Good.

I’m 100% in favor of the death penalty . . . when it’s an airtight case.  That would increasingly seem to preclude executing people convicted over 10 to 20 years ago when there is any untested DNA or other un-heard evidence.

When there is an open question (in Murder cases) of what the deceased person’s Significant Other was doing that day, after threatening to kill them the way they died if the Significant Other found out the decedent was cheating as this one was . . . yeah, you can’t go without examining all the evidence or hearing the new testimony.  And in this case, there is some pretty extensive new evidence!

The Rodney Reed conviction may have been an easy one at the time, but times have changed, and the people involved in prosecuting that case have been shown to be somewhat less than the purest of hearts in public service.  I was praying to God that this case would be re-heard, and now it will.  Good.

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Madness @ Work!

At work, I was waiting for an expensive (think, several paychecks to replace) piece of equipment to start up.  I was sitting a few feet away and heard a noise.

hisssssSSSSSSS

I thought the thing was going to explode for a moment.  Then I realized it was the cleaning lady making the noise with her push broom.

QOTD 02/25/2015

Mish brings the smart!  This really blew my hair back, and explains a lot.  They say the truth has a certain ring to it – and this rings very LOUD and clear.

“It would be difficult to find a central banker on the planet that is truly competent. By definition, no one competent could even take the job because they would not believe in central bank planning in the first place.” -Michael Shedlock, 2/25/15

 

Medically-Fragile, As If It Makes A Difference!

The Todd & Don show today opened with two minutes (before I changed channels) talking about how great it was that the Clerk in Austin has signed off on the first “gay marriage” license in Texas.  They mocked those of us who understand things better than they do:

“So now two people got married, I guess your marriage is falling apart hahaha”

To which I will respond with reductio ad absurdum:

So now someone stole grapes from the grocery store, I guess you don’t have as much fruit at your house hahaha
So now a woman got raped, I guess your vagina hurts hahaha
Someone was murdered I guess now you are dead hahaha

Just because something doesn’t have an immediate direct negative effect in my life, does not mean it is good for us to allow it to go on.  To argue that your opponent is somehow oafish or foolish to think something should not be allowed to go on “just” because it is bad for society, is to highlight your status as an oaf, fool, or both.

I take this opportunity to remind you of my excellent essay on the topic of why “gay marriage” is bad, and why it is even so much as a topic of discussion (let alone an actual thing) in the modern USAmerican political discourse.

***

They kept repeating on the radio how this one couple of lickers was granted a special case because one of them is “medically fragile” due to having cancer.  Well excuuuuuuse me I think I should be allowed to get away with robbing your house because I have cancer.  I should be allowed to walk up to you and slit your throat will screaming how my god is the best, because I have cancer.  What a bunch of jerks!

Correlation != Causation

The next time someone comes up with a study that says “(variable) has been linked to (headline-grabbing catastrophe)” remember: Correlation does not equal causation.

You deniers are always saying that.  What does that even mean?

I’m glad you asked.  Go here and spend 10 minutes amusing yourself, proving that most science headlines based on the results of “studies” are so much wasted ink:

Spurious Correlations

He’s everywhere!

Why Can’t We Understand God?

Humor a deist, intelligent design advocate, Christian, creationist as he fumbles through an explanation of why physicists and other scientists should not be closed-minded.  Criticism is (as always) welcome.

  • We can’t quite get our heads around the nature of creation of the universe and time
  • We can’t quite get our heads around the bending of physics
  • Because we are limited.

Allow me to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Flat.  They are two-dimensional stick-figure line drawings on a plane sheet of paper.  They were drawn by a human.  They live their lives in two dimensions, X and Y.  They are wicked-smart physicist line drawing people, and have done quite a lot of thinking about the nature of the universe.  They have concluded:

  • There are two dimensions where we exist.
  • There is a third dimension that extends at an angle from the other two, and we call this “Z”.  We think that things could have shapes in three dimensions.  This is not very controversial.
  • Some radicals think there might be a fourth dimension, in which we travel while still part of the first three.  This is possibly crazy talk.

One day, you decide to poke your finger through their piece of paper.  They perceive a disturbance, and a place where there are XY coordinates in a rough circle that are the shape of something not-paper.  They see the different shapes your finger makes as it goes through the plane, and realize that here is a three-dimensional object.  They can’t see you because they are 2D and you are 3D.  But they can perceive you, and contemplate you.

If you were to put yourself in your line drawing and explain to them all about our for-sure known four dimensions, plus all the things that go on in 3D just all the time like nothing, they would have a hard time with it, but maybe believe you.  If you told them YOU had drawn them with your own hand, they would maybe believe you, but raise all sorts of objections about being able to affect their 2D world through use of an obviously-different set of physical rules.  Their minds boggle, but they are physicists and super good at theoretical maths.  They crunch the numbers and conclude that it looks like you must be a nutter, just another 2D line drawing with cockamamie ideas about the origins of their existence.

***

  • You exist in three dimensions, XY and Z
  • You travel through time as a fourth dimension, T
  • There are probably some other dimensions, according to some wicked-hard maths that I can’t figure out but some scientists seem pretty convinced so . . .
  • Some people say there is a God who created the whole universe. This is possibly crazy talk.

It should be obvious that, to make something, you have to be outside of and/or apart from it in some way.  You can’t 3D-print your 3D printer while using it to 3D print itself, right?  That’s silliness!  But you can use your tools to make a 3D printer which will then be able to 3D print other cool stuff.  So can God.

“In the Beginning, God…”

We have an indeterminate period of possibly-infinite time where the world existed, but was basically a blank slate.  We have an external entity of capabilities beyond what can be found inside our universe.  This entity MUST be outside of our known universe, because

…created the heavens and the earth.

What? you say, this is impossible!  The universe is infinite according to the 4 dimensions we are really, really sure exist.  There is no way you could just CREATE the whole Universe.  This is possibly crazy talk!

All things were made by him…

No.  We have done the maths and we are really quite sure it looks like there was nothing, then Big Bang and there was everything, which settled down a bit over the last 13.8 billion years and ta-da! here we are.  Nobody did any MAKING of this universe.  That makes no sense at all, according to the physics we can theorize.

Right.  That’s the point.  The rules of the system were created by a being not of the system.  You can’t expect a 2D stick figure to MAKE a sheet of paper and then draw stick people on it.  And you can’t expect that something which conforms to the physics of the known universe could possibly MAKE the known universe.  It’s unpossible!  That leaves two choices:

  1. The universe was created
  2. The universe sprang forth from nothing

This leaves a conundrum for all sentients in the known universe to ponder:  Do I find it to be more likely that nothing suddenly turned into everything?  Or do I find it more likely that we don’t know 100% of all there is to know, and there can exist something outside the known physical system of our universe, which created it?

That something is God.  You may choose to believe that nothing can turn into something, and you will have my sincere pity.  I chose long ago to believe that we haven’t quite got the numbers in on 100% of everything, and the universe was created by a (?) outside of it.

This “creator” must necessarily NOT be limited to our four dimensions.  This “creator” could be capable of manipulating our dimensions and physical laws at whim.  You could say that this would be a very “powerful” being.  That it could, in fact, possibly create “by wisdom” and one could theorize that everything in our known universe was created by it.

********

To admit you do not know everything is the essence of scientific curiosity.  Do not be ashamed to stand with the giants of history, and think that there can be “a God.”

Even, do not shy away from being afraid of It.  This has been described as “…the beginning of knowledge!

Smile, Nod, and Wait, They’ll Get There Eventually

Honestly, it’s like waiting for children who are just learning the fundaments of addition, when they figure out there is more to life than mere consciousness.  Some for-real scientists decided to whip out some alternate geometry and look at old theories about the universe, and have arrived at the possibility that the universe has neither a beginning nor end, and there are no Big Bangs or Crunches involved*.

The maths are, I am sure, very far over my head.  The point is, when actual Scientists** look at what most people consider to be settled science, sometimes they come up with ideas that are radically different.  Paradigms can and do shift from time to time.  This may be a shifty event – it may not – but it reminds me:

They are still a mile off the mark.  Maybe they are Christians and believe their Bibles 100% but you can hardly prove “In the Beginning, God…” with theory and maths.  However, I have noted that a lot of for-real scientists tend more along the lines of “willingly ignorant” and discard the notion of God entirely.  For them, the notion of a big bang-type singularity 13.8 billion years ago is a comfort.  Expect the not-quite-scientists out there to get their hackles up over this new “no singularities” theory.  Expect terrible “science reporting” to say this “PROVES THERE WAS NO BIG BANG!!!1!” and “WERE CREATIONISTS RIGHT ALL ALONG?!”

Eventually, a child figures out how to do 1+1=2 without even thinking about it.  Eventually, everyone will realize this whole business of big bangs and dark ages is a bunch of humbug, and that “In the beginning, God…” is the actual reality bygod true history of what happened.

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*whew!  I hate crunches.  I don’t have an exercise mat, so they always make my back hurt!

**as distinct from Climate Scientists, who only want to murder you for saying their sweet, sweet grant money may have been badly spent by criticizing their religion of anthropogenic global warming