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Everything posted by chefranden

  1. Astronomers Find 90% More Universe! Astronomers have long known that many surveys of distant galaxies miss 90% of their targets, but they didn't know why. Now, astronomers have determined that a large fraction of galaxies whose light took 10 billion years to reach us have gone undiscovered. This was found with an extremely deep survey using two of the four giant 8.2-meter telescopes that make up ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and a unique custom-built filter. The survey also helped uncover some of the faintest galaxies ever found at this early stage of the Universe. Astronomers frequently use the strong, characteristic “fingerprint” of light emitted by hydrogen known as the Lyman-alpha line, to probe the amount of stars formed in the very distant Universe Yet there have long been suspicions that many distant galaxies go unnoticed in these surveys. A new VLT survey demonstrates for the first time that this is exactly what is happening. Most of the Lyman-alpha light is trapped within the galaxy that emits it, and 90% of galaxies do not show up in Lyman-alpha surveys. “Astronomers always knew they were missing some fraction of the galaxies in Lyman-alpha surveys,” explains Matthew Hayes, the lead author of the paper, published this week in Nature, “but for the first time we now have a measurement. The number of missed galaxies is substantial.” Read the Rest Here
  2. chefranden


    I'm not having any problem. You want there to be something else then what is. I spent many years wanting Middle Earth to be real, but that didn't make it real. Even now I'd like this warm caring made specially for humans universe to be real. It just isn't that's all. Hell I would even quote Holy Texts if it would make every thing nice and cozy. Doesn't a good Zen believer believe that "I" am an illusion? Well it turns out to be true. "I" am an illusion projected by matter gathered in a certain arrangement, an illusion that perceives itself and fools itself into believing it is something other. I'm not quite sure what you mean by dualism. I would agree with you that everything is one. But it is not one spiritual thing. It is one physical thing.
  3. chefranden


    The cells are not disassociated. I dare say that disassociated cells would not project an "I". The brain is a set of associated cells. I'm not knowledgeable enough to describe the mechanism in detail. To my knowledge, nobody has acquired this knowledge in total yet. But the science is all pointing in this direction. I haven't heard of any science that points to something transcendent. One possible exception is Rupert Sheldrake, but I think that he is widely regarded as a crackpot. But even he has a physical mechanism, a morphic field. However even if there were something "transcendent" one would still be stuck with explaining the mechanism. How does that thing know it's "I". Pushing the problem to some other realm doesn't explain it. That's right the thermostat doesn't have sufficient redundancy to produce a recursive loop (a loop that refers to itself or its own state). Nevertheless it can detect the temperature and use the data to effect an action. Most of my brain circuits operate the same way i.e. they detect conditions and initiate actions without reporting to conscious or being conscious. Most of my stored data is not knowledge, that is most of it is not being examined or manipulated by consciousness at any one time. In point of fact my consciousness is unable to handle very much stored data or new incoming data at one time. It is very limited even though it feels vast. In addition though my "I" feels like it is in charge, experience has shown me that it is not. My body will easily take "I" over in many circumstance. Even Paul noticed this: "...I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." The brain has small portion of circuits that are of sufficient complexity to be aware of a rather vague notion of its state of being. These circuits are not of sufficient complexity to be aware of how they are achieving this awareness. If you want a more detailed explanation read Douglas Hofstatdter. All analogies have short comings. If you will notice I said that what you see in a mirror is the reflection, my point being that the eye cannot see itself. I think that cognitive science will be able to explain consciousness, but that will not amount to grokking what it is. That is if and when I know the mechanism behind consciousness, my consciousness will still feel the same. It will still feel separate from the body, and it will still feel itself a unity. My point about the mirror is also that a human can use a tool to find out things that it cannot sense directly. The idea of soul has not proven to be such a tool, maybe cognitive science will prove inadequate for the whole, but it has so far proven itself superior to 1000's of years of theologians and the "science" of theology in understanding what is going on.
  4. chefranden


    Wrong world space????? I only know of one world space. Wrong language??? Sorry I only know English. Subjective reality requires a subject, and the subject requires -- is contingent on -- matter. Subjective reality is not the foundation for objective reality. Objective reality is the foundation of subjective reality i.e. with out matter and it's interactions you don't have "Thought. Emotion. Ideals. Dreams. Hopes. Faith. Vision. Desire. Aspiration. Love. Respect. Disgust. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc." If this other(right)world exists you only need to get it out for us to see. Let's see "Thought. Emotion. Ideals. Dreams..." apart from matter. I understand your reluctance to put this "right world, on the table because then it will disappear just like a god would. It will be harder to pretend that the universe has some warm fuzzies for us. Now I like warm fuzzies as much as the next guy, but if you want them you'd better look to some of your fellow humans, because the universe just plain doesn't give a shit -- and most humans don't give a shit about you either. I'm not trying to be negative about the universe here. The universe is not trying to be mean. The universe has no intentions at all. Most of it is not organized in a fashion that projects intentions. Culture is also contingent on matter. Culture needs humans (or some sort of animal). Humans don't exist apart from matter. Therefore culture does not exist apart from matter. No dancers, no dancing. No singers, no singing. Subjective you cannot enjoy Bach with it's physical ears and brain. The truth of the matter is no brain, no Bach. This arrangement cannot be reversed i.e. it cannot be said no Bach, no brain.
  5. So then, people have been worshiping zombies for a long time...
  6. Oh Yah! Schaeffer was all the rage when I was in Bible Collage. I think that that his books primed me for intellectual deconversion and I still look for absurd ends.
  7. chefranden


    What is this internal world really? Let's place it on the table like we'd ask a Christian to do with God, or a soul, or an angel... What is it made out of? Maybe it is not made of anything, maybe its some sort of amorphous nothing that nevertheless contains all the information needed to make matter do all the stuff it does. When something is actually unfolded, say a human, what does one find? More stuff that's what one finds -- chemicals, electrons... and interactions. Where is the human? It's back up there where you started to take it apart, and that is the only place it is. There is nothing in there that is human, i.e. no dabs of humanness. And there is nothing out there that is human. Humanness is a human nothing more nothing less. Except for complexity, a human is very like a brick wall. Take away enough bricks and there is no wall left, and more importantly to this discussion there is no wallishness left. There is no interior where the mystery of wallishness dwells, nor is there any interior where the mystery of humanness dwells. The interior is the world of stuff -- that is what is in there. But you could easily prove me wrong. Just put some of this interior fabric on the table.
  8. No, I usually wake up hoping someone else has made the coffee. But randomness doesn't cause all this. Natural selection does. Randomness only supplies the contestants for natural selection.
  9. chefranden


    You need to read I Am A Strange Loop. An interesting dismissive word this "mere". Self-identity is a brain state. What else could it be? Even if you invoke the ghost in the machine then self-identity is a mere ghost state. It seems self evident to me that self-identity is a brain state, because of the numerous times that I (my brain) is not self aware. Your computer is not self aware, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't be with the sufficient circuitry to run a self aware program. And that program doesn't have to be complete, that is it doesn't have to be aware of exactly what all the circuits are doing to say I am. Evolution discovered a certain measure of self awareness was useful for survival in this species. I say a certain measure because we are not completely self aware even when the feeling of awareness seems complete. Since I can't directly grok what my brain is doing to produce "I am" it seems that this "I am" is something in addition to or other than a brain state. "I am" is an illusion something like a hologram that looks like a graspable object, but is not actually available to the hand that reaches for it. Like a hologram needs a projector a self needs a brain. All you have to do to disprove this is produce a self that doesn't have some sort of apparatus associated with it. This shouldn't be any more difficult then producing a hologram without a projector.
  10. chefranden

    Who Are We?

    What the hell is a soul, and how do you know that it is rational? I would say that thriving is the goal that happiness helps produce. But even "to thrive" is a temporary state. Permanent happiness is impossible in a human. You may maintain that you are happy and that you have been happy for a long time, but that is still not permanence.
  11. [quote name='Kerplunk' date='18 March 2010 - 04:48 PM' timestamp='1268948880' Since when is there no free will in Heaven? I think there is a confusion about free will and license. At least within the Thomistic-Franciscan dialogue there has been a question whether happiness once attained could be lost. Francis, having such a deep respect for human free will, maintained that it was possible for a person to enjoy the splendors of Heaven and subsequently reject it. Thomas, however, stated that the joy experienced in Heaven would be so great that it would not be possible for a person to imagine rejecting said happiness. Nevertheless, they both maintained that free will exists in Heaven. -Kerplunk Any prolonged state in a human will produce fatigue including ecstasy. This is why even the most delighted lovers will eventually get up and take a piss. Unless human nature changes upon arrival in heaven the splendor will eventually be rejected as boring. Thomas clearly did not know what a human is and Francis was closer to the mark.
  12. Let me bounce some ideas off of you Chef. Say we do acknowledge the model of natural systems as some arrangement and dynamic of mass/energy and four forces (I guess you mean gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak interactions). I think under this model, accurate as it may be, we only examine two causes, namely material and efficient causation. That's the capability of the model. However when we examine an organized material system other models are available for us. Even Shyone's stack of bricks example may provide us with a hint. We are free to ask "why?" about a stack of bricks and thereby inquire into it's function. For instance, I may be using a stack of bricks as a table support. The stack entails things that a set of bricks which are not stacked do not entail. Further, we can realize the function of a table support in many different ways. The important aspect is that all of them serve the same functional role as a stack of bricks. If we accept this explanation then we are acknowledging the objective existence of a certain limited form of final causation. Therefore we need models which are capable of expressing it. All of the organizing principles of matter are found in matter, that includes the functions that matter does. The question "why?" implies purpose rather than "what's the function?" That is it implies some sort of entity with plans. This entity is not in evidence. Function is a description of what matter is doing at the moment it is not a description of purpose that is located somewhere outside of matter. Now you can say you have a purpose in stacking the bricks, but that does not locate purpose outside of matter. You are matter too. It is your function to stack the bricks and you are matter doing something.
  13. It appears that the world was made for Jellyfish. Now that's special.
  14. What is hell?? Reading Thumbilina's long and boring posts.
  15. I'm sorry to say that this tired bromide doesn't let God off the hook. It only offers an explanation of how God creates evil. God creates evil by absenting himself, though one wonders how an omnipresent being manages this feat.
  16. Turn or burn. Some choice. I know you think you've laid a beautiful Easter egg here, but it is a turd. At least it isn't all garishly formatted like the usual forward, thanks for that.
  17. Yes it is "unfortunate", but then everything with God is unfortunate. It is nice that God took the time to straighten you out. Too bad he doesn't do that with everyone. This one does wonder why the HS can't straighten out your anger issues, and make you a kinder gentler person that doesn't go about beating people up---- but then God was always a bit of a drama queen. Just ask Lot's wife.
  18. Odds Are, It's Wrong For better or for worse, science has long been married to mathematics. Generally it has been for the better. Especially since the days of Galileo and Newton, math has nurtured science. Rigorous mathematical methods have secured science’s fidelity to fact and conferred a timeless reliability to its findings. During the past century, though, a mutant form of math has deflected science’s heart from the modes of calculation that had long served so faithfully. Science was seduced by statistics, the math rooted in the same principles that guarantee profits for Las Vegas casinos. Supposedly, the proper use of statistics makes relying on scientific results a safe bet. But in practice, widespread misuse of statistical methods makes science more like a crapshoot. It’s science’s dirtiest secret: The “scientific method” of testing hypotheses by statistical analysis stands on a flimsy foundation. Statistical tests are supposed to guide scientists in judging whether an experimental result reflects some real effect or is merely a random fluke, but the standard methods mix mutually inconsistent philosophies and offer no meaningful basis for making such decisions. Even when performed correctly, statistical tests are widely misunderstood and frequently misinterpreted. As a result, countless conclusions in the scientific literature are erroneous, and tests of medical dangers or treatments are often contradictory and confusing. Replicating a result helps establish its validity more securely, but the common tactic of combining numerous studies into one analysis, while sound in principle, is seldom conducted properly in practice. Experts in the math of probability and statistics are well aware of these problems and have for decades expressed concern about them in major journals. Over the years, hundreds of published papers have warned that science’s love affair with statistics has spawned countless illegitimate findings. In fact, if you believe what you read in the scientific literature, you shouldn’t believe what you read in the scientific literature. “There is increasing concern,” declared epidemiologist John Ioannidis in a highly cited 2005 paper in PLoS Medicine, “that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims.” Read the Rest of the Story
  19. 1. According to my own experience I find it amazing that you could go back. I experienced some of the same sort of stress you mention upon realizing the non-existence of God. But I never figured out how to undo that, and at one time I would have if I could have. Those stresses passed, thank god. 2. Feelings are compelling, but they are not proof of reality. If this were the case then all gods would be real. Nevertheless, people are much more about feeling then they are about reason. Back when I was coming up there was this saying, "If it feels good, do it."
  20. Chef I apologize for being late to this question. I didn't see it. I am unfamiliar with the Theory of Forms. What I am trying to convey, for about the 1000th time, is based on the work of biologist Robert Rosen and it's called a relational approach to the study of organized natural systems. But I feel that I'm not doing a very good job of it, and the reason is fairly simple. I don't believe I understand it well enough yet. I think if I understood it sufficiently then I would be able to explain it with less trouble than I'm currently having. Legion, Sometimes it's not the explaining, it's the ears it falls on. Oh yes I did go there y'all! I'm not picking on Chef particularly...Shyone and Chef are a double headed monster! You two better know that I love to because I respect and like you. Don't worry about it. The problem with ears is that they are insufficient detectors of reality if one really wants to know what is at the bottom of things.
  21. I'm not familiar with Rosen either. However I don't see how he could demonstrate the independence of this organization from matter. The matter in these organization is intimately involved with it's own passing through. There would be no breathing apart from the matter of your lungs and diaphragm, and no digestion apart from the matter that makes up your digestive system. The fact that this matter is exchanged for other matter does not show that organization is something different than the matter that is organized. If you have three bricks in a stack you can exchange one or all of them for different bricks and still have a stack of bricks. However without some bricks you still cannot have a brick stack.
  22. Ah, my longstanding and friendly nemesis, Shyone. Yes, I think I have acknowledged as much. But organization can be materially manifested in many different ways, and can be examined independently of matter. Think of how many ways there are to make a can opener, or a house, or any tool. We are not interested here with what entails the tool, rather we are interested in what the tool entails. You seem to be espousing the Theory of Forms, is this correct? Chef, I swear to the gods, we are of one mind. Just amazing.
  23. Chef I apologize for being late to this question. I didn't see it. I am unfamiliar with the Theory of Forms. What I am trying to convey, for about the 1000th time, is based on the work of biologist Robert Rosen and it's called a relational approach to the study of organized natural systems. But I feel that I'm not doing a very good job of it, and the reason is fairly simple. I don't believe I understand it well enough yet. I think if I understood it sufficiently then I would be able to explain it with less trouble than I'm currently having. Theory of Forms It sounds like this involves organization as one thing and matter as another. Then somehow they get together? I wonder what this organization is made out of and how it interacts with matter. I'm at a loss to understand why it has to be postulated. The four interactions as properties of matter seem to be sufficient to organize matter into the forms we find. I don't see how one would separate the interactions from the matter. As Shyone has noted you need bricks to make a stack of bricks. It can easily be demonstrated that bricks can exist apart from brick-stackishness, but I fail to see how brick-stackisness can exist apart from bricks. Of course the concept of brick-stackishness can exist in your head, but that isn't actual brick-stackishness either. That concept would actually be some arraignment of neurons. As with bricks and stackishness neurons are required to have the concept, but the concept is not required to have neurons.
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