On 25 Feb 2013, at 01:30, Craig Weinberg wrote:



On Sunday, February 24, 2013 3:07:12 AM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 22 Feb 2013, at 17:45, Craig Weinberg wrote:



On Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:11:36 PM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 21 Feb 2013, at 15:06, Craig Weinberg wrote:



On Thursday, February 21, 2013 5:58:20 AM UTC-5, Bruno Marchal wrote:

On 20 Feb 2013, at 21:15, meekerdb wrote:

On 2/20/2013 8:02 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
Hi John,


On 19 Feb 2013, at 23:28, John Mikes wrote:

Craig, it seems we engaged in a fruitful discussion- thank you.

I want to reflect to a few concepts only from it to clarify MY stance. First my use of a 'model'. There are different models, from the sexy young females over the math-etc. descriptions of theoretical concepts (some not so sexy). - What I (after Robert Rosen?) use by this word is an extract of something, we may not know in toto. Close to an 'Occamized' version, but "cut" mostly by ignorance of the 'rest of it', not for added clarity. Applied to whatever we know TODAY about the world. Or: we THINK WE KNOW.


A scientist know nothing. Just nothing, not even his own consciousness.

In science we have only beliefs,

But then, according to you, if they happen to be true they are knowledge.

Yes, but "we" can't know that.

Can "we" know that we can't know that?

Yes. That something that the machine can prove and know.

How can we know what a machine can prove or know if our own knowledge is only belief?

Because some time our beliefs are true.

What does 'true' mean if we can only believe?

We can't define that, but we have a lot of example.

Suppose we meet and that I give you a slap. Then "Bruno gave a slap to Craig" would be true. It would not be true, if we meet, or not, and don't give you a slap.

When we believe something, it means that we believe that it is true, even when keeping in mind that it is a belief, and that we might be wrong, that is not true.

p is true means that it is the case that p, in the domain where p is supposed to be applied. If you believe that Obama is the president of the USA, it means that you believe that in our local geographico- historical situation, it is a true fact, even if you can have a doubt, because you might find conceivable to wake up, perhaps younger, and that Ronald Reagan is the president of the US. A black pothead being a president of America... that sound like a dream, after all.






We can't know that, but we can still have sharable beliefs. By a sort of informal habits, in most informal talk, we use very often the term "know" for the beliefs based on quite common sharable assumption, like "O has a successor", or the laws of addition and multiplication. But when thinking rigorously *about* such kind of beliefs, we have to use the term belief. It is simple: except for the consciousness here and now, we have only beliefs.

I don't think it has to be that simple. You are only taking your own word for that limitation on your sense. We could have all kinds of intuitive influences beneath the threshold of our conscious awareness which are in fact true beyond mere belief.

True is not opposed to belief. Sometimes some beliefs can be true. But once a belief concerns a reality different from consciousness-here-and- now, I don't see how we can be sure that any statement is true, independently of their plausibility. We can be failed on all dreamable content, except one (actual consciousness).




Rather than assuming that belief is a logical stick model built up from nothing,

It is not build up for nothing. It is an arithmetical relation between a number, and some universal numbers.





I think it makes more sense to see it as a local fog which interferes with out larger grounding in the sense of eternity and totality.

Knowledge does that. By linking belief with truth.

We say: "Jim believed that Brussels was the capital of the USA, but now, he know better". We don't say "Jim knew that Brussels was the capital of the USA, but now, he believed better".




We can't bootstrap belief from inert conditions - sense and participation are implicit and inherent in any discussion of belief, whether we acknowledge it or not.

I study the case of machines believing in some limited number of sentences in computer science, with some rules of reasoning, and study what they can believe, known, observe, feel, etc. With precise definition of each terms. It is testable, as comp predicts they will believe in some precise physics that we can compare with nature, and so we can refute comp+classical-epistemology. As it is a very weak theory (comp is weak, and classical epistemology too), its refutation would make us learning a lot. If it is not refuted, then we have a much simpler theory of everything, ---simpler than the actual one, which is QM (+general relativity). And the new theory explains the difference between qualia and quanta, and this is a point where QM fails to address explicitly the question, although with Everett it leans toward the comp theory.

Bruno







Craig






It is not obvious, and is based on the fact, known already by Gödel, that machines or formal systems can prove their own incompleteness theorem. The rest follows from the Theatetus' definition of knowledge, and some work.

Isn't the proof of incompleteness also incomplete?

It would not be a proof. But I see perhaps what you mean. The proof is complete as far as you believe in the multiplication and addition tables.



i.e. we don't know that what senses we have access to unless our personal range of sense informs us about them. We may in fact have intuitions which are true without being believed or even detected explicitly (hence blindsight).

Yes. Our most elementary beliefs are always non justifiable assumptions. Most are plausibly imposed to us by millions of years of evolution. But that very statement presuppose them to make sense.












I'd say it's the other way around, scientists have no beliefs, only hypotheses.


I define "belief" by "hypothesis" or "derived from hypotheses". That's why in the ideally correct case, belief = provable. This works because provable does not entail truth.





If you ask a physicist, for example, if he believes GR he will probably give a complicated answer about how it is our best theory of macroscopic gravitation and it has proven correct in many experiments and it is our best model - BUT it is almost certainly not right because its inconsistent with QM.

OK. (assuming QM is correct, of course).


I think that if QM were applied to itself,

QM is an abstract theory about physical objects, not about abstract theories. If you meant that QM applies to physicists, seen as physical object, then we get the MWI.

I mean that if the kind of thought processes which have gone into QM were applied to the theories of QM themselves, then it would likely mandate that QM can only be as true as it is false. Every truth in the theory can only exist by borrowing from a false condition that it creates.

?
QM is inferred through observation and occam razor. It is just a very simple theory which explains a lot. but with comp, we have to deduce it from arithmetic, if we want to test the comp solution of the mind body problem, that is comp theory of qualia, which includes the quanta.








it would likely conclude that it was at once the truest and the least true theory to date, and I would agree with that.


see above - QM is true/false just as quantum is particle/wave...

That makes no sense, even as a metaphor.



unless theories are exempt from physics... which would mean that QM is just unacknowledged dualism.

Not QM without collapse of the wave. But with the wave collapse, QM is indeed a form of dualism.

Bruno




Craig

?

Bruno





Craig




and the best we can hope, is to refute them, by making them clear enough.

I insist on this because there is a widespread misconsception in popular science, but also among many materialist scientists (= many scientists), that we can know something "scientifically", but that is provably wrong with comp, and plausiibly wrong with common sense.

A scientist who make public his knowledge is a pseudo-scientist, or a pseudo-religious person, or is simply mad.

Is that true of logicians too. :-)

Yes. Actually logicians made this explicit, where most scientists are unaware that their "scientific beliefs" are hypotheses. Many believe that they are just "truth". Well, not all, of course. Some scientists have still a scientific view, thanks God!

:)

Bruno





Brent


There is always an interrogation mark after any theory. Theories are beliefs, never public knowledge. Even 1+1=2. But we can (temporally) agree on some theories. We have to do that to refute them, and learn.

Bruno




*
You mention 'statistical' in connection with adaptation. I deny the validity of statistics (and so: of probability) because it depends on the borderlines to observe in "counting" the items. 1000 years ago (or maybe yesterday) such boderlines were different, consequently different statistics came up with different chances of occurrence in them (not even mentioning the indifference of WHEN all those chances may materialize).
*
"...within a looped continuum of perceived causality..."
Perceived causality is restricted to the 'model' content, while it may be open to be entailed by instigators beyond our present knowledge. Furthermore (in the flimsy concept we have about 'time' I cannot see a 'loop' - only a propagating curve as everything changes by the time we think to 'close' the loop (like the path of a planet as the Sun moves).
*
"...I couldn't agree with you more. That's a big part of what my TOE is all about http://multisenserealism.com/8-matter-energy/ ..." Your TOE? - MY FOOT. - Agnostically we are so far from even speaking about 'everything' that the consecutively observable levels of gathering some knowledge (adjusted to our ever evolving mental capabilities into some personal 'mini- solipsism' - different always for everyone) is a great pretension of the human conventional sciences. (Don't take it personally, please). We LIVE and THINK within (my) model. Whatever is beyond is unknowable. But it affects the model content.
The URL was an enjoyable reading - with Stephen's addition to it.

Best regards
John Mikes



On Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 9:47 PM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> wrote:
I was so impressed with this page 
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/misconceptions_faq.php#a1

that I thought it was worth listing a few here:

MISCONCEPTION: Natural selection involves organisms trying to adapt.

MISCONCEPTION: Natural selection acts for the good of the species.

MISCONCEPTION: The fittest organisms in a population are those that are strongest, healthiest, fastest, and/or largest. MISCONCEPTION: Natural selection is about survival of the very fittest individuals in a population.
MISCONCEPTION: All traits of organisms are adaptations.

MISCONCEPTION: Evolutionary theory implies that life evolved (and continues to evolve) randomly, or by chance.

MISCONCEPTION: Evolution results in progress; organisms are always getting better through evolution.







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