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Chapter 14: Antiscience 
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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
Ant wrote:
If gravitational waves (as predicted by Einsteinian theory) continue to avoid detection, what are the implications for the foundation of the theory its based on? Or do we keep searching forever in the belief that we will discover them? Or would a new paradigm be necessary?

Back to your previous question on Einstein gravity waves, obviously I'm no expert, but it sounds like a major paradigm shift would be required if they are not detected. There is debate on whether current instruments are sensitive enough to detect these waves. Here's an interesting read including improved detection instruments and a next generation space-based instrument that is currently stalled. Do you think we should stop searching for gravity waves before these improved instruments are built?

C'mon and join the fun!
http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu/



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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
It was an interesting article.
I was aware of the technological improvements needed to detect g waves and evidence for string theory.

Our machinery simply may not be powerful enough to detect G waves and or strings.

My initial question remains unanswered, and you are simply passing the ball back to my side of the court.

My question was at what point to we stop searching?

Do we just wait till we build bigger and better machines in order to remain committed to theories that continue to fail predictions?

It wouldn't be too surprising if g waves were eventually discovered. The prediction is based on a remarkably accurate theory.
But you need to consider the "what ifs" at this point.
Naturally you arent going to jump ship when this year is a key testing point because we have upgraded our technological capabilities.
BUT, what if we get zero?
Are you saying we just wait for the next upgrade and any additional upgrades until we detect what we're expecting?

Is that how its happened in the history of science?

It wouldn't be surprising if a conceptual revolution is necessary sometime soon,
Particularly when dark matter and dark energy are both still waiting for us.

Meanwhile, someone has a "scientific" hypothesis that predicts alien civilizations are attempting communication with us via radio frequencies.
Why? Because as one BT member put it (paraphrase) "we are proof enough that alien intelligence is trying to communicate"

I said before, if SETI relied on public funding, this wouldnt even be a debate because practical application would trump extra curricular scientific activities, like searching for little green men.
The "science" of SETI could not be rationally justified in that context.
We dont have unlimited resources for something that makes searching for a needle in a haystack childs play.

Too many people, like Geo, are basing the logic of searching for ET on emotive rhetoric from a celebrity.

And you know it.



Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:05 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
Did you see my previous post at the bottom of page 1?
Quote:
So far, no waves have been detected in Ligo’s six years of operation, but astronomers say that a event is only expected to occur every 10 to 50 years within the region of space mapped by the detector. A new generation of detectors, called Advanced Ligo and Advanced Virgo, will be 10 times more sensitive, and scientists hope that they can detect something within a year of being operational in around 2015.

Sounds like we agree the search for gravitational waves should continue until these upgrades are done. If nothing is found, evaluate if we should build the space-based instrument or revise Einstein's theory.



Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:22 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
LanDroid wrote:
Did you see my previous post at the bottom of page 1?
Quote:
So far, no waves have been detected in Ligo’s six years of operation, but astronomers say that a event is only expected to occur every 10 to 50 years within the region of space mapped by the detector. A new generation of detectors, called Advanced Ligo and Advanced Virgo, will be 10 times more sensitive, and scientists hope that they can detect something within a year of being operational in around 2015.

Sounds like we agree the search for gravitational waves should continue until these upgrades are done. If nothing is found, evaluate if we should build the space-based instrument or revise Einstein's theory.


Sure we do.

The foundation for the search for G waves is based on a scientific theory.

What is SETI based on, a null hypothesis?



Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:30 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
Again, look at my previous post at the bottom of page 1.


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Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:57 am
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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
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Life on Earth is another indicator. The study of extremophiles is relatively new and indicates life is much hardier than we knew 50 years ago. Life is found virtually everywhere we look on Earth, including around super-hot hydrothermal ocean vents and bacteria thousands of feet below the Earth's surface. Just a few weeks ago researchers found fish and other aquatic animals in a lake below several thousand feet of ice in Antarctica.

So again although you agree with the project, I hope that helps explain why we're doing it.

Another question that seems to nag you (even though the project is worthwhile) is how long should we search for ET? Interbaned allowed 1K years. Who knows at this point? Evidently you do not think we should stop now. The search has been extremely low key, something like sampling a cup of water out of the ocean. We spend a tiny amount money on SETI compared to military spending or the CERN LHC, so I'd say keep going until we complete a serious search of our neighborhood in the galaxy. If nothing is found at that point, human interest will probably dry up...



That's fine. But we're looking for "intelligent" life when alien intelligence has not been clearly defined.
If you want to keep referencing yourself as evidence of alien intelligence, I guess you could.
The "lookie-me, selfie" hypothesis is a start, if you start with no clear definition of alien intelligence, or alien LIFE for that matter.
You seem to be on the same train of people who believe they'll know alien intelligence when they see it.



What's an "Interbaned"?

Until we complete a serious search of our neighborhood in the galaxy??
What does the word "serious" mean in this context?

There are several hundred BILLION stars in our galaxy.
Exo planets could in Goldilocks zones could be in the millions.
A broad search does not necessarily mean a thorough search.

Okay, fine. I get it.
A touch of faith is not always a bad thing. Even for science.



Last edited by ant on Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:49 am
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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
Efficacious; This is a word I would use in describing this chapter. Carl Sagan, presented through various examples the advantage science has, when dealing with a variety of disciplines, science as a community, has the built-in structure of effective checks and balances that many sanctioned and unsanctioned organizations lack, including most if not all governments. It would be foolish and naïve to think of science as being in some lofty realm of course, but I imagine the doctoral community as being humbled on a regular basis, failure for them, is a foundation from which they build, its why its called experimentation. Science is not typically in the business of obfuscation, science as CS presents it in this chapter, is unlike so many other entities we encounter in our daily lives. How refreshing is it to get honest straight forward answers, rather than sales pitches, double speak, or flat out lies.



Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:12 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
In the 80's the advice on dairy fats was flawed. A new study has been published in the medical journal, Open Heart. It looked at the scientific basis for the health advice we were given 30 years ago, the claim that we could reduce our risk of heart disease by cutting our consumption of saturated fats.

After looking at the evidence, the researchers behind the recent study say that there was surprisingly little scientific evidence to support those 1983 guidelines and as an editorial in the journal points out, the same is true of current guidelines.

But, we take on board what the scientists tell us because their findings can be proved. We can't carry out research ourselves, we must trust and have faith in the scientists.

In spiritual matters, we can choose whether or not to have faith in what the founding fathers of religion tell us, because it can't be proved and analysed. But we can carry out research ourselves if we are interested enough. If we are not interested, it doesn't matter because the end result will be the same whatever.


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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
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After looking at the evidence, the researchers behind the recent study say that there was surprisingly little scientific evidence to support those 1983 guidelines and as an editorial in the journal points out, the same is true of current guidelines.

But, we take on board what the scientists tell us because their findings can be proved. We can't carry out research ourselves, we must trust and have faith in the scientists
.

Excellent points again, Penelope.

What will the people of the year 2300 think of the science of 2015?
That is one reason why I refrain from making comments like "there is no intelligence but ours" "nature is a process of blind forces"
etc, etc.



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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
ant wrote:
Excellent points again, Penelope.

What will the people of the year 2300 think of the science of 2015?
That is one reason why I refrain from making comments like "there is no intelligence but ours" "nature is a process of blind forces"
etc, etc.


What it boils down to isn't trusting the people, but trusting the process. All the components of the process have been refined over and over to be the best method we have at gathering truthful knowledge. This isn't to say it's perfect, just that it's the best so far. It will get better. The process is given a measure of transparency(reducing the need for trust) by the requirement to reproduce experiments to verify results, and peer review.

Regarding guidelines, it's tough to go from an "is" to an "ought", which is what the guidelines are. They are just guidelines, and at best can only be based on a small fraction of total possible knowledge. Don't trust the scientists when they give you guidelines, because people are dumb. The process can lead to truthful results most of the time, but having a person interpret this knowledge into how you should eat or live is a dangerous thing.

Penelope wrote:
In spiritual matters, we can choose whether or not to have faith in what the founding fathers of religion tell us, because it can't be proved and analysed.


It can be analyzed, and I don't trust them. I certainly don't have faith in them, and they have no process to support their position. It's really just blind acceptance of what other men wrote. I'm sorry, but no thank you.


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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
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What it boils down to isn't trusting the people, but trusting the process. All the components of the process have been refined over and over to be the best method we have at gathering truthful knowledge. This isn't to say it's perfect, just that it's the best so far. It will get better. The process is given a measure of transparency(reducing the need for trust) by the requirement to reproduce experiments to verify results, and peer review.


Yes., I know all this. No one is asking not to trust the process, leave our laboratories, and sacrifice a lamb to Zeus.

I also know what history continually reminds us of, Interbane.

It's admirable that layman like yourself is championing the science of the 21st century.
Someone somewhere hopefully will champion the science of the 23rd century.
I'm betting our technology, instruments, and conceptual framework will be much different than it is today.

You're welcome to prognosticate like a 21st century scientific warlock.



Last edited by ant on Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
Quote:
Interbane wrote:

It can be analyzed, and I don't trust them. I certainly don't have faith in them, and they have no process to support their position. It's really just blind acceptance of what other men wrote. I'm sorry, but no thank you.


But, Interbane, it isn't all about dogma. I love the writings of Rabbi Lionel Blue - although of course, I am not jewish. But he never writes or talks about 'the rules'.....he just writes and talks about the best way to live and think about our religious life. He is very funny, but profound too. He says, 'Look at me, I'm a small and not very attractive Jew, I'm gay and I am an epileptic - so I know about prejudice'. But then he goes on to explain how to deal with it and suggests what would be the right attitude to take. And I just love him to bits.


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Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:46 am
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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
ant wrote:
It's admirable that layman like yourself is championing the science of the 21st century.
Someone somewhere hopefully will champion the science of the 23rd century.


Somewhere underneath this sarcasm is the assumption that the processes of science in the 23rd century will be remarkably different than they are now. I'm not saying they won't be, but you're assuming they will be. Are you relying on anything more than an assumption here?

I'm a champion of the best process we currently have. Since I happen to live in the 21st century, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with 21st century science.

Penelope wrote:
But, Interbane, it isn't all about dogma. I love the writings of Rabbi Lionel Blue - although of course, I am not jewish. But he never writes or talks about 'the rules'.....he just writes and talks about the best way to live and think about our religious life. He is very funny, but profound too. He says, 'Look at me, I'm a small and not very attractive Jew, I'm gay and I am an epileptic - so I know about prejudice'. But then he goes on to explain how to deal with it and suggests what would be the right attitude to take. And I just love him to bits.


It's been the bane of mankind that we can't collectively separate the good philosophy from dogma. We say we shouldn't throw out the baby with the bathwater, but the two are proving themselves inseparable, to the point where we should make another baby. Which isn't so bad, seeing as how much fun it is to make babies.


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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
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Interbane wrote:

It's been the bane of mankind that we can't collectively separate the good philosophy from dogma. We say we shouldn't throw out the baby with the bathwater, but the two are proving themselves inseparable, to the point where we should make another baby. Which isn't so bad, seeing as how much fun it is to make babies.



Of course we can separate philosophy from dogma!! Don't be silly. We just don't label ourselves - because when we do that, we mistake the label for the genuine article. You know, we can't eat the menu, we can only enjoy the real food. The real food being what feeds our souls. That comes from all directions.....

It is fun making babies....I agree......but I've done my share of that now. Now I must complete myself.......and very joyous it is. I have grandchildren.....and I must teach them by example because they can't be bothered to listen. :-D


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Post Re: Chapter 14: Antiscience
Penelope wrote:
Of course we can separate philosophy from dogma!!


Of course it can be done. What I meant is that on average, our fellow humans have a difficult time doing it. Half of Americans think the world is young because they blindly accept what other men wrote. Can't we feed our souls with food that doesn't contain delusional ingredients?


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