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Avoiding controversial debates with the public?

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#126 PondJumper


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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:48 AM

You probably handled it the best you could. I'll admit, while I love astronomy, I usually look at the astronomical community as a whole as atheistic. However, when looking at the stars with others I'm not prompted to tell them all about my beliefs by default. If they inquire I will.


The western world is totally polarized at the moment. Its important to remember, stupid people exist. They inhabit all political spectrums, all religions, all non-religions(for those who insist that science isn't a religion for the devout atheist), all countries. World view politics, world view science, and world view art permeate everything in our society. It dumbs down most people's brains. In some cases it effects all of us.


Its hard to write about this without stating personal beliefs. To me, the universe is beautiful, but largely void of life (Fermi paradox). It would be great to explore it, unfortunately interstellar travel is one of the most accepted soon to be future possibilities that will probably never happen. Alcubierre drive is the only theoretical faster than light travel method that doesn't violate relativity that I know of, and in order to make that work most figures require more energy than the mass of the observable universe or many magnitudes greater. Does that lessen my interest in the stars? Nope.


People like Sagan have a religious belief that there must be "billions" of earthlike planets. I do not. Yet I'm fascinated with the stars. Maybe if people like his parents and the scientific community just let him and every other kid be fascinated with stars without ostracizing their religious beliefs, we might have more great scientists.


Atheism like Christianity is a philosophical belief. Those beliefs make life interesting.


For example, edit out all the mystic mumbojumbo in Star Trek and then try watching it.

Edited by PondJumper, 06 August 2014 - 11:51 AM.


#127 Galaxy_Mike


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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:05 AM

Somebody said something at a more or less public viewing last summer and I about choked, I think. They said Jesus named the stars. I am not aware of any religious source for this, even though I have read the Bible quite a bit. Nice sentiment I suppose. I wish I'd mentioned all the Arab star names.


There's not much you can do. 


#128 PondJumper


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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:20 AM

Next time tell that kid to go buy a telescope so he can more easily view the evidence of God's glory.


#129 oldtimer



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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:09 PM

..OR the evidence of what the universe's natural processes can produce!.


#130 amicus sidera

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 02:21 PM

...preferably using a telescope that no one actually made; one that, like the universe, just happened:grin:

Edited by amicus sidera, 06 August 2014 - 02:22 PM.


#131 David Knisely

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 03:50 PM

Not long after Hyde Observatory opened (maybe 25 to 30 years ago), I was on the telescope deck when a small group of people came up and wanted a look at the Pleiades.  I found out a few minutes later that they were part of a group that believed that they descended from people that came from the Pleiades star cluster.  The lady in the little group who I showed the cluster to in our 8 inch f/6 Newtonian kind of got a little quieter when I mentioned the cluster was probably less than 100 million years old (kind of a short timeframe for intelligent life to develop there and come up with a star drive to travel to Earth).  Thankfully, she didn't press the issue.  All we can do with people like this is provide the information we can, be polite, and hope they do the same. 


#132 dag55


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Posted 06 August 2014 - 04:40 PM

...preferably using a telescope that no one actually made; one that, like the universe, just happened:grin:

After all give it enough time, plus some chance and oh I almost forget you must add some matter into the equation, yep a Takahashi on the way any. BTW matter is made up of charger energy particles, so by necessity energy must precede matter, just were did the energy come from and why without a designer would it transform itself into matter. I don't have that much faith. This all must precede the so called big bang, so according to physics there must be a first cause and the effect cannot be greater than the cause, what was the first cause? 



#133 tecmage



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Posted 09 August 2014 - 05:46 PM

Closed the topic earlier to remove off-topic posts.  


#134 nitegeezer


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Posted 19 September 2014 - 11:09 PM

The title of this thread is "Avoiding controversial debates with the public" and I would suggest that should be continued in this thread.  


Please get back on topic so I don't have to lock this thread.


#135 nitegeezer


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Posted 20 September 2014 - 03:02 PM

This thread is now locked.


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