Over the years there have been multiple posts here wherein the author claims that arguing in a forum like this is such a waste of time because it never changes anyone's mind or position. Especially politics and religion. I always thought that odd and a little sad. What type of person has their mind so frozen that they cannot listen to other views and change there own? Over the years I have changed many of my positions as I listen to all of you. I've cherry picked a few from the Libertarians that used to be here and even from one or two Republicans.
Religion too. I used to be an atheist who kept his mouth shut and then, as is obvious, I became one that could not keep his mouth shut. But this doesn't seem to be very constructive so I change again.
Wilson argues that the belief in God and rituals of religion are products of evolution. He argues that they should not be rejected or dismissed, but further investigated by science to better understand their significance to human nature.
So this forum discourse has even mellowed me. I no longer think that people who believe in god are brainwashed fanatics who's belief in fantasy is a sign of weakness. No, I think it is genetic. ;-O. I just think the god and religion gene used to confer an advantage on civilization but now it is a burden on your genome.
I'm going to a Ed Wilson seminar next week to celebrate the 150th year of Darwin. I might change my mind again.
And to add some video, Atheist, which ends with a quote from Carl Sagan, "It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
I'm glad you asked since I had the dates wrong the first lecture is next week but I am going to the fourth because EO Wilson will be speaking. The first two are at Harvard Science Center Lecture Hall D, and I presume the last ones are there. If they got a good showing I suppose they could move it to the Sanders Theater which would be cooler. Darwin Lecture 4 with E. O. Wilson, Everett Mendelsohn, and others is on November 24. The first lecture is Sept 16. They're all in the link.
I call Dr Wilson Ed since that was what my dad called him. He lived across the street from us in Woods Hole. I called him Dr Wilson when he caught my brother and I killing off the cicada killers infesting our patio. It wasn't like he was going to cry or anything and we left some. He showed us their wired pattern of bringing the aphid to the hole, going into to clean, then coming out to back in with the aphid. If you moved the aphid more than one inch while she was in the hole the cicada killer would have to do the ritual all over again. I did it for an hour once. It never got angry since each time it was a new experience according to Dr Wilson.
Being a bit of a Science Geek I was familiar with Dr. Wilson's work, and found his childlike fascination with which he'd spend months patiently staring into lines of ants "getting into their head" and UNDERSTANDING what makes them tick. He was seeing what the rest of us routinely overlook in front of our very nose, as well as under our feet. I'm glad to know that his life work has not only been inspirational for you, but contagious as well.
I've lately gotten so BOGGED DOWN in Politics since the PIN-HEAD forced us to watch every move he made, that I totally missed the Encyclopedia of LIFE Project Thank you for bringing it to our attention.
btw I'm also the only girl I knew who had a poster of Carl Sagan on her bedroom wall.O! U Kid!
I would put E. O. Wilson in my top five of scientists who had a big influence on where I landed up. He came out with Sociobiology while he was across the street. Then there is Stephen Jay Gould, Lewis Thomas, "Lives of a Cell". This is way going to sound super pompous but Lewis Thomas was my next door neighbor while Wilson was across the street. James Mavor who helped the "Alvin" submersible become famous was up the hill next door to Lewis. (His daughter being my first main squeeze at least for a few months.)
But that was Woods Hole in the 70's when every other house was a scientist and usually not the run of the mill kind either. If I wasn't such a lazy bastid I would have taken all that and been motivated to be something instead of just a molecular biologist.
I never really understood how cool Carl Sagan was until after he died. Superficially I love astronomy but actual Physics capital P bored the hell out me after the two semesters. They were fun, upper level, not so much.
Sometimes my head is thick and it takes a while for ideas to get in. The little drops of rain, your posts last year, eventually the dam breaks. Which proves the subject line I used. The soap box has changed my mind more than once, about religion and politics. To say that it cannot is saying one's head is made of wood.
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