September 6th, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Mash-up: Life, the universe and everything

The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on in the past 24 hours. We top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world.

Four minutes of timeless beauty

CNN iReporter John Eklund started a film project to capture the beauty of the American Pacific Northwest in June 2011. He finally finished his time-lapse video in August 2012.

"I choose to shoot locations that appeal to the way I would like to interpret the story of time," he said. "Here in the Pacific Northwest, there are endless opportunities to document the magnificence of the world around us. I have discovered that when time is the storyteller, a special kind of truth emerges."

Check out the beautiful time-lapse video here.

Atheist scientist on religious scientists

Biologist and author Richard Dawkins is a noted atheist who doesn't have much patience for followers of creationism or intelligent design. Here's a brief excerpt from a longer conversation Dawkins had with CNN's Light Years science blog.

Richard Dawkins is firm in his unbelief.

There are many very educated people who are religious, but they're not creationists. There's a world of difference between a serious religious person and a creationist, and especially a Young Earth Creationist, who thinks the world is only 10,000 years old.

If we wonder why there are still serious people including some scientists who are religious, that's a complicated psychological question. They certainly won't believe that God created all species or something like that. They might believe there is some sort of intelligent spirit that lies behind the universe as a whole and perhaps designed the laws of physics, and everything else took off from there.

But there's a huge difference between believing that and believing that this God created all species. And also, by the way, in believing that Jesus is your lord and savior who died for your sins. That you may believe, but that doesn't follow from the scientific or perhaps pseudoscientific that there's some kind of intelligence that underlies the laws of physics.

And in this corner ...

Dawkins' views naturally spark responses both pro and con. Here are two from folks who don't see things his way:

The creation story rings true for many.

I don't really care who believes in God and who doesn't. I believe in God, I believe in creationism, I believe in evolution, I believe in heaven and hell. The bible says God created everything in six days, but doesn't say how long a day is, I was taught that a million years may only be a second to God, so six days, biblically speaking, could be billions of years. A lot of you may think that I am silly or stupid for my beliefs. I don't care - when I die, if there is no heaven or hell = no loss. If there is and I make it to heaven = excellent. If there is a hell - enjoy it for etenity non-believers.

Marvin K.
The beauty of Dawkins' arguments is that they are self-defeating. If the universe, and thus all that is in that universe, is simply the result of random, meaningless, non-directional happenings, then his thoughts themselves have no meaning, and thus no value. Indeed, his thoughts, much like religion (in his view), are nothing more than empty and meaningless constructs based on what are, ultimately, simple chemical reactions in the brain. In the end, his worldview can only reach the conclusion that his own thoughts and beliefs are no less or no more valuable than the beliefs he seeks to ridicule.

The Bird Man of Moscow

Russia's "Man of Action" can be ruthless with his critics, but he has a soft spot for wildlife.

Abandoned pets deported

A pet rescue group in Las Vegas is thinking outside the country in its efforts to help pets left behind at foreclosed properties, CNN affiliate KTNV reports. Good idea?

Statue promotes sexting?

The American Family Association wants a statue removed from arboretum in Overland Park, Kansas, because, the group says, it promotes sexting, CNN affiliate WDAF reports. Do you think it does?

On the horizon: Blasphemy hearing, jobs report

A bail hearing will be held for a girl in Pakistan accused of burning pages from a Quran. The imam who accused her is suspected of framing her.

Wall Street welcomed good news on the job market Thursday and will be looking for more when the August jobs report comes out Friday.

September 7 anniversaries

London firefighters douse flames the morning after the Blitz began in 1940.

1892: James J. Corbett defeats John L. Sullivan in New Orleans in the first modern boxing match conducted under Marquess of Queensberry rules.

1940: Nazi Germany begins its relentless bombing of London during World War II.

1979: The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network - ESPN - debuts.

1986: Desmond Tutu becomes the first black bishop to head the Anglican Church in South Africa.

1996: In Las Vegas, actor and recording artist Tupac Shakur is shot after attending a boxing match. He dies a week later of his wounds.

1998: Google Inc. is founded.

2004: The U.S. military suffers its 1,000th death in Iraq.

September 7 birthdays

Chrissie Hynde

• Actress Julie Kavner, 62

• Musician Chrissie Hynde, 61

• Actor Corbin Bernsen, 58

• Actor Tom Everett Scott, 42

• Actor Oliver Hudson, 36

• Actress Evan Rachel Wood, 25

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soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. BOMBO ©

    Since Douglas Adams is dead, CNN doesn't have to pay royalties for this headline. The answer, of course, is 42.

    Dawkins is excercising a blind faith of a different kind. He just won't admit it. If he has conclusive proof of his opinion, he should share it with the rest of us. As far as I've heard though, nobody has conclusively proven where the universe came from.

    September 7, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • donna

      It's not possible to prove what happened in the past, so the fact that no one has done so is irrelevant, and you're making a straw man argument. And saying that someone should have proof of their opinion before they share it seems hypocritical coming from someone sharing his/her unproven opinions, don't you think?

      FYI, the fact that an author is dead doesn't mean royalties aren't paid to his estate, however you don't pay royalties for a reference like this. Maybe you should have provided proof of your opinion before sharing it...

      And more FYI, Adams, who considered himself a radical atheist, agreed with Dawkins, they were great friends. ; )

      September 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. J. D. Hunter

    Dawkins' "faith" is merely confidence in logical scientific methods of analysis. No analysis of the natural material universe thus far even suggests a magical un-natural and im-material designer and builder, much less a concerned guardian in an emotional relationship with its creation. The god theory solves nothing. It is superfluous.

    October 5, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
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