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Everything posted by revprez

  1. I think I missed missed the part where I needed an excuse to take a dump on Cap.
  2. Then perhaps you'd like to rephrase in a way that doesn't lend itself to that inference. Just like biology, physics, chemistry, and atmospheric and planetary sciences. I beg to differ. We can certainly talk about biology, physics, chemistry and atmospheric and planetary sciences in "science classes." You could cover astrology in a Science, Technology and Society course--a "science class" by any reasonable definition of the term. I suspect you're trying to justify not covering creationism in canonical American secondary science education--that is a debate we can have another day. I reckon there are far to few creationists who feel they are "oppressed" to support this claim. Setting aside the deeper epistemological issues, we're still left with the question of whether or not we know from observation or inference. The scientific method offers only the ability to rank competing theories that acknowledge all available evidence, not to determine which are wrong. Creationists occupy an enviable if somewhat annoying high ground on this issue; so long as we're talking about events in the unobservable past, we're restricted to inferences extrapolated from phenomena in the observable present. You'd be wasting your time unless you can address the objection above or if your aim is to convince me that the secular, scientific point of view is probably correct. On the latter point, I don't think you'll find much argument from me. I just admit my particular secular view of the past is based on faith. I don't make much hay about what other people think happened before recorded history. You know, it's not becoming of secularists to personify science. Think about it. I'll try and endure the suspense. Like I said, you pulled it out of your ass. Oh really? As certain as I can be about the last sentence I wrote, or the last breath I took? I can imagine it is as certain to you as a religious claim is to a believer. How did you figure the odds? That would be nearly the entirety of your last post and this one as well. And just so we're clear, when I say rant I mean a careless presentation of ideas with less than substantive support behind them. I measured it by counting the number of hyperboles, personifications, and appeals to unnamed authority. You're free to disagree with my metric. I don't think you're obligated to respect religion at all. I'm just pointing that your zeal and lack of substance leaves you in as leaky a boat as the unnamed believers you criticize. I'm sure you believe that as strongly as evangelical Christians do in the immaculate conception, and probably with no more or less reason to do so. Whether or not it's actually important is an issue separate from your personal feelings. Yes, as opposed to a Sciencism forum. Nobody's going to challenge you if you present scientific fact as just that. Where you get into trouble is busting through the epistemological floodgates and opening yourself up to the same criticisms you lodge at creationists. Using science to circularly defend science is generally a bad tactic. As in "self-evident?" As in "taken on faith?" Who said anything about folks not in previous discussions? I'm flat out telling you that you made a lot of crap up and attempted to pass it off as more substantive than fiction. Appealing to law and Dawkins isn't going to save you here... ...nor is continuing to hurl vague accusations against an even vaguer opposition.
  3. Explain what you mean by "true science?" And why should we limit ourselves to the "bogus" claims of creationism? Creationism/ID are a family of ideas, many of which were discarded along the way. Should we declare evolutionary biology unworthy of discussion because modern synthesis supplanted what came before it? I have a sneaking suspicion your GODMOS project will fall far short of its objectives. I'm pretty sure you pulled that measure of uncertainty out of your ass, but if you care to provide a basis for it--feel free. Well, you just fell for a creationist trap. You issued impassioned, emotional and factually worthless rant making it difficult for even the most hard-pressed secularist to back you up. Making up statistics is not a good way to open up honest dialogue.
  4. One, "Red herring" is not synonymous with tangent. Two, Fred didn't start that particular tangent, Edtharan did One, Edtharan raised the issue of people's gullibility, not Fred. Furthermore, Fred's speaking generally to the very subject of a tangent he did not start. Two, Merriam's defines ad hom as either "appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect" or two "marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made." In short, ad hom doesn't apply to personal criticisms of the subject is one of a personal nature. Begging the question, appeal to popularity, equivocation, snorkle. See, I can name drop random "fallacies," too. Not sure if it's good exercise, though. Why you're using Wikipedia for definitions is beyond me, especially when anyone of us can go and vandalize it to our heats content. Perhaps you should've used Wordnet, or Merriam's, or any dictionary with authority. Of course, it would've been nice if you'd bothered to apply even the definitions you supplied.
  5. Damn, Cap. You just making it up as you go along now, aren't you?
  6. It's pretty difficult not to have a discussion of creationism that doesn't touch on at least one of the two definitions you use.
  7. Neither your article or Hawking's popular text supports this conclusion in anyway. And one Planck time unit is 5.391 x 10^-43 seconds, a nearly a full eight orders of magnitude larger. It's precisely what he's saying, whether you agree or not. Once again, Big Bang theory says nothing of the sort--the nature of events prior to one Planck time unit after the event lie entirely outside of the theories scope. Furthermore, not even the singularity theorems derived from carrying general relativity back to t_0 do away with a manifold's dimensionality or differentiability; it simply shows that curvature goes to infinity as you get closer to t_0. Says who? Various creationist claims in biology and geology were falsified and criticisms rebutted in the 19th and 20th centuries, none of them bearing directly on the creation hypothesis. Until that is done, Creationism has not been falsified, let alone shown to be wrong. I've already pointed out that the supernatural term in the hypothesis renders is untestable and therefore unscientific. That has nothing to do with whether or not it's wrong or whether the hypothesis has been falsified. Creationism is most certainly not a scientific theory or hypothesis. Intelligent design, however, is--there is no explicit supernatural term and in principle the matter can be tested. It still may fail the test of parsimony, but even that would not amount to falsification--it merely means a simpler hypothesis explaining the relevant evidence exists. This redefinition of terms you introduce has no history in either science or law. I can do the same thing, too, and redefine evolution to refer to the whole of a whimsical set of all personal definitions of the term. You're free to start one. I have no idea what inspired this tangent or where you're going with it.
  8. Exactly. I'm debunking a Dawkinism, and after all how is this thread unrelated to the 747 gambit and everything gushing from it? I very much like it, thank you. I have no intentions of validating creationism. If you prefer to be guilty of the same behavior Dawkins assigns his critics in theology, that's your look out. My point is simply that luc has not ruled out hypothesis 3. Nor has anyone else. Considering it's a discussion between mostly atheists, that says something about our intellect...doesn't it?
  9. I didn't think so. The hell it is. Surely in a discussion in the Pseudoscience forum that went to "first causes" by the second post, creationism is the elephant in the room. Try again, buddy.
  10. Ask nicely, lil'man. Put crudely, the philosophical foundation of science, a system that is so overwhelmingly useful when applied in present with results tangible to most everyone, is less convincing when applied to matters in the unobservable (i.e., distant) past and future. Folks tend to grow suspect when others ferociously cling to an extrapolated glidepath based on theory that fits a limited data in an infinitesimally small time-gate compared to the larger epoch. I believe this was the motivation for parsimony in the first place.
  11. The Big Bang isn't "t_0" of cosmic inflation, the namesake event takes place some 10^-35 s before the inflationary period. This is a list of arguments defending prevailing science from creationist attack. The last three sections which actually deal with positive creationist claims do not attempt to falsify them, but point out their inconsistency with prevailing theory and or find defect in their claim to scientific credulity. On several occasions, the authors decide to substitute their own strawmen in place of creationist criticisms and claims.
  12. Just out of curiousity, I understand that the area and volume operators are constructed from surface integrals with discrete spectra, but could you summarize what Reuter and Loll are doing differently? I don't mean to suggest that's where LQG is going as a field, but wouldn't you consider Loll and Reuter leading voices in that area? I haven't read the papers yet, but my impression from your report is that Asymptotic Safety and triangulation are LQG products and alternatives to rank-3 quantization. If I missed something, I think I'll need time to digest the lit.
  13. Out of curiosity, is Smolin actually arguing this or presenting it as a possibility? As Atheist points out, GR and QFT make predictions on arbitrary length scales. Martin reports on LQG research producing models that might mature into effective field theories. If Smolin is making a positive argument for a fundamental quantization of topology, I'd like to know the outline of his case.
  14. The demographic data for Your World with Neil Cavuto, the Fox Business Block and Win Ben Stein's Money. You should be able to purchase it yourself, or find a friend to show you the data. I use their age and level of education as to measure how discriminating they are in their taste. You can go ahead, now. Is there a reason to suspect Ben Stein is reaching a new audience?
  15. Big Bang theory says nothing of the sort, nor does it even attempt to. It is only concerned with the nature of the event that gave rise to the universe today. Period. This is also not entirely accurate. Kaku is simply pointing out that the universe may have begun from a slight perturbation in a false vacuum; basically, the ground gave out underneath a thermodynamically stagnant region of space-time. Before that happens, it is entirely reasonable to say that the universe is in thermal equilibrium and, consequently, there is no free energy to flow as heat or work. With one qualification. Big Bang theory only attempts to describe the universe physically to the actual event and no further. Anything farther requires further theory. Creationism has never shown to be wrong. Only to be in the most prevailing cases unscientific. Creationism touches on subjects that can't be falsified by observation or experience, and the availability of a competing, more successful theory is not a measure of incorrectness.
  16. Yet more evidence zoologists are baked out of their minds more often than not. It's no coincidence Planet of the Apes was all the rage in the late-60s, early-70s.
  17. Since when is Expelled anti-science crap? So you seriously believe you're more discerning than Ben Stein's typical audience?
  18. Considering Ben Stein's demographic for the past 10 years has principally been the 18-30 demographic, college educated audience that tunes into to night-time Comedy Central and cable financial news, shouldn't you be worried that you're not all that much more discerning than the sheep?
  19. Seems a theory of ethics which places a premium on ethical choice yet admits that circumstances can constrain men into unsavory action should either make allowance for such coercion or fail all together.
  20. "The business of business is business" - Alfred P. Sloan
  21. I don't see what the problem is here. The narrative of this film seems to be focused on Sternberg peer review controversy, specifically in which a House committee staff report found that there were measures taken by public officials at the Smithsonian to discriminate against a research associate who held views critical of Darwinian evolution. I'm pretty sure a discussion of science policy rather than evangelism of a particular view is entirely within SFN's purview; so how is it inconsistent with SFN's mission to shill for this film?
  22. I'm going to say never, because the choices as are imply that science hasn't already implemented artificial intelligence that meets any reasonable definition of the term in the cognitive sciences. Machines can already calculate, they can already retain state to inform and reason their way through decision trees, and they can already express themselves in media in ways we would consider emotional, fragile, or error-prone if a human being was placed in the black box instead. The results, of course, are underwhelming.
  23. Then either pursue a career in science or learn how to be discerning about how you invest in the field. Scientists, like members of any profession, are worth only as much as the fruits of their labor. Once you've decided what's of interest to you, it'll be far easier to ferret out people and organizations worthy of your time, effort or resources.
  24. Margulis essentially defines life as engines that can replicate. If this definition is sufficient, the purpose of life is to consume and reproduce. Your friend raises an issue of semantics by questioning the meaning of life. Since semantics is a matter to be adjudicated by the sapient and appreciated by the sentient, your friends is pondering the purpose of intelligence. I suggest you focus your discussion accordingly.
  25. Not sure what you're calling a diffeomorphism here. Are you referring to affine connections? Because many things in physical reality lend themselves readily to coordinization right off the bat. Spacetime, not so much. Part of this is because the math works so well without it, and you can always choose coordinates with a metric later.
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