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post #41 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 06:32 PM
jjl
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RE: Coulter headlamps and shoots some baited pond ducks

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kvining - 11/9/2004 1:10 AM

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jjl - 11/8/2004 6:37 PM

Humes argument is convincing, but doesn't it focus on pragmatism rather than certainty: if there really are miracles in say 0.0001% of cases, then applying this makes us wrong 0.0001% of the time. Another difficulty is if we encounter a technology beyond or own ('indistiguisable from magic' - Arthur C Clarke) perfoming what appear to be miracles - again we would be wrong, but in the other direction. What do you think?

I just came back from a workshop that included Murray Gell-Mann, nobel laureate physicist. He was of the opinion that we are on the brink of discovering all of natures laws. He thought they would be VERY simple. The interesting thing for me as a biologist is the generation of so much complexity from so much simplicity - explain that!

I would dearly love to see Philosophy taught in Schools. Unfortunately, it seems hard enough to teach anything in schools, even basic lieracy and numeracy.
I hope its simple. I've been trying to get a grip on String Theory, which is supposed to give us all these answers, and I haven't been successful yet.

On the issue of how life arises, I have been reading some stuff that makes a good case that our idea that all life must be water based may be wrong. A computer is not very far from meeting all the criteria of being alive. A planet rich in silicon, given 4 billion years like ours, could very well bring forth silicon based life forms. After all, our planet has in about 20 years just about done it.





Kirk, rather you than me on theoretical physics. When they say 'simple', they mean pages of stuff exhausting the greek and roman alphabets. The latest thing is 'M' theory (sometimes amusingly called P-brane theory). As I remember, it is an amalgamation of string theory and supergravity theory into an 11-dimensional universe.

I think the priciples behind life are very simple - there must be many alternatives to our 'bag of enzymes' version of it. I think we would be utterly astonished if we could see what's going on in the rest of our galaxy. It may well not be particularly benign, though, kind of like ourselves with a bigger gun.
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post #42 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 06:33 PM
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RE: Coulter headlamps and shoots some baited pond ducks

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Botnst - 11/7/2004 8:22 AM

It's absurd that the election was as close as it was. The nation is at war, Bush is a magnificent wartime leader...
This may be the single most delusional, ridiculous, and absurd statement I've ever read.

Even Bush himself said that Iraq has been much more of a struggle then anticipated. No one that takes a true objective look could possibly come to the conclusion that Bush is a magnificent wartime leader. I still can't believe that you typed that sentence. [:o)]
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post #43 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 07:11 PM
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RE: Coulter headlamps and shoots some baited pond ducks

Quote:
jjl - 11/8/2004 8:32 PM

Quote:
kvining - 11/9/2004 1:10 AM

Quote:
jjl - 11/8/2004 6:37 PM

Humes argument is convincing, but doesn't it focus on pragmatism rather than certainty: if there really are miracles in say 0.0001% of cases, then applying this makes us wrong 0.0001% of the time. Another difficulty is if we encounter a technology beyond or own ('indistiguisable from magic' - Arthur C Clarke) perfoming what appear to be miracles - again we would be wrong, but in the other direction. What do you think?

I just came back from a workshop that included Murray Gell-Mann, nobel laureate physicist. He was of the opinion that we are on the brink of discovering all of natures laws. He thought they would be VERY simple. The interesting thing for me as a biologist is the generation of so much complexity from so much simplicity - explain that!

I would dearly love to see Philosophy taught in Schools. Unfortunately, it seems hard enough to teach anything in schools, even basic lieracy and numeracy.
I hope its simple. I've been trying to get a grip on String Theory, which is supposed to give us all these answers, and I haven't been successful yet.

On the issue of how life arises, I have been reading some stuff that makes a good case that our idea that all life must be water based may be wrong. A computer is not very far from meeting all the criteria of being alive. A planet rich in silicon, given 4 billion years like ours, could very well bring forth silicon based life forms. After all, our planet has in about 20 years just about done it.





Kirk, rather you than me on theoretical physics. When they say 'simple', they mean pages of stuff exhausting the greek and roman alphabets. The latest thing is 'M' theory (sometimes amusingly called P-brane theory). As I remember, it is an amalgamation of string theory and supergravity theory into an 11-dimensional universe.

I think the priciples behind life are very simple - there must be many alternatives to our 'bag of enzymes' version of it. I think we would be utterly astonished if we could see what's going on in the rest of our galaxy. It may well not be particularly benign, though, kind of like ourselves with a bigger gun.
Well, think of the implication of a silicon based life form - emotionless, power hungry, all consuming, and probably vastly more intelligent but only in a purely logical way. We'd be dead meat if we ran into those guys.

I certainly don't get into deep theoritical physics - I mostly read the books by Hawkins and ( the much missed) Sagan where they try to explain these theories in terms that can be understood. It is very satisfying to "get it" when you get into this stuff. The book I am reading is Brian Greene's "The Elegant Universe". It covers M theory as well. Wish me luck.


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post #44 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 07:28 PM
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RE: Coulter headlamps and shoots some baited pond ducks

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kvining - 11/9/2004 2:11 AM


Well, think of the implication of a silicon based life form - emotionless, power hungry, all consuming, and probably vastly more intelligent but only in a purely logical way. We'd be dead meat if we ran into those guys.

It's interesting that we tend to think of silicon-based life as being emotionless etc (must be the 'robot' thing) whereas I can't see any reason why they should be psychologically different. In fact, you could apply those properties to the current plague of apes afflicting this planet and not blush!
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post #45 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 07:30 PM
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RE: Coulter headlamps and shoots some baited pond ducks

Why would a silicon based life form lack emotions.

For a minute there, I thought you were describing Cheney.
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post #46 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 07:34 PM
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RE: Coulter headlamps and shoots some baited pond ducks

I once met an alien life-form. It was composed entirely of d-lysergic acid diethylamide. It hung around for a few hours, then slowly drifted away... [8D]

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #47 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 07:38 PM
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RE: Coulter headlamps and shoots some baited pond ducks

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kerry edwards - 11/8/2004 7:30 PM

Why would a silicon based life form lack emotions.

For a minute there, I thought you were describing Cheney.
Exactly -- this is supposed to be based on our perception of silicon? What attributes would one assign to carbon or germanium?

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #48 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 08:03 PM
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RE: Coulter headlamps and shoots some baited pond ducks

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GermanStar - 11/8/2004 4:55 PM

There are areas on the planet where you can actually see evolution in progress -- and I'm talking vertebrates here. Dynamic speciation has been occurring in the great rift lakes in Africa, for example. New species have formed within a relatively short time period. Don some scuba gear and hang out for 30 or 40 years and you might just be amazed.
Hey German Scum
How's that scummy little business of your's?
Sell any defective parts today?
Rip anybody else off today.
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post #49 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 08:22 PM
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RE: Coulter headlamps and shoots some baited pond ducks

Quote:
GermanStar - 11/8/2004 9:34 PM

I once met an alien life-form. It was composed entirely of d-lysergic acid diethylamide. It hung around for a few hours, then slowly drifted away... [8D]
I seem to recall a similiar encounter with mushroom based life forms. Who would have thought that aliens could arrive on Oklahoma buffalo shit.
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post #50 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 08:29 PM
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RE: Coulter headlamps and shoots some baited pond ducks

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kerry edwards - 11/8/2004 9:30 PM

Why would a silicon based life form lack emotions.

For a minute there, I thought you were describing Cheney.
It just seems so appropriate. Think of the planet we would need. Electricity would have to be as abundant as ocean water. 4 billion years of chance silicon etching would next have to randomly etch a Commadore Vic-20 chip. Given that emotions are evolutionary tools supplied to avoid predetors and to help us reproduce, would they be necessary on Planet Pentium?
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