Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Pale Blue Dot

A while back I was sent a Feedblitz for the blog from the Bad Astronomy weblog run by Phil Platt. In it was a link to a picture taken by the Voyager spacecraft on it's way out of the solar system which was of the Earth from that great distance. It was called "The Pale Blue Dot" by the late Carl Sagan (astronomer and educator of Cosmos fame). The picture was stunning; especially when taken with the words of the great astronomer himself who was the advocate for the taking of that picture in the first place (See at the bottom of the post for the link). Now, on YouTube I have found some videos that work with this picture:

[1] Pale Blue Dot by Ice-Core Scientist with their own indie rock music to go with it

[2] and now a video showing the difference between believers and atheists:


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Beyond Belief '06 (Part 3 - Dawkins has the last word)

The final clips from the Beyond Belief '06 conference are from the eminent Richard Dawkins of The God Delusion authorship. Here he addresses the changing moral zietgeist as the decades and centuries have changed and how he denies that religion has anything to do with a person's morals:


Beyond Belief '06 (Part 2) - Physics Speaks

Now we have Steven Weinberg (The Nobel Prize winning physicist from the University of Texas and co-discoverer of the unification of the strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces) speaks to the conflict between religion and science and how even as scientists of some schools try to get some main-line religious denominations to be our "allies" so to speak, that if we are really honest about it we cannot allow religion and it's inherent irrationality to prevail:

And what if religion were to disapper? Then what? Weinberg answers:


Beyond Belief '06

In November 2006, The Science Network put on a conference at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California (my fair state) with a huge list of speakers and attendees (go to the below included URL from The Edge magazine for more information on who was there) from many, many different disciplines in science and many points of view as well (including Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris with others such as Anne Druyan and Alex deGrasse Tyson of the Hayden Planetarium). I include here several exerpts from the conference from the YouTube website and ask that you view them in order. I feel there is a coming change to science where the scientific community is no longer willing to accept or defer to religious belief as something which is somehow "untouchable" or to be given special status anymore. Rational discussion and the use of the scientific method CAN begin to explain the reasons behind belief of all kinds and it is this that the conference attempted to start to address:

Sam Harris: Clips 1 to 5 on "Science and Intellectual Honesty"

More from the conference in later blogs.