Saturday, October 07, 2006

Blogger-Blogger Criticism

A couple bloggers out there are saying things I don't agree with, but that's what all this blogging is about, right?

Clifford has a series of posts knocking Lee Smolin...well, he starts with Lee's appearance on a radio program, but it quickly devolves into more than that. I sympathize with Clifford...strings are his livelihood and Lee's attacking it. I think string theory and some string theorists deserve some criticism. And I think Lee is going about it in a fair way, even if I don't fully buy into all his arguments. I don't want to say too much more given that I just argued with Sean about string theory's dominance not being entirely deserved and because I'd like to see such arguments outside the Woit-Motl boxing ring be confined to civil discussion of the merits of the case.

And there's Pharyngula's comments about the Amish's views on the afterlife. PZ is calling a certain Amish guy a "kook" because he believe the dead children are better off than the survivors. If that were so, he argues, then parents should just kill their children straight away.

I'm as much an atheist as the next person and I think religion is a pretty awful construct of people coming together for protection from the dinosaurs and needing a tool to beat the underlings into submission. But PZ's on a pretty high horse with this argument. He comes off as an obnoxious, know-it-all who sees himself as better than those whom he judges.

9 comments:

Uncle Al said...

String theory arguments lack observables. 10^500 valid vacua whisper "incomplete."

Though forbidden by General Relativity, spin-orbit coupling exists. The patch

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein-Cartan_theory

creates chiral pseudoscalar vacuum falsifying isotropic space, Lorentz invariance, angular momentum conservation, the Equivalence Principle; general relativity, quantum field theory, the Standard Model, and string theory. Only extreme opposite parity mass distributions are anomalous. Somebody should look.

http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/lajos.htm#a2

springac said...

I'm guess I'm not the only one who's tired of PZ's antics.

I mean sheeze, I got over the Angry Atheist shtick years ago.

Ghafla said...

"PZ's on a pretty high horse with this argument. He comes off as an obnoxious, know-it-all who sees himself as better than those whom he judges."

Is he ever in any other state on this subject? I used to consider myself a militant atheist; after watching PZ for a while, I almost started calling myself an agnostic.

Angry said...

I've not read PZ for that long and certainly not too carefully, so I really didn't mean any big slam on him. I read him for a reason, that being that he's got something interesting to say.

It's just that, though I have a problem with organized religion in general, I'm sympathetic to the believers out there and the "stories" they construct. I mean attacking a guy for consistency in terms of thinking dead children are better off seems a bit cold and unnecessary.

wolfgang said...

I think it is obvious that the post of PZ is worse than in bad taste, it is simply wrong.

1) The statement that the (dead) children are better off than the survivors is already true in an atheistic framework, if one assumes that the survivors feel pain and grievance, while the dead children do not. It is even more true in a religious framework.

2) It is obvious that it does not follow that we should murder our children, since the fact that D is better off than S does *not* imply that D + S would be better off if we murder our children.

My conclusion is that PZ is the "old kook", at least in this case.

Ronald said...

Hi angry guys,

To feed your anger a little bit more come and see: http://www.physicsworks.ca

You just can't believe what you can find there in your state of physics anger!

Ronald

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