Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Was it Helped? (Score 1) 76

Pushing back the evidence of life implies one of the following is true.

1) Life (abiogenesis) is easy to get started and the Universe is full of life.

Well, it shows that it is liklier easier than expected. If it took only a 300 million years to start here then the best guess at the mode is of course 300 million years, say down from 500 million.

That of course implies that the window for life to evolve is likely shorter than we previously expected and naturally the number of places with a short window must be greater than or equal to the number of places with a longer window (in any remotely statistically sane universe, greater).

As the minimum window shortens, the number of opportunities for life to get started expands.

I don't think that proves the universe is full of life.

2) It was an extremely rare event for life to start on Earth.

I don't see how it implies that. We don't know precisely how rare the event was but as the earliest point moves back, the event looks less rare than before.

I see things differently. I believe you are saying that since the time period is shorter, the probability for life must be greater. (Correct me if I am wrong.) I start with a fixed (but unknown) small probability. Then by shortening the time period one makes it less likely life would form, because there are less cases where the needed ideal conditions exist for life to form.

3) Life started somewhere else and ended up on Earth.

Not really sure how it implies that. No matter what the distribution of life seeds arriving from outside, the narrower the window, the smaller chance life had to arrive from the outside. So it implies this option is less likely, but not by how much.

4) Life had outside help in getting started.

You've just deferred the problem, though to whatever gave rise to the outside helper.

i.e. a supernatural event.

Possibly, but the probability increases from something minute to something marginally less minute. We've never seen any evidence of anything supernatural existing that's held up to scrutiny, so the chance of supernatural things existing is very small at this point.

Using that fixed probability and the shorten time period, I see the need to look for other opportunities, such as panspermia or a purposeful outside intervention (which may be a supernatural intervention). Personally I think there are enough stories of the supernatural miracles that you can not discount them. (One example is the rigorous process the Catholic Church goes through to verify miracles in their sainthood process. They have had atheists look at the evidence of a miracle to try to disprove it.)

Comment Was it Helped? (Score 1) 76

Pushing back the evidence of life implies one of the following is true.
1) Life (abiogenesis) is easy to get started and the Universe is full of life.
2) It was an extremely rare event for life to start on Earth.
3) Life started somewhere else and ended up on Earth.
4) Life had outside help in getting started.
I personally believe that life is extremely hard to get going and with the evidence of life showing up even earlier, it makes it more likely that there was some outside help, i.e. a supernatural event.

Comment Re:As I've said before... (Score 1) 379

Yes, "Wikipedia, as an idea, has a lot of promise", but human nature gets in the way. We are self-centered beings that corrupt the good ideas we want to do. Wikipedia has for the most part delivered on that promise and where it fails it assumes that people will always work for gathering and publishing the best information on a topic. Instead of people's own selfish agendas and egos get in the way. It is human nature. Wikipedia has enough bureaucracy already so I don't know what the answer is.

Comment Response to Mac OS X (Score 3, Interesting) 492

A lot of developers use Macs because of the Unix foundation and the nice interface. It makes it easy to develop applications and put them on a linux web server. I think Microsoft is doing this to provide a familiar Unix foundation for developers, and making it Ubuntu compatible may make it easier to use than the Max OS X.

Comment Not from scratch (Score 4, Informative) 167

Moonchild's proposal involves creating a new browser from scratch, in a so-called "re-forking" operation, where the Pale Moon devs take a newer version of Firefox and rebuild Pale Moon on top of that.

They are not building it from scratch. They will use a newer version of Firefox as a starting point. It is "re-forking". It is likely they will not use the latest version since they want to keep tab groups. Though it will be new code when compared to the old Palemoon.

Comment It is too late. (Score 4, Insightful) 113

With so many encryption options out there, why build your own. WebRTC in the chrome and firefox browsers require you to touch a server briefly to find the other party so to connect, and then you have a direct encrypted connection. They could easily use that or one of the many other options out there. All this talk about backdoors is a waste of time. The ship has already sailed. It is too late.

Comment Re:Right and Wrong (Score 1) 519

We are far apart, but I would hazard a guess that the Objectivism of Ayn Rand is more a minority viewpoint than my Christianity (which is not the moralistic legalism of many Americans). Maybe I am wrong. Both are views are minority viewpoints today, though on the topic of right and wrong I think most people would agree with my thinking because of the past influence of Christianity in Western World. I don't think objective selfishness will bring about world peace. I think altruism could if we could not be selfish, but selfishness is part of our nature and so it is a nonstarter for us. As I see it, the problem is I desire something; I then rationalize why I should have it; and then I take it. That does not bring about peace. That rationalization is flawed because I can not guarantee that my reason will be impartial and perfect. I am not certain if it ever can be.

Note from the book you recommended, I made an assumption that you follow the teachings of Ayn Rand. Correct me if I am wrong.

Comment Re:Right and Wrong (Score 1) 519

I believe there is a solution to our selfish brokenness. We can not fix ourselves but God can. God loves each and every one of us. He desires that we would all be fixed without turning us into little robots. Because of what Jesus has done for us, we can have new lives and live in love. Though we are not yet perfect, you can see many people around the world, who follow Jesus, are working to make things right. Followers of Jesus are in the process of being fixed themselves. We, followers, are not there yet. I know that I am a better and more loving person today than who I was 20 years ago. I am still broken but God is at work in me making me better. That is what I have experienced.

Comment Right and Wrong (Score 1) 519

All this talk about evil means there is some definition of evil that has at its foundation the belief in right and wrong. We all have our definitions, but in general we agree for the most part what is right and what is wrong. We tend save the term evil for the worst and most blatant wrongdoing though you can argue that subtle wrong doing and wrong thinking can be evil too. No one is free from wrongdoing. The problem is we all have this tendency to be selfish and self-centered and that makes our wrong doing easy to do and easy to rationalize our wrong doing. The problem with evil is right in front of us or in us. We are the problem. We all hurt people. We are broken and messed up, because we do not always live up to the ideals of right living that we aspire to. People through out the ages have tried fix ourselves and produce a utopian society of well behaved people. They all have failed. Some have had some good ideas, but I believe they fail to get to the root of the problem, our selfishness. We are able to dream of utopia, where everyone is well behaved and loved, and everyone works for the common good, but we are not able to achieve that. Our self-centeredness is the real evil.

Comment Large Majority Believes Climate Change is Happen (Score 2) 737

A survey from 5 years ago found that a large majority of Americans (75%) believe in human caused warming of the atmosphere.

When respondents were asked if they thought that the earth’s temperature probably had been heating up over the last 100 years, 74 percent answered affirmatively. And 75 percent of respondents said that human behavior was substantially responsible for any warming that has occurred.

And

Fully 86 percent of our respondents said they wanted the federal government to limit the amount of air pollution that businesses emit, and 76 percent favored government limiting business’s emissions of greenhouse gases in particular.

However

Large majorities opposed taxes on electricity (78 percent) and gasoline (72 percent) to reduce consumption. But 84 percent favored the federal government offering tax breaks to encourage utilities to make more electricity from water, wind and solar power.

And huge majorities favored government requiring, or offering tax breaks to encourage, each of the following: manufacturing cars that use less gasoline (81 percent); manufacturing appliances that use less electricity (80 percent); and building homes and office buildings that require less energy to heat and cool (80 percent).

So Americans are in favor of tax incentives but are against tax increases to solve the problem. The debate needs to shift to dealing with solutions and promoting solutions now. The longer we wait the more the unpopular choices will be needed. We need to highlight to the politicians that the public is in favor of tax incentives and by opposing these measures they are in the minority and are less electable.

Slashdot Top Deals

What this country needs is a good five cent microcomputer.

Working...