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Comment Re:Litigious Much (Score 1) 815

That is yet another flawed analogy. The photons are reflected or emitted directly from the object. As opposed to its gravitational influence on some other object, where one is directly observing the *other* object, hence the inferred indirect detection of the first object.

I don't think you are understanding what I am saying.

Yes the photons are being "directly" emitted from the object, and the fact that we are observing not the thing itself, but the photons directly emitted from the thing is a layer of indirection. How directly something is observed is relative. It's not discrete, it's a spectrum.

As opposed to its gravitational influence on some other object, where one is directly observing the *other* object, hence the inferred indirect detection of the first object.

Yes it is *one more* layer of indirection. This doesn't mean we are not observing dark matter. It means we are observing dark matter in a more indirect way than we observe most other stuff in the cosmos (which we also observe indirectly).

"The existence and properties of dark matter are inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter, on radiation, and on the large-scale structure of the universe. Dark matter has not been detected directly, making it one of the greatest mysteries in modern astrophysics."

As opposed to what? What properties of anything do we know about anything that are not inferred from their effects on other things?

Yes we don't know that much about dark matter. It's not because we can't observe it (which is what you originally claimed). Yes we can't observe it directly, I am not disagreeing with that. What I am saying is that we can't directly observe anything. Everything we observe is indirect, some more indirect than others.

Comment Re:Litigious Much (Score 1) 815

Actually, a lot of science was done by the church once upon a time. Before trotting out the Galileo line (which you're probably itching to do) you might actually want to look into him a bit more closely too.

Which is why I have yet to mention Galileo in any of my comments? Because I'm itching to bring him up? Believe me, if I wanted to bring him up I would have.

Galileo is not important to the point I am making, which not that "no religious person or organization ever did science". It is that the tenets of religion are antithetical to the tenets of science. Religion assumes it knows things that do not meet the standard of proof in science.

What makes religion antithetical to science is not that they persecuted Galileo, it's that they have other modes of determining truth that are incompatible with science.

They've actually contributed quite a bit to science over the years and some of them are of the mind that the two coexist nicely and don't need to be separated.

The Nazi's also contributed quite a bit to science. This should not lend any credibility to the validity of Nazism.

Err... Some even postulate that science (at least math) proves that there is a creator. There are more than a few documentaries on the subject and there's at least one episode of the hour-long program with Morgan Freeman that goes into this at some detail.

Anyone can make a documentary about anything. Morgan Freeman is an actor.

Quite frequently they posit that our very existence is so improbable as to be considered mathematically impossible.

Have you ever heard of the anthropic principle?

I can create a lottery with thousands possible numbers to choose from and hundreds that are chosen, and the number of possibilities will be more than the number of atoms in the known universe. Each possibility is "mathematically impossible", but the odds that one will get chosen are 100%. Extremely improbable things regularly happen with very high probability, because of the countless number of things that are constantly happening.

This logic is flawed:

1. The chances of winning the lottery are so small they are basically 0.

2. Because the chance of all the possibilities is zero, the chance that someone will ever win the lottery is also 0 (the sum of lots of zeroes)

Comment Re:Litigious Much (Score 1) 815

No, your understanding is coming up short. Your infrared analogy is complete failure, an instrument to detect dark matter is as real today as your beloved unicorn.

You don't know what you are talking about. What counts as direct detection for you? When you see an object you are only indirectly detecting it by detecting photons emitted or reflected form the object.

The direct detection problem, what I refer to as "observable" is not limited to electromagnetism

Well if it's not limited to electromagnetism, why isn't gravitation a valid tool for detection? Furthermore, I would advise you to discard your limited definition of what is "observable".

"Dark matter is a hypothetical kind of matter that cannot be seen with telescopes but accounts for most of the matter in the universe.

Once again you seem to be fixated on photons as the only way to "see" things.

The existence and properties of dark matter are inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter, on radiation, and on the large-scale structure of the universe.

Just like how the existence and properties of stars are inferred from their electromagnetic effects (i.e. photons).

Dark matter has not been detected directly, making it one of the greatest mysteries in modern astrophysics.

1. we have not even detected the sun "directly", we have only ever detected photons emitted form it (we assume). 2. It's not like something can't be a mystery once you detect it. Case in point, we *can* detect dark matter, but since we don't know everything about it, it's still a mystery. Just like how gravity itself is a mystery because we haven't yet rectified the theory of gravity with both relativity and quantum mechanics, even though we have "detected" it.

This terminology of not "detecting dark matter directly" is specifically referring to the fact that we have not seen photons emitted from dark matter. And what I am suggesting is that this point of view only makes sense when you make photons a more valid form of detection (e.g. like making visible light photons a more valid form of photon to be detected). It's all detectable with the right tools and algorithms. You're choice in what you call "direct" vs. "indirect" is arbitrary and relative.

Comment Re:Litigious Much (Score 1) 815

No, its not that simple. A key part of science is being able to test theories. Make predictions, make observations (measurements), determine if the predictions hold, etc.

Yes that is a key part

Untestable theories, things that can not be measured are of little interest to science

It sort of depends. There is a difference between things that are practically untestable (e.g. string theory) and things that are untestable in principle.

for example the existence of god and what god's intentions and expectations are.

And also what the favorite color of invisible unicorns is

Note that the unobservable is not necessarily unmeasurable, things can be measured by their effect, ex. dark matter's gravitational effect.

I am quite familiar with how science works. And the terminology you are using is wrong. Dark matter is observable, it just doesn't interact electromagnetically, so it doesn't absorb or emit light. This makes it less observable not unobservable. Just like how infrared is less observable to humans not unobservable with the right instruments.

That is a historically ignorant statement. Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, etc had no conflict with science. Their knowledge may have been limited, their interpretations of observations wrong, but they had a curiosity and a desire to understand their world.

A curiosity and a desire to understand the world is not sufficient for science. The innovations Egyptians, greeks, romans largely did was proto-science. It had a lot of the features of science, but it was also missing some key features. Science is not just proving what you know, it is also about proving what you don't know.

Also, we have theoretical physics, mathematics, and logic, which are some of the non-empirical foundational building blocks of science. Black holes were predicted using mathematics before they were ever observed. The greek philosopher Democrates suggested the indivisibility of matter before such an idea could ever be tested.

Divine revelation is not a valid move in the game of science. Any "knowledge" tainted by this sort of flawed methodology needs to be excised from the knowledge-base. It's not that nobody religious ever had a good idea. It;s that religion doesn't provide a good mechanism for relinquishing bad ideas. The good stuff is mixed in with centuries of bad ideas, and there is no good way to separate them.

The scientific method is about weeding out the bad ideas.

The modern scientific method evolved and was formalized out of their limited but improving efforts.

Yes it did. And those key evolutionary changes that happened were extremely important. They allowed us to go from primitive societies where intelligent people occasionally had very good ideas to a society where the process of producing good ideas and weeding out bad ones is streamlined.

And now with my main point out of the way, I will say that a lot of Greek mathematics were definitely legitimate math, and there was some overlap with science (e.g. Arhicmedes, Euclid, Pythagoras etc). But this was more in the theoretical realm moreso than the empirical realm. And as such, they were very good at coming up with ideas, and not so good at weeding out bad ones.

Comment Re:Litigious Much (Score 1) 815

There were some great philosophers who also happened to be Catholic. That doesn't make Catholicism or religion in general equivalent to the field of philosophy. There were some really great scientists who were Nazis. That doesn't make Nazism scientific.

Also science is not *just* about the measurable (i.e. the empirical), it also involves the theoretical and philosophical. In addition to answering questions, science also requires some insight into what questions are worth asking. Religion really has not offered a whole lot on this front. Sure some religious people have thought of some very good questions to ask, but given that most of the world (including scientists) were religious for the vast majority of human history, it sort of makes sense that a lot of contributors were also religious. You could also say that most scientific discoveries were made by people wearing clothing. That doesn't make the clothing responsible for the discoveries.

In fact the guiding philosophy of nearly every religion is antithetical to the guiding philosophy of science. The fact that some of the more progressive religions feel the need to associate themselves with science to gain legitimacy is a testament to the credibility of science. No amount of religion was going to get us to the moon. There were a lot of religious people who helped us get to the moon. But if they tried to justify a formula by saying God told them it was correct, they would not have had a job for very long.

Yes science and religion are orthogonal, just like how science and astrology are orthogonal.

If I find a good philosopher who is also a practicing palm reader, should I be able to claim that science and palm reading are non-overlapping majesteria, where science provides the empirical and palm reading provides the philosophy? What if he is as smart as Thomas Aquinas and has some really beautifully written justifications on why all metaphysical truths can be known from deciphering the meanings encoded in the creases in hand skin.

I think I can appreciate the intelligence of a person without believing everything they say, especially in light of more recently acquired knowledge.

I can appreciate the genius of Isaac Newton without believing in his theories on the occult, alchemy, etc. We shouldn't grant alchemy credence just because the great Isaac Newton is associated with it.

Comment Re:Litigious Much (Score 1) 815

Science is a process of acquiring knowledge (i.e. the scientific method). The church can support science all it wants. Anyone can support science. Nazis supported science. This doesn't make Catholicism scientific for the same reason it doesn't make Nazism scientific.

I resent the disingenuous attempt to legitimize religion by associating it with religion. Religious people are able to be scientists because people are apparently able to harbor conflicting ideologies. An atheist can be a priest. A creationist can be an evolutionary biology teacher. I was actually taught evolution in the 11th grade by a catholic science teacher who did not believe in evolution, and he did a perfectly good job.

Comment Re:Litigious Much (Score 1) 815

Just because people are claiming that religion is an enemy of science doesn't make the claim "Person X is associated with Y and is a scientist, therefore Y is very scientific", any more legitimate, regardless of whether it's the catholic church, belgian army, republicans, democrats, communists, or nazis.

Comment Re:Litigious Much (Score -1, Troll) 815

What if he was still in the Belgian Army at the time, or in a book club, or a fantasy football league? Is it fair to say that some scientific theory began with [insert group X] merely because the originator of the theory was also associated with group X?

He was also a scientist. I think that might have had more to do with his scientific contributions than some other affiliations he had.

Comment Re:What is a router? (Score 1) 85

So... Just to be obvious, it's all fine and dandy to flash firmware into routers that don't come with WiFi?

I don't see why not. It's not like any firmware you can flash on to a wired-only router is going to ever cause any interference on any broadcast frequencies.

Wired routers are just little embedded computers with 5 integrated NICs

The problem is that the firmware for a wireless router is that it is monolithic. If they had split the firmware into parts (i.e. like one for the wifi controller, and one for the OS), then you should logically be able to flash the OS to whatever you want and keep the wifi controller software the same. This would be analogous to changing OSes on your desktop but keeping the PCI wifi card firmware the same.