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

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Sun, 2012-01-29 08:43

Andrew Bates on Facebook posted a photo of this quote this on the side of a bus, although it didn't really happen - it was just a suggestion on Richard Dawkins' website.

Turns out this is a quote from Victor Stenger, an American particle physicist and outspoken Atheist who has writtten several books debunking religion such as, New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason.

This interview of Stenger in 2007 is quite apt to the Derrwood debates.

Here is the quote in a talk by Stenger in 2009.

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Yes I do know about Buzz...

Marcus's picture

I'm sure I posted about it once on the Global Warming thread.

Judaism, Islam and Christianity are similar.

It's just that Islam takes the scriptures at their word, whereas the other two (accustomed to following the rule of law after generations of religious persecution and religious war) prefer to look the other way.

The point is

Richard Goode's picture

And what does that prove?

The point is that religion doesn't fly you into buildings. Islam does.

BTW, Marcus, did you know this about Buzz Aldrin?


Marcus's picture

...what does that prove?

Were there any directions in the scriptures on how to get to the moon, survive and what to expect to find there? Was there any prediction that humans would get there one day? Was there even any notion of what the moon is made of or that it is one of Earth's satellites?


Piffle and poppycock from the bronze age!


Richard Goode's picture

First Communion on the Moon

On Sunday July 20, 1969 the first people landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were in the lunar lander which touched down at 3:17 Eastern Standard Time.

Buzz Aldrin had with him the Reserved Sacrament. He radioed: “Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, whoever or wherever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the last few hours, and to give thanks in his own individual way.”

Later he wrote: “In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup. Then I read the Scripture, ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit.’ I had intended to read my communion passage back to earth, but at the last minute Deke Slayton had requested that I not do this. NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O’Hare, the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas. I agreed reluctantly ... Eagle’s metal body creaked. I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility. It was interesting for me to think: the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements.”

Temple for atheists provokes row among non-believers

Marcus's picture

Dawkins is right. Although the word "temple" can be used symbolically, in this context it definitely has been misappropriated by religion.

Temple for atheists provokes row among non-believers

"Two of Britain’s most revered non-believers have come to blows over plans to build a £1 million “temple for atheists” in the City of London.

Alain de Botton, the philosopher and writer, has proposed constructing a 150ft tower in the heart of the capital’s financial district to celebrate atheism as a positive force.

However, the idea has been condemned by Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist and author, as a waste of money and a contradiction of terms.

"Normally a temple is to Jesus, Mary or Buddha, but you can build a temple to anything that's positive and good," de Botton told The Guardian.

"That could mean a temple to love, friendship, calm or perspective. Because of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens atheism has become known as a destructive force. But there are lots of people who don't believe but aren't aggressive towards religions."

Dawkins has hit back, saying: "Atheists don't need temples/ I think there are better things to spend this kind of money on. If you are going to spend money on atheism you could improve secular education and build non-religious schools which teach rational, sceptical critical thinking."

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