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Author Topic:   The "science" of Miracles
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6182
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 541 of 671 (828234)
02-14-2018 5:27 PM
Reply to: Message 540 by Taq
02-14-2018 4:30 PM


Re: Bridge Analogy Re-examined
Taq writes:

Christian agnostics would beg to differ.

All sorts of people beg to differ.

They do it for the same reason that those that invented the term agnostic did it in the first place - because they're uncomfortable accepting that they no longer believe in the religion they were born into.

Agnosticism is not a real thing. It's a total invention. People believe or they do not.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 540 by Taq, posted 02-14-2018 4:30 PM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 542 by Taq, posted 02-14-2018 5:55 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 545 by Percy, posted 02-14-2018 7:43 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 7575
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 542 of 671 (828235)
02-14-2018 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 541 by Tangle
02-14-2018 5:27 PM


Re: Bridge Analogy Re-examined
Tangle writes:

Agnosticism is not a real thing. It's a total invention. People believe or they do not.

Belief is described by atheism/theism. A/gnostic is about the ability to gain knowledge.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 541 by Tangle, posted 02-14-2018 5:27 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 546 by Tangle, posted 02-15-2018 2:49 AM Taq has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17748
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 543 of 671 (828238)
02-14-2018 6:47 PM
Reply to: Message 537 by ringo
02-14-2018 2:40 PM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Science doesn't create the definition or even use the word.


It does in the "what if".

So you're making up the scenario, making up the evidence and making up the scientists' reaction. That's the nice thing about fiction: you don't have to have any rationale at all for your claims.

You're again repeating an old already rebutted argument and still failing to grasp the concept of a "what if".

Percy writes:

I'm saying they would follow the standard practices of science when confronted with unprecedented phenomena and creating new conceptual frameworks.


If you think considering the possibility of a miracle is part of the standard practice,...

Well now you're just forgetting or purposefully misunderstanding what's been said. Standard practice is to follow the evidence where it leads.

...you shouldn't have any trouble citing scientific papers that do so. I've been asking you to do that. Why no response?

You're again repeating an old already rebutted argument and still failing to grasp the concept of unprecedented.

Percy writes:

Only the ignorant would believe an attribution to Einstein. The first clue is that it doesn't sound remotely like Einstein.


I can't tell whether you're being deliberately evasive or not. Deal with what was said and quit quibbling about who said it.

Need anything really be said about what your constant repetition of old rebutted arguments tells us?

Percy writes:

How can adding to our knowledge be equated to our understanding breaking down?


Every time we add something to our knowledge, the old understanding changes. A paradigm shift constitutes a major change in the old understanding - i.e. we tear down the old understanding to replace it with a newer, better one.

I do understand what you're trying to say, I guess the terms you used just strike me as odd, describing it as understanding breaking down, or in this message as tearing down old understandings. I don't think Kuhn ever described paradigm shift this way. Though his book *was* titled The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and revolution does imply (using your words) a tearing down of the existing order, Kuhn felt that the replacement of one paradigm by another was often a long process that had much to do with the passage of time and the gradual replacement of one generation of scientists (and their consensus) by the next, rather than the current generation becoming persuaded (of course, some would be), probably because of their knowledge investment in the original paradigm. Relativity was like that, as was plate tectonics, and evolution, too.

Percy writes:

If you have examples of science encountering such dramatic contraventions of known physical laws in the past then feel free to cite them.


Relativity. Quantum mechanics.

Relativity and quantum mechanics are refinements of known physical laws, not contraventions. Newtonian physics still rules the day, being sufficiently accurate in most contexts, since for low velocities the behavior of Einsteinian physics is indistinguishable from Newtonian for many decimal places. And classical mechanics works just fine in all but the most microscopic contexts. For dramatic contraventions (but not of known physical laws) I think you'd have to look to something like plate tectonics, which completely contravened concepts of static continents.

What you're thinking of as revolutionary is new theory, while what Tangle and I are describing as unprecedented in our what-ifs are new phenomena. In things like relativity and quantum mechanics and the expanding universe the anomalies or discrepancies of some phenomena were minor compared to the revolutions in theory they eventually led to. In our what-ifs the new phenomena are violations of known physical laws in ways that are dramatically, flagrantly and glaringly far beyond anything science has experienced before. They couldn't in any way be described as mere anomalies or discrepancies.

Percy writes:

"Following the evidence where it leads" isn't terribly constraining.


But you keep saying that the evidence in your fairy tale doesn't lead anywhere. You claim that scientists would react differently because the evidence doesn't lead anywhere.

We've described the opposite, that the evidence leads to the conclusion that known physical laws were violated. How that happened might lack explanation for some possibly considerable time, but that doesn't mean the evidence doesn't lead anywhere.

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Percy writes:

Where in science does it say there is no such thing as a violation?


Where does it say there is such a thing?

Where did science ever say something existed before it was either first observed or theory predicted it?

Where does the scientific method allow for "violations"?

Where does the scientific method allow or disallow any possibility? It's a process, not a set of rules about what possibilities scientists are allowed to consider.

Percy writes:

You're incorrect if by MO you mean they'd refuse to consider the possibility of phenomena that violate known natural or scientific laws.


Then show us in the MO - i.e. the scientific method - where there is consideration of "violations".

You're repeating yourself again. Same answer as immediately above.

Percy writes:

Isn't "follow the evidence where it leads" just a more succinct form of the same thought?


But you keep waffling.

Not on my diet.

If they follow the evidence where it leads, why do they need to consider violations or miracles at all?

Because that's where the evidence led.

If the evidence leads nowhere, they look for more evidence; they don't say, "You can't get there from here."

You argued this already just above - same answer, just look four or five inches above this point (your incheage may vary).

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Things are inexplicable in the minds of people who can't explain them.


Scientists are people.

Scientists are people who look for explanations, not people who think things are inexplicable.

Gee, why does this sound familiar? What would your estimate be of the number of times I've said that scientists would continue working hard to find explanations?

Percy writes:

More appropriately and accurately, a scientist saying something hasn't yet been explained would be like an astronaut saying we can't yet go to Mars.


And he wouldn't say it would take a miracle to get to Mars. He'd continue business as usual until the problem was solved.

You've made this mistake before. This is the fallacy of believing that because an analogy is accurate in one respect that it is therefore required that it be accurate in all respects, which isn't analogy but identity.

Percy writes:

You're stepping into a science thread and insisting only religious perspectives on miracles are allowed.


I'm pointing out that scientists don't have a perspective on miracles. Given the same event - e.g. the Miracle of the Sun - only religious people interpret it as "inexplicable" or a "miracle". Scientists explain it. Ergo, miracles are not part of their perspective.

I explain that you're arguing religion in a science thread, and you reply by arguing religion in a science thread? Good show!

Percy writes:

Possibly, but remember, miracles are local in time and space.


Are they? Who made up that rule and why?

Tangle realized this quite some time ago, first in Message 210, and in more detail in Message 251, to which you replied in Message 257, calling it irrelevant. If whether it's local or not was irrelevant to you then, why do you care now?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 537 by ringo, posted 02-14-2018 2:40 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 547 by ringo, posted 02-15-2018 11:28 AM Percy has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 17748
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 544 of 671 (828240)
02-14-2018 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 539 by ringo
02-14-2018 2:45 PM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

We're talking about the definition of "miracle" here.

No, you accused me of placing insufficient emphasis on attribution. You said (and I quoted it), "It's Percy who is ignoring the importance of attribution in the definition that he himself quoted." Since you said I was "ignoring the importance of attribution," that's the point I replied to. Replying again to your Message 532, this time making it even more clear that I'm responding to what you said about attribution:

ring in Message 532 writes:

It's Percy who is ignoring the importance of attribution in the definition that he himself quoted.

This point about attribution has already been addressed. Someone forthright would say, "Now I know Percy has said that attribution isn't an essential quality of scientific phenomena, citing the two-slit experiment, entanglement and radioactive decay as examples, but...", and then go on to explain why that is wrong, something you haven't yet done despite repeated opportunities, always instead merely repeating your original argument unchanged.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 539 by ringo, posted 02-14-2018 2:45 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 548 by ringo, posted 02-15-2018 11:37 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 17748
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 545 of 671 (828241)
02-14-2018 7:43 PM
Reply to: Message 541 by Tangle
02-14-2018 5:27 PM


Re: Bridge Analogy Re-examined
Tangle writes:

Agnosticism is not a real thing. It's a total invention. People believe or they do not.

What if you don't know what to believe? Did someone already mention the definition of agnosticism from Widipedia:

quote:
Agnosticism is the view that the existence of God, of the divine or the supernatural is unknown or unknowable.

That's the way I think scientifically, but one doesn't always get to choose one's beliefs, and I do believe in God.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 541 by Tangle, posted 02-14-2018 5:27 PM Tangle has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6182
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 546 of 671 (828250)
02-15-2018 2:49 AM
Reply to: Message 542 by Taq
02-14-2018 5:55 PM


Re: Bridge Analogy Re-examined
Taq writes:

Belief is described by atheism/theism.

Agreed

A/gnostic is about the ability to gain knowledge.

And as no-one can have knowledge of god, it's a useless term.

All people can have knowedge of is whether they believe in a god or not. If they don't know whether they believe or not they don't believe.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 542 by Taq, posted 02-14-2018 5:55 PM Taq has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 15412
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 547 of 671 (828267)
02-15-2018 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 543 by Percy
02-14-2018 6:47 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

You're again repeating an old already rebutted argument....


You're not rebutting anything. You're claiming that scientists would somehow react differently to your what-if scenario but you admit that their behaviour would be business as usual. I ask for any possible rationale for their reaction being different and all you say, "it's unprecedented." You have given us no reason to think that your claim is true.

You say that scientists would certainly call it a miracle and then you turn around and add, "or something else." You might as well say that planetary motion is caused by gravity, or something else.

Percy writes:

Relativity and quantum mechanics are refinements of known physical laws, not contraventions. Newtonian physics still rules the day, being sufficiently accurate in most contexts, since for low velocities the behavior of Einsteinian physics is indistinguishable from Newtonian for many decimal places. And classical mechanics works just fine in all but the most microscopic contexts.


The old paradigm still works in "most contexts", not all contexts. Conventional aerodynamics still works in most contexts. Flying bridges would require something like relativity or quantum mechanics to refine the paradigm.

Percy writes:

We've described the opposite, that the evidence leads to the conclusion that known physical laws were violated.


Again, scientists don't conclude that physical laws have been "violated". (Again, feel free to cite scientific papers that correct me.) They conclude that their current understanding of the physical laws is incomplete.

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Where does the scientific method allow for "violations"?


Where does the scientific method allow or disallow any possibility? It's a process, not a set of rules about what possibilities scientists are allowed to consider.

Where does the process accommodate violations? Where is the step in the process that allows for, "insert miracle here"? An unprecedented phenomenon might slow the turning of the wheel or even stop it temporarily but it doesn't add spokes to the wheel.

Percy writes:

What would your estimate be of the number of times I've said that scientists would continue working hard to find explanations?


About the same number of times as I've asked you why they would call it a miracle if they were still working on it. The number of answers I've gotten: zero.

Percy writes:

This is the fallacy of believing that because an analogy is accurate in one respect that it is therefore required that it be accurate in all respects....


And I never said it was. It was supposed to be a simple analogy, obvious to anybody.

Percy writes:

I explain that you're arguing religion in a science thread, and you reply by arguing religion in a science thread?


I'm not the one who's arguing religion. You are. Miracles are religion, not science. For example, the Miracle of the Sun is called a miracle by religion, not by scientists. Similarly, a flying bridge might be called a miracle by religion but not by science.

Percy writes:

If whether it's local or not was irrelevant to you then, why do you care now?


You didn't answer the question: Who made up the rule that miracles are local?

Take the Miracle of the Sun, for example. If the sun really did dance around in the sky, it would not have been a local phenomenon. It would have been visible from wherever the sun was visible. That's one reason why scientists had to look for another explanation than "miracle".

The claim that miracles are "local" sounds like religious waffle words, similar to the claim that God doesn't reveal Himself because He wants us to have faith.


An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 543 by Percy, posted 02-14-2018 6:47 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 549 by Percy, posted 02-15-2018 2:41 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 15412
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 548 of 671 (828268)
02-15-2018 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 544 by Percy
02-14-2018 7:32 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

This point about attribution has already been addressed.


Humour me. If attribution is not an important part of the definition, why is it mentioned in practically every definition?

Percy writes:

Someone forthright would say, "Now I know Percy has said that attribution isn't an essential quality of scientific phenomena, citing the two-slit experiment, entanglement and radioactive decay as examples, but...", and then go on to explain why that is wrong....


I did. I pointed out that the two-slit experiment, entanglement and radioactive decay are not called miracles. They're not attributed to unnatural causes, even if we don't have an understanding of the causes. If they were called miracles, it would be because they were attributed to unnatural causes.

I keep repeating the argument because you keep repeating that I didn't make it.

And I can keep asking the question until you answer it: If attribution is not an important part of the definition of a miracle, why does practically every definition mention it? Do you think people just pepper their definitions with random irrelevant words?


An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 544 by Percy, posted 02-14-2018 7:32 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17748
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 549 of 671 (828281)
02-15-2018 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 547 by ringo
02-15-2018 11:28 AM


Re: Consensus
Responding to you last two messages to me:

Responding to your Message 547:

ringo writes:

Percy writes:

You're again repeating an old already rebutted argument....


You're not rebutting anything.

You're pulling words out of context and avoiding the point. What you said was in Message 537 was:

ringo in Message 537 writes:

So you're making up the scenario, making up the evidence and making up the scientists' reaction. That's the nice thing about fiction: you don't have to have any rationale at all for your claims.

You *have* made this argument over and over again, and it *has* been rebutted over and over again. Of course the scenarios presented are not events that have actually taken place. That's the nature of a "what if". You simply fail or refuse to grasp the concept of a "what if".

You're claiming that scientists would somehow react differently to your what-if scenario but you admit that their behaviour would be business as usual. I ask for any possible rationale for their reaction being different and all you say, "it's unprecedented."

Presenting a caricature of a position, also known as a straw man, is a form of fallacy.

What you actually argued was that they wouldn't consider miracles a possibility, so I replied that there's no way to know what term scientists would adopt to describe violations of known physical laws. You also argued that scientists would stop working to understand phenomena they called miracles, which has the same answer, that scientists wouldn't necessarily call them a miracle. You also argued that scientists would never conclude that phenomena are unexplainable, and I replied that unexplainable at present doesn't mean unexplainable forever and doesn't mean efforts at finding explanations should cease. You also argued that scientists would never consider the possibility of violations of known physical laws, to which I replied that scientists would follow the evidence where it leads. And you finally argued that there have never been examples in the past where scientists have concluded that known physical laws were violated, to which I replied that not only was that not true (your own examples of relativity and quantum mechanics argue against you), but that again science would follow the evidence where it leads, which might very well be to the conclusion that known physical laws were violated, in the case of our scenarios only locally.

You have given us no reason to think that your claim is true.

Except that I have given you plenty of reasons. Instead of discussing them you repeat your original arguments again and again.

You say that scientists would certainly call it a miracle and then you turn around and add, "or something else." You might as well say that planetary motion is caused by gravity, or something else.

You're so literal. I only meant that they'd call it by a name that had the definition I've been using: events that inexplicably violate known physical laws. I've said many, many times since that we don't know what term scientists would eventually fix upon, but I'm going to continue to use the term miracle, and in the context of this discussion it means an event that inexplicably violates known physical laws.

The old paradigm still works in "most contexts", not all contexts.

Yes, precisely, I just said that. So since the old paradigm works just fine in most contexts it obviously hasn't been contravened or (to use terms you seem to prefer) torn down.

Flying bridges would require something like relativity or quantum mechanics to refine the paradigm.

Sure, that's a possibility. Why do you think so?

Percy writes:

We've described the opposite, that the evidence leads to the conclusion that known physical laws were violated.


Again, scientists don't conclude that physical laws have been "violated".

Really? Didn't the anomaly in the orbit of Mercury turn out to be a violation of Newtonian physics, requiring a new theoretical paradigm?

(Again, feel free to cite scientific papers that correct me.)

Here ya go, Einstein's paper on the subject: Explanation of the Perihelion Motion of Mercury from General Relativity Theory

They conclude that their current understanding of the physical laws is incomplete.

Our knowledge is always incomplete. That's the nature of science.

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Where does the scientific method allow for "violations"?


Where does the scientific method allow or disallow any possibility? It's a process, not a set of rules about what possibilities scientists are allowed to consider.

Where does the process accommodate violations? Where is the step in the process that allows for, "insert miracle here"? An unprecedented phenomenon might slow the turning of the wheel or even stop it temporarily but it doesn't add spokes to the wheel.

You asked a question, I answered it, then instead of responding you just asked your question again. Do you even understand what the scientific method is and how it works?

Percy writes:

What would your estimate be of the number of times I've said that scientists would continue working hard to find explanations?


About the same number of times as I've asked you why they would call it a miracle if they were still working on it. The number of answers I've gotten: zero.

This is untrue. I *have* provided answers many times. You've just chosen to repeat the same questions and arguments over and over again, instead of discussing the answers and rebuttals.

Percy writes:

This is the fallacy of believing that because an analogy is accurate in one respect that it is therefore required that it be accurate in all respects....


And I never said it was.

But that's what you did, object to an analogy by ignoring the point it made to focus on a point it was not intended to make. This fallacy can be performed with any analogy. No analogy can be perfectly like the thing it is an analog to, else it would be that thing. An analogy is meant to make clear a point through similarity to something more familiar.

If I were to say, "Working at Bob's Pizza was like riding a roller coaster," you wouldn't argue that's false because roller coasters ride on wheels and Bob's Pizza doesn't. That would be silly in the same way as your objection to the analogy that a scientist saying something hasn't yet been explained would be like an astronaut saying we can't yet go to Mars. This analogy was offered as counterpoint to the analogy you suggested in Message 531:

ringo in Message 531 writes:

A scientist saying something can't be explained would be like a pilot saying an aircraft can't fly.

This analogy was weak and misframed the argument to make your position look better. Specifically, it was never said that scientists would say an event can't be explained. Rather, they would say the event remains unexplained according to known physical laws. In other words, you were inventing another straw man.

It was supposed to be a simple analogy, obvious to anybody.

Yes, it was obvious, that it was a straw man. If you're going to rebut arguments then I suggest you rebut arguments actually made instead of ones you make up yourself.

Percy writes:

I explain that you're arguing religion in a science thread, and you reply by arguing religion in a science thread?


I'm not the one who's arguing religion. You are. Miracles are religion, not science. For example, the Miracle of the Sun is called a miracle by religion, not by scientists. Similarly, a flying bridge might be called a miracle by religion but not by science.

How many times would you guess I've said it's unimportant that what term science ultimately chooses to refer to phenomena unexplained by known physical laws. It's the concept that's important, not the particular word. I propose you drop your religious arguments in this science thread.

Percy writes:

If whether it's local or not was irrelevant to you then, why do you care now?


You didn't answer the question: Who made up the rule that miracles are local?

Huh? Are you blind? The sentence just before what you quoted said, "Tangle realized this quite some time ago, first in Message 210, and in more detail in Message 251, to which you replied in Message 257, calling it irrelevant." You're either oblivious or purposefully evasive. As Tangle explained in Message 251:

Tangle in Message 251 writes:

We were talking about three examples of miracles, all of which had purely local effects. The fact that the effects were local is significant as the effects were not universal, all of gravity has not changed, all wine has not changed - they're all targeted suspensions of natural laws. The shaman spoke, there followed a suspension of a natural law - the definition of a miracle (whether you like it or not.)

You next say:

Take the Miracle of the Sun, for example. If the sun really did dance around in the sky, it would not have been a local phenomenon. It would have been visible from wherever the sun was visible. That's one reason why scientists had to look for another explanation than "miracle".

The Miracle of the Sun is a religious miracle, but you pose a legitimate question about locality, so let me address that.

But before I do let me note that you're incorrect to say the Miracle of the Sun "would not have been a local phenomenon" because it "would have been visible from wherever the sun was visible." Obviously it wasn't visible wherever the sun was visible. It was only "visible" near Fátima, Portugal, and only to followers of those children. I would say this argues extremely strongly against the possibility that the sun ever moved, let alone that there was a miracle.

About locality, assuming for the sake of discussion that the sun actually did dance around its position in our solar system 93 million miles away, whatever phenomena caused this to happen were local to the region around our sun. Nothing else was dancing around. Known physical laws on Earth continued to behave as they always had.

The claim that miracles are "local" sounds like religious waffle words, similar to the claim that God doesn't reveal Himself because He wants us to have faith.

Waffle words? Is that what they say in Canada? Down here we call them weasel words. Anyway, you're again making a religious argument. Stick to science, and respond to arguments actually made instead of ones you make up.

Responding to your Message 548:

ringo in Message 548 writes:

Percy writes:

This point about attribution has already been addressed.


Humour me. If attribution is not an important part of the definition, why is it mentioned in practically every definition?

The existing definition of miracle includes a religious or supernatural or at least non-natural origin. If you're not willing to consider "what ifs" that include the premise of a natural origin then Tangle's "what if" should suit you. What if a shaman waved his hands and made a missing limb reappear, right in a medical laboratory with tons of scientific analysis equipment to record evidence of what transpired?

Percy writes:

Someone forthright would say, "Now I know Percy has said that attribution isn't an essential quality of scientific phenomena, citing the two-slit experiment, entanglement and radioactive decay as examples, but...", and then go on to explain why that is wrong....


I did. I pointed out that the two-slit experiment, entanglement and radioactive decay are not called miracles.

Again, how many times would you guess I've pointed out how the particular term isn't important? The proposed scenarios describe unexplained violations of known physical laws that leave behind scientific evidence that can be studied. No attribution is uncovered, which is fine because science doesn't require attribution, and the two-slit experiment, entanglement and radioactive decay are examples.

They're not attributed to unnatural causes, even if we don't have an understanding of the causes. If they were called miracles, it would be because they were attributed to unnatural causes.

So we won't call them miracles. We'll call them unexplainables.

I keep repeating the argument because you keep repeating that I didn't make it.

Actually it just means that I should have been more detailed in describing what you should have said, which would be, "Now I know Percy has said that attribution isn't an essential quality of scientific phenomena, citing the two-slit experiment, entanglement and radioactive decay as examples, but I pointed out that those phenomena aren't called miracles, and he replied that we don't have to call violations of known physical laws miracles, we could call them something else, but...", and then go on to explain why that is wrong.

Saying in Message 532 that, "It's Percy who is ignoring the importance of attribution in the definition that he himself quoted," was a woefully incomplete and misleading characterization.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 547 by ringo, posted 02-15-2018 11:28 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 550 by ringo, posted 02-16-2018 11:26 AM Percy has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 15412
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 550 of 671 (828353)
02-16-2018 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 549 by Percy
02-15-2018 2:41 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

What you actually argued was that they wouldn't consider miracles a possibility....


Where did I argue that?

What I've been arguing is that there is nothing in scientific procedure that would accommodate 'inexplicable" or "violation of physical laws". There's only "keep looking until you find something." You even seem to understand that, so it's hard to grasp what you're position actually is.

Percy writes:

You also argued that scientists would stop working to understand phenomena they called miracles, which has the same answer, that scientists wouldn't necessarily call them a miracle.


And you argued in Message 266 that "A consensus of scientists would most certainly concede they're miraculous." I'm not sure how you think they can concede they're miraclulous without calling them miracles. To be fair, you did waffle later on by saying they'd call them miracles, or something else. But it's still pretty hard to grasp what you're position actually is.

Percy writes:

I only meant that they'd call it by a name that had the definition I've been using....


Maybe you should change the topic title to "The science of Miracles or something else".

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Flying bridges would require something like relativity or quantum mechanics to refine the paradigm.


Sure, that's a possibility. Why do you think so?

Because that's the way science is done. And you seem to understand that. So what's different when there's a temporary inability to come up with a satisfactory explanation? Where is the need to call something a miracle (or something else) when there has never been a need before? How is your unprecedented scenario different from all of the other unprecedented scenarios so that scientists would react differently?

Percy writes:

Didn't the anomaly in the orbit of Mercury turn out to be a violation of Newtonian physics, requiring a new theoretical paradigm?


Newtonian physics is not a law of nature. The anomaly showed that Newton's understanding of the laws was not adequate and had to be tweaked.

Percy writes:

Here ya go, Einstein's paper on the subject: Explanation of the Perihelion Motion of Mercury from General Relativity Theory


That's a bare link. I said, "Again, scientists don't conclude that physical laws have been "violated". (Again, feel free to cite scientific papers that correct me.)" So please quote Einstein where he said that physical laws have been violated.

Percy writes:

It's the concept that's important, not the particular word. I propose you drop your religious arguments in this science thread.


The concept is a religious one.

Percy writes:

Huh? Are you blind? The sentence just before what you quoted said, "Tangle realized this quite some time ago....


Huh? you're saying that Tangle made up the rule? And we should take Tangle's Rule seriously because...?

Percy writes:

It was only "visible" near Fátima, Portugal, and only to followers of those children. I would say this argues extremely strongly against the possibility that the sun ever moved, let alone that there was a miracle.


Exactly. It's called a miracle by the Catholoc Church and not by scientists because miracles are a religious concept, not a scientific one.

Percy writes:

Waffle words? Is that what they say in Canada? Down here we call them weasel words.


Waffles are less egregious than weasels.

Percy writes:

The existing definition of miracle includes a religious or supernatural or at least non-natural origin.


That's what I'm saying.

Percy writes:

What if a shaman waved his hands and made a missing limb reappear, right in a medical laboratory with tons of scientific analysis equipment to record evidence of what transpired?


Scientists would try to figure out how it happened. You seem to understand that, so I don't know why you feel the need to insert the concept of miracles.

Percy writes:

Again, how many times would you guess I've pointed out how the particular term isn't important?


If it's not important, you could stop using it and see how I respond. As Einstein - or somebody else - said, you shouldn't keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.

Percy writes:

So we won't call them miracles. We'll call them unexplainables.


Call them unexplained and you've finally caught up with me.

An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 549 by Percy, posted 02-15-2018 2:41 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 551 by Phat, posted 02-16-2018 1:04 PM ringo has responded
 Message 555 by Percy, posted 02-17-2018 4:15 PM ringo has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11320
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 551 of 671 (828358)
02-16-2018 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 550 by ringo
02-16-2018 11:26 AM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

The concept is a religious one.

So in other words, you prefer the term unexplained or unexplainable because to you, the word miracle is alluding to an explanation?(an unscientific one at that)

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 550 by ringo, posted 02-16-2018 11:26 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 553 by ringo, posted 02-17-2018 10:41 AM Phat has responded

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 28 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(1)
Message 552 of 671 (828361)
02-16-2018 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 521 by Percy
02-11-2018 6:47 PM


Re: Consensus
Religion and science are two different contexts. In the context of the religious question, "Could any of the miracles claimed by religion be real?" tentativity, a scientific concept, is out of place. In the context of the scientific question, "What would mean to science if faced with inexplicable violations of natural or scientific law?" tentativity is perfectly at home.

I see. It explains your reasoning perfectly well. The reason for my confusion is that I see fallibilism (the notion that knowledge is tentative) as a philosophical position not exclusive to science but instead is an approach to epistemology. One that science has adopted in its epistemology, but can be found elsewhere - including in religious thought.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 521 by Percy, posted 02-11-2018 6:47 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 15412
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 553 of 671 (828403)
02-17-2018 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 551 by Phat
02-16-2018 1:04 PM


Re: Consensus
Phat writes:

So in other words, you prefer the term unexplained or unexplainable because to you, the word miracle is alluding to an explanation?(an unscientific one at that)


A miracle is an event that is attributed to an unnatural cause. When believers can not explain an event in terms of natural causes they "explain" it in terms of supernatural causes - i.e. a "miracle".

An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 551 by Phat, posted 02-16-2018 1:04 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 554 by Phat, posted 02-17-2018 12:54 PM ringo has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11320
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 554 of 671 (828411)
02-17-2018 12:54 PM
Reply to: Message 553 by ringo
02-17-2018 10:41 AM


Re: Consensus
So the term is one that believers use, then? What if the scientist happened to be a believer?

They would keep looking their entire lives as you do or would. They may keep looking, but they most certainly would use the term miracle...personally if not professionally.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 553 by ringo, posted 02-17-2018 10:41 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 558 by ringo, posted 02-20-2018 10:55 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17748
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


(1)
Message 555 of 671 (828426)
02-17-2018 4:15 PM
Reply to: Message 550 by ringo
02-16-2018 11:26 AM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

Percy writes:

What you actually argued was that they wouldn't consider miracles a possibility....


Where did I argue that?

Uh, all over the place many times? I found a version of it in the very first message I checked, Message 492:

ringo in Message 492 writes:

My contention is that scientists don't call events miracles.
...
...actual events are called miracles by believers but not by scientists.

And again in Message 502:

ringo in Message 502 writes:

On the other hand, scientists haven't labelled things as miracles, even when they were temporarily inexplicable.
...
It has been established that events that are called miracles are only called miracles in a religious context, not in a scientific context.

Need I go on?

Back to the current message:

What I've been arguing is that there is nothing in scientific procedure that would accommodate 'inexplicable" or "violation of physical laws".

There's nothing in scientific procedure specific to anything about where the evidence can lead.

There's only "keep looking until you find something."

Even when science finds something it keeps looking. Tentativity.

...it's hard to grasp what you're position actually is.

I'm just posing a simple "what if". It's nothing complicated.

Percy writes:

You also argued that scientists would stop working to understand phenomena they called miracles, which has the same answer, that scientists wouldn't necessarily call them a miracle.


And you argued in Message 266 that "A consensus of scientists would most certainly concede they're miraculous."

Again, you're too literal. How many times would you guess I've said that it wasn't the term that's important but the concept?

I'm not sure how you think they can concede they're miraculous without calling them miracles.

Now you're just being dense. Scientists could invent whatever term they liked for phenomena that flagrantly violate known physical laws.

To be fair, you did waffle later on by saying they'd call them miracles, or something else. But it's still pretty hard to grasp what you're position actually is.

What you're calling a "waffle" is actually an attempt to accommodate your objections to use of the term miracle.

Percy writes:

I only meant that they'd call it by a name that had the definition I've been using....


Maybe you should change the topic title to "The science of Miracles or something else".

It's NosyNed's thread, not mine. I only change titles when someone asks for help or there's a typo or sometimes during the thread proposal process.

In Message 1 NosyNed quotes Arkathon stating that science doesn't "grasp" how God performs miracles. We're attempting to discuss how science would react in trying to "grasp" what happened were an actual scientifically studyable miracle to occur.

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Flying bridges would require something like relativity or quantum mechanics to refine the paradigm.


Sure, that's a possibility. Why do you think so?

Because that's the way science is done.

But you were talking about paradigm shifts, which to Kuhn were synonymous with scientific revolutions. Why do you think my "what if" would only require a paradigm refinement?

And you seem to understand that.

Not actually. That's why I asked.

So what's different when there's a temporary inability to come up with a satisfactory explanation? Where is the need to call something a miracle (or something else) when there has never been a need before?

What's different in the proposed "what ifs" is the flagrancy of the violations of known physical laws and the fact that the violations are local to where the miracle occurred and do not affect the behavior of known physical laws anywhere else. These are not the anomalies or discrepancies that Kuhn discusses, but actual flagrant violations. For example, Tangle's "what if" about a missing limb suddenly reappearing violates the laws of conservation of matter and energy, and probably entropy, too, but only at that time and location, nowhere and nowhen else.

How is your unprecedented scenario different from all of the other unprecedented scenarios so that scientists would react differently?

There's nothing unprecedented in anomalies or discrepancies. And rather than reacting differently I think scientists would follow the evidence where it leads, just as they always do. What's different isn't the reaction of scientists but that the posed "what if" scenarios might lead scientists in directions never before considered.

Percy writes:

Didn't the anomaly in the orbit of Mercury turn out to be a violation of Newtonian physics, requiring a new theoretical paradigm?


Newtonian physics is not a law of nature. The anomaly showed that Newton's understanding of the laws was not adequate and had to be tweaked.

This argument has such a big hole in it that you must have known it even as you were typing it. Newtonian physics were the scientific laws of the time. And what is this with the "tweaked" terminology? The anomalies required a paradigm shift, not a tweak.

Percy writes:

Here ya go, Einstein's paper on the subject: Explanation of the Perihelion Motion of Mercury from General Relativity Theory


That's a bare link.

Of course it's a bare link, that's what you asked for. You said, "Feel free to cite scientific papers that correct me," so that's what I did, cited a scientific paper that corrects you. What did you expect?

I said, "Again, scientists don't conclude that physical laws have been "violated".

But Einstein obviously did consider the possibility that Newtonian physics had been violated, though the usual term is anomaly.

(Again, feel free to cite scientific papers that correct me.)

I just did that.

So please quote Einstein where he said that physical laws have been violated.

I hope you're not arguing that unless Einstein used the word "violated" that it wasn't really a violation - scientific papers are generally understated and tend toward the passive voice. Anyway, here's a quote from the paper:

quote:
This calculation leads to the planet Mercury to move its perihelion forward by 43′′ per century, while the astronomers give 45′′±5′′, an exceptional difference between observation and Newtonian theory. This has great significance as full agreement.

There can be no doubt today that the precession of the orbit of Mercury was violating the laws of Newtonian physics, but at the time other possibilities were considered, like an undiscovered planet or uneven distributions of mass within the sun. That's why Einstein's general relativity was so momentous - it not only found a solution, but proved that the rock solid laws of Newtonian physics wouldn't work outside of mundane scenarios.

Percy writes:

It's the concept that's important, not the particular word. I propose you drop your religious arguments in this science thread.


The concept is a religious one.

So what? We're considering how science would react if faced with phenomena fitting the definition of miracle. Plus you've been offered religious scenarios, like Tangle's scenario of a shaman waving his hand and causing a missing limb to reappear in a lab full of analysis equipment.

Percy writes:

Huh? Are you blind? The sentence just before what you quoted said, "Tangle realized this quite some time ago....


Huh? you're saying that Tangle made up the rule?

No, he didn't make it up. It was based upon how miracles are defined to behave.

And we should take Tangle's Rule seriously because...?

You should reply to the explanation Tangle offered (Message 251). Once there's been some discussion you can decide how seriously to take it.

Percy writes:

It was only "visible" near Fátima, Portugal, and only to followers of those children. I would say this argues extremely strongly against the possibility that the sun ever moved, let alone that there was a miracle.


Exactly. It's called a miracle by the Catholoc Church and not by scientists because miracles are a religious concept, not a scientific one.

Then in that case consider Tangle's scenario of a shaman waving his hand and causing a missing limb to reappear in a lab full of analysis equipment.

Percy writes:

What if a shaman waved his hands and made a missing limb reappear, right in a medical laboratory with tons of scientific analysis equipment to record evidence of what transpired?


Scientists would try to figure out how it happened. You seem to understand that, so I don't know why you feel the need to insert the concept of miracles.

Because it fits the concept of miracles, right down to the presence of a religious figure.

Percy writes:

Again, how many times would you guess I've pointed out how the particular term isn't important?


If it's not important, you could stop using it and see how I respond. As Einstein - or somebody else - said, you shouldn't keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.

Einstein definitely didn't say it. My recollection is that the first known occurrence was a murder mystery from around a half century ago.

Percy writes:

So we won't call them miracles. We'll call them unexplainables.


Call them unexplained and you've finally caught up with me.

You got it. The George Washington Bridge gently lets loose from its moorings, floats up into the sky, drifts slowly north 50 miles up the Hudson, then gently sets down again at West Point. Scientists rush equipment into airplanes and helicopters and study the phenomena as it is happening. Later the original approaches and moorings to the bridge are studied, and the bridge is studied, and the people and cars on the bridge at the time are studied, and after years of analysis the conclusion is reached that the event was unexplainable by known natural and scientific laws, actually being in violation of a number of them. The event is deemed, for the time being, an unexplainable, but research continues.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 550 by ringo, posted 02-16-2018 11:26 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 559 by ringo, posted 02-20-2018 11:23 AM Percy has responded

    
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