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Comment: Re:Wrong terminology... (Score 0, Offtopic) 729

by SourGrapes (#35046088) Attached to: Model Says Religiosity Gene Will Dominate Society
Mod parent down. Hate speech. I attend an Orthodox Synagogue where some of the most intelligent people I've ever met worship. Including doctors, mathematics professors, a nuclear engineer, a programmer for IBM, etc. Genuine genuis-level intellects. You should hear the arguments. If you think that only the gullible and weak-minded can be religious, then you're the one who must be gullible and weak-minded.
Earth

Living Earth Simulator Aims To Simulate Everything 241

Posted by timothy
from the why-didn't-the-mice-think-of-that? dept.
H3xx writes "An international group of scientists is aiming to create a simulator — nicknamed The Living Earth Simulator — that will collect data from billions of sources and use it to replicate everything happening on Earth, from global weather patterns and the spread of diseases to international financial transactions or congestion on highways. The project aims to advance the scientific understanding of what is taking place on the planet, encapsulating the human actions that shape societies and the environmental forces that define the physical world. Perhaps this is Asimov's concept of Psychohistory come to fruition."

Comment: Re:Creationism (Score 1) 217

by SourGrapes (#34631710) Attached to: Scientists Decipher 3-Billion-Year-Old Genomic Fossils

Considering that the creation story was being dictated to people who had no concept of relativity, it's pretty damned safe to assume that when they were told that an event occurred within "a day", that that "day" was the 24 hours that said people were familiar with. These people couldn't even comprehend that their pork wasn't creating maggots via spontaneous generation, and you're trying to tell me that the almighty was all "fuck those guys, I'll tell'em all this shit happened in a day cause that's just how I roll?" god could have just as easily said "a billion years", so what's the logical choice of not doing so? As an omniscient being, you'd think he'd be, I dunno, aware of the issue this would pose to us 2010 earthly inhabitants.

Well, you said it yourself: it was being dictated to people who had no concept of relativity. But it had to be relevant to them as well as to us, thousands of years later. So it can be in a sense literally true for them with a simpler understanding and we can also figure it out with some math.

But also the Bible isn't a science book, it only spends like 30 lines describing the creation of the entire universe. The really important bits come later.

Comment: Re:Creationism (Score 1) 217

by SourGrapes (#34625586) Attached to: Scientists Decipher 3-Billion-Year-Old Genomic Fossils

No, because Theistic-Evolution is self-refuting. If God said he created in 6 days, but actually took billions of years, then that would make him a liar. If he's lying about how he created, then there's a good chance he's not telling the truth about being God either (basically the inverse of John 3:12).

Six days from what reference frame, though? I'm sure you don't have to be reminded that time is relative. The perception of time of someone sitting at the beginning of the universe when the energy density was ridiculously high is going to be a lot different than ours is on Earth's surface here and now. I've seen figures that estimate the relationship between the rate of time-passage at nucleosynthesis compared to today is something like 10^12. Which, if you multiply it by 6 days, you do get about 16.4 billion years. So God's not lying, he's just using a different frame of reference. It can be literally both 6 days and billions of years simultaneously, no lying required. I doubt you'd hear that argument out of an actual creationist, but there you go.

Comment: Re:Iran's plan (Score 1) 211

by SourGrapes (#34395036) Attached to: Iran Admits Stuxnet Affected Their Nuclear Program
Okay, so first of all I never said that there were never any attacks on Palestinians by settlers. I said that Israelis are not swarming into Palestinians' houses and murdering the residents en masse as you previously claimed they were.

Aside from which, you're blurring things beyond recognition. Most of the articles you've cited are ridiculously biased. One refers to Israelis living in Jerusalem as "settlers," and as all Jewish settlement beyond the Green Line as "illegal under international law," which it isn't. One speaks of Israeli "settlers" in Hebron, implying that any Jews living there must be illegitimate (are there Jewish Hebronites who aren't settlers?), but to a house in which Palestinians were living as "disputed," trying in that case to appear fair. Reading between the lines it sounds like this Palestinian family either sold their house to some Israelis and then made a big show of not turning it over to them (because under Abbas's Fatah selling property to a Jew is a capital offense), or the Jews owned the property in the first place and these Palestinians were renting it, stopped paying the rent, and the owners were trying to evict them.

I admit that's speculation, but the point is that neither of those scenarios are either implausible or unheard of; the problem is we'll never know what actually happened because the article is totally devoid of context. All the articles rely almost completely on "Palestinian sources" for descriptions of events, which, who knows what that even means?

The NYT piece is slightly better, and it even shows that the Israeli government is opposed to those people who actually ARE building outposts illegally, if sometimes slowly. But even this relies on what some anonymous "villagers said" about murderous Jews on a rampage. They do not cite legitimate sources or provide any actual evidence for the alleged atrocities.

Comment: Re:Iran's plan (Score 1) 211

by SourGrapes (#34390586) Attached to: Iran Admits Stuxnet Affected Their Nuclear Program
"Israeli settlers in the West Bank invading the homes of random Palestinians and murdering them all as an act of terrorism." Source? I'm sorry, this is simply a lie. Israel has demolished houses in the West Bank that were being used to harbour terrorists or make bombs, and they've demolished houses that were built illegally without permits, but there is nothing like what you're accusing them of. You may be thinking of Hamas, because that IS what Hamas has been doing in Gaza.

Comment: Re:Iran's plan (Score 1) 211

by SourGrapes (#34384154) Attached to: Iran Admits Stuxnet Affected Their Nuclear Program
"The Allies after the war who decided it would be a good plan to take away the country where jews and moslims had been living for many years in peace and make it jew-only." I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt with your posts, because I figured that English was not your first language, but this is so totally divorced from any historical reality that it's obviously not just a language issue making you seem this ignorant. But for your information, far from being "Jew-only," 20% of Israel's population is not Jewish, mostly Arab Muslims, and they live better than Palestinians live in any Arab country except perhaps Jordan.

Comment: Re:Iran's plan (Score 1) 211

by SourGrapes (#34383578) Attached to: Iran Admits Stuxnet Affected Their Nuclear Program
Think about *why* there haven't been any suicide bombings for the last few years. It's not because the Palestinians (both Hamas and the Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade which is a wing of Fatah, by the way) have stopped trying. It's because of Israel's anti-terrorist tactics like checkpoints and especially the West Bank security barrier. According to Wikipedia: "From the beginning of the Second intifada and until the construction of the "first continuous segment" of the barrier in July 2003, 73 Palestinian suicide bombings were carried out from the West Bank, killing 293 Israelis and injuring over 1,900. During the 11 months of construction, only 3 suicide attacks were successful. Since the erection of the fence, the number of attacks has declined by more than 90%." Suicide bombers haven't come out of Gaza because there's been a barrier there for the last 16 years (and one along the border between Gaza and Egypt for the last 6). So when was the last time Hamas blew up a bus? A long time ago, maybe. When was the last time they fired a missile into Israel for no reason? Uh, YESTERDAY. Since the end of the Gaza war, almost a thousand missiles have landed in Israel.
Linux

Paleontologists Unearth Giant Fossilized Penguin 124

Posted by Soulskill
from the syfy-already-working-on-a-horror-movie dept.
Ponca City, We Love You writes "The BBC reports that scientists have discovered the 36-million-year-old fossil of a penguin nearly five feet tall and almost twice the weight of an Emperor Penguin, the largest living species. 'The heavier the penguin, the deeper it dives,' says Julia Clarke, a palaeontologist at the University of Texas. 'If that holds true for any penguins, then the dive depths achieved by these giant forms would've been very different.' The bird, named Inkayacu paracasensis, or water king, lived during the late Eocene period and had a long, straight beak, much longer than that of its modern relatives. But, most surprisingly, the giant penguin's feathers were brown and gray, distinct from the black 'tuxedo'" Reader SpuriousLogic notes that it's also getting easier to keep an eye on modern penguins, since Google has extended Street View to Antarctica.

Comment: Re:But what created the law of gravity? (Score 1) 1328

by SourGrapes (#33451174) Attached to: Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang
Gravity is physical insofar as reductivist materialism (to which, in most cases, the philosophy of science adheres) requires that all physical effects must have physical causes, and that everything that meaningfully can be said to exist is therefore physical. The problem is that this leads to an infinite regress of causes: everything is physical, all physical effects must have physical causes, therefore the chain of causality necessarily extends back forever. Except that we know that it doesn't, we know there was a beginning in the Big Bang. If you don't adhere to reductivist materialism you have a way out, philosophically; you can say that not everything that exists is physical, and while most physical things have physical causes, some physical things have non-physical causes. The non-physical cause doesn't have to be God, but it could (logically) be. The problem is that materialist science takes as one of its axioms a priori that nothing non-physical exists. There's no proof of this, nor can there be. It's a base assumption. Not saying it's wrong, but it is unprovable.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

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