Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 25, 2013 - 06:54pm PT

They are simultaneously relative and absolute.

When materially infected they are relative.

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

That was the best one in awhile Werner!
Where did you Wiki that?

Jus Kid'in
BB
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Mar 25, 2013 - 09:37pm PT
The Bible said 6 days then a rest on No. 7
the bible says a day is 24 hours, one rotation of Sun (earth)

Isn't it funny how the Bible has every sentence and chapter numbered?
I guess that's for us to make sure we are both pointing at the same thing~

I can point you to the enlightenment of God did "work" for 6 "days". Creating the Earth
and all life on it. After putting all this to motion, and SEEING it was Good. God took the 7th
day to sit down and rest. And hasn't done any "work" on Earth ever since the 6th day.
So He is still in that 7th day of rest. If the Earh is 6k yrs old, then that day is to. If the Earth
is 4 billion yrs old then the 7th day is 4billion yrs. long

There's another unique thing about the Bible. It takes the WHOLE bible to understand
one sentence.

Drf, that last flower is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L-!

Give Prais'in Unto JAH'
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 25, 2013 - 10:13pm PT
I would agree, so long as your field of study is surface layer materials

Oh God, are we to be restricted to this deplorable facade of reality!

Never to reach the hidden knowledge that only decades of studious meditation would reveal?

Where's a good metafunction when you need it?


;>(
MH2

climber
Mar 26, 2013 - 09:21am PT
This might answer all your questions, jogill.






http://vimeo.com/41325185
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 26, 2013 - 09:52am PT
I would agree, so long as your field of study is surface layer materials

Oh God, are we to be restricted to this deplorable facade of reality!

Never to reach the hidden knowledge that only decades of studious meditation would reveal?
-


I was thinking more along the lines of the lives we all actually live and experience. No need to meditate for ages to have our subjective world, which is where we live and of which we are conscious. We are not conscious of living in a quantum or atomic world. Even Dork Dawkins got that right.

So my point was that if John S. is onto something (and he often is) with his probabilism, then why not push it up the ladder to the meta level where we coexist and see what comes of our predictions.

In fact doing so is something we do all the time, in general ways. We know if we drink a fifth of Jack every night we are heading for alcoholism, and if all we eat are doughnuts, as Fruity does, then diabetes is in the cards for us.

So where might this lead us? How far down the line can we predict the outcome? Where might the model fail, and why? Where are the limits of probabalism?

Also, if I turned this around, and asked, "Never to reach the hidden knowledge that only decades of studious measuring would reveal?" why would some consider it qualitatively different than John's initial quote on meditation?

JL
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 26, 2013 - 10:14am PT
How far down the line can we predict the outcome? Where might the model fail, and why? Where are the limits of probabalism?

The question as stated is meaningless because it presumes an unattainable 100% accuracy rate. If you step it down to calculate varying percentages of accuracy it becomes massively more complicated (see here, for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_problem ), but would result in a more meaningful practical analysis.

- Unless of course it's just a troll predicated on a forgone mondo-zendo-supremo outlook :-)
jogill

climber
Colorado
Mar 26, 2013 - 11:33am PT
Thanks, MH2 !

A breath of fresh air.

;>)
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 26, 2013 - 11:49am PT
How far down the line can we predict the outcome? Where might the model fail, and why? Where are the limits of probabalism?

The question as stated is meaningless because it presumes an unattainable 100% accuracy rate.


What's meaningless is your assumption that I was hoping for a 100% accuracy rate.

Put differently, at what point down the line would prababilism cease to provide meaningful (i.e., useful) results. You could interpret this many ways, but if probable conclusions could be drawn from antecedent factors - do this and that happens a majority of the time - it's hard to imagine this wouldn't be useful.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 26, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
It holds that in the absence of certainty, probably probability is the best criterion

I am assuming the quote above is probably the more or less working definition of probalism.?

Since the absence of certainty is probably the status quo condition of the human mind, probalism appears to be one of the main features of human experience and of exploration of the physical world.
Probability thinking works fairly well in that context...probably most of the time. Just ask stockbrokers and poker players.

In science. Same thing.
A prediction is put forth in the form of a theory , then tested, and if the prediction holds , then an element of certainty has been determined. That percentage of the result which remains undetermined becomes addressed in the next series of theories and tests.(that is , if the grant money hasn't run out)
Of course there are implacable uncertainties that seemingly cannot be overcome.
Perhaps the condition of uncertainty is built into the universe. The sine qua non of all that exists. (That last line is better spoken in a reverb echo chamber)

Hitherto , biological life , including humans, have only been able to carve out little arenas of apparent certainty. Maybe this is what life is: these organisms munching there way to and from reliable certainties, surrounded by a mostly implacably uncertain universe. Lol.


jstan

climber
Mar 26, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
The future is, in a number of ways, pretty clear.

People and their behaviors are fairly malleable. I don't have to talk about corporate spending on marketing campaigns, the reliance political parties place on fear and anger to lock down the minds of supporters or on the importance Jefferson gave to public education. You just have to look at the great success rate we have with toilet training children. Only a very few of us are 17 year old rock climbers. There the toilet training rate is lower than average, but hey. No one is perfect.

Human behavior is what is termed an "extrinsic variable." Such variables respond in concert with other factors. Like the pressure in a volume of gas depends upon the number of moles, and the temperature. In many ways we are like a gas and we become even more so as our density increases. We undergo ever more frequent collisions with each other, making anger an increasingly salable emotion.

(Emotion is welded at the hip to the desire for survival. When you have put people into an emotional state, they become your slave.)

What about the future? Jeff Hawkins tells of a conference he attended devoted to study of the brain. There were 36,000 attendees, all working on the brain. We did not even need to know about Obama's recently announced Federal initiative to understand the brain better, to know that this area of study will become an order of magnitude larger than was the voyage to the moon. Perhaps two orders larger. And don't forget that we now can gather data showing all the sites people are visiting on the internet. And that companies know exactly to whom to direct their advertising. In future a great deal more will be known as to why people do what they do,

We can't quantify human behavior?

We are already.

Edit:
Perhaps the condition of uncertainty is built into the universe.

When you look at how the quantum is becoming more and more at the center of nature, you have to see the trend. We humans love certainty as we feel it assures our personal survival. We have contempt for animals because we have certainty and they don't.

The universe does not have a to do list with us anywhere on it.

We need to get comfortable with that.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Mar 26, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Funny how these things pop up at the most appropriate times:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/03/brain-scans-predict-which-criminals-will-reoffend/
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 26, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
We can't quantify human behavior?

We are already.

I don't think there is anything new here. The examples you have alluded to: the high-tech tracking of data on people to ascertain their motives and inclinations, is merely a new and glitzy form of what had transpired in earlier periods.

Business and political leaders use to automatically determine the state of mind of the great unwashed masses long before modern communications. They were able to do this because of a greater uniformity of habits , attitudes, morals, and racial and ethnic identity in any given region.

Now human societies are much more diverse and multifarious ,lacking in the same predictable uniformity and continuity. This inchoate state of affairs is leading to an increased use of high tech means of tracking the public.
This tracking is carried out by the usual suspects : those with vested interest in knowing what
their fellows humans are up to. Even scientists, with no apparent ambition for world domination , are spending late nights dialing- in the populace.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


We humans love certainty as we feel it assures our personal survival. We have contempt for animals because we have certainty and they don't.

I think that certainty is hard wired into living things, especially if they possess a nervous system capable of storing information.
A lizard knows his fly meal is more certain if he remains motionless. This probability calculation is hard wired into the lizard's DNA.
With other animals it usually .takes the form of a learned behavior. A bear usually learns from its mother that where there is a buzzing sound, or sweet smell, there Is a probable certainty of some honey.
Certainty is the meat of living things. Success is built upon certainty. Certainty is a repeating variable. It is always sought after.
Uncertainty is usually feared and avoided.
Humans appear to be the only animal overly preoccupied with uncertainty, real or imagined.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 26, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
cintune that's very interesting but I don't like the way the researchers framed the study. They make the inmates do a test that measures their ability to control their impulses. Then they measure brain activity in a center of the brain I dont know about, the anterior cingulate cortex. More activity means more control. So far so good. But then they want to predict whether prisoners will commit more crimes after they are released. So they have a second correlation between impulse control and recidivism. So they want to prove that they can do a brain scan and tell whether a person will commit a crime. I dont like this idea at all since the application would be very unfair. Sorry, we can't let you out of jail just yet, according to your medical exam, you're still too impulsive.

By the way if anyone doesn't know about the interplay between the frontal cortex and the amygdala, it's interesting to read about. The amygdala is the reptilian, Homer Simpson part of the brain, and the frontal cortex is the part that reins it in. This other thing, the anterior cingulate cortex, I had never heard of.

Update/edit: I couldn't resist googling this, and got this from wikipedia: "A widely publicized study by the University College London demonstrated a correlation between larger development of the ACC and left political orientation versus larger development of the amygdala in right political orientation."
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 26, 2013 - 02:22pm PT
We can't quantify human behavior?

We are already.


And because quantifying leads to predicting outcomes, in the scientific model, it follows that behavior is predictable. Some "hard" physicalists might even say that if we had all the relevant data, we could predict a person's behavior down to the smallest nuance.

We can't do it yet, so the question becomes - moving up from the quantum to the meta, where do our predictions start to crumble, and do they crumble because the measurements are no longer relevant past a certain level of complexity, or is it just a momentary set back in the data stream, that once we get the required figures, the game is ON.

I have to chuckle at the absurdity of this later belief, knowing that whoever proposes it has never had a GF or a wife - or a husband as it were.

But seriously, another way to put this question is: where does the intrinsic (basic nature) end and extrinsic begin.

"Intrinsic characteristics are those which an object has by its very nature, regardless of its situation or circumstances. Extrinsic characteristics are those which an object has solely in relationship to other objects and/or its environment.

For example, a person may be intrinsically male, but extrinsically an engineer."

Hard physicalist might say that the extrinsic is simply an unknown intrinsic value, for the lack of sufficient data. For if we really had all the facts and figures on the "male," we could predict him being an engineer since we live in a strictly mechanistic and determined world, with that side order of chaos and randomness (which are themselves intrinsic factors??).


JL
MH2

climber
Mar 26, 2013 - 04:06pm PT
In many ways we are like a gas


And if everyone, or say 80% of us, would please own and carry a cell phone a modestly powerful computer could keep track of our positions and momenta. Such information has been collected and studied and a person's day-to-day behavior is alarmingly predictable.

Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 26, 2013 - 04:58pm PT
In many ways we are like a gas
Brownian motion / Drunkard's walk
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 26, 2013 - 05:17pm PT
Some "hard" physicalists might even say that if we had all the relevant data, we could predict a person's behavior down to the smallest nuance.

Name one. Just one who isn't a crank.

You have always been hostile to science and quantifying things, John. Study of things that can only measured qualitatively IS useful.

There are a number of chaotic, turbulent, and non-linear systems which cannot be solved repeatedly. This doesn't mean that the description is not useful. It can be incredibly useful. There are other things that we don't qualify at all, such as happiness. That is your realm I assume.

You go on and on with this, John (By the way, my name is Mark, and most of you know it), hammering it in as if quantitative study is the only way to accomplish anything, but that is not the case.

Political campaigns break every logical rule in the book, but are quite effective. Steering the masses towards an untrue future is a refined science now. Your little jabs at quantitative science, which you usually slip in as the first sentence, is nothing more than a strawman, and you should know better. The truth is the truth. There is no reason for you to attack science in that manner. It degrades the level of discourse.

Just look at all of the lies that we believed about going to war in Iraq. Do you think that if everyone had put their critical thinking caps on, asked for better proof, that we would have gone to war? I hope not.
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 26, 2013 - 05:20pm PT
There is no reason for you to attack science in that manner
He does it, so he must have a reason.
Perhaps he is afraid of death.
Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 26, 2013 - 05:24pm PT
Just look at all of the lies that we believed about going to war in Iraq. Do you think that if everyone had put their critical thinking caps on, asked for better proof, that we would have gone to war?

yes, we still would have invaded Iraq

because a totally informed population does not make any legislation or war decisions

we are a Representative Democracy, and Bush/Cheney were determined to invade Iraq, regardless of whether the public believed their justifications or not

making some ME people "pay" for 9/11 was their agenda and Iraq was the chosen vehicle
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 26, 2013 - 05:24pm PT
It bugs me. It is often framed in an ad-hominem or strawman fashion.

He also feels free to insult people.

If we frame this as even a semiformal debate, we should all obey the rules, and if not, explain why.
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