The Great Debate

28 January, 2014 - Tuesday

I listen to The Thinking Atheist as often as possible, and tonight, on my drive home, I listened to the latest episode.  This episode was all about whether or not Bill Nye (The Science Guy), should debate Ken Ham, (The Creationist Museum).

bill-nye-ken-ham-debate

I must say, I was surprised at some of the opinions. All the guests who were on tonight are very much admired by me.  I’ve watched, listened and read all of them.  But.. I think some of them are misguided.  Their responses were slightly varied, but (with few exceptions), along the lines of “He shouldn’t do it”, “..creationism shouldn’t be debated since it’s already been debunked”, and “He isn’t a debater”

Yeah, he isn’t a debater.  Yeah, we are all a little nervous — can Bill Nye win this debate against Ken Ham? Can he pull it off and not fall into some trap that Ken Ham will lay? Can he not facepalm himself to death with the nonsense Ham touts? How can you debate somebody who makes stuff up? (Dinosaurs being ridden by man, anyone??). I hope Bill Nye can get past Ken Ham’s one liners, and pseudo-science.  Ken Ham’s prepositional apologetic faith based “science” is sheer bullshit (and I’m $ure Ken Ham know$ it’$ bull$shit).

Can Bill Nye Win?  What if he loses? I think there will be two winners here — The creationists will think Ken Ham won.  Everyone else with a brain that works properly will think Bill Nye won.

But I don’t think that matters.  What matters is this being seen AFTER the debate.  Bill Nyes arguments will be seen by some 20 year old at 3am one Tuesday night, and it will change his life – maybe he will be the next Brian Cox.  It’ll be seen by some 36-year-old guy who has begun to question his religion – maybe he’ll be the next Seth Andrews.  It will be seen by a woman who has 3 kids, and by listening to Bill Nyes responses to what she thought she knew to be true, she will change what she teaches her children. Those children will grow up seeing the fucking awesomeness that is real, honest to goodness, peer reviewed, tried and tested science.   This has happened before to people.  Just substitute Bill Nye’s name for Chistopher Hitchens.

Why should we debate creationists??

  • 46% of the American population believe in creation — that man was put on this earth in the form he is today, less than 10,000 years ago.

Let that sink in for a sec.

46%.  Forty six per-fucking-cent. WTF, people?!?  

  • Towns and cities across the states are having to fight creationists to keep science IN schools.  Texas Board of Education as just the latest example.
  • States across the country are putting up bills into their legislature that would have creationism taught in schools alongside biology.
  • There are 14 states, right this second, that are allowing schools to teach creationism in the classroom.
  • We have Senators and Congressmen who are young earth creationists and have voices and votes that can, and will, push creationism even further into schools, discarding all evidence to the contrary.

This must change.

We need to show the creationists the truth of reality, of our world, of our history, of the amazing beauty that evolution is, and pulling the wool away from their eyes.

I agree very much with David Silverman (of American Atheists). I think creationists need to be brought down with a big smack of reality. I don’t think the objections to this debate are valid. Freethinkers have been debating the religious for years, and have brought about change. Debating a creationist, who has absolutely no proof to his claim (no peer review, no testing) is necessary and needed by our entire society.

I wish that Ken Ham had accepted the Houston Atheists challenge of a debate with PZ and Matt Dillahunty, (more seasoned debaters). But I will cheer behind Bill Nye. I’m sure he can pull it off.

I have to wonder, though, if all the naysayers (who think Bill Nye will fail), offered any help to prepare him, instead of just saying he shouldn’t be doing it.  Or are they just going to sit back and watch, hoping they were right, as he falls flat on his ass?

It is always now

16 December, 2013 - Monday

When I got back from Nebraska at the end of May, 2011, I couldn’t wrap my head around my emotion.  Between going back to Nebraska, seeing my parents had really sold the house and moved away to .. somewhere I don’t know where, exactly.. visiting certain places that really fucked my head up, and then coming home to my son graduating and lashing his tongue so harshly at everyone around him for the next year, it took a lot out of me.  I harnessed the stability and strength of my friends around me as much as I possibly could.  But it took me more than a year to get my head back in the game.

One afternoon in June of 2012, I came across the 2012 Global Atheist Convention posts on YouTube.  It was fantastic.  Great speakers, great talks, great panels. A lot of talk about Christopher Hitchens – his life, his outspokenness, his love of books, of people, of words.  A lot of people spoke about him.. Dawkins, Krauss among others.

And then Sam Harris came to speak.  And blew my mind.  And put it back together again in a way it hadn’t been in years.  He said he wanted to speak about death.  And he did.  He really did.  But, what he really talked about was life, and living, and the moment we have this very second.

I know I watched that video at least 5 times in a row.  I know that his words brought a solace to me that I had not felt before.  I know it changed me.  It brought a wave of calm over me that I needed.  And lit a bit of a fire under me at the same time.

the past is a memory
it’s a thought
arising in the present
the future is merely anticipated, it is another thought
arising now
what we truly have
is this moment
and this
and this

And this.

Thank you, Mr. Harris.

I’m not sure who cut this version of the video, but it’s my favorite.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCOCtO9lusU

 

it is always now
i actually want to talk
today about death
now most of us do our best to not to think about death
but there’s always part of our minds that knows
this can’t go on forever
part of us always knows
that we’re just a doctor’s visit away or a phone call away from being starkly
reminded
with the fact of our own mortality
or of those closest to us
now i’m sure many of you in this room have experienced this in some form
you must know how uncanny it is
to suddenly
be thrown out of the normal course of your life
and just be given the full time job of not dying
or caring for someone who is
but the one thing people tend to realize
at moments like this is that they wasted a lot of time
when life was normal
and it’s not just what they, it’s not just what they did with their time, it’s not just
that they
spent too much time working or compulsively checking email
it’s that they cared about the wrong things
they regret what they cared about
their attention was bound up in petty concerns
year after year
when life was normal
and this is a paradox of course because
we all know
this epiphany is coming
i mean, don’t you know this is coming?
don’t you know there’s going to come a day
when you’ll be sick or someone close to you will die
and you’ll look back
at the kinds of things that captured your attention
and you’ll think, “what, what was I doing?”
you know this, and yet if you’re like most people,
you’ll spend most of your time in life
tacitly presuming you’ll live forever
it’s like watching a bad movie for the fourth time
or bickering with your spouse
I mean this, these things only makes sense
in light of eternity
there better be a heaven if we’re gonna waste our time like that
there are ways to
really live in the present moment
what what’s the alternative?
it is always now
however much you feel you may need to plan for the future
to anticipate it, to mitigate the risks,
the reality of your life is now
this may sound trite
but it’s the truth
it’s not quite true as a matter of physics, in fact there is no now
that encompasses the entire universe you can’t talk about an event
being simultaneously
occurring here and one
at the same moment occurring in Andromeda
the truth is, now is not even well-defined as a matter of neurology because
we know that inputs to the brain
come at different moments and that consciousness is built upon layers
of inputs whose timing to have to be different
are conscious awareness of the present moment is
in some relevant sense already a memory
but as a matter of conscious experience
the reality of your life
is always now
and i think this is a liberating truth about the nature of the human mind in
fact i think there’s probably nothing more important to understand
about your mind than that
if you want to be happy
the past is a memory
it’s a thought
arising in the present
the future is merely anticipated, it is another thought
arising now
what we truly have
is this moment
and this
and this
and we spend most of our lives forgetting this truth
repudiating it, fleeing it, overlooking it,
and the horror
is that we succeed
we we’ve managed to
never really connect with the present moment and find fulfillment there because we
are we are
continually hoping to become happy in the future
and the future never arrives
even when we think we’re in the present moment we’re, we’re in very
subtle ways, always looking over its shoulder
anticipating what’s coming next
we’re always solving a problem
and it’s possible to simply drop your problem
if only for a moment
and enjoy whatever is true of your life in the present
this is not a matter of new information
or more information, it requires a change in attitude
it requires a change in the attentiveness you pay
to your experience in the present moment

It works, Bitches!

3 May, 2013 - Friday

This made me choke on my tea while laughing.  I really adore Richard Dawkins.

httpv://youtu.be/Zp-1XfItSQQ

The Real Pledge of Allegiance

7 August, 2012 - Tuesday

This should be the real Pledge of Allegiance

The Problem With Religion

When People Ask Why I Have A Problem With Religion, It's Hard To Come Up With A Single Answer...

Holy Spaghetti Sauce

24 May, 2012 - Thursday

Pastafarian Sauce

Pastafarian Sauce - Holy Spaghetti Sauce !!!

Hitchens’ Razor

11 May, 2012 - Friday