Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Feb 15, 2013 - 05:48pm PT
The most interesting finding of this study is that Republicans HAVE brains ;)

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 15, 2013 - 06:40pm PT
Whoa. Now I'm feeling really stupid.

That book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter, was kind of force fed to me by Tom Cosgriff, who would actually do math while belaying a 5 hour aid pitch.

I mean, he is the uber nerd.

Each chapter has thought problems and interesting tid bits. Tom made me do the number theory problems in each chapter and it took me almost a year to finish. I still have it, and it is falling to pieces.

The recursive paradox that you guys are discussing sounds like what he called, Xeno's Paradox:

"All Cretins are liars."

Xeno was a Cretin, meaning he was from Crete. That one goes back to the Greeks.

It is a loop, and easy to understand. Easier than code.

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 15, 2013 - 07:08pm PT

I kill (or they die under my care) about 50 - 120 plants a year,

Without a brain or emotions do they ever worry about dying?

Do they even know their alive?

i think there's much we can learn from plants?

Jus Photosynthisize'in

Feb 15, 2013 - 09:17pm PT
Zeno's Paradox of the Arrow:

Given an arrow is motionless at each instant of its flight, how can it reach its target?

Zeno Behavior:

An infinite number of actions in a finite period of time (anathema to programmers)

Zeno Contours in the Complex Plane

Feb 15, 2013 - 10:08pm PT
Given an arrow is motionless at each instant of its flight, how can it reach its target?

"is motionless at each instant of its flight" = impersonalism.

"how can it reach its target?" Personalism ( in other words; there has to be intelligence to reach the target not chance)

That's my grok of the whole thing jogill.

I like your mind ......

Feb 15, 2013 - 10:31pm PT
Infinite action in finite time makes me think of a fractal

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 16, 2013 - 10:54am PT
Infinite action in finite time makes me think of a fractal

Me too. As you approach something, you cut the distance in half. It goes on to infinity, or to a quantum distance that is the smallest physical distance I imagine.

When my son was a kid, I remember showing him a mobius strip. A surface with only one side. Is that the correct definition?

Sorry, but you are going to have to walk us through some of this stuff Mr. Gill.

Hebrews 1:3
Feb 16, 2013 - 11:21am PT
Without sin forgiveness is not needed and God sent Jesus to die in vain! But God said there is sin, and Jesus can save your soul...

John 8:2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

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Luke 9:51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 6:2 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.

And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.

Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

Mark 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

1 Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

...Jesus set the standard, to God's standard!

Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

...and God because of Jesus, will forgive you your debts, trespasses, and sins and in the end it's how God looks at you that matters!

Feb 16, 2013 - 11:26am PT
Oh man, I wasn't fast enough was I? I hope everyone read go-b's post.

Consider a point (particle, event, whatever) in the complex plane (just think of a 2-D plane with a coordinate system). Now consider an interval of time, say 0 to 1 (could be a minute or a day,etc.). Divide the time interval into n equal subintervals, each 1/n units long. Underlying this arrangement is a force or vector field that "propels" the point along certain paths. Now, in the first time subinterval the point moves a slight amount, then in the second it moves again, and the third, etc. Eventually it reaches a terminal position on the plane at the end of the minute, say.

n could be 100, for example, to start. But if you allow n to increase without bound the motion of the point at each step becomes smaller and smaller, so that as n goes to infinity the motion of the point at each step becomes virtually 0. But the point nevertheless, like Zeno's arrow, reaches its terminal position.

The functions I describe in the math note are designed to place this situation in a precise mathematical format. As n goes to infinity, this terminal point, which may change slightly for varying n's, stabilizes, under fairly simple conditions - in particular the force field having an attractor.

Some of you may recognize the similarity to the definition of the classical Riemann integral where you add a sum of rectangular areas and as the number of terms in the sum increases the individual areas diminish. This is an idea going back at least to Aristotle.

I ignore the physics of all this - the chronons, Plancke's Constant, etc, and assume that there is no smallest unit of time (although physically there is a smallest unit that can be measured I suppose). This allows my travelling point, or Zeno's arrow to move continuously along its path.

All of this is just a hobby for me in my old age. It's more fun than doing crossword puzzles. These days I merely sketch out proofs and don't worry about all the exquisite details!

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Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 16, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Feb 14, 2013 - 09:00pm PT
Everyone go buy Godel, Escher, Bach, by Douglas Hofstedder (sic) and report back in a year.

it's spelled: Hofstadter

I was given that book as a gift about the time it was published

I have also been given several copies of his subsequent book 'I am a Strange Loop'


What do we mean when we say "I"?

Can a self, a soul, a consciousness, an "I" arise out of mere matter? If it cannot, then how can you or I be here? If it can, then how can we understand this baffling emergence?

Deep down, a human brain is a chaotic seething soup of particles, on a higher level it is a jungle of neurons, and on a yet higher level it is a network of abstractions that we call "symbols". The most central and complex symbol in your brain or mine is the one we both call "I". An "I" is a strange loop in a brain where symbolic and physical levels feed back into each other and flip causality upside down, with symbols seeming to have free will and to have gained the paradoxical ability to push particles around, rather than the reverse.

For each human being, this "I" seems to be the realest thing in the world. But how can such a mysterious abstraction be real --or is our "I" merely a convenient fiction? Does an "I" exert genuine power over the particles in our brain, or is it helplessly pushed around by the all-powerful laws of physics?

How do we mirror other beings inside our mind? Can many strange loops of different "strengths" inhabit one brain? If so, then a hallowed tenet of our culture--that one human brain houses one human soul--is an illusion

i don't think he has figured it out...but it is certainly interesting to explore his reasoning...

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 16, 2013 - 11:51am PT
I kill (or they die under my care) about 50 - 120 plants a year,
die in the definition that I think they can't be recovered, or not worth the work of trying to recover it.
So what constitutes the definition of the final death for a plant?
The trash bin

might seem true for someone who doesn't understand or honor the cycle of life and death


dead leaves and other vegetation are not 'trash', as in when they fall in the Fall

these are not really 'dead' in the sense you understand, merely experiencing a relatively dormant phase change, and constituting an essential part of the cycle of life

to treat this material as 'trash' is a subversion of the human role as caretakers of the earth and depletes the soil and breaks the cycle of life and death

in the winter season, leaves and vegetative debris cover the ground, providing insulation and generating warmth through microbial decay, and enriching the soil

in the spring, 'life' springs anew from this 'dead' material...

The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Feb 16, 2013 - 12:45pm PT

Feb 16, 2013 - 12:46pm PT
assume that there is no smallest unit of time


Put a coin on the table heads up.

After a time t flip it to the other side.

Then after 1/2 t flip it back, after 1/4 t flip again, etc.

After 2t time units is the coin heads or tails?


Ice climber
the ghost
Feb 16, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
After 2t time units is the coin heads or tails?
Every good programmer knows that when you are comparing two floating point numbers for equivalence, you MUST specify a difference criteria.
ie you don't say
if A = B
you say
if ABS(A-B) < C


Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Feb 16, 2013 - 01:21pm PT
MH2, it is quite clever. I would say that it is a tricky question, because you start with an infinity series but then you ask about a finite number. It is like you would have asked what is the smallest number before 2.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 16, 2013 - 01:31pm PT

With all due respect to you personally, please just stop it!

You are quite entitled to your interests and beliefs, and I respect the knowledge and comfort you find in the Bible, but you are spamming this thread with material that is not appreciated within the general campfire discussion.

I don't think most participants are reading your biblical quotes. And if they were actually relevant to the topic, then you would be getting all sorts of feedback and discussion from other active contributors. And I can't follow your line of reasoning even when I try.

We have a quite a number of religious beliefs represented in this forum, but most contributors don't share your obsession with quoting their preferred religious reference texts.

Just imagine if Eckhart Tolle started hijacking this thread.
Eckhart Tolle is a German-born Canadian resident, best known as the author of the The Power of Now and A New Earth, which were written in English. In 2011, he was listed by the Watkins Review as the most spiritually influential person in the world. In 2008, a New York Times writer called Tolle "the most popular spiritual author in the United States."

Or one of my Seventh Day Adventist friends decided to spam us with with corrections to your understanding of the Bible.

Or Bridwell decided to deluge us with what he is learning from The Book of Urantia.

Or Spider hits us up on the prolific writings of LRH.

This is not a theological discussion and investigation, in spite of how you might interpret the title of the thread. If quotes from religious texts were especially relevant to the discussion, we would also be exploring quotes from other enlightened religious texts such as The Interpreter's Bible, deuterocanonical books, Canon of Trent, the anagignoskomena, which consist of the Catholic deuterocanon, plus 3 Maccabees, Psalm 151, the Prayer of Manasseh, and 3 Esdras; and 4 Maccabees is also considered to be canonical by the Georgian Orthodox Church; Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy; Dianetics, the Torah, Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, Responsa, and Zohar, The Book of Morman, The Pearl of Great Price, The Doctrine and Covenants, the Qur'an (Koran) and Hadith (Hadeeth), the Baghavad-gita, The Rig Veda, the Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda; The Upanishads, The Puranas, The Mahabharata and Ramayana, The Samhitas, Tripitaka (or Pali Canon), the Mahayana Sutras, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead, The Kojiki, The Rikkokushi, the Nihon Shoki and the Shoku Nihongi, The Fudoki, The Jinnō Shōtōki, The Kujiki; the Havamal, the Eddas, Great Hymn to the Aten, The Akilathirattu Ammanai, The Arul Nool, the Vinaya Pitaka, the Sutta Pitaka, the Digha Nikaya, the Majjhima Nikaya,the Samyutta Nikaya, the Anguttara Nikaya, the Khuddaka Nikaya, the Abhidhamma Pitaka, Tibetan Kangyur and Tengyur, The Donghak Scripture, The Mabinogion, Lebor Gabála Érenn, Ancient Greece Homeric Hymns, Theogony, Golden Verses of Pythagoras, Tao Te Ching, Zhuangzi, Daozang, and The Yasnathe, Old Egyptian Coffin Texts, The Book of the Dead, the Book of Caverns, the Book of Gates, the Amduat, the Book of the Heavenly Cow, the Litany of Re, the Etruscan Cippus of Perugia, Cippus Perusinus, Liber Linteus, Pyrgi Tablets, Tabula Cortonensis, and the Mayan Popol Vuh.

And this is just a slim sampling of religious texts from the past few thousand years...noting that we have lost hundreds of thousands of years of earlier discussions and enlightenment...

Perhaps we can try to keep the discussion a bit closer to home with more personal experiences and discoveries rather than obsessively quoting religious text references.


Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Feb 16, 2013 - 01:46pm PT
An interesting point I picked up from Gill's post is how close the mathematical world is to our physical world.

I recall somebody started an experiment to determine whether our Universe is continuous or discrete (at Fermilab?). But many scientists say we already know it is continuous.

Maybe. If our Universe is discrete it would make may of abstract discussions obsolete. Like what is a singularity? It doesn't exist! Or, what is infinity? It doesn't exist! So, I hope, mathematics is just an exercise (with VERY practical applications, of course).

Feb 16, 2013 - 04:00pm PT
Put a coin on the table heads up.
After a time t flip it to the other side.
Then after 1/2 t flip it back, after 1/4 t flip again, etc.
After 2t time units is the coin heads or tails?

Does the sequence <1,0,1,0,1,0, . . .> converge?

Back in the 1600s it might have been thought to.

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
Feb 16, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
I second the comments of Tom Cochrane directed at Go-b. His reference to "Spam" was spot on.

If I was sitting around a camp fire doing the usual bullshit session and someone insisted on endlessly quoting scripture ..... well its hard to say what would happen but either way the sacred campfire atmosphere would be less than ideal. Sack up Go-b. Speak your mind or don't speak at all.

Social climber
the Wastelands
Feb 16, 2013 - 04:31pm PT
Consider the personal psychology behind Gobee's obsession with quoting scripture?

WHY does he feel such a powerful need to do so?

He certainly is adult enough to know that others have objected many times.

Does he do it to irritate? everyone says he is a nice guy so that seems unlikely

Does he do it because he is so insecure, so doubtful of his own religious conviction that by posting scripture he affirms and reinforces his personal holiness?

maybe he feels that something bad will happen to him if he does not constantly proclaim his love of the bible, like maybe he won't go to heaven?

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