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Comments by holysmokes

Go to: Celebrating Curiosity on Twitter

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by holysmokes

I see several comments on this discussion regarding who built what. How about if we all get past that and agree that this landing was the result of HUMAN ingenuity and stop trying to decide which countries get the correct level of accolades? Let us move up to" "One planet, one people." We all put our pants on the same way. One leg at a time.

Tue, 07 Aug 2012 16:06:20 UTC | #950501

Go to: Against All Gods

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by holysmokes

Your question reveals that there is another form of this question - I call it the 'Temporal Fermi Paradox' - if beings could survive the end of one universe and the origin of another, somehow 'pass through' a Big Bang, we should see them.

I have to agree with your explanation regarding "who created the creator." Well said, however I'm not so sure about seeing aliens. Several years ago as a young adult, I taught wilderness survival to young military personnel in a forest consisting of several square miles. I became quite adept at not allowing these youngsters to see me, unless I wanted them to. The looks on their faces was typically one of shock and, or disbelief when told that I had been watching them for several hours/miles.

I have to wonder if a creature, or creatures who may have been around for countless "universe creations" would even want to show themselves to us. As Mr. Spock once said regarding a particular superior culture, which the Klingons were trying to enslave, "I believe these creatures are as high above us on the evolutionary scale as we are the Ameba."

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:54:40 UTC | #950218

Go to: Why Jehovah's Witnesses won't mourn the Aurora victims

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by holysmokes

Had this shooting been at a school in the middle of a school day, would this idiotic elder have said the same thing? Would parents who "home school" their children have said something as equally stupid? I don't think so.

This elder is obviously a dim bulb. We need not pay him any credence.

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 19:05:33 UTC | #950174

Go to: Against All Gods

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by holysmokes

Steve Zara (Comment 3) ...allow me to play "devil's advocate" here for a moment ...even though I almost always get my ass handed to me on a silver platter when I do. :o)

You point out that there may have been endless universes beginning and then fizzling out. Each time the remnants of the prior fuels the new one. Not your words to be sure, however I think that is the general idea of your comments. One could try to imagine this going on for eternity, past & future. If that is the case, then why couldn't a super-duper, all-knowing, all-powerful, being like a god, or at least like the Q on Star Trek TNG manifest itself over these countless trillions of centurys? Perhaps a creature that has learned to survive from one universe to the next unscathed? Sufficient time would not be an issue and we would certainly look at this being as if he/she/it were a god. I think it makes the "who created the creator" argument a moot point. Your thoughts?

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 14:10:01 UTC | #950161

Go to: Why smart people are stupid

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 101 by holysmokes

Ignorant Amos: But wouldn't the torque on the short side cause it to slip on oil, mud, ice, snow or any slidey surface. The short track would be going faster at the same RPM....or am I getting myself confused here?

Sorry for the delay in responding. You are partially correct. Track slippage would be an issue, but only when pushing a load, or on extremely slippery surfaces. The question doesn't specify a load, nor type of surface, consequently I wouldn't read that into the equation. If you have the blade up and are traveling along, the dozer would still travel straight, however the front sprockets would need to be independent of each other to allow for the shorter track.

Wed, 20 Jun 2012 14:09:38 UTC | #947915

Go to: Why smart people are stupid

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by holysmokes

Depending on the surface to be traversed, a tracked vehicle with one track longer than the other would need a differential to prevent it travelling in a circle.

Actually it wouldn't need a differential. The rear drive sprockets on both sides can easily travel at the same RPM. The only difference is the distance the track must travel to make a revolution.

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 21:35:28 UTC | #947625

Go to: Why smart people are stupid

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by holysmokes

What will happen when you try to drive it?

You'll be pulled over by the bulldozer police?

All about Meme; That's one of the better answers I've heard over the years. Most folks think the bulldozer will travel in a circle. Not true. It will actually continue to go straight, however the shorter track will simply make more revolutions over a given distance. Of course, we have to make a few assumptions, such as independent front sprockets and the rear sprocket correctly propelling the tracks.

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 20:53:27 UTC | #947621

Go to: Why smart people are stupid

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by holysmokes

Here's a classic:

You are sitting on bulldozer and you notice that the right side track is three feet shorter than the left. What will happen when you try to drive it?

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 15:25:57 UTC | #947584

Go to: Why smart people are stupid

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by holysmokes

Wow, this article implies that I am brilliant! ;o)

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 15:23:19 UTC | #947583

Go to: Alienated atheist in Pennsylvania seeks people of like mind

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by holysmokes

Take a trip on up to Maine. According to the local news last week, Maine is the least religious state in the union. We only have churches on every "other" corner.

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 19:41:22 UTC | #945743

Go to: Update - Podcast June 5 Interview with Peter Boghossian - "Faith: Pretending to know things you don't know"

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by holysmokes

Ah "faith" ...the quintessential 5-letter cuss word. It is encouraging to see others beginning to attack and show this pathetic word for what it is. It is time to get people thinking of it as a vice instead of a virtue.

Thank you Dr. Boghossian.

Tue, 22 May 2012 21:20:32 UTC | #942964

Go to: So what's the goal with theism?

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by holysmokes

Ideally I'd like them to stop coercing children. Of course that will never happen because of their "parental rights." Next I would like to see them feel embarrassed when they proclaim their "faith." That will also never happen, so I guess the only realistic goal is to get them thinking critically and hope they gain a better understanding for science and how it works.

Tue, 15 May 2012 18:17:48 UTC | #941656

Go to: Dawkins Foundation: Innovating for a Secular World. A Call to Action by Sean Faircloth, Madison, WI

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by holysmokes

How about creating extensions for each state and country? You want grassroots organizations from each state, which I think is an excellent idea, however pooling resources for all of us may be the best way to start. Why not use your existing site as a launch point for interested parties to get them started? Perhaps you can create webpage's for each state from the parent such as:,,

Allow these fledgling organizations to post their organizational data and any pertinent information. That way each branch can feed off each other as good ideas come along. You have a multitude of bright and articulate people on this site. It will allow them to aide in establishing many of these organizations and keep us all up to date. Such an addition should not cost you a penny more in server space. I think we call that internet evolution :o)

Sun, 13 May 2012 17:12:54 UTC | #941299

Go to: National Day of Reason

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by holysmokes

Great interview Sean. As a fellow Mainer, a hearty, "well done!"

Fri, 04 May 2012 20:49:20 UTC | #939748

Go to: One in seven thinks end of world is coming

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by holysmokes

Ahhhh, so that's why all the doomsday preppers are coming out of the woodwork. Even NatGEO Explorer is running a TV series on it. Perhaps it is time to start selling MREs and freeze-dried food on the net. Business opportunity anyone?

Fri, 04 May 2012 12:49:53 UTC | #939630

Go to: Cocaine decreases activity of a protein necessary for normal functioning of the brain's reward system

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by holysmokes

This line of argument is ridiculous: it's immoral BECAUSE it's illegal.

Who said anything about morality? I'm talking about things people do that harm others. The facts are what they are.

Thu, 26 Apr 2012 17:49:45 UTC | #937516

Go to: Admitting you're an atheist while travelling in the Middle East

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by holysmokes

Blockquote "I'm learning Arabic, and in shah allah, maybe one day I will convert after I am able to read up on Islam in more depth".

That sounds like a fair and only slightly misleading answer to provide, especially if you think they are violent. Perhaps a similar, yet more truthful comment like the following may work a wee bit better.

"I'm learning Arabic, and in shah allah, so that I can better understand and learn about Islam".

Tue, 24 Apr 2012 17:52:41 UTC | #937058

Go to: Cocaine decreases activity of a protein necessary for normal functioning of the brain's reward system

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by holysmokes

blockquote Well perhaps I was misinterpreting your post, but I thought your point was precisely to blame the people who take drugs.

It is not my intention to cast blame, although I can see how you concluded that. I do think that people should take responsibility for their actions. If I knowingly purchase a football that was made under questionable circumstances such as child labor, then shame on me.

What bothers me about drugs; 1. They are illegal in the first place, whereas buying a football isn't. 2. They do cause direct harm to others. If the demand dries up, then the supply will follow suit. 3. They harm the person using them.

A few years ago our teenage son started using weed. He also attended a "diabetes" camp in New England the following summer. There, he met and befriended several kids from Mexico who also attended. As you may be aware, drug cartels have, and still are, killing hundreds of Mexican citizens along the US border in drug-running disputes. The innocent are frequently gunned down in the process. I pointed out to out our son that every time he decides to smoke another joint, he directly puts his friends at risk. It seems to have had an impact, primarily because it is true. I can only hope that he has stopped.

It is easy for drugs users, even the so-called "recreational" users to justify their habit, just like the religious "faithful" will justify their beliefs, however neither are true, anymore then "blood diamond" buyers can justify their actions.

Tue, 24 Apr 2012 17:02:35 UTC | #937040

Go to: Cocaine decreases activity of a protein necessary for normal functioning of the brain's reward system

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by holysmokes

And whose fault is that?

Casting blame is not the point. If you don't like the laws, then attempt to get them changed. Meanwhile drugs DO harm innocent people. Facts are facts.

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 14:32:59 UTC | #936696

Go to: Cocaine decreases activity of a protein necessary for normal functioning of the brain's reward system

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by holysmokes

No, that's basic socialism liberalism: people can be free to do as much damage to themselves as they want as long as they don't harm others with it. You might not agree with that principle but it's a standard viewpoint, and one I share (though I wouldn't personnally try most illicit drugs unless their long term effects are minimal). This actually sort of applies with things like homosexuality if you argue on the catholics' own ground (not a mistake I make often but it happens): people can do as much damage to their own soul as long as they don't tarnish others' ones with it.

I understand your point, however EVERY TIME you use an illegal drug you are affecting others. Why? Because it is illegal in most countries. Unless you are creating and using the drug completely on your own, you are involving others and as you know, very few users do. Look at the harm drug cartels do to innocent victims in South America, all for profit. Thousands of innocent people killed every year. I was never a big Jesse Ventura fan , however he was right about one thing. "Drugs and religion are for weak minded people. What is so wrong with living in reality? No doubt many on here will take offence to this post, but I doubt that you can argue by stating that drugs only hurt the person using it. That nonsense hurts us all in the long run and in my humble opinion, "dumbs-down" the population of the planet.

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 12:58:22 UTC | #936667

Go to: Monster-Sized Rabbits Discovered; Sadly, They Can't Hop

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by holysmokes

Big fluffy rabbits? Well, so long as they are not the mad, mad, mad, killer version like the one in Monty Python's Holy Grail! I had nighmares for weeks! Where's my holy hand-grenade?

Sat, 21 Apr 2012 14:27:26 UTC | #936279

Go to: Locked Out: How the Church Responded to their Pastor’s Coming Out

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 69 by holysmokes

I wonder, how much of this "locking the doors" was a result of;
1. Anger?
2. Fear?

                        3. Financial?<br>
                        4. Other?

I suspect that more then a few of these "good folks" were genuinely afraid. After all, if even their local clergy can be swayed by, what in their minds constitutes the "devil," then how can they hope to combat it/him? They don't want to get sucked down the same path.

I suspect the largest reason was simply financial. Who among their flock is willing to toss money into the offering plate now?

Fri, 13 Apr 2012 16:26:19 UTC | #934448

Go to: Living After Faith Podcast - Jerry DeWitt

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by holysmokes

I'm thrilled that he has "seen the light" so to speak, however I have a little trouble with his bully pulpit delivery method. The man has the gift of communication, however I think if he could channel his points by speaking more along the lines of a TED lecture, it would garner more respect. I am always leery of a "fire and brimstone" type of lecture. Perhaps that is because my past experiences have all been religious sermons.

Of course I could be wrong and he may have the very answer this cause needs.

Thu, 05 Apr 2012 17:45:10 UTC | #932589

Go to: Can the Reason Rally resonate in this most religious of democracies?

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 48 by holysmokes

I don't have a problem with being rude or pushy regarding religion, especially when it's tossed in my face. It's the vulgar and needless foul language that most ordinary people, myself included, find so disturbing. I don't want my, or anyone else's kids to see that nonsense. Nor do most Americans. It's a negative blight on our cause.

Fri, 30 Mar 2012 23:42:18 UTC | #931461

Go to: Can the Reason Rally resonate in this most religious of democracies?

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by holysmokes


I understand where you are going with your comments, however it is important to remember the long term goal. Should we look at things like this sign, then smile and say, "way to go?" Perhaps we as individuals should consider the most common reaction of the general population before deciding to do something like this.

If I were standing in the immediate vicinity of that display with my grandchildren, I would immediately remove them from the scene. Why do we have to be vulgar to make a point?, I thought our "mission" if you will, is to encourage the general population to listen to the logic of our words. Signs like that immediately have the opposite effect. It makes us look like degrading jerks with the IQ of a bowling ball. There are better ways to throw "shock therapy" at the public WITHOUT being crude.

Perhaps I am in the minority, but I look very unfavorable at people who walk around with profanity on their clothes, the "F" word rolling out of their mouths in every other sentence, or just plain needless cussing in general.

I guess the real question is, " Where is middle America on this? I feel confident when I say, on their behalf, that they they find things like this to be in very poor taste." Such displays will not help our cause. In fact, quite the opposite. Let us strive to make positive impacts.

Fri, 30 Mar 2012 12:33:12 UTC | #931339

Go to: Can the Reason Rally resonate in this most religious of democracies?

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by holysmokes

Sample, your link doesn't work.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 17:36:53 UTC | #931187

Go to: Can the Reason Rally resonate in this most religious of democracies?

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by holysmokes


Yes, I think it's fair to say that some regulars here prefer not to become insulting towards people, even if we do find their religious beliefs silly. Yes, there are also those who think more forceful words are necessary. I don't have the answer regarding the best avenue to take, however I think taking the high road is the better path. I've learned that if you stoop to someone else's level, you run the risk of becoming just like them. I too find it difficult to refrain from getting hostile towards religious folks, my family in particular, however I see little good coming from such an outburst.

Obviously the best way to deal with the religious, is a debate which will continue in this forum. It makes life a bit more interesting. Besides, many of these posts are insightful regardless of which side of the fense the postee sets. Hmmm, is postee a word?

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 01:07:39 UTC | #931081

Go to: Can the Reason Rally resonate in this most religious of democracies?

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by holysmokes

Point taken Avanti3258. I should have said something more along the lines of, "Challenge his position, not his person. Thanks for pointing that out.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 14:55:54 UTC | #930941

Go to: Can the Reason Rally resonate in this most religious of democracies?

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by holysmokes

Although humorous, holding up a sign with blatant profanity like the one in this picture, does nothing but reinforce the "militant atheist" argument. It also insults the person it is aimed at. Insult his position, not the person. We should rise above that sort of thing.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 12:55:41 UTC | #930921

Go to: More See "Too Much" Religious Talk by Politicians - Santorum Voters Disagree

holysmokes's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by holysmokes

They should extend the study and increase the number of people in the survey, 1500 doesn't seem like many. It is surprising to see that people over 65 years of age actually scored higher then the average on keeping churches out of government at 60%. I'd have thought the reverse would be true. I wonder if the influx of large mega-churches are swaying young adults and driving the overall numbers down?

Thu, 22 Mar 2012 13:18:21 UTC | #929596