Saturday, January 29, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
- English Language............A......88%(2% from an A*!!!)
- Physics.............................D......52%(Yeah, my equipment in the prac had issues and I had the GOD of all headaches during the Multiple Choice and didn't finish)
Friday, January 21, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Nothing new here...
Several of your arguments are flawed, as I will point out below.
Any “Crime Scene Investigator” (CSI) can bear witness to the fact that an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence! For instance, an absence of finger prints on the murder weapon is not itself evidence that there is no such murderer!
True that... But then you'd need to have further evidence to score a conviction, evidence which, in the case of any deity, is lacking. If this line of reason were to be followed, any old person who could not account for their movements at the T.O.D could be held suspect of the crime. I think I'm reading a little too much into your analogy, but fact is, multiple lines of evidence are needed to pin a suspect to a crime scene. In the case of deities and supernatural phenomena, that evidence is woefully inadequate if not nonexistent.
Let us suppose now we were to change locations, standing at the edge of the grand canyon with the same question before us and I ask you “Is there a bird flying around down there?” You could peer down into the canyon and find no birds within eye-shot but, this would not be definitive proof that there are no birds in the canyon!
Once again, true, but the only reasons not seeing a bird in the Grand Canyon would be inconclusive evidnce of the absence of birds would be:1-It is already known that birds exist from having seen them elsewhere, their nests, their droppings, shed feathers, video evidence and numerous incontrovertible lines of evidence and 2-It is already known that birds exist in the Grand Canyon...perhaps studies of their population densities have even been done making it almost a sure thing that birds do exist in the vista being surveyed. The same cannot be said of gods - what "evidence" we have of their existence is in the form of ancient, unreliable texts written by people with no understanding of natural phenomena, hence a need to explain that which they do not understand with all sorts of supernatural malarkey.
And that's just where the god hypothesis fails: it does not predict anything! Anything and everything is allowed, even if when viewed objectively it would ostensibly disprove it. The hallmark of any good scientific theory is that it makes predictions – testable predictions – that have the potential to be falsified under empirical scrutiny. “But God doesn’t conform to your high and mighty science!” I hear you say (basically the gist of your above statement). But if we can’t use science to test this claim, what are we to use? Are we supposed to uncritically accept the writings of ancient nomadic tribes who did not fully understand the way nature works? Religious writings are full of all sorts of far-fetched stuff, like conjuring tricks, talking animals, virgin births and the like (which, by the way are not unique to Judaism and Christianity alone – many are demonstrably copied from other ancient legends) which have been proven wrong by discoveries and advances in science. So if we were to use religious texts’ content as a scientific test, they fail quite dismally. And since it is claimed that they were written by an all-knowing “god”, we must come to the conclusion that there is something seriously wrong with this god concept. This is simply one of many proofs we can use that the concept of gods (and, by extension, the Christian God), at least as given by the religious texts we have, is simply incorrect. As an aside, this “God ain’t constrained by your laws” excuse is so often the rug under which evidence of bad design in nature, the apparent age of the Earth and other topics relating to origins are swept by creationism.
...a wild-eyed detractor...
Detractor: “Absence of evidence is evidence of absence!”
Christian: “Sir do I have a five dollar bill in my wallet right now?”
Detractor: “I don’t know.”
Christian: “Well, why don’t you stay consistent and say no! After all, isn’t ‘absence of evidence, evidence of absence?’”
That retort would be a false analogy. It would really be more like "Believe I have a five dollar bill or I shall smite thee!" And to top it off, we know that five dollar bills exist. A more accurate analogy would be our Christian buddy claiming to have a $3.27 bill, attendant with the previous death threat! The fairness of such a proposition is, to say the least, debatable.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
...Astronomers using a fleet of telescopes observed over 1400 galaxies of all types, about 10% of which were classified as active. Looking at the shapes of the active galaxies (as well as the non-active ones as a control group — in that way, this was similar to a double-blind medical research study), they found that there is little or no connection between active galaxies and collisions/mergers.
This is stunning news! It goes against the paradigm that has been years, decades in the making. It’s not unbelievable, and by that I mean it doesn’t rely on weird assumptions or new science or anything like that. Something else must be making these galaxies active; perhaps instabilities inside them, or internal gas cloud collisions, or some other phenomenon. But apparently, at least for the past 8 billion years, it’s not due to collisions on a galactic scale. Mergers don’t feed the supermassive black holes and make them active in the way everyone assumed.
I imagine this will be a topic of much debate at the upcoming American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle this week. But in the end, if the observations hold up, and the conclusions are sound, a remarkable thing will happen: it will be accepted. Scientists will see that their assumptions were wrong, or at least need to be modified, and there will be a shift in the way astronomy of active galaxies is done. Perhaps there’s more to this story, perhaps more observations are needed, perhaps different populations of galaxies need to be studied. But if it holds up, scientists will change their minds...
I can't begin to count how often I've heard the "Scientists are too stubborn and entrenched in their beliefs to accept alternatives", both from my Christian buddies and my old Velikovskian/von Danikenite internet acquaintances. But this very simply and easily proves the opposite: when actual observation shows otherwise, the prevailing scientific opinion will change. These fellows also very wrongly phrase their misgivings as: "Science has been proven wrong so many times in the past". But the fact is science has never been proven wrong, people have been proven wrong by science. Science is a framework within which discoveries are made, and those discoveries then used to create a more accurate picture of the universe than was previously painted by ancient dogma or incorrect assumptions.
So when all those scientists in ancient times believed the Earth was flat (a common creationist defence), they weren't doing science, but when a bunch of smart fellas made logical deductions from observing the sky from different places, and another even measured its circumference, the myth of the flat earth was removed from the scientific canon.
Science. It works.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
- I will do at least one productive, non-school related thing every day, be it learning something or adding something to the collective of human knowledge that's out there. I have a lot of stuff that Needs Getting Done, and have been too much of a procrastinator in the past...I really didn't do much worthy of note in 2010. Hope to change that this year, though. Wish me luck!
- I will maintain my blog, posting regularly and replying appropriately to any comments.
- I will write at least one good piece of fiction of respectable length every week. I have an informal writing competition I wish to enter and have a smashing idea for it that's sure to win it for me, but I just haven't developed it enough. I also have a piece of work that's been a work in progress for over a year now, and I want to get it over and done with within the first quarter.
- I will seriously start looking for and securing a place in a good university. Just one year of high school to go!
- I will get a girlfriend.
- I will kiss her.
- I will get my gosh-darned licence. I'm turning 19 this year, for goodness' sake.
- I will, overall, work at enriching my experiences, discovering new stuff and also enriching the lives of all those around me with love and knowledge.
- And I need that goddamn girlfriend where does one go about getting one?