RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 143,297
Posts: 5,605,289
Members: 25,408
Currently online: 458
Newest member: WarpTenLizard

TrekToday headlines

Retro Review: Tacking Into the Wind
By: Michelle on Mar 6

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage
By: T'Bonz on Mar 6

Harve Bennett Passes
By: T'Bonz on Mar 6

Quinto To Guest Star On Crime Show
By: T'Bonz on Mar 5

Star Trek/Doctor Who Parody Comic
By: T'Bonz on Mar 4

Nimoy Commemorative Magazine
By: T'Bonz on Mar 4

Saturday Night Live Trek Skit
By: T'Bonz on Mar 3

Two IDW Publishing Trek Comics Previews
By: T'Bonz on Mar 3

Shatner: Celebrate Life
By: T'Bonz on Mar 3

March-April 2015 Trek Conventions And Appearances
By: T'Bonz on Mar 2


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > TV & Media

TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 17 2014, 10:42 PM   #196
davejames
Vice Admiral
 
Location: Sac, Ca
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

The point of the Bruno example was to show that it was dangerous just to have different ideas about the world back then-- whether they were supported by any actual scientific evidence or not.

You can ridicule some of the other crazy things Bruno believed in, but the fact he was executed for those beliefs still tells you all you need to know about the world he lived in.
davejames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17 2014, 11:00 PM   #197
gturner
Admiral
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Christopher wrote: View Post
Again, you're entirely missing the point. Nobody's ever claimed that the Drake Equation is a method for actually calculating the number of radio-emitting civilizations. It's a metaphor, a teaching tool for discussing the various factors that could influence those results. It's not about giving an answer, it's about framing the question.
But how did it ever get touted as "scientific"? It expresses an unknown quantity as the product of a bunch of other unknown quantities in the same way any caveman would estimate the number of woolly mammoths by saying

Number_of_mammoths = size_of_earth (unknown) * percent_of_Earth_that_is_land_area (unknown) * land_area_inhabited_by_Mammoths (unknown) * average_size_of_mammoth_herd (unknown) * average_herd_density_in_mammoth_areas (unknown).

It works equally well with angels.

Num_angels_dancing_on_pin_heads =
area_of_pin_head (measured) *
percentage_of_open_dance_space_around_each_angel (unknown) *
size_of_an_average_angel (unknown) *
number_of_pin_heads_in_current_use (unknown) *
percentage of pin heads currently vertical enough to support dancing angels (unknown) *
percentage of danceable pin heads being used by dancing angels (unknown) *
percentage of danceable pin head space that angels typically use in a dance (unknown)

There. I've framed the question better, and now we can all get a better grasp of how to approach the scientific question of angels dancing on pin heads. Now that we have this powerful equation, nothing can stop us from finding the answer!
gturner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17 2014, 11:21 PM   #198
gturner
Admiral
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

davejames wrote: View Post
The point of the Bruno example was to show that it was dangerous just to have different ideas about the world back then-- whether they were supported by any actual scientific evidence or not.

You can ridicule some of the other crazy things Bruno believed in, but the fact he was executed for those beliefs still tells you all you need to know about the world he lived in.
It doesn't tell me a darn thing. Back then you were far more likely to be executed for believing that the other claimant should inherit the throne, or for being caught wearing the wrong uniform during a conflict, or living in the wrong castle, or being a member of the wrong warring family, or living in a city that some warlord wanted to raze.

Bruno had a long trial in which he defended himself and his philosophy, having grossly questioned Jesus, Mary, and many of the beliefs of the Catholic Church, beliefs which he'd attempted to undermine by spreading banned religious books. If, instead of airing claims about Jesus, he'd directly disputed the parentage and right to rule of anyone sitting on any throne in Europe, they wouldn't have bothered with a trial, they'd have just killed him as soon as they caught him.

So the great moral lesson is probably that you should make sure you don't live in the wrong castle, and the older brother should obviously be the one sitting on the throne, and be sure to wear the red uniform when you're out running around in a pike formation. Also, don't deal in black magic, and don't tell people they might die and come back as a hedgehog.

Obviously we haven't learned anything since, since quite a few professors have actively called for criminal prosecutions for anyone who expresses any doubt about the hell-fire and damnation of global warming that's about to descend upon us and wipe out human civilization. Even NASA Goddard recently published a report saying that industrial civilization would collapse within 20 years because the elites are consuming too many resources, and that only massive income redistribution and curbs on population and can prevent imminent catastrophe. I figure we get rid of the greedy Jews first, and then have NASA come up with better technologies for liquidating useless eaters. It's science.
gturner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17 2014, 11:39 PM   #199
publiusr
Rear Admiral
 
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Ancient Mariner wrote: View Post

Will this do?


A little too photon torpedo. Although the origininal looked a bit like a sea urchin.

Forwards' starwisp might have been more apt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starwisp

It is okay that they kept the 40 second animation--but was hoping that would be freshened up a bit.

Timewalker wrote: View Post

You have evidently missed those three important words: We are starstuff.
For arguments with anti-nukes, I prefer the term cosmic fallout, since the reason atomic bombs didn't runaway to the point of blowing up the whole planet is because we are already worked over coals, as it were.

Evolution as with dogs is unassailable--that is why he and the crew used it--it shows more diversity than a few lousy finches. The variation is very broad--and the segue into the trees was nice too

Christopher wrote: View Post

The "Hall of Extinction," or whatever it was called, was a nice addition to the repertoire of metaphors..
Nice concept--but my only nitpick is that they showed dino bones in the Permian extinction! Augh!

The dense asteroid belt I can take--when a big one breaks up it is going to be dense right there for a bit. We show planets on textbooks really close together (out of scale) for clarity. Besides, textbooks are expensive enough as it is.

But dino cadavers in the Permian? Oh well, the overall point was made. Besides, Neil was in front of a greenscreen the whole time or he would have caught it.
publiusr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18 2014, 12:19 AM   #200
Timewalker
Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady
 
Timewalker's Avatar
 
Location: In many different universes, simultaneously.
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

publiusr wrote: View Post
Timewalker wrote: View Post

You have evidently missed those three important words: We are starstuff.
For arguments with anti-nukes, I prefer the term cosmic fallout, since the reason atomic bombs didn't runaway to the point of blowing up the whole planet is because we are already worked over coals, as it were.
I don't understand your reference to "anti-nukes." My point was in response to a post that questioned having biology and evolution in a program about the Universe.

Christopher wrote: View Post

The "Hall of Extinction," or whatever it was called, was a nice addition to the repertoire of metaphors..
Nice concept--but my only nitpick is that they showed dino bones in the Permian extinction! Augh!

The dense asteroid belt I can take--when a big one breaks up it is going to be dense right there for a bit. We show planets on textbooks really close together (out of scale) for clarity. Besides, textbooks are expensive enough as it is.

But dino cadavers in the Permian? Oh well, the overall point was made. Besides, Neil was in front of a greenscreen the whole time or he would have caught it.
I thought I was seeing things at first... then figured, "Okay, somebody goofed." This is one error that will definitely be noticed and commented on. But shouldn't they have caught it in post-production?
__________________
"Let's give it to Riker. He'll eat anything!"

For some great Original Series fanfic, check out the Valjiir Continuum!
Timewalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18 2014, 12:19 AM   #201
Awesome Possum
Mad With Power
 
Awesome Possum's Avatar
 
Location: Awesome Possum Land
View Awesome Possum's Twitter Profile Send a message via ICQ to Awesome Possum Send a message via AIM to Awesome Possum
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Timewalker wrote: View Post
Nerroth wrote: View Post
I'm guessing that the sixth, as-yet-unmarked hallway in the Halls of Extinction (the one he'll get back to later) will end up covering the Holocene extinction.
If Sagan himself had done a sequence like this, the final hallway would be the current list of lifeforms on the endangered species list, plus humans. That would mirror the sequence in "Who Speaks for Earth"? when he comes back to Earth and discovers that WWIII has happened and destroyed everything.
That's what I'm thinking. Maybe tie it into climate change, pollution or any of the other ways we're messing up the planet since that's probably a greater threat to human civilization than nuclear war at this point.
__________________
I have existed from the creation of the forum and I shall exist until the last thread is deleted from the server. Although I have taken the form of Awesome Possum, I am all posters as I am no poster and therefore I am a Mod.
Awesome Possum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old March 18 2014, 12:20 AM   #202
cultcross
Say my name...
 
cultcross's Avatar
 
Location: United Kingdom
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

gturner wrote: View Post
. I figure we get rid of the greedy Jews first, and then have NASA come up with better technologies for liquidating useless eaters. It's science.
As well as being trolling we don't permit hate speech like this here even in "jest". Infraction issued, comments to PM.
__________________
This post terminates here. Please do not attempt to board.
cultcross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18 2014, 12:21 AM   #203
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

gturner wrote: View Post
That kind of sloppy storyline is what you often get when you let journalists and Hollywood writers try to explain science.
Last week's episode was credited to Neil deGrasse Tyson himself. Tyson is not a "journalist," but an astrophysicist who is the director of the Hayden Planetarium.


gturner wrote: View Post
But how did [the Drake equation] ever get touted as "scientific"?
The same way as any thought experiment. Science begins with asking questions, and that's what the Drake Equation does. The fact that we don't know what numbers to plug in for the various terms is exactly the point of the Equation. It's meant to illustrate how many unanswered questions there are, and that's meant to motivate us to try harder to figure out answers to some of those questions in hopes that someday we might be able to plug an actual number in for one or more of those variables.



publiusr wrote: View Post
A little too photon torpedo. Although the origininal looked a bit like a sea urchin.
That is a shot of the original, isn't it?



Christopher wrote: View Post

The "Hall of Extinction," or whatever it was called, was a nice addition to the repertoire of metaphors..
Nice concept--but my only nitpick is that they showed dino bones in the Permian extinction! Augh!
No, they didn't. One of the species they showed was dimetrodons, which are often mistaken for dinosaurs but are actually synapsids, an early ancestor of mammals. The other species looked like some kind of gorgonopsid, another type of synapsid that died out in the Permian-Triassic extinction event.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old March 18 2014, 12:34 AM   #204
Awesome Possum
Mad With Power
 
Awesome Possum's Avatar
 
Location: Awesome Possum Land
View Awesome Possum's Twitter Profile Send a message via ICQ to Awesome Possum Send a message via AIM to Awesome Possum
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Christopher wrote: View Post
gturner wrote: View Post
But how did [the Drake equation] ever get touted as "scientific"?
The same way as any thought experiment. Science begins with asking questions, and that's what the Drake Equation does. The fact that we don't know what numbers to plug in for the various terms is exactly the point of the Equation. It's meant to illustrate how many unanswered questions there are, and that's meant to motivate us to try harder to figure out answers to some of those questions in hopes that someday we might be able to plug an actual number in for one or more of those variables.
I believe Sagan actually said that we aren't really sure of the variables at this time and showed several different possibilities. It's pretty clear to anyone who is actually paying attention to it that it's a thought experiment. I'm pretty sure the spaceship of the imagination isn't real either despite looking really good.
__________________
I have existed from the creation of the forum and I shall exist until the last thread is deleted from the server. Although I have taken the form of Awesome Possum, I am all posters as I am no poster and therefore I am a Mod.
Awesome Possum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old March 18 2014, 12:49 AM   #205
Ancient Mariner
Rear Admiral
 
Ancient Mariner's Avatar
 
Location: Into The West
View Ancient Mariner's Twitter Profile
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

gturner wrote: View Post
That's the kind of thing that got Bruno burned, being in a highly religious society and spouting that Jesus wasn't divine and the Virgin Mary wasn't a virgin, that transubstantiation is a lie, yet maintaining a belief in magic and other mystic nonsense. Bruno's worldview is what Carl Sagan would've characterized as a demon haunted world, and his fate doesn't offer any more moral lessons about science than would the execution of pagans who insisted on human sacrifice to the sun god.

At some point in the 19th or 20th centuries, somebody tried to characterize Bruno's unfortunate story as another example of the Catholic Church suppressing science, because that was the narrative of the day, and somebody on the Cosmos writing staff obviously bought into it. The uptake is that if you believe in Bruno, you should hold that mystic revelation is just as valid at creating understanding as mathematical analysis and experiment, and that spirits haunt us, and after you die you could come back as a beaver.
In that case, you've missed the point. His story wasn't to illustrate a "moral lesson about science", it was a cautionary tale about a society that was afraid to have its preconceptions challenged - which you've just vividly illustrated, by the way.

Again, this was not a story about the Church suppressing science. No matter how many times you repeat this assertion, such repetition will not make it correct. This was a story about a society suppressing free, independent thinking. Tyson himself clearly states that Bruno wasn't a scientist and wasn't doing science. Therefore, this story is about Bruno's persecution for daring to have a radically different worldview, not science.

That Bruno's revelation happened to be correct makes the story more poetic, but isn't the fundamental purpose of the story. And, once again, Tyson explicitly highlights this fact.

gturner wrote: View Post
That kind of sloppy storyline is what you often get when you let journalists and Hollywood writers try to explain science. They either miss the point, completely misunderstand it, or see a point that isn't there, and whooosh, a zombie narrative emerges. Given that, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they completely avoid any implication that evolution could have given humans a whole bunch of hard-wired innate behaviors and instincts, because the writers likely hold to the view that mental evolution stopped shortly after conscious thought started, and that all people are really exactly the same when you get down to it.
Considering the original Cosmos spent plenty of time demonstrating that we do, indeed, have hard-wired, innate behaviors and instincts (via the reptilian portion of our brain, as one example), I'm pretty sure this version will touch on similar ideas.

Christopher wrote: View Post
publiusr wrote: View Post
Ancient Mariner wrote: View Post

Will this do?


A little too photon torpedo. Although the origininal looked a bit like a sea urchin.
That is a shot of the original, isn't it?
Yep. I took the screencap myself. It's from the very first on-screen shot of the Ship, just after Sagan says, "Come with me."
__________________
Ancient Mariner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18 2014, 01:11 AM   #206
J. Allen
Remember.
 
J. Allen's Avatar
 
Location: United States
Send a message via ICQ to J. Allen Send a message via AIM to J. Allen Send a message via Windows Live Messenger to J. Allen Send a message via Yahoo to J. Allen
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Timewalker wrote: View Post
publiusr wrote: View Post
Timewalker wrote: View Post

You have evidently missed those three important words: We are starstuff.
For arguments with anti-nukes, I prefer the term cosmic fallout, since the reason atomic bombs didn't runaway to the point of blowing up the whole planet is because we are already worked over coals, as it were.
I don't understand your reference to "anti-nukes." My point was in response to a post that questioned having biology and evolution in a program about the Universe.

Christopher wrote: View Post

The "Hall of Extinction," or whatever it was called, was a nice addition to the repertoire of metaphors..
Nice concept--but my only nitpick is that they showed dino bones in the Permian extinction! Augh!

The dense asteroid belt I can take--when a big one breaks up it is going to be dense right there for a bit. We show planets on textbooks really close together (out of scale) for clarity. Besides, textbooks are expensive enough as it is.

But dino cadavers in the Permian? Oh well, the overall point was made. Besides, Neil was in front of a greenscreen the whole time or he would have caught it.
I thought I was seeing things at first... then figured, "Okay, somebody goofed." This is one error that will definitely be noticed and commented on. But shouldn't they have caught it in post-production?
See, I thought I was missing something, too. I saw the dinosaurs and I figured either the wrong graphic was put in the wrong place, or they moved to another era without saying as such.
__________________
“I've noticed that about your people, Doctor. You find it easier to understand the death of one than the death of a million. You speak about the objective hardness of the Vulcan heart, yet how little room there seems to be in yours.” - Spock, The Immunity Syndrome

Leonard Nimoy: 1931 - 2015
J. Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18 2014, 02:32 AM   #207
gturner
Admiral
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Christopher wrote: View Post
gturner wrote: View Post
But how did [the Drake equation] ever get touted as "scientific"?
The same way as any thought experiment. Science begins with asking questions, and that's what the Drake Equation does. The fact that we don't know what numbers to plug in for the various terms is exactly the point of the Equation. It's meant to illustrate how many unanswered questions there are, and that's meant to motivate us to try harder to figure out answers to some of those questions in hopes that someday we might be able to plug an actual number in for one or more of those variables.
But again, it doesn't matter how many actual numbers you have in an equation that multiplies them all together, because as long as one number is unknown your equation remains absolutely useless, producing anything from negative infinity to zero to positive infinity, depending on what that one term turns out to be, unless of course one of the other terms happens to be zero, in which case you don't need the equation at all because the answer is going to be zero.

The equation is something surrounded by the trappings of science (it's an equation!), but doesn't really fit with science because the only way to test it is to already have the answer it purports to provide, or a statistical subset of that answer.

You can crank out a similar equation for the number of warp-capable star ships in the universe, or the number of intelligent species who are green, breathe methane, square dance, and watch wrestling. In fact, you can generate an infinite number of such equations covering all possible questions about a census of the universe, and it still doesn't tell you anything you didn't already know.

It's like an idiot test.
gturner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18 2014, 02:50 AM   #208
Ancient Mariner
Rear Admiral
 
Ancient Mariner's Avatar
 
Location: Into The West
View Ancient Mariner's Twitter Profile
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

gturner wrote: View Post
it doesn't matter how many actual numbers you have in an equation that multiplies them all together, because as long as one number is unknown your equation remains absolutely useless
Algebra is useless?
__________________
Ancient Mariner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18 2014, 03:22 AM   #209
gturner
Admiral
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Ancient Mariner wrote: View Post
In that case, you've missed the point. His story wasn't to illustrate a "moral lesson about science", it was a cautionary tale about a society that was afraid to have its preconceptions challenged - which you've just vividly illustrated, by the way.

Again, this was not a story about the Church suppressing science. No matter how many times you repeat this assertion, such repetition will not make it correct. This was a story about a society suppressing free, independent thinking. Tyson himself clearly states that Bruno wasn't a scientist and wasn't doing science. Therefore, this story is about Bruno's persecution for daring to have a radically different worldview, not science.
Um, no. You must've got that off a silly TV show. Bruno wasn't executed for having a "different worldview", he was executed for heresy and blasphemy. His "worldview" was pretty irrelevant to his trial, in which he was charged with speaking against the Catholic Church and its priests, dealing in magic, the occult, and reading omens, preaching against the divinity of Christ, the Virgin Mary, transubstantiation, mass, and the Holy Trinity, and teaching reincarnation and that souls can inhabit beasts. He was burned at the stake, his soul cast into oblivion, and his remains dumped in a river.

It wasn't his internal beliefs that got him killed, it was his religious treason and trouble making. He was sold out and accused by a Venetian nobleman in a very liberal city teaming with Muslims, Jews, Protestants. He was sold out because he had promised to teach some memorization tricks to the nobleman and then tried to leave before he'd taught much of anything, so the nobleman was enraged and locked Bruno in the attic and threatened him with dire consequences if he didn't continue his lessons. Bruno refused, so the nobleman (from a long family of doges of Venice) penned an angry letter to the Inquisition, saying:

I, Zuane Mocenigo, report by obligation of my conscience and order of my confessor that I have heard Giordano Bruno of Nola say, while conversing in my home: that it is a great blasphemy for Catholics to say that break transmutes into flesh, that he is an enemy to the Mass, that no religion pleases him, that Christ is a wretch, and that if he did such wretched work as deluding the people, he could easily have predicted that he would be hanged, that God has no distinction of persons, as this would constitute an imperfection in God, that the world is eternal and that there are infinite worlds, because he says that he wants to do what he is able to do, that Christ performed apparent miracles and was a magician, and likewise the apostles, and he had a mind to do as much as they and more, that Christ showed reluctance to die, and fled death as long as he could, that there is no punishment of sins, and that the souls created by nature pass from one animal, and that just as brute animals are born by spontaneous generation, so are human beings when they are born again after a flood.

He revealed plans to make himself the head of a new sect under the name of a new philosophy. He said that the Virgin could not have given birth, that our Catholic faith is full of blasphemies against God, that friars should have neither the right to debate nor incomes, because they pollute the world and are all asses, that our opinions are the teaching of asses, that we have no proof that our faith finds merit with God, and that to lead a good life it is enough to do to others as we would have them do to us, and that he laughs at all the other sins, and he marvels that God can bear such heresies from Catholics. He says he wants to tend to the art of divination, and draw the whole world behind him, that Saint Thomas and all the doctors of the Church know nothing in comparison with him, and he would so enlighten all the best theologians in the world that they would have not a word to say to him.


The angry letter went for several pages. That got Bruno picked up by the Inquisition in Venice, where he recanted and begged forgiveness, which was granted. But then the Roman Inquisition requested his extradition. Normally Venice denied all such requests, and Rome's interest was in Bruno's German contacts, which could spell serious trouble in a period of revolution and religious war, and there's Bruno, apparently trying to start a new powerful revolutionary sect set against the Catholic faith, and a sect that must've seemed the work of Satan, at that.

Meanwhile, back in the modern world, the University named after Cardinal Bellarmine, who convicted Bruno of blasphemy and heresy, went on to win the 2011 NCAA men's division II basketball championship! That makes it pretty obvious which side God is on. One guy gets burned to death and dumped in a river. The other guy has his team cut down the nets.
gturner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18 2014, 03:28 AM   #210
Ancient Mariner
Rear Admiral
 
Ancient Mariner's Avatar
 
Location: Into The West
View Ancient Mariner's Twitter Profile
Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

gturner wrote: View Post
Bruno wasn't executed for having a "different worldview", he was executed for heresy and blasphemy. His "worldview" was pretty irrelevant to his trial, in which he was charged with speaking against the Catholic Church and its priests, dealing in magic, the occult, and reading omens, preaching against the divinity of Christ, the Virgin Mary, transubstantiation, mass, and the Holy Trinity, and teaching reincarnation and that souls can inhabit beasts. He was burned at the stake, his soul cast into oblivion, and his remains dumped in a river.
In other words ... he was executed by a paranoid, authoritarian society that was intolerant of his view of the world. The lesson being, intolerance and closed-mindedness are the antithesis of the scientific process.
__________________
Ancient Mariner is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:27 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.