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Posts posted by patcalhoun

  1. That's the Robertson-Walker metric for a globally flat space-time.


    It's looks bad with inline TeX, but that's the general FLRW metric. The [imath]\bar{r}[/imath] is defined as:


    [math]\bar{r} =\begin{cases} R \sinh(r/R), &\mbox{globally hyperbolic} \\ r, &\mbox{globally flat} \\R \sin(r/R), &\mbox{globally spherical} \end{cases}[/math]


    ...where [imath]R[/imath] is the radius of curvature.

  2. Regarding claim 1), it may not be strict, literal, young 6,000-year-old earth creationism, but it is a rehash of Paley's natural theology and an attempt to instill a need[/i'] for a god-concept in science by arguing from the gaps evolution can't explain. Same deal, the only difference is in what they see as the gaps.


    I believe is the point Card was trying to make is that conspiracy theories don't help ID's cause. It's an argument we should expect either from the:


    1. weakest (knowledgably-speaking) critics of intelligent design,


    2. or from the most authoritarian (psychologically speaking),


    3. or as part of a concerted effort to frame a public policy agenda for the benefit of an audience consisting of members of the first two groups.


    Insofar as Card is critiquing the effectiveness of this attack, weak participants aren't useful, authoritarian ones (I'd number Dawkins--hell, maybe even me--amongst these) lack persuasive appeal, and for whatever reason the public advocates are stalling at the grass roots. I don't think Card was thinking of the last group when he wrote that, though, but I suspect group 3 fails because it apes the tactics of so-called neoconservatism's critics. Replace Paley with Strauss and you have something that comes across like tinfoil conspiracy-mongering. On the other hand, you might find a judge in the Third Circuit amenable to such a story if its the only disspositive history admitted into evidence. :D


    For claim 2), I wouldn't doubt some people unfortunately do argue along those lines. Behe has a phd in biochemistry and Dembski has one each in philosophy and mathematics. Both take the approach of their disciplines in formulating their argument (e.g. Dembski tries to recast Paley's arguments using a lot of unnecessary mathematical formalism). Not that it matters even if they didn't have such degrees, as a good argument is still a good argument and a bad one still bad regardless of degree. I suppose I should bring up that Dembski himself resorted to credentialism to dismiss a critique of his use of the No Free Lunch theorems by a reviewer with only a bachelor's in statistics. Unfortunately for Dembski, one of the co-authors of the No Free Lunch theorem (who has a phd) agreed that Dembski misused the theorem.


    Another way to read Dembski's remarks is as retort to an attack on his credentials; that is not covered by what Card describes as credentialism. Offering the least favorable take of Dembski's reaction to score in a "well, they do it too" attack is also behavior I don't think Card would find especially useful.


    Claim 3) is just silly. I think proponents of evolution do an excellent job of explaining their theory carefully as well as acknowledging the limits.


    Then you have a low standard for persuasiveness [1]. A majority of Americans believe that man was created in his present form, and the next largest group excepts gene frequency change but considers either mutation or natural selection to be purposeful rather than random.


    I think it's the acknowledging the limits part that sometimes gets them in trouble.


    Yes, the "we only mean that allele frequency changes over time" and "evolution is not abiogenesis" smirks are not very helpful. That evolution is now widely considered to include abiogenesis speaks a great deal about science educator's success in persuasively transmiting the theory.


    Claim 4) is silly as well. It's important to point out where their argument is faulty, but of course it's a straightforward argumentum ad logicam to say because their argument is fallacious that their conclusion is wrong.


    Card is referring to the "oh this is wrong and here's why...oh, everything else is wrong (hand wave) so the conclusions are wrong" approach. This is where you zone in a handful of objections and then say "oh, and there's a crapload of other problems." Maybe Card sees everybody zoning in on the same handful of issues. Maybe the lay critics need to spend more time browsing through talk.origins. :D Whatever the problem is, Card thinks it's not doing enough to slow down the ID movement.


    5), even though I should since this thread was posted in the politics forum. Sue me. ;)


    Me neither. This is only my personal experience, but the loudness of a lay critic on points of the law is inversely proportional to his lack of awe in his ignorance of the law and its application. I don't profess to be anymore knowledgeable about law than anyone else, but I think I know enough that impresses me how unqualified I am to look at a decision and say "this is what it means and this is how we should apply it."


    In my opinion, Mark Perakh has written some of the best critiques of ID. Some of his writings can be found on talkorigins, a few you'll have to get in print publications.


    Yeah, which is why Card's preferred means of attacking ID isn't working on a national scale. Who the hell reads talk.origins besides (admittedly tens of thousands) of committed Internet activists? :D


    He does not resort to any silly arguments, and I think Orson Scott Card should read some of his works before suggesting that proponents of evolution are running from the fight.


    A review of ID criticism does not begin or end with Internet celebrities; arguably, it need not consider them at all. There are plenty of well funded, well publicized organizations at the national scale advancing arguments and seizing the five minutes of airtime and three paragraphs of print space this debate gets in a month. :D

  3. I followed the link to the Robertson-Walker metric and found that equation:

    [math]ds^2 = c^2 dt^2-a(t)^2[dr^2+\bar{r}^2 d\Omega^2][/math]


    The scale factor [imath]a(t)[/imath] captures the scale of the space component (the [imath]dr^2 + \bar{r}^2d\Omega^2[/imath] stuff). The scale factor is given as 1 in the present day' date=' and if the universe is spatially flat, then the FLRW metric reduces to the polar coordinate version of the Minkowski metric (which is [imath']ds^2 = c^2 dt^2 - (dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2)[/imath] in Cartesian coordinates).

  4. Either that post from Jerusalem Post is not complete (ie. there is more important info you didn't quote) or it was not telling the whole story.


    Those links were to refute bascule's claim that a cruise missile attack would be sufficient. It's borderline obvious that the inability of an airstrike to achieve the objective's effects necessitates an airland operation.

  5. There's no reference sticky at all in the Politics forum, and since we have no academic history or social science section to speak of I thought this might fit in best here. I was thinking that since there is a vast body of research in countless fields and subfields, members should start off by picking a well defined and supported area of history or social science scholarship and provide links to only open access general resources. Perhaps, if SFN ever spins off a separate section for social sciences, we can delve deeper and maybe draw on particular avenues of research.


    Well, I'll start off with my area of interest.


    Strategic Studies


    Globalsecurity.org - Excellent open source strategic studies repository and portal.

    Defenselink - DoD's information portal.

    Jane's Intelligence Review

    MIT SSP - Security Studies Program at MIT

    DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals (Law & Political Science)

    Dispatch Archive - Electronic archive of State Department's premier magazine

    Economic and Political Weekly

    Joint Force Quarterly - Check out the broader Joint Electronic Library

    Military Review - Combined Arms Center's bimonthly pub

    MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies

    Naval War College Review

    RAND Review

    Parameters - US Army War College quarterly

    Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents


    I'll continue to work on this one, and I'd definitely love to do one for public policy and operations research.

  6. That said, I've got a few questions.


    1. Can the creationist movement achieve its objectives where science education is concerned? I suspect we'll see a movement that has the political and legal energy to secure a major reconsideration of establishment clause case law or at least craft an argument for some significant ID education program that would pass the present judiciary's muster. What do you think?


    2, If creationists overcome at least the national legal hurdles, the battle in most states will turn to the legislatures and school boards. In that war of public opinion, what can secularists do to prevent a resurgence of anti-evolution pedagogy in the schools? I have no idea; I haven't thought that far ahead yet, but maybe a few of you have.

  7. It wasn't intended to be a snide remark, and I assumed doG was joking. I thought of making the same joke myself.


    Okay then, I'll accept that.


    I'd request a source on the physical configuration of these bunkers you allege, but really you're just a boring person to discuss anything with and I'm quite close to putting you on ignore.


    Fair enough. Well, we have:


    Source 1.

    An air raid on Iran's nuclear facilities, he said, would ultimately fail since some of the reactors are hidden deep in underground bunkers.


    Source 2.

    Yes' date=' but they likely would require extensive bombing and cause huge civilian casualties. Iran has spread its nuclear program over more than a dozen facilities, some 75 feet or more underground. Many are near cities.[/quote']


    and Source 3.

    To locate and then strike these disbursed and underground facilities … would probably require not air power but nuclear weapons


    Your remarks aren't especially uninformed because you suggested an air strike. You suggested a cruise missile strikes. Tomahawks have no deep penetration ability whatsoever, and they only carry 1,000 pound warheads or nukes.

  8. Yes, I did. Having fun trolling?


    I gotta ask, and I'm only asking once. What did you get out of that snide remark to Dog? Dog at least made the connection that the only way you can present get to a bunker that deep in limestone and granite is with nukes. And, like you said, "[w]e don't need a ground invasion as much as just some cruise missile attacks." A conventional penetrator can only achieve about 300 meters per second in its terminal run. How deep can it penetrate, bascule?


    We don't need to go for each other's throats, and I have no intentions of taking the bait. So why don't you and I put our differences behind us and get along. And apologize to Dog. I know you're better than that.

  9. by definition eternity is never ending so no. this more of a philosophical question


    Its not so much philosophy as lexicography. Eternal, forever, and similar words in the vernacular doubly reference long but finite durations of time as well as the infinite interval. So the answer to his question is "pick a definition from the dictionary and get back to me." :cool:

  10. I don't trust anyone with nukes, including America.


    You seem to be doing well regardless.


    We still have a chance to stop them. We don't need a ground invasion as much as just some cruise missile attacks.


    And how do you handle facilities buried under 20 meters of limestone and granite? Tomahawks don't come equipped with jackhammers and lunchbreaks.

  11. To clarify my requests:

    1. Firstly' date=' what is flux?[/quote']


    In electromagnetism, flux is the measure of net electrical or magnetic field flow through a surface enclosing an electrical or magnetic field source. It has units of that boil down to W/m^2. The case I just gave equations for is for the flux at the surface of a sphere of uniform charge density. This, obviously, gets more complex as we pick more difficult geometries and demand that charge density vary.


    You should note that Gauss' law for magnetic fields holds that the net magnetic field flow through an enclosed surface is zero. If you think about it using Farady's "lines of force," this makes sense, as the poles of a magnetic begin and terminate each line.


    2. Secondly, I've seen various equations that include (3 cos^2 (x) +1 )^.5

    How does this fit in?


    Those would be solutions to Gauss'ls Law for geometries far less trivial than the sphere solution I gave you. But you'll want to get a better handle on calculus and vectors before you tackle that.


    3. How does torque relate to this equation and Gauss' laws.


    I don't know how to address this without resorting to vectors, but there are plenty here who probably can.


    4. How were Gauss' laws derived. I don't want to simply memorize the equations, I'd prefer to understand how they are derived and what they signify.


    That would require some knowledge of the Divergence Theorem, which is where you'll need some vector calculus to follow. For now, let's just say that [imath]d \Phi \equiv dE \cdot dA[/imath], is defined as first principle.


    5. Lastly, what is a Gaussian Surface?


    Why, its any surface that we can use to Gauss's Law to calculate the flux through. :D In short, its gotta be closed, and its gotta be enclosing whatever it is that's "fluxing."

  12. I have been trying to learn college-level electrostatics at home. I've understood charges' date=' electric fields, and voltage, but haven't quite grasped Gauss' law and some of the capacitance theorems that base off of it.


    Every site I have gone to seems to explain Gauss' law in a tricky, vector-related form. Since I only have a basic understanding of vectors, I can't completely understand how the formulas and calculations work. Not to mention my confusion with the various symbols in the equations. Is there anyone who can simply explain the law and any necessary prerequisites to understanding it?


    Any help you can provide will be valuable in my pursuit of knowledge.



    Sure, the total flux of a the electrical field of a sphere of radius of constant charge density [imath]\rho[/imath] is [imath]\Phi = EA= \frac{1}{\epsilon_0} \rho V = \frac{Q_A}{\epsilon_0}[/imath], where [imath]A = 4 \pi r^2[/imath] is the surface area of a sphere with radius [imath]r[/imath] and [imath]V = \frac{4}{3} \pi r^3[/imath] is its volume, [imath]Q_A[/imath] is the total charge within the sphere and [imath]\epsilon_0[/imath] is a constant (the permitivity of free space).

  13. I'm not going to write on the courts procedure because it's wandering away from the heart of the matter. The heart is that I think that the use of force on another states territory is prohibited under the Charter, and that this case would constitute that. There are people that read the Article 2 as being more constrained than that, and there are people who would look at the exceptions as covering that, but that's how I read it. This situation fits into that category as there's clearly a use of force.


    Just so we're clear that the above is simply your point of view and not an expression of legal authority. In that case I don't think we have much more to discuss on this tangent. I hold a different view, obviously, and neither of us is apparantly equipped to say much more than that.


    First, I do think there's value in killing Osama as part of fighting terrorism, and that it wouldn't simply be symbolic, but I place more value on acting with a very strong emphasis on being principled.


    I would say the exact same thing, yet we obviously disagree. I'm not sure if this will go into another area where we have no authority beyond our gut feelings and fuzzy notions of how the world works, but let's jump on it.


    The reality is that terrorism was around before Osama and it'll be around after he's dead. People are driven by events like this towards terrorism. So this isn't a matter of this case as much of overall strategy.


    This is a far broader line of discussion than I'm prepared to swallow in this thread, but I'd just point out that US and her allies have articulated a single common, tangible strategic objective: the defeat of a unique Islamist threat centered in the Near East and Central Asia. This enemy is far more shadowy and decentralized in organization and operation than your classic state, but it is identifiable, measurable and presumably assailable in itself and its dependency on failed states, anti-Western autocracy and need for funds, travel documentation, and access to weapons, explosives and other harmful devices. Also, I'm not so sure what value there is in critiquing the "War in Terror" insofar as the phrase itself is concerned.

  14. Well' date=' you can measure the force acting upon a mass and the force is directly proportional to that mass, so your equation must agree with what is being measured. Copernicus also came to conclusion that Earth is rotating around the sun contrary to common belief (using geocentral model ancient scientists could calculate correctly e.g solar eclipses , even if their underlaying theory was wrong)

    Gravity constant is always G (6.67x10exp-11... and is not so constant[/quote']


    Where did that last part about the gravitational constant come from?

  15. It is used sometimes when refering to that part of the UN Charter.


    It is, and in a court of law it would be used with a lengthy explanation as to why the said act is a violation.


    However the term is older than the UN, and it was used in similar ways in other forms of international law, so there's a history of the concept. I didn't mean to use it as a perjorative, in case that's what offends you.


    Don't sweat it, I'm not offended by anything you said. I'm just looking at your post and wondering how you determined that this act was illegal.


    I was trying to distinguish what aspect of the scenario I was refering to from others that could be possible (such as the killing of civilians).


    You could uniquely reference hypotheticals if you choose to create new case law, and if you actually had some international criminal statute that for all intents and purposes broadly treating the entire spectrum of transboundary acts of violence the same way--in simple enough terms for a jury to decide--you might have a point. In this case, you do not. This is why counsel couches principles advocated in specific case law. This is why motions are not decided in trial phase in most judicial systems and why international law is never ajudicated by a defendant's peers.


    I'm not sure why you want me to walk you through the differences between those situations. They never came to a court (as far as I know) so they don't have much to tell us about how the Charter should be interpreted.


    International case law joining states over Article 2 issues is threadbare compared to non-binding briefs available. It stands to reason that when courts do get involved, they refer to those briefs to develop opinions. That would be a starting point to make the case that the US acted illegally.


    I'm not playing lawyer, I am just relying on my interpretation of the law. Ordinary people have to interpret laws to be able to consciously abide by them.


    US intelligence agencies are not "ordinary people," and they have as extensive access to counsel as law enforcement bodies. I think its safe to say we're in a whole new ball game here.


    I'll point out that I didn't mean that the legal consequences would be of any concern but rather that apparent breaches of international law form a strong base for propaganda.


    Since there are widespread accusations of illegality whenever Western states commit transboundary acts of violence (up to and including the whole concept of international operations in Afghanistan), then what makes this case so pernicious and risky as to outweigh the objective of killing al Qaeda's top leadership?


    On the other hand, this last point of yours is definitely a more suitable line of discussion. I'm certainly no legal authority. You say you aren't. It'd be nice to get some expert point of view on the issue. Absent that, we'd best stick broader evaluations of air strike and the judgement in areas we better understand.

  16. I meant in the sense that it would be an act of aggression, so the UN Charter, Article 2, part 4.


    "Aggression," "aggressor" or any other variation of the term isn't used in any of the Articles. If by aggression you mean transboundary use of force, then walk us through 1) the injury to Pakistan's territorial integrity or political independence. 2) a framework that would permit a court to find this operation unlawful when it recognizes the legality of similar transboundary acts carried outside UN auspices in Uganda, Grenada, Panama, Syria, Lebanon and Sierre Leone, and 3) any other operative law should your Article 2 arguments fail . In other words, let's not play lawyer when only Jim is apparantly qualified to do so.

  17. I think that's an excellent point, and very well put.


    What's so excellent about it? Zy's remarks basically pigeonhole the operational thinking of competent professional warfighters as "my soldiers are more valuable than foreign civlians." That's a pretty strong accusation, and yet zy doesn't present a single shred of evidence to make it up beyond an analogy.


    I could say "it all boils down to silly liberals valuing their self-perceived profundity over genuinely parsing through the facts," although I doubt you'd pat me on the head for it. And even though I'd have posts in evidence--a far cry more than zy has--what would I have to back up such a sweeping generalization other than an obvious prejudice?

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