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Posts posted by tar

  1. Area54,

    I would propose that imagining a consciousness, "higher" than our own, would be difficult.  Same way as it would be difficult to imagine being more intelligent.  If you could imagine it, you would be it.  So what would it mean to be more conscious, or to have a better kind of consciousness?  We can only imagine analogies to our own, and comparing us to worms, it seems we have more consciousness, and a greater understanding of the world around us, than a worm.  However we are not conscious of the magnetic fields of the Earth and Sun, and maybe migrating geese are, so their's is a different type of consciousness, based on what they are conscious of.  They care about other geese and wind turbulence and such, we care about crossword puzzles and the Yankees and doing a good job on whatever project we are working on, and taking care of loved ones and the like.

    I would say another lifeform somewhere else in the galaxy would care about, be conscious of, an entirely different set of things than we humans on Earth are conscious of.  Therefore, in this discussion, related to evolution, I would think looking at the mechanisms of consciousness, the base of the brain stem that iNow was talking about, eyes, ears, skin nerves, and the other things that work to allow a life form to know about the environment they are in, are the things we should be talking about. How does a thing evolve to be able to sense prey, sense danger, sense comfortable surrounding, and uncomfortable ones, to move toward the good and away from the bad?   You need a memory system of some sort to store sense input, and some way to find your way home.   You have to have a template of some sort built internally that matches in some analog fashion some important aspect of the outside environment, so that you can respond to the situation in a beneficial way.  I noticed that my pear trees grow toward the morning sun.  The one that has its morning sun blocked by the hemlocks, did not grow south toward the open noon sun, it grew more branches to the North to get to the left of the Hemlocks, and get the morning sun.   The tree is aware, on some level of the morning sun.

    Regards, TAR

  2. 4 hours ago, Area54 said:



    iNow continues "It is a mistake to assume humans have the most advanced form [of consciousness]". The general consensus among exobiologists is that life probably exists elswhere. The more rambunctious of them envisage millions of civilisations in our galaxy alone. My own views are more measured, but I believe the majority of then, regardless of where they sit on the spectrum, would view it as foolish to assume that there are no entities that have achieved a higher level of consciousness than humans.


    I thought this was very amusing, for obvious reasons, but my all means provide citations to papers that assert we are the pinnacle of consciousness in the entire universe.





    The topic is consciousness and evolution.  I would think that has to do with consciousness compared to human consciousness, as that is the consciousness we are all familiar with, and evolution on Earth.  What life forms exist elsewhere in the universe is speculative, and there is so far not scientific evidence of life, outside of maybe organic chemicals, outside the Earth.

    You are asking Gees to prove a negative if you need her to provide evidence that human consciousness is at the pinnacle of consciousness in the entire universe. Might as well ask me to prove no one else in the entire universe has drawn lines on  balloons in the same manner, design, position and color as I have done on the four balloons next to me.  As far as  I know, it has not been done by anybody but me.  I can not prove it, but simple probability would not force that such a combo of balloons was ever before assembled in such a fashion.   (no one else has the same questions about and interest in the spherical rhombic dodecahedron and the divisions and relationships I have discovered/invented and played with for the last four years.)

    And there is no reason to propose that another planet in our galaxy has undergone exactly the same evolution we have to produce any life at all, much less our particular mix, and it is not reasonable to assume that human life would have come to prominence on a planet other than Earth, much less have had a Darwin and a Gees and an iNow and a talk board on the internet.

    Scientists are mostly humans, at the same stage of evolution as criminals and despicable idiots.  And the question is not whose consciousness is raised to a higher level than the next guy, like we should allow ourselves to be embarrassed by the consciousness level our children will come to, or be miniaturize by the consciousness level of some speculative master race In another galaxy.

    We are here.  It is now.  And using human consciousness on Earth, as a ruler, we are by definition, at the pinnacle of it.

    Regards, TAR

  3. 4 hours ago, EdEarl said:

     As a young soldier, I worked on a Nike Missile site as a repairman. Among the things I repaired was an analog computer system that computed intercept trajectory from the position of a target and the missile based on radar data. All the information was encoded as hundreds of different voltages processed by circuits that summed voltages, integrated voltages over time, and differentiated changes in voltages over time. After graduation from the Army, I attended University and became an expert with a slide rule, an analog calculator that uses lengths as data, while I studied digital computers. Then, I learn of neural networks, both living and simulated, and learn another way to process data. 

    The Universe may be simulated or "live." Cosmology has tracked the beginning and end of the Universe, within limits, knowing we see only ~5% of it all. Within that simulation are tiny sentient beings, looking out a the Universe, hoping to find other sentient beings. If the Universe is simulated, there exists a Turing equivalent machine running the simulation. If the Universe is "live," it must be a vast analog computer that is Turing equivalent. Yet, the Universe does not seem to be sentient; is it? What is sentience? Why can part of something be sentient without the whole also being so.

    Ed Earl,

    I am thinking that life is a special case of universe stuff.  That is, as an emergent entity, life in general and life in particular, attempts to flaunt the universe's general movement toward greater entropy by grabbing hold of an ordered arrangement, and maintaining it.  The greater universe may or may not be aware of life, but life is aware of itself, and in some cases, life is aware of the greater universe.  So a part, could, potentially obtain an emergent characteristic that did not exist in any of the part's subcomponents, or in any of the other entities differently arranged on the same scale and in the same proximity as the life form.   And similarly the greater universe need not either have awareness gained by lifeforms, nor be required to spawn life regularly or in an isotropic fashion.  Life on Earth, could be a one off, not indicative of how our universe should or could behave.  Probably though, since life on Earth fits the place rather well, in terms of elements needed, heat needed, pressure needed and such, it is conceivable that something like life could develop in another place, on another scale, using different elements, pressure, heat and so on, to where something could be alive and "aware" on some level...and we just don't recognize it because we are too small, too large, to brief or too longlived, too close or too far, to notice.  

    Regards, TAR

    I am also thinking that the universe is definitely analog in nature, regardless of the quantum nature of its subcomponents.  On larger scales the in between 0 and 1, no and yes, negative and positive, non-existence and existence, matters the most.  And time and distance play an incredibly important role, in keeping everything from happening at once.  And since a human is a point of focus thing,  aware of the rest of the universe only after the "form" gets "in", the universe is not information, the process of consciousness is bringing the form in and comparing it with what has been brought in before.   So theuniverse is happening quite independently from the consciousness that beholds it, and the consciousness that beholds the place is conscious of the place, not conscious of itself alone.  That is as consciousness evolved, the place stayed the place.  Just our awareness of the place got more detailed and larger in scope through tools and records.  This differenciates us from other mammals, but other mammals still have eyes and ears and taste and smell and feelings, and these things evolved so that they could operate in and survive in, and raise children in the place.

    Consider how our brain is folded and distances between signals create time lags between activation and allow for signals to cascade and such.  Like it matters how many bees are stinging you, to whether you use your energy to swat and wipe, or to run toward the lake. 

    In addition, the information we gather, arrives in an analogous fashion, and is stored in an analogous fashion.  One thing standing for another.  The frequency and position of light focused on the back of our eye, turned to electrical/chemical signal, standing for a deer or a tree or a sunset or a wife.

  4. 6 minutes ago, Endy0816 said:

    EM field?


    Is there anything naturally occurring that might be attracted/repulsed by a large electromagnetic field like that of the high tension lines?



    I don't recall all the timing and movements and colors and size and shape and so forth, as I am 63 and was 18 at the time.  I more remember the memory than re?member the situation, but for certain frames, and certain feelings.  But at the time there was no explanation anyone there could come up with but that they were guided crafts.  Where they came from, we could only speculate, but Outer Space, the Soviet Union, a secret U.S. aircraft program or Atlantis, were the only realistic options we could arrive at.  I don't think it was atmospheric or electrical, though it could have been.  I lived on that farm for several years through similar nights and never experienced that before or after.

    You have any ideas/posibilities I could try against what I remember of the situation?

    Regards, TAR

  5. 1 hour ago, John Cuthber said:

    Where people take exception is saying that either " an organism consciously "wants" to evolve into something  with a longer neck (o whatever)" or that "evolution happens because some entity -usually God- consciously wants things to evolve."

    John Cuthber,

    Oh, ok, I am having the wrong argument.

    And I don't have an answer for that.

    But I think it lies somewhere in between.  That is whatever fits with the world is what continues.  And there is evidence that an organism, a living organism, "wants" to survive.  That is it does the things required to live and to pass on its pattern.  And the pattern itself is rather smart.  That is, in the womb, nerve cells somehow know how to grow into a brain, with all the right synapses and connections.   The baby "wants" to grow a brain.  It is not accidental, there is a definite purpose in how the brain develops.

    A jellyfish is perhaps the most evolved, as it can just continue its pattern by regenerating parts and pieces as required without having to pass the pattern on by having offspring.

    So consciously "w?anting" something, is hard to put ones finger on.  Does an electron "want" to fall to a lower energy level?

    Regards, TAR

    Does the pop up toaster "want" to toast bread and pop it out, or does it really want to be a doctor?


    Our use of tools is similar to the spider's trap. We extend ourselves into the environment.  Our microscopes and telescopes extensions of our eyes, our vibration sensors extensions of our ears, our spectroscopes extensions of our taste and smell, identifying the presence of elements and compounds.  Our computer networks extensions of our memories and brain networks.

    Was at a butterfly garden the other day, and saw some insects that looked like dead, half eaten leaves.   How does that come about, without some awareness (on some level) of predators and their ways?

  6. 2 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

    I know. I had thought about it when I said "But consciousness is not needed to produce evolution- most species on the planet are evidence of this".
    And, unless you think bacteria have a consciousness (and, if you do, you are undermining the meaning of the word),  I'm right.

    It is estimated that  bacterial species outnumber non-bacterial species by a huge factor- perhaps 10^13


    Did you somehow think there were 10^19 species of trapdoor spider or something?

    I don't see how they are relevant otherwise.


    Your computer reacts when you press the buttons; is it conscious?

    iNow hit the nail on the head earlier.

    Without a sensible definition, we might end up discussing evolution in pop-up toasters.

    John Cuthber,

    You are right, iNow suggested we define consciousness, which we have not yet.

    But bacteria respond to their environment in some fashion.  Go toward heat, or movement or away from surface tension, or toward or away from acid or base, or something, otherwise they would not know they reached a host or food source, and they would just squiggle around aimlessly. And if you want to play numbers games, perhaps we could count all the constituent living cells in a host against the number of bacterial species in the host.   Or just count an entire  group of species of bacteria with a certain level of consciousness as one.

    And the computer also has analogous traits to a life form, in terms of input and output and memory.  Robots have been constructed that can follow a line.  The evolution of computers is also analogous to the evolution of life in that input, awareness of aspects of the world has evolved from punch cards to keyboards and voice recognition and cameras and other sensors, and memory and algorithms to process the input have advanced, and output in the way of monitors and stepper motors and hookups to belts and gears and such, have increased a computer's sentience as well as its ability to move and signal and manipulate the environment.

    Gee is of the opinion that all life is conscious.  In stages and levels, with various traits and abilities that differ from species to species, but there is a core of sentience that anchors all life in that you have to be aware of the world in some sense to live in it.  Otherwise you are an inanimate object or mindless chemical.  A rock or an electron or a planet, just falling around, behaving like a mindless lump.

    And to the thread title, consciousness of something allows a lump of chemicals to respond in a way beneficial to the lump's continuance.

    Regards, TAR

  7. 3 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

    Consciousness may be caused by evolution- we are examples of where it has done this.

    But consciousness is not needed to produce evolution- most species on the planet are evidence of this.So, there's a connection, but only in one direction, and only sometimes.

    John Cuthber,

    One of the main consistent aspects of consciousness across our species and many many others, is sentience, and many many life forms, if not all are able to perceive or feel things.



    The trapdoor that these spiders construct is difficult to see when it is closed because of the plant and soil materials that effectively camouflage it. The trapdoor is hinged on one side with silk. The spiders, who are usually nocturnal, typically wait for prey while holding onto the underside of the door with the claws on their tarsi (the cluster of bones in the foot between the tibia and fibula and the metatarsus). Prey is captured when insects or other arthropods venture too close to the half-open trapdoor at night. The spider detects the prey by vibrations and when it comes close enough, the spider jumps out of its burrow and captures it. Female Trapdoor spiders never travel far from their burrows.

    Regards, TAR

  8. 39 minutes ago, Daecon said:

    They're not mutually exclusive, they're just unconnected.


    Unconnected?  I think  Gee is with me, or me with Gee, in understanding that consciousness of your environment is central to survival.  Therefore a living thing able to sense its environment and move within it, or manipulate it, or catch it and eat it, is more likely to survive, than one without this awareness.

    Regards, TAR


  9. On ‎7‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 4:28 PM, Mike Smith Cosmos said:


    I am quite capable in testing if some potential ( voltage ) is between 6.05 volt and 6.08 volts if necessary . While dealing with gold fish and ' above human ' beings , I know of no value to measure them by.( either the fish would not stay still long enough before it died of shock . And having never seen an ' above human being' . All I can report is the SYRENDIPODOS action . In other words they are able to slightly change some natural phenomenon. ( without affecting the course of human history ) . Concerned as I was this afternoon that perhaps "should I carry on conducting this simple questioning "

    . I sat by the river this afternoon . Asked the question three times .


    Said , LEFT is NO STOP , Right is YES CARRY ON . MIDDLE is ambiguous .


    I sat for a moment wondering what could happen with the trees in front of me and the river. ( to make a right , left or centre )


    The dog suddenly leapt out of a large grass tuft , to my RIGHT . Nearly fell off the bank .


    Now the deviation of the dogs path is well within the sphere of interference of a free animal , without changing the course of human history .


    Perhaps we have got so rigorous with 3.2056 volts that we think a " dog leaping out of grass tuft " is not rigorous .




    Ps I won't embarrass him , but a colleague of ours , on the science forum asked a question about Orthogonality ( right angles ) a year or two back . We both got up at the same time across the globe. He went into a dense Forrest . At the same time he asked his question . When he turned around to look at the path he was on . There appeared to be fallen trees that were not there when he set out. When he returned to look they had fallen over a rock that had two quartz lines that were ar right angles. Sirendipodously .


    I am only half way through page 5 of this thread, but Mike alluded to the experiment we ran together using his questioning technique, and the results can be found in a post I made on May 29th 2014 in a thread entitled "Is there evidence of cleverness in Nature and its processes?"  

    From that post:


    I was walking in the woods on Sunday, performing an experiment that Mike suggested in another thread. We coordinated it, so that we were both asking the universe to answer our question, at the same time, so that we could compare our results in an objective, peer reviewed fashion. Initial results were exciting and seemed magical, but I reviewed pictures I took and realized something I thought had happened "magically" had been there prior the experiment. In fact the "answer" I got to my question of the universe, was also there before I asked the question.


    I had defined the diamond infront of me as the area in which anything subtantial and notable happening would designate a "maybe" answer from the "observers". Anything to the right and up a yes, and to the left and up a no.


    I asked "Is there a direction orthogonal from here and now, that one can experience?" Nothing happened of note in any of the designated areas. After a minute or two, a moth or bug or something fluttered my left ear, but that was not too notable. I thought the experiment a bust and continued down the path. About 15 feet down the path, right at the base of the diamond I designated to my right, I saw a very interesting "answer".


    It is the rock, who's picture I have attached.


    Mike also had an interesting maybe answer to his question.


    We talked about our experiences and decided there was no magic, no observers, but our minds were not isolated from the universe, and used the universe to think. Left us both in a rather "its all good" state of mind.


    Its OK to think it not an accident. Its perfectly OK.


    Regards, TAR"


    I have since lost the picture, but it is still here on scienceforum, so I copied it here.

    Edited May 29, 2014 by tar



    Not sure where pages 5 through 16 have taken this thread, but responding to the OP and some earlier comments about ETs I do have some evidence that there are visitors to Earth, or visitors from other than known civilizations on Earth.  When I was 18 in PA we experienced some lights with no sound hovering over a high tension line about a mile from our farm. A crowd of us (we had a party that night) gathered watching the lights, maybe 4 or 5 or 6 lights, I don't clearly remember, the half dozen or more of us sending good vibes toward the lights, as they appeared to be visitors of some sort.  After a time, maybe 10 minutes or so, they one by one flew off in a manner undoable by any technology we knew of at the time.  That is, one started to move up and then whizzed off and up in an incredibly rapid fashion.  We could not think of any government that had such technology and could only imagine that the craft were from another planet, or from a hidden civilization here on Earth.   My thoughts in retrospect, pertinent to the OP were that these craft were fueling up, off the power lines, and possibly thought of us as unimportant inhabitants of the place.  Not required to even interact with us.  Like a human might stoop down at a clear mountain creek to get a drink and disregard the minnows swimming in the eddy.

  10. But to the OP, my opinion on God comes from a basis in Sunday School and a Christian mother, and my father's parents, religiously founded institutions of learning I attended, and various church services and funerals I have attended throughout my life.  Combined of course with living in a society founded on the basis of religious freedom, where everyone is free to worship god in the manner of their own choosing, not dictated by the government. 

    When I was young, everybody believed in God and those that did not were somehow outsiders, and bad people to boot.

    Reading about Eastern Religions and majoring in Philosophy in college opened my mind to other ways of looking at the world, other than through the Bible's eyes. Still I had a time period where I understood Jesus' love, not through the words of any priest or door to door pamphlet provider,  or any substance (gave that up in High School) but just felt it in air as I lived and breathed.

    I have, over the years considered that what people believe in the way of religion, is mostly community understanding of the cosmos and life and death.  Meaning that the figurative and the literal are joined at the hip.   Standing around the grave of a loved one lost, the words of the priest are not foreign to me, even being an atheist. I do not hear the words literally I hear them figuratively and apply the emotions and thoughts that I understand figuratively to the literal world and the loss of my loved one, and share the emotion and the reality of the situation with those others, standing around the grave.   The words are true, in the sense that others have stood around the grave of their loved ones before, and this is what you say, when confronted with the situation, and you understand, in the same way, and to the same degree as every person ever, that attended a funeral of their loved one.

    So God, I think, is our collective label we put on the place.   Real in the sense that the place is real.  Manufactured in the sense that we made up the character, but real again in the sense that God is the agent toward who we turn when considering the place, collectively.  Religion is a collective set of behavioral rules that allow society to function with everybody playing by the same set of rules.

    Even atheists and agnostics on this board consider whether god is malevolent or benevolent, meaning only the wondering whether the universe is friendly or an enemy.  Not really a wondering about whether this or that religion has it right.  But people align themselves with others that have the same overall opinion about the place, and this is easier to do in formal settings of church and school and club and organizations, than on a one to one basis, figuring out a stranger's worldview through long conversations and  common experiences.

    So I think religion is shorthand for what we each believe our relationship with objective reality should be, anyway, and God is shorthand for what we each believe about the place, anyway.

    Regards, TAR

  11. 11 hours ago, Damateur said:

       Sorry, I sometimes leave parts out that seem obvious to me.

       We only think of one universe (our own) existing but we have no way of knowing for certain if that is the case. The concept of the "fine-tuned universe" is usually referenced when someone is trying to claim a creator exists but I've approached it in a different manner. If our universe is not "fine-tuned" then what does that indicate (if anything)? I've heard it proposed that 'absolute nothing' would be unstable and that is what caused our universe to be created. If reality is infinite then the same event (whether absolute nothingness decaying into something or whether some other cause) that spawned our universe could have spawned an infinity of universes. Not just universes with the "fine-tuning" our universe has but every possible combination of strength and ratio of fundamental forces.

       While we look at the sun and normally only think of it emitting visible light, once you understand that there is more to the EM spectrum, you would consider that the sun could be emitting more than just the visible light (as it does). There is often more to reality than we see and we can use what we do see as clues to that 'more'. So is the supposed "fine-tuning" just that, or is it evidence that there are potential parallel universes that are much weirder than we can speculate? I find it difficult to accept that our universe really is "fine-tuned" - the idea is too egocentric on our part.

      And from there we go on to my previous post. Sorry about not presenting this seed concept first.

    Never did understand the fine-tuned argument. As a balance of ratios of forces or whatever, it seems silly to propose what it would be like if this or that number were larger or smaller, because it isn't so.  That matter could not form or whatever if the ratios were different. The ratios are what they are, first, not as a consequence of god's choice...since there is no God to chose.  So we come to accidental arrival at the fundamental forces and ratios and such, in your mind, so you posit multiple realities where the ratios are all kinds of different, producing weird and not so weird, working and not working arrangements.  Perhaps, as likely as it is that such varied universes exist, it does not matter to this one.  If there is any connection, cause or effect, collective result or precursor to continuing development of our universe, caused or affected by this other group, then in a sense the others are not separate, but part of a greater reality that is composed of this universe and the others.

    So if pi were smaller would circles not close, or if larger overlap themselves?  I am thinking that the ratios are such because they work.  I do not know the cause and reason for the fundamental forces any better than the experts, nor do the experts know why and how gravity works, or the weak force, or the strong force, or electromagnetic forces.  It is all a bit mysterious when it comes to why.   But since it is so, it makes sense to me, that whatever is developed from whatever was.  That there must have been a nothing with a certain potential to become something, or we would not have something to talk about. So the question is, is it guided by itself, or is it guided by an outside agent?

    Regards, TAR 

  12. 8 minutes ago, Damateur said:

       Within no consciousness. No one would make a judgement. Just as when a firework fails to ignite or a seed fails to germinate or a tornado fails to form, no one is needed to recognize the failure - it just is. Humans are egocentric enough that we imagine that a consciousness is needed to watch the universe(s) but this is not true. The universe functions just fine without an observing consciousness.

       The only criteria would be: did a universe form? Did that strength and ratio of fundamental forces allow for the initial energy to form particles (or some equivalent) which then form more complex structures - atoms, molecules and on up in our universe - or were the forces so unstable as to prevent the creation of matter (or some equivalent)? Reduce the strength of the electromagnetic force beyond a certain point and atoms and molecules would not form. Increase gravity and/or dark matter enough and, soon after particles form, that universe experiences the Big Crunch. There is an incredibly large number of bad combinations - maybe even a near-infinite number. Obviously there is at least one viable combination for the strength and ratio of fundamental forces as demonstrated by our universe.

    Still, you are not telling me in whose mind these bad combinations are taking place.  If they are indeed bad combinations of forces to where they would not "work" then they would never exist in such a combination.  That is, who is doing these trials, and with what raw materials are the trials being made.  You talk like some god is in the lab with various containers of fundamental forces, measuring out various combos.  I don't think that is how it works.   I think reality is something somewhat more substantial than an equation.

    Regards, TAR 

  13. EdEarl,

    Well perhaps we need to know whether something a human being does is natural.

    It is important to me, to consider everything a human being does, a thing that is naturally possible, within the capabilities of the universe.

    Important distinction, because if you figure a human's actions and thoughts are outside of nature, I would have to ask why.  On what grounds do you put human thought and technology outside of nature?

    Regards,  TAR

    I am staying within my worldview, to consider myself part of other people's objective reality.  Thus if you pray for rain, and I seed the clouds above your head, and rain falls...objective reality answered your prayer.


  14. EdEarl,

    I take your point, but if a rocket was put into orbit by some magnetic method, like the high power projectile firings that are already technically possible, right when you conceived of your impossible request...would you then believe in God?

    Launch loop

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    Launch loop (not to scale). The red marked line is the moving loop itself, blue lines are stationary cables.

    A launch loop or Lofstrom loop is a proposed system for launching objects into space orbit using a moving cable-like system situated inside a sheath attached to the Earth at two ends and suspended above the atmosphere in the middle. The design concept was published by Keith Lofstrom and describes an active structure maglev cable transport system that would be around 2,000 km (1,240 mi) long and maintained at an altitude of up to 80 km (50 mi). A launch loop would be held up at this altitude by the momentum of a belt that circulates around the structure. This circulation, in effect, transfers the weight of the structure onto a pair of magnetic bearings, one at each end, which support it.

    Launch loops are intended to achieve non-rocket spacelaunch of vehicles weighing 5 metric tons by electromagnetically accelerating them so that they are projected into Earth orbit or even beyond. This would be achieved by the flat part of the cable which forms an acceleration track above the atmosphere.[1]

    The system is designed to be suitable for launching humans for space tourism, space exploration and space colonization, and provides a relatively low 3g acceleration.[2

  15. 3 hours ago, EdEarl said:

    Prayers for anything that cannot occur naturally.

    Like for instance?  Anything that would occur following a prayer would by definition be something that would happen naturally as unnatural things simply can't happen.

    The question would then be, can you petition the lord with prayer, to which one might say no, and another might say yes.

    Or one could perhaps posit, that one can communicate with nature and ask it for assistance, and protect it and commune with it, to where you plant a seed and water it and protect the plant from wind and rain and animal and the said plant/nature provides you with sustenance in the way of seed or fruit or leaf, or wood for fire or shelter or weapon.

    I am thinking that nature is very much our friend, as we have evolved along with nature to exist in great number on this Earth.  I think we are no better than, no smarter than, no stronger or larger or more important than nature.  To posit that god is an anthropomorphic thing, a human thing with mind and hands and sexual parts and such, is what has no evidence.  But that the world is greater than us, and that we owe our existence to it, is undeniable.  So when someone says there is no evidence that god exists, one can only be referring to an anthropomorphic god that cannot rationally and naturally exist.  But this is not the  God that people believe in.  People, some people believe in a God that cannot exist, cannot have a place to be, or any physical characteristics that can be beheld by a person in the waking world.  These people are rightly considered delusional.  But others, don't know what God would look like or think like or act like, and just attribute all thing that are to this being.  No magic, no dogma, no stories of turtles or hawks or frogs or stars birthing demigods, or anything that could be falsified.  No science can touch a figurative god.  Can't find it, or kill it, or prove it exists or does not exist.  Except the universe existing, proves that the universe exists, and no thought or knowledge can make the universe go away. No thought or knowledge or act of man can put even the slightest dent in the cosmos.  It is grand, it is immense, we are subordinate to it.  Most of the characteristics a god must have are possessed by the universe.  God, in my estimation is our personification of objective reality.  Done so that we can converse with objective reality.  Call it prayer if you would, but it is only prayer if you think objective reality is listening.

    I think objective reality is listening.  I am an atheist.  So I don't believe in God per se.  The god of the bible is too filled with human emotion to be real.  Humans evolved on this planet and God would not be constrained to breathing oxygen, having babies and needing to eat, sleep, drink, play, hunt, solve problems and make judgements about the world, like humans have to.  Would not have hands and feet and arms and a brain and such, because those thing are just needed to survive on the Earth, and would have no use in another place, that could be conceived of as god's residence...but there was this time I was thinking about how people ask God to prove himself to them by showing another shooting star or some thing that would happen naturally anyway.  I was thinking about how this one guy posting here should ask god to do something really unlikely and tell the board what he was going to ask, before he asked, so we could all witness the rare thing happening on his request...when I noticed I was shoveling 6 inches of snow off my driveway, in the middle of October, in New Jersey, as I mused, I looked up in the sky, and said "Funny guy, funny."

    Regards, TAR

  16. On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2017 at 4:57 AM, beecee said:

    The universe from 10-43 seconds, post BB, and all we see can be explained reasonably and  and logically without any need for any deity.

    God or any deity appears superfluous.



    There is a 10-43 second gap there, per Itoeo's thought.  How do you explain that?  That is, if you don't believe in a particular anthropomorphic god, posited by a particular religion, then with what do you fill that 10-43 seconds?

    Regards, TAR

    I do not believe in made up stuff, but I do believe in reality, the universe, life on Earth, and death.  Things come and go, but there is consistently something from which things come from, and to which they return.  That is, there is life after death, even if it is not Grandma's life, or eventually my life, that continues, somebody's life does continue.  This overarching reality that I am of and in, has to be capable of consciousness  because here I am being conscious of people being conscious of me.  The place does stuff, complicated, immense, incredibly long-lived, tiny and numerous, beautiful stuff, with or without my help and with or without my noticing, and with or without the help or noticing of every and all humans that ever walked the place.  That which is left, when you subtract every human that ever existed, from the Universe, is God.

    12 hours ago, Damateur said:


       The universe does not need a god to exist and function. If there are parallel universes then all possible strengths and ratios of the fundamental forces of the universe could have manifested with most of those combinations failing to produce a viable universe. So our universe existing is not an example of any anthropomorphic principal but rather a potential indicator of an infinite number of parallel universes (even if most failed due to unbalanced forces).


    * For example, a 1 in a million (per year) occurrence will happen to over 7 thousand people on average this year (based on the current population).


    Within whose consciousness would these failed universes manifest.  That is, what would be the criteria used to label one universe viable and another not viable, and who would make the judgement?

    Regards, TAR


  17. Delta1212,

    You don't think survival is the act of protecting one's self?  Every single rational choice we make is to get ourselves food and water and shelter and comfort and  safety and love and belonging and self actualization. Or to get the same for others or to help others attain those things.  Primarily others that we love, which I define as other entities that we include in our feeling of self.   So yes, absolutely protecting the self is a rational choice.

    Regards, TAR

  18. dstebbins,

    I think the biggest reason, outside its beauty and utility is its scarcity.  The same percentage of the Earth's crust is gold as it ever was.  In fact a little rarer since good mines have been emptied of the richest veins.

    Diamonds are carbon, which is pretty common, but big diamonds, and clear diamonds and perfect diamonds cut by experts are rare, scarce and because of it valuable.  

    People often like the same thing for the same reasons.  When there is only one available, it becomes priceless, it is so valuable.  When something is scarce it can be used as money, as a store of value, because everybody wants it or needs it. Like salt.  Easy to come by if you are near a salt mine, but not easy if you are away from the oceans.  Looking on google Earth at some places in Africa you see large colorful patches where sea water is evaporated to yield the minerals and salt.   Still valuable because we all need salt...even though it is not money anymore.

    Regards, TAR

  19. sorry I mixed my calculations, the 1:75 landed on the 13.3 mark

    Inches only matter to people who don't think in mm.  I didn't know which mode Zillah is more comfortable in, but in any case, a mark on a ruler at 25.4 mm is going to be an inch from the 0 mark. So looking at his picture of his tri I lined up mine in front, to the same size by moving it in between my eye and my computer screen 'til the two were the same size (assuming that the stock unmarked tri is a standard size) and was able to thereby understand where an inch would land on his ruler, and it made the first mark on each scale understandable to me...so I thought the same understanding would resolve Zillah's confusion.

  20. Zillah,

    OK, figured it out.  My tri ruler is marked out in divisions per inch (10,20,30,40,50,60).   Your ruler is marked out in ratio to a meter.   The 1:25 took 1000mm and divided it by 25 to show the one meter mark at 13.33 millimeters.  The 1:75 scale takes a 1000mm and divides it by 75 and puts the 1 meter mark at 40 mm and the half meter mark at 20 mm.  Since an inch is about 25.4mm, the meter mark on the 1:25 scale should land around 1/2 inch (13.3mm) and the .5 meter mark on 1:75 to land a little to the right of 3/4 of an inch.

    In terms of why the subdivisions from there are the way they are, listen to Strange.  

    Regards, TAR 

  21. Thread, 

    There is another way, that reality exists in the large grey area between random chance and sure thing.  When one considers a system, or an entity, or an event, one defines a subset of reality, and usually only certain descriptive characteristics of the event.  Like when you consider flipping a coin and only having two possible ways it will wind up settling, one does not record where the coin landed, or whether you caught it and flipped your hand over and placed the coin on the back of your other hand and whether or not you missed the coin and it fell to the ground and showed a head or tail "that did not count".   That is, the particular arrangement we are attempting to find the odds of, is a very closely considered system, entity or event, where the rest of the world around the thing, in space and time, could be, and always is in a new arrangement, every nanosecond.  That is, in the strictest definition of all of reality, it NEVER repeats itself.  It can't because you can't wind everything back to the moment of the big bang and do it again, and see how it turns out the second time.

    For instance, let's say I am counting heads, while it is 9:41 on Sunday the 20th of August,2017.   Once it is 9:42, fulfilling one of the conditions becomes impossible.  Never again will the conditions be right, to flip a head at 9:41 on Sunday the 20th of August.

    So one of the ways you can define anything as impossible, is to require conditions that will never line up again in the same pattern because of the nature of space and time.  Here the odds are not very small, they are actually non existent. You would have to posit alternate universes, or multiple universes which are, for all intents and purposes, not available for study and recording repeating conditions.

    And one of the ways you can define something as a sure thing, is to limit your time frame, and limit your special area, and loosen you allowance for small difference that of course had to happen between the first measurement, and the next.  So I can consider the railway bridge being in the same place tomorrow, as a sure thing, even though the Earth has turned on its axis, the Earth has proceeded around the Sun and the Sun has proceeded around the center of the Milky Way and the Milky Way has proceeded toward the great attractor, to where, in actuality, it is NEVER possible that the bridge be exactly in the same position in the universe as it was when I was on my way home from work...ever again, and the universe, every component of it, will never be in that exact orientation, as it was on my way home from work when I went under the bridge, ever again.

    So the chance event has some many consistently repeatable aspects to it, and the sure thing is nothing of the sort, depending on how you define stuff, and the reason for your argument.

    Leaving of course, that large grey area between for us to live our lives in.

    Regards, TAR




    And yet another way to consider that reality exists in a large grey area between two things, is to consider that we each have an analog model of the entire universe, built in the large grey matter area between our ears.


    Regards, TAR

  22. cladking,


    Right, I don't think the color of the colored pencil sticking out of the furthest coffee cup of the two next to my computer at about the 7 o'clock position in the cup, looking at it from above could be predicted from the first principles extant in the moments after big bang.  That is, even if you had complete information of all the particles and positions and momentums, I don't think the color of the pencil I am looking at would be forced, at that point.   There is random stuff that would have to happen on the way to even have an Earth, and life on Earth and pencil manufacturers and pigments and cones in human eyes and such.  I don't think the plan was there, the universe had to play itself out, to this point to see what would develop, what would emerge from all the entities and patterns that the universe has put together, interacted and destroyed in the last 13.8 billion years.   So yes, it is impossible to know what the universe is going to do next, just based on current information...but some things, like bridges, stick around for 100 years, and if you pass it on the way home, you can predict pretty well that it will be there on the way to work, tomorrow.

    Seems we have to keep an open mind, to things emerging when components are put together in ways they have not been put together before in, that result in the combination having characteristics not present in any of the components.   Once this kind of thing is allowed, then knowing beforehand, what the characteristics are going to be is not only hard, but actually impossible. because the universe has not yet done the experiment, the first time, so you don't know the results of the experiment yet.   You just have to do the experiment.  Now afterward, you can make the same combination again, and expect similar results, but beforehand, you don't have enough information, because such information does not exist in any mind, in any pictures, in any memory or any recording, because the combination has not yet been tried.

    Regards, TAR

  23. cladking,

    I think Studiot is correct in admonishing me to not argue against someone backing up my point, so I would like to carefully parse the aspects of what you say, not to argue against your conclusions but to make distinctions within your logic, of points that I take mild exception to, in terms of how you make sub conclusions, or perhaps I would like to make distinctions to turn the discourse in the direction of finding the things that make something likely, instead of proving how unlikely a thing is to become the thing accidently.

    What I mean is the argument for random accidental coming together of quarks, into the library of congress would take the power of powers of powers of 100 zeros to arrive at the odds. So pure accident does not work, unless you posit a zillion universes to turn out a zillion different ways, and you are back at the beginning.  So, the question is then, so if there is a plan, then who made the plan, who decided on what the cosmological constant was going to be.  The answer to some is God, but then who planned for such a powerful being to be, does God have a creator or what.  Was God always, so is it not the same to consider that existence was always....that is, the point that inflated into our universe was a point where?  A point when?  A point of what nature and capability, what constituents, what possibilities?  Was the universe contained within the point, like our pattern is contained within the egg and sperm in chains of DNA and such?  Or were there just 1s and 0s that started arranging themselves into various patterns, and what were the 1s made of and what were the zeros made of?

    The answer, to my mind, and to the thread title is that reality is in that large grey area between what considering the universe dumb would dictate, and considering the universe smart would dictate. And in an interesting twist of logic, I have determined that whatever I personally am capable of the universe has to be capable of, and more.  This fact does not require there be a God, but it requires we be very much of and in the universe, in the sense that what we do is what the universe is capable of doing. 

    Thus in logic and probability, I need not explain every step, every book in the library of congress in terms of how often quarks would come accidently together to form the patterns of ink and sheets of paper,  I can start with some monks copying a text in the basement of a monastery and the odds slim down nicely.

    So I totally agree that the present unfolds based on what happened in the past, but the likelihood of the universe being what it is is not uncalculably small...it is actually quite likely that the Sun will rise tomorrow in the East.  We don't have to start from the big bang each time we calculate the next moment.  We can start from this moment.

    Regards, TAR

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