The end of Science

The non amateur stuff. Hawking, black holes, that sort of thing

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Cliff
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The end of Science

Post by Cliff »

Dear al(L)
From what I heard on the BBC TV Breakfast programme this morning, Lord Rees , the Astronomer Royal has now conceded that the human brain may now be reaching its limits and we might never know everything. In particular a theory of everything may be beyond reach of scientists.
Best of luck from Cliff

Davej
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Post by Davej »

Hi Cliff,
I didn't see that clip but I found your post interesting so I did a bit of 'digging' and I come up with this...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... ds-newsxml

At the end of the day it's all theories (even Sir Fred Hoyle's comments, in his writings, and he came up with the term Big Bang,which was another theory). I think Lord Rees has got it spot on.. the universe is a mystery and we should just accept it as it is.
All the best.
Dave
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M54
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Post by M54 »

Hope Lord Rees is stepping down, seems a little defeatist.
We haven't found the answer in about 50 years so that means we never will or can.

Seems a pretty spineless approach.

The other assumption Lord Rees makes is that there is a One equation fits all scenario. If there isn't then it isn't there to find. One of the initial questions was Is there one equation for it all?

Anyway wasn't the answer 42?

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Post by brian livesey »

Martin Rees seems to regard "consciousness" as an imponderable. He might be making the mistake of regarding consciousness as a mysterious, autonomous, entity residing in the brain.
Consciousness is an end product. It's what we get when the physical brain interacts with the sense-data entering it: heat, light, sound, etc. Without the flow of sense-data, consciousness couldn't arise in the first place because there wouldn't be anything to be conscious about.
Deprived of a sensory input, the "self" would go to pieces. This is why sensory deprivation has been used as a torture technique.
brian

Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
I think it could be very misleading to try to relate a torture technique to what might go on in the minds of observers and theoretical researchers.
Someone being tortured is likely to be experiencing serious distress, whilst scientific researchers are in comparison living a life of luxury.
Indeed I think it conceivable that some researchers possibly live their life in a cocoon shut off from reality in their worlds of computer simulations.
Perhaps Sir Martin Rees has decided that in the ordinary universe that most of us live in fully understanding eleven dimensions and multi-iniverses is a few dimensions and universes too far for us to ever properly understand and certainly extremely unlikely can ever be properly explored.
Trying to put things into perspective, computers played a part (even if only a small one) in helping cause the current financial crisis, and according to some sources, mathematicians and even astro-physicists played some small part in it.
Best wishes from Cliff

brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

Rees might be premature in setting limits to human knowledge. The collective mind of humanity ( bearing in mind that knowledge is social, not individual ) seems unlimited for the foreseeable future.
Future generations might regard the science of our era as "alchemical" compared to their advanced state of knowledge.
brian

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Post by Deimos »

Seems a pretty daft comment (by Rees). I didn't hear the comment so do not know what evidence he provided showing the start of such a trend.

It is the sort of daft comment some (few) would use to justify cutting back research budgets, and most would ignore (as it is just so daft) and in the future they might have a good laugh about - maybe when in 2100 somebody makes a similar daft comment.

But the evidence he provides to back-up his comment would be interesting.

Ian

brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

Recently and understandably, Martin Rees has lapsed into a cynical view of humanity.
He expressed concern over where pseudo-science (creationism/intelligent design), global warming, population growth and species depletion, etc, are taking us.
brian

mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

Recently and understandably, Martin Rees has lapsed into a cynical view of humanity.
This is hardly surprising in my view especially when "astronomical research" has lost itself in the weird and not-so-wonderful world of cosmology.
As for the mention of threatened funding cuts to research projects, off course the tax-payer who is under tight financial pressure is not going to want his money spent on things that he does not understand or care about or think important. I guess when it comes to the crunch its " Bread and Circuses" and so it was with the Romans, all those years ago.
It might be instructive to watch how, for example, the Museums in your area are forced to cope with cuts, cuts and more cuts, in the next year or so. maf
Last edited by mike a feist on Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

Let them eat football :lol: .
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear al(L)
I tend to go along with Mike's views, although I'm not entirely sure I understand what Mike meant in his comment about Romans,bread and circuses.
I assume circuses relates to the coliseums and games which I have read ended because they got to so expensive that Rome could no longer aford them.
I certainly think the decline of Rome may be akin to what might happen now to our wonderful western developed society which I fear is now in decline.
As for football; I suspect there are more English people interested in the World Cup Football than any discoveries in cosmology.
Best of luck from Cliff

brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

At least, footie makes a change from gladiators.
brian

Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
Don't mention football.
It is likely to get me going on my high horse even more than cosmology
does.
Still I thought England's recent goal scorer did an excellent job of pulling his opponents shirt before he shinned the ball into the net. But surely
teams aren't supposed to swop shirts until after the end of the match.
As the footballer said to the submariner "Dive! Dive !!"
Best wishes from Cliff

brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

Well, Cliff, you might have seen last night's Beeb 4 TV documentary about quantum physicist Hugh Everett's "many worlds" theory.
It seems that there's more than one of you out there somewhere in a parallel universe: possibly playing football in a parallel World Cup!
brian

Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
When I see me in one of them other Worlds, I'll believe it. Although even then I might be an illusion.
I missed last nights TV documentary; from what you say I don't think it would have been my cup of tea. I felt more at home chasing the comet.
A couple of weeks back I saw a well known astrophysicist on the telly.He seems a nice guy but some of his ideas seemed over the top to me. He also had a rather eccentric expression and glint in his eye when talking about Seti. I got the feeling he might be hoping to be the next Dr Who, which I think is rubbish TV.
Best of luck from Cliff

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