A question about origin: Where did I come from? Where did the origin of life come from?
(JBH) We do not know. Those who know the most about biochemistry say that at present their best guess is that the first replicators were RNA strands on the edges of undersea hot-water vents, when the chemistry was quite different from what it is today. Research into this question is continuing.
A question for purpose: Why am I here? (Do I have a purpose? Is there…Continue
ZERO SUGAR DIET is the latest book by David Zinczenko, with assistance by Stephen Perrine. Zinczenko is not a medical researcher or clinician; he is a professional writer and editor. He is the author of over twenty books on diet and health, including the EAT THIS, NOT THAT series, the ABS DIET series, and the ZERO BELLY series. He has been a high ranking editor of three magazines about diet and health. Both for his job and for his personal use, he "obsessively reads" the latest research on…Continue
Some quotes from Mr. Einstein if it pleases you.
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
- Albert Einstein, letter to…
I found this quote on a discussion thread. Does anybody know the source?
"Religion, of course, does make some men better, and perhaps even many men. There can be no doubt of it. But making them better by filling their poor heads with grotesque nonsense is an irrational and wasteful process, and the harm it does greatly outweighs the good. If men could be made better—or even only happier—by teaching them that two and two make five there would be plenty of fools to advocate that method,…Continue
Camille Paglia has an interview posted on Salon July 29, 2015
First, politics is not performance art. The State is…Continue
(This is an article by a man named Oberon Zell, founder (if I recall Correctly) of the Church of All Worlds. I think it deserves wider distribution. -JBH)
"We Are the Other People" by Oberon Zell
"Ding-dong!" goes the doorbell. Is it Avon calling? Or perhaps Ed McMahon with my three million dollars? No, it's Yahweh's Witlesses again, just wanting to have a nice little chat about the Bible... Boy, did they ever come to the…Continue
I have always wanted to ask WHAT "Christian Principles" they think this country was based on. "Please quote for me something Jesus taught that we could recognize as a founding principle of the United States." Not laying up treasures on Earth, but instead selling all you have and distributing to the poor? Not resisting evil, but instead turning the other cheek? Following the entire Law of Moses down to the last Iota, except the dietary laws? Abstaining from all sin even in your thoughts, even…Continue
As an atheist I spent some years reading philosophy to gain an understanding of the secular foundations of ethics, and reached an understanding that satisfied me. (for those interested, see http://www.atheistnexus.org/pr... ). Then I heard a Christian declare that the Absolute Truth about ethics was the teachings of Jesus. So I asked "What DOES Jesus teach about ethics?" I went through the…Continue
In his, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" [1787-1788],
John Adams wrote:
"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American…Continue
These were collected by Bill Perdue, I copied them from a comment he made on AlterNet. -JBH
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the Word, and I do not find in our
particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and…
I cannot take credit for this compilation of quotes from Thomas Jefferson. I found it in the comments section of an article on Alternet.
Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.
-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there…
John B. Hodges
September 25, 2007.
On April 19, I read a commentary in the Roanoke Times by Clonnie_Yearout; Yearout (gender unknown) was arguing for Creationism and against "Darwinism". I sent the following in reply. The Times printed at least two letters (by other people) replying to Yearout, but not this one.
FROM: John B. Hodges
TO: Editor, letters page
I would like this considered for a COMMENTARY or OP-ED.
Clonnie Yearout's commentary ("A Tale of…
I saw an article on Salon.com or perhaps AlterNet, and reading the comments I was moved to comment myself; I assembled the following out of material I already had on my blog, but in the comments I got several compliments on it, so perhaps this is a happy combination of elements. -JBH
Religion has its benefits and harms. One of the major harms that it does is to teach a false theory of ethics.
I once saw a TV movie, probably a BBC production, probably a movie version of a classic novel, a period costume drama set in England in the 1800's. It had several protagonists we were supposed to care about, and lots of soap opera. One protagonist was a man around 30 years of age, a minor relative of a wealthy family who had never been successful himself. Due to a tragedy, the major members of this family had died, and the whole estate was going to be divided among the more distant…Continue
UPGRADING OUR DEMOCRACY
In America we do democracy by dividing the territory into districts, and electing one representative from each district. We elect them by plurality, that is, by whichever candidate gets the most votes, whether or not they get an absolute majority. If there are three candidates, a candidate can win with 40% support, for example.
This is not the only way democracy can be done. Other countries, fully democratic, do it in other ways. The way we do…
(JBH) The following is something that I wrote a few years ago, for a list of supporters of election reform.
Subscribers to this list are likely to already be supporters of proportional representation. The method of PR most commonly used around the world, Party List, uses simple ballots easily counted by hand.
In Party List, each organized political party publishes a list of their candidates, in order of priority. Voters vote for one party.…
Added by John B Hodges on January 16, 2013 at 7:26am — No Comments
Gerrymandering is the deliberate drawing of district lines in such a way as to distort representation of subgroups of the population.
Consider Case 1: Suppose that a population is divided 60%/40% over some longstanding, continuing dispute. The A's have 60%, the B's have 40. The B's typically live in urban areas, the A's in suburbs and rural areas.
There are five districts, each of which elects one representative to the legislature.
If the A's are drawing the…
Added by John B Hodges on January 16, 2013 at 7:16am — No Comments
Recently I read an exchange of views between freethinkers about whether there was a historical Jesus that gave rise to the legends, or whether the Jesus character was entirely mythical. I found myself entirely unmoved.
I went through the four gospels to collect everything Jesus is reported to have said about what we should DO, all of his alleged ethical teachings. I wrote up my findings here: