God, Believing in the Unproven … But Does It Help to Be Happy? – A #381

Some people rely on religion, in different gods, depending on their culture they will adore a specific god. They believe this god will help them throughout their lives through favors and fantastic miracles, forgiveness for their sins, no matter how horrific the crime is “god is powerful and loving enough to forgive their sins” – they, the believers, say.

 

These people are theists. The opposite to theism is atheism: the lack of faith in any god. But in order to consider atheism as a valid contradictory position, there has to exist theism first: the belief in a god. They are both on the same coin, just opposites.

God, Believing in the Unproven ... But Does It Help to Be Happy? - A #381 1

 

How can anyone oppose the non-existent, and debate it fervently on the Internet? It is a waste of time. The radical and fanatical religious will never try to understand, they will never have an open mind. 

 

ABOUT AGNOSTICISM:

 

In my experience agnosticism is largely misunderstood and often misused.  And I especially do not like the modern misappropriation of ‘agnostic has to do with knowledge and atheist has to do with belief”, for one, we lack an unambiguous philosophy of Knowledge (see The Analysis of Knowledge) – two, in practice almost nobody except a few nut cases claim to be absolutely 100% certain (theist or atheists)

 

Really? One hundred percent certain? OK, here I go.

 

Let’s look at what agnosticism is.

The term Agnosticism arose in the days when atheists were loudly making the strong claim that god doesn’t exist and it was a rejection of that certainty. How can anyone reject the non-existing?!

But smart atheists today largely do not make this claim, so times have changed.  Agnosticism was founded on two principles – parsimonious epistemology (I don’t believe things by default and I prefer beliefs that don’t add unnecessary elements) and empiricism (I believe things when there is measurable evidence to support the claim). Today we basically call this ‘skepticism’.

To sum it up, Agnosticism is merely the position that you shouldn’t hold a position that isn’t demonstrable with sufficient evidence.  In the exact words of Thomas Huxley, who coined the term Agnosticism:

 

Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle. That principle is of great antiquity; it is as old as Socrates; as old as the writer who said, “Try all things, hold fast by that which is good” it is the foundation of the Reformation, which simply illustrated the axiom that every man should be able to give a reason for the faith that is in him; it is the great principle of Descartes; it is the fundamental axiom of modern science. Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable. That I take to be the agnostic faith, which if a man keep whole and undefiled, he shall not be ashamed to look the universe in the face, whatever the future may have in store for him.

 

God, Believing in the Unproven ... But Does It Help to Be Happy? - A #381 2

 

Let Me Explain To You My Reasoning In The -how I call it:

“THE FALSE COIN”

 

Note that NOTHING in this definition implies that all possibilities are considered all ‘equally likely’, nor does it have anything to do with looking at probabilities.

 

Putting this into practical terms, let’s say I’ve tossed a coin so we know it is either Heads or Tails but neither of us have looked at the result, right?

Hopefully we can both agree that given this situation, and lacking sufficient evidence otherwise, that both claims, that it IS Heads or that it IS Tails, are equally unsupportable?

In this situation it is the ‘Theist’ who claims they believe the coin is Heads.  They can give you a load of reasons and rationalizations about WHY they believe it is Heads but ultimately they take it as a matter of ‘faith’.

The modern Atheist says they don’t believe the Theist’s claim. They also largely do not assert that it is Tails (though a few still do).  This is a correct statement BUT it doesn’t really say WHY you don’t believe.  To reject a claim that hasn’t met a reasonable burden of proof is a logically sound position so long as you don’t assert the opposite – but this may or may not be the case.  The term ‘atheist’ alone doesn’t tell us about anything other than the rejection of the claim.

 

The Agnostic says they neither believe it is Heads nor believe that it is Tails because they lack evidence sufficient to make either claim.  This is also a logical sound position.  To me, the difference is that Agnosticism says a little bit more about WHY you reject the claim and is more clear that you aren’t asserting the opposite.

 

Both can have a good basis for their position and both are largely compatible.

 

If you are an Agnostic and you don’t accept the theistic claims then you are, by common usage an Atheist – even if you reject the label (for whatever reasons).

 

I think this is best summed up by Bertrand Russell in “Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic?”

 

Here there comes a practical question which has often troubled me. Whenever I go into a foreign country or a prison or any similar place they always ask me what is my religion.

 

I never know whether I should say “Agnostic” or whether I should say “Atheist”. It is a very difficult question and I daresay that some of you have been troubled by it. As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one prove that there is not a God.

 

God, Believing in the Unproven ... But Does It Help to Be Happy? - A #381 3

 

On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.

 

None of us would seriously consider the possibility that all the gods of homer really exist, and yet if you were to set to work to give a logical demonstration that Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, and the rest of them did not exist you would find it an awful job. You could not get such proof.

 

Therefore, in regard to the Olympic gods, speaking to a purely philosophical audience, I would say that I am an Agnostic. But speaking popularly, I think that all of us would say in regard to those gods that we were Atheists. In regard to the Christian God, I should, I think, take exactly the same line.

 

So to me, (Huxley) Agnosticism is the stronger version of the claim because it asserts two positive beliefs upon which the position is based while Atheism, at best, tells us your position on the God question and for strong Atheism it is actually a logically untenable position (although, if the Hawking-Hartle unbounded origin model can be demonstrated I would say that all First Cause ‘gods’ could be rejected).

 

On the other hand – I do not find the Theist position to be logically sound at all.  There are tens of thousands of different theistic beliefs, many of which are directly contradictory, and they are ALL accepted on the same ‘faith-based’ methodology – which means that this methodology is completely useless.  It produces an endless stream of often unintelligible beliefs with no mechanism by which we can discern the truth of any of them.

 

I also think that the combination of all the known human cognitive flaws better accounts for the data (including ‘personal experience’).  I find no indication in all of that noise that it points to anything other than flawed human cognition (confirmation biases, false memories, wishful thinking, etc).

 

god religion agnostic

 

Summary:

 

If it helps you to believe in God (whatever your god is) to make yourself happy and more hopeful, so be it.

 

I like Huxley Agnosticism – Skepticism.
I don’t have a problem with ‘Atheism’ at all.
Theism isn’t logically tenable.

 

I like the terms: Free thought, skepticism, humanitarianism. After all, all of them are atheists – Agnostic Atheists. 

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My View on Neil deGrasse Tyson Exposed and His Show Canceled – Article 329

Neil deGrasse Tyson Exposed

 

Astrophysicist Tyson under criminal investigation

 

I don’t know if Neil deGrasse Tyson is a sexual harasser and a rapist or not. But there are serious accusations against him since the 1980’s by a woman named Tchiya Amet who says Tyson raped her and no one believed her.

 

Tchiya Amet

My View on Neil deGrasse Tyson Exposed and His Show Canceled - Article 329 4

Now there are three additional women, one for the first time, who say that Neil sexually harassed them. This isn’t looking good for the popular science entertainment personality.

 

MY VIEW ON THESE ACCUSATIONS AND THE ACCUSED:

 

What is upsetting and idiotic is that a lot of people in superfluous Facebook support deGrasse  “On Being Accused” statement.

 

He is under criminal investigation and I am not going to support him. No one with a little bit of gray matter would. But I understand that Facebookers are losing their capacity to think. Being in that short memory lack of respect social media platform damages people’s capacity to think logically. I pity the fool.

 

I don’t support the well-known astrophysicist, but I don’t accuse him either. I rather wait for the results of the investigation and then analyze how professional and truthful it was conducted by the detectives. I would, then, and only then, make an opinion.

 

After all, this famous (soon to be infamous?!) astrophysicist has become a very popular Hollywood figure and a sort of media cheerleader for science, instead of an actual scientist. He has forgotten to continue to study science and how to evolve as a real scientist, not a “tv scientist”.

 

Also he is stupid when talking about neuroscience, neurobiology and medical science.

This is how dumb Tyson is in his tweets. Come on, for an astrophysicist who praises himself as being “smart”, this kind of horrific mistake is just, well, pitiful.

Final Note in my View:

Right now I would not jump into conclusions that he is innocent, but I would not jump into a ranting hate speech against him either…yet.

 

ALLEGATIONS:

 

Ashley Watson, a former assistant to Tyson who says she was forced to quit her job due to his inappropriate sexual advances.

Watson says she had been working directly under Neil deGrasse, who called out Trump in 2016 by saying “he would grab him by the crotch when they met”, and that they got along well.

That all changed, however, when he invited his underling to his apartment at around 10:30 P.M. to “share a bottle of wine” and “unwind for a couple of hours”, says Watson, quoting Tyson.

 

“I was about to work for this guy, and everyone else was telling me what an amazing person he was,” Watson told BuzzFeed News on Saturday from her home in Los Angeles.

The comments on the website that published the woman’s story — calling her a “mentally disturbed individual” who “lies for a living”

 

REPORTING</2> FromAzeen Ghorayshi for BuzzFeed News:

 

With three women now making allegations on the record, the Patheos article spread far and wide, prompting Fox Broadcasting Company, which produces the show, and National Geographic, which airs it, to announce an official investigation. A spokesperson for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where Tyson has led the Hayden Planetarium for over 20 years, said that it has never received a complaint about him, but was also looking into the allegations.

On Saturday, Tyson released a 1,600-word statement on Facebook, confirming many of the details of Watson’s and Allers’ allegations, and apologizing for what he deemed clumsy displays of affection that had been misunderstood.

He also responded to Amet’s rape allegations, his only public acknowledgment of the claims in the four years since Amet first blogged about them. He said they had been friends in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, and had been “intimate” on a few occasions.

 

But he denied raping her. Noting her “odd” interests in New Age healing, he suggested she had a “false memory.” (Watson, Allers, and Amet have disputed much of Tyson’s statement. Tyson declined multiple requests to comment on this story.)

 

Now a fourth woman has told BuzzFeed News her experience of sexual harassment from Tyson. In January 2010, she recalled, she joined her then-boyfriend at a holiday party for employees of the American Museum of Natural History. Tyson, its most famous employee, drunkenly approached her, she said, making sexual jokes and propositioning her to join him alone in his office.
In a 2014 email shared with BuzzFeed News, she described the incident to her own employer in order to shoot down a proposed collaboration with Tyson.

 

Over the course of nearly three years, BuzzFeed News has spoken with more than 30 people for this story, including the alleged victims and their families, Cosmos crew members, and graduate students and professors who were at UT Austin 30 years ago. Dozens more from that time did not reply to requests for interviews.

Some people interviewed felt a bit sorry about the prospect that damaging allegations might take down the world’s most famous living scientist — and perhaps the most famous black scientist in history — liked for presenting himself as a less stuffy academic

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5 Most Important Scientific Discoveries of the Year

This year 2018 has been marked by interesting discoveries and advances in different science fields. This list includes some that I find important enough to mention in this scientific closing post of the year:

THE ROSEHIP NEURON

“We don’t yet understand what these cells might be doing in the human brain, but their absence in the mouse points to how difficult it is to model human brain diseases in laboratory animals,” said co-lead author Dr. Gábor Tamás, a neuroscientist at the University of Szeged in Hungary.  The results appear in the journal Nature Neuroscience

scientific discoveries 2018

MEDICINE NOBEL PRIZE ON CANCER RESEARCH

Dr James P. Allison and Dr Tasuku Honjo discovery on T-Cells checkpoint in cancer research, makes history in the world of medicine and physiology. This is why they were awarded the Nobel Prize in these fields. Their work into the utilisation of the body’s immune system for fighting certain types of cancer could potentially save the lives of thousands around the world.

5 Most Important Scientific Discoveries of the Year 5

HARVESTING LETTUCE IN THE ANTARCTIC

German scientist Paul Zabel developed an artificial greenhouse that could make harvesting produce a reality for those in the Antarctic.

The greenhouse, which was installed and began producing early this year, is housed inside a climate-controlled shipping container. With LED lamps, an abundance of carbon dioxide and a nutrient-rich mist, the greenhouse can successfully grow produce without natural sunlight. Plant cultivation technologies

important scientific discoveries

ANCIENT VIRUS RESPONSIBLE FOR HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS

An ancient virus infected humans long time ago. This invader left behind its genetic code in our DNA. This year, researchers found that snippets of that ancient viral DNA play a vital role in the communication among brain cells that’s required for higher-order thinking. The research reports that the virus planted its genetic print in the human cortex, eventually giving us our consciousness.

5 Most Important Scientific Discoveries of the Year 6

The Way To Levitating Humans

The study, published in the Physical Review Letters, describes the new technique, which creates a tornado-like structure that is extremely loud but has a silent core.

The researchers found that when they changed the direction of the rapidly fluctuating acoustic vortices that make up this structure, they could control the rate of rotation and stabilise the tractor beam.

“In the demonstration detailed in the study, the engineers used ultrasonic waves at a pitch of 40kHz to make up the acoustic vortices. The structure’s silent core was able to hold a two-centimeter sphere made out of a synthetic polymer. The sphere is more than two times the size of the acoustic wavelengths, making it the largest object that’s been stably held in a tractor beam thus far” — Reports

5 Most Important Scientific Discoveries of the Year 7

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Myth of the Day: 3 Heartbreaking Jesus Virgins Saints Crying Blood Tears

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MYTH:

The Catholic church and some of its followers believe in the myth that some saints and virgins have cried blood. They make statues of them with blood tears rolling down the faces made of ceramic or plaster.

Myth of the day

Many catholics report sightings of weeping madonnas, from Ireland to Croatia, but the only one recognised by the Church is a statue of the Virgin Mary in the town of Siracusa in Sicily. It began weeping in 1953, so they say.

FACT:

There is actually a symptom known as  haemolacria, which is a rare condition that causes a person to produce tears that are partially composed of blood. The condition has garnered significant attention in the medical community and media recently.

Myth of the Day: 3 Heartbreaking Jesus Virgins Saints Crying Blood Tears 8

Haemolacria is a symptom of multiple diseases involving the conjunctiva and lacrimal system.

These entities can range from vascular malformations and tumors to infectious or inflammatory conditions and has even been reported in the literature as a presenting finding in scleral buckle infection.

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Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to a Woman for the Fifth Time in History

Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to a Woman for the Fifth Time in History 9
Dr. Arnold, 62, an American professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering and biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, earned the award for her work with the
She shared this year’s chemistry Nobel — worth close to $1 million — with George P. Smith, 77, and Gregory P. Winter, 67. Dr. Arnold received half of the prize, and Dr. Smith and Dr. Winter split the other half.
Dr. Arnold won for her work conducting the directed evolution of enzymes, proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. She first pioneered the bioengineering method, which works similar to the way dog breeders mate specific dogs to bring out desired traits, in the early 1990s, and has refined it since then.

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Future of Healthcare is in the Digitization and Digitalization in Medicine for Diagnostics

Future of Healthcare is in the Digitization and Digitalization in Medicine for Diagnostics 10

AR (Augmented Reality) is the future of computing, truly. It transcends traditional computing with 2D monitors, mouse and keyboard – and takes us into spatial computing, with 3D holograms and more natural interactions. It’s a whole new way of interacting with digital content in the context of the real world.

Future of Healthcare is in the Digitization and Digitalization in Medicine for Diagnostics 11

Although there are several forms of AR such as mobile and smart glasses, the most advanced and powerful is immersive AR, which is defined as photorealistic, high-resolution, life-size holograms wrapped in a natural interaction paradigm using direct hand manipulation and voice commands. Immersive AR has immense potential to change how we communicate, collaborate and create… enhancing our human interaction in the process.

Future of Healthcare is in the Digitization and Digitalization in Medicine for Diagnostics 12

Healthcare is one of the primary verticals in AR with the most to gain. In healthcare education, medical schools are starting to train a new generation of healthcare professionals using interactive 3D anatomical models – reducing the need for cadavers and significantly improving training and comprehension.

Future of Healthcare is in the Digitization and Digitalization in Medicine for Diagnostics 13

With immersive 3D medical imaging, AR can assist with everything from diagnosis, to patient communication, to collaborative pre-operative planning, to the surgery itself, where 3D MRI/CT scan is overlaid onto the patient. The benefits of 3D medical imaging go well beyond providing high financial value – they represent the future of care-giving.

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Orphaned elephants have a tougher social life

Orphaned elephants have a tougher social life 14
David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

Young female orphan elephants have a tougher social life than non-orphans, a new study suggests, adding to a growing body of evidence of how the impacts of poaching cascade through elephant societies.

The research, part of a wider study by Save The Elephants and Colorado State University into the social impact of adult mortality on orphaned female elephants, shows that orphans receive more aggression from other elephants — whether overt aggression like pushing or more subtle forms like displacements — than non-orphans.

Orphans that leave their families and move into another family unit are likely to receive more aggression than those integrated in their natal groups.

The study, conducted over five years and led by CSU postdoctoral researcher Shifra Goldenberg, analyzes the social interaction patterns of juvenile female elephants in Northern Kenya who have lost their mothers to either poaching or natural mortality. The work shows that orphans are resilient, and rebuild their social lives by strengthening relationships in response to maternal mortality.

“Elephants live in matriarchs that facilitate access to limited resources like food, water, and shade,” said Goldenberg, who is also a researcher with Save The Elephants. “We found that orphaning and natal group dispersal may trigger resource opportunity costs for young females, as they appear to be subordinate to other group members. What this means for their long-term survival and reproduction remains an open question.”

While the research team found that orphans rebuild their social networks, scientists also saw that orphans’ social lives do not return to normal. While they maintain rich and varied relationships with other elephants — relatives and non-relatives — they have markedly less interaction with adult females. This reduces access to favored foods and resources, as well as to the elders, whose experience is critical to the transmission of information between generations in elephant societies.

The latest findings around elephant aggression shed new light on the substantial indirect impact of poaching on orphan survivors, demonstrating that socially disadvantaged elephant orphans have a tougher life than non-orphans.

Between 2009 and 2013, the population of elephants in Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves in Northern Kenya, where the study was conducted, was hit by increased ivory poaching and a severe drought that left many young elephants orphaned, without mothers or grandmothers.

Some orphans chose to remain with what is left of their disrupted groups, others left their natal group to attach to unrelated individuals. Still others became drifters, showing some social preference but not fully committing to any one group.

The researchers found that only orphans from disrupted families tend to disperse into new social groups but that during feeding, these same elephants receive more aggression than orphans in natal groups.

George Wittemyer, study co-author and an associate professor in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at CSU said that the recovery of elephant populations from prolonged ivory poaching will depend largely on the ability of young females to successfully reconstruct their social lives and family groups.

“Deep, life-long bonds are the fundamental component of elephant societies, said Wittemyer, who also serves as chairman of the Scientific Board of Save The Elephants. “Fine resolution studies like these allow us to gauge the response of young females to human driven disruption.”

In the coming years the Samburu orphan study will relate the social costs of being an orphan to fitness as this could be important to the recovery of elephant populations affected by the ivory trade and other forms of disruption.

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Materials provided by Colorado State UniversityNote: Content may be edited for style and length.
CITING THE PAGE FOR REFERENCE Science

What causes alcohol addiction? You will find it in this new article

What causes alcohol addiction? You will find it in this new article 15

The faulty mechanism is a failure to clear away a substance known as gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) that inhibits signaling around neurons, or brain cells, in the central amygdala.
he amygdala is a region of the brain concerned with emotion, learning, memory, and motivation.

The scientists report their findings in a paper now published in the journal Science.

“We have to understand,” explains senior study author Markus Heilig, who is a professor in clinical and experimental medicine at Linköping University in Sweden, “that a core feature of addiction is that you know it is going to harm you, potentially even kill you, and nevertheless something has gone wrong with the motivational control and you keep doing it.”

When the researchers looked inside the rats’ brains, they discovered what might be disrupting the “motivational control.” First, they looked for differences in gene expression in different parts of the brain. The biggest differences were in the amygdala.

They revealed that the gene that codes for a protein called GAT-3 was expressed at much lower levels in the amygdala of the rats that continued to choose alcohol compared with the rats that switched to sugared water.

GAT-3 is a “transporter” protein that helps to clear away GABA from around neurons. Studies have also revealed that rats that become addicted to alcohol seem to have altered GABA signaling.

A molecular mechanism for choosing alcohol over an alternative reward

Detecting Hidden Blood Stains in Crime Scenes like in NYPD BLue show or Real Life Interesting Fact

Detecting Hidden Blood Stains in Crime Scenes like in NYPD BLue show or Real Life Interesting Fact 16

All these years watching several TV cop shows, like, NYPD Blue and Law and Order, seeing them grab this fluorescent blue light lamp on a crime scene to show blood stains, well, I just found out this is not true nor accurate in real life crime investigations. It was invented for our amusement only!

It is interesting to learn this fact from a reliable source,  a Criminal Justice Forensic agent retired now: Don Penven

Detecting Hidden Blood Stains in Crime Scenes like in NYPD BLue show or Real Life Interesting Fact 17

If you watch many of the TV “Cop” shows, you will see at some point those working a crime scene using a blue light in search of invisible blood (blood stains that were cleaned up). Shazam! Blue-white stains appear all over the floors, walls and objects sitting around the crime scene! But in reality—this cannot happen. You see, blood does not fluoresce by applying UV or visible blue light.

Blood, even minute quantities that remain after clean-up, can be made to “luminesce;” that is, by spraying certain chemicals such as Luminol, BlueStar or Fluorescene on the various surfaces, blood will luminesce, or simply “glow in the dark”—and adding blue light is not necessary. So what can alternate light sources reveal? Although blood does not fluoresce, certain other physiological fluids will. UV alternate light sources can reveal the following: seminal fluid, saliva and urine stains. Also, certain narcotics will fluoresce as will bone and teeth fragments.

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Scientists Just Discovered a Brand New Part of Sperm That Could Explain Infertility in Men

I know that the title is kind of redundant when mentioning sperm and men in the same line. I wrote it like that to make sure Google crawls it the right way. You know, we humans still way smarter than the Google robots -now, you are supposed to smile, or laugh 🙂

Scientists Just Discovered a Brand New Part of Sperm That Could Explain Infertility in Men 18
Hiding in plain sight.
JACINTA BOWLER
Sperm has been having a tough time lately. The concentration per ejaculate is getting lower, scientists have created an artificial version that could one day replace it, and to make matters worse, common household products might affect the quality of the little guys.

“Abnormalities in the formation and function of the atypical centriole may be the root of infertility of unknown cause in couples who have no treatment options available to them,” Tomer Avidor-Reiss, from Toledo’s Department of Biological Sciences, said in a press release.

“It also may have a role in early pregnancy loss and embryo development defects.”

You need two centrioles to make the working centrosome, and until now it was thought that the sperm provided one centriole to the egg, and then duplicated itself.

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