book reviews and other stories

I just finished reading two interesting books.

Micheal Martins, Atheism a Philosophical Justification which is a good book in many respects. In it he looks at the common arguments for the existence of god and how they fail. He looks also at the problem of evil and the responses that have been proposed by theists and find them inadequate. In his conclusion he says belief in god, given the evidence, is irrational and I agree with him.

The next book is by Sophocles, The Oedipus Rex where Oedipus is guilty of killing his father and siring children with his mother. Though such a story is abhorrent to most of us, I think Oedipus is guilty of a single offence, that of manslaughter. I don’t see how he could have know Laius was his father.

Creon who takes over after him is a mean man and suffers at the end for his unreasonableness. I have no sympathy for him.

The pope has put the Catholics in a difficult spot with his latest pronouncements about animals going to heaven. One must ask of the theologians, given that one of the defenses for the problem of evil is that this is a soul making place, in what way are the souls of animals made? They should also tell us how and when they get souls. Now is the time to ask the Katlicks to tell us how many angels can dance on top of a pin.

Advertisements

Searching for Hydri

Searching for Hydri

N.B: For a related note, see Waiting for Hydri

 

Captain’s log: 17th Megan, Cosmic Year 208GX

 

Cosmic position: Upper Lagrangian Point (L3), assumed after sling-shorting from L5 in the Terra-Helios architecture. From L3, planet earth is neatly eclipsed by the Solar.

 

Space Vessel: Dreadnought, class 4.5, with an M.D.C. hull armor rating of 12. Space vessel christened “Discovery”.

 

Mission Payload: 6 Persons, 435 Terra-KGs (TKGs) in Mass, and a bionic atmosphere of 645 TKGs.

 

Mission Objective: Ascertaining, once and for all, the existence, or non-existence, of a presence, an entity – (a being?) – commonly referred to as Hydri.

 

Mission Profile: Tracking down, analyzing, and documenting any and each single instance of electromagnetic interference, in the cosmic, gamma, x, visible, infra and microwave factions, that lie outside standard expectations for the heliosphere. Magnetic fields and particle flux from the Solar and periodic comets lie within the standard formulation.

 

Mission rationale: Hydri is hypothesized to be an invisible, intangible being, but who nevertheless affects the physical universe in profound, empirical ways. Any being that can accomplish this, even when lacking personal substance, would necessarily employ physical forces that can, in turn, be empirically observed, and documented. Hence even if Hydri lurks in a higher dimension, Hydri’s interaction with the physical universe should be scientifically irrefutable.

 

Captain’s log: Entry #1376 – (1500 Sidereal Hrs, synched to the vernal equinox)

 

Transcription for main bridge commands between the captain and Discovery’s neural nodes, recorded verbatim:

 

Captain: Routine system check up, Discovery. Report.

 

Discovery: ROUTINE SYSTEM CHECK-UP COMPLETED. ALL SYSTEMS NOMINAL.

 

Captain: Recheck Visual Train. Set priority at level 4.

 

Discovery: VISUAL TRAIN RECHECKED AT PRIORITY 4. ACUITY SET TO MAXIMUM. ALL SYSTEMS NOMINAL.

 

Captain: Initiate new directive. Code-name new directive “Project Hydri”.

 

Discovery: NEW DIRECTIVE INITIATED, CODE-NAMED “PROJECT HYDRI”.

 

Captain: Log in all electromagnetic interference sourced in the spatial cone circumscribed by Discovery, Constellation Lyra, and Alpha Centauri.

 

Discovery: COMMANDS UNDERSTOOD. EMI IN INERTIAL CONE HASH 325.9 INTERCEPTED, TABLED OUT AND DOCUMENTED.

 

Captain: Report on any EMI lying outside standard expectations for Inertial Cone Hash 325.9. Accommodate nominal magnetic and particle flux from known celestial entities.

 

Discovery: COMMANDS UNDERSTOOD. EMI DATA REFILTERED. NO EMI LYING OUTSIDE STANDARD EXPECTATIONS DETECTED.

 

Captain: Roger that, Discovery. Thank you.

 

Captain’s log: Entry #1377 – (1545 Sidereal Hrs, synched to the vernal equinox):

 

Discovery’s data verified as irrefutable by all persons on-bridge: no empirical evidence for Hydri detected. Directive code-named “Project Hydri” concluded.