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 [quote="Vanyo"]A magnetic field is a magnetic field, whether created by electricity, or by a magnet. Again, if it could move electrons, you could build an electromagnetic generator with no moving parts. That would be quite remarkable. Look at the second right hand rule - the one that describes the correlation between three things: 1) direction of a magnetic field 2) direction of movement of a conductor 3) direction of flow of electron in that conductor This is a very well known rule, and you're saying, essentially, that it's invalid - that the second thing listed is irrelevant - that there's a correlation between direction of magnetic field and direction of flow of electrons in a conductor, regardless of direction of movement of the conductor in the magnetic field.[/quote]
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Philosopher
Posted: Sat Aug 24, 2002 10:17 pm    Post subject: 1

You wouldn't have to describe the whole world. Just your brain.
Athene
Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2002 12:51 pm    Post subject: 0

You can find that puzzle in here. The solution is here.
Julie
Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2002 2:11 am    Post subject: -1

I am looking for a puzzle where you have ABC 123 you have to connect abc to 123 without crossing the lines.
OcularGold
Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2001 3:58 pm    Post subject: -2

bah. guess i was wrong.

thanks boro n sorry vanyo.
Borodog
Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2001 3:09 pm    Post subject: -3

Just for the record, static magnetic fields exert no force on stationary charged particles. An electron placed in a magnetic field will go nowhere, unless it is given an initial velocity, or the field is changing magnitude or direction.

F=-qv×B

That's about the only bit in this whole discussion that I give a crap about.

------------------
Insert humorous sig here.
Ghost Post
Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2001 11:37 am    Post subject: -4

Let's take a different perspective: Switch the situation, imagine we have solved
petty problems like communication and transportation over great (universe-wise)
distances and all related technology obstacles (which implies 'some' advances in
science as well). Now, we contact another intelligent life form and are
preparing to beam them over. We would like to make them as comfortable as possible.
Two questions arise:
a) Can we make environment in which they will survive once they
get here.
b) Can we make environment in which they will feel so much at home that
they will not be able to tell the difference.

I consider this 'inverted puzzle' to be in the same spirit as the original puzzle.

dave10000
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2001 10:01 pm    Post subject: -5

Quote:
But it was never clear what the puzzle is asking.

Amen to that!
Vanyo
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2001 8:28 pm    Post subject: -6

That's actually a very good point. While "nature" is encapsulated in each individuals genes, "nurture", for humans at least, and in subtle ways perhaps for other animals (not really plants), is a continuous unbroken chain from prehistoric times. They might be able to create humans from molecule-by-molecule descriptions of zygotes, but raising them with a sense of earth culture would be a different matter.

But it was never clear what the puzzle is asking. Are they to create a complete earth with all the living things on this earth, or a small menagerie - a home away from home - a well designed zoo for humans.
mwf
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2001 6:50 pm    Post subject: -7

Assuming the you could send the aliens all the information about are world right down to the last molecule. With that would be information about the DNA of everything living. With that info the aliens should be able to construct any enviroment they wish for us to see. NOT!!!

There is one thing that we could not give them. It goes back to the question of nature vs nurture. We could give them all the information about nature. The question is, how much of what animals humans included is only learned by intraction with others things and lifeforms around us? The aliens could create animals and humans from the DNA information, but would they act the same as ones raised here on earth?
dave10000
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2001 6:06 pm    Post subject: -8

Quote:
Also, I see no contradiction when I claim that it exists yet I have no test to prove it's existence. The burden of proof rests on the doubter.

Ah yes, the same argument used to prove that God exists.

Is that really the way we want arguments to be tested. If I contend that invisible unicorns live on earth and they are very good at avoiding detection by humans, are we to accept that premise until some doubter proves otherwise?
Ghost Post
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2001 9:32 am    Post subject: -9

It ain't there yet... Almost, though.
Ryoushi
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:53 am    Post subject: -10

Why don't we just lie to them?
OcularGold
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:48 am    Post subject: -11

extro - just my opinion, but i think this thread has gone to hell and aint comin back.
Ghost Post
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2001 1:04 am    Post subject: -12

Quote:
Yes. If a computer is programmed/designed to simulate a human brain, it will make similar mistakes.

mmmh, allow me to disagree on that. Forgive me, but I think no argument can ever convince me of this . Anyway if you don't have to build robots that doesn't matter.

Istead, I have one more question: if we forget about the human (contact) issue, would you think we could answer "yes" (to the puzzle) ?
Ghost Post
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2001 12:42 am    Post subject: -13

I understand now the variable that I had overlooked in the puzzle. It is enough that the person being asked the question be fooled into thinking that the created world is their own. Vanyo can't tell the difference between two humans of this planet...

(Joke Vanyo! Please take it as such!)

You ask if I consider the word "banana" as an appropriate response to "hello". Well, I as a being with consciousness see it as possibly appropriate, and possibly not so. With the amazing complexity of language I can perfectly well understand when it is and when it isn't. Does this now mean that I can reproduce it? That I can reproduce anything that can match myself in my capacity for understanding the nuances that deem this response as appropriate or not?

No. And it is not just a question of accumulation of data either.

Also, I see no contradiction when I claim that it exists yet I have no test to prove it's existence. The burden of proof rests on the doubter.

But that's a cop-out. I rest on the masses to prove that consciousness exists. I rest on the fact that I can deduce, infer, reason and even simply beleive. All of this makes me human, and I could tell the difference if I were among aliens.
Loki
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 11:28 pm    Post subject: -14

Don't go poking them with cake knives. They don't react well to that.
Vanyo
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 10:35 pm    Post subject: -15

Quote:
Do you think a machine can make mistakes like a man does ?

Yes. If a computer is programmed/designed to simulate a human brain, it will make similar mistakes. But you can get into semantic arguments here: If it is correctly programmed to simulate a human brain, it must make the same mistakes a human brain makes. But, on the other hand, they are not mistakes, since simulating the human brain, mistakes and all, is what it was programmed to do.

But I don't think there would be any point in making machines (robots) to be so much like humans. Humans are already good at being humans.
Icarus
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 8:59 pm    Post subject: -16

dave10000 - thanks - I think it was Star Trek.

I'll leave you with one last thought - Identical Twins - not to be confused with Fraternal Twins.

In the case of Identical Twins, a single egg splits in two after it has already set the DNA and genetic code. By all that science could describe, these two are the same. Yet we know from our own experinces with twins - they each have a mind of their own. They are not the same.

But go back to the intent of the phrasing of the puzzle - Assuming the aliens can build anything you can describe, and that you have the combined resources of all of Earth, could you theoretically describe your world well enough for you to survive on their world? Well enough that you couldn't tell the difference?

How well enough is well enough you couldn't tell the difference ? If you're only going to get a five minute glimpse of their world - then this is easy enough to pull off. Are you expected to believe that you will be allowed to simply go up to everything and perform an autopsy - oh look here, there are two livers, not just one.

How exact do you have to be so that you couldn't tell the difference is directly proportionate to how much time you will be allowed to examine everyting. The argument never touches upon that topic - If you only had 5 minutes, it's very easy to fool the human senses long enough to make you think nothing was different. You don't have the time to examine everything to the nth degree.
Icarus
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 8:58 pm    Post subject: -17

dave10000 - thanks - I think it was Star Trek.

I'll leave you with one last thought - Identical Twins - not to be confused with Fraternal Twins.

In the case of Identical Twins, a single egg splits in two after it has already set the DNA and genetic code. By all that science could describe, these two are the same. Yet we know from our own experinces with twins - they each have a mind of their own. They are not the same.

But go back to the intent of the phrasing of the puzzle - Assuming the aliens can build anything you can describe, and that you have the combined resources of all of Earth, could you theoretically describe your world well enough for you to survive on their world? Well enough that you couldn't tell the difference?

How well enough is well enough you couldn't tell the difference ? If you're only going to get a five minute glimpse of their world - then this is easy enough to pull off. Are you expected to believe that you will be allowed to simply go up to everything and perform an autopsy - oh look here, there are two livers, not just one.

How exact do you have to be so that you couldn't tell the difference is directly proportionate to how much time you will be allowed to examine everyting. The argument never touches upon that topic - If you only had 5 minutes, it's very easy to fool the human senses long enough to make you think nothing was different. You don't have the time to examine everything to the nth degree.
Ghost Post
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 7:59 pm    Post subject: -18

Do you think a machine can make mistakes like a man does ?
Vanyo
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 6:35 pm    Post subject: -19

Quote:
You ask if I can describe consciousness... No. In fact this is part of the basis of my argument.

Not only if you can describe it, but if you can test for it? But then, if you could test for it, that would be a description: "Consciousness" is that which passes this test. But if you can't test for it, how can you claim you would know the difference if it were omitted? You're contradicting yourself.

Quote:
Let me give you the simplest programming test of all. I want you to build a program that will respond appropriately to "Hello". Simple, huh?

Do you consider this simple?

Quote:
Some of the responses possible would be "Hi" "How are ya?" "I have to go now". But what about "Banana." Is this an appropriate response?

You tell me if it's appropriate?

Are you claiming that in order for a machine (robot) to be considered to have consciousness, it would have to behave like a human in every conceivable way? And would you claim the converse - that if it did behave like a human, that it must then have consciousness?

Quote:
Consciousness is the result of something that is more than the sum of it's individual parts. You claim neuron interaction or some mechanical interaction of substance somewhere... I don't!

I'm not claiming that. I am claiming you can't demonstrate that any human being has any behavior that is not explainable as neuron interaction, etc. You can't demonstrate there is such a thing as your mystical notion of consciousness.

I'm not saying it doesn't exist. Just that there's no evidence. But again, it's pointless to argue about consciousness if we're talking about two completely different things when we use the word. And you say you can't describe what it means. Even if you can't describe it, I would think we could come to some common understanding about what it means.

Vanyo
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 6:20 pm    Post subject: -20

"You can describe a smell accurately enough to reproduce it by describing the chemicals in the air."

Quote:
Yes, although we would all smell something different due to the fact that some of us have stronger senses of smell than others. But you simply cannot reproduce an experience through 'description'.

No, but description is the only way you have of knowing the experience exists when it is not your own. What difference does it make if different individuals experience it differently? Nobody ever knows anothers experiences and whether they are the same or different or how different, or even knows if another has experiences.

Quote:
I think Zygon hit the nail on the head when stating that the puzzle fragments those who 'revere' science from those who are 'skeptical'.

I think Jarvis and Zygon are too much in agreement to warrant their being seperate individuals.

Science requires skepticism. If you are skeptical of science, what route would you propose toward knowing the truth about the world?

Quote:
And I would be interested to know ... what platform of communication would you use to communicate the same to aliens?

To communicate what?

But for starters, use pictures - 3D stereoscopic video, really - and sounds. Allow them to explore our world remotely ("teleprescence").

BTW (I may have mentioned this before), I don't think all this talk about consciousness (as interesting a topic as it is to me) has much to do with the original "puzzle".
Ghost Post
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 6:13 pm    Post subject: -21

Vanyo;

You ask if I can describe consciousness... No. In fact this is part of the basis of my argument. I cannot describe that which I cannot break-down into individual parts. Consciousness is the result of something that is more than the sum of it's individual parts. You claim neuron interaction or some mechanical interaction of substance somewhere... I don't!

Let me give you the simplest programming test of all. I want you to build a program that will respond appropriately to "Hello". Simple, huh?

Some of the responses possible would be "Hi" "How are ya?" "I have to go now". But what about "Banana." Is this an appropriate response?

Vanyo
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 6:00 pm    Post subject: -22

Zygon:
Quote:
How can you describe the world "well enough that you couldn't tell the difference" and still omit consciousness? Whatever definition you want to give this term, it is amazingly present in our world.

Well, no, not "whatever definition". If I define consciousness as a magical psychic conduit to our seven legged unicorn spirits, is it present in our world?

So let's assume some reasonable definition of "consciousness" ... but what is reasonable? Earlier I wrote:
Quote:
A machine such as a robot controlled by a computer can contain a complete description of itself in far greater detail than any human understands their own self. It can contain facts about it's environment, and obtain new ones from appropriate input devices (cameras, microphones, etc.). And it can be programmed to reason about it's own functioning and interaction with it's environment. Self knowledge (having information about ones self) and self understanding (being able to reason from that information) or knowledge of the relationship between self and ones surroundings does not require or entail consciousness.

Do you say that a machine such as this - that "knows" about itself and its surroundings and the consequences of its own actions ("knows" in the sense that it demonstrates such knowledge by it's actions - the only way we know humans know anything) - that such a machine would have "consciousness"? Because it isn't hard to build such a machine.

I personally don't believe such a machine has consciousness, any more than a mousetrap does. If you do, then our definitions differ, perhaps significantly.

Quote:
How can you describe the world "well enough that you couldn't tell the difference" and still omit consciousness?

Can you describe consciousness?

Do you know of any test for it? You ask: How can consciousness be omitted, and one not be able to tell the difference? The real question is: How would you tell the difference?

If someone built a robot and you were assigned the task to determine if it possessed consciousness, how would you do it? Do you know of a way to tell the difference?

If you understood the workings of the human brain - how this neuron affects that neuron, and that neuron another, and so on, and how this gives rise to complex behavior - where would consciousness fit in the description? Isn't "consciousness" just a word we use to gloss over things we don't understand about the brain and how it produces the behavior it does?

Ghost Post
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 1:46 pm    Post subject: -23

Quote:

You can describe a smell accurately enough to reproduce it by describing the chemicals in the air.

Yes, although we would all smell something different due to the fact that some of us have stronger senses of smell than others. But you simply cannot reproduce an experience through 'description'. This act of replication automatcially sets it apart from that which is replicated. It is different by definition of the fact it is a 'duplicate'. Since all our experiences of the world differ how do you suggest a myriad of 'conscious' perceptions be replicated for it to be convincing as not just 'the world' but rather 'our' worlds as we each individually perceive them.

I think Zygon hit the nail on the head when stating that the puzzle fragments those who 'revere' science from those who are 'skeptical'. I would certainly consider myself a 'skeptic', though my skepticsm largely pivots around linguistics more than anything else. And I would be interested to know as cohesive a scientific argument as Vanyo can put forward to other human beings, what platform of communication would you use to communicate the same to aliens? I am certainly skeptical that any such platform of mutual understanding can exist when the aliens have not experienced our world or rather 'worlds' as we individually understand them. Vanyo, the world you describes sounds cohesive and whole in which science can seemingly solve many things. The argument I put forward is based on a world that I think is far more fragmented than you suggest, the world of human 'consciousness' (though the understanding of the terms seems to be controversial and slightly devisive in solving the puzzle), and ultimatley Vanyo it is the 'conscious' mind that must be fooled by the aliens in the duplication of our world.
dave10000
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 1:42 pm    Post subject: -24

quote:
(ICARUS)
Anyway, my point is it dealt with a similar topic of human beings and aliens - the aliens tried to reproduce food (human food). I think it was a piece of cake. It looked like cake, but it didn't have the taste of cake.

I really wish I could remember what movie it was - does this sound familiar to anyone ? I don't think it's too far off from this puzzle - how would you describe taste, smell, flavor ?

I don't know if this is the one you were recalling, but a scene like the one you describe appears in the Star Trek episode that IIRC has the Green Girl (Yvonne Craig, later of Batgirl fame). Kirk & others are given food & drink (sort of) around a big table, & later offerred gems (which were more real because their structure was easier for the aliens to understand).
Vanyo
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 12:22 pm    Post subject: -25

Quote:
How do you describe the smell that's left behind after a rain on a hot summer day ?

Smell is determined by traces of different chemicals in the air that reaches your nose. You can describe a smell accurately enough to reproduce it by describing the chemicals in the air.
Ghost Post
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 5:22 am    Post subject: -26

accurate communication among humans is itself so difficult.
tangibles can be described in maths, physics and chem - but what about intangibles - emotions etc. that make up a home ?
Icarus
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 4:50 am    Post subject: -27

I can't remember the name of the movie - or if it was a movie or a tv show - "Outer Limits" or something like that.

Anyway, my point is it dealt with a similar topic of human beings and aliens - the aliens tried to reproduce food (human food). I think it was a piece of cake. It looked like cake, but it didn't have the taste of cake.

I really wish I could remember what movie it was - does this sound familiar to anyone ? I don't think it's too far off from this puzzle - how would you describe taste, smell, flavor ?

You can go through all the scientific explanations you want, but you can't escape the fact that everyones senses are different. How do you describe the smell that's left behind after a rain on a hot summer day ?

And then I still come back to thinking there are just some things you cannot duplicate. Thoughts. After all, isn't that what makes us unique ?

Scientists have cloned thousands of organisms - yet are they all the same as the original - NO. They can't be. They may have the same exact DNA and gentic structure, but there is still an inherent difference, at least for now - in the case of the sheep - age. In the case of human beings - thoughts.

And here's one to think about - how do you describe to the aliens a soul ? Of course now you've crossed that line between science and religion - but how do you create a soul ? But then again, maybe that's too deep for this puzzle ?
JPJ
Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 9:03 pm    Post subject: -28

I think the problem as posed comes down to telling left from right. This used to be thought insoluble but (anti matter apart) is now known to be solvable. See this link.
http://www.lbl.gov/abc/wallchart/chapters/05/2.html

The answer to the problem is therefore, yes, you could describe our world in sufficient detail assuming that you were prepared to take the chance of ending up in an anti-matter world.

I am not so sure of the non-physics aspects of this discussion!
Ghost Post
Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 8:42 pm    Post subject: -29

For a message board which exists solely to discuss hypothetical situations, you folk have some pretty unflattering ideas about the uses of language...
Sam
Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 8:33 pm    Post subject: -30

If we assume that they can build anything, and we lived in, say, New York, there would be now problem. However, one must consider vegetation to create a propper world like oru own. Now if that is taken into consideration with "reasources" then there isn't as much of a problem.

A second major issue that pops into mind is the question of atmosphere. Who's to say that there was no misunderstanding when communicating about oxygen content in the air of the new planet. It would be easy to confuse covalent molecules such as Oxygen and say, Chlorine. That would pose a problem.

Thirdly, there is the question of emotion. One cannot simulate our world unless the emotions and lifestyles can also be simulated. The alien could be lying and just want to use you for a lab experiment.

when you get down to it. You will definitely be able to notice a difference because you will be surrounded by aliens that dont speak your language.
Sam
Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 8:33 pm    Post subject: -31

If we assume that they can build anything, and we lived in, say, New York, there would be now problem. However, one must consider vegetation to create a propper world like oru own. Now if that is taken into consideration with "reasources" then there isn't as much of a problem.

A second major issue that pops into mind is the question of atmosphere. Who's to say that there was no misunderstanding when communicating about oxygen content in the air of the new planet. It would be easy to confuse covalent molecules such as Oxygen and say, Chlorine. That would pose a problem.

Thirdly, there is the question of emotion. One cannot simulate our world unless the emotions and lifestyles can also be simulated. The alien could be lying and just want to use you for a lab experiment.

when you get down to it. You will definitely be able to notice a difference because you will be surrounded by aliens that dont speak your language.
Ghost Post
Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 6:48 pm    Post subject: -32

Jarvis:

I love what you bring into this discussion when you note the catch 22 of description being possible only when there is a "mutual understanding of the circumstance in which communication takes place." How do we describe joy except by example? Or love? Or horror. Emotions are more than hteir mere descriptions, they are innate.

Vanyo, I quote the puzzle here again in response to your assertion that there need be no consciousness: "Assuming the aliens can build anything that you can describe..." How can you describe the world "well enough that you couldn't tell the difference" and still omit consciousness? Whatever definition you want to give this term, it is amazingly present in our world.

What this puzzle really does is to pit those who revere science against those sceptical of science. The question could have just as easily been "can science cure every ill" or "can mankind control the universe".

Formulated another way someone once stated "God is Dead."
Ghost Post
Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 4:05 am    Post subject: -33

Can I just add my stupid thought ?
Someone once said, I think, that there's no scientific observation that doesn't produce subtle changes in the observed. By observing them to communicate them you get to interfere with their normal state and alter them.

(Sorry, this thought came to me while thinking (and laughing a lot) about Agassi being cut in two and examined to be rebuilt on xd34-b Centauri.)
Vanyo
Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 3:15 am    Post subject: -34

I said: "There need be no consciousness. Why would anyone think otherwise?"

And it was clear I was talking about developing a machine to perform a task - in this case to play tennis. Machines can play chess without consciousness. You can build a machine with electronic "eyes" and robotic arms that can swing at a ball that is tossed at it. That's not tennis. But at what point in refining such a machine to the point that it could play tenis well would you need to endow it with "consciousness" (something you can't define, by the way)? And, the real question: why?

Quote:
Is not the reason for this ridiculously apparent? It was the conscious mind that developed the technologies that you speak of so reverently in the first place.

I'm talking about nuts and bolts and circuits and the like. I have no reverence for technology.

You really need to define what you mean by "conscious". Take a simple machine such as a computer with some cameras attached and programmed to respond to what the cameras "see". Is it conscious? If you say no, then:

Quote:
Without the conscious mind technology wouldn't exist, period.

1) It has nothing to do with anything being discussed so far, but anyway:
2) Believe it or not, it's an assertion you can't support. For beings such as ourselves to develop technology, we don't need consciousness (assuming you said 'no' to the above question - so that we have at least somewhat similar notions of what "conscious" means - I hate arguments that are just a result of differing definitions of some word), but only sufficiently complex behavior.

Quote:
So Vanyo how can you dismiss with such ease the importance of consciousness in technological advancement?

1) I didn't.
2) I can. How is irrelevant to anything being discussed (so far).

What I'm arguing against is Zygons argument that you can't reproduce tennis playing ability, since the actions are NOT all consciously controlled. The same is true of chess, and that's been done quite well by a machine.

Quote:
The world simply presents too many variables in the environment for a single machine to function in the way humans do without being conscious.

The really inportant thing here is the meaning of the term "consciousness". Are you saying that any machine (computer, to be precise) that can deal with a sufficient number of variables is automatically "conscious"?

Quote:
The crowd at a tennis match could inspire Agassi to 'up his game'. No robot is capable of responding to outside variables such as this, certainly Deep Thought wasn't.

But Deep Thought won. Are you describing a strength or a weakness? If Agassi could up his game, why wasn't he playing his best to start? Sound like a weakness to me. But heck, he's only human.

Quote:
My biggest problem with your argument Vanyo is that it is the fact that we are conscious that we recognise 'self'. It is this recognition of 'self' in conjunction with our relationship to our surroundings that make us adaptable,...

A machine such as a robot controlled by a computer can contain a complete description of itself in far greater detail than any human understands their own self. It can contain facts about it's environment, and obtain new ones from appropriate input devices (cameras, microphones, etc.). And it can be programmed to reason about it's own functioning and interaction with it's environment. Self knowledge (having information about ones self) and self understanding (being able to reason from that information) or knowledge of the relationship between self and ones surroundings does not require or entail consciousness.
Ghost Post
Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 2:52 am    Post subject: -35

Suddenly I rember a passage from "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" in which Dent struggles to explain to a machine that he want's water with the flavor of boiled leaves, and ends up with (as i recall?) "something almost but not quite entirely unlike tea"
^_^
Ghost Post
Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 12:09 am    Post subject: -36

But the problem surely lies in the fact that any language is removed from that which it is describing. Language can only be shared and fully understood by those with a mutual understanding of the circumstance in which communication takes place. Therefore no description will be adequate unless the aliens experience the world for themselves. Furthermore everyone's perception of the world is slightly different so who do we give the responsibility of describing to the aliens the factual necessities of our environment without introducing subjective assumptions? The problem is Language itself, and therefore the answer to the question is surely no.
Ghost Post
Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2001 6:26 pm    Post subject: -37

Well, the question isn't really if we can describe our world well enough for it to be reproduced, right? Only well enough to fool ourselves. Isn't that something humans are exceptionally good at?
http://www.newsday.com/coverage/current/fanfare/thursday/nd8318.htm

... not quite it perhaps, but promising yes?
Lord Bart
Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2001 4:48 pm    Post subject: -38

*IF* we could describe our world in every detail then the alien world would be identical to ours. If it were not identical then we havent described our world well enough. So the real question is *can we describe our world*? I think the question presupposes we can, and the answer is yes. We have mathematical concepts of chaos and things like the uncertainty principle which could introduce the desired randomness that some people think would be unable to duplicate.