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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Geraldo Cienmarcos on December 28, 2010 at 1:39pm

3 items of interest to free thinkers:

Your Brain: A User's Guide

New books "Self Comes to Mind" and "On Second Thought" examine the origins of consciousness, and the unconscious pulls that influence our behavior.

== == ==
2004NR 60 minutes available on

Director David Lebrun's animated documentary film examines the work of ERNST HAECKEL, the German biologist-artist who dedicated his life to finding and documenting the connection between the disparate worlds of art and science. Drawing on Haeckel's fascinating lithographs of the tiny undersea organisms called radiolarian, Lebrun's poetic film brings the biologist's visions to life and further explores the artistry of the natural world. Haeckel was a naturalist and an artist who became a champion for the theory of evolution. He adhered to a philosophy of "Natural Mysticism" the idea that the essence or spirit of "God"  permeated all life whether single cell organisms to humans -- something non-theists would probably call physics or chemistry.
    Documentary, Science and Nature Documentaries, Art & Design
See also the external links at the bottom of Wikipedia page.

== == ==
The Fixation of Belief
Charles S. Peirce
Popular Science Monthly 12 (November 1877), 1-15.

"If liberty of speech is to be untrammeled from the grosser forms of constraint, then uniformity of opinion will be secured by a moral terrorism to which the respectability of society will give its thorough approval. Following the method of authority [reason] is the path of peace. "

text on line

Web text with hyperlinks and notes:

Charles Sanders Peirce (C.S. Peirce) (1839-1914), American logician, mathematician, scientist, philosopher, founder of pragmatism

Comment by Tony Davis on December 28, 2010 at 7:46am

For any who care to read it (and hopefully critique it as well) I just posted an article which addresses St. Anselm's Ontological Argument at



Comment by david perry on December 25, 2010 at 7:33pm
"why is the US so different from us? We share so much; why this huge difference; Is it fundamentalism at the grass roots level, ie schools teaching creationism myths against the orders of school boards (this cannot and does not happen in here), or is it all because of Republican values/tea party, or is FoxNews. Curious."

It is political more than it is religious. What sort of people are going to be more amenable to propaganda: the reasonable well-educated sort that are capable of thinking for themselves, or authoritarian fundamentalist types that don't tend to question any authority(of any kind)and will accept the way things are on "faith"?
There is an obvious correlation between the decline of education in the US and the increase of fundamentalist xtianity. It is my opinion that this decline has been deliberately engineered to create a population less inclined towards critical thinking. It is why they seemed to be so threatened by the atheists movement(such as it is).
There's just so much going so wrong all at once: an out of control military, wholesale theft of wealth, environmental degradation, all of which made possible because too few people are asking enough questions and then even fewer answers are demanded. It isn't just Fox, virtually all commercial media tow the party line, hell they own it, it does what it's told.
Not completely on point, but there's this:'s_ad_fight_is_a_deeply_disturbing_symbol_of_our_economic_decline,
and I also just read this:
Comment by Garry Graham on December 25, 2010 at 5:17pm

I'm curious about some very different statistics regarding christian beliefs vis a vis Canada, (my home) and the US.  Recent polls reveiled the following about Canadians and their beliefs.

60% felt that Christmas was a time for family and friends while only 20% mentioned the celebration of jesus' birth.

Only 30% will attend a church during the Christmas season, down 18% from just 3 years ago.

Only 30% will have any religious (nativity) decorations in their home, down, again, 18% from just 3 years ago.

71% still call the season "Christmas" but only 56% of those under the age of 46 do so.  30% call it the "holiday season" or some variation out of respect for non-christians.

It would appear that we are heading in the right direction up here, but as children of a common mother, why is the US so different from us? We share so much; why this huge difference; Is it fundamentalism at the grass roots level, ie schools teaching creationism myths against the orders of school boards (this cannot and does not happen in here),  or is it all because of Republican values/tea party, or is FoxNews.  Curious.

Comment by Marc Draco on December 25, 2010 at 4:48pm

I know a song about that:


"Muslims to the left of me,

Christians to the right!

Here I am, stuck in the middle with you!"



Comment by david perry on December 25, 2010 at 2:11pm
I wouldn't call is a resurgence exactly. It's more organized right wing hate, that seems to be funded by the same people that brought us the tea party. One of it's leading figures is that Gellar woman who was one of the loudest mouths against the non=mosque mosque(which is going to be built it seems regardless). It's political hate dressed up as religious fear as much as anything else. That idiot in Florida looking for his 15 minutes aside(the Koran burning), they organize phony crises to stir the media up, but I don't think it's mainstream xtains organizing as such.
I wonder if Muslim immigration can be as big an issue in the states as in Europe because for one we're bombing the shit out of half the place over there and the RW fear mongering campaign against immigrants in general does not make for much a welcome mat. I find it surprising that they put up with more and more sharia law in Europe. A toleration they seem to regret quite a bit. I don't think it will become an issue here. As much as the right wants to dismantle the constitution for xtianity, if push ever comes to shove with sharia you can bet they'll be wrapping themselves up in the constitution like a new set of pajamas.
Comment by Tony Davis on December 25, 2010 at 1:25pm
On this point of religious images during Christmas I am wondering something.  I have not lived in Europe for a while but do still visit often.  I am concerned that in the wake of increasing Islamification of Europe that non-Muslims might feel it necessary to "band together" and the easiest thing to rally around if you feel threatened by Islam is Christianity.  Has anyone had similar thoughts or seen any evidence of a resurgence in Christianity because of this?
Comment by Marc Draco on December 25, 2010 at 12:46pm
BBC is known for spreading a religious message even though it's supposed to be a secular organisation. When I looked at this slideshow, 9 of the 10 images were of people praying yet Christmas is as much a secular holiday these days as a religious one. The BBC is becoming increasingly pious against the flow of feeling in the uk and that is both irritating and wrong.
Comment by Susan Stanko on December 25, 2010 at 12:44pm
I don't see what is wrong with that either.
Comment by AJ on December 25, 2010 at 11:15am
I don't see what's so bad about posting Christmas pictures from around the world....!!!! It's Christmas day after all... Am I missing something?

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