1567: "Kitchen Tips"

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Quercus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:05 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
Quercus wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:Fish is a kind of meat.

Biologically yes, in a culinary sense, not particularly, except tuna and possibly swordfish. Actually in a culinary sense I'd split up the broad category of "meat" into meat - mammals; fowl - birds; fish - well, fish; and seafood - molluscs and crustaceans.


Sharks also qualify as "meat" in the above classification system, just like swordfish and tuna. Clearly this has to do with the mass of the individual, not the genetic taxonomical classification.

How do you account for lobsters, octopus, quail and ostrich then?

More seriously, I was really trying to base it on taste and cooking methods. I've had skate, and it was treated like fish and didn't taste particularly "meaty" to me, whereas both tuna and swordfish can both taste meaty, and are often cooked in ways normally associated with meat. I'm not sure about other cartilaginous fish such as shark. I guess this classification would probably look different in food cultures other than my own though.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:11 pm UTC

I suppose it also depends on what you determine "undercooked" to be. Beef, for me, gets better the rarer it is. I've eaten, and loved, slabs of beef that had only a fleeting touch of the pan/grill/spit/whathaveyou. They were essentially raw with a slightly seared/warmed outside. (I am salivating just thinking about them)

Fish, too, I have no problem eating undercooked. Salmon, swordfish, and tuna are especially good with raw/cool centers.

Pork and poultry I usually have fully cooked (for safety reasons), but I don't shy away from a piece with only a warm center. Except once where the chicken thighs were cooked over the fire and the cook took them off WAY too early and they were completely raw except a seared skin. That I returned to the fire (after the second bite).

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:45 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:
Quercus wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:Fish is a kind of meat.

Biologically yes, in a culinary sense, not particularly, except tuna and possibly swordfish. Actually in a culinary sense I'd split up the broad category of "meat" into meat - mammals; fowl - birds; fish - well, fish; and seafood - molluscs and crustaceans.


Sharks also qualify as "meat" in the above classification system, just like swordfish and tuna. Clearly this has to do with the mass of the individual, not the genetic taxonomical classification.

How do you account for lobsters, octopus, quail and ostrich then?

Quail and ostrich are meat. All land and air vertebrates are meat. Lobsters and octopuses are seafood, which is technically a kind of meat, but which we usually consider separately from meat. Large aquatic animals that you can cut steaks from like swordfish don't even count as seafood, just meat.

Whizbang wrote:Pork and poultry I usually have fully cooked (for safety reasons), but I don't shy away from a piece with only a warm center. Except once where the chicken thighs were cooked over the fire and the cook took them off WAY too early and they were completely raw except a seared skin. That I returned to the fire (after the second bite).

Rare pork tastes delicious, and isn't really any more dangerous than rare beef. Never had rare poultry though.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:48 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Rare pork tastes delicious, and isn't really any more dangerous than rare beef.


I will have to try that sometime. Any recommendations on cut or preparation?

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:16 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:What qualifies as "meat" appears to vary quite widely; the word itself has a long and complex etymology. The OED shows the association with flesh arriving only in Middle English, and in this sense says "esp. excluding fish and sometimes poultry". There is definitely a modern meaning that includes any part of any animal used as food, but I guess this is probably quite recent and motivated by the need for a word encompassing all the things that a vegetarian specifically doesn't eat. For an omnivore, the differences are profound enough to make the grouping somewhat less than useful.

[...]

I fear that this is annoying and confusing to people: whilst I never describe myself as a vegetarian, people get confused as I'll sometimes ask for a vegetarian option, and this possibly screws things up for the public understanding of vegetarianism.


I've actually known self-described vegetarians who are perfectly OK with eating fish, because "fish isn't meat". Even some who are OK with poultry.

I gather that that concept of "vegetarianism" is a bit antiquated, like the concept of "meat" excluding fish and poultry itself, but that's just my perception.
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby freezeblade » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:35 pm UTC

I know a few "vegetarians" who describe themselves as "pescatarian" meaning they eat "seafood" but no land mammals, or something like that.
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Mikeski » Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:30 am UTC

freezeblade wrote:I know a few "vegetarians" who describe themselves as "pescatarian" meaning they eat "seafood" but no land mammals, or something like that.

I had a (fully) vegetarian co-worker, who had a "vegetarian" friend who said she was a vegetarian because she "only ate chicken".

I call those people uglytarians, since they won't eat any of the "cute" animals. Just the ones like this.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:56 am UTC

Given the way chickens are farmed, I find it hard to understand why you would be OK eating chicken but not beef. Maybe it's a mammal thing.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Quercus » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:33 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Given the way chickens are farmed, I find it hard to understand why you would be OK eating chicken but not beef. Maybe it's a mammal thing.

I'm pretty much the opposite - I try to avoid chicken almost totally (I'll eat it if someone has cooked it for me, but won't buy it or order it in a restaurant). That's unless I know that it has been treated well, which is rare to know for chicken - it pretty much has to be somebody's chicken that they have killed themselves for that.

Beef I am okay with eating occasionally, particularly at better quality places. I pretty much treat meat (other than fish and seafood) as occasional luxuries (once a month or so), and that way I can afford to get the very highest quality meat when I do eat it. For me it's a pretty good compromise from health, sustainability and animal welfare standpoints. I try to only buy sustainable fish too, but I must admit that I do suck at sticking to that one.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:32 am UTC

If I eat meat it's mostly beef and I usually know the name of the cow it came from. Sometimes I even gave it a cow snack. I have Dalton in my freezer now.

My parents have a few cows as a hobby. They are treated well.
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby da Doctah » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:06 am UTC

I won't eat bell peppers, or anything that's come in contact with them. What's the name for that?

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby orthogon » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:09 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:I won't eat bell peppers, or anything that's come in contact with them. What's the name for that?

Campanopimentophobia.
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:17 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:I won't eat bell peppers, or anything that's come in contact with them. What's the name for that?

Depends on why. Do you have an adverse or allergic reaction to them (and do you have the same reaction to other peppers (for example chillis or jalepenos)), do you dislike the taste (when grilled, raw or both) or do you fear them?
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby HES » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:41 am UTC

It's called being picky.
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby orthogon » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:43 pm UTC

Part of the problem is that words like "vegetarian" and "pescatarian" attempt to specify what the diet includes, whereas it's often easier to define them in terms of what they exclude. A vegetarian will eat only vegetables, as opposed to animals; however they presumably will eat minerals (e.g. salt), and vegetarians also generally eat products of animal origin such as milk and eggs, since people who don't eat those either are vegans.

My diet was partly influenced by the people I was hanging around with at the time, but I had a moment of clarity when reading some Dawkins book or other, where he was addressing his critics' complaint that we don't see intermediates: individuals that are in some sense "between" the ancestral and modern species. He deals with this (I think it's to do with speciation being a very rapid process brought about by an abrupt change of environment) and then as an aside he points out that it's fortunate for our system of ethics that these intermediates don't exist, since it makes it easy for us to draw a line between our own species (not ok to kill, eat, imprison etc) and other species (knock yourself out). If biology were some kind of continuum, it would be far harder to decide where to draw the line. This made me think a lot and led me to move my own personal line somewhat further away from my own species.

(My other Dawkins-induced Gestalt shift was when I read The God Delusion and realised that atheism could be something to be proud of).
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:58 pm UTC

HES wrote:It's called being picky.

To be fair, peppers (including bell) tend to give their taste to everything they touch once they are heated. There are oils in them that seep out and cover everything. Lovely oils tasting like awesome. Quite strong umami. If you don't like their taste then eating around them doesn't really help. My dad has the same dislike and it is one of the few dislikes he has in food so I don't consider him picky. You don't have to like everything.
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:06 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:My diet was partly influenced by the people I was hanging around with at the time, but I had a moment of clarity when reading some Dawkins book or other, where he was addressing his critics' complaint that we don't see intermediates: individuals that are in some sense "between" the ancestral and modern species. He deals with this (I think it's to do with speciation being a very rapid process brought about by an abrupt change of environment) and then as an aside he points out that it's fortunate for our system of ethics that these intermediates don't exist, since it makes it easy for us to draw a line between our own species (not ok to kill, eat, imprison etc) and other species (knock yourself out). If biology were some kind of continuum, it would be far harder to decide where to draw the line. This made me think a lot and led me to move my own personal line somewhat further away from my own species.

(My other Dawkins-induced Gestalt shift was when I read The God Delusion and realised that atheism could be something to be proud of).


If you want to continue to enjoy Dawkins, avoid learning anything about dodgy rhetorical tricks - I lost count of dodgy rhetoric on the first page of the God Delusion after running out of fingers. What I learned from Dawkins is that atheism can be something to be embarrassed about...

As for intermediate forms, there are generally two possibilities - either we don't see intermediate forms because they weren't around long enough to leave remains we can find; or we don't see intermediate forms because we mistake them for being one species or the other.

And we do see intermediate species in the world today - there are things like ring species where individuals from one population can interbreed with individuals from nearby populations, but not with more remote populations, while those nearby populations can't interbreed with each other either - so every population is an intermediate between two or more other populations, and if enough of those populations died out, the remaining populations would be two or more distinct species...

It just happens that humans have killed off or interbred with anything closely enough related to be confusing as to whether it's a different species or not (though there's enough variation for racism to flourish) giving us a convenient demarcation between "us" and "everything else" but there are plenty of other groups where the lines are rather fuzzier - like the various canine species, or some of the great cats, or various equines - where interbreeding can (and does) sometimes occur between what are usually considered different species...

Imagine what a future paleontologist would make of the line-up at Crufts - are they separate species? different breeds of the same species? two or more species and various intermediate forms?

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Justin Lardinois » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:22 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I've also come up with several post-hoc justifications, including the environmental argument that any reduction in meat eating is beneficial, and the idea that fish caught in the wild are essentially predated from their natural habitat whereas farmed animals are deliberately conceived and raised to be slaughtered.


Do you only buy wild-caught fish? Fish are commercially farmed too.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:34 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:As for intermediate forms, there are generally two possibilities - either we don't see intermediate forms because they weren't around long enough to leave remains we can find; or we don't see intermediate forms because we mistake them for being one species or the other.

And we do see intermediate species in the world today - there are things like ring species where individuals from one population can interbreed with individuals from nearby populations, but not with more remote populations, while those nearby populations can't interbreed with each other either - so every population is an intermediate between two or more other populations, and if enough of those populations died out, the remaining populations would be two or more distinct species...

It just happens that humans have killed off or interbred with anything closely enough related to be confusing as to whether it's a different species or not (though there's enough variation for racism to flourish) giving us a convenient demarcation between "us" and "everything else" but there are plenty of other groups where the lines are rather fuzzier - like the various canine species, or some of the great cats, or various equines - where interbreeding can (and does) sometimes occur between what are usually considered different species...

Every species is always a "transitional species," or none are. The idea of a transitional fossil is that there were two predefined, distinct taxa, so there needed to be some species "intermediate" between the two. But of course, that isn't actually how evolution works, with one type of thing turning into an entirely different type of thing, but rather a continuous, gradual process of branching. So picking any specific species as being "transitional" is ultimately arbitrary.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby orthogon » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:00 pm UTC

Yes, whilst I was writing I realised I couldn't quite remember what point he was addressing. That there aren't individuals intermediate between existing species, or that there aren't extant intermediates between the ancestors and the current species, or that there aren't intermediates in the fossil record. The first is, as you say, because that's not how evolution works; the second is because of survival of the fittest; and the third is to do with the rapid process of speciation.

@rmsgrey: I admit I did pretty much swallow The God Delusion whole when I read it and a certain amount of fridge logic set in only later. I still think he makes a lot of very good points, but I don't deny that he can be a total arse about it. Even his biology books are full of derision for his critics, when I'd prefer a more collegiate tone. And I think he goes too far, for example when he argues that atheists shouldn't be respectful of people's religion; you can persuade and cajole, but respect for another's deeply held beliefs is part of basic human decency.
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:03 pm UTC

You can respect a person without respecting their beliefs.

It's the difference between "Religion is stupid" to no one in particular and "Religion is stupid and you're stupid for being religious" to someone's face.
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Quercus » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:09 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:@rmsgrey: I admit I did pretty much swallow The God Delusion whole when I read it and a certain amount of fridge logic set in only later. I still think he makes a lot of very good points, but I don't deny that he can be a total arse about it. Even his biology books are full of derision for his critics, when I'd prefer a more collegiate tone. And I think he goes too far, for example when he argues that atheists shouldn't be respectful of people's religion; you can persuade and cajole, but respect for another's deeply held beliefs is part of basic human decency.

I'm not denying that Dawkins is an arse, but I just wanted to add that I read one of his scientific papers from the 1980's on the evolution of mimicry a few years back. It was the most beautifully written research paper I've ever read, and as it was sticking to just reporting pure science the arseholishness didn't come through at all. I still have it saved on my computer with a note reading "this is what to aim for when writing science".

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:35 am UTC

There are some videos out there of Dawkins being a total asshat, but in most of his stuff that I've seen, he is pretty respectful and level-headed; certainly far more than his critics. He tends to get remembered as being strident because that is the image he was given. I think that would be a fair criticism of Christopher Hitchens, but it doesn't seem to fit Dawkins very well.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:14 am UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:
da Doctah wrote:I won't eat bell peppers, or anything that's come in contact with them. What's the name for that?

Depends on why. Do you have an adverse or allergic reaction to them (and do you have the same reaction to other peppers (for example chillis or jalepenos)), do you dislike the taste (when grilled, raw or both) or do you fear them?

I'd say "they make me gag" counts as adverse, so, yes, that one. I can just barely tolerate the taste of the red ones when they're grilled or roasted, and the green ones are offensive in any form; real chili peppers don't upset me at all.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:18 am UTC

orthogon wrote:Part of the problem is that words like "vegetarian" and "pescatarian" attempt to specify what the diet includes, whereas it's often easier to define them in terms of what they exclude. A vegetarian will eat only vegetables, as opposed to animals; however they presumably will eat minerals (e.g. salt), and vegetarians also generally eat products of animal origin such as milk and eggs, since people who don't eat those either are vegans.


ObCarnacTheMagnificent:

A: Vegans, nudists, atheists.
Q: Name three groups of people defined in terms of things they don't do.

The positive and negative definitions of "vegetarian" enter into a question I've asked that considers the current wisdom that there are more than just two kingdoms of living things. A negatively-defined vegetarian can't eat mushrooms or bread, or drink beer, because fungus is not a plant.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:44 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:As for intermediate forms, there are generally two possibilities - either we don't see intermediate forms because they weren't around long enough to leave remains we can find; or we don't see intermediate forms because we mistake them for being one species or the other.

And we do see intermediate species in the world today - there are things like ring species where individuals from one population can interbreed with individuals from nearby populations, but not with more remote populations, while those nearby populations can't interbreed with each other either - so every population is an intermediate between two or more other populations, and if enough of those populations died out, the remaining populations would be two or more distinct species...

It just happens that humans have killed off or interbred with anything closely enough related to be confusing as to whether it's a different species or not (though there's enough variation for racism to flourish) giving us a convenient demarcation between "us" and "everything else" but there are plenty of other groups where the lines are rather fuzzier - like the various canine species, or some of the great cats, or various equines - where interbreeding can (and does) sometimes occur between what are usually considered different species...

Every species is always a "transitional species," or none are. The idea of a transitional fossil is that there were two predefined, distinct taxa, so there needed to be some species "intermediate" between the two. But of course, that isn't actually how evolution works, with one type of thing turning into an entirely different type of thing, but rather a continuous, gradual process of branching. So picking any specific species as being "transitional" is ultimately arbitrary.

There are times of relative stability and times of radiation or winnowing. "Transitional species" has a perfectly sensible meaning if it's interpreted like "transitional technology" - there are biological analogues to fax machines that existed because they rode the crest of the wave that wiped them out, or some other atrociously mangled metaphor.
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:10 am UTC

I think Archaeopteryx would be a good example of such a genus. It has some obvious Avian and non-Avian features and only seemed to survive around 2 million years.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby orthogon » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:10 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Imagine what a future paleontologist would make of the line-up at Crufts - are they separate species? different breeds of the same species? two or more species and various intermediate forms?

I know some of the owners are a bit strange but they're all broadly homo sapiens ... ;-)
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Quercus » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:14 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:but in most of his stuff that I've seen, he is pretty respectful and level-headed; certainly far more than his critics.

It's certainly fair that he's way more respectful than many of his critics. I was probably premature in calling him an arse, given that I haven't read much of his work on religion. I think it's more that I don't get along with the way he approaches it (which is why I haven't read much of his stuff), that doesn't necessarily make him an arse though.

From what I've seen of Dawkins' stuff on religion, he tends to reject religion wholesale, which I understand - it's an easier message to get across. I think it misses an opportunity though. There are several problems that can occur in religions as I see it e.g. the use of supernatural explanations, the intolerance of others who do not share the same beliefs or practices and an authoritarian power structure. There are also some fantastic features of religions - ritual, both private and shared, mythologies (i.e. the use of stories to relate to the world, without necessarily believing in their literal truth), reflection, community.

The problem I have with much of new atheism is that it doesn't differentiate between the problematic and the positive aspects of religion, instead rejecting both. Personally I find it to be a much more rewarding approach to try and retain the positive aspects of religion. I'm an atheist, but I think I'm a religious atheist.

P.S. Please let me know if I've mischaracterized Dawkins' views here - some on my knowledge of him I've gotten second or third hand, which isn't the best way.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby orthogon » Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:21 am UTC

Quercus wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:but in most of his stuff that I've seen, he is pretty respectful and level-headed; certainly far more than his critics.

It's certainly fair that he's way more respectful than many of his critics. I was probably premature in calling him an arse, given that I haven't read much of his work on religion. I think it's more that I don't get along with the way he approaches it (which is why I haven't read much of his stuff), that doesn't necessarily make him an arse though.

From what I've seen of Dawkins' stuff on religion, he tends to reject religion wholesale, which I understand - it's an easier message to get across. I think it misses an opportunity though. There are several problems that can occur in religions as I see it e.g. the use of supernatural explanations, the intolerance of others who do not share the same beliefs or practices and an authoritarian power structure. There are also some fantastic features of religions - ritual, both private and shared, mythologies (i.e. the use of stories to relate to the world, without necessarily believing in their literal truth), reflection, community.

The problem I have with much of new atheism is that it doesn't differentiate between the problematic and the positive aspects of religion, instead rejecting both. Personally I find it to be a much more rewarding approach to try and retain the positive aspects of religion. I'm an atheist, but I think I'm a religious atheist.

P.S. Please let me know if I've mischaracterized Dawkins' views here - some on my knowledge of him I've gotten second or third hand, which isn't the best way.


This thread has prompted me to start reading the book again, so I'll let you know. I'm pretty sure he addresses most if not all of the positive aspects that you mention. Certainly he talks about mythology in the sense that it constitutes great literature; I would add that it's also part of the history of science, at least insofar as it represents a fertile source of possible conjectures about the cosmos. I agree with you on ritual and reflection; as I understand it the modern humanist movement aims to provide aspects of this, though personally I worry that there's a danger of this developing into quasi-religious practices with which I would not feel comfortable. As for community; there are plenty of other things to build a community around: music, geography, sports teams, a particular webcomic. Again, humanism is attempting to provide another focus, with the Sunday Assembly being one example.
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Quercus » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:12 am UTC

orthogon wrote:I agree with you on ritual and reflection; as I understand it the modern humanist movement aims to provide aspects of this, though personally I worry that there's a danger of this developing into quasi-religious practices with which I would not feel comfortable.

I think that's where we differ (which is fine) - I'm entirely comfortable with quasi-religious, or even actually religious, practices, as long as they don't involve any of the aspects of religion which I mentioned above that I find problematic.


As for community; there are plenty of other things to build a community around: music, geography, sports teams, a particular webcomic. Again, humanism is attempting to provide another focus, with the Sunday Assembly being one example.

Hmm, I just had a peek at the Sunday Assembly website, and it's actually looks very good. It seems very similar in a lot of respects to the Unitarian church that I go to, which just from chatting to people there seems to have a congregation that's about 80% atheist, including an atheist minister (that isn't true of all Unitarian congregations - as a church with no fixed doctrine or test of belief, Unitarian churches tend to have quite a variable character depending on how the congregation is made up). I guess we use a bit more of the structure and form of religion than Sunday Assembly does, but otherwise it seems pretty similar.

The sort of gatherings like Sunday Assembly, or my Unitarian church - that are about people connecting generally, purely as human beings, do seem to have a fairly different character to communities that are built around a doing or talking about a specific thing*, so I don't think that the argument that there are lots of other foci which can fulfill the community role of religion is quite accurate, at least for me.

*actually, I think that's one way Sunday Assembly, Unitarianism etc. can be more fulfilling than doctrinal religions - since they are less about the specific tenets of a specific belief system, and more about just being with and supporting other people.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:11 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:From what I've seen of Dawkins' stuff on religion, he tends to reject religion wholesale, which I understand - it's an easier message to get across. I think it misses an opportunity though. There are several problems that can occur in religions as I see it e.g. the use of supernatural explanations, the intolerance of others who do not share the same beliefs or practices and an authoritarian power structure. There are also some fantastic features of religions - ritual, both private and shared, mythologies (i.e. the use of stories to relate to the world, without necessarily believing in their literal truth), reflection, community.

The way I would define it, religion is synonymous with fideism -- the grounding of some assertions in nothing but faith alone, and the claim that that's perfectly OK to do, epistemically and discursively -- so that first set of practices are essentially religious. The supernatural by definition is beyond empirical observation and thus beyond evidence and thus relies on faith. Beliefs grounded in faith are incommensurable: since they are not based on reason or evidence, disagreements cannot be adjudicated, so intolerance of different beliefs comes with the package. And any appeal to authority is essentially an appeal to faith; "because x said so" is an empty non-reason, essentially asking you to take what x said on faith; or inversely, asserting something on no basis but your own faith in it is essentially an assertion of your own authority, "because I said so".

But ritual? Sports fans have rituals. Private clubs have rituals. Mythology? Speculative fiction fans of any stripe have loads of it. Reflection? Community? Anyone who thinks or socializes has those. There is nothing essentially religious about those things, so speaking out against religion shouldn't even be construed as speaking out against such things.
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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby pkcommando » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:35 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:I won't eat bell peppers, or anything that's come in contact with them. What's the name for that?

Good sense. Trufax!

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:28 pm UTC

I agree that the fundamental problem I have with religion is not specific dogma per se (very often I find that objectionable too, but that's only a derivative problem) but with trusting faith. Very often I will be told by a Christian that they have reasons for their beliefs, evidence of the conventional kind, but also in the end they have to have faith. How is that a useful distinction? Either the evidence is good enough on its own or it isn't. If you "have to have faith," then I guess it isn't good enough, and when you say you "believe" it is true, what you really mean is you hope it is true, and will decide to act as though it were, even though you're not sure it really is.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Muswell » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:14 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:There are some videos out there of Dawkins being a total asshat, but in most of his stuff that I've seen, he is pretty respectful and level-headed; certainly far more than his critics. He tends to get remembered as being strident because that is the image he was given. I think that would be a fair criticism of Christopher Hitchens, but it doesn't seem to fit Dawkins very well.



Dawkins is married to Romana, which according to some fan theories makes him the Doctor, and therefore a god himself of a sort...

I went to university with his niece and nephew and they were neither particularly proud of him nor particularly embarrassed by him, which is probably a point in his favour.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby mathmannix » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:34 pm UTC

Hafting wrote:And on boxes of frozen pizza, they actually print "Take the pizza out of the box & plastic before heating". It amazes me to imagine people who actually benefit from such advice.

Well... I have gotten in trouble from my wife for omitting to remove the pizza from the cardboard circle before putting it in the oven. But at least I took it out of the plastic bag (and yes, before that, the cardboard box!) Maybe I could have read the box, but I only cared about the temperature and time, which are helpfully in big, colorful letters on the front and back of the box!
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby ijuin » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:33 am UTC

In simplest terms, "faith" and "science" are distinguishable by how they react to contradictions between evidence and preconceptions. In "science" the preconceptions are assumed to be incorrect and must be re-evaluated to incorporate the new evidence. In "faith", the preconceptions are assumed to be correct and the evidence must either be dismissed or reconciled without altering the preconceptions beyond a certain degree.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:21 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:Well... I have gotten in trouble from my wife for omitting to remove the pizza from the cardboard circle before putting it in the oven. But at least I took it out of the plastic bag (and yes, before that, the cardboard box!) Maybe I could have read the box, but I only cared about the temperature and time, which are helpfully in big, colorful letters on the front and back of the box!

As long as the pizza cooking temperature is less than 233C/451F, you should be fine, right?

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby speising » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:35 pm UTC

SuicideJunkie wrote:
mathmannix wrote:Well... I have gotten in trouble from my wife for omitting to remove the pizza from the cardboard circle before putting it in the oven. But at least I took it out of the plastic bag (and yes, before that, the cardboard box!) Maybe I could have read the box, but I only cared about the temperature and time, which are helpfully in big, colorful letters on the front and back of the box!

As long as the pizza cooking temperature is less than 233C/451F, you should be fine, right?

The temp. in question is actually 451C, bradbury notwithstanding. (According to this, although this again contradicts this.)
Last edited by speising on Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:40 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1567: "Kitchen Tips"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:40 pm UTC

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