The Power Of Light Works
July 2019
LightSail 2 is changing its orbit using only the power of sunlight. The Planetary Society announced this week that their LightSail 2 solar sail is working well, and actually raising the orbit of the spacecraft as it travels around the Earth. According to mission managers, they've been able to raise the orbit of the spacecraft by about 2 kilometers at the high point of its orbit. Unfortunately, they'll only be able to go for about a month before the sail dips into the atmosphere at the low point of its orbit and it crashes.
Sci-Fi Writers Include Religion
October 2018
At his appearance at the American Writers Museum in Chicago, John Scalzi said that it is important that science fiction writers include religion in their universes, "When 5 billion people out of 7 billion very strongly have professed religious belief of some sort or another, to ignore it, minimize it or just say it doesn't matter is foolish," he said.
James C. Rocks
Contrary to popular opinion, being open-minded is not about treating every silly point of view as if it were the equal of a stance based on reason nor is it about believing everything one hears nor even about giving every fantasy world someone claims to have experienced the same credibility as reality.

In fact, being open-minded is about:

  • Establishing exactly what claim is being made, what phenomenon is being tested or evaluated.
  • Establishing all possible explanations to account for the phenomenon and, if possible ...
  • Setting up and executing a series of strictly controlled tests or observations designed to systematically and rationally eliminate the wrong possibilities and establish which accounts for the phenomenon in question.

To quote Spock ("Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country"), "An ancestor of mine maintained that when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

Open-Mindedness Open-mindedness requires a reasoned and rational approach, if possible, it requires observation, evidence, hypothesis, verification, tentativeness, falsifiability & it requires logic ... in short, true open-mindedness requires science or at least a similar rational approach. Furthermore, open-mindedness is fairly evidently necessary to investigate the universe & world in which we exist.

I have often been accused of not being open-minded indeed some have accused me of being a fundamentalist atheist because they imply I am "unwilling to expand my borders" when in fact what they dislike is that I am not able to suspend my objectivity enough to accept a pile of foetid dingo's kidneys as a valid hypothesis. However, those people are wrong ... science is open-minded, science is empirical, I am an adherent of science and an atheist because of it and I try my very best to be open minded like science.

However, that someone's mind is open, does not give anyone else the right to pour their crap into it! Nor does it give others the unchallengeable prerogative to claim someone is not "open-minded" because they are not prepared to tolerate fantasy views touted as fact nor even their views based on logic or reason (unless they really are) ... I would argue that such rational individuals, like science, are open-minded in the most objective sense!

As Dawkins said, "There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out!"

I may well end up believing in some god or other but what it won't be is a choice! If others want to let their brains to fall out then they are welcome to do so!

    UK Atheist, 2020    

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When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it.
Oscar Wilde