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Author Topic:   The "science" of Miracles
AlexCaledin
Member (Idle past 98 days)
Posts: 41
From: Samara, Russia
Joined: 10-22-2016


Message 556 of 671 (828437)
02-17-2018 7:31 PM


What on earth can ever be unexplainable? Cosmic rays, all the known and unknown particles, are coming from the whole observable universe. They can, in principle, synthesize everything and move everything and stop the sun in the sky. It's hardly more improbable than that "evolution".
Replies to this message:
 Message 557 by Percy, posted 02-17-2018 7:54 PM AlexCaledin has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 17656
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 557 of 671 (828440)
02-17-2018 7:54 PM
Reply to: Message 556 by AlexCaledin
02-17-2018 7:31 PM


AlexCaledin writes:

Cosmic rays, all the known and unknown particles, are coming from the whole observable universe. They can, in principle, synthesize everything and move everything and stop the sun in the sky.

And don't forget that they can grant immortality and spin straw into gold.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 556 by AlexCaledin, posted 02-17-2018 7:31 PM AlexCaledin has not yet responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 15133
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 558 of 671 (828500)
02-20-2018 10:55 AM
Reply to: Message 554 by Phat
02-17-2018 12:54 PM


Re: Consensus
Phat writes:

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


We've been through this before. A scientist doesn't use religious terms when doing science. Objectivity requires leaving subjective beliefs at the lab door.

Phat writes:

They may keep looking, but they most certainly would use the term miracle...personally if not professionally.


We're not talking about personal here.

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 554 by Phat, posted 02-17-2018 12:54 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 15133
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 559 of 671 (828502)
02-20-2018 11:23 AM
Reply to: Message 555 by Percy
02-17-2018 4:15 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

Scientists could invent whatever term they liked for phenomena that flagrantly violate known physical laws.


Exactly. So why would they use one with such obvious religious baggage?

Percy writes:

We're attempting to discuss how science would react in trying to "grasp" what happened were an actual scientifically studyable miracle to occur.


But we already know how science would react. The Miracle of the Sun was an actual scientifically studyable miracle. Science reacted the same way as it always does, even if the available evidence didn't lead to a definitive explanation.

Percy writes:

Why do you think my "what if" would only require a paradigm refinement?


If it seems to violate what we think we know, we need to adjust what we think we know.

Percy writes:

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.


So, what if it wasn't local? What if every bridge in the world conspired to flout the laws of physics? What if the Forth Bridge soared over to span the Volga? What if the Bridge of Sighs took a romatic turn and went up to Paris to gaze longingly at Notre Dame? What if the George Washington Bridge strolled over to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, to visit its buddy, Governor Bigfoot? What if the Golden Gate Bridge landed on the moon piloted by three pigs, who proceeded to enjoy a wallow in the dust?

How would a spate of bridge aviation be less flagrant than your local scenario?

Percy writes:

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....


Nope. Humans take in matter and energy in the form of food.

Percy writes:

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 expected you to follow the forum rules: "Bare links with no supporting discussion should be avoided. Make the argument in your own words and use links as supporting references."

Percy writes:

We're considering how science would react if faced with phenomena fitting the definition of miracle.


Why would science react to a religious definition?

Percy writes:

... after years of analysis the conclusion is reached that the event was unexplainable by known natural and scientific laws....


UFOs are called Unidentified, not Unidentifiable.

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 555 by Percy, posted 02-17-2018 4:15 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 560 by Percy, posted 02-20-2018 1:40 PM ringo has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17656
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 560 of 671 (828520)
02-20-2018 1:40 PM
Reply to: Message 559 by ringo
02-20-2018 11:23 AM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

Percy writes:

Scientists could invent whatever term they liked for phenomena that flagrantly violate known physical laws.


Exactly. So why would they use one with such obvious religious baggage?

How do you know scientists would even care about so-called "religious baggage"? For Tangle's scenario involving a shaman, how does one even avoid the "religious baggage"? Why do you even care what term they use? It's the concept that's important, and by the way, the word "miracle" already has the definition for that concept.

But you don't like the word miracle, and even though I find your arguments spurious I've been trying to accommodate you.

Percy writes:

We're attempting to discuss how science would react in trying to "grasp" what happened were an actual scientifically studyable miracle to occur.


But we already know how science would react.

No we don't.

The Miracle of the Sun was an actual scientifically studyable miracle.

That wasn't scientifically studied.

Science reacted the same way as it always does, even if the available evidence didn't lead to a definitive explanation.

What evidence? There was no scientific evidence.

Percy writes:

Why do you think my "what if" would only require a paradigm refinement?


If it seems to violate what we think we know, we need to adjust what we think we know.

Why do you think my "what if" would only require a paradigm refinement and not a paradigm shift?

Percy writes:

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.


So, what if it wasn't local? What if every bridge in the world conspired to flout the laws of physics? What if the Forth Bridge soared over to span the Volga? What if the Bridge of Sighs took a romantic turn and went up to Paris to gaze longingly at Notre Dame? What if the George Washington Bridge strolled over to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, to visit its buddy, Governor Bigfoot? What if the Golden Gate Bridge landed on the moon piloted by three pigs, who proceeded to enjoy a wallow in the dust?

How would a spate of bridge aviation be less flagrant than your local scenario?

You're describing multiple simultaneous miracles that are each local. The laws of physics continue to operate normally throughout the rest of space-time.

Percy writes:

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....


Nope. Humans take in matter and energy in the form of food.

Ringo refuses to take in information about "what ifs".

Percy writes:

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 expected you to follow the forum rules: "Bare links with no supporting discussion should be avoided. Make the argument in your own words and use links as supporting references."

Now you're just being purposefully thick again. You expressed skepticism about the existence of papers about violations of natural laws, saying I should feel free to cite scientific papers correctly you, so of course providing a link to one such paper was an effective and also the most appropriate counter-argument.

Percy writes:

We're considering how science would react if faced with phenomena fitting the definition of miracle.


Why would science react to a religious definition?

They're reacting to phenomena, not a definition. "Miracle" just happens to be the word most closely matching the phenomena.

Percy writes:

... after years of analysis the conclusion is reached that the event was unexplainable by known natural and scientific laws....


UFOs are called Unidentified, not Unidentifiable.

How many times now would you guess I've explained that in a scientific context where tentativity reigns that "unexplainable" doesn't mean "unexplainable forever"?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 559 by ringo, posted 02-20-2018 11:23 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 561 by ringo, posted 02-21-2018 2:26 PM Percy has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 15133
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 561 of 671 (828596)
02-21-2018 2:26 PM
Reply to: Message 560 by Percy
02-20-2018 1:40 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

How do you know scientists would even care about so-called "religious baggage"?


Objectivity requires leaving religious baggage at the door. It's standard practice.

Percy writes:

For Tangle's scenario involving a shaman, how does one even avoid the "religious baggage"?


By not talking about miracles or gods.

Percy writes:

Why do you even care what term they use?


It isn't what I care about. It's about the terms they actually use. I've given you ample opportunity to cite examples of scientists using the terminology you advocate. So far, it appears I'm right that they don't. If you want to know why they care, ask them.

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

The Miracle of the Sun was an actual scientifically studyable miracle.


That wasn't scientifically studied.

It was, to the extent that was possible, given the evidence available.

Percy writes:

What evidence? There was no scientific evidence.


The anecdotal evidence was similar to the anecdotal evidence in UFO investigations. Scientists consider UFOs to be unidentified, not unidentifiable.

Percy writes:

Why do you think my "what if" would only require a paradigm refinement and not a paradigm shift?


How do you distinguish between a refinement and a shift beforehand?

Percy writes:

You're describing multiple simultaneous miracles that are each local. The laws of physics continue to operate normally throughout the rest of space-time.


How do you know that? Why is it even important whether or not the effects are localized?

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Percy writes:

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....


Nope. Humans take in matter and energy in the form of food.

Ringo refuses to take in information about "what ifs".

Percy avoids the issue (where he is demonstrably wrong).

Percy writes:

You expressed skepticism about the existence of papers about violations of natural laws, saying I should feel free to cite scientific papers correctly you, so of course providing a link to one such paper was an effective and also the most appropriate counter-argument.


It's a violation of the forum rules. If your citation did support your claim, you would still have to show how it supported your claim.

Percy writes:

"Miracle" just happens to be the word most closely matching the phenomena.


Only by using your specially-tailored definition.

Percy writes:

How many times now would you guess I've explained that in a scientific context where tentativity reigns that "unexplainable" doesn't mean "unexplainable forever"?


You've made the claim before and it's still wrong. In actual fact, scientists use the term "unidentified" instead of "unidentifiable" because "unidentifiable" would tend to connote forever. It's a clearer, hence better, term.

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 560 by Percy, posted 02-20-2018 1:40 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 562 by Percy, posted 02-22-2018 2:35 PM ringo has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17656
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 562 of 671 (828693)
02-22-2018 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 561 by ringo
02-21-2018 2:26 PM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

Percy writes:

How do you know scientists would even care about so-called "religious baggage"?


Objectivity requires leaving religious baggage at the door. It's standard practice.

This has different answers depending upon which scenario we're considering, but one thing the answers have in common is, no, it's not standard practice - it's only the way things have worked out so far. Following the evidence where it leads is standard practice.

For the bridge scenario, how do you know how much scientists would care about the "religious baggage" of the term miracle when choosing a term for the phenomena and giving it a scientific definition that has no "religious baggage." That's a rhetorical question - you can't know the answer.

For the shaman scenario, the term miracle fits pretty well, and the scientists might find the "religious baggage" of the term miracle to be an advantage rather than a deficit.

Percy writes:

For Tangle's scenario involving a shaman, how does one even avoid the "religious baggage"?


By not talking about miracles or gods.

Given that a shaman performed an obvious miracle, how does your answer even make sense? There's nothing in science that says there's no such thing as miracles or gods. What *is* in science is acceptance of what the evidence says.

Percy writes:

Why do you even care what term they use?


It isn't what I care about. It's about the terms they actually use. I've given you ample opportunity to cite examples of scientists using the terminology you advocate. So far, it appears I'm right that they don't. If you want to know why they care, ask them.

You're playing dumb again. The whole point of the "what ifs" was to present science with scientific evidence of a type of phenomena never before observed. We've discussed my characterization of unprecedented, why are you forgetting it now?

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

The Miracle of the Sun was an actual scientifically studyable miracle.


That wasn't scientifically studied.

It was, to the extent that was possible, given the evidence available.

Well now you're just making stuff up. There was no scientific evidence of the Miracle of the Sun, and no scientific study was performed.

Percy writes:

What evidence? There was no scientific evidence.


The anecdotal evidence was similar to the anecdotal evidence in UFO investigations. Scientists consider UFOs to be unidentified, not unidentifiable.

What does anecdotal evidence have to do with scientific evidence? The proposed "what ifs" include the gathering of scientific evidence, not anecdotal evidence.

Percy writes:

Why do you think my "what if" would only require a paradigm refinement and not a paradigm shift?


How do you distinguish between a refinement and a shift beforehand?

I'm not sure what you mean by "beforehand," so taking a guess the question becomes why, before we know the results of the scientific analysis of the bridge "what if", do you think it would only require a paradigm refinement and not a paradigm shift? What is it about that scenario that leads you to that conclusion?

Percy writes:

You're describing multiple simultaneous miracles that are each local. The laws of physics continue to operate normally throughout the rest of space-time.


How do you know that? Why is it even important whether or not the effects are localized?

Depends upon the scenario. For the bridge scenario, if suspension of the laws of physics were not local but extended everywhere then they would be observed everywhere, except of course we wouldn't be around to observe this since we'd be dead. The shaman scenario suspends the laws of conservation of matter, energy and entropy, which also seems pretty deadly if it weren't local and focused to the new limb.

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

Percy writes:

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....


Nope. Humans take in matter and energy in the form of food.

Ringo refuses to take in information about "what ifs".

Percy avoids the issue (where he is demonstrably wrong).

Making a spurious claim doesn't change the fact that you gave a non-answer and failed to consider the provided information.

Percy writes:

You expressed skepticism about the existence of papers about violations of natural laws, saying I should feel free to cite scientific papers correctly you, so of course providing a link to one such paper was an effective and also the most appropriate counter-argument.


It's a violation of the forum rules. If your citation did support your claim, you would still have to show how it supported your claim.

I guess you're determined to plumb the depths of absurdity. If you want to make Forum Guidelines violation claims take them to the Report Discussion Problems Here 4.0 thread. You asked for citations to papers about a violation of known physical laws, I gave you one. You asked for a quote from the paper about the violation, I provided it.

Percy writes:

"Miracle" just happens to be the word most closely matching the phenomena.


Only by using your specially-tailored definition.

You're repeating yourself again. If you were honest you would say, "Only by using your specially-tailored definition. Now I know you've argued that it's a common practice of science to adopt an existing term and provide a scientific definition, but...", and then continue on to explain how my position is wrong.

Percy writes:

How many times now would you guess I've explained that in a scientific context where tentativity reigns that "unexplainable" doesn't mean "unexplainable forever"?


You've made the claim before and it's still wrong. In actual fact, scientists use the term "unidentified" instead of "unidentifiable" because "unidentifiable" would tend to connote forever. It's a clearer, hence better, term.

Go to Google Scholar and type in "unidentifiable". You'll get over 90 thousand results.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 561 by ringo, posted 02-21-2018 2:26 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 563 by ringo, posted 02-23-2018 11:12 AM Percy has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 15133
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 563 of 671 (828740)
02-23-2018 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 562 by Percy
02-22-2018 2:35 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

For the shaman scenario, the term miracle fits pretty well, and the scientists might find the "religious baggage" of the term miracle to be an advantage rather than a deficit.


How would calling it a miracle help them follow the evidence?

Percy writes:

There's nothing in science that says there's no such thing as miracles or gods.


And there's nothing in science that says there's no such thing as leprechauns - but scientists still don't label things as leprechauns.

Percy writes:

We've discussed my characterization of unprecedented, why are you forgetting it now?


Because it's still nonsense.
quote:
"Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time."
— Tom Hanks in "Sully"

Percy writes:

There was no scientific evidence of the Miracle of the Sun, and no scientific study was performed.


There's the same evidence that there is for UFOs and scientists study that evidence all the time. It may not be good evidence but it's still evidence.

Percy writes:

What does anecdotal evidence have to do with scientific evidence? The proposed "what ifs" include the gathering of scientific evidence, not anecdotal evidence.


Your what-ifs have made up evidence. You might as well use Star Wars as evidence of UFOs. Made-up evidence is even worse than anecdotal evidence.

Percy writes:

For the bridge scenario, if suspension of the laws of physics were not local but extended everywhere then they would be observed everywhere, except of course we wouldn't be around to observe this since we'd be dead.


You're making the same mistake as ICANT. The flying-bridge scenario could be caused by islands of anomaly in an ocean of standard physics.

Percy writes:

Making a spurious claim doesn't change the fact that you gave a non-answer and failed to consider the provided information.


I did consider the provided information. I pointed out that you're wrong to assume that a regenerated limb would violate conservation of matter and energy. You'd need to weigh the subject before and after the regeneration to find out whether or not there was any change in mass. No change in mass = no violation.

Percy writes:

Go to Google Scholar and type in "unidentifiable". You'll get over 90 thousand results.


I also typed in "unidentified" and got 748 thousand results.

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 562 by Percy, posted 02-22-2018 2:35 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 564 by Percy, posted 02-23-2018 5:30 PM ringo has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17656
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 564 of 671 (828763)
02-23-2018 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 563 by ringo
02-23-2018 11:12 AM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

Percy writes:

For the shaman scenario, the term miracle fits pretty well, and the scientists might find the "religious baggage" of the term miracle to be an advantage rather than a deficit.


How would calling it a miracle help them follow the evidence?

Well, you see, human beings, which is what scientists are, use language to communicate, and it is helpful to have words with clear meanings to refer to things like cars and trees and light and entanglement and so forth.

I never said that calling it a miracle would help scientists follow the evidence, that's just something you made up, but certainly clear communication couldn't hurt.

Percy writes:

There's nothing in science that says there's no such thing as miracles or gods.


And there's nothing in science that says there's no such thing as leprechauns - but scientists still don't label things as leprechauns.

And round and round you go.

Percy writes:

We've discussed my characterization of unprecedented, why are you forgetting it now?


Because it's still nonsense.
quote:
"Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time."
— Tom Hanks in "Sully"

Nice to see Tom Hanks getting it right where you couldn't.

Percy writes:

There was no scientific evidence of the Miracle of the Sun, and no scientific study was performed.


There's the same evidence that there is for UFOs and scientists study that evidence all the time. It may not be good evidence but it's still evidence.

If you want to equate the lack of scientific evidence of the two phenomena then I have no objections.

Percy writes:

What does anecdotal evidence have to do with scientific evidence? The proposed "what ifs" include the gathering of scientific evidence, not anecdotal evidence.


Your what-ifs have made up evidence. You might as well use Star Wars as evidence of UFOs. Made-up evidence is even worse than anecdotal evidence.

Your objections to "what ifs" are nonsense. Why don't you read the Wikipedia article on thought experiments? Quoting just the opening portion:

quote:
A thought experiment (German: Gedankenexperiment,Gedanken-Experiment or Gedankenerfahrung) considers some hypothesis, theory, or principle for the purpose of thinking through its consequences. Given the structure of the experiment, it may not be possible to perform it, and even if it could be performed, there need not be an intention to perform it.

The common goal of a thought experiment is to explore the potential consequences of the principle in question: "A thought experiment is a device with which one performs an intentional, structured process of intellectual deliberation in order to speculate, within a specifiable problem domain, about potential consequents (or antecedents) for a designated antecedent (or consequent)" (Yeates, 2004, p. 150).

Examples of thought experiments include Schrödinger's cat, illustrating quantum indeterminacy through the manipulation of a perfectly sealed environment and a tiny bit of radioactive substance, and Maxwell's demon, which attempts to demonstrate the ability of a hypothetical finite being to violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics.


The type of thought experiment we're engaging in here is described in the In philosophy section:

quote:
In philosophy, a thought experiment typically presents an imagined scenario with the intention of eliciting an intuitive or reasoned response about the way things are in the thought experiment. (Philosophers might also supplement their thought experiments with theoretical reasoning designed to support the desired intuitive response.) The scenario will typically be designed to target a particular philosophical notion, such as morality, or the nature of the mind or linguistic reference. The response to the imagined scenario is supposed to tell us about the nature of that notion in any scenario, real or imagined.

Moving on:

Percy writes:

For the bridge scenario, if suspension of the laws of physics were not local but extended everywhere then they would be observed everywhere, except of course we wouldn't be around to observe this since we'd be dead.


You're making the same mistake as ICANT. The flying-bridge scenario could be caused by islands of anomaly in an ocean of standard physics.

Maybe scientists would choose the term "islands of anomaly." The nature of the phenomena remains as described in the "what ifs".

Percy writes:

Making a spurious claim doesn't change the fact that you gave a non-answer and failed to consider the provided information.


I did consider the provided information. I pointed out that you're wrong to assume that a regenerated limb would violate conservation of matter and energy.

There you go making things up again. Not a "regenerated limb" such as might happen (to some extent) with a lizard or salamander, but a "missing limb suddenly reappearing." Or in Tangle's original words from Message 265, "A human doing it instantly [growing back a limb] on the command of a shaman (or a god) would be miraculous."

What is it about the shaman "what if" that leads you to conclude it couldn't be a violation of conservation of matter and energy?

You'd need to weigh the subject before and after the regeneration to find out whether or not there was any change in mass. No change in mass = no violation.

Yes, of course. That's why the "what if" includes the presence of a great deal of scientific analysis equipment. Since a limb very definitely has more mass than no limb, I think it's safe to say there would be an increase in mass. Or maybe you want to argue the limb has no mass, though matter with no mass would be a very interesting and novel phenomenon.

Percy writes:

Go to Google Scholar and type in "unidentifiable". You'll get over 90 thousand results.


I also typed in "unidentified" and got 748 thousand results.

But in your Message 562 that I was replying to, and I quoted it, you said, "In actual fact, scientists use the term "unidentified" instead of "unidentifiable" because "unidentifiable" would tend to connote forever." It turns out that in actual fact scientists use both terms, and you're wrong yet again.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 563 by ringo, posted 02-23-2018 11:12 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 565 by ringo, posted 02-24-2018 11:02 AM Percy has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 15133
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 565 of 671 (828795)
02-24-2018 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 564 by Percy
02-23-2018 5:30 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

I never said that calling it a miracle would help scientists follow the evidence, that's just something you made up, but certainly clear communication couldn't hurt.


How would calling it a miracle be clear communication? It would say to religious people that God did it.

Percy writes:

Nice to see Tom Hanks getting it right where you couldn't.


I said the same thing as he did: Everything is unprecedented until it happens. Since it hadn't happened before it happened, "for the first time" is clearly implied.

Percy writes:

Not a "regenerated limb" such as might happen (to some extent) with a lizard or salamander, but a "missing limb suddenly reappearing."


How would you tell the difference?

Percy writes:

What is it about the shaman "what if" that leads you to conclude it couldn't be a violation of conservation of matter and energy?


You don't know whether there was a change in mass until you measure it. A conclusion that the limb had just poofed out of nowhere would be pretty far down the list. The obvious line of inquiry would be to see whether it had formed out of existing matter.

Percy writes:

Since a limb very definitely has more mass than no limb, I think it's safe to say there would be an increase in mass.


But you also have to consider the mass of the person that the limb is attached to. I can grow hair or fingernails without increasing my mass.

Percy writes:

It turns out that in actual fact scientists use both terms, and you're wrong yet again.


It seems pretty clear that "unidentified" is the preferred term.

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 564 by Percy, posted 02-23-2018 5:30 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 566 by Percy, posted 02-24-2018 1:01 PM ringo has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17656
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 566 of 671 (828805)
02-24-2018 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 565 by ringo
02-24-2018 11:02 AM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

Percy writes:

I never said that calling it a miracle would help scientists follow the evidence, that's just something you made up, but certainly clear communication couldn't hurt.


How would calling it a miracle be clear communication? It would say to religious people that God did it.

Yes, it very well might, but how many times now have I said that the particular term chosen by the scientific community is unimportant, that it's the nature of the phenomena that counts?

Percy writes:

Nice to see Tom Hanks getting it right where you couldn't.


I said the same thing as he did: Everything is unprecedented until it happens. Since it hadn't happened before it happened, "for the first time" is clearly implied.

But Tom Hanks didn't say, "Everything is unprecedented until it happens." That's what you said. What Tom Hanks said, assuming you quoted him accurately, is, "Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time." I pointed that out when you first brought this up. You continue to recycle old rebutted points and be wrong yet again.

Percy writes:

Not a "regenerated limb" such as might happen (to some extent) with a lizard or salamander, but a "missing limb suddenly reappearing."


How would you tell the difference?

How many times now have I mentioned all the scientific instruments in the room?

Percy writes:

What is it about the shaman "what if" that leads you to conclude it couldn't be a violation of conservation of matter and energy?


You don't know whether there was a change in mass until you measure it. A conclusion that the limb had just poofed out of nowhere would be pretty far down the list. The obvious line of inquiry would be to see whether it had formed out of existing matter.

Yes, of course. What if the scientific instruments indicated the new limb "had just poofed out of nowhere"?

Percy writes:

Since a limb very definitely has more mass than no limb, I think it's safe to say there would be an increase in mass.


But you also have to consider the mass of the person that the limb is attached to. I can grow hair or fingernails without increasing my mass.

Yes, of course. Has it been mentioned about the scientific instruments in the room recording and measuring what is happening? What if they find that in an instant the total mass of the person increased by the mass of the new limb?

Percy writes:

It turns out that in actual fact scientists use both terms, and you're wrong yet again.


It seems pretty clear that "unidentified" is the preferred term.

A lot of things that aren't true seem clear to you, but more to the point, that's not what you said. You said, "In actual fact, scientists use the term 'unidentified' instead of 'unidentifiable' because 'unidentifiable' would tend to connote forever," yet it turns out the scientists use both terms, and so you turn out to be wrong yet again.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 565 by ringo, posted 02-24-2018 11:02 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 567 by ringo, posted 02-25-2018 1:23 PM Percy has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 15133
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 567 of 671 (828856)
02-25-2018 1:23 PM
Reply to: Message 566 by Percy
02-24-2018 1:01 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

... how many times now have I said that the particular term chosen by the scientific community is unimportant, that it's the nature of the phenomena that counts?


You say that in response to a comment about communication. In one sentence you say that clear communication is a good thing and in the next sentence you say it doesn't matter. In one sentence you say that scientists would definitiely call something a "miracle" and in the next sentence you back-pedal and say they might call it "something else". I wish you'd make up your mind.

Percy writes:

But Tom Hanks didn't say, "Everything is unprecedented until it happens." That's what you said. What Tom Hanks said, assuming you quoted him accurately, is, "Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time."


It's the same thing. It's unprecedented until it stops being unprecedented.

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

How would you tell the difference?


How many times now have I mentioned all the scientific instruments in the room?

You haven't told us what evidence you made up. Did you make up a change in mass reading that I missed?

Percy writes:

What if the scientific instruments indicated the new limb "had just poofed out of nowhere"?


That reading would not be trusted. The instruments would have to be re-calibrated - but unfortunately, the event can not be repeated, so the reading could not be verified.

Percy writes:

What if they find that in an instant the total mass of the person increased by the mass of the new limb?


See above. We don't throw all of science out the window because of one anomalous reading.

Percy writes:

You said, "In actual fact, scientists use the term 'unidentified' instead of 'unidentifiable' because 'unidentifiable' would tend to connote forever," yet it turns out the scientists use both terms, and so you turn out to be wrong yet again.


If I said the vast majority of scientists don't say "unidentifiable", would that be clearer to you?

Aside from all of the silly nit-picking, I don't know what point you're trying to make. You agree with me that scientists observing your fairy tale would just keep plugging away at trying to solve the mystery. So what is it exactly that you're trying so hard to disagree with?


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 566 by Percy, posted 02-24-2018 1:01 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 568 by Percy, posted 02-25-2018 8:45 PM ringo has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17656
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 568 of 671 (828873)
02-25-2018 8:45 PM
Reply to: Message 567 by ringo
02-25-2018 1:23 PM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

Percy writes:

... how many times now have I said that the particular term chosen by the scientific community is unimportant, that it's the nature of the phenomena that counts?


You say that in response to a comment about communication. In one sentence you say that clear communication is a good thing and in the next sentence you say it doesn't matter.

No, I said clear communication is important but that the particular term chosen doesn't matter. As long as everyone agrees on the definition then clear communication should be possible. How any particular term is defined in non-scientific contexts doesn't matter as long as scientists agree on the definition they're using.

In one sentence you say that scientists would definitely call something a "miracle" and in the next sentence you back-pedal and say they might call it "something else". I wish you'd make up your mind.

I think you've got your own misimpressions in your mind of what I'm saying and are not paying attention to my actual words. Certainly there was nothing like you describe in any recent message from me.

Percy writes:

But Tom Hanks didn't say, "Everything is unprecedented until it happens." That's what you said. What Tom Hanks said, assuming you quoted him accurately, is, "Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time."


It's the same thing. It's unprecedented until it stops being unprecedented.

Duckspeak.

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

How would you tell the difference?


How many times now have I mentioned all the scientific instruments in the room?

You haven't told us what evidence you made up. Did you make up a change in mass reading that I missed?

I changed nothing. I originally said that a shaman causing a lost limb to suddenly reappear would be a violation of the law of conservation of mass and energy. Nothing I've said since has changed that.

Percy writes:

What if the scientific instruments indicated the new limb "had just poofed out of nowhere"?


That reading would not be trusted. The instruments would have to be re-calibrated - but unfortunately, the event can not be repeated, so the reading could not be verified.

Repetition was part of Tangle's shaman scenario, that he could make lost limbs reappear at will.

Percy writes:

What if they find that in an instant the total mass of the person increased by the mass of the new limb?


See above. We don't throw all of science out the window because of one anomalous reading.

See above, the event is repeatable.

Percy writes:

You said, "In actual fact, scientists use the term 'unidentified' instead of 'unidentifiable' because 'unidentifiable' would tend to connote forever," yet it turns out the scientists use both terms, and so you turn out to be wrong yet again.


If I said the vast majority of scientists don't say "unidentifiable", would that be clearer to you?

It would be you changing your claim from one that was obviously wrong to one that is only of questionable accuracy and definitely an exaggeration.

Aside from all of the silly nit-picking, I don't know what point you're trying to make.

I'm just asking the question, "How would science react were it to encounter an actual miracle?"

You agree with me that scientists observing your fairy tale would just keep plugging away at trying to solve the mystery.

Yes, of course they would.

So what is it exactly that you're trying so hard to disagree with?

I disagree with your opinion that there should be no discussion of a thought experiment about how science would react to an actual miracle.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 567 by ringo, posted 02-25-2018 1:23 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 569 by ringo, posted 02-26-2018 11:10 AM Percy has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 15133
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 569 of 671 (828884)
02-26-2018 11:10 AM
Reply to: Message 568 by Percy
02-25-2018 8:45 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

ringo writes:

In one sentence you say that scientists would definitely call something a "miracle" and in the next sentence you back-pedal and say they might call it "something else". I wish you'd make up your mind.


I think you've got your own misimpressions in your mind of what I'm saying and are not paying attention to my actual words. Certainly there was nothing like you describe in any recent message from me.

quote:
Message 266And there most certainly can be a consensus that something was a miracle. The George Washington Bridge moving 50 miles up the Hudson River. A leg lost in Afghanistan being suddenly restored. The water in the Nile River suddenly turning to blood. A consensus of scientists would most certainly concede they're miraculous.

quote:
Message 481Where in this thread is anyone arguing that scientists would merely "insert miracle here"? It's been described many times how hard scientists would work to understand the phenomena and develop explanations.

What part of working hard to understand the phenomena and develop explanations involves conceding that the phenomena are miraculous?

Percy writes:

ringp writes:

It's unprecedented until it stops being unprecedented.


Duckspeak.

There you go again, evading the issue.

Let's think this through:
1. It hasn't happened. It's unprecedented.
2. It hasn't happened. It's unprecedented.
3. It hasn't happened. It's unprecedented.
4. It hasn't happened. It's unprecedented.
5. It happens. It's no longer unprecedented.

That's what Tom Hanks and I are saying. What difference do you think you see?

Percy writes:

I originally said that a shaman causing a lost limb to suddenly reappear would be a violation of the law of conservation of mass and energy.


But why did you make that assumption originally?

Percy writes:

Repetition was part of Tangle's shaman scenario, that he could make lost limbs reappear at will.


I thought miracles were supposed to be events that are not repeatable. If the event can be repeated at will and thus studied repeatedly, it seems even more clear that it is not a "violation" of any law but rather our understanding of the law is missing something.

Percy writes:

I'm just asking the question, "How would science react were it to encounter an actual miracle?"


You've answered that question yourself, with the same answer I've given: They'd keep studying the phenomenon, business as usual. Whether they'd pause to call it "something" or whether they'd order Chinese food is not relevant to science.

Percy writes:

I disagree with your opinion that there should be no discussion of a thought experiment about how science would react to an actual miracle.


I haven't said any such thing. I've been discussing your so-called "thought experiment" at length. It doesn't seem to be generating much interest among the other members but I would certainly welcome any of them jumping in.

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 568 by Percy, posted 02-25-2018 8:45 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 570 by Percy, posted 02-26-2018 1:01 PM ringo has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17656
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 570 of 671 (828888)
02-26-2018 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 569 by ringo
02-26-2018 11:10 AM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

What part of working hard to understand the phenomena and develop explanations involves conceding that the phenomena are miraculous?

You keep asking the same questions over and over again. The answer hasn't changed. The phenomena fit the definition of miracle (or whichever term scientists agree upon to refer to events that inexplicably violate known physical laws), and scientists would continue studying the phenomena.

That's what Tom Hanks and I are saying. What difference do you think you see?

I see the same difference that everyone but you can see:

  • You: "Everything is unprecedented until it happens."
  • Tom Hanks: "Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time."

I agree with what Tom Hanks said and disagree with what you said. Perhaps in your mind there's an implicit "for the first time" on the end of what you said.

You haven't told us what evidence you made up. Did you make up a change in mass reading that I missed?

You asked this before and the answer hasn't changed. No, I did not make up a change in the mass reading that you missed. I originally said a shaman causing a lost limb to suddenly reappear would be a violation of the law of conservation of mass and energy. Obviously a violation of the law of conservation of mass means that there was a change in the mass reading. Equally obviously it was an increase in mass since a limb obviously has more mass than no limb.

Percy writes:

Repetition was part of Tangle's shaman scenario, that he could make lost limbs reappear at will.


I thought miracles were supposed to be events that are not repeatable.

Non-repeatability is not part of any definition of miracle I've seen.

Percy writes:

Repetition was part of Tangle's shaman scenario, that he could make lost limbs reappear at will.


If the event can be repeated at will and thus studied repeatedly, it seems even more clear that it is not a "violation" of any law but rather our understanding of the law is missing something.

Certainly a possibility.

Percy writes:

I'm just asking the question, "How would science react were it to encounter an actual miracle?"


You've answered that question yourself, with the same answer I've given: They'd keep studying the phenomenon, business as usual.

Certainly.

Whether they'd pause to call it "something" or whether they'd order Chinese food is not relevant to science.

I think they'd undoubtedly adopt a term to refer to the new phenomena, that naming the phenomena would not require a "pause", and that ordering Chinese food would happen.

Percy writes:

I disagree with your opinion that there should be no discussion of a thought experiment about how science would react to an actual miracle.


I haven't said any such thing. I've been discussing your so-called "thought experiment" at length.

Oh, is that what you call what you're doing. Well, I'm glad to hear you don't object to the discussion.

It doesn't seem to be generating much interest among the other members but I would certainly welcome any of them jumping in.

Nope, no interest at present, not since Stile jumped in, none of whom's posts you responded to, lending doubt to your claim that you've been discussing the thought experiment at length.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 569 by ringo, posted 02-26-2018 11:10 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 571 by NoNukes, posted 02-26-2018 4:28 PM Percy has responded
 Message 573 by ringo, posted 02-27-2018 11:10 AM Percy has responded

    
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