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Scientific Knowledge, Theories, Facts & Figures
According to a terrorism expert, Marc Sageman, individuals who join terrorist groups have one thing in common before they commit a terrorist act: they have had 'insignificant' lives. He said, "You have a lot of people who are bored out of their minds. Joining this movement brings significance to their lives. Now they are special, part of the vanguard and better than others."
(Read the article)

This is interesting because two weeks ago I just blogged about the big reasons offered to try and understand terrorism. If Sageman is correct in his assertions, then it means that even though the leaders of terrorist groups may have some philosophy on why they do what they do, the foot soldiers at the bottom of their ranks are mainly taking part for emotional reasons.

MY THOUGHTS

If a person feels inferior because he believes he is insignificant, or that he is living an insignificant life, it is logical for him to presume that to become someone significant, or to live a significant life, he must achieve superiority over others. However, he is neither significant nor insignificant. He is neither superior nor inferior. These concepts only exist because of his perceptions. The truth is, he is simply himself.
Monday, 01 May 2006 22:54

Catholic priesthood in decline

The number of priests worldwide has decreased by 3.5 per cent in the past quarter of a century, the Vatican said, noting that the overall figure was affected by a sharp decrease in Europe despite a rise of vocations in Africa. Read full article here.
Tuesday, 28 February 2006 22:24

Blood-clotting Protein In Venoms

"A blood-clotting protein found in the venom of nine snakes, including the taipan and the tiger snake, can be used to stop excessive bleeding during surgery and major trauma, the team of Brisbane based researchers announced*."
Published in Scientific Advances
Tuesday, 28 February 2006 21:22

Fig Leaf For A Terrorist Authority

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who wants peace talks with Israel to establish a Palestinian state, says that Hamas might make it difficult, if not impossible, for him to lead. Israel's acting Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says that Mr Abbas "can't be a fig leaf for a terrorist authority".

Full article.
Saturday, 25 February 2006 09:21

Culture, Nudity, Religion and Politics

A bill is being passed in Bali. "Traditional Balinese art and dance could become illegal. Prohibitions against kissing and revealing bodies could be imposed against foreigners, destroying Bali's faltering tourism industry."

Gadis Arriva, a university professor says: "It states it is illegal to express any sexual desire, even imagine sex ? how do you prove that?" she asks. She sees the anti-porn movement as part of an agenda to reshape Indonesia, with pornography a symbol of Western culture to the many Muslims who believe globalisation aims to destroy their culture."

See full article here.

The striking point about this article for me is this: The Balinese people had their own culture, expressed through their art and dance, way before people with different beliefs or religions came to tell them that these forms of expressions should be banned because it went against 'morality'. Should the Balinese stop expressing their culture just because of religion or politics: because some people think nudity is 'bad'? No.
Sunday, 19 February 2006 09:43

Muslim Imams In Australia

The Australian Government have proposed a code of conduct to prevent religious leaders from inciting hateful and inflamatory statements and sermons. But Brunswick-based Sheikh Omran, probably the most radical Muslim cleric in Australia (according to The Age), is not going to cooperate.

In next month's summit of imams, Muslim groups are divided whether they should invite him or not. Some do not want him to join the meeting so as not to validate his teachings. One or two imams will not attend if he attends. The imams who want him to attend feel that it is important to keep him engaged. I guess it is important for them to debate and challenge his ideas.

The articles I read were at: www.theage.com.au, titled Speak No Evil and Imam To Defy Code Of Conduct.
Friday, 03 February 2006 17:43

Art & Science

An observant person sees things overlooked by others. A scientist sees things going on and then asks how these goings-on array themselves into patterns, patterns that are reliable and predictable. A really good scientist--or a really good artist for that matter, anyone whose mind and soul are capable of some extension--sees what is going on, sees the patterns, and asks, 'Why?' What underlying forces are at work? How are those forces exerting themselves? How may we understand? Once pried from the universe by a great mind or a discerning heart, the hard-won understanding may then be conveyed and conferred upon humanity at large. A painting is nothing more than light reflected from the surface of a pigment-covered canvas. But a great painter can make you see the depth, make you feel the underlying emotion, make you sense the larger world. That, too, is the power of science: to sense and convey the depth and dimensionality of nature, to glance at the surface and to divine the shape of the universe around us.
Carl Safina

Published in Scientific Advances
Friday, 03 February 2006 17:42

Humans Fighting For Beliefs

Human beings never think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable. For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told--and become upset if they are exposed to any different view. The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare. Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their 'beliefs.' The reason is that beliefs guide behavior, which has evolutionary importance among human beings. But at a time when our behavior may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all. We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is just a self-congratulatory delusion.
Michael Crichton in The Lost World

Based on an article written by Michael Borgas,the Government is still failing to give science the support it deserves.

"...The Federal Government has opted to leave science in the Education and Training ministry, where it has languished with poor support and little interest from the cabinet...CSIRO science differs from that of the universities, with research priorities set by senior executives in consultation with government. Individual researchers must align with long-term strategy. In this way large teams of researchers can tackle problems and initiatives that are important for Australia." See Full Article.

Science is an investment for the future. We need to ensure we are investing enough in it.
Thursday, 02 February 2006 16:39

Riding the Islamist Tide

"America has pursued the idea that democracy is the answer to Islamist terrorism. Now the Palestinian people have spoken clearly - and they have voted for the terrorists."

"The question is not whether Muslim radicals should be elected to power, but what they do in office and whether they can be voted out"

"The Middle East enters unknown and dangerous territory. This is a time for cool heads and pragmatism, not rash responses."

The Hamas election victory demands a cool-headed international response, writes Anton La Guardia.
See full article if you click here.

Book On Reason

The Tyranny Of God by Marquez Comelab - Book on Religion, Science, Reason, Faith, Atheism and Reasonism

The Tyranny Of God


NEW: Audiobook Version!

Listen to the Introduction and Preface

Paperback from Amazon

Is there a God? Where do the animals, plants and human beings come from? Are scriptures the words of gods? Does religion teach us to live moral lives? Why do so many people kill and are killed over it? How should we live our lives if God exists? How should we live it if God does NOT exist?

This book explores the truth behind our beliefs in God and the propensity of human beings to be religious. In an honest attempt to seek the answers to life's deepest questions, I probe into how life began. I then progress to investigate the true nature of religions and their impact on our lives and the rest of humanity.

The main purpose of this book is not to argue against religion. Rather, it tells our story and how we have come to oppress ourselves with the tyranny of our own beliefs. I wrote this book to include everything I discovered to be relevant in my search for the truth, not just the truth behind God and morality, but also behind us and our existence. Instead of reading this book with the expectation that it is trying to prove the tyranny of God, I would like to recommend you read it as a story book: as a book that tells the story of humanity from the Big Bang.

REVIEW

"While Comelab's writing is always moderate in tone, its message clearly undermines current distractions with accommodationist arguments towards presumed religious "moderates". It is written with the fresh confidence of a young man who has had early success in his adopted country and only recently come to realise the truth of atheism. For those like me whose only worry about Atheism has long been its faultering progress, Comelab reminds us that much of the energy must continue to come from those who have more recently learned the truth. He seems more than bright enough to soon progress to seeing atheism not as an end but as a starting point to the kind of understanding that should enable us to work towards a future incomparably better than any heaven the faithful can imagine."

- TONY SMITH (AUSTRALIA)

Its beyond my imagination that you can put it all together in a book. Two thumbs up! You can not imagine what happen when I first read the title of your book, and got excited about it and kept reading until dawn. I commend you in putting so much effort to collecting data and put it together to support your idea. 

How can I say this... your book is really ME in here, existing to tell, spread, and contradict  but in very small area only (very limited, considering my country religion majority). Most of it can only be talked between my family member and close friends. Your book provides BEAUTIFUL BITTER TRUTH : that is how I would sum it up.

I called it beautiful because it opens up the very shell of a religions and the implications it caused over the past hundred, even thousands of years. I cannot describe with my limited english skill the insight your book has shown. But I am AFRAID your book WILL NEVER SPREAD TO MY COUNTRY. It will cause a massive attacks and chaos from the religious majority. I feel happy but the same time sad, really sad...Well again I cannot say THANK YOU ENOUGH.

- J. A. (Indonesia)

This book has taught me so much about evolution, the history of religions and the effect is has on our modern day society! The author shares his personal journey as a believer and provides much needed "food for thought". I recommend this book to all those who want to form their own opinion about believing or not believing.

-FISHPOND REVIEW