Tuesday, September 30, 2014

542: Some thoughts about Logic and Science...

Last weekend there was an interview in my newspaper with Johan van Benthem. The reason was he had become 65, just like I just did and retired. He is from 1949 too.

He was a Professor of logic at the University of Amsterdam at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation and professor of philosophy at Stanford University (at CSLI).

I could have run into him, because he was in Groningen at the university in 1977, the year I graduated, but I guess he mainly was in the mathematics department.

What struck me in the interview was his views on logic, science and man. He says the same things I say, or I say the same things he says, let’s not fight about that.

People are inclined to associate logic with cold rationality, excessive  precision, as seen in Mr. Spock from Star Trek who frowns and says: highly illogical.

JvB: Yes, indeed. And often they say, eventually 
 in human interaction or politics it is all  about  emotion anyway. 

Arguments we consider later,  to pretend there is a rational  basis for our emotions. I do not believe so, however. It is more complicated:  intelligent behavior is a  mixture of emotion and reason. -end quote-

Question: The immune system of human thought, you call logic in your farewell speech. What is logic anyway?

J”vB: The classic definition is: Logic is the science of valid reasoning.About 2500 years ago around the world people began to think about thinking.

We know in the West, especially the Greeks, "all men are mortal, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates is mortal." 

But at the same time they wrote in China also texts showing that they already thought about what is and is not valid. 

"If there's a lot of robbers, then here are a lot of people. But if there are few robbers, then it does not follow that there are few people here. " -end quote-

Psychologist do lot of experiments, in which they show that decisions are primarily based on emotion and less on rational reasoning.

But if you explain the test person who made the wrong decision, because he primarily responded emotionally in stead of using logical reasoning,

99% chance this test person won’t repeat his error. But the psychologists have decided that the first response is relevant and the second (educated) one is not for their scientific conclusions about man.

JvB: Often scientists present their knowledge as something fixed, something consensual. Like, we have together with a number of very smart people thought about all the pros and cons, 
and now there is a consensus, with which you can slam the door shut for other opinions. 

I personally have a different idea about science. I think science is a form of organized discussion, and the power of science lies in the quality of the discussion. 

The fact that we continue to make disagreements negotiable, that is where we get the progress from. -end quote-

Question: What is actually the basic usefulness of logic? 

JvB: I would say it's an investment in the quality of thinking, the quality of argumentation, also in the public debate. 

Although that seems less practical than investing in medical research or something, it seems to me just as concrete and useful. Perhaps education is even the most important means of production there is. "  -end quote-

In the sort term people may respond emotionally, but in the long run and it may take a lot of education, logic and reason will prevail, I believe.

This is what history teaches us and therefor I still believe that science is right.

Thank you… ^_^

The Discussion
[13:16] herman Bergson: Should I wake you all up again? :-))
[13:17] argus Portal: hehe
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: BANG BANG BANG!
[13:17] Dawn Rhiannyr: still thinks :)
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: WAAKE UUP!
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: loool
[13:17] herman Bergson: Thank you Bejiita :-)
[13:17] argus Portal: Thank you, was in interesting interview
[13:17] Ciska Riverstone: thanx herman
[13:17] Bejiita Imako:
[13:17] Bejiita Imako: hmm logic is an interesting subject for sure
[13:18] herman Bergson: Without logic no mathematics or science
[13:18] argus Portal: For me " the basic usefulness of logic" is, not to invent the wheel again.
[13:18] herman Bergson: Which wheel do you mean Argus?
[13:18] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: I think that the "basic usefulness of logic" is to slowly change the human mind and therefore to evolve.
[13:18] argus Portal: I try it with my bad english.. please give me a moment
[13:19] herman Bergson: Yes Rajam...I agree
[13:19] Ciska Riverstone: mh- but did logic change since socrates?
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: i know what logic is but describing it is tricky
[13:19] herman Bergson: As he said....the progress is in the quality of the argumentation
[13:20] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: I let argus finish talk, before I end my point of view...
[13:20] herman Bergson: It is like mathematics Bejiita....
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: a good way is to think of boolean logic that computers use
[13:20] herman Bergson: a + b = c is not about specific values but about the form of the calculation
[13:20] herman Bergson: this is a valid form....
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: based on different inputs you get true or false based on different connections
[13:21] herman Bergson: Whatever you substitute the variables for it will be correct
[13:21] Ciska Riverstone: that'S the point ;) - you get true or false - not right or wrong ;)
[13:21] herman Bergson: Like the boolean in a programming language
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: computers are in fact not math machines but logic machines and logic is in math so thats why it works
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: its a red thread sort of
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: that a system follows to get to a goal
[13:22] argus Portal: If something becomes common, it shouldn't be proofed again and again without an obvious reason.
The question here is: What is "obvious". But the fact, that one can add a number to a prev. number leads to the idea, that numbers are infinite.
[13:22] herman Bergson: No Ciska you don’t get true or false , you get valid or not valid in an argumentation....
[13:22] argus Portal: Thats the "wheel" i mentioned
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: still mean same, valid = true not valid = false
[13:23] herman Bergson: No Bejiita.....
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: hmm
[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes in a computer language they use these words but thet is scientifically incorrect...
[13:23] herman Bergson: truth and falsity are empirical concepts
[13:24] herman Bergson: a statement is true by empirical coroberation....
[13:24] herman Bergson: for instance...
[13:24] herman Bergson: All Martians are green
[13:24] herman Bergson: Bejiita is a Martian
[13:24] herman Bergson: So ..Bejiita is green
[13:24] argus Portal: Computers are a good example. All results depending from the whole structue. Is tehre an bug in the compiler, the program will not work as expected.
[13:25] argus Portal: Sorry for typos
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:25] herman Bergson: This is a valid reasoning, but the premisses are false on empirical grounds....
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yet the conclusion WOULD be true necessarily if the premises were true
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: i guess i think too digital, in the analog concept i guess its more floating
[13:26] Dawn Rhiannyr: I have a general problem with the word logic because it is not always about true and false - it is in many cases also about a point of view ...
[13:26] herman Bergson: With computers you have the same problem Argus....
[13:26] herman Bergson: You input data and the program processes them....
[13:26] herman Bergson: There is an output....
[13:27] herman Bergson: But that output only gets meaning by our interpretation of the results
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:27] Dawn Rhiannyr: yes agree to that
[13:27] herman Bergson: Logic is ONLY about the validity of a reasoning...
[13:27] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: May I say few words? :-)
[13:27] herman Bergson: it has nothing to do with truth or falsity.....
[13:28] argus Portal: For me the computer-example has to to with different "worlds": At the one side the machine, and at the other side the human-side (source-code). The compiler transfers the humans idea to the total logic system iof the machine. And if there is a problem by the "translation" all goes wrong
[13:28] herman Bergson: Go ahead Rajam
[13:28] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: I think that logic is the key that will lead us humanty to a necessary evolution. Technology has made huge steps ahead and my sensation is that we have somewhat left behind. We have the "hardware" and the "software" to state what is right or wrong but quite often not what is true or false: that is the precise duty of a computer. Now, with the introduction of a proper teaching of logic and the use of the powerful technology we have and we will have, we could literally evolve into something truly exceptional. That's what someone called "The Singularity" but I don't want to step into a field that do not belong to this context. I hope I made myself clear enough...
[13:28] argus Portal: It has directly to do with the small mind, we have
[13:28] herman Bergson: No Rajam this way of talking is agains the rules of the class...see behind me on the wal :-)
[13:28] herman Bergson: But you are excused...
[13:29] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: Ops... my apologies...
[13:29] herman Bergson: Most important is that you make a huge difference between valid reasoning and truth/Falsity
[13:30] herman Bergson: Truth is a philosophical, empirical concept....
[13:30] herman Bergson: the only relation between logic and truth is this....
[13:31] herman Bergson: IF the reasoning is VALID and the premises are true, THEN is the conclusion necessarily true
[13:31] argus Portal: What is "valid" ?
[13:31] argus Portal: Who defines that ?
[13:31] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: Indeed...
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: hmm
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: tricky
[13:31] Dawn Rhiannyr: nods
[13:32] herman Bergson: valid means that it is not possible that A and not-A are true at the same moment....
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: logic seems simple when u first think of it but it is really not
[13:32] argus Portal: see quantum physics ;-)
[13:32] argus Portal: They are in doubt of this
[13:32] Dawn Rhiannyr: yes Argus
[13:32] herman Bergson: In logic it is something like -(A & -A)
[13:32] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: quantum physics apply only to microcosm, tho. not to our scale universe...
[13:33] argus Portal: the microcosm affect us !
[13:33] argus Portal: We dont know all facts
[13:33] herman Bergson: I know a lot of people come up with quantum physics to point at anomalies....
[13:33] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: Yes, but you agree that the indetermination principle do not apply to our scale, right?
[13:34] argus Portal: What we call "random" can easily causes by the microcosmos
[13:34] herman Bergson: But we have so little knowledge about QPh......
[13:34] argus Portal: *caused
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: indeed, not even the guys at CERN and NASA know much about it
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: only that it is there in some way
[13:35] herman Bergson: it is as simple as the fact that we just HAVE TO accept that it can not rain and at the same monent rain at the very same spot
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: a strange phenomenon where things are at all places simultaneously with both + and - at same time sore of
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: sort
[13:35] argus Portal: I have no clue about quantum physics: But when I take that topic, then only to avoid, that the "door of open questions is closed" and we stuck with common sense
[13:35] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: ok herman, so a valid reasoning is a mutual exclusion: did I get it right?
[13:36] herman Bergson: And yet those scientist too use logic to reason thiings out
[13:36] herman Bergson: yes in a way....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: cause when its logical it makes sense
[13:36] herman Bergson: it is impossible to get to a false conclusion when you use a valid reasoning and true premises...
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: a red thread
[13:37] herman Bergson: That is how we formulate hypotheses
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:37] herman Bergson: We assume that some empirical phenomena are correctly observed....
[13:38] herman Bergson: from there we conclude....then should this or that be the case to...
[13:38] herman Bergson: we set up an experiment....
[13:38] herman Bergson: The experiment shows that the expected result does NOT occur....
[13:39] herman Bergson: then is is impossible that the premisses that lead to the hypothesis were true...
[13:39] herman Bergson: we made a mistake
[13:39] herman Bergson: So we have to check our premises....
[13:39] herman Bergson: come up with a new hypothesis
[13:39] herman Bergson: and so on :-)
[13:39] herman Bergson: Still with me?  ^_^
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: and have to reformulate the hypothesis in some way and test again
[13:40] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: YES! :-)
[13:40] argus Portal: or we missed a parameter. And this is the reason why the experiment doesnt behave like expercted
[13:40] herman Bergson: Indeed Bejiita
[13:40] herman Bergson: Could be the case too Argus....
[13:40] argus Portal: I think at the experiment by Michelson and Morley
[13:41] herman Bergson: But our reasoning for  the hypothesis was valid.....so there is not the error
[13:41] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: that is, argus?
[13:41] herman Bergson: The authority experiment?
[13:41] argus Portal: They tried to show the existing of "ether wind"
[13:41] herman Bergson: Ahhh...
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:41] argus Portal: They failed, because they didn’t know, what Einstein found
[13:42] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: I am going to check it online... ;-)
[13:42] herman Bergson: Which means that they might have reasoned in a valid way, but there were gapes in their premises
[13:42] herman Bergson: one at least was not true
[13:42] argus Portal: In german its called "√Ątherwind"
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: ah yes
[13:44] herman Bergson: Well..this was maybe an example of hardcore philosophy of science....
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: that there is some matter lime substance that carry light and similar, like waves on a sea
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: like
[13:44] argus Portal: yes
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: but there is no sch thing, its all radiation and it transmit without any matter interaction
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: however the term is still used in radio
[13:45] herman Bergson: We'll get to talk about these issues some more...so don’t worry....
[13:45] herman Bergson grins
[13:45] herman Bergson: or maybe it makes you worry :-))
[13:45] argus Portal: :-)
[13:45] Bejiita Imako:
[13:45] Dawn Rhiannyr: could be ;)
[13:45] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: hehehe.... Not at all, as far as I am concerned!
[13:46] Bejiita Imako:
[13:46] herman Bergson: No…you are already hightech Rajam :-)
[13:46] herman Bergson: Not all our brains are yet ^_^
[13:46] herman Bergson: But yet....all this is the product of the human brain
[13:47] Nymf Hathaway: Mine are... fogged right now :(
[13:47] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: right!
[13:47] Bejiita Imako:
[13:47] herman Bergson: We'll discuss issues like this more in the near future......
[13:47] herman Bergson: so plenty of rehearsals :-)
[13:48] Nymf Hathaway: Thank you Herman
[13:48] Bejiita Imako:
[13:48] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: Really! Great lecture and great discussion! I've learned so much!
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: well have good time now out there in the ether all of u!
[13:48] Bejiita Imako:
[13:48] herman Bergson: I still have to defend my thesis that science is right :-)
[13:49] Nymf Hathaway: You too Bejiita
[13:49] herman Bergson: Opposition is already growing :-)
[13:49] Bejiita Imako:
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:49] Roger Amdahl: thanks Herman
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: this was some new stuff for sure
[13:49] herman Bergson: Ok..let me spare your brains and dismiss class
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: before they explode
[13:49] herman Bergson: Thank you all for participation and endurance :-)
[13:49] argus Portal: Thank you, Herman. Always a lot to think after that meeting
[13:49] argus Portal: *Always
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: with a LOGIC ERROR message
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: now ill go back to programming my game a while before i go to sleep
[13:50] herman Bergson: Well Bejiita
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: cu soon all
[13:50] Nymf Hathaway: oooh nice
[13:50] Bejiita Imako:
[13:50] Nymf Hathaway: bye bye
[13:50] Dawn Rhiannyr: thank you Herman :) yes a lot to think about now :)
[13:50] argus Portal: Bye bejiita
[13:50] herman Bergson: You always find the syntax error
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:50] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: Bye Bejiita and thanks!
[13:50] herman Bergson: but not always the logic error in oyur programming
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: hhee i better do because its soooo easy to create bugs
[13:51] argus Portal: Goodnight all
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: cu
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: hugs
[13:51] Nymf Hathaway: Good night everyone
[13:51] herman Bergson: Good luck Bejiita :-)
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: tnx
[13:51] Bejiita Imako:
[13:51] Dawn Rhiannyr: bye everyone, have a nice day / night
[13:51] herman Bergson: Bye Dawn :-)
[13:52] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: I think I will go to sleep too and I guess I won't be the only one...
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: bye folks
[13:52] Dawn Rhiannyr: Ciska I am sorryI didn't make it on monday - too early for my working hours
[13:52] herman Bergson: Half the wprld will do that Rajam :-)
[13:52] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: Bye Ciska !
[13:52] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: Herman, this was a really great evening!
[13:53] Dawn Rhiannyr: see you soon Herman ... was nice you joined Raja!
[13:53] herman Bergson: Thank you Rajam
[13:54] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: see you next time herman ! And sorry for the text flood... I didn't really read the rules...
[13:54] herman Bergson: I know...no problem....
[13:54] herman Bergson: It is actually the only pragmatic rule here
[13:55] Rajamapuradjoloun Shichiroji: I can understand. :-) Bye!

[13:55] herman Bergson: be well ^_^

541: A Clearer View on Science

Since the start of our project “Why Science is Right” we have encountered some interesting features of the phenomenon Science.

It shows not to be as easy as just saying “facts are facts”, but in our latest lecture something interesting came up, which might be of help.

People all over the world claim to know things. When two claims are contradictory, people sometimes defend themselves by saying “Well, that is your opinion. I think different”.

But is knowing things just a matter of opinions? No, that can’t be true. That we know that antibiotics work and can make you healthy again is not just an opinion of some pharmaceutical company, which wants to make money.

And that brings us to our observation in our previous lecture: I do not believe in science, but I believe science, because it shows evidence for the justification of its claims.

This leads us to the next question. In a Court of Law the prosecutor can show evidence to proof the justification of his indictment, but the judge can overrule him and call certain pieces of evidence impermissible.

Is this in science also the case? Is there impermissible evidence in science and if so, what are the criteria to properly distinguish impermissible from permissible evidence.

An interesting example of this discussion is the Kitzmiller versus Dover Area School District case.

Tammy Kitzmiller,  versus Dover Area School District was the first direct challenge brought in the United States federal courts testing a public school district policy that required the teaching of Intelligent Design.

For those of you, who are not familiar with the details of the Intelligent Design theory, Intelligent design (ID) is the pseudoscientific view, 

that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."

Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have demonstrated that ID is a religious argument, a form of creationism which lacks empirical support and offers no tenable hypotheses.

Proponents argue that it is "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins" that challenges the methodological naturalism inherent in modern science,while conceding that they have yet to produce a scientific theory.

I took this from Wikipedia and it is a correct description and it teaches us a lot. To begin with:

1. Evidence that is used in religion is of no use at all in science. An interesting point: science and religion seem to be incompatible, or no use to eahother.

2. Science demands empirical support of knowledge claims.

3. Methodological naturalism is a too limited approach to generate permissible evidence for a theory.

Methodological naturalism concerns itself not with claims about what exists but with methods of learning what nature is. 

It is strictly the idea that all scientific endeavors, all hypotheses and events, are to be explained and tested by reference to natural causes and events.

The ID proponents admit, that they still have to come up with a scientific theory to prove that they are right and evolutionists are wrong.

What is a scientific theory? 

A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation, according to Wikipedia.

Not a bad description, but of course we run into the question here “What is The Scientific Method?”, because methodological naturalism seems to be too limited according to these ID proponents.

As you see, now we are right in the middle of the debate about the question “What is science” or “What makes statements to statements of scientific knowledge?” Enough for a few more lectures on the subject, I would say.

Thank you…. ^_^

The Discussion

[13:22] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:22] argus Portal: Thank you. A very interesting topic
[13:23] argus Portal: We mentioned R.Dawkins in an earlier debate. He has much to do, to explain that to religious people
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: ID to me seem to be a hybrid between science and religion, one idea is that aliens many times more advanced then us can create entire worlds with life and these aliens would then be "God"
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: sort of
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: but seems unlikly to me
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: The problem is that science cannot explain changing things - so i disagree with Herman’s point 1
[13:24] herman Bergson: Well you got it right, yes....religion and science don’t seem to go together that well....Dawkins is an example
[13:24] herman Bergson: What do you mean with "changing things" Ciska?
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: like societies and so on - all social "science" which alters due to time and cultural alterations
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: "hard" science cannot explain that
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: and yet we need some explanations to organize us
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: as human beings
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: religion filled that space for long
[13:26] argus Portal: there is the system theory as example
[13:26] herman Bergson: and you think religion has todo that?
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: no
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: they did it
[13:27] herman Bergson: and failed
[13:27] argus Portal: Sure can science explain social mechanisms
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: well science failed too
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: on that subject
[13:27] herman Bergson: Hold on...!
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: true
[13:27] herman Bergson: There is also the human option to say "I do not know"
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: of course - but that does not organize people
[13:28] herman Bergson: And just have to live with it
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: and we needed a minimum to organzise us
[13:28] argus Portal: religious people don’t say that... "I do not know"
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: now we have the religion of economics doing that ofr us
[13:28] herman Bergson: In that situation only common sense is the only resource...
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: nope
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: aa indeed
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: today al is about money it seems
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: all
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes indeed Ciska...
[13:29] herman Bergson: and the other religion is the Health religion...
[13:29] herman Bergson: The name of god is Health...
[13:29] herman Bergson: the priests are the doctors
[13:30] herman Bergson: and the sinners are the people with overweight, the smokers and drinkers
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: and as for the: I don't know - a lot of scientist claimed knowledgein the past which did turn out differentl ylater
[13:30] Beertje Beaumont: and the devil is called McDonalds..
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: lool
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: hahah beertje
[13:30] argus Portal: "religion" for me simply ignore open questions. And states , there are no open questions
[13:30] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje..MacDonnalds is Hell on earth indeed :-))
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: and the devil is Ronald Mcdonald
[13:31] herman Bergson: True Argus...
[13:31] Bejiita Imako:
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: thats a too narrow sight on religion for me argus - thats just another way of saying: you are wrong - not I don't know ,)
[13:31] argus Portal: not sure, what you mean, Ciska
[13:31] herman Bergson: The debate with religion is an epistemological one....
[13:32] herman Bergson: the empiricist says that only his sensory system can register information from which he can deduce things
[13:32] herman Bergson: or induce things..
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: not all of religion ignores questions -
[13:32] herman Bergson: the religious person claims to have an extra source of information...
[13:32] argus Portal: ok, Ciska. But then I don’t call that people "religious"
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: well but they are ;)
[13:33] herman Bergson: called "faith"
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: thats just your definition then
[13:33] argus Portal: we all need faith for some short periods to be able to act and learn. We need solid fundaments. But we need the ability to let go, when the time is come
[13:33] herman Bergson: Religion goes beyond the empirical world with its knowledge claims
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: well - we all have faith - wether we call ourselves religious or not - no?
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: faith in the dax ;)
[13:34] herman Bergson: no...I disagree...
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: you are free of faith?
[13:34] herman Bergson: We assume certain things...not (yet) knowing whether they are true or not...
[13:35] herman Bergson: I am indeed...
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: we do things because we assume things
[13:35] herman Bergson: yes....
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: and there is no faith involved in that?
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: i guess so
[13:35] argus Portal: thats what i meant above
[13:35] herman Bergson: Because we lack sufficient empirical data to tell us whether we are right or wrong
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: ok - we disagree on that
[13:35] Beertje Beaumont: how can you have faith in something you don't know?
[13:36] herman Bergson: No...there is hope involved...the hope that we are empirically right
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: one thing i realized today is many people today dont even check facts but goes on totally what foryms like 4 chan ex says
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: i read about a case where they fooled people that IOS 8 make your mobile chargeable in the microwave oven
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: and many actually tried it!
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: POFF!
[13:37] herman Bergson: lol
[13:37] argus Portal: lol
[13:37] argus Portal: I saw a picture hehe
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: they didn’t seem to know all about the fact microwave ovens induce high voltage in everything u put in it
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: cause they haven;t read about anything like that even it seems like common sense to know this
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: know how things actually work before using it
[13:38] argus Portal: the smartphone needs energy. and the microwave have lots energy. so what ?
[13:38] herman Bergson: That, Bejiita , is a matter of lack of education....
[13:38] herman Bergson: Lack of knowledge
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: well the problem is you basically connect the phone to a high voltage line with several 10000 V in it
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: way to much for any electronic component
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: at least inside a phone or computer
[13:39] herman Bergson: That isn’t philosophy bejiita :-)
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: the issue here is people believe stuff without checking facts inn general
[13:40] herman Bergson: What you say only shows lack of knowledge with some persons
[13:40] herman Bergson: Yes....there you are right!
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: this is a general issue today
[13:40] argus Portal: The question for is here: Why should one trust an person and his / her sayings
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: this was just one extreme example
[13:41] herman Bergson: Always has been.....
[13:41] argus Portal: *for me is here
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: showing how bad it can be
[13:41] herman Bergson: That is why education is the only future for this planet
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: when people believe hard in the wrong facs problems will arise
[13:41] argus Portal: "I saw god" and "I charged my iphone in a microwave" is almost the same problem :-)
[13:41] herman Bergson: You see that happen in Africa...the ebola outbreak...
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: can be argus cause they really believe its true and will work even its not
[13:42] herman Bergson: Some believe that the medication just causes it and hide the sick people and wait for the tribalmedicine man
[13:43] Beertje Beaumont: they also believe the white man brings ebola to them
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: yes same thing here or that it is gods punishment and they refuse to take in what doctors ect say
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: hat know how it really is
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: that
[13:43] herman Bergson: Or they believe the story that the medication makes people sterile.
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:43] herman Bergson: And here science may be right, but ignorance  still prevails and beliefs
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: it seems so
[13:44] Beertje Beaumont: problem is in Africa too....too little education
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:44] argus Portal: yes
[13:44] herman Bergson: I still assume that there is a range of questions where we just have to answer...I DO NOT KNOW
[13:45] herman Bergson: and a range of questions were we can give a statistical answer
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: (which is interpreted )
[13:45] herman Bergson: and a range of questions were we can give a hard scientific answer
[13:46] argus Portal: "hard" as long, as it is not disproved
[13:46] herman Bergson: And in that situation people have big problems with the I DO NOT KNOW solution....and there they make up stories and so on suggesting they DO know something
[13:47] herman Bergson: Sure Argus...but then according to scientific methosd
[13:47] argus Portal: "I don’t know" is not giving up. It means: Wait, we are learning step by step
[13:48] herman Bergson: Of course it isn’t a "giving up" Argus....It it just an incentive to study nature more
[13:48] argus Portal: I saw an debate between an atheist and an christ. The christ tried to disproof the atheist, because he said: I dont know (yet)
[13:48] argus Portal: He showed people the bible and said: I know.
[13:48] herman Bergson: That is because the christian claims to have another...extra...epistemological source...
[13:49] herman Bergson: The claim is nice but hasn’t brought  us anywhere
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: ow - it organized a lot of people in history
[13:49] herman Bergson: But as Ciska says...it helped people to organize socially
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: i bet he have never really seen god, only heard stories and read the bible and you don’t get proof from that
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: thats a fact
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: its just a story he believes hard
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: wether we like it or not
[13:50] herman Bergson: sure thing Ciska...I agree
[13:50] argus Portal: For those of you, who are interested: This is a series of debates:
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: our wealth is built on that
[13:50] argus Portal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zll7Ey3sZEA&html5=1
[13:50] herman Bergson: But it isn’t the organizing factor anymore....except in the Islamic world
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: so it does not help to condemn it - one must learn to understand it differently - thats at least what i would conclude
[13:50] herman Bergson: and we see the results of it every day on TV...
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: if i see god for real i believe he exist but then i also must be sure im not hallucinating or something like that, with all that ruled out i can then scientifically say god exist
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: can any christian do that? i think not
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: still they believe hard on it
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: and any other religious people btw
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: no- but thats the point Bejiita - we do not know yet
[13:51] herman Bergson: It is not a matter of condemning it Ciska....just the observation that it no longer works...
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: we at least need some kind of trace
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: but thats what happens with "hardly "Science too
[13:52] herman Bergson: and this MIGHT be due to the fact that science is right
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: philosophy as well
[13:53] herman Bergson: Science also can say....we do not know the answer...which is a sincere scientific conclusion then
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: so the only thing to solve this - is to define evidence in such a way that we can say - ok - then we don't know much ;)
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: but thats not happening
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: doctors tell you swallow that pill your better then
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: because statistically it works
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: if it does not work for me i'm unlucky
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: but thats not a scientific fact for me
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: thats just we try to help you
[13:54] herman Bergson: yes,,,that us why I said that Health has become a religion....
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: and most people can be helped with this one
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:54] argus Portal: (medicine) doctors for me are not scientists
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: so true
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: well - so in the end we know nothing but a lot of knowledge is claimed everywhere
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: but we condemn the religion
[13:54] herman Bergson: People have to accept that there is a CHANCE that th epill works....
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: interesting
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: hmmm
[13:55] herman Bergson: there is no reason at all to condemn religion...for what?
[13:55] herman Bergson: It just doesn’t work...
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: well thats what happens
[13:55] herman Bergson: not here in this class
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: society wise
[13:55] argus Portal: for me religion not only has to do with the god-question
[13:56] herman Bergson: Dawkins cum suis does....
[13:56] argus Portal: It is an mind-state to be religious
[13:56] herman Bergson: a waste of time and energy in my opinion
[13:56] herman Bergson: Yes Argus....
[13:56] herman Bergson: so condemning it is nonsense...
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: a bad one argus?
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: ,)
[13:56] herman Bergson: a factual one Ciska :-)
[13:57] argus Portal: my football-club is the biggest one, for me is the same, like "my god is the only one"
[13:57] herman Bergson: whether it is bad or good depends on the consequences of this state...
[13:57] herman Bergson: And in the Islamic world at the moment Ithink it is a real bad stat of mind
[13:58] argus Portal: Ciska, depends. If one is able to let go, religious periods of time are useful
[13:58] herman Bergson: It brings people to decapitate fellowmen....
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: like with science the question is how it is used
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: Einstein wasn’t happy about the bomb either
[13:58] herman Bergson: as I said...it is all decised by its consequences...
[13:59] herman Bergson: There is some theory in ethics called Consequentialism, I believe...
[14:00] herman Bergson: It determines a deed on its consequences for being right or wrong
[14:00] Ciska Riverstone: the problem is its easy to say - religion and science do not go together as long as we know so little
[14:00] argus Portal: sounds like the idea of karma
[14:00] herman Bergson: Doesn't work of course...for how to decide what is right etc. :-)
[14:00] Ciska Riverstone: but it does not help
[14:01] Beertje Beaumont: Sorry I have to go.....the consequesnences of too much good Cider takes his toll....
[14:01] herman Bergson: No Ciska....I mean something different with that obervation...
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[14:01] argus Portal: Bye Beertje
[14:01] Ciska Riverstone: good night Beertje
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: night Beertje
[14:01] Beertje Beaumont: goodnight :)))
[14:01] argus Portal: :-)
[14:02] herman Bergson: I mean that religious people claim to have an epistemological source which epiricist do not have
[14:02] herman Bergson: Bye Beertje
[14:03] Ciska Riverstone: and that differs how - when you compare it with the assumption scientific theories lay down and take for granted? done for example in economical theories?
[14:03] herman Bergson: I guess..time to dismiss class ^_^
[14:04] Ciska Riverstone: well - yes - we won't agree on that one herman ,)
[14:04] argus Portal: Thank you, Herman for this great discussion
[14:04] Ciska Riverstone: thank you
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[14:05] herman Bergson: economical theroies are based on statistics....so all claims are never fool proof, contrary to chemistry for instance
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: nice again
[14:05] herman Bergson: Was a pleasure Argus :-)
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: cu soon again and don’t microwave your mobiles
[14:05] argus Portal: Goodnight all
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[14:05] Ciska Riverstone: hahah bejiita
[14:06] Ciska Riverstone: sleep well everyone
[14:06] herman Bergson: and an iPad, Bejiita...can I put that in the Microwave? :-))
[14:06] Bejiita Imako: om going to microwave something to eat though
[14:06] Bejiita Imako: im hungry
[14:06] Bejiita Imako:
[14:06] Bejiita Imako: cu

[14:06] herman Bergson: ok

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

540: Do we believe ins science ?

Since the beginning of our search into the Philosophy of Science, we already ran into a number of issues: science as the winner or cause of the clash of cultures,

science as knowledge of the structure of the cosmos or as the result of human communication and social interaction, a controversy between hard science and soft science.

Then the worst of accusations… one being accused of scientism: the point of view that science is the only kind of human knowledge, which eventually will answer all our questions.

Yesterday I was invited to participate in a discussion among a group of friends. Consciousness was their subject and all kinds of aspects of it.

At some point subjects like telepathy, precognition, special visions and the like came up and some of the participants told about examples, which they had experienced personally.

There is no way to check the truth value of such stories, no observations or experiments. We only have their words and often such stories end with the question “You don’t believe me?”

In such cases, where people claim to KNOW something and you have no further test than that claim, you only then can believe, that there is talk of genuine knowledge about our reality. But the problem remains, that it yet is private knowledge.

What about science? The world is full of scientists who claim to know this or that. They too say, that we should take serious what they say, in other words, believe what they say.

Do we have to BELIEVE in science? Let’s just check out what science is said to be:

Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

In an older and closely related meaning, "science" also refers to a body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. [ WIKIPEDIA ]

Not a bad definition at all. Main term is KNOWLEDGE, not private knowledge, but knowledge as the product of testable explanations and predictions.

Kevin Padian, (born 1951), professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote an open-access article about science and evolution, entitled “Correcting some common misrepresentations of evolution in textbooks and the media.” 

He states:
“Saying that scientists ‘believe’ their results suggests, falsely, that their acceptance is not based on evidence, but is based somehow on faith.”

Padian continues:
“…it is about the quality of the evidence: scientists accept their results as the best explanation of the problem that we have at present, but we recognize that our findings are subject to reevaluation as new evidence comes to light.”

This puts us in a very special relation to science. Does this mean, that science is only possible in so far as we ACCEPT the evidence like the scientist does?

How do we do that? On what should that acceptance be based? The answer here could be: philosophy and in particular logic, epistemology and philosophy of science, 

which give arguments for why we, among other things, need 
testable explanations and predictions to assure our acceptance. Then there will be no debate about scientific facts.

Great, but then “Why Do People Believe Scientifically Untrue Things?”, the title of an article by Ronald Bailey. He is the award-winning science correspondent for Reason magazine and Reason.com, where he writes a weekly science and technology column.

He writes, and this is just one of his many examples:
The majority of climate scientists believe that human activity is causing the earth’s temperatures to increase. A recent Pew Research poll (2012) found that two-thirds of Americans also believe that the earth is warming. 

But a deep partisan divide yawns between conservatives and liberals on the cause of the warming: Only 16 percent of conservative Republicans believe that human activity is responsible, 

whereas 77 percent of liberal Democrats do. Moderate Republicans and Democrats accept human responsibility by 38 and 51 percent, respectively. -end quote -

Or this piece of science: In 2012 Gallup Poll that found that 46 percent of Americans are young Earth creationists—that is, believe that God created humans beings in their present form within the past 10,000 years.

The Pew Research poll reported that 87 percent of scientists believe that humans evolved through entirely natural processes, whereas only 8 percent thought that God guided the process.

A nice example of what guides the acceptance of science and its evidence, testable explanations and predictions. I guess we need some more lectures on the subject to unravel this complex situation.

I do not believe in science. It isn’t the believing what makes science true, it is the evidence that supports it.

Thank you… ^_^

The Discussion

[13:23] argus Portal: Thank you
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:23] Bejiita Imako:
[13:23] Loo Zeta: ty
[13:23] Roger Amdahl: /claps
[13:23] Beertje Beaumont: pfew
[13:23] Lizzy Pleides: thank you, brilliant!
[13:23] herman Bergson: Thank you...
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: hmm its complex indeed this for sure
[13:24] Huntress Selenium: yes, ty, herman
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: science vs religion and similar
[13:24] Rocky Mensing: thank you Herman
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: It stands and falls with the definition of "what is an evidence" I guess
[13:24] herman Bergson: Yes they always say science this science that....but as you see..it is not that clear cut
[13:24] Loo Zeta: Has since become the 'new religion'?
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: In some ways yes Loo- at least i would say so
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes Ciska...the concept of evidence is the basic philosophical issue here
[13:25] argus Portal: [13:22] herman Bergson: I do not believe in science. It isn’t the believing what makes science true, it is the evidence that supports it.

I agree, if that refers to science as a discipline. But scientists can fool people. So it is important, at the beginning to be in doubt.
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: look at economic "science" and what it does
[13:25] Loo Zeta: Scientific probability is relient on 0.05% probability
[13:25] Huntress Selenium: Evidence is determined, in large measure, by the dominant theory and research agenda of the time; facts that don't fit it are rejected, at least until there's a more comprehensive theory than can explain them.  The radiation that lead to the discovery of star nurseries of the existence of ball lightening being classic examples
[13:26] herman Bergson: That is the problem Loo
[13:26] Loo Zeta: but lies damn lies and statistics
[13:26] Loo Zeta: Oh my typos sorry
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: yes science is actual observing while religion is belief from someone that claims he have seen god even he has probably must dreamt or something
[13:26] Roger Amdahl: If religion was a fill for things one don't understand, then science become the new religion as almost everything can be explained without the need for a God
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes Huntress anomalies aren't a pleasure for scientists :-)
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: thats not completely true Bejiita - as science is done by people...
[13:26] Loo Zeta: 9gag did a brilliant spoof... will get the link so you may see
[13:27] Huntress Selenium: That's why herman used 'scientism,' I thin,, Roger.  'Sientism,' first coined by Hayek, is a belief in science that is dogmatic
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: take ghosts for example, many say they have seen them but no one have scientifically been able to prove that they are real
[13:27] Lizzy Pleides: every new scientific insight begins with an unproved theory, so what we believe is also part of science
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: yes Lizzy
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: a scientific proof means its 100% true and observed
[13:27] Huntress Selenium: The part I found most intriguing about your lecture, herman, were the examples of how political views influences are beliefs in science
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: no doubt
[13:27] herman Bergson: It begins with a testable theory, Lizzy...
[13:28] herman Bergson: That means the hypothesis is assumed to be true.....
[13:28] Lizzy Pleides: but still unproved
[13:28] herman Bergson: what is to discover is its falsification
[13:28] Huntress Selenium: A lot of times it begins with a computer model, though; string theory has yet to be tested, and people even disagree as to what would count as a test for it or the holographic universe.
[13:28] herman Bergson: yes
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:29] herman Bergson: Computer models are the intellectual horro of today is my opinion
[13:29] Huntress Selenium: Agreed, herman.
[13:29] argus Portal: Why is it horror ?
[13:29] Roger Amdahl: depends on what those models are for
[13:29] herman Bergson: It ruined the banking system lately for instance...
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: thats true
[13:29] herman Bergson: Well Roger it is because..
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: was a real mess
[13:30] argus Portal: ok, thats true
[13:30] Huntress Selenium: But then there is the problem of what counts as "testing."  String theory, the holographic universe has their problems, and then we have borderline science at best, parapsychology, with it's own notions of testing--eVP's, for instance
[13:30] herman Bergson: as soon as the model is created they are inclined to take the model as reality
[13:30] herman Bergson: Just take the weather forcast...
[13:30] Huntress Selenium: you mean models aren't reality, herman?  lol
[13:30] herman Bergson: No..they are creations of the brain
[13:31] herman Bergson: which try to correlate with reality
[13:31] Loo Zeta: <---- a="" and="" complimentary="" dodgy="" embrace="" font="" having="" just="" load="" of="" rl="" taken="" theories="" therapies="" to="" up="">
[13:31] Roger Amdahl: String Theory is a mathematical model that is very elegant, and exists only by formula's.
[13:31] Loo Zeta: My brain is whoa!!!
[13:31] Roger Amdahl: but help science...proof them wrong !
[13:31] Huntress Selenium: Well, 'correlate with reality,' is a problem too; the correspondence theory is frought with problems, and, back to the idea of dominant theories, 'correlation' becomes consistency with everything else you believe
[13:31] Loo Zeta: Roger meet you in another dimension
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: depends on, someone create the computer program doing the simulation and if there is some miscalculation there
[13:32] Roger Amdahl: :)
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: poof goes that theory
[13:32] Huntress Selenium: Which may explain people's attitudes toward global warming or the short-Earth theory; people think those are consistent with all their other beliefs
[13:32] herman Bergson: They did tests with reptiles I recently heard....
[13:33] herman Bergson: moving them from a cold into a worm environment.....
[13:33] herman Bergson: the model predicted their extiction....
[13:33] herman Bergson: but they adapted rapidly and survived
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: (unlike the dinosaurs)
[13:33] Huntress Selenium: They all became birds, right? lol
[13:33] herman Bergson: Something like that :-))
[13:34] argus Portal: :-)
[13:34] Bejiita Imako:
[13:34] herman Bergson: Anyway.....we have to face a number of issues here....
[13:34] herman Bergson: especially the issue of 'evidence'....
[13:35] herman Bergson: in fact we have to return to basic epistemology here, I guess
[13:35] herman Bergson: WHAT is knowledge....
[13:35] Roger Amdahl: when you have to calculate the chance of survival for a species, you deal with huge amount of uncertainties.. so even when put in computer, the prediction might be off by miles
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:35] Loo Zeta: http://io9.com/we-wear-babies-on-our-backs-because-our-ancestors-wore-1634624109/+ishaaran
[13:35] herman Bergson: Yes Roger...that is why models are a horro tome....
[13:35] Lizzy Pleides: the evidence depends of our level of knowledge
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: yes Lizzy and that develops
[13:36] herman Bergson: the arrogance to believe that we can grasp all variables of reality
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: how can u catch a running stream? you only get moment pictures no the whole thing
[13:36] Huntress Selenium: Yes, evidentiary-statements are only take as true, or at least not false, if they are consistent with all other statements taken as evidentiary.  And that is determined by history, dominant theories, and research agendas
[13:36] Lizzy Pleides waves @ Ciska
[13:36] herman Bergson: panta rei....
[13:36] Huntress Selenium: Ciska, yes, very good point.
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone:
[13:36] Roger Amdahl: it is just a field of science where computer models are highly unpredictable... in other field they work fine
[13:37] Loo Zeta: well you can make a 3D virtual running stream....
[13:37] Huntress Selenium: Well, computer models suffer from GIGO more than actual field work.
[13:37] Loo Zeta: yes
[13:37] herman Bergson: What is GIGO, Huntress?
[13:37] Huntress Selenium: Garbage In; Garbage Out
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: hahaha
[13:37] herman Bergson: Oh yes....a classic
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: now thats true
[13:38] Loo Zeta: when will augmented reality be so involved in RL we do not see the difference
[13:38] Huntress Selenium: Loo, that happened in 1999, but we didn't notice it.
[13:38] Loo Zeta: lol
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: like MAtrix?
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: (so calvin & Hobbes are right after all: scientific process is going boink)
[13:38] Huntress Selenium: Yeah, why I picked 1999
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: i could have guessed that
[13:39] Bejiita Imako:
[13:39] Huntress Selenium: But another problem is you can make statements consistent with one another by interpretation, and there are an infinite number of interpretations.
[13:39] herman Bergson: The Matrix was a nice fantasy....
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: yes Selene
[13:39] Loo Zeta: It is where my child says she is uploading me in my dotage!!!
[13:40] Huntress Selenium: Yeah, it broke down, even in its own terms.  Neo found the "desert of the real."  which was necessary for the Matrix to work
[13:40] herman Bergson: There we go Postmodernist....everything is just an interpretation :-))
[13:40] Loo Zeta: whoops sorry
[13:40] Huntress Selenium: No, not saying that, herman; but we do have to make decision when we are doing anything in science
[13:41] herman Bergson: yes we have....
[13:41] Huntress Selenium: Do we accept the results, or save the hypothesis?  The radiation that led to star nurseries was first observed and dismissed as NASA's instruments being broken.  All of them?  yes.
[13:41] herman Bergson: That is the problem with computermodels.....we make the decisions first...
[13:41] Huntress Selenium: Then they figure out how to make the findings consistent with what else they held as true, and all better.
[13:42] Loo Zeta: They are still slaves to our reality until they become sensient
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes As I read today about folds in space which showed to be just dust....
[13:42] Loo Zeta: I spelt that wrong
[13:42] Huntress Selenium: That's ok, Loo, we all speak typonese.
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: there is a case i saw before though when an undiscovered fluid phenomena called the trench effect was discovered by a computer by combining already known lud statements
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: the phenomenon led do a disastrous flash fore in the london subway killing lot of people but no one could see how it could happened
[13:43] Huntress Selenium: Yeah, computer models can be very helpful; we just need to be aware of their limits.
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: when testing it for real it proved to be true
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trench_effect
[13:43] Loo Zeta: *scentient... still looks wrong
[13:43] Huntress Selenium: That's a key, "testing it for real."  But alas in astrophysics or economics, or global warming, we often can't do that.
[13:44] Huntress Selenium: 'sentient.'
[13:44] Loo Zeta: ahh
[13:44] herman Bergson: Well this is a lot of issues...:-)
[13:44] Lizzy Pleides: computers can only calculate with the data we feed them
[13:44] Huntress Selenium: Lizzy, yes, GIGO
[13:44] Loo Zeta: Ohhh bother Vidz was involved in that fire at King's Cross
[13:44] herman Bergson: So the computer is a GIGOlo :-)
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: aaaa ok
[13:45] Huntress SeleniumHuntress Selenium laughs
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: eheheh herman
[13:45] Loo Zeta: He was on his way back from Uni :(
[13:45] argus Portal: hehe
[13:45] Huntress Selenium: Yes, very fickle, goes with *any* operator.
[13:45] herman Bergson smiles
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: did he got killed but that blaze?
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: by
[13:45] Loo Zeta: No
[13:45] Loo Zeta: He is very much alice RL and SL
[13:46] Lizzy Pleides: thank god Loo!
[13:46] Loo Zeta: *alive
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:46] Huntress Selenium: Who is this person?  Sorry to be an insular Yank.
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: that’s good
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: was a nasty event
[13:46] Loo Zeta: But it was 12 hours of angst for me
[13:46] herman Bergson: Sorry Loo..lost track of what you are discussing
[13:46] Loo Zeta: he was held up in a tunnel on the Northern Line
[13:46] Loo Zeta: ahh the link
[13:46] herman Bergson: Does’t sound good..that is what I understand
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: its about a computer simulation discovering somehing new
[13:47] Loo Zeta: and I had a flash back sorry
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: but it did it probably because both the coanda effect ( that make airplanes lift) and flashover are already well known phenomena and proven
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: they did just combine in an unexpected way
[13:48] Huntress Selenium: Can anyone tell me the difference between a computer simulation and a thought experiment?  The latter has a time honored role in and out of science, so no problem, if that's really what it is.
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: with disaster as result
[13:48] herman Bergson: I have my questions about thought experiments too Huntress....
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: huntress - the computer simulation has no additional ideas
[13:48] herman Bergson: Modern philosophers seem to be fond of them now and then..
[13:48] Huntress Selenium: Oh, so it's like a dumb thought experiment.  lol
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: no, it can only make use of already known facts
[13:49] Huntress Selenium: yes, Rawls, in particular.
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: sort of
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: it has more data then a human selene
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: but thats it
[13:49] Rocky Mensing: I think the power of a computer simulation is that a computer can calculate faster then a human ever can
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:49] Huntress Selenium: A dumber but faster thought experiment
[13:49] herman Bergson: And it is not emotionally involved and biased
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: thats why computers was invented in first place and because it doesnt make mistakes if correctly programmmed
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: yes and it cannot check back with reality - only if a human gives it the data for it
[13:49] Huntress Selenium: herman, well...it's programmer could be.
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: there we are faster usually
[13:50] herman Bergson: maybe yes....
[13:50] Lizzy Pleides: Computers are stupid, aren't they?
[13:50] herman Bergson: I guess it might be time to cool your brains again....:-)
[13:50] Loo Zeta: ermmm no
[13:50] Huntress Selenium: Well, let's be nice, and say 'unimaginative.'
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: they are just machines
[13:51] Loo Zeta: Ever talked to Siri?
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: a box if silicon and wires
[13:51] herman Bergson: Only programmers can be stupid :-))
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: heheh i had some funny conversations with siri - yes
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: without electricity its as dead as any other machine
[13:51] Lizzy Pleides: lol herman
[13:51] Loo Zeta: It learns
[13:51] Huntress Selenium: Well, w/o electricity so are most of us.
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: well sort of
[13:51] Loo Zeta: yep
[13:51] argus Portal: without oxygen a human as well, Bejiita ;-)
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: and computers can learn sort f but it cant experience things
[13:51] Loo Zeta: we are biochemical computers
[13:52] Huntress Selenium: argus, yeah, but don't rust--that's one advantage over machines
[13:52] argus Portal: yes :-)
[13:52] Lizzy Pleides: but computers have to serve us, we are the masters
[13:52] herman Bergson: Ok...since we have reached near death now it might be a good moment to thank you all for your participation
[13:52] Loo Zeta: lol
[13:52] Loo Zeta: ty
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: to understand speech the computer have to convert that into a string of 1 and 0 and distinguish it from others despite noise ect
[13:52] Huntress Selenium: Thank you for doing this, herman
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman- thanx everyone
[13:52] argus Portal: Thank you, Herman
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: thats why its so hard make a computer understand speech , it cant understand it directly like we can
[13:52] herman Bergson: It was a pleasure to share my time with you again....
[13:52] Beertje Beaumont: thank you again Herman:)
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: great herman
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: )
[13:53] Lizzy Pleides: thank you herman!
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: cu soon
[13:53] Huntress Selenium: bye, everyone
[13:53] herman Bergson: Thank you all and till next time...Thursday
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: Hoooo!
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: Hooo!!!
[13:53] Roger Amdahl: thanks herman
[13:53] argus Portal: Goodnight all
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: enjoy everyone
[13:53] Rocky Mensing: thanks all...good night
[13:53] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ..^_^