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A Brief History Of Bunk


SciWalker
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Am currently listening to and very much enjoying this, from Mike Adams:

.

It's intelligent, philosophical.

(I could go through, pre-emptively, all the predictable negative responses -- which will either explicitly or implicitly suggest that 'science' must in some way surmount, in respect to all that is and can be known -- that will inevitably arrive here, but frankly it's too much bother.)

 

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I have listened to about half of it, and I like it.  It does bring out a lot of the problems involved with determinism and consciousness.

Thanks for posting.

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Am currently listening to and very much enjoying this, from Mike Adams:

.

It's intelligent, philosophical.

(I could go through, pre-emptively, all the predictable negative responses -- which will either explicitly or implicitly suggest that 'science' must in some way surmount, in respect to all that is and can be known -- that will inevitably arrive here, but frankly it's too much bother.)

 

Made it to 20:17 before violating Godwin's Law.  That's not bad for this sort of rant.

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Come on Rank, you know I respect you, but any mention of Nazi's and this is what we get? Isn't there any way someone can talk about dehumanization and not get in trouble with"Godwin's Law" mentioning Hitler? Sorry, but I have to say you are just dismissing this without thinking about it.

 

Anyway, I see that you think its not all bad.

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Gawd: i don't pretend to be knowledgeable enough in science to understand all he said. He was interesting and smooooothe. But, though he criticized determinism, the absence of

free will and the lack of consciousness in fair detail, he never attempted to explain how something outside of physics (god) causes free will or consciousness, or anything else. What is a feasible method or methods that god uses to cause consciousness and free will? And how does the speaker arrive at his "obvious" purpose of life? How is believing that

god did these things (including creation) without dealing with the question of "how"

enlightening?

This was a kind of apologetic argument in scientific language to impress the masses.

 

bill

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Come on Rank, you know I respect you, but any mention of Nazi's and this is what we get? Isn't there any way someone can talk about dehumanization and not get in trouble with"Godwin's Law" mentioning Hitler? Sorry, but I have to say you are just dismissing this without thinking about it.

 

Anyway, I see that you think its not all bad.

 

I watched half the video, and his Godwin moment was where I finally lost interest.  Science isn't equipped to answer every question, and I'll agree that it's more than a little arrogant when scientists literally try to claim "everything".  But bitching about it isn't enough.  I'm gonna have a hard time taking this bitching seriously if alternate explanations and tangible proof aren't being offered.  In the absence of tangible, verifiable proof- I'd might as well be reading the bible.

 

"I don't know" is a pretty honest and supportable answer where questions of consciousness are concerned.  Without evidence (and I don't consider anecdotes to be evidence), I can't go much further than that.

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Would you say that something could exist that has yet to be "proven" by the scientific method?

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Would you say that something could exist that has yet to be "proven" by the scientific method?

 

I'm confident that there are plenty of those things around.  No reasonable person would claim that science has explained everything.

 

But it is worth pointing out that we've never reliably explained anything via magic, spirits, or the like.  

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Nor did he objectively describe the current scientific explanations. The "Big Bang" theory, for

example.

It is not creation of something out of nothing. I think they estimate around 20 pounds of matter/energy at the time of the Bang Bang that imploded/exploded and make up the universe. As I understand it, the point is that this concept of 20 lbs. of incredibly dense matter is consistent with an

explosion/implosion of that matter causing the universe as it is now observed. They don't know where

the matter/energy came from. I read some opinions that it came from a black hole, but who knows? The

point is that science made a step in the right direction in trying to understand the origins of the

universe by this hypothesis

 

What is the opposition's explanation? "God." What does that mean? The Genesis explanation is, of course, ridiculous. Talk about making something out of nothing. Take a look at Genesis. bill

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Would you say that something could exist that has yet to be "proven" by the scientific method?

 

I'm confident that there are plenty of those things around.  No reasonable person would claim that science has explained everything.

 

But it is worth pointing out that we've never reliably explained anything via magic, spirits, or the like.  

 

The fact that it is unexplained doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

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Would you say that something could exist that has yet to be "proven" by the scientific method?

 

I'm confident that there are plenty of those things around.  No reasonable person would claim that science has explained everything.

 

But it is worth pointing out that we've never reliably explained anything via magic, spirits, or the like.  

 

The fact that it is unexplained doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

 

 

That's true.  And if we didn't investigate unexplained things, then we'd never explain anything new.

 

But if these 'unexplained' things can't be pinned down into reality via repeatable, verifiable proof... then they aren't worth a whole hell of a lot to me.  If a phenomenon only happens to other people- only when it's least expected and never when you're looking for it... or if you have to squint your eyes and look at it just right to 'see' it... then IMO it's likely bullshit.  That sort of bullshit is a byproduct of human existence- and I'm not necessarily saying that it's inherently bad.  I'm just saying that I don't take it very seriously.

 

Hell, I WANT to believe in Sasquatch and UFO's.  I know people who have seen both- ghosts, trolls, and psychic phenomena too.  I know people who have seen visions of hell and of course a slew of them talk to their magical skydaddy.  But it never happens to me.  And it never happens in a repeatable, verifiable fashion.  It's always some half-baked story half-remembered from a decade ago.  Or happened to somebody else.  Or accompanied by severe emotional distress and/or isolation.  So yeah maybe this shit is real and only happens at the most inconvenient times and magically just isn't there any time somebody tries to seriously investigate it.  Or maybe these are artifacts of the human mind- which can repeatably and verifiably come up with bullshit.

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Some of the people I know who have personally 'witnessed' ghosts, UFO's, and psychic phenomena are family. I know them very well, and have known them for a long time. And over the years, I've seen these same people recount incidents that I was involved in. I've noticed a consistent pattern: their recall of these incidents CHANGES over time. Added embellishments are usually subtle. They grow and multiply with time, and always serve to make the story a little more entertaining/interesting/relevant.

 

Now these people are not dishonest, and they're quite intelligent. But most of them have a more verbal/social kind of intelligence than my own soulless reductionism. They are definitely better-equipped than I am in lots of ways... but when it comes to pinning down specific facts - they're not very good at it. I defer to their judgement where complex social questions are concerned. But if something needs to be measured, verified, calculated, etc... they get it wrong more often than not. So when they tell me that some particular thing happened- I have no choice but to take it with a grain of salt. I know from experience that what they tell me MAY be entirely true... or it may be somewhat embellished or incorrectly remembered. Hell, I do the same thing to some extent- I think all functional humans do.

 

Now, these are normal, intelligent human beings - in my experience, their way of relating to the world is more typical than mine. We've all read about how notoriously unreliable eye-witness testimony can be. Embellishing and half-remembering is what we humans DO. So that's why I don't take anecdotes too seriously... that's why I have a hard time believing something that can't be repeated and verified - or better yet measured. Particularly where extraordinary claims are concerned.

 

And yes, I am an arrogant douche.

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Would you say that something could exist that has yet to be "proven" by the scientific method?

 

I'm confident that there are plenty of those things around.  No reasonable person would claim that science has explained everything.

 

But it is worth pointing out that we've never reliably explained anything via magic, spirits, or the like.  

 

The fact that it is unexplained doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

 

 

Of course.  Does anybody think that if something is unexplained then it must not exist?  Such a camp must be very rare.

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Would you say that something could exist that has yet to be "proven" by the scientific method?

 

billions of light years across. I would say 100% there are thousands of these things just dangling out there for us to find if we ever bother going.

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Some of the people I know who have personally 'witnessed' ghosts, UFO's, and psychic phenomena are family. I know them very well, and have known them for a long time. And over the years, I've seen these same people recount incidents that I was involved in. I've noticed a consistent pattern: their recall of these incidents CHANGES over time. Added embellishments are usually subtle. They grow and multiply with time, and always serve to make the story a little more entertaining/interesting/relevant.

 

Now these people are not dishonest, and they're quite intelligent. But most of them have a more verbal/social kind of intelligence than my own soulless reductionism. They are definitely better-equipped than I am in lots of ways... but when it comes to pinning down specific facts - they're not very good at it. I defer to their judgement where complex social questions are concerned. But if something needs to be measured, verified, calculated, etc... they get it wrong more often than not. So when they tell me that some particular thing happened- I have no choice but to take it with a grain of salt. I know from experience that what they tell me MAY be entirely true... or it may be somewhat embellished or incorrectly remembered. Hell, I do the same thing to some extent- I think all functional humans do.

 

Now, these are normal, intelligent human beings - in my experience, their way of relating to the world is more typical than mine. We've all read about how notoriously unreliable eye-witness testimony can be. Embellishing and half-remembering is what we humans DO. So that's why I don't take anecdotes too seriously... that's why I have a hard time believing something that can't be repeated and verified - or better yet measured. Particularly where extraordinary claims are concerned.

 

And yes, I am an arrogant douche.

 

I am am a pretty big asshole and I don't see any reason why a arrogant douche or an asshole shouldn't expect what any other reasonable critic would expect and that is verifiable tangible proof that exists someplace else other than in the persons head who has made a claim. Anecdotes are a waste of time for anything other than to amuse and entertain. True or not they do not generally show proof of anything but what happened in that limited case. It takes more than that for a wider scientific and skeptical community (you know those of us who use our brains for thinking and not serving fantasy gods) to accept a persons claim. Anyone just widely accepting anything they hear is a moron and their is nothing for it but patience.

 

The more extrodinary the stronger the proof needs to be period.

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Understanding a thing and demonstrating that it exists are two different propositions. We don't yet fully understand the mechanism gravity, but there is ample evidence that it exists. We don't understand how souls going to heaven works, but there is no evidence that those things even exist; how do we proceed with an unfounded assumption? 

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Deva: I kinda thought Adams exaggerated the supposed weakness of the Big Bang theory

and failed to disclose any basis for his belief in the soul,free will or a god beyond

physics. Don't you agree,for example, that the Big Bang theory presupposes the creation of something out of nothing is a misrepresentation of that theory? Further, he couched the universe in terms that would lead one to believe that scientists' contentions

about the universe are without any significant evidence. Dark energy and dark matter, he seems to suggest, show that this is true, and and that they somehow supply

support for his theory of a god outside of what can be learned through physics or other

fields of science. But I don't think anything he said is evidence of those matters,nor

proof that free will and a soul exists as gifts from a supreme being.

 

I am not saying that it is impossible for there to be a god, but nothing Adams said

moves us toward that conclusion. I think the existence of any god or soul is pure

speculation at this point. But if it is a god who has control of things that happens on earth,his existence is highly unlikely. I'm really interested in your thoughts on these

things. bill

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     Is this the same Mike Adams of NaturalNews?

 


Adams is an AIDS denialist, a 9/11 truther, a birther and endorses conspiracy theories surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. He has endorsed Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business, a movie about Stanislaw Burzynski. Steven Novella characterises Adams as "a dangerous conspiracy-mongering crank"[6]

     If so the site sounds pretty legit and we should probably listen to what he has to offer as a "science" expert:

 


It features guest authors such as Joseph Mercola and antivaccinationist Jon Rappoport and has featured interviews with Russell Blaylock, Sandor Katz and others. It defends Andrew Wakefield's fraudulent 1998 study linking autism to vaccinations and is also outspoken against gun control, TSA screening procedures, GMOs, and claims that CT scans and mammograms cause cancer. It claims that mercury fillings are dangerous and need to be removed, and defends Scientology, but its primary purpose is the promotion of alternative medicine and (often controversial) nutrition claims.

          mwc

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Deva: I kinda thought Adams exaggerated the supposed weakness of the Big Bang theory

and failed to disclose any basis for his belief in the soul,free will or a god beyond

physics. Don't you agree,for example, that the Big Bang theory presupposes the creation of something out of nothing is a misrepresentation of that theory? Further, he couched the universe in terms that would lead one to believe that scientists' contentions

about the universe are without any significant evidence. Dark energy and dark matter, he seems to suggest, show that this is true, and and that they somehow supply

support for his theory of a god outside of what can be learned through physics or other

fields of science. But I don't think anything he said is evidence of those matters,nor

proof that free will and a soul exists as gifts from a supreme being.

 

I am not saying that it is impossible for there to be a god, but nothing Adams said

moves us toward that conclusion. I think the existence of any god or soul is pure

speculation at this point. But if it is a god who has control of things that happens on earth,his existence is highly unlikely. I'm really interested in your thoughts on these

things. bill

 

I guess I didn't watch the part about the big bang. I don't remember it. I have to say that I am not terribly interested in how all this universe got started. I don't know if he misrepresented the theory or not. I haven't studied it very much. I don't find it all that compelling to wonder about how it all got started. Certainly there is evidence for the Big Bang theory. 

 

I just thought he had some good points about determinism and its consequences for morality.

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I just thought he had some good points about determinism and its consequences for morality.

 

 

But what's the alternative?  The only alternatives I'm aware of essentially boil down to magical thinking.  Am I missing something?

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I just thought he had some good points about determinism and its consequences for morality.

 

 

But what's the alternative?  The only alternatives I'm aware of essentially boil down to magical thinking.  Am I missing something?

 

 

Free will - at least to an extent. I have been told that physics supports this.

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I just thought he had some good points about determinism and its consequences for morality.

 

 

But what's the alternative?  The only alternatives I'm aware of essentially boil down to magical thinking.  Am I missing something?

 

 

Free will - at least to an extent. I have been told that physics supports this.

 

 

Can you define free will in this context?

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I just thought he had some good points about determinism and its consequences for morality.

 

 

But what's the alternative?  The only alternatives I'm aware of essentially boil down to magical thinking.  Am I missing something?

 

 

Free will - at least to an extent. I have been told that physics supports this.

 

 

I'm not too sure that Hawking's take on free will was accurately represented in the video- and neither am I sure that what was presented in the video is representative most people with a reductionist/deterministic view.  I'm pretty sure it was a caricature... or a straw-man if you prefer.

 

Personally I don't know if we really have consciousness or 'free will'.  Maybe we do via some 'emergent properties'- or maybe it's an illusion and everything we do or think is actually determined by physics and could theoretically be calculated.  And really I'm not sure if the question is all that important- or if we're CAPABLE of answering it.

 

Lots of complex systems (and even some simple ones) are modeled pretty well by equations that get into bifurcations, chaos theory, and the like.  Some quick examples I can think of are harmonic systems, weather patterns, even some mechanical linkages.  Hell, if you were to make an accurate equation describing a tree branch swaying in the wind- it could become ridiculously complex pretty quickly if you wanted to be precise about it.  So even if we understood how the human mind worked (and we don't in any detail)- there's no way we could define all the variables and measure the initial conditions precisely enough to make anything more than a crude approximation.  Look at weather forecasts- they're only accurate out to maybe a week.  They suffer from the same problem, as the equations they use become chaotic once you get a little bit past the initial conditions.  The brain is so much more complex that even if it IS deterministic- we just don't have the capacity to do much with that.  Maybe we will in the future, but I have my doubts.  And it won't be in our lifetimes.

 

I don't understand a whole lot about quantum mechanics.  When people start talking about different colors and flavors of quarks, I just kinda space out.  Relativity makes sense to me at least conceptually and on a dumbed-down level... but not QM.  But I understand enough about it to say that there's quite a bit of (apparently) random behavior involved- some of it is predictable only in terms of probability.  Well if these quantum-level interactions influence molecular behavior (and therefore neurons and the brain itself), then that's quite a bit of (apparent) randomness that's just been introduced.  And to top it all off, there's the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (which has nothing to do with meth-cooking)- which boils down to the notion that we can only measure particles at a quantum level by bouncing other particles/waves (like light) off them.  And in doing so- we move said particle every time we measure it.  IOW, we are not capable of directly measuring the position/speed/direction of a particle- all we can do is bounce something off it and make observations based on that.  So even IF all behavior in the universe is deterministic- there's a very real limit to the precision of our measurements.

 

All this is to say that unless/until we prove otherwise (and we won't within the foreseeable future), one might as well assume that we have free will.  We do have free will for all practical purposes.  And we don't have to resort to magical thinking to believe that.

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All this is to say that unless/until we prove otherwise (and we won't within the foreseeable future), one might as well assume that we have free will.  We do have free will for all practical purposes.  And we don't have to resort to magical thinking to believe that.

 

 

It think it boils down to the meaning of freewill.  If you shine a red laser dot on the wall does a cat have the freewill to not want to chase it?  If a person looks up in the sky do they have the freewill to choose to not see any shapes in the clouds?  If you bite into perfect chocolate do you have the freewill to not like it?

 

Or is freewill simply the perception that you make choices as you run your constantly-evolving program?

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