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Author Topic:   Abductive Reasoning In Science
PaulK
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Posts: 13228
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Message 91 of 120 (672744)
09-11-2012 1:28 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by RAZD
09-10-2012 7:21 PM


Re: theory acceptance and as a good working model
However if we compare the actual painting to genuine works by elephants (who also seem to need training and human guidance) or by apes we can see that it is extremely unlikely that it was produced by either. The simple hypothesis might be falsified but a closer look shows us no real alternative to a human source for this particular painting.

So, RAZD, do you accept that this painting was created by a human being or not ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by RAZD, posted 09-10-2012 7:21 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

    
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15960
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 92 of 120 (672747)
09-11-2012 2:29 AM
Reply to: Message 90 by RAZD
09-10-2012 8:09 PM


Re: theory acceptance and as a good working model
There are a number of issues I could raise if I wanted to ...

Yeah, but why do you want to? So far as I can see you're just getting all picky about an example the actual purport of which you understand perfectly well, thus bogging down what might otherwise be an interesting discussion. It doesn't matter that one can train an elephant to use a paintbrush. Either just imagine they can't, or think of another example --- the construction of a car, for example. So far as I know, elephants can't do that.


This message is a reply to:
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Straggler
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Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 93 of 120 (672749)
09-11-2012 7:30 AM
Reply to: Message 90 by RAZD
09-10-2012 8:09 PM


Re: theory acceptance and as a good working model
Is it evidentially and scientifically valid to conclude that this picture of a boat was painted by a human? Or not?

You seem to be advocating a form of science which makes it impossible to validly draw conclusions about events which havent been directly witnessed. But the whole point of abductive reasoning is that we can, and successfully do, exactly that.

RAZD writes:

There are a number of issues I could raise if I wanted to (is it a reproduction rather than the original (which could have a known author), something computer made from an old photo, etc etc etc), but that would be skating around the issue that no matter how many you choose to discuss, the hypothesis is falsified by the elephants and apes, and it needs to be discarded or modified before the discussion is worth my - and your - time.

Then feel free to discard that hypothesis in your answer as to whether or not that particular painting was created by a human. I am simply asking you what the evidential and scientifically legitimate conclusion is regarding whether that particular painting was created by a human or not.

If you want to say that it is just as likely to have been painted by an elephant or a horse or an ape as a human then you are welcome to do so. All I ask is that you explain the reasoning being applied to come to whatever you consider the evidentially and scientifically valid conclusion here. That is what this thread is about. The reasoning that lies behind evidentially valid conclusions.

Can you state what your conclusion is regarding the creator that particular painting and how it was you reasoned your way to that conclusion?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by RAZD, posted 09-10-2012 8:09 PM RAZD has responded

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RAZD
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Message 94 of 120 (672756)
09-11-2012 8:25 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by Straggler
09-11-2012 7:30 AM


still a falsified and in need of modification hypothesis ...
duplicate deleted

Edited by RAZD, : .


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:
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RAZD
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Message 95 of 120 (672758)
09-11-2012 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by Straggler
09-11-2012 7:30 AM


still a falsified and in need of modification hypothesis ...
Hi all,

Can you state what your conclusion is regarding the creator that particular painting and how it was you reasoned your way to that conclusion?

It is highly likely that the original form of this painting was created by humans due to the style and technology that would be needed to produce it in the form shown.

Note the modifications of the hypothesis in the answer.

With more abstract paintings this becomes more difficult to distinguish from elephant or ape paintings, and the hypothesis as modified still falls short, and I suspect a point can be reached where they are not distinguishable.

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 93 by Straggler, posted 09-11-2012 7:30 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by Panda, posted 09-11-2012 9:07 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 97 by Straggler, posted 09-11-2012 12:29 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 98 by bluegenes, posted 09-11-2012 1:20 PM RAZD has responded

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 1271 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 96 of 120 (672759)
09-11-2012 9:07 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by RAZD
09-11-2012 8:59 AM


Re: still a falsified and in need of modification hypothesis ...
RAZD writes:

You seem to have some kind of massive block here, and I just don't understand why you mount so much resistance to a simple question, without it having to do with your whole approach to this debate.

Should we add "g. ignoring or not answering questions that lead to potential dissonance"?


"There is no great invention, from fire to flying, which has not been hailed as an insult to some god." J. B. S. Haldane

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


Message 97 of 120 (672792)
09-11-2012 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by RAZD
09-11-2012 8:59 AM


Relative Likelihood
RAZD writes:

It is highly likely that the original form of this painting was created by humans..

So Just to be absolutely clear - You consider it evidentially and scientifically legitimate to confidently conclude that the painting in question is far more likely to have been created by a human than a horse or an ape or an elephant or an alien or anything else non-human. Is that correct?

If so Can you explain the reasoning process that led you to this (very sensible IMHO) conclusion?


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 Message 95 by RAZD, posted 09-11-2012 8:59 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 35 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 98 of 120 (672803)
09-11-2012 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by RAZD
09-11-2012 8:59 AM


Re: still a falsified and in need of modification hypothesis ...
RAZD writes:

It is highly likely that the original form of this painting was created by humans due to the style and technology that would be needed to produce it in the form shown.

Highly likely? Highly likely! A probability estimate without maths? Good. I agree. Humans are the only known source of paintings of such technology and style. Very reasonable.

Now, we didn't need to falsify all other hypotheses in order to reach that inference to the best explanation, did we? We didn't have to show that aliens hadn't visited the planet and imitated our art, or that we haven't somehow missed discovering another very rare and shy intelligent creature from our own life system, or that the fairies hadn't decided to play tricks on us.

Why? Because those hypotheses have no support.

Edited by bluegenes, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
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Posts: 19085
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 99 of 120 (672843)
09-11-2012 6:43 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by bluegenes
09-11-2012 1:20 PM


Re: still a falsified and in need of modification hypothesis ...
Hi bluegenes,

Highly likely? Highly likely! A probability estimate without maths? Good. I agree. Humans are the only known source of paintings of such technology and style. Very reasonable.

Yes, I put that in there just for you.

We can count up all the known paintings on earth (another mod that should be added to the hypothesis) and sort them into styles and attribute them to various people or groups of people, so in this case we can develop a valid source of judging likeliness in this specific case.

This is just like saying that fantasy novels are in fact fantasy novels because they are in fact fantasy novels, and not supernatural being artifacts.

Other cases, such as the abstract art would not be done so easily. You can't ignore this.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : .


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 98 by bluegenes, posted 09-11-2012 1:20 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by PaulK, posted 09-12-2012 1:46 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
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PaulK
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Posts: 13228
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(1)
Message 100 of 120 (672867)
09-12-2012 1:46 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by RAZD
09-11-2012 6:43 PM


Re: still a falsified and in need of modification hypothesis ...
Of course there's nothing important in the context of this discussion to ignore. Even without a formal survey we still have a strong abductive argument for assigning the painting to a human creator - which goes to show that abduction is rather more than a mere guess. Now THAT is an important point.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by RAZD, posted 09-11-2012 6:43 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

    
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 35 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(2)
Message 101 of 120 (672871)
09-12-2012 2:56 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by RAZD
09-11-2012 6:43 PM


Dismissal of unsupported alternatives.
RAZD writes:

Yes, I put that in there just for you.

Cheers! And I hope you've taken on board the point about not having to falsify unsupported alternative hypotheses, as well. When we consider the painting Straggler linked to, no amount of unsupported alternative suggestions will weaken the inference to the best explanation.

With cave paintings, it's the same. BTW, elephants seem to be tools used by us to reproduce paintings, rather than actual painters, but the apes could well be real painters if they show signs of producing things that relate in some way to the world around them, rather than just random splotches. So I agree that they're probably a good falsification of a literal "all (artistic) paintings are made by humans."

The easiest way to adjust the hypothesis is by assessing the limitations of apes even when the right tools and materials are placed in their hands. Then considering what they could do without our help.

So, I think the archaeologists and anthropologists are working on a very strong theory when they attribute all ancient cave paintings to us, although "us" could include ancestor and ancestor/relatives going quite far back.

So:

P1: Humans make paintings in which literal representations of things can be recognised.
P2: No other beings are known to do this.
C: All such paintings found on this planet can be attributed to humans with a high level of confidence.

That covers anything from the cave paintings to anonymous efforts like Straggler's.

To relate that to this thread, we can never (formally) establish such things without using both inductive/abductive reasoning and deductive reasoning. Of course, informally, most people would look at Straggler's painting, and the brain goes "looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's a duck"; with "human painting" as the duck. Abductions are often treated as facts when they're strong.

So, we can all see the mistake that some creationists make when they demand literal proof for something that is a "best current explanation", not a purely deductively reasoned fact.


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


Message 102 of 120 (672927)
09-12-2012 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by bluegenes
09-12-2012 2:56 AM


Re: Dismissal of unsupported alternatives.
bluegenes writes:

Abductions are often treated as facts when they're strong.

I think this point needs to be stressed. It needs to be stressed because there are participants in this thread who seem to consider abductions to be the basis of mere conjectures rather than the main basis for forming high confidence conclusions about specific cases.

And in the wider, non-adbuction specific, context the dismissal of unsupported alternatives is a pretty big step forwards too


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NoNukes
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Posts: 9997
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Joined: 08-13-2010
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Message 103 of 120 (672966)
09-12-2012 7:01 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by Straggler
09-12-2012 1:03 PM


Re: Dismissal of unsupported alternatives.
there are participants in this thread who seem to consider abductions to be the basis of mere conjectures rather than the main basis for forming high confidence conclusions about specific cases.

Are there any examples of theories that aren't formed in this way?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.

Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own. George Bernard Shaw


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


Message 104 of 120 (672968)
09-12-2012 7:08 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by NoNukes
09-12-2012 7:01 PM


Re: Dismissal of unsupported alternatives.
I doubt it. But feel free to answer the questions laid out in the OP.

I reccommend Dr A's early posts in this thread as a succinct summary of the role of different forms of reasoning in science.


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Hawkins
Member (Idle past 133 days)
Posts: 150
From: Hong Kong
Joined: 08-25-2005


Message 105 of 120 (673294)
09-18-2012 12:57 PM


Evolution is an implicit (if not explicit) claim that all living organisms are a result of evolution from a single cell (or whatever primitive life from).

However, there's never any predictable observation of any (or over 99.99%) living organisms can actually evolve from a SINGLE CELL!!!

There's a fallacy being always embedded with this theory with which a bubble-bursting question can always make this fallacy surface. And this bubble-bursting question is that whenever a so-called evidence is presented, you can ask,

That piece of evidence supports the evolution from what and to what.

There's a reason behind why this question cannot be answered. All you need is a much clearer concept about what science is actually about.

Here's an attempt to make things more precise.

A scientific theory is a speculation that something will repeat by following a set of rules.

A hypothesis is a suggestion on how such a repetition shall repeat but not yet proven. This can be further divided into 2 categories, 1) by observation we already know its repeating pattern but we can't yet make the set of rule behind it proven, and 2) we can't actually obtain an empirical observation to say that it actually repeats with a pattern. But based on the assumption that it can repeat that we start to develop a theory behind its repetition.

Science itself is for the confirmation of such a kind of repeating or repeatable patterns govern by a set of rules. Science is to figure out this set of rules and to confirm it repeatedly, and more importantly, predictably.

Law is when such a set of rule is confirmed repeatedly and predictably in an unmistakable manner, that is, if its prediction failed then it's considered falsified. Law however is still relative. Law is supposed to work under a paradigm, outside which it may no longer be true.

To confirm a repeating truth repeatedly and predictably, that's what science is supposed to be.

Big Bang cannot be considered proven because we can't observe how a big bang repeats. Yet a theory can still be developed under the assumption that it's something can be repeated, say in the formation of other universes.

ToE is a suggestion that the forming of a species from a single cell (or whatever primitive life form) is a repeatable process. It is however a deception to say that this is observable because what have been observed is not a process of how a species being formed from a single cell. What being usually observed is a discrete advancement of the genetic changes. Thus the empirical observations so obtained can only be used to support that genetic changes can occur. It's far from saying that species can be formed from a single cell, unless the following fallacy is to be applied,

"Because slide genetic changes can be observed such that all species must be from a single cell."

This is a fallacy inviting your faith to believe.


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