Tag: Tyson

Are We In A Computer Simulated World?

Neil deGrasse Thson picture
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Hotdog Scientist

That’s what Neil deGrasse Tyson believes. Tyson is moderating a symposium of pretend academics and scientists at the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate at the American Museum of Natural History. So says the magazine, Scientific American.

Tyson believes that the probability of our universe being part of a computer simulation written and run by super-beings is a high probability. Who is paying this guy, anyway? It does not take a genius to recognize the futility of such an argument.

But, wait. Isn’t this idea tantamount to saying that God created the (our) universe? Or, as some of the scientists say, could there be many Gods in a universe that is “higher” than ours doing the programming and making us all look like modern monkeys?

If this were true we can erase parts of the program we don’t like. If we were to erase some of the monkeys, that would not be murder. If we are all simulations it is not a crime to erase things. I am sure you can come up with some examples of people, places, and things you would like to erase. Why not start with something big?

If we are a big simulation by the Big Programmer in The Sky why not erase Los Angeles, for example?

I am throwing the BS flag on this idea and Scientific American Article. There is no reason to believe we are part of a simulation, or an experiment. I believe we are created beings, and that life is real not only to mankind, but to our Creator.

If  you are looking for someone who has been programmed think of the journalist who wrote this article, and the scientists who attended this soiree. Doesn’t the journallist have something better to write about? Don’t the scientist have better things to do with all the Federal money they take? Who is dreaming up all this stuff? What are they smoking?

This subject has been covered more intelligently at Scott Adams blog. Adams is the creator of Dilbert, and has a good handle on the world, or computer simulation if you will.

Instead of a big computer simulation, maybe a cartoonist has created our world and we are just Looney Tunes characters.

 

 

 

Absence Of Evidence Is Not Evidence Of Absence?

Evidence Of Absence?
Evidence Of Absence?

Several famous people have used this phrase in lots of situations. Recently, Neil deGrasse Tyson used it in the following way : “One of our mantras in science is that the absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.”  This outburst was in defense of a failure of his memory in quoting George W Bush. Tyson got it wrong and after some embarrassing back and forth, finally admitted his error.

In thinking about the meaning of the phrase I realized that the phrase can be nuanced to death. You could spin the phrase to mean pretty much anything.

So, how do you take the meaning?

  • Evidence is evidence, and if there is no evidence to support a theory, there is no evidence. You cannot say that the absence of evidence proves the theory is false. You can only speak of things in the language of uncertainty, i.e., the theory is likely false if there is no empirical evidence to the contrary.
  • If there is no elephant in the room, and if you don’t see any evidence there is an elephant in the room, this lack of evidence means there is no elephant in the room. So, a lack of evidence can be used as evidence of absence.
  • That there is no physical evidence of mental telepathy means that mental telepathy does not exist.
  • There is no evidence mental telepathy does not exist, therefore it exists. This is called an Argument from Ignorance.

Tyson said that the phrase was a scientific mantra. Why would he say that? Maybe his mantra is really, “Everything I say is correct and shame on you for questioning my veracity.”

Everything depends on evidence. In science evidence must be data indicating actual physical parameters. Evidence is measured, counted, photographed, etc.

Of course, there are the ever popular examples as follow:

  1. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, did it make a sound?
  2. If your wife talks to you during a football game, does this mean you are hard of hearing just because you didn’t hear her?

I am guilty of getting into some deep, unfamiliar waters here. This stuff probably comes under the heading of philosophy. I skillfully endeavored to not take philosophy in college. I was more interested in electrons and women, not necessarily in that order.

It is time to stop this article. I have a headache.