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General => Open Discussion => Topic started by: René on January 14, 2018, 01:19:28 PM

Title: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: René on January 14, 2018, 01:19:28 PM
https://www.facebook.com/theroyalsociety/videos/1792157090816818/
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: PabloMack on January 18, 2018, 08:37:58 PM
I had the privilege to hear David Attenborough speak at the Bristol meeting of the SVP celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of "Origin of Species". They handed out a special publication about Charles Darwin's life. I should have tried to get my copy autographed but there were so may people there, I felt he had better things to do. I have great respect for both men. Charles Darwin was indeed a fair man as he gave Alfred Russel Wallace equal credit for their theory of evolution in a presentation held in London.
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: SILENCER on January 19, 2018, 03:13:52 PM
So Life, essentially, came from rocks.
The Universe was so awesome it just spawned itself.
Lots of assumption there.


Sorry, no cigar on that one.
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: cyphyr on January 19, 2018, 03:18:56 PM
So Life, essentially, came from rocks.
The Universe was so awesome it just spawned itself.
Lots of assumption there.


Sorry, no cigar on that one.

Would you prefer a "divine" hand then?
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Hetzen on January 19, 2018, 05:21:13 PM
My wife works for the directorship at Kew Botanical Gardens and meets with Sir David quite regularly. There's a climate controlled room where that first edition book he's reading from is kept among other historical works. Quite a collection there is too.

When Martin (Tangled Universe) came over to the UK a couple of years back, she showed us the plant archive where all the species found over history have been dried and stored in folders on shelves from floor to ceiling, in multiple huge multi storied rooms. It was quite fascinating.
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: SILENCER on January 19, 2018, 10:38:56 PM
Would you prefer a "divine" hand then?

Absolutely.
I'd rather not gamble against Him.
He's a Boss.
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Kadri on January 19, 2018, 10:43:15 PM
Would you prefer a "divine" hand then?

Absolutely.
I'd rather not gamble against Him.
He's a Boss.

And he just spawned itself?
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Hetzen on January 20, 2018, 01:38:41 AM
Quote from: Kadri link=topic=24037.msg242984#msg242984
And he just spawned itself?

It's turtles all the way down! :)
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Dune on January 20, 2018, 05:34:33 AM
Not that fruitless discussion again  :-\
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: René on January 20, 2018, 07:00:52 AM
Would you prefer a "divine" hand then?

Absolutely.
I'd rather not gamble against Him.
He's a Boss.

If there is anyone who can spawn himself, then it is God. He doesn't have to obey the laws of nature. ;)
On the other hand, a universe that spawns itself also seems weird.
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: PabloMack on January 22, 2018, 10:20:46 PM
Would you prefer a "divine" hand then?

I saw a documentary which was probably "how the universe works". Seems many physicists think that arrays of universes are being spawned which have progressively different values for the parameters for each one. This sounded as though "someone" had "spawned" multitudes of trial universes to see which ones produce the best results. I can imagine God sitting at a computer writing programs to produce innumerable universes and then investigate the results like an engineer/scientist would. This is how I view God. A god that needs to run trials would not be literally all-knowing within an instant in time but would have knowledge and intelligence that is uncountably orders of magnitude beyond ourselves. To people, this being is, for all practical purposes, "all knowing" from our perspective. It is reminiscent of the way common people regarded kings in the ancient world and considered them to be all-powerful, yet literally were not. The Bible compares God to a farmer who casts seed and hopes for a good yield. I see God casting Big Bangs into space and watching to see the results. Here, God is not discretely making each individual organism as fundamentalists think. Instead, God is much like a researcher who defines the laws of physics and chemistry and the intelligence built into the materials in the universe behave according to the parameters set for each individual universe (or trial as it were). As time goes on for each universe, essentially the changes happen on their own according to the parameters set for it (or "word of God" as one might refer to the rules governing the behavior of the various parts of the system).
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Matt on January 22, 2018, 10:33:13 PM
I can imagine God sitting at a computer writing programs to produce innumerable universes and then investigate the results like an engineer/scientist would. This is how I view God. A god that needs to run trials would not be literally all-knowing within an instant in time but would have knowledge and intelligence that is uncountable orders of magnitude beyond ourselves.

It is not necessary for the "God" in this scenario to be more intelligent than the beings that exist in the universe he created. I think it's almost certain, due to the size of the universe, that somewhere in the universe there exists a being that is more intelligent than the being that created the universe.

Matt
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Matt on January 22, 2018, 10:37:21 PM
Also, the intelligence necessary to create a universe might not be many orders of magnitude beyond our own, although it's certainly way beyond our current technology and understanding.

Matt
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: PabloMack on January 23, 2018, 12:30:16 AM
I think of our universe existing in a sort of "test tube"; God himself being outside of our universe test tube. There might be a rack of these test tubes so that God can glance at many universes at a time. And of course, if God (or one of his technicians) uses a programming language, it would be naive to think that the source code is in ASCII or even UniCode for that matter. The source code might not even be stored in a 2-dimensional document resembling a sheet of paper such as ours are. The source code might exist in 4-or 5-dimensional documents and be viewed through hyperspace. There might or might not even be a separate computer to run it on and the whole shebang might even exist in God's mind. Think of the amount of storage needed to simulate 100-billion universes all running at once. Then imagine 100-billion gallaxies in each of these universes and each galaxy with 100-billion stars.
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Oshyan on January 23, 2018, 01:43:46 AM
Why it is easier to imagine that there is some god creator (who itself was created *how*, exactly? oh, we're back to the same mysterious/pointless origin problem!) than just to imagine that the universe "happened" for no reason at all, I do not know... As they say, it's turtles all the way down. If a god created us, then perhaps that gives our existence meaning, but what/who created god, or if nothing, then we're back to having no meaning for god's existence and, by extension, our own.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Dune on January 23, 2018, 05:44:31 AM
And why would He do that? Boredom, fun to watch what happens? Lots to see for Him, that's for sure  ;)
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Hetzen on January 23, 2018, 06:17:54 AM
I've been reading quite a bit of popular science books recently, one notable one is "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene (I hope he's not a relative of yours Oshyan), which I thought was shit. It was supposed to explain why string theory is the answer to how to couple all the forces of nature into one equation. But rather than explaining how it does this, it just repeats the mantra that it does. Unfortunately, there is no string equation. In fact string theory can't predict anything testable because of this 'multiverse' get out clause, which says all solutions are possible, you just have to find the right universe that we live in. Which is hubris. Peter Woit has written a very good book called "Not Even Wrong" and has an extremely good blog of the same name, that posits why the multiverse is a red herring, that too much physics funding has been attributed to it for over 40 years, with out it making a single testable prediction. SUSY (Super Symmetry) was the latest string theory failure that has been proven not to exist at the LHC in the last year, on which most string theorists had predicted it would.

Something I find fascinating, is that a photon has no self concept of time.

Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: SILENCER on January 23, 2018, 02:54:36 PM
The most concise explanation in my view is:

The Supernatural Exists.
God Spoke The Universe Into Being.


Heavy shit, maybe to some unbelievable.
Just because humans can build CERN doesn't mean they know where they came from or how. There's a lot of theory and conjecture. As yet, no one has truly solved it. Ideas are pushed, propaganda disseminated, but in the end no real concrete proof of what actually happened. Blank spots in history. Mystery everywhere.
It costs you nothing to believe it. If it's untrue, then no harm to foul, you wink out at the end of physical life, and hopefully you did no Evil.

The Supernatural isn't supposed to happen, but it does happen. Just ask anyone that's been in a legitimately haunted house, for example. I have, and it's goddamn freaky.

I say let The Creator have his Universe. In this instance, I don't mind renting.

Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: cyphyr on January 23, 2018, 03:26:05 PM
Why is it preferable to say when we don't understand something that "a God did it"?

Why can't we say it's a mystery?
Or simply "I don't know"?

Unless the two terms (God/Mystery) are completely interchangeable in which cans fair enough.
Although mysteries don't tend to have so many rules as Gods do.

Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: PabloMack on January 24, 2018, 12:05:05 AM
...but what/who created god, or if nothing, then we're back to having no meaning for god's existence and, by extension, our own.- Oshyan

I don't really see your point. Say I find an object on the beach. For simplicity, let's say it is a manufactured object like an auto part. By looking at the object, I have a legitimate framework from which I could speculate as to how it was manufactured because of details I see in the object. From there, I could then speculate further on what made the machine that made the part. I have much less evidence to go on for this speculation. Then I could speculate further on what made the maker of the machine that made the part. I don't think it pointless to make the first speculation just because I would have to reach further to make the second speculation and the third. I do not end up where I started just because I have fewer answers as to what created the creator. As I am more engineer than most people, I find a lot of gratification in speculating from my own perspective and don't just abandon all hope of finding answers just because I can't seem to know all the answers. Finding more answers than I had before is a good thing because I am making progress.

I am puzzled, though, when people get angry just because I attribute creation to "God". I tell them to forget their prejudices and preconceptions about what God is and simply define God as whatever made the universe. But some people don't seem to be able to do this as they have allowed other people to define what God is for them (as perhaps an old man with a beard or some such gibberish). If a stack of turtles created the universe, then that is God BY DEFINITION. Even so, some people seem to have had their feelings hurt so baddly by someone that just saying the word "God" makes them go into a temper tantrum. I think their problem is emotional and I don't think reason can do much for them.

I think the reason why people prefer to think that SOMETHING or SOMEONE made the universe is that our experience is that everything has an origin and a cause for that origin. I claim that this is the very mind set that makes science work. Our primate ancestors began to accomplish things never seen before on Earth after they began to try and understand how things work. It is my understanding that our shrew and rodent-like ancestors did not believe things had an origin because they didn't possess the intelligence to wonder about it. If anyone wishes to go back to having that mind set, I'm not going to stop them but I think they are not exercising the extra brain power that they have.

As for what people mean when they ask "What is the meaning of life?" I don't think even they know what they mean by "meaning".
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: cyphyr on January 24, 2018, 08:29:50 AM
...
If a stack of turtles created the universe, then that is God BY DEFINITION.
...

Would you be happy for the creator of the universe to be a mechanistic process? A complex mathematical formula? Within an infinite array of possible potentials one (at least) HAS to exist that leads to the creation of the universe spontaneously.

It would appear that there was a time when there wasn't a universe (apparently about 13.8 billion years ago) and then there was a universe. As you say people like to attribute the creation of things to a "personality" because that fits with our experience as in the object found on your beach. Someone created the thing and someone created the tools that were used to make the thing. But it adds an unnecessary layer creation of the universe and hence brings in a load of complexity that clouds our potential understanding of the process.

As regards the "no God equals no meaning to life" notion, I've never understood that one. The pen on my desk has no meaning. It's a pen, sometimes I write with it. It has no meaning until I give it a meaning. By extension the existence or other wise of God also has no meaning until we give it a meaning and also therefore life and our own personal experience of the universe has no meaning intrinsic in and of itself until we ascribe our lives meaning.
I think it is a good thing to do, to find meaning and purpose in our lives but it is not built in.
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: René on January 24, 2018, 09:08:14 AM
All these things might well be beyond our reach. Our brains have proved very successful, but that doesn't mean there is no end to our ability to understand things.
Computers are likely to be able to solve all these questions for us in the future, but even then it could be that computers understand it but we don't
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: cyphyr on January 24, 2018, 10:21:56 AM
All these things might well be beyond our reach. Our brains have proved very successful, but that doesn't mean there is no end to our ability to understand things.
Computers are likely to be able to solve all these questions for us in the future, but even then it could be that computers understand it but we don't
Agreed, although I would say AI rather than computers and even then it may be an AI designed by an AI ... that gets closest to an answer. but that won't help us since we won't understand what it has found :)

I'd also add that although we say that our brains have proved very successful this is only from out VERY limited perspective. Inelegance is not necessarily a long term survival trait and we've only really been at this game a million or two years or so. That''s nothing in evolutionary terms and may well prove to be a dead end.
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: PabloMack on January 24, 2018, 03:46:02 PM
Would you be happy for the creator of the universe to be a mechanistic process? A complex mathematical formula? Within an infinite array of possible potentials one (at least) HAS to exist that leads to the creation of the universe spontaneously.

If one is searching for the truth, it shouldn't matter whether the true answer is what we want it to be or not. I assert that, if a mechanistic process is so sophisticated that it produced a product that is observably as amazing as our universe is, it is a fantastic intelligence in itself by definition. We are all mechanistic ourselves, are we not? And if the creator is coherent in that its parts are cooperating towards a common goal, then it should qualify as a "personality" if you will. That is why I accept people's reference to God as Him or a person. But we must realize that this person is likely very different in many ways from ourselves. But I understand the confusion when all that is implied by referring to God as a person tends to lead many people ideologically into the weeds when they assume that God has all of the features and idiosyncrasies that we have.

Of course I don't think that turtles created the universe any more than any other creature that is obviously part of the creation. But the evolutionary origin of turtles has been a big mystery. We have a much better picture of the evolutionary tree of humans than we do turtles, bats or pterosaurs. Arguably, we appear to have no basis for scientifically studying "God" as we would an organism so it does seem to be pointless. But the subject is very important when it comes to the topic of the after life. How we live this life may very well have a tremendous influence on whether we have an afterlife or not and what form it might take.

As for the notion of God creating himself, I just have to smile because it makes me think of the song "I am my own Grampa".

Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: luvsmuzik on January 24, 2018, 03:59:21 PM
Seriously considering renaming my cats to "Dad" and "Mom".
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Hetzen on January 24, 2018, 10:35:39 PM
How we live this life may very well have a tremendous influence on whether we have an afterlife or not and what form it might take.

There's two things that spring mind with that line Pablo. One is a quote I saw the other day "Your future self is watching you right now, through your memories".

The other is, our reflected light never dies, it just depends on how far away you are for it to catch up.
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: cyphyr on January 24, 2018, 11:05:58 PM

There's two things that spring mind with that line Pablo. One is a quote I saw the other day "Your future self is watching you right now, through your memories".

The other is, our reflected light never dies, it just depends on how far away you are for it to catch up.

I like this. It's both scientifically and spiritually true.
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Matt on January 24, 2018, 11:17:05 PM
There's two things that spring mind with that line Pablo. One is a quote I saw the other day "Your future self is watching you right now, through your memories".

The other is, our reflected light never dies, it just depends on how far away you are for it to catch up.

Thankfully, memories fade with time, and resolution fades with distance  8)

Matt
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Hetzen on January 24, 2018, 11:37:54 PM
There's two things that spring mind with that line Pablo. One is a quote I saw the other day "Your future self is watching you right now, through your memories".

The other is, our reflected light never dies, it just depends on how far away you are for it to catch up.

Thankfully, memories fade with time, and resolution fades with distance  8)

Matt

Hahaha. You miserable sod.  ;D
Title: Re: Sir David Attenborough on Charles Darwin
Post by: Matt on January 30, 2018, 11:56:11 PM
And the room went silent...  ;D