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Offline adamg

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What is god: an answer
« on: 26/06/2006 08:32:08 »
Lets us first attempt to prove or disprove, and then determine what "god" is, by examining the basic tennents of this being.

-omnipotent
-omnitient
-omnipresent
-omnitemporal

There is one thing in existance that humans know for a fact to fit all these criteria: The Laws of the Universe.

From these flow all of the sciences.

Astronomy, dominated by gravity.

Chemistry, the study of the movement of electrons, which follow certain unbreakable principles.

Biology: Governed by Organic Chemistry

Geology: governed by the grand forces of thermodynamics, and astronomy, ie gravity and its numerous consequences on smashing matter together

The list goes on to include all the sciences.

And is it not true that that laws of the Universe are everywhere? That they have existed since the dawn of time? Possibley before time itself? Are they not all powerfull, in that nothing can break them? And does not their very nature allow them to predict what will happen in the universe?

Even in quantum mechanics, the laws of said science are omniscient to the fact that chaos and uncertainty exist, because of the existance of the quantum state.

In summary, the laws of the Universe are all that god is cracked up to be in the modern theological sense of the world.

-They created our solar system, fused H2 into He to give warmth to the planets and then gave rise to organic chemistry and life.

-The Laws of the Universe are all powerfull, yet care about the actions of man, in that they demand we not violate them.

-The Laws of the Universe maintains perfect balance in the universe, and has created a universe of unimaginable buety and magesty.

-The Laws of the Universe are fair in that those take the time of strive for the truth of science are rewarded with preferential treatment, such as the marvels of medecine, space travel and modern civilization.

-The Laws of the universe are strict, in that those that fail to understand them are smitten. Such as the Numbian Kingdom that cut down all its trees and destroyed itself by dessertifiying their lands.

-The Laws of the Universe offers mankind, its most promising creation, as far as we know, everlasting life in the form of computer/mind data transfer and storage in the form of molecular and quantum computers.

Once mankind outgrows its physical form and learns to exists as pure energy, we can attain a state of enlightement,(we will be able to share all knowledge with all people) and continue on our quest to learn ever more secrets of the universe.
If one thinks about it, the Laws of the Universe, in their fairness, efficiency, and beuty are perfect, and to be worshipped.

How does one worship such awe inspiring and nearly unimaginable forces as the Laws of the Universe? By studying them, by striving to understand them.

Perhaps we may never know why the laws of motion exist, or thermodynamics, or quantum mechanics, ECT. But we can learn enough about how these magnificient laws effect the universe to predict, and control many aspects of it.

In this way we can become demigods in our own right. By bending the universe to our wills while never disobeying the truely devine, the all powerfull laws of the Universe, the true god.

ALL HAIL AND PAY HOMAGE TO THE GREAT AND POWERFULL L.O.U!

PS. Through multi-verse tunneling, powered by Zero point energy, it may be possible to learn why the laws of the unviverse are as they are. If this can ever be discerned, than perhaps even such laws can be manipulated and mankind, can surpase the Laws of the Universe as god.

Adam Andrew Galas


 

Offline Atomic-S

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #1 on: 28/06/2006 06:56:55 »
quote:
There is one thing in existance that humans know for a fact to fit all these criteria: The Laws of the Universe.
What about things in existence which humans are not able to observe directly?

quote:
Biology: Governed by Organic Chemistry
The origin of man remains unexplained, in any detail, by organic chemistry.

quote:
And is it not true that that laws of the Universe are everywhere?
Well, we don't know that, now do we?
quote:
Are they not all powerfull, in that nothing can break them?
as far as humans are able, at least.
quote:
-The Laws of the universe are strict, in that those that fail to understand them are smitten. Such as the Numbian Kingdom that cut down all its trees and destroyed itself by dessertifiying their lands.
If this is so, it is also scary. It also has far reaching implications for the way humans live and what they seek to accomplish. One might even go so  far as to say, upon contemplating the implications, "Heaven help us!"
quote:
-The Laws of the Universe offers mankind, its most promising creation, as far as we know, everlasting life in the form of computer/mind data transfer and storage in the form of molecular and quantum computers.
This form of everlasting life has yet to be demonstrated conclusively. Concerning such things, the literature speaks of a king who had a dream. He dreamed that a great idol stood, of gold in the head, of silver in the chest, of bronze in the legs, and of iron and clay in the feet.  This symbolized great kingdoms.  A rock was dislodged by some power "without (human) hands" (it would seem some power not know to science), rolled down, struck the feet, and demolished the statue, which crumbled to dust. The rock, however, remained, and grew to tremendous size.

From another citation: "Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, that makes flesh his arm."

quote:
By bending the universe to our wills while never disobeying the truely devine,
Precisely how do we do this?
quote:
PS. Through multi-verse tunneling, powered by Zero point energy, it may be possible to learn why the laws of the unviverse are as they are. If this can ever be discerned, than perhaps even such laws can be manipulated and mankind, can surpase the Laws of the Universe as god.
The Book says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth", not the other way around.







 

another_someone

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #2 on: 28/06/2006 15:12:18 »
quote:
Originally posted by Atomic-S
quote:
And is it not true that that laws of the Universe are everywhere?
Well, we don't know that, now do we?



Assuming that the universe covers everywhere (i.e. taking a universal rather than a multiversal perspective), the we must know that.  If a perceived universal law does not apply somewhere, then we have succeeded in demonstrating that the law is not actually a universal law at all.  This does not violate the proposal that universal laws apply everywhere, it only means that we can never be sure what exactly the universal laws are, as that which we believe to be a universal law today may prove not to be a universal law tomorrow.

quote:

quote:
Are they not all powerfull, in that nothing can break them?
as far as humans are able, at least.



This is just a variation of the issue above.  If the can be broken, then they are no longer a universal law.

quote:

quote:
-The Laws of the universe are strict, in that those that fail to understand them are smitten. Such as the Numbian Kingdom that cut down all its trees and destroyed itself by dessertifiying their lands.
If this is so, it is also scary. It also has far reaching implications for the way humans live and what they seek to accomplish. One might even go so  far as to say, upon contemplating the implications, "Heaven help us!"



In all my physics lessons, or any other science lesson, I have yet to come across any universality in any law applying to the cutting down of trees.

In fact, one of the requirements of a universal law is that it must apply equally to humans as to non-humans i.e. it should make no difference if humans cut down trees or beavers cut down trees or fungal infections cause a tree to fall the universal law, if it be universal, should apply equally to all.





George
 

Offline adamg

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #3 on: 28/06/2006 18:29:31 »
My reference to the Numibian Trees was only as a small example of humans who defied the laws of ecology.

It applies to all cases where humans are idiotic enough to completely destroy a resource they rely on, only to find themselves destoryed by their own making.

On easter Island the same occured, the inhabitants, in order to build ever larger statues, (leaders with larger statues were considered more noble) cut down all their trees and found that they had nothing to eat, and that the soil was eroding. They destroyed themselves because they were too stupid to see the interconnections of the biosphere.

In Greenland, the first Vikings were wiped out because they insisted on building large churches. So they cut down all the available trees, (which where quit limited) and built the churches only to find that without trees their was no way to heat their homes.

Or take the example of the Gulapagos Islands where fisherman devestated the Sea Cucumber population for profit. Why would such people not agree to conservation fishing? Then they would make much more money in the long run, yet they chose to overfish and now their golden egg laying goose is dead.

90% of all large fish have been taken out of the ocean in the last 50 years, according to the IMAX film, "Deep Sea", and that was done by people too stupid to sea that they are destroying their own livly hoods.

Or look at the Brazilian Rainforests, which are being burned and cleared so that farmers can have 1 good season for planting before the nutrients are forever leached from the soil and forced to burn more precious forests.

These forests, besides acting as the lungs of the planet, also contain potential cures for any and possibly all diseases, perhaps even to aging itself. Yet they are being wiped out by ignorant peasent farmers and loggers for short term profit.

Today in Shanghai over 1/3 of the days of the year face air not fit for human consumption, in Mexico City 1 day of breathing their air is akin to smoking 21 cigarrettes.

And then their is the entire issue of global warming.

My point is that the Laws of the Universe smite all those who throw off the balance of the ecosystem, and humans have proven to be the most addepts creatures at this task in the history of the earth.

Either we change and learn to use the Laws of the Universe to create sustainable development, or our way of life is doomed to extinction, as possibly is our species.

Adam Andrew Galas
 

another_someone

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #4 on: 28/06/2006 19:34:23 »
quote:
Originally posted by adamg
]My reference to the Numibian Trees was only as a small example of humans who defied the laws of ecology.



There are no laws of ecology.  A law, in the sense that hard science regards it, is a simple and inviolate rule.  There is nothing so simple and primitive about ecology that it might have such simple and inflexible axioms.

quote:

It applies to all cases where humans are idiotic enough to completely destroy a resource they rely on, only to find themselves destoryed by their own making.



On the other hand, if humans had not run out of resources (whether by their own doing, or by non-human causes), we would never have developed the technologies to utilise new resources, and we would all still be living a pre-agricultural existence.

quote:

On easter Island the same occured, the inhabitants, in order to build ever larger statues, (leaders with larger statues were considered more noble) cut down all their trees and found that they had nothing to eat, and that the soil was eroding. They destroyed themselves because they were too stupid to see the interconnections of the biosphere.

In Greenland, the first Vikings were wiped out because they insisted on building large churches. So they cut down all the available trees, (which where quit limited) and built the churches only to find that without trees their was no way to heat their homes.



Wrong and wrong again.

Certainly, the loss of timber on Easter Island did cause serious problems for the people of Easter Island, but Easter Island still had a native human population living on it when the first Europeans arrived.

The Vikings had problems in Greenland because of a change in the climate which was well beyond their capacity to deal with (the onset of the little ice age that caused a drop in the temperature such that the river Thames froze over in winter something that has not happened in hundreds of years, thanks to the subsequent global warming.

quote:

Or take the example of the Gulapagos Islands where fisherman devestated the Sea Cucumber population for profit. Why would such people not agree to conservation fishing? Then they would make much more money in the long run, yet they chose to overfish and now their golden egg laying goose is dead.



No, they would not make more money through conservation.  That is the whole problem.  Someone else might have made more money through conservation, but as is often the case, those who have to pay the price are not those who would make the profit.  We, in the West, demand that people in the Third World refrain from utilising their natural resources to maximise their own short term profit, but where do we allow them to make any long term profit from that conservation.  Come to that, where would we in Europe be if we still had all the primeval forests across our lands, and still had bears and wolves roaming the land, instead of coast to coast farmland and human habitation.  Did we really do so badly out of the deal?  The land we live in (at least in Europe), 2,000 years ago (let alone 20,000 years ago) could never have supported the human populations that live upon it today.

There is no ecological law that I know of that insists that yesterday was better than today.

quote:

90% of all large fish have been taken out of the ocean in the last 50 years, according to the IMAX film, "Deep Sea", and that was done by people too stupid to sea that they are destroying their own livly hoods.



Whether I would take an IMAX film as a definitive source of statistics is rather dubious, but I do accept that we are extracting more fish than the oceans are presently capable of supplying.

It may be argued that the fishermen are destroying their own livelihood, but do they really have any alternative.  With the technology we have today, whatever we do, the sustainable catches could be achieved with a fraction of the number of fishermen we have, so whatever we do, most of those fishermen will be out of work in the near future.

In a way, the same problem also existed on land, where the common land was being over-utilised.  What came about was that the vast majority of the common land was fenced in.  This meant that a lot of people who relied on that common land were disenfranchised, but it also meant that there was a person who was made responsible for the sustainability of that land, in exchange for which he was promised that he could gain the long term profits from that land, thus giving him a clear motive to take a long term view of the productivity of the land.

Unfortunately, there has not been any clear technical way to fence in the sea, that would allow a handful of people to be made responsible for the sustainable output of the sea, with the carrot that they can themselves directly benefit from that long term profit from the sea.

The wider problem is that we live in a world where people want solutions today, and are not really interested in the long term (this is just as true of conservationists, who want political action today, and believe that waiting a while until we understand a problem better is not acceptable).  This is, in no small part, driven by a political system that looks to change its leaders (at least in most 'democratic' countries) every few years, and a system that increasingly frowns upon inherited wealth, and so gives no incentive for anyone to create something that might be inherited by their children.

quote:

Or look at the Brazilian Rainforests, which are being burned and cleared so that farmers can have 1 good season for planting before the nutrients are forever leached from the soil and forced to burn more precious forests.



So you would rather these farmers did not have even that one year of good harvest?

quote:

These forests, besides acting as the lungs of the planet, also contain potential cures for any and possibly all diseases, perhaps even to aging itself. Yet they are being wiped out by ignorant peasent farmers and loggers for short term profit.



The notion that the forests are the 'lungs of the planet' is not at all sustained by the facts.

Yes, trees do convert CO2 to O2, but a stable forest is actually carbon neutral (and may in fact even increase global warming as they create increases in both atmospheric moisture and methane, both of which are more aggressive greenhouse gasses than is CO2).

quote:

Today in Shanghai over 1/3 of the days of the year face air not fit for human consumption, in Mexico City 1 day of breathing their air is akin to smoking 21 cigarrettes.



All of which is true, but the alternatives are what?  I am not suggesting that the air quality issues should not be addressed (as they were in London in the 1950's), but the problems did not arise because people made the wrong choices, they arose because people made the best choices they could under the circumstances, but all choices bring with them undesirable byproducts that then need to be addressed separately.  Leaving people in medieval conditions of life simply because you are afraid of the problems that the 21st century brings with it is scarcely a preferable alterantive.

quote:

My point is that the Laws of the Universe smite all those who throw off the balance of the ecosystem, and humans have proven to be the most addepts creatures at this task in the history of the earth.



The laws of nature state that a stable system is a dead system.  For the ecosystem to live, it must be permanently off balance (it is a little like walking, you can only walk forward by constantly falling forward, and stopping yourself before you hit the ground, pick yourself up, and fall over again).





George
 

Offline adamg

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #5 on: 28/06/2006 21:29:00 »
The question of what should the 3rd world do to grow its economy is, perhaps the most important ecological question in history. China and India have discovered that economic growth is wonderfull and have embraced more and more free market ideas to spur on that growth. But if they achieve the growth threw the burning of coal, as they are currently doing, then they will destory themselves and possibly the world.

That is why I am glad to see China taking seriously the issue of air pollution by planting gardens on Shanghai roofs. They are also very active in developing Solar technologies and the 3 Georges Dam is a wonderful project that will provide 18 gigawatts of electricty, the equivalent to thousands of coal fired plants.

Hopefully India will follow China's lead so that 3 billion people don't attempt to recreate the industrial revolution as did the Europeans and Americas.

As for the rest of the developing world, that is a much harder topic. While China and India are rich enough to afford alternatives and are able to attract investment, most poor nations can't.

Nations such as those in Africa will need to be supported by the developed world in the form of massive subsidies in order to grow their economies in a sustainable manner.

Of course for that to happen the governments of these nations would have to be much less corrupt, which may be asking to much.

I fear that Africa in the future will become a hellhole that no one wishes to touch with a ten foot pole. The population of the continent is expected to double by 2050 and they can't support the population they have now without massive improvements to their current infrastructure.

Perhaps the developed world will be forced to help Africa when it becomes a continent of death, but I fear this will not be the case. One need only look at the Genocide in Darfur and Rwuanda to see that the developed world will not lift a finger to help if they feel they must sacrifice too much blood or treausure.

Yet with a massivly growing population of increasingly desperate people, Africa can't be ignored. They will attempt to develep their economy and will burn coal to do it. They will choke their rivers with pollution and clear cut their forests, because they are desperate to earn what little money they can to feed themselves.

Yet with the developed world still unable to deal with its own pollution problems, it may come to pass that nothing can be done to achieve sustainable growth.

The population of humanity will continue to grow until it peaks at 10 billion and the earth becomes to exhausted to support an inefficient mankind. Then a great die off will occur as billions are killed in a massive ecological upheaval.

Those in the west will not be spared, although we will most likely have a slightly easier time not perishing.

Unless mankind can find a way to power modern civilization through renewable means, and spread that technology around the globe, the modern lives we enjoy today will end very soon relativly speaking, within 50 years I imagine.

Adam Andrew Galas
 

another_someone

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #6 on: 28/06/2006 22:10:06 »
quote:
Originally posted by adamg
The question of what should the 3rd world do to grow its economy is, perhaps the most important ecological question in history. China and India have discovered that economic growth is wonderfull and have embraced more and more free market ideas to spur on that growth. But if they achieve the growth threw the burning of coal, as they are currently doing, then they will destory themselves and possibly the world.



This is a matter of opinion, and I am not sure I wholly agree with you.

Certainly, one has to be careful with the high level of secondary pollutants from coal, but I have yet to be convinced about all the panic over CO2.  Conversely, importing large quantities of oil has wider problems for both China and the world at large.

quote:

That is why I am glad to see China taking seriously the issue of air pollution by planting gardens on Shanghai roofs. They are also very active in developing Solar technologies and the 3 Georges Dam is a wonderful project that will provide 18 gigawatts of electricty, the equivalent to thousands of coal fired plants.



The Three Gorges Dam is itself a rather controversial project, with many environmentalists arguing vehemently against any large scale hydro projects.  Personally, I prefer smaller projects, but I see it as a judgement the Chinese have to make, and within the context of the size of China itself (both geographically and in terms of energy demand) it may be argues that this project is not as large as all that.

quote:

As for the rest of the developing world, that is a much harder topic. While China and India are rich enough to afford alternatives and are able to attract investment, most poor nations can't.

Nations such as those in Africa will need to be supported by the developed world in the form of massive subsidies in order to grow their economies in a sustainable manner.



This itself is a complex issue.  One reason why India and China are so self sufficient now is that for one reason or another they did not receive much aid (China was politically isolated, while India chose itself a path of self sufficiency, however painful the early steps might have been).

What the Third World desperately do need is a level playing field, so they can at least trade their way out of poverty and not have to compete against subsidised agriculture, and other protectionist measures.

What the West tends to do is to protect its own industries with trade restrictions, and subsidies; and then dump its products onto the Third World as charity, thus further damaging the local producers in the Third World.

quote:

Of course for that to happen the governments of these nations would have to be much less corrupt, which may be asking to much.

I fear that Africa in the future will become a hellhole that no one wishes to touch with a ten foot pole. The population of the continent is expected to double by 2050 and they can't support the population they have now without massive improvements to their current infrastructure.



Actually, what I hear is happening is that increasingly the major trading partner for Africa is China.  China does not care about which Government is good and which is bad (it has had to suffer itself with quite enough criticism from the West, and so feels no need to pass criticism on others).  It simply offers trade, not charity which is exactly what Africa needs.

quote:

Yet with the developed world still unable to deal with its own pollution problems, it may come to pass that nothing can be done to achieve sustainable growth.



What is meant by 'sustainable growth?

All growth is inherently limited, in some ultimate sense.  The trick that humans have achieved is to overcome one limit after another.  Clearly, there will come a day when we come across a limit we can no longer overcome; but better we overcome the limits we can than that we simply give up trying.

quote:

The population of humanity will continue to grow until it peaks at 10 billion and the earth becomes to exhausted to support an inefficient mankind. Then a great die off will occur as billions are killed in a massive ecological upheaval.



Rather melodramatic.

Efficiency is a double edged sword.  A system that is highly efficient is one that is optimised for a particular environment, and such a system is also one that is very inflexible in adapting to changes in the environment.  In the past, human inefficiency is what has allowed for human flexibility, but I do agree that as we have required ever more resources, we have been forced to be ever more efficient in our use of those resource, but that itself will prove our Achilles heal, as we find ourselves ever less able to adapt to new environments.

quote:

Those in the west will not be spared, although we will most likely have a slightly easier time not perishing.



On the contrary; the West is far more efficient than the Third world, and as such is more vulnerable to large scale changes in availability of resources.  The Third world has less invested in the way things are, so it has less to lose when things change.

The problem in the West is not the lack of resources I still believe there is a lot of untapped resource out there; the problem we have is that our infrastructure is too large and complex to quickly switch from one resource to another. From one way of doing things to another way of doing things.  We have become massive dinosaurs.  All civilisations get to that state at some time, and now is the time that we are getting to that point in our history.



George
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #7 on: 30/06/2006 11:32:57 »
You seem to have got bogged down in a lot of ecological detail anf forgotten the original premise.  In some ways I can agree with this but my thinking has taken it a bit further.  Based on my christian background.

We talk of a three part but totally unified god I have added my brief descriptions of how I view them.

The Father  (the physical universe and all its laws)

The son  (our idealised life and existence personified in Jesus  (or some non chrisitian guru))

The holy spirit  ( the "laws" of complexity and evolution that enabled the creation and evolution of life from a simple universe of physical laws)


We are only just starting to understand and appreciate the laws of complexity and ecology and without taking them into consideration we are doomed

Learn, create, test and tell
evolution rules in all things
God says so!
 

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #8 on: 30/06/2006 14:59:42 »
quote:
Originally posted by Soul Surfer
We are only just starting to understand and appreciate the laws of complexity and ecology and without taking them into consideration we are doomed



There are two issues regarding this.

Firstly, as far as we can at present ascertain, all things that are born are doomed to die, and this applies as much to entire species as to individuals; and so whatever we do, we are 'doomed'.  The question is not whether we shall perish, only when we shall perish and how we shall perish.

Secondly, you are right that the better we appreciate the laws of complexity, the better our chances of medium term survival; but to state that does not of itself say anything about what those laws of complexity are, or by what means we can make use of them.

I am not so sure about the issue of 'ecology'.  Ecology often seems to me to be a very artificial construct.  Clearly, one can talk about complex systems, and how those complex systems interact with their environment; but such issues are much broader than mere 'ecology'.  The term 'ecology' seems more to pander to politics and common prejudice, in regarded the biosphere as in some way different to other complex systems.



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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #9 on: 30/06/2006 22:06:10 »
You are probably not understanding the correct meaning of the term ecology whic deals with the todallity of a system of living and inanimate materials and their interaction.

You must also remember that for evolution to work, death is essential and I totally accept this.  The most precious thing to preserve is intelligent and self aware "living" and reproducing things.

Learn, create, test and tell
evolution rules in all things
God says so!
 

another_someone

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #10 on: 28/06/2006 15:12:18 »
quote:
Originally posted by Atomic-S
quote:
And is it not true that that laws of the Universe are everywhere?
Well, we don't know that, now do we?



Assuming that the universe covers everywhere (i.e. taking a universal rather than a multiversal perspective), the we must know that.  If a perceived universal law does not apply somewhere, then we have succeeded in demonstrating that the law is not actually a universal law at all.  This does not violate the proposal that universal laws apply everywhere, it only means that we can never be sure what exactly the universal laws are, as that which we believe to be a universal law today may prove not to be a universal law tomorrow.

quote:

quote:
Are they not all powerfull, in that nothing can break them?
as far as humans are able, at least.



This is just a variation of the issue above.  If the can be broken, then they are no longer a universal law.

quote:

quote:
-The Laws of the universe are strict, in that those that fail to understand them are smitten. Such as the Numbian Kingdom that cut down all its trees and destroyed itself by dessertifiying their lands.
If this is so, it is also scary. It also has far reaching implications for the way humans live and what they seek to accomplish. One might even go so  far as to say, upon contemplating the implications, "Heaven help us!"



In all my physics lessons, or any other science lesson, I have yet to come across any universality in any law applying to the cutting down of trees.

In fact, one of the requirements of a universal law is that it must apply equally to humans as to non-humans i.e. it should make no difference if humans cut down trees or beavers cut down trees or fungal infections cause a tree to fall the universal law, if it be universal, should apply equally to all.





George
 

Offline adamg

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #11 on: 28/06/2006 18:29:31 »
My reference to the Numibian Trees was only as a small example of humans who defied the laws of ecology.

It applies to all cases where humans are idiotic enough to completely destroy a resource they rely on, only to find themselves destoryed by their own making.

On easter Island the same occured, the inhabitants, in order to build ever larger statues, (leaders with larger statues were considered more noble) cut down all their trees and found that they had nothing to eat, and that the soil was eroding. They destroyed themselves because they were too stupid to see the interconnections of the biosphere.

In Greenland, the first Vikings were wiped out because they insisted on building large churches. So they cut down all the available trees, (which where quit limited) and built the churches only to find that without trees their was no way to heat their homes.

Or take the example of the Gulapagos Islands where fisherman devestated the Sea Cucumber population for profit. Why would such people not agree to conservation fishing? Then they would make much more money in the long run, yet they chose to overfish and now their golden egg laying goose is dead.

90% of all large fish have been taken out of the ocean in the last 50 years, according to the IMAX film, "Deep Sea", and that was done by people too stupid to sea that they are destroying their own livly hoods.

Or look at the Brazilian Rainforests, which are being burned and cleared so that farmers can have 1 good season for planting before the nutrients are forever leached from the soil and forced to burn more precious forests.

These forests, besides acting as the lungs of the planet, also contain potential cures for any and possibly all diseases, perhaps even to aging itself. Yet they are being wiped out by ignorant peasent farmers and loggers for short term profit.

Today in Shanghai over 1/3 of the days of the year face air not fit for human consumption, in Mexico City 1 day of breathing their air is akin to smoking 21 cigarrettes.

And then their is the entire issue of global warming.

My point is that the Laws of the Universe smite all those who throw off the balance of the ecosystem, and humans have proven to be the most addepts creatures at this task in the history of the earth.

Either we change and learn to use the Laws of the Universe to create sustainable development, or our way of life is doomed to extinction, as possibly is our species.

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #12 on: 28/06/2006 19:34:23 »
quote:
Originally posted by adamg
]My reference to the Numibian Trees was only as a small example of humans who defied the laws of ecology.



There are no laws of ecology.  A law, in the sense that hard science regards it, is a simple and inviolate rule.  There is nothing so simple and primitive about ecology that it might have such simple and inflexible axioms.

quote:

It applies to all cases where humans are idiotic enough to completely destroy a resource they rely on, only to find themselves destoryed by their own making.



On the other hand, if humans had not run out of resources (whether by their own doing, or by non-human causes), we would never have developed the technologies to utilise new resources, and we would all still be living a pre-agricultural existence.

quote:

On easter Island the same occured, the inhabitants, in order to build ever larger statues, (leaders with larger statues were considered more noble) cut down all their trees and found that they had nothing to eat, and that the soil was eroding. They destroyed themselves because they were too stupid to see the interconnections of the biosphere.

In Greenland, the first Vikings were wiped out because they insisted on building large churches. So they cut down all the available trees, (which where quit limited) and built the churches only to find that without trees their was no way to heat their homes.



Wrong and wrong again.

Certainly, the loss of timber on Easter Island did cause serious problems for the people of Easter Island, but Easter Island still had a native human population living on it when the first Europeans arrived.

The Vikings had problems in Greenland because of a change in the climate which was well beyond their capacity to deal with (the onset of the little ice age that caused a drop in the temperature such that the river Thames froze over in winter something that has not happened in hundreds of years, thanks to the subsequent global warming.

quote:

Or take the example of the Gulapagos Islands where fisherman devestated the Sea Cucumber population for profit. Why would such people not agree to conservation fishing? Then they would make much more money in the long run, yet they chose to overfish and now their golden egg laying goose is dead.



No, they would not make more money through conservation.  That is the whole problem.  Someone else might have made more money through conservation, but as is often the case, those who have to pay the price are not those who would make the profit.  We, in the West, demand that people in the Third World refrain from utilising their natural resources to maximise their own short term profit, but where do we allow them to make any long term profit from that conservation.  Come to that, where would we in Europe be if we still had all the primeval forests across our lands, and still had bears and wolves roaming the land, instead of coast to coast farmland and human habitation.  Did we really do so badly out of the deal?  The land we live in (at least in Europe), 2,000 years ago (let alone 20,000 years ago) could never have supported the human populations that live upon it today.

There is no ecological law that I know of that insists that yesterday was better than today.

quote:

90% of all large fish have been taken out of the ocean in the last 50 years, according to the IMAX film, "Deep Sea", and that was done by people too stupid to sea that they are destroying their own livly hoods.



Whether I would take an IMAX film as a definitive source of statistics is rather dubious, but I do accept that we are extracting more fish than the oceans are presently capable of supplying.

It may be argued that the fishermen are destroying their own livelihood, but do they really have any alternative.  With the technology we have today, whatever we do, the sustainable catches could be achieved with a fraction of the number of fishermen we have, so whatever we do, most of those fishermen will be out of work in the near future.

In a way, the same problem also existed on land, where the common land was being over-utilised.  What came about was that the vast majority of the common land was fenced in.  This meant that a lot of people who relied on that common land were disenfranchised, but it also meant that there was a person who was made responsible for the sustainability of that land, in exchange for which he was promised that he could gain the long term profits from that land, thus giving him a clear motive to take a long term view of the productivity of the land.

Unfortunately, there has not been any clear technical way to fence in the sea, that would allow a handful of people to be made responsible for the sustainable output of the sea, with the carrot that they can themselves directly benefit from that long term profit from the sea.

The wider problem is that we live in a world where people want solutions today, and are not really interested in the long term (this is just as true of conservationists, who want political action today, and believe that waiting a while until we understand a problem better is not acceptable).  This is, in no small part, driven by a political system that looks to change its leaders (at least in most 'democratic' countries) every few years, and a system that increasingly frowns upon inherited wealth, and so gives no incentive for anyone to create something that might be inherited by their children.

quote:

Or look at the Brazilian Rainforests, which are being burned and cleared so that farmers can have 1 good season for planting before the nutrients are forever leached from the soil and forced to burn more precious forests.



So you would rather these farmers did not have even that one year of good harvest?

quote:

These forests, besides acting as the lungs of the planet, also contain potential cures for any and possibly all diseases, perhaps even to aging itself. Yet they are being wiped out by ignorant peasent farmers and loggers for short term profit.



The notion that the forests are the 'lungs of the planet' is not at all sustained by the facts.

Yes, trees do convert CO2 to O2, but a stable forest is actually carbon neutral (and may in fact even increase global warming as they create increases in both atmospheric moisture and methane, both of which are more aggressive greenhouse gasses than is CO2).

quote:

Today in Shanghai over 1/3 of the days of the year face air not fit for human consumption, in Mexico City 1 day of breathing their air is akin to smoking 21 cigarrettes.



All of which is true, but the alternatives are what?  I am not suggesting that the air quality issues should not be addressed (as they were in London in the 1950's), but the problems did not arise because people made the wrong choices, they arose because people made the best choices they could under the circumstances, but all choices bring with them undesirable byproducts that then need to be addressed separately.  Leaving people in medieval conditions of life simply because you are afraid of the problems that the 21st century brings with it is scarcely a preferable alterantive.

quote:

My point is that the Laws of the Universe smite all those who throw off the balance of the ecosystem, and humans have proven to be the most addepts creatures at this task in the history of the earth.



The laws of nature state that a stable system is a dead system.  For the ecosystem to live, it must be permanently off balance (it is a little like walking, you can only walk forward by constantly falling forward, and stopping yourself before you hit the ground, pick yourself up, and fall over again).





George
 

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #13 on: 28/06/2006 21:29:00 »
The question of what should the 3rd world do to grow its economy is, perhaps the most important ecological question in history. China and India have discovered that economic growth is wonderfull and have embraced more and more free market ideas to spur on that growth. But if they achieve the growth threw the burning of coal, as they are currently doing, then they will destory themselves and possibly the world.

That is why I am glad to see China taking seriously the issue of air pollution by planting gardens on Shanghai roofs. They are also very active in developing Solar technologies and the 3 Georges Dam is a wonderful project that will provide 18 gigawatts of electricty, the equivalent to thousands of coal fired plants.

Hopefully India will follow China's lead so that 3 billion people don't attempt to recreate the industrial revolution as did the Europeans and Americas.

As for the rest of the developing world, that is a much harder topic. While China and India are rich enough to afford alternatives and are able to attract investment, most poor nations can't.

Nations such as those in Africa will need to be supported by the developed world in the form of massive subsidies in order to grow their economies in a sustainable manner.

Of course for that to happen the governments of these nations would have to be much less corrupt, which may be asking to much.

I fear that Africa in the future will become a hellhole that no one wishes to touch with a ten foot pole. The population of the continent is expected to double by 2050 and they can't support the population they have now without massive improvements to their current infrastructure.

Perhaps the developed world will be forced to help Africa when it becomes a continent of death, but I fear this will not be the case. One need only look at the Genocide in Darfur and Rwuanda to see that the developed world will not lift a finger to help if they feel they must sacrifice too much blood or treausure.

Yet with a massivly growing population of increasingly desperate people, Africa can't be ignored. They will attempt to develep their economy and will burn coal to do it. They will choke their rivers with pollution and clear cut their forests, because they are desperate to earn what little money they can to feed themselves.

Yet with the developed world still unable to deal with its own pollution problems, it may come to pass that nothing can be done to achieve sustainable growth.

The population of humanity will continue to grow until it peaks at 10 billion and the earth becomes to exhausted to support an inefficient mankind. Then a great die off will occur as billions are killed in a massive ecological upheaval.

Those in the west will not be spared, although we will most likely have a slightly easier time not perishing.

Unless mankind can find a way to power modern civilization through renewable means, and spread that technology around the globe, the modern lives we enjoy today will end very soon relativly speaking, within 50 years I imagine.

Adam Andrew Galas
 

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #14 on: 28/06/2006 22:10:06 »
quote:
Originally posted by adamg
The question of what should the 3rd world do to grow its economy is, perhaps the most important ecological question in history. China and India have discovered that economic growth is wonderfull and have embraced more and more free market ideas to spur on that growth. But if they achieve the growth threw the burning of coal, as they are currently doing, then they will destory themselves and possibly the world.



This is a matter of opinion, and I am not sure I wholly agree with you.

Certainly, one has to be careful with the high level of secondary pollutants from coal, but I have yet to be convinced about all the panic over CO2.  Conversely, importing large quantities of oil has wider problems for both China and the world at large.

quote:

That is why I am glad to see China taking seriously the issue of air pollution by planting gardens on Shanghai roofs. They are also very active in developing Solar technologies and the 3 Georges Dam is a wonderful project that will provide 18 gigawatts of electricty, the equivalent to thousands of coal fired plants.



The Three Gorges Dam is itself a rather controversial project, with many environmentalists arguing vehemently against any large scale hydro projects.  Personally, I prefer smaller projects, but I see it as a judgement the Chinese have to make, and within the context of the size of China itself (both geographically and in terms of energy demand) it may be argues that this project is not as large as all that.

quote:

As for the rest of the developing world, that is a much harder topic. While China and India are rich enough to afford alternatives and are able to attract investment, most poor nations can't.

Nations such as those in Africa will need to be supported by the developed world in the form of massive subsidies in order to grow their economies in a sustainable manner.



This itself is a complex issue.  One reason why India and China are so self sufficient now is that for one reason or another they did not receive much aid (China was politically isolated, while India chose itself a path of self sufficiency, however painful the early steps might have been).

What the Third World desperately do need is a level playing field, so they can at least trade their way out of poverty and not have to compete against subsidised agriculture, and other protectionist measures.

What the West tends to do is to protect its own industries with trade restrictions, and subsidies; and then dump its products onto the Third World as charity, thus further damaging the local producers in the Third World.

quote:

Of course for that to happen the governments of these nations would have to be much less corrupt, which may be asking to much.

I fear that Africa in the future will become a hellhole that no one wishes to touch with a ten foot pole. The population of the continent is expected to double by 2050 and they can't support the population they have now without massive improvements to their current infrastructure.



Actually, what I hear is happening is that increasingly the major trading partner for Africa is China.  China does not care about which Government is good and which is bad (it has had to suffer itself with quite enough criticism from the West, and so feels no need to pass criticism on others).  It simply offers trade, not charity which is exactly what Africa needs.

quote:

Yet with the developed world still unable to deal with its own pollution problems, it may come to pass that nothing can be done to achieve sustainable growth.



What is meant by 'sustainable growth?

All growth is inherently limited, in some ultimate sense.  The trick that humans have achieved is to overcome one limit after another.  Clearly, there will come a day when we come across a limit we can no longer overcome; but better we overcome the limits we can than that we simply give up trying.

quote:

The population of humanity will continue to grow until it peaks at 10 billion and the earth becomes to exhausted to support an inefficient mankind. Then a great die off will occur as billions are killed in a massive ecological upheaval.



Rather melodramatic.

Efficiency is a double edged sword.  A system that is highly efficient is one that is optimised for a particular environment, and such a system is also one that is very inflexible in adapting to changes in the environment.  In the past, human inefficiency is what has allowed for human flexibility, but I do agree that as we have required ever more resources, we have been forced to be ever more efficient in our use of those resource, but that itself will prove our Achilles heal, as we find ourselves ever less able to adapt to new environments.

quote:

Those in the west will not be spared, although we will most likely have a slightly easier time not perishing.



On the contrary; the West is far more efficient than the Third world, and as such is more vulnerable to large scale changes in availability of resources.  The Third world has less invested in the way things are, so it has less to lose when things change.

The problem in the West is not the lack of resources I still believe there is a lot of untapped resource out there; the problem we have is that our infrastructure is too large and complex to quickly switch from one resource to another. From one way of doing things to another way of doing things.  We have become massive dinosaurs.  All civilisations get to that state at some time, and now is the time that we are getting to that point in our history.



George
 

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #15 on: 30/06/2006 11:32:57 »
You seem to have got bogged down in a lot of ecological detail anf forgotten the original premise.  In some ways I can agree with this but my thinking has taken it a bit further.  Based on my christian background.

We talk of a three part but totally unified god I have added my brief descriptions of how I view them.

The Father  (the physical universe and all its laws)

The son  (our idealised life and existence personified in Jesus  (or some non chrisitian guru))

The holy spirit  ( the "laws" of complexity and evolution that enabled the creation and evolution of life from a simple universe of physical laws)


We are only just starting to understand and appreciate the laws of complexity and ecology and without taking them into consideration we are doomed

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evolution rules in all things
God says so!
 

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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #16 on: 30/06/2006 14:59:42 »
quote:
Originally posted by Soul Surfer
We are only just starting to understand and appreciate the laws of complexity and ecology and without taking them into consideration we are doomed



There are two issues regarding this.

Firstly, as far as we can at present ascertain, all things that are born are doomed to die, and this applies as much to entire species as to individuals; and so whatever we do, we are 'doomed'.  The question is not whether we shall perish, only when we shall perish and how we shall perish.

Secondly, you are right that the better we appreciate the laws of complexity, the better our chances of medium term survival; but to state that does not of itself say anything about what those laws of complexity are, or by what means we can make use of them.

I am not so sure about the issue of 'ecology'.  Ecology often seems to me to be a very artificial construct.  Clearly, one can talk about complex systems, and how those complex systems interact with their environment; but such issues are much broader than mere 'ecology'.  The term 'ecology' seems more to pander to politics and common prejudice, in regarded the biosphere as in some way different to other complex systems.



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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #17 on: 30/06/2006 22:06:10 »
You are probably not understanding the correct meaning of the term ecology whic deals with the todallity of a system of living and inanimate materials and their interaction.

You must also remember that for evolution to work, death is essential and I totally accept this.  The most precious thing to preserve is intelligent and self aware "living" and reproducing things.

Learn, create, test and tell
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Re: What is god: an answer
« Reply #17 on: 30/06/2006 22:06:10 »

 

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