What is it about woo that upsets you?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wegs, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,613
    Actually they do count as well as talk to each other, they just are not aware they do. But they can sense quantity and respond chemically when critical number has been reached, then they all respond in unison. Hence the term "quorum sensing".
    It is a practical behavior based on chemical sensing of critical quantity and is certainly the unconscious practice of mathematical quantity sensing.

    I view it as similar to a proto hive-mind in insects which came a few evolutionary steps later in the evolution of conscious intelligence. Come to think of it, What is evolution but a form of mathematical refinement of properties by natural selection.
    Skills are the refined functional application of mathematical principles......

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!




    And they seldom make mathematical mistakes, seems. Of course they don't know this or get graded. Response behavior to mathematical values and functions are naturally emergent phenomena.

    IMO, self-assembly into specific patterns is a mathematical skill, conscious or not. Does it need to be conscious as long as the activity results in the expression of a mathematical pattern?

    People always associate practising mathematics as a deliberate activity. Why MUST it be so?

    If we can identify and codify a naturally occurring phenomenon as "mathematical", why should it not be "mathematical" in essence?

    The solar system is a mathematical pattern, governed by natural mathematical laws and acting in a consistent regular pattern of behavior. Planets don't know they orbit the sun, yet they do, with remarkable precision.

    They are mathematical patterns.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!





    A few billion years of evolution has resulted in sentient intelligent man, able to consciously invent and practice mathematics . What about all the missing links, the intermediate steps we are so fond of citing when someone asks how one species can evolve into another species?

    To assert that evolved mathematical abilities is an intelligent design without evolutionary precursors is teological woo, IMO

    I can see a clear evolutionary path from unconscious natural chemical responsive behaviors to the eventual conscious practice of mathematical functions, including inventing new chemical substances. Ask Big Pharma.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,613
    I like to make the distinction between "work" and "state".
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,193
    Absolutely. For that matter, the same can be said regarding those who posit language, metalanguage, abstraction, semiosis, etc. as somehow "unique" to humans. You're familiar with David Abram (Spell of the Sensuous, kind of a Merleau-Pontian/Husserlian phenomenologist meets Gary Snyder/Jacob von Uexkull), ja?
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,613
    Nee, but I'll check it out........

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  8. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,193
    Just reiterating for emphasis here: you should definitely check out Spell of the Sensuous <<<:

     
    Write4U likes this.
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,613
  10. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,426
    So, after following the ongoing discussions in this thread, I think it's fair to say that the main reason woo is upsetting to some, is that it compromises the integrity of science.
     
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,613
    How often has that been said about cutting edge science?

    Comfortable habits are hard to break.
     
  12. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,426
    I don't know, how often? It was posted as a reply in so many words to you, as a rebuttal to your defending Tegmark, but you disagreed.
     
  13. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,426
    lol Nice ninja skills :=} You edited your original reply.

    Getting out of our comfort zones is essential for growth, but we should proceed with caution.
     
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,613
    I meant rejection of new ground-breaking ideas which were originally proposed by relatively unknown "scientists".
    Cleanliness is wooliness?
    https://www.lifehack.org/articles/l...ging-ideas-that-were-originally-rejected.html
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,613
    Bad habit if mine. Editing after posting. Apologies.
    I agree completely and all my post are more probative than declarative and based on hypotheses by known (albeit cutting edge) scientists. But I always try to stay within the boundaries if fundamental mainstream science.
    Perhaps one step over the boundaries........

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,613
    Often this is just a knee-jerk response from being presented with a new and unusual perspective.
    How often is a rejection based on "that is not mainstream science".
    If that is all there is or will be, why speculate at all?
     
    candy and wegs like this.
  17. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,616
    They aren't "practicing mathematics" any more than a ball bearing rolling down an inclined plane is practicing mathematics.

    Bacteria produce metabolic products. If the overall concentration of these chemicals reach a threshold in a bacterial colony, the bacteria sometimes start to behave differently. It isn't so exciting when it's described that way. (It's been known for many years.)

    So call in the "mainstream scientists" to give it a new name, speculate shamelessly and play metaphysician in TED talks! That will jazz things up!

    Drag in microtubules and quantum computers! (Why conjoining the word 'quantum' with 'computer' brings us closer to understanding consciousness is just an occasion for hand-waving.)

    Unfortunately, "mainstream scientists" can often spout "woo" with the best of them. And they are more dangerous to public understanding of science when they do it. The interesting question in my opinion is how laypeople can tell when scientists are simply bullshitting them. It takes some background and sophistication in a scientific subject to distinguish speculation, overstatement and unsupported conclusions.

    Chemical molecules aren't 'practicing mathematics' or joining in a collective conscious decision when Exchemist raises the temperature in a reaction vessel to initiate a chemical reaction.

    I get the impression that apart from mystifying things with the word 'quantum', W4U is also anthropomorphizing those things. He is attributing how things behave out in the world to the action of human-like cognition. (That's how I speculate religions began, as inanimate events were attributed to the intentional action of unseen human-like intelligences.)

    Bacteria aren't 'talking' any more than one billiard ball smacking another is 'talking' to it by 'communicating' a force. It's just a metaphor.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
    C C, wegs, DaveC426913 and 1 other person like this.
  18. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,426
    I hear you. It's a response that can shut down dialogue pretty quickly, and maybe that's the intent of the person saying it? lol It can also be considered a lazy arguing style, imho. It's like a republican and democrat arguing over a particular issue, and the repub blurts out ''well, you're a socialist, so that explains why you think that way.'' Or the democrat exclaiming, ''your party is nothing but a bunch of racists, that's why you're against immigration!" Those types of blanket statements really don't lead to interactive discussions, but they're designed to shut down the debate, and one side emerges ''the winner,'' because the other side usually goes silent when attacked like that.

    So, yea, I see what you're saying. People take their views personally, even scientists. Sometimes, it's a battle of the egos.
     
    Yazata likes this.
  19. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,426
    Don't worry, I'm guilty of it, too.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    This crosses over into the idea of can science also double as a philosophy?
     
  20. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,426
    Great point Yazata. That does seem to be what Tegmark is suggesting - that the universe is conscious, and is communicating to us via math.

    But, I believe Write4U made a comment a few pages back, that seems to disagree with the premise that the universe is conscious.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Whether Tegmark wants to admit it or not, he sounds like a pantheist. If he could separate his philosophical opinions of the universe, from his passion for math, he might not offend mainstream scientists. Not sure why he feels the need to marry the two.
     
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,613
    Eventually a TOE will need to addres the existence and properties of the universe in both disciplines, seems to me.
     
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,613
    Indeed I do not think the universe is conscious. I think humans are conscious. And I don't believe Tegmark thinks the universe is conscious.

    He believes that if humans and everything consisted only of relative values as in a computer, humans would consciously experience it as physical reality. IOW, the identified laws of the universe hold true in a purely mathematical universe as they do in a physical universe.

    Tegmark posits that programmed gravity in a computer game follows the same laws of nature in our observable world. That does not mean there is a programmer. IMO, the universe programs itself, it is a self-referential geometry.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Descartes' "brain in a vat"
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,613
    Does an insect (small brain) practice flying? Does a slime mold (no brain) practice deductive reasoning? Does an octopus (smart brains) practice camouflage? Do humans practice breathing, sleeping, thinking?
    These are the practical application of mathematically governed abilities and behaviors.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019

Share This Page