The Intellectual War on Science

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Wilshire

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« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2018, 03:08:08 pm »
We're just a means to convey bacteria from one place to another.

Oh, and water bears. The true rulers.
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #61 on: March 01, 2018, 03:53:42 pm »
I guess I'm not making a distinction between 'random' and 'directionless cause and effect'.
Like to me you can either talk about intelligent design, or evolution.

ID requires someone or something directing outcomes. We've been doing this for thousands of years with lifestock.
Evolution is everything else. We're talking past each other because we're using the world 'random' differently, but I think we're all talking about the same thing.

You know I am all about distinction in definition,  ;)

Indeed, I am not saying there has to be "intelligent design" but there is cause and effect.  Evolution has a "course" because only certain things are possible, given the chain of cause and effect, but that isn't specially designed or reaching an aim.  People do sometimes confuse "evolution" with something like, say, "progress" or mistakenly assume that evolution is a process that increases complexity or sophistication.  In reality, evolution does not favor a rise in complex organisms at all, just difference.  We favor a view though that flatters complex organisms, because we just so happen to be one.  But this is, has been, and probably always will be bacteria's (and virus' to a less extent) world, we are just living in it.

H, you detail your position very well - but I think ultimately you're talking past this discussion. An amalgam of arbitrariness can be considered random for purposes of this conversation. So we have trillions of cause/effects going on ( some independent, some not ) that allows for the meeting of 2 people. Trillions of arbitrary cause/effects yields randomness for the purpose of understanding how increasing evolutionary outcomes drives diversity and opportunities. The fact that the sub-structure(s) are "caused" doesn't disqualify as a human encountering another human "by chance" as it could well be any dependencies that drove that encounter could be buried a trillion layers deep. I know you're not saying an "intelligence" determined the encounter, but you're inadvertently arguing that may well be the case. Trillions of cause/effects do not yield pure/actual randomness by definition - but it is accurately understood as a random event because the trillions of causes are arbitrary. At some point arbitrary is indeed random.
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H

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« Reply #62 on: March 01, 2018, 05:02:07 pm »
I know you're not saying an "intelligence" determined the encounter, but you're inadvertently arguing that may well be the case. Trillions of cause/effects do not yield pure/actual randomness by definition - but it is accurately understood as a random event because the trillions of causes are arbitrary. At some point arbitrary is indeed random.

Hmm, I guess that is a possible inference, since I have no idea what the initial cause, of which everything is then the derivitive effect thereof.  Intelligent or not, there still must have been Cause Zero.  And if every effect has a cause and every cause is an effect of a subsequent effect, than Cause Zero is the basis of everything.

I don't see where there is room there for any randomness.  Arbitrary is again a human code-word to denote that which we don't have a definitive explanation for.  This doesn't preclude an explanation existing.  It's just too exhaustive to find it in a sea of possible trivial factors and the added complication of the interaction being key in all of that.  But nothing is arbitrary.  If there is an action, it is for a determinate reason.  I can't think of anything happening with no cause at all.  I didn't arbitrarily meet my wife.  We were both, for different reasons, in the same place at the same time, having known someone in common that brought us both there.  It also wasn't arbitrary that we started talking, I was talking to someone else and she agreed with what I was saying and said as much.  I can't follow this idea that everything happens "randomly."  We know there are reasons why everything happens.  We can call it random if we want to concede that we can't predict it, but that is a failure of knowledge on our part, not an accurate representation of the structure of the universe (in my opinion).

We can encapsulate the idea that no human intelligence might dictate a "chance" encounter between two humans, but the fact of the matter is, the encounter was determined by some number of factors.  Just because we cannot or will not enumerate them, doesn't mean they don't exist.  Everything is happening for some reason or reasons.
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #63 on: March 01, 2018, 05:34:12 pm »
We can encapsulate the idea that no human intelligence might dictate a "chance" encounter between two humans, but the fact of the matter is, the encounter was determined by some number of factors.  Just because we cannot or will not enumerate them, doesn't mean they don't exist.  Everything is happening for some reason or reasons.

No, I conceded the point they exist. You gave an example, I'll offer one. I have several plausible paths to a destination and I take one because "I feel like it", which is to say, there wasn't much conscious deliberation of picking a path ( but yes, there are causes for me taking that path ). Another person does the same thing from somewhere else. Neither of us has any conscious knowledge of the other person's existence, none of the underlining causes of our trajectories occurred due to that other person's existence/reality/location. We cross paths and have sex in a department store's storage room. It is accurate to say we crossed paths randomly given the underlying causes that drove us to cross were independent of each other. Disconnected causes colliding can be accurately viewed as random for purposes of understanding and discussing our reality. Simply not useful to caveat discussion with "the amalgam of causes that make/move me collided with another stack of causes today, for which appears neither stack of causes had any prior connection and for which I don't understand" ... or simply/more useful, "I randomly bumped into a stranger today". I guess if you're saying we don't have Free Will, then the initial break on the white ball determined all else - regardless, it's valid to discuss the nature of evolution with terms such as random. And why dis the term arbitrary? That's a sweet spot word that clarifies your point all the more. Arbitrary simply means while events are not random, since they occurred without conscious intention/design or relevance, they are arbitrary.
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TLEILAXU

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« Reply #64 on: March 01, 2018, 05:46:15 pm »
I don't think I'm following that line of reasoning.
Take mutations: gene transcription happens millions and millions of times, sometimes a gene gets transcribed improperly and you make something different. If the gene leads to increased survival, then it gets passed on.
Mate selection is a further extension of this. While it might have a whole host of factors that don't seem random, they're based on the person's genes and partner suitability, which was ultimetly determined randomly.

If we could actually see the tools we're using to select partners - hormone smells, face symmetry, etc. - I'd maybe consider it was random, but the fact that we're blind to almost all of it seems to suggest otherwise. On top of that, if it wasn't random, we'd have a whole lot fewer bad genes wandering around making life miserable. But since we can't see, and we let disease rule us, I'd say there's little that shows its not completely random.

Random: lack of pattern or predictability in events.

We do know why mutations happen though.  It isn't as if there is just some cosmic random number generator that determines if a gene will replicate properly or not.  If it fails, it fails for a reason.  Lets call it, for simplicity's sake, fatigue, or even effect of some radiation (i.e. cosmic rays), or compositional weakness.  In any case, there is predictability, if we could enumerate every possible cause.  To quote Spinoza "Nothing in Nature is random. … A thing appears random only through the incompleteness of our knowledge."

The question of, say, mate selection sure appears random, because there is a huge range of possible outcomes if we select two people "randomly" out of the entire population of the earth (so, lets say 3 billion males combined with 3 billion females, just for an examples sake yields something like 4.4999999985E+18 possible combinations).  Yet, of course, there is only a far, far smaller actual set of real combinations that could even really happen, because events don't just happen, they are caused by something.  So, someone in, say, having never left rural Africa has almost essentially zero (or functionally zero) chance to mate with someone in, say, the dense jungle of South America because they will never, ever, even possibly interact, unless they specially left the area, which would then change the entire scope of the calculation and in doing so, prove that there is some element of determinism based on causes having effects.

You could only possibly mate with someone you actually encounter.  The people you encounter are not random, they are wherever they are for some reason or other.  And you interact with them for some reason or other.  You decide to mate with them for some reason or other.  I really don't understand how this is random, even if it is vastly complicated and incredibly hard to predict.  We simulate it with something that approaches randomness, because that is the best we can do, but that doesn't make it actually random.

Same with a computer generating "random numbers."  Even something like "GetTickCount" yields something that appears random, but really isn't.  So, there are very expensive "random number tables" one could buy, that use vastly complicated data sets (like captured cosmic radiation) but even those are determined by something, and are not truly "random."
No, this is all very wrong. Even if we could somehow measure "all causes" everything breaks down at the quantum level where things are fundamentally probabilistic. The universe is not deterministic. You can look it up on wikipedia.
Quote
To quote Spinoza "Nothing in Nature is random. … A thing appears random only through the incompleteness of our knowledge."
17th century philosophers (or philosophers in general) aren't exactly authorities when it comes to matters relating to the natural world...

Wilshire

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« Reply #65 on: March 01, 2018, 06:22:15 pm »
I'd guess applying quantum physics to the problem of determinism(?) probably takes a deeper understanding of both physics and philosophy than anyone here has the right to claim.

But using ignorance, or lack of understanding, as proof of something, is fundamentally illogical. Knowledge grows as time goes on. The nature of things do not - only how we understand them.

Human understanding of quantum physics is a joke. We can't even fit it properly into our other fundamental theories yet, and there are wildly different reasons for why we think this is. Using our (humanities) lack of understanding of quantum physics to hang an esoteric theory of causality on is ... hilarious. Like using an imaginary nail to try and hang a fake picture and complaining that its not straight.
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H

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« Reply #66 on: March 01, 2018, 06:24:14 pm »
No, I conceded the point they exist. You gave an example, I'll offer one. I have several plausible paths to a destination and I take one because "I feel like it", which is to say, there wasn't much conscious deliberation of picking a path ( but yes, there are causes for me taking that path ). Another person does the same thing from somewhere else. Neither of us has any conscious knowledge of the other person's existence, none of the underlining causes of our trajectories occurred due to that other person's existence/reality/location. We cross paths and have sex in a department store's storage room. It is accurate to say we crossed paths randomly given the underlying causes that drove us to cross were independent of each other. Disconnected causes colliding can be accurately viewed as random for purposes of understanding and discussing our reality. Simply not useful to caveat discussion with "the amalgam of causes that make/move me collided with another stack of causes today, for which appears neither stack of causes had any prior connection and for which I don't understand" ... or simply/more useful, "I randomly bumped into a stranger today". I guess if you're saying we don't have Free Will, then the initial break on the white ball determined all else - regardless, it's valid to discuss the nature of evolution with terms such as random. And why dis the term arbitrary? That's a sweet spot word that clarifies your point all the more. Arbitrary simply means while events are not random, since they occurred without conscious intention/design or relevance, they are arbitrary.

Arbitrary is a fine word, but applied to something like evolution, I feel it is misplaced.  Sure, that is a "chance" encounter in your example, but there is something of a critical gap in your example.  Sure, the two people did not deliberately choose to meet, but surely, since you beleive in free will, they decided to subsequently have sex.  So from an evolutionary standpoint, there absolutely were reasons why the choose to reproduce.  Surely they did not both have sex with every person on their way from point A to point B.  There was some selection in the process.  So it wasn't purely arbitrary, even if the chance of the encounter seemingly was.

No, this is all very wrong. Even if we could somehow measure "all causes" everything breaks down at the quantum level where things are fundamentally probabilistic. The universe is not deterministic. You can look it up on wikipedia.

Is there something to definitively prove that quantum particles actually behave randomly or that our understanding can only, at best, approximate their behavior by evoking randomness?

Also, is there a way to show that quantum mechanical processes apply to macro-events?  So, is Schrödinger's cat alive or dead?


Quote
To quote Spinoza "Nothing in Nature is random. … A thing appears random only through the incompleteness of our knowledge."
17th century philosophers (or philosophers in general) aren't exactly authorities when it comes to matters relating to the natural world...

Sure, but that statement is as much about knowledge as it is about the natural world.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 06:26:09 pm by H »
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #67 on: March 01, 2018, 07:27:47 pm »
No, this is all very wrong. Even if we could somehow measure "all causes" everything breaks down at the quantum level where things are fundamentally probabilistic. The universe is not deterministic. You can look it up on wikipedia.

Is there something to definitively prove that quantum particles actually behave randomly or that our understanding can only, at best, approximate their behavior by evoking randomness?

Also, is there a way to show that quantum mechanical processes apply to macro-events?  So, is Schrödinger's cat alive or dead?


Quote
To quote Spinoza "Nothing in Nature is random. … A thing appears random only through the incompleteness of our knowledge."
17th century philosophers (or philosophers in general) aren't exactly authorities when it comes to matters relating to the natural world...

Sure, but that statement is as much about knowledge as it is about the natural world.

No, this is all very wrong. Even if we could somehow measure "all causes" everything breaks down at the quantum level where things are fundamentally probabilistic. The universe is not deterministic. You can look it up on wikipedia.

Is there something to definitively prove that quantum particles actually behave randomly or that our understanding can only, at best, approximate their behavior by evoking randomness?

Also, is there a way to show that quantum mechanical processes apply to macro-events?  So, is Schrödinger's cat alive or dead?
I'm not an expert on this, but from googling around it seems consensus is relatively clear: quantum mechanics are probabilistic.

MSJ

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« Reply #68 on: March 01, 2018, 07:48:18 pm »
Just reading through the thread, don't have much to offer. Besides, whoever said they would kill children because what they see as a defective human being, should be strung up on a tree in front of your local courthouse. Sorry, if that's too blunt. But, I'm pissed. I see the words regard and such being thrown around, how old are you? And, if you could kill a human being because you think its defective, you should be in a mental institution. Your a soulless sack of shit. Ban me. Do whatever you want. That's downright the worst thing I've ever seen on this board and shame on the moderators who allow it to take place.

I agree that abortion is an option women should have the right to. Bit, some fucking egotistical basted saying who should live and who shouldn't....no. No one has that right. We are not gods. And, because you learned a little science at your UNI doesn't make you one. I ask, how could that be allowed to be said on this forum without any repercussions? Huh? What a fucking joke you are whoever said that. As if you're the perfect human being, you should be put down like a dog for suggesting such a thing. Fucking scientists you all got it all figured out do you?

Controlled mating sonwe can evolve better? Nah, ill stick with love. That's what makes a family and a person into something great, love. Not your white coats and labs. Blows my mind that that would even come out of one of your mouths.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #69 on: March 01, 2018, 07:55:57 pm »
Just reading through the thread, don't have much to offer. Besides, whoever said they would kill children because what they see as a defective human being, should be strung up on a tree in front of your local courthouse. Sorry, if that's too blunt. But, I'm pissed. I see the words regard and such being thrown around, how old are you? And, if you could kill a human being because you think its defective, you should be in a mental institution. Your a soulless sack of shit. Ban me. Do whatever you want. That's downright the worst thing I've ever seen on this board and shame on the moderators who allow it to take place.

I agree that abortion is an option women should have the right to. Bit, some fucking egotistical basted saying who should live and who shouldn't....no. No one has that right. We are not gods. And, because you learned a little science at your UNI doesn't make you one. I ask, how could that be allowed to be said on this forum without any repercussions? Huh? What a fucking joke you are whoever said that. As if you're the perfect human being, you should be put down like a dog for suggesting such a thing. Fucking scientists you all got it all figured out do you?

Controlled mating sonwe can evolve better? Nah, ill stick with love. That's what makes a family and a person into something great, love. Not your white coats and labs. Blows my mind that that would even come out of one of your mouths.
Oh the irony. I also like how you obviously barely read the thread or the arguments presented, yet feel entitled pass on judgement and lynching  8). Also, what's with the bashing on scientists? Showing some deep prejudices there.

Wilshire

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« Reply #70 on: March 01, 2018, 07:58:21 pm »
Just reading through the thread, don't have much to offer.
I agree, you probably shouldn't have offered, but you did

Besides, whoever said they would kill children because what they see as a defective human being,
Not everyone has the same values

should be strung up on a tree in front of your local courthouse.
IMO, you're no better. You're suggesting killing someone for having different values than you.

Sorry, if that's too blunt. But, I'm pissed. I see the words regard and such being thrown around, how old are you?
Again, you're exactly the same. You suggesting killing someone for seeing the world differently than you. At what point does that give you moral high ground?

And, if you could kill a human being because you think its defective, you should be in a mental institution.
You right along with them, as you fall into your own category here.

Your a soulless sack of shit. Ban me. Do whatever you want. That's downright the worst thing I've ever seen on this board and shame on the moderators who allow it to take place.
IMO you've done nothing but act like a child who needs a spanking.

I agree that abortion
Not at all part of the conversation up to this point. You needlessly complicate things.

is an option women should have the right to. Bit, some fucking egotistical basted saying who should live and who shouldn't....no. No one has that right. We are not gods. And, because you learned a little science at your UNI doesn't make you one. I ask, how could that be allowed to be said on this forum without any repercussions? Huh? What a fucking joke you are whoever said that. As if you're the perfect human being, you should be put down like a dog for suggesting such a thing. Fucking scientists you all got it all figured out do you?
By my reading, you're the only one that isn't here to have a discussion, just to deride people who think differently than you. I'm disappointed.

Controlled mating sonwe can evolve better? Nah, ill stick with love. That's what makes a family and a person into something great, love. Not your white coats and labs. Blows my mind that that would even come out of one of your mouths.
What makes a family and what makes for better humans are not the same discussion.
By that logic, an adopted child cannot be loved. I assume you don't believe that.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 08:02:57 pm by Wilshire »
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Wilshire

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« Reply #71 on: March 01, 2018, 07:58:52 pm »
Just reading through the thread, don't have much to offer. Besides, whoever said they would kill children because what they see as a defective human being, should be strung up on a tree in front of your local courthouse. Sorry, if that's too blunt. But, I'm pissed. I see the words regard and such being thrown around, how old are you? And, if you could kill a human being because you think its defective, you should be in a mental institution. Your a soulless sack of shit. Ban me. Do whatever you want. That's downright the worst thing I've ever seen on this board and shame on the moderators who allow it to take place.

I agree that abortion is an option women should have the right to. Bit, some fucking egotistical basted saying who should live and who shouldn't....no. No one has that right. We are not gods. And, because you learned a little science at your UNI doesn't make you one. I ask, how could that be allowed to be said on this forum without any repercussions? Huh? What a fucking joke you are whoever said that. As if you're the perfect human being, you should be put down like a dog for suggesting such a thing. Fucking scientists you all got it all figured out do you?

Controlled mating sonwe can evolve better? Nah, ill stick with love. That's what makes a family and a person into something great, love. Not your white coats and labs. Blows my mind that that would even come out of one of your mouths.
Oh the irony. I also like how you obviously barely read the thread or the arguments presented, yet feel entitled pass on judgement and lynching  8). Also, what's with the bashing on scientists? Showing some deep prejudices there.

Yeah I'm pretty surprised someone with MSJ's family heritage would be so quick to jump to lynching as a solution to solve ones differences.
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themerchant

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« Reply #72 on: March 01, 2018, 09:07:16 pm »
Hurray!
Evolution is a a wholly random process without direction...
As Above, So Below

I don't buy that at all.  Evolution cannot be random, everything has a cause and effect.

Aren't quarks and muons described by a different set of rules that don't describe evolution though? So comparing the two doesn't work as what we use to understand one doesn't work to understand the other.

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« Reply #73 on: March 01, 2018, 09:09:04 pm »
I'm not an expert on this, but from googling around it seems consensus is relatively clear: quantum mechanics are probabilistic.

As far as we understand.  Which, as Wilshire points out, is not complete by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, a "problem" of quantum mechanics is that, while it "works" it fails to integrate with the rest of physics.  So, this, in all probability, points to there being an incompleteness to our understanding.  It is plausible (I have no idea how probable) that what we can currently understand only as "random" and "probabilistic" might be governed by forces and laws that we simply do not yet understand, nor do we understand how the fundamental particles interact at the macro-scale, which is why physics and quantum mechanics are different fields completely.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

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« Reply #74 on: March 01, 2018, 09:12:15 pm »
Hurray!
Evolution is a a wholly random process without direction...
As Above, So Below

I don't buy that at all.  Evolution cannot be random, everything has a cause and effect.

Aren't quarks and muons described by a different set of rules that don't describe evolution though? So comparing the two doesn't work as what we use to understand one doesn't work to understand the other.

Yes and futher, now that I think about Wilshire's quote, evolution, through natural selection absolutely is not random, because natural selection is litterally the opposite of "directionless."  Natural selection does not favor things randomly, it favors things that are best suited to reproduce.  That is a direction and the whole process is "designed" to make organisms better able to make more organisms.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira