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Comment Re:Superb! (Score 2) 33

It's either the thing you launch coming back down on the head of a young child; or its that the thing you launched is found by a group of people who think it's the most wonderful thing ever until it starts causing societal break down and leading to one of those people embarking on a journey to the edge of the earth to dispose of it.

Comment Re:Not a troll but.... (Score 2) 708

I really don't get this build quality argument. Up until recently the main consideration in my laptop purchases was price: whatever was cheapest was what I bought. All of those laptops lasted for at least 6 years before they were discarded - not because of failures, but because they were replaced with something faster. My brother dropped one of my laptops from a height of about 2 metres onto a tiled floor: the screen cracked, but the computer continued to work fine.

Seriously, what is so magical about Mac build quality?

Comment Re:Pay attention to the road! (Score 1) 206

The worst thing I've ever seen was on the hilly motorway between Wollongong and Sydney, in rain where I could barely see out of the front wind-shield with the wipers on the fastest setting. I'm usually a faster driver, but I slowed down in those conditions (but was still going about 100km/h ;) ). Coming up behind me was a Land-cruiser doing a much higher speed than I was. They either didn't know or didn't care that they were snaking across both lanes - and sometimes venturing into the stopping lanes. Given the way this car was going, both I and the only other car I could see pulled off the side of the road until it had passed. As it passed I had a look; the lady behind the wheel had one hand holding a phone to her ear, the other was waving around just above the wheel.

Worst driver ever.

Comment Re:Why has it taken 50 years? (Score 1) 585

You misunderstand me. My point is not that you should believe something without evidence - that is obviously stupid. My point is that miracles do not have to screw up our understanding of the universe. Further, I am saying it may not be a case of 'there is no evidence', but possibly 'there is no clear evidence' - which in such cases is a significant difference.

Comment Re:Why has it taken 50 years? (Score 1) 585

I think you're living in the 'ad absurdum' world; where things must be one extreme or the other. If God exists, he could use the universe how we use a computer: as in, most of the actual instructions to the CPU are predefined software, and any interaction by the user usually goes through that. In such a case, the rules would look very consistent even if the user was actually doing something.

But perhaps the reason you haven't seen something requiring God is that he's left the universe on overnight whilst it does something that doesn't require interaction...

Comment Re:Why has it taken 50 years? (Score 1) 585

I can't say that is false, no. If it is true, and you are trying to save me from myself: thank you.

But my point is that it is the burden of the claimant to prove their claims true: but only for themselves. It is the burden of the listener to come to their own conclusion. If they need further proof from the claimant, then they should press them for it. If the claimant fails to provide further proof, the listener can ignore the claimant's claims, but still can't disprove it on lack of evidence alone. That is the point I am trying to address.

Comment Re:Why has it taken 50 years? (Score 1) 585

Instead you add to the stuff you know as things get demonstrated/shown to you to be true. That way you can be reasonably sure that your knowledge is getting closer to the truth over time and that models based on what you know already are more likely to be right.

This is my view of things also. But I do not make any sort of final judgements about things I cannot demonstrate one way or the other. Admittedly I tend to give them a mental grading of how likely they are; but I try not to let that guide my reaction when I find someone who is sure about it. I would rather be wrong because I failed to understand something someone said to me, than be wrong because I rejected it out of hand as being impossible.

I am not saying you have to believe what they are saying is true. What I am saying is that what they believe isn't your responsibility, (nor, as some seem to believe, the right of intelligent people).

Comment Re:Why has it taken 50 years? (Score 1) 585

If God is there, he seems has a history of doing things in a scientifically consistent way. And that makes some sense: why would you create a hammer, and then continue to push the nails in with your hand? But even if he did circumvent the system, science would then be studying the new state; and would be looking for whatever answers are available.

Regardless, it's my opinion that if you ever stop looking for answers and say "God did it", you fail as a scientist and should hang up your coat and goggles.

Comment Re:Why has it taken 50 years? (Score 1) 585

Certainly. I am not someone who has problem with people disagreeing with me; especially on any subject there is some level of doubt. My only problems are with people who insist that that doubt is reason enough for them to insist that someone else changes their beliefs. Where there is a rational reason to change peoples' minds, I'll support it. But I certainly do not see that in this case.

Comment Re:Why has it taken 50 years? (Score 1) 585

... an infinite number of faiths in all sorts of stupid stuff that ... is impossible to prove wrong. ...

So... you're saying that atheism is stupid? If you narrow the definition down to things people are serious about, then I am perfectly happy with the definition. If you have serious reasons to believe that there are elephants on distant planets, I am perfectly willing to listen to your theories. But I will make up my own mind as to what I believe; and I will do so based on the information I have, not on your insistence that disagreeing with you is, well, stupid.

Comment Re:Why has it taken 50 years? (Score 1) 585

The reason that the neutrino scientist are trying to replicate the results is because it has significant impacts on our current ideas about how the universe works. Whether God exists or not has no bearing on our ability to understand how the universe works. If he does exist, science is merely studying how he made it work. If he doesn't exist, science is studying how it works. Except where there are specific testable hypothesis, science and religion remain independent. That's what makes intelligent design so ridiculous.

That said, until something is demonstrated to be either true or false, it cannot be said to be definitely either. That's the point that I am trying to address. The idea may seem to be ridiculous; but most people I meet have semi-rational reasons for what they believe. Given the uncertainty, I am not going to take that away from them.

But I agree with you. There are a large number of ignorant people of various convictions who refuse to listen to reason, and yet seek to push their ideas on others. Of those I find Apple-fanatics the most troubling...

Comment Re:Why has it taken 50 years? (Score 1) 585

What I want you to believe is that just because you have come to the conclusion that it is wrong does not make it so. What I want you to believe is that it is entirely possible that someone else has a very good reason to believe what they do. And it is entirely possible that the reason isn't that they are mad, or insane, or ignorant, or just stupid. Don't take the nutter's word for it, sure. But don't just presume them to be wrong because of your own prejudices.

Actually, no. I don't really care what you think. Just stop trying to use science or logic as your excuses for your delusions of grandeur.

Comment Re:Why has it taken 50 years? (Score 1, Insightful) 585

... And it must be demonstrably true to be scientific. ...

It must be demonstrably true to be considered true; but it also must be demonstrably false to be considered false. Perhaps there are people who have found what they consider demonstration of its veracity? Even if you doubt that, you cannot call it false until you have demonstrated it to be false.

Ah, my only gripe really is that atheism is neither the obvious solution, nor a scientific one. It's just another (minimised) system of faith.

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman