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Aug 2

An Atheist's (Somewhat) Relaxed View of the Qur'anHuffington PostCertainly the terrorists themselves invoke Qur'anic texts to justify their violence. As an atheist, I also consider myself an empiricist, so I decided that there was no substitute for actually reading the Qur'an. I have now read about 40 percent of it ...

Aug 2

. From: The Real Black Atheist Library Views: 0 0 ratings Time: 01:48:28 More in Education

Aug 1

All religions have their own God and they are all different. And every person who believes in God has a different understanding of who or what it is.

Aug 1

1. Deafening Silence as Christians Slaughtered 2. First Christian Confirmed Killed in Gaza 3. World War III Imminent 4. Oklahoma City OK with Satanic Black Mass http://churchmilitanttv.wordpress.c... From: ChurchMilitantTV Views: 0 0 ratings Time: 04:06 More in News & Politics

Aug 1

Dinosaurs shrank for 50 million years to become birds - life - 31 July 2014 - New Scientist I was surprised and more than a little disappointed to to see the angle taken in the above article. It looks almost designed to supply a handy quote for quote-mining creationist pseudo-scientists to mislead their credulous victims with. "No other dinosaur group has undergone such a long and extended period of miniaturisation," says Mike Lee of the South Australian Museum in Adelaide. "Statistically this trend was far stronger than by chance, analogous to flipping a coin a dozen times and getting all heads." [...] The analysis reveals that the ancestors of birds shrank without interruption. "What was impressive was the consistency of the size change along the dinosaur-to-bird transition, with every descendant smaller than its ancestor," says Lee. It's not till we get to the final sentence in that last paragraph that we discover there is a simple and obvious answer and one moreover which illustrates how Natural Selection makes evolution non-random. Getting smaller must have offered advantages at every turn. So why not say so? There is no highly unlikely probability to explain here; Evolution by Natural Selection provides a complete explanation. The gradual evolution of smaller and smaller body size would have allowed the bird predecessors to explore novel niches and body plans off limits to their larger relatives. It would have permitted them to chase insects, climb trees, leap and glide, and eventually develop powered flight. Michael S. Y. Lee, AuthorIn fact, the statement in the article that these evolving proto-avian theropod dinosaurs "shrank without interruption" lacks finesse. It is true to say that the specimens examined showed a consistent shrinkage but, since no fossil sequence can ever be complete for every generation we actually don't know what size the missing specimens were so we can't say for certain that it was "without interruption", though the overall trend was undoubtedly and markedly towards smaller size. But perhaps I'm being a little over-sensitive, having had a couple of run-ins today with creationists, one of whom was an obvious fraud selling quack 'pheromone' potions to credulous simpletons and vulnerable, inadequate people in the best traditions of the snake-oil trade and who would have no hesitation in quote-mining this and presenting it as an example of science disproving evolution by showing it is statistically impossible. It does no such thing, of course and shows precisely the opposite but creationist frauds can usually rely on their victims not following up a source and checking it for themselves. As we can see, the authors make no such claim in the paper and never raise the question of probability: Abstract Recent discoveries have highlighted the dramatic evolutionary transformation of massive, ground-dwelling theropod dinosaurs into light, volant birds. Here, we apply Bayesian approaches (originally developed for inferring geographic spread and rates of molecular evolution in viruses) in a different context: to infer size changes and rates of anatomical innovation (across up to 1549 skeletal characters) in fossils. These approaches identify two drivers underlying the dinosaur-bird transition. The theropod lineage directly ancestral to birds undergoes sustained miniaturization across 50 million years and at least 12 consecutive branches (internodes) and evolves skeletal adaptations four times faster than other dinosaurs. The distinct, prolonged phase of miniaturization along the bird stem would have facilitated the evolution of many novelties associated with small body size, such as reorientation of body mass, increased aerial ability, and paedomorphic skulls with reduced snouts but enlarged eyes and brains. Michael S. Y. Lee, Andrea Cau, Darren Naish, and Gareth J. Dyke; Sustained miniaturization and anatomical innovation in the dinosaurian ancestors of birds; Science 1 August 2014: 345 (6196), 562-566. [DOI:10.1126/science.1252243] Size reduction, whatever processes drove it, certainly seems to have allowed the bird lineage to fill niches that small-bodied animals can, and to undergo a fairly extensive radiation into these. Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, Yale UniversityWhat this study shows is that at each stage in the evolution of birds from large theropods there was a distinct advantage in being small. The fact that the rate of change was four time faster than the change in other theropods which did not evolve into birds shows that there was strong selection pressure in this evolving branch favouring smaller size. The probability of getting smaller at each 'stage' (what stages are there in a continuous gradation?) is irrelevant since Natural Selection loaded the dice. The reason theropod dinosaurs in that clade were able to exploit each new niche that a further reduction in size enabled them to move into, was that there was no real competition. The smaller dinosaurs were more successful than their larger siblings and so tended to leave more descendants. The 'decision' to get smaller was never taken on the flip of a coin or the roll of a dice because there was no decision involved. Probability is only involved in determining the range of variation on which Natural Selection acts. Smaller dinosaurs in that clade were more successful and that's all it takes. Had larger ones been more successful, the same range of variation would have resulted in larger dinosaurs. 'via Blog this' If you've enjoyed my blog please show your appreciation by giving to a great cause - Oxfam Be Humankind. Feed the world.

Aug 1

Of course atheists can choose or claim absolutes, but their assertions of the absoluteness of their ethical norms are empty because everything except God changes. But it's crucial to notice that this begs the question.

Aug 1

Christian PostBelieve It Or Not, Atheists, TV for YouNew York TimesThis week the organization American Atheists announced the premiere of Atheist TV, available through the streaming service Roku and over the Internet. That news will certainly prompt assorted knee-jerk reactions in some quarters, and perhaps some

Aug 1

This was a follow-up line to an earlier assessment on the social media platform that "Mild pedophilia is bad.

Aug 1

Hey guys i finally found out how to record without caupture card and it works perfect. This is my first 20 min long video and i will soon start commentering. Pls like, comment and sucribe!! -- From: Tomneyz KnD Views: 2 0 ratings Time: 19:07 More in Gaming

Aug 1

Atheists or Christians—Which Group is More Common Among Those With Fairly ...Washington PostEven if atheists score 3-4 points higher on IQ tests than Christians, there are so many more Christians in the population that it is much more likely that someone with a 125 IQ score is a Christian than that such a person is an atheist. To illustrate ...

Aug 1

World MagazineIRS agrees to probe churches preaching politics, says settlement to atheist ...Washington Times-ReporterThe Freedom from Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit group of atheists and agnostics who aim "to keep religion and government separate," filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service in 2012, claiming the tax agency didn't pursue

Aug 1

World MagazineIRS agrees to probe churches preaching politics, says settlement to atheist ...NewsOK.comIRS agrees to probe churches preaching politics, says settlement to atheist lawsuit. A recent IRS settlement with the Freedom from Religion Foundation, an atheist lobbying group, has the tax agency pledging to investigate religious groups and pastors ...Atheist group court victory could prove good for churchesWorld Magazineall 41 news articles

Aug 1

Radio legend Troi Torain (STAR) always delivers hard-hitting objective truth. As a culture critic he is vicious, as a businessman he is relentless, as a luminary he is un-matched. Considered... From: SHOT97 RADIO Views: 0 0 ratings Time: 05:52 More in Comedy

Aug 1

Surely, this is yet another entry into the files of Unbelievers Compliment Christianity .

Aug 1

Jewish Daily Forward (blog)"Go away and learn how to think." The high horse of Atheism.News24Dawkins might as well say "I'm a genius and an atheist, your emotions are irrelevant." Regardless of point being made, Rape and pedophilia do not have 'degrees'. One touch is enough to severely alter someone's future. Internet comments sections tend to ...When Atheists Talk About RapeJewish Daily Forward (blog)all 3 news articles

Aug 1

"Go away and learn how to think." The high horse of Atheism.News24Dawkins might as well say "I'm a genius and an atheist, your emotions are irrelevant." Regardless of point being made, Rape and pedophilia do not have 'degrees'. One touch is enough to severely alter someone's future. Internet comments sections tend to ...

Aug 1

In one of the worst cases of irony and stupidity of Spanish movie stars, including stars like Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, this week they penned a letter denouncing Israel for genocide... From: GroundZeroMosque . Views: 1 0 ratings Time: 01:33 More in Education

Aug 1

In this sermon on the supremacy and truth of Christ, Rev. Seth McDonald discusses a particular aberrant view of Jesus as a moral or good teacher. Christ was not a good teacher . . . He was... From: Pastor Seth McDonald Views: 0 0 ratings Time: 24:52 More in People & Blogs

Aug 1

Secularists should teach the Philosophy of Religion in the classroom the same way they write their books, although they should allow for student interaction and debate. If the discipline is to be taught then this is one of the ways to do it right.

Aug 1

At what point does a publication become so filled with dangerous misinformation that the powers-that-be should step in and shut it down?I'm all for freedom of speech, and everything, and definitely in favor of people educating themselves sufficiently that they won't fall for ridiculous bullshit.

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