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Christopher Hitchens vs Tony Blair Debate: Is Religion A Force For Good In The World?

This is an extraordinary discussion about the role of religion and science in the world. I very much recommend this one.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 January 2011 01:47
 
Where Science and Religion Divides

Life itself is the greatest journey there is and its origins have baffled humanity ever since. In the past, people attributed any unexplained phenomena to the divine and all knowing creator. On one side, this provided them with some kind of psychological comfort, as there was a hope that life continues after death. On the other side, however, this belief has been used as a powerful manipulation tool by organised religions. Population had to accept certain dogmas and could not question them. Those who dared to use their own minds and critical thinking were declared heretics, tortured, burned at stakes or imprisoned. Although sad, these inquisitive individuals paved the way for what would later become the scientific revolution.

Science has answered thousands of questions and continues to do so whereas religions have answered none. More and more people are looking for answers in science and philosophy and religions are well aware of this. Pseudo-scientific theories such as intelligent design attempted to prove the existence of the divine creator by saying that for example the flagellum bacteria’s complex mechanisms or the design of the eye could not be explained in terms of evolution as Charles Darwin described in his book On the Origin of Species. These theories have been only seen as a desperate attempt of creationists to infiltrate the educational system with their agenda hiding behind pseudo-scientific arguments. For example, Christianity was forced to regret and apologise for killing and imprisoning innocent people who opposed their views such as Giordano Bruno, Galileo Galilei and many others. I could not describe this better than George Carlin, famous comedian, social critic, actor, and author, who won five Grammy Awards.

 

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Religions seem to argue that they provide people with values and morals that would otherwise be unachievable and that the world would go out of control. Obviously this has little to do with the truth again. Most of my friends and colleagues are highly moral, caring a compassionate people and yet they are not religious.

I understand that people are looking for answers that science cannot currently address whether it is the nature of our reality or our existence. These unanswered secrets of nature are my main source of inspiration and motivation. An unbiased exploration of the nature of our existence through science and philosophy provides so many invaluable perspectives that religions appear as mere cultural artifacts attached to conscious and more often subconscious fears. Albert Einstein expressed this feeling very well when he said:

 

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."

 

"Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that behind all the discernible concatenations there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious."

 

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

 

For many other great quotes see the quotes section.  I will finish this article with the videos  featuring ethologist, evolutionary biologist and famous critic of religions Richard Dawkins.

 

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Last Updated on Friday, 31 December 2010 02:57
 
Merry Christmas
merry christmas joke
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 December 2010 16:50
 
Lunar Eclipse - 21 December 2010

lunar eclipse diagram

Lunar eclipse phenomenon occurs when the moon passes behind the earth so that the earth blocks the sun's rays from hitting the moon.

From UK the moon appeared very low in the sky (only around 3 degrees above the horizon) during the actual eclipse. Notwithstanding the hard conditions, I attempted to capture this moment early this morning.

The two images below show the progress of the moon eclipse. The left image shows how the moon appeared five minute before the actual eclipse, which is shown in the right image.

 

 

lunar eclipselunar eclipse

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 December 2010 11:25
 
My interview featured in NVIDIA newsletter goes to 40,000 readers

My recent article previously published on NVIDIA website got lots of attention and was subsequently used for creating a Q&A interview published today in NVIDIA Newsletter and sent to over 40,000 readers. Click here to see the newsletter.

Last Updated on Monday, 20 December 2010 21:59
 
www.martinpeniak.com - RSS Feeds
I have been asked to add a feature to the site that would allow visitors to subscribe to my posts via RSS feeds. This has been implemented by adding a new 'subscribe to news ' button on the left hand side just below the 'Translate' module.
Last Updated on Monday, 20 December 2010 21:27
 
New publication for PCCAT2011 conference

M. Peniak, A. Morse, C. Larcombe, S. R. Contla, A. Cangelosi (in press). Aquila: Massively Parallelised Developmental Robotics Framework. Postgraduate Conference for Computing: Applications and Theory (PCCAT). Exeter, United Kingdom, June 2011.(download abstract)

Last Updated on Monday, 20 December 2010 18:23
 
www.martinpeniak.com hit 100,000 visits

cellular automata

I take this opportunity to thank you all for making this possible since without people reading these posts there would be no point in writing anything.

As usual, please let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas for further improving the website functionality and content. 

Last Updated on Friday, 17 December 2010 13:59
 
NVidia published my recent article

I was recently asked by NVidia to write a short article about the role of parallel computing in my research. 

Click here to see the article on the NVidia website. 

nvidia 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 02:33
 
The Race for Better Science

The race is on for scientists who are seeking answers to important problems impacting our lives.

This 17-minute pilot of a documentary series depicts how scientific discovery can be accelerated by combining theory and experimentation with computing to fight cancer, prevent heart attacks, and spur new advances in robotic surgery. It also illustrates how computing is playing an increasingly important role in the future of innovation worldwide. Finally, new parallel computing approaches to computational research are shown to be needed to enable significant breakthroughs in scientific understanding and practice. (source: NVidia website)

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Last Updated on Sunday, 12 December 2010 02:02
 
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