Hope for your project - a little off topic.

Discussion in 'C++' started by woodbrian77, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. A more practical version of this experiment can be done with baking of
    gingerbread persons like <url:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gingerbread_men.jpg> and <url:

    Presumably you and I can agree on a reasonable definition of "finished
    gingerbread person", based on properties such as color, firmness,
    temperature, blah blah.

    I think we can even agree that in any particular performance of the
    experiment -- nom nom, fresh gingerbread person! -- each of us can
    pinpoint a particular gingerbread person as the first to be finished.

    Except that we won't necessarily pick the same one.

    So, each performance, we can fight over whose measurements and judgment,
    not to mention /definition/, is most correct. :)

    Cheers & hth.,

    - Alf (seriously off-topic mode)
    Alf P. Steinbach, Dec 29, 2013
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  2. woodbrian77

    David Brown Guest

    Let me start by saying that yes, this whole discussion is unnecessary.
    It is very much off-topic in this group, and no one has any realistic
    ideas about changing anyone else's opinions. I enjoy such off-topic
    threads on occasion, and apparently so do many people here (though there
    are others that dislike them) - I like to swap ideas and opinions like
    this, even if it seldom leads to change or agreements. I don't agree
    with certain of your beliefs, but it can be good to hear them anyway.

    And yes, things get somewhat judgemental. Strong and controversial
    beliefs will /always/ been judged. You judge my beliefs and opinions
    against your own, and I judge yours. We can all try to limit our
    judgements to the arguments and opinions expressed rather than the
    people expressing them, though we also all know it is easy to stray from
    that path.

    Which brings me to the final point - I do not mean to be offensive. But
    I know that my tone can be somewhat sarcastic or exaggerated, and of
    course there is plenty of scope for writing things that can be taken in
    different ways and viewed as more offensive than intended.

    In particular, I made a rather large error in my post. I described (and
    ridiculed) a number of more general points about extreme views, and then
    I made a point that was specific to your views. I did not intend these
    to be connected as they were. I believe (from your posts and questions)
    that you have a fundamental misunderstanding about species and how the
    question of a "first human" does not really make sense, and you I don't
    think this thread will change that. But I did not mean to imply that
    you were a Creationist or that you hold such extreme views. I worded
    the post badly in that way, and for that I apologise. I should have
    read through my post more critically before sending it.

    I said that, and it is true. However, I did not mean to imply that this
    applies to /you/ specifically - it was a general statement (as were
    several other points I made). At best, I could only guess that it
    /might/ apply to you - after all, you had given little information about
    your opinions other than a conviction that there had to have been a
    "first human".
    I ridiculed the extrapolation many Creationists or Biblical literalists
    make to go from the stories in Genesis to theories about biology. Note
    that this is not a ridiculing of a Christian faith (or any other
    religious faiths and beliefs) - but targeted at a specific extremist
    viewpoint held by some people.

    If you don't believe that, then your beliefs are not being ridiculed here.

    That is /not/ the same as my disagreement about there being a "first
    human" as a general point - because that depends on there being a
    specific definition of a "human". If you can come up with a categoric
    definition of what makes a being "human", then it /might/ be possible to
    define a "first" human.
    If I suggested that, it was /very/ indirectly - my points were general,
    not specific to you. (Again, I know it looked like they /were/ directed
    at you, and I can only apologise again.)
    Again, this is the sort of argument that many Creationists (or fans of
    "Intelligent Design") use - not an argument that I am attributing to /you/.
    I don't believe that you can talk about a "first human" until you define
    a "human" - without such a definition, there was no "first human". If
    that is more fundamental than your beliefs, fair enough.
    As noted multiple times above, I did not mean to imply that you said or
    thought this.
    I think we have established that most of what I wrote does not apply to
    you, even though my clumsy writing implied that.

    What we have left is that you believe that there was a "first human",
    and I believe that without any kind of definition of "human" there is no
    meaning to the question - and hence there was no "first human".

    I think you are wrong to think there can be a clear definition of
    "human" - the move from "pre-human" ancestors to "modern human" was
    gradual, with a great deal of overlap. Species are not disjoint - it is
    not possible to say that one generation was "homo rhodesiensis" and the
    next generation was "homo sapiens". There is no dividing line.

    At best, one could pick specific genetic mutations and say that these
    are specific to humans, and therefore the first hominin with that gene
    was the "first human". (Other non-genetic characteristics, such as
    walking upright, using tools, talking, etc., are far more diffuse and
    even harder to categorise.) But there are many such genes, and for at
    least some of them it is not unlikely that they evolved more than once

    Even when you can give defining characteristics to something, and give a
    clear decision to "this is an X", you do not necessarily have a "first"
    member. Consider the set of real numbers greater than 1. It is easy to
    see if a given number is in this set - yet it has no "first" member.
    Fair enough. I am not against religion in itself - I have seen the good
    effects of religious faith as well as the bad effects. I am against
    irrationality in the name of religion, and I am against the abuse of
    human rights in the name of religion - but I know that the same applies
    to many religious people.
    OK, I accept that criticism. I mixed things up in that post when they
    should have been separate.
    I am happy to accept your thought experiment here, but I would /not/
    agree that there would be a point at which he could say "these are homo
    sapiens, but their ancestors were pre-humans".

    /If/ I thought such a classification were possible, then I would be
    agreeing with you about the existence of a "first human". But just as
    there is no clear dividing line between "small piles of stones" and "big
    piles of stones", there is no clear dividing line between pre-humans and

    If your anthropologist were to jump back in time to find a group of homo
    rhodesiensis and follow it through thousands of generations, he would
    view it as a group of pre-humans that was gradually evolving. If he
    were to time-jump a little forward and find a group of humans, and
    follow them backwards through thousands of generations, he would view
    them as a group of humans with evolution viewed in reverse. And in the
    middle, there would be thousands of generations when he was viewing the
    /same/ group - but classifying it differently as "late pre-humans" and
    "early humans" depending on the viewpoint.
    The names would be fine - I just don't agree that such "people" existed.

    Note that this is not the same as saying I don't believe in common
    ancestors - the genetic, fossil, geological, statistical and biological
    arguments for common ancestors are very strong. There have been
    particular genetic changes at different stages that have enabled
    significant changes to the lifestyle of following generations, and such
    steps have resulted in the first carrier of that gene being a common

    All I am arguing is that such common ancestors cannot be considered to
    be the "first human".
    David Brown, Dec 30, 2013
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  3. woodbrian77

    David Brown Guest

    It was my fault, and I'm glad there are no ill feelings over the clumsy
    Indeed - we must all strive not to tar people with the same brush.
    I am not sure that is quite right - I /also/ believe there are things
    that science will never fully explain. The difference is that I don't
    appeal to a "higher power" for the explanation - I just accept that
    sometimes things are the way they are, and we will never know why. Why
    are the fundamental constants in physics balanced in such a way that
    molecular physics work? I don't expect science to give a complete
    answer (maybe it will, but I don't expect so) - but I don't feel the
    need to say "God set things up that way". But if you like to think
    that, that's fine by me.
    I can agree with that :)
    David Brown, Dec 30, 2013
  4. woodbrian77

    woodbrian77 Guest

    I think Leigh asked a fair question about longevity.
    I've been answering as best I can, and of course others
    chime in. Although some post here in an attempt to
    discredit me, I'm hopeful those who examine the software
    on my site will consider it good. And I believe those
    who work with me will find I'm interested in improving
    my software by thinking about it through their project.

    Ebenezer Enterprises - In G-d we trust.
    woodbrian77, Dec 30, 2013
  5. woodbrian77

    Jorgen Grahn Guest

    Maybe elsewhere in the thread, but not in the part I (unfortunately)
    happened read.

    Jorgen Grahn, Dec 30, 2013
  6. woodbrian77

    woodbrian77 Guest

    woodbrian77, Apr 4, 2014
  7. woodbrian77

    David Brown Guest

    A bunch of students doing a back-of-the-envelope estimation based on
    guesses of ancient measurements about an exaggerated story copied from
    even older stories (the Bible authors copied it from Babylonian legends)
    does not constitute the slightest evidence for any of the Bible. It's
    some students doing a light-hearted project, hoping the department will
    pay for a night out at the cinema as "research".

    Plus - there were not 35,000 species of animal in Noah's time (assuming,
    for the moment, that there was such a person around 6000 years ago).
    3,500,000 would be closer if you don't count the microscopic animals,
    and don't count other types of life (plants, fungi, bacteria, etc.).
    Second, many animals (the "clean" ones) were in sevens, not twos.
    Third, using the building materials and techniques available at that
    time, a ship that size would be impossible to construct - it would
    collapse under its own weight, if it were even possible to find enough
    material and people to build it.

    And that's before you look at the story itself, rather than just the
    ship - the ecology, physics and biology involved clearly put it at the
    same level of realism as Star Wars and Harry Potter.

    Accept the Bible for what it is - a collection of teachings, parables,
    myths and legends, with a few bits of biased history along the way,
    written to give some moral guidance and keep the Jews as a separate
    people with a clear power structure.

    Watch "The Life of Brian" instead - it might make you think a little, as
    well as making you laugh.
    David Brown, Apr 4, 2014
  8. woodbrian77

    Öö Tiib Guest

    Plus - Noah had probably to loan reindeer of Santa Claus to collect
    even 35,000 species from all world (whole year, 100 species per day)?

    Plus - living beings consume lot more food and fresh water than they
    weight during one year. Otherwise they die of thirst and starvation.

    Everything can be anyway like in Bible. One has just to trust that
    we live in Matrix-like simulation that perfectly runs by the rules
    of nature unless Administrator issues some sort of change from
    "outside". It may be possible to prove that it is simulation but it
    is impossible to prove that it is not. Alleged situation can let one
    to hand-wave all issues with any story away with ultimate
    explanation "goddidit".

    Being afraid of Administrator (just for a case) can make sense for
    people who can't find any reasons to stay decent otherwise. However
    taking such apparent man-made fairy tales literally can't help
    with anything in modern time, is there a God or not. ;)
    Öö Tiib, Apr 4, 2014
  9. And it raises .

    Wouter van Ooijen
    Wouter van Ooijen, Apr 4, 2014
  10. woodbrian77

    woodbrian77 Guest

    I don't know the students. But my understanding is
    the majority of animals are unclean. I'm also of
    the opinion it was a regional flood. So I don't think
    35,000 species were on the ark.

    Ebenezer Enterprises
    woodbrian77, Apr 4, 2014
  11. woodbrian77

    Dombo Guest

    Op 04-Apr-14 11:11, Chris Vine schreef:
    -300 Kelvin ???
    Dombo, Apr 5, 2014
  12. woodbrian77

    David Brown Guest

    So you accept the word of the Bible, with absolutely /no/ other
    evidence, that there was a flood and an ark. And yet you reject, with
    absolutely no evidence, the Bible's description of the flood affecting
    the world rather than just a local region?

    If you are going to reduce the Bible's exaggerations until they start
    sounding less daft, why not take it to the level of reasonable likelihood?

    There have always been regional floods around the world. And I'm sure
    that at one point, there was a guy who thought that these particular
    rains look bad, so he put his family and farm animals on a boat or raft
    - thus saving them while the rest of the village got swamped.
    David Brown, Apr 6, 2014
  13. woodbrian77

    woodbrian77 Guest

    It could have been the known world - an area equivalent
    to the size of the US.
    Much bigger than a village.

    The Bible says, "The righteous shall live by faith."
    Our ancestors did so and gave us the motto - "In G-d
    we trust." My other evidence is in terms of G-d's
    faithfulness to me.

    Ebenezer Enterprises - Was Eisenhower the last decent President?
    woodbrian77, Apr 6, 2014
  14. woodbrian77

    woodbrian77 Guest

    Probably their wives helped work on the ark also.
    Noah may have received more instructions on how
    to build it than are in the Bible.
    Maybe they could afford to hire some people to help
    them. As far as the elements, I don't think it rained
    prior to the flood.

    Ebenezer Enterprises
    woodbrian77, Apr 7, 2014
  15. woodbrian77

    woodbrian77 Guest

    The proof is in the pudding:


    I don't claim it's perfect, but believe it's good and
    want to make it (code, documentation, etc.) better.
    Feel free to offer some ideas on how to do so. As
    I've said before I've been blessed to get a lot of
    ideas on how to do that via newsgroups. In recent
    months I've found ideas from these pages that have
    helped me improve the software.

    Ebenezer Enterprises
    woodbrian77, Apr 7, 2014
  16. woodbrian77

    David Brown Guest

    There is no way to make the story, as described in the Bible, remotely
    realistic. It is a fable, just like the myths and legends that every
    religion has - they exist to form a background to the religion, god(s),
    and questions such as "where do we come from?". Throughout the entire
    history of human culture, as far as we know it, religions have had such
    myths - and /nobody/ has treated them as though they were realistic,
    normal facts or historical accounts, until the Bible literalists came
    along in the 19th century (because Darwin upset them). Religious
    believers have happily said such stories were true, and that they
    believed them - but it is a different sense of "true". This other sense
    of "true" is part of a religious faith - it's the same thing people mean
    when they say they know logically that there cannot be a God, but they
    know he exists nonetheless.

    I think it is a sad thing when religious people try to justify tales
    from the Bible (or Koran, or any other religious book) in terms of
    realistic science and technology, rather than just accepting the
    intended lesson ("Don't mess with God - he can has the power to destroy
    us all. But fortunately he is a merciful and forgiving guy.")

    It is a lot like books with titles such as "The Science of Middle Earth"
    trying to explain Sauron's genetic engineering of the orcs.

    If you think that the story of Noah and the ark really happened as
    described in the Bible, then there is only one rational, logical and
    consistent explanation - God waved his magic wand and made it happen
    with no regard to the laws of physics, biology and ecology which apply
    to everyday life. And then he waved it again in order to hide all
    evidence of what "really" happened, and to create vast amounts of fake
    evidence for future scientists to find - just to ensure that no one
    could ever know for sure that God exists.

    And if you believe in /that/ level of conspiracy, you might as well join
    the last-thursdayists, as the evidence is just as strong.

    I have nothing against religious belief itself - if someone feels their
    lives are enhanced by a "relationship with God" of some sort, then
    that's fine. I am all in favour of people getting the best they can
    from their lives, as long as it is not at the expense of others. But
    irrationality and wilful ignorance and stupidity bug me - whether it is
    religiously based or not. (Non-wilful ignorance is cured by information
    and education, and non-wilful stupidity just has to be accepted.)
    David Brown, Apr 8, 2014
  17. woodbrian77

    woodbrian77 Guest

    This is a new approach... I don't have a lot of users yet.
    How many users do these guys -- http://springfuse.com --

    I think of it as a library.

    Ebenezer Enterprises - In G-d we trust.
    woodbrian77, Apr 28, 2014
  18. woodbrian77

    woodbrian77 Guest

    Noah and family would put Olympians to shame:

    woodbrian77, Apr 29, 2014
  19. woodbrian77

    David Brown Guest

    The article is about people 7300 years ago - isn't that long before the
    world was created, according to creationists?

    There are lots of people around the world that are much stronger, fitter
    and faster than modern Western athletes - it's a matter of lifestyle,
    genetics, and evolution. Different groups of people in different places
    and different times have evolved in different ways (some good ways, some
    bad ways), just as happens with all lifeforms.

    And even if there was such a person as Noah, and even if he were fitter
    and stronger than any current Olympian, it would take a mythological
    Greek Olympian to build the boat (assuming it were physically possible,
    which it is not).
    David Brown, Apr 29, 2014
  20. woodbrian77

    Qu0ll Guest

    "Juha Nieminen" wrote in message
    Reply at the end...

    It is taking Ken Ham over 73 million dollars to build a completely
    unseaworthy ark "replica" using modern technology, modern materials,
    and a crew of probably hundreds of people. This "replica" would
    probably not float even for a minute, much less be safe on the ocean.

    You believe that one man and his three sons (or whatever the number
    was) was able to build a wooden boat that's vastly bigger than any
    other boat made of wood that has ever been built in the history of
    humanity, with bronze-age technology and a crew of about four people,
    and have it seaworthy? (Sure, bigger boats have been built in modern
    times. They were not built of wood. There's a maximum size that you
    can build from wood before it crumbles under its own weight.)

    Even if it were to build a boat of that size from wood alone (it's
    not, but let's assume it is), it's logistically impossible to do with
    such a small crew with bronze-age technology.

    Building a boat of that size with such a small crew and such primitive
    technology would have taken decades, if not hundreds of years. "That's
    fine", you say, "Noah was hundreds of years old." Yeah, sure, let's
    accept that myth. However, that's not the problem. The problem is that
    a wooden structure of that size would require constant maintenance,
    especially given that it's constantly exposed to the elements. At some
    point, when the structure reaches a certain size, the amount of
    maintenance will take all the effort of the four-man crew, stopping
    them from actually building any more of it.

    Even if the boat wouldn't crumble under its own weight, it just cannot
    be seaworthy. There's a lot of engineering that goes into building big
    modern vessels, such as oil tankers. The sea exerts all kinds of stress
    onto the ship and it has to be designed to withstand them.

    Even if it had been just a *building* made of wood, rather than a boat,
    it would have been completely unprecedent for the time. The technology
    just wasn't there and, once again, there's a limit of how big a wooden
    structure can be.

    --- news://freenews.netfront.net/ - complaints: ---

    For me, to believe that there is some degree of truth in the story of Noah's
    Ark means accepting that there was considerable divine intervention at every
    step of the way. Personally I have no problem with that and don't try to
    "prove" the story based on science alone and nor do I feel I need to.

    If there wasn't a divine force or supernatural powers then not much of the
    Bible makes sense anyway. I believe Jesus was God and rose from the dead.
    Nothing scientific in that. Not a problem for me.

    And loving it,

    -Qu0ll (Rare, not extinct)

    [Replace the "SixFour" with numbers to email me]
    Qu0ll, Apr 29, 2014
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