Rhinos do matter

If you’re thinking like this Facebook commenter below, shame on you…

Rhinos do matter… and science and space exploration too. It’s not about a choice between one or the other; it’s about balance.

Happy Eôstre, Happy Earth Day, Happy Everyday…

Earth Day
Image by AlicePopkorn via Flickr

Commencing today millions of Jews and Christians around the world will inadvertently commemorate the pagan festival of Eôstre.

Hopefully many, many more will be purposefully celebrating Earth Day – an event of much greater significance to humanity as a whole. How sad that man was once in awe of the power and majesty of the natural world in his pagan state, but now reveres invisible beings supposedly conceived of a fertile and enlightened imagination.

How arrogant are we to consider ourselves more advanced than other living things when we continue to destroy the world, sometimes in the very act of pursuing the ignorant and superstitious beliefs of antiquity.

While it may not be practical to revert back to our pagan roots, how can we once again inculcate those wholesome but primitive values that endeared the natural world to us, while discarding our superstitions and irrational beliefs? Ultimately we may not have a choice; it may be imperative for the future survival of all species.

So while you’re partaking in the festivities of this Easter weekend, spare a thought for Earth and its REAL wonders.

The World Is Too Much With Us

Of all the poetry I read way back when, while in high-school this sonnet written by William Wordsworth around 1806, is the only one from which I can still remember any lines.

I never really liked poetry, until well after I had left school and started deciphering and understanding (sort off) the lyrics of my favorite songs. But this sonnet impressed me so much because of a simple observation by Wordsworth; that the irreligious may have a much greater understanding of, and appreciation for the natural world.

The lines from Wordsworth that are still indellibly etched in my memory are “Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers” and “I’d rather be a Pagan suckled…” That’s it, but heres the rest:

THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
          Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
          Little we see in Nature that is ours;
          We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
          The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
          The winds that will be howling at all hours,
          And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
          For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
          It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
          A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;                         
          So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
          Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
          Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
          Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

Six things I’ll miss the most when I die

While driving to a technology, computer and gaming exposition [RAGE 2010] today, I got to thinking about what I would miss the most about life, when I finally expire. Note that I do not say if I die, because death is inevitable (currently), and I also do not say after I die because there’s no evidence for an afterlife that will allow you to feel, let alone miss anything.

Without further ado, here is my list, in descending order of importance:

  1. Music
  2. The natural world (stars including our sun, the sky whether cloudy or clear, trees, plants, animals, rivers and waterfalls etc.)
  3. Media, written and visual (books, movies, National Geographic, the Internet)
  4. Scientific discoveries
  5. Pork ribs
  6. Other human beings

If you too have a list, let’s have it…

The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins

The Greatest Show on Earth

There’s been a lot of interruptions and too little time available over the last half-year or so, but I’ve finally completed reading Dawkins’ latest masterpiece, The Greatest Show on Earth. It’s subtitled The Evidence for Evolution, and boy is there a lot of it in the book.

It’s a strange title for a book on the evidence for evolution, but apparently Dawkins got the idea from a T-shirt given to him bearing the words “Evolution: The Greatest Show on Earth; the Only Game in Town”
Prior to reading this book, I needed no convincing that evolution was a fact, but Dawkins provides plenty of new information that I had not known before. Although it makes for heavy reading in some parts due to the complexity of the sciences involved, the book is geared towards the layman, and is relatively easy to understand.
As usual, Dawkins writes in that characteristically eloquent and witty style he’s famous for in his other works, often castigating the creationist lobby, who are referred to as “history deniers.” He’s often been criticised for his approach, but I can find little fault with his stance considering the undeniable ignorance that is prevalent in the religious world; a lot of it wilful in nature.
Creationists often point to the so-called missing links in the fossil record, as evidence that evolution is wrong. Dawkins makes a telling point that even if the entire fossil record were not available to scientists, the incontrovertible evidence from molecular biology and genetics is more than enough to prove the veracity of evolution and natural selection.
Off course, the book won’t appeal to the fundamentalist religious community; nor will it convince them to change their beliefs about creationism. Wilful ignorance is a pillar of religious strength. However, for those who are interested in actually learning something meaningful about life and the way nature really works, even those who are marginally religious, this book will challenge any preconceived ideas you held, if not convince you that evolution is in fact, a FACT.
Notable Quote:
Once again, humans are not descended from monkeys. We share a common ancestor with monkeys. As it happens, the common ancestor would have looked a lot more like a monkey than a man, and we should indeed probably have called it a monkey if we had met it, some 25 million years ago. But even though humans evolved from an ancestor that we could sensibly call a monkey, no animal gives birth to an instant new species, or at least not one as different from itself as a man is from a monkey, or even from a chimpanzee. That isn’t what evolution is about. Evolution not only is a gradual process as a matter of fact; it has to be gradual if it is to do any explanatory work. Huge leaps in a single generation – which is what a monkey giving birth to a human would be – are almost as unlikely as divine creation, and are ruled out for the same reason: too statistically improbable. It would be so nice if those who oppose evolution would take a tiny bit of trouble to learn the merest rudiments of what it is that they are opposing.

And the devil’s response…

Remember the post I made way back in July 2008, exposing religious fraud? Well off course you don’t, so let me remind you. It concerned a hoax e-mail that was doing the rounds at the time called the Hands of God, which claimed that a picture that was attached,  was that of a supposedly Christian god holding some puffy-looking clouds apart.

Hands of God

Well, I may have found a response to that e-mail and picture which is also doing the rounds, but it seems that Satanists are too busy with other things, to have staked a claim to it. Which leaves mischievous me to do the honours.

The Devil's Response

Now, I don’t want you to read anything into this, but which one looks more natural to you?