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Old 4th February 2005, 07:24 PM
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bwv11
Default hot spot on saturn

i love this sort of thing, culled from a news report on aol, so i thought some folks here might find it interesting, also.

being a bit argumentative to boot, the story gives me the opportunity to observe that here is another totally new discovery of an unprecedented physical process, this time within our solar system, which is something, as the NASA scientist in the story says, "I don't understand at all." kinda like aggregates of molecules in water. you know, it's one surprise after another, though some like to think otherwise.

from AOL:

Polar vortices are found on Earth, Jupiter, Mars and Venus, and are colder than their surroundings. The new images from the Keck Observatory show the first evidence of a polar vortex at much warmer temperatures.
''Saturn's is the first hot polar vortex that we've seen because it's been sitting in the sunlight for about 18 years,'' said Glenn S. Orton, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and lead author.

''If the increased southern temperatures are solely the result of seasonality, then the temperature should increase gradually with increasing latitude, but it doesn't,'' Orton said. ''We see that the temperature increases abruptly by several degrees near 70 degrees south and again at 87 degrees south.

''A really hot thing within a couple degrees of the pole is something I don't understand at all,'' he said.

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"The need to perform adjustments for covariates...weakens the findings." BMJ Clinical Evidence: Mental Health, (No. 11), p. 95.... It's that simple, guys: bad numbers make bad science.


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Old 10th February 2005, 12:00 AM
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well golly gee willickers, yet another thing we've "never seen before." doesn't science just keep gettin' wierder and wierder? next thing, they'll be findin' tractors in haystacks! love that aol - yet another interesting tidbit:
An outcast star is zooming out of the Milky Way, the first ever seen escaping the galaxy, astronomers reported on Tuesday.
The star is heading for the emptiness of intergalactic space after being ejected from the heart of the Milky Way following a close encounter with a black hole, said Warren Brown, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The outcast is going so fast -- over 1.5 million mph -- that astronomers believe it was lobbed out of the galaxy by the tremendous force of a black hole thought to sit at the Milky Way's center. That speed is about twice the velocity needed to escape the galaxy's grip, Brown said by telephone.

"We have never before seen a star moving fast enough to completely escape the confines of our galaxy," he said.

imagine, in my first post to this thread, a scientist admitted he had come upon something he didn't '...understand at all...,' and now we have something about which another scientist says '...We have never before seen a star moving [this] fast ....'

mebbe, if they were blind, scientists wouldn't be bothered by these unexpected discoveries any more, and then they and skeptics could both be snug as a bug in a rug. yuk yuk yuk.
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"The need to perform adjustments for covariates...weakens the findings." BMJ Clinical Evidence: Mental Health, (No. 11), p. 95.... It's that simple, guys: bad numbers make bad science.


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Old 11th February 2005, 11:43 AM
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Hi Bach,
i give comment, because i do not want you to be frustrated, with nobody reacting to your thread.

You seem not to be aware, that the are different levels of reliability in science and therefore surprises are also lesser or greater depending upon the reliability of the knowledge they contradict. Not bad not to be aware off, it is nowhere realy defined.

I'll try to give some rough categories of reliability, the knowledge is normally only reliable under certain circumstances, e.g. newton's laws require slow speed and macroscopic objects:

0.basic assumptions, e.g. we do not live in a matrix, our perceptions are somehow connected to something one might call reality, not proveable in any way

1.universal laws, that where never contradicted even in a small number of repeated experiments and allow some sort of prediction in any process in universe. E.g. energy conservation, momentum conservation, CPT-symmetry

2.nearly universal laws, that hold in a vast majority of experiments and are slightly broken, under special circumstances, but allow predictions for a lot of events. E.g. QM, GR, newton's laws, C,P,T-symmetries

3.conclusions from the 2 above, that are also confirmed by experiments.E.g. aerodynamics and lot of other technology

4.conclusions from the first 2, that are only confirmed roughly by experiments, due to experimental diffculties. E.g. fusion process in the sun

5.things, that are confirmed by experiments and do not contradict the first 2. E.g. some parts of evidence based medicine

6.things, that are conclusions of 3.-5. and are confirmed by experiments

7.conclusions from the first 2, that cannot be confirmed by experiments. E.g. effects of voyage into a black hole

8.things, that are only confirmed roughly by experiments and do not contradict the first 2. E.g. rest of evidence based medicine

9.things, that seem to contradict the second and are confirmed by experiments. I cannot think of any example.

10. rough calculations and conclusions from any of the above, that can to a limited extent be confirmed by observations. E.g. calculation of climate change, sun activity, concluding from animal reactions to human reactions,most of medicine,...

11.and below:same as 10., but very, very limited confirmation from observation possible. E.g. some parts of astronomy

The bigger the number the more often a change or new knowledge is to be expected. Same for contradicting evidence.
The things contradicting 0. are those, that in sceptics eyes are certainly woo-woo and are not realy worth considering.


The first thing you mention contradicts something in number 11., climate model for Jupiter. But changes to such knowledge is normal and happens every day in science.
If we have problems to accurately calculate the weather on earth for the next day, although we have hundred of years of observation data, then calculating the climate on Jupiter correctly is something like playing poker - it is not reliable, but fun to try, losing is normal, winning is only on the average possible.

The second thing is a example, that does not even contradict any knowledge, sattelites using planet gravitation field for speed is normal, a star using a black hole to accelerate does not contradict anything we know and it was to be expected, that such an event is spotted sooner or later. Such an event has already been long since part of the knowledge described by 7., through such discoveriers, it is possible that the whole black hole stuff gets firnly into 4. or even 3.


Getting to homeopathy, homeopathy proven would contradict knowledge from both 1. and 2., so unlike the examples you mention, it would be a huge change to science, nearly as big as GR or QM.

E.g. acupuncture would(at least if it is just claiming to reduce chronic pain) not contradict anything in 1. or 2., maybe even up to 9. Therefore it is far more reasonable to consider acupuncture valid, than homeopathy.

Carn
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Old 11th February 2005, 04:55 PM
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hi carn,

thanks for your concern over the lack of response to my thread. i assure you, though, i have been quite amused over here, in my own little world, just being able to take these little shots at you guys, and at the same time post some interesting news bits ... at least, i found the items interesting to review, and i think others might also ... even vous, perhaps?

but now you've gone and ruined the tranquility of my little newsletter!

of course, the biggest problem with your little off-the-top-of-your-head reliability-of-knowledge-scale, is that it was drawn up to prove a point, so it's structure is suspect at the outset. but even overlooking that, it is really only necessary to observe, that in spite of your protestations to the contrary, it remains impossible to know anything about that which is unknown. for example, a recent discovery of a hitherto unsuspected behavior of molecules in ordinary water, after being put through a rather homeopathic routine of serial dilution, was unexpected enough to cause one scientist to call it 'disturbing.'

in an ideal world in which everything is perfectly apprehensible through numbers, i would agree that mathematical (note, 'mathematical,' not statistical) representation of the universe and everything in it is the most reliable and reliably objective method of description. but until we get to that point, we are left with observation and inference, and a statistical methodology that gets no closer to directly apprehending materiality than do our eyeballs. the rest, concerning confidence levels and statistical double checks is mere self-congratulations, consensual validation.

in short, your little scale works very nicely, i'm sure, for arranging those things that are already known, but it does nothing to assure us that we even know where to start looking, for understanding that which is not yet known. after all, we don't even know what it is. and that of course goes for the homeopathic mechanism of action, as well: nothing known can explain it. your inability to simply acknowledge that predicting future developments in physics is even more uncertain than predicting the weather, unfortunately is quite consistent with the less imaginative end of the scientific community. this is the point at which we really butt heads.

now, if you want to contribute something useful, find some news stories to amuse and amaze!
bach
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"The need to perform adjustments for covariates...weakens the findings." BMJ Clinical Evidence: Mental Health, (No. 11), p. 95.... It's that simple, guys: bad numbers make bad science.


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Old 12th February 2005, 10:55 PM
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carn,

ok, apologies in advance for revving up the rhetoric machine, but you're really asking for it.

in other words, such schemes as you concoct here are very good for post hoc grading and analysis, and also for pseudo-intellectual posturing amongst the priesthood in waiting. and with a really really really good algorithm - like the one guiding einstein's brain - it might even provide clues where to look in all this mish mosh for the next great innovation. on a lesser scale, it certainly contributes to minor discoveries all the time. more often, it leads ordinary physicists - most are pretty ordinary, you know - to slam innovation, on the same basis of bias as you slam homeopathy. you know, dark matter, for example.

but it is only after someone has figured out an angle on something, that you can fit the angle into the existing pattern. if it were otherwise, all the little physicists would be running around, cackling at each other: "lookit, lookit, a discrepancy between level 2 and level 6 subsection a-iv - i'll bet that's the general theory of relativity! hurry, let's work it out before einstein gets here!"

sorry to say, carn, but you're slippin'.

bach
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"The need to perform adjustments for covariates...weakens the findings." BMJ Clinical Evidence: Mental Health, (No. 11), p. 95.... It's that simple, guys: bad numbers make bad science.


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Old 14th February 2005, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwv11
hi carn,

but it does nothing to assure us that we even know where to start looking, for understanding that which is not yet known.
No, exactly for that such thoughts help, to give an idea, what is unknown and where to look for it. Though of course it does help only with a part of what is unknown.
If scientists were consequently unable to look for the unknown, where it can be found, science could not advance as fast as it does.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwv11
after all, we don't even know what it is.
But we know what ut us not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwv11
and that of course goes for the homeopathic mechanism of action, as well: nothing known can explain it.
Post that in the thread about spallation over at hpathy forum, he/she doesn't seem to know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwv11
your inability to simply acknowledge that predicting future developments in physics is even more uncertain than predicting the weather, unfortunately is quite consistent with the less imaginative end of the scientific community.
If you talk about tomorrows weather, ok, that is far more certain to predict. Talking about weather in 50 years, then we get closer to predicting future of science.
Science prediction is pretty hard or even impossible when trying to go for what will be discovered, but it allows in many fields a rather reliable prediction, that certain things will not be discovered.
That prediction is based on the limits set by the various laws, which are as far as known, universally true. Anything new found is very likely either only braking these laws slightly or happening under unsual and little- or unknown circumstances(and that is observation from science of the last 400 years).
Which is why homeopathy gets a pretty bad prognosis, as it happens under very well known circumstances and brakes fundamental laws extremly, therefore bad chances there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwv11

bach
Carn
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Old 14th February 2005, 05:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwv11
carn,

ok, apologies in advance for revving up the rhetoric machine, but you're really asking for it.

in other words, such schemes as you concoct here are very good for post hoc grading and analysis, and also for pseudo-intellectual posturing amongst the priesthood in waiting. and with a really really really good algorithm - like the one guiding einstein's brain - it might even provide clues where to look in all this mish mosh for the next great innovation.
You raise Einstein as fa as you can, to make the rest of scientists look stupid, so you can ignore their opinion.
Why do people use always einstein for that task, there are many other people, who make ordinary people look stupid?
And the "algorithm" does not need Einstein, most scientist can do it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwv11
on a lesser scale, it certainly contributes to minor discoveries all the time.
Yes, for example it allows the prediction, that it is worthwhile to search for dark matter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwv11
more often, it leads ordinary physicists - most are pretty ordinary, you know - to slam innovation, on the same basis of bias as you slam homeopathy. you know, dark matter, for example.
Prove for that, especially for "more often"?
Done a statistical analysis or do you have a lot of experience in science research?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwv11
"lookit, lookit, a discrepancy between level 2 and level 6 subsection a-iv - i'll bet that's the general theory of relativity! hurry, let's work it out
Exactly that happens all the time in science and Einstein did this as well. Do you think he would have ever started to think about light, relativ observer speed, relativ time and so on, if there had not been the discrepancy between newton mechanics and light speed measurements?


Carn
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Old 14th February 2005, 01:15 PM
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quote: You raise Einstein as fa as you can, to make the rest of scientists look stupid, so you can ignore their opinion.
Why do people use always einstein for that task, there are many other people, who make ordinary people look stupid?
And the "algorithm" does not need Einstein, most scientist can do it.

i used einstein because you brought him up, and because you have since dropped the discussion, which is too bad because i thought it was leading to some interesting ins-and-outs, regarding 'understanding,' 'expertise,' and 'bias.' and, i ignore the opinion of the other's, because it contradicts solid evidence, that they are unable to apprehend.

but i disagree about the algorithm, it does need einstein, because most scientists can not do it, the way einstein did it. and don't bother listing the nobel laureates - i'm not saying there aren't a lot of smart physicists, even very smart physicists, and maybe most of them, but there is only one einstein, one newton ... one freud, one darwin, and one hahnemann ... one picasso ... i think these guys are mebbe the dark horse on whom to ride the dark matter, place your bet. i love max planck, but he was not einstein.

besides, i like poking fun at physicists, making them look stupid, or pointing to their mistakes: it's like the editor's cut, out-takes and all. makes them a bit more human. but we really don't have to worry about defending their intelligence ... do we?

except when they start acting like priests.

so, as long as you talk in terms of placing a bet when the aliens come to visit, then i'm fine with the fact that you bet against homeopathy - especially, because i am fairly comfortable betting, that the aliens are as prone to mistakes in observation and measurement as we are, so if they are all allopaths, by all means that's where to put your money! in a universe of fools, fools are king! mostly in my experience skeptics, though, present things like you present your little tree of knowledge, and then argue till they're blue in the face, that this shows that homeopathy is impossible. which is kinda what you do, though i soften a bit toward your attitude, when you at least acknowledge, mebbe unwittingly? that predicting the weather in 50 years is more like predicting discoveries in science. my only remaing problem with your position, is that you sound more sure of what you are predicting, than you should.

for the rest, in terms of predicting, of course we agree. if we are on a path, we figure the next step will be the one we seem to be stepping into. the best science, though imho, is that science that is alert to the dark horse.

my daughter's wedding was on a boat. two weeks before the event, they predicted rain. one week before the event, they predicted rain. i was ecstatic. i figured, they're wrong about half the time anyway, and that far ahead of the event they're wrong about 75 percent, so that was like a guarantee, that by the day of the event, it would be a beautiful day. it was. so was she.

bach
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Old 15th March 2005, 01:30 PM
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another interesting bit from aol -
Astronomers have detected an unusual, powerful burst of intermittent radio waves emanating from the direction of the center of our galaxy.

Now the search is on to trace the source of the mystery radio bursts, or at least find more like it. Was it a dying star "burping" its last radio emissions? Or is there something out there completely new to science? [ed: clearly, these are not true scientists, else they would realize that there is nothing 'completely new to science' since we already know so much about what is new because of the clues we are given by what is old. ]

The discovery "will cause a stampede of further observations," write astronomers Shri Kulkarni and Sterl Phinney in the March 3 issue of the science journal Nature. They're in the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. [ed: also evidence these are not true scientists, since they show curiousity about that which is unknown, and a preference for discovery over falsification - what a novel, creative, and productive attitude! ]

"The most spectacular aspect of this is that five bursts occurred at regular intervals of about an hour and a quarter [77 minutes]," Hyman said. "They were at a constant intensity and each burst had basically the same time profile." Each burst lasted about ten minutes. [ed: probably observer bias. ]

... from what's known so far, the source of the radio burst seems to be of unknown type.

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"The need to perform adjustments for covariates...weakens the findings." BMJ Clinical Evidence: Mental Health, (No. 11), p. 95.... It's that simple, guys: bad numbers make bad science.


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Old 16th March 2005, 06:58 AM
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MRC_Hans is an unknown quantity at this point
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I think the most interesting unknown out there, while so far entirely unspectacular, is dark matter. Up to 80% of the mass of galaxies is made up of this, and at present we simply have no idea what it is.

Hans
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