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Comment: MAD to rely on these things (Score 1) 233

by penguinoid (#47971175) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

If a rational person wouldn't use nukes due to Mutually Assured Destruction, what is to stop another rational person who has nukes from simply taking whatever he wants and if you try to stop me it's nuke time? After all, rationally speaking the worst result possible is turning your country into a glass parking lot. So, if you want your ownership of nukes to defend you against other things, such as bombing with conventional weapons or invasion, then you need to be willing to be the first to use nukes. But if that's allowed, nukes go from being an expensive defense against getting nuked to an invaluable general defensive weapon, and everyone will want one. This is something people should think about when they say that nukes prevent WWIII -- this requires the various nations to be willing to launch the first nuke.

Comment: Re:Summary is Troll Rant (Score 1) 654

by penguinoid (#47969553) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

For we live by faith, not by sight. -- 2 Corinthians 5:7
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. -- Ephesians 2:8-9

So you see, Biblical faith is exclusionary -- if you have proof, it is no longer faith. Yet certain Christians are ashamed of acknowledging their faith, so they try to instead rely on "the wisdom of this world".

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. -- Hebrews 11:1-3

But Creationists claim that it is by cleverness and science that they can prove that the universe was formed at God’s command, rather than by faith as the Bible says.

Comment: Re:Summary is Troll Rant (Score 4, Insightful) 654

by penguinoid (#47965369) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Science is the pursuit of the subset of truth that makes predictions about the real world. Yet this simple definition seems to be lost on so many people. The worst offenders are the ones who think science is the pursuit of Truth in general, or about being right, or about explanations.

As an example, consider "Creation Science", whose objective is to explain, not predict, information about biology. And because such explanation is, in the eyes of the public, a decently good explanation, people accept it. And hardly anyone calls them out for failing to make predictions, and thus not even being science. It's like if you have two weathermen, one predicts every day whether it will rain or not, and the other collects a list of every time the first weatherman made a mistake. The second one may be right all the time, but he's still useless. Thus "creation scientists" do not focus on the mathematics of sediments and sorting of dead things, or the impact a population bottleneck will have on current genetics, or their own mathematical predictions concerning radiometric dating, but rather on explanations for these, all of which shows that they themselves don't even believe what they're pretending to support.

As for science and religion, consider this: many Christians will tell you that the core of Christianity is faith in God. And then they'll turn around and try to "prove" God's existence, demonstrating that they believe testing God is superior to having faith in God. But if the world with God and the world without God are indistinguishable from each other, only then can you say believing in God is an act of faith. Else you could scientifically test for God's existence, and then where would faith be?

Comment: Re:No surprise (Score 5, Informative) 218

by penguinoid (#47943057) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

Fighting for mates is always one vs one, winner take all, and yes they are trying to kill their opponent.

Not true. In many animals, fights are intentionally non-lethal. Much like a fistfight, when both have knives. But if one unsheathes their claws (or whatever real weapon), then the other will too and they both run the risk of being maimed or killed. This works because the non-lethal dominance competition correlates pretty well with what would happen if they were fighting for real.

Comment: Re:Gak! (Score 1) 30

by penguinoid (#47941631) Attached to: The 2014 Ig Nobel Prizes Will Be Awarded Tonight

Ducks are notorious sex offenders. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." is true for ducks because they have evolved a maze-like vagina for just that occasion.

And now I decree that you will never think the same way again about having "all your ducks in a row".

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz