[an error occurred while processing this directive]
About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Forward one pageLast Page


Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 40

Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 4:25pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mike,
Great, we go from some people claiming that even one instance of life starting spontaneously on earth sometime during its 4 billion year history is so unlikely that it is virtually impossible, to claiming that it's unlikely that it happened only once.
LOLOLOL...

I had to laugh at this. Of course if something happened more than once, it had to have happened once at least.

Well, something sure as hell happened because I sure as hell exist. Not only that, I am a complex organism.

I know that sounds retarded, but that's the way it is, folks.

Michael




Post 41

Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 7:00pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
If you are suggesting that terrestrial life arrived here from extraterrestrial “lakes and ponds”, that’s really improbable, taking into account the distances between earth-like planets in the universe and the age of the unverse.

If you mean “lakes and ponds” on earth, then indeed you will have reduced the avaliable time span and the available space for the birth of life very very much...


See my reply above. Very improbable that (a) that life, since its birth in another planet, would have reached planet Earth 4,500 years ago, and then found the appropriate conditions to flourish again.

But, still, notice that in this way you are only shifting the problem of the origin of life to another planet.


Arg. You're missing the point completely.

The question isn't about the probability of life appearing on Earth. The question is about the probability of life appearing on some planet.

No one is trying to claim that life appeared on some other planet and then got magically transported here. What's being said is that if life hadn't appeared on Earth, there are googolplexes of other planets in the universe with similar conditions to those of Earth on which life could have appeared. If life had appeared on planet Argleblarg on the outer rim of the Andromeda galaxy and not on Earth, then it would be the Argleblargians sitting around wondering what makes Argleblarg so unique. There isn't anyone around on the gazillions of other Earth- or Argleblarg-like planets on which life could have appeared but didn't to wonder why that particular planet didn't work out. We happen to be on the one out out of googolplexes of planets on which life appeared because, well, if it hadn't, we wouldn't be.

Okay. Rant done. As you were.



Sanction: 7, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 7, No Sanction: 0
Post 42

Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 8:22pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Robert D.,
With respect to your charge that scientists are an exclusive club that tries to keep out
ideas suggested by others lacking 'credentials' ...

I have to say, from long personal experience, that this view is simply not consistent with the facts.

True, there are standards that are applied and not every idea is given equal weight. Also true
that if you have credentials (a PhD in a relevant field, long years of field experience, or some other
relevant criterion) you will more likely be heard more readily.

But I can assure you that any reputable journal will accept a paper from anyone and will get read. If it has some merit it will get peer reviewed. If it genuinely contains well founded suggestions it will get discussed. I could go on, but you get the picture.
And journals are certainly not the only way ideas can be introduced.

There is, almost certainly, no way to convince you of this deductively and I won't take the effort to provide
detailed supporting examples here. (The same may be said of business or many other human activities. No executive
at Ford Motor company is going to listen to me simply because I say I know better than they how to run their business
in certain respects -- even if I list 100 ways they could do so, many of which might have merit.)

Therefore, I don't expect you to believe me.

Nevertheless, it is so.





Post 43

Friday, May 20, 2005 - 1:56amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
[Nature:] You're missing the point completely.

Wow, thank you for the appreciative comment.


[Nature:] The question isn't about the probability of life appearing on Earth.

Well, that's part of the question. The Miller-like experiments (or whatever you imagine) should have taken place on Earth.


[Nature:] No one is trying to claim that life appeared on some other planet and then got magically transported here.

Perhaps not in this forum. But some scientists do.


[Nature:] "We happen to be on the one out out of googolplexes of planets on which life appeared [...]"

Can you support that assertion "googolplexes of planets on which life appeared", with any evidence? From were you get that absolute certainty?




Post 44

Friday, May 20, 2005 - 7:55amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mrs Hong,

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.




Post 45

Friday, May 20, 2005 - 8:17amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mike Erickson wrote:

Every single day there are more discoveries being made, more pieces of the puzzle being discovered and literally thousands of people like Hong trying to fit the puzzle pieces together and see the whole picture.
Sorry, but that romantic view of the noble scientist slaving away at a search for truth is a delusion. 

Scientists, in the real world haughtily assure us they have all the answers.  They tell us so repeatedly and speak ex cathedra.  Only after much kicking, screaming, weeping and wailing do they admit they were wrong.  Does coffee still give us cancer?

Mrs Hong is a member of that exclusive club, although probably a junior member.  Her degree in 'science' lends infallibility to her opinions.  She does her 'science' justice as keeper of the gate, ridiculing and silencing non-members.  




Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Post 46

Friday, May 20, 2005 - 8:21amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I think Mr. Robert Davison's anti-science stand is very obvious to everyone by now.

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 5/20, 8:22am)




Post 47

Friday, May 20, 2005 - 8:38amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Yah, just as Rand's attacks on Kant, Hegel, Hume, etc., acknowledged as indisputable giants in their field, made her anti-philosophy.



Post 48

Friday, May 20, 2005 - 9:01amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Joel you have completely misunderstood my argument #2

"[Steve:] Well, You can't just look at the earth, there is an entire universe out there. How many millions upon millions of planets had the spotential, with perhaps only success on this one planet from all the billions out there?

 

[Joel]See my reply above. Very improbable that (a) that life, since its birth in another planet, would have reached planet Earth 4,500 years ago, and then found the appropriate conditions to flourish again.


But, still, notice that in this way you are only shifting the problem of the origin of life to another planet.
"

 

 

No, I am not shifting the problem to another planet. What I am saying is that the entire universe is the sample space for where life can start, somewhere.

 

Suppose you say "It is impossible for life to evolve because the odds against it are 1 in X (with X being some insanely large number)"

 

I can refute this by saying "Well suppose you have 10X attempts, then on average life will start 10 times."

 

The "10X" in this case refers to the rest of the sample space, such as the universe at large for example. Life evolved here, so we can say "Wow look at the odds against life evolving, surely there was some supernatural power at work" In exactly the same way that someone, out of the millions who purchased a lottery ticket, can say "Wow look at the odds against me winning, surely someone was watching over me."




(Edited by Steve Zarwulkoff on 5/20, 9:02am)

(Edited by Steve Zarwulkoff on 5/20, 9:02am)




Post 49

Friday, May 20, 2005 - 9:07amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Robert D.,

Your view of scientists seems to be drawn (I'm speculating, of course) largely from popular newspaper articles,
rather than personal knowledge of scientists or in-depth reading of journals.
(Assuming it isn't just an expression of anger based on some personal rebuff.)

Most scientists lament the (perhaps inevitable) distortion of the subtlety of their views by the media. Popular newspapers and magazines are simply unable or unwilling to put in the necessary qualifiers, provide supporting evidence pro and con, etc. (It makes for dull stories.)
Many, for that reason, are unwilling to talk to the press -- particularly on potentially controversial stories. Nevertheless, such information is available to anyone who cares to read scientific journals.

(I'm reminded of an interview with Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury. He said he thought anyone who got his information and views about politics from comic strips -- including his -- was being foolish.)

No, not all scientists are Howard Roark. But neither are they the frightened, dogmatic drones of your characterization.
Very fundamental ideas get rigorously debated all the time as new evidence and arguments are generated. Oddly, many keep holding up.

And the personal attacks on Hong are entirely out of place and uncalled for. Even if she attacks you. (Which I don't think she's doing.) I know from your articles and other posts that you can rise above that sort of thing.  I recommend saving the contempt for the bad guys where it is needed and appropriate.




Post 50

Friday, May 20, 2005 - 9:19amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mr. Davison,

Scientists make assertions that are testable. It is the potential falsification of scientific assertions that makes what scientists do science. The modification of scientific assertions due to new evidence and experiment is what drives the evolution of scientific knowledge. Pointing at yesterdays assertions and blathering about how wrong they were shows a complete misunderstanding of the scientific method and where progress in science comes from.

Exercise for Mr. Davison: Make one scientific, that is testable, falsifiable, assertion about your view of the origin of species.



Post 51

Friday, May 20, 2005 - 11:11amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Steve,

About your sentence

"the entire universe is the sample space for where life can start, somewhere"

that's simply misleading. Added to the conditions that made possible the appearance of life, life requires a set of determined, delicately balanced conditions in order to thrive (evolving or not).

Today --leaving a part mere speculations as "inorganic life"-- I see as very reasonable to think that the places fulfilling those life-thriving conditions are limited to Earth-like planets, in Solar System-like solar systems, in Via Lactea-like galaxies, in galaxies far enough from black holes, etc.. today we cannot discard the possibility that the only Earth-like planet gathering all those conditions is planet Earth.

And your example of the lottery ticket is simply risible. Think about the number of combinations of amino acids you have for a single "useful" protein or gene, taking onto account that we have 20 amino acids available. And we have at least about 30,000 genes.

 





Post 52

Friday, May 20, 2005 - 3:08pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
One interesting point - Ardrey has come over to her view....

Ardrey hasn't done anything since 1980, when he died, and frankly, a screenwriter supporting one's views wouldn't be all that impressive anyway.  Probably though, you mean paleoanthropologist Phillip Tobias, who has been said to have supported Morgan's idea, however, Tobias' actual "support" is reflected in his statement, "Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on a public platform, that I support the AAT!".  Not a ringing endorsement.

ps. sorry that my style and site are a bit long-winded for some. :)




Post 53

Friday, May 20, 2005 - 7:46pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Joel Català,

What is your proposal of how life began & came to the point where it is today, and what evidence do you have to support it?



Post 54

Saturday, May 21, 2005 - 8:00amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
[Dean Michael Gores:] "What is your proposal of how life began"

I don't have any explanation based on empirical science for the origin of life. What I am defending here is that life did not appear by chance.


[Dean Michael Gores:] "& [how life] came to the point where it is today"

I think there are (a) microevolutionary steps, plus (b) "un-evolutionary" leaps (in example, after cataclysmic events).

Related to (a), an example of microevolution can be the concentration of melanin you have in your skin.

(b) Examples of what I see as "un-evolutionary" leaps are the Cambrian explosion, the appearance of winged animals, the extinction of the great dinosaurs, or the emergence of human self-consciousness.


[Dean Michael Gores:] "and what evidence do you have to support it?"

I don't have absolute proof of any knowledge; and no human has.

But no problem: the basis of science is not evidence, but the inclusive explanation of knowledge. Ultimately, that's the way the human mind works --when properly used.









Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 55

Saturday, May 21, 2005 - 1:57pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
the basis of science is not evidence
Hahaha. Well, if you do not base your "science" on evidence, then I am unable to help you- unless you would be willing to look at evidence. I think its time that you learn about evolution and what happened during the "Cambrian explosion" instead of repeating other's baseless claims. There is a great deal of material that answers your questions with evidence, here: www.talkorigins.com.
I don't have absolute proof of any knowledge; and no human has.
A is A. Existence exists. There is consciousness. Enough of that nihilistic crap.



Post 56

Monday, May 23, 2005 - 7:48amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
the basis of science is not evidence
[Dean Michael Gores:] Hahaha. Well, if you do not base your "science" on evidence, then I am unable to help you- unless you would be willing to look at evidence.

Dean, if by "evidence" you mean "reaching conclusions", we basically agree. That's the base of science.

But if you mean "sensory evidence", we don't agree. Perception can bring you a lot of surprises. Sometimes what you perceive as "evident" is really misleading. That's because perception is, by definition, subjective.

What you need to build science is construction of hypotheses, plus data (that comes from the senses), plus sound reasoning (in order to keep the hypotheses "alive": not refuted.)

Reason is the central pillar of knowledge, not evidence. Sound reasoning is the mental process that brings you an inclusive (additive) explanation of knowledge, that is, integration of knowledge, real science.
 
Then, the more inclusive knowledge you have, the more you know about reality, because the knowledge of reality is the knowledge of everything. That's because I said that we can't have absolute proof of any knowledge: because absolute proof of a knowledge implies the knowledge of absolutely everything (of course not attainable by humans, you, Ms Rand, and me included --at least while alive.)


 [Dean Michael Gores:] There is a great deal of material that answers your questions with evidence, here: www.talkorigins.com.

Thank for the information --not "evidence".



I don't have absolute proof of any knowledge; and no human has.
[Dean Michael Gores:] A is A. Existence exists. There is consciousness.

"A is A" is not an evidence, nor reasoning, but a cute tautology.

Now I will use your trick: Have you any evidence of what existence is?

Best wishes,

Joel


 





Post 57

Monday, May 23, 2005 - 8:49pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Joel,

By "evidence" I mean subjective experiences. By evidence I mean the information that we collect with our senses. "Reaching conclusions" is not evidence, instead it is the end result of using induction and deduction on evidence.

I agree that perception can be misleading. I do my best to compare what I have perceived with what I have perceived in the past and what other's perceive. By doing this, I can find conflicts and resolve them by either removing old information from my context to fit new evidence, or to keep the new perception in a "possible yet reasoned unlikely" box- to save it for later just in case.

You seem to support the idea that subjective evidence is useless. You didn't come right out and say it, but that's what you seemed to allude to.

Sure, we could be living in the matrix. Sure, my senses could be completely wrong. Never the less, I have no reason to think that. Even if those were the case, my senses would still be giving me *some* information about *some* part of reality. It would be laughable for you to claim that my subjective senses do not receive information about reality.

I do not receive no information. I see things, I feel things, ... and these senses are not random noise, instead, there is differentiable entities. For example, A is A. And B is B. And A is not B.
What you need to build science is construction of hypotheses, plus data (that comes from the senses), plus sound reasoning (in order to keep the hypotheses "alive": not refuted.)
I call the sensory data you speak of as "evidence".
Reason is the central pillar of knowledge, not evidence. Sound reasoning is the mental process that brings you an inclusive (additive) explanation of knowledge, that is, integration of knowledge, real science.
I agree that you can have a knowledge base with reason alone. Unfortunately, this knowledge base is independent of reality. For example, I could create a knowledge base where neutrally electrically charged masses repel. I could develop physical equations to predict how such masses would interact with each other. Now, this knowledge base may be internally consistent, but when compared to what I subjectively experience in reality, it is false.

If you want a knowledge base that you can use as a tool to facilitate your decision making in reality, then you need to collect subjective information from reality. Otherwise your knowledge is independent of reality, and hence useless as a tool for making decisions in reality.
Then, the more inclusive knowledge you have, the more you know about reality, because the knowledge of reality is the knowledge of everything. That's because I said that we can't have absolute proof of any knowledge: because absolute proof of a knowledge implies the knowledge of absolutely everything (of course not attainable by humans, you, Ms Rand, and me included --at least while alive.)
I do not see how one would need absolute proof of everything to have absolute proof of one thing. Hmmm... absolute proof, meaning what? To be absolutely sure that one knows the exact truth, and to know that there is no other possibility? Hmmm... I would prefer to be perfectly certain. But I think I can still get along ok with my subjective limitations.
Thank for the information --not "evidence".
That information is backed by subjective evidence, which you could use your senses to discover.
Now I will use your trick: Have you any evidence of what existence is?
Existence includes you. You are the thing that types words into a computer and posts them into solohq.com. Your words are at solohq.com, I am looking at them now. There are solid objects in reality. I cannot pass by body or other objects through them without breaking them or changing them into another form such as liquid or gas. Existence includes everything that I sense and that I am. It may include more. Existence is all of those things. I use the word "existence" when I try to convey the meaning: everything in reality. You would not exist if there was no existence. You exist. There must be existence.

Good night.



Post 58

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 3:51amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

[Dean Michael Gores:] By "evidence" I mean subjective experiences. By evidence I mean the information that we collect with our senses.

 

I label what you name “evidence” as “percept”, or “sensory data”. Your “evidence” has a taste of certainty that I find misleading, and very subjectivist.

 

 

[Dean Michael Gores:] "Reaching conclusions" is not evidence, instead it is the end result of using induction and deduction on evidence.

 

I don’t think so. When someone says that something is an “evidence”, the person has already reached a conclusion –a conclusion related to one or more of the percepts from which he has defined the evidence.



[Dean Michael Gores:] I agree that perception can be misleading. I do my best to compare what I have perceived with what I have perceived in the past and what other's perceive.

 

Notice that in order to compare percepts you use reason. Then, you require reason to define what is evident –or not evident.

 

 

[Dean Michael Gores:] By doing this, I can find conflicts and resolve them by either removing old information from my context to fit new evidence, or to keep the new perception in a "possible yet reasoned unlikely" box- to save it for later just in case.


Please notice here a problem with your use of words: Your “evidence” (my “sensory data”) can’t be contradictory: they are what you sense and nothing else!

 

What can be contradictory are the conclusions you define (through the use of reasoning) to describe your percepts.

 

 


[Dean Michael Gores:] You seem to support the idea that subjective evidence is useless. You didn't come right out and say it, but that's what you seemed to allude to.

 

I think that sensory data can be very useful (for a lot of relatively simple activities they are), but that

 

sometimes what you perceive as "evident" is really misleading.

 

Raw perception is not scientific knowledge, is simply what we sense from materiality.

 

Perception is one of the basic tools of knowledge, but not the central pillar. The central pillar is the use of reason. The brain, not your eyes, is the generator of knowledge, and through reason you define what is evident and what is not evident at all.



[Dean Michael Gores:] Sure, we could be living in the matrix. Sure, my senses could be completely wrong. Never the less, I have no reason to think that.

 

Yes, you have no reason to think that. A thinking human dares to label something as evident only after a bit of reasoning (then, he can still be mistaken, of course.)

 

Think about that: when a magician suddenly hides a card and you don’t see it anymore, would you say that is evident that the card has suddenly ceased to exist?

 

 

[Dean Michael Gores:] Even if those were the case, my senses would still be giving me *some* information about *some* part of reality.

 

True. That’s why we humans can acquire knowledge. Perception is not “perfect”, but is useful.

 

 

[Dean Michael Gores:] It would be laughable for you to claim that my subjective senses do not receive information about reality.

 

Yes. It would be. But you won’t score so easy   ;-)




Reason is the central pillar of knowledge, not evidence. Sound reasoning is the mental process that brings you an inclusive (additive) explanation of knowledge, that is, integration of knowledge, real science. 


 

[Dean Michael Gores:] I agree that you can have a knowledge base with reason alone.

 Where did I say that?

 When you build something apart from reality, that’s not knowledge, but sheer fantasy. Period.

 Of course you need to get along with your subjective limitations. But precisely that’s one of the wonderful things of individuality.


 

 

Now I will use your trick: Have you any evidence of what existence is?


 

[Dean Michael Gores:] Existence includes you.

 

Ok, I am part of existence, but that does not answer what existence is.

 

 

[Dean Michael Gores:] I use the word "existence" when I try to convey the meaning: everything in reality.

 

Me too.

 

 

 

[Dean Michael Gores:] You would not exist if there was no existence. You exist. There must be existence.

 

Yes, existence exists. But no human knows what “existence”, everything in reality, is.

 

I won’t know what existence is until I know everything. I won’t hold my breath...

 

Now, recalling a portion of my former message:

 

[...] we can't have absolute proof of any knowledge: because absolute proof of a knowledge implies the knowledge of absolutely everything.

 
So total certain knowledge of a thing requires the knowledge of what existence is.










Post 59

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 7:20pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Joel,

I agree with most all of what you said in your last post. I am amazed that you do not think evolution is plausible. Again, for what reasons do you think evolution is not the answer to how life formed and developed? What would you need in order to be convinced?
(Edited by Dean Michael Gores
on 5/25, 7:21pm)




Post to this threadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Forward one pageLast Page
[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]