Archive for the ‘General Science’ Category

How to Poach Noah’s Ark.

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

This is a reprint from https://www.holysmoke.org/cretins/fludmath.html. I wasn’t able to find any contact information so this is only going to stay up temporarily unless I can get permission to keep it up.

Dr. Marty Leipzig looks at the mathematics of ‘Noah’s Flood.’

Date: 09-02-99 10:11
From: Marty Leipzig

First- the global flood supposedly (Scripturally) covered the planet, (see that, George? If so, why are you still being so stupid?) and Mount Everest is 8,848 meters tall. The diameter of the earth at the equator, on the other hand, is 12,756.8 km. All we have to do is calculate the volume of water to fill a sphere with a radius of the Earth + Mount Everest; then we subtract the volume of a sphere with a radius of the Earth. Now, I know this won’t yield a perfect result, because the Earth isn’t a perfect sphere, but it will serve to give a general idea about the amounts involved.

So, here are the calculations:

First, Everest

V= 4/3 * pi * r cubed
 = 4/3 * pi * 6387.248 km cubed
 = 1.09151 x 10 to the 12 cubic kilometres (1.09151x102 km3)

Now, the Earth at sea level

V = 4/3 * pi * r cubed
  = 4/3 * pi * 6378.4 km cubed
  = 1.08698 x 10 to the 12 cubic kilometres (1.08698x1012 km3)

The difference between these two figures is the amount of water needed to just cover the Earth:

4.525 x 10 to the ninth cubic kilometres (4.525×1009 km3) Or, to put into a more sensible number, 4,525,000,000,000 cubic kilometres

This is one helluva lot of water.

For those who think it might come from the polar ice caps, please don’t forget that water is more dense than ice, and thus that the volume of ice present in those ice caps would have to be more than the volume of water necessary.

Some interesting physical effects of all that water, too. How much weight do you think that is? Well, water at STP weighs in at 1 gram/cubic centimetre (by definition)…so,

4.252x1009 km3 of water,
X 106 (= cubic meters),
X 106 (= cubic centimetres),
X 1 g/cm3 (= grams),
X 10-3 (= kilograms),
(turn the crank)
equals 4.525E+21 kg.

Ever wonder what the effects of that much weight would be? Well, many times in the near past (i.e., the Pleistocene), continental ice sheets covered many of the northern states and most all of Canada. For the sake of argument, let’s call the area covered by the Wisconsinian advance (the latest and greatest) was 10,000,000,000 (ten million) km2, by an average thickness of 1 km of ice (a good estimate…it was thicker in some areas [the zones of accumulation] and much thinner elsewhere [at the ablating edges]). Now, 1.00×1007 km2 X 1 km thickness equals 1.00E+07 km3 of ice.

Now, remember earlier that we noted that it would take 4.525×1009 km3 of water for the flood? Well, looking at the Wisconsinian glaciation, all that ice (which is frozen water, remember?) would be precisely 0.222% […do the math](that’s zero decimal two hundred twenty two thousandths) percent of the water needed for the flood.

Well, the Wisconsinian glacial stade ended about 25,000 YBP (years before present), as compared for the approximately supposedly 4,000 YBP flood event.

Due to these late Pleistocene glaciations (some 21,000 years preceding the supposed flood), the mass of the ice has actually depressed the crust of the Earth. That crust, now that the ice is gone, is slowly rising (called glacial rebound); and this rebound can be measured, in places (like northern Wisconsin), in centimetres/year. Sea level was also lowered some 10’s of meters due to the very finite amount of water in the Earth’s hydrosphere being locked up in glacial ice sheets (geologists call this glacioeustacy).

Now, glacial rebound can only be measured, obviously, in glaciated terranes, i.e., the Sahara is not rebounding as it was not glaciated during the Pleistocene. This lack of rebound is noted by laser ranged interferometery and satellite geodesy [so there], as well as by geomorphology. Glacial striae on bedrock, eskers, tills, moraines, rouche moutenees, drumlins, kame and kettle topography, fjords, deranged fluvial drainage and erratic blocks all betray a glacier’s passage. Needless to say, these geomorphological expressions are not found everywhere on Earth (for instance, like the Sahara). Therefore, although extensive, the glaciers were a local (not global) is scale. Yet, at only 0.222% the size of the supposed flood, they have had a PROFOUND and EASILY recognisable and measurable effects on the lands.

Yet, the supposed flood of Noah, supposedly global in extent, supposedly much more recent, and supposedly orders of magnitude larger in scale; has exactly zero measurable effects and zero evidence for it’s occurrence.

Golly, Wally. I wonder why that may be…?

Further, Mount Everest extends through 2/3 of the Earth’s atmosphere. Since two forms of matter can’t occupy the same space, we have an additional problem with the atmosphere. Its current boundary marks the point at which gasses of the atmosphere can escape the Earth’s gravitational field. Even allowing for partial dissolving of the atmosphere into our huge ocean, we’d lose the vast majority of our atmosphere as it is raised some 5.155 km higher by the rising flood waters; and it boils off into space.

Yet, we still have a quite thick and nicely breathable atmosphere. In fact, ice cores from Antarctica (as well as deep-sea sediment cores) which can be geochemically tested for paleoatmospheric constituents and relative gas ratios; and these records extend well back into the Pleistocene, far more than the supposed 4,000 YBP flood event. Strange that this major loss of atmosphere, atmospheric fractionation (lighter gasses (oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine, neon, etc.) would have boiled off first in the flood-water rising scenario, enriching what remained with heavier gasses (argon, krypton, xenon, radon, etc.)), and massive extinctions from such global upheavals are totally unevidenced in these cores.

Even further, let us take a realistic and dispassionate look at the other claims relating to global flooding and other such biblical nonsense.

Particularly, in order to flood the Earth to the Genesis requisite depth of 10 cubits (~15′ or 5 m.) above the summit of Mt. Ararat (16,900′ or 5,151 m AMSL), it would obviously require a water depth of 16,915′ (5,155.7 m), or over three miles above mean sea level. In order to accomplish this little task, it would require the previously noted additional 4.525 x 109 km3 of water to flood the Earth to this depth. The Earth’s present hydrosphere (the sum total of all waters in, on and above the Earth) totals only 1.37 x 109 km3. Where would this additional 4.525 x 109 km3 of water come from? It cannot come from water vapour (i.e., clouds) because the atmospheric pressure would be 840 times greater than standard pressure of the atmosphere today. Further, the latent heat released when the vapour condenses into liquid water would be enough to raise the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere to approximately 3,570 C (6,460 F).

Someone, who shall properly remain anonymous, suggested that all the water needed to flood the Earth existed as liquid water surrounding the globe (i.e., a “vapour canopy”). This, of course, it staggeringly stupid. What is keeping that much water from falling to the Earth? There is a little property called gravity that would cause it to fall.

Let’s look into that from a physical standpoint. To flood the Earth, we have already seen that it would require 4.252 x 109 km3 of water with a mass of 4.525 x 1021 kg. When this amount of water is floating about the Earth’s surface, it stored an enormous amount of potential energy, which is converted to kinetic energy when it falls, which, in turn, is converted to heat upon impact with the Earth. The amount of heat released is immense:

 Potential energy: E=M*g*H, where
 M = mass of water,
 g = gravitational constant and,
 H =  height of water above surface.

Now, going with the Genesis version of the Noachian Deluge as lasting 40 days and nights, the amount of mass falling to Earth each day is 4.525 x 1021 kg/40 24 hr. periods. This equals 1.10675 x 1020kilograms daily. Using H as 10 miles (16,000 meters), the energy released each day is 1.73584 x 1025 joules. The amount of energy the Earth would have to radiate per m2/sec is energy divided by surface area of the Earth times number of seconds in one day. That is: e = 1.735384 x 1025/(4*3.14159* ((6386)2*86,400)) = 391,935.0958 j/m2/s.

Currently, the Earth radiates energy at the rate of approximately 215 joules/m2/sec and the average temperature is 280 K. Using the Stefan- Boltzman 4’th power law to calculate the increase in temperature:

 E (increase)/E (normal) = T (increase)/T4 (normal)

E (normal) = 215 E (increase) = 391,935.0958 T (normal) = 280.

Turn the crank, and T (increase) equals 1800 K.

The temperature would thusly rise 1800 K, or 1,526.84 C (that’s 2,780.33 F…lead melts at 880 F…ed note). It would be highly unlikely that anything short of fused quartz would survive such an onslaught. Also, the water level would have to rise at an average rate of 5.5 inches/min; and in 13 minutes would be in excess of 6′ deep.

Finally, at 1800 K water would not exist as liquid.

The Logical Outcome of Applying The Laws of Logic to God

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Here’s the thing.

They say it so it must be true, right? I mean, a theist wouldn’t lie to us or, god forbid, be confused about anything?

Anyway, I‘ve been told repeatedly that the Laws of Logic (capitalized, just like that) are made by God, not the universe or man. On top of that they don’t rely on language, human mind or even the universe to exist. They only rely on God to exist.

One theist argued that without the Laws of Logic, language, speech, even the ability to form ideas simply could not happen. Think about it, without the Laws of Logic you could not think about the sentence you’re reading and ancient humans couldn’t think to themselves “Ugh, Barf hungry. Need food”

Here’s one tweet of many: https://twitter.com/In6days/status/915497264189231104

Donnelly1

I spent my time playing a semantic game hoping to get the theist to look at the practical evidence that language has to exist before actual laws can be formed, but the theist was too interested in believing the bases for the Laws of Logic were laws written by a lawgiver they have named God.  To a theist, the Laws of Logic have to be actual laws, much like human laws, not simply properties of the universe.

I guess it’s time to put the practical argument aside and approach it philosophically, like they do. They seem to think philosophy is better at providing evidence for the existence of something than the scrawny methods of science are. I think they’re enamored of the idea logic can provide proof while science only claims evidence – more certainty for them, and they need that.

So, let’s take a look at the argument.

Simplified it goes something like this: the existence of the Laws of Logic proves the existence of a law giver which proves the existence of their God.

To get there they present what can only be described as the Gish Gallop of Philosophy. You can read it here: https://carm.org/transcendental-argument

Unsurprisingly, this argument doesn’t specify a god, nor does it suggest the God referenced has anything to do with maintaining the Earth or its inhabitants.

I’m going to apply reasoning similar to that of the theist I’ve been arguing with to God.

According to the Law of Contradiction, it is not possible for the claims “God is subject to the Laws of Logic” and “God is not subject to the Laws of Logic” to be true simultaneously. The phrase “God is not subject to the Laws of Logic” is equivalent to “ Not (God is subject to the Laws of Logic)”.

So God is either subject to the Laws of Logic or God is not. (Law of Excluded Middle)

If God is subject to the Laws of Logic, then according to the theist I’ve been arguing with, God’s thought processes need the Laws of Logic to form the Laws of Logic. Without the Laws of Logic existing before the thoughts about the Laws of Logic those thoughts aren’t possible. This is because thought is illogical & random without the Laws of Logic & because something must exist in some manner for us to know to think about them. According to the theist.

He also specifies that speech can’t occur without the Laws of Logic. According to the Bible, God spoke the universe, the Earth & man into existence. If God is subject to the Laws of Logic they must predate his/her/its ability to think and to speak, therefore God could not have created the Laws of Logic. Without those laws God could never even have thought of them. Quite the hole God finds himself in.

If God could not have created the Laws of Logic, then God is not omnipotent nor omniscient, therefore God is not necessary. It means that God’s omniscience & omnipotence, and hence his godhood, is contingent on the Laws of Logic pre-existing.

If God is not subject to the Laws of Logic, then God could think up the Laws of Logic & speak them into existence. However, that also means God could exist & not exist at the same time because the Laws of Logic don’t apply.  If God can both exist & not exist at the same time then the philosophical argument that the existence of the Laws of Logic proves God’s existence is meaningless.

If God can think up the Laws of Logic without being subject to them, then they aren’t needed for either thought or speech. If the Laws of Logic aren’t necessary for thought then humans can indeed think them up & write them down. This also means the Laws of Logic are contingent on God so the Transcendental argument referenced above loses an important premise.

More responses.

Hint to theists – make sure to apply your arguments to God, not just make them about God.

Genetic Entropy Disassembled and Discarded

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

This is a guest post by Dr. J.

Dr. J. is a fellow warrior dedicated to debunking the various creationist bull shit found on Twitter. My thanks go out to him for allowing me to repost his rant. (I wish all rants were this informative)

Go for it Dr. J.

Genetic entropy, a rant

This is written in response to @TamiHoshiyama who (as a creationist with an apparently deeply-rooted anti-evolutionary stance) claims genetic entropy is
A) a thing that genuinely exists
B) responsible for a steady degradation of the human genome, with presumably concomitant effects on human health

As far as I can tell, this stance is selected more or less to support the usual run of “EVOLUTION CAN’T HAPPEN” claims. Aside from the fact that evolution can happen (as we’ve observed multiple instances of random mutations followed by natural selection leading to novel behaviour, substrate utilisation, environmental tolerances and outright generation of novel species), this does pose rather a puzzle from a purely theistic perspective:
1) Humans are too complex and amazing to have evolved, they must be designed
2) Humans are mutating themselves to death because they’re poorly designed

If the argument is that both 1) and 2) are correct, it doesn’t really paint this hypothetical designer in a very good light. Rather than being omnipotent and making perfect creations (a common argument), god instead makes a whole bunch of species that barely hold together for a few thousand years before imploding under cumulative mutational load due to not apparently bothering to design sufficient repair enzymes.

A further note is that a huge number of mutations are due to nucleotide choice: thymidine, for instance, is highly prone to UV-induced crosslinking. Anywhere in the genome where two thymidines are adjacent is vulnerable to thymidine dimer formation. UV hits on thymidine, it crosslinks to the other. These then have to be chopped out and replaced.
With four bases to choose from, getting TT is a 1/16 chance, so in a genome of human size (3×10^9) that’s just over 187 million places to go wrong every second of every day. Repair systems are busy.
Note, incidentally, that uracil provides exactly the same base-pairing properties as thymidine but doesn’t crosslink (A-T pairing and A-U pairing both work): why doesn’t life use uracil in DNA? The answer is because of the OTHER major source of DNA mutations: cytosine deamination.
Cytosine contains an amine group (NH2) which has a tendency to fall off, because hey: thermodynamics. What do you get when cytosine spontaneously deaminates? You get uracil.
If DNA used uracil rather than thymidine, it would be extremely difficult for the repair mechanisms to distinguish between a legitimate uracil and one resulting from cytosine deamination. In a U-G mismatch is the U wrong, or the G?

As it is, the repair mechanism (uracil DNA glycosidase, or UDG) simply scans for any uracils and chops them out to be replaced with cytosine, because that’s a far easier mechanism to develop. It does this millions of times a day, PER CELL.
Repair systems are BUSY.

So on one hand we have a divine creator who deliberately selected a range of nucleotides specifically to be really prone to mutating and necessitating a massive array of repair systems just to stay reasonably intact but apparently not enough to prevent massive eventual mutational collapse of his/her magnificent creation….

….or we have naturally formed early life that, over a billion of so years, evolved a system using the least detrimental combination of nucleotides that can form spontaneously, because that’s all that was available. And since this system cannot prevent mutation, genomes will change. Successive rounds of mutation and selection will produce huge varieties of life, always selecting for “good enough”, because that’s all you really need.

Anyway, on to genetic entropy. (more…)

Gravity Debunked

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Gravity is not a weighty subject!

For many years we have been told by gravitationists that some thing they call gravity is preventing us from flying off the earth and keeping other planets in orbit about the sun. This is plainly, almost self evidently wrong, and I will give arguments towards proof of this presently.

Ever since Newton was struck on the head by an apple and it finally dawned on him that something was keeping him from floating away (1), science has been off on the wrong track. He noticed that the apple did not just fall, but actually accelerated as it dropped (2). This struck him as unusual so he set out to explain why it occurred. He came up with the idea that some outside force must be constantly pushing on the apple to get it to increase its speed as it fell. This outside force would act much as if an intelligence, such as a human, were to take a stationary apple and apply force to it with their hand. The longer the hand pushes the apple the faster the apple will travel (3).

They had to invent a reason for the speed increase they observed in a falling object so they gave gravity the property of strength reduction as distance increases. This means the closer you are to the source the more it pulls on you. Supposedly this force is so strong at 250,000 miles it keeps the moon from flying off into space. This shows incredible strength. Because gravity doesn’t just affect objects close to the ground but affects things hundreds of miles above the ground it will place stresses on your entire body. To avoid the problem of people’s skins being torn off them they had to come up with something that would affect every atom in an object evenly.

Rather than having faith in known properties, they (scientists) decided they needed to design invisible but all-powerful particles called gravitons to explain this phenomena. Apparently these particles rather than pull just at the part of you closest to the source affect every atom in your body (or other object) (4). Of course these obviously designed particles cannot be observed nor measured in any way. Its almost as if they don’t exist, which of course is my point, they don’t. There is absolutely no empirical evidence of either the particle or it effect.

Scientists again missed the obvious, something that was right in front of them all this time and was known and used at the time – electromagnetism.

Let me explain how this works.

Deep in the earth is a large ball of nickel and iron rotating in a sea of molten metal. Why this ball is not melted is a question we will not explore here because it has no bearing on our discussion. The heat to melt the metal comes from radioactivity deep within the earth. This rotating metal causes earth to have a huge magnetic field surrounding it large enough to extend to the Van Allen belt (5). I would explain how this occurs but I feel the math would be too difficult for the common reader to understand; suffice it to say that it occurs exactly as I’ve stated.

If you take a metal object, say a nail, and move it through a magnetic field, electricity will form within the object. Conversely if you send electricity through or around an object it will create a magnetic field. You can even use this property to create electricity in a non-moving object through a property called inductance. Take two wires, lay the side by side and send electricity through one of them. You can then measure the electricity produced in the other wire. (6)

We know that a magnet has two poles, a positive pole and a negative pole. There is a very strong attractive force between opposite poles of a magnet. Hold the opposite poles of two magnets together and you will observe this force in action. We also know that electricity creates charged ions that are positive if an electron is gained or negative if an electron is lost. These opposites also have an attraction for each other. To test this take a balloon and rub it on your hair, then place it on the ceiling of your home (7). The reason it sticks there is that you exchanged electrons with the balloon and the balloon became charged. The positive electrons in the balloon ‘stick’ to the negative electrons in the ceiling material.

By now you can see where I am going with this and have come to the same intuitive conclusion that I have, the two properties of electromagnetism, electricity and magnetism, are what is holding us to this earth. As we walk or move in any way, we build up either an electrical charge or a magnetic field in our bodies. These fields are then pulled toward the earth by its massive magnetic field and electrical charge. Since our feet move faster than the rest of us they build up the majority of the field so that we don’t need to have every portion of our body affected by the field. Just our feet stick. For those objects unable to move, the wind moves fast enough to cause inductance in those objects so they too are pulled to earth. Unlike gravitons this explanation is easily observed and measured, we know they exist. Gravitons are just suppositions and inventions of a group of hardheaded gravitationists (8).

You see there is no reason to invent scientific particles called gravitons to explain why we don’t just float away, we just need to have faith in our god given reasoning power and trust in the obvious explanation. Although the majority of people will find this explanation more satisfying than the scientist’s explanation and will agree with me, there will be some hard-core gravitationists who will try to deceptively prove me wrong. They will use underhanded tactics like facts, reason, and evidence. Stay strong in your faith that the obvious is the correct answer and don’t be swayed by evidence to the contrary. As in all things, the majority determines truth and since we are the majority we will win.

As always any donations to the cause can be made through my website. We must continue the fight.

(1) I guess some scientists need to be smacked on the head before they will see the obvious.
(2) He must have been able to tell by weighing the apple and measuring the size of the bump on his head
(3) This becomes clearer if we use an object much harder to push, such as a car. Assuming we are strong enough to push the car, as we push, the car will start out slowly and pick up speed until the speed matches the force of our push less the drag of the car (determined by the friction of wheels and bearings).
(4) This is of course why they had to be designed too small to be observed, if not everything would have tiny little holes in it, including us.
(5) A belt of radiation (high energy protons) the earth wears above the equator at about 4000 miles from sea level.
(6) You’ll notice electricity and magnetism can be measured, unlike gravitons.
(7) This is more dramatically demonstrated if you rub the balloon on a cat and then stick the cat on the ceiling. Don’t worry about it falling it will always land on its feet.
(8) Gravitationists are a small but vocal group of scientists that have made a religion out of gravity called gravitism. Because of their intense beliefs it is impossible to change their minds. Don’t even attempt it, in fact stay completely away from them lest they try to brain wash you into disbelieving our science.

How Evolution Supports Non-reproductive Members in Homo sapiens

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

It’s all about numbers.

Specific genes, and the traits that come with those genes spread through a population through an increased number of surviving offspring. Those genes which give an advantage to a specific individual, or group of related individuals, will eventually become distributed through the population becoming the rule rather than the exception.

Let’s create a little example. Because the selection processes have changed somewhat for Homo sapiens, becoming less obvious through our use of technology, we’ll use a pre-technological community.

Start with a population of 10 people, 5 males, 5 females who pair off into 5 sets of parents.

Let’s say the average survivability of offspring, that is the likelihood a child will grow into an adult capable of reproducing, is 50%, mostly due to circumstance and chance.

However, we have one pair who because both members have a specific gene, the survivability of their offspring is 80%. In the community, 40% of the members have the gene. It doesn’t matter for our little exercise what the gene does, it could make them immune to a common disease, it could give them better eyesight, or increased stamina, or something else. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s a recessive gene that increases the chances offspring will survive long enough to have offspring of their own.

In this community, the average number of offspring born is 5. Obviously some families will have more and some will have fewer but it simplifies the example if all families have the same number of children born.

We start with 40% of the initial 10 members of the population with the gene.

Family A (1 has gene) has 5 children, 3 live to reproductive age, 2 inherit the gene.

Family B has 5 children, 2 live to reproductive age, 0 inherit the gene.

Family C has 5 children, 3 live to reproductive age, 0 inherit the gene.

Family D (1 has gene)  has 5 children, 2 live to reproductive age, 1 inherits the gene.

Family F has 5 (2 have gene) children, 4 live to reproductive age, 3 inherit the gene.

We now have 14 reproductive age adults. Six of them have inherited the gene so we’re up to 43% of members with the gene.

From that we get seven families, two with both parents having the gene.

Family A (1 has gene) has 5 children, 3 live to reproductive age, 1 has the gene.

Family B has 5 children, 2 live to reproductive age, 0 have the gene.

Family C (1 has gene) has 5 children, 3 live to reproductive age, 2 have the gene.

Family D has 5 children, 2 live to reproductive age, 0 has the gene.

Family E has 5 children, 2 live to reproductive age, 0 has the gene.

Family F (2 have gene) has 5 children, 4 live to reproductive age, 3 have the gene.

Family G (2 have gene) has 5 children, 4 live to reproductive age, 3 have the gene.

We have 20 adults, 9 have the gene. We’re up to 45%.

It becomes pretty obvious that increasing the number of offspring with the gene reaching reproductive age will also give the gene itself a higher survivability.

If we change the benefit from the offspring themselves to the offspring’s support system – parents, grandparents, great grandparents – that increased survivability doesn’t change for either the offspring or the gene itself.

If the gene increases the productive years of parents so that they become grandparents, even though they themselves are past the age of reproduction, it will enable them to spend more time caring for the offspring, increasing the likelihood those offspring will reach reproductive age.

The very act of increasing the number of active care-givers will result in the gene remaining and increasing in the population.

Having a small percentage of non-reproducing adults who can contribute to offspring survivability may stabilize the percentage of a gene within a population assuming the non-reproductivity is related to the gene (or the developmental environment) and the benefit of the extra care outweighs the costs of having fewer members participating in reproduction.

This can also be applied to non-reproductive homosexual members. Homosexual members can still provide protection, food and support to their nephews and nieces carrying the gene, giving them a better chance of reaching adulthood.

The idea that homosexuality will result in a population dying out, or will result in the gene for homosexual preferences dying out is not based on how genetics works or on a larger scale how selection works.

That said, in the pre-technological population we’re using for the example, the percent of homosexuals in the community is self regulating because eventually the costs of having non-reproductive members will exceed the benefit of having extra care givers.

 

 

The Magic of Homeopathy

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Homeopathy, roughly stated, is an alternative to evidence based health care based on a couple of radical assumptions. The first being the idea that like cures like. This is the idea that treating a health condition identified by specific symptoms with a solution of water and a compound that produces similar symptoms will cure the original condition.

This not only views the symptoms as more important than the cause, it erroneously assumes that the compound will somehow cause the body to react to the original condition simply because the symptoms are similar.

The second assumption is that the potency of the solution is made more effective by using a specific series of preparatory steps. One of those steps is diluting the solution so that very little if any of the compound can be found in a typical dose. Hardly a reasonable assumption to make.

The process goes something like this – the solution is prepared as a specific ratio of water and compound. The preparation is then succussed, a process of shaking the solution by striking it up against another object. After this magical incantation like treatment is done, the solution is diluted one hundred times.  The entire process of succussion and dilution is repeated up to thirty times leaving a molecule or two, or none, of the original compound in each dose.

There is no physics that will explain how pure water containing one or two molecules of a compound is more potent than the compound at full strength. It’s ridiculous.

If what proponents for homeopathy say was true, manufacturers of spirits, liqueurs,  wines and beers would simply have to make a single batch, succuss it, then dilute it and we could all get drunk just by licking a bottle cap.

 

 

The Use of Observation in Science.

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

We’ve all heard it, the claim that evolution isn’t science because it isn’t observable. Of course this is just an extremely narrow and convenient definition of science used by members of the creationist community to assure them their belief system isn’t threatened. It’s pretty obvious from the context that this claim is saying that if the evolution of one kind (not species) into another isn’t directly observable it isn’t a scientific theory. The idea that phenomena have to be directly observable to be a part of science seems to be limited to only those sciences that are a threat to theistic worldviews.

Contrary to what creationists want us to believe, there are several different forms of observation available to us. I like to break scientific observation into three categories. Sensory observation where an event, state or object is directly observable by human senses. Measurable observation where the phenomenon is indirectly observable through the use of tools. Trace observation is the observation of changes in an distinct and separate event, state or object caused by the phenomenon we are investigating.

Creationists will frequently mention gravity as an event that is directly observable so it fits into their narrow definition of science. To them the observation proves the science of gravity. However what they are doing is conflating the observable event and the explanation for the event we get from science.

(more…)