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Porkypine, Trump, and other matters

Chaos Manor View and Mail, Thursday, February 11, 2016

More dentistry, but I drove myself to the dentist, and tonight Roberta drove herself to choir practice; we have reached the recuperation phase of the various ailments that have been bugging us. Tomorrow I should do a full day’s work, God willing.

Also I solved the dreaded 503 error and understand it now for the Surface Pro 3 with Pro 4 keyboard, which combination I recommend; I doubt I will buy a Pro 4, at least for a while; I can recommend the Surface Pro 3 with Pro 4 keyboard as good enough for a road warrior. Do carry a charging system and use often. Write-up coming in Chaos Manor Reviews covering 503 error, fingerprint ID on the Pro 4, and some more on .pst files.

It’s late. Short shrift time. Gravitational waves; I have a young friend who has a working fellowship at Cal Tech so I pretty well knew it was coming, but I wasn’t on the official press list (which was embargoes anyway) and it would have done you no good to know a few days in advance. I haven’t thought what this does to Beckmann’s ether theory, but it does not seem to me to refute it; Beckmann postulated that the local gravitational field is the aether in which everything waves, and I see no evidence that negates that. Beckmann assumed that gravity propagates at the speed of light, but that is not unchanging depending on the strength of the local gravitational field, and might be significantly different between galaxies or at galactic centers; this may go a way to explaining the gravitational anomalies which have caused the postulation of dark matter and dark energy. At this point you have exceeded my mathematical abilities and I must leave the rest to someone who knows better.

But, so far as I can tell, the confirmation of the existence of gravity waves is a confirmation of General Relativity, but also a confirmation — or at least not a falsification – of Beckmann’s gravity field as aether hypothesis. I am sure we will have considerable discussion on this in weeks to come.

bubbles

atom

atom

 

Wish I could go.

 

bubbles

I have said this before and I have seen no reason to change my view: Trump is not a Conservative as paleo conservatives understand the word, and he has no real conservative theories: he is a pragmatic populist in the tradition of Andrew Jackson or Herbert Hoover. He has no experience in governing, but he does have considerable experience in management including management of what would have been considered enormous projects not all that long ago. Reagan learned from governing California; Trump will not have that experience if he becomes President. He will discuss goals with potential managers and engineers, form some notion of the possibilities of success and the costs of failure, and choose those projects which he thinks will make us look great, get employment growing, etc. He goes not try to look statesmanlike, but he can assume enough gravitas for the occasion when it arises. He will not be unintentionally rude. He knows he must enlist the services of people who don’t much like him; he has done that well in the past.

If you went by credentials, Jeb Bush is the most qualified; but you get his relatives and their friends with him, and that means the Republican Establishment and thus more of the same; and the country is sick of them. Both Democrats and Republicans have grown weary of what we have and want something different and new. No one asked Barrack the Magic Negro for blueprints of Hope and Change, and he hadn’t even managed the construction of a big building.

When I was growing up we were taught in sixth grade that Democrats wanted “tariff for revenue only;” Republicans wanted protective tariff to keep manufacturing – and jobs – at home. Abraham Lincoln said of tariff, if he buys a shirt from England, he gets the shirt but the money leaves the country and pays wages to Englishmen; if he buys it from a US manufacturer, he has the shirt, and the money stays in America, paying American workers. This is, according to Ricardo, far too simple an analysis; but it appeals to reason. American goods may cost more without overseas competition, but the money and jobs stay/ cheaper goods are not always appealing to those who have no jobs to give then wages, and must rely in government to pay them for not working; and a sizeable number of “workers” resent being on the unemployment role and getting welfare aid.

The US establishment went to war in 1940, and suddenly produced tanks, rifles, airplanes, trucks, bandages, ammunition, cargo ships and battleships; when the American people rose up they drowned Germany and Japan in war materiel. The German war machine used animal drawn transport to supply much of the Wehrmacht; The United States turned the last cavalry regiments into mechanized units and the Red Ball Express that supplied Patton. I used mules to plow cotton fields during World War II; but our soldiers did not depend on mules for ammunition. If all our plants had been in Frankfurt instead of Detroit, the outcome might have been different.

That, I believe, is how Trump sees things.

bubbles

NSS Pays Tribute to Late NSS Governor Dr. Marvin Minsky, A Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence

(Washington DC, February 11, 2016)  The National Space Society pays tribute to Dr. Marvin Minsky, a pioneer of artificial intelligence, who served as a long-time member of the NSS Board of Governors, and was involved in the original merger of the L5 Society and the National Space Institute to create the National Space Society.  Dr. Minsky was very involved in early NSS activities and was part of many NSS space policy projects such as the 1981 “Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy.” He attended Board of Governors meetings and participated in NSS’s annual International Space Development Conference.® He died on January 14 in Boston from a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 88 years old.
Marvin was also the thesis advisor for current NSS Governor K. Eric Drexler, a pioneer in the field of nanotechnology and an early activist who helped start NSS.

Hugh Downs, Chair of the NSS Board of Governors, said, “Marvin Minsky was a bright light in the arena of accelerating knowledge in modern physics. Where many of us plodded along to keep up with these changes, he seemed to always manage to be even with them. He will be sorely missed by those who worked with him and knew him well.” 

Marvin Minsky was Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research led to both theoretical and practical advances in artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, neural networks, the theory of Turing Machines and recursive functions. He made other contributions in the domains of graphics, symbolic mathematical computation, knowledge representation, computational semantics, machine perception, and both symbolic and connectionist learning. He was also involved with advanced technologies for exploring space.

In October 2015, the MIT Media Lab presented Marvin with a gift in honor of his lifetime commitment to MIT students. “What a beautiful thing. What does it do?” he asked, when studying the world’s first 3D-printed clear glass object. View the presentation here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tIIe3NnodU .

The report from the Citizens Advisory Council, in which Marvin participated, was titled Space: The Crucial Frontier and includes this preamble:
“Space is potentially our most valuable national resource. A properly developed space program can go far toward restoring national pride while developing significant and possibly decisive military and economic advantages. In exploring space we will rediscover frontiers and more than frontiers; we can rediscover progress. The exploitation of space will have far reaching historical significance. The statesmen who lead mankind permanently to space will be remembered when Isabella the Great and Columbus are long forgotten.” (http://www.nss.org/settlement/L5news/1981-council.htm)

Today, NSS is vigorously promoting our expansion into space.  We are engaging with the international community via collaborations, tracks at our annual International Space Development Conference, and articles in Ad Astra and in major international publications. NSS volunteers today maintain the Space Settlement Nexus (www.nss.org/settlement) in carrying forward Marvin Minsky’s vision. 

###

I was one of the founding members of NSS, and For years was Secretary of the L5 Society.

bubbles

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GjETv16T1Io/Vrsefnpk3yI/AAAAAAAABwM/-BWIPHdsITU/s1600/TWBWv9_480.jpg

 

There Will Be War Volume IX

After Armageddon

bubbles

South Carolina New Poll Data

Jerry,

There’s been a dearth of new poll data out of South Carolina since before Iowa, a lifetime in politics. As of then, the RealClearPolitics.Com (RCP) average had Trump 36%, Cruz 20%, Rubio 13%, Bush 10%, Carson 9%, Kasich 2%.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/sc/south_carolina_republican_presidential_primary-4151.html

Most of the “Polls Say” stories currently out there are based on this obsolete data, and can be safely ignored. (Though keep an eye on RCP over the coming days, as new polls are no doubt in the works – but pay more attention to the actual new polls than to the average, until the old polls have rolled out of it!)

Today we finally have the first post-NH poll data out of SC (via Bill Kristol, though unofficial and with caveats): Trump 32%, Cruz 26%, Rubio 20%, Bush 10%, Carson 7%, Kasich 2%.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/sc-poll-trump-32-cruz-26-rubio-20-bush-10/article/2001032

So (assuming Kristol isn’t being played or the poll isn’t an outlier) over the last three weeks in SC Trump lost some ground, Cruz closed to within striking distance, and Rubio moved up to a solid third place.

Meanwhile Bush, Carson, and Kasich largely held on to what they had (but absent major gains what they had is likely to not be very relevant.)

My chief takeaway today: The SC Republican insurgent vote looks to be 65% (Trump, Cruz, Carson) even without trying to figure out how much of Rubio’s support is Tea Party types going along (for now) with his two-lane bid for establishment support.

New Hampshire’s 49% Rep establishment turnout (arguably less given Rubio’s 10% included in it) may be their high-water mark for this campaign. Iowa’s and now South Carolina’s two-thirds insurgent majorities may be the rule.

If so, I’m thinking that the Republican establishment needs to begin seriously considering which flavor of insurgency will be best for the country overall, and make their peace. My take is, they’ll survive that a lot better over the long run than if they throw the race to whoever they think best for themselves in the short run.

Porkypine

I have no significant quarrel with your analysis.

bubbles

Talk Like Reagan

The following is extracted from a piece called “How to Win the White House and Save the World: Don’t Talk of Reagan. Talk Like Reagan.”

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/361326.php (Ace of Spades HQ, via Instapundit)

The point made here strikes me as both highly explanatory of the current race and profoundly important. Read the whole thing, but the heart of it is here:

– begin quote –

There is a principle called the 80/20 principle. You surely know it: 20% of the work produces 80% of the gains. But the next 80% of the work only produces the last 20% of the gains.

Trump is being taken seriously because he’s not forgetting the most important thing: to tell people

* This will make you freer.

* This will make you safer.

* This will make you richer.

* This will make you happier.

* This will make a better world for your children.

That’s 20% of politics. He doesn’t do the 80%, the hard thinking about policy, the homework, because he’s a little lazy.

Yet his 20% is producing that magical 80% of the benefits, whereas many other candidates are focusing on the 80% that only gets you the 20%.

Everyone can beat Trump.

They just have to re-read Reagan, look at those beautiful words, each so simple but so perfect, and how, after every single policy proposal, Reagan explained to you:

* This will make you freer.

* This will make you safer.

* This will make you richer.

* This will make you happier.

* This will make a better world for your children.

Trump is doing the 20% and getting the 80% because he can’t really do more than that 20%. That’s really all he has.

But other candidates, who know the whole 100%, are getting bogged down in the 80% that gets you the 20%.

Anyone can beat Trump.

All it takes is speaking like Reagan.

– end quote –

Porkypine

I doubt whether Franklin Roosevelt knew how to loft an airplane or build a bombsight. Oy, have you studied Huey Long’s career? Speaking like Reagan is not trivial; having participated in some of the efforts to write speeches for him, I can assure you of that. Most career Sergeants Major know far more how to do things than their officers; and smart officers know this, and are advised on what can and cannot be done; but they seldom rise to command.

Trump says this will make YOU happier; I’m already happy.

Like the county roads commissioner who kept winning election although there was a weird road snaking through the hollows forty miles to make it easier for him to get to town – and ran on a platform of “I’ve got my road. I’ll build the ones you need.”

bubbles

While I was rummaging around in the Beyond Belief cupboard

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/obama-signs-two-executive-orders-on-cybersecurity/ar-BBpizIj?ocid=ansmsnnews11

As a Cybersecurity guy that has worked in this field for more years than I care to count, this says it all:

“…Obama created two new entities as part of a $19 billion budget proposal to Congress on cybersecurity: The first, a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, will be made up of business, technology, national security and law enforcement leaders who will make recommendations to strengthen online security in the public and private sectors. It will deliver a report to the president by Dec. 1….”

And:

“The second, a Federal Privacy Council, will bring together chief privacy officers from 25 federal agencies to coordinate efforts to protect the vast amounts of data the federal government collects and maintains about taxpayers and citizens.”

$19 Billion dollars for a bunch of people who are probably mostly incompetent or at a minimum focused on their own varied agendas to produce “A REPORT BY DECEMBER 1.” 

And the second group is the set of dumbasses that failed in the first place.  You are going to keep them on staff and pay them MORE money!?!?

Good grief.  $19 Billion … and all they produce is a report in just under a YEAR.  $19 Billion would fix ALL their problem systems, upgrade them, put in state of the art security systems and train users.

One more COLOSSAL waste of money.

What they need is some competent System Architects and Security people.  But they won’t hire them, they’ll hire by cronyism.

Trace

bubbles

Nuclear winter rides again

Dear Dr. Pournelle,
It appears that nuclear winter, which we haven’t heard about in years , is once again saddling up as a theory.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/opinion/lets-end-the-peril-of-a-nuclear-winter.html?ref=opinion&_r=0
I need a sanity check; they claim that detonating 50 Hiroshima-size bombs (10 kt) would generate enough smoke and so forth to cause climate change for decades. 
The thought that springs to my mind is: Wait a moment.  Weren’t the conventional thousand-bomber raids which, on a nightly basis, incinerated Cologne, Dresden, Osaka, Tokyo on a par with the damage done to Hiroshima by one bomb?  It wasn’t that Hiroshima was especially atrocious or the destruction exceptional compared to  what conventional bombers did; it’s that it only took one airplane to do the job. 
I would like to take their models and run them against a conventional bombing raid of the sort that was common in both Europe and the pacific from 1944 and 1945, then compare against what climatological results actually occurred.
Respectfully,

Brian P.

bubbles

My former student asks a good question

Rohrabacher: Why Is America Restarting the Cold War With Russia?

<http://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-america-restarting-the-cold-war-russia-15183?page=show>

—————————————

Roland Dobbins

bubbles

Russia, WWIII

I’ve mentioned the possibility of another world war for some time.

Comparatively recently, I mentioned the Gulf State force and the declaration made by that Saudi general that they were ready to go to Syria. Well, Russia did not take kindly to their offer:

<.>

Russia issued a stark warning of the potential consequences. “The Americans and our Arab partners must think well: do they want a permanent war?” its prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, told Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper in an interview due to be published on Friday but released on Thursday night.

“It would be impossible to win such a war quickly, especially in the Arab world, where everybody is fighting against everybody.

“All sides must be compelled to sit at the negotiating table instead of unleashing a new world war.”

</>

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/12153112/Russia-warns-of-new-world-war-starting-in-Syria.html

One of the flash-points I raised was the Middle East; the others are the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Korean Peninsula. I predicted simultaneous conflicts in three of those four areas would lead to a situation where a third world war would be a major concern if not an inevitable crisis.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

Putin thinks of us in the Balkans, where we took the anti-Slavic side and bombed hell out of Serbs, dropped the Danube bridges, and generally made them miserable. Imperial Russia went to war to save the Serbs from Austria; why do we think the Russian people have forgotten that they leaders of the pan-Slavic movement?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwqdOhF6LhE

bubbles

The U.S. Military Suffers from Affluenza.

<http://www.unz.com/article/the-u-s-military-suffers-from-affluenza/>

—————————————

Roland Dobbins

So do our universities.

bubbles

Ideologues as Journalists

In another example of an ideologue convincing some managers and swathes of the general public they’re really journalists:

<.>

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough Thursday momentarily blamed GOP candidate Marco Rubio’s “dirty money” for pushing GOP presidential rival Chris Christie’s numbers down to fourth place in the New Hampshire primary and his eventual decision to drop out of the race, a slip that could add fuel to the growing complaints about the morning show.

</>

https://www.newsmax.com/Headline/Joe-Scarborough-Rubio-Dark-Money-Chrisie/2016/02/11/id/713833/

What is this clown even speaking of? What dirty money? How did this “dirty money” do what he’s saying? What is this madness? This is what passes for news programming in 2016? I’d expect to see this kind of crap in some backwater with limited access to electricity not in the United States.

He might as well accuse Rubio of sending evil spirits to destroy Christie’s electoral support.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

bubbles

Subject: the gravity-wave article from PhysRevLett

https://journals.aps.org/prl/pdf/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.061102
Stephanie Osborn

“The Interstellar Woman of Mystery”

http://www.sciencealert.com/live-update-big-gravitational-wave-announcement-is-happening-right-now
Stephanie Osborn

“The Interstellar Woman of Mystery”

bubbles

I am OUTRAGED by what this French woman describes has happened to her, her family, and her city in France.

Resident of Calais speaks. This is the death of civilization.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKAQX74yRyc

I’d title this, “The Rape of Calais”. And their own government is as much at fault as the 18,000 “migrants”, aka Muslims.

After seeing this does *ANYBODY* think we do not need a second amendment or even do not need to exercise our second amendment to its fullest?

{o.o}

Sound familiar?

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/10/svensmark-global-warming-stopped-and-a-cooling-is-beginning-enjoy-global-warming-while-it-lasts/
Stephanie Osborn

“The Interstellar Woman of Mystery”
http://www.Stephanie-Osborn.com

bubbles

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Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.

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clip_image002

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Intelligent Design

Chaos Manor Mail, Wednesday, February 03, 2016

“This is the most transparent administration in history.”

Barrack Obama

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.

bubbles

We had many comments on Intelligent Design, and it seems reasonable to discuss that subject.

bubbles

It began this way:

Okay, where do I stand on ID? In the middle. I have long thought that creation/evolution need not be mutually exclusive, since it seems to me that both play a part in the overall reality. I concluded this when I studied the matter in high school, college and in private discussions with some of my professors who became personal friends.

Arguments that favor ID are the presence of mathematics throughout the universe, the existence of natural law and the concept of irreducible complexity.

Math is all over. The patterns of landscape, mountain ranges created by geological action, coastlines created by erosion, the paths of rivers all follow and can be described by fractal geometry. Everything in nature that uses the spiral or parts of a spiral – the whorls of a mollusc shell, the arrangement of leaves around a stem or branches around a tee trunk adhere to the Fibonacci series. Pi, originally used to describe the relationship between the radius and circumference of a circle, keeps showing up in all sorts of places that have little or nothing to do with circles. Can this all be coincidental?

Natural law exists, physics in all its variations, and chemistry are mostly concerned with determining these laws and they cannot be avoided, at least not directly (more about this at some future time). As far as we understand them these laws exist throughout the universe.

Irreducible Complexity (IC) is the idea that many complex systems must have all of the parts present to function at all. A good example is the mammalian/human eye. Consider the parts – transparent membrane, focusable lens, iris to regulate light, receptors to detect light and color (not present in all species), a broadband data transmission cable connected to a signal processor (brain), precise separation between lens and retina, all formed into a ball rotating in a lubricated socket with a shield/wiper in front (the lid), with washer fluid (tears) all enclosed in a flexible housing maintained by a transparent fluid. Take any one of those components and consider how the eye would function without it. Then explain how this system developed by random changes no matter how long or how many small changes happened over time.

Once you have this basic structure it can be modified to suit local conditions/requirements, and that is where evolution/natural selection plays a role. There is survival value in the eagle’s long-range vision, of the specific musculature of the lion, of the color/pattern of an antelope and so forth. The creator building the system included a mechanism for adapting that system to suit future needs, including needs the creator may not have envisioned. While the species is developing these local improvements the individual can still function, perhaps not as efficiently or effectively, but long enough to pass the adaptation to the next generation.

Then there is man. Many species have remained essentially unchanged for millions of years. Yet man, assuming we actually descended from the early homonids, has only been around for 100,000 or so and has changed dramatically in that time. Modern man seems to just appeared less than 50,000 years ago and rapidly took dominion over the planet. How did that happen and why? Were we prodded a bit? Did a creator manipulate us to become what we are? Or, for some reason or another did man take a “fast track” to develop so dramatically? There has been little change, at least physically, from the earliest modern man to the guy who walks the streets today. Why is that? I have no idea, but suspect that someone flicked the “off” switch for rapid development.

So that’s where I am, where are you?

Take care,

R

And I answered

You are hardly alone; St. Augustine once speculated that the world might have been created in germinal causes and evolved; this was over a thousand years before Darwin. When you find a watch, you generally expect to find a watchmaker, not a random process; finding a watchmaker logically leads to speculation of how the watchmaker was generated. Evolution of a fully formed eye has been modeled on computers, but it requires many steps, and at each step the animal that has inherited the required change must be more survivable than those without it; but it is difficult to show how some of the steps from a light sensitive spot to a fully formed eye can have been much of an advantage. In any event it requires a very long time, which is one reason evolutionary theorists have been so opposed to the notions of catastrophe in evolutionary theory.

Of course some evolutionary paths are better mapped and intrinsically likely; no doubt there has been survival of the fittest, but it is much easier to believe that certain evolutionary steps thrived because somehow there was a goal; you can get from a light sensitive cell to a fully formed eye if you know the goal in advance. On the other hand, it is difficult to see intelligence in some human and animal features. Why do we have an appendix?

Fully accepting either hypothesis – intelligent design or blind chance as the explanation for finding a watchmaker – requires a fair amount of Faith. Of course it is not likely that a random group of atoms would get together to perform both Hamlet and Swan Lake even in 20 billion years.

There were many letters in response.

bubbles


It’s not “chance”

Evolution doesn’t proceed by “random chance”. There is nothing random about natural selection. Out of billions of variations only a few survive – not by chance but because they are the ones that work.
This is pretty basic Jerry.
Stop saying it is ID vs. “chance”.
That’s silly.

Todd

I do not understand the charge of silky, and I cannot believe that you think that I do not understand the mechanism of survival of the fittest, so I am at a loss. If mutations and changes do not happen by Chance, then they must happen by design and intention; the whole point of Darwinian theory was that there is no design, and thus all the changes in each generation of a species is at random, which is to say, by chance; if they are not, then they must be aimed toward an end, and Darwinian theory will have none of that. Since most of the changes will either result in no improvement in survivability or actually decrease it, those will not likely produce more offspring and this will disappear while those that give a survivability or reproductive advantage will tend to propagate and thus be “bred into” the species. This is of course a simplification, but it is the essence of the theory.

To say that they are not by chance concedes the debate before it begins; if not by chance. Then it must be by some selection; one possible selector is Intelligent Design. I have never said those are the only alternatives, but I am not sure what other selection mechanisms – non-chance – there are.

bubbles


why we have an appendix

http://mentalfloss.com/article/72762/immunology-study-suggests-appendix-has-use-after-all
The appendix has long had a reputation as a redundant organ with no real function. Doctors often remove it even in mild cases of appendicitis to prevent future infection and rupture, which may not always be necessary. But new research on the way innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) protect against infection in people with compromised immune systems may redeem this misunderstood organ.
While the appendix is not required for digestive functions in humans, Belz tells mental_floss, “It does house symbiotic bacteria proposed by Randal Bollinger and Bill Parker at Duke University to be important for overall gut health, but particularly when we get a gut infection resulting in diarrhea.”
Infections of this kind clear the gut not only of fluids and nutrients but also good bacteria. Their research suggests that those ILCs housed in the appendix may be there as a reserve to repopulate the gut with good bacteria after a gut infection.
ILCs are hardier than other immune cells, and thus vital to fighting bacterial infections in people with compromised immune systems, such as those in cancer treatment; they are some of the few immune cells that can survive chemotherapy.

gary cauble

Conceded. Which demonstrates that I chose a bad example; but there others. There are many improvements I can think of to humankind, and even more to certain species; yet surely I am not more intelligent than the Creator, at least as we reason Him to be. One argument against Intelligent Design is that we are trying to improve the species; GMO, on ourselves and our crops. Of course maize as we know it was intelligently designed, bred over many generations from a not terribly useful plant to what we have today. Most breeds of dog are by design, although some breeds do not instantly think of Intelligent Design.

Intelligent design of the eye

The eye of a Nautilus argues against Intelligent Design. It is a lensless pinhole camera, only slightly more advanced than the photoreceptor-lined pit of an annelid worm.
http://cephalove.southernfriedscience.com/?p=81
-jsw

Which demonstrates that not everything evolved with intention or Intelligent Design. St. Augustine’s hypothesis that creation was created with germinal causes and evolved allows for evolution with and without intelligent design. The duck-billed platypus does not seem a particularly intelligent design; or at least it indicate a sense of humor in the Designer.

bubbles

I repeat this for completeness:

“Of course it is not likely that a random group of atoms would get together to perform both Hamlet and Swan Lake even in 20 billion years.”

Or, as Fred Reed put it in his column of 17 March, 2005:

“Evolution writ large is the belief that a cloud of hydrogen will spontaneously invent extreme-ultraviolet lithography, perform Swan Lake, and write all the books in the British Museum.”

The quote is from one of Fred’s columns on the subject of evolution, and evolutionists, and can be found here:

http://fredoneverything.org/fredwin-on-evolution-very-long-will-bore-most-people/

It is worth reading for those interested in the subject, if only for the questions he asks.  As a footnote, he also addresses the ‘monkeys typing on a typewriter for long periods of time’ argument supporting the plausibility of evolution.  In short, it doesn’t.

He has written a few other columns on evolution over the years.  They can be accessed from his website:

http://fredoneverything.org

Bob Ludwick

I cheerfully agree that Fred’s example was more eloquent than mine, and I probably should have cited Fred; I was in a hurry. The argument about Shakespeare’s work and all the books in the British Museum is of course older than either Fred or me.

bubbles


Intelligent Design — to me and other ID proponents, anyway — is less a proposal for how things happened as it is a rational and strictly scientific critique of the claims of evolutionists.

Abiogenesis in particular is very wobbly. I think that any rational person, knowledgeable in the basics of chemistry and math, would examine the claims of the evolutionists here and wonder that they call themselves scientists. In no other field (saving maybe climate studies) are we told by our “betters” that we must accept as established science an edifice constructed entirely of assumptions, each of which is not only unproven and unprovable, but flies squarely in the face of other science in which we are quite confident. When these weaknesses — of which there are more than a dozen — are pointed out to them, the True Believers invariably shout “Creationist!” or at the very least condescendingly tell us that they are the real experts and we should ignore those simple-minded, misled folks over there. This more closely resembles religion at its worst than any kind of science.

Not that random mutation and natural selection aren’t real. Michael Behe’s The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism does a very good job of putting this into mathematical perspective.

Richard White

Any comment on this would have to be longer than I have time to write just now; I agree with most of it. Farming, animal husbandry, and GMO have demonstrably produced real evolutionary change – no one supposes that all the breeds of dogs happened by chance, but some of them very likely did. There is “natural” evolution, but organs like the fully developed eye and eye socket strain credibility when the steps to produce one by starting with light-sensitive cells and a series of steps, each one adding to increased survivability of its bearer, are detailed. There are very many.

bubbles


From the homo sapiens sapiens to the homo sapiens domesticus to the homo sapiens optimus:

<.>

If you’re under the age of 40, there is a good chance you will achieve ‘electronic immortality’ during your lifetime.

This is the idea that all of your thoughts and experiences will be uploaded and stored online for future generations.

That’s according to a futurologist who not only believes technology will let humans merge with computers, that this will create an entirely new species called Homo optimus.

And, he claims this could occur as soon as 2050.

</>

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3423063/Is-technology-causing-evolve-new-SPECIES-Expert-believes-super-humans-called-Homo-optimus-talk-machines-digitally-immortal-2050.html

Who would really want “all” of their thoughts and memories stored online for future generations? Also, the idea of implants seemed great until we learned the medical devices can be hacked. I don’t like the idea of someone hacking my nervous system, my endocrine system, or any of my bodily systems for that matter. I certainly don’t want to have to run firewalls and antiviruses and IP tables and all this nonsense either.

If the roll-out of PC and smartphone technology taught me anything, it’s that I’ll be waiting a very long time before I put any of their products into my body.

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Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

This is not really on subject, but it belongs here if you are thinking about the origins and future of Man.

bubbles


ID

Jerry

I was reading one of your contributors when I came upon ID. Now, to an engineer, ID stands for Internal Diameter. To a cop, ID is for IDentification. To a doctor, ID means Infectious Disease. To someone who is embroiled in the Culture Wars, ID stands for Intelligent Design. But for those of us in the mental health field, by Rosa’s Law it stands for Intellectual Disability and this is the term that we are required by Federal Law to use. Yes, it is the new euphemism for mental retardation, moron, idiot and other terms that have stood in the past for . . . Intellectual Disability (someone obviously disliked it so much they made a Federal Case out of it). I wonder how long the current euphemism will last.

And it is interesting that whenever anyone uses ID for Intelligent Design, it will set up an unconscious association. I wonder how long it will take for people to start using an alternative term?

Jes thinkin.

Ed

Interesting observation.

bubbles


Intelligent Design,

Jerry,
You wrote, “…it is much easier to believe that certain evolutionary steps thrived because somehow there was a goal; you can get from a light sensitive cell to a fully formed eye if you know the goal in advance. On the other hand, it is difficult to see intelligence in some human and animal features. Why do we have an appendix?”
As a design engineer, I have long (long before I ever heard the term “intelligent design”) seen in evolution evidence of a design process in evolution, just as engineering designs evolve. The variety of life we see looks to me just like a series of engineering designs: try one thing, see what works or doesn’t, what could be improved; the next version is a bit better or is slightly altered for new requirements, etc. Many machines, from the automation systems I primarily work with to cars, planes, and other things, exhibit vestigial design features (an unused bracket, perhaps, or a clearance cutout for a component formerly used) that are no longer necessary but are still present on later versions because nobody has bother to update the drawings and/or tooling.
Dana, CT

An hypothesis that has come to many of us, I am sure. As if we are an experiment. Asimov used that idea in more than one story. It is of course rejected by most religions.

bubbles

And that, I think, ends this discussion. I doubt any opinions firmly held have been changed, nor was that the intent. Beliefs about fundamental things are often more Faith than Reason. Some religions encourage questions about fundamental assumptions; others discourage but permit them; a few simply forbid the laity from asking those questions. My own has a spotted and inconsistent history on such matters. So it goes.

bubbles


Space Access ’16 Conference Preliminary Agenda – April 7-9 in Phoenix

Wednesday, 2/3/16 – Updated Conference Info with Preliminary Agenda is available for Space Access ’16, along with conference registration and hotel room reservations links. SA’16, April 7-9 2016 in Phoenix Arizona, Space Access Society’s next annual conference on the business, technology, and politics of radically cheaper access to space, this year with a strong sub-focus on Beyond Low Orbit: The Next Step Out.

http://space-access.org/updates/sa16info.html

bubbles

Don’t forget Pledge Week; keep this place open.

 

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bubbles

Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.

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