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the asinine cretin

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  1. No. Religious creation myths are based on traditions and sacred texts. Evolution is based on multiple independent lines of physical evidence that corroborate to form a rich and substantial forensic record of the history of life. You can scoop up a text, such as Futuyma's Evolution, for yourself and learn a little something about the facts of evolution. Heck, you could even visit a museum and see examples of the physical evidence for yourself. Religion requires faith in unsubstantiated supernatural doctrines; science does not. Common descent is a demonstrable fact. Genesis 1 is an ancient myth written by primitive people who "weren't there" and did not observe the creation of the universe or of life, et cetera. Apparently they weren't concerned with building a factual understanding either. Comparing this with the tools, methods, and standards of evidence of modern science is mind-boggling to me. Having said that, I must add that I don't think your doubts and skepticism about evolution are uncalled for. By all means ask questions, and look into the evidence, and get a handle on how secure or provisional various scientific ideas may be. That is learning. But if you've pre-decided that evolution must be wrong because a creation myth of some sort is "absolute truth" then I'll talk to you... never. Good luck with that.
  2. Fossils are tangible physical remains of living creatures and yield a great deal of data about organisms and about the history of life. This is real data. Because none of us were around to observe them dying and being fossilized it didn't happen? It's just a pretend story? Get real, pal.
  3. What are you trying to say exactly? Could you clarify? What about sources? I won't bitch if it's Discovery Institute stuff. I'm just curious to fully identify what you're on about.
  4. Well, that would be a pretty silly use of the "design inference." I read a chapter from an ID book that was supposed to address instances of suboptimal design in nature and all it really did was weakly criticize a couple examples that were the easiest targets and then act like it had refuted to whole idea. Pull a silly "purpose" out of one's ass (e.g., the crappy design of the human eye keeps the retina warm), make some specious and/or trivial claims (e.g., junk DNA isn't really junk!); therefore, suboptimal design isn't a problem. I once wrote out a detailed compilation of evidence for evolution at the request of a creationist friend of mine and the response consisted of a bullshit "rebuttal" of one or two of the arguments (there were dozens) and then a "and the rest are similarly fallacious" dismissal. GTFO.
  5. Darwinism can't overcome the information problem! The cell is too complex. It had to be designed. Bacterial flagella of the world, unite!
  6. People who believe in God are broken!? We're all broken. The difference? People who don't accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior are wicked and destined to hell fire. So there.
  7. I've been on a kick lately with the books of Erik Seedhouse and figured I'd throw this out there. "Ocean Outpost is an undersea roadmap charting the future of man's exploration of Earth's last vast unexplored territory. To realize the goal of an extended human presence underwater a wealth of new technologies will be developed, such as new manned and unmanned submersibles, advanced propulsion systems, underwater rescue systems, decompression methods, and revolutionary physiological intervention strategies ranging from liquid ventilation to artificial gills. Some technologies will require quantum leaps forward in innovation, while others may appear even more daunting." Ocean Outpost: The Future of Humans Living Underwater P.S. (If I may be allowed a sci-fi indulgence.) Maybe the aquatic ape concept will become true after all. I think it would be neat. A bit of allopatric speciation leading to Homo aquaticus. Well, not really. I imagine there would be a subspecies of cyborg human capable of living underwater. Ideally it would be reversible. If not, still cool, but not exactly evolution by natural selection. hehe.
  8. I just found this book, published in February of this year. It looks pretty awesome. Interplanetary Outpost: The Human and Technological Challenges of Exploring the Outer Planets P.S. I dig the Nautilus-X on the cover. \m/,
  9. Ophiolite, Those documents have consumed my morning. Thanks. I love it. :-D
  10. The point of life is to hydrogenate carbon dioxide.
  11. That's the thing I was thinking of. Thanks! There is a report for HOPE out there somewhere as well, but I don't think it contains much that isn't captured in those slides. What I wouldn't give to see missions of that sort in my lifetime...
  12. The radiation on Callisto isn't bad. About 0.01 rem/day. There was a NASA report years back about manned missions to the outer solar system and Callisto was chosen as the location for a base for various reasons, including the relatively low radiation.
  13. But seriously, I'm surprised this vid hasn't been mentioned. 7.4 x 10^6 views is pretty good for any video. Democracy?
  14. I think LED lighting in the wavelengths actually used by a given crop, which varies with its stage of development, would be the ideal assuming only current tech. Example: You wouldn't be wasting such a big chunk of your energy on photons that the plant doesn't need. Also a good system wouldn't run them beyond the optimal time requirements for each crop. I know that a lot of this research has already been done and is even implemented by commercial hydroponics operations and NASA experiments. I'm quite sure that adequate power systems could be designed. I don't know much about spacecraft power generators but as one example I seem to recall the Soviets putting a spy satellite in orbit back in the '80s that had a radioisotope thermoelectric generator that could generate 6 kilowatts of electricity for a number of years. I'm guessing you could power a lot of LEDs on 6 kilowatts and I also suppose that we could do much better than an '80s era Soviet contraption if we really wanted to. Some of my previous post assumed the existence of fusion reactors. That could surely solve the power problem for a hydroponics bay. P.S. I remember a Google Tech Talk, or some such thing, in which a fellow explained how the world's nuclear weapons stockpiles could be dismantled and used to create electrical generators for spacecraft. I quite like that idea. P.P.S. If the light requirement were costly the on-board diet could be engineered such that these food sources are minimized. Fungi are excellent and can be processed in a variety of ways. I know of a commercial meat substitute made from mycoprotein cultured in fermentation vats. Even less appetizing, but perhaps worthwhile, would be in virto meat, which I believe is cultured from animal stem cells. I don't know what the input requirements are like though and it may not be worth it. Fortunately there are many other possibilities for spaceborne food production. If it were more pertinent to this thread I'd further indulge myself on the topic. Edited to add: Here is a talk related to some of the above, although not the talk I was thinking of. There are many more interesting talks related to this on the Google Tech Talks youtube channel. One last thing.
  15. When New Horizons reaches Pluto only about nine years will have passed since its launch. The speed of New Horizons is about 58,536 km/h. The current speed record, Helios 2, has a speed of 252,800 km/h. (I have some understanding of the difficulties involved in space launch, and the specific requirements of manned launch, but all I'm saying is that it need not take twenty years.) Even with current propulsion technology, using gravity assists, I suspect we could develop a launch system and design a manned mission that could reach the Pluto-Charon system in considerably less than 20 years, if we really wanted to (leaving aside every other problem involved in such a mission, as well as economics). And what about more or less plausible near-future tech? I've only glanced at the report (I plan on reading it soon), but I imagine something like the "Discovery II" concept could reach Pluto in under a year. The purported Jupiter in four months is pretty darn good. (Yes, I realize the much greater distance of Pluto but I'm guessing it would be under acceleration for a longer period.) NASA Report: Realizing "2001: A Space Odyssey": Piloted Spherical Torus Nuclear Fusion Propulsion (PDF) I'd be curious to know the theoretical limit on the specific impulse of fusion propulsion. I imagine the possibilities for interplanetary travel are very good even being pretty conservative about future propulsion. And what about somewhat possible far-future tech? I think that under 0.01g constant acceleration you could reach Pluto-Charon (at perihelion) in about four months. Let's pretend that we'll have ships capable of 0.1g constant acceleration in the not-too-distant future. If you spend half your trip accelerating and the other half decelerating I think you could reach Pluto in a few weeks. This all assumes that the code I just threw together is correct. lol. Either way, I think it is safe to say that with the 0.1g ship interplanetary travel would be easy - at least as far as time is concerned - and going from planet to planet would take days, not months or years. Throw in suspended animation tech (which is very plausible) and interstellar travel in our neighborhood might be doable. I would still imagine a gradual radiation from nearest stars to nearest stars. And as I said before, there are probably hundreds of Earth-like worlds within 30 ly (meaning ESI > 0.8). While a breathable atmosphere is super unlikely, I think that planets with comfortable atmospheric pressure and large regions of habitable temperatures are out there. Now that I think about it, that movie Avatar was pretty good in these respects. Also, there is reason to think that Earth-like moons are considerably more common than Earth-like planets. Oh, and even if we don't find a perfect Earth-analog nearby (major problem being the requirement of a specific geochemical-biological-ecological history) I think we'll surely find candidates for terraforming that are highly superior to any worlds in our solar system. In the more ideal circumstances terraforming may simply be a matter of establishing the biome and waiting for time to take its course (with tuning and pruning to finagle the desired result). The other side of the coin is that our descendants will be much more plastic than we are - in the sense that it might be much easier for them to adapt to the environment than to adapt the environment to their needs. The obvious tools are genetic engineering, bionic implants, and all that good stuff. Spinning off of a post I made in a different thread, maybe the inhabitants of planet such-and-such will have colonies of nanites in their lungs and skin that harvest normally unavailable oxygen from compounds in the environment; or whatever. This would follow the general pattern of our expansion on this planet to different environments via the progressive augmentation of technology. In the gradual expansion scenario (see my post on page 1) Earth-like worlds aren't as relevant since most people - or whatever they are - will live in non-planetary habitats. There may be an overwhelming majority of comet dwellers vs. planet dwellers. A recent paper suggests that rogue planets are far more abundant than star-bound planets; perhaps by several orders of magnitude. The distribution of civilization may be first among the comets, rogue planets, planetary systems (including moons) bound to red dwarfs, and maybe brown dwarfs, and finally planets/moons around FGK-type stars. Being from an Earth-like planet orbiting a G-type star would be an oddity indeed.
  16. I've not caught up on the recent posts in this thread but I just wanted to make a quick comment. I imagine something like an artificial biosphere with feedbacks and such. This is possible to a large extent with current science and technology. So long as the system is as closed as possible (e.g., don't discard human excrement) you wouldn't need much in the way of inputs. The system could provide many benefits beyond food production as well. P.S. For examples go here: Wikipedia: Closed ecological system, and for more info consider the "See also" section of that page.
  17. I'm aware of those types of issues, but my thing is pure fantasy and assumes super futuristic nanotech and a substantially re-engineered humanity. It's not supposed to be feasible any time soon. The network of nanobots would know the body's requirements and they would be capable of interfacing directly with cellular metabolism and wouldn't be remotely comparable to a present day vitamin supplement. Wait.. I guess this isn't the Speculations board. My bad. Ponies brought me here. /wordsalad
  18. I'm encouraged by the very real likelihood that there are hundreds of Earth-like worlds within 30 ly of us. (By "Earth-like" I mean with an ESI greater than 0.8.) I like to imagine descendants with millennial lifespans who won't be so put off by terribly long journeys. And there are scenarios in which our descendants spread out into our little galactic neighborhood over the course of millions of years - no relativistic speeds required. Dyson, Sagan, and others have speculating about such scenarios. E.g., Gradual migration of "human" (post-human, I suppose) presence to the Kuiper belt, eventually the Oort cloud, and then seamlessly to the Oort cloud analogs of our nearest stars, and so on. Over the course of perhaps millions of years, a great interstellar diversification of life and civilization would occur. I will admit that I have my fingers crossed for something more Star-Treky.
  19. From Ed Yong: "... Pinheiro ended up with enzymes that could copy information between XNA and DNA, with an accuracy of 95 per cent or more. With more work, it should be possible to cut DNA out of the loop altogether, so that XNAs can be directly built from XNAs. If this is possible, Szostak adds, “In the longer run, it may be possible to design and build new forms of life that are based on one or more of these non-natural genetic polymers." ..." Synthetic XNA molecules can evolve and store genetic information, just like DNA More Info Synthetic heredity molecules emulate DNA Polymers perform non-DNA evolution Synthetic Genetic Polymers Capable of Heredity and Evolution MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
  20. I think it could be possible with super futuristic technology. Pills (or some other, less bothersome means of assimilation) would provide a set of micronutrients. An ecology of nanites would inhabit the body (surface of skin, hair, mouth, nose, lungs, digestive tract, bloodstream) and as a system they would coordinate in the synthesis of the macronutrients required for your optimal health. Some might generate building blocks using oxygen, nitrogen, CO2, solar energy, and ambient H2O; some might manage various "farms" of bacteria insight your body; some would recycle dead skin, hair, and secretions from the body (maybe no more crapping and peeing!). Basically some ridiculous sci-fi augmentation and vast improvement of the body's natural metabolic capabilities. With sufficiently sophisticated augmentation of this kind it might be possible to subsist on pills. (Or something more automatic like invisible airborne nanites made ubiquitous in the environment that are attracted by and incorporated into a person's nano systems on-demand. The augmented body - with already much lower input requirements - would then absorb from the environment whatever components it is unable to generate. Alternatively, clothing could be capable of supplementing the body's internal systems. Periodic injections might work. A patch. One's bed sheets. Or maybe we'll just subsist on enriched drinking water.) Just throwing something out there. haha.
  21. Here are a few of the books that have at some point been impactful or notably interesting to me in some religious respect. R. Otto, The Idea of the Holy M. Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane M. Buber, I and Thou J. Zizioulas, Being as Communion M. Scheeben, The Mysteries of Christianity C. LaCugna, God For Us D. von Hildebrand, The Nature of Love L. Giussani, The Religious Sense J. Danielou, God and the Ways of Knowing W. Burkert, Greek Religion L. Martin, Hellenistic Religions R. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament D. Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion C. Sagan, The Varieties of Scientific Experience B. Davies, Philosophy of Religion E. Stump, Philosophy of Religion D. Hofstadter, Godel, Escher, Bach B. Russell, Why I am Not a Christian D. Dennett, Breaking the Spell D. S. Wilson, Darwin's Cathedral
  22. Part of my point was that even in the case of long-term relative morphological stasis evolution has not "turned off" and an extant population that is most similar to a common ancestor is not the same as that common ancestor. The common ancestor of wolves and dogs was neither a dog nor a modern wolf. Et cetera. Even if there are ambiguous cases this is the proper shape of species diversification as I understand it.
  23. My first guess would be that divergence is a branching process between populations which are not static. The parent and grandparent analogy doesn't fit in this respect.
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