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post #271 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 01:30 PM
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The special theory of relativity, though pretty revolutionary, was more of a straightening out and refocusing of a lot of ideas that had been around. Of course, Einstein seemed to be the only one who could see the big picture and put all of those pieces together, so that doesn't minimize his huge contribution. Once he put it forward, it was taken up very quickly actually, considering it came from an unknown and had little basis in physical evidence. This kind of shows that it wasn't some kind of revolutionary idea, way beyond the current thinking. It was based only on simple math.

The general theory though, was a big step out forward, was very complex mathematically, and encountered a lot less enthusiasm. It really represented a big jump forward, that was harder for folks to make with him. The same can be said for the quantum ideas put forward in one of his first papers. Only a few folks really picked up quantum theory until the early 20s after WWI.

One thing I notice about Einstein is that he is one of the few great figures of science history that I could have easily enjoyed hanging out with. He was funny, and had the same kind of light hearted cynicism that I have. So many of the things I find myself saying, which I would think of as purely products of a modern, humorous intellectual cyncism born of modern casual vulgarity and mistrust of authority bread in Vietnam and Watergate et al, I read him having used in many of his letters.

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post #272 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 01:57 PM
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Your last paragraph there is like a "big bang". It could have the effect of suddenly sending this discussion out into the far reaching universe of the off topicum. Speaking as a long time devotee of talk radio, I like it. But then again I hold the distinction of being banned from more talk radio venues than probably any other living person.

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post #273 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 02:47 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Dean Roddey
...authority bread in Vietnam...

I never tried it but I heard it can get you high. Watch out for the moldy parts.


And a friendly reminder don't talk politics.
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post #274 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 03:11 PM
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Oops, who decided that we should have more than one word that sounds the same? My CPU doesn't have sufficient bandwidth to search the alternatives, so the most recently cached version gets used, irregardless of context.

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post #275 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 03:24 PM
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The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language...
Quote:


"IRREGARDLESS - Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so."

Irregardless, your reply was very well stated.

Bob
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post #276 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 03:54 PM
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If it weren't for logical absudity, I wouldn't have much to say.

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post #277 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 04:54 PM
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I wonder if 50 or 100 years from now, people will see time travel movies and stories as 'quaint', like us going back to stories about walking on the moon/mars without a space suit and seeing little green men.

If there's one thing about human behaviour which has been consistent from it's beginning, you just pointed to it.

It seems to be fundamental and can be described with two principles...

1. Every living generation sees the generations before it as being "quaint".

2. But every living generation fails to recognize that it too will be deemed "quaint" by future generations.

Everywhere we turn we see this behaviour at work. It can be the latest hair style. Or it can be the latest form of dress. Or it can be the latest of a million other things. And invariably, it's practitioners are oblivious to the second principle.

More importantly, and relevant to our discussion, it can also be the latest ideas. A recognition of this brings us full circle back to where this discussion began.
In a manner of speaking, Dean maintained (and you agreed) that some of today's ideas will never become "quaint".
I'm not sure I could ever be convinced of that.

Bob
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post #278 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 05:12 PM
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Ever since the big bang, hydrogen and oxygen have mixed together to create water. This will continue to be the case forever. Its based on fundamental concepts of physics related to the configuration of the positive and negative charges in atoms, wwhich will be the case forever.

There are many things that we know well enough at this point to know tha they are fundamental. I don't think that anyone will ever consider this understanding of the fundamental basis of what is probably the most important aspect of the physical world we live in as 'quaint'. A thousand years from now, our understanding of the fundamental processes that underlie the architecture of the atom, but it won't change these fundamental facts of the atom and how they combine to create everything in our universe.

Part of the problem is that our understanding of the physical world was so primitive (and the scientific process so badly understood and implemented and the social structure structured such that influential rich idiots could say what the truth was) for so long, that it has become a cliche that everything that was known will be completely overturned. But, the faster our understanding ramps up, the less and less likely this becomes.

It is just as naive to believe that all knowledge is provisional as it is to believe that all any knowledge is absolutely final. Its just a matter of odds at this point, and the odds are likely to be moving towards the other end of the range on certain fundamental questions.

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post #279 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 05:38 PM
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The word "naive" has many definitions. While most are pejorative in nature, this one is not...

"Untutored in the perversities of some particular program or system"

That one has a nice ring to it. I'm just "naive" enough to think it's the one you had in mind.
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post #280 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 06:07 PM
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What Dean said.

Newton's ideas definitely aren't quaint. The much older Erastothanes isn't quaint. They were dead-on right, like many others. It's just that thier ideas weren't as universal as they might have been.

It's a whole spectrum I guess. Da Vinci had some brilliant ideas, but then those drawings of flight machines are quaint.

M
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post #281 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 06:22 PM
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I guess I tried to sneak that all back in while thinking the two of you weren't looking. Hoping that I could trick you into accepting it. But when it comes to this you all are incorrigible.
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post #282 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 06:25 PM
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Then again maybe I'm still just smarting from the discovery that something I've believed for so long may not be the case after all. Strong beliefs are not easily abandoned.
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post #283 of 6222 Old 08-31-2002, 06:39 PM
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If they were, then they couldn't have been too strong to begin with I guess, right?

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post #284 of 6222 Old 09-02-2002, 08:36 AM
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If Einstein tree yellow born system favorite. Field shown Newton have minimum. And Erastothanes include everywhere of change certain.

Bob
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post #285 of 6222 Old 09-02-2002, 10:44 AM
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Ok, its a coded message. I will apply my superb pattern matching and decryption skills.... It says: "Tony Olando and Dawn shall gnaw the fire hydrant of eternity. Philistine toadstool, though morbid halitosis". Is that right?

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post #286 of 6222 Old 09-02-2002, 11:36 AM
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I'm feeling a "Beautiful Mind" moment coming on...
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post #287 of 6222 Old 09-02-2002, 11:52 AM
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This thread has become too much for me. It's now stripped me of all coherency. I'm reduced to a pile of blathering gibberish.
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post #288 of 6222 Old 09-02-2002, 12:02 PM
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And the sun set slowly in the west, cruelly burning all those who lived there...

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post #289 of 6222 Old 09-05-2002, 11:10 AM
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I just spent about the last hour reading up to page 10 and I just want to say something (although it's probably been said) before I read anymore.

If there is one thing that I have learned about physics it's that there are few if any constants and while they may appear that there are constants on the surface, as humans progress we find this is not the case. I try to apply this little facet of knowledge to anything that I read or listen to including our current state of "knowledge" (making reference to the 80/20 discussion). It would not suprise me one bit if 500 years from now (just bear with me) the "facts" as we think we know them now are something entirely different. But then again, it wouldn't suprise me if we knew just about the same as we know today. The point is, I think it's a futile (albeit fun) discussion to speculate on what we may or may not know in the future.

Furthermore, I just think we are pretty insignificant compared to the 'rest' of what's out there and we are kidding ourselves if we think we know 1/10th of 1% of anything. (Yes I get the point about physics in general but this is exactly the point I am trying to make). If you simply consider the timeline of the earth and humans existence from the anthropological record it is just a pathetic little dot on the scale!

FWIW while I'm typing all of this the "God factor" is in the back of my mind, AND I can say this much, while I do not consider myself a religious person, I'm certainly not an aetheist either. (But we will leave that to the Contact discussion).

Now back to the reading...

edit: BTW I watched the movie last night and I thought it was entertaining --but that's about it.
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post #290 of 6222 Old 09-05-2002, 11:53 AM
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The discussion that wouldn't die... Well, I'll wait until you read the rest before replying, since much of what you mention was gotten into in the subsequent pages.

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post #291 of 6222 Old 09-05-2002, 12:22 PM
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Excellent! another helping of "The Never-ending Thread"!!!

I LOVE it.

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post #292 of 6222 Old 09-05-2002, 12:34 PM
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Looks like Carpe has arrived just in the nick of time. I was almost ready to wave the white flag. Let er rip, Carpe.

Bob
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post #293 of 6222 Old 09-05-2002, 02:38 PM
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This thread has consumed the better part of my afternoon, so I hope you are all happy

There seems to be a turn towards a more philosphical side of things and in that spirit...

This is what bugs me most when discussions like this come up: "If you don't know where you came from how do you know where you are going?" (I guess the flip side of that is, wherever you go there you are) Anyway, we can make conjectures about the origin of the universe all day but it's just that... speculation. AND that is just origin (if you subscribe to such a view) take it a step further and talk about what came before our universe? Perhaps our creation was the spin-off of another universe, but then what came before that? The point is we don't know and until you have your foundation is set you really cannot say with much certainy (relatively speaking of course).

To go back to around page 7, Dean speaks about fudamentals and how there is a tendency towards a reduction in laws. I would argue that this is more a byproduct of human desire for classification and simplification than science progressing in a manner that is beneficial. Humans tend toward simplification. This is partly why racism is such a problem. People do not want to take the time to consider each person that they cross paths with on an individual basis, nor does our biology tend toward it (survival instincts), but I digress... The point is I believe that on some level humans desire simplification and this unconsciously finds its way into science.

Another little thought from page 9-- I have to quote Dean because I just love the way he puts it, "The one reason that science dominates dogma today is that science never believed it had all the answers, and dogma did". The words "Science kills God" kept coming to mind around that page. Back in high school I used to date this girl that was a borderline fundamentalist christian. Basically we could never see eye to eye and split up (imagine that!). Anyhow, the theory that she inspired during many of our talks was that science will effectively kill off God and religion as we know it. My favorite discussion was proving the existence of God. Well, as any college graduate that has taken philosophy 101 knows there is more scientific proof that God does not exist than the contrary. BUT I always come back to what was before the big bang? AND trying to deny the existence of God is like saying a stiff wind could blow through a junkyard and make a 747 (the 747 being the equivalent to all that makes our unierse). OK all ready make a point! Well my point is this... I think that society tends to write off things that science cannot currently explain to the divine.

Robert said something along the lines of, maybe we could find an entirely new set of fundamentals. He was speaking of the universe expanding, matter & anti-matter. Well I say you don't need to travel to another universe to find that because if you don't know where you came from then how can you know where you are going? The big point is (is a theme occuring here? ) our fundamentals have essentially evolved from what we have established since that man was a slave since he saw the space shuttle lift off (thanks Dean) and to conclude that these fundamentals represent the 80% of physics is down right, well (pun intended), short sighted
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post #294 of 6222 Old 09-05-2002, 05:26 PM
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As usual my random ramblings kill the conversation
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post #295 of 6222 Old 09-05-2002, 05:33 PM
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Don't worry. It's not that. Some of the contributors look at the thread infrequently is all. As Gus mentioned, this thread is like a cat with 9 lives.

Bob
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post #296 of 6222 Old 09-05-2002, 06:22 PM
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I just got home and saw your response DRS, welcome to the thread.

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post #297 of 6222 Old 09-05-2002, 06:37 PM
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BUT I always come back to what was before the big bang? AND trying to deny the existence of God is like saying a stiff wind could blow through a junkyard and make a 747 (the 747 being the equivalent to all that makes our unierse). OK all ready make a point! Well my point is this... I think that society tends to write off things that science cannot currently explain to the divine.

But, as I pointed out somewhere back there in one of those many pages, if its unlikely that everything out there came from nothing, its an order of magnitude more unlikely that something that could create everything out there came from nothing.

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post #298 of 6222 Old 09-05-2002, 07:54 PM
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Continuing with the philosophy class... for a God to exist by definition s/he has to be omnipotent, omniscent, and omnipresent (or infinite, i.e. there was no beginning therefore there has always been something). I suppose this sort of throws a monkey wrench into the whole big bang theory unless you subscribe to the multiverse theory (?) (The analogy might be God with a jar full of marbles that represent different universes and our particular universe was just waiting amongst the others that have always existed too).

But then again a God by definition would not be subject to the laws of physics so who really knows
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post #299 of 6222 Old 09-05-2002, 08:42 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by DRS
Continuing with the philosophy class... for a God to exist by definition s/he has to be omnipotent, omniscent, and omnipresent (or infinite, i.e. there was no beginning therefore there has always been something).

Actually not all believers think this way. But to make a complex issue ridiculously simple, I agree that if God isn't omnipotent and omniscient what's the point?
Quote:


I suppose this sort of throws a monkey wrench into the whole big bang theory unless you subscribe to the multiverse theory

Why? Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism teach that the universe eternally goes through a process of being created and ultimately dissolved...and that the process goes on forever.
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But then again a God by definition would not be subject to the laws of physics so who really knows

Not true. The above statement is based on many assumptions that are typical of Western philosophy and religion. It thinks of omniscience and omnipotence in human terms. It separates God from the universe instead of thinking that the universe came from and is an INTRINSIC part of God. And that the laws that govern the universe are an intrinsic part of God and visa versa so to speak, not something arbitrary like the laws that man creates. In other words, God can be omnipotent in the sense that the universe forms out of his being. But God and universes always have been and will be and God can be omnipotent but we need not make that omnipotence conflict with or be different from the laws of the universe.

p.s. Dean, I wish when you quoted people you would indicate who you are quoting . It makes it a lot easier to find the original quote.
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post #300 of 6222 Old 09-05-2002, 09:24 PM
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p.s. Dean, I wish when you quoted people you would indicate who you are
quoting . It makes it a lot easier to find the original quote

I try to spare them the embarrassment of being named when I flay them with my scalpel sharp logic :-)

Quote:


Continuing with the philosophy class... for a God to exist by definition s/he has to be omnipotent, omniscent, and omnipresent (or infinite, i.e. there was no beginning therefore there has always been something)

But, if you argue that one very complex thing can exist without prior cause, then you cannot reasonably argue that something far less complex can exist without prior cause. Arbitrarily claiming a priori (doesn't it make me sound a lot smarter when I use Latin terms like that?) that one of them is free of all logical consequences as we understand them, while the other is not, is not a defensable argument, its just an arbitrary exception made to free you from having to apply the same logic to one as to the other.

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