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Physics and philosophy

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Ba’al wrote: Our rather cramped and biased point of view cannot give us any idea of what life would be like in a place where carbon based life has evolved.  end quote

Yes it does. Certainly, even extraterrestrial life that does NOT think will be studied. Money and thought will pour into that research. Earth’s Exobiology sciences will blossom. Will these hypothetical, sentient beings be able to move, touch, sense, respond to stimuli, and most importantly, think? If they think, their ability to think is the only reason we will correspond with them. They may look differently to some extent. They may have different myths. They may have odd politics and codes of conduct. But they will be beings who have evolved to consciously live, breath, interact, live in societies, share knowledge, remember history, know reality, know fear, know right from wrong, and THINK.

We may choose to ignore them and never acknowledge their existence. We may choose to not advertise our presence. But if we ever discover other sentient beings it will revolutionize the sciences and human society. “Mom and Dad, I’m changing my science major from Marine Biology to Exobiology tomorrow. They only have four slots left!”

Even moss on a rock on Europa or Ganymede, two moons of Jupiter, will zap or stun us into a frenzy. But listening to a news cast from Alpha Centuri will become a major day in Earth’s history. Peter 

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Of course, evidence of extraterrestrials would be required before the scientific method can be employed. But humans are constantly hypothesizing, “What if?” So many things thought of as SciFi by Jules Verne have come true but I don’t think we will ever be able to beam a “consciousness” anywhere. Peter

Notes.  Star Trek replicators, and 2 D Printers, pads and our modern day IPad, virtual display and Google Glass, medical tricorder and Scanadu Scout, communicator and flip phones, Star Wars Speeder bike and hover craft, Minority Report Heads up displays and Air Touch Tech, targeted advertising, face scanning and identifying tech, From The Earth to the Moon splashdown modules, Jules Verne submarines, robot maids and vacuums, The Jetson’s flat screen TV, 2001 video calls,        

Six Steps of the Scientific Method By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. Updated August 06, 2019. The scientific method is a systematic way of learning about the world around us and answering questions. The key difference between the scientific method and other ways of acquiring knowledge are forming a hypothesis and then testing it with an experiment.

The Six Steps. The number of steps can vary from one description to another (which mainly happens when data and analysis are separated into separate steps), however, this is a fairly standard list of the six scientific method steps that you are expected to know for any science class: Purpose/Question  Ask a question.

Research Conduct background research. Write down your sources so you can cite your references. In the modern era, a lot of your research may be conducted online. Scroll to the bottom of articles to check the references. Even if you can't access the full text of a published article, you can usually view the abstract to see the summary of other experiments. Interview experts on a topic. The more you know about a subject, the easier it will be to conduct your investigation.

Hypothesis Propose a hypothesis. This is a sort of educated guess about what you expect. It is a statement used to predict the outcome of an experiment. Usually, a hypothesis is written in terms of cause and effect. Alternatively, it may describe the relationship between two phenomena. One type of hypothesis is the null hypothesis or the no-difference hypothesis. This is an easy type of hypothesis to test because it assumes changing a variable will have no effect on the outcome. In reality, you probably expect a change but rejecting a hypothesis may be more useful than accepting one.

Experiment Design and perform an experiment to test your hypothesis. An experiment has an independent and dependent variable. You change or control the independent variable and record the effect it has on the dependent variable. It's important to change only one variable for an experiment rather than try to combine the effects of variables in an experiment. For example, if you want to test the effects of light intensity and fertilizer concentration on the growth rate of a plant, you're really looking at two separate experiments.

Data/Analysis Record observations and analyze the meaning of the data. Often, you'll prepare a table or graph of the data. Don't throw out data points you think are bad or that don't support your predictions. Some of the most incredible discoveries in science were made because the data looked wrong! Once you have the data, you may need to perform a mathematical analysis to support or refute your hypothesis.

Conclusion Conclude whether to accept or reject your hypothesis. There is no right or wrong outcome to an experiment, so either result is fine. Note accepting a hypothesis does not necessarily mean it's correct! Sometimes repeating an experiment may give a different result. In other cases, a hypothesis may predict an outcome, yet you might draw an incorrect conclusion. Communicate your results. The results may be compiled into a lab report or formally submitted as a paper. Whether you accept or reject the hypothesis, you likely learned something about the subject and may wish to revise the original hypothesis or form a new one for a future experiment.

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On 8/15/2019 at 2:45 PM, BaalChatzaf said:

 

I wrote "Our   rather cramped and biased  point of view  cannot give us any idea of what life would be like in a place where carbon based life  has evolved.  "  edit that to becom e "Our   rather cramped and biased  point of view  cannot give us any idea of what life would be like in a place where carbon based life  has NOT evolved.  "

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I think it's highly unlikely that any sophisticated form of life that is not carbon based can evolve anywhere in the universe. It's the carbon chemistry that is at the basis of the enormously complex and sophisticated machinery that makes such life possible.

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1 hour ago, Max said:

I think it's highly unlikely that any sophisticated form of life that is not carbon based can evolve anywhere in the universe. It's the carbon chemistry that is at the basis of the enormously complex and sophisticated machinery that makes such life possible.

Hawking and others consider Artificial Intelligence as a big threat to *life*. Rather than being ambulatory it may be able to travel the phone lines and satellite links. If AI was to acquire a desire for continued existence it would still need humans, at least for now, to do maintenance on its means of *travel.*  

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On 8/18/2019 at 11:51 AM, Peter said:

Hawking and others consider Artificial Intelligence as a big threat to *life*. Rather than being ambulatory it may be able to travel the phone lines and satellite links. If AI was to acquire a desire for continued existence it would still need humans, at least for now, to do maintenance on its means of *travel.*  

Personally, what has me worried is not robots rising up against humanity so much as people using robots and A.I. for their own purposes. Who needs mercenaries or hit-men if you can program a drone to take someone out for you?

Seriously, it would not surprise me if soon we start to see suicide drones instead of suicide bombers. 

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10 hours ago, phantom000 said:

Personally, what has me worried is not robots rising up against humanity so much as people using robots and A.I. for their own purposes. Who needs mercenaries or hit-men if you can program a drone to take someone out for you?

Seriously, it would not surprise me if soon we start to see suicide drones instead of suicide bombers. 

P,

I agree with this.

It reminds me of anonymous Internet trolls who are really nasty to people, but when faced in reality one-on-one, are nice or cower.

The underlying principle is that harming or killing humans at a distance (whether physical or psychological) is tempting and much easier than face-to-face. It's one of the reasons enemies need to be dehumanized in war. Convincing people to kill a thing is a lot more effective than convincing them to kill humans like themselves.

Both drones and AI provide such distance. Anonymity provides even more.

On a sticking point, I don't like applying the concept of suicide to a machine. Calling a delivery system for a bomb a "suicide drone" is the conceptual equivalent of calling a bomb (which is technically a machine) a "suicide bomb" simply because it self-destructs when it blows up.

That's a lot different than human beings blowing themselves up with bombs in order to kill others. Anyone who would consider a human being as nothing more than a delivery system for bombs does not share my love of human beings.

Michael

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Well thought out, Michael.

007 wrote: Who needs mercenaries or hit-men if you can program a drone to take someone out for you? . . . Seriously, it would not surprise me if soon we start to see suicide drones instead of suicide bombers. end quote

And drone peeping Toms? Keep your venetian blinds tightly closed. A drone could look down from an angle into a window. I am sure the drones are getting quieter and smaller with each year of improvements. Its angle of view can be restricted but blinds may leave a slit available for snooping and filming, so I suggest drapes to cover the slits.

And the home owner can improve their surveillance system with something like a Roomba drone that can be motion activated for a look and then be returned to its charging station. I think drones may become a commonly used tool for Private Detectives too.  

If the *parts* are available someone may build their own killer drone, but reputable drone suppliers are already similar to arms dealers in a way. So any commercially available vehicle or drone could be weaponized, but drones and self-driving cars may become the *rage.*

What could be done to lessen the threat? Individuals need to be forewarned with drone stories prominently displayed in the news. Police and military scientists could develop jamming devices. Imagine a terrorist getting access to a building and from their reconnaissance position they could call in reinforcements in the form of weaponized drones. Peter    

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