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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.

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.

On the afternoon of 22 May 2013, a British Army soldier, Lee Rigby of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was killed by two assailants near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London, in a terrorist attack.

Tuesday, 08 November 2011 00:27

British Women Are Converting To Islam

Record numbers of young, white British women are converting to Islam. Of the British citizens going through the conversion, more than half were white and 75% of them were women, according to an article Richard Peppiatt, (Women & Islam: The rise and rise of the convert, published on The Independent. Many of them apparently find it a struggle to assimilate their previous beliefs with that of their newly adopted religion More than three-quarters told researchers they had experienced high levels of confusion after conversion, due to the conflicting ways Islam was presented to them.

As of June 2011, scientists at CERN have succeeded in trapping atoms of anti-hydrogen for more than 15 minutes: sufficient time to study them in a little more detail.

I can at least try to let you know what I understand, in broad strokes, why this news item is important and hope to impart my sense of appreciation of this milestone.

The reason why this is important is because it is believed that the universe came into existence from nothing. Studies in Quantum Physics indicate that out of nothing, certain particles can come into existence for brief moments. They come into existence, however, with the presence of their anti-thesis. So in effect, +1 (Matter) and -1 (Anti-Matter) is still equal to zero. Perhaps the same had been true with the Big Bang, the only difference between is that for a very, very small percentage of all the particles that existed during the Big Bang a few managed to remain in existence because they did not manage to come in contact with their anti-thesis before their anti-thesis disappeared. What has remained is the matter that makes up everything in the universe today.

Friday, 09 September 2011 09:16

Distinguishing Science from Non-Science

I am just reading about many scientifically-trained and educated individuals who studied science at post-graduate level, and thereafter, get involved in Creationist activities, espousing among many other ideas for example, that the Noah's Ark is true. They then sell books and other materials to children and their parents, propagating their ideas.

Bertrand Russell wrote:

"[I]t is not what the man of science believes that distinguishes him, but how and why he believes it. His beliefs are tentative, not dogmatic; they are based on evidence, not on authority or intuition."

When you have individuals who are educated in Science, or are working in Scientific endeavours telling us that Noah's Ark is true, it does not necessarily mean that their belief in Noah's Ark has any scientific credibility. What we need to ask is why they believe it. Do they believe it because the Bible says it is true or do they believe it because there's evidence for it.

For something to be science, it must use scientific methods to qualify mere assertions of beliefs from scientific theories.

Saturday, 13 August 2011 14:37

Hans Rosling on Better Use of Available Data

In this video, Hans Rosling debunks old but persistent notions of 'developed world' and 'third world countries'. He also encourages better use of the information that is already available so we can better provide for our communities..

Friday, 05 August 2011 21:16

The Readers Of This Book

In writing this book, I imagined five groups of readers:

  • The irreligious or the atheist
  • The agnostic
  • The moderately religious
  • The religious
  • The subject-matter experts

Every one of these readers will have different needs and reasons for wanting to read this book.

Friday, 05 August 2011 21:15

How I Structured This Book

I sought to tell the story of humanity from the beginning to the present. I structured this book so you can read it like a story book, where the earlier chapters are the foundations of later chapters. The following is a quick preview of what we will be discussing.

Friday, 05 August 2011 21:15

About This Book

One of my biggest worries in writing this book was the breadth of topics I had to cover. At times, I wondered whether I was doing the right thing in casting as wide a net as I did. I chose to proceed because, to understand the true nature of religion, we cannot limit our discussions to religious texts. Instead, we need to take a larger, macroscopic view. We need to see how it relates to human nature and to our society. We need to consult our sciences and corroborate our analysis with our history.

In our struggle to broaden our outlook, we need to start from the very beginning. From there, we work progressively. We will learn about cosmology, abiogenesis, genetics, evolution, language, memes, history, current affairs and so on.

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