Posts Tagged ‘ Science ’

In Defense Of Neil deGrasse Tyson

… and those atheists that are not the same kind of atheist as other atheists. To start, lets look at the video that Hemant Mehta wrote at When Did Neil deGrasse Tyson Start Using the Arguments of Christian Apologists?

Hemant, you’re wrong. If all your allies must be like you and think like you, you will have few allies. Not believing in gods and the supernatural does not commit you to any particular world view, rather it means you probably can’t hold certain world views in light of that disbelief. Clearly, not believing in gods or the supernatural does not make you an ardent atheist because you can also be an agnostic.  Tyson gives the right reasons for not being concerned about atheism and the secular movement. He *IS* a very busy man who is working hard to help fix the politics of science and promote science and NASA etc. His plate is full. Just see my post I Don’t Give A Damn to get some understanding of why those are good reasons.

Hemant, I don’t particularly like all that you do either and do not feel a need to run out and support the ‘atheist cause’ at every opportunity. While I might be criticized for not doing enough you absolutely cannot criticize Tyson for not doing enough. He is fighting the battles that  you can’t and doing a damned good job of it too. If being an atheist meant I had to side with you on everything and think the way that you do I’d become an agnostic too. Yes, you are off base on this one.  Atheism is not about conformity, it’s about not believing. That’s it. Everything else is something else. Yes, Tyson is probably an atheist and might say so when thinking about it more gets high on his to-do list. In the mean time he is on the side of rational thinking and sane behavior and above ALL else he is in support of science, the natural enemy of religion. The enemy of your enemy is your friend, even if they don’t actively appear to be your ally.

I’d say ‘cut the guy some slack’ but I’m not writing to tell you how harsh to treat him, I’m writing to tell you that you are wrong. You do no one a service by trash talking natural allies to your own cause. Shame on you.

Let’s Get This Party Started

Most of my posts are about religion and atheism. Part of my atheism is believing in my fellow human apes and what we together can and have accomplished. There are no gods needed to see how through tireless effort we can accomplish mind boggling feats of engineering and human compassion. One of the great representations of this is the results of science. Thousands upon thousands of scientists are working tirelessly to find even trivial bits of new information that lead us to better understanding and better living. We owe them. All of them.

Currently I can think of no person who is a more charismatic speaker about science and space than Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. I find him inspiring in ways that I have trouble writing about. I think that perhaps if you find him uninspiring you might have something wrong with you. The collection of human apes on this planet need to get over the fear and get on with going where we are destined to go. Star Trek has laid out the guidelines, the program as it were. We need to be exploring outer planets for life, mining space bodies for fuel, and looking for Earth v2.0. We need to GET THIS PARTY STARTED. I’m not one to tell you who to vote for but you might want to rethink your voting plans after you listen to what The Neil has to say.

Seriously, send that video link to your senators and congressmen. Make a statement that means something for the future of human apes. If we do not speak up now we may never get another chance and I weep for our species.

UPDATE

To contact your senator or congressperson, try this link

All we need do is shut down the TSA and Homeland Security. Give 10-15% of that money to the FBI and the rest to NASA. That’s it. That is all that is necessary to get this party started. Do it. Write your representatives. Urge them to spend  your money wisely. If you are not from the USA, write to the President of the United States directly. It takes a few moments but I think it is worth it. Our species is worth it. You are worth it. Stop spending on fear and start spending on exploration.

Thank you

Irony: A Proper Epitaph For Christopher Hitchens

There is not greater irony than to die moments before the announcement of a cure or prophylactic is announced for the cause of your death. In view of his dedication to science and fact based medicine it would be rather fitting if this diagnostic technique were to be called the Hitchens Test.

Anyone up for trying to make this happen?

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