Sunday 20th of September 2020

the end is nigh...

the end is nigh...

I know someone who is a Quantum Physicist. He assured me with 99.9998 per cent of probability that since the discovery of the Higss boson, the end of the world is nigh — especially for the Super Symmetry and String theories... But who knows... The big question is why is the universe sooooo big when we're sooooo small?... 

 

Really, the universe could stop at Pluto's apogee and we'd still be completely happy, cycling around our neighbourhood, ringing our little bells... Then we'd know with 100 per cent certainty that behind this dark wall, there, in all HIS garden glory garb including a straw hat, stood the old bearded man in charge of pressing eternal buttons, with a son laden with our bloody sins and a joly ghost by his side, plus some naked cherubinis blowing into the pointy end of shells to sound victory.

Victory of course is the name of the game... We have to defeat evil... But will we? because let's face it, we know ziltch about the not-so-empty space in the universe. 

Nobel Prize winner Professor Brian Schmidt of course was the inventor of dark matter to fill the void. And dark is evil... according to his calculation dark matter is about 70 per cent of the entire thingy.

But this morning, on the front door of our daily routine, landed a few more doozies: 

why economists hate science and vice versa, 

why Stephen Hawking hates the Higgs boson, 

why we should believe in god, even if he did not exist and 

why the end of the universe is nigh — should you be about 10 billion million times the age of the universe itself... and why is the sun shinning... 

 

Should you know the real value of 100bn giga-electron-volts (GeV), you are allowed to piss in your pants while being swallowed by a nasty evil black hole.

 

 

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Stephen hawking:

Physics would have been "far more interesting" if scientists had been unable to find the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, according to Stephen Hawking.

The cosmologist was speaking at an event to mark the launch of a new exhibit about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the Science Museum in London and discussing the unanswered questions at the edges of modern physics as part of a history of his own work in the field.

Though the Higgs boson was predicted by theory in the early 1960s, not everyone believed it would be found. If it had not been, physicists would have had to go back to the drawing board and rethink many of their fundamental ideas about the nature of particles and forces – an exciting prospect for some scientists.

"Physics would be far more interesting if it had not been found," said Hawking. "A few weeks ago, Peter Higgs and François Englert shared the Nobel prize for their work on the boson and they richly deserved it.

"Congratulations to them both. But the discovery of the new particle came at a personal cost. I had a bet with Gordon Kane of Michigan University that the Higgs particle wouldn't be found. The Nobel prize cost me $100."

Hawking hoped the LHC would now move on from the Higgs boson to look for more evidence of fundamental theories that explain the nature of the universe and, in particular, he hoped it would find the first evidence for M-theory, which many believe is the best candidate physicists have to unify the four fundamental forces of nature.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/nov/12/stephen-hawking-physics-higgs-boson-particle

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This was then but now:

 

 

The Cambridge-educated cosmologist said the Higgs boson could become unstable at very high energy levels and have the potential to destroy the universe.

Mr Hawking said it would lead to a "catastrophic vacuum decay" which would cause space and time to collapse and that we would NOT have any warning to the danger.

The eminent scientist added that the armageddon scenario could happen at any time. 

Speaking in the preface to a new book called Starmus, Mr Hawking said: "The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become megastable at energies above 100bn giga-electron-volts (GeV).

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/508102/End-of-the-world-Stephen-Hawking-God-particle-Higgs-boson-destroy-universe

 

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Ian Chubb:

 

I have been accused of many things during my time in public life, but never of being an economist, or even somebody who thinks like one.

My recommendations for a stronger Australia were described in Guardian Australia by Ben Eltham as a “model of mainstream economics”. I “put economic growth at the very top of the agenda”. I am as coldly “instrumentalist” as one could wish.

Reading between the lines, the implication here is clear: I have lost sight of the things that really matter. If this were so, Eltham would be right to call me out. But I can’t say it any clearer than I did last month in Sydney, before an audience of 600 people:

I want an Australia that is more than just what is left after the economic trimmings work their way through the community’s digestive system. I want an Australia in which our economy is organised to support our aspiration and not to limit it.

I am happy to agree that our children would welcome a budget in decent shape. I don’t think all our debts will be measured in dollar terms, however. There are other things our children should expect.

Breathable air, for one. Oceans to swim in. Food that’s good to eat. The chance to raise a family and grow old. I seem to recall saying that a few times, too.

Yes, a decent life includes the capacity to pay the bills. There is nothing wrong with wanting financial security. But I would be a very poor chief scientist indeed if I did not want us to be curious about the world.

 

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/08/where-science-is-concerned-i-must-part-company-with-some-of-our-economists

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Then from the ABC religious DrumJohn Dickson

 

Even if there is no god, theology still offers great insight into modern thinking and, yes, even science, as the late Wolfhart Pannenberg proved, writes John Dickson.

Last week perhaps the greatest theologian of the last 50 years, Munich University's Wolfhart Pannenberg, died.

It's as good a time as any, then, to offer a brief defence of this "queen of the sciences" against the taunts of atheists like Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss, who say that theology is not even a "subject", let alone a discipline in a modern university. After all, there's probably no god!

Although I have an undergraduate degree in theology, I am no theologian. "Theology" proper - one of about 12 subjects in a modern Bachelor of Theology - was my worst subject. I was better at Greek, New Testament, philosophy, and church history. I found theology difficult, even daunting, which is probably why I pursued postgraduate study in ancient history, instead.

I have found ancient history much easier - as a discipline - than theology. Why? Because theology incorporates pretty much all of the basic skills of the historian plus a ton more. Today's professional theologian will have a good knowledge of ancient languages, including Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, as well as full reading fluency in modern English and German (a requirement for all theologians today, regardless of nationality).

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-09/dickson-why-theology-matters-even-if-theres-no-god/5729100

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And looking at the universe with a big spoon...:

 

Catalyst:

 

Dr Graham Phillips
The universe is an amazing place. In our galaxy alone, there are 100 billion stars, and there are 100 billion other galaxies out there - and that's just in the observable universe. Well, we're about to meet a man whose work has shown that all that matter that we know and love is just the tiniest, tiniest fraction of what's out there.

NARRATION
The work won him a share in the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics, and his name is Brian Schmidt. Aged just 27, he led the team that discovered dark energy.

Professor Brian Schmidt
Yeah, it's a pretty fundamental change. The universe is not primarily made up of stuff like you and me. We're made up of normal matter. It has gravity, and it works in a way that we're used to. What our result says is that the universe is made up 80% of something completely foreign that we knew nothing about.

NARRATION
The discovery was off the scale, and while the percentage has been revised down, our understanding of the universe will never be the same. Today I'm keen to find out more about this man who tweets as 'cosmicpinot'.

Dr Graham Phillips
I mean, it's a massive discovery, though, isn't it?

Professor Brian Schmidt
Well, 70% of the universe. So, as one of my colleagues once said, 'Well, you can only do that once.' When people ask what you're gonna do next, 'Not discover 70% of the universe' is the correct answer.

 

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4080209.htm

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But worst of all, it's the end of the world as we know it, because, horror, we've run out of cash.

 

fishing in galilee...

 

fishing in galilee...
The universe is an amazing place. In our galaxy alone, there are 100 billion stars, and there are 100 billion other galaxies out there - and that's just in the observable universe. Well, we're about to meet a man whose work has shown that all that matter that we know and love is just the tiniest, tiniest fraction of what's out there.
(Catalyst)
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From a Christian website:
Wolfhart Pannenberg, The Apostle Paul, and Son Lux Prove God

Ever since I read volume one of Wolfhart Pannenberg's Systematic Theology, I have been drawn to his approach to apologetics. He argues that the gods are best known through their respective religions, and that the gods "prove" themselves as the claims of their religions come true in history. The prototypical example of this would be the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal to see whose god could bring down fire and thus justify himself as the true god. YHWH brought fire and He proved himself to be the true god.
Thus, Christianity can be evaluated without bias by people outside of the faith. Christians claim that YHWH is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, and that history is unraveling according to his purposes.
Can we prove that?
How would we prove that? What would be sufficient evidence?

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Gus: Whoa... Wolfhart Pannenberg never proved anything of god using science... John Dickson tells a furphy (see article at top).
For Proof, I would suggest a couple of big machines with lots of buttons, some magnets and a couple of levers, that go whoosh whoosh plus some gummy boilers and a few freezers. Philosophy and going down the rabbit hole won't be enough proof for the existence of god. In the end the machine with he biggest stick wins. It works for religious indoctrination. 
I am more in favour of accidental purpose than of predestination or of godly meaning of life. But that's me... I am not trying to disprove or prove anything here, except that there is more cash, more cunningly conning and more controlling to be made with a stick with the word god engraved on it. That's the golden rule of assembling people under a banner for which you can go and massacre people with impunity. 
And then there are cyclotrons... 

 

the sophistry of theology...

 

Moses (dor�)

John Dickson rave cannot go unanswered. He writes:

I have found ancient history much easier - as a discipline - than theology. Why? Because theology incorporates pretty much all of the basic skills of the historian plus a ton more. Today's professional theologian will have a good knowledge of ancient languages, including Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, as well as full reading fluency in modern English and German (a requirement for all theologians today, regardless of nationality).

... Blah blah blah...

 

Even if there is no god, in other words, theology remains one of the most subtle and sophisticated academic pursuits on the planet.

 

John Dickson 

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Gus: Brother!...

So, what is theology in all its religious forms, including Jewish and Islam?...

 

Theology is the complex art form of inventing a god and passing it as a gift from god itself. Theology is a the peddling of a long-established crock and studying it with such fervour as if it was true.

 

Theology usually claims ownership of the only god, via elegant sophistry.

 

It's a very cunning way to justify our existence and attach crude morality to it, in order to make sure we behave under some "social" religious rules. It defines thus a "non-human origin" for its set of reasons for the code. It's silly of course. But the study of the "origin" of the code and of its history is basically called theology, in which one goes around in circles to define the reason of the definition of a superior-being watching our very small farts, daily.

 

Theologians would see it as something very serious, because it takes a long time to plunge through all the bits and gives them deep knowledge of something arcane that mere mortals have no clue about... Except, I know about it... I have studied it in some detail... I am good at lingoes, though I hate Latin and ancient Greek. And the artful spin of religions annoy me no end. So the best way to understand religion was to study the source "code".

 

The whole purpose of learning theology is to "interpret" historical "godly" events, offer new translations on the way the "ancients" dealt with the purpose of god — and now on how to deal with this annoying evil thingy called science... while avoiding the main question regarding the invention of god.

 

Contrary to what Dickson says, science is the most sophisticated academic pursuits on the planet. It is much harder to learn sciences than to become an expert in old legends. Science has a modicum of observations, analysis and projection which is very rigourous despite what the anti-climate change crackpots tell us, for example.

There is more uncertainty in the 99.998 certainty in the existence of the Higgs boson than in the 99.999 per cent scientific analysis of global warming. That is my own analysis and I will stick to it. Most scientists might be more reserved about this amount of certainty in public, and bring that figure to 80 per cent, but in private, it's 100 per cent certainty with analysis to "prove" it.

 

The only variable in this "certainty" is the possibility that the planet be hit by a huge meteorite changing all the values in the whole system. Mind you, it would also change the zealot alleluyah-mob cries into blaming all the sinners for that Armageddonish bolide.

 

I find it quite ludicrous that Dickson gives us a lesson of the value in the study of god, whether he exist or not, to give us, atheists, a foot in his a crummy space, because a theologian, Wolfhart Pannenberg, who was a "great theologian" recently died, while claiming he failed theology himself  or was poor at it... But Dickson still is the Founding Director of the Centre for Public Christianity... Dickson claims that should god exist or not, the purpose of believing in god is worthwhile... Rubbish. May as well study the value of political porkies, the great value of grafts and bribes — as well get a PhD on the true existence of Father Xmas, in adulthood...

 

Theology has to start with the acceptance that god exists. Theology does not prove that god exists. Once past this simple on-switch, all else is like a closed jar flying around a fly in it. The fly is a fixed point and the jar moves about without displacing the fly from its position. Ya wiv me? Impossible? Sure. But this what theology is about in all the Abrahamic religions. You create a fixed premise and invent a glorious self-contained jar around it. 

 

Now, science is often absorbed by theologians in order to limit the spread of science. They do this by picking and choosing words that "parallel" theology and science. They usually forget though that religion through theology is a dogma, while science is not. Science is malleable, adaptable to new observations, while religion is not, except with its own interpretations leading to schisms and varied colours of hats. 

 

Sorry, some people will argue that some religion take sciences on board — as I have pointed this out myself above — thus my essay about theology is crap. I can defend this position by pointing out the way religion absorbs sciences if it does, is by removing the PURPOSE of science from the scientific results, and plastering these results with the speckle of religious beliefs. But not all scientific results are accepted in religious dogma. And some dogma like Islam does not change much from the Koran, though some of its adherents will trade swords for guns. They work better in killing infidels or make women submit.  

 

Since the PR Galileo disaster, the Catholic Church has been doing much pedalling to make sure the religious beliefs were not too far out of step with the confirmed observations of science, but still contained with the unshakeable theology about the existence of god, as viewed through the long history of beliefs. The longer the history of the belief, the more the belief is studied throughout history, the more the belief is entertained as true.

 

How could a manuscript(s) made of many parts, some of its original versions long gone but rewritten as truths in ancient Greek or Latin, with older bits rediscovered in the "promised land" them written in more ancient languages than the dinosaurs could be wrong? If this is not proof of the existence of god, what is?... 

 

This is how legends are created. Such legends that need adaptation to the science narrative are a bit flimsy, especially when the main narrative of the legend is totally debunked by the science of evolution and genetics. They only remnant of the legend is that god exists. And can we trust the historical veracity of the legends told in the assemblage of manuscript? Well, yes and no...

 

There is always a phenomenon at  the source of a legend but the interpretations always end making up fairly tales. One has to create excuses for the wars and the bum fights. rather than say overtly that competing tribes give us the shit and we're going to plunder their treasures. We convince ourselves that god told us the nasty tribe is evil because they believe in the wrong god and god tells us we have to plunder their treasures to teach them a lesson. Legends enter the record of history and god's fluff becomes the only explanation of such behaviour. 

When sea level rose and the end of the last Ice Age, this would have, of course, been the subject of "interpretations". These interpretations whatever they were would have gained momentum in social folklore, until it made it into the religious dictum and became the biblical floods. But the biblical floods still have more traction in the mind of many "modern" people because being biblical gives a purpose to the floods.

 

Humanity behave badly. Science tells us it just happened.

 

Should we dig a bit more, science tells us it happened because CO2 concentration levels rose substantially. Complicated things happened. No god involved. No purpose? Theology is stuck between a rock and a legend:

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Theology translates into English from the Greek theologia (θεολογία) which derived from Τheos (Θεός), meaning "God," and -logia (-λογία),[12] meaning "utterances, sayings, or oracles" (a word related to logos [λόγος], meaning "word, discourse, account, or reasoning") which had passed into Latin as theologia and into French as théologie. The English equivalent "theology" (Theologie, Teologye) had evolved by 1362.[13] The sense the word has in English depends in large part on the sense the Latin and Greek equivalents had acquired in Patristic and medieval Christian usage, though the English term has now spread beyond Christian contexts.

 

 

As Wikipedia tells us, Theology is reasonably recent in its adaptation to study the viscera of religion, in order to find new bits to entertain the crowds of believers. There is no reason in theology. Only reasoning that starts from the premise that god exists. The rest is fluff to attach natural and behavioural happenings to the purpose of this belief. 

 

So if you get hurt by various things, the dogma will explain the situation by telling that a) you have sinned; b) god is testing your resolve; or c) someone else has sinned and everyone is paying for it — especially in the case of major catastrophes. 

 

This is utterly ridiculous. 

 

Utterly ridiculous too, there are more people who believe the bible in the USA than people who accept the theory of evolution. Evolution is a verified theory, confirmed by genetic manipulations, now accepted as mainstream, despite some controversy about the effects of GM on nature. All the religious nuts in the USA should be up in arms about genetic manipulation and help conservationists fight for proper assessment of the results of genetic manipulation...

 

Many Christian won't argue against their GM multi-nationals because there is CASH to be made and overall they don't understand the science. Cash is a great motivator of religion. Cash is used to build edifices dedicated to god but mostly designed to prove that god exists. They don't argue against GM crops as well because a variant of such evolutionary and GM sciences helped them with their IVF kiddies... So there. All is well, god is almighty and we're going to kick some butts. 

 

The present war in Iraq and Syria is a religious war between extremist Wahhabism and Shiite. Of course the nutters that are fighting have promised themselves to conquer the world and submit it under the religious dictum of severely strict Islam, the only thing they know apart from using a gun.

The only way to stop this madness is to be madder than the lot of them, or destroy their beliefs. Probably time to also tell them that god does not exists and stop pussy footing about it. Ram it up. But we need our own security blanked so we wont touch the "freedom" of religion. That peculiar freedom is at the centre of our own idiocy. 

 

Most of these religious tenets end up as a battle between good and evil, and by the end of course Good has to triumph over Evil... What crap. This could lead me to let fly about the naturalness of life in which individuals and species need protein and other chemicals to survive and there is a scale of who chase whom on the food chain. This could lead me to claim once more that an ant is more intelligent than the sun and has a greater consciousness than the entire universe. By accident of evolution, humans are just a bit more intelligent than an ant — though sometimes I wonder.

 

So, other enlightened religious people, mostly men, are lauding the theologian for having said things, which to say the least did not say anything more than previous crackpots before him. I believe they do it with a genuine need of association to reinforce their own beliefs. God rules, so may as well be literately glorifying about someone who pushed the study of HIS legends with brilliant dedication and catch some of the falling golden dust: 

 

 

Wolfhart Pannenberg was convinced that the end of human life, and indeed the end of history, are an entry into God's future, established in the resurrection of Jesus. He has now entered that future and he knows in full that about which he could only speak and write in part. We can be thankful that he stands as a witness to the fact that God will be known and is known now in the resurrection of Jesus.

John McClean is Vice-Principal of Christ College, where he teaches Systematic Theology and Ethics. He is the author of From the Future: Getting to Grips with Pannenberg's Thought.

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Please, stop gripping Pannenberg's thoughts as if the end was near... Pannenberg might have been a good man, but he was still a learned pedlar of invented illusions.

 

Stuff theologians. Time we became human.

 

“horrified. they are horrified.”...

There is so much warming CO2 in the pipeline that we are probably in the sixth extinction. Low-energy light bulbs and household recycling are not going to save big mammals. At this point, I am sinking in my front row seat and have taken on the same haunted, unsmiling visage that I had noted in Kolbert. The chair, a science journalist, asks:

“You meet many scientists. So how are scientists feeling? Frustrated hopeful?”

It is almost a plea, from the moderator, who is in the full bloom of pregnancy. Kolbert does not soften the blow.

 “Horrified. They are horrified.”

Population and consumption of resources are a big part of the extinction story, as are human-polluting behaviours and destruction of habitats.

Kolbert tells and writes stories. She is part of a long tradition of Cassandras — the ancient Greek goddess, blessed with prophesy but cursed with not being heeded. The theatre for this storytelling overlooks the Melbourne Arts Centre and treed banks of the Yarra River. Ducks, swans and happy, oblivious people are in view, enjoying the early spring.

Kolbert has trekked rainforests of Central America with scientists in search of the dying Panamanian golden frog. Her investigations have taken her to the Andes and to our own Great Barrier Reef. But – as she warns us – much biodiversity loss is occurring in our own backyards.

read all: http://www.independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/facing-extinction-in-the-land-of-denial,6880

 

See articles above...

flying closer to god or else...

The US Air Force has told a sergeant he will have to leave the military unless he agrees to take an oath with the phrase "so help me God".

The atheist airman was last month denied his request to re-enlist because of his refusal to swear to God.

His lawyer, Monica Miller from the American Humanist Association, said he was now poised to take the military to court.

"We have not received word from the Air Force regarding our letter," she said.

"It has not indicated a willingness to settle out of court."

With the deadline for re-enlisting expiring in November, the technical sergeant at Creech Air Force base in Nevada, whose name has not been released, will be forced to sue the government in a federal court, Ms Miller said.

In the past, an airman could opt for an alternative phrase and omit the words "so help me God," but the US Air Force changed its policy in October 2013.

The other branches of the American military do not require the reference to God and make the phrase optional.

"This is the only branch to my knowledge that's actually requiring everyone in all instances to use the religious language," Ms Miller said.

She said the requirement violated the US Constitution, which bars religious tests to hold office or other positions.

"The government cannot compel a nonbeliever to take an oath that affirms the existence of a supreme being," she said.

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-10/atheist-must-swear-to-god-or-leave-us-air-force/5732994

the sun is a massive space cyclotron...

When the Higgs boson was being chased by the team of CERN, there were many crackpots who predicted the end of the world as the machine was going to unleash the formation of a black hole or that father Xmas would die for having been found out to be a bloke with a fake beard at a Superstore. 

The scientists of course knew that the enormous GeV forces unleashed by the machine had never been created by humans on this planet, though they knew that forces of thousands more GeV in space were common, especially entering earth space during a "sun storm"...

 

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Two big explosions on the surface of the Sun will cause a moderate to strong geomagnetic storm on Earth in the coming days, possibly disrupting radio and satellite communications, scientists say.

The unusual storm is not likely to wreak havoc with personal electronics but may cause colourful auroras, or displays of the Northern Lights across the northern United States.

"We don't expect any unmanageable impacts to national infrastructure from these solar events at this time but we are watching these events closely," said Thomas Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"More pleasantly, we do expect these storm levels to cause significant auroral displays across much of the northern US on Friday night."

The storm began with a minor solar flare on Monday, followed by a major X-class flare – the strongest classification – on Wednesday.

Both eruptions came from the same sunspot near the centre of the solar disk, and both produced significant coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, of magnetised plasma headed toward Earth.

On a scale of one to five, Mr Berger said the resulting geomagnetic storm should be "moderate to strong," rating a G2 or G3.

re-polishing the illusions of the bible, US style...

 

Steve Green is standing in the basement of the eight-story Bible museum he’s building in Washington. Plans for the $800 million project are coming together nicely: the ballroom modeled after Versailles, the Disney-quality holograms, the soaring digital entryway with religious images projected on the ceiling, the restaurant serving biblically-themed meals.

But one detail is bothering Green, and there’s nothing he can do about it. The building, he says, is not quite close enough to the National Mall. It’s just two blocks away, and from the roof it feels as though you can take a running leap onto the U.S. Capitol. Still, if it could just be a little closer. Green knows how much location matters.

“One thing I learned in our real estate office is, sometimes being a block down the street can mean a lot in terms of sales,” he says. “The Mall is where there are a lot of visitors. It’s not as visible to the Mall as we’d like, but it’s close.”

Green knows plenty about sales. He is president of Hobby Lobby, the multibillion-dollar craft store chain his father founded. But he’s just now learning the power of holding Washington’s attention. Earlier this year, Hobby Lobby became a household name for non-scrapbooking reasons when the company took on the White House in a controversial Supreme Court case over whether employers had to include no-cost coverage of contraception to employees. The Supreme Court ruled in Hobby Lobby’s favor in June, and among religious conservatives, in particular, the Pentecostal Greens were hailed as heroes.

As the dust from that court victory settles, Green is focusing on a new mission in Washington. Construction begins next month on the as-yet-unnamed Bible museum, and when it opens in 2017, it will be one of the largest museums in the city, about the same size as the nearby Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/hobby-lobbys-steve-green-has-big-plans-for-his-bible-museum-in-washington/2014/09/11/52e20444-1410-11e4-8936-26932bcfd6ed_story.html

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The bible is the "Greatest Book of Deceit" ever written... And of course it's far easier to read than, say, a book on quantum mechanics.

There is nothing the bible that would make your iPhone work.

There is plenty in a book of quantum mechanics.

But people love fairy tales. And despite the iPhone's magic, the word of god in the bible has to be the ultimate. The word of god tells us about how we all should have 22 slaves, 15 house prostitutes and at least 11 wives for us to live comfortably. In order to sustain this harem, of course, god orders us to go and plunder the goods from next door — the swines who believe in the wrong god...

Piece of cake.

 

becoming scientifically intelligent...

 

But the British prime minister is such a fool that he ignores evidence that inconveniences him and such a coward he condemns liberals for advocating the policies he once advocated in the vain hope of placating a right that will always hate him. We should show a little humility before we allow ourselves to feel superior to “stupid” America.

Amid all the bombast of last week, the scientific journal Nature and the campaign group Sense About Science awarded the annual John Maddox prize to writers who challenge superstition. The joint winners confronted beliefs that are as prevalent in Britain as America: that vaccination causes autism, that homeopathic medicines work, that manmade climate change does not exist and that adding fluoride to the water supply is a threat to health. (I didn’t know it until the prize jury told me but Sinn Féin is leading a vigorous anti-fluoride campaign in Dublin – well, I suppose it’s progress for the IRA to go from blowing off peoples’ heads to merely rotting their teeth.)

David Robert Grimes, one of the winners, said that, contrary to the myth of the scientific bully, most of his colleagues wanted to keep out of public debate, presumably because they did not wish to receive the threats of violence fanatics and quacks have directed at him. If we are to improve public policy in areas as diverse as the fight against Ebola to the treatment of drug addicts, they need to be a braver, and more willing to tell the public, which so often funds their research, what they have learned.

Grimes makes a useful distinction. Most people just want more information and scientists should be prepared to make their case clearly and concisely. Then there are the rest – Ukip, the Tea Party, governors of Maine, Sinn Féin, David Cameron, climate change deniers – who will block out any evidence that contradicts their beliefs. They confirm the truth of Paul Simon’s line: “All lies and jest, still the man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

They can’t be convinced. They just have to be fought.

read more; http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/01/ebola-kaci-hickox-good-science-must-prevail

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Gus: most of politics and economics is dumb and based on greed and illusions. We need to become scientifically intelligent while being emotionally more mature. Most politicians are ignoramuses — with iffy attractive beliefs to sell.... They lie to catch flies, cleverly. Science does not lie relatively. 

We all know of the "atomic power", yet few of us would know the science of the "standard model" which explains how the processes work. It's very complex, contradictory at times and yet, the science is sharp, precise and works.

We all should know it, instead of the airy-fairy religious beliefs that massages our brain with easy false illusions.

Understanding science with a desire to live and share without destroying the planet should prevail first and foremost. Understanding processes rather than believing in erroneous dogma would help a long way into reshaping our political relationships, which presently are still marooned between the 14th and the 15th century. We've learnt nothing form the Renaissance and the "enlightenment"... We can do better. We will HAVE TO DO BETTER. But the con-artists and the liars still hold us to ransom with cheap tricks and porkies. Tony Turdy is an idiot.

 

See toon and articles from top.

 

another gong for schmidt...

 

Australian National University (ANU) astrophysicist and Nobel Prize laureate Brian Schmidt and his team of astronomers have taken out one of the world's most highly valued science prizes.

The international team won the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics overnight in California for their research into the accelerated expansion of the universe.

The High-Z Supernova Search team is an international team of astronomers who study supernovae to trace the expansion of the universe.

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-11/anu-nobel-prize-laureate-receives-new-science-honour/5883318

 

See also: http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/9714