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"God and the gods were apparitions of observation, judgment and punishment. Other sentiments towards them were secondary. The human organism always worships. First, it was the gods, then it was fame (the observation and judgment of others), next it will be self-aware systems you have built to realiz...(read more)

After seeing the four examples (including one that didn't fit) given, it didn't even occur to me that someone could think the first one indicated a X-2X-3X pattern. It's hard to tell what will confirm and what will disconfirm in such a broad space of possibilities.

A bit off topic but after numerou...(read more)

I remember when Warren Spector & Harvey Smith were going on about emergence in videogames. I think their definition was something like "a non-obvious [it may even surprise the designers] outcome of a system of rules rather than something scripted". That's a rather subjective definition but it seems ...(read more)

In response to Hopefully Anonymous, I think there is a real difference between unfalsifiable pseudosciences and genuine scientific theories (both correct and incorrect). Coming up with methods to distinguish the two will be helpful for us in doing science. It is easy in hindsight to say how obviousl...(read more)

I second Stuart's awful sentence. I'm not seconding the opinion that it is awful, just that it resembles my thoughts.

I think I've said this before, but there is some <a href="http://www.jimloy.com/physics/phlogstn.htm">defense</a> that can be made for the phlogiston theorists. Phlogiston is like an absence of oxygen in modern combustion theory. The falsifiable prediction that caused phlogiston to be abandoned was ...(read more)

<i>Do you have any references to that?</i> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overconfidence_effect#Overconfidence.2C_locus.5B1.5D_of_control_and_depression">Yes.</a> They do underestimate the probability their their depression will end, however (I'll see if I can find the link to where I read th...(read more)

<i>"Mental health is a commitment to reality at any cost."</i> Depression is considered a mental illness. The depressed are less biased in their self-assessments than the population as a whole. Personally, I agree with Caplan and Szasz that "mental illness" is a poor borrowing from medicine to psych...(read more)

The difference is that ethics are not falsifiable. This leads me to believe there are no ethical truths.

Perhaps we should check to see how many papers in respected journals cite "punctuated equilibrium" other than to attack it. In a previous <a href="http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/06/functional_is_n.html">thread</a> in which Gould was discussed I linked to <a href="http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives...(read more)