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Author Topic:   The "science" of Miracles
ringo
Member
Posts: 14649
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 616 of 671 (830145)
03-22-2018 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 615 by Percy
03-22-2018 12:35 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

That's a refusal to consider the "what if."


You're confusing rejection of your conclusion with refusal to consider. I have considered and I have come up with a different conclusion: If there was a flying bridge, scientists would investigate it. If they failed to explain it according to known physical laws, they would not call it a miracle. They would keep looking and if necessary they would adjust their understanding of the physical laws. My conclusion is based on everything we know about scientists.

Percy writes:

The idea behind a "what if" isn't all that complicated.


But there doesn't seem to be anything behind your what-if. What if bridges could fly? What if pigs could fly? What if Germany won World War 2? You haven't gone anywhere with your what-if except to arbitrarily claim that scientists would call it a miracle.

Percy writes:

Why do you think the scientific method should change for different objects of study?


I've been saying exactly the opposite for lo these many posts. Did you miss that like you missed the word "attributed"? I'm the one who says the method would not change, whether the subject was a flying bridge or a new species of beetle. You're the one who says that on the subject of flying bridges scientists would call it a miracle even though they never have on any other subject.

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 615 by Percy, posted 03-22-2018 12:35 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 617 by Percy, posted 03-22-2018 6:46 PM ringo has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17355
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 617 of 671 (830156)
03-22-2018 6:46 PM
Reply to: Message 616 by ringo
03-22-2018 1:01 PM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

Percy writes:

That's a refusal to consider the "what if."


You're confusing rejection of your conclusion with refusal to consider.

I don't have a conclusion. So far all I have is a "what if".

I have considered and I have come up with a different conclusion: If there was a flying bridge, scientists would investigate it.

Agreed.

If they failed to explain it according to known physical laws, they would not call it a miracle.

I don't see how you can know the choice of nomenclature in advance, but I've said many times now that the particular name isn't important.

They would keep looking and if necessary they would adjust their understanding of the physical laws.

Might that adjustment in understanding include that physical laws can be suspended and superseded at the command of a shaman? If not then that is a refusal to consider the "what if."

My conclusion is based on everything we know about scientists.

Since you're not considering the "what if," how can you have a conclusion?

Percy writes:

The idea behind a "what if" isn't all that complicated.


But there doesn't seem to be anything behind your what-if. What if bridges could fly? What if pigs could fly? What if Germany won World War 2?

If you think details have been omitted you need only ask.

You haven't gone anywhere with your what-if except to arbitrarily claim that scientists would call it a miracle.

See above about nomenclature being unimportant.

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

And how many times did you admit that nothing in the scientific method would change? So what's the point of the what-if?

Why do you think the scientific method should change for different objects of study?

I've been saying exactly the opposite for lo these many posts.

If you don't think the scientific method should change, then why do you think it a weakness in my position that I believe the same thing?

Did you miss that like you missed the word "attributed"?

So it is your position that I make mistakes, you don't, and therefore your argument must be correct?

I'm the one who says the method would not change, whether the subject was a flying bridge or a new species of beetle.

I've said the same thing.

You're the one who says that on the subject of flying bridges scientists would call it a miracle even though they never have on any other subject.

See above about nomenclature being unimportant.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 616 by ringo, posted 03-22-2018 1:01 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 620 by NoNukes, posted 03-23-2018 1:03 PM Percy has responded
 Message 622 by ringo, posted 03-24-2018 11:47 AM Percy has responded

    
Porkncheese
Member
Posts: 74
Joined: 08-25-2017


Message 618 of 671 (830159)
03-23-2018 2:26 AM


Haha so funny
I see the same looney toons still doin their thing up in here.
Preaching rubbish

Edited by Porkncheese, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 619 by Phat, posted 03-23-2018 5:00 AM Porkncheese has responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 10805
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 619 of 671 (830160)
03-23-2018 5:00 AM
Reply to: Message 618 by Porkncheese
03-23-2018 2:26 AM


Re: Haha so funny
and how have you been doing? studying i hope....

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 618 by Porkncheese, posted 03-23-2018 2:26 AM Porkncheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 645 by Porkncheese, posted 04-03-2018 8:18 AM Phat has responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 10696
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 620 of 671 (830164)
03-23-2018 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 617 by Percy
03-22-2018 6:46 PM


Re: Consensus
Might that adjustment in understanding include that physical laws can be suspended and superseded at the command of a shaman? If not then that is a refusal to consider the "what if."

Can you cite any examples of modern science doing anything like what you suggest? I believe that scientists would respond to such behavior by one of their own by announcing that he/she was not following the scientific method.

Science is an aggressive search for natural processes as an explanation for all phenomena. There is no point at which a scientist stops looking for his lost keys and considers the possibility that a poltergeist took them. If that is what you mean by "refusal to consider the what if", then yes, that is a limitation of science.


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

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 617 by Percy, posted 03-22-2018 6:46 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 621 by Percy, posted 03-23-2018 5:09 PM NoNukes has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 17355
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 621 of 671 (830169)
03-23-2018 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 620 by NoNukes
03-23-2018 1:03 PM


Re: Consensus
NoNukes writes:

Might that adjustment in understanding include that physical laws can be suspended and superseded at the command of a shaman? If not then that is a refusal to consider the "what if."

Can you cite any examples of modern science doing anything like what you suggest?

Ringo and I have been discussing this for a while. That first sentence you quoted when taken out of the context of the conversation could easily be misinterpreted. Given what you say next:

I believe that scientists would respond to such behavior by one of their own by announcing that he/she was not following the scientific method.

It's does seem possible you're missing some context.

Science is an aggressive search for natural processes as an explanation for all phenomena. There is no point at which a scientist stops looking for his lost keys and considers the possibility that a poltergeist took them. If that is what you mean by "refusal to consider the what if", then yes, that is a limitation of science.

Now I'm more sure that you're missing some context, because Ringo and I have already been over this ground.

At heart this is a simple "what if": What if science encountered a miracle?

The response offered has been, in effect, that's impossible - science could not encounter a miracle.

So at several points possible miracles were suggested for purposes of clarity, and one of them was a shaman making limbs reappear on command. At another point (at many points, actually) it was made clear that the miraculous phenomena would be subjected to rigorous scientific study. At another point (at many points, actually) it was made clear that science would not give up studying the miraculous phenomena.

The response remains the same, in effect, it's impossible for science to encounter a miracle.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 620 by NoNukes, posted 03-23-2018 1:03 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 626 by NoNukes, posted 03-24-2018 5:44 PM Percy has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 14649
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 622 of 671 (830180)
03-24-2018 11:47 AM
Reply to: Message 617 by Percy
03-22-2018 6:46 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

I don't see how you can know the choice of nomenclature in advance....


Based on past behaviour.

Percy writes:

Might that adjustment in understanding include that physical laws can be suspended and superseded at the command of a shaman? If not then that is a refusal to consider the "what if."


Then your what-if is just a God-did-it. Where's the "experiment" in your thought?

Percy writes:

Since you're not considering the "what if," how can you have a conclusion?


My conclusion is that the what-if is worthless. It doesn't lead anywhere.

Percy writes:

If you don't think the scientific method should change, then why do you think it a weakness in my position that I believe the same thing?


The weakness in your position is that the jelly keeps sliding down the wall. It doesn't have the structural integrity to be nailed down. You say that scientists' reaction would be the same, but different.

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

I'm the one who says the method would not change, whether the subject was a flying bridge or a new species of beetle.


I've said the same thing.

No you haven't. The very fact that you're talking about nomenclature at all proves it. There is nothing happening that needs new nomenclature.

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 617 by Percy, posted 03-22-2018 6:46 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 623 by Phat, posted 03-24-2018 12:43 PM ringo has responded
 Message 625 by Percy, posted 03-24-2018 3:02 PM ringo has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 10805
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 623 of 671 (830185)
03-24-2018 12:43 PM
Reply to: Message 622 by ringo
03-24-2018 11:47 AM


Re: Consensus
seems to me as if both you and Percy essentially are saying the same thing.

ringo,to Percy writes:

The very fact that you're talking about nomenclature at all proves it. There is nothing happening that needs new nomenclature.

*After looking up the definition of the word...*

OK, lets say you were a scientist who worked for the police. A call came in. We need you to rush to the scene. An event just happened and people are describing it as nothing short of miraculous. We need you to investigate.

Are you going to turn down the job simply because you "don't do miracles"? My point is that the definition of a given event may be described differently by some than by others. You cant hold Percys feet to the fire simply because he uses terminology (even hypothetically) that you dont use, nor can you speak on behalf of all science. If you arrive at the scene, does it matter whether a shaman actually grew new limbs or whether a huckster swapped out mannequins for real people? You will still investigate the scene the same way using the same methodology. Let people call things as they wish, and stick to your approach for dealing with it.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


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 622 by ringo, posted 03-24-2018 11:47 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 624 by ringo, posted 03-24-2018 1:13 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14649
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 624 of 671 (830187)
03-24-2018 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 623 by Phat
03-24-2018 12:43 PM


Re: Consensus
Phat writes:

Are you going to turn down the job simply because you "don't do miracles"?


No. I'm going to treat it the same as I do when somebody says, "It's a miracle nobody was killed," in an accident. I'm going to ignore that person's opinion and follow the evidence.

Phat writes:

You cant hold Percys feet to the fire simply because he uses terminology (even hypothetically) that you dont use, nor can you speak on behalf of all science.


Yes I can. I have asked again and again for anybody to give examples of where scientists have called something a miracle. Since they haven't done it in the past, apparently, it's reasonable to conclude that they won't do it in the future. Percy's only counter, "But it's unprecedented," doesn't hold any water. Everything is unprecedented until it happens.

Phat writes:

You will still investigate the scene the same way using the same methodology.


That's what I'm saying. And that methodology does not include stopping to call it a miracle - or any other nomenclature.

Percy writes:

Let people call things as they wish, and stick to your approach for dealing with it.


I do let them call it whatever they wish - and they don't call it a miracle. By all means, show us the examples if you have any.

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 623 by Phat, posted 03-24-2018 12:43 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17355
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 625 of 671 (830191)
03-24-2018 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 622 by ringo
03-24-2018 11:47 AM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

Percy writes:

I don't see how you can know the choice of nomenclature in advance....


Based on past behaviour.

Like biological classification names based on gods or supernatural beings or even the ark (Arca noae)? Like planets named after gods, and galaxies and nebula after mythical characters? The Higgs boson is sometimes referred to as the God particle, and Leon Lederman actually titled his book about the Higgs The God Particle.

Percy writes:

Might that adjustment in understanding include that physical laws can be suspended and superseded at the command of a shaman? If not then that is a refusal to consider the "what if."


Then your what-if is just a God-did-it. Where's the "experiment" in your thought?

Do you recall how many times the scientific equipment in the room has been mentioned?

Percy writes:

Since you're not considering the "what if," how can you have a conclusion?


My conclusion is that the what-if is worthless. It doesn't lead anywhere.

My opinion is that it would be an interesting exploration of one aspect of the philosophy of science.

Percy writes:

If you don't think the scientific method should change, then why do you think it a weakness in my position that I believe the same thing?


The weakness in your position is that the jelly keeps sliding down the wall. It doesn't have the structural integrity to be nailed down. You say that scientists' reaction would be the same, but different.

Actually, no, I haven't said that. I've said that scientists would follow the evidence where it leads and the scientific method. It is the phenomena that are novel, not the scientists, their reactions, or their methods.

Percy writes:

ringo writes:

I'm the one who says the method would not change, whether the subject was a flying bridge or a new species of beetle.


I've said the same thing.

No you haven't. The very fact that you're talking about nomenclature at all proves it. There is nothing happening that needs new nomenclature.

Interesting reasoning.

We're just speaking hypothetically, which means we're speaking of a situation which does not exist as if it did exist. What if an irresistible force were to meet an unmovable object? What if Captain America were to fight Batman? What if quantum effects could manifest themselves at macroscopic levels?

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 622 by ringo, posted 03-24-2018 11:47 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 628 by ringo, posted 03-25-2018 2:14 PM Percy has responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 10696
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 626 of 671 (830198)
03-24-2018 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 621 by Percy
03-23-2018 5:09 PM


Re: Consensus
At heart this is a simple "what if": What if science encountered a miracle?

I don't think my comment reflects any missed context.

If there were a real miracle, then science would fail in that instance because it does not accommodate miracles. Scientists would continue to search for a natural explanation. Your post claimed that their failure to consider that the shaman had suspended natural rules was a failure on the part of scientists.

Okay, so it is a failure in some hypothetical sense. So what?


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

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 621 by Percy, posted 03-23-2018 5:09 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 627 by Percy, posted 03-24-2018 8:40 PM NoNukes has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 17355
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 627 of 671 (830201)
03-24-2018 8:40 PM
Reply to: Message 626 by NoNukes
03-24-2018 5:44 PM


Re: Consensus
NoNukes writes:

At heart this is a simple "what if": What if science encountered a miracle?

I don't think my comment reflects any missed context.

That you raised the exact same issues Ringo raised innumerable times indicates a great deal of missing something.

If there were a real miracle, then science would fail in that instance because it does not accommodate miracles.

Because...

Scientists would continue to search for a natural explanation.

Yes, of course, as those who have read the thread know I've said many times.

Your post claimed that their failure to consider that the shaman had suspended natural rules was a failure on the part of scientists.

Where did I say that? What I did say was that if the adjustment in understanding Ringo referenced ("they would adjust their understanding of the physical laws") could not include evidence of a miracle then he was refusing to consider the "what if."

Okay, so it is a failure in some hypothetical sense. So what?

Since it was never said that there was any "failure on the part of scientists" there can be no response to this, but there do seem to be some strong feelings that some hypotheticals are impossible. I agree that this is so. Hypotheticals like one equals zero or massless particles have mass or identical objects are different make no sense, but the hypothetical that science detects evidence of miracles doesn't seem to fall into that class.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 626 by NoNukes, posted 03-24-2018 5:44 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 630 by NoNukes, posted 03-25-2018 6:09 PM Percy has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 14649
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 628 of 671 (830231)
03-25-2018 2:14 PM
Reply to: Message 625 by Percy
03-24-2018 3:02 PM


Re: Consensus
Percy writes:

Like biological classification names based on gods or supernatural beings or even the ark (Arca noae)? Like planets named after gods, and galaxies and nebula after mythical characters?


You make my point. We can predict what nomenclature scientists will use I the future. They might name a bug after an Inca god or a galaxy after a hobbit in Lord of the Rings. They have not called events "miracles" in the past so we have no reason to think they will in the future.

Percy writes:

Do you recall how many times the scientific equipment in the room has been mentioned?


The Transporter is mentioned on Star Trek. That doesn't elevate it from science fiction to thought experiment.

Percy writes:

What if an irresistible force were to meet an unmovable object?


We'd realize that one of the concepts, or both, is nonsense.

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 625 by Percy, posted 03-24-2018 3:02 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 629 by Percy, posted 03-25-2018 6:07 PM ringo has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17355
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 629 of 671 (830250)
03-25-2018 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 628 by ringo
03-25-2018 2:14 PM


Re: Consensus
ringo writes:

Percy writes:

Like biological classification names based on gods or supernatural beings or even the ark (Arca noae)? Like planets named after gods, and galaxies and nebula after mythical characters?


You make my point. We can predict what nomenclature scientists will use I the future. They might name a bug after an Inca god or a galaxy after a hobbit in Lord of the Rings. They have not called events "miracles" in the past so we have no reason to think they will in the future.

Science has no problem drawing upon fiction, mythology and religion for terminology - why do you think the term "miracle" special? Do you have any other terms, from any realm, that science would eschew? "Magic," perhaps?

You sure seem to know a lot about what science might and might not do. However did you become such an authority, not to mention seer, soothsayer and part-time baloney salesman?

Percy writes:

Do you recall how many times the scientific equipment in the room has been mentioned?


The Transporter is mentioned on Star Trek. That doesn't elevate it from science fiction to thought experiment.

And yet people have engaged the concept of the transporter as a thought experiment. There's a Wikipedia article describing some of the thought put into it, see Transporter (Star Trek). Lawrence Krauss wrote The Physics of Star Trek that gives some consideration to the transporter:

quote:
I confess that it was really the transporter that seduced me. Thinking about the challenges that would have to be faced in devising such a fictional technology forces one to ponder topics ranging from computers and the infomration superhighway to particle phyiscs, quantum mechanics, nuclear energy, telescope building, biological complexity, and even the possible existence of the human soul!
...
The key question the transporter forces us to address is the following: Faced with the task of moving from the ship to a planet's surface roughly 1028 (1 followed by 28 zeroes) atoms of matter combined in a complex pattern to make up an individual human being, what is the fastest and most efficient way to do it?

Percy writes:

What if an irresistible force were to meet an unmovable object?


We'd realize that one of the concepts, or both, is nonsense.

And Einstein riding a light beam is nonsense, but that didn't invalidate it as a thought experiment.

These are "what ifs." I don't know why you're not getting it, but you're not. Something about them seems to offend your sensibilities. If you don't want to play no one is making you, but it's hard to imagine speculations one isn't free to ponder.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 628 by ringo, posted 03-25-2018 2:14 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 631 by ringo, posted 03-26-2018 12:16 PM Percy has responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 10696
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 630 of 671 (830251)
03-25-2018 6:09 PM
Reply to: Message 627 by Percy
03-24-2018 8:40 PM


Re: Consensus
NoNukes writes:

Your post claimed that their failure to consider that the shaman had suspended natural rules was a failure on the part of scientists

Percy writes:

Where did I say that? What I did say was that if the adjustment in understanding Ringo referenced

Here is what you actually said... again.

Might that adjustment in understanding include that physical laws can be suspended and superseded at the command of a shaman? If not then that is a refusal to consider the "what if."

Yes, it is a refusal. And science requires that its practitioners refuse to consider magic as an explanation. Again, so what?


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

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 627 by Percy, posted 03-24-2018 8:40 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 632 by Percy, posted 03-26-2018 1:19 PM NoNukes has responded

    
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