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Everything posted by BaalChatzaf

  1. Definition of "malevolent" is having or showing a wish to do evil to others. The universe does not intend or wish anything. The universe is not an entity that intends or wishes so the term "malevolent" does not apply to it. Better to use the term "harmful". If the universe were totally harmful then we would not be here to ponder whether to use the term "malevolent". If the universe were totally harmful then living things could not evolve and survive.
  2. "benevolent" and "malevolent" should only be applied to entities capable of intentions. The better words to use are "beneficial" and "harmful" (resp.) which can be applied to any entities capable of producing beneficial (harmful) results or effects. "volent" indicates will or intent.
  3. However, immunization does produce benefits. How many people are paralyzed with polio this days. Hardly any. When I was a kid, Summer time used to be Polio Hell. I was forbidden by my parents to go to public swimming pools and discourage from going to the movies. And almost everyone knew someone, or had a relative that was crippled by the disease. So a statistical analysis IS appropriate. If the odds of harm by NOT having the immunization, exceed the odds of harm BY having the immunization one should be immunized. An interesting thing happened with regard to smallpox. It turned out that more people were getting a smallpox related disease from the immunization than those is in unimmunized population were getting smallpox. So smallpox shots were eliminated. The disease simply ceased to exist in advanced countries like the U.S. But the anti-immunization crackpots do not have a valid statistical argument for their position. They simply believe that immunization causes autism. They are wrong. Almost all indication are that the various types of autism are genetically conditioned. Studies show that it runs in families. But this, right now, is a suspicion, not a proven fact. One thing we do know at this point, immunization as such does NOT cause autism. The Anti-Vac crew are crackpots.
  4. That is correct. Smoking by itself does not cause lung cancer. Smoking, perhaps, enables other conditions to prevail, but these other conditions are not universal in the population. That is a possibility. But the anti-immunization crackpots do not say this. They say flatly, baldly, and wrongly, immunization causes autism
  5. Have a look here The article indicates 92 percent of the population is vaccinated. If vaccination caused autism (it doesn't) then over 80 percent of the population would be autistic. However only one in ninety is diagnosed with autism. Clear proof that the hypothesis immunization causes autism is poppycock.
  6. The majority of Americans are sane and have working brains. They may not be as wise as they should be but they are connected to the real world. No clinical study done to date supports the hypothesis that immunizations cause autism. If that were true the 90 percent of Americans would be autistic because 90 percent of American have been immunized against measles, whooping cough, dyptheria and polio. I will not accept this hypothesis until a clinical double blind study supports it.
  7. Bullshit. If that were true the majority of Americans would be mentally crippled.
  8. The conditions under which science may be practiced are certainly affect by government involvement, but the science itself is about something else. Physicists think of fields, manifolds, particles, symmetries, topologies, gauge effects, etc when they do physics. They are not thinking of the next grant. That is someone else's job. The contents of physics is mostly math. It is a pure context unpolluted by ethical and political matters.
  9. There was a time when governments did not fund science. Rich guys funded science out of their own pockets. Those days have apparently passed. Without government funding which means the extraction of tax loot from the public we would not have manned missions to the moon or machines capable of measuring the Higgs Field. The government is involved even in marginal cases. The transistor was developed at Bell Telephone Laboratory 1947. But Bell could not have done it without a monopoly granted to ATT as regulated monopoly. It is frustrating. I would prefer that our theory and technology could be developed without any government involvement but that just isn't happening. If the government did not license ATT as a regulated monopoly we would have waited a long time for the transistor (which is the main basis of our economy now) to be developed. Maybe it would not have been developed without government involvement. I am unable so say that for sure but it seems that way.
  10. The science is about nature and what it does or does not do. Funding is about paying the scientists and providing resources to the scientists in order for them to science. Funding as such will not prove or disprove a hypothesis. Unfortunately there is just as much funding for badly done science as the for well done science, Probably more than for science done right.
  11. It is what the bullet does to the brain that causes death A bullet to the brain mashes and rips brain tissue so that the brain no longer functions as a brain should.
  12. Ultimately all scientific hypotheses and theories are validated by 1. observation and measurement 2. laboratory experiment and testing 3. clinical testing which generally uses some statistical form of hypothesis test. The bottom line is: the predictions have to match what nature shows through either observation or experiment. Science of any kind has to be subject to testing and potential empirical falsification. Obviously the details of the experiments and observations depend on what is being studied. Some things can be corroborated by conditions in imposed in the laboratory. Other things have to be observed and measured as they happen naturally. Astronomy, as you pointed out, is such a science. So is cosmology. Particle and Field physics are tested in such installations as CERN. Chemistry is tested in the lab. Biology is test both in the lab and in the field. The essential thing that distinguishes the physicals sciences (that work) is ultimate empirical testing and possible falsification, from philosophy which is all vapor and abstraction. Mathematics is a peculiar thing. It is not a science because it is not empirical but its claims have to be validated by proofs which are formulated by mathematicians, then read and checked by other mathematicians. Checking a proof for correctness is empirical even though all of the subject matter is abstract.
  13. The funding of science is a separate issue from the science itself. As I said, Science, as such, is concerned with the way the world works, not what is right or wrong. Nature does not care what is right and wrong. Humans care what is right and wrong.
  14. CAN cause or DOES cause? There is not substantial clinical evidence that immunizations cause autism. CAN does not count. DOES counts.
  15. Science and Morality have nearly an empty intersection. Science is about how the world works, not about what is right and what is wrong in the ethical sense.
  16. THe difference is with sloppy thinking cause is immediately inferred from a before-after observation. Jumping to the conclusion is a fallacy which has a name: Post hoc ergo propter hoc. After this therefore because of this. In a scientific context the connection between a possible cause class of events and a class of possible effect events is thoroughly examined and a --mechanism-- of connection is hypothesized. The mechanism then is thoroughly tested in a lab. BTW if event A happens and event B does not always happen following A then type(A) cannot be a cause for type(B). The aforementioned issues illustrates the difference between superstition (black cat stories) and physical science. Immediately jumping to the conclusion of a causal connection is sloppy thinking. When the connection between smoking and cancer was discerned the tobacco companies claimed (of course) it was an example of the post hoc fallacy. But further investigation showed that cigarette paper when burned leaves small amounts of radioactive polonium in the air sacs of the lungs. Smoking long enough produces enough of the radioactive polonium deposits to increase the probability of lung cancer. Here it was discovered that a radioactive substance is left in the long so as to increase the probability of lung cancer. In short a mechanism connecting cigarette smoking with lung cancer was uncovered. Clinical studies of the various immunizations have uncovered no genetic changes that might cause autism. BTW no one knows for sure (at this time) what causes autism. Genetic anomalies are suspected but not yet proved by clinical examination or laboratory studies. So the firm conclusion that immunization leads to autism is yet to be shown. The firm belief without the underlying establishment of a mechanism for genetic change is a clear example of "black cat" thinking. Sloppy, sloppy. I will give you a hint. When someone says events of type A causes events of type B, the burden of proof is on THEM. At this point there is no lab based evidence that immunization causes autism and the counter examples I gave support the doubt that immunization causes autism.
  17. quite so. Sometimes falling produces breakage, sometimes it doesn't. One cannot make a general statement the falling will break bones. It all depends on the type of fall and on what fallen. To say A causes B means whenever A happens then B follows. That is cause. There is a firm connection between A and B. if A happens and B does not, then A is not a sufficient reason for B to happen.
  18. I gave a counterexample to causality. What does that leave? happenstance. A lot of things happen and the causes are not known.
  19. Happenstance. All 4 of my children were vaccinated. None of them are autistic. All five of my grandchildren were vaccinated. None of them autistic. We we have is happenstance, not cause. This kind of "reasoning" leads top superstition and black cat stories.
  20. The virgin Miriam (that is Mary in hebrew) did say "Oh God! Don't stop now!"
  21. That is why I put sand on my steps when the sleet falls on them.