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buydca.com is being shutdown?

The drug DCA was brought to my attention on a recent podcast from The Skeptics Guide to the Universe (although none of their shownotes specifically list this as a topic of discussion I believe it was Podcast #101 (6/20/2007), if that’s not correct someone correct me and I’ll edit this post).

The basic (or most important) claim regarding the drug DCA (dichloroacetate) is that it is a cure for cancer. Now obviously this should automatically throw a red flag up for any normal person however this claim seems to have at least tentative scientific support, read about it in New Scientist (21 Feb. 2007).

The difference with this drug and other drugs is two-fold. The first difference is that apparently it is not a patentable compound, although I can’t find out why. Since this compound cannot be patented this has obvious ramifications for it achieving FDA approval, most notably what pharmaceutical is going to go to the time and expense to send this drug through clinical trials if they can’t patent it and therefore even make their money back let alone a profit.

 The second difference is in how this drug appears to fight cancer. I’ll quote from the New Scientist article I link to above since they say it so much more eloquently than I could,

DCA attacks a unique feature of cancer cells: the fact that they make their energy throughout the main body of the cell, rather than in distinct organelles called mitochondria. This process, called glycolysis, is inefficient and uses up vast amounts of sugar.

Until now it had been assumed that cancer cells used glycolysis because their mitochondria were irreparably damaged. However, Michelakis’s experiments prove this is not the case, because DCA reawakened the mitochondria in cancer cells. The cells then withered and died (Cancer Cell, DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2006.10.020).

Michelakis suggests that the switch to glycolysis as an energy source occurs when cells in the middle of an abnormal but benign lump don’t get enough oxygen for their mitochondria to work properly (see diagram). In order to survive, they switch off their mitochondria and start producing energy through glycolysis.

Crucially, though, mitochondria do another job in cells: they activate apoptosis, the process by which abnormal cells self-destruct. When cells switch mitochondria off, they become “immortal”, outliving other cells in the tumour and so becoming dominant. Once reawakened by DCA, mitochondria reactivate apoptosis and order the abnormal cells to die.

This drug appears to show a significant amount of promise, unfortunately this article is very light on the potential side effects (most likely because of the lack of any scientific study). The wikipedia article does list pain, numbness, gait disturbances as welll as neuropathy and neurotoxicity as a result of thiamine depletion as possible side effects (all have citations for further research). I won’t even pretend to know what all of that means I’m just giving the information ;)http://www.glaxier.com/12/

So beyond this writeup on a promising cancer treatment drug (which I admit is cool in and of itself) the main reason for this post is the amount of attention and misinformation being promoted within the alternative health community, everything from “this is a miracle cure without side effects” to Big Pharma conspiracies. One of the most egregious examples has been the site, buydca.com, operated by Jim Tassano which actively sells DCA “for animals” to anyone. Well guess what? The FDA has finally shut down the sale of DCA on this site although the specific allegations I can’t find anywhere (and if what Orac reports from thedcasite.com’s messageboards is true there is likely no official record), although its sister site, thedcasite.com is still putting this information out there while not selling anything.

I think it’s very important that something like this is run through clinical trials because while it might be everything it claims to be there may be some very significant side effects that need to be discovered and dealt with. The last thing you want is someone with very operable and curable breast cancer forgoing “traditional” treatment and instead takes “harmless DCA” that turns out killing her because of thiamine depletion or liver toxicity.

I think Kate Law, Cancer Research UK’s clinical trial director has the money quote,

“It is important that all new treatments are carefully investigated to make sure they are effective and safe for use in patients. DCA is no exception, so we are pleased that the FDA has taken the decisive action to limit the sale of DCA over the internet.”

If you want a lot more information from someone much, much smarter than I check out Orac’s blog Respectful Insolence regarding the latest on DCA also he has an excellent roundup of all his other posts on the subject.

Technorati Skeptic

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Filed under: Health

Damn Atheist internal combustion engines

I know this has been out there for awhile and yes it’s on Huffington Post but I just read this, Forget God: What’s So Great About Atheism?,  again and don’t even know where to start so I will just focus on a representative and absurd section that I think highlights several of many logical fallacies that this guy goes through.

The whole point of the article is to apparently show that atheism isn’t any better or worse than religion. Although if this guy would read what I say about ideology then maybe he would be enlightened, ok that’s probably not true.

Anyway, here’s the section that I believes expresses several logical fallacies all at once, but most notably a non-sequitur and post hoc ergo propter hoc, apparently the author is attempting to imply that science and scientists (a naturally atheistic and therefore bad endeavor particularly when those scientists are of the especially dangerous type of “free thinking” kind) are responsible for the greatest atheist tragedies of the 20th century.

Here comes World War 1 which — thanks to the staggering advances of free-thinking scientists (in say high explosives, manned flight, internal combustion, chemical weapons) — puts an end to 20 million more lives; plus setting future monsters 1, 2 and 3 solidly in motion. And it’s only 1918.

Welcome to the 20th century — golden age of atheism.

Just to clarify monsters 1, 2 and 3 were Stalin, Hitler and Mao Zedong, respectively.

Apparently in Tony Hendra’s mind the internal combustion engine and manned flight get together in a secret atheist cabal and plot to unleash their atheist minions (aka Scientists) to begin the usher in a golden age of atheist genocide. Further, the implication here that atheism is no better than, say, Christianity as a rebuttal to the works of the big 3 atheists (Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris) is merely a strawman argument. I haven’t read Harris’ latest book yet however the other 2 make it very clear that their biggest problem with religion is the exclusive and special nature that faith is afforded over other forms of ideology. To argue that atheism as a belief system is bad is a ridiculous argument since neither of these authors have made and would be a very hard argument to make in the first place. Can you have a system of not-belief?

If only this guy has an idea of what a better form of religion would be, of course devoid of any overtly dogmatic or fundamentalist trash and therefore only pandering to Christianity in name but is almost wholly humanistic in origin, oh wait.

Technorati Atheism

Filed under: Atheism, Religion, Science

Darwin Dating

Funny concept but a total misapplication of Darwin’s theories, Darwin Dating. I don’t even know what to file this under.

Filed under: Internet

Skeptical Reading for Kids

I’m a regular lurker over on the JREF forums and came across the following post, More Great Books for Skepkids, regarding a brief list of books on skeptical thinking for kids of differing ages.

I did end up getting Dan Barker’s book, Maybe Yes, Maybe No – A Guide for Young Skeptics, which was perfectly written for 8-10 year olds (that obviously depends on your kids reading level, it could easily be younger, it is very short). I thought it was well written and I read it with my two boys (8 and 10), they didn’t seem overly excited and thought I was just being a science dork (guilty). It did however spur a conversation about not taking crazy claims at face value and what it takes to investigate something on your own, which in my opinion is worth it’s weight in gold.

I am picking through some of the titles mentioned for my next read with the kiddies, I try not to constantly bombard them with this stuff. Being preachy never accomplishes what you want, IMO.

Filed under: Reviews, Skeptic

Atheism on the rise

A pretty well balanced article on InsideBayArea.com, ‘Born again skeptics’ preach gospel of atheism. Although most atheists probably cringe at the mixing of religious terminology with a decidely non- or even anti- religious group.

I do have to say when the author discusses the number of “sub-groups” of atheists they say the following:

– a new addition to the lexicon preferred by many atheists – “brights”

Preffered by “some” perhaps but I don’t know about “many”.

Technorati Atheism Skeptic

Filed under: Atheism, Skeptic

Pterosaour drag

There is a cool Discovery News article, Flying Pterosaurs Hunted Like Dinos?,  about some recent research on the hunting habits of flying pterosaurs.

Anyway, the most prominent theory about how flying pterosaurs hunted was that they would swoop down and skim the water for fish. However some recent research suggest that the drag that this behavior would produce exceeded the amount of energy a pterosaur would reasonably be able to generate.

I love this stuff, I would love to be able to see the trolley mechanism in action that they used to study the drag generated by a modern skimming bird and the 6 1/2 foot skull of a pterosaur

Filed under: Science

Someone needs to shutup

Apparently I go on vacation for a few days and this idiot has to go and open up his big mouth. The president of ACORE allegedly sent a letter to a global warming expert telling him that he would ruin this guys career. If this turns out to be true I hope this guy is asked to resign from his position. He is clearly ready and able to do some damage to someone.

He should be fired for 2 reasons a) this is clearly an immoral thing to say and even further to do and b) he has clearly exposed the global conspiracy to control the world. This cannot be allowed. Of course, those who claim there is some kind of conspiracy only have to look at this example of idiocy to see that any attempt at such a conspiracy would fail very, very quickly. Unfortunately I have failed to find any confirmation from ACORE or Michael Eckhart on this one.

Filed under: Environment, Politics

Is there a pill for that?

Apparently I suffer from Chronic Skepticism (and so does Michael Shermer). I wonder if there is a pill for that?

The author writes about the recent Larry King Live free-for-all Are UFOs Real? She bemoans that fact that anytime a paranormal or UFO crazy gets themselves on TV whether for some ratings stunt like this or one of them has a new outrageous claim about Atlantis or secret gubament conspiracies the producers of these shows have to have a skeptic. She even goes on to whine about how the same skeptics always seem to show up on these shows being big meanies to average people who want to share their stories (and by average she means someone selling a book).

She laments the fact that her beloved paranormal topics constantly have some skeptic debunking every last one of them except when someone makes a religious claim or mainstream religion speaks no skeptics are to be found. Huh? She is obviously watching the wrong shows. Anyway, even if her claim is true, the problem with not finding a skeptic is not the skeptics or atheists who are dying to have their voices heard its with the producers of these shows. She seems to half get that point but continues to whine about always have a someone with the capacity for critical-thinking interrupt her fantasy-fest.

I can assure her that if an atheist or skeptic could get on these shows where some preacher or priest is allowed to just endlessly spew their version of reality unchecked they would.

Filed under: Atheism, Internet, Psychics, Religion, Skeptic

On what basis do you decide what is good?

I was going to introduce this post but I believe that Faithfool has done an excellent job summarizing how this post came about. I will however say that I have enjoyed this immensely and hope to do something similar to this in the future. Please make a point to visit Faithfool’s blog on a regular basis. He does offer a different perspective than I would normally see. We would both enjoy hearing your comments on this subject.

Faithfool: As my name indicates, I am not the typical visitor on this website, and when I first visited, it never occurred to me that I might be invited to collaborate. But I asked a few questions, Skeptigator kindly replied, and before you know it, we had a conversation on our hands that was too big for mere “comments” to handle. This is the beginning of a strange conversation and we’re inviting you to join in.

What do you need to know about me? Not much. My own blog http://faithfool.wordpress.com tells you even less than I am about to tell you now. I am new to blogging, but not new to writing. I have spent years studying the Bible and the history of thought about God (theology) with people who believe more-or-less like I do. And I have spent years working, cleaning, brewing, serving with people who believe things very different from what I believe. Both kinds of experience have helped make me whole. I hope I can offer a concentrated, if mediated, version of that here. I do not think that the details of my personal life are especially important. Good ideas and true words speak for themselves, and unless mine prove to be such, you have no reason to keep listening.

We’ll pick up where he and I left off.

Skeptigator’s original question to all of us was: Does atheism lead to humanism?”. He concluded that it had for him and that, even if “humanism” was difficult to define, it had to include emphasis on human responsibility for fixing the world’s problems via reason and science.

My question: If humanity is to solve the world’s problems, how are we to decide which problems are worth solving? And do those ends justify any means? In other words, how do you determine moral goals and the moral actions necessary to fulfill them? On what basis do you decide what good is? Or is there no basis?

Skeptigator: Let me see if I can knock out each of these questions as they come.

“If humanity is to solve the world’s problems, how are we to decide which problems are worth solving?”

This is quite simple we use our reason. Humanity in the abstract should approach those things that “plague” them the most and find a workable solution. I know this is very vague but so is the question. While it’s easy to ask the question about what “humanity” should do; there isn’t some kind of ivory tower committee that sits around thinking of what to fix next and then ponders the deep things until they arrive at an “ah ha” moment. These are/should be governments and community groups, the United Nations or the local Boys and Girls Club. Many of these organizations are humanist almost by definition. Global Climate change is a global human problem that will require some larger and local effort to solve. World hunger, the favorite of beauty queens, is another good one.

Honestly a humanist’s reasons for picking which of the world’s problems to fix are the same as a Christian missionary (if they spend more time helping than preaching) or the Red Cross. Last time I checked there was no “form an American medical relief agency without respect to nationality” commandment in Clara Barton’s Bible. A humanist simply strips out the supernatural reasons. While I know this sounds conceited (and likely is), I think a humanist’s motives for volunteering time are “purer” simply because we aren’t banking our riches in heaven or instructed to help others for fear of some hellfire or ultimate accountability. We do it to end human suffering for no other reason than to end human suffering. Think of it as the Golden Rule on steroids.

“And do those ends justify any means?”

The end of an humanitarian effort is ultimately human dignity, you cannot withhold human dignity in the pursuit of human dignity. This applies regardless of whether you are looking to bring potable water to a remote area or helping victims of inner-city crime.

In other words, how do you determine moral goals and the moral actions necessary to fulfill them? On what basis do you decide what good is? Or is there no basis? ”

I’ve struggled to find a way to express myself on this one so I’ve done quite a bit of reading (much to my wife’s dismay) and here’s the best shot I could come up with. Humans are the source of our morals specifically through our human experience, a healthy dose of rationalism and a scientific worldview. With all three of these things we will have the wisdom to see beyond our individual and immediate circumstances, a method for evaluating reliable knowledge and the tools necessary to acquire and assimilate new knowledge.

Yes, this process will be prone to errors. We will have incomplete knowledge that we’ll base some policy on that may at times do more harm than good but we will have a self-correcting mechanism in place. We will be able to constantly evaluate our policies as new information is assimilated. I know that sounds like a Star Trek utopia but it’s the best I could do.

I don’t claim to have come up with this, in fact, a lot of what I just said is probably quoted verbatim from somewhere I’ve read before.

Perhaps, I should turn the tables a bit. If we use the process as I’ve laid out what advantages does a “faith-based” approach provide? Why is the above not a better approach to solving human woes? Or have I missed the point, it’s been known to happen 😉
Faithfool:
Primary response: The benefit of a faith-based approach? Depends on the faith. If it’s a “go do it, ’cause you’re good enough and strong enough and you can” kind of faith, there is no discernible benefit. This commonly passes for faith, so you are right in pointing out that there is, in many cases, no discernible benefit.

Approach to healing human suffering that is based in a trusting, dependent faith is superior in every way… but only if God exists, because I need Him. I can trust God to work in me, even when I am at my wit’s end, as I have been every time I have worked up close with the poor and with the dying. He sustains me. He also draws me close to my fellow workers, reconciling the tensions between us. I cannot trust the purity of my own motives in helping others. As often as not, I help someone because I want people to think good things about me or I want to think good things about myself, not necessarily because I genuinely want to see someone else receive help. I cannot love others, much less those who need love the most, on my own strength. But I don’t have to. God is with me and draws me close to others. I need you and I need Him. Apart from Him, I forget that. I trust that He will finally bring all things to justice, past, present, and future, including all of the things that I am powerless to make right. My faith sustains me, humbles me, deepens me in relationship with my fellow man, even with those whom I am helping, even as it gives me hope that, in the end, justice will be done.

In humanitarianism without God, I see many good motives and actions. But I know that I need the sustenance and hope that my God provides if I am to serve humanity for long. Of course, if God does not exist, then I must be playing some amazing mind games with myself, although my argument would be irrelevant.

Secondary questions: Using reason sounds simple. But I am more than my mind. What role do and should emotions play in the process of deciding what issues to tackle and how? Are emotions irrelevant? The things that motivate me most to help others are not my intellectual observations, but rather the aches of my heart. Then there is also the problematic issue of history. On numerous occasions (revolutionary France, the Soviet Union, etc.), groups of rationalist atheists have realized that, in order to make the biggest difference, they had to be in power. En route to power and once in power, these groups realized that the logical thing to do with the opposition was to imprison or execute them. I’m not saying that rationalist atheists are more prone to imprison and kill their opposition than any other group. My thesis is that all groups in political power are problematic, but every group hoping for large-scale influence must reckon with that possibility. How are humanitarians to navigate the issues of political power? Is global change truly possible without global power? But is global power possible without global (read: absolute) corruption?

Star Trek is Rodenberry’s vision of the future. He’s one of the better scientific atheist storyteller’s we’ve had. But he was also a bit of an optimist. Might 1984 or “A Brave New World” be even more likely? If we want to eliminate suffering, why not drug everyone? Or, Sartre’s conclusion, is suicide the only rational response to life’s suffering?

If evolution is our primary paradigm for understanding humanity’s development…
…how did eliminating every one’s suffering all of a sudden become a priority? (will that help evolution along?)
…how are we to avoid the tendency of seeing some people are less fit to survive than others? (is helping evolution along even a priority anymore? If not, why not? If so, how does that compete with eliminating suffering?)

Skeptigator: I guess I don’t really see what advantage your faith has over using your own reason and logic. For me as an atheist and a skeptic faith, as most commonly practiced in America, too often relies on some revealed dogma with specious claims of authenticity. This faith requires a suspension of logic and reason and essentially any other self-correcting mechanism that humankind has. This faith all too often fossilizes into dogma which is incontrovertible. I’m inferring from your primary response that it is a personal experience that you seek and you find that in a god.

I don’t really understand why you can’t love without a god. I could say that I love just fine without a god but to you would say that I love because of a god anyway regardless of whether I acknowledge that or not. That’s probably an argument that will go nowhere.

To the contrary, I do not think that using reason is simple I actually think it is harder than faith. Faith to me is a cop out and simplistic. Faith is a binary function (now I’m definitely giving my programmer geekiness away). Every situation can be evaluated with faith very simply. Abortion is always bad, no shades of grey, no opportunity to apply your reason to say, “An egg that was fertilized 24 hours ago, beyond its potential for human life, holds no distinguishable characteristic as compared to that of any other rapidly dividing cell. So these Morning-After pills are not that big a deal, it’s certainly not murder.” A Christian faith cannot accept this, it does not fit the dogma.

Before I tackle emotions I must reluctantly disagree with the rather tired argument that if you remove a god (the ultimate dictator?) from our world it will simply be replaced by dictators (Robespierre and Stalin) here on earth (all in the name of atheism, of course). Stalin didn’t kill and imprison gypsies, Jews and other vermin for atheist reasons, he did it for ideology. It wasn’t an atheist ideology it was a Marxist (some would argue a Stalinist) ideology. Religion was bad for him because it allowed you to worship or give final authority to someone other than him (or technically to The People).

In fact, maybe what atheist need to do is to frame the arguments against religion in different way. As a freethinking person we should be very uncomfortable with ideology of any kind. But a political or economic ideology can be argued with in a free society in fact they can be shown to not work (too often after an ideology has been implemented and failed with much human suffering). An atheist takes special exception to religion because it is an ideology that cannot be argued with. This has been covered in Dawkins’ and Hitchens’ latest books in a much better way than I will ever be able to cover. It’s the special exemption that religion has that gets so many of us riled up. Having said all that, I have to agree with your statement,

I’m not saying that rationalist atheists are more prone to imprison and kill their opposition than any other group”.

I wholeheartedly agree in fact I will go even further and say, “that rational atheists are just as likely to imprison and kill their opposition as any other groups (including Catholics and Buddhists).” But then again I’m not the one who makes unequivocal claims that Christians are morally better people and that atheists just want an excuse to live their immoral lives. Let me make this clear to the reader I’m not saying that Faithfool is saying this but it is very often said by notable Christians like Jerry “Teletubbies will turn you gay” Falwell and Pat “Bust a cap in his ass” Robertson.

As far as to what extent should human emotion play in what issues to tackle. I don’t know how you can measure “how much” emotion should be allowed to go into those decisions. But if I had to put an amount I would say no more than 12 ounces of emotion should be used. OK, I’m being snarky. Seriously, emotions play a role there is no way that they can’t but they can be tempered by that panacea for all things, reason. As individuals we are prone to make poor decisions when emotions are involved but when you extrapolate that to a nation very often those hotheaded emotions become tempered by cooler heads. Is it perfect? No. Do we imprison Japanese and Germans during war time? Sure. Should we? No. How many Muslims are in camps today? Zero. Why not? We’ve imprisoned other groups based on nationality before why not now based on religion? We’ve learned that whole groups of people cannot be painted with blanket stereotypes and mistreated out of fear. This is not religious logic but simply rationalism.

Has religion stopped treating whole groups of people with blanket stereotypes? Does religious dogma have the capacity to not do that? No. But people do and it will not come from their religion, it will come from their own brains, their own reason. Black people in America were less than human at one point (as was taught by the Bible) and now we view them as fully human and that to think anything otherwise would be absurd (as taught by the Bible). What changed? The Bible? No. Human Reason? Yes. I believe Christopher Hitchens makes a more thorough example of this in god is not great.

If evolution is our primary paradigm for understanding humanity’s development…
…how did eliminating every one’s suffering all of a sudden become a priority?”
Beyond eliminating human suffering what else would be a priority? Seems reasonable to me that starving people is a bad thing.

(will that help evolution along?)”
Evolution doesn’t need our help. It exists with or without us. Why are you trying to stop gravity when you hang a picture on the wall?

how are we to avoid the tendency of seeing some people are less fit to survive than others? (is helping evolution along even a priority anymore? If not, why not? If so, how does that compete with eliminating suffering?)
Humans often work against evolution, why do we routinely remove albino snakes from the wild? Because they won’t survive long in the wild.
Helping evolution along? Again I help or hinder evolution as much as I can help and hinder gravity. I think maybe you are mistaken that because I accept (not faith/belief) evolution as the natural order of things that I would be reluctant to go “against evolution”. Why do we care for the mentally-challenged and indigent? This would go against evolution since the retarded will be naturally selected against. We care for the mentally-handicapped because it’s the moral thing to do (based on our reason) for the same reason we build homes to shield us from the very real and completely natural weather.

I really don’t want to come across as “I know something you don’t” but I really don’t believe that you may not fully understand what evolution is. I think maybe if you had a better understanding you wouldn’t try to mix evolutionary theory with morality and ethics in such a deterministic fashion.

Faithfool’s Closing comments:
Skeptigator and I agree on four basic things: that we should alleviate human suffering; that reason should play a role in that process; that we should all be willing to work together in practical ways; and that this is a conversation worth having. I commend him for his desire to alleviate suffering everywhere, regardless of any benefit to himself.

The details of our disagreement stem from one primary source (surprise!): the existence of God. And not just any God, but a God who is engaged in human history and knows our suffering on a personal level. An intellectual solution to physical suffering is insufficient. “Every one of us is made to suffer,” Annie Lennox says. It is true, for which of us has not known our fair share of physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual woe? Our problem is bigger than we by ourselves can fix, although we are a part of the solution. The God of Jesus knows, cares, helps us now, and promises that final justice is on the way.

The second less obvious source of disagreement is human nature. Skeptigator, by his own admission [in original “Does Atheism Lead to Humanism” comments], sees no need to define it. I do. I have no business believing that we need God unless I believe that we are needy! By ourselves, we cannot do good. “If history has shown us anything, it is that you can kill anyone,” said Don Corleone. And we will kill anyone, I might add. Christians, Muslims, atheists and everyone else in power throughout history have always abused that power; and they always will, until this world ends, because we are human. We will always seek power, always abuse it in the name of the greater good, and always insist that this tendency is the problem of an isolated few.

The third significant issue is what began this whole conversation: humanism’s basis for determining good. Reason, human experience, and science are useful tools, but are not sufficient for establishing morality and purpose in life. Neither are they sufficient for establishing a consensus, even a wrong one. Disagreement is in our nature. Human reason has its limits, which we are wise to acknowledge.

In the end, we’re both skeptics: him about God, me about us. The burden of proof is on me, but I have none. Evidence and testimony, sure, but no proof. The only one who can prove His existence is God Himself. He refuses, for the time being, for our benefit. Faith will have to remain faith: “the evidence of things unseen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Skeptigator’s Closing Comments:

Faithfool obviously has a religious faith and I obviously do not. Faithfool in his quest for understanding (and I dare say a budding skeptic but that’s perhaps wishful thinking) wanted me specifically to further explain where I derive my sense of morality.

The purpose of this conversation was to offer a unique way of discussing the source of morality if you do not have a religious faith (at least from my perspective). I think Faithfool and I could have gone for much longer than this however I believe we’ve each had enough space to make our cases. I do hope that this conversation will add to a growing number of conversations between people of faith and those without. As Faithfool pointed out recently to me, “we are not the only ones having this conversation”.

I do want boil down my primary answer to Faithfool’s question, “On what basis do you decide what good is?” Essentially my answer came down to “we are”. The combination of humanity’s experience, rational thinking and a scientific worldview is an extremely powerful tool or set of tools for understanding reality and the correct moral actions. I believe that this offers a better alternative to blind faith (a bit redundant I admit). I believe that moral actions have always been determined by human reason and that religion all too often captures/justifies immoral behavior at a certain point in time and that fossilizes and becomes incontrovertible dogma.

I am willing to accept uncertainty since a scientific worldview will never offer complete knowledge or certainty. I am willing to accept the possibility that we will make the wrong choices however and perhaps more importantly unlike many religious faiths we have a self-correcting mechanism in place.

Filed under: Atheism, Internet, Religion

Vote at Skepchick

Rebecca Watson has posted her Top Ten “Moments of Science” video responses and is asking you to vote on who you like the best. I might note that there are 2 adorable boys who made a lemon battery in the Top Ten (they are very excited about being in the Top Ten).

Just remember to vote and keep in mind who you might be voting against (shameless guilt)

Brothers

Filed under: Internet, Science

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