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gsr

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  # 2163757 19-Jan-2019 16:25
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Hammerer:

 

Science is most definitely a belief system! It is built on a number of important coherent beliefs.

 

 

 

 

I'm not sure what your understanding of belief is. I was referring to something closer to Wikipedia's definition:

 

Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case regardless of empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  # 2163780 19-Jan-2019 17:18
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kingdragonfly: Honestly I don't know what point Nunz is trying to make. I think "evolution is a theory, and so is the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, so both theories are equally valid."

Another argument says, "no one was alive billions of years ago, so we'll never know the truth."

Other arguments against evolution: The Earth isn't billion of years old, it is thousands of years old, and evolution is limited or non-existent.

The last argument is "we don't know everything, so it must be God."

The cartoon represent science educator Bill Nye and the President of the Creation Museum Ken Ham in a three hour debate.

You can argue that neither Bill Nye or Ken Ham are the best people to represent the debate.

However Bill and Ken both make pretty easy to understand points

To be clear, I believe Adam and Eve didn't ride dinosaurs, the earth is round, the moon landing happened, and evolution is a fact.

 

unless the simulation program we are in had a series software updates, which we call evolution.

 





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2163783 19-Jan-2019 17:35
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NdGT doesn't disagree (lots of candid videos of his opinion on youtube which i don't think is appropriate on GZ), and it's pretty hard to argue against Occam's Razor - this is the simplest explanation for every single mystery of the universe.

 

Do ignore the capitalized click bait title of the youtube video, i think this was a theoretical physics convention in around 2013 or something.

 





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.




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  # 2163784 19-Jan-2019 17:47
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The discussion of whether we're a simulation is a deep question.

I can't ever know if I'm a simulation, and it wouldn't really change my life if I was.

I'm not even a philosophy minor, so my thoughts are going to be unoriginal.

If I am a simulation, higher beings would have created / be playing a game where I'm one of many tiny screws holding a unneeded crossbeam holding a small cog in a insignificant part of a redundant sub-assembly of a big machine.

Just like a video game, the higher beings benevolence / malevolence / indifference is beyond my ability to understand.

As far as influencing a higher being, most feelings toward most or all simulated creatures are fleeting and uncaring.

Besides giving myself a headache, it's a bit of a pointless discussion. Again if I'm a simulation, I'm extremely unlikely to have any affect or even understand on higher beings.

It makes an argument for being an atheist, since belief in higher beings has no affect after I'm "turned off" or reset.

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  # 2163819 19-Jan-2019 20:25
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The theory of evolution is no longer a theory, it is a fact. Proven through countless archaeological discoveries and scientific reasoning. If there was a god and he wanted us to think any differently he would have planted better evidence. There is no single shred of evidence for the existence of god. Blind faith is not enough.


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  # 2163891 19-Jan-2019 23:00
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gsr:

 

Hammerer:

 

Science is most definitely a belief system! It is built on a number of important coherent beliefs.

 

 

I'm not sure what your understanding of belief is. I was referring to something closer to Wikipedia's definition:

 

Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case regardless of empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty.

 

 

I didn't say "Science is a belief" but "Science is a belief system".

 

That is the meaning that you should be checking rather than cherry picking, i.e. selecting a different word/phrase and only quoting the meaning given in the first sentence of the paragraph when the next sentence says:

 

"Belief" in Wikipedia

 

Another way of defining belief sees it as a mental representation of an attitude positively oriented towards the likelihood of something being true.

 

 

Anyway, you should look at more authoritative dictionaries for a fuller range of meanings.

 

Perhaps, you're thinking that belief and belief systems are the sole preserve of religion and philosophy. That is not the case, although they are the predominant subject of discussion and study in these areas.

 

 

 

 


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  # 2163896 20-Jan-2019 00:09
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zxspectrum:

 

The theory of evolution is no longer a theory, it is a fact. Proven through countless archaeological discoveries and scientific reasoning.

 

 

Are you sure you mean "archaeological discoveries" because archaeology is the study of the remains of human activity which is probably said to be the last 200,000 years? Maybe "palaentological discoveries" was what you meant?


 
 
 
 


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  # 2163921 20-Jan-2019 08:40
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gsr:

 

Science is not a belief system; if something cannot be observed, measured, repeatedly tested, no scientific explanation exists. Scientists can offer 'proposed' hypotheses that may or may not be easy to test (sometimes the technology is not quite there yet, for e.g higgs boson). An existing hypothesis is no longer considered valid if it is incompatible with any other empirical evidence or observation.

 

Religion is a belief system: explanations are offered without the burden of proof. Little to no distinction is made between theories, facts, hypotheses. Very established, modern understanding of the natural world is incompatible with religious texts; i.e. many texts reflect rudimentary understanding of natural phenomena yet boldly attempt to offer explanations for the most complex ones.

 

IMO, the more interesting debate is about the philosophical foundations of science vs religion.   

 

 

Well, science *is* a belief system. It is founded on the belief that the world *can* be understood absolutely, that there are rules for everything which we can figure by observation. Conversely, religion says that some part of our experience is super-natural -- there are miracles that can *never* be explained.

 

If there is some part of the world that can't be understood, then that's where God exists. As scientific knowledge has expanded, the religious world has shrunk.

 

 


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  # 2163972 20-Jan-2019 09:06
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To me, belief and faith are a little different. I expect faith to be used to explain that you believe something without needing scientific proof. To have a belief may not necessarily mean you follow it without concrete evidence...


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  # 2164040 20-Jan-2019 12:05
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Before anybody can say something is fact they need to define the “something". I believe most people interpret evolution to be the following:

 


- natural bio-genesis (life forming from non-living materials)
- natural selection operating on individual variation, acting as a filter to promote fitter individuals in a specific environment
- changes in populations that lead to speciation, so you have something new forming over time when populations separate
- all life can be explained by this process; all species are related at some point of common ancestry via a tree of life; common descent

 


What proof do we have:
The geographic distribution of species by itself strongly suggests that the tree of life and common descent is a fact. Closely related plants and animals are found where land masses are connected or have been connected in the past. Very different species are found where land masses are separated by vast distances. Oceanic islands are a fine example (e.g. New Zealand and Hawaii have many endemic species that are exclusive to those regions).

 


The fossil record shows many transitional series that reveal how species have changed and diverged over time (Humans, Horses, Whales etc.). We can see how species have become modified to fit changing environments over time.

 


The genetic record has largely confirmed the tree of life that earlier evolutionary scientists had constructed. Closely related species show more genetic similarity than distantly related species. Endogenous retroviruses reveal how we are related to other primates; to have the same endogenous retrovirus sequences we must have had a common ancestor.

 


These three areas of science confirm each other. Common descent and the tree of life seem to be incontrovertible facts.

 


So how did all of this happen? We can see plenty of evidence for natural selection at work, whether it be fur length, colour, or body size. Some traits or collections of traits confer advantage in specific environments, so those traits come to dominate in populations; the less fit die and the more fit survive. Seems obvious, really.

 


Can we extrapolate these rather simple changes to something more drastic such as the development of completely new organs or complete changes in body plans? In some cases it looks logical (the transition from a fish swim bladder to a reptilian lung), in some case it does not (how did metamorphosis evolve in insects; it’s not a gradual, step by step process). Maybe natural selection can do this kind of change in a gradual, step by step way, maybe not. Where the transition from one form to another means that an organ has less function or no function, then natural selection obviously is not fit for the task as it requires a selective advantage at each stage in its blind path (blind because natural selection is an unthinking process; it does not know where it is heading), unless you wish to use co-option to explain all these very difficult evolutionary landscapes. Certainly, it is very difficult to see how natural selection could operate before the first self-replicating cell arrived. If a cell cannot self replicate, then there is no natural selection. Natural selection requires accurate self replication. As most educated people know, cells are very complicated pieces of kit; there is nothing simple about them. Science has tried to come up with solutions for the origins of the first cell, but none of them have been terribly convincing. So there we have a big problem that natural selection does not seem to be able to overcome.

 


Now all the religious fundamentalists out there will all be quoting their particular holy texts. Well, let me pretend I'm God. I create the universe and its physical laws, I create plant earth to be an ideal size for mammalian life (we don't want too much or too little gravity), with an ideal moon (it keep the iron core of our planet in motion by its gravitational attraction, so we can have a global magnetic field and shield life from damaging solar radiation), in an ideal location in our solar system (not too cold, not too hot), with right elements and atmospheres (which changed over time) to allow life to evolve and flourish. Naturally, I did this over billions of years, as I have all eternity to play with, I used natural selection and other unknown processes (unknown to you feeble minded humans) to shape and evolve life to ultimately bring us to the present era. Let’s say I did indeed wish to communicate to my humans, and they wrote about me in their holy texts. Surely, they would use their own world view, the education they received from their families, their elders and their communities to frame and express my story (i.e. myths, legends and religious tradition to contain their explanation of their own origin and their creator). So I gave them some truth in simple terms that they could understand and they combined it with their own bronze/iron-age comprehension and bronze/iron-age worldview. Should we now interpret these holy texts in a literal fashion, as fundamentalists do, when we know that their worldview was primitive and based in mythology? I certainly would not. But if you have faith in them, then perhaps you can perceive truths embedded within an expression of their creator from within these primitive peoples’ own worldview.

 


We could write off all religious texts off as works of fiction and imagination, but we should study them first before coming to that conclusion.

 


There are too many coincidences that need to occur in a very long string of exceedingly small probabilities to come up with life, this planet, this solar system, this universe just by pure natural random processes at work. A very simple observation: why should the moon and the sun be the same approximate size in the sky to an observer on the earth? The Earth-Moon distance, the Earth-Sun distance, the Sun diameter and Moon diameter have to be carefully coordinated to enable this. To me that seems like a small signature of design that is obvious to us all.

 


Most of evolutionary theory is pretty sound, certainly common descent and the tree of life. Natural selection can do a lot, but we don't have proof it can do everything. Religion should respect science and science should look for what it can respect within religion. Neither seems to have the 100% exclusive answers on the origin of life, how we got here and why we are here.


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  # 2164140 20-Jan-2019 12:43
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KiwiTim:

 

There are too many coincidences that need to occur in a very long string of exceedingly small probabilities to come up with life, this planet, this solar system, this universe just by pure natural random processes at work. A very simple observation: why should the moon and the sun be the same approximate size in the sky to an observer on the earth? The Earth-Moon distance, the Earth-Sun distance, the Sun diameter and Moon diameter have to be carefully coordinated to enable this. To me that seems like a small signature of design that is obvious to us all.

 

 

I enjoyed your dissertation up to this point, where I think you went off the rails. Stop for a moment and think just how old the Universe is, and how vastly huge it is. With thirteen or so billion years to play with, and an untold number of galaxies, each with billions of stars in just the known observable part of the cosmos, why should you think that the long string of exceedingly small probabilities required to bring about this one example of life that we know of could not occur as a result of natural processes? Of course it could. It might even be inevitable. Your example offers no proof of anything.  

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2164142 20-Jan-2019 12:45
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KiwiTim:

 

There are too many coincidences that need to occur in a very long string of exceedingly small probabilities to come up with life, this planet, this solar system, this universe just by pure natural random processes at work. A very simple observation: why should the moon and the sun be the same approximate size in the sky to an observer on the earth? The Earth-Moon distance, the Earth-Sun distance, the Sun diameter and Moon diameter have to be carefully coordinated to enable this. To me that seems like a small signature of design that is obvious to us all.

 

 

OTOH the effect of tides from having a large moon probably allowed evolution of life from the oceans to land, and all that's being shown here is the anthropic principle in action (We're here to observe this because if conditions had been any different, we wouldn't have evolved to see it) and not any evidence of "creationism".

 

Same applies to the solar system, galaxy, universe. 

 

 




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  # 2164146 20-Jan-2019 12:52
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There's a theory that any conscious life must only been created in a place that favors conscious life.

In other words, intelligent life exists because the odds are good that somewhere sometime there are places good for life.

The reverse is also true. Most places are not good for life, but given the number of places a few will be good.

In a basic sense, whether intelligent life evolves comes down to probability, odds and random chance.

I can't find the name of the theory, but I know I read it somewhere.

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  # 2164154 20-Jan-2019 13:17
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Rikkitic, I absolutely agree with you that the universe is very old and very massive, and there may well be planets very much like ours out there. Nevertheless, Planet Earth is very special compared to the planets we know of, in that it has all the requirements for us to have evolved to what we are today. I'm not saying that it hasn't happened elsewhere, but for it to happen there are a lot of very small probabilities that have to come together. The more small probabilities there are, the less likely it is. That's just a fact. The simple truth is we don't know if there are any other planet Earth's out there. Maybe, maybe not.

 

In terms of the origin of the first self replicating cell, that is a difficult hurdle to get to by natural processes that we know of so far. Sure, there may be processes at work that we don't know of yet. I prefer to keep on open mind as to what they are. Many folks choose to exclude the possibility of any kind of designer/creator/god. But you have to ask yourself why must this option be excluded. Is that just personal preference or bias. I prefer to keep all options open.

 

 


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  # 2164158 20-Jan-2019 13:34
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kingdragonfly: There's a theory that any conscious life must only been created in a place that favors conscious life.

In other words, intelligent life exists because the odds are good that somewhere sometime there are places good for life.

The reverse is also true. Most places are not good for life, but given the number of places a few will be good.

In a basic sense, whether intelligent life evolves comes down to probability, odds and random chance.

I can't find the name of the theory, but I know I read it somewhere.

 

 

 

Life is pretty amazing and unlikely. You can use the argument that because the universe is so immense and so old, absolutely anything is possible, given enough time and enough matter.

 

Using that logic I predict that somewhere in the universe there is a planet with oceans of Coca-Cola and continents of marshmallow. This is very much more probable than getting life de novo, as Coca-Cola and marshmallow is far less complicated than a primitive cell. You can see how absurd this kind of "anything is possible given the size and age of the universe" logic can get.


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