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Everything posted by cladking

  1. The ability to use things seen in nature, the lab, or in the bathtub do not confer understanding. Of course if observation does not conform to theory the cause must be reconciled but when observation does conform to theory it does not mean that theory is correct. If I put bird food out and observe what birds come to feed it is hardly an experiment at all and hardly can say much about what types of birds and animals live here or how they interact. Like all words the referent for "experiment" is a continuum from good solid relevance to hardly experiment at all. Experiment design is one of the hardest parts of science and interpretation of experiment is necessarily dependent on the design and axioms. People and animals have been employing and building counterweights for countless millions of years yet we still don't understand the cause of the gravity that allows them to work. Yes and no. Just because we don't notice an anomalous property or find a way to explain the unexpected; just because we can justify all observation with theory don't mean that the axioms are necessarily the simplest ones to use to understand experiment. Since axioms can't be proven or disproven the task isn't to justify them but rather to select the set which explain experiment in the simplest terms. There are red pills and blue pills just as there are red and blue pills. It's also possible to have a single red and blue pill that some might see as red and others as blue. Any pill, every single individual pill, has many names. Why do you suppose a tree would be known by a single name? People get hung up on ideas that come from language and the models they engender. "Philosophy" is no different at all. Just as "experiment" lies on a continuum so too does "philosophy. We each take many beliefs as being axiomatic and then generate an entire "philosophy" around it. We each see what we expect and believe until in time we become those beliefs, never realizing that every individual has a unique perspective that he believes is justified by experiment, religion, or common sense.
  2. Your definition makes a bee's waggle dance "astronomy". I have no problem at all with this but still would point out that it is more measurement than experiment. A lot of the disagreement is really semantical. Obviously, there are "expermental" qualities to things other than pure experiment. I would go so far as to say there can be such qualities to almost all thought and action (including observation of course). But it is necessary still to tie theory to reality through experiment. It is also necessary to periodically revisit axioms and metaphysics. The only thing that matters is what he meant. He did not specifically say how many trees there were or even that one tree didn't have two names. No! One thing all nonsense and poppycock have shared in the last century is that it had no tie to experiment. I am not claiming ANYTHING not tied to experiment is nonsense but that real science actually works and is tied to experiment. Everything must begin with what is accepted as true. Everything follows from this.
  3. "Physics" is the result of axioms, methodology, and experiment. While interpretations can still be wrong physics is always tied to reality by experiment. This simply isn't true for all branches of study and it's not as true for astronomy. Most of astronomy has far more to do with observation and the explanation of observation derived from experiments on earth rather than doing experiments with stars. It's not a matter of astronomy being "wrong" so much as it's a matter of a near void of experiment conducted by astronomers. If you lose sight of axioms it's easy to lose sight of the meaning of experiment. It's impossible to know the limitations of your knowledge. It won't be today... I believe astrology is a confusion of a science. No. I'm merely saying that models and beliefs are just as dependent on axioms and definitions whether you believe that 2 + 2 = 4 or you believe a Creator made this so. Nobody escapes fundamental beliefs and most individuals vote the same "party" and attend the same church as their parents.
  4. Eise quoted it and claimed it was the King James version. "Axioms" are not "true". There are assumed to be true so the validity of all of science depends upon the accuracy and correctness of its axioms. No. Axioms are fundamental to everything derived from them. Just like beliefs they determine the direction of science and individuals.
  5. In every way... It is what it is and it is the vector sum total of the understanding of every scientist and mathematician who ever added to it. It is the aggregate of the understanding of every living person. It is quantified logic applied to the movement of lights in the sky AND everything that has been learned from it. An individual can approach the study of astronomy very scientifically but then one can approach the study of philosophy very scientifically as well. This makes neither astronomy nor philosophy "science".
  6. Why are you assuming the story never changed before it became writ in stone? A person is both an observer and the observed, an animal and a mammal, good and bad, an individual and half a couple I could go on all day. Maybe the author of Genesis didn't think like you do. No. An axiom is something that is assumed to be true because it is fundamental and not subject to experimentation or other scientific process. Math is quantified logic and is in no way "science". Neither history nor literature are in any way science but they are founded in philosophy and philosophy should be reflective of science or we'll have warped and twisted understanding of them. "Astronomy" may be the mother of science but is not strictly science herself. It is more akin to the application of math and knowledge to understanding the heavens and our place in the universe. Astronomy also makes a very handy place to make observation of phenomena and events that can't occur on earth. You have the cart before the horse here. There's that word "good" again. Some people find happiness or fulfillment in very very bad things. One may need to turn every stone to find good philosophy but one might get dirty in the process.
  7. What I'm trying to say is that good science ("valid" if you prefer) can only yield good philosophy so long as the philosophical axioms are good. "Good philosophical axioms" being that which is beneficial to people". Obviously this might not be true. I'm trying to say that all truth and all knowledge is necessarily good to the species. Philosophy and science can both be bad under the defined conditions stated above. I suppose you're suggesting the fruit was detrimental to people. While this is possible it seems unlikely the tellers or inventors of the story would believe that any kind of knowledge was "bad". We are "Homo Sapiens" (wise men) so why should knowledge be harmful? why would wisdom be harmful? It seems unlikely they invented agriculture and cities with bad philosophy.
  8. ...Perhaps the "evil" was in that there was not enough fruit for all and no means to assure equitable distribution. Or the story could be completely fabricated with no referent in the real world. Exactly. There are even more bad sciences than good sciences but every science must have a methodology (metaphysics) to which it strictly adheres. Bad science is science that isn't founded in experiment. I suppose this would be true except for two things. Using reductionism to study nature as we do science necessarily leads philosophy and it's doubtful that real science can fly in the face of what's best for people. A-bombs aren't "science", they are technology and so long as people want to kill each other there is no means to stop any sort of technology. If the goal is to kill then "good" technology kills the most people. I didn't mean it in that way. I meant that "good" must be axiomatic to "philosophy". If a philosophy is created that not based in science or not based in "good" axioms then the result will be a set of beliefs that is destructive. In order to come to this conclusion one must ponder bad science and bad philosophy or see where they have created chaos before. In this case I think the difference is science and technology. It is also often called the "Tree of Life" because life is the pursuit of the knowledge of good and evil. Perhaps the "Life" was believed to have been extended sufficiently to gain such wisdom. Or it might all be mere fabrication but if it's made up then one should ask why it was invented.
  9. I don't want to play word games here but "philosophy" means "love of wisdom" and "wisdom" mean knowing the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, or what is practical from what is not. More to the point there is no gain in pondering things that are bad to the species, individuals, or the commonweal. The sole objective has always been the betterment of the race and historically we find that in truth and reality rather than belief and superstition. If there were good results in bad philosophy or bad science it would be better not to known anyway. I think if we let real science work itself out we'll always find ways that the new knowledge can be used for progress rather than destruction.
  10. The latter. The real problem with all philosophy is that any tenet, any reasoning, and every conclusion can be deconstructed. Even some of what is often called "science" suffers this same fault. "Philosophy" by definition must hold life, and especially human life, as the ultimate good or it is destructive. If that life is worthless or of negative value is an axiom then any philosophy can be "good" philosophy". Things that help a single individual or group but is bad for the commonweal are bad. Death is a part of life so the prevention of death can not possibly be the ultimate good. Just as good mayonnaise requires that you break a few eggs, good philosophy is no stranger to egg shells.
  11. Bad philosophy is wrong and destructive of people or property. . Good philosophy might be right and holds people as the ultimate good.
  12. The problem with our reductionistic perspective is that it's unlikely we can put it all together until we have nearly every piece of the puzzle and we're a very long way from that. Even now massive pieces of the puzzle aren't even recognized as being relevant and all the (fractal) corner pieces and most of the edge pieces are missing. Reality is logic as is mathematics so there is hope even in the short run.
  13. "Vonk presented the apes with a touch-screen computer and got them to tap an image of an animal—for instance, a snake—on the screen. Then she showed each ape two side-by-side animal pictures: one from the same category as the animal in the original image and one from another—for example, images of a different reptile and a bird. When they correctly matched animal pairs, they received a treat such as nuts or dried fruit." What these animals are doing isn't abstraction. There's no evidence (other than observations such as these) that any animal has words which mean "thought", "belief", abstraction, taxonomies, or reductionistic words. An animal can certainly see similarities between different types of things without the ability to form abstraction. A cat that comes when it's can of food is opened is responding to the various clues it's about to be fed and not to the concept that can opener makes food or allows it to be fed. It simply knows it means food as surely as a frog that senses but can't see a fly nearby knows that it's about to snack. Animals are conscious but don't know abstraction. The ape doesn't have taxonomic words. It can't tell a reptile from a mammal but many animals are going to know what is a threat and what is not. Most small mammals and birds are well acquainted with the shape of raptors and will sound an alarm when one is nearby. But, again, few animal know a warm blooded animal from a cold blooded one unless it's important to them or from experience. A dog understands pointing but not because it understands abstraction but because it knows the act represents identifying an object at a distance. Just as a bee points at a food source in a dance that represents the magnitude, distance, and direction of the food. We, humans, are bound up in abstraction but there's no evidence this applies to animals. And before someone talks about love etc, yes, animals have emotions but just like human emotions they arise from the brain and are not abstractions,. We experience them as abstractions because this is the way our brains work now days. You are assuming a slug lacks free will and consciousness. I believe this assumption is obviously false. Just because it doesn't "think" doesn't mean it isn't alive and have its own "concerns" and choices.
  14. I would type out the definition of "life" from my unabridged dictionary but I wager it's more than 1200 words of very fine print, colons, italics, and various other devices as is found in these sources. There are definitions of "life" that are not abstractions and there are definitions that are pure abstraction. Meanwhile EVERY SINGLE definition of "life" can apply each time someone uses the word. The life of a guinea pig is dissimilar to the life of a human, yet few mourn when a guinea pig's life passes and few people will think of their pet guinea pig when their life passes before their eyes. Language is a life long interest of mine. Most people will deconstruct these sentences correctly despite using a few of the very very many different definitions for life. If I call our concept of "life" an abstraction I am simply not talking about whether it is breathing or will ever breath again. "Consciousness" is far worse. I have never observed or seen evidence that anyone has observed an abstraction in the life of an animal.
  15. We have turned even free will, consciousness, and life into abstractions. Yet a slug still has these attributes despite an inability to understand abstraction. I maintain these are simple observation and don't require experiment or "fatties". Indeed, no one has ever properly defined any of these such that "experiment" can be performed so the questions are ones of philosophy and not true science at this time. And, yes, I am referring to "life" in the abstract which has not been properly defined and I am aware there are reasonably good definitions for the difference between a "live" guinea pig and a dead one.
  16. Of course. But it's considered off-topic in almost every thread and certainly in this one. But we don't need no stinkin' research because we have observation and logic. We can see animals display intelligence and consciousness and have an extremely poor ability to teach them any sort of abstractions. There are some things that seem like abstractions but I don't believe they are to the individual. If a coffee grinder is activated every time right before you feed a cat the sound simply represents food. A bird that flies into a window to get food merely associates your attention to being fed. Animals always have a choice though the choice is far more limited when under attack or otherwise operating strictly on what we call "instinct". Humans suppress instinct, animals much less so. We see humans operating on belief and these beliefs are framed in language and manifested in models. These models, the language formatting them, and the beliefs themselves are abstractions. We simply don't see free will directly because there are too many underlying beliefs. How does a scientist reconcile the idea of free will if he believes the universe is a clockwork or that it behaves physical laws? How does a theologian believe in free will if God is all powerful? No matter what kind of beliefs you have they will interfere with the most basic and simple questions like "what is life", "what is consciousness", and "do we have free will". They actually interfere with every single aspect of our perceptions but this is largely invisible to us. These things have been shown in experiment again and again but we usually interpret them differently and we all always interpret them in terms of our beliefs. I'm about to bring back the "evidence of your own eyes" thread and the next post will touch on this.
  17. I believe a slug has a better understanding of being a slug than we do of being human. Indeed, i believe the slug has a better understanding of life, reality, and free will than we do; at least from the perspective of a slug. We mostly understand human concerns that are based around emotions, definitions, and abstractions. From this perspective the nature of life and free will can be hard to see.
  18. Animals obviously have free will and consciousness but they don't understand the concept of abstraction. They don't understand any concept at all because even a concept is an abstraction. Humans overthink everything. We do it for myriad reasons like the fact we can ONLY think in abstraction because that's the nature of our language today. "Abstractions" aren't real for exactly the reasons you delineate. We have reduced reality to abstractions we call religion or "physical law" but reality is concrete; it is a roundish (sphere-like) object that floats in space. It is unique and continually changing just like all of reality. Within that reality we can do as we choose whether we know it or not. This is the very nature of what it means to be "alive"; CHOICE. It is a gift bestowed by nature to prolong out lives and propagate our genes which are our individual realities. Some things are very hard to see if you have the "wrong" perspective and definitions.
  19. No. Science doesn't even have a working definition of "consciousness". This is as far removed from experiment as is "soul". "Consciousness" at this time is in the realm of philosophy.
  20. You're assuming you know what consciousness and free will are and that it takes place in the brain. The nature of living things is predetermined but not the behavior. Given the exact same conditions two individuals will behave differently. Certainly the individual being born had few choices but the kicking and screaming are more about the rigors of birth than the horror of conception. And then we each always have an out even where that out runs contrary to our natures.
  21. Any free will expressed by spermatozoa or ova is wholly independent of us or our consciousness. We didn't and wouldn't exist until we actually did when two specific ones became a zygote. They no longer existed at all by this time.
  22. You seem to be assuming a spermatozoon has no consciousness and no free will. You are also assuming that ova drop by mere chance alone. I'm guessing you also think that babies are born when they're "done" rather than by consensus.
  23. It's been tough but I've survived so far.
  24. What any individual believes has no bearing on whether or not free will exists. It's irrelevant whether or not a Deity exists. If there's no free will what is stopping people from harming themselves? There are plenty of miserable people yet very few wait for the train on its tracks.
  25. You can be quite certain there is free will. Reality is an infinite number of orders of magnitude too chaotic for consciousness to be driven by any sort of chemical reaction or mechanical process. The belief in preordination and predeterminism is caused by a belief in perception and physical "law". Apropos of nothing in particular you'll never see anyone who believes there is no free will lie down in front of a train to prove his point.
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