perhaps someday we really \won’t\ need men…the mouse virgin birth

Sci­en­tists have been able to gen­er­ate father­less birth in mice through a process called partheno­gen­e­sis — in which the fetus is cre­at­ed with two unfer­til­ized eggs. Though the process is still too dan­ger­ous to use on humans, this is still a sci­en­tif­ic break­through — until now sci­en­tists throught that partheno­gen­e­sis was impos­si­ble in mam­mals. And per­haps some­day this tech­nique can be used to treat infer­til­i­ty. All I can say is…chicks RULE!! 😉 Check out the source article.

more God debate

The dis­cus­sion of my post (con­cern­ing the extence of God) on Hot Aber­crom­bie Chick­’s site is quite the heat­ed debate (in which I have par­tic­i­pat­ed), and at the request of one the peo­ple with whom I was debat­ing, I’ll post some of it here so that he can respond in a less “noisy” envinronment.

So, here’s some of the debate so far (I hope I pulled out what is relevant):

**Me**: Claim­ing that God is need­ed to explain the exis­tence of the uni­verse is depen­dent upon the sup­po­si­tion that God a nec­es­sary enti­ty (some­thing that does­n’t need an expla­na­tion for WHY it exists), and, fur­ther­more, that he is the ONLY nec­es­sary enti­ty. But BOTH of those claims are only sup­po­si­tions. That is, one could ask, if God explains the uni­verse, WHAT explains God? If the UNIVERSE needs an expla­na­tion for why it exists, why does­n’t God? And why can’t we sup­pose that the uni­verse itself, is a NECESSARY thing…one that does­n’t itself need an expla­na­tion for WHY it exists (it just does).

In oth­er words, you can’t just ASSERT that the uni­verse (or the Big Bang, per­haps) needs some­thing to explain why it came to be, but God DOESN’T need such an expla­na­tion, with­out a fur­ther defense of this assertion.

—–

**Ozy**: Your point is per­fect­ly valid except for one thing: It is sci­ence (physics) that has to explain the rea­son for the uni­verse being in exis­tence, that is the very nature of sci­ence and being sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly. When you do go around pos­tu­lat­ing the uni­verse, then the inverse of your argu­ment holds just as strong: why not pos­tu­late a God. As a mat­ter of fact, you can start pos­tu­lat­ing any­thing that is not dis­prov­able, but that is the whole occams razor thing, you can pos­tu­late it, but if there is no need for it, it won’t be true. When you can­not explain the uni­verse with sci­ence, then the best expla­na­tion for its exis­tence is true, which is prob­a­bly a cre­ator, and not that it just exists, because it can’t just exists by the very rules sci­ence (physics) states.

Sci­ence dis­proves the uni­verse being able to exists, but the uni­verse does exist, so sci­ence is a wrong the­o­ry, any the­o­ry that does not dis­prove itself is more like­ly to be true.

And to counter Tina’s argu­ment about this free will thing:
There is one sim­ple expla­na­tion why God can have a free wil and stil always choose to do only good: a vast­ly high­er lev­el of intelligence.

—-

**Me**: Per­haps you stat­ed this in an ear­li­er com­ment, but what “rules” of sci­ence entail that it can­not explain the uni­verse? The assump­tion that *I* have always under­stood these kinds of argu­ments depend­ing on is the fol­low­ing: that all (non-nec­es­sary) enti­ties and events are CAUSED by some­thing. (And if we are to assume that God is the only nec­es­sary being, then he is need­ed to explain to explain what caused the uni­verse). This isn’t real­ly a SCIENTIFIC prin­ci­ple, but just a gen­er­al assumption…which only works at show­ing that God exists IF you assume that he is the only pos­si­ble nec­es­sary entity.

Regard­ing your com­ment about God and free will. Either the ABILITY to choose evil is nec­es­sary for free will or it isn’t. And God either has that abil­i­ty or he doeesn’t. I’m not sure how lev­el of intel­li­gence is rel­e­vant to decid­ing either of these issues.

So, Ozy: respond away!

smelly factoids

Some­thing inter­est­ing I read in a mag­a­zine arti­cle in \Nat­ur­al Health\:

…108 [over­weight] study sub­jects [in a study con­duct­ed by Alan Hirsch, a neu­rol­gist and psychiatrist]…were told to eat the way they nor­mal­ly do, and were giv­en two pow­ders a month — one savory, one sweet — to sprin­kle on their food. The pow­ders were taste­less but ful­ly loaded with the aro­mas of chad­dar, cheese, onion, rasp­ber­ry, cocoa and oth­er foods.…After six months, par­tic­i­pants had lost an aver­age of 34.7 pounds each. Mean­while, a con­trol group of 100 over­weight peo­ple enrolled in the tra­di­tion­al diet pro­gram gained an ager­age of 1.1 pounds. 

Hmmm…quite inter­est­ing. And yet anoth­er rea­son to wear yum­my smelling body lotion (my favorite: Pan­han­dle Girl’s Bet­tie Spice Cream (smells like vanil­la, orange & cin­na­mon)). Some oth­er inter­est­ing factoids:

  • Women are bet­ter smellers than men. 
  • Every­one has a unique smell, except for iden­ti­cal twins. 
  • Green apple and cucum­ber scents cre­ate the impres­sion of a larg­er space, while the scent of roast­ed mean cre­ates the impres­sion of clos­er quarters. 
  • A smell recep­tor has been iden­ti­fied in human sperm. 

buffy/angel & free will

In the dis­cus­sion of the argu­ment from evil the ques­tion was raised whether God can have free will, if there is some sense in which he can­not do wrong. This has got me think­ing about anoth­er issue: There has been some­thing that’s bugged me about Buffy the Vam­pire Slay­er & Angel for quite a while now, so I thought I’d include my wor­ries in a post in order to get this off my chest. My wor­ries regard the show’s view of free will and respon­si­bil­i­ty. Why wor­ry about what a show thinks about a meta­phys­i­cal issue? Well, assum­ing they they are apply­ing the con­cepts of free will and moral respon­si­bil­i­ty fair­ly accu­rate­ly, per­haps we can learn some­thing about the meta­phys­i­cal issue by explor­ing how the show (and hence, how most of us) con­cieves of these things.

Con­tin­ue read­ing buffy/angel & free will

tulip photos

I bought some tulips the oth­er day, thought they were just pre­cious, so I took some equal­ly pre­cious pic­tures, and thought I’d share! Please look at my album to see all three.

A few dis­cov­er­ies upon acquir­ing my first tulips: Did you know that their petals open wide in the day­time, but close up at night? Did you know that they have a smell (very soft and sweet), but that you have to plant your nose deep inside to detect it? Isn’t it amaz­ing how some­thing so small can bring you such inex­plic­a­ble joy? (I get a lit­tle jolt of plea­sure each time I walk by them…I like to pre­tend that they’re gig­gling at the sun.)

p.s. After post­ing this entry, I walk by a mir­ror and notice that my nose is smudged with choco­late-col­ored tulip pollen.

the fifth sentence

I saw this on Amanita.net, and thought I would play:

  1. Grab the near­est book. 
  2. Open the book to page 23. 
  3. Find the fifth sentence. 
  4. Post the text of the sen­tence in your jour­nal along with these instructions. 

e that their con­di­tions could not be fal­si­fied by Frank­furt-style cas­es because the suc­cess­ful ver­sions involve the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the agent could have vol­un­tar­i­ly done, or been the author of, some­thing that would have trig­gered the inter­ven­tion, where­upon she would not have been moral­ly respon­si­ble for the act in ques­tion. from: Liv­ing With­out Free Will by Derk Pereboom