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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.


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.


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".


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


Comment: WTF? Everyone is missing the REAL problem here! (Score 1) 155

by Alsee (#47191337) Attached to: Millions of Smart TVs Vulnerable To 'Red Button' Attack

The problem isn't that someone can inject a fraudulent signal that does bad things. The problem is that THE OFFICIAL BROADCAST SIGNAL can include code that does bad things.

Just because code is part of a TV broadcast doesn't mean you should trust it. Just because code is part of a TV broadcast doesn't mean it should be able to hijack your stored internet credentials and automatically log into your account on any website, and take actions on those websites as if they were you, modify the content you see on those other sites, shouldn't be able to log into your web accounts as you, scan and phone-home a copy of all of your personal information accessible on that account. It shouldn't be able to spy on your activity and report it back. It shouldn't be able to scan and attack other devices on your home network.

Fucking asshats. They design a system with forty-two layers of DRM-enforcement security, but any signal that's part of the broadcast is given automatic authority to do anything it wants, given overriding authority against the TV owner's privacy and security.

What ever happened to products designed around the wants and needs and interests of the buyer, so that people will want to buy your product rather than your competitor's? These pieces of shit are obviously designed to serve and protect broadcasters, regardless of the owner's interests.


Comment: Re:Sentient machines exist (Score 1) 339

by Alsee (#47123977) Attached to: The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative

There's a semi-famous SciFi story first published in a 1990 edition of OMNI magazine:


Quite relevant, and quite funny.

Someone also made a seven and a half minute film of the story. It has a few cute video aspects, but overall it didn't come off so well and it's missing a few lines. I definitely recommend the original text link above rather the video version, but here's the video link anyway.


Comment: Re:Bah (Score 1) 209

by Alsee (#47016193) Attached to: How Predictable Is Evolution?

Can we get a Star Trek like movie but instead of meeting human looking weirdos in outer space, let's meet species that look really weird, yet make friends with us and we commnunicate.

I can imagine a world without war, a world without hate, a world where everyone lives together in peace. I can imagine us attacking that world.


Comment: Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 1) 661

The Slashdot population leans heavy on the tech and science geek side, people who are generally pretty good at finding reliable websites like the National Academy of Science, and secondary websites that reasonably reflect reliable mainstream science.


Except when it comes to fucking climate change, when suddenly a substantial portion of our population buy into some wacky conspiracy theory that the entire mainstream science community is in on some conspiracy to publish lies, and they start actively rejecting the fucking United States National Academy of Science as presumptively unreliable, and instead start digging up random blatantly trash websites that gain "reliable" status when they see that the info supports the "right" side of the issue. And you start running into "climate" papers cited to support a point - papers filled with blatant errors - and when you google the author's name to try to figure out what sort of idiot wrote it, it turns out the author wasn't a climate scientists at all..... no... the author was a "combustion engineer".... and then you think "WTF is a combustion engineer" and you find the link to his professional page you see (drumroll please) he's a combustion engineer specializing in how to burn coal better. And you can't help but laugh at the absurdity of it all. Because the otherwise competent geek you were debating with fell into paranoid conspiracy nonsense throwing out everything he knows about reliable science, and rejecting sites like the National Academy of science as "unreliable".... and instead found himself a "reliable" junksite that said what he wanted to hear.

You can use reliable sites to figure out what to believe, or you can use what you believe to determine which websites are reliable. One of those two options doesn't work so well.


Comment: Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 1) 661

I could point out that in 20 years of tracking the climate you'd EXPECT typically one result breaking the 95% confidence band on the high side and one result breaking the 95% confidence band on the low side.... and that I'm pretty sure we broke the 95% confidence band on the high side in 1998... but never mind that....

The whole warming thing is basic undeniable laws of physics. Sunlight shines down, hits the ground or ocean, and turns into heat. And basic laws of physics, CO2 blocks thermal infrared energy from leaving. Heat energy is trapped, Q.E.D. the basic principal and basic fact of global warming is an absolute undeniable result of basic laws of physics. The only complicated part is exactly what will happen with that trapped thermal energy. Where will it go and what will it do.

Surface temperatures have been rising slightly slower than predicted for the last few years, however the ocean temperatures have been rising faster than predicted for the last few years. That means the total warming balances out right just as expected. As I said, basic laws of physics, a pretty well predictable amount of heat energy was trapped, exactly as predicted.

The complicated part is how that heat energy will flow in the climate system and what abnormal effects it will produce in climate system. And just as we (in general) expected, it resulted in random anomalies in climate circulation - there was anomalously high rate of ocean mixing carrying more of the heat energy into the deep ocean.

The earth is warming exactly as expected, and weird random shit is starting to crop up in climate circulation patterns, just as anticipated. (I believe Donald Rumsfield would call these "Known Unknowns. We can predict that the climate is going to start doing weird shit we've never seen before, even if we can't predict exactly what that random shit is going to be. The overall heating of the Earth is a pretty well Known Known.)

Changes in ocean circulation is a core expected "unknown". The slight increase in vertical mixing we got is pretty insignificant, it gives a temporary slowing in the land-temperature rise. But another very possible change in ocean circulation patterns would be a shift or shutoff of one of the north-south circulation loops. If that happens.... well.... then they're going to start saying the "Alarmists" were overly optimistic. No one can even guess at the odds of that, so scientists focus on the known-knowns of the total amount of warming and sea level rise.


The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito