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Posts posted by jryan

  1. I'd challenge the assertion that it was "political correctness" in the first place which was the driving motivation here. From what I can tell, that's entirely nonsequitur, and a rather large leap/break in logic. That seems to be the weakest part of your position (even if I ignore the bias of your source as previously discussed).



    In which of the examples? The thrust of the article is that the editorial decisions in the textbooks are left to non-scientists who are on record seeking politically driven goals, and the text books correctness has suffered because of it.



    Also, getting back on topic, religion is a refuge for the down trodden. I don't think that was ever really a big secret. It's kind of the whole point.

  2. Ok Jryan, tell me exactly what point you were trying to make with the link to that article. If I am so far off the mark please show me what the mark is. My interpretation was that you were saying you saw no reason why Genesis couldn't be taught when all those other myths were being taught. ????



    You asked me for an example of political correctness affecting the actual correctness of textbooks. I gave you an article that had several examples.

  3. There is a difference between our approaches. Mine answers some points yours answers none.




    No, John, but your response is actually a good example of why it is useless debating with you. You continually chose to answer to only some of what I said when what I was saying was in response to ALL of your point. It is a thoroughly dishonest method of open debate that you are using, so I simply threw your style back at you and you got upset.



    In particular you fail to address the fact that religious beliefs kill children.

    Why do you do this? Do you think the child's life unimportant?



    That reminds me, have you stopped beating your wife?

  4. But there was no space before the big bang as time and space were created within it. I don't mean someone literally took a shovel and started digging but it's the energy that I'm talking about. For me, I think digging a hole is the best way to explain it.



    The act of digging compresses the soil, making it denser and making it take up less space than the whole from which it was removed.

  5. I disagree that the theory of gravity "simply is".


    Gravity is a falsifiable theory. Experiments can and have been devised to provide repeatable observations to either support or disprove the theory. A probability value can be determined to describe the probability of the theory being correct. If proven incorrect in part or whole, it can be modified or rejected in its entirely with no ideological impediment.



    I think you miss my point. I am not talking about the "theory of gravity" I am talking about the obvious phenomenon that we call gravity. It obviously exists. Drop a pencil and see which direction it goes.


    HOW gravity exists or WHAT gravity is is a different subject entirely for which a falsifiable theory is warranted.


    But whatever force that is that caused the material of the universe to congeal, and causes universal attraction between bodies based on mass of the objects, you can't deny it exists. It is the most ever present, consistently dependable laws of the physical world apart from whatever repeatable physical phenomenon it is that makes the mass of material between our ears capable of observing and contemplating the universe.



    The god hypothesis on the other hand, is not falsifiable and does not predict observations that allow it to be supported or disproved. The absolute nature of the hypothesis only allows it to be completely accepted or rejected with no room for uncertainty.



    Well, sure, but no God theory was ever put forward by me, either. My argument was a philosophical one. As I said in another thread, I don't think that science and religion are mutually exclusive, nor should either be used to describe the other. Science deals with HOW and religion deals with WHY, at the most basic level. Theists and atheists at the root level simply disagree on the existence of a WHY in the universe.



    One is a falsifiable hypothesis supported by repeatable observation, the other is a faith based positive assumption made in the absence of observational evidence. Your comparison of religious belief with acceptance of a scientific theory is rendered inapt by the differences in the assumptive nature two concepts.


    Again, I was making a philosophical argument, not a scientific one. In that same way the quest for extraterrestrial life is not practically falsifiable nor repeatable nor scientific.. or certainly not in any way that wouldn't also apply to God.


    As an aside to this argument, I'll point you to this intriguing essay, by an atheist, that speaks to my point but from the other side of the divide:


    Beyond Reductionism

  6. To a disappointingly good approximation you cropped all of it, which is different.



    You choose to answer what you find worthy in my response and I have now done the same with yours. We lose all of your arguments in the process because there really wasn't much there to begin with.

  7. It's easy to denigrate the myths of people with no power but if Genesis was portrayed in the same manner all the Christians in our nation would be in an up roar, you know that and your assertion that you and the rest of your fundy cohorts would like Genesis would be taught as a primitive myth is false, you want it taught as a alternative to evolution, you want to indoctrinate the children of everyone into your cult of primitive myths. it would be immoral to assert these myths as science and you know it.




    Creationism exists on lies, creationists cannot support their myths in any way but lies, misrepresentations, and out right fabrications. Your condescending attitude toward me is an example of the dishonesty of creationism, you have no real evidence so you result to insults and trying to make anyone who disagrees with you look stupid but in fact all you do is make your own argument look stupid.



    No, in your view creationism exists on errors, but they believe the errors to be true. You most certainly believe things that are in error, are those beliefs "based on lies"? I wouldn't say that. I would say that you are simply mistaken.


    Richard Feynman once said “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts” ... I would assume that you agree with this? It is the foundation of the discipline, after all. Once you stop believing that then you stop being a scientist.




    The one quote i focused on "humans cannot hear elephants" was taken out of context, it is apparent it was taken out of context to anyone who has been paying attention to the scientific research along those lines. The sounds we can hear elephants make are incidental to their main methods of communication which involve infra sounds. Misrepresenting this as scientists say humans cannot hear elephants is totally dishonest, you know it and yet you defend it, what does that say about you?



    No, you claimed it was out of context without bothering to show proof of some other context. In fact, your "context" that you provided simply made a different, less definitive statement than the one quoted. In other words, you didn't put the quote in context, you corrected the quote that was in the article. The whole reason that the quote was in the article was because it was wrong, you went and proved what the article had already assumed. Good job!


    Again, I can't be bothered with most of that post so I just cropped it.


    Sorry, I couldn't be bothered with most of your post so I just cropped it.

  8. Now you are being insulting but I will ignore that because your argument has no place to stand and trying to show me as stupid is the only way you can defend your assertions...



    No, I am showing your arguments as fallacious and pointing out a common devolvement of your debate with each step. I don't think they are "stupid" as much as I think they are disingenuous.



    First off yes textbooks do have mistakes, when i was in school one of my favorite things was pointing out mistakes in textbooks. There is often a plethora of mistakes, it happens, i think the process should be monitored more closely but I have no say in it.




    Sure, I agree. The problem I have is that I see you bias leaking through in the manner in which you address textbook mistakes, and how easily you want to cast aside a boat load of examples by using logical fallacies and cherry picking (both poorly executed) for no other apparent reason than they fail to fit your personal narrative.




    I did address the points of the article, do i have to do it again? Simply whining that i am being unfair is no way to be, sit down and take a few breaths have a another creationist give you a tissue and a hug and and assure you that your fairy tale book is real and maybe the crying will stop.



    But you DIDN'T address the article. How many more times do I have to show you that your half-hearted cherry picking and logical fallacy does not amount to a real addressing of the article? You asked me for an example, I gave you an example, and you have done everything in your power to avoid addressing the example in any meaningful way. That is where we have been on that subject for several post exchanges.


    You can't see past superficiality to examine the evidence you asked me to provide. Until you choose to be a actual "free thinker" this is pretty much as far as you and I can take this subject.




    Let me try, yet again, The passages about primitive peoples creation myths has been misrepresented both by the author you cited and by you, she is being dishonest so she can sell books. There was no attempt to teach these myths as an alternative to science, your insinuation that was what was taking place is a lie, no other way to say it, a lie, you saying nothing would be wrong with teaching genesis along side these other primitive myths fails miserably.



    You showed nothing of the sort. You posted a link to somebody responding to the author to tell her she is a creationist even when she explicitly states in her message in question that she believes in evolution, and he provides no actual evidence to back up his argument other than a letter from her foundation repeats teh term "liberal bias" with the assumption that ... what, that liberal biases don't exist? Or that only conservatives can see liberal bias? It's moot anyway as your evidence is simply perpetuating the ad hominem you crafted against the author rather than address her points.


    And the kicker is the letter you post doesn't even address the bolded bit of her statement you wanted to wanted to counter.


    I didn't address this because your long response was simply a gratuitous ad hominem that added nothing to the discussion, but there you have the detailed response you were looking for. The response you have provided is itself festooned with logical fallacy, but I will hope your knew that by reading it.



    The rest later.

  9. "Again, you fail to grasp the very simple concept that science is a process, not results. "

    No, I understand that.

    I understand that part of the process is looking at the real world and seeing if you have got things right.

    Aristotle clearly didn't do that or he wouldn't have believed that men had more teeth than women.

    He wasn''t alone in doing that sort of thing.

    That was the nature of "science" at his time.

    The modern approach to science took a lot longer.




    Again, you don't know what you are talking about. You are still mired in results over process. That the old process took less time is a completely unfounded and ludicrous claim because you have no idea how much effort went into these observations. You have the end results. They also didn't have as much to work with as they were starting from scratch so their conclusions were destined to be rudimentary or wrong. That didn't make it less scientific.


    Just admit it was a silly claim and move on. Trying to defend it isn't helping you out.




    I think the essence of you problem here "By this I can assume that you believe that atheists can be religious, then? So your primary argument against theism, the restrictive nature of religion, apparently applies uniformly to atheism and atheistic societies more regularly than to theistic ones." is that all Alsations are dogs, but not all dogs are Alsations.



    No it is you stating that Alsations don't bite mailmen and concluding when an Alsation bites a mailman that it is no longer an Alsation.





    "When confronted with the existence of millions of people dying in an atheistic state you then simply argue that these states were religions. This is not compelling and screams of confirmation bias, or worse."

    Not quite. You are deliberately ignoring the fact that I cited reasons for my opinion.

    It seems to me that you are the one playing with confirmation bias.

    Can you explain why communism (as in the USSR) isn't a religion?



    Why should I make an argument against it? If this is what you believe then it shoots a great big whole in the argument that Christianity, or theistic religion, is particularly detrimental to science because not only was mostly secular China more detrimental to science (as Swansont argues was due to it's insularity) in the middle ages than were Christian states, but the limitations on science in 20th Century came for the most part from atheistic communist states. Arguing that they were "religions" is merely a semantic dodge of the over riding point asserted that theistic religion and it's belief in God is a greater limiter on scientific discovery than is atheism. That initial assertion ignores the natural conclusion of your argument regarding communism as a religion.. that atheistic cultures have, by your own measure, turned "religious" 100% of the time... all while knowing that predominantly Christian and Muslim states have variously better records of forming non-religious states than do atheists.


    It's easy enough to understand why that is, too, given the fact that any secular state where the people are mostly theist will not grant their state the title of godhead, and therefor can operate morally and intellectually separate from the state. Almost by design such societies don't grant their governments the kind of power you see in a communist "religious" state. Even without believing in a God it is plain to see how a state in which the populous have a personal and unwavering sense of morality resist the efforts of the state to establish a unified state morality.


    You can argue that an atheist is more pragmatic and flexible than a theist, but in the case of a Soviet Union and all other Communist nations this ability to bend has only lead to a more out of control and more deadly state as a result.




    Jryan, where do you get your morality from? Is it objective morality or subjective morality?



    I believe in objective morality as it is the very foundation of inalienable rights.



    Something more than an assertion is needed to back this up.



    Of course, which is why I provided my evidence for the assertion, with numbers and everything! If I got the numbers wrong then feel free to call me on it. But if you need to have me google it for you here:


    The Black Book of Communism - criticized as being both too high in it's estimates and too low. It's total estimate is about 94 million dead between 1920 and 1997, which says nothing of the trials and imprisonments.


    The Spanish Inquisitions -The most notorious and deadly of the Inquisitions (all inquisitions in all of Christian Europe ran from the 1200s through the 1800s), ran from 1480-1834. The total inquisitions in Spain were about 90,000 with a total 1,414 executions, or 4 executions per year average. These were obvious atrocious abuses of power, but nothing compared to a Communist sate. Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge beat the Inquisitions totals on any given day and he was small time compared to Mao and Uncle Joe.




    I think my point was justified, so far all you have done is cry and whine it's not fair to point out you are using inflated appeals to emotion instead of facts.....



    *sigh* You still don't understand how stuff works. All you have done is justify your faith in the nature of the article without actually addressing the points of the article itself. THAT feels a lot like your characterization of religion. You seem afraid to actually address the evidence... but then that makes sense because you utterly failed your first two attempts -- the first being your absurd accusation of my "cherry picking", the second being your actual failed attempt at cherry picking. Since you have failed how better to avoid a third failure than a refusal to address the evidence at all? Hence your retreat to ad hominem.

  10. I can't be bothered doing a point by point rebuttal of that but here are the highlights.


    "The scientific method has been traced back to Egypt circa 1600 BC. But the scientific method used today started with Aristotle's development of empiricism in the 4th century BC, and was drawn directly from his texts."

    The absolute bollocks examples I chose to illustrate the failure of the ancient Greeks (i.e the fact that there are more than 5 elements, objects tend to fall at very nearly the same rate whatever their weight and that spiders do not have the same number of legs as flies." are all attributed to Aristotle.

    He got things totally wrong which he would have got right had he used the empirical method, This shows that science really didn't start with him.



    Again, you fail to grasp the very simple concept that science is a process, not results. It is quite possible to arrive at a wrong conclusion scientifically. But in the case of your absurd argument of the "failure" of the Ancient Greeks, I again must assume your ignorance. The very idea of reducing the physical world to composite elements began with that very same classification system that you declare a "failure".


    It's a very odd and ignorant path you are carving here as you wish to claim that "science" started with Francis Bacon, not the Greeks, because the greeks got things wrong... but I would challenge you that Francis Bacon also "failed" in the same way. If you choose to come over to the logical side of this debate and try to argue that Francis Bacon started "science" as a matter of process, rather than results, then I would go back to logically arguing that Aristotle was the originator of empiricism, not Francis Bacon.



    You say "But your insistence that science started with "Bacon" I assume you are arguing Francis Bacon "

    Perhaps you should have a look at what I wrote i.e. "It's probably not realistic to say it was down to one individual".



    Well maybe there is hope then as you seem to understand that science is a process.. you just need to realize that that process has been in place for at least 2000 years before your arbitrary argument for when science began.




    "But, in the real and more complex world, I see that the basic human rights that the West believes are inalienable are, if you believe the atheistic view, completely arbitrary and alienable, whereas in the theistic view there is a "why not" to stand in the way of alienation."


    Why do theists think the have a monopoly on morality?

    Human rights are straightforward sensible self interest. They have nothing to do with the existence of any God.

    On the other hand they are often ignored in the name of religion.



    I didn't argue that theists have a monopoly on morality. I am arguing that they have a monopoly on why we should follow it.




    No doubt this feeds you belief that " it does seem to be rather standard to rush to the Inquisitions when other avenues of debate are failing.".

    Well, why shouldn't we point out that religion kills people in a way that science doesn't?



    Again, this line of argument you are using was thoroughly debunked nearly 100 years ago and ever since when a state founded on atheism and the preeminence of the state and man as ultimate arbiter in human morality proceeded to kill 40 million of it's citizens. This test has been repeated in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba and elsewhere with precisely the same result. Some 100 million bodies in mass graves stand against the 2,500 dead from the Inquisitions. The Inquisitions happened over a 500 year span, to the 80 years that atheistic states have to work with.


    So, again, like the comparison between China and Europe on scientific discovery you must first explain why atheistic states appear to be so much better at killing people than religious ones do before you can claim that religious cultures are uniquely prone to killing people.



    Incidentally, it's not easy for me to distinguish the insane policies of China and the Soviet Union from the insane policies of religion.

    Both are maintained by a belief (based on faith rather than evidence) that the perpetrators of these crimes are "following a higher power" whether that's God or teh Communist Party.



    When confronted with the existence of millions of people dying in an atheistic state you then simply argue that these states were religions. This is not compelling and screams of confirmation bias, or worse.


    But sure, in a way you seem to confirm my point here in that atheism only seems to have an individual answer for morality. All evidence points to that it is wholly insufficient at a cultural level where it has only lead to death and destruction.




    From my point of view, Communism was a religion where God was relabelled as "The Party".



    By this I can assume that you believe that atheists can be religious, then? So your primary argument against theism, the restrictive nature of religion, apparently applies uniformly to atheism and atheistic societies more regularly than to theistic ones.


    Imagine that.

  11. I don't agree that economics is a science as there is no single truth to be sought on the subject. Keynes is not some truth upon which economics builds any more than his contemporaries who held conflicting views. A discipline with an undefined number of correct answers to the original question does not appear to be a science as much as it is engineering.

  12. It rather depends on what you, as Vishnu's agent propose to do about it. if you plan to torture and kill me in the manner of the crusaders or the inquisition then, once again you have shown the equivalence of totalitarianism and religion



    And you missed the point. But then it does seem to be rather standard to rush to the Inquisitions when other avenues of debate are failing. But then the inquisitions killed 2,500 people over the course of 500 years whereas the unscientific Soviets and Chinese starved over 100 million people while refusing the accept that state agricultural doctrine was faulty.


    If you want to try and win on anecdotes just know that you lost that argument almost 100 years ago.



    Not really, the claim was that their studies were not really science as we would recognise it today. A lot of cataloguing and a bit of technology, but not much science.



    You are displaying that you are willing to ignore thousands of years of human history to claim a point built from defiant ignorance. You are being the opposite of a free thinker to score points for atheism as free thought. In other words, you aren't helping your cause.


    What you actually said was "Even today many of the oldest and most respected universities in the world are religious institutions or built by religious institutions." and I say that's simply wrong or irrelevant. Most major seats of learning today are essentially secular. They may have religious origins, but that isn't the point. They were set up as religious organisations and, at that time, they didn't do science. The world has changed. They are no longer religious, and they do now do science.

    The last time I was in Nottingham I went to a rather nice pub. It was called "The Church" it was built in an old church building (hence the name). Are you saying that, because what was once a religious site is now a bar, the Church was seeking to promote drinking beer?



    No, it's not wrong nor is it irrelevant. The very fact that you claim that these religious institutions were really secular in terms of study IS THE WHOLE POINT. I have been arguing that that science and religion are separate pillars in society and can't be used to invalidate the other, while you are claiming that religion impedes science. My examples of middle age universities fostering scientific study supports my point, not yours.


    Also, science is a process, not an outcome. The scientific process is designed to allow the progress of knowledge through a strict regime of empirical study. To judge science in the middle ages against the science today on outcomes shows a very base ignorance of what you are even supposed to be arguing for.



    The "modern" scientific method- hypothesis testing, experiments etc is often credited to Francis Bacon. It's probably not realistic to say it was down to one individual, but it was at about that point in history that the idea really took off. The ancient Greeks would also have been rather shocked by the fact that there are more than 5 elements, objects tend to fall at very nearly the same rate whatever their weight and that spiders do not have the same number of legs as flies.

    That's because their idea of science was a man sitting in a room thinking about stuff- rather than actually making observations.


    No it didn't. You really need to take a step back and reassess your knowledge on this subject before you choose to continue this line of debate. You are wholly uneducated in the history of science and therefor not well armed for what you are trying to argue.


    The scientific method has been traced back to Egypt circa 1600 BC. But the scientific method used today started with Aristotle's development of empiricism in the 4th century BC, and was drawn directly from his texts.



    And yet you are ignoring the facts like Bacon's era being the start of real science while claiming that you accept facts. The refusal of the priests in Galileo's time to look through the telescope and see the moons of Jupiter because they "knew from the scriptures" that they couldn't exist is well enough described elsewhere on the web



    I am not ignoring it, I am denying it. But your insistence that science started with "Bacon" I assume you are arguing Francis Bacon because you arbitrarily picked a non-theist, rather than ROGER Bacon, who ACTUALLY is the beginning of the scientific method in European study... but you can choose him because he lived hundreds of years before Francis Bacon, and was a Franciscan monk.


    To argue that science began with Francis Bacon is as dubious a claim as saying that Henry Ford invented the automobile.




    No, I didn't.

    Tell me, how well do you sleep at night with that tiger in your bedroom?

    I realise there's no evidence for it, but as you say, you can't prove a negative so you should assume it's still there. Even if you look carefully, there's some chance you missed it.

    In reality you would look silly to take precautions against that possible tiger without some evidence.




    Do you believe that you can prove the non-existence of the tiger using science? While your argument certainly paints a pictureof some fretful toddler demanding daddy check under the bed for monsters, you are simply engaging in reductio ad absurdum to prove your point. But, in the real and more complex world, I see that the basic human rights that the West believes are inalienable are, if you believe the atheistic view, completely arbitrary and alienable, whereas in the theistic view there is a "why not" to stand in the way of alienation.



    Why do you believe in the "why" without evidence?



    Because, as someone who came to a belief in God from an atheistic past, I see this "why" as the only logical underpinning of such concepts as inalienable rights, the very fabric of civilization that makes us humans more than mere animals. It is more compelling than the "just because" I found with atheism.


    With atheism, while arguing it as a source of free though, I couldn't escape the simple truth that atheism's "just because" explanation of the "why" was limiting and didn't even attempt to explain it. The internal consistency in this belief in "why" was the first evidence I needed for the greater discovery that came next. But that discovery is a complicated and personal thing, and me saying it is so from personal experience is not, admittedly, compelling. It certainly wasn't to me when I was in the same position.


    In fact, the "just because" of atheism doesn't even hold in it any rational compulsion for discovery. I can't escape the irony of a modern atheistic progressive arguing for and against technological modernism at the very same time all while having no real purpose for doing so. It appears utterly rudderless.



    No, I'm raising the point that they don't seem to have a lot of actual scientific evidence to support their conclusions



    No, I am pointing out that you are so completely ignorant of the curriculum of theological study that you assume the whole of the education is spent reading the bible and religious texts. It's another subject that I suggest you educate yourself before going any further. You simply show yourself an ignorant, bigoted person when you choose to state such incorrect generalities.



    In a truly secular world there wouldn't be any religion to be PC about. If you don't like the effects of PC then a way to reduce its influence would be to abolish religion



    So is it your belief that political correctness only manifests itself with religion?


    Pointing out potential bias is not fallacious, and has nothing to do with quoting or misquoting someone. A(n attempt to) quote actually shows that it's not fallacious.



    Yes it is. Pointing out the POTENTIAL for bias can not be used as a substitute for the existence of ACTUAL bias which is what he needs to make a non-gratuitous counterpoint.

  13. Ad hominem, perhaps, but not a fallacy if it is relevant to the subject matter, like someone's religious attitudes in a religious discussion.



    No, he is using his opinion of her as a stand in for attacking the evidence provided in her article. That is fallacious.


    But he had to do that because he fumbled his one attempt to cherry pick an error in the actual article when he misread 4 words and ran with it. Rather than risk it, or due to the fact that he couldn't find anything when he read more carefully, he retreated to attacking the author rather than the piece.

  14. The Catechism of the Catholic Church


    Summa Contra Gentiles, by St. Thomas Acquinas


    The Everlasting Man, and Orthodoxy, both by G. K. Chesterton


    Mere Christianity, and The Abolition of Man, both by C. S. Lewis.


    Lost in the Cosmos, by Walter Percy


    Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal's Pensees, by Peter Kreeft

    (Kreeft has a lot of very good mp3's on his website)




    Great list. I would also add The Screwtape Letters and Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer by CS Lewis.

  15. It's just in my eyes, the laws of physics cannot support any "god". But it is said "god" is something that exists outside of the laws of physics. God made man in his image? So atoms? Molecules? The thing is with this is that for every answer (for or against) has a counter answer. A discussion on this will be a loop.


    **quote (not sure how to get them on separate lines)

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by asking if I took in the digging a hole part.



    Well do you understand what it represents?



    This is an odd statement. But let me try explain religion in a way that a non-believer can understand (because contrary to the more irritable atheists on this forum, faith is more complicated than they believe).


    Assume that "God" is a semantic device in much the same way "gravity" is a semantic device to describe a phenomenon that, in the universal sense, has no name. It simply is. Planets revolve around the Sun not because we named "gravity", but because the force has existed since at least the birth of the Universe.


    So now apply that logic to "God", and assume that "God" is a semantic device to describe the entirety of all matter and the forces that determine the behavior of that matter in the universe, known and unknown. These forces are as simple as gravity or as complex as the phenomenon that we know exists that allows a few pounds of elements to interact in such a way that they contemplate the existence of "God", give abstracted names to natural order, and create order where chaos reigns.


    Once you understand that "God" means everything, or omnipotence then it becomes much easier to understand the rest of what theists believe.


    In that vein of thought, religious lessons like the Ten Commandments are really just instructions to mankind for our survival, given the curse of "free will". Whether you see these rules as written by a man or not is immaterial as it is all a function of the "everything" that theists call "God" and "free will" is a semantic device to describe mankind's ability to function beyond natural order.


    It's often mistaken by atheists that theists believe proof is anathema to faith, it isn't. True faith is in the salvation through adherence to a set of rules, and that those rules lead to a better life here, and death. Whether you believe something comes after death is also immaterial as, in the end, you can only judge a persons life by how they lived it and how they died.


    I would actually describe my personal beliefs somewhat differently than this, but I find this simplified natural explanation of "God" to be more palatable to Atheists than "here's the Bible, read it." No theist I know believes that God is part of the universe, but rather the reverse of that. So trying to pin God's non-existence down by simple observation the world around you is a waste of time. You are looking in the wrong place.





    The last diagram about CO2 mentions "for the last 650.000 years" and the graph don't go further than 450.000 years.(if i understand correctly the ambiguous labeling) There are 200.000 years missing, that's almost half the diagram. And if the intervals are of 50.000 years, I don't understand the 1950 date on the right of the diagram: the distance to the first vertical grid line corresponds roughly to 25.000 years.




    This is a VERY important point. Before the modern direct measure of CO2, the graph is naturally smoothed by time, and the time scale is in thousand year increments. You can not in good conscience or good science claim that a sampling in thousand year increments shows no CO2 levels higher than the 150 yearly incremental measurement of today. It could easily have been higher any number of times in between those incremental markers but the sampling rate wouldn't catch it.

  17. Can you provide any actual evidence for these four things happening? Or are you just spreading more urban legends?



    Yeah, the polar bear plight has been thoroughly debunked at this point. The original study that projected the death of polar bears was literally based on three dead bears spotted in the ocean from a float plane. Nobody ever actually recovered the bears to find the cause of death, they simply had a guess, and then did some baseless statistics to extrapolate three dead bears over X% of area means 3(1/x%) total dead bears for the entire arctic.


    From that launched a world panic for polar bears.

  18. Does it really matter whether the phenomena is man made or naturaly generated it does have a consequence for us so shouldn't we prepare for the worst?



    The "prepare for the worst" principle has its limits. There are any number of things that COULD happen to you on any a given day, but most you don't really prepare for otherwise you are sitting at home with tissue boxes on your feet and wearing a surgical mask.


    In the case of "preparing" for global warming you have options such as the green energy movement, but the problem there is that should global warming never materialize you have only really ended up with a far more expensive, less responsive energy supply for no real purpose that the market would have adopted eventually anyway if the secondary benefit is real.


    For instance, if Solar energy costs, on average, $20 for a given amount, and that same amount of energy costs $5 from an coal burning generator, and "peak coal" hits, the coal generated energy would eventually rise above $20 per unit and people would by nature switch to solar over coal.


    Granted, this is a very simplified point that doesn't take into account the abundance of varying energy supplies and their ability to scale with national need, but the general principle remains the same.


    Forcing the switch earlier than market pressures would otherwise dictate simply costs more money with no added benefit.

  19. No jryan, the "News letter" is full of quote mined phrases cherry picked to support the Right wing Christian agenda, you show me the actual book or the full text of that passage about elephants and we can talk but if you insist on deceptive quote mining to make your points you are just as dishonest as your source.... BTW, most of the sounds elephants make to communicate with each other are infra sounds, you read the article, stop using deception to make your points, it won't fly with me, i am familiar with quote mining by the religious apologists, it's the same thing as a lie, it's lying, the people who do it are liars..... Funny how that 9th commandment evaporates when the truth conflicts with the religious agenda...



    No, see, your statement is incredibly ironic because what YOU did with the elephant quote is ACTUALLY cherry picking, AND you did a terrible job of it to boot. You took a statement that was four words and still managed to misread it and then offered a counter argument to what those four words didn't actually say... you then went on to proclaim that you ONE poorly executed example is indicative of the entire piece, and stuck with that argument.


    I've never seen someone who could stuff two complete logical fallacies into a rebuttal of a four word statement... so congratulations on that, I suppose.


    Your argument is wholly closed minded and sclerotic and really not worth whatever effort you put into it.

  20. I easily showed that one of the "News Letter's" assertions was deceptive, do i really have to post the entire article and show you how each and every one is bullshit? If I thought you cared one iota about facts, wanted to really understand, and weren't in fact a right wing christian apologist I would have some incentive but to so but spending my time debunking the same old bullshit over and over has become tiresome and i don't see how you are any more special that any other right wing christian conservative who only sees and hears what he wants to see and hear.... you swallow camels and gag at flies, that is no way to live an intellectually honest life....



    No you didn't. Saying that elephants make some sounds that humans can't hear is not the same as saying people can't hear elephants. I would think that someone supposedly scientifically minded would be able to spot the difference in the two statements.

  21. How can I address a bunch of cherry picked points in a totally disingenuous "News Letter" that exists for no other purpose than to sow lies and misrepresentations and outright fabrications?


    "people can't hear elephants" do you even know where quote was mined from? Do you have any idea of what they were really talking about? Who ever said that was a bald faced liar and I would tell him so to his face...




    You have shown your true colors, there is no way to debate such a dishonest style of discussion.... The very idea that talking to kids about outdated supernatural notions of what we used to believe and then going on to show what science has discovered as somehow promoting the supernatural and is therefore reason to teach Creationism (I'm betting only your particular Gods version) in science class is such a huge straw man I cannot fathom why any honest person could possibly go with that premise. Your stance is at best ignorant of the facts a or at worst willfully stupid. I see no reason to debate with dishonest people....



    Hah, I see you have sounded the retreat. You ask for examples and when I provide examples you declare them you first attack the source rather than address the information, and then when called out on that you declare the examples are "cherry picked". Ummm... Moontanaman, that is the nature of examples. I go out and pick some examples as you requested and I provide them to you. So far you have managed a stream of logical fallacy but little real meat. I remain ever the optimist though... you will eventually argue a point rather than attack it.

  22. Thanks,


    Somehow we need to make those problems irrelevant; to move beyond them, rather than overcome them... (or words to that effect).


    The points about "wars over soil" come when we see losses to erosion, declines in productivity, or land exhaustion. Tropical soils are a unique problem also.


    The Green Revolution greatly boosted productivity (by circumventing and tricking natural systems), but it also has long-term negative consequences and is unsustainable....


    That may have had something to do with the situation you describe; but whatever occurred in the past, a new way forward needs to be established. Land use seems to be at the root of many socio-political and socio-economic, as well as energy and environmental, problems.


    We just don't have the luxury of solving all our problems individually anymore, so we must find solutions that tackle multiple problems with the fairest/simplest single solutions.


    Land use provides many opportunities along those lines.


    ~ISTM :)




    Well, the Green revolution as a solution to strife hasn't panned out. As I said, the green revolution was in full swing in Rhodesia before the anti-colonial movement ended it and brought famine back to the region. Likewise, the green movement was/is in full swing in Côte d'Ivoire in it's booming cocoa industry... harvested by an equally booming child slave trade in the country that is fed new slaves by an equally booming civil war.


    Africa is a different place, and it's foolish to apply western sensibilities to African problems. Any time I start drifting to believing that I remind myself of a situation in Congo that I read about in the 1990s. The state run TV and Radio and print media was forced in that time to run a "The More You Know" style ad campaign for the people of Congo... but it was not "Don't do drugs" or "stay in School"... nothing like that. The ad campaign was to tell people that Pygmies are people too, and therefor shouldn't be hunted like wild animals for meat.


    Like a said.. a whole different set of problems on that continent.

  23. Could you have found a more right wing christian news letter? Does the idea of biased source mean anything to you? The Weekly Standard? I mean really? Maybe we should consult Glen Beck to get a more balanced opinion...



    Do you care to actually address the points in the article or simply engage in logical fallacy?

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