18
   

A limit to understanding ?

 
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2013 05:28 pm
@dalehileman,
Quote:
Surely all the "creationists" can't be wrong

Surely all the "flat earth believers" can't be wrong... Wink
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2013 05:44 pm
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:

..Surely all the "creationists" can't be wrong..

Yeah, they can. Testimonial is an invalid argument form.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2013 05:46 pm
@Brandon9000,
Oh no it isn't.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2013 05:47 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

Oh no it isn't.

The fact that someone says that something is so doesn't count as proof that it is because anyone can be incorrect. You cannot prove a point this way.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2013 06:19 pm
@Brandon9000,
You can if enough people testify.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2013 07:15 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

You can if enough people testify.

It isn't proof that something is true because lots of people can be wrong. It's just a way of avoiding proving something with logic and evidence. It's really good, though, when you have a weak argument and don't want to come anywhere near logic and evidence.
0 Replies
 
Jpsy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2013 07:21 pm
@fresco,
Well, from Wikipedia, although there are disagreements, Howard Gardner defines intelligence to encompass the following:

"Linguistic Intelligence, logical-mathematics intelligence, spatial intelligence, music intelligence, Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence (The ability to solve problems or to fashion products using one's whole body, or parts of the body. For example, dancers, athletes, surgeons, craftspeople, etc.), Interpersonal intelligence: The ability to see things from the perspective of others, or to understand people in the sense of empathy. Strong interpersonal intelligence would be an asset in those who are teachers, politicians, clinicians, religious leaders, etc. intrapersonal intelligence: A correlative ability, turned inward. It is a capacity to form an accurate, veridical model of oneself and to be able to use that model to operate effectively in life.
Also...
....Intelligence has been defined in many different ways including logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, learning, having emotional knowledge, retaining, planning, problem solving... to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought."

Although ideas about what constitutes intelligence may vary from person to person, they share one thing in common: They were discovered by observing animals, and in particular, humans. Our whole concept of "what is intelligence" is basically based on our insights and understanding of how the human mind operates, solves problems etc.
To break it down further, our ideas about what defines intelligence are mainly anthropocentric.
So for the mean time, our understanding of the universe is constrained by the human mind. With genetic engineering and artificial intelligence we may discover new ways to define intelligence that we can't conceive of or even comprehend now. We may discover new & better ways to analyze the universe besides language & mathematics.
0 Replies
 
Jpsy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2013 09:53 pm
@dalehileman,
Just because it appears to be "set up" or "adjusted" does not mean it was. Similarly, the conventional viewpoint before Darwin was that since all life on earth appeared to be "designed," therefore, like a painting has a painter, it was designed. Only now we know this complexity was created by a natural process rather than ID.
Similarly, we may not know why the universe is so fine tuned, but we may in the future. I like the multiverse hypothesis. There are possibly an infinite amount of universes each (I guess somewhat randomly) having differing properties (like the gravitational constant.) Some of these galaxies happen to have properties and constants that are conducive to life, most don't.
Another good analogy is that most planets don't have the right conditions for life to evolve, but some are located in the Goldilocks zone, with the right elements and atmosphere, so that life does evolve.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  3  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2013 10:36 pm
@fresco,
It is temporarily useful and this should not be minimized as it is the manner in which we achieve ever greater understanding. However, you are right that virtually every scientific paradigm is but a current understanding, subject to new developments; new knowledge.

The point you have made is important to the extent that it undercuts the certainty of those who believe, in a religious fashion, in scientific certainty.

At its best, it is the best understanding that we have, and it is utterly amazing that we have been able to move from single cell organism to any notion, at all, of the universe in which we exist, but the hubris of some who lay claim to scientific knowledge is dangerous.

There are a relative handful of humans who can legitimately claim they have some understanding of the way the universe operates and yet there are hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of poseurs who lay claim to scientific knowledge to support their political and philosophical opinions.
Jpsy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 02:00 am
@timur,
I read the NPR article, and the headline is "decoding the most complex object in the universe" but then the scientist in the article is quoted as saying "the most complex object in the KNOWN universe." Of course that's just an opinion, an educated opinion though. To me it seems like a pretty good candidate. Besides the universe itself (which I would say is more complex than anything in it), what do you think the most complex object in the known universe is?
Discovering The Theory of Everything may be more complicated than understanding the human brain, but those will be equations and not an actual object.

We have enough interesting topics to start 5 or 6 new threads. I may create one on this.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 11:18 am
@Olivier5,
Quote:
Surely all the "creationists" can't be wrong

Quote:
Surely all the "flat earth believers" can't be wrong...
Touche Oli
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 11:50 am
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:

Quote:
So there is no support for your assertion that humans hold a special place in the universe based on brain complexity.
Ok then Ros, animals occupy that special place, in which the human is most special based on his intelligence

Oh brother.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 11:50 am
@Jpsy,
Quote:
Just because it appears to be "set up" or "adjusted" does not mean it was.
Of course not Jpsy. As I mentioned, I never set out to "prove" anything, just to exercise the ol' intuition

Quote:
Similarly, the conventional viewpoint…... it was designed. Only now we know this complexity was created by a natural process rather than ID.
I'd agree most wholeheartedly; the difference in our viewpoints being that in mine, She (It) is also a natural form, as well as Her (It's) product or activity, which we call intelligence or evolution

Yes I know it sounds vague and leaving lots of q's. As they are approached (perhaps never resolved) it will become increasingly clear that the dualistic notion of a separate God is too fraught with paradox and contradiction to deserve much further inquiry; that the concrete and abstract blend into a unity, It, Her, the Universe, where its diversity lies in all the activity therein, Her thinking

Quote:
Similarly, we may not know why the universe is so fine tuned, but we may in the future.
Well put, Jpsy. However, I lean to the notion that we'll never fully know

Quote:
I like the multiverse hypothesis….Some…...conducive to life, most don't.
I don't like it because there's no evidence for it. In general it seems the less evidence the more unlikely; and no evidence at all, almost certainly invalid

I'll grant you however I don't have a better theory explaining how a heavy black blob of uniform consistency but zero diameter evolves into what we have today; so I'll give your theory due credit

In fact one of our own recently cited studies showing that life could happen under other circumstances, eg, a different gravitational constant. But I just find it awful hard to entertain the theory of an infinite number of Universes maybe each differing by only one "quantum" existing simultaneously

…..recent studies showing the interdependence of physical constants strongly suggest that things go the way they do because that's the only way they can. She (It) exists the way It (She) does simply because She (It) has to

….any other form entailing contradiction or paradox


Quote:
Another good analogy…….in the Goldilocks zone, with the right elements and atmosphere, so that life does evolve.
Fully understand and respect the idea; but again you'd have to provide a little evidence….even a little

Meanwhile Jpsy thanks for your participation
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 11:54 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
At its best, it is the best understanding that we have,…...any notion, at all, of the universe…….but the hubris of some who lay claim to scientific knowledge is dangerous
Well put Finn. Not only are they insistent but they seem angry at the rest of us, as if subliminally they harbor doubts about their certainties
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 11:55 am
@Jpsy,
Quote:
We have enough interesting topics to start 5 or 6 new threads.
And how

Quote:
I may create one on this.
Please do Jpsy, I kinda like your approach
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 12:04 pm
@rosborne979,
Ok then Ros, animals occupy that special place, in which the human is most special based on his intelligence

Quote:
Oh brother.
Ros as your Bro I'd be most happy to share your ext knowl of the log and the sci. Probably though we'd argue day and night
0 Replies
 
Jpsy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Nov, 2013 02:15 am
@dalehileman,
Quote:
Quote:
Another good analogy…….in the Goldilocks zone, with the right elements and atmosphere, so that life does evolve.
Fully understand and respect the idea; but again you'd have to provide a little evidence….even a little

Yes, I will try to find some research papers on it. In the meantime, I 'll just tell you what I think they mean. The only life we know of in the universe now is the DNA based-life here on earth. So scientists have deduced what kinds of conditions must be present for life, similar to our own, to evolve. I really hate citing Wikipedia, but damn it, it's just so convenient:

"In astronomy and astrobiology, the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ) (or simply the habitable zone), colloquially known as the Goldilocks zone, is the region around a star within which planetary-mass objects with sufficient atmospheric pressure can support liquid water at their surfaces.[1][2] The bounds of the CHZ are calculated using the known requirements of Earth's biosphere, its position in the Solar System and the amount of radiant energy it receives from the Sun. Due to the importance of liquid water to life as it exists on Earth, the nature of the CHZ and the objects within is believed to be instrumental in determining the scope and distribution of extraterrestrial life and intelligence.""
-if a planet is too close to its star, the water will boil (like Mercury).
-If a planet is too far away, the water will freeze.

The 3 sources cited seemed to be respectable sources.

Besides that, they look elements such as carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in the extraterrestrial planets atmosphere, plus other things they think are required for life to evolve and flourish. These planets, some scientists think, are vary rare (which is why I used it as an analogy to how in a multiverse, there may only be one universe with conditions conducive to the evolution of life for, say, every million or so).

(also search Planetary habitability in google)

In the milky way galaxy (which contains around 100-300 billion stars), the writer of the article cited below thinks there may be around 2.5 billion habitable planets. That's an awful lot of potential extraterrestrial life. That's in one galaxy. Consider that there's around 100 billion galaxies in the universe.

source:
how-many-habitable-planets-are-there-in-the-galaxy Discover Magazine

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/10/29/how-many-habitable-planets-are-there-in-the-galaxy/#.Upb3sNJDsuc
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Nov, 2013 12:10 pm
@Jpsy,
Jpsy thank you for that rundown, which leads me to inquire about your other works. For instance do you contribute to any sci pubs; are you a teacher of some sort

No affront of any kind whatever but I am constantly amazed by the intellectual background of so many of our a2k'ers; why anyone so well versed would spend so much futile effort in attempt to nurture the cognizance of some complete stranger at a remote location through the facility of an obscure website

….though you're to be congratulated for your brilliant efforts and resolute determination; so again thank you for your attention to my own halting attempts

Quote:
In the milky way galaxy (which contains around 100-300 billion stars), the writer of the article cited below thinks there may be around 2.5 billion habitable planets.
One evidence cited for the paucity of life though, is the observation that we haven't yet hear from even one of them

Quote:
These planets, some scientists think, are very rare...

Of course part of the problem is that "inhabitable" doesn't mean the same as "inhabited" while another is simultaneity since we can reasonably assume civilizations come and go. One perfectly serious theory maintains that nuclear destruction is so inevitable that it wipes out its humanoids before any serious attempt can be made at interplanetary communication

At any given moment, even allowing just a one per galaxy however, a conservative estimate estimates our total population at at four quadrillion

With slight differences in its diameter or the distance to or size of its sun, some incidentally must be better than others. I'll bet for instance that many don't have the coffee bean, or hops, God help 'em. My guess is that we have a pretty good planet (Or had. My God, God, it's hardly my fault that our pop has doubled in my lifetime. Did you really have to make sex such great fun)


By the way I'm [email protected] (and evidently don't care who knows it). Are you by chance also a disciple of The Brew
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Nov, 2013 02:57 pm
@dalehileman,
Quote:
why anyone so well versed would spend so much futile effort in attempt to nurture the cognizance of some complete stranger at a remote location through the facility of an obscure webs


Who says that's the reason for being on here? Your irony slipped there.

I'm a disciple of The Brew. I have loads of books on the matter. And on Tobacco. I have an early edition of My Lady Nicotine. But both piles are dwarfed by my books on rumpy-pumpy. I often dip into Mansfield Park in moments of lassitude and ennui.

I think that an intellectual understanding of rumpy-pumpy requires constant and vigilant study. It has come to light in a recent survey, for example, that today's Englishwoman has, on average, enjoyed the eager attentions of 8.1 gentlemen. I assume they were gentleman because the sign on the door to the piss-nook in pubs says so.

When I was a young man (alas, alas), it took a very long while and some painful expenditures, not to mention the earache, to get the average Englishwoman to accept the eager attentions of said gents.

If the trend continues I anticipate we men will all go into hiding.

There is certainly a limit to the understanding of women. I think that's why some men become homosexuals. Which doesn't apply to ladies because for them understanding men is as easy as the two times table.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Nov, 2013 04:29 pm
@dalehileman,
Quote:
Did you really have to make sex such great fun?


Would you not allow that sex is just about hanging on to a cultural echo of when it was fun. Tiger Woods has had medical treatment to cure what is being seen more and more as a debilitating weakness. Which looks to have done the trick.

As the feminists gain more power and women take more and more pride in "scoring", a female Casanova will soon appear on the shelves, sex will become ever easier and thus cheaper. Good eh?

Who ran Media when feminism was promoted?

But where's the fun when the chase is dispensed with. That's like throwing the fox into the kennels. 10 seconds of bliss and then standing around looking sheepish for the rest of the day.

0 Replies
 
 

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