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richrf
 
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 09:52 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;70103 wrote:
However I doubt the fruits of such personal soul searching will be as communicable or useful to others as scientific discoveries made in the meantime.


Hi,

Can't help it, can you?:bigsmile:

Rich
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 09:56 am
@TurboLung,
No, not at all, but I don't cast aspertions on scientists who I claim tell me not to do so - because that's not something I have encountered.
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 10:32 am
@Dave Allen,
Quote:
However I doubt the fruits of such personal soul searching will be as communicable or useful to others as scientific discoveries made in the meantime.


Well, do you believe that scientific discoveries are more useful to me than my personal thoughts about life?

I can tell you right off, that I could easily do without any scientific discovery since the dawn of time, as have my ancestors. However, my thoughts, I could not do without.

Rich
 
Aedes
 
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 10:47 am
@TurboLung,
TurboLung;70016 wrote:
"organic garbage" is life.
Wrong. I took a year of organic chemistry in college and not once did we talk about a life form. Methane (CH4) is organic. Ethanol (CH2OH) is organic. Alanine, the simplest amino acid (H3N-CH2-COOH) is organic.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 01:11 pm
@richrf,
richrf;70115 wrote:
Well, do you believe that scientific discoveries are more useful to me than my personal thoughts about life?

Well, it was more along the lines of scientific discoveries being more important to me than your personal thoughts on life.

I'm not slagging off contemplation per se, obviously all scientific discoveries result from contemplation. Nor do I feel that flights of imagination or fancy are to be sniffed at - I think they enrich our lives.

However, I don't want to seem too facitious here, but when someone on the other side of the world uses a computer to tell me that doing without science is easy and that I ought to consider the ramifications of the metaphysical - I kind of feel it's a little ungrateful and suspicious.

I don't doubt that you're sincere, but I think if science and it's trappings were as expendable to you as you seem to me to claim, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I also don't think of science as some purely modern game, though it's most obvious breakthroughs are of that ilk. For example, how did our ancestors know what plants were safe to eat or not? Was it through metaphysical pondering, or instinct, or as part of a process of trail and error - passing on that learning.

I think it was the latter - the learned ability to identify plants and pass on information about their properties. Botany, in other words.

Whilst instinctive drives might provide a basis for our survival, and flights of imagination give us the potential to develop further, both personally and culturally, I doubt anyone could simply "do without science". Cookery involves it, transport involves it, communication involves it, clothing involves it, housing involves it, and so on...
 
manored
 
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 01:30 pm
@TurboLung,
TurboLung;70016 wrote:


Scientisits have been trying to recreate life for years now in vaccum jars by striking electricity into water etc etc, with no success.

how could stupid, inanimate objects suddenly stick together in some impossible way to combine into a moving, living thing?

They did create some "organic soup" that way.

If you hit sufficient villages with a tornado, eventually you will see a boing 747 as the result. If you are luckly that will be on the first try. The universe is infinite, thus we have infinite villages to hit, and infinite stupid, inanimate objects to suddenly stick together in some impossible way to combine into a moving, living thing.

Dave Allen;70044 wrote:
Also: Can you explain to me what quantum theory would have to do with it? I am interested in quantum but I don't understand it very well. I suspect you are just name-dropping but I would love to know how quantum would increase the chances of life occuring in jars of water.
As far as I know one of the many things quantum mechanics suggests is that there are little "exceptions" to the laws of psychics all the time, like protons coming out of nowhere. So, given enough time, an incredible coincidence would happen to turn innanimate things into life.
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 01:35 pm
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;70143 wrote:
Well, it was more along the lines of scientific discoveries being more important to me than your personal thoughts on life.


To each his own.

People did survive before science. They just called it living.

Rich
 
manored
 
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 01:59 pm
@richrf,
richrf;70149 wrote:
To each his own.

People did survive before science. They should called it living.

Rich
It was science, just named another way. "Science" isnt some modern thing Smile

It feels like you see science like a father sees his son's musics.
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 02:18 pm
@manored,
manored;70152 wrote:
It was science, just named another way. "Science" isnt some modern thing Smile

It feels like you see science like a father sees his son's musics.


Yep, people just enjoying themselves doing their thing.

Of course, people throughout history were always observing, testing, measuring, and creating new things. At some point in history, some group discovered that they can differentiate themselves from the average prehistoric man, by claiming some special path to knowledge and truth (I guess they called it Proof) and labeled themselves as scientists. Voila! A new, well paid profession is born.

I think "science" as well as other type groups stems from the inevitable urge by some humans to differentiate themselves into groups and attempt, as best they can, to place themselves higher in the hierarchy than others. It is certainly a good marketing gimmick. Smile If within the general group called scientists, there exists this game. As children, we called it King of the Hill. But as you said, it could just as well be my child playing the piano. Smile

Rich
 
manored
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 01:18 pm
@TurboLung,
Wanna know why the scientific method was born?

Because, among other things, one guy left a box with some grain and some cloth on his basement for a few days and then checked up on it. Found a rat nest on it and declared that he had found the recipe to make rats from nothing Smile

So, see, Scientists werent born of greed, but of necessity. Claiming the universe was born in a big explosion doesnt becomes useless just because you dont know what was there before the big explosion
 
richrf
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 01:41 pm
@manored,
manored;70386 wrote:
Wanna know why the scientific method was born?

lol. Good story. But it is part of human history.

Because, among other things, one guy left a box with some grain and some cloth on his basement for a few days and then checked up on it. Found a rat nest on it and declared that he had found the recipe to make rats from nothing Smile

So, see, Scientists werent born of greed, but of necessity. Claiming the universe was born in a big explosion doesnt becomes useless just because you dont know what was there before the big explosion


Hi,

I don't think anything is necessary in life (maybe food, water, air Smile), but it IS. For me, the two are different. So science IS, but I don't think it is any more or less necessary than anything else that IS. For me, it is all equal.

Humans have throughout history been observing, measuring, reporting, etc. And they were always there. The ancient Mayas, Egyptians, Chinese, Muslims, Persians, etc. created some really interesting stuff. Whether or not they called themselves scientists, I don't know.

For me, I have also observed that throughout history, people attempt to differentiate themselves (Socrates: I know that I do not know), and then get a following and form a group, and then maybe earn a living from it.

Each of these groups attempts to position themselves higher in the hierarchy in order to get more money. Some of them get the government to pass laws in order to enshrine their position (this happens throughout history). And within any of these groups you will have stuff happening like that little rat story you told. No group is immune - though groups some may be hiding it from others than other groups.

I personally think the scientific method is a gas. Great marketing! No matter that every scientific study is eventually (or even coincidentally) refuted by another. Smile And that interpretations of the results are as subjective as any philosophy discussion one might have. For me, it's all a game.

So, to me it is all just another version of the game called King of the Hill, and the winner gets rewarded. It's fun, and it's part of life.

Rich
 
Aedes
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 02:06 pm
@TurboLung,
Rich, the computer you're using and the internet we're connecting through weren't just products of some wacky inventor in his basement. A tremendous amount of formal scientific research created these things that your life benefits from.

Even if your soul isn't satisfied by the answers science gives you, the life luxuries you enjoy thanks to science allow you to comfortably and conveniently pursue the things that do satisfy your soul. It's a rare person who is TRULY indifferent enough to science that they would just as soon go back to living in caves.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 02:14 pm
@TurboLung,
Well, even neanderthals had to figure out how to stitch together clothes, make stone axes, identify poisonous plants and fungi and animals, recognise predators from prey, make fire and so on.

And the understanding of such things was best through rationalising, imparting knowledge and hands on learning - rather than metaphysical musings.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 02:24 pm
@TurboLung,
But I'm not sure I'd call this inventiveness science.

Monkeys have figured out some tools, but that's not science either.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 02:43 pm
@TurboLung,
Surely idenitification and classification of animals and plants is biology, it might be rude biology but biology it is. Just like knowing a flint from a chunk of chalk is rude geology. Like knowing how to knap flint into an axe or arrowhead is rude engineering.

It's not rocket science or brain surgery, I agree, but it's more akin to them than pondering on a metaphysical flight of fancy. "These rocks shatter into hard sharp shards - these ones do not" is a scientific discovery.

As for chimp tool use - I think it would be anthopocentric to deny that it's a sort of science. Because some chimps know the tricks and some chimps do not it isn't merely a matter of instinct. It is an engineering feat that is taught amongst certain tribes of chimpanzees. Therefore some sort of trial and error, maybe even some sort of process of hypothesising, testing and concluding, must have gone into creating thin pliable sticks with which to extract termites and the like.
 
richrf
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 02:47 pm
@Aedes,
Hi everyone,

What is IS. For me, none is more important than the other. None is more necessary. It is all that IS. I play within it, observe it, comment on it, and explore within it.

If anyone feels that something is better, or more important, or more critical, or better in anyway than anything else, then that is fine with me. These notions exist everywhere (people kill each other over such notions) and I accept it as it IS. However, I see it from a different perspective. Not as a hierarchy but as a circle. (Though I play in hierarchies all the time, e.g. corporate environments).

Rich

---------- Post added at 03:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:47 PM ----------

Aedes;70395 wrote:
Rich, the computer you're using and the internet we're connecting through weren't just products of some wacky inventor in his basement. A tremendous amount of formal scientific research created these things that your life benefits from.

Even if your soul isn't satisfied by the answers science gives you, the life luxuries you enjoy thanks to science allow you to comfortably and conveniently pursue the things that do satisfy your soul. It's a rare person who is TRULY indifferent enough to science that they would just as soon go back to living in caves.


I play on the computer because that is where people play. I play in other ways also. I like dancing and tennis, and a whole bunch of things. If it is not one, then it would be the other for me. Face to face conversation is great also.

Rich
 
manored
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 04:19 pm
@richrf,
richrf;70392 wrote:

Each of these groups attempts to position themselves higher in the hierarchy in order to get more money. Some of them get the government to pass laws in order to enshrine their position (this happens throughout history). And within any of these groups you will have stuff happening like that little rat story you told. No group is immune - though groups some may be hiding it from others than other groups.

Rich
Forgot to mention the "rat story" was considered a proof for abiogenesis Smile

Things have no fundamental importance, only the importance we atribuite to then. Least you mean you actually give the same importance to everthing, what is impossible, there is no point in affirming that everthing values the same.. Its like claiming that there is no solid matter, only atoms pushing each other away.
 
richrf
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 05:05 pm
@manored,
manored;70424 wrote:
there is no point in affirming that everthing values the same.. Its like claiming that there is no solid matter, only atoms pushing each other away.


Hi,

It depends. When I am playing, certain things have value. No use playing chess, if not to win.

But when I am observing, it all seems equivalent and somewhat amusing. Camus called it The Absurdity of Life. Only, if you take it seriously, I think.

Rich
 
TurboLung
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 11:01 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;70119 wrote:
Wrong. I took a year of organic chemistry in college and not once did we talk about a life form. Methane (CH4) is organic. Ethanol (CH2OH) is organic. Alanine, the simplest amino acid (H3N-CH2-COOH) is organic.


Look up a dictionary.

---------- Post added at 03:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:01 PM ----------

Dave Allen;70044 wrote:
Impossible? The various chemical reactions are well understood, none of it is impossible. This video gives a nice primer into abiogenesis, which is the theory of how life began:

YouTube - 3 - The Origin of Life Made Easy (for schools)



Because a rock in a jar of water has no real correlation to the primordial soup.
  • The rock in the water is a static environment - the primordial soup was not.
  • Energy cannot be transferred to the jar like it was to the primordial soup (lightning, sunlight, ocean hot vents and so on).
  • There is no catalyst in the jar, there were catalysts in the primordial soup.
Also: Can you explain to me what quantum theory would have to do with it? I am interested in quantum but I don't understand it very well. I suspect you are just name-dropping but I would love to know how quantum would increase the chances of life occuring in jars of water.


Because once the process of abiogenesis is understood the only real objection to it occuring is the likelihood of the reactions needed to take place taking place.

Hence the need for time.



Just because something can be asserted it doesn't make it true.

Knowing what molecules would have been in the primordial soup and the conditions they were under it is easy to see why lipids would form given a modicum of knowledge of chemistry.

Without the properties of amino acids which attract lipids (a process that can be fully explained through natural selection) the lipids would have just floated singly, or formed bonds with one another.

The only purpose they can be said to perform for sure - the biological ones - need no designer to understand, they are explained fully through chemistry and biology. Their purpose is as a result of the chemical and biological processes, not for them.


Just elementary chemical reactions - no more special really than the formation of oxides or metals in the first place.


Well I hope watching the video will introduce you to the theory of abiogenesis and help allay any objections you might be having at the moment.



Thanks for the video, it explains plenty, except for the most crucial point; how non-living matter suddenly decided to live.

The presenter even tells us that this theory is not accepted by most and that there is a bit of poetic license in filling in the gaps.

At best, the presenter admits that this allows scientists to at least say that 'life did not just come from nowhere."

Another point, let's accept that these chemicals all connected to start life. Is it not absurdly coincidental that these ingredients are just there and connect in such a way to create life? Would this mean that life is nothing special and can be created almost anywhere with the right ingredients? A bit of this, a bit of that and maybe a Frankenstein-like lightning strike?

Also, in relation to the comment on quantum theory, I am not "dropping names" but having a bit of a joke, as quantum theory more or less allows for anything to happen or to be possible. Perhaps you are not aware of quantum theory.
 
richrf
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 11:13 pm
@TurboLung,
TurboLung;70532 wrote:

Thanks for the video, it explains plenty, except for the most crucial point; how non-living matter suddenly decided to live.


Hi,

How and why? This is the stuff of metaphysics.

I have read many books written by scientists/philosophers that readily admit the self-imposed limits of science - i.e. it limits itself to that which can be measured via instrumentation. How's and why's are simply not of interest to many scientists. This is fine. But, why does everyone else have to live within their self-imposed limits?

Words such as chemical reactions, catalysts, energy, etc. These are just words. They do not explain how it started. What was the impetus for the first movement? What is the impetus for any movement? What sparks an idea? What is consciousness? How did it begin? Why did it begin? This is the stuff of metaphysics and people have pondered this since the dawn of history. I say let's keep the winning streak going! Smile

Rich
 
 

 
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