Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Einstein: Religion is Childish Superstition

God-bots usually cite Albert Einstein as proof that belief is an intelligent choice. But in a letter to be auctioned off, Einstein told a philosopher what he really thought: The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.

Einstein felt the same way about Judaism:

For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. However, most non-theists already knew how Einstein felt about religion by his previous words: I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it. It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any physical process linking the two events, such as astrology, omens, witchcraft, etc. that contradicts natural science. Opposition to superstition was a central concern of the intellectuals during the 18th century Age of Enlightenment. The philosophes at that time ridiculed any belief in miracles, revelation, magic, or the supernatural, as "superstition," and typically included as well much of Christian doctrine. The word is often used pejoratively to refer to religious practices other than the one prevailing in a given society, although the prevailing religion may contain just as many supernatural beliefs. It is also commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, prophecy and spiritual beings, particularly the belief that future events can be foretold by specific unrelated prior events.

Friday, 11 May 2012


Flacourtiaceae is a defunct family of flowering plants whose former members have been scattered to various other families, mostly to Achariaceae, Samydaceae, and Salicaceae. It was so vaguely defined that hardly anything seemed out of place there and it became a dumping ground for odd and anomalous genera, gradually making the family even more heterogeneous. In 1975, Hermann Sleumer said "Flacourtiaceae as a family is a fiction; only the tribes are homogeneous."

In Cronquist's classification, it included 89 genera and more than 800 living species. Of these, many, including the type genus Flacourtia, have now been transferred to the Salicaceae in the molecular phylogeny-based classification, known as the APG II system, established by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. In the list below, Salicaceae is defined broadly. Some taxonomists would divide it into Salicaceae sensu stricto, Scyphostegiaceae, and Samydaceae.

Monday, 12 May 2008

What Kind of Monster Are You?

You Are a Werewolf

You're unpredictable, moody, and downright freaky.

You seem sweet and harmless, until you snap. Then you're a total monster.

Very few people can predict if you're going to be Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.

But for you, all your transformations seem perfectly natural.

Your greatest power: Your ability to tap into nature

Your greatest weakness: Lack of self control

You play well with: Vampires