Current Events, Discussions | Jesus, Santa and all that | Anti-Science: Creationism and Stupidification
| Unholy Politics: Christians, Muslims, and Zionists in the End Times | Sex, Drugs, Rock'n'Roll: Just Say No to This Life
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Reality is a hard master,
softened considerably by Pretend;
but how much Pretend is too much ?

Is religion a "childish" Pretense, countered by AdultThought;
or is religion actually irrational, countered by RationalThoughtUCSD.com ?


Current Events, Discussions

Richard Dawkins, Friday, April 6

Richard Dawkins, Sean Faircloth, and R. Elisabeth Cornwell will speak on "A Secular Society Worth Saving: The Role of Religion & Secularism in Public Policy"

Dr. Dawkins is a world-renowned scientific intellectual, lecturer, author, and founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

Sean Faircloth is an author, speaker, former legislator, and current Director of Strategy and Policy for the Dawkins Foundation.

Dr. R. Elisabeth Cornwell is Executive Director of the U.S. branch of the Dawkins Foundation, and has originated the OUT Campaign for public atheism.

Promotional Poster

Sponsored locally by The San Diego Coalition of Reason
and co-sponsored at UCSD by RationalThought@ucsd

Darwin Day is February 12 !

Charles Darwin ( 12 Feb 1809 - 19 Apr 1882 ) was raised Christian, attended theology school, and initially accepted Paley's divine design in nature. His 5-year journey on the HMS Beagle provided the evidence of geology and plant/animal species which allowed him to break from the mental constraints of divine creation.

The evolution of life is now the organizational foundation of all modern biology, and each new discovery adds strength to the structure. By honoring Darwin, we celebrate the development of science and human intellectual potential, ideally unfettered by the authoritarian strategies of faith and fear of gods.

In Darwin's own words, he "gradually came . . . to see that the Old Testament, from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow as a sign, etc., etc., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindus or the beliefs of any barbarian."

And, ""I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true: for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that [those] who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother, and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine."

AdultThought members at UCSD will be distributing "I Support Science" stickers Friday, February 10 on Library Walk. Great for laptops, backpacks, 2"x3", White Vinyl [PDF]

Want some stickers? Show us your Web site (or just ask), and we'll send you a packet of 100 stickers.

Dr. Sam Harris, Public Lecture & Booksigning

Sponsored by RationalThought@ucsd

When:

7:00pm Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Where:

UCSD Price Center Ballroom

Tickets:

UCSD Box Office
Non-ticketed entrance after 6:50pm if seating is available.

About:

Sam Harris proposes that answers to questions of human value can be visualized on a "moral landscape"---a space of real and potential outcomes whose peaks and valleys correspond to states of greater or lesser well being in conscious creatures like ourselves.

Different ways of thinking and behaving---different cultural practices, ethical codes, modes of government, etc.---translate into movements across this landscape.

Such changes can be analyzed objectively on many levels---ranging from biochemistry to economics---but they have their crucial realization as states and capacities of the human brain.

Dr. Harris' 2005 bestseller "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason" described the many problems with religius pretense; his new book "The Moral Landscape" describes a rational method for evaluating moral truths.



Dr. Victor Stenger, Public Lecture & Booksigning

When:

3:30pm Saturday
February 20, 2010

Where:

UCSD Student Services Center
Multi-Purpose Room (1st floor)

About:

Author and physicist Dr. Victor Stenger will discuss "What Can Science Say About God and the Afterlife?" A book-signing will follow the lecture.

Dr. Stenger's distinguished research career has spanned much of our modern understanding of the physical world, from elementary particles to gamma-ray and neutrino astronomy. He is the author of nine critically acclaimed popular science books about physics, cosmology, philosophy, religion, and pseudoscience.

Dr. Stenger's 2007 book, "God The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist" was a NYT bestseller.
His latest books, which came out in 2009, are
"Quantum Gods" and
"The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason"

Co-sponsored with San Diego Coalition of Reason

Debate & Experiment with the Christians, February 13

When: 7pm Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Where: UCSD Center Hall, Room 105

UCSD Physics graduate student Jonathan Whitmore will debate a UCSD biology graduate student on the topic "Are There Good Reasons to Believe in the Physical Resurrection of Jesus?" Sponsored by AdultThought and the Graduate Christian Fellowship.

Presumably, this means "Setting aside the scientific contradictions of the Jewish creation myth (Genesis); and acknowledging that evolution is the foundation of modern biology; can't we have a Jesus Myth without doing too much damage to rationality?

Speaking of damage to rationality, 40% of incoming UCSD freshmen are Creationists.
The "evolutionary resurrection" image at right is from a Library Walk Christian handout, "Intelligent Design or Evolution", claiming
"Neanderthal Man was found to be a modern human with a vitamin D deficiency suffering from arthritis." and "..Lucy was just a 3-foot tall chimpanzee."
It's hard to say what it means; but that's the idea, isn't it?

Bonus: Experiment on Faith Healing , or "Nothing Fails Like Prayer" .

Science Debate 2008

The effort to have a Presidential Candidates debate on support for science is gathering broad institutional and individual support.
Check it out and join in! .

Intelligent Design is now "mainstream" stupididy; GeoCentricity is the new frontier of the Culture War.

Literal interpretation of the Bible causes extreme stupidity in some people. Will GeoCentricity be the next Weapon of Mass Deception, bringing nutty ideas into the mainstream of American dialog, pushing the "center of superstition" further towards the Fundamentallist rejection of the modern world?

Every thoughtful "Christian" should carefuly study the ideas at GeoCentricity.com and related links. Taken literally, the Biblical worldview is contrary to modern science. Can one actually take the Bible to be the word of a God, who just happens to know only as much science as humans did 2000 years ago?

"Now in this FREE book, you can learn what scientists haven't been telling you for four centuries: That written evidence and ancient witnesses around the world record a time when an unusually long span of dayling or night occurred. But scientists cannot explain why this event did not cause massive earthquakes or coastal flooding..."


Natalie Angier describes "My God Problem"

and chides scientists with wit and compassion. "So, on the issue of mainstream monotheistic religions and the irrationality behind many of religion's core tenets, scientists often set aside their skewers, their snark, and their impatient demand for proof, and instead don the calming cardigan of a kiddie-show host on public television."

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Jesus, Santa and Virginia ...

The Santa story is believed by children, created and supported by an organized, benevolent fraud; it contributes much to children's joy, and promotes an elementary morality.
The Jesus story is believed by adults, supported by organized religion; it instills both thoughtful compassion and righteous intolerance.

However, there is no historical or scientific evidence compelling either story; there are many unreconcilable beliefs; and there is ample evidence of fraud.
As with movies and politics, both Santa and Jesus require a "Willing Suspension of Disbelief" to be effective. Suspend your critical reasoning, and you get an IOU for joyous gifts to come later, with eternal damnation for bad little boys and girls.

"Yes, Virginia, No Gods" -- $1000 Editorial Contest for UCSD Students

The social fraud of religious faith is concisely laid out in the most famous US editorial of all time, "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus"

This editorial confuses the question, blatantly lies, promotes child-like faith, and belittles human capabilities and reason; these are all tactics of the Christian Wedge.

Our Challenge: What should you tell your eight-year-old sister when she asks "What is Real?" Write a one-page editorial response to Virginia which promotes thoughtful compassion and responsibility, without mythology. That is, how would you express "Think, Virginia!" in a one-page editorial? Deadline for submission is 12 January 2007.

Prizes:

$300 First Prize, $200 x 2 Second Prizes, $100 x 3 Third Prizes

Some Questions:

-- Was Santa "Intelligently Designed", as a "training bra" for belief in the "serious" gods of adult religions?

-- Do we really have little minds, like ants? What intelligence is capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge?

-- How do love and generosity justify mythology? Is child-like faith a prerequisite for poetry, romance, and enjoyment?

-- What is the Eternal light of chidlhood?

-- Are fairies, Santas, angels, and gods pretty much all the same? If nobody sees fairies dancing on the lawn, does this suggest that they do not exist?

-- Is there a veil covering the unseen world, which only faith can penetrate?

-- Does "supernal" mean "heavenly", i.e. coming from a sky-god?

-- Does Church's pastiche of mysticism, transcendentalism, and romanticism make any sense? Is there a more "modern" response to Virginia from the Christian perspective?

Open Invitation to UCSD Christian groups to co-Sponsor Editorials

Contest Announcement Flyer at Pennock ID Convocation, 7 Nov 06

And the Winners are:

1st
Daniel Travis,
"I'm sorry to reveal this to you Virginia, [...]

2nd
Michael Swaim,
"No Virginia, No Gods, No Santas. Well, let's start by saying that you are real. [...]
Jessica Cole, "Your friends are right, Virgina. Santa Claus is not real. But I think you knew that already [...]

3rd
Kevin Reynolds,
"Well Virginia, What your frieds have told you is true [...]
Melissa Karnaze, "Virginia, as you know, every Christmas children all across the globe make their wish lists [...]
Scott Pierson, "Virginia, Have you ever had your parents read you a bedtime story [...]

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10th Annual Darwin's Birthday Concert

The Galapagos Mountain Boys will celebrate Darwin's birthday with old favorites of "Scientific Gospel" music (plus a few political ditties) in a wide-ranging bluegrass style.

Scientific Gospel is a unique musical genre created by UCSD's Dr. Stephen Baird to impart scientific knowledge, discuss social and political issues, and argue for rational inquiry and thought. Evolution, gravity, water, heat, time, sexually transmitted diseases, false gods, and heroes of science all are worthy and appropriate subjects for Scientific Gospel.

AdultThought supports Dr. Baird's efforts to promote enjoyment of rational thought through music, and will be distributing Darwin Fish stickers to all attendees.

Admission is $10 Students, $20 General.
Further Information : email carol (atSign) ScientificGospel.com, or ScientificGospel.com

Review: It was a great show! Entertaining, informative, upbeat, sincere. Hopefully, you'll have a chance to hear them before their performance/dinner for
Darwin's 200th Birthday, 12 February 2009 at the UCSD Faculty Club.


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Richard Dawkins in "The God Delusion"

describes the "irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11."

"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."
Good thing he doesn't exist.

Dr. Dawkins' British Channel 4 documentary, "Root of All Evil ?"

The God of the Old Testament has got to be the most unpleasant character in all fiction.

Militant faith is on the march all across the world, with terrifying consequences. Irrational faith is feeding murderous intolerance throughout the world. It's time to question the abuse of childhood innocence with superstitious ideas of hellfire and damnation.

For many people, part of growing up is killing off the virus of faith, with a good strong dose of rational thinking. But if an individual doesn't succeed in shaking it off, his mind is stuck in a permanent state of infancy, and there is a real danger that he will infect the next generation.

In the US, Christian obsession with sin has spawned a national craze for "hell houses" -- morality plays cum Halloween freak shows in which the evangelical hobby-horses of abortion, and homosexuality are literally demonized.

Morality stems not from some fictional deity and his texts, but from altruistic genes that have been naturally selected in our evolutionary past.

Morality is a lot older than religion. Even chimps live in family groups, the mothers look after the kids, they work in teams, they compete for status through "public service", by being good leaders, by intervening to settle disputes. Altruism produces mutual benfits for those involved.

DVD for Sale or sometimes on the Web.

Anti-Science: Creationism and Stupidification


Surveys of introductory courses at UCSD show that about 40% of our students are Creationists, believing that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that humans did not arise from evolutionary processes, or that humans were contemporary with dinosaurs.

This level of ignorance can not be blamed on our K-12 school systems. It must be attributed to intentional stupidification by organized religion. The Scopes Monkey Trial did not resolve the issue; it merely increased the resolve of the Christian mythologizers.

Humanists and Christians alike should probably see the movie "Jesus Camp" Trailer.

The Roman Christian literalization of Jewish cultural stories caused massive contradictions with science and reality. Fundamentalists of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Mormonism are assigned the task of defending the undefendable myths, by obfuscation and attacks on modernism. Moderates in these creeds take a range of fundamentally compromised positions in between.

The result has been stupidification of the American populace: 50% of Americans deny the basic precepts of Biology and Evolution; whereas only 5% of Japanese are this confused (probably by Christian missionaries).

The "Christian Wedge" in science education is described in this American Physical Society editorial. The APS, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology all officially object to the Christian Wedge strategy.

"I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it." -- Albert Einstein, [ref] also Letters

"Religion is all bunk." -- Thomas Alva Edison [ref]

The resulting Culture War has immense consequences for American society. The University community of modernists is under attack by a group which seeks to end the Enlightenment, favoring a return to Orthodoxy. "Intelligent Design" is the current Wedge, but in essence, little has changed since the Scopes Monkey Trial. (1925) One scientist's Science and Religion Resources"

"I don't believe in God, because I don't believe in Mother Goose" -- Clarence Darrow [ref]

"Reason should be destroyed in all Christians." -- William Jennings Bryan [ref]


Even some accomplished scientists, like Francis Collins ("Mr. Human Genome"), find some parts of the Christian fog palatable.
( No, not Creationism, not Young Earth nonsense, not the Flood, not the mythology, just a wonderous, nice God.)
Sam Harris on "The Language of God" responds.

Unholy Politics: Christians, Muslims, Zionists in the End Times

The movie "The Dead Zone (1983)" depicted a faithfully fervent American President (Reagan?) unleashing a nuclear holocaust.

Strangely, the Christian Fundamentalists now strongly support Israel militarily, apparently working to bring about nuclear Apocalypse, Please.

An insightful, family-based view of this unholy alliance: Heartland Morality, American Politics.

A Christian discusses The Christian Paradox: Why is America the most professedly Christian nation, but the least Christian in its behavior?

A pictorial view of the The American Taliban.

Fascism thrives under "monotheism", with its emphasis on absolute knowledge, absolute morality, autocratic power structures, and ultimate punishments. Hitler's Christianity was entirely compatible with Catholic and Lutheran beliefs in the most Christian nation in the world. Indeed, the Concordances between Mussolini, Hitler, and the Pope greatly benefitted Fascism and the Vatican in the 1930's, representing "ideal" models of aligned Church and State. Add the Mafia, and you have the "perfect" authoritarian society.


Sex, Drugs, Rock'n'Roll: Just Say No to This Life

Reasons to say Yes: exploration, hedonism, joy, love, recreation, relaxation, sensuality.

Reasons to say No: addiction, CIA, damage, fear, God, Nancy, politics, recklessness.

But remember, kids, Santa doesn't like bad words or titties.

Drug Use is Life Abuse (use = abuse ?)

The Campus Crusade for Christ at UCSD recently sponsored PORN NATION, a nationally funded multi-media presentation of faith-based testimony by software engineer Michael Leahy. He described his family's addiction to alcohol, how pornography ruined his 15 year marriage, and how he is now comfortable with an all-encompassing faith in Jesus.

Is sex inherently SINFUL and UNCLEAN, because Eve tempted Adam with the apple of (sexual) knowledge? Or is sex a joyous manifestation of life, to be shared and revered? Do modern psychology, sociology and politics have anyting to say about nurturing and protecting human sexuality? Does the state want to put your 17-year-old roommate in jail for having sex, for his or her own protection?

AdultThought distributed this Flyer at the PORN NATION event; and we appreciate the sincerity of the students with whom we had discussions.



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The Mt. Soledad Cross:

Separating Church and State: Mt. Soledad Cross Debate on UCSDtv
Honoring Phil Poulson

Prior Events -----------------------------------------------------------------------

Sixth College Convocation and The Helen Edison Lecture Series
Robert Pennock, "The Ground Rules of Science: Why the Judge Ruled Intelligent Design Creationism Out of Court"
Tuesday, November 14, 7pm RIMAC Arena


Friday, November 3, 6pm, Price Center Theatre, Free Admission

Am I my Brother's Keeper? Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

The provocative, thought-provoking play "The Eyes of Babylon" will be performed at the Price Center Theatre.
Admission is Free, co-sponsored by AdultThought, I-Center, I-House, 6th College, Warren College, LGBTRC, American Pie, and Dimension of Culture.

"[it] disarms our defenses... beautifully written, affecting testimony." David Nichols, LA Times Critics' Choice Review

LA Weekly Pick of the Week

Back Stage West Critic's Pick

"I was drawn into it, disarmed, and stilled to a state of positive shock and awe." Joan Baez

"blown away by your artistry" Lily Tomlin

Hofstra University performance "Thanks"

Chapman University performance "Thanks"

UCSD_Flyer.pdf

The God Who Wasn't There
Thursday, October 5, at 7pm & 9pm in HSS 2250

Showings and discussion at 7pm and 9pm in HSS 2250
(Ledden Auditorium, Humanities & Social Sciences, Muir College, UCSD )

"Provocative -- to put it mildly." LA Times

There is ZERO historical evidence for the beloved Jesus of Nazareth. The myth starts to take shape around 80 C.E., with a "mention" by Josephus, which even Christian apologists consider partially fraudulent.

Producer Brian Fleming's interview with SF Chronicle exemplifies the ubiquitous newspaper "balance": "Many scholars have questioned the historicity of the Jesus story, although it remains central to Christian beliefs."

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Thoughtful Books on Judeo-Christian Mythology.

Battlefield God: Can your GOD logically exist without contradiction? Give it a try...

Belief-O-Matic: Answer some questions to determine your preferred GOD; pick up today's reassurance; and BUY some Angel Bracelets, Holistic Medicines, or Tarot Cards while you're at it. [Caution: BeliefNet may cause brain damage in young children and the mentally feeble...]

More Adult Thought Links

 


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