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Good discussion, jpsdad. I'm not real good at taking things on faith. Observational evidence either supports a proposition, or it doesn't. Many things people believe are, in fact, false.
I was trained from childhood to think skeptically, especially at stuff "everyone" knows is true, or because "science" says so.

A brief comment on the Big Bang. Roger Penrose & Stephen Hawking demonstrated that prior to the BB, neither space, time, matter, or energy existed. Thus, whatever caused the BB had to be spaceless, timeless, immaterial. Also immensely powerful, and, given the incredible fine tuned universe for life, intelligent with purpose. Implications are so obvious that the atheistic Soviet Union actually forbade teaching the BB for years.

Back to fish. I recall reading that scientists have discovered that the genetic instructions to build an air breathing animal are found in fish, something like fifty million years prior to land animals appearing. Hard to explain why these utterly useless genes would hang around if they were the mere product of chance.


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Originally Posted by anthropic
Good discussion, jpsdad. I'm not real good at taking things on faith. Observational evidence either supports a proposition, or it doesn't.

In my way of thinking observational evidence falsifies a proposition or it doesn't. The difference is not subtle as gives truth while the other logically fallacious. The fallacy is called "Assuming the consequent".

If A & B yields C then C means A & B are true. Having worked with many models that yield C I have a good understanding as to why C doesn't support that A & B are true. All we can actually say is that A&B are not falsified because we observed C.

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Many things people believe are, in fact, false.

Perhaps it is most things. It's really better, for science anyway, to resist the temptation to believe and restrict everything to logical systems where all truth is conditioned to and within the logical system and where all we can know of it is whether an experimental observation falsifies it or not. If an experiment cannot be devised to falsify a theory or proposition, then it isn't science.

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I was trained from childhood to think skeptically, especially at stuff "everyone" knows is true, or because "science" says so.

A brief comment on the Big Bang. Roger Penrose & Stephen Hawking demonstrated that prior to the BB, neither space, time, matter, or energy existed. Thus, whatever caused the BB had to be spaceless, timeless, immaterial.

Perhaps you could explain what experiment they performed which result depends on assuming there was nothing prior to onset of universal expansion (at least then we would know it wasn't falsified by some predicted experimental result). They could never provide observational evidence of nothing so this would be the next best thing.

Even Penrose and Hawking have faith it would seem.


It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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Interesting. When scientifically trying to explain past phenomena, such as what killed off the dinosaurs, generally abductive logic is employed rather than deductive. That is, since we cannot observe what happened directly, what currently acting cause best explains the observations?

So when we observe a thin layer of ash around the world, above which dinosaur fossils disappear, what best explains their demise? Not a global flood. Not huge earthquakes. Not a terrible Ice Age. Possibly a gigantic bout of vulcanism such that the entire world has an ash layer. Possibly a big asteroid hit which would turn the skies into an oven and throw out searing hot fragments across the planet.

How to decide between volcanoes & asteroid? Well, the ash layer contains unusually high levels of iridium. Meteors & asteroids tend to be rich in iridium, but volcanic ash is not. Thus, our inference to the best explanation is an asteroid impact, though we must keep an open mind if further evidence turns up that runs against that conclusion. Until then, alternative explanations are considered (tentatively) falsified, or at least quite unlikely.

Penrose & Hawking used mathematics to conclude the universe had a beginning, along with space, time, matter & energy. Their findings have been confirmed by physicists & mathematicians. In fact, more recently other astrophysicists found that any universe that is expanding on average must have had a beginning, again by peer-reviewed math. They do indeed have faith in math, as do I, even though Godel showed that math rests upon foundations that cannot be absolutely proven.

I like for a hypothesis to become stronger as time goes by & more evidence comes in. Design in molecular biology is one of those.

Last edited by anthropic; 10/23/21 02:39 AM.

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Sorry, this sort of thing interests me but we're rather far afield from fishery & pond management. I apologize for getting us off track & will end my comments now. grin

Last edited by anthropic; 10/23/21 02:45 AM.

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Originally Posted by anthropic
Penrose & Hawking used mathematics to conclude the universe had a beginning, along with space, time, matter & energy.

Is there really any difference in a universe that dies and is consequently reborn and the one they imagine? If the former could Penrose and Hawking tell the difference? It is probably better said that Penrose and Hawking solved the mathematical problems of theory by making up a creation story where all there is ... even the laws that govern all there is ... were created by a god named Nothing.

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Their findings have been confirmed by physicists & mathematicians.

It may be better said that physicists and mathematicians agree with the analysis and the methods.

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In fact, more recently other astrophysicists found that any universe that is expanding on average must have had a beginning, again by peer-reviewed math

But does this really matter when it is what they want to believe already? Ask yourself is there any difference in the evidence that fails to falsify a universe that starts from nothing or one that collapses and expands again? How can they be so cock-sure? I recall Hawking claiming a Theory of Everything was 20 years away and that was close to 40 years ago. Think about it ... a theory of all there is ... so close ... that doesn't leave much room for skeptical thinking.


It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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It's my understanding that bull sharks can survive in fresh water, for some amount of time anyways.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Originally Posted by Sunil
It's my understanding that bull sharks can survive in fresh water, for some amount of time anyways.

Correct, for a lifetime actually.


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It could have been a substantial cannon ball of pure iridium, a dense soft metal, thrown at Earth by ? for the very purpose of terraforming it. Just saying...ha ha ha.


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Sounds like you had to deal with chaotic solutions...like, we don't know what it's doing but, with enough experiments, we can mostly bound the possible effects.


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I have too many large bluegills, just can't catch enough. A four foot long juvenile tarpon could correct this problem!


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Originally Posted by DannyMac
I have too many large bluegills, just can't catch enough. A four foot long juvenile tarpon could correct this problem!

Heck, I just learned that a bull shark can survive in freshwater.

A small one of those should work fine for BG.

However, you need to tell your kids and grandkids not to swim in that pond anymore. Now if some winged poachers or two-legged poachers just happen to miss the fine print on your "Bull shark warning sign", then that is just bad luck (for them)!
wink

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Originally Posted by DannyMac
I have too many large bluegills, just can't catch enough. A four foot long juvenile tarpon could correct this problem!

You can adapt/acclimate a small tarpon to fresh water..... Go for it!!


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Originally Posted by DannyMac
It could have been a substantial cannon ball of pure iridium, a dense soft metal, thrown at Earth by ? for the very purpose of terraforming it. Just saying...ha ha ha.

Yep, create all that iridium dust to fool Earthlings into thinking the dino demise was a natural disaster! wink

Sorry, can't resist a bit of humor.

Last edited by anthropic; 10/29/21 02:20 AM.

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Originally Posted by DannyMac
I have too many large bluegills, just can't catch enough. A four foot long juvenile tarpon could correct this problem!

A 15 to 20lb FH will take care of your excess BG and wont harm the kids when they are swimming and is some excellent eating when you run low on BG. but it would be kinda cool to have a shark in your pond,, oh the stories.


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A trade of humor for humor...always welcome!


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Many years ago, seven juvenile tarpon were found in an irrigation canal that feeds Medina Lake water to farms south in the Medina valley. About 150 miles from the Gulf of Mex. And about twenty years after tarpon disappeared from the central Texas coast (Corpus Christi)...meanwhile, it seems they are coming back, I saw a small one in a coastal pass.


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Well, saltwater stripers managed to adapt when they were inadvertently cut off from the sea by freshwater impoundments. So maybe this would be possible, too. If so, I'll bet it will be a rapid adaptation of new function already inherent in the genome.


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I haven’t looked at this in a few months but wish to add a comment. As far as science goes, it is never really settled. Big Bang or Big Bounce. I have a fondness for quantum mechanics and cut my scientific teeth on it in the 80’s (J. Phys. Chem. 1983, 87, 1438ff.), plus I find distasteful a singularity of energy at zero volume, and indeterminate physical laws left fully to Chance. With the quantom view, there is no initial singularity, and the universe expands from a finite volume where general relativity and the small scale physical laws are pre-existant. Even some stucture, such as massive black holes this early in the universe, might be explained. In addition, Big Bounce ekpyrotic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekpyrotic_universe) and cyclic models do not produce a multiverse, and while the random physical properties in a Big Bang expansion yields a universe truly left to Chance with the very properties of the universe determined by random Chance, this is not true with a Big Bounce. The uncertainty principle prevents an entirely predictive universe structure, but the laws of physics are invariant.

I find this much more appealing, not fully left to Chance. In any case, one still has to come to grips with the origin of a cyclic universe.

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Originally Posted by Retired on 40
... one still has to come to grips with the origin of a cyclic universe.

The prime mover problem.

But then the beauty of the cyclical universe in its reliance on the eternal immutability of the laws of physics. Given this assumption, I am not sure it makes sense to describe an origin. The assumption of immutable laws of physics seems to imply that there can be no initial creation event ... that would break the laws of physics and would require a supernatural event. So it's plausible that if laws of physics cannot be broken ... a cyclical universe can have no beginning.

The question of creation is a question that cannot be answered by science. It is something that will always require faith in a fabricated story. I am comfortable with the idea that the universe could be cycling eternally and that we will never understand how it was created.


It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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Observations of the fine tuning in the initial conditions, constants, and laws of physics necessary for life have rather decisively shown that our universe is indeed miraculously unlikely, unless there are infinite other universes or bounces out there. The multiverse is unobservable, and even if it were true wouldn't get rid of fine tuning, this time at the level of the universe generating mechanism. Bouncing universes suffer from the problem of the energy required to keep bouncing.

Neither multiverse nor cyclical models escape the need to explain the origin of such an incredibly fine tuned universe. As in molecular biology, the more we know the harder it is to deny design as a superior explanation to chance, in my opinion. Follow the evidence wherever it leads. smile

Last edited by anthropic; 03/17/22 03:47 AM.

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Since this thread has veered away from fish adaptation, I would like to say this. I believe Talladega Nights is a documentary.


AL

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Frank, I guess just think of is this way. The universe is. It exists. I don't need multiverses and fine tuning arguments to understand that it exists. In my way of thinking, these are merely stories imagined to support a foregone conclusion that someone really wants to believe in. I say this because these ideas aren't supported by evidence. Rather these are stories woven with evidence through association. Evidence has no opinion. Opinions, most often already formed, drive our inference of what evidence means.

Unlikely universe? Then why are we and the universe here? Maybe it had to be and always has been. For all I know and all you know our universe is all there is and it doesn't need any help being the universe.

For me, the real questions lie in what it is and how it works. Understanding the laws governing the universe. I don't think there is anything special about our time in the universe (though indeed it may be special to each of us as thinking organisms) but in the end and I don't think it a miracle. It's just a physical system governed by the physics of the universe (not yet fully understood).

There are laws at play that inspire me to think the universe may be cyclical. But most prescient is the first law of thermodynamics. I am not aware of any evidence that suggests that energy or matter can be created from nothing. As far as I know, the law has never been observed to be broken. I have no reason to presume that something supernatural usurps the law. It is just much easier to imagine that all the energy existing at the onset of expansion was conserved in a collapse (thus preserving the law).

To be sure, we don't understand what could collapse the universe. We know it isn't gravity. Something in addition to gravity would have bind the universe if it were to collapse. Universal processes must be isoentropic in order to collapse the universe. This would require the universe to be self contained. These are things we already know (or suspect) are required in such a universe. What gives us pause is what this could mean for other ideas we presently consider to be true. In other words, there is much vested in the stories we have told and we might look foolish if we have to admit many of the things we had come to believe are actually false.

Last edited by jpsdad; 03/17/22 05:20 PM.

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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