29 May, 2014

Miracles: I'm sorry, we Christians aren't the only ones who believe in them...

Aside from the claims of the problem of evil in the world (which I indeed ace in arguments), probably the number 2 stumbling block to the faith, bar none, has to be the problem of the often far-fetched beliefs we Christians have. "Really? The dead can come to life?" they often ask. And they do indeed have some good points... but let's face it? Who's asking the question? People who often believe things that, if true, would be hundreds, thousands, even millions of times more miraculous than things like the resurrection of Jesus and/or Exodus, bar none.

Take Darwinism, for example. Christianity and Darwinism do indeed have a lot in common, do they not? Both cases involve belief that somehow, in one way or another, dead matter ― that is, mere chemicals ― can somehow come together to become complex and eventually come to life. Likewise, the order (but NOT the duration) of Darwinian events ― the Big Bang (Genesis 1:3), the formation of the skies and oceans (Genesis 1:6), the formation of continents (Genesis 1:9), the formation of plant life to remove CO2 from the atmosphere (Genesis 1:11), the rise of sea life in the form of the Cambrian Explosion (Genesis 1:20a), the rise of proto-birds and dinosaurs (Genesis 1:20b), the rise of mammals (Genesis 1:24), and, finally, the rise of mankind (Genesis 1:26) ― is indeed echoed to a good 99.9% accuracy in the Bible. Really, the only, I repeat ONLY, difference between Christianity and Darwinism is that we Christians believe in a catalyst FOR these events, and that's God. Darwinists don't.

Right there, we hit a snag: Belief that dead matter (and, by extension, the dead) can come to life on its own, without a catalyst, without a creator, is belief in something millions of times more miraculous than belief that there is a God who CAN make that happen, and who CAN make the conditions favorable for it to happen. We Christians know that blind Darwinism ― without any catalyst (like a God) to somehow keep it in check ― is statistically, logically, and mathematically impossible. The odds of all that dead matter ― all those mere chemicals ― becoming life, if there is no God, are odds that are not only mind-boggling but computer-boggling, supercomputer-boggling, data-center-boggling, GPGPU-boggling, and boggling to just about any intelligence ― natural and artificial ― that we human beings can possibly conjure up. Odds that only make sense at all ― really ― if there's a God to manipulate those odds and spin them to our benefit. Without a God, there's obviously a near-perfect chance Earth would still have that same dead matter today as it did billions of years ago.

Yeah, it is indeed a miracle that this Earth is in such a perfect Goldilocks environment for life to form, there's no doubt... Scientists have indeed been looking for other Earth-like planets, and they've indeed found ones thought to have Earth-like Goldilocks orbits around other stars... ah, only to find them to move out of their Goldilocks orbits and either toward or away from their suns in elliptical fashions. Which, right there, puts Earth in a category of its own: Earth's orbit, compared to these others, is so close to being circular, there's almost no contest... Whether at aphelion or at perihelion, Earth is still within that perfect habitable zone, which it has to be for life to form. This, of course, just made the odds of finding extrasolar life that much slimmer, because all the exoplanets they've ever found that orbit in Goldilocks zones have orbits far more elliptical than Earth's, making the temperatures fluctuate too dangerously to be stable enough for life to form. Without a God, there's a good chance Earth's orbit would be just as elliptical ― and, thus, too climatically unstable for life to exist ― as theirs.

The proton-proton chain odds prove a similarly perfect-balance type scenario: The Sun's matter-to-energy conversion rate (thanks to the proton-proton chain) is at a perfect 0.7%, and with good reason: Decrease that figure by a tenth of a percent, to 0.6%, and plug it into computer models, and you get a grim picture: even if the atoms fused at first, the energy needed to sustain the reaction wouldn't exist, and thus, the fusion reaction would be very short-lived and, thus, unable to sustain itself. On the contrary, increase it to 0.8%, and the fusion reaction gives off enough of the matter as energy to render stellar and/or supernova nucleosynthesis impossible, and, by extension, render hydrogen the only matter that could exist in such a scenario. Without a God, this degree of perfection needed to make the universe fit for our existence ― let alone survival ― would indeed be statistically impossible.

All across the board, scientists are finding these statistically impossible scenarios, yet they continue to ignore them. It's as if they're saying "Oh, I know the odds of us not existing without a God are nearly 100%, but I don't believe in God anyway". Ah, and that's precisely why I can be a geek and yet a believer at the same time: because as a Christian, I actually have a logical, philosophical explanation for these odds, and of one who's able to spin those odds to our benefit. If only the world would just see that...

12 May, 2014

Shroud of Turin: Why the 8.1-8.2 quake described in Matthew 28:2 could have easily created the image

The claims that earthquakes can fission iron into aluminum and create neutrons in the process is a truly outlandish one, I agree. Especially when you consider that most quakes don't do that, and we haven't really seen evidence from modern quakes that suggest that kind of piezonuclear fissioning occurring... but remember, not all major quakes are created equal, either. There's several factors here that all come together to play a part, and most modern quakes are really set apart from this one due to their location and frequency. Some of those factors — availability of iron to fission, potential for supershear, proximity to the fault in question, and underground encavement — are all factors that can determine how much pressure a quake exerts on rocks.

Let's start with the obvious:

Iron: Abundant in deserts, scarce in oceans


The majority of earthquakes over magnitude 8 — including the ones capable of sending tsunamis across entire oceans — are what are called megathrust quakes, which occur on subduction zones, where one tectonic place subducts, or slides under, another. Right there, we have a stumbling block to the stresses sufficient to cause piezonuclear neutron generation: subduction zones are incapable of forming on land. When a continent slams into another continent, you don't get a subduction zone, you get a Himalayan-style super-high fold mountain chain, and that's because continental crust is far thicker than oceanic crust. Iron, as we all know, is easily oxidized to water-soluble iron oxide — which is used to make paints and pigments, among other things — and when that iron oxide then gets dissolved into the ocean (which is salt water, and salt water, as we've seen when steel-bodied cars get rusted very quickly on salted roads, oxidizes iron far more quickly than fresh water does), it ends up being in the ocean, not in the megathrust anymore. Moreover, the only other dry place in the world that's quake-prone — the Mojave Desert — is rich in aluminum, not iron, and of course, given the explanation as to why that can happen given by the Italian scientists who made the rock-crushing piezonuclear discovery, that's exactly what you'd expect from a quake-prone area: aluminum-rich, NOT iron-rich, land. In the ancient Near East, the land was (and still is) far richer in iron, which is exactly why it became a hotbed for the development of Iron Age civilization.

Boom! Supershear shockwaves through the ancient Israeli crust


Caltech professor Ares Rosakis made quite an alarming discovery about strike-slip quakes along the lines of San Andreas and Dead Sea Transform ones that is also something to consider here: they are capable of rupturing faster than shear waves can travel, resulting in a seismic Mach cone effect — a literal sonic boom analog in solid rock. The San Andreas Fault near San Francisco is of course believed to have the real capability of performing such a feat, but further south, uh, not so much. Some of the first signs of damage that suggested supershear quakes were real — buildings literally falling on each other like dominoes — occurred in the event in Turkey in 1999, and subsequent discoveries suggested that strike-slip faults, as Mode II cracks, are more likely to cause tremendous stresses needed for supershear propagation than Mode III faults like thrust faults and subduction zones. Also, while the San Andreas Fault slips very frequently in small sections, the Dead Sea Transform normally only has small quakes... ah, but M8+ quakes do happen on it, just very infrequently — I'm talking once every 2000-2500 years — and by building up all that stress only to let it go all at once in such long intervals like that (very much like Cascadia — go figure), the distance it slips can easily, easily result in rupture of supershear fashion. That supershear Mach cone can therefore easily, easily exert enough pressure to fission large amounts of iron into aluminum very quickly as it passes through the area. It's also powerful enough to cause the damage mentioned in scripture... damage like, oh, I don't know, jerking a 2-ton sealed stone out of position! Oh, yeah, and there's also damage in Petra, Jordan — such as rock columns knocked over like dominoes, analogous to the 1999 Izmit damage to buildings — that serves as even more evidence suggesting a supershear event.

The closer to the fault you are, the more you feel it


If the Dead Sea, which the DST lay right under, is any guide, Jerusalem lay within 10 miles of ground zero in terms of a supershear quake like this. The shaking, as a result, would have been terrifyingly violent to say the least... and where the most stress — and, thus, piezonuclear action — occurs, is where you're closest to the unzipping fault. Moreover, if authentic (which this explanation surely would make it so), the Shroud of Turin would be the the closest piece of organic — and, by extension, carbon-datable — material to the fault at that time. What that results in, naturally, is a discrepancy between organic and inorganic materials, not to mention proximity to the fault, that could easily account for the discrepancy between the 14C readings of organic materials far away from the fault and ones close to it.

The one place you do NOT want to be during a supershear quake: underground


Here's probably the most significant factor, which can easily explain why some objects could have gotten hit with more neutrons than others: Almost all the people who weren't dead (and alive again) would have been in buildings, above the ground. Where, of course, the neutrons, being slow ones, would have penetrated carpet, concrete foundation slabs, and maybe low wooden structures... but certainly not entire structures, and moreover, these buildings, being mostly Roman, would have been made of concrete (remember, that's what the Pantheon and Colosseum are made of). Roman concrete, being made of mostly volcanic ash, is notoriously iron-poor, and for that reason, it too would have had a hard time fissioning and producing neutrons. In contrast, Roman tombs — including the ones Jesus was, according to Scriptures, buried in — were literally artificial caves, carved into the ground, into the very iron-rich rock that would have fissioned. For that reason, the neutrons inside a tomb would have been bombarding anything inside it from not just the floor, not just the sepulcher, not just the ceiling, but from all directions. Easily, easily could have introduced a deluge of foreign carbon-14, of course, and most importantly, high levels of radioactive isotopes would have been created by the neutrons in not just the cloth, but also the body. Given that all the products of neutron capture in the body as a result of the bombardment ― mostly carbon-14, carbon-15, and (especially) phosphorus-32 ― are all beta-minus emitters, this, of course, brings the whole topic right to this 2-year-old particle decay physics hypothesis of mine (note the annotated portion):


If those neutrons, on their way to the body, suddenly get bombarded by outgoing beta-minus particles (electrons, let's not forget) and get converted to antiprotons on their way to the body as this hypothesis based on the current pattern of decay in the quantum world seems to suggest, their annihilation with the body's protons could easily result in the release of enough energy to cause a literal "Big Bang 2" as physicist Isabel Piczek's determination seems to suggest, which, depending on how it's confined and/or shaped by the topography and/or divine intervention, could then go on to re-coalesce as the resurrected body ― or, in other words, the resurrection itself. I've been searching for an opportunity to test this theory in a particle accelerator for a long time, but given that this event could have actually been real-world manifestation of it, I may not have to.

10 May, 2014

Oracle v. Google: The Unconstitutional, Ex Post Facto IP Lawsuit

The 4-year-long legal battle between Oracle and Google is once again rearing it's ugly head... this time, in the incredibly biased Federal Circuit court, where Oracle appealed to after losing to Google (rightfully) the first time. Now Oracle thinks they've won. I'm sorry, there's obviously more to the story, because Android is sure older than Oracle's purchase of Sun, to say the least.

That was in 2010. When did Google start developing Android? Well, let's see, Andy Rubin & Co. started working outside Google in 2003, then Android gets purchased in 2005, then in 2007, AOSP is made public for the first time, then in 2008, finally, the first Android phone is released. Those events ALL predate Oracle's purchase.

So, with that in mind, Google sure didn't copy Oracle's code, did they? No, they copied Sun's. Which, of course, was ALL open source until Oracle came along and pulled their shenanigans on the open source community with this demon of a purchase. Corporate mergers aside, for SEVEN LONG YEARS, Sun never raised a finger in court. Not until Oracle came and bought them.

According to Article 1, Section 9, of the United States Constitution, "No bill of attainder or ex post facto law should be passed." Right there, retroactively suing someone after seven years of free will, of perfect harmony and cooperation between parties, is exactly what Oracle is doing. Yeah, let's see what the Supreme Court has to say about this, shall we?

Given that copyright and patent infringement are both crimes that Oracle is retroactively accusing Google of, the Cadre v. Bull decision shouldn't apply here either, because again, they have a basis in criminal law, which is why music, video, and software "pirates" are manhunted and sent to jail so often by police and media outlets. This is no different than that... So yeah, let's all make sure the Supreme Court hears our cries (and this case), because the ex post facto clause is exactly what gave Google the initial victory in the first place.

04 May, 2014

"Project Hera": Wish List: Just Call It "Chrome Cordova OS"

On April 6, 2014, rumors surfaced of one of the most dramatic changes to Android to date. Simply put: it would be to Chrome OS what ICS was to Honeycomb, completely dropping Java apps for HTML5 ones and making use of HTML5 to develop Android apps far more seamless than before. Subsequently, on April 9, that rumor was confirmed by an insider's throw-away account on Reddit. Being a long-time analyzer of how Google's OS management ticks, however, I knew this would happen.

Let's be clear: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, games like Angry Birds and first-person shooters, and countless other big-ticket Android apps have something in common: they ALL are written in either A, HTML5 (in the case of the less-performance-demanding ones), via PhoneGap (and by extension Apache Cordova), to allow seamless rendering of Web content in a mobile fashion, such that they don't have to worry about converting Web UI elements into native ones and back again when moving content from client to server, or B, the NDK (and by extension C/C++), to mitigate performance issues. So, the only third-party (non-Google) Android apps that still use Java -- really -- are old ones for old devices. Add on top of that Java's infamous lack of security that has been a boon for Android malware writers, not to mention Oracle's patent-trolling over Java, and you can see where this is going. Yeah, Java should indeed be phased out on my watch.

The first clue that something along the lines of Hera was in the works actually came in December 2013. Google, knowing how powerful Chrome's packaged app APIs really were, decided to release a series of Apache Cordova plugins that serve as Chrome app API wrappers for easy development of mobile and desktop apps that use the same code... and I knew that was the beginning of a merge. Sundar Pichai, let's not forget, is notorious for his cloud computing expertise... that's precisely why he was able to bring Chrome OS from just a browser with a keyboard into something as awesome as it now is, with Aura, Ash, and all the glory of a desktop OS it simply did not have at the beginning. Now, he's trying to do the same with Android. Which, of course, he indeed took over the management of after Andy Rubin decided to work on some REAL robotics projects that the Google X lab had up its sleeve instead.

What kind of changes does this suggest? Simply put: Now that the basic Chrome Cordova framework is out there, Google is able to use it, along with other powerful HTML5 APIs like WebGL, to completely rewrite Android in HTML5 down to the core framework and launcher levels. Of course, things like the kernel should still remain native, the way they always have been... but anything Java (especially with XML in there, which Android is also notorious for using) is ridiculously easy to rewrite in HTML5+JS (which is NOT the same as Java, mind you) and thus improve consistency between native-like and Web apps. This in turn would make it just as easy for Google to push content from the server to the client and back as it is for Facebook, Twitter, and the like, which should put Android's head closer to the cloud than ever.

This model would also be a boon for Android developers, especially those with Chromebooks, let's not forget... Why, you ask? Because with Hera out, Chrome OS users wouldn't need to get Crouton up and running to develop Android apps. Porting Android's entire user interface to Cordova would allow an Android emulator to run just like a Chrome app, in a browser window... oh, yeah, the same way the iOS emulator is able to run on a Mac: seamlessly. Instead of being VMWare-like, the emulator could just be Crouton-like, and that would eliminate all the performance headaches involved with Android development. Moreover, using the Chrome app APIs, developers can already target a wide range of platforms -- Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Chrome OS -- using the same code, the same developer tools, and the same APIs. Hera should make it just as easy for Chromebook users to add Android to the mix, which right now, as the Chrome Cordova documentation mentions, isn't so easy. Simply put: with Hera, it should be just as easy for Chromebook users to develop Android apps as it is for Mac users to develop iOS apps.

Alright, that's the end of my wish list, which based on the rumor mill is probably an accurate one... and if it does come true, sign me up! Got the code, the developer tools, the Google Play/CWS dev accounts... the only thing I'm missing is something other than a Chromebook to get the Android SDK and JDK (impossible to get onto a Chromebook without Crouton) on. Well, now that my wish list has ended... what's yours? Is this a good idea or not? The comments might be a good place to discuss this.