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Author Topic:   Crop circles and intelligent design
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7452
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 121 of 149 (621016)
06-22-2011 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 115 by Peter
06-22-2011 11:21 AM


Re: tentative nature of stated conclusions
My question at the end is perhaps the most on topic I've been for a bit. Is the reason that we discount some possibilities more to do with fear that they have merit or is it purely on th evidence?

I fail to see what is frightening about aliens making crop circles.

And, of course, you cannot refute something which is unfalsifiable

And my point is that one shouldn't need to in order to be able to say something with confidence. You seem to be implying that we should. How dare we say crop circles are human creations, what about all those unfalsifiable theories that postulate non-human creation, you ask.

My respsonse? What about them? I am not obliged to give them any credence in everyday speech or writing acts. I don't have to do it for any other piece of art, after all.

Acceptance of human-only-crop-circles (HOCC) with the anecdotal and very weak evidence that we have is akin to accepting the statements made by IDists.

For consistency you must also apply this reasoning to all forms of art (and indeed everything), since all forms of art have examples of anonymous or uncertain (from a scientific perspective) origins. This would lead you to spending twenty minutes to say anything at all, since you must necessarily fill up your time explaining how every statement you make is tentative because of the huge amount of unfalsifiable notions that you can't rule out.

All the evidence that exists is consistent with human creation. All the evidence that is conclusive points to human creation. No evidence suggests that aliens that make crop circles that look the same as human created crop circles.

With biology all the evidence that exists is consistent with natural origin. None of the evidence points to a tinkering unfalsifiable designer designing things that look exactly as if they have natural origins.

Therefore - rejecting ID is done on the same grounds as rejecting alien made crop circles. There's no evidence for ID and it is unfalsifiable (since it postulates that SOME biological functions are the result of design, and that wherever science has no conclusive answer they try to squeeze in their designer - just as aliens are squeezed in when there is any degree of uncertainty with crop circles).

The evidence in either case does not stand up well to scrutiny.

Except that the evidence has stood up to scrutiny, which is why we don't think that aliens are responsible. Since the theory 'humans did it' is always more supported (since we know humans can and do do it, and that humans exist, have the opportunity and the motive).

This would be like a defence lawyer saying that aliens might have committed a murder so since this unfalsifiable notion hasn't been rebutted - the case against his client does not stand up to scrutiny. He would be laughed at as much as your ridiculous objections are.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by Peter, posted 06-22-2011 11:21 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 125 by Peter, posted 07-08-2011 9:34 AM Modulous has responded

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


Message 122 of 149 (621113)
06-23-2011 8:13 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by Peter
06-21-2011 12:11 PM


Re: ALL Conceivable Causes
Peter writes:

If one starts from a conclusion, then only looks for support of that conclusion (i.e. positive evidence) one is not being scientific.

If one starts from a basis of positive evidence and then forms a tentative falsifiable conclusion which also makes verified predictions - Then we can call that a scientific conclusion.

As a point of comparison could you tell me whether you think it is justifiable to conclude evolution over Last Thursdayism on the basis of positive evidence?

Peter writes:

What is the 'falsifiability' of human created crop-circles?

Any evidence of a singular non-human made crop circles is enough to falsify the theory that ALL crop circles are human made.

Peter writes:

......making human-crop-circles-are-the-only-ones unfalsifiable in itself.

If I showed you a herd of cows making a crop circle are you saying that the "human-crop-circles-are-the-only-ones" theory would not be falsified?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by Peter, posted 06-21-2011 12:11 PM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 126 by Peter, posted 07-08-2011 9:39 AM Straggler has responded

  
Peter
Member (Idle past 1485 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


(1)
Message 123 of 149 (623129)
07-08-2011 9:26 AM
Reply to: Message 119 by Modulous
06-22-2011 11:41 AM


Falsifications...
"The prediction that stems from the theory 'all crop circles are made by humans' would be that for any crop circle where we can identify the maker, it will turn out to be human. This can be shown to be in error if we were to able identify a non-human maker"

But that's insufficient, surely?

Since you have reduced your demand for evidence to a sub-set of the phenomena, you may as well have said 'All crop circles which we can identify as made by humans, are made by humans'.

That is, the above 'prediction' is insufficient for scientific investigation.

If we do NOT have a set of features in crop circles by which we can identify them as human made, without a confession (which we have no way of verifying) then the theory is unfalsifiable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by Modulous, posted 06-22-2011 11:41 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 129 by Modulous, posted 07-09-2011 7:27 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1485 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 124 of 149 (623130)
07-08-2011 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 120 by Coyote
06-22-2011 11:43 AM


Re: tentative nature of stated conclusions
We have 6+ billion people ... some of whom construct something looking like a termite hill ... can we conclude all termite hills are made by humans?

Suppose we couldn't find the termites? Does that mean they aren't there?

That's why I say that a claim based upon heresay and replicatability is as weak as a claim that something that we haven't discovered yet caused it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 120 by Coyote, posted 06-22-2011 11:43 AM Coyote has not yet responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1485 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 125 of 149 (623131)
07-08-2011 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 121 by Modulous
06-22-2011 12:47 PM


Re: tentative nature of stated conclusions
"Except that the evidence has stood up to scrutiny, which is why we don't think that aliens are responsible. Since the theory 'humans did it' is always more supported (since we know humans can and do do it, and that humans exist, have the opportunity and the motive)."

But there is NO sufficient evidence.

Heresay and eye-witness accounts are ruled out when they are eye-witness accounts of alines or strange lights, but accepted when it's 'doug n' dave' (well Ok maybe not now since I think at least one of them is deceased).

That people CAN is not evidence of anything to do with the origin. It simply shows that there are ways of replicating the result.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by Modulous, posted 06-22-2011 12:47 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 128 by Modulous, posted 07-08-2011 1:54 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1485 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 126 of 149 (623132)
07-08-2011 9:39 AM
Reply to: Message 122 by Straggler
06-23-2011 8:13 PM


Re: ALL Conceivable Causes
"As a point of comparison could you tell me whether you think it is justifiable to conclude evolution over Last Thursdayism on the basis of positive evidence?"

No it's not.

The support for evolution is a lack of negative evidence/refutation.

"If I showed you a herd of cows making a crop circle are you saying that the "human-crop-circles-are-the-only-ones" theory would not be falsified?"

OK ... that's true. But it'd also be evidence FOR non-human crops circles and a GREAT money-maker.

But it is impossible to implement a test for that.

To me that's just as unfalsifiable as 'aliens did it.'


This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by Straggler, posted 06-23-2011 8:13 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by Straggler, posted 07-08-2011 12:24 PM Peter has responded

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


Message 127 of 149 (623162)
07-08-2011 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by Peter
07-08-2011 9:39 AM


Re: ALL Conceivable Causes
Peter writes:

Straggler writes:

As a point of comparison could you tell me whether you think it is justifiable to conclude evolution over Last Thursdayism on the basis of positive evidence?

No it's not. The support for evolution is a lack of negative evidence/refutation.

But there is equally a lack of negative evidence/refutation of Last Thursdayism. So according to your line of reasoning the two proposals are equally valid aren't they? If not why not? Be specific.

Peter writes:

Straggler writes:

If I showed you a herd of cows making a crop circle are you saying that the "human-crop-circles-are-the-only-ones" theory would not be falsified?

OK ... that's true.

If you agree that any demonstrable non-human source of crop circles (whether cows or anything else) falsifies the theory I don't see how you can possibly continue to claim that the theory is unfalsifiable?

Edited by Straggler, : Spelling.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by Peter, posted 07-08-2011 9:39 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 132 by Peter, posted 06-28-2013 10:28 AM Straggler has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7452
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 128 of 149 (623183)
07-08-2011 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 125 by Peter
07-08-2011 9:34 AM


absurdum
Heresay and eye-witness accounts are ruled out when they are eye-witness accounts of alines or strange lights, but accepted when it's 'doug n' dave' (well Ok maybe not now since I think at least one of them is deceased).

They aren't eye-witnesses, they are culprits. If aliens came forward and claimed that they did some crop circles and explained how, I would accept that as sufficient evidence that aliens make crop circles. Especially if they video recorded how they did it, and invited a journalist along to observe them doing one.

That people CAN is not evidence of anything to do with the origin. It simply shows that there are ways of replicating the result.

The same could be said of all experimental science. But that leads us to absurdities. Can you imagine this defense being used in a court of law?

"Your honour, we know that having my clients fingers touch the murder weapon is one way to leave fingerprint shaped oil deposits, but that is not evidence of anything to do with the origin of the fingerprints at the crime scene."

It's a ridiculous position, surely? It would undermine all scientific results.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 125 by Peter, posted 07-08-2011 9:34 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 131 by Peter, posted 06-28-2013 10:14 AM Modulous has responded

    
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7452
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 129 of 149 (623369)
07-09-2011 7:27 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by Peter
07-08-2011 9:26 AM


Re: Falsifications...
But that's insufficient, surely?

Insufficient for what?

Since you have reduced your demand for evidence to a sub-set of the phenomena, you may as well have said 'All crop circles which we can identify as made by humans, are made by humans'.

Right, we could say that. That would be tautologous. Science is taking known specific examples and applying the rules that apply to those to all examples generally. It is called inductive reasoning. Newton and Galileo did not examine all pendulums before writing down the laws that govern all of them. You take what you know, and attempt to infer how that knowledge may apply to the as yet unknown cases.

That is, the above 'prediction' is insufficient for scientific investigation.

Nonsense. If you say it isn't, explain what this sentence is supposed to mean.

If we do NOT have a set of features in crop circles by which we can identify them as human made, without a confession (which we have no way of verifying) then the theory is unfalsifiable.

Of course it isn't unfalsifiable. If we have evidence that aliens made even a single crop circle the theory is obviously false and thus falsified.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by Peter, posted 07-08-2011 9:26 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 133 by Peter, posted 06-28-2013 10:29 AM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1485 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 131 of 149 (701949)
06-28-2013 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 128 by Modulous
07-08-2011 1:54 PM


Re: absurdum
Not as ridiculous as all that.

Just because I can demonstrate A way of doing something, does not mean that all instances of that 'something' were created in that way.

The fingerprint thing is quite telling, since it IS possible to plant fingerprints in order to incriminate. So by themselves the fingerprints on the murder weapon are not sufficient evidence (in all cases).

I'm sure there are lawyers who have tried that one when that's all the evidence against their clients


This message is a reply to:
 Message 128 by Modulous, posted 07-08-2011 1:54 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 135 by ringo, posted 06-28-2013 1:05 PM Peter has responded
 Message 137 by Modulous, posted 06-29-2013 8:52 AM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1485 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 132 of 149 (701951)
06-28-2013 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 127 by Straggler
07-08-2011 12:24 PM


Re: ALL Conceivable Causes
Without knowing the claims of last thursdayism I cannot comment on it's potential.

OK ... I actually agree that 'all crop circles are human made' is a falsifiable proposition.

However, it is an opinion rather than a theory ... since it, itself, is not based upon anything other than a failure to believe that crop circles could be formed apart from by humans.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by Straggler, posted 07-08-2011 12:24 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 134 by Straggler, posted 06-28-2013 12:53 PM Peter has responded
 Message 136 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-29-2013 3:46 AM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1485 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 133 of 149 (701952)
06-28-2013 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 129 by Modulous
07-09-2011 7:27 PM


Re: Falsifications...
See msg 132
This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by Modulous, posted 07-09-2011 7:27 PM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

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


Message 134 of 149 (701979)
06-28-2013 12:53 PM
Reply to: Message 132 by Peter
06-28-2013 10:28 AM


Re: ALL Conceivable Causes
Peter writes:

Without knowing the claims of last thursdayism I cannot comment on it's potential.

See Last Thursdayism

Peter writes:

OK ... I actually agree that 'all crop circles are human made' is a falsifiable proposition.

Good. Now can you tell us how it would be falsified?

Peter writes:

However, it is an opinion rather than a theory ... since it, itself, is not based upon anything other than a failure to believe that crop circles could be formed apart from by humans.

No. It's based only the only known source of crop circles. Hence it is both falsifiable and a high confidence theory.

If you know of a confirmed source for crop circles other than humans now is the time to let us know......?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by Peter, posted 06-28-2013 10:28 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by Peter, posted 07-01-2013 5:51 AM Straggler has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13745
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 135 of 149 (701981)
06-28-2013 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by Peter
06-28-2013 10:14 AM


Re: absurdum
Peter writes:

Just because I can demonstrate A way of doing something, does not mean that all instances of that 'something' were created in that way.


That's true. Just because gravity causes some objects to fall doesn't mean that voodoo isn't causing some others to fall. What we are lacking is any evidence of another cause.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by Peter, posted 06-28-2013 10:14 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by Peter, posted 07-01-2013 5:54 AM ringo has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15963
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 136 of 149 (702030)
06-29-2013 3:46 AM
Reply to: Message 132 by Peter
06-28-2013 10:28 AM


Re: ALL Conceivable Causes
However, it is an opinion rather than a theory ... since it, itself, is not based upon anything other than a failure to believe that crop circles could be formed apart from by humans.

No, on a failure to find any case in which they were caused by anything else. It is one thing to believe that they could have been, but we don't know of any case in which we know that they were, or even have evidence suggesting that they were. "I can imagine an exception to what seems to be a theory" hardly qualifies as an argument, because one can always say that about any theory, it's the epistemological equivalent of background noise. Certainly it doesn't disqualify it from being a theory.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by Peter, posted 06-28-2013 10:28 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by Peter, posted 07-01-2013 5:53 AM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
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