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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #6091
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Actually, it sounds to me like you are describing a robotic MDR, which is so different from ours that it does not include any regard or respect for humanity. That's a common sci fi theme, along the lines of "you guys are messing up so badly, we are going to take over." That was even the theme of the Planet of the Apes, in the case of a different sentient species rather than a robot.
    So you think apes see the scientific MDR as a native language Ken G? I suppose the apes also have the capability to jump air gaps in electronic machinery without us knowing either. I'm surprised that Hawking and Musk didn't put the robot ape threat above the AI threat.

  2. #6092
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    So you think apes see the scientific MDR as a native language Ken G?
    I'm not sure what you mean by that. I'm saying the apes in Planet of the Apes built a different MDR, one which did not automatically assume the primacy of humans (no pun intended) the way human MDR often does. I agree with Hawking and Musk that might also be a problem in advanced AI.
    I suppose the apes also have the capability to jump air gaps in electronic machinery without us knowing either.
    Most likely that would not be the process invoked for the development of MDRs that deviate strongly from our own, not even in AI.
    I'm surprised that Hawking and Musk didn't put the robot ape threat above the AI threat.
    I'm not so surprised, given that Planet of the Apes is science fiction. But it is certainly food for thought, that the problem of highly alternative MDRs could appear in realms other than just AI. Indeed, it already has, in several high profile incidents in human history.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Aug-02 at 03:14 AM.

  3. #6093
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    Ok I am not replying to one post in particular here rather to the whole sub discussion.

    Firstly I want to reiterate that Ken's language is by no measure unique, however he does describe it slightly differently which I fear is part of the problem

    The meaning for belief used here is pretty much standard usage in science circles as opposed to philosophical circles, myself and Ken had this one out months and months ago. Yes technically the word belief does philosophically mean that which hold to be the case. the term by science however is usually that which is metaphysics as opposed to demonstrated science

    Evidence is also very well understood, except in a philosophical sense that science pragmatically ignores because such questions are unfalsifiable. which by definition means no evidence can be presented. Now yes here we have your contention because we ha e defined what evidence is. But this is only a problem of you are talking absolute language which science doesn't. The evidence is plain that science considers evidence only to be such observations that would lead to theory be ing false if they hadn't been. The evidence isn't that this is correct in some deep philosophical manner, but simply that we can observe that this is the meaning given to the word by science and indeed by it's own definition means we actually cannot assess the philosophical question, we simply don't need to

    This brings us into truth. It is critical to understand what this means in science as opposed to other philosophy. Something which is true must be supported by a wealth of evidence, which is as defined above. However we don't except informally ever apply that something is proven .. it's proven beyond reasonable doubt. But what has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. That the theory matches the evidence, nothing more. it is never the case that we can assert that it's proven beyond reasonable doubt that it is the case in a philosophical sense as we cannot know this. this is in keeping with the pragmatic description of evidence. Given this if a scientist is being honest in the use of term true, which is something proven he or she cannot be using the term in the philosophical sense either because of this the word truth in science is functionally equivalent to useful.

    Bringing this all full circle we can see how this relates to the word belief in science in comparison to inference(scientific truth).

    This is indeed a purism, but it is the key contention of this thread that separating out in one's thoughts the difference between scientific truth and philosophical truth is critical. Science doesnt and indeed cannot provide the latter.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Aug-02 at 10:48 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  4. #6094
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    Using this for what science would provide as reality , we see the problem with MIR, in order to provide evidence for such we must be able to provide falsification between realism and idealism, some part of the theory . Note once again that the concept of MDR does not hinge on this, it's an entirely separate entity.

    The problem is there is no falsifiable claim that has been made thus no evidence as used by science. Thus scientifically we cannot conclude if mind independent reality is there or not, this is an optional extra tagged on and thus a belief.

    It is indeed for this reason that the exists a contention that the word reality itself has no place in science. But if we are to allow the word to be given scientific meaning, that meaning cannot be MIR. It is however a scientific truth that many if not the majority scientists hold that meaning, but the contention is that such are the personal beliefs of the individual not science.

    Eta: now to look at goals in all this, in respect to science assessing itself. There are many ways to defining these chosen by different individuals but they all boils down to effectively the same thing. That of gaining increasing levels of prediction and control over the word we live in. We can compare science's effectiveness through evidence in doing this to other systems. We can statistically compare modern medicine to other firms of healing for instance and gather success rates. This demonstrates the effectiveness of current science in that area. It doesn't require anything absolute, simply noting which has the higher success rate in achieving the stated goals of helping an ill or injured patient become a healthy individual. The same is equally true in other areas. What is always the case is that there is no philosophical truth being provided, only scientific truth. This is just so critical to understand. Objectively, philosophical truth is a futile persuit, it has personal meaning though.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Aug-02 at 11:30 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  5. #6095
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    What a surprise, you don't think the thread is about reality in science.
    What a surprise, that you do think it's about that!

    Is it fair to say that there are numerous threads on the forum that were started on a variety of main topics where some poster dropped the word "reality" and you responded with an exposition of mind independent reality and reality in science?

    I agree that the nature of reality is an interesting topic and I don't object to discussing it in this particular thread. My point is that my selection of topics is no more a derail of the original post than your selection of topics.


    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post

    Evidence is also very well understood, except in a philosophical sense that science pragmatically ignores because such questions are unfalsifiable. which by definition means no evidence can be presented.
    I often have that feeling ! - that no evidence can be presented in philosophical discussions.

    The evidence is plain that science considers evidence only to be such observations that would lead to theory being false if they hadn't been.
    As I parse that sentence, you are saying that if theory X predicts outcome Y then an outcome of Y is "evidence" for the theory X. (Of course, if X is not the outcome then this is "evidence" against theory X.)

    That is a plausible definition, if we also agree that if Theories X1,X2, and X3 each predict outcome Y then an outcome of Y is "evidence" for all three theories, even if the three theories make contradictory predictions about something else.

    The concept of "evidence for definition" goes beyond that. Suppose we invent definition D in order to state a theory X that predicts outcome Y. Measuring outcome Y may or may not depend on employing definition D. (e.g. a theory that employs a definition of "voltage" may make a prediction about "voltage" or it may make only a prediction about "distance". However, assume we have an experiment where definition D is employed (explicitly or implicitly) in setting the "control variables". Then an outcome of Y is "evidence" for theory X and also "evidence" for definition D. If the outcome is not Y then this is "evidence" against theory X. It isn't clear whether this is "evidence" against definition D since theory X may have gone wrong in some other way than making a bad definition.

    Considering logic, science can't employ the invalid pattern of argument: "If A is true then B is true. B is true. Therefore A is true". However, science wants to say something like "If theory X is true then outcome Y is true. The outcome Y is true. Therefore theory X is true". To say something like that, we must avoid the notion of logical truth and replace it by a weaker notion of "is evidence for". So we can say "If theory X is true then outcome Y is true. Outcome Y is true. Therefore Y is evidence for theory X"

    Logic is applicable to the case of "If Theory X is true then outcome Y is true. Outcome Y is false. Therefore theory X is false. That's is valid reasoning. Hence we have the emphasis on "falsifiability" in scientific assertions. A falsifiable theory leaves open the potential to use logic - it's even ready to sacrifice itself in order to do that.

    However, the usual discussion of the virtues of falsifiability involves some tacit assumptions. The statement "theory X is true" is assumed to be a more specific statement than the statement "theory X is false". For example a theory that F = MA is more specific than a theory that just says "F is not equal to MA". More specific statements are assumed to make more specific predictions. For example a prediction that "If M = 2 and A = 3 then F = 6" is more specific than "If M = 2 and A = 3 then F is some number other than 6".

    It may be hard to define precisely what we mean by "more specific" without introducing more detail to picture. For example, one might take the Bayesian approach and use a "prior distribution" where the result "F is some number other than 6" is more likely to happen by chance than the result F = 6.

  6. #6096
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    I agree that the nature of reality is an interesting topic and I don't object to discussing it in this particular thread. My point is that my selection of topics is no more a derail of the original post than your selection of topics.
    But what you are not seeing is, as usual I have plenty of evidence to support my contention that this thread is indeed about the reality concept in science, not the least of which is that it is perfectly obviously about that, while all you have is your personal opinion that it isn't about that. It's not surprising really, mathematicians never deal with evidence so I often find they have little concept of what it is, that's more the purvey of scientific thinking.

    The rest of your post is starting to grapple with the differences between evidence and logic, but there's nothing there that isn't elementary to a scientist. But there is one important correction to be made:
    However, science wants to say something like "If theory X is true then outcome Y is true. The outcome Y is true. Therefore theory X is true".
    That's actually a completely backward description of how science actually works. It is true that a lot of people think that science "wants to say" something like that, but that's because they really don't understand science. Actually, science never needs to say "assume theory A is true", or "if theory A is true," those word formations have no use at all in science. This is because the whole reason we say a theory is true, or not true, is because we have already established that the outcome Y is true, or not true! It's crucial to understand that this is everything the scientist means by the truth or not-truth of any theory. It's a complete misunderstanding that science is a logical process that starts by assuming its theories are true, that's how logic works. But logic never does anything but find the tautological equivalences of its predicates and postulates, science isn't like that at all!

    What science actually does is say "I have no idea whether to regard theory X as true, but it predicts Y, so we'll see if Y is true. If it is, we'll say theory X has some usefulness. If we say that with enough different Y, we will start to regard theory X as true, contextually and provisionally." See how extremely different that is from saying "science wants to say that if theory X is true, then outcome Y will be true"? In science, the only thing theory X ever does is organize, unify, and convey understanding in relation to a set of observations Y. Then we take theory X and extend it to observation Y' that has not happened yet, but that we regard as sufficiently similar to the existing set of Y that theory X is used to understand, that we expect to understand Y' the same way. We don't know until we try, but that is how science builds expectations. But at no point is it ever necessary to say "if theory X is true", because the truth of theory X is already established by the existing set of Y-- there's no "if" involved, it's an inference not an assumption. That's what my panning analogy was all about, and my definition of electron example-- we never assume we'll get the gold using science, and we never assume the electron definition is a good one, we test these things. And on the basis of our tests, we build expectations, and we live and die (literally, sometimes) by those expectations because science is the worst way to form objective expectations-- except for every other way to do it.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Aug-03 at 05:28 AM.

  7. #6097
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    What a surprise, that you do think it's about that!

    Is it fair to say that there are numerous threads on the forum that were started on a variety of main topics where some poster dropped the word "reality" and you responded with an exposition of mind independent reality and reality in science?

    I agree that the nature of reality is an interesting topic and I don't object to discussing it in this particular thread. My point is that my selection of topics is no more a derail of the original post than your selection of topics.




    I often have that feeling ! - that no evidence can be presented in philosophical discussions.



    As I parse that sentence, you are saying that if theory X predicts outcome Y then an outcome of Y is "evidence" for the theory X. (Of course, if X is not the outcome then this is "evidence" against theory X.)

    That is a plausible definition, if we also agree that if Theories X1,X2, and X3 each predict outcome Y then an outcome of Y is "evidence" for all three theories, even if the three theories make contradictory predictions about something else.

    The concept of "evidence for definition" goes beyond that. Suppose we invent definition D in order to state a theory X that predicts outcome Y. Measuring outcome Y may or may not depend on employing definition D. (e.g. a theory that employs a definition of "voltage" may make a prediction about "voltage" or it may make only a prediction about "distance". However, assume we have an experiment where definition D is employed (explicitly or implicitly) in setting the "control variables". Then an outcome of Y is "evidence" for theory X and also "evidence" for definition D. If the outcome is not Y then this is "evidence" against theory X. It isn't clear whether this is "evidence" against definition D since theory X may have gone wrong in some other way than making a bad definition.

    Considering logic, science can't employ the invalid pattern of argument: "If A is true then B is true. B is true. Therefore A is true". However, science wants to say something like "If theory X is true then outcome Y is true. The outcome Y is true. Therefore theory X is true". To say something like that, we must avoid the notion of logical truth and replace it by a weaker notion of "is evidence for". So we can say "If theory X is true then outcome Y is true. Outcome Y is true. Therefore Y is evidence for theory X"

    Logic is applicable to the case of "If Theory X is true then outcome Y is true. Outcome Y is false. Therefore theory X is false. That's is valid reasoning. Hence we have the emphasis on "falsifiability" in scientific assertions. A falsifiable theory leaves open the potential to use logic - it's even ready to sacrifice itself in order to do that.

    However, the usual discussion of the virtues of falsifiability involves some tacit assumptions. The statement "theory X is true" is assumed to be a more specific statement than the statement "theory X is false". For example a theory that F = MA is more specific than a theory that just says "F is not equal to MA". More specific statements are assumed to make more specific predictions. For example a prediction that "If M = 2 and A = 3 then F = 6" is more specific than "If M = 2 and A = 3 then F is some number other than 6".

    It may be hard to define precisely what we mean by "more specific" without introducing more detail to picture. For example, one might take the Bayesian approach and use a "prior distribution" where the result "F is some number other than 6" is more likely to happen by chance than the result F = 6.
    Well yes evidence can support more than one theory of course if the two are equivalent and in which case we apply the pragmatism of Occam on a situational basis. We don't get to do this because of some philosophical truth though, we get to because it's plain common sense to use the simplest theory that matches the set of phenomena we are considering. This is what I meant by proven beyond reasonable doubt in science simply applies to a theory matching the evidence. If science required us to be dealing philosophical* truth, the fact that Newton breaks down in some situations would make it wrong and thus unusable in a scientific explanation. That just isn't the case though. The opposite is true, we choose Newton in preference to GR whenever possible and we can do this because Newton is scientically true for the set of phenomena we are dealing with. This isn't a done deal though, we can't assume that because Newton has shown itself to be true in the past it will work for the situation we are applying it, we still have to test our predictions, this further testing the usefulness of Newton.

    This actually means that we never have to say that that X -> y thus y -> X. In fact we don't in practice its X-> Y so !Y implies !x for this particular phenomenon.This is a kind of formal definition for the operational domain of a theory.

    Eta: we can observed that this is the simplest theory to match the evidence of how science actually works in practice, regardless of what personal truths an individual takes from such For their own ontology. In fact there is no extant formal definition of science that even includes Occam it's purely common sense to do so though. Some in their personal ontology have simplicity also but that is not it's role in science. It's inclusion in the top ten is very much depended upon the realisation that such can only apply within our sense making. You simply cannot make simplicity a useful part of a theory except for utility of its use.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Aug-03 at 07:02 AM. Reason: *Change of scientific to philosophical
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  8. #6098
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post

    This is because the whole reason we say a theory is true, or not true, is because we have already established that the outcome Y is true, or not true!
    That's approximately what I mean by saying outcome Y is "evidence" for the theory. But this doesn't establish the theory as the only explanation of Y. Perhaps you intend scientific truth to allow several different theories of the same thing to coexist. I don't object to the semantics of that, but I think it's rather extreme to use the phrase "scientific truth" to describe such a situation.

    What science actually does is say "I have no idea whether to regard theory X as true, but it predicts Y, so we'll see if Y is true. If it is, we'll say theory X has some usefulness. If we say that with enough different Y, we will start to regard theory X as true, contextually and provisionally."
    See how extremely different that is from saying "science wants to say that if theory X is true, then outcome Y will be true"?


    In science, the only thing theory X ever does is organize, unify, and convey understanding in relation to a set of observations Y. Then we take theory X and extend it to observation Y' that has not happened yet, but that we regard as sufficiently similar to the existing set of Y that theory X is used to understand, that we expect to understand Y' the same way. We don't know until we try, but that is how science builds expectations. But at no point is it ever necessary to say "if theory X is true", because the truth of theory X is already established by the existing set of Y--
    As far as I can see, you are interpreting the statement "If theory X is true then outcome Y will be true" to assert a claim that theory X has the possibility of being false. This isn't the correct interpretation of a logical implication. It's true that in common speech the mention of "if X ..." in a sentence may rhetorically cast doubt on the truth of X. (e.g. "If you finish half that job today, I'll be surprised". )

    there's no "if" involved, it's an inference not an assumption.
    It think this a vocabulary dispute over the use of the word "if" rather than any substantive issue. Your objection seems to be that at any time T, we have a current theory X that predicts outcome Y and we have observed outcome Y. The next step is to test some other prediction Y2 of theory X. The statement "If theory X is true then outcome Y is true" only says that we can work out ( or have worked out) that prediction Y is consequence of statements in theory X. The implication doesn't comment on whether X or Y are already known to be true.

  9. #6099
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Well yes evidence can support more than one theory of course if the two are equivalent and in which case we apply the pragmatism of Occam on a situational basis. We don't get to do this because of some philosophical truth though, we get to because it's plain common sense to use the simplest theory that matches the set of phenomena we are considering. This is what I meant by proven beyond reasonable doubt in science simply applies to a theory matching the evidence.
    What is simplest to one person may not be simplest to another. The result of Occam's razor is a matter of opinion. Hence I certainly wouldn't use the phrase "beyond reasonable doubt" to describe a result someone got by applying Occam's razor to competing theories.


    Your interpretation of "philosophical truth" is another vocabulary topic. To me the phase "philosophical truth" means nothing by itself. To say "the philosophical truth of Newtons theory" sounds more meaningful. I think you refer to the "philosophical truth of a set statements S" to mean an evaluation of the logical conjunction of statements as "true" or "false" in the sense of logic. The terminology "the philosophical truth of Newton's Theory" has some utility. If we merely say "the truth of Newtons theory" it could be interpreted as allowing that some statements in of Newton's theory are true and others are false. The "philosophical truth of Newton's theory" presumably means an evaluation of whether the totality of the theory is true.

    I don't see that Philosophy itself has trouble with statements like "Newtons theory is a good approximation in certain physical situations" - at least has no more trouble with that sort of statement than any other kind of statement.

  10. #6100
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    By philosophical truth I mean correct in some sense independent of our empirical modelling. The deeper truth about what is actually the case which is a matter of personal ontology not objective science.

    The question you have to ask In your last paragraph is approximate to what. To which I will answer " the domain of the evidence to which the it is applicable".what would be your answer?

    Eta: the problem is ontologically, the concepts expressed within Newton cannot be considered to be the case because they are not universal, this any theory based upon them doesn't match up either. I'm talking about the explanation of the maths. Newton and GR are equivalent mathematically in predicting the movements of bodies within the domain that Newton fits (approximately at least) but they are contradictory in the picture of reality they give . That is unless your meaning of the word reality is MDR of course. Then they are simply sepeate reality models to be applied as appropriate, with no special truth value beyond them working for their operation domain.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Aug-03 at 08:34 AM. Reason: Clarity
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  11. #6101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by that.
    You are the one making up ape stories when they had nothing to do with my post Ken G.

    For those who are not in Australia there is public debate going on about last years Australian of the year, an aboriginal AFL player, who is continually booed when he takes the field because he took a 13 year old girl to task and shamed her for calling him an ape during a game. Last time I looked the childish racist bigots were on the outer.

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    I am going to put this separately to the above. It is really key to understand the above and what the meaning of MDR is. It's the only way you can provide a useful scientific meaning to the word. It is not asking the same question as traditional philosophy. It is instead describing reality is in practice we make use of it and thus reality as it affects us. It's all about how we build our respective reality concepts, which we do a meaningfully mind dependent fashion. In and of itself this says nothing outside of our sense making process. To do this we choose our own ways of building none scientific MDR models, we get to choose what to believe. Science is not about subjective choice but in order to solve this it has to embrace all possible choices that could be consistent with reality as it is presented to us. Such a tautology though has no utility, no objective explanatory power that we can make use of.

    Eta: a long time ago I posted up a few axioms of science. The one most appropriate to restate was the first most universal one of all. Put in brief form:

    1) that by default all possibilities are equal.

    This is the backbone of empicism, and thus science. We dint get to select by choice, only by evidence to slowly rule out possibilities, not by what we would like, but by that which cannot be true as defined in respect of empirical observation. Even then though we do not escape the complete mind dependence of this.... Even if are left with but 'the only horse in town' that will still be dependent upon new thinking, New observation or perhaps Even to limits of our minds ability to comprehend.
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Aug-03 at 09:12 AM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  13. #6103
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    That's approximately what I mean by saying outcome Y is "evidence" for the theory. But this doesn't establish the theory as the only explanation of Y.
    Anyone knows this. Why are you telling us these elementary things?
    Perhaps you intend scientific truth to allow several different theories of the same thing to coexist.
    That's not what "I" intend, it's just a fact of science.
    I don't object to the semantics of that, but I think it's rather extreme to use the phrase "scientific truth" to describe such a situation.
    But you see, science does want to use the term "truth", and this is the only kind it has access to-- so that is just exactly what scientific truth means, there is no other choice here. None of this is coming from me, it is quite easy to observe. Indeed, everything I'm saying is as easy to observe as Jupiter's moons. Pick up a book on first-year mechanics, and read up on the "truth" of Newton's laws. Then pick up a book on relativity, and read up on the "truth" of Einstein's modifications to Newton's laws. Come back in a few centuries, and pick up the books we have then-- and read the "truths" that are in them. This is just exactly how science works, it's an observable process of breathing objectively testable meaning into a concept of truth. And yes, different theories coexist in this process, while others are rejected as being more misconception than truth.
    As far as I can see, you are interpreting the statement "If theory X is true then outcome Y will be true" to assert a claim that theory X has the possibility of being false.
    I'm not sure what you are saying. Obviously theory X has the possibility of failing in some context, that's because all scientific theories are contextual and provisional. There's nothing in that statement you put in quotes that is required to see this, it comes with the territory.
    It think this a vocabulary dispute over the use of the word "if" rather than any substantive issue.
    It goes a little deeper. Yes it's true that we often say things like "assuming general relativity is correct, a black hole will be like such-and-such." But this is just an example of lazy scientific language. We allow it all the time, we allow ourselves to say that laws of physics "govern" the universe (as if they where laws like humans have!). We allow ourselves to imagine that "truth" is just one thing. But this is only because we don't always have the time and energy to get it right. It's not important that we get it right all the time, it's only important that we are still capable of getting it right when we need to. Hence this thread.

    The problem with lazy language like "assuming general relativity is correct" is that it isn't actually saying anything at all. The actual meaning of that sentence is nothing beyond "general relativity makes this prediction about black holes", that's it. We have established that general relativity is correct, at least in the contextual and provisional ways that the word "correct" ever applies to science. But this means that it is only correct in a contextual and provisional way! So there's no "assumption" when dealing with black holes, etc., there's just what we know general relativity works for, and there's our choice to extrapolate it into the unknown. Why pretend saying "assuming" is saying anything-- it's completely obvious, if general relativity makes the correct prediction there, then general relativity makes the correct prediction there, and if it doesn't, then it doesn't. Where's the if? It's only reminding us what we already know: science is a journey into the unknown, what else is new? There's just a prediction, that's all, that's the sum total of everything going on there, why pretend? Whether we choose to take that prediction and make it an expectation is up to us, but there's no "if," there are just our choices, and our tests of whether we made the right choices. Logic doesn't appear at all, except in perfectly obvious ways-- the worthwhile tools here are just observation and expectation. Any logical ramifications are transparent and trivial, or else they require choosing an untestable belief to use as the predicate of a syllogism that is unnecessary in the first place.
    Your objection seems to be that at any time T, we have a current theory X that predicts outcome Y and we have observed outcome Y. The next step is to test some other prediction Y2 of theory X. The statement "If theory X is true then outcome Y is true" only says that we can work out ( or have worked out) that prediction Y is consequence of statements in theory X. The implication doesn't comment on whether X or Y are already known to be true.
    Worse, it fails to recognize that X is only known to be true to exactly the extent that Y is known to be true. So X inherits no truth from any metaphysical principles, it inherits its truth from Y only. We notice patterns and symmetries, that's Y. We formulate them into a theory, that's X. We test the theory, and say if we shall regard it as "true" or not. There is no "if," and no need to choose any untestable beliefs or metaphysical principles other than those that define the process of doing science. And certainly none of those are mind independent!
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Aug-03 at 09:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    You are the one making up ape stories when they had nothing to do with my post Ken G.
    Perhaps you did not understand what I was saying: I was saying that there already exists a common sci fi theme involving apes/robots/aliens who create an MDR that is different enough from ours to give humans no preferred status. So it's hardly an insight we owe to Hawking or Musk. But it is an important aspect of recognizing that reality is always an MDR. There could even be an addition to the "top ten list"-- the value in recognizing that reality is an MDR is realizing that the MDR we will have to live with is the one created by those in a position of power, and while we are happily imagining that we all live in the same MIR, we might not realize how different their MDR is from ours until it is too late.
    For those who are not in Australia there is public debate going on about last years Australian of the year, an aboriginal AFL player, who is continually booed when he takes the field because he took a 13 year old girl to task and shamed her for calling him an ape during a game.
    Well certainly my sympathies lie with the player, but I only see more vindication of the MDR concept, and more uselessness of the MIR concept.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Aug-03 at 09:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    ... Where's the if? It's only reminding us what we already know: science is a journey into the unknown, what else is new? There's just a prediction, that's all, that's the sum total of everything going on there, why pretend? Whether we choose to take that prediction and make it an expectation is up to us, but there's no "if," there are just our choices, and our tests of whether we made the right choices. Logic doesn't appear at all, except in perfectly obvious ways-- the worthwhile tools here are just observation and expectation. Any logical ramifications are transparent and trivial, or else they require choosing an untestable belief to use as the predicate of a syllogism that is unnecessary in the first place.
    One of the conclusions in this thread is that a person speaking from a scientific mindset should have nothing much to say about MIR. That person might even point out that there is plenty of evidence that 'MIR' is in fact, a self-contradictory term, based in belief. I find that syllogisms constructed out of purely philosophically-based logic can often be demonstrated as contradicting the objective evidence gathered by science1. Right there, can we not see a downside of holding a largely MIR viewpoint?

    There is much tension resulting from exposure of such a fallacy, which I find rather curious because such 'tension' seems to arise from the desire of being seen as 'being scientific'?
    - A somewhat rhetorical question here, (in retrospect), I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G
    Worse, it fails to recognize that X is only known to be true to exactly the extent that Y is known to be true. So X inherits no truth from any metaphysical principles, it inherits its truth from Y only. We notice patterns and symmetries, that's Y. We formulate them into a theory, that's X. We test the theory, and say if we shall regard it as "true" or not. There is no "if," and no need to choose any untestable beliefs or metaphysical principles other than those that define the process of doing science. And certainly none of those are mind independent!
    And yet those 'untestable beliefs' are frequently presented as the 'logical reason' to label science, and scientific speakers, as 'logically wrong'. (Not much need for me to cite the potentially-thread-derailing evidence for that statement).

    Footnote:
    1. For thread readers: as an example: "All crows are black and the bird in my cage is black. So, the bird in my cage is a crow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    There is much tension resulting from exposure of such a fallacy, which I find rather curious because such 'tension' seems to arise from the desire of being seen as 'being scientific'?
    Personally, I think the tension is the same tension that is felt by creationists. There is a desire to regard one's own beliefs as something other than belief, but rather as objective truth, without following the rules of establishing objective truth. If instead they were merely to say, "I recognize that scientific thinking has been found to make better predictions about objectively testable outcomes, but I choose to believe in something anyway, because making predictions is not my goal in choosing my belief," then they would have no problems, their position would be unassailable. This includes the position of belief in MIR. But this does not seem to satisfy, there is a desire to "have the cake and eat it too"-- choosing a personal belief, and also having it be "ordained as truth" by the scientific process, only there is no actual effort to use the scientific process. Rather, the scientific process is subverted to produce the desired result from the outset-- which is precisely what creationists do, and for the same reason: the desire to elevate one's own beliefs to the level of demonstrable truth, minus the process. So if I would try to underscore any point here, it would be this: when it comes to scientific inference, process is everything-- the end is the means.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Aug-04 at 01:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Personally, I think the tension is the same tension that is felt by creationists. There is a desire to regard one's own beliefs as something other than belief, but rather as objective truth, without following the rules of establishing objective truth. If instead they were merely to say, "I recognize that scientific thinking has been found to make better predictions about objectively testable outcomes, but I choose to believe in something anyway, because making predictions is not my goal in choosing my belief," then they would have no problems, their position would be unassailable. This includes the position of belief in MIR. But this does not seem to satisfy, there is a desire to "have the cake and eat it too"-- choosing a personal belief, and also having it be "ordained as truth" by the scientific process, only there is no actual effort to use the scientific process. Rather, the scientific process is subverted to produce the desired result from the outset-- which is precisely what creationists do, and for the same reason: the desire to elevate one's own beliefs to the level of demonstrable truth, minus the process. So if I would try to underscore any point here, it would be this: when it comes to scientific inference, process is everything-- the end is the means.
    Overall Ken, its clear to me that if that process is not followed, I should be confident that the 'venture' will result in meaningless babble, even when measured by the adopted 'hybrid' standard.
    Heads will roll, new science will emerge, and unstoppable technology developments will pick up the pieces .. ready and waiting for a renewed push towards the perceived MIR 'summit'. Also, as tashirosgt indicated when he was musing about the Bayesian approach, pure chance still has a role to play as well. Such chance combined with the placebo effect, seems to proxy as the motivational basis, as well. ... Oops! Am I thinking in an MIR kind of way here(?)

  18. #6108
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    Finding a role of "pure chance" is your way of making sense of the mystery. It's not MIR thinking until you "ordain" your way of making sense as something other than that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Finding a role of "pure chance" is your way of making sense of the mystery. It's not MIR thinking until you "ordain" your way of making sense as something other than that!
    Ha! Apparently sense can be made of 'things' before they are discovered! I think I've been 'ordained'!

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    Whenever life gets you down, Mrs.Brown
    And things seem hard or tough
    And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft
    And you feel that you've had quite enough

    Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
    And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour
    That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned
    A sun that is the source of all our power

    The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
    Are moving at a million miles a day
    In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour
    Of the galaxy we call the 'milky way'

    Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars
    It's a hundred thousand light years side to side
    It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick
    But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide

    We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point
    We go 'round every two hundred million years
    And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
    In this amazing and expanding universe

    The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
    In all of the directions it can whizz
    As fast as it can go, the speed of light, you know
    Twelve million miles a minute and that's the fastest speed there is

    So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure
    How amazingly unlikely is your birth
    And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
    'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth

    Monty python: if I actually needed to cite.

    The point is humility (yes the facts there aren't quite right in places) and the most humble position postulated is MDR
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Aug-04 at 11:20 AM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

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    Yes, at it's core, MDR thinking is essentially giving ourselves both the permission to be right, and the permission to be wrong. This affords us with both some degree of satisfaction over our accomplishments, as well as room to seek more discovery. That way, we don't have to frame science as either doomed to fail, or as something it has never been. By contrast, MIR thinking is not having permission to be either right or wrong-- you can't be right because your picture will never really be the MIR, and you can't be wrong because then you are admitting there might not be an MIR in the first place. And what MIR believer can do that, it would be disloyal to the belief!
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Aug-04 at 01:24 PM.

  22. #6112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Yes, at it's core, MDR thinking is essentially giving ourselves both the permission to be right, and the permission to be wrong. This affords us with both some degree of satisfaction over our accomplishments, as well as room to seek more discovery. That way, we don't have to frame science as either doomed to fail, or as something it has never been. By contrast, MIR thinking is not having permission to be either right or wrong-- you can't be right because your picture will never really be the MIR, and you can't be wrong because then you are admitting there might not be an MIR in the first place. And what MIR believer can do that, it would be disloyal to the belief!
    As a MIR proponent, what you put in my mouth is incorrect. It is your MDR view of my stance. For me MIR is out there, and we attempt to understand it. Our sensorial input delivers information to our brains, which tries to make sense of it all.

    It is not a black and white, binary right or wrong situation. It is an asymptotic approach to understanding MIR. We are getting better and better, focusing the view, and even if the view is partial, it still is a partial MIR view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Worse, it fails to recognize that X is only known to be true to exactly the extent that Y is known to be true. So X inherits no truth from any metaphysical principles, it inherits its truth from Y only. We notice patterns and symmetries, that's Y. We formulate them into a theory, that's X.
    To me, it's accurate to say that determining the predictions of theory X can be described with a statement incorporating the phrase "if theory X is true...", particularly if mathematical deduction is involved. (Perhaps you are saying that the content of theory X must be an explicit description of some pattern Y rather than a set of assertions imply that pattern when mathematical deduction is applied?)

    I notice that the published sources mentioned in the Wikipedia article on "Scientific evidence are hardly in agreement on the semantics of "Scientific evidence", so I doubt they are in harmony about terminology. Do you have a particular work in mind as an authoritative source?

    From a different post:
    By contrast, MIR thinking is not having permission to be either right or wrong-- you can't be right because your picture will never really be the MIR, and you can't be wrong because then you are admitting there might not be an MIR in the first place. And what MIR believer can do that, it would be disloyal to the belief!
    Asserting that an MIR exists doesn't imply one's current model for it is correct.

    In this thread, the anti-MIR discussion often moves from theoretical considerations to considerations of human behavior - e.g. how humans are constrained or lead into error by accepting an MIR view. The abstract view of "Science" that some participants in the thread advocate does not encompass the how beliefs held by human scientists influence "Science", so, by that definition, any effects of MIR on "Science" are irrelevant. If we turn out attention to human behavior, there hasn't been any demonstration that human scientists who reject MIR make more progress that human scientists who accept it.

    The assertion that people who accept than an MIR exists are thinking in a muddled or self-contradictory manner can be examined seriously if we assert that logical thinking is required in "Science", but it has also been asserted in this thread that "Science" does not rely on applications of logic and that the process of "Science" is somehow independent or apart from subject matter where logic applies.

  24. #6114
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    For me MIR is out there, and we attempt to understand it. Our sensorial input delivers information to our brains, which tries to make sense of it all.
    And what you get as a result of that process is the sense your brain makes, correct? Which depends on your brain, correct?
    It is not a black and white, binary right or wrong situation. It is an asymptotic approach to understanding MIR.
    It is certainly not binary right or wrong, as science is a process of discovery and progress. But the claim that it is "asymptotic" ignores the spectacular revolutions that occur in science. For example, in 1900, Lord Kelvin famously said "There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement." That was before relativity and quantum mechanics, not to mention dark matter, dark energy, inflation, the Higgs boson, string theory, AdS/CFT duality, the holographic principle.... ahem, is all I can say to the precepts of "asymptoticism."
    We are getting better and better, focusing the view, and even if the view is partial, it still is a partial MIR view.
    And what is different if I simply replace your word MIR with MDR? The statement is precisely the same, minus the belief-based parts that cannot find evidence and aren't actually saying anything in the first place. But it's a fine thing to believe in, like other beliefs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    To me, it's accurate to say that determining the predictions of theory X can be described with a statement incorporating the phrase "if theory X is true...", particularly if mathematical deduction is involved.
    But that's precisely the point-- mathematical deduction is never used in science to establish if a statement is true or not, it is only ever used to establish if a statement is consistent with the postulates of some mathematical theory. The way the postulates of the theory are established as true is always via testing by observation, not logical deduction. That's why scientific inferences are always contextual and provisional, whereas logical deduction is never either.
    I notice that the published sources mentioned in the Wikipedia article on "Scientific evidence are hardly in agreement on the semantics of "Scientific evidence", so I doubt they are in harmony about terminology. Do you have a particular work in mind as an authoritative source?
    As I said above, a thread about "what constitutes scientific evidence", or "what does a scientist mean when they talk about evidence", are a derail to this thread. You are welcome to start a thread on that topic, I'm sure it has many surprising turns that will reveal more common misconceptions about science. But as it is clearly the case in this thread that every example of "scientific evidence" that I offered is quite clearly indeed an example of scientific evidence (you are welcome to mine examples from the above), the issue is of no relevance to the question of this thread.
    Asserting that an MIR exists doesn't imply one's current model for it is correct.
    And if one does not imply one's current model for MIR is scientifically correct, then where's the science in MIR? So you're saying, nothing science does needs to have anything to do with MIR, yet one can still believe in MIR anyway? Yes, I know, I've been saying that for 200 pages now.
    The abstract view of "Science" that some participants in the thread advocate does not encompass the how beliefs held by human scientists influence "Science", so, by that definition, any effects of MIR on "Science" are irrelevant. If we turn out attention to human behavior, there hasn't been any demonstration that human scientists who reject MIR make more progress that human scientists who accept it.
    The same can be said about human scientists that accept or reject the existence of a supreme being, which is why I use that analogy so often to show why MIR belief is indeed a belief. There are pitfalls for having beliefs and trying to do science at the same time, witness creationism, witness geocentrism, and witness determinism, all of which have been tried to be raised to the level of a scientific principle but have not succeeded because they are based on metaphysical beliefs rather than scientific evidence. Yet there have been plenty of good scientists, doing prizeworthy research, that have held to various versions of any of those metaphysical beliefs, without it compromising their science because the personal belief did not replace or subvert the good science. There are also plenty of examples where the belief did subvert the science. So this thread is not an "anti-MIR" thread, it is an "anti-thinking-MIR-is-science" thread.
    The assertion that people who accept than an MIR exists are thinking in a muddled or self-contradictory manner can be examined seriously if we assert that logical thinking is required in "Science", but it has also been asserted in this thread that "Science" does not rely on applications of logic and that the process of "Science" is somehow independent or apart from subject matter where logic applies.
    Again, you are not reading very carefully if you think that assertion has been made in this thread. What has actually been said:
    1) people who accept that MIR exists are expressing a personal belief, not a scientific inference based on evidence
    2) logic applies in science only in the way it functions within a given theory, it never establishes the truth of a theory
    3) any logical theorem only inherits the truth value of its postulates and definitions. The real work of science is finding the postulates and definitions that test out.
    4) nothing about MIR represents a postulate or definition that tests out, that I cannot replace with the MDR concept and do all the same tests
    5) when a scientific thinker is seen to invoke a concept of reality, it is demonstrably MDR they are talking about

    Hence, if you mean to refute anything said in the thread, you must stick to the actual claims being made, not distorted intepretations that were never claimed.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2015-Aug-04 at 10:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    1) people who accept that MIR exists are expressing a personal belief, not a scientific inference based on evidence
    As far as evidence goes, the case for MDR is also unclear.

    The "evidence" cited supporting MDR contains the assumption that something done by the Mind must depend on the Mind. If the Mind is implemented by means of a physical reality (e.g. neurons, nerves etc. rather than a non-physical "spirit") then something done by the Mind depends on that physical reality. To say that the physical reality that implements the Mind is a Mind Dependent Reality just says it is a physical reality that "depends upon itself". Does it only depend on the part of itself that implements the Mind?

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    And yet one does not need to reject MIR to accept MDR. I do not, I only reject that any observation we make or thought we have can be said to be independent of the mind and this that the reality concept we each hold depends upon the way we think and perceive the universe presented to us. This is what places MIR outside of science currently, this by no measure means MIR does not exist. It just says it's a matter of preference
    Last edited by malaidas; 2015-Aug-04 at 10:58 PM.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  28. #6118
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    As a MIR proponent, what you put in my mouth is incorrect. It is your MDR view of my stance. For me MIR is out there, and we attempt to understand it. Our sensorial input delivers information to our brains, which tries to make sense of it all.

    It is not a black and white, binary right or wrong situation. It is an asymptotic approach to understanding MIR. We are getting better and better, focusing the view, and even if the view is partial, it still is a partial MIR view.
    Welcome back did you bring the supplies?
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

    "Live Long and Prosper" in memory of Leonard Nimoy
    "I think I'll change my name to Cliff. "Cliff, I can't see anyone lasting in this industry with a name like Cliff" in memory of Terry Pratchett

  29. #6119
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    Quote Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
    As far as evidence goes, the case for MDR is also unclear.
    Only if you misunderstand what MDR means. If you understand what it means, the evidence is overwhelming, it's the best-tested model in all of science. Indeed, it is the model at the very heart of science itself. Again: MDR means the sense our minds make of our consistent objective perceptions, and we label this sense "reality" (or, really, "scientific reality").
    The "evidence" cited supporting MDR contains the assumption that something done by the Mind must depend on the Mind.
    No. There is never any "must" in any of my arguments, none of them are logical syllogisms.
    If the Mind is implemented by means of a physical reality (e.g. neurons, nerves etc. rather than a non-physical "spirit") then something done by the Mind depends on that physical reality.
    Do you mean, that's how your mind makes sense of the situation, or are you claiming that your words are stripped from some universal language of absolute truth whose meaning and veracity transcend your act of meaning something by them? And, could a very different mind make sense of the situation very differently that you do, or not?
    To say that the physical reality that implements the Mind is a Mind Dependent Reality just says it is a physical reality that "depends upon itself".
    Correct. The way our minds make sense of reality is a story of a tiger chasing its own tail. That is precisely the statement for which I have produced a vast quantity of evidence.
    Does it only depend on the part of itself that implements the Mind?
    Are you talking about a model now, or the Actual Reality? Because if you are talking about a model, you have to say what the model is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaidas View Post
    Welcome back did you bring the supplies?
    If you mean earplugs, yes...

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