Joined: Sep. 2007
|Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 04 2009,20:02)|
|Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,17:03)|
|To Albatrossity2 and all:|
I retract the "hair trigger" comment. That was cheap shot, uncalled for, and insulting.
Thanks, Dave. I also appreciate the opportunity to converse with grownups, and the opportunity to disagree in a cordial scientific manner.
Trivially, re the correlation between observability and habitability, is the atmosphere on Mars amenable to observability? According to Wikipedia, it's mostly CO2, nitrogen and argon. If it is an atmosphere that lends itself to observability, and yet Mars is not considered habitable, how does this affect the claimed correlation between observability and habitability?
Secondly, the fact that we can "do cosmology" is wonderful, especially for physicists, but is it really something that is necessarily correlated with life? Could organisms exist in situations where they couldn't "do cosmology"? I think that they could, so what does that "common sense" postulate do for the argument that there exists a correlation between observability and habitability?
Bottom line - I'd think that physicists, of all people, should understand that the universe can hold things that are surprising, non-intuitive or even counter-intuitive, and that our observations of our own private planet might (just might) be parochial. What is wrong with the argument that says other forms of biology might not exist, or even other universes?
And if you acknowledge those as possibilities, I think that the PP arguments of Gonzalez and Richards degenerate into apologetics.
Well maybe correlation isn't the right word--but at any rate the answer to the Mars question is that the claim is not "observability implies habitability" but the other way around.
Similarly, the claim is not that "doing cosmology" is necessary for life, but rather the opportunity for doing cosmology (the ability to see deep space, assuming you can see) is simply a byproduct of the planet's habitability.
Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris