Evidence Of Absence.
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25-08-2015, 08:14 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(24-08-2015 07:14 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(24-08-2015 07:03 PM)Chas Wrote:  It is not inconsistent. Read the actual fucking words.
My conclusion is not a claim of proof or knowledge. It is my assessment based on the evidence (and lack of evidence).

I know.... you later modified it to 'tentative' conclusion. It's just that usually we don't conclude something until we know it. So it sounds weird to say "I don't know whether or not god exists, but I conclude that god doesn't exist." Wouldn't you agree?

Speak for yourself. People in general conclude things all the time without "knowing" them. Chas's definition of "conclude" is the way most people (particularly scientists) use the word. Every argument that you get involved in seems to just go around in circles forever -- because you insist on making up your own private definitions of common words. Communication is extremely difficult when people can't agree on the definitions of words. There is a lot of that going on in this thread, but I think you are the worst offender.
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25-08-2015, 08:21 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(25-08-2015 08:14 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(24-08-2015 07:14 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I know.... you later modified it to 'tentative' conclusion. It's just that usually we don't conclude something until we know it. So it sounds weird to say "I don't know whether or not god exists, but I conclude that god doesn't exist." Wouldn't you agree?

Speak for yourself. People in general conclude things all the time without "knowing" them. Chas's definition of "conclude" is the way most people (particularly scientists) use the word. Every argument that you get involved in seems to just go around in circles forever -- because you insist on making up your own private definitions of common words. Communication is extremely difficult when people can't agree on the definitions of words. There is a lot of that going on in this thread, but I think you are the worst offender.

When a scientist concludes something, does he have no burden of proof to support his conclusion?
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25-08-2015, 08:47 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(25-08-2015 08:13 AM)Free Wrote:  
(25-08-2015 08:08 AM)morondog Wrote:  There is a class of mathematical problems whose truth value is known to be undecidable, i.e. it has been mathematically proven that we cannot know if they are true or false. One of these is the halting problem, as Chas pointed out.

Wikipedia article



Bolding mine.

In those cases, if the knowledge is not possible, then you cannot determine if it even exists.

The knowledge is not possible, but the answer exists - it must be true or false. We just can't tell which.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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25-08-2015, 08:49 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(25-08-2015 08:21 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(25-08-2015 08:14 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Speak for yourself. People in general conclude things all the time without "knowing" them. Chas's definition of "conclude" is the way most people (particularly scientists) use the word. Every argument that you get involved in seems to just go around in circles forever -- because you insist on making up your own private definitions of common words. Communication is extremely difficult when people can't agree on the definitions of words. There is a lot of that going on in this thread, but I think you are the worst offender.

When a scientist concludes something, does he have no burden of proof to support his conclusion?

No, because that's not the way science works.

The burden is to present evidence, not proof. The more evidence there is, the more confident we are in our conclusions.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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25-08-2015, 08:55 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(25-08-2015 08:47 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(25-08-2015 08:13 AM)Free Wrote:  In those cases, if the knowledge is not possible, then you cannot determine if it even exists.

The knowledge is not possible, but the answer exists - it must be true or false. We just can't tell which.

Well then the answer exists. If it must be true or false, then both are obviously possible, and one is obviously the truth.

The answer exists, but it is currently unknown. There is evidence to indicate as such.

This is not the same as no evidence at all to demonstrate a possibility.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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25-08-2015, 08:56 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(25-08-2015 08:49 AM)Chas Wrote:  The burden is to present evidence, not proof. The more evidence there is, the more confident we are in our conclusions.

Yup yup Smile Because we don't know the rules, we make guesses. Mathematicians can do *proof* because they know a priori the rules that they're letting themselves in for, but all we have are observations, which we must explain with hypotheses - guesses at what the rules might be.

Because we're only able to make hypotheses we can't talk in terms of proof. We can have high confidence in our hypotheses, but they're always gonna be slightly suspect in that we might with a better understanding realise that they're only approximations, or don't always apply depending on other conditions, and so forth.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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25-08-2015, 09:04 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(25-08-2015 08:21 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(25-08-2015 08:14 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Speak for yourself. People in general conclude things all the time without "knowing" them. Chas's definition of "conclude" is the way most people (particularly scientists) use the word. Every argument that you get involved in seems to just go around in circles forever -- because you insist on making up your own private definitions of common words. Communication is extremely difficult when people can't agree on the definitions of words. There is a lot of that going on in this thread, but I think you are the worst offender.

When a scientist concludes something, does he have no burden of proof to support his conclusion?

Scientists generally do not "prove" things. It's an inductive discipline. Conclusions are always tentative and subject to falsification and/or revision. Scientists use evidence to support their conclusions, but evidence and proof are two different things. Mathematicians use proof. Scientists use evidence.

Your strong desire for everything to be black & white, 100% or 0%, is a pretty good fit for mathematics, but the real world doesn't work that way, and science deals with the real world.
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25-08-2015, 09:13 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(25-08-2015 08:55 AM)Free Wrote:  
(25-08-2015 08:47 AM)Chas Wrote:  The knowledge is not possible, but the answer exists - it must be true or false. We just can't tell which.

Well then the answer exists. If it must be true or false, then both are obviously possible, and one is obviously the truth.

The answer exists, but it is currently unknown. There is evidence to indicate as such.

This is not the same as no evidence at all to demonstrate a possibility.

With no evidence for or against, it remains unknown whether it is possible.

"Not possible" does not logically follow from "no evidence".

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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25-08-2015, 09:22 AM (This post was last modified: 25-08-2015 09:30 AM by Free.)
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(25-08-2015 09:13 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(25-08-2015 08:55 AM)Free Wrote:  Well then the answer exists. If it must be true or false, then both are obviously possible, and one is obviously the truth.

The answer exists, but it is currently unknown. There is evidence to indicate as such.

This is not the same as no evidence at all to demonstrate a possibility.

With no evidence for or against, it remains unknown whether it is possible.

In this case "unknown" does not eliminate the possibility because there is evidence to indicate the possibility. Basically, it is still possible that it is possible.

Quote:"Not possible" does not logically follow from "no evidence".

If there is no evidence, it is rightfully determined as not being possible. For anything to be possible, it must be capable, and for anything to be capable, something must exist.

If there is no evidence in existence, it is therefore not capable, and it follows that it is not possible.

This, of course, is in real-time. But real-time is all we have.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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25-08-2015, 09:25 AM
RE: Evidence Of Absence.
(25-08-2015 09:04 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(25-08-2015 08:21 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  When a scientist concludes something, does he have no burden of proof to support his conclusion?

Scientists generally do not "prove" things. It's an inductive discipline. Conclusions are always tentative and subject to falsification and/or revision. Scientists use evidence to support their conclusions, but evidence and proof are two different things. Mathematicians use proof. Scientists use evidence.

Your strong desire for everything to be black & white, 100% or 0%, is a pretty good fit for mathematics, but the real world doesn't work that way, and science deals with the real world.

I think that's far to weak to say that scientists don't prove things. Is walking on the moon not proof that we can walk on the moon?

Can we not prove that water is hydrogen and oxygen?

Sure, we use induction when we're talking about theories, but no one really claims that their theory is conclusive, that's why it's still a theory. Similarly, no one theorizes that it's possible to walk on the moon, and that's because we saw it happen. We know it's possible, and after seeing it happen we can confidently conclude that it's possible without any induction.
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