Know or Believe?
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12-12-2012, 04:52 PM
RE: Know or Believe?
(12-12-2012 03:54 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Your comments are locked into the idea that scientism provides an absolute, or dare I say it,God like,knowledge of the Universe.
How did you arrive at that conclusion? That is most definitely not my view of science.

Carl Sagan expressed it in a profound way:

"A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable."

"At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes—an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense."

(12-12-2012 03:54 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  The steady state theory along with others disagree.
"For most cosmologists, the refutation of the steady-state theory came with the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation in 1965, which was predicted by the Big Bang theory. Stephen Hawking said that the fact that microwave radiation had been found, and that it was thought to be left over from the Big Bang, was "the final nail in the coffin of the steady-state theory." Within the steady state theory this background radiation is the result of light from ancient stars which has been scattered by galactic dust. However, this explanation has been unconvincing to most cosmologists as the cosmic microwave background is very smooth, making it difficult to explain how it arose from point sources, and the microwave background shows no evidence of features such as polarization which are normally associated with scattering. Furthermore, its spectrum is so close to that of an ideal black body that it could hardly be formed by the superposition of contributions from dust clumps at different temperatures as well as at different redshifts. Steven Weinberg wrote in 1972,

The steady state model does not appear to agree with the observed dL versus z relation or with source counts ... In a sense, the disagreement is a credit to the model; alone among all cosmologies, the steady state model makes such definite predictions that it can be disproved even with the limited observational evidence at our disposal. The steady-state model is so attractive that many of its adherents still retain hope that the evidence against it will disappear as observations improve. However, if the cosmic microwave background radiation ... is really black-body radiation, it will be difficult to doubt that the universe has evolved from a hotter, denser early stage.

Since that time, the Big Bang theory has been considered to be the best description of the origin of the universe. In most astrophysical publications, the Big Bang is implicitly accepted and is used as the basis of more complete theories."

"The steady state model is now largely discredited, as the observational evidence points to a Big Bang-type cosmology and a finite age of the universe."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steady_State_theory
http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/stdystat.htm

(12-12-2012 03:54 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  My claim is that where the initial condition cannot be observed/tested, then the argument is not sound.
It appears that you haven't read the citation from Wikipedia.

"There is little evidence regarding the absolute earliest instant of the expansion. Thus, the Big Bang theory cannot and does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe going forward from that point on."

(12-12-2012 03:54 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Inferences are not proofs per se and knowledge based on heuristic modelling do not overly impress.
Neither I, nor the article stated that there is proof for the singularity. Would you please do me the courtesy of looking up the research and observations that point towards it's existence before making the ignorant claim that it is based on mere speculation?

(12-12-2012 03:54 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Nice that you can get the date down to 13.75 billion years; you must be one of the smarter scientists..... Cool
How old do you think the universe is? Also, do you think that the different methods used to figure out the age of universe are inaccurate?

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12-12-2012, 05:15 PM
RE: Know or Believe?
(12-12-2012 04:52 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(12-12-2012 03:54 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Your comments are locked into the idea that scientism provides an absolute, or dare I say it,God like,knowledge of the Universe.
How did you arrive at that conclusion? That is most definitely not my view of science.

Carl Sagan expressed it in a profound way:

"A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable."

"At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes—an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense."

(12-12-2012 03:54 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  The steady state theory along with others disagree.
"For most cosmologists, the refutation of the steady-state theory came with the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation in 1965, which was predicted by the Big Bang theory. Stephen Hawking said that the fact that microwave radiation had been found, and that it was thought to be left over from the Big Bang, was "the final nail in the coffin of the steady-state theory." Within the steady state theory this background radiation is the result of light from ancient stars which has been scattered by galactic dust. However, this explanation has been unconvincing to most cosmologists as the cosmic microwave background is very smooth, making it difficult to explain how it arose from point sources, and the microwave background shows no evidence of features such as polarization which are normally associated with scattering. Furthermore, its spectrum is so close to that of an ideal black body that it could hardly be formed by the superposition of contributions from dust clumps at different temperatures as well as at different redshifts. Steven Weinberg wrote in 1972,

The steady state model does not appear to agree with the observed dL versus z relation or with source counts ... In a sense, the disagreement is a credit to the model; alone among all cosmologies, the steady state model makes such definite predictions that it can be disproved even with the limited observational evidence at our disposal. The steady-state model is so attractive that many of its adherents still retain hope that the evidence against it will disappear as observations improve. However, if the cosmic microwave background radiation ... is really black-body radiation, it will be difficult to doubt that the universe has evolved from a hotter, denser early stage.

Since that time, the Big Bang theory has been considered to be the best description of the origin of the universe. In most astrophysical publications, the Big Bang is implicitly accepted and is used as the basis of more complete theories."

"The steady state model is now largely discredited, as the observational evidence points to a Big Bang-type cosmology and a finite age of the universe."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steady_State_theory
http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/stdystat.htm

(12-12-2012 03:54 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  My claim is that where the initial condition cannot be observed/tested, then the argument is not sound.
It appears that you haven't read the citation from Wikipedia.

"There is little evidence regarding the absolute earliest instant of the expansion. Thus, the Big Bang theory cannot and does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe going forward from that point on."

(12-12-2012 03:54 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Inferences are not proofs per se and knowledge based on heuristic modelling do not overly impress.
Neither I, nor the article stated that there is proof for the singularity. Would you please do me the courtesy of looking up the research and observations that point towards it's existence before making the ignorant claim that it is based on mere speculation?

(12-12-2012 03:54 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Nice that you can get the date down to 13.75 billion years; you must be one of the smarter scientists..... Cool
How old do you think the universe is? Also, do you think that the different methods used to figure out the age of universe are inaccurate?
Well I have the courtesy not to accuse people of ignorance willy nilly.

Research could not be carried out minus speculation.

Writers who always rush to cite an expert in the field, even quoting
a paragraph, which may well be opposed somewhere else by the same writer,
in my view do themselves an injustice.

It must be wonderful to hold such broad insights with such conviction.
Are you ever sure enough to be unsure?
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12-12-2012, 05:27 PM
RE: Know or Believe?
(12-12-2012 05:15 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Well I have the courtesy not to accuse people of ignorance willy nilly.

Research could not be carried out minus speculation.

Writers who always rush to cite an expert in the field, even quoting
a paragraph, which may well be opposed somewhere else by the same writer,
in my view do themselves an injustice.

It must be wonderful to hold such broad insights with such conviction.
Are you ever sure enough to be unsure?
I see that you are not interested in addressing my points and discussing the matter without constantly making comments about my personality. Sorry, but I don't think there is much of a point in continuing this conversation if you aren't willing to drop that attitude.

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12-12-2012, 06:10 PM
RE: Know or Believe?
Science is a matter of trial and error. And sometimes things can test out just fine - yet 30 years later someone comes along and disproves it in a way you can't conceive of today.

So I don't take science as undisputable fact. I take it as "as far as we can tell with current methods...." kind of a thing.

Of course it has a much better chance of beng correct than religion and old tales, lol. But it is not infallable, it much depends on other things we know currently. It cannot take the things we don't know in consideration, and you better believe there are a lot of those.

I'd love to drop in on humanity every hundred years or so and see what became of things.

One thing you can count on with science - it will always improve upon itself. And hence, it will prove itself wrong at times. And IMO, that is exactly what makes it wonderful.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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12-12-2012, 08:29 PM
RE: Know or Believe?
(12-12-2012 05:27 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(12-12-2012 05:15 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Well I have the courtesy not to accuse people of ignorance willy nilly.

Research could not be carried out minus speculation.

Writers who always rush to cite an expert in the field, even quoting
a paragraph, which may well be opposed somewhere else by the same writer,
in my view do themselves an injustice.

It must be wonderful to hold such broad insights with such conviction.
Are you ever sure enough to be unsure?
I see that you are not interested in addressing my points and discussing the matter without constantly making comments about my personality. Sorry, but I don't think there is much of a point in continuing this conversation if you aren't willing to drop that attitude.


If you only like the attitudes of those who agree with you and demand footnoting and citations from your heroes, well, yes, that seems to be the case!
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12-12-2012, 09:29 PM (This post was last modified: 12-12-2012 09:51 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Know or Believe?
(12-12-2012 12:52 PM)Dom Wrote:  I believe that we don't know shit.

I know that I don't believe shit.
^^
That. Haven't we danced this waltz before, Woofmeister? Not that I'm complaining, you are an excellent dance partner and Dom cuts in quite nicely and politely and is also an excellent dance partner. Guess I'm something of a "strict epistemologist" if there is such a thing. The only things I "know" are demonstrably provable. Which requires a formal axiomatic system with principles for derivation (laws of logic, so to speak). Change the axioms or the principles, though, and I now "know" something completely different. Knowledge, or at least "truth", is thus necessarily relative to a particular formal system. Don't really understand how some seem able to almost deify logic and reason. It's just a fucking tool, for Christ's sake. Be like a carpenter worshiping his hammer. We don't find ourselves in a formal system, we invent formal systems, we don't live in them. As far as "belief", I don't believe in it. I don't admit shit. But I realize that to play this bizarro game I find myself in, I must at least accommodate various interpretations. So I do, and prioritize them to my advantage (without even admitting myself, just looking out for the player), but just for the sake of the game. And I play it pretty well, probably 'cause Girly, like Dom, don't believe shit.
...
And as usual, with all this talk of dancing, there's now a fucking song I can't get outta my noggin. Big Grin




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13-12-2012, 10:52 AM
RE: Know or Believe?
(12-12-2012 08:29 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  If you only like the attitudes of those who agree with you and demand footnoting and citations from your heroes, well, yes, that seems to be the case!
Your constant accusations about my character are not only annoying and distracting from the argument, but they are also unfounded. Not once in this thread did I say or express that I only like the attitude of those who agree with me. Not once did I demand footnoting and citations from my "heroes" (not to mention that I have no such heroes). Instead of making an argument to support your position, you chose to attack me personally and ignore the points and questions I have raised several times.

I suggest you to take a look at this article about how to have a constructive discussion; it's a good read. Perhaps it will cause you to re-consider your approach.

Either way, I'll leave it at that.

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13-12-2012, 05:11 PM
RE: Know or Believe?
(12-12-2012 09:29 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(12-12-2012 12:52 PM)Dom Wrote:  I believe that we don't know shit.

I know that I don't believe shit.
That. Haven't we danced this waltz before, Woofmeister? Not that I'm complaining, you are an excellent dance partner and Dom cuts in quite nicely and politely and is also an excellent dance partner. Guess I'm something of a "strict epistemologist" if there is such a thing. The only things I "know" are demonstrably provable. Which requires a formal axiomatic system with principles for derivation (laws of logic, so to speak). Change the axioms or the principles, though, and I now "know" something completely different. Knowledge, or at least "truth", is thus necessarily relative to a particular formal system. Don't really understand how some seem able to almost deify logic and reason. It's just a fucking tool, for Christ's sake. Be like a carpenter worshiping his hammer. We don't find ourselves in a formal system, we invent formal systems, we don't live in them. As far as "belief", I don't believe in it. I don't admit shit. But I realize that to play this bizarro game I find myself in, I must at least accommodate various interpretations. So I do, and prioritize them to my advantage (without even admitting myself, just looking out for the player), but just for the sake of the game. And I play it pretty well, probably 'cause Girly, like Dom, don't believe shit.
...
And as usual, with all this talk of dancing, there's now a fucking song I can't get outta my noggin. Big Grin



Much of what you say makes sense. I see the game we play as pretty bizarre too, especially the metaphysical games that would see us all governed by the whims of gods as interpreted by men.

I don't believe shit either, or more succinctly, I endeavour not to get trapped by the peddlars of such.
My philosophy comes from left field, in that I tend to be quite open regarding universal possibilities that transcend methods currently available to us. I try to avoid adopting a polarised position involving what I see as tribalism.

AS for the secular scientific approach, despite its power, in terms of high probabilities in the relative short term,I am wary its spell binding potential as expressed in the corporate world, where a good many of us are duped into becoming puppets to the masters of the prevailing ideology, whether by overt coercion or by stealth.

I am painfully aware (not only here) but as a generalization, that my approach is often seen as too open and wishy washy as I do not argue from a rigid position. My answer to that is that all the approaches I have encountered fail to come across as panaceas; hence; I look to synthesise.I have no desire to convince others of anything as I see hard line convictions counter productive in terms of epistemology.
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17-12-2012, 02:10 AM
RE: Know or Believe?
(12-12-2012 02:57 AM)Gaest Wrote:  
(12-12-2012 12:16 AM)Mr Woof Wrote:  The big bang is a pretty rough theory.
The first premise holds that something? exploded and that something's existence is purely speculative.

A singularity expanded. That´s also why I facepalm every time creationists say that the theory claim the universe came from nothing.
You facepalm when creationists say what Laurence Krauss says? Consider

“What you believe to be true will control you, whether it’s true or not.”

—Jeremy LaBorde
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