Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

Silveroak (
23 Aug 1996 17:30:12 GMT

Paul Gorman ( wrote:
: Silveroak ( wrote:
: : It makes more assumptions than that! It assumes, to begin with, that
: : none of the phenominon it seeks to explain are influenced by an unobserved
: : sentient being (non sentient beings, following predictable behavior patterns,
: : are irrelevent). Thus anything that was influenced by such a being science
: : would have to find another explination for, ussually involving the suggestion
: : of fraud. (Gee, if we can achieve the same results by fraud, it must be fraud
: : every time).
: If the unobserved sentient beings exist and influence all the phenomena we
: observe and we assume that they are (in principle at least) observable, then
: this is an empirical hypothesis. By what mechanism do you suggest these
: beings influence the phenomena we observe? What is the nature of their
: influence? These are among the questions your hypothesis throws up *if* the
: entities in question are observable? Is it useful to seek an answer for
: them?
: Probably not. Consider the case of gravity? We can assume that there
: are unobserved entities causing things to fall (and that if so their
: behaviours are remarkably consistent) and cast about for evidence of
: their existence. But we already have a working model which provides
: consistent results without invoking any unobserved sentient beings.
: A simpler one based simply on the assumption that what we percieve is
: real.
: This has been a rather longwinded way of saying that your argument in
: no way contradicts mine. If your sentient beings are *unobserved* then
: they do not really contradict the view that science builds from an
: assumption of that what we observe is real.

Two problems remain with that, however. The first is that sentient
entities may not always behave in an empirical manner- IOW they may have a
"rule of thumb" of 9.8 m/s^2 for acceleration due to gravity, but bend the
rules in certain circumstances- which would explain things I have seen such
as an expiriment to measure gravity in which gravity averaged to 9.8 but
extrapolated to 24.9 m/s^2... and the person who gave us the class lab
assignment could find nothing wrong with my method. At other times, under
stress, the gravity near me has apparently dropped to .98 m/s^2 and allowed
me to avoid a painfull accident while bike riding. These aren't necessarily
repeatable, but they certainly don't show up in your model of gravity.
What this finnally comes down to is this- yo begin constructing your
models with the assumption of no intelligent force behind the phenominon- you
have not, in fact, constructed any test which might signify that there *is* a
sentient force behind something (which makes SETI a joke, since any signal they
find is either random static because it's not regular or coming from natural
phenominon because it is...). If there is an intelligent force, the point is
that they can change their minds, and your laberatory evidence will only apply
to the 99% of cases which are bussiness as ussual- certainly sufficient to
build your technology on, but insufficient to say that you are modelling the
TRUE STATE (TM) of the universe.

: OTOH if your unobserved beings are in principle unobservable then we
: can derive no empirical hypotheses about them. They are metaphysical
: entities and fall entirely outside the realm of science.
Yes, and science begins all investigations with the assmption that such
entities do not exist. This has led to organizations suh a PSICOP which are
dedicated entirerly to demonstrating that such entities do not exist because any
evidence suggesting they exist was gathered and annalysed without the specific
assumption that they did not exist.

: : It also assumes consistancy, and assumes that reality is objectively
: : defined- otherwise repeatability would not be an issue (if you repeat an
: : expiriment in a subjectively defined universe, you will obtain the same result
: : since you will *expect* the same result, unless you strongly disbelieve in the
: : orriginal expiriment...)
: Consistancy is observed not assumed. We observe that things fall when we
: drop them. The question of whether they will always fall when we drop them
: cannot be answered. The question of whether the universe is objective or
: subjective is entirely irrelevant since in either case we are assuming the
: realness of reality and asking questions which yield empical hypotheses about
: what we observe.

Inconsistency is also observed, but inconsistant results are rejected
and the process begun again.

: I fail entirely to see where benefit comes into things. Science does
: produce benefits for the world in general. It also produces horrors.
: The perception of benefit or horror though is entirely a shade of opinion.
: It is simply a function of how we choose to define 'benefit'.

That's a question of motivation- if you do not feel that the quest
is beneficial, then why engage upon it?

: : Also, while I am on the topic, do you not fin it strangely coincidental
: : that the one time science has come to two contradictory conclusions (quantum
: : physics, wave & particle, though the two models are mutually exclusive, and
: : only one will occur at a time...) was when two different scientists were
: : purusing opposite trains of investigation simultaneously without communication
: : between them? It would certainly seem to argue for the subjective universe
: : model.
: I don't know that you've understood quantum mechanics or it's history.
: Quantum mechanics arose from the inability of either the wave or the
: particle model to account for the observed behaviour of the entities
: that they were supposed to model. The observation that these entities
: appeared to act as both waves and particles made a new paradigm necessary:
: 'wave-particle' duality. What we observe is real, we observe this, it
: models well like this...
The point *I* was making is that if you look at the first proof of each
there were two sets of scientists working in isolation, who came up with, what
would be at the time considered mutually exclusive results. So science covered
it's ass when both were shown to be repeatable by saying "hey, we have a
special case" and never considered the possibility that the observation of the
expiriment might influence the expiriment.
In fact, at a later time this was shown to be true, since if one of the
two slits used to demonstrate the wave properties is equiped with a particle
detector which is active then the expiriment will demonstrate that there is
*not* a wave, and the behavior will be that of particles moving through two
slits. The exception to this is that if a computer records the data of incoming
particles, then erases that information at a later time with nobody having
observed the data, then the etected particles will behave as if they had not
been detected, and will behave like a wave instead of a particle.
Now explain that without involving the interference of sentient beings,
given the fact that the behavior for a particle only occurs when known sentient
beings (humans) observe the data indicating that it is a particle...

: Perhaps fewer people threw spanners in the works. I honestly fail to
: see how this is relevant. Please explain.
Subject deleted, but the explination: for one moment assume a
*subjective* reality- things only work if people expect them to. Now, put
yourself in the position of both a scientist an the peasants about 150-200
years ago. The scientist understands the machine, and expects it to work. The
peasants are confused by this "infernal contraption" and expect it to blow
apart as an abomination to nature and God.
So reality flips a coin, and some of the time it works, some of the
time it fails catastrophically. After a few more models (which the peasants
have observed working better over time, thus reducing the chance of failure
as they come to expect it to work most of the time) the evice can now be
operated without the scientist present. After a lot more time, as people
come to expect technological devices to work, they do, and the long drawn
out process of several models from a century ago no longer applies.

: : : Are the predictions of scientific models more accurate in determining
: : : the outcome of a series of events? Less accurate? None of the above?
: :
: : Depends upon the events in question. I have certainly seen a number
: : of trails of events for which the scientific prediction was wrong. In my case,
: : several of those events deal with the way that gravity functions...
: None of which invalidates what I said. If a scientific model
: determines the outcome of a series of events more accurately than
: another, alternative, model then it is preferable. And vice versa.
: In fact if your alternative model explains the observed result of
: a series of events more accurately than the current scientific model
: then pretty soon it (or a hacked variant) will *be* the scientific model.
No, because it is, as you have said earlier, not science.