Mar 17, 2010

Science City, more City than Science

Spring time, equals spring break and some time off work for myself and to spend time with the family. Our first adventure sends us to Union Station in KC MO, to the much advertised Science City. On Monday they offered a five dollar day, our fears of overcrowding were quickly dismissed and there was plenty of room at all the exhibits.We were able to take our time and see and do all the that there was to do, as well as take a snack break at the expensive candy shop next to the souvenir store, before closing.

Science city was great fun for our daughter, the water maze at the city park and the sewer pipe slide were the two favs, though she really did like arresting me at the crime lab! As most kids will, she ran from spot to spot, we as adults felt compelled to make her stop and read about the exhibits, as parents are wont to do.

This was more of a children's museum than an actual science museum and to our pleasant surprise we found many items from the defunct KCK children's museum in use here. Over all, the museum was heavy on the City and light on the science. Several of the exhibits didn't work and there were many maintenance issues. From what I understand, Union Station and Science City run in the red. This has allot to do with our communities not supporting our museums as well as they are supported in other major cities.

Keep your eyes open, the museum seams to be housing what can only be a ufo.

Mar 14, 2010

$40,000 Dollar Dowsing Rod

Just about everyone who follows mainstream news knows about the fake bomb detectors.

So there's not much more I can cover, but heres a quick over view what it is and what dowsing is.
Dowsing is the ubiquitous method of finding water under ground. You simply find a long Y shaped stick, hold it under some pressure and let the ideomotor effect take over. Dowsing rods come in all kinds of configurations. The now famous ADE-651 is a great example. These are being sold by a company out of Britain and the  BBC has a great story on it.

So what really is there to talk about? Often I am told that superstitious beliefs are harmless why don't I just let people have there beliefs and leave them alone. Or I'm just a crotchety old bastard that likes to argue. Well I'm not crotchety but I do like to debate certain subjects especially the intricacies of science. I also love to check up on the facts of a subject.

Not to long ago there was a email zipping around about the new coins and how thy were leaving of "In God We Trust". This fate was about the worse thing to happen to America ever "at no time in our history have we ever not been under the umbrella of God and removing this is going to end his all mighty protection" it went on and on. Well not being one to leave a false statement alone, I quickly wrote a quick history on the motto "In God We Trust" and included a jpeg of several bills with out the in question motto.
I also pointed out how the coin issue was merely a stamping error and if you had any of these coins to hang on to them they might be valuable. I then hit "reply all" since no one deletes all the headers on fwd emails this amounted to my Server showing their guide lines on spamming to me. I received many replies my favorite showing up on this sunshine with flowers and bunnies as the background and the words "GET A LIFE" in 24 point text.

Though this seams to be a long and twisted way to make my point, which is people want to believe in silly ass shit, even after being confronted with real evidence. Take for example the "birthers" who believe our President was not born in Hawaii (on that email I received a reply that money can get you anything). These silly beliefs set up a mental condition that allows normal rationally smart people to accept silly and now deadly beliefs in nothing more than a piece of plastic and an antenna. This has cost lives. Anti-vaxers cost lives. People do die from the flu, people do die from the measles and chickenpox, and now people do die from dowsing rods??????????????WTF

Mar 8, 2010

Cosmic Fingerprints #4

This was the worst one yet, I can't even begin to count all of the poor logic and errors, as this guy goes on I get more and more frustrated at the illogic of him and others like him.


    See this email I just sent you, that you're reading

right now?  This email is proof of the existence of God.

"And their off" how did we go from Big Bang to information theory?

   Yeah, I know, that sounds crazy.  
No, it sounds stupid.
But I'm not asking you to believe anything just yet, until you see the evidence for yourself.  All I ask is that you refrain from disbelieving while I show you my proof. 

That way, hopefully, you will suspend all critical and rational thought.
 It only takes a minute to convey, 

but it speaks to one of the most important questions of all 


   So how is this email proof of the existence of God?

  This email you're reading contains letters, words and
sentences.  It contains a message that means something.
As long as you can read English, you can understand what
I'm saying.

    You can do all kinds of things with this email.  You
can read it on your computer screen.  You can print it out on
your printer.  You can read it out loud to a friend who's in 
the same room as you are.  You can call your friend and read it 
to her over the telephone.  You can save it as a Microsoft 
WORD document.  You can forward it to someone via email, or you
can post it on a website.

    Regardless of how you copy it or where you send it,
the information remains the same.  My email contains a message.
It contains information in the form of language.  The message
is independent of the medium it is sent in.

    Messages are not matter, even though they can be carried 
by matter (like printing this email on a piece of paper).

Stop right there. With out matter there is no message, or as it should be stated information. The message is the interpretation of information. With out added energy the information cannot be transferred or copied. You cannot have any information with out either matter or energy.

For example we will use an iPod. It has only so much storage and when it is full you are unable to add more information. It takes Energy to transfer the information. The ipod uses electricity to convert the stored information into an audio format (sound). Then there has to be a medium for the vibrations to transfer through (the air). The music is then received by your audio sensors (your eardrums). Where it is converted into mechanical energy or kinetic energy. Which is then turned into electrochemical energy and is interpreted by our brains and stored as memory. This storage is first short term memory by activated neurons and then long term memory by growing physical connections between neurons.      
Now here is the key concept, at no point in the previous example did we not have a physical environment for our "message". Without the physical environment there is no "message" or information. With out neurons and the electrochemical energy, there is no thought process or simply with out the neurons that make up the brain there is no "mind". Messages are material they just feel immaterial.

    Messages are not energy even though they can be carried 
by energy (like the sound of my voice.)

    Messages are immaterial.  Information is itself a unique 
kind of entity.  It can be stored and transmitted and copied 
in many forms, but the meaning still stays the same.

Messages do not stay the same, try playing telephone with a large group. We give meaning to information that meaning feels transitory as if it is greater than it's parts. It can be the Gettysburg Address or something nefarious like orders to commit a crime. With out the physical the brain does nothing, creates nothing nor thinks any thoughts.

   Messages can be in English, French or Chinese.
Or Morse Code.  Or mating calls of birds.  Or the Internet.  
Or radio or television.  Or computer programs or architect
blueprints or stone carvings.  Every cell in your body
contains a message encoded in DNA, representing a complete 
plan for you.

There is no message in DNA, it is a very complicated molecule. We refer to DNA as having a meaning or a plan. Do bacteria think? They behave as if they do. Any extremely complex system can appear to have many anthropomorphic signs, this however is only an illusion. 

   OK, so what does this have to do with God?

   It's very simple.  Messages, languages, and coded
information ONLY come from a mind.  A mind that
agrees on an alphabet and a meaning of words and
sentences.  A mind that expresses both desire and

   Whether I use the simplest possible explanation,
such as the one I'm giving you here, or if we analyze
language with advanced mathematics and engineering 
communication theory, we can say this with total 

   "Messages, languages and coded information never,
   ever come from anything else besides a mind.
   No one has ever produced a single example of a message 
   that did not come from a mind."

   Nature can create fascinating patterns - snowflakes,
sand dunes, crystals, stalagmites and stalactites. Tornadoes 
and turbulence and cloud formations.

   But non-living things cannot create language. They
*cannot* create codes.  Rocks cannot think and they
cannot talk.  And they cannot create information.

Non-thinking processes produce information all the time. We just do not give them meaning as in a form of communication. 

  It is believed by some that life on planet earth arose 
accidentally from the "primordial soup," the early ocean which 
produced enzymes and eventually RNA, DNA, and primitive cells.

Yes this is the common Hypothesis, experiments have been conducted  and some show this may be the case. Other evidence shows that early Earth my have been seeded with organic compounds, of which organic compounds from outside of earth have recently been verified.

   But there is still a problem with this theory: It fails to 
answer the question,'Where did the information come from?'

The "information" came from the same processes that caused every thing else in our solar system.  The supernova that created our solar system and all the chain reactions since.

   DNA is not merely a molecule. Nor is it simply a "pattern."
Yes, it contains chemicals and proteins, but those chemicals 
are arranged to form an intricate language, in the exact same way 
that English and Chinese and HTML are languages.

No they aren't DNA is not a language it is a chemical process not a created code not a computer language. It is a chemical process.

   DNA has a four-letter alphabet, and structures very similar 
to words, sentences and paragraphs. With very precise 
instructions and systems that check for errors and correct them.

The key here is "similar" not "is". We use all kinds of analogies, but an analogy does not make a fact.

   To the person who says that life arose naturally, 
you need only ask: "Where did the information come from?
Show me just ONE example of a language that didn't come 
from a mind."

There are none. This does not make DNA a language just because you think it is. 

   As simple as this question is, I've personally presented it 
in public presentations and Internet discussion forums for 
more than four years.  I've addressed more than 100,000 people, 
including hostile, skeptical audiences who insist that 
life arose without the assistance of God.  

Just because you say a thing a 100,000 times does not make it true.

   But to a person, none of them have ever been able to 
explain where the information came from.  This riddle is 
"So simple any child can understand; so complex, no atheist 
can solve."

Your not willing to listen to the answers. At one point in time we did not know the Big Bang even occurred. Yet we looked and found it. We can't project back to the very smallest of time right after the Big Bang nor can we tell what caused it, yet that does not mean Odin, Thor, or Hera caused it nor any other god. Just because we don't know a thing does not mean we will never know a think. Poor logic and jumping to conclusions does not make it so. 

   You can hear or read the full presentation on this topic at

   Watch it on video:

   Matter and energy have to come from somewhere.  Everyone can 
agree on that.  But information has to come from somewhere, too!  

   Information is separate entity, fully on par with matter and 
energy.  And information can only come from a mind.  If books 
and poems and TV shows come from human intelligence, then all
living things inevitably came from a superintelligence.

Poor logic, information comes from the natural world all the time. We as humans collect it use it and derive meaning from it. We have used that "information" that has come from the world around us, from not "minds" to learn how are world works, really works. Things like Germ theory, to prevent disease. We learned to watch the weather so we would know when tornados, hurricanes and floods would come. All this information comes from "non-minds". Not a "superintelligence".

   Every word you hear, every sentence you speak, every
dog that barks, every song you sing, every email you read,
every packet of information that zings across the Internet, 
is proof of the existence of God.  Because information
and language always originate in a mind.

   In the beginning were words and language.

Wrong in the beginning there was nothing. 

   In the Beginning was Information.

   When we consider the mystery of life - where it came from 
and how this miracle is possible - do we not at the same time 
ask the question where it is going, and what its purpose is?

Respectfully Submitted,

Perry Marshall

Full presentation: "If you can read this, I can prove God exists":

Mar 3, 2010

Where the Evidence Leads; An Apology for Science and Reason

We, Marshal the host and producer of this podcast as well as the parent podcast Agnostic Salvation Hour, Loey another speaker on Agnostic Salvation Hour, Steve from the Skeptics Annotated Bible as well as humble me, just finished up the WEL podcast. Look for the  goodness on iTunes, the only place I know where to download it, in the next couple of days.