A Quick Note on Politics

Normally I don't discuss politics, however I found some recent events to be kind of interesting. Many of you might have noticed all of the ruckus over a video of Sarah Palin making a speech in a church, in which she supposedly says that our military action in Iraq is God's will.

This of course got secularists all in a tizzy, since they are already worried that our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan is nothing more than a Christian-Muslim religious conflict.

I myself, though I hadn't watched the video, was kind of wondering if Palin wasn't acting a little extreme based on all of the to-do. Then I stumbled upon this, which was rather enlightening, and which I thought our readers might appreciate as they (hopefully) educate themselves for the coming election.

There isn't much to say about that besides what Dr. Craig has already commented on, so I'll leave it at that.

However, on this same note, I would like to highlight a quote from Time Magazine which really struck me concerning the mindset of the voting public.

A woman being interviewed about her reasoning in this upcoming election was quoted as saying:

"Honestly, I don't know what to do. I really don't want to vote for McCain. You can tell he only cares about rich people. Sarah Palin wears glasses that cost $300. McCain's wife wears Gucci clothes. Which means they don't know anything about people like me." And continued with, "I hear that Obama's a Muslim. If he is a Muslim, that would be a problem, because the terrorists already attacked us." (source)

I'll start with the latter part of the quote. Notice first that this woman doesn't even know whether or not Obama is a Muslim (which he isn't), but is using this ignorance to counterbalance her desire to vote for him. Further, she then goes on to make the completely inexcusable mistake of basically stating that all Muslims are terrorists (by the way, they aren't).

Her reasoning for her distaste of the Republican ticket isn't much better. Palin wears $300 glasses? McCain's wife wears "Gucci clothes"? I won't speculate as to what this person might say if Sarah Palin, or McCain's wife, looked like slobs, but I'm sure you can imagine. Does she really think that there is no relatively wasteful personal spending on the Democratic side of the river? Furthermore, when the future of the country is (possibly) at stake, does it really matter?

To cut to the chase, I hope that people (no matter what side of the issue they fall on) are making more informed decisions than this. If you have time to browse the internet, and read blogs like this, you have time to educate yourself. Please, for the sake of others - if not yourself - take advantage of this.

It's rather disheartening to see people making decisions on these grounds, is it not?

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Silly Walks, Salient Points...

There's been a lot of attempts (at least on my part) to remind everyone here that atheism and theism are both worldviews that depend a lot on your personal assumptions. More to the point, atheists are just as likely to choose that belief for irrational, emotional and selfish reasons as a theist is to choose theirs.

Leave it to a comedian to frame that with clever humor. Check out Cleese's spoof of reductionist materialism, especially the blue ribbon riff from about 1:35 on.

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“Galileo - A Story of a Hero of Science”

Please note that this essay has been moved to True Freethinker where it was posted at this link.

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A special place?

Though I have not read his works, Guillermo Gonzalez is an Intelligent Design supporter who wrote a book called 'The Privileged Planet'. The basic premise behind this book, as I understand it, is that the Earth holds a special place in the universe which makes it uniquely conducive to scientific discoveries.

There is a theory that explains the apparent acceleration of the universe's expansion through a void of matter in our local region. According to this article, this theory thus far could not be distinguished from the dark matter theory by experiment, but that may change in the future.


It is interesting to see how assumptions that we don't hold a special place in the universe can disrupt viable theories as much as assumptions that we do in all ways hold a special place. It was a mistake to think that the sun revolved around the earth, and we now know that what we observe is much better explained by a heliocentric model. But being mistaken in one (or more instances) does not mean we should always assume we are not in a special place. Nor should we always assume we are. I think the theist is in a unique position here. For the atheist, it would seem strange and improbable that we should be in an atypical place in the universe. For the theist, however, it is an open question. In some ways our location may be typical, in other ways atypical. We simply don't know until we look.

Important note: I'm not suggesting that the void explanation mentioned holds any value or merit over dark matter. It's just an idea for now, with no evidence that I'm aware of to distinguish it. I mention it merely as a springboard for discussion, and as an interesting look into the future directions astrophysics may take.

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Science and Philosophy

Some recent comments on here have piqued my interest in the relationship between science, religion and philosophy. Concurrently, friend, blogger and podcaster Glenn Peoples has released a new podcast on Intelligent Design (kind of) that explores this relationship, and I think it is well worth a listen.

Again, downloading it rather than streaming it would be appreciated.
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