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Comment Re:Who needs soil? (Score 1) 120

Exactly. There's a growing technique called the Mittleider method. It's been around for decades, but I've only just discovered it. The claim (backed up by a lot of history, experience, and science) is that plants need 16 different nutrients (not just NPK). So you start with NPK and add in the other trace elements. In his system, you put the same measured amount of fertilizer on the plants every week. They adjust for different uptakes from different types of plants by adjusting plant spacing. You can grow in anything with this technique. But they recommend 3:1 sawdust to sand. The results are incredible, and don't taste like hydroponics vegetables. Just plug mittleider into youtube to see dozens of ordinary not so smart people getting amazing results.

Comment Re:The damage is already done (Score 1) 813

The small pox vaccine was an unusually aggressive vaccine giving severe complication to 1 out of 1.000.000 vaccinated (think hit by lightning). Very few other vaccines are anywhere as dangerous. I think the hepatitis vacinne is the most dangerous of the common vaccines now, and it just gives you joint-pain for a few days if you are unlucky.

When my son (now 12yo) was less than a year old, he received the usual MMR vaccine. What happened that night was the scariest night of my life. Imagine a 12 month (iirc) old baby, clenching his fists and teeth, rigid body, high fever, while screaming through his teeth. This went on non-stop for several hours. The emergency room staff could do nothing. It eventually went away on its own. The doctors later blamed the MMR vaccine and told us not to give him the next round which was due a few years later. Interestingly, he has Asperger's Syndrome. But he got that from me, not the vaccine.

Comment Re:I win! (Score 1) 645

This means that until we have a full understanding of Physics (if ever, see Godel's incompleteness theorem) then the existence of God must remain undecided.

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice!" Rush - Free Will

Comment Re:Goes both ways... (Score 1) 645

In Islam, a core belief is the belief of predestination (qada' and qadar) meaning what has happened, is happening and will happen is already written. As humans we are given the gift of "free will" [......]

You're a scientist and you can't see that those two things are mutually exclusive?

Christianity is nearly identical in this respect. As a human, you have free will to do whatever you want. That thing you do may be God's will for your life, or may go against God's will and serve your selfish interests instead. And even if you do evil, God may still use your actions as part of his plan, for his glory. But God knew from the foundation of the world who you would be, what you would do, and whether you would have faith in christ.

Comment Re:Goes both ways... (Score 1) 645

Tell me, what part of your abilities came from God?

All of them. And yours too. Does the pot tell the potter that he doesn't exist? That the pot spontaneously sprang into existence and is an awesome bit of pottery all by himself?

Did he go through the years of school for you?

I would argue that the school, and the earth where it sits, and the teachers, and the people who taught the teachers back to the beginning, and the laws of physics that govern everything from the science you study to the curing process in the concrete used in the school's foundation come from God. You could use the intelligence and curiosity given to you by God to work hard and toil to learn whatever you want and earn your titles and degrees. And with them, maybe you can even do God's will and participate in God's plan for your life. But without God, it's all for nothing. Hell is full of doctors and scholars, as is Heaven. So, as it is in this world, it must not be the piece of paper that makes you who you are or qualifies you for an afterlife that doesn't suck.

Perhaps he inspired you with the knowledge of how chemical reactions work?

Thanking God for your abilities is just pushing it back a step. Instead of me disrespecting a doctor by giving God the credit instead, that's you disrespecting every human teacher you ever had.

Human pride.

If you're thanking God for the aptitude alone, thank your parents -- nature or nurture, the part you're crediting God with likely came from them.

If you're thanking God for every single event that deterministically led to you being where you are now, basically for setting the universe in motion, even if that were true, that seems absurdly far removed from what you're actually doing with medicine -- how do you know you're even doing what the creator of the universe would want?

The bible, the holy spirit, and prayer. This is probably impossible to understand without being a christian.

What is it I'm supposed to be presuming that isn't possible?

That you can save yourself.

Comment Re:Unlikely (Score 1) 535

Thus, there's more people, by far, who can easily (for varying values of easy) learn English than there are who can easily learn Chinese.

I once talked with a naitive chinese speaker about learning english vs learning chinese. The guy was very smart and had a good vocabulary in english, but he had real problems with his accent. He says that while learning to read and write chinese is a nightmare, actually speaking chinese is surprisingly easy for americans. He says the major cities are full of foreigners who can speak chinese, have great vocabularies, and nail the pronunciation, even with the crazy intonation. But they may not be able to read it very well at all.

This matches my own experience with Japanese. I'm not fluent, but I get by well. For example, on my last visit to Japan, I managed to navigate customs entirely in Japanese. I can read and write hiragana and katakana well enough. But I only know maybe 100 kanji. Speaking japanese really is not as bad as it sounds. I found it as easy to learn as french for example.

English on the other hand is a nightmare to learn to speak and to read/write. The spelling system is screwed up. There's 600,000 to 1,000,000 million words depending on who you ask. There's a dozen or more dialects, each with their own exclusive set of idioms. The south africans are almost unintelligible. We have crazy grammar rules. We have 273 irregular verbs. (only latin and italian have more iirc) And native speakers abuse the language like you wouldn't believe. Even our grandparents often use different idioms and pronunciations than we do. I'd hate to have to learn english as a second language.

Comment Re:Go electronic! (Score 2) 441

You can buy and sell things so long as you can barter with someone. Making the currency electronic and requiring implanted RFID devices to make transactions will make one's life difficult, but it won't close the barter loophole - and, as in any case of regulation, a shadow economy would inevitably arise, with its own currency (likely gold and other precious metals and stones). So you'd still need a law either way.

Yeah, this is the consensus. That christians will have to find other ways to get what they need. I suspect it will be a lot like nazi germany. There were some non-jewish germans who helped the jews. I think a black market will be a lot harder with a modern surveillance society, but certainly not impossible. The bible clearly says that there will be christians who make it all the way through the tribulation alive. This means 3.5 years on the run. They must be eating something, even if it's been provided supernaturally.

Comment Re:Go electronic! (Score 1) 441

> I believe that Jeffery Dahmer is in heaven. This is because he was saved shortly before he was killed in prison

You're assuming he actually changed and was actually forgiven - something you won't really know unless you meet him in heaven or hell. There's no faith-o-meter that can tell you beforehand which way someone is going, whether they're just saying the words or they really mean it. If there can be "bad christians", that means there can also be insincere conversions.

Of course you're right. There's no way to be sure. But I've seen an interview with the pastor who met him in prison. It was his opinion that his acceptance of christ was sincere. And I have no reason to doubt that.

Comment Re:Go electronic! (Score 1) 441

Yes, but meanwhile they are happy to wear the mark of greed.

The christian community has the exact same problems that the non-christians have. There's divorce, incest, child molestations, theft, lying, cheating... everything. If you look at the statistics, there's really not much outward difference between christians and non-christians.

There's a lot of reasons for this. There are huge numbers of people who call themselves christians, but really aren't any different from other people. Maybe they believe. But they don't go to church, and more or less behave like they're not christians. But everyone looks at people like that and says, see? The christians are hypocrites! Is this person really a christian?

Then there's the christians who really are making an effort to behave in a christ-like manner. But this is spectacularly difficult. So difficult that no one can really do this 100%. So people make their best effort with varying degrees of success. They make mistakes, some small, some big. They recognize what happened, apologize to those affected, repent, and do their best to not repeat the mistake, which sometimes happens and sometimes not. When these people make mistakes, the reaction from non-christians is the same. See?! Hypocrites! Christianity is BS! But what these non-christians should be doing is indicting the person and not the religion.

Christianity isn't about never sinning again, although that is the goal. In fact, it's safe to assume that never sinning again is impossible. In the end, it doesn't matter who has sinned how much, if this person has sinned more or less than that person who got into heaven or who didn't. In the end, all that matters is faith in jesus. You either have it or you don't.

To drive the point home, I believe that Jeffery Dahmer is in heaven. This is because he was saved shortly before he was killed in prison. Some people would react with shock and indignation to this. After all, why would someone so awful be allowed into heaven? But christians have a different perspective. If even someone as bad as Jeffery Dahmer can be forgiven, then so can I.

Comment Re:Go electronic! (Score 0) 441

Can you explain how this equates to a "one-world cashless financial system where the government can approve or deny any transaction in real-time"? It would seem to me that a much more trivial interpretation would be a law enacted such that no-one can trade with people not bearing the "mark".

I think it's reasonable to make an attempt to line up today's technology with the prophecy. If you simply passed a law, what's to stop people from circumventing the law? When it says "no one can buy or sell, I read that as no one is able to buy or sell. In other words, it's impossible.

The prophecy quite specifically talks about a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. It would seem that implanting an RFID chip into the left hand should not pose any problem to Christians.

I think christians approach this from a different angle. Rather than say that anything in the left hand is ok, I think we say that it's going to be in the right hand (or forehead) because that's what's written there. In other words, you can speculate that somewhere along the way, we might be offered something in the left hand. But I doubt that will happen at all. But this tends to be a touchy subject for most (real) christians, hence the aversion to anything that even remotely looks like the mark.

There's a lot of debate in christian circles what the meaning of the mark is. Some say it's some sort of tattoo or barcode. Others say that it's purely a spiritual mark and not really something that is manifested here in this world. But I think it would be impossible to control commerce with a purely spiritual mark. So I take a more pragmatic approach. The goal of the antichrist is to flush out the christians so that they can be killed. What better way than to deny us the ability to eat or work or have a place to live? The problem with all this isn't so much the actual mark or participating in the beast financial system. The problem is that you have to swear allegiance to the antichrist. At that point in time, you'll have to make a choice between Jesus and the antichrist. And there will be no middle ground. You're either in our you're out. And being out is really bad news for eternity.

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