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The problem here is only this: my replies were not designed for you to read them so much as to make you mad enough to reread your own, and then try to figure out why I replied the way I did and so see the logical fallacies in your own. Get the wheels turning. So much for that stupid idea. Oh, well, time to be a fibber and send you this one. So much for THAT resolution, at least I don't have to worry about it... First, the Tuskegee topic. You had sent two replies before, the Tuskegee Experiments was sent back with the second one. Either you missed it or you never got it, which is quite possible with DA and a 2006 netbook, even with Opera Mini 5. Believe me, without that browser netbooks would be all worthless. My nuclear weapons comment served two purposes: first, to remind the Sagan-types that his "church" has also killed many people too, and to point out that his comment was pretty ridiculous, an invalid comparison. Does it mean atheists can never go to a Salvation Army store or soup kitchen? Trust in Allah but tether your goat, religion does NOT exclude such things. If religious people relied on prayer instead of vaccines, only a small percentage of our population would ever get them. But this is NOT the case because the reason people don't get them is either lack of money or suspicion about the side effects, such as autism- or deliberate poisoning (more on that in a bit). And it is a fact that the anti-vaccination crowd includes atheists too, so what would Sagan have said about them? The fact is, dangerous allergies have exploded, as have diabetes and autism in our population. Why? You talk about scientific literacy, but that does not mean simply repeating information, it means using logic and basic analysis. My generation did not suffer from such problems to such a degree. Our parents did not. They were vaccinated, as we were. So whatever was used on our parents did not affect us, either (it's a fact that something can have a delayed effect, like lead poisoning in the environment). So a logical literate person would start there. Were we given something different than our parents? Is the problem possibly HOW it's given (application counts for much; water can put out gasoline fires if applied correctly). If places like The Netherlands, Germany, Japan, or Australia do not have these problems then what are they doing differently? Is what the generations after mine (Y and the one after them) are being given/how it's given different? Like it or not there may be serious problems with vaccinations, and mindlessly supporting them is as bad as religious fanaticism, and cruel to boot. You accept the possibilty, honestly investigate (HONESTLY is the word here!), and if it is the problem, you make whatever changes are needed to make them safe. By the way, this month I'm going to have my dogs' rabies boosters given- I do NOT do everything at once, but spread it out, just as vaccines were given in my time. So don't say I'm anti-vaccine. And now... You claimed that laws were passed back then (early 1970s) to prevent things like the Tuskegee Experiments from happening again. There was your first logical fallacy: the government passes laws and the science community is supposed to obey them. But, uh- who would enforce and obey those laws? Why, the very government and science community responsible for those experiments in the first place. In effect, you are trusting bank robbers caught red-handed to now guard the bank! And did it not occur to you that laws were already broken, and that it was a human rights violation? Wasn't your statement shall we say a bit naive? Or is it because that, given such events, distrust of vaccination programs would not be based on belief in prayer or craziness, but a legit concern about what might be in that syringe? That Sagan's "church" has nobody to blame but itself? That if one can convince oneself that such things cannot happen since the early 1970s there would be no reason to think so now? Remember we are talking about a government capable of Iran-Contra, and lying to get us into a WAR just a decade ago- and the way it was done, by the way, violated the Constitution, the highest laws of our land! So of what possible value would those laws you mentioned be? There are laws to protect animals in labs and factory farms, but animal rights groups have time and time again stolen videotapes showing those laws being completely ignored- and yet still the government does not enforce them, which is why those groups steal those tapes; merely reporting the violations accomplishes nothing. Just as with the Tuskegee Experiments decades ago. And those "experts" debunking those "myths" are the same kinds who denied the existence of the Tuskegee experiments, the radiation experiments, the LSD mind control drug experiments- you get the point. And I did say if only one out of ten were true, then...that's the problem with lie after lie: people stop trusting. You mentioned a list of diseases and Afghanistan. The one word that counts here is "Afghanistan." Instead of quoting the likes of Sagan you should consider what would likely happen if the government and scientists try any such experiments on the people there; you may be willing to ignore such possibilities, but do you think Al-Queada will? This is yet another problem with deceit and treachery: it mushrooms into other problems. Just as the Tuskegee Experiments have helped poison race relations to this day. Simple honesty would have prevented all of these problems. As for the problem with the "light barrier" and your reply to that: any Dilbert fan would likely have known about such things since the 1990s, since Scott Adams mentioned it in "The Dilbert Future" (read it). The basic idea is that if you break a molecule in two, what you do with one part affects the other part, seemingly instantly and seemingly no matter how far away they are from each other. So, even if they can transmit a yes/no series of messages this way, given how even the most current video games and computers still use binary at the heart of it all, sophisticated communications over vast distances may become practical. But there was another logical fallacy: yes, it solves the problem of delayed communications...but only if you can get there in the first place. The fact that there is some bond that allows instant communications is simply there; but it does NOT get it anywhere in space. So far, there is no real proof that this phenomenon will solve the problem of getting anywhere faster than light. So the problem remains. My point is that the very science Sagan worshiped so far will prevent his prophesy of star travel from ever happening. But what you said also seemed to be a case of having your cake and eating it too: not saying the theory of relativity is wrong but also not having to accept the limitations it imposes. Something for nothing? And there is another problem with this: if two halves of a molecule are somehow connected no matter what, then does that not also imply that EVERYTHING is interconnected? That if scientists torture animals in research labs they are by extension hurting all of us? The agricultural revolution itself, which for millenia has given us the foods we take for granted, has only been beneficial, but it followed natural laws and itself did no harm. But the cruelty of factory farming has caused terrible problems, including the overuse of antibiotics which has been linked to the new "supergerms" that are causing trouble. In other words, this might be the first physical proof of "karma." Jewish culture has a saying: "save a life, save the world." Then there's evolution. Sagan and Dawkins went on about this but conveniently ignore a roaring 800-pound gorilla nearby: there is absolutely no evidence that one species ever evolved into another (macroevolution). What they do is look at changes within A species (microevolution) and from that deduce that that is where all species came from, which is as ridiculous as saying a man driving north out of New York City MUST be heading for northern Canada. Even dogs, all those breeds, so different from their wolf ancestors in appearance, manipulated deliberately by man, cannot cross-breed with foxes or cats but can with wolves and coyotes (we have "coydogs" around here). So even the efforts of man after millenia has never, even through deliberate selection and manipulation, ever essentially changed that species in the most basic ways. And once again, the hypocrisy. If we accept evolution, then where we are is the result of millions of years of subtle and dramatic effort by nature. Alien species introduced into a foreign ecosystem has had terrible effects time and again (e.g. Asian wood borer beetles, and look at what happened to the dodo birds). Therefore, genetic engineering can only be a hazard if put into the environment, because at least those alien species evolved in an ecosystem of their own; what will a species not a part of ANY natural order do? The Sagans and Dawkins pushed the theory of evolution, but were unwilling to abide by the limitations it clearly demands. It is funny that Seinfeld said it best: we can't be sure what happened to JFK in a crowded place a few decades ago with the cameras rolling; good luck figuring out what happened to T-Rex. Fact is, NOBODY knows how it all happened, be they religious or evolutionist; they just choose their own belief. Then there was the comment by Sagan about how he's never seen any real proof of an afterlife. Oh, so I suppose those planets astronomers (claim) to have recently found didn't exist for all those thousands of years man has been stargazing until now? What a conceited notion! It's like that American Indian comedian's joke about how they say such-and-such discovered the Pacific Ocean; his people had been living there for centuries...they never noticed it? But again, such as Sagan cannot or will not face up to what they are saying, because they do not truly COMPREHEND. If there is no afterlife, no soul (note: there does not have to be any god(s) for this to exist, just as lightning can exist without Zeus), then we are obviously nothing more than physical, mechanical beings. Which means that our very thinking, our very personalities, are simply the result of electrical and chemical reactions. AND...since these things happen by the laws of chemistry and physics, we do not- CANNOT- be anything more than automatons. We are all simply controlled by the chemical "programming" in our brains, with no more free will than Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde have in Pac-Man. We have no true free will, but merely respond in pre-programmed ways with the mere ILLUSION of free will. I sent this automatically for that reason, and you are an atheist merely because you were programmed to. There is no choice or arguing here; chemical reactions do not care what you want or think (or THINK you think or want). An acid/base reaction will produce salt water and heat, not cold sugar soda, no matter how much you want it to. Likewise electric current. So for all his pompous behavior, Sagan was a mere automaton, going through life reacting to stimuli only as his programming allowed. Then he died, and merely ceased to exist. Nothing more than a freak accident of nature, in a world where the worst Hitlers, Stalins, and people behind the 2012 fall network lineups cannot be held responsible for their actions any more than Blinky was a murderer for killing Ms. Pac-Man. So what's the point in living? What a depressing, absurd notion! Of course there's more! Look at where we are. In 1977 my family bought a Chrysler station wagon; 8-cylinders, real steel bumpers and bumper guards, and it got a then-great 22 MPG! A month ago in a used car lot I saw a regular 4-cylinder 2009 car with those absurd bumpers I could almost tear out barehanded bragging about- after 32 years- 25 MPG. No cures for cancer, diabetes, other diseases rampant, a lot of hot air and statistical juggling to make it look like much has been accomplished- but we've actually regressed!! Here are two anecdotes for you:
1) Back in 1986, in the computer lab with the Vic-20 computers, I would spend some time figuring out how to program games. It had 3 1/2 Kilobytes, 184 X 176 resolution (184 X 88 in multi-colored mode), no sprites, and polygons- what the hell are those? Since it had no sprites and it took at least 8K just to bitmap the entire screen, the computer teacher insisted it was impossible for me to have programmed a game where the character moved 1/2 space at a time. What happened was this: Commodore computers had 256 "pre-programmed" characters in them, in ROM. There was a way to copy those characters into unused RAM and make the computer get its information about their appearance from there. But since it was in RAM, you could change the 8 numbers (0-255) that made up the character. So what I did was to change one of the unused symbols into a simple character, and then change 4 more into "half-characters," vertical and horizontal. To go left, you would draw half the character into the left space and the other half in the original space; then you'd move the complete image into the left space and leave a musical note in the original space. Right, up, down, didn't matter; you had a character walking around the screen 1/2 space at a time. It was a pretty popular action game in the lab, especially for that reason. But that teacher smugly refused to even look at it, insisting it could not be done. When the Wright Bros. achieved that first flight at Kitty Hawk, the mainstream science community in Washington insisted it was a hoax, since it was a fact that manned heavier-than-air flight was IMPOSSIBLE. I cannot think of the one without thinking of the other.
2) We had a cat with on open sore behind her left ear, a hole in her flesh. We tried for two years to heal it: Bag Balm, ointments, numerous topical and oral antibiotics prescribed by several different vets (try pilling a cat), nothing worked. Then a friend gave me a kit for making ionic/colloidal silver. It is amazingly simple to do, and although I only have a homemade laser to get a vague estimate of colloidal particle concentration (ions do not reflect laser light), I whipped up a jar of the stuff, and tried the same treatment on the cat with it. In two months the sore had actually really healed- permanently!- and fur grew back. It was also closing up an open sore on a dog, but she died of cancer before it fully could- there was nothing the vet could do about that. So for those sort of things, even the relatively primitive stuff I made worked. But still many "experts" insist it's "nonsense."
Ask yourself this: how much evidence would Sagan have needed to prove the 1969 moon landing was true- then ask how much to prove it was a hoax. Now, ask the same question about God, a simple continuation after death, or any minor supernatural phenomenon. It would not be the same, because of his pre-existing biases. So people who preach "reason" or "rational" are not being honest; they are no different than anyone else.
My friend, the only way we're going to get off of this road leading to the edge of a cliff is to abandon stupid notions that limit us so badly. Convince an Olympic high jumper that he cannot leap over a 3-foot barrier, and he will no longer be able to. We are limiting ourselves more and more, and for all of our gadgets will find ourselves in a new Dark Ages, gizmos aside. Remember, even Medieval Europe was more "advanced" than the first cavemen who harnessed fire and tried to plant seeds to start a crude agriculture- yet they were the ones who were more enlightened, as were the ancient Greeks, who had religion yet had those who actually came close to figuring out the size of the world.
And the idea of the sun going around the world was something people across the world believed- simply because of the limitations of our senses. One does not feel the world moving under us (except maybe Carole King), but we do see the sun moving across the sky. Add to this the complication that the other big thing in the sky- the moon- IS moving around us, and both the sun and stars are moving through space, and the mistake was understandable, although the Church's actions were brutal and inexcusable, always to be remembered as a warning against authority that has the "only answers." But that was more to hold power, like Big Brother in "1984," than anything else. Human nature.
And what limitations. Where I live happens to be six miles from any town. Every year they have fireworks. According to my senses, in this case hearing, the fireworks begin 30 seconds later than they do (let's just figure sound travels exactly 1 mile/5 seconds to keep the math simple here), and end 30 seconds after they do.
So if I could not see them and had to rely on hearing, not knowing the speed of sound, I could not know the reality of it. Therefore reality is in our MINDS, not our physical senses, our immaterial part. Likewise the stars; we see many stars but never at once; they are separate in time. The nearest star can explode now- we cannot know until summer of 2018.
So- all we can do is blunder around and usually through serendipity get it right (maybe!) once in a while. Maybe the idea of gods is also meant to keep us from getting too big for our britches, so we never think we have all the answers.
Good luck and have an at-least-decent 2013, fellow DA. Think about it.
Sagan does not have a church, science is a body of knowledge that is the most consistent with all evidence that we have available and nothing more. What you are doing is called projection, and a very good explanation of it can be found here [link]
Further, Sagan's comment was directed very specifically at people who questioned vaccinations. I agree that it is a false dichotomy, but Sagan was very aware of that when he said it. What he meant was that if prayer worked, vaccines would not be necessary. As such people who both pray AND vaccinate KNOW that prayer does not work and they have more trust in science than they do prayer. With good reason too.
The fact is that dangerous allergies have NOT exploded. In cases when they have become more common, the causes are almost universally well known and explained. On occasions when they are not well known they are spending stupendous amounts of money trying to figure out why, and in all the research, not ONCE have vaccinations been listed as a cause. Asthma for example is one that we do not know the answer to, but instead of blaming it on something you don't like, why don't you try looking up the research that has actually been done? A good place to start would be the Asthma partners website, hell I'll even give you the link [link]
A logical person might indeed start by asking what is different, what makes you think that the people being paid to research the subject didn't start there and eliminate such considerations? Do you really think its a global conspiracy to dupe the world into worse health?
The scientific community does NOT regularly lie to everybody in the world, and in fact, peer review is the means used to make absolutely certain that people cannot. Occasionally scientists may try, but when they fail to provide empirical evidence for their results they get called out on their lies. You again show a complete lack of knowledge with your misunderstanding of the methods and culture of the scientific community. Your complete misrepresentation of science and the scientific community is typical of people who have been listening to religious propaganda. Science may change based on new evidence, but it does not, and it CAN NOT lie. A scientist may attempt to, but if he cannot produce replicable data, he will not be believed.
Again you call Science a religion. Again I call you a moron.
You worry about scientists in other countries, and I agree that there is no way to stop them, but what exactly does that have to do with this conversation? Unless you advocate world domination by the united States, there is nothing that can be done to stop government sponsored programs in other countries. Strangely you cannot stop the spread of cult like religions either, are you going to complain about them as well?
One important note though, you mention Afghanistan as an important point, but have completely failed to see the context in which it was mentioned. You see its people like YOU in Afghanistan, who deny that vaccines are beneficial.
Your idea of quantum entanglement is so stupid its amazing. It has nothing at all to do with breaking a particle in two, when you do that you get a mushroom cloud. Hell, I thought you'd at least know that much.
Who said the agricultural revolution did no harm? it destroyed vast amounts of wilderness and has completely transformed face of the earth. It is NECESSARY, but it is certainly not a good thing, food production now takes up 40 percent of the Earth's land surface. that;s more than a third of the total surface of the earth.
As for your version of evolution (another change in subject), it is again absolutely ridiculous, I mean completely laughable. You actually think there is a difference between micro and macro evolution? Take a look at the following video, then maybe you'll understand the concept. [link]
As for proof of an afterlife (another change of subject), there is no evidence of any kind that any form of supernatural existence is even remotely possible, and yet for literally millennia, there has been evidence of other celestial bodies. There is no possible comparison between the two hypothesis.
Actually, your idea that we're all basically automatons is a distinct (if highly unsavoury) possibility, and so far there is no evidence that suggests otherwise. Just because you do not like a conclusion, does not mean it cannot be true. I agree, I do not like the idea of being nothing more than a chemical automaton, but so far there is nothing to disprove the idea. I would not call it an accident however, from everything we know, it was a highly likely occurance.
And you are absolutely correct that it would require more evidence to prove the existence of god, why shouldn't it? God is a supernatural entity that supposedly exists beyond time and space that has no evidence and can be easily explained as a quirk of psychology, but we know for a fact that the moon actually exists.
People who subscribe to using reason and rational are simply using the only method that has ever been proven to correctly understand the world. Are you saying you are an unreasonable and irrational person? Because, I have to admit that comes remarkably close to my prior assessment.
And what does heliocentricism have to do with anything? Again your rambling about things that have no connection to the discussion.
As for our minds being the only real existence, you are now stumbling onto philosophy, I suggest you look up the origins of the phrase "I think, therefore I am." Maybe René Descartes conclusions will help you to understand why we have to rely on our physical senses in order to understand the world around us, we literally have no choice in the matter.
Plus the idea that people who understand science think they have all the answers is again laughable, a basic understanding of how science works simply proves how little we do know. The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know, this is a sentiment that has been echoed by many scientists and philosophers, starting with Socrates and coming all the way through the ages to Feynman, and funnily enough Sagan himself.
Yours is the same kind of response any religious fanatic has when he has no answer. Like it or not, scientists have murdered many people with radiation experiments and things like the racist Tuskegee Experiments on black people. But, just as religious fanatics won't face up to the dark aspects of their beliefs, so you cannot face up to the unpleasant realities of yours.
Your response is why I do not want those like you running things any more than I want Pat Robertson doing so. Just two sides of the same coin.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More