So why do women produce 1 oocyte a month for fertilization while men produce millions of sperm? Well it’s because they get lost. Like men, sperm never ask for directions.
- Murphy’s Law - Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
- Etorre’s Observation - The other line moves faster.
- Barth’s Distinction - There are two types of people in the world: those who divide people into types and those who don’t.
- Acton’s Law - Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts…
Yep, this. There was a Sagan quote on similar lines, but since I’ve not posted any Steven Pinker quotes. :)
This quote is part of Pinker’s answer to the question: Can You Believe in God and Evolution? His complete answer was:
It’s natural to think that living things must be the handiwork of a designer. But it was also natural to think that the sun went around the earth. Overcoming naive impressions to figure out how things really work is one of humanity’s highest callings.
Our own bodies are riddled with quirks that no competent engineer would have planned but that disclose a history of trial-and-error tinkering: a retina installed backward, a seminal duct that hooks over the ureter like a garden hose snagged on a tree, goose bumps that uselessly try to warm us by fluffing up long-gone fur.
The moral design of nature is as bungled as its engineering design. What twisted sadist would have invented a parasite that blinds millions of people or a gene that covers babies with excruciating blisters? To adapt a Yiddish expression about God: If an intelligent designer lived on Earth, people would break his windows.
The theory of natural selection explains life as we find it, with all its quirks and tragedies. We can prove mathematically that it is capable of producing adaptive life forms and track it in computer simulations, lab experiments and real ecosystems. It doesn’t pretend to solve one mystery (the origin of complex life) by slipping in another (the origin of a complex designer).
Many people who accept evolution still feel that a belief in God is necessary to give life meaning and to justify morality. But that is exactly backward. In practice, religion has given us stonings, inquisitions and 9/11. Morality comes from a commitment to treat others as we wish to be treated, which follows from the realization that none of us is the sole occupant of the universe. Like physical evolution, it does not require a white-coated technician in the sky.
I’m not afraid to look bizarre. And when I look bizarre, I feel beautiful.
I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for each other.
I’m an atheist. The good news about atheists is that we have no mandate to convert anyone. So you’ll never find me on your doorstep on a Saturday morning with a big smile, saying, ‘Just stopped by to tell you there is no word. I brought along this little blank book I was hoping you could take a look at.’
— Paula Poundstone, There’s Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say, 2006.
As I’ve said before, until we start knocking on your doors and shouting on your street corners, you might want to ease up on calling us pushy atheists. Almost every atheist I know who was raised religious has come to their atheism on their own after reflecting on the things they were being taught. There have been no mention of atheist missionaries attempting to convert them.
Garfield said this in 1874 people. The fact that it’s 2011 and the bonds between church and state seem to be the platform for all good politician these days is more than a little depressing. The church relishes in the fact that as long as 501(c)(3) exists, they will always come out on top. Maybe if more of their congregants, instead of us non-theists, got upset over their ability to build mega mansions and live way above the means of their flock, things would change. Unfortunately, the people who should be speaking up won’t, and those of us who do are accused of trying to undermine the values of the nation. When your pastor tells you to not stop tithing, even when faced with hunger and homelessness, while he has no financial problems thanks to your money, you should question that.
To be fair, not all pastors are rich. Many actually work second jobs and run small congregations. However, the ones that don’t, the runners of the mega churches may garner a little more of my respect if they lived the simple lives of their followers, and used their tax exemption status to do more for others. This isn’t about class warfare. This isn’t about people building industries and making their money through hard work an profits. I’m talking about people who have gained their riches, tax free, from the donations, offering, financial prayer requests, and other funding from the poor people who believe the words they say. If you want me to be less hostile about 501(c)(3), let the Joel Osteens, and Pat Robertsons of the world move into my middle class suburb and use their enormous viewer acquired wealth to feed and house the people whose money the pocket. It will never happen though, and I will never stop being pissed off about it. I know it’s easy to blame the people who keep giving up their money to them, I hold them responsible as well, but as long as our government is OK with it, things will never change. ~ Kim
Amazing post, Kim!
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.
Genius is sorrow’s child.