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Straggler
Member (Idle past 202 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 1711 of 1725 (633692)
09-15-2011 1:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1699 by xongsmith
09-15-2011 4:20 AM


Re: The Straggler Challenge
Do you understand that supernatural entities could actually exist and bluegene's theory could still be true? Do you understand that even if no supernatural entities actually exist bluegenes theory could still be false?

Because until you understand that this is about the evidenced source of such concepts rather than explicitly about the existence of supernatural entities you are doomed to prattle on about anal Emma forever.

X writes:

Do you deny that the best people to make a scientific conclusion are those who are trained and educated in the field of their specialty?

I don't deny that at all. But since when was defining which concepts are "supernatural" and which are not a scientific conclusion? Which experts in which scientific field defined any of these as supernatural? Christ, Yahweh, Allah, Voldermort, Satan, Solar deities, Wind gods, Fertility deities, Lunar deities, Thunder gods, Creator gods, Fire gods etc. etc. etc. The supernaturality of these concepts isn't defined by scientists is it?

X writes:

My Analemma position is based on observations I have accumulated over my lifetime about scientific papers published in respected scientific journals

Then it is no wonder you are so confused. You are looking in the wrong place. Because the supernaturality of a particular concept isn't going to be defined by what is or isn't in a scientific journal.

X writes:

LIAR. All I said was that it would be more likely. I said nothing about admitting one way or the other.

Given that you have explicitly equated the actual existence of certain unfalsifiable supernatural entities to be mathematically impossible, given that you have been unable to provide a single example of a specific supernatural concept whose existence you consider anything other than mathematically impossible, given that you have stated that a freak thermodynamic event would be the best explanation for supernatural events like biblical Armageddon, given that you have repeatedly stated that you will only accept as "supernatural" that which the scientific community rubber stamps as "supernatural" and given that you have repeatedly stated that the scientific community will never meet your criteria - I am at a genuine loss as to how you can ever accept anything as supernatural.

You have effectively invented a form of "atheism by definition".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1699 by xongsmith, posted 09-15-2011 4:20 AM xongsmith has seen this message

RAZD
Member (Idle past 638 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 1712 of 1725 (633741)
09-15-2011 11:47 PM
Reply to: Message 1640 by PaulK
09-10-2011 3:54 AM


imagination, brain malfunction, hallucination, and insanity are catch-alls
Hi PaulK, I just need to come back to a couple of points.

Of course the confusion is yours, and therefore your problem.

Curiously there are people who are not confused by my posts.

Certainly you are not confused by my posts like Age Correlations and An Old Earth, Version 2 No 1 are you?

RAZD, we are discussing a case where we have quite thoroughly tested for "evidence of the other", to the point where we have eliminated the possibility. To be precise, by watching brain function we have no inputs that are unaccounted for and all point to a natural origin of the experience, thus we can say that the experience is the product of natural causes, and it does not detect supernatural beings - for the simple reason that given the same natural causes the same experience would occur whether there were a supernatural being present or not.

And what you don't seem to realize is that your testing will never result in "evidence of the other" because you assume you have covered all the bases so that you don't need to look for anything else.

You look at the brain scans, and you conclude there is either normal or abnormal behavior.

Under normal behavior you watch scans of people dreaming or have a religious experience and if you have no other explanation you conclude that these are normal behavior of imagination, even though people involved say otherwise -- you know better eh?

Under abnormal behavior you watch the scans of people and if you have no other explanation you conclude that these are abnormal behavior of brain malfunction, hallucination or insanity.

... thus we can say that the experience is the product of natural causes, and it does not detect supernatural beings ...

Because it cannot detect supernatural beings. It never has and it never will, even if one is standing there.

And I am pointing out that this is completely irrelevant to what we are discussing, which is how we might determine if religious experiences are detections of supernatural beings or not. Once we have hypothetically determined that the experience is entirely due to natural causes the question of whether a supernatural being happens to be present or not becomes an irrelevance for the reasons I have given.

But you haven't "determined that the experience is entirely due to natural causes" -- you have just put them in tidy categories that pretend to explain them as due to natural causes, categories that are "catch-alls" for anything you cannot otherwise categorize as natural causes: imagination, brain malfunction, hallucination, insanity.

Anything that could be an actual experience gets put into one or the other of those tidy little categories and you tell yourself that you have an explanation for it, and that it is due to natural causes.

quote:
Which is precisely my point -- you cannot claim that something is present or absent if you don't test for it with a methodology that is known to test positive when present and negative when absent.

Alternatively we can examine the detector, find that it's behaviour is governed entirely by factors unrelated to the thing it supposedly detects and therefore conclude that it does not work. You have presented no valid argument against such a test.

It is not my job to do your work for you. You claim to have a methodology that you believe detects a lack of supernatural presence. You have not substantiated that claim by showing that it can produce a positive result.

I point out to you, again, that you (a) do not have a tested and validated methodology that is known to produce positive results, and (b) that without such a test method/ology you are like a Ben Franklin flying his kite in a storm without a means to test for the presence of electricity.

You agreed that in this scenario Ben Franklin cannot assume that electricity is not present in lightening, even though he failed to detect it, because the reason he failed to detect it, is that he did not test for it.

Your "natural causes" do not test for the presence of supernatural beings, it purports to test for what you cannot explain, and you explain everything with tidy catch-all categories whether they may or may not include supernatural essence. It's flawed thinking. It's begging the question.

The confusion here is yours. The test does not seek to detect supernatural elements. Instead it determines if the known natural elements are sufficient to explain the experience (measured at the level of brain function). You may argue that finding a gap in our understanding is not sufficient to conclude that a supernatural explanation is needed and you would be correct, but that is not the point of the test.

I am not confused at all by what you claim, I can see clearly that it does not have the ability to test for supernatural presence, because you can explain any brain behavior in various tidy catch-all categories, such as imagination, brain malfunction, hallucination, and insanity.

Do you have a detector and methodology that you have tested and confirmed that it will produce a positive result if there were a supernatural presence?

Ben Franklin had TWO such tests when he determined electricity was present in lightening.

Enjoy.


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


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1640 by PaulK, posted 09-10-2011 3:54 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1714 by PaulK, posted 09-16-2011 2:32 AM RAZD has seen this message

RAZD
Member (Idle past 638 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 1713 of 1725 (633742)
09-16-2011 12:04 AM
Reply to: Message 1697 by Omnivorous
09-14-2011 8:43 PM


...the evidence, test methods and information we currently have ...
Hi Omnivorous

Do we? How many unevidenced certainties must we put in the phenomenologists' brackets to say so?

[Matrix/Descartes' Evil Daemon]
[the integrity of each scientist and instrument maker involved]
[the X factor which makes nonsense of all our measures]
[a current sane state]
[etcetera]

Assume that any one of those is true: does that change the truth of the statement that "... we know with certainty that the evidence, test methods and information we currently have show the earth to be over 4 billion years old."

The appropriate brackets for the word 'knowledge' come prepackaged with the context of its use. I see no reason for a long string of qualifiers, even for scientists: in that context, the qualifiers are understood; outside that context, they aren't necessary and, far from misleading anyone, may even undermine the popular understanding and acceptance of scientific findings.

Curiously, I have no problem with stating things like this, especially in threads like the Age Correlations and An Old Earth, Version 2 No 1 thread

... Adding up all the time recorded by these tree rings would give us a minimum age of the earth for all those years to have passed that generated the rings. We'll be minimalist here and say:

Minimum age of the earth > 8,000 years based on this data.

Enjoy.


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


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1697 by Omnivorous, posted 09-14-2011 8:43 PM Omnivorous has taken no action

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17167
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 1714 of 1725 (633747)
09-16-2011 2:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1712 by RAZD
09-15-2011 11:47 PM


RAZD uses imagination, brain malfunction, hallucination, and insanity as catch-alls
quote:

Curiously there are people who are not confused by my posts.

And what you don't seem to realize is that your testing will never result in "evidence of the other" because you assume you have covered all the bases so that you don't need to look for anything else.


In other words you are asserting not only that does this alleged "detection of supernatural beings" use informational channels unavailable to natural methods, but that it CANNOT produce any noticeable differences in brain function, even indirectly.

Retreating to unfalsifiability would be bad enough. But insisting that the supernatural is utterly incapable of producing any detectable evidence is going much further. Your mind is closed to the possibility that the tests might work.

Needless to say, your dogmatic refusal to accept that even quite weak evidence of the supernatural could exist does not in any way affect the validity of the tests.

quote:

You look at the brain scans, and you conclude there is either normal or abnormal behavior.

In fact the proposed test is to look at the scans and determine whether the observed behaviour is accounted for by known inputs and interactions or whether the evidence suggests that there is an additional input.

IF that possibility is ruled out then we can conclude that the experience is not detection of supernatural beings.

quote:

Because it cannot detect supernatural beings. It never has and it never will, even if one is standing there.

What is "it" in the post here ? The religious experience is the only thing claimed to "detect supernatural beings".

quote:

But you haven't "determined that the experience is entirely due to natural causes" -- you have just put them in tidy categories that pretend to explain them as due to natural causes, categories that are "catch-alls" for anything you cannot otherwise categorize as natural causes: imagination, brain malfunction, hallucination, insanity.

In fact my proposed tests make no judgements of that sort at all. They operate on the lower level of brain function, simply looking for evidence of unexplained inputs.

quote:

It is not my job to do your work for you. You claim to have a methodology that you believe detects a lack of supernatural presence. You have not substantiated that claim by showing that it can produce a positive result.

Of course you are criticising the wrong test here ! The test that you are attacking makes no such claim. If the test found an unexplained input it would not mean that the input was definitely from a supernatural source. The point of the test is to FALSIFY that claim, by testing for unexplained inputs. If all the inputs are fully accounted for by natural sources then the hypothesis is falsified. It is not proven simply by the detection of an unexplained input, simply NOT falsified !

quote:

I point out to you, again, that you (a) do not have a tested and validated methodology that is known to produce positive results, and (b) that without such a test method/ology you are like a Ben Franklin flying his kite in a storm without a means to test for the presence of electricity.

Well, you keep saying it, but it remains false. The test you are attempting to criticise attempts to determine if your "detector" can be said to work or not, by seeing if it's behaviour is completely accounted for by factors OTHER than the things it supposedly detects.

quote:

I am not confused at all by what you claim, I can see clearly that it does not have the ability to test for supernatural presence, because you can explain any brain behavior in various tidy catch-all categories, such as imagination, brain malfunction, hallucination, and insanity.

On the evidence of this post, I would have to say that you are greatly confused. I repeat that the test you are talking about is intended to look only at the level of brain function and only looks for evidence of unexplained inputs. It does not make any judgements as to the state of mind of the person having the experience.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1712 by RAZD, posted 09-15-2011 11:47 PM RAZD has seen this message

AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 1715 of 1725 (633749)
09-16-2011 6:03 AM


** !! Thread Closing in 48 Hours !! **
The limit has been reached. This thread is now closed to discussion.
Participants will be given 48 hours to post one summary of their
final position concerning the GD being discussed.

Please do not respond to previous posts and do not respond to summations.

Again, thread will be closing in 48 hours.

AdminPD

P.S. Trying this without a preclosing.


Panda
Member (Idle past 2946 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


(2)
Message 1716 of 1725 (633752)
09-16-2011 6:26 AM


Unanswered
RAZD correctly states:

quote:
We know with certainty that the evidence, test methods and information we currently have show the earth to be over 4 billion years old.

This can be carried over to all other scientific claims:

We know with certainty that the evidence, test methods and information we currently have show that the earth orbits the sun.
We know with certainty that the evidence, test methods and information we currently have show that bacteria evolve.
We know with certainty that the evidence, test methods and information we currently have show that HIV causes AIDS.
We know with certainty that the evidence, test methods and information we currently have show that the only source of rabbits is other rabbits.

and also:

We know with certainty that the evidence, test methods and information we currently have show that the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings.

Edited by Panda, : No reason given.


Always remember: QUIDQUID LATINE DICTUM SIT ALTUM VIDITUR

Science flies you into space; religion flies you into buildings.


RAZD
Member (Idle past 638 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 1717 of 1725 (633771)
09-16-2011 11:11 AM


Failure after failure after failure is still failure -- Summary
In over 1700 posts not one piece of actual objective evidence has been presented to show that a single supernatural entity is actually objectively demonstrated to be the product of human imagination.

Not one piece of evidence or line of investigation has been suggested to bluegenes to further his claim to have a real theory or his claim to have "plenty of evidence" to support his claim, as opposed to a hypothetical conjecture, which is present in massive doses (see discussion between Straggler and xongsmith for examples).

What has been presented is assumption and conjecture after assumption and conjecture, with the unsubstantiated claim that they are reasonable assumptions and conjectures. That is not objective evidence as used in science. That is not how science operates.

There is no method to actually detect actual supernatural presence/s.

There is no methodology to actually test for supernatural presence.

The assumption that measuring natural causes will somehow turn up evidence for supernatural essences, and the failure to turn up supernatural essences means that natural causes are a complete explanation uses begging the question and affirming the consequent logical fallacies.

When

  1. a person has a religious experience, and
  2. it is categorized as imagination, brain malfunction, hallucination, insanity, etc, and
  3. then it is claimed that these natural causes fully explain the experience, and
  4. that this shows that supernatural presence was not detected

    • is begging the question circular reasoning,

    and to then claim

  5. therefore there is no reason to hypothesize or investigate further to see if supernatural presence/s were involved

    • is assuming the consequent in confirmation of personal biases and world views.

The analogy,

  • of having a Ben Franklin flying a kite in a storm
  • without any means or methodology to test for electricity,
  • demonstrates vividly, fully and completely
  • that not having a proper, applicable test method and methodology means
  • you cannot detect the presence or absence of electricity, and
    1. that you cannot assume that electricity is not present in spite of
    2. all the tests and all the evidence and all the information that was collected
    3. because they did not relate to the presence or absence of electricity.

The assumption that the results of any tests did not show the presence of electricity and that ...

   • therefore there is no reason to hypothesize or investigate further to see if electricity was involved

... is thus a false conclusion, based on circular reasoning, affirming the consequent, personal bias and worldview, rather than on objective empirical tested evidence.

The proper conclusion would be that the presence or absence of electricity was not tested rather than absent.

In actuality, Ben had not one, but two independent tests, both previously tested and validated methods, known to detect electricity and known to produce positive results when electricity was present and not produce positive results when electricity was not present.

This kind of scientifically tested and validated method and procedure is completely missing in the detection of supernatural presence or absence.

Therefore the proper conclusion is that supernatural presences\essence\etc are untested rather than absent.

The evidence (zero), test methods (missing) and information (assumptions, conjectures, etc) we currently have only show that the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings ... if it is assumed that it is (a) human imagination and (b) that imagination is the only source, rather than being actually demonstrated.

The evidence, test methods and information we currently have show that the presence or absence of supernatural beings/essence/etc is untested.

In a nutshell, this is also why bluegenes' arguments on the GD thread are also a complete failure.

Enjoy.


If anyone is confused by this post they can PM me.

Edited by RAZD, : clrty


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


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

Replies to this message:
 Message 1719 by PaulK, posted 09-16-2011 12:15 PM RAZD has seen this message

1.61803
Member (Idle past 737 days)
Posts: 2928
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 1718 of 1725 (633776)
09-16-2011 11:42 AM


We can infer the only source of supernatural beings is the human imagination. But without a way to evidence this by employing a physical test to the subject we can not scientifically conclude this is so. Although I agree I personally have never come into contact with a supernatural being other than that which was fabricated by someones imagination.

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17167
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


(1)
Message 1719 of 1725 (633781)
09-16-2011 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 1717 by RAZD
09-16-2011 11:11 AM


RAZDs failures
Or some of them...

I will address only the part of RAZD's reply that seems to be aimed at my points. I say "seems to be aimed" since RAZD misses very badly.

quote:

The assumption that measuring natural causes will somehow turn up evidence for supernatural essences, and the failure to turn up supernatural essences means that natural causes are a complete explanation uses begging the question and affirming the consequent logical fallacies.

Of course, this is not at all what I proposed. Rather I proposed that if the supernatural had effects on the natural world - as RAZD suggested might be the case - that by examination we could falsify the claim by examining the causes of the event and seeing if natural explanations fully sufficed or if a gap was left that might potentially be due to supernatural influence. RAZD has failed to refute this suggestion.

[quote]
When

[list=a]

  • a person has a religious experience, and
  • it is categorized as imagination, brain malfunction, hallucination, insanity, etc, and
  • then it is claimed that these natural causes fully explain the experience, and
  • that this shows that supernatural presence was not detected
    \[/quote\]

    Let us note that RAZD seems to completely miss the fact that my suggestion was based on brain scans, not on psychological investigation. The "explanations" he proposes are simply not applicable to my suggested test, which operates at the level the workings of the material brain rather than the mind.

    Perhaps he has confused this with the second test I proposed which did intend to look at reports of religious experiences. However, that test only looks for positive evidence of supernatural involvement, and a failure is not taken as falsifying the existence of supernatural beings at all.

    All in all while this description echoes RAZD's recent attacks on my proposals the content is largely RAZD's own imaginings. A serious failure indeed.

    quote:

    The analogy,

    • of having a Ben Franklin flying a kite in a storm
    • without any means or methodology to test for electricity,
    • demonstrates vividly, fully and completely
    • that not having a proper, applicable test method and methodology means
    • you cannot detect the presence or absence of electricity, and
      1. that you cannot assume that electricity is not present in spite of
      2. all the tests and all the evidence and all the information that was collected
      3. because they did not relate to the presence or absence of electricity.


    ...is a repeated failure. It is not analogous to my proposed test at all. And I have corrected RAZD more than once on this issue, however,in his confusion RAZD fails to notice and repeated the same error again and again.

    Franklin was attempting to detect electricity, my test does not propose to detect anything, rather it tests an alleged detector, to see if it might possibly work. This is already a major difference.

    My test - which RAZD has failed to rebut, answering a strawman of his own invention instead - despite my corrections - does not require a means of detecting supernatural beings.

    To make a genuine analogy, if I claimed that my room light detected supernatural beings whenever I operated the switch we could point out that the operation of the switch combined with the electricity supply and the circuitry was sufficient to explain the light coming on, and come to the conclusion that the light was not detecting supernatural beings. The question of whether a supernatural being was present or not is irrelevant - indeed that is the point of the test, it establishes that the presence of a supernatural being IS irrelevant to the observation.

    quote:

    The assumption that the results of any tests did not show the presence of electricity and that ...

       • therefore there is no reason to hypothesize or investigate further to see if electricity was involved


    We will note that RAZD cannot even accurately get the conclusion of my test right. The conclusion is only that the alleged detector does not in fact work as a detector. The argument he is supposedly addressing never claimed to be able to falsify the existence of supernatural beings.

    quote:

    The proper conclusion would be that the presence or absence of electricity was not tested rather than absent.

    And of course, having concluding that the alleged detector did not work, in my argument we would conclude that it was NOT a test for the presence of supernatural beings ! RAZD therefore agrees that my conclusion is the proper one to draw !


  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 1717 by RAZD, posted 09-16-2011 11:11 AM RAZD has seen this message

    Straggler
    Member (Idle past 202 days)
    Posts: 10332
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    (5)
    Message 1720 of 1725 (633784)
    09-16-2011 1:08 PM


    Unfalsifiables and Summations
    For every objectively evidenced naturalistic explanation or conclusion an evidentially baseless but untestable supernatural alternative can be posited.

    According to science the Earth is billions of years old. But we cannot actually disprove Last Thursdayism. According to science gravitational effects are caused by space-time curvature. But we cannot prove that masses are not instead being directly manipulated by the pure conscious will of some ethereal and undetectable being. Science tells us that life on Earth evolved from a common ancestor. But we cannot prove that a malevolent, powerful and undetectable supernatural being didn’t plant all of the scientific evidence for evolution specifically to lead us to this false conclusion. Science tells us that when I release my soon-to-be dropped pen it will fall in a manner consistent with the laws of physics. But until I actually drop the pen and see what happens I cannot test whether or not the laws of physics are going to be miraculously violated by some entity unbounded by physical laws and with a penchant for pen motion interference.

    Yet despite all of these things I honestly and genuinely believe that the Earth is billions of years old, that gravitational effects are due to properties of space-time that can be described geometrically, that life on Earth did evolve from a common ancestor and that my pen when dropped will behave in a manner entirely consistent with the laws of physics as we know them to be.

    Now you could say that these beliefs are irrational. You could say that unless I have tested all of the unfalsifiable alternatives I have no justifiable basis to hold these beliefs as anything other than subjective opinions. You could say that I am simply exhibiting my “world view” and that the scientific conclusions I am advocating have no more validity as descriptions of reality than the evidentially baseless but unfalsified alternatives mentioned. You could call me a pseudoskeptic. But if you do you are essentially defining the whole of science as pseudoskeptical. Because the entire validity of science as a route to knowledge depends on rejecting evidentially baseless but unfalsified alternatives as “very improbable”. So how does this apply to bluegenes theory explicitly…..?

    Why do humans believe in the existence of god(s)? Are these widespread human beliefs and ideas held as a result of the actual existence of such entities? Or is there a more evidenced explanation for this observable human behaviour?

    The objective evidence (agency detection, the selection advantage of false positives etc.) tells us that humans have a deep psychological proclivity to invent a variety of intelligent agents including (but far from restricted to) gods in order to explain the things that they find baffling and significant. Meanwhile the claim that such entities actually exist remains completely objectively unevidenced and utterly subjective.

    On the simple yet essentially inarguable basis that objectively evidenced explanations and conclusions are more scientific and more likely to be correct than unevidenced subjective claims it therefore follows that any given concept of god cited by humanity is more likely to be a human invention than something that actually exists.

    At least this is what a science compatible approach to knowledge tells us.....

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


    Chuck77
    Inactive Member


    (1)
    Message 1721 of 1725 (633898)
    09-17-2011 2:01 AM


    Summation; Bluegenes and myself on both ends of extreme
    Hundreds of posts/comments and the discussion is stuck right here where blugenes gleefully claims:
    bluegenes writes:

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

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

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

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

    -Bold Mine-

    Well, somehow bluegenes has gotten a lot of support for this belief/faith/claim of His.

    It is truly amazing and quite mind boggling to me the bias that is being displayed here. After all if it were ME or RAZD or another "believer" that made such a CLAIM only in reverse Straggler would be over in the PNT's putting together a thread for whomever the statement came asking for evidence for such.

    Strangly tho, bluegenes is not required to do so. Why? Because he is not a believer or an open minded skeptic.

    In this case bluegenes and myself are claiming the same exact things. We both are making predictions that are unprovable scientifically, which was precisly the entire point of the Great Debate thread.

    It has been said that the pen will fall to the ground like it always has therefore the pen will fall to the ground therefore.

    That would be great if we were testing for falling pens. Tho, curiously (in honor of RAZD ) we are not. We are in actuality testing for the Super Natural which as far as I know, as of right now, in this present time, here on earth, cannot be done.

    Therefore, RAZD has successfully demonstrated and debated that what bluegenes has claimed is exactly as RAZD puts it in Message 1:

    RAZD writes:

    What you have is wishful thinking and confirmation bias coupled to the logical fallacy of Affirming the Consequent.

    Enjoy


    bluegenes
    Member (Idle past 1711 days)
    Posts: 3119
    From: U.K.
    Joined: 01-24-2007


    (3)
    Message 1722 of 1725 (633929)
    09-17-2011 7:46 AM


    The only known source.
    One of the interesting things about the theory that "all supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination" is the kind of emotional reactions it produces. Normally, when we theorize that certain phenomena (in this case the ideas or concepts of supernatural beings that we all have in our minds) come from their only known source, the theory is treated as virtual fact or law. Why the difference with SBs? Do some people have a personal emotional attachment to the idea of one or more supernatural beings actually existing outside our minds?

    Inductive theories are constructed a bit like this:

    1) Humans can and do invent supernatural beings.

    2) Human invention is the only source of supernatural beings known or currently knowable to all of us (or "currently known to science").

    3) Therefore the inductive theory: "All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

    This can only be a theory, not a conclusively proven fact, because it does not automatically follow from the first two statements, as would be the case in a deductive syllogism; a logical proof.

    Science explores the unknown, and therefore has to use inductive reasoning as well as deductive.

    Almost all of the criticism of the theory has come from people who clearly do not understand the inductive laws and theories of science, and how they work. The worst criticism comes when people demonstrate that they think that strong scientific theories cannot be established without falsifying unsupported speculative "hypotheses" that contradict them.

    For example: Humans have subjective experiences which involve real externally existing supernatural beings.

    This involves a hypothetical alternative source of SBs other than our own invention. But it doesn't support a claim that my theory is weak unless it can be supported by good evidence. The suggestion alone is just as useless as suggesting that fairies actually do exist in some English gardens. And, like the fairies, it is not supported by the "some people believe it" argument.

    So far, the absurdity and pathetic weaknesses of the arguments put forward against the theory I've proposed just serve to illustrate what a strong theory it is.


    Modulous
    Member (Idle past 1338 days)
    Posts: 7789
    From: Manchester, UK
    Joined: 05-01-2005


    (2)
    Message 1723 of 1725 (633997)
    09-17-2011 10:10 PM


    A year of debate
    No summary is up to the task of briefly bringing together all that has transpired since it was brought to this thread in Message 236, in August 2010.

    Religion is a natural phenomenon.

    Belief in the supernatural beings is a natural phenomenon.

    Supernatural being concepts are natural phenomenon.

    So what theories are there that might explain these things?

    One theory is that some of them are real. This theory is unverified. It has no supporting evidence.

    One theory is that some or all of them point to a supernatural truth (the so-called Hindu Hypothesis) This theory is unverified and unfalsifiable.

    Another theory is that the human brain is predisposed to invent these kinds of things in response to certain stimuli. As if the brain/mind had certain biases, blindspots, errant pattern detections etc. All of these things are evidenced to exist, and they also explain a wide variety of superstitious, supernatural and bizarre but natural (think conspiracy theories) beliefs

    The debate with bluegenes has been a bit of a bust really. RAZD has decided to attempt the tactic of asserting the latter theory is not really a theory, that unfalsified and unverified alternatives need to be ruled out and a host of other strange erroneous methods of undermining theories that we at EvC are familiar with.

    This has meant getting stuck on the fundamentals rather than exploring otherwise interesting avenues that have had more of an airing here in the Peanut Gallery.

    Significant effort went into reminding some participants that 'all supernatural beings are products of the imagination' is a theory, not a factual claim. As a theory it has a duty to explain (which it does), to be falsifiable (which it is) and to have supporting evidence (which it has (for those screaming, right now, I remind you that this is a psychological theory and the evidence is the psychological evidence of confirmation bias, hyperactive agency detection, confabulation, over eager pattern detection, superstitious behaviour and so on and so forth, as well as the human mind being the only established source of these kinds of things, and the mutually exclusive nature of many of the claims being made))

    Bluegenes worded the theory in a provocative manner, and it has indeed provoked some interesting results. The fierceness and erratic manner in what should be an innocuous theory has been denounced is evidence that the various cognitive shortcomings that RAZD so often throws at his opponents might be in play here.

    RAZD could accept that it is a theory, even if it is one that he doesn't accept as being sufficient or accurate - but since he probably thinks the theory is counter to his own very well established, strongly defended and now highly invested in worldview, it is unlikely RAZD will. A change of mind is unlikely, but I like to think the journey has been entertaining and informative.

    Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


    xongsmith
    Member
    Posts: 2207
    From: massachusetts US
    Joined: 01-01-2009
    Member Rating: 3.1


    (3)
    Message 1724 of 1725 (633999)
    09-18-2011 1:28 AM


    Wow, I have never never never ever done a Summation Finality End Of The Thread thingy yet....

    Ok - this version of the Peanut Gallery has been a wonderful experience for almost *ALL* of my EvC time here. Everyone in this thread has been very rewarding. I have watched many a sunrise & heard many a symphony of early bird calls from my modest room, staying up through the night, around to the dreaded next day, consuming much liquid diet product, in grateful wonder of the world, as I was participating in such a struggle of words amongst us all. I can only hope that another Peanut Gallery materializes soon after this one is gone.

    Here are my modest final comments....i think....maybe.......

    Let's take a look at bluegenes' original formulation:

    bluegenes writes:

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

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

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

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

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

    Why did I make his beings in yellow? Because there is a HUGE difference between a Supernatural Concept and a Supernatural Being. Anyone can conjure up a Supernatural Concept - Straggler & bluegenes happily skipped up the light fantastic conjuring up Supernatural Concepts willy nilly. But "being" by itself does imply in a more fundamental sense to the world, some kind of "possible" reality....Mickey Mouse? forget that.....

    So...because I only saw this by following what my brother was doing here - with his absolutely killer Age-Of-the-Earth stuff - I was curious....

    RAZD took the challenge and challenged bluegenes to demonstrate that the IPU was made up - not that it was impossible, but that it was made-up. Eventually I condensed this demand down to finding out who the Bobby Henderson of the IPU was. Somehow this was not the brunt of the verbiage that followed. Instead Straggler & I probably smoked the equivalent of a Cuban Acre of Cigars in comfy deep cushioned chairs, snifting gallons of the finest French Cognac in our minds (hopefully if not actually) over the issue of armchair philosophical arguments to prove that the IPU could not possibly exist and therefore must be made-up, versus my swordplay that it was not from the CouldNotExist->MadeUp side, but rather the MadeUp->CouldNotExist side. Fun stuff.

    However, the very calm & understanding Modulous eventually got through to my stodgy head to point out that it is not in the province of a challenger to demand a certain test of the proposed theory on their whim. The person proposing the theory need only provide concrete examples of their own research that led to the theory.

    Ok - what was next? Damned if I know.

    Perhaps it was the issue of....AHAH - Straggler!! Can I think of a supernatural phenomenon that would falsify??? And I went into a fantasmagorical scenario of thermodynamic implausibility that would make Albert Einstein shit bricks, if he were alive, characterizing it as more likely than a real actualization of the Christian Bible's End Times scenario.

    Doesn't matter what I would have said. I am not qualified in this field. When stuff like this happens, go read what the experts would have said about it. If you get a chance before the horrid mega-scorpions drag you down into the molten hell. In this scenario, bluegenes theory would not have had enough time to be falsified.

    Time went by, arguments were made.

    I really don't DISAGREE with bluegenes' theory, but I feel that he could have spelled it out better. Or at least floated it out as a conjecture, rather than a proposed theory. Here are my TWO issues with bluegenes' theory that have somehow struck me as being faulty in my head, such as it is (sawdust!).

    1. He did not adequately describe the scientific procedure and equipment used to measure the data that led to his theory.

    3. His falsification criterion was FLAWED.

    Wait! What happened to 2? Okay - I showed the picture of the human ear grown on the back of a laboratory rat Message 362 and suggested IMMEDIATELY that bluegenes should strike his sentence to read rabbit DNA from rabbit DNA, to push the future probability of rabbit falsification maybe to the year 3592, instead of maybe 2018. I also suggested that he modify the imagination line to enlarge it to include any intelligent species rather than just home sapiens. Those changes would not have changed the force of his argument, those changes would have provided a stronger future foundation. To his credit he did nothing of the kind, laying his body open to attack from those directions as well.

    Meanwhile RAZD had put up the poster of Richard Dawkin's scale and then immediately poisoned it with this whole concept of being a pseudoskeptic - a 6.0 has now the responsibility of providing some evidence for this position. So I snarkily took a 5.7 position so I wouldn't have to explain with supporting evidence. Snarky indeed and not to be proud of at all.

    Straggler of course, with his rhinoceros certainty, thunders in at the outset - already onboard with bluegenes enough to make me wonder if they are the same dude from 2 accounts at first. I really like Straggler! He is very hard and makes me strain to say it exactly as I mean. He does have faults, but . . .hey!. . . let's forget about that in this Summation. I know I have my own faults, too.

    Okay. On to the 2 issues 1 and 3 I mentioned:

    1. He did not adequately describe the scientific procedure and equipment used to measure the data that led to his theory.

    bluegenes brought up a millionish number of stories from the past. These stories are mostly so old that nobody has any idea of where they started. We already know that stories handed down through the ages get changed - like evolution, with descent and modification, and even speciation so that they conflict with one another. Looking at the endlines of these stories today, as published in things like the Bible and the Koran - pick your favorite versions, it doesn't matter - they were all modified to suit the needs of the priests/imams/whatever that were in power at the time of this next transcription. RAZD brought up a nice concept called the Hindu Hypothesis. He was wasting his time. ALL OF THIS EVIDENCE is INADMISSIBLE because it is all hearsay of the worst degree. NONE of it counts as EVIDENCE, FOR or AGAINST....

    Next, with the help of Modulous & Straggler, bluegenes noted the psychological evidence of the "proclivity" for human brains to make up supernatural beings.

    No one here was actually claiming that they didn't do that.

    Meanwhile RAZD & others wanted to see a description of the equipment, because in scientific papers that are accepted and published in reputable publications, there is usually a description of the equipment - how it was used, how it was calibrated against confirmation bias and how it showed that the results led to the theory.

    bluegenes has failed in this regard. I have a bad analogy:

    Imagine a pitchblack cave with a black oil lake in its darkest depth. There are Things at the bottom of this lake. Scientists can only, at this juncture in time, send down a magnetic rod straight down from their rigid equipment chassis, locked against the rocks of the cave. They pull the rod up and find metallic objects stuck to it. They repeat the same procedure in various different positions in this pit of black oil.

    They conclude after 1000's of these positional probes that the only things down there are metallic. They have a 100% batting average - everything they pull up is metallic.

    Here is the analogy - the black pool contains the set {all supernatural concepts possible}. The magnetic rod represents the {the state of the art in scientifically investigating these phenomena} i.e. the best equipment today has. The metallic objects are the exact equivalent of human imagination.

    Suppose there were some ceramic objects down there? How would we know? If we equipped the magnetic rod with sensors like seismographic kinds and wiggled the rod around, we might detect a collision with a ceramic object down there in the black oil - it could be done today in the real world, but in this analogy it has yet to be described and built and done.

    Suppose now, we upgrade the rod to be able to move sideways and wire it up with collision meters and therefore be able to detect ceramic objects? This gets us to 3.

    3. His falsification criterion was FLAWED.

    Falsification? If a theory cannot be falsified, it is no better than Last Thursdayism. So bluegenes must provide a way to falsify his theory. He says "It is falsified by the demonstration of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt." All of us in this thread must assume he means a scientific reasonable doubt, a conceivable repeatable demonstration (if never actually performed by another scientist) of the existence of a supernatural being.

    This is where my Xongsmith Analemma comes in. The much more rapidly converging Lemma to this theory (Lemmas occur in our literature as necessary preparatory steps to the eventual Theories, and they, themselves. being smaller, simpler, not so sexy steps to the final result, will get derisive bastardizations of their names along the way - no matter). The problem with bluegenes theory is that is will NEVER be falsified. When they get the detector that can sense the ceramic objects down there in the black oil, they will merely fold the new stuff in, describing how it bumped the sensor - as they always have - and no paper will ever be published stating that there is any scintilla of a supernatural phenomenon going on.

    I mean, look - even this theory that bluegenes has described here will not concede that anything occurs by magic. When he says "known", we know he means "known to science in a rigorous way". No magic here...I have a 100% success rate in this theory. All anyone in the world has to do to falsify it is to go into an accredited library and go the respected scientific journals and open any one to any page you want and see if ever they explain the observations they made as being source by any truly supernatural phenomenon.

    It'll never happen, no matter what I could imagine myself, or what Straggler could imagine, or bluegenes or Modulous or Panda - any of them fine gentlemen, because we are all not scientific experts in the field.

    Sadly

    But I salute all of those who have sailed with me. My ship might have been split to splinters, but my heart is light and free....

    Edited by xongsmith, : more


    - xongsmith, 5.7d

    AdminPD
    Inactive Administrator


    (1)
    Message 1725 of 1725 (634016)
    09-18-2011 8:40 AM


    Thread Closed
    The debate has been lively
    And the summations read.
    If your discussion's unfinished,
    Propose a new thread.

    Here's to fruitful debating.
    AdminPD
    Magic Wand


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