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Everything posted by SH3RL0CK

  1. I've taken a look at these links, I remain unconvinced of both the idea of abiotic genesis of oil, and that the oil must always leak away quickly. The article stated that the actual amount of oil leaking was unknown. There would be some level of leakage which would not deplete the oil reserves, even after geologic times. Also, it isn't clear that all oil deposits leak; it is quite possible (likely even) that some leak and some do not. Therefore the oil leaking out into the ocean today might be oil created very recently by biological processes. With regards to folding, subduction, and other geological processes, clearly if fossils can survive and be found, why not coal and oil? So why shouldn't we assume that the hydrocarbons were created at the time they appear (by geologists) to have been created? What happens in nature is that there is a carbon cycle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle Had the dinosaurs burned coal and oil as we do, there would not be any left from before 65 million years ago for us to burn today.
  2. This is to get back to the main point of the thread, were there intelligent dinosaurs? No. The best evidence for this, IMO, is that the coal and oil created prior to the dinosaurs is there (see my post # 11 and DH's post #16) and in geologic layers clearly dating the coal and oil prior. As far as oil, and coal "as a thick liquid" replacing these layers over millions of years, I think it more likely that the mines would be filled in more quickly from a collapse from above than seepage from below. Sisyphus is right, my point is that the dinosaurs didn't burn up the coal and oil (we know this because we are doing so now); the genesis question notwithstanding. Edit - just saw Mootanmans latest post, but I still am doubtful regarding this idea. Still, I'll take a look at the links and possibly reply.
  3. Abiogenic or not, the coal and oil are still very much older than the dinosaurs.
  4. I am one who would be called a religious person, but I don't have any particular struggles with reconciling my faith with science. First, Christianity (as is most if not all religions) is not about science, so I don't see many conflicts at all. Where there are apparent conflicts, I generally assume that I do not fully understand either the science or religion (or both) and I am ok with not understanding everything. It would be presumptous on my part to think it would even be possible for me to completely understand either or both. Before I get hammered by the athiests on this board, let me say that I do think evolution is true and a literal six-day earth creation time is nuts - because science proves otherwise. The bible isn't a science book, it wasn't meant to be and shouldn't be applied as such. Case in point is the creation account where there is much that can be debated...could it be allegorical? Maybe allegory mixed with some facts? Does day mean "24 hours" or "some distinct but unspecified period of time" as suggested by the original Hebrew word? Maybe the main point of the account is really about something other than how the universe was created? A reasonable person should make efforts to understand rather than simply dismissing either side. And it is ok if you can't reconcile the two views, it happens all the time not only between science and religion, but also within either (try to reconcile general relativity with quantum mechanics sometime). And where exactly does the Bible (for example) specifically say evolution is not true? It doesn't. Isn't this wild claim based only on the presumptious assumptions of anti-evolutionists regarding the creation event, Noah's ark, etc.? If I take other assumptions I can easily reconcile evolution with Christianity without a conflict (if the stories are meant to be allegory how could there possibly be a conflict?). And I can do so with justification as, in the creation event, how can you have events happening "in a day" before the daytime and nighttime were created (which happened on the third "day")? Certainly you or Karl Marx are free to think religion is "the opiate of the masses" however I find much of value in religion that I do not find in science. The problem is not with religion but with some people who believe themselves to be both religious and absolutely correct (I think in the bible people like this were called Pharisees - by far the very people Jesus rebuked the most).
  5. In a non-flat field it is considerably more difficult to prevent soil erosion. Whatever process you use to artificially shape a field to your desired shape is going to have negative consequences to the soil fertility (i.e. erosion, compacting, damage to the soil ecology, etc.). The fertility of the soil is vastly more important to assure a good harvest than the very small increase is field size this creates. On top of soil fertility, its going to be expensive to shape a field. Disregarding the soil fertility questions, how soon do you think your very slightly increased yields will be able to pay off this landscaping?
  6. I strongly doubt slash and burn can be a sufficient modification to enact a global change of climate.
  7. I am now becoming more convinced that there would indeed be a more reasonable chance that the presence of an industrialized civilization 65 million years ago would be known today for the following reasons: 1) as I stated, there would be very little fossil fuel left dating from before this time...we know this isn't the case as we are currently in the process of burning it all up. 2) Mokele makes a great point about intermediates in the fossil record. AFAIK, other than primates, there isn't a divergence showing a marked increase in intelligence. Granted there is a big time difference between 20 m.y.o. and say 80 m.y.o., but still. 3) Sisyphus's point that seven billion is a large number is worthy of reconsideration. I'm still not convinced that in this number all that many fossils would be around and be discovered (10,000 T-rexs seems low, but even allowing a few orders of magnitude more doesn't change the picture much). But I am more convinced that at least one set of remains might be found. 4) But more so, seven billion peoples discarded beer bottles and other durable trash is going to be a rather large amount of garbage that could be found in the future. We do generate a vast amount of trash, even disregarding what winds up in the landfills.
  8. The time of existence of the species matters. In the case of T-rex, I beleive they existed for about 3 million years and we have about 30 fossil specimens. That means that only one of these is preserved and recovered today for every 100,000 years said species existed. That is in the approximate ballpark for the lifespan of our species of homosapiens. I have no idea of the population of T-Rex, it couldn't have been very high as these were probably an apex predator. Today there are more people alive than the T-Rex dinosaurs back then, but this is probably not the case for most of the existence of humanity when there were a few thousand homo sapiens living in Africa. Also I note that a T-rex fossil is larger and therefore easier to find and less likely to misidentify or simply disregard (as seems plausible in the late 1800's and early 1900's) than would be a human fossil. In fact, we have many dinosaur bones (maybe a tooth for example) that we know nothing else about the species, if one of these were intelligent, how would we know this? So, in my wild guesstimation here, I think that 65 million years from now the odds would be less than 50/50 we would be able to find a human fossil and be able to identify it as a potentially intelligent species. Really I am pulling these numbers out of the air as I don't know how to quantify these odds in a more realistic way, but I just think its unlikely that very much would survive. In the case of tools, most items (wood, plastic, iron, copper) would not survive millions of years. Stone (as in spearpoints), glass, gold jewlery, and maybe stainless steel items (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_Arch) would be what I would expect could survive on earth in a recognizable form this long. Again, however, how easy would it be to find these items? Not much at all would really last tens of millions of years. I do agree there has not been an industrialized species on earth before. The strongest case for the lack of a prior industrialized species on earth, IMHO, is that we still have ample coal and oil.
  9. What traces would you expect to remain after 65 million years? To enact climate change would require an industrial civilization to be sure, but 65 million years is a very long time for traces of said civilization to be erased. Other than our space probes and landing craft on the moon, what have we built that would survive this length of time? Now, I am actually of the opinion that there were NOT intelligent dinosaurs (at least to the level of an industrial civilization) because we have (and are using) the coal and oil that existed prior to this timeframe. Had a prior industrial civilization existed, this coal and oil would have already been consumed. But if they used solar and wind only, what would survive?
  10. The likihood is the question, isn't it? Our species has only been around for about 500,000 years (I'm being generous here) and why couldn't an intelligent dinosaur species have a similar lifespan (unlike most of the known fossils whose species existed for perhaps tens of millions of years thus providing a greater number of existing fossils). There have been perhaps a few hundred Neanderthal and H. Erectus specimens discovered; how many fewer would be discovered after another 65 million years? Certainly many of these samples (if not all) would not have survived this length of time.
  11. As Captain Panic pointed out, there are many new species yet to be discovered, and unfortunately many that will never be discovered. Very, very few dead animals become fossils. Very few fossils survive after this very long period of time. Very, very few of the surviving fossils will ever be discovered. If there were an intelligent dinosaur (i.e. something with a large brain and hands capable of building tools living maybe 100 million years ago), it is likely we may never know about it. Its more likely that a dinosaur-built tool would survive than the fossil (like a spearpoint), but the chances of finding these are still extremely small. What else would survive a few million years and still be recognizable as a tool or a sign of intelligence?
  12. Another thing is that IQ tests cannot take experience into account. As you learn more and more about any particular subject (whether by taking classes in school, working, etc.) you become more and more capable at solving related problems such that IQ become less and less important. Relevant experience is much more important. Who would you want to design a bridge you will be driving over, someone with an extremely high IQ but no experience at all or an "average" civil engineer with 20 years of experience building bridges? Sure, the intelligence difference may be obvious, but give me the bridge built by the "average" engineer every time.
  13. Well, I'll grant that FOX's share of the overall is growing. However, they are only taking an increasingly large share of a more rapidly shrinking pie. I once saw a chart showing overall viewership of nesw media outlets which showed that in the 1960's well over 95% of households watched one of these every single night. Today, we are well below 50%, IIRC around the upper 20%. THAT is a major, major change which I beleive is due in part to the proliferation of alternatives but also due to the low quality of journalism in the major outlets. I tried but was unable to find this (or a similar) chart. What I did find was this: http://www.stateofthemedia.org/2009/narrative_overview_keyindicators.php?cat=2&media=1 Edit: I'd also like to add that I beleive FOX is increasing market share not by good journalism, but because they have made themselves different than the other media outlets. While the majority of the outlets are neutral to liberal in bias (depending on where you draw the lines), FOX is the only outlet which has a clearly conservative bias. In a country where the demographics are roughly equal between liberals and conservatives, it makes sense to me that they will eventually attract as many viewers as all other outlets combined... Its not a bad business strategy to become the biggest player in a shrinking market (if you must stay in a shrinking market). And because there is no other conservatively biased outlet, FOX had/has a great business opportunity to do this.
  14. Yes, Fox is probably the worst of the bunch, but really they all are bad. Again, why is it the network executives wonder why their viewship continues to drop?
  15. Certainly you cannot. By European standards, yes. However some countries such as China, India, and maybe Russia, Canada and Brazil are comparable. In fact, if you were to consider the EU one political body, it looks very, very similar to the USA in regards to size and diversity.
  16. The artic ocean is not independent, a simple glance at the map will show lots of ways artic water mixes with the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Surely, the mixing occurs faster than the acidification (esp. since the acidification is also occuring with the Pacific and Atlantic waters). How exactly is the acidification being localized to the artic ocean as the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are fairly constant across the globe? For that matter, doesn't the artic ocean itself mix? Wouldn't this mixing be quicker than any potential localized increase in acidification? Which makes me question statements from the article such as
  17. A cannon, by itself cannot work for orbital insertion. See the reference in Mr. Skeptics post # 20: http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/stargaze/SSHARP.htm The cannon/rail gun/etc. must be used to either acheive an escape velocity (and therefore there is no orbit), or must be supplemented by something else (such as a rocket) if orbit is desired. Edit: Although, I suppose the ability to launch from the moon such that lunar escape is reached could be used to insert satelites into earth and/or solar orbit. Could this make it cheaper at some point to manufacture satelites and space probes on the moon rather than on earth?
  18. It would appear the gag order has been lifted: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/oct/13/guardian-gagged-parliamentary-question
  19. Perhaps reading the manufacturers datasheet for the LCD driver would help? Really when you have an IC with perhaps dozens of connections to the circuit, these could mean anything.
  20. Well, precedent exists for this idea. The ability to shoot things into near space has actually existed for quite some time. See the WWI weapon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_gun Though the maximum velocity = 1.6 km/sec. This is considerably less than required for orbital speed (about 7 km/sec for low earth orbit). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_velocity#Earth_orbits Could this gun be scaled up by a factor of 4 to 5? I would think there is a reason why rockets and not guns were attempted for the first space flights in the 1950's and 1960's...but I'm not sure these reasons mean a cannon must be impractical. The idea of electronics in the warhead is also not new: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proximity_fuse But of course there is probably at least an order of magnitude difference between the forces applied to these shells and what would be necessary for a space launch. Again though, I don't see a reason why this couldn't be constructed such that the electronics would survive.
  21. captain, With all due respect, there are problems with a coalition government too. For one thing, with the media reporting as it does, the problems you cite regarding the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the patriot act, our legal system, etc. would be unchanged even if the US had a coalition government. Politicians don't fight public opinion which is primarily (but not entirely) shaped by the media. As such, what you claim is self-contradictory. If the public thinks these area the right things to do, it is popular and will be the course of action taken by politicians. Only later when the media switches sides (to boost sales and increase revenue as they have just created controversy) do these become unpopular. And the media executives wonder why their readership/viewership continues to plummet... At any rate, you asked to name a policy not affected by Big money or religion...that's asking a lot because ANYTHING Washington decides will have an effect such that afterwards you should be able to point to someone who benefited financially from the decision. But you can't necessarily make the connection that this financial benefit to someone was why the decision was made. For example, the invasion of Afghanistan was a direct result of the USA (Edit: and to be fair, I really should credit and thank our friends in the world community for their invaluable assistance) trying to defeat Al Queda and catch Osama Bin Laden. This was neither a monetary nor a religious decision; the world trade center attack demanded some kind of response. However, I suppose you could say the money gained by various defense contractors was why we invaded and not because AQ killed thousands of innocent people and the Taliban in Afghanistan decided to shelter them. Or you could claim a religious Christianity vs. Islam motive. But I think its clear this was not a monetary nor a religious decision, don't you agree?
  22. I think the distinction is that the photons necessary to act as the intermediator ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_force ) have already entered the black hole. I also don't see why the weak and strong nuclear forces couldn't act as well.
  23. Except when there are differing groups of lobbyists "voting" with their cash. But, I suppose you are right, that's not really a democracy , more of an oligarchy. In my view, the Democratic party is very nearly the same as the Republican party; at least in terms of what will actually get accomplished. The distinction is only in the rhetoric and perhaps a few inconsequential items at the periphery of public opinion, IMO. So, yes I agree, in the last election for President we had two choices, Nader or Obama/McCain. That certainly wasn't a great set of options, now was it? That said, I disagree we are near a dictatorship. The politicians do still fear getting voted out of office (either in the general or the primary election) and so they aren't going to take a stand on any unpopular (at least for their district) issue. As long as this is still the case, it can't be a dictatorship.
  24. So Mars has a mass of 6.4185 × 1023 kg ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars ) which makes the total mass of the asteroid belt 0.5% of the mass of Mars. There isn't enough mass in the asteroid belt to significantly increase the mass of mars.
  25. Well, a very slow collision would not create as much heat. So suppose we change the orbit of Ceres so that it just matches that of Mars, then the impact will be very slow as not as much heat is developed (i.e. less kinetic energy). But is there even 50% of the mass of Mars available in the asteroid belt? I doubt it. And we can't use mercury or venus or the moon as moving them to Mars would royally screw up the orbit of earth. And I don't see any way to pull the moons or Jupiter or Saturn out of their gravity well...if we have that much power available we should simply fly to another star system. I don't think this is a realistic possibility.
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