Science channels, If they show it, It must be true

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Discussion by: Maxi-pad

I have been having a very interesting (by interesting meaning mostly ridiculous) conversation with a coworker who believes in the bible literally and that the universe is 6,000 years old. We can get pass the "don't even talk to people like her, it is pointless." However, as we kept conversating, she proceeded to tell me that she does believe in ghosts. When I asked her why she simply replied "well, don't you? They have all these shows in National Geographic and all the science channels, If they say it, it has to be true. Thats what the channels are about." I was shocked. I proceeded to tell her that just because something is shown on TV, it doesn't mean its true. She was very surprised to hear that and proceeded to ask me how is that possible. That is the moment I realized that there actually are people out there that believe everything they see on TV just because the channels claim to be science channels.

This is obviously impacting the science community with almost no effort it feels. I would like to know any thoughts or ideas about this, or even what can we do to make people like this woman who was never properly taught from a young age to just learn to question.

 

 

 

  

126 COMMENTS

  1. Waitaminnit…

    She believes in ghosts because the “science” channels say they exist, but simultaneously believes in a literal interpretation of the bible despite all the scientific evidence against it?

    Lost cause, dude. Lost cause.

  2. There is a growing segment of the population that claims to not watch television except for the science or history channels. They say this like it’s the next best thing to being a Rhodes Scholar. They can dazzle you with all sorts of information from their favorite cable science show. I don’t know what impact it has on the science community. I do feel it has an impact vis a vis people thinking they are smarter than they actually are by simply being able to regurgitate facts (unquestioned, as you noted) they absorbed from the comfort of their couch.

    Something tells me your friend already was inclined to believe in ghosts and her science show simply gave her a firmer platform from which to discuss it. I do think it’s a pointless endeavor but I might say something along the lines of ” If there are commercials during your show, then i assume they are more concerned with advertising revenue than doing a public service. So I would not put too much stock in how valid the research was for this science.” Good luck.

  3. Why would anyone believe in the idea of a young earth because the Bible teaches it, and yet, believe in the existence of ghosts when the Bible negates the idea that the spirits of deceased human beings remain on earth and “haunt” the living? I’d bet the lady believes Elvis is still alive.

  4. Of course the question has to be, “how do we know which science programmes to believe?”. The fact is that science has long since gone beyond the point where we can realistically check it out for ourselves and as such we are asked to believe stuff is true that for all practical purposes we have no way to validate. Now I have no doubt that there are no such things as ghosts, I conclude this because I have never experienced anything that might be considered even remotely spooky. I also have to admit that I conclude this because if ghosts exist then just perhaps other super natural entities exist and that really does not fit my world view.

    I am confident that the Christian view of the world is simply closed minded with a sheep like trust in their leaders. I am equally confident that the atheist view of the world is accurate but the truth is that I have to believe a lot of what the scientists tell us simply because their views seem plausible and not because I have independently examined the facts. There is a similarity between theist and atheist in that respect but both sides would strongly deny that.

    The denial will be of the form of “Yes but you could check the facts for yourself” and indeed I have heard that answer. But really, just how plausible is it for me to verify any science fact? I do not believe we live on a flat earth and yet realistically I have no way to verify that, I certainly have no hope of verifying the age of the universe, evolution, or the big bang. I am totally reliant on the experiences of others, however they are others that I trust implicitly to be telling a truth that matches my world view.

    • In reply to #4 by naskew:

      Of course the question has to be, “how do we know which science programmes to believe?”. The fact is that science has long since gone beyond the point where we can realistically check it out for ourselves and as such we are asked to believe stuff is true that for all practical purposes we have no wa…

      Well, I don’t necessarily believe whatever individual scientist say. Even if I don’t know have the knowledge and abilities or access necessary to look at and understand all the evidence in every given field, I can be pretty sure the results are correct since I understand how the scientific methodology works. Yes, individual scientists can be wrong. Either by accident or fraudulent behavior. But, it’s very unlikely that a scientific consensus position is wrong altogether. And if it is, by time it’s likely to be corrected.

      For example with regard to climate change. No, I don’t have the knowledge, time or access necessary to understand and interpret all the data. In fact no individual can possibly do this. Some would say that the only truly critical position is to be agnostic. I think that is nonsense and in fact not critical at all. A form of misguided criticism, so to speak. To be critical from a rational point of view, is to be able to assess what is most likely to be true. And if one understands the scientific method it’s easy to see that it’s much more likely that what an overwhelming majority of climate scientists propose is true, than some random blogger on the internet.

    • In reply to #4 by naskew:

      I am equally confident that the atheist view of the world is accurate but the truth is that I have to believe a lot of what the scientists tell us simply because their views seem plausible and not because I have independently examined the facts. There is a similarity between theist and atheist in that respect but both sides would strongly deny that….

      The difference is in the method. Science is reliable because it uses a method (the scientific method) which is based on logic, observation and models, and is therefore reliable. Faith simply believes that something is true without any proof. So you don’t need to be personally looking out of in the International Space Station to see that the earth is indeed curved: you can rely on knowledge acquired by others that used the scientific method. That’s why religion and science are not comparable and you don’t need to believe scientists just because they seem “plausible”.

    • In reply to #4 by naskew:

      Of course the question has to be, “how do we know which science programmes to believe?”. The fact is that science has long since gone beyond the point where we can realistically check it out for ourselves and as such we are asked to believe stuff is true that for all practical purposes we have no way to validate.

      obviously we aren’t going to be able to knock a higgs boson up in the back bedroom. But this is a council of despair! We can learn basic physics (Newtons Laws, electricity and magnetism, deep time, astronomy, evolution). We can run some basic plausibility tests. Does he have a science degree? Does he sound like a loony? Does it sound like woo woo.

      I am confident that the Christian view of the world is simply closed minded with a sheep like trust in their leaders. I am equally confident that the atheist view of the world is accurate but the truth is that I have to believe a lot of what the scientists tell us simply because their views seem plausible and not because I have independently examined the facts. There is a similarity between theist and atheist in that respect but both sides would strongly deny that.

      The denial will be of the form of “Yes but you could check the facts for yourself” and indeed I have heard that answer.

      wikipedia? read some popular science books? read new scientist of sci am?

      But really, just how plausible is it for me to verify any science fact? I do not believe we live on a flat earth and yet realistically I have no way to verify that,

      go to the seaside with a pair of binoculars and watch ships come over the horizon. I used to work with marine radar and the non-flatness of the earth was very obvious!

      I certainly have no hope of verifying the age of the universe, evolution, or the big bang.

      you could read up on it and see what it was based on. The theory and the evidence. Do we actually think NASA or whoever are lying when they say they can see a 4K background?

      I am totally reliant on the experiences of others, however they are others that I trust implicitly to be telling a truth that matches my world view.

      a sort of boot strap problem. I’ve never been to America. I’ve seen it on maps. I see TV programs about it. I’ve spoken to plausible witnesses (my mum for instance (but maybe they fooled her)). But how do I really know?

  5. These channels use to be great. But really now, it’s just tripe. That’s what pseudo-science does. Many people can’t distinguish what qualifies as science and what doesn’t. Even good educational science shows are not always immune to poetic license, but as long as your bullshit-o-meter is functioning, you’ll be all right. First, you need a good, functioning one to begin with.

  6. There are science channels and there are history channels, but all channels are not created equal. If it is on cable, or has advertising it looses some marks, because that program has to appeal to a ratings audience, to make money for the cable network and sponsors. If you produce concise and accurate science programs that set out the evidence clearly and logically, no one will watch them. I would, but I am not in the middle of the human bell curve, which is where the audience is, and therefore the money.

    Even shows that present credible science and history, are padded out with spectacular graphics and re-enactments. How many times have you seen an image of the Big Bang depicted as an explosion, when if fact it is more like an inflating balloon. Who would pay money to watch a balloon inflate, when explosions are really cool.

    I refuse to watch anything National Geographic anymore, as their cable TV productions have stained the name of a once great scientific magazine. Ghost’s. Give Me a Break. Programs out of public channels like PBS and the BBC. ABC Australia. Productions that don’t have to sell anything are more likely (Note probability only) to be credible.

    There is a live streaming channel called FORA.TV which broadcasts shows across a broad range of topics including science. They source there shows from university seminars and debates put on by organizations like Intelligence Squared, or the Long Now Foundation. Wonderful debates between the rational and the religious. Cutting edge presentations of evolution and cosmology.

    I also get my credible science from places like New Scientist, or Nature, which always have links back to the original research if you want to know more than just the press release.

    So Max, pass on a couple of these suggestions to your co-worker. You could start her off with this one, “Does Science Refute God” with Krauss and Shermer arguing the case for science. Absolutely Alfred Hitchcock on the edge of your seat TV.

    http://fora.tv/2012/12/05/Debate_Does_Science_Refute_God

    • *In reply to #7 by David R Allen:

      PBS and the BBC. ABC Australia. Productions that don’t have to sell anything are more likely (Note probability only) to be credible.

      In Australia SBS also shows science programs that meet a really high standard even though it’s partly commercial.

      I agree that the New Scientist is a great resource for easily accessible snippets of science information.

      P.S. The ABC recently blotted its copybook when it screened a two part program of Catalyst.

  7. This is an excellent thread that raises an extremely important question that I think should concern us all. Living in a country that permits the right to exercise free speech, television shows and other forms of media promoting pseudoscientific information with the intention of entertaining run rampant. Education, critical thinking and true skepticism are required to discern fact from fiction. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to relevant material or is interested in delving deeper into these subjects. Ignorance, combined with gullibility, can produce an unquestioning acceptance of anything and everything. For reasons that are fairly obvious, this hurts the scientific community and retards scientific progress at large. I don’t know exactly how open-minded or how willing to objectively examine these things this woman is, but you could begin by ironing out the underlying thought process by discussing how we determine whether something is true or false. In my experience, these people have often been guilty of muddled thinking for so long that a thorough analysis of the basics may be very useful. A conversation about the nature of investigation, critical thinking and logic could get you one step closer to helping her sort out her thinking. Good luck!

  8. Discovery Channel and History Channel are pretty bad about this. Even Animal Planet has Finding Bigfoot, which would be better named Not Finding Bigfoot or Failing to Find Bigfoot. Maybe all this bait and switch deserves a class action lawsuit though it would be difficult to identify the harm.

    The only thing that matters is how much the broadcaster can charge for commercials and that’s based on ratings. As long as rubes outnumber the skeptics the rubes will drive the ratings. The best we can do for people (rubes) more concerned with what is interesting than what is true is recommend skepticism, caveat emptor and perhaps some light-hearted mockery: They saw you coming.

  9. Discovery Channel and History Channel are pretty bad about this. Even Animal Planet has Finding Bigfoot, which would be better named Not Finding Bigfoot or Failing to Find Bigfoot. Maybe all this bait and switch deserves a class action lawsuit though it would be difficult to identify the harm.

    The only thing that matters is how much the broadcaster can charge for commercials and that’s based on ratings. As long as rubes outnumber the skeptics the rubes will drive the ratings. The best we can do for people (rubes) more concerned with what is interesting than what is true is recommend skepticism, caveat emptor and perhaps some light-hearted mockery: They saw you coming.

    • In reply to #10 by Akaei:

      Discovery Channel and History Channel are pretty bad about this. Even Animal Planet has Finding Bigfoot, which would be better named Not Finding Bigfoot or Failing to Find Bigfoot. Maybe all this bait and switch deserves a class action lawsuit though it would be difficult to identify the harm.

      Th…

      Sadly, even more reputable channels can fall victim to it. To pick an obscure example, there was a TV series on the BBC channel a couple of years ago called Planet Dinosaur that depicted one genus (Sinornithosaurus) with venomous fangs. That depiction was based on a paper that was no sooner published than refuted, making the depiction completely inaccurate. In fact, the more well-known BBC dinosaur documentary, Walking with Dinosaurs, contains quite a few errors and speculations (for instance, it depicts Utahraptor as a European genus despite having its place of discovery in its very name, exaggerates the size of Liopleurodon and Ornithocheirus, and pretty much invents the “polar allosaur” from scanty remains), but you wouldn’t know without checking the facts.

      I think that might provide one way to kerb any tendency to just assume the TV shows are getting their science right: look it up elsewhere, for instance on the Internet or in a book on the subject. Look for inconsistencies and corrections.

      • In reply to #11 by Zeuglodon:

        the more well-known BBC dinosaur documentary, Walking with Dinosaurs, contains quite a few errors and speculations (for instance, it depicts Utahraptor as a European genus despite having its place of discovery in its very name, exaggerates the size of Liopleurodon and Ornithocheirus, and pretty much invents the “polar allosaur” from scanty remains), but you wouldn’t know without checking the facts.

        I bought the book and that was a bit better at separating fact from speculation from near fiction

  10. People tend to believe what they want to believe. Creationists want to believe in a 6000 year earth because they (humans) need to feel special rather then just be another animal on this planet. I remember all the arguments I had with a Creationist friend who could not provide any proof whatsoever on any theory he had. How do you explain that we can see the light of millions of stars if this planet was only 6000 years old? “Cos, God did it” was the reply. Enough said !

  11. Thats what the channels are about.” I was shocked. I proceeded to tell her that just because something is shown on TV, it doesn’t mean its true. She was very surprised to hear that and proceeded to ask me how is that possible. That is the moment I realized that there actually are people out there that believe everything they see on TV just because the channels claim to be science channels.

    This is not new! There are people who believe anything which is written in newspapers. – They often choose the newspapers which tell them what they like to hear.

    I can recall a number of occasions when people have been adamant that they know the “truth” about what was said by particular people in meetings behind closed doors – having read it in some tabloid rag.
    They are quite unimpressed by contradictions from people who were actually IN the meetings, or who CHAIRED the meetings in question!!

  12. Hi Maxi-pad,

    You have discovered something that millions do not understand.

    In my lifetime (sorry about that, I do feel a certain responsibility) the mass media have changed dramatically.

    There are several reasons for this which are quite boring to recite and, in any case, reviewing the history doesn’t help. Some changes are one-way only.

    What we now have is this:

    Most, if not the vast majority, of media companies belong to conglomerates. Those conglomerates, in turn, are commercially-focused in a way that media of the post WWII era were not – the main changes are a focus on copyrights and a move away from editorial-focused production to profit-motive production.

    It’s important for us to understand that the profit motive was always a part of media production in the West. Without it, future film projects, or magazine editions, or TV series, could not be made.

    But the need to make a profit did not stop people writing controversial books, investigating politicians, or worrying about the factual content of science programs.

    Today’s TV companies – those which are dependent on turning a profit for their investors (which means all of them in North America) – must, as a direct result of what they are, treat news current affairs and factual programming as a cost with almost no return.

    Unless, that is, they can turn factual programs into entertainment. Entertaining ‘factual’ programs will tend to draw a bigger audience – thus ensuring that advertisers remain interested in running their ads in those time-slots, on those channels.

    This is how we got the train-wreck that is Fix News.

    The same goes for science programming (you were wondering when I would finally get to the point, right). Because, historically, science has been a minority interest (a downstream consequence of poor, or no, science education) audience figures, as for news, have been low.

    In addition, TV has hundreds of channels – so science must compete harder for audiences. Yet more channels also means the TV companies need to make more programmes with the same money (the number of advertisers has not grown much, and more channels means more price competition).

    How do Media Companies turn science into money-making programs? Pseudo-science, pretty science, dumbing down and presenting non-science as science. There is a subtle, but revealing, difference between pseudo-science and non-science. This is where ghosts come in.

    The bottom line is that most people do not have the education to be able to spot the difference between real science and pseudo-science. The first thing to suffer is the real science programs.

    To ensure viewers don’t channel hop away, it’s important that they lose as few viewers as possible. Therefore, explanations are over-simplified to the point where, very often, no real new education is happening. Another tactic is pretty science: the cost of special effects has continually fallen with growing computer power so many programs include graphics and videos that make it more difficult to understand – because the real point of the science requires details. Or they can include extracts from people like NASA or a National Park where part of the production cost has already been covered by the Tax Payer. Or they can use cinematography – big pictures of natural beauty are very common. Such sequences can be surprisingly cheap to film.

    But the bottom line is that real science still costs because it contains real facts. If a Producer makes a silly error in a real science program, or makes a program where the science moves on making the program redundant, its library value (the possibility that it could be a repeat) could be nil – and the profit margin could disappear.

    So what about pseudo-science? First, you need a science education to care about the difference – so your audience is already larger. Second, there are probably people (e.g. Homeopaths) who make a living out of the pseudo-science. They will fall over themselves to help because any publicity is good but Science Channel exposure is doubly so – keeping production costs down. Third, pseudo-science, being nonsense, will not date and no-one outside real science will complain about accuracy – the library value is guaranteed. Fourth, because pseudo-science is shunned by real scientists the Producer and Media Co. can manufacture a ‘controversy’ – audience figures will rise improving margins. Fifth, the entertainment value rises because real science constrains the presentation, but with pseudo-science your already working with a creation, a little more creativity is just the ticket.

    Once a Science Channel starts to show pseudo-science you know it is only a matter of time before they slide into fantasy.

    If you are building a Channel audience that is increasingly divorced from real science, from a purely commercial perspective (as above, this is the real life perspective that media companies use every day), then you would frankly be a bit silly if you didn’t just give them more of the same.

    So ghosts: Your audience don’t actually care about evidence-based inquiry, there is no shortage of charlatans and fakers out there who already make a living out of ghosts and would love to help you make a program (preferably a series) and will help you to keep your costs down. They are advertiser friendly (no uncomfortable facts – like the scientists studying food additives scaring away the food company advertisers). It’s all nonsense – it can be endlessly repeated at zero production cost, and it won’t date (and if it does it can double as a ‘historic’ program!). It can be used to irritate real scientists – thus keeping alive controversies and cosying-up to other producers (a program on ghosts, by definition, supports religion). This is one of the more subtle forms of collateral damage. The Channel belongs to a Conglomerate, who have an eye on co-productions with churches … The entertainment value, even among those who don’t believe in ghosts – but who love a train wreck – will be high and the options for creative presentation are endless.

    This is a long post because the route from top to bottom is factual – just like a good science program.

    But the evidence is there, science programming is in long term decline because it is not commercial – but mass media are commercial.

    This is nothing less than a major social disease. Media reform, as far as I can see though I remain open to alternatives, is the only answer.

    In the meantime, you and your friend need to watch less television and read more books by real scientists who are good at presenting real science to non-scientists.

    If you think science has it bad, don’t get me started on history channels.

    The basic problem is the commercial orientation of conglomerate media means we get ‘entertainment’ rather than interesting because entertainment lends itself more easily to cross-media promotion. ‘Reality’ TV and soap operas are endlessly promoted from TV, radio and print for this very reason, plus they lend themselves so perfectly to integrated advertising.

    Actually, just switch the TV off.

    Peace.

  13. This looks like one of the many hopeless cases around. When I pointed out to a literal bible creationist that it was strange that the kangaroos on Noah’s Ark had all taken refuge in Australia, and that no fossils of them were found in other parts nearer to the Middle East, she replied : ” Its a miracle”!. My only suggestion is to try Peter Boghossian’s recipes in ,* A Manual for Creating Atheists*, which aims at teaching how to engage this kind of person in conversations that would cast doubt on their beliefs, abandon irrationality, and ultimately embrace reason. Good luck!

  14. In the meantime, you and your friend need to watch less television and read more books…

    I agree that books are the way to go. Real science does not readily lend itself to the TV format. The information is dry and often can only be fully comprehended after digesting it multiple times. Currently I am reading a book about math and the current chapter is on vector calculus. It’s slow reading. I have to stop, re-read, think, draw, apply an example, go back to a previous chapter, etc. I would never have watched a TV program that attempted to cover any of this stuff.

    …by real scientists who are good at presenting real science to non-scientists.

    During my high school years and now during my son’s middle school years, I have noticed that the many qualified science teachers are not American. There is a good chance that a language (or accent) barrier will be injected into a subject that’s already intimidating to many people. It seems the most knowledgable, or intelligent, do a poor job of keeping the average person’s attention. And the interesting people aren’t as careful about getting the facts straight. Finding a reputable scientist who is passionate about presenting his or her subject to the masses is 80% of the work. The science channels do a good job of re-introducing topics to those who gave up during school. It’s just a shame that in this day an age, there is still willingness to accept even educational TV as 100% factual.

    Educational TV, magazines, and newspapers are great avenues as long as people realize that these formats have limited time and space and above all, they are trying to stay in business by appealing to a large audience. At least if people would admit to themselves that they would rather be entertained than educated, we would each know where we stood. But those who believe they are being educated when they are only being entertained would do themselves a great service by turning to books as their definitive source.

  15. You know what steams me? Dr. Oz and the horseshit he peddles. He is on a major network and puts all sorts of false crap out. He should know better. The science and history networks are in it for profit and ratings. Once again, each individual is responsible for their own knowledge base and if you are silly enough to believe in ghosts, well, the TV is the least of your worries.

  16. I have been having a very interesting (by interesting meaning mostly ridiculous) conversation with a coworker who believes in the bible literally and that the universe is 6,000 years old.

    what can we do to make people like this woman who was never properly taught from a young age to just learn to question.

    What are your beliefs about the age of the universe? Do you question the 13 + billion years ago the universe coming into existence from nothing theory without questioning it, or do you find it somewhat hard to believe?

    • In reply to #19 by rizvoid:

      What are your beliefs about the age of the universe? Do you question the 13 + billion years ago

      The two issues are separate. The calculation of the age of the Universe following the big bang is clearly explained and evidenced by physics and maths. It is a matter of a consensus of well tested evidence-based expert opinion, not faith-based “belief”! .

      the universe coming into existence from nothing theory without questioning it, or do you find it somewhat hard to believe?

      This part assumes that something called “nothing” exists. (There is nowhere in the universe where there are no forces or no energy) Scientists are well aware that the origins of the Big-Bang, is work in progress.

      The suggestion that this is accepted “without questioning” is a strawman, as anyone who has been involved debating this subject will know.

      Such strawman claims are usually made as a cover for the fallacious pretence, that unanswered questions default to: “god-did-it-by-mysterious-magic”.

      Physicists have several possible ideas, but at present we do not know the origins of the energy in the Big-Bang. Nobody “KNOWS” the origin of the Big-Bang. There are other mythical ideas, but they are “Turtles all the way down”!

      • In reply to #21 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #19 by rizvoid:

        Such strawman claims are usually made as a cover for the fallacious pretence, that unanswered questions default to: “god-did-it-by-mysterious-magic”.

        Alan4Discussion, just for the record, I don’t believe in god. But I also don’t see science as something that can be used a replacement for god. A blind belief in god is just as irrational as a blind belief in science. I am sure you don’t mind people questioning science, especially when it has been shown in the history of science over and over again that any theory, no matter how strong it is, can be replaced by a better theory at any time. Why should we accept any theory as a fact?

        • In reply to #32 by rizvoid:

          A blind belief in god is just as irrational as a blind belief in science.

          Perhaps you could give some examples of “blind belief in science in a scientific consensus” bearing in mind that a scientific consensus arises after rigorous scrutiny and testing of evidence, hypotheses and theories without them being refuted.

          The ignorant individual may have blind beliefs, but to suggest that a a scientific consensus is “blind” AFTER the peer-review and debate has established the theory, is simply a statement of personal ignorance of the subject. Scientific theories and scientific laws are not established by a process of “blind belief”.

          I am sure you don’t mind people questioning science, especially when it has been shown in the history of science over and over again that any theory, no matter how strong it is, can be replaced by a better theory at any time.

          This is a gross misunderstanding of scientific theory. Strong theories are not thrown out and replaced by something completely different. If they were strongly evidenced by observation and testing in the first place, they will simply be modified to ADD new features explaining further details. Newton’s laws of motion and the law of gravity are not going to be scrapped. They have been modified by Einstein and relativity, but are still 99.99999% accurate for subsonic travel on Earth.

          Why should we accept any theory as a fact?

          Theories which are proved to very high probabilities are facts (within margins of error) for practical purposes.

          If anyone thinks they can refute the theory of gravity, they can step out of a 20th floor window and look for the “new physics” on the way down!

          Back in the real world, (given a little variation caused by any unmeasured air-flow and air pressure), the physicists can calculate precisely what velocity, and impact force, they will have on reaching the ground.

          Similarly any notion that the “global spheroid theory of Earth” will be thrown out and replaced with Flat-Earthism or whatever, is pure wishful thinking! Repeatable observations are fact.

          Interpretations may vary, but old competently refuted claims still don’t get reinstated. Refuted claims are just wrong and are discarded by science!

          That is just the old creationist con-trick of pretending that because science does not know everything, it cannot know anything – and that all observations and evidence are in doubt – or that all opinions are equal – They are not!

          10 Scientific Laws and Theories You Really Should Knowhttp://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/scientific-experiments/10-scientific-laws-theories.htm

          • Strong theories are not thrown out and replaced by something completely different. If they were strongly evidenced by observation and testing in the first place, they will simply be modified to ADD new features explaining further details. Newton’s laws of motion and the law of gravity are not going to be scrapped.

            And the age of the universe is a case in point. A couple of centuries ago, scientists would have said the universe was eternal. Then Hubble, in the 20th century, discovered other galaxies. And these galaxies were found to be moving away from us (Red shift).

            Hubble estimated the rate of expansion of the universe and hence when it started from a point. His calculation of 2 billion years was incorrect because he under-estimated the distance between galaxies. The expansion rate was measured more accurately with data from the Hubble space telescope (launched 1990), giving a new age of 9.1 billion years.

            The discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation provided a way to measure the expansion rate independent of galaxy distances. Data from WMAP gave an age of 13.77 billion years. And the latest data from Planck gives an age of 13.82 billion years.

            The latest combined estimate is 13.798 billion years +/- 37 million years. Interesting to compare the margin of error with the YEC total age of 6000 years, although I may not be up to date with the latest YEC estimate based on current state of the art in bible genealogy.

            In reply to #36 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #32 by rizvoid:

            A blind belief in god is just as irrational as a blind belief in science.

            Perhaps you could give some examples of “blind belief in science in a scientific consensus” bearing in mind that a scientific consensus arises after rigorous scrutiny and testing of evidence, hypo…

          • thanks for the technical expertise (which I do not possess).

            In reply to #37 by Marktony:

            Strong theories are not thrown out and replaced by something completely different. If they were strongly evidenced by observation and testing in the first place, they will simply be modified to ADD new features explaining further details. Newton’s laws of motion and the law of gravity are not going…

          • Thanks for the complement but I wouldn’t claim to be a specialist. Like Bill Nye, my background is mechanical engineering, although in the past I have helped develop engineering software for spacecraft thermal design. Cosmology is a hobby. As you mentioned in post 31, this site is a mine of information with posters such as Alan providing countless links of interest.

            In reply to #38 by crookedshoes:

            thanks for the technical expertise (which I do not possess).

            In reply to #37 by Marktony:

            Strong theories are not thrown out and replaced by something completely different. If they were strongly evidenced by observation and testing in the first place, they will simply be modified to ADD new featur…

          • In reply to #37 by Marktony:

            Strong theories are not thrown out and replaced by something completely different. If they were strongly evidenced by observation and testing in the first place, they will simply be modified to ADD new features explaining further details. .. . .. .. .

            And the age of the universe is a case in point. A couple of centuries ago, scientists would have said the universe was eternal. Then Hubble, in the 20th century, discovered other galaxies. And these galaxies were found to be moving away from us (Red shift).

            Thanks for the further illustrations.
            To add emphasis, I think the point is that the claim of “an eternal universe” was not strongly evidenced in the first place, but your illustrations show how science revises and up-dates its views and calculations, by actively seeking new stronger evidence.

          • In reply to #36 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #32 by rizvoid:

            A blind belief in god is just as irrational as a blind belief in science.

            Perhaps you could give some examples of “blind belief in science in a scientific consensus” bearing in mind that a scientific consensus arises after rigorous scrutiny and testing of evidence, hypo…

            Sorry, Alan. Blind faith is the correct expression I suppose.

            You are right about everything you say.

            Let me just answer the following part of your post:

            This is a gross misunderstanding of scientific theory. Strong theories are not thrown out and replaced by something completely different. If they were strongly evidenced by observation and testing in the first place, they will simply be modified to ADD new features explaining further details. Newton’s laws of motion and the law of gravity are not going to be scrapped. They have been modified by Einstein and relativity, but are still 99.99999% accurate for subsonic travel on Earth.

            Newton’s concept of time and space have not been modified by Einstein’s theory of relativity. They have been completely destroyed.

            Newton thought time and space were constants throughout the universe, which means the measurements we take on earth are true no matter which other part of the universe we take the same measurements from. As in, time’s properties remain the same throughout the universe. However, Einstein’s theory of relativity, if true, means the measurements we take from earth are true only relative to our position in the universe. Or, these measurements are true only for us on planet earth. They are not true for the aliens living on the other side of the universe? Would you call this a modification?

            The problem is, I think, we are still going by Newton’s concepts of time and space, perhaps unknowingly. Maybe because Einstein’s theory makes sense only if we could travel to other galaxies within hours, which we can’t. So, for the sake of convenience, we have decided to adhere to those solid state Newtonian concepts of time and space, which is why our default position is always that time is a constant and is linear every time we talk about the age of the universe, or the theory of evolution. No body even bothers to ask, which version of time we are using in these theories? The Newtonian version or the one presented by Einstein? Which version do you use?

          • In reply to #47 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #36 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #32 by rizvoid:

            However, Einstein’s theory of relativity, if true, means the measurements we take from earth are true only relative to our position in the universe.

            This is where you are making an error of fact, and extrapolating from that error, to a conclusion which is also in error, and thus can’t support this argument I’ve heard a myriad times from the religious to draw extremely long bows that allow for a 6000 year old earth, or other variations on the same theme.

            The mistake in science fact is in these words. “means the measurements we take from earth are true only relative to our position in the universe. “

            Your location in the universe does not alter time in an Einsteinian way. Where you stand, on another planet, and the direction you look doesn’t alter what an alien would measure the age of the universe. Your local measurement of time is only altered in the present of differential gravity, or acceleration. It wouldn’t even matter if the alien lived on a neutron star, with massive Einsteinian time dilation effects due to gravity. (Dealt with in a wonderful SciFi book, Dragon’s Egg. Recommend it) When they looked out from their neutron star, they would see a universe that is not under the massive local gravitational effects, and draw the same conclusion as us. Yes Einstein showed that time is relative to the observer, and is different for each observer depending on the gravity or acceleration they experience. On the top of Everest, time is different from that at see level. But when you measure the age of the universe from those two locations, you get the same result, because your local time doesn’t effect your measurement. And while that displaces Newton’s ticking universal clock, it doesn’t give you evidence to support your misconception.

            Asking question that begin with “Maybe” or “What if” are speculation, which is the starting point of curiosity and thus science, but speculation of a “Maybe” or a “What if” is not evidence. I hope this clears this up for you Rizvoid and you won’t make the same mistake in future postings.

          • In reply to #48 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #47 by rizvoid:

            Yes Einstein showed that time is relative to the observer, and is different for each observer depending on the gravity or acceleration they experience.

            Your location in the universe does not alter time in an Einsteinian way. Where you stand, on another planet, and the direction you look doesn’t alter what an alien would measure the age of the universe. Your local measurement of time is only altered in the present of differential gravity, or acceleration. It wouldn’t even matter if the alien lived on a neutron star, with massive Einsteinian time dilation effects due to gravity.

            Yes. The hypothetical planet i am talking about is moving at a different speed than our planet. Let’s just say the hypothetical alein planet is moving 100,000 times faster than earth….. Highly unlikely, but let’s just suppose anyway, for the sake of argument.

          • rizvoid @47- Newton’s concept of time and space have not been modified by Einstein’s theory of relativity. They have been completely destroyed.

            Newton’s Laws are (within very small margins) are correct on Earth to about 99.99999% accurate.
            There are very small adjustments to be made within the Solar System on SAT Navs etc to allow for differences in relative speeds of fast moving objects. Newton’s Laws have simply been modified in respect of objects moving at high speeds (tens of thousands + of MPH) relative to each other. Adjustments for relative velocity have simply been added to Newton’s calculations.
            In no sense has his work been “destroyed”!

            In reply to #49 by rizvoid:

            Yes. The hypothetical planet i am talking about is moving at a different speed than our planet.

            The relative velocities would cause time dilation if they approached the speed of light, but the relative mass (infinite at light speed) would prevent the speed of light being closely approached. About 20% of light speed looks to be the hypothetical limit for planets.

            Let’s just say the hypothetical alein planet is moving 100,000 times faster than earth….. Highly unlikely, but let’s just suppose anyway, for the sake of argument.

            Such planets can exist.

            Planet Starship: Runaway Planets Zoom at a Fraction of Light-Speed – http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/2012-06

            Cambridge, MA – Seven years ago, astronomers boggled when they found the first runaway star flying out of our Galaxy at a speed of 1.5 million miles per hour. The discovery intrigued theorists, who wondered: If a star can get tossed outward at such an extreme velocity, could the same thing happen to planets?

            New research shows that the answer is yes. Not only do runaway planets exist, but some of them zoom through space at a few percent of the speed of light – up to 30 million miles per hour.

            Re: the speed of the Earth, – I posted a comment and link here. http://www.richarddawkins.net/news-articles/2014/2/1/cloudy-with-a-chance-of-molten-iron#comment-box-13

          • In reply to #50 by Alan4discussion:

            rizvoid @47- Newton’s concept of time and space have not been modified by Einstein’s theory of relativity. They have been completely destroyed.

            Newton’s Laws are (within very small margins) are correct on Earth to about 99.99999% accurate.
            There are very small adjustments to be made within the…

            Yeah Ok. So, what is the answer to my very simple question? Do you see time as a constant that remains constant throughout the universe? Do you think the measurements we have made about the age of the universe, as in the big bang theory, are true no matter where we are in the universe?

          • In reply to #49 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #48 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #47 by rizvoid:

            Yes Einstein showed that time is relative to the observer, and is different for each observer depending on the gravity or acceleration they experience.

            Your location in the universe does not alter time in an Einsteinian way. Where you…

            Wouldn’t make a second of difference. You’re rate of movement, or the gravity you feel, does not affect the results of the measurements you take of the most distance objects you can see, and their red shift, or the temperature of the Cosmic Microwave Background temperature. These are constants and are not changed by any Einsteinian effects. So your position is not correct.

          • In reply to #52 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #49 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #48 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #47 by rizvoid:

            Wouldn’t make a second of difference. You’re rate of movement, or the gravity you feel, does not affect the results of the measurements you take of the most distance objects you can see, and their red shift, or the temperature of the Cosmic Microwave Background temperature. These are constants and are not changed by any Einsteinian effects. So your position is not correct.

            Then I am sorry to say, you do not understand relativity.

          • In reply to #53 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #52 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #49 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #48 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #47 by rizvoid:

            Wouldn’t make a second of difference. You’re rate of movement, or the gravity you feel, does not affect the results of the measurements you take of the most distance object…
            Then I am sorry to say, you do not understand relativity.

            Enlighten me as to my error. What have I failed to understand about relativity. You can’t make a statement like that without supplying cogent evidence in support of your statement. Standing by.

          • In reply to #54 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #53 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #52 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #49 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #48 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #47 by rizvoid:

            Enlighten me as to my error. What have I failed to understand about relativity. You can’t make a statement like that without supplying cogent evidence in support of your statement. Standing by.

            I will try. Though I must say it is work in progress.

            We make all observations from earth, and earth is in motion. All observations that we make from earth are true relative to earth’s position in the universe, and of course, its speed. Relatively true, not absolutely true.

            If we move to another planet that is located in another galaxy, and that is moving at a much faster speed than our planet earth, and make the same observations from that planet, we would be now making observations relative to that planet’s speed and location in the universe. Another relative truth.

            Now, if time is not an absolute, and if the perception of time is relative to the position and the speed of the observer and if time and space are one continuum, as proposed by the theory of relativity, then our perception of time and space should be quite different on a planet that is moving 100,000 times faster than earth, is located in a galaxy that is spinning at a different rate than our milky way and is also moving at a different speed. On such a planet, time should be experienced slower than it is experienced on Earth. I think. what do you think?

          • In reply to #55 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #54 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #53 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #52 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #49 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #48 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #47 by rizvoid:

            Enlighten me as to my error. What have I failed to understand about relativity. You can’t make a statement l…

            Nearly, but not quite. U are making a common mistake. What saves Einstein from what you are saying is that the observer’s time, is unique to them. It is not projected onto external observers or the universe. If you were traveling at near the speed of light past the earth, the perception of a minute would pass for you, at exactly the same speed as a minute would pass for an me on earth. However, if I on earth was to time your minute as you whizzed by, my stop watch would find your minute was considerably shorter than mine, but only to me.

            In your space ship traveling at near light speed relative to earth, you were to conduct experiments to determine the age of the universe, measure the red shift of distant stars and the CMB temperature,you would come up with the same answers as I, doing the same experiments. You’re movement relative to me doesn’t affect the results of these experiments. You may be stationary relative to a planet traveling at the same speed as you. The alien and you would both agree on the age of the universe, and it would be the same as the figure I got. One of Einstein’s assumptions that has proved true so far is that the law of physics are universal. That is, identical throughout the universe from nano second one. Gravity at the further est observable star is the same as here on earth. Quantum Mechanics is universal. But I digress.

            Your motion relative to any other body in the universe, while it may produce a local time dilation for you, does not affect any experiment you conduct. As Einstein said, all observers are equal in a relativistic universe.

          • In reply to #57 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #55 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #54 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #53 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #52 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #49 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #48 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #47 by rizvoid:

            Nearly, but not quite. U are making a common mistake. What saves Einstein from what you are saying is that the observer’s time, is unique to them. It is not projected onto external observers or the universe. If you were traveling at near the speed of light past the earth, the perception of a minute would pass for you, at exactly the same speed as a minute would pass for an me on earth. However, if I on earth was to time your minute as you whizzed by, my stop watch would find your minute was considerably shorter than mine, but only to me.

            OK. in that case, we have to define how long a minute is. A minute as measured on earth, would be the same length on a planet that is travelling 100,000 faster than earth?

            When we measure a minute on earth and then on this planet that is travelling 100,000 faster than earth, would the minute be slightly shorter on that faster planet? If yes, then which observation is the right observation? The one made on earth, or the one made on the faster planet?

          • In reply to #58 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #47 by rizvoid:

            Nearly, but not quite. U are making a common…

            I almost gave up Rizvoid, but I’ll give it one more shot.

            Both minutes are correct and identical, …. to the person experiencing the minute. Both observers, if they could look at the clock in possession of the other person, would say that their clock is running fast. Both cancel each other out. You see, if a planet is traveling 100,000 times faster than earth, then which planet is moving. Under Einstein, it is just as valid to say that the Earth is traveling 100,000 times faster than the other planet. There is no zero frame of reference to determine who is moving and who is not. In space, all movements are only relative. There is no Ether.

            Imagine you are out in space. How can you tell if you are moving. You can’t. There is no experiment or sense that you can employ that can tell you this. If an asteroid passed you, was the asteroid moving past you or were you moving past the asteroid. Add as many objects as you like and it is still the same answer. Your relative motion to another object is in now way an hindrance to conducting experiments to determine the age of the universe. Its irrelevant to this discussion. This is the concept I need you to understand, if you are to give up on this erroneous view.

            So there is no “right observation.” They’re both right. That was the beauty and essence of Einstein’s relativity. It said that all observers are equal.

          • In reply to #60 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #58 by rizvoid:

            Both minutes are correct and identical, …. to the person experiencing the minute. Both observers, if they could look at the clock in possession of the other person, would say that their clock is running fast. Both cancel each other out. You see, if a planet is traveling 100,000 times faster than earth, then which planet is moving. Under Einstein, it is just as valid to say that the Earth is traveling 100,000 times faster than the other planet. There is no zero frame of reference to determine who is moving and who is not. In space, all movements are only relative. There is no Ether.

            I am sorry, but could you explain that a little more? I don’t think I fully understand this.

          • In reply to #61 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #60 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #58 by rizvoid:

            Both minutes are correct and identical, …. to the person experiencing the minute. Both observers, if they could look at the clock in possession of the other person, would say that their clock is running fast. Both cancel each other ou…

            Without knowing what you don’t get I don’t think anybody will be able to give you the right information.

            In which case I’ll simply try to offer a simplified hypothetical example that would in some way answer your original problem.

            You have two worlds, Earth, in which time passes, well, as it passes for us, and Planet X, in which time passes half as fast. While defining a year as the same amount of time but subject to the relative effects of time dilation,
            2 years on Earth is equivalent to 1 year on Planet X. Observers of Earth on Planet X would, with an extremely powerful telescope, see us scurrying around in fast forward, while we would observe the inhabitants of X as moving in slow motion.

            Now, on Earth we calculate the universe as being approximately 13.8 billion years old.

            On Planet X they would calculate the universe as being around 6.9 billion years old.

            Who is correct?

            Both are correct, because of relative speeds, the conversion factor of 2 will turn 6.9b X years into 13.8b Earth years.

            See? It’s not that complicated.

          • In reply to #62 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #61 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #60 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #58 by rizvoid:

            Both are correct, because of relative speeds, the conversion factor of 2 will turn 6.9b X years into 13.8b Earth years.

            See? It’s not that complicated.

            Not at all. You have managed extremely well to make it look like some KG stuff.

          • In reply to #61 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #60 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #58 by rizvoid:
            I am sorry, but could you explain that a little more? I don’t think I fully understand this

            I suspect you are playing with this atheist, but I’ve always enjoyed games. So Einstein in dot point:-

            • All observers are equal.
            • The Laws of Physics are universal.
            • The results of any physics experiment conducted anywhere in the universe will yield the same result.
            • The universe has an age
            • There is no profit for the religious trying to prove that time varies in such a way as to support the existence of a god.
          • In reply to #64 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #61 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #60 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #58 by rizvoid:
            I am sorry, but could you explain that a little more? I don’t think I fully understand this

            I suspect you are playing with this atheist, but I’ve always enjoyed games. So Einstein in dot point:-

            All observers are equal.
            The Laws of Physics are universal.
            The results of any physics experiment conducted anywhere in the universe will yield the same result.
            The universe has an age
            There is no profit for the religious trying to prove that time varies in such a way as to support the existence of a god.

            Glad that you replied, though not how I was expecting…..

            Let’s just address this: This universe has an age.

            If there were no observers to observe the universe, would there still be time and space in the universe?

          • In reply to #66 by rizvoid:

            If there were no observers to observe the universe, would there still be time and space in the universe?

            Laws of science and reality do not depend on observers. The Earth existed long before humans.

            Surely you are not going to try Hammy’s “Were you there fallacy”?

          • In reply to #67 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #66 by rizvoid:

            If there were no observers to observe the universe, would there still be time and space in the universe?

            Laws of science and reality do not depend on observers. The Earth existed long before humans.

            Time depends on the observer. The theory of relativity says so. I don’t know what you mean by ‘laws of science’ though. Science is so big, there are millions of laws in science. Which laws are we talking about here?

            Surely you are not going to try Hammy’s “Were you there fallacy”?

            I don’t know this fallacy…what is it?

          • In reply to #68 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #67 by Alan4discussion:

            Time depends on the observer.

            Still making the same mistake. Yes, time is unique to the observer, but that doesn’t alter the results of experiments, because the laws of physics are universal.

          • In reply to #70 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #68 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #67 by Alan4discussion:

            Time depends on the observer.

            Still making the same mistake. Yes, time is unique to the observer, but that doesn’t alter the results of experiments, because the laws of physics are universal.

            Time is unique to the observer. Right. But would there be time if there were no observer? It’s a simple question. Yes or No?

            Would the universe have time if there were no observers in the universe?

          • In reply to #72 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #70 by David R Allen:
            Would the universe have time if there were no observers in the universe

            It’s a meaningless speculation that doesn’t have an answer so I’m not particularly interested in. Like the tree in the forest analogy. Fun for philosophers but the world doesn’t stand or fall on it. So IHMO, who cares.

            Just on chat room technique, you failed and continue to fail to answer my question, and just change the subject… Common technique.

            Do you now accept that the age of the universe has nothing to do with who measures it?

          • In reply to #73 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #72 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #70 by David R Allen:
            Would the universe have time if there were no observers in the universe

            It’s a meaningless speculation that doesn’t have an answer so I’m not particularly interested in. Like the tree in the forest analogy. Fun for philosophers but the world doesn’t stand or fall on it. So IHMO, who cares.

            It’s not a meaningless question at all. In fact, it is an extremely important question.

            You see, if time cannot exist without an observer, then time is purely a subjective phenomenon depending entirely on the observer. In that case, the universe has no age of its own , because when an observer observes the universe, the observers creates time and thus the age of the universe. Therefore, there are as many ages of the universe as there are observers observing the universe. This is what the theory of relativity says, very effectively.

            However, if you say time can exist independent of the observer, then it is indeed possible for the universe to have an age of its own, which could be called the age of the universe. In that case, we can get down to the question of what properties this time, independent of the observer, has. And may I say, by subscribing to this, you would be going back to the iron age of science when Newton thought time was a constant throughout the universe?

            Do you now accept that the age of the universe has nothing to do with who measures it?

            No I don’t. You haven’t answered my question. And now that I have explained why it is not a meaningless question, you should answer my question.

          • In reply to #74 by rizvoid:

            You see, if time cannot exist without an observer, then time is purely a subjective phenomenon depending entirely on the observer.

            What Alan said… The rest of you paragraph has no meaning. I’ve answered your question. You’re still seeking a 6000 year old earth.

            Now to infinity and beyond..

            No to the Newtonian assertion. I will repeat again and I will type slowly so you can follow it. The results of experiments conducted by any observer, regardless of their circumstances, yield the same results. Nothing to do with Newton’s celestial clock. They all get the same figure for the age of the universe. The laws of physics are universal.

            Now I take this to be your answer to my question:- “No I don’t.” A well argued response, backed up with solid and extensive reasoning. I will leave it for others to judge whether this is willful blindness.

          • In reply to #76 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #74 by rizvoid:

            You see, if time cannot exist without an observer, then time is purely a subjective phenomenon depending entirely on the observer.

            Now I take this to be your answer to my question:- “No I don’t.” A well argued response, backed up with solid and extensive reasoning. I will leave it for others to judge whether this is willful blindness.

            Great. And I am sure will find a lot of support here, despite the fact you still haven’t directly answered my question.

            By the way, I am not seeking a universe that is 6,000 years old. I am actually seeking how long is 6,000 years and how long is 13.7 billion years.

          • In reply to #68 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #67 by Alan4discussion:

            If there were no observers to observe the universe, would there still be time and space in the universe?

            Laws of science and reality do not depend on observers. The Earth existed long before humans.

            Time depends on the observer. The theory of relativity says so.

            No! Relativity postulates a hypothetical observer, but the time dilation on a space-craft would not be dependent on human observers actually being present. -

            Indeed, time dilation affects SAT navs’ relayed signals, with no humans present or observing the satellites.

            http://physicscentral.com/explore/writers/will.cfm
            But in a relativistic world, things are not simple. The satellite clocks are moving at 14,000 km/hr in orbits that circle the Earth twice per day, much faster than clocks on the surface of the Earth, and Einstein’s theory of special relativity says that rapidly moving clocks tick more slowly, by about seven microseconds (millionths of a second) per day.

            Also, the orbiting clocks are 20,000 km above the Earth, and experience gravity that is four times weaker than that on the ground. Einstein’s general relativity theory says that gravity curves space and time, resulting in a tendency for the orbiting clocks to tick slightly faster, by about 45 microseconds per day. The net result is that time on a GPS satellite clock advances faster than a clock on the ground by about 38 microseconds per day.

            To determine its location, the GPS receiver uses the time at which each signal from a satellite was emitted, as determined by the on-board atomic clock and encoded into the signal, together the with speed of light, to calculate the distance between itself and the satellites it communicated with. The orbit of each satellite is known accurately. Given enough satellites, it is a simple problem in Euclidean geometry to compute the receiver’s precise location, both in space and time. To achieve a navigation accuracy of 15 meters, time throughout the GPS system must be known to an accuracy of 50 nanoseconds, which simply corresponds to the time required for light to travel 15 meters.

            But at 38 microseconds per day, the relativistic offset in the rates of the satellite clocks is so large that, if left uncompensated, it would cause navigational errors that accumulate faster than 10 km per day! GPS accounts for relativity by electronically adjusting the rates of the satellite clocks, and by building mathematical corrections into the computer chips which solve for the user’s location. Without the proper application of relativity, GPS would fail in its navigational functions within about 2 minutes.

            I don’t know what you mean by ‘laws of science’ though. Science is so big, there are millions of laws in science. Which laws are we talking about here?

            We were talking about relativity and time dilation in relation to relative velocities and gravity, but all the other laws would still apply.

            Surely you are not going to try Hammy’s “Were you there fallacy”?

            I don’t know this fallacy…what is it?

            @69 David – I will answer Rizvoid’s classic* “If a tree falls in the forest no one present, does it make a noise.”*

            Yep! – That was the fallacy!

          • In reply to #66 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #64 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #61 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #60 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #58 by rizvoid:
            I am sorry, but could you explain that a little more? I don’t think I fully understand this

            I suspect you are playing with this atheist, but I’ve always enjoyed games. So…

            Hang on. Hang on. HANG ON…. That was a classic blog / chat answer dodge. First, do you now concede that your posts… Way down there somewhere, were in error.

            (Folks. This is a test. If Rizvoid says he has changed his mind, he declares himself rational. If he sticks to his dogma, then that is Willful Blindness, an irrational trait that is dangerous, and why I personally resist the religious)

            I will answer Rizvoid’s classic “If a tree falls in the forest no one present, does it make a noise.”

          • In reply to #69 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #66 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #64 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #61 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #60 by David R Allen:

            Hang on. Hang on. HANG ON…. That was a classic blog / chat answer dodge. First, do you now concede that your posts… Way down there somewhere, were in error.
            (Folks. This is a test. If Rizvoid says he has changed his mind, he declares himself rational. If he sticks to his dogma, then that is Willful Blindness, an irrational trait that is dangerous, and why I personally resist the religious)
            I will answer Rizvoid’s classic “If a tree falls in the forest no one present, does it make a noise.”

            What on earth are you talking about, David? I am not trying to prove you wrong or irrational here. Just diving deeper and deeper into something interesting here. It’s like the ancient Europeans sailing out to explore the globe, to discover new worlds. Have fun. But on second thoughts, have it your way. I am comfy either way.

          • In reply to #55 by rizvoid:

            Now, if time is not an absolute, and if the perception of time is relative to the position and the speed of the observer and if time and space are one continuum, as proposed by the theory of relativity, then our perception of time and space should be quite different on a planet that is moving 100,000 times faster than earth, is located in a galaxy that is spinning at a different rate than our milky way and is also moving at a different speed. On such a planet, time should be experienced slower than it is experienced on Earth. I think. what do you think?

            Sorry to butt in.

            All velocities are relative so to say a planet is moving 100,000 times faster than earth doesn’t make sense unless you say in relation to what. What matters for time dilation is how it is moving relative to earth. Perception of time won’t change. What will change is that if you watch a clock on the other planet it will be moving faster or slower relative to an identical clock on your planet.

            Wikipedia has an article on this.

            Michael

    • I would find it very very hard top believe any random number and 6,000 is no different from 13 billion. And, YES, I would question it. Until evidence arrives. And, we, um, there is evidence for one of those ages and well, um, ahhhh ZERO evidence for the other. But, ummm, how about this, aren’t YOU accepting the 6,000 number without evidence, and in fact, in the clear face of evidence?????

      Pot meet kettle.

      In reply to #19 by rizvoid:

      I have been having a very interesting (by interesting meaning mostly ridiculous) conversation with a coworker who believes in the bible literally and that the universe is 6,000 years old.

      what can we do to make people like this woman who was never properly taught from a young age to just learn to q…

      • In reply to #29 by crookedshoes:

        I would find it very very hard top believe any random number and 6,000 is no different from 13 billion. And, YES, I would question it. Until evidence arrives. And, we, um, there is evidence for one of those ages and well, um, ahhhh ZERO evidence for the other. But, ummm, how about this, aren’t YO…

        No, I don’t believe the universe is only 6,000 years old. I think it is a silly proposal…. But I didn’t know there was evidence that the universe is indeed 13.7 billion years old? Where is the evidence?

        • I am relieved to hear you say that you find 6,000 years to be silly. But, the 13.7 Billion year estimate is resting on pretty sound and tested observations….Read and google.

          Here, I’ll start you out

          microwave background radiation (CBR)

          red shift

          the doppler effect

          And, well, just one that I use unofficially when speaking to someone about this. We can see light that is billions of years old (the idea of x number of light years away). Logical justification of light coming across the universe being over 13 billion light years away means that it has been travelling for 13 billion years in order to get here. You can construct the rest for yourself.

          Also, there are a few folks here that are absolute fountains of information concerning this topic (I am a complete novice). I’d reference you to start with reading some of Alan4discussion’s posts. If you click on his gravatar and s roll through his back comments, you will find a myriad of posts, threads, links, and comments that can spiderweb to the other people active on this site who are veritable experts in this topic.

          I hope this engages you and you find it educational.

          Peace.
          In reply to #30 by rizvoid:

          In reply to #29 by crookedshoes:

          I would find it very very hard top believe any random number and 6,000 is no different from 13 billion. And, YES, I would question it. Until evidence arrives. And, we, um, there is evidence for one of those ages and well, um, ahhhh ZERO evidence for the other. Bu…

          • In reply to #31 by crookedshoes:

            I am relieved to hear you say that you find 6,000 years to be silly. But, the 13.7 Billion year estimate is resting on pretty sound and tested observations….Read and google.

            And, well, just one that I use unofficially when speaking to someone about this. We can see light that is billions of years old (the idea of x number of light years away). Logical justification of light coming across the universe being over 13 billion light years away means that it has been travelling for 13 billion years in order to get here. You can construct the rest for yourself.

            OK. I agree with this part.

            But how is time defined in all of this?

            Is time a constant that is flowing from one direction to another at a constant speed? Like, does time flow from the past through the present and into the future at a constant speed? In that case, we know how long a year is, because time flowing at a constant speed, a year has a standard length. In that case, we know how long 13.7 billion of years are., because time is a constant throughout the universe. We will get the same answer no matter where in the universe we make these observations.

            Or, do you think time’s speed is relative to the speed and position of the observer? In that case, we do not know how long a year is, and how long 13.7 billion of years are, because time being relative to the observer, every observer on earth will have a slightly different perception of time. But let’s move to some other planet located in some other galaxy, and observe the age of the universe using the same theory. If time is relative to the speed and position of the observer, than what is 13.7 billion years on earth could mean something entirely different on that planet….and something entirely different on some other planet.

            Or, do you think time is something else? Like a fourth dimension is space? Space time?

            So, how do you define time when you say the universe is 13+ billion years old? Is it a constant? A variable? A fourth dimensional property of the universe? Something else?

          • And, well, just one that I use unofficially when speaking to someone about this. We can see light that is billions of years old (the idea of x number of light years away). Logical justification of light coming across the universe being over 13 billion light years away means that it has been travelling for 13 billion years in order to get here. You can construct the rest for yourself.

            OK. I agree with this part.

            But how is time defined in all of this?

            How did you manage to “agree with this part” if you didn’t have a definition of time?

            In reply to #33 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #31 by crookedshoes:

            I am relieved to hear you say that you find 6,000 years to be silly. But, the 13.7 Billion year estimate is resting on pretty sound and tested observations….Read and google.

            And, well, just one that I use unofficially when speaking to someone about this. We can…

          • In reply to #34 by Marktony:

            How did you manage to “agree with this part” if you didn’t have a definition of time?

            Agreeing for the sake of argument. Just to move the discussion.

          • @rizvoid

            I define time (in a pragmatic way) as seconds going by. I rely on the accuracy of atomic clocks, the logic of time passing by, and the laws of thermodynamics (especially the second law which I think of as “time’s arrow”) as the underpinnings of what time is. I rely on Occam’s razor and the scientific method to tell me that the evidence that has been collected to the present day points towards the universe’s age as over 13 billion years.

            I say this with absolute understanding that this current age could be refined and most likely will be refined in the future. That is the way science works. Think of all measurements as “wiggling” (instrumentation has built in, but hopefully tolerable, error). I tell my chemistry students (I teach Biology, but have taught chemistry as well) that numbers wiggle. Our ability to measure gets refined and, in addition, our numbers wiggle, it is why discussions of significant figures play into the chemist’s world. We speak about precision and accuracy of measurement and statistically analyze our measurements and also the reproducibility of the observations. Your discussion of time (IMO) is an exercise in sophistry.

            In reply to #31 by crookedshoes:

            I am relieved to hear you say that you find 6,000 years to be silly. But, the 13.7 Billion year estimate is resting on pretty sound and tested observations….Read and google.

            And, well, just one that I use unofficially when speaking to someone about this. We can…

          • In reply to #39 by crookedshoes:

            @rizvoid

            I define time (in a pragmatic way) as seconds going by. I rely on the accuracy of atomic clocks, the logic of time passing by, and the laws of thermodynamics (especially the second law which I think of as “time’s arrow”) as the underpinnings of what time is.

            This is the definition of time that Einstein used in his famous paper on special relativity. Essentially we say, time is what we measure with clocks, length is what we measure with rulers, mass is what we measure with scales. Science at it’s very root is about ‘measuring things’. ‘Measuring things’ turns out to be a really good way to understand the universe. Much better than just ‘thinking about things’, which is perhaps no better than not thinking at all.

          • In reply to #39 by crookedshoes:

            @rizvoid

            I define time (in a pragmatic way) as seconds going by. I rely on the accuracy of atomic clocks, the logic of time passing by, and the laws of thermodynamics (especially the second law which I think of as “time’s arrow”) as the underpinnings of what time is. I rely on Occam’s razor and t…

            I think there is no standard definition of time in science. I don’t know why. There should be one. It is such an important subject.

            The theory of evolution by natural selection and the theory of big bang both kind of automatically assume that time is a constant and is linear, flowing at a constant speed like an arrow, probably going by Newton’s concept of time, which was probably based on that Judeo-Christian concept of time that time started when God made the universe, and will end when the judgement day arrives. Simple. However, Einstein’s concept of time, as presented in the theory of relativity, if true, means time is not a constant. Which means, the measurements we take on earth are true only from our relative position on earth within the universe. They are not true if taken from another planet located in another galaxy. Our hypothetical alien friends in another galaxy may be living in a universe much older than ours, while sharing the universe with us…because time for them is flowing slowly.

            Science has not yet gave as an official definition of time, because there is just too many unofficial definitions of time in science. This is why I am asking which definition of time you submit to when you say the universe is 13+ billion years old? I am not asking you to work outside of science.I am just asking which version of science you rely on for your arguments about the age of the universe? The Judeo-Christian+ Newtonian version? Or the one proposed by Einstein?

  17. This reminds me of the beautiful concept of “maieutics”, the pedagogical method based on the assumption that the idea is already in the individual’s mind and that it just needs the help of intelligent discussions and questions to come to life ( maieutiké téchne means in Greek “obstetrics”, “art of giving birth”).
    But how could one stimulate an adult person, not a child, quite rigid in her views, to develope a critical eye? It sounds like an Erculean task.
    In my experience, I noticed that adult people with no ideas of their own often end up believing you personally, instead of reasoning on your ideas, just because you insist or are more articultate, which is not desirable and is indeed pretty sad (that’s why they are easy prey to any belief that is pushed on them). They also often also mistaken your good intention of helping them developing a critical eye for proselytism. And again, sadly, if they perceive you as being in a position of power, fir any reason, they tend to say or even convince themselves you are right just out of servility. I really can’t offer you a solution but I would like here to stress how important it is to help children understand they can question, be critical and use their own brains before they end up like your workmate.

  18. My insane older brother commented that he did not believe that we evolved. He never did well in school, yet he thinks he’s an expert on all matters. You can’t have a rational conversation with him without him blowing up or digging in his heels. Supposedly, the eldest of the family is the most intelligent….Somehow I think nature took a different turn in my family.

    • In reply to #22 by QuestioningKat:

      My insane older brother commented that he did not believe that we evolved. He never did well in school, yet he thinks he’s an expert on all matters. You can’t have a rational conversation with him without him blowing up or digging in his heels. Supposedly, the eldest of the family is the most intell…

      You should introduce him to the Dunning–Kruger effect. Thereafter whenever he disagrees with you ask him how confident he is that he’s right.

  19. Lets be honest. Most things that most people “know” is taken on trust from what other people (including books, TV, etc) tell them.

    If we think about the evolution of the brain the critical factor relating to the size of the brain is learning time. There is a limit to what you can learn by simple trial and error copying. Once a species can support a culture which provides better survival prospects the faster it can learn from other members of the species the better its survival prospects. So once language started it provided a very quick route to absorb cultural information. Evolution meant that the human brain responded by providing an express learning route – if someone tells you something learn it without question – because (on average) it is far better than anything you can learn by personal trial and error experiment.

    My work on the brain’s neural code suggests that the brain’s basic mechanism is automatically slanted towards what psychologists call confirmation bias. Put the two things together and the human brain is prone to “follow my leader” and be strongly influenced by the first things it learns – which acts as a filter to only accept things which it has know are “true” for a long time. And because a child’s brain is optimized to suck in new information at speed there is no checking real checking that information from different sources is logically consistent.

    Our brain is not, at the biological level, optimized to understanding sophisticated mathematical logic. If a child is repeatedly told, at a receptive age, that anything which disagrees with the bible is illogical, and that everything that supports the idea that the world was created a few thousand years is true we should assume that the resulting adult is stupid – we should blame the education system that primed their brain with such ideas.

  20. I doubt this person would be able to read a decent book on the evidence for the age of the universe.

    I recommend instead the, “why people laugh at creationists” series on you tube.

    If that fails try a Jim Jeffries DVD and forward to the “Why religious people are stupid,” part.

    When education fails try insults instead.

    She still wont get it but you will feel better.

    • In reply to #28 by Pinball1970:

      “When education fails try insults instead.”

      I recommend insulting the idea rather than the person. Insulting the person for holding a ridiculous belief is more cruel and alienating than it needs to be.

      “I’m not saying you’re stupid. I’m saying that idea you believe is stupid. You can get better. That idea can’t.”

  21. Gullible is gullible in multiple ways….
    dont belive half of what you see and none of what you hear – as Lou Reed once said….
    I used to watch The X Files on tv and the poster in Mulders office …read….’I want to belive’…..(in UFO’s)
    Thats the problem….if you want it to be true – you are accepting of anything that supports your desire even rejecting rational explanations of the actual phenomena….maybe some people are just too simple to ‘get’ scientific logic….
    People like your co worker are easily led and manipulated by false claims…she clearly has no desire to question the facts – spin her a few stories…at least you wont get bored and she wont know any different …..

  22. “But let’s move to some other planet located in some other galaxy, and observe the age of the universe using the same theory.”

    No, it doesn’t work that way. Even if it did, Someother would have an estimated age of the universe based on evidence and they could put an approximate number on it. Whatever the difference in rate of time flow between Earth and Someother would be expressed as a ratio. That ratio applied to the estimated age would be the alternate estimated age.

    Relativity takes into consideration acceleration of one object or relative speeds of two objects. If we are considering how Relativity might effect our observations of evidence regarding the age of the universe we need to consider our rate of acceleration and/or our relative speed the the universe. This should work out to about moot. Even if we are experiencing time dilation due to “nearby” gravitational fields it would be fairly small and irrelevant for the same reason Someother’s different rate is irrelevant.

    It’s very strange to find someone claiming an understanding of Relativity and also claiming ignorance of evidence to support an approximate 13.8 billion year age of the universe.

  23. “But let’s move to some other planet located in some other galaxy, and observe the age of the universe using the same theory.”

    No, it doesn’t work that way. Even if it did, Someother would have an estimated age of the universe based on evidence and they could put an approximate number on it. Whatever the difference in rate of time flow between Earth and Someother would be expressed as a ratio. That ratio applied to the estimated age would be the alternate estimated age.

    Relativity takes into consideration acceleration of one object or relative speeds of two objects. If we are considering how Relativity might effect our observations of evidence regarding the age of the universe we need to consider our rate of acceleration and/or our relative speed the the universe. This should work out to about moot. Even if we are experiencing time dilation due to “nearby” gravitational fields it would be fairly small and irrelevant for the same reason Someother’s different rate is irrelevant.

    It’s very strange to find someone claiming an understanding of Relativity and also claiming ignorance of evidence to support an approximate 13.8 billion year age of the universe.

  24. This has been very very enjoyable. Guys and girls, I have learned so much from you folks! I am feeling enlightened because this is an area where I sort of understood, but couldn’t see fallacies in other peoples’ arguments. I get it, but can’t defend it against any inane assault.

    But, thanks to

    1. An inane assault

    2. A group of patient and very bright folks who ALL should consider teaching (if you aren’t already teaching)

    3. My own interest and a little side research

    ………………………. I GET IT! I learned today!!!!

  25. Rizvoid. If this was the Zen Buddhist Foundation for Speculation and Navel Gazing, your question would go down a treat. This question

    You see, if time cannot exist without an observer, then time is purely a subjective phenomenon depending entirely on the observer. In that case, the universe has no age of its own , because when an observer observes the universe, the observers creates time and thus the age of the universe. Therefore, there are as many ages of the universe as there are observers observing the universe.

    has no answer.

    This is the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Yep. Reason and Science. So if I answer your question about the apparent age of the universe as measured by different observers, with “Reason and Science”, I would expect you to respond to my post with “Reason and Science”, not Zen Buddhist speculation.

    It is fundamental, that if you can’t displace my argument by “Reason and Science” then you accept it, until, (And this is how science works) someone comes along with evidence to displace my argument. Any other speculation is white noise.

    • In reply to #78 by David R Allen:

      Rizvoid. If this was the Zen Buddhist Foundation for Speculation and Navel Gazing, your question would go down a treat. This question

      This is the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Yep. Reason and Science. So if I answer your question about the apparent age of the universe as measured by different observers, with “Reason and Science”, I would expect you to respond to my post with “Reason and Science”, not Zen Buddhist speculation.It is fundamental, that if you can’t displace my argument by “Reason and Science” then you accept it, until, (And this is how science works) someone comes along with evidence to displace my argument. Any other speculation is white noise.

      Of course, I agree with you that this is Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

      When did I ask you to answer questions about Zen Buddhism? I am not a Buddhist. I also don’t follow Zen. I have got nothing whatsoever to do with these two sects or religions or whatever they are.

      I have tried my best to explain my position over and over again, and yet you keep avoiding the topic by first calling me a creationist and now a follower of Zen and Buddhism. These are your assumptions. I am not responsible for your assumptions. Don’t have the answer? That’s fine with me.

      • In reply to #79 by rizvoid:

        In reply to #78 by David R Allen:

        Rizvoid. If this was the Zen Buddhist Foundation for Speculation and Navel Gazing, your question would go down a treat. This question

        This is the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Yep. Reason and Science. So if I answer your question about the a…

        You asked the classic Zen Buddhist question,… If a tree falls in the forest with no one there, does it make a noise? (Tailoring it to the universe.) It’s a question without answer. What’s the point.

        I don’t have a clue as to which branch of mysticism you follow, and I don’t particularly care. But until you post a reasoned and scientific argument in support of your position, instead of the speculation you posted, subject of my last diatribe, I see no point in engaging in debate.

        Yes or no. Do you agree that the laws of physics are universal, as Einstein postulated. Do you agree that the circumstances of the observer alter the results of scientific experiments? Simple questions. I’ll take Yes or No.

        • In reply to #80 by David R Allen:

          In reply to #79 by rizvoid:

          In reply to #78 by David R Allen:

          You asked the classic Zen Buddhist question,… If a tree falls in the forest with no one there, does it make a noise? (Tailoring it to the universe.) It’s a question without answer. What’s the point.

          No, I did not. You assumed that I did. I asked a very reasonable question about time. Nothing to do with falling apples and oranges and pineapples or what have you. I don’t even know this story of the falling apple. I am not a philosopher.

          I don’t have a clue as to which branch of mysticism you follow, and I don’t particularly care. But until you post a reasoned and scientific argument in support of your position, instead of the speculation you posted, subject of my last diatribe, I see no point in engaging in debate.

          I follow no branch of mysticism. If you think the theory of relativity and questions related to it are not scientific, then I guess it is you who need work on your definition of science.

          Yes or no. Do you agree that the laws of physics are universal, as Einstein postulated. Do you agree that the circumstances of the observer alter the results of scientific experiments? Simple questions. I’ll take Yes or No.

          When you say, Do you agree that the laws of physics are universal, do you mean to say the laws of physics are constant throughout the universe? No, I don’t agree with that. And I don’t think Einstein even remotely postulated that.

          Of course, the circumstances of the observer will alter the results of scientific experiments. This is what the theory of relativity is all about I think. The results we take on earth cannot be absolute results because our earth is in motion relative to every other moving object in space and time. We should get very different results on a planet that is moving at half the speed of light. And those very different results would be valid according to the relative position and motion of that planet.

          And now my turn. Answer my question please.

          • In reply to #81 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #80 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #79 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #78 by David R Allen:

            You asked the classic Zen Buddhist question,… If a tree falls in the forest with no one there, does it make a noise? (Tailoring it to the universe.) It’s a question without answer. What’s the point….

            The last two paragraphs of your post are scientifically wrong. You will need to do the paper again and re-submit it. That the laws of physics are universal, was one of the first inspirational ideas that triggered Einstein’s work. And this….

            Of course, the circumstances of the observer will alter the results of scientific experiments. This is what the theory of relativity is all about I think.

            Note the “I Think” at the end. Again this is wrong. The experiments will always yield the same results. Refer rule one about the laws of physics being universal.

            Rizvoid. My golden rule is “First, do no harm.” I hope I am not harming you and I apologize if I am. It is not my intention. There are a myriad of wonderful sources that will confirm my position. Some have even been linked here. The first few chapters of Brian Green’s The Elegant Universe confirms my position. I can’t convince you. But that is not my problem. I suspect we are wasting people’s time here and maybe the Mod will delete us. Which just inspired a thought. If the Mod deletes us, did this debate actually happen. Another Zen Buddhist question. (A Jest requiring no answer Rizvoid)

          • In reply to #81 by rizvoid:

            Of course, the circumstances of the observer will alter the results of scientific experiments. This is what the theory of relativity is all about I think. The results we take on earth cannot be absolute results because our earth is in motion relative to every other moving object in space and time. We should get very different results on a planet that is moving at half the speed of light. And those very different results would be valid according to the relative position and motion of that planet.

            No, this is incorrect. David R Allen is correct when he says the laws of physics are universal.

            As it’s clear you don’t seem to have any experience in regards to science, philosophy, or apparently culture (I mean surely you watch the Simpsons?) I’ll try to do, again, what other’s aren’t prepared to do. Dumb it down.

            Remember my thought experiment earlier with Earth and Planet X?
            Earth calculates the age of the universe as being 13.8by and X 6.9by.

            The point is not that relativity causes them to come to different conclusions. The point is that they both get the correct answer, relativity just alters the context of the answer. They both come to the same conclusions, but with different variables (in this case the length of a year) because the laws of physics are universal.

            As for your “does time exist if there’s no one to observe it” question. It is exactly the same question as “if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a noise?”
            You are proposing that time is a phenomenon that is completely dependent on observation, like sound needs someone to hear it, or colour needs someone to see it.

            Sound only exists in your head, it requires your auditory nerve to translate signals from your inner ear before your brain experiences the ‘sound’. But without an ear and a brain, sound still exists, only it exists as vibration and changes in frequency, without the subjective ‘sound’ it’s translated into.

            Likewise, we subjectively perceive time as passing at a certain rate. Larger animals tend to experience time as moving slower as it takes longer for impulses to traverse their larger brains, smaller animals tend to experience time faster because they have shorter neural networks. However time still exists independently from those observing it as change. That’s all time is, change at a certain rate, and that rate is governed by the laws of physics, which are universal. Clocks don’t stop ticking when you leave the room, stars don’t stop spinning when our telescopes are pointing the other way, and the universe won’t stop moving when we’ve gone extinct.

          • In reply to #83 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #81 by rizvoid:

            Remember my thought experiment earlier with Earth and Planet X? Earth calculates the age of the universe as being 13.8by and X 6.9by.

            Yeah I remember that. And I wanted to ask you a question regarding that post.

            You said:

            “You have two worlds, Earth, in which time passes, well, as it passes for us, and Planet X, in which time passes half as fast. While defining a year as the same amount of time but subject to the relative effects of time dilation, 2 years on Earth is equivalent to 1 year on Planet X. Observers of Earth on Planet X would, with an extremely powerful telescope, see us scurrying around in fast forward, while we would observe the inhabitants of X as moving in slow motion.”

            Planet X is the planet on which time moves slower than earth, half the speed of earth’s time. People on that planet would see earth’s inhabitants as if they were in fast forward motion? On this planet X, how would people see and experience the rest of the universe?

          • In reply to #84 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #83 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #81 by rizvoid:

            Remember my thought experiment earlier with Earth and Planet X? Earth calculates the age of the universe as being 13.8by and X 6.9by.

            Yeah I remember that. And I wanted to ask you a question regarding that post.

            You said:

            “You have two wo…

            The effect would be the same as their view of us. They would perceive the rest of the universe as moving twice the speed we perceive it, hence why they would conclude that the universe is only 6.9by old. Which by their speed, is the correct age.

            This is all hypothetical mind you, as you wouldn’t get an entire planet moving fast enough to experience that much time dilation. It would have to be a planet orbiting Earth at a ridiculous speed. It’s just an exaggerated example showing the effects involved.

          • In reply to #86 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #84 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #83 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #81 by rizvoid:

            The effect would be the same as their view of us. They would perceive the rest of the universe as moving twice the speed we perceive it, hence why they would conclude that the universe is only 6.9by old. Which by their speed, is the correct age.

            No, I don’t think it is that simple. Suppose there are billions of other planets in the universe. Suppose all of these billions of other planets are moving at different speeds than planet X and earth. Some are faster, some are very faster, some are slower and some are very slower and so on. In short, no two planets are moving at the same speed. Now, you said, planet X is experiencing slower time relative to earth’s time. How would planet X experience time relative to these billions of other planets times, which are all moving at various speeds?

          • In reply to #87 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #86 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #84 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #83 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #81 by rizvoid:

            The effect would be the same as their view of us. They would perceive the rest of the universe as moving twice the speed we perceive it, hence why they would conclude that the univer…

            You’re confusing time, with the perception of time, which is what you’ve been doing throughout this thread.

            I may have confused you further with my exaggerated example, so I suggest you look up some videos on youtube explaining time dilation before revisiting this thread.

          • In reply to #88 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #87 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #86 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #84 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #83 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #81 by rizvoid:

            You’re confusing time, with the perception of time, which is what you’ve been doing throughout this thread.

            I may have confused you further with my exaggerated example, so I suggest you look up some videos on youtube explaining time dilation before revisiting this thread.

            Yes, you did in fact confuse me. I thought I was watching a Disney movie with ants watching humans in slow motion and vice versa. .

            But since we have come that far, let me just finish it up with this:

            When you say time dilation, you are of course using earth as your reference point. I mean Earth as having the standard time. Time dilation happens in relation to time measured on earth.

            In your example, you said planet X has slower time relative to earth’s time. Remove earth from the equation. We now have no earth and no earth time, but we still have planet X and billions of other planets with their slower and faster times in relation to planet X. Since earth and earth’s time are gone, Planet X has no such thing as time dilation, because time dilation happened only in relation to earth’s time. We are gone, but the universe remains. This is how important we really are in the grand scheme of things.

          • In reply to #89 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #88 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #87 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #86 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #84 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #83 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #81 by rizvoid:

            You’re confusing time, with the perception of time, which is what you’ve been doing throughout this thread.

            I may have con…

            No, time dilation doesn’t happen relative to earth, time dilation happens relative to the constraints of the laws of physics, and is only measurable when related to another body, such as earth.

            You’re greatly exaggerating the different relative speeds of other bodies in the universe, and thus the effects of time dilation, which is why my exaggerated example probably had the opposite effect.

            Unless you’re being dragged into a black hole or walking on the surface of a neutron star, you’re not going to have any problems relating to time dilation.

          • In reply to #90 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #89 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #88 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #87 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #86 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #84 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #83 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #81 by rizvoid:

            No, time dilation doesn’t happen relative to earth, time dilation happens relative to the constraints of the laws of physics, and is only measurable when related to another body, such as earth.

            Theoretically speaking, yes. But we always measure time on earth, and when we say time dilation, we almost always use time as we measure time on earth in relation to other objects in space. As if time on earth was the standard time in the universe.

            The point is simple. Time is not a constant. Time depends on the observer observing the time. There is no such thing as time and the perception of time, because time doesn’t and can’t exist independent of the observer observing the time. If this is true, there cannot be one standard age of the universe, because every observer creates his or her own time. What we measure from earth is true for us, while accounting for extremely small differences for each observer, but certainly not true for people living on a distant planet.

            And I have to go now.

          • In reply to #91 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #90 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #89 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #88 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #87 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #86 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #84 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #83 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #81 by rizvoid:

            No, time dilation doesn’t happen relative to earth, time dilatio…

            ‘A year’ is defined by the earth completing one orbit of the sun. Providing our orbit does not change this will always be ‘a year’ and by this measure the age of the universe will always be (roughly) (well not always because it’s aging after all) 13.8 billion of these measures called ‘a year’. This cannot be changed by altering your perspective, this is an innate fact of the universe.

            How “long” you perceive “a year” to be can be subjective based on your processing ability (the size of your brain, resistance of your neural pathways, etc.) and whether or not you’re affected by time dilation.

            A year, and your perception of a year are two different things.

            Time and perception of time are two different things.

            Time dilation only effects localized perception of time, it does not transmute different levels of time dilation to different parts of the universe.

            Now an extrasolar observer viewing our planet may see us orbiting the sun at a speed that seems slower or faster than it does to us (they won’t because they won’t experience that much time dilation relative to us) but it will not change the fact that their perception of the age of the universe will be roughly 13.8 billion of our orbits around our sun. Regardless of how much time dilation they experience, or the units of time they use, that’s what it will translate to.
            Two different extrasolar observers experiencing different levels of time dilation to each other will both see their “age of the universe” measurements translated into 13.8 billion of our orbits around our sun from their perspective.

          • In reply to #92 by Seraphor:

            Now an extrasolar observer viewing our planet may see us orbiting the sun at a speed that seems slower or faster than it does to us (they won’t because they won’t experience that much time dilation relative to us) but it will not change the fact that their perception of the age of the universe will be roughly 13.8 billion of our orbits around our sun. Regardless of how much time dilation they experience, or the units of time they use, that’s what it will translate to. Two different extrasolar observers experiencing different levels of time dilation to each other will both see their “age of the universe” measurements translated into 13.8 billion of our orbits around our sun from their perspective.

            So, you are saying time exists independent of the observer? The observer comes along and perceives this independently existing time in his or her own way?

            Because when you say time dilation, you will first have to define what time is. This is because time dilation happens in relation to that time that you have to define. How do you define that time? Time as we perceive on Earth? On Planet X? in Galaxy XYZ?

          • In reply to #92 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #91 by rizvoid:

            No, time dilation doesn’t happen re…

            A far better explanation that I could manage. Well explained.

          • In reply to #91 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #90 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #89 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #88 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #87 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #86 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #84 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #83 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #81 by rizvoid:

            Hi rizvoid. I’ve been following this thread, wondering why you were having so much difficulty with the explanations given. It became apparent in this comment #91 when you used the term ‘true for us’ and suddenly it all fell into place.

            The American Heritage Science Dictionary defines time as a continuous, measurable quantity …… Etc. no mention of the sort of subjective experience of time one has when waiting to see the dentist, for example. In those instances our perception of time is ‘true for us’, though it’s still not true for the device used for measuring . The clock just keeps clicking along at exactly the same pace.

          • In reply to #95 by Nitya:

            In reply to #91 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #90 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #89 by rizvoid:

            Hi rizvoid. I’ve been following this thread, wondering why you were having so much difficulty with the explanations given. It became apparent in this comment #91 when you used the term ‘true for us’ and suddenly it all fell into place.

            Hi Nitya. Try it the other way around. Maybe it is them that are having difficulty with the explanations I am giving. I think I understand where they are coming from. They both believe time is a constant independent of the observer observing it, and there is indeed such a thing called the universal time, which applies to everyone and everything in the universe. All of their explanations seem to be rooted in this basic assumption. In short, the Newtonian view of time. Yet when I ask them this question, I hear silence or claims that I am a follower of Zen or Buddhism or creationism. I don’t know. Do you know any tricks that I don’t know of? I mean, from what I have concluded so far, you look like you have been here for quite some time.

            But since you have decided to jump into the conversation, can you tell me what do you think about time? Is it a constant that can exist without the observer, or its existence depends entirely on the observer? Or, something else?

          • In reply to #96 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #95 by Nitya:
            They both believe time is a constant independent of the observer observing it

            No we don’t. This is the mistake that Nitya is talking about. We explained why this is not correct. No one who reads this blog could possibly understand why you persist with an obvious error. In the most simple language I can type.

            Rizvoid. You are wrong.

          • In reply to #96 by rizvoid:

            Is it a constant that can exist without the observer, or its existence depends entirely on the observer? Or, something else?

            I suspect that in your thinking the concept of time only comes with a philosophical meaning because it’s a human construct. To those with a scientific world view, time is measurable and doesn’t rely on an observer any more than distance or temperature. I don’t like the phrase ‘true for us’ at all.

          • In reply to #98 by Nitya:

            In reply to #96 by rizvoid:

            Is it a constant that can exist without the observer, or its existence depends entirely on the observer? Or, something else?

            I suspect that in your thinking the concept of time only comes with a philosophical meaning because it’s a human construct. To those with a scien…

            I’m beginning to suspect this is an issue of semantics.

            When we make the distinction between ‘time’ and ‘perception of time’, Rizvoid cannot get around the issue that, by his definition, ‘time’ IS as time is perceived.

            Perhaps another way of wording it as distinguishing between ‘change’ and ‘rate of change’ would make more sense to him.

            Otherwise, going by Rizvoid’s logic, clocks stop ticking when you turn away from them.

          • In reply to #99 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #98 by Nitya:

            In reply to #96 by rizvoid:

            I’m beginning to suspect this is an issue of semantics.
            When we make the distinction between ‘time’ and ‘perception of time’, Rizvoid cannot get around the issue that, by his definition, ‘time’ IS as time is perceived.
            Perhaps another way of wording it as distinguishing between ‘change’ and ‘rate of change’ would make more sense to him.
            Otherwise, going by Rizvoid’s logic, clocks stop ticking when you turn away from them.

            When we say time dilation, we usually mean time dilation in relation to time as time is measured on earth For instance, “Clocks on the space shuttle run slightly slower than reference clocks on Earth, while clocks on GPS and Galileo satellites run slightly faster.”

            When we say the universe is 13.7 billion years old, we are of course using the same earth time.

            Now, this time on earth, is it some sort of universal time, or simply time gained by earth’s relative motion and speed in the universe? Or, something else?

            That’s all I ask.

          • In reply to #99 by Seraphor:
            >

            When we make the distinction between ‘time’ and ‘perception of time’, Rizvoid cannot get around the issue that, by his definition, ‘time’ IS as time is perceived.

            Perhaps another way of wording it as distinguishing between ‘change’ and ‘rate of change’ would make more sense to him.

            Otherwise, going by Rizvoid’s logic, clocks stop ticking when you turn away from them.

            The objective understanding of clocks in relation to relativity – independent of human perceptions of time. is explained on my link/quote @75. – Along with a reference to the fallacy of confusing human subjective perceptions with the physical existence and operation of clocks.
            Could I suggest that rizvoid takes another look at it.

          • I mean, from what I have concluded so far, you look like you have been here for quite some time.

            “But before you conclude that, you need to define what time is. Can you tell me what do you think about time? Is it a constant that can exist without the observer, or its existence depends entirely on the observer? Or, something else?”

            Do you only have this problem with the definition of time with regard to the age of the universe? Surely the definition given by Seraphor in post 92 is perfectly reasonable for you as someone living on this planet?

            I presume you have no problem accepting the popular definition of time in your everyday life, otherwise it must be quite difficult being you. For instance, when filling in forms how do you cope when asked your age.

            In reply to #96 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #95 by Nitya:

            In reply to #91 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #90 by Seraphor:

            In reply to #89 by rizvoid:

            Hi rizvoid. I’ve been following this thread, wondering why you were having so much difficulty with the explanations given. It became apparent in this comment #91 when you used the term…

          • In reply to #106 by Marktony:

            I presume you have no problem accepting the popular definition of time in your everyday life, otherwise it must be quite difficult being you. For instance, when filling in forms how do you cope when asked your age.

            I tell them my age in years and months.

            I have said before, I have no problems with accepting years and month being real. The problem here is not that. The problem here is how long is a year, and how long is a month. How long is a day? Is there a standard length, or is it purely a subjective phenomenon depending entirely on the observe?

            Somebody here said there is time and then there is this thing called the perception of time. If I understand this logic correctly, then according to this logic:

            – A day is the time is takes for earth to complete one revolution on its axis. This is time. This is same for all of us. The Newtonian concept of time says so. It is an objective fact.

            – How each of us perceives this length of time, the one revolution of earth on its axis, is called the perception of time. This is different for all of us. The theory of relativity says so. It is not an objective fact, because the perception of time depends on the one who perceives. .

            Now, what is happening here is, we are trying to fit Einstein’s relativity on Newton’s view of time. This is like saying, there is this thing called time, and this time is an objective fact, exists independent of anything in the universe, and flows at a constant speed. Then the observer comes along and perceives this objective time in his or her own way. Thus creating the second phenomenon called the perception of time.

            I am almost entirely certain this can’t be done. This is like …. like what? I think like…. it will give us confusing results.

          • In reply to #107 by rizvoid:

            Hi rizvoid. I’ve finally done my homework and now understand what you’re on about. ( I should have done this at the start, but instead I leaped to the wrong conclusion). In my defence, I had had this exact conversation ( regarding time) a few years ago, with a friend doing first year philosophy at UWS. It was her contention that our perception of time, slow at the dentist and fast having fun, meant that time was a variable. I would counter this argument by saying that time was able to be measured with a great degree of accuracy and our subjective experience of the passing of time was of no consequence. The terms ‘true for us/them/you’ were used frequently so I assumed they were all part of some package being dispensed at UWS.

            It would help if you gave some indication about where you’re coming from with your comments. So far you’ve mentioned that you’re not a Buddist or a philosopher. You’re living in Australia but not of an Australian background. This makes it difficult to determine how to interpret particular comments.

          • In reply to #108 by Nitya:

            In reply to #107 by rizvoid:

            Hi Again Nitya:

            You say this:

            Hi rizvoid. I’ve finally done my homework and now understand what you’re on about.

            Then you say this:

            It would help if you gave some indication about where you’re coming from with your comments. So far you’ve mentioned that you’re not a Buddist or a philosopher. You’re living in Australia but not of an Australian background. This makes it difficult to determine how to interpret particular comments.

            You understand me, then you don’t understand me?

            And how information about my background is going to help you understand me better? On the contrary, giving too much personal information can make people create certain stereotypes, biases and all that. Like, if someone tells me he is from England, I habitually assume certain things about him. You don’t do that? Does it have a reverse effect on you?

          • In reply to #109 by rizvoid:

            And how information about my background is going to help you understand me better? On the contrary, giving too much personal information can make people create certain stereotypes, biases and all that.

            Fair enough. I was not suggesting a full profile, but it would have saved me from falsely associating you with a whole raft of ideas that were part and parcel of my previous conversations about ‘time’.

          • How each of us perceives this length of time, the one revolution of earth on its axis, is called the perception of time. This is different for all of us. The theory of relativity says so.

            No. Relativity says time is measured differently if the observers are moving relative to each other (special relativity) or the observers are in different gravitational fields (general relativity). This is accounted for in GPS systems to get an accurate triangulation. But relativity does not say the perception of time is different for all of us here on earth, unless we were somehow travelling at high relative velocities. And the speeds would have to be very high – the GPS satellites are orbiting at about 15,000 km/hr and the time difference per day is about 0.00001 seconds.

            As I get older, time seems to pass more quickly but I don’t think that’s anything to do with relativity – then again I do move slower!

            In reply to #107 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #106 by Marktony:

            I presume you have no problem accepting the popular definition of time in your everyday life, otherwise it must be quite difficult being you. For instance, when filling in forms how do you cope when asked your age.

            I tell them my age in years and months.

            I have said…

          • In reply to #110 by Marktony:

            No. Relativity says time is measured differently if the observers are moving relative to each other (special relativity) or the observers are in different gravitational fields (general relativity). This is accounted for in GPS systems to get an accurate triangulation. But relativity does not say the perception of time is different for all of us here on earth, unless we were somehow travelling at high relative velocities. And the speeds would have to be very high – the GPS satellites are orbiting at about 15,000 km/hr and the time difference per day is about 0.00001 seconds.

            Ok. I agree. The perception of time is not different for us on earth. That’s not the issue.

            But you have almost completely ignored everything else in the post.

            Read that post again, ignoring the part where I said time would be perceived in a different manner by each of us on earth. In fact, I will try to edit that post for you. Read it again shortly.

            ADDENDUM: Sorry, since it has replied to, it can’t be edited. Just ignore that part.

  26. In reply to #101 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #99 by Seraphor:

    The objective understanding of clocks in relation to relativity – independent of human perceptions of time. is explained on my link/quote @75. – Along with a reference to the fallacy of confusing human subjective perceptions with the physical existence and operation of clocks.
    Could I suggest that rizvoid takes another look at it.

    Ok I agree. This is creating a lot of confusion here. This is why I am asking a different question in post 100. This new question has nothing to do with time being dependent on the observer or not.

    • In reply to #102 by rizvoid:

      In reply to #101 by Alan4discussion:

      In reply to #99 by Seraphor:

      The objective understanding of clocks in relation to relativity – independent of human perceptions of time. is explained on my link/quote @75. – Along with a reference to the fallacy of confusing human subjective perceptions with th…

      Rizvoid. Do you describe yourself as a “Digital metaphysicalist” on the web.

      If this is you, then it explains your motivation in trying to split “Times Hairs.”

      Philosophy is a wonderful activity, but science is something different. I suspect you are trying to force two separate parts of a jigsaw together, and they don’t fit. You can speculate about time at the Philosophical level for centuries, but with science, once the results of the experiments are in, and they have been verified, then that is that, until another experiment displaces the results. Everyone on here is telling you the science. And you are trying to engage in a philosophical debate.

      • In reply to #103 by David R Allen:

        In reply to #102 by rizvoid:

        In reply to #101 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #99 by Seraphor:

        Philosophy is a wonderful activity, but science is something different. I suspect you are trying to force two separate parts of a jigsaw together, and they don’t fit. You can speculate about time at the Philosophical level for centuries, but with science, once the results of the experiments are in, and they have been verified, then that is that, until another experiment displaces the results. Everyone on here is telling you the science. And you are trying to engage in a philosophical debate.

        Wonderful news then for me, because I am now an honorary philosopher, despite the fact I have no formal qualifications in this field. Not even informal qualifications. How am I doing from a philosophical point of view?

        By the way, I am now thinking about closing this discussion. I am experiencing a lot of unnecessary resistance and very few, if any, productive answers.

        • In reply to #104 by rizvoid:

          In reply to #103 by David R Allen:

          In reply to #102 by rizvoid:

          In reply to #101 by Alan4discussion:

          In reply to #99 by Seraphor:

          Philosophy is a wonderful activity, but science is something different. I suspect you are trying to force two separate parts of a jigsaw together, and they don’t fit….

          This was actually a serious request with no disrespect intended. I Googled Rizvoid and found a Twitter Account with the descriptor, “Digital metaphysicalist”. Now if this is you, and you subscribe to metaphysics, then I can understand you argument about time. I can understand where you are coming from and what influences would prompt you to hold the ideas you do. But if you are not that “Rizvoid” and you don’t subscribe to the philosophy of metaphysics, the ignore this post.

          • In reply to #113 by David R Allen:

            In reply to #104 by rizvoid:

            This was actually a serious request with no disrespect intended. I Googled Rizvoid and found a Twitter Account with the descriptor, “Digital metaphysicalist”. Now if this is you, and you subscribe to metaphysics, then I can understand you argument about time. I can understand where you are coming from and what influences would prompt you to hold the ideas you do. But if you are not that “Rizvoid” and you don’t subscribe to the philosophy of metaphysics, the ignore this post.

            I don’t even have a twitter account. That’s not me. And you are causing no disrespect, no harm. None whatsoever. No matter what you do. Just lighten up.

  27. All these people who dont know the bible think the world is 6000 yrs old because they never read it enough or studied it. The bible states very clearly in the book of peter that there was world ages.This was caused by the attempted over throw of satan. The flood damage that all these people think was noahs flood would actually be much much older from what has been given the catch phrase” the satans flood”. So not realizing this people think genesis is the creation but only the first verse is creation. The second verse which in most translations as the world was void…the word was should be understood as became. It became that way because of the attempted over throw. So therefore pushes back GODs creation to any unknown time in the past. So therefore the proof that n ot one single fossil shows a creature in mid-form and the explosion of life on the scene whenever it was and also the fact that living creatures do share dna shows the same hand made all things. Please take some time to consider the mathematical chances proteins could have lined up naturally is greater than the amount of atoms in the universe making it impossible.

  28. Hello All.

    This has been an interesting Thread submitted by Maxi-pad, but it really became enlightening for me after Comment 19. As most of you know, it’s the insights & education gained by those observing that really makes all your efforts worthwhile.

    As a relatively uneducated mechanical engineer with 50 years of curiosity about science & reality, I’m always trying to better understand what amazing discoveries the scientific method uncovers – I’m so glad to be living in this wonderful age when so much progress is being made.

    I am – as always – very thankful to those who are willing & able to pass on their advanced knowledge to those who are willing to open their minds & learn from new evidence with better explanations of complex subjects.

    Mr David R Allen is relatively new here, but I especially appreciate all his ongoing contributions to our knowledge base, despite some understandable frustration – Thank You Sir…. 8-)

    Several more of RDF’s usual suspects have also made excellent contributions & have clarified my own vague understanding of the difficult physics involved in discussing time from different perspectives, so I thank you too – you know who I mean, since it’s obvious whose thnking I Like…. 8-)

    Threads like this make my time spent during my retirement very satisfying – I wish I’d had the opportunity to do more than high school & technical college while apprenticing as a ‘Scientific Instrument Maker’ in 1965-70 Scotland, but I’ve tried to make up by much reading & studying ever since & I sincerely thank RD, RDFRS & RDFRS Members for all they have contributed to my evolution as a human being…. 8-)

  29. I have been having a very interesting (by interesting meaning mostly ridiculous) conversation with a coworker who believes in the bible literally and that the universe is 6,000 years old.

    obviously conversations like this are rather a waste of time (though if you find them entertaining, carry on!). You could point out the bible doesn’t say the world is 6000 years old. It needs a lot of interpretation by some pretty smart (though misguided) people in order to come up with this.

  30. If she believes the bible is literal, moral and the word of god you would ask her her opinion on killing raping children Numbers 31:7-18 17 “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves” if she agrees (she probably wont) then tell her does she agree with the ten commandants especially number six (Thou shall not kill) she will have to disagree with one of these statements.

  31. I am convinced the only way to decrease the numbers in religion, is to show up their ignorance. Because of faith, people of religion deny evidence. Being brought up a fundamentalist, I think people are afraid to deny anything that the Bible teaches them. People who are educated believe in evolution and science. I post things on facebook from Right Wing Watch. The people they post about are really radical and seem to not know how to use reason. To me, for people who are fanatical, I wonder if they are afraid of their beliefs? Why would someone want to live in the dark ages?

  32. In reply to #22 by QuestioningKat:

    My insane older brother commented that he did not believe that we evolved. He never did well in school, yet he thinks he’s an expert on all matters. You can’t have a rational conversation with him without him blowing up or digging in his heels. Supposedly, the eldest of the family is the most intell…

    You should introduce him to the Dunning–Kruger effect. Thereafter whenever he disagrees with you ask him how confident he is that he’s right.

  33. In reply to #28 by Pinball1970:

    “When education fails try insults instead.”

    I recommend insulting the idea rather than the person. Insulting the person for holding a ridiculous belief is more cruel and alienating than it needs to be.

    “I’m not saying you’re stupid. I’m saying that idea you believe is stupid. You can get better. That idea can’t.”

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