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Reward Points:154
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10 most recent arguments.
3 points

"But what of the space around the tiny dense ball?"

The universe is space and time. All that is the universe was contained within the singularity (according to the theory). So there was no space surrounding the ball, because the ball WAS space. And remember that the big bang theory was postulated according to the evidence observed, thus all it explains is that the universe was at one time compressed in this manner - it does not explain directly what was "outside" the singularity.

Here's a short video detailing the rudiments of the big bang theory for quick reference: http://www.thoughttheater.com/2008/07/evidence_for_the_big_bang_theory_in_10_minutes.php

"How can you have time and space surrounding the tiny dense ball if the origin for time and space is within the tiny dense ball?"

No one ever claimed you could.

"Where can you find any room to explode?"

Contrary to its name, the big bang theory does not assume there was an explosion, merely an expansion of the universe. We don't know what is beyond the universe, but the universe is finite, therefore whatever void surrounded the universe was the "room" for it to expand in.

"Something has to pre-exist time and space to create it."

Not necessarily; this is a commonly-held assumption that is not supported by any scientific evidence whatsoever. The greatest mind-twister of this is that singularities defy conventional physics (remember there are singularities today, existing at the center of black holes), therefore any number of possibilities exist as to what caused the singularity to appear (or if it has always existed) and what caused it to expand. So whatever force caused it to expand is beyond our current comprehension - but science is ever evolving. And even if we do discover evidence of an unknown force propelling the expansion, or even the creation, calling it God and ceasing all attempts to discover the natural cause is illogical, because then we'd just be filling in the blanks with an equally unexplainable phenomenon, rather than working to find the true, natural solution. We may never find the answer, but we can at least be intellectually honest with ourselves in saying, "I don't know, let's find out."

Also, the big bang theory and god are not mutually exclusive; you can believe the big bang theory and also believe that a god created the singularity - deism is a logical enough stance to have. However, you would have to concede that you do not know the mechanism this "god" used to create the singularity, putting yourself in the same position as those who believe the big bang theory but don't know what made the singularity. It just seems more concise to not bring metaphysics into the equation.

"I simply ask you to think about time and space creation without getting caught in an infinite logical loop."

It's impossible to avoid the infinite when speaking about the origins of existence. Even with the idea of god creating the universe, you can't avoid implying eternity in some aspect or another.

Further reading on the subject:

http://burro.astr.cwru.edu/stu/cosmos_bigbang.html

http://www.thekeyboard.org.uk/The%20Big%20Bang%20Theory.htm

Supporting Evidence: Big Bang Theory Rudiments/Evidence (www.big-bang-theory.com)
14 points

If you're talking about the earth, then neither. The big bang theory deals with the beginning of the universe, not specifically the formation of planets. The earth was formed by gravitational forces in a nebulous cloud of dust and gas that formed a star then coalesced into a number of planets around the sun. We can deduce the formation of the earth to the mechanics of natural forces, therefore god doesn't enter into the equation (if you keep to Occam's razor.)

Now, the question of the universe's beginning is a much more interesting one for this topic. The big bang theory is gaining more and more evidence to support it, but even it does not explain where the singularity originated from, only that the universe began as the singularity, and it expanded. Science is ever evolving, and we are gaining more knowledge about the workings of the universe every day. We may yet one day discover the origins of the singularity, or we may become extinct before we find out the truth. Either way, I don't see much of a reason to assume a "god" was involved, because that assumption is made to fill in a gap of knowledge, rather than finding hard evidence and then deducing the explanation from that (like science does).

The problem with the god explanation is that, in most contexts, god is something beyond physical existence, beyond comprehension, and beyond explanation. It cannot be comprehended where it exists, how it exists, what form it takes, etc. Therefore it's assumed that this being that was pulled from someone's nether regions created the universe because, well, I said so. That's not a very plausible explanation. We've witnessed the "god done did it" assumption be rendered moot time and time again when science discovers the way something works that was previously thought to be the work of a god. Do I know that there was not a god involved? Of course not; but saying "I don't know; let's find out" is a much more logical step than saying "I assume it's god, so let's move on."

1 point

I stand corrected then. But did they specify it as proved reserves, or proved and probable reserves? Or was it just an estimate?

3 points

Only problem with that argument is that 4.4 billion barrels are proved reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, the rest are in U.S. bedrock. And you know what's funny? We're already drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, so bringing up federal restrictions as holding back our use of the 21.4 billion barrels of proved oil reserves is a whopping non-sequiter. So far I haven't seen any articles on geological surveys of possible offshore oil deposits, and since McCain doesn't state any specifics, we have no reason to believe there are oil fields under lock and key by federal bans. At least, none that are included in the 21.4 billion barrel count. If someone can give some articles or surveys that detail what off-limits fields they're looking to drill, that would be much appreciated.

4 points

I recall that the Alaskan drilling project was supposed to take at least a decade to get the facilities producing at top efficiency, probably longer. But that was to develop the entire ANWR preserve, which would require immense infrastructure since the oil deposits are spread out so much. I found a website for Offshore Magazine, and it stated one semi-submersible rig that is to be built, the Seillean II, has an estimated construction time of 18 to 24 months. Apparently, there's a variety of different drilling rigs (fixed platforms, compliant towers, semi-submersible platforms, jack-up platforms, drillships, and tension-leg platforms, to name a few), so it all depends on which type companies are willing to build and how they are going to use them.

What's hilarious about this whole situation is that people in support of offshore drilling, such as analyst Collin Gerry, state something to the effect of, "High oil prices are enough to justify costly exploration projects in deep waters" (http://www.investors.com/editorial/IBDArticles.asp?artsec=7&issue;=20080528). Basically the solution they are proposing is to just find more oil. The thing is, oil is a finite resource, and whatever cause is directly affecting oil prices now, will do the same in the future. So why put effort into a temporary fix that will not lessen our dependence on oil, but merely postpone high prices, and has the added disadvantage of keeping greenhouse gas emissions at high levels? And the argument that we need to decrease our dependency on foreign oil is also moot because we can do the same by finding alternative energy sources. And it's not even clear how lucrative this prospect will be; plenty of other countries are on the scene already and there's no guarantee that we'll find enough oil to lessen even 10% of our dependence on foreign oil.

Wouldn't finding substitutes make more sense? Personally I think a better alternative would be building offshore wind farms. True, this would be a much more effective strategy for the UK, since we have little coastline relative to the size of the country, but while we're talking offshore energy sources, why not? Out at sea, the wind blows much harder than on land, due to the lack of terrain extremities that create drag, thus they can generate more electricity than those onshore (and the further out to sea you go, the higher wind speed there is) - they also have the added bonus of producing energy at a relatively consistent rate. They require a small batch of seabed to be built on, thus having a negligible effect on nearby aquatic wildlife (in fact, as proposed by the American Wind Energy Association, they could create safe havens for fish spawning grounds and sanctuary from intensive fishing activity, which has decreased the population of fish over the years).

The only real drawback is, at this time, that the cost of building wind turbines increases drastically the further out to sea they are built, both from water depth and the length of cable needed to transmit electricity from the turbines to utility power lines. Then again, this is still a relatively new concept that's being worked out. Some even speculate that future wind turbines could be built on floating platforms, allowing them to be much further out at sea than is currently financially feasible. But time will tell. For more information on offshore wind farms, see here: http://www.awea.org/faq/wwt_offshore.html

Of course, wind farms aren't the sole solution to our energy problem, but it seems more rational to be investing in alternative forms of energy rather than putting time and money into a temporary fix. If we combine enough alternative methods together to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels for energy, we can use the oil we import to make plastics and the myriad of other products and foods that require it until we find a suitable alternative.

Supporting Evidence: Story on Seillean II (www.offshore-mag.com)
1 point

I was speaking about spiritual prayer specifically, so your comment is a non-sequiter in this instance. Even more so because you posted it as a reply to my comment about Madeline Neumann. If you pray without trying to communicate with a mystical being, good for you; I'm not interested in contesting that.

2 points

"No brain, no sound, simple as that."

http://stason.org/TULARC/physics/acoustics-faq/2-1-What-is-sound.html

http://www.cartage.org.lb/en/themes/Sciences/Physics/Acoustics/PropertiesSound/PropertiesSound.htm

http://www.glenbrook.k12.il.us/GBSSCI/PHYS/Class/sound/u11l1c.html

Scientifically, sound is an instantaneous and periodic change in air pressure caused by vibrating particles in a medium. Sound exists whether or not a brain and sensory organs are there to detect and register it. Going back to the light example: since our brains cannot register infrared or ultraviolet light waves, does that mean those waves don't exist? Absolutely not; in fact that's an absurd position to take. So how is saying sound doesn't exist because there's nothing to detect it and store it as sensory information, any more sensible?

1 point

"Sound is a function of the ears though"

Wrong. Sound is a wave that is caused by the back and forth movements of the medium it is traveling in. The waves of sound signify changes in air pressure; the presence of sensory organs has NOTHING to do with the existence of sound. The human ear just responds to a spectrum of frequencies it can detect, much like our eyes are tuned to register a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Do you content that infrared waves don't exist because they can't be detected by our eyes? No, unless you modify the definition of "light" to "radiation that is only perceptible to human eyes". Same deal with sound. And even if you were to make a modification to the question and have it say, "does it make an AUDIBLE sound," you still wouldn't have a case because the frequency range would still be within that 20Hz - 20kHz range detectable by the human ear. Subjective perception or the lack thereof does not affect the answer one way or another. It's almost as absurd as saying if a nuclear bomb were to be detonated on Venus and we didn't see it, it technically (by your logic) would not have emitted any light.

"to the human, without hearing the tree fall, it does not make a sound, even though it does push energy out in the form of vibrations and pressure changes."

You're assuming ears or sensory equipment are necessary for sound to technically exist, which is wholly inaccurate. Scientifically, sound is an instantaneous change in air pressure caused by vibrating particles, whether or not something is present to sense it or not. If you want to argue philosophy, this is not a discussion to argue it in, because science refutes your argument from the get go.

http://www.glenbrook.k12.il.us/GBSSCI/PHYS/Class/sound/u11l1c.html

Supporting Evidence: Sound levels (stason.org)
2 points

We may need to draw a distinction between abuse and discipline for this issue: abusive use of physical force is unwarranted and/or excessive, and not constructive in any capacity. Disciplinary use of force is using only so much as to show the child the consequence of its actions, not to necessarily "punish" them. I think spanking should be left as a last resort for disciplinary action, but I am by no means opposed to its use when necessary. Screaming, cursing, and threatening a child is more traumatizing than spanking it without exhibiting anger (if only my father did that instead of throwing me up against a wall and screaming in my face).

1 point

Not all of them will, however a decent sized portion will support McCain. According to a recent Gallup poll, 28% of Hillary supporters would vote Republican if it came down to McCain vs. Obama. Not surprising since Hillary is attacking Obama with everything she can possibly pull out of her rectum while her campaign spirals down into oblivion - it makes sense that some of the less free-thinking supporters would hang on to every word of hers and will convince themselves that John McCain is somehow a better choice than Obama. And a couple of political blogs are speculating that McCain will make a move to woo Clinton's female supporters over to his side (http://firedoglake.com/2008/05/26/does-obama-need-hillarys-supporters/).

What's completely ludicrous about this, is that McCain wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade (as proudly stated on his very own campaign website), and recently opposed a Senate bill seeking equal wages for women, stating that they don't need equality in the workplace, just "education and training" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/23/mccain-opposes-equal-pay-_n_98342.html). Yeah, great way to win over the ladies, bud.

Supporting Evidence: Poll (www.gallup.com)
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