an embarrassing counter-example to American and western democracy's political claims against communism
I really can't argue anything else in your post, but I can't help but wonder how Cuba was supposed to be an embarrassment vis a vis political systems. Sure, it's easy to make the point that "America can't dislodge this thorn in their side that sits less than 200km from their own shore" but I'm hard pressed to come up with any positive connotations to "our dictatorship is better than your democracy."
The existence of life, particularly very simple kinds of life, is not remotely incompatible with the bible. The existence of advanced *intelligent* life, however, may be.
Your statement that the Bible is not contradicted by extra-terrestrial life is true. The Bible only says God created life. It doesn't specify all the places where he might have put it, and it never says he didn't put it on other planets (in fact it is completely silent on the topic). Considering the Bible says he created the entire universe, finding bacteria on Mars would not contradict anything.
In fact, famous atheist turned Christian apologist CS Lewis, known for both his famous theological works such as "Mere Christianity" and his fantastic fiction works, such as the Chronicles of Narnia, also wrote a science fiction trilogy beginning with the book "Out of the Silent Planet". In that series, life exists not just on Earth, but also on Mars and Venus. It's actually a pretty good read, although his description of Mars can at times be unrecognizable because he wrote the book before we sent probes there and got detailed pictures, so the terrain he describes is not accurate. The point, however, is that great Christian thinkers have not necessarily had any problem imagining life on other worlds, and have not necessarily considered even intelligent extra-terrestrial life to be in conflict with the Bible. In that series, both the inhabitants of Mars and Venus were equal to man (in fact, they were above man in many ways, because they chose not to sin; only Adam on Earth led life on his planet into sin according to the story).
And just a side note: I keep seeing people here claiming Christians can't be intellectuals, or that being intellectual is incompatible with Christianity. That's simply not true.
And Max Planck (yes, the father of Quantum Theory and the person the Planck length is named after) actually said this: "No matter where and how far we look, nowhere do we find contradiction between religion and science"-there is "complete concordance." Raymond J. Seeger, "Planck, Physicist" in The Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, 37 (December 1985): 232-233 (http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1985/JASA12-85Seeger2.html; viewed 26 September 2005)
So before you troll on Internet message boards about how stupid Christians are compared to scientists, you might want to check the beliefs of those scientists you adore. It appears quite a number of them apparently hadn't gotten the memo that you can't be a great scientist if you are "backwards" enough to believe in Christianity, and not knowing Christianity and science had been declared by Internet trolls to be irreconcilable, they went ahead and believed in Christ while making some of the biggest scientific leaps in history. Lol.
Even at that, considering how much material Earth and Mars have exchanged over billions of years, it wouldn't even really be that amazing for single cell life to be on Mars, especially if it has a common origin with life on Earth. If we proved beyond doubt that it had an independent origin, THAT would be big.
Let's put aside the long timelines and asteroid impacts and focus on more recent exchanges. We keep sending probes to Mars, and I don't think we sterilize them before we send them. I know space is a harsh place, but bacteria on Earth live in some exceedingly harsh environments. Is there any way to guarantee that nothing survived the journey, and that any life that may be on Mars wasn't in fact brought over by us in the first place?
And if we found bacteria there, how would we prove whether it is native or our own? We haven't even discovered all forms of higher life on Earth, let alone created a database of every bacterial strain. Could a "new" bacteria we find there actually be a less common form native to Earth that we've never catalogued, that managed to survive a probe ride and thrive over there? I keep expecting scientists to announce they've found bacterial life over there, only to eventually realize far later that it's actually Earth life.
There doesnt need to be more unwanted children in the adoption files than there is.
You just say that to make yourself feel better about the rampant killing of children that goes on in our society. The actual fact is that most adoption agencies have a two year average wait time. There are more loving families looking to adopt than there are children to match them with. Even if that weren't the case, it's still just as wrong, and sick, to murder a child, but it's especially pathetic to claim they are "unwanted" and that you are doing them a favor by killing them.
By the way, I hope you didn't type that inane post on an iPhone or iPad, because if everyone followed your wicked ideas, Steve Jobs would have been aborted, not raised in a loving home, and there would be no such thing as Apple Computer. Just think about that when you claim an adopted baby is unwanted and will be nothing more than a welfare leach. And even if they don't invent Apple Computer, their life is still just as valuable and they have a right to live it out as they wish.
And yes, I will say it: if you are not ready to have kids then you'd better either be willing to abstain, or lovingly raise any child you have/put it up for adoption. They should not pay the price for your lack of self control and your bad decisions.
Why should they force me to subsidize Oprah's channel when I've no interest in watching it?
Because the people who watch OWN are, in turn, subsidizing the fixed costs of the channels YOU want to watch.
That's right. It's just a hunch, but I bet that people who want ala carte the most have narrower interests, and thus *that* programming needs subsidies more than OWN ( for example).
Started this comment intending to make an "in Soviet Russia" joke (OWN subsidizes you) but now I can't go through with it.
The problem with your argument is that man's niche is currently defined as "the entire surface of the world" and we have the ability to visit parrs off the world that are actively hostile to us (deep ocean, the upper atmosphere, etc). Without our intelligence, we would still be living in grasslands and the trees.
The OP claimed to be "libertarian leaning" and not a libertarian, so I'm sure he would agree with you.
I gather from the tone of his post that he sees himself as "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" which tends to fall into the same part of the spectrum as libertarian. I also note that OP is doing a pure economic analysis of the situation and finding it cheaper than what we have today, hence his support.
If I'm putting words into your moth, OP, you have my apologies.
I am NOT going to weigh in on this issue in general, but you may want to reexamine your math. It would cost more than $2.4T per year to give 33% of the population even half of the $4000 number you provided. This is roughly 2/3rds of the federal budget for FY2015, much less "less than our annual military spending."
By what measure do you consider humans to be the dominant species? As the post you responded to said
In evolutionary terms, we're not much of a success; by mass, algae and amoebas are way ahead. We're more populous than monkeys, but then so are mice.
In the comment you are replying to, I stated that I did not find his argument of biomass to be compelling, and defined "dominant" as "the ability to displace any competing organism we choose to."
Thanks very much for the correction re: sentient/sapient, you're entirely correct, and apologies for the error.
Your point about tool use being separate from intelligence is well taken, though I think you probably overstate things a bit. Tool users will obviously enjoy success, but that success is likely fleeting without tool creators in the mix as well. The users are standing on the shoulders of giants, and will be lost once their tools break or otherwise no longer support their ability to thrive in their environment.
That said, no amount of intelligence if going to help you if you lack the ability to make use of it. You can invent the spear, but if you can't throw it, then it's not exactly an advantage (in fact, someone else will likely come along, take away your spear, and skewer you with it, so sum disadvantage). Likewise, no amount of wit is going to give a garden snail the ability to master the garden, no matter how many of his offspring survive--barring some other dramatic change, his line is stuck with the disadvantage of being slow and squishy, and building skyscrapers is not in his species future.
If I combine both of our arguments, I come up with "intelligence and the ability to leverage it" as the key evolutionary advantage. I can live with that, and I'd love to hear the rebuttal from the grandparent poster.
People are always available for work in the past tense.