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BS: Logic and the laws of science

Joe Offer 04 Jun 16 - 01:25 AM
Joe Offer 04 Jun 16 - 01:40 AM
DMcG 04 Jun 16 - 09:02 AM
Ed T 04 Jun 16 - 09:02 AM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jun 16 - 09:14 AM
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Subject: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 01:25 AM

In a previous thread, I posted what i thought about logic, and I didn't get much of a response. Here's what I said:
    Thread #159973   Message #3792172
    Posted By: Joe Offer
    25-May-16 - 06:40 PM
    Thread Name: BS: Fall of Religion UK/Christians now a minority
    Subject: RE: BS: Fall of Religion UK/Christians now a minority

    OK, humo(u)r me while I think out loud about this "intelligent design" thing. I've always been a big fan of logic, and I'm convinced that everything in life follows logical rules. We may not yet understand those rules, but I believe there will come a day when we come to understand that the processes we do not understand, are actually quite logical. Things happen, and they have logical consequences.

    The world around us is not absurd. We do not live in Alice's Wonderland.

    So, I gather that the Intelligent Design folks think that because everything makes some sort of ultimate sense, that there must be One Smart Feller Up There, who designed it all intelligently, in a way that makes sense.

    But I don't think the Designer is external. I think the design is intrinsic. The Rules are descriptive, not prescriptive. Nobody made the Rules. The Rules simply describe the way things work. And that's where language fails me. I guess that all I can say, is that it works because it works. And if it didn't follow the process of logic, it wouldn't work; and therefore it would be absurd and would not exist.

    Or does absurdity exist, and is that what we call "chaos"?

    But there has to be a better way of saying this. My roommate and I did not get very good grades in College Logic; but I'm convinced that's because we were smarter than the teacher, and he didn't understand us. We actually studied the textbook, which taught a modern approach to logic that the teacher didn't like.

    -Joe-


Only one person, Stu, responded. Maybe I should take that as an indication that what I was saying was boring, but I thought I'd try again. Here's what Stu said (his comments on other topics deleted):
    Thread #159973   Message #3792307
    Posted By: Stu
    26-May-16 - 02:54 PM
    Thread Name: BS: Fall of Religion UK/Christians now a minority
    Subject: RE: BS: Fall of Religion UK/Christians now a minority


    "And if it didn't follow the process of logic, it wouldn't work; and therefore it would be absurd and would not exist."

    Logic is a human construct, a function of language and thought and cannot be applied to natural processes at all. Your designer eschews logic as it is not present in any natural system. Natural systems self-organise of course, but this is the result of physics and chemistry, not the guiding hand of a designer and perhaps this might look like it's adhering to logic, but it's not.

    Your thought process holds water though, as the idea that all natural processes in the universe are subject to laws contained in a huge set of rules drawn up by a omniscient, all-powerful supernatural being is not in the slightest bit logical, is utterly absurd and and of course neither the rules, or according to current evidence any gods, exist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 01:40 AM

Maybe I didn't understand Stu, or maybe he was assuming that because I said something about an Intelligent Designer, that I was trying to prove that a Designer existed.

I was just talking about logic. As I see it, logic is more-or-less a verbal form of mathematics, a systematic way of outlining cause and effect. If conditions for two events are the same, then the result should be the same.

Now, logic depends on premises. If people don't agree on the premises, then they won't agree on conclusions. People may follow the rules of logic absolutely; but if they posit the existence of a Prime Mover or Intelligent Designer, they will come to vastly different conclusions from those of people who do not accept those premises.

Nonetheless, logic is an essential tool for separating fact from opinion.

Now, it seems to me that science and nature don't have opinions, so the processes of science and nature should follow logic quite absolutely. And therefore, I would conclude that the laws of science and nature are strictly logical. Our views of science and nature may differ, but the realities of science and nature are completely logical.

Or am I wrong?

As for a Prime Mover or Intelligent Designer, I'll just leave that question open because I see it as a personal opinion that can be neither proved or disproved - so it's better left alone. I think we can all live quite well without having an answer to that question, and we'll get along better if we accept the fact that intelligent people have varying opinions on that question.

Back to logic - I suppose it's old-fashioned, superseded by the Law of the Internet: that he who is loudest, most dramatic, and most verbose - is right. I don't accept that law. I prefer logic.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 09:02 AM

Plenty to say on this one, but i am out and about so can't really. But i see logic as a aeriea of rules for manipulating symbols. It may happen to be useful for describing "the real world" but there is no necessity for either to follow the other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 09:02 AM

Logic+facts+chaos+uncertainity+conjecture+filling in the blanks.

"I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time." 
― Neil Gaiman


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 09:14 AM

Philosophers have tackled this for millennia. Looking at events in the natural world, how things change, you can find overviews of those opinions from author's like Donald Worster in his tome Nature's Economy, dealing with natural history over ~ the last 3-400 years and the view of how things change once one discards the "hand of god" as a factor. Pass over that with Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and you have an evolution of opinions, or paradigm shifts. None of them assign a role to an "unseen hand" of a deity. At least, none of them taken seriously by anyone else. From Selborne to String, it's all human observation and trying to figure out the story behind what we see.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 09:50 AM

We're drawn to see a pattern in everything - that's the way our brains work - and concepts like "logic" and "reason" and "rules" seem to be a logical outcome of that pattern-making tendency. But I think the world/nature around us demonstrates too much chaos and haphazardness for those concepts to hold ultimate sway. What we like to call the "Laws of Nature" may apply at the micro level but, at the macro level - galaxies, star systems - there's a deal of unknowingness.

I don't believe in Intelligent Design. To me, it's simply a back door method of persuading people that there is a supreme being who had some hand in our creation, and I think the theory was adequately and completely demolished by Richard Dawkins (in "The Blind Watchmaker").

I'm aware that some people on this forum have little or no time for Dawkins and his theories, believing him to be a fanatic. I happen to have met him and talked with him, and found him to be one of the sanest and most perceptive of people. And - irony of ironies - logical!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 09:57 AM

"There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns. 
If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself. 
What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. what we can't understand we call nonsense. What we can't read we call gibberish.
There is no free will. 
There are no variables." 
― Chuck Palahniuk


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 10:09 AM

Rather a gnomic set of statements!

How can we prove that chaos is "just patterns we haven't recognised" if there is no recognition to be made and all we can see is the chaos? It's a personal conjecture.

Still, who am I to get in to a fight with the author of "Fight Club!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 10:25 AM

Much of quantum physics defies logic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 10:35 AM

How can we prove that chaos is "just patterns we haven't recognised?

An interesting, if nit odd statement in itself.

How does anyone actually "prove" anything?

Well, much of what we understand today, was once not understood, and may have seen to be chaotic and without pattern.

Take, for example, weather. It likely seemed like chaos to ancient s, with no patterns. As our knowledge and understanding of weather increased, patterns emerged that were not chaotic at all. Scientists themselves now claim to see various patterns in much that science used to, and some still define as chaos.

BTW, one could have some interesting perspective for consideration, regardless of what he/she authored, or whether they play a french horn in their spare time;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 10:44 AM

Sounds like new think.

Patterns in near symmetry opposing other patterns with their own mirrored properties (that connect and hold things together) in an order that, while it obeys laws, is random.

Its like two sets of space in balance with two sets of matter create an order but allows for lots of new randomness.

One set of opposites has no randomness like a mirror offers no randomness, just a near perfect reflection.

So there is order but not in the way we used to think of it.


Now here is where my brain gets stuck...blown away...shocked.
When randomness becomes too impossible, space time like a fluid takes the path of least resistance and branches off. The conservation of energy law must be obeyed so the impossible space time main branch disappears and only the new branch exists.

or both branches exist...

or all branching multiverses in all new and ye to be dimensions of time include every possibility.


Side note: everyone of these ideas including life itself exists with and in the shape of the SPIRAL.

No matter the path it takes it is an intelligent design
but in and of itself it is not an intelligent designer.

Besides, existence takes at least two sets of two. If not it is just a reflection without the freedom of randomness.

So CHUCK, TAKE THAT AND SHOVE IT>

There are variables, randomness and free will.

The only place free will does not exist is in a linear dimension.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 10:46 AM

"Much of quantum physics defies logic."

Would it be more accurate to say, "defies what was once seen as logic, from a scientific perspective".

One result, is the boundaries of scientific logic in physics has since (seemed to have) moved with this increased knowledge, (though understanding is still rather incomplete). When this happens, quite often, humans fill in the blanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 10:58 AM

Like I used to tell my science collegues who attempted to explain science to the public, "there is an easy way to state everything to different audiences, why take the complex road?"

"Besides, existence takes at least two sets of two"

Ummm, maybe yes, maybe no, depending on the context.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 02:01 PM

What's the difference between logic and mathematics? To my mind, logic is mathematics expressed in words, and mathematics is logic expressed in numbers. Am I wrong?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 04:41 PM

Figures don't lie unless some guy fudges with a cosmological constant
or when liars figure.

Randomness is at the core of existence. At least that is what quantum theory perfectly suggests.

If we wanted to believe the logic of math, one of Einstein's equations regarding super gravity if carried out to the end,
ends with infinity + infinity for infinity - then we would accept this answer.

Math Science refuses to accept any answer that ends with infinity.

Math describes relationships and interactions that reliably obey certain rules we call laws but there are
small exceptions even in the nuclear
force.

Science is recognizing that the classical model is either wrong or missing some critical parts. There are field theories that are trying to take up the slack until the really invisible stuff can be verified.

Some people weild intelligent design like an ax.Not even science has the last word.

If there are ultimate answers they are part of the journey in time.

Enjoy the journey

I suspect there will be no ultimate answer or energy that is everlasting, instead there will be eternal change, even if that is not logical


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 04:44 PM

Logic is a series of inductive reasonings - not necessarily contained within numbers - that lead from A to B, C, D, etc. One break in the chain - a questionable reasoning - and you have a questionable conclusion.

With Mathematics, on the other hand, fixed rules dictate each step of a chain. The mathematics is either correct or incorrect, so the conclusion is either correct or incorrect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 05:05 PM

Joe
there is something I want to show you.

By whatever means you choose, do a study of what is called the double slit electron beam experiment. It is old and famous.

You will see with your own eyes how looking at something or even remotely measuring it - changes the entire experiment. It changes the randomness of beautiful multiple waves into just two plain lines.

That is called a wave collapse function.



So I was thinking;

We have spent trillions of dollars watching and measuring people, foreign and domestic.
I believe the resulting wave collapse reduces the randomness of behavior at a fundamental level.

Please reply if you understand the consequences of this real phenomena in the realm of surveillance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 05:19 PM

In sociology this is called the Hawthorn effect, which causes a reduction of randomness in a population.

The loss of this organic looking array of possibilities reduced down to just two possibilities looks like a bad thing to me.

Is it logical to think so?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 05:24 PM

Well, Donuel, I really tried to understand Wave Collapse Function this time and a few other times, but I have to admit that I got lost every time.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Paul Burke
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 06:42 PM

" if they posit the existence of a Prime Mover or Intelligent Designer, they will come to vastly different conclusions from those of people who do not accept those premises."

End of discussion, really. If.

Now start arguing why anyone should posit, or postulate (you can get cream for that) a Prime Mover, or even a prime mover.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 07:09 PM

OK I will look for an animated version that makes it as clear as a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

I was in 7th grade when I learned about the split beam experiment.
It is 200 years old.

Ah here it is

Lets do it with big balls of silicon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnUBaBdl0Aw


Now electron cartoons (not as good)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc

When we go to measure we are collapsing the wave because we can not know the position AND direction at the same time.

Collapsing the wave leaves us with a digital black or white result instead of an interference sum of all possibilities result.

When we measure people we are in a very small way collapsing multiple possibilities. at least I had that crazy idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 07:21 PM

A full documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBrsWPCp_rs


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 02:17 AM

Steer away from the Prime Mover and stick to logic, Paul. The absolutists on both sides have argued long enough about creation and convinced nobody.

So, let't talk about something else, like....logic and the laws of science. I'm not convinced that Quantum Mechanics defies logic. I think we just haven't learned enough to understand its logic. Traditionally, computers have worked strictly according to the laws of logic. But in the last two or three decades, concepts like "fuzzy logic" have emerged that claim to go beyond the laws of logic - or do they?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 02:38 AM

It is hardly difficult to understand why anyone can posit a prime mover. A simple matter of it according to our experience of life and logical processes of thought. For every effect there must be a sufficient cause. If you do not accept that reasoning, end of discussion really.    Now start arguing how anyone can postulate existence of a universe from nothing and no one.......that is, without redefining ...nothing... As krauss does.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 03:17 AM

On the questions of what the difference is between mathematics and logic, and whether quantum mechanics defies logic.

As usual, words like 'logic' mean different things to different people. Very frequently, people use it for a series of statements that 'seem to make sense', but really this is what used to be called rhetoric, before that term was abused out of all meaning. When people doubt whether quantum mechanics is logical, they really mean they can't see how it makes sense. But this is nothing to with logic. In actuality, quantum mechanics is absolutely logical: from the starting observations like the two slit experiment and applying nothing but formal logic encapsulated in the mathematics, you end up at quantum mechanics. Nothing to do with 'it making sense', I'm afraid.

The question of the relationship between mathematics and logic is an interesting one. To begin with, there is 'predicate logic', which is basically the same as the syllogisms of Socrates in an algebraic form. So taking something like:

All men are mortal
Socrates is a man
Therefore Socrates is mortal

this can clearly be generalised to:

For all X and Y,
All X are Y
x is a X
Therefore x is Y

Add more symbols, like an upside-down A to mean 'for all', and a back-to-front E for 'there exists' you can turn this into a pure piece of algebra.

In this sense, then logic is just one more branch of mathematics to set alongside geometry, topology, group theory and all the rest. Logic in this form is nothing to do with truth, it is all about pattern replacement. Common to all of these branches is a single key concept:   Given a sequence of symbols containing a particular pattern, it can be replaced by a new sequence containing a transformed pattern.

For example given the sequence

A > B > C   (using the conventional meaning of > to be be 'greater than') this can be replaced by the pattern A > C

So one way of looking at mathematics is as a pattern replacement system. There are a large number of such replacement rules, and as a child we are taught that, for example, we can replace the pattern 2 + 2 by the simpler pattern 4, but there is no real concept of truth when you think of mathematics like this. Instead, there is a concept of consistency. The set of rules are consistent if, when properly applying them, they always end up with the same ultimate pattern. For example, in "ordinary arithmetic" if we applied the 2 + 2 pattern along with others to the sequence 2 + 2 + 2 we should end up with 6 whether we began be replacing the first 2 + 2 instance or the second.

So mathematics, and in particular predicate logic, can be thought of as pattern replacement rules. ("Real mathematics", i.e. what people employed as mathematicians do, is not this: it is the development of the patterns in the first place)

All of this is the branch of mathematics that I love and work with, known as 'pure mathematics'. Whether or not it has any relationship with 'the world' is irrelevant: it is what it is. "Applied mathematics" is essentially when you notice (or create) a mathematical model that is arelationship between mathematics and the observed world and make the assumption that given a good enough mathematical model, what the model predicts is what will be seen in the world. Fundamentally, that is flawed, even though all science depends upon it. You can never really be certain the model is good enough, which is why it is absolutely essential scientists are prepared to abandon or modify their theories (= their mathematical models) whenever a new observation is made that doesn't fit. The old model is still as mathematically valid as it ever was, it simply not longer adequately models the world.

Back to quantum mechanics. A mathematical model has been built that very accurately describes and can predict what happens in the real world. It has been built using the pattern-replacement rules of logic and mathematics. It is 'logical'. But it does not correspond to 'common sense'. Why should it: that was never the goal!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 03:56 AM

I had not yet nailed the right meaning of those car badges that depict a Christian fish, with legs and the word Darwin in the middle. I take it to be proclaiming Christian beliefs with Darwinian flavour Wiki say this too. ie not intelligent design.

The logic that applies to "intelligent design" is quite simple. You believe and it becomes de facto.

Evidence based science say "do the tests" then we accept your theory. But if better tests become available we shift emphasis".

Beliefs in science usually result in red faces. Theories are not facts, they are open to disproving - but ya dun gotta have some good facts to support your tenet.

Science "accepts" - religion "believes". Now prove me wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 04:09 AM

I think that science observes, and then builds rational conclusions based on those observations. Some religions substitute beliefs or extrapolation or the teachings of a sage, instead of scientific observation.
I see value in the beliefs and teachings and extrapolations in the realm of spirituality and discussion of the meanings of things, but not when they are applied to the field of science.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 07:33 AM

There is a huge difference between 'belief' and 'unquestioning belief' and i don't there is a place for unquestioning belief in either science or religion. And it is not just about whether you have new evidence or not: you can come up with a better scientific theory by examining the evidence you have; new evidence is not always an essential. And the same is true of history and art, for example


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 08:33 AM

Joe - I understood how you were using the example of an intelligent designer, and was just continuing to use your example, not me discussing your personal beliefs.


"Now, logic depends on premises."

From false premises, anything follows (someone here on the Cat said that, I can't remember who but I printed it and stuck it on my computer monitor). This is why starting an argument from a position of ignorance is a bad idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Tunesmith
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 08:35 AM

It's impossible for the average person to use his logic to explain so much that happens in our Universe.
Is it logically that the Sun has been burning continuously for billions of years?
Of course not!
Is it logically that the Earth is a sphere?
Don't be daft! Surely, anything on the underside of the sphere would fall off.
Is it logical that an earthquake in Indonesia could result in huge waves killing people over a thousand mile away.
That's crazy talk!

No, using our so called logic brings us up short in so many areas of science.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: mkebenn
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 09:09 AM

OOOOHHH,my head hurts.
i've never accepted intelligent design, as it requires a designer. Now, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer,but it seem to me:
A light colored bear will have a better chance of surviving on a snow pack and therefore reproducing than a darker colored bear. The lighter the cubs are, the better their odds, until you end up with white bears. Intelligent? Designed? I don't believe so, but logical as all hell. As far as quantum theory, I believe we are still in the infancy of our understanding, and what was sifi a generation ago is everyday knowledge now. Just 'cause we don't know it don't mean it aint so. Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 11:51 AM

Intelligent design = Hot Tub Time Machine II

Hot Tub Time Machine II = Branching universe


Ergo

There is a fundamentally wrong premise behind both.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 02:09 PM

For lack of a better term I accept 'logic' to define something I have noted for more than 30 years: When one expects an outcome, an event, it happens. I have seen it demonstrated in my own life many times. Repeatedly. I tend to describe it as "getting into the stream'. I don't think it has anything at all to do with religion or with one's own quality of being or lifestyle- I think it happens to everyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 06:04 PM

Mkebenn, you seem to have given the game away with your post. Ie, you don't accept intelligent design , because it implies a designer. Then you seem to confuse design with natural selection in your bears example.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 06:37 PM

Ebbie some would say the stream is an imaginary magical place.

I don't.

We have invented many words for this projected mode of consciousness.

I usually call it in the wind, its drier than a stream.

Physics is now calling it a field.

Perhaps one day the field will be accredited with some kind of empirical evidence that won't make folks sound so crazy.

Naval intelligence spent the better part of 50 million on it.

Of course they spent more on toilets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Jun 16 - 10:40 PM

As Heraclitus is supposed to have said, "You can't step into the same stream twice."

Logic is a frail reed, but it's better than nothing until it breaks. Cause and effect can be read as the effect being the cause. But I leave it to y'all to figure all that out -- I just know what I've experienced, and I don't have a problem with quantum physics OR much of anything else. As Buber wrote in "Daniel" (I paraphrase) "I can accept the whirlpool without reasoning out of existence."


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 06 Jun 16 - 05:00 AM

Er, not that I'm saying you were Joe, so apologies for my terrible phrasing when it comes to typing!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: mkebenn
Date: 06 Jun 16 - 08:05 AM

Pet from seven stars link. I'm not sure I understand. Perhaps I don't know what is meant by "intelligent design". I don't think there is a fate or destiny for our existence, that there is a path this world is headed. I always thought that change is wrought by natural selection and natural forces, be it animal, plant or geographic change. Water and ice change landscapes, climate change effects water levels. i don't see where these beliefs are consistent with a design, intelligent or otherwise. Ebbie, believe it or not, I've always, at least since '77 thought of that as the force, normally not out load. Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Jun 16 - 11:19 AM

I have been at a festival and missed this. I'll try to add more later, but for now I'll just say:

Logic and its rules are NOT subjective inventions. They are inductive rules extracted from our awareness of our own experience. Formulations of them vary according to individual & language, but they are similar to rules of mathematics, in that they are above reference to content...... they are used to describe and manipulate content. We use math to measure, describe and understand the universe, and we use formal & informal logic to describe and understand our own processes of reasoning. No amount of logic can give us 'truth', but it can tell us if our reasoning processes have contradictions. It is 'possible' to reach *true* conclusions using bad logic, but this does not verify or justify bad logic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jun 16 - 09:34 PM

That's what I'm looking for, Bill. Keep going.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Jun 16 - 07:51 AM

"Behold the great Boeing 747-800 almost a million pounds with miles of wired sensors and engines that can push the airliner halfway around the world. Sleek elegant design that only an intelligent designer could build. If a fierce tornado passed through warehouses and junk yards swirling with intense randomness you would never produce a 747 assembled and ready to fly. Never would the miles of wound wire and turbine blades coalesce on their own.
It would take a creator, it would take a miracle".

This is Hoyle's fallacy,
also known as the Junkyard tornado, describes a hypothetical tornado that passes through a hypothetical junkyard resulting in chaos. Proponents of Intelligent Design erroneously assume that because the ensuing chaos does not produce some sort of complex, man-made device (for example, a Boeing 747), that various processes of evolution, abiogenesis or other origins theory are equally unlikely.
The "Tornado in a Junkyard" analogy is an example of an argument by false analogy, a logical fallacy. It is also an example of denying the antecedent: when confronted with the claim that adding energy to a system can give rise to complexity, creationists simply present an example of a situation where adding energy to a system does not give rise to complexity.

In other words the 747 did evolve over billions of years first in matter and the elements then in conditions on an obscure planet where life forms learn the art of flight and the another species learns how to mimic that flight mechanically. The 747 is then created by engineers, workers and programed machines.
It was created given the fullness of time, not in the instant violence of a tornado.

Yep no doubt about it, it was created.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Jun 16 - 08:06 AM

Joe, It seems to me you might be trying to assemble a logical theory for intelligent design where others have failed. Other people's motivation is behind the veil of a willingness to share but that is where I think you are going.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Jun 16 - 08:23 AM

I have trouble organizing a two car parade but you Joe, who knows, you may succeed. If you think godthink/Gaia is intrinsically inside matter and space I would concentrate on the relationship between the harmonies and opposing intervals as in chordal music.

Living music from the original song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Rapparee
Date: 07 Jun 16 - 11:24 AM

Logic itself postulates nothing. It is simply reasoning which allows you to come to correct conclusions (assuming you keep it within the rules).

People do the postulating and then apply the rules as they are aware of them. Thus,

1.X = Y
2.Y = Z
3.X = Z

is just as valid as

1.X = Y
2.Y ≠ Z
3.X ≠ Z

The problems arise when the syllogisms must express conditionals:

1. All X = Y
2. Some Y = Z
3. Therefore some X = Z

But unspoken is "but not all X = Z" and when we attempt to ignore that we get into trouble. Check out https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/659/03/ for a list of common logical fallacies


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Jun 16 - 12:51 PM

flawed social logic;

guns don't kill people, people do and in the case of rape, men don't rape women, alcohol does.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Janie
Date: 07 Jun 16 - 03:38 PM

Uhmmm - Not sure why Donuel and a couple of others keep thinking Joe is making an argument for Intelligent Design. I thought his OP was pretty clear. I addition, in a later post he stated clearly he is not weighing in on that debate.

Like you, Joe, I'm eager to read more of what Bill D. may contribute. I've stayed out of this thread hoping Bill would offer his knowledge and perspective. I don't know enough to contribute but have been reading and hope Bill returns.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 07 Jun 16 - 04:11 PM

Ok donuel, if I follow your argument......hoyles analogy is invalid, and that the 747 only appears after the eons of evolution. I would argue that the analogy is even stronger now, than it was then. Since then, the cell and the DNA code is known to be far more complex than perhaps any engineering marvel. The difference is , is that evolutionism thinks that time , given enough millennia will be its saviour. Perhaps they think that given enough time , tornadoes or whatever would produce a 747, or something equally or more so designed. Or to use Dawkins words ...having the appearance of being designed !


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Jun 16 - 08:01 PM

The god made tornado 747 is even more ambitious than the claim that man domesticated Jurassic dinosaurs 6000 years ago. Saddles and all. Ya Hooo

I found the Hoyles fallacy in Wiki referring to this tornado plane story.

Human DNA is not that complex except for the historic hidden codes and the protein making instructions. Some worms have more chromosomes than humans.

Joe admits creationism is divisive but I only offered my speculation as to possible personal motivation. Hey Joe, say it ain't so.
BTW if there is a Gaia it made man to make technology to protect Earth from asteroids, otherwise the risk benefit by humans is not worth it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Jun 16 - 10:44 PM

It's been a looong few days..... I'll try to add some things, but I hate doing the Reader's Digest version of important concepts.

If I tell you that 'water runs downhill' and that 'gardens need water'... and then say, 'therefore, you can't grow a garden at the top of a hill', almost everyone would jump in and say, "but you're missing something, because there are other ways to get water on a garden".

   I could invent a dozen of that sort of silly (read-invalid) arguments that are obviously wrong. I could say, 'Turnips smell like roses' and 'magnesium is heavier than lead', therefore Trump should be elected president.... and (almost) everyone would say," but those assertions are not only wrong. but they have nothing to do with the political situation!".........Yet, people make less obvious, but still just as fallacious, arguments everyday.... (and some who want Trump elected 'might' even say "right on!") Now if I ask "WHY are those things bad logic?", most people would could give generally similar reasons, but phrased very differently and not...ummm.. 'tight'..... but logicians & philosophers have worked out the specific things that define valid arguments. They do this partly by **induction**.... meaning that they look at obviously good arguments and obviously bad arguments and 'extract' the common elements of each. Then they work to state those rules as clearly & unambiguously as possible.
It might help to read about New Eleusis, a card game based on one player choosing a set of rules, and the others trying to figure them out from trying various plays and being told whether the plays are legal or not, based on the secret rule. (simple example...'a red face card must always be followed by a black non-face card.')
   I have played the game, and it ain't easy to invent a rule that is fair, not too easy, and not too hard. Some people take to the game, and some hate it!

   As Rap showed above, there are fairly formal ways, similar to mathematics, to show whether simple ABC syllogisms are valid or not, even when the 'truth' of the conclusion in debated..("well, I may not have used the right proof, but I KNOW the answer is correct")

There are also a lot of rules (the exact number varies) that deal with mistakes in just everyday human attempts to explain, defend or attack some idea or conclusion. These are harder to pin down than the rules of formal logic, and are called informal fallacies. and that page has about the longest list of them I have seen. Now, even when you study and analyze them for years, it can still be hard to take someone's 'bothersome' assertion and extract the specific error...or combination of errors... involved. It is not that the rules are flawed, but that the assertions are not usually 'formal'... they are expressions in ordinary language, expressed in arbitrary ways, often using 'loaded' words that people don't always agree about the exact definition.... (and this is one of the most common fallacies..equivocation... using a word differently than its usually accepted way.)

Read some of the example on the page noted above.... some are obvious.. some are not... and the very expression OF the specific fallacy can be hard to get agreement about...However... they do describe classic ways people commonly twist 'common sense' in trying to make some point. The rules are correct, even if it is hard to figure out when and in what ways any specific rule is being broken.
...Now I don't dare re-read this, as I will find problems with my own explanations.... and it needs pages of examples for clarification. A good exercise is to take political speeches... or children's excuses when they get in trouble... and try to figure out which FORMAL and/or INFORMAL rules are being broken. None of this automatically leads you to **truth**, but it can sure point out when two or more **versions** of truth cannot possibly be correct, and when any ONE version is improperly stated and/or defended.

*gasp*... that's my stream of consciousness for tonight...


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 12:54 AM

'Tain't so, Donuel. I'm saying that there is an intrinsic logic in the way the universe works. If I were proposing a theory of intelligent design, then I would say that some outside force made things in such a fashion that they work; or that the force made up the rules that things have to follow.

A round wheel rolls, and can perform many functions because of that property. A square wheel won't do the job. I can use logic and extrapolate from that function of rolling, and invent many things. And if I have an understanding of other functions and properties, I can combine those functions in a logical fashion and invent even more.

Trial-and-error is another method of invention, but it is usually far less efficient than logic.

And for almost every process that exists, we can usually eventually come up with a logical understanding of that process - and there is usually a logical interrelation between processes. The more we study, the more we find that things are interrelated.

The same goes for just about everything - everything seems to have a logic to it. The more I learn about the periodic table, the more sense it makes to me. Same with music, and the same with the development of language. In the end, it seems that it all makes sense.

So, what is the logic of a chord? Why does a major chord affect me the way it does, and why does a minor chord affect me differently? Why is it that I can tell when a note doesn't fit into a chord?

I do have a subversive reason for asking this question, Donuel. It has to do with a homeless shelter. I'm part of a group that worked very hard to transform a vacant county jail into a homeless shelter, and we're encountering a lot of opposition from people who live in the general area. They make all sorts of claims about the shelter endangering their lives and their children's lives. To them, it seems that the shelter is a cause of homelessness or at least a magnet that draws homeless people to our community. To me, that just doesn't seem logical - but I have to develop logical but diplomatic arguments to refute them. And in this Age of Trump / Age of the Internet, logic seems to be forgotten.

I figure I gotta hone my skills.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 04:17 AM

"So, what is the logic of a chord?"

A chord has no intrinsic logic of it's own, it is mathematics and physics. As to why we experience chords the way we do, I'm not sure we can use logic to answer that question.

Logic is not like mathematics, physics or chemistry. These have universal constants that would be recognised by an alien species very different to ours (for instance H2O will be exactly the same on their plant as it is here). If these aliens were at the same technological level as us then they would have developed their own system of logic but this could be very different from human logic; we could share some of our rules of logic, but their system would be very, very different.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 04:18 AM

To follow that segue for a moment, Joe O, here in Juneau we recently built a temporary 'haven' house for female felons that are returning to society. There is a housemother, and lots of rules and follow up but some neighbors in the vicinity were vociferous in their objections, i.e. it is too close to a school, it will affect property values, our neighborhood will no longer be safe and it was such a nice neighborhood, there will be unsavory visitors, etc, etc.

But the petition/permit passed and women moved in; so far there have been no difficulties reported.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: mkebenn
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 07:58 AM

Joe: I see nothing subversive in your plan at all, and logic is inapplicable to closed or bigoted minds. Best of luck in your endeavor. As one of my patron saints once wrote" There but for fortune go you or I." Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 09:34 AM

Joe: To me it looks like you need some solid facts to back up your case. Perhaps look at crime figures within the vicinity of homeless areas and see if there is a correlation between the frequency of offences. Now correlation does not imply causation, but if this happens across the country it could be an indication that these shelters do not affect crime in any way, and the residents fears are baseless.

Do the local coppers have anything to say on the subject?

Can you appeal to the compassion of the locals? Point out a community needs to look after it's most vulnerable?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 10:35 AM

Joe... you need to hone in on the exact claims made in opposition to the shelter. When someone makes an assertion like.."...the shelter is a cause of homelessness or at least a magnet that draws homeless people to our community. ". you need to ask them the basis for their concern and draw out the evidence... if any... they might have.
   One counter is: "There are already homeless people here. A shelter not only gets them away from street corners & doorways, improving the 'look' of the community, but it also make it easier for social service workers to find and interact with the homeless in order to help them escape poverty. In a shelter, they can feel safer and 'clean up' and have a base to look for work...etc."

Now, as already noted, some people simply, flatly do not want to deal with the problem... "NIMBY"! (Not in MY backyard) In such cases, all the logic in the world is useless, so logic must be directed toward those who have authority and/or community respect. I don't know whether the use of the old jail is supported by anyone who has authority over it, or whether some sort of 'vote' by the community would be involved, but you might try to find other communities where similar ventures have proved feasible and get some positive testimonials.


And yes....you example in your reply to Donuel make perfect sense.... the 'logic' of science is built in. Everything above the sub-atomic level happens according to rules... not arbitrary rules assigned by some outside force, but simply automatic processes which, when looked at closely, cannot be otherwise. When certain combinations of elements in certain proportions 'happen', stars are born and all sorts of stuff just happens. 'Life' itself MUST happen given certain conditions. Those wish to believe that some 'metaphysical creative force' kick-started the universe cannot be proven wrong--- or right-- but once something went "big bang", 'it' contained all the rules it ever needed to develop and produce US to scratch our heads and debate it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 10:40 AM

from this mornings news... Homeless shelters struggle with loss of federal funding


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 11:18 AM

About the only argument that is probably true , is that the value of property will go down , which in fairness is a concern if you need tt move. But it happens in lots of places. Near us a former old peoples home is housing immigrants, and locals felt threatened, for no good reason , so far at least.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 05:23 PM

Domesticating dinosaur is not a claim I have made , donuel, though I am in agreement with the biblical timescale , and that dinosaur and man co existed.       And I don't know if I am missing something in your comment that human (just human ?!) DNA is not that complex apart from (!) the historic hidden codes and protein making instructions, as somewhat weird. I don't know if that is your view or just quoting wiki out of interest.   Either way, it would seem analogous to saying a computer is not that complex , apart fom the information coding on the software!.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 05:43 PM

Bill, bit of a stretch from one sentence about stars forming ,to then " life MUsT happen " !   That is something you believe,   Of course, those too, who believe some nothing big banged to "kick started the universe cannot be proven wrong" even though it is contrary to experimental, testable science.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Janie
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 10:05 PM

Does this thread really have to turn into another debate about religion?

No. It doesn't have to. But it sure can.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 10:29 PM

Pete & Janie.... for different reasons

I was carefully avoiding a religious point and trying to comment on the inevitability of certain processes once the universe does exist. Joe Offer asked about how we come to understand logic, and I tried to show how it is related to our exploration of the basic laws of physics & cosmology.

There can be religious debates about all this, but I will not get into them here.


Pete... now that you are a member, you may PM me directly and we can discuss quietly some things that I formerly had to say publicly. Please use a PM to tell me your opinion of this idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 11:23 PM

Stu says: Logic is not like mathematics, physics or chemistry. These have universal constants that would be recognised by an alien species very different to ours (for instance H2O will be exactly the same on their plant as it is here). If these aliens were at the same technological level as us then they would have developed their own system of logic but this could be very different from human logic; we could share some of our rules of logic, but their system would be very, very different.

I don't think you're right on that, Stu. As far as I can see, the processes of logic should be universal. When one manipulates similar factors in similar ways and in similar conditions, they should have similar outcomes. Isn't that logical?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jun 16 - 11:28 PM

Pete, this is thread that you don't belong on. You drank the Koolaid, you're not joining the conversation, you're trying to change it to your worldview. Consider this a polite warning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 12:32 AM

As for logic and the Homeless Shelter - We opened the shelter a little less than a year ago, with a capacity of 49 and permission to operate from 5 PM to 7 AM. Later, we got approval to operate a 24-hour shelter for the 49 people, and to operate an "overflow" area with space for sleeping on the floor for 50 people. Not much later, we started using the overflow area as an entry for our 24-hour program, which now includes addiction and mental health treatment, and job training. We have 15 people ready to be moved to permanent housing, but there is no vacant low-income housing available in our area.

There are a lot of homeless people visible in our area, but I think that's because the sheriff has been closing down the hidden encampments in the area - bringing homeless people into more visible areas. The "overflow" area of the shelter almost always has 5-10 spaces open. Logic tells me, then, that the claim that the shelter is a "magnet" that draws homeless people, is invalid. If that is the case, why isn't our "overflow" area overflowing?

I think that for the most part, demagogues bypass logic, and use deceptive tricks to make people believe them. Logic is an important tool for fighting demagoguery. It's a tool we all need to learn to use.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 02:47 AM

I also think logic is universal, Stu and Joe. Rhetoric isn't, but logic is. To give an example "Buy British to protect British jobs" is expressed as if it is logical, but it is one of the many invalid structures that Bill referred to. It might happen to be true, or it might protect some British jobs at the cost of losing more jobs in the import and transport sector, or it might be wholly false. What it definitely is is a statement intended to persuade you to behave in a certain way.   Almost all the arguments Joe will hear about the shelter will be like this.

Moving onto our aliens: Let's repeat the most famous syllogism:

All men are mortal
Socrates is a man
Therefore Socrates is mortal.

What does it need to enable the aliens have this? Five things, in my book. They need the concept of attribute (mortal, red, noisy, gloopy, ...) They need the concept of discrete group or set (men, whales, planets, stars, ...). They need the concept of individual things (Socrates, 'I', that specific tree ..). They need the concept that individuals have attributes. And they need to agree that the group can be considered to have an attribute if the members have that attribute.

I can imagine aliens with no concept of self, or at least no distinction between the self and the rest of the species. But one of the requirements of life is food, and so any intelligent life will at least distinguish between 'food' and 'not-food'. So I am convinced anything that has those concepts will have analogues of syllogisms, and also that these concepts are themselves universal.

Rhetoric, on the other hand, is a different matter. That depends on what seems 'good' to our aliens, which involves ethics, aesthetics and so much else, which there is no reason to think will be remotely similar to ours - after all, were rarely agree with each other about them ourselves!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 03:45 AM

Well, I'm going to have to read up more on logic; fascinating conversation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 09:54 AM

I taught informal logic to freshmen for many years.

The most frequent negative evaluation was that the class was "too negative."

That was because in order to avoid fallacious reasoning, you have to be warned over and over against identifiable fallacies, with lots of awful examples to analyze.

The syllogisms (methods) for valid and sound arguments are, by contrast, very very few.

I think the students who thought the course was "too negative" were mainly disturbed by how vigilant they'd have to be in life not to be taken in - and how easy it is to fool people, even inadvertently.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 10:12 AM

> If these aliens were at the same technological level as us then they would have developed their own system of logic but this could be very different from human logic.

This statement makes grammatical sense, but I'm not sure that it makes real sense. (But perhaps since "real sense is by definition "logical," maybe it doesn't have to.)

I think the problem is with the use of the phrase "system of logic." Perhaps you mean "system of thinking." If so, we don't have to go to outer space to find it. Just look at human superstitions.

It's very hard for me to imagine an alien "civilization" as "advanced" as ours whose *scientific* accomplishments are not based on the same logic, even if their everyday lives are built on the opposite of logic, which is superstition, error, magic, etc.

Logic and math appear to be part of the fabric of the universe but are only perceptible by human (or higher) intelligence. For example, one cannot persuasively claim that 2 and 2 did not equal 4 (in other than quantum terms, perhaps) in the Jurassic period, or immediately after the Big Bang even if there was no one there to perceive it.

Of course, one can *claim* that mathematical rules/laws/phenomena did not exist, but it is hard to conceive of what the evidence could be - especially since it would have to run counter (I think) to everything else we understand. And the possibility that "everything else" is wrong is remote indeed.

As they say, "anything is possible." But some things appear to be so close to impossible by any rationally coherent standard that they can be rejected as quite untrue - until communicable evidence tells us otherwise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 11:09 AM

Bill, as you know, I never bring the subject up, but when it is bought up, I shall probably comment on it. Acme, what is the nature of your warning ? Are you the mudcat police ? And if I do comment , it is up to you whether you or anyone will want to reply........    And when the subject is raised , and a comment appears to be a breakdown of logical reason , I am all the more entitled to comment, as it also touches on the main topic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 11:41 AM

Lighter - I've always thought of logic as a human construct, a tool for understanding and interpreting data rather than a 'law' of nature (so to speak). Are you saying that all the rules of logic are in fact universal and not the product of human consciousness?

Can logic be quantified?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 12:55 PM

"Construct" implies to me something more or less arbitrary, that could just as easily be something else.

Languages, for example, are clearly "constructs," since no word or syntactical form has a direct relationship to reality. (If it did, there'd be just one universal language.)

I see no reason then to believe that human logic ("reason")is only a "construct," because its connection to reality seems to be clearly and irrefutably confirmed everywhere all the time. Unreason, magic, superstition, etc., can be shown, however, to be completely unreliable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 01:01 PM

I should add that when logical reasoning is applied, it works equally well across all cultures. Surely that suggests universality.

Also the "logic" of the universe (rather than its discovery and application by humans) seems undeniable, even if part of it is that some subatomic phenomena are absolutely random (that is, unpredictable).


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 01:21 PM

Pete... please read Joe's opening comments carefully. He mentioned Intelligent Design, not to debate it, but as an illustration of how we use logic to make our discussions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 02:31 PM

Stu says: I've always thought of logic as a human construct, a tool for understanding and interpreting data rather than a 'law' of nature (so to speak). Are you saying that all the rules of logic are in fact universal and not the product of human consciousness?

I would say that the laws of nature are discovered primarily by empirical reasoning - observation of multiple instances under various conditions, leading to a conclusion. Once a law has been determined, one uses logic to draw further conclusions and make practical applications of the laws. Logic starts with a premise, and then builds upon that premise on a systematic process. For that process to be valid, it must follow the rules of logic.

As Lighter says, valid arguments are very few; but the list of logical fallacies is long (and rather exciting). Alas, politicians seem to prefer the latter....



-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Tunesmith
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 04:25 PM

Ah, but "empirical logic" determined that the Earth was flat.

Also, empirical logic would certainly conclude that "waves" created by tsunamis couldn't possible travel thousands of miles without losing power.

Until relatively recently, the devastation to coastal areas caused by tsunamis would never had been attributed to an event thousands of miles away because that is not logical.

No, science - not "empirical logic" came up with how the power of a tsunami works.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 04:29 PM

Logic is being discussed as if it is a singularity. There are different logics, for different purposes, in some versions the law of the excluded middle operates, in others the law of the included middle. The laws of identity are different in dialectics, and ancient chinese logic,. 'Fuzzy logic' which allows smart machines to function has a different set of rules again. Bart Kosko has written a clear account of Fuzzy Logig, well worth a read


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 04:30 PM

Since you mention it, there is no evidence I am aware of that anyone ever thought the world was flat. In fact, the Greeks had a very accurate estimate of of the diameter of the earth. And "empirical evidence" at the coast made it quite evident to sailors from the earliest times that the world is not flat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 04:36 PM

Eratosthenes


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 07:28 PM

"Fuzzy logic" was developed only through the application of classical methods of deduction.

It supplements classical logic, but - and this is absolutely key - it does not discredit or replace it. It is an extension of classical logic for use in certain contexts.

At least that's my understanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 11:29 PM

Logic differentiates, for one thing, in the number of values it permits in assessing an idea.

Monotheism admits of a single value: "God's will".

Dual-valued logic such as Manichean values allow two: good/bad, true/false.

Binary systems engineering includes three: true/false/don't care (or "maybe")

The logic of living beings is infinitely valued, seeing that one proposition can be a little more "good" or a little more "true" depending on the context and its variables. It treats all truth scales as infinite graduations.

Of these, the latter is the only one suited for dealing with real life. The others require synthetic environments of one sort or another to work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jun 16 - 11:44 PM

I think I'd be careful about using the term "empirical logic," Tunesmith. "Empirical reasoning" is the more common term (conclusions based on observation and collection of data), as opposed to "deductive reasoning," which is based more directly on classical logic. The Scientific Method is empirical reasoning, and it has a high level of validity. And yes, it IS wrong sometimes.

Tunesmith started a parallel thread about logic and religion, but I closed the thread because we generally don't allow the confusion of two threads on the same subject running at the same time. Nonetheless, it is a valid question and should be included here:
    The Mudcat Café TM
    http://mud.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=160058
    4 messages

    BS: Logic and the Laws of Religion


    09 Jun 16 - 03:18 PM (#3794630)
    Subject: BS: Logic and the Laws of Religion
    From: Tunesmith

    Can logic be applied to religion.

    For example, to be a Muslim, one must believe in the words of one person: Muhammad

    Words - the truth of which - can not be verified be any other human being.

    Surely, there is not a trace of logic in such beliefs.


    09 Jun 16 - 03:51 PM (#3794634)
    Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the Laws of Religion
    From: DMcG

    I will continue to put my comments on logic on other threads; this seems deliberately prevocative to me. But since you ask, yes, there is logic in all the major religions.


    09 Jun 16 - 03:54 PM (#3794635)
    Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the Laws of Religion
    From: Joe Offer

    Certainly, logic can be applied to religion. Religions are based on premises, and one can easily build logical arguments based on those premises. And while the logic may be valid, the premises may or may not be valid.

    I generally think that "answer" or "copycat" threads like this one, which follow a currently-running thread, are not a good idea.

    I usually try to stay out of moderation decisions in the non-music section, but the reasons for closing this one are clear-cut. Thread closed.

    -Joe-


    09 Jun 16 - 03:56 PM (#3794636)
    Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the Laws of Religion
    From: Tunesmith

    Oh dear.



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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 12:47 AM

So, Tunesmith, in answer to your question about whether logic can be applied to religion, the answer is an unequivocal "yes."

But I think a lot of people have a distorted view of logic. A computer operates with a form of logic called "binary logic." At its base, binary logic allows only two responses to every question, "yes" or "no." To deal with complicated stuff, it has to boil the problem down to umpteen bajillion "yes or no" questions. 64-bit computing allows for greater complexity in each calculation, but it still boils down to "yes or no" questions. There are explorations into far more complex versions of computer logic, but these are still in the beginning stages.

The output of a computer is dependent upon the quality of the data that is put into it. Thus the acronym "GIGO" (garbage in: garbage out). If you put faulty data into a computer or into a logical argument, don't blame the logic.

The questions of religion are in the realm of those "premises" that are stated before the logical processes begin. To my mind, it is foolhardy for people to try to prove or disprove religious premises.

Look at the initial statement from Tunesmith:
    For example, to be a Muslim, one must believe in the words of one person: Muhammad
    Words - the truth of which - can not be verified be any other human being.
    Surely, there is not a trace of logic in such beliefs.


At its face, the statement is correct. But on the other hand, the statement actually says nothing. The words of the Prophet are the premise, and the logic follows thereafter. Same applies to all religions - the words of the "sage" (Mohammed, Jesus, Moses, Confucius, Buddha) are the "given," to be accepted by believers. The logic follows thereafter.

But there's another problem with Tunesmith's statement on Islam - Tunesmith defines Islam in Western European terms. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are Middle Eastern religions at their base, so they should be understood in Middle Eastern terms. Middle Eastern thinking is not so concerned with doctrine, and right and wrong, and correct and incorrect. Middle Eastern thought focuses far more on relationships, on family and tribe and community. Thus, the basic concept of most Middle Eastern religions is this: Love God (whoever God is), and do unto others as you would have them do unto you - it's about relationships, not doctrine. What is the "doctrine" of Islam or Judaism? I submit that these two religions really have no doctrine. Furthermore, it seems to me that "doctrine" is something that was imposed on Christianity by Western Europe, and Eastern Christianity is far closer to its roots because it does not focus so strongly on doctrine. So all this foolishness about proving and disproving "beliefs," may be missing the point completely.

But I'm really trying to avoid letting this discussion morph into yet another heated battle about religion. Leading to that, here's a piece called "The Logic of Quantum Mechanics:There's a lot to consider there.

And then there's another matter - in seminary (sorry), we were taught the rudiments of counseling through the principles of Cognitive Therapy, which is based on a theory that says that many psychological issues may be based on.....logical fallacies. I think there's something worthwhile to consider there, even if I DID learn it in such a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad place...

-Joe-

Also consider these: and


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 06:45 AM

"even if I DID learn it in such a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad place..."

In the case of CT, that's where many of us learnt it. Remarkable tool though, still use it everyday and I was lucky to have a brilliant teacher.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Tunesmith
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 08:05 AM

Well, I would maintain that there are two basic types of logic.

The first is a casual, simple logic akin to "common sense" which is applied by your average human being.

The second is a deeper, more intense, logic which is found in the great minds of scientists and such.

Take, for example, the flat earth/ spherical earth question.

Now, simple logic would say that the world must be flat otherwise anything on the underside of "sphere" would fall off.

However, even using "simple logic", some ancient men must have pondered the "horizon/ship approaching" question that puzzled some ancient Greek scientists.
This is where people looking out to sea observed that the topmost part of an approaching ship's sails were the first part of the ship to be seen from land.

Now, using "simple logic", some ancient men might have noted this phenomena but never "stretched their minds" any further and pondered why.

But, we know, greater minds went looking for an explanation.

Therefore, I would claim that "simple logic/common sense" as opposed to a scientific more penetrating logic, is the reason that logic, as applied by "Mr Average", is not to be trusted.

Here is another example.

Literally. millions of people before Isaac Newton must have observed "things" falling to the ground, and all those million's logic told them that it was because the falling objects had mass or weight or whatever.

That is the simple logic/common sense approach.

Moving on.

As to my "Muslim"/Mohammad logic point.

It is not logically to believe a person when he says - without verification - that he was visited by an angel, and that he could fly around on a winged horse.

That is not logical! Indeed, if people were approached in the street with that story, I'm sure not one of those people would believe the story.

Why? Because it isn't logical now, and it wasn't logical over 1000 years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 09:23 AM

> valid arguments are very few; but the list of logical fallacies is long (and rather exciting). Alas, politicians seem to prefer the latter....

Because politics isn't about finding facts or acting in the most logical manner.

It's about *winning,* and if that takes appealing but fallacious arguments (and it does) those are the arguments we'll get. Hence propaganda.

Propaganda techniques are essentially deductive fallacies, invalid inferences, bias, suppression of evidence ("cherry-picking"), and, of course, outright lies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 10:27 AM

Tunesmith, I think you are expanding the definition of logic. No doubt, Muhammed was a very intelligent person. Otherwise, nobody would be likely to believe him. No Doubt, people who heard him, understood that he was speaking in poetic terms, not literally.
If I put a carpenter's level on a table, I will most likely find that the table is flat, and also that it is level. If I put that level on the ground, I am most likely to find that the ground is flat and level.
One can logically conclude that Muhammad speaks the truth, and one can logically conclude that the ground is flat. Your results may vary, depending on the data that you are working with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 10:39 AM

Bill, I did read the first post carefully , and the second confrontational post. Did YOU read my post carefully ?!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 02:33 PM

The issue is never about proving or disproving "religious premises." But, just like scientific premises (if you must), religious premises don't get a free pass. In order for premises to be useful in logic and argument, they must have at least got some potential to do some explanatory heavy lifting. Premises such as "God exists," or "a man who allegedly existed called Jesus did this and that, therefore..." cannot do that lifting. In fact, as premises they are crippled from the outset, because they themselves need a huge amount more explanation than they can ever provide. Predicating "logic" on such shaky premises is, er, building your house on sand...


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Tunesmith
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 02:36 PM

Well, Joe, I don't know if any Muslims believed that - at the time ( i.e. historically )Mohammad's encounter with an angel was merely poetic, BUT what is true is that a belief in angels is an article of faith in Muslim teaching.
And, even a quick flip through Youtube video will reveal that seemingly well-educated Muslims believe literally that Mohammad met with an angel and flew around on a winged horse.

BTW, Joe how much of the Bible do you, Joe believe is merely poetic, and if you do believe that parts of the Bible are indeed "poetic", how have you reached that conclusion?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 02:56 PM

If you really want to grasp the idea of validity and the laws of science I suggest a study of the Philosophy and Origin of Science.

The progress of valid science and its laws is not and was not linear nor logical. Connections by Burke is a down and dirty expose' of this.

Logical conclusions do give rise to certain laws and relationships but it does not mean those laws and relationships are necessarily logical as stand alone facts.

Assuming science is valid only when it fulfills logic sounds like an exercise of instant self gratification. Fun but not valid.

When a community is what must agree to grant validity, then all bets are off regarding the acceleration of truth.

Now I will go back and painstakingly see if you mention your motivation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 03:35 PM

Ah, now that I know the motivation I only have 2 thoughts that come to mind.

The experience of homelessness teaches lessons not learned by most people with homes. It teaches survival in a land of ongoing victimization. The homeless are subject to more brutalization by every layer of society. The homeless are not brutes anymore than the ultra rich are brutes, depending on your perspective.


The newly housed, former homeless, are taught humane and friendly lessons that most of our neighbors will never experience. The joy of this new safety and thankfulness is an experience that is remarkable when shared. Especially with the potential fiends already established in the neighborhood.

The only enemy that people in the area should truly worry about is fear. Overcome fear and you have the beginning of friendship.
Give in to fear and you become your own worst enemy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 03:50 PM

Logic rarely overcomes fear.

I takes a long time.

Sometimes it requires a selfless act by the good guys and a selfish act by the bad guys that goes viral.

Good rumors, money can't buy. Its like spreading manure for flowers, stinky at first but soon admired by all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 04:24 PM

Well, Donuel, science is the greatest of the almighty struggles of the human mind. There are good premises, bad premises, good logic predicated on bad premises and bad logic predicated on good premises (and better and worse). A search for truth that is only asymptotically attainable. In comparison, religion is a walk in the park. The answers are so obvious, so simple and so truthful - if you're of a certain mind. The simple certainties trump the mental struggle every time. It's up to rational people to decide which approach is the more honest, the wide open straight path to nirvana, or the road less travelled that will put sharp gravel in your shoe with every step.

Incidentally, I prefer "laws of nature" to "laws of science." The first caveperson to look up at the moon and try to make sense of it was doing science just as much as Einstein was doing science, even though that person had no laws to guide them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 06:42 PM

Donuel says: Assuming science is valid only when it fulfills logic sounds like an exercise of instant self gratification. Fun but not valid.

I think that science, for the most part, is the product of empirical reasoning, employing the Scientific Method to observe, measure, and form and test conclusions. The application of science then often follows the principles of logic, to build upon principles discovered by observation.

Is that more clear?

Tunesmith, I don't think that any of the Bible is merely poetic. The poetry also has important meaning. I think that much of the Bible and much of many ancient sacred texts, is written in various literary forms that are not meant to be taken literally. Understanding which is which doesn't take a genius, but it does take some study. There have always been those who interpreted ancient sacred texts literally, but the strict literalism of modern fundamentalists in the Christian, Muslim, and some other faiths, is a fairly new development - most importantly within the last 125 years or so.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 07:29 PM

Somehow joe, I can't imagine the early church martyrs dying for something they did,nt take literally ( by which i am presuming to mean that the narrative and events are to be plainly understood)       I find Steves post to be lacking in logic. The premise that God is, or the premise that he is not , are both beyond absolute proof. However, if we take the premise that there is a God , his creation is not an illogical concept.. Take the premise that there is no creator God and we have the position of believing everything came from nothing. Whether, to say that there must be some cause other than a creator/prime mover , but we don't know what it is yet is logical or not would probably depend on the worldview of an individual . I reckon , that since it is not known, it is a faith statement. I don't see how that can be thought of as a motor logical position.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 07:55 PM

Pete, I'm trying to stay away from the question of whether there's a God because it's not something we can agree on, and it can't be proved or disproved. We've been round and round on that, and gotten nowhere.

But there's a lot that people can agree on, or at least accept as a valid position. We should be able to discuss logic in a positive way because it's something that applies to all of us, no matter what premises we accept. But what you and Tunesmith are aiming at, is the the realm of premises that we cannot agree upon or even discuss - we're not going there in this thread.



-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 07:57 PM

You're doing it, Pete. Stop changing the subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 08:35 PM

Whwn we consider Science research quality, we consider peer review. An interesting article on the topic, which is important to Science.

Science and Peer Review


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 08:52 PM

Peer review is an important tool in almost every academic endeavor - including folk music research. Thanks for the link, Ed.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 08:56 PM

You may think it sounds odd coming from me, but I care not a jot for arguments as to whether there's a God or not. I care far more about the reasoning process, unending I should say, that strives towards seeking the truth of the matter. The difference between me and those inclined towards a faith position on the matter is that I can't accept the premise unless I have evidence. As such, I can't accept God's existence as a valid premise for any process of logic.

"God exists.

The writings inspired by God promote love of one's neighbour and charitable thoughts and deeds.

That is a good thing.

Therefore the existence of God is confirmed."

It's quite hard to spot the logical flaw, and quite difficult to avoid being called a curmudgeon if you point it out!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 09:50 PM

.... we know that some people have some premises that they accept, and others do not accept those premises. Therefore, we are trying to avoid arguing about premises. I think what you have there, Steve, is a circular argument.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 09:57 PM

Not at all. I'm trying to establish that good logic, that is, logic with a reasonable chance of a useful outcome, must be predicated on reasonably sound premises. Of course, good outcomes are possible, by accident, with logic predicated on bad premises, but that's no way to live life really, is it, when a better way forward beckons? It isn't really about who "accepts" what premises. It's about whether those premises are valid and honestly cast.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 16 - 10:00 PM

Well, Steve, let's go a step further and not pass judgment on premises. For an argument to be productive, the parties involved must agree on the premises. If the parties cannot agree on premises, then argument is futile - which is why we're not going there.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Janie
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 12:18 AM

Well said Joe.

I am remarkably unread and ignorant re formal or informal logic and appreciate the education I am receiving.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 04:25 AM

I agree with Joe and others: this thread is much more valuable if it doesn't turn into yet another I love/hate religion. Let's stick to discussing logic.

There is an excellent example of good real world results from bad premises in geometry and its derivations. This is the 5th proposition of Euclid. For millennia, people took it as a premise and most of science, including all Newton's work, for example, and all technology assumed it. But many mathematicians were not happy with it: they accept it, but believed it must be provable. So at times and up to around 1840 they tried a process known as 'reductio ad absurdum' which involves assuming it is not true and showing that introduces inconsistencies. But eventually it was accepted that there are several other, equally valid, geometries, not just the Euclidian.

Now Steve and others may well say this is another example of science-related subject adapting as understanding increases, and I would not disagree. But the point is that we managed perfectly well for millennia on a false premise and got useful things out of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 05:09 AM

(I got called away to do some jobs around the house!)

We should go further. Gödel's Theorem states, informally, that every branch of mathematics is incomplete or inconsistent. That includes these various geometries. And there is a huge gulf between "this is consistent" and "we haven't found an inconsistency". The whole of quantum mechanics and relativity are based on these branches of mathematics which may themselves be fundamentally flawed *and we simply haven't seen how yet*.

I was otherwise occupied when the question of fuzzy logic came up. It is not, to be honest, a branch I know a great deal about but it is certainly the case that the various alternatives are designed so that when something is unambiguously true or unambiguously false they give identical results to classical logic. They are, then, extensions to classical logic rather than alternatives. But the big problem lies in the premises, not the logic. Imagine we have a 'guess the weight of the cake' competition and the best guess is 1.9kg, when the actual weight is 2kg. Now, 1.9kg is 'not true', but it is clearly 'truer' in some sense than 0.1kg. If you have a fuzzy logic that is between 0 and 1, as most are, should we simply say this 0.95? Or 0.9? or 0.99? And is the 0.1kg actually more accurate than 1g, or are they equally manifestly wrong? SO, as I say, the biggest difficulty is no the logic, per se, but in agreeing the 'inputs'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 06:59 AM

Not well said. We are not talking about a subjective judgement of premises. We are talking about exposing them to objective measures, involving evidence and their explanatory potential or lack of it. I'm perfectly prepared to have any premise I ever use in argument to be mercilessly exposed to that. In fact, that's always what happens to me here and I'm over the moon about it. I can't see a single reason why any premise shouldn't be similarly scrutinised. If you don't let me apply these measures to your premises, as Joe Offer seems to suggest, then our conversation can't be an honest one, even if I'm strongly inclined to agree to with your premises. No selective, protecting veils means more honest discussion. As in "agreeing the inputs," DMcG.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 07:22 AM

I'm not sure which part was 'not well said', Steve. (Maybe all of it: it wouldn't be the first time!) My remarks about 'agreeing the inputs' was strictly intended to refer to the limitations and advantages of fuzzy logic and why I have reservations about that approach. As a discipline it is still very young, but it doesn't fill me with confidence.

We are not talking about a subjective judgement of premises. We are talking about exposing them to objective measures

As I see it, we are not talking about either. We are talking about methods to manipulate premises, whatever they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 08:53 AM

Sorry, I was referring to the person who said "well said" to Joe Offer. I did not agree with him that uninvestigated premises (as he might put it, premises not judged) can be a good starting point for a debate. Two climate-change deniers having a debate with each other about future energy policy are not having an honest conversation because they have refused to investigate their initial premise, which evidence shows to be almost certainly fallacious. By accident they may well come up with some good policies, perhaps concerning energy conservation, but that will be in spite of their premises, and most of their conclusions would be more likely to be dangerous. The implication has been made that premises to do with religious belief should not be "judged" ( forensically investigated would be my preferred term). Well I can't go along with that kind of protectionism I'm afraid. Now I didn't bring religion into this thread and I'm not bothered if we don't discuss it. "We're not going there," however, did appear to have a bit more than cotton wool intended protection. The only valid criterion for a sound open debate is that it's predicated on objectively-sound premises as far as is humanly possible, not simply cosily-agreed ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 09:19 AM

> But eventually it was accepted that there are several other, equally valid, geometries, not just the Euclidian.

In other words, they overcame the natural tendency to assume that what we know about a subject is all we need to know.

Maybe it is, in a given case, but maybe it isn't.

You can know that you don't know something (Are there drive-ins in outer space? Let's build rockets and find out!), but there are you *don't* know, you don't know because you don't even suspect their existence.

Mad cow disease is an excellent example. No one foresaw it, or, apparently, could have foreseen it.

Such things are sometimes called "unknown unknowns."


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 09:27 AM

We need to include this when we discuss logic:


"By definition, a sound argument is one that has good form (i.e., is logically valid) AND good content (i.e., is based on true premises). A sound argument produces conclusions that are always true, and which follow necessarily from their premises (Johnson & Blair, 1983; Kelley, 1994); as such, the ability to construct sound arguments is one of the hallmarks of rational thought. It is surprising, therefore, that a systematic investigation of how people evaluate the soundness of arguments has not been carried out. "

This helps to keep straight the concepts involved when discussing different types of premises and can avoid talking past one another about the status of data.

Active science is essentially a process of trying to keep arguments valid, while continuously re-evaluating the truth of their premises. Some premises, by their very nature, cannot (so far) be tested as to truth. This is why we cannot evaluate opinions, scientific OR religious, about the origin of existence itself.
   This is why I often post the formulation, "From false premises, anything follows." It in no way tells us what IS true: it merely points out that IF we find contradictory assertions regarding some idea, in science OR religion..(or in psychology or any other 'soft' science)... we should suspect that there are **some** false premises involved.
This seems simple enough when stated, but it is easily forgotten when we lose track of our own assumptions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 10:12 AM

Absolutely, Lighter, we need to do that, always and everywhere. But - and this links your post, and Bill's and my cake experiment - it follows that we can't really be fully confident of any of our assumptions. Don't misunderstood me: there is certainly a difference between an assumption that "has stood the test of time" and one that's"self evidently false", but it is no means always easy to see which is which and we be wrong for thousands of years at a time. While I fully agree with Bill"s epithet we have to recognise that we are mostly arguing from" largely true' premises
And on occasion, such as the reductio ad absurdum case, we deliberately work with what we think are false premises.

Off to a family gathering: I probably won't post again for a day or so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 10:38 AM

Agree with all that, Bill, recalling that I said "as far as is humanly possible."


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 10:45 AM

minor correction, Mad Cow disease was foreseen as Jacob Crutzfeld disease among tribes that ate the brain tissue of ancestors with prions.

Steve is still the faithful guardian of science and freedom of thought.

DMcG makes a profound point attributing the thoughts of Goddel and
the mysterious missing fundamental in math, geometries and physic sciences.

Perhaps the discovery of this missing "space" will make science less fuzzy, quantum mechanics more logical and make time space matter mass all dimensionally scale-able in the grand unified sense.

Until then we are patient with the errors and presumptions that makes at least partial sense and works reliably in our cosmos.


A missing "space" is my example of the missing unknown unknowns that thwarts our current assumptions and perturbations of our existing laws.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 12:46 PM

Not to quibble, but...why not?

...those were humans who ate human brains in a society where there existed an unexplained fatal illness (previously called "kuru"). There was no proof (or even real evidence) that the brains transmitted the disease, particularly since "prions" were not even known to exist until the '80s, and not known to be connected with BFE or its human counterpart for several years after that.

The kuru situation - because the infectious agent was unknown and unsuspected - seemed to be far removed from people eating beef from cattle that ate grain supplemented with protein from animals that appeared to be perfectly healthy.

It all makes sense in hindsight, but at the time - when it was not even suspected that humans could contract the cattle disease - how could they know any of this?

How many similar surprises await us in the future?

This might be good place to mention the "Law of Unintended Consequences."


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 01:24 PM

As I said it is a minor point about potentialities. Meanwhile Lighter your expertise is not in question and is very informative.

As I see it Mad Cow is still a mass transferable disease in ground beef due to the stripping technology being uncomfortably close to spinal chord and skull tissue. If cows are fed the bone meal from other cows the risk of disease is high. I also doubt our hospitals have autoclaves that can destroy the misfolded proteins known as prions at temperatures near 1100 F

You mention the law of unintended circumstances which should be at the core of medical ethics. What about intended circumstances in the quest of racially targeted DNA weapons?. Putting instructions to introduce deadly protein creation in a specific race is not a reality but was proposed in the Bush administration.
in the hands of Trump the consequences could be extinction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 01:43 PM

25 years ago systemic (taken into plants) pesticide niconoids were introduced to our planet.

The first question I asked my mom was "what about your bees? How are they going to be affected" Her prize winning NYS hives collapsed the next year. What about hummingbirds?"

Looking ahead in a capitalist economy is not good for immediate profits and investors so it s not done. France has discovered that systemic pesticides do collapse bee colonies and have banned them immediately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 05:51 PM

You can still buy neonicotinoids in the UK for garden use. It's an absolute scandal. As far as I know they are widely used in agriculture. They are systemic insecticides that kill pollinating insects en masse. The two available to gardeners are imadacloprid and thiocloprid. In the UK they are often used as vine weevil killers by gardeners, and imadacloprid is in general use by farmers as the insecticide of choice. Well they kill far more than vine weevils. They also kill honey bees and bumble bees by the million. Arguably, the human race depends on pollination by bees for much of its food supply. Ecosystems depend on it just as much. These products should be banned outright. Thanks for reminding me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 05:58 PM

Think we found some agreement , bill, in your lat post about false premises, ie if there are contrary assertions, some ,or possibly all premises ,in a given area , will be false. I won't develop that any further , lest I get blamed again for prohibited thread drift !


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 06:28 PM

Pardon?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 08:54 PM

I think we'd better repeat what Bill siad: This is why I often post the formulation, "From false premises, anything follows." It in no way tells us what IS true: it merely points out that IF we find contradictory assertions regarding some idea, in science OR religion..(or in psychology or any other 'soft' science)... we should suspect that there are **some** false premises involved.

I'm glad that Pete agrees with that, but I can't help but wonder about the implications of his agreement. I guess I'm more likely to say, "If this is so, then da da-da, da-da." But we don't really know is "this" is so, so we can't draw any conclusions from it. And then we're back to Square One.

I think I would translate Bill's statement thus: If the logic is valid and the conclusions differ, then there must be a problem with a premise somewhere.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 09:47 PM

So let's spend time checking out those premises. No protectionism. No cotton wool. Better to scrutinise the premises for legitimacy till the cows come home, even the religious ones, than use them to come to wrong conclusions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jun 16 - 11:30 PM

Actually, Steve, most of us can get along quite well without monitoring most of the premises that others live by. While we may not agree with what they think on one thing or another, most of their thoughts have little effect on our own lives. If we attack them on matters that don't affect us, we create conflict where there is no need for it. I think that a lot of the conflict in the world, is due to people's obsession with being "right" or having possession of the truth, when it often really doesn't matter.

I think there's something to be said for letting a lot of stuff slip by, hoping that the other party will let stuff slip by for me, too. I find it far better to search for common ground, on premises we can agree upon and build upon.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 04:13 AM

I wrote a long post about the logical operator "implies" but mudcat timed out and day two of the gathering is about to start so it is left as an exercise for the reader.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 05:27 AM

" This is why I often post the formulation, "From false premises, anything follows."

Ah, so that was you! See my post of 05 Jun 16 - 08:33 AM


"If the logic is valid and the conclusions differ, then there must be a problem with a premise somewhere."

Not just the logic, but the data, the interpretation, the methodology, the research question, the literature etc etc

In science, ensuring your premises are not false is paramount and you can be sure if you publish research containing false premises peer review will pick it up and some or all of your work might be rejected. Ouch!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 06:30 AM

Been pondering slowly. Going back to the original post and some follow ups, is there really any philosophical difference between "Intelligent Design" and "the laws of nature"? Who designed the designer? Who laid down the laws?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 07:07 AM

Well the laws of nature, an awkward expression I grant you, are not intelligently designed. If anyone thinks they are, well it's down to them to produce the evidence for the supposed designer. I made the point in argument against the expression "laws of science," contending that anyone who observes any natural phenomenon and trying to make sense of it is "doing science" just as surely as the greatest scientists, in spite of being blissfully unaware of "the laws." I don't mind "the laws of nature that scientific endeavour has discovered." The scientific process is another thing altogether, a sensible set of rules that are in place in order to expedite our quest to explain those natural phenomena. Back to the soundness, as far as is humanly possible, of premises...


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 07:09 AM

And don't dwell for too long on the word "laws." It is a problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 08:18 AM

Every day we act on false premises - and, except by accident, pay the penalty.

Usually, however, the penalties are mild ("You mean the movie started an hour ago?!" but occasionally they can be fatal ("I'm a great driver with great reflexes, so I drive as fast as I want when no cops are around!")

Every move we make, or decision we make, is based on conscious or unconscious premises. Since we can't spend our lives probing each one, we do the best we can.

But it goes without saying that living is not a scientific enterprise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 11:04 AM

There is, as Steve Shaw indicates, an implied premise in some people's reasoning in just using the word 'laws'.

If you allow yourself to think of 'laws' in a similar sense to the way we use it in regulating human behavior and the system of statutes, you end up with questions like, "Who *laid down* the laws?"
I remember jokes about "repealing the 'law' of gravity."

All we do in science is attempt to 'see how things work' in nature.... and 'nature' can mean the universe in general. We can state some things with clarity and perform predictable chemical operations with no doubt how they will work IF conditions are controlled.
On the other hand, we can't predict or explain exactly how the weather is going to treat us..... just too many variables and a difficulty in acquiring certain types of data. BUT, we do predict the weather better than we did 50 or 100 years ago. Logic comes in when we assume that IF we have enough relevant data and past examples for comparison, we can do pretty well! (This is inductive logic... we look at events, extract the 'laws/rules' that apply, then use deductive logic to predict that XYZ weather is likely.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 04:30 PM

Way up above, Donuel brought this up, and I think it's very worthy of note:
    flawed social logic:
    guns don't kill people, people do
    and in the case of rape, men don't rape women, alcohol does.

One could have a very lengthy thread on both of these topics.

Something makes me think the National Rifle Association intentionally practices techniques of building convincing logical fallacies. Intentional logical fallacy has a long and sordid history. The people who intend to mislead, ain't dummies. They do that stuff on purpose.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 06:35 PM

True, Joe.

Re premises and Cognitive therapy and fallacies - when it comes to therapy people often start out operating from a complex set of assumptions that they simply have never questioned and mistake for 'truth.'

To function in the world we must operate from assumptions, but it is very useful to understand them as just that - assumptions, not 'truth.' Belief, which encompasses much more than spiritual or religious beliefs, are assumptions that are mistaken for 'truth.'

Values are assumptions that usually are mistaken as 'truth.'

I don't ever tell some one in therapy that their assumptions are wrong, because I don't know that for a fact. I simply invite them to understand that assumptions and beliefs, by definition, are not fact, suggest they identify their core beliefs about themselves, others and the world, then examine those beliefs and evaluate how well those beliefs actually work for them in their own lives and relationships.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 06:42 PM

Yes it is true. The uncomfortable fact is that religious belief is replete with logical fallacies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 09:08 PM

You sound like a Jehovah's Witness, Steve. You always have to slip religion into the equation.

The fact of the matter is that nobody has the corner on logical fallacies. Lots of logical fallacies exists among religions, of course....but even enlightened atheists are not immune.

I do have the feeling, though, that many logical fallacies are intentional. You'll find lots in the Trump campaign.

I wonder if logical fallacies are more prevalent among those who want to tear down other people. Seems to me that logical fallacies are particularly effective ways to demonize folks. Maybe it's an unsound premise on my part, but I work under the supposition that most people aren't THAT bad. When I hear incredibly awful things about an individual or a group, I tend not to believe anything said by the speaker. Maybe that's a rash generalization, but I tend to disbelieve those who demonize.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 09:17 PM

I hate to remind you that you were the poster who brought religion into this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 09:35 PM

That's right, Steve. I brought your favorite obsession up with a request that religious disagreements be avoided, since we had already exhausted that subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Janie
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 09:44 PM

Definitely not looking for a fight with the asking, but would it be correct to say that is Steve's premise, and the acceptance or non-acceptance of that premise as 'true' is based on one's own paradigm and perhaps unexamined assumptions?



My own perceptions and interpretations is that many folks have attempted to step lightly through a minefield, based on prior knowledge of how Mudcat discussions, and in particular, how some several folks historically and predictably may be expected to respond or react.

Thus far, viewed from my own paradigm, the stepping lightly has been more successful than not in service to a really informative thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 10:03 PM

That is a very rude post, Joe. Shame on you. If you didn't want religion discussed in this thread, you could easily have left the parallel thread in place. Actually, I don't care whether we discuss religion or not. In debates about valid premises and logic, however, though you may hate the idea, it has a lot to offer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 10:13 PM

OK, Steve, I'll take that as an agreement from you to refrain from discussion of religion in this thread. If you violate that agreement, I will suspend your membership for a week.
We've just recently concluded a religion thread with many messages. That's enough for now. Let your obsession rest for a while. If you wish to object, do so in an email or personal message, lest you lose your membership for a week.
-Joe Offer, Mudcat Membership Registrar-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jun 16 - 10:54 PM

Janie says: would it be correct to say that is Steve's premise, and the acceptance or non-acceptance of that premise as 'true' is based on one's own paradigm and perhaps unexamined assumptions?

Yeah, it's a problem in discussions. When someone jumps in and insists on acceptance of a premise that cannot be agreed upon, discussion stops. I think this is why there used to be a social rule that suggested that polite people avoid conversations in which there is no chance of agreement on the premises.

In constructive discussions, the parties must agree to accept differing premises as at least "possible." If one person creates an impasse by insisting that only his premise or set of premises is acceptable, then discussion becomes impossible.

I think it's worthwhile to examine the reasons for acceptance or non-acceptance of a premise. Some premises are formed empirically through the Scientific Method, and there is a lot of evidence that can show such premises as credible or incredible.

In realms other than science, the premises are much harder to come to, and much harder to support. Wise people who wish to study in these areas, usually hold onto their premises much less tightly than those in the field of science. In philosophy, one develops a system based on a certain perspective, which can in some ways be a network of interrelated "what ifs." Then one uses logic to build conclusions from that system of thinking. The result is a philosophical platform from which one has a perspective on one's surroundings (I'm sure Bill will have disagreeing input on this).

Areas like history are somewhere between philosophy and science on this.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 02:50 AM

I'll do a bit of clarification before getting back to my main point.
Intelligent Design is nonsense. It is a cynical ploy by the creationists to smuggle God into the US school system. I gather that, under the American constitution, it is not permitted to advance any particular religion in state schools. The creationists tried to get "Creation Science" taught alongside Evolution. They lost - Edwards v. Aguillard
They did a quick rebranding. It is not only nonsense but fundamentally dishonest.
Back later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 07:31 AM

> many logical fallacies are intentional.

Of course they are, Joe. It's all about the "art of persuasion."

As a prominent attorney once told me, "A trial isn't about justice. It's about resolving a dispute according to law. Any justice is a welcome by-product."

What he meant was that both sides do everything they can - deceptive or not - to persuade the jury. Then the jury ponders the evidence according to their own abilities.

Consider the OJ trial. Or Casey Anthony.

And consider objectively any statement by your favorite politician, who has to persuade the crowd in order to get elected.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Tunesmith
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 08:01 AM

Joe Offer said :

"religious disagreements be avoided, since we had already exhausted that subject"

Really?

Have you, or any/many Mudcat posters read Richard Carrier's "The Historicity of Jesus"?

This chap has produced an exhaustive study into Jesus... or, more precisely, the myth of Jesus.

He has even applied science -i.e.maths - to the question of the likelihood that Jesus even existed.

No, as long as academics keep looking in to the matter, the discussion of "religious disagreements" ( as Joe puts it!) should certainly not be avoided.

No matter how uncomfortable it might make certain posters feel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 08:37 AM

If you're only talking about a religious leader named Jesus who attracted a number of disciples, how on earth could anyone conclude by mathematics that he probably didn't even exist?

Of course, he *may* not have existed (just as Shakespeare *may* not have existed), even without the math, but surely the weight of the evidence we have makes it far more likely that he did?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 08:57 AM

Well I agree with that of course, Tunesmith. Yes, discomfort is the vibe I'm picking up. Hey ho, so I won't mention r*ligion IN THIS THREAD. OK, Joe? That's what you demand so that's what I'll stick with.

I did post earlier but came home from shopping to find it hadn't taken. I was saying that I'd gone over the following several times and understood neither Janie's point nor Joe Offer's response:

Janie says: "would it be correct to say that is Steve's premise, and the acceptance or non-acceptance of that premise as 'true' is based on one's own paradigm and perhaps unexamined assumptions?"

Yeah, it's a problem in discussions. When someone jumps in and insists on acceptance of a premise that cannot be agreed upon, discussion stops. I think this is why there used to be a social rule that suggested that polite people avoid conversations in which there is no chance of agreement on the premises.


Perhaps a polite explanation could be provided, preferably one that doesn't refer yet again to my "obsession" (after all, in the last few days I've posted about logic, the monarchy, antisemitism, WW1, the Labour Party, the scientific process, US foreign policy, whether we should leave the EU, among others...just thought I'd mention some of my other "obsessions...")


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 09:24 AM

Joe you completely disregard my posts regarding physics and the non empirical sciences I have written about for 15 years.

Contrary to your opinion, in many ways we do live in an Alice in Wonderland Multiverse.

We can separate the spin and charge of a particle from its mass and velocity which is like seeing the grin without seeing the Cheshire Cat.

There is a likelihood time exists in more than one linear dimension.

The Mad Hatter, mentally disabled by mercury poisoning by his career, may be right about certain things.

The list of 'down the rabbit hole' parallels is long and are usually esoteric, but that is where I believe change and insight will come as assuredly as those who spend their life making amazing measurements.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 11:47 AM

Tunesmith, we had a thread on religion just recently, and it was closed down because it got nasty and was dominated by the usual name-calling extremists. So, yes, for Mudcat for a time, the subject of religion has been exhausted.

I started this thread on logic and asked that the topic of religion be avoided in order to give people not interested in the religious debate a chance to speak.

We get lots of complaints about how the BS threads are dominated by a small group of aggressive, unpleasant people. We try various tactics to keep that domination under control. Trying to keep religion out of this thread without prohibiting it overall, is one such tactic.

I don't like thread closure and thread and message deletion, and it's not my job to do such things, so I use those tools very seldom. Nonetheless, I detest the negativism and attacks that dominate so many of our threads, so I do my best to push things into a positive direction. Those who insist on aggressive posting, can expect to see efforts made to push them in more positive directions.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 12:20 PM

Donuel, I don't disregard your posts "regarding physics and the non empirical sciences." I simply don't feel competent to discuss those matters - so I read and don't say much.

But you speak of "non-empirical sciences," and I think that's the exact opposite of what you mean. I get it that some aspects of science cannot be explored through deductive reasoning (using the tools of logic), but I thought those others were explored through empirical reasoning. Empirical reasoning is the process of thinking critically about organizing, analyzing, and visualizing qualitative, quantitative, and/or geospatial data. So, if physics and these others you speak of are "non-empirical," what are they? The non-empirical sciences are the ones that do not use the scientific method. If you Google non-empirical science, you'll end up at a Wikipedia article on "Formal Science" that begins with this:
    Formal sciences are disciplines concerned with formal systems, such as logic, mathematics, statistics, theoretical computer science, information theory, game theory, systems theory, decision theory, and portions of linguistics and economics. Whereas the natural sciences seek to characterize physical systems, the formal sciences are concerned with characterizing abstract structures described by sign systems. The formal sciences aid the natural sciences by providing information about the structures the latter use to describe the world, and what inferences may be made about them.


So, it's saying that logic itself is a "non-empirical science," as is mathematics. Logic is a valuable and necessary tool in its place, in most fields of intellectual endeavor. I did pretty well in Logic class and Math, but tended to fall asleep during Physics.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 01:30 PM

I don't really like the term 'non-empirical sciences' because it sounds as if it is opening the door to lots of snake oil, as well as formal systems. Formal science is a better term in my view, but that's a bit too restrictive because it limits the topic to science, whereas they can be used for other things, like linguistic analysis.

A formal system is a set of distinct symbols and a set of pairs of patterns, with the rule that given a sentence which is an ordered sequence of the symbols any occurance of the 'left hand' pattern in a pair can be replaced by the corresponding right hand pattern.


I hope that helps!

The reason is it 'non-empirical' is that observations and measurements play no part in the formal system. The sentence might include a measurement, but as far as the system is concerned it has no meaning. Even 'true' and 'false' are merely symbols without a meaning.

This may sound so abstract it is without value, but actually it powerful in the same way as algebra is powerful: circumference = 2 pi * radius gets it power from the fact it is true for all radii. Similarly this approach allows you to come up with relationships that are valid whatever the symbols mean. And you can see why logic is non-empirical: For a given a,b. 'a and b' has a valid interpretation what the 'truthfulness of a' is meant to represent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 03:08 PM

Disregard is the wrong word, more correct is Understand.

If non empirical = subjective then that is where I inhabit a niche.

An example of the subjective is a sixth sense or even a 7th that many would call snake oil but their study is in its infancy to cruising stage.

Our limited understanding of dark matter has consensus that it was formed in the early universe but to get anyone to go out on a limb and agree that it is mostly the left over stuff from the matter - antimatter annihilation is too radical for most scientists to consider or try to measure.

We are the sum of our abilities as much as we are the sum of our disabilities. Sometimes they enhance each other and other times they cancel out.

In my case I am not saying my weakness' are my strenghs but my freedom from dogma is a strength.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 04:00 PM

Mine too. 😉


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 04:23 PM

I agree it is important to continue to question things, Donuel. When I refer to "snake oil" I normally mean unscrupulous people deliberately using fakery to exploit the unwary. That's a different thing to carrying out thought experiments and drawing on subjective experience to trying to make sense of something. And it is perfectly possible to use logic to do that as long as you remain tentative about the conclusions. You can also use informal logic "it seems reasonable that ..." , but at an even greater risk.

Going back to Bill's summary: while it is always useful to remember that from a false premise, anything can be proved, it is also as important to look at it the opposite way round: a true conclusion tells us nothing about the truth of the premise. This is why it is important that a well designed scientific experiment is designed to disprove things, most commonly the 'null hypothesis'. it is also why cognitive therapy, for example, places so much stress in things feared not happening, and equally it suggests why confirmation bias is such a problem:they see a true result and assume the premise is true, which they can't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 04:24 PM

cool

Has anyone else ever noticed that in many forms of science we discover that we are living in a left hand universe? If you know about spin, electricity, neutrinos, DNA or organic chemistry you might know what I mean.

Why is this?


could the unseen be right handed?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 04:41 PM

Yes, it could, but there is no current way to decide one way or the other.

Many decades ago, garages came up with a wheeze to try to get you to visit the same company each time. They gave you one half of, say, a fifty pound note and if you got the other half on another visit you exchanged them for the actual cash. And for the low denomination values this happened. But for the high values what happened was that people placed adverts in the local papers saying "I have the left half of a hundred pound note. I will split the winnings with anyone who has the right hand half".

But the flaw in their reasoning is they imagined the company printed equal numbers of each half. In practice they printed lots of say the left hand side and almost none of the right.

The relevance of that little tale is there is no reason to assume the amount of lefthandedness and righthandedness should balance. Maybe it will, maybe it won't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 05:13 PM

Perhaps my two favorite fallacies are

CERTAINTY
"I'm certain I'm right, because I'm certain my (insufficiently examined) premises are correct."

RECEPTIVE AUDIENCE
"I know I can persuade you with sound arguments, because you're open to sound arguments and/or realize your opinion might possibly be wrong."


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 06:04 PM

Well I argue against certainty here untiI I'm blue in the face. Ironically, it tends to get me called an absolutist by persons who, it seems to me, enjoy propagating their own certainties. Proof may have its place in mathematics but it has no place in science. The null hypothesis, DMcG, has nothing to do with aiming to disprove.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 06:20 PM

The first paragraph I of this wiki article agrees with my view, Steve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 06:56 PM

Steve Shaw
And don't dwell for too long on the word "laws." It is a problem.

"laws of science" is in the thread title. "Laws" has been used several times by various people. It IS a problem. That is the problem I am tryng to address.

In his OP, Joe seems to want it three ways He says "I'm convinced that everything in life follows logical rules" but then "I think the design is intrinsic." but then again "The Rules are descriptive, not prescriptive. Nobody made the Rules. The Rules simply describe the way things work. ". So the "rules" are something external that life (and presumably all of the material universe) follow, they are "intrinsic" i.e. part of nature itself or descriptive i.e. a human construct, a model used as long as it gives reliable predictions.

You yourself, Steve say I prefer "laws of nature" to "laws of science." suggesting that you favour the external laws approach over the human, descriptive definition. Likewise you say I don't mind "the laws of nature that scientific endeavour has discovered." implying that the laws have some sort of independant existence.

Do Newton's Laws instruct apples and planets how to behave or simply describe what they do?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 06:56 PM

It is the null hypothesis that experimentation sets out to disprove, not prove or disprove observations or explanations of phenomena. If that's what you meant, fine. It wasn't clear from your wording.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 07:06 PM

When it comes to living systems left hand bonds is all there is.

Is this due to Carbon atom factors or is it something more?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 07:12 PM

Snail, I said I was not comfortable with the word "laws," but, as you rightly say, it's the word we commonly use, and my post represented no more than a tussle with the terminology, which is inadequate (as indeed was my tussle). When we talk about a law of nature we are not talking about that which must be obeyed but about that which we see consistently happening in our experiences of particular phenomena. So Newton's laws are descriptions. Such descriptions help to give structure to our scientific endeavours and enable predictions. Of course, we often get it wrong, even if we happen to be Newton. Getting it wrong and having to have another go is the beauty of science. Certainty and truth in scientific enquiry (oh, and how I leave myself open) are approachable asymptotically only. This joy in perennial uncertainty seems to be anathema in certain other fields of human endeavour which I won't go into just now.

We could be stuck with "laws," but we can always try to soften the blow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 07:31 PM

http://creationsafaris.com/epoi_c03.htm

an explanation of the 100 year old mystery




Today there are far out explanations such as the first amino acids from star formation were left handed as if they still go with what they know. ???


























http://www.iflscience.com/space/why-life-left-handed-answer-stars/


http://creationsafaris.com/epoi_c03.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 07:56 PM

> not comfortable with the word "laws"

Pehaps you're a victim of the "etymological fallacy," which holds (of course) that the original, or some older meaning, of a word is either the "real" meaning, or else powerfully influences the way the word is ordinarily used today. This fallacy frequently afflicts well educated people who are sensitive to the use of words.

Scientists talk about natural "laws" all the time, fully realizing that nobody "passed" these laws, or "punishes" their "violation," if violation is possible. They realize the "laws of physics," for example, have nothing whatever to do with any legal system.

Newton, on the other hand, like most people in the distant past, assumed that God had decreed the workings of nature, making "laws" a perfectly understandable descriptive term.

Except in an explicitly theological context, or among overthinkers and tendentious debaters, the phrase "laws of nature" no longer implies what it did in the seventeenth century.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 08:11 PM

Well I am a scientifically-trained chap and I do know the difference. One of the big let-downs of science is that it has inbuilt barriers that sometimes make easy communication of ideas with non-scientifically-trained people difficult. Newspapers and popular science magazines often make a terrible hash of it. Scientists communicate with each other in often-specialist language that expresses ideas with the necessary great precision. It isn't jargon unless you're being deliberately pretentious and trying to blind people with science - it's unavoidable. Wrestling with a word that you know is capable of communicating the wrong notion to people not trained in science, without doing any watering down, is difficult. This discussion of "laws" is good example.

I have a track record on this forum of advocating flexibility in English and resisting etymological pedantry of the kind you describe. I'm quite interested in words, as it happens. I think you've picked the wrong victim, old chap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Janie
Date: 13 Jun 16 - 10:28 PM

Seems pretty apparent to me that for the purposes of this thread, 'laws' refer to descriptive processes, not prescriptive processes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 01:45 AM

It is the null hypothesis that experimentation sets out to disprove, not prove or disprove observations or explanations of phenomena. If that's what you meant, fine. It wasn't clear from your wording
I wrote a "well designed scientific experiment is designed to disprove things, most commonly the 'null hypothesis'. I did not mention observations or explanations of phenomena. You can hardly say I was unclear when you are coming to that opinion based on things I didn't mention. As it is, however, when I read what I wrote and what you said above, it hardly covers your statement "The null hypothesis, DMcG, has nothing to do with aiming to disprove.!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 02:07 AM

I haven't been up long, so I posted the above having read Steve's response. I am keen this thread does not turn into a you-said-but-I-said fest. I won't go any further along that line whatever happens, and if a moderator wants to remove this and my post just above I won't complain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 06:48 AM

Nah, leave it. I do get what you said. "Most commonly" was a slightly odd inclusion in your sentence, I thought. Wondered what else you meant. Moving swiftly on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 07:17 AM

I am not particularly concerned about the word laws but what is meant by it and the perception of where those laws reside. I am glad to see that, since I raised the subject, the responses have been in favour of the descriptive but it hasn't always been so. My starting point was Joe's statement that "I'm convinced that everything in life follows logical rules". It may just be a matter of terminology but it is surely possible to get things more precise without drowning the untrained reader in jargon.

In all the discussions of science v religion that I've been involved in here, what has most concerned me is how you distinguish between the two. Some seem to think that it is by comparison of the results; science gives a better explanation of what we see than the bible (or vice versa). I totally disagree. The important distinction is between the ways of thinking. Steve Shaw and others have described that very well on this thread. I would still like to know why Steve prefers "laws of nature" which, to me, implies that the laws are part of the natural world waiting to be discovered over "laws of science" which, to me, puts them in their proper place as human constructs with predictive qualities.

I think we need to very firmly get rid of the notion that the universe "follows" the laws (rules, logic, what you will) of nature which, as I said at the outset, seems just as bad as attributing everything to a intelligent designer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 07:24 AM

Steve Shaw
Certainty and truth in scientific enquiry (oh, and how I leave myself open) are approachable asymptotically only.

I'll resist the temptation to shout "Gotcha" but could I, at least, ask you to pause and consider why I have trouble with statements like "Evolution is true!"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 08:45 AM

The "laws of science" are a human construct when the phrase refers to scientific procedure.

They are not a human construct when - as is frequent - the phrase is used as a loose synonym for "the laws of nature." This may be popular, not technical, usage, but it's so common that it can't be ignored.

For a contrasting example: because the word "physics" commonly applies to both the study and the phenomena, a phrase like "the laws of physics" applies equally to human constructs and natural phenomena.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 09:05 AM

"The reality is that science deals in probabilities, not proofs. The reasons for that range from the philosophical to the practical, but if you really want to understand the nature of science, then it is very important that you understand the concept of proof. Therefore, I am going to go over some of the reasons why science doesn't prove anything, then I am going to explain why that is actually a good thing and should not make you question the reliability of science. As I will elaborate on, the best way to think about science is that it tells us what is most likely true given the current evidence. As such, it is an extremely useful tool, and it is far better than the alternatives, but its certainly not perfect."




Science and "Proof" 


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 10:03 AM

When Perlmutter set out to measure the speed and velocity change of the universe with inly 42 Type 1a super nova at various distances he expected to find the universe was sowing down.

In fact no one to my knowledge expected to discovery the cosmos is accelerating.

Saul Perlmutter was not out to disprove his hypothesis. Surprisingly he did.



DmcG
Thanks for responding.

As far as Life being a left hand expression of all of our amino acids and proteins. The remark about right handedness was not a hypothesis or question. It was just made to enhance the mystery of it all.

Your answer was still top shelf.


here is another experiment that could lead to the next NP.

When we look at invisible dark matter what are we seeing. It is the effect of its gravity on visible matter. My premise is that visible matter is the 1 billionth more matter that did not annihilate from the near identical equal amount of antimatter and matter. That means dark matter is born from an enormous amount of energy in which if only a tiny amount condensed into matter that did not interact with visible matter it would still outweigh visible matter by a huge amount. Suppose the annihilation event did not turn into 100% gamma ray energy but a tiny bit of lumpy matter like stuff, condensed with time and cooling. It would still be more abundant that visible matter

The Euclid telescope, being built in the UK it should show an expansion of dark matter gravitation as well as visible matter expansion.

I foresee that the gravitation of dark matter should obey the same kinds of collapse into dark matter black holes. They should easily out number black hole formation of 'visible matter" black holes.


bottom line
There is more gravitational stuff at the outer earlier rim than we imagined. Dark matter may obey E=MC2

The curiosity that drives me to this conclusion was exhausting time consuming and not instant or easy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 12:19 PM

Sorry Lighter but are you saying that "the laws of nature.", which are not a human construct, do exist?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 12:30 PM

Superstition is far older than science. It took the human race 50,000 years to establish the rules of sound deduction. Before that it was hit or miss.

Of interest:

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=481


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 12:42 PM

Yes, in the sense that "laws of nature" means no more than the regular, predictable patterns in which nature operates. We have no reason (as far as I know) to believe that chemical reactions are random, i.e. do not "obey" "laws."

Radioactive materials seem to emit particles in a thoroughly random manner. If that perception is correct, then that randomness itself is a "law of nature," even if its behavior cannot be accurately predicted.

It seems truly mysterious that subatomic particles behave randomly while bigger things follow the "laws" of cause and effect. But that is far from saying that the regular patterns we see exist onbly in our minds.

Just my opinion, mind you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 12:45 PM

Because evolution is not science. Evolution is a natural phenomenon that would exist whether we sentient beings were here to ponder it or not (though, of course, it did produce us). Do you deny that? Science is the human endeavour that works towards explaining things. Evolution as a phenomenon is a fact, not a theory or a piece of guesswork, and only flat-earther types such as Pete attempt to deny it. The theory of evolution by natural selection, on the other hand, isn't true and can never be. It's just our attempt to explain the true phenomenon. It happens to be a damn good explanation, but it's not the truth and never will be. Truth is a fairly black and white issue. If you don't like my saying that evolution as a natural phenomenon (not the theory) is true, then you're saying that it's not true. Science is a quest for truth but can never get there (theories must be falsifiable, remember, and something falsiable can't be the truth). That's what I mean by the asymptotic quest. There's a sort of joy about that.

As for laws of science, well that seems to imply laws that are human constructs rather than explanations of the way things behave, as science is a human endeavour. Laws of nature isn't great either but it sort of removes that human imposition part of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 01:09 PM

So, is it not uncertain as to whether everything is merely "the way it is", or, alternatively, is it "the way it must be?


Philosophy -Laws of Nature 


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 02:29 PM

Even the random emission of radioactivity has an averaged value that should be set in stone but even this force has been seen to uniformly decrease over one 48 hour period of time to the complete surprise of scientists.

As a law of nature it was like the pull of gravity temporarily changed.

Small exceptions are valuable clues that there are relationships beyond our understanding.


It is not a crime to break a law of nature :0)
It is revealing.


Thank you for the heaping helping of science, may I have another?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Amos
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 06:01 PM

"The null hypothesis, denoted by H0, is usually the hypothesis that sample observations result purely from chance. Alternative hypothesis. The alternative hypothesis, denoted by H1 or Ha, is the hypothesis that sample observations are influenced by some non-random cause."

An experiment that DISPROVES the null hypothesis supports some alternative hypothesis, n'est-ce pas?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 06:28 PM

So presumably affirming evolution and calling me a flat earthier is not bringing up religion !? Just a little reminder....not only did snail not like Steve saying....evolution is true..., but issued the challenge ...show me some evolution....    Now it would seem logical if it cannot be demonstrated, ie, if you cannot show us some evolution, that to say evolution is true, is a statement of belief rather than substantiated fact. And to say that it is true, seems to be at variance to the oft repeated claim that everything in science is provisional.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 06:31 PM

Not necessarily. It could be just a dead end. Loads of good science leads to dead ends. Quite often, bad science results from bad scientists who refuse to see a dead end when they meet one. Google Professor John William Heslop-Harrison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 06:32 PM

That was to Amos.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 06:36 PM

What are you on about, Pete?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 06:45 PM

Never mind Steve.....maybe someone else will get it !


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 06:57 PM

Well, Pete, Snail and meself do tend to prowl around each other somewhat (though there's no doubt that he's a mighty man), but 'twas not he who said "show me some evolution." Pete, I hate to inform you that 'twas you. 😂


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 07:02 PM

Try this one.

If the human mind is a manifestation of natural evolution, then if logic, etc., are "human constructs," aren't they equally manifestations of the underlying order of nature?

Or are they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 07:39 PM

Er, you tell me...😳


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Amos
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 08:17 PM

I tis obvious minds can produce non-natural things, even though they themselves may be natural. No sense getting all meretricious about it.

I would be cautious about any conclusion that brains and minds are identical or even coterminous or colocated. Just saying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 08:43 PM

> I tis obvious minds can produce non-natural things, even though they themselves may be natural.

Obvious? How so?

Perhaps they can. But perhaps they can't.

Which is it really?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Jun 16 - 11:43 PM

Who the hell would even say the human mind is identical to the universe at large in shape form or purpose. Minds are a product of the universe without a doubt. As long as we are having fun, does the universe dream?

You know there is erudite and then there is erudite-ism for cuteness sake. I think the latter tickles you most. In fact you do it better than Professor Irwin Corey.

Show me evolution?
If someone truly wants to see evolution , if you are not just making a rhetorical request, I can literally show you the process and not just the results.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 02:22 AM

Ed's link took some thinking about, so I haven't commented until now, but I think it is still relevant. There's a lot of interesting ideas in there, but in my way of thinking they have got things back to front. The universe does what it does - two hydrogen atoms combine with one oxygen - and the laws are mere human diescriptions. So it is far more accurate to say "our 'laws' continue to model the universe well' rather than 'the universe obeys laws'. It also contains my favourite fallacy, which is that in an infinity of universes everything is possible (or worse, must happen in one of them). it ain't necessarily so.

Not are all facts equal. The hydrogen-oxygen relationship is universal (with caveats about fusion etc). But often facts have a strong injection of selection by humanity. That certain layers exist in the geology is factual. That a handful of these are more significant than the others arises from how humans think about it; our friendly alien could divide the geology in a completely different way and come up with an equally valid subject called Geology. As a result - and this is all I am going to say about Evolution here - while I agree "Evolution is true" and would stick my neck out and say universally true, not just on Earth, even stating it relies upon the idea of species, and deciding whether two things are different species is a human sort of fact, not a hydrogen-oxygen sort.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 03:00 AM

But the combining of two hydrogen atoms with one of oxygen into a stable substance like water makes logical sense, doesn't it? This isn't just random. Things do things in ways that work, and (for the most part) don't do things just by random chance. For most things, there's a cause and an effect that can be predicted.
Isn't that logical?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 05:41 AM

"The hydrogen-oxygen relationship is universal"
Do we know this as being "universally so"? If so, how so?

Since we have not "experienced" every chemical situation, among a potentially vast array, in the Universe, I suspect that is not necessarily so, though we could "theorize" that it is "most likely" so a universal - in "every" situation we can now put forward.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 05:48 AM

It isn't random, in the sense it is always 2:1, but it is an observation not a logical inference or deduction; that is why I would not personally say it is logical, merely regular. Now, by observing that and similar things we can come up with models of election shells and bonding and all the rest and, using that model predict what the proportions of carbon and oxygen should be without ever observing it, then pat ourselves on the back when we do observe that we were right. But all of the logical manipulation is of the model, not the thing itself. You can say the proportions are logical but that is really just a shorthand for being what the model predicted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 05:59 AM

You are right, Ed: we clearly cannot observe everything. We are hitting limitations of the English language. I did not mean true at all times and everywhere, I meant it *appears* to be so in everywhere we have observed so we *assume* universality. David Hume's treatise "On Miracles" discusses this in some depth. I accept your correction: I can only plead the difficulty involved on having enough precision without getting too deep into the specialist language


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 08:14 AM

> So it is far more accurate to say "our 'laws' continue to model the universe well' rather than 'the universe obeys laws'.

More cautious perhaps (or "too cautious"), but possibly an inadvertent playing with words. If the model that well describes the universe is based on order (and above the quantum level it is), then the order (alias "laws") must exist in the universe (at least in our universe, granted). Is another conclusion possible?

Yes. Perhaps nothing exists at all but the thing called "I" which has the inexplicable power to delude itself into thinking that other things exist. That's all "I" can be absolutely certain of. But perhaps I should be saying "You," since if "I" am right then the only existing "I" is you: the illusion called "Lighter" is just another of your illusions. (And as such, I'm sorry to have to break it to you this way.)

The point is, in the abstract, anything *is* hypothetically possible - except that you don't exist (though the being that exists would clearly be very different from being you think yourself to be.) Since everything is hypothetically possible, the laws of the universe may well come to a screeching halt in the next twelve minutes, quite inexplicably, and we (or just you, in this "model") would be left with no logic, virtually no knowledge, and a future (or might it be a past? Or something sideways?) even more unpleasant than what we think we have now.

So unless one is ready to commit to solipsism, the idea that scientific laws do not reflect the universe we see is what I would call - at best - unprovable by the very logic that we're bound to use.

Assuming that "logic" isn't just another of "my" delusions.

Which we can obviously state but which we just as obviously can't assume. So that line of thinking leads nowhere.

Either natural laws/regular patterns (including all mathematical relationships) exist independent of the mind, or all is delusion (or worse, illusion, which implies that some other existent thing is fooling me/you/us.)

So perhaps the most precise formulation would be that, *if* the universe I/you/we see is real, natural "laws" are indeed part of it and not just a human construct.

*If,* however, solipsism is correct or the visible universe "goes mad," that conclusion would be falsified. But not, I think, till then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 08:18 AM

The very first comment Professor Feynman made in class was about universality and how we can assume measurements we make nearby are just as likely to be the same if made millions of light years away.




Every discipline creates a distinct language. Some intuitive and some not.
Do you have some specialist terms that are your favorite or even crucial?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 08:41 AM

I am afraid, O, possibly imaginary Lighter, that the cogito is not as solid as it appears either...


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 08:59 AM

My favourite sentence came from a flatmate at university who was revising and said "Every ideal in a Noetherian ring is expressible as a finite intersection of primary ideals." There is barely a word that is comprehensible without hours of explanation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 09:29 AM

It's all too much! I can't cope!
Excuse me if I just pick a few things out.

DMcG
The universe does what it does - two hydrogen atoms combine with one oxygen - and the laws are mere human diescriptions.
To which Joe Offer replied -
But the combining of two hydrogen atoms with one of oxygen into a stable substance like water makes logical sense, doesn't it?
Does it? What if they did something else? Wouldn't that be just as logical? Lots of elements combine to form unstable substances, some don't combine at all. The logical rule seems to be do exactly what you do whatever that may be.

I also like DMcG's post of 15 Jun 16 - 05:48 AM.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 09:46 AM

Steve Shaw previously
When we talk about a law of nature we are not talking about that which must be obeyed but about that which we see consistently happening in our experiences of particular phenomena.
and more recently -
As for laws of science, well that seems to imply laws that are human constructs rather than explanations of the way things behave, as science is a human endeavour. Laws of nature isn't great either but it sort of removes that human imposition part of it.
Bit of a U-turn there. Could you give me an example of one of these laws of nature that isn't a human construct?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 09:56 AM

I'd also like to thank Ed T for the links. Much food for thought if not an easy read.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 10:25 AM

If you'd used words like "the cogito" and "Noetherian" at the start of this, I'd have known better than to get mixed up in it.

However, the relationship of the mind to the cosmos (plus a possibly infinite number of other universes, increasing infinitely at every instant of time) may not be resolvable at our current stage of knowledge/ignorance.

Fortunately the everyday consequences of the correct answer appear to be nil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 10:57 AM

Ha ha! I promise to moderate my language from now on!

But more seriously, please, world-at-large, do continue to contribute. Don't   imagine I have spent a lifetime studying this stuff. Most of what I know from philosophy, for example, I learnt when my daughter studied it; I never have myself, but she does need some keeping up with


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 11:53 AM

Seems donuel you can do what no one else has done if you can show us evolution , by which, I trust you realise I do not mean observable phenomenon such as natural selection, mutations, or even epigenetics. I presume snail was also asking the same when he orinally asked/challenged some threads back.....I don't think I miss remember , notwithstanding Steves protestations to the opposite.                                                       There has been some discussion about the brain or mind. Here's a thought ....if we are a product of evolution , then so is your brain, or minds. Since evolution is a continuing process according to its adherents, why should we trust anything you say , as your reasoning might be just a result of randomness!?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 11:58 AM

Richard Feynman on laws of nature

and how lucky we are to find them


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 11:59 AM

What U-turn?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 12:08 PM

Right! Now for Evolution.

Pete from seven stars link
Just a little reminder....not only did snail not like Steve saying....evolution is true..., but issued the challenge ...show me some evolution....    Now it would seem logical if it cannot be demonstrated, ie, if you cannot show us some evolution, that to say evolution is true, is a statement of belief rather than substantiated fact. And to say that it is true, seems to be at variance to the oft repeated claim that everything in science is provisional.
I never thought I'd say this but "Thank you, Pete". That is a concise and accurate summary of my position although I suspect that what you conclude from it may be a little different from my intention. Quite why Steve denies that I asked him to show me some evolution I don't know. I asked repeatedly and he consistently failed to do so.

Steve Shaw
Because evolution is not science. Evolution is a natural phenomenon that would exist whether we sentient beings were here to ponder it or not (though, of course, it did produce us). Do you deny that?
Yes, I deny that evolution is a natural phenomenon.
The world is full of living organisms of every imaginable and a great many unimaginable sorts. Some of these, like humans and chimpanzees, closely resemble each other; others are vastly different; some have lesser or greater resemblance. These are the natural phenomena that we are presented with. Up until two or three hundred years ago, the prevailing explanation of all this was that God created each species fully formed and they remained unchanged for the following 6000 and something years. Gradually, a better idea emerged (evolved?) and came to be known as evolution. Darwin gives a good account of this in a sort of preamble to Origin of Species added after the first edition I think.
Evolution involving descent from common ancestors and gradual change over long periods of time is the best explanation we have for these similarities and differences and probably the best we will ever have. It is, nonetheless, a theory and as such cannot be described as "true".
One of the problems with seeing it as a theory is that no single individual published a major work presenting it as such. It is the combined effort of many individuals over a long time.
If you still insist that it is a natural phenomenon, then I will say again as I have said many times before, "Show me some evolution.".
If you don't like my saying that evolution as a natural phenomenon (not the theory) is true, then you're saying that it's not true.
No I am not; I am saying that it is not a meaningful statement.

Yesterday I asked "could I, at least, ask you to pause and consider why I have trouble with statements like "Evolution is true!"?"
Apparently not.

LATE BREAKING NEWS!
Donuel
If someone truly wants to see evolution , if you are not just making a rhetorical request, I can literally show you the process and not just the results.
Yes please. Bring it on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 12:33 PM

But evolution isn't "random" in the sense you mean: it's an example of cause and effect, not just a crazy sequence of unrelated events.

But even if it were, and if then nothing one thinks or says is trustworthy, the same condition would, unfortunately, apply to your own assertions.

Why should anyone believe what anyone else has to say if the thought and utterance could be perfectly random events unrelated to anything else, including each other?

In a truly random world, though, no meaningful communication would be possible. That's because languages themselves are ordered systems (though they do include certain unpredictable features, like irregular verbs, sound changes, etc.) No intelligible language could exist in a world of random developments, thoughts, words, and sounds - and no one but the speaker could understand it if it did!

But even understanding oneself requires orderliness....


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 12:48 PM

Steve Shaw
What U-turn?

The two statements that I quoted from you are directly opposite in meaning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 12:58 PM

I will get your link...

Warning, I have found that watching Richard Feynman is highly addictive , super clever and enlightening.

I also have a collection of many of his class lectures compiled from cassette tapes from his students.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 01:00 PM

Sorry Lighter, was your last post directed at me?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 01:07 PM

Snail, I don't remember my chemistry all that well, but I think there IS a lot of sense in the way that hydrogen and oxygen combine.

Something about free electrons, and those electron gaps being filled in a stable fashion when two hydrogens combine with one oxygen; and in a less stable fashion when one oxygen and one hydrogen combine.

And the way we can predict new elements from the Periodic Table before we've actually discovered them.

This is stuff that is explained through deductive reasoning, through logic - no? It's a systematic way that things interact, not random.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 01:15 PM

evolution for Lighter
the simple example is 18 minutes in


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 01:16 PM

Warning, I have found that watching Richard Feynman is highly addictive , super clever and enlightening.

I also have a collection of many of his class lectures compiled from cassette tapes from his students.


I have a collection of his lectures on CD but they are a bit challenging, especially when he writes things on a blackboard, or points at something he wrote as part of his explanation: the audio doesn't capture it too well!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 01:33 PM

No they are not. I'd wager that no-one else here would think so either.

The request to "show me some evolution" is illegitimate. That question can be attempted at a single point in time but evolution is not a phenomenon that takes place at a single point in time. The way to demonstrate evolution is to present the evidence for it. I could show you natural selection taking place in bacteria over a couple of days, but natural selection is a mechanism, not evolution. That isn't going to satisfy anyone who doesn't think evolution is true, of course. Asking an impossible, unreasonable and illegitimate question about something you don't want to believe is true is either disingenuous or an argument from ignorance. Evolution is a dead cert that we try to explain by scientific theory. You deny that it is a natural phenomenon then you go on to arbitrarily atomise the concept of a natural phenomenon by regarding individual species as natural phenomena. Well why not go the whole hog and declare that no, not even they are the natural phenomena, rather 'tis the protons, neutrons and electrons that make up their trillions of atoms...or perhaps we can settle on a hierarchy of natural phenomena. I think you're nit-picking, in other words.

Evolution is not just a new idea. It has been going on for most of the life of planet Earth, and would have been going on whether there were sentient minds available to try to explain it or not. You are conflating a non-scientific truth (evolution) with the theory that explains it. Having a theory for it means that we don't fully understand it. Evolution doesn't give a damn whether we understand it or not and just keeps rolling on as a very old non-idea. I nearly said doesn't give a monkey's there, but it does... The theory is the new and better idea you refer to, not evolution itself.

Most theories in inexact sciences such as biology are going to be joint efforts eventually, if not at the beginning. Darwin's big idea has been added to, tweaked and clarified. In his case, strengthened. That doesn't stop it from being a good theory. Darwin did not have modern genetics or biochemistry at his disposal. He would have been delighted that both disciplines have overwhelmingly backed him. That's science for you.

I could hector you on your personal interpretation of the two words "natural" and "phenomenon" in order to glean why you think evolution (not its explanation) isn't a really good fit for both words. But it's my birthday and I need to play Hunt The Corkscrew now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 01:36 PM

I figure anyone who tries to explain evolution to Pete is probably beyond all hope. Just please let it go...


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 02:24 PM

Joe, what you are talking about is the logic of science derived from the observation of the natural world. Nature does not follow these rules; it hasn't read the textbooks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 02:38 PM

It would make life simpler to keep these sub-threads separate.

Steve Shaw
No they are not. I'd wager that no-one else here would think so either.

In the first quote you talk of the laws of nature being derived from "that which we see" in a post that goes on to describe the laws as descriptive. In the second you want to remove "that human imposition part of it". Sounds like a contradiction to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 02:45 PM

Steve Shaw
The way to demonstrate evolution is to present the evidence for it.

Then would you be so kind as to do so? At the moment your argument seems to consist of "This is true because I, Steve Shaw, say so." You aren't in the classroom now. I have presented my case; kindly present yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 03:07 PM

Snail, it was for Pete.

Still true, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 03:25 PM

Thanks, Lighter. Your post came directly after mine but didn't seem to rlate to it in anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 03:51 PM

Random can mean "arbitrary." It can also mean "unpredictable."

Evolution at the species level is unpredictable and so "random" in that sense. No one can *accurately* predict, for example, when or even if human beings will evolve into another species; or, if they do, what that species would be like. Contrast that with chemical reactions, which are routinely predictable.

But being unpredictable isn't the same as being arbitrary or causeless. True causelessness is disorder and chaos. (That does make it unpredictable, but despite the overlap the two concepts are distinct.)

Evolution is orderly (not "random") in so far as it exhibits both cause and effect. (In that way it's like everything else above the quantum level.) Unpredictable evolutionary changes don't violate ordinary cause and effect. The class of dinosaurs that evolved into birds did not suddenly and for no good reason lose their teeth, sprout wings, and fly. The slow change resulted from unpredictable but orderly interactions between genetics and environment.

Scientific discussions of evolution reasonably take it for granted that people will not interpret "random" to mean "causeless" - which is what I took Pete to mean.

Since I'm not a professional philosopher or an evolutionary biologist, perhaps I'm quite mistaken about all of this. Readers of this thread will decide for themselves the meaning of "random" in various contexts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 06:09 PM

Lighter, agree that my position would be based on suspect logic , if yours were too. However if my position is true and we are Gods creation , it is logical to expect that generally we can trust our logic. Not that it can't be mistaken logic of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 06:22 PM

> generally we can trust our logic

We know this through constant exposure to sound deductions and reasonable inferences. It's true whether there's a benevolent Creator or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 06:22 PM

Snail, I have also heard that fixity of species was a common view in the past . This was of course easily shown to be false , and as a result evolution gradually made gains. Creationism has not taught fixity of species for a long time , if ever. Darwin seems to have got his ideas from others before him including creationist writings. Darwin, thought that the variation between species that developed could be extrapolated to posit a complete tree of life encompassing all organisms, as opposed to the biblical teaching , that was observationaly attested , that they reproduced "after their kind ". Now, was it logical to assert that which was not observable ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 06:30 PM

It is going back a bit, but I feel I neglected a comment by Amos, when we were saying scientific experiments were set up to disprove the null hypothesis. Amos said:

An experiment that DISPROVES the null hypothesis supports some alternative hypothesis, n'est-ce pas?

And that's perfectly true. So why the apparent awkwardness of disproving rather than proving?

It's best considered via an example. Suppose I wanted to prove the statement 'All crows are black'. Basically, it can't be done. I may have examined a million, or one hundred million, crows but I can never be certain that if I go over the next hill I won't come across some white ones. So no matter how many 'agreements' I get, I can't be certain whether the hypothesis is correct or not.

Now suppose the opposite: After examining a bunch of crows I come across a white one. Job done: the hypothesis is disproved, no uncertainty.

And that in short is why experiments are set up to disprove, rather than prove.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 06:34 PM

"Then would you be so kind as to do so? At the moment your argument seems to consist of "This is true because I, Steve Shaw, say so." You aren't in the classroom now. I have presented my case; kindly present yours."

Nonsense. The sense in which I say that evolution is true is the same sense in which I say that there's an apple tree in my garden (there is - come and have a look. If you don't believe me, crunch one of my apples come September and you'll be convinced, though it shouldn't really take even that). Explaining why it's an apple tree and not a cherry tree, how and why it bursts into leaf in May, why the blossom is so beautiful yet functional, how the receptacle swells to surround the true fruit... All that's the science, the human attempt to explain the nature of my apple tree. But the apple tree itself is not science. Science is what people do. No people, no science. The apple tree is there whether there are humans to observe it or not. It doesn't need a classroom dictator to decide whether there's an apple tree in my garden. It doesn't need a classroom dictator (Jeez, I was never that!) to decide whether evolution happens. It just does. Now that's my case - you asked me to present it because you've presented yours. Oddly, I can't seem to see yours anywhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 06:51 PM

> The apple tree is there whether there are humans to observe it or not.

Yes, but to quote a bumper sticker I saw some years back,

"If a man speaks in the forest and no woman is there to contradict him, is he still wrong?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 06:51 PM

Well, DMcG, all crows are black is not a sensible hypothesis to begin with. It's more of an unsupportable assertion, therefore unworthy of scientific consideration, rather like saying that planet Earth is pear-shaped. What is a crow, exactly? Are jays and magpies crows? What if I said that no non-black bird can be a crow, no matter what the other biological attributes of the poor beast strongly suggest? The point I'm trying to make here is that sensible discussions here can't be based on the over-simplistic. We can handle real examples, us intelligent sorts...

When you say that experiments are set up to disprove, your statement is valid only if you add on to the end of it "the null hypothesis." As a matter of fact, I suppose that most working scientists earning their daily crust haven't got much time for the null hypothesis. Hopefully, their training may have provided them with some insight...


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 07:55 PM

Snail says: Joe, what you are talking about is the logic of science derived from the observation of the natural world. Nature does not follow these rules; it hasn't read the textbooks.

I think you're playing semantic games, Snail. Yes, we've already established that the "rules" are descriptive rather than a mandate to be obeyed. We humans are able to observe the patterns in which things function and interact, and those patterns are ordinarily in accord with our logic.

These aren't just random, arbitrary things - these are predictable, interdependent patterns. And the patterns make sense.

It's far easier to says that things follow the laws of science or nature (take your pick), and reasonable people know what that means.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 08:11 PM

I don't understand how anyone can interpret "laws" of nature or science as anything but rules about the way things work, based on observation. I don't know that it's a serious thing to not "get it" or whether it's something else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 08:17 PM

English dude dared to propose the multiverse during dangerous times

Steve this may not be as germane as the Feynman link but it is up lifting in its own way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 09:15 PM

That is fascinating. What England does today, the world does tomorrow... 😉


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Janie
Date: 15 Jun 16 - 10:19 PM

Language does trip us up at times. In logic and mathematics, true or truth, as well as 'value' has one set of meanings based as much as the human mind is capable, on evidence.

Those terms are also used to connote moral values, moral judgements, moral beliefs. The utility of moral beliefs can be documented and studied in terms of their evolutionary value - but that doesn't make them facts.

Both religious and non-religious persons typically have moral values and make belief-based moral judgements regarding behaviors or the worth of individuals in accordance with those moral belief systems. But the meaning and usage is different from how those terms are used in classical logic and mathematics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 01:39 AM

I think, Steve, you must have indulged on birthday celebrations when you responds to my last post. You understood perfectly well that my use of crows was incidental and the post was about the asymmetry of proving or disproving a statement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 02:22 AM

As a matter of fact, I suppose that most working scientists earning their daily crust haven't got much time for the null hypothesis. Hopefully, their training may have provided them with some insight...

Your experience may differ from mine, of course, but mine is that scientists frequently use tools like MATLAB, SPSS and SAS which contain tools to design experiments in such a way that they get the maximum information from the fewest number of experiments.

I don't suppose you would like to hazard a guess what these tools use to decide that, would you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 05:07 AM

"As a matter of fact, I suppose that most working scientists earning their daily crust haven't got much time for the null hypothesis."

Any scientist doing research will deal with null hypotheses on an almost daily basis. Research questions are broken down into a series of them that can then be tested. Commonly, this might be applying new methodology to test the results of someone else's work, or applying their methodology to your work and comparing the results etc etc

The question of "are all crows black" isn't a null hypothesis, but the question "all crows are black" is. From this we then go on to define the research question, establish the type and the limits of the dataset we would need to test the null and then do the donkey work.

"All Crows are black"

1) Define 'crow'. Crow is the common name for "Corvus corone" of Europe and Asia. All other species are considered irrelevant to this study. Check literature, no-one has tested this hypothesis before. Get big fat grant and start work.

2) Sample size: we need to count as many crows as we can, so we would decide on some way of doing this, geographical location, time, observing a field on certain days etc

3) Count the crows and record if they are black, leucistic or another colour

4) Plot the results.

5) Notice one speckled and one albino crow was seen.

6) Conclude not all crows are black.

7) Null hypothesis disproved. Write it up.

Even if you saw only black crows and decided the null hypothesis was correct then our data would provide a good opportunity to test the null again, perhaps using a bigger sample.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 07:16 AM

Both religious and non-religious persons typically have moral values and make belief-based moral judgements regarding behaviors or the worth of individuals in accordance with those moral belief systems. But the meaning and usage is different from how those terms are used in classical logic and mathematics.

I'd pretty much agree, Janie. There are certainly links, and that is partly why they share terminology, but there is a formality to classical logic that simply can't be applied to most moral questions, if only because the terms are generally ill-defined. Also moral judgements take place based on much more subjective information and models than most branches of science are happy with. So in my view the 'well rounded person' is aware of both, and uses different strategies in different circumstances.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 07:24 AM

Joe Offer
It's far easier to says that things follow the laws of science or nature (take your pick), and reasonable people know what that means.

If you say exactly the opposite of what you mean "reasonable people" will know what you mean? I'm sorry, but I don't think I'm playing semantic games to have a problem with that.

If you follow the link in Ed T's post of 14 Jun 16 - 01:09 PM you will see that this is a major topic of philosophical debate. (It's unreadable but it does show the debate is there.)

Saying that nature follows the laws implies that the laws pre-exist and, as I said at the outset, that sounds dangerously close to intelligent design.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 08:19 AM

The late Jacques Derrida here, High Priest of the Deconstructionism that was so popular in the '80s and '90s.

While we Deconstructionists reject the idea that reality is illusory, we also reject the claim that language can say anything permanently meaningful about it.

Allow me quickly to reduce your explanation of a "scientific" method to the patent nonsense that it is.

> Define 'crow'. Crow is the common name for "Corvus corone" of Europe and Asia.

But what is "Corvus corone"? Unless you explain precisely what this means, your statement is a tautology at best. But don't try: if the word "bird" appears in your explanation (or any other word for that matter), we are left to puzzle over its meaning until it is further explained. And so forth. One may, moreover, quite as successfully include blackness in the very definition of "crow." Those who would object have merely been misled by "science," which is has no more validity than any other invalid language-reliant belief system.   

Many years from now, assuming we are finally agreed upon the meaning of *all* the words you've used, we can move to point two: "All other species are considered irrelevant to this study." Why is this? So as to stack the deck in favor of positivistic science, of course. Isn't the distinction between "C. corone" and all other so-called species quite arbitrary? Would Eskimos, who are reputed routinely to distinguish many forms of what call "snow," concur that the imagined distinctions among crows are significantly meaningful?

Is all "snow" "white"? No, say you, there's slush, which is gray. Ah, but slush is not snow, which is white by definition. Slush used to be snow, but now it's something else entirely, something called, by the odd concatenation of sounds "slush," for unexamined reasons none of us here are likely to know or care about when we say "slush."

You say a whale is a "mammal." Captain Ahab and countless others throughout history say it is a "fish." Perhaps it partakes of both, or of neither, depending on one's criteria. Who is to say - unless it is the societal group in power?

Deconstructionism holds that all meaning - which is a function of the mind - is radically unstable, ever elusive, and permanently removed from external reality. Deconstructionist critics gain tenure explaining why things like "Hamlet" can be assigned no particular meaning at all. All "knowledge" expressed in words is merely the "endless play of [linguistic] signs."

Read my works if you think I'm kidding. If you dare think you can understand them.

Jacques Derrida, signing off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 09:00 AM

Thank you Steve Shaw for your comparison of evolution with your apple tree. It demonstrates my point admirably. Your apple tree can be seen, touched, heard, smelt and tasted. None of these is true of evolution. It is perfectly legitimate to say "Show me your apple tree" (in fact you have already invited me to come and see it) but it is not legitimate to say "Show me some evolution". The two things couldn't be more different.

Evolution is not just a new idea. It has been going on for most of the life of planet Earth, and would have been going on whether there were sentient minds available to try to explain it or not.
You could say the same of natural selection but you seem happy to accept that that is a theory and cannot be described as true.

It doesn't need a classroom dictator (Jeez, I was never that!) to decide whether evolution happens. It just does. Now that's my case
Yep. Steve Shaw says so.

Oddly, I can't seem to see yours anywhere.
You do have a bit of a track record of not seeing things I've said if they don't suit you like your denial to Pete that I had said "Show me some evolution". Try looking at my post of 15 Jun 16 - 12:08 PM.

It seems I was wrong to say that no individual was responsible for coming up with evolution, at least according to Darwin who claims it for himself.
From the introduction to On The Origin Of Species -

Although much remains obscure, and will long remain obscure, I can entertain no
doubt, after the most deliberate study and dispassionate judgment of
which I am capable, that the view which most naturalists until recently
entertained, and which I formerly entertained--namely, that each species
has been independently created--is erroneous. I am fully convinced that
species are not immutable; but that those belonging to what are called
the same genera are lineal descendants of some other and generally
extinct species, in the same manner as the acknowledged varieties of
any one species are the descendants of that species.


Not a natural phenomenon but something arrived at after "deliberate study and dispassionate judgment".

Happy Birthday for yesterday by the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 09:03 AM

"As a matter of fact, I suppose that most working scientists earning their daily crust haven't got much time for the null hypothesis. Hopefully, their training may have provided them with some insight..."

So why do you think I added that last bit, DMcG and Stu? When you drive your car, are you running over all that stuff in your head about matching revs and coordinating accelerator and clutch that you were told when you were learning to drive every time you change gear? Or have you not got much time for it?

By the way, a quick way of losing friends on a forum is to make unsupportable accusations that someone is posting under the influence of alcohol.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 09:12 AM

"The question of 'are all crows black' isn't a null hypothesis, but the question 'all crows are black' is. "

Not only is that not a null hypothesis, it isn't even a question. It could well be a hypothesis. It sounds more like an unsupported assertion coming from a standpoint of ignorance. A bit like my saying that all butterflies are red admirals. As someone who knows a bit about crows, I'd be asking "What makes you think that?" There would inevitably be an inadequate answer to that and the line of enquiry would cease forthwith as not being worth pursuing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 09:17 AM

Sorry you took the reference to your birthday that way, Steve. It really followed on from an earlier post by you on the same theme.in a similar style. If it has offended you, I apologise.

I did notice the part you have highlighted. I find scientists use their skill and experience to decide *which* null hypotheses to explore, not whether to do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 09:29 AM

I also regret mentioning those damned crows as it seems to have led lots of people down a side street. I doubt if anyone cares but I picked that as a result of a paper I read decades ago about the difference between the statement "all crows are black" and the logically equivalent all non-black things are not-crows....


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 10:23 AM

No offence taken. On another forum I once saw a serious escalation of nastiness when someone accused someone else of posting pissed!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 11:48 AM

"I am a scientist and I know what constitutes proof. But the reason I call myself by my childhood name is to remind myself that a scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that." 
― Douglas Adams


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 01:00 PM

"As someone who knows a bit about crows, I'd be asking "What makes you think that?"

It's a simple example with a grammatical error, meant to illustrate a point. Your question, whilst interesting, would be addressed in the introduction to the paper, where we would be outlining the relevance of our research. But then you know that.


"But what is "Corvus corone"? Unless you explain precisely what this means, your statement is a tautology at best."

Of course it's not a tautology. By using the binomial a scientist knows what they are looking at; many of these things have common names. I refer you to the type specimen (where ever that is).

" Isn't the distinction between "C. corone" and all other so-called species quite arbitrary?"

Ah, now this is more interesting. The distinction between species isn't arbitrary at all because we name a particular example of an organism as a holotype and that represents their species. We list the characters and traits of these species so we can compare with other organisms to see if they share traits/DNA etc etc

But whilst not arbitrary, the concept of a 'species' is not universally accepted; in fact, it's widely regarded as being inadequate in many respects because it fixes the characters of an organism too rigidly, not allowing for intraspecific variation, ontogeny and other factors that cause the wide variety of morphotypes that make up a population of that species.

All that said, the use of species isn't going away any time soon; when identifying organisms and comparing them for the purposes of understanding their ecology and evolution species are still essential. In my experience palaeontologists (for whom this is a major issue) often talk in terms of morphotypes and this seems to make sense as it allows for the natural variation present within any given population of organisms.

Good stuff, I will talk more about this with my supervisors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 01:19 PM

Snail says: Saying that nature follows the laws implies that the laws pre-exist and, as I said at the outset, that sounds dangerously close to intelligent design.

And we mustn't lead anyone into Wrong Thinking by our casual use of language, right? So, of course we must complicate our language into gobbledy-gook, lest someone get a Wrong Thought.

Precious.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 02:12 PM

Joe, after some thought, I responded to what you said in your opening post. I'm sorry you don't like the answer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 02:26 PM

To experience like a child is good but is only like the forward to the introduction of seeing with all your being

There are viewpoints, keys to locks of perception, phrases and emotions and scratch the surface more deeply than being child like;

To see with better eyes.

Trust the subconscious, but verify.

Collate by things that are similar vs stand alone phenomena that have no simile and as a result may be invisible to others.

The subconscious will require translation. For some it is geometric, for others a transcendent image.

Try to learn everything on the shelf of multiple disciplines.

If you can obey the rules, do it.
If you can't, don't. One operators manual does not work for all brains.

Hard work and good sleep.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 03:04 PM

Joe you should be thankful to Snail. Without a foil or a soundboard of an old familiar wood you could not compare soundscapes and recombinant tones we can make only today.

Gobbledygook has alternative meaning as a tool in propaganda, brain washing and hypnosis that may go beyond your knowledge or usage.
It is a psychological distraction that draws a person away from conscious listening and briefly brings the subconscious mind to bear when a sudden clear and understandable command is given more imperative power.

It is also just means gobbledygook.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 03:55 PM

Well, looking back through the thread, I guess what I'm saying is that I see a harmony in the universe, that things interact in marvelous ways. And that maybe it would be a good idea for us all to act in harmony with the universe, for the purpose of mutual growth and survival.

But as Snail said at the outset (whenever that was), "that sounds dangerously close to intelligent design."

Or not. Maybe things work together in a rational manner simply because otherwise, they would cease to function.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 04:53 PM

Could our universe be located within the interior of a wormhole which itself is part of a black hole that lies within a much larger universe?




part of something else? 


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 05:26 PM

> Could our universe be located within the...

Sure, why not?

The hot new theory is that ours is just a holographic projection of a two-dimensional space.

Yawn. Other U's might be more exotic still.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 05:30 PM

"The first person to think of the universe as a great organism was the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras, but the idea of ​​the universe as a living organism was largely formulated by Plato, then by the Stoics, Plotinus and Neoplatonism.

According to the "organismic" view, the structures that make up the universe, galaxies, black holes, quasars, stars, nebulae, planets and us included, should be considered as the tissue of a living giant, something as the parts of the body of the universe."


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 05:35 PM

Those are cosmologists talking, not philosophers or theologians. They use studies and equations that keep the false premises to a minimum.

However, what you see in the cosmos is usually what you get.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 05:49 PM

"The theory (as I would have it) of evolution and the subsequent theory of natural selection are undoubtedly the best explanations we have of the diversity and complexity of life that we see around us. They are probably the best explanations we will ever have."

Agreed, except that "the theory of evolution" is actually "the theory of evolution by natural selection." I agree with "probably." The beauty of science is that "probably" is as good as it ever gets. Other areas of human endeavour that espouse unwarranted certainty can be so ugly in comparison, in the ways they entrap millions of people.

"My objection is to either or both of them being referred to as "True" which converts them into a quasi-religious belief system and removes them from science."

Well I also object to theories being called true. Unfortunately, you are still refusing to understand my point about evolution being an incontrovertible natural phenomenon. That's the starting point for scientific investigation, and the scientific investigation of evolution has been one of the greatest triumphs of humanity. In stark contrast, religious belief systems, quasi or not, can't be subjected to the scientific process because they all start with a premise that has deliberately been put beyond rational investigation. To claim that my statement that "evolution is true" is putting it on a quasi-religious footing is patently ridiculous, and places you precisely and fully in pete's camp.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 06:23 PM

As for those pesky crows, well there's the ordinary black jobbie, Corvus corone. And then there's the hoodie. What of the hoodie? Well, I have a good few old natural history books that regard the hooded crow as a geographical race of the black jobbie. After all, it interbreeds very successfully with the common crow. In more recent years, the hoodie has managed to attain specieshood, as Corvus cornix. The great thing about the hoodie is that it isn't remotely what you might call black. Isn't science fun!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Janie
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 07:48 PM

Joe - "Maybe things work together in a rational manner simply because otherwise, they would cease to function."

Don't want to get into nitpicking language, but I think you may have the cart before the horse. Seems to me that rational thought and logic are methods of thinking that can help us understand how or why 'things' happen and to predict or understand the interaction among different 'things.'   

Things do cease to function. Using logic or reason is/are tools for understanding the processes involved, but are not the processes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jun 16 - 10:44 PM

It is wonderful that so many great people are wondering where we are, where are we going, where did we come from and the most audacious question of all (beyond any known measurement) - WHY.

From all we learn, will the universe ever seem logical to a human brain? I DON'T KNOW

Is logic meaningful to only us as a tool to refine our understanding of certain disconnected relationships that repeat everywhere we look for them? YES.

What is great is that we continue to move from being self aware to become Universe aware.

Many of these ideas are not as practical as making a bird house but the amazing thing is we can do both at the same time.

We all have a different knowledge base and different abilities to animate knowledge in our mind's eye. A trick that I enjoy is Perspectivism. Put your self in Newton's skull but with all the knowledge gained since his death. Now animate what he may see as a galaxy with seen and unseen mass with all its structures corkscrewing around a loci of a super massive black hole.

What would Einstein see?

Some people do this with super computers, and others dream while awake.

There is uncertainly if space is too enormous to understand our home.
We seem to live at the fulcrum between the massive and Plank smallness.

From our point of view space time is short for our species, our
planet, our galaxy as well as for our
entire cosmos when it under goes an inevitable state change.

While the questions outnumber the answers, I am certain that surprises are yet to come.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 12:26 AM

Janie says: I think you may have the cart before the horse. Seems to me that rational thought and logic are methods of thinking that can help us understand how or why 'things' happen and to predict or understand the interaction among different 'things.'   
Things do cease to function. Using logic or reason is/are tools for understanding the processes involved, but are not the processes.


Could it be that the cart and the horse are interchangeable? I'm sure there are those here who will disagree, but I think it's almost always true that 2+2=4. But then, it's also almost always true that 4=2+2. Nature follows patterns, and the patterns have a mathematical relationship. And for the most part, math=logic and logic=math. One can describe the processes of nature mathematically or logically, but one can also predict the processes of nature mathematically or logically.

I'm reaching for a little bit more, and I don't know that I've got it. It seems to me that logic and math follow patterns that "work"; and that functions of nature also follow patterns that "work" beneficially most of the time, although they sometimes fail so abysmally that they cease to exist.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 02:48 AM

Mathematics and systems of logic are servomechanisms for living thought. There are zones of thought where there usefulness and applicability are outstripped, but they are extremely useful in calculating how things run in a spacetime continuum. That does not mean that there are no other domains.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 07:06 AM

Steve, in a post yesterday I remarked that "You do have a bit of a track record of not seeing things I've said if they don't suit you". You may not have seen it because you seem to have completely ignored the post it was in.

Please read and respond to my post of 16 Jun 16 - 09:00 AM. It's the one with the quote from Darwin in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 07:59 AM

Let's remember that "logic" can mean the method of understanding as well as the phenomena itself ("the logic of nature").

Context makes the difference.

In fact, it's often forgotten context is essential to our understanding of all language.

Clarity isn't always easy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 08:17 AM

I honestly don't know what you're driving at. I do try to take things on head-on. I don't know whether you just want to play devil's advocate forever, or whether you really think that evolution may be false, and you will insist on conflating a phenomenon that has been going on since Johnny Cyanobacterium was a lad with the slightly more recent valiant attempts of modern science to explain it. You seem only to believe in solid things that you can touch and smell. Well, if you saw my apple tree you'd only know it was truly an apple tree if you had a little knowledge. Many people wouldn't know what it was if they saw it only in winter or early spring. When it comes to evolution both you and I have more then a little knowledge. So, like Dawkins, I'm confident enough to stick my head over the parapet and declare that evolution is a true phenomenon of the planet Earth. The challenge FROM THAT POINT ON is to explain it. Explain it, not confirm it. It doesn't need confirming. The trouble is, like lots of other people, you allow the Petes of this world to sucker you in to arguing the fat on their territory. Bad idea. I have to make some pesto. None of that muck in little jars for me. See you later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 08:31 AM

I think you are right, Amos. It seems perfectly possible there are things inherently beyond mathematics and science, not just beyond them at the moment. For the sake of clarity I do think you can apply the scientific method to anything you want to investigate. It is simply not self evident that the process will always produce coherent results however hard we try.

Please don't bother asking for examples as I accept there may be none. I am uncertain: if I had an example I wouldn't be!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 11:50 AM

"... "that sounds dangerously close to intelligent design."

Here's how logic works:

IF there were actually intelligent design as the basis of how the Universe began, THEN a generic metaphysical/religious theory would be logical....

IF there was NOT any intelligent design, and the Universe 'just happened' and proceeded according to physical 'laws', THEN explanations based on scientific principles would be logical.

Because we weren't around to observe, we can never prove either theory 100%. Thus, we can only observe...umm... what we can observe.

This leads to some just deciding to observe & measure.... but that process is obviously tremendously difficult & never-ending. Attributing 'intelligent design' also leads to speculating ABOUT the nature of a designer, which is also subject to the obvious differences of opinion.

So.... in the case of we humans, what sounds 'logical' is a matter of choosing our premises.... and logic itself can be debated as to the proper way to choose premises.

I have MY opinions as to what premises are best accepted and avoided....


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 12:22 PM

> I have MY opinions as to what premises are best accepted and avoided....

So do we just believe what we want to believe, i.e. what makes us feel good about things and ourselves.

If so, *should* we just believe...?

If not, have we any choice anyway? Are thoughts determined solely by chemical reactions in the brain?

What does radical uncertainty tell us in any case? Is it anything useful?

Just askin'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 12:54 PM

Bill D
proceeded according to physical 'laws'

Hmmm... Still not happy with that. Sounds as if the 'laws' came first and the Universe follows them. Where did those 'laws' come from?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 12:57 PM

Are thoughts determined solely by chemical reactions in the brain?

As I know full well, both Bill and Lighter are well aware that this has been a philosophical puzzle for a heck of a long time. A mechanistic view of the universe has always been a problem if you also think free will exists.

Fortunately, we have relatively recently discovered a possible way out of this. Research around 2009 strongly suggests avian eyes make use of effects at the quantum level. IF that is true, it at least opens the door to the possibility of quantum effects in other biological components, which fits quite nicely with some ideas Bill mentioned to me about free will.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 01:07 PM

What has belief got to do with it? I also have opinions on what premises are BEST ACCEPTED and which ones are best avoided. The ones I avoid, no matter how comforting and plausible they sound, are the ones with no evidence to support them and the ones I feel are BEST ACCEPTED are the ones with plenty of evidence to back them up. I'm fairly strict with myself as to what constitutes evidence, too.

Snail, the "laws" can't come before their stuff they're supposed to have following them. The laws are descriptions of the way things are. You can't have the laws without the things. Duh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 01:17 PM

Thoughts may well be solely produced by chemical reactions in the brain. The Pastoral Symphony may well be solely produced by a mass of vibrations, originating from various body parts blowing, plucking and banging things, passing through the air.

Or we could enjoy life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 01:39 PM

Or we could enjoy life.

Indeed. But some odd people, like me, find these sorts of questions *are* a way of enjoying life!

I was thinking back a few days ago about what was my earliest remembered thought (which is not, of course, the same as my earliest memory). I can date it precisely, because it was a Christmas day, when I was three and a quarter, and the thought was "Isn't it funny how memory works?"

No hope for some people, from the outset ....


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 02:03 PM

> Where did those 'laws' come from?

The same place the universe comes from. They're baked in, part and parcel, inextricable. An essential feature of the universe is its very operation.

Unless we find out otherwise, which should go without saying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 02:12 PM

> the possibility of quantum effects in other biological components

This isn't necessarily a good thing for free will, D.

If quantum effects are random, our sense of free will is then at the mercy of both macro determinism and micro randomness! Ouch!

I'm not sure it matters whether free will exists or not.

Our minds tell us that we have it, whether we do or we don't.

If I have no free will, and I "decide" I do, I still don't.

If I have free will, and decide I don't, I still do.

Life goes on much the same either way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 02:23 PM

I suggest, Mister Day, that both conditions are partially true, and neither absolutely true. Any grownup comes to recognize that life situations are conflations of different vectors, and gradient conditions rather than Manichean (binary) conditions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 02:25 PM

Snail, the "laws" can't come before their stuff they're supposed to have following them.

Precisely, Steve. That was my point. That was why I wasn't happy with Bill's statement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 02:40 PM

Steve Shaw says: Snail, the "laws" can't come before their stuff they're supposed to have following them. The laws are descriptions of the way things are. You can't have the laws without the things. Duh.

The "laws" are principles inherent within the "stuff." So, the "stuff" and the "laws" happen at the same time. And the laws, being inherent principles, are there whether some human defines them or not. Duh.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 02:41 PM

> Any grownup comes to recognize that life situations are conflations of different vectors, and gradient conditions rather than Manichean (binary) conditions.

I've been called many things, including "grownup."

But be that as it may. It may take some doing to prove that having a little free will, or a kind of free will, or intermittent free will, etc., is different, in trying to establish its existence or non-existence, from "having free will."

The issue right now is whether it exists at all.

If we conclude that it does, then we can puzzle profitably over just how much we have or need and why.

If you've concluded that we do have a dab or more of free will, please tell us how you know. Perhaps we'll be persuaded.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 02:55 PM

Well done Joe. It's quite simple to get right without talking "gobbledy-gook".


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 03:06 PM

Correction.
The number of chromosomes is actually a poor indicator of complexity.

Counting the number of gene base pairs is better
Humans have 3.2 million gene base pairs
Octopus 2.9 million gene base pairs - but 3 times as many neuronal pairs 162 to human 68

My original contention that Joe was really letting intelligent design in through the back door past the hallway of logic and into BSstill works.

Joe are you afraid that if intelligent design rang the front doorbell, all the neighbors would see? Fuggetaboutit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 03:50 PM

Well, what I would say is that life as we experience it is a melange of free will exericing in a deterministic spacetime continuum. Life or thought or free will itself tends to be counter-entropic, bringing order, while the mechanisms of the physical continuum tend to be entropic, bringing collapse, uniform distribution of energy, dissipation, condensation, and so on. A lump of coal is almost all deterministic, entropic, and left to its own devices will just decay. On the other hand the fired-up imagination of a young man in love is creative, seeking new ways of bringing order, and expansive; and seems to be full of inspired free will. Creative thought is a force to be reckoned with, and so are the predictable reactions of physics and chemistry, including entropy.

The normal quotidien human condition is a mixture of both--some days free will reigns, some days entropy steals a base and free will is disappointed. Any snapshot of such life is somewhere on a gradient spectrum from complete entropy to complete free-spirited will. Trying to resolve the complexities of the universe by claiming that the presence of either one nullifies the presence of the other is --to me-- over simplistic and naive.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 05:20 PM

OK, back to the Evolution.

I warn you, I'm in a bad mood. Southern Railways seem to have given up on the idea of actually running trains so this is not the evening I planned.

Steve Shaw
I honestly don't know what you're driving at.
Well let's face it Steve, you don't actually try very hard do you? After all, you KNOW.

I may have to take this a bit at a time. Couple of points to tidy up.
or whether you really think that evolution may be false
I have denied that so many times that I don't know whether you are too stupid to take the point on board or if it is simply a devious attempt on your part to discredit my arguments. Those seem to be the only choices.

The trouble is, like lots of other people, you allow the Petes of this world to sucker you in to arguing the fat on their territory.
Why do you have to do that sort of thing, Steve? Are you really that desperate to avoid engaging in intelligent debate that you need to resort to this crap? You claim to be a scientist. Behave like one. Debate the issues.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 06:23 PM

Gosh, you are in a moody. Do you ever engage with what I'm driving at? It's really very simple. We have a thing called evolution. I'm not going to debate its existence with Pete, Jehovah's Witnesses, you or anyone else. As far as I'm concerned, evolution is a phenomenon of planet Earth almost as old as Earth itself. There is no other process that could have led to life and its amazing diversity. Now evolution doesn't need human beings around. It's here, with us or without us. Just like the planet Earth itself, or Mount Everest, or my apple tree. Well I suppose some human or other (me) had to plant that tree, but apple trees in general get on very well without us. It doesn't take a scientist or the scientific method to confirm evolution, because evolution was going on its merry way millions of years before there were any scientists or a scientific method. When we came along, eventually we discerned that evolution seemed a good way of explaining life on Earth, so, with our insatiable curiosity, and applying as best we could the scientific process, we started trying to explain it. That meant having a theory. As it happens, it's a really good theory, so good that it is unlikely ever to be overturned, though never say never. But if an alternative theory does eventually gain the ascendancy, it will still be explaining the self-same phenomenon, not a different or modified one. We can modify the explanation, and we do, but we don't modify the phenomenon (well, except when we indulge in artificial selection, a process that strengthens the explanation, as it happens).

When I say I won't debate its existence, it means I don't regarded the phenomenon of evolution as science. I don't regard Mount Everest as science. There is science in explaining why Everest is where it is, what rocks it's made of, why fossils are found tens of thousands of feet up it, etc. With evolution, the science comes in gathering evidence for its mechanisms, looking at the fossil record, doing population studies and tying it in with our knowledge of biochemistry and genetics. Gravity isn't science. Gravity is a phenomenon that science tries to explain. Gravity, Everest, evolution and my apple tree are things. A fool may deny their existence. If you don't think they're true things, either your understanding of "true" isn't the same as mine, or you think they're not true (in other words, false), or you're just being vexatious. And you're bloody lucky to have any trains at all to get bad-tempered about. Try living in Bude. Thank you Doctor Idiot Beeching.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 06:47 PM

As for why do I have to do this sort of thing, etc., you must admit, Snail, that you've been a bit abrasive with me for a couple of days. As for me, I try to remain sweet-tempered yet annoying. It's good fun sometimes. I must say, you do deserve credit for being snarky with Pete recently. Rather like bad hypotheses about the colour of crows, Pete is a waste of time in conversations about science/evolution, so I suggest derision as a reasonable ploy rather than engagement. He may be a damn sight better singer than me, who knows. I think it's rather unfair to suggest that I haven't debated the issues in this thread. As a matter of fact, I've put a fair amount of effort into it. It helps that I've had the mother and father of a stinking cold for days, so have been staying indoors a lot, the weather having been unkind. I haven't had a cold for years, then I get one in June, and that's the truth. I have a hypothesis concerning viral contamination of Lidl trolley handles. The null hypothesis is that I didn't pick up the cold virus from Lidl trolley handles.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Pete from seven stars link
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 07:29 PM

Seems snail and Steve that there is a mudcat copper making sure that only pro evolutionists can comment on the subject. Wonder if you,ll see this before it also gets deleted.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 07:54 PM

I'm not pro- or anti-anything, Pete. All I want is evidence. These logic/science threads must be quite tough, Pete, n'est-ce pas? 🙄🤔


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 08:06 PM

Donuel sez: My original contention that Joe was really letting intelligent design in through the back door past the hallway of logic and into BSstill works.

Huh? If so, I'm not aware of it. To have Intelligent Design, one needs an external designer - I think. Nonetheless, I think that things have properties that make sense, and have interactions that make sense. It's cause and effect, not random and not chaos. Things follow patterns that we can study, comprehend, and predict.

I'm a tinkerer, and I understand machines and materials better than organisms. But for the most part, I think organisms are just organic machines.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Greg F.
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 08:28 PM

mudcat copper making sure that only pro evolutionists can comment

That's right, pete, the "evolutionists" are out to get you. Be afraid! Be very afraid!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Jeri
Date: 17 Jun 16 - 09:09 PM

Pete, this is about "logic and the laws of science". Joe said it wasn't about religion. Give up.

Amos, I don't know anybody who takes as much time finding so many complicated words as you do to explain what essentially, is pretty simple. Free will and entropy are not opposites. Listen to the Trumpster for a while, and realize that in his world, they are the same, as his free will is focused on promoting entropy.

But...
The creative thought process also IMO is why we question what it all means, which is where religion and everything born from imagination come from. I think it's the same reason it's so hard for us to understand that things just happen, and leads us to question and try to explain why. Which is where natural laws come from.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Amos
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 12:50 AM

Jeri:

Sorry for being long-winded--I was responding to an overly short-winded argument upthread. :D


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 03:23 AM

At the risk of sounding testy, may I remind everyone that while in mentioned crows I was merely using it as a illustration of the difference between img proving something and disproving it. That I mentioned crows was incidental: it could as easily have been pencils, Tupperware boxes or Knorr soup packets for all the difference it made.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 04:29 AM

"The normal quotidien human condition is a mixture of both--some days free will reigns, some days entropy steals a base and free will is disappointed"

Whether we even have free will is a subject of some vigorous debate at the moment amongst those that study such things.


"I think that things have properties that make sense, and have interactions that make sense."

But do they make sense because they are subject to natural laws which we can naturally intuit, or because we are culturally conditioned to accept them as making sense? For example, there are plenty of things that don't seem to makes sense but are observable and quantifiable (I'm thinking quantum mechanics for example), that exist but challenge what most of us as laypeople currently understand about the universe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 04:42 AM

Stu says: But do they make sense because they are subject to natural laws which we can naturally intuit, or because we are culturally conditioned to accept them as making sense?

That's what I'm trying to figure out, Stu. I tend to think it's the former. But is that because I believe there is a harmony in the universe, or because there is a harmony in the universe.

I dunno.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 05:09 AM

I thought we were trying to get away from "subject to laws." "Harmony in the universe" sounds suspiciously as if there is an ongoing driving force. That would mean laws that things are subjected to in order to avoid disharmony/chaos. How's about, instead, a unity that derived from the singularity at the Big Bang? No driving force needed. Why WOULD stuff from that point on "follow" disparate, inconsistent laws, or no laws at all? There is a universe because stuff behaves consistently. Well stuff all started together, so why wouldn't it behave consistently?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 05:22 AM

Just got an invitation for a one day seminar on current scientific thinking on consciousness. Tempting...


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 05:24 AM

OK Steve, simple question.

Everything you say about evolution just being there and having been there all the time could just as easily be said about natural selection. Why do you see the one as a natural phenomenon and the other as a theory?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 05:52 AM

I don't. It you who insists on that. Natural selection is a phenomenon that needs explaining too. Of course, we know that it isn't the only mechanism involved in evolution. That's part of the theory.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 05:59 AM

I think 'natural law' is a philosophical term rather than a scientific term. In scientific terms you might be able to describe a situation where an event occurs without exception given certain conditions, but I'm not sure whether this would be called a 'law' or not.

I wouldn't include the term in any paper or talk I have written or would write.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 06:34 AM

You don't what, Steve?

Previously from you -
Evolution as a phenomenon is a fact, not a theory or a piece of guesswork, and only flat-earther types such as Pete attempt to deny it. The theory of evolution by natural selection, on the other hand, isn't true and can never be.

I'm just asking, why do you see a difference?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 08:37 AM

> or because we are culturally conditioned to accept them as making sense?

Cultural conditioning is tricky concept. The Greeks were conditioned to believe in an array of unpredictable gods, for which there was no except Greek intuition.

But the bedrock of logic - deduction on the basis of syllogistic reasoning, and induction based on careful observation - work for everyone who applies them, irrespective of culture.

Some who prays to Hera has only subjective feelings and, perhaps, community support to "determine" whether and how the prayer has been "answered." There are no objective, systematic standards that might overcome skepticism.

If, on the other hand, an ancient Greek were to learn modern calculus and physics - or any other "hard" science - he or she would get the same predictable, objective results as anyone else, regardless of cultural background.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 08:58 AM

I agree cultural conditioning a tricky concept. Take "Harmony of the universe" for example. Steve finds that dangerously close to some sort of imposed law. For me, however, the dominant meaning of harmony raises the idea of two frequencies in a simple mathematical relationship to each other: no concept of a law of any kind required. Why the term makes us respond in different ways is about -possibly self-created - conditioning. And about the only I agree with Jacques D about is that this suffuses everything we say and do, so it is as well to be aware of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 10:10 AM

> For me, however, ...

But surely *both* connotations occur to you *and* Steve.

You each, however, have a different preference as to how you locate the concept in your outlook on science.

More personal than cultural, I'd say.

What seems to be more important, however, is that you both sufficiently understand what the phrase means to make contextual sense of it regardless of connotations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 11:50 AM

I'm considering the difference between "evolution" and "evolution by natural selection". OK, I'm done now.

And now for something completely different...
"Laws" of nature, or the way things work. We often know there's something going on. We know the what but not the why. For example, fibonacci. Did this simply happen once, and work, so it kept working in other cases? Was it built into the universe at the time of the big bang? Where did it start, unless it always just was?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 12:07 PM

I'm considering the difference between "evolution" and "evolution by natural selection". OK, I'm done now.

It's simple. One is true and always has been. The other isn't true and never will be. (Allegedly.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 12:20 PM

OK Snail, how does this other sort of evolution occur. (Yeah, I should know better than to open that can of planaria.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 12:44 PM

Okay, so I get confused here. I hear rumblings that the term "survival of the fittest" is no longer considered to be true, and I wonder why. It seems to me that for the most part, what works, prevails. This is what I would consider to be evolution by natural selection. Is there no truth in the idea of natural selection?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 12:53 PM

As explained to me back when I was in high school, it's not always about fitness but about adaptability. Human beings are pretty unfit, and likely wouldn't have survived, but we learned how to live in cave, make huts, and weapons to hunt with. We adapted, because we have no fur, or claws, or quills, or other things that animals have. We're a wimpy species, other than our big brains.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 01:01 PM

Snail is being provocative (OK by me). I'm saying that a function of scientific endeavour is to explain natural phenomena, which are not of themselves "science," as they were here long before there were any scientists to contemplate them. Human minds didn't invent evolution, though they did invent its explanation, using evidence to make deductions. Generally, our attempts at explanations are what we call theories. Theories are constantly being tweaked, added to, debunked and rejigged. The theory of evolution by natural selection is not evolution itself. It is our explanation of evolution. We can't ever conclude that a theory is "true," because the whole essence of the scientific process is that theories must be left open-ended, vulnerable to further modification (falsifiable if you like, which Snail does). On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with saying that the phenomena which science tries to explain are true (as long as they are). You'd be a fool to argue that Mount Everest isn't true, though you may argue with the explanations as to why such a huge mountain is where it is, how it got to be so high, where the marine fossils in its rocks came from and so on. You'd be a fool to argue that evolution isn't true, though you may argue about the relative roles of natural selection, gene flow, mutations and genetic drift as its mechanisms, and you may argue about the interpretation of what is a very incomplete fossil record. You'd also be a fool to argue that natural selection isn't true, though you may validly argue about its modes of action. Darwin's theory is the theory of evolution by natural selection. Had he been around today, he would have given it a longer title, as we now know that other mechanisms may be involved. But that's science for you. We could interpret the title of his theory thus: "This is the best attempt at an explanation, using deductions from many areas of evidence, of the natural phenomenon we call evolution. I regard the process of natural selection, another natural phenomenon that my book also tries to explain, as playing a crucial role in the evolutionary process, and here are my reasons." I think I prefer the original title. I'm a simple chap really. I rather like using the word "true" and I regard "false" as its opposite.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 01:05 PM

Survival of the fittest is something of a rogue term, not much favoured by Darwin, that has been inappropriately applied to various levels of the hierarchy in living things, from populations, races, species, individual organisms and even to business proposals. Best avoided.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 01:21 PM

Jeri, that post wasn't intended to be entirely serious, just a little dig at Steve Shaw.

Are you sure you really want to know? The short answer is that evolution simply means change and covers the idea that species that closely resemble each other (such as humans and chimpanzees or horses and donkeys) have a relatively recent common ancestor from which they have both diverged. As the resemblance decreases (such as humans and chimpanzees AND horses and donkeys), the further back the common ancestor must be.
Evolution by natural selection refers to Darwins theory on the driving force behind the change. Those organisms better adapted to their environment breed more successfully than those less well adapted. "Survival of the fittest".


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Amos
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 02:22 PM

I am fairly sure there is a good deal of truth in that Darwinian model, Joe, but it may not be a complete picture of evolutionary vectors. I am no expert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 04:28 PM

"Evolution simply means change." For Christ's sake, Snail, no it does not. Evolution, the non-random survival of heritable entities which occasionally miscopy (with thanks to Richard Dawkins for that quote) has led to all the diversity, complexity and beauty of life on Earth. Natural selection has nothing to do with survival of races, species or individual organisms, or extinctions. It is about differential survival within species. I would also contend that natural selection as a "driving force" is a concept you may wish to reconsider. It wasn't Darwin's term, was it? I hope your genetics course will clear one or two things up for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: frogprince
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 06:59 PM

Okay, I'll rattle a chain here. Does it not seem reasonable that, of all the diversity of living things, at least some fraction would be due to mutations that really did just plain survive at random? Things that weren't the best adapted of anything, but were viable enough to hang in there?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 07:09 PM

I anticipate howls of anguish, but the theory demands it, frog. Unless you assume the process has come to an end, at this very moment some species exist that are failing (quite apart from all the ones we are killing off in various ways)


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 07:32 PM

But even species that are failing must have been "successful" for many thousands of years. Maybe not in the top twenty, but still....


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 08:36 PM

Mutations that are "not best adapted but which hang in there" are adapted. This is not black and white. Theories don't "demand" things. A theory is an attempt to explain. If the thing you are investigating doesn't fit the theory, then it's the theory that needs modifying. And generally speaking, a species that has succeeded for thousands or millions of years, then starts to "fail," will do so because the environment has changed, or it has come under new competition, or it is succumbing to disease, or it is being predated on with new vigour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 03:07 AM

That's not the specific howl of anguish I expected, but I still anticipate it soon.

Of course theories demand things. And some paintings demand your attention. There are other other meanings to the word 'demand' than 'hammer your fist on the table and shout loudly'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 03:28 AM

In case anyone misunderstands me, I do agree with Steve both that it is the theory that needs amending when things don't fit and that the reason a long lasting species starts to fail is in some way environmental - a new predator, a scarcity of their food, disease, etc.

But frog prince raised a point that I think is often glossed over at school level: all that is needed for an adaptation to continue into a future generation is that it is 'better' than the other variations around at the time (and I know this is a simplification in itself). There is no requirement that it is any sense advantageous in itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 06:47 AM

"Does it not seem reasonable that, of all the diversity of living things, at least some fraction would be due to mutations that really did just plain survive at random? Things that weren't the best adapted of anything, but were viable enough to hang in there?"

It seems reasonable, but it is not how evolution works. If a species has survived it's because it's well adapted to the environment it lives in. Every single living organism, without exception, is subjected to the pressures of natural selection, which is itself not a random process. Every organism is part of an ecosystem, part of the transfer of energy via tropic cascades and other processes that sustain life on the planet.

How certain species persist for a long time is interesting though. These species tend to be generalists and adapt easily when environmental circumstances change; the more specialised an organism is the more vulnerable it is to environmental change. Even the most long-lived species will eventually become extinct though, they might become extinct or speciation might occur as natural selection selects the best adapted individuals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 07:16 AM

Oh dear, I really haven't got time today but there is so much that Steve Shaw has said over the last eighteen hours or so that is so easy to pick apart.

Back tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 07:58 AM

Can't wait. Do to try to read what I've actually typed first, as we don't want you busting a blood vessel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 09:55 AM

Physicist Michio Kaku is being quoted on various websites as claiming that superstring theory has now proved that God exists.

You don't need to know too much about physics or math to decide for yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jremlZvNDuk

Questions:

What does Kaku mean by "the mind of God"? "cosmic music, the music of strings resonating through eleven dimensional hyperspace"? "God is a mathematician"?

Assuming just for a moment that superstrings and supersymmetry do prove the existence of a Creating Intelligence, do they tell us anything about that Intelligence except that it made its universe follow mathematical principles?

Extra credit: What do other physicists think of Kaku's argument?

More here, including hints to answering the above questions:


http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/42042/20160613/world-renowned-scientist-michio-kaku-proves-existence-god.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 10:55 AM

It seems a great shame, Lighter, that an interesting perspective on God is likely to fall foul on the 'no religion on this thread" decision. Please make sure you keep a record of it so we can discuss in on another occasion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 11:32 AM

"Assuming just for a moment that superstrings and supersymmetry do prove the existence of a Creating Intelligence, do they tell us anything about that Intelligence except that it made its universe follow mathematical principles?"

No, they tell us that someone has come up with a new angle on intelligent design. Ho hum!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 02:00 PM

Assuming for just a moment that on a clear day the steadfast dogmatic
could see out of their ass, would they see the intelligent resign?

I think not many. I know of 2 scientists who claim an unshakable
indulgence in intelligent design. Of course they could be deflecting.

Proselytizing here is an unstable and unwise thing to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 02:55 PM

It's an interesting combination of science and religion.

Kaku, a prominent physicist and an originator of the string theory, claims - not entirely seriously, I believe - that he has "proved" God's existence through the application of scientific methods.

I say not entirely seriously because even if he's right, "God" seems to be no more than synonym for wherever the universe came from, mathematical features and all.

And his God hypothesis is based on superstring theory and supersymmetry, which are in turn based on string theory. None of these concepts have been fully accepted by physics.

Since Kaku frequently appears on TV, it's also likely that he's exaggerating (or simplifying) the implications of superstuff for the sake of generating interest.

I'll leave to others the other questions I posed, whose evaluative answers require the application not of religious dogma but of inductive reasoning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Jun 16 - 04:50 PM

The honor of originator of String Theory would go to half a dozen others before you get to Kaku.

I picture Woody Allen introducing you to Kaku.

Keep reading Kaku especially between the lines. Reading to prove a pre conceived notion is less substantial than reading for general knowledge

Hyperspace could be the space that is undiscovered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 05:47 AM

OK, the simple stuff first.

Steve Shaw
"Evolution simply means change." For Christ's sake, Snail, no it does not.
Yes it does. I suggest you consult a quality dictionary rather than invoking Christ.

Evolution, the non-random survival of heritable entities which occasionally miscopy (with thanks to Richard Dawkins for that quote) has led to all the diversity, complexity and beauty of life on Earth.
That quote comes from this article Why Darwin matters where Dawkins is clearly talking about natural selection not evolution. Diversity and complexity are consequences of the mechanisms of evolution and natural selection, not it's purpose. It doesn't have a purpose. Beauty is a human judgement. Everything is beautiful to someone.

Natural selection has nothing to do with survival of races, species or individual organisms, or extinctions.
I didn't mention races (although Darwin did). I didn't say it was to do with the survival of species. I didn't mention extinctions. It most certainly is to do with the survival of individual organisms. That's what selection is about.

It is about differential survival within species.
... of individual organisms. Not sure where taking species out of the argument leaves the Galapagos finches (OK, on Galapagos) but it is a slightly more contentious point. Darwin's great work does conspicuously fail to do what it says on the tin. It does not explain the origin of species.

I would also contend that natural selection as a "driving force" is a concept you may wish to reconsider. It wasn't Darwin's term, was it? I hope your genetics course will clear one or two things up for you.
In the article mentioned above, Dawkins mentions Patrick Matthew who had come up with the basic idea of natural selection about thirty years berfore Darwin published.
He says -
Matthew seems to have seen selection as a purely negative, weeding-out force, not the driving force of all life.

I hope your genetics course will clear one or two things up for you.
Going nicely, thank you. I would be finding it a bit of a struggle were it not for the degree level study of genetics I've done already.

You say, Do to try to read what I've actually typed first. Could I ask the same of you? You mis-represent what I say even more than pete does.

Back later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 07:30 AM

Since you are both better qualified than I am to discuss this, I won't say much. But it is important to realise that using concepts like 'differential rates of survival' is only meaningful when the populations are moderately large. But *every* mutation starts off as the only instance of that mutation in the entire population, so whether and how long that individual survives is absolutely crucial to the potential spread of that mutation more widely. This is a completely different situation to that in which the population size is sufficiently large that the proportion of individuals with the mutation can be approximated by continuous variable, rather than a discrete one.

Now, working with continuous mathematics is a damn sight easier, so it is no surprise that the relatively few papers I've read on the subject assume it. But be aware that it not valid for small populations and in particular for the early spread of a mutation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 10:32 AM

Dawkins was talking about natural selection in the context of the products of evolution, hence the complexity, diversity and beauty. That's why he said that. I have my own concept of beauty, thanks, and I'm not scared of using the word. I'm a human being, not Mr Spock. Nothing is as simple as you think.

Natural selection is not about "survival." Me grabbing a cheese sandwich is about survival. It's about differential survival. Everything that's born/hatches/germinates "survives," at least for a bit. Not the same thing. And I didn't mention "Darwin's finches." I've got more sense, believe it or not.

So I see you agree that calling natural selection a driving force isn't a good idea after all. Driving force implies directionality. Not only is that wrong, natural selection can also be pretty good at maintaining the status quo.

Darwin did not have the tools available to him than we have now. There is a better interpretation of geology and we have genetics and biochemistry way beyond what he had. He may not have explained the origin of species but he discussed it in the context of evolution by natural selection. I'm sure he would have been delighted by the work done that he so brilliantly initiated. Who knows, perhaps one day we'll agree about what a species actually is. Or maybe that's an impossible dream. I'm just off outside into my garden to weed out a hybrid swarm of willow-herbs that probably originated from around three different species, yet they all quite merrily set seed. Dirty buggers!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 03:11 PM

Dawkins was talking about natural selection in the context of the products of evolution,
Perhaps he was but you used it (with an appeal for divine intervention) to refute something I had said about evolution not about natural selection.

hence the complexity, diversity and beauty. That's why he said that. I have my own concept of beauty, thanks, and I'm not scared of using the word. I'm a human being, not Mr Spock. Nothing is as simple as you think.
Your concept of beauty is entirely irrelevant to the nature and mechanisms of evolution and/or natural selection.

Natural selection is not about "survival." Me grabbing a cheese sandwich is about survival. It's about differential survival.
OK so maybe "survival" was being a bit sloppy with the language but if we're getting into a game of "I can be more pedantic than you", it isn't about differential survival either; it's about differential reproductive success.

And I didn't mention "Darwin's finches." I've got more sense, believe it or not.
Well, no, you wouldn't want to mention anything that undermined your argument. If we're going to get really pedantic, I didn't mention "Darwin's finches" either. I mentioned the Galapagos finches. So did Darwin. They played a significant role in setting him off on his life's work.

So I see you agree that calling natural selection a driving force isn't a good idea after all.
That doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to anything I said. You made it up. You must be pretty desperate to resort to that sort of crap. What I did do was quote, without comment, something said by Dawkins. If you don't like it, take it up with him. I'm sure he will be delighted to discuss it with you.

He may not have explained the origin of species but he discussed it in the context of evolution by natural selection.
But you said "It is about differential survival within species." not about species. Was Darwin wasting his time?

Didn't really expect to get this bogged down in this stuff. I was hoping to move on to all that nonsense about Mount Everest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 04:29 PM

> Driving force implies directionality.

Dubious at best.

If, for example, production is a driving force behind the economy, it remains so whether the economy goes up, down, or stagnates. No direction is implied. The direction depends on the level of production.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 05:46 PM

I begin to wonder if it would have been better to agree to exclude evolution as well as religion from this thread. We have stopped talking about logic at all, and every other aspect and sector of science is being neglected, as usually happens when when we get onto evolution, even without assistance from Pete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Amos
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 06:26 PM

A word like God has an array of meanings ranging from everything to nothing at all. So claiming to have proved it is a nul proposition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 06:30 PM

When I arrived a the airport on the Galápagos Islands, by the way, my daughter was really excited to see some of the finches. One of the locals responded by saying "What, you are excited by those finches? They are all over the island." There's a moral in that for those who care to look.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: olddude
Date: 20 Jun 16 - 10:43 PM

Joe god liked somethings a lot I recon, and other things, well not so much.. For example, aww little animal, I will call you a deer and you can eat grass, grass is everywhere, you will not go hungry. And you, I will call you a squirrel and you can eat all the nuts in the trees.

However, you bird, I will call you a woodpecker, if you want to eat you have to drill a hole in a tree.. With your face!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 02:21 AM

Since the posts about whether Kaku has proven God's existence or not are still around, I will add my entirely speculative guess at what is happening.

Thomas Aquinas wrote the 'Quinque viae', which were five proofs of God's existence. Outside religion, I don't think anyone accepts any of them as proof these days, and it is quite a common thing to give identifying the flaws in the argument to philosophy undergraduates. Now my guess is that Kaku has taken, for example, the proof that says 'Since every effect has a cause, there must be a first cause, which is God' and changed it from a *proof* to a *definition*: If there is a first cause I will label that 'God'. This is totally valid, and merely suffers from the problem that God-as-so-defined bears little or no relationship to what people commonly mean by God. [But, as Amos says, there is very little commonality in the first place].

Now, has a first cause been proven? Possibly: more skilled physicists that me will have to check that. Would that prove God-as-so-defined exists? Yes, it is a mere label. Does that say anything about God as generally used? Not a jot.


And is self publicity behind this? Quite possibly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 08:39 AM

Mostly agree, but I'm not sure that he's "changed" a proof into a definition. The "proof" itself is already largely a definition: we call the "first cause" or "prime mover" "God."

Everything has or had a cause.
The universe is a thing like everything else.
Therefore, the universe has or had a cause.

As you, the conclusion tells us nothing about the presumably necessary cause of the universe, except that it caused the universe.

Any additional characteristics we might add are baseless, at least on the basis of this syllogism.

And the syllogism, while deductively valid, may not be sound. Do we know that everything (the universe included) has or had a cause? Quantum physics, developed centuries after the syllogism, strongly suggests that certain existing "effects" have no cause.

What if the creation of the universe (from a "singularity") was more like a quantum effect than like, say, a person making a watch?

And what if the "universe" (which now presumably includes an infinite number of parallel universes) has existed eternally?

People often as, "Why should there by something rather than nothing?"
Good question. But, alternatively, "Why should there be nothing instead of something?"

After all, everything we see or know is about *something." Since "nothing" has to be defined as the absence of all possible things, doesn't that suggest that "something" is the norm and "nothing" the exception?

Suggesting it, of course, hardly makes it so. But it's an interesting point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 09:29 AM

Probably better get Joe to answer that one:I haven't read Summa for years and when I did I read it rather than studied it. But if the "proofs" Were thought of as definitions there is no reason they shouldn't each define different things as God and Aquinas would certainly not.have liked that idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 21 Jun 16 - 07:38 PM

While I'm sure it is not a brand new fad but one can google proof of God with logic-science-quantum physics, and get thousands of sites and you tube videos with titles like; 5 minutes to a scientific proof of God, 6 CD's that will teach you proof that God created all, 7 facts that prove God's existence, 10 things that undeniably prove God made the universe...

Joe be sure to show us your logical proof video if and when you are done.

I know this is mostly a devout Prairie Home Companion audience here and certain ideas are not very compatible with the 'faithful crowd'.

Still as long as we remain respectful and honest there will be an advancement of knowledge and mutual understanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jun 16 - 08:35 AM

I wasn't suggesting Joe attempts to prove the existence of God. I was inviting him to say more about Aquinas, with especial regard to how he and subsequent people regarded the "proofs". An academic answer, then, not a theological one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Jun 16 - 12:39 PM

"This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for." 
 Douglas Adams


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 22 Jun 16 - 02:38 PM

I must remember Ed and Greg as allies as I remember DMcG as professionally astute.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Jun 16 - 08:11 PM

Your lifeform, "Donuel" memory is clearly faulty, making your logic in suspect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 01:50 PM

Rational is different than logical Ed.
Advanced economics makes it very clear that there are irrational elements in spending behavior.

I suppose I am not completely rational otherwise I would have never bought a time share in Fallujah. Hey Ed good buddy would you like a slice of a time share??

How about some Trump bonds or gold mine shares?

Beanie babies?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 02:05 PM

When I was in a Catholic seminary, we were taught that the "proofs of the existence of God" didn't work very well as proof, although they did tend to prove the possibility of the existence of God. Our professors generally had a high opinion of Thomas, but claimed that he had been "dumbed down" by lesser minds through many centuries of "Thomism." Thomas had one virtue that was missing in all of the centuries of Thomistic scholars that followed him - Thomas had doubts.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 02:19 PM

The possibility team has won the compromise championship for centuries.

The fundamentalist team leads to bloodshed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 03:21 PM

Thanks, Joe. I found that ''Summa Theologica' didn't seem to have caveats and cautions you would find in a similar book these days, but I formed the strong impression that that was more about the stylistic conventions of the day, rather than what he thought himself. But your comment about later scholars and teachers doesn't surprise me at all. That happens so often in so many subjects.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 04:01 PM

Given the proclivity of consciousness to situate itself in space of one sort or another, it is almost inevitable that it should end up in contemplation of the back of Beyond--that is, peering into the infinity of receding Beyonds, and contemplating the infinite.

The great error in most theisms I have learned about is the assumption that the infinite one contemplates is greater than (or even different from) than the infinite doing the contemplating. But this is an uneasy idea for someone bound in hard to the solidities of our current continuum. Makes 'em queasy.


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Subject: Amos: Thumbs Up!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 05:33 PM

Amos sez: Given the proclivity of consciousness to situate itself in space of one sort or another, it is almost inevitable that it should end up in contemplation of the back of Beyond--that is, peering into the infinity of receding Beyonds, and contemplating the infinite.

Gee, Amos, I've been trying to say that for years, but you said it better. And the born-again atheists would tar and feather me if I said something like that.

Well said.

At a class last night, a priest said that scientists are beginning to talk like mystics. A scientist was asked what will be the result when we finally come to understand quantum mechanics. His response: It will be.....beautiful.

I think there will always be a Beyond, and we're well off to continue contemplating that Beyond, without putting the restrictions of so-called "Truth" on that contemplation.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 05:55 PM

Well said my fat arse. Joe Offer, I see you've abandoned your resort to "that which you hold sacred" and are now resorting to that which is "beyond." Perhaps you could tell us all how this fits in with your proscription of religion in this thread, which some of us have been trying to avoid since your earlier stricture, nay threat.

As I've often told you, Joe Offer, I'm a very simple man. I love using the word "truth" and I'm not going to listen to bullshitting philosophical types who like to pretend that only they can usefully use the word. To me, truth means that which is incontrovertible. There is no restriction on that whatsoever. It appears to me that you would rather not discuss your beliefs in terms of what may be true or not, but would rather put them "beyond." Nice ploy, but so easy to see through. That makes you a charlatan of the first order, Joe. And, before you delete this, I would remind you that you have called ME far worse names, both in public and in private.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 06:01 PM

Including in the the post above mine. "Born-again atheists." Insulting bastard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 06:08 PM

Love ya, Stevie.


Oooh! That hot tar is just like a sauna!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 06:19 PM

Kudos to the UK and Europe.

A technological revolution has led to a golden age of paleogenomics, and ancient DNA labs are popping up throughout northern Europe, the epicenter of this fast-paced field. By contrast, the structure and politics of science funding in the United States have put ancient DNA research—the epitome of curiosity-driven science—at a serious disadvantage. The interdisciplinary nature of the method is part of its power but also makes it prone to fall through the cracks in the U.S. system.

And most human evolution research in the United States is considered social science, which has low priority. As a result, the United States has fallen far behind in a burgeoning field that has transformed our understanding of the past, and also turns out to have unexpected medical and environmental applications.


European labs dominate lists of the top papers in the field, and researchers based in Europe are getting funding to crack some of the most tempting scientific problems in the Americas, as well. U.S. researchers are voting with their feet and heading for Europe, in a brain drain rarely seen operating in this direction



Amos is there a song somewhere in that post?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 06:33 PM

If the Earth was an onion, that clear super thin skin between the layers of onion is the relative thickness of our breathable atmosphere.

I think of consciousness that way. Sometimes a probe drifts out but consciousness is a pretty thin skin around our planet that is subject to sunburn and every other threat this universe has to offer.

In this cosmos of many mansions there are near infinite more possibilities of consciousness. Perhaps we are all subject to an inverse square law beyond our imagination.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 06:47 PM

Damn, Donuel. Wanna join me in the tar bath?

Put that torch away, Shaw!
The hot tar feels good, but it's flammable!

Ouch! Stop jabbing me with that pitchfork!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 06:54 PM

to be true a thing must be incontrovertible? That's a pretty tough condition, Steve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 07:31 PM

>Given the proclivity of consciousness to situate itself in space of one sort or another, it is almost inevitable that it should end up in contemplation of the back of Beyond--that is, peering into the infinity of receding Beyonds, and contemplating the infinite.

I confess that I understand little of this.

How is consciousness inclined or predisposed to "situate itself" in space? What space? The brain? What does "situate itself" mean here?

Of course many people do enjoy contemplating the "infinite" in one sense or another (there being various kinds of infinities), but why do you say that an abstract "consciousness" does this rather than the minds of only some people? Or do you simply mean "some people"? Or do you just mean their minds, operating autonomously?

Does what your saying mean much more than that many people like to day-dream and speculate about the universe? Why would that proclivity require that consciousness "situate itself" in "space"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 07:31 PM

I think, Steve, the lesson is that no-holds-barred pondering can be a good thing. There's really no need to rule anything out, not even myth and tradition and thinking that disagrees with ours. Just ponder, and see what comes of it. What is Beyond, may or may not be divine. Or maybe some people will consider it divine and some won't, and it really won't make all that much difference either way.

...and put that damn pitchfork away!

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Jun 16 - 08:13 PM

Joe I admit I have not had a soft touch as of late. In the wake of mass shootings I feel like a veil of Trumpism and Creationism is darkening June.

You know if you were pursued by pitchforks and torches I would be the first to settle down the mob for you. Of course the likely scenario would be reversed. I would be the one getting forked.

Coincidentally I am in need of some hot tar for the roof.


btw One of the things that Judaism got right was the 750 exceptions for every rule. In time Christianity too may evolve and reform some more. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 12:37 PM

Pondering is fine but it goes nowhere without a quest for evidence. There is joy in the science process that is denied to aimless ponderers. There is no "Beyond" but there is stuff that is currently beyond our limited intellectual and scientific resources, but that was ever thus and we have an honourable history of inexorably closing in (which is why you make your desperate and fearful attempts to ridicule). The only things we can't close in on are the things that religion has deliberately made impossible to close in on, all your invented magic stuff. We don't need silly ideas of Beyond and "divinity" but, if it'll keep you off the street, do continue to ponder. Try not to drag anyone else down with you, that's all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 01:16 PM

There is joy in the science process that is denied to aimless ponderers.

Absolutely, Steve, I couldn't agree more.

But - since we are discussing logic here after all - you cannot simply declare that non-scientific pondering is aimless. As you often insist, you are "a simple man" (eg at 23 Jun 16 - 05:55 PM), but this insistence on simplicity can give the impression you discount everything that is not scientific. I don't think that is accurate - your comments on classical music say otherwise, for example.

But whether you do or not, that is your opinion. Good, fine, no problem. But others may have opinions of their own. And I have said a few times, it is far from self evident that the scientific methods can be guaranteed to give results if we try sufficiently hard.   Science is not a matter of belief; the statement 'The scientific method will, with enough effort, yield results' is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 03:56 PM

Steve there is a beyond.

What is beyond logic or valuable scientific method or scientific pondering, is imagination with a denominator of multi sciences.

There is a failure of thought in the real world but there is often a failure to use imagination to its full potential.

My credo over the decades is to exploit a multidisciplinary approach so that Cosmology is expanded to consider Philosophy, Chemistry, telemetry, Telescopic, science fiction, Mathematics, Psychology, Astrophysics and Theoretical science all compared and contrasted with an Imagination that serves to either eliminate certain speculations or establish new insights.

The particle zoo party is over. We reached the limits of picking out the pieces of smashed particles looking beyond quarks.
We are now at the point of using collision physics to measure invisible stuff that disappears.

Taking the next step beyond Sherlock Holmesian rules of detection needs imagination based upon a more omniscient sharing of many disciplines and not just insist one path should be enough.

Surely you will give due credit to Jules Verne, Asimov and our contemporaries whose imagination jump starts real world technology and conceptual possibilities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 04:50 PM

Donuel, there is a world of difference between what is currently beyond us and a totally fake "Beyond," invented by people of faith who wish to put their beliefs beyond scrutiny. DMcG, I did not say that "the scientific method will, with enough effort, yield results." I do not generally resort to the banal, thank you.

Reactions to or confrontations with classical music or sculptures, or paintings, are indeed personal, and can't be subjected in any real way to the scientific method. They are what make us human beings and not Mr Spocks. I do not discount "everything that is not scientific" (whatever that means) and never have done. Snail has picked me up for claiming beauty for life on Earth and I've had to tell him to bugger off. Everything I say about God is my opinion only (unlike all those prayers you and Joe say every Sunday, which are replete with unwarranted certainties) because I don't know whether or not he exists (all I have is your word, innocent of evidence, of course). As for everyone having opinions of their own, well why should I put other people's opinions on the same respectable footing as mine if theirs are predicated on myths and lies whereas mine are predicated on evidence?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 05:00 PM

I am betting there are branches of science that have not yet been defined.

Overall I align myself with Steve and DMcG

The point of departure between me and DMcG would most likely be my acceptance of a concept of consciousness that includes a mind space capable of sharing more than we alone know.

Steve says he is a simple man but that would make me far simpler.
My IQ is well below 100. Dyslexic reading problems have persisted all through my life. I have to rely on tricks to translate and decipher language. There are a multitude of times when I should not know or understand something yet I rely upon a type of innate mind space to see more clearly.

I have to admit this subjective experience may only be a symptom of a work around for dyslexic wiring. Perhaps I am accessing a subconscious more often than most to cope better.

I understand many scientific breakthroughs come to people who have had a dream or mind space experience. I am not including myself as among them but I think I understand their subjective experience.

True enough the hard grinding work of taking measurements for years is the straight forward heavy lifting in science. I suspect it is possible that there may be a tad more regarding our doors of perception.

A conceptual framework of science I imagine and use is one I call Perspectivism. It seems to help with a creative approach to new ideas.

I concede that ideas that seem exciting to me are boring BS to others.
C'est la vie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 05:12 PM

I know you didn't say that, Steve. You said there is no "Beyond" . I thought my phrasing was less banal than that, but it doesn't't matter. What I said is that there may be things inherently beyond science: no matter how hard we work, or how much effort we expend we will make no progress. That doesn't sound the sort of thing I would have predicted you would think to be a commonplace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 05:17 PM

I wouldn't worry about your IQ, Donuel. IQ tests were designed by a fascist and they measure how good you are at doing IQ tests. If IQ tests bore you, you'll never be any good at them. I'm like that with those stupid, time-wasting Sudoko puzzles. Never done 'em so I'm no good at 'em. At school my IQ was measured at 178. When I was 21 I paid to have my IQ measured under controlled conditions and I came out at 158. Those disparate results speak volumes about the usefulness of such things.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 05:34 PM

Perhaps I need to be even more explicit. Some readers might assume I am referring to the supernatural, religion, fairies and pixies and so forth when I say there MAY be things beyond science. I am not. I am saying that in the hard, physical world where Steve and others can take as many measurements as they like we cannot know whether everything is explicable using the scientific method. We know a heck of a lot is. It is a statement of belief that it all is.


What we do know, for absolute certainty, is that there are limits to mathematics. In so far as science is built on mathematics, it inherits those limits. What is unknown is whether these limits are mere interesting quirks that have no relevance to anything in the real world, or whether there is some part of reality where we will hit those limits. All we know for certain is we haven't hit them yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 06:15 PM

Well it isn't my statement of "belief." I've said at least three times in these threads that the pursuit of truth in science (which is what science is, and I mean real truth, not Joe Offer's "deeper truths") is an asymptotic endeavour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 07:37 PM

I am willing to make the concession that scientific research of religion participants do show benefits in health psychology and networking financial advantages. Certainly there are people who can make these advantages for themselves. With the exception of the slippery slope of religion to behave brutally dogmatic, the practice of various discipline, meditation, hypnosis, social interaction and education can all match the benefits of a religious practice.

I am not bothered by the IQ thing, in fact I revel in it. Its a defensive thing. As long as I am perceived being dumb as a post I am neither a threat or some kind of predator who wants something while being smart enough to let predators know I am not the mark you are looking for. Besides, it is a hoot to see how dumb the smart people can be.

The down side is I will never know what a fully actualized Omni talented human being that uses 90% of their brain is capable of.
I've never met one.

To lead a person faith to water so to speak is actually like telling them to ignore important things their Parents told them or to disregard everything they were told was of value.

Opps there goes my irrelevant alarm...





Lighter; Pete & friends

Amos is writing in a distinct succinct style called poetry that has the ability to say more than the words it contains.

Many passages in the Bible are also written in a form of poetry which is not to be taken word for word but as a whole/gestalt.

It will help you to see with new eyes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Greg F.
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 08:16 PM

Lighter; Pete & friends: It will help you to see with new eyes

Jeremiah 5:21


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 08:54 PM

OK now show me you can do it.


Regarding the claims of missing matter in the Universe that came out
about 10 years ago, I expect/hope that the percentage of missing matter will continue to decline.

With what we knew at the time 90% was still hard to swallow.
There are questions when answered may drop missing matter to 70%.
With the affirmation of dark matter further distinctions could be made.

How do you 'weigh' a black hole? We don't. It is not considered ordinary baryon matter. Lets add them anyway since they used to be ordinary matter. Now what is the missing % ?

Getting a handle on what it is that is missing will go long way to understanding what the cosmos is made of.

What is the current understanding of missing matter?

Is there much more ice and water than was expected ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jun 16 - 10:38 PM

Steve Shaw assumes he knows what my "deeper truths" are. I don't think so. But he's an absolutist, so he thinks he knows such things....

I explore possibilities, not absolutes. I may seek broader horizons than Mr. Shaw can allow for.

Of course, the church people don't like my way of thinking, either. But then, the "born-again atheists" are surprisingly like some church people in their limited view.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 02:59 AM

Some questions are incontrovertibly answered within the bounds of time, space and energy. But individuals also have a great deal of power to define truths for themselves, in a domain which is only partially impinged on the material continuum, but which goes as far beyond it as is imaginable. If you have no imagination beyond normal material events, then that's as far as it goes, as Steve implies.

Steve, your insistence on truth instead of bullshit is commendable! But beware the confusion of babies and bathwater, as they say.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 03:59 AM

But an asymptote, Steve, means you can get 'ever closer''. My point is there MAY be parts where that isn't possible: a point of 'thus far and no further' if you like. To stress yet again, I am not saying there are such parts, merely there is no way of knowing until you encounter them, and even then you have to recognise it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 04:10 AM

I haven't a clue what your deeper truths are and, frankly, I'm not interested. As far as I'm concerned it's one of your little battery of expressions that you use to keep any questioning of religious faith at bay. "Deeper truths" are just one such. "Beyond" with a capital B, "divine," "that which I hold sacred" and another one about he that is within or something (can't be bothered to dig it up) are just a few of them. Then you get nasty when challenged and start throwing stupid pejorative terms around such as "born-again atheists" (possibly the best candidate for Most Brainless Expression Of The Decade), and, best of all, "absolutist." You chant your prayers and sing your hymns that are all full of certainties, tell children that myth is true (or maybe deeply true), then tell someone who questions this yet who doesn't know whether there's a God or not an absolutist. I'll tell you what, Joe. Come to this country and I'll guarantee that you'd make a damn good living as a comedian.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 04:27 AM

By the way, before it drops off the thread, Steve is absolutely right about IQ tests. I have never held them in much esteem, but if you can get hold of one and look at at dispassionately it is startling how much of the tests are about, for example, culture not 'intelligence' . For example, I remember when I sat my 11+ there were questions like 'what is the twentieth letter of the Alphabet?"   At the time, I was too young to notice, but now a little knowledge says 'which alphabet? Welsh, or Spanish, for example?". And there, automatically, is a little bias in the test against the Welsh and Spanish, because it's they use their alphabet they will get the 'wrong' answer. Other tests I have see are things like 'insert the word that completes the first and starts the second Acro(...)ch", which is highly biased to households that read a lot and biased against those that spend the time doing other things. By analogy I am aware of English people who live in Germany, speak perfect fluent German, can read Leaflets and official notices and so on without difficultly but can't write it. Because nothing in the way they live requires them to write German as a matter of course.

So Steve's summary that IQ tests measure your ability to do IQ tests is spot on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 04:31 AM

An asymptote means that you never quite get there. That's the way science proceeds, with far more humility and far more scholarship than religion, which accepts myths without evidence and spins them into "deeper truths" (choose your own expression). As you know, my beef with religion is that this stuff is deliberately and institutionally passed on to children, who are told what to think instead of how to think and how to accept nothing without evidence. Unless you're a rarity, which you may be, you are a Catholic because your parents were, your school was and you were severely discouraged, under pain of all sorts, from challenging your imposed "faith" (and I'm the first to admit that Catholicism is far from being the most malign offender, which, of course, is still no justification whatsoever). I find it odd that otherwise rational people can accept that so meekly.

Amos, if you can identify any babies I might be throwing down the plug hole, I'd be glad if you would do so. One thing I can tell you about my own imagination is that I fiercely claim all religious art and music as mine. I don't need to sign any sacred document or go through a strange ceremony to take possession of the very finest products of the talent, imagination and sheer blood, sweat and tears of my fellow human beings. I even claim cathedrals. I've been in two this week and am going into a basilica this morning. More of that later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 04:45 AM

I think we will leave that point where it is, Steve, or I will have to try to give the mathematics of what an asymptote is, which will strain mudcats ability to display the mathematical symbols required, my patience persuading a limited text based tool to lay things out as I need and everyone else's temper wondering what the hell that bunch of symbols mean. The definition you give, though, misses the essential point of being an asymptote as many other things apart form asymptotes meet your definition.

I take your humility point, at least in the abstract. Like all the rest of the human race, such humility is not always obvious in individual scientists, but yes, a need for humility is certainly built into the sciences.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 05:34 AM

Well I wasn't exactly doing a formal definition, merely applying one of its characteristics to progress in science.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 05:51 AM

Struggling on a titchy iPhone screen today so my proofreading isn't up to much. You don't have to tell me about my mixing singulars and plurals up. I know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 10:06 AM

Many physicists have suggested that *if* superstring theory is correct and the universe is composed of an ever expanding infinite number of separate and distinct universes in which, taken together, every conceivable (and perhaps in conceivable) thing is happening right now, in the past, and in the future,science has no access to conditions in any of these other universes.

As they say, it could be "the end of physics."

There's no way around it. If the theory is shown to be mathematically sound, science is stymied by the other "dimensions."

So while a sound "Theory of Everything" may well be possible, it may equally not be.

These examples alone suggest that the belief that mathematics, logic, and science can solve all possible enigmas is just that - a belief.

That's not to say that science is a hoax, or wrong, just that some abstruse kinds of (presumed) knowledge may be permanently beyond its ken.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 12:44 PM

Steve, from my perspective you are the least absolutist of the rational minds who try to pigeon hole you whenever you get uncomfortably close to deconstructing their preconceived idea.

No one sets out to only achieve half an understanding or go only half the way to a destination. It is only a math artifact.

You have no motivation to be as cautious as DMcG must be to preserve peer review approval. We are privileged to have him volunteer his crisp and clear perspective.

Joe gets plenty of kudos and respect from a religious community that will always be more rewarding than any other paradigm or reward system. His perspective is fixed which is all well and good.
Like my neighbor says I'm not one of those fundamentalists who believe the Earth is 6ooo years old, I believe in fossils!
ugh

Musing further...

As far as I can see the teacher inside you is most vocal in your support and encouragement of the rationalist POV with a freedom to welcome new ideas.

No one can just find truth. I have to start with an experience or phenomenon and go from there. Religionists just start with a conclusion first and go from there. Everyone can see the conflict of interests of a preconceived idea so being defensive is a waste of time.

An honorable atheist can now exist and not be murdered by people of faith. I take heart from the small things. Even Newton had to stay one step ahead of the burning stake.


Keep experimenting and observing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 12:52 PM

not be murdered...(with the obvious exception of jihadists)


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 12:53 PM

You assume too much, Donuel, as does Mr. Shaw. How do you know that my position is fixed? All I know, is that I seek that which is beyond, and "Beyond" keeps getting farther away. When you assume you know what other people think, you are most likely wrong. And as for my own religious practices, I reveal as little as possible to the likes of you and Mr. Shaw. They're my business.

And let me repeat my request that this thread stay away from the subject of religion, although I confess that I've been drawn into the subject here at times. Mr. Shaw is foaming at the mouth with his anti-religious absolutisms, and it makes it difficult to carry on a rational discussion. Perhaps if we don't talk about his pet obsession, he'll be able to speak rationally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 03:32 PM

Relatively fixed compared to my perspective. You do not have to change a life long learned joy & discipline learned from parents and church if there is no crises to do so.   If Everything is fine then good for you. Some people are not so lucky.

Here is an insight to my perspective; After practicing hypnosis for 5 years I held myself out to help de-program "kids" who were ensnarled in a cult. The program was to contrast self determinism to the control programs that were not their own. The problem was that very few kids had a support system outside their cult.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 03:33 PM

Thanks for the compliments, Donuel. It is a good few decades since I have had to concern myself with peer review in the formal sense, but old habits, perhaps ... Though (in my opinion) my daughter is a lot smarter than me and she doesn't let me get away with much so my in-house peer review is pretty demanding (even when, as now, it is mainly by Skype)

As to whether I - or any of us - holds an absolutist position, that's hard to answer: few of us are good judges of how others see us. I have primarily responded on this thread wearing a mathematical hat, as it is my business. That's a rather absolutist subject in some ways, but only in what follows from its axioms. It is quite comfortable working with completely different axioms. There are other hats I wear on other occasions where I might seem less absolutist, but who am I to judge?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 04:24 PM

No real need for me to comment on Joe's rather silly and frustrated post. We can all read and smile indulgently.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 05:19 PM

Thank you Donuel. I'm a biologist rather than an astrophysicist (I wasn't good enough at maths at school, a point well detected by DMcG when he picks me up on my asymptotes), so I don't always follow your forays into the deeper recesses of spacetime and dark matter. Trying to be as rational as possible means a lot to me, having had to re-educate myself away from the baleful shackles of Catholicism (there was no-one else to do it for me). You only have to read some of the recent, rather abject posts from Pete and Joe Offer to see what a deliberate stifling of the intellect by religion can do to one.   On the other hand I love classical music and Renaissance painting and sculpture and have spent several days this week in a wonderful city full of baroque architecture and superb churches, not to speak of Roman and pre-Roman remains (and amazing restaurants). More of that later. I'm not Mr Spock and I have no problems with indulgence in whimsy, fantasy and the highest flights of imagination. But I don't care what anyone says. There is no Beyond, no divine presence and no truth without evidence. And anyone who disagrees with that is an absolutist. Whatever that stupid word means.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 06:27 PM

DMcG You are so lucky to have such a precious adversary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 25 Jun 16 - 08:15 PM

In the spirit of thread drift and healing thin skin:

Michelangelo got his lampoon shots in, despite the 'absolutist' demands of the church. In the Sistine chapel above the pope's chamber door is a painted figure of Christ with the face of pope Julius II. On his shoulders are two Cherubs with one giving the hand signals that say F.You the Italian way. It is original still today.

Michelangelo expected to get censored but not as much as he feared.
The front alter lost a lot of total nudity later but God's ass hole made it through. Besides the scaffolding had been struck.

now for something entirely different

One of my prize photos is the pope mobile passing in front of the movie marquee "Life of Brian" . Sacrilegiously fun but brilliant.

Did you know the only real war on Christmas was waged by the Puritans?


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 26 Jun 16 - 04:55 AM

It is total thread drift, but guilt demands it. For some reason it is always my daughter who makes it onto Mudcat threads. I also have two sons and their absence is due to things like one being a historian, while my knowledge of history is so feeble I never post on history threads. I would reference them if the occasion arose. I just don't tend to be anywhere the occasion does arise ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 26 Jun 16 - 01:25 PM

Science is of limited use in resolving moral problems, though logic certainly helps us to think about them more effectively.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 27 Jun 16 - 01:06 PM

Quite so, Lighter. Moral questions are one area, negotiations are another, and there are more. What I think these things have in common is that the true/false dimension is not really the appropriate one. You can force them onto true/false, in most cases, but it is usually a bit artificial to do that. It is interesting to note that moral philosophy often says a lie is 'the intention to mislead', which is quite a different thing to a falsehood. If I remember correctly, Iago never told Othello a falsehood in Shakespeare's version of the story: it was all about deliberate misleading.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Jun 16 - 03:57 PM

Well the trouble is that it's mostly been religion that's decided what the "moral questions" are. Worse, religion has its own extremely illiberal take on those questions. The reason is simple. The best way to shackle people and get control over their lives is to define the moral issues then make them very difficult to hold to, under pain of sin/death/hellfire. Well I don't think that religion has any right whatsoever to tell us what the moral issues are, let alone dictate how we should live by them. For every moral issue that religion throws up, I can show you another one that religion would really rather wish I hadn't raised.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Jun 16 - 04:11 PM

Religions appropriated a lot of moral/logical ideas that were out there long before said religions were created. They aren't the guardians of morality (they just think they are).


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Jun 16 - 05:01 PM

OK, but they appropriated them enthusiastically and cheerfully.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Jun 16 - 05:03 PM

In the study of ethics there is a good deal of science involved.
As always I suggest it invests in better imagination.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jun 16 - 05:43 PM

Steve: Bravo on your expanded claimancy of things artistic, cathedrals included!

My remark about babies and bathwater was aimed at what I think is the fallacy of material limits--meaning that the right-minded desire for evidence to support assertions gets twisted into the insistence on material evidence of same. The scope of imagination and the dimensions of love and creative thought cannot be defined by material evidence, as such, for example. But there is plenty of evidence they exist, including your cathedrals.

When Joe speaks of the seeking of viewpoints "beyond" he is following a trail of some sort of evidence, and I suppose you could call it spiritual evidence; but you will not find any particles or molecular compounds along the trail.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Jun 16 - 05:47 PM

Spectral evidence is what got all those folks hanged as witches in Salem in 1692.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 02:13 AM

In the study of ethics there is a good deal of science involved.

This is a genuine declaration of ignorance: I know of no scientific work giving *answers* to moral questions. That doesn't mean there isn't any, so I'd be happy hear of them.

There is, however, quite a lot around the subject. For example, there is research analogous to experiments in psychology, where people are asked to make a moral decision (eg the trolley and fat man scenario) and various things are measured, such as how common each answer is. People are also asked to account for why they took the decision they did.   There are other experiments that look at MRI scans while such decisions are being made. These things are useful, but they don't actual give advice on how to answer the question being considered. There are also links back to free will here: it has been questioned if a decision is being taken at all.

Also of interest is a list at the back of 'The Blank Slate', which names several hundred (if memory works) moral rules that anthropology has claimed are common to every society studied. The list can be criticised, of course: it is not clear that 'having sexual intercourse with your mother' always means the same thing (see W. Clinton for advice). But leaving such quibbles aside, the list is extensive and does not have anything to do with any specific formal religion. Which is as you would expect: every atheist I know properly and quite rightly states you can have a moral code without religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 05:33 AM

Steve Shaw
Snail has picked me up for claiming beauty for life on Earth and I've had to tell him to bugger off.
A classic Steve sentence. None of it is true.
No I didn't. I picked you up for implying that it was the purpose of evolution to produce beauty on Earth. Whether you or I or Dawkins or anyone else think that the natural world is beautiful is irrelevant to the nature and mechanisms of evolution.

and I've had to tell him to bugger off.
No you didn't either in those words or anything like them. You have not responded in any way to my post of 20 Jun 16 - 03:11 PM. You're next post (three days later) was to have a go at Joe.

And, while I'm here -
IQ tests were designed by a fascist
Really? William Stern


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Stu
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 06:14 AM

"This is a genuine declaration of ignorance: I know of no scientific work giving *answers* to moral questions."

Science can't answer moral questions because they're not scientific in nature. However, science can inform the philosophy of how we address those questions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 07:08 AM

I would agree, Stu, but as I say I am agreeing through ignorance, rather than knowledge. Part of the reason I was a bit cagey is that some moral conclusions are measureably different depending on how closely related to each other those concerned are. Informally this is the "family comes first" attitude. You could formulate an experiment based of the hypothesis this is to do with ensuring specific genes are passed on. I am unaware of what research of this type is being done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 11:16 AM

For goodness sake Snail. I did not imply, state or express in anyway whatsoever, nor do I think it, that the purpose of evolution is to produce beauty on earth. In fact, I get fed up of having to keep telling you that evolution has no purpose, no direction, no drive towards complexity or greater perfection, no guiding hand either within, without or Beyond, in fact no driving force at all. The beauty in nature that all but the dullest and most abject of minds can discern is a serendipitous by-product of evolution, no more. As for my having told you to bugger off, I did it politely and metaphorically, treading so gently as to prevent you from noticing, my usual modus operandi, as all here know. Toujours la politesse it is avec moi, and it shall remain so on this occasion despite your attempts to be vexatious (again).


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 11:24 AM

"...request that this thread stay away from the subject of religion, although I confess that I've been drawn into the subject here at times."

Yes you have and yes you have. And now you're deleting other people's posts that mention religion. No-one is drawing blood or trying to. Just let it be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 11:56 AM

The gathering of statistical evidence of the amount of toxins, heavy metals and radiation exposure is not measured by little angel and devils on our shoulders. Additionally the level of harm assessment is not done by papal decree.

If you want to divide technology from science that merely confuses the issue.

The use of these statistics is more of a policy question once you plug the meticulous findings into what is called a 'Risk/Benefit assessment'.

DmcG For me to be speaking to people with religious training and bias and science PhD's requires two separate languages. It is impressive how well your language spans the gap between the two.

I would be the first to exclaim there is an urgent need for a belter moral imagination particularly among 'for profit exploitations' of our planet, our biome and our people.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1084045/


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 12:17 PM

I have made genuine declarations regarding the heights of my ignorance and the abyss of my intelligence many times. I do not deny it. I pronounce it is true. (with the exception of one or two days a month)
It is just the way it is BUT it does raise the question of 'what is the excuse for the base comments by Lighter Snails of 7 Stars', as well as the many cretins in the Congressional Science Committee.



http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1084045/


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 05:25 PM

On the nature of intelligence:

What has intelligence brought us?
comfort technology and weapons.

Anything else?   Well there is art, architecture , music and literature but some of the greatest examples of these things are ancient or very old.

One of Einstein's best friends invented and deployed mustard gas on people.
Albert wrote a letter to FDR urging the use of an atomic bomb before Germany made one. Once we made them we and others set off well over 300 of them from the oceans to the edge of space. How smart was that?

yup some people think they are pretty smart and demand our trust, respect and obedience. Like a teenager I could think I'm smart and know everything I need to know. Or I could assume I have the best faith based intelligence others may be ignorant about.

Assuming we are intelligent is dangerous as the Donald proves daily.
Believing in our own intelligence closes the mind and the gates of creativity slam shut. The only thing closed is the mind when we proclaim we re really smart.

Some think the war on terror is smart between the Muslims whose religious faith is indestructible against western greed which is irresistible. Its not.   

So for the purpose of expanding my curiosity and new thinking,
I will continue to believe I am dumb along with the rest of us who don't want to admit it. Its the safest thing to do.

all I can do is seek intelligence and manage the damage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 06:26 PM

Great point about the lack of smartness concerning the war on terror. Donuel, you are one of the most un-dumb people on this forum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 28 Jun 16 - 07:09 PM

Monty Python's Life of Brian could challenge that.

What have the Romans ever done for us?

well there are the roads.

That goes without saying.

and the food and wine.

Besides the roads and food what have they done? nothing

There are the schools and medicine and courts.

hmmph


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 05:11 PM

Joe suppose you manage to use logic to unite all the creation stories you can form Lao Ts to Buddhist to Genesis to Hindu like Joseph Campbel do you expect to link the results with a particular scientific creation theory or many? I would suggest the many universe creation hypothesis. Some of this kind of speculation has been done before and tends toward the popular.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 11:01 AM

Anither quote from Life of Brian that could also be extended to blokes who prefer to discuss/share/display (mostly among themselves) their wisdom on logic, science, religion among themselves, mostly in isolation, on a thread, on a "use to-be-read" andobscure folk music website:

"Brian's mother: Who are you?

Wise Man #2: We are three wise men.

Brian's mother: What?

Wise Man #1: We are three wise men.

Brian's mother: Well, what are you doing creeping around a cow shed at two o'clock in the morning? That doesn't sound very wise to me."


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 12:45 PM

A fair point, in its way, Ed T. Of course, a lot depends on the purpose of the posts. If it is about trying to show how clever we are, that would be pretty awful. On the other hand, I very much appreciate it when Bill D, or Lighter, or another says something that makes we think "Oh, I hadn't looked at it like that".


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: robomatic
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 02:40 PM

Professor Walter von der Vogelweider- Metaphysics


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 03:29 PM

Robomatic
bravissimo, touche'. gaarhanxfurtgarten!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 04:01 PM

Donuel, I consider all the various creation stories to be fascinating folklore. I don't think they are intended to explain how the universe came to be, although they might be considered to be speculations about how the universe came to be. I think they are valuable in describing how various peoples valued the world that surrounded them.

In the Hebrew Bible, I think the most important words in the Genesis creation story are, "And God saw that it was good." I think that means that the Hebrew people saw their world as good, and saw their world as a gift to be treasured and held sacred.

As for how the world came to be, I respect only scientific views. To understand the process of whatever, I would always choose the scientific view. Religious thinking explains various understandings of the value and meaning of things.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 04:46 PM

So does science, infinitely better and infinitely more imaginatively.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 05:17 PM

Fair enough Steve but...
you know that certain philosophies that we think of as being religious in nature really did nail certain phenomena that we have verified with the philosophy and tools of science.

let there be light. In scientific terms light did not come first either. o o computer prob

Joe there are some religious texts by phd scientists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 05:35 PM

Tell me more, Donuel. What I'm trying to say that no-one, not the Pope, not the chief Rabbi, not the mightiest ayotollah, can claim even the slightest smidgeon of truth without evidence. If any philosophies did nail certain phenomena, either they did it by accident or they did it with evidence. Let there be light indeed. There is no light without evidence, at least not the kind of light that can illuminate truths for our children. I'm pretty vigilant about that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 06:41 PM

Vigilant good. Strident bad.

The whole social contrast between re ligion and sci ence is asymmetric.

I know of no scientific community that goes out of their way to assault, condemn or jihad against religious sects.

I can site propaganda or violence against apostates, atheists, heretics and infidels by people of faith.

That is the slippery slope I am vigilant about.

Without a doubt it is getting better. well a bit better.

http://www.stockgumshoe.com/2016/06/yet-more-miracle-cures-from-on-high/

religion still has their snake oil salesmen.

Believe it or not there are some scientists who partake in a drop of the oil of the snake.

To make holy water you boil the hell out of it and say some incantations by an employee of god.

To ponder a glass of water to the scientific minded is to me much more fascinating. The H in the H2O is 13.7 billion years old while the age of the oxygen atom varies greatly and is much younger.
That is some sell by date !

As for logic it is the height of scientific folly to anthropomorphize certain relationships in the cosmos. By nature of our mind processes it is too easy to propose similarities to ourselves. But this might a case as Amos said when we could throw the baby out with the bathwater.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 09:08 PM

In the beginning the universe was opaque. (darkness was upon the face of the earth /oops the earth came 9 billion years later) In the evolution of the expanding energy of the universe from small to large with temperatures cooling enough to allow sub atomic particles group into Hydrogen atoms took a near eternity of star formation and ignition of the first light of stars.(let there be light) That was hard avoiding the use of the word time just now.

There is much said about the first second of the Big bang. This pretend second is divided into plank times to give order to processes that may have had to happen for this resulting universe to exist. As you know in the presence of a huge gravitational field time is virtually stopped. Time took some time for time to begin.

What religionists do is take the weakest assumptions regarding time and unknown singularities to discredit the entire big bang theory.

Their desperation for opposing science is as though we are taking food out of the mouths of their children. It really might be a money issue more than an insistence on their myth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 16 - 11:33 PM

Donuel says: What religionists do is take the weakest assumptions regarding time and unknown singularities to discredit the entire big bang theory.

But then the question is, whom do you classify as "religionists"? All people who practice a religious tradition? I'd say your assumptions are too broad, Donuel.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 01 Jul 16 - 02:06 AM

Before we get entirely off the subject of logic, a brief word about the universal qualifiers (to use the jargon) - 'All' and its partner 'There (does not) exist'. These are the basis of solid logic in science, and the cause of much of the error and anger in informal language. If you are trying to hold a civil conversation, they need to be used with extreme care, or better still never used without appropriate qualification.   We could easily be on the point of such an outbreak.

"What religionists do is take the weakest assumptions ..."

"But then the question is, whom do you classify as "religionists"? All people who practice a religious tradition?"

You see? That implicit 'All' in the first sentence immediately rubs people up the wrong way. But it is not about religion, most of the time. Much racial, sexual and other prejudice is about what 'they all' want or think. Bad laws cover 'all' situations of a specific kind, when they only intended to cover 'some'. The first company I worked for required original, potentially profitable ideas to be patented. After the lawyers had been at my first such idea, in their desperation to cover 'all' opportunities to exploit the work they ended up at a point where even I could not recognise my invention.

It is a good self-discipline, then, to watch yourself for those 'alls' and 'does not exists' and make sure you genuinely mean them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Jul 16 - 06:31 AM

The word "religionists" is a perfectly good one in the context of Donuel's post. It doesn't just mean persons of faith. It means persons of faith who are also touched by zealotry regarding their beliefs and who may be militant about defending them. Do look it up. It's often helpful to do that before going on the attack. Picking Donuel up for using it is an unworthy deflecting tactic. Neither Donuel nor I, seeing people streaming into Sunday Mass, would say "Hey, just look at that bunch of religionists." It would be nice if you were equally vigilant about Pete calling perfectly respectable and honest scientists "evolutionists."


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Jul 16 - 06:32 AM

All true but mainly for me, I am just not up to playing devil's advocate for religionists who advocate nonsense.
I am sort of at a solar minimum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Jul 16 - 08:32 AM

People are also tend to assume that "all" or at least "most" or "many" are implied when there's no qualifier before a claim:

"Scientists say the earth is only one hundred and twenty-five years old."

"Critics are raving about 'Abbott & Costello Meet Brexit'!"

In fact, such a claim is literally true if only *two* individuals hold the position.

And if the speaker is even more unscrupulous, *one* might do.

But *none* would simply make him or her a liar.

The point, however, is that it's hard not to think of "all" scientists and critics or whomever when we first encounter such statements.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Jul 16 - 11:19 AM

You are describing weasel words. "Experts have discovered... Scientists have proved that... Most people claim that... It's been said that..." These expressions belong in the gutter press and popular science articles (I could weep sometimes). But "religionists" was specific enough to escape that criticism. Had he said "believers" or "the God Squad" you'd have had him bang to rights, but he didn't. "Religionists" has its own clearly-implied qualification that separates the people in question from the mass of religious believers. You wouldn't really deny that most, or all, religionists, people who are outspoken and zealous about their belief system and who go into attack mode against their critics, "take the weakest assumptions...to discredit the whole Big Bang theory," would you? I've yet to come across one who doesn't behave in that way. (Speaking as I am shortly after my regular visit from or local Jehovah's Witness. He knows better than to take me on, and he's a smashing old boy. He cadges my apples in the autumn). Now excuse me as I have Awake! and Watchtower to read, which I always do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 01 Jul 16 - 01:43 PM

I really don't want to get onto specific instancaes when I was talking about how easily a sentence can pick up an assumed 'all' if we are not careful. I am certainly not picking on either Donuel or the phrase he used.

But, Steve, I am sure you agree that just about every word in English has multiple meanings and overtones. 'Religionist' is no different. I did look the definition up on line and the first that came up was from Merriam-Webster, and it says "Definition of religionist. : a person adhering to a religion; especially : a religious zealot". Note that 'especially'; in their definition that is not essential; adhering to a religion is enough.

As I say, I really don't want to start debating what specific words mean, and I certainly don't want to get onto That Subject Which Is Forbidden In This Thread, even if it does seem to be prising its way in of late. Let's stick to the point: Universals can be dangerous things in informal language and are easily assumed and misunderstood. It is worth the effort to avoid them where possible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Jul 16 - 06:23 PM

Well as a matter of fact I also saw that one in Merriam-Webster, and similar in several other online dictionaries. "Especially" is dictionary-speak used by lexicographers in order to cover their arses (you may have noticed that I have a reasonable vocabulary, and I can reveal to you that extensive recourse to dictionaries, rather than native talent, helped me to get there). I have some sympathy with them, as conciseness is forced in those poor souls. The point here is that Donuel's use of "religionists," whilst appropriate, is very likely to get the antennae of believers a-twitching furiously. I knew exactly what he meant, and my antennae stayed put, but then I'm not a believer. The first thing that anyone should do if they feel irritated about what someone has typed is to double-check that they actually understand, in all its nuances, the term that has raised their hackles. Fatally, Joe Offer failed to do that in this instance. I'd also add that being provocative is a perfectly valid ploy in debate. Don't underestimate Donuel. He's better than almost everyone else here at the sort of provocation that can't attract criticism. That's dead clever, is that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Jul 16 - 06:27 PM

forced on these poor souls


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Jul 16 - 06:38 PM

I'd also add that dictionaries can and do get things wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 02:06 AM

I'd also add that being provocative is a perfectly valid ploy in debate

An interesting point.

[Very long post deleted, largely about whether one's objective is to 'win', or 'determine truth'. I have spared you all it; but feel free to ponder if ploys about being provocative are about winning a debate or discovering truth]


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 08:28 AM

Coincidence! Steve's post about popular science weasel words like, it is possible, if so then, experts claim...

Science fiction is a valid reservoir of ideas but it is for beginning an inquiry but not for ending up with conclusions.

Rupert Murdoch is busy rewriting history with his dozen news, science and history cable TV channels. On a history channel of his a show called ancient aliens has excellent video of archeological sites but a soundtrack of gibberish about aliens doing everything and adding or leaving out epochs to suit their purpose.

When they said we went from horse and buggy to landing on the moon in just 60 years, they conveniently ignore 3 thousand years of scientific discovery and Newton to boot. On the Ancient Alien Show one can hear every minute rhetoric like " ( incredible stupid claim) followed by, IF TRUE THIS EVIDENCE IS PROOF OF ( incredible stupid claim )".



People like Vielikovsky and Joseph Cambell have organized folklore for their own purposes to unravel what ancient writings intended.

A worthy but difficult pursuit full of pithy postulations and pitfalls. Ptooey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 08:33 AM

Legal cross-examinations or interrogations frequently push provocation to the limit where the judge or solicitor has to step in. The general idea of them is to get at the truth. Sometimes, getting at the truth may require provoking a person who you think isn't being straight with you. I'd also add that anyone who comes here hoping to win a debate is as mad as a box of frogs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 01:12 PM

I agree with that, Steve. That's why I said it was an interesting question. We in the UK have of course just had the experience of someone concerned with winning an argument and not being over concerned with the truth. So whether it is a 'valid ploy' is far from simple.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 02:01 PM

I should have said in the UK and US, we have an adversary legal system. It probably sounds cynical, but at heart the legal system is not, fundamentally, about uncovering the truth but about whether (a) the prosecution's argument is solid and (b) that all due process has been followed. Some other countries have legal systems which are much less about argument and much more about discovering what actually occurred. I think these are ones rooted in the Napoleonic legal system system, but having already admitted by limitations on all matters historical, that could be quite wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: frogprince
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 02:11 PM

"I should have said in the UK and US, we have an adversary legal system. It probably sounds cynical, but at heart the legal system is not, fundamentally, about uncovering the truth but about whether (a) the prosecution's argument is solid and (b) that all due process has been followed"

I could wish that my own evaluation of our legal system didn't tend to be more cynical than that a lot of the time. I fear that the point is often which of the adversaries can score more career points by any manipulative tactics available.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 02:31 PM

Well I'm just as cynical. Perhaps I was describing how things should be rather than how they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 04:57 PM

> "Especially" is dictionary-speak used by lexicographers in order to cover their arses

I can assure you from extensive experience that you are quite wrong about this.

"Especially" is used when the narrower nuance appears more frequently in the dictionary's corpus than the broader (and often earlier) one.

It is a descriptive and not a prescriptive label. (It does not say, as one might erroneously believe, that "religionist" "properly" means "a religious zealot," only that it does so by a significant margin. Both nuances are equally "correct.")

M-W maintains a continually updated corpus of millions and millions of examples of actual usage. So does Oxford.

The cited M-W definition of "religionist" should be clear and unambiguous to anyone other than Derrida who knows what "especially" means.

When meticulously edited dictionaries like M-W and OED dictionaries make mistakes, it's almost always in the case of a rare or obsolete word or phrase for which little printed evidence exists. "Religionist" isn't one of those words.

Of course, it's always possible to insist that the dictionary is "wrong" if it contradicts one's own perceptions.

As did Humpty Dumpty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jul 16 - 06:32 PM

Hmm. "Especially" pops up so suspiciously frequently in dictionaries that one can't help thinking that it's no more than a utilitarian word, lacking nuance, very handy because it saves the compiler the trouble of explaining shades of definitions so fully that the tome would end up being twice as thick. It also exonerates them from criticism from pedants in a way that using "usually," "normally" or "mostly" wouldn't. It also carries the implication that using the word in any sense other than the "especially" sense would be capricious. For example, if I called a chap I saw kneeling to pray in a cathedral I happened to be visiting (and I visit many) a "religionist," you'd think I'd gone mad, though there's no doubt that he's a believer. Yet "especially" allows me to call him just that, given your interpretation of it. Even with dictionaries you have to read between the lines.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Jul 16 - 02:32 AM

i don't know of any bulletin board that copes well with this, but this discussion about the role and nature of dictionaries is worth exploring, even though it has nothing to do with the thread title. I am not complaining about thread drift, but am just aware that anyone interested in dictionaries is unlikely to realise it is being discussed.

I see dictionaries are records of word usage, far more than definitions. If I was at home I'd look it up in something more extensive: the online dictionaries tend to be much more about current usage, in my limited experience. Not that that always works: if you are wondering what a Carnel is in the Child Ballad "The Carnel and the Crane" I can tell you that the 20 volume Oxford English Dictionary gives precisely one reference: the Child Ballad.   Well, that's helpful.

I don't know, but assume France still has an authorative approach to dictionaries when a learned committee pronounces on each word and there is the 'right' meaning of the word, all others being 'wrong'. English dictionaries don't define words like that: they record a common and shifting representation of what the consensus usages of a word are. This is one reason why Lighter's easily overlooked qualification of "often earlier" meanings is important. English words frequently refer to a very wide set and then with usage this narrows down. That is what, to me, the "especially" is about: is denotes this process of moving from a wide definition to a narrower one. Eventually it changes and the narrow definition is all there is, with perhaps the older usage still there but recorded as 'Obsolete'. While we are still in the "especially" stage, both meanings are valid and current, but not equally so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jul 16 - 03:51 AM

Your final four words are the crucial bit of your post!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jul 16 - 07:52 AM

"The bad news is nothing lasts forever,
The good news is nothing lasts forever."
 J. Cole


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Jul 16 - 09:55 AM

> valid and current, but not equally so.

That would be better phrased as "valid and often used."

"Not current" implies "on the way out," but broader/narrower sense relationships, like other kinds, can last for a very long time.

U.S. (and possibly U.K.?) example:

"Guy" mostly means male person. But it also applies to a group of made up of either or both sexes: "you guys" (often used by young women to young women, as well as by anybody to a mixed group).

All these usages are equally valid and current, despite the theoretical inconsistencies - which have been made much of by academic feminists.

As for "carnal," its unique known record, in the ballad, suggests that it was a rare, regional term that is now obsolete, except as it appears in the song.

Had they found another example, the Oxford editors would have included it. Nor is there another in the multi-volume "English Dialect Dictionary." Or anywhere, so far as I can tell.

Not even Oxford is certain that it meant "crow," but it's a reasonable guess.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Jul 16 - 04:50 PM

Lighter, it seems you have taken some words I use and examined them in detail. I have learned some things about word usage I did not know so I thank the contributors here.

You may however be on a fools gold mission since my word selection is not groomed with a fine tooth comb nor do I measure them with a mental micrometer. I am a severely dyslexic writer, clocked and measured, and rely on associative processes not found in the angular gyrus like most people. I do not know if language for me passes through the corpus callosum or has manifested in the right hemisphere instead of the left la Brocia region. What I do know is that dissecting my fast and dirty word selection in these impromptu posts is missing the point more than I can say.

So let me do what I do most often which is pose questions.

If we take the distance to the star Sirius B and measure the additional distance that has accrued over the last 10,000 years due to space expansion and plug in speed values of a quarter the speed of light, or even half light speed,   we could determine how much more time it would take to travel there.

A science fiction writer could then assign the life span limits to an alien species by assuming their conspicuous absence may have recently been exceeded by space expansion.

There are at least 4 assumptions that with care could be whittled down but there is the reality that there will be a day when distance grows so large that only immortal beings could make the stellar trip. (organic robots?) or (hot rod gods)

This is how a science fiction writer could wrap some morsels of fiction in the grape leaf of reality and sell the plot device as the foundation for a novel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: TheSnail
Date: 04 Jul 16 - 02:36 PM

A bit busy and having PC problems but I thought I'd just let you know I'm still here by taking issue with Donuel's description of the preparation of Holy Water. It actually comes from here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 05 Jul 16 - 10:25 AM

Sirius B and measure the additional distance that has accrued over the last 10,000 years due to space expansion

The extra distance is negligible. Swirling within the galaxy is far more significant and will often mean a reducing distance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Ed T
Date: 05 Jul 16 - 06:48 PM

"It has taken me quite a few years to realize the fact that most of the thoughts in my head are not necessary." 
Bert McCoy


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 05 Jul 16 - 06:48 PM

Keith that sounds reasonable.

Regarding holy water I recall a Japanese 'scientist' who showed the ice crystals from water that was from exotic rivers and mountain monasteries having more beautiful structure than water from polluted streams. While the findings were dubious his photos were nice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 06 Jul 16 - 07:40 AM


"It has taken me quite a few years to realize the fact that most of the thoughts in my head are not necessary."


Much of life is unnecessary. I doubt if many people would reject watching all sport on the grounds it is unnecessary. Very little theatre or art or film serves a necessary purpose. Your typical Hollywood blockbuster is impressively unnecessary.

None of which says we shouldn't do/make them.

Some people find discussions of this kind interesting and informative; I certainly find them more entertaining than sport myself. If you dislike this conversation I doubt if you would have enjoyed the discussion I had (via messenger) over breakfast on Saturday morning on whether the ancient Greeks had a concept of intelligence similar to ours, or was their concept of disposition of mental abilities significantly different? That is a fairly typical breakfast topic in my household; I understand not everyone starts their day like that, but if you don't it seems unreasonable to object to those who like to do so.

I let your earlier comment pass, Ed T, about this discussion being for a handful of people talking amongst themselves on an obscure music website. All I can say is what's wrong with that? In other circumstances Steve and Lighter and Donuel and others might have this conversation sitting round a pub table; why shouldn't we have it here rather than there? It is, after all, the only place we are likely to meet. (Arguably it is better here as at least we don't annoy the people on an adjacent table!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 11:05 AM

DMcG

I am a breakfast person and would love to hear one of your typical family discussions.

I am one of those who have rejected sport as an opiate of the masses all my life. I am not a total stick in the mud with a stick up my bum, I can enjoy sports in a snippet. I am proud of not knowing sports except from a how and why physics perspective.

Instead, my neurons have concentrated on esoteric phenomenon to the point that few if any would believe what I have experienced and found.
If you had the chance to tell someone the most important thing in the world and you know they would never believe you, would you try?

I did.

I painted a detailed 16 square painting of downtown NYC on 9-11, planes and both towers etc. I went to the FBI and discussed a prevention plan and all this was 7+ years prior to 9-11.

Even my hours spent with 4 physicists who worked on the star wars X ray laser project seems to have had a time bending butterfly effect on our reality. I will stop there.

Later in life I put on a personae like putting on clothes that allowed me to be judged and believed more conventionally while pursuing answers to the esoteric questions I still had. The clothes didn't fit.

You see, I still seek a logical answer beyond the ilk of conventional science to explore the precognitive qualities of time perception in my life as well as other objects I have seen that do not interact with normal matter.

Some call the phenomena I speak of as becoming a vessel to catch the ideas that float all around living beings.

In small ways I have left many empirical clues here like my posts regarding the invention of the high tech doorbell 2 years ago. Now in the US commercials for this device run everyday. You might say it is a chicken and egg notion or good ideas are stolen. Or consider...
The concept of simultaneous discovery or invention which is known to most scientists.

The explanation I am currently thinking about is that just as space spreads out so does time. More than that, space has two opposing forces, one energetic with a time signature and another Omni dimensional energetic space without a gravity or time signature.

All we see comes from the distant past or up close near instantaneous past. But go to a ultra high gravity time stopping region and come back, you are looking at a present in the future. This is just relativity using one aspect of space.

My idea is far reaching as well as still baking, but it explains why time scales differently like gravity on plank scales and how peculiarities in quantum theory can be seen more rationally.

In its entirety this idea simply adds a new perspective. Instead of a particle being at two places at the same time, it can be seen as one particle being at two times in opposing space.

It seems to me that our 3D brains can perceive 4 dimensional space as easily as a two D hologram can show 3 D effects. This might help you visualize the opposing expansionist space dimension compared to a Omni dimensional anti space.

Anyway if one believes in the vessel thing, this idea is not mine but is already in the wind.

Another clue is the existence of the pilot wave, known by Tesla, me and I hope you too. It steers the future direction of a particle in energetic space.

The old phrase extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof has its ancillary , extraordinary experiences demand extraordinary explanations.

Here is to better ideas. I'm open to them.

Totally logical or not, you know, like Feynman's craziest ideas


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 01:13 PM

Steve your discussion of word usage has given me new insights into language. With two feet in language and only a finger tip in math, I find it helpful to my self expression.

A new language invented by a holocaust survivor that bypassed the propagandistic Orwellian warping of words was use with much success by deaf and mute children. Expandable pictograms breathed life into an innately more truthful language. I forget his name but he was a mandolin playing linguist. It ended in tears after he sued the schools using his language.

Squabbles, as irrational as quantum mechanics.

Thanks for the introduction to evolving word usage

And that goes for Lighter too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 07:17 PM

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/pleasure-finding-things-out/

I concur


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 07:41 PM

Well, Donuel, I love the language though I've never studied it in any formal way. The way we sometimes treat our language, which, let's face it, has been hard-won, frequently reminds me of entropy, in that dumbing down (which is what entropy is, kind of) strips away nuance. I've just spent a week in my beloved Italy. The language is beautifully executed, though, in large part, nuance in Italian, a far more regular language than English, is achieved by hand gesture and incredibly persuasive sing-song phrase endings. I love that and I love how different it is from English, in which nuance is achieved largely by the manipulation of words, though not exclusively by any means (I'm a northerner, tha knows...)

But I'm no pedant, and I love to wantonly split infinitives, and, hopefully, there's nothing wrong with "hopefully." Rules are meant to be broken and breaking rules is how English moves on. Just don't regale me with horrors such as "prior to" or "albeit" and I'll never shout at you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: DMcG
Date: 12 Jul 16 - 02:09 AM

I'm sure there are plenty of others, but one non-academic book I enjoyed on the subject is "The Story of English" by McCrum, Cran and MacNeil. As well as covering the central core, it deals how the language is changing as a result of being used in so many different countries.


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Subject: RE: BS: Logic and the laws of science
From: Donuel
Date: 12 Jul 16 - 04:59 PM

I suppose the version Of English I use is a 120 year old American.
When I was seven, the last Civil War veteran died. The widow of George Eastman was a client of mine. Another client attended the abusive national denominational schools in Ireland. Being a non conformist meant something different back then.

One of the best innate features of this forum are the old sayings and quotations that pop up frequently.


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