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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-19-2016 05:42 AM
Blobbenstein I'm not really one for debates..they make me nervous, and it is unsatisfying if both sides are really entrenched in their views.


My feelings weren't particularly hurt..thanks anyway.....I should read more science stuff, I know, but I do understand how science works, I think, and think it is a fairly good process, although I gather there is a LOT of politics in the battle between ideas.
02-19-2016 05:15 AM
TailFin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post
it's ok....I'm over it.....I cried all night, but I'm done.
Agreed; I think the discussion fizzled out. That said, I never meant for there to be any hurt feelings, so if there were, for that I apologize.
02-19-2016 03:49 AM
Blobbenstein I'm quite happy that science and belief in the supernatural can live in harmony...there is no contradiction.....
02-19-2016 03:37 AM
Blobbenstein it's ok....I'm over it.....I cried all night, but I'm done.
02-19-2016 03:09 AM
LedBoots
Quote:
Originally Posted by TailFin View Post
You're incorrect. If it's repeatable, it's not anecdotal.

I'm not going to continue discussing the definition of anecdotal evidence vs. scientific evidence. If you want to believe your definition, please by all means join the groups of people that remain steeped in ignorance.
I think you owe Blobbenstein an apology. The way some people worship science and mock everything not yet proven borders on fanaticism.

"Steeped in ignorance"
02-16-2016 09:41 AM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by TailFin View Post
Yeah, he's really smart. I actually had no idea who he was until recently... I do want to read his book.

Will do. I'll start listening to it on my commute home today!

ETA: haha, love the picture
Let me know what you think!
02-16-2016 09:04 AM
TailFin
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
Brian Cox 😍😍😍😍 I have to listen to that one immediately. I have such a cerebral crush on him. (Ok, maybe a bit of a physical crush, too...)

I can't recommend Radiolab enough. I suggest going for the earlier episodes. Recently they've moved away from science and are doing more of a human interest thing a la This American Life.

Edited to add:
Yeah, he's really smart. I actually had no idea who he was until recently... I do want to read his book.

Will do. I'll start listening to it on my commute home today!

ETA: haha, love the picture
02-16-2016 08:49 AM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by TailFin View Post
Please do! They go into various other topics, all science based. They had an episode with Brian Cox, an episode with Richard Dawkins, Elon Musk, Alan Rickman, etc.

I've heard of Radiolab, but I haven't listened to it, yet. I got backed-up on podcasts, haha. I'll have to move it up in the queue!
Brian Cox 😍😍😍😍 I have to listen to that one immediately. I have such a cerebral crush on him. (Ok, maybe a bit of a physical crush, too...)

I can't recommend Radiolab enough. I suggest going for the earlier episodes. Recently they've moved away from science and are doing more of a human interest thing a la This American Life.

Edited to add:
02-16-2016 08:41 AM
TailFin
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
I actually only just discovered it! I will definitely give it some serious attention.

Do you listen to Radiolab?
Please do! They go into various other topics, all science based. They had an episode with Brian Cox, an episode with Richard Dawkins, Elon Musk, Alan Rickman, etc.

I've heard of Radiolab, but I haven't listened to it, yet. I got backed-up on podcasts, haha. I'll have to move it up in the queue!
02-16-2016 08:26 AM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by TailFin View Post
That episode of StarTalk was awesome. @no whey jose , if you haven't listened to the entire thing (or any of the other StarTalk episodes), you should! If you need any recommendations on episodes, let me know! The one with Penn and Teller was good, Susan Sarandon was awesome, the two part episode with Edward Snowden was eye-opening...

I love me some Neil deGrasse Tyson, haha.
I actually only just discovered it! I will definitely give it some serious attention.

Do you listen to Radiolab?
02-16-2016 08:21 AM
TailFin
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
Do you really think that you're "challenging people's world views" here? You're saying the same thing that's been said for hundreds of years by those who don't understand the scientific method. You're arguing against knowledge itself.

I have a genuine appreciation for the generations of scientists who have busted their butts determining truth from fiction only to have a bunch of people say, essentially, "My unfounded superstition is just as valid, so you might as well not have bothered."

I'm done, but I'll leave this here. It's a podcast on pseudoscience by Carl Sagan's successor, Neil deGrasse Tyson. https://youtu.be/bvk0Cy-plTg
That episode of StarTalk was awesome. @no whey jose , if you haven't listened to the entire thing (or any of the other StarTalk episodes), you should! If you need any recommendations on episodes, let me know! The one with Penn and Teller was good, Susan Sarandon was awesome, the two part episode with Edward Snowden was eye-opening...

I love me some Neil deGrasse Tyson, haha.
02-16-2016 08:12 AM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post
oh, I'm steeped in ignorance?

People really don't like their world views being challenged.

Look science is made up of people, everything they see is personal evidence; when they write it down and pass it on it becomes anecdotal. I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm just calling a spade a spade.

I believe in science, but it has its limits. I don't want to argue against science, so perhaps we can all just drop it, and get back to the onions..
Do you really think that you're "challenging people's world views" here? You're saying the same thing that's been said for hundreds of years by those who don't understand the scientific method. You're arguing against knowledge itself.

I have a genuine appreciation for the generations of scientists who have busted their butts determining truth from fiction only to have a bunch of people say, essentially, "My unfounded superstition is just as valid, so you might as well not have bothered."

I'm done, but I'll leave this here. It's a podcast on pseudoscience by Carl Sagan's successor, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
02-16-2016 06:49 AM
TailFin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post
perhaps we can all just drop it, and get back to the onions..
Agreed.

I love onions and garlic. I hate cutting them, but I love eating them.
02-16-2016 06:44 AM
Blobbenstein oh, I'm steeped in ignorance?

People really don't like their world views being challenged.

Look science is made up of people, everything they see is personal evidence; when they write it down and pass it on it becomes anecdotal. I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm just calling a spade a spade.

I believe in science, but it has its limits. I don't want to argue against science, so perhaps we can all just drop it, and get back to the onions..
02-16-2016 06:40 AM
TailFin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post
what has repeatability got to do with scientific evidence being anecdotal? It still involves people, doesn't it? People seeing things, people comparing things.....if a bunch of scientists tell some bloke what they saw, it's anecdotal.
You're incorrect. If it's repeatable, it's not anecdotal.

I'm not going to continue discussing the definition of anecdotal evidence vs. scientific evidence. If you want to believe your definition, please by all means join the groups of people that remain steeped in ignorance.
02-16-2016 06:30 AM
Blobbenstein
Quote:
Originally Posted by TailFin View Post
I'm sorry, but this is so so so so so so so so so so so so so so wrong.

Scientific evidence is not anecdotal, because it is repeatable. I can look through a microscope and see something bizarre. At that point, yes, it's anecdotal. However, I ask 50 of my peers to look through the microscope, as well. If we all see the same thing, it's not anecdotal at that point, it's scientific evidence to support a hypothesis.

If you see a ghost, let's try to repeat it. See it again? No? That's anecdotal evidence.

what has repeatability got to do with scientific evidence being anecdotal? It still involves people, doesn't it? People seeing things, people comparing things.....if a bunch of scientists tell some bloke what they saw, it's anecdotal.
02-16-2016 06:26 AM
TailFin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post
Even scientific evidence is only anecdotal evidence at root; say when a scientist looks into a microscope, he sees with his eyes, and interprets with his mind....without mind you have no science
I'm sorry, but this is so so so so so so so so so so so so so so wrong.

Scientific evidence is not anecdotal, because it is repeatable. I can look through a microscope and see something bizarre. At that point, yes, it's anecdotal. However, I ask 50 of my peers to look through the microscope, as well. If we all see the same thing, it's not anecdotal at that point, it's scientific evidence to support a hypothesis.

If you see a ghost, let's try to repeat it. See it again? No? That's anecdotal evidence.
02-16-2016 06:17 AM
TailFin So much discussion since I was last on...

That said, I'm going to make a few points from my perspective based on what's been posted so far.

1. Do we need to develop a 'time machine' to understand the Big Bang? It would be helpful, but it wouldn't be used for science, anyways. (It'd be used for war, what else?) That said, a telescope is a time machine. Astronomers are the only ones that can go back in time. When something is one light year away, it takes light one year to reach us. To put it into perspective, think of the immense distance between the earth and the sun. It has taken light around 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach us. In other words, we're seeing the sun as it was 8+ minutes ago. When we use a telescope or binoculars and look at the Orion Nebula, we're seeing it how it was over 1,300 years ago. That's how long it took light to reach us. We know this, because we can measure the speed of light. That is a known.

2. If someone sees a fire engine while walking down the street, no one has a reason to distrust you, because fire engines are real. If you say you saw a UFO in the air, we can start from the beginning--you saw an unidentified flying object. It could have been a strange cloud formation, or light reflecting off a jet, or [insert any possibility]. You don't know what you saw; it was unidentified. You didn't see aliens, or [insert belief here]. You don't know what you saw. Yes, it could have been aliens, but it could have also been a simple cloud. Occam's razor can be applied: among competing hypotheses, the one with the least amount of assumptions should be chosen. Was it aliens flying across the galaxy to spy on us or was it a cloud? It was a cloud.

When we don't understand something, we're too quick to run to the supernatural. That said, science can absolutely have respect for religion. This is one of my favorite quotes from my favorite person (Carl Sagan, haha):

Quote:
We are lost in a great darkness, and there is no one to send out a search party. Given so harsh a reality, of course we’re tempted to shut our eyes and pretend that we’re safe and snug at home… If it takes a little myth and ritual to get us through a night that seems endless, who among us cannot sympathize and understand. We long to be here for a purpose, even though, despite much self-deception, none is evident. The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning.
I agree with Carl Sagan. Of course I can sympathize with wanting to believe that there is something after death; I would love to see my grandfather again. I don't have a problem with people believing what they want. But when that belief starts to inhibit society, that's when I have a problem. Scientists are not going to churches/mosques/etc knocking on their doors telling the congregations that they're wrong. So why do religious people do this with science class?

Anyways, I'm not trying to turn this into a religious debate, because I don't argue religion vs. science. Religion has zero part in science, with the exception of psychology, archeology, or the like. Some scientists are religious, yes, but they don't let it influence their studies. If they do, they're not scientists.
02-16-2016 04:56 AM
Blobbenstein
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
That's not how evidence works. Your perception is unreliable. Perhaps it wasn't actually a fire engine, but a police car. You heard the siren, saw a flash of red, and made an erroneous assumption. Or perhaps, when telling the story to your friend, you misidentified the direction in which the fire truck was heading or the number of firemen on board. Maybe you see on the news later that your old workplace was on fire and you assume that the truck you saw was responding to it, so from that point on you always include that in your story even though you haven't verified that it's true. Anecdotal evidence does not hold the same weight as empirical evidence even when the person in question swears up and down that what he is saying is accurate, not because he's suspected of lying but because there are a great many psychological mechanisms at work which can make us believe things that aren't true.
life isn't all about science, and scientifically valid evidence. People's personal experience trumps that, for a lot of things.

Even scientific evidence is only anecdotal evidence at root; say when a scientist looks into a microscope, he sees with his eyes, and interprets with his mind....without mind you have no science; machines can't close the loop on their own.
02-16-2016 04:44 AM
ladyfey Nothing to do with thinking garlic and onion are wrong, but I avoid garlic because of the way it makes my mother smell. Something about her body chemistry doesn't react well with it. She doesn't smell like garlic, but develops a really pungent body odor. I never want to smell like that!
02-16-2016 02:39 AM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post
not to the person who experiences it.
If you walk down the street and are passed by a fireengine, that is evidence to you...later that day you might tell someone about that, and then it becomes anecdotal.
That's not how evidence works. Your perception is unreliable. Perhaps it wasn't actually a fire engine, but a police car. You heard the siren, saw a flash of red, and made an erroneous assumption. Or perhaps, when telling the story to your friend, you misidentified the direction in which the fire truck was heading or the number of firemen on board. Maybe you see on the news later that your old workplace was on fire and you assume that the truck you saw was responding to it, so from that point on you always include that in your story even though you haven't verified that it's true. Anecdotal evidence does not hold the same weight as empirical evidence even when the person in question swears up and down that what he is saying is accurate, not because he's suspected of lying but because there are a great many psychological mechanisms at work which can make us believe things that aren't true.
02-15-2016 05:28 PM
Lipps
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
Don't Jains refrain from eating root vegetables because harvesting them kills the plant? I could be misremembering this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shallot View Post
Yes - onions and garlics are roots or bulbs to be exact. If you eat the bulb or root of a plant you inevitably kill it.
It's a little more complicated than this. In ancient texts such as the Rigveda and Upanishads, the epic poems of the Mahabharata and Ramayana one can read about the 3 Gunas, or three "qualities" if you prefer.

The three Gunas rule over all aspects of life, food, behavior, conditions, etc..

In Jainism, one uses the Sattva as a guide to know what one can eat.

Sattvic foods are pure and uplifting. They promote balance and harmony within your body and mind. Sattva is always good

Rajasic foods promote passion, egoism, and energy. Raja can be good, bad, or neutral.

Tamasic foods promote lethargy, imbalance, chaos, delusions, negative feelings in general.
Tamas is always bad.

There are lists you can find on the WWW categorizing various foods among the 3 gunas. Most are fairly accurate. If you wish you can pick up a copy of the Bhagavad Gita (a part of the Mahabharata) and see a more accurate list.

Meat, eggs, fish, alcohol, onions, and garlic are all considered tamasic.

Note, Jains also have separate texts that contradict some food items that are considered sattvic by Hindus. For example, Honey and milk are considered sattvic by the Rigveda, but in the Purushartha Siddhyupaya, one of many Jain texts, honey and milk are strictly forbidden as it is considered violence toward honeybees and cows.
02-15-2016 04:38 PM
Blobbenstein
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
Personal experiences qualify as anecdotal evidence,
not to the person who experiences it.
If you walk down the street and are passed by a fireengine, that is evidence to you...later that day you might tell someone about that, and then it becomes anecdotal.
02-15-2016 04:35 PM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post
well, a lot of people have experience with the supernatural....it is evidence for them personally. It wouldn't be scientific of them to dismiss their experience. I think you can apply scientific thinking to the supernatural, even though I don't think science can really study it.

I for example have had clairvoyant dreams; and no, they weren't just coincidence. It isn't scientific to just dismiss experiences as coincidence over and over.
Personal experiences qualify as anecdotal evidence, which is notoriously unreliable because of the effect of cognitive bias on memory and interpretation. We tend to see patterns where none exist and to assign meaning to inconsequential events. For instance, it's normal for us to assume that if one event happens after another, then the second event was caused by the first-- even if, in reality, the two are unrelated. We also tend to more vividly remember those events which reinforce our superstitions,while conveniently forgetting or dismissing those events which run contrary to what we already believe. Human memory is faulty and our perceptions are unreliable. That's why empirical evidence is needed to confirm the validity of any given claim.
02-15-2016 04:21 PM
Blobbenstein well, a lot of people have experience with the supernatural....it is evidence for them personally. It wouldn't be scientific of them to dismiss their experience. I think you can apply scientific thinking to the supernatural, even though I don't think science can really study it.

I for example have had clairvoyant dreams; and no, they weren't just coincidence. It isn't scientific to just dismiss experiences as coincidence over and over.
02-15-2016 04:15 PM
no whey jose
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post
you might have heard of dark matter, NWJ.....I think it is supposed to compose something like 90% of the mass of the Universe, and yet they still have little clue what it is.

They might get there, but we should always be wary of thinking we got it all sussed.
We've been studying dark matter since the 1930s and we learn more about it with each passing decade. Trusting in science isn't about "thinking we got it all sussed." In fact, it's the exact opposite: it's being open to exploration, subjecting every new piece of information to rigorous scrutiny, and tweaking our larger picture of the universe to accommodate new information. Myth and superstition, on the other hand, remain stagnant. You can't justify a belief in something for which there is no compelling evidence by pointing out that scientists don't yet know everything there is no know about the universe. It doesn't make your case any stronger. If it did, we would have to treat EVERY idea, no matter how ludicrous, as a plausible idea on par with every other idea. Can you see how that's problematic? We would have to treat the idea that there are invisible burritos inside each of our skin cells, which I've just made up, as an idea of equal value to the concept of the existence of dark matter-- but it isn't of equal value, because there is compelling, observable evidence which supports the existence of dark matter, whereas the burrito thing is something ridiculous that I've just invented and which doesn't even make any sense. If we care about the truth-- if learning about reality is of any value to us-- then we need to be critical and thorough in our exploration of the universe.
02-15-2016 04:09 PM
silva well then there are these two....
02-15-2016 03:33 PM
Blobbenstein you might have heard of dark matter, NWJ.....I think it is supposed to compose something like 90% of the mass of the Universe, and yet they still have little clue what it is.

They might get there, but we should always be wary of thinking we got it all sussed.
02-15-2016 03:28 PM
no whey jose Ok, Wikipedia has a "simple English" version which attempts to explain complicated ideas in laymen's terms, which is helpful because cosmology is really, really complicated.

Quote:
Scientists base the Big Bang theory on many different observations. The most important is the redshift of very far away galaxies. Redshift is the Doppler Effect occurring in light. When an object moves away from earth, it looks reddish because the movement stretches the wavelength. The reddish color occurs because red is the lowest wavelength on the visible spectrum. The more redshift there is, the faster the object is moving away. By measuring the redshift, scientists proved that the universe is expanding and can even work out how fast the object is moving. With precise observation and measurements, scientists believe that universe was a singularity approximately 13.8 billion years ago. Because most things become colder as they expand, the universe is assumed to have been very hot when it started.[3]

Other observations that support the Big Bang theory are the amounts of chemical elementsin the universe. Amounts of hydrogen, helium, and lithium seem to agree with the theory of the Big Bang. Scientists also have found "cosmic microwaves background radiation". This radiation is known as radio waves, and they are everywhere in the universe. Even so, it is now very weak and cold, but a long time ago it was very strong and very hot.[1]
The article goes on to explain that what we DON'T know is whether the Big Bang was the beginning of time itself, or if perhaps there was another universe before our universe. It is theoretically possible that our universe exists inside a black hole which itself exists inside yet another universe-- so, yes, there are things that we don't yet know, but we undressed enough to know what is plausible, what fits with the laws which govern the universe, and what doesn't. By the same token, we know enough about biology to know that there is no such thing as a mystical force which causes physical ailments when its flow is disturbed. If you like, you can frame it in terms of imagination and the human psyche, turn it into a poetic metaphor, but it isn't "real" in the same way that a pancreas or a blood vessel is real.
02-15-2016 03:21 PM
Blobbenstein
Quote:
Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
We know about the Big Bang because we can observe the universe around us. When we look at things like galaxies, we can tell not only how far away they are from us in space, but in time, because it takes time for light to reach us. We have telescopes which are capable of viewing light from the beginning of the universe. It's truly awe-inspiring, and scientists across centuries have devoted their lives to this, to checking and double checking, scrutinizing, questioning, making absolutely sure that their conclusions are as accurate as humanly possible. That's why it's so frustrating to hear people speak of incredible scientific discoveries as though they were of equal value to untested superstitions. You cast doubt on something like The Big Bang Theory, an idea which is based on observable phenomena and has been scrutinized to death, only to say with complete conviction that you believe in the supernatural. It's absolutely baffling to me, to be honest!

what has the big bang got to do with my belief in the supernatural..?

Oh, I think the big bang did happen, well we believe the universe is expanding, and so it started off smaller, but what the big bang actually was, or was caused by, we still don't really have a clue...we can't go back and actually take measurements, and measurements and testing, are a big part of science.

We still have no idea what shape the universe is; whether it is a closed system, or infinite....maybe we'll never know.
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