Saturday, April 28, 2012

A trip into biblical mythology.

So I've decided that Im going to re-read the bible and put my thoughts up here.  I wolnt get far until school settles down a bit for me, but I'm getting a start on genesis, and having reached the part where god gives Noah directions on how to build the ark and what to bring aboard, I have a few questions for the faithful...

1) According to some of the Christian websites I looked at to convert cubits to feet, the arc measured 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall.  How did Noah fit all the different species of animal on there?  That equals just over 1.5 million cubic feet... seems big, but compared to a China max cargo ship its rather small, and I have my doubts that you could keep all the animal species of the earth together on a China max for 40 days and nights and keep them all alive... (

2) If all Noah brought on board the ark were two of every creature, and "every sort of food that is eaten" (gen. 6:21) where did poison ivy come from and all of the other plants that an not survive under water for over a month, but are not food and thus did not make it onto the ark?

3) According to the English Standard Version of the bible (the one Im reading because its the one I have that isn't too pretty to mark in) Noah had his three sons in the year 1556 after the world was created.  if the world has been around for 6000 years, and its ~2012 years after Jesus was born, that means Jesus was born  2433 years after Noah's children.  Seems like we should have better archaeological evidence of this time if it was so recent.  Ill be running a tab on biblical years and lets see if the years add up to match the 6,000 year creationists idea, or the 10,000 year creationist idea... I dont know if we can get a good record of years to Jesus or not, but lets see how close the bible gives us and see how reasonable it seems.  ( I realize this isn't really a 3rd question but more a set of questions turned into statements but Id still like to see a Christians response)

Well that concludes this adventure in biblical mythology, Im going back to studying.

Monday, April 23, 2012

In which I try to generate comments, also wish me luck in school

When I logged on here today I pulled up the blogs stats on a whim and one interesting thing I learned is that the vast majority of people that have stopped by are in Russia.  Pretty cool!

So a bit busy with tests for school right now.  The next couple weeks are going to be pretty hellish for me as I finish up the semester.  But just over 3 months until my BSN (RN) degree if I can keep it up so that's pretty exciting.  I thought since I wolnt be updating too much in the next two weeks Id put something up now so this blog doesnt look so dead, dont worry about the absence though Ive been amassing interesting articles with interesting ideas/news in science/other things to write about so when this set of exams is over I should be fairly prolific on here.  One interesting thing I learned in checking the stats on here I learned something interesting, the vast majority of people that have stopped by are in Russia.  Pretty cool!  

Since Im going to be a bit scarce for the time being I thought Id put something up to try and get some comments (and down the road Ill probably come back to refine this set of questions because I think they're interesting) so heres some questions for yall out there:

-According to the bible unrepentant sinners are punished for eternity in hell, what do you think about it?  Is it fair to punish someone infinitely for minor infractions/how sinful would one have to be in order to deserve this?  Or do you think this is really what the bible says?

-Christians disagree on whether its works or faith that gets a person accepted into heaven, if you've read the bible, whats your view on what it says about this?

-Assuming we can take a modified approach to Pascals wager and say maybe there is a god (or gods) and we wanted to have the best chance of getting it right, what religious tradition would you pick and why?

-There a non-religious view on pre-determinism that says our decisions are essentially predetermined because we are all essentially biological calculators.  In the same way that when 2+2 is put into a calculator it will spit out a 4, when certain inputs are given to us (i.e. a set of comments plus a specific situation) we don't actually choose our decision, instead our decision is already set and will be the same given the same input.  So if you could rewind your life to a certain point and relive everything, but you didn't bring back any additional knowledge then your life would play out exactly like it already has.  SO my question then is do you think that we have free will or not (if you don't feel this is a fair definition of free will then give why and say if you think we have free will or not in your definition)

Also feel free to post any questions on anything here for me, Ill try to answer in a fairly timely fashion and if its a really interesting question Ill do a post on it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cool stuff and the name of the blog

So I suppose I should explain where the name for my blog came from.  The Txn part should be fairly self evident, Im from Texas.  Specifically the area between Boerne and San Antonio.  The traveling part has a mix of origins, for one, I haven't really lived in Texas for about seven years.  I spent four years in Ft. Collins, Co getting my first bachelors degree in Biomedical Science from CSU.  The last three years I have been working on my nursing degree (BSN track) at NSU in Shreveport, La.  Additionally I like to travel, Ive been to Mexico on several occasions, both the touristy areas and the not so touristy, Honduras, nearly half the states in the US, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and France.  Hopefully Ill get to make a trip across the boarder into Canada this summer if/when I go visit my brother at RIT (Rochester, Ny) for his graduation.  Finally the traveling part also comes from the nick name Travelin Trav given to me by one of my clinical instructors due to riding a motorcycle, always going someplace, and getting arrested over a mardi gras break (yes we get off for mardi gras here, and yes Ill be writing a post about that incident soon)  So yeah that's whats in the name. 

Now onto cool stuff...

PIA14402: A Twisted Star-Forming Web in the Galaxy IC 342

This is a picture of galaxy IC 342, which is apparently pretty close to us (10 million light years being close on a galactic scale) but is only visible when using an infrared scope because it is located on the other side of the milky way and the dust clouds between us and it prevent visible light from reaching us.

Perhaps I read too much science fiction, but sometimes I like to think about if/when people take to the stars and what it would be like to see something like this in person.  Granted the people that saw a galaxy in its entirety wouldn't get to see what is inside it, even with the ability to go the speed of light which I'm not better we develop in my lifetime if ever.  In-fact for a view like this with your naked eye you would pretty much have to be between galaxies.

Slightly more realistically, it would be really cool to see other planets within our solar system, and eventually maybe humans will see other solar systems in our galaxy.  Though right now its also fairly improbable since pretty much the only space program still putting people into space are the Russians and their space program is rife with problems.  If the US was spending half as much as it currently is on defense spending.  The spent half the money saved on a viable space program we might be able to start seeing other planets in my lifetime.  That isn't going to happen though.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A quick get ta know me...

One of the many sayings about how to know who somebody is, is to know what they've done.  I think you can see who somebody will be by what they read, so this post is a quick way to see what shapes parts of who I am.  So here's a quick list of the things I'm reading, blogs and otherwise.  If your interested in what I have to say Id be willing to bet your reading a few of them to.
Im reading a bunch of the people on here, I'm sure Ill be putting up links to interesting things from a lot of them.  Notably lately the Crommunist and Natalie Reed have gotten me thinking a lot about all the privileges I take for granted as a white male in this society.  I'm definitely learning from them to notice all the things I do without thinking about it.  For example the other day I made a comment to a friend of mine who is deaf that in someways highlighted my hearing privilege.
The friendly atheist is one of the first atheist blogs I started reading.  The man who runs it, Hemant Mehta, is the kind of atheist Ive found myself to be.  Angry at the worst of the things religions do, but more than willing to be friends with the religious, a far cry from the angry atheist painted in the imaginations of so many.
A lot of the stories at this page are more technical than Im really into, but there's a fair number of articles on there that are really really cool. AKA Violent Science
This is more my kind of science blog; dinosaurs, astrology, and occasionally the politics that intersects the sciences.

I get my news from Newsweek, the BBC, NPR, and occasionally other places.  Until I graduate I probably wolnt keep up with the news as much as I should, but fortunately I graduate soon.

I enjoy a lot of different genres of fiction, but as of late its mostly been Norse mythology and science fiction.  There's a lot of science fiction I haven't read yet, but I've read a fair bit and the rest Ill get to.

Ill probably put up a more substantial post tomorrow, and maybe a little more about myself. Ill also probably go through and make this a monitized blog.  I know I haven't said anything yet that anybody will really care about, but right now monies tight and who knows maybe if I keep up with this thing it can help me out on getting through school.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Howdy yall!

So first post...  may as well make it something people can take as controversial lol

I recently came out as an atheist.  The Reason Rally happened on the National Mall in Washington D.C. and Rock Beyond belief happened on Ft. Brag, Sc, and the atheist blogosphere decided to make it a week for coming out of the atheist closet.  My wife had recently outed me as an "Angry Atheist" to her friends (BTW Im not really what people think of when they think "Angry Atheist")  I decided to go ahead and out myself before that became the assumption of my views and as a way of showing solidarity with those two atheist events, so I changed my Facebook profile picture to one from an atheist group that said "Good without gods".

(link here if your curious) 

Lifes gotten interesting since then.  I've since learned that most of my fellow nursing students do not believe in evolution, nor do they have a good idea about how the mechanics of the theory work.  (most also don't know the definition of a theory in the scientific lexicon either, but given the first that's not so surprising)

Despite the "compliment" I received from several of them that "I wouldn't expect you to be an atheist, your too nice/good/etc" it seems like many of those same people now look at me as less trustworthy.  There were several though that though they believe in the bible were willing to stand up for my right to believe or not and didn't seem to think it changed who they see me as, and I greatly appreciated that.

I should move onto another topic here, maybe about how my gardens going, or about all the cool stuff coming out in astronomy news stories lately, or maybe about how the cat just ran face first into a box he didn't notice because he was chasing a bug.  Instead I think Im going to call it a night so I can wake up in time for class tomorrow.  Perhaps Ill write about something truly awesome tomorrow.