Friday, June 22, 2018

Early One Morning (The Choir of New College, Oxford)


Early one morning, Just as the sun was rising, I heard a young maid sing, In the valley below. Oh, don't deceive me, Oh, never leave me, How could you use A poor maiden so? Remember the vows, That you made to your Mary, Remember the bow'r, Where you vowed to be true, Oh Gay is the garland, And fresh are the roses, I've culled from the garden, To place upon thy brow. Thus sang the poor maiden, Her sorrows bewailing, Thus sang the poor maid, In the valley below.

A paradise in Mexico

For more stuff like this I recommend This is a bunch of fantastic stuff I have saved on my computer.

Smiling by Harry Gregson-Williams

A famous Republican died recently. Unlike most Republicans this person had a brain. For example he called President Fucktard Trump a vulgarian unfit for the presidency. Also he criticized the Republican's love for magical creationism instead of science.

Charles Krauthammer, prominent conservative voice, has died

He criticized the death penalty and rejected intelligent design as "today's tarted-up version of creationism." In 2005, he was widely cited as a key factor in convincing Bush to rescind the Supreme Court nomination of the president's friend and legal adviser Harriet Miers, whom Krauthammer and others said lacked the necessary credentials. And he differed with such Fox commentators as Bill O'Reilly and Laura Ingraham as he found himself among the increasingly isolated "Never Trumpers," Republicans regarding the real estate baron and former "Apprentice" star as a vulgarian unfit for the presidency.

Some extreme Christian stupid in Idiot Florida. An asshole for Jeebus defends his Christian school by saying "We teach creationism" which means "We teach our students how to hate science and fear reality." The stupid here is overwhelming and these assholes are getting away with it.

Commentary: Director stands up for his Christian voucher schools

There’s no excuse for Lauren Ritchie’s Orlando Sentinel column that attacked faith-based private schools accepting school-choice scholarships. She called us “charlatans.” She said our “substandard” schools make Florida “look like the ignorant idiot nationwide.” She condemned us as “benighted fraudsters whose only other chance at a paying job is the Sears hardware department.”

I’ve never read nastier insults in the newspaper.

I serve as director of three private schools: Osceola, St. Cloud and Poinciana Christian Preparatory Schools. We are accredited by AdvancED, arguably the most rigorous and highly regarded accrediting body for K-12 schools worldwide. We use the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum, and we teach creationism.

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Taxpayer money is being wasted on this stupid fucking asshole who obviously knows nothing about science. The students learn how to be stupid.

Hey fucktard for your dead Jeebus, if you're interested in insults and never ending ridicule you should visit this place.

The moron's biology class: "This explains the diversity of life: The Magic Man did it."

I never met a Christian who wasn't a stupid fucking asshole.

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This is the article the Christian retard was complaining about:

Commentary: Florida must stop paying $1 billion a year to 'educate' children in fringe religious nonsense

Florida is using nearly $1 billion of your tax dollars to teach kids in voucher schools fake science and distorted history — all because uneducated charlatans have figured out how to intimidate state legislators.

Some of these schools — 80 percent describe themselves as “Christian” — use textbooks that claim people lived with dinosaurs. Heck, Noah had a couple in the ark. Some say God saved North America from Catholics and gave them South America instead. Others teach that slaves who “knew Christ” had “more freedom” than nonbelievers who weren’t captive. Babble. Just sheer babble.

The only reason these fringe “Christian schools” are getting away with sucking up millions in education funding is that Florida legislators are afraid of offending them. Elected types are so terrified of the instant howling about “Christians” being “persecuted” that they never seriously considered demanding the course of study in voucher schools meet the same standards taught in public schools. They’re just happy to buy votes with millions in cash. Your tax dollars.

Folks, these are neither real schools nor, scholars will argue, are they Christian. They’re just little money-making engines for benighted fraudsters whose only other chance at a paying job is the Sears hardware department.

Jerry Coyne's website has been making Muslim morons cry. If you are a Muslim crybaby get off my planet you fucking retard.

WordPress completely blocked Jerry Coyne's website in Pakistan because he made Muslim crybabies cry.

"In lieu of above it is highlighted that few of the webpages hosted on your platform are extremely Blasphemous and are hurting the sentiments of many Muslims around Pakistan."

The poor wimpy wimps of Pakistan. When they're not blowing themselves up or attacking women because they're not wearing a black tent, they are crying like babies.

Hey Muslim fucktards, why can't your imaginary Allah defend itself?

I always knew Muslims were stupid fucking assholes. Now I know they cry like babies. Women make them cry. Evolution makes them cry. Education makes them cry. Reality makes them cry. Freedom of speech makes them cry. Biologists make them cry. Drawings of their pervert prophet makes them cry. Muslim crybabies never stop crying like babies.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

1970 New York Times article about the crippled Apollo 13

On April 17, 1970 I was working in downtown Chicago (aka the Loop). We were expecting the Apollo 13 was going to either return to Earth or never be seen again. It was going to be at lunch time so we went to a bar for lunch where there was a huge TV screen. We waited and the rest of the world waited. Then we saw as it happened what was left of the Apollo 13 appear from the clouds. Big long applause. I will never forget it. A disaster became one of America's greatest achievements.

The Pope thanked the Magic Man. Everyone else thanked NASA.

Wikipedia - Apollo 13

Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 14:13 EST (19:13 UTC) from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the Service Module (SM) upon which the Command Module (CM) had depended. Despite great hardship caused by limited power, loss of cabin heat, shortage of potable water, and the critical need to make makeshift repairs to the carbon dioxide removal system, the crew returned safely to Earth on April 17, 1970, six days after launch.

Wikipedia - Apollo 13, the movie

Apollo 13 is a 1995 American space docudrama film directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles, Jr. and Al Reinert, that dramatizes the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission, is an adaptation of the book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger. The film depicts astronauts Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise aboard Apollo 13 for America's third Moon landing mission. En route, an on-board explosion deprives their spacecraft of most of its oxygen supply and electric power, forcing NASA's flight controllers to abort the Moon landing, and turning the mission into a struggle to get the three men home safely.

APRIL 18, 1970 New York Times - WORLD REJOICES AT SAFE RETURN

By MARTIN ARNOLD APRIL 18, 1970

For a few minutes yesterday, all over the world, people of every color and station and political belief seemed as one in their joy over the successful splashdown of Apollo 13.

In many American communities, church bells pealed the safe return of the three astronauts. Churches and synagogues offered prayers of thanksgiving.

Millions watched the splash down on television here and abroad, from Japan to England. The European Broadcasting Union said in Geneva that it might well be the biggest television audience of all time.

In English pubs there were cheers and drinks all around.

Thousands in Lima, Peru, got permission to take early lunch breaks from their work to watch the final moments of the drama.

In New York City, thousands watched the recovery in the Pacific on a giant television screen above the old New Haven Railroad ticket windows in the upper level of Grand Central Terminal.

There were nervous whispers of “They've got this far at least” and “It's amazing.” Three times there was long, loud clapping—once when the space capsule appeared on the screen high in the sky, then when it splashed into the Pacific and again when the astronauts limped out.

Along Madison Avenue, lunch‐hour strollers peered into the vast windows of the Mag navox showroom, and at the intersection of Vanderbilt Avenue and 47th Street a hotdog stand operator, Joe Lombardo, assured one and all that “it's all right.” Everyone knew what he was talking about.

Long strands of multicolored tickertape and bushels of con fetti were poured from the windows of many of the city's skyscrapers.

Recess at City Hall

At City Hall, a City Council committee meeting recessed for a minute of silent prayer.

Mayor Lindsay said: “This is a joyful day. Now they are safely back, and New Yorkers join with men everywhere in saying ‘Welcome home.’”

At the United Nations, the Secretary General U Thant, sent a message to President Nixon that said:

“The entire world is thankful and all men will long marvel at the unmatched combination of technological skill, courage and indomitable spirit which alone could safely bring them back to earth's embrace.”

In the Vatican, Pope Paul VI watched the splashdown on television. Then, a spokesman said, “His Holiness stood up and prayed and thanked God for the successful conclusion of the venture.”

In Canada. Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau expressed “great relief,” and in England John Cardinal Heenan, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, said “Thank God.”

Throughout Europe, streets emptied as people rushed home to watch TV. The telephone operator at the American Embassy in London was inundated with calls.

“People were sobbing with obvious relief and happiness,” the operator said. “I just don't know what to say to them.”

Church hells pealed in Gallup, N. H., and from St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York; traffic came to a standstill in Indianapolis; for a short time no crime was reported in Los Angeles; the dice briefly stopped rolling in Las Vegas.

‘Somebody Up There’

Rose Pollet, a clerk in the Detroit City Hall, said, “There was somebody up there with them.”

“Thank God this thing is over; I think I got an ulcer worrying about it,” said 49‐year‐old Thomas G. McCarthy Jr. in Pittsburgh.

“I was scared to death those chutes weren't going to open,” said Naomi Haley, a secretary in the Tennessee State Capital. In Des Moines, Iowa, a cook, Patsy Riedel, said: “I'll sell my ticket to the moon real cheap. It's a relief they're back.”

Assistant Police Chief Raymond J. Stratton of Indianapolis looked at the tangled traffic and said, “I guess everybody was either looking at TV or parked listening to their radio.”

A department store manager in Richmond, standing behind a crowd of people watching television in his store, summed up the splashdown moment this way:

“Everybody had a quiet smile, but it was curious the way they stood looking at all that good news—silently and almost as if they were still praying.”

DOWNLOAD PDF The Times Machine article viewer is included with your New York Times subscription. This article is also available separately as a high-resolution PDF.

We are continually improving the quality of our text archives. Please send feedback, error reports, and suggestions to archive_feedback@nytimes.com.

A version of this archives appears in print on April 18, 1970, on Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: WORLD REJOICES AT SAFE RETURN.

I answered this question: "Why do creationists infer design without first demonstrating that there is in fact a designer?"

"Why do creationists infer design without first demonstrating that there is in fact a designer?"

The know-nothing science deniers just assume the Magic Man is real.

This is a translation of all their ideas: "If I don't understand how something evolved then the Magic Man did it." "Complexity therefore magic."

It helps to know nothing about evolution and this is why the evolution deniers go out of their way to know nothing. Obviously it's a stupidity problem. Also they have zero curiosity, probably because religious brainwashing sucked all their curiosity out of them.

I don't waste my time with these morons. I just tell them to google "wikipedia evidence for evolution" and then I tell them to do their own homework. I'm not going to hold their hand. Of course they never look things up. Google makes them cry.

The extreme stupid, it burns.

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These is lots of good stuff at http://darwinkilledgod.blogspot.com/2017/

This is an example of what Republicans are writing about Trump at the Wall Street Journal. They correctly think Trump is a stupid fucking asshole.

Wall Street Journal - Trump Retreats After Fury Over Border Separations

"This man is a dimwit. It is his GOP administration that started these child gulags. He never had to do it. When can we be rid of this derelict?"

This is what I wrote about the fucktard:

Two year olds crying. Our country disgraced. Way to go Trump.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Sucking up to extreme stupidity is wrong.

This is from a letter to the editor of a Florida newspaper about evolution and the moronic magical creationism fantasy.

Most of it was well done but as usual the person who wrote it sucked up to religious stupidity. He wrote "Creationism, as a religious belief, should be so respected." That's ridiculous. Teaching this anti-science bullshit is child abuse. Why should anyone respect child abuse?

No matter how many times it's explained to them, the know-nothing evolution deniers don't understand what a scientific theory is. Of course how could anyone stupid enough to be a creationist understand anything? Their brain damage is incurable. Extreme stupid can't be fixed.

The only correct way to treat these assholes for Jeebus is never ending relentless ridicule. Being nice never worked and it never will work. Nothing works. These fucktards for Jeebus are totally insane. Imagine the stupidity required to throw out the bedrock of biology and geology and replace this science with magic. If you're a creationist get off my planet you stupid worthless piece of garbage.

Here it is, the science and the wimpy sucking up to science deniers:

Theology vs. science

The term “theory” is used often in the debate between creationism and evolution. Some think “theory” refers to an idea or thought-up plan about how something works. However, “theory” has two distinct meanings.

Webster defines the lay term “theory” as a speculative idea or plan, a mere conjecture or guess. A different meaning is a formulated principle supported by considerable evidence to explain the physical and natural world. In scientific terms, a hypothesis becomes a theory only when backed by a body of evidence and general scientific acceptance. Evolution has long since developed into a theory after being hypothesized by Charles Darwin in 1859.

Creation “scientists” confuse these distinctions when they equate creationism as a theory to evolution as a theory, as June 6 letter-writer Colleen Berry has done. Creationism cannot be put forward as a scientific hypothesis, much less a theory, since it cannot be empirically tested. Words used by educators should conform to their precise scientific meaning, such as gravitational theory, energy conservation theory, mass-energy equivalence theory (E = mc2). These are supported by extensive, empirically tested scientific evidence, as is the evolution theory.

For many of us, religion is an integral part of our lives, supporting families, communities and spiritual beliefs. Creationism, as a religious belief, should be so respected. Subjecting it to scientific inquiry disrespects creationism as a theological belief. Educators should make this distinction. Our students deserve to learn the difference between the very different disciplines of theology and science.

Muslim morons are afraid of women.

Please click this link to see photos of people in a small farming town in Iran:

Javadabad, Iran is a city and capital of Javadabad District, in Varamin County, Tehran Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 4,718, in 1,103 families.

Virtually every photo is all guys. Photos of women are always all women and they all wear black tents.

Islam is a disgusting cult.

How did I discover Javadabad? I just played chess against someone who lives there at https://lichess.org.

In Idiot America our Christian assholes want to throw out our constitution so they can make the United States a theocracy. Meanwhile in Turkey the president is firing teachers, closing schools, and replacing those teachers and schools with religious schools. The most important subject is the Quran. Christians and Muslims are stupid fucking assholes.

Students at a religious high school in Istanbul. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expanded religious schools, from 450 just 15 years ago to 4,500 today.
New York Times - Plan to Raise 'Pious Generation" divides Turkey.

By Carlotta Gall June 18, 2018

ISTANBUL — Public schools are closing, on little or no notice, and being replaced by religious schools. Exams are scrapped by presidential whim. Tens of thousands of public teachers have been fired. Outside religious groups are teaching in schools, without parental consent.

The battle over how to shape Turkey’s next generation has become a tumultuous issue for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as he seeks re-election on Sunday in a vote that is shaping up as a referendum on his deepening imprint on the country after 15 years at the helm.

Mr. Erdogan has already chipped away at Turkey’s democratic institutions, purging the courts and civil service of suspected opponents, bringing the media to heel, and leaving in place a state of emergency after a failed coup in 2016 that has added a new level of precariousness to the campaign.

His opponents fear that his re-election to a newly empowered presidency after constitutional changes last year will give Mr. Erdogan almost unchecked authority to push his agenda even further and fundamentally alter Turkish society.

Education has become a central issue as parents around the country are protesting his changes and scrambling to find schools of their choice as standards slide and unemployment swells.

Most controversial has been Mr. Erdogan’s push to expand religious education, in ways that thrill his supporters and alarm his critics.

Mr. Erdogan has made no secret of his desire to recast Turkey in his own image, one rivaling the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the republic and its first president.

Their visions for Turkey could not be more different. Atatürk was a nationalist and secularist whose sensibility permeates Turkish culture. Mr. Erdogan is an Islamist who rose from the conservative, religious working class that most resented westernized secularism.

Even while prime minister, six years ago, Mr. Erdogan declared his desire to “raise a pious generation.”

“Do you expect that a party with a conservative, democratic identity would raise an atheist youth?” he said, challenging his opponents about the aims of his Justice and Development Party. “You may have such an aim, but we don’t.”

The words revealed a cause close to Mr. Erdogan’s heart and those of his supporters in his conservative, rural and religious base.

For them, the drive for religious schools represents a democratization of education and the reversal of the discrimination under the secular republic.

Turkey’s religious roots run deep, even if the separation of religion and state is well established. Even Mr. Erdogan’s main presidential challenger, Muharrem Ince, has not opposed the drive for religious schools, but rather sought to seize the issue from him.

A former physics teacher, Mr. Ince speaks proudly of his early career teaching in a religious school. He has attacked Mr. Erdogan for using the religious schools to win votes, not the schools themselves.

But he promises religious schools and courses will be optional, and vows to raise a generation of scientists and space engineers for the digital age.

The stance is clearly intended to unite an electorate that has been divided by Mr. Erdogan’s program, which has replaced many secular public schools with religious ones, known as Imam Hatip schools. (The name means Cleric Preacher.)

The Imam Hatip schools teach the national curriculum, but roughly half their courses are religious and their core classes — those which a student has to pass to matriculate — are the Quran and Arabic.

Mr. Erdogan has vastly expanded the schools, from just 450 schools 15 years ago to 4,500 nationwide today. His government increased the budget for religious education this year by 68 percent, to $1.5 billion.

As the elected head of the government, Mr. Erdogan has every right to make the changes he wants, said Batuhan Aydagul of the Initiative for Education Reform, a nongovernmental organization that seeks to improve critical thinking in the education.

Eighty-seven percent of the school population is still in nonreligious schools, he noted. “This is not Pakistan,” he said.

But especially among the aspiring middle class of Istanbul and other cities, parents have complained that Mr. Erdogan has aggressively pushed religious instruction in ways divisive, deceptive and damaging to educational standards.

Some parents are pulling their children from the religious schools and sending them to private ones, or settling unhappily for technical and vocational schools.

The Education Ministry has acknowledged that 69 percent of places in Imam Hatip schools remained unfilled as late as 2016. But the schools keep sprouting up.

In Besiktas, a district on the European side of Istanbul, parents have been fighting a losing, two-year battle to prevent their neighborhood school from being turned into an Imam Hatip school.

“We started with a slogan ‘Don’t Touch my School,’” said Gunay Imir, a retired factory worker and trade unionist whose youngest son is still at the school. “Then we saw the problem was much more widespread and now we have the Movement for Secular, Scientific Education.”

The movement coordinates activists from 20 cities around the country, she said.

Still, the school has been partially converted into an Imam Hatip school, and religious instruction has increased.

Last year, a class of 12-year-olds were shown a film about demons that was so violent and scary that several had nightmares, parents said.

“The film teaches if you renounce your faith you will have this horror,” said one parent, Erdogan Delioglu. Despite parents’ complaints, the same film was shown to another class last month.

“They are stealing the children’s future,” Mr. Delioglu said.

In early May, an Islamic organization visited and gave a talk to girls from the seventh and eighth grade.

“They said don’t wear leggings as it will arouse men’s attention,” said Oya Ustundag, an accountant who has a son in the eighth grade. “They said only hands, eyes and feet should be shown.”

In Acibadem, a middle-class district on the Asian side of Istanbul, parents organized marches and protests at the school gates twice a week after they heard in 2013 — through the school’s drivers — that their school would be demolished and replaced by a new Imam Hatip.

When confronted, the principal denied any changes, the parents said. The demolitions went ahead anyway.

Serife Arslan, who wanted a secular education for her son, could only find an alternative miles away.

“Walk around this neighborhood now and you cannot find a single neighborhood public school,” Ms. Arslan said. “They are all religious schools.”

For Mr. Erdogan, the drive for religious education is deeply personal. He was educated at an Imam Hatip in the district of Fatih, in Istanbul, and oversaw its $12 million renovation. He sent his daughter to the one in Acibadem.

“To some extent his being a graduate of an Imam Hatip may affect him emotionally,” said Halit Bekiroglu, a spokesman for the Imam Hatip Graduates’ Association, who said he knows the president personally.

In 2017, at the reopening of his old school, Mr. Erdogan reminisced about his time there, but also spoke with bitterness about the ignorance and discrimination he faced.

“When I was a student here, there was no other Imam Hatip in Istanbul,” Mr. Erdogan said, in comments reported by the newspaper Haberturk. “Some of our teachers would say to us, ‘Why did you come here? Are you going to be a washer of dead bodies?’”

As a budding politician, Mr. Erdogan witnessed a military coup against the Islamist government of Necmettin Erbakan in 1997 — he was a member of his party.

The generals forced the closing of all religious middle schools and barred the majority of graduates from Imam Hatip schools from entering university.

After Mr. Erdogan became prime minister in 2003, he at first trod carefully but, opponents say, his government also began quietly transforming education in discriminatory ways.

Onur Kaya, the former head of the education ministry for Ankara, the capital, said that the principals of 2,000 public schools in his area were replaced, 90 percent of them by people educated in Imam Hatip high schools.

Many of those removed, himself included, were from the Alevi minority, which won a ruling at the European Court of Human Rights in 2016 against the Turkish government for religious discrimination.

“In 15 years, they totally cleansed them from the ministry,” Mr. Kaya said.

Mr. Erdogan has done much the same in a power struggle with a former Islamist ally, the United States-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, who had played a leading role in education.

After followers of Mr. Gulen made a failed coup attempt in 2016, schoolteachers — 34,000 of them — were purged in the crackdown that followed.

Still, supporters say they want to see Mr. Erdogan’s push for religious education expanded to meet demand.

“On a social level, we think it is appropriate and we even consider it not enough,” said Mr. Bekiroglu of the graduates association.

Fourteen percent of pupils — roughly 1.4 million — were studying in religious schools by 2017, he said. He would like to see the number rise to 20 percent in high schools and 30 percent in middle schools.

When asked about their schooling, graduates of Imam Hatip schools, who had gathered to break the Ramadan fast together in a 16th century madrasa, spoke enthusiastically of the quality and camaraderie.

“Very beautiful,” said Hilal Misirli, 21, “because you study subjects others take, but also what you believe.”

But many link Turkey’s recent fall in international rankings — it dropped in the PISA index, which evaluates critical thinking, from 44th to 49th out of 72 countries — to constant disruptions and the focus on religion.

“When I started 18 years ago the quality was high,” said Aysel Kocak, a district leader of the Union for Laborers of Education and Science, who teaches math at a technical school in Istanbul’s third district. “Now I cannot teach them as intensively as I would wish.”

She pointed to a working-class district of Istanbul, in Kagithane, that has two public high schools, but seven Imam Hatip schools — five for girls — and eight technical schools.

“This illustrates what this government proposes for low income people,” she said, “that your son will end up as cheap labor and your daughter in an Imam Hatip.”

A version of this article appears in print on June 19, 2018, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Plan to Raise ‘Pious Generation’ Divides Turkey. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Christian morons deny they believe in a god fairy of the gaps. Then in the next sentence Christian fucktards invoke their fairy to explain what they don't understand. Christians are so fucking dense they don't realize they're constantly making a fool out of themselves.

"Does it mean, if you don’t understand something, and the community of physicists don’t understand it, that means God did it? Is that how you want to play this game? Because if it is, here’s a list of things in the past that the physicists at the time didn't understand [and now we do understand.] If that’s how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on - so just be ready for that to happen, if that’s how you want to come at the problem."

-- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Perimeter of Ignorance. A boundary where scientists face a choice: invoke a deity or continue the quest for knowledge

The Perimeter of Ignorance

A boundary where scientists face a choice: invoke a deity or continue the quest for knowledge

by Neil deGrasse Tyson

From Natural History Magazine, November 2005

Writing in centuries past, many scientists felt compelled to wax poetic about cosmic mysteries and God's handiwork. Perhaps one should not be surprised at this: most scientists back then, as well as many scientists today, identify themselves as spiritually devout.

But a careful reading of older texts, particularly those concerned with the universe itself, shows that the authors invoke divinity only when they reach the boundaries of their understanding. They appeal to a higher power only when staring into the ocean of their own ignorance. They call on God only from the lonely and precarious edge of incomprehension. Where they feel certain about their explanations, however, God gets hardly a mention.

Let's start at the top. Isaac Newton was one of the greatest intellects the world has ever seen. His laws of motion and his universal law of gravitation, conceived in the mid-seventeenth century, account for cosmic phenomena that had eluded philosophers for millennia. Through those laws, one could understand the gravitational attraction of bodies in a system, and thus come to understand orbits.

Newton's law of gravity enables you to calculate the force of attraction between any two objects. If you introduce a third object, then each one attracts the other two, and the orbits they trace become much harder to compute. Add another object, and another, and another, and soon you have the planets in our solar system. Earth and the Sun pull on each other, but Jupiter also pulls on Earth, Saturn pulls on Earth, Mars pulls on Earth, Jupiter pulls on Saturn, Saturn pulls on Mars, and on and on.

Newton feared that all this pulling would render the orbits in the solar system unstable. His equations indicated that the planets should long ago have either fallen into the Sun or flown the coop—leaving the Sun, in either case, devoid of planets. Yet the solar system, as well as the larger cosmos, appeared to be the very model of order and durability. So Newton, in his greatest work, the Principia, concludes that God must occasionally step in and make things right:

The six primary Planets are revolv'd about the Sun, in circles concentric with the Sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. . . . But it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions. . . . This most beautiful System of the Sun,

Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.

In the Principia, Newton distinguishes between hypotheses and experimental philosophy, and declares, Hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. What he wants is data, inferr'd from the phænomena. But in the absence of data, at the border between what he could explain and what he could only honor—the causes he could identify and those he could not—Newton rapturously invokes God:

Eternal and Infinite, Omnipotent and Omniscient; . . . he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. . . . We know him only by his most wise and excellent contrivances of things, and final causes; we admire him for his perfections; but we reverence and adore him on account of his dominion.

A century later, the French astronomer and mathematician Pierre-Simon de Laplace confronted Newton's dilemma of unstable orbits head-on. Rather than view the mysterious stability of the solar system as the unknowable work of God, Laplace declared it a scientific challenge. In his multipart masterpiece, Mécanique Céleste, the first volume of which appeared in 1798, Laplace demonstrates that the solar system is stable over periods of time longer than Newton could predict. To do so, Laplace pioneered a new kind of mathematics called perturbation theory, which enabled him to examine the cumulative effects of many small forces. According to an oft-repeated but probably embellished account, when Laplace gave a copy of Mécanique Céleste to his physics-literate friend Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon asked him what role God played in the construction and regulation of the heavens. Sire, Laplace replied, I have no need of that hypothesis.

Laplace notwithstanding, plenty of scientists besides Newton have called on God—or the gods—wherever their comprehension fades to ignorance. Consider the second-century a.d. Alexandrian astronomer Ptolemy. Armed with a description, but no real understanding, of what the planets were doing up there, he could not contain his religious fervor:

I know that I am mortal by nature, and ephemeral; but when I trace, at my pleasure, the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies, I no longer touch Earth with my feet: I stand in the presence of Zeus himself and take my fill of ambrosia.

Or consider the seventeenth-century Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens, whose achievements include constructing the first working pendulum clock and discovering the rings of Saturn. In his charming book The Celestial Worlds Discover'd, posthumously published in 1696, most of the opening chapter celebrates all that was then known of planetary orbits, shapes, and sizes, as well as the planets' relative brightness and presumed rockiness. The book even includes foldout charts illustrating the structure of the solar system. God is absent from this discussion—even though a mere century earlier, before Newton's achievements, planetary orbits were supreme mysteries.

Celestial Worlds also brims with speculations about life in the solar system, and that's where Huygens raises questions to which he has no answer. That's where he mentions the biological conundrums of the day, such as the origin of life's complexity. And sure enough, because seventeenth-century physics was more advanced than seventeenth-century biology, Huygens invokes the hand of God only when he talks about biology:

I suppose no body will deny but that there's somewhat more of Contrivance, somewhat more of Miracle in the production and growth of Plants and Animals than in lifeless heaps of inanimate Bodies. . . . For the finger of God, and the Wisdom of Divine Providence, is in them much more clearly manifested than in the other.

Today secular philosophers call that kind of divine invocation God of the gaps—which comes in handy, because there has never been a shortage of gaps in people's knowledge.

As reverent as Newton, Huygens, and other great scientists of earlier centuries may have been, they were also empiricists. They did not retreat from the conclusions their evidence forced them to draw, and when their discoveries conflicted with prevailing articles of faith, they upheld the discoveries. That doesn't mean it was easy: sometimes they met fierce opposition, as did Galileo, who had to defend his telescopic evidence against formidable objections drawn from both scripture and common sense.

Galileo clearly distinguished the role of religion from the role of science. To him, religion was the service of God and the salvation of souls, whereas science was the source of exact observations and demonstrated truths. In a long, famous, bristly letter written in the summer of 1615 to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany (but, like so many epistles of the day, circulated among the literati), he quotes, in his own defense, an unnamed yet sympathetic church official saying that the Bible tells you how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.

The letter to the duchess leaves no doubt about where Galileo stood on the literal word of the Holy Writ:

In expounding the Bible if one were always to confine oneself to the unadorned grammatical meaning, one might fall into error. . . .

Nothing physical which . . . . demonstrations prove to us, ought to be called in question much less condemned) upon the testimony of biblical passages which may have some different meaning beneath their words. . . .

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

A rare exception among scientists, Galileo saw the unknown as a place to explore rather than as an eternal mystery controlled by the hand of God.

As long as the celestial sphere was generally regarded as the domain of the divine, the fact that mere mortals could not explain its workings could safely be cited as proof of the higher wisdom and power of God. But beginning in the sixteenth century, the work of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton—not to mention Maxwell, Heisenberg, Einstein, and everybody else who discovered fundamental laws of physics—provided rational explanations for an increasing range of phenomena. Little by little, the universe was subjected to the methods and tools of science, and became a demonstrably knowable place.

Then, in what amounts to a stunning yet unheralded philosophical inversion, throngs of ecclesiastics and scholars began to declare that it was the laws of physics themselves that served as proof of the wisdom and power of God.

One popular theme of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was the clockwork universe—an ordered, rational, predictable mechanism fashioned and run by God and his physical laws. The early telescopes, which all relied on visible light, did little to undercut that image of an ordered system. The Moon revolved around Earth. Earth and other planets rotated on their axes and revolved around the Sun. The stars shone. The nebulae floated freely in space.

Not until the nineteenth century was it evident that visible light is just one band of a broad spectrum of electromagnetic radiation—the band that human beings just happen to see. Infrared was discovered in 1800, ultraviolet in 1801, radio waves in 1888, X rays in 1895, and gamma rays in 1900. Decade by decade in the following century, new kinds of telescopes came into use, fitted with detectors that could see these formerly invisible parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Now astrophysicists began to unmask the true character of the universe.

Turns out that some celestial bodies give off more light in the invisible bands of the spectrum than in the visible. And the invisible light picked up by the new telescopes showed that mayhem abounds in the cosmos: monstrous gamma-ray bursts, deadly pulsars, matter-crushing gravitational fields, matter-hungry black holes that flay their bloated stellar neighbors, newborn stars igniting within pockets of collapsing gas. And as our ordinary, optical telescopes got bigger and better, more mayhem emerged: galaxies that collide and cannibalize each other, explosions of supermassive stars, chaotic stellar and planetary orbits. Our own cosmic neighborhood—the inner solar system—turned out to be a shooting gallery, full of rogue asteroids and comets that collide with planets from time to time. Occasionally they've even wiped out stupendous masses of Earth's flora and fauna. The evidence all points to the fact that we occupy not a well-mannered clockwork universe, but a destructive, violent, and hostile zoo.

Of course, Earth can be bad for your health too. On land, grizzly bears want to maul you; in the oceans, sharks want to eat you. Snowdrifts can freeze you, deserts dehydrate you, earthquakes bury you, volcanoes incinerate you. Viruses can infect you, parasites suck your vital fluids, cancers take over your body, congenital diseases force an early death. And even if you have the good luck to be healthy, a swarm of locusts could devour your crops, a tsunami could wash away your family, or a hurricane could blow apart your town.

So the universe wants to kill us all. But let's ignore that complication for the moment.

Many, perhaps countless, questions hover at the front lines of science. In some cases, answers have eluded the best minds of our species for decades or even centuries. And in contemporary America, the notion that a higher intelligence is the single answer to all enigmas has been enjoying a resurgence. This present-day version of God of the gaps goes by a fresh name: "intelligent design." The term suggests that some entity, endowed with a mental capacity far greater than the human mind can muster, created or enabled all the things in the physical world that we cannot explain through scientific methods.

An interesting hypothesis.

But why confine ourselves to things too wondrous or intricate for us to understand, whose existence and attributes we then credit to a superintelligence? Instead, why not tally all those things whose design is so clunky, goofy, impractical, or unworkable that they reflect the absence of intelligence?

Take the human form. We eat, drink, and breathe through the same hole in the head, and so, despite Henry J. Heimlich's eponymous maneuver, choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States. How about drowning, the fifth leading cause? Water covers almost three-quarters of Earth's surface, yet we are land creatures—submerge your head for just a few minutes, and you die.

Or take our collection of useless body parts. What good is the pinky toenail? How about the appendix, which stops functioning after childhood and thereafter serves only as the source of appendicitis? Useful parts, too, can be problematic. I happen to like my knees, but nobody ever accused them of being well protected from bumps and bangs. These days, people with problem knees can get them surgically replaced. As for our pain-prone spine, it may be a while before someone finds a way to swap that out.

How about the silent killers? High blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes each cause tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. every year, but it's possible not to know you're afflicted until your coroner tells you so. Wouldn't it be nice if we had built-in biogauges to warn us of such dangers well in advance? Even cheap cars, after all, have engine gauges.

And what comedian designer configured the region between our legs—an entertainment complex built around a sewage system?

The eye is often held up as a marvel of biological engineering. To the astrophysicist, though, it's only a so-so detector. A better one would be much more sensitive to dark things in the sky and to all the invisible parts of the spectrum. How much more breathtaking sunsets would be if we could see ultraviolet and infrared. How useful it would be if, at a glance, we could see every source of microwaves in the environment, or know which radio station transmitters were active. How helpful it would be if we could spot police radar detectors at night.

Think how easy it would be to navigate an unfamiliar city if we, like birds, could always tell which way was north because of the magnetite in our heads. Think how much better off we'd be if we had gills as well as lungs, how much more productive if we had six arms instead of two. And if we had eight, we could safely drive a car while simultaneously talking on a cell phone, changing the radio station, applying makeup, sipping a drink, and scratching our left ear.

Stupid design could fuel a movement unto itself. It may not be nature's default, but it's ubiquitous. Yet people seem to enjoy thinking that our bodies, our minds, and even our universe represent pinnacles of form and reason. Maybe it's a good antidepressant to think so. But it's not science—not now, not in the past, not ever.

Another practice that isn't science is embracingignorance. Yet it's fundamental to the philosophy of intelligent design: I don't know what this is. I don't know how it works. It's too complicated for me to figure out. It's too complicated for any human being to figure out. So it must be the product of a higher intelligence.

What do you do with that line of reasoning? Do you just cede the solving of problems to someone smarter than you, someone who's not even human? Do you tell students to pursue only questions with easy answers?

There may be a limit to what the human mind can figure out about our universe. But how presumptuous it would be for me to claim that if I can't solve a problem, neither can any other person who has ever lived or who will ever be born. Suppose Galileo and Laplace had felt that way? Better yet, what if Newton had not? He might then have solved Laplace's problem a century earlier, making it possible for Laplace to cross the next frontier of ignorance.

Science is a philosophy of discovery. Intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance. You cannot build a program of discovery on the assumption that nobody is smart enough to figure out the answer to a problem. Once upon a time, people identified the god Neptune as the source of storms at sea. Today we call these storms hurricanes. We know when and where they start. We know what drives them. We know what mitigates their destructive power. And anyone who has studied global warming can tell you what makes them worse. The only people who still call hurricanes acts of God are the people who write insurance forms.

To deny or erase the rich, colorful history of scientists and other thinkers who have invoked divinity in their work would be intellectually dishonest. Surely there's an appropriate place for intelligent design to live in the academic landscape. How about the history of religion? How about philosophy or psychology? The one place it doesn't belong is the science classroom.

If you're not swayed by academic arguments, consider the financial consequences. Allow intelligent design into science textbooks, lecture halls, and laboratories, and the cost to the frontier of scientific discovery—the frontier that drives the economies of the future—would be incalculable. I don't want students who could make the next major breakthrough in renewable energy sources or space travel to have been taught that anything they don't understand, and that nobody yet understands, is divinely constructed and therefore beyond their intellectual capacity. The day that happens, Americans will just sit in awe of what we don't understand, while we watch the rest of the world boldly go where no mortal has gone before.

July 21, 1969 I saw on TV two human apes walk on the moon.

Men Walk On Moon

Astronauts Land On Plain; Collect Rocks, Plant Flag

A Powdery Surface Is Closely Explored

By John Noble Wilford

Special to The New York Times

Houston, Monday, July 21--Men have landed and walked on the moon.

Two Americans, astronauts of Apollo 11, steered their fragile four-legged lunar module safely and smoothly to the historic landing yesterday at 4:17:40 P.M., Eastern daylight time.

Neil A. Armstrong, the 38-year-old civilian commander, radioed to earth and the mission control room here:

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."

The first men to reach the moon--Mr. Armstrong and his co-pilot, Col. Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. of the Air Force--brought their ship to rest on a level, rock-strewn plain near the southwestern shore of the arid Sea of Tranquility.

About six and a half hours later, Mr. Armstrong opened the landing craft's hatch, stepped slowly down the ladder and declared as he planted the first human footprint on the lunar crust:

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

His first step on the moon came at 10:56:20 P.M., as a television camera outside the craft transmitted his every move to an awed and excited audience of hundreds of millions of people on earth.

Tentative Steps Test Soil

Mr. Armstrong's initial steps were tentative tests of the lunar soil's firmness and of his ability to move about easily in his bulky white spacesuit and backpacks and under the influence of lunar gravity, which is one-sixth that of the earth.

"The surface is fine and powdery," the astronaut reported. "I can pick it up loosely with my toe. It does adhere in fine layers like powdered charcoal to the sole and sides of my boots. I only go in a small fraction of an inch, maybe an eighth of an inch. But I can see the footprints of my boots in the treads in the fine sandy particles.

After 19 minutes of Mr. Armstrong's testing, Colonel Aldrin joined him outside the craft.

The two men got busy setting up another television camera out from the lunar module, planting an American flag into the ground, scooping up soil and rock samples, deploying scientific experiments and hopping and loping about in a demonstration of their lunar agility.

They found walking and working on the moon less taxing than had been forecast. Mr. Armstrong once reported he was "very comfortable."

And people back on earth found the black-and-white television pictures of the bug- shaped lunar module and the men tramping about it so sharp and clear as to seem unreal, more like a toy and toy-like figures than human beings on the most daring and far- reaching expedition thus far undertaken.

Nixon Telephones Congratulations

During one break in the astronauts' work, President Nixon congratulated them from the White House in what, he said, "certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made."

"Because of what you have done," the President told the astronauts, "the heavens have become a part of man's world. And as you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquility it required us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to earth.

"For one priceless moment in the whole history of man all the people on this earth are truly one--one in their pride in what you have done and one in our prayers that you will return safely to earth."

Mr. Armstrong replied:

"Thank you Mr. President. It's a great honor and privilege for us to be here representing not only the United States but men of peace of all nations, men with interests and a curiosity and men with a vision for the future."

Mr. Armstrong and Colonel Aldrin returned to their landing craft and closed the hatch at 1:12 A.M., 2 hours 21 minutes after opening the hatch on the moon. While the third member of the crew, Lieut. Col. Michael Collins of the Air Force, kept his orbital vigil overhead in the command ship, the two moon explorers settled down to sleep.

Outside their vehicle the astronauts had found a bleak world. It was just before dawn, with the sun low over the eastern horizon behind them and the chill of the long lunar nights still clinging to the boulders, small craters and hills before them.

Colonel Aldrin said that he could see "literally thousands of small craters" and a low hill out in the distance. But most of all he was impressed initially by the "variety of shapes, angularities, granularities" of the rocks and soil where the landing craft, code-named Eagle had set down.

The landing was made four miles west of the aiming point, but well within the designated area. An apparent error in some data fed into the craft's guidance computer from the earth was said to have accounted for the discrepancy.

Suddenly the astronauts were startled to see that the computer was guiding them toward a possibly disastrous touchdown in a boulder-filled crater about the size of a football field.

Mr. Armstrong grabbed manual control of the vehicle and guided it safely over the crater to a smoother spot, the rocket engine stirring a cloud of moon dust during the final seconds of descent.

Soon after the landing, upon checking and finding the spacecraft in good condition, Mr. Armstrong and Colonel Aldrin made their decision to open the hatch and get out earlier than originally scheduled. The flight plan had called for the moon walk to begin at 2:12 A.M.

Flight controllers here said that the early moon walk would not mean that the astronauts would also leave the moon earlier. The lift-off is scheduled to come at about 1:55 P.M. today.

Their departure from the landing craft out onto the surface was delayed for a time when they had trouble depressurizing the cabin so that they could open the hatch. All the oxygen in the cabin had to be vented.

Once the pressure gauge finally dropped to zero, they opened the hatch and Mr. Armstrong stepped out on the small porch at the top of the nine-step ladder.

"O.K., Houston, I'm on the porch," he reported, as he descended.

On the second step from the top, he pulled a lanyard that released a fold-down equipment compartment on the side of the lunar module. This deployed the television camera that transmitted the dramatic pictures of man's first steps on the moon.

Ancient Dream Fulfilled

It was man's first landing on another world, the realization of centuries of dreams, the fulfillment of a decade of striving, a triumph of modern technology and personal courage, the most dramatic demonstration of what man can do if he applies his mind and resources with single-minded determination.

The moon, long the symbol of the impossible and the inaccessible, was now within man's reach, the first port of call in this new age of spacefaring.

Immediately after the landing, Dr. Thomas O. Paine, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, telephoned President Nixon in Washington to report:

"Mr. President, it is my honor on behalf of the entire NASA team to report to you that the Eagle has landed on the Sea of Tranquility and our astronauts are safe and looking forward to starting the exploration of the moon."

The landing craft from the Apollo 11 spaceship was scheduled to remain on the moon about 22 hours, while Colonel Collins of the Air Force, the third member of the Apollo 11 crew, piloted the command ship, Columbia, in orbit overhead.

"You're looking good in every respect," Mission Control told the two men of Eagle after examining data indicating that the module should be able to remain on the moon the full 22 hours.

Mr. Armstrong and Colonel Aldrin planned to sleep after the moon walk and then make their preparations for the lift-off for the return to a rendezvous with Colonel Collins in the command ship.

Apollo 11's journey into history began last Wednesday from launching pad 39-A at Cape Kennedy, Fla. After an almost flawless three-day flight, the joined command ship and lunar module swept into an orbit of the moon yesterday afternoon.

The three men were awake for their big day at 7 A.M. when their spacecraft emerged from behind the moon on its 10th revolution, moving from east to west across the face of the moon along its equator.

Their orbit was 73.6 miles by 64 miles in altitude, their speed 3,660 miles an hour. At that altitude and speed, it took about two hours to complete a full orbit of the moon.

The sun was rising over their landing site on the Sea of Tranquility.

"We can pick out almost all of the features we've identified previously," Mr. Armstrong reported.

After breakfast, on their 11th revolution Colonel Aldrin and then Mr. Armstrong, both dressed in their white pressurized suits, crawled through the connecting tunnel into the lunar module.

They turned on the electrical power, checked all the switch settings on the cockpit panel and checked communications with the command ship and the ground controllers. Everything was "nominal," as the spacemen say.

LM Ready for Descent

The lunar module was ready. Its four legs with yard-wide footpads were extended so that the height of the 16-ton vehicle now measured 22 feet and 11 inches and its width 31 feet.

Mr. Armstrong stood at the left side of the cockpit, and Colonel Aldrin at the right. Both were loosely restrained by harnesses. They had closed the hatch to the connecting tunnel.

The walls of their craft were finely milled aluminum foil. If anything happened so that it could not return to the command ship, the lunar module would be too delicate to withstand a plunge through earth's atmosphere, even if it had the rocket power.

Nearly three-fourths of the vehicle's weight was in propellants for the descent and ascent rockets--Aerozine 50 and nitrogen oxide, which substituted for the oxygen, making combustion possible.

It was an ungainly craft that creaked and groaned in flight. But years of development and testing had determined that it was the lightest and most practical way to get two men to the moon's surface.

Before Apollo 11 disappeared behind the moon near the end of its 12th orbit, mission control gave the astronauts their "go" for undocking--the separation of Eagle from Columbia.

Colonel Collins had already released 12 of the latches holding the two ships together at the connecting tunnel. He did this when he closed the hatch at the command ship's nose. While behind the moon, he was to flip a switch on the control panel to release the three remaining latches by a spring action.

At 1:50 P.M., when communications signals were reacquired, Mission Control asked: "How does it look?"

"Eagle has wings," Mr. Armstrong replied.

The two ships were then only a few feet apart. But at 2:12 P.M., Colonel Collins fired the command ship's maneuvering rockets to move about two miles away and in a slightly different orbit from the lunar module.

"It looks like you've got a fine-looking flying machine there, Eagle, despite the fact you're upside down," Colonel Collins commented, watching the spidery lunar module receding in the distance.

"Somebody's upside down," Mr. Armstrong replied.

What is "up" and what is "down" is never quite clear in the absence of landmarks and the sensation of gravity's pull.

As Mr. Armstrong and Colonel Aldrin rode the lunar module back around to the moon's far side, the rocket engine in the vehicle's lower stage was pointed toward the line of flight. The two pilots were leaning toward the cockpit controls, riding backwards and facing downward.

"Everything is 'go,'" they were assured by Mission Control.

Their on-board guidance and navigation computer was instructed to trigger a 29.8-second firing of the descent rocket, the 9,870-pound-thrust throttable engine that would slow down the lunar module and send it toward the moon on a long, curving trajectory.

The firing was set to take place at 3:08 P.M., when the craft would be behind the moon and once again out of touch with the ground.

Suspense built up in the control room here. Flight controllers stood silently at their consoles. Among those waiting for word of the rocket firing were Dr. Thomas O. Paine, the space agency's administrator, most of the Apollo project officials and several astronauts.

At 3:46 P.M., contact was established with the command ship.

Colonel Collins reported, "Listen, baby, things are going just swimmingly, just beautiful."

There was still no word from the lunar module for two minutes. Then came a weak signal, some static and whistling, and finally the calm voice of Mr. Armstrong.

"The burn was on time," the Apollo 11 commander declared.

When he read out data on the beginning of the descent, Mission Control concluded that it "look great." The lunar module had already descended from an altitude of 65.5 miles to 21 miles and was coasting steadily downward.

Eugene F. Kranz, the flight director, turned to his associates and said, "We're off to a good start. Play it cool."

Colonel Aldrin reported some oscillations in the vehicle's antenna, but nothing serious. Several times the astronauts were told to turn the vehicle slightly to move the antenna into a better position for communications over the 230,000 miles.

"You're 'go' for PDI," radioed Mission Control, referring to the powered descent initiation--the beginning of the nearly 13-minute final blast of the rocket to the soft touchdown.

When the two men reached an altitude of 50,000 feet, which was approximately the lowest point reached by Apollo 10 in May, green lights on the computer display keyboard in the cockpit blinked the number 99.

This signaled Mr. Armstrong that he had five seconds to decide whether to go ahead for the landing or continue on its orbital path back to the command ship. He pressed the "proceed" button.

The throttleable engine built up thrust gradually, firing continuously as the lunar module descended along the steadily steepening trajectory to the landing site about 250 miles away:

"Looking good," Mission Control radioed the men.

Four minutes after the firing the lunar module was down to 40,000 feet. After five and a half minutes, it was 33,500 feet. At six minutes, 27,000 feet.

"Better than the simulator," said Colonel Aldrin, referring to their practice landings at the spacecraft center.

Seven minutes after the firing, the men were 21,000 feet above the surface and still moving forward toward the landing site. The guidance computer was driving the rocket engine.

The lunar module was slowing down. At an altitude of about 7,200 feet, with the landing site still about five miles ahead, the computer commanded control jets to fire and tilt the bug-shaped craft almost upright so that its triangular windows pointed forward.

Mr. Armstrong and Colonel Aldrin then got their first close-up view of the plain they were aiming for. It was then about three and a half minutes to touchdown.

The brownish-gray panorama rushed below them--myriad craters hills and ridges, deep cracks and ancient rubble on the moon, which Dr. Robert Jastrow, the space agency scientist, called the "Rosetta Stone of life."

"You're 'go' for landing," Mission Control informed the two men.

The Eagle closed in, dropping about 20 feet a second, until it was hovering almost directly over the landing area at an altitude of 500 feet.

Its floor was littered with boulders.

It was when the craft reached an altitude of 300 feet that Mr. Armstrong took over semimanual control for the rest of the way. The computer continued to have control of the rocket firing, but the astronaut could adjust the craft's hovering position.

He was expected to take over such control anyway, but the sight of a crater looming ahead at the touchdown point made it imperative.

As Mr. Armstrong said later, "The auto-targeting was taking us right into a football field- sized crater, with a large number of big boulders and rocks."

For about 90 seconds, he peered through the window in search of a clear touchdown point. Using the lever at his right hand, he tilted the vehicle forward to redirect the firing of the maneuvering jets and thus shift its hovering position.

Finally, Mr. Armstrong found the spot he liked, and the blue light on the cockpit flashed to indicate that five-foot-long probes, like curb feelers, on three of the four legs had touched the surface.

"Contact light," Mr. Armstrong radioed.

He pressed a button marked "Stop" and reported, "okay, engine stop."

There were a few more cryptic messages of functions performed.

Then Maj. Charles M. Duke, the capsule communicator in the control room, radioed to the two astronauts:

"We copy you down, Eagle."

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."

"Roger, Tranquility," Major Duke replied. "We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We are breathing again. Thanks a lot."

Colonel Aldrin assured Mission Control it was a "very smooth touchdown."

The Eagle came to rest at an angle of only about four and a half degrees. The angle could have been more than 30 degrees without threatening to tip the vehicle over.

The landing site, about 120 miles southwest of the crater Maskelyne, is on the right side of the moon as seen from earth. The position: Lat. 0.799 degrees N., Long. 23.46 degrees E.

Although Mr. Armstrong is known as a man of few words, his heartbeats told of his excitement upon leading man's first landing on the moon.

At the time of the descent rocket ignition, his heartbeat rate registered 110 a minute--77 is normal for him--and it shot up to 156 at touchdown.

At the time of the landing, Colonel Collins was riding the command ship Columbia about 65 miles overhead.

Mission control informed the colonel, "Eagle is at Tranquility.

"Yea, I heard the whole thing," Colonel Collins, the man who went so far but not all the way, replied. "Fantastic."

When the Apollo astronauts landed on the Sea of Tranquility, the temperature at their touchdown site was about zero degrees Fahrenheit in the sunlight, even colder in the shade.

During a lunar night, which lasts 14 earth days, temperatures plunge as low as 280 degrees below zero. Unlike earth, the moon, having no atmosphere to act as a blanket, is unable to retain any of the day's warmth during the night.

During the equally long lunar day, temperatures rise as high as 280 degrees. By the time of Eagle's departure from the moon, with the sun higher in the sky, the temperatures there will have risen to about 90 degrees.

This particular landing site was one of five selected by Apollo project officials after analysis of pictures returned by the five Lunar Orbiter unmanned spacecraft.

All five sites are situated across the lunar equator on the side of the moon always facing earth. Being on the equator reduces the maneuvering for the astronauts to get there. Being on the near side of the moon, of course, makes it possible to communicate with the explorers.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

There are lots of ex-muslims. They threw out the disgusting bullshit. They are now normal, aka atheist.

#exmuslimbecause

I found this at a #exmuslimbecause tweet:


Charles Darwin killed the moronic god fantasy. God-soaked idiots did not get the memo.

Tell a Christian fucktard "Darwin killed God."

The response would be either "Evolution is wrong" or "The Magic Man is one of the mechanisms of evolution."

The problem for these superstitious idiots is evolution is a fact and a magic god fairy had nothing to do with it.

For centuries religions aways said the Magic Man magically created the diversity of life. Now we know that's bullshit. We know the magic god fairy never had anything to do therefore the fairy is not real.

What about the other hiding places for the fairy of the gaps? That doesn't work because everything has been explained by science. There will always be research opportunities in every branch of science but the basic stuff is understood.

What about before the Big Bang?

Scientists have good ideas about it. There are no scientists working in this branch of science who think it was a magical event. Invoking a fairy is just being childish. This is the 21st century FFS.

Why don't religious fucktards grow up and face facts? It's obvious they're cowards. They can't exist without their ridiculous magical-2nd-life fantasy.

The stupid, it burns.

Why science education starting at a very young age is important.

Richard Dawkins has a good idea. Teach evolution starting at a very young age. Children should know what they are (apes) and how they got here. Another advantage of teaching evolution to young children: It could prevent brain damage from religious brainwashing. For example if a child's parents are know-nothing uneducated morons and they tell their children supernatural magic explains how the world works.

"I should love to have everybody taught about evolution from a fairly early age, because it is so important, so exciting. It answers so many questions and mysteries; it solves so many problems. Until you know about it, you're wandering around on this Earth looking at trees and birds and flowers, not knowing why any of them is there. Evolution is the answer to that riddle, so you're not really a whole person if you don't know where you come from and why you exist. And it's not difficult. It's not like relativity, it's not like quantum theory – it's something teachable to fairly young children."

-- Richard Dawkins

Year in 60 seconds: 2011

Not that anyone cares: I live in south Florida. I will be moving to central Florida next year. This post is for myself. Please ignore it.

LIST OF GROCERY STORES (PUBLIX, WALMART, ETC.) AT OCALA FLORIDA.

GOOGLE: Distance from (house address) to (store address)

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We offer fresh meat, fresh produce, our exclusive brands and National Brands while saving our customers up to 40% compared to conventional grocery stores.

YELP.COM - REVIEW OF ALL OCALA GROCERY STORES WITH ADDRESSES.

Walmart Supercenter
4980 E Silver Springs Blvd
Ocala, FL 34470 Phone number (352) 236-1188

Results Found: 11 New Search

Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Publix Super Markets #1289 - Park View Commons
3035 SE Maricamp Road
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-2355

Publix Super Markets #404 - Pearl Britain Plaza
2655 NE 35th Street
Ocala, FL 34479
(352) 867-0433

Earth Fare
2405 SW 27th Ave 101
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 291-2733

Publix Super Markets #1477 - Grand Oaks Town Center
2575 SW 42nd Street, Unit 100
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 237-7186

Publix Super Markets #061 - Forty East Shopping Center
3450 E Silver Springs Boulevard
Ocala, FL 34470
(352) 671-3443

Publix Super Markets #856 - Heath Brook Commons
5400 SW College Road
Ocala, FL 34474
(352) 873-1936

Publix Super Markets #419 - Churchill Square
303 SE 17th Street, Suite 5
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 368-2855

Publix Super Markets #733 - Heather Island Plaza
7578 Maricamp Road
Ocala, FL 34472
(352) 678-8200

Publix Super Markets #1365 - The Shops at Foxwood
2765 NW 49th Avenue
Suite 301
Ocala, FL 34482
(352) 622-1318

Publix Super Markets #1201 - Canopy Oak Center
8075 SW Hwy 200, Unit 111
Ocala, FL 34481
(352) 291-0292

President Fucktard Trump is good for one thing: The comic strip industry. Mr. Fucktard, thanks to your moronic love for trade wars Americans are already paying more for some of the stuff they buy. Trump, you're a stupid fucking asshole.

In this post I explain why wishful thinking does not make a moronic fantasy true.

Some questions about life after death for cowardly bible thumpers and their terrorist friends:

Have you ever asked yourself how many times Jeebus has to wave his magic wand to make the heaven bullshit work?

Have you ever asked yourself if you believe in heaven because you’re a coward?

Have you ever considered the possiblity that you believe in heaven because you're a gullible moron?

Did you notice that heaven is exactly what a feeble-minded coward would wish for?

Does it bother you that your childish idiotic heaven fantasy makes terrorism possible? Or do you not give a shit about the 3,000 people murdered on 9/11/2001 thanks to assholes who were no less insane than you are?

Do you think it's possible Christians and terrorists believe in heaven because they're just plain fucking stupid?

Just one more thing, Mr. or Ms. Idiot. You are part of the terrorism problem. Terrorists need imbeciles like yourself to be able to pretend they're not insane. You are worthless scum. Why don't you drop dead now if you think your heaven bullshit is real. Nobody will miss you.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

When I explore my 8 years old blog I frequently find stuff that's very interesting.

I recommend these two posts:

Richard Dawkins argues that evolution leaves God with nothing to do

Several tons of quotes from numerous scientists, other people, books, and websites.

I found something interesting. Somebody wrote the reasons why the childish heaven fantasy has caused a lot of problems.

This was well done but I have a problem with this idea: "Simply hoping for an afterlife, rather than presuming to know it exists, brings solace and need not result in a devaluation of this life."

Only a coward would hope for a magical 2nd life. I prefer reality.

One more thing that should be obvious but cowards don't understand. A magical 2nd life is impossible. There is no magic in the universe. This is called "reality". Reality can't be throw out.

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TERRORISM AND OTHER HARMS OF BELIEVING IN AN AFTERLIFE

INTRODUCTION

Religions may do more harm than good by telling people a life after death awaits them. In all probability, many terrorist attacks and other tragedies would not occur in the absence of that belief.

PROMOTES TERRORISM

The Sept. 11 terrorists thought Allah approved of their suicidal acts and they would be eternally rewarded as martyrs. In a letter discovered after the attacks, their ringleader told them they would soon be in paradise “with beautiful angels” who have “put on their most beautiful dresses.” He also urged them on by saying, “The virgins are calling you.”

The Koran supports his belief by describing the rewards awaiting Muslims after death. “But for the God-fearing is a blissful abode, enclosed gardens and vineyards; and damsels with swelling breasts for companions; and a full cup.” This is where “reclining on beds they will ask for abundant fruit and exquisite drinks, all the while next to them will be blushing virgins as companions.”

Terrorist leaders use these promised rewards to recruit the young and motivate them to commit murder-suicides. But this method of inciting terrorism wouldn’t work if the targets of the recruiting didn’t believe in an afterlife.

PROMOTES WAR

Richard Dawkins says belief in an afterlife has immunized not only Middle Eastern terrorists against fear of death but also countless other warriors in history. The promised heavenly rewards made death in battle appear attractive.

In describing the effectiveness of this propaganda, Dawkins exclaims: “What a weapon! Religious faith deserves a chapter to itself in the annals of war technology, on an even footing with the longbow, the warhorse, the tank and the neutron bomb.”

Bertrand Russell makes a similar observation: “At a certain stage of development, as the Mohammedans first proved, belief in Paradise has considerable military value as reinforcing natural pugnacity.”

But what goes around can come around, and the same belief was soon used against Muslims. In the Middle Ages, rewards of eternal bliss in heaven were promised to Christians who joined the Crusades against Islam.

In the 1980s, assurances of heavenly rewards motivated many Iranian boys – between 9 and 16 years old – to give their lives in the war between Iran and Iraq. They agreed to run through mine fields to clear the way for advancing Iranian soldiers. The promised rewards also caused parents all over Iran to encourage their sons to participate in these “human wave attacks.”

Robin Wright, who witnessed the boys’ actions, wrote in Sacred Rage that “wearing white headbands to signify the embracing of death, and shouting ‘Shahid! Shahid! (Martyr! Martyr!),’ they literally blew their way into heaven.”

Similarly in the 1990s, the hope for martyrdom motivated many of the fundamentalist Islamic soldiers who enabled the Taliban to control most of Afghanistan. The Taliban became a supporter of terrorists, including the ones responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.

If people realized there is no evidence for an afterlife, the thought of dying a warrior’s death would be less appealing to them. Instead of welcoming death or viewing it casually, they would likely value this life much more.

PROMOTES MURDER

Believing in an afterlife can also lead to murder. The Humanist philosopher Corliss Lamont reports that some ancient societies killed their aging members before they reached a state of decrepitude. It was thought that this enabled the victims to spend the afterlife in a relatively healthy body.

A more modern example is the case of John List, a New Jersey accountant and Sunday school teacher who killed his wife and three children in 1971. When finally captured many years later, List explained that his wife was drifting away from Christianity and his children might do the same when faced with worldly temptations. So he decided to kill them while they were still Christians, thereby ensuring they would go to heaven instead of hell.

A lesser-known case occurred in Baytown, Texas, in the mid-1980s. A 31-year-old mother killed three of her children with a knife, while a fourth child survived the attack. The mother had written she wanted to send her children to Jesus.

The same motivation existed in the infamous case of Andrea Yates, the devoutly religious Texas housewife who drowned her five children in a bathtub in 2001. According to Newsweek, Yates told a jail psychologist that her bad mothering had made the children “not righteous,” which would cause them to “perish in the fires of hell.” She explained that because she had killed them while they were young, God would be merciful to their souls and “take them up” to heaven.

Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who drowned her two young sons in 1994, likewise believed in an afterlife. While parked on a boat ramp and deciding whether to send her car into a lake while the toddlers were strapped in their car seats, Smith thought the boys would go to a happy existence with Jesus immediately after death. As she sits in prison, she still believes that’s where they are.

Northeastern University criminologist James Fox states that belief in a better world beyond the grave is not unusual among parents who kill their children and themselves. “Frequently, the parent thinks this life is miserable and rationalizes that the family will be happily reunited in the hereafter,” he reports.

These motives for murder couldn’t exist without belief in an afterlife.

PROMOTES SUICIDE

Not only terrorist suicide attacks and murder-suicides within families, but also other types of suicide can result from the notion of a heavenly abode. Corliss Lamont gives an example from the 1930s.

It involved a U.S. congressman who killed himself shortly after his wife died. The man explained in a suicide note that his wife had been calling him to join her and their young son in heaven.

His act was not an isolated incident. Lamont says there are “numerous cases on record of people killing themselves to preclude being parted from the beloved dead.”

Belief in an afterlife caused the mass suicide of the religious group known as the People’s Temple. Their leader, Rev. Jim Jones, relocated the group from the U.S. to Jonestown, Guyana, in the mid-1970s. Jones believed that he and his followers would eventually die together and go to a place of eternal bliss, and they practiced for mass suicide.

In 1978, after his security guards had killed a visiting congressman and several others, Jones feared retaliation and decided the time had come for the group to do the real thing. So he led them in a mass suicide, resulting in his own death and the death of 913 of his followers, including nearly 300 children.

Beliefs about an afterlife produced the 1998 mass suicide in the Heaven’s Gate religious group in southern California. The group thought the Hale-Bopp Comet was accompanied by a spaceship that would take them to a higher realm of existence. So 39 members killed themselves, believing that by shedding their earthly bodies they would be transported to the spaceship.

Rejecting the idea of an afterlife would eliminate these motives for suicide.

WASTES TIME, ENERGY AND RESOURCES

Believing in an afterlife also causes people to engage in unproductive acts. This is seen among many ancient peoples, but the most famous example involves the Egyptians and their practice of mummifying the dead. The Egyptians felt that preserving one’s corpse was necessary for a satisfactory existence in the Great Beyond.

Members of the Egyptian nobility and the wealthy class therefore spent huge sums for mummification and other means of maintaining their remains in perpetuity. And tremendous amounts of labor and resources were used to construct the pyramids. The purpose of these gargantuan structures was mainly to protect the bodies of deceased Egyptian kings.

In describing the wastefulness of such activities, Robert Ingersoll said the Egyptians “were believers in immortality, and spent almost their entire substance upon the dead. The living were impoverished to enrich the dead. The grave absorbed the wealth of Egypt. The industry of a nation was buried.”

A similar problem occurred in czarist Russia. Many members of the nobility and upper classes bestowed vast wealth on the Russian Orthodox Church to have daily prayers recited and other intercessions made for their departed souls. The money and time could have been used much more productively to benefit the millions of Russians who lived in dire poverty.

Likewise in the Catholic Church, considerable emphasis has been placed on prayers and masses for the deceased. These practices have been a source of immense income for the church. So have the indulgences the church sold supposedly for improving the well-being of people’s souls in an afterlife.

Mormons spend an enormous amount of time and money studying genealogical records in order to baptize deceased relatives, ancestors, and others into the Mormon Church. The founder of this church, Joseph Smith, taught that departed souls can accept what is done for them on earth.

Absent such beliefs in an afterlife, the work being done on behalf of the dead could be refocused to greatly improve the conditions of the living.

DISTRACTS ATTENTION FROM THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS

Some orthodox Christians, says Edmund D. Cohen, are so preoccupied with thoughts of an afterlife that they devalue and ignore many important matters in this life.

Cohen states that for these persons, “all but a few aspects of earthly life are reduced to unimportance, and the next life is ‘where the action is.'” It’s hard to imagine an attitude less conducive to solving the world’s problems.

In fact, the “powers-that-be” in this world are usually more than happy to see people focused on an afterlife. So they often encourage it. They know that people engrossed with thoughts of other worlds are less likely to notice or care about exploitation and abuse on earth.

As Kevin Phillips writes in his 2006 book American Theocracy: “Economic conservatives often warm to sects in which a preoccupation with personal salvation turns lower-income persons away from distracting visions of economic and social reform.” He says that as a result of such preoccupation in the U.S., “the corporate and financial agenda not only prevails but often runs riot.”

Moreover, when people believe that injustices will be punished in another world, they aren’t so concerned about stopping evil or seeing that wrongdoers face justice in this world. Their attitudes make it much easier for the wicked to prosper and escape punishment.

In summarizing these problems, Corliss Lamont states: “As long . . . as a future life is conceived to exist, people will devote to the thought of it much time and attention that could be used for earthly enterprises.”

CONCLUSION

The belief in an afterlife leads to much unnecessary harm. And it’s irrational: there’s no more evidence for believing that humans are immortal than for believing that trees and insects are. If people realized this, much evil could be avoided and more attention placed on improving the world.

Of course, believing in an afterlife is a source of consolation for many. The pain caused by the loss of loved ones can be alleviated by thinking that everyone will be reunited in the hereafter. But the serious harms caused by this idea seem to far outweigh the benefits.

Today, the terrorism that the belief produces – particularly if the terrorists obtain nuclear weapons – is a threat to the lives of millions around the world and to the continued existence of the United States and Western civilization.

For those who cannot bear the thought of the final extinction of themselves and their loved ones, the hope for an afterlife – as opposed to the belief in one – can be a harmless source of consolation. As Robert Ingersoll stated, “Hope is the consolation of the world.”

In the nineteenth century, the agnostic Thomas H. Huxley seemed to leave room for this hope by saying: “I neither deny nor affirm the immortality of man. I see no reason for believing in it, but, on the other hand, I have no means of disproving it.”

Simply hoping for an afterlife, rather than presuming to know it exists, brings solace and need not result in a devaluation of this life. People who employ a scientific outlook and have that hope know it’s very possible, or even highly probable, this is their one and only life. They will not, therefore, throw it away or think little of throwing away the lives of others.

The hope for an afterlife was even held by great humanistic thinkers such as Robert Ingersoll and Thomas Paine.

It’s important, though, to prevent this hope from developing into a belief. In addition to the many harms the belief has caused throughout history, the results of the belief today could be catastrophic on an unthinkable scale.

Those who cannot give up the idea of an afterlife would be wise to follow Cicero’s advice. He said a future state is “to be hoped for rather than believed.”

Samuel Barber - Agnus Dei

The truth about Muslim scum and the wimps who suck up to them.

What are you doing here? Jerry Coyne's website is many times better than this place.

Jerry Coyne's website

I was there today as usual. He had an interesting article about a creationist fucktard who claimed evolution is wrong because biologists can't explain exactly how sex evolved. I was interested in this because I have seen it before. This is what Jerry Coyne wrote about it:

"He says, for example, that evolutionists can’t explain exactly how sex evolved. Well, that’s true: we don’t yet understand it. But this is the familiar “argument from ignorance”—that if evolution cannot explain one particular phenomenon, it must mean both that creationism is true since God must have been involved, and that the whole edifice of evolution is wrong. Well, we have lots of good theories of how sex came to be (we are also, by the way, ignorant of why sex persists given the reproductive advantage of genes producing asexual reproduction, but Smith is too witless to know about that issue). If you want to see some of the theories for how and why sexual reproduction evolved, start here, here, and especially here. Since we weren’t around when sex evolved, though, these ideas are hard to test. Likewise, we’re ignorant of why the Stegosaurus evolved those plates on its back, as we weren’t there when it happened and at any rate couldn’t do experimental tests. Does our ignorance of that also constitute severe weakness of evolution and evidence for God? LOL! This is like saying that because we don’t know what Julius Caesar ate for breakfast on the day he was assassinated, he must not have existed."

I recommend reading the rest of it at Creationism and Coyne-dissing at The Daily Caller.

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Why are god-soaked morons so afraid of evolution? I think it's a stupidity problem. Evolution has something called "evidence". There is something else called "Looking things up". Why is it so fucking hard for them to look things up and learn something?

To defend their stupidity the science deniers have their favorite professional science deniers who of course don't know what they're talking about.

These assholes for Jeebus have zero curiosity. They go out of their way to know nothing. Apparently they are afraid to grow up. They would rather live in their childish everything-is-magic fantasy world.

And why do they call biologists "evolutionists"? Biologists are called "biologists".

Their stupidity and their laziness and their fear of reality is obvious to everyone. They are constantly making fools out of themselves. What a pathetic waste of a life.