Krauss v Islam

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Lausten
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Krauss v Islam

Postby Lausten » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:47 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSwJuOPG4FI
I'm sure many of you are tired of debates, but Krauss?? I'm glad I checked this one out. The Islamist presents some pretty standard stuff, although he does attempt to reference Krauss' book and tries to makes some points about infinity, proof and other sciencey things. Krauss slams him for misquoting. Krauss tries to make it more of a discussion, and explains why he doesn't like the classic debate format. All that aside, you could just listen to Krauss' opening 20 minutes, which starts around minute 30. In it, he gives one of the best connections of common sense and common perception to science that I've ever heard. The minimal quote I pull out was,
Krauss wrote:“The great thing about the universe, and this is why I do science, is the universe has a much greater imagination than we do. That’s what’s wonderful about the universe. Things that are inconceivable happen all the time. What that does is, it expands our mind. Expanding our minds to conform to the evidence of reality is common sense.”

It prefaces that with a little about being able to conceive what we haven't perceived and how we define common sense, but as an "elevator statement", this one is pretty good.
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby scrmbldggs » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:23 pm

You had me at "Krauss". :-D
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby fromthehills » Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:02 pm

I like Krauss. I disapprove of him saying that the universe has imagination. Though we know what he means, that type of language fuels the wooists. Just look where "God Particle", and other similar sayings, gets us.

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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby angawawa » Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:21 pm

Well, some quantum mechanical stuff actually sounds like woo. The "two slit" experiment, which shows that a photon can act as both a particle and a wave, if observed will NOT act as a wave. Which means that the act of observation changes the experiment. How does it know it's being watched and why would that make a difference anyway? Sounds like a supernatural thing.
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby fromthehills » Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:59 pm

angawawa wrote:Well, some quantum mechanical stuff actually sounds like woo. The "two slit" experiment, which shows that a photon can act as both a particle and a wave, if observed will NOT act as a wave. Which means that the act of observation changes the experiment. How does it know it's being watched and why would that make a difference anyway? Sounds like a supernatural thing.



Observation doesn't mean the act of watching, in particle physics. You're talking about using instruments that necessarily alter what you are trying to measure. Of course, it is confusing to people that don't understand this. Me included.

Say you have a 1960s Chevy truck, the kind that has the fuel tank behind the seat. You also have a stick behind the seat to check the fuel level, because the gauge doesn't work. When you dip the stick into the tank, you displace the fuel, thus increasing the level, albeit negligibly. Well, when you break this analogy down to sub atomic levels, negligible is huge. This is how I understand it, and I know it's more complicated, but the point is that the instrument doing the measuring changes the measurement. It's not the looking at it part that changes anything.

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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby Lausten » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:45 pm

You're talking about using instruments that necessarily alter what you are trying to measure.

It doesn't have to be any more complicated than that. Just using the word "observation" sounds like our human presence somehow affects the particles, and that's really wrong. This leads to Deepak Chopra saying the moon wouldn't be there if we weren't looking at it.

What Krauss is getting at is common sense. We have common sense from previous ages still affecting our language today. We still say the "sun comes up" or "my heart feels". We don't say, "the earth rotated into morning" or "my neurons fired" even though it is NOW common sense that is what is happening.

I suspect Krauss came up against many people saying "something from nothing defies common sense", so he thought out just how common sense becomes common. He understands that he is at the cusp of creating common knowledge for tomorrow. Unfortunately not common enough, but that's a different discussion.
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby Gord » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:12 pm

fromthehills wrote:
angawawa wrote:Well, some quantum mechanical stuff actually sounds like woo. The "two slit" experiment, which shows that a photon can act as both a particle and a wave, if observed will NOT act as a wave. Which means that the act of observation changes the experiment. How does it know it's being watched and why would that make a difference anyway? Sounds like a supernatural thing.

Observation doesn't mean the act of watching, in particle physics. You're talking about using instruments that necessarily alter what you are trying to measure.

Right. Think about what it means to look at something. Light has to bounce off it and then enter your eye. Now, what happens to something very small if light bounces off it? It's like bouncing a ball off of another ball -- they both go in opposite directions.

So, when you "look at" small particles, you also "move" them.

Now, when you're observing photons passing through slits, you aren't hitting them with other photons, but you're still interacting with them in some way in order for you to know which slit they're passing through. And that interaction causes them to react in some way.
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby fromthehills » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:30 pm

I do agree that Krauss, Tyson, and others are bringing scientific literacy into the mainstream, and I'm happy about that. If they weren't I'd still be as dumb as a box of rocks on this stuff. Perhaps I still am, but I'm starting to get the gist of things.

But, "the sun rising", and my "heart goes out" are artifacts of the language, which is different that saying the universe has imagination. There are many people that have rejected the notion of a monotheistic god, but still think that the universe "provides", or gives them "signs". It's the higher power nonsense, which I don't think Krauss subscribes to, but watch the next Chopra debate, and Krauss's will be used in that way, I suspect.

Not that comments on news websites mean anything in themselves, but they are a barometer of common sentiment. When they discovered the Higg's [like] particle. Tons of comments saying things such as, " It's called the God Particle, not the Evolution Particle." I didn't make that up, and there were an amazing amount of other comments that used the misnomer in their assertions. So an imaginative universe isn't a literal thing to educated folks, but to the uneducated, or those wishing to convince others of their beliefs, often the naive and susceptible, these types of statements by world renown physicist do make a difference.

I was watching Dembski talk to a crowd of Christian kids. He capitalizes on these sorts of things. Strawman, god of gaps assertions, sprinkled with quotes from known scientists, all put together to give credence to his otherwise grasping argument. I can see it, " Even theoretical astrophysicist, Lawrence Krauss admits that the universe has an imagination. Why doesn't he believe it's God? Because the atheistic worldview depends on his messiah, Charles Darwin, and survival of the fittest, which leads to eugenics and abortion...."

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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby fromthehills » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:43 pm

Gord wrote:
fromthehills wrote:
angawawa wrote:Well, some quantum mechanical stuff actually sounds like woo. The "two slit" experiment, which shows that a photon can act as both a particle and a wave, if observed will NOT act as a wave. Which means that the act of observation changes the experiment. How does it know it's being watched and why would that make a difference anyway? Sounds like a supernatural thing.

Observation doesn't mean the act of watching, in particle physics. You're talking about using instruments that necessarily alter what you are trying to measure.

Right. Think about what it means to look at something. Light has to bounce off it and then enter your eye. Now, what happens to something very small if light bounces off it? It's like bouncing a ball off of another ball -- they both go in opposite directions.

So, when you "look at" small particles, you also "move" them.

Now, when you're observing photons passing through slits, you aren't hitting them with other photons, but you're still interacting with them in some way in order for you to know which slit they're passing through. And that interaction causes them to react in some way.



Yes, but the tank could be both empty and full, if I don't put a stick in there to check it.

I know, that's why I said it was more complicated. I understand it enough to make an analogy that I can wrap my head around, not saying it's perfect. But perhaps my analogy is as bad as Krauss's use of "imagination".

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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby scrmbldggs » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:49 pm

fromthehills wrote:..., but the tank could be both empty and full, if I don't put a stick in there to check it.

Most likely, the tank is always full. The question is, full of what? :-P
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby kennyc » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:31 pm

And BTW here's the part that happened just before this got underway. :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iczWxXgtqoA
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby Lausten » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:30 am

" It's called the God Particle, not the Evolution Particle."

I've heard that. I also heard, and I think it was on Science Friday from someone who actually there, that the the physicist who called it the "god particle" said that no one would accept. He wanted to use a name that WOULDN'T catch on. Well, that didn't work out.

I get what you're saying about the "imagination" thing. Easily setting himself up for a "god does not play dice" misquote. He could have said, "the universe produces things beyond our imagination" or something like that.
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:40 am

Lausten wrote:
" It's called the God Particle, not the Evolution Particle."

I've heard that. I also heard, and I think it was on Science Friday from someone who actually there, that the the physicist who called it the "god particle" said that no one would accept. He wanted to use a name that WOULDN'T catch on. Well, that didn't work out.

I get what you're saying about the "imagination" thing. Easily setting himself up for a "god does not play dice" misquote. He could have said, "the universe produces things beyond our imagination" or something like that.

We should all start calling it the 'evolution particle'. It's just as good* a name, and it will mess with their heads.

*or bad.
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby Donnageddon » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:21 am

I still shake my head in dismay (or just a thunder of dandruff) at every picture of Apollo 8 describing the picture of "Earthrise".

There is no Earthrise on the moon, except for orbiting objects.

This "Earthrise" comment even made it into Sagan's "Demon Haunted World".

Small nit, but it always bugs me.
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby Donnageddon » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:23 am

Oh, and Islam is voodoo nonsense, and an often a violent voodoo.

Just like every religion.
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby kennyc » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:13 am

Donnageddon wrote:I still shake my head in dismay (or just a thunder of dandruff) at every picture of Apollo 8 describing the picture of "Earthrise".

There is no Earthrise on the moon, except for orbiting objects.

This "Earthrise" comment even made it into Sagan's "Demon Haunted World".

Small nit, but it always bugs me.



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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:10 pm

Donnageddon wrote:I still shake my head in dismay (or just a thunder of dandruff) at every picture of Apollo 8 describing the picture of "Earthrise".

There is no Earthrise on the moon, except for orbiting objects.

Small nit, but it always bugs me.

Nitting right back atcha. The moon librates.

There is a band around the edges of what we see where there is earthrise and earthset over the course of a lunar orbit.
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby Donnageddon » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:50 pm

I stand librated.
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Re: Krauss v Islam

Postby Gord » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:17 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:The moon librates.

Too cool for school: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... _450px.gif

See, if they'd just been able to show me that in astronomy 101, I wouldn't have had to do all that math just to end up not knowing what the hell it meant.
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