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ROU Killing Time
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Re: Secretnude's Drabble Poetry Corner

Post by ROU Killing Time » Tue May 20, 2014 11:54 am

strawman wrote:Congratulations. You have convinced me that the strawman religion is false.

But if 'I AM' IS ἀγάπη (the willingness to suffer without the desire to retaliate; the willingness to serve without asking in return), then materialist arguments about God's existence sound like a defense mechanism for self-centeredness.
Or "why Ayn Rand makes ROU queezy."
"Never fuck with The Culture"
Sublime In Peace Iain M. Banks.

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Is belief in God essential to morality? (No)

Post by secretnude » Tue May 20, 2014 12:01 pm

USA
is in a weird way
like my country in the perception
that we Atheists
are lacking in the 'Moral Dimension.'

Atheists
can be just as unselfish as the Theist
next door
or the Theist
next door
maybe a rapist
unlike most of us Moral Atheists.

Altruism or self sacrifice has Evolutionary
roots in Biology.

Even relatively unthinking
creatures like bats
do that
self sacrifice thing
that does bring
some cost to itself to ensure that
its kin
from hunger
and death will be able to save its skin.

We are one species and hence all kin
under
our skin.
Pew Research Center published the results of a survey conducted among 40,080 people in 40 countries between 2011 and 2013. The survey asked a simple question: is belief in God essential to morality? While clear majorities say it is necessary, the U.S. continues to be an outlier.

In 22 of the 40 countries surveyed, the majority says it is necessary to believe in God in order to be a moral person. “This position is highly prevalent, if not universal, in Africa and the Middle East,” says the report. No surprise there, but Asian and Latin countries such as Indonesia (99%), Malaysia (89%), the Philippines (99%), El Salvador (93%), and Brazil (86%) all fell in the highest percentile of respondents believing belief in a god (small G) is central to having good values.

>Interestingly, clear majorities in all highly developed countries do not think belief in god to be necessary for morality, with one exception only: the U.S.A.
...
So what of the U.S.? A comparatively eye-popping 53 percent of Americans essentially believe atheists and agnostics are living in sin. Despite the fact that a research analyst at the Federal Bureau of Prisons determined that atheists are thoroughly under-represented in the places where rapists, thieves and murders invariably end up: prisons. While atheists make upward of 15 percent of the U.S. population, they only make up 0.2 percent of the prison population.
http://www.alternet.org/belief/no-you-d ... ood-person
Altruistic behaviour is common throughout the animal kingdom, particularly in species with complex social structures. For example, vampire bats regularly regurgitate blood and donate it to other members of their group who have failed to feed that night, ensuring they do not starve. In numerous bird species, a breeding pair receives help in raising its young from other ‘helper’ birds, who protect the nest from predators and help to feed the fledglings. Vervet monkeys give alarm calls to warn fellow monkeys of the presence of predators, even though in doing so they attract attention to themselves, increasing their personal chance of being attacked. In social insect colonies (ants, wasps, bees and termites), sterile workers devote their whole lives to caring for the queen, constructing and protecting the nest, foraging for food, and tending the larvae. Such behaviour is maximally altruistic: sterile workers obviously do not leave any offspring of their own—so have personal fitness of zero—but their actions greatly assist the reproductive efforts of the queen.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/altruism-biological/
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enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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'God Forgives Sin' and they 'Sin'.

Post by secretnude » Tue May 20, 2014 12:41 pm

Federal Bureau of Prisons determined that atheists are thoroughly under-represented in the places where rapists, thieves and murders invariably end up: prisons. While atheists make upward of 15 percent of the U.S. population, they only make up 0.2 percent of the prison population.
http://www.alternet.org/belief/no-you-d ... ood-person

I see
absolutely
no need for Religion
and maybe the Prison
Population
of the American Nation
might drop
with a drop
in Church Attendance
as more people become Atheist by chance.

Maybe the lack of a God that imposes his will
will
not lead to chaos as fear mongering Religious Types
would like to hype.

The hypocritical
nature of the typical
Religious Types
can be sniped at
since 'God Forgives Sin'
and they 'Sin'.

We Moral Atheists don't buy into that
hypocrisy
and since we don't confess
or profess
to believe
in a God we may live
more 'Moral' lives.
no matter how much conservative Christians may claim their beliefs all come from the Bible—the truth of the matter is there’s no real relationship between what a person believes and what their religion ostensibly teaches them to believe. In practical terms, the word “Christian” is an empty term that can basically mean whatever the believer wants it to mean. Christians decide what they want to believe first and then, after they’ve chosen their beliefs, search for any excuse, no matter how thin, to claim that their belief is consistent with their chosen religion.

It’s a process called rationalization or motivated reasoning, and to be perfectly fair, it’s how most people think about most things most of the time: They choose what to believe and then look for reasons to explain why they believe it. Huge reams of psychological research show this is just how the human brain works.
http://www.alternet.org/belief/why-are- ... -christian
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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The Whales and the Albatross are my brothers

Post by secretnude » Tue May 20, 2014 2:53 pm

ROU Killing Time wrote:
strawman wrote:Congratulations. You have convinced me that the strawman religion is false.

But if 'I AM' IS ἀγάπη (the willingness to suffer without the desire to retaliate; the willingness to serve without asking in return), then materialist arguments about God's existence sound like a defense mechanism for self-centeredness.
Or "why Ayn Rand makes ROU queezy."
Altruism or self sacrifice has Evolutionary
roots in Biology.

Even relatively unthinking
creatures like bats
do that
self sacrifice thing
that does bring
some cost to itself to ensure that
its kin
from hunger
and death will be able to save its skin.

We are one species and hence all kin
under
our skin.
I can extend this Biological Kinship
to all of the living matter
on Earth due to Evolutionary Kinship
from the Primordial Cell
that very well
made all the living matter
on Earth that now matter.

The Whales and the Albatross are my brothers
since we share DNA
and I can say
that the Trees
we see
are my cousins
and to kill any of them without reason
is a sin.

I think that it's time for a cool change
in the common
perception
that we Atheists
are simply self centered Materialists
since we may also be Environmentalists
and Humanist
Pacifists.
Episode Two of Cosmos, called One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue, is where Carl Sagan loses some folks. This episode is all about evolution, natural selection, and just how it is that we humans are cousins to trees.

Trees? Really? We don’t look like trees. We don’t act like trees. Isn’t it kind of insulting to compare me to something that seems so barely alive as a tree?

For me, Sagan lays out a convincing argument. We and trees are made of the same stuff. Our cells use the same systems, the same chemistry, the same code book. Any tree could read my dna sequence. When you look into the deep past, you find trilobite fossils, but no trees, and no people either. We’ve both evolved since those times. We had to come from somewhere. It only makes sense that we came from the life that was here before us. As we go back in time, those life forms we find in the fossil record converge to single-celled organisms. It makes sense that both we and trees, organisms made of many, many cells, would have evolved from single-celled organisms. And on and on.

But for some people the argument doesn’t work. Why? I wish I knew.

We are alive. Trees are alive. That itself is amazing, because there are so many more ways of being dead than alive. The fact that we share so much in common with trees, the fact that we’re both alive, is a big clue that we’re cousins. But what if “alive” were just a condition, like “acid” or “alkaline.” Couldn’t “alive” have happened again and again, and just look the same, just like all rust looks the same because it’s all the same chemical, or all protons in the universe have the same properties? What makes “alive” so different from “rust” or “proton?”

The answer is that life, our life on Earth, made certain choices. There are signatures, in places like the dna codebook, the particular proteins used for particular tasks, and on and on that show that all life on Earth is descended from a single instance, one particular day when something extraordinary happened.

In certain circles, it is considered important to argue about when life begins. If you learn the story that science tells, you discover that life, our life, had a single beginning on this planet, around four billion years ago. That realization renders the question meaningless. The cells in your body right now, wiggling about, taking in nutrients, burning oxygen, sending signals, are descendents of that first day, that single instance, that still unknown, but common, ancestor.

There’s an unbroken chain between then and now. There was never, never, a time when the cells that connect us to that time weren’t alive. Even the sperm cell and the egg cell that came together to form you were alive, before and after they joined. We are all, people and trees, turtles and butterflies, connected by a four billion year unbroken chain of life.

And that is a story worth knowing!
http://stephenwhitt.wordpress.com/2008/ ... the-trees/
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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Science can inform moral and practical choices

Post by secretnude » Tue May 20, 2014 3:18 pm

The Biblical Exultation
for 'Man to exert Dominion
over all of Creation'
maybe responsible
for the terrible
Ecological Devastation
that we inflicted on our Biological Relations.

Earth
is a spaceship
that's quite hip
with a delicate Ecosystem
that's our Life Support System.

Earth
will exist without Humans
but Humans
cannot exist yet without the Ecosystem
on Earth
that is our Life Support System.

Science can inform moral
and practical
choices
and the choices
will make more sense
than some nonsense
from an old 'Book'
that some people took
as Literal Truth
when the aforementioned Truth
is more Metaphorical
than Historical.
Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

– Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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Give us this day our Daily Bread

Post by secretnude » Wed May 21, 2014 1:08 am

Atheists face serious discrimination
in the American Nation
as compared to the Nations
in Europe that has better Science Education.

I do wish for a 'Science Club'
TV Network
that will work
against the likes of the 700 Club.

I'm a living testimony to the curative
powers of Science that is relatively
easy to obtain
at certain
Medical Institutions
unlike the Religious Confusion
of Praying
and then waiting
as if God is simply delaying
relaying
his Medical Intervention.

Everyday Scientific Miracles does include
our food
that's more due to Scientific Agriculture
than what popular culture
attributes to the Lord's Prayer.
The third party studies have all been performed using Christian prayers, and reported either null results, correlated results, or contradictory results in which beneficiaries of prayer had worsened health outcomes. For instance, a meta-analysis of several studies related to distant intercessory healing published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2000 looked at 2774 patients in 23 studies, and found that 13 showed statistically significant positive results, 9 showed no effect, and 1 showed a negative result.[22]

A 2003 levels of evidence review found evidence for the hypothesis that "Being prayed for improves physical recovery from acute illness".[23] It concluded that although "a number of studies" have tested this hypothesis, "only three have sufficient rigor for review here" (Byrd 1988, Harris et al. 1999, and Sicher et al. 1998). In all three, "the strongest findings were for the variables that were evaluated most subjectively, raising concerns about the possible inadvertent unmasking of the outcomes assessors. Other meta-studies of the broader literature have been performed showing evidence only for no effect or a potentially small effect. For instance, a 2006 meta analysis on 14 studies concluded that there is "no discernable effect" while a 2007 systemic review of intercessory prayer reported inconclusive results, noting that 7 of 17 studies had "small, but significant, effect sizes" but the review noted that the three most methodologically rigorous studies failed to produce significant findings.[24][25]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficacy_of_prayer
In most of Europe, atheists are elected to office at high levels in many governments without controversy.[29] Some atheist organizations in Europe have expressed concerns regarding issues of separation of church and state, such as administrative fees for leaving the Church charged in Germany,[30] and sermons being organized by the Swedish parliament.[31] Ireland requires religious training from Christian colleges in order to work as a teacher in government funded schools.[32] In the UK one-third of state-funded schools are faith based;[33] however, there are no restrictions on atheists holding public office: the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, is an atheist.[34] According to a 2012 poll, 25% of the Turks in Germany believe atheists are inferior human beings.[35][36] Portugal has elected two presidents, Mário Soares and Jorge Sampaio who have openly expressed their irreligion.

...

Discrimination against atheists in the United States occurs in legal, personal, social, and professional contexts. Some American atheists compare their situation to the discrimination faced by ethnic minorities, LGBT communities, and women.[42][43][44][45] "Americans still feel it's acceptable to discriminate against atheists in ways considered beyond the pale for other groups," asserted Fred Edwords of the American Humanist Association.[46] However, other atheists reject these comparisons, arguing that while atheists may face disapproval they have not faced significant oppression or discrimination.[47][48]

In the United States, six state constitutions officially include religious tests that would effectively prevent atheists from holding public office, and in some cases being a juror/witness, though these have not generally been enforced since the early nineteenth century.[49][50][51] The U.S. Constitution allows for an affirmation instead of an oath in order to accommodate atheists and others in court or seeking to hold public office.[49][52] In 1961, the United States Supreme Court explicitly overturned the Maryland provision in the Torcaso v. Watkins decision, holding that laws requiring "a belief in the existence of God" in order to hold public office violated freedom of religion provided for by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.[49][53][54] This decision is generally understood to also apply to witness oaths.[55]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimina ... t_atheists
The Green Revolution refers to a series of research, and development, and technology transfer initiatives, occurring between the 1940s and the late 1960s, that increased agriculture production worldwide, particularly in the developing world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s.[1] The initiatives, led by Norman Borlaug, the "Father of the Green Revolution" credited with saving over a billion people from starvation, involved the development of high-yielding varieties of cereal grains, expansion of irrigation infrastructure, modernization of management techniques, distribution of hybridized seeds, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides to farmers.

The term "Green Revolution" was first used in 1968 by former United States Agency for International Development (USAID) director William Gaud, who noted the spread of the new technologies: "These and other developments in the field of agriculture contain the makings of a new revolution. It is not a violent Red Revolution like that of the Soviets, nor is it a White Revolution like that of the Shah of Iran. I call it the Green Revolution."[2]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Revolution
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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The X-Christian Comic Book

Post by secretnude » Wed May 21, 2014 1:45 am

I was Religious once
and once
I saw the light
that was lighted
in the Enlightenment
I delightfully
became X-Christian.

Due to discrimination
in many Nations
X-Christians
hide like the Mutants in the X-Men.

We X-Christians
may have Special
Mental
Powers
that Christians
might fear
and oh dear
I do debate a lot
since I got
that 'Special Power'.

The 'Special Power'
maybe our Skepticism
that might garner unwarranted criticisms
that we are too negative
but we are simply more interrogative.

Investigating
everything
that touches our lives
is life
enhancing
and affirming
rather than just accepting
the mysterious 'unknowable' things.
To quote Dr. Shermer: Skepticism is not a position; it's a process.

The popular misconception is that skeptics, or critical thinkers, are people who disbelieve things. And indeed, the common usage of the word skeptical supports this: "He was skeptical of the numbers in the spreadsheet", meaning he doubted their validity. To be skeptical, therefore, is to be negative about things and doubt or disbelieve them.

The true meaning of the word skepticism has nothing to do with doubt, disbelief, or negativity. Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity. It's the process of finding a supported conclusion, not the justification of a preconceived conclusion.
http://skeptoid.com/skeptic.php

The Daily Telegraph, Lynn said "Why should fewer academics believe in God than the general population? I believe it is simply a matter of the IQ. Academics have higher IQs than the general population. Several Gallup poll studies of the general population have shown that those with higher IQs tend not to believe in God."[13] A study published in Social Psychology Quarterly in March 2010[14] also stated that "atheism ...correlate with higher intelligence".[15]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosit ... telligence
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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Re: Secretnude's Drabble Poetry Corner

Post by strawman » Wed May 21, 2014 2:57 am

Behavioral scientists report that most people overreport their church attendance. This seems to me the sort of data that invites skeptics to be smug and draw wrong conclusions. To me the entire discussion is folks speaking of things they don't understand. Certainly, the generalizations about fundamentalists may be justified. They are people. People are very often wrong. Therefore Christians are often wrong. On the other hand "fundamentalist Christians" is a perjorative dog-whistle phrase used by "fundamentalist skeptics", who are also people, and people being often wrong, they are just as often wrong, but seldom admit it. In Christianity, on the other hand, being wrong is the human characteristic that necessitated righteousness being available only from the outside.

Atheists can certainly be moral agents. But my personal experience working in prisons is that atheists and pagans are not under-represented there. One thing most inmates seem to have in common is that they are addicted to self-destructive behaviors. I could point to studies that show that Alcoholics have higher than average IQs.

I'm well aware that most academics believe they are more intelligent than the general population. But I think I agree with Buckley that we'd be better governed by the first thousand names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty.

Bottom line is truth cannot be proven or disproven by self-reporting by skeptics or religionists. In my view, both are equally statements of faith. Nor does being a skeptic mean anyone is immoral or unprincipled. Often such discussions become mean-spirited, uncharitable, and prejudiced. People believe (or not) based on their personal experiences. And there's nothing inherently wrong with skepticism or existentialism. I would only qualify that by adding that a person cannot be an existentialist by thought without action. How we choose to act is how we come to understand.

Finally, as I see things, the greatest miracle is that stardust woke up. Theists say that God did it. Atheists believe it just happened. But they don't disagree that it happened, just what caused it. Both manage to turn something awesome and central into something dull and rude. Such people seem to prefer to sleep.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Unreasonable Atheists is arguably a better term

Post by secretnude » Wed May 21, 2014 10:04 am

strawman wrote:the generalizations about fundamentalists may be justified. They are people. People are very often wrong. Therefore Christians are often wrong. On the other hand "fundamentalist Christians" is a perjorative dog-whistle phrase used by "fundamentalist skeptics", who are also people, and people being often wrong, they are just as often wrong, but seldom admit it. In Christianity, on the other hand, being wrong is the human characteristic that necessitated righteousness being available only from the outside.
..
Bottom line is truth cannot be proven or disproven by self-reporting by skeptics or religionists. In my view, both are equally statements of faith.
Wearing
no clothing
means I'm not wearing anything.

Religion is like clothing
and we Atheists
are wearing nothing.

As far as I know, no Atheist
yet
has insisted of a literal interpretation
of a Book that does get
wide publication.

Some of us Atheists
are Evangelical or even Unreasonable
like the Terrible
Fundamentalist Christians
that we are critical of but Fundamentally
the term Fundamentalist Atheist
doesn't make sense.

I can get along with
and I get along with
other Christians of all stripes well
as long as we don't dwell
on the issue of Faith
that might cause great hate.
In their defence, some of the New Atheists are reacting against the belligerent science denialism of the Christian fundamentalists, who are not just content with making science denialism a tenet of their faith but actively seeking to sabotage science education for everyone. Given this degree of provocation, one can sympathise to a degree with Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins who have to deal with the malignant ignorance of creationists.

Wells is right on the mark when he points out that one of the problems with the more pernicious Atheist is his conflation of secularism with atheism:

Secularism concerns restrictions on the role of divine beliefs in public life. Atheism concerns what individuals should believe about the divine. Secularism is a political movement compatible with both religion and atheism, and is rather a matter of style than content. It aims at a state of affairs where people don't push their beliefs about the divine on you or even at you, but keep them to themselves.

Something this self-evidence should not need to be stressed, but when you deal with self-congratulary New Atheists swapping stories of how evil the fundamentalists are, and then chanting 'religion poisons everything' mantra-like, it does remind you of how much anti-theism has become an ideology for this species of non-believer.

The proposition that many in the New Atheist movement have crossed the line into ideology with their aggressive anti-theism hardly needs defending. But are they fundamentalists? Applying the term fundamentalism to a lack of belief in supernatural beings is meaningless, and is simply a mark of lazy thinking in trying to smear one's opponents with a term which justly carries a great deal of opprobrium.

Does it apply to the ideological Atheist however? Strictly speaking, the term has no meaning even with the more repellent New Atheists, who are not insisting on a literal reading of The God Delusion or God is Not Great as a prerequisite for membership in the community. However, there are alarming parallels between the absolutism and intolerance of the fundamentalists and some of the New Atheists. Wells concludes:


From the perspective of liberalism the important issue is not whether someone has religious beliefs, but the extent to which they are reasonable in the way they hold them, that is, whether they abjure imposing their views on others. The militancy of the new atheist movement bears a worrying resemblance to the unreasonableness of the fundamentalist theocrats they worry about so much.

Unreasonable Atheists is arguably a better term
http://www.ex-christadelphians.com/2014 ... eists.html
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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Comfortable in my own naked skin

Post by secretnude » Wed May 21, 2014 12:05 pm

Religion as clothing maybe an apt metaphor
as Fashion
harbors
trends
that have a start and an end.

Being naked
has never been in Fashion
but for some people, being naked
feels more natural than actually wearing
clothing.

In some cases, the Nudist
or in the case of Religion, the Atheist
keeps his or her 'Naked Truths'
in the confines
of his or her fine
apartment and then takes on uncomfortable
clothing
to be able
to go outdoors and avoid social loathing.

I love the bare
simplicity of the bare
'Naked Truths'
that sometimes I don't dare
to actually share.
share of Americans who claim no particular religion doubled from 7% to 14% in the 1990s, as sociologists Michael Hout and Claude Fischer reported in an influential 2002 article based on the General Social Survey. A decade later, the Pew Research Center found that one-in-five U.S. adults (and fully a third of those ages 18-30) have no religious affiliation.
http://www.pewforum.org/2013/08/19/even ... n-the-u-s/
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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The TheoCat's will is the Cosmic Cat's Divine Will.

Post by secretnude » Wed May 21, 2014 2:53 pm

The Almighty Cosmic Cat
had that
Proxy called the TheoCat
that imposes his Cosmic Paws
on all the Sentient Simulated Beings that
the Cosmic Cat
oversaw.

The TheoCat
wore a Golden Hat
and had that
Absolute Rule by Divine Will
that
for good or for ill
did make the TheoCat's Will
the Cosmic Cat's Divine Will.

The Almighty Cosmic Cat
was so lazy that
he just let his TheoCat
do whatever that
the TheoCat
did want
and the TheoCat
did absolutely
always get what he wanted
with absolute ease
due to the TheoCat's
Absolute Power
that corrupted the TheoCat
absolutely.

### Links ###
Previous viewtopic.php?f=70&t=5327&p=48804#p48804

Cosmic or Celestial Cat viewtopic.php?f=70&t=5327&start=1440#p48665

Deity Pet Origins viewtopic.php?f=70&t=5327&start=1480#p48749
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
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"It's time to shake up staid traditions
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Worship of both his Lordship and that Cosmic Cat.

Post by secretnude » Wed May 21, 2014 3:18 pm

The TheoCat
imposed that
Tradition
of Unconditional Worship
of both his Lordship
and that
Almighty Cosmic Cat.

The Simulation Beings
were in a situation of being
abused by this unhip
Lordship
with high Taxes and whips
if the peasants
do quip
that the Taxes are unpleasant.

The peasants
were promised a glorious afterlife
after a life
of unpleasant toil
that did boil
to service to a TheoCat
that
didn't dare
to care
about the relative
cognitive
dissonance
of his abuse by chance
and the nice
Teachings of the Cosmic Cat
that
said we must be nice
even to Lowly Mice.

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We are all thinking naked beings

Post by secretnude » Wed May 21, 2014 11:57 pm

strawman wrote: Finally, as I see things, the greatest miracle is that stardust woke up. Theists say that God did it. Atheists believe it just happened. But they don't disagree that it happened, just what caused it. Both manage to turn something awesome and central into something dull and rude. Such people seem to prefer to sleep.
I have been quite provocative in being
actively religiously 'naked' in my writings
and I'm glad that no one here is fighting.

I am not an 'Unreasonable Atheist'
and in the beginning
I didn't want to write
such an Atheistic
missive
that's quite dismissive
of faith
but fate
has it that I have a fine Reasonable Theist
in Strawman
that can
bring
out my missives
that can be quite dismissive.

Underneath the garment of Religion
with which people sometimes use with reason
to belong
or get along
with a community
there is unity
that we are all thinking
naked beings.
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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Deity Gaming

Post by secretnude » Thu May 22, 2014 3:13 am

Most Sentient Beings in the Postsingularity
had with some regularity
played 'God' the Online Game
that I can name
as the neoMMORPG of choice.

The neoMMORPG has a neonet
interface that gets
Ultrahigh Fidelity
Virtual Reality
with Haptic feedback.

Back in the early days,
they say
that the Simulated Sentients
in the God neoMMORPG were immortal
but they now set the Simulated Sentients
as mortal
due to computational
and storage cost
since the God Game Company
initially
took a financial loss
that the Financial Gods tossed
as a Long Term Investment
in hooking
the bored Immortal Sentients
into Deity Gaming.
British researchers want to round out the experience with virtual touch, taste and smell. To simulate the real world, they argue, all five of your senses must be stimulated. Toward that end, they’ve mocked up a "Virtual Cocoon" with a separate glove that — at least in theory — could tickle your tongue as it, uh, nukes your nose.

To differentiate themselves from virtual reality schemes that have come and gone, the researchers are re-branding their effort as "real virtuality."

"The crucial thing for ‘real virtuality’ is that it will hit all five senses in a highly realistic manner," said Alan Chalmers, a professor at the University of Warwick Digital Lab. "You can’t ignore the crossmodal effect. We need to have smell, we need to have taste."
http://www.wired.com/2009/03/realvirtuality/

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An Immortal Deity Pet gets into a Deity Game viewtopic.php?f=70&t=5327&start=1460#p48668
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Zombies: A satire of the sleeping masses

Post by secretnude » Thu May 22, 2014 5:23 am

strawman wrote: Both manage to turn something awesome and central into something dull and rude. Such people seem to prefer to sleep.
Being conscious, aware
and daring
to care
can hurt
and some people avoid getting
hurt
by staying
and daring
not to stray
too far
from their Happy Comfort Zones
that they feel they do own.

Staying
and living
in a Happy Comfort Zone
that you feel you do own
maybe
like living
but being
not really alive
and they survive
like my Happy Zombies.

I patterned my Happy Zombies
on the Romero Zombies
except mine are Happy and Healthy Zombies.

Zombies
could be said to be a satire
of the sleeping masses that don't seem to aspire
to be inspired.
Some critics have seen social commentary in much of Romero's work. They view Night of the Living Dead as a film made in reaction to the turbulent 1960s, Dawn of the Dead as a satire on consumerism, Day of the Dead as a study of the conflict between science and the military, and Land of the Dead as an examination of class conflict.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_A._Romero
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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Impossible to empathize with billions of strangers

Post by secretnude » Thu May 22, 2014 7:32 am

ROU Killing Time wrote:Ayn Rand makes ROU queezy."
Morality is a complex subject
that can be counterintuitive since empathy
and sympathy
can subject
us to go relatively
astray objectively.

Maybe Spock
is a more Moral Being
since his lack of empathy
is balanced by his logical capacity
for Moral Reasoning
based primarily on Utilitarian Principles.

I think some of the Objectivist Principles
that make
ROU 'queezy'
may make
sense even if taking them in isn't that
easy.

I'm not without empathy
and sympathy
but I do think that
Reason
is the vehicle for Humanity
to endure for more seasons
than the cancelled Star Trek shows
that
I know.
Moral judgment entails more than putting oneself in another’s shoes. As the philosopher Jesse Prinz points out, some acts that we easily recognize as wrong, such as shoplifting or tax evasion, have no identifiable victim. And plenty of good deeds—disciplining a child for dangerous behavior, enforcing a fair and impartial procedure for determining who should get an organ transplant, despite the suffering of those low on the list—require us to put our empathy to one side. Eight deaths are worse than one, even if you know the name of the one; humanitarian aid can, if poorly targeted, be counterproductive; the threat posed by climate change warrants the sacrifices entailed by efforts to ameliorate it. “The decline of violence may owe something to an expansion of empathy,” the psychologist Steven Pinker has written, “but it also owes much to harder-boiled faculties like prudence, reason, fairness, self-control, norms and taboos, and conceptions of human rights.” A reasoned, even counter-empathetic analysis of moral obligation and likely consequences is a better guide to planning for the future than the gut wrench of empathy.

Rifkin and others have argued, plausibly, that moral progress involves expanding our concern from the family and the tribe to humanity as a whole. Yet it is impossible to empathize with seven billion strangers, or to feel toward someone you’ve never met the degree of concern you feel for a child, a friend, or a lover. Our best hope for the future is not to get people to think of all humanity as family—that’s impossible. It lies, instead, in an appreciation of the fact that, even if we don’t empathize with distant strangers, their lives have the same value as the lives of those we love.

That’s not a call for a world without empathy. A race of psychopaths might well be smart enough to invent the principles of solidarity and fairness. (Research suggests that criminal psychopaths are adept at making moral judgments.) The problem with those who are devoid of empathy is that, although they may recognize what’s right, they have no motivation to act upon it. Some spark of fellow-feeling is needed to convert intelligence into action.

But a spark may be all that’s needed. Putting aside the extremes of psychopathy, there is no evidence to suggest that the less empathetic are morally worse than the rest of us. Simon Baron-Cohen observes that some people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome, though typically empathy-deficient, are highly moral, owing to a strong desire to follow rules and insure that they are applied fairly.

Where empathy really does matter is in our personal relationships. Nobody wants to live like Thomas Gradgrind—Charles Dickens’s caricature utilitarian, who treats all interactions, including those with his children, in explicitly economic terms. Empathy is what makes us human; it’s what makes us both subjects and objects of moral concern. Empathy betrays us only when we take it as a moral guide.
...
Our hearts will always go out to the baby in the well; it’s a measure of our humanity. But empathy will have to yield to reason if humanity is to have a future.
http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/a ... ntPage=all
The only principle consistent with logic and thus with humanity is that if we want to “live long and prosper” (as Vulcans often say) we must use logic and pursue our life-serving values. Fortunately, contrary to Spock’s occasional illogic, this is what he actually does. And this is why so many people love him. It’s only logical.
http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/201 ... f-the-few/
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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The Gods only serve their interests

Post by secretnude » Thu May 22, 2014 9:54 am

The God Game Company
made many
of the Deity Players make strange rules
that as a rule
strictly
restricted
the numbers of Mortal
Simulation Sentients
that can become Immortal.

An examination of a Sim Sentients
morals
may always lead to actual
disqualification
except via the qualification
of forgiveness
that has some strangeness.

Even the worst offenders can get forgiveness
then sin
then get forgiveness
as many Deity Players do witness.

Compassion maybe a weakness
if fairness
in implementing rules
that as a rule
must apply to all
is at all
to be observed
but the Gods only serve
their interests.

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A Disease spread with ease

Post by secretnude » Thu May 22, 2014 2:03 pm

The Almighty Cosmic Cat
was so lazy that
a Disease
spread with ease
in one of the Worlds in His Dominion
and the Simulated Sentients
cried like the Sentients
were cutting onions.

The cries of the masses
were heard at various Catlick Church Masses
but I do assess
that the rate of 'Divine Medical Intervention'
isn't even worth a mention.

The Disease
spread 'unease'
that
the Almighty Cosmic Cat
had imposed that
as a 'Punishment for Sin'
that
was said to lie within
all Sentient Sims
in this Simulation
of a World
that
now has much Death and Sickness unfurled.

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Catlick Church viewtopic.php?f=70&t=5327&p=48666#p48666
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"Every time you masturbate… God kills a kitten"

Post by secretnude » Fri May 23, 2014 1:32 am

The TheoCat
determined that
the Disease
that
spread with ease
was the fault of the Lesbians and Gays
that they say
had Sex
that
was Hexed
according to the Cosmic Cat.

The Cosmic Cat
said Sex
had to make cute kittens
or kittens
will die.

The TheoCat
issued a decree that
said Lesbians and Gays
as of today
must repent
to prevent
another outbreak of the Disease
that
spread with ease.

The Disease
that
spread with ease
was a Sexually Transmitted Disease.

However, the Disease
wasn't limited to Lesbians or Gays
but the TheoCat
still persecuted
that
'Uncute'
group anyway.

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TheoCat viewtopic.php?f=70&t=5327&start=1520#p48888
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Teaching sadly isn't a well paid profession in my Nation

Post by secretnude » Fri May 23, 2014 4:34 am

Much of the Creationism
and Evolution Denialism
coverage is understandably US Centric
but in my Catholic
Country when I was a kid
and I don't kid,
I had
to sadly
contend
with Science Teachers that tried to pretend
that Evolution
was just a 'Theory that was still in dispute'.

I was ahead in the textbook
so I did refute
that with a look
at a well regarded Biology Textbook
and several Encyclopedias prior to the Internet
where most of the information,
we now get.

Teaching sadly
isn't a well paid profession
in my Nation
which is why things end badly.
Evolution
Main articles: Introduction to evolution and Evolution

Jerry Coyne sums up biological evolution succinctly:

Life on Earth evolved gradually beginning with one primitive species--perhaps a self-replicating molecule--that lived more than 3.5 billion years ago; it then branched out over time, throwing off many new and diverse species; and the mechanism for most (but not all) of evolutionary change is natural selection.[3]

This shows the breadth and scope of the issue, incorporating the scientific fields of zoology, botany, genetics, geology, paleontology, among many others.

But the central core of evolution is generally defined as changes in trait or gene frequency in a population of organisms from one generation to the next.[4] This has been dubbed the standard genetic definition of evolution. Natural selection is only one of several mechanisms in the theory of evolutionary change that explains how organisms historically adapt to changing environments. The principles of heredity were re-discovered in 1900, after Darwin's death, in Gregor Mendel's research on the inheritance of simple trait variations in peas.[5] Subsequent work into genetics, mutation, paleontology, and developmental biology expanded the applicability and scope of Darwin's original theory.

According to Douglas Futuyma:

Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest proto-organism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions.[6]

The word evolution in a broad sense refers to processes of change, from stellar evolution to changes in language. In biology, the meaning is more specific: heritable changes which accumulate over generations of a population. Individual organisms do not evolve in their lifetimes, but variations in the genes they inherit can become more or less common in the population of organisms. Any changes during the lifetime of organisms which are not inherited by their offspring are not part of biological evolution.[7]

The word evolution has at least three distinct meanings:[8]

The general sense of change over time.
All life forms have descended with modifications from ancestors in a process of common descent.
The cause or mechanisms of these process of change, that are examined and explained by evolutionary theories.

Thomson remarks: "Change over time is a fact, and descent from common ancestors is based on such unassailable logic that we act as though it is a fact. Natural selection provides the outline of an explanatory theory."[9]

Biologists consider it to be a scientific fact that evolution has occurred in that modern organisms differ from past forms, and evolution is still occurring with discernible differences between organisms and their descendants. There is such strong quantitative support for the second that scientists regard common descent as being as factual as the understanding that in the Solar System the Earth orbits the Sun, but the examination of relationships is still in progress and there are possible alternatives to universal common descent. There are several theories about the mechanisms of evolution, and there are still active debates about specific mechanisms.[10]

There is a fourth meaning for the word evolution that is not used by biologists today. In 1857, the philosopher Herbert Spencer defined it as "change from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous". He claimed (before Darwin) that this was "settled beyond dispute" for organic evolution and applied it to the evolution of star systems, geology and human society.[11] Even Spencer by 1865 was admitting that his definition was imperfect,[12] but it remained popular throughout the nineteenth century before declining under the criticisms of William James and others.[13][14]

Fact
Main article: Scientific fact

Fact is often used by scientists to refer to experimental or empirical data or objective verifiable observations.[15][16] "Fact" is also used in a wider sense to mean any theory for which there is overwhelming evidence.[17]

A fact is a hypothesis that is so firmly supported by evidence that we assume it is true, and act as if it were true. —Douglas Futuyma[18]

Evolution is a fact in the sense that it is overwhelmingly validated by the evidence. Frequently, evolution is said to be a fact in the same way as the Earth revolving around the Sun is a fact.[18][19] The following quotation from H. J. Muller, "One Hundred Years Without Darwin Are Enough" explains the point.

There is no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea. When we say a thing is a fact, then, we only mean that its probability is an extremely high one: so high that we are not bothered by doubt about it and are ready to act accordingly. Now in this use of the term fact, the only proper one, evolution is a fact.[20]

The National Academy of Science (U.S.) makes a similar point:

Scientists most often use the word "fact" to describe an observation. But scientists can also use fact to mean something that has been tested or observed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing or looking for examples. The occurrence of evolution in this sense is fact. Scientists no longer question whether descent with modification occurred because the evidence is so strong.[21]

Gould also points out that "Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory—natural selection—to explain the mechanism of evolution."[22] These two aspects are frequently confused. Scientists continue to argue about particular explanations or mechanisms at work in specific instances of evolution, but the fact that evolution has occurred and is still occurring is undisputed.

A common misconception is that evolution cannot be observed because it all happened millions of years ago and the science does not therefore depend on facts (in the initial sense above). However both Darwin and Wallace, the co-founders of the theory, and all subsequent biologists depend primarily on observations of living organisms; Darwin concentrated largely on the breeding of domesticated animals whereas Wallace started from the biogeographical distribution of species in the Amazon and Malay Archipelago. In the early twentieth century, population genetics had centre stage, and more recently DNA has become the main focus of observation and experimentation.

Philosophers of science argue that we do not know mind-independent empirical truths with absolute certainty: even direct observations may be "theory laden" and depend on assumptions about our senses and the measuring instruments used. In this sense all facts are provisional.[10][23]

Theory
Main article: Scientific theory

The scientific definition of the word "theory" is different from the colloquial sense of the word. In the vernacular, "theory" can refer to guesswork, a simple conjecture, an opinion, or a speculation that does not have to be based on facts and need not be framed for making testable predictions.

However, in science, the meaning of theory is more rigorous. A scientific theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment."[24] Theories are formed from hypotheses that have been subjected repeatedly to tests of evidence which attempt to disprove or falsify them. In the case of evolution through natural selection, Darwin conceived the hypothesis around 1839, and made a first draft of the concept three years later in 1842. He discussed this widely with many of his intellectual companions, and conducted further research in the background to his other writings and work. After years of development, he finally published his evidence and theory in On the Origin of Species in 1859.[25]

The "theory of evolution" is actually a network of theories that created the research program of biology. Charles Darwin, for example, proposed five separate theories in his original formulation, which included mechanistic explanations for:

populations changing over generations
gradual change
speciation
natural selection
common descent.[26] Since Darwin, evolution has become a well-supported body of interconnected statements that explains numerous empirical observations in the natural world. Evolutionary theories continue to generate testable predictions and explanations about living and fossilized organisms.[27][28]

Phylogenetic theory is an example of evolutionary theory. It is based on the evolutionary premise of an ancestral descendant sequence of genes, populations, or species. Individuals that evolve are linked together through historical and genealogical ties. Evolutionary trees are hypotheses that are inferred through the practice of phylogenetic theory. They depict relations among individuals that can speciate and diverge from one another. The evolutionary process of speciation creates groups that are linked by a common ancestor and all its descendants. Species inherit traits, which are then passed on to descendants. Evolutionary biologists use systematic methods and test phylogenetic theory to observe and explain changes in and among species over time. These methods include the collection, measurement, observation, and mapping of traits onto evolutionary trees. Phylogenetic theory is used to test the independent distributions of traits and their various forms to provide explanations of observed patterns in relation to their evolutionary history and biology.[29][30] The neutral theory of molecular evolution is used to study evolution as a null model against which tests for natural selection can be applied.
Evolution as theory and fact in the literature

The following sections provide specific quotable references from evolutionary biologists and philosophers of science demonstrating some of the different perspectives on evolution as fact and theory.
Evolution as fact

American zoologist and paleontologist George Simpson stated that "Darwin... finally and definitely established evolution as a fact."[31]
H. J. Muller wrote, "So enormous, ramifying, and consistent has the evidence for evolution become that if anyone could now disprove it, I should have my conception of the orderliness of the universe so shaken as to lead me to doubt even my own existence. If you like, then, I will grant you that in an absolute sense evolution is not a fact, or rather, that it is no more a fact than that you are hearing or reading these words."[32]
Kenneth R. Miller writes, "evolution is as much a fact as anything we know in science."[33]
Ernst Mayr observed, "The basic theory of evolution has been confirmed so completely that most modern biologists consider evolution simply a fact. How else except by the word evolution can we designate the sequence of faunas and floras in precisely dated geological strata? And evolutionary change is also simply a fact owing to the changes in the content of gene pools from generation to generation."[34]

Evolution as fact and theory

Commonly "fact" is used to refer to the observable changes in organisms' traits over generations while the word "theory" is reserved for the mechanisms that cause these changes:

Writing in 1930, biologist Julian Huxley entitled the 3rd book of the wide-ranging series The Science of Life, which dealt with the fossil record and the evidence of plant and animal structures, "The Incontrovertible Fact of Evolution". He also says "Natural Selection is not a theory but a fact. But does it...suffice to account for the whole spectacle of Evolution?...There we come to speculative matters, to theories." But he concludes that "the broad positions of Darwinism emerge from a scrutiny of the most exacting sort, essentially unchanged."[35] In 1932, a portion of the book was republished under the title "Evolution, Fact and Theory".
Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould writes, "Evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered."[36]
Similarly, biologist Richard Lenski says, "Scientific understanding requires both facts and theories that can explain those facts in a coherent manner. Evolution, in this context, is both a fact and a theory. It is an incontrovertible fact that organisms have changed, or evolved, during the history of life on Earth. And biologists have identified and investigated mechanisms that can explain the major patterns of change."[37]
Biologist T. Ryan Gregory says, "biologists rarely make reference to 'the theory of evolution,' referring instead simply to 'evolution' (i.e., the fact of descent with modification) or 'evolutionary theory' (i.e., the increasingly sophisticated body of explanations for the fact of evolution). That evolution is a theory in the proper scientific sense means that there is both a fact of evolution to be explained and a well-supported mechanistic framework to account for it."[38]

Evolution as fact not theory

Other commentators, focusing on the changes in species over generations and in some cases common ancestry have stressed that evolution is a fact to emphasize the weight of supporting evidence while denying it is helpful to use the term "theory":

R. C. Lewontin wrote, "It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that evolution is a fact, not theory."[39]
Douglas Futuyma writes in his Evolutionary Biology book, "The statement that organisms have descended with modifications from common ancestors—the historical reality of evolution—is not a theory. It is a fact, as fully as the fact of the earth's revolution about the sun."[40]
Richard Dawkins says, "One thing all real scientists agree upon is the fact of evolution itself. It is a fact that we are cousins of gorillas, kangaroos, starfish, and bacteria. Evolution is as much a fact as the heat of the sun. It is not a theory, and for pity's sake, let's stop confusing the philosophically naive by calling it so. Evolution is a fact."[41]
Neil Campbell wrote in his 1990 biology textbook, "Today, nearly all biologists acknowledge that evolution is a fact. The term theory is no longer appropriate except when referring to the various models that attempt to explain how life evolves... it is important to understand that the current questions about how life evolves in no way implies any disagreement over the fact of evolution."[42]

Evolution as a collection of theories not fact

Evolutionary biologist Kirk J. Fitzhugh[43] wrote, "'Evolution' cannot be both a theory and a fact. Theories are concepts stating cause–effect relations...One might argue that it is conceivable to speak of 'evolution' as a fact by way of it being the subject of reference in explanatory hypotheses...In the strictest sense then, 'evolution' cannot be regarded as a fact even in the context of hypotheses since the causal points of reference continue to be organisms, and no amount of confirming instances for those hypotheses will transform them into facts...While evolution is not a fact, it is also not a single theory, but a set of theories applied to a variety of causal questions...An emphasis on associating 'evolution' with 'fact' presents the misguided connotation that science seeks certainty."[27]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_ ... and_theory
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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