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Everything posted by Sayonara

  1. This already looks like it is going to be a mixture of typical creationist semantics and cries of "persecution! persecution!" whenever the OP is challenged. If that is how this thread proceeds it will be closed. That particular brand of creation verses evolution argument has been dead for a long time, and it was without merit when it was alive. @Didymus, if that is not the case then it looks like you may have made the (minor) error of conflating the understanding possessed by researchers in academic fields, with the general acceptance by the public etc that that understanding is "correct". For example, when you said "How could a singularity with literally infinite gravity (at the very least, the combined masses of all black holes in existence) explode in a big bang? We don't know.... But it's taken on faith that it did. In spite of the fact that we have no functional idea how that happened.... It's still preached and defended with religious fervor." Maybe "we" don't know, but the physicists studying it can show with statistically validated confidence that their model has explanatory power for the available data, and is - at least so far - not falsified. If you had a good grounding in scientific rigour you would realise that that's about as close to "certain knowledge" as humans are ever going to get. For the rest of us, that "we" you mentioned, it's not really a matter of faith so much as generally accepting that the people devoting all of their life and resources to finding stuff out are probably getting somewhere. Our civilisation works by co-operation and division of labour. People in the street do not have "faith" in evolution or abiogenesis or cosmology in the same way that you might have faith in a religious doctrine. The analogy falls down because the structure of the methodologies are different: A person must have faith in a supernatural claim in a religious text, because it cannot be evidenced. A person need not have faith in a scientific claim, because the evidence is there to be tested by anyone. The fact that people rely on what experts say for (2) is not to do with the quality or credibility of that evidence. It's simply because the investigation of the big questions usually requires a great deal of prior study, co-operation, and money, and people who have not devoted their adult lives (as well as, no doubt, their best teenager years) to placing themselves in that position rarely have a clue where to start or the inclination to find out. The fact that things we make descriptive models about so frequently work with the predicted accuracy speaks volumes on this discussion. Incidentally (well not really incidentally, it's kind of the crux of it all), when you mention evolution in a post like this there are two possible readings of it: Evolution as an ongoing natural process. Evolution as a theoretical framework, the academic description of (1). If you don't make it clear which you are talking about, in a discussion like this, you will basically invite people to assume you are denying (1) occurs. Naturally that is going to affect the direction of the thread quite a bit!
  2. The speculation section actually helps in a few ways: It lets us keep all the crackpot or ill-advised threads, which will always be posted, out of harm's way. It's a place where people can go to practice scientific debate by watching how not to do it. The people who started studying physics last year but have already conclusively disproved relativity have the option of having their embarrassing mistakes pointed out to them without an audience from the "proper" forums. Speculation discussions that go on for pages and pages without any evidence or calculations don't get to aggressively push "legitimate" discussions off the front page of any given sub-forum. As others have said, it's a place where people know they can go to speculate.
  3. Your belief isn't really relevant though. There is a surfeit of academic material on such matters. It's not as if nobody ever came up with the idea of looking into a genetic basis for innate behaviours. False analogy. The ability of people to build rockets is not in the slightest bit comparable to hard-wired instinctive behaviours in other animals. Yes, language certainly does set man apart in some ways. But consider this: other species have language too. Some have both language and intelligence. Clearly it's not such a simple case as being down to just one or the other, and we are as we are due to a combination of intelligence and language, and considerable complexity in each. I think you're getting a bit confused as to what I am proposing, so I will state it in as straightforward a way as I can: - Civilisation exploded and became technological because the accurate, contradictable, and permanent recording system called "writing" largely replaced the old system called "remembering the stuff people have told you, whether it's actually useful or not". This certainly doesn't contradict the idea that ancient people were not capable of surviving their own lives, and it doesn't necessarily contradict the idea that they had a degree of sophistication in their language (whatever form that took). But what it does do is show pretty clearly that an oral tradition is not terribly helpful outside small, proximal groups of individuals. Not if you expect to be able to hold them against modern standards or the collective output of civilisation.
  4. Heat is lost to space at night. However the supply of energy from the sun is constant. When it's night where you are, it's not night everywhere on the planet.
  5. Cladking, strange has replied to most of what you said but I wanted to add these points: Beavers didn't realise anything. Those which exhibited certain behaviours were more evolutionarily fit in their niche and they were favoured by natural selection. This in turn encouraged the proliferation of those behaviours in the subsequent breeding populations. It's the same mechanism that leads to pretty much all characteristic species behaviours and has nothing to do with language or sharing conscious thoughts. My whole point was that man took a long time learning to domesticate animals and grow crops. Because these things were transmitted orally within in small groups. It was the written word that allowed the distant and accurate sharing of knowledge and it was from this that processes and technologies were developed and optimised by large, widespread populations.
  6. The gap between the invention of writing and the start of "recorded history" is easily and very reasonably explained. You are starting from a false premise: that if your hunch is not correct, then the meaning of verbally shared information would end up being so corrupted as to be useless for allowing a civilisation to arise. That is not a correct assumption. You don't need to write someone a letter or give a speech to teach them how to mill grain between two stones or tend to livestock or mix dyes; you just show them. Even as the great civilisations emerged the materials and the education required to allow reading and writing were still in the purview of the elite. Historically this has only changed when technology has caught up with writing, and when the civilisation in question recognises the value of having literate citizens. The power of education and texts that can be referenced is why the development of civilisation (not to mention our population) exploded - they are vastly more efficient at sharing and improving good ideas than are experiential parent-to-child lessons. The problem with your idea of the next generation "spell-checking" oral records is that although the words may be preserved, meanings change. An example: to me, "sick" means either ill, or perverse. But people in my area who are as little as 10 years my junior now use it to mean awesome, inspiring, or 'cool'. That's just one example. What would the generation that follows them make of a present day document littered with terms they've hijacked? Because that generation will no doubt do some hijacking of its own too.
  7. See them all the time, and had just assumed they were satellites.
  8. People change stories and accounts for all sorts of reasons, whether its modifying a historical record for reasons political in nature, or altering a story just because they prefer a different ending or for the villain to be scary in a way that's suitable for children. You only have to look at the way the same fairy tales are told in different areas to see this. It shouldn't come as any great surprise that this results in lots of different written versions of the same thing. And because not everyone who writes things down is a professional, infallible writer, sometimes they use ambiguous meanings or use a word incorrectly. I see no reason to believe that people somehow used to avoid doing this a long time ago (if that's what you're suggesting?) Although I have heard reference to cultures in which "oral tradition is passed down through the generations, and has remained unchanged for squillions of years", I'd have to question how anyone knows it's still the same... what with it being orally recorded.
  9. It's not the number of brain cells in the human brain that helps makes us intelligent; it's the connections between them all. For the analogy to work with ant colony size, each ant in the colony would have to be capable of communicating with every other ant in that colony. Even if they did, I doubt they'd say much of any great use: the content of the information transfered is going to be very basic. Chemical signals and touch provoke ant behaviours: not learned through personal experience, but hard-wired through natural selection. Awesome little guys, sure. But calling them intelligent is a real stretch, even if you're talking about a colony as a whole. As a side note, yes we do. What we don't do is emit noises dedicated to that purpose.
  10. Or, to put it another way, he's very interested in seeing the bones of your theory and inexplicably optimistic that you'll eventually reveal them.
  11. And there's a reason why the issue people have with carbon as a dating marker for organic material is not an issue with methods intended to date inorganic material.
  12. Radiometric dating is a general name for a whole bunch of techniques. Carbon dating is one such technique, and the question is usually "how can you use carbon dating to date ROCKS? Duh!" To which the answer is invariably "You can't. That's why we don't."
  13. Except that you aren't doing that. What you are doing is telling a story. The way scientific advancements get shared in this civilisation is that a hypothesis is formulated, an experiment designed and executed, data is collected, analysed, and interpreted, and a paper is published in the appropriate scientific journal where it receives peer review.
  14. You don't have a theory, PureGenius. A theory is a working model derived from observational data, congruent with reality, which has both explanatory power and the ability to predict future outcomes. What you have is a speculation at best. I really don't know why you're worrying about your thread being closed.
  15. What observations or measurements or data have you based this off, @PureGenius?
  16. Length is not off-putting. Have at it! We're all ears (or eyes, I suppose).
  17. Cheerful optimism, presumably? This thread has been merged with the replies to the thread that was created in the Support Forum. That thread has now been retired gracefully. Windevoid, please listen to the answers you are given, and be prepared to do some outside reading. The link I gave you is a very good jumping-off point.
  18. Yes, very much so. He also tells us how many yean old his partner was when they met.
  19. I'd suggest letting the sleeping dog lie, and just asking those 5 questions as the scientific queries that they are. In terms of dating, carbon dating is only really good for dead organic stuff that once integrated atmospheric carbon. There are however other methods of radiometric dating.
  20. My copy of "Jailbird", which I am currently reading on my Kindle, contains the obviously wrong phrase "He was one of the few friends I had nude in prison." And that's with 21st Century technology!
  21. ^ Exactly so, which is why it was couched in those terms. PureGenius, forums are an asynchronous form of discussion. At no point have you been given a timed ultimatum and nowhere was that implied. What is strongly suggested is that your next post on your conjecture, whenever you may make it, includes something tangible that can be assessed using some kind of formal method. If you can't or won't provide that, don't be surprised if people lose interest in the thread altogether. This is a science forum: we've all seen hand-waving, distractions, red herrings, evasion and procrastination more than enough times to spot them a mile off.
  22. Are you sure? Because it appears to be about Digital Patient Modelling. Did you just post the wrong link, or are you a spammer?
  23. I held off buying a Kindle because I was already buying an iPad and thought "well, I can just use the app". I did, and still do sometimes, but I've since bought a Kindle as well and I much prefer it. The screen doesn't tire your eyes anywhere near as quickly as an LCD does, and it's much lighter. It is nice though having the app on a tablet, expecially for books with graphics or charts. And being able to pick up where you left off on your phone when you're in a queue is good too. But I still love my e-Ink device
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