On 4/2/2013 6:44 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:


On Tuesday, April 2, 2013 8:07:48 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:

    On 4/2/2013 3:54 PM, John Mikes wrote:
    Dear Stathis,
    your lengthy reply to Craig is a bit longer than I can manage to reply in 
all
    facets so here is a condensed opinion:

    Your position about the 'material' world (atoms, etc.) seems a bit 
mechanistic:
    like us, the (call it:) inanimates are also different no matter how 
identical we
    think they are in those lines we observe by our instruments and 
reductionist means.
    You ask about Na-ions: well, even atoms/ions are different to a wider 
scrutiny than
    enclosed in our physical sciences. Just  think about the fission-sequence -
    unpredictable WHICH one will undergo it next. It maybe differential within 
the
    atomic nucleus, may be in the circumstances and their so far not 
established impact
    on the individual atoms (ions?) leading to a "next one".

That would imply a hidden variable in the atom which determined when it decayed. Local hidden variables have been ruled out by numerous experiments. Non-local
    hidden variables (as in Bohm's quantum mechanics) are not ruled out in
    non-relativistic experiments but it doesn't appear possible to extend them 
to
    quantum field theory in which the number of particles is not conserved.

    We know only a portion of the totality and just think that everything has 
been
    covered.
    I am not representing Craig, I make remarks upon your ideas of everything 
being
    predictably identical to its similars.

    The (so far) "known facts" are neither: not 'known' and not 'facts'.
    Characteristics are restricted to yesterday's inventory and many potentials 
are not
    even dreamed of.
    We can manipulate a lot of circumstances, but be ready for others that may 
show up
    tomorrow - beyond our control.

    I agree with Craig (in his response to this same long post):

"...Nothing is absolutely identical to anything else. Nothing is even identical to itself from moment to moment. Identical is a local approximation
    contingent upon the comprehensiveness of sense capacities. If your senses 
aren't
    very discerning, then lots of things seem identical...."

    The Schrodinger equation only works if the interchange of two bosons makes 
no
    difference - so it is implicit in the success of quantum mechanics that 
they are
    identical.


Does being interchangeable necessarily mean identical?

It does if the number of states that count toward the entropy doesn't increase when you consider interchanges. Cars obey Maxwell-Boltzman statistics, elementary particles don't.

If I am driving in traffic, my car could be exchanged with any other on the road and be observed to behave in the same way, yet my experience is that the car which I am driving is very different from every other car in the universe. If we close our eyes to the reality of subjectivity, then we can't be very surprised when we fail to see how reality could be subjective.

    Similarly the solution changes sign if fermions are interchanged and that 
requires
    that the two fermions be identical.  Otherwise bosons wouldn't obey 
bose-einstein
    statistics and fermions wouldn't obey fermi-dirac statistics, they would 
both obey
    Maxwell-Boltzman statistics - but experiment shows they don't.


    I would add: no TWO events have identical circumstances to face,
    even if you do no detect inividual differences in the observed data of
    participating entities, the influencing circumstances are different from 
instance
    to instance and call for changes in processes. Bio, or not.

    But that becomes an all-purpose excuse for anything-goes.  No 
generalization is
    possible, no pattern can be extrapolated.


Not true. Any generalization is permitted as long as it is recognized as such and not mistaken for a literal and exhaustive description of nature.

You mean any generalization at all? Or any generalization that passes all empirical tests. No generalization every needs to be nor is likely to be an exhaustive description of nature, the whole point of generalizing is to abstract away particulars.

If your generalization makes consciousness undetectable,

You've never provided any way to detect consciousness. I and others have proposed that the way to detect consciousness is by observing behavior - but you have rejected this saying that one would have to observe that the conscious being was produced "organically" by growing from a cell - which is just invoking magic.

then that generalization is no good for addressing consciousness, but it may very well work for all kinds of precision engineering purposes.


      Yet the success of empiricism and science is evidence that there are 
regularities
    in nature and not every event is unique, replication is possible.


But the failures of empiricism and science to bring about a sane and sustainable way of life for our species are evidence that we cannot afford to assume that regularity is the ultimate truth.

Empiricism and science are responsible for providing us with knowledge of the world - not the wise use of knowledge. You're quite welcome to go the Amazon and join the Yanomano and live without the insane use of the internet and computers and modern medicine. There's apparently no danger that you will infect them with any knowledge either scientific or mathematical.

Brent


Craig


    Brent


    This is one little corner how agnosticism frees up my mind (beware: not 
"freezes"!!).
    John Mikes

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