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Posts posted by Memammal

  1. I have not read the entire thread. Has anyone brought up Kyle R Skottke's paper on The Evolution of Human Intelligence (Increasing Importance of Domain-Specific Intelligence in the Modern Environment)? It is a rather short and concise paper and worth a read. Here are some key excerpts:



    • INTRODUCTION: Human intelligence has evolved steadily over the course of thousands of generations without drastic change in the environment. However, the challenges we face in modern society have forced the independent domain of intelligence to assume the roles that other domains would have played in the primitive environment in which we evolved. There are clear genetic links that predispose people to have a larger cerebral cortex, allowing them to better deal with the challenges of the expanded work load modern life puts on our intelligence domain. Evolution has not yet had a chance to catch up to the rapid progress we have made as a society and might not due to human circumvention of natural selection. General intelligence (g) can be described as the ability of an individual to acquire and apply knowledge. Many studies have shown that g is at least 50 percent heritable and thus, can be passed down from generation to generation (DiLalla, 2000). Evolution is the concept that the gene expression of organisms changes over time. It is clear that human intelligence has changed since the emergence of the very first hominids. While there are several genetic explanations for this change, with several genes directly involved in g, there are also environmental and migrational factors that have influenced human intelligence. The migration of people to all areas of the earth along with the industrialization of modern society has abstracted modern man from our ancestors. Since our environments are abstracted, a greater importance has been placed on cognitive ability and intelligence to allow us to function in modern society.
    • The independent domain theory states that general intelligence is only one of several psychological mechanisms, along with mate selection, the cheater detection molecule, and the face recognition module that have evolved. It is important to note that in this model, general intelligence is defined as the ability to use deductive logic and abstract thought.
    • Genetic analysis also supports the field independent model. One finding, "concerning specific cognitive abilities is that multivariate genetic analyses indicate that the same genetic factors largely influence different abilities" (Plomin 1999). This refers to the fact that genes involved in verbal ability are also linked to spatial ability and other cognitive abilities. Therefore, the psychological mechanism of general intelligence is not divided into smaller groups based on specific cognitive action; rather that it is a category that encompasses all cognitive ability. This supports the field independent model because the psychological mechanisms of mate selection and cheater detection are not cognitive fields, but are more hard wired gut feelings. Multivariate genetic analysis also discredits the field dependent theory because the analysis shows that verbal and spatial abilities are tied to the same genetic factors, whereas in field dependent theory, they are separate categories under g.
    • Reverse engineering in the context of evolution, is the attempt to infer the ancestral conditions, called the environment of evolutionary adaptation, that would have made certain genetically inherited behavior-inducing modules increase their bearers' reproductive success (David, 2002). It has been inferred that prehistoric man originated in Africa based on archeological evidence. In this primitive environment, there would have been certain physiological traits that would have been more favorable to the bearer of the trait.
    • The consistency of the Pleistocene epoch would have promoted evolution in a specific direction without much deviation. One key aspect of this era was that more children were being born than were supportable by the environment. There had not been the advent of modern agriculture to mass produce food, and there was no domestication of animals. It is primarily because of this aspect of the Pleistocene epoch that evolution was able to shape the human race through natural selection. Since only some of the population was able to survive and reproduce each generation, it follows that the individuals best suited to the environment would survive and pass on their traits, since most traits are at least 50 percent heritable.
    • However, in the past 1000 years, we have come a long way from our roots in Africa. Since we live in an environment that is far abstracted from the African savannah, even the simplest of things that we take for granted relies on our function of g. Changes have been made so rapidly in society that the natural selection mechanism of evolution has not had a chance to catch up to the progress we have made technologically. Thus, the part of the brain that is able to process abstract thought is used to help us navigate and cope with our "foreign" environments. There is no physiological mechanism for humans to know how to operate an elevator or how to travel through a city filled with skyscrapers, which is why g has become increasingly important over the past millennia; we have further developed g through our dependence on it. A study was done which supports the idea that intelligence can develop over time. Newborn chicks which have small brains are able to correctly perceive partially occluded objects as one object. However, human babies were likely to perceive it as two separate objects (Langer, 2004). This study demonstrates that intelligence develops over time, and if intelligence can develop over time in one individual, it is possible for intelligence to develop over time for an entire population. Since intelligence can develop and because popular views on intelligence and types of intelligence are changing, there has also been increased pressure to revise methods of testing intelligence; for which the most common measure is currently modifications of the Wechsler intelligence test (Esters, 1999).
    • ...intelligence is not dimorphic, there is a broad range of intelligence and there are several genes that govern g. These multiple-gene systems are often referred to as quantitative trait loci (QTLs), which can, contribute interchangeably and additively like probabilistic risk factors (Plomin, 1999).
    • The physical size of specific regions of the brain can have tremendous effects on an individual's g. One gene that was linked to the smaller brain size in the microcephaly patients was named microcephalin.
    • QTL studies have isolated insulin-like growth factor-2 receptor (IGF2R) as a gene on chromosome 6 which is linked to intelligence because it has, "been shown to be especially active in brain regions most involved in learning and memory" (Plomin, 1999, p. 789). Of the two alleles that are possible, it was found that a group of children with high IQ had twice the frequency of one allele as compared to the group of children with low IQ. More studies are needed to show the direct role that this gene plays in determining intelligence, but it is important to note that genes determining intelligence do exist and can be passed on to offspring.
    • It is a long established fact that the neocortex is not only the newest portion of the brain to have developed, but has also gotten bigger over time (Emery & Clayton, 2004). The dorsal thalamus is another region of the brain which functions as a relay or gateway into the cortex. A study was conducted by K. K. Glendenning in which the dorsal thalamus of placental mammals was examined for the presence of g-aminodecarboxylase immunoreactive neurons. The presence of more of these neurons results in the increased uptake of GABA, a type of neurotransmitter which acts to slow activity in the brain. It was found that the systematic increase in inhibitory receptors in the dorsal thalamus of placental mammals is correlated with the increase in the development of the cortex of placental mammals (Glendenning, 1998). Using the findings of this experiment in conjunction with the changing environments man has found himself in since the origin of Homo sapiens, it can be reasoned that evolution has favored individuals with the ability to better regulate their brain activity (Fischman, 1993). The ability to regulate the brain is a clear advantage when living in groups. If an individual was not able to control primal urges and behave in accordance with the social norms of the times, whether prehistoric or modern, this individual would be exiled from the group. Although being exiled from the group does not sound like a terribly important thing in modern society, it would have been devastating to prehistoric man. If early humans were exiled, they had little chance of reproduction and their own chances of survival were dramatically decreased (Kamil, 2004)... The fact that most people now posses this trait of increased sensitivity to GABA suggests that it is such an important trait that it has evolved and remained a favorable trait over several millennia. This would mean that early humans who possessed less regulational control over their brains would be ostracized and would not pass their genes to the next generation, resulting in the trait for lower GABA sensitivity fading away.
    • CONCLUSION: ...since we have removed ourselves from the "native" landscape and challenges of Africa, we have become more dependent on the psychological mechanism of general intelligence than previously in the history of mankind. While there have been definite changes in the brain that account for increased intelligence of humans over apes and other mammals such as the presence of more GABA receptors and brain growth genes, much of the intelligence that we use is partially due to environmental factors. Since we are removed from the environment in which we evolved, the g region of the brain is forced to account for much more than it would otherwise have to... Although thousands of years have passed since mankind migrated from Africa and populated the vast expanses of the world, there has been insufficient time for evolution to take effect and modify us to better fit our new environments.
  2. You assert you are being calm and yet you choose emotive words and phrases such as "blatantly" and "outrageous boasts", exactly the kinds of words I had cautioned you not to use.


    Motive for the caution: I applaud your opposition to racism and do not wish to see you shut down. It is your methodolgy/tone that I object to.

    I think Bering Strait has been bearing further off course though. I don't think we are here to slug it out in/with upper case, bold insults.


    I think our definition of intelligence and the impact of cultural and educational differences makes this currently impractical to discern.

    Yes, I last got the feeling that this was more or less the conclusion that we ended up with. All other discussions re athleticism etc. further served to prove that environmental factors are far more influential. And in saying that, I do not want to even entertain another debate on exactly how to define so-called races (not that I am the OP, only speaking for myself). The entire topic serves little to no purpose for reasons already divulged.

  3. ^ I was commenting on your post in its context, i.e. as a response to a previous post, and merely pointing out that there is no (scientific or other) reason to insert a God into the gaps. And I agree 100% with:

    Objecting to either theory on those grounds is technically incorrect.

  4. As has been stated, The Big Bang is about how the universe got to be the way it is now, and what it was like going back to the earliest time that we have evidence for. There's currently no consensus on what exactly created those initial conditions.


    There are some ideas, but they are largely highly speculative rather than being part of any serious cosmological theory.

    Science has so far not uncover ANYTHING that require(d) supernatural intervention. To the contrary, the concept of God has been reduced to said singularity as well as the origin of the very first cell. In both cases there are numerous probable natural explanations.


    Adding: Also, incidentally, the official position of the Pope and Catholic Church is that there is no conflict between Christianity and evolution. That's more of an Evangelical thing than a general Christian thing.

    We discussed this before. Notwithstanding the RCC's official stance on the matter, evolution and their own dogma are contradictory to one another.

    I gave the example of Carson thinking that God might need a global catastrophe like climate change in order to fulfill prophecy from the Bible. I remember thinking how close Sarah Palin got to "doing God's will" with her finger on the button, confident it would all work out to His plan.


    I don't think our leaders should be using faith to steer the country. To me, faith should be the backup plan of last resort, after you've used up your second-to-last resort, hope.

    The first paragraph above highlights the danger of religious fanatics. Faith should not enter the fray. It is intrinsically skewed.

  5. Is it possible Race is simply a small difference in genes? Like pure breeds or something like that? As in black people tend to hook up with black people, and whites with whites, etc. While there are outliers, would this create your supposed "races"?

    It begs the question as to whether pure bred races (like the utopian Germanic Aryans) would really be better off than "conventional" or mixed races. Think about pure bred dogs vs cross-bred/mongrels. Again this is not necessarily clear-cut and generally applicable across the board, but there is a well substantiated school of thought that cross-bred or even mongrels are far better equipped to survive in comparison with their pure bred counterparts.


    And if that is not racist, then observing that there may be a correlation between race and intelligence should not automatically be assumed to be racist.


    Your other points in your post seem to be an expansion of my underlying thrust, so I naturally agree with those too, especially the blurriness of just is IQ, or intelligence for that matter.

    And so we should not make assumptions about motivation for making the observation and pointing out a possible cause without more data. Would you agree?

    These three lines go well together and address the same underlying matter. Yes, I agree that until there is absolute clarity and accurate data it is not worth speculating about. In my personal opinion, however, there is little merit in discussing a race/intelligence correlation at all as I would still question the aim or purpose of such a discussion. Do we still have unique, homogenous or pure bred "races"? Yes, there undoubtedly are still isolated regions where reasonably isolated gene pools may exist, but due to ever-expanding natural migration patterns (likely to increase further with global warming) and the inter-"racial" mixing, is it not something that would become entirely irrelevant in the near future? And if so, would that not be good riddance and a step in the right direction for the survival, or at least improvement of our species?

  6. To illustrate the point: is it racist of me to point out that less than a handful of male sprinters who have run less than 10.0 seconds for the 100m are of African origin and all but one of those are from West Africa.

    Jamaican sprinters of recent times are a prime example of this phenomena, ditto for long distance runners from [edit] northern Africa (Ethopia). That being said, one must be careful to conclude that it is purely as a result of genes. Winners not only "breed" winners, but they also harness a winning culture. Nature and nurture. What about the origin of historical winners of such events, or what about future winners? We cannot generalize and say OK, we now assume that the Jamaicans will continue to dominate sprint events and Ethopians will continue to dominate long distances.


    I am not sure if we remotely want to entertain the notion of breeding super races, either intellectually superior or athletically superior. We definitely should not consider a situation where certain groups will be disqualified (or exterminated?), or prohibited to reproduce, based on an ethnic/race differentiation.


    There is no conclusive evidence that intelligence is directly linked to race or ancestry or ethnicity. The concept of intelligence in itself is somewhat blurry, IQ as a (only) measurement of intelligence or of cognitive ability is somewhat blurry, while there are quite a few studies that have highlighted the contribution of environmental factors in improving so-called cognitive abilities...even to the point of nullifying "racial profiling".


    As I stated earlier, one should never use grey data/parameters to make and parade black & white conclusions...especially if those kind of conclusions only serve to humiliate and/or to "divide and conquer". That essentially boils down to propaganda and I have seen enough of that through out the last few pages of this thread.

  7. I described one of your earlier statements/assessments as "hideously unintelligent and irresponsible". Go back and connect the dots. Not much has changed. You clearly are a racist...would that be genetically-, environmentally-driven, or both?


    Again what has lead you to believe that I am racist? I merely pointed to the fact that there are variances in average IQ among ethnicity,race,nations etc.


    So i'll ask you the same what has made you think I'm racist? [sNIP]

    So what do you think "phasing out" means? Literally killing off millions or preventing them from breeding? Why cant reproduction as a right be taken away? Other rights can be taken away.




    Racism is a product of the complex interaction in a given society of a race-based worldview with prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. [sNIP]


    The ideology underlying racist practices often includes the idea that humans can be subdivided into distinct groups that are different in their social behavior and innate capacities and that can be ranked as inferior or superior.[1] [sNIP]


    According to a United Nations convention, there is no distinction between the terms "racial" and "ethnic" discrimination. The UN convention further concludes that superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and there is no justification for racial discrimination, anywhere, in theory or in practice.[2]

  8. Is that how you really view other africans? As "hideously unintelligent and irresponsible"? I never said those words. What has led you to believe that I am a racial supremacist?

    No, that is not my view. I described one of your earlier statements/assessments as "hideously unintelligent and irresponsible". Go back and connect the dots. Not much has changed. You clearly are a racist...would that be genetically-, environmentally-driven, or both?


    I wasn't talking to you. Unless ofcourse you are the same user as "Over 9000" and you've been debating youreself here for weeks now. Which would make you a psychopath.

    Yes, I was thinking along the same lines...

  9. Yeah, I get it. You have an emotional response to this kind of discussion. I suggest you just go do something else. You're not really posting much science here, just how upset you are.

    One area I can think of practical utility would be immigration policy.

    Just sick and tired of the likes of you who abuse grey data to reach agenda-driven black & white conclusions and want to implement unfounded policies accordingly. What do you propose? To discriminately consider immigrants based on different mental traits, or races/ancestries? And how do you intend to measure those? It somehow reminds me of this: The Jew has always been a people with definite racial characteristics and never a religion - Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)


    Which is why I am so reluctant to participate. It is like being dragged down to a level where I don't want to be. Fortunately the poll result is pretty conclusive.

  10. ^ At least get you facts straight before you nosedive into it again. As you should come to realise by now (you seem somewhat thick-skinned though), I was raising a point with the poster of the part that I quoted and it goes back to his earlier statement, to this:

    It doesn't matter if I call them race or not, it doesn't freaking matter where I draw the line northern/ lighter skinned populations will almost always have higher IQs relative to their darker more southern counterparts.


    Just read between the lines (oh sorry, not even necessary as it is quite blatant) of the post that I quoted in my last post (that I reacted to). For example asking whether the article referred to white Americans in comparing them with east Asians. That is so sad. I repeat, it is a poor reflection on those who drive this agenda (read you & co). Enough said, I am out of here.

  11. Sure, It's relevant because it is the topic of this thread. It is relevant to me personally because I like anthropology.


    In regards to your first link, Race is a correlation not a causal factor in anyway. Disease is correlated to geography but so is breeding isolation and lattitude which further correlates with morphological variations. There seems to be a misunderstanding.


    That second link is particularly interesting, unfortunately there isn't a source for the east asian/american mental differences. It actually further demonstrates my point. Wouldn't Someone with the ability to fluently reason in all of those methods be more intelligent than the average east asian and american? Secondly, this article is far too vague, are some problem solving techniques or mental predispositions more accurate in their ability at finding solutions than others? If so which the more superior group in these facilities, east asians or americans? Do they mean white americans or just americans in general? if the latter, doesn't that seem like an arbitrary comparison?

    Using skin colour to classify humanity into groups, to further attempt to correlate such separate groups (typing these words give me the chills having grown up during Apartheid in South Africa) with IQ's and then saying that the NH "races" almost always (those were your words, which is a gross generalization) have higher IQ's than the SH "races" are hideously unintelligent and irresponsible. I am not sure if the matter of IQ as an accurate tool to measure intelligence, mental traits or cognitive ability has already been debated in this thread, but it has been raised numerous times in other similar threads and it is something that is being widely disputed. Which brings me to the reason why I inserted those two opinions/links (that you referred to above). These kinds of debates hold zero benefit for science or for society, it does not achieve anything, it is a waste of time, it is a poor reflection on those driving the race/intelligence agenda and it only serves to insult those implicated by vague allegations of different (read inferior) "mental traits". I will have no further part in this.

  12. Memammal, this is an open forum. Any member may respond to any post regardless to whom it is directed. Your behaviour in this instance is improper.

    With all due respect, I challenged a specific statement made by another poster. I never engaged with Over 9000. Any member may also choose to not respond to another. Over 9000 also made two sarcastic comments that were uncalled for in the post prior to my reaction.


    The question is whether or not races differ in their innate intelligence not whether intelligence has racial differences within it.

    The question in the poll, however, reads "Do you believe that there are racial differences in intelligence?" You do understand that, in a literal sense, the question should yield a "NO" vote?

  13. I don't agree that my question is unscientific. You can have an opinion on a scientific topic and I don't believe that we should discourage debate on this subject regardless of anyone's agenda.

    I voted. The wording of the question made it easy. Intelligence simply cannot contain (have in it) racial differences and neither can there be racial differences (contained) in intelligence. That is a fallacy.

  14. How is it unscientific?

    The word "believe" points to a subjective opinion.

    How can the concept of "intelligence" (whatever is understood by it) have "racial differences"?


    Look, these same issues have been dealt with in many different threads and in many different guises over and over. It is pretty pointless to try and instil rational, scientific discourse into topics that are very obviously (and sometimes blatantly) agenda-driven. Agenda's don't have a place in science. Let me leave you with these:



    FROM: 2014: What Scientific Idea Is Ready For Retirement? RACE by Nina Jablonksi


    [sNIP] Clinicians continue to map observed patterns of health and disease onto old racial concepts such as "White", "Black" or "African American", "Asian," etc. Even after it has been shown that many diseases (adult-onset diabetes, alcoholism, high blood pressure, to name a few) show apparent racial patterns because people share similar environmental conditions, grouping by race are maintained. The use of racial self-categorization in epidemiological studies is defended and even encouraged. In most cases, race in medical studies is confounded with health disparities due to class, ethnic differences in social practices, and attitudes, all of which become meaningless when sufficient variables are taken into account.


    Race's latest makeover arises from genomics and mostly within biomedical contexts. The sanctified position of medical science in the popular consciousness gives the race concept renewed esteem. Racial realists marshal genomic evidence to support the hard biological reality of racial difference, while racial skeptics see no racial patterns. What is clear is that people are seeing what they want to see. They are constructing studies to provide the outcomes they expect. In 2012, Catherine Bliss argued cogently that race today is best considered a belief system that "produces consistencies in perception and practice at a particular social and historical moment".


    Race has a hold on history, but it no longer has a place in science. The sheer instability and potential for misinterpretation render race useless as a scientific concept. Inventing new vocabularies of human diversity and inequity won't be easy, but is necessary.


    FROM: 2014: What Scientific Idea Is Ready For Retirement? IQ by Scott Atran​


    There is no reason to believe, and much reason not to believe, that the measure of a so-called "Intelligence Quotient" in any way reflects some basic cognitive capacity, or "natural kind" of the human mind. The domain-general measure of IQ is not motivated by any recent discovery of cognitive or developmental psychology. It thoroughly confounds domain-specific abilities—distinct mental capacities for, say, geometrical and spatial reasoning about shapes and positions, mechanical reasoning about mass and motion, taxonomic reasoning about biological kinds, social reasoning about other people's beliefs and desires, and so on—which are the only sorts of cognitive abilities for which an evolutionary account seems plausible in terms of natural selection for task-specific competencies.


    Nowhere in the animal or plant kingdoms does there ever appear to have been natural selection for a task-general adaptation. An overall measure of intelligence or mental competence is akin an overall measure for "the body," taking no special account of the various and specific bodily organs and functions, such as hearts, lungs, stomach, circulation, respiration, digestion and so on. A doctor or biologist presented with a single measure for "Body Quotient" (BQ) wouldn't be able to make much of it. IQ is a general measure of socially acceptable categorization and reasoning skills. IQ tests were designed in behaviorism's heyday, when there was little interest cognitive structure. The scoring system was tooled to generate a normal distribution of scores with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15.


    In other societies, a normal distribution of some general measure of social intelligence might look very different, in that some "normal" members of our society could well produce a score that is a standard deviation from "normal" members of another society on that other society's test. For example, in forced-choice tasks East Asian students (China, Korea, Japan) tend to favor field-dependent perception over object-salient perception, thematic reasoning over taxonomic reasoning, and exemplar-based categorization over rule-based categorization. American students generally prefer the opposite. On tests that measure these various categorization and reasoning skills, East Asians average higher on their preferences and Americans average higher on theirs'. There is nothing particularly revealing about these different distributions other than that they reflect some underlying socio- cultural differences.


    There is a long history of acrimonious debate over which, if any, aspects of IQ are heritable. The most compelling studies concern twins raised apart and adoptions. Twin studies rarely have large sample populations. Moreover, they often involve twins separated at birth because a parent dies or cannot afford to support both, and one is given over to be raised by relatives, friends or neighbors. This disallows ruling out the effects of social environment and upbringing in producing convergence among the twins. The chief problem with adoption studies is that the mere fact of adoption reliably increases IQ, regardless of any correlation between the IQs of the children and those of their biological parents. Nobody has the slightest causal account of how or why genes, singly or in combination, might affect IQ. I don't think it's because the problem is too hard, but because IQ is a specious rather natural kind.

  15. The universe by contrast does not need to be infinite, but we can apply the idea however it is.


    We should really return to my drawing analogy for the good part.


    I can draw an actual infinity, say all the real numbers between 0 and 1, but I can't draw a line representing all the integers, even though there are more real numbers between 0 and 1 than there are integers.


    The guy in my original example drawing the line y=x2 between x=0 and x=1 is in the same position.

    The rest of the line is still available even though he hasn't drawn it.


    Exactly like the block universe idea.

    OK, I understood this part of it early on already...I somehow thought you had a more expansive analogy in mind. I think we are pretty much on the same page.

  16. Again, it's a pathetic attempt at obfuscating the matter at hand and distracts from the real argument itself: that between geographic populations there are genetic and environmental differences that manifest in phenotypic variations of g. It doesn't matter if I call them race or not, it doesn't freaking matter where I draw the line northern/ lighter skinned populations will almost always have higher IQs relative to their darker more southern counterparts.

    Talking of obfuscating... So what are you implying exactly? That the same environmental differences between the north and south that contributed towards different shades of skin colours also (almost always?) affected IQ's? What should we read into the relevance of IQ's? For me it is as (ir)relevant as skin colour...nada, zilch.

    PS. I don't quite get the question of the poll - Do you believe there are racial differences in intelligence? Gosh, that is such an unscientific question to start with?

  17. studiot, sorry it took me so long to react to this. I actually did not want to derail the discussion by introducing new idea's. I was misled by your equation rather than to pay attention to what you have written...which is exactly what you pointed out to me in your follow-up. As I understand it you are suggesting that we perceive the time axis as a set of infinities (which agrees with my ruler example), with the present and past as real (completed) infinities and the future as potential infinities. Something like a time axis consisting of potential infinities that are being filled up by real infinities (bracketed) when those moments are being experienced, so to say..?

    Just thinking out loud...one could also use real infinities to describe "macro events" in order to differentiate it from quantum behaviour's potential infinities..?


    @ Michel: Those last two sentences of yours seem to be on the right track. Read it in conjunction with the above...

    Just so that we are clear, I was referring to their context as you used it in your original post...

    IOW I am thinking now that the 4D Block Universe describe paths. [cut]. It is frozen picture of a dynamic system. It is not a frozen system.

    I am not convinced "paths" is the appropriate term while frozen pictures in a dynamic system might have been better, but otherwise this is getting quite close.


    @ koti: that would be a worthwhile contender for your one/two liner question...to be read in context with our most recent discussion spread across the previous two pages. My reference to the box of chocolates was only a skin deep analogy, purely philosophical and the first thing that jumped into my mind. It referred to our lifelines being embedded in the block universe, each chocolate (moment) pre-packaged but the flavour remains unknown until you unwrap- and experience it.


    I already included the "double time" issue in my explanation by means of the block universe; if you or someone else disagrees with how I phrased the Minkowski explanation of inertia and Sagnac, please improve on it.

    I find any notion of "double time" within the block universe model as somewhat dubious.

    The principle of relativity and block "presentism" are contradictory.

    I tend to agree.

  18. Here we are talking about the way we perceive time, which is why I offered some new viewpoints. I agree about the use of the word experience and it is certainly conventional to talk of time flowing or the passage of time (time passing) to avoid the word moving as I noted in an earlier post.


    Does time flow for the goldfish or small child?




    But both please consider this.


    Another viewpoint is to divide the time axis in a similar manner to the mathematical definitions partitioning infinities real and potential infinities.


    You really need to understand real (actual) and potnetial infinities (it's quite easy) for the rest of it.




    The use of y=x2 is a simple dummy function, it could be anything within reason.


    The point is not about the function, it is about the drawing of it.


    Let us say I have drawn the part between x=1 and x = 100.


    That does not say that it does or does not exist for x<1 or x>100, just that I haven't drawn it yet.


    Does this help?

    studiot, sorry it took me so long to react to this. I actually did not want to derail the discussion by introducing new idea's. I was misled by your equation rather than to pay attention to what you have written...which is exactly what you pointed out to me in your follow-up. As I understand it you are suggesting that we perceive the time axis as a set of infinities (which agrees with my ruler example), with the present and past as real (completed) infinities and the future as potential infinities. Something like a time axis consisting of potential infinities that are being filled up by real infinities (bracketed) when those moments are being experienced, so to say..?


    @ Michel: Those last two sentences of yours seem to be on the right track. Read it in conjunction with the above...

    It is frozen picture of a dynamic system. It is not a frozen system.

  19. Hey you should explain determinism to those embroiled in the blockhead, sorry block universe threads. +1


    Or perhaps that is bad advice as it might get you embroiled as well.


    Good comment, studiot. This topic dovetails quite nicely into the various block universe "discussions". I enjoyed this thread, especially the latter part thereof. It would seem that one of the issues that is lacking in some of the other threads was also nicely picked up by Eise here:


    But it makes sense to agree on exact definitions, so that we know what we are trying to say each other. And thereby it is not a bad practice to use definitions that are as close as possible to the daily use.

  20. We had already discovered that Wikipedia's "presentism" is not compatible with Lorentz. If you like to cite Wikipedia...

    a) I cited the Wikipedia article in the hope that we could at least find common ground as to what we mean by presentism. It seems as if we have been debating in circles about what presentism is and/or what presentism is not. The manner in which these threads have become so disentangled might have resulted in parts of the same arguments being duplicated all over. The issue of the "now" (as in the present) being the only reality opposed to events in either the past and/or future, has come to the fore repeatedly. I have just started re-reading this thread and on page 1 this same issue was being dealt with. I have read numerous other references and articles about presentism and that is the one aspect thereof that they all seem to agree on.

    b) Do you regard so-called Wikipedia's presentism as a unique kind of presentism, different from Tim's presentism? Please point me to the discovery that you mentioned above.

  21. ^ Well spotted. Truth be told - after I copied it, that phrase caught my attention. I attempted to explain it, but I might have inadvertently stumbled on- and exposed that persistent shortcoming of presentism, its incompatibility with relativity. That being said, my mind is elsewhere today (enjoying some time with the family at home), so let me rather just fill in the rest of that paragraph in case I misunderstood the context thereof:


    ...Although the contents of an observation are time-extended, the conceptual observer, being a geometric point at the origin of the light cone, is not extended in time or space. This analysis contains a paradox in which the conceptual observer contains nothing, even though any real observer would need to be the extended contents of an observation to exist. This paradox is partially resolved in Relativity theory by defining a 'frame of reference' to encompass the measuring instruments used by an observer. This reduces the time separation between instruments to a set of constant intervals.

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