Re: The Humpty-Dumpty Effect
- 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
- 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
Charles P: Empirical and verifiable evidence from molecular science has
shown us that DNA digital code information cannot come from non-living
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
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
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
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
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.
As defined by philosopher Paul Draper, naturalism is "the hypothesis
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
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- "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."
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 hasthe 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 instanceor the mouth at the topthat 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 themparticularly verbs, they're the proudestadjectives you can do anything with, but not verbshowever, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That's what I say