The World Is Just Awesome

One of the major changes that's come with the new site is that here, every post has to have an accompanying image. I'm not complaining - I had always meant to have more pictures on the old Daylight Atheism, I think they make a site more interesting and engaging - but since I didn't have to, I rarely went to the trouble. Now that that's changed, I've been putting together a library of public domain and Creative Commons-licensed pictures (plus a few shots of my own) to use with future … [Read more...]

The Language of God: A Final Word

The Language of God, Closing ThoughtsBy B.J. Marshall Collins' final word comprises two points: that there is joy and peace in God's creation, and that the war between science and spirit should end. In this post, I'll discuss these two points. I'll conclude by giving a final word of my own as my journey of blogging through a book closes.Collins' first point fits perfectly well whether one holds to science or … [Read more...]

Weekend Link Miscellany

I've got a couple of links this weekend, some atheism-related, some not:• Lost a digital camera lately? It made me smile to find out about I Found Your Camera, a website helping to reunite lost cameras with their owners.• After the terrible and entirely preventable deaths of three people during a "sweat lodge" ceremony last year, the New Age community in Sedona is suffering a tourist backlash. Is this what it takes to make people realize that pseudoscientific gibberish is not … [Read more...]

Thursday Transcendence

I'll post another update tomorrow, but in the meantime, I came across two videos that were too wonderful not to share:• First, this montage of stunning moments from the documentary series Planet Earth, with music by the band Sigur Ros;• and then, this video: a recording of Carl Sagan reading his immortal "Reflections on a Mote of Dust" speech from the book Pale Blue Dot - his words in his voice, set to a slideshow of pictures of the Earth from space.If you can watch either of … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Joy and Wishful Thinking

The Language of God, Chapter 2By B.J. MarshallCollins continues on his theme of the universal search for the divine with an argument from emotions. He cites his beloved C.S. Lewis, who describes this in his book Surprised by Joy. Lewis relates how this search, this intense longing, is triggered by moments of joy, which he describes as "an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction" (p.35). After reading this line several times, I still have no idea what … [Read more...]

Under Green Leaves

In an old essay on Ebon Musings, "Finding Beauty in the Mundane", I wrote in a contemplative mood:Have you ever considered the trees? Though their kind of life is far grander, slower and more patient than ours, they are each individuals, as different as human beings are. They add beauty to the world, give peace in their dappled shade, freshen the air and enrich the earth, and turn even the most hard-edged urban environment into a blossoming garden. We humans grew up beneath the trees, and we … [Read more...]

Surprise Me With A Fact

By Richard Hollis (aka Ritchie)I thought I'd do a something a little different in this post.Sometimes, when I read a science book explaining something new, I get a feeling when a piece of fascinating trivia just 'clicks' into place. I'm not sure I can better describe it, though I'm sure I'm not doing a good job of it. Like a minor epiphany where something previously unknown or unclear suddenly comes into sharp focus.So I thought I'd throw the ball out there and ask everyone to share their … [Read more...]

The Dimension of Divinity

I just finished reading The Happiness Hypothesis, a book by Jonathan Haidt, who's a professor in the new science of "positive psychology" at the University of Virginia. Most of the book is a straightforward distillation of scientific research on what truly brings happiness and contentment in life, illustrated with quotes and references to famous philosophers and sages of the past who taught similar lessons. There's nothing to object to about this - I think it's a laudable thing for science to … [Read more...]

Cathedrals

You may have heard that, after an exasperating series of setbacks and delays, the massive particle accelerator called the Large Hadron Collider is finally up and running. Even in preliminary tests, it's set records for the most powerful particle collisions ever recorded in a lab - and when it's reactivated later this year, it's expected to set new ones.Recently, I was struck by this quote from a National Geographic article on the LHC:So far, the CERN team has been very cautious as it … [Read more...]

A Sense of Kinship

This past summer, I was visiting the New York Botanical Gardens when serendipity struck: this beautiful little creature alighted on a stone railing around the edge of a pool, staying just long enough for me to snap this shot:I think, though I'm not an expert, that this is a blue dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis.I don't usually like close-up photos of insects - they have an eerie, alien feel that I find disturbing. (I admit it, I'm a mammal chauvinist.) But this one is one of the rare … [Read more...]


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