Thursday, 14 February 2013

Atheism

Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism,which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.

The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god(s)", used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves using the word "atheist" lived in the 18th century.

Arguments for atheism range from the philosophical to social and historical approaches. Rationales for not believing in any supernatural deity include the lack of empirical evidence,the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, and the argument from nonbelief. Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies, there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.Many atheists hold that atheism is a more parsimonious worldview than theism, and therefore the burden of proof lies not on the atheist to disprove the existence of God, but on the theist to provide a rationale for theism.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Strong Vincent

Strong Vincent (June 17, 1837 – July 7, 1863) was a lawyer who became famous as a U.S. Army officer during the fighting on Little Round Top at the American Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, where he was mortally wounded.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Gray-crowned Rosy Finch

The Gray-crowned Rosy Finch was first classified by English ornithologist William John Swainson in 1832. This bird has been thought to form a superspecies with three other Rosy Finches (also known as mountain finch): Black Rosy Finch (L. atrata) and the Brown-capped Rosy Finch (L. australis), all of which were classified as the same species as the Asian Rosy Finch (L. arctoa) from 1983-1993.

Recent mitochondrial DNA evidence shows the rosy finches are all indeed very closely related and can be easily confused with one another. Along with four Asian rosy finches, the three North American rosy finches form the mountain finch genus Leucosticte. Alternate common names include: Roselin à tête grise (in French), Schwarzstirn-Schneegimpel (in German), and Pinzón Montano Nuquigrí (in Spanish).