Dr. Bill C. Riemers

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August 27, 2006: Pluto is not a planet, and neither is Earth...

Clearly Neptune is not a planet. How could it be, and not have cleared Pluto from it's orbit. Come to think of it commets, metorites and other objects constantly cross the path of Earth too. I don't think we have ANY planets in this solar system, according to the new definition of planet.

One big problem with the definition, is it only sort of works in solar systems with a gas giant. In solar systems without a gas giant or second star, the planets will not be drawn into an orbital plane, and are more likely to have highly elliptical orbits. Consiquently, the orbits will cross, and even Earth size "planets" would not meet the definition of planet. If they wanted a definition that only fit solar systems with a gas giant then they should have just made the definition require planets to be in the orbital plane of a gas giant or a second star.

April 14, 2006: Good Friday Thoughts

I woke up this morning with a new perspective.

I asked myself, as a software developer, what if I developed a crash-up derby game that was completely real. I mean real to the point where you felt everything in the game. Every time someone hit your car, you would feel the bump. If some metal broke and cut you, the wound would hurt. If the car burst into flames you would feel an agonizing death.

Now suppose I visited a hospital in the night and plugged a hundred people into the game while they slept without their knowledge or consent. Who would be most guilty for the pain and suffering in the game? The people who played the game most viscously, or the person who created the game and plugged them in without consent?

In the same way, would not God be guilty of our pain and suffering? Did he not create a world where the rules say we all die, and even if we are all kind to one another, sometimes it will still be a painful, horrible death? If so, then perhaps Jesus did not die for our sins, but for God's.

Then I had another thought. What if I had a very good reason for plugging all those people into the game? What if they were not sleeping, but they were in a comma? What if the only way to wake them was to make them play the game? Might then I be seen not as a bad guy, but as a hero when patients woke from their long commas? In this case, the ends would justify the means.

But can I apply this argument to God? After all, if I had a simple pill that would wake people without the pain and suffering, the ends would not justify the means. If God is all powerful, then the ends can never justify the means because God can always create the magic pill.

One final thought. Even if God could create the magic pill, but instead insists we do it the hard way, is it still better than never reaching the end at all? Should we perhaps thank God for what he has given us than blaming him for what he hasn't? Is it a sin not to help someone in need? If a rich man gives a starving man a half-eaten bagel from his garbage, should he be cursed for not giving more or blessed for giving something?

This is just food for thought.

November 18, 2005: Where is God?

Entropy always increases. If you have the pieces of a watch, the pieces don't spontaneously come together to form a watch. However, if you drop a watch it will spontaneously form pieces. We are pieces of the early universe. For complex structures to exist like the watch means they formed from something even more complicated in the past.

One thing violates this order. Life! An intelligent person might be able to pickup the pieces of a watch and put them together to make a watch. If God exists, then he is capable of taking the whole universe and put it back together. Furthermore, he would do so because it would be the only task worthy of his time. However, since the universe is instead falling apart like the dropped watch one is tempted to conclude God does not exist. This leaves the question, how did such a complicated universe come to being?

Some people conclude this means God must have existed but now he is dead.

There is a much more obvious answer which also explains how God created the universe. God must be moving backwards in time. We see the universe as falling apart only because we are seeing creation running in reverse.

This explains why we have an open universe. God literally created the universe from nothing. This also explains why dead relatives don't stop by to visit from the afterlife. If they join God, then they must also be moving backwards in time. Perhaps that bright light people see in near death experiences is not God, but the big bang?

Now for a bit of heresy. The bible states we are the children of God. Children can grow up to be like their parents. Maybe, once the universe decays down to nothing, our distant offspring have nothing better to do than to move backwards in time and put it all back together again...

Just food for thought,


Is intelligent design science?

While I do believe in intelligent design, I do not believe it is science. Why? All hypothesis must be testable. Certainly it would be possible to prove intelligent design. For example, if we find a "Made by God" stamp imprinted on all quarks we will have proven intelligent design. However, there is no way to disprove intelligent design. There is no test or experiment we can run that would ever establish that God did not create the universe.

The following is proof of my assertion. Imagine a test did exist that would conclusively prove God did not create the universe. A God who wanted us to believe in him by faith alone would force the test to always have negative results. Ergo such a test can not exist. Proof by countradiction. QED.

Since the assertion that the universe is the result of intelligent design is not testable, intelligent design is not a valid hypothesis. Ergo, intelligent design is not a valid scientific theory. This does not however mean it is wrong. It just means belief in intelligent design is not science, rather belief in intelligent design is faith.

Likewise, you could never disprove the scientific process. Ergo belief in the Scientific process itself is faith... Every logical model needs axioms. Choose yours wisely.

Just food for thought,


July 27, 2005: Corporate website available

I finally created a website for my company: http://foxtrottechnologies.net

November 9, 2004: JavaDjVu Applet

I am now using JavaDjVu applet I wrote for LizardTech, Inc. to display my publications instead of the simple image viewer I wrote a few years ago. Visit http://docbill.freeshell.org/papers/

November 4, 2004: What's New switched to blogging.

My wife asked me, "what is a blog?" This is.

November 3, 2004: Dynamic e-mail address

I've switched to a dynamically generated e-mail address. This allows me to prevent spammers from harvesting my e-mail address from my website in two ways:

  1. Most e-mail harvesters do not process javascript.
  2. If an e-mail harvester does harvest my e-mail I can filter just the e-mail for the address generated that day.


October 28, 2004: New Site Launched

As you can see, I am completely redesigning my website. My original website was built in 1993, while I was a graduate student at Purdue University. Back in those days, it seemed everything was a distraction from writing my thesis, including toying with the new thing called world wide web developed while I was at CERN. I would love to say I was a visionary, and when I first saw a web browser, thought it was the wave of the future. But no, I had my emacs, and xarchie and did not see the need for a web browser.

Today the web is different. Everyone has access to the Internet, even those up to no good. Posting personal information invites identity theft, and family photos invite predators. The web has also changed in positive ways. There is so much useful and interesting information that trivial things like my attempts to colorize an old black and white photo, or custom dart boards (my Z-bozon dart board) are just boring in comparison. Consequently, I decided it is time to redesign my website from the ground up. Private information will be password or IP address protected, and public information will be carefully selected.

Thanks to the magic of http://web.archive.org/ you can still visit old versions of my website. If there is information you find interesting, please send me an e-mail and ask that I incorporate the relevant page in the new website.


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