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Everything posted by AzurePhoenix

  1. I've noticed a third variation on the general theme, being that the world is ours to exploit as we wish (humanity being all that counts) and we will always be able to rise above the challenges posed by an environmentally crippled (aka profitably utilized) world to continue on unimpeded, whether through our own cunning or God's help. Hmm... much like the antagonistic themes illustrated in C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, particularly the first and last books.
  2. Why are you suddenly channeling an unintelligibly drunken swampbilly of deeply inbred descent.
  3. Plenty of animals, avian and mammalian have highly developed reasoning abilities. Ravens, parrots, elephants, the great apes, dolphins. In additon to many other clever techniques and examples of tool-use, Ravens are able to figure out that dropping pebbles in water will raise the water level to lift something they want that happens to be in the water within their reach. Keas (parrots) in New Zealand do better at opening locks if they're allowed to examine them beforehand and reaosn out how to do so. Alex the African Grey Parrot could differentiate different forms of matter, plastic, wood, metal, etc, could deliberately avoid correct answers when he was bored of testing, and even made up a new name for an unidentified fruit based on the characteristics of fruits he WAS familiar with (he named apples Banerries because they looked like cherries and tasted sortve like banana.) Prairies Dogs seem to have an actual language (it just needs to be determined whether or not that they learn it). As for reason itself, evolutionary theory, ethology, game-theory, etc etc, go a long way to explain the gradual development of more obvious forms of intelligence. Why does it exist? Why does the bombardier beetle's defense mechanism exist? Because it's useful and evolution CAN create it and everything lined up well enough for it to eventually though by no means inevitably happen. We've created a very particular niche for ourselves in the world. I would suggest that evolving into what we've become was a risky gambit that more often than not ends in failure and extinction. We just hit the jackpot where so many of our non-sapiens human kin either were too specialized, were out-competed by us, or just weren't as lucky. Get rid of us, and give it a few million years, I say it's perfectly possible that any of the species I've mentioned, or others, could follow in our footsteps and replace us as Loxodonta sapiens or Corvus sapiens or what have you. Or maybe not. I still don't understand what you're suggesting be used in place of objective analysis. Just randomly make up crap that appeals to subjective desires? That can't verify crap. While those who use science are driven by curiosity and often a sense of wonder. We just try not to let it blind us to the truth. Which opens up whole new wonders. It seems to me that if anything, you have closed yourself to the possibility of understanding, in fear of what personal, feeble hopes of yours the truth might dash.
  4. Like the Mother Theresa's Miracle of the New Kodak Film that a Photographer Hadn't Tried in the Dark But Really Worked Well to His Suprise? A symptom of them specifically getting rid of the role of Devil's Advocate, which they used in the past to more critically examine miracles and limit saintings. When they dropped the role, sainting's skyrocketed. Dont know anything about clothes drying on their own (wow!) but the actual sun phenomenon itself is easily explained. Again, combine dynamic cloud-cover with idiots staring at the sun for hours. It distorts vision, and many people saw DIFFERENT things, things you'd expect, with the irregularity you'd expect, if they'd simply abused their eyes for a while. Those kids could have predicted the "miracle" on any given day at a whim, and if the masses went out to see it on any given day so long as the sun was out, they'd have seen it. I suggest to you again, take out a large mass of people yourself when the weather is similar, and you will be able to duplicate the event, but this time with cameras around to prove that what the people are seeing isn't what's going on.
  5. the emergency room is a fascinating place

    1. mooeypoo


      .... why are youin theemergencyroom?

    2. ydoaPs


      she drives her victims in....she's nice like that

    3. AzurePhoenix


      I'll tell you about it tomorrow :/

  6. Pascal's wager, I believe
  7. Meh, I agree with John, I'd rather the late-responder would start fresh, with a nod to the original thread, than revive the old one.
  8. Or, they could have looked at the sun a really long time because they were waiting on a prophecy and ended up seeing a range of different things that people tend to typically see when they stare at the sun a long time. It's happened a few times. Either of us could take ten thousand followers out to the desert and in a few hours spark similar visions en mass. Plenty of those existing "uncorrupted" saints look plenty withered, or have been maintained under very particular conditions, are the results of perfectly normal natural processes, and/or often undergo cosmetic treatments. Take any of those you like and lay it out in the sun in Florida for a coupla days and see just how incorruptible they really are. Investigators have discovered how to make a shroud of their own using ancient techniques; the shroud itself seems likely to be only 700ish years old (people say maybe not, but unless we're allowed to test it more often we can never double-check, but the one check we DO have does say 700 years and that's the best we've got) oh, and also, most importantly, some research suggests that the AB blood type might not have even come into existence until as recently as 700 AD, when more disparate populations and their blood groups began to start mixing on a more massive scale. Some atheists say it sure, but to say always is a ridiculous stretch, and plenty will happily suggest that if this or that definition of God we should easily be able to show some sort of evidence for its existence, or lack thereof. none of these are proof of anything except human stupidity as well as the human capacity for cunning deceit. No proofs exist whatsoever. The ontological argument is full of more holes than Augustus Caesar. For instance, if you hold with the premise that greatest thing you can imagine has to exist, the most reasonable answer is that the greatest thing you can imagine is that which you already know to exist. This is inherently subjective, leading me to accept Keira Knightley or Will Smith as the greatest entities in existence, with different persons depending on your taste in movies or regard for actors over any other kind of person of note in modern society. Anyhow, existence being better than non-existence does not mean that whatever it is in question HAS to exist. ------------- As for what my favorite would be, I've also often considered Skeptic's suggestion of a "testament" written into the DNA, particularly if that testament existed in all known lifeforms and proved inexplicably necessary to a lifeform's... livingness. ESPECIALLY if it offered a series of very specifically detailed predictions that regularly came to pass.
  9. Here's a selection of novel, observed adaptations generated by the completely random insertion, deletion or replacement of nucleotides.
  10. You asked a specific question. I provided a simple response to that question. Extracellular metabolic processes are common, long-studied, and well-understood. I'm not interested in the rest at the moment. Your ability to ignore and misrepresent data and principles, cling to erroneous and falsified data and conclusions, and to warp original points to force them into unreasonable conditions makes it tough to maintain any desire to converse with you.
  11. here's one -> http://aem.asm.org/cgi/reprint/48/4/826.pdf (please note that the article is 26 years old)
  12. Some theists may be perfectly open-minded and willing to consider alternatives, there must be plenty of such people. But, take the US for example, or many regions in the middle east, devoutly religious societies. The vast majority of the devoutly rather than tenuously religious leave no room for alternatives to their faith. A prime example is the Christian apologeticist's new favorite term, presuppositionalism, where they erroneously allege that secular scientists begin from the presuppositional foundation of strong atheism (many may start as weak atheists, but not all, and certainly not as a foundation of their reasoning) while themselves admitting to the inviolable presupposition of considering the world from the belief that God does exist and that the bible is his inerrant, literal world. Presuppositionalism is a school-of-thought blatantly used to justify dismissing all possible alternatives out of hand without consideration. http://www.frontlinemin.org/defendfaith.asp As for empiricists, maybe some are close-minded and dogmatic, but just like religious folk, that in no way defines the whole of the scientific community. Curiosity drives many of us. Plenty of us are willing to examine and consider just about any argument thrown our way. Or devise their own (look at the current state of theoretical physics for christ's sake) The difference is, we do our best to scrutinize those hypothesis and speculations critically and find their faults, inconsistencies, fallacies, whatever. Plenty of us would be absolutely thrilled if some hint of what is now called the metaphysical was shown to have a basis in reality, ergo opening up a whole new realm of discovery. It's not our fault when a speculation doesn't hold up to close examination. As Sun Tzu wrote, know thine enemy Allegorically, I've known plenty of atheistic types who knew more about the religion of the religious people who argued them than they did themselves. It would be interesting to find out how many actual theologians are atheists. What about empiricism or atheism isolates it from studying philosophy? The three are more closely tied than you might imagine. David Hume? Nietzsche? Rand? Bertrand Russell? Victor Stenger is one who's currently alive. I'm sure there are others, and once this generation of philosophers is dead, a number of the posthumously famous ones will likely be atheistic too. I'd guess in higher numbers than in previous eras. If you understand what science means, you should realize that science isn't the limiting factor on understanding that you think it is. If anything it provides the means to examine the value of claims, and without it, anything anyone claimed would be equally valid, and no one could distinguish the veracity of any particular speculation.
  13. On that note... we could have an elephantine proboscis without the same issues for eating
  14. Well... when put in context, both of its original delivery, and within the Old Testament as a whole... it was written for the Jews, with regards to the Jews. Thou shalt not *Murder*, but it's only murder if they're a Jew so it's ok to massacre the male children and non-combatant males and non-virgin women of a tribe you're out genociding, which is fine with God. Encouraged. Commanded even. Plus, it's clearly, according to the same God that passed the commandment down, not a problem to kill even a Jew that has broken this or that rule. Because it's righteous punishment. Sooo... yeah.
  15. I guess for people with jaw conditions or the like who have an easier time of ingesting liquid foods anyway... but that's about it. Being able to chew gives us a wider range of options and potentially more sound diet.
  16. Go out for rootbeer float components... get chased by skunk. Sure, why not.

  17. obviously neither is objectively better than the other in any fundamental sense. However, any book on behaviorism or developmental psychology can help you understand the factors that go into shaping an individual's personally subjective preferences. Psychology can explain why YOU like Fantastique, vs why I like Nightwish. Sketchily put, science is based on methods that formulate hypothesis and questions based on observations, and through, ideally, objectively performed and rigorously repeated tests form conclusions based on consistent results. That is why it works. No mystery. A Magic Q Ball is a toy you shake that randomly answers your questions with "yes," or "no," or "maybe" and such. It should be obvious to anyone willing to think about it why the empirical method is a better way to obtain understanding of our universe than asking a ball with a di inside of it. All I know about Wigner is he was a physicist. Maybe you can explain to me what some of his ideas were, and specifically, what he indicates we can never learn and why? What I know about non-locality is how it relates to quantum entanglement. Particles linked to one-another and influence one another instantaneously no matter how far away. The point is, aspects of it contribute to a continuing mystery. Same with the shark deal. What specifically about a particular mystery renders it beyond understanding forever?
  18. Spontaneous Generation was an old-fangled speculation that complete lifeforms routinely were born from inanimate matter, back in the days when people would see mice coming out of haystacks they didnt know mice were in, or maggots and flies "growing" out of meat they didnt realize had fly eggs on it. This is like... Greek Era. Hmm... Aristotle was one of it's earliest proponents but it wasn't until 1859 when Louis Pasteur finally put the nail in its coffin.
  19. Mammals have always been male/female, derived from similarly sexed ancestors, and even though parthenogenesis happens in other vertebrates occasionally, birds (particularly domestic turkeys,) sharks, lizards (such as komodo dragons, but particularly in a hybrid-descended all-female species of whip-tail lizard) etc, mammals have never been known to reproduce parthenogenesically in nature. It's complicated in mammals by genomic imprinting, which is where only alleles inherited from the mother are expressed for certain traits, and only alleles from the father are expressed for others. With only a set of maternally-inherited alleles, expression is incomplete, and when parthenogenesis is artificially induced in mammals in the lab, developmental issues ensue.
  20. Hmm... point. For me, continued stupidity and/or denial in the face of repudiating evidence can be painfully frustrating, regardless of the subject of delusion, whether supernatural subjects, global warming, immunization, the historicity of the holocaust, whatever, ESPECIALLY when this denial is supplemented with blatant evasion and logical fallacies, and unearned condescension and smugness.
  21. hmmm... probably, seeing any stuff going on beyond the cosmic horizon... or what might have been before the Big Bang if anything, or "outside" the universe if any form of multiverse/omniverse exists. What's going on in a black hole. Though I'd wager models can give pretty good ideas about these things, even if they can't be proven. But especially, exactly what's going on in a chinchilla's head while he's intently watching Darth Maul fight Obi Wan and Qui Gon on the tv. ethology and various forms of psychology and neurology can pretty much explain such things. we kind've have a few ideas on why we use the empirical method to figure stuff out rather than say... shake a Magic Q Ball. Like Ringer says, mysteries aren't the same as not being able to to answer something. There's quite a bit that we don't know about Great White Shark reproduction, doesn't mean we can never find out. For god specifically, different science-types will offer different viewpoints on that, and it strongly depends on how "God" is defined, but as for the things listed after (except the trinity bit, which is part of some variations of the God part), science plus history can strongly suggest what might have or probably didn't happen / what's a myth. With good confidence.
  22. Pinnae aren't necessary for hearing, they just help it out. And owls at least often have facial discs that funnel sound into their ears.
  23. Given objectivity, and depending on the definition of God being addressed (in the case of the survey, a personal, interactive/intercessionary god,) that's where the evidence and critical reasoning tend to lead. Which is how scientists are supposed to examine hypothesis.
  24. Indeed... I overlap in several areas, I eliminate the possibility of most supernatural variations of god by looking at the observed universe and applying rationalism, necessarily allowing for something like <1% provisional doubt. So for most supernatural gods I'm a critical strong/positive atheist.This stance isn't based on faith and is open to change provided evidence or new insights. There are a few particular concepts of god-like beings I could comprehend as consistent with the observed universe, though I have no REASON to believe in them so I don't, although the circumstances of their nature leave them pretty much undetectable, so for them I'm rendered for all practical purposes a weakly atheistic apatheistic agnostic. On the other hand, I'm also Ignostic, and happily consider anything someone considers worth worshiping their god. So, I consider the Egyptian pharaohs or the Japanese emperors gods, albeit not supernatural ones. There are countless subtle variations on all the belief scales, little agreement on what any particular word or phrase means, and few or no people are any one thing.
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