The Demon-Haunted World June 18, 2007Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, books, creationism, ethics, evolution, fallacy, freethought, god, language, life, media, NASA, politics, psychology, reading, religion, science, skepticism, space exploration, theism.
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It’s been more than I decade since Carl Sagan wrote A Demon-haunted World: Science as a candle in the dark, But even as I reread it today its message is as timely as ever. The survival of our way of life depends entirely our scientific knowledge and how we apply it. Yet we have created a society where the vast majority have no knowledge of the methods or findings of science and no knowledge of how the technology they use everyday actually works.
Furthermore we have media and politicians that present everyday anti-science attitudes, watered down and pop-culture simplifications of science, and present pseudo-science uncritically.
Everyone should read this book; theist or atheist; “evolutionist” or creationist. Whatever your stripe you will get something out of it and enjoy the trip.
Carl Sagan explains what makes science the best way we have to know what is:
Some people consider science arrogant, nevertheless, I maintain that science is part and parcel humility. Scientists do not seek to impose their needs and wants on Nature, but instead humbly interrogate Nature and take seriously what they find. We understand human imperfection. We insist on independent and to the extent possible, quantitative verification of proposed tenets of belief. We are constantly prodding, challenging, seeking contradictions or small persistent residual errors, proposing alternative explanations, encouraging heresy. We give our highest rewards to those who convincingly disprove established beliefs.
Atheism, all the rage? June 8, 2007Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, blogs, books, freethought, god, internet, life, media, religion, skepticism, theism.
I’ve been an atheist since I was about 14. At the time I didn’t call myself that because I hadn’t even heard the word before. I didn’t believe there was a god though, so when I happened upon the word I snapped it up with no reservations.
In the last few months atheism seems to be everywhere! I see it mentioned on TV in news shows and entertainment shows, there are a number of books out related to atheism on the best seller lists and the authors are doing the interview circuit.
In the beginning… May 25, 2007Posted by Joe in atheism, books, life, science, software.
there was a blank text box.
So here is the beginning of my blog and to be honest I am not sure what I am going to do with it. At first I was thinking of making an atheism blog, but there is so much more to me than that, so many more important things.
My decision then is to leave this blog generalized and I am sure I will have posts on many different subjects that interest me. Primarily they will be science, software development and testing, books, atheism, skepticism. I may touch on movies and television where I have an eclectic taste. Maybe I will mention politics from time to time.
It seems to be there is a general conceit in blogging. The strange idea that people might actually be interested in reading whatever silly opinion I might have on whatever idea is currently knocking around in my brain. Why should you really care? Well my conclusion is you shouldn’t, so I am writing the blog for me. If it entertains you as well as getting me to write something that’s just an added benefit. Really I just want to get the ideas out of my head and somewhere in the world.
To be brief, I am a 30 year old, white, software QA engineer living in the beautiful pacific northwest. Currently I am working as a software quality tester for a large bank. I was previously a science teacher for two years, before that I was also working in the software field for a well known company.
I am a dabbler in many things, but I tend to master very few. I like to try almost everything though. I just don’t seem to have the stick-to-it-iveness that is necessary to become an expert at anything. I very often start things that I never finish. Let’s just hope this blog doesn’t go the same way.