Sunday, September 28, 2008

Random Ramble

Been watching some YouTube. After a video of a very silly special effectized Sumo match, ended up following some personalized front page recommendations to this series, which pokes at Creationists pretty hard. My thoughts drifted off to various trolls I've met over the years.

For all the rambling these IDiots and fundies make about "moral relativism" and "randomness", their views often seem to be the ones that boil down to those things. There's no shortage of fellow atheists and skeptics who've rambled on about all the psychotic proscriptions, arbitrary prohibitions, and grossly disproportionate punishments for breaking them. So I won't go on any more about that.

Our favorite, recently unbanned, troll ended up leading to one trail of thought on "randomness": He was rambling about radioisotope dating (and for some reason, limited it to carbon dating) and I asked him if he thought it was inaccurate because modern nuclear physics was wrong, since those dating methods rely on radioactive half-lives. I may need to check again, but I think he implied an affirmative. The problem: If we got that wrong, all the technology we base on it wouldn't work. GPS relies on atomic clocks. A large chunk of our power grid is powered by nuclear energy. You get the idea. If we're wrong about the fundamental laws running those things, how do they work? The only alternative that came to mind was dumb luck. It certainly sounded like he was saying the modern world runs solely on dumb luck. When I said that, he tried to bounce that deduction onto me: The guy who has lectured him on the objectivity of reality. The guy who describes the universe as an orderly entity where no violations of those rules take place.


cryptic_philosopher said...

It's not dumb luck, you's GOOOOODDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!! See, God sets the rate of all radioactive decay, and if He wants it to decay at a certain rate, it does so (this is when He isn't busy holding atomic nuclei together and creating the illusion of dark energy, of course.)

I now invoke Poe's Law. :p

Bronze Dog said...

It's really bad when you have to mention Poe's Law so everyone can know it's parody/satire/whatever.

One example that came to mind after I posted: One guy had a video response claiming water was a universal solvent, breaking down the 'vast majority of chemical bonds.' I loved the snarky response to the response.