Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Questions for my readers

Over at Atheist Homeschooler, I posed the following questions to Fiery Ewok on the Open Forum 3 post. Since Complete Materialist is a new blog and I don't have an established readership, I'd like to get some idea of who's reading, what interests them, fires 'em up and makes them tick. Then, when my choice of blog topics is up in the air, I'll let my reader's interests tip the scales in favor of one to their liking.

Answer any or all. As you address these topics, feel free to toss in whatever creative spin you have on the question at hand.
  • What's the latest book you've read?
  • What's your favorite area of science?
  • What's the most recent thing you can think of where evidence new to you has forced you to accept a new understanding of an idea or to simply discard an old understanding?
  • What one fact about the natural world do you think would benefit humankind the most if it was known by every person on the planet?
  • Can you prove?: for an arbitrary integer greater than zero, the sum of its digits is evenly divisible by 9, if and only if the integer itself is also evenly divisible by 9.


11 comments:

Atheist in a mini van. said...

What's the latest book you've read?
The Harlot at the Side of the Road - a book about how women are portrayed in the Bible.

What's your favorite area of science?
Biology (medicine or disease pathology).

What's the most recent thing you can think of where evidence new to you has forced you to accept a new understanding of an idea or to simply discard an old understanding?
Hawking's answer to his own paradox. I had read his black hole theories in university... and I thought they made a lot of sense. When his latest paper was published, it took me six weeks (and the use of my old physics text and a calculator) to decide how I felt about it. I'm still a Hawkings fan, but I think he based his last paper on speculation and that disappoints me.

What one fact about the natural world do you think would benefit humankind the most if it was known by every person on the planet?
Humankind is not a goal. Other animals aren't striving to be us and we're not the end all, be all of the natural world. We're not even particularly well-adapted to our environment biologically.

Can you prove?: for an arbitrary integer greater than zero, the sum of its digits is evenly divisible by 9, if and only if the integer itself is also evenly divisible by 9.
I'd need sines and thetas and I just don't have it in me. ;) Kidding - I suck at Math. That's why it took me so long to read Hawkings.

Joe said...

1) Lights Out. This is a book that talks about how lack of sleep and too much carbs and sugar are killing us.

2) Science has never been my gig.

3)That bunting in baseball is almost always foolhearty.

4)Creation. How we got here and where we came from. That would negate all this religous silliness.

5)Math was never my strongpoint either.

D Kitty said...

What's the latest book you've read?

Fiction - Restoree by Anne McCaffrey
NonFiction - What to Expect the First Year (Its a baby book)

What's your favorite area of science?

My favorite area, though I am by no means any good at it, is astronomy.

What's the most recent thing you can think of where evidence new to you has forced you to accept a new understanding of an idea or to simply discard an old understanding?

Falling in love with my Husband challenged all my preconceived ideas about what love should be.

What one fact about the natural world do you think would benefit humankind the most if it was known by every person on the planet?

The beginnings of Life.

Can you prove?: for an arbitrary integer greater than zero, the sum of its digits is evenly divisible by 9, if and only if the integer itself is also evenly divisible by 9.

Nope. Not even going to try. Unfortunately I am not a math person.

Ginny said...

What's the latest book you've read?

I read some of "The God Delusion" but need to finish it. Books I currently want to read are "A Walk in the Woods" and "The Monkey Wrench Gang"

What's your favorite area of science?

Biology by far, although I'm fascinated by astronomy too. Alternate universes, black holes, etc...are all fun topics.

What's the most recent thing you can think of where evidence new to you has forced you to accept a new understanding of an idea or to simply discard an old understanding?

That's a great question but I can't think of anything for an answer!

What one fact about the natural world do you think would benefit humankind the most if it was known by every person on the planet?

The natural world is not indestructible and quite fragile. Each of us has the power to make a difference in the way we live in order to take better care of our earth. Without her nothing else matters...

Can you prove?: for an arbitrary integer greater than zero, the sum of its digits is evenly divisible by 9, if and only if the integer itself is also evenly divisible by 9.

You're kidding right? I wish I was a math genius but alas that isn't going to happen anytime soon. It's on the to do list though. :)

Poodles Rule said...

What's the latest book you've read?

"Lean Mean Thirteen" by Janet Evanovich

What's your favorite area of science?

Astronomy.

What's the most recent thing you can think of where evidence new to you has forced you to accept a new understanding of an idea or to simply discard an old understanding?

I used go with whatever a contractor would tell me about a project, they were the experts right? But with some potential miscalculations of a recent project, I am being much more cautious and double check what they say.

What one fact about the natural world do you think would benefit humankind the most if it was known by every person on the planet?

That natural family planning doesn't work. People who use the "rhythm method" are called "parents" for a reason.


Can you prove?: for an arbitrary integer greater than zero, the sum of its digits is evenly divisible by 9, if and only if the integer itself is also evenly divisible by 9.

No.

Bill Gnade said...
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Bill Gnade said...

1. What's So Great About Christianity

2. Physics (though I do love biology)

3. Ayn Rand's take on capitalism/socialism

4. Science is not humanity's best friend, but that is not a natural fact (most listed here are not). I am assuming by "natural fact" that which has been proven by science. Hmm. I think I'll probably stick with my first submission, though I do think we can all benefit from knowing that if the speed of light is finite, then everything we experience is past tense: we infer the present. And if that is the case, then we could all benefit from knowing that faith is the bottom of all epistemology. I think.

5. Answer: (09, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90, 99 ...)

Example: 27: 27/9=3; 2+7=9: 9/9=1.

In other words, any multiple of 9 will do, though anything above 90 needs to be simplified (and will still fit the criteria).

But the short answer is "yes."

Peace to you!

Bill Gnade

zilch said...

1) On the Origin of Phyla, by Jack Valentine. I must confess to skimming some- it's pretty hard going.

2) Evolutionary theory. But pretty much all science is interesting to me.

3) Hmmm... Simon Conway Morris made a very convincing case in Life's Solution for the near-inevitability for the evolution of human-like intelligence, given the right parameters, when I'd always assumed it was largely a lucky fluke. But I'm still agnostic.

4) That the natural world is finite, and that we must change our ways if we want our grandchildren to inherit a world worth living in.

5) Still working on it. Bill, your "proof" is just a list up to 99, and does nothing to demonstrate why the hypothesis should be true beyond that.

cheers from rainy Vienna, zilch

zilch said...
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zilch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zilch said...

(sorry for the multiple erasures above- my typing leaves a lot to be desired...)

Okay, I've got it. There's probably a much more elegant way of stating it, but since my last math class was more than thirty years ago...

Look at it in terms of remainders: 9 goes into 1 zero times, with a remainder of 1. 9 goes into 2 zero times, with a remainder of 2. And so forth, up to 9 goes into 9 once, with a remainder of zero.

Now for the larger powers of ten: 9 goes into 10 once, with a remainder of 1. 9 goes into 100 eleven times, with a remainder of one. And so forth.

9 goes into 20 twice, with a remainder of two; into 200 twenty-two times, with a remainder of two. And so forth.

So, the number in the one's place yields a remainder equal to itself. The number in the ten's place yields a remainder equal to the digit in the ten's place. And so forth.

Thus, the remainder left after dividing any number by nine is always the sum of its digits. If this sum is nine, or zero, then the number is evenly divisible by nine. Q.E.D.

This result obviously obtains for nine because our mathematics is in base ten, which is one greater than nine. In base 11, the same thing would be true of ten, and so forth.

cheers from sunny and cold Vienna, zilch