Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 13841 - 13860 of total 22784 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Mar 25, 2013 - 12:13pm PT
Just read an article in Physics Today about quantum space time. Bunch of crazy sh#t I will never understand, apparently just to get some funky looking graphs.

It is no wonder Merkins prefer religion... any 5 year old can understand THOSE stories.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 25, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
That Boorstin quote is the whole point.

Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 25, 2013 - 01:12pm PT
nice one, cintune

says it all
jstan

climber
Mar 25, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
That article on Quantum Loop Gravity which quantizes space itself was written densely. The one on
slow neutrons however was written for a wider audience. Two things:

1. Kepler's paper on the earth going around the sun got more than disbelieving ridicule. It also
caused planning in some quarters as to how this guy might be stopped.

2. When you have a problem for which you can't write equations that explain the measurements,
you question first your IQ and then you question your assumptions. When you question your
assumptions you are in terrain where Bohr, Heisenberg, Einstein, Dirac, Planck, and many others too
numerous to mention have worked. All came up with crazy theories.

That worked.

String theory is a crazy theory with crazy consequences. No problem. String theorists are even more
interested than the rest of us to get a test of it. Up or down does not matter. Maybe polarization in
the CMB will be that test. Exciting stuff!

When I try to think of a time when it might have been more exciting to be alive than it is today,
I have to go back to 400BC.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Mar 25, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
The Big Bang Theory has always seemed kind of sketchy to me. I can only swim in the shallow end of that pool.

But...


Why does the universe have to have a beginning and an end?


It's like the popularity of monotheism. Why is one god so good?

Egyptian, Greek and Roman polytheism seems waaay more fun. (more gods to blame for misfortune)


Every time we improve our technology we keep extending the age of the universe. Why? Because people in Science circles would freak out if you showed irrefutable evidence that the universe is over 100 Billion years old. Or a Trillion. Orrrrr perhaps never even started but has always been. Choke on THAT bone.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 25, 2013 - 03:15pm PT
Every time we improve our technology we keep extending the age of the universe. Why? Because people in Science circles would freak out if you showed irrefutable evidence that the universe is over 100 Billion years old. Or a Trillion. Orrrrr perhaps never even started but has always been. Choke on THAT bone.

Spider. Explain to us how the age of the universe is determined.

You know. Hit Wiki for five minutes before you speak.

I'll give you a hint. It isn't a trillion years.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 25, 2013 - 03:25pm PT
OK. About half of the info posted in the last 48 hours is either false or based on willful ignorance. If you have been around this thread for very long, you will know that willful ignorance is a big peeve of mine.

Before you start wasting everyone's time here, please go read up.

The science of cosmology increases both with theory and observation, but lately, it has been a lot of observation. Ever since the first telescope looked at the sky, something new was learned. Now with newer and better telescopes, satellites that study certain wavelengths of "light," and general advancements in radio astronomy, there seems to be something new around every corner. 20 years ago these instruments were not available.

Here is a good one that you should know about. I'm a geologist and I know what it is:

Credit: BASE104

cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 25, 2013 - 03:43pm PT
What's cool is that if you look at just the blue and dark blue spots they create a pareidolia effect that looks just enough like a Mollweide projection to be truly weird. Maybe not as good as Jesus on a piece of toast, but still...
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 25, 2013 - 03:51pm PT
It is interesting to note John S.'s use of probabilistic logic and probabilism in reference to science being able to predict the behavior of this or that, at least on a surface, material level, and that the verity of said prediction determines if a theory is right or wrong.

Moving up the ladder into meta functions, we can say things like - if you core temperature exceeds 110 degrees you will perish with 100% certainty. And so forth. We must wonder how far the probabalistic model can be pushed in determining, say, human behavior. That is, if we had all the important data, how accurately might be predict what Marlow will say next. And if at some point our predictions no longer hold, regardless of the data acquired, why did the predictions stop working and owing to what, exactly (above and beyond more statistical inferences).

JL
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 25, 2013 - 04:07pm PT
The study of human behavior, to a physical scientist like me, does not seem so wishy washy anymore. You have to look no further than political elections to see the well honed science of manipulating another person's view of reality, and do it with some precision.

On a day to day basis, the human qualities and experiences probably color our view of what is true, in the world of humans around us.

Go to Yahoo and pick any story. Then go down and read the comments. There you will see every bias and bigotry imaginable, as well as wholesale lack of logical conversation.

Hey. I'm watching the Krauss lecture right now and it is really good so far.

To answer some of the simple questions about how cosmology is an exploding science right now, you have the work of Edwin Hubble, which kicked it all off. He found that we weren't the only galaxy in the universe, which previously had been assumed. He had a bigger telescope and could resolve stars in the closer galaxies.

One of the problems in astronomy has always been the "Standard Candle." We need an object or event that shines with the same brightness. For stars in our galaxy, and the few that could be resolved with telescopes, the Cephied Variable star was used.

That sucks because it doesn't work well on very distant things. Supernovas have been studied like crazy, and there are several types. One is a type 1a supernova, and those all shine with the same luminosity.

Several rather small telescopes, such as the KATE robotic telescope run out of Berkley, I believe, photographed the entire sky with regularity and found supernovas at a rate a couple of orders of magnitude more frequently than before. These telescopes were built to look for supernovas.

So what did we find when we applied the 1a standard candle to the observable universe?

Go watch the lecture. I'm ten minutes in and I know he is going to get to it soon. The supernova data was gathered in the last ten or fifteen years and still goes on.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 25, 2013 - 04:15pm PT
Behavioral analysis is already kind of...y'know... a thing.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 25, 2013 - 04:48pm PT
Behavioral analysis is already kind of...y'know... a thing.

Yeah, profiling and all of that. But you have to wonder what the underlying beliefs are per how far the data can carry us on that front. If your are a "hard" determinist, everything everyone ever did was determined beforehand, and we could predict with 100% accuracy what Marlow or BASE might do had we sufficient data, including chaotic and random factors. People scream that such a model is a caricature, that it is way more nuanced and subtle than this while providing nothing more than mechanical and reductionistic factors going by different names.

Put differently, where lies the limit of a probabalistic model? At what piint does it break down, and why (beyond just more probabalistic input)?

JL

cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 25, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
Chaotic and random factors can make even highly probable predictions go south pretty quickly, without pushing any limits at all. These sorts of things are always expressed in terms of statistical probability, not omniscience.
jstan

climber
Mar 25, 2013 - 05:33pm PT
It is interesting to note John S.'s use of probabilistic logic and probabilism in reference to
science being able to predict the behavior of this or that, at least on a surface, material level, and
that the verity of said prediction determines if a theory is right or wrong.

Since I was named I claim the right to nit pick. It is a fundamental nit however.

if a theory is right or wrong

"Right" and "wrong" are absolutes. It is entirely possible there is no such thing as an absolute.
This is apparently true for physical theories. Every theory of which I know has been improved and
its accuracy in predicting experimental results has been materially increased subsequent to its
initial publication. If an absolute is identified, it will probably be the exception that proves the
rule.


I would also caution against philosophical introspection on probabilism. When the quantum was
shown to be so successful that it could no longer just be ignored everyone got into philosophical
debates to resolve its divergence from our day to day experience. Then there came a statement
attributed to the Copenhagen school of Niels Bohr advising everyone to

"shut up and compute."

Feynman did the computing and participated in work showing quantum electrodynamics
works beyond anyone's initial hopes.

I would deign to suggest the meaning of probabilism will ultimately be exposed

only through computing.

In this regard excellent instruction can be found in the Robb Memorial Lectures given by
Feynman in Auckland. He points out at the start that it will all sound "nutty" and that each person
should stay in the hunt for understanding even when they simply don't understand. He says, "I
don't understand it either."

(Quite simply it cannot be "understood" from day to day experience.)

He said, "I want you to keep coming and work through this with me."

Feynman demonstrates in the lectures the devotion to pedagogy for which he is so famed. Justly.

WBraun

climber
Mar 25, 2013 - 06:01pm PT
"Right" and "wrong" are absolutes. It is entirely possible there is no such thing as an absolute.


They are simultaneously relative and absolute.

When materially infected they are relative.

When spiritually correct they are absolute .......
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Mar 25, 2013 - 06:04pm PT
Waiting for this in 7D

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 25, 2013 - 06:05pm PT
I would deign to suggest the meaning of probabilism will ultimately be exposed

only through computing.


I would agree, so long as your field of study is surface layer materials. I can also appreciate the cautionary tales advising to never go beyond the line that computing can accurately reach, lest one can never really "know" anything, absolutely or otherwise.

But I would deign to suggest that explorers were never stopped by such warnings - that they should be so horribly wrong without their slide rules, on terrain so slippery that it has little bearing on our day to day lives.

If probabilism is a valid position, it must reach beyond physics and up the ladder into meta-functions. My previous question was basically asking that once you're in that areana, do you believe valid answers would likewise be attained "only through computing?" Put differently, at what point in the escalating complexity of things do you see computing/probabilism basically running it's course? And why? Or are you saying it only applies to quantum level happenings, and the predictions cease at the threshold of the meta, wherever that might be.

I don't look at this as some abstract philosophical notion (God save thy numbers!), but of the strictly practical order of things.

JL
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 25, 2013 - 06:24pm PT
We must wonder how far the probabalistic model can be pushed in determining, say, human behavior.

The social sciences had high hopes a150 years ago that we would be able to plug variables of human behavior into equations and come out with predictable outcomes just like the hard sciences. In Anthropology we have data on over 5,000 known societies compared point by point (the HRAF files) and the only two constants we could find are every society has an incest taboo, and all of human life can be divided into one of six subsistence modes.

Bottom line behavior from a social point of view is that every known society forbids mothers to have sex with sons. A few allow fathers and daughters, royalty claiming divinity (Pharoahs, Incas, Hawaiians) has married sisters and brothers on occasion and 1/3 of the world's societies prefer to marry first cousins. Then we discovered that apes and monkeys also have mother-son taboos enforced by the mothers of course. Strike one for biology.

The six subsistence modes - hunting & gathering, pastoralism, horticulture, agriculture, industrialism and info age, share more in common with other people in similar modes than with the level above or below them (calculated in terms of energy expended per calorie imbibed). Despite the dizzying array of diversity, the people living within each level share similar ideas about religion, politics, and family. When a group transitions to another stage however, all aspects of that society change, often very rapidly, to the religion, politics, and family forms of the next stage in a kind of ecological determinism.The confusing and frightening situation for humans is to be at the top level as we currently are, with no role models of what lies ahead.

Another thing to be noted is that each level is more complex and less self sufficient than the one before, leaving one to wonder at the final outcome. Currently Americans consume 6.4 calories of fossil fuels for every calorie of food produced for example. In a planetary catastrophe, we may be the first to go and the hunter gatherers and simple horticulturalists the ones to survive.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 25, 2013 - 06:37pm PT

In its original form, an expanding Einstein model had an attractive, economic elegance. Alas, it has since run into serious difficulties, which have been cured only by sticking on some ugly bandages: inflation to cover horizon and flatness problems; overwhelming amounts of dark matter to provide internal structure; and dark energy, whatever that might be, to explain the seemingly recent acceleration.

Don, I like the way you slice and dice! You are a Great addition to the table!
There are many wonderful chefs preparing a plate for this smorgasbord.
The cirque of characters is phenomenal !

There's SOOO many questions. Like, sitting in our (spinning)solar system, taking pics through our spinning Milky Way towards other "Milky Ways". IF we were spinning away from them,
wouldn't that cause "red shift"?

OR, the problem of the Big Bang theoryist and Evolutionist. They believe all matter was was so condensed that it AQUIRED energy to bust apart. Just like we acquire gravity being two balls of mass. After the BB, it's easy(?) the see the energies exerted from propelled mater.
But, what happened the minute(billions yrs ) before The "Big" Banged? Where from did this propulsion come?

Is the BB theory, a theory of; everything in the universe came from one spot.
Or, A theory of when energy meets matter?

I feel the last few pages have been AWESOME!
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 25, 2013 - 06:45pm PT
here you go, Blue

take your time reading, it's pretty darn interesting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang
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