Absence Of Evidence Is Not Evidence Of Absence? 7

Evidence Of Absence?

Evidence Of Absence?

Several famous people have used this phrase in lots of situations. Recently, Neil deGrasse Tyson used it in the following way : “One of our mantras in science is that the absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.”  This outburst was in defense of a failure of his memory in quoting George W Bush. Tyson got it wrong and after some embarrassing back and forth, finally admitted his error.

In thinking about the meaning of the phrase I realized that the phrase can be nuanced to death. You could spin the phrase to mean pretty much anything.

So, how do you take the meaning?

  • Evidence is evidence, and if there is no evidence to support a theory, there is no evidence. You cannot say that the absence of evidence proves the theory is false. You can only speak of things in the language of uncertainty, i.e., the theory is likely false if there is no empirical evidence to the contrary.
  • If there is no elephant in the room, and if you don’t see any evidence there is an elephant in the room, this lack of evidence means there is no elephant in the room. So, a lack of evidence can be used as evidence of absence.
  • That there is no physical evidence of mental telepathy means that mental telepathy does not exist.
  • There is no evidence mental telepathy does not exist, therefore it exists. This is called an Argument from Ignorance.

Tyson said that the phrase was a scientific mantra. Why would he say that? Maybe his mantra is really, “Everything I say is correct and shame on you for questioning my veracity.”

Everything depends on evidence. In science evidence must be data indicating actual physical parameters. Evidence is measured, counted, photographed, etc.

Of course, there are the ever popular examples as follow:

  1. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, did it make a sound?
  2. If your wife talks to you during a football game, does this mean you are hard of hearing just because you didn’t hear her?

I am guilty of getting into some deep, unfamiliar waters here. This stuff probably comes under the heading of philosophy. I skillfully endeavored to not take philosophy in college. I was more interested in electrons and women, not necessarily in that order.

It is time to stop this article. I have a headache.

Deaths Could Have Been Prevented Reply

I went to bed last night having seen hour after hour of news coverage on the Garner killing in New York City, and more updates on the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. The similarities are striking, and neither was about race.

Both men were giants, and could handle an average man like a your mom swatting a fly. In the convenience store robbery of Michael Brown, we saw on the store video that he was indeed a giant. He swatted the store clerk like he was flicking a fly off his arm. That’s how big this guy was.

Michael Brown was high on marijuana and stole some packages of Swisher Sweets cheap mini-cigars. They don’t get  much cheaper than Swisher Sweets, and they are often one of the most popular smokes for teenagers, homeless people, and other bums. Maybe Michael Brown wanted something sweet in his mouth to assuage his humongous case of the munchies. Who knows why he did what what he did?

Enter the Eric Garner story. Here, too, is a story about tobacco and a giant of a man.

Eric Garner was involved in the crime of selling cigarettes single. He would buy a pack of cigs at a store, and stand outside that store selling the cigarettes one at a time. There’s a law against this in New York City originating from store owners who sell cigarettes by the package and carton.

So, how much did Eric Garner pay for a pack of cigarettes in New York City, and how much was he charging for each cigarette he sold?

Let’s ask Google and Wikipedia.

According to The Awl’s annual cigarette price check, for which they call delis in each state and ask how much a pack of cigarettes costs, New York clocks in with the most expensive, at more than $14 a pack.

The same package of cigarettes cost about $5.00 in North Carolina. See what the power of government is to tax and change the behavior of people?

Yes. Some changes need to be made in how police subdue people for minor crimes. Some people will always fight the police, and we need to know that they will not die for their bad decision.

The government needs to get out of peoples lives, like telling people what they can smoke, and trying to change behavior. There are always downsides to government policies. The death of Eric Garner is one of those.

Addendum: Take a look at this story in Time. http://time.com/3618279/eric-garner-chokehold-crime-staten-island-daniel-pantaleo/

The medical examiner ruled in August that Eric Garner’s cause of death was homicide. This does not mean murder. Homicide can be justified, and many are. However, it must be remembered that Garner was committing a trivial crime, and although there should have been some punishment for breaking the trivial law, he died. This should not have happened. Garner was fighting off the police while they were trying to bring him down, and a choke hold was used. The officer applying the choke hold killed Garner, but the grand jury looked at the evidence and decided to not indict the cop.

I honestly don’t know what all the evidence is, but I do know that a man should not die because of a street confrontation with the police. Period. The police need better ways to subdue a wild man, even if he weighs 360 pounds and has a record of multiple assaults. The guy was dangerous, but supposedly there are ways to handle this situation without people being killed.

Another EPA Dirty Secret: Agency’s hushed-up human experiments debunk ozone health claims 4

Bob:

EPA skulduggery. Nothing legitimate about the EPA’s claims.

Originally posted on JunkScience.com:

EPA has proposed to tighten its standards for ozone in outdoor air. However, ozone in outdoor air, especially at current levels, doesn’t hurt anyone and the EPA knows it… but EPA doesn’t want you to know it. Here is a short exposé based on EPA documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.

View original 278 more words

Tanks-Giving 4

Battle Of Kursk

Battle Of Kursk

Oh my goodness! Here I sit enjoying a full belly on a Thanksgiving evening, and what do you think I am watching?

There’s a relatively new cable entertainment channel called, The American Heroes Channel. Today, it is all about tank battles in World War II. The current show I am watching is about the Battle of Kursk. There have always been films, newsreels, and other presentations of World War II battles, but the one on the American Heroes Channel are from a newer genre.

The American Heroes Channel presentations are a mixture of actual films and newsreels, personal interviews with both German and Russian tank commanders, and modern day animation of weapons, tanks, artillery, and battle action similar to popular video games. The AHC makes very good presentations.

Picture of Russian T-34 tank

Soviet T-34 Battle Tank As Used In WWII

The Battle of Kursk lasted for days and days. Almost three million men were committed to this battle, with almost two million sent by the Soviets. There were hundreds of thousands of casualties. Thousands of tanks were destroyed. Thousands of guns were destroyed. It was an epic tank battle, few of its like have ever been seen.

picture of a Tiger Tank

German WWII Tiger Tank

The ferocity of the fighting was one of the hallmarks of the battle, with the Soviets under orders to never retreat. Even when losing, the Soviets never retreated. Horrible casualties were inflicted on the Russians, but they outnumbered the Germans almost two to one. It was this advantage that won the battle for the Soviet Union. The Russians were able to throw more people and tanks into the battle.

The T-34 Russian main battle tank was the primary Russian tank, with the Germans bringing in Tiger tanks and other panzers, many of which were superior in weaponry and armor to the Soviet tanks.

Even though it is entertaining to see these programs about wars past, understanding the hundreds of thousands of casualties makes it a gruesome thing.

Thank God those days are over, and let us pray we will never see world wars, ever again.

Note: All pictures from Wikipedia.

A Happy Thanksgiving Day To You, Too 2

Here it is. It’s another year and another Thanksgiving Day. A lot of people take holidays like this for granted, talking in terms like, “turkey day”, “t-day”, and just “the holidays”. This time of year, and the idea of a Thanksgiving is much deeper than that.

Thanksgiving has its beginnings so long ago that nobody knows just where it came from. For me it is a Biblical thing. For others it is just an ancient fall celebration for a bountiful harvest, and the promise of being able to survive the ensuing winter. Both viewpoints are closely intertwined.

The whole point is to express thanks for our bounty. To whom, or what, is this thanks to be directed? Logic and history tells us that the tradition began and continues as an expression of thanks to God, or for pagans, to whatever god they nominate. It also means that there have been times when harvests have not been bountiful, and the prospect of starvation was a very real thing. This is also a present day concern for many.

In addition to material blessings there is a lot more for which to be thankful. Health is the really big one. Without one’s health, life can be difficult, and for some, painful everyday. We are also thankful for the closeness and love of the people in our lives.

Thanksgiving goes much further than just saying thanks. It is also a time to help people who are not in a position to partake of the bounty. We have a responsibility to feed the poor, and to care for those who cannot take care of themselves.

I thank God for my family, my wonderful wife, my beautiful children, and my warm home.  Even though we lost our son eleven years ago, we are thankful for the twenty-one years we had with that wonderful person.

Today, Thanksgiving Day, be thankful for those things and people you have. God has given us so much, and has taken away the horror of impending starvation, punishment, and sorrow that other people around the world have to endure. It is our responsibility to share our blessings.

Welcome To Obama-Stan 4

picture of Barack Obama signing legislation

Maximum President With His Far Left Pen

I have been really lazy about blogging, lately. There’s a reason, and that is because just watching the television news gives me stomach acid, and blogging about those inanities gives me more acid. There’s just no way to express an opinion on current affairs without getting sick, or getting rid of your last meal.

Tomorrow night, our Maximum President will address the nation pimping his latest attempt at a legacy. This attempt will be in the form of an executive order protecting millions of illegal aliens from being deported, and will legalize their being in the United States. It is the closest thing to a general amnesty you could imagine.

Notice that all this is being done with an executive order, not legislated by the bicameral Congressional method mandated by the Constitution . So, we are now being faced with a problem. How do we treat a President that has gone out of his way to flaunt power that is not his, and has broken the law repeatedly?

Certainly, President Obama deserves to be impeached, or even arrested for defying the Constitution, and therefore, abandoning his Constitutional duty. Should Obama be jailed? That’s what we do to criminals, especially those whose actions adversely affect millions of people’s freedoms and pocketbooks.

We now live in a country that has gone from a democratic republic to a dictatorship in six short years. What are we to do? We can’t put the beast in jail, and we cannot impeach him. By the time an impeachment process makes its way through the House and Senate, Obama will be out of office.

Plus, no person in their right would want a drunkard like Joe Biden in the White House. That’s the main reason we will not impeach the Obama Beast.

 

A Song About My Wife 5

She Ain’t Got Ugly, Yet

When I was young and full of myself
I dated long and often
Then I met a girl who caught my eye
With her good looks and her cooking

She ain’t got ugly yet
No, She ain’t got ugly yet
Her momma was a looker and a real good cooker
And she ain’t got ugly yet

I made my pitch and we got hitched
With each other to live forever
She raised our kids and she’s still a looker
We have managed to stay together

She ain’t got ugly yet
O, She ain’t got ugly yet
She was the prettiest girl in Tennessee
And she ain’t got ugly yet

She don’t like football, booze, or cars
And she frowns on those who do
She kicks me around like an old hound dog
And her kids are afraid of her, too

O, She ain’t got ugly yet
No, she ain’t got ugly yet
She runs our family with an iron hand
And she ain’t got ugly, yet

We are getting old, and tired and slow
Folks see my deterioration
When they look at my woman they like what they see
And wonder how we got together

O, she ain’t got ugly yet
No, she ain’t got ugly yet
She’s tough as nails with a tender heart
And she ain’t got ugly yet.

We are on life’s downhill, all retired
Our lives we have lived together
We don’t care what we look like now
Our love continues forever

O, she ain’t got ugly yet
No, she ain’t got ugly yet
She started life as pretty as they come
And she ain’t got ugly yet

 

Note: This here song is copyrighted by me and if any of you folks copy it or parts of it I will find out and do terrible things. Just think, Law Suit.

Big Brother AT&T 18

Ya’ll aint going to believe this. It really happened this morning, and the folks at AT&T admit it. Here’s what happened.

I am a customer of AT&T Uverse TV, Internet, and home telephone. All my entertainment is delivered by AT&T, and they do a good job. AT&T is expensive, but after trying to deal with Charter Cable for year after year, I was glad to pay more for good TV, telephone, and Internet service. Plus, AT&T customer service is always friendly, and they follow-up.

This morning, I had arisen about 8:45, turned on the bedroom TV, and was in the process of choosing the day’s wardrobe. Since this is a Friday, and there was no grandchild care on my calendar, I was preparing to do some work around the house and yard. I chose the five year old, faded and slightly dirty, Wrangler jeans. Swooping them up from the floor, I also spied a rag of a shirt that was perfect for the activities planned.

That’s when the TV started making those Emergency Alert sounds. You know, the tones that sound like you have tuned into a fax machine. Along with the noise there was a red-bordered text box at the top of the screen that said something like:

“This is an emergency alert. Your television will be force-tuned to another channel for you to receive an emergency message. This action is being taken as requested by the White House. ASTGA02 (message number)…”

AT&T Uverse force-tuned my television from the Fox News Channel to the local NBC network affiliate channel and their morning news program.

To make matters worse, I could not change channels or look at the channel guide. AT&T had complete control over my television set, and they were supposedly being ordered to do so by the White House.

This had to be a really big emergency for such action, and I kept waiting for the emergency message. The message never appeared.

I power reset the TV, and it returned to the Fox News Channel for about sixty seconds, at which time the Emergency Alert Message and channel force-tuning was repeated. I did this three times with the same results. The same thing happened with my TV in the den.

When I spoke to AT&T customer service, I was told that AT&T network engineers had “quickly repaired a network problem” that morning. Upon further questioning, the customer service representative revealed that the problem was, indeed, the emergency alert message and it was a nationwide event for AT&T.

So, there we have it. A mistake that demonstrated the White House capability to not only determine what we watch, but quite probably what we are watching at any one instant.

This is not only unbelievable, it is unacceptable. There’s no way around this problem as the cable company, and telephone company, have the right and responsibility to determine the health of their network and attached devices at any time.

Scary, isn’t it?

Update:  http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/24/media/att-alerts/index.html and http://www.statesman.com/news/business/u-verse-glitch-freezing-channels-with-nonexistent-/nhrBh/

Does Global Warming Cause Ebola? 8

NO.

Global warming does not cause the spread of ebola. However, it is only a matter of time until some shallow-minded person makes that allegation. Like most global warming stuff, it is an attempt to confuse the public.

picture of person sneezing

A Little Sneeze Goes A Long Way

Now that I have put the ebola/global warming thing to rest, I must report reading a blog by a noted climatologist, Dr Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Dr Spencer is most famous for being one of the scientists to figure out how to measure the earth’s temperature from satellites. His methodology gives more consistent readings than the old surface thermometer readings. The surface thermometer readings are subjected to several adjustments, some of which are controversial, and these adjustments result in large errors. Satellite readings have none of these problems.

Dr Spencer’s article is titled, “How Safe Is The Air You Breathe On A Plane?” The results are disturbing. Dr Spencer made some “unscientific” measurements to find out how much carbon dioxide is in an airplane’s cabin air that people breathe. People exhale carbon dioxide and other things. It cannot be helped. Passengers will unavoidably breathe in this mixture of CO2 and moisture exhaled by others.

Dr Spenser used a handheld air-quality meter that measures the carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the air on the plane. It registered 1,600 ppm (parts per million), whereas the ambient concentration of CO2 in the outside air is closer to 400 ppm. This means that the air on a plane is in large part “used” air. You are breathing air other people have breathed, and exhaled, resulting in an elevated CO2 mix.

The problem is that you may be breathing the other stuff, too. There is undoubtedly some spit-swapping happening on an airplane. EEWWW!

Is it time to wear those face masks we saw the Chinese wearing to ward off SARS?

Understand that nothing I have said is supported in studies about health on airplanes.

Just saying…

Need A Strategy, Mr President? 3

Obama_pic_135hOur President and leader, Barack Hussein Obama, has been having problems dealing with the real world. I admit it must not be easy, especially for a man whose only accomplishment has been on basketball courts playing trash-mouth, in-your-face games. That’s his adopted style for pretty much any conflict with anyone.

Just talk trash, Mr President. The American people will take care of upstarts like Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, and world-wide Muslim terrorist organizations. Once you have contributed your bad-mouthing we will do the hard work of designing a strategy for Iraq and the Middle-East.

We have to understand what our interests are in the area. Some of these are international oil markets, terrorism suppression, business and trade aspirations, human rights, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, helping our allies (Israel), and protection of US citizens as tourists or expatriates. Once we have agreed what these interests are, it is a process of prioritizing, or rank-ordering the importance of each. I think everybody will agree that human rights is up there almost at the top of the list, otherwise, why did we interfere in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Somalia (Black Hawk Down)?

If suppressing world-wide terrorism is on the list, I think that most people would agree that it is best done in the deserts of the Middle-East rather than on the streets of Boston or New York. This is a no-brainer if there ever was one. If we choose to make terrorism suppression a primary element of our Iraq and Middle-East strategy, the proper action is to move aggressively, and not wait for the fight to come to us. Defensive strategies are rarely successful.

If fighting terrorists in the sands of Iraq is a whack-a-mole exercise, then we need to militarily adopt a whack-a-mole strategy. One element of this is to interfere with Iran’s ability to contribute weapons and funds to the terrorists. The same thing applies to other Arab or Muslim countries. They are funding the terrorists, and we should call their hand.

Oh, wait! Have we not we been through all this, before? Were we not at the point where terrorism had been effectively suppressed in Iraq? Did we not have a policy with Iran and other belligerent countries to sanction them for funding terrorists causes, or developing nuclear weapons?

Oh, shades of George Bush. It turns out that the Bush Administration was right. Yeah, I know that a lot of people didn’t agree with the Iraq war. Sorry about that. We won, and now our current President has given the whole country to the terrorists. So, if you want to curse G W Bush, do so after recognizing that Barack Obama is a comparative mental cripple.

If you are not with us you are against us.

Take the fight to the enemy, and fight on their soil. Be aggressive and not defensive.

Mr President, this sounds like a proper strategy to me. We need to understand that the end game may not being a clear win. At the same time we must be dedicated to the necessary survival of our nation, free markets, and individual freedom. We can even call this the Obama strategy.

I don’t think George Bush would mind.