Displaying 8 Forum Posts 
  • Feb 16, 2014 01:27 PM
    Last: 8yr

    Ahhh modern history and stats. It's time to be parochial as an Aussie. In long past times Australia was great at individual events in swimming particularly the stroke we call freestyle. Australia was so dominant that it was commonly known as the 'Australian crawl'. Let's put some facts to the stats.

    Generally accepted is that skill levels increase where there is significant competition. Soccer in the UK and Europe and of course South America are good examples. Soccer is the dominant sport, populations are large. Kids are born and land on a soccer ball not a midwife's hands.

    The USA has a population around 317 million (wiki 15 Feb 2014). Australia has a population around 23.4 million (projected by the Australian Bureau of Census and Statistics). Now add quite a few aliens in the USA from Mexico. the USAs population is 13.54 times larger than Australia. Jamesn is correct in the atrocious state of Australia swimming, particularly men's swimming at the 2012 Olympics. Significant government funded post mortems indicated a Stilnox party attitude with less than dedicated training and even worse a disastrous team environment, individuals over teams was the mantra.

    You need to take into account the general problem in Australia is that while we like our sporting stars we tend to want to knock over the tall poppies who get to the top. Most of Australia's top sports people simply cannot live in the spotlight of Australian media. I thought that would have changed when we gave the USA their new star citizen, Rupert Murdoch of News infamy.

    Further, apart from endorsements, there is no money in Australian Olympic sports. There are scholarships to institutes of sport but not many university sports scholarships. In baseball and particularly basketball our top performers head to the USA for colleges. The sports institute scholarships are only slightly better than social security of the unemployed. In Australia you are far better chasing glory in Rugby (two codes), Australian football, cricket or soccer, heck even surfing.

    What we excel at is being the underdog. Against all odds we somehow succeed - I confess - at times. The Americas sailing cup was an example in 1983. Our primary sporting mission in life is to beat the UK/England. If you read our national anthem you'll get a glimpse of our relationship around 1900. As wonderful as it is to beat England it is pure nirvana to beat the USA at anything. Despite throwing money at athletes and wonderful training facilities the USA are beatable. Sure I'll be long gone before Australia beats the USA at baseball and maybe a little earlier at basketball but occasional wins last us a long time.

    Forum members this was meant tongue in cheek. I've got a cousin (USA born citizen) in LA who's probably more Aussie than I. We aren't outwardly nationalistic, we can show patriotism but it makes a lot of us uncomfortable - hence we tend to look at 'victories' more in the sense of individuals rather than team results.

    Keep posting guys, I'm loving this site.

  • Jan 25, 2014 03:31 PM
    Last: 2yr
    sorry folks I removed this as it related to a very early thread and would have been distractive and irrelevant given immediately previous posts. Delete X wouldn't remove it.
  • Aug 31, 2013 06:09 AM
    Last: 8yr

    I acknowledge that the strong challenges to your post are unsavoury.

    I remember the movie Contact from 1997 starring Jodi Foster, it has a similar theme. As to deceased persons coming back 'from the other side', It
    could be possible that with the massive jolts of electricity in the brain on resuscitation that deep memory could be triggered explaining this phenomena. However I doubt this.

    Personally those deep memory images I hold from earlier than say 4-5 years old may in fact be implanted by family stories or photos viewed somewhat later. I don't believe for one millisecond the new age religions teachings that we remember everything from the moment of conception/or birth.

    Sadly we can't use movies as gospel, pardon the pun. As to human frailty and the need to deal with death, then maybe the movie The Book Thief has the answer. The grim reaper says that worrying about death doesn't seem to make much difference to the outcome.

    Death isn't the problem for humans because that's a given. The problem for humans is the act of dying and the sense of loss we have for those departed. While the timing of my question would be inappropriate I'd dearly like to ask the extremely ill or advanced aged people if the act of dying really was an issue for them. My relatives who I have seen die have willing wanted to die and believed that they had outlived their life. They weren't in the least bit concerned about an afterlife and I don't think that the mortally ill feel any differently.

    If death with a heaven were a product, then it wouldn't be allowed on the market due to unsubstantiated claims on warranty.
  • Feb 11, 2014 08:20 PM
    Last: 8yr
    Tragically, Republican Sarah Palin believes that 'hit list' actually refers to the music charts. Oh but in Siberia, cause she saw them with her binoculars from Wasilla. So it must be so.
  • Feb 12, 2014 12:27 AM
    Last: 8yr
    Granted that names, titles etc are historic from an era when religions were supreme. To change these things is revisionist and besides what might be fashionable today mightn't suit next century. As to the actual day names, it depends what language you use. Eg Wednesday in German is Mittwoch which means mid-week. Saturday in Italian (well essentially Latin) means the sabath, sabato. I would guess in Japanese (where Christianity arrived late) their name days are based on their religion, presumably Shinto or god based.

    It is however interesting to ask what Atheists would change, because as quoted elsewhere "Organising atheists is a bit like herding cats". They are all so individual and don't work on group thought ie., they are not organised and by core belief they are (religiously) free thinkers.

    If change is the prompt from the opposite, meaning religion, then I would implement a social policy that children under the age of consent (wherever you live, 18 years here) cannot be taught religion. All children would be told that to not believe is okay for which there would be no punishment or ostracising.

    I'd also implement a task force to remove all reference and bias in legislation which favoured religion. I'd concurrently have the task force consider all new legislation to be tested against the "no religion component" test.

    Maybe for TV programs and advertising of religions I'd have a leadin and leadout statement very similar to the USA drug commercials which lists all the known side effects and while the faith element may appear pure, the religion element certainly is not.

    I'd implement legislation that made the head of each local religion absolutely responsible for wrong doings of abuse by staff under their control very similar to chain of command responsibilities in the military. Similarly there would be no exception to notifying the police of any suspicion or accusation of abuse by staff.

    I'd increase the level of service delivery as in charity/social security supports for the disadvantaged by having reputable religious organisations administer and deliver those services. The example would be the Salvation Army in predominantly Christian nations. Yes I acknowledge that the Salvation Army in Australia is currently before a Royal Commission into institutionalised abuse of children in the recent past.

    That's enough musing for the moment.
  • Feb 04, 2014 10:48 PM
    Last: 8yr
    I think it's truly wonderful and remarkable that a God can have such elasticity of existence and functionality so as to be able to be credited with everything, but only the good stuff.

    Didn't Ken Ham say that Genesis was to be taken literally that is 6 days was 6 X 24 hour days. How can it be with such a supreme being that streams of Christians can have different interpretations - when it suits them.

    As Ken Ham says, you weren't there, you don't know. So my point is that if this site is about debating science over creation exactly, and I mean precisely what are you claiming other than inexact statements of belief. As Bill Nye said, make a predication, please. That way the world can use science to proof your predication. Good atheists and agnostics, when your predication isn't proven will simply say, on this occasion the predication wasn't proven.

    As with other belief systems eg., new age spirituality, the idea is to make uncontestable (unmeasurable) predications and lots of them. That way the believers will kneel at the alter of the successful predications and swipe away the unproven/wrong as an aberration. Your elastic God in respect of time and timing fits that criteria.

    I tend to be very tolerant of religious people who practice their faith privately and in fact I do admire them. However with every fibre of my being will I resist the introduction of pseudo science or intellectual design into education. Science and faith (creationism) are inconsistent with each other, other than where they intersect in psychiatry.

    And I do recognise that I will never sway a religious believer's beliefs. But put succinctly, to debate such things requires the use of rationality and logic and these criteria do not exist in faith.

    Finally, the question that Ken Ham didn't answer. What would you do if your beliefs were found to be untrue ? Like all televangelists I would expect Ken Ham to simply say, I will personally promise the return of the millions of dollars that I have collected in the name of a non-existent God. And Bill Nye's (pun intended) evolution will be correct - pigs will grow wings and fly.

  • Feb 04, 2014 10:48 PM
    Last: 8yr
    jamesn Wrote: that guy I agree that ..."the outcome was never in doubt"...

    No one changed anyones mind, and that was never in doubt. All those on Nye's side think they won. All on Ham's side think they won.

    Just exactly like all the bandwidth that is wasted on this DemocraticHub stating their religious views. And the bandwidth that is wasted on this DemocraticHub stating that their religious views are wrong.

    No one changed their views because of this debate, just as no one changes their views because of the debates on this so-called political forum.

    People believe what they WANT to believe.

    My observation of the extreme right of religious groups, including Christians, is not so much what they WANT to believe but what they are TOLD to believe as in indoctrination. This 'teaching' starts at very early ages and is obvious, intentional and subliminal. Children wouldn't dare challenge their elders mostly because they don't have the developed intellect to debate, and I'm not saying they are unintelligent.

    The problem with the debate was on one side logical argument by Bill Nye versus deeply held faith by Ken Ham. I did notice that when Ken Ham got flustered looking for an answer he went to the self belief routine of saying that when one sees their god and the joy and warmth etc they will realise the existence of the only true God. The response seemed programmed not dissimilar to Tom Cruise' Scientology rants.

    In supporting the argument of science of creation, I admit to being an atheist. But the debate wasn't about anti-religion. If it were then what would be fair would be for atheist groups to enter each church, mosque, synagog on their holy day and stand in the congregation and challenge the religions beliefs. Sounds radical but no less radical than hearing the US GOP rant this unchallenged tripe on television daily or having people knock on my door almost daily selling their religion, because religion is an industry.

    I wonder if it is unconstitutional to have In God We Trust on the US currency ? Yep I'm a goddamned Aussie and from the home state/city of Ken Ham.
  • Feb 06, 2014 09:56 AM
    Last: 7yr
    I've just finished watching the debate of 5th Feb and while I confess to saying 'no' to the debate topic of "Is creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era ?" I would like to comment on Bill Nye's politeness in putting his arguments and rebuttal.

    Ken Ham's organisation challenges the validity of evolution through his statement : how do you know, you weren't there. This implies that evidence is only available at a point in time. I feel that Bill Nye stuck to the debate format and did not attack Ken Ham's proposition of creationism. Instead he tried to provide reasoned argument.

    The point of politeness did not allow Bill to reverse the claim to Ken Ham and contend that Ken Ham and his followers were not present at his claimed time of creation. His evidence is in fact a book which was not written at the time. Ken Ham has never seen the original Hebrew documents from which the Christians have produced the book of Genesis.

    I noted with some irony that Bill Nye several times challenged Ken Ham on the basis that his creationism view does not allow for predictions. While it was strange that Ken did not refute this contention with the argument that Christians believe God will again visit the earth which is a paramount prediction in the new testament of the Christian bible. I believe Ken did not want to pursue this line because the follow up question would be : Exactly When will your God revisit the earth.

    I believe that Bill would have wanted to pursue some other thought provoking options on science but steadfastly kept to elements of science that were either currently proven or open to challenge. Accordingly he couldn't allow the debate to grow into crystal ball gazing on possibilities. My contention in this argument is that humans possess a narrow view of time and space. If we accept that time is a measurement of : well time as we know it, then time does not have a beginning, nor does it have an end. Similarly we cannot conceive of infinite space because we have this view of a round ball of our known galaxies.

    To me the question of viability relates to our human ability to reason. If in any other walk of life, someone proposed a concept as faith based as religion but with elements that caused you to question, then you would at least have doubt or refute the contention. While the essential tenets of Christianity are about 'goodness', opponents of this religious faith are castigated for holding questioning views or being atheists or agnostics or in fact not sufficiently zealous.

    Bill's arguments were in support of the logic of viability of evolution over creation, but I have heard it expressed differently, quite recently.

    While it is true that there are many religions with contradictory belief systems covering creation. All of these religions therefore cannot be true.
    However mathematics tells us that they can all be false.

    Ken Ham's issue is that he must maintain an unquestioning faith in his book of Genesis. To doubt any element, doubts all the elements.

    My problem with Ken's supporting arguments is that he uses the book of Genesis to demand that the events of the book of Genesis is correct.

    Interestingly enough Ken Ham graduated from the University of Queensland in my home city of Brisbane. I hold this institution in exceptionally high regard but I would suggest that Ken might have been better and earlier served in studying Theology rather than science.