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(io9)   Scientists discover flies can think and have free will, conclude they must be assholes on purpose   (io9.com) divider line 46
    More: Interesting, scientists, white lights  
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1256 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Nov 2013 at 3:56 AM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-08 02:10:19 AM
Science is glacial in speed and rich people don't even treat earth shattering geniuses like Tesla as sentient beings if there's an extra nickle to be made from exploitation.

Scientists finally "discovering" animals think is decades late at the most pessimistic estimates.Most would say millenia
 
2013-11-08 02:14:58 AM
free will isn't free.  everything has a cost.
 
2013-11-08 05:06:04 AM
"Science!"
 
2013-11-08 05:21:27 AM
How can it be free will if God already knows everything past, present, and future?
 
2013-11-08 05:32:29 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: How can it be free will if God already knows everything past, present, and future?


AverageAmericanGuy: How can it be free will if God already knows everything past, present, and future

we're part of an event horizon and absolutely everything has already been decided?
 
2013-11-08 05:32:53 AM

Bucky Katt: free will isn't free.  everything has a cost.


a buck o five
 
2013-11-08 05:51:58 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: How can it be free will if God already knows everything past, present, and future?


Flies worship Baalzebub, not Yahweh.
 
2013-11-08 05:54:33 AM
Good. I'll remember that when I'm spraying them with glass cleaner and watching then fall to the floor and slowly, slowly die....
 
2013-11-08 06:15:52 AM

soakitincider: Bucky Katt: free will isn't free.  everything has a cost.

a buck o five


Free will isn't freeeee! No there's a hefty farking fee!
 
2013-11-08 06:56:36 AM
That's an interesting discovery considering we have no idea what "free will" actually is, let alone whether even humans have it.

But that's what you're going to get if you go to io9 for your "science" stories.
 
2013-11-08 07:01:13 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: How can it be free will if God already knows everything past, present, and future?


How can we have true faith if our faith is dictated by God?
 
2013-11-08 07:02:21 AM
Little fly
You're a lot like I
Bash your head agains the pane
Confused inside your tiny brain

Little fly
Oh, how hard you try
You see the sky, you know your goal
No one can say that you don't have a soul
 
2013-11-08 07:03:12 AM

Muta: AverageAmericanGuy: How can it be free will if God already knows everything past, present, and future?

How can we have true faith if our faith is dictated by God?


Sucks to be the unchosen, I guess.
 
2013-11-08 07:08:05 AM

doglover: Scientists finally "discovering" animals think is decades late at the most pessimistic estimates.Most would say millenia


There was a story some time ago about how scientists learned that prairie dogs have a language. They can describe the type of predator, the color, etc. For example, "Tall thin human wearing blue shirt walking slowly across the colony." They can even talk to each other about other members of the prairie dog colony. To think that all animals are simply following instinct with no degree of sentient thought is a very silly notion.
 
2013-11-08 07:09:14 AM
science cannot prove anything. science is about falsifying hypotheses.

in this instance, the researchers falsified the hypothesis that fruit flies, in the absence of stimuli, will follow pre-ordained (ie determinstic) behaviour patterns. instead, their behaviour patterns where chaotic, consistent with randomness

is behaving randomly in this instance consistent with the hypothesis of free will? perhaps (though I feel that is too loose a definition of free will). though, even if you believe so, it does not prove it, only fails to falsify that hypothesis.

when you do enough experiments without falsifying your hypothesis, you eventually conclude the hypothesis is true - but it always remains theory. We believed newtonian motion for centuries, and even today still find it a useful simplification.

one experiment about the behaviour of fruit flies superglued to a pole in a stimulus-neutral room is one baby step on the path to proving free will, but in typical media fashion, is pure, overblown hyperbole
 
2013-11-08 07:11:44 AM

WinoRhino: doglover: Scientists finally "discovering" animals think is decades late at the most pessimistic estimates.Most would say millenia

There was a story some time ago about how scientists learned that prairie dogs have a language. They can describe the type of predator, the color, etc. For example, "Tall thin human wearing blue shirt walking slowly across the colony." They can even talk to each other about other members of the prairie dog colony. To think that all animals are simply following instinct with no degree of sentient thought is a very silly notion.


Most animsls do. You see evidence of communication all the time, if you observe objectively.

What do the vivisectionists do? Shift the goal posts.
 
2013-11-08 07:25:37 AM
Ha!  You'll never get ME to be tethered to a glowing white room in hopes of measuring my free will.
designcareer.files.wordpress.com

/oh:(
 
2013-11-08 07:31:46 AM

SpdrJay: Good. I'll remember that when I'm spraying them with glass cleaner and watching then fall to the floor and slowly, slowly die....


Does that really work?  I seem to be having a bit of a fly problem lately and I don't really know how to get rid of them en masse.
 
2013-11-08 07:32:50 AM

MagSeven: soakitincider: Bucky Katt: free will isn't free.  everything has a cost.

a buck o five

Free will isn't freeeee! No there's a hefty farking fee!


You can't have something for nothing
You can't have freedom for free.
 
2013-11-08 07:34:05 AM

razyjean: SpdrJay: Good. I'll remember that when I'm spraying them with glass cleaner and watching then fall to the floor and slowly, slowly die....

Does that really work?  I seem to be having a bit of a fly problem lately and I don't really know how to get rid of them en masse.


Flypaper.
 
2013-11-08 07:36:20 AM
Free will just means ignorance about the future. You can no more change the future than you can change the past.
 
2013-11-08 08:03:56 AM
Oh God, I read this headline right after the dyslexia one and I thought it said "files".
 
2013-11-08 08:07:41 AM

Tyrone Slothrop: Free will just means ignorance about the future. You can no more change the future than you can change the past.


"Change" is defined in terms of difference between past state and future state. Promoting it to talk about differences among temporal sequences is a category error. It's a false analogy, but one that human brains find extremely compelling.
 
2013-11-08 08:09:27 AM

JasonOfOrillia: You can't have something for nothing
You can't have freedom for free.


Scanned the whole thread looking for the obvious Rush quote. Congrats on escaping preordination.
 
2013-11-08 08:10:10 AM
I've always known my fly could think.  It only opens itself when it will result in me being extremely embarrassed.

Or arrested.
 
2013-11-08 08:14:03 AM
If they have free will then do flies have a soul? And was there a fly Jesus that was swatted for their sins?
 
2013-11-08 08:16:59 AM

MayoSlather: If they have free will then do flies have a soul? And was there a fly Jesus that was swatted for their sins?


Yes, Beezus.

The older sibling of Ramona, the Pest.
 
2013-11-08 08:17:17 AM

Bucky Katt: free will isn't free.  everything has a cost.


Damn economics.
 
2013-11-08 08:29:01 AM
Uggh, this doesn't prove free will.  It only proves non-determinism, but we pretty much suspected that already.  Neural networks are highly complicated, chaotic systems.

There is no possible way to demonstrate free will empirically.  That's why free will is metaphyics, and not science.
 
2013-11-08 08:31:37 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: How can it be free will if God already knows everything past, present, and future?


God doesn't experience time the same way we do. It's not so much that he knows what we will choose as that he knows what we chose. In the moment, we were free to choose other than what we did; we just didn't. Even His own prophecies tend to settle more around His own plans than anything else.

/metaphysics is fun
 
2013-11-08 08:33:14 AM

doglover: Most animsls do. You see evidence of communication all the time, if you observe objectively.


One of my favorites recently was the discovery that wild elephants understand the concept of "pointing."
 
2013-11-08 08:37:24 AM

WinoRhino: doglover: Most animsls do. You see evidence of communication all the time, if you observe objectively.

One of my favorites recently was the discovery that wild elephants understand the concept of "pointing."


I'm pretty sure my cats understand pointing, but simply use their strong free will to ignore it.
 
2013-11-08 08:41:05 AM

Clever Neologism: Uggh, this doesn't prove free will.  It only proves non-determinism, but we pretty much suspected that already.  Neural networks are highly complicated, chaotic systems.


Chaotic systems aren't non-deterministic. They involve so many variables that it becomes really, really hard to predict what changing any given variable will do, but there is still an underlying order. Proving non-determinism is very different: you'd have to show the breakdown (or absence) of an underlying order.

There is no possible way to demonstrate free will empirically.  That's why free will is metaphyics, and not science.

It's more complicated than that. The domain of science is not about the things that can be proven, but the things that could be falsified (provided that they're actually false, of course). Some years back, they determined that if you could falsify non-determinism, this would by extension falsify free will, which brought it into the domain of science. Since this attempt to falsify non-determinism has failed, that would seemingly punt free will back into the domain of metaphysics.
 
2013-11-08 09:15:05 AM
Millennium: Clever Neologism: Uggh, this doesn't prove free will.  It only proves non-determinism, but we pretty much suspected that already.  Neural networks are highly complicated, chaotic systems.

Chaotic systems aren't non-deterministic. They involve so many variables that it becomes really, really hard to predict what changing any given variable will do, but there is still an underlying order. Proving non-determinism is very different: you'd have to show the breakdown (or absence) of an underlying order.


Yes, non-linearity does not imply non-deterministic.  It just suggests, however, that it's likely.  That's why we suspected, and not just assumed.


There is no possible way to demonstrate free will empirically.  That's why free will is metaphyics, and not science.

It's more complicated than that. The domain of science is not about the things that can be proven, but the things that could be falsified (provided that they're actually false, of course). Some years back, they determined that if you could falsify non-determinism, this would by extension falsify free will, which brought it into the domain of science. Since this attempt to falsify non-determinism has failed, that would seemingly punt free will back into the domain of metaphysics.


Free will can neither be falsified nor demonstrated, for many many reasons.
 
2013-11-08 09:35:00 AM

doglover: Science is glacial in speed and rich people don't even treat earth shattering geniuses like Tesla as sentient beings if there's an extra nickle to be made from exploitation.

Scientists finally "discovering" animals think is decades late at the most pessimistic estimates.Most would say millenia




I'm a behavioral geneticist. We know animals think, in that they make decisions. The extent to which they think the way we think is unknown, perhaps unknowable. But this article is just a press release to make the authors famous for a day.
 
2013-11-08 09:41:43 AM

Clever Neologism: Free will can neither be falsified nor demonstrated, for many many reasons.


That depends. Like I said, during the last few years, scientists had hit upon a way that might have been able to falsify it: free will logically implies non-determinism, so if you falsify the second, you falsify the first. But that was pretty much our only lead, and it's gone now, so free will goes back into the domain of metaphysics.
 
2013-11-08 10:22:33 AM
Dude, like maybe all flies  aren't assholes. *inhale... ... ... exhale*
Like maybe some flies make the right choices and get to come back as honey badgers.

/pass
 
2013-11-08 10:36:57 AM

razyjean: SpdrJay: Good. I'll remember that when I'm spraying them with glass cleaner and watching then fall to the floor and slowly, slowly die....

Does that really work?  I seem to be having a bit of a fly problem lately and I don't really know how to get rid of them en masse.


Leave out small jars/glasses/whatevers each filled with a few inches of beer in it.  Flies are attracted to the smell but when they land, they're stupid and get stuck and eventually drown.  Replace the beer every week or so, you'll see it starts to get nasty.  Any beer will do, I always go with the cheapest I can find.
 
2013-11-08 11:03:25 AM
....Unless you're willing to be tethered to a pillar in a white room somewhere.

Not just somewhere - near the station. Needs black curtains too.

/someone had to do the Cream reference.
 
2013-11-08 11:14:38 AM
I guess the scientists have finally read their Asimov.
Issac Asimov - Flies
 
2013-11-08 12:40:29 PM
Must have great personalities...because they're not so hot.
 
2013-11-08 05:32:30 PM

WinoRhino: doglover: Scientists finally "discovering" animals think is decades late at the most pessimistic estimates.Most would say millenia

There was a story some time ago about how scientists learned that prairie dogs have a language. They can describe the type of predator, the color, etc. For example, "Tall thin human wearing blue shirt walking slowly across the colony." They can even talk to each other about other members of the prairie dog colony. To think that all animals are simply following instinct with no degree of sentient thought is a very silly notion.


Stupid scientists.

Why don't they just glance at the world and lock in their assumptions like you two?

Them brainiacs dont know nuthin.

Don't get me started on how all of psychology and sociology has learned nothing past the adages gramgram coulda told us!
 
2013-11-08 07:25:48 PM

Smackledorfer: Stupid scientists.

Why don't they just glance at the world and lock in their assumptions like you two?


Don't be a shiathead.
 
2013-11-08 11:30:33 PM

WinoRhino: Smackledorfer: Stupid scientists.

Why don't they just glance at the world and lock in their assumptions like you two?

Don't be a shiathead.


Take your own advice.

Reading popscience on the internet and using bad journalism to bash studies is the act of both a shiathead and a moran.
 
2013-11-09 01:46:07 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: Flypaper.


Tried that.  While it IS hilarious to watch my husband run around the house with it like a ribbon dancer (he has no patience sometimes), the adhesive ends up all over the place.  My desk lamp and the floor lamp in the living room both still have sticky spots on them even after repeated washings.

lennavan: Leave out small jars/glasses/whatevers each filled with a few inches of beer in it. Flies are attracted to the smell but when they land, they're stupid and get stuck and eventually drown. Replace the beer every week or so, you'll see it starts to get nasty. Any beer will do, I always go with the cheapest I can find.


Cool.  Worth a shot :)
 
2013-11-09 04:13:03 PM
Sources say they tried to the same experiment with humans, and the only thing they found out is that they preferred watching FOX...
 
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