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What do we need or, can we do, to make atheism mainstream?
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
Atheism will become a norm in due time. I think it is the better approach to not create any greater negative feedback than we already have. We are making progress in a mostly peaceful manner. Let's keep it that way. That is not to say we take a passive role when it comes to issues of church and state with regard to politics and education. We need to be vigorous and conspicuous there. We need to be politically active to guard against the desired theocracy ambitions of fundamentalists everywhere in the world, but it is of supreme importance here in the United States because of the evangelical push we are witnessing. Bullshit spreads too easily on its own, but it is much worse when it gains a little power.
Should homeschooling be legal?
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
I have no problem with home schooling as long as it teaches the reality of our universe to the best of our understanding and provides for proper and adequate social exposure. Textbooks should be those used in public schools (not Texas public schools). Science should be science and not doses of woo. History should be history. Religion, if taught at all, should be in the form of comparative studies and not some single-minded theology, whatever that theology might be. To accomplish this, textbooks should be supplied by the secular public system and test materials should comply with the state regulations that apply to that state's school system (except the Texas school system). If you think I'm picking on Texas, do a little investigating.
Is continuously exposing a child to religion child abuse?
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
Of course it is. Anything that misleads or misinforms a child is abusive. That does not mean one needs to be coldly and brutally honest about things, because that can be just as abusive as the former. I consider anything that causes a young mind to reject the world as it is in favor of some nonsense about how we wish it was does a disservice to humankind in general and to the young person in particular.
What is the non-theist replacement for "I'll pray for you?"
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
There are a few, but I usually will say something like, "My thoughts are with you," or, "I'll be thinking about you," for general purpose. I'll add whatever is appropriate if there is something like a death or an illness.
Three days new
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
Howdy, Sunny, and welcome. As for profanity, language is meant to communicate ideas and feeling. Remember, there are times when a well placed bit of profanity communicates more and better than anything else. What is profanity to one may well be poetry to another. Besides, we're all family of sorts, so swear away when the need arises or some ass-bite nitwit gets you fired up.
Scientists Are Trying To Clone Jesus Christ From DNA [Video] – Mysterious Earth
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
There is some malicious content embedded on this site. Be careful.
Happy to have discovered this group...in south texas where I live there are not many like-minded ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
Southeastern New Mexico roughly 7 miles from the Texas border. Church on every corner here and knee deep in Southern Baptists, fundamentalist Born Again evangelical Christians, and Mormons. We have a few other types of wacko farms here, but those represent the majority. You have my sympathy, foxymimi48.
How Many Writers In This Group?
evidentialist comments on Nov 5, 2017:
Began writing professionally in 1956 and have been unable to get cured. I picked up the bug from my dad who was a moderately successful lyricist in Hollywood. He also did special stage show material for folks playing Las Vegas and was a well known advertising copy writer. These days I write mainly in the genre of Science Fiction, but enjoy dabbling in many other arenas. This happens mainly in short stories where I do a good deal of experimenting. At the moment I have done 6 novels -- working on 7 & 8, produced and written 11 anthologies -- soon to be 12, and several thousand shorts in all genres. 3 round robins -- soon to be 4. Many science articles of a popular nature, and some in depth articles. I suppose I could have been more productive, but I've had to maintain my day job -- and that involved considerable travel time away. These days I have plenty of time, but little energy. Also, I'm kept fairly busy with freelance editing jobs.
FFRF Bible Quiz -- How Much Do You Know About the Bible?
evidentialist comments on Nov 4, 2017:
42. That's a fitting score.
Canada's Governor General takes on climate change deniers, astrology and creationists!
evidentialist comments on Nov 4, 2017:
Absolutely not. The issue of global warming denial has finally reached the level of a high crime against humanity and everything else that lives on the Earth. Indeed, against the planet itself. https://futurism.com/humans-dominant-cause-global-warming-us-government-study/
When you talk to believers about their beliefs, do you try to convert them?
evidentialist comments on Nov 2, 2017:
No. I know better. It is far more productive to engage them in conversation and plant seeds of doubt by asking the right sort of questions without being obvious. Anything else loses them instantly.
Do you ever see a day where politicians don't have to embrace Christianity
evidentialist comments on Nov 2, 2017:
With the current trend toward non affiliation, I think it is inevitable. Our species is slowly waking from its dream state and will one day embrace the real world. How long that may take is anybody's guess, but I think it will be sometime within the next 50 years or so.
How many of you find it is difficult being a non believer in a judeo christian nation? do you ever ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 2, 2017:
I have been an atheist/evidentialist/rationalist far too long to feel any discomfort knowing I am a moderately sane man in a roomful of dingalings. Seriously, no. I rather enjoy being the 'odd man out'.
After we are gone who will inherit the earth?
evidentialist comments on Nov 2, 2017:
The mighty cockroach.
Bios Urn - The Biodegradable Urn Designed to Grow a Tree
evidentialist comments on Nov 2, 2017:
Wonderful idea.
If you received enough money to never need to work again, what would you spend your time doing?
evidentialist comments on Nov 2, 2017:
Studying/learning. Experimenting. Inventing. Spreading the love. Actively opposing the religious overthrow of the US government. Defending the rights of the poor, our minorities, and the ill. Last, but not least, running a free university that does not allow religion out of the broom closet.
How do you feel about AI is it a threat in itself, is it a threat in the hands of the military or is...
evidentialist comments on Nov 2, 2017:
I am a Science Fiction writer. I touch on this topic from time to time from all angles, but speaking now in serious science terms, I am convinced that AI will be the stepping stone to achieving Type I Civilization status. That it will help us to overcome our tribal instincts by removing our dependence on owning or controlling this or that. Eliminating the burden of need and the destruction of that fantasy called 'economy'. I see great things in store for us if we can just survive the next 50 years or so. I think all the concerns over AI attaining sentience are the result of rampant paranoia. Think about it.
Do you think all religious are equal?
evidentialist comments on Nov 2, 2017:
There is no single answer to the specific question. One may say that they are on an equal footing in that they promote belief in place of thoughtful, critical investigation. That is a valid answer. In agreement with your posit, one can also say that they are not because of differing dogma, belief systems, actions, etc. This too is a valid answer. What the question appears to be asking is whether there is a difference between religions that is qualitative. The answer to this would be in the affirmative. What each does to and how each affects society as a whole is readily subject to a qualitative value. On a scale with the least harmful at the bottom and the most dangerous at the top, Jainism would be 0 on the scale and radical Islam would be a 10. Everything else would fall somewhere on the scale between those values. I hasten to point out that all the Abrahamic religions would be crowding the upper end of the scale.
what can we do to stop this stigma about the word atheist?
evidentialist comments on Nov 2, 2017:
If it gets too blatant, then I have a strong suspicion I'm dealing with an undercover religious troll and I just won't respond to them. It is a common tactic. On the other hand, if I detect a note of sincerity and it becomes apparent that the one doing the writing is either suffering uncertainty and/or ignorance of the subject, I will exercise a bit of patience and engage them.
Pushy Atheist?
evidentialist comments on Nov 2, 2017:
Yes. Frequently. It usually happens in one of two ways. The first is when the local mission gang climbs up to the deck and taps on my door. In this case I usually greet them with a smile, then ask them what denomination they are. They happily tell me, the sound of uncertain certainty riding on their words. It is at this point I tell them I am an atheist/evidentialist/rationalist. They will usually respond with an uncomfortably crooked little grin, and bid me adieu. However, there are times when they press on like the undaunted vacuum cleaner salesmen they are. It is during these sessions when things get a mite sticky and I hear the pushy atheist comments, sometimes accompanied with the proverbial 'we'll pray for you' or the 'aren't you worried about going to hell' or the 'god has a plan for everyone' lines. This happens just before they leave. The other case is when I get into a conversation with someone new about any topic, then they cleverly maneuver it around to something religiousy. I will make one of my snarky sarcastic remarks specifically attuned to their line of discussion, and then it begins. Recently I responded to a question about the moral character of the laws of kashrut (Jewish feeding frenzy rules) by saying that those laws are thought of as chukkim (stuff that doesn't make any sense but we do it anyway because ... god, ya know). Interesting how those things seem to take on a life of their own in an instant.
Energy practitioners
evidentialist comments on Nov 1, 2017:
There are all sorts of things waiting to be discovered, measured, defined, observed, ad infinitum -- that's what science is about. The nice things about science are that it doesn't have to know everything, it says without hesitation that it doesn't know much, it invites evidence/information that may prove it wrong, and revels in finding its mistakes. There is a big difference between that and merely believing in some unseen power source. I see that as being no different than believing in god(s), it has just been replaced with the mysterious power source. When the evidence rolls in, I'll consider it. Otherwise, it is another belief and nothing more.
The Flat Earth FB page shared this video about
evidentialist comments on Nov 1, 2017:
What I got was more Ray Comfort (the Banana Man) nonsense.
People keep telling me that there's an invisible force guiding my life. I'm sorry, but I just don't ...
evidentialist comments on Oct 31, 2017:
Hah...! You can't see it because it's invisible. I'll bet you also get 'There's a plan' and 'Everything happens for a reason' a lot too. Just write it off as another demo of ignorance/wishful thinking/too much television on their part and carry on.
What steps do you take to check the veracity of a claim before you accept it as true?
evidentialist comments on Oct 31, 2017:
First, I critically weigh the evidence pro and con based upon what I already understand about how the universe works (this includes things with an emotional base) to determine how much I need to investigate a claim. If I find the claim to be lacking in details of evidence, or the wording seems to be a bit off, perhaps both, I begin a search for corroborating and/or contrary evidence. To do this I use as many sources as I can find and further investigate the source of the sources.
Do you have a soul?
evidentialist comments on Oct 31, 2017:
It depends on what definition one uses. If it is the psyche (the mind), yes, of course. If one means an animating force, no.
How Do You Distinguish between Religious Fervor and Mental Illness? ...
evidentialist comments on Oct 30, 2017:
I consider religious fervor to be a form of mental illness. First, the belief itself is irrational and that translates to a delusional state. Adding energy to that just makes it worse. However, we also know that attitude can and often does have a powerful effect on the functioning of the body -- mind and body are connected. If the attitude leads to a curative effect, good. There are many ailments where the mind can work wonders. The down side is, if it doesn't, you're dead. I would opt for medical science every time plus a positive outlook.
Genetic History
evidentialist comments on Oct 30, 2017:
My haplogroups are: Maternal: H1 Paternal: R - L47
Any non-conformists out there?
evidentialist comments on Oct 30, 2017:
I don't know any other way.
Recent website updates - long list of new features! If you are open to dating, you might have ...
evidentialist comments on Oct 30, 2017:
Has one of the changes been to use a moderator for posts? I noticed my posts are not appearing immediately as the once did.
What has been the biggest accomplishment of your life?
evidentialist comments on Oct 30, 2017:
Surviving this long and having done just about every damned thing I've ever wanted to do. A few things on my bucket list will probably not be accomplished before I kick, but I have few complaints.
i think a part of religion is for survival of the tribe rules about things being unclean like pork ...
evidentialist comments on Oct 28, 2017:
The laws of Kashrut fall into the category of Chukkim -- laws with no meaning other than discipline. It is written in the Torah, and that is reason enough. Trying to find reasons for these regulations is made easy for us with our current knowledge, but at the time, one becoming ill and dying because of something he/she ate would have been observationally possible only if the symptoms appeared within a short period. For trichinosis there is a minimum of two days before anything would be noticed and several weeks before it becomes critical. As for the rules of religions, their dogmas and dictum, there is little doubt that they were aimed at maintaining order, identity (special status of the group), and survival, but these were coopted from things passed down the line from the time we were small clans surviving on the African savanna.
How comfortable are you with the word "Atheist" ?
evidentialist comments on Oct 24, 2017:
I have no problem with the atheist label in general. I do expand on that by saying that I am atheist/evidentialist/rationalist because it describes my position in the scheme of things much better than the single word 'atheist'. I hold no beliefs other than the mundane that we all use to navigate our world. I require evidence in order to seriously consider anything, and any discussion must be rational or I won't engage.
Are atheist as racist as religious people?
evidentialist comments on Oct 24, 2017:
Of course they can be as bigoted as anyone on the planet. Fortunately, it seems that the numbers are small and they don't seem to be in the public eye much at all. Part of that may be because of education, but I think the largest reason atheists seem to be accepting of all is the mere fact that they have not only rejected the god thing notion, but all the trappings that come with it in the form of religions. Rejecting that, it seems to me, also means rejecting all the nonsense regarding 'chosen few', 'superior moral ground', 'my god's thingy is bigger than your god's thingy', etc.
Does anyone believe that theists are generally honest and sincere in their claims?
evidentialist comments on Oct 24, 2017:
A slightly different perspective. Mainstream Christians and Catholics are, I think, for the most part sincere and as honest about it as they can be. They are also not the ones making the big claims and they generally keep their religious views to themselves -- except during major holidays, and even then they tend to be a bit moderate. The fundamentalist evangelical crowd is another story altogether. It is from this gang that we get most of the vociferous apologists and advocates of one scheme or another. I suspect that they are struggling to support what they think they believe and I think it is among this group that the greatest number of hypocrites are found. My dealings with them over the years tends to tell me that they are largely uncertain, thus the push to prove and convince. They are also, in my opinion, dangerous. It is they and their cohorts on the fringe who fight to get their wacko ideas into the school system, into politics, and generally force the rest into their mold. They actively strive to establish a theocracy.
I'm sure there are many of you that, like me, live in areas overflowing with churches, and ...
evidentialist comments on Oct 24, 2017:
It is a technique to garner the business of local Christians. You know the saw: Birds of a feather...? By doing this they guarantee themselves at least that share of the market. It works.
Do you believe in ghosts or similar paranormal entities?
evidentialist comments on Oct 20, 2017:
No. If I were to believe in ghosts, I might just as well believe in the Tooth Fairy, leprechauns, gnomes, ghouls, and gods. Nonsense.
How many of you believe in Zodiac Sign?
evidentialist comments on Oct 20, 2017:
No star or grouping of stars or grouping of stars and planets has any effect on life at all, with certain exceptions. A rogue planet traveling through our system could have deleterious effects on life here, especially if it is on a collision course. A nearby supernova with its poles in alignment with our system would have a substantial effect. There are other possibilities, but I'm tired of being negative. Anyway, no, not at all.
If you could end all wars, or end all religions, which one would you choose?
evidentialist comments on Oct 18, 2017:
Ending all religion would eliminate one of the largest sources of division in our world, which would in turn tend to eliminate much of the conflict in our world. Too bad you only allowed two choices.
Biblical dilemma?
evidentialist comments on Oct 18, 2017:
Let's get something straight here. First, we're talking about the Abrahamic god thing, but all other religions, past and present, have had proscriptions and admonitions about human behavior. Much of it is consistent across the board. There is a reason for that. Step back deep time into the evolutionary path and take a look. Our early ancestors lived in small groups of between 15 and 20 individuals. These groups were primarily all related to one another (OMG! Incest.) Occasionally they would encounter other groups and some gene swapping took place if there were any survivors. These were the hunter gatherer groups of the African savanna. Males dominated the clan. Because we're talking deep time here, mindsets develop and become almost a hardwired function. As we became capable of abstract thought, we invented agency for everything inexplicable. That is to say, we invented the supernatural, the gods, the things that go bump in the night. Who is this 'we' I'm talking about. Men, that's who. Long before we left the savanna, male dominance and the mindsets that go along with it, we had established the pecking order. Men made up the stories. Men dictated the taboos. Men decided what was 'right' and what was 'wrong'. Oh, I'm pretty sure there was some input from the female side as well, but men would be loathe to admit that. All this was also subject to deep time and after a while the mortar set. Not quite solid, but very stiff. So, what does all this mean? It means that men created the gods and men wrote the 'holy scribbles'. Everything you read in the bible is a product of deep time and ignorance. Therefor, what you presented here is not a dilemma at all. A rational person would expect the bible, or any other religious writing, to be a hodge podge of disconnected ideas that have no continuity. The theme would be reasonably consistent, but the details would scatter everywhere and it is not surprising then to find contradiction and conflict. No dilemma. Just the result of man's slow climb in intellect being essentially halted by the codification of rigid rules wherein few of them are actually applicable in today's world.
What are you most looking for in a relationship? Just your 1 Thing
evidentialist comments on Oct 18, 2017:
Any relationship must be based in friendship and friendship must be based in honesty and kindness. So, I look for friendship first because all things grow from that.
Who is your favorite author?
evidentialist comments on Oct 18, 2017:
Me. Okay, I was being a little facetious. It's hard to say. It depends on the genre, but I have to say that the majority of authors I hold in esteem are now dead. Terry Pratchett Larry Niven Philip K. Dick Isaac Asimov Jerry Pournelle Robert Heinlein Arthur C. Clarke John Steinbeck Ernest Hemingway Edgar Allen Poe The list is way too long.
I am a huge science fiction fan, in the form of movies and shows. is this mostly a guy thing?
evidentialist comments on Oct 18, 2017:
Michael, it has been my experience that it is still largely a guy thing, but I get a lot of mail from readers who are female. I'd say roughly 35% to 40%, depending upon the novel. In my anthologies the percentage of female authors I sign are just about the same. So, yes, over half it's a guy thing. Why do you ask?
Are there any other writers out there getting ready for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) ...
evidentialist comments on Oct 18, 2017:
Nope. I've done the NaNoWriMo enough. It is a good exercise if approached honestly, but I got burned out on it a few years ago and haven't done it since. I take you are gearing up for the 30 day bash?
Would you raise your children religious just to fit in?
evidentialist comments on Oct 18, 2017:
No. I consider that abuse.
reality check
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
We human beings at the functional level are no different than a single celled creature living in pond scum. That is not a negative comment, it is merely the truth. We are an animated mass of symbiotic elements that have aggregated into a single functioning organism. The entire purpose of life at any level is to reproduce and survive. The process varies a lot in detail, but that is the scheme of things. We humans and a number of other animals on this planet have developed the capacity to contemplate the abstract. To consider the past, present, and future. We are also aware of our mortality. It is therefor no surprise that during our long evolutionary struggle to the place we now are has brought us to believe in odd things that are inconsistent with our reality. We are not only able to consider what is, but we can think about what it should or could be. We have achieved a position on the evolutionary chain where we can not just think such things, but we can affect changes to those things. As a result, we ponder why we are here. What is our purpose beyond the basic reality? In doing so we can also imagine answers to these questions. We can invent purpose beyond reproduction and survival. So, for what it's worth, we create our own purpose, our own importance, and our own rationale. Everything you see in this world today is the result of countless minds inventing and reinventing themselves over deep time. So, my friend, your purpose in life, your reason for being is for you to decide, then pursue it with all your energy. I wish you good and pleasant imagining. Invent well.
How Advertising Influence Your Choices and Spending Habits ?
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
Hah! I have the advantage. Advertising does not do anything to me, though sometimes it is aggravating. Why? Because I worked in advertising long enough to know the drill. Advertising is driven by sound science and psychology and its entire purpose is to get your attention, then feed you full of misinformation and propaganda BS. It works all too well, and the evidence of that is in the number and wealth of advertising agencies still in existence.
Do you think we should be lying to children?
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
I answered 'yes' on the poll, but not because we should be lying to children. The choices of 'perhaps' or 'maybe' or 'yes and no' were missing, so I had no proper answer. My actual answer would have been, "It depends upon the circumstances and the type of information being imparted." Okay, I had a great chemistry prof named Mr. Wells. The first semester was tough, but I managed. Chemistry is not my strong suit. Entering the lab on opening day of the second semester, Mr. Wells went to the lectern, slammed a meter stick against the wall with a resounding bang, and said, "Forget everything you learned last semester. It was all a lie designed to get you to this point. This semester, we are going to learn chemistry." I learned a great lesson that day. There are some things that require a bit of finessing/lying to get one from point A to point B where the blinders can be removed. Children, like first semester chemistry students, don't have a range of understanding and knowledge needed to grasp certain ideas and need to be eased into them. That doesn't mean outright lying to children is okay, but it does mean that we often fail to realize that they don't have the right tools available to them to process certain things without some modification. What may seem totally rational and obvious to us, may be a total mystery to them. Advice: Think long and hard about what and how you tell a child anything and always err on the side of prudence. Just sayin'.
What's the most asinine custom believers participate in and why?
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
I was going to say it depends on the type of belief, but then I realized that belief in something for which there is no objective evidence in spite of ample evidence to the contrary is a pretty asinine thing to do. So, please forgive the sweeping generalization, but believing is the most asinine thing believers do. Everything else pales in comparison.
What superstitions do you have?
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
None. Even things that appear to be rational deserve a skeptical approach.
Overpopulation: Fact Or Myth?
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
I first read only the main part of the question and my answer to that would have been, both. Vastly overpopulated in urban areas, and the Atacama desert can speak for itself. After reading the comment, the answer has to be, yes and no. If we continue to make demands on this planet as we have historically, then absolutely, YES. If we learn to do things differently, then there is room for population expansion. The question then becomes, why? What is there to gain by increasing the population? None that I can see, and there is a strong case to be made for reducing it, even if we make the changes on demand that we should. I also hasten to point out that we need to got off this planet. To colonize at least Mars, perhaps some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. You see, in spite of all the bad that exists here at the moment, if we don't do this we guarantee our extinction. I for one think that our species, disregarding some of its shortcomings, is worth saving and should expand to the stars if at all possible.
Should forgiveness always be given?
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
Forgiveness is a complex issue. I readily forgive people when the damage is slight and was obviously not intentional. From that point on, it gets ... sticky.
Are you an open or closet agnostic/atheist, and why?
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
I have been an open and sometimes vociferous atheist/evidentialist/rationalist for a mite over 60 years. It has been a box of different rocks most of the time, but I have thick skin and a good understanding of human behavior and how the world works, so it has seldom been much of a sticking point. As for the 'why' of it, I find it much easier to live an honest life and I don't like having to make shit up -- except when I'm writing a book, then I love making shit up.
Incest: Immoral or Moral?
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
I gave an answer only in order to comment here. I was not given the proper option of being able to say it is neither. Sex is a physical and emotional experience that can run the full spectrum from incredibly wonderful to mind crushingly horrible. Fortunately, it is at least good for most or the species would have been extinct long ago. As I see it, there is no moral or immoral element to be dealt with here, in spite of what we have done with it since the beginning of proscriptions. Early clans of an emerging species (us) were made up mainly of family members, but occasionally new genetic material would present itself and saved us from becoming -- well, you know. So, interfamilial relations have been with us all along the chain of evolution. The first time a distinction was made was when someone noticed the mortality/deformity/mental deficiency rate seemed to be connected to such behavior. Whoever they may have been who noticed this, we will never know, but it was never seen as a moral issue -- not even in the 'holy writings' of all the early religions is there an unambiguous set of rules. There are some proscriptions laid out in Leviticus, but even that leaves room for various forms of relations between relatives and is silent on the issue when it comes to parents and their offspring. I think the 'immoral' aspect came to force based on the physical problems of such unions when children were a result. It took a long while for someone to realize the physical problems and the relations were somehow connected (they knew nothing of genetics) and a taboo began -- from which sprang the morality/legality issue. Now that we understand the genetic elements and how they work -- and we have ways of avoiding having children -- I question the efficacy of the moral/immoral issue. If two people, regardless of familial ties, wish to experience sex between them and they take the right precautions, where is the problem? This is an interesting article: http://theconversation.com/the-greatest-taboo-the-surprising-truth-of-what-the-bible-says-about-incest-57693
David Allen, Irish comedian and atheist, asked the question, "Given that God has always been, what ...
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
He/she/it was practicing for the 'big event'. Looking at the result of the 'big event', I have a feeling he/she/it should have practiced a bit longer.
How long has your longest relationship lasted?
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
Funny you should ask. First marriage lasted almost 1 year. My wife and unborn child were killed. It took a while to recover from that. Second marriage was a legal issue. She and I were good friends for a long time. Her man up and left her and their newborn daughter and ran off the the islands. He wasn't coming back and he was not going to be helping financially, either. We made an agreement that we would stay together until her daughter was at least 16. I married her when her daughter was 2, and that relationship endured 14 years. We were on good terms until she died. Third marriage has lasted now for 30 years and appears will only end when I kick off. This relationship was founded on friendship as well, that turned into a loving one rather quickly. We have 3 children, and all is well. Piece of advice: If you want a relationship that will last, base it on friendship and all that entails, like listening to your partner, not being judgmental, allowing the other their freedom and friends, and growing to understand one another. By all means, keep religion out of it. There are two atheists who are totally committed to one another under this roof. We are happy and looking forward to spending the rest of our time together -- and we are good friends.
Any conspiracy theorists here?
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
Oh my god, no, and thank heaven for that. There are studies on this. The results are fascinating and eerily consistent. People who are easily drawn into conspiracy theories are generally those with security/fear/uncertainty issues and those issues are the same issues so many who flock to religions/god beliefs have. That is, those who were not indoctrinated from birth wherein the indoctrination process instilled in them an undying stockpile of such issues. There is also an odd sense of power people get when they 'know' something that others do not. Because conspiracy theories are essentially 'fact free', there is no way to test them and that too is oddly consistent with believers in religion. I find it equally disturbing that there are those who consider themselves rational thinkers, free thinkers, evidence based thinkers, who check their horoscopes daily, keep Ouija boards in the closet, carry a rabbit's foot/lucky coin/special amulet/etc. It seems obvious to me that if one is going to not accept the tenets of religion, the supernatural gods/angels/etc., or other elements of that sort of belief system, it should follow that they would not accept any of the rest on the same basis. Unfortunately, we have not matured enough to all be able to rid ourselves of such notions. Many of us, yes, but there is far too great a number of those who are still trapped in these counterproductive behaviors -- and they are for the most part unaware of it.
What, in your opinion, are some characteristics of a mature person?
evidentialist comments on Oct 17, 2017:
Characteristics of a mature person: One who is willing to accept responsibility for an error and make an honest attempt to fix it if at all possible. One who is slow to anger and quick to move toward peace. One who gives respect freely to all who earn it. Respect is not a right or something to be given on demand, but when there is reason for it, it is to be rendered up quickly. One who listens to others and pays attention to what they say without interrupting. One who tries within their capacity to understand to consider as many sides to an issue as possible before arriving at any conclusions. We are human, after all, and try as we might we all find it hard to be completely unbiased, but we should learn to do this to the best of our ability and constantly strive to get better at it. One who when in the wrong can offer a sincere apology to the other. The list is far too long for this venue, but these are some important ones.
Are you the only atheist/agnostic in your household?
evidentialist comments on Oct 16, 2017:
No, thank god. =)
Do any of my fellow agnostics and atheist have children who believe in god?
evidentialist comments on Oct 16, 2017:
Interesting. I have a son who believes in angels, UFOs, and paranormal nonsense, but not god. My eldest daughter is a rampaging, slavering Methodist, and my middle daughter believes in god, but she is not religious. My youngest daughter is an atheist. I have little communication with my eldest, though our relationship is not particularly uncomfortable. I'm cool with my middle daughter because she tends to keep her belief to herself and has not pushed it upon her children. My youngest and I get along great and have wonderful conversations. My son, on the other hand, drives me nuts with conspiracy theories, ancient alien contact, and other mumbo jumbo.
Define god?
evidentialist comments on Oct 16, 2017:
If a god can be defined, it is no longer a god. If you happen to be referring to the Abrahamic god, the basic attributes of this critter defy rational definition, which I reject altogether.
Is it ever right to believe in a God before examining that God for logical coherency?
evidentialist comments on Oct 16, 2017:
Well, you answer your question in your question. If testable evidence can be provided for something supernatural, it is no longer supernatural and by extension no longer a god. According to the evidence at hand, the possibility for there being anything supernatural is zero, which includes gods, angels, leprechauns, etc.
"In America we worship God, not Government."-Trump. Scary?
evidentialist comments on Oct 16, 2017:
Let's look at it for what it is. It is rhetoric. On the one hand he says that we worship god, not government, yet on the other hand he promotes extreme nationalism, worshiping of a rag and song. You see the dichotomy, of course. I heard this sort of talk many years ago and I know where it led. So far, he has made every move any wannabe dictator makes. Unfortunately, a large portion of our population is buying into it.
Would you want a Christian God to be real?
evidentialist comments on Oct 15, 2017:
I prefer to think that when I die, that's it. I certainly do not want to spend eternity sucking up to a depraved being as described in the 'holy books', and though I find myself in agreement with much of what was purportedly taught by a character named Jesus, it represents nothing new. Many before that time offered the same posits. I have no interest in having anything to do with that.
What do you think about the hypothesis that humans evolved the propensity to be religious?
evidentialist comments on Oct 15, 2017:
I have no problem with this notion. First, we are dealing with deep time here and the first ideas of applying agency to inexplicable occurrences may well have begun more than 300,000 years ago. The scientific approach to knowledge and understanding has only a scant 200 years. Thinking can become deeply ingrained over deep time, and it requires a lot to change such thought processes.
Do you have a rational argument that worked on a religious person?
evidentialist comments on Oct 15, 2017:
I have lots of rational arguments, but I usually start off (assuming the religious nut started the conversation) with a question. Before we go any further, is it at all possible that what you believe is untrue? If they say that it is a possibility, then we have room for discussion. If they say it's not possible, then I advise them that we can't carry on with rational dialogue because they are closed to possibilities. That usually stops them in their tracks.
What is your response when people threaten you with religious punishments? (i.e. Hell/Jahannam)
evidentialist comments on Oct 15, 2017:
Well, something had to have prompted that to cause them to say such things. Depending upon what started it, my response may range from laughter to engaging them in argument over their ideas.
How do you tell religious people that you're an atheist?
evidentialist comments on Oct 15, 2017:
Whenever it seems appropriate or necessary, I tell people simply that I am an atheist. If they want to pursue that for whatever reason, I will engage them. I am who I am and if other folks can't deal with it, it's not my problem.
What are your favorite religious songs?
evidentialist comments on Oct 15, 2017:
First, let's clear something up here. Music is music, regardless of its origin and/or purpose. I have rather eclectic musical tastes and am moved by all sorts of things. When it comes to religiously oriented music, here's my list: Everything in the Manheim Steamroller Christmas album https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evxxpqcQKF0
I am doing some religious purging. What do you do with old bibles? I have written in them, have my ...
evidentialist comments on Oct 15, 2017:
If it would make you feel better about the strength of your decisions, I suggest a warm little fire. I know not everyone lives where they can do this easily, so the other suggestion is the nearest dumpster. I doubt I would consider giving them to anyone because I would feel horribly guilty over spreading the very thing I want to rid myself of.
Will science be our saviour or are we over confident?
evidentialist comments on Oct 15, 2017:
Science has the power to be our 'savior' if and only if we can convince people to accept the process. I don't like being negative, but the picture is bleak.
How do you handle the loss of a loved one without believing in an afterlife?
evidentialist comments on Oct 13, 2017:
Any personal loss, particularly of loved ones, is a loss. I go through a period of mourning just like anyone else does, but with a couple a major differences. I know the mourning is for me and that hole that has opened in my life, not for the person who died. My feelings about that are that they have been removed from life and are no more. As for the mourning, it must run its course. It is longer and sometimes deeper for some than others, but that too passes.
Yo, who else loves mexican food?
evidentialist comments on Oct 13, 2017:
One of my greatest weaknesses is real Mexican food. Turns out that's a good thing. Lived in Mexico for several years, married a Mexican woman and have three children who were born in Mexico.
Are you in favor of capital punishment?
evidentialist comments on Oct 13, 2017:
Capital punishment is state sponsored murder in my view. I find it repugnant that so many assume that somehow justice is being served by killing another human being. First, the death penalty has shown itself not to be a deterrent to capital crime. Second, the death penalty in most cases turns out not to be a punishment but the escape the convicted person was seeking. I have a plan regarding the issue of capital crime and its punishment. Ask if interested.
Is there a meaning of life?
evidentialist comments on Oct 10, 2017:
Yes, it does, but you may not like the answer. The prime purpose for any bio-organism is to survive and reproduce. Beyond that, no. The advantage human beings have going for them is the ability to think in the abstract. To contemplate things like meaning in life and to be able to produce subjective meaning for our own. I have an entire panoply of reasons for my life. Ask if you're interested.
Do you believe in astrology?
evidentialist comments on Oct 10, 2017:
If I don't believe in gods, fairies, unicorns, leprechauns, and the like, why would I hold astrology in esteem? No, absolutely not.
If you were brain dead and on life support, would you want your family to pull the plug?
evidentialist comments on Oct 10, 2017:
When you're brain dead, you're dead. What sense would there be in keeping the body functioning? Pull the plug.
What do you want to happen to your body when you die?
evidentialist comments on Oct 10, 2017:
When I die, there will be nothing remaining worth donating. I would also consider donating my body to science. My daughter has made an agreement with me that at such time as missions to Mars are more or less common, she will see to it that a small vial of my ashes will be transported there. That is to comply with the instructions: "Get your ash to Mars."
Do you believe in fate?
evidentialist comments on Oct 10, 2017:
Fate eliminates choice, and that is unacceptable. In a hall with a hundred doors, there are one hundred choices. One may be influenced in a number of ways, but in the end, the choice is yours. The idea of fate belongs to all those notions of supernatural control and has no place in the mind of a free thinker.
If you could completely eradicate religion, would you?
evidentialist comments on Oct 10, 2017:
In a heartbeat.
Is life meaningful without religion?
evidentialist comments on Oct 10, 2017:
I suggest that it is much more meaningful without religion.
Should religion be taught in schools?
evidentialist comments on Oct 10, 2017:
Only as a comparative philosophy and history issue. As religion, definitely not.

Photos

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Conference: Fact vs Fiction -- 2001
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My wife: Julieta
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Granddaughter: Ayrie Pauline Chaboya
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My youngest daughter: Alexandra Rachel Jacobs-Chaboya
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My eldest daughter: Leah Kelly when she was 3 years old in our stilt house at the west end of Galveston Island, TX in 1969
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My eldest daughter, Leah Kelly with me at the studio in 1968. Yes, she actually knew a few chords when she was a little over 2 years old.
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My son, Oscar, when he was playing police officer in 2002. Datsa my boy.
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My grandson, Logan Jay Chaboya and Gramps performing an experiment. We luvs science.
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Me in front of 'the wall' in 2004
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Copied from a newspaper article in which I was featured during Astronomy Day at the UACJ in 1999. I was lecturing on impact mechanics and how to identify meteorites in the field. At the university I also displayed my meager collection of meteorites and related materials.
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Founding members at the signing of the papers of incorporation of the Planetary Society: Carl Sagan (seated to the right), Bruce Murray (seated to the left), and Louis Friedman (standing on the left). The man standing to the right is Harry Ashmore, an advisor, who greatly helped in the founding of the Society. Ashmore was a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and leader in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and 70s. What a fun group. Never a dull moment.
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Upper left: The four room farmhouse in which I was raised. Top right: Lovely little me on a rarely seen city sidewalk. Lower left: Me and my hotrod. Center: Aunt Lou, little sister, Lou, with me seated behind, and cousin Skipper with our 1927 Oakland Landau Sedan. Lower middle: Uncle Leroy riding my back. Lower right: Me and my tough row to hoe.
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A rather odd tale of first contact with a strange twist.
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The Earth travels in a random shooting gallery and one never knows.
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"Xenogenesis is one of those rare books that manages to catch even the most jaded of sci-fi readers off-guard. Somewhere between the description of cities in stratified levels of wealth and the injection of nano-machines, we realize we are somewhere between the world we inhabit and the world we only dream about, which makes the entire book something beyond a simple novel of escape. This combination of biotechnology and space travel with a hefty dose of hard-boiled detective fiction in the character of Patrick Dalworthy allows Jacobs to create a work that is both fantastic and close to home, one that tackles the subject of what it truly means to be human in a rapidly advancing world and answer it with aplomb." ~ Jamie A. Hughes
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IN THIS INCREDIBLE, SWEEPING SAGA across thousands of years and hundreds of light years we come face to face with our fears and deep prejudices. It is here, in SEEDS OF MEMORY, that we get an idea of what it means to be "HUMAN" and what "HUMAN" really means. It is here, in SEEDS OF MEMORY, that we are confronted with the need to know colliding head-on with reality. Are we, HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS, truly the only form that humans can take, and is our history the only history? Might there not be others, or others created out of the very stuff of life who are, after all, our brothers and sisters?kith and kin? In this story we find that the lines that divide have indistinct, fuzzy edges, and that we are the ones who make those divisions. Here we discover humanity at its magnificent best, its seething worst, and everything imaginable between, while we make an uncertain attempt to reunite two peoples separated by time and space...and other things.
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The follow-on to Storm Cloud Rising. Maelstrom and the third book have been included into the first book of the trilogy so that it is now a single novel.
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My short story, CLOUD, appears in this anthology.
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My short story, I NEVER SCREAM, is in this anthology.
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My short story, GOD SHIP, can be found here.
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Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist, Secularist, Skeptic, Freethinker
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