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Is evolutionary chance impossible? 
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
craigdressler wrote:
Isn't the idea of a divine designer, God, who engineered this process and set it in motion much more plausible?


i dont know about "more plausible" but if this "God" did indeed engineer this process and set it in motion then wouldn't "He" be responsible for this sort of thing?

http://healthmad.com/conditions-and-dis ... the-world/

or would "He" be accountable for this sort of thing?

Conquistador of Mexico
Zulu and the Navaho
The Belgians in the Congo
Plantation in Virginia, the Raj in British India
The deadline in South Africa
The story of El Salvador, the silence of Hiroshima
Destruction of Cambodia?

or any uncountable number of absurdities and atrocities

this seems to me to be the unworkability of the "traditional" "literalist" "orthodox" "external" kinda "God"

if you changed your definition of "God" to mean "that which everything and everyone is a manifestation of" then at least "God" could get of the hook by saying "hey i did all that shit to myself after all"

still no consolation if you just suffered one of "life's little surprises"

i suppose i'm getting at the "definition of god" question.

i tend to read it all buddhism, hinduism, xtianity, islam, atheism, george carlin etc etc etc and keep whatever helps and makes sense and cross references well and carry on pondering while not being too hasty to grip too tightly to any one system and i shun literalism (reading religious texts as if they were history) like the plague.

i find more infinity and wonder all around me most days than most people seem to be prepared to even admit to as a possibility, and when i cant sense that beauty it is none the less there/here, and so is all the bullshit.

i mostly just enjoy stuff and get angry occasionally at the absurd predicament we find ourselves in under the rulership of vampires and fools.



Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:58 am
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant wrote:
Quote:
I've always seen Einstein's references to God as metaphorical. I think you could make a good argument that Einstein was an atheist, not that it really matters.


I'd like to hear that argument. But if you don't think it matters that's fine.
To clarify, interpretations of my readings about Einstein are that he believes in a god similar to that of Spinoza's god and not a personal god.


A person's thoughts about the nature of God may change over time. So Einstein may have been more inclined towards theism or pantheism early in life and perhaps less so later in life. (I have no idea if this was actually the case with Einstein.)

There's also so much semantic wiggle room with the word "God" that usually such discussions are an exercise in futility. What one person thinks is "God" is very different from what someone else thinks is "God." The word God is frequently used as a kind of vague reference for the unknown. God is love. God is the universe, etc. But if God is love, for example, why not just use the word "love?" Some people just don't want to think of themselves as being atheistic, so they go through these semantic contortions to make it sound like they believe in something. Also, our society is still very Christian-biased and it's socially unacceptable and bad form in polite circles to say you don't believe in God.

I would argue that someone who doesn't believe in a "personal God" is essentially an atheist. The word "atheist" means simply without belief in God. By most people's definition, God is the very anthropomorphic creator and ruler of the universe. Clearly, Einstein didn't believe in a personal God which means he was an atheist. As far as I know, he used the term "God" only as a vague reference to the universe which many people do. Even I do it (although usually ironically).

So it's no wonder that it's hard to talk about God because it's a word that stands for a concept that can't be shown to actually exist. Some people like to claim that Einstein believed in God and some people like to say he was an atheist as if this is somehow a point in their favor. To me it's about as pointless as the argument over Hitler's alleged Christianity which flares up here every now and then.


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Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:29 am
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Quote:
or would "He" be accountable for this sort of thing?

Conquistador of Mexico
Zulu and the Navaho
The Belgians in the Congo
Plantation in Virginia, the Raj in British India
The deadline in South Africa
The story of El Salvador, the silence of Hiroshima
Destruction of Cambodia?



Would you hold him accountable? If so, is it because the people behind these attrocities said god told them to do it?
Why would you believe them and why would you believe that god would support their actions? Are you using the evil god of the Old Test as evidence?


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“For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin to and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant” (Metaphysics, 350 BC)


Last edited by ant on Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:27 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant wrote:
Would you hold him accountable?


well as i dont believe in the "orthodox traditional all powerful external god person like a man" of literalist xtianity i obviously wouldn't hold him accountable, anymore than i'd hold santa responsible if i didn't get any xmas pressies.

i was getting at the fact that if you believe "god" made "all things bright and beautiful" then doesn't it follow that he made evil as well?

not to me but to someone who believes in the god of literalist christianity.



Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:50 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
youkrst wrote:
ant wrote:
Would you hold him accountable?


well as i dont believe in the "orthodox traditional all powerful external god person like a man" of literalist xtianity i obviously wouldn't hold him accountable, anymore than i'd hold santa responsible if i didn't get any xmas pressies.

i was getting at the fact that if you believe "god" made "all things bright and beautiful" then doesn't it follow that he made evil as well?

not to me but to someone who believes in the god of literalist christianity.


Hypothetically, if you were a believer in the traditional sense, would you believe god was the cause of acts like this?


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“So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind!” (Ecclesiastes 2:17)


“For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin to and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant” (Metaphysics, 350 BC)


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant wrote:

Hypothetically, if you were a believer in the traditional sense, would you believe god was the cause of acts like this?


You were not asking this question generally but I would like to answer. I think most believing people define God and heaven as they like. They think God lets their team win and their battle also. So to Muslims the world over 911 was a huge sign of God's favor, while some Christians in NYC could see it as God's abandonment. Of course most would not. They would probably say "God works in mysterious ways."

Which of course is what Muslims could say about the death of Osama Bin Laden. The realists of the world say all the things, including those on the list are the acts of man. Most of them done in the name of their faith.



Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:32 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant wrote:

Hypothetically, if you were a believer in the traditional sense, would you believe god was the cause of acts like this?


You were not asking this question generally but I would like to answer. I think most believing people define God and heaven as they like. They think God lets their team win and their battle also. So to Muslims the world over 911 was a huge sign of God's favor, while some Christians in NYC could see it as God's abandonment. Of course most would not. They would probably say "God works in mysterious ways."

Which of course is what Muslims could say about the death of Osama Bin Laden. The realists of the world say all the things, including those on the list are the acts of man. Most of them done in the name of their faith.



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Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:33 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant wrote:
Hypothetically, if you were a believer in the traditional sense, would you believe god was the cause of acts like this?


why not let the big fella answer for himself

Quote:
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.


Quote:
Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?


Quote:
2Ch 18:20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?
2Ch 18:21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.
2Ch 18:22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.


as for me i am no longer a literalist and the whole question seems to be a dodge from the issues i raised in my posts.

if god didnt create evil who did? another creator?

again i am no literalist so it's not my conundrum, basically no literalism no confusion.

when i was a literalist i used to constantly struggle to make sense of the non-sensical once i saw it all as it is - a giant metaphor - it was a great relief not to have to defend the indefensible ie. stupid literalist dogma.

ie. he's gonna burn you in hell but he loves you

ie. he made everything but not evil

ie. he put a frikkin talking snake in a garden

etc etc etc literalism kills understanding.



Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:28 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Hi youkrst,

I've noticed in your posts a tendency to argue against taking the Bible literally. I think most of us are in agreement with you. Both here and in the thread about Jesus as a historical person, we're all assuming a materialist perspective. Either way, the Jesus in the Bible is a total myth. If there was a real person, Jesus, he was merely the basis of the myths that followed.

The notion of God in this thread is a prime mover, just an entity that got everything started and has no presence at all in the world. This is not the personal God of the Bible which is an absurd fairy tale. You're absolutely right that literalism kills understanding. The person who started this thread was presumably asking about a prime mover type god. I'm probably just confused, but I thought I would point that out.


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Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:52 am
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
youkrst wrote:
ant wrote:
Hypothetically, if you were a believer in the traditional sense, would you believe god was the cause of acts like this?


why not let the big fella answer for himself

Quote:
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.


Quote:
Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?


Quote:
2Ch 18:20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?
2Ch 18:21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.
2Ch 18:22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.


as for me i am no longer a literalist and the whole question seems to be a dodge from the issues i raised in my posts.

if god didnt create evil who did? another creator?

again i am no literalist so it's not my conundrum, basically no literalism no confusion.

when i was a literalist i used to constantly struggle to make sense of the non-sensical once i saw it all as it is - a giant metaphor - it was a great relief not to have to defend the indefensible ie. stupid literalist dogma.

ie. he's gonna burn you in hell but he loves you

ie. he made everything but not evil

ie. he put a frikkin talking snake in a garden

etc etc etc literalism kills understanding.


I must say that you are more of a literalist than even some of the christian literalists I know.
It's so ironic and something I simply could no longer ignore. ;)


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“So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind!” (Ecclesiastes 2:17)


“For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin to and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant” (Metaphysics, 350 BC)


Last edited by ant on Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:19 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Youkrst is an anti-literalist. That is the opposite of being a literalist. So ant is wrong to say youkrst is a literalist.

The OP asks if a divine designer is more plausible than evolution. Ant pointed out that we find it hard to appreciate the extremely long period of time that evolution has to work with. The scientific answer is No: a divine designer is a hypothesis with no evidence for questions that are fully explained by natural processes.

A "divine designer" is an idea that has morphed out of Christian concepts of a Creator God. It is a wrong and unnecessary concept, because natural design occurs through genetic evolution. Adding literal fantasies to the natural observation is how myths get started.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Quote:
Ant pointed out that we find it hard to appreciate the extremely long period of time that evolution has to work with.


Robert,

Who is "we"?

Are you contesting what I said re evolution's "longer period of time"?


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“So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind!” (Ecclesiastes 2:17)


“For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin to and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant” (Metaphysics, 350 BC)


Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:39 pm
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One more post ought to do it.

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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Quote:
Craigdressler:
Since it takes four thousand coordinated proteins all acting together for cell division to occur even in a so-called simple cell, which is not simple at all, isn't the idea of evolutionary chance creating such a process impossible? Isn't the idea of a divine designer, God, who engineered this process and set it in motion much more plausible?


Hey, Craig, welcome to booktalk!

First, it’s important to recognize that the first beginnings of life were not the same single celled organism that you are talking about. They were much more simple.

All you need for the beginnings of life is a molecule that builds on itself and some encasing molecular structure. The reproduction of that molecule which builds on itself is then a mechanical event where it is physically broken into pieces, but the “data” which is nothing other than some repeating structure and at that point contains nothing about building anything other than that same pattern over and over again, takes some of that encasing molecular structure with it. And in that way, through nothing but the physical interactions of matter and the bonding properties of chemistry you have the beginnings of life.

The statistics you reference are large, but you need to think of that in context of big time and big space. With the number of places in the universe that this could happen and the amount of time that has been available for it to happen factored in, not only is the emergence of life not all that surprising, it is positively inevitable.

To go from that simple structure to organisms like ourselves took about 3.5 billion years (after you subtract the years of heavy bombardment where circumstances on earth were too hostile to complex chemistry). But the arrival of life after those tumultuous years was only 400 million years. Nearly as soon as it was possible, in other words, it happened.

So you are talking about processes which we know exist (chemical interactions in exact accord to observed behavior) unfurling exactly as it seems that they should over a very long time period and in innumerable possible locations (all habitable planets in the universe) and you should rightly come to the conclusion that life literally must occur somewhere and at some time. Because it is just a consequence of chemistry, and we know that chemistry exists and how it works.

Now on the other hand you would rather embrace the idea of an omnipotent creator god, but on what basis? You think the odds of our complex chemistry are long, but at least we know it to be possible. On what grounds would you think that omniscience, or omnipotence is possible? How could you assign any numerical value to the odds of that happening where there is no recorded instance of it having ever taken place, and then how exactly do you figure that is more likely than what we see happening all around us every day?

The naturalistic explanation of life is that life is a thing that is possible in our universe and a natural product of it. The supernatural explanation is that life is not possible and is only present because of the intervention of something that could not possibly exist in our universe (because it is supernatural).

How is the supernatural explanation more likely?

Reality isn’t obliged to fit into your imagination, craig. Just because it is hard to put a number like 100,000 light years into perspective doesn’t mean that isn’t the size of our galaxy. And just because you have a hard time dealing with big time and big space doesn’t mean that is any limit on the activity of chemistry.

And if life were of a supernatural origin, or a very, very incredibly rare thing, then why is it so easily understood using the scientific method? Why should it even appear to be possible? Why could we study mutation rates over time or watch speciation if it were not a product of the natural world?

Shouldn’t we then find that life is not something we can study and know anything about? Wouldn’t the explanation of how it arose then necessarily be stupefyingly unlikely? Shouldn’t the explanation be extraordinarily unlikely in order to account for the singular specialness of life? Or even be impervious to study of any kind due to it’s supernatural origin?

Yet it has proven to be no different in character than any other chemistry. We are extreme examples of ordinary chemical interaction, and it isn’t all that rare, is it? If we were so special, and life was so hard to come by, then why are we made of the most common elements in the universe? Hydrogen, oxygen, carbon.. etc..The most common elements in the universe are on this planet and that’s what we are made of. Coincidence? The whole planet is coated in life. We know of one planet where life is possible, and it is drowning in it.


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Good post, johnson. Unfortunately, this craigdressler is just a sort of a evangelical Johnny Appleseed planting the seeds of doubt in the form of mindless platitudes. Not sure where this 4,000 coordinated proteins thing even comes from. A quick Google search shows that craigdressler is busy boy.

http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/s ... n-1254601/

http://www.librarything.com/topic/112633

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 451AACQE7H


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One more post ought to do it.

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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
And so it seems.

Regardless of craig's status as spammer or disingenuous interest in dialog or real answers to his question, my post demonstrates that the answers are real and not that hard to come up with.

When someone else does a search on Craig's spam tactics, they might come across my answer and i am satisfied with that outcome. (as well as the various other rebuttals to be found in the links).


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?


Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:50 am
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TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

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