This isn’t the first time Bill Maher has pissed me off with his support of pseudoscience. I know he doesn’t give a damn about my opinion, but I’m posting my frustration anyways. It’s often the people who I agree with the most who I am most curious about, and sometimes the most skeptical of. I wonder what their inspiration is, deciding it is less important what people believe, but rather why they believe it. For Bill Maher, I believe he holds a wild double standard. With respect to God, the man says the burden of proof is on the believer. He displaces himself, rightly so, from having to make any statements about his lack of theory. He said it perfectly: “atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position.”
The burden of proof can be easily realized using Bertrand Russell’s teapot analogy. I could in no way prove to you that there is not a teapot in space orbiting the Sun.
Recently I’ve disappeared from the triathlon scene. I know I’ve kind of disappointed some people. With the college degree in hand and the ability to pick the next step, I know a lot of people hoped I would explore my endurance capabilities. I’ve struggled with inspiration in seeing the worth of such an endeavor. However, the mental inhibition from my curiosity has not been the primary reason for my backing away from the endurance community. My lack of training was entirely involuntary, set in stone by an ankle sprain on New Year’s Day. A foolish question of the party of the night would be mistaken. I was trail running with a couple friends, exploring mountain peaks and bushwhacking through mazes of snowy slopes covered in thorny briers. Wearing MICROspikes which gave my feet a little too much traction, my ankle rolled, tearing two ligaments on an already bum leg.
With an appointment scheduled the next day to find a tiny fracture on my patella, the diagnosis was quick. With an ankle the size of a softball, my leg was booted up and I was on crutches for six weeks. At the end of the six weeks though, something was still not right. Continue reading Triathlon hiatus→
I’m about to make an argument on a premise that not many people agree with me on. I guess that’s a pretty silly idea but hell, I’m doing it anyways. I wrote a post not long ago encouraging people to be more selfish. You can read it here. But the general gist of it is that selfishness is not synonymous with greed and that if one is truly concerned with oneself, then they will inevitably help everyone more than someone who strives for selflessness. An analogy would be to giving an employee a higher wage so they can come to work without hunger and therefore, be more productive. Sometimes, I understand that this is not the case, that to the employer, the benefit of satiety is minute in comparison to the cost of feeding. But I argue that this is a dynamic stage, not a homeostatic one. I believe from fundamental logic of thermodynamics that an economy can reach equilibrium unless restrained by external interference. Of course there will be unemployment but there will be less than if restricted by regulation.
So here I go. Grant me that initial premise and you may realize this one. Or maybe the combination of two seemingly faulty premises will help with acknowledging that I may not be a quack after all.
Walmart is actually an awesome corporation. There I go; I said it. I know I’m not the first one and I imagine (I hope) I won’t be the last. Why is Walmart awesome despite the overwhelming hatred for it and its customer base to be, shall we say, less than classy and occasionally inbred? Walmart is great exactly because it is as selfish as it can possibly be.
People usually start thinking I’m crazy when I get exited about existence, from the smallest to the biggest, from biology to astronomy, life to death. But it’s all so goddamn amazing, I don’t know how to keep it all pent-up. I’ve tried before but I get antsy. So now I’ll risk embarrassment for the potential reward of someone responding with equal excitement.
Think about how crazy awesome all this is. Look at your hand. You are composed of atoms. Everything inside you is atoms: protons and neutrons in a core surrounded by spinning electrons with an ability to exist in two places at once. I mean, holy hell. If that isn’t enough reason to always be happy, I don’t know what is. Electrons don’t orbit a nucleus like a planet does a star. Instead an electron orbits in a chaotic pattern that we define in probability terms as orbitals. They are simply our best guess as to where the electron may be.
The natural world is a threatening, hostile, deadly place. Nearly everything wants to prey on our flesh and steal our life. It knows not love nor compassion and was not made for us. I know it is deceptively beautiful and its fruits are deceivingly delicious. But if nature has no use for us, it will consume us, digest us, and crap us out like we never existed.
I am sick of this idea of nature as our medicine or this concept of this home as a peaceful abode. This is a hostile world, full of death and disease. A shark doesn’t keep from eating a human from some obscure sense of respect for humanity; it refrains because a human is foreign and strange and the risk of poisoning is not worth the reward of an easy meal. Continue reading The truth about the natural world→
I have kept no secret of my support for genetic modification in solving many of the world’s problems. But that support, being incredibly controversial outside of the scientific community, has brought to my attention many misconceptions about genetic modification of humans or other organisms. I have received many arguments against my beliefs on the internet as well as in discussion with my friends. I wanted to address one of those misconceptions here to present, in an organized fashion, where I stand and why my platform shouldn’t be so lonely. Continue reading In support of gene therapy→
Recently I watched an internet troll attack the idea of a godless universe on a freethinkers Facebook page. It was an interesting challenge to a group of people who typically always agree on this subject. His argument, however well disguised with jargon and circular logic, was entirely delusional and arrogant, claiming divine knowledge that not many claim to have access to. He asked the question of why someone would want to choose a life without certainty in a godless universe in lieu of a life of certainty with faith. I was interested in the question and had it not been for the raging hatred on the other side, it could have been an interesting discussion. So instead of responding to someone who refuses to give my words recognition, I decided to record it here. Continue reading Humility over certainty→