Sandbox (4)

Sometimes very active discussions about peripheral issues overwhelm a thread, so this is a permanent home for those conversations.

I’ve opened a new “Sandbox” thread as a post as the new “ignore commenter” plug-in only works on threads started as posts.

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1,859 thoughts on “Sandbox (4)

  1. A great 4-hour series on the Peninsula Wars of Napoleon and how Wellington the Portugese and the Spanish kicked Napoleon’s rear end in Spain and Portugal.

    Part 1:
    https://youtu.be/_8WAdAktx3Q

    the other videos are available online

    Viva la Espana.

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  2. Test of LaTeX display equation that is rendered in my draft OP (this differs from the one above only in the base of the logarithm:

        \[\chi = -\!\log_2[ 10^{120} \cdot \varphi_S(T)\cdot \mathbf{P}(T|\mathbf{H})]\]

    (I hypothesize that previous renderings are saved, and that we’ve run out of storage for new ones.)

    1+
  3. stcordova:
    Boris Johnson is the UK’s Trump according to The Donald himself:

    Well, he’s not totally wrong. Both fat lying narcissists who enhanced their profiles through their telly work.

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  4. Allan Miller,

    Yes, and the serial adulterer bit pretty much comes with the narcissist territory.
    One difference, though: Boris is not stupid.

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  5. Boris likes to talk about Winston Churchill. Churchill was coping with a crisis caused by fascist governments.

    Boris, on the other hand, will be wrestling with a major crisis facing his nation, one caused by … um … well, actually by Boris, among others.

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  6. Joe Felsenstein,

    It’s a great time for fans of irony, to be sure! Part of me – a part that cares not for my kids or country, and can’t resist a quick gawp at car crashes – hopes that he gets the ‘no deal’ exit he threatens/desires. 10,000 riot police were put on standby last time it was imminent.

    Much of the false mythology around what the EU is and does originated with him and his journalism. He’s still at it. He was waving a kipper aloft the other day in outrage at the packaging rules that force Manx distributors to observe good microbiological practice when mailing. The EU was quick to point out that those rules were in any case Britain’s own!

    Half the population is ready to riot if we don’t throw off the shackles of these fish-product Nazis …

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  7. DNA_Jock:
    Allan Miller,

    Yes, and the serial adulterer bit pretty much comes with the narcissist territory.
    One difference, though: Boris is not stupid.

    Boris Johnson is utterly stupid. Read Richard North’s (arch-Eurosceptic) visceral takedown of him here.

    “Johnson is saying to the EU, in effect, that because we reject your deal, crafted to avoid border checks, you’ll give us another deal with none of those components designed to avoid border checks, and we’ll still have no border checks. “

    Boris Johnson does not understand the first thing about the EU, about the Single Market, about the international rules of trade, about the WTO, about borders, about border controls, what they are for and why they exist. The only possible reason for this lack of understanding after so many years of EU debate is plain stupidity.

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  8. faded_Glory,

    He is not alone. None of the arch-Brexiteers appears to be overburdened with grey matter. Rees-Mogg comes to mind.

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  9. Haha. Johnson seems “not stupid” only in comparison to Trump. My cat has that going for him too.

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  10. In his first significant act as PM, he has insisted that the Irish Border ‘backstop’ must be dropped. In playing fast and loose with the border, he will almost certainly lose the support of the DUP, and hence his majority…

    Knowing that the EU will almost certainly not play ball on the border – it can’t be guaranteed by tearing up the customs arrangements in the hard-fought Withdrawal Agreement – he has made plans to ‘turbo-charge’ No Deal. Money has magically become available for this. He also says that there will be an additional 39 billion available. This is the sum the WA guaranteed to cover the UK’s agreed debts – pensions etc.

    Which is to say, he is prepared to renege on international agreements – and then expects to negotiate a trade deal with the antagonised party, while showing all other potential partners that we are a rogue state.

    I’ve never seen a country impose sanctions on itself before.

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  11. To clarify: Boris is obviously deluded – that goes without saying.
    And narcissistic to the point of mental illness, just like Trump.
    Both Boris and Donald appear to be ignorant buffoons. The only difference is that Boris is, to some extent, acting the buffoon.
    I used to think that Trump was pretending too; I no longer do.

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  12. Allan Miller: In his first significant act as PM,

    Have you ever heard of the Letters of Last Resort?

    From: https://www.powercorruptspodcast.com/episodes#/letters-of-last-resort/

    “Britain has a new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. And on his first day of office — as is the case with all new prime ministers — he will have to handwrite four identical letters called the Letters of Last Resort. They are instructions to the captains of Britain’s four nuclear submarines, known as the Trident deterrent. The letters are entirely secret and entirely personal to each prime minister. That is, unless London gets destroyed by a nuclear blast and the British government is wiped out. If that happens, the letters will be unsealed, and the submarine commanders will follow the orders given to them from the British prime minister from beyond the grave, written on that fateful first day in office.”

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  13. Johnson will be the last prime minister of the United Kingdom, and Trump will be the last president of the United States. By the end of Johnson’s premiership Scotland and Northern Ireland will have left the UK and by the end of Trump’s second term half of the states will have seceded.

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  14. “Johnson will be the last prime minister of the United Kingdom, and Trump will be the last president of the United States. By the end of Johnson’s premiership Scotland and Northern Ireland will have left the UK and by the end of Trump’s second term half of the states will have seceded.”

    It’s not even this kind of thing that qualifies such a person as a philosophist. Imbalanced and hazardously ideological are not a few radical leftist US citizens these days, irreligious teachers of philosophy at private Christian universities represented among them.

    Yet the prognosticating atheists & agnostic gnostics among them merely swallow themselves with their scientistic shouting & actions, while superficially impacting those around them with their personal negativity (twisted to appear as ‘positivity’) & (almost religious) disbelief. How could they think they inspire youth? With ‘reason alone’ or with un-grounded fake moralizing? Such is just sadly funny talk.

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  15. DNA_Jock:
    That’s some Bulwer-Lytton-quality writing, right there.

    It was dark and stormy rhetoric, stripped and exposed.

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  16. Gregory: Imbalanced and hazardously ideological are not a few radical leftist US citizens these days, irreligious teachers of philosophy at private Christian universities represented among them.

    Once, when I was in an elevator in the Massachusetts State House, someone came up to me and asked, For what button push-it I “Park Street”?

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  17. dazz: Was it this part that reminded you of me?

    https://youtu.be/ENe89j89tBA?t=530

    It reminded me only to the extent that I remembered to ask your opinion whether the airplane should say “retard retard retard” after a crash due to pilot error! 🙂

    Some years ago I was flying in a sim and not really being careful, and was practicing the song, “Fly me to the moon, …”

    I was focusing more on my singing than my flying. Next thing I know, I crashed into a mountain. The bad thing was this was pretty much the same route I flew live with a lady friend a couple months earlier. But for whatever reason, while flying MS flight simulator, I pulled a JFK, jr and got disoriented and crashed. The sim should have said, “retard retard retard.”

    Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to simming since we talked about it a few months ago. It’s been on my mind though.

    Tell you what, I felt my heart beat a little faster when I heard the call for 200 in that video.

    One other thing, I presume the beginning of the video was when they were being handed off from Enroute controller to the NorCal Approach controller. The Approach Controller said, “prepare for the visual approach runway 28L”.

    That’s the left runway. But I remember them landing on the right runway 28R. I had to go back and listen to the first minute of the video and realized, that’s why the Captain threw his hands up and said, “I was starting to wonder.” I guess he realized he’d be making a funny kind of landing pattern or approach if he followed what NorCal approach was telling him to do. And then NorCal approach corrected their instructions to 28R!

    That was pretty cool seeing them have a keyboard and computer in the cockpit. That’s the first time I saw that.

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  18. stcordova: One other thing, I presume the beginning of the video was when they were being handed off from Enroute controller to the NorCal Approach controller. The Approach Controller said, “prepare for the visual approach runway 28L”.

    That’s the left runway. But I remember them landing on the right runway 28R. I had to go back and listen to the first minute of the video and realized, that’s why the Captain threw his hands up and said, “I was starting to wonder.” I guess he realized he’d be making a funny kind of landing pattern or approach if he followed what NorCal approach was telling him to do. And then NorCal approach corrected their instructions to 28R!

    Seems to me the FO got the readback wrong (ILS instead of vectors for visual 28L) and the app controller went with it. The runway switch to 28R might have to do with the fact that it’s a CAT III ILS while 28L is just CAT I, not sure though.

    I don’t think it would’ve matter much to them to land on 28L vs 28R other than maybe 28L is closer to their gate.

    What seems a bit weird is that they’re initially with NorCal Approach, but the handover at 1:45 is also to NorCall Approach.

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  19. Miami landing, TCAS collision alert! Co-pilot Jenny jumps when the TCAS sounds the alarm for imminent collision!

    At 1:03 you can barely see the other airplane at the bottom of the picture flying below. That who landing ceremony was a lot of workload on the pilots. Yikes. MITRE/CAASD was the pioneer of TCAS. I joined MITRE/CAASD long after that era, and this is the first video I ever saw of TCAS in action.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK5KTQGuXSQ

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  20. I found this 1904 photo of some of the people who inspired Tennyson’s famous 1854 poem: Charge of the Light Brigade

    Half a league, half a league,
    Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    “Forward, the Light Brigade!
    Charge for the guns!” he said.
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    II

    “Forward, the Light Brigade!”
    Was there a man dismayed?
    Not though the soldier knew
    Someone had blundered.

    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die.

    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    III

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volleyed and thundered;
    Stormed at with shot and shell,

    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of hell
    Rode the six hundred.

    IV

    Flashed all their sabres bare,
    Flashed as they turned in air
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army, while
    All the world wondered.

    Plunged in the battery-smoke
    Right through the line they broke;
    Cossack and Russian
    Reeled from the sabre stroke
    Shattered and sundered.
    Then they rode back, but not
    Not the six hundred.

    V

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
    Volleyed and thundered;

    Stormed at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell.

    They that had fought so well
    Came through the jaws of Death,

    Back from the mouth of hell,
    All that was left of them,
    Left of six hundred.

    VI

    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
    All the world wondered.

    Honour the charge they made!
    Honour the Light Brigade,
    Noble six hundred!

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  21. I don’t know if its just me, but I believe there is a virus associated with this website. I continue to get an automatic download each time I click on this site, which I then delete, and doesn’t seem to do anything, but keeps reappearing.

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  22. stcordova: I’ve said, the spreading metaphor is a good approximation to understanding. But a metaphor has it’s limits.

    If one really wants the rigorous approach definition it’s
    dS = dQrev/T
    or
    S = kB log W

    I agree that those are equations for TD and SM entropy, respectively. But we also want to understand what the physics is telling us about the world*. That goes beyond just providing a metaphor for eg teaching the concept.

    Here is an article on far-from-TD entropy and dynamics. It relates energy dispersion, missing (initial condition) info, and throws in fractalness as well:
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-universal-law-that-aims-times-arrow-20190801/

    ———————————————————————————
    * That is, unless one is an instrumentalist about science, like a certain forum moderator.

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  23. phoodoo:
    I don’t know if its just me, but I believe there is a virus associated with this website.I continue to get an automatic download each time I click on this site, which I then delete, and doesn’t seem to do anything, but keeps reappearing.

    I don’t have this issue.

    Unless one includes certain posts among the downloads from the site.

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  24. BruceS,

    So nice to see you. If you don’t mind me asking, were you a professional scholar and/or professor. You certainly strike me as a scholar and gentleman.

    Sal

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  25. stcordova:
    Were you a professional scholar and/or professor.

    Retired IT project/program manager.
    Not a fan of traveling or golf, so in my retirement I read phil and physics instead.

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  26. Sal:

    I’ve said, the spreading metaphor is a good approximation to understanding. But a metaphor has it’s limits.

    That’s a pretty big (and unacknowledged) climbdown from before, when you were advocating Lambert’s energy dispersal definition of entropy as the right one to use.

    If one really wants the rigorous approach definition it’s
    dS = dQrev/T
    or
    S = kB log W

    Neither of those is adequate. The Clausius formula fails to account for the entropy of mixing, and the Boltzmann formula only works when the distribution over microstates is uniform.

    What you want is the Gibbs formula.

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  27. Kieths:

    Neither of those is adequate.

    Let the reader see I’m using textbook definitions (some of the symbols are changed slightly like the inexact differential for Clausius):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy

    ng Lambert’s energy dispersal definition of entropy as the right one to use.

    Let the reader see for himself what I said 3 years ago:

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/in-slight-defense-of-granville-sewell-a-lehninger-larry-moran-l-boltzmann/comment-page-1/#comments

    The is the correct Ludwig Boltzman Entropy as written by Planck:

    S = k log W

    where
    S = entropy
    k = boltzman’s constant
    W = number of microstates

    Also there is Clausius:

    delta-S = Integral (dq/T)

    where
    delta-S = change in entropy
    dq = inexact differential of q (heat)

    There isn’t climb down there, Kieths, only in your mind.

    And Clausius does solve the mixing entropy. Thanks for another erroneous assertion!

    Anyway, bye, I don’t have time for you.

    You’re back on my ignore list. Go obsess over someone else.

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  28. Sal,

    You’re back on my ignore list. Go obsess over someone else.

    Correcting you is not “obsessing over you”.

    You jumped on the Lambert bandwagon, and I pointed out your error. Entropy is not a measure of energy dispersal. It’s a measure of missing information concerning the exact microstate.

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  29. petrushka:
    Could be a virus, but I doubt it’s associated with this site.

    But it only happens when I click this site, and no where else.

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  30. Allan Miller: Haha, the bane of us technicians’ lives!

    As a manager it was the reverse.
    I was envious of the programmers — dealing with recalcitrant technology is more fun that dealing with difficult people.

    The easiest job I had — strategic systems planner — had neither problem. I worked alone as a consultant. The the only outputs were text and boxes-and-cylinders diagrams. So the only technology was Word and PP or Visio (state of the art in my day)

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  31. BruceS,

    I was one of the difficult ones! Not in myself – I freelanced at one site for 13 years; they wouldn’t have renewed me so often if I was a problem – but when I took up a permanent offer at the same site, everything changed. Went back to contracting in 2016, never looked back – doubled my income, no appraisals; win-win! 😃

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  32. keiths,

    Its just called “download”. If you click on it after it downloads it asks you to run it, but of course I never do, so I just delete it. What’s really weird is that it only happens sometimes, but when it does it will go on like this for ten or fifteen times, each time downloading again, before I can open the site. Then sometimes it just stops.

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  33. Allan Miller:
    BruceS,

    I was one of the difficult ones! Not in myself –I freelanced at one site for 13 years; they wouldn’t have renewed me so often if I was a problem – but when I took up a permanent offer at the same site, everything changed. Went back to contracting in 2016, never looked back – doubled my income, no appraisals; win-win! 😃

    Pension plan at Bell was too good for me to quit but when Bell spun us off to a company with no pension, forcing us to take the equivalent cash, for accumulated pension , I had some new options.

    Eventually I did contracting as salaried employee of my own corporation which was great for tax reasons in Canada. By then, job security did not matter.

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  34. BruceS:
    Eventually I did contracting as salaried employee of my own corporationwhich was great for tax reasons in Canada.By then, job security did not matter.

    Yep, much the same here. I was on the home straight, financially, and I’d had enough of being appraised by jerks. 20 years as an independent makes one have limited patience for the ‘corporate’.

    I even opened a new company with the same name as the old – purely for symbolic reasons!

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  35. If you click on a downloaded malicious file, you have run it. Whatever it says, notwithstanding.

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  36. stcordova:

    Let the reader see I’m using textbook definitions (some of the symbols are changed slightly like the inexact differential for Clausius)

    AFAIK, you do not need the Gibbs approach to SM for TD entropy in order to resolve the Gibbs paradox. For Boltzmann, you do need need to account for distinguishability in the counting arguments. The wiki articles note this point; I can provide links to further articles on this point for Boltzmann in particular.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann%27s_entropy_formula
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbs_paradox

    These articles are often written based on entropy of ideal gases. Presumably, that would extend to the more general log W version by requiring that the microstates in W be distinguishable, although I don’t have the math to support that hand-waving.

    I also understand that the full resolution of the paradox requires understanding the distinguishability and probability distribution issues introduced by QM.

    Sean C answered an AMA question on the difference between Gibbs and Boltzmann entropies which I can post if a few people are interested. It’s not the formula as much as different approaches to how we represent knowledge about the system. Sean’s reply is long so I will likely just message it if only 1 or 2 are interested. (Transcript of AMA only available to Patreon supporters).

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  37. Bruce,

    AFAIK, you do not need the Gibbs approach to SM for TD entropy in order to resolve the Gibbs paradox.

    I agree. Boltzmann suffices since the probability distribution is uniform over the possible microstates. It’s worth emphasizing that the Gibbs formula reduces to the Boltzmann in this case.

    For Boltzmann, you do need need to account for distinguishability in the counting arguments.

    Yes, and that’s one of the many reasons that entropy cannot be a measure of energy dispersal. Dispersal doesn’t care about the distinguishability of particles. Microstate knowledge does.

    I also understand that the full resolution of the paradox requires understanding the distinguishability and probability distribution issues introduced by QM.

    That’s the conventional wisdom, but Jaynes argues convincingly that Gibbs fully understood the distinguishability issues as far back as 1875.

    Sean C answered an AMA question on the difference between Gibbs and Boltzmann entropies which I can post if a few people are interested. It’s not the formula as much as different approaches to how we represent knowledge about the system. Sean’s reply is long so I will likely just message it if only 1 or 2 are interested. (Transcript of AMA only available to Patreon supporters).

    I’m always interrested in reading Carroll’s take on an issue.

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  38. petrushka:
    If you click on a downloaded malicious file, you have run it. Whatever it says, notwithstanding.

    Well, its not even quite like that. If I attempt to open TSZ site, by either refreshing a tab already open, or just entering this site into the address bar, the thing downloads. Its not really clicking on anything, its already there in my download files. The only clicking on it that I am doing is to delete it. I don’t know how one could delete something without first going to that file to delete it.

    But either way, this doesn’t help me to understand how this can only happen with this website and no where else.

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  39. Walto, Kantian Naturalist:

    I want to write a philosophical and post it somewhere. I’m not trying to get it published in a philosophy journal, but a pre-print server would be adequate for my purposes. Have you ever used:

    http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/

    I don’t want what I write to be too hard to read. Something a college student could grasp without too much effort.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sal

    FWIW this is something about the project:

    I’m writing what is intended to be a very simple paper that will be the basis of my first lesson for a Creation/ID course I’m developing for Bible Colleges. It was partly inspired by an exchange I had with VJTorley:

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/cavin-and-colombetti-miracle-debunkers-or-can-a-transcendent-designer-manipulate-the-cosmos/

    I’ve rejected almost all of the ID formalism like specified complexity, the explantory filter, etc. I’ve publicly said I don’t consider ID science, even though I believe the universe and life are intelligently designed and created through miraculous act of special creation.

    The provisional title of my paper is : “Multiverses instead of Miracles as Explanations for Statistical or Physical violation of Normative Expectation”

    My point in writing this is to avoid using terms like naturalism to describe the appearance of miracles such as the miracle of fine tuning or the miracle of life. Multiverses are now fashionable explanations. One might say multiverses are a “naturalistic” (when they really mean Godless) explanation, but it is certainly not a normative explanation in the sense of normative operation of physical and/or chemical law as we understand in textbook science. It is certainly not normative for cellular life to spontaneously arise, so much so that Koonin eagerly invokes multiverses as a mechanism.

    Science tries to invoke normative mechanisms. “Normative” can be defined quasi-mathematically. Defining “Natural” is little harder since it usage varies depending on the author.

    One can say the sun rising every day is normative. Use of multiverses to explain origin of life and fine tuning is meant to be naturalistic in the philosophical sense, but it is certainly not normative in the scientific sense, and thus violates many of the implicit notions of “natural”.

    Hence “multiverse” explanations of apparent miracles don’t erase the impression of miracles because even though they are postulated as naturalistic in the philosophical sense (aka no God needed), they are most certainly not appealing to normative mechanisms. The use of the word “normative” seeks to clarify errors that Cavin and Colombetti use, but which are errors that are widely ignored.

    Any way, that’s all that the paper is really about. It’s should be straight forward common sense, and not really saying anything deeply profound, but the goal is to set the stage for later arguments where the origin of life can’t be resolved by normative mechanisms that we are currently aware of, hence, for the time being, it looks like OOL is a miracle in the sense normative mechanisms aren’t good explanations.

    Whether it is a miracle in the theological sense (as in proof of God), I don’t address in the paper (partly because I think the question is formally undecidable). The goal of the paper is to clarify language, and avoid debates about naturalism vs. supernaturalism, which are hard to define, or ID vs. non-ID, etc. Defining things in terms of normative mechanism vs. exceptional mechanisms is a little more tractable.

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  40. On multiverse explanations for origin of life, background and considerations from statistical mechanics and thermodynamics.

    Consider a single monoatomic gas particle bouncing around in a box. We can conceptually say there is the left half and the right half of the box. Presumably at any arbitrary time, the probability the particle is on the left side is 50%.

    If we have two particles, presumably at any arbitrary time, the probability that both particles are on the left side is 25%.

    If three particles, 12.5%….

    for N particles the probability is 1 / (2^N)

    If one some how magically “knew” when all the particles would actually be on the left side of the box, one could, in principle seal off the the lefts side, and thus get all the particles on the left side without expending too much energy. In the absence of such magical knowledge, one has to use energy in order to compress the gas particles to only the left side by combining some sort of pump, piston and/or barrier. This expenditure of energy related by the Clausius the definition of entropy. That is to say, we pay a price in terms of energy for our lack of precise knowledge of the position/momentum of each gas particle, as a matter of priniciple when trying to localize the gas particles to a smaller space.

    But I digress……

    So if we have very large number of N monoatomic gas particles, the normative expectation is we have about half of the particles on the left side and half on the right side. We would consider it a miracle if we witnessed an event where all the monoatomic gas molecules were only on the left side for a brief moment. We would hypothetically detect a sudden spontaneous drop in pressure on the right side. So what would be the explanation for us having such a privileged observation that we were just lucky enough to be around when this unlikely event happened?

    Multiverses? God? Setting aside the question of the “mechanism” for this fortuitous (dare I say Providential) observation, if it happened it would be a non-normative event.

    The same issue is beginning to arise regarding the origin of life. We apparently are part of a privileged event in the universe. Few think it is normative that cellular life emerging spontaneously anywhere in the universe would be a normative event.

    So why am I saying all this. I want to avoid the metaphysically loaded terms of naturalism and supernaturalism, ID or non-ID. I think a spectrum going from normative to non-normative is at least a qualitative description that is qualitatively accurate but has much less metaphysical baggage.

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  41. keiths: I’m always interrested in reading Carroll’s take on an issue.

    I will try to attach as pdf. If that does not work for me, I’ll message the pdf.

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     Sean-C-on-Boltzmann-vs-Gibbs.pdf

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