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Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Polymath257, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Well, I would suggest looking at how areas of science that have to address such questions of intent and design deal with them. So, for example, it is common in anthropology or archeology to have to determine whether a find is, in fact, produced by human intelligence or is naturally produced.

    The typical way to determine this is to study the types of effects the natural environment without humans produces and then to see what sorts of things human produce and to compare the two. This is how, for example, we can know that a certain bone was cleaned by a knife or stone as opposed to simply being de-fleshed from wind, rain, and other weather.

    In this case, the question becomes what sorts of mutations do we see when there is no intervention by an intelligence. Well, since that is the default situation (except in some labs), all we have to do is look at what happens naturally. We can then compare to what happens in a lab environment where there are specific goals for the end results.

    One issue if you start by asking about consciousness is that we have to be careful to not assume other consciousnesses have the same drives or aesthetics that we do. So, if asked what an alien intelligence would do, I have to admit complete lack of knowledge there. The only way to determine if an alien intelligence is operative is if we can detect a difference between 'natural' effects and what the alien intelligence would produce.

    Of course, this begs the question of whether the natural laws are determined by some intelligence. But without any evidence that the laws *could* be different, that just seems like pointless speculation.

    So, yes, the law of gravity is non-random in it effects: we can predict orbits of planets, for example, through its use. That means the gravitational dynamics is not random. And, of course, Newtonian physics in general is NOT random, even when it allows for chaotic dynamics.

    But, in contrast, quantum mechanics *is* random. There is no way, even in theory, to predict the results of a quantum event, even if we have *perfect* knowledge of the quantum state ahead of time.
     
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  2. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    No, at least not yet the term need not be abandoned, but increasingly sub-species, and varieties are being used. The classification system naming animal species is becoming increasingly difficult and often needs revision.
     
  3. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    We may have to agree to disagree eventually, but the generalization that Quantum Mechanics *is* random is clearly a problem. Like in genetic mutation and radiation decay the 'timing' of individual events cannot be predicted, but the processes and order can be predicted consistently over time, and I believe this tue for the most part with Quantum Mechanics. I do not argue that ALL the processes and nature of Quantum Mechanics is understood, but again blanket generalizations such as 'quantum mechanics *is* random' are not meaningful nor useful in science,,
     
  4. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    OK, individual quantum events are random. They do have predictable and consistent averages.
     
  5. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    So, did you have a point to make to anyone?
     
  6. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I once saw a post that detailed about 20 different concepts of species and how they are inter-related. One of the difficulties (obviously) is that we can't tell which fossil organisms could interbreed. We can make guesses, but that is all. And, over time, the whole thing gets more and more murky. What does it even mean to say two populations are of the same species if they are separated by a million years? Do you judge based solely on morphology?

    At least with Neanderthals, we *know* there was interbreeding and, it seems, with fertile offspring. That generally means they are the same species, just a different sub-species.
     
  7. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    How on Earth could you possibly know how long a desire event requires to take place? I bet neurosurgeons and physicists would deny that that is even knowable. BTW your making very technical claims. What are you credential in scientific related fields. Me I have a degree in math and almost a second degree in mathematics secondary education but math is not really my passion. My true love is philosophy.

    I am not talking about the state of hunger I am talking about the decision to get something to eat. Determinism may have a lot to do with being hungry but no one can show it has anything to do with the decision to get a big Mack. Again your simply not reckoning with the thought experiment I provided. You need to show how determinism explains events B - Z. I already know this is impossible to do so the sooner you concede that fact the sooner we can move on to other aspects of this discussion. To back up your worldview your eventually going to have to reconcile with my example.

    Yes a duration of singular events even if some of those events occur simultaneously. What you need to do instead of what you are doing is show that all those intermediate events can be fully described by determinism alone. Why can't I get you or the other person I am debating in this thread to do this? I am telling you exactly how to prove your claims are true but I can't get you to do it. I hate to see you waste so much of your time when a simple reckoning with my analogy would suffice.



    I can accept that mental events are accompanied by all manner of physical events, I can't accept that mental events are fully explainable by those same physical events. Have you ever studied "the hard problem of consciousness" or the idea of aboutness?



    But those particular arrangements of atoms do not self assemble or design themselves, engineers do. Lets use this example to make up another opportunity for you to prove what your trying so hard to demonstrate.

    Event 1 = Frank Whittle's desire to make a turbojet engine.
    Event 2 - 100 million = all the necessary intermediate events necessary to produce a jet engine.
    Events 100 million and 1 = a working jet engine.

    Explain to me exactly why the unintentional events 2 - 100 million were so obliging as to all occur as needed, when needed, to fulfill Frank Whittle's desire to create a jet engine. Until you can do so (and it is impossible to do) the rest of what your saying is I am afraid just white noise. Don't think I am trying to talk down to you, you seem like an intelligent and civil person but your just not producing what is necessary to carry your point through.

    It was just a quote illustrating the fact that sometimes those making the most technical sounding claims are really saying nothing at all. When I was in engineering school I used to be mesmerized by the scientific PhD's at my school (the same school Von Braun worked out of). That is until I started attending their faculty talks. They kept contradicting each other and at times contradicting themselves. Their claims appeared to be a lot of hot air and many of them were invalid because they were un-falsifiable. It took me about a year and a half to lose all that wonder in the sciences that I began with. Keep in mind I am talking about the theoretical sciences like your referring to, the hard sciences still hold my confidence because unlike much of theoretical science, application science must be tested and must work. It doesn't have the luxury of hiding its mistakes in the little understood deep end of the science pool. So please stop wasting so much of your time waxing on about theoretical things that I don't imagine anyone really knows and seems irrelevant even if true, and give me hard answers to the two thought experiments I have posed. I have given you exactly what you need to do to carry your point, all you have to do is do it.
     
    #187 1robin, Sep 18, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  8. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    I have no idea why you posted this. I did not use genetics in the evolution of life to claim freewill existed. I used examples where intent seems to be present. Again I am not sure how to react to this because it does not seem like it is germane to the discussion but it has been shown over and over again that life only comes from life, meaning that the appearance of life on this earth is also best explained by the freewill of a master geneticist but again I don't know why we are talking about this at all.

    I have given you exactly what you need to show in order to carry your point why are you doing everything under the sun but that?

    In case you didn't like my hunger thought problem here is another.

    What explains the existence of the jet engine better. Determinism alone or determinism plus freewill.

    1. Event 1 = Frank Whittles desire to produce a jet engine.
    2. Event 2 - 100 million all the necessary intermediate events necessary to produce a jet engine.
    3. Event 3 = the presence of a working turbo jet engine.

    You must show why the unintentional events 2 - 100 million were so obliging as to occur in just the right way at just the right time to grant Mr Whittle's desire despite not caring one bit whether it was fulfilled or not. I am not trying to insult you, you seem like an intelligent person, but until you reckon with one of my thought experiments the rest of this is just white noise.

    This point is not really worthy of the time we are investing in it. To my understanding compatibilists in general do not grant that freewill exists but do accept personal accountability anyway. I think that is one of the most ludicrous and immoral worldviews I have ever heard of. He couldn't help but kill Mr. X but fry him anyway. However I don't think pursuing Mr. Dennett's character any further is worth the bother.

    So you are at least admitting freewill has existed for at least a few hundred thousand years. Game, set, match. While I completely understand why you would think so I also think there is evidence that a being with freewill (God) preceded man and I would also think that at least intelligent animals display freewill and they also go back long before man.

    The same hunger fulfillment thought experiment (that you still haven't reconciled with) would apply equally to animals as well.

    My qualifications in chemistry and genetics are irrelevant since my thought experiments place the burden of understanding those academic subjects on you, and to get my degree I had to have an intermediate level of chemistry. I have given you two problems set up specifically to show how genetics and chemistry can explain all the intermediate steps in my real world events and you have not even made an attempt. While I am not arrogant enough to call your education level out in bolded type, whatever level of understanding you have has not allowed you to meet the challenges I have laid before you. And you have no way to know what my qualifications in genetics and chemistry even are, I happen to have 192 semester hours in scientific fields. Your last statement says more about you than it does about me and it seems your thin layer of civil veneer is starting to crack. Please keep things civil and try to display humility wherever possible. It makes the discussion far more enjoyable, more rational, and less emotional.
     
    #188 1robin, Sep 18, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  9. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    Totally buzzzaro Intelligent Design Voodoo!!!!
     
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  10. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Me? I have a PhD in math, did the PhD quals in physics (and passed them), read pretty extensively in biology, specifically about how the mind works. And yes, am mostly a positivist, but not in the self-contradictory sense ( I hope).

    I most certainly do NOT concede the 'fact'. In fact, I heartily deny it. Determinism happens at each stage of the chemistry that leads to the neural firings which are *equivalent* to desitring or wanting or choosing to eat. The firing of a neuron takes time. A simple emotion, like wanting to eat consists of many, many firings of neurons. A decision is the end result of many, many firings of neurons. It simply doesn't happen on time scales less than tens of

    Because that is like describing the pressure in a balloon in terms of watching each and every molecule or oxygen bounce off some molecule of rubber. You are asking for too fine of a subdivision to get a meaningful description of what is going on.

    Yes, of course I have. I simply deny that there really is a hard problem. For example, contrary to Chalmers, I don't believe in the possibility of philosophical zombies. I think they are simply an incoherent concept.

    Well, the point is that the desire is a set of physical events that are causallly linked to other physical events, like interacting with other people to get things done. Intention happens at a higher level than the atoms and molecules. Just like pressure does. No single molecule has pressure. But collections do. No single neuron has intentionality, but collections do, when firing in the correct order.

    Sorry, but you consider engineering to be a hard science? Engineers can't usually get the physics straight, let alone the math (which physicists can't get straight).

    In any case, the verifiable facts are that changes in brain state are correlated to mental states to the extent that we can now read some brain states and thereby read minds. Whether you like it or not, the mind is the process that runs on the hardware of the brain. I tis a complex system, subject to chaotic dynamics, I agree. But the mind, ultimately, supervenes on the physical: if we knew everything physical about a situation, we would also be able to derive everything mental about that situation.
     
  11. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    We're getting closer, but no cigar. The simple unpredictability of an event does not make it random, which is what Creationists love. If an event is random they will use voodoo probability to chain random events to conclude that everything is either random or Created by a higher Intelligence.

    It takes more than the fact that an event itself unpredictable for it to be random. Hint events do not stand alone they are part of a process.

    From @Ponder This



    Note - 'Happen without method.'
     
    #191 shunyadragon, Sep 18, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  12. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    And like I said, I dn't think consciousness is a relevant factor. A process ca be random in terms of individual events. Unpredictability, even in theory, seems to me to be the crux of the matter. Not whether some intelligence is around.
     
  13. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Why do you suppose so many engineers are fundies?

    There may be a bit of clue in that thing about the faculty
    disagreeing, contradicting eachother. Shook him to the
    core, it seems, that there are places in science where
    there is no absolute foundation- in- deep- granite solid
    certainty.

    That really bothers some people, though how they
    then find the certainties they seek in the vapourware
    of "god" and bible readin' is a bit weird to me.
     
  14. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Lets see..You have, you say, 192 semester hours of
    science,but you do not seem to understand something so
    bedrock basic as that a thousand failed experiments
    did not mean that Mr Edison had shown over and
    over that light does not come from electricity.

    You say you are not arrogant; yet you freely
    pronounce as above, that you know something
    that no actual scientist knows, that life can
    only come from life.

    And here below, you show that you've determiend
    that all them big PhD scientists is a buncha hot air,
    but you, you, you, have the key to the mysteries of
    the universe.

    Not arrogant, not much. :D


    [QUOTE="1robin
    That is until I started attending their faculty talks. They kept contradicting each other and at times contradicting themselves. Their claims appeared to be a lot of hot air and many of them were invalid because they were un-falsifiable. It took me about a year and a half to lose all that wonder in the sciences that I began with.
     
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  15. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    Relying on ancient scriptures to trump science is indeed the foundation of the problem. The perspective of engineers is Newtonian physics, which limits their perspective when combined with fundamentalist religion.
     
  16. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    [QUOTE="1robin]
    That is until I started attending their faculty talks. They kept contradicting each other and at times contradicting themselves. Their claims appeared to be a lot of hot air and many of them were invalid because they were un-falsifiable. It took me about a year and a half to lose all that wonder in the sciences that I began with.
    [/QUOTE]

    What do you describe as scientific fields. Engineering and applied computer sciences do not count.
     
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  17. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    With all due respect, I do not believe you.

    Nobody comes to conclusions about the nature of things based on what people (in your case creationists) might think of it. Well, almost nobody. Possible exceptions are the very people you seem to be against to. Medice cura te ipsum, so to speak.

    No. Something is blocking you from accepting that nature is, at fundamental level, perfectly random, despite all the evidence we have.

    What is it?

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  18. Ponder This

    Ponder This Well-Known Member

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    I disagree.
    I think the unpredictability of QM is the result of an inability to observe precisely. Your belief that QM is 'inherently random' is your interpretation of what QM means and not a confirmed reality.
    I can't accept that QM is *inherently* 'random' in the absence of an experiment that verifies or rejects the hypothesis. There is no such experiment (as I pointed out the objections to Bell's Theorem).
    However, none of that is necessary for my definition of 'random' to apply to QM. My definition applies equally well to QM or to dice thrown.

    Your ability to predict the result of the dice is dependent upon certain observations about their state.
    Lack of knowledge about the state of the dice is an expression of the capability of the observer and not an expression of the nature of the dice.
    Lack of knowledge of microscopic states in QM is an expression of the capability of the observer and not an expression of the inherent nature of particles.

    By characterizing randomness as something that is impossible to predict *in theory*, you creating a definition for randomness that changes as theory changes. As science develops and changes, things that were impossible to predict in theory become possible to predict using new theory. And I see that as problematic. I prefer a definition that does not change just because the theory changes.

    Otherwise, you just asserting something fundamental about reality that can't be confirmed. You might be right; you might be wrong; but you aren't doing science.

    In the example of the dice, I'm actually applying the model from QM to dice as opposed to applying the classical model to QM. If you really understood what I had said, then you would understand that in my definition it doesn't matter if you have perfect knowledge of the dice or not. There is no need in my examples to apply the classic model to dice. You are the one insisting on doing so by insisting that you can ascertain perfect information about the dice with your snap shots of reality when it is completely unnecessary to do so to allow the model to work.

    But they didn't have sufficient data... that the whole point! There was no theory that predicted it's speed!
    Something that you can't predict is, by definition, 'unpredictable'.

    That is not an experiment that affirms or rejects an intelligence. Scientifically speaking, you can't talk about 'evidence' in the absence of an 'experiment'. It doesn't make sense scientifically. This is the point.

    I understand that your conclusion about the general nature of gravity fits your chosen definition for 'random'. This is why I wanted to really talk about what exactly you meant.

    I point out that there are things you can't predict about gravity in practice.
    You seem confident in asserting that 'perfect information' is not a problem with regard to gravitational systems, but you turn around and rely on sufficient information to make sufficient predictions. You don't actually ever use 'perfect information', nor do you ever make 'perfect predictions' (except *in theory*). And the key here is again a question of what you observe. You can't predict the motion of the planets without observations.

    And you didn't answer my question as to what word you would use to describe the influences that result in errors of measurement (hint: in science we use the word 'random'). Are they 'accidents', 'intelligence'? How do you describe them?

    In what experiment did we actually have perfect information (or sufficient information for a predication) and failed to predict the result? To what are you referring?
     
  19. Ponder This

    Ponder This Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the lack of an experiment that can affirm or reject the intelligence hypothesis is precisely the point. This is why science can't assert that there is no intelligence.. Science can't even assert there is no alien influence. What science can do is assert that there is no human influence, because human influence is something science can control for in an experiment.
     
  20. Ponder This

    Ponder This Well-Known Member

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    The word 'random' is used in science. Measurement errors are due to randomness. The idea in science is that there are things you control for, but that there are always things you can't control for, when you set up an experiment. It is not just a layman's term, although it can be used by laymen. It serves a constructive purpose in that it pushes scientists to control these random influences and conduct better experiments. It serves a descriptive purpose in that it describes the things not controlled for.

    It is workable because in science you can't control everything. There is no such thing as a perfect experiment with perfect data. It does not exist. If someone submits an experiment with no errors, you should reject it as being unscientific. There are always errors. Always.

    'Variables' is okay, but... in a science experiment you have independent variables, dependent variables and controlled variables. Saying that errors are caused by 'variables' might not be 'technically' wrong, but it is an insufficient description of the cause of errors. Errors aren't caused by the any of the types of variables I've listed for you.

    Conduct the classic experiment measuring the time it takes balls of various weights of the same size to fall a fixed distance using a stop watch in your hand and a partner who sets up and releases the balls. Do the experiment several times and observe that you don't always get the same time. Feel free to speculate about the nature of the errors. Then decide what best describes the errors:

    A. Intelligently caused
    B. Random
    C. Fractal Math in Chaos Theory
    D. All of the above?
    E. They are better described as _. (fill in the blank)
     
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