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Precisely so Masuka. Precisely so. Science does not care about your feelings. Science does not care about your beliefs. Science does not care about your hopes and dreams. Science only cares about the truth, about what is fact, and what is. Feelings, beliefs, hopes and dreams be damned.

The chief cause of poverty in science is imaginary wealth. The chief aim of science is not to open a door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error

- Bertolt Brecht, Life of Galileo

I can’t think of a better way to put that.

If you’ve never seen a DarkMatter2525 video then you’re missing out. This one, in particular, is a gem. One of the best stories from the Bible (you know, that collection of writing that is the infallible words of the almighty creator of the universe…) told by a man whose perception of it isn’t clouded by self-imposed religious idiocy. Watch the video, it’s fantastic.

And billions of people actually believe this shit to be the inerrant words of the almighty creator of the universe. Seriously.

Quote of the day: Thomas J. Watson

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crack-pot’ than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.

– Thomas J. Watson

Mr. Watson, eponym of the IBM Watson artificial intelligence project, sounds like he was quite a man. I have to point out, however, that if ever I saw a man with a face crying out for a beard, or a ‘tache at the very least, Thomas J. Watson is that man: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_J._Watson

Census 2013 – religious diversity

New Zealand: Census 2013 – religious diversity – a post by Open Parachute

The short? Less than 50% of my country identify as Christian and nearly 40% identify with ‘no religion’.

By the next census, it seems the non-religious will outnumber the Christians and by the following one, probably all religions.

Tick tock religion. Tick tock.

On morals, actions and humanity.

Consider the following. For the sake of argument, assume you had to choose between these two options:

  1. The ability to take action and the taking of action to prevent one man – Sam Adams – from murdering another man – John Smith.
  2. The ability to, and taking action to punish a man – Sam Adams – for murdering another man – John Smith – by whichever means you’d like.

I suspect the skew toward the first option will be dramatic across every demographic. Why is that? Because no amount of punishment will bring Mr. Smith back to life? Probably – that’s my opinion at least. So as far as I can tell, the near universal moral choice would be to not have the murder take place instead of punishment after the fact.

Consider this example – choose between these two options:

  1. Having the ability and taking action to save a child – Mary Smith – from being gang raped to death over several hours.
  2. Having the ability and taking action to punish a gang of child rapists after the rape and murder of Mary Smith by whichever means you’d like.

Again I suspect the skew towards option 1 would be common across every demographic. Why? Because no amount of punishment will undo the suffering and death of Mary Smith? There is nothing one could do to a gang of child rapists that would undo the damage they did. Not having the damage done in the first place is clearly a better option.

Preventing the atrocity is the universal moral option.

Consider these articles:

There is a quote that says:

“If I could stop a person from raping a child, I would. That’s the difference between me and your god.”

Human morality is clearly superior to that pushed by, at the very least, the religions of the Abrahamic tradition.

The little gods of limited people.

Have a good look at the map below. There are two shapes on that map: a circle and an irregular area around the circle. Look at it. Compare it to the rest of the map. Think about the scale of that little circle. I’ve driven the distance equal to the diameter of that circle in less than a day.

The massive expanse covered by middle-eastern religions.

The massive expanse covered by middle-eastern religions.

That little circle encloses every action the god of the Christians, Jews and Muslims ever performed on earth. Every prophet he chose came from inside that circle. Every personal appearance, inside that circle. Every burning bush, stone tablet, wrestling match, unexpected darkness and alleged zombie horde – right inside that little circle.

The irregular shape around the circle? Inside it is every place mentioned in the Bible. Most of the mentioning occurring after the god-man Jesus allegedly – ‘bodily’ – flew into heaven.

Think about that for a bit. That little circle is the totality of the history of three major religions followed by billions of people today. Inside that little circle when the almighty creator of the universe visited? Mostly desert. Mostly populated by illiterate goat herders. Possibly the best place in the world to magically appear so that – conveniently – no reliable, believable evidence could survive, even if there was any.

The creator of the universe, after trillions and trillions of years of existence, after handily creating the entire universe and everything in it in 6 days, picks that little circle as the stage for literally everything he is ever going to do on this earth. Omnipotent, omnipresent god doesn’t show himself to everybody on the planet at once – well within the power of the almighty creator of the universe, surely. He doesn’t choose to reveal himself to the Chinese who were literate and could reliably record his appearance. He doesn’t reveal himself to the aborigines in Australia, the Inca’s in South America, the  Inuit in North America, the many tribes of Europe. No, he picks only one small blot of the map of earth and reveals himself to bronze age goat herders. He does everything he’s ever going to do in that little blot and then leaves, never to be seen again.

Sound legit? Can any thinking person honestly make a case for this? It’s so hideously obvious that it’s bullshit… words fail me.

This quote comes to mind, recently and more often than it should:

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about th’universe!

Often attributed to Albert Einstein but it probably wasn’t said by him. True though. So much stupidity. So much.

I’ve spent a significant percentage of my life, firm in the understanding that: a supposition is a guess, perhaps an educated one which one thinks might be true; an hypothesis roughly equals a proposal, idea or a guess which you don’t yet believe to be true and a theory is an established, proven principle or body of principles that explain some natural phenomenon. I’ve been under the impression that testing a hypothesis – several times – and proving it to be correct, results in a theory. Which is to say, a supposition is something without evidence that one might believe anyway, a hypothesis is an idea which isn’t believed that is to be tested and a theory is empirically tested truth; facts.

Now, I have to tell you, I seriously hope I’m not wrong about this and haven’t been wrong about this for what essentially amounts to my entire life. I have never considered those three words to mean the same thing or even similar things. They are explicitly not the same thing.

And if that is true, then will somebody please explain to me what the actual fuck is going on here:

Supposition

Google definition: Supposition

sup·po·si·tion: noun: “an uncertain belief.” | Synonyms: …theory, hypothesis…

Hypothesis

Google definition: Hypothesis

hy·poth·e·sis: noun: “a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.” | Synonyms: …theory, supposition…

Theory

Google definition: Theory

the·o·ry: noun: “a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.” | Synonyms: …hypothesis, supposition…

Synonym

syn·o·nym: noun: "a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language, for example shut is a synonym of close."

syn·o·nym: noun: “a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language, for example shut is a synonym of close.”

I’ve used Google’s Search with a “define” many thousands of times to get the definition of words. And now I wonder…

Surely, supposition, hypothesis and theory are not synonyms. Surely they are not “exactly” nor “nearly” the same thing. Surely they are not interchangeable? Surely?

How do you explain to your average religionut that a theory is empirically supported fact, not a guess nor a supposition nor an idea without evidence when that same religionut can go and do a Google search and prove to you that a theory, hypothesis and supposition are, in fact, synonyms. Interchangeable. Nearly or exactly the same.

It’s either a disgrace or I am sadly mistaken. I hope I’m not sadly mistaken.

Ladies and gentlemen, the incredible, Mr. Tim Minchin! Genius. Absolute, genius. That is all.

Love it.

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