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Comment: Re:No device necessary (Score 1) 101

the kind of emulation bugs still getting reported are literally "on the Super Game Boy player for the SNES..."

What kind of lunatic plays his Game Boy games on an emulated adapter for a different console entirely instead of just using a Game Boy emulator?!

For more recent systems, yeah, I haven't found any truly good low-level emulators, but those are also not the ones you'd be breaking out the CRT display for.

I don't know about that; I think anything up to and including the PS2, GameCube/Wii and (for all I know) Xbox probably looks better on a CRT.

Comment: Re:Accepted the challenge, nice. One more interest (Score 1) 455

by mrchaotica (#47769635) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Most of what you said is so full of weasel words "essentially, close enough" that I think you realize how weak that line of argument is.

I thought about that as I was writing them, and I apologize. Let me clarify:

First, on the use of "essentially:"

My claim that science is the opposite of religion depends on the context, which I explained in my previous posts (and which I go into further detail about below). In some other context, perhaps atheism would be the opposite of religion (but not in this context -- when comparing to science as I'm doing, atheism is every bit as religious as Christianity).

These things are complicated concepts, and if you're going to make a claim that complicated concepts are opposites of each other then you have to clarify what aspect of them, or in what sense, they are opposite. I'd like to think I've done a decent job of that, but I included the word "essentially" to try to prevent the rebuttal that science and religion weren't opposite in some context other than the one to which I was referring.

Second, on the use of "close enough:"

If a law prohibits teaching the Scientific Method, then it establishes religion. Absolutely. No weasel words about it.

However, this law doesn't quite do that. Instead it "merely" removes the "focus" on the Scientific Method -- it uses weasel words itself to attempt to effectively prohibit teaching the Scientific Method without explicitly doing so; i.e., it's "close enough."

You said "the Scientific Method (P) is (essentially) the opposite of religion (Q): P". From my perspective, such an idea indicates a rather bizarre understanding of either science or religion. Let's look at each. [Followed by a list of bible quotes]

You seem to think that just because an idea happens to be written in the Bible, that that makes it a "religious idea." That is a fallacy. If an idea is similar to that of the Scientific Method, then it is scientific, even if it as a quote by Jesus.

I liked that quote about "false prophets," by the way -- I would expect it to surprise and upset creationists (or at least the less well-read ones, who haven't already incorporated it into their cognitive dissonance). If "Intelligent Design" were able to produce "fruits" (i.e., falsifiable hypotheses), then it would become legitimately scientific. But it doesn't, so it isn't.

The way I see and use religion is very, very similar to any science. Chemistry tries to figure out how atoms and molecules work, in order to build good molecules for important purposes. Biology tries to figure out how cells and organisms work, to do things like build replacement organs. Religion tries to figure how how relationships and lifestyles work, to build good relationships and fulfilling lives.

Those things aren't similar at all. The differences are the tools that are allowed to be used to evaluate and accomplish those goals, and indeed what kinds of goals are valid.

Science is concerned with understanding how and why things do work (using rigorous logical and mathematical models). In contrast, your statement about what religion tries to do is all about making rules to enforce how things should work. Science is strictly objective and descriptive; religion is inherently subjective and prescriptive.

If you're a chemist, for example, and you decide to disregard the results of your experiment because they aren't "good," then you are no longer practicing proper science.

Incidentally, it's possible for an idea to become more or less scientific over time. Who knows; maybe some Babylonian sociologist did a comprehensive, well-researched study of adultery and that passage you quoted ("Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman...") was the conclusion of his scholarly journal. That would be scientific! (Well, sort of, anyway -- sociology is kind of "iffy" as a science to begin with.)

But when you replace "a survey of N Babylonian men showed that the ones who committed adultery were X% less happy, on average, than the ones who didn't" with "thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife, or else God will smite thee down!" -- that is, when you become proscriptive instead of descriptive and stop caring about having a rigorous answer to the question "why?" -- then the idea stops being scientific and becomes religious.

Conversely, a religious idea, like the Great Flood, can become scientific over time. Geologic evidence has been found that the Mediterranean flooded through the Bosporus into the Black Sea suddenly in about 5600 BC. It didn't literally flood the entire world, but it could have seemed that way to somebody living on the (previous) shore of the Black Sea at the time. (So far, the existence of the Ark -- and particularly, the idea that Noah was commanded by God to build it instead of some more mundane explanation -- would still be outside the scope of the scientific theory.)

Comment: Re:This is good! (Score 1) 455

by Zak3056 (#47767829) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

A friend of mine from Georgia (the US state) described his high school biology lecture on evolution as "OK, today I'm legally required to tech evolution. We all believe in Jesus, right? OK, next topic."

I went to a catholic elementary school, and one of my 6th grade teachers was a nun named Sister Catherine-Joseph who taught two subjects: religion and science. Despite the obvious setup for failure, she taught both rigorously, and well. I HATED that woman with a passion, but she was, absolutely, a superior educator who would have smacked the shit out of someone with a ruler for daring to suggest that, "We all believe in Jesus, *wink wink*" was either suitable coverage or a valid refutation of evolution.

Comment: Re:just because the dept of ed.... (Score 1) 455

by mrchaotica (#47767201) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Which of course explains away why a steadily increasing number of incoming college freshman have to take remedial courses.

The fraction of people who choose to go to college has been steadily increasing, too. The real question is, which is increasing faster?

(In other words, it could be that the students needing remedial classes are the same kind who would previously not have gone to college in the first place. If that's the case, it might not be a real problem.)

Comment: Re:This is good! (Score 1) 455

by mrchaotica (#47766919) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

I disagree. ID is a valid theory, in terms of a possible explanation. After all, Monsanto is doing ID (and some DD - Dumbass Design), so we know it can happen to some degree. Old-fashioned breeding is also ID.

What Monsanto does and what the "Intelligent Design Theory" proposes are not at all the same thing. The latter proposes that there is some intelligent force setting and/or manipulating the laws of the universe (which could pretty much only be a god (if not "The" God) by definition).

An interesting side discussion for students is if complexity alone is evidence for ID. In other words, if a natural explanation is not currently known, is that strong evidence for a creator, or merely evidence of humanity's knowledge gaps?

That's not a side discussion; that's the entire point. According to the Scientific Method, that kind of "evidence" (i.e., "we don't know, therefore X" or even "it is unknowable, therefore X") is categorically excluded from being valid. In other words, if you're even considering that idea then you've already failed to understand what science is.

If you want to have that kind of discussion, you need to do it in a philosophy class, not a science class. I suppose maybe you could mention it in a science class in order to point out what I wrote in the previous paragraph, but that's about it.

Comment: Re:Impacts (Score 3, Informative) 430

by fyngyrz (#47766853) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

You *do* realize that the equatorial zone is generally tropical, wet as heck, and quite a bit warmer than everywhere else, yes? And that plants thrive on CO2?

Doesn't follow that making it warmer will make it drier. That doesn't seem to be how it works. Drier happens when water sources go away. There's no reasonable postulate for that which would apply to most equatorial regions.

Comment: Cats (Score 1) 430

by fyngyrz (#47766717) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Nah, it's almost certain to be big cats. Perfect apex predators. They can deal with heat, cold, wind; they can kill anything, climb like crazy, swim, they're fast as hell, stronger than just about anything, they instinctively use available terrain features for cover and shelter, they come equipped with deadly weapons, and they're very smart and wily. Common mutations already include thumbs and other extra digits, and they have a short enough breeding and maturation cycle that populations can recover in a very short time span, given only that mankind isn't around to defeat them using already developed technology.

Comment: Re:This is good! (Score 2) 455

by mrchaotica (#47766557) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

I see the part about focusing on knowledge rather than scientific processes, but in no way can one read 'forbidding the scientific method to be taught' in there.

That's strange; if there's no way that someone could interpret "scientific processes" as referring to the Scientific Method, then how did Ars and I (and so many others here) manage it? I think you're the one who's mistaken on this point.

Not only that, but I could see a good reason for it: they have around 160 hours, total, to teach a year of science. Maybe they want to cram as many facts in as possible, and save the science for it's own sake stuff for those in advanced classes considering a scientific career. If they had a history of wasting precious school time teaching bunsen burner techniques to second graders, then we would all be asking for language like that to be added.

First, I have a hard time believing anybody could honestly interpret the law's usage of "scientific processes" to refer to things like how to use Bunsen burners.

Second, without the Scientific Method, "cram[ming] as many facts in as possible" is an entirely worthless endeavour -- less useful than Bunsen burner techniques, even! (At least learning how to use a Bunsen burner might make the students less likely to injure themselves the next time they use a gas cooking stove...)

Comment: Future Schlock (Score 1) 430

by fyngyrz (#47766549) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Is it sane, given foreknowledge of your own demise and the power to avert it, to charge full-steam-ahead toward that demise

It's not my demise; it is the demise of others, sometime in the future. I fully expect to live out the rest of my life comfortably. I rather suspect that's the same set of conditions you face when you describe these worst case scenarios to others. Some of us are sensitive to the woes of future persons, some of us are not. But it's always at least one step removed from today's reality.

In the USA, just look at the number of people who would let the financially low performing suffer the slings and arrows of disease and injury without any particular concern or guilt; you can measure that directly by the resistance to the ACA, which remains substantial, even though it's working out pretty well if you actually take the time to look at the numbers. When people don't concern themselves with the other people in town, who are there and suffering right now, isn't it a bit optimistic to expect them to concern themselves with some abstract, unknown set of people who will exist after most of them have died anyway?

You're better off looking to technology to solve this than compassionate outlooks among the citizenry.

I'm going to go back to watching the news now, where I can learn more about us shooting up Afghanistan for no particular reason other than to prop up our MI complex, as we've kind of worn out Iraq now. You know, because we care. We'd be in Africa "helping" them too, you know, if we needed more income. I'm sure their day will come, though. Both Africa and South America are deep future market resources for our weapons manufacturers. Caring. It's what we do!

Comment: Re:prohibit == require is a dot you need to connec (Score 0) 455

by mrchaotica (#47766417) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

(Sigh) Fine, I'll prove it for you.

  1. As I asserted in my previous post (and you didn't object, so I assume you agree with the axiom), the Scientific Method (P) is (essentially) the opposite of religion (Q): P -> (not)Q, and Q -> (not)P.
  2. This law requires that schools de-emphasize the Scientific Method, which is "close enough" to prohibiting it: (not)P
  3. Since Q -> (not)P and (not)P, therefore Q. QED.

In other words, if science is prohibited -- and this law does do that, despite claiming not to -- then religion is required (since those are the only two relevant possibilities). Rejecting the scientific method is itself an inherently religious choice.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson