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M31's Avatar Joined over 7 years ago
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Go to: This Is Not a Test

M31's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by M31

> No one voted for Nader because people ignore him on the ballot as they think they are "wasting" their vote on a candidate that does not have a chance.

I'm not convinced that this is true. The reason most people don't vote for Nader is because they disagree with his policies. I voted for him in 2000, but I didn't in 2004 and I wouldn't vote for him if he were running in 2008. This is not because I don't think he can be elected, or because I'm afraid of wasting my vote when I could use it toward preventing some really bad republican from getting elected. It's because I don't think he'd make a very good president, atheist/agnostic or not.

Mon, 17 Dec 2007 19:47:00 UTC | #95319

Go to: Chimps beat humans in memory test

M31's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by M31

This is very interesting. But, one thing to keep in mind is that the chimps doing the tests had been trained from a very young age to do this test, and the one they really focus on is the best chimp out of a pool of chimps that were trained in this way. To really do a fair comparison I think they'd need to have the chimps go up against humans that have been practicing this test from a very young age. In any case I guess it's not really that surprising that chimps may have quicker visual reflexes than humans.

Tue, 04 Dec 2007 15:11:00 UTC | #89684

Go to: The planet hunters

M31's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by M31

MelM:
Thanks for the post, that's quite amusing to me that YECs take hot jupiters as evidence for creation. Never mind the fact that there are actually some fairly robust theories of migration (and in fact, that the biggest theoretical problem has always been stopping migration not starting it) - whenever they don't understand something (or, I suspect, when they hear a scientist say that s/he doesn't understand something presently) it automatically means that there will never be a natural explanation for it, ergo it was created.

What's particularly laughable to me though is their statement that hot jupiters are no problem for creation. Of course, nothing at all is ever a problem for creation - the universe could have been created in any possible state. In fact, I've never really understood why they wouldn't just say "God created the universe to look like it arose from natural processes" and then not worry about it any more, it seems far easier for them to do than adopting this stupid stance of trying to come up with hairbrained explanations for why all ages and dates measured by scientists are wrong. It just makes them look completely ignorant (I suppose that answers my question though).

Sun, 03 Jun 2007 19:29:00 UTC | #44381

Go to: If It Feels Good to Be Good, It Might Be Only Natural

M31's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by M31

The research enterprise has been viewed with interest by philosophers and theologians, but already some worry that it raises troubling questions. Reducing morality and immorality to brain chemistry -- rather than free will -- might diminish the importance of personal responsibility. Even more important, some wonder whether the very idea of morality is somehow degraded if it turns out to be just another evolutionary tool that nature uses to help species survive and propagate.


Statements like this always confuse me. If it's demonstrated that morality is fundamentally brain chemistry (and honestly, I think it'd be a much bigger surprise if it isn't), then that's just how things are. Why does it matter whether or not philosophers and theologians are troubled? Who cares? If they are worried that the knowledge that morality is fundamentally brain chemistry will cause people to act less morally or lose their sense of personal responsibility, they should do a controlled experiment to test that hypothesis. Just talking about it and being troubled by the possibility is useless.

Thu, 31 May 2007 20:42:00 UTC | #43769

Go to: Two idiots get a forum

M31's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by M31

I can't believe they would give the banana video guy a forum on ABC!... Geez. I hope the rational response squad people will bring a wild banana with them just to show how 10000 years of human cultivation and selective breeding have led to a banana that's long, tasty and seedless.

Sat, 28 Apr 2007 07:32:00 UTC | #33125

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