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Everything posted by I_Pwn_Crackpots

  1. I dare anybody to try and disprove the fact that 0.9999999..... repeating doesn't equal 1. In particular, read some of the proofs on this website here: http://www.qntm.org/?pointnine Good luck
  2. Of course I know all that. But only if you were taken to a hospital, or weren't living in Haiti where health care is certainly substandard and just about anybody can become a doctor. You know nothing about how third world countries operate Regardless, the whole point I was trying to make is that not all religions out there are ad hoc hypothesis that someone just pulls out of their ass.
  3. The definitions of hypothesis and theory in a scientific context have very clear, disambiguous meanings. It is not really subject to debate. There is no confusion among the scientifically literate about what constitues a theory. I think what is going on is that you are just simply not understanding that most of science isn't opinion. Aristotle was wrong on quite a bit of things, so I have no reason to follow any of his advice on scientific matters.
  4. Wait, that's a false dilemma. Since when exactly did neutrality mean that it doesn't exclude anything. And since when did atheism become not neutral, all atheism means is lack of belief in a deity. And/or not acknowledging the existence of one, which is exactly what science does. In that since it is atheistic (albeit very weakly so...). I understand that there are some assholes out there who like to think otherwise, but there really is nothing in science that prevents you from continuing to have faith in one. Spoken like a true theist. To the complete exclusion of all other faiths . No belief in deity doesn't necessarily mean that they think material causes are the only ones, only philosophical materialists do that. 1) I'm pretty certain he was. Hence the phrase "created in his own image" in the Genesis. While arguable, he was regardless stated to have intervened numerous times throughout Earth's history, and even to have lived on it for a time... 2) Not directly anyway, but you can certainly test for his so-called "interventions". I'm pretty certain that turning of the Red Sea into blood would have a noticable effect on the geology and ecosystem of the region, to name an example... No it wasn't. Ideas about evolution and/or origin of various species have been around since the time of the Greeks. Until the mid to late nineteenth century it remained in the realm of philosophy. The Greeks (in particular Aristotle)held that there was no evolution, that all the animals were "fixed". They were not clear on how they actually came into existence, and some went as far as saying they always have existed for all eternity. Ideas about evolution, ironically, were not influenced by theism but by pantheism and paganism, in recent modern times. The Romantic scientists at the time held that there was an ideal plant, an "ideal" mammal, etc etc, that all species try to obtain, but failed just short of doing so. That is, they all tried to evolve to the ideal form.... And this has been around for a LONG time, since the early 1600-1700's. All the theists did was hijack them and introduced their own biases into those ideas, and claimed somehow God was responsible for it all (they, of course, were smart enough to not specify how it was done). All religions do this. The reason they continue to have gaps is simply because ideas about deities and how they operated were created in man's own flawed image. However, some religions are smart enough not to claim perfection (and some openly acknowledge that their gods are not perfect), unlike Christianity. I understand that you take that personally, but until the Abrahamic religions are able to admit that their deity is not perfect and modify it to acknowledge that, they will continue to bear the brunt of all the criticism.... Simulated or not, doctors can't tell the difference
  5. Hey! Not all of voodoo is a complete crock. Have you not heard of Clairvius Narcisse, the man who was raised from the dead... It is certainly much more testable than Yahweh...
  6. I have a friend who lives in France, and he says that under their system you are paying for somebody to be a couch potato.
  7. Ok, I'll give you that one. They didn't use industrial waste back then. Neither were there the wastes of tens to hundreds of millions of people to deal with. There's quite a bit more waste in sewage now than just human and animal. I'm not surprised they would be self cleaning, there were no dedicated water treatment plants back then either, it all just went down stream. The Romans didn't even bother putting that underground, it just went parallel with the local roads until it found a stream or a pit. I can only imagine the types of diseases that they had to endure, since there was no sanitation either. Sure, the elite (where you get most of our written accounts from) might have had the best the ancient world had to offer and had pretty decent health and sanitation, but everybody else was certainly in bad shape, especially during the Middle Ages. It has 4 sides (5 if you count the bottom). But so what? Take a look at the interior It's hardly more than a pile of rocks. The Aztecs and the Mayans could do a much better job. If you paid any attention, they were never destroyed. Thousands of tons of ancient rocks were moved successfully without so much as a scratch. So I don't know why you brought this up, since this proves that modern methods do pwn ancient methods. The fact that the alignment was wrong is besides the point. This was probably due more to sloppiness than as a deliberate action, since they were only worried about saving the structures. In ancient times, a margin of error would have made the entire structure useless or worse, collapse on itself; that's why they stuck with using very simple and very conservative principles. And they didn't move whole structures at once. The best that the Romans could do was move Obelisks, while we can move old, rotting, and/or heavy structures without breaking them. They managed to move an old lighthouse in Cape Cod not too long ago. The only monuments that have survived were the ones that were built correctly, whether they were Pyramids or Medieval Castles. Which, by the way, shows that you don't have to have great engineering skills in order to produce something that can survive, because the Medieval engineers were worse than their Roman counterparts. Only the ones that happened to be built correctly will give the impression that the methods used were "accurate". Now, how many failures do you think were made? Take a look at the Pyramids themselves, you'll notice that there were a bunch of rounded ones before they made the perfect Great ones. Or Stonehenge, there are stones scattered all over the place built much earlier. Now how many different imperfect "prototypes" of CN Towers or Space Needles were there, before we built the "right" one. How many slaves do you think died while building those "advanced structures"; building the Great Wall took a toll on more than 2 million lives. Millions of slaves died building Rome's metropolises, and tens of thousands died building the Colosseum alone. Compare those figures to the number of people who died building Fenway Park, or the Empire State Building. Or compare those figures to the number of people dying building the mega-cities of China and the U.A.E. today (sure, their conditions aren't as good as they should be, but they are certainly much better off than the slaves that built the puny Greek and Roman cities, or the ones that jump started the American economy 300 yrs ago). How many oddly shaped building like this one were around in ancient times? Or how about bridges like this one. Until you get into at least the Middle Ages, there's not a whole lot of structures that stray from a conservative design. So, please tell me again on how much more "superior" their engineering skills were to modern ones? Please, I would love to hear some more, it's very entertaining Nope. No, I did not assume that. How ironic . We get all of these misconceptions that the ancient engineers were all that great because of Hollywood. I have shown everybody here that they were completely overrated and nowhere near as great as modern achievements. Dependence on slaves was much greater than you could have possibly imagined. Much of what they did would have been impossible without the use of slaves, and the use of slave labor did not really start decreasing until we starting building mechanical machines like wind mills toward the early Middle Ages, and this happened only in Europe and China. Their dependence on slave labor is never really mentioned much because we don't like to admit that as humans, we were hardly more than amoral savages. And they are still used today in third world countries. We like to romanticize the Romans, the ancient Chinese, the Greeks, etc. But they were a brutal and ruthless people. Much of what they did was not possible without exploitation, simply because they didn't have the technology or the scientific and mathematical knowledge necessary to do all that much without it. Not that it bothered them back them, because according to them, the slaves were an inferior people. That is true, and a good point. This underscores the fact that they had to make up for their lack of technology by superior physical training. However, I should note that Roman triremes did not survive for more than a few months because of the physical strain put on them and disease... Which means that they probably weren't necessarily superior, but were forced to push themselves over the edge. We have, the earliest use of domestic animals dates back to about 10,000 B.C.. But using animals for labor as opposed to humans presents it's own logistical problems, large animals in particular require lots of food. And you can't necessarily whip them in order to force compliance, you have to train them from a young age, or tame them (which also takes time). So their use was much more limited. On the other hand, it is trivial to find large numbers of criminals or war prisoners to enslave, and they didn't have to worry so much about their safety or their health, or their wages. Plus, they could do things much more delicately when it is needed, so they were a much more flexible resource than large animals.
  8. But that is something, isn't it? Which negates the notion that nothingness exists. HA! I win!
  9. Same reason we have faith in megamillion dollar computer models simulating economic change. They work within reason. Sure, something unexpected can happen, but how likely is it? Climate models have a far smaller margin of error than economic models, and work on completely different principles. WTF??? I see that you didn't read any of the links? Yes they are. If "the Earth's temperature will rise" is not a solid enough answer, then what is? You seem to be the kind of person who will only agree with things they want to hear, not necessarily the science itself. Well, its right there in those links. If you think your ruler and graph models are better than those from supercomputers, then lets see them. But it is quantified. And there really is no other way to make predictions unless you use a model. They are never going to be 100% accurate so I really don't know why you are objecting to their use. A question to the rest of you: is SL some sort of global warming denier???? He uses all of the classic arguments and fallacies of a typical GW denier. Because if he is, then I won't spend too much time on this thread. No use in trying to convince the deluded, my time is quite limited.
  10. Depends on which source you look at. As far as I'm aware, the Egyptians knew that the ratio between the circumference and the radius was about 3, but they did not have the tools or the logic necessary to actually get the exact value. The first few digits were discovered by the Greeks. What???? Are you really that serious???? They were not at all superior to modern times, especially at the scale that we do things at. And you do really want our sewers to be self cleaning, a lot has changed in our waste since ancient times. Only 100,000 people? The Romans and the Chinese could supply water and food for over a million people living in their cities by late antiquity. But, even cities the size of 50K could never sustained if not for slave labor; if you have enough men and women forced to work for you, I'm pretty certain that you could do things on a large scale like build roads and metropolises, and maintain a relatively high standard of living for a select few. Nowadays, we can maintain cities containing up to tens of millions of people, without the use of slave labor. Modern methods completely pwn the ancients. I agree that their accomplishments were impressive given the times, but you also should keep in mind that what they could do demonstrated their limitations as well. It's not that big a feat to build a pile of rocks in the shape of a pyramid. They did not have machines, or steel, or electricity, or wind mills (not until medieval times), or mechanized farming, or any of that good stuff. They were totally dependent on slave labor, and even that had severe limitations. Engineering principles were quite undeveloped, and they just simply didn't have the philosophical and logical principles necessary to gain any significant scientific or mathematical knowledge. Which all makes the idea of alien visits completely questionable, if they have visited way back when and helped humans, why weren't humans building mega-cities 3000 years ago, or going into space, or utilizing advanced technology in general? Why did it take so long for us to compute the correct value of pi???
  11. The Earth also attracts the sun toward it as well. As others have noted it's tangential velocity keeps them from crashing into each other.
  12. So you do admit, then, that this is a feature that is rolled out in every society that has ever existed. Which contradicts your statement in that it really isn't a socialist concept. Ok, yes, socialists have redistribution of wealth as part of their backbone, but it isn't restricted to the left wing. But again, what exactly is wrong with redistribution of wealth? Or better yet, why should I let you keep everything to yourself and not contribute anything to society? The bottom line is that they are going to take your money, even if they have to pry it out of your dead hands. The only choice you have is where you want it to go: you want it to go to rich people, or do you want it to pay you back in some way, such as for example, health care or less taxes for the masses. Guilt by association is a very powerful tactic in politics. What matters is not the actual topics at hand, but how many voters and ideological sheep you can keep at your side. You hit it spot on, and I only wish that more people were much more rational.
  13. Here's one from NASA: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk/a99942.html The probability of impact is actually a bit lower than 1 in 45,000. In any case, it is not a civilization destroying asteroid, at most it might just cause a longer winter or destroy a city.
  14. You can be "undecided" as your political alignment. And yes, during elections you can vote for whoever you want.
  15. You haven't actually seen the movie yet, so how can you possibly make that comparison? Just because there are elements of ridicule in it doesn't necessarily make it wrong. The real question you should be asking is whether or not it employs the same logical fallacies and outright made-up "facts". Ben Stein does both of that in his movie, and then tries to make it a satire. This is why he and the rest of the people who actually buy into it look like a total idiots. When you go see it, let me know, so that I'll know if it is worth the money. Religion is a system of intolerance. By believing and demanding that x,y, and z are true without any evidence or logic and reason whatsoever, you are proclaiming your intolerance of anybody else who happens to believe in something else. Not a lot of people like to hear that, but that's what it is. Note that religion isn't just a set of assumptions, but that it is also a set of instructions for what an "ideal" society should be like, or how an "ideal" person should behave, all based on unproven conjecture. That is the major problem of society today. Besides which, religion is inherently irrational. Why can't irrational beliefs be ridiculed? Why must they be respected, especially since I can just as easily replace "God" with "Invisible Pink Unicorn"? How can you possibly verify anything using an irrational belief set? How exactly do you define what reality, truth, and morality is, using a set of axioms that have absolutely no basis in rationality, logic, or reality???
  16. I don't know, aren't like ALL scientific papers just "opinions" by experts? They seem to be the only ones qualified to have an opinion on a given topic, whether it is climate change or Higgs bosons. What makes you think that they don't understand why the adjustments are being made? How do you think reconstructions are made in the first place? No, that's not the definition of evidence. Besides which, climate models already do this, so I don't know what exactly is your beef with climate science. Why don't obvious predictions count? Should the theory of gravity now be considered unreliable because it predicts that all things fall down???? Part of modeling is including all of the obvious predictions And what constitutes a trivial one? The prediction that we cause it, and that it can rise by about 5 degrees centigrade over the next century, is hardly a "trivial" prediction. Oh really? Wow, that's amazing! It is extraordinary that you can possibly model all those thousands of variables and interactions without the use of supercomputers. Tell me, what else can you do with just a ruler and a graph? Can you also model how galaxies will collide? How tectonic plates will move? How asteroid impacts will affect Earth given ANY parameters? How various species of animals will fare under a given environment and available food supplies? Protein folding? To think, we've spent all that money on supercomputers to help us do all that, when we could have just used a ruler The models don't predict that. They predict that the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere will rise. Now then, I know that this may seem like a shock, but this is something that they are predicting ahead of time. And this is not unexpected. But then, whether or not something is unexpected is irrelevant. In fact, you really don't want any unexpected phenomenon popping up in your scientific model, because then that would show that it is wrong.
  17. If your talking about faith, then no, there is no similarity there. But all religions and all of the related denominations are mostly comprised of many different philosophies and assumptions, some of which are similar to scientific thought. Buddhism and Confucianism, and ancient Greek religions, for example, does incorporate empiricism. Modern science itself was started out of the desire to understand so-called miracles, so it is not entirely unrelated. Note that I'm talking about purely philosophical standpoints, not necessarily the methodology itself or its reliability; all I'm showing is that you can pull out any similarity from religions with scientific thought. The reason religion is not science, is because their assumptions are all unverifiable and untestable, not because of any philosophical stances associated with them. But I'm sure you already know this. You'd be surprised actually. Most people tend to believe that their deities were involved, in some form or another, with any of the things we have discovered, without rejecting the scientific theory itself. What ends up happening most of the time, though, is that they are often lumped together with creationists, therefore there is the perception that anybody who believes in God must also believe in any of the ridiculous events outlined in the Genesis. You should take those statistics with a grain of salt. The people who are suicide bombers or the "God hates fags" crowds all fall under this category, it was implied in my original post. There was no understatement. As it turns out though, not all the people trying to force religion down everybody's throats necessarily have a conflict with scientific knowledge, but these groups are far less well known. All religions, of course, are illogical to begin with. It has already been proven that in order to be religious, you have to rely on pure faith. Since you cannot verify the existence of deities, or use logic or reason. Religion is inherently irrational. That ultimately is the primary conflict between them.
  18. In your opinion, which of the various interpretations for quantum mechanics out there do you think is the correct stance? For those of you who don't know, there are many interpretations of the theory, due to the fact that nobody can make much sense out of the experimental outcomes. As it is completely different from everyday perspective and defies all common sense, various groups of people interpret the theory differently. But anyways, here are some of the best known ones: 1. The Copenhagen Interpretation 2. Many Worlds 3. Anthropic Principle I personally take the Copenhagen Interpretation as the best one, and indeed it is the standard view of today's scientists. In a nutshell, the Copenhagen Interpretation basically says that quantum theory doesn't really describe any kind of reality in the usual sense, it only predicts the outcomes of an experiment within a given probability of success and at best displays the knowledge the experimenter has about the parameters of a given experiment. Basically, the theory works, the equations are accurate, and that's all we really need to concern ourselves with. The Many Worlds Interpretation holds that all the things that could happen actually do. That is, yes, Schrodinger's cat can be both dead and alive. All that happens is that alternative universes branch off at each of the possibilities, in that in one you have a dead cat, and in the other you have a live cat. Of all the ones listed, this is the one most popular and has it's followers in the realm of science fiction, where you have multiple universes. Personally I think that this interpretation is seriously flawed, and IIRC I think it has been debunked a while ago. The Anthropic Principle holds that all of the wave functions, superposition, etc, etc exist, and collapse only when an observer is present. That is, Schrodinger's Cat is both dead and alive until you observe it, and that is when the wave function collapses. This principle is also used in various interpretations of cosmology as well. Personally, I think the Anthropic Principle is complete garbage. But, of course, if you think that any of the other interpretations are more valid, I would like to see your reasoning. So, which of them do you think is the best one?
  19. You know, there are written records of "UFO's" from ancient and medieval times. I think they were called "demons" back then though. Also, have you noticed that these alien visitors keep originating further and further away as time goes on. At first, they were all from Mars or Venus. When we failed to find any sentient life on that planet, then they starting coming from the Alpha Centauri. Or Andromeda. Advanced technology? What are you talking about. Sure, they knew math, and could build cities, but they were nothing compared to what we have today. Most of it was just trial and error, and the first rigorous logical proofs for maths did not come until the time of the Greeks, a full 3500 years after the first civilizations. I mean, the ancient Egyptians used to think that pi=3.0, how can that be ANY evidence of advanced alien civilizations educating them????
  20. Science in itself is comprised of various different philosophical ideas and theories, so it is going to have some similarity with the philosophical positions of any religion you care to choose from. Most people don't have a problem in believing both their religions and the scientific method. The problem comes from the small minority (e.g. the fundamentalists) of people who insist on shoving their religious beliefs down everybody else's throats. That's why religions, in particular Christianity and Islam, tend to get a bad rap these days.
  21. What's wrong with redistributing wealth. All societies in the history of humankind have done this in one form or another; it is not a socialist concept. So? I only care about where my money is being spent, not necessarily who takes it. Of course, the problem in this nation is that the people who have all the wealth, aren't the ones who actually pay any of their taxes. Yeah, that is a problem isn't it? Don't you think then that that's what might be bothering poor Joe right now? The rules of logic need not apply to the political and presidential debates
  22. No, the electromagentic force stops you from doing that. It is the reason I'm not falling through my chair, through the ground, and into the center of the Earth, and why solid objects in general are solid. I'm going to say probably not. Unless you can somehow take away the ability for all those electrons and protons to not exert an electromagnetic force.
  23. We could treat economics as a science, that's no problem. In fact we do that all the time. However, the variables involved are grossly dissimilar to that of climate change, or pharmaceuticals. We've had a detailed theory of climate science for over 150 years, so we can predict with a reasonable degree of certainty how specific forcings will effect the climate. Human behavior and psychology, on the other hand, tends to border on philosophy, and after a century we still haven't been able to produce one equation that can model human behavior reliably. As such, economic models, which are rooted in human psychology, will tend to have much bigger margins of error to account for. So have climate models. Did you even read the myriad links provided. They pretty much prove that assumption wrong. Yes they are. And no, it's not that debatable.
  24. So? What does this have to do with climate? So? What does this have to do with climate? The laws of physics are far more consistent than the laws of human behavior. Talk about a textbook logical fallacy.
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