Monday, December 21, 2015

Thirty dollars?

I took my three year old to his first movie. We went to see the new Peanuts. After buying the tickets (a matinee, mind you) and one small popcorn and one small soda pop, I had spent thirty dollars.

Thirty dollars.

Really?

How does a wonderful rite of passage get sullied so easily?

We had fun, so that's not the issue. My son had no idea about costs, and enjoyed himself as he should have.

I understand that the MPAA wants us to believe they don't make enough money to "cover their costs" of making a movie, and that attendance in theaters is probably down due to Netflix, Redbox, etc.

But seriously, thirty dollars?

This has the unintended effect of making me less interested in attending more movies, which perhaps the MPAA hasn't given enough thought to... a habit they exhibit with some consistency, as copyright troll law firms are notorious for gleaning IP addresses and threatening the general populace.

 Their ugly sister, the RIAA, also sends expensive law firms after eleven year old girls for "piracy," among other things.

These activities don't exactly make me sympathetic to their concerns.

Well done, greedy jerks! Good job attending to your profit margin at the excessive expense of the people who provide your revenue.

Friday, December 4, 2015

A somewhat brief explanation

I realized soon after posting the short essay yesterday that some might wonder just what was logically impaired in the sentence I quoted from Hofstadter/Dennett. I will take a moment and explain it, in case the shortsighted authors' blunder does not appear obvious enough.

The sentence was:

"How could the science that had worked so well for so many things turn out to be so wrong?"

In context, it was prompted by their thoughts regarding whether or not extrasensory perception could be proven to exist.

The sentence presents a statement and a question. Hofstadter/Dennett are referring to "science" as a collective entity, the sum of all scientific disciplines:

1) ...science [has] worked so well for so many things...

2) How could [that same science] turn out to be so wrong?

The statement (1) stands on its own, and is quite sound.

The question (2) is the problem, for the following reasons:

1) If science is correct about X, Y, and Z, it is not unreasonable to imagine that it could possibly be incorrect about A.

2) Their sentence as a whole implies that since science has produced many positive results, it's incredible to think that it could be wrong about something... even if that something happens to be outside of science's purview.

3) Science is a collection of different disciplines, all allegedly guided by the scientific method to draw their conclusions. To the best of my knowledge, all scientists in the world have not signed off on some consensus to validate nor invalidate extrasensory perception.

4) A scientist or scientists could potentially pursue extrasensory perception with the scientific method if they desired. But their results, for or against, are the findings of one or more studies, and are not the embodiment of all science.

3) Therefore science as a whole has absolutely nothing to say about the subject the authors are pondering, namely the possible validity of extrasensory perception.

But that's not what Doug and Dan would like you to think.



Thursday, December 3, 2015

The audacity of the mediocre

While culling my books, I came across various efforts from Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett. Having lost interest in wasting time on their reductionist polemic, I placed them in the 'garage sale' pile. That pile, incidentally, being another embarrassing level down from the $1 clearance section of Half Price Books.

I still flipped through them, as with all my books, to see if there was anything that would make them worthy of retention. In the process, I came across a curious demonstration of intellectual hubris in a book called "The Mind's I" co-authored by Hofstadter and Dennett.

Chapter four is an abridged reproduction of Alan Turing's prescient 1950 paper entitled "Computing Machinery and Intelligence," with Hofstadter's and Dennett's "Reflections" afterward.

First of all, Alan Turing was an authentic genius who left most "bright" persons murmuring in his wake. His genius was not a collection of misguided ruminations; it actually produced innovative and useful results, such as the electromechanical machine that was used to crack the German Enigma code in World War II.

Hofstadter and Dennett are a couple of intelligent guys who spout some interesting philosophy if you prefer to think we're all an accident, but nothing of any practical use has come from their "reflections on self and soul."

While correctly observing that Turing's article was "remarkable and lucid," these two stubborn bumblers couldn't resist their obsession with materialism, and felt compelled to comment on Turing's argument from extrasensory perception.

Not content to simply disagree, they implied that Turing could possibly have been sharing an inside joke with his academic friends, as of course no reasonable intellectual could possibly consider anything real which doesn't yield to the five senses.

They go on to observe that if the common constituents of extrasensory perception were found to actually exist, the result would not be a mere alteration to the laws of physics, but would instead require a major modification to "our" scientific world view.

These self-imagined Einsteins then generated this sentence:

"How could the science that had worked so well for so many things turn out to be so wrong?"

The shoddy logic in their reasoning is evident; they are masters of exclusionary thinking, like the rest of the wishful babblers who believe that the entity known as God will one day become a handy traditional joke around future offices populated by sentient robots.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Epiphany

Due to a fundamental change in my daily routine, I've been more productive lately than I've been in a long time, as watching my three year old during the day and working at night has a suppressing effect on my desire to produce anything.

Since the beginning of summer this year, I've been doing things long relegated to the 'someday' to-do list, including summer-long yard projects, programming a game I hope to release at some point, applying final touches to a book I finished in 2007 (in order to upload it to Amazon), and more recently, finally getting back on the music production bandwagon with two friends in other states.

In the last few weeks, I've also been implementing a long-delayed culling of my immense book collection, which before culling, occupied two full walls of my family room.

I can't believe how many books I'm discarding. For example, on one entire shelf of mind/consciousness volumes, I'm keeping one book. The same thing happened on one of the theoretical physics shelves.

I've clearly turned a corner in my life. I'd been clinging to the idea since I was about 30 that someday I would integrate all these books and formulate a synthesis or new theory no one had thought of, thus making me 'famous.' Ha! Indeed.

The truth of the matter isn't that I gave up on some noble quest; the truth is I finally acknowledged how unimportant e=mc2 and theoretical speculation are to the human experience.

Could the human race have existed and thrived without nuclear bombs and power plants, ultra-precise clocks, 'uncrackable' codes, GPS, quantum computers (which are specialized and have no bearing on what most people use computers for), microscopes for atoms, biological compasses, and endless speculations about how the mind works with a questionable agenda of applied artificial intelligence?

I think I can say yes to that without acquiring Luddite status. Reverse engineering our reality is nothing more than an exercise in pride and vanity, and irrelevant to our aspirations of making the best of the one life we all have.


Friday, November 20, 2015

The bliss of ignorance

I recently wasted some time on someone who had the usual array of objections to the concept that God exists. When I finally grew tired of the fruitless interaction, I posted the following parody, which was designed to address the aforementioned objections.

---

Ladies and Gentlemen, we're on location at the 156th annual Genius Summit, and here's a recap of the 12 Golden Nuggets of Wisdom we've been regaled with today:

1) It doesn't matter why life exists, IT JUST DOES!

2) It doesn't matter why sperm meeting egg begins the incredibly complex process of cell division into new life, IT JUST DOES!

3) It doesn't matter why biological cells are programmed to degenerate gradually until death of the organism, THEY JUST ARE!

4) Anyone who questions why just DOESN'T UNDERSTAND the basic concept!

5) If you can't physically prove something, THEN IT ISN'T REAL!

6) Corollary: science can't prove that anyone loves you, as memories of behavior are anecdotal and not testable in a lab, so therefore NO ONE LOVES YOU!

7) The best way to understand something is to *NOT* read the manual!

8) If anyone suggests that you read the manual, DECLARE IT AS USELESS!

9) Moral standards don't come from a Santa in the sky riding on the Flying Spaghetti Monster, THEY COME FROM THE INDIVIDUAL!

10) Corollary 1: If you take something from someone, there's no reason to feel bad, because your desire for the something is JUST AS VALID as the other person's!

11) Corollary 2: because Ted Bundy, Gary Ridgway and Adolf Hitler were individuals, their subjective moral standards were JUST AS VALID AS YOURS!

12) There is no god or ultimate authority, so ALL IS PERMISSIBLE!

---

What was his or her response?

"if you're gonna quote me do it right. because i didn't say non of that. but you are quoting me as if i did."

At that point I permanently withdrew myself from the discussion, to stimulate myself further by conversing with a rock on my terrace.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Worthy of earnest consideration

On December 5th, 1997, there was a debate that took place on a show called Firing Line. The episode was entitled The Evidence of God, and the participants were quite impressive:

For Intelligent Design:
William F. Buckley Jr.
David Berlinski (interestingly, he is critical of both Evolution and Intelligent Design)
Phillip E. Johnson
Michael J. Behe

For Evolution:
Barry W. Lynn
Eugenie C. Scott
Michael Ruse
Kenneth R. Miller

As of the writing of this blog entry, you can view the entire debate yourself in eight parts here:

Intelligent Design vs Evolution

What struck me the most about the excellent affair, which is well worth a view in its entirety, was something Berlinski (a secular Jew, not a fundamentalist Christian) said at the end of his opening statement:

"If it should come to pass in the fullness of time that we discover that there is no explanation for life, we will have to accept it. If it should come to pass that we discover in the fullness of time that the only explanation for life is that it is a process designed for transcendental purposes by a transcendental figure, we will have to accept that too. And if that should come to pass, I would like to ask, who among us will genuinely feel diminished?"

I keep looking at that statement, and I keep wondering:

What reasonable, rational person, regardless of worldview, could honestly answer "Me"?

And if that is the case, what is all the hubbub and fracas about? Why so much aggression from the militant atheist quarter? Why so much anger, indignation and venom?

I mean truly?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A poster child for myopia

I recently encountered another brick wall posing as a Defender of the Darwinian Faith (or vice versa, I'm not completely sure) with the username "CamW30."

For any out there who have had to endure his stalwart banner waving, I have provided a compendium of quotes gleaned from CamW30's own YouTube Google+ page. In this way, you may be properly informed of his preprocessed polemic. CamW30's posts are here presented in italics; my responses, when they appear, are in normal text.

CamW30's YouTube tagline announces something most ambitious:

Banishing pseudoscience & religious dogma through empirical evidence.

A lofty goal indeed! And to CamW30, a noble pursuit. However, his currently 8 followers are likely not numerous enough to accomplish said goal.

In the channel's introduction we are informed by the following declarations:

I do not make videos, but may in the future.

I am an atheist, but do not force my beliefs on others.


This is an indirect lie, as CamW30 consistently mocks and disdains individuals who believe in God. When faced with this ugly contradiction, CamW30 may conveniently remind us that he hasn't forced atheism in particular on any believers; instead he attempts to enlighten believers in God with derision. As most human beings are not fond of receiving insults, this method is likely doomed to failure.

I do not care what others may believe as long as they do not try to force their beliefs on others & keep those beliefs private.

As indicated by my previous paragraph, real-world forum experience with CamW30 doesn't reflect what he would like us to believe are his maxims. Anyone who doesn't share his worldview can attest to this.

I do promote and defend science, and the scientific method, accepting evolutionary theory as the basis for all of biology.

While CamW30 may actually believe he is promoting and defending science, instead what happens in these threads is a total rejection of any and all ideas or concepts that could possibly contradict Darwinian Evolution, and the precious Tree of Life model. This is not the behavior of someone who champions the scientific method, which itself requires an honest attempt to disprove one's hypothesis.

In the latter portion of the sentence, CamW30 indicates that he accepts evolutionary theory as the basis for all of biology. Someone not paying attention might think this is a valid scientific practice. What this means is that CamW30, and all those who also subscribe to this approach, filter all their scientific data through the expected Tree of Life model proposed by Darwin. This of course has the effect of forcing the offending scientist to make all evidence fit the model... and when it doesn't, as in the Cambrian "Explosion," new ideas are formulated that resolve the conflict to their satisfaction, such as Punctuated Equilibrium.

That individuals like CamW30 can't seem to perceive the myopic nature of this behavior is a puzzling situation, as it is assumed that degreed scientists can supposedly rise above the cognitive-dissonance tendencies of the less-formally-informed masses.

I will not tolerate the promotion of pseudoscience by those trying to justify a faulty worldview

That CamW30 is somewhat bereft of tolerance is quite clear by his invective against anyone foolish enough to waste time engaging him on these matters. While I will not call CamW30's worldview wrong, I also do not recognize it as correct. This daily ideological clash of all interacting human beings seems beyond CamW30's ability to accept or appreciate.

I do require others to defend their scientific position with empirical evidence.

This, I can attest to, is true. However, the methods by which CamW30 allows anyone to respond are severely constricted to CamW30's worldview... making it quite impossible to respond in a way that CamW30 would ever find satisfactory (if one does not share his worldview). Thus, CamW30 believes he has accomplished a victorious defense of science when others 'fail' to effectively respond within the parameters CamW30 allows.



Before I provide an abridged tour through CamW30's Google+ playground, I will address the single most exasperating aspect of his forum tactics. After all, why read this long blog post if the part you're truly interested in is this:

CamW30's silver bullet seems to be his insistence that ID proponents prove it, prove it, prove it. And just what does CamW30 require as proof? Over and over again, ad nauseum, he bleats some version of, "Show me irrefutable empirical evidence!!!"

I will now topple the house of cards CamW30 thinks is a foundation of stone. I will even break it down to its simplest component, so when CamW30 glibly dismisses it with his typical arrogance, you, the reader, will know that CamW30 is not actually being scientific or even rational, but instead is stubbornly unwilling to consider interpretations of the evidence that are unfriendly to his pet theory.

Q: What is the principle and greatest evidence for Darwinian Evolution by Natural Selection?

A: Fossils. Millions of them.

Q: What is a fossil?

A: Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past.

Q: What is the connection between fossils and Darwinian Theory?

A: Fossils provide physical evidence of an organism, which is part of a species, which existed in the past, and may or may not still exist today.

Q: Then fossils are irrefutable empirical proof of evolution?

A: They are not.

Q: What?!?!?!

A: Fossils are not irrefutable empirical proof of evolution.

Q: But CamW30, and others like him, insist that they are, and call anyone who disagrees either ignorant or some version of insane.

A: That's because CamW30, and others like him, don't think you'll ever be exposed to what I'm about to tell you.

1) Darwin proposed a treelike connection as a possible explanation of how speciation could result in the variety of species we see today.

2) The tree proposal became the standard for evolutionary biologists, paleontologists, etc.

3) For most researchers in biology, paleontology, and other related disciplines, any new fossil evidence uncovered is automatically cataloged and assigned a position in the tree-of-life that makes the most sense.

4) This has continued from Darwin's day until today, and will likely continue for some time.

Q: Er, uh... so what's wrong with that?

A: If the tree-of-life model for the origin of species is correct, then nothing is wrong with that.

Q: What if Darwin's tree-of-life proposal is incorrect?

A: Well, this is a very unattractive possibility for evolutionary biologists, et al, because it would mean that over one hundred and fifty years of research has been almost entirely devoted to a wrong interpretation of the available physical evidence. This wouldn't negate all work done in that time, but it would force a re-examination of prior assumptions that were potentially leading scientists down a path that actually impedes progress, not assists it.

Q: Come on man, these are really smart people! A mass mistake like that could never happen.

A: Wrong. One excellent example of this phenomenon (smart people clinging onto incorrect ideas) are the herculean efforts over several decades that were necessary to finally convince the science "mainstream" that the universe had a beginning in the "Big Bang," instead of eternally existing in a "Steady State." There were very intelligent scientists in 1927 mocking the idea that originated from Georges Lemaitre, a Catholic priest who also happened to be a professor of physics and an astronomer. Two years later, Edwin Hubble published Hubble's Law. The derision continued for several more decades, until around 1961, when radio source surveys helped to rule out the Steady State theory for most cosmologists.

That was well over thirty years of the "mainstream" cosmologists subjecting the Big Bang theory's proponents to derision and scorn, despite the continuous gathering of evidence that refuted the Steady State theory.

What was the principle objection to the Big Bang theory? Mainstream Steady State scientists found a universe with an identifiable beginning to have "religious" implications they couldn't tolerate. Sound familiar?

Q: I still think evolution is true.

A: That's your prerogative as a free-thinking individual, and you are entitled to your opinion. However, be aware that the practice of pooh-poohing the objections of hundreds of degreed scientists who don't share your opinion does not guarantee you will be correct years from now.

----------------------------------

As promised, the following nuggets can be found at CamW30's Google+ treasure trove of scientific wisdom:

I wish there were a conspiracy against christianity in the US.

I watch this and think, "Are creationists deluded, or are they really that stupid?"

As for the South American populations having antibiotic resistant bacteria in their guts... so what?

Juby is an idiot, he sure doesn't have the training in pharmacology to be able to understand the implications of the papers that he is quoting from.

Sorry Juby, you are an idiot trying to justify a failed worldview.

Can you give us even one piece of empirical evidence for creationism?

Asking for evidence for "creationism" is not a legitimate question, it is a straw man. Intelligent Design, which CamW30 thinks is "creationism" in disguise, was initiated from legitimate questions raised by degreed scientists regarding physical facts that don't fit the Darwinian model.

It's about f***ing time that Dr. Oz is getting his comeuppance. How about we go one step further and remove the homeopathic and naturopathic snake oil from community pharmacies. [expletive censorship mine]

It is time to shut down Stephen Meyer and Discovery Institute.

You're just another teenage troll who tries to act big, but comes off as just another dime-a dozen homeschooled religious troll trying to justify a failed worldview.

Losers like you are scared little boys who have no life prospects and use this medium to try to feel big.

Looking in a mirror might give CamW30 a similar revelation.

Time to go away and let the adults have actual discussions. You bore me pathetic one.

This just shows what a disingenuous scumbag that you are.

If you cannot provide empirical evidence for your hypotheses, then STFU.

Yeah, the bible isn't misogynistic at all. What a f***ing douche bag! Fundamentalist creatards are so slimy. [expletive censorship mine]

Who really cares what a uneducated redneck bigot thinks. The world will be a better place once you are dead and gone. There will be no tears at your passing.

You are just an illiterate waste of space. You make me sick, you and your delusional worldview. Goodbye, cretan!

I spend my life helping people with serious mental afflictions live a better and more productive life than they would have without my work.

Indeed! I must accept his proclamation in good faith, as I have not witnessed his good work myself. However, in light of CamW30's demeanor with those he disagrees with in YouTube forums, I might suggest it is possible that not every individual he "helps" is living a better and more productive life as a result.

Slimy religious guy is slimy.

Republicans, if they ever get back into office (and can get away with it), will be requiring that every LGTB person to wear pink triangles, so as not to fool the children.

Let me guess... you are a fundamentalist christian who is uncomfortable with his sexuality.

F***, f***, F***! Why do creatards not understand that the Big Bang was not an explosion in space and time, it was an unfolding of space and time. [expletive censorship mine]

Free Will? I see that you are wearing your ignorance of another topic as a badge of honour.

Evolutionary theory has nothing to say about the origin of life.

CamW30 is clearly being disingenuous here. It is evolutionary theory which allows a Darwinian to be an "intellectually fulfilled atheist," in the words of Richard Dawkins. The evolutionary model for life, allegedly not being directed by a mind but instead random chance, directly implies that the origin of life had to be accidental and mindless.

Of course evolutionary theory is not based on common sense, it is based upon empirical evidence.

Not quite... it is based on one particular interpretation of the physical evidence, but the only interpretation allowed in CamW30's worldview.

This is not how science works; one must follow where the evidence leads, not make a claim and then look for supporting evidence.

So how is science working when contradictory evidence somehow still magically supports Darwin's theory?

SHOW US THE IRREFUTABLE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE! PUBLISH THIS EVIDENCE IN THE MAINSTREAM PEER-REVIEWED LITERATURE JUST AS ANY OTHER SCIENTIST WITH A NEW IDEA DOES!

This endless demand, which is CamW30's presumed master stroke, is pointless, as key elements of Darwinian Evolution by Natural Selection also fall by the same sword. That CamW30 prefers to pooh-pooh the objections out of hand does not negate their real-world validity in the arena of critical thinking.

The police don't arrest people for no reason.

CamW30's black-and-white thinking becomes more clear the more one reads his posts.

I love how you creation scientists just make up stuff!

As for "observed" science, that is another non-scientific concept., another creationist canard.

I guess that religionists are use to playing make-believe, huh?

If life were designed, then your designer was stoned out of his head. If this is the best your god can do, he must have been at the bottom of his class in design school.

Ramzpaul; although I hate to give that big of a f***tard any exposure. [expletive censorship mine]

No, do you? Or are you still pulling this crap out of your butt?

When did Dembski become an expert in biology? His degree in biology is from which University?

This is what happens when you have a society that is scientifically illiterate.

There is absolutely no doubt within the scientific community to the reality of evolutionary theory.There is also no doubt that the entire mainstream science community rejects intelligent design:

Those both are, of course, complete and utter lies unless you refuse to look at the "irrefutable empirical" evidence with a critical eye.

Speaking of crackpots; I just found a guy who claims to have discovered the "real intelligent design".

Umm... genes that produce the nose did not appear ex nihilo, they have been shown to come from genes in other organisms. And yes, you are crazy.

This shows that people with high IQs can be stupid, depending upon their preconceived ideas, and their vested interest in the subject matter. F***ing bafflegab. [expletive censorship mine]

Another opportunity for CamW30 to look closer in the mirror.

"Lack of transitional forms"?... then quote mining Ernst Mayer... Casey, you are so slimy.

So, you are denigrating Roman Catholics, but you back up your claims using the Jewish bible... weird.

There are just so many of those stories in the bible: Mary saying she is a virgin but is pregnant (& she is believed!), As mentioned, Lot's daughters f***ing dad, Tamar f***s her father-in-law, Dinah's "rape" by Shechem. Oh what?... oh... HORR-OR stories... never mind. [expletive censorship mine]

All Meyer uses is words like "could", "maybe", "possibly".

Indeed; you will also find those kinds of words sprinkled liberally throughout "mainstream" texts regarding the favored mechanisms of Darwinian evolution.

Common sense is the reason we developed the scientific method. Common sense, when applied to nature is often wrong.

An interesting combination of cherry-picked relevance for common sense.

There are no mainstream biologists studying intelligent design.

Another lying result of CamW30's subjective filter, as anyone from the mainstream who studies Intelligent Design automatically gets moved to the fringe by CamW30.

Is it me or do fundamentalists have trouble with analogies? Why is it that they avoid the obvious? All they have to do is show empirical evidence that the designer exists. If they could do that there would be no atheists.

That paragraph is misguided on several fronts:
1) Empirically, "fundamentalists" have no more trouble with analogies than atheists.
2) "Fundamentalists" don't avoid the obvious any more than CamW30.
3) The evidence that reality has a designer is readily apparent to everyone anecdotally, and the formal theory itself is accessible to anyone willing to open a book or read an article by the degreed scientists who have discovered the evidence. What CamW30 really means is all they have to do is show empirical evidence for God... which is deliberately impossible to do by material means. CamW30 believes if he conflates a designer with a god, then the issue will be confused enough to discredit the theories of legitimate scientists.
4) I still hold that God could literally sit down next to CamW30 in some earthly form, and instead of accepting the physical evidence in the same way he accepts the paradigm of Darwinian speciation, CamW30 would instead seek psychiatric assistance. Thus CamW30 will remain "willfully ignorant" (to quote him), despite overwhelming evidence presented.

Nineteen papers in 5 years? Umm... where are all these researchers rushing to jump on the ID bandwagon?

First of all, nineteen peer-reviewed papers is more than zero, the number that CamW30 would prefer. But because nineteen papers are not zero papers, CamW30 resorts to asking why all the rest of the "mainstream" researchers aren't doing the same work.

An unreasonable question at best, since:
1) All researchers don't research all theories. Being human, they have specific interests they wish to serve.
2) Most researchers want to survive in the research world, so they avoid rocking the boat by pursuing research that has been publicly vilified and privately punished by academic institutions in multiple cases across the country.
3) That nineteen papers were even published in such an antagonistic atmosphere displays the courage of those researching and those publishing the papers, when current conventional wisdom calls an otherwise intelligent person an idiot for being more skeptical than his or her peers.

Evolutionary molecular genetics is the killer scientific discipline disproving creationism

Not quite, although its popular hypotheses certainly seem to indicate as much.

You just have to prove, with empirical evidence, that a designer exists. Just saying that one does is not evidence, nor does it name a designer. Intelligent design will not be considered a science until it can do the above.

Again, CamW30 calls out ID by saying it can't be a science unless there is empirical evidence of a designer. By empirical, one assumes that it is something that can be tested in a laboratory. This is the typical bait-and-switch used on unsuspecting readers. Demanding empirical evidence also causes Darwinian theory to come up short, because fossil evidence, DNA evidence, molecular evidence, microbiological evidence, etc., are all subject to interpretation.

This truth is unattractive to CamW30 and others like him, because it means their worldview is not the only rational approach to reality.

I've never conflated ID with YEC, I just say that by definition it is not a science.

That is a lie, and one need only read a few posts by CamW30 before one encounters the contradiction. Stipulating that YEC and basic Creationism are different is a useless dodge, when the connection drawn is the same.

Evolutionary theory shows that the appearance of design is just that, an appearance.

That is an opinion, not an objective fact.

The mechanisms of evolution, such as natural selection, have been shown that it is an appearance only.

Nonsense, they've shown nothing of the kind, because the "mechanisms" must be assumed to exist for them to allegedly "show" anything. In other words, the mechanisms of evolution by natural selection are only a concept that can be applied to the physical evidence, they are not empirical evidence. The only empirical evidence is physical evidence, and the physical evidence is open to interpretation, whether CamW30 thinks so or not.

Macroevolution is just microevolution plus time. Please provide a scientific explanation why this is not so.

The scientific explanation of why it is allegedly true is nothing more than the statement itself, or in other words, Darwinists state confidently that macroevolution is the same as microevolution, but over greater periods of time. They have nothing more than their own assumptions to back that statement, no "empirical evidence" that CamW30 is so thirsty for. To ask for a scientific explanation against something when there is no actual scientific explanation for something, is ridiculous.

To the factual statement that ID is different from creationism, CamW30 responds with:

That is splitting hairs; goddunnit is goddunnit. Therefore you must prove a god exists.

It is only splitting hairs to someone who either doesn't understand the theory of Intelligent Design, or who deliberately refuses to investigate past the false assumption that ID is merely masked creationism. Then to leap to a non-sequitur like asking for proof that God exists is just one more trick CamW30 uses to fool himself as well as others.

To the factual statement that reasoning about the past is different than doing experiments in a lab, CamW30 responds with:

That's funny, palaeontology and archeology do it.

No, they do not. Both of those disciplines must rely on interpretation of the physical evidence to arrive at their current conclusions. Dating methods are not experimentation; furthermore, most of them contradict each other regarding how old an object is.

The History of Science is an Arts subject,...

In the context of this statement, CamW30 is making a deliberate ploy to confuse the History of Science with Historical Science, two entirely different concepts. Historical Science is the attempt to extrapolate past events from physical evidence, sometimes coupled with documented information from a particular time period if it is available.

If ID is a science, it must be proven using the scientific method.

Is that so? And how is Darwinian Evolution proven with the scientific method? Please explain for everyone just how millions of fossils are utilized in the scientific method, which requires a procedure to attempt falsification. How can you falsify an interpretation? You can't, which is the lame reason why CamW30 mistakenly thinks his opinion is impervious to refutation.

Stephen Meyer says the evidence for ID is compelling, but CamW30 says:

...[Meyer] never gives it.

This is a ridiculous lie. There are many books out there that present much compelling evidence for ID, but for CamW30, who can't fathom anything beyond his materialist (aka physicalist) worldview, the compelling evidence is just a bunch of ignorant poppycock.

...Meyer tries to conflate [genetic code] with computer code. ... The genetic code is more like a recipe.

Oh is that so? Stop the presses, we need to get this into tomorrow's Wall Street Journal: CamW30 has special information that allows him to understand the functions of DNA in a way that lays all other theories to rest. The headline will read: CamW30 opinion is FACT.

The gene is not being read like a language at all.

Well, that's an interpretation that works for CamW30, but it contradicts the opinion of Francis Collins, the former head of the Human Genome Project, which was finished ahead of time under his leadership. But according to CamW30, Francis Collins must be off his rocker, since his interpretation of DNA's structure isn't what works for CamW30, a 50-something former pharmacy consultant who fancies himself a 21st century Thomas Henry Huxley.



I think that's quite enough. Including more would be an unnecessary beating of a dead horse and an even greater waste of my time.

As a final note I will direct your attention to the top of CamW30's Google+ page: we see a graphic that asks, "Are You Kind?"

An interesting question from an apparently uncharitable individual.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Apple Computer hype

I love computers. I won't presume to love them more than anyone else in the world, but I'm fairly certain I love them more than the average person. Why do I say that?

Because:

1) I build my own rather than buy a brand name. This has the attractive side effect of spending less to own a computer with superior parts, but the real reason why I do it is because it's fun.

2) I taught myself to program in C using a very thick textbook. I didn't do this because I was too cheap to pay for the formal education; I did it because I thought it was fun.

3) I read obscure books filled with technical information about the hardware and inner workings of computers because, you guessed it, it's fun.

4) I love to read anything about the history of computing.

5) This list could go on and on, trust me.

So, is there a point to be made along with all this babbling about one of my passions in life?

Yes:

Computers are not the end, they're the means.


When most people think of computers, they think of them as these mysterious boxes that must be purchased for a high price from an official vendor. Dell, Sony, HP, Falcon Northwest, Apple... take your pick; these pre-assembled machines are what the average person thinks are required to do their computing tasks.

Those of us out here who seek out and enjoy knowledge that the average computer user considers arcane, are able to make decisions based on that knowledge that are beyond the scope of the average user.

One of those decisions is mapping out the constituent parts of a new computer, making smart purchases of those high-quality parts, and assembling them into the computers we enjoy.

Absolutely none of the knowledgeable persons performing the actions in the preceding paragraph elect to make Apple computers. A Hackintosh is an experiment motivated by curiosity; no one builds an exclusively Apple computer from scratch, except Steve Wozniak.

This used to be because Apple unwisely made the initial decision in 1977 to keep their architecture proprietary, and made it literally impossible for the computer hobbyist to build his or her own, or explore the inner workings of the machine to any practical degree. This reduced the Apple user to a powerless button-pusher.

Apple's misguided decision continued until 2006, when Apple moved to the open x86 (Intel) architecture. But by then it was too late; all the serious computer users were decades deep in IBM compatibles.

I've heard it said that Apple users disdain PC users as "tinkerers." This glib observation surely comes from the fact that the open architecture of IBM-compatible computers (x86 PCs) has allowed PC users to explore and manipulate their computers to the limits of their interest.

In the Apple world, the computer itself is considered a work of art.

In the PC world, barring gaming rigs such as the sexy-looking machines from Alienware, the computer is a practical tool that allows the user to perform particular tasks.

For all Apple users, the computer is the end; owning an Apple computer or device is the core reason for owning one. In other words, it doesn't matter that it's less capable than a PC overall, as long as there's an Apple logo on it.

For many PC users, the computer is a means to an end; that end being the enjoyment and exploration of computing itself. In other words, PC users aren't as concerned with status symbols.

When you, the computer user, decide to buy the hype that Apple computers are easier to use, that they "just work," and that you'll get laid more by owning one, you are pretty much making a fool out of yourself.

The genuine computer experts, the true hackers, the people who clearly love computers and computing, the ones who actually understand what's under the hood, so to speak... well, they're laughing at you.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Godzilla!

"History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men."


Truth is what elevates a song from popular entertainment to profundity.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

You are a cash cow

Actually, we're all cash cows, but I wanted to get your attention.

Apple uses the cult of personality to overcharge its customers for equipment that is sexy looking but with less stability and features than its competition. However, Microsoft gets the prize for out-and-out subterfuge designed to squeeze more revenue from its customer base (cash cows).

How do they lie and cheat? Read on.

As a corporate entity with retail concerns, Microsoft of course wants to increase and maximize their profit margin. Just like a car manufacturer, they have a product they want consumers to choose, so they use whatever means they can think of to generate that interest.

Ford is one of the oldest and still one of the most profitable car companies. Judge Microsoft for yourself in this side-by-side comparison that follows:


Microsoft advertises in print and electronic media.

Ford does the same.


Microsoft employs research and development teams to produce products that will hopefully capture your interest as a consumer.

Ford does the same.


Microsoft has marketing teams that determine the maximum price you are willing to pay for any given Microsoft product, and charge you one penny less than that.

In order to remain competitive in a field with much more competition, Ford must base their price points on production overhead, because if they used the Microsoft method, they would eventually fail to more efficient companies.


Microsoft uses back room deals (and threats of breach-of-contract) with computer manufacturers to guarantee that software competitors are not represented in new computers (look up the history of Netscape and Internet Explorer).

Ford produces their own hardware, so there is no way for them to commit this monopolization technique.


Microsoft forces its customers to upgrade their operating system (OS), whether they want to or not.

Ford...


Now wait just a second, Sponge Freddie! How could any company force their customers to buy something they wouldn't otherwise decide to buy on their own?


Behold the shifty corral that keeps all the cash cows submissively chewing their cud:

1) Microsoft begins the process by officially no longer supporting a particular OS by a certain date.

2) The warnings begin long before the OS is "deprecated": If you use it past date X, you will be risking the ruination of your computer, due to those pesky hackers doing nasty things to you online. You decide to ignore the warnings, because you are comfortable with, and enjoy using, that particular OS. Plus why should you pay more for a new OS when you can do everything you want with your current one?

3) Microsoft, knowing this is the default mindset of all users except chronic early adopters, starts their underhanded machinations to force your hand once the end-of-support day passes.

4) Suddenly one day, without warning, an Adobe Flash update renders you unable to watch YouTube videos and most others. This is because Adobe has adopted a new API from Microsoft that is intentionally not backwards compatible with the OS that existed right before the one(s) they still support. The short explanation of an API is that it's a software component that, among other things, provides rules for what will and will not work with it.

5) Being unable to watch videos is a major problem, but you are a clever user who realizes there are old updates for Adobe Flash available online, and decide to go back to your previous version of Flash. But this is a band-aid that soon completely fails, because one of the features of the new API is that new videos being produced with the new version of Adobe Flash refuse to work with your older version.

6) You dig further and realize you can use the new update if you upgrade your version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer! So you visit Microsoft.com to upgrade your version of Internet Explorer.

7) Microsoft's web site identifies your OS as the one they have most recently "deprecated," so when you navigate to the page to get the version of Internet Explorer you need to use the new Flash update, you are informed by Microsoft that the desired version of Internet Explorer is not compatible with your OS, which contradicts Wikipedia's list of what will work with your OS.

8) Again, being a clever user, you realize you can download a legal, untainted version of Internet Explorer that you need from places other than Microsoft. So you do so, and attempt to install it. Lo and behold, it installs and works just fine, despite the creators of it insisting it won't.

9) This works for a while, then doesn't, as Microsoft is aware of your desire to avoid upgrading to their latest OS, and has many factors in play to force you into a corner.

10) On other fronts, other software developers play into Microsoft's scheme, such as game makers. You know this because suddenly your favorite online game, which has always supported your OS, performs server maintenance which includes an update that you can't reverse if you want to continue playing. And guess what? With no warning, officially or in forums, your OS can no longer start the game. Why? Because the developers are forced to use a new API from Microsoft. If they don't use it, they can't access some new feature(s) they wish to implement for their game, that could make it more fun or cool for their players to use.

11) You think, to heck with this, I'll just dual boot to Linux and skip all this nonsense. Aha! A great idea, but Microsoft is one step ahead of you once again.

12) Microsoft Silverlight, which you need to watch Netflix (thank you, Greed Hastings), is not compatible with Linux. There are workarounds, but most people don't want to deal with the steps involved to make it happen.

13) The new EFI firmware and GPT partitioning scheme, which overcome the "limitations" of 32bit computing on an x86 platform, make it very difficult to dual boot, for all but the most astute computer geeks. No, Microsoft did not create EFI or GPT, but somehow new computers sporting their latest operating system just happen to puke on your shoes if you try to revert to your favorite previous version of Windows (now referred to as a "legacy" version).

So where does all this leave you? With no choice, of course! You must upgrade your OS to continue enjoying key features of your computer if you're too stubborn to move to Linux and don't want to pay artificially inflated prices for Apple toys. Score one more victory for Microsoft!

Microsoft: billions and billions.
Cash cow user base: zero.

Waterworld is coming! Waterworld is coming!


What follows is an article called "Dire warning of sea level rise from world's most famous climate scientist" by reporter Gary Farrow, published by the New Zealand Herald on July 23rd, 2015, along with my observations.



A new study, led by James Hansen, NASA's former lead climate scientist, and 16-co-authors, paints a very grim picture of the stability of the world's sea levels in the near future.

A once very high-profile NASA employee and his assistants have decided to up the ante in the struggle for research grants in a world no longer convinced it's going to drown.


Many of those involved in writing the report are regarded as being at the top of their respective fields.

In an attempt to prevent your bs alarm from going off, they want you to be confident that these aren't a bunch of fringe jokers.


The conclusion they reached was that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are going to melt 10 times faster than predicted earlier.

They're dissatisfied with the boredom of global warming experienced by the general populace, and decided to liven things up with even faster ice-melting predictions.


This would result in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as few as 50 years.

This would result in some people and animals moving further inland, but only if the Earth behaved exactly like their manipulated data and computer models for 50 years straight.


The study has not been peer reviewed yet, but is generating a lot of thought about the future of the world's oceans, as well as the fate of human and animal populations that depend on their current state.

There's that pesky absence-of-peer-review factor again! Of course, that does not prevent the doom sayers from their misanthropic dance of panic.


It emphasised the feedback loop in the Southern Ocean.

An interesting choice, as the sea ice extent in Antarctica is increasing.


As the glaciers melt, cooler fresh water forces warmer salt water under the ice sheets, which results in them melting faster.

A fascinating theory, but Antarctica isn't actually shrinking in the real world.


It's a vicious circle, and Hansen says he hopes the findings will help persuade governments and large organisations to enact change, more than previous studies have.

It's a vicious circle, just like the one where the research grants start to dry up from a world that no longer fears becoming Waterworld, so then the climate scientists come up with another startling prediction based on selective data that supports their new (same old) theory.


The researchers used a combination of paleoclimate records, computer models and observations of contemporary sea level rise to come to their findings.

The researchers used a combination of old weather data, computer models custom-designed to bear out their predictions, and theory-friendly selections of sea level statistics to bolster their desire to scare you.


The study doesn't predict the precise timing of the feedback loop, but says it is likely to occur this century.

In order to insure their success, they've left the time frame wide enough to make a killing in research grants before the fear wears off. Although their research apparently predicts "dire" consequences if we ignore it, they wisely decide to leave the time frame ambiguous, to avoid laughing-stock status in a few decades.


The ultimate implication of this is that every coastal city on the planet may be habitable for only a few more decades, requiring "emergency cooperation among nations," as Hansen says.

For those of you who aren't sufficiently disturbed by their predictions, Hansen draws a frightful image designed to manipulate your emotions. And of course humanity, with all its ingenuity, could never, not even in fifty years, figure out a way to keep the water out if Hansen's vision of Waterworld was actually realized.


The paper will be published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, which is an open-access journal to encourage discussion, and it is important to note it will not be formally peer reviewed before it appears online.

To maximize the panicked ripples in the pond, the paper will be available to the public before peer-reviewers label it unsubstantiated exaggeration.


It is, nonetheless, very sobering food for thought as to where climate change is taking us.

It is, nonetheless, very interesting water-cooler chatter for those who don't have anything better to attend. Mr Farrow, as a responsible journalist, feels the need for this disclaimer just in case the study is deemed balderdash.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

When they speak, listen *closer*

In the "Frequently Asked Questions About Evolution" section of the pbs.org web site, the first question is: "Did we evolve from monkeys?"

Here is pbs.org's answer:

"Humans did not evolve from monkeys. Humans are more closely related to modern apes than to monkeys, but we didn't evolve from apes, either. Humans share a common ancestor with modern African apes, like gorillas and chimpanzees. Scientists believe this common ancestor existed 5 to 8 million years ago. Shortly thereafter, the species diverged into two separate lineages. One of these lineages ultimately evolved into gorillas and chimps, and the other evolved into early human ancestors called hominids."

For those interested in evolution and human origins, some form of this has probably already been read or heard before. But here's a challenge for you:

Modern Darwinists love to imply or actually state that those who question evolution by natural selection (macroevolution, or speciation) are merely mindless sheep who don't seem to be capable of critical thinking. What I propose to them is that it is actually they, not the skeptics, who are displaying sheep mentality by simply accepting an idea without closer examination.

To illustrate this, I will provide the paragraph from pbs.org above broken down sentence by sentence in italics, with a critical observation immediately following each one.

Humans did not evolve from monkeys.

That statement sounds reasonable enough, however we have yet to see any factual support for or against. Let's continue reading.

Humans are more closely related to modern apes than to monkeys, but we didn't evolve from apes, either.

Again, the statement sounds reasonable, but we still haven't seen any proof yet. Let's continue.

Humans share a common ancestor with modern African apes, like gorillas and chimpanzees.

Another reasonable sounding idea, but now there have been three ideas stated as though they are facts, and nothing presented to support them. Let's continue, in the expectation that eventually these are more than just an opinion.

Scientists believe this common ancestor existed 5 to 8 million years ago.

Here's where the Darwinist devolves from a critical thinker to a sheep.

Notice the latest idea begins with "Scientists believe..." This presents the relevance of the following:

1) True or not, it is what scientists believe, not what they know for certain.
2) It implies all scientists, when in fact it is evolutionary biologists and other scientists friendly to the idea of speciation who believe it, not all scientists. There are many accomplished and intelligent scientists who question the premise, based on lack of physical evidence.
3) Where is the fossil evidence of this "common ancestor"? It does not exist, that's why scientists "believe" instead of know.

At this point, we have heard the crucial "common ancestor" referred to twice. Surely the presumed ancestor will merit an identification further in the paragraph? Sadly, no.

Shortly thereafter, the species diverged into two separate lineages.

This is now the fourth statement that sounds like a fact, but instead is just an idea or theory based on looking at the present fossil evidence, and trying to make it fit the tree-of-life model evolutionary biologists can't seem to think beyond.

One of these lineages ultimately evolved into gorillas and chimps, and the other evolved into early human ancestors called hominids.

This is what the fossil record appears to indicate, but only if you assume speciation to have occurred.

Now... if you take the time to think critically about information you encounter regarding evolution by natural selection, you will find that "believe," "think," "may have," "probably," "could have," "might have," and a host of other similar phrases and words are used to present the theory of how ultimately all life came from one single biological origin.

This is because although Darwin's theory regarding the origin of species is now pounded in our faces as fact, it must constantly be massaged and finessed to continue fitting the mold that Darwin himself proposed.

However, due to the refusal of evolutionary biologists to look critically at their own pet theory, anyone who disagrees with speciation is treated as a crazy person, or at least ignorant. Those familiar with academia will understand the pressure exerted on those who go against the flow.

A remarkable twist of truth, as it applies to human experience.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Our faith in science

The National Science Foundation, or NSF (not to be confused with the politically motivated and notorious NCSE), has defined three specific forms of scientific misconduct: fabrication, falsification and plagiarism.

One may do a simple search on the Internet and read about many documented examples of research misconduct in recent history. This information is not trumpeted on the streets or force fed to you as a media consumer, but it has been readily available to the public as of the 21st century.

A person on the street would not think to look for this kind of information because the general public has a deeply developed trust of anything classified as scientific. But now that you know about this phenomenon, how do you feel about it?

It would be unreasonable to distrust all of science due to some researchers' deceptive practices. However, now that this reality has reared its inconvenient head, just which researchers do you trust? More importantly, how can we, the non-science-degreed laymen, effectively discern which findings are to be trusted?

The human propensity to further one's own agenda by fudging data (facts) is a longstanding behavior that permeates all of society; to have faith that scientists are above this kind of behavior would be foolish. Foolish because scientists are humans first and foremost, and as such are not above the moral failings of us all.

Why does this merit a blog post?

Because an entire scientific, industrial and societal edifice arose from the institutional doom sayers of global warming (cleverly recharacterized as "climate change"). This politically enforced edifice continues even into today, despite strong evidence to the contrary, such as:

1. Carbon Dioxide (the star player of Human-Caused Climate Change, or HCCC) has been rising steadily for around a century, yet for about an entire third of the 20th century, from the 1940's to the 1970's, the global temperatures were level or dropping. During this time, the scientists holding sway predicted another Ice Age! Look it up if you think I'm exaggerating.

2. Global temperatures have not continued to rise, as was predicted by scientists when global warming was introduced to the public. In fact, by simply looking at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations global temperature graph from 1990 to 2014, anyone can clearly see the world is going through another cooling trend, much like the 30-or-so year period mentioned earlier.

3. All the HCCC jabber in recent years is centered around the Arctic ice (official term is "sea ice extent") melting away more each year. But what about the Antarctic ice which is increasing despite warmer temperatures there? Get this: scientists are saying that the Antarctic ice is increasing because of the warmer temperatures.

4. Not only are the temperatures in Antarctica warming, but they're warming even faster than the global trend. This completely flies in the face of all common sense, scientific or not. A major premise of HCCC is that the greenhouse gases that humans are responsible for are accelerating the warming of the planet, thus melting the Arctic ice.

Number three in the above list is a classic example of scientists manipulating data in order to support a hypothesis. Some may oddly argue, "What's wrong with that?"

Here's what's wrong: if some scientists themselves aren't properly following the rules of the scientific method, then why do we automatically exercise so much faith in whatever they say?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Kite Runner Commandments

In the movie Kite Runner, the father explains to the son that all the sins that we are to avoid are all some form of stealing, therefore, by his own reasoning, theft is the only true sin.

The story takes place in Afghan society, with their religious and moral codes of conduct as an attendant parameter. However, when I saw the movie, and I heard the father relay his idea to his son, I immediately thought about the Ten Commandments and wondered if the father's philosophy applied there as well.

When I examined each Commandment through the theft filter, I found 100% confirmation, with minor qualifiers.

Let's take a look.


#1 "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

We rob God of His proper place in our lives and the universe when we 'worship' anything other than God.


#2 "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image..."

Again, giving our spiritual devotion to any object other than God is robbing God of his sovereignty.


#3 "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain..."

This one pushes the envelope a bit, but one could observe that taking God's name in vain goes beyond simply robbing God of His deserved respect, and includes disrespect on top of it, thus adding insult to injury.


#4 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy."

To not remember the sabbath day is to steal time away from God that should have been spent not laboring.


#5 "Honour thy father and thy mother..."

If you dishonor your parents, you rob them of their pride in your existence.


#6 "Thou shalt not kill."

This is an easy one; if you kill someone, you not only take the victim's life, but also you steal from every person who cared about him or her.


#7 "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

If you commit adultery, you steal all kinds of things. You steal trust from your spouse, you steal dignity from anyone who may be in love with your lover, and you steal integrity away from you and your lover. You also steal from God, because His model for humans is monogamy, not the selfish "free love" that the world loves to promote.


#8 "Thou shalt not steal."

Enough said.


#9 "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."

If you lie and cause another person to be wrongfully identified, you have stolen the truth from them, and stolen the truth from the world that now incorrectly thinks that person is guilty.


#10 "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."

If you greedily desire something that someone else has, you have robbed God of the gratitude He deserves for the things you *do* have, and you have also robbed yourself of your own peace of mind.


So, all in all, theft really is a no-no... especially if no one else appears to be watching.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bye bye Global Warming, hello Future Freeze

 What follows is an article called "Scientists: Sun's irregular 'heartbeat' could mean future freeze" by reporter Ashley Fantz, published by CNN on July 14th, 2015, along with my observations.



(CNN)Scientists have made a discovery about the sun's "heartbeat" that they say indicates that Earth's Northern Hemisphere could experience a deep freeze in 15 years.

Scientists have grown bored with their global warming theory, and have decided to thrill the masses with a new product of their imaginations.


The sun has a "solar heartbeat," or cycle of activity, that produces energy that causes sunspots and solar flares. Scientists at Northumbria University in northeast England developed a model that illustrates the history of these heartbeats and that predicts there will be irregularities in them. The model suggests that solar activity will fall by 60% during the 2030s.

Scientists have decided to design a new theory around existing data, with the hope of producing another windfall of research grants from a population afraid of freezing to death, as decades of threats of global warming have become impotent based on personal experience.


According to the Royal Astronomical Society, the researchers studied the sun's magnetic field activity between 1976 and 2008. They compared their predictions with average sunspot numbers, another strong marker of solar activity, the society reported.

Researchers took a cherry-picked collection of data from 1976 to 2008, and used a particular aspect of that data (average sunspot numbers) to support their hypothesis. As a description of one element of data extracted from the 1976-2008 data, "another strong marker of solar activity" becomes a selling point with the selective use of the word "strong."


The researchers' model showed a 97% level of accuracy, said Valentina Zharkova, a Northumbria University mathematics professor.

The researchers' model shows a 97% level of accuracy because the data they chose to use conveniently supports their hypothesis. Notice how the opinion of a mathematician becomes handy for astronomers trying to prove this particular point; unlike for evolutionary biologists, who claim the odds against us being here are merely improper calculations because 'obviously,' speciation by natural selection happened.


So how cold could it get?

So how cold do the scientists want you to think it will get?


The scientists say their findings could mean a deep freeze like the one Great Britain experienced around 1900, when the Thames River froze over.

This time, scientists are shooting for less apocalyptic results than their original global warming predictions, because they have learned that the general population are not quite the rubes they previously thought.


CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller says the study looks intriguing, but it has not been peer reviewed, or subjected to the scrutiny of the larger scientific community.

One wise scientist steps forward in an attempt to prevent the entire "scientific community" from being a laughing stock once again.


"This isn't published research yet," he said.

To scientists trying to seed future research grant generosity, fueled by paranoia, this is beside the point.


"Our ability to forecast the specifics of a solar cycle is incredibly poor. It's worse than forecasting in a hurricane season."

Just replace "solar cycle" with "global climate change," and this is what should have been pointed out during the initial global warming scare, as the data for that particular prediction was and always has been very selectively chosen to support the hypothesis.


Doug Biesecker, who works at the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colorado, agrees with Miller.

Another reasonable voice we could have used in the early 1980's.


He said the research shouldn't give anyone the idea that because the weather may cool, climate change is not something to be worried about.

I spoke too soon; apparently Biesecker is still holding onto global warming, even though through time, the theory has been refuted by additional data dismissed by the original researchers.


"It's a very complicated issue," Biesecker, an expert in solar physics, told CNN. "Does the sun have a role in our variable climate? Yes. Is the dominant role? No. Even the concept of the sun being responsible for Europe's mini ice age -- it's not hard-and-fast true."

Translation: regardless of what a single scientist, or even an entire "scientific community" would like you to believe, theories are still just theories, and should not be confused with facts, especially when dealing with past events that are no longer subject to the scientific method (designing and performing experiment[s] to test a hypothesis).


Bottom line: The research needs a closer look.

Taking a closer look at any given research may not always be the friendliest activity toward that research, if the scientists wish to continue to be taken seriously.



Sunday, June 28, 2015

A reply regarding "Darwinist Cognitive Dissonance"

The comment section only allows 4096 characters, so I was forced to move my reply to a commenter here.

The commenter responded to my post called "Darwinist Cognitive Dissonance." I hadn't checked my blog in a *long* time, so I apologize for not making a more timely response to the comment.

What follows are several paragraphs of me quoting the commenter's comments (in italics), and then me responding to each.




"What a delightful steaming mess of creationist ignorance."

What a colorful misrepresentation of my blog entry.

"Macroevolution is simply evolution above the species level..."

'Simply' is not a word that would be appropriate, although the commenter's statement of theoretical concept is correct.

"...and, as the basic building block of it, speciation, has been directly observed (both in the lab and in the field)..."

This, dear readers, is a complete and utter lie. Adaptation within a species has been observed in a lab. Speciation (macroevolution), the actual transformation of a species into a different species, has never been observed in any lab, controlled environment or natural environment anywhere, ever. Don't take my word for it; look it up.

"...it is a fact not a theory."

Stating this, in this way, which has become quite common, in no way whatsoever makes it a fact. And in fact, speciation is still a theory with no observable proof. Again, look it up; if you merely scoff at my response and blindly accept the commenter's statement, then you're no better than anyone who would rather remain in the dark.

"It is one more of the facts of evolution that the Theory of Evolution explains, and which Creationism attempts to ignore."

'Creationism' is a buzzword used to distract people from the merit of an argument; my argument has absolutely nothing to do with spiritual matters, nor the idea that a god created the universe.

"...the ToE does not rest on Haeckel's drawings (and their 'fakeness' has been exagerated by creationist propogandists -- it was more a case of carelessness or laziness than fraud)..."

I never said nor implied that the Theory of Evolution rested on Haeckel's drawings, this is an exaggeration by the commenter. As to the drawings' 'fakeness': the fact that they were manufactured from imagination and deliberately presented as actual fetal drawings is not an exaggeration, and to attempt to characterize it as carelessness or laziness is an attempt to rationalize a glaring mistake by the scientific community that was allowed to mislead the masses for 140 years; a ridiculous amount of time for known inaccuracy to be presented as scientific fact.

"...Piltdown Man was suspected almost immediately by the scientific community, and was eventually debunked by that community..."

That fact does not nullify its fraudulent nature. And 'eventually' was not efficient by any stretch of the imagination.

"...Homo Erectus (Jave Man) is widely acknowledged as a transitional hominid..."

Perhaps eventually, but that truth does not erase the fact that the remains were re-interpreted many times, creating a lot of controversy between legitimate anthropologists, which doesn't sound like the findings can be considered at all conclusive.

"...Nebraska Man was simply a misidentified tooth (remembered almost solely by creationist propandanists)..."

Indeed! A fact that should be an embarrassment to the scientific community that allowed it to go past an armchair supposition by overzealous Darwinists. The fact that 'creationist propagandists' are the ones who maintain it in the public memory is not a mark against them, but shame for the questionable scientists who would rather it was permanently swept under the rug.

"...and 'Orce Man' is simply notorious creationist fraudster Duane Gish's gross misrepresentation of a very minor, but perfectly genuine, anthroplogical find."

I would like to know how a skull fragment that was originally claimed to be Europe's earliest human fossil, then said to be an infant ape, then a donkey, etc., is a 'gross misrepresentation' of the facts.

"Freddy misrepresents Punctuated Equilibrium as merely an explanation for the Cambrian Expansion..."

While this may be true, since I have no way of reaching directly into Gould's and Eldredge's minds, it is what I suspect, because up until 1972 when their paper was published, there was much head scratching regarding the 20 million years (an extremely short time for the myriad species to appear for the first time, regardless of the popular title 'explosion'). The huge alleged speciation during the Cambrian Period could not have occurred via phyletic gradualism, which is what the original Darwinian Theory requires to be valid.

"There are many long lists of transitional fossils (Wikipedia has an extensive one)."

These lists are only meaningful to Darwinists, as the fossils are assumed to be transitional. One may argue that the fossil evidence is overwhelmingly obvious, but that is only because one may also interpret fossils in whatever way one finds the most convenient. That is not good science; that is good imagination.

"Finally, from Freddy's last point it is clear that he is a Young Earth Creationist..."

I can only assume that the commenter is referring to point number six, where I call attention to 'All sorts of interesting cosmological data that don't seem to support current wisdom for the age of the universe.'

Unfortunately, the commenter has made an incorrect accusation, as I am not a 'Young Earth Creationist.' Furthermore, his assumption that I am a YEC is not only typical Darwinist propaganda, but an argumentum ad lapidem (an attempt to reduce my argument to absurdity without actually providing proof of absurdity) and an argumentum ad hominem (an attack on my credibility in an attempt to therefore nullify my argument).

Why I no longer promote Linux

There are many blogs, YouTube channels, and whatnot out there whose owners rave about the advantages and superiority of the Linux computer operating system. For years, I have attempted to share this amazing OS with as many people as possible.

Friends who wanted to "redo" their computers have placed them in my hands, and I have given them back clean computers that can boot to both Linux and Windows. And guess what? Every one of them now prefers to boot to Linux. The only time they boot to Windows is when they're forced by proprietary nonsense regarding some software they wish to use.

But I have decided: no more. No longer will I take the time and effort to 'prove' to anyone something that they should already have the good sense to find out on their own. It's just too much like banging my head against a brick wall.

What am I squawking about? Here are some facts for you:

1) Linux is the leader in mobile (smart phone) operating systems, beating out (now don't faint, Apple fanatics) iOS and all others. This trend will continue, as more people realize they get more features and a more stable OS for less money. But yeah, since Biff and Buffy have iGadgets, they sure look tempting.

2) Most devices that use embedded systems (microwave ovens, refrigerators, automobiles, etc.) utilize a form of Linux... which means you're already surrounded by Linux and you didn't even realize it.

3) Linux of 2015 is not Linux of 1991, not by a long shot. While in its infancy, Linux was only usable by super geeks; now, 24 years later, the installation process for Linux is simpler and yet still more advanced than either Windows or Apple.

4) Linux combines the best features of Windows and Apple, and adds many more robust features for both the single user and network user. Linux is easier to use than Windows or Apple. Let me say that one more time for people who are hard of seeing: Linux is easier to use than Windows or Apple.

5) Installing software on 'modern' Linux systems is as easy as one single mouse click. No "Next" buttons, "Yes" or "No" buttons, "I accept" buttons, EULAs to read... nothing but a single click.

6) The answer to "what can Linux do?" is: yes. That's not an exaggeration; if you want a computer to do something, and Windows or Apple can do it, Linux can not only do it as well, but in many cases does it better. Linux is also much more stable than Windows or Apple; many Linux users have never seen their computers crash. I personally crashed mine once, but the problem wasn't Linux; it was a limitation of VirtualBox regarding the unreasonable load I was placing on it.

7) Can I surf the Internet, play games, watch movies, get email, purchase stuff from Amazon.com and eBay, do my personal banking, download porn, etc., etc., etc.? See fact number 6 above.

8) Linux currently is the safest operating system you can use. One reason is because virtually all viruses and malware are written for Windows and Apple operating systems. Using Linux is like being born with automatic immunity to all cold viruses. You end up on some web page that infects a Windows computer and absolutely nothing happens to you in Linux, because the virus wasn't written to infect your file system.

9) Linux has many different kinds of desktop environments available, and yes, both Windows and Apple styles have been reproduced for those who are more comfortable with those interfaces.

10) In my skeptical wife's words, once she had used Linux for a while: "It is definitely a better mousetrap."

You may keenly observe that in the last ten paragraphs, I actually did what I said I would no longer do. You caught me, but I didn't want to go out without taking one last swing.

Why did I decide to abandon my quest to get people to pay attention to the best thing that's ever happened to personal computing, despite their uninformed bias?

Because eventually, virtually all personal computer systems will be running some form of Linux anyway, due to practical considerations by manufacturers, software designers, and consumers themselves. So I'm going to stop wasting my breath on people who don't even want to get a clue in 2015, and just enjoy Linux's advantages myself... like someone who excitedly discovers a pot of gold and realizes he doesn't have to share it with anyone.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the most compelling feature of Linux that insures its dominance in the near future:

It's 100% free of charge; a courtesy extended to you because the hackers (very smart computer programmers, for crying out loud, NOT PIRATES OR CRIMINALS, like the popular media has incorrectly characterized them) around the world who created and improve Linux do it out of love and pride... two factors that are typically rear-seated when a creative endeavor is motivated by money.