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Go to: The Poetry of Science: Neil deGrasse Tyson & Richard Dawkins

icouldbewrongbut's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by icouldbewrongbut

(please correct me where necessary, space-cadets)

My current understanding of the universe via wikipedia is that: It is unknown how physically big "the actual universe" is and an infinite universe is still on the table. For a while I thought this wasn't the case since I often heard "the universe is x billion light years wide". It seems that scientists (or maybe its journalists =) ) are usually talking about the "visible universe" only, and often muddle things by calling it "the universe". Due to geometric stretching of space-time fabric, the distance to the 'edge' of the visible universe is about 46 billion light years away, not 13.7 billion. This means that the universe had to stretch geometrically faster than the speed of light as it were.

It is in the visible universe that there are an estimated 100B galaxies and 10^21 stars. It is unknown how big the 'actual' universe is - but in my mind, why would it be reasonable to presume that it is anywhere close to as 'small' as the visible universe, since that volume is arbitrarily limited and I don't think we see any lower density the further away objects are from us? It seems more likely to me that the actual universe (both volume and matter) would be vastly larger than the 93Bly diameter and 100B visible galaxies.

I think some of the confusion on this topic might be resolved by:

Clearly, constantly distinguishing that it's the visible universe that doesn't, in a sense, have an edge, since if you traveled 46B light years you'd be surrounded by stars with another distant visible-universe-horizon in all directions.

Constantly hammering home that it's just the visible universe that has 100B galaxies, but that there's no reason at all to assume that the actual universe isn't even infinitely more full of stars and galaxies.

There's also the notion of the shape of the universe and the theory that, regardless of the size of the 'actual' universe, it could wrap around on itself and not be infinite in volume. For me, this seemed to always get muddled with "there is no edge to the universe". I think that confusion arose when people were reporting information about the "visible universe" having no edge (really a moving visible horizon wherever you're viewing from) but calling it "the universe".

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 05:42:44 UTC | #536640

Go to: Chilean miners: Rival churches claim credit for the miracle

icouldbewrongbut's Avatar Jump to comment 101 by icouldbewrongbut

In the 69 days that the miners were trapped underground, over 10 million people died worldwide based on 2009 mortality rates and population estimates.

Thu, 14 Oct 2010 03:28:22 UTC | #533236

Go to: Youtube hater, I respect your right to free speech.

icouldbewrongbut's Avatar Jump to comment 85 by icouldbewrongbut

madShelly: Exactly! Yuck.

Sun, 16 Sep 2007 15:49:00 UTC | #67220

Go to: Youtube hater, I respect your right to free speech.

icouldbewrongbut's Avatar Jump to comment 84 by icouldbewrongbut


I defined 'fucktard' as 'name-calling' because it seemed to me emotional and non-descriptive. I didn't consider my criticism of RRS behavior name-calling - though I'm open to correction - I was just trying to state the negative emotional response I experience to your approach. I'm sorry you felt it was insulting.

If the song had been "I can't stand Kent Hovind", I wouldn't have found that name-calling.

I'm 'ok with with people calling others out on what they think of them' if by that you mean the part of criticizing their actions / beliefs with which you disagree and stating why. The part about pure name-calling as defined above - I support your right to express it - I don't support atheist activists / speakers who use it.

You're free to do whatever you want. I'm free to call it like I see it and choose to avoid reading / watching RRS and to criticize your actions when it seems warranted. You're free to call Kent Hovind a 'fucktard' all you want. To me though, it's immature and offensive. You don't have to agree. I don't have to like RSS's approach. It's not an insult. I have nothing against you.

PS My opinions here are based on the assumption that, objectively, 'fucktard' is a non-specific, subjective, emotional term.

Sun, 16 Sep 2007 15:34:00 UTC | #67217

Go to: Youtube hater, I respect your right to free speech.

icouldbewrongbut's Avatar Jump to comment 68 by icouldbewrongbut

I agree with Sinful Messiah, Severus Snape, brake, okmichigan..

I was disappointed to see this entry appear on

I personally can't stand RRS, though I admire their intentions. Their apparent self-importance over concern about humanity grosses me out. They definitely don't speak for me (I don't include them in whatever weak affilation of atheists I'm a member of) - at least in the cases when they act immaturely.

Of course, they can do whatever they want to do, and they don't represent me; They speak for themselves. I cringe though, when they become seen as THE spokespeople for atheists/atheism - ie on Nightline, that they will scare fence-sitters away.

They seem to me to get attention because they are the the loudest and most sensational group around. On their site, they ended their video of Brian Sapient's phone call by running a music video bashing Kent Hovind that went on and on singing the offensive phrase "You're a Fucktard". Are you kidding me? An epiteth based on the disgusting, bigoted phrase "Retard"? I'd like to see atheist spokespeople rise above name-calling. I thought this went without saying.

RRS is free to do what they want, but I'd definitely welcome RRS's approach not being celebrated by the likes when RRS's actions warrant criticism.

For me, I prefer intelligent discussions about how to rid the world and the people I care about of the sickness of religion.

I just hope to continue to see more well-spoken folks like Richard Dawkins / Sam Harris / Christopher Hitchens get the limelight rather than RRS.

Sun, 16 Sep 2007 14:07:00 UTC | #67196

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