7 December 2011

Those silly pseudo-scientists, II

I just checked Lennox's site, and saw a posting of mine there, a response to other postings, going like this:
The reason that it is ridiculous to bring god/religion into society is precisely because I care a lot about the well-being of all human beings and all life on Earth. Infanticide had been practiced in the name of gods in the past.
The second reason that it is irrational to talk about gods and religions is that there are many gods and many religions. Which one should I choose? By convention, typically, one chooses the gods/religion he/she is brought up with (like Lennox). But why is this a right choice?
The third reason it makes no sense to have religion in our society it is because it makes people lazy: for instance, you think it is a cosmic accident that we are here. You need to spend lots of years and effort in order to understand scientific facts which are not possible to grasp by trivial observations. If someone says “the Bible says so”, most likely this person is lazy.
Finally, let me correct you and others in three of your inferences:
1) Someone mentions the word “random” in their message. I very much doubt that they know what it means.
2) You say I am a leftist. I am not. You also think that being leftist is related to being atheist.
3) Perhaps you are implying that I am atheist. I am not. I am neither atheist nor theist nor deist.
4) Lennox is an ex-mathematician, just as Collins is an ex-atheist. The thing they have both in common is that they use their credentials in order to impress people who don’t have them.
5) Somebody else talks about god (i) as if there is one god and (ii) as if god is male (he uses the male pronoun). Hindus claim there are many gods. Why should I accept one and not two or five and a half gods?
One person replied to me and, among other things, he said this:
One must first investigate the claims of religions, and which one produces the best explanation. Christianity, of course, provides the best explanation and best evidence over any other religion. Saying “there are many religions” does not entail “all religions are false,” which seems to be the kind of logic you are implying here.
Can you see what  kind of mistakes he makes? (Hint: they are underlined.)

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What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant