The Word Scientist Is Already Taken

September 30, 2007

We need a new word to denote one who believes that for which there is overwhelming evidence and gives credence to that for which there is some evidence and gives no credence to that for which there is no evidence. Scientist might be used as a word to mean a believer in science. However, just as sexist has already been used for another purpose, so can’t be used to indicate one who believes in sex, scientist has already been used to indicate one who actually practices science for a living, so cannot be used to indicate a believer in the tremendous value of scientific evidence.

Atheist is actually a bad word for this because, as Dawkins points out in God Delusion, this defines one by their non-belief. I am an atheist. I am also an athorist and an azeusist and an aodinist and an abaalist, etc. For this reason, I prefer to call myself an antitheist. This works for me because I actually do believe religion is an evil institution and am opposed to all forms of theism. So, for me, this works.

However, we still do not have a good name for one who does not oppose theism, but simply does not believe in it. Skeptic is one word that could accurately describe such a philosophy, but is also overloaded with other meaning both connotations and denotations.

So, the question is, what should we call someone that believes that extraordinary claims, such as an invisible man in the sky, must be backed up by evidence in order to be given credence (other than unelectable for office at any level anywhere in this U.S.)?


New York City Off The Tourist Track

September 30, 2007

I’m taking the liberty of assuming that there is a boatload of information about tourism in New York that will get you to all of the major sites. However, I live here. And, I have different tastes than many people. So, I’m going to provide some information for getting off the beaten track in New York City. Yes, that is possible.

From a New Yorker’s viewpoint, I find it amusing to go through Times Square or 5th Avenue in the 50s. I see the streets so crowded that I end up walking in the street rather than on the sidewalk, especially through Times Square, and imagine all the tourists going home and talking about how overcrowded New York is. Yes. It’s crowded here, but not that crowded. Those areas are crowded with tourists, not residents.

So, for some ways to get out of the crowd, click the more link to see the rest of this post.

Recent Updates

I plan to keep this topic as somewhat of a living document. As I think of things I’ll add them, so check back. Here are the updates since I published the post.

9/30/2007 9:54 AM EDT – Added public restrooms section and link to urban park ranger led walks.
9/30/2007 4:30 PM EDT – Added science lecture section.
10/1/2007 9:42 PM EDT – Added links to the restaurants already mentioned and started a list of different restaurants.

Read the rest of this entry »