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Comments by YssiBoo

Go to: The Dawkins Confusion: Naturalism ad absurdum

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 133 by YssiBoo

"We know of no irrefutable objections to its being biologically possible that all of life has come to be by way of unguided Darwinian processes;"

I think it is better phrased

"We know of no unrefuted objections to its being biologically probable that all of life has come to be by way of unguided Darwinian processes;"

Sun, 17 Jan 2010 21:44:00 UTC | #432370

Go to: 'Science and Faith' Discussion

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by YssiBoo

I wonder if not MDs suffer from much the same thing as many engineers do. They learn the profession and how this works for curing that and that for this, but they don't learn how the scientific method that supports this knowledge works.

In Norway we have an introductory course in philosophy, and the philosophy of science during the first semester of University studies, but this is not brought up again for the rest of the time at the university except in special subjects.

Anyone?

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 07:28:00 UTC | #320678

Go to: 'Science and Faith' Discussion

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by YssiBoo

Another thing:

The theists stated that the large gap in mental capabilities between us and other animals was a reason for believing in god. How much do we know about the earlier hominids in terms of brain capacity? I am thinking of Homo Erectus, Homo Habilis and so on. Presumably they were much closer to us in that respect? So I would think the gap is not so big after all. Or at least it is bridged by other (now extinct) species.

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 02:00:00 UTC | #320515

Go to: 'Science and Faith' Discussion

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by YssiBoo

I for one did not get anything out of that discussion. Dawkins' and Dennett's arguments I have heard a number of times before. The opposing arguments I have also heard before. What wrecked the discussion was that ( as RD notes above) none of the infantile "I can't think of a reason for X, ergo Yahweh" types of fluff were allowed to be demolished properly. Part of it was because of the moderator, part of it because there were too many people on stage for a mere 45 minutes.

Whereas RD and DD complement each other well, the two theists were only able to crowd the discussion with unsubstatiated idiocy.

Apparently it didnt help my mood to listen to this.

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 01:54:00 UTC | #320509

Go to: Jerry Coyne's 'Seeing and Believing' with responses

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 443 by YssiBoo

Well done Mr Harris! Couldn't have, and will never say it better myself.

Now lets read the rest...

Wed, 04 Feb 2009 11:44:00 UTC | #318791

Go to: Mathematics and faith explain altruism

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 62 by YssiBoo

ridelo: If you are correct, I would possibly like to revise my previous comment to one about Rich Barlow who wrote this piece.

I would like to know if this article was written on the basis of an interview with Nowak.

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 01:33:00 UTC | #242378

Go to: Mathematics and faith explain altruism

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 61 by YssiBoo

This has probably already been said but here is my take on this:

Nowak seems to have done a mathematical study which suggests that altruism is a natural consequence of evolution by natural selection. He then bends over backwards to say that, having "proven" that altruism arose on its own, God must have done it.

I'm truly baffled by his ability to draw the exact opposite conclusion from the one that seems to fit most closely to his data.

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 01:29:00 UTC | #242375

Go to: Free Will vs. the Programmed Brain

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by YssiBoo

The way i see it, if there is no such thing as free will, we would still be susceptible to incentives. Rewards and punishment is our attempt to make sure that the incentives for doing good outweighs the incentives for doing wrong. These incentives guide our behaviour regardless of the existence of free will.

Wed, 20 Aug 2008 12:26:00 UTC | #221356

Go to: Susskind Quashes Hawking in Quarrel Over Quantum Quandary

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by YssiBoo

Steve Zara:

I think the concept of string theory is fantastic. The idea that you could potentially describe everything we see in the universe by the vibrations of a single entity is very intriguing.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=YtdE662eY_M&feature=related

In this video from TEDTalks Brian Greene (at the very end) describes a possible test for string theory which the LHC may be able to perform. The argument goes that energy may leak from "our" dimensions into the other dimensions so that we measure less energy from the collisions than we should.

But until they have conclusive evidence that string theory actually describes the world and is not just fancy mathematics, I am on the fence.

Wed, 09 Jul 2008 23:56:00 UTC | #196917

Go to: New legal threat to school science in the US

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by YssiBoo

The American Constitution (and every other constitution for that matter) should be amended with a paragraph ensuring that only empirically tested and verified science can be taught in science class rooms. It is clearly not enough with the 'separation between church and state'-bit.

Wed, 09 Jul 2008 23:27:00 UTC | #196911

Go to: Susskind Quashes Hawking in Quarrel Over Quantum Quandary

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by YssiBoo

The problem with string theory (as I understand it via Lee Smolin) is that it is a background dependent theory; the outcome of it depends on which background space you put it in. This excerpt from wikipedia summarises Smolins view:

The previous two issues are related to a more profound problem: string theory might not be truly fundamental in its present formulation because it is background-dependent â€" string theory describes perturbative expansions about fixed spacetime backgrounds. Some see background independence as a fundamental requirement of a theory of quantum gravity, particularly since General Relativity is already background independent. In response to this criticism, some string theorists disagree that background-independence should be a guiding principle[citation needed], while others hope that M-theory, or a non-perturbative treatment of string theory (such as string field theory) will turn out to be background-independent, giving as solutions the many different versions of string theory with the different backgrounds.


The problem with not knowing what string theory predicts in terms of actual experiments must be solved.

Keep in mind that although I have recently obtained my master degree in physics, it is only within applied physics so I have little first-hand knowledge of the field of theoretical physics. My knowledge of the subject comes mainly from reading Smolin, Brian Greene and Stephen Hawking. They follow the 'each equation halves the book sales'-rule so my knowledge is therefore conceptual rather than technical.

Wed, 09 Jul 2008 23:22:00 UTC | #196907

Go to: Conversation between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by YssiBoo

When are these people going to realise that the fine-tuning argument (if accepted at all) does not say anything about the existence of their particular creator god.

Furthermore he claims that there is ample historical evidence for the miracles of the new testament without saying what it is; he just claims it exists.

What a mental midget.

Tue, 08 Jul 2008 05:08:00 UTC | #195681

Go to: [UPDATED] Venomous Snakes, Slippery Eels and Harun Yahya

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by YssiBoo

I'm reading "the Ancestor's tale" at the moment, and I thoroughly enjoy it. I mention this because i'm approaching the Coelacanths tale which should be a good rebuttal to mr Yeahyeah.

Mon, 07 Jul 2008 11:54:00 UTC | #195182

Go to: Aliens need Christ's redemption, too

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 88 by YssiBoo

snip

Mon, 30 Jun 2008 03:06:00 UTC | #191524

Go to: George W Bush meets Pope amid claims he might convert to Catholicism

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 60 by YssiBoo

MPhil and irate:

You remind me of the only thing I remember from German class in school; a song we were taught the first year:

Ich bin Auslaender und spreche nicht gut Deutsch,
Ich bin Auslaender und spreche nicht gut Deutsch,
Bitte langsam, bitte langsam,
bitte sprechen Sie doch langsam,
Ich bin Auslaender und spreche nicht gut Deutsch.

I wish I had paid more attention so that I could speak German properly.

As for an On-topic comment:

Why is it that GWB always chooses the christian directions where thought is regarded as something the lay-man should not try to engage in? Evangelism is the most anti-intellectual branch of christianity (that I am aware of) and catholicism is the the most centralised. It is effectively the Pope and his cardinals who decide what everyone else should believe.

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 02:56:00 UTC | #184102

Go to: Physicists in Congress Calculate Their Influence

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by YssiBoo

Count von Count:

I think politicians should be schooled in what the scientific process is and where to look for information about the consensus among scientists. They don't have to be specialists or anything, if they just show that they are capable of informing themselves before coming to a conclusion.

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 02:31:00 UTC | #184086

Go to: Intelligent people 'less likely to believe in God'

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 132 by YssiBoo

Being a student I have access to some of the articles. After doing some research it appears that I did not know enough about this. Other studies I saw pointed to genetics to have at least 0.5 (out of a total of 1) weight in the performance on IQ tests. (I must dig them up again.) This left some room open for training but genetics seemed to be the main factor.

I also found this article today:
http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/dn13786-simple-brain-exercise-can-boost-iq.html

After what I have now read on the subject it seems that Lynn does not have data solid enough to support the conclusion entirely. I don't doubt that intelligent people are more likely to see through the poor logic of religion. It just seems extraordinary that the countries in Africa averages at less than 80 points.

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 00:19:00 UTC | #184039

Go to: Intelligent people 'less likely to believe in God'

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 129 by YssiBoo

http://esr.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/19/4/411

Can you view the article? It is a critique of Lynn's earlier work on IQ versus wealth.

The critique is about the way the IQ-values were obtained. Only 85 countries have measured values of the IQ. 104 countries (most of them in the third world) have values calculated partly on the basis of data from the sixties, partly on the basis of neighbouring countries. Furthermore, the methods used for obtaining the IQs differed between the countries.

I have tried searching for more articles dealing with this issue, but have not found any yet. I will continue searching.

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 14:00:00 UTC | #183459

Go to: Intelligent people 'less likely to believe in God'

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 127 by YssiBoo

Teratornis: I shall admit I have difficulties arguing against at least the second link. The first link doesn't cite any other sources than dead links so I shall not venture to discuss it.

Does anyone have any reputable sites discussing this? What has happened in this field during the last 15 years?

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 13:16:00 UTC | #183430

Go to: Intelligent people 'less likely to believe in God'

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 118 by YssiBoo

I would once again want to point to the book "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond for a comprehensive story of the historical evidence for the basis of racism. (According to this book the evidence is non-existent.)

Guns Germs and Steel

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 02:13:00 UTC | #183206

Go to: Intelligent people 'less likely to believe in God'

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 117 by YssiBoo

Many good points on display here. An IQ test which incorporates all sorts of different types of problemsolving is probably able to differentiate "good" minds from "poor" minds. Is the difference is genetic or a matter of training? I would say yes. It is apparent that some people will be better than others at certain tasks even though they spend less time doing the task. However, reducing a multifaceted thing like the brain to a single number is highly erroneous to my mind. One person can be good at shape and pattern recognition and poor at formal logic. This person may then score an average IQ, but be highly adept within a special field.

To have an anecdotal piece of evidence: Richard Feyman's IQ was calculated to be in the 120's. But he was arguably on of the most intelligent persons of the 20th century. A large body of such anecdotal evidence could be gathered I think. To me this shows that there is more to intelligence than the IQ-tests can uncover.

Also recall the recent study which shows that chimps are far superior to humans in pattern recognition, but would probably score poorly on an IQ test.

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 02:07:00 UTC | #183202

Go to: Intelligent people 'less likely to believe in God'

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 105 by YssiBoo

Steve Zara: I totally agree. And that is my point. It is not merely about intelligence, but about proper education. And I think that the fundamental flaw of IQ-tests is exactly here. It is possible to train oneself to perform better on IQ-tests.

Fri, 13 Jun 2008 12:54:00 UTC | #182979

Go to: Intelligent people 'less likely to believe in God'

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 102 by YssiBoo

#104:

I can agree with that. But are you unintelligent if you believe in God when you have not seen all the evidence not in his favour? I would argue that enlightened people who believe in God may be either stupid or are compartmentalising their brain. Uneducated people on the other hand may be just as intelligent as any other, they have just not benefited from the scientific discoveries of the modern world.

No ethnic component needs to be a part of the equation.

#102: I agree with you on that point.

Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:39:00 UTC | #182959

Go to: Intelligent people 'less likely to believe in God'

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 98 by YssiBoo

#58 Jack:

Thanks for the statistics. Those reaffirm my personal conclusion that one can learn to get better at IQ tests. I think IQ only measures one part of what makes for total intelligence and that this part can be trained like any other skill. There is also a great correlation between the level of education and the measured IQ in the countries in question. The countries which have well nourished inhabitants also score higher than the others i.e. Europe versus Africa.

Fri, 13 Jun 2008 10:20:00 UTC | #182938

Go to: Intelligent people 'less likely to believe in God'

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 96 by YssiBoo

Henri Bergson at comment #33:

I recommend you read "Guns Germs and Steel" for a thorough analysis of the biological basis for claiming some ethnicities to be more intelligent than others. The conclusion there is that there is no such correlation to be found either in the historical record nor in the modern world.

Fri, 13 Jun 2008 10:07:00 UTC | #182935

Go to: Logical Proof of the Existence of a Divine Creator, Why Atheism is Not Logically Sound

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 236 by YssiBoo

I went back to actually try to read the whole article, but I was unable to get myself through it. It repeats the argument from personal incredulity so often that it just gets boring. Even if it was a valid point (which it isn't) I would have problems reading this. What a poor mind!

Tue, 10 Jun 2008 02:38:00 UTC | #181462

Go to: Logical Proof of the Existence of a Divine Creator, Why Atheism is Not Logically Sound

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 231 by YssiBoo

I read the first few paragraphs of this piece hoping to see a new argument. However, the fallacies kept building up so much that my brain shut down. How can he say that atheists believe planets somehow just formed themselves spontaneously yielding billions of lifeforms all with male and female individuals? I get so sick and tired of people who think they have a knockdown argument when all they really have is a lack of understanding for the processes behind the evolution of the universe.

*Brain Reboot commenced due to stoopid-virus attack*

*Reality restored*

Tue, 10 Jun 2008 01:57:00 UTC | #181448

Go to: That's it. Texas really is doomed.

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by YssiBoo

I must say I agree with you on some points FightingFalcon, especially on the rationality of atheists. But I also think you are trivializing the problem somewhat. Just because evangelism and opposition to science is nothing new doesn't mean it's not a threat to the US. When the boards of education are controlled by anti-scientific people the consequences in twenty years may be larger than you think now. As long as the majority of american states are not controlled by these people it might not be a problem, but what if it spreads? Apathy is certainly not a solution (although i guess that was not your suggestion either). Secularists and rationalists must keep fighting this with every available weapon.

Tue, 27 May 2008 00:13:00 UTC | #175696

Go to: Lab agrees to test Shroud of Turin for new theory

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by YssiBoo

"The shroud is brilliant and unfathomable," Rolfe said.

What in the world can make a shroud 'unfathomable'? I think mr Rolfe just doesn't think hard enough.

Wed, 21 May 2008 02:37:00 UTC | #173565

Go to: A bit of Fry & Laurie - Sex talk in class

YssiBoo's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by YssiBoo

I thought the sketch was a bit dreary the first half, but I couldn't help laughing at the poor sod in the end. :)

Sun, 18 May 2008 23:49:00 UTC | #172727