View Full Version : Christmas and global warming
November 28th, 2006, 02:00 PM
Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is….
Well, it’s that time of year again, a time to consider our blessings . . . but I’m wondering, is “global warming” a fact? Should I be concerned?
Well, the available data for the past 100 years does seem to indicate an upward trend in temperature, especially for recent years/decades; although the data for the past 1,000 years isn’t quite as persuasive; and beyond 1,000 years things really tend to get rather sketchy, although we’re reasonably certain that millions of years ago North Dakota was warm enough to have palm trees and alligators.
Nevertheless, I suppose it’s not terribly unreasonable to connect the current upward trend in temperature with increased human pollution, especially when we factor in the hot air coming from alarmists like Al Gore.
OTOH, considering the unreliability of weather forecasting models for more than a few days into the future, I find projections of large temperature increases over the next 100 years to be less than compelling.
And let’s face it, if the terrorists don’t manage to nuke us into oblivion, or the bird flu doesn’t manage to mutate and destroy us, the unavoidable long-term trend is that the sun is burning out—one way or another, our extinction draweth neigh.
So my advice to the Al Gore crowd is to relax. Breath. Enjoy the season. Sing. And for those that have more of an atheistic bent, here’s a version of Silent Night that may be more to your liking:
Indifferent universe, pitiless universe
No design, no purpose
Blind physical forces and genetic replication
One way or another, we’ll go into extinction
We are an accident
We are an accident
December 2nd, 2006, 01:05 PM
"One way or another, we?ll go into extinction"
"One way or another, there is no explication"???
Actual, there are explanations, ones that involve designs but not a Designer. And will there be extinction or a new species? Some darned Brit speculated that homo moves into homo 1 and homo 2 but with traits similar to those in Brave New World: the intellectually handicapped, domain general intelligences who think they control the rest of us, and, of course, the rest of us!
I also hear stories about the ice cap: it has may have stopped melting! It was a passing news item at 2AM. Probably worth a google or two...
Christmas best to you and Shelly!
December 2nd, 2006, 02:24 PM
Speaking of a Brits and Brave New Worlds, here’s more annoying drivel from Richard Dawkins, apparently from John Brockman’s book, What Is Your Dangerous Idea? Today's Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable (noted in a Scotland newspaper at http://www.sundayherald.com/life/people/display.var.1031440.0.from_the_afterword.php)—
IN THE 1920s and 1930s, scientists from both the political left and right would not have found the idea of designer babies particularly dangerous - though of course they would not have used that phrase. Today, I suspect that the idea is too dangerous for comfortable discussion, and my conjecture is that Adolph Hitler is responsible for the change.
Nobody wants to be caught agreeing with that monster, even in a single particular. The specter of Hitler has led some scientists to stray from "ought" to "is" and deny that breeding for human qualities is even possible. But if you can breed cattle for milk yield, horses for running speed, and dogs for herding skill, why on Earth should it be impossible to breed humans for mathematical, musical or athletic ability….
Yeah, good idea—a kinder and gentler kind of eugenics/ubermensch. But then Dawkins seems to vacillate—
I wonder whether, some 60 years after Hitler's death, we might at least venture to ask what the moral difference is between breeding for musical ability and forcing a child to take music lessons. Or why it is acceptable to train fast runners and high jumpers but not to breed them. I can think of some answers, and they are good ones, which would probably end up persuading me. But….
So is that a disclaimer, that maybe eugenics isn’t such a good idea after all?
I suspect that Dawkins’s disclaimer is a bit disingenuous, that he knows he’ll never be persuaded that eugenics is necessarily so bad . . . so long as he and likeminded ubermenschens are running things. Silly fellow—eugenics is best left, as Muther Nature ordained, in the hands of our fertile females.
December 2nd, 2006, 04:26 PM
You do carry on so!
Richard is a banner for those already convinced. Remember the rule of thirds: one is for, another is against, and the third will do whatever the neighbors do. Majorities form somewhat on the basis of self-assembly and somewhat on the basis of circumstance and clever recruiting by the extremes.
As for eugenics, our kids do it when they pick a mate but sometimes with non eugenic outcomes when folks with emotional problems scrounge instinctively for someone with a similar problem (Maes, H. H., Neale, M. C., Kendler, K. S., Hewitt, J. K., Silberg, J. L. Foley, D. L., Meyer, J. M., Rutter, M., Simonoff, E., Pickles A., & Eaves, L. (1998) Assortative mating for major psychiatric diagnoses in two population-based samples. Psychological Medicine, 28(6), 1389-1401. [love that reference!])
Cultures do it when marriages are arranged, perhaps a good sense arrangement in stable environments with limits on resources.
Richard has fun, dislikes religion, and fears his daughter might be seduced by it. He's a fan of genes but doesn't trust the choices that hers make. (I have a similar problem in regard to my own kid! He has a great set and manages them well but I still frown at him for being different from me!)
Richard also wastes his time when he argues with an instinct.
December 3rd, 2006, 10:54 AM
You do carry on so!
Yeah, there must be a pill for that . . . BTW, speaking of design without a designer, I’m reminded of how some of us, perhaps with too much time and/or not enough neurotransmitters, will sometimes wonder what happened b/f the Big Bang (BB).
But alas, such questions tend to be dismissed, considered to be something of a self-contradiction b/c, after all, it’s believed that our universe, our space-time, is the result of some sort of quantum fluctuation in some sort of primordial eternal nothingness—IOW, b/f the BB there was nothingness, and obviously there is no “before” in nothingness.
So there you have it, a universe, and “design ”from nothingness; and instead of the primal copout notion of “goddidit,” our modern understanding tells us that “nothingdidit” . . . something from nothing and the chicks are free . . . I want my, I want my, I want my MTV….
December 3rd, 2006, 06:06 PM
I wish that I had your wordsmithing abilities!
I muddled over the BB (Bridget Bardot) as a first cause or GoodGawdAlmighty.
Couldn't answer either and decided to wait and see. The woman I can touch is far more interesting than the woman who might have been, still is, and will be forever more...
By the way, I understand that Britney and Paris gave up underpants. If God brings back Michelangelo, will he paint all the details when he puts them on a ceiling?
December 4th, 2006, 12:20 PM
Your mention of Bardot reminded me of my favorite, Gina Lollobrigida, who, as I recall, had one particularly hot scene in the 1960s Bambole, a movie I watched (more than once) in my younger years, the time when the penis tends to manipulate much of one’s behavior. So I Googled Gina and find that she’s 79 and engaged to her 35 years younger lover—she still looks pretty good, for 79, and I’d not be surprised if Gina also gave up underpants . . . for Depends.
December 4th, 2006, 03:30 PM
I won't tell Durante about the Depends...
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