THINKERS NOVEMBER 13 2012: PROGRESS IN EVOLUTION?

Extropia DaSilva: Welcome to Thinkers!
[2012/11/13 15:32]  Extropia DaSilva: Today the topic is…
[2012/11/13 15:32]  Extropia DaSilva: Is there such a thing as progress in evolution?
[2012/11/13 15:32]  Scarp Godenot: Hiya
[2012/11/13 15:32]  Extropia DaSilva: and, as I just asked the group..
[2012/11/13 15:32]  Extropia DaSilva: how come life did not remain as single-celled organisms?
[2012/11/13 15:33]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): I’m not sure I understand the topic. Are you asking if when something evolves, that’s progress, or are you asking can our knowledge of evolution progress?
[2012/11/13 15:33]  Scarp Godenot: complexity isn’t necessarily progress, though it can be.
[2012/11/13 15:33]  Extropia DaSilva: I am asking, is there some kind of arrow, pointing toward something?
[2012/11/13 15:33]  Extropia DaSilva: Like..
[2012/11/13 15:33]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, we’ve all read “Childhood’s End” by Clarke, so we know the answer to that.
[2012/11/13 15:34]  Scarp Godenot: The arrow might be pointing to complexity caused by entropy. But that is a different notion than progress.
[2012/11/13 15:34]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Evolution, blargh.
[2012/11/13 15:34]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): hi Gwyn!
[2012/11/13 15:34]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Hi you evolved ones!
[2012/11/13 15:34]  Extropia DaSilva: Do we think evolution on other planets would follow roughly the same course as it did on Earth? Not the same species but events like a cambrian period, the emergence of language..world wide webs…
[2012/11/13 15:34]  Zobeid Zuma: A die-hard evolutionary theorist would say that the whole idea of “progress” is looking at it wrong. Species don’t become more “advanced”, they only become better-adapted to their situation.
[2012/11/13 15:34]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: hear hear ZO
[2012/11/13 15:35]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, it depends on whether you think progress on Earth is natural and therefore typical, or whether it is supernatural, and therefore atypical
[2012/11/13 15:35]  Zobeid Zuma: I didn’t say I believe that. 😛
[2012/11/13 15:35]  Extropia DaSilva: This is Stephen J Gould’s ‘drunkard’s walk’ metaphore?
[2012/11/13 15:35]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): omg! That last comment I posted I made 4 minutes ago.
[2012/11/13 15:35]  Extropia DaSilva: Oh hello Gwyn:)
[2012/11/13 15:35]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: What about thinking that “progress” requires a human brain to register what it is, and so it’s not intrinsically embedded in evolution?
[2012/11/13 15:36]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: And hiya Extie 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:36]  Scarp Godenot: Yes, progress is a value judgement that is relative.
[2012/11/13 15:36]  Zobeid Zuma: I do think in the big picture there’s been a general trend towards more and more complex organisms, to the point where now the genome of “higher” life forms is straining at the limits of the complexity that it can sustain.
[2012/11/13 15:36]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well progress does mean an end state that evolution would be moving toward–like the self-consistency of the Absolute Mind or a classless commune, to take two examples of evolutionary theory
[2012/11/13 15:37]  Extropia DaSilva: When we run evolution in experiments, such as in sillico with things like Tierra, we tend to see the same broad patterns emerge again and again..
[2012/11/13 15:37]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Aye, but you can only define such abstract things, Rhi, because you havea brain to tell you that 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:37]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Gwyn, yes, that is so. Or at least a mind that has chosen to locate itself in a brain
[2012/11/13 15:37]  Scarp Godenot: Evolution is full of ‘bests’ that are long extinct.
[2012/11/13 15:38]  Extropia DaSilva: This seems to contradict the dogma that if we reran Earth evolution, the result would be life on earth quite unlike anything alive today.
[2012/11/13 15:38]  Zobeid Zuma: One might even consider the human brain as a way of sidestepping the limitations of DNA — since it’s no longer possible to add complexity to the genetic code, memetic mechnisms have had to take over.
[2012/11/13 15:38]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Extie, again, if evolution on earth was a result of natural processes alone, we would expect that if you re-ran the experiment, you’d get similar results.
[2012/11/13 15:38]  Extropia DaSilva: yeah. Like we increase brainpower by using communication, two brains being better than one.
[2012/11/13 15:39]  Scarp Godenot: Certain things like eyes have evolved in different phylums at different times. so it is safe to say eyes would be with us.
[2012/11/13 15:39]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Mechanisms produce similar results each time they are used
[2012/11/13 15:39]  Zobeid Zuma: And speaking of brain evolution, chew on this: http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/11/13/191217/study-claims-human-intelligence-peaked-two-to-six-millennia-ago
[2012/11/13 15:39]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Automated mass factories; evolution; both would have similar outcomes
[2012/11/13 15:40]  Extropia DaSilva: And bat wings are similar to bird wings, probably because natural selection has a limited number of ways in which it may evolve flight.
[2012/11/13 15:40]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh interesting, Zo, this pretty much goes in line with what I have always said 😀
[2012/11/13 15:40]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): All intelligent species would have opposable thumbs, breathe oxygen, and speak some natural language
[2012/11/13 15:40]  Free Radar HUD: /me v1.1 by Crystal Gadgets
[2012/11/13 15:40]  Scarp Godenot: structures for mobility evolved separately in different Phyla as well.
[2012/11/13 15:40]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Hi Templeton!
[2012/11/13 15:40]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Rhi: is that the Sagan Argument?
[2012/11/13 15:40]  Extropia DaSilva: Oh hello Templeton! Nice to see you again.
[2012/11/13 15:40]  Templeton Tigerpaw: Where is everybody?
[2012/11/13 15:40]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Gwyn, don’t know, but it should be. He was pretty smart.
[2012/11/13 15:40]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’m here! lol — hi Templeton
[2012/11/13 15:40]  Extropia DaSilva: ‘we are behind youuuu!’
[2012/11/13 15:41]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): and bejond peak brain
[2012/11/13 15:41]  Scarp Godenot: Opposable thumbs isn’t the be all and end all of dexterity btw.
[2012/11/13 15:41]  TR Amat: Hi
[2012/11/13 15:41]  Extropia DaSilva: I saw that article, zo..
[2012/11/13 15:41]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe I certainly recognise that argument, Rhi
[2012/11/13 15:41]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Templeton, it’s sometimes hard to see people in this sim; my first venture here and it looked like strange shapes and voices from the void
[2012/11/13 15:41]  Extropia DaSilva: Seren dismissed it as rubbish.
[2012/11/13 15:41]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I used to be sort fo an expert in it; I even hosted two lectures in SL about it!
[2012/11/13 15:41]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Just be patient, Templeton, after 15-20 minutes everything will rez 😀
[2012/11/13 15:41]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Scarp, well, there could be variations. ONe Star Trek novel had the super-whales who nearly destroyed the earth in The Voyage HOme have TK, so they could develop an underwater civilization.
[2012/11/13 15:42]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): But it would just be simpler for them to be land creatures with hands or the equivalent
[2012/11/13 15:42]  Templeton Tigerpaw: It’s okay. It’s fine now
[2012/11/13 15:42]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Sagan’s argument: all extraterrestrial intelligence is humanoid — assuming that we’re able to communicate — and they will look pretty much like us humans
[2012/11/13 15:42]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): And on the 7th day, He rezzed.
[2012/11/13 15:42]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): A mistranslation all these years, but now, with SL, we know what Moses really wrote down
[2012/11/13 15:42]  Scarp Godenot: In evolution, you have to work with what you have. Like hands come from the same structures as fish fins, whereas lobster claws came from other structures
[2012/11/13 15:43]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, that’s actually Sagan’s hypothesis; he goes on further to argue why this HAS to be the case.
[2012/11/13 15:43]  Zobeid Zuma: One thing that occurs to me, is that if his speculation is true, then populations that were hunter-gatherers until recently should have a big intellectual advantage.
[2012/11/13 15:43]  TR Amat: Height of evolution would be creatures that could directly maipulate reality? 🙂 Q? 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:43]  Zobeid Zuma: I’m not aware of any such thing being documented, though.
[2012/11/13 15:43]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Zo: now we hunt down other things, and certainly gather a lot of others 😀
[2012/11/13 15:43]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Gwyn, well, he was simply repeating naturalistic philosophy; the thing is, if you have a mechanical explantion for a phenomena, it has to repeat itself in a regular way
[2012/11/13 15:43]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: So we use the same brain grooves but for doing different things.
[2012/11/13 15:43]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Otherwise, you have room for miracles, providence, all sorts of things
[2012/11/13 15:43]  Extropia DaSilva: Personally I believe there is progress, in that evolution enabled a record of the past, so good accidents could accumulate and bad ones could be erazed, and out of that evolved minds that could roughly predict the future, and shape materials around them in pursuit of goals, and that lead to technological evolution, which is heading for some kind of ‘singularity’. Is that progress in evolution?
[2012/11/13 15:44]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: What is the mechanism that “records” the past?
[2012/11/13 15:44]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: DNA?
[2012/11/13 15:44]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Because the more we know about DNA; the less likely it works likes that….
[2012/11/13 15:45]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): /me waves at TR
[2012/11/13 15:45]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): It’s called a chat log, Gwyn
[2012/11/13 15:45]  Extropia DaSilva: No..well yes, now..but originally, who knows? I know of one genius idea that says clay chrystals were the first ‘replicators’. In any case, some form of heredity is vital for evolution.
[2012/11/13 15:45]  Scarp Godenot: There are several geo and bio scientists who have dealt with todays topic in depth and concluded from the evidence that evolution isn’t progressive. Because of the complexity outlier that humans are, we cannot predict ourselves as inevitable.
[2012/11/13 15:45]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well yes. But heredity does not mmmh how should I put it…
[2012/11/13 15:46]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: “collect information” in the sense: “I know who my ancestors, and if something goes awry with my habitat, I just need to get their genes back”
[2012/11/13 15:46]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Scarp, inevitable? Maybe not; but given the same conditions as existed historically on Earth, then the same results–human beings.
[2012/11/13 15:46]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Even though this is what SOMETIMES happens.
[2012/11/13 15:46]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Or SEEMS to happen.
[2012/11/13 15:46]  Extropia DaSilva: Or humanlike beings.
[2012/11/13 15:46]  TR Amat: There is evidence that long term memory uses the same mechanism as epigenetics.
[2012/11/13 15:46]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): evolution looked rather “random” until now, until intelligent design started on shaping new genes for harvesting plants
[2012/11/13 15:47]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Extie, yes, or human-like beings.
[2012/11/13 15:47]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Does it now, TR? 😉
[2012/11/13 15:47]  Scarp Godenot: There are so many variables, Rhi, that running the same tree of evolution will most definitely not result in the same species of today.
[2012/11/13 15:47]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Opposable thumbs, some natural language, but look as ugly as left over vomit
[2012/11/13 15:47]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: luisa: naaah we have been doing artificial selections for about 6-7 millenia now 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:47]  TR Amat: So, your memory is in your genes, though not in your DNA. 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:47]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Scarp, well, if tht’s true, then evolution is consistent with divine intervention (fine by me).
[2012/11/13 15:48]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: TR: so I have genes outside the DNA? Interesting!
[2012/11/13 15:48]  Extropia DaSilva: I guess the problem is, we only have one example of life to go on, so it is hard to say what happens when evolution runs again. Welll..we have little examples, like places like Madagascar which remain isolated for long periods of time..Australia. Some animals seem familiar: a lot of Lemurs are very much like monkeys. But Kangaroos are like nothing else.
[2012/11/13 15:48]  Scarp Godenot: Stephen J Gould was among the scientists that claimed to prove that evolution is NOT progressive. Though he is not the initiator of these ideas. I’l l try to remember what the critical books are here.
[2012/11/13 15:48]  Extropia DaSilva: Wonderful Life?
[2012/11/13 15:48]  TR Amat: Methylation of your genes alters their expersion, and is also likely how long term memory is stored.
[2012/11/13 15:48]  TR Amat: expression*
[2012/11/13 15:49]  Scarp Godenot: Wonderful Life is a great book about the Cambrian explosion of diversity.
[2012/11/13 15:49]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Scarp: Sagan’s argument is rather powerful. He claimed that intelligent species will always look “humanoid”, even though the whole evolution tree starts from totally different assumptions.
[2012/11/13 15:49]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, progress again is a normative term–and if we take the value/fact distinction seriously, then it couldn’t be progressive by itself.
[2012/11/13 15:49]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: TR: ah, got it 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:49]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): It would only seem like that to a consciousness
[2012/11/13 15:49]  Zobeid Zuma: I think you have to look at the reaaaaly long time scales to see the trend towards ever-increasing complexity. And it does follow a law of diminishing returns.
[2012/11/13 15:49]  TR Amat: Is a more effective form one that can make better uses of ecological nices?
[2012/11/13 15:49]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: There is also an interesting question: is there room for more than one intelligent species? 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:49]  Zobeid Zuma: First we had the Cambrian Explosion, huge and rapid increases in complexity. But since the Mesozoic all progress has been slow and hard-won.
[2012/11/13 15:50]  Extropia DaSilva: Stephen j Gould’s argument was based largely on a collection of fossils known as the Burgess Shale. They seemed so strange he figured they were a lost phylum of life. But we now know they were simply constructed incorrectly by paleontologists and not nearly so strange as he believed..
[2012/11/13 15:50]  Scarp Godenot: An example of the non progressivity of culture is the ‘dark ages’.
[2012/11/13 15:50]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): no, there is not enought room
[2012/11/13 15:50]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): not even for one
[2012/11/13 15:50]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): The law of diminishing returns? There you go again, using those negative concepts from economics, Zo. That’s the reason Romney lost; no one wants to hear unpleasant truths that tell them they can’t do certain things.
[2012/11/13 15:50]  Zobeid Zuma: Buh?
[2012/11/13 15:50]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Darwin would say that “More effective” means the ability toi mutate faster and with a wider range of characteristics. Tipical example: dogs
[2012/11/13 15:50]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: *Typical
[2012/11/13 15:50]  TR Amat: I follow Jack Cohen, in that other intelligent life forms could be quite strange – I see no good reason for bilateral symetry.
[2012/11/13 15:50]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Scarp, well, not if you read Marx. Feudalism was a technological and social advance over slave societies, and then gave way to the even more advanced and progressive bourgeois socieites
[2012/11/13 15:51]  Extropia DaSilva: Interestingly, the scientist who constructed those fossils, and their reconstruction, wrote a book in which he champions the opposite view to Gould: Simon Conway Morris.
[2012/11/13 15:51]  Zobeid Zuma: Darwin’s theory was most aptly described as “survival of the most adapatable” rather than the common phrase “survival of the fittest”.
[2012/11/13 15:51]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Zo, yes, his theory basicall boiled down to “survivors survive”
[2012/11/13 15:51]  Extropia DaSilva: That latter was not even Darwin;s term, if I recall correctly.
[2012/11/13 15:52]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: TR: according to Sagan’s argument, there might be an incredible amount of non-humanoid intelligences in the universe, but we would be unable to communicate with them. And Sagan was only worried about the ones we can communicate with.
[2012/11/13 15:52]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Zo: yes!
[2012/11/13 15:52]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): No, it was Herbert Spencer’s term, Extie
[2012/11/13 15:52]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: uh-huh
[2012/11/13 15:52]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, non-humanoid intelligences, if intelligent, would know mathematics. We could communicate that way at first.
[2012/11/13 15:52]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Then if there were truly a transformational grammar, we could translate.
[2012/11/13 15:53]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Sagan would disagree. What they would use for mathematics would be impossible to decode for us and vice-versa
[2012/11/13 15:53]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: That’s his argument btw
[2012/11/13 15:53]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Translate ‘banana/no banana into binary, from there to texting
[2012/11/13 15:53]  Zobeid Zuma: I guess if I had to put forth some broad, general theme, it would be… that working with information — with data — is *hard* for living organisms. It’s been the roadblock all along.
[2012/11/13 15:53]  Extropia DaSilva: I said at the start..why did life not remain as single celled…but is it actually the case that it mostly IS still single celled organisms, with a thin layer of multicellular animals that we think dominate only because they are big enough to see?
[2012/11/13 15:53]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh! That’s an ontological question!
[2012/11/13 15:53]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, there would have to be a transformational grammar, and Chomsky gave up on it, after championing the idea like since forever
[2012/11/13 15:53]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Good question, Extie 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:53]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: “chance”, will say the positivists
[2012/11/13 15:54]  TR Amat: Should we worry about life forms where the group is intelligent, but the individual isn’t?
[2012/11/13 15:54]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): And fate will say the evolutionists; a plan will say the divine interventionists
[2012/11/13 15:54]  Extropia DaSilva: why should we worry?
[2012/11/13 15:54]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Like ants, TR? After all, they’re at a massive war across half of Europe right now, and have been doing so for several decades.
[2012/11/13 15:54]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): TR, well, why not? Contact with an intelligent hive might be interesting.
[2012/11/13 15:54]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): ants make a good opposite example
[2012/11/13 15:54]  Extropia DaSilva: You mean like the social insects? Ants, bees, termites?
[2012/11/13 15:55]  TR Amat: An alien that did not value the individual might be an issue?
[2012/11/13 15:55]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Extie, don’t forget ChiComs in that list. lol
[2012/11/13 15:55]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, we humans are groups of neurons which just appear intelligent from the outside 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:55]  Extropia DaSilva: forget..what?
[2012/11/13 15:55]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: What are ChiComs?!
[2012/11/13 15:55]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): The Chinese Communists, speaking of group entities that neglect the individual
[2012/11/13 15:55]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: haha
[2012/11/13 15:55]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: lol
[2012/11/13 15:55]  Extropia DaSilva: Yes..what are ChiComs..oh Chinese Communists?
[2012/11/13 15:56]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Gwyn, speak for yourself; I’m not just a bundle of neurons; I’m a sack of mostly water.
[2012/11/13 15:56]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, they were weeded out from political evolution, Rhi 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:56]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): but they have special individuals, who are not neglected
[2012/11/13 15:56]  TR Amat: Rattle those neurones. 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:56]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Speaking for myself, I’m mostly nothing 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:56]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Gwyn, not to us, you aren’t
[2012/11/13 15:56]  Extropia DaSilva: Group of neurons..actually our intelligence is mostly attributed to the extended cognitive systems like writing, calculating, and now of course the web, which pervade our argument and the brain eagerly adapts to.
[2012/11/13 15:56]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Even more so with mesh … my underwear is a black hole
[2012/11/13 15:56]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): well on a sub atomar elvel … much empty space isnide those atoms
[2012/11/13 15:57]  Scarp Godenot: I should have done more research before coming here, but here is one of Gould’s papers on the myth of progress in evolution. http://www.sjgarchive.org/library/b16.html
[2012/11/13 15:57]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: luisa: pretty much *only* empty space.
[2012/11/13 15:57]  Extropia DaSilva: ‘pervade our environment, I mean..
[2012/11/13 15:57]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: oh nice one, Scarp!
[2012/11/13 15:57]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): This is beginning to remind me of Monty Python and the Meaning of Life where one of the Pythons comes out of a middle class ladies oven, asks her for her kidney. When she refuses, he points to the vastness of the universe. “Makes you feel insignificant, doesn’t it?” When she agrees, he says, “Now, can I have your kidney?”
[2012/11/13 15:57]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): *Eric Idle
[2012/11/13 15:57]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: heh heh
[2012/11/13 15:57]  TR Amat: So, bush instead of tree of evolution? 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:57]  Extropia DaSilva: Take a human and separate her from the Technium and you will see how intelligent a person in and of itself really is. Not very.
[2012/11/13 15:58]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: /me *snickers*
[2012/11/13 15:58]  Extropia DaSilva: ‘every sperm is sacred..’
[2012/11/13 15:58]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: rofl !
[2012/11/13 15:58]  Zobeid Zuma: Oh I hated that movie. 😛
[2012/11/13 15:58]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Noooo Zo
[2012/11/13 15:58]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: you’re subnormal!
[2012/11/13 15:58]  Extropia DaSilva: ‘It is only…wafer theeen’.
[2012/11/13 15:58]  Zobeid Zuma: It was simply awful.
[2012/11/13 15:58]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Zo, can’t comment; that’s the only thing I remember from it. lol
[2012/11/13 15:58]  TR Amat: “The Meaning of Liff”?
[2012/11/13 15:58]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Someone removed your sense of humour surgically when you were born, Zo? 🙂
[2012/11/13 15:59]  Zobeid Zuma: I prefer to think of myself as prenormal. I’m ahead of my time!
[2012/11/13 15:59]  Extropia DaSilva: I am with Zo. I can never sit through the whole film. Worst movie they ever made.
[2012/11/13 15:59]  Extropia DaSilva: But we digress..
[2012/11/13 15:59]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ha! No way. Sense of humour is quite important for an individual’s own ‘evolution’ 😉
[2012/11/13 15:59]  TR Amat: What the song from there that lots of people wantplayed at their funerals?
[2012/11/13 15:59]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): This is the second discussion where ‘normal’ has come up. Look, we all know what normal is. White, middle class male, secular in attitudes toward religions; votes Democratic.
[2012/11/13 15:59]  Scarp Godenot: I have a good example of evolution being non progressive. The best and most effective example of teeth used for grinding comes from several species of plant eating dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous period. Nothing else before or since has come close to these structures.
[2012/11/13 16:00]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: /me loves Rhi’s sarcasm tonight ㋡
[2012/11/13 16:00]  Zobeid Zuma: I have a funnybone, and some movies tickle it. And some movies, how shall I say… don’t.
[2012/11/13 16:00]  TR Amat: I thought normal was Chinese, if you worked by numbers? 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:01]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, isn’t it normal? I mean you don’t want to be Republican–those sociopaths with excessive consciences who are authoritarian authority haters, do you?
[2012/11/13 16:01]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): TR, that’s just 1 out of 4.
[2012/11/13 16:01]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): WB, Gwyn!
[2012/11/13 16:01]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): by definition has to be average. that can include crazy, if the whole area looking at is
[2012/11/13 16:01]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Hi Violet!
[2012/11/13 16:01]  Zobeid Zuma: I don’t think that’s an accurate description, Rhi.
[2012/11/13 16:01]  Zobeid Zuma: Hi Violet!
[2012/11/13 16:01]  Scarp Godenot: Every species is limited in what it can achieve, because changes must be built on structures that are already present.
[2012/11/13 16:01]  Extropia DaSilva: But is that just the S curve, Scarp? Some things can only be improved so much, like teeth, or a sillicon chip? But some general things like, say, ‘computation’ follow an expontial curve as one ‘solution’ cannot be improved but a new paradigm takes over.
[2012/11/13 16:01]  Professorette Violet Ninetails (ataraxia.azemus): Hey all 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:01]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Zo, no, but that’s what someone figured out from studying psychologists who wanted to make people normal. That’s their notion
[2012/11/13 16:02]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): You may have noticed the contradictions in the description of Republicans. lol But I bet most people thought it fit Romney
[2012/11/13 16:02]  TR Amat: Human seem to be able to life just about anywhere on the planet. Does than make them ‘better’?
[2012/11/13 16:02]  TR Amat: live*
[2012/11/13 16:02]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: No, just cleverer 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:02]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): TR, better, faster, stronger. We have the technology
[2012/11/13 16:02]  Extropia DaSilva: Evolution ‘found’ a way around that, Scarp. It evolved a technological species.
[2012/11/13 16:02]  Scarp Godenot: It isn’t clear that we will survive in the long term and from the point of view of future evolution, Our brains will be an anomaly which once existed in the past.
[2012/11/13 16:02]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): some bacteria might even have better stats, on worldwide distribution
[2012/11/13 16:03]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Again, if we take population figures, evolution boils down to “survivors survive.”
[2012/11/13 16:03]  Scarp Godenot: and that is all
[2012/11/13 16:03]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): The more your species reproduces, the more ‘evolved’ it is.
[2012/11/13 16:03]  Zobeid Zuma: /me bites tongue and avoids a detour into the political minefield. “think evolution, evolution…”
[2012/11/13 16:03]  TR Amat: Most bacteria have emzymes tuned to work well in a particular temp range.
[2012/11/13 16:03]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): WB, Gwyn
[2012/11/13 16:03]  Extropia DaSilva: If you sequence ‘our’ DNA it is nearly all bacterial DNA:)
[2012/11/13 16:04]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): oh my!
[2012/11/13 16:04]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: The more I crash in SL, the more I love OpenSim 😛
[2012/11/13 16:04]  TR Amat: We steal from te best? 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:04]  Extropia DaSilva: A person’s body has more bacteria genome in it than ‘human’:)
[2012/11/13 16:04]  Zobeid Zuma: A human contains more bacteria (by the numbers, not by mass) than human cells.
[2012/11/13 16:04]  Scarp Godenot: Another point of evolution is that ‘Shit Happens’ . Random outside events can wipe out whole lines of ‘progress’ never to be seen again.
[2012/11/13 16:04]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): oh, is that flashing light what you all were talking about last time? I was on my phone, so I was as blind as those wierd fish at the bottom of the sea who evolved without eyes
[2012/11/13 16:04]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, we have gazillions of bacteria living in and of us.
[2012/11/13 16:04]  TR Amat: Black Swans – they’ll make things more interesting. 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:05]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Scarp, that’s why real societal evolution needs at least 50 people with the power to alter reality through the power of their minds. Otherwise, one Mule will wreck the entire Selden Plan
[2012/11/13 16:05]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: ha! lol
[2012/11/13 16:05]  Zobeid Zuma: Of course there is also a single-celled variant of human… Look up “HeLa cells” sometime.
[2012/11/13 16:05]  Extropia DaSilva: So scarp’s argument, I think, is that humans are exceedingly improbable results of evolution, and so therefore is technology.
[2012/11/13 16:05]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Rhi, following your arguments requires BOTH a classical education AND being a sci-fi fan 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:05]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Single celled variant of humans, Zo? That sounds a lot like homunculi
[2012/11/13 16:05]  Zobeid Zuma: It’s a bizarre story, Rhi.
[2012/11/13 16:05]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Gwyn, I’ll take that as a complement.
[2012/11/13 16:06]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: (it was!)
[2012/11/13 16:06]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’m not so sure if we’re “exceedingly improbable.” I’d say we’re exactly as improbable as any other species.
[2012/11/13 16:06]  TR Amat: Maybe I haven’t got a classy enough education. 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:06]  Extropia DaSilva: And that one day a rock from space or something will wipe us all out, and there will never be minds as sophisticated as ours again.
[2012/11/13 16:06]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: You can compensate with reading more sci-fi, TR 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:06]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Gwyn, well, then Sagan was wrong. And improbabilities might indicate some kind of planning on Somebody’s part.
[2012/11/13 16:07]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Patterns, patterns everywhere.
[2012/11/13 16:07]  TR Amat: Invest in space travel – spread your genome wider. 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:07]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: We’re sooooo good at finding patterns even when they don’t exist.
[2012/11/13 16:07]  Scarp Godenot: One think I think we have to come to terms with and that is that complexity doesn’t equal progress. Even though it can coincide with it. Progress is relative to the perceiver of what that term means. It is only applicable after the fact.
[2012/11/13 16:07]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): TR, exactly; space colonization is really a sexual thing
[2012/11/13 16:07]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Scarp: exactly, That’s what I started to say!
[2012/11/13 16:07]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Rhi: at the very least it’s a sexy thing!
[2012/11/13 16:07]  TR Amat: Sexy spaceships?
[2012/11/13 16:08]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: But even “evolution” requires a perceiver to figire out how things are interconnected.
[2012/11/13 16:08]  Extropia DaSilva: I still say it is progress in that evolution progressed from being able to record the past but was blind to the future, to being able to at least roughly anticipate what is coming and prepare for it.
[2012/11/13 16:08]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, no wonder NASA is mainly guys–spreading your sperm across 28 million planets. Women of the galaxy, watch out for the womanizer species!
[2012/11/13 16:08]  TR Amat: Do robots could as human intellectual rproducion?
[2012/11/13 16:08]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I mean, meercats don’t worry a lot about “evolution”, but they certainly worry constantly about survival and reproduction 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:09]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: did you read Greg Bear’s “Darwin’s Radio”?
[2012/11/13 16:09]  Extropia DaSilva: and selling car insurance via ask the market dot com. Seemples!
[2012/11/13 16:09]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: heh
[2012/11/13 16:09]  Extropia DaSilva: No I never read it..
[2012/11/13 16:09]  Extropia DaSilva: What is it about?
[2012/11/13 16:09]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, it’s speculative sci-fi
[2012/11/13 16:09]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: But it introduces a notion which is taboo in evolution,
[2012/11/13 16:09]  Scarp Godenot: Let’s take our speculations about the future of computers. We speculate and we call those ideas progress. But when the actual future of computers ends up being a bad thing for our species, future humans would not see that as progress, but as something having gone wrong.
[2012/11/13 16:09]  Extropia DaSilva: I like speculative sci fi:)
[2012/11/13 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: which is the idea that we carry special gene-triggering sequences,
[2012/11/13 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: that can be used, in occasions of extreme stress (i.e. a habitat suddenly changing),
[2012/11/13 16:10]  Extropia DaSilva: Scarp: so progress is just a point of view?
[2012/11/13 16:10]  TR Amat: /me is a science fiction addict. 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: catapulting us into a ‘desired’ species
[2012/11/13 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: which can handle with the habitat changes adequately
[2012/11/13 16:10]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Now this smells of Lamarckism
[2012/11/13 16:10]  Scarp Godenot: Exactly Extie. Progress is a point of view.
[2012/11/13 16:10]  Professorette Violet Ninetails (ataraxia.azemus): I tend to think of evolution in terms of a big giant wall upon which all kinds of crazy, weird things are thrown. Some of ’em stick, some of ’em don’t,
[2012/11/13 16:10]  Extropia DaSilva: I am a desired species *preens herself*
[2012/11/13 16:11]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: So Bear, who is a biologist, didn’t publish a paper but wrote a sci-fi novel instead 😀
[2012/11/13 16:11]  TR Amat: Epigenetics shadows Lamarckism. 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:11]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): /me is reminded of a short lived SF series where a species which is to us as we are to the Neanderthals emerged out of Mexico and began crossing the border to the United States
[2012/11/13 16:11]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: heh. UYes.
[2012/11/13 16:11]  Zobeid Zuma: You could define progress in terms of capability. We can’t create AI now, so when we’re able to do so, that’s progress — even though it may turn out to have bad consequences.
[2012/11/13 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I think that progress is one of those things that apply to human society and that we tend to apply to everything,
[2012/11/13 16:12]  Zobeid Zuma: How *are* we to the Neanderthals, Rhi? They had bigger brains than humans, you know!
[2012/11/13 16:12]  Extropia DaSilva: Reminds me of a passage Dawkins wrote, in which he imagined other animals reading the fossil record and believing evolution was aiming at their kind of life.
[2012/11/13 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: sort of like “social darwinism” in reverse 😉
[2012/11/13 16:12]  TR Amat: Skynet just wants to be loved… 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:12]  Extropia DaSilva: Whales have bigger brains than humans.
[2012/11/13 16:12]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Zo, well, Cro Magnom won out. That’s all I know.
[2012/11/13 16:12]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Small is beautiful; women can get away being more cleverer even if they have smaller brains 😉
[2012/11/13 16:12]  TR Amat: Brain mass/body mass ratio…
[2012/11/13 16:12]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): size vs. network density
[2012/11/13 16:12]  Scarp Godenot: Another example: Politics. Different political parties see the same developments as both progressive and regressive or maybe even neutral. Progress is in the mind of the beholder.
[2012/11/13 16:12]  Zobeid Zuma: Yeah, brain size isn’t everything, but my point is… there isn’t much evidence of neanderthals being stupid.
[2012/11/13 16:13]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Scarp: you’re totally right
[2012/11/13 16:13]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Zo, true enough. I mean they used pedels for their cars, had cabins on pterodactyls, and even had an intelligence agency.
[2012/11/13 16:13]  Extropia DaSilva: Ben Elton joked that you must be as intelligent as humans to invent the nuclear bomb, but as intelligent as whales to think it up and then decide it is better not to build it.
[2012/11/13 16:13]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: The problem in attributing things like “progress” to evolution is that it begs the question of who put “progress” into the mechanism of evolution ….
[2012/11/13 16:13]  TR Amat: Progress depends on where you’re standing?
[2012/11/13 16:13]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Gwyn, no it doesn’t beg the question, it raises it.
[2012/11/13 16:14]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: right lol
[2012/11/13 16:14]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): And if life as we know it is improbably, can’t be mechanistically recreated, that would also raise that question
[2012/11/13 16:14]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Progress depends on what your definition of progress is, and having a mind to apply that definition to what you see
[2012/11/13 16:14]  Templeton Tigerpaw: Actually, I think the progress problem disappears if you take a parallax view
[2012/11/13 16:14]  Zobeid Zuma: Well, my explanation is that complexity confers a competitive advantage. Thus the trend towards increasing complexity.
[2012/11/13 16:14]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Templeton, how so?
[2012/11/13 16:14]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): been such a prosperous start on evolution and now we even doubt progress
[2012/11/13 16:15]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Zo: such seems to be the case with ‘life’. However, ‘simple’ organisms fill every niche of the planet, too!
[2012/11/13 16:15]  Templeton Tigerpaw: Well, you would first have to realize when evolution started – and then see what is common to it all
[2012/11/13 16:15]  TR Amat: I need to . Thanks for discussion.
[2012/11/13 16:15]  Scarp Godenot: There is another argument for the notion of progress as myth. Can the development of the means to destroy ourselves actually be defined as progress by our culture?
[2012/11/13 16:15]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): “Every year the Earth’s solar system moves 50,000 miles closer to the constellation Hercules, and still there are those who would deny progress” A quote from Sirens of Titan by KUrt Vonnegutt, Jur.
[2012/11/13 16:15]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Bye TR!
[2012/11/13 16:15]  TR Amat: go*
[2012/11/13 16:15]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): bye, TR!
[2012/11/13 16:15]  Zobeid Zuma: I don’t think that’s really a contradiciton, Gwyn.
[2012/11/13 16:15]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I wasn’t saying that it was 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:15]  Extropia DaSilva: I guess it depends..what is inevitable that the debris from stars would form self-replicating strings of molecules, thereby resulting in the origin of life, and was it inevitable that a technological species would emerge? In that case there is no ‘who’ there are just mechanisms built into physics or whatever that drive that ‘progress’.
[2012/11/13 16:16]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Aw don’t talk to me about Vonnegut, I remember his last public speech
[2012/11/13 16:16]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: It was in SL 😛
[2012/11/13 16:16]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: a few days before he died
[2012/11/13 16:16]  Scarp Godenot: What was the topic Gwyn?
[2012/11/13 16:16]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: It was about how SF authors saw virtual worlds
[2012/11/13 16:16]  Zobeid Zuma: I’m not fond of the word “inevitable” but given the size of the universe, just about anything that can happen is going to happen somewhere.
[2012/11/13 16:16]  Extropia DaSilva: Was he HArry Potter’s arch enermy?
[2012/11/13 16:17]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: LOL
[2012/11/13 16:17]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I don’t know !
[2012/11/13 16:17]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Zo. yes if you posit that the universe is infinite hehe
[2012/11/13 16:17]  Scarp Godenot: Zo, you would think so until you do the math. Things are quite finite compared to possible things.
[2012/11/13 16:17]  Extropia DaSilva: Not if you consider…. the multiverse!
[2012/11/13 16:18]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: ha! Remind me of sending you an article, Extie. You’ll like it.
[2012/11/13 16:18]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): just there must be some valid notion of generally accepted Progress. Since we allready are actively shaping, changing evolution
[2012/11/13 16:18]  Extropia DaSilva: Gwyn? Send me an article that I may like.
[2012/11/13 16:18]  Scarp Godenot: Throws Ockham’s razor at Extie…. heh
[2012/11/13 16:18]  Extropia DaSilva: You have no idea what that means.
[2012/11/13 16:19]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: luisa: I’d say that we can define progress by convention, yes.
[2012/11/13 16:19]  Extropia DaSilva: Clue; It does not mean ‘reject all ideas you are uncomfortable with’.
[2012/11/13 16:19]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Extie, jsut reject them until someone comes along and explains them to you. lol
[2012/11/13 16:19]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: I prefer: reject all ideas you’re comfortable with 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:19]  Scarp Godenot: We can easily define progress from our point of view. That doesn’t make progress anything more than an idea.
[2012/11/13 16:19]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: But, alas, we digress 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:20]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Why is nobody listening to Scarp? 😛
[2012/11/13 16:20]  Scarp Godenot: haha
[2012/11/13 16:20]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Gwyn, you sure we digress? Perhaps we evolve.
[2012/11/13 16:20]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Nah 😀
[2012/11/13 16:20]  Extropia DaSilva: It DOES mean ‘when all your best theories hint at the existence of something, that is probably because it really exists’. And that is precisely what we find with the multiverse.
[2012/11/13 16:20]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): We talked about his ideas earlier, Gwyn. He’s not being ignored.
[2012/11/13 16:20]  Zobeid Zuma: I’m not buying it, Extie.
[2012/11/13 16:20]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Scarp, you’ve pretty much debunked the whole “evolution as progress” discussion. We should have stopped 5 minutes after we’ve started
[2012/11/13 16:21]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ah sorry, Rhi. I might have missed that.
[2012/11/13 16:21]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): And miss all the fun, Gwyn? Come on
[2012/11/13 16:21]  Zobeid Zuma: What? I didn’t see that. Scarp, please repeat everything you’ve said during this discussion!
[2012/11/13 16:21]  Extropia DaSilva: yeah well once people did not buy continental drift..
[2012/11/13 16:21]  Scarp Godenot: The multiverse idea works because there is no end to it’s possibilities by definition. I think it is circular reasoning.
[2012/11/13 16:21]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): I mean, Scarp’s right that you cannot read progress into ever increasing complexity; it’s a normative concept
[2012/11/13 16:21]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Yeppers!
[2012/11/13 16:21]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): simpler is better
[2012/11/13 16:21]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Even those who would define progress as a march toward a definite end-state might agree with that.
[2012/11/13 16:22]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): at least, on interface design
[2012/11/13 16:22]  Zobeid Zuma: The problem with continental drift is that there was a lot of evidence hinting at it, but no plausible theory for a mechanism. Even the proponents of it were wrong about the mechanism.
[2012/11/13 16:22]  Extropia DaSilva: What did you expect? An end to space and time? That throws up as many awkward questions as infinity!
[2012/11/13 16:22]  Zobeid Zuma: Well, my argument is that “complexity” is something we can measure and see a trend in, as opposed to the nebulous “progress”.
[2012/11/13 16:22]  Scarp Godenot: The entire history of math is based on getting rid of infinities. Why then do we appeal to multiple universes in the name of mathematics?
[2012/11/13 16:23]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Zo, thank you; I had forgotten about plate techtonics and continentel drift as another example where evidence is basically ignored until a theory is decided upon which allows for it
[2012/11/13 16:23]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): now I would like to know if there is any chance that continental drift will cram all countries into a single landmass again, ultimatively
[2012/11/13 16:23]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Heh. At least the multiverse asks NEW questions, all of them awkward 😉 And to make Scarp throw another razor at me, the proponents of the M theory believe they can explain OUR universe far easier and with less messy patching (like the “need” for dark energy & matter!) with a multiverse concept.
[2012/11/13 16:23]  Extropia DaSilva: Quantum physics hints at many worlds, inflationary cosmology hints at many big bangs, string theory hints at the ‘string landscape’. All our best theories of reality have some form or other of multiverse.
[2012/11/13 16:23]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Luisa, well, there will be a hook up between Asia and America in about 100,000 years, I believe
[2012/11/13 16:23]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Sooner, if the Chinese buy up our debt
[2012/11/13 16:24]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: LOL
[2012/11/13 16:24]  Zobeid Zuma: Haha!
[2012/11/13 16:24]  Scarp Godenot: Continental drift and plate tectonics is no longer the prevailing theory btw. We now have to deal with Super Plume theory.
[2012/11/13 16:24]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh my. As soon as scientists basically agree with something, there is already something new popping up the horizon 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:24]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Scarp, do I want to know about that?
[2012/11/13 16:24]  Extropia DaSilva: We have no way of explaining why the constants of nature are fine tuned to allow us to be here. The multiverse answers that with a form of weak anthropic principle.
[2012/11/13 16:24]  Scarp Godenot: With plate techtonics being a subset of Super Plume theory.
[2012/11/13 16:25]  Zobeid Zuma: Err… I don’t think you can get rid of plate tectonics, only refine the theory of how it works.
[2012/11/13 16:25]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh — like single universes being a subset of multiverse theory?
[2012/11/13 16:25]  Extropia DaSilva: 5 minutes left people!
[2012/11/13 16:25]  Scarp Godenot: haha Gwyn
[2012/11/13 16:25]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): whispers: Extie, the multiverse hypothesis basically boils down to–well, some universe had to have us, why not ours?
[2012/11/13 16:25]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: /me ducks as some Occam Razors fly over her head
[2012/11/13 16:25]  Scarp Godenot: There is no multiverse theory, only multiverse hypotheses.
[2012/11/13 16:25]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Um, I didn’t mean to whisper
[2012/11/13 16:25]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Extie, the multiverse hypothesis basically boils down to–well, some universe had to have us, why not ours?
[2012/11/13 16:26]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, the proponents of the M theory (formerly known as supoerstring) call it a THEORY, but of course they’re biased )
[2012/11/13 16:26]  Extropia DaSilva: Scarp why are you convinced that a universe that has to be finite in space and time is more plausible than a ‘universe’ that is part of something infinite in space and time?
[2012/11/13 16:26]  Zobeid Zuma: Most cosmology is a house of cards, we just don’t have enough data to move much beyond speculation. And there’s nothing wrong with speculation, as long as you recognize it as such.
[2012/11/13 16:26]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh, I know the answer: “because that’s something we can directly observe” 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:26]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): It sounded like because of summing infinities.
[2012/11/13 16:27]  Scarp Godenot: Maybe because Time is only part of spacetime. And outside of it doesn’t exist.
[2012/11/13 16:27]  Extropia DaSilva: The Big Bang never was THE creation of the universe. It was AN event that happened in a PRE-EXISTING space.
[2012/11/13 16:27]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, but there can be multiple dimensions in spacetime.
[2012/11/13 16:27]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): just some another thousand years, and perhaps evolution might equip us with a second pair of thumbs
[2012/11/13 16:27]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: So it was NOT “because we can observe it”? Aww
[2012/11/13 16:27]  Zobeid Zuma: You don’t know that, Extie. And that’s actually counter to the classical Big Bang theory that I was taught.
[2012/11/13 16:27]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: /me is SO disappointed!
[2012/11/13 16:28]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Extie, well, unless you believe Stephen Hawkins, where it was Space-Time; there was no pre-existing space nor time.
[2012/11/13 16:28]  Scarp Godenot: Accepting not knowing is just as valid as accepting something with no evidence.
[2012/11/13 16:28]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: That’s definitely the problem 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:28]  Extropia DaSilva: No it is more like…an irrelevant question. Like asking what is north of the north pole.
[2012/11/13 16:28]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, come on, guys. The Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth by moving his spirit over the water. Before the beginning of space-time, there was *water@
[2012/11/13 16:28]  Zobeid Zuma: I always thought the Big Bang was an end-point of our spacetime continuum, so there was no “before” it.
[2012/11/13 16:28]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Rhi: no, it was spirit 😉
[2012/11/13 16:28]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: lol
[2012/11/13 16:29]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): there are some three or four variants of a north pole. magnetic, geographic, even some more
[2012/11/13 16:29]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Zo, no, it’s a conceptual point, as space time is Time, there can’t be a before time. And if that sounds like playing on words, you’d be right
[2012/11/13 16:29]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): so most probably you can find a north pole north from a north pole
[2012/11/13 16:29]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Zo: Extie is just quoting multiverse theories where there is no reason to believe that the Big Bang is an unique event
[2012/11/13 16:29]  Extropia DaSilva: No it was an event that ocurred in a pre-existing space, not necessarily THE event that began all Creation.
[2012/11/13 16:29]  Zobeid Zuma: What do you mean, no? I thought that was what I said. 😛
[2012/11/13 16:29]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: luisa: you’re right! 😀
[2012/11/13 16:29]  Scarp Godenot: So I take the stance of ‘not knowing’ about multiverses. This doesn’t preclude me from at some future point accepting the concept when there is evidence involved….
[2012/11/13 16:30]  Extropia DaSilva: Ok the Big Bang said ‘the universe is expanding, what do you get if you run it backwards?’ And you end up with the primordial atom.
[2012/11/13 16:30]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): I like the idea of parallel universes and that in each of them, there would be this guy, same guy, who’d be a cab driver
[2012/11/13 16:30]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, the M theorists are stumped at defining an experiment to validate their theories, because it simply takes much more energy that we’re able to generate 🙂
[2012/11/13 16:30]  luisa (luisa.bourgoin): Gwyn: the magnetic one has increased its traveling speed
[2012/11/13 16:30]  Gwyneth Llewelyn: But, alas, M theory is not the ONLY theory of course
[2012/11/13 16:31]  Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): What is M theory, again, Gwyn? String theory?
[2012/11/13 16:31]  Extropia DaSilva: Also, alas, my time is up! In infinite parallel realities!
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