Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 79 (8961 total)
369 online now:
DrJones*, Thugpreacha (AdminPhat) (2 members, 367 visitors)
Newest Member: Mikee
Post Volume: Total: 869,428 Year: 1,176/23,288 Month: 1,176/1,851 Week: 300/320 Day: 0/72 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   the bluegenes Challenge (bluegenes and RAZD only)
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(3)
Message 3 of 222 (571992)
08-03-2010 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
08-02-2010 7:59 PM


On falsification and Pasteur's law.
This was my reply to RAZD in the other thread, un-edited.

quote:

RAZD writes:

Getting desperate to be noticed bluegenes?


If I were desperate to be noticed, I'd probably be posting lots of very long posts full of unsupported assertions and containing bright coloured boxes with tables and lists, plus segments of text in multi-coloured writing.

RAZD writes:

Note that bluegenes was off-topic and this reply is off-topic, so no further replies should be made here.

Wrong, as usual, and an attempt at evasion that moderators might note. The theory that all supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination is very relevant to a discussion on agnosticism, and particularly to degrees of agnosticism in relation to gods and other supernatural beings.

RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

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

This is a high level of confidence theory.

No, it is an amusing assertion of your belief, based on wishful thinking, confirmation bias and several logical fallacies.

More waffle. Exactly how we see creationists attempt to deal with strong theories. "You're biased. It's your world view". That's a pathetic way of ignoring the evidence.

It's a strong theory, and explains, amongst many other things, why you can never present a scrap of positive evidence for your deity. Direct question time.

Do you agree that the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings? Yes or No?

RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

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

Nor, interestingly, is it in any way validated by the absence of evidence. The absence of evidence is only evidence of an absence of evidence that is perceived as such. There could be evidence right in front of you, but because you do not perceive it as evidence you do not see it.

You really don't understand scientific theories and positive evidence. It is validated by the evidence of the chronic tendency of human beings to make up supernatural beings. I can present this evidence.

RAZD writes:

Nor, curiously, is it in any way validated by unsupported claims such as "no supernatural beings can exist" ... it can only be validated by comprehensive objective empirical valid evidence that demonstrates once and for all that no god/s can exist.

Wrong. Try to learn the difference between scientific theories and logical proofs of the kind that only apply internally in systems of formal logic and maths. Evolutionary theory does not conclusively"prove" that all species come into existence via its mechanisms. That's impossible. It offers the best explanation of the data, and demonstrates that it's very unlikely that the species we observe came into existence by non-evolutionary means.

My theory is an explanatory theory of supernatural beings or supernatural beings concepts, and points out their only known origin. It cannot conclusively disprove your unfalsifiable and baseless assertion that a real one can exist, just as evolutionary theory cannot conclusively disprove the unfalsifiable and baseless assertion that one or more species might have come into existence by magic.

You supernaturalists should present positive evidence for such assertions in order for them to be considered anything other than very improbable.

RAZD writes:

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

Why do you need to make things up? People can read what I said in the post above. I will demonstrate that your belief in gods is just as unlikely as a belief that there are baby rabbits that aren't born from adult rabbits. Neither claim is falsifiable.

My claim is that it is very unlikely that gods exist. As explained, scientific theories and laws aren't logical proofs.

I'll illustrate to you where you go wrong in attempting to take unfalsifiable propositions about the real world into the area of formal logic in a vacuum of evidence.

Take the proposition "some theists can know if god exists". This relates to position (1) on your scale, and it cannot be proved or disproved. So, in your way of thinking, you can fit it in as "X" in your little "logic" exercise. Try it, and you come up with the conclusion that it is possible, from which you then have to decide that being an uncommitted agnostic "4" on the proposition is the most "logical" position by your method.

Then take the proposition that "there is an old sage somewhere in the world who knows the secrets of the universe, and knows that there are no gods." Again, it cannot be proven or disproven, so put it in your exercise as "X", and the same applies, so you end up as an uncommitted agnostic on whether or not someone can know that there are no gods.

You will get different conclusions from different unfalsifiable statements, and end up an uncommitted agnostic on all of them.

Try it with "Satan is manipulating RAZD's mind". See what I mean. Now you're uncommitted on everything, except uncommitted agnosticism.

This might help you understand why it is science that is used to sort out reality, and why logic and maths are tools of science, but do not sort out questions about the real world on their own.

RAZD writes:

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:

Of course you will avoid presenting positive evidence for your position, because you can't.

RAZD writes:

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, …..

And of course you will try to pretend that the burden of proof is on me to falsify your unsupported assertion that gods can exist. The point about "All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination" is that it's phrased so that it's falsifiable, and therefore cannot be a "proof", but is support of my position that:

"I cannot know whether there are gods or not, but I think it's very unlikely."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism

Enjoy the attention.


End of reply.

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

Here's Pasteur's Law, for example, often stated as:

quote:

All life comes from life.

Pasteur was establishing that extant life forms do not originate from spontaneous generation.

This is not something that he could conclusively prove, of course, and that is the case for all such scientific laws and theories. They are falsifiable, and must be so.

The falsification of Pasteur's law, a working assumption of all modern biology, would require the demonstration of an exception. Just one confirmed case of the spontaneous generation of a modern organism.

To RAZD's way of thinking, Pasteur's law is invalid unless biologists establish that every single organism alive was not the result of spontaneous generation.

So, he could make an unsupported and unfalsifiable assertion like: "Mice can come from spontaneous generation".

Then, he would ask the biologists to falsify his unfalsifiable assertion.

That's what he's doing here.

On another thread, he made the counter proposal to my theory:

"Supernatural beings can exist".

It's clear that I'll have to explain that unsupported assertions do not falsify theories (probably repeatedly).

In my reply quoted above, I asked RAZD a direct question:

bluegenes writes:

Direct question time.

Do you agree that the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings? Yes or No?

RAZD, I'd be interested in your answer to this.

Edited by bluegenes, : typo: a"non" in Pasteur's law! He'd turn in his grave.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 08-02-2010 7:59 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by RAZD, posted 08-04-2010 9:34 PM bluegenes has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(5)
Message 5 of 222 (572390)
08-05-2010 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by RAZD
08-04-2010 9:34 PM


Facts, theories, and a wasted opportunity.
RAZD writes:

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

Hi. As I'm the one who knows best where I'm going, I might be in a better position to judge that!

RAZD writes:

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

It's clear that we're going to have to cover the difference between things that are stated as scientific facts, and things that are stated as theories or laws, and the reasons that science makes a distinction.

Back to Pasteur. If he stated: "All the experiments in my laboratory aimed at observing spontaneous generation have achieved negative results", he would be stating that as a fact, because it is the result of direct observation, and therefore considered proven.

But when he states: "All life comes from life" he presents this as a theory or law, not a fact, because he cannot prove it, and it's considered falsifiable.

Scientific theories and laws exist as explanations of things that cannot be conclusively known.

When I present a statement like "all supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination" as a scientific theory, which is what I've been very clearly doing, using phrases like "scientific theory", and words like "falsifiable," it should be clear to scientifically informed readers what I mean.

Even outside science, in common speech, someone saying "I have a theory that all swans are white" would not expect to be understood as saying "it's a known fact that all swans are white".

As for your phrase "extraordinary claim", I suggest that that could only be the view of a committed supernaturalist. It is very common to theorize that entities come entirely from their only known source. Is "all baby rabbits are born from other rabbits" an extraordinary theory? I think it's probably been assumed by nearly all humans since they discovered rabbits. What about "all books are authored by human beings"? We're the only known source of them. It doesn't sound "extraordinary" to me, but of course, there are many supernaturalists who claim exceptions for certain books.

Before I start presenting evidence in support of the theory, I'd like to see that you're clear on the difference between scientific theories and scientific facts, because your posts so far indicate confusion on that point.

The rest of your post demonstrates, amongst other things, that you still haven't understood the point I was making here:

bluegenes writes:

The falsification of Pasteur's law, a working assumption of all modern biology, would require the demonstration of an exception. Just one confirmed case of the spontaneous generation of a modern organism.

To RAZD's way of thinking, Pasteur's law is invalid unless biologists establish that every single organism alive was not the result of spontaneous generation.

RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

... 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.

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!

Tell me, do you think I'm making an unsupported assertion when I say that adult rabbits are the only known source of baby rabbits?

Edited by bluegenes, : messed up a nested quote


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by RAZD, posted 08-04-2010 9:34 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by RAZD, posted 08-05-2010 9:28 PM bluegenes has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(4)
Message 7 of 222 (572553)
08-06-2010 1:37 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by RAZD
08-05-2010 9:28 PM


To falsify or not to falsify.
RAZD writes:

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.

(1)The theory that all rabbits come from other rabbits is built on the observation that baby rabbits are born from adults. Do you know of any other source of baby rabbits than adult rabbits?

(2)The theory that all books are authored by human beings is based on the observation that human writers are the only known source of books. Do you know of any other source of books than human authors?

(3)The theory that all supernatural beings come from the human imagination is built on the observation that the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings. Do you know of any source of supernatural beings other than the human imagination?

These are theories. They are open to falsification.

If you disagree with the observations, then you must be able to tell the world about alternative known sources for these phenomena.

RAZD writes:

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

This isn't how theories are falsified. The constant repetition of the phrases "confirmation bias", "cognitive dissonance", and "ad hominem" isn't how theories are falsified.

Edited by bluegenes, : deleted extra word


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by RAZD, posted 08-05-2010 9:28 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by RAZD, posted 08-06-2010 8:02 PM bluegenes has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(2)
Message 9 of 222 (572684)
08-07-2010 1:42 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by RAZD
08-06-2010 8:02 PM


Is there more than one source of rabbits?
RAZD writes:

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

That's not how theories are falsified.

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.

In modern times, even if one of the theistic religions were true, most of the theists of the world must be believing in false gods, and therefore in figments of the human imagination.

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

Would you like to counter this with just one supernatural being that can be demonstrated to actually exist, RAZD?

If not, I'll assume your agreement with the statement that "the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings", at least, to you, me, and the scientific world.

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.

RAZD writes:

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.

Sometimes I get the impression that you're talking to yourself. If someone had said this to you about your unsupported "theory" that "Gods can exist", it couldn't be more apt, especially the "wishful thinking" phrase.

The rest of your post concerns predictions, which I'll certainly cover, 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?

My theory predicts that you won't be able to do this.

It also predicts that Obama will not turn out to be the anti-Christ.

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.

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?

Yes or no?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by RAZD, posted 08-06-2010 8:02 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by RAZD, posted 08-08-2010 8:34 PM bluegenes has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(2)
Message 11 of 222 (572966)
08-09-2010 6:53 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by RAZD
08-08-2010 8:34 PM


Wow! Talk about confirmation bias!
RAZD writes:

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.


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.

The rest of your post is an excellent illustration of confirmation bias, and an apparent attempt to show to the world that you don't know what "mutually exclusive" means. You're also showing that you still don't understand the difference between scientific theories, and claims of scientific fact.

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

Norse:

quote:

In the beginning there was the void. And the void was called Ginnungagap. What does Ginnungagap mean? Yawning gap, beginning gap, gap with magical potential, mighty gap; these are a few of the educated guesses. Along with the void existed Niflheim the land of fog and ice in the north and Muspelheim the land of fire in the south. There seems to be a bit of confusion as to whether or not these existed after Ginnungagap or along side of it from the beginning.

In Niflheim was a spring called Hvergelmir from which the Elivagar (eleven rivers - Svol, Gunnthra, Fiorm, Fimbulthul, Slidr, Hrid, Sylg, Ylg, Vid, Leiptr, and Gioll) flowed. The Elivargar froze layer upon layer until it filled in the northerly portion of the gap. Concurrently the southern portion was being filled by sparks and molten material from Muspelheim.

The mix of fire and ice caused part of the Elivagar to melt forming the figures Ymir the primeval giant and the cow Audhumla. The cow's milk was Ymir's food. While Ymir slept his under arm sweat begat two frost giants, one male one female, while his two legs begat another male.

While Ymir was busy procreating Audhumla was busy eating. Her nourishment came from licking the salty ice. Her incessant licking formed the god Buri. He had a son named Bor who was the father of Odin, Vili, and Ve.

For some reason the sons of Bor decided to kill poor Ymir. His blood caused a flood which killed all of the frost giants except for two, Bergelmir and his wife, who escaped the deluge in their boat.

Odin, Vili, and Ve put Ymir's corpse into the middle of ginnungagap and created the earth and sky from it. They also created the stars, sun, and moon from sparks coming out of Muspelheim.

Finally, the brothers happened upon two logs lying on the beach and created the first two humans Ask [Ash] and Embla [vine?] from them.


Australian:

quote:

In the beginning the earth was a bare plain. All was dark. There was no life, no death. The sun, the moon, and the stars slept beneath the earth. All the eternal ancestors slept there, too, until at last they woke themselves out of their own eternity and broke through to the surface.

When the eternal ancestors arose, in the Dreamtime, they wandered the earth, sometimes in animal form -- as kangaroos, or emus, or lizards -- sometimes in human shape, sometimes part animal and human, sometimes as part human and plant.

Two such beings, self-created out of nothing, were the Ungambikula. Wandering the world, they found half-made human beings. They were made of animals and plants, but were shapeless bundles, lying higgledy-piggledy, near where water holes and salt lakes could be created. The people were all doubled over into balls, vague and unfinished, without limbs or features.

With their great stone knives, the Ungambikula carved heads, bodies, legs, and arms out of the bundles. They made the faces, and the hands and feet. At last the human beings were finished.

Thus every man and woman was transformed from nature and owes allegiance to the totem of the animal or the plant that made the bundle they were created from -- such as the plum tree, the grass seed, the large and small lizards, the parakeet, or the rat.

This work done, the ancestors went back to sleep. Some of them returned to underground homes, others became rocks and trees. The trails the ancestors walked in the Dreamtime are holy trails. Everywhere the ancestors went, they left sacred traces of their presence -- a rock, a waterhole, a tree.

For the Dreamtime does not merely lie in the distant past, the Dreamtime is the eternal Now. Between heartbeat and heartbeat, the Dreamtime can come again.


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".

This is clear confirmation that humans can and do invent supernatural beings, and believe in their inventions.

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

Being born from adult rabbits is the only known source of baby rabbits. If you think that there are conjurers who really can produce them ex nihilo out of hats, do say so, and support the claim.

Human authors are the only known source of books. When extraordinary exceptions are claimed, like "the Koran is the word of God", these extraordinary claims should be supported.

Can you support the extraordinary claim that there are any supernatural beings who are not figments of the human imagination? Can you establish the existence of just one beyond all reasonable doubt?

On fantasy fiction. You said:

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by RAZD, posted 08-08-2010 8:34 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by RAZD, posted 08-11-2010 7:29 PM bluegenes has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 12 of 222 (573372)
08-11-2010 7:10 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by RAZD
08-08-2010 8:34 PM


Mutually exclusive events.
RAZD writes:

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

RAZD writes:

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.

RAZD writes:

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.

I just wanted to emphasise a few of the things that RAZD said in his last post.

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by RAZD, posted 08-08-2010 8:34 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 13 of 222 (573453)
08-11-2010 1:01 PM


The Giant's Causeway and figments of Irish imagination.
Here's an example of human invention that is one of many around the world concerning later additions to it, rather than the original creation.

Certain geological formations strike the human mind as being the product of intelligent design, and this can give rise to myth-making.

This is told for children, but lightens up the thread. The "giant" explanation was still taken seriously as recently as the 17th century in both Ireland and Britain.

Finn MacCool

And here's an example of how geologists are sorting out the fine details of naturalistic explanations for such things.

http://jgs.lyellcollection.org/...content/abstract/150/1/109

As such stories get debunked, we accumulate more and more evidence of the chronic human tendency to invent false supernatural explanations for our environment.

Fun tales, though.


  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 15 of 222 (573541)
08-11-2010 8:24 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by RAZD
08-11-2010 7:29 PM


Re: Problems of "mutually exclusive" anecdotal\allegorical evidence and poor logic
Theories aren't falsified by bright coloured boxes, multi-coloured writing, and bold text.

When are you going to learn the difference between a theory and a statement of scientific fact?

quote:

Scene: A laboratory in Lille, c. 1860.

Louis Pasteur: "All life comes from life."

René-Antoine Zacharie Dumas: "Prove it."

LP: "Eh?!!"

RAZD: "You cannot demonstrate that every single organism in the world was not the result of spontaneous generation"

LP: "La génération spontanée est une chimère"

RAZD: "That's just your assertion."

LP: "Life is the only known source for life."

RAZD: "That's just your assertion. You need to prove that every single organism alive was not the result of spontaneous generation."

LP: "Imbécile! Va te faire foutre!


Learning about mutually exclusive events for beginners.


  • 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).

If one is true, the other three must be human inventions.

The human imagination remains the only known source of supernatural beings, just as human manufacture is the only known source of cars, and human authorship is the only known source of books.

We imagine all three, but we have yet to turn the supernatural beings into an external reality, unlike the other two.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by RAZD, posted 08-11-2010 7:29 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by RAZD, posted 08-11-2010 8:44 PM bluegenes has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 17 of 222 (573549)
08-11-2010 8:51 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by RAZD
08-11-2010 8:44 PM


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

Now try answering the post.

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

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

Edited by bluegenes, : added missing word


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by RAZD, posted 08-11-2010 8:44 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by RAZD, posted 08-11-2010 8:52 PM bluegenes has not yet responded
 Message 20 by RAZD, posted 08-12-2010 9:05 PM bluegenes has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 19 of 222 (573552)
08-11-2010 8:58 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by RAZD
08-11-2010 8:44 PM


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

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.

Exactly the opposite. Think about it.

(You put in this edit as I was posting the reply.)

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

Exactly. Not real.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by RAZD, posted 08-11-2010 8:44 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 24 of 222 (575226)
08-19-2010 6:31 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by RAZD
08-12-2010 9:05 PM


Strong theory still not shown to be weak.
RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

"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.

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:

RAZD writes:

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.

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.

RAZD writes:

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.

Certainly (to the last sentence). The claim of the actual existence of fairies as part of reality is only testable by attempting to establish that they exist. If they don't exist in reality, then it's impossible conclusively to prove non-existence. Hence the statement of my theory as a scientific theory, not a scientific fact.

RAZD writes:

You need evidence to do that, objective, empirical, valid, evidence.

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.

You quoted me above claiming that the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings. If it's a view that you disagree with, then you should be able to demonstrate that there's another known source. The reason theories are stated as theories rather than facts in science is because they are not regarded as being conclusively proven.

Now, here's your attempt to demonstrate your view that there might be another source.

RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

RAZD writes:

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 religions 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.

I'm well aware of them. I'm also aware that there's no scientific evidence to support the reality of these claims. As I've already explained, far from demonstrating that humans aren't the inventors of the supernatural beings in their religions, these dreams and "enlightenments" lead them to mutually exclusive accounts of how humans came into being, and also into accounts that directly contradict the scientific evidence in respect to human origins.

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

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.

Edited by bluegenes, : changed some words for clarity


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by RAZD, posted 08-12-2010 9:05 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by RAZD, posted 08-19-2010 10:45 PM bluegenes has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 26 of 222 (575498)
08-20-2010 7:04 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by RAZD
08-19-2010 10:45 PM


Scientific theories, and why we use them to explore the unknown.
RAZD writes:

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

Are you questioning that there's very strong evidence for evolutionary theory in the literature, which more than adequately demonstrates that the creation stories are fictional? Seriously?

RAZD writes:

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.

Then you're not the only one who hasn't explained why a theory that deals with an observable phenomenon (supernatural beliefs) and ascribes them to a natural source is not scientific.

RAZD writes:

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).

Application of the law of non-contradiction is hardly subjective.

"Some people" interpreting the stories in a certain way may well be subjective, but if they're interpreting them as being intentional fiction, that's hardy relevant to our discussion.

Either way, all the evidence suggests that the supernatural beings involved are human inventions.

RAZD writes:

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

And claiming that it isn't a scientific theory doesn't make it not so.

RAZD writes:

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.

Not if the human mind is the only known source of those concepts, and there's no evidence to support their external existence.

RAZD writes:

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.

Not at all. When we have good positive evidence for the real existence of things that are in our minds (example: horses), we can confidently describe them as extant. When we do not have any such evidence (example: centaurs) we cannot do so.

RAZD writes:

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

That's why one states such things as theory or law in science, not a fact. Basic knowledge of biology will tell you that humans can't change into bats. That, combined with the fact that there's zero positive evidence for their existence, makes it very reasonable to theorize that vampires don't exist.

RAZD writes:

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.

We're still running around your problem in sorting out the difference between someone saying "it's a fact that all swans are white", and someone saying "I have a theory that all swans are white."

Science is about the exploration of reality, so it is constantly dealing with the unknown. That's why scientific theories exist, and that is why they are regarded as being unprovable and falsifiable.

If, as can happen with certain types of theory, a theory becomes so well supported that it's described as a fact, it no longer qualifies as a theory (the earth is an oblate spheroid, for example, since the time we could observe it directly from space).

RAZD writes:

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.

And also, because it's impossible to prove, which is why "fairies exist" cannot be a scientific theory. It is theoretically provable, but unfalsifiable. Because the non-existence of fairies can't be proved, their non-existence would never be described as a scientific fact.

Once again, that's why we have theories. Like "fairies are figments of the human imagination".

RAZD writes:

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.

Human invention is the only source of supernatural beings known to science. Adult rabbits are the only source of baby rabbits known to science.

Your understanding of how theories are falsified seems to be that you would expect biologists to prove that no single rabbit was ever produced by a conjurer.

If you know of another scientifically verifiable source of supernatural beings, tell the world.

RAZD writes:

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.

The only known source. See my points above.

RAZD writes:

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.

If you mean the Hindu faith that their stories are based on a true god, I wasn't aware of any scientific support for it.

Baseless supernatural "hypotheses" are usually unfalsifiable.

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.

Edited by bluegenes, : changed wrong word


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by RAZD, posted 08-19-2010 10:45 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by RAZD, posted 08-21-2010 3:27 PM bluegenes has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 28 of 222 (575895)
08-21-2010 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by RAZD
08-21-2010 3:27 PM


Re:Scientific theories, and why the bluegenes hypothesis doesn't qualify
I've just looked at the first part of your post, and it looks as though you're going to attempt to define what scientific theories are for the world.

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

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

quote:

"A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations."

"Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis; you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory."


Stephen Hawking

quote:

1. It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory—if we look for confirmations.

2. Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory—an event which would have refuted the theory.

3. Every "good" scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is.

4. A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice.

5. Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it. Testability is falsifiability; but there are degrees of testability: some theories are more testable, more exposed to refutation, than others; they take, as it were, greater risks.

6. Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory; and this means that it can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory. (I now speak in such cases of "corroborating evidence".)

7. Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still upheld by their admirers—for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by reinterpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering, its scientific status. (I later describe such a rescuing operation as a "conventionalist twist" or a "conventionalist stratagem".)


Karl Popper


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by RAZD, posted 08-21-2010 3:27 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by RAZD, posted 08-22-2010 1:54 PM bluegenes has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 30 of 222 (576029)
08-22-2010 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by RAZD
08-21-2010 3:27 PM


Summing up and moving on.
A couple of brief points on the rabbits, RAZD. Firstly, doing DNA tests on a rabbit doesn't help us in showing that it wasn't magicked into existence. If it's a rabbit, it would have rabbit DNA, just as it would have rabbit ears and rabbit paws.

Secondly, we can certainly describe "All rabbits come from other rabbits" as a theory if we want to. We don't bother to do so because there's no need to, as it's already covered by Pasteur's Law, and we treat it, correctly, as an assumption in evolutionary theory.

The reason that we can is that theories are often described as hypotheses that have strong support, and have been well tested.

Now, on the important theory.

Where are we so far?

I've established by pointing to the many mutually exclusive creation mythologies that humans certainly invent supernatural beings, and that the invention is widespread. This is a simple application of the Law of Non-Contradiction, the kind of law on which theories are built.

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.

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.

Next, we can conduct an experiment, in which RAZD will be my assistant.

RAZD, there's a visible yellow elf sitting on your shoulders, speaking to you in Swahili. He has powerful magic, and will force you to write your next post in Swahili, planting the words in your mind.

Here, RAZD will be able to confirm that he can see and hear no such thing, and readers of the thread will see that his next post will not be in Swahili.

So, we can all see that bluegenes has invented a supernatural being, thus confirming by experiment that human beings can and do invent them.

At this stage I'll mention another point that I made earlier in the thread. If there were any source of supernatural beings other than the human imagination known to science, we would all know about it, because it would be headline news. So, we can say, with complete confidence, that the human imagination is the only source of supernatural beings known to science at this time.

At this stage, "All supernatural beings are products of the human imagination" is a very reasonable hypothesis.

From this point, I can look for more evidence to support it (in a rather un-Popperian manner, but I'm certainly not a strict "Popperian", like most on EvC. We look for supportive evidence for our theories).

I've already started on this by mentioning things like the mythical giant who was credited with creating the Giant's Causeway in Ireland, and pointing out that we now have good natural explanations for the volcanic formation known as the causeway. There are many such examples around the world that I can point to at leisure, and I'll be doing that sometimes throughout the thread.

In the next post, I'll get on to attempting to falsify the theory, and describing how many attempts to do so have been made throughout history, and demonstrating that many people are (inadvertently) attempting to falsify my theory now. Also in the next few posts, I'll go into comparing the theory to the criteria expressed by Steven Hawking for a good theory, and to Karl Popper's criteria for the same (both quoted in my last post). We'll also start to discuss predictions, and the further questions and hypotheses generated by the theory.

Later on, we'll get to what's in the scientific literature from various fields in relation to the theory.

BTW, RAZD, your comment on fantasy fiction doesn't really make sense.
You asked:

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.

"Fictions" was your word, so I pointed out that there's stuff on the fiction shelf that's considered to be wholly made up. If you're arguing that many of the supernatural beings in the books are based on earlier mythological beings, that's fine, but even if Merlin existed, Gandalf and Harry Potter are still wholly made up as individuals. Plus there are plenty of complete inventions as types, like the tin man and the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by RAZD, posted 08-21-2010 3:27 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by RAZD, posted 08-30-2010 9:43 PM bluegenes has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 861 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

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2020