Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Link Dump 10/21/11

Bishop Indicted; Charge Is Failing to Report Abuse MOAR!

Priest Says Catholics Must Oppose Politician​s Who Don't Oppose "Intrinsic​ally Evil" Homosexual​ity As opposed to intrinsically evil pedophilia covered up and ignored by the Church hierarchy for generations if not centuries?  We need an OccupyVatican movement and I am not kidding. Oh hey...Occupy the Vatican

I honestly did not know that existed until after I typed it and figured I should google it.

Pale Blue Dots: Iconic Images of Earth From Space

This Remarkable Thing philhellenes video from earlier this year.

Batman Says ‘Raise My Taxes’ as Occupy Movement Comes to Comics

Cafeteria Libertarianism: Where the GOP Goes to Snack “Paul, despite his reputation as a hard-line maverick, picks and chooses the liberties he supports just as much as the rest of the GOP.”

Monday Morning Quotes: Ricky Gervais “I don't go after any particular religious group. I look at the absurdity of some beliefs. I don't think there's anything scary about this, these are facts to me. When a fundamentalist's belief is that the Earth is 5000 years old, that's ludicrous. It's 4.6 billion years. That should be taught as strict a truth as two and two are four. I don't want to offend anyone but sometimes I feel as if I'm talking to a 25-year-old child who believes in the tooth fairy. I've got to go: 'There's no such thing. Listen to yourself.’”

Coolest kid? Coolest kid.

Kirk Cameron’s birthday party looks fun Finally, a Filmdrunk post relevant to this site. Everyone should read Filmdrunk.

Mid-Week Rant: Jim Gaffigan vs. Offended Christian

Ancient 'paint factory' unearthed

ANIMALS TALKING IN ALL CAPS Just need to sneak this in here...

Why women leave science (and what’s being done about it)

Announcing The Clergy Project - Support for pastors and priests leaving the pulpit

Protesters unite outside Classic Center to protest ‘hate messages’ from conservative preacher Mark Driscoll Driscoll will be the subject of this weekend’s Sunday Morning Hate. Stay tuned.

Hubble survey carries out a dark matter census

Nearly All Vertebrate​s, Including Us, Descended From a Creature With An Electromag​netic Sixth Sense

Sean Hannity and Fox News Have A Transference Problem

Saudi Women Receive Husbands' Explicit Permission To Celebrate Right To Vote

The above article could easily not be satire.

Too bad this isn’t. O’Reilly Gives Anti-Gay Group The Horror Story It's Always Wanted

Sunday Morning Hate ~ "The Jewish Political Action Committee

Does the Universe Have a Purpose?
by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Not Sure. Anyone who expresses a more definitive response to the question is claiming access to knowledge not based on empirical foundations. This remarkably persistent way of thinking, common to most religions and some branches of philosophy, has failed badly in past efforts to understand, and thereby predict the operations of the universe and our place within it.

To assert that the universe has a purpose implies the universe has intent. And intent implies a desired outcome. But who would do the desiring? And what would a desired outcome be? That carbon-based life is inevitable? Or that sentient primates are life’s neurological pinnacle? Are answers to these questions even possible without expressing a profound bias of human sentiment? Of course humans were not around to ask these questions for 99.9999% of cosmic history. So if the purpose of the universe was to create humans then the cosmos was embarrassingly inefficient about it.

And if a further purpose of the universe was to create a fertile cradle for life, then our cosmic environment has got an odd way of showing it. Life on Earth, during more than 3.5 billion years of existence, has been persistently assaulted by natural sources of mayhem, death, and destruction. Ecological devastation exacted by volcanoes, climate change, earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, pestilence, and especially killer asteroids have left extinct 99.9% of all species that have ever lived here.

How about human life itself? If you are religious, you might declare that the purpose of life is to serve God. But if you’re one of the 100 billion bacteria living and working in a single centimeter of our lower intestine (rivaling, by the way, the total number of humans who have ever been born) you would give an entirely different answer. You might instead say that the purpose of human life is to provide you with a dark, but idyllic, anaerobic habitat of fecal matter.

So in the absence of human hubris, and after we filter out the delusional assessments it promotes within us, the universe looks more and more random. Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as other events that would just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible, to assert. So while I cannot claim to know for sure whether or not the universe has a purpose, the case against it is strong, and visible to anyone who sees the universe as it is rather than as they wish it to be.