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Everything posted by Holmes

  1. No I would not, and I don't know how "fair" could be defined in the context of this question. It seems to me that women in a women's category can never benefit from the inclusion of men who have transitioned, but the men who have transitioned are more likely to benefit, more likely than if there was a MtF category. Therefore on this (admittedly informal) analysis, it is not equitable. Well these categories are defined on a long established traditional division based on XX or XY chromosomes. Men and Women have entered sports and competed on that understanding, it doesn't strike me as fair to now permit exceptions that could disadvantage Women. I don't know what you mean by "artificial", can you explain?
  2. Then such people are not male or female. It was answer to your odd question: What is fair about having someone compete against possibly no one?
  3. What about males have XY chromosomes and females have XX? If I have XY chromosomes does it matter if I insist I have XX? Why not do the rather obvious and honest thing? Introduce two additional categories: MtF and FtM can anything be fairer than that? Perhaps that won't work, perhaps we'll eventually see more categories like MtFtM or FtMtFtMtF...
  4. I want to try to clarify why I use the term "supernatural" and why phrases like "beyond science" arise in these discussions, I tried to establish this earlier in a few posts. Supernatural literally means events that cannot be due to what we regard as natural. We regard natural as that which can - in principle at least - be explained or understood scientifically, perhaps with laws and mathematics, experiments, testing and so on. So in this regard, are there things that even in principle cannot be understood scientifically? because if there are then very obviously the term supernatural is not an improper or invalid term to use. Very well lets use "premises" instead of "axioms"? I would not write it that way myself, I would say that if there is an explanation we have no right to insist that the only explanations we can entertain are scientific ones. I say this reasons akin (in an informal sense at least) to Godel's incompleteness theorem(s). In a nutshell I mean by this that there are truths about the universe that cannot be understood by recourse only to that universe. Examples are the origin of laws and material, another is why the universe appears to be ordered at all in the first place, why is it comprehensible why not incessant chaos? These questions came up very naturally as I was studying GR and read the Meaning of Relativity by Einstein. Why do these relationships exist? might there actually be a unified field theory one day? if so what could explain the existence of that theory? would we get to a point where we have no more question? These are entirely legitimate questions about reality and it is a mistake to insist, to demand that the only true answers are scientific ones. I'm done here with this thread now, there is no more to be learned from one another, perhaps a future thread may arise but until then I'm finished in this thread, I stated my case and others can do with that what they want. It's been stimulating!
  5. There's only one of me. As for Krauss, he is not a participant in the thread and because of that distinction I have no qualms about discussing him, the person. Science is as much about people, celebrities' these days and their views as it is about facts, figures and theories. Krauss has elected to be in the public eye and enjoy the material rewards that that can bring and is a source of personal slurs and attacks himself, so please, spare me the tears. I may have mentioned that I used to be an atheist, I was from the earliest I can remember. I was raised to discover and find things out for myself, my mother bought me books and encyclopedias for that reason. During the 1970s and early 1980s I was immersed in science both in my own personal study of physics and later electronics and by the TV and radio. Carl Sagan was a person I am very familiar with, I watched "Cosmos" when it first aired as I did "The ascent of man" and "Burke's Connection" and "Tomorrow's World" and the entire Apollo moon landings and the fascinating BBC "Horizon" all of these and more were eagerly absorbed at every opportunity. I was (and still am) a huge fan of science fiction both hard and soft, including Asimov and Clark and EE. Smith to name just three, but also TV like Star Trek and Dr.Who. I built my own telescope, had a microscope, built radios and other gadgets, had my own workshop that I built myself from junk and scraps at the age of 16. So I am very very familiar with Sagan and his views, I shared those views once. I watched the clip but was drawn to two things in particular, the first is that he chose not to answer "is there a purpose" and objected because "God" is ambiguous. If I was sitting and talking about this subject with Sagan myself I'd be pressing him on these two areas.
  6. This a perfect example of why I will no longer be discussing this subject with you, condescension is your preferred tool when you are on the back foot, rigor and honesty are of little value to you, is this very post an ad-hominem? yes I suppose it is but this is why such language is frowned upon by mature debaters, it always, always, always leads to a breakdown of the discussion, I will not be responding to any more of your posts in this thread, I said this already then gave you another opportunity which you did not value or learn from, so now you can post all you wish, it is beneath me to waste my time with someone who seems to have no interest in the subject other than his ego. Let me leave you with this, an example of a discussion between two opposing positions without the slightest hint of condescension, insults, ad-hominem, at no point does Russell introduce terms like "fiction" or "unicorns" or "mashed potato" or "reading comprehension", he could have done I'm sure, but he had no need, no base ego to satisfy. You do not know what you do not know and you do not know how to respectfully discuss anything with anyone, perhaps, just perhaps you can put your ego to one side and learn from this, the ball's in your court. Well your reaction stems it seems from my introduction of an analogy, the analogy that we can know there is no point in continuing to seek an example of two integers who's ratio is π . So let me ask you, do you know that we can never find such a pair of integers or do you regard it as a possibility given enough time to conduct a search? this is not so much a mathematics question as it is a logic question. Having an answer from you will help us move forward.
  7. But we must adopt logic if we are to reason are we not? can you imagine a scientific argument that is not logical? So I must disagree, claiming that scientific arguments need not be logical sounds like a rather extreme step to me. So proofs do exist in logic and if some claim about the natural world can be expressed in logical terms of premises and deductions then that claim must be subject to logic and the rules of logic. So sweeping statements like "Proof is the in the realm of mathematics and logic, not Science" are IMHO misleading. Physics adopts and leverages mathematics and the proofs in mathematics must therefore hold if the science is to be logical, rational.
  8. So you'll explain material phenomena in terms of material phenomena? that's the paradox and it cannot be resolved scientifically just as we cannot prove that π is rational number no matter how long one cares to try for. No it is a strawman, I'm disappointed at the regularity with which I have to point this out here. No I don't think it is, we are discussing physics and laws and mathematics, the nature of mathematical proofs and an example of a mathematical proof is entirely within the scope of this discussion. If we cannot discuss mathematics then we cannot discuss physics. Very well so why - scientifically - are there laws of physics? why is there a "quantum foam"? why is there "instability"? Your refusal to respectfully refrain from strawman arguments and ad-hominem personal references as the bedrock of your replies has reached the stage where I have no desire to discuss this with you any further. Thank you, I suspect this is not entirely accidental either. This is more like it, a more honest approach to grappling with this problem. First let us note that this paper argues against the very thing many here have been arguing for (all emphasis is mine) Moving on, I read the paper and noticed this which seems be a rejection of Krauss's "from nothing" thesis: reading further Before proceeding its worth examining the accepted definition of Creatio Ex Nihilo: The paper's recourse to "information" as the fundamental means by which physics came to exist is noteworthy, at least the author's seem to recognize the futility of arguing in purely material terms. However they seem to have missed something pretty basic here, note: They must presume something exists, explaining non-existence as being composed of things that do exist amounts to invalidating the initial assumption that such an agglomeration is in fact "nothing'. Further: Moving to the closing remarks I saw this: Which I cannot see myself, after all equating information with energy (which the authors' do) means - by implication - that the "information" that conceptually drove the "creation" must be regarded as an aspect of physics of science. Ultimately the paper is scientifically unsatisfactory for several reasons, one is it directly states that "nothing" has a structure, a composition which amounts to a contradiction and thus falls victim to the very same criticisms they mention at the start with respect to other explanations. The other is the dubious treatment of "information", perhaps if they simply referred to this initial cause as "god" they might have saved a lot of typing.
  9. How very interesting, I was berated in this thread only yesterday for asking "why" there are laws of physics, I was told that "science doesn't deal with why" and here we have a reputable physicist pointing out how science seeks to answer "deep 'why' question" shall we dismiss Carroll completely for making such a fundamental error?
  10. I completely agree. The name you use for the speculative material is unimportant, what's central here is the means at our disposal to scientifically explain its origin. It seems you want it both ways, you want nothing to have no properties so that you can call it nothing yet you also want it to have properties so that you can them show how things with properties came to exist. Is this a thinly disguised attempt at a strawman argument? I asked earlier (and nobody ventured a reply) do you think we might "one day" find a proof that π is a rational number? surely we should just keep looking? I did not ever suggest that "review/addition/modification/invalidation" was a "disadvantage" or "hindrance" you are in error to claim I made such a suggestion. Reaffirming things that are largely not contentious and that I largely do not disagree with does not seem to be much a rebuttal to what I did say. Do you even recall what my argument is? have you read what I actually wrote?
  11. It is a strawman argument because it does not attack the premises or reasoning of my case but of other cases, attack my argument not the arguments of others not arguments that I did not present. That's not correct, a counter argument that relies on my personal traits is an ad-hominem argument. Of course it refers to my motives, it said "they perhaps make you feel better psychologically" the motive for my argument is therefore to make myself feel better, even if that were true it does not serve to invalidate my argument, it is irrelevant. Consider what I said about identifying a flaw in a mathematical paper, it would be unacceptable to claim an analysis was flawed on the basis of some trait or motive presumably possessed by the writer. You would not say "You selected that integral because it perhaps makes you feel better" but one might say "That function cannot be used in that integration rule because of the imaginary exponent here" and so on. An argument is flawed if and only if either the reasoning is flawed or one or or more premises are wrong do you disagree with this? Yes you're correct, your criticism is accepted. My "style" (which is subjective anyway and could simply reflect your own biases) is irrelevant, stick to the premises and reasoning. Perhaps this may help, this is not something normally covered in science or mathematics degrees but is core in logic and philosophy, one needs to have a sound grasp of this if one is to engage in rigorous reasoning:
  12. I am of the opinion that the original argument or one or more of its premises are wrong.
  13. Very detailed, thanks for the lectures too, I doubt I'll follow very far but I'm sure I'd pick up some insights here and there!
  14. This is not correct. Referring to a presumed medium that has "instability" as "nothing" is an improper use of English. But lets move on, if you insist on this use of "nothing" so be it, I won't let that hold us up. Can there be a scientific theory for the origin of the "instability"? You may have heard of Sean Carroll a theoretical physicist and cosmologist? good, well here's a piece he wrote about this very subject, about Krauss's book. Here's an excerpt, this is his reaction to Krauss (whom he knows) (emphasis mine) Very well, if that's your opinion so be it. Do you mean all claimed truths are provisional (just to be a bit clearer)? because yes I agree, and of course anything can be challenged. So be it. But that isn't a counter argument, its just a belief, a proposition an unsupported unproven proposition. How can one adopt scientific rigor unless they first select their premises? (this is called being rigorous). I did not refer to unicorns, potatoes or Harry Potter, this is a strawman argument and how I might feel is irrelevant, please critique my argument not my presumed motives, let me show you a typical definition of ad-hominem: My feelings, race, skin color, sexual preferences, choice of diet, height, weight, taste in music, literature - have no relevance. If you disagreed with some mathematical analysis you were shown, perhaps a ten page paper of equations and derivations, would you need to refer to the author's "feelings" and "psychology" in order to pinpoint the error of reasoning? And you speak of "scientific rigor", the irony! The title of the thread contains the phrase "proves there is no God" and that is what I've been challenging. Oh dear oh dear oh dear, another ad-hominem is born...
  15. There are some I'm sure who'd say I was wrong just as many (for example Prof. John Lennox) who agree with this, Besides this is an argument from authority - a fallacy. You said nothing can have a property of "instability" and I said that something with such a property cannot logically be described as nothing which is so obvious I do not know how else to express this. If you want to suggest that a model of the universe could be produced that is based on this "instability" then that's fine, that's a conventional approach, all theories in physics assume something already exists, I have no problem with this but it does not invalidate my argument. My argument is that the presence of the universe (or in this case the presence of the instability) cannot have a scientific explanation.
  16. Instability is a material characteristic so cannot be referred to as nothing, nothing would have no material characteristics. Tell me what is the origin of the instability? Claiming that something is actually nothing just so that you can later claim that something can emerge from that "nothing" holds far less water than anything I've been saying.
  17. But I never said that the reason they never will was because they "cannot be explained yet", I said it was because it leads to a paradox, a contradiction. There is no "yet" it is not and never was a matter of time it is a logical impossibility like proving that π is a rational number, it is logically not possible - proof by contradiction. See above, it is not and never was a matter of "yet" - if I argued that just because we have not yet found a proof that π is a rational number that does not mean we'll never find such a proof? do you think we might find a proof of that given enough time? Drawing attention to the epistemological limitations of some discipline is not a denunciation of that discipline. I made no comment on the utility of the Newtonian model of gravity only on its correctness. No, this is incorrect, the Newtonian model is wrong. Time is not universal, the trajectory of light is impacted by mass and so on. None of these facts reduce the utility of the theory but we are not discussing utility but correctness. Theoretical physics is not concerned with utility, that's the province of engineering and we're discussing theoretical physics and its epistemological limitations and the implications this has on our ability to explain reality.
  18. Well I do not dispute that. I dispute that because it contradicts your first point above. A model is based on reason and reasoning is the process whereby we draw conclusions from premises, there must be premises before we can begin to reason and create models. For example in general relativity the core premises (axioms, assumptions, I use these interchangeably) are the principle of equivalence and the principle of relativity (principle of general covariance). They are generalizations, extrapolations based on inductive reasoning, their universality is assumed not absolutely known to be true. I do not dispute that/ Well perhaps the above answer clear this up, perhaps its clearer what I agree with and disagree with. All scientific explanations are models. All models involve reasoning from premises. Premises refer to material reality. Therefore we can never explain - scientifically - the presence of material reality because we must refer to material reality in order to establish the premises we need to create that explanation for material reality. In short we cannot explain the origin of the universe in terms of the universe, we cannot explain the origin of laws of nature (premises) in terms of those same premises.
  19. I'm a member of society to whom Dawkins markets his products, just like you. Because I do not think he sets a good example to young minds of an open minded seeker after truth. I used to discuss his ideas on the Richard Dawkins forum but oddly that closed a few years ago. Dawkins is not a psychiatrist yet clearly thinks he is able to diagnose that every person who believes something he does not, is suffering from a delusion. This therefore serves to immediately discredit such individuals and propagating this in his books, talks and so on sets an example to younger, more vulnerable minds of how to react to ideas that you personally do not share, it effectively encourages, teaches intolerance.
  20. Do you support all minorities no matter what it is that characterizes them?
  21. I propose four categories - M, F, MF and FM, then we can all move on and society can start functioning again. We'd then have four types of bathrooms for categories in sports etc, life could be simple once more.
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