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Posts posted by longview

  1. 1 hour ago, Hamilton Porter said:

    New York's Burned-over District highlights how Christian revivalism transformed the region into a critical hub of social reform in nineteenth-century America.

    Does the book discuss what the issues were that led to social reform? Were the people concerned with robber barons, unfair bankers, oppressive bureaucrats? I wonder if people were migrating westward because of economic disasters (like the Smith family fleeing failed farms due to unusually cold climate).

  2. 1 hour ago, 2BizE said:

    No, I will not be celebrating Palm Sunday. As a lifelong member of more than 5 decades, I have never been taught through Mormonism how to celebrate Palm Sunday. 

    Isn't that analogous to waving white handkerchief during temple dedications?  In the OT Mosaic Law it is indicated that on Nisan 10 a paschal lamb meeting all the requirements is selected and "set apart".  On Nisan 14 it was sacrificed.

    Nisan 10 corresponds to Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem (being chosen by the people on Sunday). The evening of Nisan 14 was the Last Supper preliminary to His agonizing ordeal in the Garden of Gethsemane all night Thursday (according to Jewish customs, the day "ended" at sundown so it could have been Friday all that night with the crucifixion occurring in the following daytime it still being Friday).

  3. 1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:
    4 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

    Do you worry about Bach's biography in evaluating his music?

    No one has touched this.

    To me, this is the crux of scripture as text, and the problem of historical belief.

    I seems @Hamilton Porter did a pretty good job of responding to your line of thoughts. He is saying that religious history is very meaningful for prophets and other heroic characters that wade through much tribulations and serious testing. We see this in the life of Jacob (son of Isaac) where his whole life was a long series of progressions and challenges and seasoning. Same for Abraham and Jonah and even Mahonri Moriancumer (brother of Jared) and many others.

    ALL of these things are REAL experiences intended for everyone that is born into a fallen world. Which is the essence of the Plan of Happiness. Very necessary to be able to advance beyond what we achieved in the pre-existence.

    The scriptures (religious history) is extremely important for learning the testimonies of actual historical persons. It is an encouragement for the readers to exercise greater faith in applying incremental steps in drawing closer to God. For some it may require willingness to give up their lives in order to remain true to the Gospel.

    We don't necessarily need to "worry" about Bach's biography for the purpose of evaluating his music. But information about his background, the mentors, the music of his "competitors" and cultural influences are interesting to scholars and lay people. The same holds true for eminent scientists who stand on the shoulders of giants that preceded them.

  4. On 3/31/2023 at 10:38 PM, Calm said:

    I can’t eat chocolate…which was not that big of a deal since a lot of American chocolate is horrendous.  Got spoiled in Russia (German chocolate) and Canadian isn’t as good as German, but better than American.

    Why do you think American chocolate is horrendous?

    For many years I have been leery of the waxy appearance/taste.  It seems to vary among brands.  Does anyone know which ingredient it is that makes it waxy?  I love nutty chocolates and I am partial to Hershey's nuggets.

  5. 4 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

    Who owns the output of an AI program? For example, if I ask an AI to produce a short story that somehow gets published, who has the copyright on that story?

    It would be you since you were creative enough to pose the question in such a way that the AI was "inspired" to give you a high quality response. Nobody is going to confront you on this (at least for a few years). But if you become famous 10 or 20 years later and some academics will research your body of works, they become befuddled on why this particular piece (the one by the AI) does not conform to your writing style with the rest of your works.

  6. 2 hours ago, Stargazer said:

    Would this be a good time to invoke Raingirl?

    Sorry, I would have messaged you, but I think your inbox is full.

    The best way to "invoke" her is to use the AT sign - - -

    {background noises and rumblings and thunderings}  @Raingirl ! ! ! You are hereby SUMMONED ! ! ! :o

  7. 1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

    I think the Book of Mormon is pretty clear that you have to really want to believe before you can accept the LDS gospel. 

    Years ago I read a story about a guy that was visited by missionaries.  He felt the spirit and was convinced of its truthfulness.  But he deliberately chose to refuse baptism because he did NOT want to give up the pleasures in his life.

    Kind of like the rich man who was invited by Jesus to donate ALL his possessions and follow Him.  The rich man had a simple choice.  He probably was touched by the spirit but was very loathe to lose the comforts and the renown of elite circles.  Too bad he did not understand how brief temporal life is.  There is incredible glory and vast dominions to be gained by the faithful in Eternal Realms.

  8. 6 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

    That's assuming we understand what "matter unorganized" means. I'm always wary of people who think the reason they aren't taken seriously by the "mainstream" is that there's some kind of conspiracy to defend orthodoxy. 

    True scientists should be very wary of what you describe as "orthodoxy".  Too many fields of science have been corrupted politically motivated funding and on-going narratives carefully maintained and "enforced".  Such as climate hysteria, gender studies, evolution, etc.  Even cosmology!

    No assumption here.  We do not necessarily need to understand what "matter unorganized" means.  We either wait for further revelation or we will understand in the next world.  Good chance we knew this in the pre-exisence but in mortality the "veil of forgetfulness" has been placed over our minds.

  9. 7 minutes ago, Nofear said:

    The pre-conditions for the Big Bang are actually pretty stringent. Indeed, one of the difficulties with the Big Bang Theory is how to establish the pre-conditions for the Big Bang. Various models exist to try to establish those conditions.



    One of the problems that alternative theories is that they can sometimes offer alternate explanations for a subset of phenomena but all of them fail to account for the numerous observational evidences for The Big Bang model. One of the biggest strengths of the Big Bang model is that it has been able to successfully accommodate observations that did not even exist with the model was proposed.

    • The dark night sky (Olbers Paradox)
    • elemental abundances
    • large scale structure
    • cosmic microwave background
    • red shifts of almost every galaxyi

    And yes, I am going to emphatically state that Dr. Lerner is not correct. That he's written a handful of papers (such as the 1988 one to Harvard) is hardly evidence (compared to body of thousands upon thousands of Big Bang papers (also not evidence per se)). I can also be pretty confident that his model does not explain the scale of the anisotropies and several of the other features that are present in the CMB that would be well beyond the scope of a public discussion board (and for which measurements did not exist in 1988).

    But you have not really addressed the increasing contradictions as more observations are being made.  That Big Bang proponents are scrambling to cover for by inventing new cosmological features such as Dark Energy and Dark Matter for which they have zero evidence except with contrived mathematics.

  10. 1 minute ago, ksfisher said:

    You're limiting God's creations to only the universe as we can observe it now.  What if there's more?  What if the universes are infinite and we, with our finite and limited perspective, cannot observe all of God's creation with the eyes we have now? 

    The Big Bang Theory need not be incompatible with the gospel.

    It might be plausible if there are multiple Big Bangs.  Infinite parallel universes?  But there will still be a ton of questions.  Pre-conditions for each Big Bang?

    I am inclined not to pursue this angle.  I will just follow up and point to Heavenly Father's instructions to Jehovah concerning a space where there is matter unorganized.

  11. 14 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

    I'm always wary of concluding that a given scientific theory or principle can be rejected because it's incompatible with doctrine. I often find it's more a case of my limited understanding of both the science and the doctrine. In my youth, I subscribed to Joseph Fielding Smith's insistence that organic evolution is incompatible with the doctrine of the creation. I've since changed my mind. 

    Over the many years I have been on this board, I would usually question the science (especially if it is being pushed by a persistent narrative that seems contrived) and explore scientific alternatives.  Sometimes I would follow up with religious perspectives simply to give a doctrinal overview (not necessarily to PROVE my scientific arguments).

    I would invite you to review Stephen Meyer's work on evolution (which is deeply insightful).  Hopefully you also gave yourself a chance to understand the work of Eric Lerner.

  12. 25 minutes ago, pogi said:

    Clearly we interpreted his words differently.  The more the story evolves, it clearly sounds like harassment to me.  

    I don't think the story was evolving.  Its just that you had a beam in your eye and used wrong judgment and got bit by your bias.

  13. 13 hours ago, jkwilliams said:
    13 hours ago, longview said:

    In other words, the universe came into existence out of nothing and has been expanding ever since.  How so compelling!

    I’m confused. How does the Big Bang suggest a universe coming into existence out of nothing?

    Because Big Bang proponents have not a clue about the pre-conditions for the Big Bang?

    13 hours ago, The Nehor said:

    That is not what I said. I also don’t understand what “compelling” has to do with it.

    You were affirming what @InCognitus was saying:  "What the James Webb telescope shows, according to a NASA source, is that the universe doesn't originate from a single point:  "The Big Bang happened everywhere at once and was a process happening in time, not a point in time.  In other words, there is NO definite location within the expanding universe where the point of singularity can be found (I can agree with that).  However Big Bang proponents had been using the "Red Shift" phenomena as evidence for, well, the Big Bang!  Please review my post above for alternative cosmologies ably presented by Eric Lerner.  He shows how Big Bang proponents are madly scrambling to account for ever more contradictions as more observations are being made.

    I said "How so compelling!" to express my sarcasm.  The Big Bang can only produce a finite universe (with finite number of intelligences) and definite starting point for time but an uncertain ending point (a possibility for finite time?).  The point of singularity is finite.  The resulting Big Bang cannot be infinite.

    On the other hand, we have the Gospel as restored by Joseph Smith.  It definitely teaches of endless generations of the Gods and the work will NEVER end.  Therefore the universe has to be infinite and the number of intelligences has to be infinite.   It is even taught that ALL intelligences (you, me and future spirit children) are co-eternal with God).  It is the purpose of God to invite intelligences to participate in the Plan of Happiness and thus enable ever greater dominions and endless generations forever and ever (no end to infinity).

  14. 4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

    This has been known for a long time. It just has not spread into mainstream understanding. It is why you still get people asking where in space the Big Bang happened and that question doesn’t have an answer.

    In other words, the universe came into existence out of nothing and has been expanding ever since.  How so compelling!

  15. 23 hours ago, Nofear said:

    Eric Lerner has been pounding this drum for decades. Still hasn't convinced pretty much anybody with formal education in cosmology (we are all big bang brainwashed).

    You make him sound like a gadfly but there are many solid institutions and sources that give Eric Lerner a lot of credibility.  Here is an impressive overview of his career (see https://www.plasma-universe.com/eric-lerner/)


    Plasma cosmology

    Lerner is a critic of the Big Bang theory and advocates an infinitely old Universe. He has developed original theories of quasars, Large-scale structure of the cosmos, the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, and the origin of light elements all based on the plasma cosmology approach. He claims that the intergalactic medium is a strong absorber of the cosmic microwave background radiation with the absorption occurring in a fog of narrow filaments. He has analyzed data on the surface brightness of galaxies that contradict the predictions of expanding-universe models.

    Lerner developed a theory postulating that quasars are not related to black holes but are rather produced by a magnetic self-compression processes (ie magnetic pinch) similar to that occurring in the plasma focus.

    Fusion power

    Through his work on the plasma focus, Lerner developed a detailed quantitative theory of the functioning of the plasma focus. Based on this theory, he proposed that the plasma focus could achieve high ion and electron energies at high densities, suitable for advanced fuel fusion and space propulsion. Lerner has done experimental work on the plasma focus in collaboration with the University of Illinois in 1994, with Texas A&M University in 2001, and with the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission. In addition, he developed an original model of the role of the strong magnetic field effect on plasma functioning, showing that this effect could make net energy production more feasible, potentially leading to an economical and safe source of energy.


    He has presented this approach to fusion at several scientific conferences including (in the past five years) the IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science, 2002: the American Physical Society, 2003 and the XI Latin American Workshop on Plasma Physics, 2005. Lerner was an invited speaker at both the Fifth (2003) and Sixth (2005) Symposia on Current Trends in International Fusion Research, which is sponsored by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In the Sixth Symposium the paper was presented with Robert E. Terry, Naval Research Laboratory)[11]


    Here is an open letter explaining the contrast between plasma cosmology and steady state model with the big bang theory (which is having to deal with more and more contradictions as new observations are being made, see https://www.plasma-universe.com/An-Open-Letter-to-the-Scientific-Community/).  Note that this letter is co-signed by over 250 eminent scientists around world (their names and affiliated organizations are listed at the bottom:


    Bucking the big bang

    Published in New Scientist, May 22, 2004

    The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed– inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory.

    But the big bang theory can’t survive without these fudge factors. Without the hypothetical inflation field, the big bang does not predict the smooth, isotropic cosmic background radiation that is observed, because there would be no way for parts of the universe that are now more than a few degrees away in the sky to come to the same temperature and thus emit the same amount of microwave radiation.

    Without some kind of dark matter, unlike any that we have observed on Earth despite 20 years of experiments, big-bang theory makes contradictory predictions for the density of matter in the universe. Inflation requires a density 20 times larger than that implied by big bang nucleosynthesis, the theory’s explanation of the origin of the light elements. And without dark energy, the theory predicts that the universe is only about 8 billion years old, which is billions of years younger than the age of many stars in our galaxy.

    What is more, the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory’s supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters, just as the old Earth-centered cosmology of Ptolemy needed layer upon layer of epicycles.

    Yet the big bang is not the only framework available for understanding the history of the universe. Plasma cosmology and the steady-state model both hypothesize an evolving universe without beginning or end. These and other alternative approaches can also explain the basic phenomena of the cosmos, including the abundances of light elements, the generation of large-scale structure, the cosmic background radiation, and how the redshift of far-away galaxies increases with distance. They have even predicted new phenomena that were subsequently observed, something the big bang has failed to do.

    Supporters of the big bang theory may retort that these theories do not explain every cosmological observation. But that is scarcely surprising, as their development has been severely hampered by a complete lack of funding. Indeed, such questions and alternatives cannot even now be freely discussed and examined. An open exchange of ideas is lacking in most mainstream conferences. Whereas Richard Feynman could say that “science is the culture of doubt”, in cosmology today doubt and dissent are not tolerated, and young scientists learn to remain silent if they have something negative to say about the standard big bang model. Those who doubt the big bang fear that saying so will cost them their funding.

    Even observations are now interpreted through this biased filter, judged right or wrong depending on whether or not they support the big bang. So discordant data on red shifts, lithium and helium abundances, and galaxy distribution, among other topics, are ignored or ridiculed. This reflects a growing dogmatic mindset that is alien to the spirit of free scientific inquiry.

    Today, virtually all financial and experimental resources in cosmology are devoted to big bang studies. Funding comes from only a few sources, and all the peer-review committees that control them are dominated by supporters of the big bang. As a result, the dominance of the big bang within the field has become self-sustaining, irrespective of the scientific validity of the theory.

    Giving support only to projects within the big bang framework undermines a fundamental element of the scientific method — the constant testing of theory against observation. Such a restriction makes unbiased discussion and research impossible. To redress this, we urge those agencies that fund work in cosmology to set aside a significant fraction of their funding for investigations into alternative theories and observational contradictions of the big bang. To avoid bias, the peer review committee that allocates such funds could be composed of astronomers and physicists from outside the field of cosmology.

    Allocating funding to investigations into the big bang’s validity, and its alternatives, would allow the scientific process to determine our most accurate model of the history of the universe.

    (Institutions for identification only)

    Halton Arp, Max-Planck-Institute Fur Astrophysik (Germany)

    Andre Koch Torres Assis, State University of Campinas (Brazil)

    Yuri Baryshev, Astronomical Institute, St. Petersburg State University (Russia)

    Ari Brynjolfsson, Applied Radiation Industries (USA)

    Hermann Bondi, Churchill College, University of Cambridge (UK)

    Timothy Eastman, Plasmas International (USA)

    Chuck Gallo, Superconix, Inc.(USA)

    Thomas Gold, Cornell University (emeritus) (USA)

    Amitabha Ghosh, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (India)

    Walter J. Heikkila, University of Texas at Dallas (USA)

    Michael Ibison, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin (USA)

    Thomas Jarboe, University of Washington (USA)

    Jerry W. Jensen, ATK Propulsion (USA)

    Menas Kafatos, George Mason University (USA)

    Eric J. Lerner, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (USA)

    Paul Marmet, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (retired) (Canada)

    Paola Marziani, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova (Italy)

    Gregory Meholic, The Aerospace Corporation (USA)

    Jacques Moret-Bailly, Université Dijon (retired) (France)

    Jayant Narlikar, IUCAA(emeritus) and College de France (India, France)

    Marcos Cesar Danhoni Neves, State University of Maringá (Brazil)

    Charles D. Orth, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA)

    R. David Pace, Lyon College (USA)

    Georges Paturel, Observatoire de Lyon (France)

    Jean-Claude Pecker, College de France (France)

    Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA)

    Bill Peter, BAE Systems Advanced Technologies (USA)

    David Roscoe, Sheffield University (UK)

    Malabika Roy, George Mason University (USA)

    Sisir Roy, George Mason University (USA)

    Konrad Rudnicki, Jagiellonian University (Poland)

    Domingos S.L. Soares, Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil)

    John L. West, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (USA)

    James F. Woodward, California State University, Fullerton (USA)


    The original letter was subsequently reproduced at cosmologystatement.org, where other scientists and engineers were given the opportunity to add their names to the original signatories. Over 200 signed, and over 250 additional independent researchers. The full list can be seen at archive.org


    ↑ “Bucking the big bang“, New Scientist, May 22, 2004 (Online $$$). Reproduced at cosmologystatement.org. Copy at archive.org, 1 Apr 2014

    Here is another example of a work by Eric Lerner published at Harvard (see https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1988LPB.....6..457L/abstract)


    Plasma model of microwave background and primordial elements: an alternative to the big bang.

    Show affiliations

    Lerner, Eric J.


    A plasma model of the origin of the light elements and the microwave background is presented. In contrast to the conventional big bang hypothesis, the model assumes that helium, deuterium and the microwave background were all generated by massive stars in the early stages of galaxy formation. The microwave background is scattered and isotropized by multi-GeV electrons trapped in the jets emitted by active galactic nuclei. The model produces reasonable amounts of heavy elements, accurately predicts the gamma-ray background intensity and spectrum, and explains the statistics of quasars, compact and extended radio sources.

    Publication:  Laser and Particle Beams (ISSN 0263-0346), vol. 6, Aug. 1988, p. 457-469.

    Pub Date:  August 1988


    On 8/15/2022 at 12:43 PM, Nofear said:

    - - - Historically, inflation has been lumped with the big bang but that is not correct. - - -

    This is an amusing statement to be made.  Similar to anthropologists who try to evade questions by saying abiogenesis is NOT the same thing as evolution.

  16. 14 hours ago, Stargazer said:

    "I think the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science." 

    Spontaneously?  No pre-conditions?  No clue as to what "set off" the Big Bang?  How did that "infinitesimal point" come to be?

    Out of nothing?  Mathematically illogical.  An empty set cannot produce a non-empty set.

    According to the laws of science?  The Big Bang Theory is just that.  Not yet proven.  Only feverish imaginations and lame extrapolations.

    14 hours ago, Stargazer said:

    And why does he think this?

    "As we travel back in time towards the moment of the Big Bang, the universe gets smaller and smaller and smaller,

    It has been said that there is NO "outer boundary" that encloses the entire universe.  Also that a "spacecraft" will have to travel in a straight line continually until it eventually comes back to its starting point (kind of like seeing the back of your head).  It will need to travel at "ludicrous speed" in order to get a more accurate measurement of the distance traveled.  Do this every billion years it will be able to determine if the universe is expanding, contracting or remains static.  The universe would have to be finite.  Otherwise there is NO way to do the measurement.  I don't think the "Red Shift" can provide the "last word" on the expansion of the universe.

    14 hours ago, Stargazer said:

    until it finally comes to a point where the whole universe is a space so small that it is in effect a single infinitesimally small, infinitesimally dense black hole.

    Infinitesimally small?  Point of singularity has NO size.  Dense black hole?  You must mean infinitely dense.  If it has NO size, then the density cannot possibly be measured!  If it had ANY mass, would the amount of matter issuing forth from the Big Bang be infinite?

    Black Holes have varying sizes and varying masses.  I suppose their densities can be measured based on the diameter of the event horizons (side to side) and the amount of mass can be calculated based on its gravitational effect on objects orbiting around them.

    14 hours ago, Stargazer said:

    And just as with modern-day black holes, floating around in space, the laws of nature dictate something quite extraordinary. They tell us that here too time itself must come to a stop.

    Black Holes exist IN time.  Point of singularity is oblivious of time.

    14 hours ago, Stargazer said:

    You can’t get to a time before the Big Bang because there was no time before the Big Bang.  We have finally found something that doesn’t have a cause, because there was no time for a cause to exist in. For me this means that there is no possibility of a creator, because there is no time for a creator to have existed in."

    This makes me think of the joke about how many psychiatrist does it take to change a light bulb?  Just one but the bulb has to WANT to change.

    For a point of singularity to exist, we are forced back to the question of pre-conditions (see above).

    14 hours ago, Stargazer said:

    No doubt he thought this was a huge GOTCHA moment. I myself had an amazing realization while reading this. 

    Whatever one thinks of Big Bangs, the brilliant Hawking seems to have missed a very important absurdity in these last two sentences.

    In one sense, Hawking is correct. But in a more fundamental one, he is utterly wrong. In order for a creator to have created the Big Bang, he could not possibly be in the universe he was then creating, because it would have required that He create Himself. This is an absurdity, which of course Hawking recognizes. But who says that the Creator was in the universe that He created? It's a completely unwarranted assumption. The Cause of the universe had to have caused it from outside that universe -- and thus the argument that "there [was] no time for a creator to have existed in" fails.

    Although I earned a bachelor of science degree in Math, I am leery and skeptical of the various theories propounded.  Don't ask me to review the math.  :vava:

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