What a nice photo, lots of details on those craters!
Really pleased you enjoyed the talk, it was a pleasure putting it all together! 🙂
I can’t help you with the mount suggestion, but I’m sure someone else might be able to!
See you soon!
Splendid work! Well done!
Oh, That’s a fun one!! That’s fab! 🙂
“In the sense that Bayesian theory is in my view grounded in logic,” Sumitra may I ask what form of logic are you using? Because one can take an eclectic approach to information which can lead you in to the trap of sophism.
I’m not sure I can answer this vast question on a forum post.
What I can tell you is that what I do is to use scientific principles to guide policies, and such policies are currently done on an ad hoc basis due to its complexity: Lack of data, inability due to ethical reasons to gather certain data, data that is terribly complex to quantify, or quantitative data that is terribly complex for all stakeholders to understand, and so many stakeholders to bring a shared understanding to, end users who are unpredictable, heterogeneous etc… and so on.
It perhaps is not ‘science’ as you want to call it: CERN science, given the output of what we do is not “The True Answer”: There is no true answer, but it is using science to improve an ad hoc process which is used to make important decisions that affect the lives of people and that are often irreversible.
It is neither “eclectic”, and nor is it perfect. It is not based on Faith, but based on data, with numerous, unavoidable caveats. I think we’re more in the business of using science to make things ‘better’, than making ‘perfect’ science.
Reading my own answer to you, I find myself overly defensive, but unless I misread your post, or your tone – perhaps it is because I found your enquiry to be a little dismissive before you even know what we do, or try very hard to do…
My point, all through this debate, has been that we don’t have the evidence at the moment, and the evidence that we do have is pointing towards the non-existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. Therefore, I see this as a belief system rather than scientific theory. My own argument is starting to take on a religious propensity, however, so this may be my final word on the topic… unless I’m provoked
Coincidentally, I just ended a meeting with a similar sentence in it: Our client want to use patient preferences studies to put highlight the value of their drug to HTA agencies that reimburse drugs. Some of the staff is not convinced that this will be a useful effort as there is no evidence it is a useful effort. Patient preference studies is a fairly new activity and so has not been carried out by many manufacturers… So in this case I am not sure that lack of evidence is revealing lack of use!
Anyhow, I digress, my point in this debate was that it’s not Black or White, and so it is neither Belief or Science, but somewhere in between, closer to science than faith… For inability to be science.
Another thing I want to say is that there is a difference between Mathematics, where you can prove things and reveal a ‘TRUTH’ about something, and physical/geological etc. sciences, where you test the validity of things against these truths… I think there is a nuance there.
Can you prove that a coin has a 1/2 chance of falling on head or tail? In mathematics, we use the limit of an equation towards when a variable nears infinity… to describe this, which to me is GREY between the ‘belief and theory’
I don’t know if this makes sense? Ultimately I think we’re saying the same thing.
Yup. Agree with that. But the point about religious belief is that it does not rest on a quest for new information. Isn’t there a reason why it’s called ‘blind faith’?
Can you specify which religion you are speaking off? See my point earlier, I think you are putting all religion into the same pot.
Hindu’s sacred texts are called Rig-Veda, which means: rig = invocation + Veda = knowledge, it isn’t called “Unquestionable truth repository” or “Praise The Only God There Is” :).
Here is a quote a small part of it.
Who knows and who can say, whence it was born and whence came this creation?
The Gods are later than this world’s creation. Who knows then whence it first came into being?
He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not,
He who surveys it all from his highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps even he does not!
Please let me know if you think the above can be called “blind faith” really…?
The confidence with which you make your statement above leads me to *believe* there is a chance you have read all sacred texts and know about all religion… which would make a scientifically true statement. However, as a Bayesian, I shall update my belief with the likelihood that an individual has read all sacred texts and knows all religion is tiny, and more so, the likelihood of a person who is not a theologian (by trade) is even slimmer!
Absolutely. Agree with this entirely. But, again, it comes down to “belief” and not “proof”. Scientific theorems have to have a much higher proof threshold.
Right, well you can use the Bayes Theorem if you want one, it’s a scientific one! 🙂
Regarding beliefs and proofs, there are situations where there is a blurry line between belief and proof. So with the Bayes theorem, you try to see whether you can use the ‘Degree of Belief’ (calculated scientifically) as being strong enough to prove what you want to prove. I think we agree on that based on what you wrote earlier. At CERN, they are able to replicate events hundreds of thousands of times to arrive at making their conclusion that something has only this much error, which is luxury.
Take my industry for instance, there is only so far you can go to prove the efficacy of a treatment, or prove that someone has a disease versus another. We can’t experiment that many times, or in the EXACT same conditions.
My point is, the frequentist view, to scientifically prove that there are ETs else where is not practical (currently possible?). If I were to propose an experiment to determine the likelihood that there are ETs, and if I had infinite resources and capabilities, I’d go about creating galaxies after galaxies and see how many times we observe an earth like ours, with a Moon etc.
Fun as it may be, we can’t do that… So we can’t have the scientific proof we’d like. But we can do it in other ways, i.e. by starting from a degree of belief that we either increase or decrease depending on the new information (including lack of observable events) we get.
I wonder if perhaps we’re saying the same thing, though…
I’m amused (again) though to find that Thomas Bayes was a Presbyterian minister!
I think it is not surprising? In the sense that Bayesian theory is in my view grounded in logic, and thought experiments that are then updated when data is available/manifests itself, which is philosophy….
Sumitra I do not think anyone has said that intelligent life is impossible but there is no evidence that it exists. If evidence emerged I for one would be very excited.
I think you misunderstood what I wrote.
Science: “I believe in extraterrestrial intelligence. However, I may be wrong and it may not exist.”
Religion: “I believe in extraterrestrial intelligence. It exists.”
I must admit I am slowly catching up on what you are writing and have not read everything. I picked this up in my inbox and, perhaps am taking it out of context but I must disagree with the second line Andy wrote.
This is such a simplified view of religion, generalising all religions into one pot, which is inaccurate.
Secondly, I would like to say that ‘beliefs’ or ‘degrees of beliefs’ are not a religious concepts. In Bayesian probabilistic theory, we refer to beliefs or degrees of beliefs as measures of what these things we *can* observe and *can* measure tell us about a resulting event. Because alas, we cannot measure everything…
Your degree of belief that something may or may not happen can vary depending on the new information you receive.
Rather than being ‘religious’, I would perhaps say it is a Bayesian notion that we have a certain degree of belief (even if it might be small) that there is intelligent life other than on earth.
Perhaps, it is improbable, as per what Chris mentioned, but the fact that we ourselves exist means it is not impossible.
Your photos are fantastic! I have a few more but I have only had time to process those two (below). I’ll send some more along later 🙂
I thought it was a fantastic debate, very playful. And I agree with Mike that it was well summed up by Eddie’s question!
IMG_2046.jpg by Sumitra Sri Bhashyam[/url], on Flickr
IMG_2051.jpg by Sumitra Sri Bhashyam[/url], on Flickr
I’ve uploaded a slideshow video of images from the event to Vimeo, which you can view here:
I love the video, Mike! Great work!
Ha! Great picture!
He’s got to stop spying through the office windows in Canary Wharf, though
That reminds me the time I took my friends to a Blackheath event for the lunar eclipse (I think) and as there was nothing to see, I pointed at the entrance of the hotel… I had to give them something!! :p
Have to say, I’m feeling pretty knackered today, after that event and a Blackheath observing event yesterday evening
I’m not surprised! 🙂 I hope you had good rest today! I must admit that I haven’t done much at all today, the various events all through this week and back and forth between London and Brighton took its toll! Well worth it though!
Oh no! Sorry to hear that your filter hasn’t arrived in time
Did you find anywhere in time in the end?
Yes thanks!! It is not going to be as funky as the DIY one I had ststarted making though. 🙁
It’s a proper serious one, no ducked tape, not orange and turquoise
Left to use those tubes as high viz leg warmers for my tripod I guess, can’t let my handy work go to waste!
I even found solar glasses for my friend at the same time 🙂
Thrilled too! See you tomorrow!
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