05 September 2010


ORIGINS. One of humanity's reasons for creating the myth of a supreme god (or gods) is to try to explain how we, our world and the universe came into being. Until very recently in our history, we simply did not have adequate tools or information to perceive differently. Once the idea of a god caught on, those who opposed it (atheists) or simply weren't sure (agnostics) were subject to hostility ranging from ostracism to death.

A number of eminent scientists in recent years have proposed, with considerable supportive reasoning, that there simply is no need to resort to the existence of an omnipotent deity to understand the origins of humanity and the cosmos. Astrophysicist Carl Sagan in The Varieties of Scientific Experience, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris in The End of Faith, and writer/essayist Christopher Hitchins in God Is Not Great, have each contributed thoughtful evidence to support the parsimonious proposition that God is a human construct, unnecessary for explaining our origins.

Now renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking is about to publish The Grand Design. in which he similarly asserts that "no divine force is needed to explain why the universe was formed. The video "Physics Leaves No Room for God" summarizes Hawking's thoughts in an accessible format.

THE INTERNETS. For those who aren't yet aware, Verizon and Google are embroiled in controversy surrounding their joint proposal for a proprietary subset of the currently free and universal access Internet. Much confusion has ensued over whether their vision would restrict and impose user costs on access. My good Chicago friend forwarded to me a blog post which handily clarifies what is being proposed, and what is at stake. It is required reading for those who would like the Internet to remain free and easily accessible.

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