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Christian Right Lobbies To Overturn Second Law Of Thermodynamics

from the up-next:-gravity-declared-unfair-to-elderly dept.
"America's Finest News Source" has the story: "TOPEKA, KS–The second law of thermodynamics, a fundamental scientific principle stating that entropy increases over time as organized forms decay into greater states of randomness, has come under fire from conservative Christian groups, who are demanding that the law be repealed." Note: This is not a real news story…yet.

20 Responses to “Christian Right Lobbies To Overturn Second Law Of Thermodynamics”

  1. Adam Burke Says:

    AIDS doesn't exist either …

    Also saw this today along the same lines … this woman believes AIDS doesn't exist. The real issue I had with her was not her questioning of an established norm, but her apparent disregard for a scientific approach.

  2. adipocere Says:

    Re:AIDS doesn't exist either …

    The sad part about people like her is not that Darwinism will eventually remove her genes from our pool, but that she'll probably take a few people with her.

  3. RobVirkus Says:

    Not going to be a real News Story Ever

    Of course the Onion piece is in jest but I just wanted to state for the record that, as a Christian, I uphold the Second Law of Thermodynamics with every molecule in my body. I have always obeyed the Second Law and I am absolutely (well, at least statistically) committed to continuing to do so. But seriously, the Onion piece risks alienating those Nanodot participants who have a Christian world view and are interested in being a part of the development of advanced technologies esp. Molecular Manufacturing.

  4. brian_dunbar Says:

    Re:Not going to be a real News Story Ever

    But seriously, the Onion piece risks alienating those Nanodot participants who have a Christian world view and are interested in being a part of the development of advanced technologies

    Perhaps the Christian world view is a bit wider than you suspect. I didn't find anything alienating at all in the piece. I suspect that any Christians who have sense of humour would not either.
    Brian

  5. RobVirkus Says:

    Re:Not going to be a real News Story Ever

    I did see the humor because I realized it was a fictional piece. However, It was based on the Kansas Creationism controversy and I felt that a very casual observer might think it was 'generally true' even if not specifically true. The joke to me is that hard core Creationists use the Second Law to argue against evolution. They really love the Second Law. It's their main weapon. But there was an implication that this kind of story 'could be true someday' in the post. I merely wanted to point out that I think Christians are needed in the ethical debate regarding advanced technologies now in order to prevent needless widescale misunderstanding and reaction against something like Molecular Manufacturing or life extension in the future.

  6. kurt Says:

    Re:Not going to be a real News Story Ever

    I thought this Onion piece was a little "off the wall" myself. As far as the Christian perspective goes, one of the fundamental tenets of Christianity is the santity of life. And that the best way to sanctify life is to immortalize it. I have never seen any incompatibility between Christianinty and the fight against ageing and death. In fact, Christians ought to be on the forefront in the fight against ageing and death. Those of us who are Christians should make this explicitly clear to those of us who are not Christians. That way, we see that we are really all on the same side and can work together for a positive, open-ended future.

  7. RobVirkus Says:

    Re:Not going to be a real News Story Ever

    Yes. Christian's led the hospital movement in the nineteenth century to ease pain and suffering and to extend life. Years ago I started asking myself about new technologies and the potential indefinite extension of lifespan. I can find no moral or theological reason to be against that goal. Even if I choose not to extend my own life (believing in a better life to come), I will not oppose the right of another to do so. But I believe this will be one of the major theological debates of the new century.

  8. Iron Sun Says:

    Creationism

    Scarily enough, the Second Law is often cited by Creation Scientists as proof that Darwin was wrong. That is, if evolution is viewed as an increase in order, and the Second Law states entropy must always increase, then evolution runs counter to the Second Law. QED.

  9. kurt Says:

    Re:Not going to be a real News Story Ever

    That's my point. I think that most of the hostility that Christianity receives from transhumanists such as myself is because the Christian world-view is not unequivically in favor of anti-ageing and the atainment of indifinitely long life-spans. If the major christian leaders were to come out in favor of life-extension technology, I am quite certain that a lot of the hostility that you experience from people like myself will evaporate immediately. At least you won't get any static from me.

  10. kurt Says:

    Re:Not going to be a real News Story Ever

    I, personally, do not believe in any religion (I think I am too "post-human" for it) but I have no problem with it, as long as it does not try to interfere with my life, dreams, and goals. Most of my friends are of various belief systems, such as Bhuddist, Muslim, and Sihk. My wife is faintly Bhuddist. However, you do have to admit that Christianity (and Islam) has a certain "stridency" to it (even though you may not share it), that Bhuddism, Hinduism, and Zen, for example, do not,It is this "stridency" that I believe is the basis of much of the hostility that you may encounter from people such as myself. Perhaps the true answer is in the expression "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations".

  11. RobVirkus Says:

    Re:Not going to be a real News Story Ever

    Since life extension has not reached a practical reality yet, Christians in general have not reached the level of awareness of what may come, just as the public has not yet also. However if you look at what positions Christians take now on medical research, it is usually in favor of extending life and opposed to ending it. My prediction is that most Christians will support your right to use technology to extend your life even as they debate the soul with you. The point of strong debate will be that no matter how long one lives in the body, one still needs God. Personally, if you gave me the ability to live without aging I may take it because it does not affect my world view at all. I can just glorify God longer and enjoy this world more until He brings about my death. On a philosophical level Transhumanism and Christianity are at odds. On a practical level they need not be.

  12. brian_dunbar Says:

    Re:Not going to be a real News Story Ever

    However, you do have to admit that Christianity (and Islam) has a certain "stridency"

    Stridency. With respect – I think that you may be making the not-uncommon mistake of viewing certain over-aggressive Christian sects as representative of the whole. On the contrary, Christianity is a very large tent, and contains many differing points of view. For myself, I don't view my piece of the tent as particularly strident but rather more, um, languid and scholarly.

    Those hard shell Baptists down the road, now *they're* strident!
    Brian

  13. kurt Says:

    Transhumanism and christianity

    Why do you believe that transhumanism and christianity are incompatible with each other. Is not "The Physics of immortality", by Frank Tipler, a convergence of religion and transhumanism. I consider it such.

  14. RobVirkus Says:

    Re:Transhumanism and christianity

    A Christian gives complete allegence to and draws all strength from God in all realms of life. Transhumanists, as I understand it, are people who look within themselves and seek to control their own destinies. Transhumanism seeks the benefits of what Christianity promises (eternal life, peace and meaning) without the accountability of a relationship with God. Transhumanists in essence seek to become their own gods acccountable only to themselves and each other.

  15. kurt Says:

    Re:Transhumanism and christianity

    It sounds like the difference between Christianity and Transhumanism is analagous to the difference between forking for the corporation and being self-employed.

  16. kurt Says:

    Re:AIDS doesn't exist either …

    The Berkeley doctor who thinks that AIDS is caused by life-style choices rather than by HIV does have a point. His argument is that a "bad" life-style (drug abuse, unsafe sex with lots of partners, etc) damages the immune system to the point that it eventually shuts down, causing the condition known as AIDS. However, even if this is true, safe life-style practices are still neccessary to avoid "getting AIDS", and that is precisely what this woman seems to be ignoring. I'm sure that her and people like will do lots of damage over the coming years. Oh well! Think of it as evolution in action! Or nature's way of saying "don't touch"!

  17. RobVirkus Says:

    Re:Transhumanism and christianity

    If I thought God were not real I might become a Transhumanist. Since I am convinced God is real I must be a Christian or I deny the fundamental reality of existence. This is how I am true to myself. A related thought I have had for some time is the similarity to the Christian hope for Resurrection vs. the Cryonicist hope for eventual restoration. Both take a measure of faith. Both involve thinking through "what do I think will really happen?" Both are perceived by their adherents as the only hope to achieve their end. Both hold that there is evidence to support their position. The Christian looks to Jesus' resurrection and the Cryonicist looks to the development of Molecular Nanotechnology and other advanced medical technologies. Speaking only for myself, I would say the Christian should have no issue with extending present life but it would be contradictory to also look to cryonics.

  18. WillDye Says:

    Re:Transhumanism and christianity

    Rob writes:

    The Christian looks to Jesus' resurrection and the Cryonicist looks to the development of Molecular Nanotechnology and other advanced medical technologies. Speaking only for myself, I would say the Christian should have no issue with extending present life but it would be contradictory to also look to cryonics.

    I apologize for continuing an off-topic thread, but I can't bear letting this go unchallenged. I'll try to be brief for once — honest!

    Please , Rob, back up and think about what you're saying. Certainly there are those who treat religion as some sort of acquisition — something to give them a sense of peace, or reassurrance, or whatever. The same thing goes for people who claim they turn to "rationality" or "science"; but really it's just because technology benefits them right now. When someone has that mindset, it's no surprise that they'll dump religion (or whatever) as soon as something comes along that seems to offer a better product at a lower mental price. Religion as a social fabric can be replaced with other stuctures. Religion as a source of "inner peace" can be replaced with really good post-singularity drugs, religion as a source of "avoiding death" can appear to be replaced with advancing medical technology. Science as a way to understand the universe just isn't worth the effort when the fantasy world feels soooo niiiice, you never have to come out any more, and "reality" is just another channel. Better benefits, better price.

    This does not, however, mean that the chosen "substitute" for a religion is fundamentally incompatable with that religion. If someone concludes that they don't "need" Jesus anymore becuase they have cryonics (or evolution, or whatever), the problem isn't with cryonics. The problem is with their perception of Jesus. That statement may seem padantic, but when we reject cryonics in general just because people believe it gives them all that religion has to offer, then we make the mistake of trying to find a truth merely by disagreeing with a falsehood. The counterpoint to a fallacy is almost always just another fallacy.

    For the sake of brevity, please endure the ugly tactic of arguing from authority. I'm unapologetically a "Fundie" — one of those "bad Christians down the road". I've thought this over very carefully for a very long time. I'm currently engaged in a through-the-Bible study of the word "soul", primarly for the purpose of helping to discuss issues like cryonics, uploading, true machine intelligence, and other singularity-related issues with my fellow fanatics. I'm 100% convinced that cryonics is something that Christians should be actively promoting. (Yes, yes, i know; it's still an ugly tactic. Gimmie a break, I'm up to paragraph four already, and I said I'd try to be brief.)

    Please, please, please, Rob; reconsider what you've said. Cryonics has gotten a name for itself among those who seek a false "immortality", but at it's still just a technology. Soon enough this sort of thing will just plain work (if it isn't already), and be accepted just as the public eventually accepted airplanes and organ transplants. It isn't going to be a good witness to non-believers if Christians are the last people to be dragged kicking and screaming into accepting this life-saving technology. It's going to look even worse if someone foolishly implies that if cryonics works, then it proves that the Bible must be wrong about people having a "soul". More importantly, think of the lives that are lost, that could have been saved. Perhaps most importantly of all, it's just plain a truth about the universe and how it works. We should hungrily pursue and understand those truths.

    OK, OK, I admit I have about 1000 other digressions in my head now, each pleading for release. I'm also fighting hard to not go back and re-write what I've clumsily hacked out so far. But I talked about religion and the singularity, and managed to shut up after only a few paragraphs! Progress!!

    Rob, if you still feel the itch to publicly imply that Christianity and cryonics are incompatable, feel free to call me or something. I'll be glad to talk about it. Christianity and cryonics work together just fine. There are some deeper issues involving the the consequenses and side-effects, but that's a whole 'nother topic that I'm trying hard to not to go into right now.

    …must…shut…up…now…must…resist…another…digression…

    Pant. Gasp. OK. OK. I can do this. It's just a "Submit" button, willdye. You can do this…. No, you don't need to spell-check. Just take a deep breath…

  19. RobVirkus Says:

    Re:Transhumanism and christianity

    I disagree that this is really out of place in this forum. But if you like you may continue an email discussion privately or on sci.nanotech. I see your points. I was discussing the motivation of people on two opposite ends of the spectrum for comparative purposes. Frankly, I would be very surprised if cryonics worked but it would only imply that real death is a more complex process. I would hold that anyone revived from cryonic suspension had not really died in the spiritual sense. My concern from the Christian view is what is the motivation of a person seeking cryonics. If it's merely a technical medical life extension goal with no implied spiritual implications that's one view. If a Christian person is "hedging their bets" against the possibility that Jesus is not real, I would be very concerned. Feel free to email me to continue discussing this.

  20. waynerad Says:

    Re:Transhumanism and christianity

    I'm really surprised to see any Christians on this forum. I was one for 13 years and had to give it up because the evidence for evolution was overwhelming.

    Rather than stir up a never ending religious debate, let me just point you to two webpages. One is a anti-christian piece written by a well-known extropist, Max More, at http://www.lucifer.com/lucifer.html. The other is written by me and contains a lot of my soul-searchings on the topic: http://www.waynerad.com/life.

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