Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 58 (9174 total)
0 online now:
Newest Member: Neptune7
Post Volume: Total: 917,605 Year: 4,862/9,624 Month: 210/427 Week: 20/103 Day: 0/9 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Peanut Gallery
Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 13 of 1725 (500274)
02-24-2009 11:29 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by riVeRraT
02-23-2009 6:33 PM


Negative Assumptions
Why would you assume that a spectator thread would "obviously" have to be about negativity?
Are you saying it's impossible for a seperate thread to be created so that others can positively discuss off-topic material that would only clog-up and confuse the main topic of discussion? Like Percy's post here.
I think it's your assumptions about human nature that are asinine.
Especially in a forum with strict guidelines, and obvious enforcing of those guidelines, set up just to prevent such negativity.
Especially since this thread was started by the one who created those guidelines, and goes around enforcing them!
"Don't look now, your bias is showing."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by riVeRraT, posted 02-23-2009 6:33 PM riVeRraT has not replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 43 of 1725 (502215)
03-10-2009 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by riVeRraT
03-10-2009 10:35 AM


Re: Evidence
riVeRraT writes:
Believing in God is all about Love.
Yes, this is what believing in God should be about. Of course, there are many, many believers who do not yet have this message.
If every single believer loved every non-believer, the way that God loves us, there would be very few problems, and very few unbelievers. It is about love, and love is subjective.
Why are you worried about having less unbelievers? I thought you said that it was "all about Love," no?
Perhaps you should change that to say "If every single believer loved every non-believer, the way that God loves us, there would be very few problems, and very few without Love."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by riVeRraT, posted 03-10-2009 10:35 AM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by riVeRraT, posted 03-11-2009 7:28 AM Stile has replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 50 of 1725 (502337)
03-11-2009 7:59 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by riVeRraT
03-11-2009 7:28 AM


Re: Evidence
riVeRraT writes:
If believing is all about love, as I pointed out, then there is no difference from the way you worded it, to the way I worded it.
Sure there is. Non-believer's are also quite capable of Love. In fact, they are capable of Love at least equal to any Love ever shown by any believer. Sometimes they are even capable of Love greater than that shown by believers.
If Love is the prominent issue, then it no longer matters if one is a believer or not, it only matters if one loves or not.
If "being a believer" is actually the issue.. then Love most certainly is not the main focal point.
If you're trying to say that "anyone who shows Love" is actually a believer... well, that's just silly. It's quite easy to show many, MANY atheists who Love much more than the general population of believers. And they certainly have that same Love without ever being "shown the love of God" in any way. Take the entire country of Sweeden, for example. And, if you're trying to say that atheists are actually "believers" or have somehow been shown "the love of God" without actually knowing it... then, well, that just reduces God's Love to "nothing all that special."
One would think that "the love of God" would be impossible to confuse with anything else. But, with the simple existence of atheistic people with Love, this is obviously not the case. That only leaves two conclusions (1) Love is actually independent of God, or (2) God's Love isn't powerful enough to uniquely identify itself apart from atheistic Love and, therefore, atheistic Love can be greater than God's Love.
And remember, if Love really is the focal point... it doesn't really matter which conclusion is actually true...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by riVeRraT, posted 03-11-2009 7:28 AM riVeRraT has not replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 112 of 1725 (516069)
07-23-2009 8:07 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by Granny Magda
07-22-2009 3:39 PM


Booooooo
Granny Magda writes:
There are quite a few here who could benefit from a bit of brevity.
*raises hand
Long posts are just not going to be read by as many people. The content may be great, but if it isn't reaching as big an audience, it isn't doing its best.
Agreed. Especially once I join a discussion, I have a hard time reading other people's posts who I'm not directly replying to. If those "other" posts get longer as well, I almost always skip them.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Granny Magda, posted 07-22-2009 3:39 PM Granny Magda has not replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 239 of 1725 (572580)
08-06-2010 4:19 PM
Reply to: Message 236 by Straggler
08-06-2010 3:07 PM


Re: RAZD and Bluegenes - Peanut Gallery
I think it's interesting.
I think bluegenes has explained things in a very good, very concise, very... "See Spot Run"... kind of way.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 236 by Straggler, posted 08-06-2010 3:07 PM Straggler has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 241 by purpledawn, posted 08-07-2010 6:43 AM Stile has seen this message but not replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(1)
Message 836 of 1725 (603453)
02-04-2011 1:37 PM
Reply to: Message 826 by RAZD
02-04-2011 11:39 AM


How I see the evidence
RAZD writes:
Without evidence it is an untested hypothesis.
When an hypothesis is tested it is either invalidated or it provides objective empirical evidence that it is in fact true in those specific instances.
This is how I see the situation:
Fact: There are many SB (supernatural being) concepts that people discuss. However their existance (imagined by some human being or actually real) is unknown and sometimes unknowable. For example -> The Christian God or The IPU.
Fact: There is no evidence for any of these SB concepts being real.
Fact: It is possible for humans to invent SB concepts through the use of their imagination.
Hypothesis: "All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination"
Experiment: I create an SB using my imagination. His name is Felix. Whenever I say his name, gravity always reverses and things fall up instead of down. I said his name. Reality was unaffected, no gravity reversal occured.
Conclusion: The SB I created is a figment of my human imagination.
This kind of experiment can be done over and over again by many different people all over the world to provide a lot of evidence that supernatural beings can be figments of the human imagination.
But, of course, what about any other sources?
Well, if we look at the history of mankind, people have been looking for the real, actual source of SBs for as long as we have existed. We have looked at fire, lightning, the sun, the solar system, the beginning of the universe. We have asked laymen, engineers, scientists, religious leaders, business men, hippies, philosophers and all other manner of people. No one has any evidence to show any other source for SB concepts than the human imagination. All these searchers all over the world have recently been connected to each other via technology like the internet. Still no progress towards any real sources other than the human imagination.
That makes a lot of evidence as well.
Therefore:
Strong Theory: "All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination"
ie you would have evidence similar to : the IPU has been shown to be a product of human imagination because of evidence XYZ, documenting it being produced by human imagination. This of course, in proper scientific process, would be published in a scientific peer reviewed journal.
With no such evidence produced it is still an untested hypothesis.
And this evidence is similar, is it not?
The god Felix has been shown to be a product of human imagination because gravity does not reverse when I say his name. Felix was also documented as being produced by Stile's imagination.
(I'm afraid the peer-reviewed journal article will have to wait for processing time)
I do not think you can state that such a thing must be known for any particular SBs (like the IPU in particular) because it is an acknowledged fact that many SB concepts have an unknown origin. The point is that of all the SBs where we do have a known origin; that origin is always, throughout recorded human history, 100% of the time, never anything else but the human imagination. And that is the basis for the Hypothesis becoming a Strong Theory.
To recap the Evidence:
1. All the infinite SBs that can be created by anyone's human imagination and tested against reality.
2. All of recorded human history where no other possible origin for SB concepts is known.
3. All of recorded human history where previously unknown-origin SB concepts have been tested and shown to not be real.
For falsification:
bluegenes writes:
It is falsified by the demonstration of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt.
That is:
-it could have been falsified when we looked at the sun for Apollo. But it wasn't, we just learned about the sun.
-it could have been falsified when we looked at storms for Thor. But it wasn't, we just learned about storms.
-it could have been falsified when I said "Felix". But it wasn't, I was just disappointed.
-it will be falsified if the rapture occurs
...
-it predicted that Apollo would not be at the sun.
-it predicted that Thor would not be behind the storms.
-it predicted that nothing would happen when I said "Felix".
-it predicts that the rapture will never occur.
-it predicts that no one will ever have evidence for a known SB concept.
I don't understand how anyone can't reasonably acknowledge the following in a scientific sense:
Strong Theory: "All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination"
If I lived my life on an island that only had blue birds, wouldn't you say that I could develop a very strong scientific theory that all birds are blue? I certainly would. If not, please explain why such a theory (given such a setting) would not be scientific, or strong?
No one is saying that this Strong Theory is proof positive of reality. No scientific theory takes that stance. It's just a way of phrasing the currently known evidence.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 826 by RAZD, posted 02-04-2011 11:39 AM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 842 by RAZD, posted 02-04-2011 3:26 PM Stile has replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 844 of 1725 (603500)
02-04-2011 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 842 by RAZD
02-04-2011 3:26 PM


The Meat
Although many of the points raised deserve rebuttal... this thread (and the Great Debate thread) have gone over and over them to no avail. It is not my intention to add redundant text to this issue. However, here is the crux of the issue:
RAZD writes:
Is a theory strong that only produces correct answers half the time?
What about less than half the time?
Of course, your implication is correct. No, a theory is not strong if it can only produce correct answers half the time, or less than half the time.
However, this is the real basis for the Strong Theory. In every possible case where the origin can be tested and known... it has always been shown to be a figment of human imagination. That is not 50% or less... that's 100% and not a penny short.
Isn't it a strong theory if it is right 100% of the times it is tested, over and over again, constantly by millions worldwide, throughout recorded human history?
Are you claiming that the Strong Theory is wrong half the time? Any of the time? Can you show us a single time where the Strong Theory is wrong?
I suppose you could claim that the Strong Theory *must* produce correct answers, even with the origins are not known, and cannot be known.
But... how could that make any sense?
The fact that SB concepts exist where their origins are not known, and possibly cannot be known, is a fact of this reality. It was a fact I mentioned at the beginning of my last post, and it's a fact incorporated by the Strong Theory.
I don't see how a fact that is incorporated into the theory can possibly be construed to show that the theory is useless. Indeed... if that fact was not true, if there were no SBs concepts where the origins were unknown... if the origin of SB concepts was always known... why would we need the theory at all? Wouldn't we just know?
Obviously the fact that the origin of some SB concepts is unknown, and possibly can never be known, is not only included in the Strong Theory, it is necessary for the Strong Theory's existance! Otherwise we would just know and there would be no use for such a theory.
Therefore, the only way to make a decent measurement is to see if the Strong Theory is correct when the SB concept's origin can be known... and, so far, the Strong Theory is still chugging along at 100% accuracy.
And the only question remaining would be... do you actually think the Strong Theory is right only half the time or less?
Can you show a single time where the Strong Theory is wrong?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 842 by RAZD, posted 02-04-2011 3:26 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 846 by RAZD, posted 02-04-2011 5:10 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied
 Message 848 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-04-2011 5:19 PM Stile has replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 913 of 1725 (603719)
02-07-2011 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 848 by New Cat's Eye
02-04-2011 5:19 PM


The absurd bird example
Catholic Scientist writes:
You can't use those assumptions and defaults as successes, and if you do, then you can't use those successes to say it hasn't failed. Its circular.
I agree.
But... I'm not using those assumptions and defaults as successes.
I'm using actual successes as successes.
Are you claiming that there are no actual successes for things that were once thought to be supernatural turning out to be merely natural, absolutely none at all? That they are all still unknown and possibly not knowable?
Again, the presence of unknown and possibly unknowable origins is a necessity for the Strong Theory to exist. This fact must remain valid.
Basic flow:
Claim: All SB concepts come from the human imagination.
Example 1 of many: Felix is an SB concept that came from my human imagination.
(Therefore human imagination is a known possible origin)
Theory: All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination
Over the course of human history, no other source for SBs has ever become known. Therefore:
Strong Theory: All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination
Is this 100% truth? - Of course not, no scientific theory claims such a stance
Does this eliminate other possibilities? - Of course not, in fact, if all other possibilities were eliminated, the Strong Theory would also be eliminated and it would be referred to as a fact (whatever the outcome was)
but also it is unfalsifiable because its dealing with the supernatural in the first place.
This (if we take it seriously) would appear to be a claim that it is impossible for the supernatural to make itself known to us. If so, then the supernatural is completely unknowable and therefore, why would you expect a Strong Theory (in the scientific sense) to say other than what I'm proposing?
Personally, I think that the supernatural, if a god exists, could make themselves known to us at some time. If that happens... then the theory is also falsified.
Plus, anything we were able to show was supernatural would be natural by way of that showing.
Depends on how you define the word "supernatural", really.
Kind of like how people use the term "natural" to refer to biodegradable things and not something that is chemically created (like plastic). Plastic is still, strictly speaking, "natural"... but that's not how a lot of people use the term. Here, I'm not using the term "supernatural" in the strict sense you are referring to.
As I'm using the term, it is falsifiable.
That is, if gravity did reverse itself whenever I said "Felix". I would term that as supernatural and consider the Strong Theory to be falsified.
Equivalently, I would find the following to be examples of falsification:
-wafers actually turn into human flesh every Sunday mass
-the rapture occurs
-when we checked behind the clouds, Thor was actually there and generally smashes airplanes at his fancy
Let me make a very strange example for you. It's a bit absurd, but I think it will get my point across:
I live on an island with a tribe of people.
The island has no birds on it, ever.
As far as the evidence that I have goes, no birds exist.
People come to visit our island sometimes, and they tell us of birds from their island (and, yes, birds actually do exist on their island).
They tell me of birds and I don't believe them.
Claim: All bird concepts come from the human imagination.
Example 1 of many: Henry is a bird concept that came from my human imagination.
(Therefore human imagination is a known possible origin)
Theory: All bird concepts are figments of the human imagination
Over the course of human history (my island, for as much as I know), no other source for birds has ever become known. Therefore:
Strong Theory: All birds are figments of the human imagination
Sure, it's incorrect, but that's not the point.
Is it a good, strong scientific theory? Of course it is, it follows all the evidence I have completely.
Now, if someone brings an actual bird to my island. Or, perhaps even the bones of a bird or something like that. Then, this theory would be destoyed on the spot.
But, what if people kept coming to the island and and only saying and believing that birds exist?
What if I asked for them to bring one?
...and they bring nothing but more words and beliefs of the birds?
What if I asked for them to bring the bones of one?
...and they bring nothing but more words and beliefs of the birds?
What if I asked for lots and lots of undoctored photographs of them?
...and they bring nothing but more words and beliefs of the birds?
What if I asked to go to their island to see for myself?
...and they refuse to let anyone from my island leave our island on penalty of death?
Yes, the theory (in the reality of this example) is 100% wrong.
But... as far as the evidence that I have goes... wouldn't you say that it's still a completely Strong Theory? If not, why not? Because, scientifically speaking, it really is still a Strong Theory in this example.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 848 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-04-2011 5:19 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 915 of 1725 (603730)
02-07-2011 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 914 by Rahvin
02-07-2011 11:51 AM


There. Are. Four. Lights!
The issue gets much worse.
If "a search resulting in no pen" actually still leaves a 50/50 chance... then we can't count things
There was a episode of Star Trek TNG where Picard was held hostage by a Cardassian. He was mentally tortured by being shown 4 lights. The Cardassian would then ask him how many lights there were. Picard would answer "There are 4 lights." Picard would then be beaten, or refused food to eat or other physical means of torture and then be asked, again, how many lights there were.
But, if a search for "no more lights" still leaves a 50/50 chance that more lights are actually there... how could Picard know there were actually 4 lights? And not 5, or 6, or 8, or 500,000?
I believe the powergame ended when Picard was finally beamed back to the Enterprise, where he even admitted that at some point he may have actually even seen 5 lights (but always said "4" anyway).
Anyway, my point is: there are 4 lights both because of the evidence for 4 lights, and for the absence of evidence of any additional lights.
If the absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, we could never say there was "a" pen on the desk, even if it's there. Because, we would be relying on the absence of evidence to tell us that there are no additional pens on the desk...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 914 by Rahvin, posted 02-07-2011 11:51 AM Rahvin has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 916 by Jon, posted 02-07-2011 1:07 PM Stile has replied
 Message 929 by Blue Jay, posted 02-07-2011 3:41 PM Stile has replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 917 of 1725 (603752)
02-07-2011 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 916 by Jon
02-07-2011 1:07 PM


Re: There. Are. Four. Lights!
Jon writes:
Stile writes:
Anyway, my point is: there are 4 lights both because of the evidence for 4 lights, and for the absence of evidence of any additional lights.
What is the reason for this unnecessary complication?
If we do not accept the evidence of absence of additional lights, how can we say there are only 4?
Evidence of four lights is sufficient to conclude there are four. Unless our conclusion contains some sort of 'and no more than four' clause, there is really no need to get involved in the matter of whether there is evidence pertaining to the non-existence of a fifth (or more) light, or whether the absence of evidence for the fifth (or more) light constitutes sufficient evidence to conclude there is no fifth (or more) light.
Why would the conclusion not contain some sort of "and no more than four" clause? Isn't that generally included when counting?
If I turn on a bunch of lights, and ask you how many there are; and you tell me "4". Are you saying this doesn't include a "no more than four" clause?
This is a general assumption made when speaking plainly about counting (as I was).
Of course we could, because the English article 'a/an' makes no implications of exclusivity
Sometimes, and sometimes it does. I suppose I hoped it was obvious that I intended a value of 1 here, my mistake.
And even then, the absence of evidence may be sufficient for drawing a tentative conclusion, even while it does not support an absolute one.
Yes. This is exactly what I'm saying. Are you disagreeing with me by agreeing with me? In that case... I accept your disagreement as being absolutely correct!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 916 by Jon, posted 02-07-2011 1:07 PM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 921 by Jon, posted 02-07-2011 2:46 PM Stile has replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 924 of 1725 (603767)
02-07-2011 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 921 by Jon
02-07-2011 2:46 PM


Re: There. Are. Four. Lights!
I'm not sure how to respond. I can't seem to find any question or comment in your post that's actually attempting to forward any sort of discussion. I don't see how I can make my post better other than to change "a" to "1", which I've already acknowledged to you that I should have done...
So,
I accept all your quibbly nitpicks as valid, pedantic issues.
I will apologize for all of them and just pray that people can use their intelligence in order to follow what I'm trying to say. Hopefully others can wade through the shallows of my post in what must seem like lowly grammatical skills in comparison to the shining examples you have provided.
Thank-you for your patience in helping with my corrections.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 921 by Jon, posted 02-07-2011 2:46 PM Jon has seen this message but not replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 931 of 1725 (603780)
02-07-2011 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 923 by New Cat's Eye
02-07-2011 3:07 PM


Re: possibilities and probabilities
Catholic Scientist writes:
I may be wrong, but I think there's more to it than that.
Yup.
You get that by being able to see all the parts of the desk with none of it being blocked by a pen.
Exactly. That's all there is to it.
This all started from the blanket claim of "the absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence."
And, when used in the context of your black picture, this is absolutely correct.
However, when used in the context of pens on Rahvin's desk picture, this is absolutely incorrect.
Therefore, we now know that the blanket phrase "the absence of evidence isn't evidence of absense" is useless because it's actually context-dependent.
Therefore, no one can just toss that line out in a debate and expect it to mean anything.
When is the absence of evidence valid as being evidence of absence?
When we look where we're supposed to look.
Be that pens on desks.
Or 4 lights instead of 5, 6, 10, or 150,000 lights.
Or Thor living in the clouds.
Or Apollo dragging the sun around.
Or Felix reversing gravity.
These are all examples of when "the absence of evidence" really is "evidence of absence". Why is the context valid with these examples? Because we've looked for the claimed entities or effects exactly where we're supposed to look... and found nothing. Therefore, the claim is untrue. Perhaps it was made up on purpose... perhaps it was an accident. However, the process of it being made up is irrelevant... the (now known) fact that it is made up means that it is "a figment of the human imagination."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 923 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-07-2011 3:07 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 934 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-07-2011 4:30 PM Stile has seen this message but not replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 932 of 1725 (603782)
02-07-2011 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 929 by Blue Jay
02-07-2011 3:41 PM


Re: There. Are. Four. Lights!
Bluejay writes:
You know they were just copying a famous scene from the novel 1984 by George Orwell, right?
Really?
My unculturedness is showing again...
No, I didn't know that, actually. Thanks for the tip.
I do know that Star Trek does that copy-a-scene-or-idea from famous books/movies thing a bunch, though... right?
I've never read 1984.
I probably should.
But, as my now well-established unsophisticatedness should be hinting at... I'm probably not going to
On to my next social miscue!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 929 by Blue Jay, posted 02-07-2011 3:41 PM Blue Jay has not replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 1126 of 1725 (608103)
03-08-2011 5:40 PM
Reply to: Message 1122 by purpledawn
03-08-2011 4:42 PM


Re: Does Bluegenes Have A Theory?
Bluegenes has observed that supernatural beings can only be found in the human imagination or products of human imagination. That's the same observation for the talking rodents.
You're absolutely correct.
Bluegenes has a perfectly fine scientific theory.
As well, you have a perfectly fine one going with talking rodents.
I even took it a step further and offered an absurd example of a scientific theory on something that is known to be incorrect by the external observer (repeated below). And no one cared to even attempt to point out why this shouldn't be considered a strong scientific theory (mostly because it should be, if you follow how science works).
Science doesn't make statements about what absolute truth is.
Science is about trying to describe "truth" by means of describing the data we have, but it says nothing about what truth is. Science only makes statements about the evidence we have in front of us.
Science is about "what we see in front of us." Not "what absolute truth actually is."
If we can gather enough data, we may be able to become "the external observer" for certain situations and use that birds-eye-view to speak plainly about "the truth" for a given situation. But this is not what science describes. Science describes the data we have available to us, always. Expanding that data into larger and larger areas is driven by curiosity, not science. Data is only used by science once it is available to us.
Once that data is exanded into vast areas of human knowledge, it can be easy to get confused about the scope of science and what it's doing. But, with the use of some of these strange examples, hopefully we can re-identify what science actually speaks about and how it doesn't ever claim to say anything about reality. Science only speaks on the data we find within reality. Whether or not that actually represents reality, or if it matters... is for philosophy and those other threads.


Message 913
Let me make a very strange example for you. It's a bit absurd, but I think it will get my point across:
I live on an island with a tribe of people.
The island has no birds on it, ever.
As far as the evidence that I have goes, no birds exist.
People come to visit our island sometimes, and they tell us of birds from their island (and, yes, birds actually do exist on their island).
They tell me of birds and I don't believe them.
Claim: All bird concepts come from the human imagination.
Example 1 of many: Henry is a bird concept that came from my human imagination.
(Therefore human imagination is a known possible origin)
Theory: All bird concepts are figments of the human imagination
Over the course of human history (my island, for as much as I know), no other source for birds has ever become known. Therefore:
Strong Theory: All birds are figments of the human imagination
Sure, it's incorrect, but that's not the point.
Is it a good, strong scientific theory? Of course it is, it follows all the evidence I have completely.
Now, if someone brings an actual bird to my island. Or, perhaps even the bones of a bird or something like that. Then, this theory would be destoyed on the spot.
But, what if people kept coming to the island and and only saying and believing that birds exist?
What if I asked for them to bring one?
...and they bring nothing but more words and beliefs of the birds?
What if I asked for them to bring the bones of one?
...and they bring nothing but more words and beliefs of the birds?
What if I asked for lots and lots of undoctored photographs of them?
...and they bring nothing but more words and beliefs of the birds?
What if I asked to go to their island to see for myself?
...and they refuse to let anyone from my island leave our island on penalty of death?
Yes, the theory (in the reality of this example) is 100% wrong.
But... as far as the evidence that I have goes... wouldn't you say that it's still a completely Strong Theory? If not, why not? Because, scientifically speaking, it really is still a Strong Theory in this example.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1122 by purpledawn, posted 03-08-2011 4:42 PM purpledawn has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1128 by purpledawn, posted 03-08-2011 8:53 PM Stile has replied

Stile
Member (Idle past 126 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


(1)
Message 1137 of 1725 (615230)
05-11-2011 3:26 PM
Reply to: Message 1128 by purpledawn
03-08-2011 8:53 PM


Re: Does Bluegenes Have A Theory?
My apologies, purpledawn. I have been a rather busy bee and seemed to have forgotten about this.
(I've bought a new house, yay! ...but am now crazed with moving, installing, and organizing... boo!)
If you're still interested, here's my response to your last message:
purpledawn writes:
1. We have observation and description.
2. We formulated a hypothesis.
3. We can use the hypothesis to predict.
How do we test the predictions of our scenarios?
Theory: All birds are figments of the imagination.
Prediction of the Absurd Bird Example Theory (Message 1126):
Whenever someone visits the island, they will never have any evidence of a real living bird with them.
...which can be tested whenever anyone visits the island.
Or, even:
No one will ever discover any evidence of a real living bird.
...which can be tested constantly.
Are we supposed to go looking for falsification before it can become a theory?
Yes.
From what you're saying, the one with the theory isn't required to prove that the birds in the verbal claims are not real. The one claiming that birds are real, needs to bring out the bird for testing and verification; correct?
Not quite.
The one with the theory isn't required to prove that the birds are not real... such is impossible in any event anyway. They are required to perform a reasonable search/query into the existence of such things before creating a scientific theory, though.
It's when any further search/query becomes unreasonable that the hypothesis shifts into being a theory.
And no, the ones claiming the birds are real do not necessarily have to bring the birds out for testing/verification (although this would easily destroy the theory). The birds can appear on their own, if possible.
So it doesn't make your theory any less a theory just because you can't prove that the birds they speak of are completely imaginary.
Yes.
Mostly because such a thing is an impossibility.
No impossible task would reduce the validity of a scientific theory. Science is about exploring what we can while working with what we have. It is not limited or affected by things that are impossible (like leaving the island in my example).
It doesn't change your theory until they produce the birds, right?
I would say "until some actual evidence of the birds is available"... but in a word: yes.
Scientific Theories are not hard and fast rules to live by forever. Such a notion is against what science stands for in the first place.
Scientific Theories are only rules to live by until more information is obtained.
Once new information is obtained, either the rules will continue to stand or they will be updated to account for the new data.
That's science.
Change is expected whenever new data is obtained.
There is no global, absolute right or wrong where science is concerned.
The right vs. wrong of science is entirely dependent on the information available. As that information increases, the rights and wrongs will change as required.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1128 by purpledawn, posted 03-08-2011 8:53 PM purpledawn has seen this message but not replied

Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024