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Charles 3781

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Everything posted by Charles 3781

  1. Thanks studiot. I admit the general validity of your first point. About discovering connections between various works of literature, over the ages. This was brought out to me, very strongly, by repeated reading of one of my all-time favourite books: Vladimir Nabokov's 2-volume "Commentary" on Pushkin's verse-novel: "Eugene Onegin". Nabokov, in his Commentary, demonstrates connections between Pushkin, Byron, Swift, old Virgil and many other authors over the ages. None of which might have occurred to me. If not pointed out by Nabokov. Also, as a further, more modern example - Orwell's "1984". When Winston and Julia go to meet O'Brien, their meeting is conducted in a manner strongly resembling a Catholic Ritual. With O'Brien as the Priest, administering the wine, and the Host, (in the form of tablets). And taking Confession (in secret when the telescreen's switched off) and so on. The parallels are clear. But despite have read the book so many times that it's practically engraved in my memory - I only became aware of the parallels after reading "Brodie's Notes" on 1984. These scholarly clarifications of allusions and connotations, certainly increased my literary understanding. Can't say they increased my scientific understanding though! Which leads on to your second point - about breakthroughs in Science arising from spotting connections in already known material. I think something like happened when scientists used known NASA data from Jupiter probes to spot some previously missed Jovian satellites. Not a great breakthrough, though, was it? Can you think of any examples where previously known scientific data has been re-examined - with the result of a great breakthrough in Science?
  2. Before reading your posts, I hadn't realised there was such a difference between Islam and Christianity, in their views about studying the world. As far as I can gather, it boils down to: 1. Islam says: There's no point studying the physical world, because God constantly destroys it, and re-creates, it according to His will, which changes all the time, so you never know. 2. Christianity says: There is a point in studying the world, because God created the world once only. So by studying it, you can get to know what His will actually is. Is this too simplistic?
  3. Don't you think the term "academic" is rather too vague. It could encompass all persons who have attended an institute of learning. Whatever the learning was about. Thus, a Professor of English Literature, and a Professor of Nuclear Physics, could both be described, simplistically, as "academics". That's to say, they've learned things that most people don't know about. But the distinction between them is this: The Physics professor gets his knowledge from following new experiments in modern science. Whereas the Literature professor gets it only by studying old books. Therefore, I would classify the Literary bloke as a "Scholar". Not a "Scientist" at all. Even though he's an "Academic". Isn't there a huge difference between being a "Scholar", and being a "Scientist"?
  4. Could you translate your program into BASIC, please, as that's the only programming language I understand?
  5. Just wondering why water should impede radio-waves. Water is composed of Hydrogen and Oxygen. Neither of these two elements, by themselves, seem to offer much resistance to radio-waves. For example, the Oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere doesn't prevent terrestrial radio stations from receiving broadcasts over long distances. And Hydrogen gas, which is present in large quantities on the planet Jupiter, doesn't prevent random radio-noise from that planet, being received over even longer distances by our radio-telescopes on Earth. This demonstrates that both elements are transparent to radio-waves. So why do Oxygen and Hydrogen when combined together in the form of water, block radio waves so strongly?
  6. Haven't Eddington's so-called "photographic" proofs of star-displacements caused by Einsteinian effects, long been called into question and discredited?
  7. Uhm. When you say "fairly reproducible results"... "with uncertainties", does that sound like Science in its true sense? I mean, couldn't Scientists such as Physicists and Chemists, provide exact answers to questions?
  8. Do you think that a "Sociologist" is really a scientist, in the same sense that a "Physicist" or "Chemist" is?
  9. Yes, but haven't theoretical physicists developed models such as "String Theory". A theory which apparently cannot be tested by any practical experiments. If so, is "String Theory" science? Or just philosophical speculation.
  10. But theoretical scientists only write mathematical equations on paper. They don't do any physical experiments, to see if what they write actually works in the real world.
  11. Isn't a "scientist" someone who has an urge to do experiments?
  12. Navigation of the supersonic sub will also present difficulties to the captain. Travelling sub-surface at a dash-speed of 850+ mph, he/she will be essentially operating blind. Sonar will be of little help - aquatic shock-wave effects will delay and distort echo-returns from enemy vessels. Thus rendering precise torpedo launches hopeless. Probably, the best military tactic for the supersonic sub, will be to come up to periscope-depth near an enemy ship, and get a directional bearing through the scope,. Then submerge, accelerate up to supersonic speed, and execute a ramming attack - Jules Verne "Nautilus" style - to slice the bottom off the enemy vessel by sheer kinetic energy. This will not damage the super sub, as its hull will, of course, be built of titanium/depleted-uranium alloy. What could possibly go wrong?
  13. Swansont, after pondering about the interesting point you mentioned, "shock waves in water", I've come to the conclusion that supersonic submarines can't be compared to supersonic aircraft. For this reason: Aircraft fly through the Earth's atmosphere - ie, through a mixture of gasses. And gasses can be readily compressed, and pushed aside. Thus generating a Mach "shock-wave" in the atmosphere. The atmosphere absorbs and dissipates the shockwave, turning it into a "sonic-boom". Which may annoy remote ground-based residents. But doesn't molest the aircraft. However - water is a different matter. Water absolutely cannot be compressed. It retains its volume no matter how much it's squeezed. This is indeed, why hydraulic machines work. Therefore, it seems to me, that if a submarine accelerated underwater at ultra-high speed, then when it reached under-water Mach -1, the outcome would be crushing disaster for the sub. Can you fault my reasoning?
  14. Aircraft can be designed to travel at "supersonic" speeds through the atmosphere. Would it be possible to design a "supersonic" submarine to travel though the sea?
  15. Perhaps we are in the age of communication - when all humans can communicate with each other, for the first time.
  16. Do you mean that a change in velocity, by slowing down, is actually an acceleration?
  17. Thanks Bufofrog, I did make a reply, but it was deleted by a moderator
  18. From the viewpoint of someone aboard a boat, surely it is stationary. It's the sea outside which is going up and down. This is elementary Galilean relativity. Which applies to us all. For example, from the point of view of the Earth, the Sun is going round it. When the the Sun rises in the east, goes across the sky, then sets in the west, no-one on Earth experiences any sense of motion. We stay still. We don't experience any "whirling" movement. How can you confute this? Without offending both Special and General Relativity?
  19. Yes, but it was a decent first start. For that, surely it deserves some respect. I mean, you have to start from somewhere. Religion was a first attempt to organise our way of thinking about the Universe. Later, we got into Science, which is much better and far more productive. But the earlier religious ideas should not be despised, or so it seems to me.
  20. What does "squaring" actually mean? Isn't it just a shorthand linguistic expression for "multiplying a number by the same number"? It's just multiplication of one number by another. I can't see how it differs from, say, multiplying any two numbers.
  21. That is a very good point. If the collapsing Universe reaches a temperature of a billion K degrees, as joigus plausibly suggests, no presently living matter could survive such intense heat. Even atoms couldn't survive it, and certainly not organic molecules. Only photons could survive. Do you think that in the far future, humans could evolve into photons?
  22. Surely, you are going too far. If we know that the average temperature of the Martian surface is -60C, how can that be "utterly useless" in our efforts to engineer a rover capable of surviving on Mars? On the contrary, it has enabled us to engineer numerous recent examples of rovers capable of operating in this low-temperature Martian environment.
  23. Don't you think that that Religion does have a rational foundation? Which is this - it's an attempt to explain why things happen. Why things don't just happen at random. Why, for example, the Moon doesn't just exhibit itself in the sky, in a random unpredictable way. But follows definite rules, which involve a 27 day cycle between the first appearance of a slender crescent "New Moon". Then its gradual "waxing", through the phases of "Half Moon" to a "Full Moon". Then the "waning" phases of "Full" to "Half", and fading crescent. These nightly exhibitions of regular phase-behaviour, must induce a sense of "rationality" in the Universe, don't you think? Which is what Religion attempts to do - to provide a reasonable explanation for why some things happen.
  24. Swansont, I stand corrected. You are right that the phlogiston theory wasn't exploded by experiments which involved the burning of wood. Wood is too light and variable a substance to display convincing weight differences, on a 18th-century chemical balance, between raw wood and its combusted ash. However, I do regard with deep suspicion, your suggestion that phlogiston was debunked by experiments involving magnesium. Can you offer any evidence for it?
  25. humilty's post mentions "tidal power". This is sometimes cited, nowadays, as a potential source of "Green Energy". That's to say, harnessing the ebb and flow of the tides in the oceans, to drive turbines, thereby generating electricity. As long as this electricity is employed for purely terrestrial purposes, I can't see that it would do any harm. After all, the tides are created by the gravitational influence of the Moon, as it orbits the Earth. And the Moon doesn't care how its gravitational influence is employed on Earth. Whether by making the Earth's oceans just rise up and fall down again, creating pure kinetic energy. Or by having part of this kinetic energy, converted , via turbines, into terrestrial electrical energy. Either way, the Moon's energy "expenditure" would seem to be the same. So the Moon would keep orbiting the Earth at the same distance and speed. The turbines on Earth, couldn't affect the Moon, could they?
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