Saturday, February 28, 2015

Revisiting Ockhams Razor and broader ramifications

 A few years ago, back when I was at a loss as to why panspermia was given such a wide berth from conventional science, especially in concern with abiogenesis, my digging through Wikipedia led me to the conclusion that in choosing between Geogenesis and (other plausible theories that lead to) panspermia, parsimony was said to be invoked. Parsimony was interrelated with Ockhams razor. My perception was and still is that Geogenesis has been given no case to answer in terms of requirement for evidence. Ie. There is no evidence that abiogenesis has happened on Earth or for that matter any Earthlike planet. At the same time, the main case against panspermia is that there is "no convincing evidence" for it, and certainly no evidence for an "alternative mechanism" for abiogenesis (other than perhaps another planet with a mechanism essentially the same as what it would be on Earth) 
I thought it a bit strange that an alternative theory is sidelined completely from mainstream scientific research for the exact kind of lack of evidence that the incumbent mechanism has. No effort to Differentially tally "circumstantial" evidence between what could be a large number of plausible mechanisms and accompanying theories is ever encouraged in a scientific context. When I specifically studied the philosophy behind parsimony and Ockhams razor I came across a descriptive phrase "parsimony would usually imply a shift in the burden of proof". This described precisely what I perceived was happening in many questions between incumbent abiogenesis, evolution, astrobiology, and even astronomical object origins and any alternatives; many of which had some circumstantial evidence in their favour. 

These incumbent ideas implicitly become "new axioms" ie. They are treated as "obviously true" and quite crucially are used to come to conclusions critically dependent on these ideas. Remembering that these axioms have no evidence (any more than other ideas that are rejected) the result is that conclusions become "science" equal to that science that is constantly tested through repeatable observable phenomena.

This has been my basis of rejecting Ockhams razor, particularly for the historical sciences, which are not as subject to constant repeatable observable phenomena. 

Of course, it is not as simple as that and it has been pointed out to me that Ockhams razor is functional. Without it, one cannot reasonably perform science or engineering. Surely, if a theory is falsifiable, false theories will reveal themselves, and we can, for a time, use any plausible theory as a basis for knowledge in a field until the very moment it can be falsified. The problem to me, is that there is a great discrepancy between aspects of science that are verifiable and aspects that aren't. Aspects that are verifiable deserve no doubt to their validity. The probability that they may be completely wrong is negligible to nil. For aspects of science that are not verifiable, these are determined by a number of different philosophical techniques that may be called a great number of things - syntheses, choosing the simplest explanation that fits the data, generalising a principle from convincing anecdotes, consensus of the peer of scientists who have most deeply studied the subject, etc. the truth is, one way or another, they all amount to Ockhams razor, and they all implicitly shift the burden of proof away from the chosen theory where all other plausible theories cannot be verified  including the chosen one. The probability that the chosen theory can be completely wrong, or even impossible, is not calculable by the very nature of the phenomenon that it is explaining, but the thing that is certain is that the probability is many orders of magnitude greater than that which is verifiable.

This is the basis of my thesis that to be of better predictive value, science has to let go of Ockhams razor, and periodically shift the burden of proof back on to incumbent theories. This thesis is based on looking at science from "the outside". That is, it doesn't use one particular branch of science, to show evidence against a theory from another branch. It doesn't use observations (or amassed evidence) interpreted in the context of current incumbent theories to seed doubt on a high profile incumbent theory.

In fact, it takes an intelligent audience of outside observers who are not invested in the historical sciences, especially the status quo, to notice anything awry. Unfortunately, that limits the philosophical counter check to "Ockham razor science" to theistic philosophies with their own chosen "parsimony" which involves or invokes a God explanation explicitly or implicitly. Thus, the "negative" arguments against historical sciences, should be studied safe in the knowledge that the "positive" arguments as to  theistic explanations are doubly "Ockham razor science" and can be safely ignored.

The explanation of why it is scientifically valid, is based on "usefulness". Now if simplifications allows us predictive power, or if the maths works out better or more correctly more often that is one thing. If one is to say that heliocentricity is a "simplification" over geocentricity, this is not what I am talking about. 
If the explanation is that a simplification "works" so should be kept until proven wrong, then well it depends on the nature of the falsifiability of the synthesis in question.
Comparing different examples in history, the scientific and philosophical standard that God's omnipotence can explain one or another phenomena is at one extreme which is not generally falsifiable. Pre-tectonic plate theory geology stuck despite statistically damning evidence that continents thousands of kilometres apart were once connected. I don't see why continuing to think that places like the East Coast of South America and the West coast of Africa were "statistically independent" could possibly be "useful" in a geological sense. A theory without a verifiable mechanism that gives statistically useful results ought to be better than a (wrong) theory with an accepted mechanism that does not give those statistically useful results (also assuming that the synthesis is also not predictive or mathematical in nature), thus the former should be considered the best science can offer rather than the latter.
One question I ask of standard evolutionary synthesis is "how is it useful?", how does it "work" would a similar but importantly different statement be just as "useful" and "work" in the same way? My perception is that the mechanism's usefulness is basically self-serving to the naturist philosophy. And if you add that evolution demonstrates and clarifies the inter-relationship between all the species on Earth, mechanism independent statements are just as useful and work in the same way.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Rosetta Note 3

Things are going well at living comet central:
 1) A whole blog is dedicated to demonstrate forensically that Comet C-P is a single body that has stretched :http://scute1133site.wordpress.com/
This is important to end the rot of speculation about ablation and contact binaries.

2) considerable rotation rate change from differential outgassing over a comet year.
This makes more plausible the centrifugal forces required to stretch the comet over time.

3) the lack of proportionality between surface insolation/temperature and outgassing. This indicates other complex sources of energy other than conduction from the surface.

4) Solid look and feel exterior, but with a very low density interior. Lots of room inside for gas chambers and conduits.

5) an eclectic mix of higher molecular weight gases detected than expected. Again pointing to complex process and energy source.



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Rosetta note 2

M
  • Copyright ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0


  
Long comment follows. Since this was my attempt at visualising the minutiae of matching 3d surfaces from a written explanation from A Cooper, and his scute blog has done that rigorously, this is the explanations from the original ESA comment, that has been already expanded on. Short of ESA releasing names for all these features, we are stuck with wordy descriptions, coloured points and numbers.
Marco

Here are all the things that I've been meaning to say for the last few days. I should've copied the original comment and reposted but this comment has more thoughts and questions anyway so here goes. 

The numbered line you have (1-10) is pretty accurate. The only place it went off slightly is in places where I'd made a mistake myself or it was not explained very well. I shall adjust them one by one below with my reasoning. Most are correct or very close. 

1) correct
2) correct
3) correct - spot on. The other side of the lump it's next to is where the last dot of the line in my Part 2 is positioned, the fuchsia dot. 
4) correct
5) correct
6) not quite. My fault. I can see you are following the nicely demarcated apparent shear line as I did. Although it was where the real rupturing happened, it took the adjoining rectangle with it. The perimeter of this rectangle is:

from the correctly positioned '5' hug your way round the mound next to it with the two pimples as far as the longest prong of the three-pronged fork. Travel straight up the fork. Follow the wavy line above it into the shadow. Just as a check- part of that wavy line looks, by coincidence, like a faded '5' just to the right of the pointed shadow. The left hand edge of that faded 5 is one tip of the seagull  wing and the '6' is over the other tip. So 6 is on the line after all but only by chance and out of sequence. 

7) needs to be shunted over to a point in line between the 6 and the 8. 

8) correct. The 8 is actually positioned on the very edge of the head in the foreground but the shear line does run under the head at that point from this camera position's point of view. 

9) correct. But I'm now wondering if this should be a bit further up the little ridge. I can match those little dips in the ridge to the line of dips at the right of the cove in the head but the head ones go further and tip over. Then I realised that the two strange curved rocks sitting on site A had almost certainly come from the continuation of that ridge just off frame to right. One appears to fit into a divot in the side of the ridge and is in keeping with the shape of other formations on the ridge as seen from above. Once in place though, I'm not sure it stretches far enough into this photo to marry to the ridge above. Of course, this is all fine detail. The two ridges almost match and this area around the 9 is getting close to where things get very unclear because just beyond it there should be no matches if a giant slab went missing. Before this point the matches are so evident  that the missing slabs they were married to must have been thin. Site A looks deeper and much more catastrophic which is why....

10) I don't think the head sat quite here. Although this edge that the 10 marks is clearly a shear line, I think the head sat in a line that would mean shoving the 10 to the left till it's just under the actual head in this image. So if the 10 is marking an obvious shear line but isn't where the head sat it means that the giant slab took with it part of the material from this section of the trench, attached to its underside (that's if you buy into the slab theory. I don't expect you to but I seem to remember some positive feedback).

I may be wrong about the 10. But from most angles I can't quite stretch the head rim back to the crater rim in my minds eye so as to seat it down. It always comes up short, cutting across the low trench of the neck before meeting the ridge by the craters for its next likely match. This of course is evidence for a thick missing slab. All the matches are on another chunk flying round on the same orbit! Then again, your picture with the yellow line looks plausible at this point on the perimeter.

 I think the yellow line is perfect where it zigzags at the right. At the left end where it almost appears to kiss the head, it needs to be erased a short distance to where the curve starts and turned to run along the dark strip to the end. Then sharp right at the end of the dark strip, over another dark strip and out of view.

The yellow line goes through the rectangle but your yellow dots straddle it at an angle and end up in the trench. If you look at the picture in my Part 5 that puts a green dot on each corner, you should be able to relate it to your picture because the lighting and distance is similar (although it's viewed from a different point.

The green line is in the trench. You may be thinking of the scalloped triangle edge which would be where the gull wing profile is. That is to be found under the end of the longer yellow line in the yellow V. This denotes one end of tbe rectangle.

 You can see the two semicircular formations peeping out from under the yellow line, which sit against each gull wing. I believe this is dried slurry that was being forced through the stratum layer and pushed up the gull wings. They obviously continue underneath if they fit perfectly at the exit aperture. 

In fact, I believe that all those lines that form the V and the rectangle and the s shape up to your first yellow dot are slurry residue from the exit fissures along a slab that is long gone. This is because they all resemble the one along the back of the rectangle which has very good evidence of being a slurry residue line (it pushed up the frilly edge of the cliff).

Also, I noticed that the only real sublimation activity on the head seems to be in the five craters just above this point. I'm wondering whether this was where the shearing started and the tear worked its way round the perimeter from here. This is typical of many failures like exploding gas canisters. They tear more than explode like a bomb. But there is a momentary explosive rupture before the tear starts. This is what we may be seeing here in this small area. 

I left a comment on the 14th December Rosetta post in reply to Robin Sherman regarding all this. I was suggesting a scenario involving explosive sublimation but seeing as I know nothing about sublimation explosive or otherwise, feel free to take a look and correct me!  

Seeing as I've nearly got as far round as site A, have you got any ideas why it's so flat? I know one can say it's thicker dust or if there was a slab there then it was fracked by gases underneath and it's a smooth stratum. But it's so absolutely flat it puzzles me especially when there's evidence of chaos all around it. 

I'm sure there's evidence staring right at us and we're staring right at it and yet not seeing it. It took me 3 months to realise the gull wings were pushed up but I'd puzzled over those two little semicircular splodges every time I passed over them on my way somewhere else. Same thing with the rocks on site A and the boulder at the back. Now that I fully accept the lobes were joined I'm seeing more things which follow from that, things which you couldn't notice if you were stuck in contact binary mode. 

I tweeted Phil Plait the 'Bad Astronomer' blogger. He sounded very interested but has now gone silent. 
Regards 

Andrew (A.Cooper)
 

 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Rosetta notes

Comet breeding campaign. C-P is in the process of reproduction through fission as follows.



Rosetta notes

Comet breeding campaign. C-P is in the process of reproduction through fission as follows.



Tuesday, September 09, 2014

M-Life Theory

LAWKI life - Life as we know it, that is biological carbon based life form as recognised as such on Earth by humans.

M-Life - Life as defined by Marco of which LAWKI life is a subset.

M-Life is simply an entity which demonstrates M-Metabolism and M-reproduction. ie. biological metabolism and biological reproduction is a subset of those.

M-reproduction is simply that there is more than one of the entity in question. The entities could have all been produced at once accidentally and never again or generated by something biological and not be biological itself or whatever - very open definition. Virtually anything that can be recognised as a thing undergoes M-reproduction.


M-Metabolism is a little bit counter-intuitive in some respects, but a subset is definitively metabolism as understood in biology and also chemistry.
M-Metabolism is said to occur if there is an entity which has a definable "inside" and "outside" and energy transformations are seen to make the outside "more random". The boundary between the inside and the outside is, in general, but not necessarily, a natural physical boundary. A physical boundary is the more obvious, but at any rate, there must be more similar entities to satisfy the M-reproduction requirement for M-Life.


The increase in entropy on the outside is generally heat or waste energy that is not reversible in the sense that it will not reverse to be back inside in the same way it exited as a reversible transaction of any sort.


Thus things like suns, stars, even planets, comets, or star clusters, galaxies, or galactic clusters exhibit M-Life - there is more than one of them and they exhibit M-Metabolism.


Note that I have not made specifications on entropy "inside". My main thesis on M-life is that energy or information moved within the entity will have a tendency to be deterministic. Anything non-deterministic will tend to leave the entity. Thus an increase in entropy outside will not be evident inside, and energy transformations will string into a long if then sequence of transactions.
Thus rather than "abiogenesis" just happening through a fortuitous set of circumstances. LAWKI life has been designed, in an evolutionary way, by a form of M-Life.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Evidence that Comet C-P is stretch and pull apart contact binary

From a comment on the Rosetta Blog.

<i>
A.Cooper says:

It seems the head of the 'duck' fits onto the body so I checked all the photos released, taken from many different angles, and have found the following:

I've matched contours along the rim of the head to the same contours around the main body perimeter. I've found humps and depressions on the underside of the head (the cliff) that fit closely with their mirror counterparts on the body. 

I'm therefore near certain 67P/C-G was once a single rock and that the head was stretched away from the body. That would mean 67P/C-G is not a contact binary or a scooped-out rock. </i>

I haven't quite made 3d model and verified this, but it is like the similar - look! Africa and South America match up like a jigsaw - They must have been connected once. Kind of evidence.

I have no doubt that the scientists will verify this. It is just like an Amoeba undergoing fission.




Monday, September 01, 2014

I don't Believe Any of it

Case in point - I no longer believe the "Western Press" is the free press, or believable at all. I used to spend so much time watching news analysis until a few years ago. Now I challenge the basic premises of the article at hand (using logic) and I find them wanting. Not just a little bit wanting, but completely off the wall out and out lies. 

Another case in point - I struggle to even read articles to do with evolution or abiogenesis, because I think they are not being scientific enough. They jump to too many conclusions about the overall structure of the question at hand - not because I think I know the correct structure, but because the structure is never questioned, and is almost certainly wrong.

I don't want to necessarily get into specific examples, but it is quite frustrating to feel like I am the only one who sees a problem. Peer pressure, blindly following authority, parsimony, groupthink, loyalty to country, loyalty to like-minded individuals, inability to overturn a precedent, fitting new data into an old way of thinking, rather than letting new information speak for itself and allow new forms of thinking to shine through. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

August astrobiology rant

INot really a rant, but I recommend people keep up with the Rosetta Blog - just google it. Answers to astrobiology start in our studies of comets, one way or another. 

I am at peace with feeling that I know that space scientists, namely what I refer to as the "NASA block" are completely wrong about the distribution and markers of life in the solar system outside of Earth, and of their relationship to and plausibility of "abiogenesis". The "Wickramasinge block" of scientists, plenty of which are ex-NASA astrobiologists, will be demonstrably closer to the ideal of "predicting new facts" when more and more obvious evidence of biology manifests itself both in comets and plenty of other places besides.

Neither of these groups are looking at comets as the proximal precedent to life as we know it, as things that reproduce (in an analogous way to bacterial "fission") , demonstrate metabolism (utilising energy and expelling unwanted waste products) and do something special, ie. use the interplanetary superhighway with the occasional orbit corrections performed by changing the rotation rate and shape of the comet using jets and internal fluid movements. Thus over thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of years, can move from planetary distances, back out to the Oort Cloud and back again. My view is that "comets" are usually completely invisible, and the only ones we see are putting on a show as they are in the process of reproduction, or an orbit correction requiring considerable jet power.

Thus this is why 4 out of 6 comet nuclei visited are bi-lobed, the most detailed views showing the connection between lobes to be smoother and younger and quite circular in cross section rather than looking anything like a "rubble pile" "pristine" , "dirty snowball" "snowy dirtball" "unchanged from the birth of the solar system" . The Whipple model should be dead in the water, but keeps getting propped up as proven by observation, even as observation after observation contradicts it. 

Images that I get when I google "Whipple model" a model with the name Whipple, and a mathematical bicycle model also called the Whipple model.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cherry-Jerry is not an icy dirtball

Here's my latest prediction of the structure of comet Churyumov Geramisenko. It is not a "rubble-pile". It is a complex layered structure. It has an outer protective crust which seals off a certain level of pressure, say 1/100th of an atmosphere or so. Under that is a chambered atmosphere layer. Like a quilt it absorbs impacts and the convection of gas acts like a thermal exchange from the crust to the centre.

The middle of the comet is seperated as the outside into at least 2 sections. There is a fine soil and lakes in each section. Since centrifugal forces approximately match mutual gravitation between the two sections, convection and capillary action drives any movement of fluid and gas, rather than gravity. Jets are driven from a complex network powered from the thermal exchange near the surface but traveling transversely and vertically through various sections.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Liquid water in comets



Conditions required for liquid water is a temperature and pressure above the triple point of water. The surfaces of comets are certainly warm enough, based on measurements taken by probes and earth based. Pressure only needs to be .006 Atmospheres. Since jets are powered by the thermal energy absorbed by the surface, there must be some gas pressure being held in the surface- ie. a subsurface atmosphere. Thus liquid water could flow in the microgravity environment. Some Stardust probe sample return minerals found can only be formed in liquid water. Deep impact probe excavated clays which are suggestive of liquid water. Capillary action, microgravity, centrifugal forces and internal wind would affect the movement of water and material inside the comet.

Long live the wet comet model.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

How does a comet outgass?

From the latest direct evidence from robotic satellites, comets mainly outgass from "jets". Most of the volatiles, dust and larger particles come out of the jets. Some out gassing of volatiles happens in areas with no jets see Hartley. 

The energy for the sublimation of ices happens near the surface (in the top metre or so) based on temperature readings. Thus the volatiles travel from where they are heated under the black surface to the jets, picking up solid particles as they go. There is considerable mass loss in each orbit, while the position of the jets remains relatively stable. Thus the black "skin" needs to shrink with the comet, in the places where the volatiles are sublimated. 

The jets appear not to collapse in on themselves, and thus have a more solid structure around them.

The combination of observations would contradict the models of "fissures" ie cracks. Cracks causing the out gassing cannot be reconciled with the observations of discrete jets and temperature profile. 

Models of regularly collapsing and new jets cannot be reconciled with non gravitational accelerations for Halley class comets that are consistent from apparition to apparition despite substantial mass loss. Jets need to be in the same configuration from apparition to apparition for the adjustments to work the way they do for Halley. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Interview with lead researcher in team which discovered alien intelligent life

Dateline: November 5 2045 Interview between Ivan Felson and Prof Henry Parson.

IF: So, Professor Parson - Have we discovered Alien intelligent life? Should we be afraid or excited? and Can we communicate with them?

HP:To answer these questions - Yes, we believe we have. At this stage we should be excited, not afraid, but we should probably tread carefully, and not yet. We have a few ideas about how we should proceed with communication, but admittedly, we are a bit stumped.

IF: So, before we get ahead of ourselves, how did it all happen, and what have we done in the past that we may regret with our new knowledge.

HP: Well, it all started to dawn on us from the Rosetta probe onwards. Rosetta discovered not just a liquid water core, but four liquid interior water lakes seperated by solid structures. The surface analysis of the chemistry revealed a rich organic chemistry akin to crude oil, with PAH's, long chain hydrocarbons, with optical properties (chirality) just as crude oil from biotic origin rather than racemic as you would expect from synthetic or non-biotic origin sources. 

The surface that the Philae lander was on, was therefore spongy rather than solid. Even though gravity was negligible, it seemed obvious that it would probably eventually sink. Experiments were accelerated and adjusted with the given constraints, and as the comet started to form a coma, the surface started to subside downwards and eventually Philae got subsumed into the comet and could not operate any further.

The orbiting Rosetta craft continued to observe the comet, and its mission was extended and continued to operate for another decade and the whole cometary orbit cycle was observed up close.

At that point, the main regret was not to have specific life detection equipment on board - The spacecraft were not even sterilised as would be normal where possible alien life were to be detected.

With these discoveries, a plethora of new comet missions were financed from all spacefaring nations.

Comets that had already been visited were visited again with orbiters. "peanut shaped" comets Borrely and Hartley 2 were found to have liquid water within both "nuts" and the two ends were noticably further apart, and the neck separating them were thinner. There were various surface structures like jets (round holes in the surface) that had no gas or dust coming out. Finally, a probe was sent into one of those holes and a sample returned with complex DNA similar to a megavirus, as well as biotic material of various kinds.

The shape of the jets below the surface was a network of tunnels something like a huge set of lungs. The shape of the non jet holes were vertical towards the centre of one of the liquid lakes or other. Surface features were sculpted from below - hills welling up from heated hydrocarbon pumping up, and valleys were where warming volatiles were directed towards the "lungs", causing the surface to subsume. The temperature in the interior of the comet remained quite stable, and the liquid lakes stayed a constant volume and overall shape over the period of the comet.

Deep Impact mission appeared to be more of a mistake at this point. We basically shot a copper bullet into what now appears to be a living organism. It is no wonder the comet changed rotation and thus future orbit quite substantially.

2014 was a watershed year for comets - Not only Rosetta, but also the flyby of Comet Siding Spring past Mars also. Comet was also pitch black - Why is that interesting? It was supposedly the first time in from the Oort Cloud. Comets were supposed to be pristine and icy - Time and time again they have proven to be black - the opposite of pristine.

Rosetta took some of the interest away from Dawn's also amazing discoveries at Ceres in 2015. Subsurface liquid water doesn't seem to be such a big deal if it exists on every comet, as well as other places such as Ceres and Jupiter's icy moons. It is just easier to get on, off, and around a comet or dormant comets

Saturday, May 03, 2014

You have to spend money to Make money

The Queensland Government in the campaign for "Strong Choices" and also the federal Government commisioning a report on "cutting expenditure" and what can only be described as levvies, or new taxes. Debt is portrayed as the elephant in the room - the future Achilles heel of the Australian economy on its road to eventual default given "business as usual" or in this case "the current borrow and spend path"

This is a very simplistic and politically motivated picture painted by the current Government. However, it ignores unintended consequences. 

Many more times than it is supposed, an increase in a tax rate ends up reducing the overall tax intake - reductions in expenditure can reduce growth or cause recessions which further reduce tax intake. In essence, inceases in borrowing to invest can actually be a better tactic to bring a country back to "profit", even in a situation in which debt appears already high. Profit, in this case means a budget surplus. 

For all the push for austerity around the world, it doesn't appear to do a lot of good except as a punitive measure for not paying your bills on time. It does not make it easier to pay future bills on time.

The focus has to be on how the expenditure is an investment rather than consumption, and a view of the overall demographic direction of the country. Thus an older retirement age is a must no matter what, but lower pension rate not necessarily so. Of course investing in the youth througn generous family payment and youth allowance is an excellent long term investment, but it is often seen as an indulgent expenditure on middle class welfare.

Thus I am troubled by the simple-minded model of "you have to save money so that you have it to spend on important things later", and I think that Government has to just focus on a wide base of taxation, and long term investments and infrasructure.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Why are oil and tar black?

Not sure if Dr Chris Fellows should do this as a research project. The main thing is that I am conjecturing that what makes comet's nucleus' surfaces black is crude oil (in a solid gel form) rather than agglomerated soot. 

I was not sure what it was about crude oil that made it black, but apparently neither is anybody else. I had it in my head that it was the "impurities" that made it black, ie possibly soot particles within the crude oil or something like that, because distilled oil is usually *not* black. Soft enough to absorb micrometeoric impacts, but solid enough that it keeps its form, especially jets, from collapsing in on themselves on a comet.




Why are oil and tar black?

I am afraid that at present, no one can answer this deceptively simple question. Even the most basic structural properties of the asphaltenes and their aggregates remain conjectural. I believe that optical properties reflect collective electronic transitions in the PAH aggregates, but this is nothing more than an educated guess.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Evolution and Abiogenesis

I find a continuing mental journey away from both religious thought and standard evolutionary synthesis.
I am not happy about religion because what they say about origins is not based on observable facts.
I am not happy about science because what they say about origins is not based on observable facts.

The presumption of abiogenesis is the assumption that there was a time that there was no life. The philosophical necessity for random unguided processes to move from non life to life does not exist in my brain. Neither does the philosophical necessity of an omnipotent deity exist just to defy the other necessity.

My current theory is that life as we don't know it is an emergent property of the Big Bang, and that life as we do know it has been designed on the fly in a multi stage process. The only stage of the process that is accessible to humans observations is the last one - Life as we don't even perceive as life designing life as we know it.

Of course this theory suffers for the same reasons as why I am not happy with religion and science. 

Predicting new facts is the gold standard here - What new facts does religion, abiogenesis or standard evolutionary synthesis predict about what we will find on other planets, asteroids and comets? Not really anything, but we can be pretty sure to be able to fit them into our theories for the moment.

I don't think predicting new facts is given enough weight in science of origins. We keep our overall theories vague enough and keep strictly to a nearly social need for a democratic concensus between scientists who spend most of their time studying these things. This instead of the need for a myriad of competing ideas which will predict different facts when we eplore the far reaches of our World and universe.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The new NBN = the old Telstra deja vu

One picture of a redhead animee character does not a tweet make, so I will see what I can make of the coalition's rearrangement of the NBN. Although the ideology behind the new NBN stinks, the circumstances of the policy takeover are such that the changes in direction are mostly harmless. The reason that they are mostly harmless is that the unprofitable country areas were front-ended and fast tracked into the original NBN, such that the countrywide backbone and country capacity is basically there already and will not be dismantled. The NBN co. is now scrambling to do the exact opposite, by frontending and fast tracking fibre capacity to profitable city areas before competing telco's try to cherry-pick them through loopholes in the new NBN structure. The "last mile" is the most expensive bit of the conversion to Fibre, but at least now Fibre to the node is equivalent in accessibility in country areas as it is in city areas. Now the question is who gets to be connected to what and when? Once the cherrypickers have been headed off, the sensible thing would be to improve the most blackest spots in the quickest time without locking in to inferior technology unnecessarily.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MH370

From when this flight went missing, it gradually dawned on me that this could be (an attempt of) the perfect crime. Perhaps somewhat inspired by the show "Lost", the plane could just vanish without a trace. In spite of modern technology  - it was entirely plausible that it may never be found. Luck and technology seemed to be failing the search team. Luck, clever detective work or a combination was desperately needed.

Just in time, perhaps on a best bet calculation, the black box detector was sent out. I refuse to believe it was entirely luck - I believe a tiger team using classified defence based technology, as well as satellite data calculated the most likely place scientifically. Luck finally changed and humanity's pride should be salvaged with the likely retrieval of black boxes.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Blogging Again

Not sure where to start. I kind of want to say how I think Australia's policy is going with the new government. I thought it strange and difficult for Australia to successfully negotiate a trade agreement with a country we just challenged successfully in the court of blubber ball hunting. Then with the renegade mainland provinces as a kind of double whammy. It gives me the impression of Asian countries competing to gain favour with Australia - to sell us stuff or to thank us for finding a plane or something. Tail wagging the dog again. The mercantilistic approach of the new government contrasting with the more self righteous lecturing style of the previous. 

I believe the new NBN plan is still worse than the old plan, but at least a lot of the country back haul is built, and the fact that the "inclusive" portion which would not be profitable for private network builders is also developed. The main problem is that the new plan is a mess and puts a lot of power to Telstra to suit itself.