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It’s been a while! I’ve been slaving away working on my PhD and getting my life sorted in a number of other areas but hopefully will get back to writing and harassing the online secular world!

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I’M BACK!

OK all my freethinking legend and legendette friends I have returned from my trip to Indonesia + a week or two off following that. Back and ready to kick some ignorant, faith-based ass and delve out injections of science and knowledge!

I hope you are all well and look forward to engaging you all again!

Pete

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I guess you learn something new everyday!

Iran has succeeded in sharply reducing its birth rate in recent years. Iran is the only country where mandatory contraceptive courses are required for both males and females before a marriage license can be obtained. The government emphasizes the benefits of smaller families and the use of contraception.

Referenced on Wikipedia from the Earth Policy institute.

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So I spotted this large skull in the museum’s mammal collection last week and had a closer look to see what it was. It belonged to a leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx (a pretty cool scientific name!). But that wasn’t the coolest bit. When I looked down to see by whom and where it had been collected I saw it was retrieved by Douglas Mawson and crew on his expedition to the Antarctic around 100 years ago (1911-1914)!

You would have probably seen documentaries on these guys around the Antarctic slaughtering penguins willy nilly. They’re pretty ferocious seals.

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Science-Based Life

Occam’s razor suggests that the more likely explanation for some phenomenon is the explanation which requires the fewest number of assumptions or required assertions. Even though in science the correct answer is sometimes the more complex one, rationally speaking, the fewer amount of assumptions that we have to make in order to get a theory to work, the better.

For example, think of how many assumptions you have to make to consider the September 11th attacks a government conspiracy. So many claims about time, space, engineering, politics, prior knowledge, flight patterns, etc., must be made to even start bridging the gap. On the other hand, the simpler explanation that requires less assumptions (and indeed has more evidence) is that a group of terrorists hijacked some planes and flew them into the buildings.

By association, Occam’s razor regularly dismantles most conspiracy theories without much effort. Of course, any of the…

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