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Prometheus last won the day on June 13

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About Prometheus

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    Building statistical models for Raman spectroscopy.

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  1. 3 Choices, pick one:

    None, thank you alien friend. We'll never learn for ourselves otherwise. How about comparing notes on maths and art?
  2. God and science

    But not in the same way as Newton explained gravity, which was the point i was trying to make (unless we take the most general case of formulating hypothesis and testing them against observations - but i think Endercreeper wasn't talking at that level).
  3. God and science

    Well you got that bit right. God can't imbue purpose in us unless he comes down and tells us what that 'purpose' is. Which hasn't happened. So by your own measure god is useless. Unless god told you his purpose for you? The need for purpose is not evidence for god. But why the need to recieve purpose from some 'higher' being anyway? You can create purpose for yourself or receive it from another human. That way you'll actually know what it is, or can change it if you don't like it. Which is just not needed. We can just be honest and say we don't know, but we're looking it into.
  4. God and science

    The theory of evolution doesn't explain the how species arise in the same way as Newton's theory describes gravity so what's your point? I could have happily accepted a lack of evidence for not accepting these hypotheses, but this just seems like mental contortion to keep hold of your beliefs. So you infer consciousness in others based on your own consciousness coupled with the 'sameness' of them to you. I'm sympathetic to that reasoning so long as you don't make the bar for supposing some AI is conscious so high that it will never pass. Based on your view that mathematical constructs cannot be conscious and that a computer is essentially a mathematical construct i suspect you think it is impossible. What would an AI need to do to prove it's consciousness to you?
  5. God and science

    Not fully understanding is also known as 'we don't know'. Why are you so worried by not knowing to the point you will invent something called god to pretend you do know? But it doesn't explain why or how god exists - has he been forever, or did he pop out of nothing? These questions still exist only we apply them to something called god instead of the universe. Nothing has been answered, but an illusion of knowing has been conjured.
  6. God and science

    It doesn't say anything. It isn't using evolution. The universe doesn't gain anything. Why insist the universe has such human tendencies? So what's the point of it all? Well why does does there need to be one? Just to satisfy people who crave purpose to the universe it seems. Which is no reason at all. You have presupposed purpose and then used that to prove to yourself there is purpose - can you see how this reasoning is flawed? These processes are part of the dance of the universe which maybe we'll explain to our satisfaction and maybe we won't. But it's OK to say we don't know - far better than saying, 'erm, yeah, something called god did it - that's all that explained then'. Even if we say god did it what has that explained? The universe is complicated because he wanted it that way. But why? Nothing has been gained or explained. Except for people afraid of the bizarre nature of the universe, who want to explain things in familiar terms - desire, purpose, will. A being with desires? i can understand that - but this quantum fluctuation stuff - far too abstract. It's often said scientists lack imagination because they deny cool stuff like the supernatural, but when we really look at it we see it's theists who really lack imagination as they need to couch everything in terms of a being with motives and desires - just like them. Play Conway's game of life, watch a Mandelbrot zoom (or better yet, create them yourself). Observe how extremely complex patterns emerge from the iteration of some ridiculously simple rules for yourself. Then actually learn some basic sciences and observe how complexity arises, You not being aware of hypotheses is not the same as them not existing. There's nothing wrong with not knowing about all the scientific hypotheses about consciousness, but why would you remain so wilfully ignorant when it's obviously a subject you're interested in and why would you argue from this position of ignorance so strongly? After about 10 seconds on google i found three: the Perceptronium, the Orchestrated Objective Reduction hypothesis and the Astonishing hypothesis. If you are being consistent then you should also not accept other humans beings are conscious. After all, how do you prove they are conscious? By the way - are you ever going to answer Studiot's questions about the Incompleteness theorem?
  7. God and science

    It's a question for some people and that particular point was for someone else. Yet. Unless you want to say gravity didn't exist 500 years ago: before then there was no scientific mechanism which could have explained why down was down. There are quite a few scientific hypotheses out there about how consciousness arises so people are working on it. I take it you think computers cannot be conscious no matter how complex and convincing their behaviour? And it is a useless concept which explains precisely nothing. Worried that things can't have existed forever - no problem make up something called god and say it can exist forever. What has that explained? Can't fathom how consciousness can arise - dally no more, invent something called god and claim he did it. What has that explained? Why are people so scared to just say 'i don't know'? I quite agree. But a).those other methods still need thought and rigour and b.) some phenomena are perfectly suited to investigation via the scientific method. Consciousness is one of them.
  8. What is uncertainty ?

    Constructed? Why constructed and not measured? I suspect this is the crux of my misunderstanding. Wouldn't that depend on the precision of your measuring device? The accuracy of your speedometer is irrelevant here, it's the recording the police take that is taken as evidence, unless they take into account the objection 'i was only doing 30'. I must be missing your point... In case you're wondering, i'm not deliberately being dense, it comes quite naturally. However, i am quite enjoying the irony of being so uncertain about a thread on uncertainty.
  9. Why doesn't truth matter & middle ground

    The progression isn't about where you stick it, it's about tolerating other people's preferences for where they stick it or like it to be stuck.
  10. Qualitative effects of different alcohol and cannabis

    This study just came out in the BMJ. Suggests there differences in emotional state by different alcohol, but only briefly touches on why that might.
  11. What is uncertainty ?

    I'm still not sure i understand. The uncertainty principle is a consequence of the nature of phenomena under study: it is inherent. Measurement error occurs due to some random imprecision: the thing we are measuring may not change but our measurements will to some extent. By synthesis do you mean the former? If so i don't understand how it applies to a parked car.
  12. God and science

    And the world seems flat from where i'm sitting: which is enough to convince the many flat-earthers. We evolved to see faces in the bushes, our pattern recognition ability is meant to keep us alive and shagging, not explore the truth. I can appreciate that a lot of ideas in modern physic are counter-intuitive - but that doesn't make them wrong. It just means we have to use a little more imagination. I'll use any excuse to listen to Carl Sagan explain it: Argument from design isn't it? Which i guess itself is an from incredulity: 'i just can't believe something complicated can arise from something simple'. They need to see some fractals or Conway's game of life.
  13. First Interstellar Asteroid Observed

    The death knell of any joke: being explained. Nothing sophisticated about it, just a cheap poke at xenophobia. If it doesn't make sense it's because xenophobia rarely does so. Obviously the Kuiper belt is too porous, we need to build it higher.
  14. First Interstellar Asteroid Observed

    Damn xeno-asteroids, taking our gravity away.
  15. This was an allusion to Ryle's Ghost in the Machine which i thought was the idea of experiencing yourself as a homunculus behind the eyes, 'driving' the body. But maybe i misunderstood it. Not really, but that may be fault rather than yours: i just don't have the time to ponder your position with the time it requires or deserves. Another part of my resistance is that you are trying to answer what i consider to be an empirical question with reason. This might not actually be the case, but like i said, this issue requires more than the cursory glance i can currently afford it.