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The Crux of the problem…and a great new blog! March 29, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Evolution, Uncategorized.
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The bane of America

The bane of America

This is America’s biggest problem (This is a real church sign in Arkansas).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Why Evolution is True blog by Jerry Coyne, is another great resource for the reasoned thinker. The church in Arkansas was correct, because the only way someone can believe in the supernatural or a god of any kind must suppress their reason and embrace faith. In our society faith is held up as a wonderful virtue, but by any objective standard faith should be held as a negative characteristic in a person. I believe this because people cannot live consistent lives when they have unflinching faith in one aspect of their lives, but find it foolish in any other realm of their lives. This inconsistency creates a glaring logical fallacy inherent in their ideology. Furthermore, like the signs says, faith squelches reason and this can only have enormous negative consequences on any society; i.e. the Islamic world. If god gave everyone a mind with phenominal reasoning skills, we should immediately realize that he gave it to us for the realization that this ubiquitous fairytale is a delusion.

Although, Anti-vaxxers are killing kids, it is fun to laugh at them too March 27, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Biology.
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An Ode To the Anti-vaccinationists

An Ode To the Anti-vaccinationists

Jupiter and 4 moons going behind the Sun March 22, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Astrophysics.
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This is from NASA’s STEREO B Spacecraft. There are a few extremely interesting aspects of this video.

  1. You can observe 4 of Jupiter’s large moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto orbiting Jupiter, while Jupiter is orbiting the sun.
  2. You can see a burst of plasma burst out from the sun, called a coronal mass ejection. This ejection is going thousands of kilometers an hour and consists of billions of tons of plasma (Thanks to Phil Plait for info).
  3. This spacecraft is actually two separate craft viewing a different angle of the sun, to create a 3-D image for the astrophysicists to study.

Solar Orbiter Satellite March 22, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Satellites.
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Solar Orbiter

Solar Orbiter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an illustration of the European Space Agencies plan to send their Solar Orbiter Satellite within 4 million miles of the sun. SOLO, as it is sometimes called, will be inside Mercury’s orbit. This is the closest we have ever gotten to our sun, so be ready for some very interesting science in the near future.

The counterintuitive nature of evolution March 18, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Evolution, Uncategorized.
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(Thanks to Pharyngula for the post)

JFK 2009 Topps American Heritage cut autograph March 17, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Uncategorized.
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jfk-cut-back

jfk-cut-front

Neuroscience finds ‘god’ in the brain March 15, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Neuroscience.
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thinkingjesusOnce again, science gives us even more evidence that the belief in the supernatural is purely a neurological phenomenon. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the researchers have found the parts of the brain where many religious thoughts or experiences take place. They also found that these brain patterns were similar to when people thought about people they have never met, such as historical figures and movie stars.

The evidence seems to be coming in every day confirming that we are purely natural creatures, and I love it!

John F. Kennedy autograph March 10, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Politics.
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I just pulled this card from a pack of 2009 Topps American Heritage:

Kepler: Mission: find extra solar earth-sized planets March 8, 2009

Posted by rationalskeptic in Astronomy.
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Kepler

Kepler

 
   Kepler is the most recent satellite telescope launched by NASA, and arguably the most thrilling astronomical instrument ever launched. Kepler was launched on March 6, 2009, and it’s sole purpose is to search for extrasolar earth sized planets. The telescope will be looking in the region of our galaxy near the Cygnus and Lyra constellations, and has the field of view to observe over 100,000 stars that are between 600 and 3,000 light years away.
Over the past decade astronomers have found over 300 extrasolar planets, but most of these are gas giants such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. But recently these “planet hunters,” have discovered planets somewhat similar to earth, but the smallest planet found so far is double the size of the earth. Now, with the Kepler telescope specifically designed for finding earth-like planets, astronomers are optimistic about the discoveries that lie ahead.
It is very difficult to find planets similar to earth, since rocky planets that could sustain life are so much smaller than the gas giants. Astronomers have to look at a star to see if its gravity is being disturbed by some object, and the three methods used are:
  • the radial velocity method
  • the astrometry method
  • the transit method
  • Here is a site that explains these methods in some detail.

    Obama repeals federal stem cell ban March 8, 2009

    Posted by rationalskeptic in and Society, Politics, Science.
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    Obama set to lift restricttions on stem cell research

    Obama set to lift restricttions on stem cell research

    Once again President Obama, makes a decision that is quintessentially pro-life. Former President Bush implemented the federal ban on embryonic stem cell research to 21 cell lines that were made available before August 9, 2001.
    Elias Zerhouni, National Institutes of Health Director under President Bush said, “It is very clear from my point of view that the current cell lines will not be sufficient to do the research we want to do,” and Bush’s ban was protested by a consensus of the scientific community since it’s inception. President Obama has been unequivocal in his support of science, and he continues to do so with the lifting of this ban.
    This research could lead to medical breakthroughs that could save millions of lives across the globe. Nothing could be more pro-life than that.