• Sin is the abomination

    AbominationFew things push my buttons like sanctimonious “love the sinner, hate the sin” declarations. The very concept of sin is a cancer that rots the mind. It is the substitution of morality with dogma. Take homosexuality. There is no moral argument to be made against it. Many have tried, and it always comes down to subjective ickiness, religion, or both. It takes religion to transform an act of love into an “abomination”, to tell people who they are is bad and that they must fight it, which means fighting against themselves. All this, even when they are harming nobody.

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  • A symmetry argument for multiverses

    Penrose tiles by MonkstoneThe multiverse hypothesis is that what we used to see as the Universe (which is supposed to be all that there is) may be part of something larger, that includes other universes like, or unlike our own. This is not a hypothesis that was proposed to conveniently solve the Anthropic paradox (we don’t know why the Universe can support life at all whereas it could be a lot more hostile and sterile than it already is, as far as we can tell). It does solve that problem, but wasn’t proposed for that reason. It emerges, actually, in four different forms, as a necessary consequence of scientific theories for which we have very good evidence. Some levels of multiverse are more controversial than others, of course, but in this post, I want to bring forward another argument in favor of multiverses, based on symmetry.

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    Tags: Science

    Friday, March 20, 2015 7:56:00 PM
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  • Some context about Charlie Hebdo: don’t judge a magazine by its cover

    "It's hard to be loved by idiots" The past two days have been nerve wracking for the French, and for friends of freedom of speech. We’ve all been floored by the savagery of the attacks, but it’s been heartwarming to see support messages from all over the world, as well as the extraordinary unity of the French people overall, including the Muslim community and clergy, as well as all other confessions (but of course, let’s not fool ourselves, there are already brain-dead violent reactions against the whole Muslim community, which is exactly the sort of division the terrorists are trying to create).

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  • Correlation, Causation: Potato, Tomato

    The Ministry Of Silly Bikes Correlation is not causation. How many times have we heard that sentence? Too many times maybe, because we seem to be mithridatized by it. Nowadays, it seems like it’s nothing more than an easy way to discard inconvenient facts. It is true that correlation is not causation, but what does that mean?

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    Tags: Science, Math

    Saturday, December 27, 2014 7:26:00 AM
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  • An example of a conflict between science teaching and religious beliefs

    Wings In yesterday’s post, I explained how during my whole time as a physics student, I’ve never seen an example of a religious claim, positive or negative, creeping into the science teaching. It’s not that physical science is inconsequential to religious claims, it’s not. However, religion is off-topic in a science class, and there is only a conflict if someone brings religion into the classroom.

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    Tags: Religion, Science

    Wednesday, December 24, 2014 7:47:27 AM
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  • The terrible secular indoctrination machine

    A UnicornHere’s a great example of projection: many members of the religious right in the US are convinced that non-religious universities are indoctrination centers for the far left and atheism. Case in point, my fellow blogger Ambrose writes:

    The reason that higher education in the sciences and philosophy purportedly reduces religious belief has as much to do with contemporary popular antitheistic indoctrination in those fields as any supposed increase in knowledge, much less baseline intelligence.

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    Tags: Religion, Science

    Tuesday, December 23, 2014 7:21:00 AM
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  • How scientific data gets distorted

    The evil Aspartame molecule. Scary, eh?Here’s a good case study of how scientific information gets distorted. This article has sources, which is a little unusual (but they are not links, probably to discourage you from checking them out for yourself), but look at how they're used...

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    Tags: Science

    Friday, November 21, 2014 1:33:00 AM
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  • Infallible, part 3: the unoriginality and wrongness of Biblical creation

    George Lemaître, le génie du ChristianismeIn my ongoing series of posts addressing the arguments from Michael, a militant Catholic, today’s post will examine the claim that the Bible’s cosmogony is unique among creation myths in that it talks about creation ex-nihilo. In Michael’s words:

    Every culture known believed that the Earth, stars, indeed the entire universe has been present in all eternity. Creation stories abounded, but all the stories began with matter that preexisted

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  • The Kalām Cosmological Argument is a terrible argument – 1. Induction

    Not the induction we're talking about here...It’s quite amazing how often the Kalām Cosmological Argument, or some version of it, is still used by believers to justify their faith. It seems like a naive understanding of modern cosmology, coupled with confirmation bias, conspire to keep this tired argument on life support. In this series of posts, my intention is to explain some of the ways in which KCA is a terrible argument, one problem at a time. In this first post, I’ll focus on whether it’s reasonable to apply inductive reasoning to the universe.

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  • Time, causality, and prime movers

    What's beyond the sky used to be a reasonable question.Sometimes we ask the wrong questions, and answer them with bad answers. One particularly bad question is: “what was there before the Big-Bang?” There are many others, but this one requires a little mental gymnastics in order to get used to modern ideas of time and understand what the consequences are.

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