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Cool science shit

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blogs.technet.com/b/ne... would love this as a coffee table

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Haven't really been on Twitter mate! Still trying to remind myself to have a look every now and then, dont have much free time at the mo to sit and read online though, will def get into it more when I get settled in new house. I've been pretty sad that I haven't been able to geek out on the science news the past 6 months or more. Can't wait to get back into it.

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I was waiting something to happen in hat vid...

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Only a muck garbler would expect such things.

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Like what, Suzie?

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muck garbling I suppose

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What's that?

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Point out a big bit of muck, then garble garble garble. It's hard to explain. Show him the vid, Duffy

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www.newscientist.com/a...

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It'll still get it's gun caught at points. Should give us time

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Five things the royal baby knows about the world
www.newscientist.com/a...

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Rupert Sheldrake's banned TED talk - " The Science Delusion"

" The science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality in principal, leaving only the details to be filled in...But there is a conflict in the heart of science between science as a method of enquiry based on reason, evidence and collective investigation and science as a belief system or world view - unfortunately the world view aspect has come to inhibit and constrict the free enquiry which is the life blood of the scientific endeavour "

Irony is that Scientism is near as bad as religion.

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Turns out the fundemental constants of Physics aren't actually constant after all. Bit of a secret, so keep it hush hush.

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Men of Science - the silence here is deafening. What do you have to say for yourselves?

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Go in pH my child....

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He redefines scientific thinking as a set of dogmas just to make his argument. Science is about creating a model of the universe/ world that allows us to explain why things happen.
People observe stuff, catalog thems, then try to explain their observations. They try to make predictions based on those explanation and conduct experiments, to prove/ disprove their predictions.
If their explanation is more convincing than the previous explanation it gets replaces it. Your still wrong... just a little less wrong than the other guy.

The theories based on the constants of physics make the modern world work. Newton was wrong... but right enough to land men on the moon. Einstein was wrong but right enough to allow the modern world to work.
I'm sure they will change again in the future as knowledge of how they work deepens or technological advance allow more accurate measurements.

Can you argue something is dogmatic when you are accusing it of constant change?

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C'mon pav - You argue your point so poorly by comparison. A condescending breakdown of what science should be in all it's idealist glory is not what I was after....Have seen better replies from you in five minutes, never mind three days.

My point is that science has been building on wonky foundations...Listen, I don't want to fight you at the Co-Op, but there are longer lectures out there where he has the time to do more that touch upon one or two things - or there's the book.

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I'm kinda busy these days and wasn't going to bother watching 20 mins of sheldrake. I have little interest in what he says because it's based on a set of faulty assumptions.

I agree that science has wonky foundations... just they are getting less wonky all the time. That you even write that as a criticism shows you misunderstand entirely what science is about.
Talking about the world view of science... what is that anyway? Media reporting and public misunderstanding of science?

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Boom, we have landed Houston.

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Not an attack on your character pavlov, but you just showed your hand with a reaction like that.

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I'm curious now?

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" I have little interest in what he says because it's based on a set of faulty assumptions." - Unfair to conclude them as faulty, given he provides evidence. Did you go any further than the TED talk?

"I agree that science has wonky foundations... just they are getting less wonky all the time." - Think the point was more to do with the fact science represents these falsely, as something they are not. Constant's fluctuate for example, yet in basically every textbook in the land says otherwise. Would say it's dangerous what this mindset represents. (Investment, pride?)

"Talking about the world view of science... what is that anyway? Media reporting and public misunderstanding of science?" - Nah, just Scientism en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Don't want a mad exchange here pavs.lol.

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He make the assumption that science is dogmatic when clearly it is not. otherwise you cannot criticise them for altering values of constants when new information come to light. Did he provide evidence of dogmatism?

The constant is not a false representation... measurement gets more accurate, better methodologies are developed, mistakes are discovered. No mystery, no magic. Do you think it might get a bit dull every time someone talks about a constant that they must recite the entire list of assumptions on which it is based?
Why do they still measure it if they think it is a done deal?

The reason constants are defined is so when people are producing their models and doing their sums they are using the same set of figures., again no mystery or cover up...
It makes it easier to compare competing models of how the universe works.

Scientism isn't science. you may have scientists that are scientismist, to use the lingo, but you also have scientist that are not... sort of similar to have people who are religious and people who are religious fundamentalists.

Too busy for a mad exchange... in the middle of writing a paper, part of which ( maybe,ironically?) explores the impacts of uncertainty in geophysical modeling.
In particular, how use the uncertainty to better constrain the limits of understanding of what is happening. Kinda of making sure I know exactly how smart I am, given the evidence to hand (*safety winks at kev playfully).

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“He make the assumption that science is dogmatic when clearly it is not.” - I agree in theory, science is the ant-thesis of dogma. Though would say Kuhn(t)'s take on it is more realistic; whatever scientists believe their methods are, and however non-dogmatic they profess to be, the history of science shows a dependency on 'paradigms' - which are more or less temporary dogma. Not so much science in-and-of-itself is dogmatic, more, the nature of large institutions who teach the stuff and the knock on effect of that.

“you cannot criticise them for altering values of constants when new information come to light. Did he provide evidence of dogmatism?” - The grounds for him criticising were that the constants in Nature aren't constant. He spoke to the Head of Meteorology in Teddington after finding fluctuations in the speed of light between 1928 & 1945 of 20km/ph (the margin for error is several decimal points). When asked about the implications of these findings he was told “oh dear, you've uncovered the most embarrassing episode in the history of our science”. He asked could the speed of light have actually dropped because the implications would be staggering, and says he was told “No, no, it's a constant” - word for word in the TED talk and a fair example of dogmatic leanings.

“The constant is not a false representation” - It has, as it's not a constant. At the fundamental, base level it's not a constant force. The bone he's picking is why the false representation. Call them the fundamental variables LOLz.

“Scientism isn't science.” - Scientism in it's most basic definition is “the often dogmatic belief (lol) that science is the only source for knowledge” – where else do you feel is a useful source for knowledge? Can't see you taking much from myth or fable. en.wiktionary.org/wiki...

Dude. If you watched that video, you would have saved me a rake of typing. WOOF!

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People are dogmatic science is not. It just a way of looking at the world in an evidence based way... eventually flaws in the paradigm undermine its usefulness and it is replaced. That is not a dogma. Dogma is refusing to accept new evidence because it does fit your world view. In science if the new evidence spoils your theory you are wrong... It may take a while to come round to the idea... you may never but the next generation trying to make their name will look at the evidence with fresh eyes.

Does the paraphrased quoting of the head of Meteorology mean that all science is cast a scientism?

when you build a model you have constants which the model assumes stay the same... apart from the 20km/s drop over 20 years that sheldrake refers to the speed of light has been measured consistently at 299792 4.58 km / s for a couple of hundred of years. It is still measured today in a range of ways. The constant is used in models.Some of these models are based on light that has travelled for millions of light years. If it was varying significantly it would affects the models predictive capabilities.
The models seem to work and can be used to make testable predictions. Any temporal changes in the speed of lights would appear as anomalies in the models and people would investigate them...to try to build better models and get funding and to get published.

Models are not reality... constants describe the assumptions you are making when you use particular values in your model.
It allows other people using your work to understand what you are doing with out confusion... did you read about the mars lander that crash because Europeans were working in metric and someone in the US read centimetres for inches.

Ultimately it assumes that scientists are somehow wedded to the idea that 'constants' must remain the same. For the most part large difference in many constants would mean that the physical properties that allow stuff to exist in the form it does and behave the way it does consistently wouldn't work. Large parts of how science describes the world would be wrong.

So are the small fluctuation in 'constants' cyclical or just experimental noise... clearly for stuff like light that has been travelling for billions of years, if there is a cyclical component the it is dwarfed temporally by the noise.

Who knows as cosmological models become more refined and uncertainties reduced maybe evidence for for evolution in the value of constants will appear... but until there is that evidence we can accept they are unchanging because it lets the models work... until the don't then some one will have to explain why.

To be more explicit, to assert all scientismists are scientists is different from asserting all scientists are scientismists .
but I enjoy myths and fables. On the islands off the coast of sumatra, the greatest survival rates wereat villages exposed to the last set of tsunamigenic earthquakes back around 1833. Their myths told them to beware of the sea as it retreated... they found higher ground and were more likely to survive.
Reading the Tain has taught me never to trust the connaght queen around my bulls... generally though I have difficulty applying the lessons from myths to the everyday world. How do you find they help
How do you apply the insight you derive from fables on a day to day basis?

Really if this is fun for you start a new thread in a month.. and leave the cool science thread for the cool science which is infinitely more interesting than sheldrakes problems with constants

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This is becoming a Pavlovian game of passey's. One would think you bore Science pav, lighten up. We are on the second lap of talking in circles. I feel Sheldrake makes good points, if you feel the opposite, that's cool. But he's renouned for his work, you are not - there's for a reason for that. Towards the end I could see why you bug kev, getting a bit lippy and not in a playful way....maybe you are stressed witg the paper?

I consider Sheldrake's word of more value than Pavlovs dog from the Hudson board.

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Haven't watched that TED talk, Blurt. But does he propose any alternatives to science, if it is so flawed? Even with it's flaws, science has given us medicines, electrical energy to power our homes at the flick of a switch, vehicles to travel the globe (and off it). Without science, where would we be?

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Takki you would need to watch it - that's honestly not what he's saying. I am all for science, it's amazing how it's been put to use. I'm just not up for viewing it as the only source of knowledge. Be all & end all etc.

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Yeah, will def give it a watch, but what other sources of knowledge are there with reasonable evidence/or successful testing to warrant them as a possible alternative?

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I have Sheldrake's 'The Science Delusion' in the house, haven't got round to reading it yet.

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You demanded answers, I gave them as best I could. You disagree.

The annoyance you feel is not my lippyness (?) its a deeper cognitive dissonance. It should be okay though...
A little seed of truth has been planted deep in your mind. It has disrupted you morphic resonant field and is now vibrating out of synch. That's okay though because as you doubt the MR field its effects lessen.As for as I know, Sheldrake himself claims the MR field works best on true believers and not on the sceptical making it pretty unfalsifiable... almost scientismic.

I'm sorry you found my question lippy.. just though i might be missing a trick by neglecting to draw on the lessons of fables in my day to day living (more than I already do).

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Now pav - listen to the tone of you. How much sleep did you get? It's interesting when you get like this and what it represents. If you can't keep the patronising pedantry in check, then we will have to rethink your Christmas box. This paper is getting to you.

Sadly, I agreed with you to the letter about Science up until a few years ago. But then I got past the materialist world view. I no longer believe animals and plants are unconscious automatons. That the whole of nature is unconscious except for human beings. That we’re the only smart guys in the show and somehow figured out how everything works in principal leaving the details to be filled in - give me a theory of everything and i'll listen to you. Until then you are speculating as much as me. Difference being I don't make a big deal out of marking mark things against a half-filled sheet of potentially wrong answers.

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I'm not sure why you think scientists believe animals and plants are unconscious automatons. I hope you take comfort in the knowledge that they don't... I can step you through this in a month or so if you like. Nor do they claim we're the only smart ones in the show.

Once you accept Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and take on board what Lorenz learned from his Weather Machine (2):

(1) - you can either measure both a particles exact velocity or its exact position accurately but not both simultaneously
and
(2) - complex systems are sensitive to initial conditions- small differences can lead to big changes

The you have to accept the universe is one giant probability density function where everything is possible with varying degrees of probability...

Science probably won't ever have a complete theory of everything. At he risk of repeating myself, science just build models of the universe based on observed data. They are all wrong... they are just less wrong than the previous ones. I accept that I do not have the right answers just I'l hopefully be able to provide evidence that I'm less wrong than the guy before.

Speculation is so much more fun when you can be proved wrong... it's more challenging.

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"I can step you through this in a month or so if you like" - No new doggy BMX for you, Mr.Patronisingcheekster. A man confident in his beliefs portrays them politely, there is no need to try and undermine (doing so actually undermines yourself).

"Science probably won't ever have a complete theory of everything" - Yes, when we continue to try and fit things around our current models of what we 'know'. The last while has been like a big dodgy game of Jenga. Science needs another conceptual paradigm shift, it's sitting in a paradoxical limbo. Prominent physicists proclaim that they are solving the riddle of reality and finally displacing religious myths of creation, yet on the other hand, science’s limits have never been more glaring, embracing pseudo-scientific speculation such as multi-universe and co? - this is an utter paradox (which i'm all for, by the way).

The majority of 'scientists' don't have the balls to let everything fall away, admit they were wrong, lose their salary, reputation etc. and start again - far easier to don the Intellectual biggotry cap and smug it out, as you know well ;)

"The you have to accept the universe is one giant probability density function" - I see us as living in a participatory universe, not one run on hard coded probability...more a dynamic, active relationship than passive and accepting (no doubt this is where our variance in opinion ultimatley stems from).

Speculation is so much more fun when you can be proved wrong... it's more challenging. - Speculation is never wrong or right. By it's very nature it has yet to be proven one way or another.

Then there is the whole discussion on how private funding pushes science in certain directions, and how this limits free enquiry - major factor.

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have you noticed how the focus of your argument shifts as I address the points you make.
just one last thing, though
How many times do I have to rephrase the idea that most scientists accept that they are in wrong before you understand what I'm saying?

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Not at all; as it all supports my point.

The minor aim in this is to loosen your reliance/allegiance with science to anything but complete absoluteness. If i've managed that then mission success. If not, then I thank you helping me put the day in - she's nearly home time

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you'd have had to advance some kind of coherent arguement to achieve your minor aims. Glad I helped you pass you day sorry i could bring you enlightenment.. in case your bored tomorrow have a wee read of this, it may help your day pass by...

www.jameslovelock.org/...

turns out science already has been pondering your questions of participatory universe where the organic and inorgainc influence one another... the don't even resort to morphic resonances and unknowable mechanisms to explain it...

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Well it was coherent enough for you to reply eight times with about a thousand words, without calling it on being uncohesive.

It honestly wouldn't matter what was said, pav. If it was the most sound suggestion in the land, it would still go round and round and round and round with you. Pride, pride and more pride issues. You have shown this in your drawn out spiels with kev, meh2011, starvinmarvin, goatman etc. You are a smart man but not a wise one.

If i'm open to suggestion to areas of research you are not, then so be it. You should just leave me to it and let me inquire freely.

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There was no cohesive arguement...I was just trying to clear up your misunderstanding which may have allowed you to put forward an argument based on something other than the massive straw man you constructed. It seems I failed badly.

I've never claimed to be wise or smart, nor have I any problems with your researching or believing into what ever you like. You were the blurt demanding a response the sheldrake video and the mystery of constants.

You got it, so changed the focus of the argument an got another response then changed it again. I merely suggested that if you want to debate scientism/ philosophy the you could create another thread and leave the cool science thread for the cool science stuff. Not a bit ask... takki will be giving loads of abusive pm's and probably a slap for letting you derail perfectly good thread:(

Sickening thing I deserve it for humouring you:/

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"sorry i could bring you enlightenment"

Your not a paradigm shifter - that's for sure.

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*you're (before you start barking)

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Have I claimed to be a paradigm shifter?
.... was just expressing disappointment in myself that I was unable to explain a few simple concepts that most secondary school students should have no difficulty understanding. I try better next time.

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"Have I claimed to be a paradigm shifter?" - If you aren't aiming for that then why are you even bothering? Why strive for mediocrity? Is it to turn and point to the last guy and say "I'm less wrong than you"? - that's incredibly sad.

"was just expressing disappointment in myself that I was unable to explain a few simple concepts that most secondary school students should have no difficulty understanding. I try better next time." - Here we go again with the attempted undermining Zzzzzzzzz. It's juvenile behaviour and quite ironic in the context of you referring to me as a secondary school student, yet here you are acting as such.

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You do know what a paradigm is? just so I know we're not redoing the whole sciencism/ science thing again?

... and you misunderstand , I'm not referring to you as a secondary school student.. I'm saying secondary school students are more than capable of understanding the arguements I have made. Clearly I must be explaining the concepts poorly, if after all this time you still fail to understand.

You should try not to take things so personally.lol.

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*sighs*

*RE-RAILMENT INITIATED:*

One thing we can both agree on is that there are better uses for this energy.

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"Have I claimed to be a paradigm shifter?" - If you aren't aiming for that then why are you even bothering? Why strive for mediocrity? Is it to turn and point to the last guy and say "I'm less wrong than you"?

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Glad my PMs did the trick.

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Nah, i'm back at it until the bus comes.

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Blurt I find a lot of your posts funny/ interesting. However you are coming across as a bit of an arse in this thread. IMHO of course.

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My playfulness dimishes when I'm being condescended upon - it's one of my buttons gherkin

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Sorry that your so easily offended wee blurt. I'd be sorry that you found my first post condescending and can see how in some way iImay have contributed to you sullying yourself in Gherkins eyes

... but the points I seemed to go right over your head and even now still are... so was it really talking down to you if you just don't get it?

how are you defining condescension here?
... just so we're clear, my delicate internet friend. WOOF!

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