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Chatter / Re: Poetry, or "What I Believe to be Poetry"
« Last post by wright on Yesterday at 05:35:35 PM »
^^^Sorry, should have made this clear: the last line isn't mine.

This poem grew from an exercise in one of the workshops I attended; the instructor gave us all a beginning and end line. In this case, from Richard Wilbur's “A Baroque Wall-Fountain in the Villa Sciarra” (
Chatter / Re: Rate the Last Film You Saw
« Last post by jdawg70 on Yesterday at 04:51:59 PM »
The Maze Runner -


I was more engaged in the film than I expected to be.  There are enough 'duh-doy of course that kind of a twist/reveal was going to happen' moments to somewhat detract from an otherwise enjoyable experience, but really can't fault it too hard for that (as I understand it, this is an adaptation of a book series aimed at young adults, so I don't dock too many points for accessibility).

I do dock points for it being visually bland.  There isn't really much interesting going on in the cinematogrophy to drive home the atmosphere of isolation that should be really prominent.  And really, visually speaking, it's just kind of standard fair.  I'd comment on the score, but it's not terribly memorable for some reason.  Maybe it wasn't all that impressive.

Overall I enjoyed it more than I thought I would - the characters themselves are interesting (surprising amount of depth in characters that essentially have erased memories) and portrayed very well, and again, the story kept me interested and invested in enjoying the flick.
General Religious Discussion / Re: i reccomend this debate - re morality
« Last post by nogodsforme on Yesterday at 04:06:22 PM »
Apologists rely on word games and philosophical puzzlers because the facts are not on their side. If they had historical, archeological, geological or anthropological evidence, they would present it. But they don't have any of that, so they make up logical fallacies disguised as reasonable arguments instead. When all else fails, they ask what they think are science-stumping rhetorical questions: "Where did the first particle come from, then? Were you there? Can you show one animal turning into another?"

The religious folks used to be able to rely on science to back them up, most of the time.[1]For many years, certainly until the 1700's, most bible stories were considered literal fact to most people, even in the scientific community. People did not really challenge their accuracy or test the bible accounts against reality.

With the Enlightenment thinking and the beginning of observation-based experimental science (as opposed to just accepting as true what ancient smart people like Aristotle had said) scientific people started, slowly and cautiously, to edge away from the bible. When scientists actually tested biblical claims, they were almost always shown to be false.

I went to a geology lecture a while back and the guy said that until the 1800's geology was based on the idea that everything you saw in the rocks was created by the great Noahic flood. The fact that nothing that people knew about floods matched with what the bible said was not important. The bible said it, they believed it. Then, they started testing things and that was it for the bible. Everything geological in the bible was shown to be false.

The earth was really quite old; there was no global flood, ever; glaciers were in the areas supposedly under water during the great flood; fossils are laid down in precise layers, not jumbled up the way things are after a flood; when you find certain age fossils, but not other age fossils, you also find petroleum; rushing flood waters destroy things quickly, but erosion of mountains and the formation of canyons happens very slowly; volcanoes are natural phenomena, not caused by angry gods; earthquakes happen in predictable places, not randomly where people are sinners; similar rocks far from each other mean the land masses have moved around over time.

And so forth, gathering evidence and testing it out.

Geologists tend to be fairly hard-headed (heh). They like their proofs to be rock-solid (heh). Once they moved away from trying to fit the actual earth into the bible stories, and got into the area of real concrete evidence (heh) they made real discoveries and never looked back.

Religious apologists do the opposite, looking for evidence to show that what they already believe to be true, is true. If the evidence shows that what they already believe is false, they disregard it. If there is the slightest bit of evidence in their favor, they stop looking. Proof found, case closed. Not science.
 1. The handful of heretics and radicals who challenged the religious view of science got punished, exiled or even executed.
General Religious Discussion / Re: i reccomend this debate - re morality
« Last post by Foxy Freedom on Yesterday at 03:57:52 PM »
excuse my ignorance but are these great biblical wars, plagues, great flood etc recorded elsewhere in the historical record??

these are not particularly the oldest events that have occurred, anyone familiar with the field of comparing historio/biblical facts with just facts?

ignore the great flood inclusion in this post.

More than not being confirmed, the early events before about 800 bc can be shown to be fabrications based on story telling. From about 800 bc scribes began to write down events and early versions of stories which were told at that time. The stories were developed into pseudohistory over time.

Some events which never happened.

At the time of the story of exodus, Canaan was inside the Egyptian Empire not outside.

The Israelites did not conquer Canaan, they were Canaanites who developed a different culture. Yahweh and El were developed from Canaanite gods.

There was no kingdom of David and Solomon. The land in the south at that time was almost uninhabited. The only kingdom which was forming at that time was in the north and had a different line of kings who generally had a bad write up in the OT because of jealousy that they were in fact the real kings with the real kingdom where the bible stories began.

Yahweh did not reveal himself to one set of people. There were two kingdoms which developed worship of Yahweh and El. These were later combined into one god called Yahweh/El in the OT. In the early version of the tale of the sacrifice of Isaac to El. Isaac was almost certainly killed. "You have not withheld your hand". In later editing, stories about Isaac were added.

The story of the exile and return from Egypt was probably a representation of their wishes while in exile in Babylon, and written at that time along with the Babylonian Creation myths which begin the OT.

would this ron Jeremy phrase suffice to make my point without use of the word liar, I will use it as my signature;

"In your mythology, the god character thought it so important that his followers don't tell lies, that he made it one of his rules, the ninth one in case you aren't aware.

So now you're aware of your error, I assume that you'll apologise and retract your statement to avoid bearing false witness?"
Sexuality, Reproduction, & Abortion / Re: Prostitution
« Last post by nogodsforme on Yesterday at 03:23:07 PM »
when the church talks about not jacking off
i feel like jacking off even more!

I don't think the church wants you to jack off either.  You will go blind.

It does make you wonder about the churchy people who go into so much detail about all the sinful behavior you should not be participating in. Ted Haggard's creepy sermon from Jesus Camp (IIRC) that included the phrase "I know what you did last night" leaps to mind.... :P
Science / A common anti-intellectual dodge
« Last post by wright on Yesterday at 03:21:20 PM »
This isn't exactly news to most here, I know. Still, some thoughts on a standard qualifier some commentators, particularly politicians, like to use:

From the Slate article:
When politicians say “I’m not a scientist,” it is an exasperating evasion. It’s a cowardly way to avoid answering basic and important policy questions. This response raises lots of other important questions about their decision-making processes. Do they have opinions on how to best maintain our nation’s highways, bridges, and tunnels—or do they not because they’re not civil engineers? Do they refuse to talk about agriculture policy on the grounds that they’re not farmers? How do they think we should be addressing the threat of ISIS? They wouldn’t know, of course; they’re not military generals.

And from the post at The Friendly Atheist:
The same people who can’t admit to the scientific consensus on life’s origins because they’re not scientists have no problem commenting on (and limiting) women’s healthcare despite not being physicians.

There's certainly nothing wrong with admitting ignorance about a given topic. But as both Shiffman and Ford point out, to use that as an excuse to disregard expert opinion is wrong.
General Religious Discussion / Re: i reccomend this debate - re morality
« Last post by eh! on Yesterday at 03:21:13 PM »
I would have thought that this area would be the most active area of Xian apologetics, if it is then I have missed it.

the Xian apologetics effort seems to focus on constructing logical word games, why would they need to do that  when they can simply go match scripture (at best only 6000yo) with historical and archaeological fact that no honest person could deny. 

seems the path I would go down if I was a xian apologist cos it is psychologically, emotionally  and intellectually more compelling for the average man on the street to buy into than ontology, epistemology and pre-suppositonal transcendental arguments for god which comes across as dishonest, evasive and pointless to joe average.

so what's up with that?

Good to hear it. I guess.  :P
Evolution & Creationism / Re: DNA Mapped From 45,000 Year Old Human Bone
« Last post by nogodsforme on Yesterday at 03:18:55 PM »
Within a few decades, scientists will be able to clone a Neanderthal person from reconstituted DNA.[1]

Imagine Neanders walking around in your neighborhood--in business suits, not hoodies, so they don't get shot for looking suspicious...It will raise all kinds of issues, and not just with the religious people who don't believe that humans are primates or that the earth is billions of years old. People who don't accept evolution will have to realize that DNA is all the proof the theory of evolution needs. 

What exactly is a human being?
Do Neanders have human rights? Will we have to call them humanoid rights?
Do Neanderthals qualify for citizenship anywhere?
Are they eligible for health insurance--or is non-homo sapiens status a pre-existing condition?
Where do non-homo sapiens humanoid species fit into Genesis?
Will people (false Christians only, of course) patronize Neander escort services and watch Neander pron?
Will people (true or false Christians-- hard to tell) try to prevent Neanders from marrying, adopting children, holding jobs or living in nicer neighborhoods?
Will people (true Christians only, of course) try to convert the Neanders?
Will the Neanders brain the religious people with a highly advanced stone tool?
If they do, will it be considered a sin?

Inquiring minds want to know.  :angel:
 1. Neanders have a lot of physical similarities to humans, but their DNA is farther from modern humans than chimp DNA is. However, Neanders and humans were able to interbreed! Neander DNA is mainly in Europeans, IIRC, because the Neanders migrated out of Africa before homo sapiens did. Sub-Saharan African people do not have Neander DNA. You would think that the presence of extinct Neander DNA in some modern humans would already be enough to convince everyone that evolution is real--how else could there be different kinds of humanoid DNA? But it ain't. I don't think any evidence would convince some people....
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