May 29, 2011

Full resolution Viva La Pastafarion image!

Since I am unable to use any of my FSM themed images in my store, I thought I might as well share them with the community so they can still see some life!  

Feel free to use it for anything, just be sure to cite me as the creator :-D   Click to view high resolution image.

Click for full resolution Viva La PastafariĆ³n image

May 20, 2011

What would Carl Sagan do... about the SETI shutdown?

SETI Funding and Carl Sagan

As you may or may not know, the Allen Tellescope Array utilized by SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has had it's funding cut.  As a result, the project will necessarily need to be shut down.

The array costs about $2.5 million per year to operate, and now that government funding has been cut, even with separate funding agencies and independent donors in place, that target cannot be reached. 

From the SETI press release on the matter:
In an April 22, 2011 email (PDF) to Allen Telescope Array stakeholder level donors, SETI Institute CEO Tom Pierson described in detail the recent decision by U.C. Berkeley, our partner in the Array, to reduce operations of the Hat Creek Radio Observatory (and thus the Allen Telescope Array) to a hibernation state effective this month. NSF University Radio Observatory funding to Berkeley for HCRO operations has been reduced to approximately one-tenth of its former level and, concurrently, growing State of California budget shortfalls have severely reduced the amount of state funds available for support of the HCRO site.

SETI has a donation page.  Hey, if you happen to know a millionaire who happens to be able to look a little bit beyond the next day or two of market fluctuations, you know where to send them.
And then we have this vid from the greatest science communicator of all time, Carl Sagan:

Fom another great blog, Blogiverse - Talking About Everything.

May 10, 2011

"Do you believe in the eternal goodness of the universe?" No

I was asked a question on Facebook the other day and I thought I'd share the conversation here.

The question was
"Do you believe in the eternal goodness of the universe?"

My reply:

"Goodness" is a purely human construct. The universe is neither "good" nor "bad". It is emotionless. Goodness is simply a label we affix to things to categorize them according to our emotional perspective of them.

            P's comment:
Used to think that way when i was in earthbound objectivist mode,but yet if you consider that immortal human-like consciousness imay be just as necessary as matter and energy ,for existence to axiomatically exist ,then in that context ,the human construct of goodness is thus elevated into the controlling element of existence...

            Aristotle's Muse:
There is nothing that would indicate any kind of human like consciousness is at all necessary for the universe to exist. We are biochemical machines that function according to the laws of physics. Kind of like a mobile computer made of meat. Matter and energy exist because they are fundamental building blocks of the physical universe. Consciousness is not a fundamental building block of the universe, it is a word we've ascribed to an aspect of part of the biochemical machines that we call humans.

            Aristotle's Muse:
And if you're referring to a consciousness such as a god like consciousness, you're still making an unfounded assumption. Not only is there nothing that would indicate that the universe would in any way be reliant on such a consciousness, but there is nothing that would suggest there is such a consciousness.

            Aristotle's Muse:
Hmm, that came off kind of harsh. Sorry about that.
            P's comment:
Its ok ,i pushed you too it ,but i used to be exactly in the same mode as yourself ,exactly ...all i can say at this point is ,we diverge now from the same foundation ...i respect your views muse ,but now that my paradigm has shifted i cant... go back to the 2d flat earth ...and are you so certain that nothing indicates human like consciousness needs to exist ?that awfully lofty to make that proclamation ?btw yes i am suggesting just that :)

            Aristotle's Muse:
What indications are there that humanlike consciousness is a fundamental structure of the universe?

            P's comment:
quantum physics for one ,the eternal entropy growth death implosion/explosion of the universe that never has and never will complete itself (needs evidence ),the statistical fact that there are billions of earthlike planets capable of sustaining human consciousness and the necessary conclusion that any immortal consciousness can and will learn anything in existence and eventually control and create solar systems ..not to mention the other universes x ,y z axes on our plane near infinite in those vectors and of course infinite macro /micro vectors time for debates muse,i respect your views and do not expect you to accept mine and hope we can mutually exist as fellow seekers of knowledge :)

            Aristotle's Muse:
Agreed. This would be a long a drawn out debate. Right about this point is where every post in this thread would turn into a virtual dissertation. So, we'll just agree to disagree for sake of saving ourselves a whole lot of time and effort that would likely convince nobody but ourselves of anything. So, truce... (for now....) MUUAAH ha ha ha HAAA!

Now obviously I'm not going to address or refute any of the issues he brought up in his last post here on my blog.  I'm not a dick, after all.  I just thought I'd post it for you all to muse over yourselves.

May 7, 2011

Creationists. Hit them in the face with dicks.

Stand-up comedian (and atheist) Keith Lowell Jensen is about to release his latest CD “Cats Made of Rabbits" in which he talks about “The Penis Argument Against Creationism

Keith needs to raise money for the actual printing costs of the CD/DVD and there’s a week left on the fundraising drive at Kickstarter. For $15, you can get the CD. For $25, you can get the DVD. And for $500, Keith, “who does not drink, will take one belt of a nice, high quality scotch on camera while thanking you on youtube.”
Everyone wins!
So if you support atheist comedians, here’s one way to keep a good one going.

Thanks to The Friendly Atheist

Neil Degrasse Tyson's relationship with Pluto

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Pluto

Neil deGrasse Tyson has a look at Pluto with Pluto

Scientific evidence of evolution being a hoax

From RationalWiki

This is a complete list of the scientific evidence of evolution being a hoax.


See also

May 3, 2011

Carl Sagan responds to creationist, fundamentalist Christian.

The news headlines today, especially those from conservative news outlets, often times deal with the "New Atheists" and their attack on Christianity or Christian institutions.  Every year, Bill O'Reilly shouts from his metaphorical rooftop of the poor Christians suffering from the hateful atheists' "War on Christmas".  Christian apologists, and even former heads of state including president G. W. Bush suggest the brand of creationism known as "Intelligent Design" should be taught alongside evolution in science classrooms, despite what the "atheists" have to say on the matter.

With all of these current events being branded as some kind of brand new influx of "New Atheism" encroaching on the good Christians of the nation, it's easy to forget that this has been going on for ages.  Criticism of religion and Christianity has always existed in America, and in fact, many of the founding fathers of America were outspoken critics of Christianity and organized religion.  As were the large majority of the worlds greatest modern thinkers.

Carl Sagan, possibly the greatest communicator of science in the modern era, was no stranger to the "debate".  Here's a video of the late Carl Sagan taking a phone call on a radio program from a creationist fundamentalist Christian.  See if you can recognize some of the same old tired arguments that are still being brought up today, as well as the caller's unwillingness to listen, consider, or even let Sagan finish his response to the creationists questions and accusations.

Some things never change.  In fact, Fox "News" has built it's entire business model on this behavior.