Hard Wired Religion

Which is the better biological explanation for a belief in God — evolutionary adaptation or neurological accident? Is there something about the cognitive functioning of humans that makes us receptive to belief in a supernatural deity? And if scientists are able to explain God, what then? Is explaining religion the same thing as explaining it away? Are the nonbelievers right, and is religion at its core an empty undertaking, a misdirection, a vestigial artifact of a primitive mind? Or are the believers right, and does the fact that we have the mental capacities for discerning God suggest that it was God who put them there?

In short, are we hard-wired to believe in God? And if we are, how and why did that happen?

NYT Link

Interesting article digging into current scientific study revolving around a belief in God. Hat tip to my sis for the link.

Secular vs. Religious

In the secular account, “You are the descendant of a tiny cell of primordial protoplasm washed up on an empty beach 3 1/2 billion years ago. You are a mere grab bag of atomic particles, a conglomeration of genetic substance. You exist on a tiny planet in a minute solar system in an empty corner of a meaningless universe. You came from nothing and are going nowhere.”

In the Christian view, by contrast, “You are the special creation of a good and all-powerful God. You are the climax of His creation. Not only is your kind unique, but you are unique among your kind. Your Creator loves you so much and so intensely desires your companionship and affection that He gave the life of His only son that you might spend eternity with him.”

Now imagine two groups of people — let’s call them the Secular Tribe and the Religious Tribe — who subscribe to one of these two views. Which of the two is more likely to survive, prosper and multiply?

S.F. Chronicle Op-Ed piece

Burning Man

Apparently, Burning Man isn’t what it used to be. With 40,000 visitors a year (compared to the rather smallish 10,000 when I visited in 97), it seems to have lost it’s charm.

The word “nausea” barely covers the full body ache you feel when “acclimating” to the Martian landscape and punishing heat of Burning Man. You can’t move, you can’t escape the dust or heat and you are surrounded by some of the most perverse and deviant people you will ever meet. Everywhere you look a “porno-copia” of sagging balls, flopping peckers, hairy asses, flabby breasts and other uninvited unattractive nakedness will strip away any remnant of goodwill you may feel towards your fellow burners as the caustic alkali dust strips away your exposed skin. What gives these naked perverts the right to expose their ugly fucked-out carcasses? If being forced to view hundreds of hairy ass cracks as you gag down breakfast sounds fun, Burning Man is for you.

The Redux post linked at the bottom of the original is also good.

Hat tip to Steve for the Link.

Roe vs. Wade

“We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”

Relying on the current state of medical knowledge, the decision established a system of trimesters that attempted to balance the state’s legitimate interests with the individual’s constitutional rights. The Court ruled that the state cannot restrict a woman’s right to an abortion during the first trimester, the state can regulate the abortion procedure during the second trimester “in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health,” and in the third trimester, demarcating the viability of the fetus, a state can choose to restrict or even to proscribe abortion as it sees fit.

Wikipedia Link

Killing the Hype

Dru, your going to love this blog.

Go Flock Yourself
“Web slingaz droppin rhymez wit da 20 inch rimz”

Faster. Faster! Cry out, blogosphere! You need someone who gets it. Clustering. An AJAX-driven GUI. On-demand streams. It’s all changing. This is newer media. News clouds. Tag me. Splog is an aggregate noun. Float this. It’s all about community. We shall transcend borders. Hack it. Roll your own roll-your-own. We’re about what Web 2.0 is about. We are on the brink of a new age. Folksonomy. This will change everything. Social is the new push. Clear that. MSM just doesn’t get it. “ASL” is geezer speak. Label what defies categorization. Podcasts. The words aren’t what they were. Always be launching. The buzz is loud and clear. The new is old.

Some choice posts and quotes:

I found anothr uslss wb srvic

“I’d attribute this heavy hand and lack of tact to the fact that we are a bunch of jaded geeks who usually communicate via IRC (yeah, I know) and this is the first semi-serious blog we’ve done.”

“Personally, I can’t wait until I can have someone edit my thoughts before I’ve even properly finished composing them. That will be great. Really.”

Still one more Web 2.0 fad that needs to just fucking die

Web 2.0 Death Pool

Iran Bloggers Beaten and Worse

free speech

The Internet continues to change everything, despite a lot of effort by backward thinking religious fanatics. I’m proud to have played a part.

Over the last year, however, Iranian authorities have arrested and beaten dozens of bloggers, charged with crimes such as espionage and insulting leaders of the Islamic Republic. Among them is Omid Sheikhan, who last month was sentenced to one year in prison and 124 lashes of the whip for writing a blog that featured satirical cartoons of Iranian politicians.