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Thread: Will science survive human nature.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Will science survive human nature.

    I've been wondering why philosophy began with rational rather than objective roots. I'm pretty sure humans knew how to observe, test, and measure when Greek civilizations rose. Evidence is abundant from Egyptian engineering that measurement accompanied observation very early on at the dawn of written language. So why did Greeks concentrate on logic and rational argument rather than hypothesis and experiment?

    My take is reflected in political movements now. Itis objectively true that humans are a singles pecies and that there are no races extant in this early period of our existence. It is really easy to objectively debunk claims of race based on primarily one attribute, skin color, cultural norms are transitory rather than permanent as any reading of recent history will reveal. For instance, German culture went from authoritarian separatist, nazism, to democratic social inclusiveness, open borders, in less than fifty years.

    Now I've not researched the topic yet. I'm just going on worldwide political trends to tribe in this era of social inclusiveness and one worldism such as we see in EU, America, Middle East, and far East and the continuing turmoil in Africa and S.America as nations try to climb out of corrupt authoritarian habits.

    Yes there needs to be a lot of precision for this to be a social science discussion But, here, it seems to me, the best place to get such a discussion going since it is my belief there is an extential risk to objective processes bubbling up in human cultures right now.

    I'm going to construct a rational frame and a scientific frame over the next few posts. The work of Stephen W. Porges serves both straw man and intellectual anchor to evolution of brain function in which I have been trained,.

    Here is the article I've chosen as introduction to these tasks.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3108032/

    Abstract:
    The polyvagal theory describes an autonomic nervous system that is influenced by the central nervous system, sensitive to afferent influences, characterized by an adaptive reactivity dependent on the phylogeny of the neural circuits, and interactive with source nuclei in the brainstem regulating the striated muscles of the face and head. The theory is dependent on accumulated knowledge describing the phylogenetic transitions in the vertebrate autonomic nervous system. Its specific focus is on the phylogenetic shift between reptiles and mammals that resulted in specific changes to the vagal pathways regulating the heart. As the source nuclei of the primary vagal efferent pathways regulating the heart shifted from the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus in reptiles to the nucleus ambiguus in mammals, a face–heart connection evolved with emergent properties of a social engagement system that would enable social interactions to regulate visceral state.




    First the boat that is floated is anchored in reptile to mammal nervous transitions. One might expect a more appropriate junction would be where hand and vocal evolution coincided with the evolution of
    monotremes since it is here where manipulation and interpretation become featured in behavior. So although there are general changes between reptile and mammalian behavior linkage between visceral and sensory function in the brain there needs be the additional linkage between manipulation and communication as well.

    The Combinatorial Creature: Cortical Phenotypes within and across Lifetimes https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...66223618302091

    There are multiple time-scales that are relevant for understanding how a given phenotype emerges. Brains change across large, evolutionary time-scales, shorter time-scales such as generations, and within the life of an individual.Any given phenotype is a combination of genes involved in brain and body development, behavior, and the environment in which an individual develops. A similar phenotype in different species may be due to homology, but can also be the result of a different combination of factors.
    There are several constraints that restrict the avenues along which evolution of the brain and body can proceed. One of these constraints is the contingent nature in which genes are deployed during development. Another constraint is genetic pleiotropy; a single gene can be expressed in different portions of the nervous system at different times in development and can be involved in different aspects of brain and body organization. Finally, the laws of physics constrain brain evolution.
    The human neocortex has an extraordinary capacity to adapt based on context, allowing for rapid phenotypic change even within a single generation. Our species has also evolved a remarkably fluid brain/body interface with the environment, such that tools and machines can be incorporated into our body schema, which extends our embodiment and peripersonal space.



    I stop here for now since it's time for lunch and a movie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    For instance, German culture went from authoritarian separatist, nazism, to democratic social inclusiveness, open borders, in less than fifty years.
    Germany was not an isolated culture.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    I agree. It is a state with a more or less continuous language and ethnicity for several hundred years. So I took the national state identity to demonstrate policy change in a culture reflecting changing culture as radically different from ethnicity variation or biological change. After all three have, at one time or another, been used to show how tribal change is determinative of race and evolution. Other german speaking nations went different ways.

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    Probably not.

    Observation: We see no signs of ETs.

    Observation: We exist and soon will be capable of being those ETs.

    Observation: Colonizing the galaxy would happen in an eyeblink of cosmic time. A fusion version of Orion is enough to power a slowboat. Even if potentially life-bearing worlds are skipped over we would still see signs of them around other stars.

    Observation: Once a species is interstellar it would be very hard to wipe out.

    Conclusion: No species has gone to the stars within the Milky Way.

    Conclusion: We have ballpark estimates on some of the terms in the Drake Equation, in combination they add up to at least vyer simple life being common. Thus somewhere in the unknowns there's a billions-to-one chance against making it to the stars. Have we already survived these incredible odds, or are we going to face them in the near future? Obviously, the latter scenario is more likely (but not billions of times more likely because of survivorship bias)--and if it comes to be it will be our own actions that stop us. Thus it is likely that humanity will not survive human nature.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Ah, but Loren Pechtel, you didn't even look at what's in our stars.

    That sir, 'tis what this thread is to be about.

    Can we will we - because we must - overcome our limitations with respect to being objective.

    That's why all the feathers in the first post about different presumptions about consequences of us having evolved as we are believed to have done. The thread is to examine what is in our spiritual history and natures, outside of objective capabilities, our striving and falling away from strong appearing civilizations, our winning evolutionary contests because we are greater groupers.

    We nearly went away at least once as have all other species that have existed across earth's evolutionary time. And the odds are strong that we may do that ourselves soon. It hasn't been eighty years since war got the bomb. We haven't found away to contain it yet andthose threads that have existed to contain nuclear holocaust are being destroyed as we write.

    As for your argument it fails because it does not take in to account the effects of time and evolutionary process. You demonstrate great willingness to believe in a universe that has been amply demonstrated to deny our ability to make use of such speculations.

    If you examine such as the Drake equation you will find they are falsified over time. Moores Law has fallen. It turns out that even his projections of growth fall short over time as dimensions for opportunities multiply expansion rates. Drake's equation suffers the problems of known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Those factors produce such uncertainty in the 'equation' that is becomes useless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    If you examine such as the Drake equation you will find they are falsified over time. Moores Law has fallen. It turns out that even his projections of growth fall short over time as dimensions for opportunities multiply expansion rates. Drake's equation suffers the problems of known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Those factors produce such uncertainty in the 'equation' that is becomes useless.
    Where has the Drake equation been falsified? All that has happened is that it has been refined--rather than simply considering the probability of various steps on the road to intelligence we need to consider the probability of them happening before some calamity happens to the planet. (The planet moves out of the habitable zone or is subject to a sufficiently catastrophic impact event.)

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    It all started with learning to make and control fire.

    I'd turn the question around . Can humans survive the blind obsession with finding new scince to exploit?

    A recent report says kids watching a lot of video is actually affecting physical brain development. There have been reports China is working on bedding generically superior humans. There was a paper by a scientist and has since disappeared from view.

    Or atomic weapons.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    If you examine such as the Drake equation you will find they are falsified over time. Moores Law has fallen. It turns out that even his projections of growth fall short over time as dimensions for opportunities multiply expansion rates. Drake's equation suffers the problems of known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Those factors produce such uncertainty in the 'equation' that is becomes useless.
    Where has the Drake equation been falsified? All that has happened is that it has been refined--rather than simply considering the probability of various steps on the road to intelligence we need to consider the probability of them happening before some calamity happens to the planet. (The planet moves out of the habitable zone or is subject to a sufficiently catastrophic impact event.)
    I didn't say it had been falsified since it isn't really anything more than a probabilistic wish list for civilizations based on possibilities which keep becoming more abstract and meaningless.

    C hasn't been disproved distances haven't become less, etc. Wormholes have not been detected etc.

    I presume there have been and will be life forms, perhaps even life forms that are long lived enough to tolerate a couple thousand years travel. There may be physics for creating stuff out of vacuum which would be necessary if travel is to be possible.

    The likelihoods are so tiny that all of those factors including those others have considered coming together at any time between life forms near enough to be visited that the number of that possibility is vanishingly small and it continues to get smaller.

    This discussion is more like science fantasy rather than science fiction. My expectation of seeing God - that is zero by the way - is higher than being alive when man meets mork.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Probably not.

    Observation: We see no signs of ETs.

    Observation: We exist and soon will be capable of being those ETs.
    That's not an observation, that's a claim without evidence.

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    ... snip ...

    This discussion is more like science fantasy rather than science fiction. My expectation of seeing God - that is zero by the way - is higher than being alive when man meets mork.
    If that Mork is a Martian version of a virus or a Martian version of a bacteria then we may meet that sucker within the next few years. But, if we do, that Mork may only be found as a fossil. If that supposed Mork is piloting a starship then I would think the chance of a meeting is vanishingly small.

    I have for quite a while considered the Drake equation to be only a list of some of the things that we don't know about our universe. However, watching people assign values to the variables, I have found the equation to be useful in determining the biases of the one assigning the values.

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