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  #11  
Old 27th February 2016, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Accident

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Strato said View Post
Can you give a little more on that Db?

Creationists think and argue, effectively to the ignorant that evolution is impossible, the theory is fallacious, since the 'natural order' doesn't arise from disorder and 'chaos' without Creator magic.
Life needs just three things, IMHO:-
1. A usable energy gradient
2. Some form of chemical memory
3. A "bucket" or "container" that can do the proxy for a cell membrane.

In other words, a self-sustaining [pre-biotic] biochemical cycle or cycles.

The favourite is a ribozyme, which is just a class of RNA's that can catalyse chemical reactions. Pretty clear that some RNA's, including ones with catalytic properties, can self-assemble from abiotic components. They can be very small. Because they are RNA they are also information carriers, and of course they mutate a little while replicating. But there is a dilution problem, so porus rock can do the proxy for cell walls. So the smart money is on submarine hydro-thermal vents, which spew our reduced minerals, so there is both your original energy source, and your opportunity to concentrate the biochemical soup.
Depends how far you want to go back though--- the big bang?
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  #12  
Old 27th February 2016, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Accident

To me this is conflating accident which is an almost human aspect of actions with unintended consequence AKA human error resulting in an accident with random actions AKA a mutation in a gene or a collapse of a cliff face due to erosion. Both the latter may I think be erroneously considered "accidents" but are really random events.

Both random events and accidents have outcomes one is caused by an agency (human or animal, yes animals fuck up too) the other is a random physical event without any agency.
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  #13  
Old 27th February 2016, 09:26 PM
surreptitious57 surreptitious57 is offline
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Default Re: Accident

The Second Law Of Thermodynamics states that entropy will not decrease in a closed system and not that it will increase. A subtle
but important difference. And while it can apply to just the Earth it actually applies in practice to all of the observable universe too
which is regarded as a closed system. For anything which happens outside of it is unobservable and so therefore cannot be known
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  #14  
Old 28th February 2016, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: Accident

I just bought Richard Feynman Six Easy Pieces, essentials of physics explained by its most brilliant teacher. Also Six Not So Easy Pieces, Einstein's relativity, symmetry, and space-time. I will have to read each one twice and will ever need to refer back to them. I can't follow the maths regrettably.

Within the laws of conservation, matter can neither be created nor destroyed, AFAIK . Yet thermodynamic processes are irreversible, hence entropy. The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate and may continue to forever, (though there is a speed limit C,) so escaping its internal gravity which otherwise would have caused it to reverse and contract into a Big Crunch, to pulse again in another Big Bang ongoing. It will eventuate in (sad) heat death.

Is the Earth really a closed system? Isn't heat escaping? Won't the Sun expand and disassemble and absorb it like an amoeba in about 14 billion years anyway?

My point is that the increasing complexity of most life forms and increasing speciation on the planet (were it not for extinctions caused by human action) does not contradict entropy, as creationists erroneously argue, 'and so God did it.'

We see the web of life as ordered. That is subjectively construed by our minds. And it certainly is an interesting way for inevitable entropy to obtain, like a giant river estuary branching in multiplied ways, on its course to the sea. Beautiful and rare planet.
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Old 28th February 2016, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: Accident

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Azurisan21 said View Post
Define accident.
An unintended outcome, usually defined as avoidable.

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What are scientific proofs?
The proper answer to this is somewhat subtle. The accepted wisdom is that 'proof' doesn't apply in science, but this is not quite correct, but to explain why requires a bit of unpacking. So, what is 'proof'?

Properly defined, proof is a formal procedure, applicable only to axiomatically complete systems of deductive logic, in which a route is taken from true premises (axioms) via valid rules of inference (reasoning) to a conclusion that is necessarily true. Axiomatically complete simply means that all our axioms ore premises are definitely true. Mathematics is an axiomatically complete system, so it's certainly true that proof applies, but a sound syllogism, for example, is also axiomatically complete. Because the majority of scientific epistemology is inductive, we can only say that we have a degree of confidence that a conclusion is probably true. You'll hear it said that the difference between deduction and induction is that deduction reasons from the general to the specific while induction reasons from the specific to the general. This isn't actually true, although it does serve as a vaguely useful first approximation. The real difference is that deduction leads to conclusions that are definitely true, while induction leads to conclusions that are probably true. So, we observe an event that falls in line with our conjecture, and each new supporting observation increases the confidence (probability) that our hypothesis is correct. For many, this is where the story ends, but it isn't the entire picture, because proof actually does enter scientific epistemology, in the form of falsification, or disproof. The logic of this takes two forms. The first is positive disproof, and Feynman stated it beautifully in one of his famous lectures:
Quote:
Bongo-playing safecracker said
ďNow Iím going to discuss how we would look for a new law. In general, we look for a new law by the following process. First, we guess it (audience laughter), no, donít laugh, thatís the truth. Then we compute the consequences of the guess, to see what, if this is right, if this law we guess is right, to see what it would imply and then we compare the computation results to nature or we say compare to experiment or experience, compare it directly with observations to see if it works.

If it disagrees with experiment, itís WRONG. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesnít make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesnít matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name isÖ If it disagrees with experiment, itís wrong. Thatís all there is to it.Ē
Formally, in the propositional calculus, this is known as modus tollens:

P => Q, ¨Q
∴¨P

And the negative form, also known as the null hypothesis:

P=>¨Q, Q
∴¨P

Both of these constitute proof. Popper, who formalised this, thought that he'd solved Hume's problem of induction, but he was wrong in that. What he did do was to show that deduction can be brought into science, and proof along with it, but only in a very specific sense. We can make absolute statements in science, but only about specific events, or about what is definitely NOT true.

I should point out that the latter of those two formulations is really exactly the same as the first, and can be formalised in exactly the same phrasing, as long as it's borne in mind that 'Q' is the proposition that something will NOT be observed. In practice, it's much easier to use the notation I've used to show how it works, but the logic is exactly the same.

Of course, Popper wasn't the last word on the subject, but to get into what Kuhn did with it is to go beyond the scope of this answer. I recommend highly both Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery and Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Quote:
Is the perception of accident subjective? Does accident exist? Is it just our limited knowledge and perception?
It could certainly be thought of a insufficient knowledge based on the definition I gave above. Ultimately, because it rests on avoidability, which in turn rests on foresight, it could be said that accidents rest on lack of foresight, which is a kind of knowledge.

Quote:
How do theories of Entropy,
Not sure how that relates to the topic at hand, but entropy is simply a measure of how much energy in a system is unavailable for performing work. It states that, in an isolated system, the overall tendency will be for more and more energy to become unusable over time. I gave entropy a treatment some years ago, and you can find it HERE. It includes a proper treatment of the three types of thermodynamic system and their subtypes.

Quote:
Chaos/Butterfly Effect
Again, not sure how this is related, though I always think it's worth pointing out that chaos isn't what a lit of people think it is. Most think of it as disorder, but in fact, from a technical perspective, it simply sensitivity to initial conditions, hence the butterfly effect as a description of how it works. It tells us that a tiny difference in starting conditions in non-linear systems can lead to vastly different outcomes.

Quote:
and String relate to it?
Strong theory is entirely unconnected, except that, of course, strings will be subject to quantum effects, which means that it contains random elements. That said, randomness appears in macroscopic systems as well, such as evolution. Indeed, a friend of ours is fond of talking about how, when Darwin first published his findings, among the strongest opposition he received was from physicists, because they were all Laplacian determinists, and didn't want to accept that there was randomness in the universe. Ludwig Boltzmann, famous for formalising the aforementioned second law of thermodynamics, called Darwin 'the greatest physicist of the 19th century', because it was his introduction of random elements that led Boltzmann to formulate statistical mechanics, the formalisation of thermodynamics, and eventually led to quantum theory (by a somewhat circuitous route).
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  #16  
Old 28th February 2016, 01:22 AM
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Default Re: Accident

Quote:
Strato said View Post
I just bought Richard Feynman Six Easy Pieces, essentials of physics explained by its most brilliant teacher. Also Six Not So Easy Pieces, Einstein's relativity, symmetry, and space-time. I will have to read each one twice and will ever need to refer back to them.
Both very high on my recommended reading list. Feynman was the best.

Quote:
The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate and may continue to forever, (though there is a speed limit C,)
One small point, namely that the expansion of the cosmos isn't actually subject to this limitation, which only applies to motion through space. The easiest way to understand why it doesn't violate relativity is to think of all the galaxies, etc, as sitting still, while space expands between them. The cosmos can certainly expand greatly in excess of c with no violation.

Quote:
Is the Earth really a closed system?
No, it's an open system. Heat, work and matter can both cross the boundary of the system in both directions (strictly speaking, an open system has no boundary, we merely define a boundary for convenience, unlike the other two types of system, in which the boundary plays a critical role). Indeed, even in a closed system, heat and work can cross the boundary in both directions while matter may not (there are further subtypes of boundary in a closed system).
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  #17  
Old 28th February 2016, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: Accident

Quote:
Feynman cited by Hack said
Now I’m going to discuss how we would look for a new law. In general, we look for a new law by the following process. First, we guess it (audience laughter), no, don’t laugh, that’s the truth.
Seriously, this is something I often struggle to get people to accept, even those on the side of reason, rationality, and science.

Last edited by Spearthrower; 28th February 2016 at 01:30 AM.
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  #18  
Old 28th February 2016, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: Accident

Same here.
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  #19  
Old 28th February 2016, 03:04 AM
surreptitious57 surreptitious57 is offline
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Default Re: Accident

Why is the atmosphere not regarded as the boundary of Earth? Since this regulates temperature and filters radiation and
heat cannot escape it as it is contained within it. Space is classed as any distance above sixty two miles from the surface
of Earth. Then anything either within this range or the range of the atmosphere ( if they are different ) should be classed
as part of the system. Especially as in the case of Earth life could simply not exist without it because either the excessive
heat or the excessive radiation would make this physically impossible. Because not all planets actually have atmospheres
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  #20  
Old 28th February 2016, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: Accident

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surreptitious57 said View Post
Why is the atmosphere not regarded as the boundary of Earth?
It is, but what something is regarded as and what it actually is don't necessarily correlate. Where's the boundary of the atmosphere?

Here's an anti-creationist meme to illustrate the problem:



Quote:
Since this regulates temperature
It regulates temperature locally, not globally. Not that that's relevant here.

Quote:
heat cannot escape it as it is contained within it.
And this is just plain wrong. If heat couldn't escape it, you could forget all about anthropogenic climate change, because the temperature would just keep climbing and climbing, because of the massive thermal input from the sun.

Quote:
Space is classed as any distance above sixty two miles from the surface of Earth. Then anything either within this range or the range of the atmosphere ( if they are different ) should be classed
as part of the system. Especially as in the case of Earth life could simply not exist without it because either the excessive
heat or the excessive radiation would make this physically impossible. Because not all planets actually have atmospheres
Again, this is merely a convenience. We ground apes do love to classify things and put them in little boxes, regardless of the fact that nature doesn't pander to our foibles.
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