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Re: The Humpty-Dumpty Effect

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  • JamesG
    David Williams (quoting Mark Twain): An organized religion is an organized crime. More accurately, Twain said this: Organized religion is like organized
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 30, 2012
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      David Williams (quoting Mark Twain): "An organized religion is an organized crime."

      More accurately, Twain said this:

      "Organized religion is like organized crime; it preys on peoples' weaknesses, generates huge profits for its operators, and is almost impossible to eradicate."

      Twain was a practicing Presbyterian whose life experiences soured him on organized religion. I dare say that virtually everyone has a low opinion of some aspect of organized religion at one time or another in his life. Think Jimmy Swaggart.

      With regard to science, Twain had this to say (in "Life on the Mississippi"):

      "There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."

      Twain's observation is quite pertinent to Darwinian theory, whose macroevolutionary claims far outrun the evidence for them.

      Jim in Missouri
    • Charles Palm
      Alexander Hamilton: Those who stand for nothing fall for anything. David Williams: An organized religion is an organized crime-Mark Twain. David Williams (To
      Message 2 of 15 , Dec 30, 2012
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        Alexander Hamilton: Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.

        David Williams: An organized religion is an organized crime-Mark Twain.

        David Williams (To Charles): You don't know anything more about the origin
        of life than my cat, and neither does anyone else.

        Charles P: This is only your rhetoric to draw attention away from the
        central issue. Do you stand with Francis Crick or with Harry Lonsdale on
        their differing interpretations of biology as an information science?

        **********************************************

        James A Shapiro: Over the last 60 years, DNA has proven to be an extremely
        complex and malleable information storage medium. Virtually all cells
        possess the basic biochemical tools for modifying DNA: proteins that
        cut, unwind, polymerize, anneal, and splice DNA strands. The
        generic operations that living cells have been shown to carry out on
        their genomic molecules indicate that any rearrangement is possible as long
        as the product is compatible with the basic rules of DNA structure (see
        Table II.3).

        Charles P: Empirical and verifiable evidence from molecular science has
        shown us that DNA digital code information cannot come from non-living
        things.

        Law of biogenesis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogenesis Biogenesis is
        the production of new living organisms or organelles. The law of
        biogenesis, attributed to Louis Pasteur, is the observation that living
        things come only from other living things, by reproduction (e.g. a spider
        lays eggs, which develop into spiders). That is, life does not arise from
        non-living material, which was the position held by spontaneous generation.
        This is summarized in the phrase Omne vivum ex vivo, Latin for "all life
        [is] from life." A related statement is Omnis cellula e cellula, "all cells
        [are] from cells;" this observation is one of the central statements of
        cell theory.

        ***********************************************

        David S. Spiegel: http://www.pnas.org/content/109/2/395.full.pdf+html Life
        arose on Earth sometime in the first few hundred million years after the
        young planet had cooled to the point that it could support water-based
        organisms on its surface. The early emergence of life on Earth has been
        taken as evidence that the probability of abiogenesis is high, if starting
        from young Earth-like conditions.

        1 We revisit this argument quantitatively in a Bayesian
        statistical framework. By constructing a simple model of the probability of
        abiogenesis, we calculate a Bayesian estimate of its posterior probability,
        given the data that life emerged fairly early in Earth’s history and that,
        billions of years later, curious creatures noted this fact and considered
        its implications.

        2 We find that, given only this very limited empirical information, the
        choice of Bayesian prior for the abiogenesis probability parameter has a
        dominant influence on the computed posterior probability. Although
        terrestrial life's early emergence provides evidence that life might be
        abundant in the universe if early-Earth-like conditions are common,
        the evidence is inconclusive and indeed is consistent with an
        arbitrarily low intrinsic probability of abiogenesis for plausible
        uninformative priors.

        3 Finding a single case of life arising independently of our lineage (on
        Earth, elsewhere in the solar system, or on an extrasolar planet) would
        provide much stronger evidence that abiogenesis is not extremely rare in
        the universe.

        **********************************************

        Charles P: Faith (or hypothesis) without empirical and verifiable evidence
        is the basis of all religions and all non-religions. Mathematics and
        computer simulations can be useful to science writers, but faith in human
        calculations is unscientific.

        Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the
        evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.

        Naturalism: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/nontheism/naturalism/
        As defined by philosopher Paul Draper, naturalism is "the hypothesis
        that
        the natural world is a closed system" in the sense that "nothing that is
        not a part of the natural world affects it." More simply, it is the denial
        of the existence of supernatural causes. In rejecting the reality of
        supernatural events, forces, or entities, naturalism is the antithesis of
        supernaturalism.


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • David
        When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone. It means just what I choose it to mean - neither more or less. The question is, said
        Message 3 of 15 , Dec 30, 2012
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          "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone. "It means just what I choose it to mean - neither more or less."
          "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
          "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."
          Lewis Carroll
          English author & recreational mathematician (1832 - 1898)

          "The face is what one goes by, generally," Alice remarked in a thoughtful tone.
          "That's just what I complain of," said Humpty Dumpty. "Your face is the same as everybody has—the two eyes, so " (marking their places in the air with his thumb) "nose in the middle, mouth under. It's always the same. Now if you had the two eyes on the same side of the nose, for instance—or the mouth at the top—that would be some help.


          Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. "They've a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they're the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That's what I say
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