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Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 341

Have you seen any sign that the Roman Catholics don't believe in birth control? They may consider it a sin to practice it, but they believe in it as a fact.

You need to distinguish between what someone believes to be a fact and what they consider to be a moral or ethical good (or evil). The two can be nearly orthogonal. If the church didn't believe in birth control, they would probably be less active in arguing against it.

Thus, the Roman Catholic church not having the attitude towards the practice of birth control that you believe proper is not a sign that they have an unscientific disbelief in it. Until Ethics, Psychology, and Sociology become real sciences the church's current attitude is not unscientific. If they do, perhaps it will be able to adapt to them, also.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 341

IIUC, there was a group in Egypt that used that as an act of worship, so this is a decree against that group. Is this the reason? That's hard to determine. Certainly the early Exodusees were reported to be willing to follow Apis, the golden calf god. Most of the other gods were less strictly suppressed, and in fact the rule against having an image of the god is probably to allow various sects that worshiped different gods to merge their beliefs.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 341

Speaking as a statistician, that's not logic and certainly not statistics. It also doesn't fit elementary probability theory. You might be able to craft a plausible argument that had that as an element, but it would need to be encircled by rules of deduction that aren't validiateable. There's no valid rule of deduction that says "a lot of people believe this, therefore it's probably true". It's easy to come up with historical counter examples.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 341

Having reread much of the series recently, I don't think it is truer than the Bible. You need to read them both as a certain metaphysical argument on which truth isn't even present. The problem with the Bible is that even as a metaphysical argument it's incoherent, much more so than the Dune series, even though in the Dune series the nature of the argument changes with each book.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 341

You overstate your case. They may have been "ignorant, desert-dwelling sheep herders 20 centuries ago", but they knew a lot of practical biology, some botany, some meteorology and climatology, a bit of hydrodynamics, and a small amount of hygenics. O, and some geology. They may not have been academics, but their life required a lot of applied science knowledge. They theories may have been a combination of unintelligible and ludicrous, but they had a lot of practical matters down cold.

Comment Re:Deforestation (Score 2) 159

If you're including recent figures, then you need to figure in that oceanic pollution is disrupting the life of plankton, which produce most of the oxygen in the atmosphere. I doubt that the figures are recent enough to reflect the recent plankton die-offs, but expect the Oxygen levels of the atmosphere to take a sharp dip over the next few centuries. (it's a pretty slow cycle.)

Comment Re:Cheaper to get hacked than do security maintena (Score 1) 56

PHP? It's been my impression that right there you have identified one of the main security problems with your system.

FWIW, any rapid changeover is going to introduce its own costs and problems, but it is possible to write secure software which will generally pay for itself over time. Just not in the next quarter, or probably the next year. And you need to do decent Q/A testing before releasing the software. You still won't catch everything, but with the right design exploits won't propagate from module to module.

The real problem is trying to change too much too quickly and without sufficient Q/A. Doing that will save you money over the long term, but not over the short term, and it will mean that you don't adopt the latest glitz very quickly...and often not at all. So your image, as well as your actuality, won't be "cutting edge" but rather "solid and reliable". There are reasons the "cutting edge" is frequently called the "bleeding edge".

Comment Re:Not good enough (Score 1) 56

It's not using current technology that's the problem, it's that without unsafe methods you can't do remote administration, and it's more expensive to get someone to come in when you need to update the system. It's rather like a lot of the bugs that depend on bios flaws wouldn't be a problem is the bios couldn't be updated without throwing a local switch. And a lot of the complexity is mandated by marketing needs, not by technology.

It's my suspicion that a really safe network would be much cheaper, but this means you need the manufacturers selling things that require the equivalent of moving a jumper before you could update them, or perhaps even install executable software. It's not something that's cheaper if only one company does it...unless that company is, say, Intel.

Comment Re:the intolerant, hypocritical Left (Score 1) 615

If you think the intolerance exists on only one side you are blind, probably willfully so. And it's as reasonable to call the right hypocritical for that as the left. (At one point it was more reasonable, but you don't often find the right any longer even pretending to be strict constitutionalists.)

FWIW, I have more sympathy for that stated goals of the left than of the right, but in both cases their stated goals would result in a non-functional society. And there are, in both cases, adequate grounds for not trusting the purported candidate wielders of power with even the intent of accomplishing many of the stated goals. And in both cases most of the ones they are most likely to attempt to accomplish are the ones I would really rather they forgot. There are some exceptions, e.g. Hillary might actually try to improve the cost of education.

Comment Re:Just compare the prices of other utilites (Score 1) 206

Well, it is indeed a "hogwash misleading term", as it no more deserves the term "natural" than does white sugar or beer. It's a highly processed refinement of a naturally occurring substance.

Forget thinking of it as green-wash though, since the term is a lot older than that. It wasn't new in the 1950's, when I was surprised that my grandfather used propane rather than "natural gas". This doesn't keep it from being a misnomer, though I guess that it may have earned the term when being distinguished from "water gas".

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