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Author Topic:   the bluegenes Challenge (bluegenes and RAZD only)
RAZD
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Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(3)
Message 1 of 222 (571870)
08-02-2010 7:59 PM


Is it a scientific theory or is it wishful thinking?
bluegenes and RAZD only

In Message 167 on the An Exploration Into"Agnosticism" thread bluegenes asserted:

quote:
"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

This is a high level of confidence theory. The human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings, just as adult rabbits are the only known source of baby rabbits.

It is falsified by the demonstration of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt.

It is not falsified by unsupported assertions like "a supernatural being can exist".

If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, I'd be happy to participate in a one on one debate on the subject, and support the theory with plenty of evidence.


I replied (Message 169):

quote:
If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, ...

Calling it a "strong theory" doesn't make it so. What you have is wishful thinking and confirmation bias coupled to the logical fallacy of Affirming the Consequent.

... and support the theory with plenty of evidence.

Which you certainly need to do, having just just made a positive (and rather extraordinary) claim that absolutely no god/s can exist.

Of course my participation will only involve showing the errors and poor logic in your argument/s, and I bear absolutely no burden to substantiate my personal position/s in this proposed debate: the sole focus would be on your attempt/s to show objective empirical evidence that shows - once and for all - that no god/s can possibly exist, because

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

... ie, that there are absolutely no actual supernatural beings, because all the concepts are made up, imaginary fictions.


Note that when you say:

It is not falsified by unsupported assertions like "a supernatural being can exist".

- that this is you already equivocating on your statement and attempting to employing the logical fallacy of poisoning the well.

Curiously I do not need to claim, assert or believe that "supernatural being (X) can exist" -- all I need to do is ask you to support your assertions.

Let me repeat that your claim (with emphasis added) is:

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

... ie, that there are absolutely no actual supernatural beings, because all the concepts are made up, imaginary fictions.

Thus if what you say is true, then the only way to determine that, is to review various concepts of supernatural entities and have you show the objective empirical valid evidence (which you claim to have) that demonstrates that these concepts are unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.

So my task involves getting you to demonstrate that this is the case for a number of supernatural entities, and this necessarily involves entities that some people have claimed could exist (although not necessarily by me), however, I don't need to assert that they exist, just ask you to demonstrate how you can determine that they are made up fictional entities.

This should be easy. Failure to do so means you lose the debate.

The challenge is accepted, let the equivocation and evasion begin.

Enjoy.

bluegenes and RAZD only

Copy and paste
[center][blockcolor=royalblue][indent][size=4]bluegenes and RAZD only[/size][/indent][/blockcolor][/center]
for the banner code.

Edited by RAZD, : title & subtitle

Edited by RAZD, : .clrty...


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Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by bluegenes, posted 08-03-2010 8:51 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 4 of 222 (572243)
08-04-2010 9:34 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by bluegenes
08-03-2010 8:51 AM


Now try the topic: can you defend your theory?
bluegenes and RAZD only

Hi bluegenes, you're off to a bad start.

Your purpose is to defend your theory, not evade, equivocate or attack me.

If you cannot defend your hypothesis then you do not have a strong high confidence theory based on multitudes of evidence, but an amusing assertion of your belief, based on wishful thinking, confirmation bias and several logical fallacies.

Let me start by pointing out that you have made several rather major assertions of dubious quality (Message 167 in An Exploration Into"Agnosticism" (not necessarily in order):

  1. "All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

  2. This is a high level of confidence ...

  3. ... theory. ...

  4. ... and support the theory with plenty of evidence

  5. ... The human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings, ...

  6. ... this is a strong theory, ....

We'll start with claim (1):

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

As already pointed out, this is an extraordinary claim, and thus you bear a burden of proof to demonstrate the validity of your claim. You must demonstrate that this can be true.

This is an extraordinary claim because it is stating in no uncertain terms that no supernatural entities exist.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that all supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination.

As to claim (2):

This is a high level of confidence ...

You claim that this has a high level of confidence, immediately after quoting level III on my Concept Scale, claiming that it is a level III concept. Here is my scale again:

RAZD's Concept Scale
  1. Zero to Low Confidence Concepts
    1. No evidence, subjective or objective,
    2. No logical conclusions possible, but opinion possible

  2. Low to Medium Confidence Concepts
    1. Unconfirmed or subjective supporting evidence, opinion also involved, but no known contradictory evidence, nothing shows the concept per se to be invalid
    2. Conclusions regarding possibilities for further investigation, and opinions can be based on this level of evidence,

  3. Medium to High Confidence Concepts
    1. Validated and confirmed objective supporting evidence, and no known contradictory evidence
    2. Conclusions regarding probable reality can be made, repeated attempts to falsify such concepts can lead to high confidence in their being true.

You will note that to meet this level, it needs to have validated and confirmed objective supporting evidence, and no known contradictory evidence.

Can you cite scientific peer reviewed literature that would show this high level of confidence?

The theory of evolution is a high confidence theory: there is extensive scientific peer reviewed literature that demonstrate this.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that you have a high confidence concept.

Claim (3):

... theory. ...

IF this is a scientific theory (as you have claimed), THEN it is necessarily based on objective empirical valid evidence, from which an hypothesis has been derived, which is used to make predictions of things you would only see if this theory were true, and falsification tests of things you would see if this theory were false.

So far all we have seen is the hypothesis and a rather weak falsification test:

It is falsified by the demonstration of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt.

The reason that this is a weak falsification test is because there are other logically valid reasons to believe that this falsification test may never occur in spite of god/s existing. Specifically there are several reasons that involve god/s that could not be demonstrated "beyond all reasonable doubt" -- so this does not test your theory against those supernatural entities of a competing hypothesis: god/s could exist and their existence would not falsify your theory, because your demonstration condition cannot be met.

A true scientific test is something that can only happen if the theory is false, and not something that can possibly never happen when the theory is false.

You have not established any reason to accept that you have a objective empirical evidence.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that you have a valid falsification test.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that you have a scientific theory.

In addition you need to make predictions of things you would only see if this hypothesis were true: this you have not done. This establishes that your theory has predictive capability rather than just being mundane observation. I'll come back to this point later.

Now claim (4):

... and support the theory with plenty of evidence ...

You do absolutely need to present evidence, not just because you made an extraordinary claim in (1) but because you claim a level III confidence in (2) and that you have a theory based on the scientific process in (3), ALL of which require a foundation in objective empirical valid evidence ...

... or all you have is bald assertion based on wishful thinking.

This evidence needs to show absolutely and unequivocally that specific supernatural concepts are shown by objective empirical valid evidence that the concept is a figment of the human imagination. There can be no maybes, no likelies, no uncertainty: it is either true or it is false.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that you have objective empirical valid evidence.

Then claim (5):

... The human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings, ...

Again this is a positive assertion presented without any supporting evidence (a) that it is true or (b) that it does not apply to any concepts that are later determined to be true.

The existence of a single concept that is not a product of human imagination means that your claim is absolutely meaningless. You have not established that this is not the case.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that human imagination is the only known source of supernatural entities.

In addition, the existence of a single concept that is a product of human imagination, and then later determined to be true, means that your claim is absolutely meaningless. You have not established that this is not the case.

And finally claim (6):

... this is a strong theory, ....

You do not get to assert that your theory is "strong" -- that is only assigned to theories after extensive testing of predictions, and it is assigned by other scientists in the process of peer review and many attempts to falsify it.

The theory of evolution is a strong theory, it has been tested for over 150 years.

As I said before, calling it a "strong theory" doesn't make it so.

Again, can you cite scientific peer reviewed literature that would show this level of confidence of validation and confirmation?

The theory of evolution is a strong theory: there is extensive scientific peer reviewed literature that demonstrate this.

You have not established any reason to accept this claim that you have a "strong" theory.


Therefore what you have so far is wishful thinking, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias, coupled to a logical fallacy or two.

When we compare the theory of evolution to your theory we see that two very similar predictions are made, but that there are different results:

evolution: all the diversity of life as we know it (from the fossil record, from the record of history, and the genetic record and from life around us) is explained by the process of evolution and speciation. This prediction has not failed in 150 years of testing. We see this prediction upheld again and again in evolution.

bluegenes: all concepts of supernatural beings\entities are explained as a figment of imagination. I am not aware of a single test of this prediction, hence I've asked to explain one:

So my task involves getting you to demonstrate that this is the case for a number of supernatural entities, and this necessarily involves entities that some people have claimed could exist (although not necessarily by me), however, I don't need to assert that they exist, just ask you to demonstrate how you can determine that they are made up fictional entities..

... and document that this is more than just you assuming the conclusion is true, by supporting it with documentation that demonstrates definitively that the concept is purely a product of human imagination.


Now, it appears that I'm dealing with someone who doesn't understand how scientific theories and laws are falsified.

Then you had better demonstrate that you do: provide the evidence that your hypothesis is based on, provide the documentation that shows the level of confidence and strength you claim, and provide documentation that demonstrates that the example concept is a product of human imagination -- beyond all reasonable doubt.

A prediction of your hypothesis is that you can explain any supernatural entity\being as a product of human imagination, ... and document that this is more than just you assuming the conclusion is true, by supporting it with documentation that demonstrates definatively that the concept is purely a product of human imagination. This is why I stated:

Your first task is to demonstrate that the Invisible\Imperceptible Pink Unicorn (IPU) is unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.

If you cannot do this then your theory is just wishful thinking, and not a scientific theory that can actually be used to determine the validity of supernatural concepts.


Curiously, in the opening post I also said (emphasis added):

The challenge is accepted, let the equivocation and evasion begin.

Your first reply did not address the issue of supporting your position in any way. Instead it seems you want to attack me.

As there are many EvC members with a very good understanding of this, please bear with me, because it might take a long time to explain this to my opponent. ...
... RAZD, I'd be interested in your answer to this.

Once again applying the ad hominem logical fallacy is just admission of a weak argument. This is not the least of the indicators that you have a weak position.

Let me introduce you to one of the typical evasive techniques of creationist debating tactics (A Guide to Creationist Tactics,

quote:
Message 129: down the rabbit hole.

This is how it works.

When a Creationist is presented an argument that totally refutes his position, he counters by pointing out a beautiful rabbit hole by making a comment that is so absurd and off topic that the evolutionist cannot resist being drawn down the hole, effectively allowing the creationist to take control of the path and direction of the conversation and leading it further and further from the original topic or refuted position.

This allows the creationist to restate the refuted assertion at some future point as though it had never been refuted.


And (emphasis added)

quote:
Message 133: example of the rabbit hole tactic.

Note that ... there is no specifics, no examples, no reasoned support for his position, in fact nothing but unsupported assertion and innuendo.

It is a continuation of the tactic outlined a few posts above, the attractive rabbit hole. It's attractive because each of the assertions mentioned are nothing more then smoke screens and we all know that Bolder-dash is both incapable of supporting them; we know that when he has been challenged recently on each of those points he has failed to support them and simply pointed to yet another rabbit hole.


I find it humorous to see common tactics employed by atheists.

Looks like my prediction came true.

If you cannot defend your hypothesis then you do not have a strong high confidence theory based on multitudes of evidence, but an amusing assertion of your belief, based on wishful thinking, confirmation bias and several logical fallacies.

Enjoy.

bluegenes and RAZD only

Edited by RAZD, : splg


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by bluegenes, posted 08-03-2010 8:51 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by bluegenes, posted 08-05-2010 2:31 PM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 6 of 222 (572444)
08-05-2010 9:28 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by bluegenes
08-05-2010 2:31 PM


The real wasted opportunity.
Hi bluegenes,

Long post

No evidence

Another failure to support your claim/s.

Another attempt to divert the discussion away from your failure to support your assertions and more ad hominems.

Color me not surprised.

Ah, so you dispute this? Good. Here's your opportunity to establish that there's another source, which would be an immediate falsification of my theory. It seems a pity that you've made the effort to make such a long post without mentioning any other known source, as you could have ended the debate, and won!

No, nor am I accepting it just because you say so. All I'm doing is establishing that you have not demonstrated that your assertion is valid and supported by objective empirical evidence.

So far all we have from you is waffling, equivocation and evasion.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by bluegenes, posted 08-05-2010 2:31 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by bluegenes, posted 08-06-2010 1:37 PM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 8 of 222 (572616)
08-06-2010 8:02 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by bluegenes
08-06-2010 1:37 PM


To support? or to equivocate, evade and weasel and complain
bluegenes and RAZD only

Hi bluegenes,

Failure #3 out of 3. Like I said before, a bad start.

Let me remind you of your original position (emphasis added):

quote:
In Message 167 on the An Exploration Into"Agnosticism" thread bluegenes asserted:
If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, I'd be happy to participate in a one on one debate on the subject, and support the theory with plenty of evidence.

I disagree that you have a theory, to say nothing of how strong you assert it is.

You asserted that you would support your theory "with plenty of evidence" ... and you have once again failed to actually do so.

Let me also remind you that a (real) scientific theory (which you claim to have) is originally based on a set of objective empirical valid evidence, not just made up based on "confirmation bias", "cognitive dissonance", and (the one you forgot) wishful thinking.

So you need to demonstrate that this is the case.

You need to provide the evidence that (a) you asserted you had "plenty of" and (b) that was used for the basis of your claimed theory.

It should be easy. You should have it readily available.

You should have a set of evidence (set A) where you know and can show that your theory is true.

The foundation for your initial hypothesis should have been established by objective empirical valid evidence (set A) of supernatural entities\biengs\etc. that have already been demonstrated to be wholly made up fictions.

Then you make a prediction of a set of evidence (set B) that cannot possibly happen if the theory is true (the falsification tests),

AND you make a prediction of a set of evidence (set C) that can only occur if the theory is true and the competing negative hypothesis is false (to rule out false positives).

So where is your (set A) objective empirical valid evidence of known wholly made up fictional supernatural entities\beings?

For your theory to be a strong theory, it needs to have already been demonstrated to provide predictive ability for new evidence (both B and C), so you should have evidence from these tests.

Finally, this request is still not addressed:

quote:
Message 1: Your first task is to demonstrate that the Invisible\Imperceptible Pink Unicorn (IPU) is unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.

This should be easy. Failure to do so means you lose the debate.


You can consider this your first test of your predictive ability for (set C) evidence, if you don't have any others.

Note that this is not about falsifying a theory, but about establishing that you HAVE a theory.

After you have done that, then we can work on the falsification issue (and perhaps you can take the time to develop a better falsification test).

No more rabbit holes: show us the evidence.

Enjoy

bluegenes and RAZD only


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by bluegenes, posted 08-06-2010 1:37 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by bluegenes, posted 08-07-2010 1:42 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 10 of 222 (572941)
08-08-2010 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by bluegenes
08-07-2010 1:42 AM


Can you stay on topic? Can you provide any real objective empirical valid evidence?
bluegenes and RAZD only

Hi blugenes, thanks for the best reply attempt so far.

Curiously, I was on the verge of noting that Forum Guidlelines #4 states:

quote:
4. Points should be supported with evidence and/or reasoned argumentation. Address rebuttals through the introduction of additional evidence or by enlarging upon the argument. Do not repeat previous points without further elaboration. Avoid bare assertions.

Now I suppose that your latest post can be construed as an attempt to provide substantiating evidence:

Figments of the human imagination in their hundreds
...
See myths above, plus fantasy novels.

However, now I refer you to Forum Guideline #5, which states:

quote:
5. Bare links with no supporting discussion should be avoided. Make the argument in your own words and use links as supporting references.

This is especially good advice if your link doesn't support your contention.

(Your bare Link again)

As far as I can see from a cursory reading, these creation myths are all stating that god/s created the universe, earth, etc.

That's a very high degree of consilience with the concept that god/s created the universe, earth, etc. don't you think?

The creation stories listed here are just some of the many mutually exclusive accounts of the world's origins that have been believed in.

Oh dear, another bare assertion, and one that is not necessarily supported by the evidence cited. I note that there are a couple of articles in the list that involve comparisons of several of these myths:

quote:
The four creation myths found on the internet, "An African Cosmogony," "An African Story of the Creation of Man," "Egyptian Cosmogony and Theogony," and the Yoruba creation myth found under "The Minneapolis Institute of Arts," have similar elements and incorporate values and norms common across many African Ethnic groups. ...

Certainly those are not "mutually exclusive" -- so it seems you are assuming something based on your personal beliefs, rather than actually looking at the evidence and considering the possibilities. I would not be surprised to find this kind of consilience between almost all creation myths.

Certainly you are ignoring the rather remarkable agreement on the creation of the universe, earth, etc. by these god/s.

Confirmation Bias (Wikipedia, 2009)
In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and avoids information and interpretations which contradict prior beliefs. It is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inductive inference, or as a form of selection bias toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study or disconfirmation of an alternative hypothesis.

Confirmation bias is of interest in the teaching of critical thinking, as the skill is misused if rigorous critical scrutiny is applied only to evidence challenging a preconceived idea but not to evidence supporting it.[1]

So, it's easy to establish that there are imaginary supernatural beings that are and have been believed in. Lots of them.

And yet, curiously, you have failed to do so. You haven't even demonstrated that one creation myth is necessarily "mutually exclusive" of another, especially on the critical element of god/s creating the universe, earth, etc..

All you have done is make a(nother) bare assertion that just because there are a bunch of different versions, that they must be "mutually exclusive" and then assume that this demonstrates anything.

Amusingly, I still don't take your word as valid or necessarily true, rather I find that it is still based on confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, and wishful thinking.

That's not how theories are falsified.

Fascinatingly this thread is about you establishing that you actually have a theory. Let me remind you of one of your initial bare assertions once again:

Message 167, An Exploration Into"Agnosticism": If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, I'd be happy to participate in a one on one debate on the subject, and support the theory with plenty of evidence.

So far all you have is a conjecture, a hypothesis, an opinion, based on your world view, biases, confirmation bias and wishful thinking, and not based on objective empirical valid evidence.

I also point out part of the Opening Post on this thread:

quote:
Of course my participation will only involve showing the errors and poor logic in your argument/s, and I bear absolutely no burden to substantiate my personal position/s in this proposed debate: the sole focus would be on your attempt/s to show objective empirical evidence that shows - once and for all - that no god/s can possibly exist, because

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

... ie, that there are absolutely no actual supernatural beings, because all the concepts are made up, imaginary fictions.

Thus if what you say is true, then the only way to determine that, is to review various concepts of supernatural entities and have you show the objective empirical valid evidence (which you claim to have) that demonstrates that these concepts are unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.

So my task involves getting you to demonstrate that this is the case for a number of supernatural entities, and this necessarily involves entities that some people have claimed could exist (although not necessarily by me), however, I don't need to assert that they exist, just bring them up to see you demonstrate how you can determine that they are made up fictional entities.

Your first task is to demonstrate that the Invisible\Imperceptible Pink Unicorn (IPU) is unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.


So this thread is about you establishing that you actually have a scientific theory founded on objective empirical valid evidence instead of an hypothesis founded on your world view (personal opinion), biases, confirmation bias and wishful thinking.

So far it seems that your only "methodology" is to assume that entities are made up, and no effort has been expended on actually demonstrating that this is true, even for a single case.

Speaking of which (the scientific world), I can assure you that there's nothing in the literature that falsifies my theory. No source of supernatural beings other than the human imagination has been verified, because if it had, that wouldn't just be front page of Nature or Science, it would be headlined all around the world. "Scientists demonstrate that fairies really exist", or whatever. We would all know about it.

Intriguingly, that still is not how scientific theories are substantiated as being usable theories. That is done by peer reviewed studies that demonstrate actual objective empirical valid evidence that specifically supports the theory and that the theory has predictive value.

Again, I compare your hypothesis to the theory of evolution, and note that there are mountains of studies that validate and support the theory of evolution, that there is (as far as I know) no evidence contrary to the theory of evolution, and that THIS is what makes a scientific theory a "strong" theory, not just a bald assertion.

... and an invisible pink unicorn that you seem to be excited about. Is this the being that you're presenting as falsification? If so, congratulations on being so prompt, and could you take it to the nearest college labs for verification?

No, my dear bluegenes, it is the first example of a supernatural being that you should be able to establish is unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being. This should be a "gimme" if your hypothesis has any merit.

Note that this topic is narrowly defined in accordance with Forum Guideline #3:

quote:
3. When introducing a new topic, please keep the message narrowly focused. Do not include more than a few points.

The thread is for you to establish that you have an hypothesis that amounts to something more than personal opinion, biases, confirmation bias and wishful thinking.

RAZD writes:

No more rabbit holes: show us the evidence.


Speaking of rabbits, do you agree that "all baby rabbits come from adult rabbits" is a strong theory?

Note (1) that Forum Guideline #2 states"

quote:
2. Please stay on topic for a thread. Open a new thread for new topics.

Note (2) that my opinion on rabbits should have absolutely nothing to do with your assertion that you have a valid theory. Your theory needs to stand on it's own merits, or it is weak and inconsequential.

This is just another attempt to divert discussion away from your failure to support your assertion that you have a theory. This is a rabbit hole. It is off topic, it is irrelevant to whether your hypothesis is anything worth considering.

Also note that citing any number of irrelevant things that could be true does not affect in any way the truth or falseness of a claim. As I have mentioned previously, mushrooms grow in the dark under a new moon during a storm: rather obviously (to me) this has little if anything to do with the veracity of god/s existing or not, or with your hypothesis being worth more than the amount of ant frass in antarctica..

See myths above, ...

So where can I read your documentation (preferably in a scientific paper, but I'll take any published source at this point) that the "myths above" are unequivocally and absolutely fictional inventions and not about supernatural beings? Or is this another bald assertion that you pretend to have done?

... plus fantasy novels.

Really?

Surely you're not going to conflate known fiction written for entertainment that happens to be based on supernatural myths and legends with the supernatural myths and legends. Logically this is no different than you claiming that science fiction novels are based on science, and we know they are intentional fictions, therefore all science is intentional fiction -- is that logically false argument really your (best?) argument?

Enjoy.

bluegenes and RAZD only


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by bluegenes, posted 08-07-2010 1:42 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by bluegenes, posted 08-09-2010 6:53 AM RAZD has responded
 Message 12 by bluegenes, posted 08-11-2010 7:10 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 14 of 222 (573525)
08-11-2010 7:29 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by bluegenes
08-09-2010 6:53 AM


Problems of "mutually exclusive" anecdotal\allegorical evidence and poor logic
bluegenes and RAZD only

Thanks bluegenes for finally complying, somewhat.

The Topic

You continue to try to go off topic.

Why stop on the verge? Follow the guideline, and present some evidence and/or reasoned argumentation to support your completely unsupported assertion that supernatural beings can exist in reality. Tell us about a known source for them other than the human imagination.

Once again please read:

quote:
Forum Guidelines#3: When introducing a new topic, please keep the message narrowly focused. Do not include more than a few points.

Now read the OP and note that this topic is narrowly focused: It is about having you demonstrate that you have a theory that could be called scientific, and that it is "strong" ... rather than an hypothesis based on confirmation bias, cogntive dissonance, wishfull thinking and several logical fallacies.

quote:
(bluegenes assertion): If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, ...

Calling it a "strong theory" doesn't make it so. What you have is wishful thinking and confirmation bias coupled to the logical fallacy of Affirming the Consequent.

... and support the theory with plenty of evidence.

Which you certainly need to do, having just just made a positive (and rather extraordinary) claim that absolutely no god/s can exist.

Of course my participation will only involve showing the errors and poor logic in your argument/s, and I bear absolutely no burden to substantiate my personal position/s in this proposed debate: the sole focus would be on your attempt/s to show objective empirical evidence that shows - once and for all - that no god/s can possibly exist, because

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

... ie, that there are absolutely no actual supernatural beings, because all the concepts are made up, imaginary fictions.

Thus if what you say is true, then the only way to determine that, is to review various concepts of supernatural entities and have you show the objective empirical valid evidence (which you claim to have) that demonstrates that these concepts are unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.

So my task involves getting you to demonstrate that this is the case for a number of supernatural entities, and this necessarily involves entities that some people have claimed could exist (although not necessarily by me), however, I don't need to assert that they exist, just bring them up to see you demonstrate how you can determine that they are made up fictional entities.

Your first task is to demonstrate that the Invisible\Imperceptible Pink Unicorn (IPU) is unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.


The topic of this thread is
  • you defending your assertion that you have a theory by, providing objective emprical valid evidence that supports your claims that you (a) have a theory and (b) that it is considered strong by the scientific community, and by you demonstrating how your theory produces any results that are useful, and

  • my pointing out your logical fallacies, your failures to consider other possible explanations, and demonstrating that your conclusions are based on confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance and wishful thinking.

It is not about me. It specificaly excludes my personal position on any of these arguments. They are off limits in this discussion, and they are also necessarily irrelevant to whether or not you actually have a theory - as your theory should not rest on my opinion on any topic in any way.

quote:
Forum Guidelines #2: Please stay on topic for a thread. Open a new thread for new topics.

So let's see if you can stay on topic for the remainder of this thread. If you need a refresher on what the topic is, you can refer to the green area above.


Your first failure: the IPU

I believe we can agree that you have failed thusfar to demonstrate how your theory produces any useable results, by your failure to demonstrate that the IPU is a fabrication of imagination. This should be a "gimme" - an easy thing to do - if what you claim is true and if your theory provides any useful objective way for determing fact from fiction.

All you have done is avoid this issue altogether, in spite of it being in the OP and repeated several times. The logical conclusion is that you cannot demonstrate that it is a wholey imaginary concept.

Thus it appears that your hypothesis has no ability to discern fact from fiction, and thus is useless in practice. As such it fails to be a scientific theory.


Your second failure: "strong"

I believe we can dispense with the assertion that your hypothesis is strong, as you have failed to provide evidence of scientific articles that discuss your theory, demonstrate the predictive power of it and that it has been demonstrated to be true on a number of occassions. So far you have presented no evidence in set (C) that would begin to demonstrate this.

By comparison, when we have a real bonifide actual strong theory, such as evolution, we see mountains of such evidence and discussions in numerous scientific journals.

Thus it appears that your hypothesis is not considered to be a "strong theory" by the scientific community.


That leaves one issue for you to resolve: theory? or hypothesis? or ... ?

As pointed out in Message 8

quote:
You should have a set of evidence (set A) where you know and can show that your theory is true.

The foundation for your initial hypothesis should have been established by objective empirical valid evidence (set A) of supernatural entities\beings\etc. that have already been demonstrated to be wholly made up fictions.

Then you make a prediction of a set of evidence (set B) that cannot possibly happen if the theory is true (the falsification tests),

AND you make a prediction of a set of evidence (set C) that can only occur if the theory is true and the competing negative hypothesis is false (to rule out false positives).

So where is your (set A) objective empirical valid evidence of known wholly made up fictional supernatural entities\beings?


In a proper approach to developing a working hypothesis from evidence (ie the scientific way to develop a theory) you list the evidence and what it shows. Thus you should have a list of entities that you show are unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being. There can be no doubt lingering, or this weakens the hypothesis.

This is a necessary step before you can claim you have a scientific theory, and even then it is not really considered a scientific theory but a working hypothesis until it is tested. Properly, it should have been part of your intial post where you proposed your hypothesis, so now it appears that you are just ad hoc grabbing evidence (clutching at straws) or making it up as you go along.

The fact that you have now added fantasy fiction to your claim of having evidence shows that you did not have a clearly defined set of evidence that formed the basis of your hypothesis (aside from other problems) and it demonstrates that you are making up stuff to try to add to your missing set (A) evidence.

So let's see what you have ...

Here are two mutually exclusive stories. One or both must have been invented.

Norse:
Australian:

So finally, after a lot of sturm und drang we get to the purported evidence. A couple of points before we begin:

(1) You should realize and acknowledge that this evidence is not empirical objective evidence, but records of anecdotal descriptions, and as such open to interpretation, and,

(2) They are not articles in scientific journals, nor are they copies of articles in scientific journals, rather they are just articles posted on the internet, with no guarantee of being accurate or factual.

(3) This is negative evidence: it relies totally on the different stories\legends\myths being demonstrably mutually exclusive so that you end up with your asserted conclusion as a default, rather than evidence that positively shows your position is valid. If there is no mutual exclusivity then your prove nothing and even with mutual exclusivity you do not prove that any one specific supernatural entity\being is totally imaginary fiction. This is like claiming that evolution is false and therefore creation is true: fundamentally flawed and conceptually bad logic.

Thus this "evidence" does not rise to the level of evidence normally used in science for validating conclusions. It is weak. It is not objective empirical valid evidence.

Consider these, and compare them to the mythology of Genesis, which we're all familiar with here, and which about 45% of your compatriots believe to be the truth. Think of the phrase "mutually exclusive".

Let me introduce you to what I call "the Hindu Hypothesis" ... as an alternative to your hypothesis:

quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_deities

Within Hinduism a large number of personal gods, are worshipped as murtis. These beings are either aspects of the supreme Brahman, avatars of the supreme being, or significantly powerful entities known as devas. ...

The pantheon in Úrauta consists of many deities. Gods are called devas (or devatâs) and goddesses are called devis. The various devas and devis are personifications of different aspects of one and the same God.[7] ... These various forms of God are depicted in innumerable paintings, statues, murals, and scriptural stories that can be found in temples, homes, businesses, and other places. ...


There are many sites on hinduism that repeat this concept of all different god/s being different aspects of one (or a few) god/s. A quick google finds many. Here's one:

quote:
http://www.hindunet.org/god/

Western religions have said that only the names and forms which refer to this One God are valid but those which appear to worship another God, or a multiplicity of divinities, must be false. They have restricted the names and forms they use in religious worship, and insist that only one set is true and correct and others are wrong or unholy.

As a universal formulation Hinduism accepts all formulations of Truth. According to the universal view there is only One Reality, but it cannot be limit ed to a particular name or form. Though Truth is One it is also Universal, not an exclusive formulation. It is an inclusive, not an exclusive Oneness - a spiritual reality of Being - Consciousness - Bliss, which could be called God but which transcends all names. The different Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism represent various functions of this One Supreme Divinity, and are not separate Gods.


This shows a universal acceptance of other god/s etc within Hinduism, and they see other religions as just portraying different aspects of god/s, just as they see this within their religion. They (the god/s) are mutually compatible with all other religions.

According to "the Hindu Hypothesis" then, all the different religions are just portraying different aspects of the same universal truth. This simple concept leads to some interesting conclusions:

(1) god/s are more complex than they are portrayed in any religion.

(2) god/s are not completely or fully understood in any religion, nor in piecing all religions together, they appear to be beyond understanding.

(3) god/s appear to be capricious (in human terms), and often act in incomphrensible ways.

(4) religions are essentially metaphors for describing past events and god/s, rather than accurate absolute descriptions.

These should not be surprising conclusions. This also results in different creation stories\legends\myths in different cultures, showing different aspects of the god/s involved describing creation in generally similar but also different ways, emphasizing different aspects of the process.

Note that any assumption of time relationships within the stories would also be assuming that god/s would operate with the human concept of time.

Couple this with the issue of whether or not humans are competent to understand god/s. We have seen the inability of incompetent people to understand why competent people are actually competent, and fail to understand that they are not. Simply put, it is not possible to understand something that is way outside your level of knowledge and education. You may take in the general gist of the story, but what is understood is not the full story, but an abbreviated version, which then becomes peppered with stuff adapted to fit your personal world view, life experiences and biases. It becomes allegorical.

This is how humans behave. Some people make some things up some of the time, but this does not mean that all concepts are made up.

Logically it should not be possible for humans to truly and completely understand beings capable of creating an entire universe, and thus only partial truth can be understood at any one time. People in different cultures will have different world views, life experiences, and biases, and thus they will have different impressions. They will incorporate different aspects in different ways within their records.

Consider these, and compare them to the mythology of Genesis, which we're all familiar with here, and which about 45% of your compatriots believe to be the truth. Think of the phrase "mutually exclusive".

The vast majority of theists in general, and Christians in particular, view their creation stories\legends\myths as allegorical: not accurate in detail, but telling the story of creation in a broad and general way.

When we look at these two stories\legends\myths that you have highlighted, we see that allegorically the Norse legend\myth talks about the begining, the first god/s, the creation of the universe, and life, ending with the creation of people, while the Australian legend\myth starts with an existing earth and talks about the creation of life, and ending with the creation of people. Likewise, the Christian creation legend\myth talks about the beginning, the first god/s, the creation of the universe, and life, ending with the creation of people.

There is no "mutually exclusive" conflict between these allegorical representations of the begining of the universe, life and humans. In fact there is a high degree of consilience, as mentioned previously.

Message 10:
(Your bare Link again)

As far as I can see from a cursory reading, these creation myths are all stating that god/s created the universe, earth, etc.

That's a very high degree of consilience with the concept that god/s created the universe, earth, etc. don't you think?

All the different creation stories\legends\myths, then, are explained by "the Hindu Hypothesis" as allegorical representations of different aspects of the universally true creation story.

All your evidence cited to date is explained by "the Hindu Hypothesis" as being mutually consistent with the universally true creation story, and thus your conclusion is not a default result.

Not having presented any positive evidence of supernatural beings\entities being invented by imagination, what should be your set (A) evidence, you then took as evidence something that would be true only if no other explanation was possible. Now you either need to falsify "the Hindu Hypothesis" or provide additional evidence.

So do you have objective empirical valid evidence that demonstrates unequivocally and absolutely that certain specific god/s or supernatural beings\entities are necessarily the product of human imagination?

Without some additional evidence that determines whether your hypothesis or the "the Hindu Hypothesis" is correct, then all you have supporting your position is confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance and wishful thinking.

It doesn't appear that you have this additional evidence.


Grasping at straws

RAZD writes:

The foundation for your initial hypothesis should have been established by objective empirical valid evidence (set A) of supernatural entities\biengs\etc. that have already been demonstrated to be wholly made up fictions.

You asked for it. Fantasy fiction + mutually exclusive myths.

Again you are equivocating on your evidence now. Also as mentioned in Message 10:

... plus fantasy novels.

Really?

Surely you're not going to conflate known fiction written for entertainment that happens to be based on supernatural myths and legends with the supernatural myths and legends. Logically this is no different than you claiming that science fiction novels are based on science, and we know they are intentional fictions, therefore all science is intentional fiction -- is that logically false argument really your (best?) argument?

It appears you are going to insist on using a logical fallacy as evidence. This is how weak and unsupported your hypothesis is, that you are now grasping at straws.

It is an accepted fact that some people make up some things some of the time, but evidence of this being intentionally done does not mean that all concepts are made up, as that would be the fallacy of affirming the consequent:

quote:
Affirming the Consequent

Definition:

Any argument of the following form is invalid:
If A then B
B
Therefore, A

Examples:

  1. If I am in Calgary, then I am in Alberta. I am in Alberta, thus, I am in Calgary. (Of course, even though the premises are true, I might be in Edmonton, Alberta.)
  2. If the mill were polluting the river then we would see an increase in fish deaths. And fish deaths have increased. Thus, the mill is polluting the river.

In this case we have fantasy novels that are intentionally written as fiction for entertainment purposes, using supernatural stories\legends\myths as a basis for the fiction novel. Fiction can be intentionally written about any topic, but that does not mean that non-fictional books, concepts, etc. are necessarily fiction.

We can also compare this to science fiction novels that are intentionally written as fiction for entertainment purposes, using science concepts as a basis for the fiction novel. According to your logic this means that all science is fictional imagination.

We can also compare this to historical fiction novels that are intentionally written as fiction for entertainment purposes, using historical events as a basis for the fiction novel. According to your logic this means that all history is fictional imagination.


On imagination and the human mind

You are fond of saying:

"the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings"

And yet this statement involves a couple of logical fallacies: it is only stating part of the truth, and it implies that this same process does not apply to any other human concepts.

The human imagination is the only objectively documented source of human concepts, whether they are fantasies or scientific concepts: they all start in the human conceptualization process, a mental process, and that necessarily involves imagination.

The difference between fictional and factual concepts is not determined in the mind, or by it's origin within the mind, but in the evidence we can process in the mind about the real world.

Some concepts can be validated (conforms with evidence), some can be invalidated (contradicted by evidence), some concepts are untested, and some are untestable.

The fact that concepts are imagined does not make them false. You need evidence to do that, objective, empirical, valid, evidence.

It doesn't appear that you have any.


On communication possibilites

Human invention is the only known source of supernatural beings. If you disagree, tell the world about the other known source or sources.

In several religiions there are beliefs involving god/s appearing as humans or animals to assist people reach enlightenment or assist them in finding truth.

Many eastern religions believe in enlightenment, which involves a level of understanding universal truths.

Other religions claim that religious experiences are means to communicate with god/s.

And of course there are religions (like the australian one you listed above) that believe in dreamtime experiences.

That's four different ways that various religions have claimed to have a source of knowledge about supernatural beings\entities\etc. -- and ones that you should have been already aware of.

Your task, if you claim that "human invention is the only known source of supernatural beings," is to falsify these as means of having an outside source for concepts of supernatural beings\entities\etc.

It doesn't appear that you have done this.


It appears that you have not done your homework, and instead have relied on confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, wishful thinking, poor logic, and failure to consider other possibilities.

It does not appear to me that you have an hypothesis that is worth typing.

Message 12: Apart from his problems with mutually exclusive events, I'm interested in how long it will take him to realise that the same mountains of empirical evidence that support evolutionary theory also support my view that the creation mythologies in the post above are figments of the human imagination.

Perhaps when you actually post some objective empirical evidence that supports your assertion/s.

Message 9: No source of supernatural beings other than the human imagination has been verified, because if it had, that wouldn't just be front page of Nature or Science, it would be headlined all around the world. "Scientists demonstrate that fairies really exist", or whatever. We would all know about it.

And we all know that you do not have objective empirical valid evidence to present, as this too would make headline news. "Scientists demonstrate that god/s do not exist, they are just figments of our imagination", or whatever. We would all know about it.

Enjoy.

ps -- please try to restrain yourself to one reply at a time. Making multiple replies just shows that you are making ad hoc comments and not fully preparing your replies.

pps -- you will need to be patient in getting replies, my wifi system keeps crashing in mid post.

bluegenes and RAZD only


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by bluegenes, posted 08-09-2010 6:53 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by bluegenes, posted 08-11-2010 8:24 PM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 16 of 222 (573545)
08-11-2010 8:44 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by bluegenes
08-11-2010 8:24 PM


Re: Problems of "mutually exclusive" anecdotal\allegorical evidence and poor logic
Now try answering the post.

Those 4 statements are mutually exclusive (technically, pairwise mutually exclusive).

Only if you take the religious stories\myths\legends as individually absolutely true.

If you take them as allegories then your argument falls to pieces.

As noted, many believers consider such stories\myths\legends as allegorical representations.

Thus you are just avoiding the issue.

So do you have any objective empirical evidence that doesn't rely on confirmation bias, wishful thinking, cognitive dissonance, logical fallacies and ignoring possible alternatives to show that your hypothesis is worth considering?

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : added.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by bluegenes, posted 08-11-2010 8:24 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by bluegenes, posted 08-11-2010 8:51 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 19 by bluegenes, posted 08-11-2010 8:58 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 18 of 222 (573550)
08-11-2010 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by bluegenes
08-11-2010 8:51 PM


Re: Problems of "mutually exclusive" anecdotal\allegorical evidence and poor logic
then you might try reading the words.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by bluegenes, posted 08-11-2010 8:51 PM bluegenes has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 20 of 222 (573850)
08-12-2010 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by bluegenes
08-11-2010 8:51 PM


Re: Problems of "mutually exclusive" anecdotal\allegorical evidence and poor logic
bluegenes and RAZD only

Gosh bluegenes, sometimes I wonder if you will ever get around to addressing the topic issues, and provide the information you need to provide, to substantiate your claim that you have a theory.

I did. I pointed out that theories aren't falsified by bright colours,

Amusingly, this is just another logical fallacy in a long string of logical fallacies.

quote:
Style Over Substance

Definition:
The manner in which an argument (or arguer) is presented is taken to affect the likelihood that the conclusion is true.


Here, you essentially are saying that you have refuted my arguments by pointing out that I used colors.

This demonstrates how empty your argument is: rather than address the points by answering them with the information needed to properly refute the items, you resort silly arguments like this. If you really had an argument it should be easy to refute my points with facts, using objective emprical valid evidence to substantiate your arguement. I've seen none so far. Frankly, I expected better than the type of argument I frequently get from fundamentalists of the creationist stripe.

This is your best argument?

Here is a repeat of the main points of Message 14 (or read the whole post with the supporting documentation) in black and white:

The Topic

Of course my participation will only involve showing the errors and poor logic in your argument/s, and I bear absolutely no burden to substantiate my personal position/s in this proposed debate: the sole focus would be on your attempt/s to show objective empirical evidence that shows - once and for all - that no god/s can possibly exist,

Curiously I do not need to claim, assert or believe that "supernatural being (X) can exist" -- all I need to do is present you with a concept of a supernatural being, like supernatural being (X), and then it is your task to demonstrate, with objective empirical valid evidence, that these concepts are unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.

The topic of this thread is

  • you defending your assertion that you have a theory by, providing objective emprical valid evidence that supports your claims that you (a) have a theory and (b) that it is considered strong by the scientific community, and by you demonstrating how your theory produces any results that are useful, and

  • my pointing out your logical fallacies, your failures to consider other possible explanations, and demonstrating that your conclusions are based on confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance and wishful thinking.

It is not about me. It specificaly excludes my personal position on any of these arguments. They are off limits in this discussion, and they are also necessarily irrelevant to whether or not you actually have a theory - as your theory should not rest on my opinion on any topic in any way.

Your first failure: the IPU

I believe we can agree that you have failed thusfar to demonstrate how your theory produces any useable results, by your failure to demonstrate that the IPU is a fabrication of imagination. This should be a "gimme" - an easy thing to do - if what you claim is true and if your theory provides any useful objective way for determing fact from fiction.

Thus it appears that your hypothesis has no ability to discern fact from fiction, and thus is useless in practice. As such it fails to be a scientific theory.

Your second failure: "strong"

I believe we can dispense with the assertion that your hypothesis is strong, as you have failed to provide evidence of scientific articles that discuss your theory, demonstrate the predictive power of it and that it has been demonstrated to be true on a number of occassions. So far you have presented no evidence in set (C) that would begin to demonstrate this.

Thus it appears that your hypothesis is not considered to be a "strong theory" by the scientific community.

That leaves one issue for you to resolve: theory? or hypothesis? or ... ?

quote:
You should have a set of evidence (set A) where you know and can show that your theory is true.

The foundation for your initial hypothesis should have been established by objective empirical valid evidence (set A) of supernatural entities\beings\etc. that have already been demonstrated to be wholly made up fictions.

Then you make a prediction of a set of evidence (set B) that cannot possibly happen if the theory is true (the falsification tests),

AND you make a prediction of a set of evidence (set C) that can only occur if the theory is true and the competing negative hypothesis is false (to rule out false positives).


In a proper approach to developing a working hypothesis from evidence (ie the scientific way to develop a theory) you list the evidence and what it shows. Thus you should have a list of entities that you show are unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being. There can be no doubt lingering, or this weakens the hypothesis.

This is a necessary step before you can claim you have a scientific theory, and even then it is not really considered a scientific theory but a working hypothesis until it is tested. Properly, it should have been part of your intial post where you proposed your hypothesis, so now it appears that you are just ad hoc grabbing evidence (clutching at straws) or making it up as you go along.

The fact that you have now added fantasy fiction to your claim of having evidence shows that you did not have a clearly defined set of evidence that formed the basis of your hypothesis (aside from other problems) and it demonstrates that you are making up stuff to try to add to your missing set (A) evidence.

Here are two mutually exclusive stories. One or both must have been invented.
Norse:
Australian:

(1) You should realize and acknowledge that this evidence is not empirical objective evidence, but records of anecdotal descriptions, and as such open to interpretation, and,

(2) They are not articles in scientific journals, nor are they copies of articles in scientific journals, rather they are just articles posted on the internet, with no guarantee of being accurate or factual.

(3) This is negative evidence: it relies totally on the different stories\legends\myths being demonstrably mutually exclusive so that you end up with your asserted conclusion as a default, rather than evidence that positively shows your position is valid. If there is no mutual exclusivity then your prove nothing and even with mutual exclusivity you do not prove that any one specific supernatural entity\being is totally imaginary fiction. This is like claiming that evolution is false and therefore creation is true: fundamentally flawed and conceptually bad logic.

Let me introduce you to what I call "the Hindu Hypothesis" ... as an alternative to your hypothesis:

quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_deities
...

There are many sites on hinduism that repeat this concept of all different god/s being different aspects of one (or a few) god/s. A quick google finds many. Here's one:

quote:
http://www.hindunet.org/god/
...

This shows a universal acceptance of other god/s etc within Hinduism, and they see other religions as just portraying different aspects of god/s, just as they see this within their religion. They (the god/s) are mutually compatible with all other religions.

According to "the Hindu Hypothesis" then, all the different religions are just portraying different aspects of the same universal truth. This simple concept leads to some interesting conclusions:

(1) god/s are more complex than they are portrayed in any religion.

(2) god/s are not completely or fully understood in any religion, nor in piecing all religions together, they appear to be beyond understanding.

(3) god/s appear to be capricious (in human terms), and often act in incomphrensible ways.

(4) religions are essentially metaphors for describing past events and god/s, rather than accurate absolute descriptions.

This also results in different creation stories\legends\myths in different cultures, showing different aspects of the god/s involved describing creation in generally similar but also different ways, emphasizing different aspects of the process.

Note that any assumption of time relationships within the stories would also be assuming that god/s would operate with the human concept of time.

Couple this with the issue of whether or not humans are competent to understand god/s. ... Simply put, it is not possible to understand something that is way outside your level of knowledge and education. You may take in the general gist of the story, but what is understood is not the full story, but an abbreviated version, which then becomes peppered with stuff adapted to fit your personal world view, life experiences and biases. It becomes allegorical.

Logically it should not be possible for humans to truly and completely understand beings capable of creating an entire universe, and thus only partial truth can be understood at any one time. People in different cultures will have different world views, life experiences, and biases, and thus they will have different impressions. They will incorporate different aspects in different ways within their records.

The vast majority of theists in general, and Christians in particular, view their creation stories\legends\myths as allegorical: not accurate in detail, but telling the story of creation in a broad and general way.

When we look at these two stories\legends\myths that you have highlighted, we see that allegorically the Norse legend\myth talks about the begining, the first god/s, the creation of the universe, and life, ending with the creation of people, while the Australian legend\myth starts with an existing earth and talks about the creation of life, and ending with the creation of people. Likewise, the Christian creation legend\myth talks about the beginning, the first god/s, the creation of the universe, and life, ending with the creation of people.

There is no "mutually exclusive" conflict between these allegorical representations of the begining of the universe, life and humans. In fact there is a high degree of consilience,

All the different creation stories\legends\myths, then, are explained by "the Hindu Hypothesis" as allegorical representations of different aspects of the universally true creation story.

All your evidence cited to date is explained by "the Hindu Hypothesis" as being mutually consistent with the universally true creation story, and thus your conclusion is not a default result.

Not having presented any positive evidence of supernatural beings\entities being invented by imagination, what should be your set (A) evidence, you then took as evidence something that would be true only if no other explanation was possible. Now you either need to falsify "the Hindu Hypothesis" or provide additional evidence.

It doesn't appear that you have this additional evidence.

Grasping at straws

You asked for it. Fantasy fiction + mutually exclusive myths.

quote:
Affirming the Consequent

Definition:

Any argument of the following form is invalid:
If A then B
B
Therefore, A

In this case we have fantasy novels that are intentionally written as fiction for entertainment purposes, using supernatural stories\legends\myths as a basis for the fiction novel. Fiction can be intentionally written about any topic, but that does not mean that non-fictional books, concepts, etc. are necessarily fiction.

We can also compare this to science fiction novels that are intentionally written as fiction for entertainment purposes, using science concepts as a basis for the fiction novel. According to your logic this means that all science is fictional imagination.

We can also compare this to historical fiction novels that are intentionally written as fiction for entertainment purposes, using historical events as a basis for the fiction novel. According to your logic this means that all history is fictional imagination.

On imagination and the human mind

"the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings"

And yet this statement involves a couple of logical fallacies: it is only stating part of the truth, and it implies that this same process does not apply to any other human concepts.

The human imagination is the only objectively documented source of human concepts, whether they are fantasies or scientific concepts: they all start in the human conceptualization process, a mental process, and that necessarily involves imagination.

The difference between fictional and factual concepts is not determined in the mind, or by it's origin within the mind, but in the evidence we can process in the mind about the real world.

Some concepts can be validated (conforms with evidence), some can be invalidated (contradicted by evidence), some concepts are untested, and some are untestable.

The fact that concepts are imagined does not make them false. You need evidence to do that, objective, empirical, valid, evidence.

It doesn't appear that you have any.

On communication possibilites

Human invention is the only known source of supernatural beings. If you disagree, tell the world about the other known source or sources.

In several religiions there are beliefs involving god/s appearing as humans or animals to assist people reach enlightenment or assist them in finding truth.

Many eastern religions believe in enlightenment, which involves a level of understanding universal truths.

Other religions claim that religious experiences are means to communicate with god/s.

And of course there are religions (like the australian one you listed above) that believe in dreamtime experiences.

That's four different ways that various religions have claimed to have a source of knowledge about supernatural beings\entities\etc. -- and ones that you should have been already aware of.

Your task, if you claim that "human invention is the only known source of supernatural beings," is to falsify these as means of having an outside source for concepts of supernatural beings\entities\etc.

It doesn't appear that you have done this.


It appears that you have not done your homework, and instead have relied on confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, wishful thinking, poor logic, and failure to consider other possibilities.

It does not appear to me that you have an hypothesis that is worth typing.

Did I miss a bit in which you demonstrated that there is a known source of supernatural beings other than the human imagination?

You missed the part that says all I need to do is list other ways that have been proposed by others, that I do not need to substantiate them, and that it is your job to falsify them. See the summary of the topic above. See the OP. If you don't like this tough, this is the way this thread is defined. The onus is on you to substantiate your rather extraordinary claim that you have a scientific theory that can scientifically demonstrate that all supernatural entities\beings are imaginary. With evidence.

Here is the summary of the topic again:

quote:
The topic of this thread is
  • you defending your assertion that you have a theory by, providing objective emprical valid evidence that supports your claims that you (a) have a theory and (b) that it is considered strong by the scientific community, and by you demonstrating how your theory produces any results that are useful, and

  • my pointing out your logical fallacies, your failures to consider other possible explanations, and demonstrating that your conclusions are based on confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance and wishful thinking.

And yes, I listed four ways that have been raised by others as possible avenues of communication, ones that you should know about and should have already addressed as part of your background discussion for a scientific theory:

quote:

On communication possibilites


In several religiions there are beliefs involving god/s appearing as humans or animals to assist people reach enlightenment or assist them in finding truth.

Many eastern religions believe in enlightenment, which involves a level of understanding universal truths.

Other religions claim that religious experiences are means to communicate with god/s.

And of course there are religions (like the australian one you listed above) that believe in dreamtime experiences.

That's four different ways that various religions have claimed to have a source of knowledge about supernatural beings\entities\etc. -- and ones that you should have been already aware of.


Note that it is not up to me to demonstrate that they actually occur, rather it is up to you to show that they cannot occur or your hypothesis does not consider these possibilities, and thus is incomplete at best.

Thanks for demonstrating that you did not read the post you claim to have refuted.



Message 19: Exactly the opposite. Think about it.
Exactly. Not real.

Curiously, that is not the normally understood meaning of allegorical:

allegory -n , pl -ries
  1. a poem, play, picture, etc, in which the apparent meaning of the characters and events is used to symbolize a deeper moral or spiritual meaning
  2. the technique or genre that this represents
  3. use of such symbolism to illustrate truth or a moral
  4. anything used as a symbol or emblem

It presents a spiritual\universal truth in a symbolic manner, and in this case the spritual\universal truth presented by all these symbolic stories is that god/s created the universe, life, people.

There is no conflict between the stories on the universal truth/s they show.

Message 15:

  • 1) The first two humans were created by a single God who was also the creator of the universe; a man from clay, then a woman from one of the man's ribs.

  • 2) Two supernatural beings, self-created on earth, created the first group of humans from half-formed natural beings that they discovered.

  • 3)The first two humans were created from logs by three gods who were born from other beings who, in turn, owed their existence to an abiogenesis event within the universe.

  • 4) Humans evolved from other animals by purely natural processes.

Those 4 statements are mutually exclusive (technically, pairwise mutually exclusive).

Tips for posting lists: you can use [List=1] and then it makes a numbered list all by itself.

As noted before, they are only "mutually exclusive" if you take each one as absolute truth. The minute you remove the "absolute" assumption the conflict dissipates into thin air.

Curiously, all this shows is that it is irrational to believe that any one of these as absolute truth without substantiating objective empirical evidence, not that the various different (aspects of) god/s cannot exist. Something we already know (or should know).

And there is plenty of evidence that many people believe that the stories are symbolical\allegorical, but that the universal truth/s they portray are real. Thus it is logical and rational to take these stories as allegories of universal truth/s. See discussion of the

So your "mountain of evidence" is more like a sand castle ... after it rains ...

Enjoy.

bluegenes and RAZD only

Edited by RAZD, : black


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by bluegenes, posted 08-11-2010 8:51 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by AdminPD, posted 08-14-2010 8:08 AM RAZD has responded
 Message 24 by bluegenes, posted 08-19-2010 6:31 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(2)
Message 22 of 222 (574581)
08-16-2010 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by AdminPD
08-14-2010 8:08 AM


Changing the topic?
Dear AdminPD

That's not the debate I signed on for, and if you want to force that to be the issue, then I will withdraw under protest.

bluegenes made an assertion.

EVERYBODY that makes an assertion should be able to substantiate it.

The assertion he made is, imho, extraordinary: that he has a theory that is strong, and one that can finally determine fiction from fact, once and for all.

So far all I see is the theory that "if we assume that all supernatural entities\beiings are made up then we can show that all supernatural entities\beings are made up, because the theory tells us that all supernatural beings\entities are made up" ...

If you feel that this is a compelling argument then you are welcome to that opinion.

If this is not true then all he has is his opinion, and his wishful thinking, and his confirmation biases.

We both know (or should) that he has done not one thing to prove that supernatural beings or entities do not or cannot exist.

His claim is false.

There is no theory.

There is no methodology based on the theory.

There is nothing to falsify.

He has a theory and as I understand it, the challenge was to falsify it. You took that challenge.

Nope.

The challenge was that if you disagreed that it is a strong theory then he would debate that, with evidence.

I disagree that it is strong, and I disagree that it is a theory, so then it is up to him to substantiate that he has a theory, with evidence, and demonstrate that it is something more than wishful thinking - ie capable of producing actual results.

It is that simple.

If he has a theory than is scientific enough that one can falsify it with objective empirical evidence, then it should be stunningly simple to show how it works and the objective empirical evidence that it is based on.

It's that simple.

You can either close this thread or withdraw your interjection.

Enjoy.

ps - my wifi is twitchy and I may not get another reply out tonight.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by AdminPD, posted 08-14-2010 8:08 AM AdminPD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by AdminPD, posted 08-17-2010 6:54 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(2)
Message 25 of 222 (575412)
08-19-2010 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by bluegenes
08-19-2010 6:31 AM


Weak hypothesis, still not shown to be a Theory .... to say nothing of "Strong"
Hi bluegenes, I've corrected your subtitle.

YOU need to demonstrate that it is strong by providing evidence of references in scientific journals.

All you have given so far on that score, is your wishful thinking.

Claiming it is strong does not make it so.

In addition, YOU have yet to demonstrate that you even have a theory that qualifies as a scientific theory. Note that I am not the only one to point this out.

Again, you have not provided evidence necessary to document that you have a scientific theory (see (1) below), instead we have some ad hoc references to such things as fantasy novels and a subjective interpretation of various creation stories (that does not match the way some people in various religions have interpreted the stories).

Claiming that it is a scientific theory does not make it so.

Here, you would seem to be agreeing with me by stating a view that everything is a product of the human imagination. But that's apparently not what you mean, because:

What I'm actually pointing out is that the human mind is inextricably intertwined in all human concepts, thus it is a logical fallacy (and confirmation bias) to imply that only some subset of human concepts is so entangled.

What you have is a simplistic half-truth, at best. ALL human concepts are filtered by the human mind: that simple fact does not mean that all human concepts are imaginary, nor does it mean that all human concepts are false. You are trying to conflate these two together in one argument without showing that they are connected in any way.

Here, you seem to saying that there are fictional and factual concepts, and that there is a "real world" which we can determine in the mind by evidence.

No, not in the mind, but by physical testing and by confirmation of testing by other people -- ie the scientific method -- to sort out which bits are due to imagination alone and which are perceptions of reality through the filter of the human mind.

This is capable of determining some truths and some fictions, but it is not capable of showing that all concepts not definitively shown to be true are thereby false.

If you cannot show that a concept is false, then it is a logical fallacy to claim that it is false.

Likewise, if you cannot show that a concept is totally and completely the product of human imagination, then it is a logical fallacy to claim that it is totally and completely the product of human imagination.

Otherwise all you are doing is assuming that you are correct. This is confirmation bias.

That is not the basis for a scientific theory.

The existence of things as part of reality is established by positive evidence for their existence. Scientifically speaking, the existence of fairies (and all other supernatural beings) has not been established.

And typically, you forget the other half of that equation.

Curiously, in science the non-existence of concepts is established by evidence that shows that they cannot be true. Scientifically speaking, the existence of fairies (and all other supernatural beings) has not been falsified.

You know this is true because any such proof positive would make headlines around the world.

Therefore, logically, you do not have any real evidence (the objective empirical valid kind used in science), rather what you have is wishful thinking based on your biases and opinions.

That is not the basis for a scientific theory.

Now, here's your attempt to demonstrate your view that there might be another source.
...
I'm well aware of them. I'm also aware that there's no scientific evidence to support the reality of these claims. ...

What you are missing, amusingly, is that for you to claim that human imagination is the only source for supernatural concepts (as you have asserted), YOU need to demonstrate that no other possible source could exist.

Thus they don't need to be supported to cause your concept to be questioned, they just need to be pointed out (and the only support necessary is to show that they are previously claimed by other people, religions etc, that they are not new arguments, which you agree is true) and YOU need to falsify them in order to support your claim.

This all adds up to your hypothesis being weak, poorly conceived, intellectually incomplete, and vastly undersupported.

All the evidence suggests that, far from achieving miraculous enlightenment, they're making things up.

What evidence? Your confirmation bias and wishful thinking based on your subjective interpretation evidence?

So far all you have is confirmation bias based on your personal interpretation of subjective information, not objective empirical valid evidence.

You have not falsified the Hindu Hypothesis, which among other things includes the view that all creation stories are allegorical, metaphor or analogy for how god/s created, and that the many stories all offer different aspects of the creation/s via allegory and symbolic metaphors.

There are many good reasons why the creation stories can be taken as allegorical:

  1. Many people in many religions
    1. state that they believe them to be allegorical and
    2. believe that god/s created the earth, universe, life, etc.

  2. The language used in the stories is language common to metaphor and analogy (see (2) below), rather than to scientific explanations,
  3. Dreams and visions are
    1. commonly taken to be symbolic rather than factual experiences, AND
    2. commonly considered to carry some valid meaning (when interpreted), AND
    3. there are recorded instances of dreamed concepts being found to be true.

  4. Metaphor and analogy are a common way to teach children, especially when concepts are beyond their (current) ability to understand (or you do not want to go into greater detail at the time). The "birds and the bees" for example.
  5. Any god/s involved in the vision\dream\explanation\etc may not have been directly involved in the creation, and thus not fully able themselves to explain it.
  6. It is unlikely that humans, especially humans several thousand years ago
    1. would be able to understand a scientific explanation of the actual creation process/es used by god/s, so
    2. god/s likely treated them the way we treat children, and
    3. tailored the specific story for the specific person, or
    4. did not give a complete explanation, and
    5. even then were likely to be misunderstood, because

  7. human understanding of the actual creation process/es would require competence in that field, a competence that is currently lacking in the world today (or we could create universes).

That you have failed to invalidate\falsify the "Hindu Hypothesis", also means that you have not shown your hypothesis to be the only valid explanation, NOR have you presented any way to discern that your hypothesis is true and the "Hindu Hypothesis" is false.

What the "Hindu Hypothesis" says is that when we take all these symbolic stories and put them together, that the total picture that emerges is one of the universal truth/s - and among others, that god/s exist(ed) and that they created.

So, as usual, I can offer support for my position, and you can't. All the scientific literature in cosmology, biology and geology is on my side when I put forward the view that these creation stories are human inventions.

Amusingly, you have yet to offer any objective empirical valid evidence, while I have provided sufficient evidence to show to your concept (and several other assertions) is questionable at best, so your smug assertion is as baseless as the rest.

When you only look at the evidence and explanations that support your personal beliefs, and ignore the known and documented alternatives, then you are dealing with cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias.

And still no evidence that even the IPU is a made up fantasy ..... why is that?

Enjoy.

(1) The evidence presented so far - at best - falls into category 2:

RAZD's Concept Scale
  1. Zero to Low Confidence Concepts
    1. No evidence, subjective or objective,
    2. No logical conclusions possible, but opinion possible

  2. Low to Medium Confidence Concepts
    1. Unconfirmed or subjective supporting evidence, opinion also involved, but no known contradictory evidence, nothing shows the concept per se to be invalid
    2. Conclusions regarding possibilities for further investigation, and opinions can be based on this level of evidence,

  3. Medium to High Confidence Concepts
    1. Validated and confirmed objective supporting evidence, and no known contradictory evidence
    2. Conclusions regarding probable reality can be made, repeated attempts to falsify such concepts can lead to high confidence in their being true.

NOT sufficient for forming a scientific theory.

(2) When we look at the norse myth you cited previously, for example, we also see that this uses symbolic language to tell the story:

quote:
The sons of Bor then carried Ymir to the middle of Ginnungagap and made the world from him. From his blood they made the sea and the lakes; from his flesh the earth; from his hair the trees; and from his bones the mountains. They made rocks and pebbles from his teeth and jaws and those bones that were broken.

From Ymir's skull the sons of Bor made the sky and set it over the earth with its four sides. Under each corner they put a dwarf, whose names are East, West, North, and South.

The sons of Bor flung Ymir's brains into the air, and they became the clouds.


While it is a common phrase to say that mountains "look like jagged teeth against the sky," this is taken as figurative language, rather than an actual statement that the mountains are teeth.

Edited by RAZD, : ...


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by bluegenes, posted 08-19-2010 6:31 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by bluegenes, posted 08-20-2010 7:04 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(2)
Message 27 of 222 (575890)
08-21-2010 3:27 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by bluegenes
08-20-2010 7:04 AM


Scientific theories, and why the bluegenes hypothesis doesn't qualify
bluegenes and RAZD only

Hi bluegenes, still trying to pretend that you have a theory, I see.

Note - for those slow on the uptake, this thread is not about the existence, or not, of supernatural entities\beings, but about whether bluegenes has posted anything that would properly qualify as a scientific theory.

For those who are "attention challenged" - if you do not ready my posts then you cannot comment about them, other than to complain that the length exceeds your ability to understand in one sitting.

Let's see if we can put this self-deception to rest.

Rabbit Redux

First we have the "rabbit theory"

bluegenes, from Message 167 on the An Exploration Into"Agnosticism" thread (and quoted in Message 1):

just as adult rabbits are the only known source of baby rabbits.

Note that this is a statement of observation, not a theory.

To build a theory you start with an initial set of objective empirical valid evidence, set (A), that all have a certain characteristic that is valid for each bit of evidence.

Step 1

With the rabbit example, we have thousands of years of raising captive rabbits, and in the process the observations have been made, and confirmed by many observers, that baby rabbits are born from adult rabbits that are allowed to mate.

No rabbits are born from adult rabbits that are not allowed to mate.

This is objective empirical valid evidence. You can repeat it yourself, if you are so inclined.

From this we conclude that all rabbits raised in captivity are born from adult rabbits that are allowed to mate.

Step 2

Next we generalize the observation to see if it applies outside of captive rabbits.

Again, we have thousands of years of observing rabbits in the wild, and we see:

  1. wild adult rabbits mating,
  2. wild adult rabbits making nests,
  3. female adult rabbits showing the same appearance of pregnancy that is observed in captive rabbits after mating,
  4. occassionally wild rabbits are observed giving birth to baby rabbits,
  5. after observing the pregnancy of the females in a nest, we see new baby rabbits coming from the rabbit nests,
  6. the new babies are similar in development to the new babies obserrved born in captivity.

This too is objective empirical valid evidence. You can repeat it yourself as well, if you are so inclined.

From this we conclude that it is likely that rabbits in the wild are born from adult rabbits that succeed in mating.

Step 3

We now have a set of evidence - objective empirical valid evidence - that shows a pattern of rabbits being produced by breeding adult rabbits.

This evidence, set (a), forms the basis for making a scientific hypothesis.

We also have two conclusions based on this evidence, and then hypothesize that:

All rabbits in the world are born from breeding adult rabbits.

Message 9: Speaking of rabbits, do you agree that "all baby rabbits come from adult rabbits" is a strong theory?

Amusingly, we have yet to establish that it is a theory.

Step 4

Next we predict things that would be found if the hypothesis is true, things that would be found if the hypothesis is false (or things that would not be found if the hypothesis were true), and things that would be new (previously unknown) it the hypothesis is true.

  1. IF TRUE: we should find that DNA testing of rabbits from around the world shows a nested pattern of common ancestry.

  2. IF FALSE: we should find that DNA testing of rabbits from around the world does not show a nested pattern of common ancestry.

  3. IF TRUE: we should not find a giant blue rabbit in our from yard wearing a spacesuit.

  4. IF TRUE: we should find out something about rabbits in general, and the production of baby rabbits in particular, that is not previously known.

This hypothesis makes predictions, and it is falsifiable by either of two tests listed, but it does not add anything or potentially add anything to the bank of scientific information that we already posses.

The only real prediction this hypothesis produces is that there should be a hereditary pattern of descent from common ancestors. This prediction is alread covered by the theory of evolution, which make many other predictions that are of use in expanding our knowledge of life on earth.

The "rabbit theory" fails to measure up to the requirements to be a valid scientific theory. It is an hypothesis that is just stating a rather mundane observation.

Just because it is based on objective empirical valid evidence that doesn't make it a scientific theory.

Just because it is falsifiable, that doesn't make it a scientific theory (any logical conclusion can be falsified by contrary evidence, and conclusions are not necessarily theories, they can just be opinions).

Step 5

If we had a theory, the next step would be to test it, especially to see if it is falsified, and especially to see if it produces new information.

There is no need to try to falsify the "rabbit hypothesis" because it doesn't produce new information, and whether it is true or false is immaterial, especially compared to what we know about life in general, and rabbits in particular, from the science of evolution and the theory of evolution.

If it is true, it is true because the theory of evolution is true.

Additionally, either of the falsification tests above for "rabbit hypothesis" would also affect the theory of evolution, so we can safely set this mundane hypothesis aside, awaiting further information that could justify a re-evaluation of what it can predict or not predict.

(note that this is the agnostic default position).

Step 6

If we had a scientific theory that survived multiple falsification tests and that provided useful new information, then the confidence in the theory increases. After many many years of increasing confidence, the theory can be classified as "strong" - but not before.

The "rabbit hypothesis" is a weak mundane observational conclusion, and not a "strong" scientific theory.

The Rabbit Allegory

bluegenes attempts to imply that the truth of one observation lends credence to another:

bluegenes, from Message 167 on the An Exploration Into"Agnosticism" thread (and quoted in Message 1):

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

This is a high level of confidence theory. The human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings, just as adult rabbits are the only known source of baby rabbits.

Amusingly, scientific theories are not made by analogy to other concepts, they stand or fall on their own. Thus we need to run through the same analysis to see if it measures up any better than the rabbit hypothesis:

Step 1

There is no objective empirical valid evidence presented so far that a single supernatural is positively known to be a product of human imagination.

Fail.

ibid: If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, I'd be happy to participate in a one on one debate on the subject, and support the theory with plenty of evidence.

After several requests for this claim to be substantiated by the presentation of the objective empirical valid evidence of the kind used in science, all that is provided is:

RAZD writes:

You asserted that you would support your theory "with plenty of evidence" ... and you have once again failed to actually do so.


Figments of the human imagination in their hundreds
The creation stories listed here are just some of the many mutually exclusive accounts of the world's origins that have been believed in. Even if one were true, there are hundreds of supernatural beings here (some mythologies have many involved) that must be figments of the human imagination.

This is not objective empirical valid evidence that definitively shows that a single supernatural entity is a figment of imagination: it is a personal opinion based on a world view.

In addition, if one story is true, than the hypothesis (that ALL supernatural entities are made up imaginary fictions) is false. You cannot tell that this is not the case, and you cannot tell which one of the list must be imaginary fictions. Subjective (opinion+bias) evidence is inadequate for making scientific hypothesis.

Your conclusion is based on confirmation bias, not on objective empirical valid evidence. This is pointed out in detail in Message 25 where the "Hindu Hypothesis" offers a contrary interpretation of the same evidence to conclude that god/s exist and that god/s created.

RAZD writes:

There are many good reasons why the creation stories can be taken as allegorical.


RAZD, some people may believe the grim reaper actually exists, and others (like me) may believe he's an allegory for death, and therefore fictional. Either way, all the evidence suggests that the personification of death is a product of the human imagination.

Amusingly, allegorical still does not mean fiction. Curiously, this does not refute the interpretation that the different stories may each have been caused by the same, or the same group, of god/s, and that the "mutual exclusive" appearance of these stories is due to incomplete human understanding of the full complexity of god/s and creation.

Intriguingly, you fail to show that any one of the reasons listed in Message 25 does not explain the apparent conflicts.

There is no objective empirical valid evidence presented so far that a single identified supernatural entity\being is positively known to be a product of human imagination.

Science requires objective empirical valid evidence as the foundation for making the initial hypothesis.

You do not have the required evidence to form a valid scientific theory.

Fail.

Step 2

When I tried to get you to provide substantion that you had more than the subjective (opinion+bias) evidence of apparent conflicts, you offered fantasy novels as a more general application of your "observation" of supernatural entities being the products of imagination.

Message 9:
RAZD writes:

The foundation for your initial hypothesis should have been established by objective empirical valid evidence of supernatural entities\biengs\etc. that have already been demonstrated to be wholly made up fictions.


See myths above, plus fantasy novels.

This shows you desperately scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with some kind of objective empirical valid evidence.

Unfortunately, for you, fictional novels that are writen as fictional novels about fictional characters and beings, do not in any way relate to the supernatural entities\beliefs that exist, or not, other than to use them as reference.

Science fiction novels do not show that all science is made up fiction.

Historical fiction novels do not show that all history is made up fiction.

Fail.

Fascinatingly I also tried to get you to demonstrate how your concept can be applied to a modern entity\being that is touted as being supernatural by some people.

You have failed to show that you can demonstrate that the IPU is an imaginary concept made up by humans and not an actual supernatural entity\being.

Thus you have no evidence of a broader application of your concept outside your initial evidence.

Fail.

Step 3

This is where you would develop your hypothesis if you had the foundation of objective empirical valid evidence to build from.

bluegenes, from Message 167 (and quoted in Message 1):

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

It appears that you have formed your hypothesis before gathering and evaluating objective empirical valid evidence. That is not the way science is done, and it certainly is not the way scientific theories are developed.

You still do not have one piece of objective empirical evidence that shows that one supernatural entity\being is in fact a product of human imagination.

What you have is wishful thinking, confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, and bias based on your world view.

You are just stating what you think is true.

Opinion is not a scientific theory.

Fail.

Step 4
This is where predictions would be discussed, IF you had a scientific hypothesis worth discussing.

It is falsified by the demonstration of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt.

Notice that I provided two different ways to falsify the "rabbit hypotheses", one that is likely to be tested\testable and one that is not likely to be tested\testable.

Curiously, I included the giant blue rabbit in a spacesuit as it is the same kind of test as your purported "falsification test" and it suffers from the same problems: it may never come to be even though the theory is false. That means that it is not a properly formulated falsification test: it is not something that must happen if the theory is false.

As noted above, just because you have a concept that is falsifiable, that doesn't make it a scientific theory (any logical conclusion can be falsified by contrary evidence, and conclusions are not necessarily theories, they can just be opinions).

You do not have a scientific theory.

You do not have a proper falsification test.

Fail.

Step 5

You never get there. You do not have a scientific theory.

Fail.

Step 6

You never get there. You do not have a strong theory\hypothesis\concept.

Fail.

Conclusions

You do not have objective empirical evidence.

You do not have a scientific theory.

You do not have a scientific hypothesis.

You certainly do not have a "strong theory" (unless you count the odor of confirmation bias).

Message 1 says it all, so does Message 25 and the posts in between. Again and again the points raised are not refuted. Everything you have said has been avoiding the issue:

You have yet to establish that you have a concept that properly qualifies as a scientific theory, rather than wishfull thinking based on confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance and personal opinion based on your world view.

Epic fail.

Enjoy.

bluegenes and RAZD only

Edited by RAZD, : fix

Edited by RAZD, : or not

Edited by RAZD, : subtitle


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by bluegenes, posted 08-20-2010 7:04 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by bluegenes, posted 08-21-2010 4:09 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 30 by bluegenes, posted 08-22-2010 2:25 PM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(2)
Message 29 of 222 (576018)
08-22-2010 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by bluegenes
08-21-2010 4:09 PM


Re: Scientific theories, and why the bluegenes hypothesis doesn't qualify
Hi bluegenes,

I'll read the rest of your post and reply soon.

That's fine, I am very busy right now with home & work issues.

Here are two opinions on what's required for a good scientific theory. Reflect on them. My theory fits both.

In your opinion.

You still need objective empirical valid evidence, not your subjective opinion about what is at best second hand anecdotal evidence.

https://www.msu.edu/~marianaj/Evidence.htm

It amuses me that after many long discussions with Straggler about the nature of evidence required, where he vigorously argued against this type of evidence being worth anything (while I argued that it was not entirely useless, but that it could only be used to suggest the possibility of something that would need further research evidence to confirm or invalidate), that this is what you are claiming as solid evidence for your various claims.

My theory fits both.

So you claim.

I've also thought more on the issue of your "rabbit hypothesis" and have come to the conclusion that it is not really a hypothesis in the theory sense, but actually a prediction of the theory of evolution - the same prediction that is made for every species of life we know about - and thus is not an independent theory in any scientific sense of the word.

Predictions can be invalidated (proven wrong by contrary objective empirical valid evidence), and in fact this is one of the purposes in science for such predictions, to attempt to invalidate them, which then affects the theory on which the perditions are made (ie the theory of evolution, not the "rabbit hypothesis").

Your imaginary hypothesis suffers from both (a) being weaker than the "rabbit hypothesis" and (b) the fact that the "rabbit hypothesis" is not a scientific theory.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by bluegenes, posted 08-21-2010 4:09 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by bluegenes, posted 08-22-2010 2:31 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(2)
Message 32 of 222 (577886)
08-30-2010 9:43 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by bluegenes
08-22-2010 2:25 PM


Still dodging I see.
bluegenes and RAZD only

Hi bluegenes,

Summing up and moving on.

Hopefully to getting around to addressing the issues of why you do not have a scientific theory, and why your evidence is not objective empirical valid evidence, and then perhaps to demonstrating that you can show that the IPU is a made up concept.

A couple of brief points ... on which theories are built.

Sadly not a thing about the missing evidence, and the fact that you have not demonstrated that you have a valid theory that qualifies as a scientific theory.

RAZD seems to have some kind of religious/philosophical objection to applying the Law of Non-Contradiction to creation mythologies, but he'll find out that such beliefs are irrelevant to science.

Nope, I've just pointed out that you have failed to account properly for alternative explanations. In a true scientific hypothesis development you would list alternative explanations and then show how they can be falsified, and proceed to do so.

You have not done this.

All you have shown is how confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance bevaiors lead you to avoids the issues.

In addition, when the mythologies describe humans as having been directly created by supernatural beings, they are more than adequately shown to be false by the body of scientific knowledge which demonstrates that our species descended from other different animals by evolutionary processes. Also, none of the myths describe the cosmology that we know from science, and they are equally faulty on the historical geology of this planet.

And again, we have your opinion and not a shred of empirical objective evidence that demonstrates that a single religious entity is made up.

Again we see your failure to address the alternate explanations involving valid reasons why you perceive a problem when there is none.

quote:
Message 27: You have not falsified the Hindu Hypothesis, which among other things includes the view that all creation stories are allegorical, metaphor or analogy for how god/s created, and that the many stories all offer different aspects of the creation/s via allegory and symbolic metaphors.

There are many good reasons why the creation stories can be taken as allegorical:

  1. Many people in many religions
    1. state that they believe them to be allegorical and
    2. believe that god/s created the earth, universe, life, etc.

  2. The language used in the stories is language common to metaphor and analogy (see (2) below), rather than to scientific explanations,
  3. Dreams and visions are
    1. commonly taken to be symbolic rather than factual experiences, AND
    2. commonly considered to carry some valid meaning (when interpreted), AND
    3. there are recorded instances of dreamed concepts being found to be true.

  4. Metaphor and analogy are a common way to teach children, especially when concepts are beyond their (current) ability to understand (or you do not want to go into greater detail at the time). The "birds and the bees" for example.
  5. Any god/s involved in the vision\dream\explanation\etc may not have been directly involved in the creation, and thus not fully able themselves to explain it.
  6. It is unlikely that humans, especially humans several thousand years ago
    1. would be able to understand a scientific explanation of the actual creation process/es used by god/s, so
    2. god/s likely treated them the way we treat children, and
    3. tailored the specific story for the specific person, or
    4. did not give a complete explanation, and
    5. even then were likely to be misunderstood, because

  7. human understanding of the actual creation process/es would require competence in that field, a competence that is currently lacking in the world today (or we could create universes).

That you have failed to invalidate\falsify the "Hindu Hypothesis", also means that you have not shown your hypothesis to be the only valid explanation, NOR have you presented any way to discern that your hypothesis is true and the "Hindu Hypothesis" is false.

What the "Hindu Hypothesis" says is that when we take all these symbolic stories and put them together, that the total picture that emerges is one of the universal truth/s - and among others, that god/s exist(ed) and that they created.


Failure to address the alternative explanations means that you only look at the evidence that supports your opinion (confirmation bias) and ignore or deny the evidence that challenges it (cognitive dissonance).

Curiously, the fact remains that you have yet to establish that a single known religious entity is made up: we are into 30 posts on this thread and you claimed you had lots of evidence.

Sadly, even IF your "evidence" demonstrated that a significant proportion of the creation myths were made up, that does not establish that a single supernatural entity is made up.

Embarrasingly (for you), your best evidence (so far) is worse than the evidence of eye witnesses in court cases, places where you frequently see "mutually contradictory" accounts given by people that supposedly saw exactly the same thing.

Amusingly you don't even have first hand eye witness accounts, but ancient hearsay accounts ... and you expect scientifically documented accurate results from this kind of source?

If you've ever played telephone you know how stories change in the telling, and thus how second or third hand accounts can vary rather extraordinarily from the original ... and yet you ignore this and expect scientifically documented accurate results from this kind of process?

The "evidence" you have given so far is not objective empirical valid evidence, and it fails to demonstrate that a single religious type supernatural entity is made up.

Please present some empirical objective valid evidence.

Next, we can conduct an experiment, in which RAZD will be my assistant ... In general, I don't think any attempts on your part to claim that it cannot be established that humans make up supernatural beings are wise. Try another line of argument.

Making up evidence now? How scientific. Just more wasted bandwidth as you keep avoiding the issue.

The fact that you can make up something does not mean that other concepts are necessarily made up.

Making up something to show that you can make up something only demonstrates that you can make things up: like a concept you amusingly call a "STRONG" theory. Obviously you prefer to make things up than deal with evidence, based on what you have presented so far.

Demonstrate the the IPU is made up and we can go from there.

Or review your failures to address the issues so far:

quote:
Message 27

Step 1

There is no objective empirical valid evidence presented so far that a single supernatural is positively known to be a product of human imagination.

Fail.

Science requires objective empirical valid evidence as the foundation for making the initial hypothesis.

You do not have the required evidence to form a valid scientific theory.

Fail.

Step 2

When I tried to get you to provide substantion that you had more than the subjective (opinion+bias) evidence of apparent conflicts, you offered fantasy novels as a more general application of your "observation" of supernatural entities being the products of imagination.

Unfortunately, for you, fictional novels that are writen as fictional novels about fictional characters and beings, do not in any way relate to the supernatural entities\beliefs that exist, or not, other than to use them as reference.

Science fiction novels do not show that all science is made up fiction.

Historical fiction novels do not show that all history is made up fiction.

Fail.

Fascinatingly I also tried to get you to demonstrate how your concept can be applied to a modern entity\being that is touted as being supernatural by some people.

You have failed to show that you can demonstrate that the IPU is an imaginary concept made up by humans and not an actual supernatural entity\being.

Thus you have no evidence of a broader application of your concept outside your initial evidence.

Fail.

Step 3

This is where you would develop your hypothesis if you had the foundation of objective empirical valid evidence to build from.

You still do not have one piece of objective empirical evidence that shows that one supernatural entity\being is in fact a product of human imagination.

What you have is wishful thinking, confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, and bias based on your world view.

You are just stating what you think is true.

Opinion is not a scientific theory.

Fail.

Step 4

This is where predictions would be discussed, IF you had a scientific hypothesis worth discussing.

As noted above, just because you have a concept that is falsifiable, that doesn't make it a scientific theory (any logical conclusion can be falsified by contrary evidence, and conclusions are not necessarily theories, they can just be opinions).

You do not have a scientific theory.

You do not have a proper falsification test.

Fail.

Step 5

You never get there. You do not have a scientific theory.

Fail.

Step 6

You never get there. You do not have a strong theory\hypothesis\concept.

Fail.

Conclusions

You do not have objective empirical evidence.

You do not have a scientific theory.

You do not have a scientific hypothesis.

You certainly do not have a "strong theory" (unless you count the odor of confirmation bias).


So either stop pretending that you have something you do not have, or produce the objective empirical valid evidence that shows that a supernatural religious entity -- and not one you make up, or one from fictional entertainment novels - is made up.

Demonstrate that the IPU is made up.

You should have done this on your first post.

Your continued failure just demonstrates that you claim is vacuous wishful thinking and not a scientific theory.

Enjoy.

bluegenes and RAZD only

Edited by RAZD, : banners


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by bluegenes, posted 08-22-2010 2:25 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by bluegenes, posted 08-31-2010 5:37 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20119
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


(2)
Message 34 of 222 (578510)
09-01-2010 9:11 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by bluegenes
08-31-2010 5:37 AM


More avoidance of the issues
bluegenes and RAZD only

Hi bluegenes, you seem to have the wrong impression here, that you (a) have something to teach me and (b) something of value to say.

RAZD, this is an adult board. It shouldn't be necessary for me to spend post after post explaining basics.

Correct, you should be providing the evidence you claimed you had, rather than going off on tangents.

You first purpose here is to demonstrate that you have empirical objective valid evidence to back your assertions, and then to establish that you actually have a scientific theory, and not for anything else until that is done.

You do not falsify evolutionary theory by asking its supporters to demonstrate that a specific genre of dinosaur, for example, was not specially created by gods, or to demonstrate that rabbits have never ever been produced ex nihilo by conjurers.

Amusingly we can get to the issue of how one properly falsifies a theory once you have demonstrated that you actually have a scientific theory.

This has not been done.

If you want to present the IPU as being an exception, and not coming from the only known source of supernatural beings, the human imagination, then the onus is on you to demonstrate that it's an exception. My theory predicts that you won't be able to do this.

No, the onus is on you to provide substantiation for your assertion that you can (Message 167 on the An Exploration Into"Agnosticism" thread):

quote:
... support the theory with plenty of evidence.

So far all you have presented is your opinion about some creation myths, that EVEN IF your opinion is valid does not falsify a single supernatural being.

You have not shown that a single entity is made up. The fact that you cannot even show that the IPU is made up means that:

  • you have squat for evidence, and
  • thus your hypothesis is not founded on evidence but on
  • wishful thinking, and
  • it cannot be considered a scientific theory in any way shape or form.

Let's review the standard of evidence you stipulated for you purported falsification test (Message 167 on the An Exploration Into"Agnosticism" thread):

quote:
It is falsified by the demonstration of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt.

You need to apply that same standard of evidence to the evidence you claim is the foundation for your theory or you are guilty of a dual standard.

I have given you several reasons that cast doubt on your evidence (Message 32):

quote:
Again we see your failure to address the alternate explanations involving valid reasons why you perceive a problem when there is none.

quote:
Message 25: You have not falsified the Hindu Hypothesis, which among other things includes the view that all creation stories are allegorical, metaphor or analogy for how god/s created, and that the many stories all offer different aspects of the creation/s via allegory and symbolic metaphors.

There are many good reasons why the creation stories can be taken as allegorical:

  1. Many people in many religions
    1. state that they believe them to be allegorical and
    2. believe that god/s created the earth, universe, life, etc.

  2. The language used in the stories is language common to metaphor and analogy (...), rather than to scientific explanations,
  3. Dreams and visions are
    1. commonly taken to be symbolic rather than factual experiences, AND
    2. commonly considered to carry some valid meaning (when interpreted), AND
    3. there are recorded instances of dreamed concepts being found to be true.

  4. Metaphor and analogy are a common way to teach children, especially when concepts are beyond their (current) ability to understand (or you do not want to go into greater detail at the time). The "birds and the bees" for example.
  5. Any god/s involved in the vision\dream\explanation\etc may not have been directly involved in the creation, and thus not fully able themselves to explain it.
  6. It is unlikely that humans, especially humans several thousand years ago
    1. would be able to understand a scientific explanation of the actual creation process/es used by god/s, so
    2. god/s likely treated them the way we treat children, and
    3. tailored the specific story for the specific person, or
    4. did not give a complete explanation, and
    5. even then were likely to be misunderstood, because

  7. human understanding of the actual creation process/es would require competence in that field, a competence that is currently lacking in the world today (or we could create universes).

Embarrasingly (for you), your best evidence (so far) is worse than the evidence of eye witnesses in court cases, places where you frequently see "mutually contradictory" accounts given by people that supposedly saw exactly the same thing.

Amusingly you don't even have first hand eye witness accounts, but ancient hearsay accounts ... and you expect scientifically documented accurate results from this kind of source?

If you've ever played telephone you know how stories change in the telling, and thus how second or third hand accounts can vary rather extraordinarily from the original ... and yet you ignore this and expect scientifically documented accurate results from this kind of process?


That's nine different reasons that each on their own cast doubt on your assertion that because they appear to you to be mutually exclusive, that they contradict each other and therefore contradict creation as a possibility.

Leaving aside the massive logical fallacy involved with your conclusion, your own standard of evidence means that your evidence is not acceptable.

To have a valid scientific theory you need to start with a foundation of objective empirical valid evidence where you can show that your hypothesis is true. Without that you do not have a scientific theory.

What else do you have?

Can you show that the IPU is made up? This should be a slam dunk, so what is the problem?

Can you show that a single documented supernatural entity is made up? (and not one of your invention please -- you don't make up evidence for scientific theories).

You should have evidence of several entities being the product of human invention in order to form the basis for your hypothesis.

Do you have a single piece of objective empirical valid evidence?

... this is an adult board.

So start providing the evidence you claimed you had, or admit that you were operating on confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance and wishful thinking.

IF you actually HAD a scientific theory based on objective empirical valid evidence THEN it should have been a SIMPLE matter to present it, because you should already have it.

Your ABSOLUTE FAILURE to do so shows that your concept is wishful thinking based on confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance.

QED ... until such time as objective empirical evidence is presented

Enjoy.

bluegenes and RAZD only

Edited by RAZD, : added banners

Edited by RAZD, : sepling

Edited by RAZD, : Message 25 not Message 27


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by bluegenes, posted 08-31-2010 5:37 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by bluegenes, posted 09-02-2010 4:56 AM RAZD has responded

  
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