Friday, May 31, 2013

The Unbelievers

Atheists love to pit Science and Religion agsinst each other. Atheists claim that only Science can explain "How" the universe was created.  However, this is a false argument. The pupose of Religion is NOT to explain the "How" of the universe. While Science deals with the questions of "What" and "How", Religion is focused on explaining "Who" and "Why".

Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss have been touring the country debating science vs. religion.  I was just watching a YouTube clip where they were discussing a new documentary "The Unbelievers".  I haven't yet seen this film but from the explanations from Richard Dawkins he made some arguments against religion I wanted to address.

1. First off, Dawkins sets up debate between science and religion.
2. Dawkins claims religion and science are two conflicting ways man has devised to explain the universe.
3. Dawkins claims science explains the universe by the scientific method, experiment, observation, and verifiable and predictive facts.
4. Dawkins claims religion describes the universe by superstition and tradition.
5. Dawkins says faith is the enemy because blind belief can lead to radicalization and irrational behavior.
6. Dawkins would like people to abandon all religious belief and embrace pure rational thought.
7. Dawkins calls religious belief that one person knows better than another to be arrogant and scientific thought to be humble.

First, this is a false debate:
1. The purpose of religion is NOT to explain the universe.  The purpose of religion is to explain how mankind should behave and relate to one another.
2. Religion only has gotten into trouble in describing the Universe by drawing false analogies in an attempt to support a proscribed behavior.  False analogies don't make the proscribed behavior wrong.
3. Religion is fine allowing science to explain the universe.  But when we realize with dark matter and dark energy make up over 95% of the Universe, and that we see or can detect less than 5%, I think its arrogant for science to think they have much of a clue to how the Universe works.  Seems to be a lot of belief, blind faith, and tradition to go along with the many unverifiable scientific theories.
4. The business of Religion is teaching charity and virtue and NOT explaining the Universe.
5. What makes human's human is that we have the capacity to NOT act like animals. Religion purpose is to reinforce this human behavior.
6. Religious faith is NOT about blind obedience and not about being irrational or unverifiable. 
7. The idea of religious faith is to encourage animal-natured humans to follow the time-tested examples of our forebearers, and verify the word by experimentation to suppress our animal nature, and  to treat our neighbors with charity and virtue. 
8. Religious faith simple message is "try it and you'll like it".  Test the word before you cast it aside.  The need for initial faith is that the natural man cannot comprehend, see, understand, or conceive  of the benefits of human behavior before he has tested it.  But once faith has been tested and verified by experience, the principle of behavior becomes knowledge.
9. Religion teaches that humans can be hungry but decide to fast, they can be offended and decide to forgive, they can sacrifice  something they want now for something better in the future.

True Religion Teaches:
1. treat others how you would want to be treated.
2. do no harm
3. help your neighbor
4. govern your own actions
5. all humankind are equal

Law of the Jungle Teaches
1. do as you will
2. if you are more fit than others, than it is your duty to rule over the others and spread your superior genetic material for the survival and advancement of the species.
3. if you have a desire, you must obtain it. The universe has placed that desire in you and you put yourself at odds with the  universe if you deny yourself.
4. it is for the good of the species that each individual realize the full extent of their desires.

Problem With Law of the Jungle Thinking?   What happens when 2 people want the same thing?  They have to kill each other to get what they want. Or one has to decide they really didn't want that. In this system, there is only room for one person at the top.  Or there are a gang of mob bosses who act like they are fighting with each other but in reality they collude and prey upon their own followers.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Solar Hibernation, Global Cooling, and Seismic Activity

The sun has a more recent well known 11-year solar sun-spot cycle. Every 11 years or so, the sun would go from having hundreds of sun spots on its surface from having no sun spots back to a solar maximum of many sun spots again.  Scientist really don't know exactly why the sun exhibits these magnetic variations.  But we do understand better how this 11-year cycle affects temperature and weather.

In addition to these shorter 11-year solar sun-spot cycles, there are longer cycles where there have been prolonged periods with weaker solar maximums and longer solar minimums with no sun spots at all.  

This last solar minimum exhibited almost 3 years without a sun spot.  Now that we are finally entering into a solar maximum, the sun only has half as many sun spots as it would during other maximums.  Only time will tell if this weaker solar pattern will continue.

Okay, so what happens with Earth temperatures and climate when the sun goes through these prolonged solar minimum's?  Well, the last time it happened in the 1600-1800's. This climatic period is known as the "Maunder Minimum" and "Dalton Minimum". What happened with the climate was that global temperatures were much colder than usual. This period, also calked "The Little Ice Age", resulted in cold winters where the Mississippi River, and Thames River in London routinely froze over each winter.

The interesting detail to this would be that in addition to colder global temperatures that occur during prolonged solar minima, is the possibility for increase seismic activity, Earthquakes and Volcanism.  However, the mechanism between solar activity and vulcanism is still unknown.  Some scientific  prognosticators are predicting a possible increase in seismic and volcanic activity if a prolonged solar minimum occurs.

What is known is that higher solar wind is inversely correlated with cosmic rays.  Instead of being hit by a stream of protons and electrons from the sun, when the solar wind is weak, greater amounts of high energy cosmic rays coming from interstellar space shower down on the Earth. Higher cosmic rays have been associated with higher cloud cover.   Higher cloud cover traps more heat. Water vapor in clouds traps much more heat via the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Parkinson's and Leprosy

"[Health India]: London, Dec 6 : A new research published in the journal 'Chemistry and Biology' has revealed that Rifampicin, an antibiotic, which is used to treat leprosy and tuberculosis is showing great promise as a therapy for Parkinson's disease."

Could Parkinson's disease be caused by infectious of a mycobacterium? Studies suggest that 95 percent of humans are genetically immune to Leprosy but that the same people susceptible to Leprosy are susceptible to early onset Parkinson's

Mycobacterium cannot easily be grown or cultured in the lab because they are intracellular and cannot survive outside human tissue. Genetic markers are often used to indicate its presence. Maybe multi-drug  therapy used against Leprosy or TB would be effective against Parkinson's disease.  Drug treatment includes minocycline, rifampin, and ofloxicin.  Dapsone and Clofazimine are also used for long-term treatment. Whatever was used would need to cross the Blood-brain-barrier which all these lipophilic agents do.

Monday, May 13, 2013

IRS, SEC, HHS, EPA and FDA Targeting Patriots

We hear this week that the IRS, HHS, and the SEC was targeting patriot, religious, conservative, and non-profit organizations.  Federal agencies have admitted to preferentially targeting certain organizations with extensive and expensive audits. 

I know personally that this illegal intimidation also targeted Private Emergency Medicine groups.  I work for great yet progressive-leaning contract management group. Our hospital recently changed electronic medical records and we had EM consultants from Minnesota and other area visit.  These consultants were members of private EM groups and reported extensive harassment by HHS  in auditing all their charts to justify their billing practices.

I had the hunch at the time that these private groups were being singled out and harassed by the government.  Now with this latest revelation about IRS, SEC, and HHS, now I suspect even more that these audits were likely politically motivated and unwarranted.

The FDA has been persecuting LDS dry-pack canning facilities by creating more and more regulations.  Consequently, the LDS Church was forced to recently announce the closure of all its US facilities East of the Mississippi.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Giants in the Earth

Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Human (sons of God) + Neaderthal (daughters of men) = Cro Magnon (Giants)

The intent for this mixing was the same as the Nephites and polygamy. Humans wanted many wives and children as workers. However, the Hybrid children couldn't be controlled. They became "men of renown".

7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. (New Testament, Revelation, Chapter 4)

The 3rd beast has a face of a man but Joseph Smith is told it is an animal (Neanderthal)?

Q. Are the four beasts limited to individual beasts, or do they represent classes or orders?
A. They are limited to four individual beasts, which were shown to John, to represent the glory of the classes of beings in their destined order or sphere of creation, in the enjoyment of their eternal felicity. (Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 77)

Visions of Glory Review

Author John Pontius has a difficult job presenting possible revelation in his book "Visions of Glory". It's tough to record authentic revelation because every detail must be correct. I think the Second Coming Christ wearing white was the biggest miss. Pontius presents Christ's appearance at His Coming in Glory wearing a white robe like the famous LDS painting. However, LDS scripture as well as the New Testament say Christ will be wearing red.

The thing I may agree with and had thought about prior was the details about possession by spirits. We are warned that the same addictions that we have here may plague us in the next life. I can imagine that without the holy ghost a spirit may not FEEL at all. So, I can see how spirits may seek to tempt mortals to pleasure seek and possibly possess them in the act in an attempt to FEEL what they are feeling. I don't buy spirits fighting over possession. It seems Legion didn't have any problem with sharing the pig.

However, I am sure with the gift of the Holy Ghost righteous spirits can focus on feeling the joy and happiness of Christian service and not get caught up in pleasure- or pain-seeking behavior.

Small Issues:
1. The General Conference was cool but this great meeting will likely be at Adam-ondi-ahmen and not Salt Lake City. If the Salt Lake Conference Center were damaged, the Church built a near twin building in Rexburg, ID at BYU-Idaho.
2. Immigration Canyon should be spelled Emigration Canyon
3. Medical descriptions do not ring true
4. Union Pacific building is part of Gateway Mall and has 2 restaurants, live performance area called “The Depot”, and offices.
5. Not enough emphasis on the problem of nuclear fallout and clean water. The major calamity that will strike Babylon will be a nuclear first strike by Russia and China.

Possible Doctrinal Problems:
1. Attempt to link to Apostle for legitimacy.
2. Interaction between pre-mortal and post-portal spirits. (This would indicate the veil is lifted)
3. Ordinances in heaven mirrors ordinance on Earth. (Spirits can't do ordinances)
4. Says calling to 144,000 not a church calling and women also called.
5. Says dust in atmosphere made temperatures warmer due to global warming and not colder by reflection of sun's light.
6. Zion laid out in a wagon wheel pattern. (City of Zion layout was square)
7. No Sign of the Son of Man proceeding coming in glory.
8. No year without a rainbow.
9. No money or ownership. (United Order recognizes ownership and stewardship)
10. Describes Christ's eye color as blue and doesn't witness marks.
11. Christ at His coming in glory is wearing white and not red. (D&C 133 and Rev 19)
12. Does not discuss the physical resurrection.
12. Says that some Translated Beings were called to serve on other planets (D&C 130:5)