hand from a deity."
So Americans are getting precisely the politicians they want. Given the statistics, it would be quite unrepresentative if there weren't a lot of pols who believe in a 9000 year old Earth.
That Gallup poll doesn't say anything about how many people in the US "believe in a 9000 year old Earth". Nor anything about how many voters in the US hold either belief.
More importantly, Broun is a US Representative. His constituency is part of a single state. The vast majority of the US electorate have no say in who holds his position. As usual, many posters here are making sweeping generalizations from a single (if striking) anecdote. So the people of Georgia's 10th have (for the past four years, or two elections) elected a superstitious goofball incapable of critical thought to Congress, as is their right, under federal and state law. Or, more precisely, about 60% (2002) or 67% (2004) of voters in the 10th did so. That's well within the historical norm for people putting crazies into power. The US is not an outlier in that department.
It's also worth noting that the 10th has been solidly Republican since 1995 (and consistently Democratic for a century before that). And in 2001 it was gerrymandered to be more reliably Republican. I think I read that the Democrats didn't even field a candidate against Broun this year, though I haven't confirmed that. In any case, as with most districts, the incumbent and incumbent's party have a strong hold on the seat.
Now, you might well complain that even if Broun is elected, there's no need to put him on the SST committee.
I'd agree. But committee positions are typically handled as political favors; they're not assigned meritocratically.
 The 10th includes Athens, home of U of Georgia and a well-known alt-rock scene, among other things. I suspect a good portion of the 30-odd percent who voted against Braun hail from there.
I must say what most gets up my nose is that they insist on literal meaning of the bible when it comes to facts, but tend to ignore the more important moral and ethical message it has.
As a kid, I was an atheist at a Catholic (Jesuit) school (in the Netherlands). That school had very sensible ideas about science and religion, and how the two need not be at loggerheads. I was especially invited by a Jesuit priest to join a discussion group on philosophical and religious issues, precisely because I was an atheist. He did not want to convert me, he wanted someone to challenge religious dogma. "I want the pupils to think about religion, not just accept what I say" were his words.
There were, and are many scientist who are devout Christians. Let any one of them take over this idiot's place in the committee.
@Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Unfortunately a small, vocal, minority of people claiming to be Christians and Christians leaders get so bogged down in scripture and literalism that they forget to actually be Christian, that is to be Christ-like, to be a follower of Christ, to follow the ideals of Christ, forgiveness, kindness, tolerance, gentleness, acceptance, humility, and love.
"This El Reg hack would have severe doubts about going to a doctor who didn't believe in evolution, since that would mean certain problems in dealing with antibiotic resistance and pretty much all of genetic science, which is yielding some superb now drugs to treat human illnesses."
There's an important idea there.
Since he *is* a doctor and since he *doesn't* seem to believe in evolution, (or a lot of other scientific stuff), we can follow the lead of the "El Reg hack" and wonder where are the actual, concrete examples of his anti-scientific outlook interfering with, or exerting any deleterious influence on, his medical practice. And since he seems to have been practicing medicine for 40 years or so, such examples ought to be easy to find. Especially considering the highly litigious society in which he lives and practices, and the surfeit of medical malpractice lawyers with which this country swarms.
Now, I'm not saying that such examples do not exist or can not be found - after all, that's why malpractice lawsuits are crippling the medical profession - but I would like to see some real, actual examples of the practical effects of Broun's religious beliefs on his work as a physician, and not just rhetorical examples having nothing to do with reality. If his beliefs crippled his ability to effectively act as a physician, I would expect that he would have been the object of many lawsuits - of which there will be publicly accessible records. But if he wasn't the object of numerous lawsuits, then one has to believe that his beliefs didn't effect his medical practice.
And if his anti-scientific religious beliefs did not negatively effect his medical practice, then it is clear that human nature is a closed book for the El Reg hack, and a variety of people commenting on this thread.
The most fascinating, and potentially instructive, aspect of human nature would be the entire process of how and why he was appointed to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
You also raise an interesting point of how someone who _appears_ to reject modern scientific belief (in certain areas) can practice as a physician. It is probably the case that you don't need to deeply understand medications to know which ones should be prescribed for certain ailments. I don't need to believe in evolution to believe that antibiotics cure many bacterial infections and he doesn't need to 'believe in science' to know which antibiotics are best and what the side-effects and potential interactions are. Any belief that the world is 9,000 years old has no bearing on his ability to set a broken bone and give advice about diet, .... etc.
It is possible for a person to have a high level of functionality in modern society while rejecting many modern scientific beliefs, but the problem, for other people, is when that person is in a position of great influence in those areas that depend on modern scientific beliefs.
I was surprised to read that though trained as a chemist, he practised as a doctor for some 40 years. I thought the practice of medicine was one of the most strongly policed closed shops both in the US and most other Western countries.
I'll just go and have dose of the panacea.
"I was surprised to read that though trained as a chemist, he practised as a doctor for some 40 years."
I assumed from the wording that he majored in Chemistry as an undergraduate, then went on to medical school for an MD (or DO). That would be a very typical progression for someone in the U.S. wanting to be a doctor. Among scientists, neither degree would imply 'scientist'; that would require actually doing publishable research.
People use various types of test for truth: "I read it in a book", "In my heart I know it is true", "The voices told me so", "Consistent with a set of assumptions", "Confirmed by experiment". The first three all lead to wildly different "versions of the truth". The last two are interesting.
Each branch of mathematics has its own small set of consistent assumptions. If a theory can be shown to be completely consistent with the axioms then the theory is true. Any counter example makes the theory false. Simply proved theorems are combined to discover theorems that would otherwise be hard to prove. Mathematics does not depend on faith. If you do not like a mathematical theorem, look for a counter example.
In science, hypotheses are used to make predictions and the predictions are tested by experiment. If the predictions are wrong then the hypothesis is rejected. If you do not like a scientific theory, use the theory to make a prediction, then test the prediction with an experiment. If the theory predicts the wrong outcome for the experiment, publish the results so others can repeat your experiment and the theory will be replaced by something that makes better predictions.
The strange thing is that hypotheses in science often involve a mathematical model. Two completely different tests for truth, but mathematics is a tool used by scientists to make and test predictions.
In religion, there is no decisive test for truth. Religious truth depends on faith - believing something in the absence of evidence (or despite all evidence). There are no "scientific beliefs". Science does not depend on faith. When some religious nutter asks "Do you believe in science?" a scientist answers "No, I do not need faith in science. I test science with experiments."
Mathematicians can prove a theorem is true or false.
Scientists can prove a hypothesis is false. They cannot prove anything is true, but they can provide a huge supply of experiments that anyone can repeat that fail to prove scientific theories false.
Religious people ask "What do you believe?" because their tests for truth give inconsistent answers.
Not strictly true. Religions like Buddhism have techniques that you can use to investigate the truth. Obviously those experiments involve consciousness so aren't easily documented or monitored, but that doesn't make them invalid, just tricky.
And maybe scientists answer "Do you believe in science" with "No" but among the general population in the UK the answer is often "Yes". It may be unpalatable but in our society science is just another religion to a lot of people.
It's important to separate the practices of Buddhism from Buddhism. You can have either one without the other - you can practice without believing, you can believe without practicing, or, of course, you can do both or neither. Buddhism, as opposed to the practices of Buddhism (mindfulness, meditation, giving up worldly attachments etc), is incompatible with Christianity, because of the belief in multiple bodily reincarnations (Christians get at most one, IIRC, at judgement day), because of salvation (enlightenment) through neither faith nor works, and because of personal responsibility for your deeds (no repentance and absolution, just karma).
Terminator, because judgement day.
A number of Buddhists would argue that Buddhism is not a religion:-
(It is neither a religion in the sense in which that word is commonly understood, for it is not "a system of faith and worship owing any allegiance to a supernatural being." - www.buddhanet.net )
Siddhartha Gautama was a prince who lead a sheltered childhood. When he escaped he saw suffering peasants and knew in his heart that this was something that he wanted to change. He tried out some of the religions of the day. His experiments supported the theory that starving yourself and holding your breath does not alleviate suffering. Full marks to Siddhartha Gautama for testing the theories of the time with experiments and publishing results that would have been unpopular with the authorities.
Plan B was to sit under a fig tree for days until he worked it all out. When he knew in his heart that he understood how to prevent suffering he started his own religion to spread his theories. For about 6(±1) centuries his teachings were passed by word of mouth. About 19 centuries ago, these teachings were written down. Modern flavours of Buddhism disagree about which texts are accurate, which have been embellished and which were made up.
The tests of truth used in Buddhism are "I read it in a book" and "I know in my heart that it is true". Unfortunately, using science to reduce suffering has problems. When you try to test your theory either you experimental group or your control group will suffer and complain about being used in experiments.
Your points make good sense but fall flat I am afriad.
He is a Dr, a person of respect in his community and as a Dr.
You do need to understand evolution to understand the MRSA of this world and how they have evolved and adapted and that antibiotics shouldn't be given in a lot of cases, because evolution is at play and bacteria and virus' adapt and evolve. This isn't rare, how else would you describe the difference between H1N1 and H3N5 if you don't explain the evolutionary adaptations of the different strains, or would he call them different species? H1N1 and H1N3 which are different evolutionary branches of the H1. If you don't understand that, you can't give a simple winter flu vaccine as they are tailored each year based on the genetic breakdown of the flu that is prevailent during summer. They are genetically targeted each year by science and medocial men and women who decide and make the vaccine. or does he think god creates them in a magic 'vat' to kill of another of his creations (the flu bug)
You do need to know about evolution and genetics for every baby born could and will include some kind of birth defect that is a genetic trait, not a 'gift from god'. Any worried parent will come asking such a Doctor to say why has my baby got X, Y and Z. and 'God giving it to you because he likes variety' simply isn't correct for some birth defects. And most right thinking parents wouldn't take that as a good answer (unless they too think like him)
You do need to know about evolution because how else would medical science explain so many parts of the human skeleton and internal workings no longer needed (allegedly) by humanity, cockcix, the appendix. You can't explain diet without explaining the human internal digestive system and how 100000 years ago fat was scarce and so our bodies hold evey bit it can, and obesity today is because fat is in great quantites in what we eat.
As a qualified Geographer and Geologist I am not going to explain how wrong he is and how modern science, chemsitry and physics are based on the same technology used daily. Including the same technology used to make the camera that filmed him and the technology to light the room. If a geologist hadn't mined tungsten which is laid down over millions of years in a deposit how else do you light the first light bulb, if a chemist didn't work out how to make an inert gas called argon or neon, how do you make modern pretty lightbulbs. If chemists hadn't broken oil down (after geologists found it) to make plastics for the camera case etc. Plastics which is based on something laid down from dead sea creatures over millions of years then crushed under pressure in a geological trap that acts as a sponge to keep the oil in a specific place.
Does he think god laid oil down 9000 years ago and he fills his car with magic? The pyramids are older than his view of the entire world.
The mans a tool, and a dangerous tool. He needs his doctors licence revoking and an investigation to be launched. As well as losing his position as anything to do with science or medicine.
Where is this petition?
"The mans a tool, and a dangerous tool. He needs his doctors licence revoking and an investigation to be launched. As well as losing his position as anything to do with science or medicine."
You have completely missed the point.
My point was "If the El Reg hack - amongst many others here - thinks that Broun's Biblical literalism *must* have a deleterious effect his ability to be a doctor; then *where* is the proof of the deleterious influence exerted by his Biblical literalism?"
YOUR post likewise explains, but at greater length, why Broun's Biblical literalism MUST have a deleterious effect on his ability to practice medicine. But sadly, you have neglected to show any empirical evidence that it actually *does* have such a deleterious effect. You are answered my question by, essentially, repeating the post which caused me to set the question in the first place, without adding the requested evidence.
And since you seem to want to prohibit such people from practicing medicine, are we do so because Biblical literalism actually is harmful to patients, or should such people be prohibited from practicing medicine simply for the sake of religious persecution?
Simple answer. The "good doctor" is a monumental hypocrite. As are most of his ilk. He spouts one thing, but doesn't really believe a word of it. He's talking to the lowest common denominator of his electorate, in order to get re-elected. Sadly, said sheeple will no doubt comply without thinking.
The problem may not be that he medicates people badly per se. If you don't believe in evolution however, then there is nothing holding you back from prescribing antibiotics with wild abandon.
The problem is, widespread use of antibiotics has strong evolutionary effect on bacteria - we get more resistant strains. So a particular patient is healed, however globally the risk of ultra-resistant strains with potentially lethal effects goes up. But these people dying from resistant strains are different cases, so it cannot be a 'medical malpractice' - there is no one in particular who is responsible.
"One might imagine that his patients are of his own ilk and whatever happens to them is 'God's Will' and it wouldn't even occur to them to sue him."
Sure, you could *imagine* it but do you really think that it's true? Because to me, statements like that seem kind of... stupid.
Do you think that he screens his patients to be sure that their religious beliefs align with his? Do you think that the American Medical Association would permit that for an instant? Or do you think that he has one treatment regimen for fundamentalists and another, different, "AMA-approved" treatment regimen for non-fundamentalists, so that non-fundamentalists will not sue him when he harms them or members of their family? Here are some questions that can easily be given unambiguous factual answers.
Speaking of which, is there any evidence to think that fundamentalist Christians - or any fundamentalists at all, really - are significantly less inclined to accept medical malpractice as "God's will" and therefore be disinclined to sue? Now there's something very amenable to empirical investigation.
Broun's district appears to be about 40% Democratic. Are you saying that all of those Democrats are either fundamentalists - even the ones who voted against him - or that none of them ever used his services as a physician, because they were more concerned with his religious beliefs than with his skill as a doctor? Or some combination of the two? And if so, then you are supporting your assertions with... with what? Simply your foolish world-view and nothing more?
But then again, who am I to interfere with the fictions you create for yourself?
Politicians might do a better job if they did read the Alice books rather than the Bible. Dodgson has some pretty sharp and to the point things to say about the evils of society, even if they are hidden in a book for children.
"Verdict first, trial afterwards" - that just about takes out the newspaper industry.
And the amazing thing is that Queen Victoria approved of him, which really showed that she didn't get his views on Royalty. Talk about hiding something in the plain sight of everybody.
And then there's the support for socialism; the race in which everybody wins and everybody has a prize.
Perhaps we should start a new religion based on the Alice Books.
"And the amazing thing is that Queen Victoria approved of him, which really showed that she didn't get his views on Royalty. Talk about hiding something in the plain sight of everybody."
So well hidden, in fact, that almost none of the tens of millions of people who read his books even know it's there. So well hidden, actually, that it might as well not even be there. (And that's assuming that your ideas of his views on royalty are correct; I don't really care, though. No one else does, either. Well except for you, apparently.)
"And then there's the support for socialism; the race in which everybody wins and everybody has a prize."
And appropriately takes place in a fantasy world written by an adult for children.
Me, and at least the other members of the seminar on Alice I once went to.
In the Alice books, Royalty is ridiculous You can take the observation "Why, you're just a pack of cards" two ways. Dodgson was always scornful of any authority in Oxford academic life who wasn't, in his view, out of the top drawer academically but owed his position to rank or influence. Alice is rational and sensible and represents the academic view of life. Just because you haven't studied the period it was written in and don't know who some of the characters are, just because you don't realise that the verses are parodies of "improving" verses for children, just because you don't know that Dodgson actually moved in the "advanced" circles of his day, and just because you've never read the works of Rabelais - a pair of humorous books that contain devastating attacks on the Catholic Church - really doesn't mean you have to boast of your lack of knowledge on El Reg.
"But if he wasn't the object of numerous lawsuits, then one has to believe that his beliefs didn't effect his medical practice."
Are you saying he is lying to the Baptist convention about his beliefs or are you saying he gives his patients things he believes dont work (or even dont exist)?
Is either a good thing for an elected politician?
"'But if he wasn't the object of numerous lawsuits, then one has to believe that his beliefs didn't effect his medical practice'. Are you saying he is lying to the Baptist convention about his beliefs or are you saying he gives his patients things he believes dont work (or even dont exist)?"
I neither said nor implied either of those things, and, more importantly, your two "explanations" of Broun's behavior do not come close to exhausting the possible explanations, and do not even contain the most likely one.
"Is either a good thing for an elected politician?"
If you refuse to vote for politicians who lie, then you don't vote at all. Is THAT a "good thing"? (Of course, I am only pretending to here to buy into your idea of what "politicians lying" is, when in fact what you would call "politicians lying", is most often only your inability to understand how electoral politics and representative democracy work.)
He decided to speak in front of a wall consisting entirely of deer trophies - all bearing antlers. It looks like hell to me. You might not find it particularly infernal (although I do), but it's certainly creepy, and definitely not aesthetic. It looks like something Hieronymus Bosch or H.R. Giger would dream up during a really depressive episode.
Seriously, who's idea of "good taste" it is? Broun should not only be sacked from the committee, he should lose his own seat for agreeing to speak in front of the wall. Yuck.
(I'm not a shooter, but I have no objection to people shooting bullets or arrows to get their own food, or to keep pests like feral pigs down. But shooting so many animals that it looks like a mediocre skin from Doom? No. Just no.)
Um, I think you'll find it's the classic creation myth with the creator removed. "Oh everything just came into being for a reason we don't know" doesn't seem much better than "oh everything just came into being because God said so". And with the maths only holding up when 95% of the universe is undetectable, it seems far removed from solid science.
(Sorry if that offends anyone's belief system.)
Yes but if you remove "The Creator" aspect then you remove so many other aspects of a religion. The rules, the messages from upon high. For example, The Big Bang did not attempt to tell us what we can, and can not do, with our neighbours wife, ox etc....
Anon because what I do with oxen is my own damn business.
But what you're not doing is adding any scientific value. It's a guess. That's not science.
And if you think getting rid of religion will stop the state trying to tell you what to do you're incredibly naive. Religion is often used as an excuse for oppression, but getting rid of religion won't make people behave any better to each other.
"getting rid of religion won't make people behave any better to each other"
It won't stop people being bastards, sure. Hitler, Stalin and Mao are the usual examples of secular genocidal tyrants.
Thing is though, holy texts are absolute, inflexible and effectively last as long as their believers. Human laws can be changed when they no longer fit the society that created them. The policies of the three above have largely left us, these days, but the world still has no shortage of the medieval gynocidal technophobic cultists still working to the same set of guidelines they've had for centuries and still causing the same damage to our societies in doing so.
@sabroni "It's a guess. That's not science"
Some of Science is a guess. In fact MOST of Science is just our current best guess.
But what makes Science different is repeatability. Science creates a theory to which other people can review the experiments, can analyse the data, and can repeat those experiments for themselves. Through repeatability you have proof that the theory holds true.
So our best guess is actually based on proper risk analysis and statistical likelihood.
There is ZERO proof in religion. What makes this dangerous is that some religious standings make guesses that have only a "leap of faith" to their conclusion. Stand on a motorway and see how long it takes for a car to hit you - Statistics and science tell you you'll die, but a leap of faith will save you.
I don't particularly want to get rid of religion, however if religion can't accept empirical evidence then perhaps we are better off without religion. "getting rid of religion won't make people behave any better to each other" - actually it probably would - most of the worlds conflicts, wars and troubles have a sound footing in differences of religious opinion.
Hey, interesting responses from everyone!
My original post was specifically about the big bang theory, it's description as solid science and how I felt that was dubious. The observation that everything seems to be flying out from a central point is possibly explained by a big bang, but it's really just a best guess and says nothing about what was there before the bang. I'm not slagging off the theory but it doesn't seem to really answer "where did everything come from?" and I'm not sure we'll ever have the capability to definitively answer that. As such it seems perfectly fair to say it's just the creation myth without the creator.
However, I don't see religion as the biggest problem for civilisation, it's human nature that twists organised religion into a means of oppression. As a child I found the Bible (New testament, I went to a C of E primary school) to basically be about how you should be nice to people, think of others before yourself, etc. All admirable stuff that should make the world a better place. That people can twist that sort of message into an excuse for war is a ridiculous but unfortunate reality.
A few people said that Buddhism isn't really a religion. To me it's more like the only real (major) religion, specifically because it has a set of techniques that you can use to investigate reality yourself. I think "real" religion is about the nature of reality and consciousness, not about taking a set of rules and following them. This philosophical tradition actually exists in some old schools of Christianity and doubtless in the other major religions as well.
To me there is a whiff of fundamentalism to the current trend to be anti-religion and pro-science that has all the bad attributes of religious fundamentalism. However, the comments in this thread have all been very civil, which is refreshing! As long as we can discuss these things reasonably there's a good chance we can all get along! If we all agreed with each other on everything it'd be a pretty boring forum!
The point is that as time was created as part of the big bang, it's not actually a meaningful question to ask "what was there before the big bang?" We just don't have the vocabulary or imagination to contemplate it in a meaningful manner - all we can do is see where the maths equations take us.
"getting rid of religion won't make people behave any better to each other" - actually it probably would - most of the worlds conflicts, wars and troubles have a sound footing in differences of religious opinion."
And here i thought that most of it was economic in nature. But no, it seems that if all religion was abolished, everyone would share everything with everyone else, and there would be plenty of everything, and we would all be happy.
The point, though, is that Big Bang theory makes no statements whatsoever about creators or religion and is not incompatible with any religion (that doesn't make a non-allegorical description of the start of the universe as a fundamental tenet). It is simply the best-supported description of the start of our universe based solely on what we can determine by observation. It makes no statements about the "reasons" that everything came into being.
The same kind of principle applies to your last (unbracketed) sentence, too. The maths don't "only [hold] up when 95% of the universerse is undetectable" - they just suggest that this is the case. This mathematical model wasn't dreamt up by a desert tribal leader a couple of thousand years ago and recorded on papyrus - it was developed from (and is being constantly refined by) the observations that are being made about our universe.
There is no science vs religion debate. Science has little to say about religion, other than when religion uses descriptions of the physical world that do not match with observations of reality. There is a science vs stupid debate, though, and Rep. Broun has made it clear he's not on the side of science...
Paris because, well, she's not on the side of science either.
Analysing the huge amount of data we have in many fields of physics gives very strong evidence that something like the Big Bang did happen. The theory was not pulled out of thin air or from a tribal legend.
"for a reason we don't know"
No. It's for a reason we don't know YET.
Big bang theory is not at all 'the classic creation myth with the creator removed.'
For one, it is a theory. If you believe in a theory (or not), then you failed to understand the first commandment of science: THOU SHALT NOT BELIEVE!
For another, it does not create any kind of myth, because it refrains from speculation about the unobservable origin of everything. The big bang theory postulates a very dense cloud of matter as origin of our Universe and as a result predicts a nonzero background temperature, a certain matter distribution, etc. Those things can be observed and indicate that the theory is useful to describe our world.
God, OTOH, is quite untestable. You might try to evaluate the 'god theory' by gauging the truthfulness of statements in the bible. Good luck with that.
"This El Reg hack would have severe doubts about going to a doctor who didn't believe in evolution"
I've been treated by many a Muslim,Jewish and (gasp at the horror) Christian doctor and I've never been killed once. Surely, if they apply the science (the science is all we care about these days), why do you worry about what they believe?
Do you take a questionnaire with you before you receive a service to make sure the person helping you matches your ideals?
Maybe we should ban bus drivers who believe that petrol comes from tanks in petrol stations and has nothing to do with prehistoric plant life.
"I've been treated by many a Muslim,Jewish and (gasp at the horror) Christian doctor and I've never been killed once."
how do you know? Certain religions believe in life after death/reincarnation, etc These religious doctors could have killed you lots of times. They haven't killed you THIS time.....yet.
Personally I say you can't beat leaches....tasty too.
Is that they are all lying opportunists. That bloke Broun will switch from preaching for good Jesus to Mr Mohammed's, PBUH, side at the snap of the fingers the moment he believes his personal power will increase from the change of allegiance.
Does he himself believe in the cr*p he is talking about 9k year old Earth? I bet he doesn't. He is a snake oil seller and he knows that what he sells will at best not do you any good and probably can kill you but, as long as you give him your
moneyvotes, he couldn't care less.
"All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell,"
Evolution: ”We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?” Quran 21:30
Embryology: "We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then from a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed ... and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes." Quran 22:5
Big Bang theory: "And it is We Who have constructed the heaven with might, and verily, it is We Who are steadily expanding it." Quran, 51:47
If I were promote the vilification of those who "Believe" would that make me a hate-monger or an anti-hate-monger?
Every time I hear the word "Faith" I feel the need to laugh hysterically. I find it stunning that supposedly intelligent people still wholeheartedly believe in something that in most cases has been proved to be 100% balderdash. I actually feel a little sorry for those who feel that they have to go along with their friends/neighbours/collegues just to fit in with them. I would rather not fit in and die alone than pander to that kind of Us & Them mentality. Don't they realise that it's never been Us & Them. It 's always been Me & Them.
As for the Bible, it's worse than the Qur'an as the Bible has been translated many times by many different people and is most likely the result of the worlds longest game of Chinese Whispers. That said, why anyone would want to live by a set of rules defined 2000 or 1500 years ago is beyond me.
You think so? I think it was just to confirm his support for the "traditional values", which include killing other living beings for entertainment.
But these are enlightened times we live in. In the past it could easily have been heads of Comanches or escaped slaves on the wall...
consider Oklahoma G.O.P. Senate candidate Ian M. Hurt. Here, I quote an article from The Moderate Voice
Senate Candidate Claims Legitimate Rape Responsible for Global Warming
Oct 8, 2012 by <http://themoderatevoice.com/author/robert-a-levine/>ROBERT A. LEVINE, TMV Guest Voice Columnist
Oklahoma G.O.P. Senate candidate Ian M. Hurt caused an uproar last night when he asserted that legitimate rape is responsible for global warming and not fossil fuels…
According to Hurt, recent research at the Climatology Institute of America in Oklahoma City by Professor James Wright, has shown unequivocally that global warming is the result of forcible rape rather than from the burning of fossil fuels. (Wright’s research at the Institute has been funded by the Koch brothers.)
When a woman struggles against a rapist, the temperature in the immediate vicinity rises due to the generation of body heat. One rape alone has a minimal effect on global temperatures. However, multiple rapes throughout America and around the world have elevated atmospheric temperatures by two degrees Celsius over the last century, a much greater increase than would have normally been expected. It is believed that the temperature increase from rape may be even greater in the future. Wright asserts that the blame placed on fossil fuels by a number of climatologists for the temperature rise has been off base, propagated by radical environmentalists. …
Hurt has not yet responded to his opponent. In a written statement he has declared that if global warming is to be controlled, it is imperative that women not struggle when being forcibly raped but accept penetration passively. In this way, heat generation will be reduced and the climatic temperatures will slowly revert to normal over time.
…He realizes that liberal and moderates who are convinced that fossil fuel is the culprit in global warming will do a slow burn over his suggestions, but says he must speak his mind about his beliefs.
Hurt emphasizes that his refusal to drop out of the Senate race is based on his conviction that he was correct in his comments regarding climate change and rape. He sees no reason to apologize since the facts are the facts. …
Though Hurt says he understands that rape is not a pleasant experience for most women, they should think of the big picture while it is taking place, such as the melting ice caps, the rise of the sea level, the flooding of low lying islands, and the destruction of coastal cities with global warming. Thus, when they are being attacked, for the good of all mankind they should not resist the rapist and try to enjoy it. Of course, their consciences should guide them, but if the mindset of no resistance becomes generally accepted by women, climate change could be controlled within the next decade.
Women should also remember that, fortunately, they are capable of preventing any pregnancies that might result from the rapes, as has been medically proven by reputable investigators according to candidates Akin and Hurt. This has solidified their opposition to abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother, in line with the Republican platform. Now, given the potential that exists for catastrophic changes from global warming, Hurt and Akin believe that the concept of non-resistant rape should be put on the front burner and would like to see it added to the Republican platform. However, their new initiative thus far remains up in the air.
I despair for America and the world, or (as the religiosos might say) Jesus wept...
I don't agree, but he's entitled to his opinion, just as the Copt in CA.
We are bound by our theories. One of my favorite lines by Larry Niven is in Ringworld, where one of the characters outlines someone's plan. His companion says it is theoretically impossible. His response? "Maybe he has another theory."
We didn't see the positron tracks in the cloud chambers until we had a theory to predict them. They were there. We didn't see them until we believed in them.
If he's wrong, and we're right, truth will win out, but truth unchallenged does not grow.
I'm afraid you are confusing science with politics here.
Pursuit of truth is the essence of the former, obfuscation of truth - of the latter. You win nothing by acquiescing to politicians exploiting popular ignorance to achieve their ends. Equally, no truth will come out when one side in the debate is being deceitful.
I have seen science change its mind often enough just in my lifetime to distrust all these "objective" conclusions. Science is politics, too. Look at all the deception, on all sides, surrounding climate change and environmentalism.
Even Einstein balked when Friedman showed him the universe was expanding, a concept he resisted against evidence for several years.
And not all error is deceit.
"And not all error is deceit"
That is true but science has the scientific method to identify and weed out errors. If you try to enter in a scientific discussion with a guy like him he will just invoke Deus ex machina in response to all your reasoned arguments.
But that will be a waste of breath, anyway. He and the like of him are not interested to know whether the Earth is 9000 or 4.54 billion years old, they don't want to establish the truth. What they do is they say a code mantra, the meaning of which is totally irrelevant, then if you say "yes" - you're one of them, if you say "no" - you're the enemy. They just want to see who is in their gang and who isn't.
I grew up in a Southern Baptist home, my Dad was a minister. Once I started to read about the belief system I was taught, I was sickened, slavery is biblical, science is Satanic. Yet my parents encouraged my interest in science, gave me a chemistry set and electronics breadboard for Christmas, always encouraged me to do well in school. We had "interesting discussions" over decades. They also taught me not to discriminate based upon race, we had gay family members whom we were taught to love. Both parents are sadly dead. My point is that it is possible for someone with that narrow a view of the world to deal with others without the blinders. I could not and had to abandon that belief system. My concern is that this powerful Congressman can not deal with reality the same way. Flame away!
British comment coming up: This guy is stark, staring, barking bonkers. Raving mad, pal. Just what planet is he on that is "only" a few thousand years old and was "created" in a few days? The sad part is that some folk seem to believe this utter and total garbage and bilge he's spouting. The sooner he gets pulled off the committee, the better for all concerned.
How does his belief sit with the speed of light? If the universe is only 9000 years old, then nothing can be more than 9000 light years away....which sort of puts some bloody big galaxies on our door step (actually it puts them on top of us). Unless maths, and the speed of light is also completely way off. The evidence balance looks sort of like this
Science - Biology, Cosmology, Astronomy, Physics, Maths, Geology, Archeology, Paleontology
Religion - 1 old book (with one or two appendices depending on your mainstream religion of choice)
When it comes to the universe, its age/creation and how we got here, one side is wrong (funnily enough the same side that doesn't match the empirical evidence either). And yet, the biggest evidence we have that evolution doesn't exists is the existence of people like this (mind you it also rules out any form of 'intelligent design too' :-)
I often like the Reg. This particular Article is an excellent example of why.
First,, most of the posters here don't know anything about this particular case. They are just repsonding ignorantly to the headline, and the obviously ignorant Author.
The person in question is a US Congressman, representing a largely rural District. His background is an undergraduate degree Chemistry, followed by the four years of Medical School necessary to practice Medicine in the US. US Medical Doctors have to study something other than Medicine, and obtain a Bachelor's Degree before enrolling in Medical School. I know it is different in Europe. Like Europe, a US Osteopath can begin his version of Medical School on entry into College, but, Osteopaths (D.O.) don't have the respect that MD's do, and are not recognized as able to practice Medicine in many US States. US Medical Doctors officially have a Doctorate.
He is also a Former US Marine, where he was a jet engine mechanic.
The Author will NEVER be treated by this man, nor will anyone else, as he no longer practices medicine. A Congressman doesn't have time. With a two year term, The House of Representatives members are always running for re-election. That's what the occasion in the video was.
Congressman Braun is a member of the Science and Technology Committee. along with 45 other Congressmen from both primary political parties. Given that he is on that committee, he is probably something of a Space Buff. The committee currently recommends that the NASA budget remain the same, though, they do want to trim some from the NSF, around 5% there. I am sure it's not like you have in the UK where there are no cuts to Science Funding, right?
BTW, most Congressmen don't attend even half of the meetings of the Committees they are on. You get on a committee by asking. That is the only requirement, if you are a member of Congress. Most Congressmen are members of several committees.
The petition is a meaningless stunt. No number of signatures from San Francisco or even London will have ANY affect on the committee membership of the Congressman.
I also wonder (and laugh) at something else. The video is of an address made to a religious meeting in Georgia. Those folks, unlike the ones in SF or UK, DO have an imput on whether the Congressman can stay on the Committee or not.
Perhaps it's just here in the US, but, Politicians here in the US often tailor their remarks to the Audience they are speaking to. Perhaps your politicians are always honest and blunt, but, ours are not.
Obama often does this, Biden always does. Romney does some too. each tells the Audience they are talking to what they think that Audience wants to hear. As you might have noticed since Obama was given a Nobel Peace Prize for what he WAS GOING TO DO, not for anything he had done, what a politician says and what he does are not always a perfect match.
I suspect that Congressman Braun is cut from the same cloth.
There is an old story here in the US, of a Texas Congressman who was waiting to board an airliner when he noticed a four year old boy who was near panicked about the upcoming flight. He approached the boy and his mother, and talked to the boy about his time as an Air Force Pilot in Vietnam. The boy listened raptly to the adventures, which included dodging missiles, and dogfights with MIG jets. (The congressman was a decorated Ace.) Then he told the boy, that this flying on the airliner wasn't at all exciting like that. He said "If I can't see out the window, I wouldn't be able to tell the plain was flying. The boy then calmly got on the plane with his mother.
The Congressman's Aide asked him "You told him about your Service Experience, but, you never told him you were a Congressman. Why not?"
The answer "Look, I wanted the kid to LIKE ME! No one likes a Congressman."
Your United Kingdom looks so provincial in this blog. You really are quite amusing.
So, wait a second Bob. To summarise what you said in you post:
- The guy in question is an undereducated medicine doctor from a rural backwater who decided to better become a Congressman.
- Congressmen don't do anything other than preparing for reelections.
- Bored Congressmen can ask to be on a Committee, where one does not need to do anything either and can even not bother to attend at all, so the guy did it just for fun (being a space buff).
- Normal people cannot influence which Congressman does get to join which Committee but religious nutcases in Georgia can, that's why all politicians have to lie to them, trying to look as if they are religious nutcases themselves.
- Congressmen are highly embarrassed by them being Congressmen and pretend they are not, because regular people don't like them.
And you still think *WE* have a problem here in the UK?
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