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Date: 2007/08/01 00:32:05, Link
Author: Nomad
Would a humble lurker who just happens to be Chicago adjacent be allowed to join in on this event?
I swear I'm not an undercover fundie.. and if I was I sure as hell wouldn't ask to go to the Darwin exhibit with you lot.. that'd be like going into the lion's den accompanied by the lions..

Anyway I've been looking for an excuse to hit one of the Chicago museums, and this would make a pretty decent excuse.  I can offer to contribute photography of the event, recording the moment forever so it can be savored by posterity.  Or just splashed casually about the forums, as you wish.

Date: 2007/08/17 18:50:52, Link
Author: Nomad
I've been sort of indirectly following this individual.. I'd never dared watch one of his entire videos before, but there's a guy who attempts to debunk this nonsense who's been paying VenomFangX (dontcha love these tough guy Christians?  Where's the humble lambs when you need 'em?) a lot of attention lately.

http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=Desertphile

You might have to go back a page or two to find them, the first page only has an interesting comment a venomfang supporter sent to him in response to said attention.

He has a tendency to just say "No it doesn't!" without backing up his assertions sufficiently enough, but still I like his style.  That and the fact that you never know when a chicken fight is going to break out outside his window.. he lives on a ranch and apparently there are free roaming animals outside.

After watching some of his videos I picked up a new hobby, debating the fundies through youtube comment lines.  It's completely futile, it's a lot easier to spout an incoherent rant in the small space provided than correct even a single fallacy, but it's given me a little first hand experience at how they operate, and it's always satisfying when someone suddenly ceases responding after a persistent chain of responses because he's run out of dodges and has been faced with a concept he has no ready response to.

Date: 2007/08/23 03:28:29, Link
Author: Nomad
It's perhaps a little disturbing that the line between spoofs and genuine loonies has become so vague.. but that dominionist site can't be real.  Come on, Mexican rape squads roaming liberal cities?

Or how about this line, referring to Tom Tancredo (this is supposed to be a good thing, mind you):
   
Quote
A man who is not afraid to nuke Mecca and Medina CERTAINLY wouldn?t be shy about lobbing a nuclear-tipped missle into the heart of a place like San Francisco or Seattle or Austin TX


Or how about:
   
Quote
The teenage children of elitists would play musical instruments in their basements and garages, while fornicating and consuming mind altering drugs, growing their hair long, and eventually invented Rock n? Roll, as a genre of music ?celebrating? the rebellion of youth, godless creativity and rejection of their parents way of life. Christians, meanwhile, invented Christian Rock which looks and sounds exactly like Rock n? Roll, so it is just as cool, but instead represents a genre of music that celebrates the Good, God Fearing Christian values of obedience and conformity


Honestly, he makes the whole playing rock and roll in the basement while growing hair and smoking dope sound awfully good, but it still sounds a little off from what I've come to expect from genuine religious loons.

Or perhaps this, which I think most clearly shows intentional irony:
   
Quote
Elitists, through their religion of natural secularism and its High Priest Darwin, concocted the Theory of Evilution. Fair enough. Through Scriptures and Prayer, Christians developed The Theory of Creation Science. Unlike Darwinism, who?ve been desperately holding on to their main theory for over a hundred years, Christians have maintained an open mind, so much so we?ve been able to advance our creation theory to become The Theory of Intelligent Design.


This is starting to remind me of the blog I saw a while back that claimed to be from one of the GOP presidential candidates, and stated that he was in support of the theory of intelligent falling.  I hadn't seen any such murky satire before and took it for the genuine article before I started thinking about it for a while and realized that it was perhaps a bit too absurd for even a GOP candidate.

I don't buy the second link either.  A massive series of links to things the blog claims to be against, merely proclaiming how evil they are after linking to it?  Come on, it's cheap reverse psychology.
Hell.. the Tancredo page uses the term "interweb".  That's not a term that's going to be bandied about by frothing mental patients.  "The Google" perhaps, I seem to recall an instance of Bush using it.. but not "the interweb".

Date: 2007/08/24 03:24:28, Link
Author: Nomad
Wait a minute.. that baptists for brownback site is where the "unplanned sexual event" thing came from, that was previously cited as evidence of satire.

The main U.S.E. page is clearly a jab at something Brownback apparently said about not supporting abortions in the case of pregnancies brought on by rape.  It's a massive work of satire.

It would not surprise me to see people who are not aware of this to be posting there, I think the nature of this sort of thing is that people will tend to react to it as if it were real.  But I think if you look at the site itself and the stuff written by the person or people running it you can see it for what it is.

If you need more content (again, I'm focusing not on what posters post, but on what the owner of the site puts up), check this out:
http://baptistsforbrown2008.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/emergency-prayer/

Come on.. a prayer to protect people against mexicans, the loch ness monster, fish and chips and haggis?

That actually made me grin, at least.  Overall this murky satire stuff doesn't really appeal to me, but I think this has to be clear enough.  I've seen some OUT THERE stuff from the wingnut fundamentalists, but never a prayer to protect themselves against chickens.

Although, come to think of it.. haggis frightens me.  I wouldn't be above calling in a little protection from the almighty on that one.

Date: 2007/08/24 03:50:28, Link
Author: Nomad
I'm reminded of the story where NASA found bird poop on the space shuttle once it was already in orbit.  Which in itself is perhaps a bit disconcerting.
They were concerned that it might be a problem during re-entry.

Clearly it was not, the shuttle came down with no problem.  But the fact that bird poop showed up in two different stories about the damage it could cause, the lives that could be lost to it..

Has someone notified the department of homeland security?

Date: 2007/08/25 00:51:56, Link
Author: Nomad
You must not be doing it right.  I've gotten a number of creationists to abandon their arguments with me.  They kept doing things like demanding proof of intermediate fossils, and I did such unfair things as providing them.

VenomfangX is REALLY a piece of work though.  I checked through a few more of his videos.. holy hell..  he claims that water can be suspended in space by magnetic fields (his support for the vapor canopy flood concept), matter can't be destroyed (he MUST be home schooled, there's no way he could be fresh out of high school and not know E=MC2 otherwise).. and my favorite, plants grow extra big when exposed to an atmosphere with extra oxygen.

I thought everyone was being a bit overdramatic when they suggested he'd have a critical breakdown at some point in the future and freak out..  suddenly I'm not so sure about my doubts.  I've watched his concept of logic and reason in action.  He appears to believe that simply saying something makes it so, and once you make an insane statement you can then proceed and refer back to it as being proven.
I picture him, ten or twenty years down the road, being hauled off to jail in handcuffs, repeating over and over again, "she had to die, she sinned against god".  For now I picture him as a youth minister, depending upon how things go he might stay wrapped in in a warm jesus scented cocoon for many years.  But I sense a rather disturbing lack of reason in this one, I think he can justify anything to himself.

Date: 2007/08/25 20:36:48, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Aug. 25 2007,18:38)
Where's the "Expelled" project for exposing the right's war on science?

I'm sure there's an independent film out there somewhere that deals with the results of two Bush White House terms on the federal science agenda.  I've been seeing things like this showing up on a cable channel, possibly sundance.  There was one on the Patriot Act, there was one on the history of Karl Rove..  I can't recall seeing one specifically about science, but I suspect it's out there.

Truth be told, if anything I think the fundies are behind in the propaganda film business.  Perhaps the bible colleges need to start adding art courses.  They could start up their own independent movie circuit, I'd suggest somewhere in Florida as a good first venue.  Call it something like the Independent Thought Festival, where, of course, every movie would say exactly the same thing, rehashing the same arguments that were debunked decades ago.  It could be a whole new thing for them, supplementing the tedious pseudo-textbooks and occasional lawsuit fiasco.

I suspect Rupert Murdoch might be up for sponsoring something like that.

Date: 2007/08/27 02:19:30, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 26 2007,20:17)
TEH TARD!

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Taftv6yrd_Y

Ow, ow.. no more, I beg of you.  That guy's caricature of the logical process is truly painful.

Date: 2007/08/28 01:12:03, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 27 2007,11:37)
Quote (Steverino @ Aug. 27 2007,11:29)
Any response from VenonFangX....does he wish to debate in an open forum?....or just post on utube where he can control debate?

Oh, he's not interested in any dialogue.

Too true.  If he deletes every single comment in response to his videos that isn't absolutely gushing with praise for his brilliant mental processes (how many of these people are out there?  <shivers from fear>) and disables the ratings after artificially boosting them with sock puppets..

I REALLLLY don't think he'd come into an open forum and expose himself to uncontrolled critique.  I mean he's claimed that water is magnetic!  His stated facts are in violation of observable reality, his mental process is a mockery of logic..  and.. actually I really wish he would come here now.

Oh no.. I've developed the mindset of a Jerry Springer viewer.  I just want to watch what happens when the ignorant hillbilly is thrown to the educated lions.  I know exactly what will happen, and I know nothing positive will result from it.. but I want to see it.

Date: 2007/09/21 21:36:21, Link
Author: Nomad
If ID were a medieval knight

It would wear a jockstrap (and nothing else) for protection and brandish a fondue fork as a weapon.  After attempting to stab it's enemy in the back and having the fork bend on contact with the enemy knight's armor, it would inform him that the sword he was holding didn't really exist, that it was merely a lie concocted by the blacksmiths.

Ten seconds later, missing three limbs and spouting blood from several severed arteries, the ID knight would be carted away, calling its opponent a chicken for running away from the fight.

No, it would NOT say "it's just a flesh wound".  It would demand that it's completely healthy and feeling better than ever.  It would state that it predicted that that would happen, and that it's entirely consistent with the predicted superiority of the fondue fork offense.

"In ten years no knight will be using swords or armor anymore," it would say as the last of its blood runs out, "they'll all be using fondue forks and jockstraps."

Unfortunately.. if this knight was ID, it wouldn't die either.  It would pop up the next day with no memory of what had just happened and get to work on developing the next invincible offense.. the spork attack.

Date: 2007/10/15 23:50:04, Link
Author: Nomad
Hmm.. hypothetical questions..  Always entertaining..


1.  Honestly.. I'd be thrilled.  To be fair, I'm not at all keen on the whole godless life cycle.  Ya'know, get born, live, die, that's it.  If you could magically get rid of my fear of oblivion (yes I know that's KIND of illogical, I'll never experience it so why should I fear it?) then I'd probably slide further towards rabid atheism.  You prove to me that all that metaphysical stuff, including life after death, exists and I'd be rather pleased.  How it effects the way I approach life depends on how it's done.  If it's, say, Jesus riding down the street on a dinosaur while playing Stairway to Heaven on an electric guitar (I just love that image), but NOTHING MORE.. it gives me no guidance.  It doesn't tell me if the bible is literal or allegorical.  It doesn't tell me what I'm supposed to be doing with my life.  It doesn't tell me if God hates the gays, or if that's just a primitive response by the conservatives against their own latent homosexual tendencies..
The minimal situation would probably give me some blind comfort without causing me to drastically alter my behavior in any way.  Perhaps I'd be a bit more willing to risk death due to the knowledge that, theoretically, something BETTER comes after this existence, but..  without further guidance I'm still left with the same moral compass I possessed beforehand.
A far more interesting question is what I'd do if God came down to Earth and commanded me to do some things that go against my established moral boundaries.  Ya'know, bomb abortion clinics, hurt people, preach a religion of hatred.  I honestly can't say.  I'd like to think I'd tell God to go jump in a lake, but.. come on.. it's GOD.. I'm only too aware of my own limitations.  He created EVERYTHING, he can use force to compel me to do his bidding.  I mean it's largely established that the question isn't whether torture will or will not work on an individual, just how much torture is required.  And if we're talking about the vengeful god of the old testament..  I'd be screwed.  Make the wrong move and I'd end up in the digestive tract of a marine mammal.


3.  Oh boy..  this is problematic.  Dare I admit that in much the same way that fundamentalists feel that accepting evolution somehow means that their entire world would be turned upside down, the same would happen to me if creationism was confirmed?  First off I have to accept that a great deal of the scientific picture is wrong.  Yes, the scientific process DOES result in accepted theories being overturned from time to time, but..  the creationist story means that a great deal of observed evidence is false.  There's no way it's being misinterpreted, it would have to have been intentionally misleading.  How am I supposed to react if I found out that the entire world was designed to mislead me?

I've heard a lot of irrational stuff from the god-head's out there.  Perhaps my favorite was a girl offering her evidence for creationism on a radio show I was listening to.. her evidence for creationism?  "The creator is in my heart".  Turn that around 180 degrees.  That kind of thinking would be perfectly reasonable.  In that world my rational thought would be as ridiculous as that statement.

Let's see.. I see a couple possible results.  I might end up as a crazy homeless person, wandering the streets, babbling about hypothesis and observable phenomenon.  At least I could still count on good Christian charity, right?
Or I might go the full insane hermit route, living in a cave somewhere, eating rats..  Or perhaps the most likely scenerio would find me in a mental hospital.  Run by fundamentalists.  Being fed drugs that are supposed to help me adapt to the new world around me.

I have difficulty looking beyond my personal reaction.  If you trust the surveys than more than half of my country already believes they live in this sort of a world.  So.. if anything things would only become more so.  Given the success of such things.. abstinence based sex education, the occurances of pedophilia among the clergy, the deviant (by THEIR standards) sexual behavior among both conservative religious and political leaders..

I guess I'd expect more of all of that.  Which would help motivate my move to the hermit cave I spoke of.

Date: 2007/10/19 17:46:58, Link
Author: Nomad
People keep mentioning movies that I have in a stack on the coffee table.  It's not a huge stack, but it's got  Princess Bride, Star Trek II, Twister, and Zorro the Gay Blade.

That stack also contains Star Trek IV, Wargames, and Hackers.

Wargames is really the realistic hacker movie, even if it does seem to have been to blame for establishing the "backdoor" cliche.  Because of the hot porno action referenced earlier I feel that I should specify that in this case I'm talking about the computer cliche.  Whenever anyone needs to break into a computer system they use a backdoor, some sort of convenient access that lets people bypass all the regular security almost as if the entire system was made as a plot device.  In any case there's enough genuine content in the movie as well.

Then Hackers is more of a gloriously ridiculous movie.  Okay, the hacking scenes are all meaningless mumbo jumbo, but at least they demonstrate a little social engineering (hacker terminology for tricking people into doing something to assist the hacker) in other parts of the movie.  And for an enthusiast of classic electronic music it has the ultimate soundtrack.  A soundtrack so good it lead to a sequel SOUNDTRACK, described as "music inspired by the movie".

Date: 2007/10/22 16:26:58, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Occam's Toothbrush @ Oct. 22 2007,11:43)
 
Quote
I can try and add Dembski's face if I get some time later today.

Just leave out the sweater please.

I think Napoleon in a sweater would be a laugh riot.  This is far beyond my photoshopping ability, but imagine the trademark Napoleon hand inside the jacket being tucked into a fold of the sweater instead.

Date: 2007/11/03 17:45:26, Link
Author: Nomad
Well.. one way to look at it could be like this:  look at all the attention surrounding the museum when it first opened.  People representing science blogs and web sites from near and far were converging on that museum to tell us all how awful it was.  They're profiting off of the curiosity of people who don't buy any of their nonsense.

How many of that 250,000 might have been people on their way through the area who just had to stop in and witness the full horror for themselves?  It's human nature, kind of like how it's hard to resist looking at a bad accident when you're passing it on the highway.

I think a similar uncertainty will arise when Expelled is released in theaters.. if it doesn't go straight to video, anyway.  I certainly want to go see it, just to see how patently dishonest it ends up being.  I want to laugh when I see the fractured interviews that they had to lie to get in the first place, perhaps I might count the edit points to figure out just how much work they put into altering the meaning of their words.
But at the same time I don't want those cretins to get a penny of my money, and I shudder at the thought that my seeing it might be interpreted as support for it.

Date: 2007/11/05 03:11:55, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (hereoisreal @ Nov. 03 2007,11:30)

What if there was no light?  There would be no eyes.


Cave fish, which live in an environment of no light, can still have eyes.

   
Quote
What if there was no sound?  There would be no ears.


Is that like "if a tree fell in the forest and there was no-one there to hear it, would it make a sound?"?

   
Quote
What if there was no direction?  There would be no up or down, East or West.


I was going to say that then we'd be one dimensional creatures.. but even with one dimension there's still one axis.

   
Quote
What if there was no symmetry?  There would be no word ‘level’.

Asymmetrical structures can still be level.  Actually such structures are built with levels, even.  So.. I think it's safe the say the word would still exist.

 
Quote
What if there was no time?  The sun would not rise tomorrow.


Eh.. you might as well say the sun would have always risen.  Language wasn't made with considerations for observations made outside of space-time.

   
Quote
What if there were no babies?  There would be no breasts.


More like if there were no mammals then there'd be no breasts.  You can have plenty of baby lizards or birds or fish without any boobs in sight.

   
Quote
What if there was no bush?


Then we wouldn't be pissing away billions of dollars in a self created quagmire and hundreds of thousands of dead people would still be alive?


   
Quote
What if there was no A and Z?  There would be no B through Y.


What, we couldn't have an alphabet with 24 characters?


   
Quote
What if there was no O?  There would be no +1 or -1.


Zero doesn't really exist, it's just the concept of an absence of something.  That's why it's considered to be such a big deal with man came up with the idea of representing it with a number.

   
Quote
What if there was no beginning and end?  There would be no middle

Then you'd have an infinity, which could be described as ALL middle.

   
Quote
What if  life didn’t have  an ‘f’ in the middle?  It would be a lie.


Yeah, but without an F you can't spell.. fornication.. or the other word that means the same thing but isn't brought up in polite conversation.. and you can't have life without that.  Well, not sexually reproducing life, in any case.

   
Quote
If God is a puzzle and you have all the pieces, the first and last are the easiest to find.  The middle might be a problem.


You may be right about that.. and I think I may have lost a few pieces of God in my couch.

Date: 2007/11/06 19:31:13, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Assassinator @ Nov. 06 2007,17:51)
Lose?? By the looks of it, they're getting more support by the people though. We gave them space to do so because we're a bit in an ivory tower, evolution has a huge PR problem. I don't see it as funny, but rather a bit dangerous.

I'm not so sure.  They're getting more attention, but at the same time their side keeps getting their butts whooped by the facts.  The creationism museum drew a lot of attention, but it wasn't exactly positive attention. Dembski had his ass handed to him by a grad student who reduced him to a stuttering mess in a public presentation.

It appears that for a bit they were winning small battles, getting to corrupt the science curriculum of a few places, but that's already starting to get reversed.  I think we're starting to see the backlash from the Bush supported wave of fundi-ism that had been sweeping the country.

The fact that fundie leaders keep getting caught with their pants down.. LITERALLY.. and things up their butt really doesn't help their side much.


Now I read that a Republican senator is starting to look into the finances of a group of prominent televangelists.

I'm well aware that they're not out yet.. but it sure looks like they're having a major meltdown.

Date: 2007/11/08 01:03:03, Link
Author: Nomad
oh... my... god...

As a side note, believe me I DO find it incredibly ironic that I choose to take the lord's name in vain when contemplating the actions of his faithful.  I was once headed towards a family gathering with some born again relatives, and muttered a request for Jesus to help my sanity survive the event.


Anyway..  wow.  So.. is that quote implying that sin is heating up the planet?  Or that if we didn't sin it would still be heating up, but everything would just be hunky dory since there wouldn't be quite so much sex going around?

Date: 2007/11/09 17:32:50, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (VMartin @ Nov. 09 2007,16:39)
So whatever the facts and reality is we should hold on
neodarwinian explanation of aposematism. Unless brand new theory is proposed, we will hold on, like brave soldiers, even if the reality clearly contradicts our theory .

Yes, that's basically what they're saying.  The "theory" that maggots were spontaneously created on decaying meat was disproven when it was shown that keeping flies off the meat kept them from showing up, and people realized that they were actually fly larva.  It was known that Newtonian physics didn't accurately describe several things, including the orbit of Mercury.  By your method, Newtonian physics should have been discarded, and replaced with.. well.. nothing..  I mean, yes, it described most things quite well.  But what about Mercury?

One Einsteinien theory later we find Newtonian physics surviving with a very minor modification.  What's the first example of physics taught to every school child?  Projectile motion, a simple example of Newtonian physics.

Or do you feel that we're just holding on to Newtonian physics, like "brave little Newtonian soldiers"?

Date: 2007/11/13 04:37:12, Link
Author: Nomad
I'm very much a member of the CD generation.  I'm highly skeptical of the claims of vinyl superiority.  I'm willing and indeed interested in carrying out a test sometime to see if I can hear the difference, but I've made my decision to stick with the digital world for practical matters.  I need a sound system that can fit in my pocket and plug into earphones, and also a medium that can fit into the sound system (factory spec, nothing fancy about it) in my car.  Perhaps if I had an audiophile buddy I might find myself spending all my time basking in the high end sound and I might ultimately make the transition myself.. but for now I get my music the new fangled digital way.

This thread has gotten me to look back through my collection of CDs that I've converted to mp3 (or AAC, or OGG) format for my mp3 player.  I'm currently listening to the soundtrack to the movie Heavy Metal.  Specifically, at the moment I've got Grand Funk Railroad on, playing Queen Bee.

But lately I haven't really been listening to much.  I'm kind of on a musical low point.  I'm both SEVERELY annoyed at the behavior of the RIAA and the labels supporting it, and also frustrated by a lack of quality music coming out from them.  I've enacted a most likely futile personal boycott of everything produced by any company that contributes to the RIAA.  It's not really that big a deal since I'm hard pressed to find anything new that I'm into anyway.  I've got hundreds of CDs from an earlier, voracious musical consumption period, but I'm hungry for something new.

BT (the artist) could probably break my will and get me to abandon my boycott by just coming out with a new album that includes a song he's performed live that I've heard through youtube.  It's terribly distorted, but it leaves me positively drooling for a chance to hear a proper version of it.  The song is Mad World, originally by Tears for Fears but more recently redone in a minimalist style for the movie Donnie Darko and then popularized in a commercial for a video game.
Instead he comes out with a minimalist CD/DVD thing.. why does he taunt me so?

If I may explain, I write fiction (mostly science fiction) as a hobby.  I do it in a stupid, withdrawn sort of way in that I've never shown anyone 99% of what I've written.  Like I said, it's a hobby, I do it for my own amusement.  But I need music for it, everything I write is fueled by the music I'm listening to at the time.  I have one story that I desperately want to make a movie out of, if nothing else just so I can use another BT song as the song that starts playing just at the end of the movie.  I hear the song and I can visualize exactly how the ending visuals would occur, to me the song has the visual cues embedded within it.

With my current musical low point my writing has also ground to a stop.  It's a REALLY annoying feeling.. like creative constipation.  Hmm.. and music is my laxative.. yeah.. that's.. unpleasant..  I think of it more like a performance enhancing drug.  Exciting new songs open up new ideas to me.


Anyway, if we're going to be mentioning favored artists all I can really say is that I have a weak spot for almost anything from the 80s.  Especially the pop and techno-pop of the era.  Level 42, Toto, Bruce Hornsby, Howard Jones, Glass Tiger, Wang Chung, Journey, New Order, Boston..

And then I'm also a big electronic music devotee, so I should also add The Prodigy, Orbital, Apollo 440, Daft Punk (almost exclusively Discovery, I don't really care for their other albums), and I guess I'll wrap that category up with William Orbit.

Date: 2007/11/14 00:18:38, Link
Author: Nomad
I whooped with joy when the part came when Behe had all the books and papers on the immune system dumped on his desk.

"that's an old lawyer trick, of course he couldn't say he's read them all" says Phillip Johnson.

Clearly he couldn't.. or else he'd have known he was speaking out of his ass on that one..


Yeah, they didn't entirely take the gloves off, but I think that was the point.  The wedge document called for fair coverage on NOVA.. so.. they got it.

And yet they're still not happy.  There's just no pleasing these people.

Date: 2007/11/14 20:56:31, Link
Author: Nomad
Sigh.. I was enjoying the scattered chatter on the forum before the show aired.  There's someone on there, goes by the name of PvM PandaS, who's just brilliant.  He plays the scientific Christian card, he's slapping the fundies around for insulting HIS faith.  I wish I had that kind of calm patience.
Wait a minute.. OH, PvM from Panda's Thumb!  I don't know if PvM is a he or her, apologies if I got it wrong but, well, ya'know, I'm a guy and I tend to assume male identities by default and have no other indications to change my assumptions.. (on a side note, I'm increasingly of the opinion that we need some sort of a neutral gender pronoun, especially in the Internet age where we so often communicate anonymously like this)

But after the show.. man.. the tard really hit the fan.  Thread after thread with the same content.  Liberal bias, atheist conspiracy, taxpayer money, bad science, everyone knows evolution is wrong.. Someone even brought out the second law of thermodynamics, and when it was pointed out that the Earth isn't a closed system proceeded to say that the entire universe IS.. thus apparently suggesting that the universe violates the SLoT.

PvM is going around actually replying to all of the maniacal posts.  He's practically cutting and pasting the same responses because everyone is saying the same thing.

This is the peak of the idiocy that I've seen so far.. at the end of a very long post in which the poster demonstrates he knows as little about paragraphs as he does evolution (in other words, it's one massive paragraph)..

Quote
HOWEVER, NOVA SHOULD DIRECT ITSELF TO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, EXTINCTION EVENT ASTEROIDS AND COMETS, TERRAFORMING MARS, AND OTHER SUCH SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY, NOT NOT NOT POLITICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I just want to cry.  The work of so many scientists, so many entire scientific disciplines.. and these people don't even think any of it exists.  Because religion is offended by a scientific field then the entire thing becomes politics and off limit to science!

In other threads I've seen someone complain that the show didn't explain how someone can be a Christian and "believe" in Evolution.. behold the religious intolerance laid bare for all to see.


In another thread I see someone explaining that religious faith is like a muscle.. it grows stronger when it's tested..  ON A FORUM WHERE PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO ARGUE THAT ID IS SCIENCE AND NOT RELIGION!

While I know that a depressingly larger number of Americans deny evolution, I also know that the militant fundies are still a smaller percentage.. but seeing so many gathered together to demonstrate their willingness to selectively ignore most of a two hour show in order to defend their position is kind of spirit crushing.

Date: 2007/11/16 04:17:19, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Seizure Salad @ Nov. 16 2007,01:05)
I recently opted for this sucker: http://www.davesmithinstruments.com/products/pek/index.php
instead of a fancy-pants stereo setup.

Woah..  now that's a keyboard.  

I'm listening to the samples on the page, and... I'm struck by how much this sounds like the soundtrack to the original Doctor Who series (unlike the fairly generic, obviously synthesized orchestral soundtrack of the new one).  Not just the music, but the trippy analog synth sound effects too.

I'd like to learn to play keyboards.  But I need to learn a lot about basic music theory, I'm completely ignorant in that area.

Date: 2007/11/24 21:47:41, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Amadan @ Nov. 24 2007,19:48)
“I think she might have been planted here by He Who Must Not Be Understood to make us all look ridiculous!”

The whole thing was genius.. but this bit was just superlative.

Date: 2007/12/17 00:11:15, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Kristine @ Dec. 16 2007,18:42)

Hmmm... (to quote Ex-Evo). What else do ostriches allegedy do?


;)

Mr Tyler did not let that slip his mind.

   
Quote
Ostriches have traditionally been considered the epitome of foolish behaviour, supposedly burying their heads in the sand. However, their running skills are outstanding and demonstrate superb design. One wonders whether heads are being buried in the sand when design inferences are excluded on ideological grounds from science

Date: 2007/12/26 03:16:13, Link
Author: Nomad
"the ones who bother me the most are the ones who say they're Christians but then they don't live like it at all"

Me too, Huckabee, me too..  Now all you have to do is openly speak out against the intolerance, bigotry, and outright hatred being promoted by certain Christian groups.

Otherwise you're just talking out of your own butthole about things that you don't really give a damn about.

Date: 2008/01/02 20:57:40, Link
Author: Nomad
How about this:  The USA will elect a Democratic president (I'm not even going to guess who, it's the Twilight Zone out there on the campaign trail) and the IDist/creationists will immediately retreat to blaming the liberal White House for keeping them from doing creationist science, acting of course as if they hadn't just had eight years of having a born again Christian in the White House funneling huge wads of cash into religious operations.  The past eight years will fall into the memory hole, and we'll once again be told how we need good Christian leadership.

Date: 2008/01/05 20:31:11, Link
Author: Nomad
I actually thing this is what the creationists want their kids to turn out as.

I have this suspicion, call it a conspiracy theory if you like, that the people at the top understand how important science is to our lives, but they also have latched on to the idea that if they can get the unwashed masses to reject it it makes them easier to manipulate with mythical psychobabble.  My suspicion is that if the theocrats were to get the whole country to themselves they'd still maintain a core of scientists at the upper levels to keep at least some scientific progress moving.

Admittedly the history of the Bush administration has made me doubt that idea, but.. I still think that at the upper levels the leaders have to know that they're lying and are counting on maintaining a group of people not brainwashed to that extent.

But for the peons like VenomFang, I think this is precisely what they want.  People with such badly mutilated rational processes that they can calmly explain that infinity is impossible, but eternity is perfectly acceptable because it happens OUTSIDE of the finite world.  Yes, that's a nugget of.. er.. something.. from the world of VFX.

People like this don't question their leaders.  You get them supporting you and it doesn't matter what you do, or how badly you screw anything up.  They're the ideal followers for incompetent, corrupt leaders.

It's like a clip I heard on the radio ages ago.  It was some NPR show, I think, and they were talking with little kids in a Jesus Camp type of place.  They asked a girl who had stated that she didn't think evolution was real what evidence she had for creationism.  Her answer was "the creator is in my heart".

Imagine what you could be allowed to do if your followers accepted THAT as evidence.  They won't let little things like CIA intelligence reports or trillion dollar debts or 100,000+ dead people effect their opinion of the performance of their leaders.

Date: 2008/01/08 01:27:02, Link
Author: Nomad
I have a hard time coming up with a concrete opinion of the candidates.  Well, I mean I just write off all the GOP candidates right off the bat.. or rather I do know SOMETHING about them, and what I know makes my stomach turn..

But on the Obama vs Clinton contest I don't have a great deal of hard fact to work from.  Clinton has that whole experience thing, but Obama has the advantage that every time I hear him speak I feel this curious upswelling of an emotion that's completely unlike the bleak pessimism that I've felt these past Bush years.  I know that there's more to the presidency than just public speaking, but I want to see him get the position just so I can see what he does with it.  As he put it, between Cheney and Rumsfeld the Bush White House had a lot of experience, and look what it got them.

If gutting the NASA budget is what it takes to get all the other things that need doing done.. than so be it.  Believe me, I REALLY wouldn't want to see NASA's budget slashed, I understand the many practical benefits that come from that work.  It would be a stupid move.  But if the choice is between an otherwise excellent presidency and a gutted NASA or another mediocre presidency that funds NASA well, then my choice is the former.

I really hate that what I'm about to say sounds like it came from the lips of Ron Paul, but with the way things have been going lately I kind of think that the next big thing in space exploration is going to come out of private enterprise anyway.  NASA dropped the ball over a decade ago and they never picked it up again.

Rutan does what he did with Spaceship One and the best that a NASA mouthpiece can do is to poo poo the project because they spent more money developing it than they got in the X-prize reward?  Normally I'm a NASA supporter, but in that situation he should shut the hell up.  NASA's costs are rising and their output is shrinking.  The Space Shuttle (which was always an inspiration to me as a kid) is turning out to be a money hole and the best they can do is sink MORE money into it, and for a successor they come up with an Apollo era throwback that reuses Space Shuttle parts.  But because they're reusing STS parts only one of the launch configurations is even considered safe enough to put people on it.  Thus any moon missions are going to require two separate launches with two entire launch vehicles.  Oh yeah, THAT sounds like an effective cost cutting measure to me.

Date: 2008/01/11 17:52:25, Link
Author: Nomad
Looks like another entry in the promising field of the study of stupid design.  When describing the layout of nerves from the brain to the diaphragm that control breathing, the article has this to say:


Quote
This convoluted path creates problems; a rational design would have the nerves traveling not from the neck but from somewhere nearer the diaphragm. Unfortunately, anything that interferes with one of these nerves can block their function or cause a spasm.


I'd heard that hiccups were related to our aquatic past, but I'd never read the specific description.  It amuses me to no end that hiccups are a tadpole reflex.

There's also a neat bit about the male dangly bits and the problems caused by their evolutionary history that would apply nicely to a certain other discussion thread.

Date: 2008/01/11 18:33:20, Link
Author: Nomad
I don't know about a prediction for testicles swinging in the breeze instead of being safely confined within, but I just encountered something from this link in another thread.  It's a fascinating article about the evolutionary baggage we carry in the form of all the ad hoc improvisations and imperfect solutions piled on top of each other.  I was most interested in the explanation for hiccups, but it touches on our gonad layout as well, in particular a problem caused by the route the sperm has to travel before getting back to the penis.  The short version is that, no, it appears that the layout doesn't shorten the route the sperm has to travel at all.
   
Quote
The disadvantage is that the plumbing that carries sperm to the penis is circuitous. Sperm travel from the testes in the scrotum through the sperm cord. The cord leaves the scrotum, travels up toward the waist, loops over the pelvis, then goes through the pelvis to travel through the penis and out. Along this complex path, the sperm gain seminal fluids from a number of glands that connect to the tube.

Now, Vmartin, what explanation does your mystical poles theory have for this setup?  Does your version of the invisible designer favor overly elaborate plumbing?  It turns out that the Darwinismus has an explanation.
   
Quote
The reason for this absurd route lies in our developmental and evolutionary history. Our gonads begin their development in much the same place as a shark’s: up near our livers. As they grow and develop, our gonads descend. In females the ovaries descend from the midsection to lie near the uterus and fallopian tubes. This ensures that the egg does not have far to travel to be fertilized. In males the descent goes farther.


Now then, since by your understanding of things we didn't evolve from creatures that kept their gonads by their livers, what is the reason for this overly elaborate journey?  Are our testicles simply created with a sense of wanderlust?  Do they get tired of the liver, perhaps they pack their bags and decide to head South to see the world?  Yes, we all know that they need cooler climes, but if they were designed that way why not just start them off down there, why the epic journey?

Perhaps you can also explain the reason that this arrangement makes men vulnerable to developing hernias.  I assume that's also an intentional part of the design, since this wasn't all a crude improvisation, right?  So what is the function of hernias?  Perhaps alongside your mystical pole theory you could develop a mystical hole theory?

Date: 2008/01/12 03:33:47, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (VMartin @ Jan. 12 2008,02:32)
No. Only ignorants think they need cooler climes. Elephants have their testicles inside their bodies. Birds  have their testicles inside their bodies as well. According Britannica:


Whereas mammalian temperatures normally range between 36° and 39° C (97° and 102° F), avian temperatures range between 37.7° and 43.5° C (99.9° and 110.3° F), with the majority between 40° and 42° C (104° and 108° F).

http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-48535/dormancy

Hmm.. and of course there couldn't be anything different about those creatures, now could there?

The results of my googling on the issue seems to suggest that for mammals, internal testicles is an aquatic adaptation.  Yes,even for elephants.  Some sources have suggested for streamlining purposes, and while I can believe that I suspect for the testicles it has more to do with temperature regulation.  If they want to be roughly three degrees cooler, than basking in water is going to keep them too cold.

I can't find handy links to it now, but what sources I could find on cetaceans said that they have elaborate cooling mechanisms that allow them to keep their wedding tackle indoors.

Do you suppose there might be something different about birds as well?  I really can't be bothered to look up anymore, because you couldn't be bothered to reply to 99% of my post either.  You have no answers, you have no theories, you have no understanding.  You simply have a desire to throw stones at a theory you fear but don't even understand.


Eh.. normally I would have ignored this, I know everyone else has gotten tired of your crazy Slovakian routine and has moved on.  But I ran into that story on our piscine origins and just had to mention it here, just to see if you might be able to explain.. er.. ANY of it, in terms that match whatever it is that your preferred alternative to evolution is.


But no.. it's the same old broken record routine.  No explanations, no ideas, just "but what about THIS thing over here?"

No, I'm not surprised.  Just add hernias to your list of things that you can't explain in the slightest, but are certain have nothing to do with evolution.

Date: 2008/01/15 01:48:21, Link
Author: Nomad
For those that want greater detail on the mystical poles theory, I found it at the EvC forum where he's arguing the same thing and frankly doing a lot worse because the people there are still actually taking him up on the issues and responding rather than teasing him and waiting for him to respond to one of the many previous points that he's run away from.


Quote
. It is a simple idea that during evolution the reproductive organs moved towards opposite end of that of the head, which represents individuality at most. So the head and reproductive organs in mammals are on the opposite ends of their bodies


link

So.. in other words.. his theory is that testicles moved down (or back) over time.  Except for the species in which it didn't.

You know, that's right, Martin.  The same species that you point out as problems with the cooling issues (I notice no response to the idea that internal testicle mammals have elaborate internal cooling mechanisms.. could it be that the group you listed also has specialized internal cooling that the other mammals are lacking?  Why would you suggest that the cooling issue doesn't exist if the only way that mammals can keep internal testicles is to have specialized cooling mechanisms for them?) are problems to your pole theory.  Why would small mammals and birds not demonstrate this effect?  Are Aardvarks not in need of representing individuality, while rats are?


It's really irrelevant in any case, that doesn't explain why they go external in any event.  Away from the head does not specify outside the body.  There are plenty of areas in the human body that are farther from the head, hanging between our legs is hardly an ideal position in terms of distance.  For mammals that walk on all fours it's even less useful in that regard, since hanging outside of the body in that layout means below but not farther back from the head.

So, Martin, care to try again, only this time perhaps you can take observed reality into account in your next attempt?

Date: 2008/01/15 22:02:53, Link
Author: Nomad
I've seen suggestions for specific debate formats that would prevent the Gish Gallop from being employed.  I don't remember the details, but I think the main point was limiting each side's talking time so that the creationist side can't spew out an hour of lies that would take 10 hours to counter.

Date: 2008/01/17 02:27:11, Link
Author: Nomad
Okay guys, I'm looking for opinions on this.  Should I go see this if it ever makes it to a theater near me?

Yeah.. I know they'll happily take my money and claim that I'm evidence that the movie was received well.  But besides my morbid curiosity to see what's in this docufantasy, I want to check out the rest of the audience.  I want to try to figure out who's going to see it.  Might I find myself in a theater that's sparsely populated (I don't expect a packed house in any event) by other people who are there for a laugh?

I don't see myself doing this, I'm just not outgoing enough.. but I like the idea of making up a sort of post movie poll and asking people what they thought when they leave the theater.


On another note.. WOW, Stein really did not get the memo about zipping it with regards to religion.  I was checking out the expelled tour description.  It announces that, at the tour, you can:
 
Quote
Learn how to DEFEND your BELIEF in God based on scientific evidence


I REALLY wish this travelling sideshow had ended up near me.  Granted it would most likely have gone to a church, and I avoid churches if at all possible.. they just make me feel uneasy, all that mindless devotion creeps me out.  But it would have been fun to be able to correct them if they were to.. accidentally.. state an untruth.

Date: 2008/01/17 03:06:04, Link
Author: Nomad
Scientology still doesn't scare me.  I know what they've done, I know about the gangs the run and the people they've tried to frame.  But..  they're still so pathetic and irrelevant to reality.  Tom Cruise has made himself a laughingstock, he's a universal joke now.  They have power, but without being respected they can't use it to really change things.  They can just continue being a pyramid scheme and doing freaky weird things on the fringes.

I'm still concerned about the people they're harming, and am incensed that something more can't be done about them.. but still I can't fear anything that ludicrous.

Date: 2008/01/18 02:12:16, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote
I think there is this kind of Marxist establishment in this country that has been overthrown in other countries, but not overthrown here


What?  He's saying that only in the US are the darwinistas in power?  And in the rest of the world ID is being received with open arms?

It's an interesting inversion of the usual rah rah USA rhetoric.  Now instead of the US being the best, suddenly we're the worst.  It still appears to rely on the audience's total ignorance of what anything outside the country is like.


Believe me I'm familiar with other means of acquiring intellectual property.  The thing about Expelled is that I'm interested in seeing what the audience is like.  My hope, futile or not, is that there'll just be a few people there to witness the spectacle, and we can all end up rolling in the aisles laughing at it.  I imagine lots of booing, and throwing popcorn at the screen.

I'm kind of doubting whether this will actually ever be widely released.  If I worked at it maybe I could find it in some country town an hour away from me, but I just don't see a movie accusing the scientific and academic world of being marxists doing all that well in the land of Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory.
Granted that'd be worse for the Einstein denialist movie.  But I don't think that's coming anywhere near here.  Although I'd like to see a rampaging mob of respectable physicists as a result of it.  What would they wield instead of torches and pitchforks?

Date: 2008/01/18 17:42:04, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (J-Dog @ Jan. 18 2008,15:50)
Speaking of which, we haven't seen them in a while...

But we can always follow this link...

http://www.treknature.com/gallery/South_America/Ecuador/photo53779.htm

I have a certain interest in nature photography.  One gag project I'd love to do is take pictures of all the animals with funny names.  Such as the aforementioned booby (I found a place where you can get booby posters, I wonder how many people they get coming there expecting something different), the titmouse, or the North American Sweaterdork:

Date: 2008/01/18 19:46:36, Link
Author: Nomad
But then again there's Duran Duran's "New Religion".. some of the lyrics sound almost ID:

"Okay, my reasoning might be clouded by the sun
But someone sees the departmental lie"

Then again, the line after it is:

"You know this peacetime jabbing fist in stabbing knife
Only get one look before you die"

I find it difficult to interpret that as meaning anything.

I'm not even touching Electric Barberella.

This reminds me that I need to rip a bunch of my Duran Duran CDs and put them on my Ipod, though.

Date: 2008/01/19 20:04:20, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 19 2008,19:02)
   
Quote

113. How can we have hot and cold water in the ocean at the same time?

This is amazing.  It's like their approach is to leave the kids ignorant of modern science, ask them questions, and have them come up innovative answers not based in reality.

Actually.. I think I learned about thermal gradients in computer games first, playing a submarine combat sim.  But that's beside the point, I'm not normal.

This list does make for good reading.
 
Quote
3. Make a computer model of the Flood currents.

This seems out of place to me.  Kids that don't understand the thermal behavior of the ocean are hardly in a position to make a computer model of a global flood.  On the other hand, if you want to make kids think that it's easy to get simple answers to complex problems like that...
Quote
How much voltage or current can a human take before he is killed? Could do experiments on a plant.

Because as well all know, plants are ideal models for human physiology.  As a side note.. what the HELL is this doing in a science fair list?
Quote
15. How long can flies survive freezing in a frig?

Ya'know, I'd like to know how long flies can live before dying in a frig as well.  I'd also like to know what a frig is.
Quote
23. Why do we have an Adams apple?

Goddidit?
Quote
33. Why is hair thicker on the head than the rest of the body?

I'd really like to know that, actually.  The whole (nearly) hairless ape thing baffles me.  I won't be asking these cretins for the answer, however.
Quote
46. Where are teeth stored?

In the tooth fairy's warehouse?

The interesting thing is that there are a lot of questions about God's intent.  I thought we couldn't know the mind of god.
Quote
97. Why did God make birds to fly?

Quote
65. What affects skin color? Is one color better than another? What was God's purpose in this?

Quote
92. Why do some animals lay eggs and others bear babies alive? Why did God do it this way?



To top it all off, the ultimate science fair question of all time:

   
Quote
72. What is God made of?



I REALLY want to see a science project designed to answer that question.  I'd pay money to see that.

Date: 2008/01/21 02:20:23, Link
Author: Nomad
Chuck Norris.. first he promoted Bowflex (or some home gym type thing.. I'm not quite certain what it was now), now he promotes presidential candidates.

Then again, first he starred in violent action movies, now he blames violent movies for school shootings.  So.. my memory of the past must clearly be in error.  Otherwise all of this would be very, very disturbing.

Date: 2008/01/21 03:05:46, Link
Author: Nomad
I can't deny it.. I want half man half animal hybrids walking the Earth.  I'm tired of being the only sentient species on the planet.  I mean sure, there's some question about the cetaceans, elephants, and other apes.. but I want talking animal people so there can be no doubt.

Date: 2008/01/21 21:43:54, Link
Author: Nomad
Thanks for the quote Wesley, I haven't read Descent of Man (or Origin, actually) and appreciate the chance to see what this guy was referring to.  I find it interesting in how it seems to be stating something completely different than what Campalo claimed.  It seems that he stated that in the future we HOPE that mankind is more civilized than it was at the moment he wrote it, and that that would make the separation between man and ape more dramatic than it was then.

That that's been non quote-mined (he didn't even provide a quote) into a statement of racism suggests that we haven't advanced much yet.

But on the other hand.. he DOES seem to suggest that black people and Australians (is that referring to Aborigines?) are more similar to our ape ancestors.

That line seems rather easy to misunderstand.  I can only guess that the intent is to say that primitive people appear to be more animal-like than modern civilized people do.  But I can believe that this Campolo clown (the other stuff he said ruins any benefit of the doubt I may have given him) thought that this was a value judgment on the particular ethnicity being referred to.

He's still a contemptible ass hat who deserves to be smacked, then forced to wear a dunce cap and made to sit in the corner.  I can see where he could have thought that Darwin said that black people were closer to monkeys than white people, but ignorance is no excuse.

Date: 2008/01/22 02:33:46, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 20 2008,10:42)
Quote
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) -- A self-destructing palm tree that flowers once every 100 years and then dies has been discovered on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar, botanists said Thursday.

I was kind of disappointed.. I was hoping for a tree that somehow blows itself up after flowering.  To me "self destruct" means a bit more than exhausts its energy reserves and ceases to live.

Date: 2008/01/22 21:15:31, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 22 2008,06:47)
Like Larry Niven's "stage trees"?

Yeah, exactly.  I was initially thinking of the types of fungus that launch their spores away from the site that the fungus is growing using little water cannon structures.  I think the idea is that they grow on dung and have to get the spores away from the dung so they'll get eaten and end up in more dung.

I was hoping for something bigger, some sort of chemical reaction that disperses the seeds.

Don't get me wrong, it's a neat story.. I'm always fascinated when a species comes up with a radically different way to survive.  Like the periodic cicadas that emerge in unison, flooding the ecosystem with cicadas so that nothing can eat all of them.

I just wanted a palm tree that exploded and seeded the surrounding area with shrapnel seeds.  It could be named the fragmentation palm.

Actually I think that's an April Fools story right there.  It could include details about a botanist studying the plant who had to spend hours in surgery after being too close when a tree detonated.

Date: 2008/01/25 05:00:02, Link
Author: Nomad
While it's likely that we get SOME interesting birds out here, I couldn't recognize most of them to save my life.  But we did have an interesting incident involving a heron.  I live in the suburbs, and some neighbors (a house behind mine) have a small decorative pond.  One day I saw a heron walking through the pond, apparently eating.  It was then that I realized that they stocked it with fish.

Apparently the herons only ate the expensive fish.

There's a park near me that I think has or at least had beaver.. I thought I saw one in the river once, and in the winter I've seen slides in the snow leading into the water.  We definitely have raccoons, I say that because they keep trying to live in my attic.  I still hear them walking around on the roof at night trying to get in through the usual entry point, but it's been closed off with wire mesh.

My basement computer room is infested with lady bugs.  If I remember the explanation right, they're an introduced Asian species that can't handle cold winters so they infiltrate people's houses and apparently live in the basement waiting for it to warm up again.  They get into EVERYTHING.. every so often I open up my computer case and find a few ladybug corpses in there.  I found a few shell pieces on the heatsink for my CPU last time.  And I regularly have to sweep up all the ladybug corpses that end up on the floor.  I swear I've seen one flying, then fall out of the air and land on the floor dead.  It's like a ladybug graveyard down here.


I had a female Mallard make a nest in the mulch near the front walkway, but unfortunately the nest was raided and the eggs were eaten, I'm assuming by raccoons.  I was really disappointed, I REALLY wanted to see the baby ducks.  I was especially hopeful that I could catch the mother leading them to water.  I don't live too close to water, it would have been a reasonable trek to get to anything bigger than the pond in the neighbors yard, and they would have had to cross a busy road.

And regarding coyotes, apparently we have them too.  I'd heard stories about them, but didn't believe them.  A google search turned up video a local resident shot of a coyote in his backyard though, along with a story from a local paper about them.

Date: 2008/01/28 02:32:39, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Doc Bill @ Jan. 23 2008,21:59)
Well, for all you hard core gamers there's


THIS!

Awwwww, and Wii bowling is so cool.

Yes, that one works much better for me.  Especially since the maker managed to work a "Hitler plays with his Wii" joke into it.

Date: 2008/01/29 23:22:14, Link
Author: Nomad
I'm sorry, TP, but did you just attempt to say (by using the words of another, of course) that if it can't be explained to an ignorant high schooler than it isn't understood at all?

Date: 2008/01/29 23:30:06, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote
if dinosaurs and dogs didn’t live at the same time, I would still be in my sins. But I am not in my sins, so therefore dinosaurs and dogs must have lived at the same time.


Holy crap.  My standard favorite quote of "the creator is in my heart" as proof of creationism has now been firmly rejected in favor of this new load of steaming illogic.

On the other hand.. it would appear to indicate that all we have to do is show people sinning to prove that dinosaurs and dogs didn't live together.

Wait a minute.. So.. *I* could sin, and disprove creationism.  Right?

Oh, the power...

Date: 2008/02/01 00:00:05, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote
Well at least we know that ID has some people very scared. You don’t issue challenges to those you don’t fear.


The thing is.. don't you issue challenges to people you think you can beat?  I don't issue a challenge to a heavyweight boxer to meet me in the ring.  I don't challenge Yo Yo Ma to a.. Cello off.. whatever that would be.  Sorry, I don't know where that came from.. I was thinking of a musician and for some reason he's the first think that came into my head.  I mean I could have said challenge Tom Scholz to a guitar solo contest.

To challenge them is to admit fear.  To ignore them is to admit fear.  Would kissing them full on the lips be to admit fear?

First person to post a picture of Denyse gets a flaming bag of dog poo left on their doorstop.  Not her.  Anyone but her.



edited to ward off possible responses involving Granny Spice.

Date: 2008/02/01 18:06:53, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Feb. 01 2008,00:12)
come and get me big guy.


nom nom nom nom nom



In retrospect.. I'm amazed how few pictures of flaming dog poo I could find on the Internet.  I thought this kind of humor worked well on the collection of tubes.

Date: 2008/02/01 21:51:55, Link
Author: Nomad
There is an Outland (the "sequel" strip that came after Bloom County) comic strip which had Bill the Cat sitting on a counter at a department store, wearing a pair of boxers on his head and a look of profound awe on his face, saying "oo".  Opus explains to a policeman that Bill is suffering from "Lewis Thomas syndrome", and that
 
Quote
Thomas wrote that given the three thousand million years of chance occurrences leading up to the chance encounter of one egg and one sperm that lead to the one cell that becomes you or me, the mere fact of existing should keep us all frozen in a contented dazzlement of surprise.


The strip ends with Opus carrying Bill off, and with the policeman having taken Bill's place on the counter with boxer shorts on his head and uttering "oo".


I did find what appears to be the original quote that the strip referred to:
Quote
Statistically the probability of any one of us being here is so small that you would think the mere fact of existence would keep us all in a contented dazzlement of surprise. We are alive against the stupendous odds of genetics, infinitely outnumbered by all the alternates who might, except for luck, be in our places.


And I place my lot in with Scarlett.  I'm talking based on the offered images only, in person I really don't care about either, I don't follow pop Hollywood culture and had to hit IMDB to check and see what each had done.  That may not be fair, since Kate's picture makes it look like she's writhing around on the floor in the middle of a drug induced fit.

Date: 2008/02/07 00:41:37, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote
get as many bodies in the seats as you can opening weekend. Suddenly your one vote is leveraged into 1,000, just because you asked. So take the Expelled Challenge with me. Let’s see if we can’t launch Expelled high up the Top 10 documentary list by talking to our local theaters and spreading the word to our family, friends and colleagues. If we are successful, we may open the door for other important documentaries in the future. The people in Hollywood make decisions based on box office numbers. Let your voice be counted.


Damnit.. I was all ready to go see it.. then they have to go say crap like this..

Listen up idiots!  Your best audience is going to be the people going to laugh at the train wreck that is Ben "Bueller, Bueller" Stein trying to act counter cultural and hip and showing that God creationism ID has been excluded from scientific research.

Don't ruin it for us by reinforcing that anyone, even someone going to scoff, will be counted as a mindless believer.  There's always Bittorrent, but you can't throw popcorn at a torrent.

Date: 2008/02/07 01:10:28, Link
Author: Nomad
They can still use peer, just in another meaning, as in "I could only peer at it from a distance, because it would have made me nauseous to read in depth, but I still put it up on the web page because it comes to the conclusion that I want it to".

This could lead to a whole new paradigm of scientific review.  Glance review.  Why spend time reading entire papers when you can just glance at it and put your rubber stamp on it.

Think of the time that could be saved.  Think of all the extra research they could do.

Date: 2008/02/08 23:41:53, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Annyday @ Feb. 08 2008,22:42)
Funny thing is, that's not actually what "conservative" seems to mean lately.

See, that's the thing.. There's a youtube poster who I follow, who appears to be a regular poster to talk.origins and so may be known here.  He currently lives on a ranch in.. the South somewhere.
This is a guy who proudly talks about a time in the past when he lived in a cave in the desert, and took weekly baths in a water trough fed by an underground spring.  He makes a bare minimum of a living taking care of animals at the ranch he lives at, gets his electricity through solar panels and his Internet through a satellite dish.  I've dubbed him a techno hermit, it's something I've never encountered before.

And THIS guy proclaims that he is the true meaning of conservative, because he doesn't consume a disproportionate amount of resources.

I found a blog post from.. Sweden, or some other Scandinavian country, where the author talks about how LIBERAL is a right wing property in Europe, and how puzzled the rest of the world is at the US version of the terms.

I have a relative who describes himself as a conservative.  He once told me that he didn't agree with some of Bush's policies, but he agreed with his fiscal policies.  To put that into perspective, Bush has set a record as being the first president to give us a three TRILLION dollar budget.

I believe that people who identify themselves as conservatives.. not the political leaders, but the ordinary people who align themselves with the right, do believe in what conservative is supposed to mean in this country.  But the leaders that they elect simply say the words and do something completely different, and somehow the followers don't notice.
Back in the beginning the conservatives backed Bush.  Now that he's done what he's done to the country and indeed the rest of the world, they're loudly proclaiming that he's a "neo conservative", and that that's not the same thing as conservative.  That didn't stop them from voting for him in the past, but it allows them to absolve themselves of the responsibility for allowing him to continue to do what he's done.

It seems to me that such people care more about labels than reality.  Just as slapping the label of atheist onto the entire scientific discipline allows people to discard the views of thousands of scientists in favor of accepting the views of a handful of engineers and computer programmers, so the label of conservative hearkens back to a fantasy caricature of the Reagen era, a past that never was.

Date: 2008/02/09 04:18:48, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (improvius @ Feb. 08 2008,15:42)

I don't believe this for a second.  It may as well start off "Dear Jack Chick, you won't believe this, but..."

I'm not so certain.  It's AWFULLY vague on what the actual subject for the paper was.  "we were learning about Puritanism" is not sufficient explanation.

If the class was about the history of American literature, then what place does "god helped me through my life" have on an assignment?  If anything in this story is at all factually based (and I think it is, just filtered through the brain of a creationist), I'm guessing that the assignment had something to do with the writings of the Puritans.  Instead Brittany wrote an essay about her personal relationship with the big invisible man in the sky.

I doubt "mentioning god was unnecessary" is what the teacher really wrote though, it'd be difficult to discuss the Puritans without mentioning the big guy at some point.  Perhaps "mentioning your relationship with god was unnecessary", that sounds more likely.

This is all guesswork of course, but... the story just isn't good enough to be a fabrication.  It feels more incomplete than fictional.

Date: 2008/02/09 22:26:32, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Mister DNA @ Feb. 09 2008,21:01)
And more importantly, did you leave a flaming bag of dog poop at the front door?

I wonder if the EF could determine whether such a phenomenon was naturally occurring.  What is the CSI of flaming feces?

Date: 2008/02/11 17:46:59, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Chayanov @ Feb. 11 2008,17:15)
Quote
To a person like myself, Dembski, Casey, or any one else who understands what ID is actually about...


Seriously? You're kidding, right? Dembski and others have started admitting it's all about religion, which comes as a surprise to nobody. School boards have begun to reframe ID as old fashioned creationism again. For you to suggest that you're one of the few people who actually gets what ID is about is nothing short of laughable.

And don't forget the observed transitional form, cdesign prononentsists, in the ID "textbook" Of Pandas and People.  Along with the instances of "creationism" being replaced with "intelligent design" in later drafts.

It's obvious what ID is about.  It's a slap in the face to think that anyone who's seen the sorts of shenanigans behind the beginnings of ID should be expected to believe that it's anything other than creationism relabeled in order to sneak it by the restrictions on teaching religion in school.

Yes, Dembski has admitted it's about religion.  Expelled, a movie supposedly about how "independent thought" has been censored form the academic and scientific community, has ended up being about how science is keeping people from using "god did it" as an answer to everything.

The Expelled tour, a cross country circus intended to promote the movie, has such features as telling people how they can "Learn how to DEFEND your BELIEF in God based on scientific evidence".

But it's nothing about religion, no sir.

Date: 2008/02/12 01:19:41, Link
Author: Nomad
How about Will Smith?  I'm not saying he's a legendary actor, but I had a certain respect for the way he'd managed to go from 80's pop rapper to "The Fresh Prince" to tough guy movie star.  I get a kick out of the way he not only stars in movies, but makes the music played during the beginning of the credits.

Then I find out he said this:
Quote
The Bible talks about your spirit being immortal, that you were created for existence beyond your physical body. Well, that's no different from Scientology! I don't think that because the word someone uses for spirit is thetan that the definition becomes any different."


How about that the people that use thetan for spirit also say that those thetans inhabit their own bodies, and that they have to use galvanometers to exorcise them, but they don't call them galvanometers, they call them e-meters.  Or that you have to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars to get rid of those thetans and in turn you gain special magical powers.

Is THAT enough reason to get you to spurn what is essentially a pyramid scheme turned into a religion?  No?  Do we need to get into the intimidation tactics, and murder?

Of course not.  I mean, wasn't it Jesus himself who said that there's no such thing as psychiatry, and that no-one should take anti depressants?  Woops, I appear to be mistaken, it was an over compensating little midget eager to impress the rest of the world with his new young wife with more than a whiff of the "I'm not gay!" air about him.

Date: 2008/02/12 01:30:33, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Feb. 11 2008,22:17)
So if you're getting a clearance, it pays to be *completely* honest. It doesn't take a saint to get a clearance, but it does take a willingness to let the government know, in quite some detail, whatever might lurk in your past that could be a "lever".

That's actually very interesting to me.  I once read a fiction story that involved someone working for a not quite official military super secret type job.  The individual possessed certain tendencies labeled deviant by society at large, and was initially shocked to learn that his employers knew about them until he realized that they weren't passing moral judgments and would instead defend him against people looking to use that background as a means to compel him to work against them.

It's a practical approach, but I'm still a bit surprised to see the same government that brought us "don't ask, don't tell" using it.

Date: 2008/02/12 01:38:13, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Feb. 11 2008,21:50)
Anyone been here before?

Sweet Baby Jesus with a poop diaper, there is some good stuff in'ar.

Nothing like seeing a collection of tired old apologetics thrown together on one web site, tied together with nuggets of brown like this:

Quote
Most scientists choose to assume the views held by the majority of their colleagues in the scientific community. I choose instead to assume that the Bible is a good tool for determining what has happened in the past. I do this because of my relationship with Jesus Christ


He must be on to something, though.  Whenever I read stuff like that I'm compelled to invoke the name Jesus Christ.  That must prove his point.

Date: 2008/02/14 17:40:57, Link
Author: Nomad
So let me get this straight.. they claim that science is a dogma based around a predetermined concept of evolution, and that all current research is only accepted if it conforms to that concept.

And then they make a journal that is based around only accepting articles that conform to their preferred dogma, and call it peer review?

Oh well, let's hope this one lasts longer than the other pretend peer review creationist journals.  I mean it's all fun and games pointing to their web sites that show no publications in years, but come on.. I want articles that show genetic evidence that women were made from a rib bone, and that explain how snakes used to be able to speak.

Date: 2008/02/14 17:51:36, Link
Author: Nomad
I can't imagine T-rex mating was very elegant.  I'm picturing the male falling off a few times before getting correctly positioned.

I'm not sure that's the sort of shaking the author had in mind.

Date: 2008/02/18 20:01:06, Link
Author: Nomad
I like that idea Mr Christian - er, Mr Christopher.  Sorry, Mutiny on the Bounty moment.

The ethical implications of my money going to the makers of the movie had really been stressing me out.  Strangely enough, more than the prospect of sitting through over an hour of creationist propaganda presented by a dead pan Nixon scriptwriter.

While I wouldn't be surprised to see it get a VERY limited release, I'm expecting to be able to find it somewhere around here.  With the way things are going I'm almost expecting the producers to pay a handful of theaters to show it so that they can pay schools to make their students go see it.
Then in the alternate reality of creationist apologetics they can publish figures showing that while the movies had a limited release, the theaters that did show it had large attendance.  It'll play right in to the expelled them.  If only the darwinist conspiracy wasn't preventing them from getting the movie out into more theaters.

Date: 2008/02/21 02:27:23, Link
Author: Nomad
Coincidentally, I was out with my Canon camera plus 70-200 lens.  I'd never shot an eclipse before and I was underprepared.  I'd read up on some ideas for how to shoot it, and really I should have done better than I did, but there was some last second screwups involving being locked out of the house in 8 degree F weather, so I ended up being kind of rushed once I got inside.

In particular, while I thought I zoomed all the way in I DIDN'T!  I'm kicking myself for this, I took my lens which was a bit on the small side for lunar photography, and didn't even use it to its full capability.
I also wasn't thinking about having to keep my shutter speeds up, rather than turn up the ISO I let the shutter speeds get up to 5-6 seconds at totality.  Which meant blurry images.  I know that things are moving around up there, I've dealt with this before, but I just don't have a handle on exactly when the Earth's rotation (or the Moon's motion) starts showing up in images.
So here's a crude montage of a few of the better images.  All my shots of totality are blurry, the one of near totality that I included is better even though the illuminated portion is massively blown out.

It was pretty neat, I don't think I've actually ever seen a lunar eclipse before.  Not that I can remember, anyway.



Date: 2008/02/22 00:36:26, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Nerull @ Feb. 21 2008,10:19)
When you magnify the image, you also magnify the movement. If you are taking images of more than a couple seconds with a high power telephoto lens, you really need to piggyback on a guided telescope.

The thing is I know all that.  I've dabbled in photographing Andromeda using just that same lens and my tripod.  I've experimented to see what the boundaries of unguided astrophotography are.  I made a list of the limits that I discovered, since the more common rules of thumb one finds for such things vary based on resolution of sensor and form factor adjustment.

But when the time came I abandoned all that and instead thought "turn aperture up to sharpen image" and that was it.  And I know better!

I am explaining my failures in depth in a public forum because I am prone to developing a big ego, and need the sort of reflection that comes from royally messing things up to keep my self image in balance.

Date: 2008/02/22 23:21:48, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (hereoisreal @ Feb. 22 2008,07:00)
While driving through a residential area that had a 30 mph speed limit, I
wished the truck in front of me would go just a little faster since I was
running late.  As I pulled up closer to it at a red light, I glanced at the
license tag.  It read 'SPD KILS'.

If you want to talk about coincidences, how about this:

A while ago I had moved to a new place in order to be in close proximity to my girlfriend of the time.  At the time I was still harboring the fantasy that I may one day become a pilot (yes, that's my ultimate fantasy, I dig all this sciency stuff as a hobby, but if I had my choice I'd be residing in a cockpit (no jokes on that term, they're too easy) working a joystick (again, really, of COURSE I know what that sounds like, but that doesn't mean anyone else needs to comment on it).

Anyway, I had moved into a new apartment complex, and immediately began receiving a "Student Pilot" publication, apparently belonging to the previous occupant.  Soon after that, I discovered that a car parked near my car in the apartment complex parking lot had a flight instructor themed bumper sticker.


Surely all those coincidences were a not so subtle message from God.  Right?

Nah.  I've been over this time and time again.  The life of a commercial pilot today is crap.  And it's only going to get worse as fuel becomes more expensive and the airline industry continues to grind itself into the dirt in a perverse caricature of the concept of capitalistic competition.

As far as the seeming coincidence, I was living near a smallish airport that had a large flight school.  It's no great surprise that students of the flight school, as well as flight instructors, would seek out lodging in area apartments.

Meaningless coincidences DO exist.  Random chance provides the mechanism by which they happen, our inherent need to provide meaning to everything provides the context that makes them appear to have intrinsic meaning.

Date: 2008/02/23 19:45:16, Link
Author: Nomad
I'm a little disappointed you didn't use a picture of a pilot of a Japanese Zero.

You're an odd one, Zero.  In a way I want to study your ways.  Not that I think there's any meaning at all in your numerology, I skip over a lot of the stuff you post, it has no relevance to the real world as I've experienced it in the 31 years of my life so far.

But the way you can take criticism or dissenting thought and let it roll off your back like water off a duck's butt and then turn around and come back with a charmingly irreverent response is a sight to behold.  I need to learn how to do that.  I'm the opposite, I can't let conflict go and have an almost irresistible urge to fight to resolve the disagreement.

I suspect I could add years to my life in stress reduction alone if I could do what you do in situations where it's impossible to resolve the conflict through discussion.

Date: 2008/02/29 21:12:52, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (J-Dog @ Feb. 29 2008,19:22)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Feb. 29 2008,17:50)

I second the motion!  

The motion is carried!

Motion to Adjourn?

Ayes have it.!

We will now all report to the nearest pub, get lubricated (the good way) and go find some IDers to burn, or stone*.

YAY!!!!!! **

* For FTK and DaveScot - Ha Ha I am just kidding.

** For the rest of us - No I am not kidding!

*** Ha Ha , yes I am.

You don't seem to quite have the hang of the multiple asterisk addendum.  You have a three star note, but nowhere in the post do three stars appear.

Oh, unless that means that you weren't kidding.

In which case I'll go get the kerosene and rocks and meet you at the boozer.*


* Incidentally, while googling the term "boozer" to make sure I was using it correctly I found both a professional basketball player named Boozer, and a Boozer Lumber company.  Both of those amuse me greatly.

Date: 2008/03/02 02:18:24, Link
Author: Nomad
It's so refreshing to get a good old fashioned denialist perspective after being inundated by some of the more elaborate and insane arguments put forth by the UDites.

Mention a list of animals that have been observed speciating and get the response "no they didn't, because it can't happen".  The numerous canine species of the world are reduced to "just a dog".

The world would be a lot simpler if we could all do that.  A slight aberration in Mercury's orbit?  No there isn't, because Newtonian Mechanics tells us how things move.  Dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice putting stress on Polar Bear populations?  No it isn't, since global warming isn't happening the Polar Bears are all fat and healthy.

Heck of a job, Brownie.  Mission Accomplished.  No recession.  No housing bubble either.

<SMACK>

What happened?  I blacked out there for a second.

Date: 2008/03/04 04:24:26, Link
Author: Nomad
Try finding yourself on top of a mountain and only realizing that an electrical storm had blown in when cloud to cloud lightning hops around over your head, close enough that you can feel the static charge tingling in your hair.

I ran like hell back to my car and drove off the mountain double quick, giddy at the thought that I'd just cheated death.

Date: 2008/03/08 22:13:15, Link
Author: Nomad
Regarding social retardation... well, going to public school is no guarantee of being socially well rounded either.  I went to public schools, but I have some cousins who were home schooled.  By all accounts they appear to be fairly well adapted, socially.  On the other hand, socially I'm a mess.

I don't know a great deal about how they were taught, but as has been brought up already is seems like they belong to a home schooling group, I think they had a group graduation ceremony when the youngest of them graduated from the equivalent of high school.  So they may have had extra social interaction despite technically being schooled at home.

If you're wondering what group these homeschoolers fit into, let me explain it by saying that when walking through their house one day I found a CD-ROM titled "creation chemistry" lying on a table near their computer.  Oh yeah, they're in it to isolate their kids from the world of science as long as possible while they indoctrinate them in their religious beliefs.  The eldest went straight from graduation to missionary work on the other side of the planet.

Very few of the graduates of that homeschooling group go on to attend a real college.  VERY few.  That's not by itself an accurate gauge of the quality of the science education that they're being given, but I've also heard that they tend to have trouble if they do try to go into higher education because they lack the complete educational background that a public school graduate would have.

Regarding the "home surgery" comparison, that's more appropriate than I'd like.  Not exactly surgery, but medical issues in general.  I was reading a story about how large numbers of parents are starting to claim religious exemptions from the requirement to vaccinate their kids before enrolling them in school.  It was made clear that they really had no religious objections, it was just that they'd been taken in by the anti vaccination hysteria and were playing the religion wild card because it lets them get out of their obligation to see that their children are protected from illness.  And in so doing not only endanger the health of their own children but that of their children's classmates.


Regarding vouchers, as I understand it another of the problems is that it costs more to educate mentally disabled children.  Public school systems can help with that issue in several ways.  First off with their larger student base there's a sort of economy of scale, they can gather together groups of disabled children and teach them together.  Secondly, the additional costs can effectively be averaged throughout the whole student body.  For the parents of a disabled child alone the additional costs might be crippling, but distribute them among the entire community and it becomes manageable.

But with school vouchers that money (the additional fraction that would normally go to special education programs) goes to private schools that don't have to accept everybody.  They can legally refuse to educate the disabled.  But they can still take that money away from public schools, who have a responsibility to provide for every student.

I'm not happy about the funding mechanism for public schools either.  I would fully support efforts to overhaul the entire system.  But vouchers aren't even a bandaid solution, they're draining money from schools that are already financially strapped.


Oh, and about home schooling...  I honestly don't know that requiring homeschooling parents have the same certification that public school teachers have is the answer.  It's a simple way to do it, but I don't think it's appropriate.

What I think is appropriate would be a more complex system of ensuring that home schooled students receive at least as good and as well rounded an education as public school students.  Leaving out inconvenient facts should not be allowed, but I'm not sure that topics such as ID could be prohibited.

Frankly, I think creationist homeschoolers would probably prefer the teacher certification approach.

Date: 2008/03/10 04:36:00, Link
Author: Nomad
More about my relatives that homeschool.  Out of a group of 10-15, the group that the youngest graduated among, one has gone on to a real college.  The others were going military, community college, or elsewhere.  The one that went to a real college was finding that he was lacking in subjects that many colleges expected him to have, I believe math was one of them.

I think it's clear that these particular people are NOT doing a better job at a fraction of the cost of the public school system.  They are turning out children that are unprepared or completely unable to proceed to higher education.  In particular they are fundamentally hampering them by twisting their understanding of the world of science.

I'm certain that not all homeschoolers are doing this, I do understand that there are other motivations to school a child at home.  I'm certain that home schooling can be done well and could result in a superior education.  But whereas the public schools are under scrutiny and attempts are being made to force them to perform up to a minimum standard (whether the attempts are succeeding is another issue) home schooling appears to be a sort of anything goes zone.

The fact that we have a public school system shows that we at least feel that basic education is a fundamental civil right.  I think it's undeniable that at least SOME home schooled children are having that right infringed upon.  It is also understood that children are not able to defend their own rights, that is why we have child protection laws.

As such it's only appropriate to take steps to ensure that home schooled children receive adequate education, and to require them to be moved into public schools if they're not getting it.  I see no reason that this has to interfere with the "better and for less money" approach so long as it is truly better.

Date: 2008/03/11 04:23:54, Link
Author: Nomad
Color me a bit suspicious of statements like this for the moment.  I mean if in two years' time you can show me news clippings about the baptists mobilizing significant voter turnout to get legislation passed to help curb global warming that'll be something.  Show me photos of churches nationwide covered in solar panels and you'll impress me.

But a church group making a statement that they're concerned about something fails to thrill me to the core, however.  This sounds more like a PR move than a call for change to me.

But then I'm a cynic.

Date: 2008/03/11 05:20:19, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 10 2008,09:14)
Science, and it's impact on society, has advanced, and will continue to advance, without universal acceptance of evolution. Society will continue to function, and thrive, regardless whether the electrican wiring my house, or the lawyer drafting my contracts, believes the world is 6000 years old or 4.6 billion.

Well let's see.  Bush Junior is elected on broad evangelical support, people who think that if the bible says so it must be the way it is.  As a result abstinence only education is pushed despite it's having been proven to be ineffective.

This has helped turned around a long downward trend in teen pregnancies.

Not only that but the money we've been sending to Africa trying to help them with similar problems of people being fruitful a bit too willingly has been funneled into abstinence only programs as well, turning around some very successful AIDs prevention campaigns and helping that wacky little HIV bug make a comeback through not only not mentioning condoms, but actively working to discredit them.

It may not be ending society, but it's certainly not helping it.  I think the people with diseases that have the potential to be cured with stem cell therapy are certainly aware of what happens when people are raised to care more about a handful of frozen embryos (that are most likely destined to be destroyed anyway) than thousands of living human beings.

My benchmark isn't whether it will completely destroy society.  The fact that a fundie electrician who thinks that stem cell research makes the baby Jesus cry can adequately screw in a light bulb fails to satisfy me.  I was under the impression that the point was to try to improve it, not just figure that it's hunky dory so long as a carpenter isn't trying to use the biblical account of Noah's Ark as a building code.


EDIT:

I should add that I see general public ignorance of science unrelated to religious bias as at least an equal problem.  But then again that too could be helped by improved education.

Date: 2008/03/11 05:39:26, Link
Author: Nomad
Can I just say that you people have taken the LOLcat to a new level?  I'm becoming convinced that you could hold an entire discussion using them.

Date: 2008/03/11 23:00:25, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (skeptic @ Mar. 11 2008,07:04)
also, when making wild claims you should get your facts straight first, namely check into current trends in teen pregnancy rates (this is unrelated to abstinence programs) and AIDS prevention and incidence.  Know before you use a broad brush to air your individual prejudices.

one in four teen girls have an STD

The story also mentions the fact that between 2005 and 2006 the teen birth rate rose for the first time in 15 years.  It's certainly more complicated than simply saying that abstinence only education is completely to blame but it's still fairly logical to conclude that it played a part.

The science says that abstinence only programs do not work.  I didn't conclude this because I like sex and dislike Jesus, I concluded it after it kept not working.

Date: 2008/03/11 23:23:40, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (carlsonjok @ Mar. 11 2008,06:45)
I'm growing weary of this discussion, but I would like to point out two things. First, you appear to be conflating government with society and, second, not drawing a clear enough distinction between scientific advancement and it's application to public policy. The fact of the matter is both governments and public policy change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse (see previous comment re: goring oxes).

Indeed, there is often backlash against the type of meddling in public policy you are worried about and I offer as  counter-examples the backlash against the Religious Right over Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine, efforts by the state of California to implement emissions controls more stringent than those of the federal government, and the fact that somewhere in the range of 14 states have turned down federal abstinence-only funding in order to provide more comprehensive sex education programs.

I will admit to having realized a certain logical conflict in what I was going to try to argue.  I was going to say that while I understand that the government and the society are different concepts that the government is supposed to be guided by society.

But I'm also asking for the government to guide society.  I actually had that typed out before I realized what I was saying.

And I know that there is often a backlash, although not of the specific examples you raise (it's nice to hear about them though).

The problem is that there is then a decent chance that a while later we'll have a backlash against all that "secular culture" back to the extremist religious stuff.
I suppose I should consider that legislating against fundie home schooling could result in fueling that backlash.

Date: 2008/03/13 22:40:38, Link
Author: Nomad
I'm in.  I can't let the rest of the Chicago crew have all the fun...  or, alternatively, I can't in good conscience stay at home while you sacrifice your sanity by looking upon the unholy image of Ben Stein wearing shorts and knee high socks.

I'm just not sure that they'd buy it if I registered as Cardinal Nomad and showed up in full regalia.  Suspicions might be raised, no matter how much fun it might be to try.  I admit that it'd be a kick and a half to claim to represent a local pagan church, but I don't think I want to push my luck.

Date: 2008/03/18 16:10:15, Link
Author: Nomad
Let's say I'm going to make a concerted effort to go.  I don't know what sort of traffic I may encounter, if it gets bad enough I may turn around since, let's just face it, my desire to see this movie isn't exactly sky high to begin with.

Having to put up with Ben Stein in shorts and knee high socks pretending to be a rebel while defending established dogma is bad enough.  I don't want to have to deal with gridlock in order to get that privilege.

Date: 2008/03/19 01:14:19, Link
Author: Nomad
Well.. that was an experience.  I know there are differing thoughts on whether we should patronize this movie, but I took the approach that I'd spent enough time reading about the fundagelicals and their behavior and it was time I went out and experienced them in reality.  A free chance to see the movie was sort of the putrid icing on the moldy cake.

I'm still trying to digest the experience, but figure that I'd better try to get the details out while they're still fresh in my mind.  I'm terrible at sorting this sort of thing out and laying it down in an organized fashion, and I also am pretty much incapable of being brief.  You have been warned.

The first thing that I noticed when walking towards the theater from the parking lot was the police car parked immediately outside the theater entrance.  Surely that couldn't have anything to do with this movie, I figured.  I walked in, suddenly feeling embarrassed to even be there and too ashamed to ask anyone where I was supposed to go for the Expelled screening.

But I found the group, we were being corralled into several lines.  We were told that no bags or purses would be allowed in to the theater.  At least one woman sent her purse back to her car.  After a while we were fed over to another area, where we were told to sign small paper forms that explained that the movie was not in final release form yet and that also, in bold and underlined text, stated that recording the movie was a federal offense, blah blah blah.  I guess they figured that if they only bolded it or only underlined it people might ignore it, but nobody can resist bolded and underlined text.

At that time it was restated that no bags would be allowed, and that everyone would need to show a photo ID, causing the woman who sent her purse back to her car to have to go back out to get her ID.

As I was filling out my name and giving them the email address I created specifically for this endeavor I couldn't help but notice the pair of night vision goggles sitting on the same table.  This was not the cheapo $300 first generation monocle that you might have seen in an optics store.  This was a binocular, dual tube (I specify that because some NVGs have one input but split it so both eyes can see) setup with a band so that it could be warn on the head, military style.

My suspicions about the NVGs were fulfilled when the guy leading the sign in process announced that they'd seen on the web that "some group" was going to try to sneak someone in to record the whole movie.  Later he explained further that somewhere online a group had suggested a challenge to try to get a copy of the movie so that it could be distributed via torrent.  It was explained that the police officer (described as being off duty but still wearing official uniform and using a police car) would be walking around the theater using the NVGs to look for anyone trying record the movie secretly.  He further asked the audience to be on the look out for anything suspicious around them.  In other words, rat on your neighbors.

Earlier a woman had opted not to see the movie because she didn't want to leave her purse in her car, explaining that she knew of instances where cars had been broken into and robbed in that same parking lot.  She protested, the guy doing the sign-in process explained that it was the rule and he couldn't break it.  Fine.

But once inside the theater, with the woman gone, a representative from the production company (I wish I could remember his name, but it totally slipped my mind, he appeared to be fairly high ranking though) made a joke that only one person had complained about the process, and the policeman hand cuffed her and took her away.

A mild chuckle passed through the audience.

Way to go, Mr Two Face, I'm thinking to myself.  A woman is concerned about her purse being stolen from her car, and as soon as she's gone he's joking about her being a dissident and having the cops haul her away.

One of the things I was interested in was seeing what sort of audience would come to see this movie.  Of course I had my expectations, but I wanted to find out.  Since I was alone I waited quietly and listened to all the conversations going on around me.  Some were talking about the problems of church finance, someone mentioned in particular that an estimated 80% of all church donations come from elderly women.  Also there was mention of Narnia, talk of how it supposedly showed that theologically based movies can do well in secular society.  Oddly enough they were also talking a lot about Lord of the Rings and the impending production of The Hobbit.

In the theater sat near different people and I started hearing someone else talking about some meeting he was going to be attending soon.  The topic of it was to be "the theological implications of the multiverse".  He explained the multiverse to someone unfamiliar with the concept by saying that once the Anthropic Principle had "proved" that the universe was designed scientists had to come up with the multiverse to explain it away.

I sort of felt like Bruce Banner trying to fight down the rage, except that in my case it wasn't really rage, it was just a tendency to want to blurt out various things because I'm a know-it-all.  I wanted to explain that many worlds theory was a mathematical result of string theory which he would never be able to get his tiny little mind around if he lived to be a thousand.  I say this with near certainty that I will never adequately understand anything about it either, the math will always be beyond me as well.

There was also a little complaining about how kids believe in dinosaurs and that it's impossible to know that they lived millions of years ago, further lamenting that some dinosaurs have been constructed from only four teeth.

He told a story about how he had once been asked whether he was for the Earth being 300 million years old or 6000.  Causing me to wonder just who thinks the Earth is 300 million years old?  He was fully in the 6000 year group, further extolling the evidence of a young Earth like the evidence that a flood made the Grand Canyon.  I had to chuckle (very quietly) at comments like this.  It was the only way to remain sane in that insane environment.  I wanted to try to remain undercover, I wanted to observe the fundie in it's native environment without altering it's behavior.

There was also at least one token comment against global warming.  It was just the sort of crowd you'd expect, all that was missing was a little whispered holocaust denial.


The movie was played through a digital projector clearly fed by a laptop, using what looked like Itunes!  The frame rate wasn't even smooth, they couldn't be bothered to get hardware that could adequately play it back!  It started off with black and white footage, possibly some genuine but certainly some was shot more recently and then made to look old, of what looked like the Berlin Wall being built interspersed with children playing in an old timey way, bouncing around a small ball.  Yes, I get the oh so subtle metaphor.  Won't somebody think of the children.  Very clever.  This was a metaphor that they'd return to later in the film.  While the credits appear on screen string music is played.  It took me a moment to recognize that it was Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall".  A perhaps somewhat ironic choice, given the well known lyrics "we don't need no education" and the current approach of ID.  I guess it's ironic to me, but apropos to those who were meant to see the movie.  One man's crappy science education is another man's religiously motivated ideal.


I don't need to tell many specifics of what was in the movie.  You all know, you could have written the movie yourselves.  All the usual martyrs are trotted out and tell their story of oppression and suffering and claim that their right to free thought and free speech was violated.  "If only", I think to myself as they whine on and on about how mean their colleagues are.  They're getting in an awful lot of talking despite being unable to speak freely.  The accusation of violation of freedom of thought is as absurd as it ever is unless the evil Darwinist alliance is implanting mind control devices in all dissidents.  And if they are.. someone needs to tell them that they're not working properly.

Somehow the issues such as Gonzalez' failure to secure research grants or Crocker's telling outright lies in class to her students are...  no, I won't say "expelled" from the movie, it's too predictable, let's just say creatively ignored.

I laughed out loud when Robert Marks and the "evolutionary informatics lab" were mentioned.  Marks is there on screen talking about how that's what researchers do, they make "labs" by putting a name on a website and hosting it on a computer and use that entity to try to get funding.  He didn't even attempt to claim that there was a REAL laboratory associated with it, he just passed it off as standard practice.  Then he claims that it was shut down by the evil Baylor establishment.  That's funny, I thought I remember reading that all he had to do was add a disclaimer that the website wasn't officially associated with Baylor... I guess I must not have read that, because the makers of this movie wouldn't be lying to their audience now would they?

I will say my one nice thing about the movie by saying that they don't seem to have used a great deal of creative editing in distorting the interviews with real scientists.  What they did do was catch a few people with a few awkward questions, the results certainly played into the hands of the filmmakers.  In particular I will say that the well known anti theistic stance of Richard Dawkins was just eaten up by the audience.  I'm not making a value judgment here, I LIKE Dawkins, but in this situation his approach has helped the ID movement.  He spoke out against religion and the filmmakers parlayed that into attempting to portray that the entire scientific world is anti religion.  I'm aware of the framing argument and I'm not taking sides in it, I won't say that he shouldn't say those things.

There was one moment in particular where the interview led to him stating what he thought would be the one way in which intelligent design might be proven correct in reality.  His explanation was that we might find evidence of aliens visiting the Earth and either intentionally or not leaving behind seed life forms.  The audience sputtered with mirth at this as Ben Stein's narration announced that this proved that Dawkins would accept SOME forms of intelligent design but not others.

For those Pharyngula fans out there I can say that I don't think PZ's remarks were at all abused.  He explains that he started out believing in religion but that the more he learned about science the less he felt the need for it.  I can actually say that I learned something (go ahead, quote mine that you dishonest hacks!) because I didn't know that he was formerly a theist.  They even mention the name of his blog, so it's possible that he may get some new readers from this.

It once again says something to their intended audience that they even put that interview segment into the movie.  If they were not religiously motivated then what relevance would that have on the merit of a scientific theory?



I don't know about actual percentages, but a good deal of the movie was taken up by the well known "Darwin led to Nazis" argument.  Ben Stein goes to a memorial site where thousands of prisoners were executed and looks all pained and holds his head in his hands to emphasize how terrible it was, and I just wanted to yell into his wrinkled old ear that Hitler was guided at least as much by religious doctrine as he may have been by a mistaken interpretation of science.  Does the fact that the Nazi soldiers wore belt buckles with "God with us" engraved on them in German mean that I can go around saying that religion is to blame for the Holocaust?

This obsession with the holocaust just went on and on.  It even lead to Planned Parenthood of all places.  This was among the most disturbing moments of the film.  The PP logo appears on screen and the audience collectively sucked in their breath as if they'd unexpectedly come face to face with the devil himself.  The movie goes on to suggest that Planned Parenthood is proof that Eugenics is alive and well in society today (because of evolution, of course).  Why, pray tell?  Because they provide birth control to the poor, of course.  Allowing the poor to not have children if they so wish qualifies as Eugenics to these people!  It goes on to suggest that abortion and euthenasia, both of which we're told devalue human life (yeah, letting a terminally ill patient end his life with dignity instead of wasting away in a haze of suffering until, finally, mercifully, his biological functions cease to operate, that devalues human life), are also the results of evolution.

It's all there in some form or another.  The idea that scientists are motivated by dogmatic belief in Darwin's specific theory, with no suggestion that a few changes might have occurred through the years.  Preach the controversy, proved by people saying that since the scientists disagree with them there must be a controversy.

Even a most curious suggestion that the US is the "worst" in the world in terms of governmentally censuring ID.  Could this be because the US is the primary place where religiously motivated people are trying to damage the scientific education of other people's children in order to spread their own beliefs?

They also had some CG that looked very much like the famous XVIVO video that Dembski stole and then lied about.  I'm not saying it was the same, it looked similar but it may well have been a different animation made specifically for the movie.  But it contains the same well known flaws that serve to make the workings of a cell look much more machine-like than they really do, and the audience gasped in awe as they were told how a single cell is like a complex machine.


The movie makes a token effort to say "this isn't about religion" at the beginning.  But the best they can do is ask the leading lights of ID if it's about religion and have them say "no it isn't".  This fails to be convincing since so much of the movie harps on and on about how all evolutionists are atheists bent on destroying religion (including the claim that Eugenie Scott is preaching atheism to religious groups) and hits on all the fundamentalist high points like abortion.  It demands that evolution is in contradiction with religion and scorns any who suggest otherwise.  Yes, I know that that means that they're rejecting the Vatican.  Let's face it, this movie was not made for Catholics.  They don't have to try hard to deny the association between ID and religion because their target audience is religious.


This was sort of rammed home after the movie when the production company representative started up a Q&A session with the audience.  At one point he mentioned the websites for the movie, and specified that one was more for the promotion of the movie itself and one was more for the religious people to get information to assist in spreading the message.


Two audience members slightly redeemed themselves in my opinion by asking slightly intelligent questions or making statements to that effect.  One mentioned that the movie kinda sorta might just maybe have gone too far in the beginning as painting the evolution supporters as representing Stalinist Germany before they showed their true nature later in the movie.  He went on to say that he was certain that some people would use scenes from the movie as an illustration of ad hominem attacks.

To illustrate the fast and loose definition of science that the producers were playing with: the man that asked that question identified himself as someone who teaches "origin studies".  After that description the representative called him a scientist and flattered him by saying that he was certain that this man knew much more than he did.  Ultimately the issue of possible dishonesty was dodged with the explanation that, after all, the purpose of the movie was to entertain.

A woman asked about the scene where Ben Stein and the film crew barge in to the Smithsonian and are told to leave by security.  She said that that's the sort of thing that Michael Moore would do, staging things like that for effect.  She asked if an attempt was made to set up a real interview before doing that.

She never really got an honest answer from that, the rep weaseled his way out without saying anything specifically.


These incidences give me hope.  Not much hope, mind you, but still to me it shows that at least some of these people are still willing to critically analyze these things to at least some degree.  Or perhaps they were darwinist conspiracy plants, who can say.  If that woman was willing to point out that the filmmakers used that dishonest tactic now, perhaps she'll be interested enough to research the issues beyond what she's told by the ID supporters themselves.

I did not ask the film rep any questions.  I thought about it, but the fact is I think I'd be poor at PR work like that.  I'm too high strung to be calm when situations like that demand it, and I'm prone to acting elitist which would turn everyone against me instantly.  There were some questions which deserved to be asked, but I didn't want to take the responsibility of asking them in such a high profile situation.


As a final comment, I'm curious about the story about a group trying to infiltrate and record the movie.  I know that in this thread it has been suggested that we could just wait and watch the movie once it shows up on bittorrent, and I know that the filmmakers are aware of this forum since one of them ran away from it after he was asked too many questions he couldn't answer (this despite proudly declaring that what they want is an open exchange of ideas tonight, that he wants people to disagree with him).  That's hardly a conspiracy to infiltrate and record, but...  come on, look at their established level of honesty.  What would play out better than requiring police protection of their (pseudo)intellectual property?

Date: 2008/03/20 01:18:26, Link
Author: Nomad
Okay, trying to respond to a bunch of comments at once here..

First off, no non disclosure agreement.  They explained that they just had to get our information because they movie wasn't in final form and because of the piracy threat.  It wasn't really a legal form, and unless I somehow forgot this part I don't think the form even had a place for a signature, just for printing your name and phone number and such.

About the cell animation, I just don't know.  There was no flagellum (no talk of it at all, also no talk of IC, the movie made nearly zero mention of any actual fact or scientific argument except a bunch of ID "scientists" saying that mainstream science has no explanation for a bunch of unspecified stuff).  I'm not up on my biology, so I can't tell you what it was that was shown in the animation, but one of the memorable bits was similar to something  I'd seen on the XVIVO animation.  It was similar to the scene where you see what looks like an almost cartoonish pair of walking feet walking along a tube, pulling a large blob attached to them by a tether.  But it was different in the version used in the movie, the feet weren't so much walking as sort of sliding along the tube like they were running along a rail.  It also had scenes of structures disassembling themselves, breaking up into a cascade of small pieces, but again it doesn't appear identical to the XVIVO piece that I'm looking at to refresh my memory although similar sequences appear.

I hope I didn't imply that I was accusing them of stealing it, I felt it was unlikely given the attention that the previous theft attracted and the fact that this will (theoretically) get a nationwide commercial release.  But the similarity was striking, I was just waiting for someone to start talking about the cell as a city.  I should have watched for CG credits at the end.

As far as the extent of the theatrical release, they had no specific info.  One of the other members of the audience asked how many theaters it would be released in and the rep said he didn't know.  I have to wonder if the reason he didn't know was that they're having trouble getting it into any theater, they only got it into this one by renting it out and apparently using their own equipment.  The digital projector itself looked like they might have brought it, after the movie started it shifted slightly as they tried to straighten it out, it had been a bit crooked and they made it perhaps slightly more crooked by messing with it.


Regarding their usage of the Pink Floyd song.. I think they got permission somehow or another.  It wasn't the original Pink Floyd performance, it was played solely on string instruments.  I don't know the details, but I think the law is different about using a musical composition but recording a new version yourself.  It's still protected, but perhaps not to the same degree or something.  I just don't think they'd steal a song and use it on a movie intended or at least hoped to be released to a nationwide audience.  Unless the commercial release is a hoax and they never intended to get it out to anyone other than these carefully selected audiences.


I'm not entirely certain if the point of this movie is to make money.  When you look at some of the details, like the plans to pay schools to force their students to go see it, it starts sounding fishy.  I start wondering if the whole thing is meant more as a promotional stunt than a means to rake in the money.  They make motions of intending to release to theaters nationwide and keep pushing the date back and then finally they could announce that the evil conspiracy is keeping them from getting into the theaters.  Maybe the producers could get some cash from charging for churches to show it in their basements, but in that scenario the movie is more like a large scale advertising campaign.
They could still make some money by releasing it on DVD, in fact one member of the audience asked when the DVD would be out.  But judging by the getexpelled site (which was the one referred to as being for people of faith and includes information for people who want to set up an expelled debate at their school) they're trying to convince their target demographic that they're part of a grass roots campaign to defend freedom and liberty.  I don't think this is a cynical attempt to profit off of the religiously minded.  I think it is an even more cynical attempt to manipulate the religiously minded who aren't already fixated on taking over schools and forcing their beliefs on the entire country to start doing just that.


Oh, and one final note about something that I feel I should have been clearer on regarding the treatment of the holocaust.  What they did in the movie was refer to the instances where the Nazis gathered up and executed the...  I don't know how to say it, the disabled.  The "physically inferior".  They got a German tour guide of the structure where the people had been killed to state that the people were killed because of Darwin.  I wanted to ask the filmmakers if they were familiar with the traditional way for ancient Spartans to deal with the birth of such a child, and if they believed that the evil of darwinsim extends backwards in time as well.

They then attempted to suggest that that sort of thinking was behind the entire holocaust.  This is tricky to talk about because I feel like I'm trying to defend part of it, but the campaign to exterminate the Jews was different.  It was racial scapegoating, it was a traditional tactic arguably as old as religion itself.

And I'm still furious that Ben Stein played off his Jewish Heritage and ignored all those details to blame it all on science.  I still can't figure out Ben's motive behind all this.  He can't have been paid enough.  The filmmakers can proceed to make more drivel like this, they'll always have an audience.  But can Ben be counting on becoming the next bizarre conservative religious spokesperson in the style of Kirk Cameron or Chuck Norris?  Perhaps his recent financial advice screwups were the result of him phoning in his last days as a financial guru before he moves on to Liars for Jesus inc?  Is a Fox News guest commenter relationship on the horizon?

Date: 2008/03/21 01:01:08, Link
Author: Nomad
I am just beside myself with the story from Minnesota.  Had I known I would have driven for six hours each way to get there to participate in this.  I would have figured out a way to surreptitiously record the after movie festivities (so that there was no copyright violation that could be claimed) for those unable to attend.


Regarding what it took for me to get in, no, no passes or anything.  I signed up through the online form.  They emailed confirmation forms that many people printed out and brought in, but the forms didn't seem to count for anything, in the end all that mattered was that they had your name on a list (sorted by first instead of last name) and you could prove that you were who you said you were.  They made a point about being strict with the list, if you had signed up for three people total and brought one extra the extra guest absolutely would not be admitted.  Despite this the theater wasn't jam packed as you'd expect, they seemed to leave about a third of it unoccupied.  Or else that many people didn't show up.

I do know how religious pressure can effect the movie biz.  I still remember the story about the IMAX movie about life in the ocean being kept out of theaters in the South because of religious pressure (since the movie mentioned evolution and we can't have that in our public entertainment, although we can have Jesus being whipped and crucified).
But this still seems like a new low, kicking a scientifically literate individual out of an entire theater.  Oh producers, your cowardice is showing.  May I remind you that you told my group that you WANT to get discussions going, you want people to disagree with you.  The way you explained it, you were all about getting the dialog started.

Not having hired thugs kicking out the very people that you interviewed.

Not that I'm complaining.  It wouldn't have been near this glorious if everyone had gotten in, no questions asked.  It's much more fun when you kick out feared dissidents who want to see the movie that accuses others of kicking out dissidents.  Irony like that could be bottled and sold for $100 an ounce.

Date: 2008/03/26 04:31:02, Link
Author: Nomad
I don't know... when I read "MASTER of LOVE" I imagine Barry White playing in the background, the lights turned down low, candlelight, rose petals scattered over the bed...

And then I read about the freebie book on the rhythm method of birth control, and I imagine the short time until the candles are put away, the Barry White is shelved, and the parents are too busy changing diapers to make romance.

Date: 2008/03/26 22:07:22, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Doc Bill @ Mar. 26 2008,16:32)
Call me stupid but I just do not understand this fascination with Nazis.

I mean, I think I went through a Nazi phase in the third grade, but it was short lived.

So, let me get this straight.  Darwinism leads to Nazi-ism.  OK, right.  But, only in Germany in the 1930's.  Nowhere else in the world, in no other country, at no other time in the past 150 years except in Germany in the 1930's.

Therefore it would appear that Expelled was produced by third graders, or is that being unfair to third graders?

Actually no, after covering the Holocaust they tried to tap into current fundie hot button issues.  After saying that while Evolution wasn't guaranteed to cause eugenics it was a required element for it to be able to happen (ignoring that whole Spartan thing, apparently the producers didn't see 300), they went on to cover Planned Parenthood.

This shocked me.  I guess I must be out of touch, I had no idea how much animosity the fundies had for Planned Parenthood.  They showed the PP logo on screen and the audience at the Expelled screening gasped collectively.  To them Planned Parenthood was more horrifying than piles of dead bodies being shoveled into an incinerator.  Because Planned Parenthood supplies birth control to the poor the audience was told that that means they're practicing eugenics.

Not just Planned Parenthood, the filmmakers tried to tie birth control, abortion, and euthanasia into one big warning that eugenics was alive and well in America today, that "darwinism" was devaluing human life in our modern world.

In other words, the message wasn't just "it could happen here", but that it is happening now and that all those good Christians out there are obligated to fight against the theory of evolution for the good of the country.

Date: 2008/03/29 06:05:36, Link
Author: Nomad
Well.. how about "mineral" makeup.  One company started this, and now it's become a classification that I've seen other companies using.

"The makeup that's actually good for your skin" was one of the original marketing taglines.  They talked about it being "pure".  Pure WHAT is never explained.  I guess what they're saying is that there isn't anything in the makeup, except what's in the makeup.  There's no "other stuff" in it, thus it's pure.  They never really explain what the minerals are though, or why supposedly using only minerals is such a good thing.

I'm getting REALLY tired of a commercial for a brand of shampoo touting the fact that they use soy in the shampoo, particularly the odd voice of the woman they chose to do the speaking in it.  Although I admit I just about bust a gut laughing every time they mention their "Natural Shiitake Complex".  They actually have a website where you can click on a link named "the science" to see a bunch of official looking graphs, including one that appears to show a nearly exponential curve in the "rate of cell renewal" versus amount of time that the product was used.  In other words, use it long enough and you've got nearly infinite cell renewal.  That must be fun, having brand new skin cells every couple of seconds.  I'd hate to imagine the trail of sloughed off skin cells you'd leave behind you though.


Recently I had the bad fortune of witnessing an Avon party.  I was trying not to pay attention to all the girly crap, but I kept hearing occasional bizarre claims, like that it's good to wear makeup because it keeps pollution off your face and out of your pores.


Or on a radio show a while back I heard someone call in and describe her job by saying that she sells "natural beauty products".  One of the people on the show commented that that was a bit of an odd term, since natural beauty should be what you already look like.  The caller described the products by saying that instead of using water for some particular thing they use some sort of fruit juice.

When did water become artificial?

Date: 2008/04/03 19:06:01, Link
Author: Nomad
Carrying a weapon is simply not a part of my approach to life.  I've grown up in the suburbs, the safe suburbs.  I don't bring protection to dangerous places, I don't go to them at all.


However I did once slash someone's hand open.  But it wasn't with a knife, it was with a metal ruler and it was in junior high school.  At the time my personality could best be described as "mild".  This made me a popular bully target, because I general I didn't fight back.  However this kid was just screwed around, trying to get me to sword fight with him with these metal rulers we had in class.  I didn't want to, but he kept poking me and poking me with it until I started parrying him with my ruler.

He got more and more aggressive and kept pushing me until the edge of my ruler dug into his hand just right and cut through the skin.  Those rulers did have fairly sharp edges.

He was sent to the nurses office clutching his hand, his last words to me were "if I catch you outside school you're dead" or something to that effect.  But nothing more ever developed of it, he wasn't really that violent, the situation just got out of hand.

Later on in high school he caught up to me in a hallway once and said something about how he used to mess with me in Jr High, I have no idea if this was an attempt for him to gloat over his past or if he was awkwardly trying to make amends, I sort of grinned to myself and wondered if he still had a scar on his hand.  Understand I didn't take pleasure in hurting him, I really did NOT intend to do it, but it served the tool right.  It was unintended but poetic justice.

Incidentally, since I was a massive teacher's pet I never caught any flack from the incident.


Okay, so I'm not a street tough that can intimidate people in bars to the point that they piss themselves and run away.  I can't really say I'm a pacifist either, while I theoretically favor the path of peace I've got a bit of a temper and I'm not likely to be the moderating influence in a potentially violent situation.  It's better that I just don't get into those situations at all.

Date: 2008/04/05 22:51:55, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 05 2008,20:13)
I turn 46 this fall. Does this mean I'll be Jesus then, too?*


*Might be kind of awkward, given that I'm not a Christian. Or does becoming Jesus automatically make one a Christian?

I don't think so, I mean being Jesus didn't make Jesus* a Christian.  Which also makes me think it wouldn't be awkward.  And you'd be a big hit at parties with the whole water to wine thing.

Just look out for people looking to eat your flesh or drink your blood.

*the first one, obviously.

Date: 2008/04/09 03:35:47, Link
Author: Nomad
I'm sort of in the middle.  I'll talk about it with people in public, but it's not like I seek out arguments with people I don't know about it.  For example, when I heard a family at a restaurant talking about The Golden Compass I didn't say anything when I heard someone whispering about how she heard that the author was, get this, an "atheist", I did not break in to point out that atheism is no dirty secret that needs to be whispered about.


On the other hand when I used to work with a YEC I did take issue with his denial of relativity.  His exact words were "an hour is an hour, no matter how fast you're going".  Unfortunately I didn't know then what I know now.  I didn't know that GPS satellites have to take time dilation into account to keep their clocks accurate compared to ground based systems.  I also didn't know that the effect had been measured by sending atomic clocks up into airliners.

I really would have liked to see his response when I told him that this effect that he so smugly proclaimed didn't exist had not only been detected, but meant that GPS satellites had to make adjustments in their time keeping in order to work properly.

I also once asked him what happened to the dinosaurs (like I said, he was a full on YEC).  His response, and I want to stress that he said this with a straight face, was that they had all been killed by a warrior king.

He was a nice enough guy, it's not like he appeared to be barking mad if he wasn't discussing science or religion, but that warrior king thing let me know that I was wasting my time and that I'd better let it go in the interests of continuing workplace harmony.

Date: 2008/04/09 23:25:10, Link
Author: Nomad
Glad to see that the warrior king thing has been received well.

I understand how the "hour is an hour no matter how fast you're moving" could be considered technically right, but at the same time that's not how he meant it.  It was sort of a similar sentiment to the oft uttered "but it's still a dog".  I also do get the point that I could have used that to try to flatter him by telling him how right he is about a complex subject, blah blah blah...  But I don't really see any benefit in heading in that direction.  The most that would have happened was that he'd have heard "you're right" and then would discard all mention of specifics and continue in his firm belief that relativity doesn't happen because it's contrary to his intuition about the world.

The city that this happened in is a suburb of Chicago.  It's a fairly easy place to stereotype.  It's a city full of rich white people.  We're a city of middle management, loads of self important guys and their trophy wives.  The roads are choked with SUVs, and the supermarkets are filled with trophy wives (who drove SUVs to get there).

It's not what I would characterize as a fundamentalist haven.

The religious types that we have are more of the religious elitist grouping.  The ones who already have all the power and money, and are simply interested in retaining it.

The individual I referred to was not one of those types, though.  He was closer to the image of the good American of a bygone era.  A mild mannered man with a firm belief in God, someone happy with his place and doing what he feels he's supposed to be doing.  Perhaps willfully ignorant, but not blatantly dishonest.  I'm sure he was doing and saying what he felt was right.  Which is why I really wish I could have pointed out that GPS satellites have to take relativity into account, I'd have liked to confront him with a bit of contrary evidence to see how he reacted.  I'm not saying I think he might have accepted it and changed altered his world view take it into account, I just wanted to see how he'd have denied it.
In any case he's not really representative of the city.  You won't learn about him by knowing the city, or vice versa.


In retrospect I'm still puzzled over the warrior king thing.  Like I said, this guy did not appear to be barking mad.  I don't know where he came up with this.  I can only guess that he had learned it from some authority figure and, as is the way of the faithful, had never questioned it.
Or perhaps he was just messing with me.  It's not behavior I would normally have attributed to him, but... it's just so out there that it makes as much sense as any explanation.

Date: 2008/04/09 23:37:51, Link
Author: Nomad
I traditionally have freaky nearly transparent white (ghostly white was how I always thought of them) spiders growing on my vehicles.  They seem to have stayed away from my latest car, I'm not really sure why.

I have no pictures, but you have to understand that I have a fairly strong fear of spiders bordering on phobia level.  They're small, fragile looking spiders.  The freaked me out not because they're big or dangerous but because they're spiders and because they had a tendency to appear without warning while I was trying to drive.  You think cell phones make for distracted drivers?  Try the time I had a spider rappelling down into my lap while I was driving.  I came close to pulling over to get rid of it.

I've gotten a little better since then, perhaps they've decided that they can't have as much fun torturing me anymore and have buggered off to find someone new to harass.

Date: 2008/04/11 22:12:19, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (BWE @ April 11 2008,20:04)
Quote (skeptic @ April 11 2008,18:37)
lol, the clock was ticking huh?

Ok, is it just me or does everyone see it? You know, the fighter craft darth vader spun away from the death star in?

look again:


lol          lol      
.    lol      .
.     .       .

Actually no, Darth Vader was in a Tie Advanced, which has angled side panels.  lol makes a shape closer to the classic straight paneled Tie Fighter.

Date: 2008/04/12 01:57:18, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (BWE @ April 11 2008,22:23)
 
Quote (Nomad @ April 11 2008,22:12)

Actually no, Darth Vader was in a Tie Advanced, which has angled side panels.  lol makes a shape closer to the classic straight paneled Tie Fighter.

this may be heretical but,

close enough?

Much in the same way that this is close enough:




I know this makes me look like a massive Star Wars geek, but it's much much worse than that.  I don't know it's a Tie Advanced because I watched the movies, it's because I spent endless hours playing a series of computer games based on the movies.  This is back before everything had to be a first person shooter, the X-wing and Tie Fighter games are legends in the field of space flight "simulators".  I put simulator in quotes because of course the physics model had nothing to do with reality, but it doesn't matter.  It was fun.

Date: 2008/04/13 02:37:40, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (J-Dog @ April 11 2008,15:32)
Quote (Quidam @ April 11 2008,15:27)
Quote (Louis @ April 11 2008,11:35)
Jenna Jameson as Denyse? C'mon the juxtaposition ALONE should cause some portion of the universe to implode spontaneously out of ironic disgust.



I need a cold shower

You know....

I'm willing to bet a single-malt bottle of scotch that she still writes at a Jr. High level, but it doesn't  seem to bother me quite as much...

The fact that it looks like her face was surgically grafted onto another body bothers me quite a bit, actually.

Date: 2008/04/20 07:01:38, Link
Author: Nomad
On his blog, Kevin wrote:
   
Quote
Watch the film for yourself, and you'll discover that at no point does it or Sternberg claim he was fired. Just goes to show that you should probably study the evidence before you draw your conclusions.


I wrote a simple response reminding him that afterwards Sternberg's picture was covered with a great big expelled rubber stamp, and asked him from what Sternberg was expelled.

The dishonest little weasel deleted the comment, after he had said that he was just too gosh darn busy to answer everyone's questions immediately.

 
Quote
I'm just way to busy right now to duke it out with you folks. Don't worry though, a thorough response to all of the so-called "rebuttals" to our film is forthcoming. You may have to wait until the fall to get it, but it will come.


In other words, don't call me, I'll call you, right Kevin?  You'd love to explain how you're really NOT a deceitful fundamentalist propagandist, but you're too busy... doing what exactly?  Defending against copyright lawsuits?  Practicing your Oscar acceptance speech?

I guess he's at least more savvy than the UD people, he selectively grooms the dissent to make it look like he's allowing people to freely question him, but he removes the simple questions that he has no answer for.  It fooled me, that's why I posted.  I was hoping he'd try to dazzle me with bullshit, not just pretend the question had never been asked.

I do know that he's been asked the same question here back when he was playing at being our friendly neighborhood screenwriter, and that he failed to answer it then as well.  That's where I got the question from, it's so much simpler than any details about the way that the movie uses lies by omission to attempt to "technically" speak the truth while misleading the viewers.

Date: 2008/04/21 22:00:32, Link
Author: Nomad
I found a positive review!

It starts off with an interesting premise, that the reviewer wasn't interested because he already knew what the movie was going to say, so why should he go see it to be told it again.

But the examples he picked are telling:
Quote
It is a reality of PC liberalism: There is only one credible side to an issue, and any dissent is not only rejected, it is scorned. Global warming. Gay "rights." Abortion "rights." On these and so many other issues there is enlightenment, and then there is the Idiotic Other Side. PC liberalism's power centers are the news media, the entertainment industry and academia, and all are in the clutches of an unmistakable hypocrisy: Theirs is an ideology that preaches the freedom of thought and expression at every opportunity, yet practices absolute intolerance toward dissension.


Those damned "PC liberalists" and their notions about tolerance.  Don't they know this is America, where we only tolerate what the bible tells us to tolerate?  Pardon me, what our ranting fundamentalist leaders TELL US that the bible tells us to tolerate?  I can see why he liked the movie, he fits right in to their demographic.  Intolerance regarding the gays is fine, but intolerance about crackpot pseudoscience, we can't have that.

The actual content regarding the movie is more or less what you'd expect, it's the bits around the edges of the review that I like.  Like his ending, where he says:
   
Quote
Everyone should take the opportunity to see "Expelled" — if nothing else, as a bracing antidote to the atheism-friendly culture of PC liberalism. But it's far more than that. It's a spotlight on the arrogance of this movement and its leaders, a spotlight on the choking intolerance of academia, and a spotlight on the ignorance of so many who say so much, yet know so very little.


Yeah, tolerance of atheism is such a terrible thing.  Give me some of that good old fashioned religiously fueled intolerance!  He says it all.  The movie isn't really about modern evolutionary theory.  It's about trying to overthrow modern, enlightened culture.  Clearly he's read the wedge document, he knows it's about working to replace a secular democracy with a theocracy.

And then he caps it off with a heaping helping of unwitting irony.  Let me just quote that bit again.

Quote
a spotlight on the ignorance of so many who say so much, yet know so very little


You got that right Mr Bozell the third.

Date: 2008/04/22 18:21:05, Link
Author: Nomad
I am almost fatally attracted to the idea of trying to write a sort of sci-fi style story where God exists and has intervened in the past in more or less the way that religious types believe, yet still has a true nature completely different than what is believed.

I'm not all that widely read in the world of sci-fi (although I call myself a science fiction enthusiast...  I'm just too lazy to read the books), but I know that Heinlein attempted something like this with Job: A comedy of Justice.


All I can come up with is something about this god person doing all those divine intervention things in the past for some sort of guidance purpose (yes, even the massacres), but as humanity got more sophisticated he had to get less and less direct for some reason.  Perhaps, despite all the power that the miracles imply, we're getting too close to being able to see the man behind the curtain so he has to back off?  To make that work I think this being has to be alone, but then I don't know what to do about the question of who created the creator.

I'm sure someone has already written something like this, I know it's not that original an idea.

Date: 2008/04/22 23:19:26, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (J-Dog @ April 22 2008,18:29)
Here's your Cliff Notes:  If there is a god, (s)he's a dick.

The Greatest Story Ever Told

Yeah, but, see... that's just it.  I want an interpretation that makes it all actually make sense.  That's the tricky part.  I want to somehow make this concept of a supernatural monstrosity that so many worship today actually come out as a respectable, honest character, even if it has to be framed from a different perspective.

It's been done on a lesser scale in fiction all the time.  You get a character who you're made to think is bad, either just unpleasant or maybe even the ultimate bad guy of the story.  But then at the end you get the plot twist that suddenly puts it all into focus and suddenly you understand.

In Job: A Comedy of Justice you get to meet Satan.  He's not a bad fellow.  But that's a little easier, it's not that much of a stretch to frame Satan as the underdog.  The Big Guy In White, though, is tricky.  Even Christian written storylines sometimes end up casting him as a deceitful A-hole, like that "the atheist" movie that I found a while ago but now can't find any original copies of, only youtube videos bashing it.  In that story an atheist (horrors!) is basically run through standard psychological torture routines in order to lower his mental resistance so that he can be indoctrinated, then he is made to believe that he's just killed someone when the whole thing was just an illusion, supposedly to make some point about his lack of morality.  But it's God, or in this case Jesus, that does all these things to this guy.  He lies, he manipulates, and then somehow after all that we're supposed to come away believing that atheists are dishonest liars when every single negative connotation that the movie attempted to apply to atheists was also demonstrated through the actions of Jesus.

I find it an intriguing challenge to try to make God come off looking good while still staying true to the biblical narrative.

I'm not trying to make excuses for the invisible man in the sky, don't worry, this isn't the first sign that I'm going to become an apologist.  It's just a creative challenge to me, the sort of thing that, were I inclined to do such things, I'd probably mull over after getting good and stoned, ya'know, along with the other stereotypical musings on the nature of reality that I've been lead to believe follow up a session with the bong in popular fiction.

I used to hang out with some genuine stoners, but we never really discussed the nature of reality.

Date: 2008/04/28 23:35:53, Link
Author: Nomad
I did a little reading up on this when I found that the blog had not just been delisted by Google but deleted.

I don't understand enough about the workings of blogs, which annoys me because they're supposed to be simple.  But I did a little Googling and found a story from someone else who had a blog that was delisted by Google.  He found out that something had been done to it and it was SOMEHOW linking to some sort of pop up ad link farm page.  The point is this guy didn't do this and didn't even know it had been done until he looked at something about the blog's incoming or outgoing links.  The issue did not appear to be obvious.  The story said something about a fake del.icio.us page, but I have no idea what that even is.  I like to consider myself Internet savvy, but I have made absolutely no point to keep up with all the social networking stuff.  I really don't see the point of most of it, blogs are about the only element of it all that made sense to me.

I'm guessing that the same thing may have happened to ERV.  While it's possible that this could have been done by one of the many enemies of ERV, I'm sure there's at least one script kiddie out there who styles himself a hacker for Jesus, I'm thinking it's more likely that someone saw her blog as being high profile and decided to try to exploit it for cash.

Nonetheless that's a rather ham fisted way for Google to try to clean house.  If this is an exploit being used to promote pop up ad farms and Google is intentionally tracking it down then they should know that it's not the blog author's fault.  Even if it was, yes, a warning via email just might have been appropriate.

Date: 2008/05/02 00:59:07, Link
Author: Nomad
Well look who I caught in the act:


This cute little guy (or girl, I have no idea on the gender) has been living in the attic above my bedroom for years.  The truth is the roof needs to be repaired, there's a gap on the side with plenty of room for inquisitive wildlife to enter.  All attempts to keep him from climbing up to the roof have failed, it appears he's shimmying up the drainpipes.  The drainpipes now have a spiked collar around them, but somehow he climbs up in spite of them.

At least he's been penned in, most of the attic is blocked off by a wire mesh fence.  So instead of a luxury suite he's limited to a sort of studio apartment.

It was fascinating to catch him up there (that's the lower level of the roof just above the front door).  Once he saw me he seemed to be about to climb back up that drainpipe, but then he thought better of it and curled up in the corner, it's like he decided to out wait me.  It was evening and he was headed out, but clearly wasn't interested in hopping down with me out there.  He stayed put long enough for me to bring my camera and tripod (it was getting dark fast, the exposure on this shot was 3.2 seconds) and take as many pictures as I wanted.

Eventually I went inside and watched from a front door window as he climbed down via a tree, demonstrating fairly impressive dexterity.  I tended to think raccoons were a bit less limber than that, they seem too heavy to gently lower themselves down onto the end of a branch while supporting their weight on their front legs (on the end of the branch, not a very large surface).

I'm hoping that this encounter will deter him, but I kind of doubt it.  I'm sure he knows he's living above humans, finally seeing one can't be that scary.

Date: 2008/05/05 02:14:23, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (October Mermaid @ May 05 2008,01:35)
That IS really odd.  I didn't know Kevin deleted/censored any comments over there.

He deleted my comment where I simply asked him what Sternberg had been expelled from.  I think he's carefully allowing antagonistic posts that fail to make appreciable points so that it looks like he's supporting that whole "freedom to question" thing while he deletes the questions that he can't or doesn't dare answer.

Quote
Heck, he let one of my banal ones get through that added nothing to the conversation whatsoever, so anything should be fair.


Exactly.  If it adds nothing to the conversation he can leave it in since it doesn't raise any possibly dangerous points.

Date: 2008/05/07 22:39:45, Link
Author: Nomad
If you can get a video of a parrot saying "evolander" onto youtube I think we'd all get a good hearty laugh out of that.

More to the point we wouldn't need wee Willy Wallace anymore.  Evolander is really the only unique thing he says... what's that, Keith says it too?

Okay...  well, still, my opinion stands.  I mean you could ask the parrot who fired Sternberg and get exactly the same response as well.

You could also probably train a parrot to say:
Quote
Rumors
Investigation into religious beliefs
Divorce

Date: 2008/05/10 01:46:07, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (didymos @ May 09 2008,16:30)
WRT to the camera link:  there really are genuine CCD devices using a pinhole though, right?

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article....le.html

Although if you want to be pedantic the 1Ds uses a CMOS instead of a CCD sensor.

I'm guessing that most things marketed as pinhole cameras are really small cameras with small but conventional lenses meant to be used as spy cameras, hidden behind something and peering at their target through a hole.  A hole in a wall, a hole in an appliance, whatever.  But not really as small as a pin hole, it'd have to be a bit bigger.

Date: 2008/05/20 17:40:07, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (J-Dog @ May 20 2008,09:15)
It was fun to meet up with Richard, Kristine and the Enigmatic  Nomad last summer, and visit with Prof Steve-Steve and his new friend Dr. Darwin.  Trashing Richard's favorite bar later was just icing on the cake.

Yes, that's me, a mystery wrapped up in an enigma.

To maintain my mystique I won't specify exactly where I reside, just that I lurk among the suburbs of Chicago.

Date: 2008/05/22 00:37:17, Link
Author: Nomad
So...  Am I the only one who's actually enjoying the music coming out of Eurovision?

I'd briefly heard of Eurovision before, but this year after being baffled by the Dustin video I listened to some of the videos of the other country's songs.

Maybe I'm just too burned out on the crappy state of popular music in the US, I've been craving something new for a long time.  But I really liked the variety that was being offered.  I understand that a lot of people are disappointed that most of it was too poppy, but I don't care, I'm enjoying it all immensely.

I kind of dig the Greek offering, a dance number featuring some traditional Greek music samples, Portugal has a nice traditional Portuguese offering, I really liked the Ukranian song, it sounds kind of like a revamped disco number sung by a woman with an absolutely fantastic voice, the Fins offer up heavy metal, Bulgaria gives us techno-hip hop featuring a laser harp, which appears to be a real instrument... I have to admit I was even amused by the ultra corny Latvian performance of Pirates of the Sea.


I wouldn't mind seeing something like this done in the States as an alternative to American freaking Idol.

Date: 2008/05/22 04:01:57, Link
Author: Nomad
I'll check them out, but I'm really not in an acoustic mood at the moment.  I can enjoy bluegrass, but it's just not working for me right now.  I've been on an electronic music kick for a while, and it's not over yet.

Date: 2008/06/24 17:00:24, Link
Author: Nomad
Well I have an interesting option coming up.  At the end of the week I'm heading out to DC for a little good old fashioned touristy fun.  Smithsonian, here I come!

Also there'll be a few days at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, and a trip to Colonial Williamsburg as well for some historical re-enactment fun.  Also I expect to be having my brains baked to oblivion by the sun, the weather forecast is sounding hot.

But I have an option mixed in there.  Next week is the start of this big NEA (National Education Association, basically the teacher's union) convention event that's also held in DC.  I'm not a teacher or anything, my only association with it is that my mother is a member.  But that lets me get a sort of guest pass if I should want to go inside the thing.

Normally I wouldn't.  Normally I'd stay the hell away from such a concentrated gathering of politics.  But there's one thing that goes on there that I think was mentioned on Pharyngula last year.  They have space where people can set up tables to promote things, I know little about it except that every year they have these creationists set up a booth to promote creationism.  I had assumed they were following the codeword trends so that they would have been using ID and then switched to teach the controversy and then strengths and weaknesses, but I've been told they were still calling it creation science.

So I'm baffled.  It would appear that these guys are trying to get people to consider teaching something long deemed illegal.

I want to check them out.  Plus I want to see the crowd vacuum effect.  I'm also told that the crowd tends to avoid them, since they try to engage people that pass by to start feeding them the propaganda.  So what happens is the crowd stays away from them and you get a gap surrounding the table.  Like a repulsion field powered by ignorance.

I also want to get a taste of their standard arguments.  I know they've been reported to use the "I know some professor in some school somewhere that assures me that more and more scientists are starting to doubt evolution" gambit, and I'd like to know just who this professor is, what school he works at, and what his field of expertise is.

I also just want to ask them if they realize that if teachers do what they're asking them to do, they'd be breaking the law.

I'll pick up the pamphlets they're offering, and if there's any interest in this I could write up a report on them, but I don't really expect them to be anything new.  The impression I get is that they're more of a sad, pathetic holdout than a bold new attempt to subvert science education in order to promote religious indoctrination.  The current trend of academic freedom bills in state legislatures is not good.  These guys, on the other hand, I don't think even register on the radar of education subversion.

I would like to find out what the rules are regarding such exhibitions, though.  I'm a little unclear how the NEA could allow people to promote something that's illegal.

Date: 2008/06/24 19:11:05, Link
Author: Nomad
That is an interesting interpretation.  Mine had always been that they were a sort of painfully politically correct organization, and that I assumed that they must have all sorts of regulations about non discrimination.  So when some religious wackadoodles show up and want space they bend over backwards to be nice and accommodating in order to show how fair they are.

Perhaps there's a certain attempt to prevent criticism as well, I seem to recall that someone had alleged the NEA was part of the evil darwinist conspiracy because it decided what students would be taught.

Date: 2008/07/17 23:30:09, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 17 2008,22:56)
It might be a good idea to pushpin this thread to the top so that it doesn't go below the fold, or whateverthefuck the hip, succinct internet term is for that concept.

The hip Internet term would be "sticky", or to describe the process of making the thread sticky, "stickied".  Yes, another word changed into a verb.

Date: 2008/08/03 20:27:39, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Aug. 02 2008,23:56)
Good Goooooooooawahd this is the dumbest shit I have ever participated in.  makes me want to go abort a baby.


Tardalypse

not really, I couldn't give less of a damn about aborting some baby.  Just thought that this was pertinent in the (recently graffitified) discussion regarding framing etc etc etc etc etc puke.

I am in awe of your stamina.  Or patience.  Or.. whatever the hell it is that caused you to continue discussing science with.. well.. do we know that wasn't FTK using an alternate name?

I mean we have it all.  Claims of interest in science, complete absence of understanding of science, claims of being interested in both sides even as she discards all presented evidence from the other side.. and a fondness for Walt Brown and his wacky drag racing continental plates.

The story that the discussion was theoretically supposed to be about (and I did see the many attempts to discuss it instead of careening back to evolution) was equally painful.

Quote
But if there is no falsifiability, there is verifiability. It is a secret verifiability available to those who believe and obey, who “taste and see that the Lord is good.” As Bonhoeffer said, “Only those who obey can believe.” Mystery, that. And slips the net of scientific theory.


It depresses me.  Because I know that the target audience of this thing thinks that that makes sense.  The whole thing can be boiled down to "well we really have no way to prove the existence or non existence of god, but because of my magical special feelings I have proven it anyway".  But they think it's profound and use it to reinforce their belief.

Date: 2008/08/03 22:51:51, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Aug. 03 2008,21:00)
i don't know how to use the google magic to find the thread but Louis has a ridiculously funny story to the contrary of what this idiot claims regarding great danes and chihuahas.

Out of curious coincidence I found it accidentally, earlier today.  It's the first page of this thread.  I was thinking about it but wasn't actually looking for it, but there it was.  Burning the image into my brain yet again, ensuring that I will never be able to look at a chihuahua without imagining it trying to bump uglies with a female that far outside of its weight class.

Date: 2008/08/12 00:55:59, Link
Author: Nomad
A primitive human who saw an airplane for the first time might believe that it had to utilize magic to fly because he doesn't know the first thing about Bernoulli's principle.  But that doesn't mean magic is the explanation.

If you explain Bernoulli's principle, in detail, and demonstrate it using a number of simple experiments that show the effect in operation, then go into exhaustive detail on the functioning of an internal combustion engine, and then he continues to demand that it must be magic that makes planes fly, then he's clinging to his ignorance despite having the opportunity to know better.

Date: 2008/08/15 00:52:24, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 14 2008,20:12)
Feel free to add your $0.02. At least the posts go through straight away...

Mine don't appear to be...  I thought I'd sent a comment through once, but it never showed up.  I've recently sent it through again, with a bit of an addition of some more stuff that occurred to me in the interval, and it's still not appearing.

It's possible that my first post was somehow lost, or maybe I was being particularly scatterbrained and never sent it (I do that on occasion, I have a bad habit of reading multiple things at once and leaving posts or emails half written while I do so, sometimes I forget to send them).  And maybe this second time it's just taking a while to show up.

My post was no amazing revelation, I'm mostly harping on the same things other people already have commented on, but it just ticks me off.

I know, I know, someone is wrong on the Internet, big surprise.

Date: 2008/08/15 15:21:51, Link
Author: Nomad
Yes, moderation is on, but also my post did at first appear to be blocked because of the link to a site that lists some Nazi guidelines for banned books.  I removed the link and I at least got through to moderation.


I'll just repeat my favorite part, a new angle after Beast suggested that Hitler got his supposedly Darwinian thinking second hand through Haeckel.  He specifically mentioned the monists as well.  In the banned list you'll find:

"Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel)"

So they pretty much had it covered, Darwin, Haeckel, and the monists.  Darwinism was both insulted and banned.

Date: 2008/08/15 15:34:26, Link
Author: Nomad
The DNA angle intrigues me.  They can't do it themselves, I mean I don't know anything about DNA analysis but I'm under the impression you can't just stick some DNA into a USB port and scan it into your computer like you can cheap porn (or so I'm told).  They'd have to send it to a lab, and the lab would be only too aware of the attention that they'd get from being involved in such a high profile thing (like it or not, it's getting attention).

If I try to put myself into the con artist mindset, there has to be a hitch with the DNA angle somewhere.  Either they're going to really analyze something, but then never show the real report and just type up a fake document and show that, or else fabricate the report and skip the whole analysis thing in the first place.  I find option B more likely, because then no one can find the lab that did it and get a copy of the genuine report.

I dunno.. I feel that it's kind of like pro wrestling.  You know it's fake, but you want to see what they're going to do next.  We have a crappy picture of a dark mass in a box with what looks like a halloween costume head resting on top (with some additional apparent guts thrown on top for no apparent reason).  We have a standard low quality video image.  We have a high profile publicity campaign.  What next?

For the next step I vote for "Bigfoot is my baby's daddy".

Date: 2008/08/15 23:43:38, Link
Author: Nomad
Or they could have... oh, I don't know...  invited a news crew over to see their frozen monkey man, instead of releasing a picture that looks like it was taken with a Barbie brand digital camera and then stampeding straight to the secret lab and DNA tests.


Hey, this DOES sound like ID work.

Date: 2008/08/18 23:18:29, Link
Author: Nomad
Am I the only one who keeps thinking back to a classic Dominos Pizza commercial for their Bigfoot pizza?  I've looked on youtube and couldn't find it, but the routine was basically a perky pizza delivery guy arriving at the door of the average American household, and when they open the door he announces "it's bigfoot!" with the sort of enthusiasm and energy that suggests that he'd been running an IV drip of a combination of caffeine and speed.

Date: 2008/08/21 02:54:32, Link
Author: Nomad
I'm kind of with J-dog on this.  To an extent I think a prayer could be a way to focus your thoughts, a way to take a step back and take stock of your situation.  Hell, I saw a sign on a local church recently that was halfway to being an invitation to Buddhist meditation.  It said something about turning off the television and computer and sitting in the silence and knowing God.

As for the accomplishing nothing thing, well, in some situations there is nothing (more) you can do anyway, but you're left with the desire to act.

I was once in the unpleasant situation of sitting out a tornado warning in a house without a basement.  So I sat it out in the inner hallway of the house with a group of people, and waited.


I can't say I was in mortal fear of imminent death, but the feeling of complete helplessness was overpowering.  Perhaps it's wrong, but my impulse is always to get out into the open.  I want to see the damn thing coming, I want to be able to act.  Sitting in a hallway not knowing if anything is coming and unable to do anything if it was was a tough thing to deal with.

I'm not saying praying to an invisible man in the sky actually protects you, but I can understand that it could be a useful way to cope with the feelings of helplessness.

As it was, my coping mechanism was to babble at great length about anything and everything.  Really, I suspect that a quiet prayer to the invisible being in the sky of my choice would have been a lot less annoying to those around me.

On the other hand...  I listen to a lot of old time radio shows, either through archive.org or a net radio station that broadcasts that sort of thing 24 hours a day.  I've recently been catching a lot of "Family Theater".  It's curious in that it didn't have a commercial sponsor unlike most programming of the era.  It was sponsored by a religious group.  

Despite that the programming wasn't exactly the sort of vapid apologetics you'd expect from such an enterprise today(at least not always), but the beginning and end of the shows have a lot of talk about the importance of prayer.  "The family that prays together stays together" was their motto.  Instead of a commercial message they'd say that it's important for everyone to pray if we're to achieve world peace (yeah, that one worked out real well, didn't it?), and try to reinforce the idea that prayer keeps families together.  Another of the things they like to start off the radio show with is "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of".

With apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson, I admit I find that quote kind of pathetic.  It always makes me think of all the tests that show that prayer doesn't do squat.  So...  I guess that line could be correct, if it has an effect we don't know about it.

Date: 2008/08/21 03:07:06, Link
Author: Nomad
So did anyone else notice that this is coming around to bite Matthew Whitton, the police officer, in the ass?

Quote
As for Whitton, he doesn't seem to have a job to come back to in Georgia.

Asked for comment on Officer Whitton, Clayton County, Ga., Chief of Police Jeffrey Turner, corrected FoxNews.com. "You mean ex-officer Whitton."

"As soon as we saw it was a hoax," Chief Turner explained, "I filed the paperwork to terminate his employment."


source

Date: 2008/08/22 20:51:04, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Aug. 21 2008,21:39)
The wingnuts seem to be expecially vicious towards Fox. I wonder if part of it is some kind of feeling that he used to be 'one of them' when he played Alex Keaton, and now he's somehow 'betrayed' them. Plus you can tell that conservatives just enjoy bashing a disabled person.

Well to be fair, if he was in a vegetative coma they'd like him a lot more.  Then they could speak for him.

Date: 2008/09/12 20:35:42, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Lou FCD @ Sep. 12 2008,19:39)
So uh, Crazy Larry is apparently having a seizure over at Kevin Vicklund's place.

Wow.  It's like he's been coerced into adopting the no censorship policy, and is violently rebelling against it by using it as an excuse to be a grade A asshole.

I'm filled with a sudden urge to go over to his blog and be a lower level asshole.  Ya'know, put some content into it, not just type the same thing over and over again.

Oh don't worry, I won't really do it.  Mostly because I have no desire to find or look at his blog.  I do not want an insight into the mind that thinks "censorship bad, but bullying other people into not commenting good".

Date: 2008/10/11 17:22:53, Link
Author: Nomad
This just in, web advertising for the DVD release of Expelled has been sighted.  Where, you ask?  On onenewsnow.com.  To those pharynguloids out there, yes, I did find this site from when PZ linked to a poll they were running.

To those unfamiliar with the site, which appears to be run by the AFA (a group I was not too familiar with, I'm just not up on my evangelical propaganda groups), here's a sampling of their headlines on the main page:

Billy Graham celebrates his 90th birthday
Atheists fight historical right of prayer (note: this article is actually about the fight against establishing a national day of prayer, nothing to do with the right to pray)
Fighting planned parenthood's intimidation tactics
Court imposes same sex 'marriage' on state (yes, they use scare quotes around the word marriage, and at least once again in another story)
Darwinists in denial? (the blurb reads: "The Discovery Institute says a group of Darwinists who are opposing efforts by the Texas State Board of Education to allow evolution to be debated in the classroom are clinging to 19th century science in the 21st century.")
Learning to share you faith without fear
Chinese government sours on Christian music


Okay I admit, I edited out some of the blander topics like whether Elizabeth dole was in danger of losing her senate seat.


The ad describes the movie as  "the movie the liberals don't want you to see", and mentions "dvd available".  Seems kind of stilted to me.  And a little awkward since it isn't actually available yet anyway, if you click on the link it goes through to the AFA's commerce site where they're taking pre orders.  Curiously enough they call the price a "suggested donation" but you're not given a choice to alter the amount of your donation so far as I can see.

I was kind of disappointed, I was hoping it was a pay per click ad system and that my clicking would add to the promotional tab for the movie.  It looks like the AFA is probably getting at least a portion of the profits from the sales instead.

Date: 2008/10/18 20:28:35, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (bystander @ Oct. 18 2008,17:27)
I just hit refresh and I got the 57/14/29

Woah, I got the same thing.  First I got 50/25/25, then hit refresh and got 57/14/29.

How odd.

Date: 2009/01/13 04:13:57, Link
Author: Nomad
Holy Hell!  What a bunch of obsequious, cowering mice men!  Some of them recognize that putting a picture of Hitler up on a page about someone else is a bad idea, but they still defer to the authority of the others and merely suggest that multiple copies of the same Hitler picture looks a bit silly, and perhaps it would be better off further down the page.

Happily some of them eventually were feeling feisty enough to post something like this:
   
Quote
I think Conservative's a force for good. Say what you want about the man, he's got style. --Wikinterpreter

   Yes, a style that involves a lot of Hitler pictures. Corry 17:08, 6 November 2008 (EST)


And it gets better.  The talk returns to the subject of the video, which some protested because they knew the interview had been arranged under false pretenses, and we get this:
 
Quote
But all the fuss conceals an even bigger bit of dishonesty. Dawkins and his ilk continually brand intelligent design as "Creationism", on the grounds that ID developed out of Creation Science. They refuse to respect the careful attention ID proponents have taken to remove God completely from the design argument. They pretend not to see it. That is what is so infuriating about these deceivers.

They censor the facts, because they have no counterargument. Science should be a marketplace of ideas..

Date: 2009/01/17 21:59:48, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Jan. 17 2009,15:00)
2) I love a challenge, and a few of you definitely provide that.

Okay.  I challenge you to explain from what Sternberg was expelled from.  I know you've been asked that many times before without response, but perhaps it needs to be asked in the form of a challenge.

Date: 2010/06/15 06:22:24, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (carlsonjok @ June 15 2010,05:36)
EDIT: I will say that the video quality seems pretty good.  The HD is incredible, but I don't think my computer has the horsepower for showing HD since it plays back a little bit slow and sometimes the audio repeats.  But, even in 640x480 format, the video quality is pretty good.

I have no real advice for free video editing software.  But for basic playback I can point you in the direction of VLC, or video lan client.  Get it and change one setting.  Under the tools menu, select preferences, and from there select the "input and codecs" tab and set the "skip the loop filter for H.264 decoding" to all.

This may hurt the playback quality some, but where other programs (such as quicktime) may stutter and stumble when trying to play back the 1080 HD video files, VLC will have a better chance of playing it smoothly.

Note that quicktime can be a little clumsy when trying to play 1080P video files shot by my camera on my quad core desktop system.  I'm just not sure quicktime is cut out for handling them adequately in the first place.

Date: 2013/03/20 06:52:40, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Mar. 19 2013,16:42)
 
Quote (OgreMkV @ Mar. 19 2013,16:20)
I know for a fact that you can't distinguish between a designed string and a random string either.

Which means that any attempt to inject "intelligent design" is doomed to failure.  if you can't tell the difference between random and designed, then how can you possibly tell the difference between evolved and designed?

Answer.  You can't.  No one can.  No ID proponent has ever shown that this is even theoretically possible.


Correct answer: I don't have to answer that. The premise only requires explaining how "intelligent cause" works.

Gary, this has been your stumbling block through these hundred plus pages.  Others have tried to clue you in on this but were apparently too subtle for you.  I fear nothing short of a nuclear powered megaphone could avoid being too subtle for you, but I suffer from "someone is wrong on the Internet" syndrome and must make the effort anyway.

What you are saying in the quoted bit there, essentially, is that you don't have to demonstrate that your "theory" describes anything that happens in reality.  You think you just have to describe this process that you imagine happens, and come up with a crude model of it.  And that's it.  That is what you think science is.

That is not it, Gary.  This is a problem.  In the past, when this has been brought up and you were asked to provide support that molecular intelligence was a real thing, you instead demanded that other people come up with a better model of it.  Can't you see that this is madness?  If I came to you with my brand new theory which included a computer model of a warbleflange, and you expressed skepticism that a warbleflange was even a real thing that existed, and I insisted that the only way to disprove my theory was to come up with a better model of a warbleflange, can't you see the problem there?  I almost want to speculate that you think you are some kind of creator god, and that in writing your computer program you have made molecular intelligence exist.  Instead of the Judeo-Christian god speaking things into existence, you act as if you have coded them into existence.

In stating that you can't distinguish "molecular intelligence" from random chance, you have effectively conceded that you can't distinguish between a reality in which molecular intelligence exists, and a reality in which it does not.  You say that this is not a problem, that you just have to keep working away at your model and eventually technology will allow you to somehow apply your model to reality.

Your very first step is to develop that technology so that the difference can be demonstrated.  So long as molecular intelligence is indistinguishable from no molecular intelligence, you have zip, zilch, and nada.  You have a fanciful idea of what you think is going on beyond the fringes of perceivable reality.  Not, and I don't know how I can stress this adequately, a theory.  No matter how complicated you make this idea, now matter how many embellishments you throw in, so long as you cannot make a connection between your idea and reality, it is just that, a fanciful notion.

The fact that you have a computer program that shows what you think is happening is no more proof that you are correct then the video game Skyrim is proof that dragons are real.  And, again, unless you think it would be reasonable for me to demand that you give me a superior dragon slaying simulator in order to show that Skyrim fails to accurately model reality, you have a great deal of work ahead of you before anyone should be expected to take you seriously.

Date: 2013/04/10 17:46:01, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 10 2013,01:14)
The only thing that matters is the guess being a separate circuit wired in another way not using (the only source of statistical randomness) a "random generator" used to take a "random guess". The discerning is in the code/circuit, and how close to biology it is becomes a secondary concern that does not change the fact that it needs to be in the computer model for it to behave as in biology.


Gary,. let's say I have a computer simulation that models the aerodynamics of airplanes.  But my model is unable to account for the lifting action of the wings unless I add in an angel holding the plane up.  What if I were to tell you that whether these angels really exist or not is a "secondary concern" to whether my simulation makes the planes fly?  Would the fact that my model required angels lifting airplanes up to behave realistically be a hint to you that there's a problem with it, or would that prove to your satisfaction that angels make airplanes fly?

Date: 2013/04/12 17:26:34, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 12 2013,03:21)
Changing the subject to snakes and “evolution” does not help explain how “intelligent cause” works. But knowing the certain features found in all common cognitive models is a prerequisite for understanding how the “intelligent” part works, which in turn very much helps explain how “intelligent cause” works, so I'll by working on that, not a red-herring.

Perhaps this needs to be explained to you, Gary.  They're getting bored.  They're talking amongst themselves because you keep buggering off in order to escape the questions that keep piling up, only to return later and ignore everything to try to make the conversation into what you wish it was.

In any case, let me remind you that the question is not "how does intelligent cause work on the molecular level".  I know that's the question you very much want to answer, but that's not the question.  The question you first have to address is "does intelligent cause even occur on the molecular level".  Every time you've been asked that you copy and paste the same flow charts that are supposed to explain the processes of meat brains.  That doesn't help you unless you've discovered meat brains dwelling at the nucleus of every atom.

You're so close to getting it, Gary.  To use your favored terminology, you have the circuits there in your head, you just need to connect the right ones together.  You think you model explains how something works in reality, but you readily admit that your model does things differently than reality does.  You desperately need to get those two concepts in your brain connected.

Date: 2013/04/14 07:40:18, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, this is just adorable.  You quoted my comment accusing you of buggering off to avoid addressing the questions that you dared not answer and then returning and trying to redirect the discussion to what you'd prefer to be discussing.  And then you did exactly that.  I mean it's like you're not even self aware, you give the appearance of lacking the very thing you claim to be modelling.  You still haven't explained what molecular intelligence is supposed to be, save that it's supposed to act somehow like a meat brain.  But still you're back to posting flow charts that are supposed to model meat brains and telling us how your model is going to be just amazing at modelling meat brains as well.

Except, again, you claim to not be modelling meat brains.  You claim to be modelling a phenomenon that occurs down to the level of, at least, individual molecules.

Your cart is so far ahead of your horse that you're going to have to travel back to the time of Pangea in order to have enough contiguous land to separate the two.  You are still modelling something that only occurs in your imagination.  Or rather, you're crudely modelling several things like insect behavior and are still inexplicably claiming that the same model applies to the level of chemical interactions between individual molecules.

I dunno, maybe you're taking reductionism to an astonishing new level, only you're doing it backwards.  So that instead of thinking that basic physics should predict every single emergent phenomenon, you're saying that a specific emergent phenomenon is operative all the way down to some kind of fundamental level.  Hmm.. if that's the case, dare I ask to what level you think intelligent cause acts?  Is it at work on the quantum level?

Date: 2013/04/14 19:23:39, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 14 2013,17:21)
It's one of those big-questions that inherently teases humanity towards science. I'm not worried about that debate going away, any time soon.

Well you've got a forum full of people trying to tease you towards the science, but it hasn't worked yet.

Yes, there is the "debate" being maintained by such people as Deepak Chopra about some kind of vague, new agey intelligence at work on the fundamental levels (there's a reason I asked you if it functions on the quantum level).  But I wouldn't call new age self help books spouting self affirmation bullshit science.  I'd call it fleecing the rubes.

But I've got news for you.  If you want in on that sweet sweet rube dollar, you're going to have to have something more than googly eyed robo insects and unlabeled bar graphs.  The creationists and their intelligent design division tell the religious what they want to hear, for them it's nothing more than saying every scientist is wrong and the book of mythology is right.  But you, you don't even have a coherent message.  Now if you played up the quantum consciousness thing and started trying to say that your computer program proves that the universe has a fundamental intelligence that people can control with their thoughts then you can maybe try horning in on the turf of The Secret.  You'd have to face being a shameless huckster and give up trying to get accolades from serious scientists, but let's face it, you're already halfway there.  You value feedback from amateur visual basic coders more than you do scientists who deal with the field you pretend to be addressing.  So just get used to your audience being the Oprah set instead of Planet Sourcecode, polish up your writing, and, I assume, your speaking (that'll be a hard part, you can't con people if they can't understand you), and set out after the new age gravy train.

It's got to work better than what you're trying to do here.

I'm not really hoping you do this, the world has enough con men spouting toxic bullshit, but at the moment that's closer to what you're doing than science.  You have a forum full of people earnestly trying to get you guided in the right direction, but you don't want to hear them.  They're NEVER going to praise you for your scientific accomplishments if you keep doing what you are because you're not making any scientific accomplishments.  It would take less change on your part to go after the self help market.  You could scrap your entire program and come up with a genetic algorithm and get a pat on the back, others here have made toy GAs that have been used for various purposes.  But you don't want to do that.  Embrace Chopra-woo and you could continue your quest of inserting intelligence into places where it doesn't belong and actually get a little positive feedback for doing it.

Date: 2013/04/15 20:20:43, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 14 2013,23:41)
Systems Biology is already explaining the components needed for what you are explaining. Here's where sensors and such are at

No, no, no.  You're being hyper literal again, and I don't think you even see what it's making you do.  The page says that the chemical pathway "senses" things, so you conclude that the chemicals are intelligent?  Or maybe you think that the fact that both are represented by flow charts means they both possess the same fundamental property?

Some traffic lights sense and respond to stimuli, but it's not intelligent.  Heck, their operation could even be represented by flow charts.  So would you consider a traffic light that gives a left turn signal when there are cars in the left turn lane to be intelligent?

At this point what you've done is redefined the concept of intelligence to mean a process that does something useful.  Or perhaps something useful specifically for a living thing.  But if that's the case, why all the messing around with cognitive function flow charts?  You've just abandoned all that.

Instead what we find is that, using your definition, evolution as understood by modern science is intelligent simply by definition.  But not a single thing is changed except the word you want to scribble in to the textbooks.  Natural selection would be called intelligent selection, and a random mutation becomes an intelligent mutation when it happens to do something beneficial.  You admitted as much when you stated you couldn't tell the difference between an intelligent mutation and a random one many pages back, but insisted that intelligence was at work there anyway.

Date: 2013/04/15 23:26:37, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 15 2013,20:27)
 
Quote (Nomad @ April 15 2013,20:20)
 
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 14 2013,23:41)
Systems Biology is already explaining the components needed for what you are explaining. Here's where sensors and such are at

No, no, no.  You're being hyper literal again, and I don't think you even see what it's making you do.  The page says that the chemical pathway "senses" things, so you conclude that the chemicals are intelligent?  Or maybe you think that the fact that both are represented by flow charts means they both possess the same fundamental property?

You're also being deceitful. I'm not even going to bother with your insults, creep.

Someone with a recorded history of, shall we say, making untrue statements and then running away from them accuses me of being deceitful.  He then accuses me of employing insults when so far as I can tell I've done no such thing.  Oh, sure, I've made unflattering observations, but I'm willing to defend them with specific citations if Gary wishes.  And then he insults me, calling me a creep.  A creep because I read the ideas that he's put out there, claiming to look for advice, and give advice.


Gary, seriously man, stop and think.  I'm assuming you feel my observation that you appear to lack self awareness is an insult, but in one single paragraph you accused me of two things that presumably you feel are bad things, and then did both of them yourself.

So why are you here, Gary?  You're not here to get honest feedback, you've ignored 99% of the feedback you've gotten unless you could use it as a starting point to launch into another explanation of how awesome your program is.  I don't think you're here to act ridiculous, I don't imagine that your goal is to leave a record of your name being associated with knee jerk hypocrisy.

You're here to live the fantasy of being the possessor of special knowledge, aren't you?  You want to soak in the smug satisfaction of knowing something that all these smart people don't, so you can reassure yourself that really you're better than them.  You insult and you lie and you stamp your little feet demanding attention, and when this behavior is pointed out to you and you're taken to task for it you climb right up on your cross and complain about being a victim, because if you're a victim that must really mean that you're right.

Gary, I don't begrudge a man a vivid fantasy life.  But maybe you don't want to act it out on a public forum using your real name and leaving an effectively permanent record.

Date: 2013/04/23 05:01:35, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 23 2013,04:11)
I don't want to make a big issue of it, especially since Wesley has a way of making what's already amusingly weird-science even weirder. It's in my opinion over the line, but I have to realize that none here were prepared to have to accept defeat to a Theory of Intelligent Design, and maybe never will.

Gary, you have lied about people.  When your lies were pointed out to you, you cried persecution and lied some more.  To many here, that is over the line.  What you think Wesley has done that is over the line is less clear, except perhaps to not shower you with praise.  The bit about not being prepared to accept defeat is pure projection on your part.


I've been away for a few days, so let's see what you've been up to.  You are still trying to argue that a model of a multicellular creature will demonstrate that individual molecules are gifted with intelligence.  But now you say that further discussion about your multicellular modelling project will "derail" the thread that you started off boasting about your multicellular models, so you have been asking for help elsewhere and returned only to boast about what a brilliant coder you are and to bask in your glory.

Derail isn't the word you're looking for.  You know that you'll lose in any discussion about details, because there are people in this thread that know far more about anything you're trying to deal with then you do.  So you're avoiding discussing the details.  Remember that bit about not being prepared to accept defeat?  That you have to engage in behavior like this should be a hint to you.

The best part, though, is that your model was supposed to be using cognitive function models developed by professionals.  You kept copying and pasting a handful of cognition flow charts developed by other people to try to deflect criticism.  "See", you were trying to say, "other people with professional experience agree with me".  Well now you're dealing with a plant.  No brain.  No cognition.  Find a flowchart from a cognitive scientist dealing with the workings of plant brains.  I dare you.

Date: 2013/04/23 22:21:51, Link
Author: Nomad
I'm waiting, Gary.  Let's see your cognitive model flowcharts that are meant to apply to plants.

Failing that, you have to justify how modelling a plant is meant to show that a multicellular plant model is supposed to demonstrate that individual molecules possess intelligence.  You have to justify this on your own, without running to people who have done research that has nothing to do with what you're trying to argue, and trying to claim that these models of complex meat based brains apply equally well to single molecules.  Not single cells, single fucking molecules.

Otherwise your plant simulation is meaningless to anything you've tried to argue here, and is entirely off topic and is a derail.  We know how you hate derails.  Get with the subject, Gary.

Date: 2013/04/23 23:13:58, Link
Author: Nomad
I give you points for bluster.  But, well, see, once again, these were justified by referring back to people that proposed vaguely similar looking flowcharts to explain how meat based brains did things.  You always dodged having to explain or justify anything you said by referring back to people that actually have expertise, by referring to what they'd said.  But they were dealing with meat brains, you're now firmly out of their playground.

You're modelling plants now.  Either you justify them ON YOUR OWN, or else you cite references to cognitive science botanists.

Date: 2013/04/24 01:28:56, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 24 2013,00:47)
Quote (Driver @ April 23 2013,23:25)
"Neural/hormone to brain" and "Neural/hormone from brain, To controlled cells, muscle" applies to plants?

This is the first time anyone needed one exclusively for plants. And the theory already explains the differences, mainly no multicellular intelligence. So just picture that level and animal muscles not being there, and you will have a plant.

And no brain.  Do try to keep up, Gary.  No brain.  The theory that deals with intelligence already deals with the fact that there's no possible source for intelligence.  Yes.  I imagine you're mere minutes away from posting your botanism cognition flowcharts.

In other words:  A phenomenon only known to result from a meat brain, minus a meat brain, equals what you have in plants.  And you see no problem here as of yet.

Date: 2013/04/24 02:22:44, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 24 2013,01:45)
Science has no need for personal operational definitions for intelligence which make scientifically useless assumptions that ignore Cellular and Molecular Intelligence research which already exists, that works fine in my research too.

What "molecular intelligence research"?  In case you have forgotten, people have been asking you for this for only the, oh, what was it, the past over one hundred pages of discussion.  Every time anyone asked you copy and pasted the flow chart created by someone studying meat brains, NOT the brains on individual molecules.

You don't get to just say that "oh yeah, people have been studying this but I was too busy to actually provide citations for the thing that I've been talking about endlessly for the past months".

Quick reminder there, Gary.  Citing research into biological processes not burdened with irrational references to intelligence and saying "oh yeah, and the molecules are intelligent too" does not equal "the molecules are intelligent".  You don't get to cite real research, append your own irrational assumptions, and cite the research as supporting the things that go on in your imagination.

Date: 2013/04/24 03:58:13, Link
Author: Nomad
I'll let the others go over this in detail, but looking at it in brief, I'm not impressed.  It states it has three objectives:

Understand human memory and learning:

Well we can ignore that one, can't we, that humans can remember things is not in dispute.

Understand the principles of molecular computing:

Hmm.. no.. still no problem there.  I mean I've seen references to various projects that aim to use biological molecules as the central cores for computers instead of silicon based semiconductor junctions.  Kind of lacking in "intelligence" however, simply another way to do what we have already.

Understanding the technologies for molecular information processing:

Kind of the same thing, surely.  Information is a popularly abused concept in the intelligent design world, but I see no particular problem with this objective.  Information is processed all the time in systems that no one argues possess intelligence.

Nope.  I'm not seeing any evidence of molecular intelligence here, Gary.  Care to try again?  I mean, unless you want to admit that your concept of molecular intelligence is the same thing as modern chemistry but with the word intelligence crammed into places it doesn't belong.

Date: 2013/04/24 19:09:14, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 24 2013,10:35)
I am not going to be forever confined to a forum of bullies who demand that I run in endless circles for them until I drop dead. Either get current with what is going on in science, or stay out of it…

Hang on a sec.  You're implying that you are in some form confined to this forum.

Your participation in this forum is voluntary, is it not?  I mean you came here of your own volition.  You seem to have some problems with your definition of intelligence, but surely your definition of human intelligence includes free will.  There are, presumably, no locks on your browser window, you admit as much when you report seeking out alternative fora to get feedback on your program.

You came here asking for the input.  You wanted to show off your awesome idea, and you pretended to be interested in benefiting from the experience of those present in order to improve your program.  But at every turn you've disrespected those who tried to give you advice and tried to turn the discussion back to how awesome your idea was.  Well I think it's clear, no one is going to tell you how awesome it is.  There are many things you'd have to do first, real work that you've tried to shirk that has to be done, a real theory that has to be formed and tested.  In all likelihood you'd go through all that work and find that you're wrong in any case.

You don't want to do that, nor do you want to make use of the collective experience of the members of this forum.  You want to get your ego stroked, and that's not going to happen here, you're going to be laughed at.  I doubt you're a masochist, I doubt you're in it to make people laugh.

So why are you still here?  What digital handcuffs keep you bound to this thread and coming back for more when you compare what goes on here to being tantamount to destroying your life?

Date: 2013/04/25 19:36:22, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 25 2013,00:36)
As it turned out, my stay in this forum resulted in others becoming aware of the defamatory science-stopping tactics being used by Anti-ID protesters. You got what you asked for, therefore my mission was accomplished.

Therefore you'll go now, right?

Woops, no, you won't, you're doing the same things you've been doing all along in this forum.  Nope, that wasn't your mission.

 
Quote
The function of a model is also to test the predictions of a theory. Models also include boats/ships that are for show or to be tested in water, aircraft that are tested in wind tunnels, and millions of other things which can be modeled including humans (dolls).


Almost true, but with one fault.  I find it interesting that you exclusively listed actual physical models in defense of your computer model.  Why not mention, say, a computer model used to research the behavior of those objects?  Maybe this is your hyper literal mind at work again, maybe you honestly believe that a computer model of something is exactly the same as a physical model, maybe the idea of an inaccurate model doesn't occur to you.  Or maybe you understand exactly the burden of proof that lies upon you and you're trying to shortcut it with this little sleight of hand.

As to computer models, let's take computational fluid dynamics.  It's used to model the way air moves over airplanes and such, it's been tested and found to be accurate enough and is now extensively used by basically any player in the aerospace industry.  It's important enough that the companies that use it have invested big bucks in supercomputer systems, do you think they'd have done that without testing it to make sure it works first?


You have a model that you are terrified of testing to see if it works, and you want to leap straight to investigating the nature of reality with it.  You're trying to take a shortcut.  It's not that you're lazy, it's that you're too committed to it to risk falsifying it.  Maybe even in some dark recess of your mind you suspect that you're wrong and are already maneuvering to deny the possibility of ever confirming that suspicion.  At which point you've denied ever actually entering the realm of science and confined yourself to the crackpot realm for life.

Let's think about computer modelling of aircraft again, Gary.  Imagine I took my computer model of angels lifting airplanes into the air and took it to Boeing, and demanded that they begin using it to design aircraft because it was better than what they're using.  Imagine they asked me for validation of my model against known reality.  Imagine if I said this in response to them:

Quote
Asking me to "Show us how you model that which is known" could take hundreds or thousands of hours, which I don't have, and be pointless anyway.


Yes, Gary.  Imagine if I'd stated that it was pointless to demonstrate that my model works before demanding that it be used seriously.  I'd bet you could imagine them treating me almost exactly as you've been treated in this thread.  In that instance, I bet you could understand why.

Why can't you understand it when you employ the same behavior?

Date: 2013/04/25 23:04:35, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (OgreMkV @ April 25 2013,21:18)
Just out of curiosity, are you going to spend 4-5 pages arguing about various logical fallacies you think are being used against you ?

- OR -

Are you going to actually talk about the actual scientific things that you are getting wrong?

In a delicious act of irony, he put emphasis on a dictionary definition of ad hominem.  He emphasized the part about using insults instead of responding to the contentions that have been made.

So yes, Gary, the master of lack of self awareness, will copy and paste a definition of a fallacy and focus on the part that involves avoiding responding to contentions, in order to avoid responding to contentions.

He's lied about people he accused of lying about him.  He's insulted people he's accused of insulting him.  I look forward to what thing he'll next do to people and then accuse them of doing to him.

Date: 2013/04/25 23:21:49, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 25 2013,23:03)
 
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ April 25 2013,15:32)
Gary might find this useful:


Everyone in this forum is OK with this?

A "theory" is a fact with evidence behind it that has been repeatedly confirmed and a "fact" is essentially the same thing but may be modified or even discarded tomorrow?

I'm mostly okay with it, but would have put emphasis on phrasing things differently.  Fact is closer to "single data point".  If my thermometer says it's 62 degrees outside, that's a fact.  The color temperature of a CFL bulb I just installed in a hall light?  That's a fact.

The explanation behind the climate processes that resulted in the temperature being 62 degrees?  That trends towards theory.  The concept of black body radiation that is used to come up with the measurement of the color temperature comes from a larger body of knowledge explaining how light works.  That again is the realm of theory.

Read it again, you missed a rather important distinction.  Theory is EXPLANATION, it's the HOW.  A fact is a correct observation.

As to the point at hand, I'd like to see HOW an explanation of various words used in the field of science can be perceived as an insult used in an ad hominem.  You think "you're part of the problem" stated towards people that abuse scientific terms is an insult?

I don't think you want to understand this, but I'll take a stab at it.  If I say "your understanding of scientific terms is wrong because you're an idiot", that's an ad hominem.  Saying that you're an idiot because you refuse to understand basic terms and persist in using the wrong terms after being corrected isn't.  It may be accurate to call it an insult, but the fact remains that you've been demonstrated to be incorrect.

And I'll say it again, the fact that you're avoiding discussing the way in which you're wrong by focusing on a dictionary definition and stressing the part about avoiding addressing the points in contention is amazing.  You owe at least a half a dozen people here new irony meters.

Date: 2013/04/26 19:09:05, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 26 2013,13:25)
I already proved that I'm getting the job done right.

It's time to compare the Gary of now with the Gary of one or two days ago.  Now, you tell us that you've already done it.  A few days ago, you said:

 
Quote
Asking me to "Show us how you model that which is known" could take hundreds or thousands of hours, which I don't have, and be pointless anyway.


Which is basically saying "I can't do the job, and there's no reason for me to do it anyway".

Gary, your vague threats of legal action impress no one.  You should have learned when you made them the first time.

Your take on it now is amazing.  You feel you're entitled to be paid for the time you've spent obsessing over something you made up.  Exactly how much of your life has been spent trying to take shortcuts like this?  You've already made it clear you think that you shouldn't have to do any of the work of testing your idea before you have praise heaped upon you, now you think you should have money heaped upon you too?

And BTW, you still haven't explained how trying to explain the definitions of basic terms is an ad hominem to you.  I suspect you know that, you know you lost that argument just like you lost every single other one you started, but rather than accept it you're going to try to change the subject.  Because you're intellectually honest like that.  Saying "you're defining terms specifically to stop me from getting rich" does not come anywhere near "you're using an attack on my character to avoid addressing the issues at hand".

Gary, this has gone beyond amusing.  This is not healthy for you.  You've stated several times that you feel that this thread has been a direct threat on your livelihood.  That is only true in the sense that you're robbing me of money because you're not throwing hundred dollar bills at me in exchange for my time spent trying to point out your mistakes.  Otherwise, you're wasting your time trying to get people to praise you by insulting them repeatedly.  Why you think that this will work is beyond me, but at this point even you have to see that it's a lost cause.  Your fantasies of somehow baiting people into blurting out the forbidden knowledge that you can use in a court case to finally show them all that you're right is just that, a fantasy.  It doesn't matter whether your wife agrees or not.

Go pick up another hobby that's more fulfilling, Gary.  Or else take a second job in your spare time to try to help make ends meet.  Assuming that you're actually doing real work and not trying to take shortcuts constantly like you have here, I'm sorry that you can't get fair pay for it.  I know the country is going down the toilet with regards to that, and I'm no happier about it than you are.  But raging against a forum full of people who are laughing at your hypocritical behavior is not going to get the bills paid, nor is it going to give you any sense of personal satisfaction.

Date: 2013/04/27 05:24:23, Link
Author: Nomad
Ya'know what, Gary, fine.  You do that.  You go to court and demand that a local school district teach your fanciful notion in the curriculum, AND that you be paid for your time spent dreaming it up.

I'm as sick of your nonsense as anyone, but I don't particularly wish to encourage you to impoverish your family by paying for a lawsuit with no chance to succeed to put an end to it.  But you won't listen to anything else, so fine.  Do it.  Stop talking about it, stop threatening, stop whining and insulting and then trying to be cute and linking to music videos.  You failed to do the work to develop your idea, you failed to do anything to test it, you failed to convince anyone.  Apparently the only thing you have left to do is file a frivolous lawsuit, so do it.

But at least you have to understand that you actually have to DO something to make this happen.  You don't get to waste time for another hundred pages before announcing that you won and start demanding payment.  You actually have to get a lawyer and pay him.  You have to construct some kind of argument, and even with the help of a lawyer who can construct coherent statements you're going to have trouble there.

And this is the big thing.  You have to go to court and act like an adult.  The other side's lawyer will question you.  You will have to actually answer questions, not throw insults and run away.  You don't get to disappear, saying you have better things to do, and then come back and announce that you already answered them.  Lying in this forum merely reflects poorly on you, lying in court is called perjury.  You will have to answer specific questions, if you decide to ignore them and answer the questions you wish had been asked the judge will become very cross with you.  And he'll be able to do a lot more to you than laugh at you.

Date: 2013/04/27 22:24:00, Link
Author: Nomad
So apparently what Gary intends to do is play courtroom in the forum.  Yep, he really does intend to waste time for another hundred pages before announcing that he won and demanding that everyone give him money for his imaginary theory that was recognized by his imaginary court case.  I imagine he intends to use his imaginary supporters as expert witnesses in the court case.

Gary, that's not interesting.  Discussing the merits of your fanciful notion or your computer model was interesting to me.  I learned things, not so much from you as from the commentary presented against your ideas.

Watching you hold pretend people's court is going to get old fast.  You are in no place to act tough and demand people answer your questions.  You're running away from pages full of questions that you dare not answer.  Your tough guy act is ludicrous, but it's running out of amusement value.  When you play lawyer you're going to lose contact with reality entirely, and at that point there's nothing for me to learn watching you flail about.  There's at least a little ground to cover first, on issues such as standing, but I don't imagine that will last long.

Hire a real lawyer, get a real court date, face a real judge who will nail your hide to the wall the first time you try your tired games.  Or if you want to play pretend, play Phoenix Wright.

Date: 2013/04/29 20:15:14, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 29 2013,08:45)
My statements are easily supported by simply asking this forum for a better explanation for how intelligence and intelligent cause works, as science here requires. All else that is said is avoiding that scientific obligation, that also is on you, not just me.

In other words, your fanciful notion that you insist is a theory could easily be explained if we'd just ask someone else about it.

Exactly what of this notion is supposed to be yours?  When asked for any and all detail, you keep linking to the work of others.  What is your contribution, beyond scribbling "in molecules" onto other people's flowcharts?

No, seriously, science requires that other people explain your idea, figure out what it really means and how it works so that you can have praise heaped upon you and money piled at your feet?  That's how you think it works?

I've got this original tragedy that I've written, it's about a young man and a young woman that fall in love, but come from two feuding families that will never let them live happily.  Oh yeah, and they're robots.  If you'd like to see the script all you have to do is look up Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, he basically explains how my story goes.  Except they're robots.

But it's my idea, and I've spent my life up until this point writing it.  And I'm considering suing the local theater group to force them to use it, and to pay me for the privilege.

Date: 2013/04/30 21:29:37, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 30 2013,10:29)
There is no substitute for being where the people who program AI and cognitive models including (not just for biology) math-fractals with a model of your own for others to get ideas from, for their models. That is why you are also being answered with what cognitive scientists and others want to see, that I'm now programming. The model and theory being useful and not much of an issue anymore speaks for itself, where science is truly spoken therefore can be understood...

And those people are totally on board with using their cognitive science concepts to describe the behavior of individual molecules, right?

There's something that I'm trying to get at here that you're either missing, or are trying very hard to ignore.  You've worked yourself into a corner.  You claim to have spent decades developing this concept.  You've recently claimed that you should be paid for your work on the subject.

But when pressed for details, all you can do is cite the work of others.  Now you and I both know that these others don't support your notion at all, models of complex emergent systems do not apply to something that's about as simple as you can get.  At least I hope you know that.  But let's pretend that they fully support you, that they've been building models of molecular intelligence all this time.  They really are the experts in molecular intelligence that you claim support you every time you're questioned.

So then it's their work, not yours.  You've got nothing.  You're trying to steal their work and pass it off as your own.  You're a thief, and the only lawsuit in sight should be against you for plagiarism.

Date: 2013/04/30 23:02:04, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Woodbine @ April 30 2013,22:43)
Quote
Programming break over! Back to finishing the eyes. Which reminds to say that no Quack I have to stay on this track, but the latest protest at PSC but model still there with it not going past that is all you really need to hold you in what happens in feedback, where it ends then that's it issue all over for good. But in keeping the model in-spirit with what it in culture expresses it needs to somehow be cotton-eyed with a glowing screen like this:

Utter gibberish.

I'm going to raise the suggestion that he is the most elaborate Poe I've ever encountered.

No, seriously, that is true gibberish.  He spends a lot of his time spouting stuff that could have been generated by gibberish generators.

But does anyone remember a long time ago, when the discussion turned to sex for some reason, and suddenly he got coherent?  It was like the fog was lifted and he could construct entirely meaningful sentences.  He demonstrated an understanding of basic forms of humor and seemed like a totally different person.

I got the distinct feeling he was winking at us.

Date: 2013/05/03 07:06:16, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 03 2013,02:01)
Where you get the molecular intelligence level going in a model the other levels emerge on their own and can go past multicellular to collective intelligence that is working out to have the same systematics, where we can become more humanly "confident" in collective memory data stored in textbooks, internet, religion, art and all else in human culture.

Gary, this is starting to sound suspiciously like the Gaia concept.  You've just added an extra layer at the bottom end, so that individual life forms may possess intelligence and may form a collective super intelligence, but the individual molecules in their body are also intelligent.  Somehow.  I hesitate to ask, but do individual atoms have intelligence that they build into greater intelligences when forming molecules?  Do subatomic particles have intelligence?  How far down does the rabbit hole go, and, most importantly, DO YOU HAVE A SHRED OF EVIDENCE FOR ANY OF THIS?

Date: 2013/05/04 18:08:24, Link
Author: Nomad
So, about that E=mc^2 denialism, umm...

How exactly did this happen:
http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci....140.htm

An Argonne national laboratory run "ask a scientist" site that says that compressing a spring increases its mass because of the aforementioned formula?  The hell?

Date: 2013/05/05 02:08:44, Link
Author: Nomad
Oookay..  <frantic googling ensues>

Woops.  I'd swear I was specifically taught that that formula only applied to nuclear reactions, that chemical and other forms of potential energy didn't do that at all.

I appear to have entered a parallel dimension in which conservapedia has taught me something.

Date: 2013/05/05 22:39:27, Link
Author: Nomad
Still waiting on the evidence that individual molecules possess a degree of intelligence, Gary.  Evidence based on the behavior of molecules in the real world, not in your imagination.

Date: 2013/05/07 05:01:02, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 06 2013,14:41)
The computer model already has a close enough approximation to what the papers are describing to be biologically relevant, especially for predicting primordial development.

Talk is cheap.  Prove it.

No, I don't mean cite some paper that you don't understand and claim without evidence that it supports you.  I mean devise a way to predict the way that your model should behave, a way that is based on observed reality, and then see what your model does.

And while you're at it, explain how a toy model of an insect brain is of any relevance to your claim that molecules are intelligent.  Since that's your claim, right?  I'm still baffled that you keep focusing on a model of meat brain intelligence, composed of many, many molecules, to prove that individual molecules are also intelligent.  Surely you should be modelling individual molecules, with a system that has them behaving in ways contrary to currently understood chemistry.  Then you could test that, and.. oh yeah, right, you've admitted that intelligent molecules would behave exactly the same as unintelligent molecules.  You already gave the game away.  The only observable difference to you is that you slap the word "intelligent" onto them.

Why are you still here?  For what you're currently doing, at best you could create an accurate simulation of other people's models which would be irrelevant to your fanciful claims.  At best, mind you, I don't believe you could manage even that.  You have no explained course of action that would lead to you ever supporting your concept of molecular evolution.

In your fantasy you are a science teacher as well as leading edge theorist.  You translate this into reality by copying and pasting descriptions of insect eyes into the comments of a computer program, a place where few will ever look.

Dude, you seriously need to stop and think about what you're doing.  Do I really need to explain that to educate people you need a medium intended for broad circulation?  The comments on a visual basic program are not the mass media, no matter how deluded you are, no matter how important you think your program is.

And BTW, how's that imaginary lawsuit coming?

Date: 2013/05/07 22:33:34, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 07 2013,19:15)

   
Quote

handwaving

Pertaining to empty gesturing, with little substance behind it; vague.

Frantic or conspicuous gesturing (during an argument etc.), especially as contrasted with a lack of underlying substance or meaning; empty gesturing.


Yes, Gary, hand waving is truly terrible.  Why imagine how long this thread would be if you focused on linking to other people's work rather than dealing with what you're doing.  For that matter, imagine how long it would be taking to demonstrate the molecules are intelligent if you chose to spend your time trying to model cognitive function in things that no one denies have cognitive function.

And yes, Gary, imagine how much time you'd be wasting if you chose to link to an experiment focusing on a particular aspect of evolution when your models deny evolution outright.  That would be madness, trying to claim that a finer point of how evolution works, a mechanism that couldn't happen without evolution, proves that evolution doesn't happen.

Thank goodness you wouldn't do any of that.

Date: 2013/05/09 05:33:17, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 08 2013,12:06)
Ummm, I posted the image from the 1500's that shows lineage in/as a tree (of life) in anticipation of the next expected false-claim that Charles Darwin was genius for having discovered that it is possible to show lineage in/as a tree (of life).

Gary, you're unusually incoherent today.  This in particular is almost silly.

You were anticipating that someone would claim that Darwin was the first to come up with the idea of charting out the family tree of a person?

That was not coming.  By that point in time it was largely known that two parents work together to produce offspring, and that those offspring might in turn become parents themselves and have offspring.  Your desperation to take that accomplishment away from Darwin is bizarre.  I've never heard a single person suggest that Darwin was the first to realize that.

The rest of what you've said lately is even worse.

You seem to have revealed that you think that an experiment involving evolution of evolvability that specifically disallowed selection means that there is no such thing as selection.  That's not how it works, Gary.  It was a study to see if such changes could happen without selection.  Not to demonstrate that selection doesn't happen at all.

Can you comprehend the difference?  You can't get rid of selection entirely.  I mean, you can't, to do that you have to get rid of competition and limited resources.  Unless you've got access to infinity, there will ALWAYS be competition and selection.  I've seen some argue that even in a world with infinite resources there would still be selection, but that's getting beyond the scope of this discussion.  The point of neutral drift is that changes can evolve without the influence of selection.  Not that selection isn't there and asserting an effect, but that some changes can happen without it.

Finally, regarding your need to argue about "Darwinian" evolution.  We're talking about modern evolutionary theory here, okay?  Neutral drift is a part of that theory.  As others have pointed out, Darwin didn't get it all right.  We've learned more since his time.  The things that were wrong were thrown out, the things that were missing were added in.  That's how it works.  Throwing a temper tantrum demanding that evolution is only allowed to be what Darwin thought, and that otherwise evolution has to be thrown out completely is pretty dumb.

Date: 2013/05/09 21:46:01, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 09 2013,18:24)
The theory explains where the neurons are on page 2. The model works the same for any RAM including real or artificial NN's, they are a RAM too.

Add RAM to the list of terms that you don't understand.  This statement makes no sense.  You're using a specific computer term in some kind of vague, general way.

I assume that when you say "real" neural networks, you mean meat brains.  You say that meat brains are a RAM.  Singular.  That's weird.

You do not mean RAM.  In the past it's seemed that you meant variable, you seemed to be referring to a specific memory location that your program used, a value that could be modified by various processes.  Now you call an entire functioning brain RAM, the term variable doesn't make sense there.


So help me out here, Gary.  I've been asking you, repeatedly, what trying to make a virtual insect has to do with proving that molecules think.  You have not answered.  You simply assert, over and over again, that your program is or will be capable of proving it.

I think you've clued me in on it recently.  Maybe I should have seen this before, but I think I saw it when you were going on about natural selection and drift.

You're never going to model molecules, are you?  What you're doing is trying to build a model of a simple brain, and once you're satisfied that it works you plan to somehow apply it to evolutionary processes.  I don't really see how this would work, but I think you're going to build a kind of simplified heredity system (kind of like your beak length slider) and are going to have this brain model pick what traits to modify, and then pass them on to the next generation.

That's it, isn't it?  You're never going to be dealing with molecules, you're just going to try to make a system of inherited change that reacts to the environment that's guided by what's supposed to be a neural net, and from that you'll conclude that intelligence guides evolution.

Date: 2013/05/10 19:48:04, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 10 2013,16:36)
With all the egging-on you’re helping to give me I was inspired to add new detail into the theory that needed adding in eventually. I’m still using “good guess” because of still not finding anything that fits in better with all else.

I don't believe you actually read what I wrote, Gary.  Your response doesn't hint that you did, anyway.  I was looking for an answer, Gary, not an impenetrable wall-o-text that STILL uses a bizarre definition of RAM.  In particular your need to append the word "digital" to it.  Was there some kind of analog ram that I missed out on?  You seem to be mostly back to using RAM to mean variable, and yet then you say this:
Quote
When modeling using a neural network for a RAM


What in the world is that supposed to mean?  You're using a neural network for random access memory?  HUH?  You're modelling a neural network *in* RAM, Gary.  You entire program resides within RAM when it is being executed.  I'd guess that you got your word order wrong, but you've done this repeatedly, it seems to be intentional.

Maybe I can parse it.  Maybe you're saying that you're using a neural network to generate the value that is stored in the variable?  There appears to be doubt about whether you are using a neural network, but is that at least what you are trying to say with that line?

This stuff matters, Gary.  You seem to fantasize that you are a science educator, but your communication ability is not good.  You make it appear as if you misunderstand how a great deal of the world works, including both computers and science, and then you pretend to be a revolutionary thinker in terms of both.  I'd accept unconventional, but that isn't always a good thing.  An airplane designed to burst into flames mid flight is unconventional, but not necessarily a good idea.

And you still haven't explained what a toy insect brain model is supposed to have to do with evolution.  I'd appreciate an answer.  Is your plan to put your finished brain in charge of guiding a model of evolution?

Date: 2013/05/11 05:24:29, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 10 2013,22:44)
The question is whether a memory that has contents which change over time is a RAM or a ROM?

Bits & Bytes - ROM and RAM

You can easily enough burn a neural network ROM chip but like a digital ROM chip after that the data stays whatever was burned into it, cannot be changed. Using a neural ROM instead of RAM takes away the system's ability to self-learn, form new memories of the world they are in, needed to adapt to new environments. Result is an unintelligent zombie that may at first appear to be intelligent but they are missing something necessary, a RAM, not a ROM.


Okay this is pretty good.  Gary, you did respond to what I said this time.  I acknowledge that, you explained what you feel you are specifying in saying RAM each time.  This is good, but it still leaves some problems that need to be addressed.  Let's try to substitute the meaning of RAM as you say you intended it into the quote I used earlier.

"when modeling using a neural network for a form of memory that can have changing values over time".  Nope.  Still doesn't make sense.  You are putting your neural network (if there is such a thing at all) into RAM.  There's really no need to state RAM at all, you are modelling it in a computer program and so it's pretty darned safe to assume that it's going into RAM.  I don't think there's a need to specify to people that you're not planning to make your entire data set read only.  But the way you have it phrased, you seem to suggest that you are using a neural network to perform the function of RAM.  Your order is wrong, but the way you've used it in other places is wrong in other ways that makes me think there's other problems.

For instance, the way you seemed to imply that a brain is basically a block of RAM.  Oh no it isn't.  If you insist on continuing the computer analogy, a brain is both memory and a CPU.  Frankly I think calling a brain an FPGA would be more accurate, because it's a system where the logic gates themselves can be rewritten.  Computer memory is just numbers being rewritten.  Meat brains rewrite their own architecture.  New experiences cause new pathways to be formed, not just a new number stored in a new bank.  Not even the seemingly fundamental circuit of a connection to a motor or sensor pathway is static.  I've had some of my sensor neurons remap after a certain traumatic event, the short story is a certain kind of junk food snack cake was ruined for me because of a curious way in which my sense of taste was altered.  Now you can simulate all of this within a conventional computer system, yes, but that doesn't mean that the brain is as simple as a conventional computer system.  Just because you model it within RAM does not make it equivalent to RAM.  You need to stop taking that unjustified leap and calling everything RAM.

I'm suggesting this again to you.  When you talk about storing a certain data point in memory, that is a variable.  It is not "a RAM".  Maybe others here more experienced with this kind of thing could suggest a better word still, but RAM is a poor term that confuses more than it informs.

When referring to other things you need some more terms still.  The brain is not a RAM bank.  It is a weird kind of thing where the memory is the same thing as the CPU.  It is a kind of hybrid logic system that combines electro-chemical messaging with dynamic hardware restructuring, all happening at the same time.  You do it a grave disservice in reducing it down to the level of random access memory.

Date: 2013/05/13 01:15:42, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, I'm dropping the RAM discussion because.. oy.. you could go around in circles with that for days and get nowhere.  For one, bright, shining moment you responded largely coherently to the question that was asked, it gave me hope, but no, RAM is another buzzword to you, you still want to throw it around to make your speech sound more technical.  Especially the need to specify that it's digital, that's disheartening.

So, are you ready to explain how a model insect is going to prove that molecules think?  Just give us a rough outline of your master plan.

I think you've further hinted that you're going in the direction I asked about.  Which is to put your alleged neural net in charge of planning the characteristics of the next generation of a simulated life form.  Care to respond to this?

Date: 2013/05/13 22:13:39, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 13 2013,01:37)
I never claimed that "molecules think" and I do not owe you an answer to something I never said.

Well it's kind of true that you never really defined what "molecular intelligence" means, so it could perhaps be said that you never claimed that molecules think.

However if "molecular intelligence" doesn't mean that, then I fail to see what it could mean.  You've been asked about it before and have said a whole lot of nothing and very little of substance, basically trying to say that it's just cognitive science and pointing to the work of people not making any claims at all WRT "molecular intelligence".  You must be arguing something new, otherwise you have nothing new to offer, no supposed theory to be recognized for, and have been wasting all of our time, including yours.


Gary, I put it to you that you know that as soon as you make any specific claim it would be refutable.  The more specific you get, the more falsifiable your notion gets.  I think you're doing exactly what I suggested, you're planning to put your insect brain in charge of planning the physical characteristics of the next generation of simulated life forms.  You won't actually simulate genetics, and you'll use a lot of other cheats required to make this work, but that's what you're trying to move towards.

You'll prove that with knowledge of the environment and knowledge of the effects of every possible genetic change it is possible to selectively modify an organism to achieve greater fitness.  While some dispute the ability to predict the effects of such genetic changes, I don't think anything beyond that is controversial.  We already make small understood changes to the genome of living things to achieve specific goals.  Basically artificial mutation in order to satisfy artificial selection.

The thing is, evolution shows that intelligence isn't needed.  In other words, we have no need of your hypothesis.

And I think you know this, which is why you've been so cagey about what a robot insect has to do with molecular intelligence.

Of course it's possible that you're not even thinking this through that far, I may be giving you too much credit in being able to see a big picture.  But otherwise your obsession of simulated cartoon insects makes no sense.

Date: 2013/05/16 00:54:13, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 14 2013,00:14)
I have a hypothesis that removing all the brains from all the living things on the planet (including that which produces molecular intelligence therefore DNA and eukaryotic centrosomes must be removed too) will completely stop their "evolution" and all will become extinct.

Hang on there, daddy-o.  You just assumed your conclusion.  You don't get to use "DNA is intelligent" as a starting premise before showing that that's accurate.  Demonstrate that DNA is intelligent first, then we can talk about what the consequences of that intelligence are.

What you're actually saying here, and you made this clear in a followup comment, is if you wipe out an entire population of living things then that population can no longer evolve.  Yes, deleting a species from the planet stops its evolution.  The problem is there's a far simpler explanation than "because DNA is intelligent, and because intelligence is required for evolution, removing DNA stops evolution and that proves that intelligence is required for evolution".  That explanation is "DNA is required for the forms of life we're discussing to survive, removing it kills the life form, and wiping out an entire population is perhaps the one way to stop it from evolving".  You get the same effect by doing anything that wipes out the population, you can leave the allegedly intelligent DNA in place without changing the outcome.

No, seriously man.  You think that you can say that killing off an entire species proves that intelligence is the vital factor?  All it suggests is that life is the vital factor.

But you have specified a thing that's supposed to be intelligent, DNA.  So let's have it.  How do we test DNA to see if it's intelligent?  "With this simulated bug brain that actually has no simulation of DNA at all" is not a convincing answer.

Date: 2013/05/17 02:52:43, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 16 2013,17:46)
In other words: Reliably showing that there is no such thing as "Molecular Intelligence" would only require me to change  the name to "Molecular Behavior"

In other words, chemistry?  Ya'know, the thing that you already admitted that you can't tell "molecular intelligence" apart from?

Gary... Do you remember when I suggested that you seemed to have a special definition of "intelligence" that seemed to simply mean "a process which is beneficial for a living organism"?  Well you just boasted that without molecules that can think your notion is still largely intact, and that all you'd have to do is change a label.  Yes, you had simply redefined the word to the point where it is interchangeable with more appropriate words.

So we can drop all this nonsense about intelligent causation at the molecular level.  You know of no way to detect it and you have admitted that the only difference it would make is the need to change a label.

While we're at it, though, we can chop out a lot of that block diagram.  The diagram is "Intelligent causation", but if there's no intelligence at the molecular level then, well, there's no intelligent causation at work there.  So we chop out the molecular level, and the matter level which appears to be a very similar thing.

So we can start off with "cellular intelligence" at the basement level.  And then you can start trying to defend the idea that a single cell can think.  And if you fail there, we chop that out, and then everything unique about your idea is gone.  We're back to intelligence being an emergent phenomenon that appears at the multi cellular level.

So get to it.  Cellular intelligence.  The last vestige of your fanciful notion, your last chance to save anything from your idea that differs in any meaningful way from conventional science.

Date: 2013/05/18 03:01:09, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary.. I'm confused.. you say:

   
Quote
Anthropomorphic generalizations are not needed


And then in the description for your first requirement, all you do is talk about how humans act.  You even feel the need to start talking about religion.  There is nothing in that "requirement" that isn't anthropomorphic.

The first requirement is baloney anyway.  "Something to control"?  Really?  I guess neural nets that do nothing but analyze data and come to conclusions can never be declared intelligent then.  Woops, there goes Watson.  You referred approvingly to it before, but apparently you didn't attempt to find your four requirements in it.

This has been touched on by others.  Concepts like neural nets and machine intelligence really aren't my area, I'm not a programmer at all, beyond messing with basic years ago, but it seems you've skipped out on a great deal of stuff.  You don't seem to be defining intelligence at all.  Let's apply your four requirements to my camera, or more specifically only the autofocus system on my camera.

#1 something to control.

Yep, the autofocus motor on the lens.

#2 sensory addressed memory

Yep.  The autofocus sensor feeds data into memory inside the camera.

#3 confidence to gauge failure or success

Yep.  The AF sensor tells the camera how well focused the scene is, providing a sense of better or worse that it uses to converge on the best possible setting.

#4 ability to take a guess

Yep.  It doesn't necessarily know how far it has to adjust the focus, so it takes a guess and evaluates the results.

Well alrighty then.  My camera is intelligent.

I dunno, Gary.  It kind of sounds like you've so loosely defined intelligence that many things that wouldn't normally be considered intelligent qualify.  Preprogrammed behaviors intended to achieve simple tasks qualify as intelligent now.  I suspect this is why you're having such a hard time understand when people tell you that your code is not a neural net, because your code fulfills your notion of requirements of intelligence you've concluded that it must be intelligent and is therefore a neural net.  But it doesn't work like that.  Or else my camera has a neural net AF system.

Date: 2013/05/19 23:09:30, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 19 2013,19:37)
And I'm sure all who bought a camera that takes a guess what the focus should be would want their money back after finding out that over 99% of the pictures are a blurry mess, regardless of promises that it will get better after a few years of learning.


Why do you say that an intelligent AF system should take years to achieve a proper focus solution?  You appear to have added on a new requirement that you didn't previously state.  That an intelligent system must take years to learn, rather than fractions of a second.  Exactly how many more auxiliary requirements and assumptions will you be bringing into this discussion before you're finished?
   
Quote
Science (hence this theory) requires far more rigor than you are used to, and it is not my responsibility to do your thinking for you. If you cannot see the difference between a circuit that provides guesses to data inputs of a RAM and a sensor connected directly to a motor through an amp then you likely need the opinion of someone who is able to tell the difference, like I would have been able to when I was in high school..



The sensor is not directly connected to the motor.  For instance, my previous camera could fire its flash several times to provide illumination for a scene that was too dark to focus on using ambient light.  But it didn't fire it often, seemingly only three to four times.  A simple feedback circuit couldn't converge on a solution with that few readings.

If the sensor provided absolute data, sufficient for the camera to know exactly what change to make in the focus setting, it should only need one sensor reading and adjustment.  If it was using a simple feedback loop it should be reading the data constantly and watching until it reaches the sharpest possible focus setting.  It does neither.  It makes, get this, a guess, and then checks to see how close it got, then makes further guesses regarding which direction to adjust the focus and how far, adjusts again, and then checks again.  It does this until it finds the sharpest focus setting it can achieve, and if it finds it it signals that it's done.  It doesn't always find it in one pass, it can definitely overshoot the best focus point and then have to reverse direction to come back to it, and in poor lighting conditions it can take longer to achieve a solution.  All this typically happens in a fraction of a second in good lighting, rather than years, but if you consider it a feedback loop then your four requirements can easily be satisfied by feedback loops.  Every single requirement you specified is satisfied by the system.


 
Quote
If you can’t tell the difference between a simple feedback system and one that supplies random variables then you better leave qualification of intelligence up to those who at least understand basic electronics.


In this case the problem seems to be that you do not understand anything beyond basic electronics.  A modern AF system would probably be better described as a fuzzy logic system than a servo system.

The fact remains, though, that it takes guesses.  I can see it taking guesses.  The first change to the focus setting sometimes gets it closer to the right setting than other times, and sometimes it takes fewer attempts than other times to decide that it's found the right setting.

It is not all that different from how a human would focus such a scene, at least without focusing aids like a split prism viewfinder.  If the subject is far out of focus you start out with a large twist of the focus ring, but maybe you might go too far and see the scene come into focus and then go out again.  You can see an AF system do the same thing.

So, with these corrections in mind, let's revisit the example, shall we?  Does this system, the real system and not your cartoon caricature of it, meet all four of your requirements?  I'd advise you to keep the condescension to a minimum, it really comes back to bite you in the ass when you lecture people on what they do and don't understand and you turn out to not have any idea how the system being discussed works.

Date: 2013/05/20 08:30:35, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 20 2013,01:35)
 
Quote (Nomad @ May 19 2013,23:09)
I'd advise you to keep the condescension to a minimum, it really comes back to bite you in the ass when you lecture people on what they do and don't understand and you turn out to not have any idea how the system being discussed works.

Take your own advice before you get yourselves in even deeper trouble with the general public and the scientific community you pretend to represent.

Wow, I'm multiple people?  That's kind of cool.

I'm not getting in trouble with the general public.  The general public would laugh at the suggestion that a molecule is intelligent.  And they couldn't be bothered to read your bizarre, disjointed magnum opus far enough to get to your four requirements for intelligence.  They might think that your cartoon simulated insect looks kind of neat, but their eyes would glaze over the second you pulled out your inexplicable flowcharts and you'd lose them forever.

I'd be happy to have the scientific community correct me if I'm mistaken in a significant way.  At the moment little of the community is aware of me, what little of it that is aware of me is here, and seems to mostly support what I've said.  The sole voice opposed to me is you, and you are not speaking from within the scientific community.

So on this issue I don't appear to be in trouble with either community.  Your advice seems unneeded, and looks more than a little like a childish "I know you are, but what am I" defense used instead of actually engaging the points that I raised.

You can come to the big boy table any time you wish, Gary.  I pointed out a system which few would consider actually artificially intelligent, but yet which fulfills all of your requirements for a system to be established as intelligent.  You tried to dismiss it by asserting that it operated in a way that it does not, and I've attempted to clarify that point with a number of examples showing how it does not work that way.  So now it's your turn again.  Explain a way in which it fails to fulfill just one of your list of requirements.

You brought your list of requirements to the table, Gary.  You're the one that invited me to use them.  So I did.  Just not on the only things you wanted to apply them to.  I did that for a reason, to show you that they're too broadly defined, too broadly by far, and that the only reason molecules or a cell might qualify as intelligent is because of that.  If your definition means that a whole swath of well understood things that were never considered intelligent before suddenly become intelligent simply by redefinition, you should realize that that's a problem.  Unless you goal was simply to change the definition of intelligence.

Date: 2013/05/21 04:39:44, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 21 2013,00:01)
What was previously linked to did not meet circuit requirements, and like it or not I do not have time to spend a few weeks further investigating cameras too.


I'm trying to imagine a molecule having a circuit at all, or being able to depict it with a schematic diagram.  Yet you would have me believe that you apply this kind of reasoning to molecules as well?  Okay then.  What's the circuit of water?

You listed no such "circuit requirements".  You listed four basic behavioral requirements, and I explained how the AF system fulfilled each one.  You don't have to investigate them, I explained how it works.  I've given you examples of the way it behaves that demonstrates the underlying logic controlling it.  The real logic is far more complex and makes a difficult task seem comparatively simple, but simplifying it should make it harder to pass as intelligent since I'm eliminating many processes that may present more examples of the required behavior.  It is a simple question.  IF the camera functions in the manner that I described, is it intelligent based on your list of four requirements?  And if it fails to meet one of the requirements, which one?

Quote
No, I am again explaining what is needed to reliably qualify anything as "'intelligent".


No, you're shifting the goalposts.  You invited me to use your four requirements to test to see if something was intelligence.  You claimed that those were all that was needed to qualify something as intelligent.  Suddenly they're not enough.  Odd, that.

Quote
Dwelling on smart-sounding camera terminology that makes them appear to be intelligent is not good enough, for me.


I never said it appears to be intelligent.  I'm under no illusions that it should qualify as intelligent.  I'm saying that it seems to fulfill your "four requirements".  I'm doing this to demonstrate that they're far too loosely stated and will result in things that shouldn't be considered intelligent to be considered intelligent.  It's not about appearances, it's about how it works.  I have explained to you, step by step, how it works.  While I do not understand exactly how the underlying logic works, I can see how it functions in practice, and I can see that it's using a very limited number of sensor reading operations.  It is not a constant feedback as you envision.  Now you get to point out which of your requirements is missing from the process that I described.

Quote
Without more information I am very skeptical, in part because of a simple servo (with maybe a tweaking algorithm) being all that is needed to make a camera that takes good pictures.



Mmhmm.  See, you started off trying to dismiss the example of the AF system by claiming that it fed the sensor data straight into the lens without ever storing it in RAM.  Back then you were actually trying to address your requirements.  If it's "tweaked" by an algorithm, then you acknowledge that it's not directly fed into the motor, and you've accepted that you were wrong on that point.  You have three more requirements that you can contest if you wish.

Date: 2013/05/21 21:48:18, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 21 2013,08:51)
This reminds me of the argument that goes like "If humans evolved from apes then why are there still monkeys?" then it is claimed that evolutionary theory has been proven to be false and scientists have no theory, etc..

I don't see the connection.  I'm trying to demonstrate that your "requirements" are too loosely stated and would result in clearly unintelligent things being declared intelligent.  Somehow from that you reference a fallacious argument that relies upon a misunderstanding of how evolution works?

You proudly presented your four requirements as a way to determine if something was intelligent.  You invited me to apply it to something.  Well all four requirements are present in the system I outlined.  Is it intelligent?  This is your idea Gary, because you were too lazy to defend your own concepts I'm trying to test it myself.

Should I say what it looks like to me, Gary?  You're sunk and you know it.  Your four requirements are obviously too loose and vaguely worded.  You did this on purpose so you could declare simple systems as being intelligent.  You wanted to defend your "theory" that molecules think, but rather than showing that they think you redefined intelligence to the point where any simple feedback based system can qualify.  Molecules behave the same as they always have, no new sources of intelligence have been found, you've just tried to redefine the word so you can call more things intelligent.  You haven't discovered any new behavior, you're citing the work of others, just saying that this behavior that they've discovered is intelligent.

What you apparently didn't consider is what happens when you apply this new, far looser definition to things that you don't want to consider to be intelligent.  Suddenly all manner of mechanisms become intelligent.  To you this isn't a problem because you only ever intended to apply your four requirements to the things you wanted to claim as being intelligent.  But what good is a special qualification that you only use on the things you want to be intelligent?

I think you know you're sunk, because you started off actually trying to address the application of your requirements by asserting that the sensor data is never stored in RAM.  But you've ceded that point in admitting that a "tweaking algorithm" is likely used, and you're refusing to take up the other points.  You know you can't win this one, which is why you switched to demanding that the AF mechanism logic be charted out for you.  This is a behavior known as goalpost moving, and it's par for the course when dealing with creationists, including intelligent design proponents.

We're not talking about your bizarre, meaningless charts right now Gary.  We're talking about your four requirements that you invited me to use, that you said provide sufficient information alone to declare a system intelligent.

So if the system isn't intelligent, and your four requirements are correct, then which of the requirements does it not fulfill?  You have three left to choose from, but you have no real chance there.  There's only one that even offers you a chance of success, but you've set yourself a trap in how it's worded, and to use it to declare my AF mechanism unintelligent risks declaring the human brain unintelligent.

The intellectually honest thing to do would be to admit that you didn't think these requirements through, and to delete them from your magnum opus and remove all references to them until you can come up with something better, AND until you actually test it to see if it works this time rather than only selectively using it in situations where you want it to be used.

The intellectually dishonest response would be to try to support them for one comment, then abandon it when you see you've lost and work up all the bluster you can to try to distract the discussion and then bring up a totally different bogus intelligence detection method instead because the first one you introduced didn't give you the results you wanted.

You've already demonstrated the direction you want to go, but let's say I'm giving you another chance.  Shall we consider the four requirements abandoned and dead in the water, or do you want to try to defend them one last time?

Date: 2013/05/21 23:21:03, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 21 2013,23:07)
For some suspiciously weird reason the forum software kicks my replies in Joe's thread back to my thread, but either way you're stuck with what came from it.

For some suspiciously weird reason, you'd rather babble on about a quote from Charles Darwin then address a test application of your very own four requirements for intelligence.

Date: 2013/05/22 02:05:31, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 22 2013,00:39)
Where you through me challenge its terminology, like this forum did, you're obliged to provide extremely good reasons to warrant change, or agree that there is nothing wrong with it.

I'm questioning the requirements that you stated.  You're the one trying to redefine terms as basic as "intelligence".

Your four requirements.  Remember them?  At this point I think we can consider them dead.  I've asked you to defend them multiple times, you've written a whole lot of words about everything but the subject that you yourself brought up.  You've already admitted that your one attempt to defend it failed, the sensor data is stored in RAM, that point stands, and you refuse to even attempt to engage on the other points.  So by your criteria I think we can conclude that my camera's AF mechanism is intelligent.  This is a problem, since I don't think anyone thinks that it should be considered intelligent.  It sounds like your criteria are flawed, they label things as intelligent that shouldn't be considered to be intelligent.


So far we've been able to eliminate intelligent molecules since you've admitted that what you call intelligence in molecules everyone else calls chemistry.  You were just trying to redefine the word.  Now it seems that your list of four requirements were an attempt to do the same thing again, they label many things that no one considers intelligent as intelligent.  You have not discovered anything new about how those things function to warrant the use of the concept, you just want to change the definition of the concept.  So we can cross off your "four requirements" list as well.

We're making progress.  This is how science works, things have to be tested and incorrect concepts must be discarded.  Scientists are wrong about things more often than they're right, there's nothing unusual about this process.  The thing is you have to be willing to see when you're wrong, rather than continuing to dedicate your life to them once you've discovered that you were wrong.  You enjoy quotations from dead scientists, so perhaps it's time for this one from Richard Feynman.

 
Quote
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

Date: 2013/05/22 04:14:23, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 22 2013,02:29)
Show me something unintelligent with sensory directly addressing a RAM with Data output directly controlling motors with confidence circuit connected to guess mechanism that changes motor settings + RAM data and self-learns, as in the REQUIRED circuit, or you just further prove to have nothing worth discussing.

Once again, we're talking about your four requirements, not your circuit diagram.  You listed four characteristics, you invited me to use these to test things for intelligence, claimed that if they all were present than the system being considered should be considered intelligent.  We need to finish with them before we move on.  Which of those does the mechanism I described fail?

I will not accept you shifting the goal posts now that I've investigated the four requirements as you invited me to do.  The topic is your four requirements.  Either the mechanism I described fails to fulfill one of them, in which case you could point out which requirement is going unfulfilled, or else your requirements fail to be an accurate indicator of intelligence.

I tell you what, I'll give you an out.  Add a fifth requirement, that the system being considered cannot be a feedback mechanism.  You seem to feel that being a feedback mechanism would disqualify the mechanism I'm describing, so perhaps that's a way to modify your requirements to make them work again.  Maybe a feedback mechanism is one thing that can fulfill all those points, but it still shouldn't count as intelligent.  So make an exception.

Date: 2013/05/22 21:43:17, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 22 2013,18:55)
Wesley, Wesley, Wesley. If you want to impress the heck out of the Theory of Intelligent Design then you need to reduce down your self-organizing neural network into a "module" that in electronics and as in theory is most simply known as a RAM. Inputs and outputs can be analog or digital even angle or waveform whatever you want and I'll plug that in for you, right after I get it all back together with RAM computers already have and the update at PSC.

Gary, Gary, Gary.  If you want to impress the heck out of anybody other than yourself, you're going to at least have the courage of your convictions required to defend the concepts that you claim you've spend decades refining.  Remember how you claimed you should be paid for all the work you put into this?  Is this a reflection on your work ethic that you think you should be paid for concepts you've spent decades developing that won't withstand even casual questioning?

What am I to think when you put these ideas out there, invite people to use them, and then suddenly want nothing to do with them anymore and desperately try to talk about anything else?

I'm particularly amused to see you accusing Wes of moving the goalposts.  You yourself did that recently as well.  If it's a bad thing then why did you do it?  Are you special and allowed to do things like that that no one else is?

If you hate goalpost shifting then you'll be eager to get back to discussing your four requirements, the goalpost that you first erected days ago.

But no, after slinging accusations you suddenly have to run away:

 
Quote
I will now [at least try to] go get some more work done on the new ID Lab.


This impresses no one.  We all have other things we must do, but most of us do not need to call attention to it.  We all know what this really means is "I've got too many questions that I dare not answer building up, so I'm going to run away for a while and then come back and pretend that none of that ever happened".

So far as I know, none of the participants in this discussion have a severe enough problem with their short term memory that they'll forget what happened several days ago.  So this strategy is somewhat baffling.

Date: 2013/05/22 22:32:11, Link
Author: Nomad
I'll let Wes deal with the neural net stuff, since, again, that's not my area.

So how about them four requirements?  Ready to defend them yet?  Since you hate goalpost shifting I'm sure you'll be eager to get back to them.

It is tangentially related to the neural net stuff though, since both deal with what you think an intelligence must accomplish or look like.  If your definitions don't hold up in one application then why should Wes hold them in any regard in another?

Date: 2013/05/24 01:50:44, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 22 2013,23:33)

So, since Gary is behaving with all the intellectual honesty and courage that we've come to expect from him, which is to say none at all, and is trying to draw a distinction between "ram" and "digital ram" instead of addressing any of the questions he has piled up before him, I figured I'd go back and have a look at this diagram.  Perhaps I don't understand logic diagrams well enough to be able to judge it, but it looks to me like so many details are missing that it could be interpreted to mean just about anything.  In other words, it gives the G man ample room to redefine terms on the fly and invent new requirements for what some of those boxes are supposed to be in order to get the result he wants out of any attempt to apply it.  A lesson he perhaps learned when he saw what happened with his "four requirements" metric.

But the thing I can't help noticing right now, is this other thing he said here:

   
Quote

This is not a situation where it's what you said your model can do. It's what you are just like me obliged to explain in K-12 simple words and illustrations or the model that the theory now uses remains standing.


Simple words, Gary, such as "hedonic" and "exteroreceptive"?  If you're wondering why nobody takes you seriously, consider that you chided other people for not using simple words on the same post in which you used words such as those.

While I'm at it, I might as well inquire about this bizarre fantasy you seem to have that school children are watching this exchange and that the entire thing is being staged for their benefit.  But you're most unreliable on that point.  Sometimes you're arguing cutting edge science, trying to develop new theories, sometimes you seem to think you're teaching fundamental science to school children.  In your head, I mean.

Can you kindly make up your mind which fantasy you're acting out, at least?

Date: 2013/05/25 05:06:03, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 25 2013,02:47)
The issue has become the routine use of defamatory tactics that are being used to hide the truth that Wesley (and the rest) are still unable to admit..

There are a whole range of issues you're welcome to begin addressing at any point.  But you don't seem to want to talk about the very ideas you insisted that other people test out.

Having your notions questioned is not defamation.  You seem to come from a background where you expect to be patted on the head and told that you're very clever in producing whatever it is you've come up with, but you're demanding that these ideas of yours be viewed as accurately reflecting reality.  If they do not accurately reflect reality it is entirely fair for that to be pointed out.  Until you accept this you're not going to get anywhere in science.

You and I are currently at a sticking point where you invited me to use one of your concepts that you so proudly promote, your four requirements for intelligence.  You told me that it was a way to determine whether a system is intelligent or not.  But I've used it and it seems to have determined that a non intelligent system is intelligent.  And... you refuse to go any further.  This is a problem Gary, but not because you're being defamed.

Your ideas seem to be incompatible with reality.  That is your problem, not a bunch of meanie forum posters laughing at you.  The way you lash out and then declare victory rather than resolve this apparent conflict with reality is also your problem.  I understand that having your favorite ideas criticized is not fun, I've reacted poorly to having some ideas of mine treated that way as well.  But there's no other way to do it, unless your desire is to be treated like a child, to be told that your work is really a masterpiece and here, just let me use a magnet to stick it to the refrigerator.

Smarter people people than you (and I) have refused to accept that they were wrong, but it's not too late to change.  But the longer you wait, the harder it'll be.

Date: 2013/05/26 21:57:30, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 26 2013,21:42)
 
Quote (stevestory @ May 26 2013,20:40)
   
Quote

What is the following? Law? Theory? Hypothesis? Neither?
___
If water becomes more dense as it cools then ice will sink in liquid water.


Hypothesis. And the experiment would falsify the overly simple hypothesis, and be replaced by a better one.

You are correct about it being a hypothesis. But it is not replaced by a “better one” because whether a hypothesis tests true or false does not matter. The only thing that does matter is the result of the experiment used to test the hypothesis, which in turn leads to brand new hypotheses that can in time lead to scientific theory that can explain such things as how hydrogen bonding works (hence theories can predict whether hypotheses are true or false).

Now what does the hypothesis “If water becomes more dense as it cools then ice will sink in liquid water.” explain about the mechanism that makes water become denser as it cools? Or is this valid hypothesis just plain false therefore where it is assumed that a hypothesis is a well tested explanation for how something works it would only confuse and mislead people?

So according to you it's not replaced by a better one, it leads to a new one that works and is useful.

Some might say that that would qualify as a better one.  But those people are clearly mistaken.

So, about those experiments, Gary.  The ones you've refused to do, saying that either you cannot do them, or consider them a waste of time.  What good is a hypothesis that leads to no experiments?

Date: 2013/05/27 02:17:41, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 26 2013,23:34)
Experts in the field include "cognitive scientists" that study real (not artificial) intelligence who you are conveniently proud of dissing because you don't think cognitive science of any kind belongs in the public school classroom. You're one reason I normally hated public school education. You should not be teaching.

The only thing you're good at is keeping the US behind in the emerging sciences. Jerk.

Okay, there are two problems here.  Number one, you've been caught citing the work of experts and claiming that you're following what they established, but then not actually using any of the concepts they pioneered.  You're trying to use the names of the people who have done the work but are avoiding doing the work yourself.  If anything is sleazy, that is.

The second is this inability you have to distinguish between active research and foundational science.  You think you're both at the cutting edge, and seem to be chomping at the bit to teach school children.

Umm.. no.  I told you before, make up your mind which fantasy you're pursuing.  Cutting edge theoretician, or school teacher.  Once you decide which costume you want to put on we can discuss what you actually need to do to play the game.

Date: 2013/05/27 21:29:59, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 27 2013,14:53)
Accusations like this from ones who proved unable to keep up with preschool science, only helped demonstrate how scientifically useless you all are.

Proved, Gary?  You really don't understand what that word means.  Go ahead, cite one example in this thread where I demonstrated that I was unfamiliar with a scientific concept commonly taught in pre-school.

Of course you cannot.  You were trying to insult me by making a clearly untrue claim.  You have no problem lying and insulting other people, you only complain about it when you imagine that people do it to you, even if the statements they make are accurate and backed up by quotations.  In other words, you are a hypocrite, Gary.

Let us again consider your embarrassing "four requirements".  You invited me to apply them, so I did.  I inquired as to whether I had applied them right, and you tried to defend them but in so doing insisted that the AF mechanism worked in a way that it did not.  I explained how you were wrong, and at that point you stopped.  It rather looks like you ran out of objections and were forced to fall back on childish evasions.  I can point out how you're mistaken all day long.  I see no advantage to insulting you instead of discussing the matter you wanted to discuss in the first place.

So fine, I accept that you dare not address your "four requirements" any more.  You know you lost that round, but you refuse to discard your requirements because you need them to redefine intelligence so the term suits your needs.  How about you address this claim you've made that a hypothesis doesn't explain how something works.  That's a pretty bizarre statement, and if you honestly believe it then you've got much more fundamental problems then trying to take shortcuts and avoid doing any real work.

I know, you think "this phenomenon is best explained by the invocation of some vague form of intelligence" is a theory.  That's a problem too.  But fix your understanding of a lower level concept and then you'll be forced to address the problems in your higher level concepts.  Just imagine that it's a fractal, Gary, if a hypothesis has been tested then the theory containing the hypothesis has also been tested.

Date: 2013/05/27 23:46:12, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 27 2013,22:04)
 
Quote (Nomad @ May 27 2013,21:29)
   
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 27 2013,14:53)
Accusations like this from ones who proved unable to keep up with preschool science, only helped demonstrate how scientifically useless you all are.

Proved, Gary?  You really don't understand what that word means.  Go ahead, cite one example in this thread where I demonstrated that I was unfamiliar with a scientific concept commonly taught in pre-school.

Your reply at the top of this page clearly shows who you sided with.

Are you now saying that Wesley is the one who is unable to keep-up with what is now preschool science (more specifically what a hypothesis is)?

You do have a big problem with understanding what a hypothesis is.  I stated as much.  If you'd read more than the first line I typed you'd have seen it.

Mind you, suggesting that terminology such as hypothesis is taught in preschools is a bit silly too.


As to your further childish insults (or perhaps you think "you can shove it up your ass" is mature dialog):  You claim to have a bunch of big important scientific work.  But the thing is, the stuff you've presented doesn't work.  None of it stands up to any kind of inspection.  When pressed you refuse to defend it and sulk, insult, and then run away.  Which is where we get "you can shove it up your ass".  I keep asking you to defend just one concept that you insisted that I try out, and now all you have is swearing at me.  Why should I believe that any of the rest of your notions are any more substantial?  You must have a severely twisted notion of scientific dialog.

You don't have any science.  You have a fantasy which is deeply important to you, but the only way to have to defend it is lies and insults.  Oh yeah, and conspiracy theories.

Date: 2013/05/28 03:16:48, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 28 2013,00:15)
Remember: You are one of a small number of political activists who have a problem with what is now even taught in US preschool educational programming, not me, I'm fine with it and use that.

Citation needed.

Date: 2013/05/28 21:26:42, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (blipey @ May 28 2013,11:17)
Gary, are you ever going to get around to defending your notion that hypotheses don't test how things work? Or, failing that (s you will), defending your notion that scientists rarely test hypotheses?

Any time you'd like to be taken seriously...

This doesn't quite seem to be what he's been arguing.  He feels that hypotheses are tested, but theories aren't.  And since he's making a theory and not a hypothesis, he doesn't have to bother with testing.

It seems theories aren't tested, and hypotheses don't explain in Gary land.

Date: 2013/05/28 21:31:24, Link
Author: Nomad
So this has been interesting.  PBS is aiming rudimentary education on what hypothesis means at pre-school aged children.  So okay, it is pre-school science.  Kind of.  I still suspect it's not commonly taught to pre-school kids, so I'd still question calling it pre-school science, but that's beside the point.

The thing is it's been drastically simplified to be understandable at that level, since critical thinking skills aren't really in place yet.  So I'll admit that someone is teaching a simplified definition of hypothesis to pre school kids.  However insisting that that simplified, child friendly definition is the only one that may be used is still problematic.  Are you a pre-school child Gary, or are you able to deal with a complete, adult understanding of the process?

Date: 2013/05/28 21:38:54, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ May 28 2013,08:57)
I could completely eliminate the four requirement system for qualifying intelligence and the theory would still be fine without it. But since the problem is that they want to skip the part where one has to be connected to another in a certain way the problem is with them, not the methodology.

I apologize for writing three comments in a row, I keep realizing I forgot to refer to things.

But okay, here.  This is the second time you've tried to claim that a component of your theory can be thrown out without changing anything.  That's not a good sign, if it doesn't need to be there then it shouldn't be.

I didn't skip the part.  You insisted that the mechanism had to have been built one way, I explained that the way it operates demonstrates that it isn't built the way you said, and you stopped dealing with it at that point.  You refused to address it any further.  You lost that defense, and you have failed to bring up anything else, insulting me and running away after that point.  You even actually admitted that the mechanism could use "algorithmic tweaking" which means that the sensor data IS stored in ram.  You get that, Gary, you yourself admitted that it's designed the way you said it had to be on that point.  You just tried to pretend that it didn't matter, although now you claim that that's a fundamental point.

Make up your mind.  Or else admit that it's broken and discard it.  And we can start seeing if the next thing you have to offer has anything more of substance to back it up than this did.  Remember, intelligent molecules are already gone because you admitted that what you call intelligence is molecules the rest of the world calls chemistry.  Same behavior, different word.

Date: 2013/05/29 17:31:01, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, you've been caught redefining words again and again.  I know you're trying to amuse me by trying to top yourself and come up with even more staggeringly hypocritical statements to make, but think of what this game is doing to your image.

You tried to redefine fractal to mean "exhibits a similar pattern at multiple scales".  You tried to redefine neural net to mean a program that behaves in the way you think an intelligence acts, and have been desperately trying to claim that your program is a neural net despite the absence of any identifying features ever since.  You've admitted that the way you've defined intelligence on the molecular level gives it the same meaning as "molecular behavior", or in other words, chemistry.

And the violence you've one to the concepts of hypothesis and theory are staggering.  You happily linked a diagram showing that theories contain hypotheses, but insisted that a hypothesis is tested, a theory doesn't have to be, and since you're making a theory and not a hypothesis you don't have to test it.  You need more than a link to a simplified child friendly definition from PBS to save you on that one.

The problem, Gary, is that you demand the ability to cherry pick only what agrees with you.  You think that a specious model that hasn't been tested to behave realistically can prove that molecules are intelligent, but all the models that show otherwise are simply brushed aside because they don't agree with you.  You go so far in the search of friendly citations that you'll relentlessly cite a simplified child friendly definition used by PBS as your primary source and insist that everyone should limit themselves to that pre-school appropriate understanding.  Are you a pre-school aged child, Gary?  If not, what other possible excuse could you have for using that as your primary source of information?  Simplifying concepts to be understandable for a target audience is well and good, but if you're trying to expand the boundaries of human understanding first it would be useful if you allow yourself the full extent of current human understanding.

And I'll remind you again.  Failure to respond on the four requirements issue is still being taken as an admission of defeat.  Trying to claim that the one point that you already admitted defeat on is suddenly still in play is not going to work, and I'm surprised I have to explain that to you.

Date: 2013/05/30 01:07:17, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, you're still trying crow about the fact that you found a simplified definition of a complicated subject that was designed for the limited comprehension of children, and you keep referring to it as some kind of definitive definition, insisting that there can be nothing more to it than what PBS suggests parents tell young children about it.

It was a simplified definition for children.

Would you take your car to a mechanic and insist that he uses only what a pop up book has to say regarding cars to work on it?

Well, maybe you would.  But I wouldn't, and if I saw my mechanic consulting a pop up book I'd have concerns.

All chances of being taken seriously for you are dead, Gary.  You're citing a PBS children's supplement to justify your inability to test your "theory".

Date: 2013/06/01 03:57:49, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, you've gone and contradicted yourself again.  Some time ago I asked you when you were going to get around to testing your hypothesis.  You asserted that it wasn't a hypothesis, it's a theory, and theories don't have to be tested.

More recently you approvingly quoted this:

Quote
Babies are like miniature scientists, testing their ideas or theories. Researchers call this process “hypothesis testing.”


What's this, theories are tested too, and you agree with it?  Well then you'd better hop to it.

Jesus man, you're not even competent to cherry pick.  You slip up and quote things that disagree with what you're trying to argue.  The entire point of you having to cite a PBS children's supplement was that you were so desperate to have a definition of hypothesis that left out the stuff you didn't want to be included in it that you had to go to a simplified child friendly definition.  But you just blew that by going ahead and posting another one that, horrors, mentioned that the damn things get TESTED.  By babies, apparently, so even babies know what you're denying.

So it's worse than denying pre-school science.  No, Gary, you're denying what babies intuitively understand.

Date: 2013/06/02 22:14:53, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, I have been unable to find the post where you said that theories don't need to be tested, hypotheses do, and since you're making a theory and not a hypothesis you don't have to test it.  So I'll let it go.  If I ever do find it you're going to have to answer for it, but in the mean time we can go back to the previous topic.

But let's play it your way.

Hypothesis:  Gary's concepts are nonsense.  They only accidentally agree with reality, and rarely at that.  Gary is therefore unable to support them with any kind of rational argument and so will respond with out of control emotions followed by an attempt to distract the discussion to other things.

Test protocol:  I have taken one of Gary's concepts and applied it to a not terribly uncommon electronic mechanism.  It appears to conclude that the mechanism, which no expert in digital intelligence would consider to be intelligent, is intelligent.  If my hypothesis is wrong then Gary will be able to either explain the mistake I made in my application of his concept, or else he will see that his concept is flawed and either fix it or else discard it in his desire to make his idea better describe reality.  If it is right he will fail to engage in a rational discussion and instead use emotional appeals to try to escape from his obligation to defend his concepts.

Conclusion:  Gary has mostly failed to engage in rational discussion.  He briefly attempted to point out a mistake by insisting that the mechanism is structured in a way that it is not, and refused to accept my explanation of how he's wrong and why I know it.

He failed to engage in any further rational discussion, despite a clear desire to demonstrate the correctness of his concept.  He has however insisted many times that I was wrong without explaining how when it would have been faster and easier to simply explain it.  I can only conclude that he cannot support his own concept but is unwilling to either fix it or discard it.

If you are right, Gary, you can falsify this hypothesis at any time.  If your self confidence were justified then you could have ended this discussion several times by now.  You have explained that going the emotional route you've chosen has been hard on you, to the point that you are lashing out with physical violence in your sleep to the point that your wife is suffering, but somehow you never explain why it is that you can't take the easier route and simply explain why I'm wrong.

What if you are wrong?  How would you know?  How would you proceed?

Date: 2013/06/04 23:45:30, Link
Author: Nomad
I'll ask you this once more, Gary.  I asked it for a reason.  How would you know if you were wrong?

You've refused input from experts in the fields you seek to be operating in, preferring to focus on the idea that other experts agree with you even though you can't demonstrate this in any significant way.  You've refused to test your ideas yourself and insisted that others do the work for you, and when they do and come up with results that you don't like you refuse to accept them and try to change the subject.

What would it take to convince you?  And no, Gary, demanding that someone else come up with a better model of this thing that doesn't actually exist will not cut it.  What if molecular intelligence is bunk and doesn't exist, what would it take to demonstrate this to you?

Date: 2013/06/05 00:34:08, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (blipey @ June 05 2013,00:05)
Quote (Nomad @ June 04 2013,23:45)
I'll ask you this once more, Gary.  I asked it for a reason.  How would you know if you were wrong?

You've refused input from experts in the fields you seek to be operating in, preferring to focus on the idea that other experts agree with you even though you can't demonstrate this in any significant way.  You've refused to test your ideas yourself and insisted that others do the work for you, and when they do and come up with results that you don't like you refuse to accept them and try to change the subject.

What would it take to convince you?  And no, Gary, demanding that someone else come up with a better model of this thing that doesn't actually exist will not cut it.  What if molecular intelligence is bunk and doesn't exist, what would it take to demonstrate this to you?

Nothing will demonstrate this to Gary.  It's hard to dissuade someone of  thought they've presupposed.  Of course, everyone knows this but Gary.

I suspect as much, however I am stubborn.  I would like Gary to state what it would take to convince him that he is wrong.

Date: 2013/06/06 00:08:59, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 05 2013,03:42)
Two bit (stores analog value) RAM data (for memory confidence 0-3) is incremented or decremented, like adjusting connection weights of a neural network. It’s then more representative of a synaptic memory, than it is digital.

Add "analog" to the list of concepts you do not understand.  Which I kind of expected, given your penchant for appending the word digital to places where it doesn't really belong.  Misunderstanding one concept makes it easier to misunderstand the opposing one I suppose.  It is still a digital value, RAM can store nothing but digital values.


These things matter, Gary.  When you boast about your mad programming skillz and talk about all these clever things you do, and then casually reveal that you haven't got a clue what basic computer terms like analog and digital mean, you make the people you are trying to impress lose confidence in you.

In any case, I shall restate my question because you obviously didn't see it.

What if you were wrong about this whole concept of intelligence that you're here to promote?  How would you know?

Date: 2013/06/06 01:35:53, Link
Author: Nomad
This does not address what I said, Gary.  It is still a digital value.  You notice that one big block in the diagram you copied there?  The one labeled DAC?  Do you know what that stands for?  Digital analog converter.  You see the "digital input" side?  Digital data.  That means, and stay with me here, that it takes digital values from some kind of computer system, data perhaps stored in RAM as a digital value, and converts the data into an analog signal.

To store analog data, you're going to need an analog storage medium.  Something like audio tape.  And then to interface it with your program you will require a DAC to go the other direction to convert it into digital data so that the computer can deal with it.

This ties in with my very simple question to you, Gary.  How would you know if you are wrong?  You defended the statement that you are storing analog values by posting a schematic showing a device that uses stored digital data, and you don't even know you did it.  If posting schematics that demonstrate that you are wrong is what you think shows that you are right, what would it take for you to see that you are wrong?

Date: 2013/06/06 19:28:29, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 06 2013,03:15)
The digital value represents an ANALOG amount from 0 to full scale therefore the RAM stores Analog amounts!

The fact that the PC is still digital does not change the fact that the RAM program module has code that gives it Analog data I/O that can only be incremented or decremented by one. In neural cognition it's representative of a synapse that strengthens/weakens over time.

Needing to come up a semantics argument to make it look like I don't know what I'm talking about is just being a pompous arse, again.

No, it doesn't even represent an analog amount.

You disagree?  Okay then, explain to me at what point your model takes this two bit value and runs it through a DAC to convert it into an analog signal.

You're not helping yourself any here.  Your "analog data I/O" can only be changed by a value of 1 at a time, you say.  That's a digital operation.  Something that can only be altered by discrete amounts would be a digital value.  Appending the word analog to it does not make it so, whether you use exclamation points to assert it or not.

Date: 2013/06/06 21:44:35, Link
Author: Nomad
How would you know if you are wrong, Gary?

Yes, speaking of your confidence value.  What about YOUR circuit for determining confidence.  It is apparently unconcerned that your history on this forum is one of constantly running away from questions you cannot answer.  Your confidence circuit is untroubled when you post a schematic of a circuit that uses stored digital data to support your contention that you are storing analog data.

Is there anything that would lead your confidence circuit to conclude that you are wrong?

Date: 2013/06/07 19:25:34, Link
Author: Nomad
How would you know if you were wrong, Gary?

Date: 2013/06/07 22:59:13, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 07 2013,19:51)
Suppressed research in the Soviet Union - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of scientific societies explicitly rejecting intelligent design - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Read what I said again, Gary.  I asked how you would know you were wrong.  What you told me is how you support your paranoid delusions.  Other people disagreeing with you should not automatically reinforce your belief that you are right.

Scientific societies tend to reject geocentrism also.  Along with flat earth theory.  There is a reason for it.  You think they're wrong, it's up to YOU to demonstrate otherwise.  Not complain that people actually question the bullshit you spout.

What if you were wrong, Gary?  How would you know?  Are you capable of knowing?

Date: 2013/06/07 23:15:28, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 07 2013,20:38)
From you I need YOUR cognitive computer model for demonstrating how "intelligence" works and theory that explains how "intelligent cause" works. Having neither, only goes to show that you should not have presented such an argument from ignorance.

And now, problem point number two with you.  When told you are wrong, the correct response is not "oh yeah, well then you do all my work for me and do it better, otherwise I shall assume that I am correct".

If you told me that airliners stay up in the air because they are filled with helium and I said you were wrong, I don't actually have to understand the aerodynamics at work to be able to make that statement.  Even if I don't understand how aerodynamic lift works, I can be quite assured that it's impossible for a jet airliner to contain enough helium to offset its weight.

Date: 2013/06/07 23:50:11, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 07 2013,23:11)
How would you even know you were right? I'm serious too.

If you cannot even accept decade(s) old cognitive models still used today then you're just another nutcase trying to make believe you know what you're talking.

That's a childish evasion.  Once again you cannot answer even a basic question, so you try evading it.

You want to know why I think I'm right?  Because I offer up what seems to me to be weaknesses to your concepts and you can't counter them.  I see problems, I point them out, and you throw temper tantrums, complain, and then link to music videos.  That does not appear to be the behavior of someone in possession of the answers.  You still haven't explained what I did wrong in applying your "four requirements", all you did was insist that the mechanism was designed in a way that it is not, and then you started sulking.  Now you're trying to assert that it's a decade's old concept because you know you can't support it, you have to try to grandfather it in.

I take the sulking and the refusal to engage in discussion as evidence that you are wrong.  If you were right and I was wrong I'd expect you to be able to point it out.  You could have done it with far less time and effort than what you've put into ranting and raving and insulting and then running away only to come back and boast about all the big important work that you're doing.

I think I'm right because you flee from the questions, Gary.  You can't even answer a basic one like "how would you know if you were wrong?".  I honestly don't think you have an answer to that.

You're so used to just assuming that you're right that you think that anyone questioning this is defaming you.  You're so wrapped up in a kind of epistemic closure that you seem to conclude that anyone saying you are wrong means you are right, and anyone saying you are right means you are right as well.  You think that pointing out that an entire society of educated people rejected your idea means that your idea is correct.  This is a pretty big problem problem, Gary.  If you can conclude that everyone telling you that you are wrong means that you are right, you can come to any nonsensical or even dangerous conclusion that you desire.

Date: 2013/06/08 00:00:09, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 07 2013,23:30)
Earth to nutcase....

You must first show someone is wrong before declaring that they are, otherwise you are just a deceptive liar.

When questioned you basically admitted that what you called "intelligent behavior" at the molecular level was really the same thing as chemistry.  You were just trying to redefine a word in order to support your "theory".

You claimed that my example application of your four requirements to an autofocus mechanism was incorrect because the autofocus mechanism must use a direct feedback system wherein the AF sensor data is never stored in memory.  You later conceded that that was likely untrue and failed to further defend your concept, running away from it for a while and then trying to just declare victory when further pressed.

What else of your nonsense would you like to be demonstrated wrong?  Already your ridiculous schematic claiming that intelligence exists at every level from existence to multicellular has to be cut way back.  Molecular intelligence is gone, and the only defense you offered for the cellular level, your four requirements, are looking pretty much dead as well.  So you're down to intelligence starting at the multicellular level, as in meat brains.  As in, the thing that no one denies.

You don't really have much left at this point.  Which I think is why you've stopped addressing any of your points and have been in the process of a long, drawn out flounce for the past week or so.  Intelligence does not hide somewhere in the DNA, it's just a chemical subject to understood chemical processes.  ID is as dead as it ever was.

And BTW, I thought you disliked insults.  Why do you think you're allowed to break the rules you insist everyone else adhere to?

Date: 2013/06/09 01:42:23, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 08 2013,00:27)
I am not going to all over again explain why the above is just more BS from not even having followed the instructions that are in the theory for how to qualify intelligence.

Your biased opinion is a waste of my time, and I'm not running in circles until I'm dead just to please a pack of bullies who think that's just wonderful.

That is a lie, Gary.  A pants on fire lie.  You attempted to dispute my application of one of your four requirements, you asserted that the mechanism must have the sensor connected directly to the motor.  I pointed out that that was not so, and you refused to discuss anything further, except to say that you'd need to learn more about it yourself.  Then you insisted that a completely different metric be used, when by your own text your four requirements are on their own sufficient for determining if intelligence is present.  Then some time later you said you were willing to believe that the mechanism was not set up the way you asserted, you said that perhaps "algorithmic tweaking" was used.  This would have meant that the sensor data was accessible to the camera's computer, and therefore was stored in RAM.

That was your one and only dispute, and you conceded it.  I tried to encourage you along the path, I pointed out that there were still three other requirements to address, perhaps you could point out a mistake I'd made in applying any of them.  You refused to discuss it for a while, and then you turned around and declared that you'd already explained what I did wrong.

This is a lie.

No?  It should be trivial to point out what more you said on the subject.  As with all of these claims of yours, it would be far faster to present the evidence that you claim to have then to evade time and time again.  If you have not simply deluded yourself into believing this to prop up your confidence then you could simply copy and paste your own words that you claim to have already used to give the answers to the questions I'm asking.  But, again, you seem unable to do it.  You cannot defend it, and yet your confidence in it is unshaken.

This, Gary, is why I keep asking you that question.

How would you know if you were wrong?

Date: 2013/06/09 04:06:28, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 09 2013,00:45)
Demanding that I change their terminology for them just because you want to dumb-down science to your level is nothing less than scientifically irresponsible.

How about you just fix your own usage of such terms as analog and digital then?

Date: 2013/06/10 00:31:30, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 09 2013,22:33)
Or in other words, you have no way of knowing you were wrong, and are just going along with the usual crowd that condones censorship.

I asked you the question and you failed to answer it.  You childishly tried to evade it by asking me, and I answered.  And suddenly you wanted to discuss other things rather than answer it yourself.

But now you think you get to demand other people answer it, and if they don't answer it to your satisfaction you think you get to strut around and gloat?

Hypocrite.

Date: 2013/06/10 04:24:13, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 10 2013,03:19)
The ONLY thing that matters to a theory that was premised to explain "INTELLIGENT CAUSE" is how well it explains INTELLIGENT CAUSE.

The burden is therefore on YOU to better explain how INTELLIGENCE and INTELLIGENT CAUSE works.

So you tell me what YOUR theory explains about INTELLIGENCE and INTELLIGENT CAUSE.

Oh good.  So then we can drop all this nonsense about intelligent design and evolution, and how you theory supposedly explains evolution better.  Although then I'm unclear why you felt it necessary to bring evolution and intelligent design up in the first place, and what the nonsense with the beak selection sliders was supposed to be about.

And by the way, Gary, how would you know if you were wrong?

Date: 2013/06/11 06:42:01, Link
Author: Nomad
The thing that I just love about this krebs cycle/citric acid cycle thing is Gary's insistence that we must use the sacred words of the cutting edge scientists.  Only if they use the words he wants to use, of course, when they don't then they don't count, but still, he wants to pretend that we have to use the words of the cutting edge.  He forcefully states that he refuses to "dumb down" his terms for the proles.

Meanwhile, the Gary of not that long ago was insisting that we use a dumbed down pre-school appropriate definition of hypothesis.

We had to use "k-12 simple words" then to describe everything back then.

Gary, I'd love to hear you explain why we have to use a dumbed down definition of a core scientific concept, but when it comes to the choice of terms which mean the same thing, it would be dumbing it down to simply use one term instead of the other.

Date: 2013/06/12 02:27:46, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 12 2013,00:18)
I have an excellent reputation with educators. And I work hard to keep it that way. In fact, that's why I'm now in this forum.

And this is yet another place where you just are not connecting with reality.

You are making a fool out of yourself with almost every post you make.  You are using concepts that are opposites (analog and digital) as if they have the same meaning, and are simultaneously trying to defend claiming that the krebs cycle and citric acid cycle are the same thing, and that they are different things.

You already accepted that the example autofocus system could have "sensory addressed memory", your admission that it might well use "algorithmic tweaking" said as much.  And now you're going back to asserting, again, that the system has no such thing.

You demand that we only use a dumbed down, preschool definition of "hypothesis", but insist that to use a synonym of your chosen term somewhere else would be dumbing down the discussion.

There are no educators that would want to be seen in public with you right now.

I admit I'm curious what fantasy you're acting out now.  I'd normally be inclined to guess that you're trying to ride to the rescue of creationism, but the thing is no creationist would want to have anything to do with you.  They want intelligence to be a special human only quality.  To suggest that molecules have it would be unacceptable to them.  So I don't imagine that you can actually be in contact with any real creationists who are egging you on.  Not even "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" thinking is going to get them to embrace making intelligence such a common, low level property.

Date: 2013/06/14 04:39:41, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 13 2013,21:08)
I needed to in as few words explain where I have been in their last university-level stretch that had them focused on making it through that.

Gary, you really think that typing gibberish like this is a more productive use of your time than discussing the "theory" that you were originally so eager to promote?


 
Quote
Not too many years ago a Kansas a professor was beaten and books being sold where I recall on the cover a picture of jail bars with just two hands from a guy in the cell asking would they be willing to join them where need be.


Nope, still no coherent concept being expressed.  Apparently a guy was beaten and books were sold, but why those two events are mentioned in the same sentence is a mystery.  As to who is joining whom, I'm at a loss.

 
Quote
He was scared that he was in the middle of that used explosives was going to happen again all over the country from the Theory of Intelligent Design but I told him that if we put our minds to-it then we could come up with something faith-friendly enough all will want that over what the Discovery Institute had because it puts the fun in science for them, not a protest for something better like that.


That there is a single sentence, apparently.  In the middle of what that used explosives?  Who knows.  The unknown thing that used explosives was apparently about to happen all over the country because some creationists were trying to rebrand creationism as intelligent design.  This is clearly a story from an alternate reality, in my reality intelligent design resulted in a few court cases that went poorly for the creationists.

Then there's the bit about a faith friendly alternative that's fun.  Hmm.  A faith friendly alternative that's not a "protest to something better".  Better than what?

 
Quote
As it turns out what Kathy envisioned that was for-real scientifically possible led to something original that KSU could not come up with, where academia be forgiven for actually not having anything that empowers the once powerless like something that they themselves must come from them instead.


Ugh, I'm giving up there.  It's late and it's just too damned hard to try to read your gibberish.


I'll say it again.  No educator would want to be associated with you, unless perhaps they were a masochistic English teacher.  You need to take k-12 English classes first before you can even communicate a coherent thought.  And yet you believe yourself to be a science communicator?  You're not even a communicator of whatever the heck you were trying to explain with that comment.

Incidentally I still remember that you're running away from explaining how the autofocus sensor output which is "algorithmically tweaked" is still not actually connected to computer memory, despite the algorithm working on it.  You're still stuck in a quagmire there.  Molecular intelligence is still dead, the four requirements are still broken, and you've stopped even addressing your "theory" any more because you know none of the rest of it will stand up to examination either.

Date: 2013/06/16 21:31:10, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 16 2013,13:28)
I deserve to have a bad-attitude towards education pseudoexperts who can only give preprogrammed responses to keywords they proclaimed to be taboo. Especially when I’m in the middle of work they would never get done. But the “Turbo” button is now working, so like it or not I’m still making progress on what matters, to science.

You say things like this, but inevitably when pressed on the details of your "work", you refuse to participate and say that other people are responsible for all of it, it's their ideas and not yours.

Whose work is it, Gary?

Date: 2013/06/17 04:14:59, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 17 2013,01:18)
Show me YOUR original science work. I want to see what kind of scientific achievement you have accomplished in your lifetime, that gives you the right to spit on people who have actually contributed to science.

Gary, once again, what work are you claiming to have done?

Writing up a kitchen science experiment that was already being used in classrooms?  That's your "original science work"?

Copying and pasting the work of cognitive scientists and scribbling "but in molecules" in the margins?

Your "theory" which is so flimsy that it collapses almost as soon as any aspect of it is investigated, and which you're so unable to defend that you offer to discard parts of it rather than support them?

Your contributions are in your imagination, Gary.

Date: 2013/06/19 05:55:36, Link
Author: Nomad
In case your memory is as short as you make it seem, Gary, let me remind you of the questions you've left open and the points you were trying to argue.  You seem to have forgotten about these since you couldn't think that we're terribly interested in code optimization.  And no, Gary, you're not catering to the imaginary cognitive science people that you think are reading this, because they wouldn't give a flip about your optimization either.

First off, nearest and dearest to my heart is the question of whether an autofocus mechanism is intelligent.  You are currently claiming both that the focus sensor is not involved in "sensory mapped memory", and that it is "algorithmically tweaked".  How the focus sensor data can be adjusted by an algorithm but never stored in memory is a bit of a problem that you have so far refused to comment on.

You are also arguing that the Krebs cycle and the citric acid cycle are both the same thing, and different things.  At the same time.  In that line you are also arguing that one is used more often in a certain field of science than the other, unless you actually see how often it's used in which case what matters is what wikipedia says.  Unless wikipedia doesn't say what you want, in which case that's a perfect example of why you shouldn't use wikipedia.

You are arguing that you can store analog data within a two bit data register, and that although it only has four possible values and is operated on by having its value changed by one every time it's totally analog because it stores a range of values from the largest to the smallest possible value.  To any competent programmer it would be obvious that what was described there was a digital operation, but to you it's analog because it represents something analog.  In this case the way you are using the word analog means that it can mean the same thing as digital.

In reality analog and digital are opposing concepts, and the fact that you can screw them up that badly reflects poorly on your competency as a programmer.  For someone trying to create a digital model that represents the analog world, not knowing the difference between the two concepts is a bit of a problem.


I'm also interested in learning who was literally murdered by the system.  Not only who was murdered, but what exactly "the system" is.  That's a pretty inflammatory claim to make and then have no interest dealing with any further.

And finally, not only have you made claims of murder, but you stated that when you came on the scene with your kitchen science experiment that some people were about to start using bombs for some poorly explained reason.  That somehow, somebody involved in the intelligent design versus evolution debate was about to start using literal explosive devices as weapons.  Who was about to start using bombs before you brought peace and love to the whole scene, Gary?  That was a particularly strong claim that seems to have nothing to do with the narrative of history as I've heard it.  Somehow I missed the bit about the bombers who were about to blow something or another up until your kitchen science experiment suddenly showed them the joy of science.

I'd appreciate some kind of explanation about that bomb thing especially.  Just something to demonstrate that that whole thing wasn't the product of your fevered imagination, and to show that you actually mean the things you say.

Once you get through that then perhaps you can start boasting about your code optimizations.  I'm sure I missed one or two questions that the others have had for you, there's plenty more unfinished business, but this is at least a start.

Date: 2013/06/20 00:22:54, Link
Author: Nomad
There's been something in the back of my mind ever I since I read those four requirements.  Can the human brain be said to contain a random number generator?

I'm thinking of a certain magic trick where you're asked to think of a number between a certain range.  A large number of people seem to settle on a single number.

I was never happy with the idea of making "guessing" mean the same thing as "generate a random number".  That's how a genetic algorithm might start out, but I'm less than convinced that that's at all an adequate comparison with how meat brains work.

Date: 2013/06/20 03:33:17, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 20 2013,00:56)
If you have no brain mechanism to take a "guess", then you cannot make any form of guess at all.

Mixing numbers from what you know to make something as random as possible to you qualifies as a good random generator. The one in a PC is not perfect statistical randomness either, but good enough for a virtual critter.

I knew I should have added a statement saying that the question was directed towards people with a track record of demonstrating that they understand the meanings of words.

You still need to explain to me how you could take the two bit confidence register in your system, run it through a DAC to convert it into an analog signal, and what that analog signal would be.  You said it represents some kind of analog signal, so you should be able to do this unless you were lying to try to justify your incorrect use of terminology.

Once you do that, then we could get on to having you explain why you felt the need to say that if something can't take a guess, then it can't make a guess.  The only way I can figure it is if you were using two different definitions for the word "guess" in a single sentence.  Which might be a new record for you.

Date: 2013/06/20 19:24:45, Link
Author: Nomad
Okay, so let's talk about this "it is so analog, because you could run it through a DAC and plug it into a confidence neuron in the brain".

No.

Here's what would happen if you ran your two bit confidence register through a DAC and fed the analog voltage into a neuron.  The neuron would promptly turn it into a digital signal.  Neurons are like that.  It would be the same as if you fed an analog voltage into a logic gate.

To communicate anything more than on or off to a neuron, you have to use pulse rate coding.  I'm guessing that it may be possible to generate an acceptable signal with an entirely digital circuit, so long as the peak voltage was appropriate.  I'm not sure that the wave shape matters, a square wave may be acceptable.

But I'm wasting my keystrokes, aren't I Gary?  You'll never admit you screwed up over anything.  You wouldn't have tried to argue that it's analog because it contains a range of values (all four of them) from the largest to the smallest if you were capable of self correction.  You would have stopped and read up a little bit and realized that digital values can contain many steps of values from the largest to the smallest, that the difference between analog and digital isn't whether values in between the maximums and minimums were possible, but that one uses discrete steps for the values and one does not.

But then you'd have had to learn something about the material that you're claiming to be an authority on.  You'd rather go about constructing a digital representation of an analog phenomenon without even knowing. what the hell either of those words means.

Date: 2013/06/21 22:25:15, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, have you realized yet that your four requirements are custom tailored to flag feedback mechanisms as intelligent?  You tried to reject the AF mechanism example as being a feedback mechanism, but not only did your requirements say nothing about a system not being allowed to be a feedback mechanism, but they're specifically set up to select them.

This requirement for a random number generator is the one thing that doesn't fit.  I see no reason for it.  Natural intelligences don't have random number generators.  On the other hand for many problem solving applications it seems to make no sense to start with a random solution.  Why not start with the middle value and search for an optimum from there?

For instance, for the AF mechanism example.  Yes, I slightly fudged in applying the random number guess.  It's more a factor of a noisy, not entirely precise signal being responded to than it is a purely random number.  But that's probably a better comparison to meat brains.  It sounds an awful lot like an educated guess to me.

But what if that were sufficient to fail the mechanism from being considered intelligent?  So then if it were changed so that instead of taking a reading from the focus sensor in the beginning with the lens set in the position that it started out in, it randomly focuses the lens and takes a reading and then operates from there?  Boom, suddenly it passes that requirement.  Has this made the system more intelligent, or has it actually made it dumber?  It's certainly made it less efficient.

There is one problem solving system I can think of that does rely on true randomness.  Evolution.  And, by extension, genetic algorithms.  Gary, it couldn't be that you're so eager to define evolution as an intelligence that you custom tailored your definition to it, at the expense of disqualifying those of us with meat brains?

Date: 2013/06/23 03:29:25, Link
Author: Nomad
So I'm curious, Gary.  You started off trying to defend your "theory".  You had no luck there, and kept contradicting yourself and ultimately ended up arguing contradictory positions at the same time.  Such as that two terms meant the same thing and different things at the same time.

So having failed to defend anything you were proposing, you've stopped engaging with any discussion about your fanciful notions, and have proceeded to just talking about all the work you've done on a simplistic artificial creature.  Not actually attempting to justify that this program has any relation to reality at all, but just talking about, of all things, the optimization efforts you've taken to make it faster, so it can do nothing useful even faster than before.

How's that working out for you?  I mean you already have your own site to flog this stuff, surely.  Why keep boasting about it to a forum of people that you've failed to make any inroads at all with?  You keep talking about the imaginary people that you think you're preaching to, but strangely not a single one of them has commented in the very forum that you claim you're communicating to them through.  You don't find that at all odd?

Date: 2013/06/26 02:40:05, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ June 26 2013,00:07)
The scientifically useless censors are busy pontificating, again.

I guess it’s hard to expect more, from such a forum of posers.

I think I get it, Gary.  You were never here to defend your fanciful notion.  You came here to get banned to feed your persecution complex.

The thing is, since you are not in fact banned, and have been babbling about your personal redefinition of many words for over half a year now, trying to call anyone here a censor is a bit silly.  It kind of shows that you're so set on what you want to happen that when it doesn't, you just play make believe.

I mean really.  This thread is reaching the 200th page, you've insulted nearly everyone here several times over and have openly refused to discuss anything more about what you were supposedly here to promote, instead choosing to just report on the minutia of your coding hobby.  And yet you continue to post unhindered.  If this is your idea of censorship, I'd hate to see your personal definition of freedom of speech.

Date: 2013/06/30 20:23:08, Link
Author: Nomad
Here's the thing, Gary.  People like the Discovery Institute?  They lie.

See, they can do this thing where they say one thing to one audience, and another to another.  When they're trying to convince people who are aware that public schools can't teach religious subjects as science they tend to scrub all mention of religion from the message.  But when they're talking to a safe audience, it's Jesus this and God that.

There's this thing called the wedge document that explicitly explains how intelligent design is intended to be the beginning of a religious takeover of American society.

What this means is that it's not as easy as simply asking someone "hey, so is this thing about religion or what?".  You have to check out their actions as well as their words.

In the case of what you casually dismiss as a quote mine,  the subject is revisions of a textbook.  An older version was intended to insert creationism into public schools, but McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education booted creationism from the science classroom, so they changed it, cutting the word creationism from the book and pasting intelligent design into it in its place.  Even, charmingly, leaving the famous transitional fossil of "cdesign proponentsists" which shows that they simply changed the word creationist into "design proponent".  They're interchangeable words, kind of like what "intelligence" and "chemistry" are to you.

Now, you say this:
 
Quote
Apparently, the only qualification for this area of paraphrasology is belief that it's scientifically best to argue against the weakest paraphrasing, not what (from board of education hearing in Kansas and such) is on the official public-record as having to be given a fair-hearing.


And yet... umm.. all of this is on the public record.  There was this little court case that took place in Dover, Pa.  People familiar with the intelligent design thing tend to know about it.

Why don't you?

Date: 2013/07/01 20:06:27, Link
Author: Nomad
You want to talk about your "science", Gary?

Okay then.  So, about this auto-focus mechanism and your four requirements.

See, when we left this discussion, because you refused to continue (but you claim to want to talk about your "theory" now, so let's see if you're telling the truth this time), you were claiming that an autofocus mechanism does not store data from the focus sensor in the memory, therefore it fails your four requirements.  However you were also arguing simultaneously that the system could use "algorithmic tweaking" to control the focus setting.

So, the sensor is not connecting into memory, but the computer program adjusts the output according to what the sensor reads anyway.  So your challenge is now to explain how a program can respond to a sensor without being connected to it in any way.  Or else, once again, your  four requirements are found to be custom designed to flag any simple feedback mechanism as intelligent and should be discarded or comprehensively rewritten.

You still have the random number problem too, since people really aren't good at random number generation.  So once you modify your requirements to not flag a simple feedback mechanism as intelligent (woops, that means your bug is straight out the door too, oh well, such is the progress of science) then you have to modify it so that it will flag flag people as intelligent.

So, do you really want to talk about your theory, Gary?  Or are you just trying to run away from yet another discussion that you were drowning in?  Remember, you think third party observers are watching.  If you complain that no one is addressing your theory and then once again pout and refuse to talk about it when someone does, you're not going to look good.

Date: 2013/07/02 01:22:35, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, you're beyond redemption.  Seriously.  You demand a better explanation of intelligence, and when you get it you insult the one who gave it to you.

You didn't say a single thing to contradict it.  You offered no actual argument.  You just insulted him.


As to this bit:

Quote
This seems to be the result of university level academia having helped to establish their religious world view which runs on stereotypes, not reality, therefore believers are often convinced that they can never be wrong.


Who does this sound like.  I'll give you a hint, Gary.  Someone in this discussion recently demanded a statement involving a definition of ID that was in the public record, subject to a proper hearing, and when this person got it and it didn't agree with him he suddenly spun 180 degrees and insisted that the only definition that could be used it one hosted on a closed private site.

This is not an isolated incident, this person has done it again and again.  He insisted that the majority of researchers in a certain field were using one term in preference of another, and when that was shown to be false he didn't miss a beat and instead insisted that only a single source could be used, once again claiming the complete opposite of what he had just argued.

This person demands that people use simplified k-12 appropriate language, and yet makes a major stink claiming that people are dumbing down another concept and insists that he will only use the language of the professional level.

One person involved in this discussion has been so committed to the belief that he is right that he's willing to argue that two contradictory positions are true at the same time.

Maybe that person would be better off not lecturing other people on the willingness to accept that one is wrong.

Date: 2013/07/02 04:04:20, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ July 02 2013,02:29)
I'll just leave the weird (intelligent) space alien evolutionary creationism that is supposed to even explain "intelligent cause" to the crusading evolutionary creationists of this forum.

One question, Gary.  At what point were space aliens invoked to explain intelligent cause?  I don't see it, it's almost as if you didn't actually read what was posted and just went straight to typing an irrational screed in response.

Also, let's talk about this new behavior where you feel compelled to append the word creationist after evolutionary.  This makes no sense.  Look, I know you love drastically redefining words so that two opposing words mean the same thing, but evolutionary creationism makes no sense.  That's like invoking a steady state big bang.  Is there any deeper thinking in this than a juvenile kind of "I'm not a creationist, YOU'RE a creationist" comeback?

Date: 2013/07/02 21:47:09, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ July 02 2013,16:07)
Constantly changing the subject away from the very serious issues, clearly makes you the one hiding from reality. I'm glad I'm not you!

Who was murdered, Gary?  Who was about to start using explosives until you brought peace to academia with your kitchen science experiment?  Who in this forum has censored you?

You made all of these claims.  You felt it was necessary to bring them up instead of talking about the details of your theory.  But you know that you can't support a single one.  They were made to try to divert the discussion away from the failure that is your supposed theory, from all the points of it that were examined and found to fail at every level.  You couldn't defend it, so you tried to change the subject to futile accusations.  But when you were called on them you couldn't support them either, and had to change the subject again.

So, being that projection is your bread and butter, you accuse everyone else of changing the subject, and declare that you're glad that you're not them.

Brilliant.  The next thing you know you'll accuse us all of wasting decades of our lives building computer models of our personal fantasies and demanding to be paid for our work.

Date: 2013/07/04 05:32:45, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, I've been wondering about something for months.  I'm wondering if I've run into you in meat space before.

A while ago I attended a talk promoting ID that baffled me.  The guy giving it seemed to genuinely reject the religiously motivated ID supporters as being repackaged creationists rather than genuine ID supporters.  He had a bit in the talk where he used "if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck" to explain his guiding principle of judging whether something was genuine ID or else creationism in a lab coat.

I can't remember his name, and while I should have something with his name on it I can't find it.  There was nothing in his talk about molecular intelligence, but I can't shake a feeling that you two seemed to have similar motivations.  You both baffled me in a similar way.

This was probably in Illinois in 2008.  Any chance that that was you?

Date: 2013/07/07 21:31:09, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, you are the troll.  You have lied repeatedly.  You claim to want to discuss you theory, but every time you're asking anything about it you end up complaining, insulting people, and then running away because, to put it simply, your theory is garbage and cannot be supported.

Talking about how great you and your work is isn't doing science.  It's playing pretend.  There is no content in what you're saying, the major message is simply "look at how great I am, I'm doing big science work and am very proud of myself".  Content about what any of this nonsense means?  Nothing.  You are making an arbitrary simulation that runs in arbitrary ways that relates to nothing real, but every time it does ANYTHING you're thrilled and think you've made a discovery.

You could prove me wrong by starting to answer the countless criticisms levelled at you.  But you won't.  Because you have nothing of substance to offer.


So, to continue the listing of words that have been redefined:

Analog:  a variable that has more than two possible values

Digital:  the only type of RAM Gary uses for his simulations

Random:  an arbitrarily picked variable used when no
known solution exists

Fractal: turtles (or intelligence, or whatever) all the way down

Bully: someone who does not shower Gary with praise

Troll: anyone who is not Gary who makes posts not pertaining directly to the theory of Gary

Date: 2013/07/10 01:52:45, Link
Author: Nomad
I brought up the other ID supporter who seemed to honestly not be motivated by creationist sympathies because he kind of reminded me of Gary.  At first I assumed Gary was trying to ride the creationist gravy train, trying to create a unique take on it to separate himself out from the crowd but counting on getting their support.  This seemed foolish, given that creationists are pretty much guaranteed to not like the idea of granting intelligence to single celled organisms.  They tend not to like it being granted even to other mammals.

I still don't really get the other guy.  He seemed to earnestly believe that ID was some sort of genuine concept that deserved to be taken seriously, but he wasn't really clear on what it was, only what it was not.  But maybe he's like Gary.  Maybe it's more about not giving up on the fantasy of changing the world, of living a mundane life and trying to create meaning by being a sooper genius in his spare time.

In Gary's case I see that it's not about sucking up to creationists now.  It's more than that.  He sees himself as a peacemaker, he's going to find the middle way through the feuding evolutionist and creationist camps, redefine several fields of science, and also make learning fun again.  That last one always throws me.

There's a lot to his fantasy.  He's the poor persecuted underdog, who is yet widely supported in the fields that matter.  He is the maverick scientist boldly changing multiple fields, yet none of it is really his idea so he's not responsible for any of it.  He's revolutionizing cutting edge scientific fields, but he's keeping it all accessible to school children.

In his mind, of course.  In reality he's insulting everybody, complaining about being insulted, making off topic comments constantly to run away from discussion about his own ideas, and yet is constantly lecturing people about not talking with him about the ideas that he refuses to discuss.

But I finally get what he's about.  It's not about the con man game and fleecing the rubes.  It's about keeping his ego inflated like it was on a steady supply of viagra.

Gary, if it stays that way for longer than 4 hours you should go see your doctor.  That ain't healthy.

Date: 2013/07/12 07:45:03, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, you've now fully swallowed your tail and are set on infinite loop.  You have nothing new to offer.

When I first joined this discussion I was attempting to point out how ridiculous your whole "the only way to prove me wrong is to create a better model of this imaginary phenomenon that I just invented" schtick was.  And you have not learned one bit.

Try this on for size.  I have invented a practical means to achieve cold fusion.  Now if I attempted to demonstrate it to you it would fail, in fact you might suspect that my cold fusion reactor looked an awful lot like a jar of mayonnaise.  But unless you can come up with a better cold fusion device, you have to accept that I've invented cold fusion and should shower me with praise.

How does that grab you?


While we're at it, you tried that molecular computing link before.  I told you already that it was about molecular computing, not about the kind of intelligence you're always on about.  I told you this, and you ignored it, let it sit a while, and then tried to spring it on the forum again.  Do you think I wouldn't remember, you dishonest little troll?  Did you think that no one else would bother to click and read the description and notice that the title was highly misleading?

Gary, either you're so lazy that you didn't even read the page you had linked to and didn't realize that it had nothing to do with what you call molecular intelligence, or else you read it and knew that it wasn't what it sounded like, but lied about it to try to score points.  Either way, you should be ashamed.  You won't be, because you have no shame.  But you should be.

The only part of that course that has anything to do with what you'd call intelligence?  The bit about understanding the biological underpinning of human intelligence.  Ya'know, the one thing that nobody here denies exists?  It's about the molecular underpinnings though, not "molecular intelligence".  It's about molecular intelligence only so far as the fact that our brains contain molecules.

Oh but it gets better, booby.  Not only does it not contain what you imagine that it does, guess what else is in that course?  Do you remember insisting that genetic algorithms cannot be intelligent, and frequently asserting that they're some sort of failed concept that will be discarded by your new "theory"?  The course you linked to so approvingly as an example of support for molecular intelligence touches on using DNA to run a genetic algorithm.  A genetic, genetic algorithm if you will.

You really, REALLY need to start reading the things you link before you post them.  If the class was an example of the application of your definition of intelligence, then you've just defined genetic algorithms as intelligent.  And with that, evolution itself has just been defined as intelligent without any kind of thinking molecules nonsense.  Once again, your entire theory is revealed to be nothing more than you trying to radically alter the definition of a term so you can apply it to concepts that are already well understood.  Nothing in the mechanism is changed except the words you're trying to attach to it.

You're not a religiously motivated ID huckster or con man.  You're just a lazy cheater, trying to find a shortcut.

Date: 2013/07/12 22:38:07, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, it's back to that same old question that you ran away from so fast before that you left skid marks.  And then later tried to act tough and asked other people the same thing.

How would you know if you are wrong?

Look, you link to something that says "molecular intelligence" but which contains details about molecular computing, and even deals with genetic algorithms which you've already asserted cannot be intelligent.  And then you don't want to talk about it, you just link it again as if that will solve the problem of people having read it and discovering that it doesn't contain what you said it would.

You are dealing with what has popularly come to be termed epistemic closure.  When people tell you that you are wrong, you use it to plump up your ego, telling yourself that you must be on to something that they don't want you to know about.  When someone asks you a question, you puff yourself up even more and start lecturing.  Of course that reinforces your belief.  And, presumably, if someone were to tell you that you were right, you would also take that to mean that you were right.

What could possibly indicate to you that you are wrong?

You never apply anything to reality, so there's no point asking if that would ever sway you.  And all you have left is a number of stimuli that all, to you, connect to the "I'm right" circuit.  To use your preferred terminology.

Let me put it this way.  You are not intelligent by your own terms.  Your confidence register is stuck at 3 all the time.  You never compare it to reality, you never adjust.  You charge ahead constantly assured that you're right.  This is why I tend to believe that you're not in it for the magic man in the sky, you're not even trying to convince anybody else.  You're in it for self gratification only.


I do wonder if it ever concerns you that you fail your four requirements of intelligence, though.

Date: 2013/07/15 17:00:48, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ July 15 2013,16:41)
Quote (OgreMkV @ July 15 2013,16:27)
Just out of curiosity, have you ever explained cellular and molecular intelligence, where it comes from, what it is, and how it is "intelligence".

Because I think you're redefining 'behavior' as 'intelligence'.  You have to prove me wrong or I win.  You see, mine is the default theory.

Read the theory!

I'll tell you what, Gary.  You get to demand that people read your theory when you start responding to questions asked by people who have already read it.

So, about that autofocus mechanism.  You know the questions, I've asked them probably about twenty times by now.  Go.  Or else we'll all know that this is just another stalling mechanism because you're unable to actually defend what you're trying to argue.

Date: 2013/07/15 21:31:03, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote
Quote
So, about that autofocus mechanism.  You know the questions, I've asked them probably about twenty times by now.  Go.  Or else we'll all know that this is just another stalling mechanism because you're unable to actually defend what you're trying to argue.

honestly if you were i [then] you would have already beaten yourself to death with a hammer ---- (before having to all over again explain that you are NOT to fabricate your own requirements for intelligence while ignoring the CIRCUIT that has sensory connected directly to RAM address inputs, etc.)

Gary, what you are saying does not make sense any more.  I fabricated nothing.  I'm using your fabricated requirements.  You really need to start making your vague accusations have some kind of meaning.  Meaning that applies to other people and not to yourself, I mean.

You're also trying to change things.  You never said "directly" connected to RAM.  I suspect you're trying to weasel out of this somehow.

However if you want to show a good faith effort to have this discussion, then you know where you can start.  You accepted that the system could use "algorithmic tweaking" to control the mechanism.  How can an algorithm tweak the AF function without knowing what the AF sensor is reading?

Yes, you could design a stupidly elaborate system that feeds the sensor data directly to the motor, and then lets the computer know the position of the focus mechanism instead, and tries to extrapolate what kind of data would be coming from the sensor based on the movement of the AF motor.  But why would you?  Let me rephrase that, why should an intelligent designer do that?  You seem to wish to assume it is built that way because you have to do avoid accepting that your four requirements don't work like you want them to.

So yes, kindly explain how the sensor could be unconnected to RAM at all, and yet the program can adjust the AF system through the use of algorithms.  And in a sensible way, a way likely to be used.  You don't get to design a rube goldberg system designed specifically to do things the way you want them to behave, no matter how impractical or foolish it is.

I also see you tried to add a pointless digression about RAM and ROM to your "theory".  Bad idea.  You're still wrong, I'd challenge you to come up with a way to run your program exclusively from ROM without ever being loaded into RAM, but we both know you have no idea how that would work but are just trying to rationalize your bizarre need to keep saying RAM even in places where it's really not necessary or even appropriate.

Let me make it simple for you.  Put your program onto a CD-R disc.  Good.  It's read only now.  Now, how do you execute that program without loading it into RAM?


edited to fix quote formatting

Date: 2013/07/16 01:17:13, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ July 15 2013,22:05)
If the sensory is not directly connected to RAM address inputs (in either hardwired circuit or computer algorithm that simulates the circuit as is regularly done in electronics) then there is no (see page 3) "sensory addressed memory" therefore the circuit does not qualify as being intelligent.

If it cannot remember what it just guessed because sensory is connected to a ROM instead of RAM then it is not intelligent either. As the theory clearly states: The result is more of a zombie that may at first appear to be a fully functional intelligence but they are missing something necessary.

The requirement system works fine, but I cannot prevent others from not reading the instructions!

And apparently I can't force you to read the thing I just typed.  You're still going to have to face the facts that the sensor does feed into system RAM.  It has to in order to function.

I'll repeat the question.  How can an algorithm "tweak" the autofocus function without having any access to the AF sensor data?  What input it using to figure out how to "tweak" the focusing?

Date: 2013/07/16 19:49:55, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ July 16 2013,08:46)
If the algorithm controlling the camera has no access at all to its sensory then it is impossible to add another algorithm to it that produces intelligence.

Gary, you really need to focus on what I'm saying because you keep responding to things I never said.  I said nothing about adding another algorithm to it.  It was you who accepted that it could use an algorithm to control the AF mechanism.  Apparently I have to explain to you that if an algorithm is controlling the focusing then the camera's computer is in fact involved in the focusing.  And if the computer is involved in controlling it, logically it is connected to the sensor.  The sensor is connected to RAM, your only defense is lost.

I'm trying to get you to understand what you're saying.  You're saying that the computer in the camera is controlling the focusing, but it was intentionally designed so that the AF sensor is not connected to the computer at all but directly fed into the AF motor.  Why on Earth would anyone design such a thing that way, except to skate around the periphery of your four requirements?  You almost seem to be assuming that the engineers at Canon and Nikon and Sony are specifically designing their cameras in weird ways so that you won't consider them intelligent.

Gary, you're making unjustified assumptions that already ignore evidence I've presented to you.  You're doing this because without ignoring reality your four requirements fail.

And as such, you fail your third requirement.  Your confidence register is not corrected by anything.  Or, to put it in the way you prefer to look at it, your brain's confidence value is in ROM and as such you are unable to learn anything.

Date: 2013/07/17 19:12:06, Link
Author: Nomad
Still waiting for your response Gary.  You *do* want to engage in a dialogue about your theory, don't you?

How does a computer control an autofocus mechanism without being connected to the AF sensor?  And why would anyone do that when it's trivially easy to have the sensor connected to the computer?

I've already given you multiple good reasons to accept that the AF sensor is connected to system memory.  I've detailed the way it behaves that indicates that it's not a crude feedback based servo mechanism.  You denied that that could be true without any support and then refused to investigate any further, deciding to rest on your ignorance.

So now you get to explain why it should even be done that way.  In a camera with a computer controlling every function including focusing and metering, you're telling me that the computer may control the focusing, but it's not allowed to know what the AF sensor is seeing.  You get to explain why you believe this to be the case, and "because if it wasn't my theory would be broken" is not an acceptable answer.

Or, ya'know, you could "wire" up your confidence register to some kind of sense that's aware of the outside world and realize that you're having to create imaginary alternate versions of real world things in order to make your half baked notions work.

Date: 2013/07/18 01:41:44, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ July 17 2013,20:20)
2) In a theory like this the word "Random" only adds confusion and it would be nice to change it to something else but "RAM" is what it's already called, and I have to be specific in regards to which kind of memory system is required to model a process where in the case of our molecular intelligence is estimated to be at least a few billion years old today.

No, you do not.  It is bizarre that you feel like you have to specify what kind of computer memory your program will be run on.  RAM is the only option you have.  There is no other.

I made inquiries, Gary.  I actually asked people that know something about this.  It turns out that, at least in some systems, it might be possible to run a very simple program using only the registers inside the processor, with no kind of RAM.  Only ROM to store the program in.  I don't think your program could be run that way, however.  You have no choice, if you're coding in visual basic it will be run in RAM.  You act like this is a consideration that needs to be thoroughly documented, but it's not even a decision.  That's like announcing that you've decided that your computer will be powered by electricity when it is running the model, or that your theory requires you to use a keyboard to input the code.

Oh, and also, who estimates that our "molecular intelligence" is at least a few billion years old?  I mean besides you?  You don't get to casually refer to these things that you've invented as if they're settled fact.

I'm also curious.  What's the top end of the estimate of the age of our "molecular intelligence"?  I mean surely it can't go any higher than a few billion years?  But you say at least, as if leaving room for it to be perhaps tens of billions.  How do you figure that works?  You falling in with the people that figure that life originated and another planet and got here somehow?  I mean it wasn't that long ago that you were mocking that idea, now you seem to be reserving space for it.

Date: 2013/07/18 06:41:12, Link
Author: Nomad
The problem, Quack, is that Gary uses the term in two different ways.

One way is his obsessive use of the term to talk about his actual program.  He will talk about creating a RAM where a number is stored.  What he means is creating a variable, but he refuses to call it that.  It is always the RAM in which the thing is stored.

But he also uses the term as a kind of analogy.  He has called neural nets a kind of RAM, he calls brains RAM, he calls DNA RAM.  To be clear, not just a memory storing section in the brain.  The entire brain.  He seems to think that RAM processes data in addition to storing it.

I fear he doesn't understand there's a difference.  He has a real problem understanding that an analogy or model is not necessarily the same as the real thing.  He codes a program and assumes that reality works the same way.  Now that he's dubbed these things RAM he really seems to think they're the same thing.  KevinB suggests that DNA is closer to ROM and Gary starts talking about DNA being like a ROM that was copied to RAM.

I don't know what that means, he seems to think DNA is cached to some kind of RAM analog chemistry in the body where it's intelligently shuffled and then coded back into DNA.

Date: 2013/07/21 04:05:30, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ July 21 2013,03:22)
What matters is theory that develops in a way to assimilate you in a way that is good or bad depending on what you choose.

Ummm.... yes.

Date: 2013/07/21 19:57:33, Link
Author: Nomad
I believe PZ at least was clear that Comfort was recording the interview, but went along with it anyway.

He's stated that he expected Comfort to heavily and dishonestly edit it though, so I don't really know why he went along with it.

Date: 2013/07/23 19:51:13, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, your "theory" is a mess.  I don't really think anyone can communicate this to you anymore, you're too impervious, but what you are doing is not constructing a theory.  You're Googling the science news and are lifting anything that you like the sound of and incorporating it into your wall o' text.  It's more of an exercise in pathological plagiarism than it is a theory.

It's full of things that do not belong there.  For instance, after I called you on your habitual use of the term RAM where other terms such as variable would have been more appropriate, you added on to your "theory" your justification that you could run your program from ROM in a system with no RAM, but then it couldn't learn.

No, I don't think you could.  Remember my example, Gary?   Load your program onto a CD-ROM and try to run it in a PC with no RAM.  How do you think that's going to go for you?

Oddly you seem unable to learn this simple lesson.  Are you certain that you're intelligent?

Rather than accept this, you've decided to add your assertion into your "theory", despite it having jack shit to do with what your theory is supposed to be about.  At that point you pretty much acknowledged that this isn't an attempt at making a theory anymore.  You're not expanding the frontiers of human knowledge.  You're muttering "I'll show them!" to yourself while you write down everything you feel slighted about.  You think that by writing it and putting it up on Google you make it established fact.

Nope, you still can't execute your program in a ROM only environment.  You still can't store analog data in RAM, and you still have no excuse whatsoever for calling computer memory "digital RAM".

These issues are more tangential to your central claims regarding intelligence, but someone claiming to be an award winning computer programmer should really, really understand that you don't store analog data in RAM.  And that calling it digital RAM is pointlessly redundant and makes it look like you're adding unnecessary words to your spewage to make it look more technical while adding no useful meaning.

Must I also remind you that you're still leaving your four requirements hanging?  You still need to explain why you believe that a camera's computer can control the autofocus system, but that it would not under any circumstances be allowed to know what the autofocus sensor is seeing.  You're going to need to do more than embed that assertion into your theory to support it.

Date: 2013/07/28 05:29:31, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ July 27 2013,18:21)
As the scientific method requires, I am awaiting your better circuit and explanation for how any intelligence works, along with your better instructions for how to program “intelligent cause” events.

Gary, I have invented cold fusion.  As I admitted before, my cold fusion device will look to you like a mayonnaise jar, filled with mayonnaise.  However, unless you can create a better cold fusion device, I expect you to acknowledge that I have invented cold fusion.

If you sincerely believe in this argument, I expect you to accept that I have invented cold fusion, to tell me so right here, and right now.  I expect you to respect me as a scientific genius who has accomplished something that many considered impossible.  You claim to believe that the scientific method requires this.  Okay, show us that you believe it.

Or else I expect you to have the intellectual integrity to drop this dishonest tactic.

Well okay, not really, I expect you to ignore this just as you've ignored all the other things that you can't deal with in your descent to the bottom that you've convinced yourself was an ascent to the pinnacle.  Because we both know you can't accept that you've ever been wrong about anything.  Your personal confidence circuit is still not connected to any "extereoreceptive" sensors.  You still fail your own intelligence test.

And BTW, I have to go back and laugh again that you think that a word like "exteroreceptive" is "K-12 simple language".  You used a needlessly complex word to make yourself sound smarter and you know it, you big phoney.

Date: 2013/07/28 23:42:22, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ July 28 2013,22:15)
You are only talking about standard neural networks that I long ago modeled. I also modeled pattern recognition per Arnold Trehub synaptic matrix which also made a great RAM. More realistic Spiking neural models are now popular. But in all cases the model is not that of a functional brain, just a small number of artificial neurons that when "trained" can store memories, which you are now trying to mislead readers with by making it seem like a big deal when it isn't.

Being so boastful about needing new ridicule is a good example of how low you are willing to go, to maintain your illusion. Perhaps it is your vested interests in making the theory go away (by ridiculing creationists) that makes you this sinister.

I feel like this is a really good example of Gary's attempts to dodge the issues.

We have him on record claiming a number of things about his n-bug which are not true.  Now he's trying to say that he totally did those things, just a long time ago on a completely different program.  Then he references another way to model neural behavior which he is also not using, just to try to keep distancing himself from what he falsely claimed.  And then, to top it off, hey, real modeled neurons aren't such a big deal anyway, which is an interesting defense considering how big a deal he made out of modelling neurons before.

And Gary, seriously.  This line:
Quote
I also modeled pattern recognition per Arnold Trehub synaptic matrix which also made a great RAM


makes no sense.  You really don't understand what the term RAM means, you need to stop using it until you can learn how to use it properly.

And finally, Gary, I'm still waiting for your answer regarding whether I've invented a practical means to achieve cold fusion.

Date: 2013/07/29 01:48:04, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ July 29 2013,00:55)
I am not responsible for what you end up in your mind concocting while rationalizing your illogical actions.

It is a simple question, Gary.  You say that a false claim cannot be refuted without someone coming up with a better version of whatever the claim is about.  You claim that the scientific method DEMANDS it.

Very well.  I shall repeat.  I have invented a means of achieving cold fusion.  My device looks like a mayonnaise jar filled with mayonnaise, but nonetheless I claim that it is my cold fusion device.  The first in the world.

How do you respond?  If you believe what you claim to believe, you should accept that I have invented cold fusion.  I don't think you really believe that, I think it's a special argument you only employ when you're trying to shut down criticism of your nonsense.  I think you know that at this point you have no way to answer this.  You of course do not believe that I have achieved cold fusion, but you know you've backed yourself into a corner and that you can't say that without violating what you're pretending "the scientific method requires".

In other words, you're lying.  You don't believe it, you just desperately wish other people would believe it to give you a free pass.

 
Quote

The whole beginning of the neural networks video about what Wesley is talking about, where you Input a pattern of what can be analogs and the neural net Outputs a response it was trained to output (data was stored at that input pattern address). Maybe if you watch it again you will notice it's a math/electronic method for associating data output with an input pattern, a RAM.


So you believe that "a method for associating data output with an input pattern" is the definition of RAM?

You are wrong.  Try again.  The code of a program that does such a thing can be stored in RAM, but that is not "a RAM".  You have a major flaw in your understanding of what RAM means.  It leads you to make nonsensical statements like that one talking about a program that made "a great RAM".

In the real world, if I were to say that I had a computer program that makes good RAM, what I would be saying is that I have a program that somehow produces quality RAM.  Perhaps it might be a GA that evolves optimized circuit patterns.  Perhaps it might be a program that controls an automated fabrication process.


As far as I can tell, what you meant to say is "which also made a great neural net program".  That's not what RAM means.

My only guess is that this is your literal mind at work again.  At some point you started using RAM as an analogy to neural net.  It's an inappropriate analogy, but you got stuck doing it.  And now the concept has bled over and you think that RAM means neural net.

For what I hope, but seriously doubt, will be the last time, you might store your program in RAM.  But it is not "a RAM".  RAM alone will not solve anything, or execute any program.  It is a storage device.  It no more executes a program than a CD plays itself without a CD player.  It requires a processor to actually do the stuff that you think it is accomplishing alone.

Date: 2013/07/29 20:09:50, Link
Author: Nomad
So Gary, I see that you are refusing to comment on whether I have developed a reliable method for achieving cold fusion.  Presumably you realize that you backed yourself into a corner and the only option you have is to refuse to respond.

Your intellectual cowardice is noted.

You also apparently don't care to comment on the special definition of RAM you are using which no one else in the world uses.  That's par for the course I guess.

I'm going to go back to a question you refused to answer long ago.  How would you know if you were wrong?

I find your response to that interesting.  You refused to answer it, yet immediately turned it around on me.  That was juvenile evasion, but I humored your childish behavior.  You proceeded to start demanding that other people answer it for you, and if any didn't do it to your satisfaction you thought you had the right to gloat about it.

Yet you never answered it yourself.  Why is that, Gary?

Date: 2013/07/29 20:22:45, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (Texas Teach @ July 29 2013,14:36)
Please quit embarrassing yourself and present some actual evidence that:

molecules are intelligent
Molecules have muscles
Cells have muscles
Your n-bugs have anything to do with life

At least for point one, he has stated several times now that he is not arguing that molecules are intelligent.

He is apparently arguing that the behavior of individual molecules is governed by intelligence, but that the intelligence does not reside in the molecules.

And suddenly I see how he can work creationism into this.  I am not as convinced as others that he is religiously motivated, but that's an obvious nook to slip god into.  That would also explain why he refuses to explain where the intelligence is.  If individual molecules are being guided by intelligence, but they are not intelligent, it seems that he is invoking an external intelligence that controls them and guides them to do things not explained by chemistry.

Date: 2013/08/05 05:41:06, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Aug. 03 2013,17:30)
I am not going to waste even more time explaining why whether there is truth to the sales pitches or not does not even matter to the theory and you only described a simple motor feedback mechanism then claimed you showed this circuit is controlling the camera:


You are now lying, Gary.  I did not claim anything about that meaningless circuit, except that I found it hilarious that you thought that a term like "exteroreceptive" was "k-12 simple language".  I was talking about your four requirements for detecting intelligence.  Remember those?  You should, I've brought them up specifically enough times when I was trying to get you to come back to this discussion.

While I'm at it, there's one other thing you said that's worth highlighting:

Quote
The use of a GA allows the modeling out of said "intelligence" therefore it is a no brainer that the intelligence that should be there is missing. Duh?


This is called assuming the conclusion, Gary.  You're doing this backwards.  Duh indeed.  You're saying that since your model includes your nonsense concepts it's correct by definition, even without ever being tested.  Whereas if a model demonstrates that a GA can achieve the things that you want to attribute to intelligence, the fact that it left out your favored concept proves its wrong, even though it did what your model has failed to do.

Science does not work that way.  Despite all your posturing and attitude, what you want is dogma.  You want theology, man.  You want to be walking around shouting about how things have to be only a certain way.  That it's heresy to even suggest that they might not be that way.  You tried playing scientist and you blew it.  The game was over before you even started.  Whereas you have to spend years hand tuning this pathetic code to get it to run a kinda sorta simulated animal, a GA can be used to generate code to run actual robots to solve similar problems without using intelligence at all.  Solving the problem without intelligence works.  Intelligence is not required.  You lose.

Date: 2013/08/06 05:52:53, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Aug. 05 2013,23:56)
With all the work I now have explaining what’s going on temporally in the model I cannot spend a month explaining what a RAM is and such (already plenty of tutorials for that) but hopefully where I’m now at with the last experiment will help explain how such a simple looking circuit becomes such a complex mind of its own.

So two things.  First off, you need to learn what RAM is first.  Remember?  Your computer has a CPU in it which is required to execute code.  The RAM on its own does nothing more than store things.  Neural nets could not function if that was the only functionality they had access to.  You do not understand what RAM means.

Of course you will never correct your understanding because this is all about stroking your ego to you.  At some point you failed to grasp that learning of your mistakes and correcting them is a basic part of the human experience.  The only thing you are able to do is deny and double down when caught making mistakes.  This is so bad with you that you incorporate your mistakes into your "theory" when called out on them, even though they don't belong there in the first place.

Secondly, your circuit is not a "complex mind".  It is a simple feedback mechanism.  You are not at the point where you should be explaining how it became such a thing.  Once again you are assuming your conclusion.  You are at the point where you desperately need to begin justifying the claim that it's such a thing at all.  You've been asked this repeatedly.  What makes your virtual insect/single cell organism/whatever any more intelligent than a robotic vacuum cleaner or a camera autofocus mechanism?  You've repeatedly insisted that the AF mechanism was designed in a way that it is not in order to try to prop up your broken understanding of intelligence.  But the problem won't go away.

You scoffed at the AF mechanism as being just a feedback mechanism.  But that's what you've made.  All this time and effort has gone into a simple feedback loop.  Which still has more self corrective ability than you've demonstrated.

Date: 2013/08/06 17:15:48, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Aug. 06 2013,12:55)
Quote (Nomad @ Aug. 06 2013,05:52)
You do not understand what RAM means.

Oh go to hell, lunatic.

So here's why this matters, Gary.  You've made many statements that seem to indicate that you don't understand computer architecture at all.  You seem to think that RAM is both storage and processor rolled into one.  I believe you think this because of the way you refer to neural nets (including meat based brains) as being directly analogous to RAM only.

Now you've stated that because code can run on RAM, that means that the thing the code is emulating must be RAM also.  Should I really ask if that means that aerodynamics is a kind of RAM because computational fluid dynamics is run on systems with RAM?

The problem here, Gary, is that I repeatedly lay out the reasons that I think you are incorrect.  The statements you've made, the ways that they don't agree with reality as I understand it, and examples of what you're missing and need to incorporate into your understanding.  In particular the fact that your laser like focus on RAM completely ignores the CPU, and that without a CPU your code would do nothing.

Your only response is to insult me.  For all your complaining about the abuse being heaped upon you, you're the one insulting me after I put effort into communicating concepts to you.

The adult response, the response of a, dare I say it, scientist, would have been to respond to the points that were raised.  You really want to push your analogy of neural nets being RAM only?  Then find me a neural net that is nothing more than a storage mechanism.  You want to support your insistence that RAM is not only data storage but code execution?  Then find me an example of a RAM only system with no processor.

To a point I enjoy arguing with people.  I enjoy a spirited debate on a subject with someone with a different point of view, because that is how you learn things.  When I am arguing that X cannot be true because of Y with somebody, I'm not always insisting that they must be wrong.  I'm looking for where I could be wrong.  Yes, it can be a little embarrassing being caught making a total screwup.  I think I once had the same misunderstanding of the concepts of "digital" and "analog" that you do.  I was called out on it most harshly, and slunk away with my tail between my legs to think over the mistake I'd made.  Maybe I'm a little too smug about understanding the distinction now, maybe I was less kind to you about that then I should have been.

Or similarly, on this forum I discovered that I'd been misinformed on the meaning of E=MC^2.  I'd been specifically taught that that only dealt with nuclear reactions, that chemical reactions didn't alter mass.  Someone who knew more than me informed me that that was wrong, and I started looking into it.  Yep, they were right.  Mass is relative to chemical energy content, and probably other kinds of potential energy as well.  The effect is so small that you can go your entire life without ever seeing any evidence of this, but it's there nonetheless.

This is why you frustrate me so much sometimes.  I'm not a teacher, I'm often terrible at communicating subjects because I try to say everything all at once.  But still I love exchanging information.  Knowledge, ideas, they're exciting things.  Will I ever make use of that bit of information about mass being relative to energy content?  Nope.  I'll never be able to even detect it.  But it's so exciting to have that bit of knowledge now, to understand a bit more about this bizarre world that exists all around me.

I see you repeatedly insisting that the world is only the way you imagine it to be, and responding to anything contrary to that by lashing out, and it frustrates me.  You are dooming yourself to constantly misunderstanding things.  You will constantly be butting your head up against the nature of reality because you will never correct your understanding of it.  You have the ability to do so much more, but you're denying your potential to achieve anything else every time you double down on a misunderstanding in order to keep your ego inflated.

Date: 2013/08/09 05:44:30, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Aug. 08 2013,18:28)
So you just fabricate even more defamatory BS and insults?

Gary, you recently lied about what I've said and insulted me.  Do you remember, where you claimed that I'd said that the autofocus mechanism I'd been referring to somehow fit that gibberish diagram?  You did that to try to shift discussion away from your failing "four requirements of intelligence", which is what I *did* compare the AF mechanism to.  Yes, Gary, you lied.  And you've been insulting everyone you can in the past few days in lieu of offering any kind of response to the numerous problems facing your "theory".

If it's okay for you to lie about people and insult them, why on Earth do you think others won't do it to you?  I'm not even dealing with whether anyone has said anything untrue about you, most of what I've seen seems entirely accurate.  I'm just curious why you think you get to do all these things to other people and then complain about them when you imagine they're being done to you.

I mean besides being a hypocrite of the highest order.  Because while I think that's what you are, presumably you don't.  So how do you justify this behavior to yourself?

Date: 2013/08/12 03:15:13, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Aug. 12 2013,00:11)
The nutcases in this forum cannot even coherently answer a simple sentence.

*sigh*

A simple QUESTION, Gary.

And you're not really in a position to talk.  You remember the question "how would you know if you were wrong?"?  You tried to answer it with some bullshit like "if I was wrong then I wouldn't have a theory".  No, Gary.  Just because you have a fanciful notion does not mean that it is correct.  You answered the question "how would you know if you had no idea?".

You're showing a major irrationality on your part.  You began by assuming that various things are intelligent.  And then you set about not testing that concept, but embedding the assumption in various models which would never be compared to reality or tested in any way.  If your cartoon insect wanders around in interesting patterns you conclude with delight that it must really be thinking.  Are there other possible explanations?  Who cares?  You already have decided that it must be intelligent, and will not consider any other possibility.

So to you, the only way that you could be wrong would be if you did not have this idea at all.  Your idea is assumed to be infallible.  The only way to be wrong is not to believe as you do.  You didn't think for a second to answer my question with an answer that had anything to do with the real world.  You wouldn't even consider that comparing your concepts with the real world and finding them not supported might indicate you were wrong.  No, to you, the only way to be wrong is not to agree with you.

And with that, I think I'm done with you.  You act more like a petulant child than a scientist.  You're an odious hypocrite who repeatedly chooses to insult people rather than respond to questions but never misses an opportunity to complain about being insulted.  You so severely lack self awareness that you'll lie and insult people *while* accusing them of lying and insulting you.  And you've sunk to slinging the word "creationist" around as if it was a meaningless schoolyard insult.  You've been called it so much you apparently assume it's just a bad thing that you can turn around and use on everyone else.

You're building a model of your own private fantasy, and demanding that all pay tribute to it.  You'll never apply it to the real world, because you know how fragile it is and how easily it would crumble.

And you've come to this forum basically to masturbate in public.  Metaphorically speaking.  You're only here to talk about how great your model is.  You have no time for questions, but you did have time to announce, in detail, the optimization steps you'd taken.  Nothing about the development of the model itself, you spent an entire comment doing nothing but talking about how you optimized it for performance.

If it makes you feel good I guess have at it, but...  I'm not sure I really want to watch anymore.  You were an interesting psychological phenomenon to watch, but you're about out of tricks.  I've seen it all by now.

For what it's worth, I recommend you find a more positive fantasy.  Join a group of D&D gamers who know that it's not real but can enjoy it anyway.  Find a role play group and pretend to be something you can enjoy.  Take up computer gaming, there's plenty of fantasies you can get into there.  There's a lot of ways you can play pretend with other people who want to do the same thing and who will support you.

That's not an insult, I know lots of people that do stuff like that.  I'm not a D&D nerd, but I could have been one easily enough.  I understand the appeal of fantasy.  But I learned a long time ago that trying to convince yourself that the fantasy is real only leads to frustration.

Date: 2013/09/11 00:11:03, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Sep. 09 2013,01:25)
The highly disciplinary science of systems biology has outgrown metaphor/generalization driven Darwinian paradigm.

Gary, Gary, Gary, I'm trying to stay away but how can I when you keep throwing out red meat like this?

You appear to be saying that evolution is too dependent on metaphor and generalization.  And so you're going to fix that, with your own generalization of a couple of flow charts.

Oh yeah, and by using the metaphor out of control of saying that everything isn't just similar to RAM, but actually *is* RAM.  Yep, you're sure showing that nasty old metaphor and generalization dependent darwinism.

I have no idea what "highly disciplinary" is supposed to mean.  I have a mental image of scientists walking around a lab carrying paddles, giving each other beatings for any break in protocol.  But I'm guessing that's not what you meant.

Date: 2013/09/16 20:18:57, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (N.Wells @ Sep. 16 2013,16:30)
So you get to insult people, but they don't get to insult you?

One of my favorite stories of Gary's time here was when he accused me of lying about him and insulting him, and in the process lied about me and insulted me.

Date: 2013/09/17 18:31:04, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Sep. 17 2013,16:12)
Believe it or not, "stevestory" is one of the forum leaders.

Believe it or not, not a single person on this forum is convinced by this or any other of your attempts to distract the discussion away from your repeated failures.  Every time you pull crap like this, it's like a flashing beacon that says "I'm in over my head and have no substantive response to the criticisms leveled against me".

Date: 2013/09/19 00:01:16, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Sep. 18 2013,20:41)
Academic cultural isolation + banishment of all who do not follow clubhouse rules:
   
Quote

What is cultural isolation?

In a high school lunch room you see it. People site together by type. Pick any of the groups found in a school and they tend to cluster together. That's a form of cultural isolation.
....
....
....
Cultural isolation is a condition in which a group has limited or no contact with others. This may be due to choice, the culture, or the enviorment.

And here, Gary, is where you reveal more than you wanted to.  Again.

So you feel that science is like the cool kid's table at high school.  Fucking wow, man.

I hope that you don't really believe this.  I sincerely hope you're not so god damned ignorant that you think that science is a popularity contest, and that what you really need are a trendy brand of shoes instead of a verifiable idea.

The only truth to this analogy is that you're the poser in that stereotypical 90's sitcom that you appear to inhabit.  You want to be one of the cool kids so bad you can taste it, because you're not happy with being what you are now.  So you strap on hundreds of dollars of clothing that conforms to the latest fads (or, in your case, start using a bunch of words that you don't understand) and sit down at the table thinking that that's all it takes.

Gary, the metaphorical cool kids smell your bullshit from a mile away.  Like this latest maneuver you pulled, just announcing that your program somehow contains the definition that you've otherwise refused to give, and that it's already tested this vague notion of yours.  But you of course won't say what that definition was, or how it was tested.

Because it doesn't, and it wasn't.  Gary, this isn't actually the cool kids table.  Attitude alone will get you exactly as far as it already has.  You're a faker.

Date: 2013/09/19 17:48:32, Link
Author: Nomad
You bring up interesting points, NoName.  Among other things Gary seems to be dabbling in some manner of genetics denialism, and I admit to being curious about his beliefs there.  I can't help but feel that ultimately it's just another area where he's redefined things so that simple random mutation plus natural selection equals intelligence, and survival of the fittest equals learning, but it would be interesting to see him answering the questions brought up by what he's said so far.

However I think that venturing into genetics was just an attempt at distraction by Gary in the first place.  He was being asked for scary things like definitions and hypothesis statements and means of testing the hypothesis that supposedly exists somewhere.  Better to blather on about genetics for a while and get people interested in that.

As for me personally, I'm still curious about his statement that molecular intelligence does not mean that molecules are intelligent.  He has repeatedly stated that his notion involves there being a kind of recursive intelligence that exists on many different levels, like an infinitely regressing emergent phenomenon.  He has refused to comment on whether intelligence exists on the level of subatomic particles, but I suspect if pressed he would agree that it did.  So intelligence exists on the level of molecules, but the molecules aren't intelligent.  Let us say I find that interesting.

Date: 2013/10/17 06:17:55, Link
Author: Nomad
Hey Gary, I've got a simple question for you.

If you modified your program so that the virtual creature was controllable by a human being, and the human being was able to control it successfully, would that prove that single celled organisms are actually controlled by people?

Date: 2013/10/20 06:44:10, Link
Author: Nomad
Gary, I'm going to ask again.

If you modified your virtual creature code to enable a human to control the behavior and it worked, would that prove that humans are controlling single celled organisms, or whatever it is you claim to be simulating?

And explain the reasoning behind your answer.

Date: 2013/10/21 06:16:36, Link
Author: Nomad
So apparently Gary thinks that downloading a picture of a human brain off of wikipedia equals literally plugging a human brain into his program.  Okay then.

So what if a human could control your virtual creature, Gary?  I'd really like to know if that would prove that humans are in control of single celled organisms, and why.

Date: 2013/10/22 06:10:32, Link
Author: Nomad
All that verbiage, the walls of text, and you can't answer a simple question.

Why is that, Gary?  The main question I asked you requires merely a one word answer.  You've shown that you have the time on hand to supply a single word.  You've shown that you have the time to supply many, many words.  So how about a single word answer.

If a human was able to manually control your simulated creature, does that prove that the equivalent creature in reality is also controlled by a human intelligence?

I would appreciate an explanation of why you came to that conclusion as well, but getting the yes or no out of the way would be a good start.

Date: 2013/10/23 20:06:57, Link
Author: Nomad
Pssst.  Hey Gary.  Have you figured out whether a human successfully controlling your virtual creature would prove that humans control the real things in nature yet?

Once again you've demonstrated that you can type a single word, so you're capable of answering this.  There's a reason I'm asking it.  Is there a reason you're avoiding answering it?

Date: 2013/10/26 08:15:12, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Oct. 25 2013,01:07)
Yes, this forum is in fact populated by the mentally ill..

Once again, hypocrite, you demonstrate that you're quite happy to insult other people, but think no one is allowed to do the same to you.

Figured out whether a person being able to remotely control your simulated organism would prove that human minds control the real world equivalent of whatever you're modelling yet?

Just one little word, Gary.  It's easy.

Date: 2013/10/26 22:48:00, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Oct. 26 2013,13:03)
Quote (Nomad @ Oct. 26 2013,08:15)
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Oct. 25 2013,01:07)
Yes, this forum is in fact populated by the mentally ill..

Once again, hypocrite, you demonstrate that you're quite happy to insult other people, but think no one is allowed to do the same to you.

Figured out whether a person being able to remotely control your simulated organism would prove that human minds control the real world equivalent of whatever you're modelling yet?

Just one little word, Gary.  It's easy.

I was not throwing insults. It's an observation based on behavioral differences between this forum and others.

If you continuously ask mentally unstable questions while making unreasonable demands indicative of a bully then it's no fault of others for coming to the conclusion that you are mentally ill.

So that's no answer to my question yet again.  A hypocrite and a coward.  Well we knew that already, really.

But that's interesting.  Let's talk about "mentally unstable".  You claim that the stress you experience from participating in this forum causes you to lash out violently in your sleep and to disturb your wife.  Yet you return.  You have claimed that no one in this forum has expertise in the fields relevant to what you are dealing with, yet you came here to talk to them about it in the first place and kept returning even after you made this determination.  One single person, whose limited posts hint that he was not what he claimed to be, offers support and you think that a whole audience of sympathetic readers are following you.

And here's the thing.  You pretend you're interested in science.  You pretend that you came here to talk about your notions, but when asked questions that point out the flaws and holes in what you are promoting you lash out and accuse everyone else of being mentally ill.  Indeed, you claim that questions regarding the concepts that you yourself brought up are, themselves, mentally unstable.

A question is not "mentally unstable" simply because it causes you discomfort.  That discomfort is your clue that there's something wrong in your thinking and that you need to take a good hard look at what you're doing.

The fact that you would spend time talking about an analog voltage storage mechanism used in a musical instrument which has no bearing upon anything you've done rather than answer a simple yes or no question should be a huge freaking clue to you.  You've so twisted your perception of the world in order to convince yourself that you're right that you have to constantly be on guard for the things that you dare not deal with.  And when you encounter one of them all you have to fall back on is to insult the people asking you them.

You accuse them of being mentally ill in order to keep from facing reality yourself.  Just let that sink in for a moment.

Date: 2013/10/28 06:23:27, Link
Author: Nomad
You know what, I'm going to take a different approach.  Let's try this one on for size.

Gary, you're not honestly participating in this discussion.  You came here and were responded to in good faith by people who have experience in the areas you claimed to be interested in.  And you've disrespected and insulted all of them.

It's gotten to the point where you log in, write a bunch of incoherent paragraphs that apparently mean something in your head but are gibberish to everyone else, and then say you have no time to do anything else.

You've been given piles of genuinely good advice.  In response you insult the people who took the time to try to help you and then demonstrate your total contempt for them by refusing to even acknowledge what they've said and instead linking to music videos.

If you're honestly getting a sense of satisfaction by coming in here and figuratively thumbing your nose at everybody who initially tried to help you then you're a pretty terrible person.  If you're not I fail to understand why you keep doing it.

Date: 2013/11/02 06:12:48, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Nov. 02 2013,01:05)
N.Wells, dwelling on semantics you found in one sentence that you think changes what I said, does not at all change the fact that Darwinian (evolutionary) theory is now being taught in the US public schools as a cosmological origins theory.

Now hold your horses for a second there pardner.

You are seriously claiming that inheritable random mutations plus natural selection are being taught to operate on cosmological time and distance scales?  I'd really like to see that supported, but of course it can't be, it isn't happening.


I read what you copied and pasted, Gary, and I'm here to tell you that you read it wrong.  You read it backwards.  The text that you copied and pasted said that darwinian evolution can be considered a subset of cosmic evolution.  In other words, according to what you linked to, they're teaching cosmic evolution in biology class.  Not the other way around.  And while cosmic evolution has that word evolution in it, it is not the much feared "Darwinism".  I mean you might notice a complete and total lack of offspring bring birthed in cosmology, a lack of parents, and a lack of mutation, as well.  But to do that would threaten the current bizarre argument you're trying to make, so you'll ignore that.

I can't help but wonder something though.  Are you reacting so strongly to what you think is happening because it looks too much like your "intelligence all the way down" notion?  Are you lashing out at this because you think they're taking your idea, crossing out the word intelligence, and replacing it with evolution?  I mean it's going beyond your notion, in fact, you have not yet suggested that galaxies are shaped by "galactic intelligence".  But I fear that I've just given you inspiration for the next thing to add to your concept.

They're not, but the fact that you think that it's that easy to do should make you stop and think.  We've been telling you all along that you're mostly trying to redefine concepts instead of discover anything new.  Now it seems that you've discovered that the words can be changed back, and when they are there's nothing left of your notions but some badly worn out diagrams that are about to disintegrate if you link to them any more.

Date: 2013/11/02 06:25:48, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Oct. 31 2013,21:29)
Quote (N.Wells @ Oct. 31 2013,19:44)
4) You are one who has been talking about suing people.

Only thing you will find in earlier pages is me saying that it would be a waste of time, followed by this forum making it appear that I said the opposite.

You are now another lying piece of shit, with a big brown-nose, from much too closely playing follow the leader.

I was there Gary, and my memory tells me differently.

You claimed to be considering a lawsuit because you needed the money.  You were being egged on because everybody knew that it would be a futile gesture and a waste of money that you claim not to be able to spare.

And then you started acting like there was a court case going on in the forum, trying to talk like a lawyer and call people to the stand.  You didn't announce it was futile, you pretended you were a lawyer.  It was among the more pathetic things I've seen in this thread.  When your bluff was called you weren't smart enough to realize it was over, you tried to extend it in the most ludicrous way anyone could have imagined.

It was rather fitting since you've been pretending that you were a scientist for all the time you've been here.

Date: 2013/11/03 06:16:38, Link
Author: Nomad
So Gary, no interest in correcting your claim that "darwinism" is being taught on astronomy classes now that it's been thoroughly pointed out that your own source says the opposite?  Are you now outraged that cosmological evolution is being taught in biology classes, or are you just in a hurry to sweep this one under the rug to join all your other failed claims, like the idea that digital RAM can store analog values?

Figured out yet whether a human being able to control one of your simulated creatures would prove that the real things are controlled by humans?

And BTW, did anyone ever tell you that that OSHA thing was never a threat?  That even though it was a joke, if it had been serious it would have been an action taken to *protect* you?  Seriously man, dial back the paranoia.  When someone expressing a concern for your safety is perceived as a threat to your own well being you really need to step back and think about what you're doing.

Or maybe just stop huffing toxic cleaning chemical fumes.  Then you might also resolve that problem with your memory that means that every time you come back from a brief absence you've totally forgotten all of the questions you were failing to answer.

Date: 2013/11/13 06:14:51, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Nov. 13 2013,00:24)
Quote (Henry J @ Nov. 12 2013,21:52)
Instinct != Intelligence.

Instinct is a learned behavior that develops in a molecular intelligence system after many generations of learning new genetic knowledge.

Strong instincts can be an indicator that the entity contains a functional molecular intelligence, but having such knowledge alone doesn't explain the systematics of where the knowledge came from. That is what the Theory of Intelligent Design is for.

I've said it before that under your terms evolution itself is intelligent.  You just supported that.

You say that genetically governed behaviors that develop over time and multiple generations are "learned".  To you that is a learning, intelligent system.

Evolution is intelligent then.  Evolution itself involves learning under your definitions.

I keep trying to point this out.  What you are doing is redefining terms.  With your newly defined terms, if you apply them to evolution it becomes intelligent.  The same things happen, the same processes that are already understood to occur keep on occurring, nothing new is discovered.  But suddenly it's all driven by "intelligence".  You dream of replacing evolution, but you're just going to end up using the exact same thing.

You keep pointing out chemical reaction pathways for cellular processes and crying out "see, it's intelligent I tells ya!".  But you're not actually discovering any new pathways, or any new behavior.  You're just trying to apply an inappropriate term to it.  You could call it unicorn dreams and it would still be doing the same things.

Once you've done all your work and redefined all the words you want to redefine, you'll be left with the process of intelligent evolution.  Or perhaps the process of intelligent design, which involves mechanisms such as intelligent mutation and intelligent selection, and intelligent drift.  The problem is they'll all be the same thing as random mutation and natural selection and neutral drift.  Just with some words crossed out and new ones written in.

I don't think this is what your fantasy was supposed to involve.  It might be time to rethink your strategy.

Date: 2013/11/14 06:58:49, Link
Author: Nomad
Guys, I think we have an aspiring cult leader on our hands.  He's gone one step beyond the usual kind of wishy washy universal consciousness and created the triune layer of consciousnesses.

He's just missing one thing.  And I have a feeling it would be better if I don't mention it, lest he get ideas.

Date: 2013/12/04 21:10:07, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Dec. 03 2013,03:52)
I am with good reason steadfast in my expecting change that makes science more inclusive. And I just gave some ideas that make it real easy to make happen, so I'm not asking for anything that's hard or impractical.

No way, Gary.  You don't mean inclusive.  What you want is for science to be more willing to accept non science.  You want it to accept whatever fantasy you've copied down from your fevered imagination straight to Google documents.  The word you're looking for is uncritical, not inclusive.

It wouldn't be hard to accept whatever bullshit a frustrated crackpot is trying to deliver to the world, that's true enough.  It takes more work checking things over and weeding out the nonsense.  However I'm not sure how you could call it practical to pollute a body of knowledge that's supposed to accurately describe the real world with the unfiltered product of a fevered imagination.  Unless your goal was to bring science to a screeching halt rather than help it to more accurately describe the real world.

You're still trying to redefine things to get your notions accepted rather than trying to discover anything new.  Your concept of intelligence is just a redefinition of other things including chemistry and population dynamics.  Since that isn't working out now you're dreaming of redefining science itself so that your bullshit can be accepted.  It won't work.  You're just trying to take another shortcut to get your earlier shortcut accepted.

What's the next step?  What do you redefine when your redefinition of science fails?

Date: 2013/12/18 08:27:59, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Dec. 14 2013,20:34)
That's why I'm currently working on the IDLab4, while the usual critics who are all talk and no action use their crutch words and metaphors to try making it appear that they have a credible evidence able to stand on its own scientific merit.

That's it, Gary, I'm not sure I can even believe that you're self aware anymore.

Crutch words like "fractal"?  Or "digital ram"?  Or how about my personal favorite, "hedonic"?  Half of your shtick involves using words that you don't actually understand, but which you think make you sound smarter.  This trips you up, like when you claimed that you were storing analog data in digital ram.  But you keep doing it because you seem unable to learn from your mistakes.

Gary, your entire theory is a metaphor.  Your entire concept is that you can consider evolution to be like a learning process.  You just said that the history of a species can be considered a million year long thought.  That was a metaphor, a new agey sounding analogy.  You are in no position to insult anyone else for using metaphors, you have nothing but metaphors.

I mean for the love of god man, you claim to be programming virtual parts of the human brain into your program to explain how individual molecules (or a small number of molecules, your claims here vary) can be intelligent.  Molecules are lacking those parts of the human brain, Gary, you're putting things into your program that your "theory" specifically says aren't needed.  Your program now refutes your own theory.

Date: 2013/12/18 23:55:00, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Dec. 18 2013,18:53)
And the ID theory is still indicating that what we consciously "feel" is "emergent" from molecular intelligence, where in a sense we are wired to express/amplify the molecular level that (in part hormonally) has control of the body and brain that expresses it at the multicellular level, not a product of brain signals between dumb cells with no intelligence/brains of their own bla bla bla.

This is meaningless gibberish.

How would you tell the difference between "a product of brain signals between dumb cells" and "amplification of the molecular level that has control over the body"?

Date: 2013/12/19 07:24:55, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Dec. 19 2013,01:40)
Quote (Nomad @ Dec. 18 2013,23:55)
   
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Dec. 18 2013,18:53)
And the ID theory is still indicating that what we consciously "feel" is "emergent" from molecular intelligence, where in a sense we are wired to express/amplify the molecular level that (in part hormonally) has control of the body and brain that expresses it at the multicellular level, not a product of brain signals between dumb cells with no intelligence/brains of their own bla bla bla.

.......
How would you tell the difference between "a product of brain signals between dumb cells" and "amplification of the molecular level that has control over the body"?

That's not a bad question, for you.

If what fills our thoughts were entirely the result of nerve cell spikes between dumb neurons then there would be no need for a hormonal system that communicates using what molecular and cellular intelligence normally communicates with namely messenger molecules/hormones.

Okay, okay, let's go with that.  I'm disqualifying your declaration that molecular intelligence normally communicates using "messenger molecules" though, you're trying to smuggle your conclusion in as a starting premise there.

So what you're left saying is, if our intelligence was simply a product of communication between "dumb" cells, then they wouldn't use chemical signalling?

Why?  No, I'm afraid you're still trying to smuggle in your conclusion.  You're still asserting that the chemicals are intelligent, therefore if they're used then they prove that the chemicals are intelligent.

Date: 2013/12/19 22:34:01, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Dec. 19 2013,08:05)
Oh for goodness sake!

http://www.genome.jp/kegg.......nmental

That is not a response Gary.  You are still assuming your conclusion.  Your conclusion is that the chemicals are intelligent.  Your evidence for your conclusion is that the intelligent chemicals are used.  It doesn't work like that.

Well, not in the real world.  In your basement perhaps such shortcuts are allowed.  That might explain why you're doing your work by candlelight.

Date: 2013/12/20 06:37:14, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Dec. 20 2013,00:12)
I was talking about how complex molecular systems such as are found inside cells also COMMUNICATE and SIGNAL each other with molecules/hormones.

I then showed you what should not exist, where you were right.

You are just dragging red-herrings around, so you'll have something that looks like scientific evidence against the theory.

Let's try this again.

I asked you:
Quote
How would you tell the difference between "a product of brain signals between dumb cells" and "amplification of the molecular level that has control over the body"?


Your response was:
Quote
If what fills our thoughts were entirely the result of nerve cell spikes between dumb neurons then there would be no need for a hormonal system that communicates using what molecular and cellular intelligence normally communicates with namely messenger molecules/hormones.



You didn't show me what should not exist.  You simply asserted that "dumb cells" should not communicate using chemicals such as hormones, and that "molecular intelligence" which you have yet to establish even exists, does.  You didn't provide any evidence to that effect, you just asserted it.  In other words, you assumed your conclusion.  Your conclusion was that "molecular intelligence" communicates using chemicals, and that therefore if there is no molecular intelligence then no chemicals would be used.

The question back to you is why, in the absence of molecular intelligence, should cells not communicate using chemicals?  Why should life, which is ultimately a complicated self sustaining chemical reaction, not use chemicals for communication?  Why do you think that molecular intelligence has exclusive rights to that?

Date: 2013/12/23 00:00:01, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Dec. 20 2013,07:59)
One of the ways we communicate is with a vocal system that uses sound, but that does not mean a vocal system alone is intelligent.

So, I ask you why you think that cells cannot communicate using chemicals unless they are being controlled by "molecular intelligence", and you give me this?  You picked the subject, Gary, one would think that you could stick to it.  Unless one knew that you were lost and in desperate need of a distraction.

 
Quote
My judgement is based upon all parts of the system including Addressing, Confidence and controlled Guess having been discovered in the circuit of a DNA/RNA memory system, a living genome. There were recently several important discoveries, one being for cellular intelligence possibly using the same glue-like protein, which is the level above molecular intelligence, helping to confirm the existence of a complex cellular intelligence level in between the other two, in the trinity.


Gary, this is essentially the equivalent of saying "I have my reasons".  You have to communicate those reasons.

Even if you had explicitly stated these vague reasons, what you said so far here suggests that you have reasons to argue that this mythical molecular intelligence might use chemicals, but NOT why unintelligent cells cannot use them.  At best you've moved the discussion to the point where your claim is that both "dumb nerve cells" and "molecular intelligence" might communicate using chemicals.  You need to now advance this to the point where you can explain why "dumb cells" cannot use chemicals.

 
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At this point in time I should not have to waste more of mine answering your pointlessly stupid questions.


And yes, I think you know that you cannot go there.  You can't back up any of your claims, so this bluster is all that we'll get.  This is your way, and I didn't honestly expect you to act any different.  You make claims that you can't back up, and maybe you don't even realize that you can't back them up so you start out all bold and full of vague assertions.  But every response narrows down what you're trying to say and leaves you less room to hide, and eventually you have to start moving the conversation to a new subject because you're out of wiggle room.  Consider this one more area in which you have failed.

If you run away from this conversation you will have admitted that while you are certain that brain cells are either themselves intrinsically intelligent or under the control of this mythical molecular intelligence, you have no way to tell the difference between "dumb cells" and your molecular intelligence laden variety.  You are sure that it's there, but you know no way in which it's different from the accepted concept.  Once again, Gary, you are trying to redefine something without changing the understanding of it one tiny bit.

Date: 2014/01/15 06:39:42, Link
Author: Nomad
Hey Gary, where are the molecules in your computer program?

Where's the evolution?

I'm still waiting for you to make the surprise announcement where you explain all the stuff you haven't mentioned yet that seems to be conspicuously absent from your program.

Your program is supposed to support your "theory", but it has so little to do with it.  At best your program is a fairly conventional virtual animal.  If,and that's a bit if, you actually followed the concepts that you constantly cite, at best what you've done is implement their artificial intelligence concepts in a simple virtual animal.  At best you've repeated their work.  And the consensus seems to be that you haven't done even that.

Emergent intelligence?  Nope, you specifically tried to program intelligence into it.  Molecular intelligence?  Nope, there aren't even any molecules in it.  As far as I can tell you've modeled a vector world.

Soooo....  what's the deal?  What does the program have to do with the "theory"?  How does a program that models a single life form cover a phenomena that requires reproduction and generations?  And how can you have not noticed yet that your program actually disproves your theory, because while you talk a lot about emergence when it comes to your program you have to intentionally model specific behaviors because nothing is emerging from anything.

You've been at this for well over a year, on this site alone, and you're still insulting people and then complaining about being insulted.  You're still typing long, drawn out posts that have nothing to do with your "theory" and then talking about how you have no time to actually discuss your theory because you're so busy busy busy.

When the year changes people tend to look back on the past year and consider what's gone right and what's gone wrong, and then ahead to the coming year and think about what they'd like to have happen.

How about you?  In terms of your little adventure here, what have you accomplished?  Besides amusing some bored forum goers, I mean.  Looking ahead, what do you plan to accomplish this year?  I mean, do you have any more dramatic goals then "annoy some scientists by making them look at my ever changing web page"?  Or perhaps "make a bunch more meaningless graphs and name another piece of code after a part of the human brain because trying to model specific aspects of intelligence is totally the same thing as modelling emergence"?

Date: 2014/02/19 06:46:16, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Feb. 19 2014,01:30)
I like to stay in my niche, which is for minimal-code representation of the underlying systematics of "intelligence". The simple buggy critter is all that's needed to demonstrate how it all together works. I stay with it, even though some see it as Sesame Street level science, worth ignoring too.

I'd like you to think for a moment about whether you believe this.  Do you honestly feel that your program is simply a cartoonish representation of how you think intelligence works, or do you think it's supposed to prove something?

Date: 2014/02/21 06:48:36, Link
Author: Nomad
God Gary, you're hopeless.  I ask you to think about whether you really believe a single statement you made, and you give me a wall of text that basically contradicts it, but which you think "clarifies" it.


It doesn't matter though, both statements are contradicted by other things you've said.  Remember when your story was that you were just using other people's models of intelligence?  Remember how many times you refused to accept any criticism for your definition of intelligence, how you repeatedly said that the responsibility for the model lies with the other people and insisted that your critics contact the other people?

How do you reconcile that with now presenting us with "your" model of intelligence?  Did you think we'd forget where you said the entire model came from?

And one more thing:
Quote
I'm this way helping to prove that the papers where this is explained are on the right track, by their information working well for me, in a model that tests just that alone, on a challenging platform that does look a bit cartoonish but that is a plus for K-12 where sexual exchange has to be represented. Only need Beavis looking sperm cells swimming from one to another, maybe with heart around them, or something, not graphic like a wildlife video or other where there is sometimes unavoidable detail included in a documentary of real life.


Wow man.  You really do miss the forest for the trees.  I actually get the Beavis sperm cell reference, but you're missing the point entirely.  You seem to be hinting at taking your program in the direction of a genetic algorithm, but rather then worry about how to have your organism coded into a genetic code that can be broken up and recombined to create variants as a result of simulated sexual reproduction, you're worried about how to depict sex without having to show graphic animal sex.  I'm honestly not even sure if you understand the key distinction about sexual reproduction now, you seem to think it's all about the intercourse and seem rather vague on what it means genetically.

Jesus man.  You really think that your program is ideal to use to educate school children because it lacks embarrassing genitals?  It also lacks a genome!  This is kind of a problem if you plan to implement sexual reproduction.

Date: 2014/02/22 22:32:55, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Feb. 21 2014,13:14)
Quote (Nomad @ Feb. 21 2014,06:48)
You seem to be hinting at taking your program in the direction of a genetic algorithm,

Oh boy, I could then become another behind the times slacker, playing with an Avida toy!

I'm trying to figure out what you're even thinking right now.  You feel that your program is ideal for somehow investigating the effects of sexual reproduction, but you appear to feel that handling the genetic details is beneath you.

It's not difficult to come up with a model that doesn't involve graphic, messy animal porn.  Plants, for example, manage to have sex without any grunting.  But to have sex without genetics...  what do you expect to be demonstrating then?

You seem to be saying that your goal is to communicate that "a mommy critter and a daddy critter who love each other very much exchange sperm and produce a baby critter".  It's certainly simple, but while it may be K appropriate it falls rather short of being grade 12 appropriate.

Date: 2014/02/24 20:58:50, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Feb. 23 2014,03:21)
The sperm and egg already have the genetic (and equally vital nongenetic) material to develop into a multicellular system.

Your whole line of reasoning makes no sense, in at least reality.

This is the disconnect between you and reality.  I mentioned that your "critter" has no simulated genome, and you respond by saying that sperm has genetic material.  Yes, I know it does.  But your "critter" doesn't.  And you ridiculed the idea of putting it in there.

If you were going to model sexual reproduction the first thought in your mind should have been to code in a genome which can describe your entire "critter", from structure to behavior, and which can be randomly split and combined to allow variation without even requiring mutations beyond a starting set of alleles.  Instead your first thought was the desire not to incorporate footage of wild animals mating.

Date: 2014/02/25 21:51:37, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Feb. 25 2014,16:08)
I still can't believe though, what has happened to science. It's now a dictatorship run by paper-pushers with a little bit of science they had in school. Shameful.

I'm abandoning my plan to describe and post a preliminary of the ID Lab in this forum, for discussion, and to invite scientists to review it. I'm going straight to publishing it online, where it's at least appreciated by the scientifically minded. This forum is not interested in that anyway. It's science, and science is not welcomed in this forum that only exists to mock and ridicule "creationists". But I will link to the new Lab, once it's online.

The really sad thing here is that these people actually gave you a great deal of useful advice.  There was a substantial amount of knowledge and experience at your disposal if you wished to learn and improve what you were doing.

You couldn't even see that.  People who weren't inclined to agree with you still put a fair amount of effort into trying to help you, and for their trouble you figuratively spit in their faces.  You behaved like a petulant child.

Your formulation of ID will never go anywhere.  It's an effort of mental masturbation that's more about fluffing up your ego then it is about expanding the frontiers of human knowledge.

But this doesn't have to be it for you.  You can grow up and move beyond this.  But it looks like no one else can convince you to do it.  So the next step is yours.

Date: 2014/03/01 21:59:52, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Mar. 01 2014,00:58)
I was thinking more like whatever may be secretly in the works (like a collaborate paper that squashes another, discussing debate tactics in private not with who is being debated against) it's not illegal activity, it's more like in sports where in a "huddle" a good plan that the other team does not expect is just part of the competition.

You mean like how you admitted and even boasted about how before you joined the forum you talked with your good buddy Casey Luskin about how to bait people into falling into a lawsuit trap?

That kind of conspiracy, Gary?

Date: 2014/03/13 07:27:57, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Mar. 11 2014,09:06)
But right now the winning strategy is have 50 or so pages of theory and model at the right place, right time, for at least an AI breakthrough.

Fifty pages of theory!  Or so!

Interesting that the right place is a google hosted web page.  And no, Gary, the right time is not after all the concepts you're writing about were already created by other people.

Date: 2014/03/18 06:40:34, Link
Author: Nomad
He's expressing his elation here.  Of all the places he might choose to try to find people to share with this experience that he finds so exciting, he picks us.

If I had taken an amazing wildlife picture and was looking to find someone to share my joy with, my first thought would be to go to my friends.  Email a copy, put it on my phone and show them the next time I see them, something like that.  There's a local mailing list I could go post it on, a number of forums where people might like to see it, and there's of course the wildlife photography thread here where I could get a reaction from several experienced wildlife photographers.  There's a lot of places I could go to show off and get a little ego stroking and/or honest feedback.

Gary exults in his accomplishment HERE.  With people who think his work is garbage and who he fully expects to insult him as a response.

Date: 2014/03/31 18:27:37, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Mar. 31 2014,14:00)
... and probably not much time before I'm dead from all this religiously motivated science trashing bullshit: I cannot afford to discuss this model (or any of the others) with nitwits who are pretending to know what they're talking about.

In other words, because you're so tired from being asked to provide that which you cannot provide, you won't provide it.

Riiiiiiiight.

Gary, how long have you been coming in here, boasting about how great your model is, and then explaining, at great length, how you can't actually *discuss* the model?  In, I hasten to mention, the thread created for you to discuss it?

Date: 2014/04/12 06:24:24, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 08 2014,19:56)
I still feel like I'm being forced to dumb-down to "Third grade English" standards and sloppy attention to detail indicative of political activists.

And here you go again Gary.  You basically no longer get to pull out your tired "k-12 simple" claim.  You have a history of claiming that your theory is somehow supposed to both expand the frontiers of human knowledge, AND be appropriate to be taught to children in Kindergarten.  You claim that you are keeping things simple on purpose because of the all important "k-12 simplicity".

And then when called on something you complain that you're being asked to dumb it down to the level that you have repeatedly said that you wanted to make it appropriate for.

I have to agree with jeffox.  What a hoot.

Date: 2014/04/16 06:43:39, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 15 2014,14:22)
As far as the theory and I are concerned Avida and such are antiquated by models that have to include Grid, Place, Border and Time cells and do well in a shock zone arena test for rat level navigational intelligence. It's nothing personal just science advancing past GA models, in part from what I'm now explaining and must get back to work on.


The thing I still don't get is that something like Avida is used specifically to investigate evolutionary processes.  As such it models reproduction, random mutation, and selection.  You think you have a superior program, but you don't even begin to model any of that.

How is your bug even relevant?  It's not past Avida, it can't investigate anything that Avida can be used for.

As to it being superior to other GA models, you're just delusional there.  GAs solve real world problems.  They're being used commercially now.  That's the thing, with all your obsession over intelligence we're using a program with no intelligence at all to solve problems better than our human intelligence can.

Your virtual bug that you claim possesses either real or artificial intelligence (you waffle on that point) is stuck fapping with virtual food and virtual shock zones and will never be able to do anything else.

Edited to fix formatting.

Date: 2014/04/17 06:56:20, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 16 2014,17:13)
Genetic Algorithm systems allow pattern generator locomotion (not intelligent brain) and other oversimplifications like being able to “select” certain features in order to fudge a random variation towards one thing or another. In a human example someone who does not like brown M&M's ends up with brown ones to get rid of. Someone else who does not like the blue ones has those to trade with them for their brown ones.

I am no longer sure you have the slightest idea how GAs work.  Or for that matter how evolution works.

And you didn't respond to what I said.  You claim your bug is "beyond" Avida, but it doesn't do anything Avida does.  How in the name of god can a simulated organism that cannot reproduce and has no modeled genetics simulate a process that absolutely requires both reproduction and genetic effects like mutation?  Population dynamics?  Feh, who needs population dynamics to model a process that occurs in populations?  You're so smart you'll use one organism that never changes to model a process of many organisms changing over time.

No, really, what the heck do you think you're doing?  How is this relevant in any way?

As to your massive misunderstanding of GAs, you pretty much ignored what I said there too.  They do REAL things.  They can solve real problems.  Let's see your bug design a radio antenna.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki.......antenna

That's among my favorite GA applications so far, because radio antenna design is so complicated.  I wouldn't have thought it would work.  Among those that dabble in it antenna design is known as a black art.  I actually would have assumed that it was irreducibly complex enough to not be evolvable.

I would have been wrong.  The GA can beat the best designs actual intelligence could come up with.  And while I'd read about this before I didn't realize that the design was actually used in a set of satellites launched into space.

Go ahead.  Have your bug design a radio antenna.  It can't.  All it can do is flail around in a virtual space.  It's rigidly inflexible because you hard coded it to do one task and one task only.  Your concepts of sensors and motors are worthless for a task like this.  Yet since you've defined intelligence as requiring them you can't get rid of them either.

Date: 2014/04/18 00:52:03, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 17 2014,08:36)
I gave an example of how intelligent living things mutually “select” that the GA oversimplifications of biology and physics do not include.

And yet it had jack squat to do with evolution.  Which is what selection, in this context, means.  Your obsession with intelligence is blinding you, Gary.  We talk about natural selection and the only thing that you can think of is "intelligent things sometimes make choices and select things".

Quote
I also clearly enough explained that the ID based model can in fact replicate. Doing it right is currently scientifically and perhaps also technologically impossible.


So your model is NOT in fact "beyond" Avida, it merely could be one day.  If it's scientifically impossible to take generations into account at this point then it's scientifically impossible for your model to be applicable to evolution though.

Quote
This is the ground work for models that will likely take decades of time to achieve, but at least they don't leave intelligence out of the equation.


Again.. it doesn't leave intelligence out, but it leaves every other aspect of evolution out.  Some day, you tell us, you might be able to start adding something that has something to do with evolution in.  Some day it might be scientifically possible to make it have anything to do with evolution.

But it's on the cutting edge, man.

Date: 2014/04/18 02:33:08, Link
Author: Nomad
Quote (GaryGaulin @ April 17 2014,23:16)
I'm best to just leave the other GA related issues at what Joe G said: "Genetic and evolutionary algorithms model Intelligent Design Evolution."

Wait.  I just noticed this.

So you say that the primary weakness of GAs is that they don't model intelligence.

But they model intelligent design anyway?

If your words mean anything (and that's certainly open to debate), you appear to be saying that intelligent design doesn't require intelligence.

Date: 2014/04/21 06:00:34, Link
Author: Nomad
Pssst.  Hey Gary.  You know how you're so proud about your model possessing "rat level navigation"?

How about bird level navigation?

http://researchbank.rmit.edu.au/eserv....sis.pdf

In this instance evolutionary algorithms were used to evolve the control logic to autonomously fly a simulated unmanned aerial vehicle to a landing on board a naval vessel.

Can your bug do that?

 

 

 

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