Jump to content
Kopfkino

Things you can't get your head around...

Recommended Posts

12 hours ago, Fktf said:

Really?? We were bloody close to this in the cold war. We'll probably get close with climate change towards the turn of the half century too. Our intelligence has lead to us creating things that literally could wipe us out in minutes, or gradually over a sustained period

 

To have reached a position of being capable of self-annihilation, a civilisation will probably have done all or of some of the following:

 

Exploded thermo-nuclear devices on the surface of the planet; developed deadly pathogens as a weapon of war; pumped poisonous gases into the very air that they breathe; polluted the water that they drink; created global warming; brought on a distinct extinction event; unsustainably harvested the planet's natural resources; et cetera. All that in an enclosed and delicate eco-system.

 

If that is how the epithet 'intelligent' is earned, perhaps we should look at how we define the word.

Edited by Buce
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Buce said:

 

To have reached a position of being capable of self-annihilation, a civilisation will probably have done all or of some of the following:

 

Exploded thermo-nuclear devices on the surface of the planet; developed deadly pathogens as a weapon of war; pumped poisonous gases into the very air that they breathe; polluted the water that they drink; created global warming; brought on a distinct extinction event; unsustainably harvested the planets natural resources; et cetera. All that in an enclosed and delicate eco-system.

 

If that is how the epithet 'intelligent' is earned, perhaps we should look at how we define the word.

It is a truth that a *truly* intelligent civilisation will ensure that they're never in a position to be annihilated in the first place, by themselves or anything else.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, leicsmac said:

It is a truth that a *truly* intelligent civilisation will ensure that they're never in a position to be annihilated in the first place, by themselves or anything else.

 

For a civilisation to be in that position, it would have to have reached a high-level of technological advancement; are you suggesting that as a definitive marker of intelligence? Can you not imagine a 'truly' civilised society that is socially progressive but technologically backward?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Buce said:

 

For a civilisation to be in that position, it would have to have reached a high-level of technological advancement; are you suggesting that as a definitive marker of intelligence? Can you not imagine a 'truly' civilised society that is socially progressive but technologically backward?

I think we've chatted about this briefly before mate, and I concluded then, as I do now, that the answer is no, not for any statistically significant length of time - because even the most socially progressive society imaginable will leave themselves open to eradication by the habitat in which they live unless they have technology with which to counter it.

 

To use an example from above, having total egalitarianism isn't going to mean much in the half-second it takes the asteroid to come through the atmosphere and impact, because as it turns out it is also rather egalitarian in terms of its approach to life.

 

Such a civilisation, in order to exist for a while, would have to have an amount of luck concerning "natural" events that I would deem unlikely to the point of being fanciful.

Edited by leicsmac
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 30/12/2020 at 11:39, foxile5 said:

Watched Apollo 13 the other day. They did a decent job of underlining the cramped conditions they were operating in. 

The Mercury and Gemini veterans that flew Apollo found the Command Module to be palatial in comparison the the previous 'spam in a can' missions. As opposed to being strapped into their seats, it had room to move around, storage space and stowage and a lower equipment bay. Microgravity affords the feeling of spaciousness. Saying that, it looks impossibly small from the outside. You can actually go and see 'Charlie Brown' - Apollo 10 at the Science Museum in Kensington, (the 'dress rehearsal' and 'dry run' for the moon landing), which remains the fastest manned vessel in history. On their return from lunar orbit fully in the clutches of the earth's gravitational effect, Stafford, Cernan and Young peaked at 24,791 mph. 

 

On 31/12/2020 at 12:45, leicsmac said:

I think we've chatted about this briefly before mate, and I concluded then, as I do now, that the answer is no, not for any statistically significant length of time - because even the most socially progressive society imaginable will leave themselves open to eradication by the habitat in which they live unless they have technology with which to counter it.

 

To use an example from above, having total egalitarianism isn't going to mean much in the half-second it takes the asteroid to come through the atmosphere and impact, because as it turns out it is also rather egalitarian in terms of its approach to life.

 

Such a civilisation, in order to exist for a while, would have to have an amount of luck concerning "natural" events that I would deem unlikely to the point of being fanciful.

Spot on. And in addition to this, the chances of sentient life evolving within the five million year window that we have on the earth, is thought to be quite rare and unique. The fact that intelligence even emerged within this timeframe is due to a series of convergent coincidences and alignments. In short, the earth 'lucked out' in the first place. The evolution of intelligent life on a planet requires not only that planetary conditions are conducive to life in terms of prebiotic chemistry, but also that the planet remains habitable subsequently, without interruption because there has to be enough time to allow life to increase in complexity from simple cells to more sophisticated single cells to multicellular life and eventually to intelligent life. The fact that we lie in the goldilocks/habitable zone, that we have gas giants to act as cosmic hoovers that shielded the planet from frequent asteroid and meteor bombardment and the protective effects of the geomagnetic field meant that after the primordial soup had been brought to boil and simmer, allowing abiogenesis and subsequently the emergence of oxygen giving cyanobacteria, life could then evolve.  

 

The cosmos is so vast both spatially and temporally that even if these conditions have been replicated on another planet, the coincidence of intelligent life is likely to be so distant and removed that our brief tenure on planet earth is almost certainly set to be a lonely one. I am confident that we will discover, at the very least, extra terrestrial life in the form of single cellular organisms in our own solar system - most likely Enceladus, beneath the icy exterior has liquid water heated by gravitational interactions between this moon and other members of the Saturnian system. Add to that, Europa, Callisto and Ganymede and also Titan with its vast lakes of liquid natural gas. 

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 31/12/2020 at 11:26, worth_the_wait said:

Apparently there used to be a really, really intelligent civilisation based on a planet circling Alpha Centauri.

 

It got hit my a massive asteroid, and that was the end of it!

we have probably been created by an advanced civilization don't believe in the big bang theory myself 

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, whoareyaaa said:

we have probably been created by an advanced civilization don't believe in the big bang theory myself 

What created the advanced civilisation?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, whoareyaaa said:

 don't believe in the big bang theory myself 

The consilience and convergence of evidence in support of the Big Bang Theory presented by mathematicians, cosmologists and theoretical physicists is the most valid explanation that we have to account for the origins of the universe. Until an improved or refined model is demonstrated, I'll stick with that over a post on a provincial football forum if it's all the same to you. Incidentally, as I have explained before, science is not about belief. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Line-X said:

The consilience and convergence of evidence in support of the Big Bang Theory presented by mathematicians, cosmologists and theoretical physicists is the most valid explanation that we have to account for the origins of the universe. Until an improved or refined model is demonstrated, I'll stick with that over a post on a provincial football forum if it's all the same to you. Incidentally, as I have explained before, science is not about belief. 

it's still a theory though not actual fact

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, whoareyaaa said:

it's still a theory though not actual fact

Let's look at what we mean by that in more detail shall we? - because this is the standard rebuke trotted out by climate sceptics too. 

 

Yeah, "it's just a theory though" - a tiresome trope, heard it all before.  
 
There are two senses of "theory" which are problematic. These are the senses which are defined as a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena, or those that are simply an unproven assumption; conjecture. The second of these is occasionally misapplied in cases where the former is meant, as when a particular scientific theory is dismissed by a lay person a football forum as "just a theory" implying that it is no more than speculation or conjecture. One may certainly disagree with scientists regarding their 'theories', but it is an inaccurate interpretation of language to regard their use of the word as implying a tentative hypothesis; the scientific use of theory is quite different than the speculative use of the word.
 
Most people use the word 'theory' in the common vernacular to mean an idea or hunch that someone has, but in science the word 'theory' refers to the way that we interpret those facts that you referred to. Any scientific theories must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts and experimental data and are therefore derived from them. For example, atmospheric physics theory that goes back to the late 1800's and early 1900s established that small amounts contributions of carbon dioxide can warm the atmosphere. Back then it was "just a theory" albeit derived from observable fact and empirical evidence. 
 
I also notice that some people tend to confuse or conflate "hypothesis" and "theory." A hypothesis is an idea that is offered or assumed with the intent of being tested. A theory is intended to explain processes already supported or substantiated by facts, data and experimentation which the 'Big Bang; absolutely is. 

 

Very simply, belief can be entertained irrespective of whether there is sufficient knowledge or there are facts to be certain of its veracity. Moreover, it is almost invariably unfalsifiable. A scientific theory is predictive or establishes rules whereby the outcome can be accurately predicted and is predicated on the existence of quality evidence. As the evidence change, as we obtain more, newer and better evidence and as the full suite of evidence expands, our predictions, postdictions and entire conceptions of the Universe change along with it. This is the basis of the scientific method. 
 
 
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Line-X said:

Let's look at what we mean by that in more detail shall we? - because this is the standard rebuke trotted out by climate sceptics too. 

 

Yeah, "it's just a theory though" - a tiresome trope, heard it all before.  
 
There are two senses of "theory" which are problematic. These are the senses which are defined as a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena, or those that are simply an unproven assumption; conjecture. The second of these is occasionally misapplied in cases where the former is meant, as when a particular scientific theory is dismissed by a lay person a football forum as "just a theory" implying that it is no more than speculation or conjecture. One may certainly disagree with scientists regarding their 'theories', but it is an inaccurate interpretation of language to regard their use of the word as implying a tentative hypothesis; the scientific use of theory is quite different than the speculative use of the word.
 
Most people use the word 'theory' in the common vernacular to mean an idea or hunch that someone has, but in science the word 'theory' refers to the way that we interpret those facts that you referred to. Any scientific theories must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts and experimental data and are therefore derived from them. For example, atmospheric physics theory that goes back to the late 1800's and early 1900s established that small amounts contributions of carbon dioxide can warm the atmosphere. Back then it was "just a theory" albeit derived from observable fact and empirical evidence. 
 
I also notice that some people tend to confuse or conflate "hypothesis" and "theory." A hypothesis is an idea that is offered or assumed with the intent of being tested. A theory is intended to explain processes already supported or substantiated by facts, data and experimentation which the 'Big Bang; absolutely is. 

 

Very simply, belief can be entertained irrespective of whether there is sufficient knowledge or there are facts to be certain of its veracity. Moreover, it is almost invariably unfalsifiable. A scientific theory is predictive or establishes rules whereby the outcome can be accurately predicted and is predicated on the existence of quality evidence. As the evidence change, as we obtain more, newer and better evidence and as the full suite of evidence expands, our predictions, postdictions and entire conceptions of the Universe change along with it. This is the basis of the scientific method. 
 
 

To add a citation:

 

https://oregonstate.edu/instruction/bb317/scientifictheories.html

 

"The term "theory" means a very different thing when used in everyday conversation and in science. In our day to day speech, we often use "theory" to mean a guess or unsubstantiated idea about how something works (as in "I have a theory that gremlins are hiding my car keys").

In science, we would call such a guess a hypothesis, not a theory. A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for an observation. In this case, I am proposing that the explanation for why I can't find my car keys is that gremlins are hiding them.*

 

The distinction between the words "Theory" and "Hypothesis" is very important because in science "Theory" does not mean "guess". I repeat, "Theory" does not mean "guess".

 

So, what does the word "theory" mean in science?


According to the National Academies of Sciences, "some scientific explanations are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them. The explanation becomes a scientific theory. In everyday language a theory means a hunch or speculation. Not so in science. In science, the word theory refers to a comprehensive explanation of an important feature of nature supported by facts gathered over time. Theories also allow scientists to make predictions about as yet unobserved phenomena".

 

People who don't understand this distinction sometimes dismiss ideas saying "it's just a theory" (this is very commonly used to suggest that evolution is just speculation, for example). But, when scientists speak of the theory of gravity or the theory of evolution, they don't mean that these are random untested ideas that someone came up with after too many beers.

 

The AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), the world's largest scientific society, has this explanation of what scientists mean when they use the word "theory":


" A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world."

Because of this crucial difference in meaning, I will ask students to use the word "hypothesis" whenever they are referring to a speculation or guess about how something works."

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Line-X said:

Let's look at what we mean by that in more detail shall we? - because this is the standard rebuke trotted out by climate sceptics too. 

 

Yeah, "it's just a theory though" - a tiresome trope, heard it all before.  
 
There are two senses of "theory" which are problematic. These are the senses which are defined as a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena, or those that are simply an unproven assumption; conjecture. The second of these is occasionally misapplied in cases where the former is meant, as when a particular scientific theory is dismissed by a lay person a football forum as "just a theory" implying that it is no more than speculation or conjecture. One may certainly disagree with scientists regarding their 'theories', but it is an inaccurate interpretation of language to regard their use of the word as implying a tentative hypothesis; the scientific use of theory is quite different than the speculative use of the word.
 
Most people use the word 'theory' in the common vernacular to mean an idea or hunch that someone has, but in science the word 'theory' refers to the way that we interpret those facts that you referred to. Any scientific theories must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts and experimental data and are therefore derived from them. For example, atmospheric physics theory that goes back to the late 1800's and early 1900s established that small amounts contributions of carbon dioxide can warm the atmosphere. Back then it was "just a theory" albeit derived from observable fact and empirical evidence. 
 
I also notice that some people tend to confuse or conflate "hypothesis" and "theory." A hypothesis is an idea that is offered or assumed with the intent of being tested. A theory is intended to explain processes already supported or substantiated by facts, data and experimentation which the 'Big Bang; absolutely is. 

 

Very simply, belief can be entertained irrespective of whether there is sufficient knowledge or there are facts to be certain of its veracity. Moreover, it is almost invariably unfalsifiable. A scientific theory is predictive or establishes rules whereby the outcome can be accurately predicted and is predicated on the existence of quality evidence. As the evidence change, as we obtain more, newer and better evidence and as the full suite of evidence expands, our predictions, postdictions and entire conceptions of the Universe change along with it. This is the basis of the scientific method. 
 
 

That's all well and good but still doesn't mean I have to believe in this theory.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, leicsmac said:

"The term "theory" means a very different thing when used in everyday conversation and in science. In our day to day speech, we often use "theory" to mean a guess or unsubstantiated idea about how something works (as in "I have a theory that gremlins are hiding my car keys").

P*ss off, that is a fact and you know it  :mad: Shame on you!

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, whoareyaaa said:

That's all well and good but still doesn't mean I have to believe in this theory.

 

The great thing about a scientific theory is that just because you don't believe it in doesn't mean it isn't correct :)  We can happily dismiss your view on the basis that you are not scientifically qualified to disprove the theory ir to offer any evidence whatsoever for your alternate hypothesis of creation by an advanced civilisation.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...