The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

isn't evolution Gods fault, anyway?

September30

I found myself embroiled in something of a heated debate over on Paul Sunstone’s “Cafe Philos (an internet cafe)”. I had been given a heads-up on a post he wrote titled: Do Evangelists Ever Tell the Truth? I waded in and offered some thoughts. I clearly touched a few nerves (nothing new there). But, unexpectedly, I found myself facing a ferocious crew that are convinced over half of America believe it’s Creationism over Evolution. I am naught less than skeptical. And, I’ll hold-out for Evolution (as you will see from the long-winded comments, providing you approach that post – beware!).

In any event, we’re putting a poll together today to resolve the matter. To prepare for that I’ve lifted the following outlines of both Creationism and Evolution directly from that venerable repository of information itself, “Wikipedia”.

The Creation of Adam“Creationism refers to the religious belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe were created in some form by a supernatural being or beings, commonly a single deity. However the term is more commonly used to refer to religiously motivated rejection of natural biological processes, in particular evolution, as an explanation accounting for the history, diversity, and complexity of life on earth (the creation-evolution controversy). In Christian sects such creationism is usually based on a literal reading of Genesis 1-2 but other religions have deity-led creation myths which are quite different.”

Just to be clear… This would mean carbon dating and fossils are wrong. And, I have already pitted myself against this view in an earlier post: How Long Is Seven Days?

and,

evolutionEvolution (non-technical introduction) is the change in groups of living things over time. Living things (organisms) have children (offspring) which differ from their parents in minor random ways. Many of these differences, called traits, can be passed down to future generations of offspring during reproduction. Evolution is the process of these inheritable differences becoming more common or rare within large groups (populations) of organisms. Evolution occurs in two different ways. The first way is random – when a population’s traits change by chance. The second way is called selection. Selection happens when a trait helps an organism to have more offspring, such as by keeping the organism from dying young. This helpful trait will tend to become more common in the population, because organisms with the trait produce more offspring – who may inherit the same trait.”

You know the drill here… Amoeba’s, fish, birds, dinosaurs, Land of the Lost, Jurassic Park, fossils, apes, and all that stuff most of us learn in school (at least me and Curtis Burton the Third, any way).

There is some uncertainly within the aforementioned post’s comments where certain people of interest like Senator John McCain and (wannabe, but not really, VP) Sarah Palin play it down the middle saying they might lean towards evolution, but add the “hand of God” element – which I personally, feel is fair and balanced (just so you know).

There is some true (and delicious) irony represented in-and-amongst all this. Those debating me at Cafe Philos are relying heavily upon the internet (to include google and carefully crafted youtube videos to support their position).

I have taken a different and more academic and community census approach (this unhinged poor Webs, one of the commenters).

Therefore, because of the differential in approach and passion involved, I’ve decided to take personal opinion out of (my) equation, and go to my readers whom I know to be both fair-minded, as well as a hearty and balanced crew in their own right. It’s time to go with that promised poll.

And, the best irony comes in the form of my using my Blog (on the internet to make a point – I just don’t know who’s point yet).

Thusly, and without further adieu America (okay this is a global Blog. So, I’ll ask those who are not Americans to back away), which is it – Creationism or Evolution?


[polldaddy poll=2058742]

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

brian cork: Defending A Belief

September25

This is me pondering faith, and why we think the way (or, in the manner [process?]) we do (or, don’t).

[Deep Breath]

Scientific validity is not the result of scientists abstaining from making value judgments; it is the result of scientists making their best effort to value principles of reasoning that reliably link their beliefs to reality, through valid chains of evidence and argument.

So, perhaps an answer to the (two-part) question – “What should I believe; and, why should I believe it?” is generally a scientific one:

Believe a proposition because it is well supported by theory and evidence.

Believe it because it has been experimentally verified.

Believe it because a generation of smart people have tried their best to falsify it –  and, failed.

Believe it because it is true (or seems so).

This is a norm of cognition as well as the epistemic core of any scientific mission statement.

This may-or-may-not be related.  But, if you want to go deep, consider the theory of “Probabistically”. /1

Or, perhaps you believe it (a thing, or any thing) because you simply trust your heart and instincts.

Or, someone you know, and like, inspires you to cast aside science, and make the  leap.

There is also the option of believing in a thing only because you want it.

All this aside…  I believe in me – and my discerning judgment.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

______________________

1/ I did not make this word up (this time).  Consider…  Nassim Nicholas Taleb

We are all going to die (probably)

August17

We are all going to die (well, probably).

Some of us get to pick when death might occur.  Others will stumble into oblivion.

Generally speaking, I don’t think we should concern ourselves over the issue.

But, here are some theories my friends (beer drinkers, poets, patriots and philosophers all – collectively referred to as: The Prudent Society of Optimistic Gentlemen, or, simply, The Gentlemen) have come up with around the world’s cataclysmic end. We do this because our combined egos are so HUGE, that it, well, just needs to be fantastic (or, “fabulous” if you are Curtis).

Scientific experts (this certainly includes The Gentlemen) from around the world are predicting that five years from now, all life on Earth could well finish. Some are saying it’ll be humans (not beans though /1) that set it off. Others believe that a natural phenomenon will be the cause. And the religious folks are saying it’ll be God himself who presses the stop button…

In no particular order, although you have seen much of this before through a wide-variety of mediums (but, kinda cool if they all happened simultaneously):

1. Mayan Calendar

The first mob to predict 2012 as the end of the world were the Mayans, a bloodthirsty race that were good at two things:  Building highly accurate astrological equipment out of stone, and Sacrificing Virgins.

Thousands of years ago they managed to calculate the length of the lunar moon as 329.53020 days, only 34 seconds out. The Mayan calendar predicts that the Earth will end on December 21, 2012. /2 Given that they were pretty close to the mark with the lunar cycle, it’s likely they’ve got the end of the world right as well.

2. Sun Storms

Solar experts from around the world monitoring the sun have made a startling discovery: our sun is in a bit of strife. The energy output of the sun is, like most things in nature, cyclic, and it’s supposed to be in the middle of a period of relative stability. However, recent solar storms have been bombarding the Earth with so much radiation energy, it’s been knocking out power grids and destroying satellites. This activity is predicted to get worse, and calculations suggest it’ll reach its deadly peak sometime in 2012.

3. The Atom Smasher

I rather like this one (not to be confused with Cirith Ungol as exampled here).

However, you can learn more about it (the actual scientific experiment, not the Cirith Ungol tune) by watching the following video:

[youtube]DOYSHn35Pps[/youtube]

Scientists in Europe have been building the world’s largest particle accelerator. Basically its a 27km tunnel designed to smash atoms together to find out what makes the Universe tick. However, the mega-gadget has caused serious concern, with some scientists suggesting that it’s properly even a bad idea to turn it on in the first place. They’re predicting all manner of deadly results, including mini black holes. So when this machine is fired up for its first serious experiment in 2012, the world could be crushed into a super-dense blob the size of a basketball.

I want to get a telephone call or text message just before they pull the lever so I can start jumping up and down to see if it makes any difference (like when an air liner is rushing towards the ground).

Update: The Atom Smasher has been turned on, and the world has not yet been destroyed.

Consider a paradox, and peak into the future, by considering We live yet.

4. The Bible says…

If having scientists warning us about the end of the world isn’t bad enough, religious folks are getting in on the act as well. Interpretations of the Christian Bible reveal that the date for Armageddon, the final battle between Good an Evil, has been set down for 2012. The I Ching, also known as the Chinese book of Changes, says the same thing, as do various sections of the Hindu teachings.

5. Super Volcano

My personal favorite…

Yellowstone National Park in the United States is famous for its thermal springs and Old Faithful geyser. The reason for this is simple – it’s sitting on top of the world’s biggest volcano, and geological experts are beginning to get nervous sweats. The Yellowstone volcano has a pattern of erupting every 650,000 years or so, and we’re apparently many years overdue for an explosion that will fill the atmosphere with ash, blocking the sun and plunging the Earth into a frozen winter that could last up to 15,000 years. The pressure under the Yellowstone is building steadily, and geologists have set 2012 as a likely date for the big bang.

6. The Physicists

This one’s case of bog-simple maths mathematics. Physicists at Berekely Uni have been crunching the numbers. and they’ve determined that the Earth is well overdue for a major catastrophic event. Even worse, they’re claiming their calculations prove, that we’re all going to die, very soon – while also saying their prediction comes with a certainty of 99 percent- and 2012 just happens to be the best guess as to when it occurs.

7. (another) BANG!

We all know the Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field that sheilds us from most of the sun’s radiation. What you might not know is that the magnetic poles we call North and South apparently have a nasty habit of swapping places every 750,000 years or so – and right now we’re about 30,000 years overdue. Scientists have noted that the poles are drifting apart roughly 20-30kms each year, much faster than ever before, which points to a pole-shift being right around the corner. While the pole shift is underway, the magnetic field is disrupted and will eventually disappear, sometimes for up to 100 years. The result is enough UV outdoors to crisp your skin in seconds, killing everything it touches.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_________________________

1/ See My rantings (albeit sincere and heart-felt notions) around “Human Beans” – or, just ask me some time.

2/ This is just four (4) days before my parents wedding anniversary.  They are deceased, but, it is still relevant because they were, and probably are still, very cool.  Their parties were always great.  I remember one of my many God Mothers (this is a long story) yelling:  “Oh my GOD, we are all going to die!” with a pitcher of martinis sloshing in her hand.

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

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