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Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser 86% Posted Jan 2018

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser

Comment: 8 hours ago

I think 'non committal' fits science perfectly. Science only commits to the best evidence so far. Crucially, that is how our theories improve. First, the world was flat. As new evidence appeared, it became round and at the centre of the universe. Then the sun took over the centre ... and today, the Earth is in an unimaginably large universe that is expanding faster than the speed of light. You don't get more non committal than that. That is fundamentally how science progresses. 

The perception of science is the opposite - that a scientific theory like evolution will remain fact forever. Maybe that's what's throwing you.

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser 86% Posted Jan 2018

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser

Comment: 16 hours ago

Yes, the first definition in the dictionary is "A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God". That's describing "agnostic" as a noun. I'm describing a trait of science, that's why I choose the adjective definition. 

We both agree that scepticism is an important aspect of science. I say science is agnostic because it only claims "truth" according to the evidence so far. Is there any scientist who would claim that because there is no evidence, then there is no god? I think that scientist is a rare beast indeed.

Yes, there's a difference between doubting what you know, and accepting what you don't or can't know. But I don't see why you call a person who believes god is unknowable, an agnostic, but not science, that accepts there are probably unknowables - like how other universes work.

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser 86% Posted Jan 2018

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser

Comment: 2 days ago

My Mac dictionary defines agnostic as: "(in a non-religious context) having a doubtful or non-committal attitude towards something". Being sceptical is fundamental in science - that's what I'm getting at. Contrast that with faith, where evidence or even common sense is not required.

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser 86% Posted Jan 2018

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser

Comment: 3 days ago

How do you know that?

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser 86% Posted Jan 2018

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser

Comment: 4 days ago

I'm claiming that science is fundamentally agnostic, so Brian Cox's agnostic position is unsurprising among scientists.

A scientist would not say "god doesn't exist because there is no evidence", but rather "because there is no evidence, the existence of god is unknown or unknowable."

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser 86% Posted Jan 2018

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser

Comment: 6 days ago

That's because science is fundamentally agnostic - because it is based on evidence, and evidence sometimes changes. A scientist is open to the possibility that he might be wrong, even if the probability is vanishingly small.

Dan Pena - Global warming is the biggest fraud in history 93% Posted Jan 2018

Dan Pena - Global warming is the biggest fraud in history

Comment: 21 days ago

Water expands when it gets warmer no matter what banks think or do.

How airline seats have shrunk over the years 86% Posted Dec 2017

How airline seats have shrunk over the years

Comment: 32 days ago

Airline seats get smaller as people get bigger. The world's gone mad!

Scientists detect first interstellar asteroid 94% Posted Nov 2017

Scientists detect first interstellar asteroid

Comment: 61 days ago

Imagine if that hit SpaceX's BFR on its first mission to Mars. That would be really bad luck.

NYC driver 92% Posted Nov 2017

NYC driver

Comment: 62 days ago

Ah, those text analysis jibes - that's because you brag your academic credentials - and not just to me either. I think it perfectly reasonable to point out when your text analysis is lacking. After all, it happens a lot, and way too much for somebody of your calibre.

Also, I don't attack your text analysis as a simplistic insult. I make valid criticisms. If you did actually understand the spirit of this thread, then you are trying to narrow it down to gun shootings in NYC churches to score points. That's being dishonest - and that wouldn't be the first time either.

"You're religiously defensive about your beliefs..." I like a good argument like you do. But you continually misrepresent me. For example - in this very thread - I never said "gods are manmade". I said there is no evidence for god. ALL the evidence I see is consistent with a universe where god is manmade. It seems that as time passes, your grasp for nuance disappears. Or is that confirmation bias affecting your memory?

Are you and Thinkalike itching for a fight? You say I came out with a very specific claim. Really? I started with: "Angry atheists are not known for shooting up churches. That’s the preserve of angry religious folk." That is not particularly specific. I continued with: "If you hear of a shooting in a church and know nothing else, statistically it is more likely that a religious nut inspired by religion is the perpetrator than an atheist nut inspired by atheism." That is not particularly specific either. I didn't mention NYC, yet you think I only had NYC churches in mind and have since been diluting and tweaking. 

NYC driver 92% Posted Nov 2017

NYC driver

Comment: 62 days ago

My god, you are muddled. I gave you stats. https://psmag.com/news/research-on-shootings-in-churches

Since you can't be bothered to read it, I'll pick out the relevant bit: "The National Church Shooting Database recorded a total of 139 shootings in churches between 1980 and 2005. In all, 185 people died, including 36 children. These numbers don't include other types of violence that don't involve guns, such as bombings, nor do they include the places of worship of non-Christian faiths, such as synagogues or mosques.

Many of the shootings likely had little to do with race or religion ... But 10 of the shootings had to do with "religious differences," and one was coded as a hate crime. Drake's numbers are roughly in line with numbers compiled by Carl Chinn, a church security consultant. Chinn has found that six percent of the violent incidences at houses of worship stem from religious bias."

I couldn't find any shootings in US churches that were motivated by atheism. Therefore, I'm sticking with my claim: "If you hear of a shooting in a church and know nothing else, statistically it is more likely that a religious nut inspired by religion is the perpetrator than an atheist nut inspired by atheism." Unless you can show evidence to the contrary of course.

Elon Musk unveils Tesla Semi dream truck 88% Posted Nov 2017

Elon Musk unveils Tesla Semi dream truck

Comment: 62 days ago

When will we get electric tanks? Surely it's better to kill with an environmentally-friendly killing machine.

NYC driver 92% Posted Nov 2017

NYC driver

Comment: 69 days ago

How is expanding a topic so that it is more meaningful, become whataboutery, M&B or point scoring? Motte & Baiiey is a strategy (yes, I did have to look it up). Maybe that's how you and Thinkalike operate so you can't imagine anyone operating differently. Just a thought.

I love your simple explanation. "You felt your belief set was challenged by a joke..." How old do you think I am? 6?

Let's talk about the "spirit of the thread". Thinkalike made a witty comment, and I replied in kind. I was quite proud of my reply, it almost had a soundbite quality to it. Then Thinkalike expanded the conversation with: "Wow read the news, look up Sutherland springs..." And I was happy to oblige. Sure, I "impulsively" claimed that religiously motivated attacks are more common than atheist motivated attacks. That's because I was confident stats would show that. After all, every Islamist attack is a religiously motivated attack, and there are plenty of them. But then you both played your pedantic cards. I didn't see that coming. Thinkalike insisted stats be specifically of shootings in US churches. You went further and insisted the churches had to be in NYC, even though Thinkalike had already expanded to Texas. And you say I'm point scoring?

Anyway, how are you getting on with Thinkalike? My heartfelt advice - don't tell him your ideas about god, at least not on the first date.

NYC driver 92% Posted Nov 2017

NYC driver

Comment: 69 days ago

Finding stats was more difficult than I anticipated. There are plenty of lists of attacks, but they mostly lack detail. And to be honest, I can't be bothered to trawl through each attack looking for one that specifically matches your requirements - a religiously motivated gun shooting in the US. 

But I did eventually find something useful (tip: try DuckDuckGo if you are having no joy with Google). It turns out that about 6% of shootings in US churches are religiously motivated. https://psmag.com/news/research-on-shootings-in-churches

In contrast with atheist attacks, officially Sutherland Springs is a domestic, and I was mistaken about the other example I gave in 2015. That atheist attack (Chapel Hill) was also a domestic, something to do with a parking dispute between a crazy atheist and his 3 Muslim neighbours.

So can we agree that in this universe at least, religiously motivated attacks are more likely than atheist motivated attacks, even when you narrow down the field to shootings in US churches? Are you really surprised?

NYC driver 92% Posted Nov 2017

NYC driver

Comment: 70 days ago

You're doing it again! You broke 2 cardinal rules of text analysis.

1. Don't miss bits out on purpose when they don't fit what you want - I said "... and nothing else is known, ..." which obviously includes location. Otherwise, why would I add that phrase. 

2. Understand the spirit of the thread before you stick your butt in. Your Thinkalike began with "Maybe she's another angry atheist off to shoot up a church...". That's why I continued with "shootings in churches". It would have been odd to suddenly switch to bombings or machete attacks when Thinkalike specifically imagined a shooting. 

I did try to broaden my point by using "attacks" instead of "shootings", but Thinkalike got into a huff. You both seem to think that broadening out is  equivalent to retreating to an easier position to defend. That's such a weird way to think, and it's misguided. Broadening out gives meaning and perspective. Whatever the stats for church shootings in NYC are, they tell you very little about what is a global phenomenon.

If you want a meaningful dialogue about angry atheists vs angry religious folk, then you have to broaden the scope. We've been through this before. Delving into detail often leads to mistaken conclusions when you ignore the bigger picture that your details sit in.

You should get together with Thinkalike. You can teach him some grammar, and he can stroke you where it feels nice. Hey guys, send me a postcard from your new universe.

NYC driver 92% Posted Nov 2017

NYC driver

Comment: 72 days ago

Islamist attacks on churches: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Islamist_attacks_on_churches.

Hindu attacks on Christians: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Christian_violence_in_India

Mosque attacks in US in 2017: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/20/us/mosques-targeted-2017-trnd/index.html

There's plenty more. It wasn't so easy to find atheist attacks on churches. There was one in 2015: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/02/chapel-hill-shooting-white-male-atheist-murders-three-muslim-students I'm sure there are more.

NYC driver 92% Posted Nov 2017

NYC driver

Comment: 72 days ago

You didn't answer my question. Do you agree or not?

NYC driver 92% Posted Nov 2017

NYC driver

Comment: 73 days ago

I expanded my point, but if you want to stick solely to church attacks, let me rephrase: Do you agree that there are more attacks in churches in the name of religion than there are attacks in churches in the name of atheism?

NYC driver 92% Posted Nov 2017

NYC driver

Comment: 73 days ago

Do you agree that there are more attacks in the name of religion than there are in the name of atheism? If you do, then I rest my case.

If you don't agree, but you still want to be right - go find another universe, one where reality matches what you believe.

NYC driver 92% Posted Nov 2017

NYC driver

Comment: 73 days ago

You are jumping to conclusions far too early. But let's assume DPK did choose a church because he specifically wanted to rid the planet of religious people. An attack like this by an atheist is statistically less likely than one by a religious person, ie. in history, there are more attacks in the name of religion than there are in the name of atheism. That's not excuses, that's just how it is.

As Richard Feynman once said (I'm quoting only slightly out of context), "if you don't like it, go find another universe".

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