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281 Beacon of Hope

About lucaspa

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    Biology Expert

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  • Location
    New York
  • College Major/Degree
    U of Minn. Biochemistry, Ph.D.
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Tissue Engineering
  • Occupation
    Director of Orthopaedic Research

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  1. I suggest you read Kitty Ferguson's Fire in the Equations. Technically, we don't. Existence could be The Matrix. Or it could be a computer program like the Sherlock Holmes hologram program was placed within in Star Trek the Next Generation. Or it could all take place in the imagination of another being. ydoaPs, in any search for truth we must accept some statements to be true even tho we may never be able to prove they are true. The seminal statements seem to be: 1. I exist. 2. I am sane. You need the first for objective existence (it's not a dream) and you need the second so th
  2. Genesis 2 is an allegory. This becomes clear when you realize that Adam and Eve in Hebrew are not names like "Paul", "Mary", "Joe", "Sue", etc. That is, words that are only used as names. Instead we have a story of Dirt and Hearth. What is the "Fall"? It's disobedience of God, and thus being emotionally cut off from God. Adam and Eve are meant to stand for each and every one of us. At some point in our lives we all disobey God. YEC makes a theological mistake because it misinterprets parts of some letters of Paul. It takes those letters out of the social and historical contex
  3. I think you are using the Strong Anthropic Principle. The problem is that the SAP has an error in logic. You are saying that the universe must have the values for the neutron and everything else just as it is. But it doesn't. You have made an error in logic. Here, read this carefully: "According to the Anthropic Principle, we are entitled to infer facts about the universe and its laws from the undisputed fact that we (we anthropoi, human beings) are here to do the inferring and observing. The Anthropic Principle comes in several flavors. In the "weak form" it is a sound, harmless, an
  4. I think this is not a forum that is most appropriate for Science Forums. You are not going to get a detailed theological discussion here. I suggest www.christianforums.com or www.beliefnet.com. I would say that there is an inherent difficulty in basing any theological argument solely on Matthew. Matthew is specifically addressed to the Jews. The birth narrative, for instance, is tailored to make Jesus seem as much like Moses as possible, to make Jesus more palatable to the Jews as Messiah. I would say that it is very possible that Matthew deliberately made works part of salvation bec
  5. Some may be. But you have not shown that theists are captives. This is especially true in the West. It has been 200-300 years since a person's belief in a different religion would result in abuse and capture. People today routinely change churches or even drop theism without any ill effects from any "captor". It's been stock atheistic dogma for a long time that theists are theists simply out of fear. This is just the latest twist on that theme. As Pioneer points out, we as a society are exercising much stricter control of what he calls "political correctness" or decent treatment of
  6. As someone noted, this is not an original idea. Several atheistic scientists are playing around with it. Your time frame is way off. H. sapiens appeared at least 100,000 years ago. Species as modified apes go back at least 3.6 million years (A. afarensis). By 10,000 years ago people were starting agriculture and having societies larger than the extended family tribe. So your selective advantage has to go back at least 100,000 years. You need to develop this and show how "something extra" would be added. Basically what you have is that the religious person would miss the mater
  7. You are going to have to document that "main stream school of thought". As far as I know, the "main stream" is that 1) dino populations were declining in numbers of individuals and species but 2) the meteor killed the rest. As an example: http://www.unmuseum.org/deaddino.htm Notice that Horner is one of those documenting the decline; I doubt he and others are going to fail to rule out sampling bias. There perhaps were fires set around the world, but that is not the same as "fire storm". Probably, but a comet comes in many smaller pieces spread out in space. Remembe
  8. That isn't what we are talking about. People make stuff up in science, too. Actually, come to think of it, every hypothesis is initially made up. And some of them do indeed explain things. No, what we are talking about are the limitations of science. Science is a limited form of knowing. It restricts itself to part of the total of human experience and knowledge. By doing that, science is very reliable in its area, but the price is that science doesn't cover everything. Because science is so reliable in its limited area, there is always the temptation to extend science beyond its l
  9. We seem to be talking about 2 different things. The layers of sediment are undisturbed up until the layer at the KT boundary. Above that boundary there are no dino fossils. However, below that boundary several paleontologists have done biostratigraphic studies on the numbers of dinos of various species. This is a common practice in paleontology. What they found is that the absolute numbers of individuals in dino species was declining for up to 10 million years before the impact. What is more, the number of species was also declining as several species went extinct before the impact.
  10. lucaspa

    Veteran's Day

    "The battalion had come back from Blanc-Mont ridge. No, the battalion was still up there. But anyway, oh hell, let me get this straight. A hundred and thirty-four of us had come back from Blanc-Mont ridge. We had gone up a full-strength battalion, a thousand strong." Sgt. Elton E. Mackin, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. The attack was Nov. 1, 1918
  11. You are speaking about altruism. This has been extensively studied because it does, on the surface, present a problem for natural selection. However, this was first solved for social insects and the solution is general enough to apply to other altruistic situations. As Sisyphus has pointed out, it is a about alleles (forms of genes). Every diploid organism has 2 alleles for each gene -- one from the father and one from the mother. But this means that you share alleles with your parents, your siblings, and your offspring. In fact, you share half your alleles with each. So, if your sac
  12. iNow, could a "mathematically modeling of the universe" cause photons to travel a different path? Remember Eddington's experiment with the path of light during the solar eclipse in 1919? The photons were on one path until they entered the spacetime around the sun and that curved them to a different path. Could "just a word" result in clocks keeping different time in high earth orbit from those on the ground? These data show that spacetime does indeed have physical and temporal properties. As just another example, the expansion of spacetime stretches the wavelength of light. That is a phy
  13. You didn't go on to read the articles in the special edition, did you? No, you cherry-picked. Here is the first paragraph of the first article: "Traditionally, space was merely a threedimensional (3D) static stage where the cosmic drama played out over time. Einstein’s theory of general relativity (1) replaced this concept with 4D spacetime, a dynamic geometric entity with a life of its own, capable of expanding, fluctuating, and even curving into black holes." Measuring Spacetime: From the Big Bang to Black Holes Now, iNow, would you like to tell us how you measure something that
  14. That part of the definition does not apply. Altho, come to think of it, Darwinian selection has invented, and evolutionary biologists do refer to evolution as "inventing" structures. No, I am not saying that evolution has a "specific function or end". I am saying that natural selection has a short term goal: designing the population to fit the current environment. Don't put words into my mouth. Evolution and natural selection are not synonymous. Nor is there an specific short term goal as getting a specific design. I am asking you to shed your implications; they are erroneo
  15. I'm afraid it is you making the common mistake that spacetime is not tangible. It is. See: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/296/5572/1417 Science May 14, 2002 Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged Not exactly. Remember, virtual particles do come from "something": spacetime. The reason the "Nothing can come from nothing, therefore god did it" is specious is because the First Law of Thermodynamics (matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed) applies within the universe. It says nothing about getting a universe to begin with. Therefore you can'
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