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MathGeek

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  1. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+15&version=NIV Pilate is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. See: https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=Pilate&qs_version=NIV Pilate is not mentioned by name in any letters attributed to Paul. We at least owe different faiths accurate representation of their primary documents when questioning their historicity.
  2. Confirmed results of science are not about speculation or suspicion, but often the speculations and suspicions formed during one careful study form the hypotheses that can be testable in future studies. There is nothing wrong with educated guesses in science, as long as they are communicated with appropriate language and without inappropriate levels of confidence. How many hypothesis papers have you published? I've published several.
  3. The standards of evidence vary by scholarly disciplines. "Proof" is a poor word choice in most cases outside of the disciplines of mathematics and law (where there are articulated standards of "beyond a reasonable doubt" and "preponderance of the evidence.") Rather than discussing "proof" from a scientific viewpoint, it makes more sense to ask questions like "How does the scholarly evidence for a historical Jesus compare with the scholarly evidence of well-established historical figures in the ancient world such as Socrates, Plato, and other historically important philosophers, teachers, a
  4. The evidence for a historical Socrates (and most historical figures in the ancient world) is even weaker of one applies the same standard of insisting on original surviving contemporary manuscripts.
  5. That is surely possibly, but it tends toward narrowing the rational basis to things that can be explored through objective scholarly approaches. My experience with religious people suggests there are elements that are rational but also subjective in that they are not independently verifiable (or falsifiable) - claims of personal "spiritual" experiences that may be unproven, but certainly not disproven either.
  6. I think I know what science is about: I have a PhD in Physics from a top 5 school and I've published over 100 scholarly papers that have been cited over 1000 times (total). Not sure why you are insulting me - I exercised due care to separate the science from the speculation in the paper under discussion.
  7. One should distinguish "rational" which means based on logic and facts available to the individual making relevant choices from "objective" which means the set of facts can be demonstrated with reasonable certainty to third parties. A young lady may not be able to objectively prove that a young man sexually assaulted her, but is it irrational for her to avoid him because she knows what he did to her?
  8. Need to separate the science from the speculation. The science is that more human activity tends to make mammals more nocturnal. The speculation is that there is something bad about that.
  9. I think Special Relativity and Brownian Motion were more than enough to call Einstein clever even had GR been disproven. Have you ever read Newton's Alchemy or Kepler's "music of the spheres" nonsense? The mistakes are forgotten and don't tend to count against the genius of the great scientists. The column most remember is the things they get right, and Einstein got plenty right without GR, just as Newton and Kepler also got plenty right in spite of some glaring errors.
  10. No, you need an experiment. Theories do not disprove other theories. Experiments disprove theories.
  11. The problem with a line between the OT and NT as a demarcation criteria is the dozens (maybe hundreds) of times the NT refers to specific events and people originally occurring in the OT narratives. For example, The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.” At this they exclaimed, “Now
  12. Denatured alcohol is usually mostly ethanol with enough of some contaminant (often methanol) so that it is unsafe to drink. The main reason for this is so that it is not heavily taxed as an alcoholic beverage. A bottle of Everclear costs almost $20. About the same quantity of denatured alcohol costs $7.50 at local hardware stores. For a certain brand of denatured alcohol, you can look up the ingredients or try and find the MSDS. The ones I've checked are mixtures of ethanol and methanol. I'm not sure it is any safer, but since it is cheaper, isopropanol is usually the first alcohol I t
  13. The same issues arise often in physics when defining a quantity. I first learned that mass is the "quantity of matter" in early science courses. I later learned of distinctions between inertial mass, gravitational mass, and relativistic mass. Which is more fundamental? When I think like an experimentalist, I focus on how a quantity is measured. Can it be measured directly, or is it usually computed from other quantities that are measured more directly? When I think like a theorist, I focus more on how a quantity is used in calculations to predict the outcome of some experiment.
  14. History has shown the value of skepticism when someone asserts that a given area of science is completed and wrapped neatly with a bow. To my knowledge, most of the remaining areas of interest in electromagnetism are in the area of interactions with matter. I did a lot of work early in my career in the area of interactions of very strong fields with matter - multiphoton effects of light with atoms and very strong static electric and magnetic field effects with atoms. More recently, I've contributed to a few projects relating to whether certain species are able to detect electric and or
  15. Six days. The Bible says creation spanned six days, not seven. Now I don't agree with it, but when "theistic evolutionists" articulate a faith that has room for both a Christian God and a mostly naturalistic evolutionary process, many do seem to only view a small subset of the Bible as metaphorical - often limited to a few chapters in Genesis. In and of itself, I don't have a problem with this, as one could have a history book or a science book and come to a conclusion that a few chapters are wrong. Deciding that a few chapters are wrong in a history or a science book don't mean tha
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