If I'd just smelled the latest rumor that there are birds in my neighborhood which are NOT animals, I'd be on the lookout for them, too!
Part of me hesitates to comment on these discussions. I do understand evolution and, if there isn't a God who created the world and moved people to write it down, then evolution is the best model to describe the formation of what we have. It has many gaping holes, but it's the best thing excluding God. If, however, there is a God, the evidence fits neatly into the Biblical model also.
I agree that agnosticism is a good scientific place to be and if we could be unbiased we could look for holes in each model and how the evidence fits into each. The Creation/Evolution debate will never be solved because past what we can observe and repeat it is not empirical science and neither side can be proven. Furthermore, both sides have turned to ridiculing the other side to make them seem smarter. While this can be entertaining, it's counterproductive in the debate.
Why do you keep saying "if there isn't a god, then evolution is the best model to explain what we have"? You're saying that God *is* a better explanation? That the hypothesis of a god or gods gives _explanatory_ power? That one can make falsifiable _predictions_ based on the concept of God?
My main point is that evolution happens but there's a difference from a lizard species population separating and forming new species and even a dinosaur becoming a bird.
No, you don't know evolution.
Neither side knows in the scientific proof meaning of the word "know", but both sides "know" in the way I know I love my daughter and the way many "know" that there cannot be a God in control of all of this, which we answer to.
"Which we answer to"? Bizarre.
Unless you define "useful" differently than I do, I find that religion provides very interesting information about the real actions of humans.
Even if you don't believe any of it, there's a reason humans came up with religion and why so much effort has gone into propagating it. Given the amount of effort put into religion, understanding those religions may well have real insights into the way human intelligence works.
Being dismissive of it is fine and all, but it's like reading any fiction and failing to get more out of it than a straight retelling of events. I wouldn't consider myself much of an educated person if I took that view of any fiction, let alone what many consider the most elaborate fictions ever created.
Replace "religion" with "mythology". Grandparent post's point proven.
One certainly shouldn't write "hellish" or "heavenly" with capital letters, though that was perhaps done a few hundred years ago. That'd be hellacious.
Religion, no. Hell, yes. If humans believe in both Heaven and Hell there will be no net effect on the crime rates.
Ha! Suck it fundamentalist deists! You're on the no statistical significance side of the evolution fight this time!
Thanks for properly capitalizing the names of places, even if [the places are] personally and usually considered imaginary or metaphorical. I'll never understand the insistence of those who are hostile towards religion and belief to use incorrect grammar...[is that supposed to be an ellipses?] as though it is a directed insult to the very idea [the "very idea" of religion and "belief"? Those are more than one idea.] itself, which is, of course, an absurd intention.
Ah, the wonderful irony of arguing about grammar on the internet. Fixed a few things for you (and left a few in my response to fix yourself. You're welcome).
Do you have bolts clamping the tyre to your bicycle's rims? I didn't think so.
If you think that tire rim length and deformation energy scale the same way with volume that mass does, then you're not thinking.
Your definition of a "hard physical limit" is suspect. Do you have any idea how energy-intensive it is to desalinate water, not only for drinking but for agriculture? You might not call that a "hard" physical limit, but it sure is a damned important one.
You know that space travel is possible. Fine. Where are the travelers going to go? What do they do once they get there? How many need to leave to give the remaining inhabitants a better life? Not only do you have the problem of water wherever you're going, you have the problem of getting there in any reasonable time, with any reasonable chance of survival. That's a pretty damned important physical limit.
"Remote possibility" does not equal "possible on any necessary volume-scale within the next several hundreds of years".
Maybe he was attacked for that, but that doesn't mean you should fall into the trap of thinking he WAS an atheist. He wasn't a Trinitarian, but was clearly a Christian.
Given that some of the current best cosmological estimates put the total energy content of the universe at zero, a single red photon would have the same capacity. I see, though, where you're going with this (though underestimating by about 5 orders of magnitude from a back-of-the-envelope critical density * volume of observable universe calculation).
I suspect you're thinking of the brachistochrone problem, posed by Johann Bernoulli in 1696, and solved the next day by Newton (also by several other mathematical giants of the time, very quickly).
If your yearly income is 1 million dollars, that 20 seconds is worth about $600
Interesting math. That's equivalent to being paid for 9.26 hours. Now, you might argue that millionaires don't work more than 9.26 hours in a year, but... *really*?
*fires up bittorrent to find IT Crowd*
The problem space might not be finite, but there's a huge gradient in the ease with which experiments can be done, computational complexity space, and theoretical tractability. You have to be able to reach this "vast area of research with all kinds of low-hanging fruit", and recognize it for what it is from the outside, or make little investigative forays into it to even tell it's there.
The most recent example (in the non-biological sciences) was probably chaos theory, where people could just wade in and tackle important computational and theoretical problems right away. That fruit rapidly got picked. There are still nice orchards lying in there, but it is no longer "easy".
When string theory was proposed there was lots of low-hanging fruit for students to work on, but the initial foray took some very advanced thinking by a few explorers, and much of the fruit turns out to be worm-eaten.
And who *does* "search for funding all the time"? There's not a big pool of money that everyone can dip into, and only the researchers themselves can tailor proposals with the detail and insight that are needed by people plunking down the money.
When I was in a University (in the U.S.), the P.I. still has to find and secure funding for the future. There's not unlimited money guaranteed two years down the line, let alone 7 - 10 years down the line, and certainly little from the University. At the National Lab where I am now, the situation is even worse, and overhead is two to three times what anyone can use for actual research or wages. At least at the University it was "only" 50%.