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404 weeks ago @ http://www.belfasttele... - Debt-hit students\' de... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm just about to finish up my education at university and while it's true that a lot of students somehow find the money to drink regularly I've noticed that they are all either new students with overdrafts available to them, get a lot of money from their parents or they have part-time jobs. For all the ones out partying, eating junk food and running cars there are just as many that can't afford to.

This year I had to focus solely on my studies due to the demanding nature of the course, no time for any part-time work, and I found it extremely difficult to make ends meet. I was living on about £5 a week for the last few months once electricity and travel expenses were taken into account. In previous years I was able to offset this problem by having a fairly substantial overdraft limit of £1500 (a sum which seems to be far above what banks are offering new students now).

I'd been out partying less than a handful of times during university this year and was still struggling to afford to make it to class every week. Often I had to choose which classes were important and only attending those while using whatever money was left for food. Buying oil for heating just wasn't an option once what had been bought with the initial loans ran out and I know this to be the case for a lot of my friends too which is a huge problem when you're living somewhere like Portstewart in winter. And you can completely forget about me being able to afford to run a car. My experience is far from atypical.

And after I finish in a couple of weeks I've got £30k worth of debts to look forward to paying off.

409 weeks ago @ http://www.belfasttele... - A history of our last ... · 0 replies · +4 points

No it was an honest question although it may be borne out of my own ignorance. It's just I hadn't heard that claim before and can't find any information connecting Bobby Sands to being involved in Bloody Friday. Sands joined the IRA the month before Bloody Friday and was 18 at the time. I know for a fact that the Officer Commanding at the time of Bloody Friday was Brendan Hughes so you're wrong there and I think you're mistaken about Sands being involved at all.

409 weeks ago @ http://www.belfasttele... - A history of our last ... · 2 replies · -1 points

In what way was Bobby Sands responsible for Bloody Friday exactly?

410 weeks ago @ http://www.belfasttele... - Republic\'s Irish Avia... · 1 reply · +9 points

Couldn't agree more. As someone who attends university along the north coast and currently lives in Portstewart I'm forever getting charged extra roaming fees because the coverage up here is so pathetic with absolutely no way to claim the costs back. Granted I'll only have to put up with it for another month or so but throughout my entire time at university it's probably added up to a couple of hundred pounds. As a student that money could have been better spent.

426 weeks ago @ http://www.belfasttele... - Annual conference: Tea... · 10 replies · +3 points

I know I can as can the Discovery Institute hence why they have virtually no solid standing in scientific circles, but I never asked you to take my word for it. From the outset I've suggested you read relevant material on the subject outside of the creationist sites or pseudo-science mumbo-jumbo. It's probably worth noting that America has a scarily high creationism believing population. This is a view not shared by the rest of the developed world so it's the NYT pandering to the population. Money is money but bad science and nonsense is still just bad science and nonsense.

And you're right, as time goes on more will come out on this subject and I expect it to continue with the same trend it has been since the enlightenment and the theory of evolution. The evidence and science will continue to favour and proove evolution and as a consequence creationism will be pushed into smaller and smaller gaps as has been happening for a long, long time now.

And don't get the wrong idea from this, this research isn't being done to disprove creationism. It's being done to understand the natural world, to improve knowledge, medicine, vaccines, science. It is creationism seeking to explain away evolution, not the other way around.

426 weeks ago @ http://www.belfasttele... - Annual conference: Tea... · 12 replies · +2 points is not a vaild source for anything to do with science or evolution the same as any creationist site. One week's worth of peer-reviewed papers on evolutionary biology exceeds the entire history of ID peer-review. Does that not tell you something? Perhaps the people working for the discovery institute may have an agenda? Specifically funding and keeping people ignorant to keep themselves in business? Why else would they want to paint the entire scientific community as a bunch of liars and frauds?

Irreducible complexity only exists in the mind of creationists as it's something they made up to help delude themselves and their followers. Once one thing originally claimed as irreducibly complex is proven not to be (such as the eye) they move onto something else and in turn that is proven to have evolved and so the cylce goes on and on. It's constantly moving goalposts and despite this science keeps proving that the things they claim are not irreducibly complex.

Nothing on this planet is irreducibly complex by virtue of the fact that it exists in the first place. It can only seem irreducibly complex if you assume it just sudenly popped out of nowhere fully formed which is what you seem to think and ironically this is what creationists actually believe except they explain it away with "God did it". That's not science, it's not knowledge and it's not intelligent.

Just because you don't understand the process of how it evolved or don't wish to understand it for whatever reason, (be it indoctrination into creationism for a young age, fear of wanting to actually confront death and your own mortality, fear that you've wasted your whole life on nonsense, whatever) does not make the fact of the matter go away. Facts are there and clear for all to see if you decide to break your own confirmation bias and read something other than creationist literature. Seriously dude, it's completely warped your view of reality.

426 weeks ago @ http://www.belfasttele... - Annual conference: Tea... · 0 replies · +3 points

Not everything that dies will become fossilised and I doubt we'll ever get a sample of every single distinct species that ever lived. Certainly, not enough to satisfy the creationists as every time one is found they will move the goal posts and say "Ah, but what about between this one and that one?" The gaps will get smaller and the evolutionary process will become clearer and the pattern more visible but sadly all they see are more gaps.

I know that isn't exactly what you want to hear but the fact of the matter is fossilisation is extremely rare as the vast, vast, vast majority of creatures that die will never become fossilised. Luckily we no longer need to rely solely on fossils as we have genetic evidence and the like which is also there to be read up on if you're interested :)

However, there ARE plenty of fossils that demonstrate how life on earth started very simply and became more complex over time. By virtue of evolution every single fossil found is a transitional fossil between something previous and something later (unless of course it was an evolutionary dead end).

Here is a video which may help you visualise it, and this is only a small slice (I'm sure there are better ones out there):

426 weeks ago @ http://www.belfasttele... - Annual conference: Tea... · 2 replies · +5 points

Thank you, that's much more open minded than most on the subject.

What is "in-kind" evolution? As I've explained to people before microevolution and macroevolution are the exact same process over a different timescale. To accept one is to accept the other. It's the same process driven by natural selection.

It's the reason why we are now finding dinosaurs with feathers and why birds and dinosaurs share so many skeletal features. This is all showing their links with birds and it's also the reason why we only find dinosaurs with feathers late into their reign on earth during the late jurrasic and cretacious period before the K-T extinction which wiped out non-avian dinosaurs. You will never find a fully formed bird having existed before feathered dinosaurs because they hadn't yet evolved.

The fossil record shows exactly what is expected to, btw. It doesn't show very complex organisms such as humans existing during the same time periods when only very simple organisms existed and it continues this trend throughout the history of life on earth.

426 weeks ago @ http://www.belfasttele... - Annual conference: Tea... · 4 replies · +4 points

I'm only replying to you solely because you seem like you might actually want to learn although the track record for creationists accepting this is not good. Usually they just ignore it and throw a non-sequiter back at me but hey you might be different. However, I would suggest you read up on something I tell all creationists to read up on, which would be "ring species".

Ring species are examples of a single species that has been seperated geographically over time and due to the environmental effects favouring certain traits each group has evolved differently tobetter suit their respective environments (natural selection).

These small changes have accumulated over time have continued for so long that these 2 groups that were originally one species can no longer interbreed and are therefore now effectively 2 seperate species. Now that they can no longer breed with each other and share DNA they will continue to evolve seperately and become more and more different over time, again driven by natural selection.
If that doesn't prove evolution to you or help you understand it I'm not sure what will but I would recommend you read more on the subject. There is a mass amount of evidence out there to explain this in much greater detail than I could.

426 weeks ago @ http://www.belfasttele... - McGuinness sidesteps q... · 0 replies · +4 points

And a hypocritical stereotype at that.