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Comment: Re:Reality's well-known biases (Score 5, Insightful) 277

by smidget2k4 (#33945402) Attached to: Scientists Fight Back In Canada
I'm sorry, but what do you mean by "follow the money"? How do you think scientists get paid? They get a salary from their university. There, I followed the money for you. Grants can only cover lab equipment, grad students (lab equipment), and experiments. You are not allowed to spend grant money on anything else.

Please provide some evidence to back up your insinuation that "Scientists" are... what? Bought by someone? Have some sort of political agenda? Please also cite evidence for the "growing philosophy of post-normal science", because, being a scientist, I have not encountered it in any of the fields that I work in.

Comment: Re:The electro-dynamic field came first, of course (Score 1) 145

by smidget2k4 (#33494276) Attached to: Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin of Life
Science does not and cannot work by anecdote and hearsay alone. If the studies are not published, peer reviewed, and tested, then you could never say anything actually worked, it would all just be rumor. If quantum mechanics had never bothered to publish the enormous amount empirical observations that back up their theory, people would think they are quacks. Quantum mechanics, when you explain it in a vacuum, sounds absolutely insane.

There are certainly things about the mind that we don't know. And there are things about physics that we don't know. However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Quantum mechanics was able to meet the criteria, as weird as it is. Other fields making extraordinary claims must live up to those same criteria, otherwise it would be inappropriate to call any of it science.

Also, please stop throwing James Randi's name around like a pejorative. He does excellant work exposing how charlatans perform their "magic", as has been the tradition of the pinnacle magician. Scientists and science-minded people appreciate his work and find it entertaining, but he certainly doesn't speak for scientists or researchers and is not part of the scientific community.

Comment: Re:The electro-dynamic field came first, of course (Score 1) 145

by smidget2k4 (#33494108) Attached to: Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin of Life
If they got very good results, then where are the break-thru papers? The experimentally tested and verified results? The peer review?

Science can accept wild phenomena if they are true, but without data, verification, and appropriate rigor, none of this is shown to be any more than simply talk. As far as I know, all proper studies on "psychic ability" showed that the participants were no better than random at any task they were given. The only ones that have every shown anything are the ones published in "alternative medicine" journals, and have obvious experimental flaws.

Comment: Re:The electro-dynamic field came first, of course (Score 1) 145

by smidget2k4 (#33486388) Attached to: Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin of Life
Precisely, and it should be added that all science says is "this is the best model that we have at this time with the tools available". It is likely that as our understanding of the universe grows, new phenomena will be discovered.

The point is that we don't know what we'll discover in the future, but we can use our current model to guide us. If the current model turns out to not be accurate, append it or replace it with a better one.

Nido, what it feels like you are driving at is that a supernatural force is required somewhere (if I am wrong with that assumption, please correct me). However, because this force is supernatural, we by definition have no means by which we can understand it, as our observations are limited to the natural world. If, somehow in the future, we were somehow able to detect a supernatural thing by something we could observe, then absolutely science would amend itself appropriately. But until then, we must work with the tools we have, which right now are confined to the universe that we live in. Making baseless assumptions about the universe at best does nothing constructive for our understanding, and at worst would hinder or destroy our progress.

Comment: Re:The electro-dynamic field came first, of course (Score 1) 145

by smidget2k4 (#33486112) Attached to: Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin of Life
Well stated, thank you, I agree wholeheartedly. I also cannot think of what quantum mechanics has to do with religious belief. Apparently, according to him, we have to spend ten years studying quantum mechanics and information physics before we'll get what he's talking about. Because I'm sure he has.

Comment: Re:The electro-dynamic field came first, of course (Score 1) 145

by smidget2k4 (#33486074) Attached to: Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin of Life
It also says:

"Modern philosophical materialists extend the definition of other scientifically observable entities such as energy, forces, and the curvature of space."

OK, so old materialists had that view. To be fair, when materialism was created, they had no knowledge of energy or forces. Artifakt is using an ancient, outdated definition.

Comment: Re:The electro-dynamic field came first, of course (Score 3, Informative) 145

by smidget2k4 (#33485196) Attached to: Transition Metal Catalysts Could Be Key To Origin of Life
Ah the classic, "you don't know what this, so you're dumb, but I'm not going to tell you what it is!" rhetorical move. Very nice. According to this, materialism is just that there is no magic "soul" or "spirit" and everything is simply composed of matter and energy. This seems to be in line with general scientific thought: science doesn't need to account for something that isn't observably there.

Philosophy of science classes just teach the ideas behind the scientific method, how it came to be, and how the early scientists worked. I don't see what relevance that class has to anything you're talking about, this is not a philosophy that scientists are pushing on people, it is the history of scientific pursuit and tools to be used for future work. There is no agenda, scientists aren't trying to push the ideology on you. The evidence says that is what happened, so they report it. Because you feel persecuted by it because it doesn't jive with your beliefs doesn't make it wrong. It doesn't make it right either, it is simply the best idea we have given the evidence presented thus far. That is all science is.

Your last paragraph is nonsensical. Why do we have to give up quantum mechanics? There is nothing magical about it. It may not even be how things work, it just makes very good predictions. What argument are we following to its logical conclusion? You are simply making statements without fully explaining them. What do atheists have to reject about quantum mechanics?

Comment: Re:Charge for support (Score 0, Flamebait) 635

by smidget2k4 (#33340222) Attached to: National Park Service Says Tech Is Enabling Stupidity

"Yeah, sure. It, along with the Republicans, is busy reinforcing the idea that the free market is here to take care of all your wants and desires. You have a problem? Call the free market, it's supposed to take care of you in every way possible.

This is the very predictable outcome of conservative policies that encourage people to trust companies for everything rather than look to themselves to take care of themselves."

FTFY. Yay off-topic idiotic knee jerk rhetoric! It can easily swing both ways.

Comment: Re:True. (Score 4, Informative) 313

by smidget2k4 (#33319016) Attached to: Steam Prompts OS X Graphics Update
This is precisely why I own a Mac laptop. I'm a graduate student in CS, and with my Macbook as my primary work computer, I need a *nix compatible operating system but don't have time to dick around for 2 days getting an Xserver working with a new graphics card (though Ubuntu has made this a late easier than a few years ago). I have a cheapo desktop PC/server that I use for that.

Using Windows would be almost impossible for any serious computing when all high performance clusters I've come in contact with at various universities use Linux or Solaris and I need to test the code locally before launching a job. Desktop Linux, up until recently, was an unstable option.

(Note: I do now own a netbook with Ubuntu 10.04 UNR on it and it is a pleasure to use for writing in a coffee shop or somewhere I'm not guaranteed a power outlet).

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel

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