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thomas pendrake

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thomas pendrake last won the day on May 29 2015

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About thomas pendrake

  • Birthday 10/04/1946
  1. The present is a subjective concept, a construct of our consciousness. I really don't see much sense in trying to sort out chronons, Planck time, divergent time lines, quantum entanglement, or any other such concepts with regards to the meaning of "the present", unless we are discussing a specific event. Of course, if there is no present at Christmas I may be a bit depressed, and don't forget a present on your anniversary or your 3 year old's birthday.
  2. For most of the early history of Christianity, the "old testament" was not considered as canonical, even being viewed as unacceptable for Christians because of the passages in the writings of both Peter and Paul stating that the faith of Christians is not based on Jewish "myths and fables", but rather on "Christ Crucified".
  3. Absence of faith may be agnosticism, but atheism is a specific belief that there is no God. When you are standing around the water cooler trying to sound cool, or maybe at some bar trying to pick up some chick, or be picked up, saying that you are an agnostic may not sound as cool as saying that you are an atheist, but just remember what Dr. Carl Sagan said about it, "By some definitions atheism is very stupid." It doesn't take very much to prove that point. The belief in a specific God is a matter of faith. If that specific God is no god, it is a matter of blind faith. We know that consciousness is real, and to deny the probability that there is no Cosmic Consciousness (the Logos) that is capable of observing itself in order bring the Universe into existence just does not make a whole lot of sense. I understand that logos can have many different meanings, but I stick with the one used by Philo Judea and quoted in the creation story in the Gospel according to John.
  4. It was not my intent to offer the universality of God concepts in even the most isolated cultures (there is one isolated primitive tribe that only speaks of spirits, and a few people have tried to say this is an exception) as proof of God.. The point is that it is one factor to make actual atheism a matter of a specific faith (perhaps not always structured) that is in spite of many hints that there is most likely some sort of god. My argument is that any Atheist may be entitled to their faith, but not to pretend that it is based on science or logic.
  5. This is where the uncertainty principle comes into relevance. For an object to have a definite position at any time, it must have an infinite velocity. Of course, we can actually only think of this concept with an elementary particle, anything bigger will have a fuzzy position due to the microscopic vibrations associated with temperature. But even more importantly, we have questions of position and what exactly is your frame of reference? And, yes, anywhere in the universe there seems to be gravity, since nothing can be totally remote from other parts of the universe. Gravity results in acceleration in the known Universe. This gets us back to the solar system. The same person who first gave us an understanding of gravity (Gallileo) looked at the solar system through a telescope and saw that those ancient Greek philosophers who saw evidence of the Heliocentric solar system and even measured the major dimensions of it were correct. there is no evidence to suggest that the Universe is actually geocentric.
  6. The virtual universality of these myths (try the term archetypal ) is another argument for the existence of a god. And you mentioned the flood, which may well refer to the catastrophic rise in sea levels which occurred about 11,000 years ago. Of course, the flood bears more on questions relating to global warming than on the existence of a god, but it does reinforce that the myths of the old testament are not just stupid nonsense. I recommend that anyone interested in the origins of human knowledge read Hamlet's Mill . The universal appearance of god images in human culture may not be a PROOF of the existence of a god, but it is a powerful hint. Intellectual arguments can only lead to the type of Deism so common during the "enlightenment". whereas specific beliefs come from either faith or revelation (which I tend to distrust, except, of course, when the revelations come to me, in which case they are always infallible).
  7. Although the question of the principle of evolution and Genesis (as well as the other creation accounts in the Bible) is interesting, it misses the more important question of Rationalism vs. Empiricism in modern science, which is the core question in the geocentric vs. heliocentric discussion. I originally brought up the topic in response to the anti-religion remarks based on one narrow interpretation of one of the many creation myths in the Bible (which is only one, albeit the most widely used, holy text). As a Christian, I point out that a major tenet of the Christian faith is that the "Jewish myths and fables" are not the basis of Christianity. Indeed, many early Biblical scholars rejected this portion of the scriptures. I have long argued that the entire religion vs. science debate is ultimately based on ignorance of both topics. I am not alone , by any means, in that argument.
  8. The basic question, is the Earth stationary........., applies to the question of rationalism vs empiricism. This is how the question of atheism, a rationalist dogma, ended up in the discussion.
  9. Of course, aboleth_lich, your command of logic clearly surpasses that of Kurt Godel, I congratulate you. And, again, I am astounded that a person with the education you claim could have missed the entire discussion which usually dominates any class about quantum mechanics regarding the Copenhagen interpretation . I notice that the mention of Schrodinger's cat went unmentioned. Get over it, Rationalism began it's fall with Gallileo, and Kurt Godel delivered the coup de grace. And Einstein clearly disdained it. All of his work was totally empiricist. Your statement about Dr. Carl Sagan reminds me of an article which appeared in the William and Mary newspaper about an interview of Dr. Rolf Winter after he was appointed Chairman of the Physics Department. It purported that he was an atheist. He wrote a brief letter to the paper (Which the English Department declared as one of the best letters ever written in the English language.), in which he basically said that nothing in the article was in the interview, and nothing from the interview was in the article. I knew from class and personal discussions with Dr. Winter that he was absolutely not an atheist, and that he felt that the Copenhagen interpretation, or quantum mechanics in particular, demands a god to observe the universe. Dr Sagan has been widely quoted as NOT being an atheist, and even regarding atheism as being "stupid". He specifically said that he was agnostic as opposed to being an atheist. Perhaps you may wish to research his comments, and consider whether you are agnostic, or so absolutely brilliant and full of special knowledge that you can KNOW as a fact that there is no god. Perhaps He was speaking in the "pluralis majestatis". If mere human kings, and a lot of other people with inflated egos, can use the "royal we", certainly God can.
  10. I believe that I explicitly stated that Godel's proof and Dr Wheeler's statement about God as the observer were basically Deist. Dr. Wheeler was, in fact , a Unitarian/Universalist. And Dr. Wheeler's views are easily verified, as he is one of the most influential Physicists of the 20th century, and probably the most important cosmologist. I wonder if aboleth_lich took any physics classes, or just slept through any parts relating to quantum mechanics. Here kitty, kitty, Schrodinger's kitty. The rationalist view, there is no god, therefore there is no god, is a prime example of why rationalism is totally invalid for any logical argument. Go back to Gallileo's observations about the heliocentric solar system and the tower of Pisa experiment (which is the eventual basis for the general theory of relativity) , stir in Relativity and quantum mechanics, and we have sound rejection of rationalism. And atheism is thoroughly rationalist, period.
  11. I notice that Godel's ontological proof has been avoided in the discussion. I again assert that atheism is a matter of faith, blind faith , in fact, since there is absolutely no other basis for it. The Universe abounds with suggestions of a god, and nothing other than faith suggests otherwise. Yes, it is easy to argue that no evidence for any given God other than revelation exists. That is why so many major "intellectuals" have been or are Deists.
  12. Wow! I really did not expect there to be people so incapable of understanding plain English on this forum. I am, however, happy to see that there are people capable of logic and understanding plain English here. Nowhere did I state that the primary creation myth was in literal word for word agreement with any modern theory about the principle of evolution. The idea is that there is more agreement than disagreement. Both of the stories (there are four distinct strands in the old testament, different versions that were combined)in the first part of Genesis have a progressive time-line to creation. I suggest any "atheists" should read Godel's ontological proof. The two greatest logical minds of the 20th century, Einstein and Godel, both believed in a God. I had the privilege of discussing the concept with Archibald Wheeler, who saw God as the Consciousness of the Universe, without which existence would be impossible. Atheists have a right to their faith, just understand that it is based on blind faith.
  13. One magnificent thing about this lighthouse was that it stood about 1500 years. I would propose the Hoover dam, or perhaps the "Great Wall of China" as two modern wonders of the world. Lady Liberty also has great iconic stature.
  14. Thank you, obviously you have also read Genesis. There are, of course, many people who have for some reason decided that only one particular way of interpreting "Jewish Myths and Fables" is acceptable, but that is precisely what both St. Peter and Saint Paul warned against. The real Einstein considered Rationalism to be primary enemy of truth, and the work of Galileo pretty much discredited that approach. The insistence on a Heliocentric model was not really based on the Bible, but rather on Rationalism. It is possible that any number of phenomena could counter-act the effect of greenhouse gases and save us from anthropogenic global warming, such as an eruption of Yellowstone. Another "mini-ice age " resulting from a prolonged, profound solar minimum could also give us a temporary stay of execution, but that would probably lead us to a catastrophic period of global warming because of ignorance. The relationship between global warming and Carbon DiOxide levels is well known from ice pack and lacustrine sediment data, as well as tree-ring data.
  15. There was a reference above to the supposed 11 year solar cycle. There is an approximate cycle of sunspots which is sometimes 11 years, but the actual length is variable. The cycle is significant because of periods of cold weather associated with abnormal periods of low solar activity. This is significant because we are currently in a period of low solar activity and yet still experiencing global warming. The deniers say that we are not experiencing global warming because the current solar minimum has reduced the effect of the greenhouse effect.
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