Saturday 6 June 2015

Burnee linkblast

Time to catch up on a load of links I've been saving up for ... a while:

the exciting science discoveries | science experiments 2015 - YouTube

Tears in rain? Why Blade Runner is timeless | Film | The Guardian
Timeless indeed.

Attack on God // Justin Welby
Well that was a nothing clip if ever there was one.

BBC News - Rowan Williams responds to Stephen Fry's tirade on God
Same goes for this one (see above). Between them the once and current ABCs can only come up with platitudinous BS in response to Stephen Fry's heartfelt castigation — which after all was itself only a response to a TV host's question.

The Gambian despot who 'cured HIV-AIDS' and his British homoeopath allies - Telegraph
Maybe I should start selling my Tincture of Nothingium as a cure-all, on the basis of "the more you pay, the more it's worth". Or maybe not.

How the Christian Church is attacking itself with science - Baltimore Christianity |
"Even so, except for the most extremist among them, the non-religious community recognizes that morality and humane values are important to society, but how to divorce them from their religious roots?"

"...but how to divorce them from their religious contamination?"


It is not close-minded to demand reasonable kinds of evidence
Much as I am willing to give religionists the benefit of the doubt, I'm inexorably drawn to the conclusion that, on the whole, they are making stuff up.

On the foundations of morality | Eat Your Brains Out; Exploring Science, Exposing Creationism
'...the question “How do we justify our morality?” does not admit of an answer that does not beg the question.'

Two Creationists Joke About Atheists’ Focus on God, Not Realizing It’s Because of the Awful Effects of Their Groups
Fundamentally at odds. This is why it's (probably) pointless arguing with fundamentalists on matters of doctrine, and (probably) more productive to argue legal points — non-discrimination, separation of church and state, etc.

Ten Facebook Pages You Need to Stop Sharing From
So much woo...

Breaking News: Over-Unity Reactionless Generator Invented In India | Collective-Evolution
"The second law of thermodynamics must be modified..." Er ... no.

This is not what scientists do
They've found God's Throne (and PZ Myers helpfully provides a picture).

I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)
Some people over at you-know-where have been getting unbelievably (ahem!) het up about a recent blogpost by Richard Carrier. Here's PZ Myers' take.

Atheist Debates - Interview: AC Grayling, DPhil - YouTube
Fresh from his magnificent keynote talk at last month's QEDcon, Professor AC Grayling sat down with Matt Dillahunty for this clear-headed, articulate interview ranging through philosophy, religion, debates and humanism.

Daniel Dennett Withdraws from World Science Festival Due to Templeton Foundation Sponsorship
Tainted money.

[Study] This Is What Happens When You Switch To Organic Food
Typical PR "study" in which the conclusions, though true, don't really matter. The measured levels of pesticides and other chemicals "before" are well below accepted standards of safety.

Death Is Not the Answer
"[T]he moral contradiction at the heart of capital punishment."

Prince Charles’ letters confirm that he’s not fit to be king
"The least that one can ask of the royal family is that they should not endanger the health of the nation."

Dementia WILL Affect You But Simple Actions Can Make A World Of Difference | Jamie Anderson
The most uplifting story I've seen all week.

Skyping with the enemy: I went undercover as a jihadi girlfriend | World news | The Guardian

International Humanist and Ethical Union | New president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union: Andrew Copson
This is almost certainly (translation: more likely nothing to do with it) because Skepticule interviewed him at QED2015.

Jehovah’s Witness Leader Rants Against Higher Education, Saying It’ll Lead to “Spiritual Disaster”
Short version: "Don't send your kids to Uni, they'll find out we've been teaching them BS."

8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal | Biblical Gender Roles
So messed up.

Atheist Debates - Can Science Disprove God(s)? - YouTube
Half an hour of good stuff on the burden of proof.

Jonathan Sacks: ‘I’m optimistic when I speak to young Muslims. They have incredible idealism’ - Telegraph
I'm sure Jonathan Sacks is a nice guy, but he gets too much prominence in British media. His thinking appears shallow and unconsidered, mainly consisting of platitudes and vague metaphor. His comment about secularism shows that along with many religionists he cannot conceive of morality without a god:
"It is the secularisation of Western society, he argues, and the resulting moral vacuum, that leaves idealistic youngsters without anything in which to believe and susceptible to radical voices."