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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #12871
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    “Some people,” remarked Mary Poppins... “think a great deal too much. Of that I am sure.”
    — P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins Comes Back (1935)

    This is philosophy, not science.

  2. #12872
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    Actually, science is exactly what this is. That's why we have been testing the "MDR hypothesis" that "whenever anyone refers to their concept of reality, we can dig into what they mean and discover that they are talking about a way that their mind makes sense of their concept of reality, in a way that could clearly be quite different for a very different mind."

    Now that's a testable hypothesis, we simply give operational meanings to every term, just as science always does.

    For clarity, we can take the point a step further, by imagining the following exchange:
    MIR believer: "It is basic logic that there must be an MIR, because when we look up, we all see the same Sun."
    MDR tester: "So everyone means the same thing by their word 'Sun' ?"
    MIR believer: "No each mind means something a little different by the word Sun, but nevertheless, it's exactly the same Sun."
    MDR tester: "So it's exactly the same Sun because you simply hold that to be a self-evident truth, but you have no evidence for this?"
    MIR believer: "If it wasn't exactly the same Sun, we could tell because then everyone would mean something a little different by their word 'Sun.' "
    MDR tester: "Um, quite."
    MIR believer: "OK that test didn't quite work. But scientists adopt a model that says it's exactly the same Sun, and that model tests out well, so we should accept that it's exactly the same Sun for all."
    MDR tester: "Actually, that's not at all what scientists do. They just make various models that they call "models of the Sun", with all kinds of different levels of complexity. The models are all different, and they all test out well or not so well depending on how stringent are the tests put to them. A model that works great for one scientist in one context might be completely unacceptable and inappropriate for another scientist in another context. All they need is an operational meaning, based on mind-agreed conventions, about what it means to be "observing the Sun"-- a meaning that is demonstrably contained in the scientific MDR. That's how science actually does work-- there is never one iota of need to assert that the Sun is the same for everyone. Indeed, there is never one iota of need in all of science for anyone to assert anything that is not directly tested."
    MIR believer: "Then it isn't science, but it's still true: it's exactly the same Sun for everyone."
    MDR tester: "If you will leave science, then I have nothing more to say except you have a right to your beliefs as long they are not harming anyone else."
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Jul-17 at 11:49 PM.

  3. #12873
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Exactly. Every attempt to produce evidence for some MIR has backfired in this thread as a failed test for MIR and a passed test for the MDR hypothesis.
    Well put. This is the game played by MIR enthusiasts-- they assert something that exists in the MIR. Then it is demonstrated that their example can only be shown to exist in their MDR, that's all that is in evidence. Then fifty pages later they assert the same thing again. It's just so obviously a personal belief, based on no evidence, just something they wish to hold as true. There's no crime in choosing to hold various things as true, humans do this all the time-- the problem is in not recognizing the role their minds play in wanting to hold that something is true in the absence of evidence. What is the harm that can come when people simply assert that their own personal choices about truth are absolute ("MIR") truths that must hold for all? Science has never been about absolute truths, it has always been about passed tests-- which is quite a different matter.
    In my web travels, I find the strongest adherence is amongst religious folk.
    Some of them are in a desperate struggle to 'make science conform' with their tightly held philosophical Realism.
    I'm beginning to think religion is the main source of the belief in MIR ..
    Its interesting that some scientifically thinking atheists however, still cling to Realism but are nonetheless, completely unware of where it all came from (in their thinking) .. and hence they render themselves completely unable to 'get' the notion of the MDR hypothesis.

  4. #12874
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Ah, so that particular description of reality doesn't make sense to your mind. Yup, that's just how MDR works, and so the MDR hypothesis passes yet another test. That's quite a few dozen passed tests by now, just in this thread alone. (Read the hypothesis.)

    Now let's be scientific thinkers, and ask how many tests the MIR concept has passed. Zilch. Yes, zilch, read the thread, it's all there.
    (A "passed test" is defined as a test that satisfies two criteria:
    1) the hypothesis worked on the example included in the test, and
    2) the hypothesis could have failed, we are not simply choosing to believe it to be true because we like to believe it's true, regardless of any need for evidence.)
    If you're happy with the theory that the mind creates simulated sensory organs with which to pretend to send itself information that it has created then I guess MDR wins, at least in your own mind. Others might be interested in an explanation for why this happens.

  5. #12875
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    If you're happy with the theory that the mind creates simulated sensory organs with which to pretend to send itself information that it has created then I guess MDR wins, at least in your own mind. Others might be interested in an explanation for why this happens.
    Another all too common ploy of the MIR enthusiasts is, once they find they have no actual evidence to support their position, they simply create caricature versions of the MDR hypothesis so they can cast doubt on it. This is a very strange tactic for anyone claiming to be a logical thinker, because the MDR hypothesis has been completely spelled out many times in this thread. So why replace it with words it doesn't say? That would be a waste of time, stick to the actual hypothesis.

    Indeed, the worst aspect of your argument is the bizarre claim that noticing how well tested is the MDR hypothesis somehow bars us from obtaining "explanations for why this happens." You couldn't be more wrong-- it is the truth of the MDR picture that enables us to find explanations, because explanations always live in the MDR. The building of an MDR has always been the primary mission of science, simply study its history! Do you see in that history a story of immutable truths that are independent of how we think, or a process of how we think, being informed by more and more tests? People who think the purpose of science is to lay out the details of some MIR seem to have completely missed how science works, what its history is, and how it avoids getting stuck in prejudicial viewpoints. Instead, understanding the role of how we understand, using our minds, has promise, as we understand our minds better, to help us understand what our explanations are and how we arrive at them.

    Actually, your mistaken version of the MDR hypothesis has been corrected over and over in this thread. Since you still cling to it, I shall have to correct it yet again. What happens, generally in the scientific thought process, when people create a scientific MDR what they do is make models that they call "reality." Unfortunately they sometimes take their models a bit too seriously, so when someone says there are a bunch of individual electrons in some atom, they almost sound like they believe there really are individual electrons in that atom, as if that was a truth that lives in some kind of mind independent reality! But that merely exposes their ignorance of physics, and science more generally. Actually, there are better but more difficult models that say there is no such thing as an individual electron. Does that stop the MIR believers? Of course not, a believer does not need evidence or education.

    The MDR models that science actually can be seen to use (and it never uses any MIR concepts at all, which can also be easily tested) are not only on the quantum scale, but also on the macro scale. These models include things like "sensory organs" and "experiences," and "the Sun in the sky." These are our words, I wouldn't normally have to put them in quotes because words don't need to be put in quotes for people who understand what words are and what they do, but I do it here because otherwise the MIR believers will simply interpret them as references to aspects of the MIR, but they aren't that, they are the names of our mental models. That's obviously what they are, it's the easiest thing in the world to test. Those tests have already been explored in detail in this long thread, just read it, or do them yourself.

    Now, another common mistake people make when misinterpreting the MDR hypothesis, is they say that if what we mean when we say the words "Neil Armstrong" is a mental model (which it is, testably), and what we mean when we say "walking on the Moon" is another mental model (it is, testably), then this should somehow imply the phrase "Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon" is an example of a model walking on a model. That simply misinterprets the algebra of how we connect our mental models. Actually, saying "Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon" is a new model, not one model walking on another model, and it is new model that correctly combines those other two models to get a new testable workable description of our MDR. This doesn't mean someone with a different MDR can make the valid claim "I don't want to believe Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon, so in my reality, he didn't", but what is invalid in that claim is not that it is a different MDR (people who believe that clearly do have a different MDR), the problem is they are building an MDR that fails tests that our MDR passes. That's it, that's science-- no MIR, just various MDRs and the various tests they pass (like individual electrons in atoms), and the various tests they don't pass (like exchange energies and entanglements). I'm sorry if that sounds more complicated than the MIR belief, but there's just no room for science in beliefs in absolute or mind-independent truths.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Jul-18 at 02:18 AM.

  6. #12876
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    So why is my mental model making it look like I have simulated sense organs with which my mind sends itself information that it itself created? It's not something that I decided to invent.

  7. #12877
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    So why is my mental model making it look like I have simulated sense organs with which my mind sends itself information that it itself created?
    No one uses a model like that, it's just not what the model looks like at all. Why make up a pretend model? Just use the real ones in your examples, and you will see. Don't create false caricatures, use what people are actually saying is going on in your body, use that model. MDR doesn't say "change the model," MDR says "notice the role of the mind in creating and testing that model, and judging it good in whatever contexts it is in fact judged good." The model is precisely the same, what is different is the understanding of what a model is.
    It's not something that I decided to invent.
    Of course you decided to invent the idea that you have a body, with sense organs, and so on-- that's just precisely what you did (or someone else did, tested it, and taught it to you). You have only to study the history of the process to see this is exactly what happened. But what you don't invent is the outcome of the test. That's it, that's all you don't invent-- it doesn't need any MIR concept, it needs a concept of what a test is. That's what so few people are ever taught! Look at how people think today-- there's no global warming if we just choose to hold that the MIR doesn't include global warming, so who needs tests? It's MIR thinking that leads to intransigence and lack of knowledge, not MDR thinking. MDR thinking frees the mind to look for truth, rather than just knowing it because you think you do. It's always models that get tested, not truths that people simply hold because they think it's MIR. A model is a concept looking for a test, it's implicit in the very idea of a model.

    We never get to know why a model tests out well, or where it will fail, we just get to know the test outcomes. Why does it test out well to say there are electrons and protons? We never get to know, we make models, and test them, and the capabilities of our minds are evident every step of the way. What people seem to forget is that models always have a kind of "as if" aspect, where we enter into a kind of hypothetical fantasy where we say "what if this is the way things are, what predictions would it make." That hypothetical mode of thinking is just an aspect of our intelligence, it's how we think. But we don't need to be blind that we think that way, and believe that just because we think in terms of hypothetical "what if it was like this," that somehow implies our models transcend that very process and become descriptions of some "MIR."

    What has been shown over and over in this thread is by the time you strip the MIR concept from all the tests that it fails, you end up with nothing at all-- nothing that science ever uses in any way, because all scientific thinking uses is that hypothetical fantasy mode of thinking, like "what if atoms had individual electrons in them." And then the model passes all kinds of tests, and we start to teach it to students, but somehow those same students never get the message "oh by the way, we also have better models that say there's no such thing as an individual electron, but you don't need to understand that model to be able to apply this one." If a high school science teacher ever used language like that, I'd fall out of my chair, it would show way too much understanding of how human thought, and specifically scientific thought, actually works.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2019-Jul-18 at 03:33 AM.

  8. #12878
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    I didn't decide to appear to have sense organs. It's something I became aware of. An external world to be sensed and evolution by natural selection seems like a good explanation. Is there a better one?

  9. #12879
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Interesting example, thanks to science we model that as a star, not a chariot of fire pulled by a god in the dome of the sky. But the picture we have is formed by neurons in our heads. Our model of the brain being the seat of the mind has neurons in, neurons out, it has no direct access to the sun. Yet we form an image in our heads. Now we assume that image is a true map of an object in the sky, but we can also conjure it up in our imagination. We cannot go and touch the sun so it is an image without corroboration from other senses. We believe in it because we were told all about it. But all of that goes on in our minds. The image is a creation of our minds thanks to neurons in neurons out and that is a modern model I choose to use. The sun we now model as a nuclear fusion core of plasma, it's a model from observation and prediction and quite esoteric. We cannot see through the sun but through science we have that model. Light takes a finite time to reach us, we know that from science but it's another example of how we choose to explain the various observations that lead to that model. Science is the best way to accumulate knowledge of models that make good predictions. But it is all in our mind with its busy neurons. We are trapped inside that body structure, that's how we see it, and sure the science model is very sophisticated in it's predictions and explanations. But as has been said in this thread before, we could be minds in a controlled space fed perceptions by a simulator, as in the Matrix, and it would be untestable even though all our observations would be exactly what we do see. It's an extreme example. More mundane is to understand the implications of quantum interpretation. When you kick that rock, what really happens? electrons repel each other? do you believe in that interpretation or do you know it's right. Or do you know from reading but have difficulty believing it? Do the electron interactions have uncertainty built into them until your kick collapses the wave form? Or is it all built on a structure we cannot even detect in other dimensions? Is that more satisfactory than the Matrix? You believe your mind model absolutely as you view your own hand but it's a simulation in neurons, at least that is a mainstream view.
    That is not the point. Interpretation is irrelevant. Relevant is that it is external to our minds.

  10. #12880
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    "Mind" is a word, that connects to a concept-- like all words do. Nothing different with "mind." The word "god" is also connected to concepts-- quite different ones, I draw no connection between them.
    Not really. God is a concept for creator. If we create the universe with our minds, then, for me, that equates to a god function.

  11. #12881
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Its quite funny considering what 'collective minds' have had the 'Sun' mean over recorded history. It was originally a god to be worshipped, then an astronomical object to be observed, a big pile of wood burning in space, a big ball of hydrogen producing heat and energy that is quite capable of causing untold chaos here on Earth, etc, etc.

    The funny part all of that is that if it was slum-dunk evidence of something which exists independently from human minds, (over the entire course of human history and everyone at each time more or less agreed upon what it was during each era of that history), how did it actually change so dramatically?

    I mean, if it really was a thing which 'actually existed', and that everbody sees that as being evidence of mind independence, then how can it have pulled of the miraculous feat of morphing from a god into being all those other things? Its a miracle, I tell ya!
    jYour examples are simply non-sensorial interpretations attached to the image of the sun. Irrelevant. Relevant is that all see the sun.

  12. #12882
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    MDR tester: "Actually, that's not at all what scientists do. They just make various models that they call "models of the Sun", with all kinds of different levels of complexity. The models are all different, and they all test out well or not so well depending on how stringent are the tests put to them. A model that works great for one scientist in one context might be completely unacceptable and inappropriate for another scientist in another context. All they need is an operational meaning, based on mind-agreed conventions, about what it means to be "observing the Sun"-- a meaning that is demonstrably contained in the scientific MDR. That's how science actually does work-- there is never one iota of need to assert that the Sun is the same for everyone. Indeed, there is never one iota of need in all of science for anyone to assert anything that is not directly tested."
    (1) In some areas of science, the operational limits (or 'boundaries') are also well defined (either in theory, or empirically). Models invented by scientific thinkers should recognise those boundary contexts, which often, don't necessarily have anything to do with some scientist's desired level of 'stringency', but still impact other already related areas. These 'boundaries' are effectively held as being part of the scientific MDR and they, themselves, test out well. Sometimes these may seem like evidence for MIR, but they cannot be, as they've already been tested out objectively to their own appropriate (yet still relevant) levels of 'stringency';

    (2) 'Contexts' are often defined by boundaries too (for seemingly unrelated reasons) .. but they can sometimes render the usefulness of some scientist's 'test stringency' and focus, quite moot.

    That different scientific minds might envisage different contexts, doesn't alter the persistency of some operationally defined boundary contexts .. (For an interesting one, I'll point to Einstein's famous anecdotal musing on the 'boundary contexts' (distinctions) of time as an example: 'The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion'​ .. Which is all part of the scientific MDR .. even if it is perceived as 'a stubbornly persistent illusion'! )

  13. #12883
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Ah, so that particular description of reality doesn't make sense to your mind. Yup, that's just how MDR works, and so the MDR hypothesis passes yet another test. That's quite a few dozen passed tests by now, just in this thread alone. (Read the hypothesis.)

    Now let's be scientific thinkers, and ask how many tests the MIR concept has passed. Zilch. Yes, zilch, read the thread, it's all there.
    (A "passed test" is defined as a test that satisfies two criteria:
    1) the hypothesis worked on the example included in the test, and
    2) the hypothesis could have failed, we are not simply choosing to believe it to be true because we like to believe it's true, regardless of any need for evidence.)
    We are not talking about MIR here. MIR implies an interpretation of what we sense. We are talking about minds sensing the sun. Period.

  14. #12884
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    “Some people,” remarked Mary Poppins... “think a great deal too much. Of that I am sure.”
    — P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins Comes Back (1935)

    This is philosophy, not science.
    That is very true. An old Italian saying is, translated: "who thinks too much goes crazy"...

  15. #12885
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    In my web travels, I find the strongest adherence is amongst religious folk.
    Some of them are in a desperate struggle to 'make science conform' with their tightly held philosophical Realism.
    I'm beginning to think religion is the main source of the belief in MIR ..
    Its interesting that some scientifically thinking atheists however, still cling to Realism but are nonetheless, completely unware of where it all came from (in their thinking) .. and hence they render themselves completely unable to 'get' the notion of the MDR hypothesis.
    Fine, but I am not talkig MIR here. No interpretation, no derived scientific models. Just plain old observation.

  16. #12886
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    I didn't decide to appear to have sense organs. It's something I became aware of. An external world to be sensed and evolution by natural selection seems like a good explanation. Is there a better one?
    No there is not. And coming up with strawman arguments of regarding MIR changes nothing. The argument here is that there is something external to our minds. Period. No fancy scientific models or interpretations. Those are constructed by the mind. I allude to the source. Period. No interpretation. KenG argues against a fancy MIR. This is just a pure and simple assertion: there is an external world. What it is we can model, but we are constrained by our minds creating models which continuously evolve with time.

  17. #12887
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    KenG argues against a fancy MIR.
    Outright misrepresentation ... at no time in this thread has Ken G 'argued against a fancy MIR'.

    .. Try again ..

    Its ok if you don't get what he's saying .. but misrepresenting what he is saying, is just not appropriate.

  18. #12888
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Fine, but I am not talkig MIR here. No interpretation, no derived scientific models. Just plain old observation.
    There is nothing 'plain' or 'old' about an observation.

    .. Two dudes sitting on a rock during daytime look up .. How does anyone know what they observed (including eachother?)

  19. #12889
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    That is very true. An old Italian saying is, translated: "who thinks too much goes crazy"...
    Define 'thinks too much'.
    Truisms are easy to say .. but eventually mean zip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    We are not talking about MIR here. MIR implies an interpretation of what we sense. We are talking about minds sensing the sun. Period.
    'Sensing' implies an interpreted model .. and adding a 'period' at the end, doesn't clarify it very much ..

  21. #12891
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    “Some people,” remarked Mary Poppins... “think a great deal too much. Of that I am sure.”
    — P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins Comes Back (1935)

    This is philosophy, not science.
    They are not exclusive and there is "philosophy of science" which clarifies the method. This thread is all about what science "really" is in the pursuit of knowledge and the challenging of beliefs.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  22. #12892
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    No there is not. And coming up with strawman arguments of regarding MIR changes nothing. The argument here is that there is something external to our minds. Period. No fancy scientific models or interpretations. Those are constructed by the mind. I allude to the source. Period. No interpretation. KenG argues against a fancy MIR. This is just a pure and simple assertion: there is an external world. What it is we can model, but we are constrained by our minds creating models which continuously evolve with time.
    Do you accept the modern model of the brain (head and stomach brain) as the structure underpinning the mind? Do you agree it is a neuron engine?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  23. #12893
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Do you accept the modern model of the brain (head and stomach brain) as the structure underpinning the mind? Do you agree it is a neuron engine?
    I am not talking about models of the brain (this is MDR). I am talking about simply seeing the sun.

  24. #12894
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    KenG argued against MIR. The universe is complex, so that implies a MIR (if it exists) would be complex.

  25. #12895
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    There is nothing 'plain' or 'old' about an observation.

    .. Two dudes sitting on a rock during daytime look up .. How does anyone know what they observed (including eachother?)
    Simple: they see what everybody sees: the sun. What is so complicated?

  26. #12896
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Define 'thinks too much'.
    Truisms are easy to say .. but eventually mean zip.
    Thinks too much in this context, means interpreting too much in what we see. Models of the sun.

  27. #12897
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    'Sensing' implies an interpreted model .. and adding a 'period' at the end, doesn't clarify it very much ..
    Sensing means seeing and feeling warmth.

  28. #12898
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    I am not talking about models of the brain (this is MDR). I am talking about simply seeing the sun.
    there is nothing simple about seeing. Once light enters the retina, it's neurons all the way but the image we see is actually more complex than the data capacity of the optic nerve so our brain fills in detail from memory or from processing based on previous successful algorithms. In our mind we see therefore a manufactured image. All this is a model of how it works accepted by science. But we cannot know if it is not a complete illusion, we generally assume our images represent reality because they are our reality.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  29. #12899
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    KenG argued against MIR.
    Well, its over to Ken G .. however, its been clear that the MDR hypothesis does not rule out the possibility that an MIR may still 'exist', so I don't know the basis on which your accusation is made, nor have you supported that accusation.

    The point he's made numerous times now, is that there simply isn't any objective evidence supporting the idea of an MIR and, because a belief is defined in this thread as: 'Any notion held as being true for any reason', MIR is classified as being a belief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Thinks too much in this context, means interpreting too much in what we see. Models of the sun.
    By what standard (or opinion)?

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