No Evidence Vs Evidence
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07-05-2015, 08:15 AM
RE: No Evidence Vs Evidence
(06-05-2015 10:04 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(06-05-2015 09:25 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Did you get a chance to read the thread with Free discussing "abscence of evidence" vs "evidence of abscence"?

One is not like the other if you plan on equating a murdered body to an absent god.

If not carry on.

My interest is only in regards to what makes something evidence, is it merely a matter of utility or not.

Yes it is evidence. It is evidence that someone died under somewhat suspicious circumstances. Just like a tree or a star or a rainbow is evidence that trees and stars and rainbows exist. A rainbow however is not evidence that a pot of gold exists somewhere at its end. The Bible is evidence that some people, a long time ago, wrote some stories and some time later, other people gathered them all together and decided to exclude some and publish the rest into a book and call it the Bible. And the contradictions in the Bible are evidence that it is not divinely inspired or infallible.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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07-05-2015, 08:23 AM (This post was last modified: 07-05-2015 08:36 AM by Free.)
RE: No Evidence Vs Evidence
(06-05-2015 09:20 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Let's say we come across a dead body, perhaps a scene of a crime, we see a variety of things like ruffled clothes, some bruises, etc...And a variety of people draw a seemingly infinite number of conclusion based on these things, a nearly infinite series of explanations.

Since all these explanations incorporate these observations, could we accuse any of these explanations of having "no evidence" at all? Or is it only the true and accurate conclusion that has evidence, while the other ones don't?

The only way we could "accuse any of these explanations of having no evidence at all" is if any of those explanations did not use any of the available evidence found at the scene.

But, since all these explanations incorporate these observations- with the observations being understood as evidence- then NONE of the explanations are unwarranted, and all are possible.

Therefore, what it all comes down to is the best and most plausible argument to explain the evidence. For example, in your scenario if there are 5 pieces of evidence, and 1 points to suicide, but 4 point to murder, the majority of the evidence indicates that a murder has occurred.

Since the majority of the evidence points to murder, the investigators then focus on proving the murder theory based upon the evidence. If they fail to prove that a murder took place, it does not necessarily mean that a murder did not occur, but only that they couldn't conclusively prove it because of a lack of evidence.

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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07-05-2015, 09:08 AM (This post was last modified: 07-05-2015 09:14 AM by Hafnof.)
RE: No Evidence Vs Evidence
(06-05-2015 09:20 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Let's say we come across a dead body, perhaps a scene of a crime, we see a variety of things like ruffled clothes, some bruises, etc...And a variety of people draw a seemingly infinite number of conclusion based on these things, a nearly infinite series of explanations.

Since all these explanations incorporate these observations, could we accuse any of these explanations of having "no evidence" at all? Or is it only the true and accurate conclusion that has evidence, while the other ones don't?

I think "evidence" or "no evidence" is the wrong way to look at it. Evidence without context is meaningless. What we are looking for is a set of hypotheses that we are trying to narrow down.

A hypothesis is a proposition that make unambiguous predictions. If we are trying to solve a crime we need to generate some hypotheses: "the husband did it", "the butler did it", "it was a mugging", etc.

Now armed with a set of hypotheses we can approach the evidence productively. If the husband did it we can look for evidence of him being somewhere he claimed not to have been. If it was a mugging we can expect to find items of value missing that might show up at a pawn shop. Importantly, different hypotheses yield conflicting predictions. When we find a prediction that holds we can rule out the hypotheses that conflict with the prediction, or we must modify them in such a was as to fit the data.

As we weed out the false hypotheses we should find that the set of simple hypotheses narrows and that hypotheses that were proved false have to be bent into increasingly bizarre shapes to keep them in touch with the evidence. At this point the hypothesis with the least overall burden of unwarranted assumption is the one most likely to be correct.

So when you consider evidence, think also about your hypotheses. Think specifically not whether a piece of evidence supports a hypothesis you already accept, but instead actively discern the predictions inherent in each available hypothesis and keeping asking yourself which hypotheses the evidence before you disproves. If your evidence disproves your opponent's hypothesis it is is productive. If your evidence does not disprove your opponent's hypothesis then it can be safely ignored as it adds no support to your own hypothesis.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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07-05-2015, 10:13 AM
RE: No Evidence Vs Evidence
(07-05-2015 09:08 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  So when you consider evidence, think also about your hypotheses. Think specifically not whether a piece of evidence supports a hypothesis you already accept, but instead actively discern the predictions inherent in each available hypothesis and keeping asking yourself which hypotheses the evidence before you disproves. If your evidence disproves your opponent's hypothesis it is is productive. If your evidence does not disprove your opponent's hypothesis then it can be safely ignored as it adds no support to your own hypothesis.

So in your view it's sort the explanatory power of the hypothesis or explanations that's relevant here? An explanation or hypothesis, that takes a better and more consistent account of things, than others is what matters here.

And the only reason in which one should accept a competing hypothesis or explanation, is because it serves as a better account than the initially held one?
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07-05-2015, 10:23 AM
RE: No Evidence Vs Evidence
(07-05-2015 10:13 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(07-05-2015 09:08 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  So when you consider evidence, think also about your hypotheses. Think specifically not whether a piece of evidence supports a hypothesis you already accept, but instead actively discern the predictions inherent in each available hypothesis and keeping asking yourself which hypotheses the evidence before you disproves. If your evidence disproves your opponent's hypothesis it is is productive. If your evidence does not disprove your opponent's hypothesis then it can be safely ignored as it adds no support to your own hypothesis.

So in your view it's sort the explanatory power of the hypothesis or explanations that's relevant here? An explanation or hypothesis, that takes a better and more consistent account of things, than others is what matters here.

And the only reason in which one should accept a competing hypothesis or explanation, is because it serves as a better account than the initially held one?

I don't think that is what he is saying. He is saying the evidence may support or disprove one or more of the prevailing hypotheses. Again, the point is to evaluate the evidence and determine if it supports or negates the the hypotheses.

If new evidence is obtained...
If you had originally believed one hypothesis to be a better explanation of the phenomenon in question but the new evidence begins to indicate that a competing hypothesis may be a better explanation (or there exists maybe some other explanation for which a new hypothesis must be formed) then one may be justified in discarding or shelving the previously accepted hypothesis based on the evidence and either accepting the one that is now more strongly supported by the evidence. Or, developing a new hypothesis altogether that does a better job of explaining the phenomenon in light of the new or better understood evidence.

I just wanted to let you know that I love you even though you aren't naked right now. Heart
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07-05-2015, 10:40 AM
RE: No Evidence Vs Evidence
(06-05-2015 01:32 PM)jennybee Wrote:  
(06-05-2015 12:43 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I likely agree with you here.

But let's take a common statement like there is "no evidence" for God, in reality it doesn't seem to mean that there is in fact is "no evidence", but the hypothesis, the conclusion drawn from the evidence is not supported? You're saying more about the explanation, the conclusion, than the evidence itself.

It seems common for people to use the term "no evidence" almost exclusively for any view that they don't agree with or believe. Most creationist will say there's "no evidence" for evolution, and most atheists would say there's "no evidence" for God. In some way they both mean the same thing, but not particularly what the words imply.

That seems to be what I gather.

Other than the Bible, what evidence do you have for God?

It's elementary - entire world whose beauty is hymn to god awesomeness.

Or if answer have to be serious - none.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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07-05-2015, 12:03 PM
RE: No Evidence Vs Evidence
Evidence is what we can see. Whether we are able to determine what exactly is evident is a whole other story. Evidence is supported by evidence is supported by evidence is......This process leads to discoveries - the stuff science is made of.

[Image: dobie.png]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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07-05-2015, 05:35 PM
RE: No Evidence Vs Evidence
(07-05-2015 10:13 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(07-05-2015 09:08 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  So when you consider evidence, think also about your hypotheses. Think specifically not whether a piece of evidence supports a hypothesis you already accept, but instead actively discern the predictions inherent in each available hypothesis and keeping asking yourself which hypotheses the evidence before you disproves. If your evidence disproves your opponent's hypothesis it is is productive. If your evidence does not disprove your opponent's hypothesis then it can be safely ignored as it adds no support to your own hypothesis.

So in your view it's sort the explanatory power of the hypothesis or explanations that's relevant here? An explanation or hypothesis, that takes a better and more consistent account of things, than others is what matters here.

And the only reason in which one should accept a competing hypothesis or explanation, is because it serves as a better account than the initially held one?

What I'm saying is that truth is only available to us provisionally, but we can disprove hypotheses by falsifying their predictions. Our provisional truth moves forward when we have effectively dismantled available alternative hypotheses. Our hypothesis is not reinforced by confirming evidence, it is reinforced by alternatives being disconfirmed by the evidence.

The process by which we can discard our own hypothesis and accept a competing one is:
1. Always be concious about the predictions our beliefs an alternative beliefs make - beliefs that don't make predictions aren't relevant to the state of the world and so can be safely discarded.
2. Be on the lookout for conflicting predictions, and make sure you put those differing predictions to the test. Don't worry about predictions that are the same. Testing those won't help us decide anything.
3. Once you're sure that the testing has yielded a valid result, modify or discard all hypotheses that have any failed prediction.

You can also consider bayesian reasoning in order to apply evidence that goes towards confirming or disconfirming hypotheses without definitively falsifying anything. That is, make sure you consider what the probability is that each hypothesis could produce a given piece of evidence and use this to adjust your confidence in one or the other.

To me to "know" something, for it to be true (even provisionally) is to be able to make accurate predictions about reality. Without that capability two people could hold different beliefs and there would be no way to discern who had the true or more true belief. If someone says they know something but can't make a prediction about the real world based on their knowledge, then their knowledge is fictitious. If someone says they are right and the other guy is wrong and can't produce predictions that differ then unless they can also show how their explanation can explain all available evidence with a significantly smaller burden of unfounded assumption then they don't have a case for criticising the other's opinion.

We can't just talk about how a particular piece of cherry picked information supports our hypothesis. We must show that the information disproves alternative hypotheses. We can't use a description of our faith alone as evidence of our faith. Many alternative faiths also have descriptive documents. Rather, we must show that predictions made by our faith differ from alternative hypotheses and then we must test those predictions. That is how we determine or profess the truth of our beliefs.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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07-05-2015, 10:11 PM
RE: No Evidence Vs Evidence
The body, everything on the body, every detail that can be obtained from tests and examination, observation, etc all becomes evidence as we try to piece together the picture of how she died.

A million people can view the scene and come up with a million different ideas on how she died and one person could guess correctly or they all could be wrong.

Some ideas on how she died can immediately be thrown out. She wasn't hit by a meteorite. There is no evidence of that.

She wasn't struck by lighting, nor did Thor arrive and bash her with his hammer. Again no evidence of either of these things happening.

Now we are not going to go through a million different crazy ideas that people may have about how she died. That would be stupid and inefficient.

Instead, we look at her time of death, where she died, where she might have come from, where she was going, if there was a struggle, was she robbed, did she have any medical conditions ?

For this hypothetical, I'm going to give the woman a heart attack as her cause of death. People simply viewing the body won't be able to ascertain her actual cause of death unless they are allowed to do an autopsy. All of those millions of people would get it wrong because they didn't or couldn't obtain all the evidence that a professional medical examiner could.

Their opinions about her cause of death aren't evidence. They are simply opinions based on a limited amount of evidence.

When we say there is no evidence for the existence of any gods, we mean just that.
There is nothing to sample or to test, nothing that can be seen, felt, tasted, smelled or heard.

We can fool ourselves and lie to ourselves, convincing our brain that something is there when it's really not.

Its wishful thinking that puts the idea of a god in our brains. That wishful thinking can lure us into seeing our wishes granted by everyday coincidences.

That's why basing your beliefs upon evidence is a key resource that will help to keep you from fooling yourself into believing all kinds of crazy bullshit.

"Bigfoot scared her to death"
Sorry, I don't believe that.

But ya know what, some gullible people will.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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