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Author Topic:   the bluegenes Challenge (bluegenes and RAZD only)
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 551 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 31 of 222 (576035)
08-22-2010 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by RAZD
08-22-2010 1:54 PM


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

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

Never any hurry, of course. I was very busy and away for about a week soon after we started.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by RAZD, posted 08-22-2010 1:54 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.0


(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

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 551 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 33 of 222 (577929)
08-31-2010 5:37 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by RAZD
08-30-2010 9:43 PM


More lessons in basics.
Welcome back.

RAZD writes:

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.

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

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.

What you're doing in this post instead is demonstrating that you don't understand what empirical evidence is.

All through the thread, I've had to deal with someone who appears not to know the difference between a scientific fact and a scientific theory, who doesn't understand what mutually exclusive means and when the law of non-contradiction is applicable, and now I'm going to be required to teach what empirical evidence means.

Even worse than that, you seem to think that presenting people's religious beliefs is in some way presenting evidence for the veracity of those beliefs. If you want to claim that the creation mythologies are based on real universe creating gods, then you need to establish the existence of those gods in order to support that claim.

I might add that someone who thinks a story like the Norse one I've used, which is about a universe forming the gods, is an analogy for some real gods creating a universe, could be politely described as dimwitted.

Please stop trying to support your argument with religious faith, and attempt to present some substance.

You could present fairy rings as evidence that there actually are fairies, for example, and we could discuss that.

Or you could present the existence of disease as evidence that there are real evil spirits that give us diseases.

It won't work, but it's better than using the fact that you and others believe in gods as evidence that they're really there.

RAZD writes:

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

Your post, RAZD, is not in Swahili. Message 30
Direct experimentation has established that your statement above is wrong, even for those, like you, who don't understand the law of non-contradiction, and for those, like you, who do not accept the evidence that humans descend from other animals rather than being:

(a) created from clay by one universe creating supernatural being;

(b) created from half-formed beings by two non-universe creating supernatural beings;

(c) created from logs by three supernatural beings who were themselves created by the universe.

Your religious beliefs do not change the fact that the four propositions are mutually exclusive. Those three myths come from the human imagination, even if you want to regard them as allegories for the biological evolution of our species.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by RAZD, posted 08-30-2010 9:43 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by RAZD, posted 09-01-2010 9:11 PM bluegenes has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.0


(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

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 551 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 35 of 222 (578607)
09-02-2010 4:56 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by RAZD
09-01-2010 9:11 PM


RAZD writes:

You have not shown that a single entity is made up.

I certainly have. Are you trying to demonstrate publicly on the internet that you're a fool?

On allegory:

The genesis story could be read as being allegorical for the point in the history when our ancestors became sufficiently intelligent to recognise the difference between good and evil, for example.

It could also be read literally, as we see so often here on EvC.

Either way, it is fictional, and its characters and their actions come from the human imagination.

The Norse and Australian examples I gave have nothing to do with universe creating gods.

Your "Hindu hypothesis" is completely baseless, and typical of the baseless assertions on which you seem to try to build your arguments. It requires support. Stating that a religious group has certain beliefs is not providing evidence of the veracity of those beliefs.

It's also silly to claim that a story (the Norse one) about the universe creating some gods via an abiogenesis event would be an allegorical tale about gods creating universes.

Back to basics. Direct questions:

Do you agree that the human imagination is the only source of supernatural beings known to science?

If not, what is the other known source or sources?

Why wasn't your post No. 32 in Swahili?

You claim that you don't need lessons, but if you cannot answer the first and third of these questions correctly, you certainly do.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by RAZD, posted 09-01-2010 9:11 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by RAZD, posted 09-11-2010 4:07 PM bluegenes has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 36 of 222 (580832)
09-11-2010 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by bluegenes
09-02-2010 4:56 AM


bluegenes and RAZD only

Hi bluegenes,

I'll get back to you in greater detail later, if necessary. Unfortunately I am in hospital again, shingle, not cancer, and not pretty.

I certainly have. Are you trying to demonstrate publicly on the internet that you're a fool?

Curiously I cannot find a single name that you have shown by objective empirical valid evidence to be documented as having been made up.

Either way, it is fictional, and its characters and their actions come from the human imagination.

In allegory the fictional part serves a purpose for telling the universal truth. This is why the Hindu Hypothesis refutes your claim of "mutual contradiction" and you have failed to answer that at all.

Your logically unfounded leap to conclude that therefore gods are made up is based entirely on your cognitive dissonance (dismissing the Hindu Hypothesis as "completely baseless") and confirmation bias (seeing only what you want to see) and it is not a valid logical conclusion: it does not follow from your premises even if your premises were true.

I have demonstrated that there are many holes in your hypothesis and the basis you have provided for it, and these holes show that all you have is wishful thinking rather than any form of scientific theory.

Apparently you can't even demonstrate that the IPU is made up.

Do you agree that the human imagination is the only source of supernatural beings known to science?

If not, what is the other known source or sources?

Curiously, I have already answered these questions and given you a LIST of several alternatives that are well known in literature.

The fact that you ignore the response does not mean that it has not been made, nor that it is in "Swahili"

Enjoy

bluegenes and RAZD only

Edited by RAZD, : banner


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 35 by bluegenes, posted 09-02-2010 4:56 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by bluegenes, posted 09-12-2010 1:59 AM RAZD has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 551 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 37 of 222 (580882)
09-12-2010 1:59 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by RAZD
09-11-2010 4:07 PM


Best wishes. Let's take a break.
RAZD writes:

I'll get back to you in greater detail later, if necessary. Unfortunately I am in hospital again, shingle, not cancer, and not pretty.

That's bad news, RAZD, and I hope you get over it quickly. I think that neuralgia can be an effect of shingles, and, having had that myself from another cause, you have my heartfelt empathy.

I'll reply to the above post when you let us know that you're fully well again.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by RAZD, posted 09-11-2010 4:07 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by RAZD, posted 09-22-2010 11:11 PM bluegenes has responded

  
TheMadToker
Junior Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 1
From: New Bedford, MA, USA
Joined: 09-12-2010


Message 38 of 222 (581018)
09-12-2010 11:17 PM


Interesting thought
Hiya all, I've been a lurker here for quite some time and figured this a good time as any to say 'ello and chirp in with my two cents on this discussion.

I read the first page and saw that the topic kind of degraded into an argument on theory itself as opposed to discussion of the topic at hand and sort of skimmed over the next two, hope I didn't miss anything.

Honestly though, even though finding evidence for proof of the topic creator's theory would be difficult at best, it made me think long enough to want to reply. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a bunch of antelopes in worship around an object or apes thanking the skies for the bounty they are eating? Animals don't shuffle off to the "enchanted grove" every sunday, nor do they care what they eat and on what days they eat it.

Imagination is a uniquely human trait (I think, has there actually been any research on this?) and you cannot argue that belief in supernatural entities can exist without imagination, without imagination we would not have been able to create an all-powerful, mystical being that no one has ever seen.

Therefore, if we have no physical proof of any supernatural being's existence in reality, then they truly only exist in our imaginations.

I know, overall it is a silly theory, and I certainly can't back it up with any proof, other then the lack of proof.

Meh, I just thought it was interesting and wanted to say hi to everyone... I fear some of the discussions will escalate well beyond my ability to respond intelligently, but I like the forum and will try my best . =)

Sorry, just realized I shouldn't be posting in here, my bad guys... I'll say hi in another thread

Content hidden. Great Debate topics have specifically designated participants. Comments by others need to go to the Peanut Gallery topic. - Adminnemooseus

Edited by TheMadToker, : No reason given.

Edited by TheMadToker, : No reason given.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Hiding message content.


    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 39 of 222 (582706)
09-22-2010 11:11 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by bluegenes
09-12-2010 1:59 AM


back for a bit ... at a time
bluegenes and RAZD only

Hi bluegenes, and thanks. Yes that neuralgia is a pain. I only have the mental energy to deal with bits and pieces (rather than my usual approach).

Let's see if we can start with some basic points:

A scientific theory is one developed using the scientific method. This is what differentiates it from the common layman use of the term "theory" as just a guess. The scientific method has several steps:

http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/...appendixe/appendixe.html

quote:
... The scientific method has four steps

  1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
  2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
  3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.
  4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or law of nature (more on the concepts of hypothesis, model, theory and law below). If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified. What is key in the description of the scientific method just given is the predictive power (the ability to get more out of the theory than you put in; see Barrow, 1991) of the hypothesis or theory, as tested by experiment. It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. There is always the possibility that a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory.


Key here, imho, is that it is not a scientific theory until these four steps have been done, and the hypothesis proves useful in predicting new knowledge.

A similar view is seen here:

Background research precedes the hypothesis, and it involves objective empirical data where you know that the hypothesis is true, because you have derived the hypothesis from the data. Even when you start with a question, that is not the hypothesis, it structures how you do your background research to then use to derive your hypothesis.

Again from the above link:
http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/...appendixe/appendixe.html

quote:
... Hypotheses, Models, Theories and Laws

In physics and other science disciplines, the words "hypothesis," "model," "theory" and "law" have different connotations in relation to the stage of acceptance or knowledge about a group of phenomena.

An hypothesis is a limited statement regarding cause and effect in specific situations; it also refers to our state of knowledge before experimental work has been performed and perhaps even before new phenomena have been predicted. ...

The word model is reserved for situations when it is known that the hypothesis has at least limited validity. ...

A scientific theory or law represents an hypothesis, or a group of related hypotheses, which has been confirmed through repeated experimental tests. ... The validity that we attach to scientific theories as representing realities of the physical world is to be contrasted with the facile invalidation implied by the expression, "It's only a theory." For example, it is unlikely that a person will step off a tall building on the assumption that they will not fall, because "Gravity is only a theory."


Again, we see that the scientific theory is a tested hypothesis that produces consistent positive results, and again we see that the hypothesis rests on cases of objective empirical evidence where the derived hypothesis is known to be true.

Do you agree with this?

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 37 by bluegenes, posted 09-12-2010 1:59 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by bluegenes, posted 09-27-2010 12:08 PM RAZD has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 551 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 40 of 222 (583456)
09-27-2010 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by RAZD
09-22-2010 11:11 PM


Re: back for a bit ... at a time
Hi RAZD,

Don't worry about taking things slowly. I've been away for 5 days, and in general, I'm a much more intermittent poster on EvC than you are. As I said before, no hurry.

On your definitions. Your 4 point description of the modern scientific method seems fine for our purposes here (although, as with all such definitions, there will be some scientists, historians of science, and philosophers of science who would dispute it).

You quote the guy from Rochester making this point:

quote:

"It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. There is always the possibility that a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory."

A scientific theory can't be "proved", as your source points out, just falsified.

As for your own comments, I find this strange:

RAZD writes:

Background research precedes the hypothesis, and it involves objective empirical data where you know that the hypothesis is true, because you have derived the hypothesis from the data.

What do you mean by"true"? Because a hypothesis is based on data doesn't mean it's true.

Now, here's a thing about my theory. Lot's of people have been testing it for a very long time. There are organizations dedicated, at least in part, to testing it (the Discovery Institute is one modern one which is actively trying to falsify my theory).

The most interesting current research in relevant fields isn't really into whether or not humans invent supernatural beings, but has moved on into the question of why we have a tendency to do this. For example, the view of supernatural beings as our inventions is the basis of research in evolutionary psychology into why our brains have evolved that tendency.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by RAZD, posted 09-22-2010 11:11 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by RAZD, posted 09-29-2010 7:53 PM bluegenes has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 41 of 222 (584011)
09-29-2010 7:53 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by bluegenes
09-27-2010 12:08 PM


and a bit more.
Hi bluegenes, just a couple simple points.

On your definitions. Your 4 point description of the modern scientific method seems fine for our purposes here ...

Good. We have a common understanding then. (and I am not too worried about what "historians of science, and philosophers of science" would have to say, as those are not strictly science fields).

You quote the guy from Rochester making this point:
A scientific theory can't be "proved", as your source points out, just falsified.

Agreed, however he also says:

http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/...appendixe/appendixe.html

quote:
Common Mistakes in Applying the Scientific Method

As stated earlier, the scientific method attempts to minimize the influence of the scientist's bias on the outcome of an experiment. That is, when testing an hypothesis or a theory, the scientist may have a preference for one outcome or another, and it is important that this preference not bias the results or their interpretation. The most fundamental error is to mistake the hypothesis for an explanation of a phenomenon, without performing experimental tests. ...

Another common mistake is to ignore or rule out data which do not support the hypothesis. ...


This is what I see in your denial (rather than refutation) of the points I have raised that show your evaluation of evidence to be incomplete. You wave off the contrary evidence as if that can make it disappear.

As for your own comments, I find this strange:

RAZD writes:

Background research precedes the hypothesis, and it involves objective empirical data where you know that the hypothesis is true, because you have derived the hypothesis from the data.

What do you mean by"true"? Because a hypothesis is based on data doesn't mean it's true.

Going back to the 4 points that you have agreed with:

quote:
... The scientific method has four steps

  1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
  2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
  3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.
  4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

The hypothesis is based on the observation\description of the original set of evidence, and it is true for those instances of evidence. Whether it is univerally true or not is the matter of later testing and evaluation.

As a simple example, we have three data points (Xa,Ya), (Xb,Yb) and (Xc,Yc).

From these three points we can derive a simple curve, say of the form

y = ax^2 + bx + c

From the three points we can solve the equation for the values of a, b and c, and with these solved values we can then hypothesize that this curve explains the evidence, predict that new data will fit this same curve, and test to see whether or not the new data does or does not fit the curve.

If it does, then we continue to make predictions and test them.

If it does not, then we revise the curve to fit the new data and then make new predictions and test them.

In every case, the curves derived will be true for the points (Xa,Ya), (Xb,Yb) and (Xc,Yc).

This is a necessary basic condition for any scientific hypothesis, because the initial evidence\data is what is used to develop the hypothesis, and it would be silly to hypothesize a curve\explanation that did not account for all the known evidence\data: that would be starting out with a case that invalidates the hypothesis.

If you do not have a set of evidence\data where you KNOW that your hypothesis is true for that evidence\data, then all you are doing is guessing, rather than applying the scientific method.

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 40 by bluegenes, posted 09-27-2010 12:08 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by bluegenes, posted 09-30-2010 9:09 AM RAZD has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 551 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 42 of 222 (584090)
09-30-2010 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by RAZD
09-29-2010 7:53 PM


Points (1) and (2).
RAZD writes:

This is what I see in your denial (rather than refutation) of the points I have raised that show your evaluation of evidence to be incomplete. You wave off the contrary evidence as if that can make it disappear.

It's not that I wave it off. It's just that we seem to have different ideas as to what constitutes "contrary evidence". For example, you seemed to express a view that some people believe that the creation mythologies have some kind of underlying truth in common. I don't doubt that some people believe this. But that's sociological data, not scientific evidence supporting the supposed underlying truth. I can easily imagine such ideas too.

I read a survey recently that had 20% of Americans believing in witches. Interesting sociological data, but no use in verifying the existence of a single witch.

The creation mythologies that I've used as examples certainly have points in common. They have to, in order to be mutually exclusive. Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood can't be mutually exclusive stories because they're not about the same thing, but the mythologies I picked as examples are deliberately chosen because they have the common point of describing supernatural beings doing a "hands on" creation of our species, but they describe very different characters of different origins in different numbers creating in different ways.

This is in no way presented as an attempt to show that there couldn't be a real team of gods who created us, for example, by genetic modification, or whatever. It's merely to establish that the human mind can and does imagine fictional supernatural characters. My point about mutual exclusivity is a direct observation, not a hypothesis or theory in itself.

As for points about subjectivity and bias, I'm well aware of them. That's one reason why two of us are building up the theory, and why it's important that one of them thinks it's a load of crap.

It's also why we'll be involving others with different inflections of opinion.

RAZD writes:

The hypothesis is based on the observation\description of the original set of evidence, and it is true for those instances of evidence. Whether it is univerally true or not is the matter of later testing and evaluation.

That explains what puzzled me about your use of the word "true", and it's just a semantic point. I'd have said that the hypothesis must be in keeping with the results, or fit the results, or not be falsified by the results. Your last sentence is exactly the point I was making.

Here's a rough example, using the creation mythologies again, but unrelated to the "mutually exclusive" point. This relates to points (3) and (4) in the method.

What I'm doing at the moment (when I've got the time and inclination) is going through the mythologies, taking the hypothesis that "supernatural beings are human inventions" as the null hypothesis, and, in each case "the story fits the scientific data" as an alternative hypothesis, and comparing these accounts to what we know from modern cosmology, geology, and biology.

So far, having examined more than 20, I'm in the 95% to 100% confidence bracket that's considered standard to pass the null hypothesis. On point (4), we happen to have people from all three fields here on EvC. So, when I've got the time, I can easily start a thread and ask for comments from other members.

A kind of discussion board peer review.

Briefly, on points (1) and (2).

quote:

1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.

2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.


Phenomena: Human beliefs in and descriptions of supernatural beings of all kinds. These are beings whose existence and description cut clearly across the laws of nature as we currently know them. Magical beings. Observing these, we can see that there are many thousands of such beings that are or have been believed in in the world's many different cultures, and others that we seem to invent largely for amusement. We can also see that there has been no scientific verification of the actual existence of a single individual such being of any type or genre.

An added observation is that there are mutually exclusive beliefs from different cultures. Examples of this are seen when different groups of supernatural beings in different numbers and of different descriptions and different supposed origins are credited with the same action, like creating the first human beings. We can also note the many different mutually exclusive "true" religions believed in around the world today.

Based on such observations, I propose the following as a hypothesis on the origins of supernatural beings:

Hypothesis: Supernatural beings and their descriptions are human inventions (figments of our imagination) and do not have any real external existence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by RAZD, posted 09-29-2010 7:53 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by RAZD, posted 10-03-2010 9:15 PM bluegenes has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 43 of 222 (584730)
10-03-2010 9:15 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by bluegenes
09-30-2010 9:09 AM


beginning to get there
bluegenes and RAZD only

Hi bluegenes, well it appears you have stopped trying to pretend that you had a theory. Progress is made.

My position from the beginning has been that you did not have a scientific theory and that your hypothesis was not supported by evidence.

So far this has proven to be the case: out of 20 posts you have made so far, you are 0 for 20 in demonstrating evidence that would form the foundation for a scientific theory that supernatural entities are products of human imagination.

Briefly, on points (1) and (2).

quote:
1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.

2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.


Phenomena: Human beliefs in and descriptions of supernatural beings of all kinds. These are beings whose existence and description cut clearly across the laws of nature as we currently know them. Magical beings. Observing these, we can see that there are many thousands of such beings that are or have been believed in in the world's many different cultures, and others that we seem to invent largely for amusement. We can also see that there has been no scientific verification of the actual existence of a single individual such being of any type or genre.

An added observation is that there are mutually exclusive beliefs from different cultures. Examples of this are seen when different groups of supernatural beings in different numbers and of different descriptions and different supposed origins are credited with the same action, like creating the first human beings. We can also note the many different mutually exclusive "true" religions believed in around the world today.

Based on such observations, I propose the following as a hypothesis on the origins of supernatural beings:

Hypothesis: Supernatural beings and their descriptions are human inventions (figments of our imagination) and do not have any real external existence.

This is where you should have started, and the fact that you are just getting around to this now, means that you never did the work before, and you did not have a theory or an hypothesis in the scientific sense before - that you are in fact now working on developing one.

Ergo, what you had before was just an opinion based on your worldview, biases and beliefs. As I said at the beginning.

faith –noun (American Heritage Dictionary 2009)
...

2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. ....

be·lief –noun (American Heritage Dictionary 2009)
...

2. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something. ...
3. Something believed or accepted as true. ....

That you are convinced of the validity of your belief does not mean that your faith in your beliefs is based on science, evidence or logic.

Some additional points regarding your comments:

We can also see that there has been no scientific verification of the actual existence of a single individual such being of any type or genre.

Curiously, I have yet to see scientific verification that a "single individual such being of any type or genre" has been demonstrated to be entirely a product of human imagination.

To me that says that neither position has been adequately demonstrated at this point, and that the logical (agnostic\skeptical\default) position is that we still don't know the answer to whether god/s exist or not.

Magical beings. Observing these, we can see that there are many thousands of such beings that are or have been believed in in the world's many different cultures, and others that we seem to invent largely for amusement.

I'm not sure I would use the word "amusement" in the context of religions, however I will note that we can (and have) observed that humans do like to embellish stories over time, so that over time the stories evolve. Fanciful elements are added as time passes, thus the existence of some fanciful elements in a story does not mean that the original story was fanciful or made up. IOW you need to demonstrate more than just some fanciful elements in order to properly conclude that a story is made up from human imagination, you need to demonstrate that all supernatural elements are made up, especially ones about supernatural beings, to support your concept.

Factual elements can also be lost, especially when knowledge and understanding is incomplete (for example, creationist explanations of evolution).

Examples of this are seen when different groups of supernatural beings in different numbers and of different descriptions and different supposed origins are credited with the same action, like creating the first human beings.

As noted previously, the Hindu Hypothesis explains these apparent differences as either allegorical elements or as different aspects of the same universal truths. For example, the creation of humans from dust, tree trunks or balls of organic matter, can all be seen as allegorical descriptions, of abiogenesis, of the division of the tree of life, and the diversification of species from original organic matter (single cell life forms?).

Likewise, the different descriptions of the god/s involved are descriptions of different aspects of a being (or beings) not fully understood by any one description.

In previous posts (Message 25 and Message 34), I have pointed out several valid reasons for considering the stories should not be considered as absolute truths, while still able to convey the universal truths involved, especially when taken all together, rather than individually.

quote:
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.


Treating the stories only as absolute truths is a straw man argument, and does not deal with the many valid reasons for treating them as allegorical stories.

We can also note the many different mutually exclusive "true" religions believed in around the world today.

And also as noted previously, your position relies entirely and completely on all these different stories only being taken as absolutely true. As soon as you consider them allegorical, this argument falls to pieces. Thus the question you need to address is not whether you can considered these to be "true" stories today, based on evidence of such beliefs today, but whether they were originally intended to be taken as true stories versus allegorical.

When you only address the stories as being "true" rather than as allegorical stories, you are using a straw man argument, rather than considering the actual positions that actual people take and have actually taken.

It's not that I wave it off. It's just that we seem to have different ideas as to what constitutes "contrary evidence". For example, you seemed to express a view that some people believe that the creation mythologies have some kind of underlying truth in common. I don't doubt that some people believe this. But that's sociological data, not scientific evidence supporting the supposed underlying truth. ...

Actually, it is valid objective empirical evidence that the stories are not taken as absolute truths, but as allegorical stories about creation, and hence invalidating your straw man argument.

What I'm doing at the moment (when I've got the time and inclination) is going through the mythologies, taking the hypothesis that "supernatural beings are human inventions" as the null hypothesis, and, in each case "the story fits the scientific data" as an alternative hypothesis, and comparing these accounts to what we know from modern cosmology, geology, and biology.

So far, having examined more than 20, I'm in the 95% to 100% confidence bracket that's considered standard to pass the null hypothesis.

An exercise in confirmation bias, imho, and one which can only establish that the stories cannot all be taken only as absolute truths, but says nothing about the stories being taken as allegorical descriptions of universal truths via symbolic language and fanciful culturally specific images, with different stories tailored to different cultures.

... I can easily imagine such ideas too.

Then you have work to do, to consider the stories as allegories rather than only as absolute truths.

That should be enough for now (it's taken me three days to get this out, due to problems with the neuralgia).

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 42 by bluegenes, posted 09-30-2010 9:09 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by bluegenes, posted 10-04-2010 7:47 AM RAZD has responded
 Message 141 by RAZD, posted 03-04-2011 9:36 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 551 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 44 of 222 (584795)
10-04-2010 7:47 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by RAZD
10-03-2010 9:15 PM


Re: beginning to get there
RAZD writes:

Hi bluegenes, well it appears you have stopped trying to pretend that you had a theory. Progress is made.

Far from it. What I'm doing is demonstrating how the theory can be built up from scratch, starting with the stated hypothesis. For those with understanding of it, I have a strong theory.

RAZD writes:

My position from the beginning has been that you did not have a scientific theory and that your hypothesis was not supported by evidence.

So far this has proven to be the case: out of 20 posts you have made so far, you are 0 for 20 in demonstrating evidence that would form the foundation for a scientific theory that supernatural entities are products of human imagination.

I've actually demonstrated that the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings known to science, and that's taken 20 posts because I'm discussing this with you.

RAZD writes:

This is where you should have started, and the fact that you are just getting around to this now, means that you never did the work before, and you did not have a theory or an hypothesis in the scientific sense before - that you are in fact now working on developing one.

Again, I'm explaining this to a particular individual. It's hardly my fault that it took numerous posts to explain the difference between something being stated as a scientific theory, and something being stated as a scientific fact.

Ergo, what you had before was just an opinion based on your worldview, biases and beliefs. As I said at the beginning.

That view of my view is, of course, based on your own biased world view, as you should know.

On worldviews. It's certain that you and I have differences in our worldviews. When people like Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis constantly bring up the "worldview" argument, it is done in order to pretend that all worldviews are equal in respect to the evidence. It is a trick that's necessary for those who have no positive evidence to support their positions, and you supernaturalists use it a lot.

Those of us who can support our positions do not need to constantly harp on this truism.

RAZD writes:

Curiously, I have yet to see scientific verification that a "single individual such being of any type or genre" has been demonstrated to be entirely a product of human imagination.

Perhaps you need help.

1) There's a mermaid who lives in your bath, washes your hair for you, and sings to you in Spanish.

2) There are large visible yellow centaurs grazing in your yard.

3) There's a magical blob with 27 tentacles in your kitchen. It cooks your meals for you, conjuring up the necessary ingredients from thin air.

Now, do you accept the point that humans can and do make up supernatural beings?

Do you accept that the human imagination is the only source of supernatural beings known to science?

If not, what is the other known source?.

If you answer the first two questions with "yes", the third requires no answer. If you don't answer the second question with a "yes", then you should be able to tell us what the other source known to science is.

RAZD writes:

To me that says that neither position has been adequately demonstrated at this point, and that the logical (agnostic\skeptical\default) position is that we still don't know the answer to whether god/s exist or not.

You don't know whether or not Satan is manipulating your mind. But we do know that humans are capable of imagining beings like a mind manipulating Satan.

It is when we cannot conclusively know things that scientists look at evidence, hypothesise, and theorise. We cannot conclusively know for sure the origin of the earliest mammals identified in the fossil record, but we can look at the available evidence, and formulate the strong theory that they descended from reptiles.

The whole point of science is and has been the exploration of what is/was unknown. Faced with a phenomenon, like the widespread human belief in supernatural beings, we make observations, and explore the phenomenon.

RAZD writes:

I'm not sure I would use the word "amusement" in the context of religions, however I will note that we can (and have) observed that humans do like to embellish stories over time, so that over time the stories evolve. Fanciful elements are added as time passes, thus the existence of some fanciful elements in a story does not mean that the original story was fanciful or made up. IOW you need to demonstrate more than just some fanciful elements in order to properly conclude that a story is made up from human imagination, you need to demonstrate that all supernatural elements are made up, especially ones about supernatural beings, to support your concept.

In other words, you agree that the involvement of human fancy can be established. You should also agree that the role of externally existing real supernatural beings has not been established. This leaves us, as I've been saying all along, with "human fancy" or "the human imagination" as the only known source of supernatural beings.

RAZD writes:

Treating the stories only as absolute truths is a straw man argument, and does not deal with the many valid reasons for treating them as allegorical stories.

I'm pointing out that the stories are fictional. That is the case whether you choose to regard them as allegorical or not. Let me give you some examples of allegorical supernatural beings.

Death.

The figure with the scythe is a portrayal of the reality of death.

Satan.

The horned tailed figure can be construed as an allegory for evil, a concept that is rather subjective in itself.

Father Time.

The bearded old man is an allegory for time, or at least our perception of it.

The fact that these supernatural beings are allegorical, and could be allegorical for things that are real (death, certainly) does not mean that the supernatural beings themselves are not figments of the human imagination. "God", for example, is sometimes used in a similar sense by pantheists meaning "the universe", or "everything". That the universe and everything can be said to exist does not in anyway support the existence of a real supernatural being.

The creation stories that ancient cultures have come up with are certainly interesting. I'll point out a few things about them here.

When supernatural beings are involved as creators, the storytellers can come up with three basic alternatives.

The first is the one that we're familiar with from Jewish mythology, and could be described as "mind before matter". Here, the god/s exist first, and create the universe ex nihilo.

The second category is mind and matter described as existing simultaneously, then creator beings often reshape some or most of what's there. The Australian one I've mentioned is in this category.

The third category is matter before mind, and has a material universe existing, and then the creator/s beings are produced from that matter by some kind of event. The Norse story of Odin and his brothers is in this category.

Think about it, and it has to be one of the three general alternatives when creator beings are involved, and humans have thought of all three.

Then there's a fourth category; the "non-creation" story. An example of this is the Jain religion, which describes an eternal universe, with no creator beings involved. Within the universe, neither life in general nor humans in particular are created, and there are no creator gods of anything.

Then there's a fifth category which does not, like the fourth, describe an eternal universe that excludes creators, but merely doesn't include the mention of any. Some animist and ancestor worship cultures have no mention of creator beings as such.

Then there's a sixth, which actively declares lack of knowledge of origins, rather than just not mentioning any. An example would be the Buddha, who declared that the ultimate origins and nature of the universe couldn't be known, and advised his followers not to worry about problems they could not solve. A strong agnostic point, if you like.

Anthropologists could probably add more categories and variations on all these themes.

You can present your idea that real gods are in some sense responsible for planting these ideas in people's minds, just as I can present the idea that Satan is manipulating your mind. But such ideas mean nothing to science unless they have positive evidence to support them.

Some Americans believing in witches doesn't support the existence of witches, and some Hindus believing that many described gods are aspects of a real god does not support the existence of that real god.

The progress we might be close to making is that you might be close to admitting that the human imagination is the only source of supernatural beings known to science.

It's no good complaining if I have to take another 20 or 40 or 60 posts to establish that point here. I knew it before we started, and it's hardly my fault if my debating partner hasn't caught on very quickly.

{Good luck with the neuralgia, and don't hesitate to take breaks from this discussion. You could take as long a break as you liked, and I would certainly not be sitting here claiming that that in any way means you cannot answer my points. A personal recommendation to all EvC members would be that, when seriously ill, keep away from contentious discussions of all kind, and stick to the lighter coffee house/humour type threads if participating on the board.}

Edited by bluegenes, : deleted a couple ofunnecessary words


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by RAZD, posted 10-03-2010 9:15 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by RAZD, posted 10-11-2010 5:07 PM bluegenes has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 45 of 222 (586164)
10-11-2010 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by bluegenes
10-04-2010 7:47 AM


stuck on step one (backwards)
Hi bluegenes, only time and energy for a couple of points.

What I'm doing is demonstrating how the theory can be built up from scratch, starting with the stated hypothesis.

Curiously, this is not how the scientific method works. It starts from evidence and then deduces the hypothesis.

This is more like pseudo-science in general and creation-science in particular.

I've actually demonstrated that the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings known to science, and that's taken 20 posts because I'm discussing this with you.

Actually you have NOT demonstrated anything of the kind. I gave you a listt of other possible sources, and you dismissed them. That too is how pseudo-science in general and creation-science in particular is done.

You need to actually demonstrate that those other methods cannot contribute ideas and information. Way back in Message 14 I said:

quote:

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.


And as far as I can see you still have not done this. You have made an unsupported claim.

Amusingly, I note that there are several instances where people have said that an idea came to them in a dream, which can be taken as objective evidence of new concepts and information coming from dreams.

I also note that it is entirely possible for someone else to tell me a concept\idea that is new to me, and that I am not able to discern whether that person is a god appearing as a human or not - do you know of a way?

You appear to assume that your hypothesis is right, and then use that to claim that this refutes any other possible source, so that you can conclude that your hypothesis is right.

This is nothing more than begging the consequent and circular reasoning, pure and simple.

RAZD writes:

Curiously, I have yet to see scientific verification that a "single individual such being of any type or genre" has been demonstrated to be entirely a product of human imagination.

Perhaps you need help.

1) There's a mermaid who lives in your bath,....

And still not one "single individual such being of any type or genre" has been demonstrated to be entirely a product of human imagination.

The fact that you can make up stuff does not mean that any other concept is made up.

The rest of your post is not worth time to read/respond to, as it is just more of your tendency to go off on silly tangents, your apparent inability to confront the issue honestly, and instead need to attack me and make up stuff that has nothing to do with your argument.

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : clrty


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 44 by bluegenes, posted 10-04-2010 7:47 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by bluegenes, posted 10-12-2010 10:51 AM RAZD has responded

  
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