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Author Topic:   Crop circles and intelligent design
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 39 of 150 (615940)
05-18-2011 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Peter
05-18-2011 6:14 AM


100% proof is never needed
We cannot say that that is 100% how they are all formed.

This is true of all statements. The principle of fallibilism is usually tied together with the definition of 'know'. That is we know something when the balance of evidence is strongly in favour of the statement being true.

Crop circles are not special. We should be looking at computers, watches and mobile phones and wondering 'is some of this alien technology?' way before we give any consideration as to whether some stylistic depressions in crops might have sometimes been caused by aliens. And of course, all art gets thrown in here. We cannot say with 100% certainty that the Mona Lisa was painted by a human artist, after all...

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Peter, posted 05-18-2011 6:14 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Peter, posted 05-18-2011 2:48 PM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(1)
Message 44 of 150 (615974)
05-18-2011 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Peter
05-18-2011 2:48 PM


Re: 100% proof is never needed
The difference with your other examples as compared to crop circles is that, for a given (say) computer I can trace all of the components to their manufacturer

A) You think you can, but you haven't actually done so. And until you have done so, you should consider the possibility of alien manufacturer just as much as with crop circles.

B) You can only track them back to the alleged manufacturer and designers. You have to prove 100% that your particular components were made there, and that the original design was thought up by a human and not given to a human by an alien inventor.

Some-one saw the Mona Lise being painted and identified Leonardo as a human (I can't say he was mind ).

'Someone said' never gets us to 100% proof or certainty. Besides, that someone may have seen Da Vinci at an easel, but since the painting presumably took a long time to do - they didn't see the majority of the painting.

You are also relying on simple witnesses to be able to tell that Leonardo was merely masquerading as a human. 100% I think not!

Besides if 'someone said so' is good enough then Doug Bower and Dave Chorley have stated that they made the first crop circle, and many subsequent ones.

I just prefer it when the difference is stated -- rather than saying (e.g.) "I saw a bloke on the telly make one crop circle with a plank and a bit of wood so clearly that's how they were all made.

If you step out of your house and you see some poo, I suppose you think to yourself 'just because I've seen dogs make similar looking poos, that doesn't mean that this particular poo is a dog poo'...and I imagine that you berate anyone with the nerve to casually assert that it is a dog poo for so recklessly dismissing the alien poo hypothesis.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Peter, posted 05-18-2011 2:48 PM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Peter, posted 05-19-2011 7:24 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 49 of 150 (616066)
05-19-2011 9:14 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by Peter
05-19-2011 7:24 AM


cereal goblins?
It might, upon closer inspection, turn out to be a plastic fake placed there by my children (or indeed an alien prankster), or cat poo, or a susbstance indistinguishable from dog poo except by chemical analysis ...

You seem to criticising people for implicitly dismissing the possible alien origin of some crop circles (eg., those for which, for whatever reason, sufficient investigation to uncover the truth is not possible). I am criticising you for implicitly dismissing the possible alien origin of one of the capacitors in your computer. You have no way of telling whether or not an alien built a certain capacitor and made it look just like a human built capacitor...with all the markings and numbering of a human constructed capacitor. Furthermore, you should not implicitly dismiss the possiblity that capacitors in general were invented by aliens and gifted to humans.

And finally, this argument applies to all things. You tend to think poo on your doorstep is actually one of the many things that look like poo rather than some kind of alien construction. Capacitors are incredibly difficult to make, and require much more specific knowledge and technology that crop circles so if anything - we should consider them more likely to have alien origins. Remember just because you can say some humans build some capacitors you cannot conclude that no capacitors are built by aliens. Its the exact same thing as the some crop circles built by blokes doesn't mean no crop circles were built by pink unicorns, I mean aliens.

This is because a sense of tentativity about knowledge is built in to our usage of the word 'know' and even our word 'certain'. We don't need to say 'To the best of our knowledge, the evidence so far available broadly points towards a certain conclusion with regards to our subject matter.', every single time we open our mouths. The idea that knowledge is tentative and built on evidence with limited availability is already taken care of.

Language would be significantly unwieldy if we had to speak with pedantic philosopher's-tongue all the time as if we had not yet established some kind of common epistemological starting point.

If I say I 'know' something, it is because I believe something for which there is significant evidential support to suggest it. I dismiss the alien hypothesis for crop circles because there is no particular reason to propose it. With no supportive evidence, it fares no better than cereal goblins or crop gnomes. Sure, if you really pushed me I'd concede that certain unfalsifiable propositions haven't yet been ruled out - but I'd point out that is always true in all cases for everything and thus it doesn't mean anything in this particular case.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Peter, posted 05-19-2011 7:24 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Peter, posted 05-19-2011 11:52 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 54 of 150 (616107)
05-19-2011 2:52 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Peter
05-19-2011 11:52 AM


Re: cereal goblins?
I simply conclude that without full disclosure there has to remain an element of doubt.

And my point is that the element of doubt is embedded into the meaning of the words. We don't speak pure pedantic philosopher, and nor should we. When we say we know something, it isn't 100% and epistemic humility is kind of assumed. We should only disclaim our level of knowledge in specific and appropriate circumstances otherwise we'd spend our lives talking 10 times more crap than we already do.

"I believe with reasonable degree of certainty based off what limited information I have at my disposal which I might have erroneously interpreted that I just missed the bus that I am reasonably confident that I had previously intended to board. It seems reasonable to conclude that the emotional experience is on the whole one of anger and self-remorse. It may be true that the bus I thought was the one I was going to board - in fact wasn't, so I retain some level of hope that I..."

My point wasn't that you are strictly wrong, but that your demand is needlessly pedantic. To quote Bertrand Russell:

quote:
As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God. On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think that I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because, when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.

So sure, we can't say we know that aliens have never caused a crop circle, but we can't say we know that aliens didn't drink the last of the milk - but to pay special service to the possibility is irrational. The only reason we are talking about aliens and not cereal goblins is because of the cultural environment (in previous cultures there did used to be the notion of crop devils that would mysteriously cut crops down and other similar 'spirits').

So yeah - its possible in the same way all unfalsifiable ideas are. Because some people have said they think it was aliens landing in a field (for absolutely no better reason that some people think aliens fly in disc shaped spacecraft for no better reason than the Roswell contraption was a actually a 'flying disc microphone' used for trying to detect nuclear detonations from the Soviets and the papers reported that a flying disc had crashed before the government could cover it up to avoid the Soviets figuring out how they were being spied on). So don't give special consideration to aliens and crop circles. All phenomena can be credited at least some of the time to unfalsifiable beings of one form or another.

I'm an atheist because I think the chances of pulling a correct guess out of the sea of infinite unfalsifiable entities is very very small. Gods are just one category of these things as are aliens which leave no evidence except that which can more parsimoniously be explained in terms of human action.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Peter, posted 05-19-2011 11:52 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Peter, posted 05-20-2011 6:10 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 65 of 150 (616188)
05-20-2011 8:21 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by Peter
05-20-2011 6:10 AM


Re: cereal goblins?
There are items which we do know for certain, and can count as fact. E.g. pure water at standard pressure boils at 100 C, the bus pulled away just as I got to the stop and I didn't board that one.

But even in these cases, we have to accept that we could in principle be wrong. Our memory may have failed us, we may have become confused.

Is the suggestion that aliens make crop circles ruled out because it seems dumb, or because extensive investigation has ruled it out as a possibility -- by refuting something related to the claim?

Extensive investigation revealed

1) Absolutely no evidence for spacecraft landings or any other alien intervention. We have no idea HOW aliens might have created the crop circles or WHY.

2) Hundreds of pranksters, their tools, markings consistent with human pranksters on the scene. We even know HOW they have done, it has been filmed being done - and known human made crop circles have been identified by 'experts' as being alien caused crop circles.

That is to say: There is no evidential difference between a human created crop circle and a crop circle where we are unable to definitively identify the culprit.

Therefore, alien made crop circles are no more evidentially supported than crop goblins. There is no good reason to posit aliens being involved. The only reason that remains is a bad one: Cultural influences, such as the Roswell cover-up, media hysteria and the resulting popular idea that aliens travel in saucer shaped craft.

It is absolutely no different than the medieval Vampire scares.

So its not that it seems dumb. It is that it is unparsimonious, unfalsifiable, and based on no evidence. The only 'reasons' to suggest aliens in the first place are bad ones that make no rational sense.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Peter, posted 05-20-2011 6:10 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by Peter, posted 05-23-2011 4:42 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 76 of 150 (616558)
05-23-2011 9:42 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by Peter
05-23-2011 4:42 AM


Re: cereal goblins?
In (1) in your post .... since we don't know what to look for we cannot say there is no evidence.

We can say there is no evidence, when there is no evidence. If you want to propose that there is some evidence which we haven't successfully found go right ahead - but it'll need to be shown. There are no burn marks, no alien DNA, no alien tools required, no alien artefacts of any kind. One might say there is in fact, no evidence of any variety to suggest aliens as a possible cause. We haven't even established the existence of the possible cause, no evidence of earth visiting aliens exists, let alone that they are responsible for crop circles!

In regards to (2) just because we can create something doesn't mean that's how it came about.

I know but I didn't claim it was a necessary truth that all crop circles are all made by humans did I?

What I said was that there is no positive evidence that aliens did it, there is some evidence that humans did it. So why posit aliens or cereal goblins?

Alien crop circles are also no more evidentially supported than human-made ones if all the evidence is 'we can create them ourselves.'

Exactly- but human-made ones are more evidentially supported than alien made ones. That means the preponderance of the evidence for any given crop circle is human creation - until evidence demonstrates otherwise.

I'm NOT supporting alien-crop-circles ... I'm questioning the ruling out of a suggestion without investigation -- I thought that was the domain of the YEC not the scientist.

Nobody is ruling out without investigation. We're just not ruling something in that investigation has not suggested should be ruled in. Crop circles are an investigated phenomena.

The theory 'some crop circles might have been created by aliens' is unfalsifiable and in order for it to not be ignored - it needs positive evidence which is absent. Otherwise it is equal to 'some crop circles might have been created by cereal goblins'.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Peter, posted 05-23-2011 4:42 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by Peter, posted 05-25-2011 6:12 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 82 of 150 (616946)
05-25-2011 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 79 by Peter
05-25-2011 6:12 AM


bogeymen hiding in the unfalsifiable corner
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

And we don't have an absence of evidence, we have positive evidence for human creation. We do have an absence of evidence for the infinite pool of unverifiable or unfalsifiable claims that anyone can invent - but...as I said in my first post to you - this is true of all statements. "It's raining outside" isn't necessarily true. My house could be having water dumped on it by orbiting aliens.

But when someone says something, without hedging, without explicitly paying lip service to these unfalsifiable notions - in most cases I'd wager you don't berate them for their exclusion.

And that's because it goes without saying.

However, later on you basically agree with my position that it's a matter of balance of evidence rather than a matter of fact.

Well I've agreed with you on that since the beginning. It is a fact that humans create crop circles. It is not a fact that aliens do. It is a fact that all crop circles where we have identified the culprit, the culprit is human. From this, the theory that 'all crop circles are human creations' follows. It is tentative, but it is not threatened by 'some crop circles are alien creations' until evidence that some crop circles are alien creations comes along in which case our falsifiable theory is falsified.

Nobody that I have seen in this thread has treated 'humans create all
crop circles' as an absolute unassailable fact - so your criticisms in this regard are ill-aimed. And that has been my point since the outset.

As for no evidence of aliens ... you list a few possibilities which have not been found -- which is good. But we know nothing about an aliens and so do not even know what to look for.

Since we don't know what to look for - why are crop circles possibly caused by aliens? Why even bring it up? Surely crop circles are something that can be looked for. What reason to suppose aliens are involved? None? In your counter theory we don't even know what evidence that would be. There is no evidence we can imagine except the circle itself. If you are going to say 'it could be the bogeyman since we don't know what kind of evidence would rule out this unfalsifiable cereal goblin', you can expect snickers.

Is this sinking in at all? Giving special attention to one unfalsifiable hypothesis over another is what is unscientific and unreasonable.

If we find anomalies that cannot be explained by human-pranksters the stance is to find ways that those anomalies don't matter ... hardly scientific.

The statement is too vague to be addressable. Is it unscientific to ignore PVS recordings made at crop circles? No - since science has shown these to be all about exploiting human's pattern seeking tendencies. So what anomalies are you referring to?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Peter, posted 05-25-2011 6:12 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Peter, posted 05-26-2011 2:31 PM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 88 of 150 (617237)
05-26-2011 7:36 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Peter
05-26-2011 2:31 PM


Re: bogeymen hiding in the unfalsifiable corner
"It is not a fact that aliens do." -- No-one knows.

Since nobody knows it is therefore not a fact. That is not equivalent to saying it is not true. It is just not a fact. That is to say the claim 'aliens create crop circles' has not been established as a fact.

"From this, the theory that 'all crop circles are human creations' follows" -- No it doesn't.

Sure it does. Just like we have the theory that all rabbits are born from other rabbits. We haven't observed and established this is true of all rabbits so it isn't a fact, as such. One day a rabbit might actually magically appear in a hat, maybe it already has. We haven't investigated all conjurers tricks with sufficient scientific scrutiny to rule this out. Just because we know how some conjurers have performed the feat, it doesn't follow that we know how all conjurers have performed the feat. This is your own reasoning, yes?

Do you propose protesting the behaviour of school teachers that don't sufficiently hedge when they teach about where bunnies come from?

It is not a correct inference to say that because some sub-set of a group was formed by a specific mechanism, that all elements were.

It is not correct to say that it is deductively true that because of a sub-set have a property all elements have that property, and I didn't suggest we should. Rather we can make the inductive leap, realizing the tentativity of so doing. We don't have to explicitly express our tentativity when we say baby rabbits come from other rabbits, we don't have to do it with crop circles.

Unless we are in a pedantic philosophical discussion, or someone is trying to draw us into one


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Peter, posted 05-26-2011 2:31 PM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by Peter, posted 06-09-2011 11:31 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 93 of 150 (619306)
06-09-2011 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Peter
06-09-2011 11:31 AM


Re: bogeymen hiding in the unfalsifiable corner
Fact:

If no-one knows that doesn't make something not a fact -- it makes it unknown ... until and unless it is observed.

That's not a fact, it's the result of how you define the word fact. I was referring to a fact as something that has been established as being true beyond all reasonable doubts.

So you are a creationist then ? That's the only way that ALL baby rabbits come from other rabbits.

But does raising the point about the difficulties of classifying biology really impact my point? You were the one that said

quote:
While I suspect that most (if not all) crop circles are the works of humans ... being able to create something 'the same' is not evidence that that's how the original was done.

So, we know that magicians make rabbits appear in hats. We know that some of them do it by taking a rabbit that was born of another rabbit and placing it in the hat without us noticing. This does not mean that all conjurers do it this way. Some of them may be creating rabbits out of thin air. Do I HAVE to express tentativity here?

The only 'evidence' for all crop circles being the creations of humans is:

1) The few that we KNOW how they were made, were made ny humans.
2) It seems unlikely to many that it could have been anything else.

And don't forget that 'few' is hundreds, if not thousands. Also note that no crop circle has yet been found that could not have been done by humans.

From cave paintings to discarded finger paintings through to paintings by forgotten masters. When we find one of these, we feel the evidence supports that it was done by a human, not by aliens. Crop circles are just like any other art; paintings, music, sculpture. Unless you want to around commenting about how we haven't ruled out that the anonymous author of such a poem was an alien or a goblin, I still don't see what is so special about crop circles (or aliens for that matter).

Since all we have is a desire for all crop circles to be human, and some crop circles being known (video evidence or whatever) to be the work of humans we HAVE to express the tentativity.

I have no desire for crop circles to be human, no more than any other art. In fact, I would kind of like for there to be some alien art in the world. Do I HAVE to express the tentativity when I talk about how humans create all terrestrial art (with potential exceptions of other terrestrial species depending on our definitions), or just when the canvas is made of a crop?

What about grafitti: another underground art form. We know some of it is done by humans with spray cans...but is all of it?

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Peter, posted 06-09-2011 11:31 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by Peter, posted 06-10-2011 7:06 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 98 of 150 (619542)
06-10-2011 9:40 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by Peter
06-10-2011 7:06 AM


Re: bogeymen hiding in the unfalsifiable corner
Possibly just a definition thing, but why does discovery determine whether something is fact or not?

When people believed that the earth was the centre of the solar system was a helio-centric colar system not fact? It was just not known.

I have already explained how I was using the word. I was using it to mean a conclusion about the world that is so well established it would be perverse to deny. Heliocentrism was not always well established beyond all reasonable doubt. So if someone said in 3AD 'It is a fact that the earth orbits the sun' we would be perfectly correct to say 'It is not a fact even though it might be true', using the word as I was.

Ruling things out because you have not looked for the evidence, or even not found the evidence is not scientific IMO.

Ruling things out without them being scientifically ruled out would of course be unscientific. I don't suggest we do this. I do suggest we don't give credence to unfalsifiable theories - which is very scientific (just ask Popper)

You stated that because we have only seen rabbits come of rabbits, then all rabbits must have come that way.

But we (who accept evolutionary theory) already know that cannot have always been the case.

No. Actually, creationists also accept that this is the case (believing in a small number of rabbits that were created), for us evolutionists the issue is just a small issue of drawing an arbitrary line.

Your point is just pedantry though. If you must, change it to 'all rabbits within the last 100,000 years' and you'll see there is no problem (except for YECs)

If I was to produce a rabbit and I asked you 'what is the scientific explanation for how this came about' you wouldn't be wrong to say 'In theory, it was born from another rabbit - and there are no other viable and falsifiable alternatives at this time, so we'll run with that.'

You wouldn't say, 'Well it could have been magicked into being by God (omphalist creationsists) or a magician (thaumaturgical creationists) or aliens (xenological creationists)', while remaining within the realms of scientific thought. Philosophically you could justify bringing it up, but once you have picked the scientific route, these considerations are the background noise that affects all conclusions and so don't need to be specifically brought up everytime we say anything. The tentativity is built in. And as you have seen - when the discussion advances, nobody denies this tentativity, everyone is perfectly happy with it. It's just silly to give one unfalsifiable possibility in one type of circumstance specific attention.

Has anyone tried to duplicate an existing crop circle? Particularly one of some complexity?

Yes. Has anyone found one that could not be replicated?

Are there common features across 'unknown origin' crop circles that are consistent, but inconsistent with 'defo human-made' crop circles?

If there were, I would have expected you to have advised me of it. To my knowledge, there are no such features.

Web searches come up with reported crop circles numbering to around 10,000 with confirmed human manufacture (year-on-year) between 20% and 90%. Dunno how reliable that is though.

If it is 20% then that is more than we have determined the origins of rabbits in the last 1,000 years. So we have a better base to perform inductive reasoning about crop circles than we do about rabbits.

I'm sure there are several techniques available for pulling rabbits from hats.

I strongly doubt that any conjurors really perform magic (or have technology so advanced as to be indistinguishable from magic).

And, though there maybe several techniques available for making crop circles, I strongly doubt that aliens really did any of them.

But I don't know that. It is not a scientific conclusion, it is a popular conclusion.

I don't know what a 'popular conclusion' is. However, inferring general principles from specific examples can be perfectly scientific. That's why when we perform an experiment we can then use the results to say general things about the way the universe works.

Galileo and Newton only saw maybe 0.000000001% of all pendulums, but they still scientifically derived predictions about their periods and how it is proportional to the length of the 'string/rope/whatever'. You'll note that in deep discourse, we will express the tentativity of those conclusions, but in common debate - and even in most scientific discussions, it is simply not necessary and often serves only to distract for no good reason.

In scientific discussion it should be addressed. Even if it's just a confidence level in a conclusion.

As I said before, rather than hedging every statement in science, we just build the principle of fallibility into our work and leave it mostly unstated. You'll note that this is not a scientific journal.

But here is a way to prove me wrong once and for all. Find me a scientific paper in a well established and respected journal that specifically mentions an unfalsifiable hypothesis such as 'some of the phenomena might sometimes caused by aliens in unknown ways' and I'll concede your point.

I suppose it IS about confidence levels, since the apparent process for those other art works is entirely consistent with known processes, and the works are more often than not signed.

In my experience, most graffiti is anonymous, consisting of a witty or insulting slur on someone or some thing. Furthermore, aliens that are capable of the more skilled graffiti art are presumably capable of signing or otherwise 'tagging' it.

Crop circles are entirely consistent with known processes.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Peter, posted 06-10-2011 7:06 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by Peter, posted 06-13-2011 11:05 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 99 of 150 (619543)
06-10-2011 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by richdix
06-10-2011 7:28 AM


Re: Parsimony and Occum's Razor
With these two concepts alone we can confidently regard ID as not scientific, whilst cereology, in principle, is indeed scientific.

But parsimony would have us cut out unnecessary entities, right? So any cereological conclusion that adds entities which are not necessary to explain crop circles is unparsimonious. Earth visiting aliens are not necessary to explain crop circles, and further they are not independently evidenced entities.

Cereology with xenological explanations fairs little better than biology with teleological explanations.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by richdix, posted 06-10-2011 7:28 AM richdix has taken no action

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 102 of 150 (620091)
06-14-2011 4:01 AM
Reply to: Message 101 by Peter
06-13-2011 11:05 AM


tentative nature of stated conclusions
So if someone presented a falsifiable theory of alien crop circle manufature, that would be OK?

I would argue that a falsifiable theory with no evidence is in principle better than an unfalsifiable theory with no evidence.

I think not. You stated, as undeniable fact, a conclusion which was, in fact, inocorrect no matter what stance you take on 'creation'.

Does this look like stating something as an undeniable fact:

quote:
Just like we have the theory that all rabbits are born from other rabbits. We haven't observed and established this is true of all rabbits so it isn't a fact, as such. One day a rabbit might actually magically appear in a hat, maybe it already has.

quote:
Rather we can make the inductive leap, realizing the tentativity of so doing. We don't have to explicitly express our tentativity when we say baby rabbits come from other rabbits

And then, when it was pointed out that the falsifiable theory might be thought of as technically falsified, I immediately put forward a modified version.

quote:
Your point is just pedantry though. If you must, change it to 'all rabbits within the last 100,000 years' and you'll see there is no problem (except for YECs)

Or indeed, 'all present day rabbits come from rabbits' or 'all rabbits come from rabbits or primitive rabbit like rodents'.

Does this look like someone presenting an 'undeniable fact'? You seem to have a bias that interprets other people's strongly implied tentativity as statements of unassailable facts.

The answer is clearly qualified with a 'state of knowledge' and 'tenatativity' ... which again is all I've asked for.

And my point is that such tentativity is built into the meaning of words when we are talking about theories, inductive logic and/or science.

Has anyone tried to duplicate an existing crop circle? Particularly one of some complexity?

Yes.

Do you have an references to support that claim?

http://www.circlemakers.org

I see what you mean ... not made that level of observation. So why do we believe THAT then?

Inducttive logic

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by Peter, posted 06-13-2011 11:05 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by Peter, posted 06-14-2011 10:25 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 105 of 150 (620271)
06-15-2011 3:37 AM
Reply to: Message 104 by Peter
06-14-2011 10:25 AM


Re: tentative nature of stated conclusions
That whole rabbit thing was the point:
You STARTED by stating it as fact.

My first mention of rabbits in this thread is in Message 88

quote:
Sure it does. Just like we have the theory that all rabbits are born from other rabbits. We haven't observed and established this is true of all rabbits so it isn't a fact, as such.

So no, I didn't state it as a fact. I have only made 12 posts to this thread, and with the tools Percy has provided us it should be easy to look this stuff up.

I'm not trying to proove 'alien's did it' I'm simply trying to impress that 'human's did it' is not as near prooved as appears to be being presented.

Much like with the rabbit thing.

It is as proved as

terrestrial books are written by human authors
raindrops fall from clouds
terrestrial poems are composed by human poets
terrestrial crop circles are made by human pranksters/artists.

They are not proven 100%, each is proven by induction. That is: specific known examples are used to as the basis to make general conclusions. Philosophical tentativity built in.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Peter, posted 06-14-2011 10:25 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by Peter, posted 06-21-2011 11:47 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 113 of 150 (620861)
06-21-2011 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by Peter
06-21-2011 11:47 AM


Re: tentative nature of stated conclusions
My main point was that you rushed to that conclusion without full consideration and then had to amend what you said to justify the conclusion.

Nope, I left it open for falsification for the purposes of illustration. This is not the first time I've had this kind of conversation, after all. Other possible falsification are phenotypical rabbits that are born from human invented genomes in test tubes or hares that are genetically modified to be more rabbitish. The theory is meant to not only be falsifiable but to be easy to see how it would be falsified. Unlike 'some crop circles were created by aliens' which is entirely unfalsifiable.

What happens when a theory gets falsified in real life? At first, minor changes are made to save it from falsification. Eventually the changes become so convoluted the theory is considered a failure. You have not falsified the theory that humans create all terrestrial crop circles even to the point where such additions or changes are required. All you have done is essentially assert that we haven't ruled out that there is a celestial tea pot.

Again, do you think school teachers should give credence to the 'magicians create rabbits de novo' theory, just because we cannot falsify it, or should they teach that rabbits come from other rabbits?

I don't think that the origin of crop circles is anywhere near as clear cut as many people seem to think.

But your only argument is that we haven't falsified the unfalsifiable. If you have a better argument, feel free to present it.

I stress that I'm not out to 'proove' alien intervention ... just to point out that there is more to the claim that all crop circles were made by humans than scientific conclusion with tentativity .... there IS a political aspect.

This is the first time you raised a political aspect, what is this political aspect?

People who report seeing 'aliens' or even 'UFOs' are immediately disbelieved and convoluted explanations brought forward for what might have 'really' happened.

Is it wrong for people to attempt identify something that was previously unidentified? There are two possible identifications, those which the person could not possibly know 'it must be an alien spacecraft' and those which can be supported by evidence such as 'it was Venus'. I once watched a news crew zoom in on a bright light in the sky and saw a few dots in a line on either side of it. Anyone that has looked through a telescope would immediately identify their alien craft as Jupiter and its major moons.

I don't know about convoluted, most of them are quite straight forward. Chinese lamps, lamp posts, planets, the moon, weather balloons and clouds - are all things which have been called unidentified flying objects.

As a race, are humans scared of the possibilities and so ridicule anyone who puts forward the idea?

If you feel that the notion that aliens sometimes perform art in a way that is identical to the way humans perform art is not ridiculous you have a lot of work to do to persuade me. Merely asserting that it hasn't been ruled out is insufficient, for what should be obvious reasons by now.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by Peter, posted 06-21-2011 11:47 AM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by Peter, posted 06-22-2011 11:21 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 1337 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 114 of 150 (620862)
06-21-2011 12:22 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by Peter
06-21-2011 12:11 PM


Re: ALL Conceivable Causes
What is the 'falsifiability' of human created crop-circles?

What features could we look for to refute the claim?

A crop circle shaped alien space craft sitting on one of them.
Or video footage of a family of shrews creating a crop circle.
Or crop circles spontaneously forming.
Or some weather event.
Or any cause that wasn't human.

Would falsify 'all crop circles are human created'

Nothing can falsify 'some crop circles are alien created.' other than some kind of crop circle omniscience which is never going to actually occur.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by Peter, posted 06-21-2011 12:11 PM Peter has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by Peter, posted 06-22-2011 11:26 AM Modulous has replied

  
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