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Episode 50 — Gravity

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Atheism: The lack of belief in a god. (Can be a positive belief there is no god)

Agnosticism: The belief that one cannot have knowledge of whether or not there is a god. The root gnosis means knowledge, therefore agnosis means not knowable.

 

Agnosticism is compatible with atheism and theism, it is not a "mid point" between the two. Belief is different from knowledge.

 

 

PLEASE, PLEASE everyone read this again and refer to it as you move through life.

The words answer different questions. Theist or Atheist answers the question, "do you believe in one or more gods, or in the lack of gods?" Gnostic and agnostic answers the question "do you know that X is true, or is it unknown, or perhaps not even possible to know?"

 

As SUH stated, think of it as quadrants:

Gnostic Theist - believes that god or gods exist and knows it to be the case

Agnostic Theist - believes that god or gods exist, but it is either unknown, or even unknowable if this is the case

Agnostic Atheist - believes that no gods exist, but it is either unknown, or even unknowable if this is the case

Gnostic Atheist - believes that no gods exist and knows it to be the case

 

you should be using two words to describe your own system of beliefs. "agnostic" is not enough to clarify, because as SUH stated, it does not suppose either a default of theism or atheism.

 

I realize this is one corner of one forum on one corner of the internet, but if anyone has gained a bit of insight, I sincerely hope that it will help to clarify, at the very least so that people can accurate describe their own positions in the future.

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I agree with Jookerson. Stop asking random guests about their beliefs, if you want serious answers about atheism, get a serious atheist. And if the king of all atheists is open to being on the show, do it, have you not seen this man on Fox news? This will be an amazing show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNHiYYXmvSM&feature=related

 

That guy is my hero! Please for the love of non-god get this guy on the show! If not just to wrangle in Aaron!

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Stop asking random guests about their beliefs, if you want serious answers about atheism, get a serious atheist.

 

I don't think the show is best served by serious answers. It's more interesting to hear personal opinions on the subject.

 

But I agree in part due to the fact that every guest seems to not know the definition of atheism or agnosticism. David tries, but he uses the popular social definitions instead. This is kind of frustrating, because it ends up sounding like The View or a Faux News Pogrom. I love to hear about guests beliefs, but minimally after several conversations that totally failed to use the correct definitions, it's time to snap to it, get it right, at least definitionally so y'all can then proceed to make it silly.

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I know you guys might have already recorded this episode but I would really like some more clarification on her claims about the flashlight and anything faster than light.

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And I'd also like for the god and athiest camps to stop fighting, believe what you want and associate with people with like mindsets. It doesn't matter what happens when we die - we're all going to do it eventually and we'll find out then, or we'll all just be dead. Either way, it's better not to spend whatever time we have on earth proclaiming our righteousness when truly, neither of the two camps really knows what they're talking about.

 

This is why science is not philosophy, or religion.

 

Get off of your soapbox and help people. And try to do it without imposing your bullshit moral code on them. Athiests I'm looking at you too!

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Yes my friend, whatever beliefs we may have we're all human beings here on the planet for a blink of the universe's and/or God's eye.

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I'd like to second @tbain. This was my first time listening to the podcast and although I'll listen to a few more episodes, your show needs to consider its sources. I'm a Ph.D. candidate in cognitive science (not physics) but I knew enough to know that she was incorrect on most of the points that @tbain mentioned above. I was also irritated with the inaccurate portrayal of the differences between Newton and Einstein's theories. It should be clearly explained to any audience that both theories are mathematical models and that mathematical models can be described in terms of their accuracy in describing empirical data. Newton's models are simple and work exceptionally well when discussing certain distances. Where Newton's models begin to break down is at large distances and with very large masses. This binary concept that the public has of scientific theories being right or wrong is a huge misconception that really needs to be better explained by the scientific community and Christina, unfortunately, just didn't pul her weight here.

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Well I'm only 7 months late; but I thought the episode was pretty good and my real only problem which matts has mentioned was Christina's dismissal of Aaron's exoplanet discovery method:

She mentions watching planets and waiting for a transit as the best method, but as you can imagine the probability of seeing this in 3D space is very rare; and while it has discovered planets before, there are better methods.

Primarily the one that Aaron referred to, wobbling. Gravitational orbits affect both bodies, not just the tiny planets. And with bigger planets like Jupiter, you can see the small orbit of the Sun that Jupiter causes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Orbit2.gif

And so if you see red/blueshifts, evidence of this wobbling you can infer the size and orbital radius of an exoplanet.

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