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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old February 12 2014, 06:03 AM   #121
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Yminale wrote: View Post
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The notion that there are no deterministic field theories accepted in the 21st century even by just conservative standards is patently false, on account of the fact general relativity is still considered valid for certain types of phenomena.
Deterministic formulas like general relativity exist because mathematically their results are close enough to a result of a probability base formulation (Which we don't have yet) but a Grand Unified theory will be by the nature of quantum physics be a probabilistic model.
That's utter conjecture for the reason that I've underlined. You've also completely overlooked my first and third objections, regarding respectively the work of Bohm and Everett.

The simple fact is that no event can have a predetermined probability of 100% or 0% therefore the universe can not be deterministic in nature.
That's false. Dark interference fringes of light are precisely neighborhoods that surround locations where the probability of observing a photon from the given source is in fact exactly equal to zero. That's an elementary result of quantum mechanics!

As the works of Bohm and Everett both show, the issues that you're raising have no bearing on the question of whether the universe operates deterministically.

But really, the question of whether the universe operates deterministically is irrelevant to the question of whether words like how and why are meaningful, as I'll explain below.

The better question is why anyone should allow the term why to be hijacked to have only senses such as "for what moral reason".
What makes you think "why" should have any association with morals.
If I'd said that "why" should have any association with morals, you could ask why I think it should have that association. In fact, though, what I've been saying is that "why" shouldn't be restricted to such an association.

George Carlin believed the Universe existed to create plastic. The question of "why" is imposed by humans who want to impose their own views on the Universe.


If I were to ask whether you could say why the tides go in an out without ever a miscommunication between them, would you answer that it's largely because of the moon's gravity, or would you pedantically nitpick the question?
Gravity explains HOW the tides function not why. Asking why tides exist (the purpose) is pointless because they are a natural phenomenon that simply happen because of circumstance.
No, sorry. To the degree that science does anything at all, science answers both how and why. It does both. The assertion that phenomena must conform to any of our theories is one not proven by science; that assertion can never be proven. All science can do is provide an estimated confidence level that our theories agree with natural phenomena. That confidence level can theoretically approach 100% but will never actually equal 100%.

In that sense, science can't even completely assure us that what it says with respect to how things are occurring is really how they are occurring. But, to the degree that our theoretical models are supported, how is a question that has an answer, and that answer is relative to the supported theory, and the same thing goes for why. "Why?" exists in the context of our supported models as meaning, "By what theoretical principles is the behavior predicted?"

Both how and why are theoretical concepts.

Additionally, just because some questions have answers in the context of our theories, it doesn't mean that all questions have answers. For example, quantum theory explains why interference patterns have the shapes that they do very nicely. What the theory doesn't do is answer why individual photons do what they do individually. That's beyond the scope of what the theory is capable of doing. That still doesn't mean that it doesn't offer an explanation for the shape of, say, interference patterns, in addition to describing what that shape is.
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Old February 12 2014, 07:17 AM   #122
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
That's utter conjecture for the reason that I've underlined.
As soon as you mention Quantum Physics, I win the argument.

That's false. Dark interference fringes of light are precisely neighborhoods that surround locations where the probability of observing a photon from the given source is in fact exactly equal to zero. That's an elementary result of quantum mechanics!
Please supply a link. My quick reading in Wikipedia states this is not true and only approximation are available.

As the works of Bohm and Everett both show, the issues that you're raising have no bearing on the question of whether the universe operates deterministically.
I'm not even going to touch this. The only point to be made is that ideas like the Many world theory is speculation at this point.

In fact, though, what I've been saying is that "why" shouldn't be restricted to such an association.
Problem 1 is that there is an infinite number association and none of them are testable

Problem 2 The concept of purpose or meaning is not required for the universe to function.

No, sorry. To the degree that science does anything at all, science answers both how and why. It does both. The assertion that phenomena must conform to any of our theories is one not proven by science; that assertion can never be proven. All science can do is provide an estimated confidence level that our theories agree with natural phenomena. That confidence level can theoretically approach 100% but will never actually equal 100%.

In that sense, science can't even completely assure us that what it says with respect to how things are occurring is really how they are occurring. But, to the degree that our theoretical models are supported, how is a question that has an answer, and that answer is relative to the supported theory, and the same thing goes for why. "Why?" exists in the context of our supported models as meaning, "By what theoretical principles is the behavior predicted?"
I don't think you understand what is being asked. Asking why implies that the purpose or meaning of phenomena can be discerned. As I have stated repeatedly the question is meaningless when it comes to natural phenomena. For instance you can ask "Why do the tides exists?" and you can respond by explaining the mechanics of the phenomena (PROCESS) but you can't say there is intrinsic meaning (PURPOSE). Or another way to put it when it come to the Origin of Life or the existence of the Universe, the moral question is what people care about but the question itself doesn't add anything to our understanding.
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Old February 12 2014, 07:46 AM   #123
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Yminale wrote: View Post
As soon as you mention Quantum Physics, I win the argument.
If that's true, then there's nothing else to discuss.
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Old February 12 2014, 08:40 AM   #124
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Yminale wrote: View Post
As soon as you mention Quantum Physics, I win the argument.
If that's true, then there's nothing else to discuss.
CorporalCaptain wins the thread. Congratulations!



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Old February 12 2014, 11:15 AM   #125
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

I guess as long as simple semantics make people go at each other's throats, all hope is lost.
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Old February 12 2014, 03:01 PM   #126
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I guess as long as simple semantics make people go at each other's throats, all hope is lost.
Amen to that. It would be nice if there would be a genuine discussion, but I have noticed that some people view increased education as giving them the immediate upper hand in any argument. Oh well.
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Old February 12 2014, 03:57 PM   #127
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I guess as long as simple semantics make people go at each other's throats, all hope is lost.
Amen to that. It would be nice if there would be a genuine discussion, but I have noticed that some people view increased education as giving them the immediate upper hand in any argument. Oh well.
That doesn't make sense. If someone is has a doctorate in Early Middle English then they're going to be able to formulate a more informed argument about pronunciation in Piers Plowman than a 16 year-old anime fan. That is most certainly giving them an upper hand in the argument.
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Old February 12 2014, 04:04 PM   #128
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Deckerd wrote: View Post
Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I guess as long as simple semantics make people go at each other's throats, all hope is lost.
Amen to that. It would be nice if there would be a genuine discussion, but I have noticed that some people view increased education as giving them the immediate upper hand in any argument. Oh well.
That doesn't make sense. If someone is has a doctorate in Early Middle English then they're going to be able to formulate a more informed argument about pronunciation in Piers Plowman than a 16 year-old anime fan. That is most certainly giving them an upper hand in the argument.
I have to agree. This little sidebar reminds me of The Death of Expertise. "My ignorance is as good as/better than your knowledge." No, it isn't.

Sad to see anti-intellectualism popping up here.
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Old February 12 2014, 04:05 PM   #129
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Deckerd wrote: View Post
Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I guess as long as simple semantics make people go at each other's throats, all hope is lost.
Amen to that. It would be nice if there would be a genuine discussion, but I have noticed that some people view increased education as giving them the immediate upper hand in any argument. Oh well.
That doesn't make sense. If someone is has a doctorate in Early Middle English then they're going to be able to formulate a more informed argument about pronunciation in Piers Plowman than a 16 year-old anime fan. That is most certainly giving them an upper hand in the argument.
You may have noticed that I used the word "Any." That was a carefully chosen word. I also chose to use the word "immediate." My statement was a general one, and notwithstanding your humorous (and well educated) hypothetical example which actually validated my general statement, I stand behind that statement.
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Old February 12 2014, 04:29 PM   #130
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Deckerd wrote: View Post
Jedi_Master wrote: View Post

Amen to that. It would be nice if there would be a genuine discussion, but I have noticed that some people view increased education as giving them the immediate upper hand in any argument. Oh well.
That doesn't make sense. If someone is has a doctorate in Early Middle English then they're going to be able to formulate a more informed argument about pronunciation in Piers Plowman than a 16 year-old anime fan. That is most certainly giving them an upper hand in the argument.
I have to agree. This little sidebar reminds me of The Death of Expertise. "My ignorance is as good as/better than your knowledge." No, it isn't.

Sad to see anti-intellectualism popping up here.
Where do you see "anti - intellectualism"?
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Old February 12 2014, 09:40 PM   #131
JarodRussell
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Deckerd wrote: View Post
Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I guess as long as simple semantics make people go at each other's throats, all hope is lost.
Amen to that. It would be nice if there would be a genuine discussion, but I have noticed that some people view increased education as giving them the immediate upper hand in any argument. Oh well.
That doesn't make sense. If someone is has a doctorate in Early Middle English then they're going to be able to formulate a more informed argument about pronunciation in Piers Plowman than a 16 year-old anime fan. That is most certainly giving them an upper hand in the argument.
I think the problem is more like this: during the discussion about the correct pronunciation, the guy with the doctorate dismisses the anime fan's opinion as invalid because his post contains spelling mistakes.

While we're at it: why the hell is it "pronunciation" when the verb is "to pronounce"?
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Old February 12 2014, 09:53 PM   #132
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Because English is a bastard language where the rules are made up and the points don't matter.
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Old February 13 2014, 12:41 AM   #133
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

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Sad to see anti-intellectualism popping up here.
Theism by it's very nature is anti-intellectual.
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Old February 13 2014, 12:50 AM   #134
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I think the problem is more like this: during the discussion about the correct pronunciation, the guy with the doctorate dismisses the anime fan's opinion as invalid because his post contains spelling mistakes.
That's snobbery in it's worse form. If something isn't clear, it's polite to ask for a clarification.
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Old February 13 2014, 12:54 AM   #135
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
I guess as long as simple semantics make people go at each other's throats, all hope is lost.
You'll find that apologetics is nothing more than logical fallacies and arguing about semantics. Historical science indeed.
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