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Everything posted by needimprovement

  1. No. Different scenarios require different levels of confidence. For prudential decisions in day to day life, such as running away from armed thugs, you don't need more than a gut feel. For conviction in a criminal court, you need proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Which is an ambiguous term, but maybe 90%? 95%? 99%? But for logical proofs, like you're trying to make, nothing less than 100% will do. And you're not there. If you want a logical proof that two triangles are congruent, you can't just eyeball them and point out your vast experience judging triangle congruence. You need to prove it, step by step, or you don't have proof. You might be right, you might not. That's where you're at with your proof from unnecessary suffering. Really, calling for empirical proof of a heavenly claim is just plain off-base. The two domains don't normally overlap. It's like if we were discussing kangaroos and you insisted on using data from China. You're saying, "Based on my earthly observations, I have concluded that there is no heavenly benefit to suffering." That's analagous to saying "Based on my observations in the steppes of China, I have concluded that there kangaroos don't exist." If you want to say "Earthly suffering causes me to conclude that a benevolent deity does not exist," fine. That's a personal aesthetic judgment, and I've got no problem with that. But you went further - you didn't say that you don't believe, you said that he must not exist, and there you're writing checks your logic can't cash.
  2. I agree with you. It depends, some animals can change their sex based on environmental conditions. Nile crocodiles for instance, where the sex is determined by the temperature during embryonic development. Some nematodes live as hermaphrodites, where males are generated spontaneously 0.01% of the time. I'm not aware of data resources on sex ratios in specific species. Let's focus on humans instead.
  3. This has become a struggle of philosophy - idealism, or the image of optimal human condition. Trying to defeat idealism with an army is proving about as effective as the war on drugs, as evidenced by the recruiting power of our successes as well as our missteps. Sure, the struggle with the Taliban and al Qaeda is about power, but their absolute commitment to their religious based drive for control is a philosophical motivator. One could argue that idealism is not a destructive force. However, whether or not terrorism is destructive is a matter of perspective, as usually is the decision whether or not to use drugs and feed the demand. For that reason it's less an issue of defeating something that amounts to using destruction to achieve what some people honestly believe is the worthwhile end, and more about changing people's minds about what is that worthwhile end. So long as people can point to our destruction while we try to end some other group's destruction, the struggle in winning over idealists will continue and we'll eventually lose. But war is a really ugly business and no matter how we try to run a gentleman's war, so to speak, even honest mistakes will be pointed to as wilful destruction so it's possible this thing isn't winnable, ever.
  4. are you saying that Chiao's nice quantum eraser and delayed choice experiments aren't science? I'd disagree. If you're saying his interpretation of the results isn't "science" I'd agree, I'd call it philosophy or theology (and in his article, which I assume you haven't read) he puts those conclusions under a "philosophy" and "theology" heading. Using the term "pseudo-science" is a pejorative, loaded criticism, because it implies his science is bad. You may disagree with his philosophical and theological interpretations (I find them interesting if not totally convincing), which you're perfectly free to do, but let's be discriminating in your criticisms.
  5. Just learned from the world fact book it is 1.049 male/female at birth, but 0.803 at age 65 and over (as expected, because females on average live longer). It is 0.994 for the total population. Based on the following data:https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2018.html
  6. If theory of evolution is true, the organs from apes can be transplanted to humans. If theory of evolution is really true, there are no animals today in the first place. Is there an evidence in science that connect the animals to humans? I mean, where is the link between animals and humans?
  7. I think in GR, 4-divergence, or contract of covariant derivative, of energy stress tensor is zero at anywhere in space-time and in any frame of reference which means energy and momentum is locally conserved.
  8. Isn't it energy is not frame-invariant in Newtonian mechanics, but it is conserved? Isn't it conservation and frame-invariance are two different things? I think the issues involved in curved spacetime are both qualitatively different from and much more complicated than what you're saying.
  9. We're not really fighting a war on terrorism, we're actually opposing in an armed fashion Radical Islamists that are chiefly in Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. in order to fight terrorism you need to fight at the terrorists level creating a greater threat from you than from them, and the US is too squeemish to do that.
  10. There is an interesting report by Raymond Ciao in "Quantum Mechanics--Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action" (Vatican Observatory Publications) on the quantum eraser/delayed choice experiments his group carried out at Berkeley. Effectively, the observer, by his choice of experimental arrangement, can go backwards in time to effect particle paths. Ciao interprets his results as "In this viewpoint, every elementary, individual quantum event... is a result of the creative act of the universal Observer, in which all properties of all particles come into existence upon their observation, in continual acts of creatio ex nihilo, which constitutes a kind of creatio continua occurring everywhere at once." He says explicitly that the results of his experiments have led him to a neo-Berkeleyan perspective and a deeper faith. Here's a link to a summary of the article: http://www.ctns.org/books.html http://www.ctns.org/books.html
  11. I don't believe anyone should be executed, but if the state is going to impose that penalty, IQ is relevant for two reasons. First, it is always relevant to look at whether the person comitting the crime really was capable of understanding what they were doing and how wrong it was. If they are not, that does not excuse the crime but may mitigate the punishment. Second, it was particularly important in this case. The murders were carried out by two men. Her role was in letting them into the house. The plan was to cash out the victim's finances and (I think) take the insurance money. One of the men was a career criminal who tested with a high IQ. But he claimed that this drug-addicted and borderline mentally handicapped woman was the mastermind of the operation and the men were mere pawns. The men got life in prison, she got the death penalty.
  12. http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/web/09/14/cnet.youtube.instant.creator/index.html Coded in about 3 hours....
  13. If I were trying to prove the redemptive value of suffering, then I would need to substantiate the claim that suffering has a higher purpose. But in order to refute Poster's proof that suffering and benevolence are logically incompatible, only the existence of a possible counterexample is needed. It's like this. He's saying, "It is mathematically impossible to solve the equation 2x + y = 9." And I say, "No, one solution would be if x = 4 and y = 1." Now you're saying "But you haven't proven that x = 4 and y = 1." I know I haven't. I haven't even tried to, because it's not necessary in order to refute his claim. The existence of a solution proves that he is wrong when he says that no solution is possible.
  14. just to explicitly connect the dots: you're right, I have not proven a good outcome from the baby being eaten. I have not tried to do so. But it is possible that an overall good can come from it, which we cannot perceive, and so your proof fails. I am not trying to convince you to believe in God. I am refuting your proof of his nonexistence. I think I should make that last paragraph my signature. Save precious keystrokes! ***** By the way, the reason I tend to drop the word "unnecessary" is that it really doesn't add anything to the argument, because it is simply impossible for us to know if suffering is necessary or unnecessary. At best, you can claim "apparently unnecessary", but I trust it's obvious how useless that is to disprove God.
  15. Bearing in mind the IQ test itself is flawed and has a margin of error at least 10 points either way. Reminds me of a thread "Do you trust Is IQ test?". **** What seems stupid to me is that there is no consistent law across the country. The odd federal system means it was too bad she committed a crime in a state which has the death penalty. In a different state she would be given life.
  16. Why should you bring in insanity to dispute truth? Sanity is the ability to face reality and to use our God-given reason from cause to effect in the natural moral law to acquire truth. The fact that we live in an ordered world created by God and endowed with reason means that He wants us to discover His laws. The fact of Original Sin has clouded our intellects and distorted our wills for doing good, so God sent His only Son to redeem us and show us His Way to Him through His Church which has the fullness of His truth.
  17. Interesting information on Global Warming Frequently Asked Questions http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html Of course that research has to be paid for. I guess this is done with grants money (although agencies like NOAA do have scientists on staff, I am sure). If so, who decides where these grants go? Who decides which projects the scientists work on? Are there any independent researchers in the climate area? How can we tell which ones, if they exist? If a bureaucrat can drum up enough fear over something within their area, they can get bigger budgets and more employees. How does one judge the power of a given bureaucrat? Bigger budgets and more employees. I'm just curious....
  18. **** I am NOT trying to prove the existence of God. I am NOT trying to prove that suffering has a benevolent end. ALL I am doing is demonstrating that Poster proof fails. That is it. The only time Poster have even engaged with my refutation of his proof was when he pointed out my own personal failings, which I appreciate. But it leaves the refutation untouched. Let me restate the argument thus far. Catholic Church: There exists an entity which is omnibenevolent and omnipotent. Poster: Such an entity cannot exist, because omnibenevolence and omnipotence are incompatible with the existence of suffering. Me: On the contrary, if suffering has a beneficial end, as the Catholic Church teaches, there is no incompatibility. Poster have not engaged that point at all. Unless he do, his proof of the nonexistence of God fails. I have not offered any positive proof of the existence of God. I am simply refuting poster's proof of his nonexistence.
  19. FAQ: Does special relativity apply when things are accelerating? Yes. There are three things you might want to do using relativity: (1) describe an object that's accelerating in flat spacetime; (2) adopt a frame of reference, in flat spacetime, that's accelerating; (3) describe curved spacetime. General relativity is only needed for #3. A prohibition on #1 is particularly silly. It would make SR into a trivial theory incapable of describing interactions. If you believed this, you would have to stop believing, for example, in the special-relativistic description of the Compton effect and fine structure in hydrogen; these phenomena would have to be described by some as yet undiscovered theory of quantum gravity. #1 often comes up in discussions of the twin paradox. A good way to see that general relativity is totally unnecessary for understanding the twin paradox is to pose a version in which the four-vector equation a=b+c represents the unaccelerated twin's world-line a and the accelerated twin's world-line consisting of displacements b and c. The accelerated twin is subjected to (theoretically) infinite accelerations at the vertices of the triangle. The triangle inequality for flat spacetime is reversed compared to the one in flat Euclidean space, so proper time |a| is greater than proper time |b|+|c|. #2, accelerated *frames*, is less trivial. It's for historical reasons that you'll see statements that SR can't handle accelerated frames. Einstein published special relativity in 1905, general relativity in 1915. During that ten-year period in between, nobody really knew what the boundaries of applicability of special relativity were. This uncertainty made its way into textbooks and lectures, and because of the conservative nature of education, some students are still hearing, a century later, incorrect assertions about it. In an accelerating frame, the equivalence principle tells us that measurements will come out the same as if there were a gravitational field. But if the spacetime is flat, describing it in an accelerating frame doesn't make it curved. (Curvature is invariant under any smooth coordinate transformation.) Thus relativity allows us to have gravitational fields in flat space --- but only for certain special configurations like uniform fields. SR is capable of operating just fine in this context. For example, Chung et al. did a high-precision test of SR in 2009 using a matter interferometer in a vertical plane, specifically in order to test whether there was any violation of Lorentz invariance in a uniform gravitational field. Their experiment is interpreted purely as a test of SR, not GR. http://arxiv.org/abs/0905.1929
  20. Haven't you heard...it's "Bovine Flatulence"
  21. Yes, which is why language only works when we all agree on the same meanings for things.
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