Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 65 (9036 total)
95 online now:
harpo, nwr (2 members, 93 visitors)
Newest Member: harpo
Post Volume: Total: 885,635 Year: 3,281/14,102 Month: 222/724 Week: 71/93 Day: 10/18 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Coffee House Musing
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 5838
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.1


(2)
Message 1 of 26 (885570)
04-18-2021 8:57 PM


Astronomy
No debate topic, really, just an observation I think is significant.

In the last 20 years there has been a major shift in the conduct of astronomy. Not just the larger more powerful scopes on both land and in space that have become operational, which provide much deeper clearer views of the cosmos across most all of the EM spectrum, but, more significant is the way they have come operational.

Modern viewing on telescopes is digital, not optical. CCDs (charge-coupled devices) and other gizmos convert what the astronomer would have seen in optical to digital data stored in computer databases. The beauty is that these gizmos don’t just blip a signal when they are hit by a photon but, these days, they record the frequency, energy, amplitude, polarity, birth date and social security number of every photon they see. Ok, maybe not those last two.

Every major telescope on the planet has gone digital. Gone are the days when you had to request physical time on the scope then travel to the scope to sit in a freezing dome all night taking pretty pictures on emulsion.

You can still request time for specific views but, better yet, if an adequate view is already in the database you don’t have to wait. The astronomer then writes code, or more usual they have their grad students write most of it, to extract the data from the database and they code more programs to analyze and display the data and still more code to build simulations using the data. Collaborations are now going on to catalogue all the world’s scope’s databases into a database of databases available on-line. Download the few hundred gigabytes you want and start programming.

By scientific requirement specs and by international agreement, with a few exceptions, all the new scopes being built and planned will be required to dump their data eventually into databases available on-line without charge to the world. Astronomer/programmers, amateur/astronomer/programmers, home nutjob/astronomer/programmers, all have access. Vera Rubin, a monster scope being built in Chile, is expected to dump into their database, don’t hold me to this precise number, more than few terabytes of data each day. Even the new Chinese super huge FAST telescope (an Arecibo replacement) will participate in a limited way.

Astronomy has become computer programming and data mining. After the math, programming is the most required skill to be an astronomer. If you can program, astronomy is now a stay-at-home cottage industry open to anyone with internet access.

Imagine what we are going to find.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.

Edited by AZPaul3, : title


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Tanypteryx, posted 04-18-2021 10:55 PM AZPaul3 has not yet responded
 Message 7 by dwise1, posted 04-20-2021 12:43 PM AZPaul3 has not yet responded

  
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 2497
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.9


(5)
Message 2 of 26 (885571)
04-18-2021 10:55 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by AZPaul3
04-18-2021 8:57 PM


Re: Astronomy
Adding to everything you listed, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in orbit along several others, orbital X-ray observatories, detecting gamma-ray bursts and all sorts of other high energy phenomena. A global network is coordinating observations at a wide range of wavelengths and energies and I think I read that they will also coordinate with the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories.

All these observatories coordinating to capture rapid transient astronomical events has opened up fertile new areas of research.

Later this year the James Webb Space Telescope will be launched and should blow all our minds.

It even turns out using those advanced computer analysis of the gravitational wave signal reveals lots of additional fine resolution data from what initially looked like noise around the signal.

I am planning to live long enough to see this true golden age of astronomy!


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by AZPaul3, posted 04-18-2021 8:57 PM AZPaul3 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 04-20-2021 11:53 AM Tanypteryx has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20105
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.3


(2)
Message 3 of 26 (885599)
04-20-2021 9:20 AM


The Larger Picture
This trend in astronomy is just a minor corollary in what has now become known round the world as the Percy Postulate: eventually all jobs will be programming jobs. Even my coffee cup is programmable and has an app now:

--Percy


Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by jar, posted 04-20-2021 9:39 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply
 Message 8 by dwise1, posted 04-20-2021 12:45 PM Percy has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33343
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 4 of 26 (885600)
04-20-2021 9:39 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Percy
04-20-2021 9:20 AM


Re: The Larger Picture
Only for a very short time. No need for humans to do simple stuff like programming. Let Watson do it.

My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Percy, posted 04-20-2021 9:20 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15372
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


(1)
Message 5 of 26 (885601)
04-20-2021 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Tanypteryx
04-18-2021 10:55 PM


Re: Astronomy
Sounds suspiciously like a human-centric quantifiable universe...dare I say multiverse. This whole math thing is no replacement for woo.

"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killo

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Tanypteryx, posted 04-18-2021 10:55 PM Tanypteryx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Tanypteryx, posted 04-20-2021 11:55 AM Phat has not yet responded
 Message 9 by dwise1, posted 04-20-2021 2:09 PM Phat has not yet responded
 Message 11 by AZPaul3, posted 04-20-2021 2:36 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 2497
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.9


(1)
Message 6 of 26 (885602)
04-20-2021 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
04-20-2021 11:53 AM


Re: Astronomy
?

What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 04-20-2021 11:53 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4610
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


(2)
Message 7 of 26 (885605)
04-20-2021 12:43 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by AZPaul3
04-18-2021 8:57 PM


Re: Astronomy
And even before CCDs analog astronomy was rarely about looking through the telescope but rather was all about photography.

When it comes to telescopes, why does size matter so much? Telescope size has nothing to do with magnification of the image. So why is getting a bigger telescope such a big deal?

It's all about light collection. Most objects we want to view are not visible to the eye because they are far too faint -- and the more distant they are the fainter they are as per the inverse-square law. Very little of their light reaches us. The larger a telescope is, the more light it can collect, including that very little light from those faint objects.

But even with the largest telescope possible, the astronomer would still not be able to see most of those objects. Which is why they had to resort to astrophotography, exposing that film for hours at a time to collect enough light from those distant faint objects.

Even in everyday life photography has gone digital, so it makes sense that astrophotography would have done the same.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by AZPaul3, posted 04-18-2021 8:57 PM AZPaul3 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Tanypteryx, posted 04-20-2021 2:19 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4610
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


(1)
Message 8 of 26 (885606)
04-20-2021 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Percy
04-20-2021 9:20 AM


Re: The Larger Picture
Even my coffee cup is programmable and has an app now

So you can drink your coffee only if you have a compatible phone? Eg, if you have an iPhone and an Android coffee cup then your phone will refuse to talk to your coffee cup?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Percy, posted 04-20-2021 9:20 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Percy, posted 04-24-2021 5:49 PM dwise1 has responded
 Message 16 by ringo, posted 04-25-2021 11:44 AM dwise1 has responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4610
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


(4)
Message 9 of 26 (885609)
04-20-2021 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
04-20-2021 11:53 AM


Re: Astronomy
This whole math thing is no replacement for woo.

Rather, woo is sadly a wide spread replacement for actual thought. With math we can analyze what we observe and figure it out. With woo all you can do is either wave your hands a lot or else clamp your hands over your eyes and ears in order to avoid learning anything.

For example, Dawkins' WEASEL program producing a specific sentence (eg, Shakespeare's "Methinks it is like a weasel", my MONKEY uses the alphabet in alphabetical order) by randomly selecting letters to string together. Using single-step selection (ie, creationists' misconception of evolution working by having something complex like a modern animal cell just falling together in a single event) that would be virtually impossible (making a million attempts every second it would take about 195 trillion years to have a one-in-a-million chance of success -- nearly 10,000 times longer than the universe's estimated age of 20 billion years). But Dawkins' WEASEL uses cumulative selection using evolutionary processes such are in wide spread use by life itself, in which small random changes are retained and form the starting point for the next small random change. Dawkins wrote it as a simple BASIC program, started the program and went out for lunch. It had generated the target string before he returned from lunch.

I didn't believe that, so I tested it (BTW, that's not your beloved woo approach). Not having a program listing for his WEASEL, I wrote my own program using his description as my specification (in a page that collected WEASEL programs, my program was described as being the closest to the original) using a compiled language (first Pascal, later ported to C) instead of a slow interpreted language like BASIC. When I ran my program on an XT clone (Norton Factor 2), it generated the target string (the alphabet in alphabetical order) in less than 30 seconds -- modern PCs run about a thousand times faster or more so the program appears to run instantaneously.

I didn't believe that either, so I did the math. It turns out that, while the probability for success for a single small-step attempt is small, when you bundle that with 100 such attempts happening in parallel (just as life itself would do it within a population) then the probability of all of them failing becomes very small -- hence the probability of at least one of them succeeding becomes very high -- and then the probability of all of them failing consistently over many generation becomes vanishingly small -- hence the probability of success within the population becomes a virtual dead certainty. It cannot fail.

My page on that is MONKEY, which links to my mathematical analysis of the probabilities involved, MONKEY PROBABILITIES (MPROBS). Both were originally published on CompuServe in 1990.
"Everybody's got something to hide, except for me and my monkey!" (Lennon and McCartney)

Doing the math shows what actually happens. Depending on woo would have you believing a falsehood and would keep you perpetually in the darkness of ignorance.

 
Another example is Kent Hovind's false claim that if the sun were actually as old as science says it is (about 5 billion (109) years old) then that ancient sun would have been so incredibly large and massive that its incredibly greater gravity would have "sucked the earth in". He bases that on the rate at which the sun "burns its fuel" -- that would be the loss of mass from hydrogen fusing into helium, though I suspect that "Dr" (fake PhD bought from a diploma mill) Hovind (self-proclaimed expert on math and science) doesn't understand how the sun "burns its fuel" and thinks that it's through combustion (eg, he explained that crashing the Galileo probe into Jupiter wouldn't turn it into a star because there's not enough oxygen in the Jovian atmosphere to sustain combustion) which doesn't result in any mass loss anyway (according to my high school chemistry). That rate of mass loss, 5 million tons per second, times 5 billion (5×109) years results in a truly astronomical number of tons lost over that period of time.

Hovind never reveals that number, but rather lets his audience stew in their love of woo as he waves his hands and feeds them outrageous lies -- in jazz dancing, that use of "jazz hands" is intended to distract the audience from seeing how he's messing up his footwork. He even explicitly forbids his audience from ever doing the math or listening to anybody who has done the math.

Why? Because that would dispel the woo and expose his deception. Do the math and find that that rate over that much time would result in a solar mass loss of 7.88923×1023. However, the sun's current mass is about 2500 times greater such that that astronomically large mass loss accounts for a few hundredths of one percent of the sun's total mass. Adding it back in order to arrive at the ancient sun's original mass has virtually no effect on the ancient sun's size or mass. Hovind's hand-waving assessment of the ancient sun "sucking the earth in" is totally false.

My page on that, DWise1: Kent Hovind's Solar Mass Loss Claim, presents different versions of Hovind's solar-mass-loss claim and its refutation. Then the rest of the page gets into a lot of fairly simple solar astrophysics in anticipation of objections that creationists might try to raise.

BTW, I emailed Hovind for information on this claim, mainly asking what his source was or did he come up with it himself (I have found one other use of this claim from more than a decade before Hovind became active). Not only did he try to avoid discussing his claim, but he also tried twice to pick a fight with me over my AOL screenname, DWise1.

That is what happens when one dedicates oneself to woo and against reality.

You don't believe me? Just do the math.

 
ABE:

For fun and edification, here is a film about the sun that I watched in elementary school and learned a lot from. It's Dr. Frank Baxter and a writer (played by Eddie Albert whom I didn't know about at the time) interviewing "Our Mr. Sun":

 


That BS nonsense from Hovind trying twice to pick a fight with me over my screenname, DWise1, led me to include this explanation on my index page:

quote:
Over the years, most especially in on-line "creation/evolution" discussions, creationists have often engaged in personal attacks against me just because of my AOL screen name, "DWise1". In fact, one infamous professional creationist, Kent Hovind, went so far as to twice attempt (via email) to pick a fight with me over my screen name in order to avoid answering a very simple question about one of his claims, namely what his source was. I informed him that the story behind that name is really very mundane and has nothing to do with what he was railing against and I presented it to him.

So then why "DWise1"? Here is the story:


In every multi-user computer system, there are corporate policies for assigning user names. One common one is to append the first letter of the first name to the beginning of the first n letters of the last name (since there's always a limit to the length of the user name), adding numeric digits if the resultant user name has already been assigned. For example, one Dilbert comic depicted a "Brenda Utthead" complaining about the user name they had assigned her.

When I went to work at Hughes Aircraft in 1985, that was their policy, so my user name was "dwise". At the same time, they had bought some of the first Macs, non-networked floppy systems which we used to combine text and graphics in our presentation visuals. To identify my data floppy, I labelled it with my user name, "dwise". Then when I had filled that one and start on a second data diskette, I labeled that one "dwise2" and, for symmetry, I relabelled the first one, "dwise1". Then one day a co-worker read the label of the dwise1 diskette and started to laugh. I didn't get the joke until he told me to read it out loud; up until then I had not realized that it sounded like "The Wise One" and we all had a good laugh over the unintentional pun.

Then when I signed up for AOL several years later, in the middle of the sign-up process I suddenly had to think up a screen name. All I could think of was that accidental pun and so chose "DWise1" as my screen name.


Well, there you have the story. Nothing at all to it. And others have also chosen that name, albeit on other domains, of course -- in each domain there can be only one of any user name.

Edited by dwise1, : to the first paragraph added "With woo all you can do ... "

Edited by dwise1, : Added "It cannot fail."

Edited by dwise1, : ABE


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 04-20-2021 11:53 AM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by AZPaul3, posted 04-20-2021 2:57 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 2497
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.9


Message 10 of 26 (885610)
04-20-2021 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by dwise1
04-20-2021 12:43 PM


Re: Astronomy
And even before CCDs analog astronomy was rarely about looking through the telescope but rather was all about photography.

In 1975 I bought a Questar telescope that was only 3.5 inches in diameter. It was laughingly small but also considered to be one of the best pieces of engineering to be produced in the 20th century. Visible eye observation is a dream with it. I can see the Giant Red spot and the Cassini Division and non-astrological viewing is mind blowing.

Astrophotography with film was tricky but still fun and I remember people cooling their film with dry ice, but I can't remember why right now. I think it was in the 80's after the Voyager missions that CCD devices started to become available to the amateur astronomers.

The problem with film was always that you had to wait for the film to be developed to see if you got anything. Digital gives you instant feedback on success or failure.

In my own case, I was happy to discover that photography through my Questar with a DSLR produces images that are far superior to my film days with far less fussing around.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by dwise1, posted 04-20-2021 12:43 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 5838
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 11 of 26 (885612)
04-20-2021 2:36 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
04-20-2021 11:53 AM


Re: Astronomy
This whole math thing is no replacement for woo.

Good one, Phat.

But, someone's going to think you're serious. Prepare for the rumble.

Yes, people, Phat does have a sense of humor.


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 04-20-2021 11:53 AM Phat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Tanypteryx, posted 04-20-2021 2:44 PM AZPaul3 has not yet responded

  
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 2497
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.9


(2)
Message 12 of 26 (885614)
04-20-2021 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by AZPaul3
04-20-2021 2:36 PM


Re: Astronomy
Yes, people, Phat does have a sense of humor.

Well, he shouldn't quit his day job!


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by AZPaul3, posted 04-20-2021 2:36 PM AZPaul3 has not yet responded

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 5838
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 13 of 26 (885615)
04-20-2021 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by dwise1
04-20-2021 2:09 PM


Re: Astronomy
All I could think of was that accidental pun and so chose "DWise1" as my screen name.

I like my theory of your name better. You were trying to warn people of both the intellect and humor headed their way.


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by dwise1, posted 04-20-2021 2:09 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20105
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.3


(2)
Message 14 of 26 (885729)
04-24-2021 5:49 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by dwise1
04-20-2021 12:45 PM


Re: The Larger Picture
dwise1 writes:

So you can drink your coffee only if you have a compatible phone? Eg, if you have an iPhone and an Android coffee cup then your phone will refuse to talk to your coffee cup?

Naw, everything's compatible, it's no problem, or at least it wasn't until the coffee cup got snippy after I used it for ramen noodles.

Fortunately there are manual overrides, but they're in the Matrix guarded by my toaster which hasn't let me pass since I tried to use it to warm up a fried egg.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by dwise1, posted 04-20-2021 12:45 PM dwise1 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by dwise1, posted 04-24-2021 9:31 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4610
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


(1)
Message 15 of 26 (885730)
04-24-2021 9:31 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Percy
04-24-2021 5:49 PM


Re: The Larger Picture
... but they're in the Matrix guarded by my toaster which hasn't let me pass since I tried to use it to warm up a fried egg.

Wow! You still have a Flying Toaster? Those things were so cool!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Percy, posted 04-24-2021 5:49 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2021