Wednesday, December 31, 2008

William Lane Craig, worlds foremost wall puncher.

I haven't brought him up before but William Lane Craig is a gasbag. He's one of the foremost apologists alive today which is akin to the distinction of being the world's foremost wall puncher. His arguments are almost always nearly exact copies of the same argument somebody else used but he changed a few words to hide an error or two. "Oh, look at that he changed 'exists' to 'begin to exist' in order to avoid this one fairly philosophical objection."

Similarly he raises objections to the idea that an intelligent designer cannot be the ultimate explanation of something because, if you are required to say that something needs an intelligent designer then that designer needs a designer and you get into an infinite regress. To wit, he raises the objection that you don't need to know what caused something for that something to be the best explanation. Craig claims that you can suppose God Did It, without needing to answer the question "What just did God then?"



It would almost sound good so long as you don't give it a modicum of thought. The original claim is that an intelligent creator can't be the ultimate explanation of anything. The reason for the infinite regress isn't pulled out of thin air, but rather the exact same setup the intelligent creator was supposed to explain. Which has everything to do with the divergence of the series.

What caused these amazing arrowpoints and pottery shards?
-- People made them.
What caused those people?
-- Well, we have a long and well understood explanation of early human migration and human evolution. Each step is explained by similar smaller steps and other explanations as the problem is broken down into composite problems.

What caused this odd machinery on the moon.
-- I don't know. What parts does it have, can anybody on this planet make that, did we land anything there? What materials is it made from? We can break the problem up into smaller pieces.

What caused the universe?
-- God. What caused God? Nothing, super-god, God did, magic... none of these are smaller issues or less daunting than the original problem. The answer of God explains absolutely nothing and gives you another boatload of problems. The objection isn't that it instantly raises the question of the designer of God, rather it raises the bigger question of the designer of God. At the core is the problem which befalls all skyhooks. You need another skyhook to hold them up and they never have a foundation. Whereas the other supposed problems could easily be supposed to have cranes supporting them directly or cranes to support the cranes at most with a solid foundation in real world explanations.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My computer seems to be...

"... randomly crashing but will start back up after 2 minutes."

Hm. I think I know what might be causing that.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

In the Warren snaffu, Obama seems clean.

Watching from the sidelines I have to say that Obama's actually looking pretty distant and unscathed. He invited him to say a silly prayer and suddenly everybody dug up a crap load of dirt on the guy. I've never really liked him, he's always seemed pretty smarmy but managed to stay above the fray. Walking out before Dan Dennett came around to compliment his book and pretending he was a reasonable member of society. Obama clearly can't rescind the offer, so you couldn't blame him considering all the new stuff we're learning.




Warren changed the language on his webpage to make it less gay-unfriendly (failure to delay gay satisfactions until after death means you no get into church), and Obama more of a commitment to the gay community on his transition site (which is certainly a more honest step).

But largely, I think this is all pretty positive. Obama comes off a little naive but stuck and Warren gets to writhe in the flames of public opinion.

Clean Coal: It's the future.



Clean Coal.

In case you didn't hear 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash spilled in Tn. My recommendation is to pave over the county. That stuff is toxic and unlike nuclear waste it doesn't even decay.

The spill has reignited a debate over whether coal ash should be federally regulated as a hazardous material. Environmentalists have long argued that coal ash, which can contaminate groundwater and poison aquatic environments, should be stored in lined landfills. The ash ponds at Kingston were separated from the river only by earthen dikes.


Toxic sludge is natural. It's from the Earth! Don't regulate it!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Oh, something I made achieved moderate popularity!

Woot.

Introduced on this blog last February.

Sandwalk actually made a post about it.
Having actually borrowed it from another site!

And was added to a few other image sites.

http://imagechan.com/img/5078/Fractal%20Wrongness/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/themadlolscientist/2421967468/

-- And it was edited to remove the watermark. Somebody actually went to a minute amount of effort!



I actually own fractalwrongess.com after earlier this year the Non-Prophets talked about the concept of Fractal Wrongness by Keunwoo Lee. I fully understand that I just stole a picture of a fractal, plugged it into despair.com's diy demotivator maker and changed the general theme from one of describing the noun to a declarative statement with a little more brevity. -- But still. Something I made achieved moderate popularity... unlike this blog.

Merry F'ing Christmas!

Merry Fucking Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sciam about Evolution.

Yippee.

I saw the cover and thought Goodie. Pandagon already citing the Pop EP article. Apparently having been accused of being anti-science for not accepting that men are cavemen and women are bimbos who need ravishing because that's what we evolved to be.*

* This is actually utter crap. Minds don't work that way. We're perfectly mentally adapted for the 21st century.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My first Vista™ Experience...

I wanted to break that fucking laptop.

Seriously, how goddamned hard is it to access the functional network with the cord hooked into you?!?! I never have to have XP or Linux do so much as hiccup. Either tell me the cable isn't giving you internet or connect you worthless piece of crap.

Wow. I'm sure it's something easy but it has an ip address and it has IPv4 support and it refuses to work. I had to stop trying because if that bubbly asshole of an OS claimed to have fixed the problem one more time, while refusing to work, I would have ended up doing hardware damage.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bush misses last chance to save his legacy.



It was a very very narrow margin. Had he caught the second shoe and tossed it back at the man, he would have been forgiven for everything. He would have not been known as the guy who sucked at everything and lead to the downfall of America as a superpower. He would have been known as the badass that caught a shoe. So close.

Unlike that guy, I resist the urge to toss footware at people whose unprovoked aggression against my country leads to the death of hundreds of thousands of countrymen. Give me one of the 9/11 bombers and I won't toss a shoe at them. That would be rude.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dr. Pepper Contest


Is this what the world has come to? You can enter in long codes on a computer to re-win the same damn wall paper that you could have just googled if you wanted it... but never bothered to collect?

Shouldn't the prize be worth more than my time to type in the code? Shouldn't it be required that the overall price be greater than the price of the soda used to win said prize? What the hell kind of screwed up contest lets you win the same wallpaper (1024x768 rather than the 1680x1050 my screen runs) over and over and over again. Also, what are they making on the wallpapers? I'm sure softcoin claims that the prize is worth something and expects Dr. Pepper to pay up for costs.

What a sad state of affairs. I remember when you could look under the cap and see a new soda in contests like this. You'd look and see you won a new soda. Then you'd get another new soda. You could hear stories from people you know about winning three sodas in a row. You could expect victory and want to look under the cap. If caffeine wasn't highly addictive I'd quit drinking strictly on the poor performance of this "contest".

Friday, December 5, 2008

Earthquake USGS soo slow.

So an earthquake hit (really tiny) about 30 seconds ago.

Damned USGS doesn't have it on their list yet!

So slow!

They should have the information before the earthquake is over. They should text me on a cell phone before the sucker hits. Hey, your GPS says you're in a location 10 seconds away from a place getting an an earthquake and 20 seconds away from a place that had one 10 seconds ago. We think you're next. Brace Yourself.

How hard is that. Earthquakes are actually pretty slow and take a minute or two. Light goes a lot faster than that. Why can't I get told about the quake before it happens?

Bing!
USGS
5.3 10 seconds,
9 seconds.
8 seconds.
7 seconds.
-- Not sure how the countdown clock would work but it's pretty minor compared to the rest.

UPDATE: Finally. That took nearly 40 seconds!

Hambone Talks: Richard Carrier & PZ Myers


* This is part 1, there's like 14 of them.

Carrier makes a number of great points. Science is a moral good. If we want to be healthy, then the Bible is really bad. Jesus goes around shooing demons but in Mark 7 says it's fine to scoff at unwashed hands and dishes are fine to eat from.

7:2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
7:3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
7:4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.
7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

However, we have strong scientific evidence that washing your hands is leaps and bounds more effective than shooing demons.

Atheist sign stolen.

So the Freedom From Religion Foundation put up an atheistic sign in the Washington Capitol after the Washington Capital had the silly policy of letting people put up religious displays.

Well, somebody stole it and gave it to a local radio station. The policy of putting up atheist displays where religious displays are put up is kind of entertaining. If it's just a public space, first come first serve, then it's acceptable to put up whatever holiday display you want. If the government themselves are putting the displays up, then it's a constitutional issue. Whenever the government puts up a public space it needs to be first come first serve for everybody and, as such, why not toss up a good secular display?

Apparently it pisses off the right and they steal your signs. Last year there was a "tree of knowledge" display put up in Philadelphia that got its fair share of abuse. On the main point of the issue there's some entertainment factor but the underlying idea that atheists should be excluded and that they are simply interlopers as that "public space" thing is just Christians getting around that pesky constitution and atheists aren't really invited to participate.

I'm sure the atheists stole their own damn sign. No Christian would do it because it would violate the 8th commandment. Clearly. But atheists hate God and just want to go around drawing pictures of fish, stealing things, and doing things on the sabbath.

O.J. Simpson convicted of armed robbery... but really murder.

15 years for going up to somebody with guns and taking their property. What a railroading?!?

Also, not really following anything this, but I realized that before that Simpson really doesn't understand how good his lawyers were in his murder trial. The case against him for the double murder of his wife and her *ahem* friend was outstanding. They nearly ran out of jurors because anybody who might have convicted him was kicked off for a "book deal". This conviction notably came as a surprise to him. Last time they had a better case against him and lost, this time it's worse and he's going away for 15 years.