The Terasem Space Day Colloquium 2021 will take place on July 20, the anniversary of Apollo 11, via Zoom.
Among the confirmed speakers, Namrata Goswami, co-author of “Scramble for the Skies: The Great Power Competition to Control the Resources of Outer Space” (2020), and Steven Wolfe, author of “The Obligation: A Journey to Discover Human Purpose on Earth and in the Cosmos” (2015). These two excellent books examine, respectively, plausible scenarios for the next few decades of spaceflight, and why we must (yes, MUST) expand into outer space.
Stay tuned for more info on these two talks, and other speakers.
Both authors emphasize that Christian eschatology affirms the resurrection of the body in a redeemed Earth. Many Christians believe that the immaterial, immortal souls of the righteous go to an immaterial Heaven after death, but this is not what Christian eschatology says. The concepts of immortal souls and immaterial Heaven come from other belief systems that “contaminated” early Christianity.
Wright and Middleton ground their arguments in the Bible and the history of early Christianity.
The two pictures…
Greetings to our 500 followers! This is Giulio Prisco, editor of Turing Church. Reaching 500 followers is an important milestone.
Some reading recommendations:
Kazuo Ishiguro, winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature, has published a science fiction novel titled “Klara and the Sun” (2021). A delightful, deep and poetic masterpiece, the novel is set in a disturbing future that exacerbates some trends visible in today’s world. The narrator is “Artificial Friend” (AF) Klara, an Artificial Intelligence who is very different from humans (the differences gradually emerge in the story), but perhaps more human and much nicer than us.
When ʻOumuamua hit the media a couple of years ago, I was intrigued and fascinated. Who wasn’t?
In a paper titled “Could Solar Radiation Pressure Explain ‘Oumuamua’s Peculiar Acceleration?” (2018, open access), renowned astrophysicist Avi Loeb and his collaborator Shmuel Bialy considered the possibility that ‘Oumuamua “is a lightsail, floating in interstellar space as debris from advanced technological equipment,” or even “a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization.”
This is the simplest hypothesis consistent with the data.
I loved this. The media and the public loved it. But many professional scientists hated it.
That stupid word again. “Pseudoscience.” Oh Blessed Simulators, please deliver us from thought cops and control & cancel freaks.
Sabine Hossenfelder is a physicist whose YouTube channel, titled “Science without the gobbledygook,” has more than 200k subscribers (actually 227k and growing). “I tell you what you really need to know about science, as simple as possible, but not any simpler,” says Hossenfelder. “From me you will get the real story, not the hype.”
With YouTube ads and Patreon, Hossenfelder is (or will soon be) able to earn a good living as a free agent doing something that she likes and…
According to the reductionist science of the 19th century, everything that happens can be derived, at least in principle, from strictly deterministic physics. Of the four causes analyzed by Aristotle, only efficient cause is allowed.
Contemporary science is bringing Aristotle back, sort of, but most scientists don’t (want to) realize this. “Aristotle’s Revenge: The Metaphysical Foundations of Physical and Biological Science” (2019) is in my to-read list.
Downward causation, or top-down causation, is the idea that the whole of a system can influence its parts in ways that cannot be reduced to the local interactions between the parts.
Based on the arguments of Stephen Wolfram and Rudy Rucker, I conceded that computational irreducibility seems practically indistinguishable from free will.
Simple cellular automata (CA) like Rule 110 or Rule 30, which generates complex patterns similar in appearance to the seashell in the cover picture, are computationally irreducible. This means that there’s no way to predict their evolution faster than running the computation step by step and observing the results.
In Wolfram’s words, “the actual evolution of the universe… can only be observed, not predicted.”
Here’s Cometan’s summary:
“Ending Season 1 of ‘A Conversation with Cometan’ is Italian cosmist and author of ‘Tales of the Turing Church’, Giulio Prisco! He and Cometan sit down discuss the present condition of human life and our spacefaring futures, both in the short and long terms. …
Downward causation is not a mystery. We call it a mystery because we are still mentally conditioned by the reductionist science of the 19th century, according to which everything that happens can be derived, at least in principle, from the causally closed micro physics of particles and fields.
But quantum mechanics shows that micro physics is NOT causally closed. Low level micro physical laws are strictly followed, but they are probabilistic…
Writer, futurist, sometime philosopher.