You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 08, 2016, 08:05:46 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve  (Read 12190 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #150 on: June 17, 2009, 03:10:47 PM »
Great reply, Overlord.

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #151 on: June 17, 2009, 03:19:09 PM »
Still there are plenty of answers we don't know or even have a guess for.

That's true. Keeps things from getting boring at least.

Quote
Is there something on the other side of a black hole? Where is the exact center of the universe?

Hell, we don't even know if either of those questions mean anything. Universes may not have centers and black holes could be even weirder than we already imagine and lets face it... that's pretty weird already.

(In fact one theory I heard is that the curvature of space-time means that the true center of the universe is outside of it).

Yes, there's a lot of mystery in the universe. But I think religion has to be about more than pointing at a mystery and saying "God did it". I think religion is an entirely different way of looking at the universe that isn't necessarily about correct answers or science.

And to try to round this back to the original topic, evolution isn't all that mysterious. We've got a pretty good understanding of biology now. Most of the mystery in biology these days is restricted to the human proteonome or the neural aspects of psychology.

The real mysteries are in particle physics, dark energy and the birth of the universe. I can't wait to see what the LHC finds out.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #152 on: June 17, 2009, 03:21:58 PM »
Well it's like I put forth with the order of operations thing.

Parentheses, exponents, multiply, divide, add, subtract from the left to the right. Why is it like that? Does physics demand this, no. It was arbitrarily decided by some match committee and as such requires a lot of faith that you ain't doin' it wrong.

Some of it does require a leap of faith. In a college math class I had a real conceptual issue with the zero exponent. An exponent is a value to the power of something, OK fine, then how can a value, any value except zero, to the power of zero be anything?

It should be zero, but the textbooks say it’s 1, and my professor could tell it was bugging the shit out of me, and he told me the very same thing: Some things you have to take on faith.

That was the point I realized just how conceptual some of the allegedly hard numbers in mathematics are. Zero, after all, is as much an abstract concept as it is a numerical value, the Mayans were the first to derive it, but not all cultures. We can say we understand zero, but we don’t really understand zero…not entirely.

This shape, 0, we give to a concept to allow some sort of workable solution in our math. I realized it’s likely the zero exponent comes to one because within the modern set of mathematics we use, that’s what made the most sense. It fits, but not quite…I expect it might not be so in all forms of math.


And the reason that a ‘math committee’ made the rules as they are is for the very same reason we’re all speaking English. Without hammering the numbers, some of them real and some of them conceptual, into a defined language, how else could even mathematicians communicate with one another?

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #153 on: June 17, 2009, 03:23:17 PM »
Great reply, Overlord.

Thank you.

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #154 on: June 17, 2009, 03:45:03 PM »
Nice textbook post, and it explains the mechanics of life, but not what was being discussed above.

I explained exactly the questions that were asked. How and why cells are alive and what forms of energy they contain.

I'm not trying to be pedantic here. But I am trying to follow ockham's razor, "do not suppose plurality without necessity". Until you can justify that there is some necessity to suppose there is an additional phenomena beyond those I've described and explained, there is no reason to debate the nature of this phenomena.

Quote
What I think we’re talking about is the life force, the soul, whatever you want to call it, and it massively predates the phlogiston and the luminiferous aether, existing in the beliefs of most civilizations and culture over recorded time.

Soul yes, life-force... not really. At least in my opinion. It wasn't really until the beginnings of chemistry that people started to wonder how humans and diamonds could be composed of the same atoms and yet somehow experience such a considerable difference in behaviour. This was answered mostly over the last century or so.

The conversation was definitely leaning towards life force, which is why I answered the way I did. If we're talking 'souls' then I'd have answered differently.

(Incidentally when it comes to souls... I don't really know. Maybe, maybe not. There are a lot of questions I'm still grappling with in the domain of consciousness. But not when it comes to basic biology and 'life force')

Quote
When you factor in those cases where someone dies despite their health being otherwise, or a case where the doctors say a patient is terminal and a lost cause, yet they pull through, something is missing.

In my opinion, that's like supposing the existence of air spirits because sometimes the weatherman gets their predictions wrong.

The human body is a complex system of myriad atoms. Predicting complex systems is the domain of statistics. Trying to determine a persons chances with statistics will provide you with the correct answer for most of the people, most of the time.

Doctors try to understand a person's outlook by measuring their heart-rate, taking a few X-rays and maybe a very very expensive lab test or two. It's pretty similar to trying to determine what's going on in every air cell in the atmosphere with a few barometers and a weather balloon.

Quote
Either those textbooks on the mechanics of biology are missing crucial lines, or there’s something more to life than we can currently perceive and quantify.

What otherwise inexplicable phenomena require some form of life force or soul to explain?

Quote
Factor in some of the cutting edge theories involving consciousness and cosmology, and there are hints that what we observe is linked to us. Lab experiments prove that results DO differ on whether anyone’s observing or not.

To the best of my knowledge these sorts of lab tests are regarding 'observation' and not 'human observation' if you understand my meaning. On the same level as heisenberg's uncertainty principle. I may well be wrong, my knowledge of the more quantum level phenomena is a bit lacking. If I am wrong can you point me towards a source for this?

Quote
There’s still a grand mystery here that needs unfolding…it’s more than a question of what life is, it comes down to what existence itself is.

Existence I totally agree. Life... less so. It's pretty clear what life is, at least in my opinion, and you have to push things pretty far to down into the atomic or astronomic levels before you really hit the grand mysteries.

As always, YMMV.

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #155 on: June 17, 2009, 03:48:50 PM »
That was the point I realized just how conceptual some of the allegedly hard numbers in mathematics are. Zero, after all, is as much an abstract concept as it is a numerical value, the Mayans were the first to derive it, but not all cultures. We can say we understand zero, but we don’t really understand zero…not entirely.

I agree. Mathematics has always boggled me on some of these points.

It drives me crazy that (theoretically) there is no possible system of numbering in which you wouldn't have both rational and irrational numbers.

It seriously makes me wonder if we're doing the whole thing wrong.

Edit: There's some proof for this, to do with the Pythagoras' theorem and the square root of negative 2 but I don't remember it unfortunately. As I said above, mathematics can really boggle me.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 03:51:00 PM by Caehlim »

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #156 on: June 17, 2009, 03:57:12 PM »
Rather than going into a probably really off-topic explanation, I'm just going to drop a couple of quotes, identify myself as a part-time math scholar, and let it go back to evolution. ;)

Quote
Suppose we loosely define a religion as any discipline whose foundations
rest on an element of faith, irrespective of any element of reason which
may be present. Quantum mechanics, for example, would be a religion under
this definition. But mathematics would hold the unique position of being
the only branch of theology possessing a rigorous demonstration of the fact
that it should be so classified.
- De Sua, F. (1956)

Quote
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell.
- St. Augustine 

And finally,
Quote
Wir Mathematiker sind alle ein biszchen meschugge.
(We mathematicans are all a bit crazy).
  -- Lev Landau

Offline Inkidu

  • E's Resident Girlomancer, Dedicated Philogynist, The Compartive of a Superlative, SLG's Sammich Life-Giver
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Location: In a staring contest with the Void.
  • Gender: Male
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #157 on: June 17, 2009, 07:12:52 PM »
I don't deny evolution. It's too obvious to ignore. I do dislike that people spout off Darwin's theory of the former as fact. It is just that a theory, and though scientific theory is still a little more tested than your average theory it can still be proven wrong quite easily and they spout it off wrong. The most common mistake I hear is:

"Darwin states we evolved from monkeys."

Well first he said apes.

"Okay apes still."

Well he actually said apes and man shared some common ancestor a.k.a. the missing link.

Personally I would hope it would be the great prehistoric mammoth wombat from what would become Australia. That would be really cool.

Offline Indigo

  • Sui Generis
  • Deverified
  • Enchanted
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2009
  • Location: ¤ Sui Generis ¤
  • Gender: Female
  • I am a law ønly for my kind, I am nø law før all.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #158 on: June 17, 2009, 07:32:30 PM »
Pshaw...evolution is for living, molecular, chemical, spiritual, environmentally motivated beings....oh wait!   :P

sighs...I will never never never understand the gap between religion and science.  I mean...rather, I know why it is...humans being humans and all.  ::)  I simply just don't comprehend it...but then again...I usually can't comprehend -or rather scoff at, gotta be honest- the tribulations regarding such things.

...yet for all I know...that is, in itself, a necessity of growth, whether physical or spiritual, or both.

So be it.


Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #159 on: June 18, 2009, 12:01:42 AM »
I don't deny evolution. It's too obvious to ignore. I do dislike that people spout off Darwin's theory of the former as fact. It is just that a theory

I have already explained on this thread what a theory is, in my first post. I'll repost it to save people from going back 6 pages.

Sorry, I'm about to be pedantic, but since this is a thread about science...

A theory is not an incomplete work within science, nor will it ever become a law no matter how much more complete it becomes.

A law explains the whats of the world. Newton's laws of gravity describe what happens to objects (they fall down).

Theories deal with the hows and whys. Einstein's theory of gravity describes why objects move the way they do (because of the curvature of spacetime).

Neither of these is in any way better or more complete than the other. Just because they manage to be treated as a law or theory does not mean that they are correct either. Both Einstein and Newton were on the right track, but these days we've had to update and replace their laws and theories to keep up to date with the cutting edge of the latest work in quantum physics.

Also it's important to note that in most of these cases the law comes first, then someone develops the theory. It's very easy to notice that objects fall, it's a lot more difficult to figure out exactly why. So no, evolution will never be a law.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #160 on: June 18, 2009, 02:03:52 AM »
I agree. Mathematics has always boggled me on some of these points.

It drives me crazy that (theoretically) there is no possible system of numbering in which you wouldn't have both rational and irrational numbers.

It seriously makes me wonder if we're doing the whole thing wrong.

Edit: There's some proof for this, to do with the Pythagoras' theorem and the square root of negative 2 but I don't remember it unfortunately. As I said above, mathematics can really boggle me.

Starting delving into things like fractal mathematics and the Golden Ratio.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal_mathematics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio

The spiral that forms from the 1:1.618 ration and repeats throughout nature can be seen in most plants, in the slope of the branches or leaves that spiral off a parent branch.

Oh but wait, it gets better.

Studies in forests have revealed that various flora is not placed randomly; even among different species of trees, there are regular unit placements in the trees; something that is not evident to the human eye but has been found by careful measurement. This is economy of space for nature, by using the same forms at different scales and repeating them, more efficiency for the information stored.




The evidence strongly suggests that mathematics are embedded into the fabric of nature, that these are not human constructs, but discoveries of things that exist around us.


Like I said, zero isn’t just a value, it’s an archetype, an icon. If you have ten dollar bills in your hand and give them away, you have zero dollars. That works easy enough, but the true scope of zero, of absolute nothing, and its opposite number, pun intended, infinity still escapes us This is why I got into vigorous debate in a prior thread that we can understand the concepts of zero and infinity, but being finite creatures, we cannot truly understand them.


Mathematics I believe is a universal language, but we humans still speak it poorly in some regards. Our math as it is simply fails to measure up to some of its grandest concepts and assertions.

But we’re getting closer.


The golden mean

Arthur Clarke - Fractals - The Colors Of Infinity 1 of 6

« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 02:06:16 AM by The Overlord »