B.S.

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Pete Biro » 01/30/03 10:23 AM

Stay tooned.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/30/03 11:44 AM

Thanks, Pete. That's a very good article. However, I did fall over laughing when I read the following: "Penn provides the warm but wacky voice..."

Warm???

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

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Postby Pete Biro » 01/30/03 02:56 PM

I thought that line was pretty funny myself. Oh well...

Love to see :p :p Penn vs. Bill O'Reilly!!!!
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Postby Geno Munari » 01/30/03 05:45 PM

Check out this column today from Las Vegas Review Journal called "NORM"

http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/ ... 86619.html
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Postby Terry » 01/31/03 05:58 AM

P&T should also do a show exposing the theory of evolution and the "big bang" as nothing more than theories. But theories, if repeated often enough, get accepted as fact.

Hold the phone....exposing those theories as unproven guesses would shatter their belief system. Tsk tsk......
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Postby Bob Coyne » 01/31/03 07:56 AM

Terry Terrell characterizes scientific theories like evolution and the big bang as mere "guesses" that mindlessly get accepted as fact. This misses the point that huge masses of evidence support scientific theories. A "guess" is by definition something for which there is no evidence, and at best a hunch.
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Postby Guest » 01/31/03 08:25 AM

Actually "Huge masses of evidence" would point to something called a "fact," but I understand the umbrage and irritation at the fact that it takes just as much faith to believe in either side--science is not in the business of finding anything smarter than scientists--so a galactic burp without an esophagus is as good an explanation as any.

I'd like them to take this repulsive and oft-bantied statistic about how we "cut down an acre of rainforest a second and do something with that. If this were really true, then the space shuttle astronauts should be able to film what looks like a time-lapse erosion film in real time. It sounds good in the micro, but I'd like to see Discovery Channel, Earth First, or Sesame Street get away with:

We cut down 2,419,200 acres of rainforest a month.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 01/31/03 08:43 AM

I think Richard should not only require real names but also some minimum IQ score for access to this forum.
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Postby Guest » 01/31/03 09:36 AM

And to think I actually read (and liked) your magazine. Very witty.
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Postby Terry » 01/31/03 10:17 AM

This misses the point that huge masses of evidence support scientific theories. A "guess" is by definition something for which there is no evidence, and at best a hunch.
From Websters New World Dictionary, Second College Edition:

Theory - 1. a speculative idea or plan as to how something might be done. 2. popularly, a mere conjecture, or guess.

Fact - 1. a thing that has actually happened or that is really true; thing that has been or is. 2. the state of things as they are; reality; actuality; truth.

Theory of evolution & "big bang" would fall under the definition of theory and not fact since scientists cannot prove the first and reproduce the second. Once absolute proof can be provided, then these two examples would move from conjecture to fact.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 01/31/03 10:47 AM

I think you are playing too fast and loose with the term "theory." Basically evolution and the big bang are our current scientific understanding of those subjects based on observable facts (old bones, galaxies rushing away from each other, etc.) and like any scientific understanding are subject to revision should contradictory facts crop up or to more precision and increased understanding as supportive facts crop up. Neither are dead subjects and are currently subjects of much research. But the facts continue to support the pictures that we have and neither area would qualify as something that Penn should discredit as an unsupported "guess."

This has probably been thought of before, but people who argue against evolution are probably their own best argument that we haven't evolved all that far.
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Postby Bob Coyne » 01/31/03 11:03 AM

Exactly right. "Theory" like any other word has many senses. Yes, in one sense of the term, it is just a guess or hunch as in "I have a theory that <insert your own speculation here>". On the other end of the spectrum are things like "Number Theory" which are mathematical fields of study of which we can be as certain as any empirical facts. The bottom line is that both evolution and cosmological theories like the big bang have a mass of evidence behind them and not "mere conjectures".
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Postby Pete McCabe » 01/31/03 11:10 AM

John Smetana:

I don't wish to criticize you but I think you should go back and delete the article you posted from the Times. This is copyrighted material and I do not believe this constitutes Fair Use. A link to the online article, (if this is available) would suffice. If not, you can always provide the relevant reference (date it appeared, what page, etc.). Include a brief quote if you wish, to give people an idea of why they might want to seek out the original.

The Genii Forum promotes respect for the creations of magicians. We owe no less to non-magicians.

Sincerely,

Pete
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Postby Lance Pierce » 01/31/03 11:23 AM

Originally posted by Ron Giesecke:
I'd like them to take this repulsive and oft-bantied statistic about how we "cut down an acre of rainforest a second and do something with that. If this were really true, then the space shuttle astronauts should be able to film what looks like a time-lapse erosion film in real time. It sounds good in the micro, but I'd like to see Discovery Channel, Earth First, or Sesame Street get away with:

We cut down 2,419,200 acres of rainforest a month.
Since we're already way off topic, I feel a little safe in quickly throwing this in:

The actual statistic has to do with the number of acres of rainforest that are destroyed, not cut down. Rainforests are as often burned as cut, and they're also receding due to the encroachment of industrialization on their boundaries.

Also, the statistic is worldwide. Approximately the equivalent of two U.S. football fields of rainforest is lost each second worldwide, but not all in the same location, although the Brazilian and Amazon rainforests are being the hardest hit. Out of the approximately 1.5 billion acres that exist today (as opposed to the more than 2.7 billion acres that existed in 1950), two football fields a second doesn't seem like much (although it's enough, when combined with acceleration due to population growth, to destroy all the rainforests in about 30 years).

And the statistic is also an average. We don't literally have two football fields disappearing each second. There are periods of downtime during stormy and wet seasons when no clear-cutting or burning can occur. It's made up for during good weather.

As for views from outer space, yes, the burning fires, of which there are several thousand a day, can be seen and photographed from orbit, particularly at night. NASA, however, a government agency that has the charter of exploring space and a policy of NOT becoming involved in cultural or political hotbed issues, doesn't make a big deal of promoting them.

Cheers,

Lance

p.s. As a reciprocal effect, the amount of land mass that is classified as "desert" is growing by 27,000 square miles per year.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/31/03 06:03 PM

Okay: I've had enough of this crap. The Genii Forum exists to discuss things concerning magic. It is not a place to discuss politics, religion, economics, science, or anything else along these lines unless they SPECIFICALLY relate to magic. And I don't care if Penn & Teller deal with these things on their new TV show.
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