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David Diskin: Being made from 'star stuff' gives a sense of connectedness

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Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 12:00 pm

The News-Sentinel asked: What is your favorite religious or spiritual quote? Why do you like it?

The beloved Carl Sagan, in his series Cosmos, told us "We are made of star-stuff."

This observation  — that all life on this planet, and the planets themselves, comes from the emissions and explosions of stars — is much more than a scientific fact.

The thought that we are all tied together cosmically, with the staggering odds that our atoms would come together the way they have, and the inevitable future of those atoms decomposing and possibly contributing to the life of others yet to be, gives me a sense of connectedness to others that is unsurpassed.

When you look at life (or death) from this perspective, it’s hard not to treat others with absolute equality and have the utmost of respect for all forms of life on this planet.

David Diskin is the co-organizer of Stockton Area Atheists and Freethinkers.

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  • David Diskin posted at 11:20 pm on Thu, Sep 26, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 185

    Thanks for your reflection, Keith. You're welcome to think that.

    Should you ever be interested in more detail about what we know about the evolutionary process and the history of this planet, I'll be happy to share with you what I've learned.

  • David Diskin posted at 11:19 pm on Thu, Sep 26, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 185

    Yes, a whopping 3% of scientists are debating that.

    The other 97% are firmly agreed that evolution happened, and that there was nothing "intelligent" about it.

  • David Diskin posted at 11:18 pm on Thu, Sep 26, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 185

    Brian, I'm not sure which atheists you've been speaking to, but I don't know a single one that would suggest that we are definitely alone in the universe.

    Quite the contrary, I suspect that most of my non-religious friends believe that what happened on Earth could very well (or has) happened on other planets.

    The number of stars and planets and the age of the universe is just too great to think otherwise.

    The only illogical notion here is that you're putting words into the mouths of atheists.

  • John Lucas posted at 10:07 am on Mon, Sep 16, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Why is it so hard for people to understand where the atheists are coming from? You were doing very well until the last sentence of which you have no proof but are simply going on your faith. I have my own spiritual beliefs but I would never dream of telling someone else that my beliefs are a proven reality. I simple do not have any proof and neither do you. The danger of believing what you take on faith is reality can be seen in the bloody religious wars that have been with us from the beginning of time and are still with us.

  • John Lucas posted at 9:57 am on Mon, Sep 16, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Speculation is all fine and dandy but as usual you have no facts or scientific proof to back up your claims.

  • John Lucas posted at 9:54 am on Mon, Sep 16, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    I am not an atheist but they are not saying there could not be any intelligent design beyond humans. They are just pointing out the fact there is no scientific proof of it. They are talking about science you are talking about faith.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:16 am on Mon, Sep 16, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    Let's leave God out of the equation for a moment and explore the possibility there are beings in this universe who are much more advanced than us. On an evolutionary scale us Humans are about as intelligent as an earthworm compared to them. Almost Godlike. Perhaps us religious humans feel more comfortable attaching the term God to beings far more advanced. Atheist, on the other hand won't even begin to suggest there are beings far more advanced than humans in the Universe Given how logical Atheist pride themselves in being. The notion humans are at the top of the intelligence chain is just plain illogical.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:04 am on Mon, Sep 16, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    I get a kick out of Atheists when they go so far as to suggest there couldn't possibly be any intelligent design beyond humans. Even scientists are debating with more frequency that there is no way Human DNA structure could have just happened without some form of intelligent design.

  • Keith Colgan posted at 12:43 am on Mon, Sep 16, 2013.

    Keith Colgan Posts: 30

    True ... all life and the planets themselves come from "star-stuff".

    True ... the odds are "staggering" that "star-stuff" would "come together" as they have.

    True ... It should raise our appreciation for life.

    However, please consider that "star-stuff" is actually the building blocks of life (minerals, water, and complex organic molecules). Consider that the odds of these atoms "coming together" on their own in the ways you appreciate are not only "staggering", as you say, but a virtual mathematical impossibility. Consider that we are indeed "tied together", not because we simply share atoms, but because we are expected to share a sense of responsibility to the one who made us.


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