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Links With Your Coffee - Monday

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Why don't you believe in God? I get that question all the time. I always try to give a sensitive, reasoned answer. This is usually awkward, time consuming and pointless. People who believe in God don't need proof of his existence, and they certainly don't want evidence to the contrary. They are happy with their belief. They even say things like "it's true to me" and "it's faith". I still give my logical answer because I feel that not being honest would be patronizing and impolite. It is ironic therefore that "I don't believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I've heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe", comes across as both patronizing and impolite.

Why don't I believe in God? No, no no, why do YOU believe in God? Surely the burden of proof is on the believer. You started all this. If I came up to you and said, "Why don't you believe I can fly?" You'd say, "Why would I?" I'd reply, "Because it's a matter of faith". If I then said, "Prove I can't fly. Prove I can't fly see, see, you can't prove it can you?" You'd probably either walk away, call security or throw me out of the window and shout, ''F--ing fly then you lunatic."

This is my new favorite internet toy - the Google Books Ngram Viewer. You may already know that Google Books is a project to digitize as many books as possible. Many of the recent books have copyright, so they cannot be made available online for free (authors and publishers have to eat too). But the words can be made available. The Ngram viewer is a great example of the power of computers and the internet to facilitate research and human knowledge.

If you're in a room of 100 people, odds are likely about 40 think God created humans about 10,000 years ago, part of a philosophy called creationism, according to a Gallup poll reported Friday (Dec. 17). That number is slightly lower than in years past and down from a high of 47 percent in both 1993 and 1999.



Does Google Books realize that Ngrams are part of what Scientology strives to eliminate?

imagination, free will, love, humor, fun, music, sports, beer and pizza are all good enough reasons for living.


Damn, I would like to set up my camera for the eclipse, but it's raining like hell here in LA. Well, like the opposite of hell, which is also like hell, but with water.

All cloudy in Des Moines (and probably all of Iowa) waiting for freezing rain. Will have to see others' pictures tomorrow.

Somehow I thought you were in California.

Anyway, by "hell", we in Southern CA mean "heavi-ish drizzle that lasts for a few days intermittently", of course!

Somehow I thought you were in California.

hah - I did apply for every gig that opened up in California, but ended up in the hipper state -hehe.

Also - the clouds parted and I did get a few crappy shots! i was too lazy to set up my tripod so everything has a blur.

The moon is beautiful here in southern NM at 1:00 am

It is a lovely orange color. I don't have a good enough camera to take a picture of it though.

oh no no that's a canard set up by elitist pretentious pseudo-photographers with expensive DSLR cameras. You can probably take better pictures of the moon with a regular super zoom compact than with an expensive DSLR and a common focal length lens. Go out right now, set up your camera to the lowest ISO, put it on a tripod, and try different shutter speeds.

Thanks Andyo. I managed to get a picture when part of the moon had entered the umbra. Once all of the moon had entered the umbra and turned that orange color, my camera couldn't pick it up as it was just too dim and I can't control the shutter speed. Well maybe I can, but I haven't figured out how to do that on my HP Photosmart M425.

The trouble with rain in SoCal, is that it always seems to come with mudslides. Reminds me of my all time fav Dr. Seuss book - Bartholomew and the OOBLICK. ooblick - such a wonderful word. Here in Northern California, we're alternating rain with intermittent snow. The chickens come outside in the snow, and do their little run/flap/hop thing - wings back aerodynamically as they rush to the hay barn where they spend snowy days in the nice dry dust baths by the firewood stacks, or climbing up and down the hay bales in the barn. There's always one that doesn't want to step back into snow, so sits in the barn squawking disconsolately until I pick her up and carry her home to the chicken house.

trying to explain burden of proof to people that don't need proof to believe something is more often than not a fruitless exercise. I can't even convince my mom that Glen Beck is lying to her, let alone the bible.

I don't like much the word "proof". "Evidence" is much better IMO. The people who ask for "proof" that negates their deeply held beliefs aren't usually happy with any "proof" you give them, cause unless it's a mathematical proof, it's never 100% certain.


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