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November Meeting: Reflections on nature, evolution & religion.

  • Nov 2, 2013 · 1:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Wayne Gray will be speaking in November. The title will be ""Humanism...a Blast (sometimes)". Wayne Gray, a Christian for fifty-plus years, will share some thoughts on nature, evolution, and invented religions. Wayne has written extensively about his skepticism of Christianity. Faith questioning began, in spite of his having been a worship leader, soul-winner, tither, and even an occasional preacher.

 

 

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As usual our program allows for a Q&A period following the presentation.

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    I read so much, that some of this may be borrowed, but I think it is original. "The foundation of Christianity"...
    God sacrificed Himself to Himself, for sins that He engineered by Himself, to protect us from Himself.
    Wayne

    November 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Humanists!
    My son just posted a video of me on YouTube. Once you ARE IN YouTube, this search does it

    Wayne Gray slavery

    November 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Guys!
    Listen, I know Bible study isn't high on your priority list, but you might appreciate this. I recently was told this by a Christian, "No one has ever seen God." Well, as it turned out, I was extremely well prepared on that subject. One of my articles was even on my phone. So, here is what I shared...

    Can God be seen?
    YES, Jacob saw God face to face and lived (Gen 32:30).
    NO, no one can see God’s face and live (Ex 33:20).
    YES, God appeared to Abraham, and gave him land (Genesis 12:7).
    NO, no one has seen God other than Jesus (John 1:18).
    YES, God spoke to Moses face to face (Exodus 33:11).
    NO, no one can see, or has seen God (1Tim 6:16).
    YES, God speaks face to face clearly (Numbers 12:7-8).
    NO, He has never been seen (1 John 4:12).
    YES, seventy-four saw God (Ex 24:9-10). How considerate for God to give us such clarity!
    Ha Ha

    1 · November 10, 2013

    • Virginia B.

      I am sure that much history is elaboration (exaggeration), imagination (convenient lies or wishful thinking), selection (ethnocentric), and even elimination (failed to mention) of events and people. That is why it is interesting when totally different sources seem to confirm something. I was only referring to the Cyrus liberation of peoples.

      November 20, 2013

    • Andreas G

      I saw a documentary on the Cyrus cylinder, and if I recall correctly, it's the first document that actually spells out people's rights in any way. Hammurabi had the first documented code of laws, but a list of rights is different.

      2 · November 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Juan,
    Yes, we have much to think about. I was considering a parallel thought today. That's the issue of gun control. When a disaster takes place, like a school shooting, or a destructive hurricane/typhoon, we have more motivitation to at least think about those things. But beyond thinking, what should we be doing?

    November 12, 2013

  • Juan B.

    With the Philippines now struggling with the aftermath of the Typhon Haiyan, another example of extreme weather probably linked to climate change, I offer an LATimes report on a report by climate scientists that is relevant to one of the issues of this meeting. See entry for November 11 in the message board, http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-climate-change-20131112,0,6958165.story

    November 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey guys! I'm trying to nail down the defination of Humanism. Any comments on the following? Also, when is a capital "H" appropriate? I tend to always use it.

    Humanism normally rejects supernatural beliefs. It says this life is the only one that we will have. While iI can be considered an alternative to religion, Humanists generally don't want Humanism to be considered a religion. Humanism looks to science for truth, with special focus on human needs.
    It holds humans responsible for living in a way which will secure the survival of humanity.

    November 6, 2013

    • marina y.

      Hi Wayne, I would like to add this to the discussion and your questioning: For the long-time humanist, Grayling’s book provides a solid reference for arguments against God and a simple, straightforward explanation of humanism. But perhaps for humanists, the most important function of this book can be as a ready recommendation to someone who is not a humanist or even an atheist, but is seriously questioning their own long held religious beliefs and might be interested in an alternative. David Chivers is former administrative judge and now practices law in Springfield, Massachusetts. He is on the Steering Committee of the Greater Worcester Humanist and a Humanist Celebrant of the Humanist Society.

      1 · November 6, 2013

    • marina y.

      oops, the book is The God Argument, if you are not familiar with it. It's what brought me to this group.

      1 · November 6, 2013

  • Andreas G

    One book I enjoyed a lot is Leonard Mlodonow's "The Drunkard's Walk". It deals with randomness, chance and how humans are unable to deal with probability and statistical issues, and the common fallacies that result. Many of these fallacies are frequently used by Creationists.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Drunkards-Walk-Randomness-Rules/dp/0307275175

    This book is definitely not a dry read. Read the first paragraph of the prologue.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Drunkards-Walk-Randomness-Rules/dp/0307275175#reader_[masked]

    November 6, 2013

    • Juan B.

      Yes, a reading group of which I'm a member read that book a couple years ago. i agree; it is worth ones time and money. Mlodinow does a great job on the subjects of chance and randomness in our lives.

      1 · November 6, 2013

  • Juan B.

    Appropo to one of Wayne's discussion points in Saturday's talk (the question of origin of life), consider the following blog article as making some relevant points.

    Life: “It’s scientifically too improbable; therefore God must have done it” by Charles Rulon

    http://www.philosophylounge.com/life-scientifically-improbable-god/

    November 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi guys!
    Not that I presume that you care...but my talk this past Saturday is on YouTube. (Once IN YouTube) search...

    humanist wayne gray

    (without quotes)

    November 5, 2013

    • Virginia B.

      Too busy right now--perhaps in a week or so.

      November 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Andreas, its all good! Besides, don't be a wuss. Throw that tomato. Hey, I'm pretty sure that Virginia did. We're here to learn from each other. And...some confrontation can be healthy. Seriously though, if you have any influence with Bruce, please try to get me into that debate. It has occurred to me just how big Vic's question about something being "sacred" is. We can hold "science things" so closely to our hearts, that they can be considered "sacred". Hmmm... (thinking)...Suppose there were a Maplethorpe Exhibit (tax-payer funded, or not) which included
    another urine-art section. Someone might pee on Newton, or Galileo, or Darwin, or Pasteur, or Hubble, or Bell, or Gore, or Hitchens. What kind of responses could be elicited? Do you suppose they would be similar to the responses from years ago about the urine / crucifix? Could those responses even seem...religious? Is anyone reading my drivel here? Juan, we need some good philosophers! Chime in! Any thoughts, people?

    1 · November 4, 2013

    • Andreas G

      As an atheist I have no use for the word "sacred". The word has implications of a mandate from a higher supernatural (and fictitious in my opinion) authority, and I reject that. I certainly hold some principles dear to my heart, and you'd have to be a very good debater to convince me to reject them. High up on that list would be an honest and fearless search for truth, as opposed to any alleged "truth" itself.

      Being all too human I am of course subject to ego, sentimental attachments to ideas, etc., but that's why I like participate in these discussions - to help me punch through the crap.

      2 · November 5, 2013

    • Virginia B.

      Agreed.

      November 5, 2013

  • Andreas G

    Hitchens, I suspect, might take it as a badge of honor. I doubt a fatwa would be issued on behalf of him or anyone else you mention.

    November 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Andreas, You heard (or read) that I am attempting to refute Darwin??? I think "Origin" is right on.
    The "so what" part of my talk (concerning origin of LIFE) that I remember saying, went something like this, "I don't know for sure. I can't know for sure. It is not possible to know these things...So either a God has given man dominion over the earth, and man is to subdue it for now, or we're just here somehow naturally, and we're doing our best to find our way. Let's at least agree that humans are obviously very special..."

    It's clear that I haven't successfully made something known to you. That is, that I no longer consider myself a Christian, and that I have written at least 30 articles in that vein. I feel so free now! Seriously! I should be debating Christian pastors, with hopes of freeing the minds of those who are locked into Christianity. Can you help me do that? Let's win some converts! I have passion for it. W

    November 3, 2013

    • Andreas G

      As far as "unknowability"­ (if there is such a word), a lot of things were deemed "unknowable" by religious authorities (and thereby their own sacred domain) - until these things became known, that is. Of course there are a whole bunch of questions for which science has nothing to say (purpose, meaning, beauty, etc.), and for which (from my atheist perspective) there is no definitive universal answer), but that's another entire conversation.

      You'll excuse me please for misunderstanding where you're coming from, but some arguments you made regarding Darwin and global warming are reminiscent to me of ones I have heard ad nauseam from creationists and oil industry lackies, respectively. This is what made me pull out the rotten tomatoes. They will be put away for now.

      November 3, 2013

    • Andreas G

      the comments on rotten tomatoes should have a smiley face after them. I hope it was evident I was joking. Sometimes in writing intention doesn't come across correctly.

      November 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    To those of you who hold strong opinions on global warming...Please share your opinions on...

    ...the warming of Jupiter, Pluto, Mars, and some of our moons. Do you believe this to be common with Earth?

    ...CO2 concentrations TRAILING (not preceding) historical warmings? ... "Sun spots", and the Sun's radiation output fluctuations (through its standard 11-year cycles).

    I am a sincere student. This is not an attempt to deny global warming, whether caused by man or not. Further...if a truely dangerous warming is imminent, we do need to act, even if humans aren't the cause!
    Wayne

    November 3, 2013

    • Andreas G

      the warming of Mars would be to our benefit should we need to terraform it in the next billion years or so.

      1 · November 3, 2013

    • Virginia B.

      I prefer not to argue the details--prefer to let the scientists inform us. Here is reminding you of two talks Juan mentioned at the meeting: Brian Fagan speaking on "The Attacking Ocean: Sea Levels Past and Future" at 7:30 p.m. on November 12, at the Old County Courthouse, 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd. in Santa Ana.
      Hope to see you there. Then the other talk you are likely interested in (but regrettably I will not be able to attend): James Moore will be speaking on "Darwin's Sacred Cause" at 10:00 a.m. on November 7, in Argyros Forum 202, Chapman University.

      1 · November 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was interesting that after I stated that evolution accounts for slow transition from one life form to another, but not the initial origin of LIFE, I was accused of "Darwin denial", during my talk. Tough crowd! In Darwin's "Origin", he (at least to me) intentionally avoided discussing the origin of LIFE.

    In other writings he did say, "...laws of chemical combination...render spontaneous generation not improbable”. He also stated, “Now reaches life down!”, (as comment on the Hahn belief that organisms can reach our planet from outer
    space).

    Also: "I dealt only with the manner of succession. I have met with no evidence that seems in the least trustworthy, in favour of the so-called Spontaneous Generation."

    Further, on the origin if LIFE, that it was, "...conjecture and not science."

    As far as I know, even today, Dawkins has no firm answer to the question.

    November 3, 2013

    • Andreas G

      "The Origin of Species" doesn't actually try to explain how life originated, as you mention. Darwin would certainly have agreed that that was beyond the scope of his work. Given that he had not even remote knowledge of the the mechanism of evolution (DNA, etc.), it's amazing to me how much he did indeed get right from empirical observation. The ideas of "mixing of traits", etc. was not his idea, but rather one of the commonly held views of his day.

      1 · November 3, 2013

    • Andreas G

      What was missing from your conclusion (unless I missed it) is a "so what" statement. OK, so you've made a few claims to allegedly refute Darwin's theory of evolution (I will address your success in that separately), so, OK, what is your counter-proposal? Creation?

      1 · November 3, 2013

  • Juan B.

    Wayne's presentation was stimulating and challenging. He is an effective speaker with an effective style, one that holds the audience's interest. Although some of the points that he advanced were questioned and criticized, generally his perspective came across as an intelligent, rational view of things. Congratulations to Wayne on a good program.

    November 3, 2013

  • Timothy T.

    Great presenter and great debate afterwards!

    November 3, 2013

  • marina y.

    Wayne's talk stimulated lots of interesting discussion today. So many smart brains in the group. Thanks! I am very glad I am now a member! Marina

    November 2, 2013

  • marina y.

    Wayne's talk stimulated lots of interesting discussion today. So many smart brains in the group. Thanks! I am very glad I am now a member! Marina

    November 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Mark!
    If you are there on Saturday, please feel free to give me advice and criticism. I'm sure I'm not in lockstep with all aspects of traditional humanist thinking. Wayne

    October 28, 2013

  • Mark F.

    This should be fun. In the beginning......all were atheists, today not so much. How we got from there to here (long bumpy road), what is here and where are we headed? " 'Cause, If we keep doin' what we've been doin' we'll keep gettin' what we've been gettin'."

    October 28, 2013

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