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.
Some Definitions
James C. Rocks
In their battles against the godless heathens of the scientific community, creationists will often make scientific-sounding definitions and use these in attempts to destroy the basis of their enemy’s arguments and as such it is useful to have a fixed set of definitions for the more common scientific & religious concepts.

Some Definitions
This is not intended as a glossary of science or religion but as a guide to various concepts used by those involved in the debate. In order to eliminate confusion all of these definitions are taken from quality Anglo-American dictionaries and, where possible, I have chosen those that relate more directly to science (except where issues of faith are addressed).

The belief in a superhuman controlling power, esp. in a personal God or gods entitled to obedience and worship; the expression of this in worship; a particular system of faith and worship.

A system of religious belief (e.g. the Christian faith); a belief in religious doctrines; spiritual apprehension of divine truth apart from proof; things believed or to be believed; a firm belief, esp. without logical proof.

A thing that is known to have occurred, to exist, or to be true; an item of verified or verifiable information; a piece of evidence.

Something taken as being true, for purpose of argument, further investigation or action.

A proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without the assumption of its truth; a supposition made as a starting point for further investigation from known facts.

A supposition or system of ideas explaining something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the particular things to be explained (e.g. atomic theory or the theory of evolution); the exposition of the principles of a science etc.; a collection of propositions to illustrate the principles of a subject (e.g. probability theory or the theory of equations).

The correct statement of invariable sequence between specified conditions and specified phenomenon; laws of nature, regularity in nature; a regularity in natural occurrences, esp. as formulated or propounded in particular instances (e.g. the laws of nature, the law of gravity or Parkinson's law).

It is worth summarising what these definitions represent and some evolutionary implications deriving from them.

  • Science is characterised by lack of hard fact that is to say that nothing in science is so inflexible it cannot be changed given the support of adequate evidence. This applies to theories AND to laws ... some creationists continue to adhere to Newtonian physics that, whilst still generally acceptable, has long been superseded by relativity (itself superseded by Quantum Mechanics).
  • A hypothesis is a concept that is not supported by sufficient evidence to gain the status of theory.
  • A theory is a concept that is supported by evidence and can be used to predict other effects.
  • Evolution is not a science but a theory.
  • Evolution (in gross) is supported by such an incredible weight of evidence that it is regarded as de facto proven ... that is to say that no scientist (or at least none that want to be taken seriously) regard evolution as wrong.
  • Evolution (in fine) continues to change.
  • Evolution is part of science and is interwoven into almost EVERY discipline of science.
  • To destroy or invalidate evolution it would be necessary to tear down the entire body of scientific knowledge and start from scratch!
  • Neither abiogenesis nor the big bang have anything whatsoever to do with the theory of evolution and scientific references to it in such areas are always poetic in nature.

Many creationists will try to tell you that these definitions are flawed in some way or even wrong but their views, and their wish to reshape aspects of science so that they can destroy them, are irrelevant.

If creationists are going to seriously challenge the thinking of such scientists (the above has been the case for a hundred years or more) then they are required to supply evidence.

In order to provide that evidence, it is not considered acceptable to twist & distort current interpretations or to tell lies ... science does not work in that manner. It is necessary to demonstrate something as flawed by finding evidence that does exactly that following which a new or modified theory must be developed to replace it and that theory must be backed up with evidence.

Of the three theories mentioned (Abiogenesis, Evolution & The Big Bang) evolution is, arguably, the safest, the most proven and the most specifically supported by evidence. Abiogenesis is still largely speculative and The Big Bang is one of two competing theories both of which fit the observations.

    UK Atheist, 2020    

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To be stupid, and selfish, and to have good health are the three requirements for happiness - though if stupidity is lacking, the others are useless.
Julian Barnes