#0011 RRS Newsletter for June 11, 2007

hellfiend666's picture






Thanks go to LunarShadow of RRS Nor*Cal for passing on a site he heard of through one of his members. I haven't explored it much yet, but it looks promising. You can expect to see some articles from that site soon I'm betting.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

I have received some interesting feedback and will be implementing some more changes soon. Thanks to all who replied!

Not much more to say today.
Thanks for reading,
Stay rational,
Jack
and the RRS MI team

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T. Rex Was Slow-Turning Plodder, Study Suggests

James Owen
for National Geographic News
June 7, 2007

Tyrannosaurus rex's fearsome reputation has taken another knock, with new research suggesting it was a slow-turning plodder.

The so-called king of dinosaurs has been buffeted in recent years by accusations of being a scavenger and a slowpoke.
Now a U.S. team suggests that T. rex also weighed considerably more than some experts had believed, took up to two seconds to turn 45 degrees, and is unlikely to have exceeded speeds of 25 miles (40 kilometers) an hour. (Related story: "Tyrannosaurus Rex Was a Slowpoke" [February 22, 2002].)

The study, led by biomechanics expert John Hutchinson while at Stanford University in California, is reported in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.

Building on previous work into the dino's biomechanics, the new findings challenge the perception that T. Rex was an athletic super-predator capable of running down fast, agile dinosaurs.

The team used a computer-modeling system to calculate the weight of a fossil specimen from the U.S. and then to estimate its running speed and turning ability, which has never been done before.

That fossil, an average-size adult, weighed between six and eight tons, and some individuals may have been as heavy as ten tons, the researchers said.

The team found the animal, hampered by a long tail and that heavy body, would have taken one to two seconds to make a quarter turn—far slower than a human.

"We now know that a T. rex would have been front-heavy, turned slowly, and could manage no more than a leisurely jog," Hutchinson, the lead study author, said.

Different Kind of Walk

Previous work by Hutchinson indicated that T. rex reached top speeds of between 10 and 25 miles (16 and 40 kilometers) an hour.

But the new study further undermines the popular notion that T. rex could reach speeds of around 45 miles an hour (72 kilometers an hour), as often depicted in movies.

Previous estimates that T. Rex weighed three to four tons were based only on the dinosaur's fossil bones, Hutchinson pointed out. But the new prediction involved over 30 different computer models.

"The method that we applied, creating a kind of computer sculpture of the body of a T. rex, takes into account the whole anatomy," he said.

Previous investigations into the biomechanics of dinosaurs have also often been based on living animals such as elephants, the research team added.

But the new research suggests T. rex walked very differently than the mammals, which use vertical, pillar-like legs. For the dinosaur to maintain its center of mass over its feet it would have needed to keep its legs bent, the team suggested.

The research team adds that its study has little bearing on the issue of whether T. rex was a scavenger or a predator.

It's a "false debate," with most experts now agreeing that the animal was both, Hutchinson said.

"If you look at living animals, pretty much anything that eats meat is both a predator and a scavenger," he added. "There's really no convincing evidence that says it was only a scavenger."

Slow Prey

Paul Barrett is a dinosaur researcher at London's Natural History Museum who was not involved with the study. He says the new research does appear to undermine the idea of T. rex as a super-predator.

"It suggests that T. rex is basically a lot slower and more lumbering than a lot of the recent views on it have been," he commented.

However, "most of the animals that T. rex would have been hunting were also large and pretty slow moving and not particularly agile. So although it wouldn't have been a particular speedy predator, that might not have been a big disadvantage," Barrett said.

"Whether or not it was running after its prey at high speeds, it would still have been pretty awesome, I think." Hutchinson's team agrees, saying its weight and speed findings may also apply to other large dinosaurs such as Triceratops and Edmontosaurus, which T. rex is known to have eaten.

"These were also big clunky animals that clearly weren't running around at 50 miles [80 kilometers] an hour," Hutchinson said. "And why would [T. rex] need to turn quickly if it was preying on other big, relatively slow things?"

Smaller two-legged dinosaurs would probably have been able to outrun T. rex, however.

"T. rex probably didn't eat those, unless it got lucky and caught one off guard," Hutchinson said.

The environment during T. rex's day was also very different from today, Hutchinson added, and probably one where animals didn't need to be built for speed.

"I think there's a bias imposed by looking at living mammals in the Serengeti and elsewhere on open grasslands where they have a lot of space," he said.

"When T. rex lived there probably weren't a lot of huge open spaces to be charging around in at massive speeds."

RE: Great Video- Carl Sagan age of the Earth
----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Rich Rodriguez
Date: Jun 10, 2007 9:53 PM

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RE: For The 50th Time, Morality Is Hardwired In Us

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 11, 2007 4:42 PM

Dan

Much thanks to the THE ATHEIST JEW

Digg It!!!


OK, For The 50th Time, Morality Is Hardwired In Us


I've made a few posts on this topic previously, but I keep reading blog posts and articles by theists who keep on repeating the same garbage, that without God's word, or God's laws, humanity would become Sodom and Gomorrah like and even worse.
There are many theists out there who believe that the only thing stopping them from raping, murdering at random, and pillaging is the bible or the fear of God. They think that nothing holds atheists back from being "evil."
The reality is that morality is hardwired in our brains. And it developed long before we became humans. In fact, moral behavior is found all over the animal kingdom within like species at least. If social animals were only selfish and not hardwired to take a bullet for the group now and again, extinction would be the end result.
This morning I saw a mother sparrow feeding three near-adult offspring on my driveway (me and my wife always make sure there is birdseed and bread crumbs on the driveway, evil atheists that we are), I mentioned to my wife that this mother bird didn't need a bible to do the right thing.

The reason I'm bringing this up now is that
more research has come out verifying the fact we are hardwired when it comes to morality:
"You gotta see this!" Jorge Moll had written. Moll and Jordan Grafman, neuroscientists at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., had been scanning the brains of volunteers as they were asked to think about a scenario involving either donating a sum of money to charity or keeping it for themselves.

As Grafman read the e-mail, Moll came bursting in. The scientists stared at each other.

The results were showing that when the volunteers placed the interests of others before their own, the generosity activated a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food or sex. Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.
The only thing I will argue about this is the idea of altruism. If doing good things for others gives us a positive brain rush, then it really isn't altruism. It becomes an act out of selfishness in a sense.

The reality is that the 10 Commandments for example, are just the result of writing down what was already hardwired in our brains, and we can easily substitute God with "nature" too, of course, to make sense of the Commandments by doing this, poetic allegorical analysis would be required.

Read the entire article on the new research.

Pat Condell on morality:


Here is a great way to overcome moral dilemma's:

Newest Are We Alone? show is now available

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Are We Alone?
Date: Jun 11, 2007 4:55 PM

Religion and Science: Deity Meets Data has been posted on the Are We Alone? website at http://radio.seti.org and podcast to the SETI:Science & Skepticism feed. Send us your comments! Email arewealone@seti.org

About the show: A physicist makes the scientific case for no God - a NASA scientist says gazing at Saturn's rings is a religious experience - Adam meets Dino in Kentucky's new Creation Museum - and anthropologist Lewis Wolpert explains why the emergence of religion is inevitable.

Guests: Lewis Wolpert, Victor Stenger, Frank Tipler, Carolyn Porco, Gordy Slack

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jun 11, 2007 5:18 PM

This columnist provides an email below his column where people who actually care about historical accuracy can blast him on his utter disregard for facts, like I intend to do shortly. Whatever response I give, I plan to send it out in another bulletin, and I hope others will do the same. Without further ado, let the propaganda commence:
-----------------------

Stan Nelson column
Religion and atheism: How deadly are they, if at all?

The excitement of the moment in the nonfiction publishing industry is the cause of atheism.

Because public appearances sell books, the authors - including scientist Richard Dawkins and essayist Christopher Hitchens - go on the road to deliver talks and speeches to support their points of view, which, in turn, support book sales.

Christians always should pay attention when atheists speak, and especially when they take the lectern in the public square. They bring up a lot of important points that believers should think about.

For one example, Dawkins' strong suit is his argument against the rationality of belief in God.

Christians - and not just their opinion leaders - need to check out what he has to say, objectively, and not merely to line up opposing arguments. They need to pay attention to what they fail to explain, and prepare themselves to discuss it intelligently.

For another, it helps to know what they have to say even if it doesn't sound too honest. Take Hitchens' grave warning: "Religion kills."

Well, yes. Religion kills, all right. So we've seen, in the Crusades, the pogroms, the Inquisition, the modern Sunni-versus-Shiite violence. And that's bad, as reasonable, peace-loving people should agree.

But it is not the only reason why people kill other people - and may play no greater part in social or cultural decisions to declare war, or attack without warning, than other reasons.

"If it was not for God, we would have nothing to war over" and "Religion is genocide," a vandal scrawled on a church door Downtown, three years ago. We pointed out then how that was only half true, if that.

Russian dictator Josef Stalin, an atheist, starved 10 million people to death in the Ukraine, and Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, also an atheist, sowed more than 1 million bodies onto Cambodia's killing fields.

Pot's atheism was in the mold of Mao Zedong, under whom the body count of the Cultural Revolution is only guessed at, often conservatively, somewhere in the hundreds of thousands.

But does that mean atheism kills? It may be argued that the influence of atheism, which eliminates practical faith in God, allows a culture to place a lower value on human life. But the same can be said about religion, in several circumstances.

Read the words uttered early last week by Abu Jandal al-Dimashqi, who advertises himself as the leader of an Islamic group called Tawhid and Jihad: "Our people in Syria, how do you accept to be ruled by the vulgar Nassiries? . . . (R)ise up as one man to chop their legs and heads." "Nassiries" is a Sunni term for the Alawites, Shiite Muslim subset to which Syrian leader Bashar Assad belongs.

That sounds like a direct suggestion to commit genocide for reasons connected to religion - at least, to us. Still, the condemnation of opposition is the central theme, and not necessarily religion.

The consideration of religion would be the only difference between al-Dimashqi's call and the orders Mao sent down to the Red Guard to find certain types of people and arrest, torture, imprison and, if necessary, kill them. In the hands of someone determined to eliminate opposition, one difference is as good as another.

The truth is that atheism and religion stand on the same, blood-soaked level, one as culpable as the other. But the reason for that is atheism and religion are not strict opposites.

Atheism is not the opposite of religion, but of faith, specifically in God or, for that matter, any god or gods. Religion is the demonstration of faith, defined in prosaic terms in James' epistle: "To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

Faith is the basic idea of belief - "the substance of things hoped for," as the writer of Hebrews put it.

Does faith kill? Well, we can say that people have been killed because of their faith. Often, those people accepted their beliefs despite the threat of death.

Why? Because their faith redefined the way they looked at life, to the point that the God it connected them to was more important than self-preservation - or political or cultural dominance.

In those cases, the believers were given their lives back, in fuller measure - saved, some people say, to a calling beyond whatever surrounded them and bound them to Earth.

So we're left with the dismal fact that religion and atheism can kill, because as practical belief systems, they allow such abuse, even if they should not.

Investigation and experience tell us, however, that faith can and does save life, sometimes in a quite practical sense, in too many examples to list here.

Does atheism do that?

Stan Nelson is a news editor at The Pueblo Chieftain. He may be reached by e-mail at snelson@chieftain.com .

We are The A-Team and those who rewrite history are doomed to experience our wrath.

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----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 11, 2007 2:14 PM

Utah Man Wants 'In God We Trust' In All Classrooms

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From:
ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 11, 2007 4:34 PM

Crocoduck

The first crocoduck-sponsored one-on-one debate is now in progress, and both sides have presented their first posts. Click on the link below to read what they have to say, and feel free to leave comments as it will not interfere with the debate.

And if you think you'd be interested in debating a creationist or evolutionist, message me and let me know. I'll try to set you up in a debate. (There's a shortage of creationists though., so if you're an evolutionist, please try to find a creationist and encourage him/her to debate.)

RE: Calling Belief "Science" is abusive to Students & the World

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 11, 2007 4:41 PM

Corporations_Ate_My_BABY!

Rational folks like me get asked:

"Why do you Bash Christians?"
"Why do I get so many insults regarding my Christian beliefs?"

...

lol

simple.

Hey God-Believer...

Would you bash me if I was pushing a belief in the Invisible Purple Unicorn?

No?

What if me and millions of Invisible Purple Unicorn believers took over the Govt. and made them spread AIDS because the we believed Unicorn Wants Africans To Die Rather Than Have Sex?...

Well when Christians via Bush deny condoms during the "faith based aids outreach"... they literally cause the spread.

all because they believe is something INVISIBLE, UNPROVEN and HOSTILE.

THINK!

I don't bash CHRISTIANS... I BASH PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN'T REAL... (Allah, Zeus, God, Bigfoot...) and ONLY when it hurts people.

And i believe pretending that mythology is "SCIENCE" is child abuse.

Science is testable, varifiable and falsifiable.]

There is no way to verify BELIEF.
Therefore it is Not Science.
Children should be taught ACTUAL SCIENCE...
They can choose beliefs when they reach 18...

Calling BELIEF "Science" messes up their educations.

that's just wrong. That's abuse.
I bash child abuse.

.....

hahaha

(... I told you i was a dick about religion!!!)

- c

D, Hooker

Why do I get so many insults regarding my Christian beliefs? For instance one person will say, I need to study the history my beliefs, or I am some Christian conspiracy theorist who believes satanist run the world. (true by the way)

Why is that the topic people need to straiten me out on? Its odd that i find more hatred in this age of supposed tolerance and peace in the truth movement. Christians are still attacked as if they send checks to the Bushes every month.

yet if a Christian simply states he or she believe something not taught in the government/Illuminati controlled public school system, the same glazed over look shows on peoples faces as if you just mentioned 9/11 to a loyal Bushy! (I'm sure most of you know what I'm talking about)

so...... any feedback is welcome but save your insults because you'll just be wasting our time.




The Science of God
part -1-

Chuck Missler displays evidence in
science that points to God the Creator.

part -2-


Here is the cure to all that is claimed in the above irrational videos:

Scroll to Player and click on THIESM IS IRRATIONAL

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jun 11, 2007 5:35 PM

As you finish reading this article, notice the mention of our "special friends," the American Family Association, said to support "traditional family values," which I guess sounds more pleasant than opposes and denigrates gay Americans.

----------------

Utah Man Wants 'In God We Trust' In All Classrooms

SALT LAKE CITY - If Oak Norton gets his way every Utah classroom will soon display a poster bearing a simple, patriotic message: ``In God We Trust.''

It's a sentiment Norton believes all children should feel.

``To me, our country's national survival depends on trusting in God,'' the Highland resident said.

Norton's efforts are supported by other parents and even some teachers and administrators. At Highland Elementary School, where Norton's daughter attends classes, the Parent-Teacher Association president and the school principal both praised Norton's distribution of posters at the end school year.

Highland Principal Reed Hodson wants the signs posted in each classroom next fall and says it won't be an option for teachers.

Norton's posters aren't welcomed by the American Atheists, however. Communications Director Dave Silverman said religion is ``most divisive thing in the universe'' and shouldn't be introduced in schools, where everyone is supposed to be welcomed and involved.

But there might be little opponents can do to stop Norton, who also advertises the poster on a web site.

In 2002, the Utah Legislature quietly passed a law that requires every state school building to post the national motto, which is used on U.S. currency.

Rep. Jackie Biskupski, D-Salt Lake City, voted against the 2002 Utah law and said Norton's proposal could potentially isolate and victimize children by pointing out their differences.

``It's heartbreaking when you push something into a school that really will facilitate singling out students for targeting of discrimination and prejudice and very possibly bullying and physical harm,'' she said.

Utah is among a handful of states that require or allow the posting, according to the American Family Association, a Mississippi-based nonprofit that supports traditional family values. The association began a similar poster campaign in 2001 and has distributed 400,000 posters nationwide.

(© 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. )

We are The A-Team and we find nothing "pro-family" about the American Family Association or their campaign of hate against atheists and homosexuals.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The A-Team
Date: Jun 11, 2007 5:38 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Brian the Dilettante
Date: Jun 11, 2007 2:30 PM

This message has been reposted from an email from The Human Rights Campaign.

President Bush is attempting to take another step toward theocracy.

---------------------------------------

Which of these warnings comes from the U.S. Surgeon General?

A. "Smoking causes lung cancer."
B. "Women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy."
C. "Gay activity is unnatural and unhealthy."

If President Bush has his way, ALL OF THE ABOVE might soon be the answer. His recent nomination of Dr. James Holsinger as America's top doctor flies in the face of science, medicine - and our nation's health.

How can we trust Holsinger to be America's top doctor, when his resume looks like this:

* In 1991 used basic plumbing analogies to write a "scientific and medical" paper arguing that homosexuality is unnatural and dangerous.

* Founded the Hope Springs Community Church, which reportedly has a special program to "cure" gays from "that lifestyle."

* Past writings indicate that he views sexual orientation as a "lifestyle choice." This could not be further from the view held by mainstream medical or scientific organizations.

James Holsinger's record seems to demonstrate that he is uninterested in the best scientific information available; instead, he allows his anti-gay bias to inform his medical judgments. What will he do if he's given the title of Surgeon General?

Countless organizations have already voiced their outrage at Holsinger's nomination. Help turn it into a national outcry, by taking action today – and when you're done, PLEASE forward this message on to friends and family.

The Surgeon General is charged with protecting America's health. That doesn't mean some Americans, or not those Americans. It means all Americans.

-----------------------------------

To join the campaign by emailing your congressmen, click the link below...

The Human Rights Campaign

The A-Team and we approve this message.

RE: FOUR SETS OF STUDIES EVERY ATHEIST MUST KNOW

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 11, 2007 10:49 PM

GO TO MY BLOG TO MAKE ANY RESPONSES.

(1) Faith & Intelligence

http://kspark.kaist.ac.kr/Jesus/Intelligence%20&%20religion.htm http://undergraduatestudies.ucdavis.edu/explorations/2004/clark.pdf

Plus: Scientists & Belief

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/050811_scientists_god.html

(2) Faith & Violence

http://www.religioustolerance.org/violtext.htm http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-02/afps-wgs022307.php

(3) Faith & Morality

Divorce: http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdateNarrow&BarnaUpdateID=170
Prison: http://www.holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm
Secular Nations:

The following is taken from Sam Harris' An Atheist Manifesto .

Countries like Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom are among the least religious societies on Earth. According to the United Nations’ Human Development Report (2005) they are also the healthiest, as indicated by measures of life expectancy, adult literacy, per capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate and infant mortality. Conversely, the 50 nations now ranked lowest in terms of human development are unwaveringly religious. Other analyses paint the same picture: The United States is unique among wealthy democracies in its level of religious literalism and opposition to evolutionary theory; it is also uniquely beleaguered by high rates of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy, STD infection and infant mortality. The same comparison holds true within the United States itself : Southern and Midwestern states, characterized by the highest levels of religious superstition and hostility to evolutionary theory, are especially plagued by the above indicators of societal dysfunction, while the comparatively secular states of the Northeast conform to European norms . Countries with high levels of atheism also are the most charitable in terms of giving foreign aid to the developing world. The dubious link between Christian literalism and Christian values is also belied by other indices of charity.. Consider the ratio in salaries between top-tier CEOs and their average employee: in Britain it is 24 to 1; France 15 to 1; Sweden 13 to 1; in the United States, where 83% of the population believes that Jesus literally rose from the dead, it is 475 to 1.

(4) Faith (Prayer) & Healing

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-2112892,00.html

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----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 11, 2007 6:18 PM

TRAILZ TPO Elizabeth Cady

Much thanks to Bitchasaurus

Jerry Zucker zings Bush on Stem Cells



House sends Bush new Stem Cell Bill

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 11, 2007 8:47 PM

Cheryl

While people starve, the good people at the pentagon work on stuff like this...




----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ATHEISTS AGNOSTICS SKEPTICS & HUMANISTS ON MYSPACE
Date: Jun 11, 2007 8:51 PM

Jamie Guinn

Oh no!!! We atheists better run like hell!

Hey, is that Kelly from the RSS? (Editorial Note: No it isn't.)

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Antíkhristos
Date: Jun 11, 2007 8:54 PM

The darkness of godlessness lets wisdom shine.