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Darwin's warm pond theory tested
BBC News ^ | 13February2006 | Rebecca Morelle

Posted on 02/16/2006 6:00:37 PM PST by jwalsh07

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To: muir_redwoods
Nice talking to you.

LOL, projection is your business.

51 posted on 02/16/2006 9:24:41 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: GSHastings; fizziwig; jec41; narby; PatrickHenry
[Maybe if someone would ever start arguing with "evolutionists" based on logic, we'd actually be able to test that hypothesis.]

So then, the Earth isn't round, and planets don't go around the Sun, and science never proved it, and is not capable of proving it because science can't prove anything. Is that your position?

That wasn't actually the point I was making in that post, but since you ask...

No, science does not deal in "proof". Nor does any other epistemology which deals with real-world things. "Proof" is an impossible standard in this real world. Proof is only possible in artificial realms like mathematics, where every rule and premise is exactly known because it is defined by fiat.

In the real world, however, we have to be content with lesser degrees of certainty, and less ironclad means of acquiring knowledge, because there is *always* the possibility of someday discovering something which upsets the earlier conclusions and requires their modification or replacement.

I'm not saying the Earth isn't round or that planets don't go around the Sun. There is abundant and overwhelming evidence sufficient to establish beyond reasonable doubt that it is and they do. But it is an error to mistake this for "proof" or justification for absolute, complete certainty. To use an extreme example, we might be wrong because we're actually being deceived by a Matrix-like simulation, and our real Solar system is actually something different entirely. For a more prosaic example, it might be a mistake to say that the "planets go around the Sun" because either absolute position and/or motion is an illusion and all frames of reference are equally valid (a la Einstein's relativity), or because (as recent quantum investigations may be hinting) position and motion itself is an emergent illusion due to the properties of an underlying holographic reality.

For another example, for a very long time many people would have been tempted to offer Newton's Laws of Motion as something that had been "proven". And yet, it turns out that the reality is actually much more complex, and Einstein's Relativity needs to be added to them in order to avoid serious errors under many conditions. Oops! If anyone thought they had "proof" of the validity of Newton's laws, they were quite wrong. Reality can *always* throw you a curve even after you think you have all the bases covered and have verified something to the exclusion of any error.

This is not to say that anyone who maintains that the Earth is round and/or the planets revolve around the Sun should be chastised or ridiculed -- quite the contrary, I would cheerfully ridicule anyone who tried to deny either proposition. But at the same time, I would correct anyone who maintained that either proposition had been "proven" in the sense of a mathematical proof. They have not, and they can not, be *proven*. What they have been is *established* as quite likely to be true by evidence and by testing and by having survived potential falsification tests. But this is still not *proof*. "Proof" is a different kind of standard, and indeed a different kind of method entirely.

In ordinary conversation it is acceptable to use the word "proven" as a synonym for "demonstrated" or "established beyond reasonable doubt", but in a scientific discussion, the exact nature of a proposition's state of certainty (and how that has been arrived at, and what holes that leaves open for incompleteness or applicability or error) is a big part of the whole point. Science is all *about* what has been learned, how, by what methods, how far this can be trusted, what openings are left for new surprises, what is left unexplained, etc. Cavalierly saying that something has been *proven*, when indeed it has not, is inexcusably sloppy thinking, and wildly simplistic (not to mention wrong).

While to layman it may sometimes appear that every concept in science is either held with a reckless certainty, or just a wild unsupported guess, in reality it's actually a grand mix of every degree of certainty in between (but *never* complete, we-know-we're-not-possibly-wrong certainty). Science never deals in certainties. Anyone honest with themselves will admit they can never be truly *certain* about anything (not counting the dishonest kind of "certainty" arrived at by simply refusing to consider that one might possibly be mistaken), because we're always working from incomplete knowledge and subject to human error. No one is omniscient.

But science arose from methods dealing with how to get by, and how to acquire reliable and usable knowledge, despite the lack of absolute certainty on anything. The short form is that every conclusion is provisional, and comes with mental footnotes attached concerning how complete or how poor the evidence/testing of that conclusion is, and what holes remain to be filled, etc. The flip side, however, is contrary to the layman's impression, the best progress is made *not* by only adopting the conclusions which have been established to, say, 99% confidence levels, but by using even conclusions with better than, say, 20% confidence levels, AS LONG AS one keeps in mind which conclusions are very well established and which are more tentative and one doesn't bet one's life or space probe or whatever on the more shaky ones. BUT, the point is that like an engineer who needs to complete a project with less than 100% of the information necessary, one has to go with the best conclusions one can arrive at based on the less-than-complete picture one has at the moment. ...while always striving to fill in the gaps when possible. Science is all about using the best knowledge available at any given time, even when it's not as good as you'd prefer. As it turns out from long experience, this is a far more productive method than just saying "hell, we don't know for sure" and refusing to proceed until everything is known to 99% confidence levels (or at least *appears* that way, confidence levels themselves are something that might be due to poorer information than one might presume).

So in sum, scientists get pretty picky about how certainty levels are described, because they're trained to always keep an eye on them.

52 posted on 02/16/2006 9:26:09 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Lochlainnach
there are still hollow spots in the theory

And no doubt always will be. There is always "more to learn", about everything. Though on the whole, we know far more about the theory of evolution than we do about the theory of how gravity works. While there is little doubt among those who understand the issues, that evolution and gravity both "work".

Evolution is, so far, the "best" explanation (theory) for how the species came to exist, then often die off, over the eons. What anti-evolutions don't understand is that it is not sufficient to simply poke holes in evolution to "make it go away". Evolution theory must be *replaced* by something else that explains all that evidence better than evolution theory does. So far, they're not even off the starting block, and they don't even recognize how far they have to go.

53 posted on 02/16/2006 9:28:51 PM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: RussP
But that's semantic quibbling

See my prior post. To a scientist, it *isn't* just quibbling, it goes to the heart of science.

54 posted on 02/16/2006 9:29:20 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: narby

"No. All that means is we can't tell you today exactly how life began via naturalistic means. Like we couldn't tell you 100 years ago that the mechanism of inheritance was DNA."

You just don't get it, do you. Not only do we not know today how life began via naturalistic means, but we don't know if we will *ever* know. And not only do we not know "how" it could have happenned, but we really and truly do not know if it actually happened by purely naturalistic mechanisms. You assume that it did, but that is nothing but an assumption.

You claim that we may know someday how it happened, but that's nothing more than a guess and a hope. Get it? Hope has *nothing* to do with science. If you weren't so blinded by your assumptions, that would be obvious to you.



55 posted on 02/16/2006 9:32:54 PM PST by RussP
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To: Ichneumon
Darwin hypothesized that life began in a warm pond. You have on occasion advocated vents and clay as the proving ground for the OOL. This study argues against those hypotheses.

That is the point of the thread. Nothing more, nothing less.

56 posted on 02/16/2006 9:33:05 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: Ichneumon
"Wonder when people will ever bother to learn enough about biology and/or Darwin to snap to the fact that the origin of life is in no way any part of "Darwin's theory"."

That may be, but it became difficult to tell the difference after the Scopes Trial seemingly blended the two in the minds of the public. The prosecution said humans were created and did not evolve from monkeys, or at least that was the basis of the law there concerning Scopes' penalty for teaching 'evolution.'

Ever since, I suspect most folks still believe Darwin included humans as one of the groups that evolved over a period of time, rightly or wrongly. If he did, wouldn't that show that Darwin rejected the idea of 'man' popping up all at once out of the blue, so to speak? Or am I still not undertanding your point?

Thanks for your comment.

57 posted on 02/16/2006 9:43:08 PM PST by Eastbound
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To: jwalsh07

What a "crock"!


58 posted on 02/16/2006 9:44:37 PM PST by G Larry (Only strict constructionists on the Supreme Court!)
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To: jec41

There are no variations of 1 in mathematics. 1 is 1. 1.0999 is 1.0999. 1 does not equal 1.099, et al. 1 is defined as a natural number, 1.0999 is not. And while there are no "simple proofs" that 1+1=2, it can be proved and has been. I leave that as an exercise for you.


59 posted on 02/16/2006 9:50:07 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: G Larry

Which crock Larry?


60 posted on 02/16/2006 9:51:01 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: RussP
And not only do we not know "how" it could have happenned, but we really and truly do not know if it actually happened by purely naturalistic mechanisms.

You just don't get it, do you.

WHAT non-naturalistic mechanism has *ever* been identified. ANY non-naturalistic mechanism. Any faith. Any sacred stone demonstrated to have non-naturalistic power. Any reproducible evidence for any such ghost whatever.

And then you've got to demonstrate that it's reasonable that this as-yet-undiscovered non-natural phenomenon created life billions of years ago.

Let me know when you get off the starting block.

61 posted on 02/16/2006 9:55:17 PM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: Ichneumon

If we're going to refer people to earlier posts, may I suggest that you read my post #29 if you haven't done so already.


62 posted on 02/16/2006 9:55:40 PM PST by RussP
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To: jwalsh07

This should be hilarious...can't wait to see the "findings."


63 posted on 02/16/2006 9:56:56 PM PST by DennisR (Look around - God is giving you countless observable clues of His existence!)
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To: microgood

But...but...but they are "scientists."


64 posted on 02/16/2006 9:57:41 PM PST by DennisR (Look around - God is giving you countless observable clues of His existence!)
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To: RussP
Actually, it's a hypothesis rather than a "theory." You got me on that one. But that's semantic quibbling and is beside the main point.

I would disagree but not to be critical or your thought but provide definition. Science, philosophy, and Mathematics are strictly defined by the method of each and if thought does not fall in one of these methods it is opinion. By definition science is the observation and explanation of a material fact (as evolution), philosophy seeks to prove or disprove the unknown (as faith and belief) by argument, and mathematics designates symbols and numbers to provide proofs and laws for things that occur and are known to exist but are not a material fact (as gravity). None of the methods can affirm or refute the other. If one remembers these three things their thought can be better presented.

Evolutionists routinely claim that the theory of evolution is separate from the origin of life. That's technically true, but if the origin of life cannot be explained by purely naturalistic means, that more or less blows away the notion that science must be premised on pure naturalism, eh?

Evolution is different from the origin of life. Evolution exists as a material fact and therefore can be observed by the method of science. The origin of life is unknown and does not exist as a material fact but as faith and belief. Therefore it is observed by philosophy. Neither can refute the other. However if a origin of life could be produced by experiment, or could be found to occur in nature, it would be observed as a material fact and could be explained by science. Until the origin of life is observed as a material fact science can do nothing and the origin of life will remain philosophy and unknown.

65 posted on 02/16/2006 10:04:12 PM PST by jec41 (Screaming Eagle)
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To: narby

"WHAT non-naturalistic mechanism has *ever* been identified. ANY non-naturalistic mechanism. Any faith. Any sacred stone demonstrated to have non-naturalistic power. Any reproducible evidence for any such ghost whatever."

Sorry to pop your little bubble, but pure naturalism cannot even explain consciousness. If you think it can, you simply don't understand the problem.

While we're at it, do you believe that any conscious being exists other than yourself? If so, give me your evidence. If not, then why did you reply to me earlier (if I'm just a mechanism)?


66 posted on 02/16/2006 10:07:57 PM PST by RussP
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To: Ichneumon
Well said!

I've tried to make some of the same points on a few of these sorts of threads. Anyone invoking the name of science to make their arguments needs to understand that the scientific method is based on attempts to falsify a theory -- not on an attempt to prove it.

The case for the ToE can be made effectively by stating that it has withstood many attempts to falsify it. Anyone who tries to assert that the ToE has been proven is being counter-productive -- because they are not being "scientific".
67 posted on 02/16/2006 10:09:55 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA (")
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To: RussP; Ichneumon
Sorry to pop your little bubble...

We can get to that right after you demonstrate any non-naturalistic mechanism. Maybe statistical studies of palm reading. Horoscopes maybe. Anything.

I'm not up on your question of consciousness, but it sounds more like philosophy than science. I see no problem with imagining my little computer between the ears being the source of consciousness (knock yourself in the head with a hammer then tell me your consciousness is *not* in your physical brain).

Right after you conclusively demonstrate the existence of any supernatural phenomenon then you can try to attach that thing to consciousness.

Good luck.

68 posted on 02/16/2006 10:19:15 PM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: jec41; RussP
Somebody should tell these guys that Exobiology is not science.
69 posted on 02/16/2006 10:24:55 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: narby
Evolution is, so far, the "best" explanation (theory) for how the species came to exist, then often die off, over the eons. What anti-evolutions don't understand is that it is not sufficient to simply poke holes in evolution to "make it go away". Evolution theory must be *replaced* by something else that explains all that evidence better than evolution theory does. So far, they're not even off the starting block, and they don't even recognize how far they have to go.

HEAR, HEAR!!! Few or none could provide explanation for a thing absent the explanation that already explains the thing.

70 posted on 02/16/2006 10:27:00 PM PST by jec41 (Screaming Eagle)
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To: RussP; narby; jec41
The "theory" of how the first living cell came to be has always intrigued me.

There is no "theory of how the first living cell came to be". There are a lot of potential hypotheses, though.

No matter what anyone calculates as the odds against it, naturalists will always reply that, "given enough time and space, anything can happen."

No, actually, they won't. Not only do they not "always" reply that way, but to be quite frank I can't recall *EVER* seeing any naturalist give such a vapid answer as what you have described. I have on the other hand seen their real responses *misrepresented/misunderstood* that way.

What they *will* usually respond are one or more of: a) demonstrations that when "anyone calculates the odds against it" their mathematical models are laughably naive and incomplete, so their "disproofs" are dishonest hand-waving, b) the problem needs more research, c) so many other things have eventually been found to have naturalistic causes despite earlier presumptions of "goddidit" -- and so few (zero) things have been found to have a supernatural origin -- that the former is the most prudent result to bet on (e.g. narby's response), and/or d) while a huge number of open questions remain on the issue of the origin of life, to date there's a lot of evidence pointing in that general direction (i.e., the history of life and various features of it look like what you'd expect if life arose biochemically), so even though there are bound to be a lot of surprises as more research is done, the sparse but available information leads a lot of folks to reasonably albeit tentatively conclude that life arose from humble beginnings rather than being designed de novo by a lab somewhere.

So how could this "theory" possibly be disproven? It can't be disproven.

Because no such theory even exists yet. When the state of knowledge on this topic rises to the point where a theory or five actually are constructed and put forth for review, they will indeed be falsifiable.

But, as evolutionists constantly claim, that means it is unscientific!

Yes, as-yet nonexistent theories are indeed unscientific. Only theories which actually exist are scientific. Very good.

Remember, a theory must be "falsifiable" to be scientific.

Correct.

The idea that science will someday be able to explain the first living cell by purely naturalistic means (with no intelligent design) is really just a hope and a dream (or an assumption) of evolutionists.

I'll agree with you on the general point, and most scientists probably would as well, although I (and others) would quibble with you on your apparent implication that there are *no* grounds whatsoever to lean towards that proposition (that this is a question which will be able to be answered someday). Because there are some decent reasons to think that this would be the way to bet, if one had to put money on it.

The problem is that they have a very bad habit of confusing those hopes and dreams (and assumptions) with science.

No, I really don't think they do confuse the two. I think that instead many non-scientists misconstrue various comments and incorrectly conclude what you have stated here.

71 posted on 02/16/2006 10:27:07 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

"I've tried to make some of the same points on a few of these sorts of threads. Anyone invoking the name of science to make their arguments needs to understand that the scientific method is based on attempts to falsify a theory -- not on an attempt to prove it."

You might be interested in my post #29.

And please explain to me how the "hypothesis" of the naturalistic origin of the first living cell can be "falsified."

No matter how improbable it is calculated to be, the true believers can simply claim that, "given enough time and space, anything can happen."


72 posted on 02/16/2006 10:29:07 PM PST by RussP
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To: RussP; narby
Sorry to pop your little bubble, but pure naturalism cannot even explain consciousness.

And "supernaturalism" *can*? Don't kid yourself.

If you think it can, you simply don't understand the problem.

Right back at ya. "Supernaturalism" explains exactly nothing with regards to consciousness, it just slaps some undefined labels on it then knocks off for lunch.

On the other hand, there are good reasons to think that consciousness resides in the physical (for example, it can be affected/suppressed/extinguished by anesthetics), and zero reason to conclude that it resides in some undefined "metaphysical".

73 posted on 02/16/2006 10:31:35 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon

I wrote:

The idea that science will someday be able to explain the first living cell by purely naturalistic means (with no intelligent design) is really just a hope and a dream (or an assumption) of evolutionists.

You replied:

I'll agree with you on the general point, and most scientists probably would as well, although I (and others) would quibble with you on your apparent implication that there are *no* grounds whatsoever to lean towards that proposition (that this is a question which will be able to be answered someday). Because there are some decent reasons to think that this would be the way to bet, if one had to put money on it.

Hey, we finally agree on something!

So you admit that we currently have no purely naturalistic explanation of the origin of the first living cell. But then you go on to express optimism and hope that such an explanation will eventually be discovered.

Has it occurred to you that such a hope is tantamount to a bias? If you "hope" to find something, that means you are biased in favor of the idea that it actually exists. How can you be objective about the existence or non-existence of something if you are "hoping" to discover it? I don't think you can.

The proper objective scientific position is to withhold judgment on a purely naturalistic origin of life until we actually find "reasonable" evidence for it. We are far from that point.


74 posted on 02/16/2006 10:44:05 PM PST by RussP
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To: jwalsh07

"Darwin's warm pond theory tested"

Mrs. Darwin "Charles, flush the toilet"


75 posted on 02/16/2006 10:48:03 PM PST by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get.)
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To: Ichneumon

"On the other hand, there are good reasons to think that consciousness resides in the physical (for example, it can be affected/suppressed/extinguished by anesthetics), and zero reason to conclude that it resides in some undefined "metaphysical"."

I don't think you understand the "problem" of consciousness.

You can talk about *my* consciousness "objectively," but you have no way of knowing by "scientific methods" that *my* consciousness even exists, i.e., that I am a conscious being.

As for *your* consciousness, *I* have no way of knowing that it exists, but I assume that it does (otherwise why would I bother to reply to you?). But from your perspective, the entire world exists within your consciousness. The world you "see" is really just the image in your brain that results from the light that enters your eyes. So what you "see" is really inside your head. In other words, you cannot distinguish between what you call your consciousness and what you call the outside world.

And that outside world includes "science" itself, by the way. You cannot "put consciousness under a microscope" because the friggin' microscope itself exists within your consciousness! Everything does.


76 posted on 02/16/2006 10:56:42 PM PST by RussP
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To: Ichneumon; RussP

Science is a search for knowledge. Paradoxically, some things are unknowable in that search. Should that limit the search? I wouldn't think so.


77 posted on 02/16/2006 11:02:15 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: narby

Well said.

"Though on the whole, we know far more about the theory of evolution than we do about the theory of how gravity works. While there is little doubt among those who understand the issues, that evolution and gravity both "work"."...You hear about people complaining that evolution is taught in schools like it is a fact, but you never hear that about gravity...which is really interesting, something we take for concrete fact isn't even a fact; not even a deeply postulated theory.

I think the battle between creation and evolution pin points on context: that evolution is "true" causes some thick dilemmas in terms of what religion (not just Christianity, but any mono or polytheistic religion giving man an...elevated place in the cosmos)says about our place on earth. And this seems to cause people to disregard mountains of evidence in favor of evolution so that they can maintain a specific brand of faith. Once again, the problem of seeing things in black and white.

Personally, I don't believe the "truth" of evolution negates human beings significance because we demand that we are significant. We do it inherently. Some reject it, some don't. Even existentialists, like Camus, say that human beans are not insignificant if they find a purpose, mainly serving humanity.

More than any other animal we crave, and prosper, from human contact. Put a human in constant isolation and watch what happens to them. It's one of the only things human beings cannot endure without losing their minds...or turning to drugs or drinking, etc. We are important to one another, and this is why, as a gnostic struggling with the ideas of God and our place in the world, I still like Christianity's emphasis on sacrifice and love when it remains within the boundaries of brotherhood and maintaining a healthy, safe community...Christians can turn any horror into a chance at redemption because redemption is at the heart of the religion...it practically begs you to admit your sins...but that's another story.


78 posted on 02/16/2006 11:12:06 PM PST by Lochlainnach (If there was no death penalty, I'm pretty sure Jesus would still be alive today.)
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To: narby
I think a good parallel to how I feel is given by Michael Gazzaniga in "The Ethical Brain." See:

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/1932594019.html
79 posted on 02/16/2006 11:26:01 PM PST by Lochlainnach (If there was no death penalty, I'm pretty sure Jesus would still be alive today.)
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To: RussP
No scientist worth his salt would say "that over a given amount of time anything can happen" is a reasonable theory.

As far as discovering the first cell(s), it's not that crazy from a naturalistic POV. Besides, if they can't prove it, that doesn't mean that God created the world in six days.

Scientists have put forth hypotheses on how life came here. Forgive me for forgetting who said it, but the idea had to do with stars and meteors, which randomly crashed into this planet, bringing life sustaining elements to this world that enabled an atmosphere to develop, thus enabling water...and eventually the first forms of life. But obviously this hasn't matured into theory yet.
80 posted on 02/16/2006 11:33:40 PM PST by Lochlainnach (If there was no death penalty, I'm pretty sure Jesus would still be alive today.)
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To: jwalsh07
There are no variations of 1 in mathematics. 1 is 1. 1.0999 is 1.0999. 1 does not equal 1.099, et al. 1 is defined as a natural number, 1.0999 is not. And while there are no "simple proofs" that 1+1=2, it can be proved and has been. I leave that as an exercise for you.

You are correct, inaccurate example, and sloppy thought. 1+1=2 can be proved absolute by the method of mathematics and such proofs define and perfect mathematical method. I should simply have said mathematics and its method is defined by the thought of man and cannot be proved absolute.

81 posted on 02/16/2006 11:39:10 PM PST by jec41 (Screaming Eagle)
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To: RussP

On a side note, here is a link to some theories about how life formed on earth...I'm not putting my name on any of them or anything, just a little FYI, if you care to peek.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_life#The_Bubble_Theory


82 posted on 02/16/2006 11:42:34 PM PST by Lochlainnach (If there was no death penalty, I'm pretty sure Jesus would still be alive today.)
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To: jwalsh07
Somebody should tell these guys that Exobiology is not science.

You will have to tell them. 47 years ago when I started attending college one could be proficient in most of the science and math that was known. A scant 30 years prior to that time all the chemistry known was composed and taught from a single text book. What was superior knowledge then is but general and basic knowledge today. There has been a avalanche of new thought, methods, and specialties. I hardly know what qualifies as science today other than what is required by method and it would appear to be abused. My apology but I would defer.

83 posted on 02/17/2006 12:28:49 AM PST by jec41 (Screaming Eagle)
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To: Ichneumon
[Thunderous applause!]

Soon to be added to The List-O-Links.

84 posted on 02/17/2006 3:43:00 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: Ichneumon
It's been added to EPISTEMOLOGICAL ISSUES.
85 posted on 02/17/2006 4:12:50 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: jwalsh07

The concept that all life evolved from some warm soup.
That crock.


86 posted on 02/17/2006 5:39:50 AM PST by G Larry (Only strict constructionists on the Supreme Court!)
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To: G Larry

Oh, I get it. LOL. Sorry for my obtuseness.


87 posted on 02/17/2006 6:13:31 AM PST by jwalsh07
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To: jec41

I can understand that.


88 posted on 02/17/2006 6:14:08 AM PST by jwalsh07
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To: narby
I get it. Evolution cannot be proven scientifically, so there is no reason to expect any form of "proof" in science.

How's this: "There is life on earth". More scientific "proof".

(scoff again)

89 posted on 02/17/2006 9:13:03 AM PST by manwiththehands (Repeal the 17th Amendment. NOW.)
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To: jec41
This is getting absurd. .99 + .99 does not equal 2. I'm a programmer. Science and scientific proof are as real to me as the air. Handle it.
90 posted on 02/17/2006 9:14:29 AM PST by manwiththehands (Repeal the 17th Amendment. NOW.)
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To: RussP; Ichneumon

"And please explain to me how the "hypothesis" of the naturalistic origin of the first living cell can be "falsified."

I can't explain that -- I claim no expertise in biology, nor theology.

My post #67 was written in support of Ichneumon's #52; and concerned the philosophy of science. As this debate is often framed as "science" versus "superstition" -- it is important that those purporting to speak for "science" don't misrepresent what science actually is.

I believe that, used properly, the scientific method is a powerful tool for discovery. I also acknowledge that there are many things that science cannot tell us (at least not yet).


91 posted on 02/17/2006 9:51:56 AM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: manwiththehands; Ichneumon
How's this: "There is life on earth". More scientific "proof". (scoff again)

For a better explanation on scientific semantics, see Ichneumon's post #52.

That you "scoff again" at the precise definitions of words in science says much about how much weight we should give to your comments.

92 posted on 02/17/2006 10:07:05 AM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: manwiththehands
I'm a programmer. Science and scientific proof are as real to me as the air. Handle it.

Been there, done that for 30+ years. Science has nothing to do with it. Learning obscure rules and following them does.

If you were really a programmer, you'd know that .99 + .99 sometimes does "equal" 2.

Put this little line in your C program and smoke it:

printf("%3.0f\n", .99 + .99);

93 posted on 02/17/2006 10:16:16 AM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: narby; Ichneumon
"There is life on earth" = scientific "semantics".

"Semantics". The last word from a person who refuses to admit they have no idea what they are talking about.

(sigh)

(How ignorant can people be?)

(SCOFF)

94 posted on 02/17/2006 5:34:24 PM PST by manwiththehands (Repeal the 17th Amendment. NOW.)
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To: narby
"Science has nothing to do with it. Learning obscure rules and following them does."

You may think that science has nothing to do with being a programmer, but you speak for yourself. My work is detailed, but it's anything but "obscure". I write code that can measure and process the difference between events that can change in nanoseconds. That's 0.000 000 001 seconds. How "obscure" can that be? I can assure you that in my line of work fudging numbers by dropping a half a dozen decimal places would most surly motivate my boss to put me on the street.

And random assembly of random "organic" molecules into random life into more and more random and complex life is anything but science.

95 posted on 02/17/2006 5:58:38 PM PST by manwiththehands (Repeal the 17th Amendment. NOW.)
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To: Ichneumon
"Proof" is an impossible standard in this real world.

Exactly what "real world" are you speaking of? Yours? Mine? President Bush's?

There is no "reality". No law. No science. No cause-and-affect.

Life is pointless, vain and hopeless.

96 posted on 02/17/2006 9:09:42 PM PST by manwiththehands (Repeal the 17th Amendment. NOW.)
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To: manwiththehands; Ichneumon
I write code that can measure and process the difference between events that can change in nanoseconds.

Will no details, sounds like you're dealing with post processing of hardware measurements. So what. Nothing different than processing a checking account balance.

That's 0.000 000 001 seconds.

Yeah. I knew that. So what.

I can assure you that in my line of work fudging numbers...

Almost every programmer is in that boat. The first job I had as a cub programmer was to write a stereotype spread sheet, back before SuperCalc existed, to reconcile the final numbers for a fortune 100 company on the NYSE. Yeah, they'd have fired me if I screwed it up, and have put me in jail if I did anything untoward.

As for timing, a recent program I did measures, and actively controls, things with a precision of around 2 microseconds.

That's 0.000 002 seconds.

The only hardware in the loop is a fast interrupt, no PALs or ASICs or custom hardware involved. Just software and an interrupt, and my software in a highly deterministic processor with known execution times for specific machine instructions. Oh yeah, the control time can vary too, so we're not talking about adding NOPs until the scope says the code is right.

The bottom line is science still has nothing to do with it. I merely learned obscure rules and followed them. Science is conceiving of a new substrate substance on a chip. Science is developing a new etching process to make smaller transistors so you can put more on a chip. Science is changing the doping and deposition on a chip to reduce the voltage required so as to reduce power consumption and heat.

What you and I do is technology that we've learned from the genuine scientists that developed it many years ago. We don't do science, and an understanding of what real science is, such as Ichneumon's description above, is not required for our work.

97 posted on 02/19/2006 8:20:48 AM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: jec41
Where is your simple proof that 1+1=2 or the only varations of 1 that produces 2.

3 > 2
except for unusually large values of 2!

Cheers!

And about 1 and .9999999999999999 ;

You can subtract them by hand with pencil and paper :-)

98 posted on 02/20/2006 6:20:45 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers
And about 1 and .9999999999999999 ; You can subtract them by hand with pencil and paper :-)

I recklessly made the same observation as you earlier in the post. I had forgot my math. 1 is absolute and a number and can be proved absolute. .9999999999999999 is not a number. 1+9999999999999999=1.9999999999999999 I had to go to goggle and review absolute. 1+1=2 is proved absolute. A simple explanation is that a string .999999 inches long is not as long as a string 1 inche long even thought the difference is not observable. It is observable if one string is 1 mile long and another is .999999 miles long.

99 posted on 02/20/2006 6:47:36 PM PST by jec41 (Screaming Eagle)
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