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Search: Posts Made By: WilliamP
Forum: Diavlog comments 11-15-2009, 11:08 PM
Replies: 92
Views: 25,836
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Percontations: Fear, Power, and Mortality

First of all, I really appreciate the Eliezer Yudkovsky diavlogs, no matter what he's talking about. It's great fun to hear a really smart non-conventional person who can challenge some of my ideas....
Forum: General comments on Bloggingheads.tv 09-05-2009, 02:43 PM
Replies: 230
Views: 16,012
Posted By WilliamP
Re: John Horgan chimes in

It wouldn't be an argument if so, but this is far from clear. Hitler never mentions Darwin, natural selection, or evolution in Mein Kampf. If it were even slightly related to his philosophies, this...
Forum: Diavlog comments 09-05-2009, 01:56 PM
Replies: 311
Views: 72,482
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Science Saturday: Mistakes Were Made

First, the point that should be stated more clearly about Behe is that he isn't just wrong, but disingenuous and intellectually dishonest. He keeps making claims about incorrect facts for years after...
Forum: General comments on Bloggingheads.tv 09-04-2009, 11:27 AM
Replies: 230
Views: 16,012
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Sean Carroll and Carl Zimmer quit Bloggingheads for promoting creationism

> Cheap tricks. I certainly do not dispute the evidence of evolution or of common descent, DNA etc. etc. etc.

Can you be pinned down on exactly what you dispute then? Or is your claim akin to...
Forum: General comments on Bloggingheads.tv 09-03-2009, 03:21 PM
Replies: 230
Views: 16,012
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Sean Carroll and Carl Zimmer quit Bloggingheads for promoting creationism

> It is a theory that CANNOT be falsified because there is no possible evidence that can be adduced to disprove it.

I know. Evolution by natural selection is extremely falsifiable. The trouble is...
Forum: General comments on Bloggingheads.tv 09-02-2009, 09:57 PM
Replies: 230
Views: 16,012
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Sean Carroll and Carl Zimmer quit Bloggingheads for promoting creationism

> I'd like to see such a proof. Behe's approach has been to try to find examples whose "reducibility" hasn't yet been shown.

You can start by finding something that doesn't show overwhelmingly...
Forum: General comments on Bloggingheads.tv 09-02-2009, 04:45 PM
Replies: 230
Views: 16,012
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Sean Carroll and Carl Zimmer quit Bloggingheads for promoting creationism

> The problem, as I see it, is that the postulate is unfalsifiable.

Except that it's not. You just need to find one thing that couldn't come from small incremental change over time. Behe and...
Forum: Diavlog comments 08-16-2009, 03:59 PM
Replies: 112
Views: 39,632
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Timeline for AI

> Yes, but I think it's reasonable to say "highly likely, assuming no societal collapses." Put that in for "obvious," and do you still have a problem with the prediction? I must say that if I had to...
Forum: Diavlog comments 08-16-2009, 12:51 PM
Replies: 112
Views: 39,632
Posted By WilliamP
Timeline for AI

When we put a man on the moon, how far along were we to colonizing another planet, on a logarithmic scale? Can you then extrapolate to figure out when it will happen? No. The barriers are...
Forum: Diavlog comments 11-08-2008, 08:27 PM
Replies: 48
Views: 18,929
Posted By WilliamP
Dawkins and gene-centric evolution

I'm a non-scientist, but to me Michael Brooks showed absolutely no indication that he understands the idea of a gene-centric view of evolution at all, with all his talk of "alpha males". With such a...
Forum: Diavlog comments 11-02-2008, 10:38 AM
Replies: 40
Views: 18,310
Posted By WilliamP
Re: The Plumber has your number

Indeed! For the first few minutes, which was all I could take, Sally Haslanger sounded like a self-parody. She basically defines "woman" and "femininity" as a position of decreased power. So if...
Forum: Diavlog comments 10-25-2008, 07:58 PM
Replies: 166
Views: 46,702
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Too Many People

I doubt it's perfectly aligned along the liberal/conservative divide, but then I think you're going to have a very hard time finding someone who considers themselves liberal, and also thinks it's...
Forum: Diavlog comments 10-25-2008, 12:31 PM
Replies: 166
Views: 46,702
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Too Many People

From my perspective, this is somewhere at the center of the divide between liberals and conservatives. Some people seem to take it as axiomatic that the ultimate good is to maximize the number of...
Forum: Diavlog comments 08-17-2008, 10:59 AM
Replies: 7
Views: 3,509
Posted By WilliamP
Failure

It's an interesting point about how much the media plays up Olympic failure as a disaster of "epic" proportions. On the other hand, I don't think many Olympic athletes have had to endure the public...
Forum: Diavlog comments 08-09-2008, 01:05 PM
Replies: 61
Views: 51,624
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Science Saturday: Problems in Quantum Mechanics

Thank you for this diavlog. I enjoyed it very much.

To me, discussions like this always seem to boil down to what is a main tautology of existence, in the same category as "why is there something...
Forum: Diavlog comments 07-07-2008, 11:05 AM
Replies: 34
Views: 15,954
Posted By WilliamP
Re: The Audacity of Glenn

And isn't it just so ironic that there is such a resistance to the idea of evaluating teachers based on some possibly flawed measure, and rewarding or penalizing accordingly? After all, that's what...
Forum: Diavlog comments 06-29-2008, 12:51 PM
Replies: 33
Views: 28,088
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Science Saturday: Cultural Evolution

I did learn about this figure from a lecture by Dennett, but apparently it's attributed to a calculation by Paul MacCready. (Designer of the first solar power aircraft, and engineer of many...
Forum: Diavlog comments 06-29-2008, 12:54 AM
Replies: 33
Views: 28,088
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Science Saturday: Cultural Evolution

I'm curious what you mean by "need" then. For example, with respect to climate change, we (as a species) may need to eventually change our habitats, at a cost of trillions of dollars. That's a lot,...
Forum: Diavlog comments 06-28-2008, 02:10 PM
Replies: 33
Views: 28,088
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Science Saturday: Cultural Evolution

I have a problem with claims that we need to do something or else, when the "or else" given seems to be either naive or dishonest. For instance, we humans, for strictly our own survival value, really...
Forum: Diavlog comments 06-14-2008, 01:41 PM
Replies: 46
Views: 15,803
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Science Saturday: Avoiding Catastrophic Boredom

I've never understood what people find so difficult about the Monty Hall problem. (This is not condescending, just a surprise that other people must think very differently about it than I do.)

It...
Forum: Diavlog comments 04-06-2008, 02:00 AM
Replies: 23
Views: 8,523
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Science Saturday: Beauty in Science

I think it's not so much that, but that the history of science has practically been a history of finding unifying explanations, with fantastic real results. There's no reason to be sure this needs to...
Forum: Diavlog comments 04-05-2008, 02:38 PM
Replies: 23
Views: 8,523
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Science Saturday: Beauty in Science

One thing totally missed in this dialogue is that in one sense, the search for unification is purely pragmatic. Quantum Mechanics and Relativity both have wonderful explanatory power, but they don't...
Forum: Diavlog comments 02-02-2008, 09:47 PM
Replies: 31
Views: 15,112
Posted By WilliamP
Re: One way manned space missions

I think it would be extremely easy to find people who are willing to die in the name of something significant for humanity. It's a lot more noble than Iraq after all! The real problem might be the...
Forum: Diavlog comments 01-19-2008, 11:48 PM
Replies: 46
Views: 16,277
Posted By WilliamP
Re: Science Saturday: Ironic Science

I found the "why do we exist" portion of this diavlog completely devoid of content, but that could be because there just isn't anything interesting to say. Cosmology says nothing interesting, as John...
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