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Comment Control ammo, not guns. (Score 1) 521

This is a great example of why gun control laws are flawed. Simply firing a bullet isn't a difficult task and it can be accomplished by virtually any material (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartridge_Trap). Ammo cartridges, on the other hand, must be made with high explosives and metal to be effective. I'd like to see a 3-D printer that can create gunpowder. Another pro to controlling ammo is that gun murderers wouldn't be able to murder many people if they had a limited ammunition supply whereas a murderer with one gun and unlimited ammo would be able to keep killing until armed officials arrive.

Comment Fuel from air? Plants do it better. (Score 1) 580

There's a better way to do this. Just grow a bunch of plants, collecting solar energy in chemical form. You can then convert that plant biomass into natural gas and oil via an exothermic process (requiring no energy to be added).

Basically this process would be a version of the Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis used by the Germans in WW2. This may surprise you but WW2 Germans knew how to power conventional cars with wood! First, subject your biomass to a process know as gasification where you burn it in a low-oxygen environment. Such a burn produces a ton of smoke, which contains methane (natural gas) and complex hydrocarbons (oil/tar) as well as other components like carbon monoxide (flammable), hydrogen gas (highly flammable), water vapor and carbon dioxide. If you do this in a refinery environment you could separate out the non-flammable elements, the flammable gasses, and the oil/tar. You can then use the flammable gasses (natural gas plus some others) and oil/tar for anything you typically use fossil fuels for, including producing plastic from the oil which would amount to carbon sequestration.

I just solved the world's energy and carbon pollution problems with smoke. Petrol from air and electricity? Good luck making that as efficient as plants already are.

Comment Re:text books shall be accurate (Score 1) 1113

This hypothetical robot can do whatever it chooses, it is self aware and has free will. The hypothetical you made it our of love.

Just as a father loves his children, so God loves his creations even when they disobey him. He loves them enough to give them a second chance, a third chance, and as many chances as they need to turn to him but if they never turn to him he will not tolerate their indefinite disobedience.

Comment Re:text books shall be accurate (Score 1) 1113

I honesty don't have time to tear up your post completely as I have a ton of homework this weekend, but here are the best problems:

"duh, of course the universe is tuned such that life can exist, if it *wasn't*, we wouldn't be here". - You forgot the part where it conflicts with anything I said. Yes, the universe is tuned for life. Now what fine-tuned it if not God?

Well, people have come up with a bunch of ideas over time [wikipedia.org]. Or maybe it's whoever who set up the simulation in which we live [simulation-argument.com], and maybe he/she/it/they live in another simulation, etc....

"The anthropic principle" is not a valid answer: it is an observation, not a cause.

...or maybe it just is. There is no inherent reason why there has to be an Answer(TM). Some people may want to hear an Answer, but that's another matter.

lolwut? A complete lack of an answer. And if you don't want to search for or provide answers then get out of my scientific discussion.


A link to someone with an actual argument! If only you had formulated it and it wasn't based on erroneous assumptions I would be impressed. Here's why the argument doesn't stand: "the same non-random forces which propel biological evolution also propelled abiogenesis. Specifically, Natural Selection. " - Assumes that Natural Selection can drive evolution and abiogenesis. It cannot. "Natural selection is the gradual, non-random process by which biological traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers." (Wikipedia, emphasis mine). In other words, Natural Selection takes helpful traits that already exist and spreads them. It does NOT create new traits. It CANNOT. Only random chance can create new traits when you deny intelligent intervention, and random chance isn't up to the job of generating life. "For example, the simplest theorized self-replicating peptide is only 32 amino acids long." To the best I can tell the peptide he's referring to is "A self-replicating peptide." which, while interesting, is not actually self replicating. It merely binds the two halves of itself together, so to replicate it must be supplied with a constant supply of duplicates of its halves. To replicate just once it needs 64 specified amino acids (iself and two halves), for the second generation it needs another 64 (four more halves) and so on. Interesting, but absolutely useless for the origin of life. No real self-replicating entity smaller than a cell has ever been discovered, and if it has it is no doubt much larger than 32 amino acids. So everything that rests on his 32-acid estimate is complete nonsense.

Assuming that he exists and is pissy about people not believing in him.

The evidence that he exists is precisely what I'm arguing, and "pissy" isn't exactly the right word here. More like righteous wrath. Say you created a robot and made it self-aware (That's not possible, but for the sake of analogy assume it is). Instead of being grateful and giving you a good name, it spits oil in your face and runs around doing evil. It denies your role in its creation, saying that it was inevitable. Now, if you truly love your creation like God loves us you'd allow it to have a second chance and return to being good, but if it refuses you'll destroy it before it can bring yet more shame upon you and do yet more evil. It's not that God gets "pissy," it's that we completely defy his purpose for us and thus we deserve to be destroyed.

Comment Re:text books shall be accurate (Score 1) 1113

"duh, of course the universe is tuned such that life can exist, if it *wasn't*, we wouldn't be here". - You forgot the part where it conflicts with anything I said. Yes, the universe is tuned for life. Now what fine-tuned it if not God? "The anthropic principle" is not a valid answer: it is an observation, not a cause.

"Because there's only one configuration of the simplest possible genome that works?" - There's more than one, but there's certainly a lot less than 4^4800. Say there are 10^60 possible combinations (much more than the number of atoms in the earth and a huge overestimate), in that case you still have 4^4700 to deal with. Have fun!

"I want a citation for the 'because Evolutionists are scared of it' part of 'that is rejected out of hand because Evolutionists are scared of it.'" They are scared of the idea that anything supernatural has an impact on their lives, and they deal with this fear by denying the possibility of God's existence. It almost never comes to the surface due to the deeply ingrained denial, but how else do you account for the repeated attempts of evolutionists to push ID out of science when it is obviously valid?

"No. What is this obsession you have with fear? Are you projecting here?" I'm just hoping you'll see reason. It is right to fear God, for he has power over everything - "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10). If you accept God's rule you have no need to fear for you are living in harmony with him, but if you deny him you have reason to fear.

By the way, I was completely right about you not presenting evidence. More like ridiculous denial, though it's a bit more slippery than that in this case.

Comment Re:text books shall be accurate (Score 1) 1113

1. "*There are* at least half-a-dozen theories about that" - None of which (besides my own) have any scientific proof or make logical sense. Infinite universes? Don't be ridiculous.
"none of which involve some invisible man in the sky" - Yep. My theory does not involve an invisible man in the sky.
"They're still working out which ones hold up and which ones don't." - And so far none have held up.
"We don't have *any* good observational data that far back" FTFY, we don't and can't see anything before the big bang because nothing physical existed existed.

2. Ok, I get it, you say that the odds that a particular planet (such as Earth) is fine tuned for life aren't important and the real question is whether any planet in the universe could support life. Well I've got news for you. The chance that any planet in the universe can support life is exactly what I'm referring to, the chance that a particular planet can support life times the estimated number of planets in the universe. It's still infinitesimally small. I'm saying that without God's intervention no planet in the entire universe would be able to support life. The only alternative is the assertion that there are an infinite number of universes, which is less scientific than Intelligent Design by far.

3. "Yes, indeed they were. [Citation needed] And yet when those conditions are replicated, life does in fact evolve. [Citation needed] And no, they didn't start with the end result. They started with a chemical brew matching what's known to have existed on early Earth and went from there. [Citation needed] And no, as I said the earliest forms of life weren't cellular. [Citation needed] Cells are actually a fair ways up the evolutionary ladder. As I said, scientists had already filled in the path from bare packets of DNA on up to full cellular organisms [Citation needed], and encountered a lot of weirdness along the way. The last bit to be filled in was that first step, from a brew of methane, ammonia, water and hydrogen to small packets of DNA [Citation needed]. The evolution of prokaryotes from that is interesting, but wasn't nearly as much of a challenge as making the jump from a chemical soup to complex organic molecules [Citation needed]."

So many claims, so little evidence.

4? "I think your basic problem is that you're starting with a false premise: that natural selection can't create anything new. The problem is that that assumption's been shown to be false time and time again." Cite one example where natural selection has been observed to create new genetic information. You'll probably come up with something about finches or antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but neither of those are actually a case of new information. All observed effects of Natural Selection have been found to regard the expression of genes (Larger and smaller finch beaks) or the destruction of genes (destroying the proteins antibiotics exploit), not a single case of Natural Selection generating new information exists. By definition Natural Selection only works on functional elements, pre-functional proteins are only acted upon by random mutation or conversely intelligently guided mutation.

Comment Re:text books shall be accurate (Score 1) 1113

Really? That's the best you've got? 'We exist and we came to exist by chance, therefore it's likely that we exist.' Presupposing your conclusion is bad form. It's also a logical fallacy.

And the evidence that it's "just not possible" is?

Ok, you asked for it. The simplest genome known today has 580000 base pairs. Assuming that the simplest possible genome is 1 percent of that (more accurate predictions run about 60-70 percent of that but I'm being very generous here), and assuming that generating a genome is synonymous with generating a cell which is a massive simplification in your favor, you still need to come up with genetic information with a probability of one in 4^5800. I have yet to find a calculator that gives a value for 4^58000 besides "Infinity" and "ERROR", the highest you can get in Google calculator is a mere 4^511, which is 10^307 in more common notation. In contrast the number of atoms in the earth is only about 10^50 and the number of seconds since the origin of the universe is about 10^17. Now you have some explaining to do. How do you overcome odds so great the almighty Google declares them infinite? Natural selection won't help you here, it can only account for the preservation of features that have already arisen, before the simplest cell arose it played no part in accelerating its creation. You have only random chance to lean on, and unless you claim that infinite universes exist which is a very unscientific claim, there's just no way life could arise by chance.

[Citation needed]

The definition of a scientific theory: "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment"
Intelligent Design is a well-substantiated explanation of the inability of the natural world to create itself, based on a body of facts (such as those listed above but certainly not limited to them) that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.
Evolution, on the other hand, is a poorly-defined conglomerate of Common Descent with Natural Selection that fails to provide any real evidence that the later caused the former.

You first.

You've seen just one of the data points I could bring to bear on the issue. Are you scared yet? Are you going to throw up a ridiculous denial? Are you going to just leave this thread and never return? Are you going to accept the truth? Or are you going to actually present real evidence? Of all those options, I find the last to be the least likely.

Comment Re:text books shall be accurate (Score 1) 1113

1: You are just proving my point. YES, the big bang happened. Now tell me what caused it if God didn't. On this one you swung the wrong way. Strike one.

2: That's a circular argument. Your statement in a nutshell: "We exist and God doesn't, therefore something other than God caused us to exist". Also, you won't find "the likely number of planets in the universe" helping you out any. The estimated improbability of a planet supporting life far exceeds the estimated number of planets in the universe. And by far I mean orders of magnitude. In other words, you will be dealt a royal flush once in a million lifetimes and you only have one lifetime. Strike two.

3: ---"subjected it to the conditions found on early Earth" Nope. The actual conditions on the early earth were extremely hostile to life. The conditions they use to produce the building blocks of life about to 'throw the exact building blocks of the molecule we want into a solution and catalyze it in a specific way.
---"observed the formation of DNA" Maybe they observed the formation of nucleic acids, but they did NOT observe the formation of a genome or of a cell.
---"inevitably combine to produce the simplest forms of organic life" HA. They don't combine to form anything meaningful at all unless scientists very specifically filter them out from the waste products and combine them is specific ways.
---"we know how cells evolve from them" This is the biggest bit of nonsense in that whole stream of nonsense. Evolutionists very naively ASSUME that anything capable of anything close to self-reproduction inevitably becomes a full-fledged cell. The cell is a massively complex molecular city complete with factories, roads, and machines of staggering complexity. Not a one of these machines could have arisen by random chance, and Natural Selection is certainly not up to the job. Natural Selection only acts on pre-existing functionality. It CANNOT create ANY new feature, only discover features that are hidden within the system already or slightly modify existing features.
---"your theory conflicts with the observed evidence" You observed a cell arising by chance from anything resembling an early earth environment? I seriously doubt that. In fact, I doubt to about 50 orders of magnitude that it will ever be observed.

I believe that's strike seven. Your batting average is well into the negative by now.

Comment Re:text books shall be accurate (Score 1) 1113

You claim to disprove creationism? Give me evidence. I have read a lot on the subject, and I still hold to the statement that some supernatural being must have been involved in the creation of the world and of life. Here are a few points:

1 - The Big Bang. Good luck explaining how the universe is all that there is when it had a beginning. Explosions don't come out of nothing!

2 - Earth is precisely fine-tuned for life. See "The Privileged Planet" for a crash course that is by no means conclusive, there is much more than that.

3 - Life is incredibly irreducibly complex at the cellular level. Good luck generating a living cell from non-living material under any conditions, it's just not possible.

And that's just the begging of the evidence for an intelligent creator. Intelligent Design is not just a denial of Evolution, it is a very well-supported scientific theory that is rejected out of hand because Evolutionists are scared of it. Are you scared? Or will you bring actual evidence to the table?

Comment Who elected this bozo anyway? (Score 4, Insightful) 1113

He's the kind of person that gives Christianity a bad name. I am a Christian. I support Intelligent Design. But I don't deny Common Descent and I certainly don't deny the Big Bang. The Big Bang is conclusive evidence FOR a creator! You can't claim that the universe is all that exists when it's plain as day that it had a beginning. This guy is just an anti-scientist, he's not worthy of the Christian faith or of the Republican party.

Submission + - Lego dart gun shoots pencils over 100 feet (blogspot.com) 1

DroidFreak writes: "What do you do when Mylar balloons get stuck on a ceiling 20 feet out of reach? You build a Lego dart gun to get them down of course! This "weapon" has a frame made of Legos; fires darts made of pencils, tape, and Kleenex; and is powered by rubber bands. It can shoot over 100 feet angled and can punch through aluminum cans. Best of all, my blog post includes instructions on how to build this gun so you too can have the power to fell Mylar balloons 20 feet above your head!"

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