The Power Of Light Works
July 2019
LightSail 2 is changing its orbit using only the power of sunlight. The Planetary Society announced this week that their LightSail 2 solar sail is working well, and actually raising the orbit of the spacecraft as it travels around the Earth. According to mission managers, they've been able to raise the orbit of the spacecraft by about 2 kilometers at the high point of its orbit. Unfortunately, they'll only be able to go for about a month before the sail dips into the atmosphere at the low point of its orbit and it crashes.
Sci-Fi Writers Include Religion
October 2018
At his appearance at the American Writers Museum in Chicago, John Scalzi said that it is important that science fiction writers include religion in their universes, "When 5 billion people out of 7 billion very strongly have professed religious belief of some sort or another, to ignore it, minimize it or just say it doesn't matter is foolish," he said.
The Perfect Designs of God
James C. Rocks
Creationists and those favouring intelligent design often point to us, to the complexity, the perfection & the sheer improbability of the world around us in order to justify their view that there must be a designer for the universe, but is this viewpoint fully justifiable?

Joe Emenaker (who is, to my knowledge, no particular authority in any given field) said, "After thinking a lot about the design of the human body, I figure it's a good thing that God is self-employed, because no company on EARTH would ever hire him as an engineer." Richard Dawkins said, "A universe with a God would look quite different from a universe without one. A physics, a biology where there is a God is bound to look different." ... this led me to a question. Does the "design" of our universe have the necessary characteristics to have been designed by some kind of intelligent creator, first cause or god?

The Perfect Designs of God Assuming for one moment that the universe around us is designed by an intelligent entity (e.g. Allah or the Christian God) then one is forced to ask questions such as why does the Minke Whale have possess rudimentary hip & thigh bones (1 in 400 examined have complete sets of hind legs, i.e., not just femurs but also tibias and fibulas). If sodomy is as wrong as the Quran & Bible say then why did this creator deity create animals that are coprophagic i.e. eat their own faeces? Why did a creator God create stars and galaxies so far away that, even if we assume and old Earth creation a million or so years in the past the light from these starts could not have reached us in the time the universe has existed? Indeed, why did this deity create galaxies and stars so far away that they are invisible to the human eye and incredibly difficult to observe using advanced technology? Why did this deity, this designer, create minuscule insects some too small to see unaided that crawl about on the skin of every person alive in the world today? Why did such a deity, one presumed (often claimed) to be of infinite compassion design a creature like the Chacma Baboon that has been observed to catch pigeons, pluck out it's feathers, let it go, recapture it again, pulling off its legs and finally decapitating it? Moreover, why did such a deity design apes generally, was it humour, what role does it serve to create such a pale imitation of humans if we were designed in the image of god and not at all hairy and like the apes? Why did such a deity, such a compassionate designer, a caring & loving god create flies that land on faeces, then land on people's faces, hands, food and more spreading disease that that deity had also, apparently, designed to torment us?

Take a close look at the design of the human body. What kind of designer would have developed a creature where what is arguably the most important organ in the body (the brain) is stuck up on the end of a rather fragile spine? The head structure has eyes that can only look forward, ears that are limited at best and is covered in somewhat ridiculous and certainly (in a perfect universe) unnecessary fur. The organ that is used to transfer gasses operates through a ridiculously small opening in the head structure one that, like the gas transfer tube (trachea), can be easily blocked. The organ used to eat is also used to transfer information to other individuals of the same species as well as for varied, arguably unsanitary, sexual practices!

The key parts of the male sexual organs are left dangling outside the body and, horror of horrors, the same transfer route for the removal of liquid waste material is also used to deliver sexual material to the female of the species.

Take a look at humanity, Gods supposedly perfect creation designed in his own image. Even looking at the human body in general terms it can be seen that it is ridiculously fragile ... in collision with the majority of objects it suffers the greater degree of damage and is, in physiologically terms, an abysmal failure. Humans are incapable of surviving, unprotected, extremes of heat & cold, ocean depths or the hard vacuum of space, they are useful for little more than 50% of their woefully short life span and constitute a burden on their fellows for the remainder. Humans demonstrate a near intolerable lack of resistance, becoming contaminated by any one of a large number of diseases, such infections resulting in, at best, problems and, at worst, death ... further, they have an unfortunate tendency to cross-infect others with any disease they are carrying at that time. At a cellular level any attempt at a sensible design concept appears to have been abandoned ... the number of steps involved in energy production at the biochemical level is, to say the least, ridiculously over-complex.

The intelligence potential of humans is, at best, variable, they exhibit serious psychological problems and have an apparently infinite capacity for hatred, deceit, falsehood, avarice, jealousy, disobedience & violence.

If the world (including all life within it) is so marvellously and divinely designed why I can't see 360 degrees in all colours at all frequencies. Why can't I hear all sound frequencies? Why I can't run at a 100 mph, leap tall buildings in a single bound, lift 10 x my own weight? Why do I get ill, why I won't live, if I'm lucky, to be much more than a 100? Why I'm not irresistibly attractive to all the attractive women and, for that matter, why do ugly women, ugly men, ugly people exist at all? Why don't I have instant recall, why I don't have the human equivalent of the fastest computer in my head, why I can't transfer data directly to the Internet?

Of course, the reasons are obvious ... if one looks at the human animal from a natural perspective it can be seen to represent an excellent example of jury-rigged design i.e. a design that can only have come about through adaptation and evolution. Science & its bastard child (evolution) can explain why these things are so, can do so far better than any religion and can back those explanation sup with evidence.

One young theist once said he'd like to see an human engineer come up with better and while I will concede we haven't got all the required skills to complete such a project yet I believe that one day we will do and when we do it will be better ... the simple fact that I can conceive of such improvements tells us that it will, in objective terms, be better.

  • "Why We Believe In A Designer", ET Babinski
  • "Recall Notice", James C. Rocks

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Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
Albert Einstein