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Comments by Tagred

Go to: Scientists win place for evolution in primary schools

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 36 by Tagred

Comment #430726 by outwitted by fish on November 10, 2009 at 3:39 am

Pedant point: Petroleum generation is not really relevant to evolution, and it is not entirely clear that the bulk of the reduced carbon is biological in origin. It may well be even more ancient than you think. In my opinion, "fossil fuel" is something of a misnomer (unless one is referring to the root word "_fossa_", meaning "ditch.")
It's not a misnomer at all.

Can you point me to the evidence for the bulk of oil not being biological in origin£ Admitedly i havent sampled many oil fields but those i've visited are always associated with biological processes.

Tue, 10 Nov 2009 11:51:00 UTC | #412448

Go to: Texas man faces execution after jurors consult Bible to decide fate

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 79 by Tagred


I disagree, the job of the jury is to decide guilt, and the level of guilt. Many sentences are statutory for certain crimes and i think that should be. A jury deciding on the level of guilt effectively is that check and balance.

In the uk there are already so many different levels of punishment for the same crime. The judge usually uses his guidelines and precedent to set the sentence. Sometimes that hinders as well as helps as there have been a few high profile cases for what are seemingly terrible crimes when the criminal received a lighter sentence than would have been thought and visa-versa.

I know i sound like im contradicting myself but i think there are enough checks and balances and the jury usually does a good job. Where things fall down however, is the convoluted way in which sentences are handed out. I guess its a moot point in the uk as we dont have the death sentence. What we do instead is ensure that the criminal has more human rights than the man on the street...(slightly exagerated political comment, i know)

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 19:58:00 UTC | #406515

Go to: Texas man faces execution after jurors consult Bible to decide fate

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 76 by Tagred

Juries should decide guilt, the state should decide the punishment

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 19:24:00 UTC | #406499

Go to: New Drake Equation To Quantify Habitability?

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 51 by Tagred

I think throughout evolutionary history, it also proves that life once started, is pretty hard to completely destroy...hence "life finds a way"

i think it is a general mistake for many people thinking that life in the universe must be similar to life on earth in terms of chemistry.

If life (or rather replication) established itself over 3.8Ga on Earth then i see no reason why there aren't many planets out there with different chemistries given certain conditions that would not support it.

Thu, 24 Sep 2009 08:02:00 UTC | #400366

Go to: New Drake Equation To Quantify Habitability?

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by Tagred

32. Comment #418418 by mmurray on September 23, 2009 at 9:37 pm

What I meant was if you could show that life began independently on both Earth and Mars that would make it seem that life beginning was not so hard.

Thanks for the links.

I think by the shear fact that planets aren't as uncommon as once thought makes the chances of any form of life anywhere that bit more likely. The drake equation probably does need seeing to.

Wed, 23 Sep 2009 22:07:00 UTC | #400273

Go to: New Drake Equation To Quantify Habitability?

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by Tagred

8. Comment #418149 by Steve Zara on September 22, 2009 at 10:49 pm

I just can't get over the excitement of that. When I was young, there were endless articles about how incredibly difficult, if not impossible, it would to be detect extrasolar planets. I really never expected such a discovery in my lifetime.
Here here, it is truly one of the most fantastic and awe inspiring discoveries in science. Not because of the new information realised or anything ike that, but just bringing the wonder of the universe into our homes.

I'm very surprised much more hasn't been said about the discoveries on mainstream news or tv or anywhere else for that matter.

It is one of those things i always hoped to see in my lifetime but never thought it would happen. Even those fuzzy pics of an exo-solar system thrills my imagination.

Wed, 23 Sep 2009 22:02:00 UTC | #400272

Go to: Kirk Cameron has gone too far! But we can stop him.

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Tagred

Isn't that an example of plagiarism, libel defamation, or just plain old copyright infringement£

If i were a publisher with the rights to the original books i would be pretty livid at that. But i'm not a lawyer so i have no clue.

At the very least it's a dishonest and despicable thing to do.

Thu, 17 Sep 2009 13:01:00 UTC | #398090

Go to: How Far Can Darwin Take Us?

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Tagred

I'd agree with Bonzai.

the ability to communicate has evolved in all humans and practically all life, [i]how[i] and in what form that communication takes depends is learned and not necessarily evolved. I guess the communication techniques "evolved" as symbols try to represent sounds. You'd be fairly hard pressed to understand the Saxon chronicles even if it is "olde English"

ahhh screw it, im talking rubbish. i saw a programme once where the scientist said that all humans are born with the knowledge of language, I felt it was the wrong thing to say; and that we are born with the knowledge of communication, language is learned, so i reckon writing is part of that learned communication system.

Im no anthropologist or whatever so feel free to put me right

Wed, 03 Jun 2009 04:30:00 UTC | #367107

Go to: Animals can tell right from wrong

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by Tagred

I havent read every comment in this thread so i apologise now if i'm repeating someone.

There is no such thing as "right" or "wrong". the whole idea of that is laced with falsities. Instead it should be thought of as "acceptable" or "not acceptable" behaviour.

2000yrs ago it was throughly right and proper to own slaves and throw christians to the lions. Raping and pillaging was thought to be an honourable act if you were a maruading off the North sea etc, etc. today's views are different.

It is why i find it annoying when modern day "ehtics" are used when looking at historical events.

Anyway, pushing a tentative link for morality and a diety, it is one of the reasons i feel why any religion cannot claim a moral superiority, as clearly moral codes were written for the time.

Back to animal behaviour; in my opinion, i think we cannot attribute a human sense of modern day morality to a non-human behaviour. social animals have evolved forms of communication adequate for their purposes, and a social structure adequate to ensure a good chance of survival, it's dynamic, which is why there's always competition and why you have alpha-males and females constantly changing in groups.

Sense of right and wrong£ I think not, more of an evolutionary trait to help ensure the group survivability and gene pool

Thu, 28 May 2009 05:00:00 UTC | #365290

Go to: Complex molecules seen in space

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Tagred

maybe he just spilt his drink and hasnt cleaned it up properly.

Seriously though this is great information. It would be good to see if these types of molecules are more common in other areas.

Is it possible that these molecules could also be remnants of organic "life" (i can't think of another word for it really).

Could it be that science is on its first steps to finding that the possibility of organic lifeforms is much more common than presently thought??

I'm not a cosmologist so feel free to ridicule my train of thought

Tue, 21 Apr 2009 11:46:00 UTC | #351075

Go to: Building a better way of Understanding Science

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Tagred

In my opinion science is not well taught in schools. It's fairly common place now to have a science teacher with only a basic understanding of the subject let alone a degree, or even first yr undergraduate training.

When i was at school at least the science teachers had degrees in the subject they taught. I still didn't like a few of them because the teachers were boring and it was clear they'd rathet do more intersting stuff, but that's a different issue.

However, there was aphysics teacher who clearly loved the subject and was boisterous and loud and was passionate about what he taught. I wasnt allowed to choose physics at school because i had already gone for chemistry and geography, but because of that teacher i became interested and took the after school classes he ran.

Enough about my history, what i'm trying to say is that effective communication has always been at the heart of teaching, and with so many pyschologists and general cowing to the lowest common denominator the kids just dont havea clue wahts going on.

The best teaching i had was from the Open University, their books are so well written, so well communicated that i could understand easily what was being said. The techniques to imparting information and keeping interest were excellent. Indeed to the point where i gave up work and studied geology at university with absolutely no previous knowledge of the subject.

While at uni the next best thing was a Spanish teacher who managed to get 12 of us through an O'level pass in 6 weeks.

If the teacher is enthusiastic, and can communicate properly then kids will naturally want to learn more, and science would benefit immenseley.

So i guess anything that helps communicate science to people in a way that is interesting has got to be a good thing. You don't necessarily have to blind them with concepts only the academic can understand, its something ive been on about for a long time. I hope the AAAS do well.

Sun, 22 Mar 2009 16:39:00 UTC | #338307

Go to: The Internet has changed the nature of scientific debate

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 63 by Tagred

1. Comment #349973 by ukvillafan on March 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm

I know this is posting off-topic,for which I apologise, but in relation to the UN resolution from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference attempting to criminalise the "defamation" of religion, I have had a petition to the Prime Minsters web site in the UK accepted. Only UK citizens can sign I believe. The link follows - pass it on to all UK individuals you know.

Tue, 10 Mar 2009 05:46:00 UTC | #334546

Go to: The Elfish Gene

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 84 by Tagred

I have always loved D&D and fantasy role play genre. I used to be a GM as well as a player, and had a campiagn run for three years real time, 15yrs game time.

Anywho, the type of character i always played was a cleric, odd since i was basically agnostic/atheist since i can remember (full on atheist for the past 20yrs though).

As many have already said, there is a clear divide by what is fantasy and what is reality. I have no problem playing games or reading books with oodles of magic and gods in them, because it is fantasy and not pretending to be anything else. The problem with religion is that it is clearly fantasy masquerading as reality, and non-too well either.

I still read sci-fi and fantasy, Asimov, Eddings, Jordan and Gemmil being my favourites. I can quite happily read these books being an atheist. If only the bible was written in any semblance of decent grammatical english i might get past chapter 3....

Tue, 10 Mar 2009 05:30:00 UTC | #334544

Go to: Giant seabird's fossilized skull found in Peru

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by Tagred

So basically, what's being said here is;
We know what we know, we know what we don't know, but we don't know what we don't know"

Let's go find out. As those gaps are closed the need for a deity becomes less, until 1 of 2 options are left 1) proof of a deity's non-existence. 2) proof of a deity's existence

Number 2 is looking less and less likely on a daily basis

Sun, 01 Mar 2009 15:29:00 UTC | #331812

Go to: Banana Man

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 89 by Tagred

i'd debate him, and i'll pay $10 to RDF, and i only know the extreme basics of evolution, i'm sure i could slip him up as it were.

Tue, 24 Feb 2009 12:31:00 UTC | #329971

Go to: In Texas, a Line in the Curriculum Revives Evolution Debate

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by Tagred

You know what? Why can't or why don't the intelligent people just reverse the argument? Why is it that they have to stand to defend evolution etc all the time? why can't they do what Nails said, 'Ok mr creationist, can you tell me then what the evidence is for the cambrian explosion, and how have you found your evidence to support your argument?'

Then why not actually counter ney demand that alchemy, astrology and geocentrism be also taught in schools. Since by definition gravity is a theory, i guess they could look at it's weaknesses.

It really is dispairing that such a modern, technologically advanced country as America has actually survived past the civil war. Such a paradox with insanely intelligent people outnumbered by utter drones.

Fri, 23 Jan 2009 02:05:00 UTC | #311093

Go to: Why Darwin was wrong about the tree of life

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Tagred

New Scientist seems to get more sensational every day. I don't know who they are employing as journalists but it really is gettiing to the gutter tabloid press stage.

Where i have no problem in a little embellishment to catch the eye, headlines like this do nothing to advance the perception of science. Fairly irresponsible writing in my opinion. Even one with very basic knowledge of cladistics (i still use that word) would be able to rip apart the writer.

Sure, the "tree of life" may need to be changed if the criteria and evidence demands it, but it is essentially still there, now at a higher resolution. In my opinion there is no question that the tree of life is wrong, merely modified to include the new knowledge.

It is as it should be, making the model fit the evidence, i see nothing wrong in the tree of life model evolving.

It is quite sad to see this kind of poor writing in New Scientists. I have read the mag for years before and only recently re0discovered it, but this is not good for people who do not have a good knwledge of science or techniques.

Heck I may as well just start buying the Sun newspaper.

Fri, 23 Jan 2009 01:45:00 UTC | #311076

Go to: Methane discovery suggests presence of life on Mars, say Nasa scientists

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 66 by Tagred

PJG. I can see that happening

They will probably re-interpret Earth as "earth" as in the ground/surface on which life was created.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 03:36:00 UTC | #306681

Go to: Methane discovery suggests presence of life on Mars, say Nasa scientists

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 60 by Tagred

Here here Vaal i agree with you. If there was a concerted effort by many nations spreading the costs then space exploration would be much cheaper and probably more efficient and I would imagine technology improve even faster.

Problem is, space exploration and science is still used as a sort of national status symbol; "look at me, I have unlimited resources and power to fly among the stars, the rest of you puny un-intelligent people bow down before me..." as it were.

Space is one area where the world for once could unite, to really explore the newest frontier, to exploit it and to improve the human condition, and maybe one day to colonise it. Perhaps there will be a time where a planet is seen as our home, not a region upon it.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 02:28:00 UTC | #306608

Go to: Methane discovery suggests presence of life on Mars, say Nasa scientists

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by Tagred

Slightly misleading article i think.

There are at least 2 sources for methane, either biological or geochemical.

A process known as serpentisation when olivines or pyroxenes react with water methane can be produced. More investigation needs to be done on the geological activity of the planet first before saying its proof of life. As many of you have already pointed out look at the rest of the gas planets and atmospheres in their respective satellites.

Sometimes there is too much speculation going on about Mars while i can see the benefits of this to engage the public, it is always an anti-climax when these reports are found to not to be proof of life at all. Look at what happened when 'fossil microbes' were found during the 90's.

I think there is a slight danger of scientists as well as the public wanting to find proof of life so much that it could bias the actual facts. I have no doubt however that those investigating Mars are always skeptical and require an abundance of evidence before any strong conclusions can be made.

I wish that during my life time humans would set foot on the planet and establish a base where they can do some good hard science, or remote technology gets to a point where much larger and more sophisticated testing can be done.

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 02:05:00 UTC | #306576

Go to: New Bus Campaign

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 1242 by Tagred

How about "Science is they way to's why god created it" or would that be just too paradoxical and the sarcasm lost, or would it help the IDer's campaign?

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 01:21:00 UTC | #306537

Go to: New Bus Campaign

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 1240 by Tagred

I read this somewhere, so I will shamlessly plagiarise it...

"can god make a rock so big he cant pick it up?" or words to that effect. I know nothing to do with the campaign, but add a few more words like, "for answers to difficult questions, use science..."

Fri, 16 Jan 2009 01:18:00 UTC | #306533

Go to: Atheist bus ad campaign provokes bitterness in Barcelona

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 122 by Tagred

there was an interview with Ariane last night (8th Dec) on radio 5. she was interviewed because christian voice were complaining to the advertising standards agency over it, citing misrepresentation or false advertising.

The idiot christian voice guy actually said that the advert was offensive because Ariane couldn't substantiate that there was no god. She laughed, and by the same token the interviewer asked, then shouldnt we be asking all churches that have 'Jesus Lives' on their placards to take them down becuase they arent substantiated?

He didnt have much of an answer to that but kept on about unsubstantiated case for no god. each time christian voice reaer their ugly heads they make christianity look more and more stupid, they are their own worst enemies.

Ariane was courteous and explained the ad well, even stating that it was a counter response to all religion not just christianity.

I will see if i can find the story or sound clip. Try BBC radio 5 live anyway, it was on 5 live drive programme

Fri, 09 Jan 2009 01:36:00 UTC | #300771

Go to: Science can't explain the big bang - there is still scope for a creator

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Tagred

4. Comment #314552 by kaiserkriss on January 7, 2009 at 10:14 am

What a retard!!I'm embarrassed to call myself a geoscientist now.

Still I should not be surprised since MANY geoscientists working in very specialized subjects in the oil patch are die hard "earth crated in 6 days" fundamentalists.. jcw

Here here, i too am ebarrassed, as Earth Sciences is an area that should turn you against the very idea of a deity creating planets, life etc.

I was never religious, but my geology training at uni most certainly gave me the evidence and impetus for enquiry into how things came about, and if there were any latent doubts they were utterly destroyed by my study.

I'm somewhat disturbed to here that there are many geoscientists out there who could believe in a creationist world view, it beggers belief (pardon the pun).

I don't consider myself very intelligent but come on, the most basic concept of geology should help you understand that there is a perfectly natural non-deity reason for how the universe is/was and evolved.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:49:00 UTC | #299583

Go to: Milky Way 'bigger than thought'

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Tagred


I read it as the the speed rotating about its centre which helped to estimate the mass of the galaxy.

I think it's a good piece of information though, from a point of view of science coming up with a theory and not just sitting back and saying "this is true" after one effort.

Good to see that commonly accepted ideas are continuously tested and if evidence suggests something different then the model has to change.

A direct contradiction to religion where they fit the evidence to the idea. I think it's a good example of how you must keep striving for knowledge even if you think you already know it all.

Tue, 06 Jan 2009 17:13:00 UTC | #299014

Go to: Muslim pilgrims stone devil amid tight control

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Tagred

oh for god's sake lighten up. Everyone makes sweeping generalities and stereotypes. If someone can't get the sarcasm it's their propblem.

The fact is that catholicism has been stereotyped in this way is because people are more aware of abusing priests, not only that but the lengths the catholic church goes to either hide, ignore, deny it happens. And when they do get found out they do a Michael Jackson and pay off the parents.

Family on mothers side are catholic (italian) and even they make the same jokes about the priests. so give over with the being offended and giving people grief for being non-factual. Fact is, not one person here is innocent. Maybe we need a proper study on the likelihood of a person becoming a child abuser when becoming a priest, maybe then it will stop this teddy throwing.

Apologies for bad grammar and spelling, sneakily posting at work shhhh

Tue, 09 Dec 2008 01:48:00 UTC | #284943

Go to: Odontochelys, a transitional turtle

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Tagred

3. Comment #294845 by FatherNature on December 1, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Hmmm, a transitional form eh?

Doesn't that win the $900 trillion (or whatever is was) prize offered by the Turkish creationist?
Nope, there's no fish hook at the end, so it can't.

Mon, 01 Dec 2008 16:52:00 UTC | #281060

Go to: Christian group halts book launch

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 97 by Tagred

On another note, it was interesting to see that Prince Charles loved the Phil Pullman books so much, he ranted about them quite a bit.

Irony? Or someone who can actually tell the difference between a story and...hmmm....a story

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 01:45:00 UTC | #270143

Go to: Catholic bishops warn Obama they'll fight on abortion: Statement to focus on 'opposing evil'

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 179 by Tagred

it is not too often that i always agree with Steve zara, well actually that's not true, theres really one or two points where i disagree with him.

however, i agree with his early comments reagarding allowing opinions to be voiced within the law etc., for free speech is an extremely important and fundamental basis on which we can have a democracy -whatever that really means-.

Anyway, there is a caveat, with free speech as with power comes responsibility. There is no such thing as true free speech, Germany had made holocaust denial illegal for instance, and we are not allowed to say certain things or "incite" violence etc.

Steve is correct (of course), any opinions voiced must be backed up by some reason (however flawed it may be) and be within the law, it is this which helps promotes discussion, opinion and sometimes an evolution of thought and ideas.

Thu, 13 Nov 2008 02:42:00 UTC | #269272

Go to: Darwin's specimens go on display

Tagred's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Tagred

Where's the fishing hook?

This cannot be right, I thought it was proven that you need to have a fishing hook attached


Sat, 08 Nov 2008 03:55:00 UTC | #266971