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Neil DeGrasse Tyson headed down same loony road as Carl Sagan?



 
 
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  #231  
Old October 4th 18, 11:19 AM posted to sci.astro.amateur
Martin Brown[_3_]
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Posts: 160
Default Neil DeGrasse Tyson headed down same loony road as Carl Sagan?

On 04/10/2018 07:38, Paul Schlyter wrote:
On Tue, 02 Oct 2018 07:01:20 -0600, Chris L Peterson
wrote:
You sound like a physicist from the late 1800's. Back then,

physics
was believed to be understood almost completely. Only a few minor
details needed to be clarified. However, those "minor details"

soon
expanded into relativity and QM, making physics quite different
compared to earlier...


Back then we lacked the knowledge to know what knowledge we lacked.
That doesn't appear to be the case anymore. We have a good
understanding of where the holes in our knowledge are, and we have
good ideas about the sort of things that are likely to fill them.


And then every now and then you still get a surprise like high
temperature superconductors (though still pretty cold) and the discovery
of several new allotropes of carbon - the latter having been sat waiting
to be discovered since the first use of graphite or soot for writing.

We don't know what we don't know and is out there waiting to be found.

If you would live for another 100-200 years I think you'd become quite
surprised about the development in physics more than once.
The current situation is really the same as the situation 150 years ago:
now, as well as back then, we don't clearly see the holes in our
knowledge. In the future, we'll be able to see it more clearly - but of
course it is always easier to be wiser after the fact...


We are about due for a paradigm shift in the next hundred years or so.

It just takes that one clever experiment that refutes present
established theory to open an entire new branch of physics. Science is a
game of successive approximation to reality with there always being
scope for a better more comprehensive theory to come along later that
includes all our present knowledge as a weak field limiting case.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
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  #232  
Old October 4th 18, 02:16 PM posted to sci.astro.amateur
Chris L Peterson
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Posts: 9,866
Default Neil DeGrasse Tyson headed down same loony road as Carl Sagan?

On Thu, 04 Oct 2018 08:38:08 +0200, Paul Schlyter
wrote:

On Tue, 02 Oct 2018 07:01:20 -0600, Chris L Peterson
wrote:
You sound like a physicist from the late 1800's. Back then,

physics
was believed to be understood almost completely. Only a few minor
details needed to be clarified. However, those "minor details"

soon
expanded into relativity and QM, making physics quite different
compared to earlier...


Back then we lacked the knowledge to know what knowledge we lacked.
That doesn't appear to be the case anymore. We have a good
understanding of where the holes in our knowledge are, and we have
good ideas about the sort of things that are likely to fill them.


If you would live for another 100-200 years I think you'd become
quite surprised about the development in physics more than once.


We'll see. But I don't think our core understanding of physics is
going to look all that different in a couple of centuries. Or ever.

  #233  
Old October 4th 18, 02:18 PM posted to sci.astro.amateur
Chris L Peterson
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Posts: 9,866
Default Neil DeGrasse Tyson headed down same loony road as Carl Sagan?

On Thu, 4 Oct 2018 11:19:16 +0100, Martin Brown
wrote:

Back then we lacked the knowledge to know what knowledge we lacked.
That doesn't appear to be the case anymore. We have a good
understanding of where the holes in our knowledge are, and we have
good ideas about the sort of things that are likely to fill them.


And then every now and then you still get a surprise like high
temperature superconductors (though still pretty cold) and the discovery
of several new allotropes of carbon - the latter having been sat waiting
to be discovered since the first use of graphite or soot for writing.


Yeah, but those don't really surprise anybody. We almost immediately
understand them in the context of the core physics we already know.

In essence, we understand how nature works pretty well. That's
unlikely to change. The "surprises" are just our failure to recognize
consequences of what we know.
  #234  
Old October 4th 18, 03:40 PM posted to sci.astro.amateur
Martin Brown[_3_]
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Posts: 160
Default Neil DeGrasse Tyson headed down same loony road as Carl Sagan?

On 04/10/2018 14:18, Chris L Peterson wrote:
On Thu, 4 Oct 2018 11:19:16 +0100, Martin Brown
wrote:

Back then we lacked the knowledge to know what knowledge we lacked.
That doesn't appear to be the case anymore. We have a good
understanding of where the holes in our knowledge are, and we have
good ideas about the sort of things that are likely to fill them.


And then every now and then you still get a surprise like high
temperature superconductors (though still pretty cold) and the discovery
of several new allotropes of carbon - the latter having been sat waiting
to be discovered since the first use of graphite or soot for writing.


Yeah, but those don't really surprise anybody. We almost immediately
understand them in the context of the core physics we already know.


High temperature superconductors did at least for a while and there is
still no good theoretical upper bound on how hot a superconductor can
work. Apparently simple problems can still be tricky to solve.

In essence, we understand how nature works pretty well. That's
unlikely to change. The "surprises" are just our failure to recognize
consequences of what we know.


Fine until we actually detect a dark matter particle and it turns out to
be nothing like what any of the theorists have predicted. You are
sounding so like a nineteenth century physicist that it is unbelievable.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
  #235  
Old October 4th 18, 05:37 PM posted to sci.astro.amateur
Gerald Kelleher
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Posts: 1,382
Default Neil DeGrasse Tyson headed down same loony road as Carl Sagan?

The question the Pope put to Galileo would have the same difficulties today for those terrified of the question as it did back then. Unlike those who imagine there was some doctrinal necessity of a Sun centered system (although Galileo did try to retrofit observations into Biblical texts), those who are intelligent enough would isolate the main point as technical.

The system for astronomical predictions was based on Ptolemy's system where the Sun moved through the Zodiac so that the resolution of direct/retrogrades was meant to fit with this system of reckoning -

". . . the ancient hypotheses clearly fail to account for certain important matters. For example, they do not comprehend the causes of the numbers, extents and durations of the retrogradations and of their agreeing so well with the position and mean motion of the sun. Copernicus alone gives an explanation to those things that provoke astonishment among other astronomers, thus destroying the source of astonishment, which lies in the ignorance of the causes." 1596, Mysterium Cosmographicum, Kepler


The empiricists having been living off the anti-denominational Christian sentiment when only now, using contemporary imaging, can the stand-off be resolved .

The answer is no, predictive astronomy does not mesh with proof of the Earth's daily and annual motions insofar as the resolution of direct/retrogrades for Mercury and Venus require a stationary and central Sun for that purpose -

https://www.popastro.com/images/plan...ary%202012.jpg

Unlike the late 16th and early 17th century, few would have understood the quandary and even less people today. For my part the illusory loops of the slower moving planets further from the Sun than the Earth contrasted with the actual loops (shown above) would be at the heart of astronomy.

  #236  
Old October 4th 18, 05:39 PM posted to sci.astro.amateur
Gary Harnagel
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Posts: 646
Default Neil DeGrasse Tyson headed down same loony road as Carl Sagan?

On Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 3:55:31 AM UTC-6, Martin Brown wrote:

On 04/10/2018 07:24, Paul Schlyter wrote:

On Tue, 2 Oct 2018 14:09:34 -0700 (PDT), Gary Harnagel
wrote:

Less, but not zero.* You have NO idea how much less prevents life

and neither do I, so this is just yammering.

Neither do you have any idea about it.


Actually, I do. The fraction of heavy elements in the human body are in
parts per million, so a star's metallicity of 20% present value is QUITE
sufficient.

So you have no basis whatsoever to claim it is "almost certain" such
civilization will form


So you are dead wrong ... again.

and succeed in interstellar travel.


So you believe that, given a thousand years or so, we won't? How
pessimistic of you!

It is just fantasies and wishful thinking from you.


Nope. It is your pessimism and refusal to really THINK about what we
now know about the universe that clouds your judgment,

The "law of big numbers" doesn't help you here since there are too
many unknown and possibly extremely small numbers involved.


But WE ARE HERE. No Law og Large NUMBERS needed to project our future,
provided one isn't an abject pessimist with zero hope of any future at
all.

Since the biggest stars burn out the fastest I think that locally a few
places may have been favoured with high metallicity very early on and
you only need enough to make a few planets here and there to get going.


Indeed. The question is did they create heavy elements like Type Ia
supernovae do in our era. But finding a galaxy 11 billion years old with
20% the metallicity of our sun is promising. We don't need all that much.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compos...ositio n_list

But the early universe was a much more violent place than today and
things closer together so any developing life would be more likely to
get zapped and reset by a close supernova or merging black hole pair.


But they were all gone in less than a billion years. There were big
galaxies with metals 11 billion years ago. Give them 5 billion years
to develop to our level, that means any such civilization would be 6
billion years ahead of ours.

So you believe only scientists can have new ideas?* You DO realize
that some SF authors ARE scientists, don't you?


These are by now quite old ideas. Yes, SF ages too as time passes.


Some of it ages quite well. When Kubrick flat imaging tablet devices for
watching TV in 2001 the idea was ridiculous but today they are
everywhere likewise for "communicators" in Star Trek. Partly I think
because the engineers and scientists who grew up watching these programs
thought they were cool ideas and tried to make them in reality.

However, wild hypotheses are definitely "almost certain" to be true.
Dream on, and get back if and when solid evidence for the existence of
these phenomena appears. And note that science fiction is not science
fact.


Nobody but you is trying to bring the topic to actual fact. That is a
straw-man argument, which you regularly try to do.

Clarke's First Law: "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states
that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states
that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

However much you wish to make a wormhole it isn't going to happen
without a heck of a lot of energy


Maybe, maybe not. The Alcubierre metric requires humongus energy, but
other metrics (e.g., the Natario metric) require much, much less.

and some very exotic matter.


True. However, there is some hope that "negative energy" can be achieved
in a relative manner, e.g., via the Casimir effect.

And even
if you could make one its stability and unwelcome tendency to spagettify
things near it is an open question.

Having vision is easy, you just fantasize. Making it actually happen is
much much harder.


Again you are trying to foist another straw-man argument on me :-)

Chances are that any civilisation that has been around for so long will
be unrecognisable to us - we could even be living inside one of their
computer simulations of universes.


Computer, end program?

Believing doesn't make it true. It just means that believers will stick
to what they think they know in the face of all evidence to the contrary


That's YOUR definition of believing. Mine is that which is not refuted
by solid evidence.

(even to the extent of being burnt at the stake as a heretic - popular
with the two most prominent brands of Christianity in the middle ages).


Jan Hus, a Catholic priest, was burned at the stake for heresy. A
hundred years later Martin Luther found out about him and said, "We
were all Husians and didn't know it.

It comes down to how much vision you have vs. how big a pessimist
you are.


And in what way could VISION alone give us knowledge?


It gives us possibilities, and statistics gives us probabilities.

Show me a hyper advanced space faring civilisation or a signal from one
and I will be the first to agree that they exist. Until that time they
are at best a figment of your imagination. I am inclined to think that
the energetics and timescales for interstellar travel are so great that
very few if any civilisations ever expand beyond the confines of their
own solar system. Space is big - really really big. HHGG

http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/33085.html


All we need is an Infinite Improbability Drive :-)

Without any solid base, you are. It is easy to get caught up in wishful
thinking. But even a visionary must distinguish what we know from what
we merely believe, or else his visions will at some stage fall flat to
the ground.


No they can persist in the face of all the evidence to the contrary.


I'll be the first to recant if you present solid evidence that no
advanced civilization exists or that travel from one place to another
faster than light can get there is impossible.

Why not?* Dreamers make reality happen.* Pessimists just sit around
moping.


Nope. Realists are those who make reality happen. Dreamers just dream,
and when one dream fails they switch to another dream. To make things
happen you must be careful about distinguish speculation from knowledge..


Dreamers and creative people can think of things but it takes engineers
and scientists to make something that will actually work.


As YOU pointed out above, those who believed the dreamers made cell phones
happen. Of course, railroads don't happen until it's time to railroad.

But regarding extraterrestrial civilizations we humans cannot make that
happen. It either has happened or has not happened and we cannot do
anything about that. Your dreams can never create extraterrestrial
civilizations billions of years into the past.


If there was one they would probably be so abstract by now that we
wouldn't recognise them anyway. They would almost certainly have made
the transition to being a self improving AI singularity.


Would they? With billions of years of self-improvement, wouldn't that
include a highly-developed sense of responsibility to less developed
civilizations? Particularly, if developing civilizations have a tendency
toward self-destruction as some here have asserted.

Clarke's Third Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic."

When you talk about extraterrestrial life, don't you mean real
life in the real universe and not just your fantasies and wishes?


I believe in ET.* Why wouldn't you?


I consider it possible that they exist.
But I'm not expecting to see LGMs shopping in Tesco's any time soon.


Neither am I.

No, I'm a realist.

No, you're a mope-around.* And you cannot possibly be a "realist"
since you admit that we don't know.


The reality **is** that we don't know...


I think the evidence is tilting towards the idea that simple life might
be more common than we thought but unless and until we find an
independent occurrence on Mars, Enceledus or Europa there is no evidence
one way or the other. It is all about belief in the absence of evidence.


Yes, but it is MUCH more desirable to be an optimist rather than a
pessimist.

So you admit that calling yourself a realist is just as nonsensical
as my calling myself a visionary :-))


Calling yourself a visionary is clarifying, since it says you are
talking about your visions, not about reality. And, no, your visions
will never be able to create extraterrestrial civilizations billions of
years into the past.


I never said anything about creating ET. You're blathering straw-man
nonsense again.

Chances are they died with their star anyway. Interstellar travel for
life forms is in the seriously too difficult category. Interplanetary
travel for humans is still very very tough with only the moon having
ever been visited (and that was done 50 years ago).


Says a pessimist.

Indeed.* As a human being, however, I want to have a "world view.."
It's important to me.* I have developed mine over many years and
I'll hold it until and if the evidence refutes it.


That's fine, however you should admit that it's just a vision. Reality
itself can be very different.


Could be. Probably is. Even with 99% probability, that 1% can bite.

But, if you remember, I began this, um, treatise to demonstrate the
abject failure of atheism. I maintain that anyone who calls himself
an atheist is either ignorant of cosmology, incapable of critical
reasoning (i.e., stupid) or dishonest. One cannot rule out the
existence of a godlike race of beings.

I find it interesting how many fight against this very simple idea.
  #237  
Old October 5th 18, 04:45 AM posted to sci.astro.amateur
Chris L Peterson
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Posts: 9,866
Default Neil DeGrasse Tyson headed down same loony road as Carl Sagan?

On Thu, 4 Oct 2018 15:40:53 +0100, Martin Brown
wrote:

Yeah, but those don't really surprise anybody. We almost immediately
understand them in the context of the core physics we already know.


High temperature superconductors did at least for a while and there is
still no good theoretical upper bound on how hot a superconductor can
work. Apparently simple problems can still be tricky to solve.


Again, none of this is changing physics in a significant way. None is
changing our core understanding of things. Important theories are not
being discarded.

Sure, lots of problems are hard to solve. Lots of implications of
physical law are hard to see. But that's not the same at all as what
was happening 100 years ago or more.

In essence, we understand how nature works pretty well. That's
unlikely to change. The "surprises" are just our failure to recognize
consequences of what we know.


Fine until we actually detect a dark matter particle and it turns out to
be nothing like what any of the theorists have predicted. You are
sounding so like a nineteenth century physicist that it is unbelievable.


It's possible. But I predict that it will simply fill in a previously
uncertain square in the Standard Model. No theories will be
overturned.
  #238  
Old October 5th 18, 06:37 AM posted to sci.astro.amateur
Paul Schlyter[_3_]
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Default Neil DeGrasse Tyson headed down same loony road as Carl Sagan?

On Thu, 4 Oct 2018 10:55:27 +0100, Martin Brown
wrote:
These are by now quite old ideas. Yes, SF ages too as time

passes.

Some of it ages quite well. When Kubrick flat imaging tablet

devices for
watching TV in 2001 the idea was ridiculous but today they are
everywhere likewise for "communicators" in Star Trek.


One thing that Kubrick missed in his vision were small decentralized
computers distributed more or less everywhere. In Kubricks vision
there was one single super-powerful computer - HAL. Much like the big
iron computers that we had in the 1960's.


I believe in ET.* Why wouldn't you?


I consider it possible that they exist.
But I'm not expecting to see LGMs shopping in Tesco's any time soon.


Even if ET's existed, expecting to see them frequently visit the
Earth is like expecting to see celebrities like the Pope, Madonna,
and others, frequently visiting the block where you happen to live.


I don't think you can alter the world view of a true believer they

have
proved willing to be burnt at the stake for their beliefs in the

past.
(often by a rival group of believers in the same "One True God")


Now Mr Galileo do you believe that the Sun goes around the Earth or
would you like more house arrest and a molten lead ear wash?


An excellent summary! :-)
  #239  
Old October 5th 18, 07:14 AM posted to sci.astro.amateur
Paul Schlyter[_3_]
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Posts: 1,266
Default Neil DeGrasse Tyson headed down same loony road as Carl Sagan?

On Thu, 4 Oct 2018 09:39:27 -0700 (PDT), Gary Harnagel
wrote:
Less, but not zero.* You have NO idea how much less prevents

lif=
e
and neither do I, so this is just yammering.


Neither do you have any idea about it.


Actually, I do. The fraction of heavy elements in the human body

are in
parts per million, so a star's metallicity of 20% present value is

QUITE
sufficient.


Note that "heavy elements" here means elements heavier than helium.
So here you just claimed that the human body consists of 99.9999%
hydrogen and helium only. This is blatantly false, and you should
know that! What about the carbon, oxygen and nitrogen? Elements
essential to life, but you just said our body has virtually nothing
of them...


The "law of big numbers" doesn't help you here since there are

too
many unknown and possibly extremely small numbers involved.


But WE ARE HERE. No Law og Large NUMBERS needed to project our

future,
provided one isn't an abject pessimist with zero hope of any future

at
all.


Nobody argues the fact that we are here. The question is if we are
common, or if we are very rare, perhaps unique.


Dream on, and get back if and when solid evidence for the

existence of=
these phenomena appears. And note that science fiction is not

science
fact.


Nobody but you is trying to bring the topic to actual fact. That

is a
straw-man argument, which you regularly try to do.


Why would the actual fact be so uninteresting to you? And if it is,
why don't you move your discussion to alt.fantasies instead?
Obviously, that is where it belongs.


Having vision is easy, you just fantasize. Making it actually

happen is=
much much harder.


Again you are trying to foist another straw-man argument on me :-)


Do you disagree with this?


Believing doesn't make it true. It just means that believers will

stick
to what they think they know in the face of all evidence to the

contrary

That's YOUR definition of believing. Mine is that which is not

refuted
by solid evidence.


Then your collection of beliefs must be a chaotic collection of
mutually contradiction of beliefs. You believe in ET because that has
not been refuted by solid evidence. But at the same time you also
believe in the non-existence of ET because that too has not been
refuted by solid evidence. In any area where we don't know how it is,
you have two or more mutually contradicting beliefs because all these
beliefs have not been refuted by solid evidence. How can you have
such a belief system without going insane?


And in what way could VISION alone give us knowledge?


It gives us possibilities, and statistics gives us probabilities.


Statistics require solid evidence, or else you'll have no data to do
your statistics on.


I'll be the first to recant if you present solid evidence that no
advanced civilization exists or that travel from one place to

another
faster than light can get there is impossible.


The latter has already been proved impossible with ordinary matter by
Einstein's theory of relativity. FTL travel would require exotic
matter with imaginary rest mass. Such matter has never been observed,
and in particular our bodies are not made of such matter. FTL travel
would at least require infinite amounts of energy, and there isn't
that much energy in the universe.


Dreamers and creative people can think of things but it takes

engineers
and scientists to make something that will actually work.


As YOU pointed out above, those who believed the dreamers made cell

phones

Yep, engineers did that, and scientists provided the engineers with
the information they needed to do that. But without scientists and
engineers and with only the visionaries, there would be no cell
phones.


Yes, but it is MUCH more desirable to be an optimist rather than a
pessimist.


This comment shows what is driving you. You want what is pleasant,
and you are not interested in reality. Becoming a drug addict would
probably be the ideal solution for you.


But, if you remember, I began this, um, treatise to demonstrate the
abject failure of atheism. I maintain that anyone who calls himself
an atheist is either ignorant of cosmology, incapable of critical
reasoning (i.e., stupid) or dishonest. One cannot rule out the
existence of a godlike race of beings.


I find it interesting how many fight against this very simple idea.


Perhaps you noticed that many who call themselves atheists merely
lack a belief in deities? They don't think that the non-existence of
deities has been rigorously proved beyond doubt. But, as opposed to
you, they don't naively believe in anything which hasn't been
rigorously disproved.
  #240  
Old October 5th 18, 07:16 AM posted to sci.astro.amateur
Paul Schlyter[_3_]
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Posts: 1,266
Default Neil DeGrasse Tyson headed down same loony road as Carl Sagan?

On Thu, 04 Oct 2018 07:16:42 -0600, Chris L Peterson
wrote:
If you would live for another 100-200 years I think you'd become
quite surprised about the development in physics more than once.


We'll see. But I don't think our core understanding of physics is
going to look all that different in a couple of centuries. Or ever.


The physicists of some 150 years ago had the same belief about their
physical worldview.
 




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