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    Over 4000 post club Nihilo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    This mentality is precisely the opposite of scientific or even just plain old rational thought. It's called an appeal to popularity fallacy.
    Actually it's not. It's much closer to a valid appeal to authority.

    If there are, say, 1 million credentialed and professional cosmologists in the world ('just a wild guess), and 990,000 of them preach the standard model and general relativity, and the other 10,000 preach something else that contradicts SM/GR, then knowing nothing else, I know that the odds that SM/GR are correct is about 99-to-1. If I don't have any reason to doubt SM/GR, then that's as good as I can get, not being a credentialed and professional cosmologist myself. It's not an appeal to popularity, but a statistical estimation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Have you ever noticed that the majority are almost always wrong?
    No.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    It doesn't matter whether you're talking about the stock market or pop-culture or pop-science. People, by and large, don't think. They feel their way through life, allowing their emotions to carry them hither and yon so long as they aren't alone in their wanderings. The majority can very definitely be wrong and very often is. Scientists are just as human as everyone else and the drive to be accepted and respected by one's peers is a driving force that most aren't even aware of, never mind on guard against.
    Doctors of philosophy in physics must display solid understanding of known physics, and then on top of that introduce new, peer-reviewed knowledge into the human knowledge base, so you're talking about apples and oranges here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Nearly every truly great breakthrough in any field of science you care to name came from the loner, the outcast, the nut, the crank.
    There have been two superstars of physics, Newton and Einstein. After these two, you might argue Planck wrt Quantum, but that's a stretch when compared with the other two men. Nobody else comes close to changing the way that physics is understood than Newton and Einstein. While they may have been seen as loners, outcasts, nuts, or cranks, by someone, at some time, I believe those were minority views, and certainly we don't hear too much about people thinking this nowadays.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    A great many of the things you think are obvious didn't use to be so obvious. Everyone used to know that the Earth was flat and that it was the center of the Universe; The Milky Way was the whole of the Universe; Disease was caused by bad humors and that bloodletting helped people get better; Etc, etc. It was the lone thinker who wasn't afraid to disregard the majority who figured out the truth.
    They figured out things using science though, the scientific method. Those examples you've provided were not developed using science. It isn't a lesson in going against the grain, it's a lesson in using the scientific method.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Now, that doesn't mean that we ought to make the opposite mistake by assuming that the majority is wrong by virtue of the fact that its the majority. The point is that the number of people who either accept or reject something is not relevant to whether that thing is right or wrong, true or false.
    It's irresponsible to say that it is not relevant. It's not proof positive, but it is not irrelevant.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    And whether you're a physicist or not doesn't mean that you are not qualified to make judgments about modern cosmological theories. I don't care how good at math and science you are, if you come to me and tell me that the self-contradictory is the truth, I'm going to know that you've made an error.
    Agreed, of course.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    I don't have to know that 2+2=4 nor do I have to have ever heard of an electron to know that the self-contradictory is false. I may not be able to tell you where the error has been made nor even be able to conceptually understand the issue enough to articulate anything meaningful about the error at all but I can be certain that the error exists or that certainty is not possible at all, including for the cosmologist trying to sell me the contradiction.
    What contradiction?
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  3. #812
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    Actually it's not. It's much closer to a valid appeal to authority.

    If there are, say, 1 million credentialed and professional cosmologists in the world ('just a wild guess), and 990,000 of them preach the standard model and general relativity, and the other 10,000 preach something else that contradicts SM/GR, then knowing nothing else, I know that the odds that SM/GR are correct is about 99-to-1. If I don't have any reason to doubt SM/GR, then that's as good as I can get, not being a credentialed and professional cosmologist myself. It's not an appeal to popularity, but a statistical estimation.
    Appeal to authority is a fallacy of logic just as much as an appeal to popularity would be. I'd agree that it could be considered either one. The point is exactly the same. The point is that who supports a position is not relevant to whether the position is valid. Something is true or false whether all the experts in the world agree or not. This fallacy is nothing but a direct application of the law of excluded middle - one of the fundamental laws of reason that allow you to think and understand and to know anything at all.

    No.
    You should pay closer attention.

    Doctors of philosophy in physics must display solid understanding of known physics, and then on top of that introduce new, peer-reviewed knowledge into the human knowledge base, so you're talking about apples and oranges here.
    No, I'm not either. You're naive as can be if you believe otherwise.

    There have been two superstars of physics, Newton and Einstein. After these two, you might argue Planck wrt Quantum, but that's a stretch when compared with the other two men. Nobody else comes close to changing the way that physics is understood than Newton and Einstein. While they may have been seen as loners, outcasts, nuts, or cranks, by someone, at some time, I believe those were minority views, and certainly we don't hear too much about people thinking this nowadays.
    Einstien wasn't taken seriously by hardly anyone. It's sheer luck that anyone has ever heard of him. One guy - one single guy - happen to read his paper and took it seriously enough to give it the light of day. It was on the strength of that one man's reputation that Einstein's physics career was revived. Otherwise, he'd have fallen into total obscurity and no one would know who he was - no one. Getting published is maybe 10% of the equation, having anyone take what you've published seriously is politics and luck. In science, as with virtually every other field of human endeavor, it's not as much what you know as it is who you know. If you think otherwise, you're sadly mistaken.

    They figured out things using science though, the scientific method.
    This is not relevant to the point. I have no problem with the scientific method. It's the scientists that are the problem. If only scientists would use the scientific method as consistently as they pretend.

    Those examples you've provided were not developed using science.
    So what? That isn't at all relevant to the point.

    It isn't a lesson in going against the grain, it's a lesson in using the scientific method.
    Do you have any evidence at all that the one is exclusive of the other? No!

    It's irresponsible to say that it is not relevant. It's not proof positive, but it is not irrelevant.
    You're flatly wrong! There's a really good reason why there are fallacies called "Appeal to Popularity" and "Appeal to Authority". These fallacies have been understood for longer than the English language has existed. I do not care how many people say that something is true (or false)! A billion people can ALL be wrong.

    Agreed, of course.
    Excellent! There's hope!

    What contradiction?
    Umm, well there's a lot of them. The latest one that has been presented that is relevant to the topic of this thread is the idea that two observers can disagree about the sequence of events and they can both be right.

    No, they can't.

    It's called the law of contradiction. If two truth claims contradict each other they CANNOT both be true. Relativity, therefore, openly and directly contradicts the very laws of reason that allow anyone to know anything in the first place.

    In addition to that and several other aspects of General Relativity itself, modern science pretends like GR and Quantum Mechanics are both true! They flat out cannot both be true. Even Einstein himself and even most honest scientist to this day will readily admit that the two theories are mutually exclusive and yet they both continue to be accepted as valid. How could that happen in the scientific method and peer-reviewed panacea that you seem to think the scientific community to be?

    Clete
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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    @Clete should know, if he did his research, that an appeal to authority is only a logical fallacy if the authority it's not an actual authority on the facts of the case. Else witness testimony would be rejected by courts, as witnesses are trusted to be the authority on what they saw.

    Simply naming a series of fallacies and claiming they apply, but without actually showing that they do, makes a fallacious argument. Poor old Clete, he is out of his depth and can't see it.
    Last edited by gcthomas; Yesterday at 01:39 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    Actually it's not. It's much closer to a valid appeal to authority.

    If there are, say, 1 million credentialed and professional cosmologists in the world ('just a wild guess), and 990,000 of them preach the standard model and general relativity, and the other 10,000 preach something else that contradicts SM/GR, then knowing nothing else, I know that the odds that SM/GR are correct is about 99-to-1. If I don't have any reason to doubt SM/GR, then that's as good as I can get, not being a credentialed and professional cosmologist myself. It's not an appeal to popularity, but a statistical estimation.
    I was thinking about this last night and I've decided that it would not be correct to consider this an appeal to authority. The fallacy your committing here is an appeal to popularity. By your own argument you know nothing else except that both groups are comprised of what you believe to be experts. That takes the authority out of it because, so far as you know, no one in either group is any more of an authority on the subject than anyone else. The difference then is the popularity of the issue which you use as your deciding factor.

    Not that it matters really. Either way, it's not a proper way to think. It might be a proper way to choose one issue over another if there's nothing at stake other than a simple curriocity about such things. In other words, if you simply choose to casually believe one group over another then you can use whatever casual criteria you're comfortable with. My point is simply that it is not a scientific way (i.e. a rational way) of declaring something true or false. In science there is no such thing as concensus. Scientific concensus is a contradiction in terms precisely because the majority can very easily be wrong and often is. The number of people who agree is simply no test for truth - ever.

    Clete
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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    Over 4000 post club Nihilo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    I was thinking about this last night and I've decided that it would not be correct to consider this an appeal to authority. The fallacy your committing here is an appeal to popularity. By your own argument you know nothing else except that both groups are comprised of what you believe to be experts. That takes the authority out of it because, so far as you know, no one in either group is any more of an authority on the subject than anyone else. The difference then is the popularity of the issue which you use as your deciding factor.

    Not that it matters really. Either way, it's not a proper way to think. It might be a proper way to choose one issue over another if there's nothing at stake other than a simple curriocity about such things. In other words, if you simply choose to casually believe one group over another then you can use whatever casual criteria you're comfortable with. My point is simply that it is not a scientific way (i.e. a rational way) of declaring something true or false. In science there is no such thing as concensus. Scientific concensus is a contradiction in terms precisely because the majority can very easily be wrong and often is. The number of people who agree is simply no test for truth - ever.

    Clete
    People right now have devoted their entire careers to answering cosmological questions though; they're doing what you're doing, writ large. And a great majority of these people conclude the standard model and general relativity; they've done all the hard work that you're talking about, and this is what they've concluded.

    A valid appeal to authority is simple. It only pertains to fields of study in which among recognized (credentialed and professional is my criteria for recognized) experts, there is great consensus, if not 100% consensus (as you point out, there will always be outliers), on the point in question. In order to validly appeal to authority, you must name the authority, the authority must be a recognized expert within the field of study in question, and the field itself must be reasonably unified in their position on the point in question, and then that named authority must teach this fairly unified position.

    It's why the appeal to authority, even when done correctly, proves very little. It mainly proves that the recognized authorities within a given field of study almost uniformly believes and teaches the same thing wrt a given point. And that is what I base my position upon; that almost the entire field of credentialed and professional cosmologists all agree on SM/GR.

    And as I mentioned, since I believe the earth and the heavens were created within the past 10,000 years, with the appearance of age, cosmological inquiry doesn't influence my theology in the slightest bit. All cosmologists are explaining to me, is how old the universe appears to be, and why.

    When cosmologists ponder the facts revealed by the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field,1 and say that they are looking 13 billion years into the past, I rather conclude that each grain of celestial sand wandering around the smallest of these 10,000 galaxies each plays its part in the continuing existence of the earth, and its inhabitants, humans being chief among all of them. The lengths to which the Maker has gone to give us what we have today is immeasurable and glorious. And whether He manages things through what the SM and DR express or not, doesn't change my view that everything is under 10,000 years old.

    1 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Ultra-Deep_Field
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    A valid appeal to authority is simple. It only pertains to fields of study in which among recognized (credentialed and professional is my criteria for recognized) experts, there is great consensus, if not 100% consensus (as you point out, there will always be outliers), on the point in question. In order to validly appeal to authority, you must name the authority, the authority must be a recognized expert within the field of study in question, and the field itself must be reasonably unified in their position on the point in question, and then that named authority must teach this fairly unified position.

    It's why the appeal to authority, even when done correctly, proves very little. It mainly proves that the recognized authorities within a given field of study almost uniformly believes and teaches the same thing wrt a given point.
    In a field where there is no general consensus, the appeal to authority means next to nothing, and it is a fallacy to appeal to authority within such a field's purview. For example politics. Is the right or the left correct? How about authoritarianism vs. liberalism or libertarianism? You can't appeal to authority here, because the field of recognized experts in politics disagree sharply over the correct view. In fact in politics, the field is split about 1-to-1, but almost never more than 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 in narrow scopes (such as within a nation or a group of nations); this is just not enough agreement upon which to base an opinion, based upon an appeal to authority. There is no possibility of making a valid appeal to authority in such a case, so we're on our own in forming our political views.

    Cosmology and physics isn't such a field however.
    HE IS RISEN. Matthew 28:6 (KJV) Mark 16:6 (KJV) Luke 24:6 (KJV)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clete View Post
    Einstien wasn't taken seriously by hardly anyone. It's sheer luck that anyone has ever heard of him. One guy - one single guy - happen to read his paper and took it seriously enough to give it the light of day. It was on the strength of that one man's reputation that Einstein's physics career was revived. Otherwise, he'd have fallen into total obscurity and no one would know who he was - no one.
    I can't seem to find evidence for any of this in Einstein's brief online biographies. Who was this "one single guy" who gave Einstein's physics career credibility?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilo View Post
    People right now have devoted their entire careers to answering cosmological questions though; they're doing what you're doing, writ large. And a great majority of these people conclude the standard model and general relativity; they've done all the hard work that you're talking about, and this is what they've concluded.
    Actually, most scientists believe in the standard model because they've been taught the standard model. The work they do is derived from, and the results they get are interpreted from within the context of the standard model and they do not tolerate any serious challenge to the standard model because their entire careers have been built upon that foundation and the rest of their careers, not to mention their entire worldview, depend on its continued acceptance.

    [quote]A valid appeal to authority is simple. It only pertains to fields of study in which among recognized (credentialed and professional is my criteria for recognized) experts, there is great consensus, if not 100% consensus (as you point out, there will always be outliers), on the point in question. In order to validly appeal to authority, you must name the authority, the authority must be a recognized expert within the field of study in question, and the field itself must be reasonably unified in their position on the point in question, and then that named authority must teach this fairly unified position.[quote]
    No, all you have to do to commit this fallacy is to declare something true based on someone's or something's authority. I don't care how you dress it up, it's a fallacy. A claim is true or false whether anyone agrees or not. I don't care who they are or how much you think they know. Nothing is ever true because someone says so. Saying it does not make it so.

    The exception to this, of course, is God, who's authoritative spoken word is creative and efficacious.

    It's why the appeal to authority, even when done correctly, proves very little.
    It never ever proves anything, Nihilo. It just doesn't.

    It mainly proves that the recognized authorities within a given field of study almost uniformly believes and teaches the same thing wrt a given point. And that is what I base my position upon; that almost the entire field of credentialed and professional cosmologists all agree on SM/GR.
    You can decide what you want but it doesn't prove anything!

    Surely, you understand the difference.

    And as I mentioned, since I believe the earth and the heavens were created within the past 10,000 years, with the appearance of age, cosmological inquiry doesn't influence my theology in the slightest bit. All cosmologists are explaining to me, is how old the universe appears to be, and why.
    Okay fine, but don't complain when they accuse you of holding to an unfalsifiable worldview because you do. There's nothing immoral about that. Just understand that this is the path you've chosen and realize that it is not scientific, it is not provable and that your study of cosmology is at best a time killing hobby of little more value than playing Sudoku on your iPhone.

    When cosmologists ponder the facts revealed by the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field,1 and say that they are looking 13 billion years into the past, I rather conclude that each grain of celestial sand wandering around the smallest of these 10,000 galaxies each plays its part in the continuing existence of the earth, and its inhabitants, humans being chief among all of them. The lengths to which the Maker has gone to give us what we have today is immeasurable and glorious. And whether He manages things through what the SM and DR express or not, doesn't change my view that everything is under 10,000 years old.

    1 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Ultra-Deep_Field
    Calculating the distances to celestial objects happens to be one good place to look at the standard model with a critical eye.

    The following short video will give you a taste of the sort of things that you don't know about the assumptions that the Standard Model and, more specifically, the Big Bang Theory make.

    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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    Quote Originally Posted by User Name View Post
    I can't seem to find evidence for any of this in Einstein's brief online biographies. Who was this "one single guy" who gave Einstein's physics career credibility?
    Max Planck
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