Citizens’ science… Nothing to do with science…

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Hundreds of thousands of volunteers have helped to overturn almost a century of galaxy classification, in a new study using data from the longstanding Galaxy Zoo project. The new investigation uses classifications of over 6000 galaxies to reveal that ‘well known’ correlations between different features are not found in this large and complete sample. (1)

By encoding their specialized knowledge into a computer game, researchers enabled citizen scientists to successfully design synthetic proteins for the first time. (2)

Science was once upon a time something for the elite few. Now it is a matter of everyone. Science was once upon a time related to wisdom. Now it is related to date analysis. Science was once upon a time part of our belief in God. Now we just believe in us. We used to be part of God. Knowing everything by bring part of it. Now we observe the million pieces we have created. At the end we will know everything. But not everything that there is. But everything that we want them to be. For we are not actually observing anything. But we have set up mirrors. To observe our selves… Through the looking glass…

Small tiny people…

Classifying galaxies…

Life. Evolution. Quantum algorithms. A veil of obscurity disguised as light…

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A scenario of artificial intelligence could see the emergence of circumstances in which models of simple organisms could be capable of experiencing the various phases of life in a controlled virtual environment. This is what has been designed by the QUTIS research group at the UPV/EHU’s Department of Physical Chemistry, but the scenario is that of quantum computers: an artificial life protocol that encodes quantum behaviors belonging to living systems.

The models of organism designed were coined as units of quantum life, each one of which is made up of two qubits that act as genotype and phenotype, respectively, and where the genotype contains the information that describes the type of living unit, and this information is transmitted from generation to generation. By contrast, the phenotype, the characteristics displayed by individuals, are determined by genetic information as well as by the interaction of the individuals themselves with the environment.

To be able to regard the systems as organisms of artificial life, the basic characteristics of Darwinian evolution that were simulated by these systems were birth and its evolution, self-replication, interaction between individuals and the environment, which gradually degrades the phenotype of the individual as it ages and ends in a state representing death. The protocol also considered interaction between individuals as well as mutations, which were implemented in random rotations of individual qubits. (1)

Every time one reads such a description of how science managed to emulate something so fundamental as “life” or “death”, he must be very skeptical. For even the slightest hint of science understanding the core elements of our existence must be faced with nothing less than hard laughter.

Scientists playing around with what they do not know.

So many words.

So much effort.

Meaningless.

Do you believe you are your life?

Do you believe you are your death?

You are more than the sum of your cells.

You are more than the atoms that consist you.

As time passes by, we can see that the main promise of the Enlightenment for a better world cannot be kept. The world is not full of light, it is full of terror and death. The world is not more ethical, it is instead colder and more soulless. The world is not understood better. It is now hidden behind a dark veil of ‘knowledge’. A veil which disguises the dark secret we all try to keep from ourselves: That our ‘understanding’ destroys the cosmos we are in.

How can you have an ethical cosmos by calculating data?

How can you have a better world by analyzing theories?

The basis of living good is first of all… the “living” part.

And science has by default given up on this from the time it made the “data” and the “theories” its main goal. Life cannot be lived in theory. Advise cannot be given based just on hard cold data. You cannot know the earth, without making your hands dirty. You cannot touch the stars without crying upon the touch of a loved one.

We have forgotten that science is a verb, not a noun. (as this article here reminded us)

Science in the example above is not the emulation. But the process of trying to understand, feel and touch the very essence of our existence. Science is not the ridiculous idea that you can emulate life with a set of rules. Nor the childish notion of random mutations generating useful original information which can lead to order instead of random chaos. Science is the deep passionate believe that we can somehow reach the truth regarding our self.

Look at that butterfly.

It has come back for you.

To remind you something you once knew.

That the science you believe in is not inside the lab.

That the only thing algorithms can emulate are themselves.

That true scientists are only the ones who are not.

Science will soon realize that it is useless.

Only when it reaches a point where it is really useful.

At some point everything will be successfully emulated.

Including the emulation of life itself.

Which in turn emulates life.

Only to result in the emulation of itself.

And inside an infinite set of turtles.

To keep on searching for that super turtle.

Gradually realizing…

That there was no turtle to find in the first place.

Except the one we started emulating…

Important work…

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A very important question asked in the midst of the greatest replication crisis of modern science: Who will do replication work? (1)

Look at those scientists.

Doing important work.

Analyzing data. Publishing papers. They are not like the people outside. They do not care about love, flowers or romance. They have work to do. They need to make important work. And yet. Those scientists grew by a mother who loved them. They were born out of the romance between two simple people. People doing simple work. People caring for their children.

Look at those scientists.

They do important work.

How silly they look…

Against stupidity: A lost cause [On the irrationality of terror for a ‘nuclear’ war]

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Harmonia Philosophica has for a long time fought against stupidity at all levels. The recent cries of terror from scientists regarding the gruesome effects of a nuclear war are yet another example of sheer stupidity which once more needs to be dealt with if we want to keep our sanity within this insane world.

Due to recent tensions between India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers, the Internet was swarmed with grave warnings of how the planet would be destroyed and the climate would be affected to such an extent that the planet would essentially be inhabitable in a matter of years.

Reading from a ScienceAlert article: “For that reason, climate scientists have modelled how an exchange of nuclear weapons between the two countries – what is technically called a limited regional nuclear war – might affect the world. Though the explosions would be local, the ramifications would be global, that research concluded. The ozone layer could be crippled and Earth’s climate may cool for years, triggering crop and fishery losses that would result in what the researchers called a “global nuclear famine” (source)

Now let’s get real and start to dismantle everything this statement of terror tries to tell us: According to the article, a war between two countries possessing about 140-150 nuclear weapons (both) would result in the destruction of the ozone layer and would create global famine. Really?

Or better: REALLY?!?

Harmonia Philosophica has reminded people over and over again of a “small” little fact that the “global thermonuclear war” we are all so anxious of happening has ALREADY happened. Check out the article “Global Thermonuclear War: It has ALREADY happened! (tip: it was called “testing”)”.

In summary: During the Cold War all the superpowers (and the lesser powers) detonated about 2,400 (that is TWO THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED) nuclear weapons on the surface of the Earth, in the sea, below the surface of the Earth or (that’s even better) on the upper levels of the atmosphere. (so as to make sure that the ozone layer is destroyed).

The result?

NOTHING.

Or so we are told… According to the most widespread ‘theory’ the ozone layer which was destroyed about the time those nuclear tests ended was not because of these nuclear tests but because of you (yes, YOU!) who owned a refrigerator with chemicals which were ‘bad for the ozone’. Yes, your refrigerator is more powerful than 2,400 nuclear bombs detonated on the planet… And now we believe that theory because… why would the government lie to us? Right?

I am not a conspiracy lover, but this goes well beyond being a conspiracy. It is more at the borders of ridiculousness.

But even after 2,400 nuclear bombs there was no global famine. No global disaster. (or it there? could the widespread increase of cancer be attributed to this or did the ancient people also died like flies because of that disease? Let’s see what the official medicine has to say about that; yet, that medicine which until recently claimed that smoking is not bad for your health and which now swears that cell phones are OK and affect not your brain)
Science has reached to a point of being a global religion. And religion, in its bad version, always needs terror to impose itself on people. This terror is what we see everyday in the news when ‘scientists’ (as if this attribute alone means anything) warn us about how we are all going to die if we don’t stop using straws while at the same time they accept grants from companies potentially making those straws. And this terror has the same foundations as all other types of terror used in the past to control people: Stupidity.
One must be really stupid to claim that world disaster will strike Earth is India and Pakistan will go to war.

Because as I said above: The nuclear bombs matter not.
It is your refrigerator you must be concerned about…

Chemistry Nobel 2018: A sad reminder…

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Techniques that put natural evolution on fast-forward to build new proteins in the lab have earned three scientists this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Frances Arnold of Caltech won for her method of creating customized enzymes for biofuels, environmentally friendly detergents and other products. She becomes the fifth woman to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry since it was first awarded in 1901. Gregory Winter of the University of Cambridge and George Smith of the University of Missouri in Columbia were recognized for their development and use of a technique called phage display. This molecule-manufacturing process can generate biomolecules for new drugs.

The trio will share the 9-million-Swedish-kronor prize (about $1 million), with Arnold getting half and Winter and Smith splitting the other half. (1)

Analyzing data. Finding new molecules.

Analyzing more data. Finding more molecules.

This is what science is today.

Additions to an existing structure.

Nothing exceptional.

Nothing truly magnificent.

Scientists today are builders, not architects.

They may add their own brick to the cathedral.

But they will never have the courage to question its design.

What we need today though are not builders.

What we seek is not a way to make the cathedral taller.

But someone who can judge its foundations.

And tear it down…

 

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