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#4329 - 09/25/09 10:24 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
BACK TO THE ORIGINAL POST...

Originally Posted By: ryck
In the previous lounge, during one of the long and vigorous discussions that evolved into faith versus science (I think it was a thread that started out talking about nature), someone mentioned two basic scientific principles that scientists are still unable to explain and which are accepted as "that's just the way it is".

Does anyone recall what they might have been or, barring recollection, just know what they are?


Was this the old Lounge thread you meant? "Inner Life of a Cell" (Nov/23/07)


Yes, and thanks. Turns out that the information I sought wasn't in a specific post but at a posted link to a New York Times article by Paul Davies.

Taking Science On Faith

The references weren't quite as specific as I recalled (i.e. The Theory of ______ and The Theory of ______) but maybe that just means I should start taking B12.

ryck


Edited by ryck (09/25/09 10:30 AM)
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#4330 - 09/25/09 11:00 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: ryck]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: ryck
Yes, and thanks. Turns out that the information I sought wasn't in a specific post but at a posted link to a New York Times article by Paul Davies.

Taking Science On Faith

No... thank YOU! [and what a stimulating article too, which no doubt will be shredded to pieces in some posts to follow.]

The final sentence reads:
Quote:
But until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.

Ouch! (please don't shoot me folks, i'm just a messenger. smile )

BTW ryck... did you know that Paul Davies also inspired a (much) earlier Lounge thread?Neither did i. grin

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#4333 - 09/25/09 11:27 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
The quote of the article is manifestly trivial. This is what differentiates a scientific theory from a "manifestly bogus" one: testability. Some people say that science is only what produces testable theories or predictions. By this reasoning many serious minds still consider medicine an art rather than science. Concerning faith in science, one should distinguish between faith in the results one gets (we believe that they are true) and faith of the scientist in general that borders on or is directly related to God's will. The latter could be creationism from the Big Bang to life. Once we can explain the data or a theory by experiments, there is less and less God involved in science. The famous Laplace as you all know answered to Napoleon in this way:
Quote:
Laplace went in state to Napoleon to accept a copy of his work, and the following account of the interview is well authenticated, and so characteristic of all the parties concerned that I quote it in full. Someone had told Napoleon that the book contained no mention of the name of God; Napoleon, who was fond of putting embarrassing questions, received it with the remark, 'M. Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator.' Laplace, who, though the most supple of politicians, was as stiff as a martyr on every point of his philosophy, drew himself up and answered bluntly, 'Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là.' ("I had no need of that hypothesis.") Napoleon, greatly amused, told this reply to Lagrange, who exclaimed, 'Ah! c'est une belle hypothèse; ça explique beaucoup de choses.' ("Ah, it is a fine hypothesis; it explains many things.") from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Simon_Laplace


Edited by macnerd10 (09/25/09 11:29 AM)
_________________________
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3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
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#4335 - 09/25/09 12:14 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: sandbox]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: sandbox
False, would be determined by outcome.

The "outcome" of mortal life is mortal death. Perhaps it's not entirely wasteful to ponder whether or not humans potentially embody some eternal spiritual component as well. Because if we don't, then hell... let's just party like it's 1999.


Originally Posted By: sandbox
Have we as a species found more or less evidence to validate the claims that are taught by faith based endeavors?

But isn't it obvious that: once claims are validated -- they are no longer "based on faith"? Anyway, which claim(s) are you seeking to validate?


Originally Posted By: sandbox
From my perspective there is a constant flow of data to refute most Abrahamic theory for example.

Too vague. Pick something specific that was refuted and then a suitable response can be formulated.


Originally Posted By: sandbox
In the logical world this line of study would be discounted for lack of evidence and common sense. There is plenty of documentation of failed mystical theory going back to the Titans, Caves, or Pagans when the Gods were feminine.

Uh huh... but science OTOH has been pristine and error-free, lo these many centuries. Remember blood-letting? How would you like to be sick back in the good old days and hear the physician say: "Aha, you have fever? We drain 5 quarts blood... that oughta cool you down."


Originally Posted By: sandbox
The issue needs to be addressed because science is causing the edges to fray, and we need to have a logical plan to deal with it as it unravels.

Science is causing the edges to fray? There are several schools of thought on that as well. (I mentioned "The Tao of Physics" on an earlier page. So, there is at least one physicist who sees that matter from a different perspective).


Originally Posted By: sandbox
The theory builds armies and discounts women, while trying to capture the moral high ground.

Oh i see, so all non-atheistic individuals are accountable for the political aspirations of a bunch of chauvinist whackos? Sweeping generalization or what?


Originally Posted By: sandbox
The issue, as I see it, was that faith base reasoning and "Belief" is a mistake. And in demonstrating why it is and then showing what can be done to reverse the mistake would make this thread useful.

Well, what can i say? "Sorry my previous reply demonstrated you were guilty of virtually the same presuppositions and prejudices as you claim the opposite camp to be." ?

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#4338 - 09/25/09 12:41 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: macnerd10]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: macnerd10
The quote of the article is manifestly trivial. This is what differentiates a scientific theory from a "manifestly bogus" one: testability.

"Testable" was contained in the quote. So, you're merely repeating what the quote already said? [i don't get it.]


Originally Posted By: macnerd10
Some people say that science is only what produces testable theories or predictions. By this reasoning many serious minds still consider medicine an art rather than science. Concerning faith in science, one should distinguish between faith in the results one gets (we believe that they are true) and faith of the scientist in general that borders on or is directly related to God's will. The latter could be creationism from the Big Bang to life. Once we can explain the data or a theory by experiments, there is less and less God involved in science. The famous Laplace as you all know answered to Napoleon in this way: </snip>

Laplace was a genius... unfortunately i am not.
[i don't follow what either of you have proved.]

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#4340 - 09/25/09 01:48 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I just wanted to say that what you quoted is common knowledge and the article's author did not need to repeat it again. Because of this, I did not understand (in turn) why a person like you would quote something really cliche.
The rest is just "reasoning" around the quote. The way I see the idea of Laplace is that (I guess, you share this point of view) in real science there is little place for believing in God. He just formulated it very much in-your-face, as a "hypothesis". If only believers would deal with science, its progress may have stalled (look at the Middle Ages) because they might not be interested in digging deeper, since every oddity or Nature's puzzle could be explained by God's will. But it is exactly the unexplainable that drives human quest for scientific truth. What I am saying is not a universal truth, of course, but a good example of this point of view is creationism. If we endorse it, there is no point looking into the complexity of the animal and plant kingdoms, finding relationship among species and studying their natural history - everything was created by God and left as is. Belief in this particular case is really counterproductive because it removes the time dimension from biological studies, IMHO.


Edited by macnerd10 (09/25/09 01:50 PM)
_________________________
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#4350 - 09/25/09 07:41 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: macnerd10]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: macnerd10
I just wanted to say that what you quoted is common knowledge and the article's author did not need to repeat it again. Because of this, I did not understand (in turn) why a person like you would quote something really cliche.

["common knowledge"? "cliche"?] That's rich. Almost as profound as pooh-poohing dreams with talk of some pill... as if that somehow covers the mysteries of the human mind. Are you sure you read (and understood) what Davies said (and meant)?

Else... what then has been the big squawk here throughout the past 5 pages? Haven't the proponents of strict scientific methods been debasing faith as nothing but a security blanket for mindless morons? [And doesn't Davies assert that much of the basic laws of physics are themselves taken with a certain amount of faith? Because (although proven "accurate" so far) they aren't truly understood -- at least that's my interpretation.]

You [or someone] got some 'xplainin' to do.


Edited by Hal Itosis (09/25/09 08:07 PM)

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#4352 - 09/25/09 10:06 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: ryck]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
>> hal said:
The "outcome" of mortal life is mortal death. Perhaps it's not entirely wasteful to ponder whether or not humans potentially embody some eternal spiritual component as well. Because if we don't, then hell... let's just party like it's 1999.<<

You live, you die, and the worms, beetles and flies party like it's 1969. You go on in your progeny.

Give me a minute to ponder….OK if there is a spirit no one has produced any actual evidence.

I look at life in any form and see it end, turned into a pile of decay and be recycled into another life form. I can live with that, life and death are a cycle. If something else is going on I'm open to it, but I'm not going to build a monument, kneel in a pew, bang my head on the floor or wall to the notion. I'd rather be the fly.

>> hal said:
Too vague. Pick something specific that was refuted and then a suitable response can be formulated.<<

Archeology unearths many examples that refute the 6000-year-old earth for example. Simple observation refuted the flat world.

Bloodletting was hardly a proven method; anymore then snake oil was a cure for everything that ailed you. Your reaching. wink lets light a candle and sing a psalm for the bloodless, shall we, how about a guitar mass?

The Tao of Physics?
I prefer Consilience http://www.2think.org/hii/wilson.shtml

>> hal said:
Oh i see, so all non-atheistic individuals are accountable for the political aspirations of a bunch of chauvinist whackos? Sweeping generalization or what?<<

The theory rings the division bell. My god is better than yours, my god told me to build a boat, split a sea, and displace 140,000 Palestinians so we can live in the chosen land…. Prove it, you can't,….. but that doesn't stop anyone from building an army to do gods bidding.

Find a group of scientist that claim the unbelievable and then build armies to defend the non-proven scientific claim. Good Luck!

If you are in fact an engineer then you should be able to understand what social engineering is all about. Of course victims of manipulation will find it hard to concede to being duped by men in dresses who are called father. People that have been programmed to fear death and look forward to life with god are conflicted. They know it's dumb, but they go back to church twice a year just in case.

If you got a worm you need to feed it. wink


Edited by sandbox (09/25/09 10:14 PM)

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#4353 - 09/25/09 10:13 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis

Else... what then has been the big squawk here throughout the past 5 pages? Haven't the proponents of strict scientific methods been debasing faith as nothing but a security blanket for mindless morons? [And doesn't Davies assert that much of the basic laws of physics are themselves taken with a certain amount of faith? Because (although proven "accurate" so far) they aren't truly understood -- at least that's my interpretation.]

You [or someone] got some 'xplainin' to do.


Why is the sky blue?
_________________________
---

The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth. - Niels Bohr

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#4356 - 09/26/09 12:17 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Why is blue "blue" ? wink
[something in the brain... idunno]

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#4357 - 09/26/09 12:34 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: sandbox]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
It seems like you're semi-serious and semi-kidding to get through this discussion. However, lately i can't tell which mode you're in (even within a sentence). So, i will cherry pick a small item and try to communicate in a normal fashion.

Originally Posted By: sandbox
Archeology unearths many examples that refute the 6000-year-old earth for example.

I believe you also mentioned earlier that the Earth was created in 7 days. Look, i'm no defender of *everything* in the Bible, and i'm no expert either... but it's certainly not a calculus book or a physics book, and sometimes it's not even a history book. I recall learning (and i'm not even sure it was from the Bible... that's how lame my "faith" is) this one equation: one day for God is a thousand years for man.

Do the math if you want, but my point is: lighten up. [you're directing a lot of anti-religious rhetoric at the wrong guy... i'm just open-minded.]


--


Okay, one more thing.

>>> The Tao of Physics?
> I prefer Consilience

Apples and artichokes.

One (mine) fits this thread to a tee. I did that googley thing (on Sociobiology) and it seems a little too "Brave New World. . . on steroids" for me. If i have missed its merit, then perhaps it deserves a thread of its own [?].


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#4358 - 09/26/09 12:59 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
This is what I said before. "Scientific" faith is a feeling that things are as your experiments or theories show. This is a legitimate belief not requiring supernatural power. Nothing to do with religious faith. Every scientist should believe in certain laws of nature or his/her results as a working hypothesis. And this is not religion, IMHO. Most people here debated about religious faith that may or may not come into play when we truly don't understand anything. This is why I quoted Laplace because his scientific method did not need a supernatural power to explain laws of astronomy. But again, it is very tempting to invoke such power when one cannot understand things especially when one cannot "feel and touch" them and a lot of proofs are indirect and abstract.
So, IMHO, there is faith in the veracity of certain things and religious faith in a supernatural power that can explain everything but does not necessarily lead to the forward movement of scientific quest.
_________________________
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3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
2.8 GHz Xeon Mac Pro 2010, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, LAN

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#4368 - 09/26/09 03:46 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Why is blue "blue" ? wink
[something in the brain... idunno]


You don't actually know much science, do you?
_________________________
---

The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth. - Niels Bohr

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#4373 - 09/26/09 09:23 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
Hal, I was just playing as I suspect you were. Not being a hardcore follower but you were vaguely defending the concept.

I'm holding this idea to the same standard that we need to hold science too, and it doesn't hold up.

So, one tries to be fair, to put it in context. Consider the time line and the educational level of people thousands of years ago and try to understand what the need was that would create the concept and enforce it so rigorously. Understand the influence of nurture, environment, family traditions and if there is a genetic or biological component here and now.

Uniting a population under a supernatural being who can watch you or watch over you in 4000 BC must have been appealing. I have no argument with that. It is understandable into the Middle Ages to a degree, but if one looks carefully they will begin to see the books rewritten, the wealth concentrated and atrocious acts mount. A student of the belief theory could see the unrest, the fractured groups splitting off to carry-on or reinvent the theory to suit their new reality or need to maintain control.

What E.O. Wilson addresses is the unification of the Sciences. He brings the hard calculative science together with the soft social sciences in an attempt to demonstrate that both can work together…..IF.

It is one thing to calculate the distance to the moon and quite another to calculate how the mind was able to accomplish the calculation.

I'm not opposed to the premise of a theory that unites Minds and (for the purpose of this argument) Hearts but when the theory takes it's own course, or a life of it's own and interferes with the progress of man, then it needs to be examined. Under the microscope the theory of a Prime Mover doesn't do well, but that's not to say it did not have a practical application 6000 years ago.

I can understand that people have needs that I don't share, but if those needs interfere with my progress or our progress, they need to be isolated, defined and controlled. Not to put too fine a point on it, but we are at a time in our development when we need to put a limit on this dependency.

Knowing that the great powers of this society come from great wealth or large groups, limiting god is not going to be easy. Understanding the power of dependency will help our species curb the appetite of the portion of our population that depends on this concept for their security and purpose.

Every religion that I can find throughout history was replaced by another, I suspect that by combining the sciences that we can concoct a highbred theory that will inaccurately address some issues while exposing the needy population to fact based theory.


Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
It seems like you're semi-serious and semi-kidding to get through this discussion. However, lately i can't tell which mode you're in (even within a sentence). So, i will cherry pick a small item and try to communicate in a normal fashion.

Originally Posted By: sandbox
Archeology unearths many examples that refute the 6000-year-old earth for example.

I believe you also mentioned earlier that the Earth was created in 7 days. Look, i'm no defender of *everything* in the Bible, and i'm no expert either... but it's certainly not a calculus book or a physics book, and sometimes it's not even a history book. I recall learning (and i'm not even sure it was from the Bible... that's how lame my "faith" is) this one equation: one day for God is a thousand years for man.

Do the math if you want, but my point is: lighten up. [you're directing a lot of anti-religious rhetoric at the wrong guy... i'm just open-minded.]


--


Okay, one more thing.

>>> The Tao of Physics?
> I prefer Consilience

Apples and artichokes.

One (mine) fits this thread to a tee. I did that googley thing (on Sociobiology) and it seems a little too "Brave New World. . . on steroids" for me. If i have missed its merit, then perhaps it deserves a thread of its own [?].


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#4375 - 09/26/09 10:25 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: crarko
You don't actually know much science, do you?

Let's put it this way: any engineering/technical class we could possibly attend together, i would probably do as well or better than you (if i wanted to). Perhaps circuit analysis and analog/digital design was more interesting to me than rates of reaction or Maxwell's equations. I assume you are fluent with Maxwell's equations then? Or convolution? Please join the conversation and contribute some information. I've probably forgotten more science than i can remember, so i'm here to learn something interesting (if you have anything to contribute besides sarcasm that is).


Your question was highly irrelevant [especially in the context of the quote you chose, and the exchange Alex and i were having at the time] and itself was open to different interpretations. Scattered blue light is only blue because we (humans) with our retinal receptors and brain processors **perceive** that electromagnetic frequency band in that manner. We have invented the word "blue" to describe it. Perhaps a Gorp from the Ueulon galaxy (say the planet Diflaxus) might **perceive** that particular sub-spectrum as being fuchsia with yellow polka dots. [whereas red might look like grey lines to him.] In other words: the sky isn't truly blue... we just "think" it's blue. And i don't believe you've actually given the matter much thought, have you?

[if you were looking for the traditional answer dealing with molecular resonance or something, try google. Electrical engineers don't have to take more than 2 levels of chemistry (thank GOD).]

So... what was your major? smile


Edited by Hal Itosis (09/26/09 12:43 PM)

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#4377 - 09/26/09 11:23 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: macnerd10]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: macnerd10
This is why I quoted Laplace because his scientific method did not need a supernatural power to explain laws of astronomy. But again, it is very tempting to invoke such power when one cannot understand things especially when one cannot "feel and touch" them and a lot of proofs are indirect and abstract.

Yes... gravity is quite an interesting animal, isn't it?

I remember one physics teacher i had put
F = ma

up on the board and called it "mother". Not just because of the 'ma' pun... but because it was one of physics' fundamental laws.

So for Newton, gravity was a force (like a string perhaps) pulling on the apple. When the stem became weak, that force "pulled" the apple to the ground. Sure seems that way, doesn't it? But -- in Newton's universe -- time was always a constant (and unalterable) entity. And since the velocity of the apple was so slow (compared to "light"), everything appeared precisely right (mathematically).

Then along comes Einstein. What was gravity doing to the apple? Merely (mysteriously) pulling like some invisible string on its mass? No, more than that. Gravity was warping the **time** component of the space-time field between Earth and the apple, and thus directing the apple's future in space. That's some heavy $#!+.

We have all the equations, and we can synthesize and manipulate electromagnetic waves until we're blue in the face. But not so with gravitational forces (other than taking some mass and accelerating it). Why can't *we* build a UFO saucer? wink

--

[i guess the upshot of all that is: formulas are one thing... while actual knowledge, understanding, reasons and "explanations" are another.]


Edited by Hal Itosis (09/26/09 12:04 PM)

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#4379 - 09/26/09 12:20 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
A saucer has been built in the last decade by a Russian firm but they could not afford production and sold it to Boeing that conveniently tabled it because it does not resemble at all the conventional aircraft. It looks like a saucer, has jet engines and, according to the designer team, cannot crash fatally if the engines are cut off. In a free fall, it assumes some strange trajectory, leaning to the right and left and this way cutting speed like a mountain skier. These are general things as I recall them and may not be 100% accurate. The only problem - it does not have a speed of light (sigh).
Something like this: http://www.boingboing.net/2005/04/13/russias-flying-sauce.html
or this: http://www.xuux.info/html/UFO-News/200906/19-8.html


Edited by macnerd10 (09/26/09 12:28 PM)
_________________________
Alex
3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
2.8 GHz Xeon Mac Pro 2010, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, LAN

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#4383 - 09/26/09 12:49 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: macnerd10]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
The Case for Antigravity

[narrator has the same Brit accent as the "faith cake" video. grin  ]

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#4384 - 09/26/09 01:00 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis

So... what was your major?


Mathematics. Followed by graduate study in Operations Research, and History and Philosophy of Science.

Here:
http://www.mcps.umn.edu/

Worked as a systems engineer here:
http://www.atk.com/
a software engineer here (although it was 2 name changes ago):
http://www.bostonscientific.com/
and an SQA engineer here:
http://solutions.3m.com/en_US/

Any other questions of pedigree?

And yeah, I know what Maxwell's equations are. I trust they are not part of a faith-based science movement now. That would be more this part of physics:

http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/vvc/theory/model.html

which is still the most successful theory (where success is measured by making correct predictions) ever. It is by no means complete, so there are still plenty of those gaps for the gods to party down in.
_________________________
---

The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth. - Niels Bohr

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#4385 - 09/26/09 02:12 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: crarko
Mathematics. Followed by graduate study in Operations Research, and History and Philosophy of Science.

Excellent.

I elected (i.e., not required for BSEE) to take "Functions of a Complex Variable" -- Chaos theory, Koshi-Riemann? non-linear second-order differential stuff. Managed to score a B+ (the class size was minus 10 faces after 2 weeks). Can't remember a single thing about it. One would need to use that skill almost weekly to retain it.

Originally Posted By: crarko
And yeah, I know what Maxwell's equations are. I trust they are not part of a faith-based science movement now.

Well i don't know... but is that sort of polarization really what this was all about?
Actually, i had a rather cool T-shirt long ago which read:
"And God said...
[then the equations were listed]

...and there was light."


I always thought that was funny. (sadly, that t-shirt is too small for me now).


Originally Posted By: crarko
Any other questions of pedigree?

Not really... but i think you omitted this one:
- repair permissions before and after applying a system update

Putting all that experience together nicely. smirk


Edited by Hal Itosis (09/26/09 02:35 PM)

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#4386 - 09/26/09 02:29 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
I am reminded by this thread of a quote of Alan Turing: "Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition."

By the way, for a good and fun introduction to modern Complex variable theory, take a peek at Visual Complex Analysis. I actually bought my copy off the shelf at Border's. smile
_________________________
---

The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth. - Niels Bohr

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#4394 - 09/26/09 07:23 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
kiwichris Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: New Zealand
[/quote]

Why is the sky blue?
[/quote]

...and why is the grass, or plant leaves green? not what it does, but why green?

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#4395 - 09/26/09 07:38 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: kiwichris]
kiwichris Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: New Zealand
On the religion thing, it seems to me that mankind (in general) has had religion from the year dot. There have always been gods, demons, majic etc, no matter what the society or race. Even the oldest and most genetically unique, the Australian Aborigine, had a system of illogical beliefs.

My conclusion has been, maybe humankind in general needs to believe there is some greater power than us, for some reason I can not fathom.

However another's beliefs, no matter how illogical I find them, are not of a particular worry to me, until they start impacting to the detriment of my life.

BTW, most hospitals in NZ are named after the area or city they are in, one exception is Starship Childrens Hospital in Auckland. Those with religious names are usually private, ie you pay, and run by some religious organisation. So, I can't agree that hospitals were started by religionists, well at least not here, but by humanitarians, some of whom may have had conventional religious beliefs.


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#4397 - 09/26/09 10:39 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: crarko
Originally Posted By: jchuzi
I know of no instances in which atheists killed for their (non) beliefs.


Um... Stalin? Mao?


Both Stalin and Mao killed millions of people on the basis of a faith.

Remember my earlier definition of the word "faith"--a belief that is accepted without evidence to support it. All religions are faith, but not all faiths are religion. For example, astrology is taken on faith, despite mountains of evidence against it, but it isn't a religion.

Stalin accepted many beliefs on faith, without evidence to support them: he believed that wheat and other organisms could be "trained" to inherit new traits they acquired from the environment, a belief that killed millions of Soviet citizens through starvation. He believed that all knowledge that came from "bourgeois" West was inherently corrupted, which caused him to reject outright things like genetic biology and molecular biology. He believed that Jews were inherently inferior in intelligence to non-Jews, and so ignored the reports of a Jewish doctor, Dr. Karpai, who had reported an anomaly in the cardiogram of one of his top Politburo officers, Andrei Zhdanov (who shortly thereafter died of a heart attack).

Chairman Mao is a textbook case of irrational and anti-rational thinking. Mao believed, for example, that industrialization could be accomplished quickly by forcing farmers to stop producing food and instead making them work on collective industrialization projects; the result of this belief that he held without supporting evidence was the Great Chinese Famine, which killed tens of millions of people.

Mao believed that formal education and schooling were inherently corrupting influences, and that all the knowledge a person needed could be gained informally through experience; as a result, most of the industrial projects developed during the Great Leap Forward, from roadways to dams to industrial infrastructure, failed or turned out to be useless, because they were not designed by skilled engineers.

Mao and Stalin are great examples of what happens when anti-intellectualism wins the day--when people reject the fruits of formal, rigorous scientific inquiry in favor of superstition and beliefs held without evidence. Stalin killed geneticists; Mao executed engineers; as a direct result, millions died.

These are not examples of what happens when atheists take power; they are examples of what happens when superstition triumphs over reason, when leaders turn their back on studious inquiry into the physical laws of the universe in favor of ideology and irrationality. There has never been a case in which millions of people have been murdered because of an excess of reasonableness. smile

Originally Posted By: "Gregg"
I'm not buying that. You are trying to imply that all hospitals not founded or operated by a religious organization are "Atheist Hospitals". No way! Oh, but I'm sure you can demonstrate that's true for each of the nearly 4,000 institutions.


I'm not saying any such thing; what is an 'atheist organization,' anyway? I'm saying that hospitals are most commonly built for reasons which are not religious.

How many hospitals have been built by the Assemblies of God, or the Fundamentalist Mormons? How about the Christian Scientists, who hold as a matter of faith that all of medicine is a sin, and that only the power of the Holy Spirit can cure disease?

Originally Posted By: "Hal Itosis"
But i have no wish to take up *that* argument either way. As i've said (this makes the 3rd? time): believe what you want (about the Big Bang or whatever)... but at least admit it's a belief/opinion, no better than any other.


Sorry, no. It's supported by considerable evidence; the COBE satellite was designed and built to test the predictions made by the Big Bang model, and it's one of the most stunning success stories in all of science. The data gathered by the satellite about the universal microwave background radiation match perfectly to within the limits of ...e by the theory.

As Randall Munroe, author of XKCD, famously observed, "We finally figured out that you could separate fact from superstition by a completely radical method: observation. You can try things, measure them, and see how they work! Bitches. The graph [of] data from the COBE mission, which looked at the background microwave glow of the universe and found that it fit perfectly with the idea that the universe used to be really hot everywhere. This strongly reinforced the Big Bang theory and was one of the most dramatic examples of an experiment agreeing with a theory in history -- the data points fit perfectly, with error bars too small to draw on the graph. It's one of the most triumphant scientific results in history."

How much evidence do you have to support the notion that some divine cosmic being made the world in six days and created woman out of the rib of man? smile

Or is that even the creation myth you prefer? There are lots of creation stories: the Chinese tradition that says the universe began with an egg, out of which hatched a giant whose arms became the world? How about the Egyptian myth in which the god Re masturbates, and from his masturbation is produced the father and mother of an entire race of gods, who go out and build the world? How about the Mesopotamian myth, which says that the descendants of the goddess Tiamat revolt against her and destroy her, then split her body in half, and create the heavens from one half and the earth from the other half?

Are each of these ideas "no better than any other"?

That is one of the main problems with the nature of faith, and one you still haven't answered, even though I have asked you twice. I will now ask you a third time.

There are hundreds of thousands of beliefs that have no evidence and can have no evidence. The three-part Christian god made the world, the giant god P'an Ku created the heavens and the earth from the halves of a gigantic eggshell, the Greek gods Gaia and Uranus create all the heavens and the earth but Uranus shuts up the flawed creations within the bowels of the earth to make way for man, the notion that the universe began when eight gods sprung from the back of an enormous jellyfish and filled the firmament with other gods, who come together to form the world; the universe began as an empty hollow that slowly filled with water and then froze into the shape of a giant, Ymir, whose armpits produced a second generation of giants who rose up and slew him, then made the world from his flesh and bones...it goes on and on and on.

Given all that, and given that there can be no evidence, not one shred, to support any of this, how do you choose a faith? Do you just believe what you're told to believe? What your parents believe? What your society believe? Were all the people who believe in Ymir and Odin and Loki and Set fools and simpletons, but you are wise and enlightened because your god is somehow better?

Originally Posted By: "Hal Itosis"
The existence of a God/Creator has neither been proved *or* disproved, AFAIK.


And cannot be. Yet I am betting that you don't believe in Apollo, Amaterasu, Geong Si, Freyr, Iris, Kagutsuchi, Maia, Marduk, Bast, Yarikh, Tiamat, Rama, Ninazu, Lugh, Hathor, Juturna, Fenrir, Ceres, Dagon, Ohkuninushi, Shapsu, Vishnu, Yum Kimil, Xochiquetzal, Tonatiuh, Selene, Shiva, Rhea, Orgelmir, Mot, Hermes, Ixtab, Davlin, Ceridwen, Athirat, Balder, or Horus, yet they can be neither proved nor disproved either. So how do you choose a god to believe in?

Originally Posted By: "Hal Itosis"
No... thank YOU! [and what a stimulating article too, which no doubt will be shredded to pieces in some posts to follow.]


It's not even hard to shred. The author doesn't know what science is. The author asserts that " All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed. When physicists probe to a deeper level of subatomic structure, or astronomers extend the reach of their instruments, they expect to encounter additional elegant mathematical order." And that's exactly what we see; science doesn't believe that on faith, but rather that's where the evidence has led.

We don't believe that a hammer, when dropped will fall because of some kind of prophet who revealed it as an issue of faith; we believe it because every time we drop a hammer, it falls. Non-falling hammers are thin on the ground indeed.

The article's prime absurdity can be found in this ridiculous passage: "Clearly, then, both religion and science are founded on faith — namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too." This is a re-couching of the same old tired yarn that science is just like religion because science doesn't know everything yet. It's a weak argument, which tends to be persuasive only to those who do not know what science actually is.

Think about the two cave men I talked about before. Ogg says that the sun is a god. Gronk says that it isn't; he doesn't know what it is, but it's not a god. Ogg's sun-god dies as science advances; people in prehistoric times could not explain what the sun was, but that does not mean that the sun was a god, nor that belief in a physical, non-supernatural explanation for the sun was "faith". They didn't know what that explanation was, that's all.

Now we do. Now we know that the sun is not a god. Ogg's belief in a sun-god shrinks as science advances.

I believe this is why the vast majority of the world's religious traditions, including all forms of fundamentalist Christianity, are anti-intellectual. Their gods are the gods of the gaps. Their faith only survives as long as they can say "there are things we don't know and there are things science doesn't know so that means science is just another faith." As knowledge progresses, their gods must retreat. As science learns more, their gods become less. They HAVE to be anti-intellectual, for the same reason that the caveman Ogg HAS to oppose learning about the nature of the sun. Once we do learn these things, there is no room left for god.

So as our knowledge grows, our gods become more feeble and more abstract. What was once believed to be an entire bestiary of fearsome gods whose actions shaped everything from the rising of the sun to the falling of the rain has become a distant, invisible, amorphous man in the sky who contents himself with drawing vague doodles on bits of toast.
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#4398 - 09/26/09 10:59 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Interesting point of view. My only problem is your free and very superficial interpretation of both Mao and Stalin. As much as I hate the monsters, especially, Stalin, you must give it to them that they built powerful states that, no matter how stupid the subsequent rulers, were could not be driven into oblivion. Stalin's ruthless rule was a good example, including space travel, WMD, and general industrialization. He relied on many very talented and highly educated people. This is all known stuff. The means to achieve his goals - that is a totally different horror story.
Hitler may be a better example because, of all his entourage, only Speer had a higher education (as an architect!). Still, Germany was a very advanced state under him until it went to war and all rational things became irrational.
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