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Comments by Eamonn Shute

Go to: Japan sets sail for Venus with solar-powered space yacht

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by Eamonn Shute

In Robert Forwards novel Rocheworld he has people travelling to Barnard's Star using a sail. Lasers on or near Mercury provide the propulsion for the outward flight as solar power alone would not be enough. Once at Barnard's star the sail can be used to travel around the system in the same way as the above space yacht.

Sat, 01 May 2010 19:29:00 UTC | #464680

Go to: Richard Dawkins calls for arrest of Pope Benedict XVI

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 104 by Eamonn Shute

29. Comment #478502 by Eyerish on April 11, 2010 at 4:18 am

But bear with me for a moment to play the 'devil’s advocate'. If the pope was arrested and it was splashed around the world that Dawkins and Hitchens were behind it. It may send a powerful message that atheism is at war with all believers (not just the child abusers), and the millions of bishops, priests, mullahs, imams, rabbis who are still out there will continue to pour out vitriol against reason with even more vigour. It may actually turn out to be a saviour for religion by cementing in the minds of the believers that we are the immoral evil heathens that their leaders warned them about.


That is advocating that we do the same as the RC church - instead of doing what is right by bringing justice to bear on criminals we should instead try to protect our reputation.

I am with Richard on this one. It will be fun to see what happens!

Sun, 11 Apr 2010 08:36:00 UTC | #457986

Go to: Evolution, Big Bang Polls Omitted From NSF Report

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by Eamonn Shute

I also dislike the description of the Big Bang as an explosion, but I also dislike the idea that it represents the beginning of the Universe. In some theories the Big Bang does not represent the beginning of time, and the Universe might have existed for an infinite time beforehand.

Sat, 10 Apr 2010 11:50:00 UTC | #457745

Go to: Forgotten Assyrian God Revived To Name Sports Drink

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Eamonn Shute

"...the perfect symbol for athletes looking to take their game to the next level. "

With that handbag? I don't think so!

Sun, 14 Feb 2010 09:44:00 UTC | #441278

Go to: Who was the most influential female atheist of 2009?

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Eamonn Shute

Why isn't Paula Kirby on the list?

Sat, 02 Jan 2010 23:50:00 UTC | #427876

Go to: Atheist Ireland Publishes 25 Blasphemous Quotes

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Eamonn Shute

Why not protest against the law by organising a mass blasphemy? It could be fun! Let's see them try to prosecute thousands of protesters at once!

Fri, 01 Jan 2010 15:39:00 UTC | #427421

Go to: Richard Dawkins on Jeremy Vine Show

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Eamonn Shute

The programme is 2 hours long, but Richard starts at 8 minutes.

Thu, 19 Nov 2009 19:51:00 UTC | #414850

Go to: Seven questions that keep physicists up at night

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Eamonn Shute

Comment #427905 by Jos Gibbons

Here is an article about the derivation of the number of dimensions:

http://focus.aps.org/story/v14/st13

Thu, 29 Oct 2009 11:09:00 UTC | #409630

Go to: Seven questions that keep physicists up at night

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Eamonn Shute

Comment #427898 by Roland_F

You could be right, perhaps he meant parameters instead of laws.

However, I would be surprised if the parameters are arbitrary. If, for example, the mass of the electron was arbitrary then they would have various masses. The fact that they all have exactly the same mass is surely not a coincidence!

Thu, 29 Oct 2009 11:05:00 UTC | #409628

Go to: Seven questions that keep physicists up at night

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Eamonn Shute

"So in our universe, the question becomes why these laws and not some other laws?"

I find this a strange question to ask - most of the laws of nature can be understood and could hardly be different, even very basic laws.

For example, the inverse square laws of gravity and electromagnetism are merely the result of there being three dimensions (and I have even seen theoretical explanations of why there are three!)

The conservation laws are the result of the fact that there is no special point in time, and no special point or direction in space.

Ohm's law says that if you double the voltage then the current also doubles. How could it be otherwise? And so on.

There may be some laws remaining that cannot yet be explained, but it seems unlikely that they are unusual in that they could be different.

Thu, 29 Oct 2009 10:18:00 UTC | #409618

Go to: The Atheist's Guide to Christmas

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Eamonn Shute

This is from an email sent out by Ariane:

" All royalties from the book are going to the UK HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust, providing testing, medical and legal advice and emotional support to people living with HIV – and we really need your help to make this book a success!

The book launched today and will receive its first chart position this Sunday, based on pre-orders. It would be truly brilliant if we could reach the Top 10 bestsellers, giving atheism a mainstream presence in bookshops in the UK, and raising as much for THT as we did for the Atheist Bus Campaign. However, we need to sell 5,000 copies over today and Saturday to do this – and we’d be very grateful if you could help us."

Let's see if we can knock Richard off the top of the list!

Fri, 25 Sep 2009 18:53:00 UTC | #400874

Go to: Greatest Human Being, R.I.P.

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Eamonn Shute

Unfortunately you cannot eliminate hunger simply by increasing food production - you have to prevent the population from increasing in step, as other species do when their food supply increases, and this has not happened to a sufficiently great extent. China has its one-child policy, and developed countries have low birth rates, but too much of the world still has a high birth rate. As a result we still have a billion starving people, but with even more pressure on the environment from the billions of extra people.

I think that while Borlaug's aims were worthy, he was naive to think that his work would eliminate hunger - without also limiting the population the result is even worse than before.

Fri, 18 Sep 2009 13:50:00 UTC | #398646

Go to: AC Grayling: Derren Brown's Lotto stunt was a trick too far

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 78 by Eamonn Shute

I was very disappointed by the two programmes. It seems that the trick involved a split screen technique (rather than his usual psychological trickery), which means that it cannot be called entertainment. He could instead have used camera trickery to appear to walk through a wall, but that would be just as pathetic. If he had predicted the numbers or walked through a wall in front of an audience then that WOULD have been impressive.

Also, magicians have an informal code of conduct whereby you may make ambiguous or misleading statements but you cannot tell an outright lie. If you select a member of the audience and say you have never met before then it must be true, you cannot say that of a confederate. Brown said that he predicted the lottery by averaging the guesses of a number of other people. This is a blatant lie because it is nonsense - it cannot work. This may not be as bad as Uri Geller, but it is a big step in that direction, and because of that I no longer want to see any more of his 'tricks'. Now that I know that he is dishonest his acts have lost their entertainment value.

Thu, 17 Sep 2009 11:20:00 UTC | #398070

Go to: Happy Birthday Richard Dawkins!

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 78 by Eamonn Shute

Many happy returns, Richard!

Thu, 26 Mar 2009 10:45:00 UTC | #339762

Go to: Why should I respect these oppressive religions?

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by Eamonn Shute

"All people deserve respect..."

I don't agree. Did Adolph Hitler deserve respect?

Tue, 27 Jan 2009 23:59:00 UTC | #313369

Go to: Darwin shouldn't be hijacked by New Atheists - he is an ethical inspiration

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 36 by Eamonn Shute

PZ Myers has written about this article on Pharyngula:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/12/another_atheist_bashing.php

Tue, 30 Dec 2008 01:06:00 UTC | #293686

Go to: Richard Dawkins: On The Big Questions this week

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Eamonn Shute

The BBC's TV listings do not mention Richard, only the other three guests. I wonder why?

Sat, 27 Dec 2008 14:56:00 UTC | #292684

Go to: [UPDATED] Richard Dawkins on Harun Yahya's Atlas of Creation

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 477 by Eamonn Shute

Perhaps the anti-evolutionists will be persuaded that they are wrong by this (which PZ Myers comments on in Pharyngula) - proof of Darwin's theory from the Koran and the Bible!

http://www.shajaracode.com/pageID_4689896.html

Atheists may find the site amusing!

Sat, 18 Oct 2008 09:08:00 UTC | #252641

Go to: [UPDATED] Richard Dawkins on Harun Yahya's Atlas of Creation

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 270 by Eamonn Shute

isthatclear,

My list is longer than your list!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_former_Muslims

Fri, 17 Oct 2008 00:20:00 UTC | #251980

Go to: World's oldest rocks discovered in Canada

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Eamonn Shute

I was puzzled by "isotopic dating, a technique which can only be used to date rocks roughly 4.1 billion years old or older."
Does anyone know anything about this technique? I am surprised that there would be a cut-off at 4 billion years.

Fri, 26 Sep 2008 08:55:00 UTC | #241560

Go to: Poll: Should the motto 'In God We Trust' be removed from U.S. currency?

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by Eamonn Shute

blakjack: "The tune is mind-numbingly awful."

According to Wiki about 140 composers, including Beethoven, Haydn and Brahms, have used the tune in their compositions.

[scouse mode]

Are you saying Beethoven, Haydn and Brahms didn't know anything about music? :o)

Thu, 14 Aug 2008 12:20:00 UTC | #217947

Go to: When too much Rapture is barely enough

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Eamonn Shute

The link does not appear with Firefox (but it does with IE).

Sat, 05 Jul 2008 09:55:00 UTC | #194272

Go to: Fossil find could be Europe's first humans

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Eamonn Shute

Is he missing a rib?


He seems to be a she.

"The hominid jawbone itself is probably from a female"

No wonder they are extinct if the women were as ugly as that!

Thu, 27 Mar 2008 12:23:00 UTC | #143172

Go to: Saudi Arabia Leader Calls for Interfaith Dialogue

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Eamonn Shute

It looks like the Vatican has a lot to learn about diplomacy:-

"A Muslim scholar who participated in recent Vatican talks to improve Catholic-Muslim relations criticized Pope Benedict XVI's Easter baptism of a prominent convert from Islam as a "provocative" act.

Magdi Allam, an Egyptian-born TV and newspaper commentator who has denounced Islam as inherently violently, was baptized by the pope in a vigil service Saturday night in St. Peter's Basilica."

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jmjHmHDjMG4Qhj3beZWc-IXP2bOQD8VKJV683

Wed, 26 Mar 2008 10:37:00 UTC | #142336

Go to: Lying for Jesus?

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by Eamonn Shute

more than 40 other blogs that have picked up the story

It is now over 100 and counting!

Sun, 23 Mar 2008 16:19:00 UTC | #141152

Go to: EXPELLED!

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 67 by Eamonn Shute

The producers have shot themselves in the foot with a machine gun!

Fri, 21 Mar 2008 01:57:00 UTC | #140093

Go to: Writer Arthur C Clarke dies at 90

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by Eamonn Shute

His story "The Star" is my favourite short story by anyone. I am looking forward to seeing the film version of "Rendezvous with Rama" when it comes out, probably next year.

Wed, 19 Mar 2008 02:38:00 UTC | #138921

Go to: The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by Eamonn Shute

There is an introduction by Richard of about half a page per article, plus a short introduction to the book, so close to 50 pages by him.

Mon, 17 Mar 2008 15:21:00 UTC | #138032

Go to: The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Eamonn Shute

Sargeist,
Matt Ridley has only one article in the book, you are apparently confused by the fact that another article is by one Mark Ridley.

Mon, 17 Mar 2008 13:52:00 UTC | #137940

Go to: Richard Dawkins' US Tour begins this week

Eamonn Shute's Avatar Jump to comment 147 by Eamonn Shute

mixmastergaz, I agree that Richard's visit to Liverpool should have been advertised here. I found out about it elsewhere and posted information about it on the Richard Dawkins forum here:-

http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=34242

Richard will be coming again on April 21st but that is also fully booked.

Fri, 07 Mar 2008 08:23:00 UTC | #133185