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Author Topic:   Crop circles and intelligent design
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7429
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 76 of 149 (616558)
05-23-2011 9:42 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by Peter
05-23-2011 4:42 AM


Re: cereal goblins?
In (1) in your post .... since we don't know what to look for we cannot say there is no evidence.

We can say there is no evidence, when there is no evidence. If you want to propose that there is some evidence which we haven't successfully found go right ahead - but it'll need to be shown. There are no burn marks, no alien DNA, no alien tools required, no alien artefacts of any kind. One might say there is in fact, no evidence of any variety to suggest aliens as a possible cause. We haven't even established the existence of the possible cause, no evidence of earth visiting aliens exists, let alone that they are responsible for crop circles!

In regards to (2) just because we can create something doesn't mean that's how it came about.

I know but I didn't claim it was a necessary truth that all crop circles are all made by humans did I?

What I said was that there is no positive evidence that aliens did it, there is some evidence that humans did it. So why posit aliens or cereal goblins?

Alien crop circles are also no more evidentially supported than human-made ones if all the evidence is 'we can create them ourselves.'

Exactly- but human-made ones are more evidentially supported than alien made ones. That means the preponderance of the evidence for any given crop circle is human creation - until evidence demonstrates otherwise.

I'm NOT supporting alien-crop-circles ... I'm questioning the ruling out of a suggestion without investigation -- I thought that was the domain of the YEC not the scientist.

Nobody is ruling out without investigation. We're just not ruling something in that investigation has not suggested should be ruled in. Crop circles are an investigated phenomena.

The theory 'some crop circles might have been created by aliens' is unfalsifiable and in order for it to not be ignored - it needs positive evidence which is absent. Otherwise it is equal to 'some crop circles might have been created by cereal goblins'.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Peter, posted 05-23-2011 4:42 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by Peter, posted 05-25-2011 6:12 AM Modulous has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 77 of 149 (616592)
05-23-2011 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by Peter
05-23-2011 5:04 AM


Re: cereal goblins?
P writes:

But this is actually hitting the guts of my continued posting!

I am glad you think so.

Peter writes:

How can we rule out something without evidence that refutes it?

The alien construction of crop circles is only being ruled out in the same sense that fluctuations in the matrix, cereal goblins or pixie dust spillages are being ruled out as potential causes of crop circles. All such notions are evidentially baseless propositions and in the face of a highly evidenced alternative (namely human construction) all can be dismissed as relatively unlikely.

P writes:

We can state that it's not believable ... but that isn't a scientific position.

Its not believable because all of the evidence suggests a contrary cause of crop circles and none of the evidence suggests alien construction.

Peter writes:

Stephen Hawkin once said 'I would never say that time travel was impossible.

Nobody is saying that alien constructed crop circles are impossible. Has anyone here other than you used the word impossible?

P writes:

We don't need an evidential reason for considering some other cause .... the potential causes (hypotheses) are simply ideas based upon thoughts about an observation.

Do you think plucking evidentially baseless but unfalsified notions out of ones arse is a reliable method of investigation? Or is it functionally equivalent to randomly guessing in terms of reliability of conclusion?

P writes:

They have to be worked into a form that meets the criteria of scientific investigation (which is NOT the case with Alien Crop Circles so far as I know) and then figure out detailed observations that would be contrary to that hypothesis .... i.e. try to disproove it.

If you seriously think that science should give any weight to evidentially baseless and quite evidently culturally invoked propositions just because they are unfalsified (or even unflasifiable) you have a very skewed view of science.

P writes:

That's not what has happened in regard to crop circles ... no investigation has ever really been done because the opinion is automatically 'human pranksters'

Whenever crop circles have been investigated humans have been found to be the cause of crop circles. No investigation has ever provided any reason to conclude "pixie dust spillage" or "matrix fluctuation" or "cereal goblin" or "alien construction" or "communication from god" or........(the list of baseless but conceivable causes continues as far as human imagination will stretch)

Why should we give alien construction of crop circles any more credence or consideration than any of these other baselessly derived notions of crop circle cause?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by Peter, posted 05-23-2011 5:04 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 78 by Peter, posted 05-25-2011 6:07 AM Straggler has responded

  
Peter
Member (Idle past 1454 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 78 of 149 (616936)
05-25-2011 6:07 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Straggler
05-23-2011 1:34 PM


Re: cereal goblins?
What I am saying is that once an idea is on the table, then it must be analysed approriately if rejection of it is to be considered scientific.

Pulling ideas out of ones arse -- that's called brainstorming isn't it? And that IS considered to be an approriate method for generating ideas.

OK so one would rank the brainstorming results afterwards ... but during a brainstorm one has to be non-critical and record everything.

If no-one (bar me) is saying 'impossible' then I'm happy.

If what they are saying is that the whole alien idea (or goblins or highly advanced bacterium or ... ) is unbelievable from their own cultural perspective ... then I'm happy.

What people are saying is that based upon some very loose evidence that crop circles can be made by people, that they all are.

-- which is not a position that should go unchallenged.

If it did none of us would be here discussion creation at all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Straggler, posted 05-23-2011 1:34 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Straggler, posted 05-25-2011 8:17 AM Peter has responded
 Message 89 by AZPaul3, posted 05-26-2011 11:25 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1454 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 79 of 149 (616937)
05-25-2011 6:12 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by Modulous
05-23-2011 9:42 AM


Re: cereal goblins?
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

However, later on you basically agree with my position that it's a matter of balance of evidence rather than a matter of fact.

And at the end of the day that's all I've been saying.

As for no evidence of aliens ... you list a few possibilities which have not been found -- which is good. But we know nothing about an aliens and so do not even know what to look for.

If we find anomalies that cannot be explained by human-pranksters the stance is to find ways that those anomalies don't matter ... hardly scientific.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Modulous, posted 05-23-2011 9:42 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Modulous, posted 05-25-2011 8:50 AM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1454 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 80 of 149 (616938)
05-25-2011 6:17 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by jar
05-23-2011 8:40 AM


Re: 100% proof is never needed
Does 'science' rely on:

1) Evidence to support 'an idea'

OR

2) Lack of evidence against 'an idea'

?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by jar, posted 05-23-2011 8:40 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by jar, posted 05-25-2011 9:22 AM Peter has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 81 of 149 (616944)
05-25-2011 8:17 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by Peter
05-25-2011 6:07 AM


Re: cereal goblins?
This is all sounding depressingly familiar......

The only known source of crop circles is human construction. Scientific inductive reasoning thus leads to the tentative and falsifiable theory that ALL crop circles are constructed by humans. This theory can be falsified by presenting concrete evidence of ANY other source of crop circles which is not human in origin. This theory predicts that where the source of any specific crop circle becomes known, human construction will be found to be the cause. This prediction has been borne out in all known cases. This theory is not weakened by assertions that unevidenced causes of crop circles (such as cereal goblins or alien beings) might exist anymore than evolutionary theory is weakened by baseless alternatives such as Last Thursdayism for example.

Peter writes:

What people are saying is that based upon some very loose evidence that crop circles can be made by people, that they all are.

Does the phrase 'positive evidence' mean anything to you?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Peter, posted 05-25-2011 6:07 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by Peter, posted 05-26-2011 2:36 PM Straggler has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7429
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 82 of 149 (616946)
05-25-2011 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 79 by Peter
05-25-2011 6:12 AM


bogeymen hiding in the unfalsifiable corner
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

And we don't have an absence of evidence, we have positive evidence for human creation. We do have an absence of evidence for the infinite pool of unverifiable or unfalsifiable claims that anyone can invent - but...as I said in my first post to you - this is true of all statements. "It's raining outside" isn't necessarily true. My house could be having water dumped on it by orbiting aliens.

But when someone says something, without hedging, without explicitly paying lip service to these unfalsifiable notions - in most cases I'd wager you don't berate them for their exclusion.

And that's because it goes without saying.

However, later on you basically agree with my position that it's a matter of balance of evidence rather than a matter of fact.

Well I've agreed with you on that since the beginning. It is a fact that humans create crop circles. It is not a fact that aliens do. It is a fact that all crop circles where we have identified the culprit, the culprit is human. From this, the theory that 'all crop circles are human creations' follows. It is tentative, but it is not threatened by 'some crop circles are alien creations' until evidence that some crop circles are alien creations comes along in which case our falsifiable theory is falsified.

Nobody that I have seen in this thread has treated 'humans create all
crop circles' as an absolute unassailable fact - so your criticisms in this regard are ill-aimed. And that has been my point since the outset.

As for no evidence of aliens ... you list a few possibilities which have not been found -- which is good. But we know nothing about an aliens and so do not even know what to look for.

Since we don't know what to look for - why are crop circles possibly caused by aliens? Why even bring it up? Surely crop circles are something that can be looked for. What reason to suppose aliens are involved? None? In your counter theory we don't even know what evidence that would be. There is no evidence we can imagine except the circle itself. If you are going to say 'it could be the bogeyman since we don't know what kind of evidence would rule out this unfalsifiable cereal goblin', you can expect snickers.

Is this sinking in at all? Giving special attention to one unfalsifiable hypothesis over another is what is unscientific and unreasonable.

If we find anomalies that cannot be explained by human-pranksters the stance is to find ways that those anomalies don't matter ... hardly scientific.

The statement is too vague to be addressable. Is it unscientific to ignore PVS recordings made at crop circles? No - since science has shown these to be all about exploiting human's pattern seeking tendencies. So what anomalies are you referring to?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Peter, posted 05-25-2011 6:12 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Peter, posted 05-26-2011 2:31 PM Modulous has responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 29363
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 83 of 149 (616949)
05-25-2011 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by Peter
05-25-2011 6:17 AM


Re: 100% proof is never needed
Both of course.

For example, no evidence were there should be evidence is positive evidence that the expectation was wrong.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Peter, posted 05-25-2011 6:17 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Peter, posted 05-26-2011 2:21 PM jar has acknowledged this reply

  
Peter
Member (Idle past 1454 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 84 of 149 (617188)
05-26-2011 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by jar
05-25-2011 9:22 AM


Re: 100% proof is never needed
And that's where the unflasifiable bit about aliens comes from ... no predictions about what we should see ...

But ... positive evidence of one proposition is not refutation of another proposition -- yes?

It stacks the evidence in favour of the one that has positive evidence (provided that there is no refutation of predictions based upon that proposition).

So we don't consider aliens as a fruitful line of enquiry because no one can posit expectations along those lines.

... which is exactly why we should discount ID ... a lack of coherent predictions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by jar, posted 05-25-2011 9:22 AM jar has acknowledged this reply

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1454 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 85 of 149 (617192)
05-26-2011 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Modulous
05-25-2011 8:50 AM


Re: bogeymen hiding in the unfalsifiable corner
I quite like snickers .... nutty

"Nobody that I have seen in this thread has treated 'humans create all
crop circles' as an absolute unassailable fact - so your criticisms in this regard are ill-aimed. And that has been my point since the outset."

"It is a fact that humans create [some] crop circles." -- I agree.

"It is not a fact that aliens do." -- No-one knows.

"It is a fact that all crop circles where we have identified the culprit, the culprit is human. " -- I agree.

"From this, the theory that 'all crop circles are human creations' follows" -- No it doesn't.

The last bit is as much a leap of faith as stating that all crop circles are formed by aliens -- or that life on Earth was created by a galactic warthog with the breath from its nostrils.

It is not a correct inference to say that because some sub-set of a group was formed by a specific mechanism, that all elements were.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by Modulous, posted 05-25-2011 8:50 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by Modulous, posted 05-26-2011 7:36 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1454 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 86 of 149 (617193)
05-26-2011 2:36 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Straggler
05-25-2011 8:17 AM


Re: cereal goblins?
The phrase 'positive evidence' does mean something to me ... but making rash inferences from a very weak item of any kind of evidence is unwise.

It's exactly what ID does.

That's what this thread was about -- I think.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Straggler, posted 05-25-2011 8:17 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by Straggler, posted 05-26-2011 5:42 PM Peter has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 87 of 149 (617229)
05-26-2011 5:42 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by Peter
05-26-2011 2:36 PM


Re: cereal goblins?
Peter writes:

The phrase 'positive evidence' does mean something to me ... but making rash inferences from a very weak item of any kind of evidence is unwise.

Can you explain specifically what it is that is "weak" about the positive evidence that crop circles are constructed by humans?

Peter writes:

It's exactly what ID does.

Really? Can you show me where ID has any evidential basis for positive claims rather than arguments along the lines of "evolution could NOT have happened because..."

Peter writes:

That's what this thread was about -- I think.

So how do you respond to the notion that ANY unfalsified idea is worthy of the same credence and consideration you are giving to alien constucted crop circles? Are undetectable celestial cows farting in unison worthy of more or less or equal credence and consideration? On what factors do you base your answer?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Peter, posted 05-26-2011 2:36 PM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by Peter, posted 06-09-2011 11:20 AM Straggler has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7429
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 88 of 149 (617237)
05-26-2011 7:36 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Peter
05-26-2011 2:31 PM


Re: bogeymen hiding in the unfalsifiable corner
"It is not a fact that aliens do." -- No-one knows.

Since nobody knows it is therefore not a fact. That is not equivalent to saying it is not true. It is just not a fact. That is to say the claim 'aliens create crop circles' has not been established as a fact.

"From this, the theory that 'all crop circles are human creations' follows" -- No it doesn't.

Sure it does. Just like we have the theory that all rabbits are born from other rabbits. We haven't observed and established this is true of all rabbits so it isn't a fact, as such. One day a rabbit might actually magically appear in a hat, maybe it already has. We haven't investigated all conjurers tricks with sufficient scientific scrutiny to rule this out. Just because we know how some conjurers have performed the feat, it doesn't follow that we know how all conjurers have performed the feat. This is your own reasoning, yes?

Do you propose protesting the behaviour of school teachers that don't sufficiently hedge when they teach about where bunnies come from?

It is not a correct inference to say that because some sub-set of a group was formed by a specific mechanism, that all elements were.

It is not correct to say that it is deductively true that because of a sub-set have a property all elements have that property, and I didn't suggest we should. Rather we can make the inductive leap, realizing the tentativity of so doing. We don't have to explicitly express our tentativity when we say baby rabbits come from other rabbits, we don't have to do it with crop circles.

Unless we are in a pedantic philosophical discussion, or someone is trying to draw us into one


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Peter, posted 05-26-2011 2:31 PM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by Peter, posted 06-09-2011 11:31 AM Modulous has responded

    
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3428
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


Message 89 of 149 (617252)
05-26-2011 11:25 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Peter
05-25-2011 6:07 AM


Evidenced Speculation
Since we are talking aliens let's stay with that in this example.

Alien Life

With all due respect for Dr. Sagan his quip "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" makes for a nice sound bite but is hardly definitive and is hopelessly open to mis-understanding and intentional abuse.

The view that there may be other life in our galaxy is purely speculative since we have no hard direct evidence of such,
but it is a reasonable speculation based on the hard evidence we do have.

[aside]
This point is illustrative only. This thread is not about the existence or not of alien life. Do not go there!
[/aside]

We have many hard facts (life on this planet, carbon chemistry, self-assembly of organic compounds, extremophiles, Drake equation, probable numbers of stars, planets, moons, etc.) that are the evidentiary basis for the speculation that other forms of life may exist in our quadrant of the galaxy.

The speculation is indirectly evidenced to such a degree that it deserves to be considered as scientifically viable until other evidence confirms or refutes its viability.

Crop Circles

All the hard evidence we have show that crop circles are of human design and make. There is no evidence, no matter how indirect, that allows us to speculate any other cause. There is no reasonable chain of logic from any other evidence by which we can entertain the remotest speculation, let alone a vanishingly small probability, that aliens, or Straggler's Celestial Cow farts, or any other proposition can even be considered.

Because of this we can say to the scientifically inclined that if we see a crop circle we can be assured, to a scientific certainty (as certain as science allows), that it was made by humans.

My point is that, to the general public, who are too damn stupid en mass to understand the rigors and limits of science, that we drop the "scientific" from scientific certainty and tell the public in a no uncertain non-wishy-washy way, what we all know anyway.

Crop circles are of human design. No flatulent bovines, no ETs. Period. End of discussion.

Intelligent Design

We already know that irreducible complexity is not either. That specified complexity is a mathematical failure. That at its most intellectual ID is the product solely of personal emotional incredulity, and at its base is nothing more than a subterfuge perpetrated on the public with the goal of being allowed to brainwash children into uncritical allegiance to a bloodthirsty religious cult.

Here, as well, there is no hard evidence in its favor. Neither is there any evidence, no matter how indirect, that allows us to give the proposition any viability for even a cursory examination. There is no reasonable chain of logic from any other evidence by which we can entertain the remotest speculation, let alone a vanishingly small probability, that ID might be real.

What I am saying is that once an idea is on the table, then it must be analysed approriately if rejection of it is to be considered scientific.

The point being made here is that for alien-made crop circles as well as for ID, they do not exist on the table to be considered scientifically or otherwise. Neither has earned the minimum efficacy level necessary, even as speculation, to be on the table at all. So, in a scientific sense, neither has any legs on which to stand and neither need be considered since they do not exist.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your message 74:

Stephen Hawkin once said 'I would never say that time travel was impossible, because the person I speaking to might be from the future' or something like that. I take that to mean that he cannot rule it out as a possibility due to lack of evidence/knowledge.

No. There are mathematical solutions that hint that some level of time travel might be possible. See Kip Thorne and wormholes. Time travel is indirectly and speculatively evidenced and can reasonably be considered where appropriate, which at present is nowhere but in the movies.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.

Edited by AZPaul3, : Doncha just hate proof-reading a dozen times just to find errors and other thoughts right after hitting submit?

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Peter, posted 05-25-2011 6:07 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 92 by Peter, posted 06-09-2011 11:49 AM AZPaul3 has responded

  
Peter
Member (Idle past 1454 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 90 of 149 (619280)
06-09-2011 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by Straggler
05-26-2011 5:42 PM


Re: cereal goblins?
Weak 'positive' evidence for Human ONLY formed crop circles:

We don't have any evidence except that it is possible to replicate simple crop circles with a plank and board approach.

ID:

How is the above claim any different to "evolution could NOT have happened because..." ?

Credance:

If there is no evidence at all (one way or another) then I give everything equal scientific validity regardless of my personal opinion as to the liklihood.

It has, in the past, been the 'impossible' answer that turned out to be closest to the truth.

I would likely rank my investigation order based upon personal opinion ... but that's not the same as ruling something out just because it seems incredible.

Farting cows would figure quite low on my list ... but if I end up ruling out everything above them ...

To me, science is not about opinion or credibility it's about evidential support for a stated potential explanation. By evidential support I mean accumulated failure to refute.

In my opinion the following is not evidence against a potential explanation:

1) Finding a method of doing something some other way.
2) Evidence in favour of a different potential explanation.
3) Lack of positive evidence.

What is evidence against a potential explanation is:

1) Refutation of some or all of a potential explanation via direct evidence.

If we accept 'unlikihood' as evidence against one thing, we must accept it across the board.

Since there are many areas (ID being one) where we reject 'unlikihood' as sufficient, we cannot accept it anywhere else either without being hypocrytical.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Straggler, posted 05-26-2011 5:42 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by Straggler, posted 06-16-2011 2:09 PM Peter has responded

    
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