Jump to content


Senior Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Holmes

  1. 5 minutes ago, TheVat said:

    I would go further than saying scientists can't believe in a religion:  I would say scientists really should avoid beliefs generally.   I think expectations,  based on probabilities, are as much as we can get away with in our limited epistemic domains.   I'm not an atheist,  which implies belief,  but am agnostic in the common sense of seeing god(s) as unknowable and incapable of verification.  Or falsification.  

    But you cannot undertake science without belief for the very simple reason that science and scientific theories rest on beliefs, assumptions, things we choose to accept as true but cannot prove to be true.

    We all do this, I do this, assuming truths is entirely reasonable and rational but we should never make the mistake of claiming we have no beliefs.


  2. 21 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

    If AI ticks all the boxes, what other conclusion can you come to? What it means is that self-consciousness doesn't have to have a wet substrate and perhaps the process can be virtual, such that it's pure software, emulating neural processing.

    The difficulty is that machines like computers are merely state machines, whether it be a calculator or supercomputer they are all just state machines. I see no scope for anything like "self awareness". 

    If there is such a thing as self-awareness within a machine then what would be the criteria?

    Some believe too that the human brain, mind is wholly mechanistic but that's just a belief.

  3. 37 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

    If you can't tell the difference in the responses, I think it's self-aware because you can't prove another real person is self-aware, so a machine and person are in the same boat.

    What differences? what responses? 

    If we don't know what self aware means, what material differences exist between self-aware and non-self-aware machines then we can't scientifically answer the OP's question.


  4. On 7/7/2021 at 5:42 AM, Strange Me said:

    Could the Internet become self aware? And make it important to turn off and maybe decide "I will delete human kind?

    Not answerable unless you can tell me what the difference is between a non-self-aware machine and a self-aware machine.

  5. Just now, beecee said:

    No time is real, it doesn't depend on the mind. You kick the bucket tomorrow, and time will still carry on for the rest of us.

    Well yeah, OK, quote mining from reputable people/scientists etc, that support the superior scientific methodology.

    You don't know the first thing about science.

  6. 3 minutes ago, beecee said:

    Measuring time, and the fact that there is no universal "NOW", along with the fact that time is interchangeable with space, also supports the reality of time. Do you think space is real?

    I'm done with this thread, the naivety and juvenility shown by some is quite ridiculous, claiming to know so much about science yet attacking a person or a person's integrity when he raises hard questions or forces you to explain your beliefs.

    This is not science it is militant scientism.

  7. 1 minute ago, beecee said:

    This is a science forum. You come here attempting to undermine/deride science in favour of other unscientific myths, and then cry blue murder, when criticised?

    You offer nothing but philosophical claptrap, without any scientific evidence to support your myths and then again cry "victim"? 

    Let me give you another quote which apparently you object too...

    20 Best Science Quotes From Researchers, Authors, and Leaders - Holidappy

    Not a quote in sight, just foot stamping and emotional outbursts.

    Did I undermine science? quote me.

    Did I propose anything mythical? quote me.

    Did I post "claptrap"? quote me.

    You post a quote like that yet I bet you cannot even begin to define what "understand" means can you?


  8. 40 minutes ago, beecee said:

    Stop being so bloody obtuse. Yes we do indeed measure the passage/passing of time, which makes it real, like space and like spacetime.

    Stop being so ignorant. Measuring something is to make a claim about reality it is not reality.


    No, a perception is simply in the mind. It is the measurement of what time has passed that is real.

    More ignorance! everything you say or do begins in the mind, the mind is real.


    "There is no statement so absurd that no philosopher will make it".

    Cicero, Marcus Tullius (106-43 BCE) Roman statesman. De Divinatione

    They are quotes that just happen to critique your nonsensical philosophical utterings, like the other just up there.

    Oh, so we're quote mining now are we? 


    "philosophy is to science as pornography is to sex".

    Steve Jones

    Steve Jones is ignorant.

    Most of us without an agenda, know what science is, and the benefit of the scientific methodology. 

    I don't think you do know, not at all, everything you say betrays ignorance. Science is rooted in unprovable beliefs if you do not understand that then you do not understand science and the limitations it has, so stop with the feigned erudition.

    If you truly knew anything about science (and this extends to several other ignorant people here like IDontKNow) then you'd have the ability and confidence to attack what is said rather than who has said it.


    "Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?"

    Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925) English physicist.

    Anyone named heavy-something would be well advised to gain some understanding of dieting, refusing a dinner once in a while might be good for him.

    And so it goes on, the incessant attack upon the person not what the person says, you do know that this is how potentially good discussions descend into mindless bickering? of course you, but you don't care do you.

    My responses are in red.


  9. 51 minutes ago, Ghideon said:

    This thread is about concepts I have not worked with a lot. I am open to learn new things about computer science, preferably things from the scientific mainstream. I am less interested in personal assumptions, incorrect conclusions or unbacked claims.

    Well back to the facts at hand, I don't actually post in forums like this for petty bickering and name calling as is the case with iDontKNow - sorry - INow, that person delights in avoiding objective arguments because its too much of a stretch for him.

    So, Turing.

    Note what that Wikipedia article on computability said:


    However, it is possible to prove that any NFA is reducible to an equivalent DFA.

    But the paper cites no source as you can see and I'm not personally convinced this is true, at least in the sense that I'd expect such a claim to be true.

    A state machine (FSM or FA) is a fascinating and powerful way to solve certain problems, they are easy to understand but with a large set of states can be hard to fully embrace.

    A Turing machine is a finite state machine with a hypothetical infinite memory ("tape") in fact the prefix "finite" is redundant, all real state machines have a finite set of states, so "finite" is implied.

    Now the article on Nondeterministic state machines says:


    Using the subset construction algorithm, each NFA can be translated to an equivalent DFA;

    Which begs the question - in my mind anyway - is the NFA then really not already, inherently a DFA?

    To do that we must look at the "subset construction algorithm" which I admit to know nothing about.

    In that article we read:


    It is important in theory because it establishes that NFAs, despite their additional flexibility, are unable to recognize any language that cannot be recognized by some DFA.

    So, they are saying - it seems - that an NFA cannot do anything that a DFA can't do, so why is it even there? what can a NFA do that a DFA cannot? that's the interesting question for me.

    As I read these articles I am forming the impression that the term "nondeterministic" in their names, is not what I think of as non-deterministic.

    I read this too:


    Again, an NFA consumes a string of input symbols, one by one. In each step, whenever two or more transitions are applicable, it "clones" itself into appropriately many copies, each one following a different transition. If no transition is applicable, the current copy is in a dead end, and it "dies". If, after consuming the complete input, any of the copies is in an accept state, the input is accepted, else, it is rejected.

    Now that there, that description does not seem to incorporate an element of unpredictability or randomness, it is an algorithm, creating the conceptual "clones" each of which is in one of these "alternate" states is not indeterminate so far as I can see.

    I think we have misleading language, here, non-determinism to me, means there is no rule that tells us the output for a given input, here in the definitions of NFA it seems it is just the presence of alternative states at a given transition that is used to name it non-deterministic.

    My position here is this - if some "thing" we call a NFA is logically always equivalent to some other DFA then it really is a DFA just expressed differently.

    What these guys are calling a NFA seems to be just a way to implement a DFA that has a large number of states.

  10. 53 minutes ago, iNow said:

    You were asked to proved an alternative source, preferably something peer reviewed. Your reply merely evades this request and shows you’re either unable or unwilling. Which is it? 

    The phrase "you were asked to proved" betrays a poor grasp of English grammar.

    I'm unwilling, as already stated the request indicates ignorance on the part of Ghideon, and of course you too for perpetuating it.

    As I explained (not that I'd expect you to be able to follow along without pencil and paper) only through ignorance would someone ever demand a peer reviewed paper to prove that 1 + 3 = 76.9 is false, an error.

    The Wikipedia article appears to be in error, that's my position.


  11. 10 minutes ago, Ghideon said:

    Ok. Maybe you can provide another source, preferably a peer reviewed paper? 


    If I said that I question the claim: 1 +3 = 76.9 you would not ask for a "peer reviewed paper" so this is a case where something that's obvious to me is beyond your knowledge, it is your ignorance (I'm allowed to say this apparently) that is the real issue for you.


  12. 1 hour ago, Phi for All said:

    Moderator Note

    This isn't the post you reported. It's not the post I commented on. 

    Your behavior is fair game as well. If you act like your opinion is the only one that matters, it's not a personal attack to point that out. It's something you can change, not something that's intrinsic to your entire being. 

    I usually leave the members to hash out their own discussions, but mods respond to reported posts. It's part of the protocols we're paid so handsomely to follow.


    I asked Zapatos to stop the personal attacks, I did that in this post:


    You then posted this:


    I replied to that rather ignorant post with this:


    But then we have yet more ignorance, ignorance of the facts:


    So you are either blind, incompetent, ignorant or just rather dim, how you conned your way into being designated a moderator is a mystery.

    There are people hurling personal insults around, you are either dim or in fact secretly want them to say these things to me.

    Yes I KNOW THAT IS NOT THE POST I REPORTED but it is the post that you referred to when you defended Zapatos after he made three accusations against me.

    You are on record as actively defending posts that do not attack someone's argument but do attack their character and intelligence, so its fair game, you are ignorant and you want to see others insult me because you disagree with something I said somewhere.

    This is so obvious, you lack integrity, honesty, decency and are too cowardly to enforce a rather simple rule.

    Now go f**k yourself.



  13. Just now, Phi for All said:

    Moderator Note

    Again, this is not what's happening. Your stances, your arguments, the things you claim are all fair game. We attack ideas ruthlessly, to make sure they can survive. We don't attack people. YOU ARE NOT YOUR IDEAS.


    I do not see how:

    "You think that YOUR definition of a 'woman' is all that matters" 

    "Unfortunately you are not the boss of the world"

    "You cannot dictate to others"

    Can be described as not a personal attack. None of these address my arguments or claims.

    I am leaving the forum at this point, I have no desire to deal with moderators who tolerate and encourage the posting of personal insults.


  14. 17 minutes ago, zapatos said:

    If it were only so simple. No matter what others keep presenting, you think that YOUR definition of a 'woman' is all that matters. Unfortunately you are not the boss of the world and you cannot dictate to others.

    Please show me the post(s) where I said my definitions are the only ones that matter? where did I say or imply I was the "boss"? where have I "dictated"?

    Please stop attacking me, is that really asking too much?

  15. 4 minutes ago, Ghideon said:


    That page also references Non-deterministic pushdown automata and Nondeterministic finite automaton. 

    It does but I suspect it needs to be corrected or questioned, for example it says this:


    Another simple model of computation, although its processing sequence is not uniquely determined. It can be interpreted as taking multiple paths of computation simultaneously through a finite number of states. However, it is possible to prove that any NFA is reducible to an equivalent DFA.

    The emphasized text bothers me because a deterministic system cannot behave non-deterministically so this looks like an error, a contradictory statement.

    An example is random number generation algorithms, these are actually called pseudo-random number generators because we cannot get randomness from non-random operations.

    Also the article does not speak of a non-deterministic PDA only of PDAs. I've designed and written PDAs they underpin the parsing of context free grammars seen in programming languages they are powerful in what they can parse but they are wholly deterministic.

    4 minutes ago, Ghideon said:

    How does it follow that mathematics must be deterministic? Can you clarify how that conclusion is valid as it seems to disagree with @studiot's post?  (scienceforums.net/1180863)

    edit: x-post with @studiot

    Well I suppose mathematics is a discipline that supports the formal concept of a proof, that is proposition's are either true or false (though we don't always have the proof) if a set of steps in a proof sometimes gave the result "true" but at other times gave the result "false" then the very term "proof" would become meaningless.

  16. 16 hours ago, iNow said:

    Incorrect again. The reference was to your ignorance… your lack of knowledge, education, or awareness… on a specific topic. Perhaps you took offense to this, but it’s not an insult. Had Charon instead called you an idiot, stupid, or even a moronic fool, then that would’ve been accurately described as an insult, but none of those things happened. image.thumb.png.d911606bc90c2d851bb7ef51d33ced8d.png

    Have you identified the common variable across threads yet?

    Yes I have, it is your tendency to act like a bully, I've seen it before, dealt with bullies before, this is what I see in your behavior.


    6 hours ago, iNow said:

    So long as the athlete meets the criteria for the class, you let them compete alongside the gender with which they identify. This isn’t hard. It’s just a game… erm… a sport.

    And if the criteria is to be a woman then that's the end of the matter, they cannot participate because they do not meet the criteria, this isn't hard.

  17. 15 minutes ago, studiot said:

    So we are all agreed and 'reality' was not part of the OP so we should move on and leave it behind.

    Yet curiously the OP ends with "Like i said, the theory is still unproved; But I believed it was fun trying to examine this fascinating painting of reality".


    This claim however presents a problem.

    I seem to remember you quoted Eddington's little book somewhere, perhaps in a previous thread.

    How do you reconcile that reference with the pages 24 to 26 of the same book and the story of the cigar ?

    Let me dig out the volume and get back to you...

    1 hour ago, iNow said:

    Indeed, and in the vast majority of posts you’re thread hijacking. 

    When logic and erudition fail you the insults are never far behind, unable to argue your case using logic and science and reason you all too rapidly resort to your base instincts and emotions.

  18. 33 minutes ago, TheVat said:

    Hello.  Background in life sciences, but have ranged widely into other areas including AI, cognitive science, astronomy, and cosmology.  Also some interest in bioethics and philosophy of science.  I was, until a month ago, the Admin of sciencechatforum.com, a website that crashed after it was bought up by a  "web development" company that turned out to be running a Ponzi Scheme on its investors and was seized by the U.S. SEC.  The receivership handling the liquidation of its assets could not, for reasons obscure to me, keep the website up and running.  One day, we all woke up and the site was gone.   ScienceForums seems to be a website with a rather similar structure and a pretty good signal/noise ratio, which suggests good moderation and tossing of trolls.  Well done.  This refugee from late-stage capitalism is happy to be here! 

    Well what a story! such is the modern world!

    Looking forward to seeing more from you, I highlighted what caught my eye, too often overlooked these days!

  19. 1 hour ago, Ghideon said:

    I gave you examples. 

    Again; according to what sources? This thread is interesting and it would be unfortunate if a good opportunity for discussion is missed due to different definitions being used.

    There are many sources, here's a Wikipedia article on computability:


    Computability is the ability to solve a problem in an effective manner. It is a key topic of the field of computability theory within mathematical logic and the theory of computation within computer science. The computability of a problem is closely linked to the existence of an algorithm to solve the problem.



    The most widely studied models of computability are the Turing-computable and μ-recursive functions, and the lambda calculus, all of which have computationally equivalent power. 

    Note, neither Turing machines, μ-recursive functions nor Lambda calculus are non-deterministic, so they obviously cannot be used to model a non-deterministic system, since they are used to model mathematics it follows that mathematics must be deterministic.

    Again, I'm not aware of any aspect mathematics, computability theory or algorithm design that supports a concept of non-determinism.

    Every computable function in mathematics yields the same result from the same input, all the time, every time.



    1 hour ago, TheVat said:

    Hello.  Some speculate that a quantum mechanical system which somehow uses an infinite superposition of states could compute a noncomputable function.   This is not possible using the standard QUBIT machine, because it is proven that a regular quantum computer is PSPACE-reducible (a quantum computer running in polynomial time can be simulated by a classical computer running in polynomial space). 

    What is potentially non-deterministic is extracting the output of a computation in classical terms. The same final quantum state may be measured as different classical states with varying probabilities. However, if you choose your computation such that the final state is an eigenstate of whatever value you intend to measure, such that the probability of one particular classical output is 1 and all others are 0, then it is effectively deterministic. This is not always possible or practical to do, in which case you may need to to run the quantum algorithm many times to extract the effective classical probability distribution, but effective quantum computation depends on structuring your algorithm to boost the amplitude of the intended output as much as possible, while getting all of the wrong answers to destructively interfere, such that you don’t have to re-run your quantum computation an impractically large number of times.

    I guess there are nondeterministic models (as noted above), which are just that, models of a hypothetical device sometimes called a hypercomputer.  But in the RW, computations are deterministic. 

    Exactly, quantum mechanics is regarded as wholly deterministic whereas observations of these systems are not, the same is true for chaos theory, fully deterministic.

    1 hour ago, Kartazion said:

    As long as you consider an algorithm to be a computation. 

    Nondeterministic algorithm - Wikipedia

    Yes, I'm aware of this but such algorithms do not play a role - to my knowledge - in computability theory, and a Turing Machine does not support non-determinism.

    So far as I can see all computations (as understood in mathematics) can be converted into algorithms.

    That article points out that a race condition in a concurrent software system can behave or perform non-deterministically, but I don't regard that as arising from the deterministic rules used for the code. Instead that behavior arises from the unpredictability of the code in the presence of other factors.

  20. 2 minutes ago, Kartazion said:

    Schematic example of Comparison of deterministic and Non-deterministic computation. 



    I may not have made myself clear.

    I did not say there are not models of non-deterministic systems there are. 

    I said that mathematics and with it computability theory are wholly deterministic.

    A "computation" is by definition repeatable (every time we do the computation, calculation we get the same answer, different people doing the same computation get the same answer).

    Please show me an equation that gives different results for different people, can you do that? no.

    1 + 1 = 2, today, next week, for me for you.

  21. 4 hours ago, swansont said:

    Sure you can. If the stopwatch we are using says the duration of something is 3.00 seconds, there is no disagreement that the stopwatch says 3.00 seconds. We don't ask people how long they think the duration was. We remove perception from the problem.

    An observation is an act of perception, we perceive the face of the stopwatch.

    One cannot say the duration of the interval was 3.0 seconds without taking additional steps, for example is my clock keeping good time? the only way to establish that is to compare my perception with someone else's before the start of the observations.

    The point I'm driving at, perhaps not very well, is that we can never talk about science as being decoupled from personal experiences, we cannot claim that one person's experiences are "not real" and another persons are.

    If Newton were told "the time measured by this person moving at this speed relative to me, will measure ten seconds, whereas I measured fifteen seconds between the same events" he would (I suspect) react by saying that the moving persons time measurement was not real, the ten seconds was not "real" time.

    4 hours ago, Phi for All said:

    My claim has evidence to back it up. The perception doesn't match natural observation and measurement. Your claim that this perception is real has only subjective confirmation.

    You can only "back it up" by recourse to someone else's perception.

    Don't misunderstand me, I'm not arguing against science here, all I'm arguing is that science cannot reveal reality to us, we construct reality based on our perceptions, our perceptions are conclusions we draw from our senses.

    The claim "science is about reality" for example, that's not a scientific claim, I think these epistemological limitations need to be kept in mind at all times.

    That's really all I've been doing, making claims about "reality" is outside the remit of science.

  22. 2 minutes ago, swansont said:

    And he did the same thing with distance.

    Indeed he did.

    2 minutes ago, swansont said:

    It's not perception. The actual amount of time passing is different for observers in different frames.

    Yes, observers in different Galilean frames perceive different intervals.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.