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Comment: Re:Laws of Physics have become Heresy? (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47274709) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

you think we should ban a classroom discussion of the 2nd Law?

I think it should be MANDATORY to teach the 2nd law of thermodynamics in any physics education. I wish your teachers had been more clear on it. Your notion of the 2nd law is clearly flawed or incomplete, as it would prohibit the natural formation of highly ordered snowflakes from chaotic water vapor, as well as prohibiting countless other common physical processes.

The 2nd law of thermodynamics says that the total entropy of a closed system tends to increase, with overwhelming probability. It does not apply to any system subject to a flow of energy an outside source. It not prohibit one location or object in a system from increasing in order while other objects/locations in that system have an equal or larger increase in disorder.

The earth is receiving energy from the sun. The enormous entropy increase within the sun easily "pays for" the ongoing creation of order and complexity here on earth. So long as the sun shines, that energy flow can and does fuel natural self-organizing physical processes. You can see this in snowflake formation, the self-organization of hurricanes, the development of an individual organism, as well as the genetic evolution of a population. There is no violation of the 2nd law here. The sun's energy input pays for, fuels, these self-organizing natural processes.

What branch of Science did you say you were from?

Computer science, with an active interest in physics and science in general. Computer science deals extensively with Information Theory, the ways that information can measured, processed, transformed, and CREATED. Evolution is not merely a "theory", it is an applied science. Evolutionary Algorithms is a field of computer science where complex, ordered, useful, problem-solving information is CREATED by replication with mutation and natural selection of "digital-DNA". I have personally witnessed the fact that evolution can and does create complex useful new information. It is an applied science put to active use in one way or another by a majority Fortune 500 companies. It is quite common for evolution to create designs better than the best "Intelligent Designs" by human engineers. One particular case comes to mind of one team that applied evolution to jet engine design, which evolved an engine more fuel efficient than any human engineer had ever been able to achieve. And there is at least one company solely dedicated to filing patents on valuable innovations generated via evolution.

Here is a grossly oversimplified illustration. Roll one hundred dice. The chances of them all coming up 6 is effectively zero. Now apply evolution. Take that random result and REPLICATE it, and lets apply one MUTATION re-rolling one random die. Now SELECT (keep) the set with the higher total, and kill (discard) the set with the lower or equal total. After approximately 3000 replication-selection steps you will have a perfect set of all 6's.

This process works even when you do not have a pre-determined target. All it requires to work is that you have some means of measuring which set of DNA is "better" or "worse" than another. Evolution will generate whatever information is required to satisfy the selection criteria.

But as I said, that was a grossly oversimplified example. Evolution's power to generate information is exponentially increased when there is a population with sexual reproduction (genetic recombination). This has been mathematically proven by the Schemata Theorem (J. Holland 1975). I won't attempt to explain it here, but a Google search on schemata theorem turns up 122,000 results. It is a seminal paper, widely cited by subsequent scientific work in mathematics and computer science and biological evolution. It mathematically proves a major principal whereby population evolution is almost infinitely more powerful than the trivial dice example I gave above.

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Comment: Re:Laws of Physics have become Heresy? (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47271809) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

Oh joy, an "engineer" who doesn't have the faintest clue what the fuck the 2nd law of thermodynamics says, and doesn't seem to have much grasp of anything else in science either. I sure as hell hope you don't "engineer" anything safety-critical.

Now the 2nd law of thermodynamics says: "All natural systems (e.g. nature) progresses from a state of order (creations) to a state of chaos (puddle of mud)".

Riiiiiight.... that's what it says..... which also means snow is impossible because chaotic water molecules in the air cannot self-organize into beautiful complex highly ordered snowflakes.

Jeremy Connell Ministries: Snow, it doesn't exist.

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Comment: Re:You show me yours, I'll show you mine (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47271605) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

What peer reviewed evidence do you have to support the non-existence of a god ?
Until you can answer that question, teaching my children that there is no god has no place in science class.

Your comment is pointless because everyone already agrees with that.
Unless you are one of those confused people who thinks teaching evolution is atheism, in which case I suggest you ask for a refund on your "actual scientific degree from a respected university".

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Comment: Re:You show me yours, I'll show you mine (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47271401) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

I find belief in invisible-magical-people to be rather odd, but what really baffles me is worshiping Loki, god of mischief and deception.

old the universe at least appears to be by all standards that we can measure... and personally, I think whether or not that appearance belies its "actual" age or not is entirely irrelevant

Yep, it's conceivable that Loki exists and created the universe 6 hours ago and all of your memories and all of the apparent age of the earth is a deliberate fraud. It's conceivable that you're a disembodied brain in a jar wired to to some Matrix-style fictional reality. And it's utterly absurd to waste time with such things. If there were some malevolent all-powerful superbeing dead-set on deceiving you, then you will be deceived. If a malevolent entity wants to deceive you into thinking 2+2=3, then the entire world and all of your thoughts and memories can be deceptively manipulated on the fly. You will believe 2+2=3, if a malevolent god wants you to believe it.

If the earth appears to be 4.5 billion years old, then either the earth actually is 4.5 billion years old or Loki crafted a deliberate deception of a 4.5 billion year age. Either acknowledge that you worship Loki, or drop this nonsense a planet-worth of evidence of age might be some elaborate deception.

You cannon profess to believe in a benevolent god while rejecting truths plainly and exhaustively revealed by the scientific study of the world. If the world appears old, then the world is old. If evolution appears true, then evolution is true. If god exists, and evolution is true, then god simply created a universe which included evolution as part of the design.

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Comment: Re:Evolution isn't science (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47271043) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

I checked your link. Most of the pages in fact explain that there *aren't* any "out of place fossils". The closest was a page so blindly-stupid as to think an overthrust creates out of place fossils, and about two lpages that bafflingly think that a newly found slightly earlier ancestor, or a later descendant, is somehow "out of place". Not one single example of a rabbit in the Precambrian, or any other remotely out of place fossil. An out of place fossil has to be an evolutionary descendant (like rabbits) appearing before an ancestor (like dinosaurs). You didn't present a single one, your link didn't present a single example.

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Comment: Re:Ignorance usually leads to inequity (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47270553) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

There is not one creationism. To treat it as a monolith is false.

It's not being treated as a monolith. The government was finally spurred to action on this issue mainly because of Islamist trying push religion in science class. The general rule is that you can't false claims about any flavor of creationism being accepted supported science. You have to teach science in a science class. Kinda like you are supposed to be teaching math in a math class.

Old-earth creationists are given short shrift in this approach

No. Old earth creationists are being treated equally. You can't teach old earth creationism in a science class when the only accurate description of the current state of science is that professional scientists consider old-earth creationism unscientific and unsupported scientifically.

Atheism is not the same thing as pro-Scientific.

It seems you need to flip that around.
Scientific is not the same thing as atheism!
Science does not mention gods because there is zero scientific evidence for or against the existence of any gods. Just because science has nothing to say about gods does not make science atheistic. Just because welding class has nothing to say about gods doesn't make welding atheistic.

Questions of the super-natural are, by definition, outside of the scope of proper science.

Yep. And therefore shouldn't be in a science class.

A theology class, comparing and contrasting the major world religions, would be an entirely appropriate class to teach the Islamic, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and other stories of creation.

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Comment: Re:Science is not consensus (Score 1) 649

by Alsee (#47270503) Attached to: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In Britain's Schools

What a bizarre argument. You confirm every single point of the case proving AGW, and you counter by citing that atmospheric CO2 only goes up half as fast as we dump CO2 into the atmosphere. This is something that has been long known and factored in by scientists. As long as atmospheric CO2 is going up then you're concurring that the AGW case has been established, and you're merely pointing out that in a fictional world without natural CO2 sinks the CO2 increase would have been twice as fast, a fictional world that would have had faster and more severe warming.

Basically you're saying the effect is real and proven, but it's only half as big as I imagine it could have been, therefore it doesn't exist? Huh?

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Comment: Not new. (Score 2) 85

by Alsee (#47270233) Attached to: The Game Theory of Life

It has been known for years, probably decades, that gene frequencies follow this mathematical rule, and that it has been mathematically proven optimal for solving Multi-armed bandit type problems. Each generation genes are tested by natural selection, and increase or decrease in frequency according to multiplicative increase or decrease. This is a mathematically optimal strategy for exploring and optimizing payoff in a complex unknown environment. Mutation creates random stuff to try, and this mathematically selection algorithm optimally crafts it into useful new information.

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Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47232659) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions
It actually is a bit different for the Republicans, in that they are caught in an internal party schism of a scale we've not seen on either side since desegregation, if even then. It's difficult for the less right to look good to the more right, undirected pushing against the Democrats is one of the few ways they have to do it.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47232465) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

Do not forget that ObamaCare was rammed through without a single Republican vote in the House or Senate.

It's the unfortunate case that Republicans don't generally support Democratic bills. Witness the recent student loan bill. There is not much question that a better educated populance means a better economy and a stronger nation. It's a truism that we could just pay for college education in a number of fields and reap economic benefits of many times the spending. Indeed, we used to do more of that and the country was stronger when we did.

Comment: Re:I really dig the Obamacare comments Bruce made (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47231747) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

You meant "you wouldn't approve" rather than "you wouldn't understand".

Positioned correctly, it isn't all that socially reprehensible to state the sentiment that you don't believe you should pay for people who drive their motorcycle without helmets, people who self-administer addictive and destructive drugs, people who engage in unprotected sex with prostitutes or unprotected casual sex with strangers, and people who go climbing without using all of the safety equipment they could.

You don't really even need to get into whether you hold human life sacred, etc., to get that argument across. It's mostly just an economic argument, you believe yourself to be sensible and don't want to pay for people who aren't.

The ironic thing about this is that it translates to "I don't want to pay for the self-inflicted downfall of the people who exercise the libertarian rights I deeply believe they should have."

OK, not a bad position as far as it goes. Now, tell me how we should judge each case, once these people present themselves for medical care, and what we should do if they don't meet the standard.

Comment: Re:citation needed (Score 1) 224

by Bruce Perens (#47227663) Attached to: Interviews: Bruce Perens Answers Your Questions

Citation needed.

I just looked for a minute and found This NIMH study. If you look at the percentages per year they are astonishingly high. 9% of people in any particular year just for mood disorders, and that's just the first on the list. Then they go down the list of other disorders. The implication is that everyone suffers some incident of mental illness in their lives. And given the number of psychiatrists, psychologists, and lay practitioners in practice, it seems like much of the population try to get help at times, if only from their priest or school guidance counselor.

You are not a rock. Can you honestly tell me that you haven't ever suffeed a moment of irrationality?

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