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Comment Re:In the closet? Interesting choice of words (Score 1) 1123

One of the things that really gets me is the idea that science and religion need to be separate. Take the evolution + Big Bang vs. Creationism debate, specifically Christian Creationism. I read a book at one point which, although fiction, pointed out something about this whole debate which made a great deal of sense to me. The book is called "Vacuum Diagrams", and is by a physicist by the name of Stephen Baxter.

In this book "God" is a group of aliens who are incredibly advanced. So advanced that their civilization finds a way to survive the heat death of the universe and the coalescence of all matter back into a z-particle, so they can "ride out" the next Big Bang. Upon doing so, they are the only intelligent life in the universe, and they go about setting in motion things like evolution and shepherding new races and civilizations by portraying themselves as deities to the young races, much like what the Vorlans did in Babylon 5.

Anyway, what I am getting at is that evolution and the Big Bang could very well be the exact method(s) a deity, as described in books like the Bible, used to accomplish what these books say they have done.

Comment Re:Here one angle (Score 1) 1123

Christianity worships love for God is love.

People may say science has nothing to do with love, but they're wrong.

Many people are into science because they want to help humanity, and that is a good form of love.

It seems to me more like Christianity worships death. I mean, the grand big event of their religion is primarily focused on a bunch of people dying and lots of war, pestilence, and suffering. They view this as a Good Thing(tm).

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

Another problem with being an openly religious scientist is that it can odd a very strong stigma for several different reasons. The main source of opposition to many scientific theories are religious groups. Take for example the controversies surrounding stem cell research, genetic engineering, cloning, some aspects of quantum physics (LHC for example), and then the general evolution/creationism stuff. Being a scientist who is opening religious can bring a (possibly unfair) stigma against you from other scientists who do work in any of these areas, or who generally agree with the work being done in these areas. The reason being that the religious side of all of these arguments hold little to no water in any logical or scientific way. So, anyone associated with such religious beliefs may very well be viewed as illogical (and thus untrustworthy in a scientific sense) by their peers.

Say for example a scientist involved in stem cell research is also a practicing Christian (the main group opposing stem cell research). Even if the scientist does not oppose stem cell research his/her peers may very well assume that he/she does if they learn of the scientist's beliefs.


Submission + - Ball Lightning Caused By Magnetic Hallucinations ( 3

KentuckyFC writes: Transcranial magnetic stimulation involves placing a human in a rapidly changing magnetic field that is powerful enough to induce eddy currents in the brain. Focus the field in the visual cortex, for example, and the induced eddys cause the subject to 'see' lights that appear as discs and lines. Move the the field within the cortex and the subject sees the lights move too. But if this happens in the lab, then why not in the real world too, say physicists who have calculated that the fields associated with certain kinds of multiple lightning strikes are powerful enough to induce the same kind of visual hallucinations in anybody unlucky enough to be within 200 metres or so. These fields ought to induce hallucinations similar to those experienced in the lab. These would take the form of luminous lines and balls that float in front of the subject's eyes, an effect that would explain observations otherwise classed as ball lightning, say the scientists.

Comment Re:A Misdemeanor? Seriously? (Score 1) 222

Well, if you drive drunk you're likely to kill someone. As for the wrong plant, I totally agree.

If you implant microchips in someone's rectum and genitals I think that might be some form of rape or sexual harassment. Especially if you are smoking the wrong plant and drinking two beers while doing so.

Comment Re:Wow, (Score 1) 1079

I was recently stopped by police because I matched the description of someone (else) they were looking for. I carry a walking stick, which is perfectly legal where I live, and I do so because I have arthritis that sometimes effects one of my knees. One of the police officers felt the need to punch me in the face and tazer me because I refused to put my walking stick down and let him search me. I was then charged for carrying a weapon (they termed my hand-carved, rather ornate walking stick a "club"), and said I resisted arrest because I blocked the punch the officer threw at me.

Earlier this week someone I know (a customer of mine) was arrested by the same precinct for DUI and public intoxication. What did she do? She drove from her house to the police station to seek help getting her room mate to leave her apartment because he was being violent. The police asked her if she was on drugs or had been drinking, and then arrested her and put her in a psyche ward. She was then charged with a DUI and possession of marijuana. They are basing this on two things. They searched her house under probable cause (domestic violence) and found some marijuana there. The psyche ward found she had smoked pot via a drug test. However, she was NOT high, and had not smoked pot, the day this happened. The officer said she seemed extremely excited or some shit like that and he thought she was on something. As it stands, they fired the police officer, dropped the DUI charge, and are still pursuing her for possession.

is it just me, or are the police in my area a bit over-zealous (corrupt perhaps)? Is this normal?

Comment Re:Issues I've had. (Score 1) 410

Noooooo don't do that. Seriously; if you can avoid cards that need manufacturer specific configuration you'll find it's much easier to upgrade to a new distro/release/etc. later. It's worth boycotting both ATI and NVIDEA simply because of the extra hassle and security risks induced by the binary blobs they add to your system.

I can 100% understand your point. You make a good one. However, I do 3D modeling with Maya. It doesn't work as well on Windows as on Linux, and it just plain is not worth using without an nVidia graphics card. I'm kind of stuck.

Comment Re:Issues I've had. (Score 1) 410

Another thing I'd like to point out here (since you mention Fedora and some people have mentioned Ubuntu) is that a lot of distros make their own tweaks to Xorg, KDE or Gnome, and the drivers they include. Most desktop-oriented distros, like Fedora and Ubuntu, also include their own tools for configuring displays. In some ways, this is a good thing. There was a time when Xorg was truly a beast to configure (well, really XFree86), most graphics setups required arcane configurations, and most people had no clue how to do it correctly themselves. That is why many distros started including their own tools for doing it.

That has mostly changed. Xorg's default config (the self-generated one) will usually work out of the box without any problems. On top of that, the two most common graphics cards (ATI and nVidia) both include manufacturer-made setup tools which are greatly superior to the ones included with most distros. If you are using an ATI or nVidia card and you use the config tools which come with the drivers you shouldn't experience any problems at all, as long as you use the manufacturer config tools and not the ones that are part of your distro. In my case, I am used to using less desktop oriented distros, like Slackware, Gentoo, and Debian, which do not even have distro-specific tools for configuring the display. I just use the autogenerated Xorg.conf, and then run the config tool from the manufacturer. If you do this as well, you'll have the same experience I am having. Now, the distro-specific config tools are the problem, not the solution.

Comment Re:Issues I've had. (Score 1) 410

On the contrary, I am using Gentoo with Gnome. Gentoo provides no tools for helping set anything up like that. I have an nvidia graphics card. Simply running the nvidia-settings tool, which comes with the driver, was quite sufficient to get my multi-monitor setup working just fine without any tweaking whatsoever. My monitors are different sizes, one is a CRT and one is an LCD, and they don't even support the same resolutions. I had to do NOTHING strange at all to make that work. I didn't have to edit any files, go into any strange menus, or read any forums.

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