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Comment: Re:Not really (Score 1) 640

The problem is with YEC... the universe really is billions of years old. The earth *is* ancient. The thing is, most Christians ignore the fact that the scriptures actually point to earth existing prior to Adam and Eve, and it was a prevalent belief among Christians in the US until about 100 years ago. Genesis has a specific structure to the first few sentences which give a key to the puzzle:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness."

Now, note the translation. Note that the second sentence does not begin with "And" but verse 3, 4, and numerous following it start with "And". The reason for this grammatically incorrect translation in the NIV version of the Bible was to point to the original word thought formation in the original Hebrew Torah. In Hebrew, there is a structure for sentences that indicates the thought or statement immediately follows the preceding thought or statement. English doesn't really have a clear cut way to show this concept of chronologically adjacent vs. ambiguous times between events. Essentially, the above "And" means "Immediately following this, God said". Now, you can see that between the initial creation of the heavens and the earth, there is no "And". The word "Now" was to indicate the Hebrew method of essentially saying "now we're starting a concept that is separate from the one preceding this".

Take all of the above understanding of the original Hebrew, and you find that the first sentence "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." followed by "Now, " literally (wow, nice to use that word in it's true sense) means that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth [end of idea/concept/chronological concept] [Begin new concept and bring it forward to a more recent time concept] Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep".

Now, we take a look further and you'll see a slight mistranslation here... The Hebrew word "hayah" in verse 2 had been translated to "was". However, "hayah" means "to become" or "to come to pass" (see: Strong's Concordance).

So let's try that translation again:
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth [end of idea/concept/chronological concept] [Gap in time - length unknown] [Begin new concept and bring it forward to a more recent time concept] Now the earth [became] formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep"

Notice something there that wasn't there before? So, what we have is that God created the universe, including earth. In other sections of scripture in Isaiah, we find that it is described that God created the earth "not void" or "not in chaos" or "not [chaotic, void]", and this same word used in Isaiah is the word used here, so we know that at some point before this, it was *not* void, and became void, so let's try it one more time:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth [end of idea/concept/chronological concept] [Gap in time - length unknown] [Begin new concept and bring it forward to a more recent time concept] Now the earth [became] [chaotic, a void], darkness was over the surface of the deep".

So we have a creation of the universe, an unknown amount of time passing, then a world utterly devoid of everything, and we get to the "creation" story:
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness."

The Hebrew word used here for "Let" can be just as accurately translated as "to allow to return to it's original state". So we see that God was allowing light to return to earth (separating a dense cloud cover, perhaps, allowing the sun and stars to bathe the earth again) and it's followed by the first "night and day" following the catastrophe.

So lets tell it much more like it sounds from the original texts in plain language that might actually make sense:

In the beginning, God created everything, including the earth. An indeterminate amount of time passed (in which evolution could have been the method used to create all of life on earth, supporting all of the scientific evidence of dinosaurs, early hominids, neanderthals, etc.), some major catastrophe occurred, destroying all life on earth (think:Noah's flood, but 1000 times worse, and no ark, perhaps the moon was a rogue planet that struck a colder earth, knocking us into closer orbit, knocking the earth onto it's tilted orbit, and melted the icecaps, flooding the entire earth), and the earth became empty and void. God hovered over the dead planet and decided to start again. He broke the cloud cover of the planet, allowing light to return to it's original state, including day and night.

I could go on and on with this, such as how the Hebrew word "yom" has three literal meanings - a 12-hour period of time (sunrise to sunset), a 24-hour period of time from sunset to sunset (the Hebrew day), and an indefinite period of time - and how the very activities occurring on the days described in scripture ("day" 6, for example has the earth producing plants which then produced seed which then produced more plants!) could not truly mean a literal 12 or 24 hour period, so the meaning of "yom" in this passage has to refer to some indefinite period of time, and that Adam, upon seeing Eve, remarked "at last!" implying the "day" or period of time had been very long indeed (long enough for him to have named every animal on the face of the earth), so it was 7 periods of indeterminate length, allowing for all sorts of "wiggle room" on exactly how God created the current earth and current human beings we know on this planet today.

When honestly reviewed, the creation story can be seen to support the idea that man who is alive today is not directly related to the early hominids we find in the fossil records, and that man today is a unique being separate from that line (which explains the "missing link" issue) while still allowing for every single finding of science, including evolution as a whole. Science is the study of God's creation to understand it inside an out. I see absolutely no conflict with science and faith, and I find your *certainty* that the idea that God created the universe and all in it is absolutely falsifiable a bit unscientific.

Yes, YECists are not in line with the facts that present themselves, but that does not invalidate the possibility of a talking reptile creature existing at some point in history that is now extinct (how many animals "talk" today - the human vocal chords are not the only ones that can "talk" and humans are not the only creatures that communicate with sound), nor invalidates the possibility that some plant altered Adam and Eve's minds so that their state of nakedness went from innocent to something they felt ashamed of (a plant that makes you feel awkward, ashamed, and induces irrational fear of others... not completely unreasonable, right?).

Be a true scientist. Seek the truth, and examine *all* possibilities, even if they contradict your world view or make you uncomfortable. Anything less is hypocritical.

Comment: Re:Why is education socialized anyway? (Score 1) 463

by I'm not really here (#38184338) Attached to: China To Cancel College Majors That Don't Pay

Socialism isn't dirty, nor is capitalism, nor are they exclusive, and I'd not say that Classism is a direct counter to socialism either, though it is a better one than capitalism or democracy. Socialism just says that everyone should equally receive benefits. Classism says that specific groups should receive specific honor or position. These two, while at odds, can also coexist to a certain extent. Anyways, because I'm daydreaming, and the topic grows depressing... how about we dream a little?

I'd like to live in a world where the richest of the rich are no more than 100 times as rich as the poorest of the poor (at this point, the richest are more like 100,000 times richer than the poorest in the world, if not millions of times richer), and that the poorest human on earth had at least 100 square feet to call his or her own, food and water meeting the requirements for a proper diet, enough clothes for a week's wear, with replacements when those clothes wear out, public free transportation to get to any job they may be able to find and hold down, and free education that actually means something and can get them a job in some field.

On the flip side, I also want to live in a world where working hard and building something from nothing can eventually get you to being in the rich position, making 100 times the poorest of the poor, but knowing that the poorest of the poor still have food, shelter, clothes, transport, education and opportunity, so you did not have to swindle the poor to get rich. (Without some disparity in income, there would be little to no incentive for people to work harder to do the harder jobs, but make that disparity too great, and people despair at ever reaching the top). Oh, and while we're dreaming, I'd like a real republic, please... where sovereignty lies with the individual, and only a group of individuals can enact laws (as opposed to the mess of government agencies imposing laws on me that I never had a chance to even discuss, argue, or vote against/for that I live in now).

So, since we're now off in la-la land of dreams and everyone gets a pony... a capitalist social republic sounds rather nice to me.

Sorry for the rant, just felt like dreaming a happy dream before returning to reality.

Comment: Re:Since when is college supposed to be about jobs (Score 1) 463

by I'm not really here (#38184174) Attached to: China To Cancel College Majors That Don't Pay

I came out of high school knowing enough about networking and programming to run circles around my teachers, yet I was stuck as a pizza driver because I didn't have a degree. I finally caved in, and went to a "Technical College" to get my so-called "marketable trade skill" in networking with emphasis on software development to show a balanced understanding of computers. I skated through this degree because there was nothing they were teaching that I didn't already know (except perhaps a little of the stuff in my CCNA focused 2 year course). What did this get me? Debt, and still no career. I continued to work as a pizza driver, eventually as in-store, then as an assistant manager, then (after moving across the country to marry my online sweetheart), I moved into full time pizza management. It lasted 3 months... I ended up quitting out of severe depression, frustration, and disgust at the whole situation.

So, you're suggestion of Vo-Tech? Well, it got me to a point where I was flat broke while trying to marry my sweetheart and give her the wedding of her dreams. After a beautiful (but heavily underfunded and not quite up to what she had dreamed of having) wedding ceremony (to which she still to this day insists was perfect, but I know she wanted more), paid for by family and friends, I continued to search for work while she supported our needs with a secretary position. I finally gave in yet again, took a third shift backup tape operator position (barely an IT job) for a horrible salary, but it provided enough income that I could do an 18 month accelerated education weeknights course to get a 4 year Bachelors of Science in Business Administration without going more than about $15,000 in debt over the long haul. During that job, I was able to get a slightly better position, working as phone technical support (I will never do that again, but everyone in IT / Software should have to experience it so they have pity on the folks on the other end of the line). While this job was slightly less depressing and allowed more normal hours of sleep, the pay was still dismal compared to what my co-workers were making... the only difference between me and them? Not knowledge (I knew more about programming than most of the guys they were hiring fresh out of college)... the difference was they had 4 year degrees.

This is why I crammed for 18 months 3 nights a week to finish a 4 year degree in anything... because my 2 year associates degree meant squat to hiring managers. I had to practically beg to get the technical support position since I had no "real degree". So, I do 18 months to get a BS in BA with a minor in Networking, and suddenly I'm a much more qualified to be a Software Architect than I was before I got the BS in BA? Now that's what I call BS. Now I have tens of thousands in debt because there was no other way to get a real decent paying job in my field of expertise. I fought for 6 years to try and prove that you don't need a college degree to get into a technical job if you have good enough skills as a developer. What I got for it was a lesson that the world doesn't work as I think it should, and a 9 year delayed start at my career.

So get over yourself and your sanctimonious crap about "You go to college to study subjects you enjoy and want to learn more about" (No, I read books in my spare time to study subjects I enjoy and want to learn more about), and drop the crappy insult of "If you simply want a job, you should not be going to college."

This is not the way the job market works in the US, and you're naive as hell if you truly think it works any other way.

Comment: Re:Is it that bad? (Score 1) 463

by I'm not really here (#38183956) Attached to: China To Cancel College Majors That Don't Pay

I recommend you read "Invitation to the Game" by Monica Hughes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invitation_to_the_Game (caution, wikipedia article has serious spoilers). It's about a United States where 90% of graduates from high school are determined to be unemployable and are essentially dumped into "Designated Areas" to live out the rest of their days on a welfare pittance.

Comment: Re:Paleontologist using the term "Kraken" (Score 1) 135

by I'm not really here (#37683716) Attached to: Ancient Krakens Making Self-Portraits?

A simple reference to the "Kraken-like creature" would have sufficed. The author should have refrained from treating the creature as if it were an actual Kraken and instead continued to refer to it as "Kraken-like" to make it clear that it s an unknown type of creature that is similar to a Kraken. Just saying "the kraken" implies it is a Kraken, and not just something like one.

Comment: Re:Dampener too? (Score 1) 101

by I'm not really here (#37411406) Attached to: MIT Researchers Create New Tiny Energy Harvester

That was my thought exactly. Couldn't this technology be integrated into muffler systems to generate additional electrical power for hybrid vehicles? Instead of just dampening the sound, you harness it to generate electricity. The car gets quieter and more efficient at the same time. I wonder if this could be applied to motor compartments or built into motor mounts. Also, trains passing by make enormous amounts of vibration that creates an irritating low rumble for those living close to the tracks... there has got to be a way to integrate this technology into train stations or tracks or nearby structures to quiet things. Also could be applicable to all of those freeway noise blocking walls... just coat the walls in these devices and generate considerable power from all the noise.

Comment: Re:Thanks for the trailer, when is the movie due? (Score 1) 137

by I'm not really here (#37195836) Attached to: New Video Brings <em>Portal</em> To Life

And the facial expressions were subtle but fully in line with her character and how she should be reacting. If "bad skin" really was a bother, there are remedies for that. All in all, she performed excellently, fit the part, seemed authentic, and I liked the performance. I wonder if the original poster thinks that District 9 was a complete failure because of the lead actor not being 'traditional attractive'? Or what about Rachel Dratch? Does she ruin SNL because she's not a model? Ugh,. I think Hollywood needs more 'average' people on film who are better actors.

Comment: Re:That is seven kinds of awesome (Score 1) 137

by I'm not really here (#37193962) Attached to: New Video Brings <em>Portal</em> To Life

Watch it again. She starts mumbling the numbers on the wall to herself, her eyes slightly light up with understanding (excellent acting skills!) and she then confidently tries out her theory by pulling the bed over. My guess is if you inspected the numbers, you'd find that they create a pattern in which the user was checking the walls and she realizes this and sees where the pattern stops, leaving the next spot in the pattern as the location of something important to the previous occupant. It made perfect sense to me, and felt like excellent writing performed extremely well.

Comment: Re:Science and Christianity can't mix... (Score 1) 1014

by I'm not really here (#37180120) Attached to: Evangelical Scientists Debate Creation Story

Even if I agree with their statement that there was never a time where there was an initial pair of the first human beings (if they didn't ever exist, where did all of humanity come from? At some point, there existed a mother and father with a child that would be considered by most as "human" of some sort), the lack of an initial pair and the lack of the Genesis story being absolute fact (many theologians have argued that it's allegory... this is not new) would not necessitate removing the description of man as having been deceived into thinking we are better than God and choosing knowledge and self reliance over wisdom and faith in the God who brought us into being.

The story of Cain and Able can be seen as the birth of the concept of War, the story of Adam and Eve the first step from a life of freedom within boundaries to a choice to leave that safe harbor and venture out into the world, believing ourselves better capable of taking care of our own needs than the one who created us. Even without a literal apple (more likely a fruit similar to a fig based on the region of the world where Eden is thought to have existed), the idea of choosing the serpent's ideals (deception, betrayal, insecurity) over God's (honesty, truth, protection) still holds true as an allegory and still shows a fall from the state of innocence to a state of separation from God by willful rebellion against God's very minor and very reasonable rule - don't tough that one thing... everything else is yours.

Comment: Re:Double Standard (Score 1) 1014

by I'm not really here (#37179944) Attached to: Evangelical Scientists Debate Creation Story

Wow. Ignorant much? The Mosaic laws forbidding close relations were not in effect at the time of Adam and Eve (allegorical or not). No one in their right mind would think that laws put into effect hundreds if not thousands of years after an act would then retroactively condemn someone for breaking a law that did not exist at the time they performed the action.

My personal belief (supported by many scholars, but I'll leave it up to you to take the time to look if you care to do so) is that the Mosaic laws were put into place due to the apparent slow degradation of the species. Adam was said to have lived 900+ years, but by Moses' time, the average lifetime was said to be nearer 175 years of age. Marrying of close relations was no longer a safe option. Marrying a sister or cousin could introduce more and more defects into the human gene pool, so it had to be outlawed. Not that they necessarily understood the intricate details of the genetic code (obviously not), but they understood breeding processes and knew that it caused defects in the animal kingdom, so it's not at all unlikely they understood the consequences of close relations marrying.

So the objection to incest for any rational modern Christian due to the social, genetic, and mental issues it can cause does not preclude the belief that there must have been one initial pairing of humans, and that that pair had children who intermarried to have more children. Both make logical sense.

It is likely we all came from one initial set of 'parents' and that intra-familial marriage had to occur at the beginning. This does not mean that it is fine and dandy for brother and sister to marry each other now, especially when we know better genetically and socially speaking.

Comment: Re:Sure, instead of giving us no money.. (Score 1) 696

by I'm not really here (#36933714) Attached to: Seigniorage Hack Could Resolve Debt Limit Crisis

No, Hitch Hiker's Guide To the Galaxy... the "B ship" if I recall correctly, filled with the "useless" part of the population (phone sanitizers, politicians, economists) ... idiots declared leaves as currency, but then realized there was massive inflation due to the abundance of leaves, so their solution was to deforest the planet in order to keep the value of the leaf currency stable.

Comment: Re:How are they mysterious and undetected?? (Score 3, Interesting) 220

by I'm not really here (#36762280) Attached to: Phone Customers Pay $2B Yearly In Bogus Fees

On top of paperless billing is "automatic payments" for your "convenience" (it's really for their convenience). So, mystery charges are added to a bill, you get an email with your itemized bill telling you "thank you for your payment" and good luck trying to get the company to refund that money.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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