Sunday, September 13, 2009

Some Random Points

Alrighty, so after a few days off I am back now at school and ready to get back to it. I do have lots of things to start writing about and will get on that a.s.a. p. I am also starting my comprehensive exams soon so wish me luck!

A couple cool things I have found lately:

There was a good piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Man vs God with essays by Karen Armstrong and Richard Dawkins (for a great detailed write up go see Jason's at EvolutionBlog. Dawkins says it much better but basically evolution leaves the gods nowhere, with nothing to do - or gives them their pink slip and explains how the world trundles along according to the laws of physics without ANY violations, and god has become irrelevant. Armstrong argues that religion is [was] not supposed to provide "explanations that lay within the competence of reason but to help us live creatively with realities for which there are no easy solutions and find an interior heaven of peace" or as PZ puts it "ignorance is bliss". She even argues that religions explains nothing and isn't supposed to which means what exactly? I have no idea. And, I don't know where she gets this from because throughout history religion was used to explain what we didn't know (where we came from, how it all got here etc.) and still is for many; just look up anything on Intelligent Design - it will end with something we can''t explain so "god-did-it" because we need SOME explanation) and I'm pretty sure that if you go into any major church service they won't like being told that "god is just a symbol" - even though she argues many have thought that before. Do you know anyone or any religion that that professes this.......

"many of the most influential Jewish, Christian and Muslim thinkers understood that what we call "God" is merely a symbol that points beyond itself to an indescribable transcendence, whose existence cannot be proved but is only intuited by means of spiritual exercises and a compassionate lifestyle that enable us to cultivate new capacities of mind and heart."

A close relative to my study species, the great tit apparently will go into caves and attack bats! This is a tiny bird that normally eats seeds, insects and fruits but when it goes through tough winters it becomes "a ruthless killer" which I think is really cool.

Just for my Canadian friends: states which do well educationally can blame, well... Canada! Razib Khan over at Gene Expression has a few blogs on how being close to Canada also prevents murder and increases life expectancy.

And finally, I liked this video and I think it's a good way to make a point -

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