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random n00b

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  1. I suppose my new question becomes, "What is the difference between abiogenesis and spontaneous generation? If spontaneous generation is incredible, what makes abiogenesis less so?"
    The difference is that evidence seems to indicate that at some point, amino acids and organic compounds will arrange in a system that is complex enough to be considered the most basic living thing. We just don't know how the process goes exactly, and thus cannot replicate it.


    However, there's no evidence to support spontaneous generation... not even at the most basic level you're thinking. Spontaneous generation isn't "incredible", it's simply an outdated scientific notion that has been disproved (as much as proving a negative is possible) by observation and modern science.



    I'm sorry if I come out like I'm trying to troll, but... these are really questions so basic that you could easily get your answers from, hell, wikipedia or something. There's nothing to "discuss" when even basic facts need to be established. I mean how can you have an "opinion" about what evolutionary theory is about? Do you have "opinions" on what trigonometry is about, or can you have an "opinion" on what the basic claims of the theory of relativity are? Can you "discuss" what is meant by the Pythagorean theorem? Either you know the facts or you don't, heh.
    Well, the obvious difference between the examples you brought up and Evolution is that those are mathematical principles, valid within the abstract realm of mathematics (and even then not necessarily universally valid) and Evolution is a theory... just like Relativity. When either of those meet the criteria require to become Laws, then opinions will become largely irrelevant. But even a Law is only a theory that has been proven true in a well-defined framework, with a clear scope. The Law of Gravity was completed and expanded by Relativity, for instance.


    I know I'm rambling, but yeah, you can (and physics buffs do) have opinions on Relativity.

  2. Smear tactics don't work on me ... neither do flamebaits ...
    ...or logic and facts.



    And on the policing matter, how come the US don't make the same demands on countries like Germany, after all some the 9/11 terrorists started out from that country?
    Because, you know, the Germans do everything in their power to police their territory and hunt down terrorists? Jeez.



    Much the same as in Iraq today ...
    Much the same...? Much the same as when Nazi Germany invaded?!



    However, there is also a lot of genuine resistance activity and it gets labeled as terrorism.
    Genuine resistance? Again, against what? Their own democratically elected government? The troops that help keep the peace for that newly formed and fragile government? That's genuine, alright. Genuine terrorism.



    As I said: seems to have worked in the case of North Korea. Of course, you fail to even address that, because it is enconvient, may be?
    No, I didn't address it because I thought the Iraq example illustrated it enough.


    So, pray tell, what has been accomplished with NK? A promise that they will not continue to develop nukes... even after their so-called "test" resulted in an abject failure that seems to indicate that they never had the capacity to do so in the first place?


    But also, you fail to understand that economic sanctions DO NOT weaken totalitarian regimes - more like the opposite. It's the people who suffer the consequences of economic sanctions, not the state. And since within their boundaries information and opinions are controlled, such sanctions only serve to rally people AGAINST those who enacted the sanctions.



    Agreed, though I fail to see how Syria or Iraq threatens the security of the US as a state. In fact, I don't remember the US ever being invaded and occupied for a prolonged period of time; it's always the other way round. I wonder why that is?
    Fortunately, people in charge realize that there are threats to national security that don't need to take the form of a standing army ready to invade. Terrorism is one of them.



    But there is a difference between defending your country and protecting your people and playing world wide cop.
    No, there isn't. Really. When your enemies are spread far and wide and hiding behind human shields and hit-and-run attacks their are their standard modus operandi, some policing is in order - especially when the governments of the countries where those terrorists take refuge refuse to take action to clean their own turf.



    Also, you completely dodged my question on applying double standards, but that's ok. I didn't really expect anything different from you.
    Funny. Because when it's the US applying double standards, then woe is me. But it's rare to see anyone complaining about the systematic violations of, well, pretty much every regulation on warfare on the part of those they fight against.


    So, yeah, I'm pretty happy with the US applying double standards... which actually aren't.

  3. Unfortunaltely for them, there is not much they can do, apart from protesting and bringing the matter to the UN, where it most probably will be vetoed down - unless they want to share the fate of Iraq.
    You sure about that, bub? How about policing their own territory and making sure the US have no reason to cross over and make a mess?


    Oh wait, I forgot. The US weren't really after terrorists - they were bombing towns indiscriminately, for fun. My bad.



    On the matter of terrorism in Iraq, there is terrorism and there is resistance and sometimes the lines are blurred. During the German occupation, for example, the resistance in my country was also labeled terrorism or would have been by today's standards.
    I don't know where you're from, but I don't recall any instances of insurgency causing hundreds of civilian casualties by targeting markets during rush hour, in WW2. Might be wrong, though. But even if they were, not only were they terrorists, they were a bunch of cowardly douchebags.


    edit: just realized you're probably Greek. For some odd reason I was under the impression that you were Argentinian...



    There are no magical solutions to anything, although before invading a country you can always try getting them to the negotiation table with economic sanctions.
    What, you mean how Iraq was sanctioned to the point where the "Food for Oil" programme had to be enacted to prevent a mass famine - and even now nobody's quite clear on what exactly did Saddam do with it? Yeah, that approach works real good.



    Some things are just not negiotiable, like the sovereignity of one's home country.
    Or the security of another's.



    What gives the US the right to behave as an international police force anyway? Is it because they are the no. 1 superpower and can get away with anything? And why is it that the US applies double standards when it comes to jihad and terrorism? Pakistan, for example, supports terrorism as much as any other muslim country, by allowing fantatic religious schools to teach jihad. Also, how come it's ok for Pakistan or India or Israel to have nuclear power and nuclear weapons, but it is not ok for Iran?
    The right is given to them by the American people. They have the ability and the duty to protect their country, and their responsibility is first to the US citizenry, and then to the rest of the world, in that order of priority. Sorry if you don't like how things are, but the US isn't an NGO, nor should it be.
  4. If by effective you mean a total waste of time. A totalitarian state subordinates the lifetime output of every man women and child under it into only one thing: sustaining the state. A recursive and pointless excercise. Where a state is subordinated to a single man it becomes even more pointless because the man is guaranteed to die eventually.
    No, I meant effective at what they aim for. Namely, social order, repression of liberties and imposition of an ideology or other by means of opinion control, genocide, systematic rights violations, etc. Controlling the people, in one word. Those are all in an effort towards ensuring that the status quo is maintained, and therefore, the continuation of the institutions and organs of the state is guaranteed. Nobody has argued that the aim of those regimes is the development of humanity and the overall happines of their people, but you can't really deny that they are good at what they do. In that sense, it's not great as far as developing the country is concerned, compared to other systems - but this doesn't imply it's necessarily ineffective as both China and the USSR prove (for a time at least).
  5. Ever hear of history? Do you give the will of the human being such a low regard? If their will is strong and they had enough of being under the boot heels of a tyrant they will rise and remove them by force. American and French Revolutions to name two. In England when the people had enough of the absolute rule of a monarchy, they removed his/her absolute rule so now, they have very little power. Now they have parliament who hold any real power in that country. The people of Russia suffered centuries under the Czars until they had enough and removed the entire family line by force. Only to be replaced by another oppressive system which by the way had been replaced by a less oppressive system.


    People who are oppressed after awhile will eventually rise and remove that oppressive system. Given time the Iraqis would have done the same.

    No. In fact, there's more examples of successful oppressive regimes than there are successful revolutions. And the American Revolution is a special case, and a very bad example of what you are saying, at any rate.


    The Soviet Union, the Third Reich, the Red Khmer regime, the PRC, North Korea, South American Juntas... even Iraq. there's plenty of examples that show just how effective totalitarianism can be, if implemented properly. So effective it's scary, actually. Of course successful revolutions get greatly publicized as a triumph of freedom and the power of the people and stuff... but the grim reality is that most of those attempts are met with an early, brutal end.



    Fear is a mighty tool. If people get killed just by hesitating about the current government form, they'll get paralyzed, thus can't act. This is not the same as some military occupation from an outside force where you can try to resist with violence, having a brutal regime as your government will make you paralyzed.
    I think the most important factor is not only fear... but the degree of paranoia caused by the popular support such regimes have. It's difficult to be a revolutionary when your neighbor next door could be a secret police agent... or confidant.
  6. Is the "Theory of Evolution" simply a complicated form of spontaneous generation? (Spontaneous generation meaning the formation of living organisms from non-living substances)



    We are doing your homework with this, aren't we?


    Anyway, I don't think Evolution concerns itself with the early origins of life. It could perhaps be construed as "spontaneous generation" when amino acids and other organic compounds arrange themselves into the most basic and simple of structures that can be considered to be alive... but the process is poorly understood, and it could require very specific conditions to take place (conditions that so far, we have been unable to determine). Meaning, it could be no more "spontaneous" than a nebula collapsing on itself to form a star - which is more an "inevitable outcome" given initial conditions.


    At any rate, I don't think what you posted is what's generally understood by spontaneous generation - the meaning you seem to be giving to the term "spontaneous" leans more towards the thermodynamic definition than what it's supposed to mean in this context.

  7. I dont know who "Vince" is supposed to be (tag says developer) but he just sounds like a mouth full of sour grapes. He wants to hate it so bad he cant help himself.
    That would be "Vault Dweller" of NMA "fame" (lol). You gotta have your paladins of bitterness too.
  8. Read them yourself; I know I did. So, bombing a crowded market is a military target? Or is it the usual excuse: the damn insurgent hide behind civilians, so we have no choice but to kill them all? The use of cluster bombs in civilian neighborhoods is not indiscriminate bombing?


    The use of cluster bombs on civilian neighborhoods with no military targets around is according to some of the actual eyewitnesses and international reporters an undeniable fact.

    Yes, that's not indiscriminate. It's a mistake, at worst. But on the Internet, everyone's an analyst, right?


    Again, what is THE POINT of killing innocent civilians, just for kicks. Give an answer, and explain what the US leadership get out of it, exactly.



    But I get it peace loving people are irrational for you, while bombing the hell out of innocent women and children is a rational consequence of modern warfare.
    More inane appeals to emotion. Seriously, can you make one single post without trying to bring a tear to the eye?


    People die in war. Yes, that includes children and women. Nobody, as far as I know, is reveling on that fact or asking for MOAR. It's a sad and ugly fact. Happy? You can focus on that all you want, and on the fact that the US started an illegal war and stuff. And all of it is true. But that doesn't change the fact that it's the insurgents that have kept the war going since 2003. Without them, there would be no need for airstrikes, shoot-first-ask-later policies at checkpoints, and many other nasty things. Yeah, they are defending their country yadda yadda. But from what exactly? Democracy? Progress?


    Yeah, I guess nobody likes their totalitarian, mass-murdering government that starves its people to death taken down and replaced with a system that doesn't favor a minority over the rest. I'd probably be pretty pissed about it, too.



    End of discussion for me. I am not here to prove anything. I am not here to convince anybody that my opinion is the one and only right one. I am only here to exercise my freedom of speech right and to state my opinion. You are welcome to disagree with it.
    Great. The intellectual equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and going "LALALA I'M NOT LISTENING".


    Yeah, you sure showed me how one participates in a rational discussion, with great arguments. I bow to your superior conversational skills.

  9. Here you go knock yourself out:
    I wonder... have you even read any of the links you posted, or you just copied the first handful of links that Google turned up?


    Because, how does any of that lend any support to your original statement that the US bombs Iraqi towns indiscriminately? They hit targets, military targets, and civilians are in the way... because that's the way the insurgents want it. Do you really believe that if clear, safe insurgent targets could be attacked, the US would kill civilians just for kicks? Of course, you also conveniently disregard the fact that it's not a war against a standing army, but against a ragtag militia... a collective of unlawful combatants. It's no wonder most of them are labeled as "civilians" when making the bodycount. Of course, there's no excusing faulty intelligence when conducting air raids, but really, I think you need to get things back in perspective by reading some about real "indiscriminate" bombing.



    And if you think, belittling me, my beliefs and my personality is a form of a civilized discussion, go ahead, insult me more. Just shows me really that you are not capable of a rational discussion, that in lack of proper arguments, you resort to ridiculing and insulting me.
    Wait, wait. Are you accusing me of not being rational and lacking proper arguments when just a few pages back you were proposing that we look up to John Lennon's Imagine for inspiration?


    Lol, serious business!



    On the burden of proof thing, none of us can really prove anything here, for every link provided as "proof" there are easily links found that prove differently. That does not matter to victims and their surviving relatives however.
    Yeah, yeah. Appeal to emotion all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that you made a statement that's not only impossible to prove, but also highly unlikely if you think about it, for the reasons I stated in my first and subsequent replies.


    That's called making fallacies, btw.



    It is true as you say about it is our nature to wage war, but i am just perplexed at the whole "well, whatever"-mantra that shows its ugly face in this discussion.
    Those who haven't experienced it don't really know what they're talking about, and those who have experienced it, don't really want to talk about it...
  10. Taken all of this in consideration, i have a hard time understanding operation Iraqi freedom. Were the risks that grave? Would you send soldiers into a country that is a mousefart compared to you in power and equipment? Is it worth to attack other countries that haven't declared war on you? Would you send these boys and girls, who all volunteered to protect their country, into a war where that were declared on YOUR part? It very hard for me to even try to imagine to justify all that without having every inch of your own existence at stake. It seems more like a good 'ole case of stalinistic cynicism, where the soldiers are more like pawns in your real-life game of risk.
    Heh, very emotional post, but I thought you understood realpolitik.


    In every war there's at least one side which doesn't fight in self-defense, guaranteed. Because, by definition, there needs to be an aggressor. And that aggressor always has its reasons, good or bad. In this case, the reason was a mix of resources and politics. Wars have been fought over far less. For good or ill, war in one form or another is an integral and fundamentally defining part of most cultures, if only because those cultures for which it's not tend to be destroyed.


    It may look like we're trivialising the issue, and we probably are, as most folks here haven't experienced war first-hand. But there's no escaping one truth: the world is an ugly, nasty place - and to think the human race has (or should have) advanced enough to put war behind us completely, if such a thing is even possible is self-deceit. To what lengths are we willing to go, how much are we willing to compromise to avoid war? Is war really the worst choice, in all circumstances? The answer to that is neither simple nor unique.

  11. It's not just oil that is finite. Copper is finite. Gold is finite. Maybe fusion can create these things in such abundance it buys us almost unlimited time.
    As far as I know (and I'm by no means an expert), the biggest problem with recycling highly elaborated products (electronic components and stuff) is that the cost offsets the advantages, and so it's simply more cost-effective to keep mining and processing ores. With an essentially unlimited power supply, electrolytic processes and other separation and refining techniques which may not be commercially viable ATM, could be so in the future.
  12. For example, fusion power would massively increase our ability to produce energy.
    Yeah, fusion power is pretty much the industrial Grail of our day. With an arguably limitless power source that's as clean as it is cheap, sustainability problems go *poof*.


    I have two questions about the article, though. First of all is, as always, a matter of source, statistics, and interpretation and conclusions reliability. When raw data and how that data was obtained and processed isn't made available, I'm a bit suspicious - what with things like "in 2030 we'll need the equivalent of two Earths". Not necessarily an issue with the study itself, since it may be BBC who cut that out.


    And then, I think there's the issue of WHO is paying the price, as net global "debt" may not be as bad as reported, given the fact that the study seems to be tailored around consumption per country as opposed to total surface/total resources. This would mean that underdeveloped and poor countries bear the excess load, and when the crack comes around, it'll be them who suffer the most. If so, it wouldn't be surprising that this little detail was omitted, so as to preserve the shock value of the article.

  13. They could use superconducting magnets to haul the gold to their side of the bus. Unfortunately gold is not a magnetic metal in its natural state and so would have to be vapourised to a blindingly hot cloud of plasma which would then be charged and then pulled by the magnets towards the waiting heisters.Of course, a cloud of superheated metal rushing through the bus would pose one or two problems of its own, but I'm sure Charlie Croker would have an idea for this too.
    Seriously, WTF?


    Anyway, didn't know there was a 60's Italian Job - I'll have to dig it up.

  14. You give one example where negotiations failed. I'd bet in 99.99% of the times there's a problem between nations, negotiations DO SUCCEED. So instead of avoiding the question, please tell us all what your brilliant example was meant to prove.
    Well, it's a good thing you didn't actually say what you bet, because you'd lose... if we were to judge from the huge amount of examples YOU provided to back your point. \o/


    At any rate, you misrepresented what I said, in another sad, blatant attempt at trolling. I said nothing about "going to war ASAP", neither did I intend for my example to be taken as a rule of thumb to be applied to any and all nations, under all circumstances - as evidenced by the fact that only your stunted understanding took it that way. The sort of rhetorics, demands and stance used by Nazi Germany aren't very different from what some groups use now... with the only difference that the Third Reich wasn't to be taken lightly.


    There, was that enough for you? If you were hoping for me to draw some doodles to help you understand, I'm afraid you got the wrong thread.



    Want figures go find them. Google is your friend.
    No. You seem to fail to understand, among many other things, how things work in a discussion. You make a random statement, you come up with the arguments to support it before anyone takes it seriously.


    I guess Lennon didn't make any songs about it.



    I don't condone any unnecessary violence and killing of innocent civilians.
    Yeah, who does, anyway? Have Dubya or any of his cronies ever appeared on TV advocating the general extermination of the Iraqi people?


    Good thing we have you and Lennon to tell when violence is "necessary" and when it's not. I feel better already.



    For you may be, but putting John Lennon into the same category as Che Guevara and Khomeini, wow, what can I say? :sorcerer: Considering that John Lennon was a pacifist all his life and the song I quoted is a pacifist song, I'd say: nice try buster, but try again. This time try harder. :yucky::lol:
    Precisely. Taking anything Lennon said seriously is a painful exercise in mental age regression. Props to you man, not everyone would be able to do that. I know I wouldn't.


    But yeah, he'd have made a real fine Prime Minister, for sure!

  15. So you give one example of where negotiations was a mistake and that's supposed to somehow prove that you should never negotiate, just go to war at once? Seriously, not even you can be this daft. Please explain what your one example is trying to show.
    Hahaha. You drew the wrong conclusion from what I wrote, as per usual. I said nothing about "going to war IMMEDIATELY!!1", or suggested anything of the sort. It was pretty obviously a one-time reply to the point Volo brought up about WW2.


    But I didn't really need to explain that to you. Not even you can be THAT daft!

  16. "Actually, we did.


    But we are doomed to not learn from our mistakes, it would seem"


    That was no real negotiation. Germany got the heck bombed out of them until they surrendered. L0L It's called 'negotiation after the fact'.

    Heh. Well, I know you're the Magical Volo and you post before thinking, but did you even click the link I posted?


    A part of Czechoslovakia was given over to Nazi Germany in a (failed) attempt to placate their expansionist urges. Yes, that was BEFORE the war.


    But it gets better, because it's one of the most glaring examples of why one shouldn't negotiate with that sort of international scum. So it was actually an argument in support of what you said, in a general sense at least.





    You could go look up civilian casualties during the assault on Bagdad, I guess.
    No. You are the one claiming that the US military bombed Baghdad indiscriminately. You come up with the figures, buddy.



    What is doing the right thing? For a military commander carpet bombing a city sure is the right thing to do, because it minimizes casualties on his side and maximizes casualties on the opponents side, even if they include civilians. As I said, or more precisely US Army officials, have said: collateral damage. Is it right to impose your political system and your way of life on somebody else? :lol:
    Only in the day of mass media, wars are fought as much in the homefront against the attrition in the public opinion, as they are on the battlefield. You can't just firebomb a city to rubble nowadays and expect to get away with it. Oh wait, you can, if you're Russian. But yeah, it's no fun bashing anyone that's not America.


    It's not surprising that after such display of one-dimensional thinking one can make arguments such as this, and keep anything resembling a straight face:



    As to the alternative viewpoint: end all wars now! Utopic, yes, but:



    John Lennon, Imagine

    Yeah. Good ol' Johnny is right up there with a bunch of other all-time greatest political theorists such as Che Guevara and Khomeini.
  17. ha! i just checked my order status with gameplay and it now says 'preparing for despatch'!


    p.s. would be interested in knowing how it runs on the PC for those who already have it - i was equivocating between PC and 360 and finally went with the PC out of a sense of loyalty...

    Gameplay IS awesome (does that count as advertising?). But I'm going to wait before ordering, see what folks have to say on how it runs, stability, etc.
  18. Gabs has made me afraid to look at american-made pornography, I can never quite enjoy it knowing that theres a slight possibility that shes in it. So now I have to look at strange french films and try to guess the story :(

    We know you have a fetish for nekkid Frenchmen, where's Volo?

    Hey Kafty, I think she just invited you to take part in a threesome! :grin:
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