News Briefs 11-04-07

Late but great.

  • The countless achievements of a Math Master.
  • The pursuit of happiness in perspective.
  • Quake lifts Solomons island out of the sea.
  • Belief in reincarnation tied to memory errors.
  • Why are all the bees dying?
  • Global warming: why so gloomy?
  • Secret paper reveals Labour Government intended to force UK citizens to sign up to ID cards.
  • Bio-weapons could be used to combat overpopulation.
  • Scholars for 911 truth: Jim Fetzer versus Steven Jones.
  • Enmities ancient and modern: Britain’s forgotten battlefields.
  • Roman tomb found full of ancient gold and jewels.
  • Rebuilt immune system shakes off diabetes.
  • Dreamed up phone number leads man to bride. The next one leads him to an affair, and the last one is the number of his divorce lawyer.
  • Noctilucent clouds linked to climate change?
  • Volcano’s fury throws up mystery fish.
  • The disappearing male.
  • Morgellons: the nanotech theory.
  • Early Earth was purple.
  • The mountain of tongues.
  • Seeing the light.
  • The comet and the Chicago fire. Parts 1, 2 and 3.
  • The galaxy’s rosy glow.

Quote of the Day:


An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.

Aldous Huxley

  1. “memory errors”…
    Comrades,

    It seems to me that scientists will stop at nothing to try and prove the Gods do not exist. How sad must it be to live in a world devoid of faith, where everything at odds with physical data must be seen as a malfunction of memory, or some upsetting of the neural or hormonal balance.

    Look at those poor scientists, damned to a pretty petty and bland existence because they have painted themselves into a corner. They start with a presumption that the Gods do not exist, and go from there. A totally unsupportable hypothesis, and one which, had it been used to “prove” anything else, would be laughed out of a peer-review team.

    I have no problem with scientific enquiry. I have no bone to pick with scientists. As I grow older, I find, however, that the world would seem to be better off without scientists who are atheists. The Gods created everything we see, and what we cannot yet see. It’s science’s role to try and piece out how the Gods did it, and to be honest, that’s probably a fool’s errand.

    Respects,

    Respects,
    Gwedd

    1. Science VS faith
      Scientists are not supposed to have faith. On the other hand, they still have faith in science.

      The problem I see is not with science but with the agenda.

      It does not matter to me if the agenda is scientific dogma or if it is spiritual dogma. In both cases, it is a territory to protect so that the ego is supported in his false security.

    2. cognitive science
      First, I mention that I am not an atheist.

      However, what you don’t understand is that some people try to find out how the mind works.

      There are very good reasons to believe that memory, dreams, and imagination are all based on the same mechanism in the brain.

      —-
      Failure is not an option — it comes bundled with Windows

      1. You are right
        Scientists have scientific beliefs while others have faith.

        As you aptly point out, both proceed from the same mechanisms, a need to understand that is adjusted to the seeker’s mindset and that get precedence over reality if necessary.

    3. Religion vs. science
      For my part it does seem as though you are incorrectly characterizing a large number of people, and their efforts, on the basis of an argument that can’t be resolved.

      To expand on this: there’s a number of folk who will assert that some god(s) made the universe because the physical constants of this universe favor the presence of human life,
      that, in essence, the universe exists so that there’d be a place to put a ball of rock where some primates could run around and kill eachother. (I’m not saying this is your point of view, I’m just trying to illustrate a point.)

      There’s another school of thought which asserts that human life is here because the physical constants of this universe favor something like human life, and, who knows, perhaps some radically different forms.

      There’s more than a little reason to think that the folk who lean towards one assertion or the other don’t have much common ground between them. Isn’t that to be expected? Are Faith and Proof not mutually exclusive? Personally I would think so but tell me: of the two assertions described above, which, objectively, requires fewer assumptions?

      Depending on which statistics one accepts, an overwhelming majority of the human race has some sort of religious belief; some place the number as high as 90% if not higher. There’s a theory which suggests that religion may be the result of a predisposition within the human mind, that the groupthink implied by religion is actually a survival trait, that the groupthink would lead to a higher chance of survival when there was conflict with others who did not share some other sort of groupthink. (Indeed there are some who, like me, assert that religion is the product of nothing but human arrogance.) Still, let’s try to apply Occam’s Razor in an impartial way: which is more likely, that the gods exist or that the universe is what it is because it is what it is?

      As I see it this is where things break down. Where were the gods before they created the universe? Who created them? On the other hand, if the gods have always existed, why can’t the universe have always existed, and why, in a universe of endless time and infinite space, can literally anything not have happened as the result of no other mechanism than random chance?

      There’s a lot of questions that could be asked and many of them may never be answered barring some sort of divine revelation…but why is it that some people feel threatened by the questions being asked, by hypotheses being put forward? You say: “that scientists will stop at nothing to try and prove the Gods do not exist.” Would you not admit that there’s a large number of folk who would stop at nothing to prove that the gods do exist? Enthusiam for one view or the other proves nothing save that some folk have profoundly opposed points of view.

      You state: “Look at those poor scientists, damned to a pretty petty and bland existence because they have painted themselves into a corner.” Which corner would this be, and what is petty or bland about the infinite wonders of reality? How do you know what presumptions scientists make? Science, warts and all, has a pretty impressive track record at explaining the physical universe; what, in your opinion, has religion explained? You claim that the scientists are advancing an unsupportable hypothesis; are you making that claim on the basis of Faith or Proof? We’ve got Faith on one side and Proof on the other and tell me, which would more rapidly fail the peer-review process, Faith or Proof? Proof leads-ideally-to an understanding of the universe that will hold true under a given set of circumstances. What does Faith lead to? From the historical perspective, Faith seems to lead to lots of people being murdered for their beliefs, or lack of beliefs…oddly, for all the time Man has spent debating religion, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of consensus emerging. One would think that if the concept of religion contained inherent truth it would lead to some commonly held opinion; unfortunate that it seems only to add to the list of artificial ways in which we divide ourselves into competing groups. I’m not saying that the flaw is in religion, it may just be human nature, but either way the flaw does exist. Seems like poor planning on someone’s part, if there was any planning at all.

      All in all, let’s agree to disagree. You’re more than entitled to your view that: “the world would seem to be better off without scientists who are atheists.” For my part, I’m entitled to think that the world would be better off without religion. I’ll leave you with a thought…
      scientists rarely kill eachother and random bystanders over a difference in opinion, while the death-toll associated with religion is incalculably high. I wonder which is better. To paraphrase Galileo, I decline to accept that we were given brains but were expected not to use them. We do have brains and some will use them and what else are they for? Science-i.e., Proof-is the label we put on the employment of our brains in the pursuit of Reason…in that context, what is Faith except an abdication of Reason?

      cheers

      Good News: There’s a guiding force at work in the Universe. Bad News: It’s Irony.

      1. Good intervention Binro
        If I may I will give you some comments on your observations.

        [quote] Are Faith and Proof not mutually exclusive? [/quote]
        Could they simply be two sides of the same psychological coin?

        One does not know, therefore he needs to be reassured by requiring a proof or having faith.

        Science fails when it refuses to admit that it is only mathematically describing mechanical aspects observed while the origin or the fundamentals behind the phenomena remains totally obscure.

        The only proof there is is the subjective interpretation of made into a rational form.

        It holds until new observations force a re-evaluation, disproving the proof. Still, the scientist often will have faith that they have uncovered a mystery when they really only have uncovered a territory previously not accessible to his senses. And, of course, his senses are the limit of his potential for observation, which he extends with instruments that are precisely aimed at projected expectations.

        [quote] can literally anything not have happened as the result of no other mechanism than random chance? [/quote]

        You could also ask:
        Can literally anything have happened as the result of no other mechanism than random chance?

        Is not the very concept of random chance simply the result of ignorance? The ignorance that gives us the impression that we are not at the helm of our own life?
        For the atheist, all proceed from random events and for the believer, all proceed from the will of god.
        Could it be neither?

        [quote] There’s a lot of questions that could be asked and many of them may never be answered barring some sort of divine revelation [/quote]

        That is my take on it too.

        Mind you, the scientist would dismiss such revelation if it happened to someone else’s brain as just the result of random neuron activity.

        Of course, I am jesting here. If the world was random, it would not have come up with an operating system for animated matter self supported by the genome.

        We have not realized the very nature of consciousness yet.

        [quote] that scientists will stop at nothing to try and prove the Gods do not exist [/quote]

        That is not the case as this cannot be done.

        Atheists, be they scientists or not, will refute the allegation because they believe there is no such thing. Same process for believers who believe there is something.
        Same difference.

        [quote] Look at those poor scientists, damned to a pretty petty and bland existence because they have painted themselves into a corner [/quote]
        They are in their corner and the believers are in the other corner.
        Lets the fight begin! (Just kidding)

        [quote] Science, warts and all, has a pretty impressive track record at explaining the physical universe [/quote]
        I beg to differ here. They have never explained the physical universe, they have described it, as well as they could.

        [quote] what, in your opinion, has religion explained? [/quote]
        That depends on the religion.
        There are some very interesting explanations, as opposed to descriptions, that stems from Buddhism and other ancient traditions.

        Christianity never really explained anything at all, most especially Catholicism, who really only worked with a stick and a carrot to keep the sheep in line.

        Some Gnostic tradition did go a bit beyond this though.

        [quote] We’ve got Faith on one side and Proof on the other [/quote]
        I have a bit of a problem with this statement.
        Is it that we have proof on one side or that the proof is fragmentary and simply reinforces the description that fits an understanding?

        [quote] One would think that if the concept of religion contained inherent truth it would lead to some commonly held opinion [/quote]

        We also know what happens to those who challenge scientific dogma.

        Same psychological principles.

        [quote] but either way the flaw does exist. Seems like poor planning on someone’s part, if there was any planning at all [/quote]

        That is a reasonable assumption based on the current limit of what can be observed at the psychological level.

        The matter of the fact is that we are far less intelligent that we like to believe. To blame bad planning from a force or another or to base the mechanism on random chance is a copout in both cases.

        [quote] “the world would seem to be better off without scientists who are atheists.” For my part, I’m entitled to think that the world would be better off without religion [/quote]
        You actually are both right.

        [quote] scientists rarely kill eachother and random bystanders over a difference in opinion [/quote]
        That is a fact.

        Yet, powers that are need scientists to:
        Create drugs for imaginary illnesses (illnesses actually fabricated to sell the product)
        Create weapons to drop on ‘random’ bystanders
        Reingeneer crops to gain monopoly over food
        All in all, to do all kinds of mistakes based on so called scientific knowledge in the name of greed and power.
        I am of course making a generalization here but I am sure you get my point.

        As you said though, this is just human nature and whatever side of the fence where someone may feel comfortable being, the same mechanisms are at work under the assumption of being right.

        The reason of the next guy only holds weaker than ours in our own head. To him, it is our reason that fails. Logic can be used to prove or disprove anything.

    4. “The Gods created everything we see, and what we cannot yet see”
      Oh please, what absolute rubbish. Scientists may be guilty of selecting a theory and then trying to prove it, but your statements are blindly swallowed and regurgitated rhetoric.

      “As I grow older, I find, however, that the world would seem to be better off without scientists who are atheists”

      How unlike one of a religious nature to place judgement on others? Yes, let us all return to the dark ages.

      AAiek

        1. The Dark Ages
          Richard, I sometimes wonder if they ever truly left. Does it not seem as though every step towards enlightenment brings to view a new crop of folk wishing to drag the race backwards? Hence my opinion that religion is the greatest force working against the advancement of the species.

          *sigh*

          Good News: There’s a guiding force at work in the Universe. Bad News: It’s Irony.

          1. Religions and the dark ages
            I agree that there are great forces that would slow down or better even halt totally any true enlightenment that we could achieve.

            I will even say that the day a man has achieved true enlightenment, he cannot be religious.

            Finally, I would say that religion will cease to exist but that it will do all it can to keep man a little creature that must submit.

          2. Religions and the dark ages
            Well said.

            Good News: There’s a guiding force at work in the Universe. Bad News: It’s Irony.

          3. we all
            swim in the same tar pit created and imposed on us to slow us down. Those who climb out and clean themselves off are only just beginning their journey.

            “While contemplating on their life, anyone who says they have no regrets and would do it all the same again, have not learn’t anything.”
            LRF.

    5. Gwedd
      The non-existence of God is proven everyday.

      http://www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com

      You already seem to know everything between your understanding of scientific method. And a steady diet of Rush Dimbug. To be honest, replying to you and expecting a reply or reason seems a fool’s errand. But I can only hope your visits to this site, show an interest outside of the goverment propaganda, religious indoctrination box you live in. There’s more to the world then what your told comrade!

    6. faith,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
      science is there to replace fiction with fact using evidence. It’s peoples EGO that creates dogma.
      Faith should be directed soley at ones self. If you have no faith in your self….you have nothing! Blind faith is dangerous and a retardent of evolution.

      PS. all things start as a thought, then become fact or fiction depending on the evidence.

      “While contemplating on their life, anyone who says they have no regrets and would do it all the same again, have not learn’t anything.”
      LRF.

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