Atheists who love Science!

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Atheists who love Science!

A group for science enthusiasts of all types -- professionals, amateurs, students, anybody who loves science.

Members: 1580
Latest Activity: on Sunday

Whether you're a professional, a student, an amateur, an enthusiast, whatever! Lots of atheists love science. Might as well have a group for it!

Feel free to nerd out, link articles, talk about your favorite field of research, whatever!

The icon is from www.wearscience.com.


9/28/2008
I've been super busy with school this semester -- no time for Atheist Nexus, sadly!!
If anyone who's around here a lot wants me to toss them moderation privileges to run this group or anything, just send me (Sara) a message! Thanks!

11/14/2009
Removed ability to send mass messages to everyone in the group. At 1000+ members, that seems like asking for spam.

Offer still open if anyone active in the group wants moderation privileges, but it appears everything has been going smoothly with all kinds of great discussions without moderation. Fantastic! :)

Discussion Forum

Lead Ebola Doctor In Sierra Leone Contracts It Himself

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Sentient Biped on Thursday. 3 Replies

Electric Bacteria

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Luara Jul 18. 3 Replies

Vantablack

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Sean Murphy Jul 15. 1 Reply

Roundup Ready Corn IS Toxic

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jul 13. 7 Replies

Crowded rooms make you dumb

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Pat Jul 5. 4 Replies

American Lysenkoism

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 6. 1 Reply

Big Bang, its limits, and being OK with "I don't know"

Started by Gregory Phillip Dearth. Last reply by Idaho Spud May 25. 62 Replies

Decline of Evidence-Based Medicine

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Luara May 16. 6 Replies

Canadian war on science

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck May 14. 2 Replies

Nuke close call in 1961

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 11. 3 Replies

Green Tea Boosts Brainpower

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 11. 3 Replies

Link Discovered Between Prostate Cancer and Vitamin D Deficiency

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 11. 1 Reply

Japan stepping up to space-based solar power

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Idaho Spud May 4. 6 Replies

Common Gene Variation Linked to Colon Cancer

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky May 2. 5 Replies

Amazing Chameleon Vine

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 25. 0 Replies

Cholesterol Linked to Alzheimer's

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 23. 2 Replies

Nanoparticle Wound Glue

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 20. 0 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by Joan Denoo on March 14, 2014 at 12:42pm

Well, I assume you two know what you write about and it is just a bunch of words to me. That is a reflection of my inadeq1uacy, not yours. 

Thanks, Gregory, for reminding of that great video of Krauss and Dawkins. I suppose the science will be explained so that mere mortals can understand it, and I look forward to that time. 

Surely the best explainer is Krauss. 

Comment by Gregory Phillip Dearth on March 14, 2014 at 5:12am

I like how you have repeatedly ignored my challenge that "The PCM requires Birkeland currents that simply do not exist to be consistent (among other things it predicts). Whereas I have repeatedly read your entire posts and replied point-by-point, you continue the troll-style replies. For this reason I am discontinuing my discussion with you as I am finding it fruitless.

Comment by Gregory Phillip Dearth on March 14, 2014 at 4:39am

Wow. Skim much? Yes, I am long winded, but taking me out of context exposes a lack of integrity on your part. You obviously also skimmed the wikipedia entry on the Doppler effect, which I did not have to reference in my explanation thereof as again, I have confirmed its application to electromagnetic waves in a rather simple set of experiments in high school. From the primary wiki page on the Doppler effect (took me 10 seconds to find this) "Hippolyte Fizeau discovered independently the same phenomenon on electromagnetic waves in 1848 (in France, the effect is sometimes called "effet Doppler-Fizeau" but that name was not adopted by the rest of the world as Fizeau's discovery was six years after Doppler's proposal)." page address:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doppler_effect

So it was independently discovered to be applicable and not even called the Doppler effect until the analogy stuck later. So when we say "the Doppler effect" in reference to electromagnetic waves red/blue shifts we are using the term as a convention, not as its original use (which was sound). 

And if you wiki the Big Bang, there is a rather decent explanation there including copious references. For example, "Fred Hoyle is credited with coining the term "Big Bang" during a 1949 radio broadcast. It is popularly reported that Hoyle, who favored an alternative "steady state" cosmological model, intended this to be pejorative, but Hoyle explicitly denied this and said it was just a striking image meant to highlight the difference between the two models." So Hoyle coined the term though he preferred the steady state model. A British astronomer. Catholic priest? Maybe that was his part time job...

Again, you strawman the Big Bang theory with your phrasing: "From an atom, the universe" paraphrases "From nothing, everything" and makes the BBCM ridiculous.

The singularity was not an atom. It was space and time itself compacted. And most cosmologists do not actually believe in any singularity as an actual state, just as a logical consequence of rewinding the expanding universe. Still, there is a big difference between that and an atom.

Nothing to everything? That is not even remotely accurate. No part of the Big Bang model requires nothing as a precondition. I would recommend Lawrence Krauss for a good explanation of why this 'nothing' misconception is just plain wrong. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUe0_4rdj0U

What is most alarming is that you completely missed the point when I explained the argument from incredulity fallacy and even requoted my example it is hard to imagine, therefore....

YOU are committing this fallacy by choosing to not accept the Big Bang model simply because you find it ridiculous or cannot understand it (the latter of which is becoming overwhelmingly evident).

And as you keep appealing to the term faith in this discussion, I am lead to believe you are, in fact, an apologist troll.

And Occam's razor is a good philosophy in general, but just as quantum mechanics is a horribly complicated FACT, the correct explanation is not ALWAYS the simplest explanation. Its a rule of thumb, not a law of nature.

Comment by Gregory Phillip Dearth on March 14, 2014 at 2:06am

That is fine, Tom. I too have been involved (in the distant past) in alternative cosmology (see grouptheorycosmos.com). I see no problem with challenging the paradigm.

When deciding which theory is the "best", however, you typically end up with some version of the Big Bang, perhaps with some plasma theory sprinkled in, and using a string theory unification for gravity.

A major misconception people have is that the singularity was just the contents of the universe compacted. In fact, space itself (and time) were also curled up and compacted. It might be hard to imagine, but that does not make it impossible. It would be a logical fallacy known as the argument from incredulity to state that 'it is hard to imagine, therefore....' But basically, the ridiculously small size of the singularity is meaningless as space, which makes size meaningful and measurable was ALSO compacted. So you have all of the contents and the very fabric of the universe itself ALL compacted. Compacted is probably a problematic term itself as we have to ask ourselves what the universe, in this state, was compacted relative to.


Finally, the Big Bang theory does NOT give us any description or information of the singularity itself. Rather the Big Bang theory starts at one Planck time AFTER the event. The Big Bang Singularity Hypothesis posits the existence of this ridiculously small state. And how that singularity got there is also a matter of hypothesis at this time.

The point is that there are possible alternatives. But when choosing a theory to believe in (and fund with grants), well, one should go where the evidence leads them which currently seems to be the Big Bang model.

The PCM requires Birkeland currents that simply do not exist to be consistent (among other things it predicts). Sure, the BBCM requires dark energy and dark matter to be consistent regarding the inflation, but there is good data coming in on this subject already, and we should continue investigating it further given that the REST of the BBCM is so far as we can tell SPOT ON. PCM seems to hold as much weight as neo-Lorentzian Theory in that it claims to be able to do the same job of BBCM, if you only ignore the fact that it requires the universe to operate in different ways than we observe. Still, the effects of plasma on a large scale might be useful, though I think you might not realize that the filament structure has a better explanation already.

That said, PCM will get a LOT of attention if we ever do reproduce these Birkeland currents in the lab, just as the multiverse hypothesis will get a LOT more attention if we manage to eject matter/energy from our universe in some critical collision in the LHC.

I don't want to come off as mean and make statements without value. I stand to be corrected myself, and intend on keeping such conversations going so we can educate each other.  I had not heard of the PCM until you mentioned it and found much of the theory quite interesting and promising (still reading it). Just a few hurdles to overcome there, but how was that any different than BBCM of a few decades ago?

Einstein's cosmological constant turned out to be useful, though he thought it was a mistake when he had to invoke it in his equations. Weirder things have happened. But don't expect BBCM to be competlike Bryonely rejected in favor of PCM or any other alternative theory until these alternative cosmological models can account for the ridiculous amount of observations, predictions, and incorporate the 'apparent reality' of our expanding universe into their framework.

Comment by Sean Murphy on March 14, 2014 at 1:10am

That's funny, I majored in math and physics too, yeah, in fact I BS'd in both. No, actually I went on to PhD in both, and am now a tenured professor at- eh, enough feeding the troll. All I actually have is a BA in Psychology (I lazed out in college), but the Doppler Effect that you demonstrated that you don't understand in your earlier post is grade school science,and is really quite simple.

Comment by Sean Murphy on March 13, 2014 at 8:22pm

True - we don't know. But there is evidence, clues and echoes left behind by those ancient events, and we can derive knowledge from them.

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 13, 2014 at 5:56pm

Poor Bruno, "Beginning in 1593, Bruno was tried for heresy by the Roman Inquisition on charges including denial of theTrinity, denial of the divinity of Christ, denial of virginity of Mary, and denial of Transubstantiation. The Inquisition found him guilty, and in 1600 he was burned at the stake.[5]"

"A schoolmaster was hanged in Spain in 1826 for heresy. His heresy had been to substitute the words 'Praise be to God' in place of 'Ave Maria' in school prayers."  

Those wretched people hanged and crushed at Salem and those who had their noses and ears cut of in our country's history died cruelly at the hands of religious zealots. 

"Because of secular laws the Churches now have more difficulty in persecuting heretics, but persecution is still part of mainstream Christian thought. The oath taken by Roman Catholic bishops at their consecration includes the following undertaking "with all my power I will persecute and make war upon heretics"."

Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Christianity and its Persecu...

We don't suffer the burning, or drownings, or hangings, or crushing, or cutting off noses and ears for such crimes as Giordano and the thousands of others who thought as we do. Still the persecution exists.  We get our feelings hurt now and then, or we face lies, distortions, delusions and denial to the point it is really funny. 

Religion is just plain silly. No way to get around that. 

Speculating how the universe came into being or how the Earth took its present form, or life sparked a new form of matter is much like listening to preachers argue about whether transubstantiation occurs. 

The simple answer, "I don't know" seems reasonable to me. 

Comment by Bryon on March 13, 2014 at 4:50pm

I think Tom needs to go back to 7th grade and relearn the scientific method. TNT, I agree with most of what you stated but I do think the story of Bruno is something most people don't know but should. His is a story that show why it is so important to reject superstition and supernatural and why it is that science and religion can never be and should never be reconciled. 

Comment by Gregory Phillip Dearth on March 13, 2014 at 1:42pm

And Tom, please stop trolling when it is obvious you lack even a fundamental understanding of physics. The Doppler effect describes the stretching and compression of waves of energy both in a medium (such as sound) and without any medium (such as light or any electromagnetic wave). If the Doppler effect only applied to sound RADAR would not work. It is not ficticious as you stated. It is an description and explanation for a phenomenon. A wave of energy can be stretched or squashed. We know this to be true. We call this the Doppler effect. Your arguments are as laughable as people who say scientists have "faith" in gravity. Theories are descriptions and explanations. They can be modified and thrown out if we find better descriptions and explanations. But to be promoted to the status of theory, the top rung on a scientific investigation, they must pass peer review, make predictions, match observations and be consistent in repeated experiments. I confirmed the Doppler effect in high school Astronomy 101 and Advanced Chemistry. I have directly observed black absorption lines shifted towards the red or blue end depending on the relative motion of a body and have tested specific elements in flames using a spectometer to see where the lines should be for a stationary object. If you have an alternate explanation, it had better explain these observations and experiments without invoking an aether or some other disproved and abandoned concept from antiquity. That is how you debunk the paradigm. You cannot just make troll statements like 'the Doppler effect for light is ficticional.' You ALSO have to give a superior explanation for the same observed phenomenon.

Comment by Gregory Phillip Dearth on March 13, 2014 at 1:04pm

TNT666, I agree completely. This seemed like pro-atheism preachimg and had little to do with the Cosmos. It felt out of place for there to be a long cartoon about the inquisition in the middle of a show about the universe. That said, challenging the paradigm has always been a massive problem for humanity andd religion has been the single most debilitating aspect in history. I even checked out this Plasma Cosmological model, as brought up by another poster to see if it had any potential. It competes with the Big Bang, which is very ambitious, but it is also being researched by notable scientists. This type of challenge would have been impossible even a few hundred years ago. Of course, the PCM explains less and is more complicated than the Big Bang. And it predicts Birkeland currents that simply do not exist. It might offer some real science that can be incorporated into the Big Bang cosmology (as the PCM does not seem to require a non-expanding cosmos), and may even provide the key to get rid of the dark energy problem or at least help narrow the possibilities. The point is that the religion crap in the middle might have seemed out of place, but it explains how far science has been allowed to grow. We can now have huge teams of researchers working dilligently to potentially debunk a theory that seems so factual and accurate without those same renegades feeling they might end up burned at the stake. I personally think the Plasma Cosmological model needs to explain a LOT more than it does for it to really be taken seriously, but unlike the religious nuts that used to drive the course of science, I donot see such a model as a "threat" but rather welcome new ideas. That said, completely rejecting the Big Bang BEFORE a theory of comparable weight exists is simply unscientific. Anybody working on an alternative needs to study the Big Bang, learn just how much explanatory power it possesses, and build a theory that at least comes close (and preferably exceeds this threshold for it to be any type of progress). 

 

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