Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

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Minor correction. The Sun is NOT going to go supernova nor even nova. In the near term (next several hundred million years) the Sun will get hotter and hotter. In the long term (next 5 billion years or so) it will expand to become a red giant, puff off it’s outer atmosphere to produce a planetary nebula and become a white dwarf. It will then slowly cool for the following trillion years or so. Unfortunately life on Earth does not have “much longer” to live. Its demise will come “sooner” than the Sun’s. Within the next 500 to 600 million… Read more »

Sam Mulvey

Oo, missed that one. Fair point– we’ve got the kind of sun that just sort of falls off the main sequence, right?

Also, I got the name of the band I saw last night slightly wrong.

And here’s a video of the show I was at:

I’m like, right of camera. This show was *amazing.*


There was a Chinese study done semi-recently that showed a drop in IQ among children exposed to fluoride in their drinking water compared to other children. Fluoride conspiracy theorists have pointed to this as evidence that the government is trying to dumb down the population. The issues are that one, the fluoride levels these children were exposed to is higher than we have in our drinking water. Also, the average difference was very low, one or two points. It could be simply a sampling artifact, especially since the children that had more fluoride were poor, while those who were not… Read more »


Also, the “unicorn” that the fellow saw was probably made by this fellow:

Definitely… an interesting fellow. Probably already found this, but I figured if not you’d enjoy.


Someone beat me to it. The sun is a minor star, it will expand and envelope the earth. Only large stars will become a supanova.

Tom K.

What you said about moral relativism sounds like a contradiction to me. “You can be against this without saying ‘wrong is wrong’. There are people being hurt. Being hurt is bad.” Isn’t the statement “being hurt is bad” essentially the same as “wrong is wrong”? You say “being hurt is bad” as though it were a general moral truth (an objective moral guideline) separate from a given situation, that you apply to situations when making a moral judgement. I think that pretty well exemplifies the difference between relativism and situational ethics as I understand it. In situational ethics we can… Read more »


Regarding fluoridation: I’m actually a little surprised that you seemed to take a stance for fluoridation in our water supply. Whether it is good for us or not is not my issue. My problem with it is that they have taken away our right of consent. Fluoride is not something that our body requires in order to function. And it is the only thing added to water that is not used to treat the water. Chlorine is added to kill bacteria in the water. Fluoride is added as a type of “medication” to prevent a health problem. Will we someday… Read more »

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