Apr 02 2012

Are Evolution and Creationism Compatible?

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142 responses so far

142 Responses to “Are Evolution and Creationism Compatible?”

  1. SARAon 02 Apr 2012 at 11:43 am

    A great summary to the issue. I’ve bookmarked it.

  2. Enzoon 02 Apr 2012 at 11:48 am

    I guess it comes down to the innate resistance we all have to accepting new discoveries, but it must be at least in part due to the precedence set by religious establishments. The former is probably why religion never did accept the progress of science quickly, though. It’s very reassuring to “know everything.”

    I wonder if anyone has studied what would happen if a religious institution started preaching that good science should be accepted and is compatible with faith. Would most people accept that or would everyone just branch off into new religious positions? I wonder if anyone kept track of the number of accepting Catholics when Pope John Paul II announced evolution was compatible, for example. This would be really interesting, as it gets at religious devotion vs. innate resistance to new ideas.

  3. vanderleunon 02 Apr 2012 at 12:44 pm

    “The pseudoscientific denial of science is not compatible with science.”

    Or, as Saint Augustine might have said in the 5th century, “That which is of the City of God is of the City of God. That which is outside of the City of God is outside of the City of God.”

  4. mufion 02 Apr 2012 at 1:27 pm

    If they are framed and acknowledged as personal choices of faith, without making any scientific claims or using dubious logic, then they can be compatible with evolution in that they are completely separate. This is not really creationism any more, but is closer to a deist position.

    …or a kind of liberal or unorthodox theism; e.g. a theology that assumes a low- (as opposed to non-) interventionist deity and allows for the occasional miracle.

    That’s still not falsifiable, of course, but then (in my experience) plenty of theists know darn well the difference between science and faith.

  5. locutusbrgon 02 Apr 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Are evolution and creationism incompatible, as framed here… yes. Some of the text here give me the impression that religious belief is incompatible with science. To be clear the god of the gaps argument is not valid logical argument. By giving the impression that only true Deists can really compartmentalize religious belief and science limits skepticism. I have no problem with complete compartmentalization between science and religion. This is difficult argument for me, I often struggle with the aesthetic qualities of science, and the beauty of physics and biology. I can perceive why skeptical people have strong religious beliefs. More truly a philosophical debate. I find science as the only way to understand the natural world. I oppose any religious barriers to this. Your argument is compelling but I guess I feel that skeptics keep dragging the shallow pool of like minded people. We fail to make other aspects of humanity feel welcomed. We tire of nonsense using skeptical acceptance as a wedge to lever their superstitions into science. I have no love of any superstition I respect Steve and his position. It is easy to see that, if I can take pause with this blog post, believers will have a big problems. Maybe ones teetering on the the edge of skepticism. I often poorly articulate this problem to this and other blog sites so I will keep it simple. If we want more people on board we need to find a way to stay true to principle but draw more people in.

  6. Kawarthajonon 02 Apr 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I don’t understand the creationist’s distinction between evolution and micro evolution or, as the Creation Museum puts it, the difference between “natural selection” and “evolution”. Can anyone shed any light on the distinction?

  7. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Note however that you have no trouble making the anti-creationist argument here on the internet “school,” but by law you aren’t allowed to make it in most public and tax supported schools. Therefor allowing for the proliferation of home schooling, where creationism at its worst is taught, and evolution in any proper sense may not be taught at all. Winning the battle here and there but in many areas of the country, losing the war.

  8. SimonWon 02 Apr 2012 at 2:04 pm

    “the Big Bang was some sort of quantum singularity containing all of the energy of the universe”

    Lawrence Krauss keeps appearing everywhere, podcasts, videos, books, TV and telling me the net energy of the Universe is probably zero. Theoretical physicists always seem to hope it is zero since it makes it a lot easier to make out of nothing. I see the problem, if there was no matter what do you call the “stuff” that was there in the early Universe, maybe “all the radiation and space the Universe consisted of”.

    I suspect the gap into which God is being inserted is larger than Krauss appreciates, but it doesn’t stop it being the same fallacy to insert things into the gap without evidence

  9. 2_wordson 02 Apr 2012 at 2:37 pm

    The problem, as it seems to me, of those attempting to manipulate the legal system to create more like themselves, is that fundamentalism and faith-based claims come at cost to the best adaptive strategy we have. The scientific method is the cumulative adaption of our species and seemingly the best tool for understanding the world and our place in it. For that idea to survive it has to create a future with itself in it. And if there is a competing idea that cannot win on the playing field of ideas (which it can’t because the evidence for one can be repeated, tested, so on and the other is equivalent to stories your grandfather told you), then it is in the interest of the story tellers to crush the other idea by any means necessary. One way to create more minds that think your stories are the right ones is to destroy the ability of a mind to asses what is factual and what is anecdote. In the world they want, whatever they say is fact because they are the only guides.

    To me it seems foolish to trust a guide that cannot accept evidence or reason as correct or true. How can they assist in the creation of a world with you in it, when they do not acknowledge the evidence the world provides?

  10. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 3:49 pm

    So you would, perhaps, present a picture of a scientifically dead minded universe to destroy any notion that it evolved intelligently in any way at all. Should that strategy be extended to our universities as well?

  11. 2_wordson 02 Apr 2012 at 4:38 pm

    All systems attempt to create a universe in which it survives. If truth is proven false, if it fails to represent the optimal course of action, adaptation, strategy it will go extinct, cease to exist, this extends to species, thought, idea, institution, person, whatever. The process selects and we select ourselves to perpetuate ourselves, to survive.

    The ideas we discuss exist in the same wilderness as everything else, they are trying to survive. Some provide benefit to the host, some parasite the host, they are in the same prisoners dilemma as everything else.

    Isn’t that what you, cwfong, have been trying to do? To get the particular truth as you see it, to survive? Aren’t you trying to ensure the replication and survival of the idea of a living intelligent universe anticipating a world in which it exists, at cost to other incompatible ideas? Aren’t you hoping, trusting that the idea will provide you, us benefit and not just be a cul-de-sac that will be all cost and no gain.

    Maybe you are right, maybe not. I’ll be interested to find out.

  12. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 4:55 pm

    @2_words,

    I’m not advocating destruction of competing ideas by any means necessary.

    And ideas are not trying to survive in some memetic fashion. Our predictive faculties are trying to survive by improving the accuracy of their always tentative predictions.
    I don’t know, or pretend to, that my ideas are true. My hope is to find the extent to which they aren’t.

  13. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 4:57 pm

    @Dr. Novella,
    “There was no void into which the universe expanded – space itself expanded. I could also add that both matter and anti-matter emerged from the Big Bang (just like matter and anti-matter virtual particles emerge from the quantum foam), and for some reason there was a tiny excess residue of matter. That left over matter residue is our universe.”

    Space expanded into what, if not endless space? Something does not come from nothing, nor does it replace nothing. As to anti-matter emerging from the big bang and then virtually disappearing, what’s your point? Left over matter residue of what?

    That quoted paragraph, if intended as a counter to the magically created universe theories, seems even more explanatorily magical.

  14. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 5:22 pm

    And note that you can teach, for example, the scientific philosophy of Whitehead as philosophy in some high schools, but not teach that same philosophy of science in their science classes.
    Hiding the most backward areas of creationist argument from elementary and high school students by hiding the more progressive counter arguments of ours?
    Prohibiting yourself, for example, from presenting gods as the early civilizations’ logical explanation for what seemed to be at the time an intelligently operated universe.
    And which, a la Whitehead and others, seems a more scientifically logical possibility at present, but with no gods needed.

  15. 2_wordson 02 Apr 2012 at 5:40 pm

    What your predictive faculties have been informed by is competing strategies, behaviors, and ideas.

    You, we all of us are in the process of determining if those ideas, behaviors, and ideas replicate or do not. If they did not do so, they would not exist, they at base offer seeming benefit, we enact them and find out, and then readjust the model. We use them to anticipate the world, they use us to exist. We are theirs and they are ours. As, I see it, it is no different than the selective process an environment enacts on a species or individual. We here and now are in the process of determining if they and us survive. As it has always ever been. We never left the wild, we just created one out of ourselves.

    Would you want an evidence based attempt to select fit ideas or unfit, or would you prefer if grandpas stories about how a flood washed everything away to be the bases for improving the accuracy of always tentative predictions?

    One side does consider the deconstruction of competing ideas as a good, they usually burn books. They place those that dissent or discover under house arrest. The other creates the internet in which the ideas can interact without their hosts engaging in the more “natural” selective process of which idea is true and which is dead.

  16. BillyJoe7on 02 Apr 2012 at 5:44 pm

    “If we want more people on board we need to find a way to stay true to principle but draw more people in.”

    It can’t work though. The enemy of science is religion. Everyone opposed to science is opposed to it from a religious perspective. Science has practically destroyed religion for anyone with an reasoned, logical, unbiased, evidence-based approach to the question. There really is only deism left, and put up your hand anyone who’s a deist. And, of course, deism is an unnecessary hypothesis.

    In other words, if you genuinely want people on board, you have to do it the hard – and honest – way. Tell them the truth. There really is no other way.

  17. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Do teachers discuss religion in Australian schools? I’m told that it’s not illegal, but I could be wrong. In any case Australians have elected an atheist as head of their government, and we have never had an admitted atheist as president – and none running now. Even Obama seems to be much more than nominally religious.
    Who in Australia has decided what’s true and untrue in the educational curricula? Chances are they haven’t been dumb enough to try, and are more likely interested in the competitive values of their arguments. Not perfect but much better than a system that produces an ever growing body of fundamentalists.

  18. 2_wordson 02 Apr 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Wherever we are going we have to get there together and we do not win when we beat ourselves.

    If there is any lesson anywhere, it is intelligent cooperation for mutual benefit is a benefit, a truth of our existence. As it is what survives most.

    How to make, help that happen. I have no idea.

    Anyway. Carry on. I see old tiffs re-brewing.

  19. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Intelligent cooperation involves an honestly played game between sets of competitive values.

  20. 2_wordson 02 Apr 2012 at 6:54 pm

    The only game around is survive or not, exist or not. Idea, culture, species, person, the host can only carry so many parasites before it expires. The more untrue ideas we carry the stronger we are as a species, maybe, since we if we can survive still, despite of them we create for ourselves a world full of maybe useless replicating variation. If all this arguing isn’t about survival what are you doing here?

    Besides, there never was an honest game, just better skilled at cheating and not getting caught or at winning because of luck.

    The question is as always is the idea a benefit, is it true? Does it survive our selective process of is there evidence, or is it a parasite, a cost without benefit, a castle in the sky made of clouds that benefits the teller of stories at cost to the listener?

    Of course this is opinion of a professional amateur, and my ideas are only trying to replicate themselves, feels right though, maybe it is not.

  21. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 7:07 pm

    The problem with the advocacy of the value of untrue ideas is that all ideas are to some extent untrue.
    And all our ideas are in service of their value as predictors of survivable consequences. And our honest games are those that recognize acceptable dishonesty in their rules.
    Here in the US we have a legal system that determines the survivor through a lying contest, but the rules require the liars not to get caught at it. That’s our version of an honest contest. The version that decides who gets to teach what, unfortunately.

  22. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 7:43 pm

    @2_words,
    “Besides, there never was an honest game, just better skilled at cheating and not getting caught or at winning because of luck.”

    That’s an interesting insight that few people have caught on to. But then you should not ask if the idea is true to establish its benefits. Better to ask which idea more reliably suits its purposes.

  23. 2_wordson 02 Apr 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Some ideas are in service of an institution that is itself self-interested at cost to the individual. They use us to be vectors at cost, as they do not need the vector to benefit actually, only seemingly. It only needs a successful carrier and to not destroy entirely its host.

    If something infects your eyes but makes you feel good, you still go blind. The scientific method is the way humanity sees. If we do not find a way to cooperate and create a system educates in the process that separates nonsense from sense, we’ll walk right off a cliff and not even know it.

  24. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 8:01 pm

    How do you do that if you’re looking for an admittedly unattainable truth rather than looking for the most logically reliable?

  25. 2_wordson 02 Apr 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Whats the difference? They both can’t, seemingly be entirely got.

  26. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 8:13 pm

    The difference is in what you might realistically expect to find.

  27. 2_wordson 02 Apr 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Would you maybe realistically, truly, logically reasonable expect anything to find something you didn’t know or already think was there? As the expectation informs the product, it is difficult to remove the assumption and the bias, for the useful data from the noise or deception. But then when there is evidence there is a correspondence that is not seen else where. We are surprised by new information because each little bit combines into a whole framework that when brought to bare onto the environment seemingly causal change occurs. Something that we did not know could be done is done, what we didn’t think was possible to know we can describe. It was just unnamed phenomena which may or may not be a threat, before we were able to determine otherwise. Is that predator or prey, parasite or host, it names them best, or you can pray that they choose to leave you and yours alone. The individual or institution responsible for discovery benefits with continued survival. Nothing else does that. Everything else is built on exploitation of the other, the institution becomes a parasite and a slave holder. But by understanding our natural world by following the evidence we build a tool. The animal and environment selected for the tool users and it itself is the biggest hammer to crack the biggest fruit containing seeds.

    One side says we were chosen, or completely random(chosen by luck) and the other says we create, chose and selected ourselves, whatever than means. The only one that matters is the one that continues to discover new tools, and new information that will create a world in which we can exist. One says here’s a hammer get to work and the other says just pray, this isn’t real anyway.

  28. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 9:31 pm

    The side that says we design ourselves based on the luck that gives variety to experiences, with augmented results of our responsive use of more or less intelligent trial and error strategies, was missing from your selection of available sides.

  29. cwfongon 02 Apr 2012 at 9:37 pm

    “Would you maybe realistically, truly, logically reasonable expect anything to find something you didn’t know or already think was there?”
    Yes, that’s exactly why we need to look for it.

  30. 2_wordson 02 Apr 2012 at 9:46 pm

    At a point I realize it does not matter what we are named, what catalog of describe phenomena we want to label as ourselves. But to communicate there has to be distance and context as language is only relaying itself. The problem is if you name yourself as your own source, then what is being described and what is describing itself. What is choosing to chose itself?

    Doesn’t matter if we ever get it, if the most accurate label doesn’t help us survive. Fun though.

  31. NewRonon 03 Apr 2012 at 12:59 am

    As an Australian – with an elected atheist Prime Minister – I know many teachers (my colleagues) who work in religious schools and teach science. Some of these teachers are religious (a few even catholic priests). All of them would be aghast and would probably refuse if they were asked to teach anything else but evolution as it is described in the scientific literature. Is it possible that a difficulty in the US is that those in the forefront of advocating the bleeding obvious – the teaching of scientifically established evolution – are seen as also advocating an atheist or anti-theist agenda? I know it is necessary to counter the creationists who unashamedly push a fundamentalist religious view; but you might be falling into their trap of having to fight on two fronts simultaneously and thus present an easy target. Unlike our PM, your President holds religious beliefs (at least that’s what we are given to understand), I would be very surprised if he held a creationist position. Why cannot leaders like him be enlisted to the cause of teaching of evolution? Could it be that by doing so he could be portrayed as aligning himself with atheism?

  32. cwfongon 03 Apr 2012 at 3:18 am

    It’s not teaching evolution that’s controversial here, it’s teaching the “version” that Creationists believe in as an alternative “science.” And it’s the present inability of teachers to then critique Creationism as non-science, since they’d then be seen as criticizing a religion. Which you can’t do in State schools because you can’t legally teach or unteach religion – except mention it in other than science classes as having philosophical and historical importance. Separation of church and state, establishment clause of our Federal constitution, and all that.
    Yet Obama has not attempted to advise States in this matter, and can’t legally prevent the States from proposing laws devised to get around these proscriptions by, in one sly way or another, letting some aspect of creationism be taught as a form of science while at the same time not be criticized as religious pseudoscience.
    That’s my take as the simple version of what has become a very complicated problem here.

  33. eiskrystalon 03 Apr 2012 at 3:51 am

    I don’t understand the creationist’s distinction between evolution and micro evolution or, as the Creation Museum puts it, the difference between “natural selection” and “evolution”. Can anyone shed any light on the distinction?

    They cannot deny “micro-evolution” because you can see it. They would have to deny major features of gardening and dog breeding then. However they haven’t “seen” evolution over millions of years and all the masses of evidence can be waved away without too much thought.

    They are merely putting their foot down as soon as possible and refusing to lose ground. It has nothing to do with them “seeing” a distinction.

  34. sonicon 03 Apr 2012 at 10:24 am

    The god in the gaps argument is a really bad one.
    I don’t like anything in the gaps. Or maybe I’m too willing to consider what sorts of things might go in those gaps… ;-)

    If science is defined as ‘natural explanations’ and god is defined as ‘supernatural’- then god can’t be a scientific explanation by definition. That’s not so hard to grasp.

    What does any of this have to do with the evidences for ‘common descent’?

    Karwanthan- eiskrystal-
    here is a discussion of micro and macro evolution presented by the university of berkeley.
    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evoscales_01
    It seems you might have been misinformed on this subject.

  35. Calli Arcaleon 03 Apr 2012 at 4:59 pm

    The idea of God having created the universe and, by extension or by deliberate intervention, us, is not falsifiable. It inherently *must* be compatible with evolution — evolution is an observed fact, therefore any idea of divine creation must either be compatible with it or be instantly falsified.

    Creationism, however, is not merely the idea of God having created the universe. The term has come to have a much more limited meaning, and it generally refers to a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis. (Some interpretations are more strictly literal than others; Young Earth Creationism further specifies that the Universe is only a few thousand years old.) In general, Creationism (capital C) is not compatible with evolution — in fact, it is generally *specifically* in opposition to it. There is a wishy-washy sense of compatibility in Intelligent Design, a relatively new variant of Creationism which attempts to concede that evolution happens, but that it’s all directed by God and cannot happen spontaneously. This is only compatible with evolution (that is, the observed facts) if one doesn’t really take the time to learn much about evolution, or deliberately blinds oneself to the awkward bits. The distinction between “micro” and “macro” evolution is another wishy-washy attempt to somehow synchretize the two that really only seems to work if you don’t take the time to examine evolution very closely.

    In short, evolution and Creationism are not compatible. But evolution and Christianity definitely are, or at least there is no reason they cannot be. Not because of a “god of the gaps” sort of argument, but because they are completely different things. People who get hung up about the literal language of Genesis are, in my point, totally missing the point of Christianity.

  36. eiskrystalon 04 Apr 2012 at 4:20 am

    Hi Sonic,

    Macroevolution is basically seen as a collection of microevolutions. But the mechanism doesn’t change. The creationists I have talked to treat the two as if they have separate mechanisms… or that you need some “extra” ingredient to go from micro to macro. But they seem unable to explain what this thing is or why this extra thing is needed. It seems to be simply that the change between two species is so large they “just can’t believe it”.

    I hope this helps better explain my comment.

  37. eiskrystalon 04 Apr 2012 at 4:22 am

    It’s argument from incredulity!

    I knew the damn thing had a name.

  38. sonicon 04 Apr 2012 at 12:12 pm

    eiskrystal-
    And I would say that your argument is reasonable.
    The principle is good. The theory is logical.
    But nature isn’t always logical or based on what we might think of as ‘good’ principles.

    You could read a current science journal to find that speciation is not well understood– that is nobody knows how it occurs in fact. The apparent observed instances of speciation involve polyploidy– but that doesn’t seem to be a complete answer. In fact-polploidy isn’t gradual or the result of ‘microevolution’.

    It seems we are just a repeatable experimental demonstration away from confirmation. There are a number of on going experiments.
    I don’t know how they will turn out.

    BTW– Some would say that atheism is merely ‘personal incredulity’ run amok. I wouldn’t say that– but incredulity is a double edged sword.
    I would say that. ;-)

    Calli Arcale-
    Per your definitions I would not be a creationist. I don’t know genesis or the bible and wouldn’t argue they are correct literally or otherwise (except I think there are passages that are insightful about the human condition. Again– I don’t know the bible…)
    It does seem that the term ‘evolution’ has many meanings and one must be careful to be sure what one is agreeing to when he says ‘evolution is a fact.’
    Everyone knows that change happens. If evolution is defined as a change of alleles over time– well that’s true by definition as well.
    If one says that life forms have changed over time– that is observable true as well (a fact)
    But to say all life forms came from one single common ancestor– that’s not a fact in the same sense (or in any sense of the word fact as defined in any dictionary I can find).

    Perhaps a bit of special pleading is involved.

  39. Calli Arcaleon 04 Apr 2012 at 4:26 pm

    sonic,

    I am using the word “evolution” in the sense of the origin of species, not the origin of life altogether. That can include a common ancestor or not. All evidence I see at this point suggests a common ancestor — we are all far too alike. We share 99% of our DNA with chimps — but we share the vast majority of our DNA with cabbages as well, and the fundamental machinery of our cells is the same as that in all mitochondria-harboring protists. We even have a lot in common with bacteria. I find it far more unlikely that these particular solutions to basic problems (how to encode proteins, for instance) would have arisen in identical ways by chance than that we all descend from a common ancestor. Is DNA really so superior that no life has ever arisen (or survived after arising) that uses a different strategy for encoding information and manufacturing proteins, and that all separate abiogenesis events happened to use the same strategy? Why are all life forms so similar (and yes, at the base level, we are very similar indeed) if we are not all related?

    Of course, there is something disquieting in descent from a common ancestor of all life — it may suggest that life perhaps only arose once even on our hospitable blue marble. That would put a damper on hopes for finding extraterrestrial life. (Of course, that is part of why the search for extraterrestrial life is so important; finding life that is not related to us would help answer a lot of questions, or at least move us closer to the answers.)

  40. cwfongon 04 Apr 2012 at 6:41 pm

    sonic, before you argue for other possible ancestors of present life forms, you will need to define life.
    Or imagine the nature of that life that is so different from ours at present that you may only know it when you see it, and when you do, will know to call it life. Even better, for example, know when one of the rocks in your garden was or was not a fossil form of some alien life.
    So I ask you now, define life. Then assess the possibilities of finding what, in case we’ve found it, that we haven’t recognized as other life.

  41. Leonard H. Martinon 04 Apr 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Creationism isn’t Christianity. This is a very important distinction and one I think we, as Skeptics, need to help drive home because a huge number of believers think we’re waging a war against God in the name of Science.

    We’re not, of course, but reason often yields very little against a militant opposition. Instead, I think we need to win “hearts and minds”. I think we need to tackle Creationism at its anti-Christian core. We need to point out that the message of Christ has very little to do with the book of Genesis and a lot more to do with the book of Luke. There is no indication in the New Testament, whatsoever, that in order to enter God’s kingdom we have to preach that dinosaurs are the devils tricks, that we have to propagate idiocy for no good reason. The real message is: believe in Christ and you will be saved.

    Like I said originally, Creationists aren’t Christians. We need to help those right-minded Christians to stop Creationists from hi-jacking their faith.

  42. sonicon 05 Apr 2012 at 3:48 am

    calli arcale-
    We don’t share 99% of our DNA with chimps.

    http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/biology/franz/biology38/_files/1836.pdf
    “Relative differences: The Myth of 1%”

    The truth is that the similarity maybe as low as 70%.
    Would it matter?

  43. eiskrystalon 05 Apr 2012 at 4:37 am

    You could read a current science journal to find that speciation is not well understood– that is nobody knows how it occurs in fact.

    You get speciation whenever a set of scientists agree that a subgroup of a population have enough of a difference to the main population to make them a new species.

    BTW– Some would say that atheism is merely ‘personal incredulity’ run amok. I wouldn’t say that– but incredulity is a double edged sword.
    I would say that. ;-)

    I should not be expected to follow someone elses belief when it has not been properly defined. Or been defined in such a way as to be a logically inconsistent with itself and the known world.

    :)

  44. BillyJoe7on 05 Apr 2012 at 7:07 am

    “You could read a current science journal to find that speciation is not well understood– that is nobody knows how it occurs in fact. ”

    Which current science journal?

  45. 2_wordson 05 Apr 2012 at 10:45 am

    Whatever Christians believe is Christianity, is Christianity, right-minded or not. It is as it has always been. And some feel creationism is inseparable from salvation.

  46. steve12on 05 Apr 2012 at 1:01 pm

    “The truth is that the similarity maybe as low as 70%.”

    How did you get this from that article? Read the last paragraph…

    And that article is (as all findings in biology are) strong, strong support for common descent. Among the strongest that can be found.

    Common descent is as reliable a theory as any that exist, including gravity. I think that this is what the scientific community should be reinforcing, as has been done here: solid as gravity.

  47. Watcheron 05 Apr 2012 at 1:05 pm

    And yet they disregard other passages of the old testament, saying that Jesus’ coming invalidated the rules and regulations, the strictures, of the progenitor religion that guided one to God’s side in the afterlife. So why pick and choose?

    While I don’t necessarily agree with Leonard fully; that we should use the bible to convince christians that there’s no problem between christianity and evolution (or science). I do think this instance is a powerful teaching moment to start driving home how unreasonable and irrational christianity is.

  48. sonicon 05 Apr 2012 at 1:15 pm

    BillyJoe7
    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Macroevolution
    isn’t a scientific journal- but it is a good summary of the questions/ problems.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/19/10460.full
    states–
    “Speciation rates among extant lineages of organisms vary extensively, but our understanding of the causes of this variation and, therefore, the processes of speciation is still remarkably incomplete”

    If you need more examples– look for yourself- they aren’t that hard to find.

    eiskrystal-
    You mean like trusting what people say about how species change when they can’t define the word species?

    Ouch — that sword has a double edge… ;-)

  49. Mlemaon 05 Apr 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Why don’t we teach evolution as theory – showing all the overwhelming evidence – and talking about the elements we’re still working to understand (as they are debated even here)? And teach intelligent design as theory also – and then take classroom time to show how one is actually testable theory, whereas the other hypothesizes an “intelligence” that directs evolution – and isn’t testable, and doesn’t assist us to learn more about how life changes and adapts. This would be a wonderful opportunity to address the intelligence design question and clarify why it isn’t scientific. If young people hear evolution taught as fact, and then hear about intelligent design in their Christian coffee shop, how will they intelligently compare the two without the guidance of an educated teacher?

    No need to bring up God – just an opportunity to teach about how science works in addition to what science teaches (evolution).

    As far as the formation of the universe – fuhgetabout it!

    No matter how or when or even if it started (as opposed to having always existed in some form or another), the question is: how is it that existence – as it is – exists, or is sustained, as it is – if it could possibly exist in some other different way – or – in no way at all (that is, fail to exist, or cease to exist)?
    This is a question that science can’t answer.

  50. Mlemaon 05 Apr 2012 at 1:20 pm

    cwfong,

    I think it’s death that defines life. If anything can die, then that thing is alive. If Krauss want to say a star can die, then that star must be alive. On the other hand, if everything is merely transforming, then there is no death, and life and death are both misconceptions.

  51. cwfongon 05 Apr 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Miema, dying, however, is not the end of life. Life on this planet is virtually immortal, having existed here for approx. 4 billion years. But then, so for example has water, which is also a compound with many optional reactions to nature’s forces. Yet it’s not close to what we’d call life.
    The point being before you dispute the evidence of common descent, you should have an idea of what it is that’s supposed to have descended with that commonality of essences that make it determinately alive.

    Also as to teaching the differences between evolution and intelligent design, it you leave off the part about an immaculate creator, you’d still have to teach the difference between the adaptive mutation theories and the stochastic adaption versions. The antipathy between the proponents there is arguably greater than it is between the godly and godless.

  52. eiskrystalon 05 Apr 2012 at 3:48 pm

    You mean like trusting what people say about how species change when they can’t define the word species?

    The scientist can show his working and his logic…

    Also the fact that they have trouble defining the edges of where a species begins and ends shows the very thing I mentioned originally. That macro change is just lots of micro changes until they add up to something WE can notice. It then gets significance because WE noticed it.

  53. rootsmusicon 05 Apr 2012 at 6:04 pm

    @ NewRon

    “Unlike our PM, your President holds religious beliefs (at least that’s what we are given to understand), I would be very surprised if he held a creationist position. Why cannot leaders like him be enlisted to the cause of teaching of evolution? Could it be that by doing so he could be portrayed as aligning himself with atheism?”

    Thinking back to the campaigning of four years ago, I recall feeling that there was a really strong current of fundamentalist christian backlash to the events of 911, not to mention a strongly theocratic support group behind SP. Obama’s long association with Rev. Wright came under fire with charges of Wright being racist. After watching some videos of Wright, I saw that race was a fervent topic, but didn’t think so in a bigoted way. Rather, what he was really ranting about was literacy and ignorance. I felt somewhat disappointed by Obama’s move to distance himself from Wright. But, I could see that he didn’t need the controversy and it was important not declare himself an outright athiest if he wanted to win the election. He maintained a strong science advocacy throughout his campaign but kept it focused on energy and technology and away from evolution. He didn’t say much about mars or manned space exploration either. I think if he took an outspoken theme against this kind of creationist legislation it might take his opponent by surprise and send him stepping on his tie to address the issue in the upcoming debates. It would be fun to watch.

  54. BillyJoe7on 06 Apr 2012 at 6:22 am

    sonic,

    I did not actually need a reference.
    What I meant was “you’ve got to be kidding!”.

    Species are like life stages: you can’t put your finger on when exactly you passed from adolescence into adulthood but, at some time in the past, you were an adolescent and now you are an adult.
    Similarly speciation events are invisible when they happen, but it is clear from multiple lines of evidence that where there was once one species, later there were two species; and the change comes about by successive small “microevolutionary” changes.

  55. BillyJoe7on 06 Apr 2012 at 6:27 am

    Mldema,

    “No need to bring up God – just an opportunity to teach about how science works in addition to what science teaches (evolution).”

    Evolutionists probably would not have brought it up if it wasn’t already brought up by creationists.
    In other words, it’s a defensive move by the evolutionists against misinformation by creationists.

  56. sonicon 09 Apr 2012 at 2:05 pm

    eiskrystal-
    I can agree with your point to a point… :-)
    But nobody doubts that an elephant can’t mate with a pecan tree.
    Different species.
    And I bet they notice it too.

    BillyJoe7-
    I am not kidding. You should read some of the literature published recently.
    For example- one of my favorites–
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/845x02v03g3t7002/
    “We trace the history of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, and of genetic Darwinism generally, with a view to showing why, even in its current versions, it can no longer serve as a general framework for evolutionary theory. The main reason is empirical….”

    BTW–
    I asked for a definition of the word ‘fact’ from a dictionary that would make the statement ‘common descent is a fact’ true.
    Can anyone supply that definition please?

    Mlema-
    I think we agree here– stress the factual evidence– let the interpretation follow.
    It seems we get caught up in doing it the other way around…
    I believe this is called ‘motivated reasoning’- but you tell me if that’s right.

  57. cwfongon 09 Apr 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Except that sonic has been unable to define life (other than perhaps the dictionary definition, which essentially tells us that life is the ability to live, etc).

  58. BillyJoe7on 09 Apr 2012 at 4:05 pm

    sonic,

    “For example- one of my favorites–
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/845x02v03g3t7002/

    That’s the difference between you and me. I like to find out what the consensus is amongst experts in the field. You like to reference the minority who disagree. It just gives you a distorted picture.

    “I asked for a definition of the word ‘fact’ from a dictionary that would make the statement ‘common descent is a fact’ true.”

    I thought we were talking science, which is why I gave you the definition as used be scientists. For scientists, a fact is something with so much evidence attesting to it that is taken to be true for all intents and purposes. As such, a fact in science can be refuted given extraordinary evidence against it. Common descent is in that category. In other words, you will need a whole lot more than some reference in some science mag some where.

  59. cwfongon 09 Apr 2012 at 4:13 pm

    sonic, if BJ7 knows more about science than scientists such as olsonjs444, then he certainly knows more about science than you do.

  60. cwfongon 09 Apr 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Although that citation behind the pay wall is more about organisms conceived as self-organizing systems embedded in self-organizing ecological systems than it is about common descent.
    And according to BJ7, since it’s not taken by scientists to be true for all intents and purposes, fuggedaboutit (translation, don’t even think about it)..

  61. BillyJoe7on 09 Apr 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I think about minority and fringe views all the time.
    But I think you need to remember that they are just minority and fringe views and, as such, they need to be seen in the perspective of the consenus view of experts in the field.

  62. cwfongon 09 Apr 2012 at 6:18 pm

    You mean you think negatively about minority and fringe views, right?

    By the way, here is the fringe view about Einstein’s special relativity that you disputed:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity

  63. BillyJoe7on 10 Apr 2012 at 12:15 am

    You can’t “think negatively” about something you “don’t even think about”. ;)

  64. cwfongon 10 Apr 2012 at 12:32 am

    That’s obvious. But I wasn’t talking about special relativity.

  65. BillyJoe7on 10 Apr 2012 at 7:46 am

    So why did you say so – the bits in quotation marks are yours!

  66. cwfongon 10 Apr 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Because you are negative about everything you know you don’t know, and positive about everything you think you know but don’t. Did you read and understand that Wikipedia article on special relativity?
    Of course. And you had the whole thing backwards, didn’t you?
    Isn’t it a fact that you’re a science groupie who knows almost nothing about the actual science? That when you don’t know that you don’t know something, you simply screw it up?
    And when you DO know you DON’T know something, you fake it and completely bungle it?

  67. BillyJoe7on 10 Apr 2012 at 5:21 pm

    And your style is not to show someone where you think they have gone wrong, but to simply link to an article that is supposed to – but almost never does – show that they are wrong. It usually turns out that you have misread either what that person has said or what the article says.

    If you want me to respond, simply show me where what I said is different from what the article says.
    You won’t do that for fear of being found to be wrong. I, on the other hand, have no such fear because I have long recognised that being found to be wrong means that you have learnt something new. You should try it sometime.

  68. cwfongon 10 Apr 2012 at 6:06 pm

    What a faker and liar you are, BillyJoe7. I always make my position clear and back it up with reputable papers and sites. You never back up any of your nutty comments with a reputable source.

    Anyone who wants to know how seriously ignorant you actually are should follow this series at
    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/tennessees-anti-evolution-bill/ :

    olsonjs444on 05 Apr 2012 at 9:58 am

    BillyJoe7on 07 Apr 2012 at 7:09 pm

    cwfongon 07 Apr 2012 at 10:32 pm

    BillyJoe7on 07 Apr 2012 at 10:58 pm

    cwfongon 08 Apr 2012 at 12:23 am
    What then do you think Einstein was demonstrating with that sort of example?

    BillyJoe7on 08 Apr 2012 at 1:03 am 
Equations in physics must deal with invariant quantities. 
Newton had ‘time’ and ‘space’ in his equations.
But Einstein showed that ‘time’ and ‘space’ are relative and, therefore, that Newton’s equations are incorrect.
Einstein was looking for something that was invariant.
He found that spacetime fits the bill.
As speed increases, time dilates and space contracts, but space-time remains constant.
But I am interested in olsons response to my question:
“But what is your actual point? That the theory of relativity supports young earth creationism?”

  69. BillyJoe7on 11 Apr 2012 at 12:21 am

    BillyJoe to cwrong: “simply show me where what I said is different from what the article says.”

    Typical no response from cwrong.

  70. cwfongon 11 Apr 2012 at 12:59 am

    Nothing you said is in the article, that’s the point. This is not an argument in any case, it’s a demonstration for others of your ignorance. But if you want to demonstrate in turn that your statement somehow meant the same as something somewhere in the article, be my guest.

  71. BillyJoe7on 11 Apr 2012 at 6:30 am

    I haven’t read the article, and I don’t intend reading it unless and until you offer some connection between that article and what I said. I will continue to stand by what I said unless and until you demonstrate, in your own words, that what I said was false. Simply declaring it false is not sufficient.

    You would like nothing better than for me go to all the time and trouble of reading, dissecting, and summarising the article, and demonstrating how it does not conflict with what I said, so that you can simply come back with a dismissive one liner. Been there, done that. I’m not falling for that one again.

  72. cwfongon 11 Apr 2012 at 1:14 pm

    “I haven’t read the article, and I don’t intend reading it unless and until you offer some connection between that article and what I said.”
    The Wikipedia article is about Einstein’s theory of special relativity. There was no connection between that article and what you said.

    But if you like, as an example, I’ll repeat one thing you said in particular that wasn’t in there: Olsen had written that:

    “In addition, there is no longer any controversy about the age of the Earth.”
    “Summarizing, Einstein’s theory of general relativity links matter and time. It turns out that time progresses more slowly near a massive object. Furthermore, it can be demonstrated (using math & physics alone) that one billion years and one day represent the same period of time — it only depends on one’s inertial frame of reference.”

    You replied:
    “I think you meant the same “distance” in spacetime.
    what is your actual point? That the theory of relativity supports young earth creationism?”

    And then you said:
    “One billion years and one day DO NOT represent the same period of time (because, clearly, one billion years is 365 billion times longer than one day).”

    Nothing like that is (or logically could be) in Wikipedia’s article. (Nor is it in the SEP article on relativity, etc.)
    And so you’ve completely misunderstood what Einstein had demonstrated.

    But of course you haven’t read any of these articles. You don’t understand them. You just know in your gut what they must mean. From high school.

  73. BillyJoe7on 11 Apr 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Yet you still haven’t demonstrated that what I said is incorrect, just stated boldly that it is incorrect.

    The following statement….

    “One billion years and one day DO NOT represent the same period of time (because, clearly, one billion years is 365 billion times longer than one day). What IS objectively the same is the “distance” in spacetime between the two events on either side of those two subjective time frames.”

    ….is a correct statement.

    I challenge you to show, in your own words, that it is incorrect.
    I am confident that you can’t do it.
    So friggin’ well put up or shut up.

  74. cwfongon 11 Apr 2012 at 7:56 pm

    It’s incorrect because Olsen’s statement was correct, and his explanation is the standard one used by all physicists that I know of. As I tried to explain in my own words earlier (cwfong on 07 Apr 2012 at 10:32 pm), and was directly rebuffed by yourself.
    I used to think that there was no area of science that couldn’t be substantially explained to the average laymen. But I’ve learned that there are people such as yourself, that simply lack the capacity to understand the abstractions that science deals with at its higher levels. And in your case apparently at every level where scientific methodology is concerned.
    So start swearing now as is your usual custom at this point.

  75. BillyJoe7on 12 Apr 2012 at 12:20 am

    Another non answer.

  76. BillyJoe7on 12 Apr 2012 at 12:22 am

    I actually scanned your article just now and guess what?
    It supports my statement…

    “One billion years and one day DO NOT represent the same period of time (because, clearly, one billion years is 365 billion times longer than one day). What IS objectively the same is the “distance” in spacetime between the two events on either side of those two subjective time frames.”

    Here is the relevant quote from your referenced link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity

    “This theory has a wide range of consequences which have been experimentally verified, including counter-intuitive ones such as length contraction, time dilation and relativity of simultaneity, contradicting the classical notion that the duration of the time interval between two events is equal for all observers. (On the other hand, it introduces the space-time interval, which is invariant.)”

    Perhaps you are so badly versed on special relativity, and so badly deficient if comprehensive skills that you don’t even realise that your referenced article supports my statement.
    But then this is not the first time!
    Deja vu.

  77. cwfongon 12 Apr 2012 at 1:31 am

    “Contradicting the classical notion that the duration of the time interval between the two events is equal for all observers.”
    Do you know what contradicting means? It means the article takes the exact opposite position from the one you seem to think it does.
    Proving beyond a doubt that, try as you might, cut and paste as you might, you can’t grasp the simplest of abstractions.
    Deja vu all over again.

    Makes me wonder even then how you think a working scientist such as Olsen doesn’t know the difference between one billion days and one. So assuming that he does, why would he write what he wrote and believe it has some scientific value? Don’t you even suspect when you shoot off your mouth that the situation may just not be that simple, and you are shooting blindly from the hip? No of course you don’t.

  78. cwfongon 12 Apr 2012 at 3:55 am

    BillyJoe7, I think you need to read these articles.

    http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-concrete-and-abstract-thinking/

    http://www.projectlearnet.org/tutorials/concrete_vs_abstract_thinking.html

  79. BillyJoe7on 12 Apr 2012 at 6:38 am

    I’ll have to make it realyl simple for you:

    “One billion years and one day DO NOT represent the same period of time” = “Contradicting the classical notion that the duration of the time interval between the two events is equal for all observers.”

    Again you have comprehensively failed to comprehend the most simple of statements.
    Incredible!

    And to round it off:

    “What IS objectively the same is the “distance” in spacetime between the two events on either side of those two subjective time frames.” = “On the other hand, it introduces the space-time interval, which is invariant.”

    You really have no idea do you?

  80. cwfongon 12 Apr 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Something from nothing. Bye bye.

  81. cwfongon 12 Apr 2012 at 1:57 pm

    For those other than BJ7:
    The classical notion is that the duration of the time interval between the two theoretical traveling events is equal for all theoretical observers. Einstein’s theory shows that it isn’t equal. One observer, traveling slowly, would theoretically feel that one billion years has passed, and his watch would confirm this, while the other, traveling much faster, would theoretically feel, and his watch would confirm, that it has only been one day. Yet the measurable distance each one had traveled during these theoretical intervals has remained the same for each.
    An argument that this is wrong since one billion years is not equal to one day is completely pointless. In this theoretical situation (which in actuality was not designed to happen) they are simply measurements of travel times for the same distance at radically different speeds.

  82. cwfongon 12 Apr 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I’ve left the actual trajectory out of the above, but that’s the point.

  83. cwfongon 12 Apr 2012 at 2:26 pm

    The problem I’m having in trying to simplify this is in the paradox that the speed of light remains the same regardless of the speed of two observers traveling toward or away from each other. No-one to my knowledge has ever been able to explain why this is not in defiance of all our logic.

  84. cwfongon 12 Apr 2012 at 3:37 pm

    To put this back in it’s proper perspective, here’s the comment that started this hooraw:

    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/tennessees-anti-evolution-bill/

    olsonjs444on 05 Apr 2012 at 9:58 am

    “The Big Bang theory suggests that all matter originally expanded outward from a singularity at approximately the speed of light. This means that if we could ride on a proton zipping out into space at nearly the speed of light, our clock would tick very slowly compared to the clock of someone standing at the (now relatively mass-less) singularity; the “stationary” observer would record one billion years, while the traveler recorded only one day. Meanwhile, Einstein’s special theory of relativity demonstrates that our traveler would look back at the singularity point and conclude one billion years had passed, because all time is relative to the inertial frame of reference of the observer. The traveler’s perception of the passage of time would be influenced by the great mass associated with high speed travel.”

    That wasn’t the same experimental situation that Einstein has used, but it’s analogous. BillyJoe7 then objected to the whole scenario as follows: “One billion years and one day DO NOT represent the same period of time (because, clearly, one billion years is 365 billion times longer than one day).”

    Completely pointless, irrelevant to the argument, and wrong. He thinks only at the concrete level and can’t grasp the abstractive nature of the inference. We see this over and over in virtually every one of his comments. It’s frustrating, but when you realize that it’s likely an incurable condition, it has to be accepted and put up with; as he’ll keep commenting in that fashion regardless, just as he has done here.
    And I’ll keep trying to undo the damage, although this is not the best forum for success there.

  85. BillyJoe7on 12 Apr 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Digging in deeper, cwrong?

    It’s as clear as this…

    olsonjs said that a million years and one day represent the same time interval. I know what he meant to say but what he actually said was wrong. Clearly – and I’ll repeat it till it sinks in to your thick skull – one million years is 365 million times longer than one day. What he meant to say was that the distance in spacetime between the two events separated by these two time intervals is the same. Spacetime is made up of time and space, and while space contracts, time dilates leaving spacetime constant (invariant).

    End of lesson.

  86. BillyJoe7on 12 Apr 2012 at 5:33 pm

    cwrong: “The classical notion is that the duration of the time interval between the two theoretical traveling events is equal for all theoretical observers. Einstein’s theory shows that it isn’t equal. One observer, traveling slowly, would theoretically feel that one billion years has passed, and his watch would confirm this, while the other, traveling much faster, would theoretically feel, and his watch would confirm, that it has only been one day.”

    Travelling slowly? Travelling much faster? :D
    Do you even understand the word “relative”?

    cwrong: “Yet the measurable distance each one had traveled during these theoretical intervals has remained the same for each.”

    There is not even wrong, it’s just nonsense.
    What measureable distance?
    Measured by whom?
    Do you even know what is meant by “space contraction”, “time dilation” and “relative”?

    Get this through your thick skull:
    Spacetime is invariant, space and time are not. Period.

  87. cwfongon 12 Apr 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve done research in the past that relates to the various levels of abstract reasoning abilities in humans, as well as such levels in a number of other species – even strains of bacteria solve problems at different levels of complexity. And in a sense, even the concrete reasoning of humans is abstractive, with ‘concrete’ representing our lowest level of dealing with our day to day complexity. The standards are necessarily arbitrary but so are all our standards when it comes to intelligence.
    I should have recognized by now that BillyJoe7 has to operate at that lowest human level, but I didn’t. He left all the clues, but I admittedly missed them.
    What I’ve learned however is that those on the lower rungs of the intelligence hierarchy mask their competitive deficiencies by fakery. His fakery has always been easy to spot, but the reasons that such fakery had become necessary were less obvious. The stubbornness in maintaining that fakery has recently reached such extremes that the mental problem behind that strategy is now obvious.
    People that can’t think as well abstractly don’t necessarily know that they can’t, since may not know in general what abstraction is or feels like. So they think instead that those who claim and appear to be thinking at a higher level have somehow learned to fake it.
    In BJ7′s case, he makes the excuse that he didn’t go past highschool, so the learning that it takes to fake it wasn’t afforded to him. So he’s taught himself to fake such abilities competitively in return.
    As a consequence, he can’t debate intelligently and cooperatively on any matter of complexity above the concrete level. He hasn’t learned how to, and his abilities have offered him no incentive to do so. He’s told himself that everything presented as unusually complex is to some extent a lie, and any argument in dispute of such contentions will be essentially a liars contest. Which he has convinced himself he’s good at, because he has no other options.

  88. cwfongon 12 Apr 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Note that he doesn’t understand the difference between feeling that you’re traveling slowly and actually doing so because the speed of light remains constant no matter how fast or slow you travel either toward it or away from it. And he always gets mad, swears, racially denigrates your name, etc., when he’s trying to win the unwinnable.

  89. cwfongon 12 Apr 2012 at 6:14 pm

    “Spacetime is invariant, space and time are not. Period.”

    If that were true, I’ve surely, in the interim, missed it.

    “What measureable distance?
    Measured by whom?”

    Whoever or whatever is involved in the thought experiment, I presume. Although using actual measurement to falsify a thought experiment on a cosmological scale can be a bit impractical.

  90. cwfongon 12 Apr 2012 at 7:01 pm

    By the way if Olsen didn’t mean to say that a million years and one day represent the same time interval, I wonder why one of the observer’s watches was 365 million years ahead of the other at the end, when they’d been set at the same time at the beginning..

  91. BillyJoe7on 13 Apr 2012 at 12:26 am

    cwrong: “If that were true [that Spacetime is invariant, space and time are not], I’ve surely, in the interim, missed it. ”

    It is true. And you haven’t missed it. It is basic. Which means you just haven’t understood special relativity. The very fact that the speed of light is constant means that something else has to give. Einstein hyothesised that it was space and time that had to give. He was correct. Space contracts. Time dilates. Mathematically he domonstrated that something that he called spactime is invariant. This is also correct.

    cwrong: “Whoever or whatever is involved in the thought experiment”

    You have no idea why your sentence (Yet the measurable distance each one had traveled during these theoretical intervals has remained the same for each) is nonsense do you? You try to explain relativity without using the word “relative” and you don’t even realise that you’ve missed the point of Relativity.

    cwrong: “By the way if Olsen didn’t mean to say that a million years and one day represent the same time interval, I wonder why one of the observer’s watches was 365 million years ahead of the other at the end, when they’d been set at the same time at the beginning..”

    Because time is…wait for it….relative!
    He meant that the spacetime interval is the same.
    (But I see he is a climate denialist so I’m not so sure)

    cwrong: “Note that he doesn’t understand the difference between feeling that you’re traveling slowly and actually doing so”

    Not even wrong.

  92. cwfongon 13 Apr 2012 at 1:24 am

    It’s not spacetime, it’s the spacetime interval that’s invariant. (“Interim” was a hint, but BJ7 missed it.)

    The very fact that the speed of light is constant means that something else has to give? I’d ask if he was kidding, but he’s just faking that one very badly. (Can’t get much goofier than that – or can he?)

    If one uses the term relative when it’s not relative, I’d call that nonsense.

    He has no idea why the watches were so different when he claims the time interval was the same. Another instance when just using’ relative’ as an answer doesn’t cut it.

    But now he’s trying to hedge his bet by claiming Olsen may have meant what I said he meant, in which case he has evidence he’s likely a bad scientist.

    And now he says there is no difference between feeling that you’re traveling slowly and actually doing so.
    Not in his goofy thought experiments anyway.

  93. BillyJoe7on 13 Apr 2012 at 7:48 am

    Digging himself in deeper…

    cwrong: “It’s not spacetime, it’s the spacetime interval that’s invariant.”

    You really don’t have a clue do you?
    How could spacetime intervals be invariant but spacetime not invariant.
    Even logic fails you!

    The lesson continues…

    Spacetime is invariant.
    And spacetime intervals are invariant.

    You just need to realise that the spacetime interval we are talking about is the spacetime interval between two events. The spacetime interval between two events is agreed on by all observers no matter their relative speeds. They certainly do not agree on the interval in time or the distance in space between these two events. Time and space are not invariant.
    And we all travel through spacetime at the same rate.

    In other words….
    Spacetime is invariant.
    And spactime intervals are invariant.

    End of lesson.

  94. BillyJoe7on 13 Apr 2012 at 8:12 am

    BillyJoe: “The very fact that the speed of light is constant means that something else has to give”
    cwrong: “I’d ask if he was kidding”

    No kidding.
    The only way for the speed of light to be invariant is for time and space to NOT be invariant.
    This was Einstein’s big insight.

    cwrong; “He has no idea why the watches were so different when he claims the time interval was the same.”

    Liar.
    Quote me where I said the time intervals are the same.
    I have consistently stated the the time intervals are not the same for all observers (invariant).
    Here is your scenario in the language of Relativity…
    A and B are moving apart. Relative to A, the watch travelling with B is running slower that his own. And relative to B, the watch travelling with A is running slower that his own. Relative to C from whom A and B are moving at the same speed in opposite directions, the watches of A and B run at the same rate.

    “Olsen may have meant what I said he meant, in which case he has evidence he’s likely a bad scientist.”

    He is a climate denialist.
    Enough said.

    “And now he says there is no difference between feeling that you’re traveling slowly and actually doing so”

    I didn’t say there was no difference, I said your statement makes no sense.
    What on Earth do you mean by “feeling you’re travelling slowly”?
    How do you “feel” that you are travelling slowly?
    That makes no sense.
    And what do you mean by actually travelling slowly?
    For a start, motion is relative, so travelling slowly relative to what?

  95. cwfongon 13 Apr 2012 at 1:10 pm

    “Liar. Quote me where I said the time intervals are the same.”
    “Because time is…wait for it….relative! He meant that the spacetime interval is the same.”

    Technically, I drew an inference that his argument in one place would be consistent with his argument in another. But admittedly I should have known better.

    “How could spacetime intervals be invariant but spacetime not invariant.” Because, for one, of the variance in the number of the intervals to be measured?

    “And we all travel through spacetime at the same rate.” Nope.

    And then he proceeds to mix up one thought experiment with the other. Hopeless. I suppose when BJ7 travels slowly according to (i.e., relative to) the time shown on his watch, he re-calibrates his watch so he can get there faster.

    “The only way for the speed of light to be invariant is for time and space to NOT be invariant.
    This was Einstein’s big insight.”
    Yet BJ7 just said spacetime WAS invariant. Gee, I don’t think he knows what spacetime even means.

    Check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

  96. BillyJoe7on 13 Apr 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Lesson 1:

    BillyJoe: “Quote me where I said the time intervals are the same”
    cwrong: “Because time is…wait for it….relative! He meant that the spacetime interval is the same.”

    Have you ever seen a greater example of a failure of comprehension?
    Slowly now point by point:

    Time is relative.
    Okay?
    Spacetime is invariant.
    Right?

    Now please tell me you know the difference between “time” and “spacetime”.
    And please tell me you know the difference between “relative” and “invariant”.

  97. BillyJoe7on 13 Apr 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Lesson 2:

    BillyJoe: “And we all travel through spacetime at the same rate.”
    Cwrong: “Nope.”

    Yes it is.
    Motion is relative, therefore we can each regard ourselves as being at rest. The spacetime equations tell us at the rate at which we are travel through spacetime. This will be the same for all of us. It has to be because our situations are equivalent. And if we each measure the rate of movement of others through spacetime we will find that, although part of their motion is through time and part of their motion is through space, their rate of movement through spacetime is the same as our own. Our own rate of movement through spacetime is of course taken up entirely as motion through time.

  98. BillyJoe7on 13 Apr 2012 at 5:34 pm

    lesson 3:

    BillyJoe: “The only way for the speed of light to be invariant is for time and space to NOT be invariant.
    This was Einstein’s big insight.”
    Cwrong: “Yet BJ7 just said spacetime WAS invariant. Gee, I don’t think he knows what spacetime even means.”

    Slowly now point by point:

    Space is relative.
    Okay?
    Spacetime is invariant.
    Right?

    Now please tell me you know the difference between “space” and “spacetime”.
    And please tell me you know the difference between “relative” and “invariant”.

  99. cwfongon 13 Apr 2012 at 5:39 pm

    “Time is relative” is a meaningless phrase. It’s concrete thinking that incorrectly gives physicality to its utility, when in reality time is nothing except our word for the measurement of sequential change.

    If one thinks that relative is somehow the opposite of invariant, they’re again attempting to think in concrete terms that don’t apply to the abstractions involved with these concepts.
    Spacetime is really the combination of space and time, and as such it cannot be invariant.

  100. BillyJoe7on 13 Apr 2012 at 5:39 pm

    cwrong: “I suppose when BJ7 travels slowly according to (i.e., relative to) the time shown on his watch”

    How much misunderstanding is it possible to compress into one short sentence?
    The mind boggles.
    Travelling slowly has no meaning in special relativity.
    Travelling slowly relative to the time shown on your watch has no meaning in any context.

  101. cwfongon 13 Apr 2012 at 6:08 pm

    The concrete thinking mind is inherently boggled. Special relativity taken literally seems to equate to special invariability, whatever the hell that would be.

  102. cwfongon 13 Apr 2012 at 8:04 pm

    “Travelling slowly relative to the time shown on your watch has no meaning in any context.”

    Even concrete thinkers should have reasonable expectations. If it’s taking you a year to drive to Alice Springs, I expect that even without a watch to advise you, you’d feel the going was a bit on the slow side.

    Of course we don’t know what the expectations were in the thought experiment, where the observer would, by your reckoning, be surprised he had seemed to live a billion years, not to mention being on the road that long with a watch he must have never looked at on the way.

  103. cwfongon 13 Apr 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I won’t respond further to what seems to be the racist mangling of name, however.

  104. BillyJoe7on 14 Apr 2012 at 1:34 am

    cwfong: ““Time is relative” is a meaningless phrase. ”

    Tell that to Einstein.
    And to the precession of the perihelion of Mars which helped confirmed Einstein’s theory.

    cwfong: “It’s concrete thinking that incorrectly gives physicality to its utility, when in reality time is nothing except our word for the measurement of sequential change.”

    The definition of time as “the measurement of sequential change” is not an argument against the relativity of time. It’s called changing the argument and it’s a logical fallacy.

    cwfong: “If one thinks that relative is somehow the opposite of invariant…”

    Depends on how you define “opposite”.
    Certainly something that is invariant cannot be relative, and something that is relative cannot be invariant.
    And, of course, I didn’t at any stage use the word “opposite”

    cwfong: “Spacetime is really the combination of space and time, and as such it cannot be invariant.”

    Spacetime is invariant. Period.
    Einstein discovered that space and time are relative. For his equations he needed an invariant quantity. He found it. That invariant quantity he called spacetime. Period.

    cwfong: “Special relativity taken literally seems to equate to special invariability, whatever the hell that would be.’

    Just gobbledegook.

    And with your next to last post you are deliberating not making sense in order, I suspect, to try to cover for the fact that your previous nonsense was not intended, or perhaps to sound as obtuse as possible in order to preclude any argument.

    You are ignorant on this subject and you know it.
    It was a surprise for you, wasn’t it, that I actually do understand special relativity. Admit it, no one could write what I wrote above about special relativity and not understand it. I have written clearly and concisely.

    You gambled that I was ignorant on the subject and you lost.
    If you were any sort of decent human being you would acknowledge that and apologise.

    cwfong: “I won’t respond further to what seems to be the racist mangling of name, however.”

    You’ve played the racist card before, and t’s as dishonest now as it was then.
    You do your race no credit by hiding your ignorance behind it.
    My friend Andrew Leung (yes!) would be embarrassed.

  105. cwfongon 14 Apr 2012 at 3:31 am

    Everything you’ve said is wrong. There’s no gamble there. You are incurably ignorant and have no idea how far off you are. The surprising thing is you can’t even understand the simplest Wikipedia articles on the subject. As to racism, you claim you have a chinese friend so you’re not racist? That’s what they all say. In any case I don’t care what you are, but I don’t talk to people who make fun of my name when they can’t come up with an intelligent argument.

    Einstein never said time is relative; that’s meaningless, and cannot represent his theory. But if he had, he could not have also held that spacetime is an invariant quality (which of course he didn’t). Unless relativity never varies, and if so, you have a dead universe.

    And then you certainly won’t have the thought experiment where, as Olsen pointed out: “Furthermore, it can be demonstrated (using math & physics alone) that one billion years and one day represent the same period of time — it only depends on one’s inertial frame of reference.”
    You keep denying that this could be true in any context. You are flat out wrong and this is the key to all your misconceptions as to what special relativity involves.

    Spacetime is not an invariant quality. Or clearly you don’t know what invariant means. Read the material I referred you to, and get a tutor. Maybe the Chinese guy – legend is they’re smarter than the average outbacker.

    Look, it’s not my fault that you can’t think at an abstract level, or draw proper inferences from inductive logic. These deficiencies are common to people in the autistic spectrum – is that perhaps your problem?
    They’re also common results of brain damage, as the articles I asked you to read had indicated. I have no way of knowing whether any of these alternatives apply. But clearly you have a screw loose somewhere, or you’d just let this thing ride. Which of course means I also have a screw loose for trying to set you straight at all.
    Keep on insulting me, however, and I’ll return the favor.

  106. BillyJoe7on 14 Apr 2012 at 4:10 am

    “As to racism, you claim you have a chinese friend so you’re not racist? ”

    I made no such claim. Everyone is a racist. It is natural to fear what is different. The trick is to overcome this tendency. I was bought up in a multicultural society and in my group of five friends at secondary school there was an immigrant from Poland, Italy, China, and Holland, as well as a native Australian, so I have had an easier time than most accepting all races. In fact, I am an immigrant myself.
    So please do not play the racist card with me.

  107. cwfongon 14 Apr 2012 at 4:29 am

    Don’t make racially tainted insults and there won’t be a card game. You’re an immigrant, yet born in Australia? What a laugh. All Australians were immigrants except the Abos, and look how you’ve treated them.

  108. BillyJoe7on 14 Apr 2012 at 4:50 am

    “Furthermore, it can be demonstrated (using math & physics alone) that one billion years and one day represent the same period of time — it only depends on one’s inertial frame of reference.”

    I was simply pointing out that “same time period” is an inaccurate and clumsy way of putting it.
    They clearly cannot “represent the same time period”.
    They cannot even REPRESENT any time period because they ARE time periods.
    And they are vastly different time periods by a factor of 365 billion!
    They can, however, represent the same distance in spacetime.
    The reason is that spacetime is made up of time and space. And, when time dilates, space contracts and therefore the spacetime equation which is stated in terms of both time and space can be the same. And, in Einstein’s contruction, it is the same. He specifically coinstructed it that way – to be invariant.

    “The surprising thing is you can’t even understand the simplest Wikipedia articles on the subject.”

    Nobody can understand special relativity form wikipedia articles.
    My information is from books on the subject that patiently start with the basics and slowly and gradually work up from there. And from discussion with actual physicists on internet blogs and forums who have assured me that my layman’s knowledge of the subject is accurate.

    “Einstein never said time is relative”

    Yes he did. Maxwell’s equations implied that the speed of light was the same (invariant) for all observers. Einstein realised that for the speed of light to be invariant, space and time had to be relative. It was a weird idea – space contraction and time dilation – but the equations worked and numerous experiments have attested to its veracity. It is the reason muons can go 40 times around particle accelerators before they die rather than only 3 times as calculated using newton’s equations

    “…he could not have also held that spacetime is an invariant quality”

    Yes he did. He wrote the equation.

    “Unless relativity never varies, and if so, you have a dead universe. ”

    This sentence makes no sense.
    You have stuffed something up in your understanding of special relativity. I don’t know what it is, but statements like the above demonstrate that you have a serious misunderstanding of the subject. And your pigheadedness is probably going to mean that you are never going to correct this misunderstanding.

    “Spacetime is not an invariant quality. Or clearly you don’t know what invariant means.”

    Invariant means the same for all observers.
    The speed of light is invariant.
    Spacetime is invariant – the same for all observers; all observers will agree on the spacetime interval between two events; the spacetime interval between two events is the same in all frames of reference.

  109. BillyJoe7on 14 Apr 2012 at 4:53 am

    “Don’t make racially tainted insults”

    Calling you wrong is a racially tainted insult?
    It’s simply an accurate statement.

    “You’re an immigrant, yet born in Australia? ”

    Where have I ever stated that I was born in Australia.
    I’m a naturalised Australian, and I regard myself as an Australian, but I was not born here.

  110. cwfongon 14 Apr 2012 at 6:05 am

    “The reason is that spacetime is made up of time and space.” No it isn’t. Time is not a physical property.

    “Invariant means the same for all observers.” No it doesn’t. You have missed the point entirely

    Read this from http://www.astro.umd.edu/~miller/teaching/astr498/lecture02.pdf:

    “A second philosophical point that many people mistakenly derive from relativity, prob-
    ably because of the name of the theory, is that the essential point is \everything is relative”.
    In fact, one of the postulates of relativity, and one of its deepest points, is that there are
    some quantities that are invariant, meaning that all observers will measure the same value
    for those quantities.”
    Some quantities are invariant, not all. Observers will measure the same valiue for THOSE quantities.

    “The speed of light is invariant.” No it’s not. it’s finite.

    “Spacetime is invariant.”
    Again, no, you simply can’t grasp that it’s the spacetime intervals that are theoretically invariant.

    I could go on and on correcting your mistakes, but so far you’ve only budged on the initial time variance problem. (which you will now deny.)
    Which is only goes to show that if you didn’t understand that in the beginning, you really didn’t understand the theory that the example came from. So again, this has become for the most part a waste of time.

  111. BillyJoe7on 14 Apr 2012 at 6:34 am

    BillyJoe: “Invariant means the same for all observers.”
    cwfong’s quote in supposed refutation: “Some quantities are invariant….Observers will measure the same value for THOSE quantities”

    I suppose that is called confirmation by refutation.

    BillyJoe: ““The reason is that spacetime is made up of time and space.”
    cwfong: “No it isn’t. ”

    Yes it is.

    BillyJoe; “The speed of light is invariant.”
    cwfong: “No it’s not.”

    Yes it is.
    Some quantities are invariant….Observers will measure the same value for THE SPEED OF LIGHT.
    Defeated by your own quote.

    BillyJoe: “Spacetime is invariant.”
    cwfong: “Again, no, you simply can’t grasp that it’s the spacetime intervals that are theoretically invariant.”

    I do not only grasp it I have stated it repeatedly: the distance/interval in spacetime between two events is invariant – meaning observers will measure the same value for this distance/interval.
    I have already explained why spacetime is invariant at least twice using two different methods. You have yet to refute those explanations.

  112. BillyJoe7on 14 Apr 2012 at 6:55 am

    BillyJoe: ““The reason is that spacetime is made up of time and space.”
    cwfong: “No it isn’t. ”

    http://hopperinstitute.com/phys_relativity.html

    According to Einstein, space and time are components of space-time. When you stand still, you are traveling only through time but, when you are moving, you travel through space-time (space and time). If you travel at the speed of light, you travel only through space! Thus, no movement means maximum rate of travel through time and movement at the speed of light means time stands still.

  113. BillyJoe7on 14 Apr 2012 at 8:41 am

    BillyJoe; “The speed of light is invariant.”
    cwfong: “No it’s not.”

    From your favourite source:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity

    Einstein discerned two fundamental propositions…In his initial presentation of special relativity in 1905 he expressed these postulates as….The Principle of Relativity…The Principle of Invariant Light Speed “.

  114. cwfongon 14 Apr 2012 at 1:47 pm

    BJ7 states: “Observers will measure the same value for THE SPEED OF LIGHT.” Therefor, he says, the speed of light is invariant. No it isn’t. It can be slowed down, but it’s speed in a vacuum is finite.

    And he cuts and pastes my comments to make it look like the reason for making one was actually the reason for the other. Conscious fakery or lack of comprehension? Hard to know, but I’d go with unconscious fakery as his survival tactic. (Self delusion, in other words.)

    Try to grasp this: The Principal of invariant light speed does not mean that the speed cannot be changed by circumstances. Principal is the key word here, like ‘in principle, light speed is invariant, but in practice, it’s not.’ Concrete thinkers apparently can’t make that distinction. Waste of time to try to make it for them.

    Last but perhaps best example of fakery:

    *BillyJoe: “Spacetime is invariant.”
    cwfong: “Again, no, you simply can’t grasp that it’s the spacetime intervals that are theoretically invariant.”
    I do not only grasp it I have stated it repeatedly: the distance/interval in spacetime between two events is invariant – meaning observers will measure the same value for this distance/interval.*

    Except that earlier there was this from BJ7:
    “How could spacetime intervals be invariant but spacetime not invariant.”
    That’s the question that tells us that he doesn’t understand the concept of spacetime. He can’t.

  115. BillyJoe7on 15 Apr 2012 at 2:07 am

    cwfong,

    “BJ7 states: “Observers will measure the same value for THE SPEED OF LIGHT.” Therefor, he says, the speed of light is invariant. No it isn’t. It can be slowed down..”

    That light speed is slower when passing through a medium does not affect Einstein’s” Principal of Invariant of Light Speed”, which is that the speed of light is the same for all observers in all frames of reference.

    “…but it’s speed in a vacuum is finite”

    But who the hell is arguing against the speed of light being finite.
    This is not even an issue in this discussion but your rather obvious attempt at distraction.

    “And he cuts and pastes my comments to make it look like the reason for making one was actually the reason for the other.”

    Nope. I’ve quoted you completely in context.
    Show me otherwise or have the honesty to retract your accusation.

    “The Principal of invariant light speed does not mean that the speed cannot be changed by circumstances.”

    If you are claiming that I have said otherwise, please quote me.

    “Principal is the key word here, like ‘in principle, light speed is invariant, but in practice, it’s not.’ ”

    This is really getting boringly repetitive.

    BillyJoe: “Spacetime is invariant.”
    cwfong: Except that earlier there was this from BJ7:
    BillyJoe: “How could spacetime intervals be invariant but spacetime not invariant.””

    My second statement does not contradict my first statement.
    In fact they are mutually supportive.
    If that is not obvious to you, there is not much I can do to help.

  116. cwfongon 15 Apr 2012 at 4:37 am

    Actually there’s never been a thing you could do to help where abstract problem solving is concerned. Your inability to accept the Olson statement, and the subsequent transparent attempts to justify your continued mistakes, confirms it. The same goes for your opinions on evolution and any other area of complexity.
    Pretending you’re an authority on anything doesn’t work, if the so called authority can’t back the pretense with supportable ideas or explanations on a professional level.

    “- is that the speed of light is the same for all observers in all frames of reference.”
    So invariant in that context doesn’t mean what you think it does, now does it. If it’s slower than its maximum speed, then it’s (theoretically) that same speed to all observers.
    In fact the present feeling among some physicists is that light’s speed has steadily diminished since the big bang. This diminishment has not, as far as I know, affected the accuracy of the special relativity theory. I’m not sure if that’s the consensus, as I’m not a physicist. I just read their books and papers occasionally and talk to them.
    Try it sometime.

  117. BillyJoe7on 15 Apr 2012 at 7:21 am

    cwfong: “Pretending you’re an authority… ”

    I have always and everywhere specifically stated that I have no expertise in these subjects, but that I have an educated layman’s understanding of the views of experts in the field. As such, it is as clear as hell to me that you are no expert in any field that you presume to have expertise in. I also know that you do not understand what you read and what you are allegedly told by the experts to whom you allegedly speak. I know, because I learn from people with expertise and I have learnt nothing from you except how to improve my ability to recognise someone from whom you can learn nothing because they understand nothing themselves.

    You are a fake, cwfong, whichever way you cut it:

    ITEM 1:

    BillyJoe: ““The reason is that spacetime is made up of time and space.”
    cwfong: “No it isn’t. ”

    http://hopperinstitute.com/phys_relativity.html

    According to Einstein, space and time are components of space-time. When you stand still, you are traveling only through time but, when you are moving, you travel through space-time (space and time). If you travel at the speed of light, you travel only through space! Thus, no movement means maximum rate of travel through time and movement at the speed of light means time stands still.

    ITEM 2:

    BillyJoe; “The speed of light is invariant.”
    cwfong: “No it’s not.”

    From your favourite source:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity

    Einstein discerned two fundamental propositions…In his initial presentation of special relativity in 1905 he expressed these postulates as….The Principle of Relativity…The Principle of Invariant Light Speed “.

  118. cwfongon 15 Apr 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Wikipedia:
    *”The Principle of Invariant Light Speed – “… light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity [speed] c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.” (from the preface).[2] That is, light in vacuum propagates with the speed c (a fixed constant, independent of direction) in at least one system of inertial coordinates (the “stationary system”), regardless of the state of motion of the light source.”*

    My statement here:
    *BJ7 states: “Observers will measure the same value for THE SPEED OF LIGHT.” Therefor, he says, the speed of light is invariant. No it isn’t. It can be slowed down, but it’s speed in a vacuum is finite.*

    Did I have to add “in at least one system of inertial coordinates (the “stationary system”)” to help him understand it? Apparently not, since we’re both referencing the same source here and he claims he understood the reading. Which neither of us has to be an expert to do. Just needs some understanding of abstract inference.

    Example: He says, “spacetime is made up of time and space.”

    His own source says, *space and time are components of space-time.*

    Time is, of course, not a physical component. It hasn’t “made up” anything. And in the context of Olsen’s statement, what he was ‘explaining’ was the entirely wrong explanation.

    Now he says he has no expertise in these subjects. And as I said already, neither do I. But I know how to read scientific literature, and I use the scientific method every day.
    Yet he’s made the wrong argument here authoritatively from the start and won’t give up, despite being shown logically wrong from the outset.

    And he claims he has “an educated layman’s understanding of the views of experts in the field.”
    Which is self-delusive because he’s not an educated person to begin with, and hasn’t demonstrated the physical ability to understand complexities.

    I am not an expert in anything as well, as the term expert is being misused here entirely. An expert is a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area. I don’t write about, teach, or attempt to research physics. I do make an attempt to understand the complexities that others have discovered and write about.
    I presume that I have the ability to do so. I presume to see clearly that BillyJoe7 has no such ability. He presumes to make the same logical mistakes repeatedly. If he could see that, then of course he wouldn’t.

  119. BillyJoe7on 15 Apr 2012 at 4:08 pm

    BillyJoe “spacetime is made up of time and space.”
    His own source says: “space and time are components of space-time”

    You are a complete idiot if you think there is any difference between these two statements apart from the choice of words to describe the same thing. The components of something are what it is made up of. Otherwise explain the difference.
    You might as well have argued that spacetime is not the same as space-time!

    “but it’s speed in a vacuum is finite…Did I have to add “in at least one system of inertial coordinates (the “stationary system”)”

    What on Earth are you talking about?
    And what is this harping on the word ‘finite’? It is totally irrelevant to this discussion!
    The speed of light in a vacuum is C regardless of the frame of reference. This is what the speed of light is invariant means – the same in all frames of reference.

    I rest my case except to repeat of these two choice items:

    ITEM 1:

    BillyJoe: ““The reason is that spacetime is made up of time and space.”
    cwfong: “No it isn’t. ”

    http://hopperinstitute.com/phys_relativity.html

    According to Einstein, space and time are components of space-time. When you stand still, you are traveling only through time but, when you are moving, you travel through space-time (space and time). If you travel at the speed of light, you travel only through space! Thus, no movement means maximum rate of travel through time and movement at the speed of light means time stands still.

    ITEM 2:

    BillyJoe; “The speed of light is invariant.”
    cwfong: “No it’s not.”

    From your favourite source:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity

    Einstein discerned two fundamental propositions…In his initial presentation of special relativity in 1905 he expressed these postulates as….The Principle of Relativity…The Principle of Invariant Light Speed “.

  120. cwfongon 15 Apr 2012 at 4:52 pm

    “The speed of light in a vacuum is C regardless of the frame of reference. This is what the speed of light is invariant means – the same in all frames of reference.”

    And here I had thought that a vacuum was the frame of reference.

  121. cwfongon 15 Apr 2012 at 5:08 pm

    As I noted on 15 Apr 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Wikipedia:
    *”The Principle of Invariant Light Speed – “… light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity [speed] c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.” (from the preface).[2] That is, light in vacuum propagates with the speed c (a fixed constant, independent of direction) in at least one system of inertial coordinates (the “stationary system”), regardless of the state of motion of the light source.”*

    BJ7 also asks: “The components of something are what it is made up of. Otherwise explain the difference.”

    If the components are both physical you have your version of concrete spacetime.
    If however time is not physical then you have Einstein’s version.

  122. BillyJoe7on 15 Apr 2012 at 5:31 pm

    cwfong: “And here I had thought that a vacuum was the frame of reference.”

    Well that just shows what an imbecile you are.
    The speed of light is the same in all frames of reference.
    This is Einstein’s “Principle of Invariant Light Speed”.

    Some unanswered questions:

    What on Earth did you mean by:
    “but it’s speed in a vacuum is finite…Did I have to add “in at least one system of inertial coordinates (the “stationary system”)”

    You have referred to the finite speed of light three time now.
    What is the relevance of the finite speed of light in the context of this discussion?

    And going back to where this argument started:
    If 1 million years and 1 day represent the same time interval between two events, what is that time interval?
    HINT: I can tell you exactly what spacetime distance those two time intervals represent.

  123. cwfongon 15 Apr 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Go back to this:
    Olsen had written that:
    “In addition, there is no longer any controversy about the age of the Earth.”
    “Summarizing, Einstein’s theory of general relativity links matter and time. It turns out that time progresses more slowly near a massive object. Furthermore, it can be demonstrated (using math & physics alone) that one billion years and one day represent the same period of time — it only depends on one’s inertial frame of reference.”
    You replied:
    “I think you meant the same “distance” in spacetime.
    what is your actual point? That the theory of relativity supports young earth creationism?”
    And then you said:
    “One billion years and one day DO NOT represent the same period of time (because, clearly, one billion years is 365 billion times longer than one day).”

    Keep up with diversion tactics. It’s all you’ve got left.

  124. cwfongon 15 Apr 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Oh, I forgot to add that the lesson of the finite speed of light and special relativity is that not only isn’t there a universal time valid everywhere, observers cannot even agree on the order in which they observe events to occur when the distances between them are significant compared to the speed of light.

  125. BillyJoe7on 16 Apr 2012 at 12:11 am

    To repeat….

    “If 1 million years and 1 day represent the same time interval between two events, what is that time interval?
    HINT: I can tell you exactly what spacetime distance those two time intervals represent.”

    That’s the challenge, cfwong.
    Are you up to it?
    No, I don’t think so….because you have no idea and you know it.

  126. cwfongon 16 Apr 2012 at 1:33 am

    So you’re playing with my name again, billytistic? You always do that when you lose. Go off and play your favorite game with yourself, and we all know what that is.

  127. BillyJoe7on 16 Apr 2012 at 6:43 am

    “If 1 million years and 1 day represent the same time interval between two events, what is that time interval?”

  128. cwfongon 16 Apr 2012 at 12:38 pm

    The question was addressed to cfwong earlier. Whoever that is didn’t answer. Maybe you should address it to Olsen. If you have the inertial frame of reference for 1 million instead of his 1 billion.
    You do have an inertial frame of reference, right?

  129. BillyJoe7on 16 Apr 2012 at 3:57 pm

    cwfong,

    You have no idea do you?
    After all this time of accusing me of ignorance on special relativity because of my inablility to think abstractly, it is you who have no idea of what you are talking about. And I’m going to prove this to anyone still reading.

    When Olsen said…

    1 million years and 1 day represent the same time interval

    …I suggested that he must have meant the same distance in spacetime. Cwfong then chimed in and claimed that Olson’s statement was correct and that my suggestion indicated I was ignorant about special relativity. So here is his chance to prove my ignorance and inability to think abstractly. All he needs to do is answer the following question:

    “If 1 million years and 1 day represent the same time interval between two events, WHAT IS THAT TIME INTERVAL?”

    I know that he cannot answer that question because there is no answer to that question. There is no time interval that can represent 1 day and 1 million years. But there is a distance in spacetime, and I can tell him exactly what that distance in spacetime is.

    There is no way out this time, cwfong.
    ANSWER THE QUESTION.

  130. cwfongon 16 Apr 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Sure there’s that time interval. It’s a sequential change where the measurement depends on the frame of reference. We measure time, it has no measurement of its own, since we are basically measuring the progress of the past and predicting the measure of the future, doing both from where we stand in the constant present. And all such attempts at measurement depend on the frame of sequential change that we are observing and working with.

    You can’t tell me the distance in spacetime because there isn’t any such consistent distance among all frames. Inertia, for example, is not invariant. It dominated the expansion in the early universe, It’s expected that the cosmological constant will dominate in the future, but at present, they taje control in approximately equal measure.

    Note also (and I cut and pasted this)that while special relativity constrains objects in the universe from moving faster than the speed of light with respect to the locally distorted spacetime region, there is no such theoretical constraint when space itself is expanding. It is thus possible for two very distant objects to be expanding away from each other at a speed greater than the speed of light. Since the parts of the universe cannot be seen after their speed of expansion away from us equals or exceeds twice the speed of light, the size of the entire universe could be greater than the size of the observable universe.

  131. BillyJoe7on 16 Apr 2012 at 5:53 pm

    “Sure there’s that time interval.”

    ANSWER THE QUESTION THEN:

    “If 1 million years and 1 day represent the same time interval between two events, WHAT IS THAT TIME INTERVAL?”

    “It’s a sequential change where the measurement depends on the frame of reference.”

    That’s right, 1 million years in one frame of reference, and 1 day in another frame of reference.

    BUT THE QUESTION IS:

    “If 1 million years and 1 day represent the SAME time interval between two events, WHAT IS THAT TIME INTERVAL?”

    “You can’t tell me the distance in spacetime because there isn’t any such consistent distance among all frames. ”

    I assure you that I can tell you exactly what the spacetime distance is between two events separated by 1 million years in one frame of reference and 1 day in another frame of reference. And I assure you that the answer is the same in both frames of reference.

    ————————————————————————————————————–

    And nice try at trying to distract from your complete and utter inability to answer that question with irrelevant detail about expanding universes. That’s just a standard tactic of yours when you find yourself completely and utterly lost.

  132. cwfongon 16 Apr 2012 at 6:01 pm

    It’s irrelevant to you, but not to others.

    “That’s just a standard tactic of yours when you find yourself completely and utterly lost.”
    Project much?

  133. BillyJoe7on 17 Apr 2012 at 6:48 am

    What is the time interval?

  134. cwfongon 17 Apr 2012 at 11:35 am

    Ask nybgrus.

  135. cwfongon 17 Apr 2012 at 3:16 pm

    By the way, BJ7, you have made two different conditions under which you will then tell us “exactly what the spacetime distance is between two events separated by 1 million years in one frame of reference and 1 day in another frame of reference. And I assure you that the answer is the same in both frames of reference.”

    One condition is that I admit I’m wrong, and the other is that I explain why you are. Which is it?

    But let’s put it this way, I’ll answer your question, if you tell us first what you claim to know about the “exact spacetime distance.” Otherwise I’d expect you to refuse to give your so called answer AFTER mine on the grounds that my answer, according to your judgement, was wrong.

    But this way, you’ll have the opportunity to both show your proposed brilliance and my proposed imbecility once and for all. And remember, nybgrus also looks forward to your answer, and seems to have no other way to get it.

    Of course I’m absolutely and one hundred percent certain that you will refuse to accept this offer.

  136. BillyJoe7on 17 Apr 2012 at 5:39 pm

    “One condition is that I admit I’m wrong, and the other is that I explain why you are. Which is it?”

    Admit you are wrong.
    (I don’t know where you got the other condition from)

    In order for you to be correct, you would have to do two things:
    1) Tell us what the time interval between the two events is that is represented by 1 day in one frame of reference and 1 million years in another frame of reference.
    (otherwise how could you possibly know that it is the same)
    2) Explain how that time interval is calculated.
    You obviously cannot do either, otherwise you would have done so by now, so why not just admit it.

    “But let’s put it this way, I’ll answer your question, if you tell us first what you claim to know about the “exact spacetime distance.” ”

    I know that the distance in spacetime between the two events is the same in both the frame of reference of the observer who measures the time interval as 1 day and the frame of reference of the observer who measures the time interval as 1 million years.

    “Otherwise I’d expect you to refuse to give your so called answer AFTER mine on the grounds that my answer, according to your judgement, was wrong”

    You just have to admit you are wrong. In other words you have to admit that
    1) You cannot tell us what the time interval between the two events is that is represented by 1 day in one frame of reference and 1 million years in another frame of reference.
    2) You cannot explain how to calculate that time interval.

    “Of course I’m absolutely and one hundred percent certain that you will refuse to accept this offer.”

    I’ll accept the offer as soon as you admit you are wrong.

  137. cwfongon 17 Apr 2012 at 6:12 pm

    The condition of my offer was that you go first. The reason being, since I don’t think I’m wrong, I can’t honestly admit any such thing. The other condition that you made was that I explain why you were wrong. Are you then withdrawing that? (And remember that you made your “assurance” promise on two sites.) If so, the remaining condition is absurd, since I assure you I think i can show I’m not wrong.

    So now that you’ve withdrawn the other condition, the solution now is this: that you don’t have to prove you are right, just give us the answer you’ve assured us you have. if you don’t have one, then your trickery will of course be revealed. (But why worry, we’re all fairly sure you have one.)
    And since I haven’t left any room for trickery, I’ll then be obliged to give you my answer, and right or wrong can be determined by all who read it.

    But if you don’t give your answer first, this will be quite good evidence that you don’t really have one.
    And if I don’t give mine second, you can say the same for certain about me.
    So if you do have an answer, then you win, regardless, even if yours turns out to be wrong. Hell, we all make mistakes. And since you are sure I have no answer, I will be disclosed as not only wrong but a liar. And again, you win.

    How again can you refuse? Unless of course this WAS some sort of a juvenile trick. But no, how could that be possible? Certainly our pal nybgrus doesn’t think so. He’s been assured by you that you have this close to amazing answer. He needs to know it. So do we all.

  138. BillyJoe7on 18 Apr 2012 at 12:17 am

    Admit you were wrong or tell us all what that time interval is.
    Easy.

  139. cwfongon 18 Apr 2012 at 1:36 am

    Oh, now it’s admit wrong OR tell you right. What happened to that great revelation about some certainty of distance or something? If you’ve withdrawn it, then it seems you can’t be trusted to keep a promise.
    In any case, I’ve dropped hints as to the interval answer all over this site and you’ve not caught the inference. So the hell with all your shifty shuffling. Admit YOU were wrong and I’ll tell you why. Not so easy after all, is it.

  140. cwfongon 18 Apr 2012 at 1:50 am

    In short, you bluffed, I called, put up or shut up.

  141. BillyJoe7on 18 Apr 2012 at 6:43 am

    I will continue this on the other thread.
    This one has dropped off the front page.

  142. Nick Stuarton 19 Apr 2012 at 1:53 pm

    AND APPARENTLY BELIEVES HE IS A PENGUIN!

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