ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

Location: Oxford University, England
Members: 4139
Latest Activity: 2 hours ago

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Discussion Forum

A huge tragedy in our past

Started by Luara. Last reply by Tommy Tucson 2 hours ago. 9 Replies

Did Jesus Save the Klingons?

Started by Scott Bidstrup. Last reply by Jimmy McCann yesterday. 8 Replies

Nose Nerve Cells Repair Man's Severed Spinal Cord

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Dr. Terence Meaden on Tuesday. 1 Reply

Ebola Spreads to U.S.

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky Oct 16. 5 Replies

Knowledge and Atheism

Started by Madhukar Kulkarni. Last reply by Christopher Lowe Oct 12. 32 Replies

Dunbar's number

Started by Rick Springfield Oct 5. 0 Replies

Leader of the Church of England doubts the existence of god

Started by Dr. Terence Meaden. Last reply by Christopher Lowe Oct 4. 37 Replies

Limb Regeneration Ability

Started by Patricia. Last reply by The Flying Atheist Sep 28. 1 Reply

Scientific Adam and Eve

Started by Rick Springfield. Last reply by James M. Martin Sep 25. 26 Replies

Nazca Lines Found in Kazakhstan

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Joan Denoo Sep 25. 4 Replies

Preying on our humanity

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Sep 22. 3 Replies

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Comment by Steve Nelson on February 7, 2010 at 11:55am
Sally, I'll have to look for that book. Sounds interesting. I personally can't wait till religion is in the dust bin of history. I just think of the MILLIONS who have died because of religions. It is astounding! My stories about the future are about this. Yes they are erotic. So what. I don't think Sex is a Dirty Thing. I believe sex is Normal, Natural and Necessary for humans to function properly. So that's what my stories are about. TW1 and TW2 Desert Trek. Look'em up here on my blog or by Googling my name and story titles. Please Enjoy.
"Chaos" reminds me of Jeff goldblume in Jarrasic Park. Sincerely Yours, Steve Nelson
Comment by Sally Morem on February 7, 2010 at 10:45am
Ever since I read "Chaos" by James Gleick, I've looked for and found self-organizing systems everywhere, in physical, biological and cultural systems. I've always been an evolutionist, but the idea of self-organization has given me additional insights on how it works.

Self-organization is one of the most counter-intuitive notions we humans have ever stumbled upon. Since we are toolmakers by trade, our natural inclination is to assume everything is made...the way we would make things. Hence the idea of gods and goddesses busy manufacturing trees and rocks and storms, etc.

It will be a long time before the insights we gain through science on self-organizing systems nudge this idea of "making" into "the dustbin of history." Unfortunately.
Comment by Steve Nelson on January 3, 2010 at 10:36am
Swell Julia, I'll get on it soon. Thanks again all you wonderful folks, Steve Nelson
Comment by Steve Nelson on December 31, 2009 at 6:41am
WoW! Such a lot of nice Intelligent and really usefule comments that have come from this nice sight in just a couple of days or even hours since I made a comment and asked a question. It is really wonderful to hear from so many swell people. I've been at other sights where I put out my thoughts and feelings and hopes and people were just rude and inconsiderate to the max. But here, Is A Complete difference! You know I've always thought that it shouldn't be too dang hard to convert from using pencil & Ink to something in a digital realm. And from my experience in business I fiund it wasn't too afully brainy to by my candy bars at say .25 and turn around and sell'em at .50. It's ust a common sence thing.
This site seems to be full of a bunch of people with a common sence, Can do attitude, I Love It!
Thank You so much everyone, and thanks again to Dr Meaden for getting it going to start with. Sincerely, Steve Nelson

PS. Some have asked me why my book is only about 123 pages and I always answer, well I took my lead from a couple of things, 1) I liked Mr Hubbards book Battlefield Earth, (Read the whole dang thing in about a week), but I didn't want anything I wrote to be Quite that long. And 2) I was going through my library and found one of the smallest yet acceptable books in the publishing world to be PLanet of the Apes at only about 120 pages. And I figured if a movie could be made of a book that size well I guess I'm pretty safe then.
I hope nobody minds much but at the end of my first book I had the hero of the story remembering the movie he once saw at a drive-in and think to himself of the line in that picture, 'Beware the beast Man for he will make a desert of his home and yours', it kinda really fit too so I stuck it in there. Happy day and New Year Everyone! Steve Nelson
Comment by Rodrigo M Vasquez on December 31, 2009 at 3:49am
I work with 3D and VFX and , while Math is very very important to run the "hardcore" stuff ( creating scripts, shaders, and simulations from scratch,) what matters is the ability to learn AND the dedication to search for, and use, the RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE RIGHT TASK.
Math is a beautiful, but if what you want is to illustrate, Computers nowadays don't build those high walls as they did 20 years ago.
There is a lot of help on sites like Gnomon, and Digitaltutors and Lindacom, Books and DVD's, to learn how to use software for illustrative purposes.
Buying books about Digital paint, and illustration , is a good start. Books of design, sketch and Color theory to expand your knowledge and so on.
Formal education is important, you can't get on the big names without it, but looks like you already have a background on illustration, so why not go for it on Digital. It changes nothing from paper to digital, but as any business you need to make a name, showing your work, and reach a level of mastery and performance that grants you the big $$$.
Comment by Jason Spicer on December 31, 2009 at 1:09am
Steve, I think you should talk to an academic adviser about what kind of education program you really want. From what you say, it sounds to me like a graphic arts degree might be more your cup of tea. It's true that certain kinds of visual art require a good mathematical background, but other kinds really don't, even if you're using a computer as your canvass. It sounds like you know what kind of work you want to do, but I don't think a computer science degree is quite the right fit for it. Don't waste time banging your head against the wall for something that doesn't support your goal in the first place.
Comment by Kevin Bladsacker on December 31, 2009 at 12:04am
Steve, don't let the math intimidate you. I make a very nice living as a developer and can tell you that the handling of text strings is more important than the level of math required. Most of the math is quite minimal and harrdy ever what you won't find on a basic calculator. A degree in computer science is not cessarily what you need. I can tell you from experience that I've seen many computer science guys fall on their face because they never learn business rules and worry about things that higher languages just do for you. If you want to make a living in computers you need to be able to provide someone with answers for the worries that occupy their mind in trying to make effective business decisions.
Comment by Steve Nelson on December 30, 2009 at 8:29pm
Hey everybody, maybe a little clarification could help a little. It was sometime last year that I tried a computer course at the local ATC utilizing a Pell Grant. I did real well in the computer class with 94-95% on all tests. I learned about basic computer usage, the components, slide show making, and lots of other stuff. I went through about 3/4 of the book provided. The course came with a cd as well as the book. I asked one of the two teachers that sat right next to me, What do I do with this cd? The answer was, don't worry about it, it's not important, you don't need it till later. I took him at his word. I atteneded the math class as well. I can add, subtract, multiply and do some division but when it came to trying to figure out how much y + z -d +p x T=? I could never get how numbers come out of letters. It was all GREEK to me. I bashed my head against the wal day after day the teacher was frustrated with me as well. I did develope elaborate systems of arrows and Boxes and = Signs to help me remember what letters stood for what and what action needed to be taken at each juncture of each and every new problem but my symbol system kept getting bogged down because there was never any way to resolve the problems the same way the answers were written. It was like diagraming sentances with lines and numbers with meaningless letters by them and letters with meaningless numbers by them. I was so frustrated bashing my head against the wall and getting nowhere. I couldn't see what these letters and numbers had to do with operating windows or making nice graphs in EXCEL or anything. After a while I got a notice that I was failing a class and I just knew it had to be that D_ _ _ Math class, that everyday Headache! I asked the math teacher but she couldn't tell me. I asked the computer teacher but he couldn't tell me. I asked again after a while of not asking everyday, What do I do with this cd? Still no answer. I decided to put the cd in the machine and see what was on it. IT WAS THE EXACT SAME COMPUTER COURSE I HAD BEEN DOING ALL ALONG! With no word from the teacher, I figured that the paper book work version never counted for anything and only the cd counted, so I crammed 3 or 4 chapters a day for the last week of my grant to try and catch up. I passed every test again but it wasn't enough. The final report that I heard from a councilor as the Computer teachers would not speak to me was that I Wasnt Competant enough to understand computers, BS!
I believe that at that school they were simply running a scam to get Government Money. Heck the computer keybord that I am typing on right now has a row of number keys, 3 rows of letter keys and a bunch of other symbol keys. I just don't understand what the meaningless endless numbers and letters of the math class, have to do with creating slide presentations and nice graphs on EXCEL or typing an entire book, ect... There's 0 Math involved in choosing colors, shading with charcoal and painting or drawing a straight line.
Wheather you use brush or pen and ink or pencil it's a matter of hand eye coordination and practice. There's no math involved. When I ran a convenience store, the only math I came across was in operating my cash register. Till the Mormon's began their lying Boycott of my nice Family friendly store, I made $120.00 per day. I had a future. I looked forward to starting others in a similar business of their own. (Franchizing is the term). I used little or no math in making quality Key copies and paper copies and Laminations and selling soda pop and candy bars and sending faxes. Then they Lied and I, just like Joseph of Egypt, was thrown into a Black pit of economic slavery. Gosh everyone, I am sorry to go on and on like this. It just hurts a lot. Can you nice people understand?
Well thanks for listening anyway, Steve Nelson
Comment by Marc Draco on December 30, 2009 at 2:17pm
Steve, if you want to learn computer science (at any level) you'll need a good grounding in mathematics - there's no getting around that. Computers do everything by manipulating numbers - modern operating systems protect the users from a lot of that with fancy graphics.

Even computer animation (and 3D animation in particular) requires a good understanding of the mathematics involved - which can often be quite difficult for a right-brained thinker which is what I suspect you are, being a creative.

Perhaps a better way would be to look at which areas you could excel at - when you say Disney, do you mean 2D or 3D work? 3D is a non-starter unless you have a very good appreciation of the maths involved but 2D is a distinct possibility: and Uncle Walt started with very simple 2D cell animation.

There are several 2D animation systems you might try which require differing degrees of expertise - if you're on Windows, you might try Swish - which is an Adobe Flash system for non-programmers. Then there are a multitude of 2D painting systems for anything from line art to cartoons and even fine art.
Comment by Steve Nelson on December 30, 2009 at 1:25pm
Hi Dr Meaden, Maybe you can tell me, is there any private groups that offer grants for education?
I tried the Government way last year. I got a pell grant and studied computers, but the Math Requirement is the main thing that killed me. I was doing really well in the computers getting 94% on every test. But my Gov. Grant was cancelled and a significant part of the problem was Math.
I would like to study computers again if I could do so with out a Math requirement. I want to learn Computer Animation. I am pretty good already with hand drawn art as everyone can see with my nice cover art for my book Tomorrow's World #1. I have been an asistant Draftsman at a sign company and in 1992 I painted dozens of billboards in the presidential campaign. Today as mentiond I am a maintenance man fixing and cleaning Toilets. I want something Better! I think I could do Disney Quality Animation and be an asset to any studio in the country. If I could just learn the computer techniques associated with Computer Animation. I could have a future again.
I can't go on cutting grass and fixing toilets indefinately. I don't want to beg anyone, I just want to be pointed in the right direction to get a grant from some private outfit and get the education necessary. Thank You Dr & Everyone. Steve Nelson

 

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