Archive for the 'Science' Category
Richard Dawkins is one of the great outspoken minds of our times. While I do enjoy listening to him, sometimes a written quote is just as powerful. Dawkins is not afraid to say things that others shy away from.
So, here are some Great quotes by the Great Richard Dawkins:
1. “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
2. “…when two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.”
3. “There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can’t prove that there aren’t any, so shouldn’t we be agnostic with respect to fairies?”
4. “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.”
5. “What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all?”
6. “We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.”
7. “…it is a telling fact that, the world over, the vast majority of children follow the religion of their parents rather than any of the other available religions.”
8. “The universe is a strange and wondrous place. The truth is quite odd enough to need no help from pseudoscientific charlatans.”
9. “There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can’t prove that there aren’t any, so shouldn’t we be agnostic with respect to fairies?”
10. “We admit that we are like apes, but we seldom realise that we are apes.”
11. “Like computer viruses, successful mind viruses will tend to be hard for their victims to detect. If you are the victim of one, the chances are that you won’t know it, and may even vigorously deny it.”
12. “The essence of life is statistical improbability on a colossal scale”
13. “It is grindingly, creakingly, crashingly obvious that if Darwinism was really a theory of chance, it could not work.”
14. “With so many mindbytes to be downloaded, so many mental codons to be replicated, it is no wonder that child brains are gullible, open to almost any suggestion, vulnerable to subversion, easy prey to Moonies, Scientologists and nuns.”
15. “I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.”
16. “We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”
17. “isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
18. “Religion teaches the dangerous nonsense that death is not the end.”
19. “Faith is powerful enough to immunize people against all appeals to pity, to forgiveness, to decent human feelings. It even immunizes them against fear, if they honestly believe that a martyr’s death will send them straight to heaven.”
20. “If people think God is interesting, the onus is on them to show that there is anything there to talk about. Otherwise they should just shut up about it.”
Which one is your favourite?
This is a cute video put together for The Tyee, an independent online zine with a focus on western Canadian news.
They are currently looking to expose themselves to new people, so take a minute to check out what they are saying.
One of the few times I really wish I was living in Toronto is when I read about IdeaCity. This annual event brings together such an interesting, engaging mix of Artists, Politicians, Architects, Entrepreneurs, Nobel Laureates, Professors, experts in their fields and they come together for a three day event to talk about the world of ideas. The potential for a meeting like this is huge.
This is such a great idea it really makes me jealous for people living in Toronto. The best speakers on a myriad of subjects. Hopefully this idea will make it to Vancouver one day.
From the website:
“ideaCity, also known as Ã¢â‚¬ËœCanada’s Premiere
Meeting of the Minds’, is an eclectic gathering of artists,
adventurers, authors, cosmologists, doctors, designers, entertainers,
filmmakers, inventors, magicians, musicians, scientists and
technologists. Fifty of the planet’s brightest minds converge on
Toronto each June to speak to a highly engaged audience. Only 497 are
privileged to attend.
Produced and presented by Moses Znaimer, ideaCity
is not themed around any one topic, issue or business. There are no
scripted speeches or, breakout or parallel sessions. Rather, everyone
is in one place and in on the same narrative. With extra-long schmooze
breaks between sessions, and legendary parties each night, attendees
have an unprecedented opportunity to mingle with such notable speakers
as Conrad Black, Barbara Gowdy, Michael Ignatieff, Douglas Coupland,
Pamela Wallin, Pete Seeger, Robert Kennedy Jr., John Ralston Saul,
Daniel Libeskind, Clayton Ruby, Romeo Dallaire and the late Peter
One of my favourite news portals is now back online. TheFilter collects the best in left minded (see intelligent) news articles and plucks the flowers out from among the thorns and posts it on their news blog.
Good to see that they are back online.
Check it out if you want the best in the latest news from Canada and the U.S.
A new report warns that it is very possible that as Global Warming symptoms spread and worsen that wars will be fought for the resources that many places will be lacking. Makes a lot of sense.
From the article:
“For years, the debate over global warming has focused on the three big “E’s”: environment, energy, and economic impact. This
week it officially entered the realm of national security threats and avoiding wars as well.
platoon of retired US generals and admirals warned that global warming
“presents significant national security challenges to the United
States.” The United Nations Security Council held its first ever debate
on the impact of climate change on conflicts. And in Congress, a
bipartisan bill would require a National Intelligence Estimate by all
federal intelligence agencies to assess the security threats posed by
global climate change.
Many experts view climate change as a “threat multiplier” that intensifies instability around the world by worsening water
shortages, food insecurity, disease, and flooding that lead to forced migration. That’s the thrust of a 35-page report
(PDF) by 11 admirals and generals this week issued by the Alexandria,
Va.-based national security think tank The CNA Corporation. The study,
titled National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, predicts:
“Projected climate change will seriously
exacerbate already marginal living standards in many Asian, African,
and Middle Eastern nations, causing widespread political instability
and the likelihood of failed states…. The chaos that results can be
an incubator of civil strife, genocide, and the growth of terrorism.
U.S. may be drawn more frequently into these situations, either alone
or with allies, to help provide stability before conditions worsen and
are exploited by extremists. The U.S. may also be called upon to
undertake stability and reconstruction efforts once a conflict has
begun, to avert further disaster and reconstitute a stable environment.”
“We will pay for this one way or another,” retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, former commander of American forces in the Middle East and one of the report’s authors,
told the Los Angeles Times. “We will pay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ or we’ll pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve
The Conservative party of Canada is very open about their ideological alignment with the American neo-cons, they, like bush, believe that global warming doesn’t exist, they feel the world community of scientists and researchers are all mistaken.
It seems funny when you consider that the Canadian neo-cons have a hard time finding reputable scientists to agree with their ignorant stance.
Today John Baird made his presentation to the Canadian senate and he was rightly shot down.
“Appearing before a sometimes hostile Senate environment committee in
Ottawa, Baird said a Liberal bill calling for the government to honour
Canada’s commitment under the Kyoto treaty is a “risky, reckless
scheme” that would result in a recession and 275,000 Canadians losing
their jobs by 2009.”
“…Liberal members of the committee were swift to condemn Baird’s testimony as nothing more than scare tactics.
” ‘The sky is falling.’ We’ve heard that before,” Liberal Senator
Dennis Dawson said. “We always have people saying it will destroy the
“We’ve all seen the movie An Inconvenient Truth. Well, this is a convenient lie.”
Another very popular tactic of Canadian neo-cons is mentioned in the article:
“This is a familiar tactic to Canadians,” McGuinty told reporters
Thursday in Ottawa. “They first deny the problem Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ then they say the
costs of fixing the problem are too high.”
The article adds:
“He added there was no analysis of the positive side of energy
efficiency, or the economic and technological benefits of reducing
greenhouse gas emissions.
During question period, NDP Leader Jack Layton said Baird was
basing his scenario on “bogus, irresponsible and incomplete reports.”
The Conservatives prove yet again they cant be trusted, they will manipulate and lie to further their narrow agenda.
Jacob sez, “A stem cell treatment has cured type 1 diabetes in 14 of 15 people during experimental tests.”
14 of the 15 patients were insulin-free for some time following the treatment. Eleven of those were able to dispense with supplemental insulin immediately following the infusion of stem cells and have not had recourse to synthetic insulin since then…
“As a research scientist I am always hesitant to speak of a cure, but the initial results have been good and show the importance of conducting more trials,” Dr Burt said.