Saturday, June 11, 2016

Last Response to Hugo

This is a response to Hugo's last comment. It is placed here due to length.

The above comments demonstrate the total anti-rationality of your position, which is that of complete rejection of the principles of rational thought. This should, I think serve to conclude this conversation, precisely because of that rejection. The entire body of scientific knowledge theory outside the single exception of the ideology of evolution supports the theory of objective, replicable, falsifiable, demonstration which is universally known as Empiricism as the sole source of knowledge of material existence, and the sole source of what are known as contingent facts, those being the only objective knowledge available (Aristotle; Descartes; Hume; Locke; Berekley; Bacon; Russell; the Enlightenment Empiricists; Newton; Popper; Einstein; Feynman; etc. ad physicists/chemists/modern biologists).

Here is Popper:
”So it is, I hold, the possibility of overthrowing it, or it’s falsifiability, that constitutes the possibility of testing it, and therefore the scientific character of a theory; and the fact that all tests of a theory are attempted falsifications of predictions derived with its help, furnishes the clue to the scientific method. This view of the scientific method is corroborated by the history of science, which shows that scientific theories are often overthrown by experiments, and that the overthrow of theories is indeed the vehicle of scientific progress. The contention that science is circular cannot be upheld.”
Popper; The Open Society and Its Enemies; 1945; Routldge Classics; 2003; p288.
The evolutionary Appeal to Authority is both circular and an obvious logical fallacy: that constitutes a failure of evolutionary theories of all stripes.

As for the historical requirement for falsifiable demonstration for knowledge of material entities:
“For this reason, science requires more than mere deduction. Altogether, then, the currency of science is demonstration (apodeixis), where a demonstration is a deduction with premises revealing the causal structures of the world, set forth so as to capture what is necessary and to reveal what is better known and more intelligible by nature [I.e., experiments] (APo 71b33–72a5, Phys. 184a16–23, EN 1095b2–4).


"Aristotle’s approach to the appropriate form of scientific explanation invites reflection upon a troubling epistemological question: how does demonstration begin? If we are to lay out demonstrations such that the less well known is inferred by means of deduction from the better known, then unless we reach rock-bottom, we will evidently be forced either to continue ever backwards towards the increasingly better known, which seems implausibly endless, or lapse into some form of circularity, which seems undesirable. The alternative seems to be permanent ignorance. Aristotle contends:
‘Some people think that since knowledge obtained via demonstration requires the knowledge of primary things, there is no knowledge. Others think that there is knowledge and that all knowledge is demonstrable. Neither of these views is either true or necessary. The first group, those supposing that there is no knowledge at all, contend that we are confronted with an infinite regress. They contend that we cannot know posterior things because of prior things if none of the prior things is primary. Here what they contend is correct: it is indeed impossible to traverse an infinite series. Yet, they maintain, if the regress comes to a halt, and there are first principles, they will be unknowable, since surely there will be no demonstration of first principles—given, as they maintain, that only what is demonstrated can be known. But if it is not possible to know the primary things, then neither can we know without qualification or in any proper way the things derived from them. Rather, we can know them instead only on the basis of a hypothesis, to wit, if the primary things obtain, then so too do the things derived from them. The other group agrees that knowledge results only from demonstration, but believes that nothing stands in the way of demonstration, since they admit circular and reciprocal demonstration as possible.’ (APo. 72b5–21)
Aristotle’s own preferred alternative is clear:
‘We contend that not all knowledge is demonstrative: knowledge of the immediate premises is indemonstrable. Indeed, the necessity here is apparent; for if it is necessary to know the prior things, that is, those things from which the demonstration is derived, and if eventually the regress comes to a standstill, it is necessary that these immediate premises be indemonstrable.' (APo. 72b21–23)
In sum, if all knowledge requires demonstration, and all demonstration proceeds from what is more intelligible by nature to what is less so, then either the process goes on indefinitely or it comes to a halt in undemonstrated first principles, which are known, and known securely. Aristotle dismisses the only remaining possibility, that demonstration might be circular, rather curtly, with the remark that this amounts to ‘simply saying that something is the case if it is the case,’ by which device ‘it is easy to prove anything’ (APo. 72b32–73a6).

Aristotle’s own preferred alternative, that there are first principles of the sciences graspable by those willing to engage in assiduous study, has caused consternation in many of his readers. In Posterior Analytics ii 19, he describes the process by which knowers move from perception to memory, and from memory to experience (empeiria)—which is a fairly technical term in this connection, reflecting the point at which a single universal comes to take root in the mind—and finally from experience to a grasp of first principles. This final intellectual state Aristotle characterizes as a kind of unmediated intellectual apprehension (nous) of first principles (APo. 100a10–b6).”

The First Principles of evolution seem to be primarily "change" and "selection", both of which have no specific meaning and are circular (two items are different - the first "changed" somehow into the second because it came from the first. The second was selected to exist because it exists).

Another First Principle of evolution is Philosophical Materialism, a notoriously internally contradictory false axiom.

The final First Principle of evolution is that evolution science must not be held to norms for objective demonstrative knowledge (Special Pleading).

Isaac Newton:
” The proper method for inquiring after the properties of things is to deduce them from experiments.”
” A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true, for if the things be false, the apprehension of them is not understanding.

Francis Bacon:
“But the best demonstration by far is experience, if it go not beyond the actual experiment.”

"Observation and experiment for gathering material, induction and deduction for elaborating it: these are are only good intellectual tools.""

David Hume:
(Hume illuminates falsifiability, the necessity of cause and effect for continuity, and the necessity of experiments as well as the original cause)
” That the Sun will not rise Tomorrow is no less intelligible a Proposition and implies no more contradiction than the Affirmation that it will rise. We should in vain, therefore, attempt to demonstrate its falsehood.

” If ... the past may be no Rule for the future, all Experience becomes useless and can give rise to no Inferences or Conclusions.”

”If we take in our hand any Volume; of Divinity or School Metaphysics, for Instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract Reasoning concerning Quantity or Number? No. Does it contain any experimental Reasoning concerning Matter of Fact and Existence? No. Commit it then to the Flames: For it can contain nothing but Sophistry and Illusion.

”Tho' there be no such Thing as Chance in the World; our Ignorance of the real Cause of any Event has the same Influence on the Understanding, and begets a like Species of Belief or Opinion.

”To consider the matter aright, reason is nothing but a wonderful and unintelligible instinct in our souls, which carries us along a certain train of ideas, and endows them with particular qualities, according to their particular situations and relations. This instinct, 'tis true, arises from past observation and experience; but can anyone give the ultimate reason, why past experience and observation produces such an effect, any more than why nature alone should produce it?
Rene Descartes
” I should consider that I know nothing about physics if I were able to explain only how things might be, and were unable to demonstrate that they could not be otherwise.
Rene Descartes”

” In philosophy, when we make use of false principles, we depart the farther from the knowledge of truth and wisdom exactly in proportion to the care with which we cultivate them, and apply ourselves to the deduction of diverse consequences from them, thinking that we are philosophizing well, while we are only departing the farther from the truth;”
James Clerk Maxwell
” But when we face the great questions about gravitation Does it require time? Is it polar to the 'outside of the universe' or to anything? Has it any reference to electricity? or does it stand on the very foundation of matter–mass or inertia? then we feel the need of tests, whether they be comets or nebulae or laboratory experiments or bold questions as to the truth of received opinions.
” The popularisation of scientific doctrines is producing as great an alteration in the mental state of society as the material applications of science are effecting in its outward life. Such indeed is the respect paid to science, that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recals [sic] some well-known scientific phrase.”
Here is Locke:
(Locke defines “intuitive knowledge” as the human intellectual ability to discern agreement or disagreement of two assertions).
”Now in every step reason makes in demonstrative knowledge, there is an intuitive knowledge of that agreement or disagreement it seeks with the next intermediate idea which it uses as a proof: for if it were not so, that yet would need a proof; since without the perception of agreement or disagreement, there is no knowledge produced.
Locke; An Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Prometheus Books; 1995; p435.

Robert Boyle:
The Requisites of a good Hypothesis are:

That It be Intelligible.

That It neither Assume nor Suppose anything Impossible, unintelligible, or demonstrably False.

That It be consistent with Itself.

That It be lit and sufficient to Explicate the Phaenomena, especially the chief.

That It be, at least, consistent, with the rest of the Phaenomena It particularly relates to, and do not contradict any other known Phaenomena of nature, or manifest Physical Truth.

The Qualities and Conditions of an Excellent Hypothesis are:

That It be not Precarious, but have sufficient Grounds In the nature of the Thing Itself or at least be well recommended by some Auxiliary Proofs.

That It be the Simplest of all the good ones we are able to frame, at least containing nothing that is superfluous or Impertinent
That It be the only Hypothesis that can Explicate the Phaenomena; or at least, that do's Explicate them so well.

That it enable a skilful Naturailst to foretell future Phaenomena by the Congruity or Incongruity to it; and especially the event of such Experlm'ts as are aptly devis'd to examine It, as Things that ought, or ought not, to be consequent to It.

These intellectual commitments to empirical, testable, falsifiable, replicable science precede Popper by nearly 300 years in the definition of knowledge as demonstrable and falsifiable.

And Feynman:
” It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.
Richard P. Feynman”

Albert Einstein:
” "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong." - Albert Einstein”
Robert Oppenheimer:
” Science starts with preconception, with the common culture, and with common sense. It moves on to observation, is marked by the discovery of paradox, and is then concerned with the correction of preconception. It moves then to use these corrections for the designing of further observation and for more refined experiment. And as it moves along this course the nature of the evidence and experience that nourish it becomes more and more unfamiliar; it is not just the language that is strange [to common culture].”
'The Growth of Science and the Structure of Culture', Daedalus (Winter 1958), 87, No. 1,

Werner Heisenberg:
”It is generally believed that our science is empirical and that we draw our concepts and our mathematical constructs from the empirical data. If this were the whole truth, we should, when entering into a new field, introduce only such quantities as can directly be observed, and formulate natural laws only by means of these quantities."

“It is true that in quantum theory we cannot rely on strict causality. But by repeating the experiments many times, we can finally derive from the observations statistical distributions, and by repeating such series of experiments, we can arrive at objective statements concerning these distributions.”

These standards are applied to all sciences, except evolution and cosmology (cosmology does NOT claim truth, or enforce beliefs; skepticism is not punished). Those endeavors which do not or cannot use these standards are not science. They are speculation, based on contingent facts taken from other endeavors which are, actually, really, empirical in nature. Evolution is not biology, but it borrows contingent factoids from biology, then speculates beyond those factoids, beyond actual contingent knowledge, in order to produce non-falsifiable stories about history. Evolution does not contribute to modern biology; evolution is parasitic on modern biology, and produces ONLY speculation. But evolutionists Special Plead for exceptions to all rules in order for evolution to be accorded respect which it does not deserve.

Mutation is not a primary cause; it is an undifferentiated and undefined general term for the effect (change) produced by a prior cause. Thus the undifferentiated term "mutation" has no actual useful, specific meaning until the details of the molecular change which actually occurred, its cause, and its consequence for the living entity that incurred the molecular change have been objectively established. Without that, only specious conclusions can be (and will be) drawn.

The black moth issue is a prime example:
Speculation #1: A mutation found in a non-coloration area of DNA is discovered. It is speculated to have caused white moths to turn black.

Speculation #2: Only 95% of the black moths even have the mutation. It is speculated that the scientists failed in their duty to find all the mutations.

Speculation #3: Only 95% of the black moths even have the mutation. It is speculated that a second unprovable evolutionary hypothetical process – convergent evolution – is the second cause for changing white to black.
The black moth issue contains one, and only one demonstrable fact (which has not even been non-falsified by objective parties); the single contingent factoid is this:
a mutation of unknown consequence has been reportedly discovered in 95% of the black moths, which is reportedly absent in the white moths.
To claim any consequence for this finding is completely outside of what is actually found, and any such claim is purely ideological, and not in the least empirical. Even the most timid dollop of skepticsm would agree with that. But in the ideology of evolution, such skepticism is vanishingly rare; in fact, skepticism is punished in those who have careers in either biology or evolution.

Evolution clearly falls into this realm of non-demonstrative speculation:
(1) Using co-opted modern biological contingent facts in order to:

(2) produce speculation about historical observations which are claimed to be caused by unspecified “mutation” and unspecified conditions of “selection” and/or other non-specific causes (multiple nonspecific causation for a single effect) in the pursuit of justification of a theory of creation by purely natural forces.
The fact that you call empiricism MY personal subjective standard, which does not apply to evolution, is irrational:
”You impose YOUR own subjective standards; that's what I was pointing out.”

And I showed conclusively that that’s crap."

No, you haven't; you just repeated what facts are, in general. And you added commentaries around it:

"Why is this so hard for you to get?"

A prime example; just some sort of passive-aggressive insult implying I don't get it, because it's too "hard" for me. But I get it, I am explaining it to you; telling you exactly what you get wrong and why, as patiently as I could.”

You do NOT get it. No. That's well demonstrated. You ignore what I say, and merely claim I have no right to say it because it is subjective/ignorant/wrong for unspecified reasons, when in fact it is evolution which is subjective SPECULATION-ONLY, APPEAL TO AUTHORITY, CIRCULAR, SPECIAL PLEADING and without any possibility of objective, independent demonstration for purposes of empirical generation of contingent knowledge. You ignore that completely and try instead to discredit that by attacking me. Your response is purely desperate rhetorical Ad Hominem, and no, you do not get it. By merely repeating the ideology, you prove nothing.

Here is an example of complete rejection of the application of rational processes as applied to evolution, by means of repeating unfalsifiable dogma:

”Evolution is both a Theory, as a set of explanations for the observed diversity of life, and a fact, as the observed mechanism of mutation and selection. So yes, evolutionary biology does produce what you are describing as valid scientific observations yielding contingent facts. It does not matter what YOU think should come after these [...] . The facts are what they are, not what observations some people would 'like' to see.

When asked for these facts, you provide either nothing (the usual offering) or you provide speculation. Which is the expectation, because there is nothing else in evolution which can be offered. Evolution is empty of objective demonstration. And then you make statements like the above bolded ideological dogma claiming that it is a fact that facts exist. But you also say the following:

” Now, this just-so story is nothing but a story, right? I cannot prove that this is what happened, nobody can. Because that's not the point.

You are absolutely correct in this admission: Proof of the claims made by the “science” of evolution is not the point of the evolution “science”… but yet the claim for evolution is that it possesses Truth, Science, and Fact. This is your position. It requires severe Equivocation of the terms “Truth, Science, and Fact”, to hold such beliefs.

You are unable to apply a single quantum of skepticism to these speculations, much less question the axioms which are necessarily presupposed in order to support them. That is firmly established. So there is no point in having any further discussion beyond this point, because your response will be –- NOT to provide objective, reproducible, falsifiable facts (as you admit they don’t exist; facts are "not the point") –- but to make claims in dogmatic ideological form as you have done in the above, insisting that objective facts exist, somewhere, out there in the fog of undefined causation, in the mystical possession of the Priests of Evolution. And if the benighted skeptic like myself would just find these Priests of Evolution, prostrate myself before their supreme presences and profess advance belief, they might allow me into their ring of mystical knowledge, which to the benighted outsider appears to be total speculation. Somehow the scales of skepticism will fall from my eyes, and the speculations will become fully visible as the immutable objective FACTS that they really are in that special zone of invisible, magical reality, to the eyes of the Priests and True Believers, such as yourself. But FIRST, I am required to BELIEVE.

You say:
” Ok, but 'folks like myself' are actually caused by people like you! Not the other way around. Science moves on without input from people like you. The denial of evolution brings nothing to the table, provides no knowledge, no experimentation, no hypothesis, no novel ideas, really, nothing.

Of course, evolution does not provide any knowledge, experimentation, falsifiable hypotheses, or usable ideas, either, does it? Nor does it provide any means of prediction from fundamental (molecular) cause to effect (say from land mammal to whale), as does actual empirical science. That is the actual purpose of science, isn't it? And evolution cannot possibly ever do that.

On the other hand, Rejection of Falseness brings to the table a bright light shining on phony claims of truth, science, and fact – none of which are attachable to evolution. As a result, any light on the subject is attacked as "ignorance", while never producing any facts of which one could be ignorant.
”The only thing that does happen is that when people who understand evolution discuss it, some ignorant folk will inevitably bring up their skepticism of a well-supported scientific field and try to accuse the entire scientific community of fraud.”
This is a false accusation regarding any position taken here. It is a functional rhetorical LIE, in the form of a purposeful smear. Of all the sciences, only evolution is a fraud by virtue of its false claims attaching itself to truth, science and fact, and the bullying that it "must be believed". Modern Biology is a respected empirical, testable, falsifiable science. Evolution is a parasite on Modern Biology.
”Trying to explain why that skeptic is wrong can be interesting, and useful for others who are also unsure about what science found, over time.

But it is not, absolutely not the case, that you are the one who needs to have a 'Discussion Zone on Evolution' because others are trying to shove something down your throat. You decided to put yourself at odd with the scientific community. You are ignorant, you misrepresent facts, you are a radical skeptic, and you are the one who needs to prove his position. But you will not, because you cannot. Evolution is based on solid science that you deny. And that's the end of the story. You can then decide to keep being ignorant, and insult the critical thinking skills of those who do understand and accept BIOLOGY and the Theory of Evolution, or you can... well, there is no 'or', because we both know that's exactly what you will continue doing.”

It ‘s hard to misrepresent facts, when there are none. So the entire premise is false. And my position is clearly the case: evolution CANNOT provide objective, replicable, falsifiable empirical evidence for its claims regarding historical processes. Your claims just above do not falsify any of my claims; they merely assert more of your believer’s rhetorical dogma, and, of course, your constant insults. If you had “solid science”, you would have presented it long ago. You did not. Instead, you make empty claims, over and over, as if those sorts of claims are all the evidence which is needed to garner the respect you feel that speculation-as-"science" deserves.

Because I reject your belief dogma (speculation=science=fact=truth=immutable knowledge), you charge me with ignorance, radical skepticism, and lack of proof. I fully accept all three charges.

I remain ignorant of any substantive falsifiable empirical evidence for the Speculation of Evolution despite decades of looking for it;

I do assert a modicum of rational skepticism by subjecting evolution to the intellectual norms required of actual empirical sciences, and that places me into the radical category because skepticism is not allowed in the ideological cult of evolution - which must be accepted before even any discussion can take place;

and I do assert a lack of proof, specifically for evolution, a failure of evolution to which you admit, as it is “not the point” of evolutionary “science”.

Here's the last example I’ll discuss (again):
The claim that Genetic Drift (destruction of information as is clearly shown at the site) produces "evolution" is shown to be a Fallacy of Equivocation for the word "evolution" (taken traditionally to mean speciation into trees of life, not eradications of lineages). Your comment regarding how the difference got there in the first place shows that you don't believe it either, yet you defend it purely by yet another in a long line of Appeals to Authority. Such fallacies are all you ever actually provide. Genetic Drift does not generate new features. Genetic Drift destroys information. The site clearly shows that, yet it calls that destruction, “evolution”. A clear cut Equivocation.

I won't respond to your further comments on this subject, for the reasons given above, and which I summarize here:
a) there are no actual objective, falsifiable facts ever given;

b) you provide only false claims;

c) dogma and logical fallacies of Appeals (which are circular to fallacious sources) are the common responses.

e) Those are rigidly held, are repeated as if they are “fact” (another Fallacy of Equivocation), and not discussable unless they are first accepted as truths (otherwise ignorance, et. al. is asserted against the skeptic).
So this particular discussion with you is over. [I now notice that you are leaving anyway; go in peace].

My Conclusion:
The claims made above for support of evolution are anti-rational, prejudiced, logically false, rhetorical and not dialectic, and intellectually irresponsible for ignoring rational standards. They completely ignore the intellectual standards of empiricism, and Special Plead for exemptions to all such standards for evolution, because evolution cannot provide any replicable, falsifiable, objective knowledge.

1 comment:

Steven Satak said...

My own response to Hugo stands. He is delusional.

To paraphrase Boswell's Johnson, “Nay, Sir, if you will not take the universal opinion of mankind, I have nothing to say."

Hugo is not here to reason. He is here to bloviate and prop up the parallel world he alone inhabits. I will not be used so. I will have nothing more to do with his madness.