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How can you explain this?

Sidewalker
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1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
https://www.youtube.com...

This video was produced by the Harvard University Biology Department; it is an animated video depicting the inner activity inside a single cell. The typical human being is comprised of 72.2 trillion cells that come together to make a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

It's hard to watch this and not feel something deeply spiritual, and it"s extremely difficult to believe that a combination of random mutations and natural selection provides anything in the ballpark of an adequately explanation. Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle, and it"s na"ve to think the presence of a DNA molecule is explanatory. There is clearly an underlying principle at work here, something that transcends the frame of reference of random mutations and natural selection.

What do you think it is?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Floid
Posts: 751
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1/26/2016 1:27:31 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle

This statement is false. In its purest form, science seeks to find out more about the world. It is very nice that if in finding out more about the world we arrive at underlying principles that explain things. However, we don't get to decide for nature how it acts. It is perfectly possible that in trying to find out more about the world a particular phenomenon may be random (at least as best we can tell).

There is clearly an underlying principle at work here, something that transcends the frame of reference of random mutations and natural selection.

What is that underlying principle and what evidence do you have that it is that particular principle and not some other principle (or that we just don't know yet)? If you can't state that then you are just making things up.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,489
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1/26/2016 2:14:41 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
https://www.youtube.com...

This video was produced by the Harvard University Biology Department; it is an animated video depicting the inner activity inside a single cell. The typical human being is comprised of 72.2 trillion cells that come together to make a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

It's hard to watch this and not feel something deeply spiritual, and it"s extremely difficult to believe that a combination of random mutations and natural selection provides anything in the ballpark of an adequately explanation. Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle,

I'm agreeing with you, but a minor but hopefully helpful nerdy point here: Change 'random' to 'noise' and I think you do have a principle. That's the engineering way of looking at it: "noise driven". There are numerous things in technology that depend on noise - crystal oscillators, for instance. The crystal forms a very narrow-band filter, but it needs the target frequency to occur before it can isolate it. Noise does the trick. You can't say exactly when the frequency will occur, but wideband thermal noise will vibrate an electron just right before long.

So, could life have been a noise driven process? Not without some pre-existing filter to select life, that's for sure. We know what noise driven processes do, and they don't self assemble complex functions. Noise mostly serves to make things fall down over time.
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v3nesl
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1/26/2016 2:20:23 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 1:27:31 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle

This statement is false. In its purest form, science seeks to find out more about the world. It is very nice that if in finding out more about the world we arrive at underlying principles that explain things. However, we don't get to decide for nature how it acts. It is perfectly possible that in trying to find out more about the world a particular phenomenon may be random (at least as best we can tell).


Nice little sermon there, but I don't think you got what he was saying. If I say process X is random, what can you tell me about process X?

The answer is, 'nothing'. Random doesn't necessitate that you know nothing (you know flipping a coin must produce heads or tails, for instance), but the converse is true - if you only know something is random you know nothing about it. So random is precisely the term for what we can't control, analyze, or predict completely.
This space for rent.
Floid
Posts: 751
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1/26/2016 2:41:46 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 2:20:23 PM, v3nesl wrote:
Nice little sermon there, but I don't think you got what he was saying. If I say process X is random, what can you tell me about process X?
The answer is, 'nothing'.

No, the answer is 'it is random'. For some reason that doesn't seem to count as valid information to you or the OP but I would find that very interesting to know. In science we are only trying to find out about the way things are. If something is (or appears) random, that is a very good thing to know.

Random doesn't necessitate that you know nothing (you know flipping a coin must produce heads or tails, for instance), but the converse is true - if you only know something is random you know nothing about it. So random is precisely the term for what we can't control, analyze, or predict completely.

1.) I would leave out 'analyze' from that list. We can analyze random events, we just don't find an underlying pattern (hence random).
2.) Knowing something is random is knowing something about it.
v3nesl
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1/26/2016 2:51:26 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 2:41:46 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/26/2016 2:20:23 PM, v3nesl wrote:
Nice little sermon there, but I don't think you got what he was saying. If I say process X is random, what can you tell me about process X?
The answer is, 'nothing'.

No, the answer is 'it is random'. For some reason that doesn't seem to count as valid information to you or the OP but I would find that very interesting to know.

And what you know is that you don't know. Which was sidewalker's point (I think). Let's take a concrete example: If a light is blinking with no apparent pattern,, what is blinking it? It might be a bad connection, or it might be a bored child flipping the switch whenever he finds the word 'the' in his homework. So 'random' by itself simply tells you that you don't know.
This space for rent.
Floid
Posts: 751
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1/26/2016 3:48:58 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 2:51:26 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/26/2016 2:41:46 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/26/2016 2:20:23 PM, v3nesl wrote:
Nice little sermon there, but I don't think you got what he was saying. If I say process X is random, what can you tell me about process X?
The answer is, 'nothing'.

No, the answer is 'it is random'. For some reason that doesn't seem to count as valid information to you or the OP but I would find that very interesting to know.

And what you know is that you don't know. Which was sidewalker's point (I think).

The OP clearly states "There is clearly an underlying principle at work here, something that transcends the frame of reference of random mutations and natural selection."

So he clearly knows but has yet to share this knowledge with us.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,622
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1/26/2016 6:12:46 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
https://www.youtube.com...

This video was produced by the Harvard University Biology Department; it is an animated video depicting the inner activity inside a single cell. The typical human being is comprised of 72.2 trillion cells that come together to make a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

It's hard to watch this and not feel something deeply spiritual

If you could describe exactly what that means, then perhaps we can understand what you're talking about?

, and it"s extremely difficult to believe that a combination of random mutations and natural selection provides anything in the ballpark of an adequately explanation.

So, because you personally find something hard to believe, then it isn't true?

Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle, and it"s na"ve to think the presence of a DNA molecule is explanatory. There is clearly an underlying principle at work here, something that transcends the frame of reference of random mutations and natural selection.

Please explain your clearly underlying principle?

What do you think it is?

Shouldn't you be telling us?
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slo1
Posts: 4,342
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1/26/2016 8:04:34 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 2:20:23 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/26/2016 1:27:31 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle

This statement is false. In its purest form, science seeks to find out more about the world. It is very nice that if in finding out more about the world we arrive at underlying principles that explain things. However, we don't get to decide for nature how it acts. It is perfectly possible that in trying to find out more about the world a particular phenomenon may be random (at least as best we can tell).


Nice little sermon there, but I don't think you got what he was saying. If I say process X is random, what can you tell me about process X?

The answer is, 'nothing'. Random doesn't necessitate that you know nothing (you know flipping a coin must produce heads or tails, for instance), but the converse is true - if you only know something is random you know nothing about it. So random is precisely the term for what we can't control, analyze, or predict completely.

There is absolutely nothing random about a coin flip. There are unseen variables that give the appearance of randomness. Technically, "nothing" is an over statement because coins are subject to quantum law. It is just that the bigger the object the smaller the quantum impact.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,489
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1/26/2016 9:36:14 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 8:04:34 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 1/26/2016 2:20:23 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/26/2016 1:27:31 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle

This statement is false. In its purest form, science seeks to find out more about the world. It is very nice that if in finding out more about the world we arrive at underlying principles that explain things. However, we don't get to decide for nature how it acts. It is perfectly possible that in trying to find out more about the world a particular phenomenon may be random (at least as best we can tell).


Nice little sermon there, but I don't think you got what he was saying. If I say process X is random, what can you tell me about process X?

The answer is, 'nothing'. Random doesn't necessitate that you know nothing (you know flipping a coin must produce heads or tails, for instance), but the converse is true - if you only know something is random you know nothing about it. So random is precisely the term for what we can't control, analyze, or predict completely.

There is absolutely nothing random about a coin flip. There are unseen variables that give the appearance of randomness.

No, a coin flip is generally random. 'Random' never means 'uncaused'. Every random outcome is the deterministic result of causes. Random does not mean 'magic', but imprecise and generally complex causes. That's why I say the better term is often 'noise driven'. And by noise we mean wideband excitation - excitation of varied but not specific quality (and we should pause to notice that our cosmos is noisy). When we say 'random' we're often saying "No precise excitation required". You can, for instance, stir the cream into your coffee with random motions. No specific movements are required - move your spoon far enough for long enough and the cream will be evenly distributed.

So, is the blossoming of life like stirring cream into coffee? It doesn't matter exactly what the environment is like, but give it long enough and an ecosystem must come to fruition? I think not, myself, I think that's the height of absurdity.
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slo1
Posts: 4,342
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1/27/2016 1:00:42 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 9:36:14 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/26/2016 8:04:34 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 1/26/2016 2:20:23 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/26/2016 1:27:31 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle

This statement is false. In its purest form, science seeks to find out more about the world. It is very nice that if in finding out more about the world we arrive at underlying principles that explain things. However, we don't get to decide for nature how it acts. It is perfectly possible that in trying to find out more about the world a particular phenomenon may be random (at least as best we can tell).


Nice little sermon there, but I don't think you got what he was saying. If I say process X is random, what can you tell me about process X?

The answer is, 'nothing'. Random doesn't necessitate that you know nothing (you know flipping a coin must produce heads or tails, for instance), but the converse is true - if you only know something is random you know nothing about it. So random is precisely the term for what we can't control, analyze, or predict completely.

There is absolutely nothing random about a coin flip. There are unseen variables that give the appearance of randomness.

No, a coin flip is generally random. 'Random' never means 'uncaused'. Every random outcome is the deterministic result of causes. Random does not mean 'magic', but imprecise and generally complex causes. That's why I say the better term is often 'noise driven'. And by noise we mean wideband excitation - excitation of varied but not specific quality (and we should pause to notice that our cosmos is noisy). When we say 'random' we're often saying "No precise excitation required". You can, for instance, stir the cream into your coffee with random motions. No specific movements are required - move your spoon far enough for long enough and the cream will be evenly distributed.

So, is the blossoming of life like stirring cream into coffee? It doesn't matter exactly what the environment is like, but give it long enough and an ecosystem must come to fruition? I think not, myself, I think that's the height of absurdity.

No, a coin flip is not random.
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,585
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1/27/2016 4:23:23 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 8:04:34 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 1/26/2016 2:20:23 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/26/2016 1:27:31 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle

This statement is false. In its purest form, science seeks to find out more about the world. It is very nice that if in finding out more about the world we arrive at underlying principles that explain things. However, we don't get to decide for nature how it acts. It is perfectly possible that in trying to find out more about the world a particular phenomenon may be random (at least as best we can tell).


Nice little sermon there, but I don't think you got what he was saying. If I say process X is random, what can you tell me about process X?

The answer is, 'nothing'. Random doesn't necessitate that you know nothing (you know flipping a coin must produce heads or tails, for instance), but the converse is true - if you only know something is random you know nothing about it. So random is precisely the term for what we can't control, analyze, or predict completely.

There is absolutely nothing random about a coin flip. There are unseen variables that give the appearance of randomness. Technically, "nothing" is an over statement because coins are subject to quantum law. It is just that the bigger the object the smaller the quantum impact.

Whether it lands heads or tails has a probability of 0.5, no matter how many tosses one makes, it is always 0.5, if you were correct (in saying its not random) then there'd be a difference in probability between heads and tails, there isn't though so you're wrong - a coin toss is random.

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,585
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1/27/2016 4:25:57 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 1:00:42 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 1/26/2016 9:36:14 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/26/2016 8:04:34 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 1/26/2016 2:20:23 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/26/2016 1:27:31 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle

This statement is false. In its purest form, science seeks to find out more about the world. It is very nice that if in finding out more about the world we arrive at underlying principles that explain things. However, we don't get to decide for nature how it acts. It is perfectly possible that in trying to find out more about the world a particular phenomenon may be random (at least as best we can tell).


Nice little sermon there, but I don't think you got what he was saying. If I say process X is random, what can you tell me about process X?

The answer is, 'nothing'. Random doesn't necessitate that you know nothing (you know flipping a coin must produce heads or tails, for instance), but the converse is true - if you only know something is random you know nothing about it. So random is precisely the term for what we can't control, analyze, or predict completely.

There is absolutely nothing random about a coin flip. There are unseen variables that give the appearance of randomness.

No, a coin flip is generally random. 'Random' never means 'uncaused'. Every random outcome is the deterministic result of causes. Random does not mean 'magic', but imprecise and generally complex causes. That's why I say the better term is often 'noise driven'. And by noise we mean wideband excitation - excitation of varied but not specific quality (and we should pause to notice that our cosmos is noisy). When we say 'random' we're often saying "No precise excitation required". You can, for instance, stir the cream into your coffee with random motions. No specific movements are required - move your spoon far enough for long enough and the cream will be evenly distributed.

So, is the blossoming of life like stirring cream into coffee? It doesn't matter exactly what the environment is like, but give it long enough and an ecosystem must come to fruition? I think not, myself, I think that's the height of absurdity.

No, a coin flip is not random.

In which case you should be exploiting this and making a ton of money tossing coins in Vegas, what's keeping you?
Floid
Posts: 751
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1/27/2016 12:50:44 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 4:25:57 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

No, a coin flip is not random.

In which case you should be exploiting this and making a ton of money tossing coins in Vegas, what's keeping you?

With complete knowledge of the initial conditions we a coin flip is not random. We fully understand all the physics involved and can calculate the outcome.

In common usage a coin flip is random because we do not know the initial conditions involved: i.e. the exact amount of force a person will apply flipping the coin, the properties of the surface it will land on, etc.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,489
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1/27/2016 2:06:52 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 12:50:44 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:25:57 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

No, a coin flip is not random.

In which case you should be exploiting this and making a ton of money tossing coins in Vegas, what's keeping you?

With complete knowledge of the initial conditions we a coin flip is not random. We fully understand all the physics involved and can calculate the outcome.

In common usage a coin flip is random because we do not know the initial conditions involved: i.e. the exact amount of force a person will apply flipping the coin, the properties of the surface it will land on, etc.

You're pretty close, but the coin flip is still random even if you know the initial conditions with enough precision to predict the outcome. You still get the same 50/50 distribution with 'complete knowledge of the initial conditions'.

So that's very close, but it's pattern (i.e. precise throwing of the coin) and not just measuring that removes random. Think of it this way: 'Random' describes the graph of a dataset. It's like saying "Bell curve". If a process produces a certain sort of output, it's random. The issue isn't the deterministic nature of physics, but the lack of pattern in the input stimuli.

So, once again: "Noise driven". Pay attention, lads, I know what I'm talking about and I'm offering you a free education. (aren't I a riot :-)
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v3nesl
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1/27/2016 2:42:56 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
A fascinating application of this stuff, btw, and what really got it clear in my head, is cryptography. I designed hardware for a satellite communications system once. Satellite comm can be listened to by anybody, so encryption is pretty important. So I didn't have to be an expert in cryptography or anything, but I learned a lot about it in that project.

So an interesting thing about cryptography is the need to generate random keys. What makes a good random number? Lack of pattern. If a codebreaker can find any pattern in keys, they have a clue to work with. And it turns out that the most patternless noise source for this sort of stuff is the thermal noise inside all electronics. It has the most 'entropy', in information theory definition of entropy.

Which I find fascinating - the smallest unit of matter has the maximum variation. How can that be? The fact that the cosmos provides this source of infinite variety, it's really quite fascinating.
This space for rent.
Floid
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1/27/2016 3:19:56 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 2:06:52 PM, v3nesl wrote:
You're pretty close, but the coin flip is still random even if you know the initial conditions with enough precision to predict the outcome. You still get the same 50/50 distribution with 'complete knowledge of the initial conditions'.

So, once again: "Noise driven". Pay attention, lads, I know what I'm talking about and I'm offering you a free education. (aren't I a riot :-)

If only you did know what you are talking about. If we are able to use initial conditions to predict the outcome then we could (technology, tolerance, and other factors permitting) build a perfect coin flipping machine. That coin flipping machine could apply the required initial conditions to give a 100% heads or 100% tails result. Would coin flipping still be random if I could give you 1000/1000 heads or 1000/1000 tails?
v3nesl
Posts: 4,489
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1/27/2016 4:12:33 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 3:19:56 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 2:06:52 PM, v3nesl wrote:
You're pretty close, but the coin flip is still random even if you know the initial conditions with enough precision to predict the outcome. You still get the same 50/50 distribution with 'complete knowledge of the initial conditions'.

So, once again: "Noise driven". Pay attention, lads, I know what I'm talking about and I'm offering you a free education. (aren't I a riot :-)

If only you did know what you are talking about. If we are able to use initial conditions to predict the outcome then we could (technology, tolerance, and other factors permitting) build a perfect coin flipping machine. That coin flipping machine could apply the required initial conditions to give a 100% heads or 100% tails result. Would coin flipping still be random if I could give you 1000/1000 heads or 1000/1000 tails?

No, it's not random if you control the conditions. Control is the key word. Control is not the same as prediction. If you apply a pattern, then it's pattern driven and not noise driven.
This space for rent.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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1/27/2016 5:14:49 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
https://www.youtube.com...

This video was produced by the Harvard University Biology Department; it is an animated video depicting the inner activity inside a single cell. The typical human being is comprised of 72.2 trillion cells that come together to make a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

It's hard to watch this and not feel something deeply spiritual, and it"s extremely difficult to believe that a combination of random mutations and natural selection provides anything in the ballpark of an adequately explanation. Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle, and it"s na"ve to think the presence of a DNA molecule is explanatory. There is clearly an underlying principle at work here, something that transcends the frame of reference of random mutations and natural selection.

What do you think it is?

Given enough time and trials some rock slide will produce stone hedge.
janesix
Posts: 3,465
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1/27/2016 10:50:02 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
https://www.youtube.com...

This video was produced by the Harvard University Biology Department; it is an animated video depicting the inner activity inside a single cell. The typical human being is comprised of 72.2 trillion cells that come together to make a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

It's hard to watch this and not feel something deeply spiritual, and it"s extremely difficult to believe that a combination of random mutations and natural selection provides anything in the ballpark of an adequately explanation. Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle, and it"s na"ve to think the presence of a DNA molecule is explanatory. There is clearly an underlying principle at work here, something that transcends the frame of reference of random mutations and natural selection.

What do you think it is?

Morphogenetic fields
slo1
Posts: 4,342
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1/28/2016 1:08:46 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 4:23:23 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/26/2016 8:04:34 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 1/26/2016 2:20:23 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/26/2016 1:27:31 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle

This statement is false. In its purest form, science seeks to find out more about the world. It is very nice that if in finding out more about the world we arrive at underlying principles that explain things. However, we don't get to decide for nature how it acts. It is perfectly possible that in trying to find out more about the world a particular phenomenon may be random (at least as best we can tell).


Nice little sermon there, but I don't think you got what he was saying. If I say process X is random, what can you tell me about process X?

The answer is, 'nothing'. Random doesn't necessitate that you know nothing (you know flipping a coin must produce heads or tails, for instance), but the converse is true - if you only know something is random you know nothing about it. So random is precisely the term for what we can't control, analyze, or predict completely.

There is absolutely nothing random about a coin flip. There are unseen variables that give the appearance of randomness. Technically, "nothing" is an over statement because coins are subject to quantum law. It is just that the bigger the object the smaller the quantum impact.

Whether it lands heads or tails has a probability of 0.5, no matter how many tosses one makes, it is always 0.5, if you were correct (in saying its not random) then there'd be a difference in probability between heads and tails, there isn't though so you're wrong - a coin toss is random.

Harry.

No, you could control the variables and produce a different outcome than 50/50. If you couldn't a circus act throwing knives in the air and catching it would be impossible without severe damage. Just because one does not pay attention or have the skill to flip a coin in a consistent manner like a man flipping a knife, does not mean it is random.
Ramshutu
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1/28/2016 2:31:02 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
https://www.youtube.com...

This video was produced by the Harvard University Biology Department; it is an animated video depicting the inner activity inside a single cell. The typical human being is comprised of 72.2 trillion cells that come together to make a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

It's hard to watch this and not feel something deeply spiritual, and it"s extremely difficult to believe that a combination of random mutations and natural selection provides anything in the ballpark of an adequately explanation. Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle, and it"s na"ve to think the presence of a DNA molecule is explanatory. There is clearly an underlying principle at work here, something that transcends the frame of reference of random mutations and natural selection.

What do you think it is?

Why is everyone laboring under the impression that evolution is random?

It's not.

Variation is random, mutations are random; but natural selection is not a random process or principle, It's very far from it.

It's the statistical skew that pushes random variation in a specific direction over generation.
Dirty.Harry
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1/31/2016 5:11:55 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 12:50:44 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:25:57 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

No, a coin flip is not random.

In which case you should be exploiting this and making a ton of money tossing coins in Vegas, what's keeping you?

With complete knowledge of the initial conditions we a coin flip is not random. We fully understand all the physics involved and can calculate the outcome.

No you cannot because its chaotic.

In common usage a coin flip is random because we do not know the initial conditions involved: i.e. the exact amount of force a person will apply flipping the coin, the properties of the surface it will land on, etc.

Untrue - take the Mandelbrot set for example. One cannot calculate if a point in the complex plane when iterated will remain within the bounded circle or escape, the only way is to iterate say 1,000,000 times - if it escapes it escapes (and we color that point accordingly), if it doesn't then we assume it never will but we cannot prove or calculate this mathematically.

You'd need to know the initial conditions to an infinite number of decimal places because sometimes a single digit difference in the thousandths decimal place can have a huge impact on the result.

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
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1/31/2016 5:22:15 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 2:42:56 PM, v3nesl wrote:
A fascinating application of this stuff, btw, and what really got it clear in my head, is cryptography. I designed hardware for a satellite communications system once. Satellite comm can be listened to by anybody, so encryption is pretty important. So I didn't have to be an expert in cryptography or anything, but I learned a lot about it in that project.

So an interesting thing about cryptography is the need to generate random keys. What makes a good random number? Lack of pattern. If a codebreaker can find any pattern in keys, they have a clue to work with. And it turns out that the most patternless noise source for this sort of stuff is the thermal noise inside all electronics. It has the most 'entropy', in information theory definition of entropy.

Which I find fascinating - the smallest unit of matter has the maximum variation. How can that be? The fact that the cosmos provides this source of infinite variety, it's really quite fascinating.

This is fascinating stuff, I was reading recently (in the superb 3rd edition) a chapter in The Art Of Electronics, about a true random bit sequence generator driven by amplified thermal noise - can't find the chapter just now but it was interesting.

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
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1/31/2016 5:25:44 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/27/2016 3:19:56 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 2:06:52 PM, v3nesl wrote:
You're pretty close, but the coin flip is still random even if you know the initial conditions with enough precision to predict the outcome. You still get the same 50/50 distribution with 'complete knowledge of the initial conditions'.

So, once again: "Noise driven". Pay attention, lads, I know what I'm talking about and I'm offering you a free education. (aren't I a riot :-)

If only you did know what you are talking about.

Why do resort to that? disagreeing is fine, but these personal attacks are just ridiculous. Of course he knows what he's talking about, the guy just told you he designed satellite electronics, do you have any idea what that kind of work entails?

Don't do what Dummel always does - belittle and opponent - simply because he disagrees with you in a way that you find frustrating.

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
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1/31/2016 5:29:43 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/28/2016 1:08:46 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 1/27/2016 4:23:23 AM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/26/2016 8:04:34 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 1/26/2016 2:20:23 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 1/26/2016 1:27:31 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/26/2016 11:11:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Science seeks underlying principles, randomness is not a principle, it's the lack of a principle

This statement is false. In its purest form, science seeks to find out more about the world. It is very nice that if in finding out more about the world we arrive at underlying principles that explain things. However, we don't get to decide for nature how it acts. It is perfectly possible that in trying to find out more about the world a particular phenomenon may be random (at least as best we can tell).


Nice little sermon there, but I don't think you got what he was saying. If I say process X is random, what can you tell me about process X?

The answer is, 'nothing'. Random doesn't necessitate that you know nothing (you know flipping a coin must produce heads or tails, for instance), but the converse is true - if you only know something is random you know nothing about it. So random is precisely the term for what we can't control, analyze, or predict completely.

There is absolutely nothing random about a coin flip. There are unseen variables that give the appearance of randomness. Technically, "nothing" is an over statement because coins are subject to quantum law. It is just that the bigger the object the smaller the quantum impact.

Whether it lands heads or tails has a probability of 0.5, no matter how many tosses one makes, it is always 0.5, if you were correct (in saying its not random) then there'd be a difference in probability between heads and tails, there isn't though so you're wrong - a coin toss is random.

Harry.

No, you could control the variables and produce a different outcome than 50/50. If you couldn't a circus act throwing knives in the air and catching it would be impossible without severe damage. Just because one does not pay attention or have the skill to flip a coin in a consistent manner like a man flipping a knife, does not mean it is random.

Like v3nesl just pointed out CONTROLLING the outcome by definition disqualifies it as being random.

I said that even if you knew (or controlled) the initial conditions to a million decimal places, you'd not be able to predict the outcome perfectly every time.

Harry.
DanneJeRusse
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1/31/2016 5:41:45 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/31/2016 5:25:44 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/27/2016 3:19:56 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 2:06:52 PM, v3nesl wrote:
You're pretty close, but the coin flip is still random even if you know the initial conditions with enough precision to predict the outcome. You still get the same 50/50 distribution with 'complete knowledge of the initial conditions'.

So, once again: "Noise driven". Pay attention, lads, I know what I'm talking about and I'm offering you a free education. (aren't I a riot :-)

If only you did know what you are talking about.

Why do resort to that? disagreeing is fine, but these personal attacks are just ridiculous. Of course he knows what he's talking about, the guy just told you he designed satellite electronics, do you have any idea what that kind of work entails?

Don't do what Dummel always does - belittle and opponent - simply because he disagrees with you in a way that you find frustrating.

Frustrating, because folks like you and v3nesl hand around the Science forum saying incredibly stupid things due to your lack of understanding, education and morals? That frustration?

Harry.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Dirty.Harry
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1/31/2016 5:58:37 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/31/2016 5:41:45 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/31/2016 5:25:44 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/27/2016 3:19:56 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 2:06:52 PM, v3nesl wrote:
You're pretty close, but the coin flip is still random even if you know the initial conditions with enough precision to predict the outcome. You still get the same 50/50 distribution with 'complete knowledge of the initial conditions'.

So, once again: "Noise driven". Pay attention, lads, I know what I'm talking about and I'm offering you a free education. (aren't I a riot :-)

If only you did know what you are talking about.

Why do resort to that? disagreeing is fine, but these personal attacks are just ridiculous. Of course he knows what he's talking about, the guy just told you he designed satellite electronics, do you have any idea what that kind of work entails?

Don't do what Dummel always does - belittle and opponent - simply because he disagrees with you in a way that you find frustrating.

Frustrating, because folks like you and v3nesl hand around the Science forum saying incredibly stupid things due to your lack of understanding, education and morals? That frustration?

Harry.

What makes you more qualified to "hang around" this forum than me or anyone else for that matter?

What qualifies you to assess my level of intelligence or knowledge?

Just because you don't understand me or have no idea how to defend your own position, does not serve as proof that what I say is stupid Dummel, don't blame me for your own inadequacies.

If you want an argument with me you'll get one, but don't complain and whine about me being stupid when things don't go your way, retard.

Harry.
DanneJeRusse
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1/31/2016 6:07:02 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/31/2016 5:58:37 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/31/2016 5:41:45 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/31/2016 5:25:44 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/27/2016 3:19:56 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 2:06:52 PM, v3nesl wrote:
You're pretty close, but the coin flip is still random even if you know the initial conditions with enough precision to predict the outcome. You still get the same 50/50 distribution with 'complete knowledge of the initial conditions'.

So, once again: "Noise driven". Pay attention, lads, I know what I'm talking about and I'm offering you a free education. (aren't I a riot :-)

If only you did know what you are talking about.

Why do resort to that? disagreeing is fine, but these personal attacks are just ridiculous. Of course he knows what he's talking about, the guy just told you he designed satellite electronics, do you have any idea what that kind of work entails?

Don't do what Dummel always does - belittle and opponent - simply because he disagrees with you in a way that you find frustrating.

Frustrating, because folks like you and v3nesl hand around the Science forum saying incredibly stupid things due to your lack of understanding, education and morals? That frustration?

Harry.

What makes you more qualified to "hang around" this forum than me or anyone else for that matter?

It's not a matter of qualifications, it's a matter of denying facts, which is what you do.

What qualifies you to assess my level of intelligence or knowledge?

Your denial of facts that you don't understand.

Just because you don't understand me or have no idea how to defend your own position, does not serve as proof that what I say is stupid Dummel, don't blame me for your own inadequacies.

I understand your denial of facts just fine, thanks.

If you want an argument with me you'll get one, but don't complain and whine about me being stupid when things don't go your way, retard.

For someone who complains about personal attacks, you sure are a hypocrite. LOL.

Harry.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,585
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1/31/2016 6:18:39 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/31/2016 6:07:02 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/31/2016 5:58:37 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/31/2016 5:41:45 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/31/2016 5:25:44 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 1/27/2016 3:19:56 PM, Floid wrote:
At 1/27/2016 2:06:52 PM, v3nesl wrote:
You're pretty close, but the coin flip is still random even if you know the initial conditions with enough precision to predict the outcome. You still get the same 50/50 distribution with 'complete knowledge of the initial conditions'.

So, once again: "Noise driven". Pay attention, lads, I know what I'm talking about and I'm offering you a free education. (aren't I a riot :-)

If only you did know what you are talking about.

Why do resort to that? disagreeing is fine, but these personal attacks are just ridiculous. Of course he knows what he's talking about, the guy just told you he designed satellite electronics, do you have any idea what that kind of work entails?

Don't do what Dummel always does - belittle and opponent - simply because he disagrees with you in a way that you find frustrating.

Frustrating, because folks like you and v3nesl hand around the Science forum saying incredibly stupid things due to your lack of understanding, education and morals? That frustration?

Harry.

What makes you more qualified to "hang around" this forum than me or anyone else for that matter?

It's not a matter of qualifications, it's a matter of denying facts, which is what you do.

But I've never denied an uncontested fact Dummel.

You're at liberty to quote anything I've ever written in any thread if you want to support the accusation with evidence, will you do that?


What qualifies you to assess my level of intelligence or knowledge?

Your denial of facts that you don't understand.

We'll it is you who's denying facts here, you're denying the fact that I've never denied an uncontested fact.


Just because you don't understand me or have no idea how to defend your own position, does not serve as proof that what I say is stupid Dummel, don't blame me for your own inadequacies.

I understand your denial of facts just fine, thanks.


Except you made this up because you lack the rhetorical skills to argue back. You also seem confused, simply because you may label something a "fact" doesn't automatically mean that I must accept it as a fact does it?

Is your defintion of a fact "Something said by Dummel"? because I don't assume that everything you say is correct all of the time, you want people to do that I know, because you have an ego and you post here for egotistical reasons nothing else, I dare to disagree with some of the tripe you post so you have tantrums - I get it, its quite common in online forums.

If you want an argument with me you'll get one, but don't complain and whine about me being stupid when things don't go your way, retard.

For someone who complains about personal attacks, you sure are a hypocrite. LOL.

Harry.

Yes I agree I'm hypocritical here, I recognize that but I don't care because you started these personal attacks and I no longer have any respect for you.