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Everything posted by Edtharan

  1. Sorry been away for a bit. Actually, I did consider it. Part of the chain of reasoning covers that. Essentially, because the God is all powerful, then He could achieve anything any way He wanted to. This means that He could achieve the same ends as the God of your Hns universe without the need to include suffering (essentially there is a Hnot S universe that has the exact outcomes of any Hns universe available to an all powerful, all knowing God). This means that any suffering is there because the God wanted the suffering only for the sake of that suffering. With an all powerful God, the means are irrelevant, only the ends (so the ends can never justify the means).
  2. It was reading the bible that made me realise that Christianity could not be true. Haivng re-read parts of it in light of what I have learned up to now, when I re-read it I could not help but think of the medical definition of a psychopath. Try it, you talk about understanding it and this is a way to understand it. Read the bible with a check-list of what psychopathy is, and compare it with any reference to God (or even just what God says) you will very rapidly fill in the list. Scarily so. Basically, the personality of God in the bible (new testament or old testament) is pretty much a textbook case of psychopathy.
  3. According to the bible, it is not the devil that is sending to be punished, the devil is more like a prosecutor in a trial. God is supposed to deliver your verdict and send you to be punished. I suppose you might consider the devil as the one punishing you because it is also his job to carry out the judgements of God on the ones that God finds guilty. This is also the problem with the "miracles" as claimed by Christianity, and even you. With your "miracle" where your mother stopped in the parking lot, you refuse to acknowledge that there could have been some other cause for her to stop, like that fact that a garbage truck is really big, makes lots of noise and would have been seen long before it hit your mother's car, that is unless she is blind and completely deaf (if she is then the miracle is that she was driving in the first place). So your argument "Notice how these are so obviously wrong?" also apply to the miracles of Christianity. Every single miracle that has been reported has an explanation that does not require the intervention of an supernatural entity. In other words, we just accept a few less miracles than you do, and for exactly the same reason you reject the ones that you do reject. Evidence is information that allows us to distinguish between 2 or more claims. If the information does not allow us to distinguish between them, then it is not evidence (and is useless in a debate). The only use of such information is for re-enforcing an already established bias. Science requires evidence because it destroys existing bias if they are wrong (if they are right then it doesn't destroy them). Think of a person panning for gold. The idea of panning is that you gently remove the material that is not gold. This is because Gold has certain properties (ie: heavy) that allows it to be sorted by agitation of the material in the pan. Truth is like gold, it has certain properties, and evidence and logical inquiry are the way to remove the falsities from all the information around us. There are two types of faith: 1) Faith based on evidence and truth 2) Blind faith With blind faith, you accept things just because you are told them (and they match with your bias). If you start with a false bias, this just increases the falsity until it dominates. With Faith based on evidence, because is uses evidence, it challenges bias and seeks to correct false bias. It causes any falsity in your bias to become smaller. In both cases you have faith and belief, but in one you recognise that there are people in the world that either maliciously want you to believe incorrect things (eg: con artists) and people who, though ignorance believe wrong things. Take a parable from the bible, about how a wise king when presented with a dilemma chose to use enquiry and evidence to make the decision. He was presented with two women claiming to be the mother of the child (they didn't have DNA evidence back then) and offered a solution which put the child in danger, the real mother responded as a real mother would, but the false mother reacted differently. So, even the bible tells you to use evidence and investigation in working out the truth of things. Why not follow the teachings of the bible you put your belief in and apply logical investigation and require evidence in determining where your faith lies.
  4. When most people think of "All Powerful" they just think "Really Powerful". This is why I used the definition in my argument using set theory. In my argument, A is the set of all actions and AC is the acts that create any universe. In my argument, this means any universe that can be conceived by a being that can conceive of anything. Specifically, this includes a universe that does: anything and everything that God would require from this (or really any universe) universe, but has no suffering. It doesn't matter what the purpose of the universe is, whether or not we have free will, or that God works in mysterious ways. Because and all powerful, all knowing God can make any universe, then this must include a universe that matches any and all requirements and also has no suffering. This is why any and all suffering (in the case of an all powerful, all knowing God) is unnecessary. Of course, if God is not all powerful, or not all knowing, then this might be the best He could do (although, then it comes down to whether He has sufficient power and knowledge to create the morally perfect universe even if He is not all powerful or all knowing). Also, if God is not morally perfect, then this argument fails. However, because the Christian God is supposed to have these 3 properties then it is incompatible with a universe that has suffering. Only 1 of them can be true (in terms of logic, this would be an Xor function: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusive_or ).
  5. The concept of √Član Vital (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89lan_vital) has been disproved for a long time now. I find it interesting that people still try to bring it up in some form or another. It was partly the inspiration of the book by Mary Shelly: "Frankenstein". This statement is very important to understanding why your concepts are false. In systems theory any two systems that interact can be grouped together into a larger system. This is essentially what you are saying in your statement above. However, because they interact, they must be able to influence each other (or how can they interact?). Because they influence each other, then it is possible, from the point of view of one of the systems, to learn things about the other system and to exert some amount of control over it. What this means is that because you believe that we are inseparable from God, then we can take actions that will reveal His existence beyond any doubt. Key words here: "lack of a better definition". It could be that this is just a bad analogy, but what you are saying does not make logical sense (and yet you claim it is logical). In the way you describe it, it is not a logical point you chose, but an arbitrary one (and thus not logical at all). Unless you provide the reasoning of why you chose that spot, then it is not logical (and even then if you didn't follow logic then it is not logical). But, I will go for the bad analogy because you haven't really shown how this as a concept impacts the real world. As an example, I could create the concept of "Grue", and use your same analogy to prove that Grue is the origin of all things. This does not make Grue really, or even give you any concept of what Grue actually is. In fact, it doesn't give anyone any information about Grue at all. I seek, and I find lots of things, but I have not found anything so far that would convince me of any supernatural effect or entity (and yes, I am open minded on that).
  6. Actually, no. There is more than enough time for the eye to evolve. Scientists have worked out that the eye could have evolved, using known rates of mutation, in a minimum time of a few thousand generations. The process goes like this: There are chemicals that react to light. These are quite common throughout organic chemistry. Some cells near the surface of an organism have these chemicals in them. When these chemicals are exposed to light it triggers a cascade reaction in the cell. Over time, any organism that could use this cascade to trigger behaviour (such as increasing the production rate of chemicals that cause muscle contractions - and thus swim faster) would have an advantage because if less light reaches the organism then this could indicate a predator above it and faster swimming organisms would more likely escape a predator. If these cells are more concentrated in areas on the organism, then this gives a better resolution. The organism can now, very crudely tell the direction of movement of the shadow across it. If these concentrations of cells became concave (like a dimple), this would give even better directional sense. Also, a protective membrane across the dimple would protect the dimpled cell clusters. At the moment, this structure is similar to a pinhole camera, and this would give the organism some degree of focus to the image formed on the light sensitive cells enabling the organism to "see" for the first time (not just detect light and shadow). At this point, we have a proto-eye. The membrane across the proto-eye would refract light, so an increase in the thickness of the membrane in certain areas (such as the centre) would cause the light entering to be focused, giving the organism increased focus and enabling a wider aperture making the proto-eye more sensitive. From here on in, we really have an eye. Further refinements will give better image quality, colour vision, and many other features. What is important is that each of these steps is only a small step and is easily within "micro Evolution", where only small changes occur. Concentrations of particular chemicals in cells are directly controlled by the activity of genes, increase the the number of genes that produce that chemical, or reduce the genes that limit the product will allow a greater concentration of that chemical. Thus this is easily within he reach of a simple mutation. We know that genes control where cells replicate in the body. The particular genes are the HOX genes, and experiments with fruit flies can cause eyes to appear on various parts of the body just by change the genes slightly. So, we know that genes can control where cells are located on the body of an organism, and this would enable simple mutation to influence where the light sensitive cells on the organism are located, and that they are dimpled in. An organism has many different types of membranes on it, many of them clear or even transparent. Referring back to the HOX type genes that control where such structures are located on an organism, this allows though simple mutation to give us the transparent membrane over the dimple where the light sensitive cells are located. As it has been show that genes can direct the formation of structures in an organism, then the thickening of the membrane into a lens is also within the bounds of mutation. At no part of this is there a jump where mutation (and thus evolution) can not explain the changes that lead from simple cells to a functioning eye. As there is a natural explanation without the need for a dependence on a supernatural or other wise external being or force, then you argument that it is proof that there must be such a force is invalid.
  7. Nobody is denying that the bible was written, but we are questioning who the author was. It would be a bit like me claiming to be JRR Tolkien. There is proof that someone wrote these words, but there is no proof that I am Tolkien.
  8. I would say both. One could just as well say that the universe was sneezed out of some nose (fits with the expanding universe we see). Maybe you would call that sneezer God. Or, maybe the universe was created due to the uncertainty between time and space at plank scales (which doesn't require a divine being/God). So, unless you have data that determines which of these (or any number of other situations) are true, then you don't have any evidence and thus can not be basing your beliefs on a rational judgement. Not a complete list but: 1) All powerful 2) All knowing 3) Perfect Morality Now, if God has all these attributes I can prove (yes as in mathematical proof) that such a being does not exist if we then use evidence that we can see ourselves. Here goes: Let A be the set of all actions. Let C be the set of actions "Create any Universe" Let K be the set of all knowledge. Let H be set of knowledge "How to create any Universe" Let S be any suffering. Let [Action]M be the Perfectly Moral Action Let SU be Unnecessary Suffering As C is a set of actions, it must also exist within the set of all action A As H is as set of knowledge, it must exist in the set K. Any being that has the property of of being all powerful can perform any action in the set A Any being that has the property of being all knowing knows everything in the set K Thus the Christian God could be defined as AK[A]M (note this allows God to have the power to do evil, but that He chooses not to do evil). That is all powerful, all knowing and perfectly moral. This means that a perfectly moral God, when creating a universe performs HM. If Unnecessary Suffering is not perfectly moral (eg ASU, then any being that creates a Universe HSU can not be considered perfectly moral (that is God would be Godnot M If our universe is not [H]M, then God can not be AK[A]M. God can create a universe without suffering, as Hnot S is a subest of H and H is a subest of A. This means that any suffering is unnecesary: S = SU where God = AK[A]M. If our universe is [H]S, then God can not be the Christian God. As our universe clearly has suffering, then this logically disproves the Christian God (actually all AK[A]M Gods). Evidence is any data or information that allows you to decide between 2 or more possibilities as being not false. Example 1: Two scientists are discussing if Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein is correct in the formula for gravity. Non Evidence: Each drop a ball from a given height and the time it takes both balls to reach the ground match each other. As this does not allow us to determine whether Newton or Einstein is correct, then it is not evidence. Evidence: Astronomers measure the orbit of the planet Mercury. Newton predicts a certain value for the precession of Mercury around the Sun and Einstein predicts a different value. The value that is measured matches the value predicted by Einstein. This is evidence because it allows us to determine which of the two formula are correct. Example 2: A brother and sister are arguing over who owns a piggy bank (and the money within it). Non Evidence: They agree that the piggy bank is pink. the sister claims that she owns it because she likes the colour pink. The boy says that He owns it because pigs are pink that it doesn't come in any other colour. This is non evidence because despite the piggy bank being pink, each has a valid reason for it to be pink, thus the observation of the piggy bank being pink does not decide between the two claims. Evidence: The girl says that her name is written on a piece of paper inside the piggy bank, and the boy claims that the piece of paper has his name on it. Upon opening the piggy bank the piece of paper has the boy's name on it. The piece of paper is evidence as it allows them to make a distinction between the claims of each of the siblings. This is an assumption right here. This is the assumption of the Christian religions, but it is not the assumption of any other religion. When making a claim against atheism, you have to do 2 things: 1) Prove that supernatural entities like Gods exist 2) Prove that it is your God and not some other God that really exists. Here, you have done neither. All you have done is restate that you believe that that the universe needed a creator and that it was your god that was that creator (that is actually 2 assumptions). As for proof: See above. There is a massive leap between D and E; and F is just the logical fallacy "Begging the question" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question ). And, even B is debatable: The atoms that make me up didn't just pop into existence when I was conceived. These cam from the food my mother ate, and these cam from the environment and so forth. I didn't so much as "Begin", I "Became". But, as your argument requires that we "Began", then if we "Became" then it invalidates your argument. As I have proven with formal logic that a God can not be all powerfull, all knowing and perfectly moral if the universe has any suffering. And, because our universe has suffering then the God that created our universe (if any) can not have those 3 properties. Call it what you want, it doesn't make it any more true. If it were true, then there would be no other religions. The fact that there are other religion means that the Christian God can not be something fundamental to the "functional reason of man".
  9. Key word "All". Mt Everest (tallest mountain in the world) is around 8,840 metres. This means that the horizon you could see would be around 10km away. I think even just 1 kingdom would be more than 20 in diameter. Therefore you could not see all the kingdoms in the world from even the tallest mountain. But this is exactly how a con artist would want you to think. Back in the american old west days, there were travelling salesmen that would go around selling tonics (one of the ingredients they would ay was in the tonic was "Snake Oil" - and they became known as snake oil salesmen). Often they would claim these tonics had miraculous powers of healing. These tonics had no medicinal function. But, still some people would get better. Not this was not because the tonic actually did anything, but it was because our bodies are really good at fighting off disease and recovering from injury. However, people would put it down to the tonic because that is what they were told the tonic would do. So, it wasn't a miracle, nor was it magic, but instead, just our bodies doing what they do. The Snake Oil salesmen would of course (being the con artists they were) use this belief in miracles to promote their products. What this means is that if someone is claiming miracles, be careful of them as often they are either con artists, or victims of con artists. As an hobby magician (that is magic tricks - not real magic) I use these very same techniques, not to cheat people, but to entertain them. I say what I do are miracles, but I know they are not (just clever words and using people's belief in miracles) and as the audience knows that I am a performer, they don't go away really believing that I can work miracles. What about a miracles for the 5 year old child in Africa that has a worm that has burrowed into her leg and slowly killing her. Or someone with cancer that is slowly killing them. Where are the miracles for these people? Not everything in the in the universe (even if God exists) has to occur to some master plan. If it did, then we would have no free will (and the beliefs of Christianity would be thus invalidated). There can thus be chance events. What your mother experienced could be a chance event, not a miracle. Sure, you might want to see it as a miracle, and perhaps it really was, but there is no evidence to actually allow us to decide if it was or not. It is only because you want to believe it is a miracle that you think it is a miracle, but even if God exists, then He might have had nothing to do with that at all. If you can give us some clear proof that it really was a miracle (like actual teleporting out of the way, or the hand of God coming down and stopping your mother - or even that she experienced a vision that mad her want to stop). As it stand, all we have is that your mother was lucky, not divinely protected. Might want to read this wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum And I have never seen a miracle from Christianity. So what? Does that mean that Christianity must be wrong becausse I (or a single specific person) hasn't seen a miracle? There are many cases where other religions claim miracles (check out the Oracles of the Hellenistic traditions). Every single religion that has ever existed claims miracles. Actually, according to the Norse religions, every time you see a lightning bolt and hear thunder, that is a miracle. Wow, I see then all the time, many times a year, an I have never seen a miracle form Christianity. SO does this mean that we all should worship Odin and Thor? But, Christians have been saying this for nearly 2000 years. I wonder what each of those thought when it didn't happen? You also have to be precise about the time. I can say that an asteroid will strike the Earth. However, if I don't put a time on that, then I will eventually be right, but it could be in 1,000,000 years from now. Geologists, Seismologists and Vulcanologists, when they make a forecast about these things, they put a time frame for it to happen in. Sure, they are not always 100% correct, but they have been more correct than the Christians have (2000 years without the apocalypse and still no success - compared to hundreds of successes in the last 100 years for the scientists). So, give us a time that we can check, and, if you are wrong, you must then admit that your beliefs are wrong (because you would have believed something that is demonstrably wrong - ie: the end of the word didn't happen). Actually, if you do look at the historical data about disasters, they are occurring less frequently now than over the last 2,000 years. Wars are less frequent, volcanoes are down and so on. This means according to the actual data, you have already been proven wrong (you believe that they are getting worse). What has increased is the reporting of them. We are more likely to encounter the information that a disaster has occurred now than at any point in the past. Because we hear a lot of reports on such occurrences, than we did years before, we tend to think that they are increasing, but instead it is the reporting and our exposure to them that is increasing. What proof do you have of this? A Con man would tell you that if you do thins thing, then you will eventually be rewarded. Think if the Bank of Nigeria Scams that when around (and still do). These were emails sent to people which requested people to help someone get their money out of a bank and that if they did the person helping would receive hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they had to put an advance of a few hundred dollars for paperwork. Of course, the people who gave the money never recieved any back, but they really believed they would get those hundreds of thousands of dollars as a reward. To me, this just sounds like the same scam: "I'll give you an amazing reward some time in the future, but you have to do this for me first..." So, if we are looking to see if this could be a scam by the devil (or Loki of you want to convert to the Norse Gods ), then the fact that there exist scams (not by the devil, or Loki) that follow the exact same template must raise the spectre of doubt. So, again, how can we determine if this claim is true or a lie? Check with reality. Do we have any proof of Heaven? Do we have proof that Christians will get justice in it? (Maybe the Christians are wrong and we go to Valhalla instead) If you can't answer these questions and provide evidence to support your answers, then you don't have proof that you are not being lied to. You can not know that you are not being deceived. But this was in response to your post that those that don't follow God and turn away from him will have their love grow cold. In other words, you said we can't. Check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_the_goalposts Give us some then.
  10. How about being able to do an experiment yourself that has evolution occur right in front of your face. What you need: Pencil and eraser Several pieces of paper (or you could use a word processor if you want to save paper) 2 Coins And a fair bit of time (a few hours at least). Setup: - On one piece of paper write a word (about 6 letters will do). Put this aside so you can remember it. We will call this the target word. - On another piece of paper write random letters (call this the see word). It doesn't need to be the same number as the word you wrote. Also, unless you have a lot of paper, it is best if you write small. Ok, we are now ready to prove to you evolution is real. Follow these steps: 1) Using the seed word, make a copy of it, however, when writing each letter out, flip the coin. If it is a heads, leave the letter as is and go on to step 3, otherwise do step 2. 2) If the coin is a tails, flip 2 coins and do the following: a) If the two coins are both heads, change the letter so that it is one move towards 'A'. If the letter was 'A', then the letter becomes 'Z' (this gives us a wrap around). For example if the letter was 'G', then the letter becomes 'F'. b) If the two coins are both tails, change the letter so that it is one move towards 'Z'. If the letter was 'Z', then the letter becomes 'A' (this gives us a wrap around). For example if the letter was 'G', then the letter becomes 'H'. c) In any other case, go to step 4 3) If the coin is a heads, flip two coins and do the following: a) If the two coins are both heads, remove the letter from the word (note: if this causes the last letter to be deleted, then this word scores 0 - see below about scoring) b) If the two coins are both tails, add a random letter before this letter c) in any other case, go to step 4 4) Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have 10 words 5) Compare each word you made in steps 1, 2, and 3 and the seed word with the target word. Do this by applying these rules: a) For each letter in the tested word that is in the target word give the word +1 points, but only count a letter once for each time it is in the target word. For example if the test word was "kjlss" and the target word was "sure", as the letter 'S' appears in both, the word would get +1 point, but as the target word only has the letter 'S' once, the test word, even though it has 2 letter 'S' in it, still only gets 1 point form this b) If the target word has the same letter in the same place, then it gets a +1 point for each match. For example if the test word was "sjsjsu" and the target word was "sure", then as the first letters of both are 'S', then the test word gets +1 points. However even though there is the letter "U" in both, it is not in the right place so doesn't get the point. These points add to the points in rule (a). 6) Select the word with the highest score (or a random one from the words with the equally highest score). This word is not the new seed word. Erase all other words besides the target word (or just use a new piece of paper) 7) Repeat this procedure from step 1 until the words match exactly. If you follow these instructions, then you will get evolution. You have replication (making the 10 copies of the seed word), you have mutation (when you use the the coin to indicate what letters are changed) and you have selection (when you score the words and then choose the next seed word). Evolution is a process, and evolution of living organisms is just one instance of the process. In this example, we are using a set target for the selection, but it doesn't have to be (try it again, but half way through change the target word). If you want more examples of this have a look at these videos:
  11. Actually you don't need to invoke a new particle or anything like that. The answer is simple. Above, I talked about L-Systems, and how they are a finite state machine. Finite state machines get inputs and change their state according to those inputs and their current internal state (so as the state changes, so to can their reaction to a given input). If one side of the root get more water than the other, then this gives a gradient of water across the growing end of the root. The state change in the growing cells are that if one region has less water than another, then slow down growth in the region where there is less water. If the regions have equal water, then grow as normal. This would cause the root to grow towards any region of high water density (such as water from a the humidifier). Roots are the part of the plant that get nutrients and water from the soil. It makes sense that they would have the ability to sense and then grow towards where these things are. And, you don't need to propose an unknown and undetected patricle to ecplain it. It is just simple processes.
  12. How can you tell if someone is lying to you? Simple. Check to see if what they are saying matches with reality. If it doesn't match with reality, then they are lying. So, does the bible state anything that does not match with reality? Matthew 4:8. Apparently there is a mountain high enough you can see every where on Earth. Mt Everest is known to be the highest mountain on Earth and you can not see every where on Earth. This is a passage in the bible that does not match with reality. Hmm, does this mean that because the bible does not match with reality, then the bible is lying (that is deceiving you?). Well, I am not claiming to be the messiah, so this definitely does not apply to me. However, religions all claim to be The Saviour (or at least to represent him). There are many religions and many denominations in each of them. Which one then it the true one? But remember, apparently the deceiver will claim to be the messiah, and I am not claiming that... Umm, Wars, Famines and Earthquakes happen all the time and have been happening since the Earth formed. Now is no different to any other time. So your argument here is special pleading. You are saying that even though these events have been occurring all the time, now is a special time of them despite no increase in their occurrences. To me this attempt appears as an attempt to deceive (either others, or yourself) and see your first argument for what you should do in this case. This sounds like hate speech to me. To me, what this says is that despite leading a completely blameless life and even one that helps others with acts of selflessness, except that you are an atheist, then Jesus will turn the world against you and get them to kill you. Nice guy. Sorry, if this is the God that you worship, then this is clearly an evil unjust God. Actually, it sounds exactly like what the Devil is described as... Actually, more hate speech and bigotry is generated by religions and by atheists (see this: ). If the evidence (ie: what reality shows) is applied to your arguments here, then religion is claiming falsehoods (that is deceiving) and advocates hate speech and unjust killing (if any killing could be though of as just at all). With this line you have posted, that to follow the devil and rejecting God will have you end up doing these actions, and that your religion seems to say that God will do these, then to me it seems that if you were to follow what you posted then you must reject Christianity. As I am not trying to deceive and I base what I believe on reality, then I can not be considered as part of this. Where as Christianity and other religions do just this. they state that the world is different from how it is and encourage hate and bigotry. To me, these are false "prophets" as they are trying to get you to believe in something false. I have a warm and loving family and none of them are religious (all atheists). But organisations that say that two people should not love each other just because they happen to have the same gender is reducing the amount of love in the world, making love grow cold. These people are born hard-wired to love the same gender, but religion states that they must either live a lie (again advocating deceiving) or live a life without love. Actually for me, Hell would be knowing that good people would go to Hell just because they didn't have blind faith (and remember, the bible doesn't state we should have blind faith) in a God that advocates hate, murder and sending good people to hell for not blindly believing in Him. In other words, exactly the type of "Heaven" as stated in the bible. So Hell for me is the biblical Heaven.
  13. In quantum mechanics (and in science in general), the term "observation" does not equal observation by a concious entity (if they meant that they would have said that). Strictly speaking "observation" in science means: "Something that interacts with the system". So an electron could be "observed" by a photon, even though the photon has no conciousness at all. Conciousness is not a requirement of observation. In the double slit experiment, what causes the behaviour to change is specifically what type of interaction takes place. AN interaction is a sort of exchange of information. So if the detector is set up in one way, then when the particle interacts with it they exchange information, and it is the information in the layout of the detector that determines what aspects are exchanged. Think about the word "Interaction". It is made up of two words "Inter" and "Action". Action you probably know the meaning of (ie: to do something), but "Inter" means "Between". So an interaction is an action that occurs between things. So in science, when the word "Interaction" is used (such as between two particles), it means that the things "interacting" are sharing the action of exchanging information between them.
  14. Actually, the best model for plant growth is Lindenmayer Systems (L Systems). Snowflakes are best represented by DLAs. If you think about how a snowflake forms, it forms from a seed (a bit of dust or ice crystal, etc) then as it moves through the supercooled air/water mixture (eg a cloud), the molecules of water bump into the seed and "stick" to it becoming part of the flake. The growing flake and the water molecules in the air follow Brownian motion. This is really a textbook case of what a DLA is. Plants grow by cell division. When a cell divides genes inside it can be turned on or off due to chemical changes in the cell (driven by the products of the DNA that is turned on). This forms a state machine where the cell enters discrete states. In an L-System the system develops by stepping through a series of states based on the state and rules of the previous state. This is the difference between L-Systems and DLAs. Sure, they might have some similarities of appearance if you cherry pick the cases. However, the way they form is very different, the processes involved are fundamentally different (one is based on probability, the other is based on a finite state machine).
  15. Me too. Sorry for the delay. Yes, we should get changes in ocean circulation, wind patterns and other things too, not just heat. the thing is, the warming won't stop at this temperature. If we keep adding CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, then this will keep retaining more and more energy and thus increasing climate change. Think of riding a runway car down a hill. The first few meters or so you aren't going fast and you could jump off or even apply the breaks easily enough. At this point the ride is benign. But, if the car isn't slowed down or stopped, then it will get faster and fast and you won't be able to jump off, and putting the breaks on won't stop you quickly (and maybe too late). At that point it is most definitely not benign. But the deniers were saying that it won't happen because the planet is not warming. They wern't deniing that IF the Earth warmed the ice would or wouldn't melt, but that the Earth wouldn't warm enough to melt it. But you are going "highest prediction" path in an attempt to say disprove (human induced) climate change. I will agree that there were predictions that did state that climate change would be greater than it is, but there were more that stated it would be less than what it is. But regardless, there was still warming. If you misjudged a car's speed, by say 10% greater, and you thought was travelling at 100 km/h, would it still kill you if it hit you? Yes, it would. Although the rate of warming might have been misjudged (and less than 10% by the way) does not mean it is not warming. Actually, as I have said before (and you seem to agree) that not all the energy retained by the climate systems will go into thermal heating of the Earth. What this situation tells us (the lower than expected temperature increase) is that the other effects are getting more energy than first assumed. This is actually worse than pure warming as these other effects have more harmful consequences. More so, they are tipping point effects. that is there won't be any major changes until a certain amount of energy is in that system, and then it will drastically change its behaviour. As an example: The North Atlantic Conveyor current draws warm water up from the equator towards Europe. This causes England to be warmer than it should be at the latitude it is. The Conveyor current is driven by the extra salty water caused by the Arctic winter freeze (as it is more dense). Water is then pulled in from near the equator as the salty water sinks. Now, if the Arctic doesn't freeze as much in winter, then the water is not as salty and won't sink as fast (or at all) and this will stop the NAC and England will get much colder. Yes, this is a case where Global Warming can cause a cooling. But the cooling is a local effect, not a global effect). Actually there are lots of ways of determining the ice coverage in pre-recoded times (as an example: large icebergs can scrape along ocean floors and this leaves tell-tail signs that can be seen). Even the way tectonic plates are influenced by the amount of ice coverage. Another way is ocean circulation. Certain chemicals precipitate out in salt or fresh water. By looking at the extents of these it can be used to determine the extents of ice coverage (and even melting rates too). Ice is fresh water and when it melts it causes the ocean around it to become more fresh. When it freezes, it causes the ocean to become more salty. So it is perfectly possible to determine ice coverage before human recodes began. this means that this line of argument doesn't support your claims. Seasonal change is not what we are talking about with polar melting. What we are talking about is the average coverage taken over many years and through all seasons. There has been a noticeable and increasing reduction in average ice cover in the Arctic, even in the last 100 years. When compared to pre-recorded evidence, this is even more obvious. But not as fast, not as much and not globally. In the past 2,500 years, when glaciers have melted in one area, in other areas they were growing. Sure, there are a few glaciers growing (or are static), but the vast majority of them are receding. This is unheard of except during the end of the last glacial period when the Earth experienced the last dramatic warming (and there was a lot of extinctions at this time too). And, at this time (end of the last glacial period), Humans nearly went extinct, the numbers could have been as low as 1,000 individuals (so we are by no means immune to climate change). Actually, most "accepters" don't go around screaming "Oh God! It's warming! We're all going to die!". What "we" go around saying is: The records show that the Earth is warming, and the scientific evidence shows that we are the ones responsible for it. We are not indestructible, and the changes the warming will bring could be disruptive." True, in the past, climate change nearly did wipe us out, but no reputable scientist is acting like you are claiming they are. You seem to have a massivly distorted view of climate change accepters, and of what climate change means, and from that you are basing your denial on that you think people who act in that (distorted) way can not be taken seriously. If climate scientists were acting that way, I couldn't take them seriously either (but it wouldn't change the fact that the climate is warming and that humans CO2 production is the main driver of it). As I have shown previously, if you change the rate at which energy leaves the Earth, this must (according to all known laws of physics and all mathematics) increase the amount of energy in the Earth's climate systems. To deny that means you deny that changing the amount of money you take out of the bank won't effect the amount of money in your bank account. We know that CO2 blocks the emission of infra-red light (the experiment is actually quite easy to do). So if we increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere then we will reduce the amount of infra-red light radiating away form Earth. Human industry emits a lot of CO2 From these three facts alone we can prove that humans are causing climate change. The effects of this are up for debate, but this is hard proof that we are driving climate change.
  16. There are un-caused events. Quantum fluctuations (as a direct example see the Casimir effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_effect) can and do exist and these are completely random (actually there are several effects that if they weren't truly random would cause certain experiments to get a different result than they do - such as the 2 slit experiment : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_slit_experiment). So it is demonstrably proven that there are random, un-caused events that occur. This renders your entire argument false.
  17. It starts with the question: Is God rational? Well what is rationality? Simply put, rationality is a consistent behaviour given consistent situations. So, if God is rational, then He will act in a consistent way. This is essential if God is to be good. Take this: God is presented with a situation where there is two choices: 1) Do something Good 2) Do something Evil If God is rational, then He will choose to do good. If He is irrational, then He will randomly choose good sometimes and evil other times. Thus, if God is Good, then He must act rationally. Of course He doesn't have to, only that if He chooses to be Good He must act rationally and thus we can know what God should do if He wishes to be Good (but being omnipotent He is capable of being evil and of choosing not to be). This might be a bit confusing as the logic is fairly complex, but put simply: Irrational actions don't have consistency. An all powerful being must have the ability to be evil. A Good being must be rational (so that they consistently choose good). Therefore God, if He is good, must be rational. If God is rational, then we can work out what the rational action would be, and thus the action God would take in that situation. Now, God would not be constrained to only perform these actions, but that if He didn't perform them He would not longer be completely Good (thus Good and Evil for God is a choice, not a necessity). Actually, from this we can conclude that God has free will because if He didn't have the freedom to choose Good or Evil, then He would not be all powerful as He would have a constraint. Now, given all the above, in the following situation what is the rational course of action consistent with being good: You have the power to make the universe anyway you want with any physical laws you want and any restrictions on the inhabitants of that universe that you want. Create a universe with suffering Create a universe without suffering As it is possible to create a universe without suffering, then all suffering is unnecessary. Is the deliberate creation of suffering a Good or evil act? If it is an evil act, then God can not be good because He will have made a deliberate and evil act. But, according to Christian doctrine, God will not perform an evil act. But if God created the universe with suffering He will have performed an evil act. This means that the Christian religion is incompatible with a universe that has suffering in it, and as our universe has suffering, then this means the Christian religion can not be true. There is no escape from this. The properties of an omnipotent and good god with a universe that has suffering can not be combined. Now, if God is not Good, or God is not rational; then the universe as it is, is compatible, but the Christian religion states that God is good (and thus rational). If God is not omnipotent; then the universe as it is, is compatible, but the Christian religion states that God is omnipotent. In all debates, if something disagrees with reality, then reality wins. The reality is we live in a universe with suffering and the Christian religion requires us to be in a universe without suffering. As reality always wins: The Christian religion must therefore fail.
  18. The proof of human induced climate change can be demonstrated by a piggy bank. If you have a piggy bank that you place $10 in each week but then remove $10 from it, you know that, regardless of how much money is in the piggy bank, that the amount of money in the bank will remain constant. But, if you remove $5 from the bank instead of the $10, then you know that the amount of money in the piggy bank is going to increase. Even if you removed $9.99 each week, the amount of money in the bank will still go up (not as quickly, but it will go up). With Earth, the only way it can gain energy or loose energy is through radiation. The sun shines on us and this heats the surface, and then this heat is radiated out as infra-red radiation. For the Earth to remain at the same temperature, then the amount of energy leaving through the infra-red radiation must equal exactly the amount reaching us from the Sun. Just as with the piggy bank, the only way the amount of money in the bank stays the same is if exactly the same amount of money leaves it as is put into it. If any less leaves, then the amount goes up. Greenhouse gasses are called greenhouse gasses because they reduce the amount of infra-red radiation that leaves the Earth. This means that if we increase the amount of these gasses in the atmosphere, then the amount of infra-red radiation leaving the Earth is reduced. We know the amount of these gasses before the industrial revolution and at various times in Earth's history. And, from these we can calculate how much warming should have occurred. The models used quite accurately predict the warming that occurred due to the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere at the time (this is accurate enough that they use the amount of greenhouse gasses as a way to determine what the temperature was - although this is regularly checked and rechecked through other methods). We also can see, from the historical records how quickly these gasses increased (or decreased). What we have seen since the industrial revolution is an ever increasing rate of greenhouse gasses being introduced into the atmosphere and the amounts match the amounts known to be produced due to human activity (so we know we are the major source of these gasses). But, according to what we know from historical records, the amount of gasses in the atmosphere as they are and as they will become if we continue to act as we are will push the amounts of greenhouse gasses to heights seen when the Earth was much warmer than it is now. Yes, in the past greenhouse gasses have fluctuated naturally, but at the moment, the increase in these gasses match the amounts know to be produced by humans (thus are not a natural variation, but a human induced one). And, as the piggy bank shows, if you reduce the amount of something leaving a system without also reducing the amount coming in, then you will get a build up of whatever that "something" is in the system. In a bank, this is money (and a good thing if you are trying to save), but in the climate system, this is energy and it is a bad thing because it will drive change (warming is only one of the many ways this energy can show itself).
  19. Yes, there are other forms of evolution than Darwinian evoultion, in fact, tehre are even types of evolution that biological systems (as they exist) can not perform. Evolution is a word that means "change", but it has many different contects it can be used in. Usually when most people talk about evoultion they mean either: Change over time Biological Evolution (and mostly then mean biological evolution). Basically the context is about what kind of system the "evolution" is happening to. As an example, it is possible to set up a computer program where "Lamarckian Evolution" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamarckism ) occurs. As a form of evolution, Lamarckian Evolution works, it is just that biological systems don't utilise it, so it is not used for biological evolution.
  20. Many of the climate models do account for the solar cycles, so this argument that they don't take them into account is false. But, solar cycles are actually a fairly short term effect compared to the effect of greenhouse gasses. The Sun has an 11 year solar cycle (5.5 years from peak to minimum), where as the effects of greenhouse gasses are taken over 50 to 100 years. Also, the variation in energy over that is not much compared to the amount of energy retained though greenhouse gasses. And, the variation is both positive (peak) and negative (minimum) which over the short period it occurs tends to cancel itself out. So, there are models that include the solar cycles, but other leave it out because it has been shown not to have a significant effect on the results. Well, it is a known fact that CO2 blocks and then re-emits infra-red light (effectively scattering it). The experiment to do this is not hard and can typically be done in most collage science labs (I have done it myself). It is also a know fact that the only way the Earth can loose energy is to radiate this energy out as radiation. Measurements have shown that this energy is mainly in the infra-red spectrum, just the same spectrum that CO2 scatters. Now, as I have shown earlier, if you reduce the rate of loss in a system, then the amount of stuff retained by the system increases (bank accounts are a perfect example of this in action). If the Earth retains energy in the form of infra-red radiation, then this will act as a warming effect (among other things). From this we can conclude that CO2 is not "climate benign", so your argument that it could be, must be false. More so, it shows that there will be increases in temperatures due to an increase in CO2, but also, as this IR radiation can deliver energy into the system (usually through local warming rather than global warming), this increase in energy within the Earth's climate systems can lead to disruptions of those systems. Actually the "unexpected" polar ice melting was unexpected in climate change denier circles. For a long time they have been saying that there won't be any increase in polar melting. Interestingly, now that it has occurred, and occurred slightly faster and in greater amounts than the lowest predictions of climate scientists, they are claiming that because deniers cherry picked models that didn't predict this amount of melting got it wrong, then climate change must be wrong. Think about this. An effect predicted by climate scientists and denied by the deniers actually occurs, but because it didn't fit exactly every single model out there, the deniers are now using this effect as proof against climate change. It is like me predicting that if I flip a coin a number of times, and that the number of heads will be roughly 50%, but when I do it, I got 55% heads, and then you using that to prove that coins with tails on them don't exist. I agree, we don't know enough to make certain decisions, but we do know enough to know that if we continue as we are then we will cause (and have caused) climate change. What we don't know is that the measures we plan to take will be enough to reverse what we have already done. It is like seeing a car rolling down a hill, it might not be going fast now, but it will pick up speed if nobody stops it, and we can't tell exactly how much force will be needed to stop it. But, we know that if no body stops it, then it will hit something at the bottom (but not necessarily what it will hit and how bad it will be - but it looks like it will cause pretty bad damage to whatever it hits). Many deniers are really saying: Well the car hasn't hit anything yet, so that means it won't actually do any damage.
  21. Another thing to remember is that the bib bang is only the creation of Matter/Energy and Space/Time. This does not preclude there existing "something" there to create Matter/Energy and Space/Time. But, since this "somthing" created time, it could not, of course exist before the big bang as that would require time to exist before it was created (which is nonsensical). It would be more accurate to think of this "something" as existing eternally at the big bang. Causality, however, is another matter. In the classical, macroscopic world, causality seems to be a hard and fast rule but when you look at the quantum world (and there have been many, many experiments done to confirm this), causality is not so hard and fast. This means the premise "Causality is a valid concept" has been proved wrong. Sure, it hold (almost all the time) for macroscopic events, but when you get down to very short period events, it does not hold. And the cause of the big bang is the shortest period of time you could get (it is literally an instantiation event). Under QM and more specifically the Uncertainty principal, the more accurately you know one of a pair of properties (such as position/momentum) the less you know the other. It is this that allows for an uncertainty in time to exist and for cause to follow the effect. This means that the instant of the big bang (including the cause and the effect) actually was smeared out over a period called the Planck Time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_time This also breaks the claim that "Causality is a valid concept". It might seem to be valid that the claim that causality holds, when you actually test this we find that it is not true. And, as the entire argument for a deity rests on the assumption that everything needs a cause that fits within a valid frame of causality (which is now proven false) then the argument become invalid. It is fine to use pure thought to come up with ideas, but if you don't test these ideas against reality, then no matter how rigours your logic, or how sophisticated your arguments, you can not be certain that you are making accurate descriptions of reality. Basically, in all arguments: Reality Wins.
  22. None of these are proven. They are assumed. Under some interpretations of quantum mechanics, when you are dealing with very small periods of time (the so called Planck time), the notion of before and after (cause and effect) break down (see the book "A brief History of Time" for the details of this argument). In these situations, it is possible for the effect to come before the cause. In this case, the universe could come into existence (effect) and this is due to the laws of quantum mechanics in the universe (cause). At this point, all of the above premises are still held as true, but there is no need to invoke an external, supernatural entity as the cause (and if everything has a cause, what caused the external supernatural entity anyway). But, if you posit an entity that caused the universe, you have to have an infinite regress, so this argument disproves your argument that a God(s) caused the universe to come into existance (as what did the God(s) do before the universe existed). No, it would not have to be immaterial, just external to the universe. As an example, I can turn on a computer and run a virtual world on it, but does that mean that I have to be immaterial to do so? No. I just have to be external to the computer and virtual world to do so (ie: A program on the computer can turn the computer on as the computer has to be on for the program to be able to do anything). Again, disprovable no using the same argument I made directly above. I am not eternal, but I can start a process going despite that. And, besides, if you have an eternal supernatural entity, that is a form of infinite regression, and this is supposedly what your argument is supposed to fix. Substituting one form of infinite regression for another does not eliminate the problem of infinite regression. No, it just has to start the process going. Quantum Mechanics is capable of allowing "creation" without the need to posit an "immensely powerful and knowledgeable" entity. Thus your statement is disproved (that is it doesn't require such an entity for the universe to start). As all your arguments are invalid, then this conclusion is not proved. The thing with logic is it operates on the principal of "Garbage in. Garbage out". That is if your premises are faulty, then your conclusions are not proven. As I have shown fault with every single one of your premises, this leaves your conclusion as completely unproven. Nope, as I have shown, you have used faulty logic and faulty premisses to reach a conclusion you wanted to reach. You started with the conclusion "god made the universe" and tried to find a set of premisses that would lead you to that conclusion. There are two problems with this: 1) You didn't check the validity of the premisses that you chose 2) Even if your premisses were true, there are other conclusions that could be reached that does not conclude that there is a god (in other words: there is more than one solution to your chosen premisses and not all of them agree with your conclusion).
  23. Observing a system in QM is not about conciousness, it is about interaction. This means that a single photon is capable of "observing" a quantum system if it interacts with it. However, this also means that the photon that interacted with the system becomes part of the system. Extending this to a whole cat, then even though the cat might be able to "observe" the system in the box, it eventually becomes part of the system. And, because we are outside the box and are not interacting with the inside, of the box, we are not part of the system, so it still makes sense for us to ask the question "is the cat alive or dead".
  24. Me personally, no. My ethics prohibit me from doing such things. However, to give you perspective, the work of fiction known as "Lord of the Rings", has over 500,000 words in it. (There are probably some people who might believe that it is real). If you take all the works of JRR Tolkien then there would be will over 800,000 words he has written. But lets look at yourself. If you wrote on average 1,000 words a day, it would only take you 770 days to reach the amount of words you have used as the example. 1,000 words a day might sound like a lot, but in this post I have already written 110 words (not counting numbers) and this only took me around 2 minutes to do. this means 1,000 words should only take me around 20 minutes to write the 1,000 words. Or to put it another way the 770,00 words would only take me around 10 days of continuous work. hmm, only 10 days. not a lot is it. If I wanted to fool people, that is not a lot of effort is it. You have made one big logical fallacy here (and above), you have assumed that the only reason that someone would write something that is not true is because they want to fool people. These people believed in what they were writing, but belief does not make something true. If I was to believe you owed me a million dollars, would that be enough to make it true? No. If it did, then you would owe me one million dollars (so if you think just belieing something to be true makes it so, then pay up ). There are books about gods other then the Christian god that have survived for a much longer time, does this mean that these gods are real and that it was the protection of those gods that allowed the documents to survive? Now, if you believe that only the power of a god could allow such delicate documents to survive for such a long time, and that it is evidence for that god, then since these documents pre-date the Christian ones, then this is proof that these are true gods (and where does that leave Christianity that claims only 1 god is real?) So, if you think your claim here is true, then this is evidence against Christianity, however, if you acknowledge that it is possible for documents to survive that long without the need for a god to intervene, then your argument is proven false. In other words, this "evidence" does not support you at all (and at worst, disproves your beliefs). No, not at all. Not even in the slightest. Archaeology is a science, and that means that any claim made by archaeologists is subject to being disproved. Science works by people proposing an Hypothesis to explain the current evidence. This hypothesis is then tested to make sure it does explain the current evidence. Next, the peers of the scientists are then tested to see if they predict anything, and that any new data matches these predictions. religion does the opposite. It come with a series of statements (the beliefs of the followers) and they hold these statements to be true regardless of whether or not they match reality (look at Galileo for an example of how Christianity has done this). I have does the experiments to determine the Earth is round and not flat. I don't take such things at face value. Of course, I can't do every experiment, but I try to learn the basic principals (and test them if I can), and then work out if the new information fits with these basic principals. I look to see if the theory is, in principal, falsifiable. Also, I look to see if the theories are peer reviewed and that they have had rigorous testing done on them. basically, whoever is making the claim about a particular theory must provide evidence to support that claim, and show that it can stand up to the test of many people (some with a vested interest in disproving the new theory) trying to disprove it. As it was said in the Sherlock Holmes books: When you remove all that is can not be true, what you are left with, no matter how unlikely, must be the truth. This is actually the fundamental reason why science works: They work hard to remove what is not true. Religion, on the other hand punishes those that question the status quo, the ones that try to "remove all that is can not be true".
  25. If you only look at a single mutation, then yes, it is extremely improbably that it will be beneficial. But, if a single mutation is beneficial, then it is more likely to be passed on (because that organism will be better at surviving). Also, the chain of mutations that lead to a specific trait don't only effect that trait. They often have many other effects with the organism. One such is light sensitivity. This can be the by-product of other traits. The chemicals in our eyes are similar to many other chemicals that are used for other tasks, such a chlorophyll (and other too). So the leap from no eye to proto-eye was not such a big leap as the chemicals used in the proto-eye would have had some other function, but then a slight mutation caused the organism to produce a slightly different chemical (which became refined over millions of years to more efficient chemicals).
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