Charles Anderson discovers dragonflies that cross oceans

Charles Anderson discovers dragonflies that cross oceans


Actually, I come from Britain, but I’ve been living in Maldives for 26 years now. So, that’s home really. The Maldives, as I’m sure you’re aware, are a chain of islands off the southwest coast of India here. Capital, Malé, where I live. Actually, sitting here today in Mysore, we’re closer to Malé than we are to Delhi, for example. If you’re in IT, India, obviously, is the place to be at the moment. But if you’re a marine biologist, Maldives is not such a bad place to be. And it has been my home these years. For those of you who’ve been there, fantastic coral reefs, fantastic diving, fantastic snorkeling. I spend as much of my time as possible investigating the marine life. I study fish, also the bigger things, whales and dolphins. This is a blue whale. We have blue whales in the waters around here, off Maldives, around the waters of India. You can see them off Kerala. And, in fact, we’re very lucky in this region. One of the best places in the world to see blue whales is here in this region. In Sri Lanka, if you go down to the south coast of Sri Lanka, during the northeast monsoon season, you can see blue whales very, very easily. It’s probably the best place in the world to see them. Now, when I talk about the northeast monsoon season, I’m sure many of you here know exactly what I mean, but perhaps some of you are not quite so sure. I need to explain a little bit about monsoons. Now, monsoon, the root of the word “monsoon” comes from the word “season.” So, it’s just a season. And there are two seasons in most of South Asia. And in the summer India heats up, gets very hot. Hot air rises, and air is drawn in off the sea to replace it. And the way it works is, it comes from the southwest. It comes off the ocean here and is drawn up towards India. So it comes from the southwest. It’s a southwest monsoon. Picks up moisture as it crosses the ocean. That’s what brings the monsoon rain. And then in the winter things cool down. High pressure builds over India. And the whole system goes into reverse. So, the wind is now coming from the northeast out of India, across the Indian Ocean, this way towards Africa. Keep that in mind. Now, I’m a marine biologist, but I’m actually a bit of an old fashioned naturalist, I suppose. I’m interested in all sorts of things, almost everything that moves, including dragonflies. And I’m actually going to talk, this afternoon, about dragonflies. This is a very beautiful species, it’s called the Oriental Scarlet. And one thing you need to know about dragonflies, one important thing, is that they lay their eggs in fresh water. They need fresh water to breed. They lay the eggs into fresh water. Little larvae hatch out in fresh water. They feed on other little things. They feed on mosquito larvae. So, they’re very important. They control mosquito larvae, among other things. And they grow and grow by stages. And they climb out of the water, burst out, as the adult which we see. And typically, there is a lot of variation, but if you have a dragonfly with, say, a one year life cycle, which is quite typical, the larva, living in the fresh water, lives for 10 or 11 months. And then the adult, which comes after, lives for one or two months. So it’s essentially a freshwater animal. It really does need fresh water. Now, the particular species of dragonfly I want to talk about is this one, because most dragonflies, like the one we’ve just seen, when the adult is there for its brief one or two months of life, it doesn’t go very far. It can’t travel very far. A few kilometers, maybe, is quite typical. They are very good fliers, but they don’t go too far. But this guy is an exception. And this is called the Globe Skimmer, or Wandering Glider. And, as the name might suggest, it is found pretty much around the world. It lives throughout the tropics, the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, into the Pacific. And it wanders far and wide. We know that much about it. But it really hasn’t been studied very much. It’s a rather mediocre looking dragonfly. If you’re going to study dragonflies, you want to study those really bright beautiful ones, like that red one. Or the really rare ones, the endemic endangered ones. This is, it seems a bit dull you know. It’s sort of dull-colored. And it’s fairly common. And it occurs everywhere — you know, why bother? But if you take that attitude, you’re actually missing something rather special. Because this dragonfly has a rather amazing story to tell. And I feel very privileged to have stumbled across it living in the Maldives. When I first went to the Maldives, dead keen on diving, spent as much of my time as I could in and under the water. Didn’t notice any dragonflies; maybe they were there, maybe they weren’t. Didn’t notice them. But after some time, after some months, one day as I was going out and about, suddenly I noticed hundreds of dragonflies, hundreds of dragonflies. Something like this, these are all this species Globe Skimmer. I didn’t know at the time, but I know now, they’re Globe Skimmers, hundreds of them. And they were there for some time. And then they were gone. And I didn’t think anything more of it until the following year, when it happened again, and then the year after that, and then the year after that. And I was a bit slow, I didn’t really take too much notice. But I asked some Maldivian friends and colleagues, and yes they come every year. And I asked people about them and yes, they knew, but they didn’t know anything, where they came from, or anything. And again I didn’t think too much of it. But slowly it began to dawn on me that something rather special was happening. Because dragonflies need fresh water to breed. And the Maldives, and I’m sure some of you have been there — so here is home. So, Maldives, beautiful place. (Laughter) It’s built entirely of coral reefs. And on top of the coral reefs are sand banks. Average height, about that much above sea level. So, global warming, sea level rise, it’s a real serious issue. But I’m not going to talk about that. Another important point of these sand banks is that when it rains, the rainwater soaks down into the soil. So, it’s gone. So, it stays under the soil. The trees can put their roots into it. Humans can dig holes and make a well. But dragonflies — a bit tricky. There is no surface fresh water. There are no ponds, streams, rivers, lakes, nothing like that. So, why is it that every year millions of dragonflies, millions, millions of dragonflies turn up? I got a little bit curious. In fact I’ll stop here, because I want to ask, and there is a lot of people who, from India of course, people who grew up spending your childhood here. Those of you who are Indian or spent your childhood here, let me have a show of hands, who of you — not yet, not yet! You’re too keen. You’re too keen. No. Hang on. Hang on. Wait for the go. I’ll say go. Those of you who grew up in India, do you remember in your childhood, dragonflies, swarms of dragonflies? Maybe at school, maybe tying little bits of string onto them? Maybe pulling bits off? I’m not asking about that. You’ve only got to say, do you remember seeing lots of dragonflies. Any hands? Any hands? Yes. Thank you. Thank you. It’s a widespread phenomenon throughout South Asia, including the Maldives. And I got a bit curious about it. In the Maldives — now, in India there is plenty of water, so, dragonflies, yeah, of course. Why not? But in Maldives, no fresh water. So, what on Earth is going on? And the first thing I did was started recording when they turned up in the Maldives. And there is the answer, 21st of October. Not every year, that’s the average date. So, I’ve been writing it down for 15 years now. You’d think they’re coming from India. It’s the closest place. But in October, remember, we’re still in southwest monsoon, Maldives is still in the southwest monsoon. But wind is, invariably, every time, is from the west. It’s going towards India, not from India. So, are these things, how are these things getting here? Are they coming from India against the wind? Seemed a bit unlikely. So, next thing I did is I got on the phone. Maldives is a long archipelago. It stretches about 500 miles, of course it’s India here. I got on the phone and emailed to friends and colleagues. When do you see the dragonflies appear? And pretty soon, a picture started emerging. In Bangalore, a colleague there sent me information for three years, average, 24th of September, so late September. Down in Trivandrum, a bit later. Far north of Maldives, a bit later. Then Malé, then further south. And then the southernmost Maldives. It’s pretty obvious, they’re coming from India. But they are coming 400 miles across the ocean, against the wind. How on Earth are they doing that? I didn’t know. The next thing I did was I started counting dragonflies. I wanted to know about their seasonality, what time of year, this is when they first arrive, but how long are they around for? Does that give any clues? So, I started a very rigorous scientific process. I had a rigorous scientific transect. I got on my bicycle, and I cycled around the island of Malé. It’s about five kilometers around, counting the dragonflies as I go, trying not to bump into people as I’m looking in the trees. And they’re here for a very short time, October, November, December. That’s it. And then they tail off, there’s a few, but that’s it. October, November, December. That is not the northeast monsoon season. That’s not the southwest season. That’s the inter-monsoon, the time when the monsoon changes. Now, what I said was, you get the southwest monsoon going one way, and then it changes and you get the northeast monsoon going the other way. And that sort of gives the impression you’ve got one air mass going up and down, up and down. It doesn’t work like that. What happens, actually, is there is two air masses. And there is a front between them, and the front moves. So, if you’ve got India here, when the front is up above India you’re into the southwest monsoon. Then the front moves into the northeast monsoon. And that front in the middle is not vertical, it’s at an angle. So, as it comes over towards Malé I’m standing in Malé underneath the front. I can be in the southwest monsoon. But the wind above is from the northeast monsoon. So, the dragonflies are actually coming from India on the northeast monsoon, but at an altitude at 1,000 to 2,000 meters up in the air. Incredible. These little insects, it’s the same ones we see out here [in India], two inches long, five centimeters long, flying in their millions, 400 miles across the ocean, at 2,000 meters up. Quite incredible. So, I was quite pleased with myself. I thought wow, I’ve tracked this one, I know how they come here. Then I scratched my head a bit, and that’s okay, I know how they come here, but why do they come here? What are millions of dragonflies doing, flying out over the ocean every year to their apparent doom? It doesn’t make sense. There is nothing for them in Maldives. What on Earth are they doing? Well, to cut a long story short, they’re actually flying right across the ocean. They’re making it all the way across to East Africa. I know that because I have friends who work on fisheries’ research vessels who have sent to me reports from boats out in the ocean. I know because we have reports from Seychelles, which fit in as well, down here. And I know because when you look at the rainfall, these particular insects, these Globe Skimmers breed in temporary rain water pools. Okay, they lay their eggs where the seasonal rains are, the monsoon rains. The larvae have to develop very quickly. They only take six weeks. Instead of 11 months, they’re six weeks. They’re up, and they’re off. Now, here we have, in case you can’t read at the back, the top is rainfall for India. And we’re starting in June. So this is the monsoon rain. By September, October, it’s drying out. Nothing for these dragonflies. There is no more seasonal rain. They’ve got to go hunting for seasonal rain. And they fly south. As the monsoon withdraws to the south they come down through Karnataka, into Kerala. And then they run out of land. But they are incredibly good fliers. This particular species, it can fly for thousands of kilometers. And it just keeps going. And the wind, the northeast wind swooshes it around and carries it off across the ocean to Africa, where it’s raining. And they are breeding in the rains of Africa. Now, this is southeast Africa. It makes it look like there are sort of two breeding periods here. It’s slightly more complicated than that. What’s happening is they are breeding in the monsoon rains here. And the dragonflies you can see today outside here, on the campus, are the young of this generation. They hatched out in India. They’re looking for somewhere to breed. If it rains here they’ll breed. But most of them are going to carry on. And next stop, perhaps only four or five days away is going to be East Africa. The wind will swoosh them out across here. If they pass the Maldives they might go and have a look, nothing there, they’ll carry on. Here, here, Kenya, East Africa, they’ve actually just come out of a long drought. Just last week the rains broke. The short rains broke and it’s raining there now. And the dragonflies are there. I have reports from my various contacts. The dragonflies are here now. They’re breeding there. When those guys, they’ll lay their eggs now. They’ll hatch out in six weeks. By that time the seasonal rains have moved on. It’s not there, it’s down here. They’ll fly down here. And the clever thing is the wind is always converging to where the rain is. The rain occurs, these are summer rains. This is a summer monsoon. The sun is overhead there. Summer rains in southern Africa. The sun is overhead, maximum heating, maximum evaporation, maximum clouds, maximum rainfall, maximum opportunities for reproduction. Not only that, because you have this convection, you have this rising of the air where it’s hot, air is drawn in. There’s a convergence. So, wherever the rain is falling, the air is drawn towards it to replace the air that’s rising. So, the little fellow that hatches out here, he gets up into the air, he is automatically carried to where the rain is falling. Lay their eggs, next generation, they come up, automatically carried to where the rain is falling. It’s now back there. They come out, it’s time to come back. So, in four generations, one, two, three, four and then back. A complete circuit of the Indian Ocean. This is a circuit of about 16,000 kilometers. 16,000 kilometers, four generations, mind you, for a two inch long insect. It’s quite incredible. Those of you from North America will be familiar with the Monarch butterfly. Which, up until now has had the longest known insect migration. It’s only half the length of this one. And this crossing here, of the ocean, is the only truly regular transoceanic crossing of any insect. A quite incredible feat. And I only stumbled on this because I was living in Malé, in Maldives for long enough for it to percolate into my brain that something rather special was going on. But dragonflies are not the only creatures that make the crossing. There is more to the story. I’m also interested in birds. And I’m familiar with this fellow. This is a rather special bird. It’s a falcon. It’s called the eastern red-footed falcon, obviously. But it’s also called the Amur Falcon. And it’s called the Amur Falcon because it breeds in Amurland. Which is an area along the Amur River, which is up here. It’s the border, much of it is the border between China and Russia, up here in the far east. So, Siberia, Manchuria. And that’s where it breeds. And if you’re a falcon it’s quite a nice place to be in the summer. But it’s a pretty miserable place to be in the winter. It’s, well, you can imagine. So, as any sensible bird would do, he moves south. They move south. The whole population moves south. But then the being sensible stopped. So, now they don’t stop here, or even down here. No, they turn across here. They have a little refueling stop in northeastern India. They come to the latitude of about Mumbai or Goa. And then they strike out across the ocean, down to Kenya. And down here, and they winter down here [in southern Africa]. Incredible. This is the most extraordinary migration of any bird of prey. A quite incredible migration. And they are not the only one that makes the crossing. They have the most incredible journey, but several make the crossing from India to Africa. Includes this one, the hobby. This fellow is a very nice bird, this is the Pied cuckoo. Those of you from northern India will be familiar with this. It comes with the monsoons. This time of year they cross back to Africa. And this guy, the roller, a rather beautiful bird. It’s known as the Eurasian Roller. In India it occurs in the northwest, so it’s known as the Kashmir Roller. And these birds, what I’ve done is I’ve complied all the records, all the available records of these birds, put them together, and found out they migrate at exactly the same time as the dragonflies. They make use of exactly the same winds. They travel at exactly the same time with the same winds to make the crossing. I know they travel at the same altitude. It’s known about the Amur Falcon. This guy, unfortunately, one of these met an unfortunate end. He was flying off the coast of Goa, 21 years ago, 1988. October, 1988. An Indian Navy jet was flying off Goa, bang! In the middle of the night. Fortunately, a two engine jet got back to base, and they pulled the remains of one of these [Eurasian Rollers] out. Flying at night over the Indian Ocean 2,424 meters. Same height as the dragonflies go. So, they are using the same winds. And the other thing, the other important factor for all these birds, all medium sized fellows, and this includes the next slide as well, which is a bee-eater. Bee-eaters eat bees. This one has a nice blue cheek. It’s a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. And every one of these birds that makes the crossing from India to East Africa eats insects, large insects, the size of dragonflies. Thank you very much. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Charles Anderson discovers dragonflies that cross oceans

  1. i know what you meant. i was agreeing with you. but also i think all the ted talks are decent, simply because they can get you thinking about so many different things, but not all of them are of the high quality of, for instance, sir ken robinson's talk on schools and creativity.

    so, to basically restate what i said, if your interests are more varied, more varied things will interest you. dig it?

  2. This has nothing to do with a debate between evolutionists and creationists. This dragonfly has simply adapted to the situation at hand. It is remarkable though, to think of the possibilities that are out there in the animal world, and what else that we might find.

  3. The Talk was excellent.

    But the Bullshit commie commercial pushing acceptance of extra taxation and video survailance is a sick joke.

  4. If you can give an argument why is a joke, your comment wouldn't be taking as a joke…. Scandinavian countries are not waiting for what come up from global meetings in order to change their consumption habits. They vote for it, it is their will.

  5. You just cant see where this is leading….And neither can they.
    Next they will track the very movement of your vehicals and charge you per km. They may start with personal limits on km's per year, but eventually you will have to pay per killometer. Gps tracking comes free with every vehical purchace, welcome to on star…..
    Dont get me wrong, we have to get a grip on gorund level toxic polution, but this isint about polution, its about money and control.

  6. what happends if I vote to conquer you and enslave u? seriously dude, you have to keep the rest of the world in account if you're going to do anything.

  7. while i dont believe in creationism its not the idea thats dangerous it stupid people who are dangerous. If these stupid people did not believe in it they would still be dangerous.

    and while yes religion has retarded the advance of science many scientist did their work because of their beliefs and where in fact trying to prove god's presence. I believe Newton was one of them and a number of astrologist too.

  8. you need to find some smarter religious people to talk too. Not all religious people think that way. Not that im agreeing with them but it really doesnt matter how they view the world. Everyone sees the world with their own eyes. Doesnt matter if they interpret it your way/ or mine.

  9. Indeed, the ones I am talking about, the ones who do not apply the principle of falsifiability, ARE the smart ones.

    The one's who merge Christianity with evolution, the one's who say "Oh yeah evolution, but it's god doing that evolution".

    Those ARE the sophisticated ones, are they not?

    When Francis Collins tells his tale of conversion due to seeing a frozen waterfall with 3 spikes, convincing him of the trinity, ask yourself, what would he have done if it was 4 spikes? Unfalsifiability again.

  10. ideas influence our believe systems and thats why they make us seem stupid. Once we have correct ideas we are no longer stupid. If you know basic laws of logic you seem much brighter then if you lack understanding of logic. Believes influence not only our behavior but also other believes.

  11. they are back after a break in which bunch of stuntman and other assholes not related to anything kept talking now finally something interesting 🙂

  12. god made mosquitos for a reason after all it was made as food for these guys. I dont know why he also made them bite us and make the annoying buzzing noise at night. But i guess he wants to practice our patience for when we debate creationists. lol

  13. Nice science. This is how TED should be.

    Not like the Big Brother "propoganda" at the end – cameras and computers monitoring all your activity under the pretext of greening the planet.

    I want a greener kinder world but I don't want the likes of IBM, Al Gore, The Council on Foreign Relations running it! When ever there is centralized control you have the likes of the CFR.

    No surprise this propoganda often features at TED when Google are members of CFR too.

  14. yes.

    but what i was getting at is ithat people who do fucked up things lack understanding of logic and their belief in an invisible man is not the reason they do these fucked up things they would do it even if they didnt believe in him.

  15. you mean slowing down progress denying scientific facts blowing up building waging holy wars wasting their time converting other people to do exactly the same and brainwash children? they would still do those things if they werent religious?

  16. Sorry, but you are drowning in a glass of water. The process of gov. control started decades ago if you haven't noticed yet, still we the people have been hopeless about changing anything. Some governments at least ask you to vote, others ( e.g. the USA) use national security issues in order to obtain more control.

    I am a scientist, and I say, regardless what governments really want (anyways we are hopeless), reducing pollution is a common sense achievement that nations should pursue.

  17. Sorry but since the existence of civic laws and their predecessors the free man has been controlled by external forces. This civic laws, ideally are result of human being interacting, discussing, voting, etc, in order to constrain social behaviors. The example of voting for a conquering me is an extreme example that does not apply for this issue.

  18. If you are indeed a scientist, wich would mean you are skeptical by nature and had to see the truth for yourself, search
    (if you only belive whats on tv)
    Jessie Ventura conspiricy theory global warming
    or
    Lord Moncton, if you want real data.

    If you are truely a scientist you would take more data into account, wouldent you?

  19. yes those are the fucked up things they do and yes they would still be doing the same type of things.

    you are making the assumption that it is all religion fault and not the nature of these people.

    It is in their nature to be assholes if it wasnt for their faith it would have been for something else.

  20. why arent there atheist terrorists? I am not making assumptions believes do influence other believes and they also influence how we find truth.. if you believe earth is flat you also believe that it has edges and u probably also believe that it has 4 corners. The way you find truth is also not through personal evidence not evidence from mathematics like trig and scientific method. The people are their believes. If i believe killing is bad i wont kill but if i believe its ok to kill i might.

  21. the only way to get to someone is to showing them the other point. If you never going to change your mind then of course my youtube comments wont change your mind. Yet there are people out there that want to see both sides of the story and even though they have an opinion they understand that they were wrong before and that they can be wrong now. Through changing peoples opinions you do change the world. world is made up of people. You change their opinions and u change the world

  22. We scientists care nothing about what governments and the average people think. We act in our own average. If one or two scientist say something, we give them the chance to prove it, and if they do, we in average use the new theory as some kind of fact. Galileo and others care nothing about what the powerful people of their times thought, he just said the Earth orbit the Sun, there were tons of skeptics, and it took decades to prove his theories.

  23. Same with Einsten's theory, until the average of the science community accepted the theory, it wasn't a fact. Reminds me the Ozone hole. It was brought to light decades before first images, however no average people listened till the satellite did show actual pictures of the hole. The true is, the average scientist believe in global warming, now it is out of our hands what governments and their people do. Maybe your grandsons would ask for our forgiveness when the problem becomes quite obvious.

  24. hmm, Buddhism is not atheist.

    you clearly only chose to hear that kind of terrorism while ignoring hundreds of others.

    you are still not getting my point. and i kinda dont wanna write it a third time now.

    just to fancy you,

    depends of what you call wealth, money wise prob not.

    yes, and burka is a peice of clothing and as one cannot be either fair nor unfair, the forcing of waring it is not fair.

    again look at these countries and study their education standards youll c a correlation.

  25. also,

    it funny that u mentioned Buddhim as an example of etheism after saying there are no etheist terrorist.

    a. Buddhism is a religion and they do believe in gods, angles, and spirits. you are confusing Confucianism (mostly just a philosophy) and Buddhism (a religion).

    b. Buddhist have been attacking people for years now for doing things that are against their beliefs.

    and another thing, that # was just to show that there are far more religious people then e's. The right number is only 2%

  26. indeed, it does take a certain kinda of a person to believe in an invisible man, i dont really understand why do people buy that kinda things but guess they like it or its just the norm, or whatever.

    but if you suggesting that somehow religion is the only cause of this, ill have to disagree.

    There are PHD students who are much much smarter then the average person who still believe in god or what not, but they have the brains to no do anything stupid because of it.

  27. ok buddist people are not all atheists but most of them are. Buddism started out as an atheistic religion. Most of them do not believe in any deity so they are atheists.
    by wealth i mean purchasing power. But burka is religious its part of islam! Even woman that are Muslim that live in a different culture if they fallow their religion. Its religion that brings certain behavior. One of those behaviors is going to church or praying(dont think those are good either) but certain are just speakable

  28. ok buddist people are not all atheists but most of them are. Buddism started out as an atheistic religion. Most of them do not believe in any deity so they are atheists.
    by wealth i mean purchasing power. But burka is religious its part of islam! Even woman that are Muslim that live in a different culture if they fallow their religion. Its religion that brings certain behavior. One of those behaviors is going to church or praying(dont think those are good either) but certain are just despicable

  29. some buddists believe in gods others do not (it is atheistic religion a religion that does not believe in a deity but believes in supernatural) Not all atheist are free of supernatural believes. (although lots of atheists are, people free of spiritual believes are called brights people who believe in supernatural are called supers)
    b) by terrorists i meant suicide terrorist and there were people that killed other people but never for atheist (you cant even kill for atheism)

  30. yea and there is far more average people then there are are geniuses. There is far more people that dont know calculus then that know calculus. And actually people without a believe are 3rd biggest group in the world (16% of the world) there is 33% Christians so only twice as much and 21% of the world is Islamic. Just because a lot of ppl believe something it doesnt mean its true. All ppl use to believe that earth is flat and that it is center of the universe.

  31. The masses are always right applies only to guessing of amounts, like how many potatoes a bowl contains. You will see that the masses always get closest to the answer. Here you are applying that this also is true even when the issue/problem/question at hand is more complex than just mathematical guessing. The issue is that to know if god exists or not we need knowledge. Guessing quantity is a skill everyone can perform. And everyone get the same knowledge before the question, through their eyes.

  32. i dont knw y you think that most buddist are atheist.

    There are many muslim nation that do not force the burka or do not inforce it even if its law. It is not the religion that at fault its the people who enforce it.

  33. if they believe in super natural beliefs they are not atheist.

    hmm, if u change the definition to fit you argument it does not make your argument true. Suicide bombing are not the only form of terrorist in fact that are not even in the definition of terrorism.

    hmm, the US revolution was not an act in gods name it had nothing to do with religion but the people will to be free, many people died then. People will always die and kill for their beliefs they dont need to beleve in god to do so.

  34. i dont claim that religions are true i dont like them either but i dont think that they are the root cause of our problems and the sooner people understand that the sooner the problems can be solved.

  35. i have not argue the existence of god at all i dont believe there is one.

    I was arguing that people do stupid shit because they are stupid and not because of their believe in god.

  36. because Buddhist religion originated as an atheistic religion and people that believe in god arent fallowing its doctrine. In other words they are like Christians that worship Allah. Most Christians dont worship Allah. Just like most Buddhists dont believe in God.
    Yea its not religion thats the problem just the people that fallow the religion. If you do not stone disobedient children to death you are not fallowing the bible either. But it doesnt mean that that idea is dangerous

  37. dude learn definitions of words. Atheists means without believe in God. Not without believe in supernatural. Brights do not believe in supernatural.
    Yea i know if i change my definition but thats precisely what i meant how come there arent any people that are willing to suicide for atheism (and there arent any people who will be terrorists for atheism either) yea but additional people wont die because of religion. Its like saying life is shit lets make it worse w/ religion cuz it doesnt matter

  38. dude learn definitions of words. Atheists means without believe in God. Not without believe in supernatural. Brights do not believe in supernatural.
    Yea i know if i change my definition but thats precisely what i meant how come there arent any people that are willing to suicide for atheism (and there arent any people who will be terrorists for atheism either) yea but additional people wont die because of religion. Its like saying life is shit lets make it worse w/ religion cuz it doesnt matter

  39. i dont knw why do you separate suicide bomings and other violant terrorist activities but you Atheist buddist are commuting violent terrorism.

    suicide bomber are desperate fools they do it for many reasons some of which is that terrorist organizations pay the families of a bomber others do it to because the culture that they are in considers those people heros and they want to be heros, im sure there are other reasons. Communist terrorist have been killing people left and right.

  40. freedom of speech can be dangerous too.

    you can find faults in just about anything you want if you look hard enough. peoples values come from the TV more then they do from the bible or any other religious text. Your example of the stoning is example of that.

    the problem is the people who try to control others which is much easier to do to poor people.

    there are at least as many muslims in the US then in Gaza yet no suicide bombers in the US. clearly faith is not the cause.

  41. a believe in freedom of speech is much less dangerous then a believe in censoring the opposite side of the debate. IF you believe you have the right to choose what people can and cannot say That is a dangerous believe to hold. Its like saying tolerance is dangerous, its much less dangerous then intolerance! without faith there is no religion (faith being believe with no evidence) and other ridicules believes. w/o religion there is no organized religion which does tons of harm even w/o terrorism

  42. people kill themselfs just because they have given up, many christens have done so even though its against their believes.

    in fact industrial nations with larger populations of atheist tend to kill themselves more often as the belief that someone is watching ones ass tends to give people hope.

    hmm, nothing is impossible to fight for. you can easily kill someone and say you did it because he was not atheist.

  43. ofc. Im not claiming Hitler killed those people because he was catholic (i use to be catholic as well) yet other people listening to him did listen because they though god was on their side. And other irrational believes of his lead him to his action. He had many irrational believes killing jews was only one of them If you dont have religion its much harder for you to believe in irrational things U still might but the point is the more irrational believes the easier it is for u to have even more

  44. suicide is something different from terrorist suicide. Suicide is giving up, you cant give up on everything and then go and act upon the fact that you dont care. People that commit acts of terrorism have a purpose and they believe that they will get a reward for their action. They will get to heaven. If you know you wont get a reward and you know you just taking other peoples lives and you have to organize yourself and get motivated (if you are depressed this is impossible)

  45. "IF you believe you have the right to choose what people can and cannot say That is a dangerous believe to hold." exactly that is the problem not the way that you chose to do it.

    some of my closer friends swear that their faith is what keeps them going one of them is a recovering alcoholic who swears that god helped him get over it. while i find it redicules, Does it really matter if that is true or not?

    not everyone is strong enough take life on without it.

  46. You cant fight for atheism because atheism is lack of believe. You can fight for rationality, you can fight because you think that the world without religion would be better. You can fight to spread atheism. Yet you cannot fight on the bases of atheism. You can however fight on the basis of bible Christianity Islam or any other religion. You can fight for a god. And a lot of good people do evil things because they think god would want them to do it.

  47. that reward is often money for their families or negating the shame they brought on their parents and not the virgins. there are countless stories of people who were shocked that their friend become a suicide bomber because they knw he was not religious.

  48. people chose which parts of their religion to actually practice. if one is irrational you can fool him to do just about anything.

  49. the problem is that they cannot say. If they were atheists they could have something else that would keep them going on. Something much better like family friends they would realize its their own will that keeps them going and that when they talk to god they really talking to their own mind. They could meditate instead and keep going without a habit. There are drug addicts that tell you that they would surely kill themselves without a drug. You dont need to be strong to be an atheist.

  50. doubt that i bet this is a propaganda of religious people. people who blow themselves up shout Allah is the only god and his messenger Mohammad. And they are terrorists to spread their religion. And even if you say that its because of culture not religion religion influences culture. So its one and the same.

  51. a lot of times woman have no choice at all in those countries. And most of the time people just fallow their religion like their parents thought them to fallow. Its hard to see what is irrational part to fallow and what is more rational one if the whole belief is irrational. If people would choose which part to fallow they would choose none of it. All of our believes influence our actions.

  52. Oh & btw i know that people often say just read a book and it will change ur mind But there is a man called dan dennet he is a philosopher u can watch him online and see how much you agree with him, he talks about a lot of things but he talks about people that believe in the belief Or people that arent religious themselves but think that being religious is good He also talks about many other things here is 1 of his videoswatch?v=DTepA-WV_oE if u like him u could read his book breaking the spell

  53. does it really matter what is it that keeps them going? if god is it so be it.

    maybe they could find something else, but they found god. I dont understand it either but that is what they say or at least that is how they interpreted it.

  54. it is the truth, probably not for all but for many documented cases.

    there is more to terrorism then just faith. If Binladin truly believed that he would go to heaven why is he still around?

    i am not convinced that they would not do it if there was no religion. Alexander the Great, Rome, Mongols, I think Nepolean too, NKorea, Vietnam….many more conquered people for glory, land, and wealth not faith.

    i think wealth is just as dangerous and often goes hand in hand with religion.

  55. yes they do it from habit. habit which hardly changes over the genoration because of luck of access to different ideas.

    im sure if their culture was just to fight people (like the spartans) that is all they would be doing.

  56. wtf! Is there a single video on youtube where people are not arguing about religion or politics or race!? What the fuck does that even have to do with this video?! Is this what people are really like when they feel free to speak their true mind? So much hate eating away at them like a poison. No art or kind deeds can balance these scales.

  57. I loved the dragonfly discussion. But I was wondering about the IBM commercial at the end.

    They cut down on traffic in Stockholm but they didn't mention whether or not they also cut down on business revenue throughout the city.

    Does anyone know whether it did or not?

  58. Nature is so awesome!I've seen dragonflies in India, fauna and flora is so beautiful there.
    I love how passionately he tells it, too.

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