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Is The Un-falsifiability Doctrine An Evolutionist Ploy?


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#21 jason78

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 02:20 PM

I'm not trying to deny that this is what I would perceive, but I would have no evidence outside of my own perception. That is the fundamental limitation of this exercise, indeed any exercise. That we can only speak about our perception of things, not necessarily the things in and of themselves.

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You might not have evidence outside your own perception. But the doctor treating your injury would predict that your injuries were caused by exposure to extreme heat, possibly by having treated similar injuries before.

#22 Ron

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 02:34 PM

That is the fundamental limitation of this exercise, indeed any exercise. That we can only speak about our perception of things, not necessarily the things in and of themselves.

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That is incorrect. Yes, we speak about our perceptions, and in speaking of those realities we confirm those realities about ourselves. When someone else speaks of their realities to us, they confirm those realities about them.

When De_skudd propositioned you with that experiment, your inductive results would have been confirmed (over and over again) in your reality, in your assistant’s reality, and in the reality of anyone who viewed the recording (had you actually gone through with the experiment). Then when they replied via this forum, they would have confirmed their reality (and exsistance). Also, the reality of your assistant would have been confirmed by their reaction to your pain during the experimentation.

Also, can you live as a solipsist and a theistic evolutionist at the same time? If your perception is the only reality, what does it matter if evolution is real?

Also, do you look both ways when you cross the street? And why would you? If your perception is the only reality, what does it matter if that Mack truck is about to splat you all over the highway if the driver’s perception isn’t real?

I notice that creationists are fond of accusing evolutionists of 'equivocation', but you almost invariably use the word incorrectly. To equivocate is to deliberately misuse language in order to confuse or mislead, and this is not what I'm doing. I'm merely pointing out the philosophical inconsistencies in your argument. This is very different from equivaction.

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Why do you use a blanket and therefore prejudicial “creationists are fond of” statement when making your accusation. Is this some way of attempting to defuse the evidence being used against you? Especially since your definition of “equivocate” is incorrect. It can be used in that tense, but it can also be merely “to speak vaguely or ambiguously”. It isn’t always deliberate vagueness. But, after reading through the exchange I can see how someone would perceive your being deliberate in your vagueness.

#23 Ron

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 02:39 PM

You might not have evidence outside your own perception.  But the doctor treating your injury would predict that your injuries were caused by exposure to extreme heat, possibly by having treated similar injuries before.

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And the experiment would have been successful in proving things can be known scientifically, and solipsism is poor philosophy. :mellow:


Good observation Jason ;)

#24 ikester7579

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 03:46 PM

The question of whether anything at all can be known as certain has been puzzling philosophers for millennia. Plato discussed shadows on the wall of a cave, Descartes set out on the noble quest of doubting everything he possibly could - and found himself incapable of doubting only his existence and ability to think, and even in pop culture the film The Matrix asks the same question.

It's not scientific bluster, it's an admission of human limitations. No matter how much you want to, you can't know ANYTHING for sure.

Science accepts this limitation with a rueful shrug and goes merrily about the business of describing what we see, whether it's actually real or not.

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Brain washing works in this fashion to make one question current reality so that a new one can be introduced. Why do you think that a person learning science first has to understand and believe that there are no absolutes? Once that is established, the rest of the brain washing can continue.

The difference between science and the Christian religion on this issue. Is that sceince requires you learn this, agree, and you will pass the class. Religion, you can hear the message and agree or disagree. And the walk forward to accept Christ is totally your decision. Forcing some thing is not free thinking.

#25 CTD

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 04:21 PM

Real science accounts for and conforms to reality. The phony kind tries to escape from reality and substitute fantasy for fact.

What use is a "philosophy" that can't be used in the real world? It is a vain waste of time.

Who cares that I cannot prove anything to the standard of convincing someone who's determined not to confess truth to voluntarily change his mind? That's a bogus standard. Even if one met it, there'd still be a question of dedication on the part of the individual subject.

#26 Ron

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 05:17 PM

Real science accounts for and conforms to reality. The phony kind tries to escape from reality and substitute fantasy for fact.

What use is a "philosophy" that can't be used in the real world? It is a vain waste of time.

Who cares that I cannot prove anything to the standard of convincing someone who's determined not to confess truth to voluntarily change his mind? That's a bogus standard. Even if one met it, there'd still be a question of dedication on the part of the individual subject.

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I suppose that all depends upon your perception of reality CTD.

I teach adult learning theory, and there are certain fundamental standards that must be met to assure learning is happening. I wonder what my students would do if I told them my standards are different every day, depending upon my perceptions that day?

Or, if I had to tell one of them they failed, and they said “not by my perception”. Do you think they’d still expect to graduate? Or, if they didn’t, their perspective would make a Diploma appear on their wall?


I bestow upon you perceived Blessings!

Ron

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 06:01 PM

I am by no means trying to argue that one should attempt to live an existence based on a rigid form of solipsism. I am simply saying that it's not possible to argue against the philosophy with pure logic and reason. All arguments against solipsism rely on plausibility and believability.

Is it plausible that you are all figments of my imagination, that I am some kind of cosmic experiment dreaming this reality? Not very.

But it's not impossible and it's impossible to prove that this is not the case.

Therefore, nothing can be proven with certainty. We can only accept that what we perceive will be consistent from one observation to the next.

But thank you all for arguing the case for materialism most eloquently.

#28 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 06:19 PM

Theories like the first law of thermodynamic, classical physics and quantum physics are testable and have a predictive element to them.  We can set an experiment that either proves or disproves the theory.

I think there is an earlier phase of science which needs to be considered before jumping to theories etc.
The basis of science is that there is some type of objective reality 'out there' and another person can check by repeating the procedure or experiment which you have performed. Only when there are a number of such observations, and most observers agree on the objective reality, then, and only then, is theory possible and productive.

Contrast this with Greek Science, which argued about whether matter consisted of discrete atoms of elements or was some form of continuous fluid. Not much more productive than arguing how many angels could dance on the point of a pin.

The nature of the world also imposes limitations on what can be achieved by a theory. For instance in physics it is possible to measure rates of radio-active decay and determine half-lives. However, it is completely impossible to predict when a particular atom will disintegrate. In some cases, the problem may be that we have not been smart enough to find the true theory, but in quantum physics there is good reason to think there are inherent limitations to what theory can predict.
Why should evolution escape this problem?

#29 Ron

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 08:13 PM

I am by no means trying to argue that one should attempt to live an existence based on a rigid form of solipsism. I am simply saying that it's not possible to argue against the philosophy with pure logic and reason. All arguments against solipsism rely on plausibility and believability.

Is it plausible that you are all figments of my imagination, that I am some kind of cosmic experiment dreaming this reality? Not very.

But it's not impossible and it's impossible to prove that this is not the case.

Therefore, nothing can be proven with certainty. We can only accept that what we perceive will be consistent from one observation to the next.

But thank you all for arguing the case for materialism most eloquently.

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You argue against your own argument with your possibilities and impossibilities, and therefore lose yourself in your own arguments. Circular arguments will never set you free; they will only entangle you in your own tautologies.

It is possible that we are all figments of your imagination, but it is not plausible. And it is possible and plausible for things to be proven with certainty. I guarantee you, if you perform the experiment De_skudd provided for you earlier, you would soon come to that conclusion in stark fashion. You called it juvenile, and yet it was only simplistic in that manner to provide you awareness in your folly.

But if you continue to hide yourself in a tangled web of illogical self deceit, your denial will be your only logic.

You said earlier that you could debate philosophy, but if you’re going to use other than the laws of logic to do so, you will surely fail at your endeavor. So good luck with future debates and arguments.

#30 Ron

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 08:16 PM

I think there is an earlier phase of science which needs to be considered before jumping to theories etc.
The basis of science is that there is some type of objective reality 'out there' and another person can check by repeating the procedure or experiment which you have performed.  Only when there are a number of such observations, and most observers agree on the objective reality, then, and only then, is theory possible and productive.

Contrast this with Greek Science, which argued about whether matter consisted of discrete atoms of elements or was some form of continuous fluid.  Not much more productive than arguing how many angels could dance on the point of a pin.

The nature of the world also imposes limitations on what can be achieved by a theory.  For instance in physics it is possible to measure rates of radio-active decay and determine half-lives.  However, it is completely impossible to predict when a particular atom will disintegrate.  In some cases, the problem may be that we have not been smart enough to find the true theory, but in quantum physics there is good reason to think there are inherent limitations to what theory can predict.
Why should evolution escape this problem?

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And yet, as this thread suggests, science can indeed prove facts. I just wanted to make sure we stayed on topic. :mellow:

#31 CTD

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 10:35 PM

I suppose that all depends upon your perception of reality CTD.

I teach adult learning theory, and there are certain fundamental standards that must be met to assure learning is happening. I wonder what my students would do if I told them my standards are different every day, depending upon my perceptions that day?

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Bah! Why waste our time with such claims? Knowledge cannot exist. The most one can obtain, if one is lucky and lacking in dedication is vague hunches and suspicions. Knowledge itself is unattainable. Thus both learning and teaching are purely illusory activities. If you think you can successfully impart that which cannot exist, you deceive your students, and everyone here, and yourself (which is a most commendable endeavour, but that's beside the point because I desire it to be so).

Do not ask how this wisdom itself spreads from one individual to another. No answer exists. The answer would be knowledge, and knowledge does not exist. Even to ask implies a desire to learn, and indicates a weakness of willpower.

Or, if I had to tell one of them they failed, and they said “not by my perception”. Do you think they’d still expect to graduate? Or, if they didn’t, their perspective would make a Diploma appear on their wall?
I bestow upon you perceived Blessings!

Ron

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LOL! I see you're not learning anything at all from this discussion. Learning is failure! At least learning anything one does not already desire to imagine. That's definitely failure.

Imagining one has learned what one desires to learn is the only possible way to succeed. Believe me - I sort of desire to think I might I imagine I know!

#32 Ron

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 05:38 AM

Bah! Why waste our time with such claims? Knowledge cannot exist. The most one can obtain, if one is lucky and lacking in dedication is vague hunches and suspicions. Knowledge itself is unattainable. Thus both learning and teaching are purely illusory activities. If you think you can successfully impart that which cannot exist, you deceive your students, and everyone here, and yourself (which is a most commendable endeavour, but that's beside the point because I desire it to be so).

Do not ask how this wisdom itself spreads from one individual to another. No answer exists. The answer would be knowledge, and knowledge does not exist. Even to ask implies a desire to learn, and indicates a weakness of willpower.
LOL! I see you're not learning anything at all from this discussion.  Learning is failure! At least learning anything one does not already desire to imagine. That's definitely failure.

Imagining one has learned what one desires to learn is the only possible way to succeed. Believe me - I sort of desire to think I might I imagine I know!

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Excuse me, did you say something? I didn't even notice you were there because you aren't a part of my reality. I doubt you’re even a part of my imaginary pre-matrix cortexial innerfram-a-stant gonculator.

I think therefore you aren’t!

/////////////////////////////////////////

The above was an exercise in futility. What if we all went around life as though no one else truly existed? As if we could ignore truth to satisfy some innate desire to live in a fantasy land of denial.

What kind of life is that?

#33 Adam Nagy

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 06:48 AM

What kind of life is that?

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We see people kidding themselves, trying to live it, all around us.

#34 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 05:11 PM

And yet, as this thread suggests, science can indeed prove facts. I just wanted to make sure we stayed on topic.  :D


I think a more accurate statement is that science begins with objectively verifiable facts ie other observers have to be able to observe the same or similar event.

I think it is interesting if religion were restricted to facts which most observers could agree on. I suspect that would reduce the number of sects dramatically.

There is definite value in requiring falsifiability of any theological claims.

#35 de_skudd

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 05:33 AM

I think a more accurate statement is that science begins with objectively verifiable facts  ie other observers have to be able to observe the same or similar event.

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I can agree with this to a point. But the problem we run into is when those who haven’t observed a phenomenon that was objectively verified by others, they rule it out simply based on their worldview.

For example: The apostles objectively verifying the miracles of Jesus during His life and ministry. Now, there are conspiracy theorists who attempt to reject these empirical findings outright. And yet they cannot falsify what they weren’t there firsthand to disprove. This is not unlike the conspiracy theorists who want to falsify man’s first landing on the moon.



I think it is interesting if religion were restricted to facts which most observers could agree on.  I suspect that would reduce the number of sects dramatically.

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I think you are making the mistake of thinking that what the majority believes has to be true. I had a sibling who was miraculously healed of cancer after praying and being prayed over for healing. She was supposed to die within weeks (this was in the late sixties) but is alive today with six grandchildren. The Doctor listed “miraculous” as one of the reasons for the healing.

Now, the skeptic/agnostic/atheist would attempt to deny the healing as miraculous by saying it MUST have been something natural (etc… Yadda-Yadda-Yadda), although this healing was witnessed by “objective” witnesses. And, empirically, test after test shows there is no more cancer. How do I know this? Because, during this time I was an atheist and denied the obvious truth/evidence and facts as well.

Many observers will deny facts to protect their worldview and naturalistic religion.


There is definite value in requiring falsifiability of any theological claims.

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There may be some value in falsifiability, but there is greater value in things you cannot falsify due to facts, evidence and truth.

#36 CTD

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 08:06 AM

There may be some value in falsifiability, but there is greater value in things you cannot falsify due to facts, evidence and truth.

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"Falsifiability" doesn't have much role to play when an event has been established by proper investigation. Discover, verify, reconcile. Once those things are accomplished, what's left to falsify? Only things which are not well-established can be expected to be subject to falsification.

I don't think any rule can even be formulated which would apply universally. An imagined event is easily falsified by actual evidence turning up. An event which has evidence of having actually occurred? Well, how much evidence are we talking about? "Falsifiability" is pretty much a red herring in this context.

#37 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:09 AM

I can agree with this to a point. But the problem we run into is when those who haven’t observed a phenomenon that was objectively verified by others, they rule it out simply based on their worldview.

For example: The apostles objectively verifying the miracles of Jesus during His life and ministry. Now, there are conspiracy theorists who attempt to reject these empirical findings outright. And yet they cannot falsify what they weren’t there firsthand to disprove. This is not unlike the conspiracy theorists who want to falsify man’s first landing on the moon.

One of the difficulties with your example is that standards of evidence have changed with time. When the gospels were written, there seems to have been a general view that miracles did happen and eye witnesses were always to be believed. We certainly do not have notarized statements, taken immediately after the events, from disinterested observers.

In cases like this, I do not think the only choices are true or false.
I think the Scots verdict of 'not proven' is very useful, perhaps with some qualification as to probability.

#38 de_skudd

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:26 AM

One of the difficulties with your example is that standards of evidence have changed with time.  When the gospels were written, there seems to have been a general view that miracles did happen and eye witnesses were always to be believed.  We certainly do not have notarized statements, taken immediately after the events, from disinterested observers.

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That is incorrect Keith, the standards of evidence haven’t changed, but the standards of truth have. The standards of evidence are still two or more witnesses. Only one witness is a “he said/she said” and then falls to additional evidences or fails into mitigating circumstances or dismissal all together.

It (the standards of truth) then has a trickle down affect on everything else. When you lower the bar, you just grease the slope more.

The bottom line is, when there are that many credible witnesses, denial of the truth is just a cheap way out for a weakling. Miracles are the same today as they were yesterday. You can witness them, and still deny them to the god of your worldview. You do not need “notarized statements, taken immediately after the events” when the evidences are so overpowering.

In cases like this, I do not think the only choices are true or false.
I think the Scots verdict of 'not proven' is very useful, perhaps with some qualification as to probability.

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The probability weighs heavily against the non-believer and conspiracy theorists in the face of overwhelming evidence and facts.

#39 CTD

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 10:08 AM

I don't believe I've ever seen too many cases of "notarized statements, taken immediately after the events".

The only things that come to mind are creationist digs, and absolutely no amount of evidence will get evolutionists to admit that what's unearthed was legitimately found where everyone knows it was found.

They'd have us believe all such efforts are pure futility, but it'll all wash out come Judgement Day.

#40 Ron

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 01:04 PM

I don't believe I've ever seen too many cases of "notarized statements, taken immediately after the events".

The only things that come to mind are creationist digs, and absolutely no amount of evidence will get evolutionists to admit that what's unearthed was legitimately found where everyone knows it was found.

They'd have us believe all such efforts are pure futility, but it'll all wash out come Judgement Day.

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After that whole exchange I have become curious just how many notary-public's there were back then :lol:

Testimonies have not changed at all over the centuries. Only the length at which truth can be impugned to lower the level of one's hard fought character has. :(




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