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NUMBERS
Posted: 26 May 2009 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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The New Book of Numbers

1.  There are about 10,000,000,000,000,000 sodium and chlorine atoms in a single grain of salt, so go easy on the salt.  http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/sagan_science.html

2.  Around the year 1248, a time when many living California redwoods were already huge, you had over one billion grandparents.  No wonder Mormon genealogist are up late.

3.  If you fold a newspaper 100 times it will be thicker than the known universe.  (use calculator to double the thickness when it becomes too thick to fold).  (cited by Sam Harris in ‘The End of Faith.’

4.  “In 1933, Adolf Hitler commissioned Dr. Ferdinand Porsche to develop a cheap car that could get 40 miles per gallon of gas and provide a reliable form of tranportation for the average German family.  The result was the VW Beetle.  This history, Hitler’s plan, places constraints on the ways we can modify the Beetle today; the engineering can be tweaked only so far before major problems arise and the car reaches its limit.” 

This is cited by Neil Shubin in his book, ‘YOUR INNER FISH.’  He is discussing the limits of the human body, in that many of its components started out in the design of a fish. 

(Note that this is unlike religious people who were perfectly designed by God in the Garden of Eden.  Bless them!  They never have to suffer from hiccups, a malady that atheists inherited from their tadpole ancestors).

5.

6.

[ Edited: 26 May 2009 12:44 PM by unsmoked]
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“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 26 May 2009 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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5. There are 10 to the 260th power possible proteins that are 200 amino acids long.

6. There are about 10 to the 80th power known particles in the universe.

7. Put 5 and 6 into perspective. We live in a nonergodic adjacent possible endlessly creative biosphere…as long as it exists.

This from Dr. Stuart A. Kauffman and ‘Reinventing The Sacred’

Boggles the mind!

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 12 June 2009 12:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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3.  If you fold a newspaper 100 times it will be thicker than the known universe.  (use calculator to double the thickness when it becomes too thick to fold).  (cited by Sam Harris in ‘The End of Faith.’

As a child I was told that no matter how big a piece of paper was you could never fold it more than eight times. I’ve never questioned this assertion, as it seemed too incredible not to be true.
Have I been living under a delusion all of my life?

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Atheism with added cartoon content.

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Posted: 12 June 2009 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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chris madden - 12 June 2009 04:21 AM

3.  If you fold a newspaper 100 times it will be thicker than the known universe.  (use calculator to double the thickness when it becomes too thick to fold).  (cited by Sam Harris in ‘The End of Faith.’

As a child I was told that no matter how big a piece of paper was you could never fold it more than eight times. I’ve never questioned this assertion, as it seemed too incredible not to be true.
Have I been living under a delusion all of my life?

When I was a child my father asked me if I thought I was strong enough to pick up my own weight.  I said that I was.  He then told me to stand on a shovel and pick it up.  I stood on the shovel and tried with all my might to pick it up.  Apparently I’m not as strong as I thought I was and I no longer live under that delusion.

In your case, I take it that you never tried to fold a piece of paper more than eight times.  That’s one way to find out if you have been living under a delusion all your life.

A story that illustrates how blindingly fast exponential growth can be:

“A sultan was thrilled when his grand vizier invented chess.  Full of gratitude, the sultan asked him to choose his reward.  “You may give me one grain of wheat on the first square of the chessboard,” said the grand vizier, “two grains on the next square, four on the next, eight on the next, and so on.  That would be enough.”  “Such a modest gift for so great an invention?” the sultan exclaimed.  “You shall have it today!”  But when the sultan tried to prepare the chessboard, he discovered that the amount of wheat needed grew faster and faster.  By the sixty-fourth square, he would need about a trillion metric tons - a thousand years’ worth of the modern world’s production of wheat!”

(retold by Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams in their book, ‘The View from the Center of the Universe.’)

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 12 June 2009 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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I believed the myth for decades that we humans only used 10% of our brain.

What a horrific thought (no pun intended there) and number THAT is.

wink

I think that may be accurrate for some folks however.

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 12 June 2009 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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eudemonia - 12 June 2009 06:36 PM

I believed the myth for decades that we humans only used 10% of our brain.

What a horrific thought (no pun intended there) and number THAT is.

wink

I think that may be accurrate for some folks however.

The mistake people make is that they think in order to use the other 90% they have to stop using the 10%.

Policeman:  What’s your name?

90% Brain:  I don’t know.

Policeman:  Where do you live?

90% Brain:  I don’t know.

Policeman:  Well, you can’t wander around in Macy’s with no clothes on.

90% Brain:  Clothes?

Policeman:  What do you know, for pity’s sake?

90% Brain:  E=mc2.

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 12 June 2009 07:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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unsmoked - 12 June 2009 06:29 PM

When I was a child my father asked me if I thought I was strong enough to pick up my own weight.  I said that I was.  He then told me to stand on a shovel and pick it up.  I stood on the shovel and tried with all my might to pick it up.  Apparently I’m not as strong as I thought I was and I no longer live under that delusion.

You can do a pull-up can’t you?

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“We have it recorded in a book called the Bible.”

To be blunt, the Bible records all manner of silly shit.

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Posted: 13 June 2009 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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dlsmith - 12 June 2009 11:22 PM
unsmoked - 12 June 2009 06:29 PM

When I was a child my father asked me if I thought I was strong enough to pick up my own weight.  I said that I was.  He then told me to stand on a shovel and pick it up.  I stood on the shovel and tried with all my might to pick it up.  Apparently I’m not as strong as I thought I was and I no longer live under that delusion.

You can do a pull-up can’t you?

I’m suspicious of athletic challenges.  As a teenager I excelled at standing on one leg with my eyes closed.  Eight months of the year I wear a pullover.

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 16 June 2009 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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chris madden - 12 June 2009 04:21 AM

As a child I was told that no matter how big a piece of paper was you could never fold it more than eight times. I’ve never questioned this assertion, as it seemed too incredible not to be true.

http://www.freemars.org/jeff/2exp100/powers.htm

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Posted: 16 June 2009 09:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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“Thus a radical and I will say, partially lawless creativity enters the universe. The radical implication is that we live in an emergent universe in which ceaseless unforeseeable creativity arises and surrounds us. And since we can neither prestate, let alone predict all that will happen, reason alone is an insufficient guide to living our lives forward. This emergent universe, the ceaseless creativity in this universe, is the bedrock of the sacred that I believe we must reinvent.”

“What about all the aspects of the universe we hold sacred – agency, meaning, values, purpose, all life and the planet?…One response is that if the natural world has no room for these things, and yet we are unshakably convinced of their reality, then they must be outside of nature – supernatural…”

“The ground of our existence, then is not to be found in physics alone, but also in the partially lawless becoming of the biosphere, econosphere, culture that we self-consistenly co-construct.”

Stuart Kauffman

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Posted: 17 June 2009 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Eug, I read ‘Reinventing the Sacred’ a while back, but do not remember that passage about ‘supernatural’

Would you mind reminding me what page that is on? Or I will look for it myself.

Actually I have read several books by Kauffman and do not remember him saying he believed in anything supernatural. I am wondering if that second paragraph you quote is taken out of context actually.

RIght on the sleeve of ‘Reinventing the Sacred’ Kauffman talks about the amazing evolution of the ‘cell’ starting 3.8 billion years ago, and says that it was NOT the work of a supernatural creator…

so….

[ Edited: 17 June 2009 08:32 AM by eudemonia]
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‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 18 June 2009 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Eugenie, you are busted. You are a liar and a fraud. You misrepresented Dr. Stuart Kauffmans view and commentary.

Here is exactly what he says on page 129-130 of his book ‘Reinventing The Sacred’

‘What about all the aspects of the universe we hold sacred-agency, meaning, values, purpose, all life, and the planet? We are neither ready to give these thigs up nor willing to consider them mere illusions. One response is that if the natural world has no room for these things, and yet we are unshakably convinced of their reality, then they must be outside of nature-supernatural, infused into the universe by God. The schism between relgion and science is, therefore, in part, a disagreement over the existence of meaning. If meaning were to be discovered scientifically, the schism might be healed.’

Kauffman then goes on to present (actually since 1965 in all of his books) how science has given us meaning through the understanding of a nonergodic universe, biological complexity an self organization as an emergent science into the adjacent possible, and not reductionist to particle physics for explanation.

Kauffman does not believe in any transendent gods or supernatural world, and he has a lifetime worth of work to show for it.

You are deceitful and need to repent to your Jesus for what you have done. You should be ashamed at misrepresenting what mainstream science has to say about our world, and I am sure that Macarthur geniuses and world class scientists like Stuart Kauffman would not appreciate what you have done.

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 18 June 2009 11:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Nice work, eudemonia.

Eugenie, how do you answer the charges?

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Posted: 20 June 2009 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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You have heard it said that there is safety in numbers, but I say unto you that there is also TRUTH in numbers. 

“While believing strongly, without evidence, is considered a mark of madness or stupity in any other area of our lives, faith in God still holds immense prestige in our society.  Religion is the one area of our discourse where it is considered noble to pretend to be certain about things no human being could possibly be certain about.  It is telling that this aura of nobility extends only to those faiths that still have many subscribers.  Anyone caught worshipping Poseidon, even at sea, will be thought insane.”

Paragraph in quotes from ‘LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION’ by Sam Harris

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 21 June 2009 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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‘Religion is the one area of our discourse where it is considered noble to pretend to be certain about things no human being could possibly be certain about.’

Tremendous quote by Sam.

Much like the saying that when one person is deluded he/she is considered to be insane, but when many people are deluded they are considered to be religious, and thats acceptable. Why? Because of the NUMBERS?

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Posted: 21 June 2009 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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eudemonia - 21 June 2009 10:59 AM

‘Religion is the one area of our discourse where it is considered noble to pretend to be certain about things no human being could possibly be certain about.’

Tremendous quote by Sam.

Much like the saying that when one person is deluded he/she is considered to be insane, but when many people are deluded they are considered to be religious, and thats acceptable. Why? Because of the NUMBERS?

We know that if anyone in the world believed that an elephant could fly they would be considered insane.  We know that millions of Muslims believe that a horse can fly, and that they are not considered insane.  Why not insane?  Because of the numbers.

We know that if anyone believed that Elvis could come out of his grave alive they would be considered insane.  We know that millions of people believe that Jesus came out of his grave alive and that they are not considered insane.  Why?  Because of the numbers.

Mormons believe all kinds of insane things.  Shucks, we came close to electing one president.  Sarah Palin could be president at this very moment, considering John’s age.  What was it?  45 percent voted in that direction?  Their campaign slogan?  It might as well be, “Vote for me.  I’m insane like you.”  Numbers.

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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