How useful is the assumption of 'God does not exist'?

Rooters News Agency reported anthropologists recently discovered a little known sect of coffee cup worshippers in the Ukraine. They claim their patron is Saint Denys the Logical and base their beliefs on his texts. Worshippers pour hot coffee into a cup and then pick up the handle, pause and chant 'the handle is only an assumption, but it's the best one we have', they then genuflect 5 times, hop on one leg and drink the beverage. When asked why they revere the coffee cup, one UK devotee HP said, 'you try drinking coffee without it'!!  They are mostly a peaceful group, but do have issues of conflict with the next village, who drink tea, and then have a nice lie down.

S44... again it's got your fingerprints all over this one my friend. With all the quality of information at our disposal as RO points out, is it not a useful assumption to say 'god does not exist' at least in any form that would make one iota of difference to us (hi Herbie)..  therefore the freeing up of time and resources by putting humanities energies into useful pursuits would be of huge benefit to everyone?! therefore atheism is useful, agnosticism just leaves the door slightly open for a pantheist toehold.

An artist's depiction of Lola.

Tom Björklund
Surprising Science
  • Researchers recently uncovered a piece of chewed-on birch pitch in an archaeological dig in Denmark.
  • Conducting a genetic analysis of the material left in the birch pitch offered a plethora of insights into the individual who last chewed it.
  • The gum-chewer has been dubbed Lola. She lived 5,700 years ago; and she had dark skin, dark hair, and blue eyes.
Keep reading Show less

Mammals dream about the world they are entering even before birth

A study finds that baby mammals dream about the world they are about to experience to prepare their senses.

Neonatal waves.

Michael C. Crair et al, Science, 2021.
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find that babies of mammals dream about the world they are entering.
  • The study focused on neonatal waves in mice before they first opened their eyes.
  • Scientists believe human babies also prime their visual motion detection before birth.
Keep reading Show less

"Acoustic tweezers" use sound waves to levitate bits of matter

The non-contact technique could someday be used to lift much heavier objects — maybe even humans.

Levitation by hemispherical transducer arrays.

Kondo and Okubo, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys., 2021.
Surprising Science
  • Since the 1980s, researchers have been using sound waves to move matter through a technique called acoustic trapping.
  • Acoustic trapping devices move bits of matter by emitting strategically designed sound waves, which interact in such a way that the matter becomes "trapped" in areas of particular velocity and pressure.
  • Acoustic and optical trapping devices are already used in various fields, including medicine, nanotechnology, and biological research.
Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

Cockatoos teach each other the secrets of dumpster diving

Australian parrots have worked out how to open trash bins, and the trick is spreading across Sydney.