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Monday, 28 January 2013

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My money is on Prof Orr - Nagel merely adds a complication without adding evidence or clarification. I fear Dawkins is right which seems a pity really, it really would be nice if there was a God or some purpose to the universe. But I fear there is neither and unless we discover some deep dark mystery lurking then the universe seems interesting but pointless - a bit depressing really - pass the cocaine.

David, a couple of minor cavils. First, the great life event - that moment when chemistry turned into biology - need not have taken place on this planet, or even in this galaxy. It could have taken place on any planet on any sun and, due to the somewhat violent nature of our universe, spread around the place on any old lumps of rock, then re-evolved here or there or anywhere.

Then, of course, once you have found the answer to the great puzzle of how chemistry turns into biology, you must perforce turn your mind to that other puzzle: How nothing turns into everything.

How no space, no time, no energy, turns in an instant, (a concept that didn't exist an ... er, instant ago), into all the space, all the time and all the energy that ever existed or will exist. (O.K. the space is quite small and the time is quite short but the energy makes up for their lack.)

I'm told the equations all balance nicely, (and I'm sure they do), but it all seems a bit woo-woo to me.

I know, Gentlemen, I know, it's like a bloody great Rubik cube, another thing I never mastered no matter how long I tried!

"... it really would be nice if there was a God ..."

I used to think that, but I don't now. There are reports coming out of North Korea of cannibilism, and of course endless reports of people being beaten to death because they mispronounced the name Mohammed, or some such thing. In the light of all that, I think it is nicer to think there is no god who looks at this and does nothing.

I admit though that I have a soft spot for Christianity's notion of forgiveness.

"What are the chances of that?"

Philosophically, it doesn't matter what the chances are (and of course they are unimaginable remote), because the only possible observers (us) are by definition at the place and time where it DID happen.

The number of other universes, other galaxies, other worlds, etc, where it did NOT happen, simply don't come into it.

Well, I didn't hear the tree fall

Dinja?

Of course it was a dark and stormy night in Arkansas ...

Yesterday. Er, well 42 hours ago but that's the point in'jit?

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/130129_rpts.html

I'm only coming out from the underground today so I don't know.

Yep David. Thanks - looks to be Coal Tits even tho we've no coal over here.

I'll not be requesting again Corporal Rainmaker!


Well, it's Friday here and, even though I know you people are way behind the times, it really is time you were back on deck.
I think I've missed you!

Dom, yes, you are right to imply that it is the 'niceness' of Christianity which appeals. I shall have more to say on that when I have finished a book I am reading.

Andrew, a key piece of knowledge that, for the moment, is beyond us, is whether or not life has started anywhere else. If it has, the odds come down and the event on earth is *slightly* less incredible. However, it is amusing to see the strictly rationalist scientists, stuck with trying to explain how our universe came into being given the extremely tight requirements of the six physical constants, have been reduced to inventing multi-verses and having us believe that as ours is but one amongst zillions then it is not too surprising that it exists. Yeeeees, quite!

JK, I am worried about your storm weather - did you save the still?

Andra, my darling, relax, I have returned!

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