Philosophical Multicore

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Archive for November, 2008

Point By Point Rebuttal of Creationist Websites part 2

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 30, 2008

WEBSITE SIX
6.1. “There is extensive evidence for the layers of strata in the geologic record being laid down very quickly, similar to the processes observed when Mount St. Helens erupted. Rapid global formation of sedimentary rock beds is evidence that the earth is thousands of years old.”
Note a complete lack of cited evidence here. Saying it’s there is not the same as providing it.

6.2. “For example, sandstone is a major feature of the lower part of the Grand Canyon. The same rock layer is found in Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, South Dakota, the Midwest, the Ozarks, and in northern New York state. Equivalent formations are found across wide portions of Canada, eastern Greenland, and Scotland.”
So sandstone is common. What does this prove?

6.3. “The flood that covered the earth formed the large geological structures that we can observe today.”
So you’re saying 40 days of rain carved out gigantic mountains, when today it takes millions of years to turn rocks into sand on beaches?

Well that one sure was easy.

WEBSITE SEVEN

7.1. “Plants and animals were originally created with large gene pools within created kinds.”
Just because they say “kind” in the Bible doesn’t mean you should use it. “Kind” is not scientific.

7.2. “A large gene pool gives a created kind the genetic potential (the potential to produce a variety of types within a kind) to adapt to a variety of ecosystems and ensure the survival of that kind of organism through natural selection.”
This is correct, but I don’t see how it supports Creationism.

7.3. “Natural selection can only operate on the genetic material already present in a population of organisms. It cannot create new genetic information and subsequently change one kind of organism into another.”
There’s the kicker.

Interestingly, this article is mostly factual. It is, however, misleading. It is possible for a mutation to make the genome larger and to create new information.[a]

We have, in fact, observed one species changing into a different species. See reason 3 on video[c].

WEBSITE TEN
This website has a bunch of articles branching off from it. For the sake of time and saving space, I will not provide quotes on most of them, and will instead rebut the entire article.
10.1. http://www.icr.org/universe-center/
This article made me laugh. The idea is just so silly! But I realized that it wouldn’t seem silly to most people. The ideas here are not very well known. So I will explain it.

The universe is actually 78 billion light years in radius, and only 13 billion years old.[d] This works because of the way the universe is expanding. So we can’t see the entire universe. We can only see 13 billion light-years. The light we see that’s the farthest away has been traveling for the entire existence of the universe. We can see 13 billion light years away in all directions, because that’s how far any photon has gotten, on any side.

Now, why is everything moving away from us? That is because of inertial reference frames.

You’re spinning very rapidly right now, because the earth is spinning. But can you tell? No. It’s because you are in the same inertial reference frame as the earth. It looks like the sun is moving around you.

It’s the same deal with the moving galaxies. If you were on one of those galaxies, you would see earth moving away from you. And everything around you would be moving away, because things that are further out are moving faster than you, and things closer to the center of the universe are moving slower. So it looks as though everything is moving away from you, no matter where you are.

The universe does have a center, but there’s no reason to believe that we are at it.

10.2. http://www.icr.org/universe-power/
“If the laws of nature were just slightly different, the delicate balance would not exist between hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. Without this balance thousands of critical molecular interactions would not happen. There are only a few elements that can sustain life through their unique properties. Any change would make life impossible.”
That is the only significant portion of this article.

Life as we know it would be impossible. But other sorts of life may be able to exist in many other possible universes. Like life that does not use carbon, and instead uses some other weird element that relies on a different gravitational constant, a different source of energy, etc.

10.3. http://www.icr.org/recent-universe/
We have no direct evidence for the Oort cloud, because if it exists, the comets are just so small and it’s so far away. The comets are separated by about 10 million kilometers on average.[e]

But we have good reason to think it exists. For example, many independent sources confirm that our universe is 13 billion years old, and that earth is 4.6 billion years old. This single lack of evidence is not enough to sway us; it’s just enough to keep us on our toes.

Here is what we think about Oort clouds:
Comets come into the solar system and hit earth when another star disrupts our Oort cloud. Oort clouds are so far out that other stars can significantly affect them.

We also have other evidence for Oort clouds.

There are also other reasons to believe that the Oort cloud exists. The way that comets seem to come from any direction is an indication of a large cloud of comets outside our solar system.

10.4. http://www.icr.org/earth-sun/
“Our solar system is filled with amazing planets, but none are perfect for life except the earth.”
Well obviously the planet that’s perfect for life is the one that life will develop on. Why would life develop on any other planet?
“[tells all the reasons why life wouldn’t work on other planets in our solar system]”

“Each planet in our solar system demonstrates that earth is unique and specially created for life.”
No. Each planet in our solar system demonstrates that life will only develop on planets where it can develop.

10.5. http://www.icr.org/earths-location/
What I said in [10.4] still applies. Life will only develop in places that support the environment of life. If the universe was uniquely created for life, then why are there so many places that are uninhabitable? Like they said, earth is the only planet in the solar system that can support life. Wouldn’t God want there to be more life than just one planet?

10.6. http://www.icr.org/earths-core/
[10.4]

10.7. http://www.icr.org/water-cycle/
[10.4]

10.8. http://www.icr.org/law-conservation/
“Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.

Energy is not currently being created. The universe could not have created itself using natural processes because nature did not exist before the universe came into existence. Something beyond nature must have created all the energy and matter that is observed today.”
This is correct.

“The logical conclusion is that our supernatural Creator with infinite power created the universe.”
Something created the universe, yes. It was, by definition, supernatural (at least as we know it). But was it God? There is no evidence for that. (See M Theory.)

10.9. http://www.icr.org/thermodynamics/
“Fortunately for us, the temperature of the universe is not zero. It is moving that way each moment, but it is not there yet.”
It is actually moving away from zero. When energy is expended, it is converted into heat. There is no way (occurring in nature) to convert thermal energy into another form of energy. So eventually, all the energy in the universe will be thermal energy, a.k.a. heat.

“The logical conclusion is that an infinite Creator made the universe a finite time ago.”
See Big Bang Theory and [10.8].

10.10. http://www.icr.org/electromagnetic/
This page states some scientific facts, and then states some religious crap that does not follow from the science. No rebuttal necessary.

10.11. http://www.icr.org/worldwide-flood/
It is possible that there was a global flood. I’m not very familiar with the geology involved. But I think that multiple religions have accounts of a great flood. It is likely that some event triggered a very large flood, and many people across the world saw it as a sign from God.

10.12. http://www.icr.org/geological-strata/
I’m sure that there is evidence for a worldwide flood. But was it a flood created by God to wipe out life on earth? I doubt it.

10.13. http://www.icr.org/fossil-record/
The fossil record is very extensive, and we have accounts of many transitional forms. My first post on this topic has a link to a list.

Not all fossils are expected to have transitional forms. Fossils only form under certain conditions, so we do not see them very often. If every living being ever to exist was fossilized, there would be piles of fossils hundreds of miles high. (I might be off by a few orders of magnitude.)

10.14. http://www.icr.org/creation-dna/
DNA does not, in fact, require intelligence. It’s possible that you randomly throw some rock on the ground, and they spell out a word. (Unlikely, but possible.) Does that mean the rocks are intelligent?

http://godisimaginary.com/i25.htm
http://godisimaginary.com/i37.htm

There are a bunch of articles in the “biological” section that can be explained by evolution, and it’s a waste of time to go over them.

10.15. http://www.icr.org/special-creation/
I like this one because it’s not scientific.

“[Man] is able to imagine and create objects never seen before (art, buildings, etc.).”
Well so is Chimpanzee, Gorilla, Orangutan, Bonobo, Dolphin, Killer Whale, Elephant, Magpie, and possibly Pigeon.[f]

“He is able to ponder his role and fate in creation.”
Other animals (particularly the ones on the above list) may do that. We just have no way to know if they do. (That is, no way to know right now. Someone may discover a way.)

10.16. http://www.icr.org/mitochondrial-eve/
“Variations in mitochondrial DNA between people have conclusively shown that all people have descended from one female, just as it is stated in Scripture.”

Not all people ever. Just all people who are alive. This is called natural selection. That one woman and her descendants were “fittest”, so they survived and eventually all other humans died off. They were probably only a little bit “fitter” in little ways, but it was enough that they eventually were the only humans left.

Fun fact: 1 in 12 people in the world are descendants of Genghis Khan; 1 in 4 in Asia.

WEBSITE ELEVEN
11.1. http://www.icr.org/planet-earth/
The earth is unique, at least among planets that we can effectively study. It can support life. We know that planets that can support life are fairly rare. But how is this evidence of a god? As I said above, God would want there to be humans all over the universe.

Earth’s conditions are very good. But they’re not perfect. Meteors hitting earth kills people. (It helps natural selection move along faster, but according to Creationists, natural selection doesn’t exist.) People dying is bad, from a biblical perspective. And so many places on earth are inhospitable. Antarctica, for example. The Sahara Desert is hospitable, but it sure would be nice if it were not so hot, and if there were, like, trees. So since when is earth “perfect”?

Almost the entire website relies on two arguments: The “earth is perfect” argument, and the “nature is amazing, therefore God exists” argument. The first argument has been refuted, and the second is completely unscientific, appeals to emotion, does not provide any evidence, and does not logically follow.

WEBSITE THIRTEEN
“The claim is sometimes made that Hitler was a Christian – a Roman Catholic until the day he died. In fact, Hitler rejected Christianity.”
Then why does he mention in his journal that the is on a godly mission to kill the Jews?

http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mischedj/ca_hitler.html

Hitler may have talked about things that were anti-Christianity in order to get more power. But in his personal journal, he clearly states that he is a Christian. He did not always act very Christianly, though. (I’m not going to say he didn’t act atheistish, because there is no such thing as “acting atheistish”.) (What’s the adverb form of “atheist”?)

Whatever his religion, Hitler was not a nice guy, but that doesn’t mean his entire religion is like him. In general, Christians are good people and atheists* are good people. Hitler was not. So let’s stop bickering about whether he was atheist of Christian.

*I am not saying that atheism is a religion. It’s not. It is, however, mutually exclusive with Christianity, because Christianity implies theism. Non-Christian theism is also mutually exclusive with those two groups. For the most part, non-Christian theists are good people, too.

WEBSITE FIFTEEN
I haven’t even read the website yet, and the deception has began. The title is “Darwinian evolution was basis of Nazi legal system”. This is completely irrelevant.

The title has five flaws:

I. It is using the “I don’t like it, so it’s not true” argument about evolution.
II. It is assuming that because evolution was used for evil, that makes evolution evil. I could pull that argument and say that the Bible was the basis of the Crusades, therefore the Bible is evil. But that is clearly not correct. Or here’s a funnier example: box cutters were used to hijack the planes that bombed the World Trade Center, therefore box cutters are evil. This is obviously false.
III. Darwin’s theory is that of NATURAL selection, not selection enforced by humans. It just so happens that human selection works in much the same way.
IV. The Aryan race is not evolutionarily superior to other races. So if Hitler was trying to emulate evolution, he was not doing a very good job. In fact, most characteristics of the Aryan race are recessive, and so less likely to continue. (Dark skin > light skin, brown eyes > blue eyes, dark hair > light hair…)
V. It’s not even true.

At this point, I don’t even need to read the website except to confirm the fifth point. The first four points stand on their own.

“‘Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime are the perfect illustration of what can occur when a civil government declares itself to be completely independent of God’s law.’”
It can also occur when a civil government declares itself to be sent by God to kill people.[27.14]

a: http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/new_info.html
b: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtmbcfb_rdc
c: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDFJviGQth4&feature=related
d: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mystery_monday_040524.html
e: http://www.solarviews.com/eng/oort.htm
f: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_test

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Refutation of Universal Conditions Argument

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 29, 2008

Creationists sometimes use the following argument:

The universe is just perfect. If any of the laws of physics were a tiny bit different, life as we know it would not exist.

The primary fallacy here is that life as we know it is the only form of life. But you can find out about that elsewhere. I have a new angle.

Let’s assume for a moment that God created the universe. So why did He create it like this? He could have created it differently, and just changed life so that life was capable of existing in this different universe. But why did He do it like this?

The refutation of the second argument is more obvious than the refutation of the first. But the same logic can be applied to refute either one.

EDIT: Wow. Not ten minutes after I wrote this, I ran into this video, which contains the fallacy mentioned in this post. The video is well done, made by one of the few intelligent Creationists on YouTube. But it’s still wrong.

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Point By Point Rebuttal of Creationist Websites

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 29, 2008

An aquaintance of mine has given me a list of Creationist websites to rebut.

[a] signifies a footnote. [1] means “see point one”.

1) creationontheweb.com/content/view/4111

The First atmosphere—geological evidences and their implications
2) creationontheweb.com/content/view/1189

Geology Questions and Answers
3) creationontheweb.com/content/view/3007

Radiometric Dating Questions and Answers
4) creationontheweb.com/content/view/3059

Polonium Radiohalos
5) http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=471

Geological Evidence Indicates Rapid Formation
6) http://www.icr.org/earth-formation

Natural Selection and Adaptation Preserve Life Forms, Rather Than Generate New Ones
7) http://www.icr.org/natural-selection

The Human Genome: A Creationist Overview:
8 ) http://www.icr.org/article/451

Tornado in a Junkyard (something diff):
9) http://www.geoffmetcalf.com/qa/19626.html

Evidence from Science:
10) http://www.icr.org/science

Evidence from Nature:
11) http://www.icr.org/nature

Origin of oxygen more complex than imagined:
12) creationontheweb.com/content/view/6173

Fraudulent Evolutionary “evidences”:
13) creationontheweb.com/content/view/6004

Hitler & Christianity p1:
13) answers.org/history/hitquote.html

Discovery of important function for endogenous retroviruses debunks evolution argument
14) creationontheweb.com/content/view/6146

Darwinian evolution was basis of Nazi legal system:
15) creationontheweb.com/content/view/6148

Creationism, Science and Peer Review:
16) creationontheweb.com/content/view/5613

Darwinian thought police strike again
17) creationontheweb.com/content/view/5126

Do Creationists Publish in Notable Refereed Journals?
18) creationontheweb.com/content/view/3486

Professional, peer-reviewed scientific journal:
19) creationontheweb.com/content/view/5629

Evolution & creation, science & religion, facts & bias:
20) creationontheweb.com/content/view/3830

Who’s Really Pushing Bad Science?:
21) creationontheweb.com/content/view/2891

The biblical origins of science:
22) creationontheweb.com/content/view/1581

Niagara Falls and the Bible:
23) creationontheweb.com/content/view/276

Probabilities of randomly assembling a primitive cell on Earth (a secular site):
24) http://www.iscid.org/papers/Mullan_PrimitiveCell_112302.pdf

CMIs response to PBS-TV series Evolution
Episode 1: Darwins Dangerous Idea:
25) creationontheweb.com/content/view/3855/#noma

Dating Methods:
26) creationontheweb.com/content/view/3059

Court Rules Atheism is a Religion:
27) http://www.atheism-analyzed.net/aap2.htm

Links to Much Scientific information on MANY topics:
28) creationontheweb.com/content/view/21

WEBSITE ONE
1.1. “most evolutionists today tend to shun the entire field [of abiogenesis] . . .”
In the second paragraph of the article, they begin to get dogmatic. There is no such thing as an evolutionist or a Darwinist, any more than there is a gravityist or a Newtonist. Even so, evolutionary scientists have nothing to say about abiogenesis. Evolution explains how life diversified, not how it originated.

1.1.1. There are 3 mentions of evolutionists and 2 mentions of Darwinists in the article. That’s 5 too many.

1.1.2. You can probably expect behaviors of 1.1 in pretty much any pseudo-science Creationist article.

1.2. “. . . because they are ‘uneasy about stating in public that the origin of life is a mystery, even though behind closed doors they freely admit that they are baffled’”
I can subjectively say that this is not true. Until recently, I thought that no one had any idea how life originated. That’s what I was taught in school. But I learned on my own that we have a good idea about how abiogenesis could have occurred.

1.3. “Abiogenesis was once commonly called ‘chemical evolution’,2 but evolutionists today try to distance evolutionary theory from the origin of life. This is one reason that most evolutionary propagandists now call it ‘abiogenesis’. ”
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution says NOTHING about the origin of life. No one is pretending it does. No distancing is necessary.

1.4. “Chemical evolution is actually part of the ‘General Theory of Evolution’, defined by the evolutionist Kerkut as ‘the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form’.”
Few scientists recognize the ‘General Theory of Evolution’. When I Googled ‘General Theory of Evolution’ in quotes, all I got was either a) unrelated or b) from a Creationist website. The ‘General Theory of Evolution’ is a Creationist idea, not a scientific one.

1.5. “Another reason exists to exaggerate abiogenesis claims—it is an area that is critical to proving evolutionary naturalism.4 If abiogenesis is impossible, or extremely unlikely, then so is naturalism.”
Naturalism and evolution are not the same thing. Naturalism implies evolution, but evolution does not imply naturalism. Many people believe that evolution occurred, but was guided by God. Evolution does not require that there be no God.

1.6. “Darwin recognized how critical the abiogenesis problem was for his theory.”
Abiogenesis is not necessary for evolution. It is possible that a god (not the Judeo-Christian one) created primitive life forms out of nothing, which then evolved over about 3 billion years into the diverse life that we see today.

1.7. “If God made one type of life, He also could have made many thousands of different types[1.8].”
But he did not necessarily make thousands of different types. It is possible that my hypothesis at point 6 is correct. I doubt it, but it’s conceivable.

1.8. Define “type”. If you mean “species”, then there are estimated 3 to 10 million species[a], not thousands.

1.1.3. “Although seriously challenged in recent years, the warm soup hypothesis is still the most widely held abiogenesis theory among Darwinists.”[1.1]

1.1.4. “Developed most extensively by Russian atheist . . .”
Whether a scientist is an atheist or a theist does not matter.

1.9. “After hundreds of replications and modifications using techniques similar to those employed in the original Miller–Urey experiments, scientists were able to produce only small amounts of less than half of the 20 amino acids required for life.”
Not exactly true: 11 of 20 amino acids were found. But they never expected to find more. The experiment was small, and only lasted for a week. Miller said, “Just turning on the spark in a basic pre-biotic experiment will yield 11 out of 20 amino acids.”[d]

And of the many replications and modifications of the original experiment, some discovered new information supporting abiogenesis.

1.10. “They believed this because ‘laboratory experiments show that chemical evolution, as accounted for by present models, would be largely inhibited by oxygen’.28 Here is one of many examples of where their a priori belief in the ‘fact’ of chemical evolution is used as ‘proof’ of one of the premises, an anoxic atmosphere.”
Abiogenesis is likely to have occurred. There is no evidence (I repeat, no evidence) supporting the Christian God creating life. The best alternative is abiogenesis. It’s not a huge leap of faith to assume that the early atmosphere had little to no oxygen. It is a fairly likely condition. Venus, for instance, has virtually no oxygen[b]. And Mars also has negligible oxygen content[c].

1.10.1. There are other sources of evidence indicating what earth’s early atmosphere may have been like, and they independently confirm that abiogenesis could have occurred. For example, many volcanic eruptions in earth’s early unstable environment would have released much CO2.[e] “In practice gas mixtures containing CO, CO2, N2, etc. give much the same products as those containing CH4 and NH3 so long as there is no O2.”[e]

1.11. ” . . . without all 20 amino acids as a set, most known protein types cannot be produced, and this critical step in abiogenesis could never have occurred.”
The experiments that have been done did not expect to get all 20 amino acids. To accurately reproduce the early earth environment, we’d need around a hundred billion cubic kilometers[f] of space and several hundred million years. But instead, relevant experiments have had a few cubic meters and a few weeks, at most. We can hardly expect to get the exact same results.

Even so, we have gotten phenomenal results. A recent experiment produced 22 amino acids and many organic molecules[e].

1.10.2 “A major source of gases was believed to be volcanoes, and since modern-day volcanoes emit CO, CO2, N2 and water vapour, it was considered likely that these gases were very abundant in the early atmosphere. In contrast, it is now believed that H2, CH4 and NH3 probably were not major components of the early atmosphere.” [1.10]

1.12. “Most researchers also now believe that some O2 was present on the early earth because it contained much water vapour, and photodissociation of water in the upper layers of the atmosphere produces oxygen.”
Those levels of oxygen would only have been about 1% of current oxygen levels, however.[g] Photosynthesis is what primarily caused the earth’s atmosphere to fill with oxygen.

1.13. “Yet another reason to conclude free oxygen existed on the early earth is that it is widely believed that photosynthetic organisms existed very soon after the earth had formed, something that is difficult for chemical evolutionary theories to explain.”
Organisms began to show up a little bit after earth’s crust stabilized[1.13.1]. This makes perfect sense. But considering the size of the atmosphere, it would take a very long time to fill with oxygen.

1.13.1. By “a little bit”, I mean tens or hundreds of millions of years. This is short in the grand scheme of things, but this is hundreds to thousands of times more time than humans have inhabited earth, and hundreds of thousands of times longer than recorded history.

1.13.2. The above quote contains a contradiction. It is trying to show that life could not form, because the atmosphere was filled with oxygen. Yet it claims that one of the reasons that the atmosphere was filled with oxygen is that photosynthetic organisms were creating oxygen. Abiogenesis does not need to occur when it already occurred.

1.13.3. “So even granting evolutionary presuppositions, this latest research shows that life existed almost as soon as the earth was able to support it, not ‘billions and billions of years’ later.”

Hundreds of millions of years may not be billions of years, but it sure is a long time.[1.13]

1.12.1. “Even if the oxygen were produced by photodissociation of water vapour rather than photosynthesis, this would still be devastating for Miller-type proposals.” [1.12]

1.14. “Modern replications of the Miller–Urey experiment using a wide variety of recipes, including low levels of O2, yield even lower amounts of organic compound than the original experiment.”
This is false. More modern experiments involving simulated volcanic eruptions have come up with even more results.[e]

1.1.5. “The Miller–Urey experiment held great hopes for the materialists. . .”
This implies that the purpose of that experiment was to make materialists look right. The purpose of science isn’t to support any one position. It is to discover the truth.

1.15. “To produce even non-functional amino acids and proteins, researchers must highly control the experiment in various ways because the very conditions hypothesized to create amino acids also rapidly destroy proteins.”
Researchers make environments to simulate earth’s early environment. They ended up creating many amino acids and organic compounds.

I’m only about half done with this article, and there are 27 more on the list.

1.16. “Very few proteins remain biologically active above 50ºC, or below about 30ºC, and most require very narrow conditions. Cooking food is a good example of using heat to denature protein, and refrigeration of using cold to slow down biological activity.”
30 to 50 degrees celcius is a range that occurs many places on earth. Even if only a fifth of the earth is (or was) within that range, that’s still a huge amount.
1.16.1. Refrigeration slows down the movement of molecules, organic or inorganic.

1.16.2. “As any molecular biologist knows from daily lab work, the pH also must be strictly regulated.”
Once again, the earth is a big place. There is plenty of room for varied pH levels.[1.16]

1.17. “Miller had to remove many contaminants and impurities to obtain pure compounds that are not normally found in life.”
Miller removed nothing. He started with nothing, and added gases and environmental factors. The environment was made to simulate early earth conditions.

1.18. “In Miller’s UV experiments, he used a select wavelength to produce amino acids and screened out other wavelengths because they destroy amino acids. Yet both chemical-building and chemical-destroying light exists in sunlight. Amino acids are actually very delicate and readily break down under natural sunlight.”

The UV harm is a problem in the field of abiogenesis, which we do not have a solution for at this time. However, it is likely that there is a slightly different solution that we have not seen, considering all the other evidence to support abiogenesis.[h]

It is suspected that early life developed at the bottom of the ocean, where UV rays would not reach it, and energy would come from volcanic eruptions.

1.18.1. “Even the ocean would not protect them, because UV penetrates several metres of liquid water—you can even sunburn under water.”
Several meters is different from several kilometers, or even several hundred meters. The deep ocean can protect against UV rays.

1.19. “Even simple movement can cause major protein damage: whipping cream or beating egg whites is one way of using mechanical agitation to deliberately denature protein (the whipping stretches the polypeptide chains until the bonds break).”
We don’t completely understand abiogenesis. [1.18]

Beating an egg requires vigorous movement. This does occur in some places, but there are many places on earth that are calm enough.

1.20. “Creating life in a test tube also turned out to be far more difficult than Miller expected.”
Not to get unscientific, but . . . duh. [1.16]

1.21. “Life is far more complex than Miller believed”, a whole section that essentially says “Around the time of Darwin, T.H. Huxley had some incorrect ideas about the nature of life.”
So T.H. Huxley didn’t understand cellular biology as we do today. So what?

1.22. “These parts must be assembled correctly to produce a living cell, the most complex ‘machine’ in the universe—far more complex than a Cray supercomputer.”
A human cell contains roughly 350 megabytes of information[i,j], which is far less than even the worst computers on the market today. And human cells are relatively complex. A good home computer contains 1000 times as much storage as a single cell.

But that’s not a full explanation of complexity. The latest Cray supercomputer has 1.64 petaflops[k]. That means it does 1640000000000000 floating-point operations per second. How many operations per second does a cell do? Well . . . a cell doesn’t do operations in the same way. But the human brain does. The human brain can do about as many operations as the lastest supercomputer.[l] But the brain is a complex network of billions of cells, meaning that if you divide it up, each cell can only do operations along the order of megaflops. (Of course, the human brain doesn’t do flops. The human brain is hopelessly slow at floating-point operations: it cannot multiply 3.5 by 5.3 (or similar numbers) a quadrillion times per second. It can do about a quadrillion operations per second, though.)

Even so, early living cells were not nearly as complicated as they are today. A human cell is complicated. But that complication evolved. Early life forms were just simple reproductive mechanisms, which grew more complex over time through natural selection. That type of thing is far simpler than the complicated cells we have today, with their golgi bodies and ribosomes and such.

1.23. “Chemicals do not produce life; only complex structures such as DNA and enzymes produce life.”
DNA and enzymes are chemicals. And DNA alone does not produce life. A system of various chemicals produces life.

1.24. “… no one has ever satisfactorily explained how the widely distributed ingredients linked up into proteins. ”
A thousand years ago, no one had ever satisfactorily explained how we were all stuck to the earth. That doesn’t mean gravity was wrong.

1.25. “… high temperatures would accelerate the breakdown of amino acids, just as cooking meat breaks down the bonds …”
Cooking meat does not cause amino acids to break down.

I will continue this one later. For reasons that could only be described as boredom, I will now skip to #27.

WEBSITE TWENTY-SEVEN
The following is filled with “I don’t like it, therefore it’s not true” arguments. I try to ignore them, but just so you know, they’re there.

27.1. “(The Seventh) federal court has ruled that prison officials in Wisconsin violated the rights of an inmate who sought to form an Atheist discussion group because they failed to treat Atheism as a religion.”
The discussion group was not atheist (note lack of capitalization), it was humanist. Atheism is defined as the lack of belief in a god. This is not religion, nor is it lack of religion. It is possible for there to be a religious atheist who belongs to a religion that does not include a god. Humanism is religious in nature. So is naturalism. Atheism, however, is not. Generally when people think of atheism as a religion, they’re thinking of Humanism or naturalism.

27.2. “The Supreme Court has said that a
religion, for purposes of the First Amendment, is distinct
from a “way of life,” even if that way of life is inspired by
philosophical beliefs or other secular concerns…”
Atheism is not a way of life. Naturalism is a way of life.

27.3. “‘Stephen Jay Gould launched a direct attack on religion thereby exposing the true religious nature of Darwinism…'”
Sigh… [1.1]

27.4. “Atheist worldview”
There is no one atheist worldview. Each atheist has their own worldview. [27.1]

27.5. “1. Cognition of reality, and levels (Godelian) of reality:
a. Natural essence (First Principles of existence and truth)

Atheism is first and foremost Naturalist and Materialist. For now, we will assume that the Atheist accepts the First Principles of existence and truth.”
That is not atheism. That is Naturalism or Materialism. [27.1]

I will now ignore any misuse of the word “atheism” or any other form of the word, unless the misuse is significant. I will, however, count the number of misuses.

27.6. “Atheism will specifically deny any spiritual essence.”
Atheism does not deny the existence of god. It is a lack of belief in a god. This requires no faith. Any misuse of this sort will also be added to the misuse count.

27.7. “Evolution is the Origin Story of Atheism. It is the Atheist’s ABSOLUTE Truth, unassailable, unquestionable cant; dogma.”
Atheism is lack of belief in God. Evolution is science. Evolution is not absolute to scientists; it merely has very good evidence supporting it. If evidence came along and proved evolution false, scientists would stop supporting evolution and instead support some other scientific explanation. In no way is evolution “dogma”. Maybe there is some religious group out there that worships Charles Darwin, but that’s not science, nor is it atheism. Those “Darwinists” might be atheist, but they are not atheism.

27.8. “Life is a random accident according to the absolutist dogma of Evolution. Atheism therefore sees absolutely no purpose to life beyond the perpetuation of one’s own genes, as natural selection occurs. So the sole purpose of life is genetic self perpetuation. Denial of this sole purpose leads to other paradoxes.”
Should that count as one misuse, or two? I’ll call it one, just to be safe.

Science (which is what evolution is) does not make a comment about the purpose of life. Atheism refers to a lack of belief in a god. Atheism does not make a comment about the meaning of life. Philosophy makes a comment about the meaning of life, as does religion.

A bit off topic: According to Christians, what is the purpose of life? To get into Heaven? Well then what is the purpose of Heaven? Eternal happiness seems pretty pointless. The value of life comes in its finiteness. It has an end, so it must be cherished and valued. But when you live forever in the next life, what’s the point?

27.9. “With nothing else to become, once the spark of life has gone there is nothing left but the material fodder for worms (M.M.O’Hair).”
Atheism makes no comment on the afterlife. An afterlife is possible without a god.

27.10. “[Atheists have] Faith that the supreme intelligence in the universe is me, embodied in my mind.”
I don’t think I’m the smartest person on earth. But I’ll assume that what that means is that supreme intelligence exists in the material world. And that “supreme” means “greatest”, not “infinite”. In that case, I agree with that. But that’s not a faith-based belief. There is no evidence to the contrary. Faith is not supported by evidence, and there is evidence that I have intelligence. There is NO evidence that God has intelligence. So I do agree with the quoted statement, but it’s not a faith-based belief.

27.11. ” Faith that the first life self-assembled from warm chemicals in goo.”
Calling a complicated stew of chemicals “goo” is a bit misleading. But I do believe that. And as I said above, it’s not faith-based. There is strong evidence to support it.

27.12. “Faith that a “multiverse” that we can’t see is a rationale for a random universe producing life (Anthropic principle is false).”
We don’t have to see something to have evidence for it. example

It’s not faith-based.

I’m not really rooted in the multiverse theory. Although it makes sense, there is limited evidence. I don’t so much believe it as much as I see it as a likely possibility.

27.13. “Faith that if I can’t sense it, it does not exist. (No metaphysical existence).”
Other than the misuses…

I can’t sense x-rays, yet I think that they exist. See above example.

27.14. “Anyone familiar with Jeffry Dahmer, Madelyn Murray O’Hair, or Peter Singer will realize that the ethical code of Atheism is “Any Code I Desire” (A.C.I.D.) In fact any code that benefits me, right now, at this very moment. The code is total Narcissism.”
Religious people can bend their religion to fit their morals. People kill each other in the name of God all the time. No, I’m not saying that all religious people are murderers. What I’m saying is that morals are independent from religion. There are plenty of atheists who are fully functional within society. Almost all atheists, in fact.

27.15. “In a stunning twist of logic, the purveyors of the ethical code that protects the Atheist (Christianity, the Bible and the Ten Commandments) are deemed evil.”
Didn’t I just say that evil is independent of religion? And I’m an atheist.

27.16. “The celebrity scientists and philosophers clearly are the high priests of Atheism: Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Stephen J. Gould, Bertrand Russell, Theodore Dobzhansky, Carl Sagan, celebrities all.”
These people are scientists. They use their rational minds. And Stephen Hawking was not atheist.

27.17. “In politics, Marx, Stalin, Hitler, Mao.”
Hitler was in fact Catholic.[m] He wrote in his journal “… I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews. I am doing the Lord’s work.”[n] [27.14]

I wasn’t sure about Stalin and Mao. But I found a blog where someone wrote about it, and phrased it better than I could have.
“But most people seem to assume that because they abolished religion, they must be atheists. In fact, they abolished religion so that they could establish cults of personality, and become gods themselves. They did what they needed to in order to get more power, and religion was a rival power source, which is why they abolished it. Stalin actually reinstated the church after Hitler invaded, because he thought it would help him (from here). Religion simply got in their way, and they eliminated anything and anyone that got in their way.”[n]

27.18. “As the source of all truth, the Atheist mind becomes an object of awe and worship, and the situation becomes that of pagan self-worship.”
Scientists take up the point of view that there is no absolute truth. So there is no source of absolute truth. Anyhow, this quote is assuming that the source of truth must be worshipped, which is not necessarily the case.

27.19. “Belief in nothing is a belief without proof, a leap of faith. And because self-validation is an act of Godellian illogic, Atheism is a blind leap into illogic…the very definition of “religion” that Atheist’s love!”
It’s not a belief in nothing. Atheists don’t “believe that there is no god.” They “don’t believe that there is a god.” The distinction is very important.

WARNING: The Grammar Nazi has entered the room!! It’s “that atheists love”, not “that atheist’s love”. The atheist is not in possession of the love.

27.20. “One such set [of atheism] is Secular Humanism, also legally declared a religion.”
Secular Humanism may be a religion, but it is independent of atheism.

27.21. ““Some say there is no objective morality. When told that a certain individual believed that morality is a sham, Samuel Johnson responded, ‘Why sir, if he really believes there is no distinction between virtue and vice, let us count our spoons before he leaves’.””
There is no objective morality, but that’s different from saying that there is no morality. There is no absolute right and wrong. Killing someone is always wrong, right? But what if killing that person saves thousands of people? Then is it wrong? So killing someone isn’t always wrong. Or maybe it is. It depends on your point of view.

27.21.1 The Samuel Jackson quote is misleading; it’s a very common argument. “I don’t like it, so it’s not true.” Just because you don’t like the idea of there being no objective morality doesn’t mean that there is an objective morality. So count your spoons, but that individual may be correct.

27.22. “…Cohen[(1868-1954) third president of the National Secular Society, Britain’s largest Atheist organization] does not address the origin of the “moral feeling”, which might be called conscience…”
Conscience arose through natural selection. Societies without without betrayed and killed each other, and died off. Societies with morality worked together, and reproduced. It’s that simple.

27.23. “…the existence of selflessness falsifies Darwinian evolution…”
Evolution is not about the survival of the individual; it is about the survival of the gene pool. Organisms that help other similar organisms will become stronger as a species. They help each other out when necessary, so they survive better as a whole.

27.24. “Q: How many Darwinists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None, they know that given enough time, one will evolve by itself by random assembly.”
Funny, but misleading. Certain things have been known to develop on their own. For example, look at a rock. The rock has all these complicated bumps and grooves. It must have been designed intelligently!

No. It was made by natural phenomena. There are no known natural phenomena that screw in lightbulbs. Except maybe if the lightbulb was right in the center of a tornado. . .

27.25. “… Aldous Huxley [is a total idiot for being an atheist]” (paraphrased a teensy bit)
Aldous Huxley was a literary genius.

27.26. “If an Atheist is behaving like an Atheist, how is he behaving?”
No such thing as “an Atheist behaving like an Atheist”. That’s like saying “an abigfootist (someone with a lack of belief in Bigfoot) behaving like an abigfootist”. It just doesn’t make sense.

27.27. “Atheism is based on just one premise: “There is no deity.””
Finally! You get it…almost right. Remember, it’s not “there is no deity”. It’s “I do not believe that there is a deity”.[27.19]

27.27.1 “Note that this is not a positive declaration of the existence of something. It is the declaration of the absence of something.”

I’ll fix that.

“Note that this is not a positive declaration of the existence of something. It is the absence of the declaration of something.”

27.28. “Atheism appeals on many levels. The illusion of self-determinism, of superiority of mind (and caste), and of self-directed morals is totally compatible with the desire for the freedom to pursue whatever materialism, lust, indulgence or vanity one wishes.”
Ugh. [27.1][27.5][27.8][27.14][27.15][27.18][27.20][27.21]

27.28.1 “For Hitler it was the pursuit of the Master Race. ”
[27.14]

27.29. “The Atheist is also caught in a Cause / Effect logical contradiction.”
I’m not sure, but I think this refers to the first cause.

Why does the first cause have to be God? Why couldn’t it have been some eternal inanimate object?

27.30. “…Atheists sorely need Darwinist Evolution to be true, evolutionary theory would have been thoroughly drummed out of the scientific arena a century ago.”
a) They are trying to make it look like science is a conspiracy. Science is the pursuit of truth.
b) If evolution is proven false, that does not necessitate a god. There could be another explanation that does not involve a supreme being. However, no one has tried to look for one because all the scientists support the Theory of Evolution because of its strong evidence, and all the Creationists support the Bible because…well, I don’t really know why.

Oh, you know what? There actually is an alternative. Flying Spaghetti Monsterism.

27.31. “Einstein famously included a “cosmic fudge factor” in order to make his equations work right for a static universe. When Hubble showed Einstein the red shift, Einstein had two conflicting reactions. First, his original equations had been correct. Second, his religion was incorrect. The universe did in fact have a beginning, and therefore, a pre-existing causing being. Einstein left Atheism to become a Deist. He stated that his goal was “to know the mind of God”.”
Einstein apparently did not know about the Big Bang Theory.

Deism is a religion that believes that God expresses Him/It(?)self through nature. Quotes[o]:
“I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.”

“The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

“For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything “chosen” about them.”

“I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.”

27.32. “O’Hair was to Atheism as Carl Sagan was to cosmology. She gave it visibility to the public. She was an avowed communist, and “enjoyed hate”. She was responsible for the elimination of prayer from public schools, and became known as “America’s most hated woman”.”
So maybe not all atheists are very nice. But at least she got prayer out of school. You should have the right to choose whether or not you pray.

27.33. ““Persons are beings that feel, reason, have self-awareness, and look forward to a future. Thus, fetuses and some very impaired human beings are not persons in his view and have a lesser moral status than, say, adult gorillas and chimpanzees.””
I agree. I see no logical reason to think otherwise. I would rather kill a fetus than an adult gorilla, because the gorilla doesn’t have the same level of awareness. (Unless it was my baby or the baby of someone close to me, but that’s an irrational instinct put forth by evolution: if you would rather kill your children than someone else’s, you have no more children, and are removed from the gene pool.)

27.34. “[The guy who said the quote in 27.33] recently extolled the practice of sex with animals: “We’re all great apes, after all”.
I disagree with that. So what? I don’t have to agree with everything that every atheist says.

27.35. “He opines that abortion must be as moral after the fetus travels the birth canal as it is before, because the act of birth does not add value to the fetus. He recommends infanticide up to 28 days after the birth for defective children. (Notice any similarity to Nazism’s eugenics?)”
Ooh, this is a good one. I get to talk about a broad point.

This argument is meant to fuel people’s emotions. People feel emotional about killing babies and not about killing gorillas, because they have more of a personal connection to babies than to gorillas. So this argument tries to overwhelm people with emotion so that they don’t think rationally. The point about Nazism is not a real argument; just because Nazis did it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It is also meant to overwhelm people with emotion.

But when you think about it, what he says makes a certain sense. There is some point at which you decide that it’s no longer legal or moral to abort a fetus. But there is no point at which a fetus suddenly becomes “human”. It’s gradual. So a somewhat arbitrary cutoff point has to be chosen. 28 days born is not much later than 8 months pregnant. But once the baby is born, people become emotionally attached to the baby, so it would be unthinkable to kill the baby! But that’s just more emotion. If the mother really wants to abort the baby, I think that’s okay. (I think a better abortion cutoff is birth; even though it’s arbitrary, at least it’s a milestone.) Hey, it’s not that bad. I know someone who thinks that the abortion cutoff should be 18 years. (Unless he was joking…)

Question for Creationists: If there is objective morality created by God, why did God create creatures that did not follow his objective morality?

27.36. “…evolutionary theory of Atheism…”
That is just about the most incorrect phrase ever. I think it’s worth mentioning. [27.1]

27.37. “Kinsey became bi-sexual, and had sex with the staff males.”
So what? Give me one good reason besides these five here. (That’s 3 different links.)

27.38. “[implies that atheists can do whatever they want because they have no morals]”
There are still consequences for things. Social consequences. You can murder people, but you’ll go to jail. Not only that, but no one will want to be your friend.

And can’t Creationists do whatever they want and then just ask Jesus to forgive them? As I said before, morals and religion are independent. [27.14]

27.39. “…Atheism is the result of attacking other positions. By that I mean that the Atheist position is one of arms folded, skeptical scowl, saying, “prove it”.”
Yeah…that makes sense. Stop trying to appeal to people’s emotions. The atheist described here may sound like a bitter and conceited person, but a little change in attitude and it makes complete sense. How about this? “The atheist position is one of not just accepting anything you’re told. If you’re an atheist, you look for evidence before blindly believing something.”

(I skipped a small section of the article because it looked very tedious)

27.40. “The logic of Atheism is feeble: “If I can’t see it, it does not exist.” ”
Atheist logic is more like, “If I can’t see it, then I won’t assume it exists.” [27.1]

27.41. “Even Einstein admitted that a universe with an obvious beginning had to have a pre-existing causing being outside and beyond itself.”
Wait, you mean Einstein “admitted” it? You make it sound reluctant. Of COURSE Einstein believed that there had to be a pre-existing cause. The logic easily follows.

I: The universe had a beginning.
II: For something to be created, the creation has to take place before the thing exists.
III: A creator has to exist to create something.
Therefore, a creator that existed before the universe created the universe.

You might be saying, “Wait, did you just admit that there is a god?” Well, no. For that a fourth assumption is necessary: A creator must be an intelligent, sentient being. This assumption is false. Example: A lightning bolt catches some twigs on fire. The lightning bolt was the creator of the fire. But is the lightning bolt intelligent? No.

27.43. “1. Logical proof of a pre-existing, necessary, causing being with intelligence. Several (34 at last count) proofs are found in the appendix, along with several counter-arguments.
2. Logical proof that Atheism produces a non-reducible necessary paradox.
(See the Paradox of the Non-Contingent Effect, in the appendix).
3. Physical proof of very high intelligence content of a contingent effect.
(See the Probabilities of DNA, and Anthony Flew, in the appendix).

So Atheism, which is falsifiable, is logically and physically falsified.”

Um…where did the conclusion come from?

27.42. “The Atheist’s best friend, Darwinist Evolutionary Theory, has been falsified, over and over.”
I disagree with the personification. Theories do not make friends. If they did, they would not make friends with beliefs. And even if they did, atheism and evolution would not be friends; they aren’t at all related.

Evolutionary Theory has not been falsified. As we uncover more and more, it looks better and better. I may talk more about this later.

Misuses: 59

Well, that’s the whole article. I’ve added up all the misuses of “atheist” or “atheism”. Let’s see how many there are. (drumroll please)

And the grand total is… A WHOPPING SUM OF 59 MISUSES!!!!! That is simply amazing.

This post is very long as it is, so I’m not going to review any of the other websites on this post. I’ll write another post soon enough.

REFERENCES (not necessarily in order of use)
a: http://www.eoearth.org/article/Species_richness
b: http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/venus/atmosphere.html
c: http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/M/Marsatmos.html%5D
d: http://www.accessexcellence.org/WN/NM/miller.php
e: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller-Urey_experiment
f: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Earth
g: http://www.ux1.eiu.edu/~cfjps/1400/atmos_origin.html
h: http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Talk/talk.origins/2007-05/msg05972.html
i: http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/project/info.shtml
j: http://www.utheguru.com/fun-science-how-many-megabytes-in-the-human-body
k: http://cray.com/Products/XT/Product/ORNLJaguar.aspx
l: http://www.merkle.com/brainLimits.html
m: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler
n: http://stupac2.blogspot.com/2006/10/hitler-stalin-and-mao-were-not-atheists.html
o: http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/einstein.htm

Posted in Science | Leave a Comment »

Infinities and the Concept of Omnipotence

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 27, 2008

(This is an essay I wrote for school as a response for the first two chapters of Mystery of the Aleph by Georg Cantor. I ended up writing about omnipotence. I thought this was worth posting.)

Mystery of the Aleph: chapters aleph null and one

In the first chapter of The Mystery of the Aleph, it is described how Georg Cantor was working on the “continuum hypothesis” for the later years of his life. This hypothesis consisted of a single equation: 2^aleph null = aleph one. This problem, combined with a possible genetic disease, drove Cantor to insanity, and he was institutionalized many times.

The second chapter discusses Pythagoreans, and the first notions of infinity. The Pythagoreans discovered irrational numbers through the Pythagorean Theorem, and kept it a well-guarded secret. They practically went insane because of irrational numbers.

Later on, infinity was further explored and understood. The last sentence mentions that infinity was brought up in the medieval ages, in the form of religion. It is not elaborated, but it seems like this is referencing the supposed omnipotence of God. He is all-knowing and all-powerful, hence infinity.

This led me to think of a joke question: can God make a rock so big that he himself cannot lift it? I began to ponder the true meaning of this. What this really is is infinity minus infinity. The rock weighs X, and God’s strength is Y. So if X – Y is greater than one, He cannot lift it. And if X – Y is zero or less, he can lift it. So that raises the question, what is infinity minus infinity? A little bit of research turned up two possible answers: either it’s zero or it’s undefined. So that means either God can lift it, or we don’t know. But is that really true? If your strength is Y and an object weighs X and X = Y, wouldn’t that mean that you can lift it, but it takes an infinite amount of time? This is truly a difficult question that there is to straight answer to. Here’s the straight answer: it is not logically possible, much less physically so, to be all powerful.

Posted in Math | 2 Comments »

Implications of An Infinitely Large Function if P ≠ NP

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 25, 2008

Prerequisite reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-way_function
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P_%3D_NP_problem

Let’s assume that one-way functions exist, meaning that there is something that’s unsolvable in reverse in polynomial time. So what if you’re using infinities? The polynomial of an infinity is still that infinity. But the exponential of an infinity is a greater infinity. So it may be possible to use a cipher that requires one to stay within the realm of one infinity. This would make it impossible to decrypt. Here’s an example.

P = plaintext
C = ciphertext

f(P) = C
where f is a function that takes aleph null steps. This works if there is some way to do aleph null steps, but it’s impossible to do aleph one steps. So the amount of time it takes to calculate is aleph null, but the number of steps it takes to solve is aleph one (x ^ aleph null = aleph one).

This all makes sense if you have infinite time. With infinite time you can do aleph null operations, but no more. Or if you can do infinite operations per second. But you can’t do aleph one operations in any amount of time, even infinite.

Posted in Math | Leave a Comment »

Powerprimes

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 16, 2008

WARNING: Math jargon ahead. If you don’t know what some of this means, you’ll have to do a little research.

A powerprime deals with the hyper-operation above multiplication: exponentiation. A powerprime is a number that cannot be expressed as a^b, just as a prime is a number that cannot be expressed as a*b. Here is a list of all the powerprimes up to 1000:

2 3 5 6 7 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 26 28 29 30 31 33 34 35 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 122 123 124 126 127 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436 437 438 439 440 442 443 444 445 446 447 448 449 450 451 452 453 454 455 456 457 458 459 460 461 462 463 464 465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475 476 477 478 479 480 481 482 483 485 486 487 488 489 490 491 492 493 494 495 496 497 498 499 500 501 502 503 504 505 506 507 508 509 510 511 513 514 515 516 517 518 519 520 521 522 523 524 525 526 527 528 530 531 532 533 534 535 536 537 538 539 540 541 542 543 544 545 546 547 548 549 550 551 552 553 554 555 556 557 558 559 560 561 562 563 564 565 566 567 568 569 570 571 572 573 574 575 577 578 579 580 581 582 583 584 585 586 587 588 589 590 591 592 593 594 595 596 597 598 599 600 601 602 603 604 605 606 607 608 609 610 611 612 613 614 615 616 617 618 619 620 621 622 623 624 626 627 628 629 630 631 632 633 634 635 636 637 638 639 640 641 642 643 644 645 646 647 648 649 650 651 652 653 654 655 656 657 658 659 660 661 662 663 664 665 666 667 668 669 670 671 672 673 674 675 677 678 679 680 681 682 683 684 685 686 687 688 689 690 691 692 693 694 695 696 697 698 699 700 701 702 703 704 705 706 707 708 709 710 711 712 713 714 715 716 717 718 719 720 721 722 723 724 725 726 727 728 730 731 732 733 734 735 736 737 738 739 740 741 742 743 744 745 746 747 748 749 750 751 752 753 754 755 756 757 758 759 760 761 762 763 764 765 766 767 768 769 770 771 772 773 774 775 776 777 778 779 780 781 782 783 785 786 787 788 789 790 791 792 793 794 795 796 797 798 799 800 801 802 803 804 805 806 807 808 809 810 811 812 813 814 815 816 817 818 819 820 821 822 823 824 825 826 827 828 829 830 831 832 833 834 835 836 837 838 839 840 842 843 844 845 846 847 848 849 850 851 852 853 854 855 856 857 858 859 860 861 862 863 864 865 866 867 868 869 870 871 872 873 874 875 876 877 878 879 880 881 882 883 884 885 886 887 888 889 890 891 892 893 894 895 896 897 898 899 901 902 903 904 905 906 907 908 909 910 911 912 913 914 915 916 917 918 919 920 921 922 923 924 925 926 927 928 929 930 931 932 933 934 935 936 937 938 939 940 941 942 943 944 945 946 947 948 949 950 951 952 953 954 955 956 957 958 959 960 962 963 964 965 966 967 968 969 970 971 972 973 974 975 976 977 978 979 980 981 982 983 984 985 986 987 988 989 990 991 992 993 994 995 996 997 998 999
proportion of powerprimes: 0.959 (This means that for this data set, 95.9% of the numbers are primes.)

As you can see, most numbers are powerprimes.

The following chart shows what percentage of numbers up to some point are powerprimes.

Up to…
10: 50.0%
20: 70.0%
50: 78.0%
100: 87.0%
200: 90.0%
500: 93.8%
1000: 95.9%
2000: 97.15%
5000: 98.2%
10000: 98.75%

Interestingly, unlike primes, it increases instead of decreasing. With primes, you can get a rough estimate of the number of primes up to n with the formula 1/ln(n). Is there any such formula for powerprimes? I was thinking that it might involve super-logarithms (tetration logarithms, see this). But to determine that I’d need a program that calculates super-logarithms, which, unfortunately, is not theoretically possible at this time. Nobody knows what would happen if you take the super-logarithm of a number that’s NOT a tetration of 2 numbers. Tetration remains very much a mystery. But I have a general idea of what a super-logarithm chart would look like, and I don’t think that the above chart is it. Here’s a super-log chart for what we do know. (Since we don’t know a value like e for super-logarithms, I’ll just use some other numbers.)

slog2 (2) = 1
slog2 (4) = 2
slog2 (16) = 3
slog2 (65536) = 4

So I will compare 1/slog2(n) to the proportion of powerprimes less than n.

N SLOG POWERPRIMES
2 1 0
4 0.5 0.5
16 0.33 0.6875
65536 0.25 0.995437622070312

They are not only opposite, but very different. The first three, when you add the slog result to the powerprime result, get a number that’s very nearly 1. But on the fourth, they aren’t even close to 1. Maybe if I look at the logarithm of n…

N LOG POWERPRIMES
2 1.44269504088896 0
4 0.434294481903252 0.5
16 0.360673760222241 0.6875
65536 0.0901684400555602 0.995437622070312

These come roughly close to adding up to 1. There could be a relationship there.

What about primes to powerprimes?

N PRIMES POWERPRIMES
2 0 0
4 0.5 0.5
16 0.375 0.6875
65536 0.099822998046875 0.995437622070312

These also seem to add up to one. Of course, that makes sense, because the proportion of primes is about the same as the logarithm formula, so they should have about the same result.

So primes and powerprimes come close to adding up to one. Coincidence? Possibly. But what is the relationship? That is the question.

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Pseudorandom Number generator

Posted by Michael Dickens on November 11, 2008

I have an algorithm for a pseudorandom number generator which I’m pretty sure is random for practical purposes.

Here is some concept code for the algorithm.

n = 10*
a = 2^50*

100* times: **

       100* times: ***
            b = 2*a
            c = the last n digits of b

       if c > a
            return 1
       else if c < a
            return 0

*this number is somewhat arbitrary, and can be changed to another number that is close to this number
**It will return this many numbers.
***It has to skip some numbers, because otherwise it will never return a 1 or 0 more than four times in a row.

So this will randomly return 1s and 0s.

Here’s what my random number generator returns with the above arbitrary numbers:
0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1
59 zeros, 41 ones

Here’s what my computer’s random number generator returns:
1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
43 zeros, 57 ones

They are very similar, in a general sense. The both have about the same number of long sequences (>5 in a row), medium sequences (3 or 4), and short sequences (1 or 2).

Can you identify the pattern here?
0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0

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