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Light is Eternal

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#26 TL2101

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:55 PM

Yes, Lincoln was a wise man. And the posters in this thread are more than capable of following his advice. It's disappointing to us non scientist types who enjoying reading these threads to see otherwise.

#27 UND_astrophysics

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:19 PM

[quotealbeit not necessarily at the level of professional scientists or graduate-level course work. [/quote]

you might want to check my profile out again ;-)

#28 FirstSight

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:34 PM

[quote name="UND_astrophysics"][quotealbeit not necessarily at the level of professional scientists or graduate-level course work. [/quote]

you might want to check my profile out again ;-) [/quote]

The forum's participants of course DO include people with advanced education and qualifications of various sorts, including you in particular. Actually, I had more in mind people like myself with that remark (B.S. computer science, B.S. electrical engineering, but I'm not any sort of practicing scientist or engineer).

#29 Ira

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:13 PM

I have a B.S. in BS. (Well, philosophy actually). :)

/Ira

#30 derangedhermit

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:30 PM

Our existence depends on such remarkable circumstances that they must have come about by the design of someone with our interests in mind.


The Earth was designed for mosquitos and cockroaches, not people. We got here rather late, and I think we will disappear rather early. This is an inhospitable place for humans.

So the time travelers are the cockroaches. Mosquitoes can't fly that fast.

#31 derangedhermit

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:51 PM

I heard the phrase on the radio "light is eternal" [..]It's certainly long lived, considering that astronomy deals with millions of light years, but eternal?


Wouldn't protons, neutrons, and electrons have greater life expectancy than photons? I'd add neutrinos, but I don't know if flavor-changing counts against them.

#32 derangedhermit

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:11 PM

Skipping the "photons = light" thought, it seems to me the universe expands forever, or is steady-state, or collapses. For either expanding or steady-state, most of the light disappears not long after all the hydrogen is used up. In the collapsing case, there may be some mechanism to create more hydrogen (lights on again), or there may not (still in the dark).

I think "darkness is eternal" and "light is fleeting".

#33 UND_astrophysics

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:44 PM

[quote name="FirstSight"][quote][quotealbeit not necessarily at the level of professional scientists or graduate-level course work. [/quote]

you might want to check my profile out again ;-) [/quote]

The forum's participants of course DO include people with advanced education and qualifications of various sorts, including you in particular. Actually, I had more in mind people like myself with that remark (B.S. computer science, B.S. electrical engineering, but I'm not any sort of practicing scientist or engineer). [/quote]

No Worries, I do not get a lot of time to post here being a full time graduate student involved in research, but I like to lurk here from time to time. I certainly could tell by your posts that you are not one of the ones full of "baloney" here. It is pretty easy to spot actually.

[quote]I have a B.S. in BS. (Well, philosophy actually). :)

/Ira [/quote]

Actually there is nothing BS about a philosophy B.S. Ira. It is a noble degree that teaches different approaches to problem solving and critical thinking.

#34 Ira

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 07:42 PM

You might want to add a sense of humour somewhere along the line of your many accomplishments before you serious yourself to death.

/Ira

#35 gavinm

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 08:15 PM

:grin:

#36 llanitedave

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:14 PM

BTW, we're getting off topic here, but to expand on what Chris said, some of the most intelligent and deep thinkers I know are people who missed out on formal training in science, but had the interest and determination to learn it themselves. These people often seem also to enjoy it more than some of us jaded professionals. I relish the opportunity to talk with people like that, and some of them are right here on Cloudy Nights.

I've also known some PhD's who had difficulty maintaining a coherent discussion.

So, I don't get too concerned about asking for someone's formal credentials in our discussions here. You can tell from their words whether they're engaged, learning, curious, and informed. Or not. As Einstein was fond of saying, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Knowledge is obtainable. Imagination, it appears, is more of a gift.

#37 UND_astrophysics

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:39 PM

some of the most intelligent and deep thinkers I know are people who missed out on formal training in science, but had the interest and determination to learn it themselves.

I've also known some PhD's who had difficulty maintaining a coherent discussion.

So, I don't get too concerned about asking for someone's formal credentials in our discussions here. You can tell from their words whether they're engaged, learning, curious, and informed. Or not. As Einstein was fond of saying, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Knowledge is obtainable. Imagination, it appears, is more of a gift.


I would have to disagree on one aspect part of that. Without a formal education, there is no way to separate the b.s. from the good science, by being self taught just not possible, and that is just a fact of the field. I do not know any "self trained scientists"... not a single one. Now I certainly never asked for credentials, but when I was challenged by another user to present them, (not the mod) I was more than happy to oblige, I have put in the time and hard work.
I certainly do not claim to be an expert outside of my fields of study, but I certainly can tell who is just babbling nonsense. And yes, there may be a Ph.D as you described, but I for one have never met anyone like that (except once in quantitative physics 430 class :foreheadslap: )

#38 gavinm

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:02 AM

Humility is better than any formal education.

#39 UND_astrophysics

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:22 AM

Humility is better than any formal education.


Try to make into the field with that credential.

#40 barasits

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:26 AM

Humility is better than any formal education.

:waytogo:

#41 TL2101

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:37 AM

An education will only get you so far. Those who rise to the top will offer more than just credentials. Often humor and humility are those qualities.

By the way the guy in your avatar didn't do so well.
link

#42 UND_astrophysics

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:21 AM

An education will only get you so far. Those who rise to the top will offer more than just credentials. Often humor and humility are those qualities.


I have no reason to feel humility. Sorry pal, but I responded to being challenged about my credentials. You want to jump on the bandwagon too, go right ahead maybe you all can argue the definition of a theory together. That is your problem. I have nothing to feel sorry about, I worked hard and earned what I have. so you can get that straight. you are only showing your resentment. I guess you lack humor, because you now you are criticizing an avatar real mature . And you can just keep up with the personal attacks.. only shows how childish and resentful some of you are. I personally don't care, and think it is rather funny.

#43 PeterR280

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:00 AM

What are you exactly studying in grad school UND?

#44 llanitedave

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:36 AM

some of the most intelligent and deep thinkers I know are people who missed out on formal training in science, but had the interest and determination to learn it themselves.

I've also known some PhD's who had difficulty maintaining a coherent discussion.

So, I don't get too concerned about asking for someone's formal credentials in our discussions here. You can tell from their words whether they're engaged, learning, curious, and informed. Or not. As Einstein was fond of saying, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Knowledge is obtainable. Imagination, it appears, is more of a gift.


I would have to disagree on one aspect part of that. Without a formal education, there is no way to separate the b.s. from the good science, by being self taught just not possible, and that is just a fact of the field. I do not know any "self trained scientists"... not a single one. Now I certainly never asked for credentials, but when I was challenged by another user to present them, (not the mod) I was more than happy to oblige, I have put in the time and hard work.
I certainly do not claim to be an expert outside of my fields of study, but I certainly can tell who is just babbling nonsense. And yes, there may be a Ph.D as you described, but I for one have never met anyone like that (except once in quantitative physics 430 class :foreheadslap: )


I'm not talking about training in the specialty aspects of a single field. I'm talking about the broad understanding, the ability to synthesize, and the ability to see the connections between disparate fields of study. A formal, specialized education won't get you all that, unfortunately, and you HAVE to develop that knowledge on your own. But even if self-trained people are necessarily lacking in the latest specialty knowledge, they are still perfectly capable of having a pretty deep knowledge of wherever their area of interest lies.

And no, a formal education does not necessarily allow you to separate the noise from the data. I wish that it did, but I've seen too many "trained" scientists, and even worked with a couple of otherwise very good geologists, who subscribed to ideas that were nothing more than loopy fantasy. And these were ideas concerning geology, not just their personal lives.

Being self-taught is hard, and there are a lot of people who get off on the wrong track, but I don't for one minute minimize the ability of motivated people to learn science in a deep and meaningful way without the benefit of a formal education.

As for having only met one chatteringly clueless PhD so far -- at this stage of your career, you're actually pretty much on track. There will be others. (They certainly are not the norm, but they, like the truth, are out there.)

#45 llanitedave

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:39 AM

I have no reason to feel humility.


Then you haven't been doing research very long!

#46 choran

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:48 AM

Just curious...why are you so angry UND? Relax, buddy, this is supposed to be fun, not a fight. What's wrong with humility? Perhaps as you age you will see that humility is not a sign of ignorance, but quite the opposite. I remember when I was close to what I imagine is your age I felt pretty sure I had it all figured out, too. I was wrong.

#47 GregLee1

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:03 AM

How to tell an amateur from a pro:

1. There are large areas in which a pro is ignorant, or tentative in his opinions. An amateur is always 100% sure -- things are quite obvious to him.

2. An amateur's ignorance of theory is matched only by his contempt for it. Too much airy-fairy theorizing for him -- just give him some good solid observations.

#48 FirstSight

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:11 AM

I have no reason to feel humility. Sorry pal, but I responded to being challenged about my credentials.


No one here has challenged your credentials. In fact, I took you up on your invitation to check out your credentials, and you are indeed who you say you are (grad student in the aerospace/astrophysics sciences program at the University of North Dakota). I've also checked out a sampling of your posts over the past year in various threads, and in a fair number among them indeed you do make enlighteningly knowledgeable substantive commentary on the subject at hand in the given thread. But in too many posts, you try too hard to prove you're the smartest person in the room and distract your energies trying to put people down below you, rather than help others rise toward enlightenment. That dissipates, even destroys your effectiveness as a communicator of knowledge and understanding.

You're a bright guy, be more like Richard Feynman talking about light and less like this other bright guy. I say this genuinely, we really could use more of the knowledge and insight you have to give here in this Science forum, and less of perverse attempts to prove how little others have in here. Which is more convincing? Or, if you have no need to convince anyone, why speak at all?

How about a substantive comment from your store of knowledge on the subject at hand? That would be rather useful and enlightening about now, and welcome.

#49 PeterR280

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:17 AM

Socrates realized it when he said something like "The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know." Rough translation from the Greek.

#50 PeterR280

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:24 AM

I think the most difficult thing in any field is to be open to any idea before routinely dismissing it. I also believe that self realization is important. Unfortunately, science has become so specialized and so complex that unless you are in the field and have been studying it in a formal fashion, there is always the danger of misunderstanding and misapplication of ideas.






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