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Author Topic:   Studying the supernatural
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12964
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 31 of 207 (634748)
09-23-2011 5:41 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Modulous
09-23-2011 11:13 AM


I was presenting my opponents position in the strongest terms I could.

And I answered it. Fair enough?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Modulous, posted 09-23-2011 11:13 AM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9977
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 32 of 207 (634750)
09-23-2011 6:00 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Percy
09-23-2011 1:52 PM


Allies
Percy writes:

Oddly, you seem intent on alienating potential allies.

I didn't know that my aim here was to garner allies?

More to the point however - I am bewildered as to why you think I would want Nwr as an ally in any "Is it science?" context anyway? Nwr has demonstrated himself to have an entirely "unique" (to be polite) view of what science is.

Nwr has rejected the role of inductive reasoning in science in a way that I fundamentally disagree with Induction and Science

Nwr has demonstrated himself as completely unable to distinguish between scientific descriptions of nature (e.g. the heliocentric model of the Solar system) and arbitrary human conventions (e.g. a geocentric co-ordiante system) - See Message 28 and upthread from that.

More generally Nwr has described science as some sort of internally consistent human construct that is unrelated to any knowledge about nature at all:

Nwr : "Apparently, I was not clear enough. I'll say it again. Scientific theories have nothing to say about how nature behaves."

Nwr: "A scientific theory is, primarily, a description of the method rather than a description of the world."

Frankly I probably agree more with RAZD's epistemological stance regarding the role and nature of science than I do Nwr's.

Percy writes:

You're misinterpreting what Nwr is referring to when he says science transforms supposed supernatural phenomena into natural phenomena. He's not referring to Thor.

What is he referring to?

Until Nwr specifies exactly what he does mean I would suggest that any judgement is reserved. Because his past record on the nature of science suggests to me that his approach is all his own and very probably not what you are assuming it to be.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Percy, posted 09-23-2011 1:52 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Percy, posted 09-23-2011 8:31 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 40 by nwr, posted 09-23-2011 9:26 PM Straggler has responded

  
Rahvin
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Posts: 3961
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


(4)
Message 33 of 207 (634752)
09-23-2011 6:20 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by RAZD
09-23-2011 2:49 PM


Re: in the possesion and influence of spirits? (please breath into this analyser ...)
A more generic term may be spirits, which are found in (almost?) all religions (afaik), from the simple ancestor spirits of chinese belief to the various spirits of native american beliefs.

That's fine RAZD - I don;t think we're here to discuss whether ghosts/spirits actually exist or whether appealing to the popularity of an idea lends weight to its probability of accuracy. It's just an example of something usually labelled "supernatural." That's all.

...
At the end of the day, however, either ghosts exist, or they do not.

Can spirits exist and (theoretically) be detectable?
(but just have not been detected in a objectively controlled system)
Can spirits exist and not be (theoretically) detectable?
(and can you tell the difference between this and non-existence?)
Can some actions of non-detectable spirits (theoretically) be detectable?
(the movement of objects by "poltergeists" for example)
Can the existence of spirits be inferred from the (theoretically) detectable actions?
(or will natural causes be invoked in some manner? or will they just be labeled "unexplained" phenomena?)

It seems to me a more nuanced approach may be more appropriate than just {exist/not-exist}.

All you're doing with those examples is subdividing the sets {exist} and {not exist}. It's irrelevant. It's conceptually possible that aspects of reality might exist yet be undetectable to us. In fact, it's historically true - quarks and gluons, as random examples, were for the great majority of human experience, completely undetectable.

I'm not at all talking about the sets {known to exist} and {not known to exist} or {known to not exist}. I'm talking about the sets {exist} and {not exist}. In every single case, either a thing exists, or it does not, correct? What we currently know boils down to a matter of probability assigned by previous observation and testing, but what exists is irrelevant to our knowledge - the territory is independant of the map. North America existed long before Columbus or Eric the Red.

Is it that mysteriousness that makes them qualify as "supernatural?" Is that just a label that we apply to conceivably possible things when we don't know the mechanism that could be involved? Is it a label that we apply when a hypothesis seems to contradict other, more certain theories about reality, and we're just either too lazy to try to figure out the real rules that reality is using that explain all of the phenomenon, or too stubborn to let go of a hypothesis that we really like?

As an example, the attribute of ghosts/spirits to move through walls\etc. would be "non-natural" behavior, however there is another conceivable possibility here (imho):

Stop. Is that "non-natural behavior?" Or is it simply "behavior not in accordance with currently understood natural law?" In other words, a mystery?

By labelling the phenomenon "un-natural" or "supernatural," it seems to me that you're identifying a mystery, a gap in our understanding and saying "wow, this doesn't fit with what I think I know, so I must never be able to really know it, it's compeltely untestable."

That's not the proper response to a mysterious question. The proper response is to accept that you don;t understand the phenomenon, and try to come up with some tests to determine what mechanism is at work. "Walking through walls" isn't even all that special - certain forms of matter like neutrinos pass through walls all the time. Electromagnetic fields can pass through most walls as well, which is why I'm able to post this despite the fact that my wireless access point is on the other side of a concrete pillar at the moment, and why my cell phone works indoors.

Identifying a mystery just doesn't mean you identify the phenomenon as some brand-new special subset that somehow disqualifies it from natual laws. Mysterious phenomenon, in fact, are exactly what help us the most in determining what the real natural laws are.

Remember, a scant few hundred years ago, Lord Kelvin identified the response of muscles to conscious thought as something "infinitely beyond" human understanding. This tendency to worship one's own ignorance by revering the mysteriousness of mysteries rather than trying to just figure out what's really going on is fascinating.

Another common thread in beliefs about spirits is in the ability of "possession" of individuals by spirits, and that they can then cause the people to do or see (un-natural) things that they would not normally (naturally) do or see.

In this regard, a vision of a ghost as a 4-D (space/time) hologram injected into a persons visual nerves would have the appearance of an object moving independently and unaffected by the physical world seen through the normal vision paths: one image superimposed on the other.

Is this testable? Is possession in general testable?

If it's observable, RAZD, then it is testable. It may not be easy to do so, but that hardly justifies the creation of a brand new set of ambiguous phenomenon called {supernatural}.

If it's not observable, meaning it cannot be detected with any of the senses, then how would you ever get the idea that it happens in the first place? If I can observe a mysterious human-looking figure or other object passing through a wall, then I can try to test under what circumstances this phenomenon seems to happen; test whether some substances are permeable and some are not; see whether the object responds to various stimuli; etc. "Posession" may be extremely difficult to differentiate from mental illness or powerful suggestion and the like, but again - if someone thinks they've seen it happen to themselves or others, then they've observed it and we can test it. Does a posessed individual respond to psychiatric medication? To verbal stimuli? Does it only happen in specific locations and conditions? To specific individuals who may share a common trait? To animals? What would be an indication of "posession" that differenciates it from "mental illness" so that we can tell which phenomenon we're studying in a given individual?

Would you agree that the "natural" explanation would be that it is an hallucination, produced by abnormal (non-normal ... un-normal?) behavior inside the brain, rather than an actual event? Any testing by cat-scans etc could be shown to be entirely consistent with the "natural" hallucination hypothesis\explanation, ... and yet we are left with the "thor question" -- is this just how the spirit causes the phenomena to occur, or is it just a natural mechanism?

The question isn't whether it's a "natural" phenomenon or an "unnatural" phenomenon. The question is, what is the real mechanism at work in this case?" In any case with a mysterious question, we have to try to differenciate between many potential hypotheses to see which is the closest to reality. If we observe a parrtern of numbers that goes {2, 4, 6}, the rule "the number increases by two each time" fits equally well as the rule "the number increases each time" or even "any selection of numbers at all." That's the entire point of investigating a phenomenon - in large part you just have to describe the phenomenon by what you can test to be not happening.

The question should be "does the mechanism of posession exist or not," not "is the mechanism 'natural.'"

If it can be observed, it can be studied. Just because something has a mysterious mechanism doesn't mean it's an "exception" to the laws of reality - it just means we don't understand everything about reality yet. That's fine, I was never under the presumption that humanity had figured it all out yet. If the thing is conscious and intentionally avoids detection in most circumstances...well, that just means it's difficult to study, not that it's outside the realm of human understanding. And even if it were incomprehensible, that wouldn't mean it's somehow an exception to the laws of reality. Once again, it would just mean that the laws of reality are different to some degree from what we currently think they are, and we already know that to be near-certainly true.

Interesting assertions. I would only add that there may be some aspects that cannot be explained and understood via science, perhaps because the experiences\observations may be chaotic in nature, with results that are not repeatable.

Once again - that a phenomenon may be difficult to investigate, but if a phenomenon is observable in the first place, then further observations can be made to investigate what's going on. Sometimes we don't have the tools to really figure it out; sometimes we don't even have the tools to make the tools that would let us test another phenomenon that would let us create the tools to even observe what's really going on. At no point does that make the phenomenon some super-special set that takes exception to reality's laws. We don;t know all of reality's laws with absolute certainty; that much is going to be true for the forseeable future, and so the proper response to a mysterious question is "let's investigate and see what's going on; if we can't do it yet, let's try to find out what we might need to do so; and until then, we'll accept that we just don't know. Yet.

The response to a mysterious question is never to simply revel in our own ignorance, create a special set of phenomenon that "cannot ever be understood," and make sacred our lack of understanding. Either a thing exists, or it does not. The territory is the way it is, and our lack of an accurate map for one part doesn't say anything whatsoever other than that we are ignorant of that part of reality.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by RAZD, posted 09-23-2011 2:49 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by RAZD, posted 09-24-2011 7:34 PM Rahvin has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9977
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 34 of 207 (634754)
09-23-2011 6:20 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by RAZD
09-23-2011 1:44 PM


Re: I'm thor it happened that way ... (thaid Tom with a lithp)
Does your participation here and lack of it over at Scientific Knowledge mean that you are unwilling or unable to take - A Constructive Approach to "Knowing" Message 81....?

RAZD writes:

Whether "Thor" exists and uses these processes to cause thunder and lightening is "a-natural" and/but unnecessary to the scientific explanation of how thunder and lightening occur.

Surely the scientific conclusion is that thunder and lightning are caused by static electricity. Thus refuting any invocation of Thor as the cause of thunder and lightning to all practical intents and purposes. What role for Thor are you suggesting is required?

Or are you just making the inane observation that any naturalistic explanation, no matter how highly evidenced, fails to prove the absence of any undetectable supernatural involvement?

If so - You might as well invoke undetectable gravity gnomes, rather than space-time curvature, as the cause of gravitational effects mightn't you?

It's the same old same old "you can't falsify my unfalsifiable belief" drivel.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by RAZD, posted 09-23-2011 1:44 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 13354
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 35 of 207 (634762)
09-23-2011 8:14 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Dr Adequate
09-23-2011 4:04 PM


Hi Dr Adequate,

I agree with what Mod said, and it seems compatible with what Nwr said, I just liked Nwr's way of saying it better, and Straggler's strenuous objection over what is really just minor terminology differences seemed out of place.

As for the rest, I was speculating that since the creationist pickings are so slim these days that it was causing people who would otherwise agree to bicker among themselves over minutia out of boredom.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Dr Adequate, posted 09-23-2011 4:04 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 13354
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 36 of 207 (634763)
09-23-2011 8:31 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Straggler
09-23-2011 6:00 PM


Re: Allies
Straggler writes:

More to the point however - I am bewildered as to why you think I would want Nwr as an ally in any "Is it science?" context anyway? Nwr has demonstrated himself to have an entirely "unique" (to be polite) view of what science is.

Understood, but you were replying mostly to the history and not so much to what Nwr actually said in Message 7.

Straggler writes:

What is he referring to?

Until Nwr specifies exactly what he does mean I would suggest that any judgement is reserved. Because his past record on the nature of science suggests to me that his approach is all his own and very probably not what you are assuming it to be.

I already know Nwr and I have differences about the nature of science, but I agree with what he said in Message 7, which wasn't controversial. I think if you temporarily set aside any past disagreements you might have had with Nwr and read that message again that you might see it differently.

As to what Nwr is referring to, Thor and lightning wasn't his example, but all he meant was that when lightning is given a supernatural explanation, such as "Thor did it," that science shows that lightning has a natural explanation. Over time this process of providing natural explanations for the supernatural reduces the breadth of the religious domain, and he thinks that religion might be better off claiming that nature is God.

He didn't mean that science provides Thor a natural explanation.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Straggler, posted 09-23-2011 6:00 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 16125
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 37 of 207 (634767)
09-23-2011 8:54 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Dr Adequate
09-23-2011 3:25 PM


different world views, belief vs claim
Hi Dr Adequate,

In fact, I have never met anyone who describes themselves as "closed-minded and gullible".

And everyone considers themselves to be logical and rational.

What I want to know is --- given that we have apparently very similar epistemologies, how does it come about that I'm an atheist and yet you're a deist ... At what point does your epistemology start to differ from mine ...

Simple, imho. They start to differ where our world views, opinions and beliefs differ, areas not necessarily subject to science or logic but just the accumulation of life experiences and the associated beliefs and opinions that you have gained in your life-tiime.

What makes a conservative different from a liberal?

... who goes around condemning atheists as closed-minded pseudoskeptics? ...

Who goes around condemning certain specific people (many of which happen to be atheists, but not all) for exhibiting the behaviors typical of pseudoskeptics.(1)

... for me to say such things as: "I don't believe in ...

Is perfectly fine: it is a belief. There is no need to substantiate a belief (or an opinion or a guess about the future) -- you aren't claiming that it is true.

If I say that I don't believe in unicorns either(2), then that too is my belief. If someone happens to show that unicorns do in fact exist, then both our opinions would be falsified, but that wouldn't mean that we were not able to have those beliefs logically due to the evidence available before then.

http://english.glendale.cc.ca.us/unicorn1.html (one of my favorite stories).

If someone says "{X} does not exist," or that "the preponderance of evidence shows that it is highly improbable that {X} exists," they should be prepared to substantiate those claims with some objective evidence (and not just the "absence of evidence" that it exists).

Enjoy.


Notes:

(1) - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoskepticism and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcello_Truzzi

quote:
Truzzi was an investigator of various protosciences and pseudosciences and, as fellow CSICOP cofounder Paul Kurtz dubbed him, "the skeptic's skeptic." He is credited with originating the oft-used phrase "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."

After leaving CSICOP, Truzzi started another journal, the Zetetic Scholar.[2] He promoted the term "zeteticism" as an alternative to "skepticism", because the term "skepticism", he thought, was being usurped by what he termed "pseudoskeptics". A zetetic is a "skeptical seeker". ... “Truzzi considered most skeptics to be pseudoskeptics, a term he coined to describe those who assume an occult or paranormal claim is false without bothering to investigate it.


Maybe I should describe myself as an open-minded zetetic ... ?

(2) - For the stalkers, belief that {X} does not exist would be a 5, imho.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Dr Adequate, posted 09-23-2011 3:25 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Dr Adequate, posted 09-23-2011 11:58 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5182
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 38 of 207 (634770)
09-23-2011 9:06 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Percy
09-23-2011 1:52 PM


Percy writes:
You're misinterpreting what Nwr is referring to when he says science transforms supposed supernatural phenomena into natural phenomena. He's not referring to Thor.

Quite right.

I was just referring to the recategorization as natural of phenomena and events that had previously been considered supernatural.


Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 16125
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 39 of 207 (634771)
09-23-2011 9:08 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by nwr
09-23-2011 3:51 PM


don't be thor ...
Hi nwr, thanks.

I'm not sure why you are making a reply to my post. It seems that your "reply" is entirely a response to the bullshit that Straggler has made up and has attempted to falsely impute to me.

Agreed, however I find it more parsimonious to reply to you as a clarification of how I see the picture that you initiated and I agree with.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by nwr, posted 09-23-2011 3:51 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5182
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 40 of 207 (634776)
09-23-2011 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Straggler
09-23-2011 6:00 PM


Re: Allies
Straggler writes:
More generally Nwr has described science as some sort of internally consistent human construct that is unrelated to any knowledge about nature at all

Total bullshit.

There is something called The Principle of Charity, which one is supposed to follow. You seem to instead follow a principle of uncharity, which is why I ignore most of your posts even when the topic is of interest.


Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Straggler, posted 09-23-2011 6:00 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
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Portillo
Member (Idle past 658 days)
Posts: 258
Joined: 11-14-2010


Message 41 of 207 (634786)
09-23-2011 11:49 PM


Natural science cannot prove supernatural phenomena, but that doesnt mean that supernatural things dont exist. For example, some people have experienced post-death or life after death. People have reported having experiences, minutes and hours after the heart has stopped beating, no brain waves and have flatlined. They have reported seeing the surgery that was being performed on them, including the tools used and what the doctors looked like. One girl even reported what her parents were doing who werent even in the surgery room but were at home.

Edited by Portillo, : No reason given.


And the conspiracy was strong, for the people increased continually - 2 Samuel 15:12

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12964
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 42 of 207 (634788)
09-23-2011 11:58 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by RAZD
09-23-2011 8:54 PM


Re: different world views, belief vs claim
Is perfectly fine: it is a belief. There is no need to substantiate a belief (or an opinion or a guess about the future) -- you aren't claiming that it is true.

(1) Yes there is.
(2) Yes I am.

I found the rest of your post obscure to the point of being evasive.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by RAZD, posted 09-23-2011 8:54 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Chuck77
Inactive Member


Message 43 of 207 (634823)
09-24-2011 7:01 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Straggler
09-23-2011 11:20 AM


It super and it's natural
Straggler writes:

For example - Thor as the conceptual cause of this phenomenon remains as conceptually supernatural as ever. And nothing science discovers will change that.

Is Science trying to explain where life came from thru the TOE?

The TOE explains how life happens not how it came to be. Science looks at the evidence, then forms the theory around it, right?

Science doesn't need to explain the SN in order for the SN to exist.

Just because something can be explained in a natural terms doesn't mean it can't have a SN connection.

There are still a lot of things Scientists' don't know about lightning:

Lightning Basics
What is lightning?
Lightning is a gigantic electrostatic discharge (the same kind of electricity that can shock you when you touch a doorknob) between the cloud and the ground, other clouds, or within a cloud. Scientists do not understand yet exactly how it works or how it interacts with the upper atmosphere or the earth 's electromagnetic field.

What causes lightning?
The creation of lightning is a complicated process. We generally know what conditions are needed to produce lightning, but there is still debate about exactly how lightning forms.The exact way a cloud builds up the electrical charges that lead to lightning is not completely understood.

Reference:http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/primer/lightning/ltg_basics.html

So since some things are still relativley unknown can we assume it's due to not knowing how to detect or test the SN?

Of course not. There are tons of things that will always be unexplained and Science is only a part of that. If Science never finds God does that mean God doesn't exist?

If the natural world has laws and explanations maybe the Creator set it up that way.

Goddidit is a terrible thing to say I know!! My god man, I would not utter that here trust me, but maybe God created lightning to act and work the way it does. Science explains how, God supplied the lightning. Deal? Im thinking no deal...

Straggler writes:

Likewise it isn't the case that build up of electric static electric charge in clouds was once "supernatural" and is now "natural". This explanation is and always has been natural. It's just those who believed in Thor (or whoever) were (understandably) ignorant of such things.

Ignorant of what? So your saying as soon as something can be explained away God is out?

Was He ever in? So basically everything that does not have an explanation you think we say Goddidit but once Science explains it we are left with the rest of the unexplained?

So you get all the explained things that Science explains and we get the unexplained for now? Thanks a lot. Why do you have a problem with Science explaining things and God creating them?

What if the evidence is just that, the lightning? Can you claim otherwise? And if so on what basis?

God can be practical you know...just because He is SN doesn;t mean he has no common sense.

Straggler writes:

We investigate nature and where we find highly evidenced naturalistic alternatives to supernatural explanations we consider the supernatural explanation refuted to all practical intents and purposes.

COME on mannnnnnn. You think once something is explained the SN is refuted?

Geeez Louise.

Leonhard Euler-mathematician

If Gauss is the Prince, Euler is the King. Living from 1707 to 1783, he is regarded as the greatest mathematician to have ever walked this planet. It is said that all mathematical formulas are named after the next person after Euler to discover them. In his day he was ground breaking and on par with Einstein in genius. His primary (if that’s possible) contribution to the field is with the introduction of mathematical notation including the concept of a function (and how it is written as f(x)), shorthand trigonometric functions, the ‘e’ for the base of the natural logarithm (The Euler Constant), the Greek letter Sigma for summation and the letter ‘/i’ for imaginary units, as well as the symbol pi for the ratio of a circles circumference to its diameter. All of which play a huge bearing on modern mathematics, from the every day to the incredibly complex.

As well as this, he also solved the Seven Bridges of Koenigsberg problem in graph theory, found the Euler Characteristic for connecting the number of vertices, edges and faces of an object, and (dis)proved many well known theories, too many to list. Furthermore, he continued to develop calculus, topology, number theory, analysis and graph theory as well as much, much more – and ultimately he paved the way for modern mathematics and all its revelations. It is probably no coincidence that industry and technological developments rapidly increased around this time.

So, as soon as everyone understood what this great mathematician was trying to convey to people and science he was simply discarded and given no credit whatsoever? Everyone else gets/takes the credit now? That doesn't sound right to me.

If however the supernatural explanation is borne out (i.e. we examine the Sun and it really is a Golden Armored being unbounded by the laws of physics riding a flaming chariot across the sky) then we acknowledge that there is actually a basis for such concepts.

Wow man, thanks. Atleast you are being fair.

As yet no such evidence for any such entity has ever been forthcoming.

What kind of evidence do you need? Do you need to see the mathematicion in order to leave the possibility open that the SN may have played a part?

Edited by Chuck77, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Straggler, posted 09-23-2011 11:20 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12964
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 44 of 207 (634828)
09-24-2011 7:42 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Portillo
09-23-2011 11:49 PM


Natural science cannot prove supernatural phenomena, but that doesnt mean that supernatural things dont exist. For example, some people have experienced post-death or life after death. People have reported having experiences, minutes and hours after the heart has stopped beating, no brain waves and have flatlined. They have reported seeing the surgery that was being performed on them, including the tools used and what the doctors looked like. One girl even reported what her parents were doing who werent even in the surgery room but were at home.

Well that sort of thing can be tested. For example, these people who have the experience of floating to the top of the operating theater. We want to know whether this is a genuine shift in their perspective or just a convincing hallucination. This is testable --- you can put things in operating theaters which would be visible only from the point of view of someone who was in fact looking at it from above. This has been done.

Sadly, the results have so far been negative.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Portillo, posted 09-23-2011 11:49 PM Portillo has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 13354
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 45 of 207 (634831)
09-24-2011 8:32 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by Chuck77
09-24-2011 7:01 AM


Re: It super and it's natural
Hi Chuck,

You seem to be arguing that study of the supernatural is just an attitude change, that studying the supernatural only requires remaining open to the possibility of ultimate supernatural causes, no matter that in every instance of a scientifically investigated phenomenon traced to a cause, that cause turned out to be natural.

You also hinted that you believe some people (or maybe just Straggler, I'm not sure) are arguing that what we don't know is supernatural and what we know is natural. That's not quite the argument, though. It's religious or at least superstitious or primitive people who attribute what we don't know to the supernatural. As time goes by science demonstrates that more of more of these phenomena are natural.

Science doesn't believe that what we don't know is supernatural. Science believes that what we don't know is what we don't know, and science also tries to remember that we may not really know what we think we know.

What I'm wondering is how you believe study of the supernatural should be conducted?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Chuck77, posted 09-24-2011 7:01 AM Chuck77 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Chuck77, posted 09-25-2011 1:35 AM Percy has responded

    
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