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Comment Re:falsifiability (Score 1) 1251

How is evolution or the big bang falsifiable in a practical sense. .

Theoretically, it is not really that hard to imagine something that would disprove those. The big bang can easily be disproved by demonstrating that the universe is not expanding. This would however be almost impossible to show in reality, but only because you would also have to show that the enormous amount of evidence which shows the exact opposite is wrong, not because big bang is somehow inherently unfalsifiable.

Comment Re:Soon? (Score 1) 312

How fast is the Earth moving through space? Not toward or away from Betelguese as in red and blue shifts of that particular star but just how fast are we moving through space in general. Can we look at one part of the sky and see everything red shifted and another part of the sky and see blue shifted and extrapolate the total speed from that (obviously we would need a series of measurements)? Do we know how fast the galaxy is moving, or even the speed that the sun moves around the center of the galaxy? For instance if I'm driving a car east at 60 mph, can we take all those factors, add them together and determine the total speed of me and my car.

One of the fundamental principles of relativity is the fact the speed is relative, which makes it meaningless to speak of something have a speed without also saying what that speed is relative to. The only thing that matters here is our speed relative to Betelgeuse.

Does that combined speed cause a time dialation effect (even a tiny one) on Earth? I know time and mass becomes distorted as you approach the speed of light, but I've never heard how steep that gradient is or if there is a lower limit. Would a hypothetical stationary cup of water cooled to absolute zero experience time differently then a similar cup boiling at 100 degrees (obviously the difference would be very tiny, but would it be there or is there a cut off)?

As a rule of thumb, relativistic effects (time dilation, etc.) can pretty safely be ignored at less than 10% of the speed of light. Here's a graph illustrating how time dilation increases with speed, if you're interested:

If the universe is expanding in the sense that there is more space between all particles (this was how it was explained to me: that with each passing moment the distance between all particles increases as the fabric of space-time slowly expands) wouldn't the speed of light be slowly increasing (or decreasing) as well. Would a lightyear 600 years ago be the same as it is now?

The gravitational forces within a galaxy are more than strong enough to counteract the effects of the expansion of the universe, so the distance between Earth and Betelgeuse is completely unaffected by it.

Comment Short answer: No (Score 5, Informative) 93

Long answer: Dark matter wasn't invented just because someone saw some anomalous behavior that didn't agree with theory, and said to themselves: "Oh, there has to be something mysterious at work here, we'll call it dark matter.". There are several reasons for believing in dark matter, for example that when measuring gravity we notice gravity coming from directions where we can't see any matter. However, the source of this gravity behaves a lot like matter would. For example we can observe these "invisible gravity sources" being thrown around when two galaxies collide. Because these "invisible gravity sources" acts a lot like matter, except for the fact that we can't see it, it's called dark matter.

If you're not yet convinced, take a look at this recent blogpost by a professional astrophysicist: In this post, he basically explains how we can derive the existence of dark matter from: A) Assuming that the theory of general relativity is valid, B) assuming that the big bang theory is valid, and C) our observations of the cosmic microwave background.


Submission + - Space, the Obama Way (

coondoggie writes: The White House this week issued a National Space Policy, a document that emphasizes the Obama administration's desire to further commercialize space but also to ensure that the US and international partners have unfettered access to outer space. The policy reflects and expands upon what the White House has been espousing about space and its own space agency, NASA, since late 2009.

Submission + - Car? Plane? It's Both and Legal ( 1

SixFactor writes: At long last, a street-legal plane (or airworthy car), has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Because of its size, weight, and lack of usual auto safety features, it's got decent gas mileage on the road. Only requires 20 hours of flying time to get a license, and a third of a mile to get airborne. At just under $200k, it's a bit expensive, but there are definitely some early adopters.

Submission + - Mozilla Releases Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 (

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla has quietly posted the first Beta build of its Firefox 4 browser early this morning. The “chromified” browser leaves a solid first impression with a few minor hiccups, but no surprises. If you have been using a previous version of Firefox 3.7, which now officially becomes Firefox 4.0, you should feel already comfortable with this new version. Mozilla has not posted detailed release notes yet, but there seem to be no major changes from Firefox 3.7a6-pre, with the exception that the browser is running more smoothly and with fewer crashes.

Submission + - Why Google, Bing, Yahoo should fear ACTA (

littlekorea writes: A top US intellectual property law expert has warned that Silicon Valley's search engines, hosting companies and e-commerce giants have much to fear from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), negotiations for which continued in Switzerland today. The fear for search engines in particular is the erosion of 'fair use' protections and introduction of statutory damages, both of which could lead to more copyright claims from rights holders.

Submission + - LHC smashes beam collision record ( 2

siloko writes: The world's highest-energy particle accelerator has produced a record-breaking particle collision rate — about double the previous record. The collider is now generating around 10,000 particle collisions per second, according to physicist Andrei Golutvin. Ramping up the funding rhetoric Mike Lamont told BBC News "It's clear that the LHC is the new boy in town, but in two years running we're going to put Fermilab out of business". As a neutral all I can say is the more collisions the better!

Submission + - Can WoW make you a better boss?

Dexter Herbivore writes: HOW did Stephen Gillett go from college graduate to the youngest ever chief information officer of a Fortune 500 company in less than six years?
By playing World of Warcraft, says the Silicon Valley guru who gave him his first job. So there's hope for us budding millionaire guild masters yet! covers the story

Submission + - Scammers steal millions, pennies at a time (

e3m4n writes: Inspired by either Superman 3 or Office Space, it appears some criminals embarked on a credit card scam involving small amounts that went unnoticed by 90 percent of their victims with charges as small as $0.25. I guess they didn't forget a mundane detail as they ran this scam for several years.

Comment No violence or cruelty in the new testament? (Score 1) 1318

That is history prior to Christianity. No where in the New Testament will you violence being condoned for the followers of Christianity to participate in.

After a quick search on the internet I found plenty of counter-examples to that claim. One example: "For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death." (Matthew 15:4). How is telling people to kill disobedient children not condoning violence? Perhaps you should try listening to you own advice:

you should at least research the facts before you make claims

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