Discussion in 'Pseudoscience' started by Eugene Shubert, Aug 13, 2015.
LIM... just closed this thread already.
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Science and religion can be a volatile mix:
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I think what they are saying here is that most scientific queries based on a religious premise fail at the stage of defining the problem.
Too bad, too. I think that in some circles, quantum creationism or other varieties of the same idea actually exists.
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Is it true that all my detractors have met their match and that not one of them can distinguish between the natural and supernatural?
There's no such thing as "supernatural", only currently-understood nature and not-yet-understood nature.
Oh look, Eugene is being dishonest/ irredeemably dumb. Again.
OK. So, is the spontaneous quantum creation of a beautiful woman out of inanimate matter perfectly consistent with all the fundamental laws of physics?
Do you even know what you're talking about anymore? Because I sure as hell don't.
Excellent! Another truther. Do you also believe that the Moon landings were faked? And that vaccines cause autism? And that the US is spraying us all with cancer-causing chemicals via sprayers on commercial jetliners? How about the Illuminati - are they out to get you?
I disagree with Dyson. Atoms don't make choices like agents. They randomly fall into one or another state when a measurement occurs.
If somebody asks you "Do you want chocolate or strawberry icecream?" and you pull out a coin and flip it to decide, the only choice you've made is to use the coin. You haven't actually chosen chocolate or strawberry; that was a random outcome. Atoms always use the coin flip to decide - and they have no choice not to use the coin either.
Dyson isn't talking about measurement. For a more appropriate analogy, consider Feynman's Path integral formulation instead for an electron passing through a double slit. Ultimately, the electron has to decide where on screen it will fall after considering an infinite number of possible paths first.
Science is still working its layers of causality here, ES. It is the same with the "randomness" of evolution, only it isn't random. The moment the mammalian neocortex evolved sufficiently to allow modeling the behaviors of others of our species, it was inevitable that this trait would select for itself to make us all whatever it is we are becoming. It's not the same as selecting for intelligence either, by the way, even if any of us understood what that was, which we don't.
We are the first animals capable of modeling the behaviors of science, or of G-d, or as in your case, sometimes both. It's bound to be more than a bit confusing. The spirit of this place is different than this place. Only a few will understand what this means.
The point of Feynman's path integral formulation is that the electron essentially follows all possible paths to the screen. The electron doesn't do any deciding, as I have already pointed out. Where it is observed on the screen is a random outcome (weighted according to the value of the wavefunction at each point, or the superposition of the Feynman paths).
That's still not a decision like a person would mean it. Equating quantum randomness with human decision-making processes is the fallacy of equivocation.
Evolution is not uniformly random, because natural selection differentially rewards those organisms that are better at surviving and passing on their genes so it acts like a strict filter on the more uniformly random variations due to sexual reproduction and mutation. Evolution is undirected, but the overall trend is towards the more successful as the fitness landscape changes due to environmental changes and towards the more complex as good-enough contigent innovations of the past are modified and repurposed.
Having other members of your species care about the survival and prosperity of others is selected for over a society of lizards or of psychopaths, which amounts to the same thing. This is easily as huge a survival advantage over any alternatives as it is for some of us to have an intimate relationship going with science, math, religion, nature, or whatever other endeavor we may apply this ability to.
The term random is overused in the sciences without a close enough analysis of what it means. As you have pointed out, evolution is not really random in the strictest mathematical sense, any more than something like crystal growth is.
The uncertainty principle currently is understood to randomize certain processes for which we may simply not have a more complete model of how that statstical randomness manifests or why. This may change.
Wolfram spent over 20 years trying to work out the rules for how disorder can be changed into order by changing just a few simple rules. He failed mainly because he was trying to do this with a symbolic language ill suited to the task of understanding truths which in most real world examples, like evolution, are infinite in more than one respect.
Agreed. The propensity towards war and genocide, on the other hand, is selected against. Since we are one of only very few species that practice violence on that scale, that's a point _against_ humanity compared to other species.
Aren't you forgetting that all the laws of physics only determine a probability function? "We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall." Proverbs 16:33 (New Living Translation).
That is _one_ of the things it does.
Actually, we throw the dice and physics determines how they fall.
Thanks for confessing that you don't understand the first thing about quantum theory.
Eugene Shubert is an unrepentant promoter of fallacious arguments because nothing must get in his way of misrepresenting science as compatible with his ad hoc supernatural hypothesis. That just disgraces his hypothesis and calls his commitment to philosophical pursuits into question. After all,
A poorly-motivated attempt to equate methodological naturalism with determinism and then redefine quantum mechanics as incompatible with naturalism because it definitely rejects determinism.
Well that's crap because quantum mechanics (1900-1932) was formulated contemporaneously with naturalism (1903-1956) according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Determinism is much older, but since the compatibility of quantum mechanics with determinism depends on your interpretation of quantum mechanics there again is no cause for alarm. Indeed, the evolution of the probability amplitude is strictly deterministic.
Shubert writes in 2010: “All mainstream quantum physicists believe that no deterministic theory could possibly exist that might account for the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics.” but cites no source and ignores Bohemian mechanics and the much more mainstream many-worlds interpretation. (Possibly because the latter has particularly unsavory consequences for the Children of Israel in Shubert's attempt to characterize the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus as a quantum mechanical miracle of low probability.) Typically, creationists like Shubert embrace the theological determinism of St. Augustine and are ill-prepared, philosophically, to contemplate the nature of contingency or how to make a good argument. Because people have minds and different histories, they have different preconceptions and behaviors when tackling an essay. A good argument is logically laid out from incontrovertible assertions to necessary conclusions in a way that all people, not just those with a bias to favor the conclusion, can follow. This Shubert has not done.
Shubert cites a acceptance speech for a religiously-motivated cash reward for Freeman Dyson's view that mind is everywhere in the universe. But that is just on man's baseless opinion, not a tested scientific hypothesis. Atoms and electrons, in fact, have never demonstrated an ability to learn, which one might assume is a minimal observational requirement for the hypothesis that they have a mind. Instead they are described by a state model and electrons/atoms in the same state are indistinguishable despite entirely different past histories, which is the opposite of evidence of mind.
Hilary Kornblith, "Naturalism: Both Metaphysical and Epistemological," Midwest Studies In Philosophy 19, 1, pp. 39–52 (September 1994).
Barbara Forrest, "Methodological Naturalism and Philosophical Naturalism: Clarifying the Connection", Philo., 3, 2 , pp. 7-29 (Fall-Winter 2000).
John Dewey, Early Naturalist Philosopher (1859—1952)
Ernest Nagel, Early Naturalist Philosopher (1901—1985)
Sidney Hook, Early Naturalist Philosopher (1902—1989)
Roy Wood Sellars, Early Naturalist Philosopher (1880—1973)
Coming from a conspiracy theorist, that's a compliment!
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