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Comment: Re:kind of like the police (Score 0) 869

by pagaboy (#36008618) Attached to: The Internet's New Alternate Reality

It's a country in which the governor of Texas has repeatedly appealed to citizens to telepathically urge an omnipotent invisible deity to change the weather for the state.

Oh dear, and you'd started so well. You definitely get some religious wingnuts, fond of all sorts of conspiracy theories. But you also get the equivalent on the secularist side of things, who believe that all religious people have undergone volontary lobotomies, and seek nothing better than to invent invisible friends for themselves.

Nutters on both sides. Not sure where that leaves the rest of us though.

Comment: Re:I'm not sure what he's getting at? (Score 1) 357

by pagaboy (#35828848) Attached to: Hypertext Creator: Structure of the Web 'Completely Wrong'

I think I get it (or a bit of it, maybe). Imagine the situation where documents and URLs didn't change over time. If you're writing an academic essay, and you quote, say, Einstein, then rather than copy-pasting a quote, you link to a paragraph in the book itself. Einstein's book, also, can contain links to Newton. So any quoting from elsewhere allows you to see not only the quote but also the context. I can see this being quite useful, and would be a fantastically easy way to check someone wasn't being misquoted.

Problems with this, however, are that there are no unchanging links for these sources, that sources may change and be modified, and that it's only really useful for academic-type work where quoting is integral.

So a nice idea for a bit of software, or a website, but not really a challenge to the structure of the web itself.

Comment: Re:Particularly relevant (Score 1) 1123

by pagaboy (#32392090) Attached to: What Scientists Really Think About Religion

The way you describe it, it sounds identical to theology. That's why you can study the subject, why there's more than one theologian in the world, various points of view, changes and trends. I'm not too sure where you can be getting your vision of theology from - although if yours is a widespread perception, it would go some way to explaining the reluctance of some scientists towards publicising their faith

Comment: Re:Any surprise? Not here (Score 1) 1123

by pagaboy (#32392040) Attached to: What Scientists Really Think About Religion

If you are advocating that somehow this being is outside of our realm of existence / laws - well you've fallen back into the classical religious defense - it's magic and you just can't know. I'm at a loss at this point. I do have a teaport orbiting jupiter, though.

Yup, it's kind of annoying really. Thing is though, if you're talking about a creator, science just isn't a great tool for dissection. It'd be like analysing Slashdot developers based on the HTML and Javascript for this site - you might get out a bit of psychoanalysis, but you probably won't be able to determine the colour of their hair. If a god's the creator, then (s)he defined the rules. That's a bummer for finding an easy-kill argument for religious belief, but it's a sensible starting point for the discussion, rather than an argument-avoiding excuse.

One says "we tell you it is like this and you must not disagree" the other tells you "question it all and judge for yourself".

That's pretty different, as approaches go.

Having had a "religious" upbringing and been on the scene for a while, I'm not sure I've ever had anyone tell me to do the former. YMMV, but again, that's part of the point : it's not about a single "religion" or a single approach. Religions can be open and closed, questioning and scared. You can't lump them all together in this kind of a discussion

Comment: Re:Any surprise? Not here (Score 2, Insightful) 1123

by pagaboy (#32391418) Attached to: What Scientists Really Think About Religion

I'll tell you why - the magical mystical god of the various books is hugely inconsistent and fails the basic logical challenges a scientific analysis demands.

Science and religion are diametrically opposed in one specific thing - religion insists on telling us "it is so", while science will treat us like adults and tell us "we don't know - here is our best guess so far"....

Now here come the flame mods :-)

You'll pretty much deserve the flame mods though. Pretending that there's one "god" portrayed differently by the various religions isn't helping your case. "Logical challenges a scientific analysis demands" suggesting that a divine being (perhaps the source of the universe), is somehow subject to science, is a curious argument at best. You don't appear to be in a good position to be saying "it is so" to all those with religious beliefs.

There's diversity out there, which is why the conversation is worth having : how do different beliefs interact with people's way of understanding science ? Scientists throughout history have had various beliefs which may have helped or hindered their quest for knowledge. They're part of the discussion

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