Questionable Motives

May 28, 2014

What are solar freakin’ roadways?

Filed under: Environment,Science,Technology — tildeb @ 10:00 am

They are the future that starts now. Welcome to the beginning of something special…

 

(h/t to mystro at deadwildroses)

 

May 11, 2014

What is atheism?

Filed under: Atheism,belief,evidence,faith-based beliefs,reason,Religion,Science — tildeb @ 11:38 am

I continue to be amazed at just how poorly understood is atheism by those hell-bent on criticizing it. After all, if you can’t even figure out what the term means by those who use it to define their lack of belief with it, then how can these folk justify claims that non belief inherently possesses immorality while blathering about its association with all kinds of pejorative descriptions and character assassinations for those who do not believe in some meddlesome supernatural deity or deities.

So let’s be clear and define the term for those unable or unwilling to actually listen to atheists: atheism means non belief in gods or a god. The REASONS for holding no belief in some meddlesome supernatural deity or deities are many. I sincerely hope this video will help those who demonstrate such difficulty of comprehension grasping such a simple term finally understand what atheism means and how one arrives at this conclusion.

(h/t to the Arbourist over at deadwildroses)

 

November 29, 2013

What might a vaccine ad look like?

Filed under: Medicine,Science,vaccination — tildeb @ 11:09 am

October 10, 2013

Can we afford to do so little?

Filed under: Climate Change,Science — tildeb @ 2:03 pm

If we think of climate as our life support system, then at what point – what milestone, what knowable data collected – do we decide that we no longer have time luxury to afford small incremental changes but must act to save the life of the system itself? This is the kind of answer we need from scientific consensus to overpower the short term interests and political capital of those who monetize their carbon assets.

 

August 26, 2013

Why is accommodating respect for faith-based beliefs stupid and irresponsible?

medical treatmentOver at  Jerry Coyne’s site, Why Evolution is True, he posted about a measles outbreak in Texas traced back to a mega-church and non vaccinated children.  Coyne titled his post, “Measles back again, thanks to religion,” and gave us information about the outbreak, the response from church authorities and its ‘medical’ team, and data on the disease, all very useful stuff (as usual). But I disagreed in one sense that the measles outbreak was due to religion. It was just as much back because of those who accommodate faith-based beliefs of any kind and smugly attack New Atheists for daring to criticize any of it publicly. This is what I wrote in my ridiculously long comment:

I apologize for the length of my comment, but this post highlights that the ‘enemy’ of reason and knowledge isn’t just religion per se but those who support and tolerate a methodology that is clearly broken, namely, the empowerment and public acceptance of any faith-based belief (an acceptance demonstrated by offering unjustified respect rather than justified criticism of those who exercise any faith-based belief. I’m talking to you, accommodationists).

Into the category of faith-based beliefs can be everything from religion to anti-vaccination, conspiracies to astrology, alternative medicine to Winfrey/Chopra/Dr. Oz-ian woo. Belief in these is all of a kind, and the root is faith- rather than evidence-based belief… a method of thinking that elevates possibility to be equivalent to probability, meaning that it’s a way to elevate any belief in something to be the same weight in consideration as not having belief in it. In other words, it’s a way to make any faith-based belief seem as reasonable as not believing… one either believes in alien abductions, for example, (by entertaining the possibility) or one does not (by seeming to be closed-minded when there is no compelling evidence in its favour). See? Equivalent: six of one, a half dozen of the other. How very reasonable and open-minded we are and not followers of scientism like those intolerant, strident, and militant folk who are Doin’ it Rong!

What’s lost, of course, is any meaningful way, a methodology we can trust, to allow reality to arbitrate the faith-based belief because the weight of evidence (supporting or not supporting the belief) plays no important role; the equivalency is already clearly established by believers, which is why any possible evidence for the most ludicrous of beliefs is drafted into service and used as if equivalent to the array of evidence contrary to them combined with the absence of compelling evidence where it should be if the belief were true. In this sense, the use of evidence (aka, reality) by the faith-based believer is only used in service to the belief, whereas in every other area of life we know enough to allow our beliefs to be in the service of reality… if we wish to function successfully in it.

Any method of inquiry that refuses to allow reality to adjudicate claims made about it is a guaranteed way to fool one’s self. Believers in faith-based beliefs fool themselves (along with the tacit approval of accommodationists who decide the appearance of being tolerant of foolishness is a higher standard of intellectual integrity than respecting reality to inform our beliefs about it). But it doesn’t end here and this is the point accommodationsits fail to appreciate. A measles outbreak doesn’t just threaten those foolish enough not to vaccinate; it threatens both the non vaccinated AND the vaccinated with exposure to a preventable disease! This is unconscionable stupidity and social irresponsibility in the face of spreading a very real disease because of acting on a faith-based belief. As if believing in such faith-based foolishness weren’t bad enough, acting on this foolishness carries with it a demonstrable cost to all of us that causes real harm to real people in real life. Faced with this reality, I must ask: where did all these ‘reasonable’ accommodationists suddenly go? This is where the rubber meets the road of why respecting faith-based beliefs by anyone including accommodationists is a public threat to the health and welfare of us all.

March 9, 2013

Why were we wrong then and why are we wrong now?

How refreshing to hear working scientists freely admit that practices based on poor understanding can result in being wrong when the evidence from reality shows us this to be the case! (If only theists were as honest about the practices undertaken on behalf of their faith!)

February 14, 2013

What do you get when you combine the Bare Naked Ladies, Chris Hadfield, and a choir of young people?

Filed under: Entertainment,Music,Science,The Bare Naked Ladies — tildeb @ 10:43 pm

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – our public network here in Canada – helped to put this together, along with the Canadian Space Agency and The Coalition for Music Education to honour (yes, spellcheck, we include ‘u’)  music education in schools across the country. Hadfield, a Canadian,  is commander of the International Space Station.

Check out the power and beauty of a multicultural society working together to further human knowledge and support the arts:

(h/t to climatedenialcrockoftheweek)

October 9, 2012

What’s this all about?

Filed under: Entertainment,Humour,Science — tildeb @ 8:36 am

And we mustn’t forget an informative video:

So what’s going on?

The explanation is here:

October 6, 2012

What’s the harm of a little religious belief exercised in the public domain?

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Georgia) is member of the Science Committee of the House of Representatives and chairs the House Science Committee’s panel on investigations and oversight. He claims to be a scientist because he’s a medical doctor, which reminds me to remember that half of all medical doctors graduated from the bottom portion of their class.

July 30, 2012

What do you mean Muller now says climate change is real?

Filed under: Climate Change,Environment,Science — tildeb @ 8:36 pm

Peter Sinclair once again sinks a three-pointer with this video, showing just how out of touch and slow to the dance is previous climate skeptic and noveau convert Professor Richard Muller and the Berkley Earth Project. There has been compelling evidence for over 50 years and nothing but convincing data slotted into the case presented before Congress in 1988 that global warming was real, caused by human activity, and affecting climate. The growing scientific consensus should have been a clue for the esteemed Muller, but apparently the work of tens of thousands of climate scientists over many decades just wasn’t up to his snuff until he himself led his team of ten to the same ‘surprising’ conclusion. Well, I don;t think it will be too long before even the unemployed from the Heartland Institute try to convince us that they were on board reality’s ride long before we enjoyed today’s (shriveled) fruits of our greenhouse gas emissions.

(h/t to Misunderstood Ranter)

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