12 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Prediction VS Forecast

The official position of the USGS is even more emphatic: earthquakes cannot be predicted. “Neither the USGS nor Caltech nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake,” the organization’s Web site asserts.24 “They do not know how, and they do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future.” Earthquakes cannot be predicted? This is a book about prediction, not a book that makes predictions, but I’m willing to stick my neck out: I predict that there will...
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One is a definitive statement, the other a probabilistic one.

01 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Sagan's Positive View of Advance Alien Civilizations

It is at this point that the ultimate significance of dolphins in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence emerges. It is not a question of whether we are emotionally prepared in the long run to confront a message from the stars. It is whether we can develop a sense that beings with quite different evolutionary histories, beings who may look far different from us, even "monstrous," may, nevertheless, be worthy of friendship and reverence, brotherhood and trust. We have far to go; while th...
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We need to understand animal minds as practice for understanding alien ones.