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Posts Tagged ‘religion

A bunch of interesting reading

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Sorry for a bit of delay between posts.  Have been too busy with study/work/touch football (I have 4 nights of touch this week :/).

Anyway here are the favourite things I’ve read lately;

Christopher Hitchens rightly has a massive swing at the Republican’s strong anti-science platform.  Anti-science seems to be all the rage these days.  In fact just recently the Tasmanian Premier, David Bartlett dismissed what actually amounts to over 400 peer reviewed scientific journal articles that show that logging forests reduces their carbon carrying capacity as “bullshit.”  In doing so he ensured that I will never vote for him any higher than just above the religious political parties.  It’s also interesting to note Bartlett’s view that emissions from forestry are not a big deal because they represent such a small portion of global emissions.  The same can be said for every single persons individual emmisions, all of us make an almost insignificant impact on global warming, and it’s only when you add up all those almost insignificant impacts that you end up with a very significant impact.  People in Qatar (the country with the highest per capita emissions) emit 0.0000002% of annual global emissions.  Using Bartlett’s logic they don’t need to bother doing anything about climate change either – and everybody in the world emit even less than them.

There is a good article about Richard Dawkins here.  He addresses some criticisms well and demonstrates that he’s a funny guy too (although anybody who reads his stuff would know that already :P).

Speaking of religion, there’s a interesting, but heavier, essay about it from Pascal Boyer in Nature.  Definitely worth a read.

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Things and stuff :P

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So the LHC has began without problems.  To stay updated on whether it’s destroyed the world has been destroyed or not, keep an eye on this webiste; 

http://www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com/

So far all looks good, but I’m checking back pretty regularly to make sure things are going ok. 

In more serious stuff, SEED has published a fair bit of interesting and accessible information about the project, which you can read here.  Still a fairly long time before the first serious collisions of course, but I’m still excited.

 

I have to admit I’ve been neglecting Spore since getting it a few days ago.  Too busy with a lot of other stuff.  Still this blog is worth checking out for a laugh.  How dare EA produce a video game that teaches people evolution :P.  Of course the game doesn’t teach real evolution, but it’s a step in the right direction.  I lulz at her outrage.  There are also some great images and videos to be found there.

Ok pretty childish, but not really worth campaigning about.  You have to create those creatures, you don’t just find them, and let’s face it, if kids make these things, they’re obviously already “corrupted.”  The main campaign of Anti-spore is just the opposition to evolution anyway.  I love the suggestion that Jack Thompson should get involved (the lawyer that sues Rockstar everytime they release a new GTA game).

 

There have been suggestions of producing drugs that make people more moral.  Cue post-modernist outrage.  You can read the initial paper here.

 

The Onion is reporting evolutionists flocking to a Darwin shaped wall stain.  I think this really demonstrates just how ridiculous the claim that evolution or atheism are religions or at all like religions.  What those people really mean is that some atheists are as passionate about their beliefs as some religious people.  Being passionate about something doesn’t make it a religion.  There’s no point having words if we don’t try to use the same standard definitions.  It’s also a pretty poor argument against atheism, and ignores all the arguments of why people are atheists, as well as, at best, just suggesting that atheism and religion are equal (of course this is obviously not the case).

 

This was an interesting article about Facebook and social interactions.  Thanks to AKH for the link 🙂

 

I also enjoyed this blog post about maps.  Here are some of my favourite maps from following those links.

 

http://www.princeton.edu/~ina/maps/non_geographic/index.html

Gives you the time it would take to travel from a particular point to others around the world.

 

Internet traffic.  A little old.  Reminds me a lot of the visulisations they talk about in Neuromancer.

This website has heaps of really cool cartograms.  The above one is each countries size in proportion to their number of McDonalds.

Written by beast9

September 11, 2008 at 11:32 am