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mistermack last won the day on November 11

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  1. Underdetermination in Science

    Reminds me of the value of Pi. It's the concept of "tends towards". You can't nail it down, but it is still an obvious fact. As the number of verifications grows, the certainty grows. As your number of decimal points grows towards infinity, so you approach an absolute value for Pi.
  2. If anybody knows about this subject, it will be the military. A pill to duplicate the effects of sleep would be worth far more than a new missile guidance system.
  3. If you got hold of a big computer, one of the biggest, and wrote a super program to forecast the lottery results, and then put all the previous lottery results into it, and tweaked and tweaked until the model correctly forecast all of the previous lottery numbers retrospectively, your chances of forecasting the NEXT result correctly would still be nearly nil. I wouldn't even spend a pound on a ticket. Start a gigantic bank account, and make all of the climate scientists put their pension money in it. When they come to retire, pay out on how successfully they predicted what the climate would be like on retirement day. You might see some more realistic efforts, if their own money depended on it.
  4. Can you believe in evolution and in god?

    You're a great one for stating the bleedin obvious. But the bleedin obvious DIFFERENCE is that I KNOW it's not safe to cross the road, I CAN SEE and HEAR the traffic. It's not a question of belief in heavenly cars that nobody has ever seen, heard, or been hit by. If I believed that god would keep them safe, I'd still be an LOONY to teach them to cross without looking. But according to your logic, that would be ok. You believe it, so teach it. The difference is between knowing and believing. Every single religious person with a brain had doubt. They may profess belief, they may never admit it out loud, but they know perfectly well that there's a real possibility that their religion is utter bollocks. But they still indoctrinate their kids, as if it's all true. That's why I call it child abuse.
  5. Tell Me

    I've always envied the tradition of the rocking chair on a wooden porch. But now I know you're American, in rural Missouri, I envy it even more. Why not get a yellow dog and a bunch of guns and go about killing wild life? I don't approve, but I bet it's a great way to pass the time. I love fishing, I no longer fish, and don't approve, but I bet I'd love it, if I went back to it. Or you could go in for something totally un-American, like learning about the rest of the world. It's easy these days, if you're online. I taught myself the names and positions of all the US states the other day. Maybe pointless, but you feel you've done something when you can do the lot. New England is the worst. How the hell did Rhode Island get to be a state?
  6. Has science failed to recognize morality as lifesaving?

    There's mention of it here too (buried) : https://academic.oup.com/icb/article-pdf/25/3/861/384664/25-3-861.pdf
  7. Has science failed to recognize morality as lifesaving?

    I just had a little look and found this : A controversial aspect of male relations with infants- Triadic interactions This is when there are three parties involved; two adult males and one baby. When there is a conflict between two males, sometimes one of them will pick up an infant. This was first documented in barbary macaques. They're noted for males doing a lot of infant carrying and holding, but it was particularly Deag and Crook who noticed that males were particularly likely to pick up and carry a baby when they were in a conflict with another male. There are two hypotheses to explain this behavior.......... http://www-personal.umich.edu/~phyl/anthro/socadinf.html This isn't what I remember seeing, but it's an example of it.
  8. Has science failed to recognize morality as lifesaving?

    It was on a documentary, so I can't search for it specifically. They filmed baboons actually doing it, I think it was Jeladas but I've heard of it in other primates too. I vaguely remember chimps doing something similar. But there are plenty of other examples. Chimps kill and eat monkeys, including babies. Why don't they kill and eat other chimps? It's a moral choice. It may seem obvious, because we take it for granted, but that's what it is. I saw a documentary where one chimp was suspected of killing baby chimps by the film makers. The rest of the group were shunning him, turning their backs on him, not wanting to even look at him. It seems obvious and understandable but it's morals in action.
  9. Has science failed to recognize morality as lifesaving?

    Morals are an evolved trait, as far as I'm concerned. We humans put our morals into words, and argue them out on forums, but in essence, it's how you FEEL about something. The reason that we have more moral feelings than other animals, is our evolved ability to mentally put ourselves in the place of others. Other apes have this too, but we've taken it a lot further. One moral norm that is fairly common throughout the animal world is a dislike of cannibalism. I remember watching a documentary on lions some years ago. They were hit by a severe drought, and the game disappeared altogether. There was nothing for them to eat, and they were dying off one by one. The pride were nothing but skin and bones, but they were still very reluctant to turn cannibal. One of the sisters of the pride died, and her body lay around for days. Three hundred pounds of meat, but the starving lions did't want to eat it. They did eventually, but you could see from their faces that it took a huge effort, even though the smell of lion was probably overpowered by the smell of meat going off. Of course, there are sound evolutionary reasons for not eating your fellow pride members. But it manifests itself as a feeling that it's wrong, in lions just the same as us. Lions couldn't DESCRIBE it that way, but the reluctance is the same for them as us. The only difference is that we can put it into words, and we have morals about a hundred times more things than lions do. Apes and monkeys have lots of moral feelings, especially when it comes to babies. A big aggressive male won't attack a perceived rival, if he's holding a baby. It's a common strategy for self protection to pick up a baby, in stressed circumstances.
  10. Mars likely to have enough oxygen to support life:

    The Mars rovers should be finding some Armadillo shit pretty soon then. Beats me what they've been feeding on, they should be sending back pictures of that too pretty shortly. Insects and grubs from soft soil usually. So digging evidence should be around and about.
  11. Has science failed to recognize morality as lifesaving?

    No, it's God's will. What a bastard !
  12. Tell Me

    I went to a funeral a few weeks ago of a guy who sounds just like that. He looked about 20 years younger than his nearly 80 years. Still working and running his own company. Lovely guy, sorely missed.
  13. Mars likely to have enough oxygen to support life:

    Water is rocky on Mars. There's lots of it as ice, from what I've read. So if you want to extract oxygen, water is probably the best source. There are oxide minerals on Mars. Apparently the source of free oxygen is the action of the solar radiation on CO2 high in the atmosphere. That's something I didn't know. Now I just want to know where the CO2 comes from. I suppose there is still some outgassing going on. Mars used to have active volcanoes, so it probably had a much thicker atmosphere in the past.
  14. closed timelike curves

    The theory of General Relativity covers it. Anything with mass bends space time.