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Author Topic:   the bluegenes Challenge (bluegenes and RAZD only)
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19298
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(3)
Message 1 of 222 (571870)
08-02-2010 7:59 PM


Is it a scientific theory or is it wishful thinking?
bluegenes and RAZD only

In Message 167 on the An Exploration Into"Agnosticism" thread bluegenes asserted:

quote:
"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

This is a high level of confidence theory. The human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings, just as adult rabbits are the only known source of baby rabbits.

It is falsified by the demonstration of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt.

It is not falsified by unsupported assertions like "a supernatural being can exist".

If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, I'd be happy to participate in a one on one debate on the subject, and support the theory with plenty of evidence.


I replied (Message 169):

quote:
If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, ...

Calling it a "strong theory" doesn't make it so. What you have is wishful thinking and confirmation bias coupled to the logical fallacy of Affirming the Consequent.

... and support the theory with plenty of evidence.

Which you certainly need to do, having just just made a positive (and rather extraordinary) claim that absolutely no god/s can exist.

Of course my participation will only involve showing the errors and poor logic in your argument/s, and I bear absolutely no burden to substantiate my personal position/s in this proposed debate: the sole focus would be on your attempt/s to show objective empirical evidence that shows - once and for all - that no god/s can possibly exist, because

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

... ie, that there are absolutely no actual supernatural beings, because all the concepts are made up, imaginary fictions.


Note that when you say:

It is not falsified by unsupported assertions like "a supernatural being can exist".

- that this is you already equivocating on your statement and attempting to employing the logical fallacy of poisoning the well.

Curiously I do not need to claim, assert or believe that "supernatural being (X) can exist" -- all I need to do is ask you to support your assertions.

Let me repeat that your claim (with emphasis added) is:

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

... ie, that there are absolutely no actual supernatural beings, because all the concepts are made up, imaginary fictions.

Thus if what you say is true, then the only way to determine that, is to review various concepts of supernatural entities and have you show the objective empirical valid evidence (which you claim to have) that demonstrates that these concepts are unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.

So my task involves getting you to demonstrate that this is the case for a number of supernatural entities, and this necessarily involves entities that some people have claimed could exist (although not necessarily by me), however, I don't need to assert that they exist, just ask you to demonstrate how you can determine that they are made up fictional entities.

This should be easy. Failure to do so means you lose the debate.

The challenge is accepted, let the equivocation and evasion begin.

Enjoy.

bluegenes and RAZD only

Copy and paste
[center][blockcolor=royalblue][indent][size=4]bluegenes and RAZD only[/size][/indent][/blockcolor][/center]
for the banner code.

Edited by RAZD, : title & subtitle

Edited by RAZD, : .clrty...


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Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by bluegenes, posted 08-03-2010 8:51 AM RAZD has responded

  
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Message 2 of 222 (571978)
08-03-2010 6:41 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the  Great Debate  the bluegenes Challenge thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(3)
Message 3 of 222 (571992)
08-03-2010 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
08-02-2010 7:59 PM


On falsification and Pasteur's law.
This was my reply to RAZD in the other thread, un-edited.

quote:

RAZD writes:

Getting desperate to be noticed bluegenes?


If I were desperate to be noticed, I'd probably be posting lots of very long posts full of unsupported assertions and containing bright coloured boxes with tables and lists, plus segments of text in multi-coloured writing.

RAZD writes:

Note that bluegenes was off-topic and this reply is off-topic, so no further replies should be made here.

Wrong, as usual, and an attempt at evasion that moderators might note. The theory that all supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination is very relevant to a discussion on agnosticism, and particularly to degrees of agnosticism in relation to gods and other supernatural beings.

RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

This is a high level of confidence theory.

No, it is an amusing assertion of your belief, based on wishful thinking, confirmation bias and several logical fallacies.

More waffle. Exactly how we see creationists attempt to deal with strong theories. "You're biased. It's your world view". That's a pathetic way of ignoring the evidence.

It's a strong theory, and explains, amongst many other things, why you can never present a scrap of positive evidence for your deity. Direct question time.

Do you agree that the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings? Yes or No?

RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

It is falsified by the establishment of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt.

Nor, interestingly, is it in any way validated by the absence of evidence. The absence of evidence is only evidence of an absence of evidence that is perceived as such. There could be evidence right in front of you, but because you do not perceive it as evidence you do not see it.

You really don't understand scientific theories and positive evidence. It is validated by the evidence of the chronic tendency of human beings to make up supernatural beings. I can present this evidence.

RAZD writes:

Nor, curiously, is it in any way validated by unsupported claims such as "no supernatural beings can exist" ... it can only be validated by comprehensive objective empirical valid evidence that demonstrates once and for all that no god/s can exist.

Wrong. Try to learn the difference between scientific theories and logical proofs of the kind that only apply internally in systems of formal logic and maths. Evolutionary theory does not conclusively"prove" that all species come into existence via its mechanisms. That's impossible. It offers the best explanation of the data, and demonstrates that it's very unlikely that the species we observe came into existence by non-evolutionary means.

My theory is an explanatory theory of supernatural beings or supernatural beings concepts, and points out their only known origin. It cannot conclusively disprove your unfalsifiable and baseless assertion that a real one can exist, just as evolutionary theory cannot conclusively disprove the unfalsifiable and baseless assertion that one or more species might have come into existence by magic.

You supernaturalists should present positive evidence for such assertions in order for them to be considered anything other than very improbable.

RAZD writes:

Which you certainly need to do, having just just made a positive (and rather extraordinary) claim that absolutely no god/s can exist.

Why do you need to make things up? People can read what I said in the post above. I will demonstrate that your belief in gods is just as unlikely as a belief that there are baby rabbits that aren't born from adult rabbits. Neither claim is falsifiable.

My claim is that it is very unlikely that gods exist. As explained, scientific theories and laws aren't logical proofs.

I'll illustrate to you where you go wrong in attempting to take unfalsifiable propositions about the real world into the area of formal logic in a vacuum of evidence.

Take the proposition "some theists can know if god exists". This relates to position (1) on your scale, and it cannot be proved or disproved. So, in your way of thinking, you can fit it in as "X" in your little "logic" exercise. Try it, and you come up with the conclusion that it is possible, from which you then have to decide that being an uncommitted agnostic "4" on the proposition is the most "logical" position by your method.

Then take the proposition that "there is an old sage somewhere in the world who knows the secrets of the universe, and knows that there are no gods." Again, it cannot be proven or disproven, so put it in your exercise as "X", and the same applies, so you end up as an uncommitted agnostic on whether or not someone can know that there are no gods.

You will get different conclusions from different unfalsifiable statements, and end up an uncommitted agnostic on all of them.

Try it with "Satan is manipulating RAZD's mind". See what I mean. Now you're uncommitted on everything, except uncommitted agnosticism.

This might help you understand why it is science that is used to sort out reality, and why logic and maths are tools of science, but do not sort out questions about the real world on their own.

RAZD writes:

Of course my participation will only involve showing the errors and poor logic in your argument/s, and I bear absolutely no burden to substantiate my personal position/s in this proposed debate:

Of course you will avoid presenting positive evidence for your position, because you can't.

RAZD writes:

the sole focus would be on your attempt/s to show objective empirical evidence that shows - once and for all - that no god/s can possibly exist, …..

And of course you will try to pretend that the burden of proof is on me to falsify your unsupported assertion that gods can exist. The point about "All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination" is that it's phrased so that it's falsifiable, and therefore cannot be a "proof", but is support of my position that:

"I cannot know whether there are gods or not, but I think it's very unlikely."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism

Enjoy the attention.


End of reply.

Now, it appears that I'm dealing with someone who doesn't understand how scientific theories and laws are falsified. As there are many EvC members with a very good understanding of this, please bear with me, because it might take a long time to explain this to my opponent.

Here's Pasteur's Law, for example, often stated as:

quote:

All life comes from life.

Pasteur was establishing that extant life forms do not originate from spontaneous generation.

This is not something that he could conclusively prove, of course, and that is the case for all such scientific laws and theories. They are falsifiable, and must be so.

The falsification of Pasteur's law, a working assumption of all modern biology, would require the demonstration of an exception. Just one confirmed case of the spontaneous generation of a modern organism.

To RAZD's way of thinking, Pasteur's law is invalid unless biologists establish that every single organism alive was not the result of spontaneous generation.

So, he could make an unsupported and unfalsifiable assertion like: "Mice can come from spontaneous generation".

Then, he would ask the biologists to falsify his unfalsifiable assertion.

That's what he's doing here.

On another thread, he made the counter proposal to my theory:

"Supernatural beings can exist".

It's clear that I'll have to explain that unsupported assertions do not falsify theories (probably repeatedly).

In my reply quoted above, I asked RAZD a direct question:

bluegenes writes:

Direct question time.

Do you agree that the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings? Yes or No?

RAZD, I'd be interested in your answer to this.

Edited by bluegenes, : typo: a"non" in Pasteur's law! He'd turn in his grave.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 08-02-2010 7:59 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by RAZD, posted 08-04-2010 9:34 PM bluegenes has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19298
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 4 of 222 (572243)
08-04-2010 9:34 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by bluegenes
08-03-2010 8:51 AM


Now try the topic: can you defend your theory?
bluegenes and RAZD only

Hi bluegenes, you're off to a bad start.

Your purpose is to defend your theory, not evade, equivocate or attack me.

If you cannot defend your hypothesis then you do not have a strong high confidence theory based on multitudes of evidence, but an amusing assertion of your belief, based on wishful thinking, confirmation bias and several logical fallacies.

Let me start by pointing out that you have made several rather major assertions of dubious quality (Message 167 in An Exploration Into"Agnosticism" (not necessarily in order):

  1. "All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

  2. This is a high level of confidence ...

  3. ... theory. ...

  4. ... and support the theory with plenty of evidence

  5. ... The human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings, ...

  6. ... this is a strong theory, ....

We'll start with claim (1):

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

As already pointed out, this is an extraordinary claim, and thus you bear a burden of proof to demonstrate the validity of your claim. You must demonstrate that this can be true.

This is an extraordinary claim because it is stating in no uncertain terms that no supernatural entities exist.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that all supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination.

As to claim (2):

This is a high level of confidence ...

You claim that this has a high level of confidence, immediately after quoting level III on my Concept Scale, claiming that it is a level III concept. Here is my scale again:

RAZD's Concept Scale
  1. Zero to Low Confidence Concepts
    1. No evidence, subjective or objective,
    2. No logical conclusions possible, but opinion possible

  2. Low to Medium Confidence Concepts
    1. Unconfirmed or subjective supporting evidence, opinion also involved, but no known contradictory evidence, nothing shows the concept per se to be invalid
    2. Conclusions regarding possibilities for further investigation, and opinions can be based on this level of evidence,

  3. Medium to High Confidence Concepts
    1. Validated and confirmed objective supporting evidence, and no known contradictory evidence
    2. Conclusions regarding probable reality can be made, repeated attempts to falsify such concepts can lead to high confidence in their being true.

You will note that to meet this level, it needs to have validated and confirmed objective supporting evidence, and no known contradictory evidence.

Can you cite scientific peer reviewed literature that would show this high level of confidence?

The theory of evolution is a high confidence theory: there is extensive scientific peer reviewed literature that demonstrate this.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that you have a high confidence concept.

Claim (3):

... theory. ...

IF this is a scientific theory (as you have claimed), THEN it is necessarily based on objective empirical valid evidence, from which an hypothesis has been derived, which is used to make predictions of things you would only see if this theory were true, and falsification tests of things you would see if this theory were false.

So far all we have seen is the hypothesis and a rather weak falsification test:

It is falsified by the demonstration of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt.

The reason that this is a weak falsification test is because there are other logically valid reasons to believe that this falsification test may never occur in spite of god/s existing. Specifically there are several reasons that involve god/s that could not be demonstrated "beyond all reasonable doubt" -- so this does not test your theory against those supernatural entities of a competing hypothesis: god/s could exist and their existence would not falsify your theory, because your demonstration condition cannot be met.

A true scientific test is something that can only happen if the theory is false, and not something that can possibly never happen when the theory is false.

You have not established any reason to accept that you have a objective empirical evidence.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that you have a valid falsification test.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that you have a scientific theory.

In addition you need to make predictions of things you would only see if this hypothesis were true: this you have not done. This establishes that your theory has predictive capability rather than just being mundane observation. I'll come back to this point later.

Now claim (4):

... and support the theory with plenty of evidence ...

You do absolutely need to present evidence, not just because you made an extraordinary claim in (1) but because you claim a level III confidence in (2) and that you have a theory based on the scientific process in (3), ALL of which require a foundation in objective empirical valid evidence ...

... or all you have is bald assertion based on wishful thinking.

This evidence needs to show absolutely and unequivocally that specific supernatural concepts are shown by objective empirical valid evidence that the concept is a figment of the human imagination. There can be no maybes, no likelies, no uncertainty: it is either true or it is false.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that you have objective empirical valid evidence.

Then claim (5):

... The human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings, ...

Again this is a positive assertion presented without any supporting evidence (a) that it is true or (b) that it does not apply to any concepts that are later determined to be true.

The existence of a single concept that is not a product of human imagination means that your claim is absolutely meaningless. You have not established that this is not the case.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that human imagination is the only known source of supernatural entities.

In addition, the existence of a single concept that is a product of human imagination, and then later determined to be true, means that your claim is absolutely meaningless. You have not established that this is not the case.

And finally claim (6):

... this is a strong theory, ....

You do not get to assert that your theory is "strong" -- that is only assigned to theories after extensive testing of predictions, and it is assigned by other scientists in the process of peer review and many attempts to falsify it.

The theory of evolution is a strong theory, it has been tested for over 150 years.

As I said before, calling it a "strong theory" doesn't make it so.

Again, can you cite scientific peer reviewed literature that would show this level of confidence of validation and confirmation?

The theory of evolution is a strong theory: there is extensive scientific peer reviewed literature that demonstrate this.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that you have a "strong" theory.


Therefore what you have so far is wishful thinking, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias, coupled to a logical fallacy or two.

When we compare the theory of evolution to your theory we see that two very similar predictions are made, but that there are different results:

evolution: all the diversity of life as we know it (from the fossil record, from the record of history, and the genetic record and from life around us) is explained by the process of evolution and speciation. This prediction has not failed in 150 years of testing. We see this prediction upheld again and again in evolution.

bluegenes: all concepts of supernatural beings\entities are explained as a figment of imagination. I am not aware of a single test of this prediction, hence I've asked to explain one:

So my task involves getting you to demonstrate that this is the case for a number of supernatural entities, and this necessarily involves entities that some people have claimed could exist (although not necessarily by me), however, I don't need to assert that they exist, just ask you to demonstrate how you can determine that they are made up fictional entities..

... and document that this is more than just you assuming the conclusion is true, by supporting it with documentation that demonstrates definitively that the concept is purely a product of human imagination.


Now, it appears that I'm dealing with someone who doesn't understand how scientific theories and laws are falsified.

Then you had better demonstrate that you do: provide the evidence that your hypothesis is based on, provide the documentation that shows the level of confidence and strength you claim, and provide documentation that demonstrates that the example concept is a product of human imagination -- beyond all reasonable doubt.

A prediction of your hypothesis is that you can explain any supernatural entity\being as a product of human imagination, ... and document that this is more than just you assuming the conclusion is true, by supporting it with documentation that demonstrates definatively that the concept is purely a product of human imagination. This is why I stated:

Your first task is to demonstrate that the Invisible\Imperceptible Pink Unicorn (IPU) is unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.

If you cannot do this then your theory is just wishful thinking, and not a scientific theory that can actually be used to determine the validity of supernatural concepts.


Curiously, in the opening post I also said (emphasis added):

The challenge is accepted, let the equivocation and evasion begin.

Your first reply did not address the issue of supporting your position in any way. Instead it seems you want to attack me.

As there are many EvC members with a very good understanding of this, please bear with me, because it might take a long time to explain this to my opponent. ...
... RAZD, I'd be interested in your answer to this.

Once again applying the ad hominem logical fallacy is just admission of a weak argument. This is not the least of the indicators that you have a weak position.

Let me introduce you to one of the typical evasive techniques of creationist debating tactics (A Guide to Creationist Tactics,

quote:
Message 129: down the rabbit hole.

This is how it works.

When a Creationist is presented an argument that totally refutes his position, he counters by pointing out a beautiful rabbit hole by making a comment that is so absurd and off topic that the evolutionist cannot resist being drawn down the hole, effectively allowing the creationist to take control of the path and direction of the conversation and leading it further and further from the original topic or refuted position.

This allows the creationist to restate the refuted assertion at some future point as though it had never been refuted.


And (emphasis added)

quote:
Message 133: example of the rabbit hole tactic.

Note that ... there is no specifics, no examples, no reasoned support for his position, in fact nothing but unsupported assertion and innuendo.

It is a continuation of the tactic outlined a few posts above, the attractive rabbit hole. It's attractive because each of the assertions mentioned are nothing more then smoke screens and we all know that Bolder-dash is both incapable of supporting them; we know that when he has been challenged recently on each of those points he has failed to support them and simply pointed to yet another rabbit hole.


I find it humorous to see common tactics employed by atheists.

Looks like my prediction came true.

If you cannot defend your hypothesis then you do not have a strong high confidence theory based on multitudes of evidence, but an amusing assertion of your belief, based on wishful thinking, confirmation bias and several logical fallacies.

Enjoy.

bluegenes and RAZD only

Edited by RAZD, : splg


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 3 by bluegenes, posted 08-03-2010 8:51 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by bluegenes, posted 08-05-2010 2:31 PM RAZD has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(5)
Message 5 of 222 (572390)
08-05-2010 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by RAZD
08-04-2010 9:34 PM


Facts, theories, and a wasted opportunity.
RAZD writes:

Hi bluegenes, you're off to a bad start.

Hi. As I'm the one who knows best where I'm going, I might be in a better position to judge that!

RAZD writes:

We'll start with claim (1): "All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

As already pointed out, this is an extraordinary claim, and thus you bear a burden of proof to demonstrate the validity of your claim. You must demonstrate that this can be true.

This is an extraordinary claim because it is stating in no uncertain terms that no supernatural entities exist

It's clear that we're going to have to cover the difference between things that are stated as scientific facts, and things that are stated as theories or laws, and the reasons that science makes a distinction.

Back to Pasteur. If he stated: "All the experiments in my laboratory aimed at observing spontaneous generation have achieved negative results", he would be stating that as a fact, because it is the result of direct observation, and therefore considered proven.

But when he states: "All life comes from life" he presents this as a theory or law, not a fact, because he cannot prove it, and it's considered falsifiable.

Scientific theories and laws exist as explanations of things that cannot be conclusively known.

When I present a statement like "all supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination" as a scientific theory, which is what I've been very clearly doing, using phrases like "scientific theory", and words like "falsifiable," it should be clear to scientifically informed readers what I mean.

Even outside science, in common speech, someone saying "I have a theory that all swans are white" would not expect to be understood as saying "it's a known fact that all swans are white".

As for your phrase "extraordinary claim", I suggest that that could only be the view of a committed supernaturalist. It is very common to theorize that entities come entirely from their only known source. Is "all baby rabbits are born from other rabbits" an extraordinary theory? I think it's probably been assumed by nearly all humans since they discovered rabbits. What about "all books are authored by human beings"? We're the only known source of them. It doesn't sound "extraordinary" to me, but of course, there are many supernaturalists who claim exceptions for certain books.

Before I start presenting evidence in support of the theory, I'd like to see that you're clear on the difference between scientific theories and scientific facts, because your posts so far indicate confusion on that point.

The rest of your post demonstrates, amongst other things, that you still haven't understood the point I was making here:

bluegenes writes:

The falsification of Pasteur's law, a working assumption of all modern biology, would require the demonstration of an exception. Just one confirmed case of the spontaneous generation of a modern organism.

To RAZD's way of thinking, Pasteur's law is invalid unless biologists establish that every single organism alive was not the result of spontaneous generation.

RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

... The human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings,

...Again this is a positive assertion presented without any supporting evidence (a) that it is true or (b) that it does not apply to any concepts that are later determined to be true.

Ah, so you dispute this? Good. Here's your opportunity to establish that there's another source, which would be an immediate falsification of my theory. It seems a pity that you've made the effort to make such a long post without mentioning any other known source, as you could have ended the debate, and won!

Tell me, do you think I'm making an unsupported assertion when I say that adult rabbits are the only known source of baby rabbits?

Edited by bluegenes, : messed up a nested quote


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by RAZD, posted 08-04-2010 9:34 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by RAZD, posted 08-05-2010 9:28 PM bluegenes has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19298
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 6 of 222 (572444)
08-05-2010 9:28 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by bluegenes
08-05-2010 2:31 PM


The real wasted opportunity.
Hi bluegenes,

Long post

No evidence

Another failure to support your claim/s.

Another attempt to divert the discussion away from your failure to support your assertions and more ad hominems.

Color me not surprised.

Ah, so you dispute this? Good. Here's your opportunity to establish that there's another source, which would be an immediate falsification of my theory. It seems a pity that you've made the effort to make such a long post without mentioning any other known source, as you could have ended the debate, and won!

No, nor am I accepting it just because you say so. All I'm doing is establishing that you have not demonstrated that your assertion is valid and supported by objective empirical evidence.

So far all we have from you is waffling, equivocation and evasion.

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 5 by bluegenes, posted 08-05-2010 2:31 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by bluegenes, posted 08-06-2010 1:37 PM RAZD has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(4)
Message 7 of 222 (572553)
08-06-2010 1:37 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by RAZD
08-05-2010 9:28 PM


To falsify or not to falsify.
RAZD writes:

No, nor am I accepting it just because you say so. All I'm doing is establishing that you have not demonstrated that your assertion is valid and supported by objective empirical evidence.

(1)The theory that all rabbits come from other rabbits is built on the observation that baby rabbits are born from adults. Do you know of any other source of baby rabbits than adult rabbits?

(2)The theory that all books are authored by human beings is based on the observation that human writers are the only known source of books. Do you know of any other source of books than human authors?

(3)The theory that all supernatural beings come from the human imagination is built on the observation that the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings. Do you know of any source of supernatural beings other than the human imagination?

These are theories. They are open to falsification.

If you disagree with the observations, then you must be able to tell the world about alternative known sources for these phenomena.

RAZD writes:

Another attempt to divert the discussion away from your failure to support your assertions and more ad hominems.

This isn't how theories are falsified. The constant repetition of the phrases "confirmation bias", "cognitive dissonance", and "ad hominem" isn't how theories are falsified.

Edited by bluegenes, : deleted extra word


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by RAZD, posted 08-05-2010 9:28 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by RAZD, posted 08-06-2010 8:02 PM bluegenes has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19298
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 8 of 222 (572616)
08-06-2010 8:02 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by bluegenes
08-06-2010 1:37 PM


To support? or to equivocate, evade and weasel and complain
bluegenes and RAZD only

Hi bluegenes,

Failure #3 out of 3. Like I said before, a bad start.

Let me remind you of your original position (emphasis added):

quote:
In Message 167 on the An Exploration Into"Agnosticism" thread bluegenes asserted:
If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, I'd be happy to participate in a one on one debate on the subject, and support the theory with plenty of evidence.

I disagree that you have a theory, to say nothing of how strong you assert it is.

You asserted that you would support your theory "with plenty of evidence" ... and you have once again failed to actually do so.

Let me also remind you that a (real) scientific theory (which you claim to have) is originally based on a set of objective empirical valid evidence, not just made up based on "confirmation bias", "cognitive dissonance", and (the one you forgot) wishful thinking.

So you need to demonstrate that this is the case.

You need to provide the evidence that (a) you asserted you had "plenty of" and (b) that was used for the basis of your claimed theory.

It should be easy. You should have it readily available.

You should have a set of evidence (set A) where you know and can show that your theory is true.

The foundation for your initial hypothesis should have been established by objective empirical valid evidence (set A) of supernatural entities\biengs\etc. that have already been demonstrated to be wholly made up fictions.

Then you make a prediction of a set of evidence (set B) that cannot possibly happen if the theory is true (the falsification tests),

AND you make a prediction of a set of evidence (set C) that can only occur if the theory is true and the competing negative hypothesis is false (to rule out false positives).

So where is your (set A) objective empirical valid evidence of known wholly made up fictional supernatural entities\beings?

For your theory to be a strong theory, it needs to have already been demonstrated to provide predictive ability for new evidence (both B and C), so you should have evidence from these tests.

Finally, this request is still not addressed:

quote:
Message 1: Your first task is to demonstrate that the Invisible\Imperceptible Pink Unicorn (IPU) is unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.

This should be easy. Failure to do so means you lose the debate.


You can consider this your first test of your predictive ability for (set C) evidence, if you don't have any others.

Note that this is not about falsifying a theory, but about establishing that you HAVE a theory.

After you have done that, then we can work on the falsification issue (and perhaps you can take the time to develop a better falsification test).

No more rabbit holes: show us the evidence.

Enjoy

bluegenes and RAZD only


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.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by bluegenes, posted 08-06-2010 1:37 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by bluegenes, posted 08-07-2010 1:42 AM RAZD has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(2)
Message 9 of 222 (572684)
08-07-2010 1:42 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by RAZD
08-06-2010 8:02 PM


Is there more than one source of rabbits?
RAZD writes:

I disagree that you have a theory, to say nothing of how strong you assert it is.

That's not how theories are falsified.

RAZD writes:

You asserted that you would support your theory "with plenty of evidence" ... and you have once again failed to actually do so.

Figments of the human imagination in their hundreds

The creation stories listed here are just some of the many mutually exclusive accounts of the world's origins that have been believed in. Even if one were true, there are hundreds of supernatural beings here (some mythologies have many involved) that must be figments of the human imagination.

In modern times, even if one of the theistic religions were true, most of the theists of the world must be believing in false gods, and therefore in figments of the human imagination.

So, it's easy to establish that there are imaginary supernatural beings that are and have been believed in. Lots of them.

Would you like to counter this with just one supernatural being that can be demonstrated to actually exist, RAZD?

If not, I'll assume your agreement with the statement that "the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings", at least, to you, me, and the scientific world.

Speaking of which (the scientific world), I can assure you that there's nothing in the literature that falsifies my theory. No source of supernatural beings other than the human imagination has been verified, because if it had, that wouldn't just be front page of Nature or Science, it would be headlined all around the world. "Scientists demonstrate that fairies really exist", or whatever. We would all know about it.

RAZD writes:

Let me also remind you that a (real) scientific theory (which you claim to have) is originally based on a set of objective empirical valid evidence, not just made up based on "confirmation bias", "cognitive dissonance", and (the one you forgot) wishful thinking.

Sometimes I get the impression that you're talking to yourself. If someone had said this to you about your unsupported "theory" that "Gods can exist", it couldn't be more apt, especially the "wishful thinking" phrase.

The rest of your post concerns predictions, which I'll certainly cover, and an invisible pink unicorn that you seem to be excited about. Is this the being that you're presenting as falsification? If so, congratulations on being so prompt, and could you take it to the nearest college labs for verification?

My theory predicts that you won't be able to do this.

It also predicts that Obama will not turn out to be the anti-Christ.

RAZD writes:

The foundation for your initial hypothesis should have been established by objective empirical valid evidence of supernatural entities\biengs\etc. that have already been demonstrated to be wholly made up fictions.

See myths above, plus fantasy novels.

RAZD writes:

No more rabbit holes: show us the evidence.

Speaking of rabbits, do you agree that "all baby rabbits come from adult rabbits" is a strong theory?

Yes or no?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by RAZD, posted 08-06-2010 8:02 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by RAZD, posted 08-08-2010 8:34 PM bluegenes has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19298
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 10 of 222 (572941)
08-08-2010 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by bluegenes
08-07-2010 1:42 AM


Can you stay on topic? Can you provide any real objective empirical valid evidence?
bluegenes and RAZD only

Hi blugenes, thanks for the best reply attempt so far.

Curiously, I was on the verge of noting that Forum Guidlelines #4 states:

quote:
4. Points should be supported with evidence and/or reasoned argumentation. Address rebuttals through the introduction of additional evidence or by enlarging upon the argument. Do not repeat previous points without further elaboration. Avoid bare assertions.

Now I suppose that your latest post can be construed as an attempt to provide substantiating evidence:

Figments of the human imagination in their hundreds
...
See myths above, plus fantasy novels.

However, now I refer you to Forum Guideline #5, which states:

quote:
5. Bare links with no supporting discussion should be avoided. Make the argument in your own words and use links as supporting references.

This is especially good advice if your link doesn't support your contention.

(Your bare Link again)

As far as I can see from a cursory reading, these creation myths are all stating that god/s created the universe, earth, etc.

That's a very high degree of consilience with the concept that god/s created the universe, earth, etc. don't you think?

The creation stories listed here are just some of the many mutually exclusive accounts of the world's origins that have been believed in.

Oh dear, another bare assertion, and one that is not necessarily supported by the evidence cited. I note that there are a couple of articles in the list that involve comparisons of several of these myths:

quote:
The four creation myths found on the internet, "An African Cosmogony," "An African Story of the Creation of Man," "Egyptian Cosmogony and Theogony," and the Yoruba creation myth found under "The Minneapolis Institute of Arts," have similar elements and incorporate values and norms common across many African Ethnic groups. ...

Certainly those are not "mutually exclusive" -- so it seems you are assuming something based on your personal beliefs, rather than actually looking at the evidence and considering the possibilities. I would not be surprised to find this kind of consilience between almost all creation myths.

Certainly you are ignoring the rather remarkable agreement on the creation of the universe, earth, etc. by these god/s.

Confirmation Bias (Wikipedia, 2009)
In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and avoids information and interpretations which contradict prior beliefs. It is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inductive inference, or as a form of selection bias toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study or disconfirmation of an alternative hypothesis.

Confirmation bias is of interest in the teaching of critical thinking, as the skill is misused if rigorous critical scrutiny is applied only to evidence challenging a preconceived idea but not to evidence supporting it.[1]

So, it's easy to establish that there are imaginary supernatural beings that are and have been believed in. Lots of them.

And yet, curiously, you have failed to do so. You haven't even demonstrated that one creation myth is necessarily "mutually exclusive" of another, especially on the critical element of god/s creating the universe, earth, etc..

All you have done is make a(nother) bare assertion that just because there are a bunch of different versions, that they must be "mutually exclusive" and then assume that this demonstrates anything.

Amusingly, I still don't take your word as valid or necessarily true, rather I find that it is still based on confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, and wishful thinking.

That's not how theories are falsified.

Fascinatingly this thread is about you establishing that you actually have a theory. Let me remind you of one of your initial bare assertions once again:

Message 167, An Exploration Into"Agnosticism": If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, I'd be happy to participate in a one on one debate on the subject, and support the theory with plenty of evidence.

So far all you have is a conjecture, a hypothesis, an opinion, based on your world view, biases, confirmation bias and wishful thinking, and not based on objective empirical valid evidence.

I also point out part of the Opening Post on this thread:

quote:
Of course my participation will only involve showing the errors and poor logic in your argument/s, and I bear absolutely no burden to substantiate my personal position/s in this proposed debate: the sole focus would be on your attempt/s to show objective empirical evidence that shows - once and for all - that no god/s can possibly exist, because

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

... ie, that there are absolutely no actual supernatural beings, because all the concepts are made up, imaginary fictions.

Thus if what you say is true, then the only way to determine that, is to review various concepts of supernatural entities and have you show the objective empirical valid evidence (which you claim to have) that demonstrates that these concepts are unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.

So my task involves getting you to demonstrate that this is the case for a number of supernatural entities, and this necessarily involves entities that some people have claimed could exist (although not necessarily by me), however, I don't need to assert that they exist, just bring them up to see you demonstrate how you can determine that they are made up fictional entities.

Your first task is to demonstrate that the Invisible\Imperceptible Pink Unicorn (IPU) is unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.


So this thread is about you establishing that you actually have a scientific theory founded on objective empirical valid evidence instead of an hypothesis founded on your world view (personal opinion), biases, confirmation bias and wishful thinking.

So far it seems that your only "methodology" is to assume that entities are made up, and no effort has been expended on actually demonstrating that this is true, even for a single case.

Speaking of which (the scientific world), I can assure you that there's nothing in the literature that falsifies my theory. No source of supernatural beings other than the human imagination has been verified, because if it had, that wouldn't just be front page of Nature or Science, it would be headlined all around the world. "Scientists demonstrate that fairies really exist", or whatever. We would all know about it.

Intriguingly, that still is not how scientific theories are substantiated as being usable theories. That is done by peer reviewed studies that demonstrate actual objective empirical valid evidence that specifically supports the theory and that the theory has predictive value.

Again, I compare your hypothesis to the theory of evolution, and note that there are mountains of studies that validate and support the theory of evolution, that there is (as far as I know) no evidence contrary to the theory of evolution, and that THIS is what makes a scientific theory a "strong" theory, not just a bald assertion.

... and an invisible pink unicorn that you seem to be excited about. Is this the being that you're presenting as falsification? If so, congratulations on being so prompt, and could you take it to the nearest college labs for verification?

No, my dear bluegenes, it is the first example of a supernatural being that you should be able to establish is unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being. This should be a "gimme" if your hypothesis has any merit.

Note that this topic is narrowly defined in accordance with Forum Guideline #3:

quote:
3. When introducing a new topic, please keep the message narrowly focused. Do not include more than a few points.

The thread is for you to establish that you have an hypothesis that amounts to something more than personal opinion, biases, confirmation bias and wishful thinking.

RAZD writes:

No more rabbit holes: show us the evidence.


Speaking of rabbits, do you agree that "all baby rabbits come from adult rabbits" is a strong theory?

Note (1) that Forum Guideline #2 states"

quote:
2. Please stay on topic for a thread. Open a new thread for new topics.

Note (2) that my opinion on rabbits should have absolutely nothing to do with your assertion that you have a valid theory. Your theory needs to stand on it's own merits, or it is weak and inconsequential.

This is just another attempt to divert discussion away from your failure to support your assertion that you have a theory. This is a rabbit hole. It is off topic, it is irrelevant to whether your hypothesis is anything worth considering.

Also note that citing any number of irrelevant things that could be true does not affect in any way the truth or falseness of a claim. As I have mentioned previously, mushrooms grow in the dark under a new moon during a storm: rather obviously (to me) this has little if anything to do with the veracity of god/s existing or not, or with your hypothesis being worth more than the amount of ant frass in antarctica..

See myths above, ...

So where can I read your documentation (preferably in a scientific paper, but I'll take any published source at this point) that the "myths above" are unequivocally and absolutely fictional inventions and not about supernatural beings? Or is this another bald assertion that you pretend to have done?

... plus fantasy novels.

Really?

Surely you're not going to conflate known fiction written for entertainment that happens to be based on supernatural myths and legends with the supernatural myths and legends. Logically this is no different than you claiming that science fiction novels are based on science, and we know they are intentional fictions, therefore all science is intentional fiction -- is that logically false argument really your (best?) argument?

Enjoy.

bluegenes and RAZD only


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 9 by bluegenes, posted 08-07-2010 1:42 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by bluegenes, posted 08-09-2010 6:53 AM RAZD has responded
 Message 12 by bluegenes, posted 08-11-2010 7:10 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(2)
Message 11 of 222 (572966)
08-09-2010 6:53 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by RAZD
08-08-2010 8:34 PM


Wow! Talk about confirmation bias!
RAZD writes:

Curiously, I was on the verge of noting that Forum Guidlelines #4 states:

quote:

4. Points should be supported with evidence and/or reasoned argumentation. Address rebuttals through the introduction of additional evidence or by enlarging upon the argument. Do not repeat previous points without further elaboration. Avoid bare assertions.


Why stop on the verge? Follow the guideline, and present some evidence and/or reasoned argumentation to support your completely unsupported assertion that supernatural beings can exist in reality. Tell us about a known source for them other than the human imagination.

The rest of your post is an excellent illustration of confirmation bias, and an apparent attempt to show to the world that you don't know what "mutually exclusive" means. You're also showing that you still don't understand the difference between scientific theories, and claims of scientific fact.

Here are two mutually exclusive stories. One or both must have been invented.

Norse:

quote:

In the beginning there was the void. And the void was called Ginnungagap. What does Ginnungagap mean? Yawning gap, beginning gap, gap with magical potential, mighty gap; these are a few of the educated guesses. Along with the void existed Niflheim the land of fog and ice in the north and Muspelheim the land of fire in the south. There seems to be a bit of confusion as to whether or not these existed after Ginnungagap or along side of it from the beginning.

In Niflheim was a spring called Hvergelmir from which the Elivagar (eleven rivers - Svol, Gunnthra, Fiorm, Fimbulthul, Slidr, Hrid, Sylg, Ylg, Vid, Leiptr, and Gioll) flowed. The Elivargar froze layer upon layer until it filled in the northerly portion of the gap. Concurrently the southern portion was being filled by sparks and molten material from Muspelheim.

The mix of fire and ice caused part of the Elivagar to melt forming the figures Ymir the primeval giant and the cow Audhumla. The cow's milk was Ymir's food. While Ymir slept his under arm sweat begat two frost giants, one male one female, while his two legs begat another male.

While Ymir was busy procreating Audhumla was busy eating. Her nourishment came from licking the salty ice. Her incessant licking formed the god Buri. He had a son named Bor who was the father of Odin, Vili, and Ve.

For some reason the sons of Bor decided to kill poor Ymir. His blood caused a flood which killed all of the frost giants except for two, Bergelmir and his wife, who escaped the deluge in their boat.

Odin, Vili, and Ve put Ymir's corpse into the middle of ginnungagap and created the earth and sky from it. They also created the stars, sun, and moon from sparks coming out of Muspelheim.

Finally, the brothers happened upon two logs lying on the beach and created the first two humans Ask [Ash] and Embla [vine?] from them.


Australian:

quote:

In the beginning the earth was a bare plain. All was dark. There was no life, no death. The sun, the moon, and the stars slept beneath the earth. All the eternal ancestors slept there, too, until at last they woke themselves out of their own eternity and broke through to the surface.

When the eternal ancestors arose, in the Dreamtime, they wandered the earth, sometimes in animal form -- as kangaroos, or emus, or lizards -- sometimes in human shape, sometimes part animal and human, sometimes as part human and plant.

Two such beings, self-created out of nothing, were the Ungambikula. Wandering the world, they found half-made human beings. They were made of animals and plants, but were shapeless bundles, lying higgledy-piggledy, near where water holes and salt lakes could be created. The people were all doubled over into balls, vague and unfinished, without limbs or features.

With their great stone knives, the Ungambikula carved heads, bodies, legs, and arms out of the bundles. They made the faces, and the hands and feet. At last the human beings were finished.

Thus every man and woman was transformed from nature and owes allegiance to the totem of the animal or the plant that made the bundle they were created from -- such as the plum tree, the grass seed, the large and small lizards, the parakeet, or the rat.

This work done, the ancestors went back to sleep. Some of them returned to underground homes, others became rocks and trees. The trails the ancestors walked in the Dreamtime are holy trails. Everywhere the ancestors went, they left sacred traces of their presence -- a rock, a waterhole, a tree.

For the Dreamtime does not merely lie in the distant past, the Dreamtime is the eternal Now. Between heartbeat and heartbeat, the Dreamtime can come again.


Consider these, and compare them to the mythology of Genesis, which we're all familiar with here, and which about 45% of your compatriots believe to be the truth. Think of the phrase "mutually exclusive".

This is clear confirmation that humans can and do invent supernatural beings, and believe in their inventions.

Human invention is the only known source of supernatural beings. If you disagree, tell the world about the other known source or sources.

Being born from adult rabbits is the only known source of baby rabbits. If you think that there are conjurers who really can produce them ex nihilo out of hats, do say so, and support the claim.

Human authors are the only known source of books. When extraordinary exceptions are claimed, like "the Koran is the word of God", these extraordinary claims should be supported.

Can you support the extraordinary claim that there are any supernatural beings who are not figments of the human imagination? Can you establish the existence of just one beyond all reasonable doubt?

On fantasy fiction. You said:

RAZD writes:

The foundation for your initial hypothesis should have been established by objective empirical valid evidence (set A) of supernatural entities\biengs\etc. that have already been demonstrated to be wholly made up fictions.

You asked for it. Fantasy fiction + mutually exclusive myths.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by RAZD, posted 08-08-2010 8:34 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by RAZD, posted 08-11-2010 7:29 PM bluegenes has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 12 of 222 (573372)
08-11-2010 7:10 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by RAZD
08-08-2010 8:34 PM


Mutually exclusive events.
RAZD writes:

This is especially good advice if your link doesn't support your contention.

RAZD writes:

All you have done is make a(nother) bare assertion that just because there are a bunch of different versions, that they must be "mutually exclusive" and then assume that this demonstrates anything.

RAZD writes:

Intriguingly, that still is not how scientific theories are substantiated as being usable theories. That is done by peer reviewed studies that demonstrate actual objective empirical valid evidence that specifically supports the theory and that the theory has predictive value.

Again, I compare your hypothesis to the theory of evolution, and note that there are mountains of studies that validate and support the theory of evolution, that there is (as far as I know) no evidence contrary to the theory of evolution, and that THIS is what makes a scientific theory a "strong" theory, not just a bald assertion.

I just wanted to emphasise a few of the things that RAZD said in his last post.

Apart from his problems with mutually exclusive events, I'm interested in how long it will take him to realise that the same mountains of empirical evidence that support evolutionary theory also support my view that the creation mythologies in the post above are figments of the human imagination.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by RAZD, posted 08-08-2010 8:34 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 13 of 222 (573453)
08-11-2010 1:01 PM


The Giant's Causeway and figments of Irish imagination.
Here's an example of human invention that is one of many around the world concerning later additions to it, rather than the original creation.

Certain geological formations strike the human mind as being the product of intelligent design, and this can give rise to myth-making.

This is told for children, but lightens up the thread. The "giant" explanation was still taken seriously as recently as the 17th century in both Ireland and Britain.

Finn MacCool

And here's an example of how geologists are sorting out the fine details of naturalistic explanations for such things.

http://jgs.lyellcollection.org/...content/abstract/150/1/109

As such stories get debunked, we accumulate more and more evidence of the chronic human tendency to invent false supernatural explanations for our environment.

Fun tales, though.


  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19298
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 14 of 222 (573525)
08-11-2010 7:29 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by bluegenes
08-09-2010 6:53 AM


Problems of "mutually exclusive" anecdotal\allegorical evidence and poor logic
bluegenes and RAZD only

Thanks bluegenes for finally complying, somewhat.

The Topic

You continue to try to go off topic.

Why stop on the verge? Follow the guideline, and present some evidence and/or reasoned argumentation to support your completely unsupported assertion that supernatural beings can exist in reality. Tell us about a known source for them other than the human imagination.

Once again please read:

quote:
Forum Guidelines#3: When introducing a new topic, please keep the message narrowly focused. Do not include more than a few points.

Now read the OP and note that this topic is narrowly focused: It is about having you demonstrate that you have a theory that could be called scientific, and that it is "strong" ... rather than an hypothesis based on confirmation bias, cogntive dissonance, wishfull thinking and several logical fallacies.

quote:
(bluegenes assertion): If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, ...

Calling it a "strong theory" doesn't make it so. What you have is wishful thinking and confirmation bias coupled to the logical fallacy of Affirming the Consequent.

... and support the theory with plenty of evidence.

Which you certainly need to do, having just just made a positive (and rather extraordinary) claim that absolutely no god/s can exist.

Of course my participation will only involve showing the errors and poor logic in your argument/s, and I bear absolutely no burden to substantiate my personal position/s in this proposed debate: the sole focus would be on your attempt/s to show objective empirical evidence that shows - once and for all - that no god/s can possibly exist, because

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

... ie, that there are absolutely no actual supernatural beings, because all the concepts are made up, imaginary fictions.

Thus if what you say is true, then the only way to determine that, is to review various concepts of supernatural entities and have you show the objective empirical valid evidence (which you claim to have) that demonstrates that these concepts are unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.

So my task involves getting you to demonstrate that this is the case for a number of supernatural entities, and this necessarily involves entities that some people have claimed could exist (although not necessarily by me), however, I don't need to assert that they exist, just bring them up to see you demonstrate how you can determine that they are made up fictional entities.

Your first task is to demonstrate that the Invisible\Imperceptible Pink Unicorn (IPU) is unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.


The topic of this thread is
  • you defending your assertion that you have a theory by, providing objective emprical valid evidence that supports your claims that you (a) have a theory and (b) that it is considered strong by the scientific community, and by you demonstrating how your theory produces any results that are useful, and

  • my pointing out your logical fallacies, your failures to consider other possible explanations, and demonstrating that your conclusions are based on confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance and wishful thinking.

It is not about me. It specificaly excludes my personal position on any of these arguments. They are off limits in this discussion, and they are also necessarily irrelevant to whether or not you actually have a theory - as your theory should not rest on my opinion on any topic in any way.

quote:
Forum Guidelines #2: Please stay on topic for a thread. Open a new thread for new topics.

So let's see if you can stay on topic for the remainder of this thread. If you need a refresher on what the topic is, you can refer to the green area above.


Your first failure: the IPU

I believe we can agree that you have failed thusfar to demonstrate how your theory produces any useable results, by your failure to demonstrate that the IPU is a fabrication of imagination. This should be a "gimme" - an easy thing to do - if what you claim is true and if your theory provides any useful objective way for determing fact from fiction.

All you have done is avoid this issue altogether, in spite of it being in the OP and repeated several times. The logical conclusion is that you cannot demonstrate that it is a wholey imaginary concept.

Thus it appears that your hypothesis has no ability to discern fact from fiction, and thus is useless in practice. As such it fails to be a scientific theory.


Your second failure: "strong"

I believe we can dispense with the assertion that your hypothesis is strong, as you have failed to provide evidence of scientific articles that discuss your theory, demonstrate the predictive power of it and that it has been demonstrated to be true on a number of occassions. So far you have presented no evidence in set (C) that would begin to demonstrate this.

By comparison, when we have a real bonifide actual strong theory, such as evolution, we see mountains of such evidence and discussions in numerous scientific journals.

Thus it appears that your hypothesis is not considered to be a "strong theory" by the scientific community.


That leaves one issue for you to resolve: theory? or hypothesis? or ... ?

As pointed out in Message 8

quote:
You should have a set of evidence (set A) where you know and can show that your theory is true.

The foundation for your initial hypothesis should have been established by objective empirical valid evidence (set A) of supernatural entities\beings\etc. that have already been demonstrated to be wholly made up fictions.

Then you make a prediction of a set of evidence (set B) that cannot possibly happen if the theory is true (the falsification tests),

AND you make a prediction of a set of evidence (set C) that can only occur if the theory is true and the competing negative hypothesis is false (to rule out false positives).

So where is your (set A) objective empirical valid evidence of known wholly made up fictional supernatural entities\beings?


In a proper approach to developing a working hypothesis from evidence (ie the scientific way to develop a theory) you list the evidence and what it shows. Thus you should have a list of entities that you show are unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being. There can be no doubt lingering, or this weakens the hypothesis.

This is a necessary step before you can claim you have a scientific theory, and even then it is not really considered a scientific theory but a working hypothesis until it is tested. Properly, it should have been part of your intial post where you proposed your hypothesis, so now it appears that you are just ad hoc grabbing evidence (clutching at straws) or making it up as you go along.

The fact that you have now added fantasy fiction to your claim of having evidence shows that you did not have a clearly defined set of evidence that formed the basis of your hypothesis (aside from other problems) and it demonstrates that you are making up stuff to try to add to your missing set (A) evidence.

So let's see what you have ...

Here are two mutually exclusive stories. One or both must have been invented.

Norse:
Australian:

So finally, after a lot of sturm und drang we get to the purported evidence. A couple of points before we begin:

(1) You should realize and acknowledge that this evidence is not empirical objective evidence, but records of anecdotal descriptions, and as such open to interpretation, and,

(2) They are not articles in scientific journals, nor are they copies of articles in scientific journals, rather they are just articles posted on the internet, with no guarantee of being accurate or factual.

(3) This is negative evidence: it relies totally on the different stories\legends\myths being demonstrably mutually exclusive so that you end up with your asserted conclusion as a default, rather than evidence that positively shows your position is valid. If there is no mutual exclusivity then your prove nothing and even with mutual exclusivity you do not prove that any one specific supernatural entity\being is totally imaginary fiction. This is like claiming that evolution is false and therefore creation is true: fundamentally flawed and conceptually bad logic.

Thus this "evidence" does not rise to the level of evidence normally used in science for validating conclusions. It is weak. It is not objective empirical valid evidence.

Consider these, and compare them to the mythology of Genesis, which we're all familiar with here, and which about 45% of your compatriots believe to be the truth. Think of the phrase "mutually exclusive".

Let me introduce you to what I call "the Hindu Hypothesis" ... as an alternative to your hypothesis:

quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_deities

Within Hinduism a large number of personal gods, are worshipped as murtis. These beings are either aspects of the supreme Brahman, avatars of the supreme being, or significantly powerful entities known as devas. ...

The pantheon in Úrauta consists of many deities. Gods are called devas (or devatâs) and goddesses are called devis. The various devas and devis are personifications of different aspects of one and the same God.[7] ... These various forms of God are depicted in innumerable paintings, statues, murals, and scriptural stories that can be found in temples, homes, businesses, and other places. ...


There are many sites on hinduism that repeat this concept of all different god/s being different aspects of one (or a few) god/s. A quick google finds many. Here's one:

quote:
http://www.hindunet.org/god/

Western religions have said that only the names and forms which refer to this One God are valid but those which appear to worship another God, or a multiplicity of divinities, must be false. They have restricted the names and forms they use in religious worship, and insist that only one set is true and correct and others are wrong or unholy.

As a universal formulation Hinduism accepts all formulations of Truth. According to the universal view there is only One Reality, but it cannot be limit ed to a particular name or form. Though Truth is One it is also Universal, not an exclusive formulation. It is an inclusive, not an exclusive Oneness - a spiritual reality of Being - Consciousness - Bliss, which could be called God but which transcends all names. The different Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism represent various functions of this One Supreme Divinity, and are not separate Gods.


This shows a universal acceptance of other god/s etc within Hinduism, and they see other religions as just portraying different aspects of god/s, just as they see this within their religion. They (the god/s) are mutually compatible with all other religions.

According to "the Hindu Hypothesis" then, all the different religions are just portraying different aspects of the same universal truth. This simple concept leads to some interesting conclusions:

(1) god/s are more complex than they are portrayed in any religion.

(2) god/s are not completely or fully understood in any religion, nor in piecing all religions together, they appear to be beyond understanding.

(3) god/s appear to be capricious (in human terms), and often act in incomphrensible ways.

(4) religions are essentially metaphors for describing past events and god/s, rather than accurate absolute descriptions.

These should not be surprising conclusions. This also results in different creation stories\legends\myths in different cultures, showing different aspects of the god/s involved describing creation in generally similar but also different ways, emphasizing different aspects of the process.

Note that any assumption of time relationships within the stories would also be assuming that god/s would operate with the human concept of time.

Couple this with the issue of whether or not humans are competent to understand god/s. We have seen the inability of incompetent people to understand why competent people are actually competent, and fail to understand that they are not. Simply put, it is not possible to understand something that is way outside your level of knowledge and education. You may take in the general gist of the story, but what is understood is not the full story, but an abbreviated version, which then becomes peppered with stuff adapted to fit your personal world view, life experiences and biases. It becomes allegorical.

This is how humans behave. Some people make some things up some of the time, but this does not mean that all concepts are made up.

Logically it should not be possible for humans to truly and completely understand beings capable of creating an entire universe, and thus only partial truth can be understood at any one time. People in different cultures will have different world views, life experiences, and biases, and thus they will have different impressions. They will incorporate different aspects in different ways within their records.

Consider these, and compare them to the mythology of Genesis, which we're all familiar with here, and which about 45% of your compatriots believe to be the truth. Think of the phrase "mutually exclusive".

The vast majority of theists in general, and Christians in particular, view their creation stories\legends\myths as allegorical: not accurate in detail, but telling the story of creation in a broad and general way.

When we look at these two stories\legends\myths that you have highlighted, we see that allegorically the Norse legend\myth talks about the begining, the first god/s, the creation of the universe, and life, ending with the creation of people, while the Australian legend\myth starts with an existing earth and talks about the creation of life, and ending with the creation of people. Likewise, the Christian creation legend\myth talks about the beginning, the first god/s, the creation of the universe, and life, ending with the creation of people.

There is no "mutually exclusive" conflict between these allegorical representations of the begining of the universe, life and humans. In fact there is a high degree of consilience, as mentioned previously.

Message 10:
(Your bare Link again)

As far as I can see from a cursory reading, these creation myths are all stating that god/s created the universe, earth, etc.

That's a very high degree of consilience with the concept that god/s created the universe, earth, etc. don't you think?

All the different creation stories\legends\myths, then, are explained by "the Hindu Hypothesis" as allegorical representations of different aspects of the universally true creation story.

All your evidence cited to date is explained by "the Hindu Hypothesis" as being mutually consistent with the universally true creation story, and thus your conclusion is not a default result.

Not having presented any positive evidence of supernatural beings\entities being invented by imagination, what should be your set (A) evidence, you then took as evidence something that would be true only if no other explanation was possible. Now you either need to falsify "the Hindu Hypothesis" or provide additional evidence.

So do you have objective empirical valid evidence that demonstrates unequivocally and absolutely that certain specific god/s or supernatural beings\entities are necessarily the product of human imagination?

Without some additional evidence that determines whether your hypothesis or the "the Hindu Hypothesis" is correct, then all you have supporting your position is confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance and wishful thinking.

It doesn't appear that you have this additional evidence.


Grasping at straws

RAZD writes:

The foundation for your initial hypothesis should have been established by objective empirical valid evidence (set A) of supernatural entities\biengs\etc. that have already been demonstrated to be wholly made up fictions.

You asked for it. Fantasy fiction + mutually exclusive myths.

Again you are equivocating on your evidence now. Also as mentioned in Message 10:

... plus fantasy novels.

Really?

Surely you're not going to conflate known fiction written for entertainment that happens to be based on supernatural myths and legends with the supernatural myths and legends. Logically this is no different than you claiming that science fiction novels are based on science, and we know they are intentional fictions, therefore all science is intentional fiction -- is that logically false argument really your (best?) argument?

It appears you are going to insist on using a logical fallacy as evidence. This is how weak and unsupported your hypothesis is, that you are now grasping at straws.

It is an accepted fact that some people make up some things some of the time, but evidence of this being intentionally done does not mean that all concepts are made up, as that would be the fallacy of affirming the consequent:

quote:
Affirming the Consequent

Definition:

Any argument of the following form is invalid:
If A then B
B
Therefore, A

Examples:

  1. If I am in Calgary, then I am in Alberta. I am in Alberta, thus, I am in Calgary. (Of course, even though the premises are true, I might be in Edmonton, Alberta.)
  2. If the mill were polluting the river then we would see an increase in fish deaths. And fish deaths have increased. Thus, the mill is polluting the river.

In this case we have fantasy novels that are intentionally written as fiction for entertainment purposes, using supernatural stories\legends\myths as a basis for the fiction novel. Fiction can be intentionally written about any topic, but that does not mean that non-fictional books, concepts, etc. are necessarily fiction.

We can also compare this to science fiction novels that are intentionally written as fiction for entertainment purposes, using science concepts as a basis for the fiction novel. According to your logic this means that all science is fictional imagination.

We can also compare this to historical fiction novels that are intentionally written as fiction for entertainment purposes, using historical events as a basis for the fiction novel. According to your logic this means that all history is fictional imagination.


On imagination and the human mind

You are fond of saying:

"the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings"

And yet this statement involves a couple of logical fallacies: it is only stating part of the truth, and it implies that this same process does not apply to any other human concepts.

The human imagination is the only objectively documented source of human concepts, whether they are fantasies or scientific concepts: they all start in the human conceptualization process, a mental process, and that necessarily involves imagination.

The difference between fictional and factual concepts is not determined in the mind, or by it's origin within the mind, but in the evidence we can process in the mind about the real world.

Some concepts can be validated (conforms with evidence), some can be invalidated (contradicted by evidence), some concepts are untested, and some are untestable.

The fact that concepts are imagined does not make them false. You need evidence to do that, objective, empirical, valid, evidence.

It doesn't appear that you have any.


On communication possibilites

Human invention is the only known source of supernatural beings. If you disagree, tell the world about the other known source or sources.

In several religiions there are beliefs involving god/s appearing as humans or animals to assist people reach enlightenment or assist them in finding truth.

Many eastern religions believe in enlightenment, which involves a level of understanding universal truths.

Other religions claim that religious experiences are means to communicate with god/s.

And of course there are religions (like the australian one you listed above) that believe in dreamtime experiences.

That's four different ways that various religions have claimed to have a source of knowledge about supernatural beings\entities\etc. -- and ones that you should have been already aware of.

Your task, if you claim that "human invention is the only known source of supernatural beings," is to falsify these as means of having an outside source for concepts of supernatural beings\entities\etc.

It doesn't appear that you have done this.


It appears that you have not done your homework, and instead have relied on confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, wishful thinking, poor logic, and failure to consider other possibilities.

It does not appear to me that you have an hypothesis that is worth typing.

Message 12: Apart from his problems with mutually exclusive events, I'm interested in how long it will take him to realise that the same mountains of empirical evidence that support evolutionary theory also support my view that the creation mythologies in the post above are figments of the human imagination.

Perhaps when you actually post some objective empirical evidence that supports your assertion/s.

Message 9: No source of supernatural beings other than the human imagination has been verified, because if it had, that wouldn't just be front page of Nature or Science, it would be headlined all around the world. "Scientists demonstrate that fairies really exist", or whatever. We would all know about it.

And we all know that you do not have objective empirical valid evidence to present, as this too would make headline news. "Scientists demonstrate that god/s do not exist, they are just figments of our imagination", or whatever. We would all know about it.

Enjoy.

ps -- please try to restrain yourself to one reply at a time. Making multiple replies just shows that you are making ad hoc comments and not fully preparing your replies.

pps -- you will need to be patient in getting replies, my wifi system keeps crashing in mid post.

bluegenes and RAZD only


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.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by bluegenes, posted 08-09-2010 6:53 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by bluegenes, posted 08-11-2010 8:24 PM RAZD has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 15 of 222 (573541)
08-11-2010 8:24 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by RAZD
08-11-2010 7:29 PM


Re: Problems of "mutually exclusive" anecdotal\allegorical evidence and poor logic
Theories aren't falsified by bright coloured boxes, multi-coloured writing, and bold text.

When are you going to learn the difference between a theory and a statement of scientific fact?

quote:

Scene: A laboratory in Lille, c. 1860.

Louis Pasteur: "All life comes from life."

René-Antoine Zacharie Dumas: "Prove it."

LP: "Eh?!!"

RAZD: "You cannot demonstrate that every single organism in the world was not the result of spontaneous generation"

LP: "La génération spontanée est une chimère"

RAZD: "That's just your assertion."

LP: "Life is the only known source for life."

RAZD: "That's just your assertion. You need to prove that every single organism alive was not the result of spontaneous generation."

LP: "Imbécile! Va te faire foutre!


Learning about mutually exclusive events for beginners.


  • 1) The first two humans were created by a single God who was also the creator of the universe; a man from clay, then a woman from one of the man's ribs.

  • 2) Two supernatural beings, self-created on earth, created the first group of humans from half-formed natural beings that they discovered.

  • 3)The first two humans were created from logs by three gods who were born from other beings who, in turn, owed their existence to an abiogenesis event within the universe.

  • 4) Humans evolved from other animals by purely natural processes.

Those 4 statements are mutually exclusive (technically, pairwise mutually exclusive).

If one is true, the other three must be human inventions.

The human imagination remains the only known source of supernatural beings, just as human manufacture is the only known source of cars, and human authorship is the only known source of books.

We imagine all three, but we have yet to turn the supernatural beings into an external reality, unlike the other two.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by RAZD, posted 08-11-2010 7:29 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by RAZD, posted 08-11-2010 8:44 PM bluegenes has responded

  
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