Paul Hughes

The evolving story of a hopeful skeptic.

Life IS An Arrow

Arrow Quote

Picture taken from positiveoutlooksblog.com.

On a more light-hearted (and succinct) note than my recent posts, I decided to write about something that—ever since I first saw it—has bothered me: the quote in the above picture. Yes, it is a nice sentiment, but it really makes no sense. I mean, the unknown author is effectively and arbitrarily saying that life follows all the same rules as an arrow. I could just as easily say “When an arrow stops moving, it means the arrow has hit its target and is likely to kill it; so when life seems to stop your progress forward, watch out because it means that you’re about to kill something.” Just as arbitrary, and just as absurd.

Humans have a tendency to use metaphors to wrap their minds around things that they don’t otherwise understand. But it is important to remember that just because a metaphor seems to make something make more sense doesn’t mean the metaphor is in any way correct or useful.

Are there any quotes or metaphors that bug you?

November 12, 2012 Miscellaneous ,

A Threat To Legitimate Science

I was actually going to write about something else today, but a friend of mine (thank you, Brandon Bible) had posted a link on Charles DarwinFacebook to an interesting article at the Huffington Post. The article talks about how in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, Charles Darwin was promoted as a fictional write-in candidate against Representative Paul Broun (R-Ga.). Why would anyone write in a candidate who (obviously, since Darwin is dead) has no chance of winning? It was a “symbolic challenge” to create awareness regarding Broun’s claims that evolution,1 embryology,2 and the big bang theory3 are “lies straight from the pit of hell.”4 Now, almost all my readers know that I am a firm supporter of the above three as areas of scientific study, against which very little (if any) evidence has been unearthed able of disproving (or even discrediting) them. However, believe it or not, I am not going to spend the length of this post defending them. No, there is a problem much more immediately concerning that must be dealt with: Broun has a seat on the House Science Committee. Continue reading →

November 10, 2012 Science , , , , ,

In Support Of The First Amendment, or Why Gay Marriage Should Be Legal

The first amendment reads as follows:

Bill Of Rights“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Wow, that covers a lot of ground. The most cited portion of the amendment is probably the part about the freedom of speech and press, but that isn’t the part I’d like to write about today (as you may have guessed). One of the more important parts of this amendment that is in recent years becoming more and more ignored is the first clause—the Establishment Clause.1 “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” Most everyone agrees that part of what this clause ensures is that the government should never set up a “national religion.” What is more debatable is whether the clause is also suggesting the now-prominent idea of separation between church and state. Continue reading →

November 8, 2012 Law, Religion , , , , ,

The Argument From Design

I am a skeptic.1 No, that is not synonymous with “cynical” or “pessimistic”. No, I am a skeptic in that I ask questions about things that I don’t understand, and I question accepted belief in the hopes of uncovering new information. If I don’t see much evidence for something, I look for more evidence one way or the other. Now this blog is not about convincing anyone of anything in particular. No, it is a place that I’ve created to talk about my questions and, if anyone is willing to offer it, receive input on the various ideas I’m questioning. You’ll find many of my questions have to do with religion, but I cannot stress enough that I am not trying to sway my readers one way or the other, merely to present my questions, and to present the information that I’ve discovered so far, so that others can benefit, refute, or question (as I do!).

CloudsOn my spiritual journey through life, and in my quest to find truth, I ask many people many questions. A common question that I ask, in the hopes that someone can provide an answer that my skeptical head can wrap its brain around is, as one might expect, “Why do you believe in God?” All sorts of people have all sorts of answers, but there are some answers that come up more frequently than others. I’ve decided to write this first post about one of the most common answers I receive, which many people would call “the argument from design” or the “teleological argument.”2 Continue reading →

November 7, 2012 Religion , , ,