Saturday, January 27, 2007

The God Delusion

I finally got around to getting Dawkins' book and reading it, about one third into it and I have to control my impulse to keep posting quotes from the book. Dawkins not only has some good things to say but has many memorable qoutes from others.

I like what he says in his introduction, he talks about his wife hating her school as a kid, when she told her parents as an adult they were shocked and asked why she didn't tell them. She replied that she didn't know she could. And that is what this book is about, telling those who have major doubts about their religion, or just vague non-believers in general, that they can be atheists, it's perfectly acceptable. In some parts of this country someone might never have met anyone who isn't a Christian, and has only heard negative things about atheism, it can be hard to shake off what you've had drilled into you your entire life. These books give such people permission to be atheist. And the fact that Dawkins and Sam Harris have both made the best sellers list shows more than just the choir is buying these books.

But I have to do at least one quote, this one is from Douglas Adams and how he felt when he finally understood evolution:

"It was a concept of such stunning simplicity, but it gave rise, naturally, to all of the infinite and baffling complexity of life. The awe it inspired in me made the awe that people talk about in respect of religious experience seem, frankly, silly beside it. I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day."

Saturday, January 13, 2007

10 myths—and 10 truths—about atheism

I was just re-reading my post on atheism on my commentary blog and once again I'm reminded that - damn, I'm good! So I thought I would post the link again and put one of my favorite parts here:

Here In The Future

The general stance of most atheists is that we require proof of a proposition before we will accept it, science is really the only method to gain that proof in most cases. Guesswork or ancient mythology doesn't cut it. The people who wrote the bible didn't know the Earth was round or that the stars in the sky were really distant suns, clearly they were abysmal cosmologists, why in the world would we accept their cosmological expertise as to the origin of the universe? Or about anything in the universe since then? Science is the systematic methodology for finding out about the universe and how things work. More has become known in the last one hundred years of scientific research than the previous 10,000 years of faith based knowledge. It isn't hard to figure out which method works and which one is a complete failure.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Diesel

Here I am at work, the last to leave which leaves me babysitting Diesel. He's Sean's dog but Sean sometimes goes home and forgets Diesel. Today he didn't but is just supposed to have gone to dinner and will be back for him. He forgot the dog yesterday so poor Diesel hasn't been home since yesterday morning (someone took him home so he didn't spend the night here). He looked so lonely when everyone left and is now hanging out at my desk for the company. I want to leave - it's getting late, but I hate to leave him alone, I know he will get upset and I'm afraid Sean is going to forget him overnight. Some people. . .sigh. But I need to leave soon so Diesel will be on his own.

He's such an ugly dog. And aren't cell phone cameras great?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The New iPhone

This is just about the coolest thing Apple has ever done, and that's saying something. It completely revolutionizes cell phones and even mobile computing because this is really like having a small Mac in your hand. But the most revolutionary part is the touch screen, I see a time in the very near future when touch screens on laptops is the standard.

Unfortunately, I'm not going to get one. Apple foolishly signed up with Cingular until 2009, who has a terrible reputation for service. I don't know of anyone who likes them and several who don't. I just checked out Consumer Reports and their most recent report is this month with a survey showing Cingular and Sprint fighting for last place with Verizon taking top honors. I have Verizon now and have had it for two years and have never had a dropped call and rarely any problems at all. As cool as the iPhone is the most important thing is getting - and keeping - a connection. And right now I can sign up for another 2 years with Verizon and get a $100 credit for a new phone, which means I can get a Chocolate for free right now instead of waiting until June to spend several hundred dollars. I'll probably wait and see if any terrific new phones come out of the CES show going on right now in Vegas, maybe there will be something to rival the iPhone.

But Apple more than hit one out of the park this time, this will be bigger than the iPod, I'll just have to wait a bit.

Monday, January 1, 2007

The New Year

It is now 2007, I'm continually amazed by this. I remember as a kid thinking that I would be 46 when the year 2000 came along and that was FOREVER.

But most important to me this year as it has been the last few years is that Darcy is still with me. She was given 2-4 years to live 13 years ago, had a lung transplant 8.5 years ago, and is still here. The other 4 people transplanted with her at the same hospital in the same month all died 3 years ago. So each New Year I'm enormously happy that she is still here to celebrate with me, and the fact that New Year's Eve is her birthday makes the celebration better.

Now I'm especially worried, it has only been a matter of time before we could no longer dodge the bullet and she has been ill for some months now. Nothing serious but constant, so she is continually getting weaker. Worst is the doctors can't find anything which might mean the meds are simply wearing her down, that's the one thing we can never beat. And if they can't find anything wrong they can't do anything for her, so she just keeps getting weaker. There are still more specialist for her to see this year so maybe that will help.

I can see the steady toll all her many and dangerous meds are taking on her, both physically and mentally, and she is now 59 years old. I just hope she will be with me on the next new year.