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Grom

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About Grom

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    No matter where you go, there you are.
  • Birthday April 30

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    GromVik
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    http://www.stsf.net
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Charlotte, NC, USA
  • Interests
    Christianity, politics, baseball (New York Mets), Star Trek, Babylon 5, football, Iceland.

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  1. With the shuttle program in the process of being shuttered, NASA has announced where its orbiters will be heading. If you have a chance to see any of these orbiters, do it. It's worth it. I've seen the Enterprise a few times at Udvar-Hazy and am excited that they will be getting Discovery.
  2. It's also possible that the reeds themselves had a reddish tinge, and the Septuagint is repeating an idiomatic identification.
  3. Yes, the quote is a little quirky, but I don't see theism and science as adversaries. I see them as complementary. Studying the creation is another way of learning about the creator.
  4. Let me just point out really briefly that, to my knowledge, in this discussion I have neither mentioned the Bible nor the Genesis creation account. Creation science in of itself is not a religious pursuit. Obviously theists have a keen interest and are among its chief proponents, but the theory that a great being or force as a necessary first cause for all physical existence is a irreligious theory. How we relate to this being or force, if it exists, is more of a religious question. As far as the Bible is concerned, let me state a few things as the resident "theologian." In secular terms, the Bible is a piece of literature, in fact, made up several different kinds of literature. There are narratives, historical accounts, laws, poetry, wisdom literature, apocalyptic literature, epistles/letters, just to name a few. Second, the Bible was written to select people at select times. In order to properly interpret the Bible, one must exegete (draw out meaning from) the text, that is, take into account the type of literature, how the intended audience would have understood it in its original language (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek), the social and historical background of the text, grammar, and syntax, just to name a few. I say this because certain passages are always thrown around as proof texts for or against the Bible, when in reality, very little time has been made to understand how the recipient of the text would have understood it. The Bible does not purport to be a modern science textbook. It does purport itself, however, to be the history of God and God's intersection with creation, primarily humanity, throughout history. This does not mean that the Bible has nothing to say about the physical realities, but that it's not the primary focus. To put it another way, the point is not, "In the beginning God created," it's "In the beginning God."
  5. Thanks for your honesty and well-articulated viewpoint. I think the tension is not so much between religion and science, as the debate is often framed, but between the natural and the supernatural. Supernaturalism (if it exists - a point widely disputed), frustrates scientists because it cannot be measured according to conventional, natural means. Supernaturalism is, by its purported nature, not concrete, it goes against established natural laws. Naturalism, on the other hand, frustrates supernaturalists because it challenges established norms with concrete realities. No, the earth isn't flat, and it isn't at the center of the solar system. My personal opinion is this: At no point should scientists stop learning and testing our universe. I am, after all, a Trek fan and believe that science has much more to offer humanity beyond what it already has. I also think there will be always things that cannot be explained by science. Whether a metaphysical answer is a convincing explanation to these mysteries is up to each person to decide for themselves.
  6. <quote> That's a pretty broad stroke to paint. Scientists in general (there will always be exceptions) follow a rigid process of data collection and analysis that is designed to filter out presuppositions. Science sets out to advance our knowledge of the universe and existence, whatever that pursuit of knowledge might yield. If a scientist were to uncover compelling evidence of a divine creator, he would not try to bury it or to furiously seek out alternative explanations -- he would happily present the evidence as a leap forward in human understanding (it would be far too good for his career to do otherwise). In centuries of scientific methodology, no such compelling evidence has ever been uncovered. This doesn't suggest that findings are being molded to fit pre-existing beliefs; it just indicates that no evidence has been found. </quote> Science, properly understood, is not a belief system, as you point out, but an investigation of observations made in hopes to better understand the universe. I'm with you, no disagreement. Where science itself breaks down is when the human element is added. Where is the human element most present in the scientific method? Usually the analysis section. To demonstrate this, I'll use an analogy from my area of expertise. Say Gallup ran a poll today on President Obama's approval rating. Say he jumped 3 points from his last rating from 46 to 49 percent. Say that there were no major issues with the methodology (the questions asked were fair, no political party was oversampled, data was collected according to established norms) and that the margin for error is statistically insignificant. As they, the data speaks for itself. Or does it? A Democratic operative would say the data speaks for itself, that nearly half of America supports the President, and the upward trend suggests that people are more accepting of his policies. It also bodes well for his re-election in 2012. A Republican operative would also say, the data speaks for his self. A majority of Americans do not support the President, are suspicious of his policies and that few Presidents ever get re-elected with such low approval ratings. So how can two people look at the same data and yet come to two different analyses? First, the majority of studies yield very narrow conclusions. The hypothetical poll above really only reflects what the 3,000 people sampled feels about the President. When you start considering implications, that's where humans begin to fill in the gaps. Now it may be true that these 3,000 people are fairly representative of all 300 million, but it is an extrapolation nonetheless. This is where our belief systems come into play. You state that there is no compelling evidence for a divine creator. That word "compelling" is a value judgement, it's based on your analysis of the data available. I respect your opinion, but I must respectfully disagree. For example, macroevolutionary theory depends on the first two laws of thermodynamics, rather, the suspension and breaking of those laws. How does the universe break its own laws unless some outside force acts upon it? I appreciate the respectful dialogue, understanding that many here are not fans of religion, and by extension, me in particular. V'Roy, I'm afraid I will have to respond later to your posts. I can only write one long post per day. :)
  7. 3D goes straight to my stomach for some reason. I can get through IMAX, but 3D is just no good for me.
  8. Nobody approaches the big questions of life with a blank slate. We all ultimately find something that suits the system we've built. If I presuppose there's no such thing as a being or a force greater than myself, certainly not one big enough to create all of what we see, then absolutely, I'm going to gravitate towards a set of explanations that are more naturalistic. And they will seem very convincing because they validate my system. The same is true for the theist. If I presuppose that a being or force greater than myself is a necessary first cause to account for the complexities of life, then I'm going to gravitate towards a set of explanations that are more supernaturalistic. And they will seem very convincing because they validate my system. Most people seem to fall somewhere on the spectrum between naturalism and supernaturalism - evidenced by the fact that a majority of Americans, at least, believe in macro-evolution as well as some divine supernatural being, namely God.
  9. Absolutely. Presuppositions are always at play with any debate and the more honest we are able them, the easier it is to have a dialogue. Having spent the last decade or so working in politics, I understand that hyperbole, however, usually wins the day and any concessions are seen as a sign of weakness. I have great respect for the scientific community and its endeavors. C.S. Lewis once said, "The universe rings true wherever it is fairly tested." This new study is just one piece of the amazing work that the community has put out over the years.
  10. Yes, the Hebrew word is actually "reed." The reeds still are present on the banks of the sea in some areas.
  11. As soon as you guys have figured out how some thing came from no thing, you let us know. :)
  12. I'm not convinced 3D is here to stay, anyway.
  13. "If you'd like a post on tonight's sim, please send ~ONE~ rock in my general direction." "Can you please not use the sunshine yellow cave paint in tonight's sim?" Happy B-Day A9!
  14. I was merely pointing out that within the context of a diverse community, such as STSF, not-so-subtle attacks on a major modern religion and its practices, particularly from an authority figure, should not appear on a public thread within this context. There is no, and should be no, religious litmus test for characters just as there is no and should be no racial, ethnic, or disability litmus test. I won't hijack the thread any further. I like the concept of the new QoB quite a bit and these new character suggestions would add tremendous depth to the sim.
  15. I get it. The character can be a Christian (or a Jew or a Muslim), he just can't practice what he believes. +1 for 'tolerance' (with ironic use of quote marks!)