Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If we are going to move on.

So I have read everything you wrote. Every last word. I don't even know what to make of it.


 I don't need you trailing around, and making excuses how science is a business and you won't be published.

I need you to familiarize yourself with what we are talking about. Because, simply put, you don't get it.

You say claim that there are these holes, that the 'real' evidence is falling through this. You claim that RID is faulty- yet you cannot show why. You have anecdotes. Give me your numbers.

You start making accusations and going on tangents because you don't know the material. If you were to take a test on any of this, you'd get a big fat F. And that isn't because there is some conspiracy- it is because you didn't do your homework.

My obsession with Ph.D's? With experts? I don't really have one; I just like to point you in the direction where the foremost knowledgeable people in the field are and what they have to say. This is the wonderful thing about science- something that your religion can never do; an amateur can enter the arena with the hard facts and sound research and over turn the field. Literally.

Why haven't Ken Ham or Kent Hovind done this? Is it because of a conspiracy? Or is it because they don't do their homework? Why doesn't the Discovery Institute do actual research?

My obsession with peer-reviewed work? This is what is accepted as science. This isn't just some people saying "Hey, lets print out what we have to say and sell it or distribute it on the street." This is people going through a rigorous process of having their worked checked by other experts. These colleagues shoot holes and pick flaws in everything from data to methodology. This isn't just a few people self publishing. This is science.

So when I ask you to publish this knowledge that only you seem to have, I am being a smart-ass. It serves the purpose of calling your bluff.

In conclusion, I don't want to engage with you if you don't know the subject. Don't pretend. I will give it to you- study it. Then come back with something thought-out to say. Not just rhetoric and talking points that your pastor gives you. I want thoughtful criticism.

We'll start with this single link. It is one of the best resources on the web to date. It looks like it was created in the stone age- because it was forged when the internet was still new. It cites everything it claims, so you too can look at the research done behind it.

I really won't respond to you unless you put forth something thoughtful. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but in reality, I have no good reason to share my time with you if you won't be intellectually honest with me and anyone who reads this. I am giving you a level playing field and you are digging holes in it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What I need.

Haven't touched the blog in three days! Busy, busy, busy!

So in light of some recent activity, I have come to the conclusion that the people I am engaging in are not attempting to communicate on the same level. We aren't speaking the same language.

So this is what I need:

Serious discussion. The phrase "claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" has never held more weight. I don't want to read through paragraphs of anectdotes and claims of why the scientific community is profit driven hence ID is not allowed. I don't want conspiracy theory. If you have something to say. Back it up with the numbers and the evidence.

Do Not:

-Go on tangents about totally unrelated topics. (What keeps you from raping children if there is no god).

- Start praying for me. (I appreciate your thought behind it, but do it behind closed doors, as your book says)

-Shift what is being discussed immediately to religion. Note: I do not use biology to deconvert you. I don't say "Hey look, evolution, therefore no god." If you want to make the argument against evolution, bring up something that you feel cannot be explained by the existing body of knowledge.

- Cherry pick science. Do not dismiss things that you disagree with and latch on to that which can lend you support.

-This one is important- do not bring the masons into it. Really. It makes you look like the kind of person rational people don't want to talk to.


-Support your claims. Cite evidence. Really, out of your paragraphs of text- I have nothing to address. Why? Because these are claims you pull out of nowhere. You cannot just claim something counter to me without citing it. That doesn't interest me. Really, if you have a point to make throw it in my face. Show me how your position is what is accepted as reality. Do not say that the establishment is against you. I will just say to go make a tinfoil hat.

-Stay on topic.

-Ask questions. Seriously, outline them! I would like to help answer something that you may have a question about. At the very least I can point you to the way of resources.

- Keep in mind that I was a Christian for nearly two decades. I really really know your material. I also really really know the material of young earth creationists. I do. I have read and heard it all. There is nothing compelling they have to offer.

That is all that comes to mind for now. I will add more as I see fit.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Oh, dear.

Mississppi. Look at you. You should be ashamed.

In the words of Ayn Rand- the bitch all the libertarians love:

Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a “right to life.” A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months. To equate apotential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable. . . . Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives. The task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly. Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals. For conscientious persons, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster; to oppose its termination is to advocate sacrifice, not for the sake of anyone’s benefit, but for the sake of misery qua misery, for the sake of forbidding happiness and fulfillment to living human beings.
         - Ayn Rand (someone I don't quote often)

The majority cannot simply decide on this when the majority haven't even the most basic understanding of fetal development.

People, please stop asking my why I want to move out of this country.

I'm back, and this is for you.

After a tumultous week, (one that doesn't need much explaining) I am back. This is for my pal, Gus Gus.

Gus left me some comments:

I really don't need to address them. They stand on their own. You scored an own goal, Gus Gus. You don't make sense, you are trying to put things together that you really don't understand- and it shows.

Here is the problem; don't take a smug position and pretend that you have knowledge that the scientific community doesn't. Don't pretend like you are the first person to think of these things. Because you look like a giant tool when somebody presents a thorough refutation to everything you have to say. People can tell you are being dishonest.

You are also being arrogant. That isn't cool- because when you take that position, people really can tell that you are not concerned with evidence. You are concerned with assertion of your own world view.

Your undelying argument is that we cannot know how old the earth is- you use this strategy to undermine the sciences of biology and geology; and by extension, physics. The supreme irony is that you communicated this by using a machine that is built on the science you claim is flawed. You do realize this, right?

I am sure you know that by saying RID is wrong, you are saying that our understanding of quantum mechanics is wrong.

Additionally, quantum mechanics, when combined with statistical mechanics, provides the foundation for solid-state and semiconductor physics. Modern quantum mechanics was developed in the mid-1920’s, and the transistor and laser followed approximately a generation later.  There would be no computer hard drives, magnetic resonance imaging, light emitting diodes, cell phones, laptop computers or iPods without quantum mechanics.
                             -Scientific American,  Semptember 2011

This isn't religion, Gus. You cannot pick and choose what science you accept and what you throw out. You cannot sit there and tell me that RID, something that is supported by vast mountains of evidence, is wrong by typing on a machine built on the understanding of quantum mechanics.

But don't take my word for it. Let's ask experts in the field.

If you find something wrong with this, do something about it. This is how science works. We love to prove our colleagues wrong. Go publish your work. Do it now. I am waiting. I am waiting for you to present your hard work and upturn the scientific community.

What's that? You won't? Is it because every scientist on earth is part of a grand scheme to stomp on your worldview and suppress the truth? Am I being arrogant? Hell yeah I am. Because, unlike you, I am have no need to assert. Here are the facts. Here is the evidence. Here is sound support. Note: I am not talking out of my ass. I am not trying to understand things I have no business dabbling in. I have what the experts agree on.

It must be really easy to believe a conspiracy theory when reality is your enemy. Gus, I like you. I just implore you to think a little harder next time.

Friday, September 2, 2011

For Yung'N


I wrote a piece for Dale, posted it on Yung'N's wall, and a little conversation ensued. Yung'N asked me a few questions and I said I would respond. Here is his message to me on FB:

I got you, yes please explain to me how the first cells got "here" because that is all I wanted to know. Where did they or it come from? How did it create itself from nothing? Why? Why did they need to evolve if there was no reason to (no need for survival of the fittest then, etc)? How did something non-living evolve to living? And how come we haven't ever seen a non-living thing become alive? Just a few random thoughts.

So this is what I will set out to do with this post.  I will address:

1. How the first cells 'got here' and how they were able to self assemble.

2. Why haven't we seen anything non-living become alive?/ How did we make the jump from non-living to living?

             2b.  How did the first cells evolve?

So let's begin!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo; On Eternity.

As child, I distinctly remember the fear that was harbored and implanted into my mind on Sunday mornings. I can still hear our priest proclaiming that hell is a very real place and a very real threat to nonbelievers.

The Bible is very clear as to what will happen to unbelievers. I promised to write this entry today for someone who's mother is a Buddhist, and obviously, not a believer in Christianity. This person told me, sincerely, that he is worried about the future of his mother's soul; that she will be damned.

Some basic terminology and background.

This is the second half from my reply to Dale. This way, nobody has to go through the first part of my beliefs.

Theory: The scientific meaning of this word is not the same as  the colloquial or lay man's definition. In science a theory is a complete body of knowledge. A theory becomes a theory when all available evidence suggests that it is probably the case. If a single piece of evidence comes up, the theory must either be refined or thrown out.

A scientific theory does two things:

i. Accounts for and explains all available evidence.
ii. Makes predictions as to what we can expect to find in the related field.