This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Shrinking_Dogma's Profile

Shrinking_Dogma's Avatar Joined over 6 years ago
Gender: Male

Latest Discussions Started by Shrinking_Dogma

More Discussions by Shrinking_Dogma

Latest Comments by Shrinking_Dogma

Go to: Mysterious radiation burst recorded in tree rings

Shrinking_Dogma's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Shrinking_Dogma

          [Comment 1](/articles/646125-mysterious-radiation-burst-recorded-in-tree-rings/comments?page=1#comment_945492) by  [Outrider](/profiles/112476)          :


                 Just so I can head off some arguments at the pass - what are the implications of this C14 spike for radiocarbon dating? Presumably negligible, seeing as pretty much everything dated by this method is at least thousands of years older than this...?Can anyone confirm?Cheers,O.

Actually it begins to get less used many thousands of years older than this mainly because of calibration issues. I guess the most accurate measurements would be about 1 half life down (about 6000 years ago).

          [Comment 3](/articles/646125-mysterious-radiation-burst-recorded-in-tree-rings/comments?page=1#comment_945508) by  [God fearing Atheist](/profiles/50368)          :


                 I would have thought C14 dating was already calibrated against dendrochronology.If not, I'll give it another 6 months (after the publication of this paper) before it is.How do they know the AD 775 blip is 20 times the normal variation if they haven't been calibrating?

It is all pretty well calibrated (ie wood from a precise year's dendro date is tested to see how much C14 it has and compared with how much it should have if radiation was constant) although there is some local variation in C14 levels and also in availability of calibrated known-date samples. This result should make very little difference in that regard.

Interesting when you measure C14 to start with to work out a date you compare levels to a notional 1950 benchmark. Why 1950? well if you check C14 levels in nature they are almost flat until 19th century (the described blip excepted!) and then suddenly there is a rapid and growing decrease in C14 - fossil fuels releasing C14less CO2 into the environment. Then come the 50s a massive C14 spike...nuclear testing.

If you see the graph and compare it to the thousands of years pre-industrial levels one could have no doubt of the dramatic and measureable impact that, unseen, humans have had on the environment.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 23:42:59 UTC | #945604

Go to: Sharia Law: neither equal nor free

Shrinking_Dogma's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by Shrinking_Dogma

          [Comment 19](/articles/646073-sharia-law-neither-equal-nor-free/comments?page=1#comment_944699) by  [Sensitive Outsider](/profiles/118065)          :


                 The is no crime of causing offence. There is a crime of causing harassment alarm or distress in certain circumstances, or behaving in certain ways within earshot of someone likely to be caused harassment alarm or distress. It is well established that this means genuine harassment alarm or distress - not merely feeling offended or uncomfortable.In England & Wales section 5 of the public order act is"Using INSULTING,Abusive or Threatening wordshttp://search.yahoo.com/r/*ylt=A0oGdX.bBcdPJxsAVKVXNyoA;*ylu=X3oDMTE1OGRya2t2BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDA3N18xODM-/SIG=12ec8egaa/EXP=1338471963/**http%3a//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harassment,_alarm_or_distress

erm....using insulting words alone isn't illegal and neither is causing offence.

Thu, 31 May 2012 18:10:15 UTC | #944793

Go to: Sharia Law: neither equal nor free

Shrinking_Dogma's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Shrinking_Dogma

Re Comment 20 by Vorlund

The lesser offence can be made out if proved it was within hearing or sight of someone likely to be caused Harassment/Alarm/Distress - that can be inferred through the situation. No need to call a bunch of five year olds to actually give evidence for example if someone is threatening them outside a school.

In the case of this woman though, she was charged with the more serious offence which indicated she intended to cause H/A/D and did cause H/A/D, so there must have been evidence to that point. Perhaps people not on the youtube clip or perhaps evidence from those on the clip that although outwardly they wanted to appear calm not to aggravate the situaion inside they actually were caused H/A/D. Who knows, but it must have been proven to the criminal standard.

Thu, 31 May 2012 07:38:00 UTC | #944714

Go to: Sharia Law: neither equal nor free

Shrinking_Dogma's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Shrinking_Dogma

          [Comment 12](/articles/646073-sharia-law-neither-equal-nor-free/comments?page=1#comment_944603) by  [Tony d](/profiles/172720)          :


                 @Comment 8 by Shrinking_Dogma> The is no crime of causing offence. There is a crime of causing harassment alarm or distress in certain circumstances, or behaving in certain ways within earshot of someone likely to be caused harassment alarm or distress. It is well established that this means genuine harassment alarm or distress - not merely feeling offended or uncomfortable.> That sounds fine and great but what happens if some religious type becomes alarmed and distressed by my disbelief in their religion.With Laws like this freedom of speech is gone already.

Well in order to make out the offence the prosecution would have to prove you were using threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behaviour. If you were using what most would consider to be legitimate free speech the I would imagine the prosecution would be unable to prove threats or abuse. Insult is a trickier one and could cover some ad hominem language. But in addition it would have to be objectively insulting, not in the view of the audience but the Court. In addition the Crown would have to prove that you intended the insult or that you knew you were insulting someone.

And then there are defences - that you had no reason to believe someone would be caused harassment alarm or distress, or that your behaviour was reasonable. On the latter point free speech would have to be given some weight by the court.

So again, boils down to situation. If you are exercising free speech by knowingly hurling ad hom attacks of an objectively insulting nature on some poor cloistered soul who you have reason to believe might be genuinely harassed rather than a bit miffed, in a situation where you can't show your behaviour to be reasonable (because they are on public transport and can't get away), yep, you could be guilty. If you are offering calm protest or argument to a bunch of reasonably robust people who aren't trapped and you aren't pursuing I think they'd have difficulties.

Mind you I do think they ought to remove insulting as one of the ways to make out the offence. It is much too broad.

Thu, 31 May 2012 00:26:46 UTC | #944673

Go to: Sharia Law: neither equal nor free

Shrinking_Dogma's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Shrinking_Dogma

          [Comment 5](/articles/646073-sharia-law-neither-equal-nor-free/comments?page=1#comment_944579) by  [Tony d](/profiles/172720)          :


                 @Comment 4 by Schrodinger's CatI wonder if people are allowed under British law to criticize Sharia.Yesterday a women who was blatently making  [horrible racist comments](http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18251807) on a train was sent to prison for 21 weeks.It seems that if people are offended apparently we can be jailed just for what we think and say now.The thing is before coming to this site i would have thought that it was good that a racist got jailed but now i have read comments about people not having the rite not to be offended.I see things differently.I am worried about the future of free speech in Britain.

The is no crime of causing offence. There is a crime of causing harassment alarm or distress in certain circumstances, or behaving in certain ways within earshot of someone likely to be caused harassment alarm or distress. It is well established that this means genuine harassment alarm or distress - not merely feeling offended or uncomfortable.

Wed, 30 May 2012 20:07:06 UTC | #944597

More Comments by Shrinking_Dogma