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Podcasting: Sunday 13 October 2013 - Sunday 20 October 2013

Currently, we are broadcasting the audiobook version of The Tyranny of God.  In Chapter 7 of the Tyranny of God, we got thinking about language. In our quest to understand human nature and the nature of religions, it is important to realise that language helps if not facilitates much of the way we think. In this chapter, I go through memes. Discussions of memes are important because a few chapters later, I argue that much like living organisms are made up of genes, religions are non-living organisms made up of memes. This Sunday 12th of October 2013, Chapter 8 of The Tyranny of God: Memes.

Published in Podcasts

Podcasted: Sunday, 18 August 2013 - Sunday 25 August 2013

Last week, we listened to Chapter 1 on Cosmology. Cosmology is the study of the origins and the eventual fate of the universe. We discussed the Big Bang Theory and how the universe began 14 billion years ago. From there, we discussed how matter collected into clouds, which condensed. Smaller structures formed and they began forming bigger structures. We looked at how galaxies may have formed and how, 530 million years after the Big Bang, our very own galaxy -- the Milky Way -- slowly came into existence. Our own star -- the Sun -- formed, along with everything else in our solar system, including our own planet, the Earth, and its moon. Now, in Chapter 2, we fast-forward from when the solar system formed to the beginning of life on Earth. So here now, for you, this Sunday 18th of August 2013, Chapter 2 of The Tyranny of God: The Origin of Life.

Published in Podcasts

Podcasted: Sunday, 11 August 2013 - Sunday 18 August 2013

In the Preface of The Tyranny of God, I explain that before we get into discussing religion, we need to know what our Natural History is. We must begin from the very start to establish that we are all working on the same page, so to speak. Chapter 1 of the book is titled Cosmology. Cosmology is the study of the origins and eventual fate of the universe. I begin Chapter 1 with the Big Bang, because this is how far back human knowledge goes. So here it is, for you, this Sunday 11th of August 2013, Chapter 1 of The Tyranny of God.

Published in Podcasts

This is our very first Reasonism Podcast. Today, I want to share with you a conversation I recently had with a Baptist Pastor. He is visiting from the Philippines with a relative of mine, whom he was grooming to become his assistant. We had a chat about the general state of affairs here in Australia. I was telling them how Australia has been doing fine economically but how recently, the demand for Western Australia’s mining resources have begun to decline as a result of the reduced demand for China’s goods world-wide. Slowly then the conversation progressed to what he thought was going on in the world. Because he is a Pastor, I expected somewhat of a religious tinge to the way he would read current affairs. I did, however, not expect it to be as bizzare as it turned out to be.

Published in Podcasts

Pastor Youcef Nararkhani is a Christian Pastor awaiting execution in Iran. His apparent crime: Apostasy. He has an Islamic ancestry therefore, he must remain a Muslim. He was asked to recant his faith in Jesus Christ or die. He has been given opportunities to recant his faith and he refused.

Religions are supposed to be for the well-being of human beings, are they not? If the christian god and the muslim god are supposedly the same, do we suppose that that same god approve of this?

The discussion seems pretty petty doesn't it? If you strip away the fancy religious words like apostasy, recant and faith, we can boil this situation to it's basics, it pretty much goes like this:

  • A: Stop believing in Jesus, believe in what we believe.
  • B: No thanks. I like what I believe
  • A: We give you three chances to say yes
  • B: No. No. No.
  • A: Okay then, we kill you

How tragic. This to me, is yet again an example of the attrocities people inflict on each other because of their beliefs in their gods.

Friday, 12 June 2009 22:33

What Is The Scientific Method?

Instead of accepting religious and superstitious explanations to the things we do not yet understand, Reasonists rely more on enquiry and the scientific method.

Non-scientists loosely use the word 'theory' in place of words like a 'hunch' or 'guess'. When people hear about 'The Theory Of Evolution', they say things like, "Well, it is just a theory".

In science, however, the word 'theory' is not an individual's hunch or guess that remains unproved or untested. Before something is recognised as a theory, it goes through a rigorous process. We need to understand the process by which scientists come to understand what they purport to know. This is referred to as 'The Scientific Method'.

William K. Tong of the Oakton Community College, in Illinois, provides us with a good definition of The Scientific Method:

"The scientific method attempts to explain the natural occurrences (phenomena) of the universe by using a logical, consistent, systematic method of investigation, information (data) collection, data analysis (hypothesis), testing (experiment), and refinement to arrive at a well-tested, well-documented, explanation that is well-supported by evidence, called a theory".

What we need to recognise is that scientific theories have been observed, tested and verified in many experiments, by many different, independent sources. To explain this process, let us use an example of how a theory is developed using the scientific method:

1) I make an observation: Every time the sun rises, it is always from the east.
2) I hypothesise: The sun must rise from the east.
3) I test this idea: I will go everywhere I can possibly go and verify that the sun is always rising from the east.
4) I publish it: "My research has indicated the sun always rises from the east, wherever it is observed."
5) Other people verify it: This research will then be corroborated by others, from all over the world to confirm that the sun indeed rises from the east.
6) We agree now that our theory has enough evidence. Out of say, 10,000, independent case studies, we are 100% sure the sun rises from the east. We now have a theory.
7) Maybe one day, the sun will begin rising from the west. We cannot know for sure. When it does, we will modify our theory.

As we can see, theories are far from the unproved speculations of a single scientist who just had one too many cups of coffee, late one night. Scientific method is not simply about asserting what you think is true. It may make assumptions but it does not require faith because it simply works with the evidence it has. It is a method that seeks for truth through testing ideas and conducting experiments to verify whether these ideas are true. Ideas are cross-referenced and open for widespread criticism, enquiry and debate. The scientific method requires evidence that is, understandable, relevant, reliable, observable and verifiable.

The most important aspect of a scientific theory is that it must be FALSIFIABLE. It must be clear how and when that theory is no longer valid. In our example above, the theory will remain to be true until someone makes an observation that the sun is rising from another direction. If something is not falsifiable, it is not a true scientific theory. It is a philosophy.

[This is an excerpt from the Tyranny Of God on the Scientific Method, p258]

Published in About

Morality Does Not Come From Religion Lecture by Marquez Comelab, author of The Tyranny of God organised by The Atheist Society, conducted in the Unitarian Church in Melbourne, Australia. 8th March 2011.

It has always been proposed by the religious that without religion, humanity will succumb to chaos and destruction. In a lecture organised by The Atheist Society in the Unitarian Church in Melbourne on the 8th of March 2011, Marquez Comelab argues that religion is taking undue credit for something that is naturally human.

To argue his point of view, he begins by taking us back to envision ancient societies, discussing the Golden Rule, and three universal truths of human nature that allow, force and pressure us to behave. These three universal truths, he argues, predispose human beings to be moral.

Many people believe that if you do not believe in God, it would be hard for you to know what is right from wrong. But is this true? I believe that religion is getting undue credit for something that is naturally part of human nature.

Published in Blog