22 February 2011 am

Workout notes Yoga, then 3.5 miles outside with Lynn (gateway building, goose loop, dam), saw 4 bald eagles on the dam. Then I walked 3 on the treadmill on my own (36:40). My legs feel 100 percent better from yesterday.
Last night I had a slight shoulder ache; I need to be serious about the stretching. I also got the feeling that I tore a bit of scar tissue from my knee; it feels better.

Yoga: this Saturday, Monday and today I got into headstand. That really works the core; I have to stick with it. I had to try a few times on Monday as I had just done a set of sit-ups.

Social: last night I went to the Peoria Democratic Dinner with Lynn and Barbara. I saw a few friends; Sheila Simon (our Lt. Governor and daughter of Paul Simon) spoke as did Senator Dick Durbin. I enjoyed the evening.


This is old hat, but still this is a very detailed and fun discussion of our tendency to get goosebumps and for our hair to “stand on end”. This is an example of a trait that evolved well before we became human that never became totally lost…though it is useless. The term is “vestigial trait”. Note: this trait carries no cost with it either.

Religion and atheism
Richard Dawkins explains why the term “fundamentalist atheist” is nonsense. It takes 10 minutes but it pretty good.

Mano Singham: is writing a series of posts on “Why Atheism is Winning”. I can’t really agree with him (I wish that I could), but I certainly agree with this:

New atheists should not take the bait and get distracted by appeals to return to the rarefied world of theology. Debating theologians may be an enjoyable intellectual exercise to engage in from time to time (because theologians are often clever people and matching wits with them can be fun in small doses) but we should understand that theological discussions are irrelevant to the major goal of combating religion. What sophisticated theologians engage in are exercises in which they can find some vague sense of spirituality to believe in because they know that the evidence and science are against there being a tangible god. So they concoct abstract theories of god such as ‘apophatic theology’ and metaphors for god such as ‘ground of all being’ and (my personal favorite) a ‘plenitude of actuality’.

You will never convince a theologian that there is no god because they have essentially given up on god already by defining it out of any real existence. The entire work of modern theologians consists of finding ways to believe in a non-god. Their god, such as it is, is a slacker, dead, inert, passive, absent. There is simply no there there. It is a waste of time to look for any signs for him. To paraphrase Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch, it has ceased to be. It is demised. It is a stiff. It is an ex-god.

Good stuff; but here is the kicker:

Theologians provide nothing of value to ordinary religious believers except the cold comfort that some smart people also believe in some form of god. But the god the theologians believe in is not one that the average person in the church or mosque or synagogue would recognize, and if they were more aware of what theologians actually believe, ordinary religious people and even people like Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary would consider them as much atheists as us.

He goes on to point out that what most people want is some sort of magic working god (e. g. one that protects loved ones, heals diseases, etc.) though I realize that some associate “god” with that feeling of “wow, this universe is awesome and I feel connected to it” and some just want a nice metaphor for life.

Here is a handy list of what to expect in a government shutdown.

February 22, 2011 - Posted by | atheism, evolution, Friends, Peoria, Peoria/local, political/social, politics, politics/social, religion, science, shoulder rehabilitation, training, walking, yoga

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