Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

Paul Gorman (
5 Sep 1996 19:54:01 GMT

Silveroak ( wrote:
: Paul Gorman ( wrote:

: : 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.

You seem to have missed the point entirely. I'll restate it then: science
proceeds from the sole assumption that what we observe is real. You have
stated that your mental state influences the rate of acceleration due to
gravity. You have observed and you have produced an empirically testable
hypothesis. To that extent you are doing science. All that you now
need to test whether acceleration due to gravity does change around you
(i.e. prove that your model is valid).

You are correct in saying that these facts don't show up in my model of
gravity. But I have never observed gravity changing significantly from
it's average value (I *do* wonder how you measured your acceleration
during a fall from a bike however). So I'm inclined to reject your
hypothesis as being the result of an insufficiently rigourous analysis.

Feel free to prove me wrong though.

: 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.

You really do seem to have trouble grasping this: science does not and
cannot ever describe the TRUE STATE of the universe. You seem to be
basing your argument on a non-point.

: 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.

If an entity is unobservable in principle then its existence cannot be
proven or disproven. Another fact you seem to have trouble grasping.
It is a metaphysical hypothesis and as such yields no questions which
would allow us to determine whether it is true or false. To that extent
it is meaningless.

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

A cursory examination of the history of science would show you that this
is an entirely false view. In fact the two greatest scientific theories
(that my brain can come with at this moment) of this century have come
from either the observation of inconsistencies (Quantum Mechanics and
black body radiation) or from thought experiments revealing inconsistencies
in prevailing systems (Relativity).

: : 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?

Irrelevant and fails to address the point. But if you want an answer
then ask a mountaineer.

: : 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.

No. Scientists observed that neither wave nor particle model was sufficient
to account for the observed behaviours of the particles being studied.
The solution was to treat these particles as *neither* wave nor particle but
as (if you like) wavicles. This model works very nicely but predicts some
very strange things. With many possible interpretations.

: 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.

I'm familiar with the two slit experiment and it's implications. I'm not
so sure about your description of it however. If the computer records the
data and then erases it before it is observed the how do you know it was
recorded? I'm also curious as to the thought process which regards a
verification of one of the cornerstones of modern science as a vindication
of their thesis (which seems to be: Science doesn't work).

: 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...

Very well. Hidden variable hypothesis. Many Worlds hypothesis. Supra-
determinism. There are a number of internally consistent theories and
hypotheses arising out of the *observations*. Interestingly you seem
to have gone for the most mainstream of them (Copenhagen Interpretation).
Life is splendid in it's irony sometimes.

: : 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.

I can account for all these observations with a different theory
But I won't. All I will note is that you have shown no neccessary
connection between expectation and result. It's not that you aren't doing
science old bean, just that the science you're doing is appalingly bad.

You are aware that quantum effects are only observable on the quantum

: : 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.

Actually I'd say its more likely to be because your models don't in fact
predict the outcomes of any given series of events better than the
current model.