Notices
Results 1 to 56 of 56

Thread: Is the Scientific Method the only way to understand Reality?

  1. #1 Is the Scientific Method the only way to understand Reality? 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    10
    I ask this question because some people might regard Metaphysics or religion as yet a different approach to understanding Reality.

    Should Religion be based on sound scientific principles?

    Can Religion or spirituality open the doors to new facets of existence which science is slowly and methodically beginning to prove correct?

    Perhaps, and this is my opinion, anything, no matter how weird or wonderful which helps us to understand more about this thing called life could be regarded as Scientific. I think anything which helps us to evolve is a science, whether that be poetry, dance, philosophy, biology, mechanics or yoga.

    I'm sure, when humanity has passed it's initial birth pangs, we will see a unification of all the various branches of science and religion. Like a tree that needs pruning, many branches will no doubt fall by the wayside and others will begin to bud with a healthy flow of sap.

    Probably in the far distant future this one tree of many branches will flower, and we will then have, a Science of Oneness in which all disciplines are in harmony with one another. The outer path of materialistic science with the inner path of metaphysics.

    Perhaps these are both opposite ends of the same spectrum?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2 Re: Is the Scientific Method the only way to understand Real 
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by Astrolight
    I ask this question because some people might regard Metaphysics or religion as yet a different approach to understanding Reality.

    Should Religion be based on sound scientific principles?
    This would be difficult because (with exceptions) science answers questions of what and how things work the way they do but cannot answer why the things or processes exist in the first place or what is the greater purpose. Atheistic materialists simply answer these why questions by saying there is no why, there is no purpose. Others chose to explore these questions and science can't help them with the investigation.

    Can Religion or spirituality open the doors to new facets of existence which science is slowly and methodically beginning to prove correct?
    Religion has and does accept new facts. Religion has done so from the beginning. Perhaps your issue is that they do so slowly, too slowly for some.

    Perhaps, and this is my opinion, anything, no matter how weird or wonderful which helps us to understand more about this thing called life could be regarded as Scientific. I think anything which helps us to evolve is a science, whether that be poetry, dance, philosophy, biology, mechanics or yoga.
    hmm.

    Perhaps these are both opposite ends of the same spectrum?
    I don't think so because science cannot generally answer why type questions.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    10
    I think Science is trying to understand the How's of existence and Religion the Why's. So it makes sense to me that something, which I call Metaphysics for lack of better terminology, would unify both approaches to give the How and Why.

    Of course, we have subjects like Yoga, for instance, which attempts to do both, or perhaps it is our application of it which is attempting!

    Yoga is a vast subject. We know it virtually means Union with Reality. As far as Science is concerned it seeks to further understand this Reality by the scientific method, which leads us to the How's. But surely, even the How must lead us further in thought to the Why. Or else, what is it all about? Thus, even Science must evolve a philosophical aspect to it.

    Just as the human brain is made of two hemispheres, I think science is also dual natured, and we tend to concentrate more on the logical, reasoning, analytical side, than the feeling, intuitive, creative aspect of science, which is equally essential. A good balance between the two, based on the best from both sides, would surely help our world situation far better than two uncomplete sides.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    Science often does answer the why questions--it's just not excepted by some because it's not egocentric or considered by those looking for some great guidance. One could argue the meaning of life is alarmingly simple--to continue your genes--or "between your legs," to put it more crudely. There's not one iota of evidence to hint humans are any different in that regard than any other life form. Of course to remain civil, we might also state as a platitude...."and what ever else you make of it," but that wouldn't be a very scientific answer.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    No science cannot answer and has not answered the why.

    For example, to claim that sciences answer to why we exist is in terms of perpetuation of life, is actually only answering how life works but not why life exists. The observation that science is thus far unable to explain human self-awareness, consciousness, etc. as unique from animals is one clear demonstration of the limits of science in these why questions. This lack of even one iota should cause one to see the limits of science to these questions.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Masters Degree Twit of wit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    553
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The observation that science is thus far unable to explain human self-awareness, consciousness, etc. as unique from animals
    What are you talking about? How "unique from animals"?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116

    Twit said:


    How "unique from animals"?
    Well, are you aware of or have any proof to support the idea that any other animal is aware of its own mortality. Do the more intelligent animals -- chimps, orangs and elephants for example -- after mourning their dead relatives and associates actually understand that they, too, will some day die?

    Do other animals have a sense of time other than it is now and it is time to eat or a sense of place other than here? Are these learned thinking processes which could be taught to, say, sign language communicating apes? Or is it beyond their thought capacity to process these concepts?

    As Cypress adequately points out, science evades the question of why are we here by merely answering with circular thinking that we are here to be here to be here to be here.

    Humans seem to have some thought processes which are not available other animals.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    3,499
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    Twit said:


    How "unique from animals"?
    Well, are you aware of or have any proof to support the idea that any other animal is aware of its own mortality. Do the more intelligent animals -- chimps, orangs and elephants for example -- after mourning their dead relatives and associates actually understand that they, too, will some day die?
    Yes.
    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress....ps-know-death/


    I say yes because any argument you could apply to animals not recognizing mortality could equally be applied to humans. We cannot validate what exists in the consciousness of others, and that is true even through the proxy of language since the meanings of words are subjective... they too have serious limitations. Those limitations are of precisely the same nature as those we encounter when studying animals.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    Twit said:


    How "unique from animals"?
    Well, are you aware of or have any proof to support the idea that any other animal is aware of its own mortality. Do the more intelligent animals -- chimps, orangs and elephants for example -- after mourning their dead relatives and associates actually understand that they, too, will some day die?
    Yes.
    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress....ps-know-death/
    You might be better off letting the author of the article speak. Here is what they said:

    The authors speculate that the mothers knew the babies were dead:
    The entire article is full of definitive word choices including perhaps, maybe, possibly, etc.

    More interesting is that the article is speaking to the question of understanding (or not) that another animal has died, but does not in any way discuss evidence that the remaining animals understand their own death is approaching.


    I say yes because any argument you could apply to animals not recognizing mortality could equally be applied to humans. We cannot validate what exists in the consciousness of others, even through the proxy of language there are limitations.
    This is just so plainly false, it is laughable. There is nothing equal about it. With humans, we ask them and they tell us, and it is validated. The fact that we are unable to effectively communicate with animals puts that method out of reach to science.

    We are indeed facing the situation where science cannot answer these why questions.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Masters Degree Twit of wit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    553
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    We are indeed facing the situation where science cannot answer these why questions.
    Unless you show some evidence that animals are in some way fundamentally different from humans, there is no question to answer.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    We are indeed facing the situation where science cannot answer these why questions.
    Unless you show some evidence that animals are in some way fundamentally different from humans, there is no question to answer.
    No, that's false. The null hypothesis is that humans are different. It is self evident that humans are unique among life. It is also self evident that science cannot answer why life exists and a large number of similar why questions. Sorry twit, you are wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,231
    The null hypothesis is that humans are different. It is self evident that humans are unique among life.
    Just like every species of life. We are only special in our own way. Why does there have to be an answer to every why question? Simply because you need one to feel special? Besides, which ones can we really not answer?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    The null hypothesis is that humans are different. It is self evident that humans are unique among life.
    Just like every species of life. We are only special in our own way. Why does there have to be an answer to every why question? Simply because you need one to feel special?
    No, because the self evident fact of objective truth demands that there is an answer to (nearly) every question (except paradoxes, which are constructs of our minds void of analog in reality) only lack of information and uncertainty prevents us from knowing the answers.

    Besides, which ones can we really not answer?
    Science cannot answer many questions thus other tools are required. Science generally cannot answer root level questions about why nature is the way it is. For example why do we exist? Science cannot answer the questions you asked me.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Masters Degree Twit of wit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    553
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It is self evident that humans are unique among life.
    No, it's not self evident.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,231
    No, because the self evident fact of objective truth demands that there is an answer to (nearly) every question (except paradoxes, which are constructs of our minds void of analog in reality) only lack of information and uncertainty prevents us from knowing the answers.
    Why do you presuppose that every question we can come up with has any objective meaning outside of our existence? How can you claim with surety that our thinking about our mortality has any meaning other than the evolutionary one?

    Science cannot answer many questions thus other tools are required.
    You are assuming that all questions have objective answers. You don't consider that a lot of questions might be loaded in that they might require to be put in the correct context. By asking a question like "why are we here" you already assume that an agent exists that can give a motivation for it. You are presupposing a motivation as an answer while none need exist.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    No, because the self evident fact of objective truth demands that there is an answer to (nearly) every question (except paradoxes, which are constructs of our minds void of analog in reality) only lack of information and uncertainty prevents us from knowing the answers.
    Why do you presuppose that every question we can come up with has any objective meaning outside of our existence?
    I don't. I do note that most every question has an answer, some answer. I don't think I made a truth claim about the nature of the answer. It may be that we simply exist, but scientific study is not going to be able to make that determination. It can't.

    How can you claim with surety that our thinking about our mortality has any meaning other than the evolutionary one?
    Again I don't, but contrary to the supposed scientists who claim otherwise (they lie) once again scientific study can't answer this question.

    Science cannot answer many questions thus other tools are required.
    You are assuming that all questions have objective answers.
    It follows directly from the self evident reality of objective truth. It is not an assumption.

    You don't consider that a lot of questions might be loaded in that they might require to be put in the correct context.
    Sure they are loaded, and certainly they require context.

    By asking a question like "why are we here" you already assume that an agent exists that can give a motivation for it. You are presupposing a motivation as an answer while none need exist.
    hmm... The question is valid either way, particularly since the answer is unknown, and since it is, no presupposition is required. I'm curious what motivates you to be suspicious of such questions. Could that suspicion be a result of supposition?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Science cannot answer many questions thus other tools are required.
    You are assuming that all questions have objective answers.
    It follows directly from the self evident reality of objective truth. It is not an assumption.
    Why is not an objective question, and as such, does not demand an objective answer. Why is wholly subjective, and outside the realm of objectivity, which is outside the realm of meaningful answers in a scientific context. We don't care why it works, all we care about is that it works and how it works. Let the philosophers figure out why
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,231
    It may be that we simply exist, but scientific study is not going to be able to make that determination. It can't.
    It can only not be able to do it if the thing it is supposed to find doesn't exist or has been conveniently presupposed to not be detectable through physical means.

    A why answer presupposes an intelligent actuator. Don't you agree?

    Again I don't, but contrary to the supposed scientists who claim otherwise (they lie) once again scientific study can't answer this question.
    Just give me an example of a why question and I'll give you a much more plausible how answer that fits inside evolutionary theory or at least a naturalistic framework. Sure, the scientific method dictates that we cannot know anything for certain, but surely when the one scale has slammed into the floor with the sheer volume of possibilities that do not require the existence of something outside of physical reality, I'd say one can be pretty sure of it.

    It follows directly from the self evident reality of objective truth. It is not an assumption.
    No. Not all questions are valid. For instance, why did Zeus create humans? What are the emotional lives of unicorns? Why are we here (again, presupposing the existence of an intelligence that put us here. Otherwise the question should be "How did we get here?)?

    hmm... The question is valid either way, particularly since the answer is unknown, and since it is, no presupposition is required. I'm curious what motivates you to be suspicious of such questions. Could that suspicion be a result of supposition?
    I am not "suspicious" of such questions. Their loaded nature is quite obvious to anyone. I suppose the question can be valid, since one possible answer is that there is no "why" in the way implied by the question in the first place. And my position is not a product of presupposition. I used to believe in the the "why" questions and what they meant for me and my place in the world, but honest investigation of my inner workings and the world around me forced me to relinquish this faith. It is all nice and cosy going through life with this sense of a larger purpose and knowing that there is someone that knows me better than I know myself, will always be there for me and who loves me unconditionally, but it is no use pretending that this entity exists when everything tells me it doesn't. Besides, I find more than enough beauty, purpose and comfort in those around me and the world I live in and it has the benefit of being real.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    No one has touched upon the idea that human recognition of their own mortality somehow fits into the picture of a basis for religion.

    From this standpoint, it would support the idea that humans are the only animals aware of their mortality. We do not see the Baptist church of Chimps or the Methodist Church of Meerkats or the Episcopal Church of Elephants.

    I was somewhat taken by inow's definitive answer followed by a dissertation as to why no definitive answer can be ascertained. The article he cited to only showed that some other animals are aware of the death of others not of their own eventual death.

    Twit sess no difference between himself (herself) and other animals. I'm not sure I do either. His (her) spoken vocabulary, so far, does not seem to exceed that of the sign language of Chimps. This is one of the things which separates us from other animals -- our ability to communicate at a high level. I also recall a TV show not that long ago which speculated that only humans seem to have the urge to teach others who then expand on ideas they have been taught.

    Arcane is correct in that we have been exploring the subjective element of why. But there is an objective element of why, also. "Why did so and so die?" has an objective answer.

    Kalster said:

    Why do you presuppose that every question we can come up with has any objective meaning outside of our existence? How can you claim with surety that our thinking about our mortality has any meaning other than the evolutionary one?
    I'm not sure I understand your presuppostion or what you are asking, Kalster. I think some religions would add the element of eternal life. But this is a matter of belief, not a matter definitive and absolute claim. Those of us who are Christians believe that some humans are destined to eternal life with the God of the Universe while non-believers are destined for eternal death, a conciousness beyond the presence of God.

    I don't think anyone has claimed any specific meaning other than we don't know any of these things -- whether other animals are aware of their own mortality or what happens to us (if anything) after we die. The first question may be answerable, but the latter is not.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Science cannot answer many questions thus other tools are required.
    You are assuming that all questions have objective answers.
    It follows directly from the self evident reality of objective truth. It is not an assumption.
    Why is not an objective question, and as such, does not demand an objective answer. Why is wholly subjective, and outside the realm of objectivity, which is outside the realm of meaningful answers in a scientific context. We don't care why it works, all we care about is that it works and how it works. Let the philosophers figure out why
    True. My mistake.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Arcane is correct in that we have been exploring the subjective element of why. But there is an objective element of why, also. "Why did so and so die?" has an objective answer.
    No. It doesn't. "What caused so and so to die?" or "How did so and so die?" have objective answers. But the implicit "Why?" question is never subjective. Please, demonstrate how the question precursor "why" can be objective. Due to it's intrinsic nature, "Why" can never really be objective.

    I think your issue comes from the fact that a lot of people say "why", when they really mean "how".
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    The universe works. We can understand how it works without understand why it does so. We can understand the processes without understand how they began. In all right, because we weren't there, we will never know how everything started. We can only speculate. Because of this, it is somewhat pointless to speak of "truths" with regards to the beginnings of the universe, as no truths are known nor can they ever be known. I understand that this is a hard concept to get across, but it is paramount to the idea of an existential beginning.

    On meanings of causes; the only "cause" that incurs any kind of substantial meaning is the ""prime cause"". Since this cause can never be known, by definition and through the observance of the processes of the universe, Any supposed meaning or cause to this existential beginning is somewhat irrelevant as well, not because it doesn't exist, but because it is never going to be known. The theoretical methods of attaining this answer involve breaking fundamental concepts of the universe that are wholly supported by current observation of the processes of the universe, and exist only in a theoretical basis. Cypress, I'm sure you can appreciate that sentiment.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    It can only not be able to do it if the thing it is supposed to find doesn't exist or has been conveniently presupposed to not be detectable through physical means.

    A why answer presupposes an intelligent actuator. Don't you agree?
    No, I don't. The question has meaning either way.

    Again I don't, but contrary to the supposed scientists who claim otherwise (they lie) once again scientific study can't answer this question.
    Just give me an example of a why question and I'll give you a much more plausible how answer that fits inside evolutionary theory or at least a naturalistic framework.
    I don't think a tit for tat will get us anywhere. I for one am not satisfied by a how answer to a why question, and I doubt that your how will be more plausible in any case. I am fairly sure that it will just continue the dance. How can we make real progress when neither of us are willing to budge?

    Sure, the scientific method dictates that we cannot know anything for certain, but surely when the one scale has slammed into the floor with the sheer volume of possibilities that do not require the existence of something outside of physical reality, I'd say one can be pretty sure of it.
    Forgive me for taking exception to your claim but the evidence does not even come close to favoring naturalistic explanations. There is no evidence for a materialistic explanation for the universe or life in it. None, zero.

    It follows directly from the self evident reality of objective truth. It is not an assumption.
    No. Not all questions are valid. For instance, why did Zeus create humans?
    Correct answer... he didn't.
    What are the emotional lives of unicorns?
    Correct answer... Unknown due to uncertainty, which I allowed for.
    Why are we here (again, presupposing the existence of an intelligence that put us here. Otherwise the question should be "How did we get here?)?
    Correct answer.. Unknown due to uncertainty.(why is valid either way)

    hmm... The question is valid either way, particularly since the answer is unknown, and since it is, no presupposition is required. I'm curious what motivates you to be suspicious of such questions. Could that suspicion be a result of supposition?
    I am not "suspicious" of such questions. Their loaded nature is quite obvious to anyone. I suppose the question can be valid, since one possible answer is that there is no "why" in the way implied by the question in the first place. And my position is not a product of presupposition. I used to believe in the the "why" questions and what they meant for me and my place in the world, but honest investigation of my inner workings and the world around me forced me to relinquish this faith. It is all nice and cosy going through life with this sense of a larger purpose and knowing that there is someone that knows me better than I know myself, will always be there for me and who loves me unconditionally, but it is no use pretending that this entity exists when everything tells me it doesn't. Besides, I find more than enough beauty, purpose and comfort in those around me and the world I live in and it has the benefit of being real.
    Since you have no objective evidence that natural causes explain how you got here, you are presupposing naturalism is valid by only allowing that the question is valid in the context of your worldview.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    . The theoretical methods of attaining this answer involve breaking fundamental concepts of the universe that are wholly supported by current observation of the processes of the universe, and exist only in a theoretical basis. Cypress, I'm sure you can appreciate that sentiment.
    I think I agree, though I take exception to the idea that it will never be known. It is currently out of reach to those of us here now.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,231
    No one has touched upon the idea that human recognition of their own mortality somehow fits into the picture of a basis for religion.
    I would say that this connection is quite obvious. We have the capacity to consider our own mortality and the desire to prevent it. We also have the desire to be part of something that matters and the more it matters the better. We have the desire to believe that those that wrong us will eventually pay for what they have done. We have the desire to have the weight off of our shoulders that life puts on us. We have the desire to be understood, to be cared for and to have a righteous purpose; to be a part of a winning team. I believe that all of these desires can be very satisfactorily explained from within an evolutionary context. All of these desires have their basis in our evolutionary history. We want to avoid and deal with the fear that our large brains and the truth about our fleeting existence brings. Is that so difficult a concept to imagine?

    From this standpoint, it would support the idea that humans are the only animals aware of their mortality. We do not see the Baptist church of Chimps or the Methodist Church of Meerkats or the Episcopal Church of Elephants.
    They have less developed brains. And?

    Arcane is correct in that we have been exploring the subjective element of why. But there is an objective element of why, also. "Why did so and so die?" has an objective answer.
    An answer to "How did Philip die" might be "because Joseph killed him. An answer to "Why did Philip die" might be "because Joseph wanted him dead". See the difference? An answer to "Why" can only have intent as an answer. The question would be invalid if Philip had died of a heart attack. Otherwise no distinction between how and why questions can be made. Do I have this wrong?



    I'm not sure I understand your presuppostion or what you are asking, Kalster. I think some religions would add the element of eternal life. But this is a matter of belief, not a matter definitive and absolute claim. Those of us who are Christians believe that some humans are destined to eternal life with the God of the Universe while non-believers are destined for eternal death, a conciousness beyond the presence of God.
    The question is to differentiate between loaded questions and ones that aren't. Any why question in relation to our existence presupposes a conscious actuator.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,231
    No, I don't. The question has meaning either way.
    So a why question does not presuppose an intelligent actuator?

    I don't think a tit for tat will get us anywhere. I for one am not satisfied by a how answer to a why question, and I doubt that your how will be more plausible in any case. I am fairly sure that it will just continue the dance. How can we make real progress when neither of us are willing to budge?
    We both already know that neither of us are going to budge. I am in this conversation to figure out how you tick.

    Since you have no objective evidence that natural causes explain how you got here, you are presupposing naturalism is valid by only allowing that the question is valid in the context of your worldview.
    I suppose that this will just go in circles. You think the evidence indicates the existence of a creator and I think it doesn't. Period.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27 Re: Is the Scientific Method the only way to understand Real 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,377
    Quote Originally Posted by Astrolight
    Should Religion be based on sound scientific principles?
    If it was, it would then cease to be called "religion" with any meaningful sense of the word.

    Can Religion or spirituality open the doors to new facets of existence which science is slowly and methodically beginning to prove correct?
    I see no reason why this would be expected. Religions of the world have, of course, stumbled on many "truths" (i.e. the Golden Rule, charity toward the deprived, etc.), but it hasn't proved its net output to be able to give any insight to "new facets of existence." Either something is real or it isn't. If it's real, then science is best equipped to discover information. If it isn't, then its made up, fantastical, or imaginary to begin with.

    Perhaps, and this is my opinion, anything, no matter how weird or wonderful which helps us to understand more about this thing called life could be regarded as Scientific. I think anything which helps us to evolve is a science, whether that be poetry, dance, philosophy, biology, mechanics or yoga.
    Science is a method of discovering information about the universe. If a method is able to consistently and empirically reveal potentially falsifiable information about he universe, then it is science. If it cannot, it is not. Religion cannot.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    . The theoretical methods of attaining this answer involve breaking fundamental concepts of the universe that are wholly supported by current observation of the processes of the universe, and exist only in a theoretical basis. Cypress, I'm sure you can appreciate that sentiment.
    I think I agree, though I take exception to the idea that it will never be known. It is currently out of reach to those of us here now.
    But to learn the prime cause, one must observe the cause. It is neither logical nor reasonably possible to conclude an implicit causation simply from the effects of the cause. You see a man stabbed, but only knowing that, you will never know for sure exactly what happened, precisely and without any doubt who committed the act(the cause), unless you magically go back in time and observe the action, which as far as observations of this universe go, is impossible.

    There is nothing that observed the existential beginning, by definition, and as such there is no existing observation for us to reference to attain absolute certainty in our speculations.

    Likewise with the beginning of life. There is no referencable observation for the beginning of life, so all we can do is determine the most likely cause, which is in and of itself not known to be the cause, implicitly. We can basically only have a very good idea of what most likely happened. Why it happened, why bother to ask? It happened. Do the motives really matter at this stage?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    So a why question does not presuppose an intelligent actuator?
    No. Even if we had perfect knowledge of how we came to be, I would still ask why.

    I don't think a tit for tat will get us anywhere. I for one am not satisfied by a how answer to a why question, and I doubt that your how will be more plausible in any case. I am fairly sure that it will just continue the dance. How can we make real progress when neither of us are willing to budge?
    We both already know that neither of us are going to budge. I am in this conversation to figure out how you tick.
    There are better questions to ask if that is your purpose.

    Since you have no objective evidence that natural causes explain how you got here, you are presupposing naturalism is valid by only allowing that the question is valid in the context of your worldview.
    I suppose that this will just go in circles. You think the evidence indicates the existence of a creator and I think it doesn't. Period.
    I think the evidence for a creator is stronger than evidence for naturalistic beginnings. You seem to understand that there is little evidence for a material beginning of this universe and life in it, but you are less willing to acknowledge anything more about the current balance. I know there are questions science can't answer, you seem to want to shut your mind to the existence and/or relevance of such questions. Period.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician
    . The theoretical methods of attaining this answer involve breaking fundamental concepts of the universe that are wholly supported by current observation of the processes of the universe, and exist only in a theoretical basis. Cypress, I'm sure you can appreciate that sentiment.
    I think I agree, though I take exception to the idea that it will never be known. It is currently out of reach to those of us here now.
    But to learn the prime cause, one must observe the cause. It is neither logical nor reasonably possible to conclude an implicit causation simply from the effects of the cause. You see a man stabbed, but only knowing that, you will never know for sure exactly what happened, precisely and without any doubt who committed the act(the cause), unless you magically go back in time and observe the action, which as far as observations of this universe go, is impossible.

    There is nothing that observed the existential beginning, by definition, and as such there is no existing observation for us to reference to attain absolute certainty in our speculations.
    Circumstantial evidence provides clues, and causes leave traces, patterns that allow for informed inferences. It is not hopeless.

    Likewise with the beginning of life. There is no referencable observation for the beginning of life, so all we can do is determine the most likely cause, which is in and of itself not known to be the cause, implicitly. We can basically only have a very good idea of what most likely happened. Why it happened, why bother to ask? It happened. Do the motives really matter at this stage?
    I think they matter a great deal, though I can see why some here do not.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,231
    No. Even if we had perfect knowledge of how we came to be, I would still ask why.
    You have lost me. A why question assumes purpose. Purpose assumes an intelligent actuator. You don't agree with this?

    You seem to understand that there is little evidence for a material beginning of this universe and life in it, but you are less willing to acknowledge anything more about the current balance.
    You have this wrong. I understand that there is little evidence that would call a conventional physical cause into question. Science doesn't look at whether evidence indicates physical or non-physical causes per se, it simply tries to figure out what happened. As it can only look at what exists physically, that is what it naturally investigates. And currently, I don't see nearly enough evidence to suggest anything other than a physical cause (not to mention the fact that nobody has been able to properly define the non-physical in a manner that doesn't simply mean "does not exist").

    I know there are questions science can't answer, you seem to want to shut your mind to the existence and/or relevance of such questions. Period.
    It is not simply about "wanting" to do so. It is that I don't see any reason to do so. I don't see any reason to suppose that an entity exists that might warrant the asking of why questions in the first place (other than those of aliens I suppose if you only look at how life started on earth). It is like asking why two chemicals combine under certain conditions. Why would I ask a "why" question for that?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    No. Even if we had perfect knowledge of how we came to be, I would still ask why.
    You have lost me. A why question assumes purpose. Purpose assumes an intelligent actuator. You don't agree with this?
    I agree why implies purpose, and purpose can imply an intelligent cause. I'm not sure purpose requires a designer though. I am quite happy to to say the the why question is very similar to asking "What is the purpose/meaning of ...." if that is what you are driving at.

    And currently, I don't see nearly enough evidence to suggest anything other than a physical cause (not to mention the fact that nobody has been able to properly define the non-physical in a manner that doesn't simply mean "does not exist").
    Hmm... I understand your reluctance to admit evidence for a non-physical cause. I had intended to focus on the complete absence of evidence for a natural cause, as compared to the evidence for a designer without regard to the designer's properties or presence. I presume any cause should have physical properties. Specifically it seems silly to think that the cause for the origin of life on earth was not physical. As for the properties of a transcending cause for this universe, well an answer to that is out of reach right now.

    It is like asking why two chemicals combine under certain conditions. Why would I ask a "why" question for that?
    See, and I find this question interesting too.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  34. #33  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Arcane said:

    No. It doesn't. "What caused so and so to die?" or "How did so and so die?" have objective answers. But the implicit "Why?" question is never subjective. Please, demonstrate how the question precursor "why" can be objective. Due to it's intrinsic nature, "Why" can never really be objective.
    The objective use of "why" is an acceptable use to which there may be both an objective answer and a subjective answer. The same answers could be used to reply to any of your reformations of the question.

    "What cause so and so to die?" He was a drug addict. Perhaps the ultimate cause of death was heart failure due to his drug addiction. But "He was a drug addict," is a legitimate response.

    "How did so and so die?" By not taking care of himself. Same thing, a legitimate response which is absolutely subjective.

    Most questions have potential objective and subjective responses. Some do not, such as what is the best tasting ice cream? There can be no objective answer to that one. If I have two apples and you have two apples, how many apples do we have together, has only an objective answer.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  35. #34  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    No science cannot answer and has not answered the why.

    For example, to claim that sciences answer to why we exist is in terms of perpetuation of life, is actually only answering how life works but not why life exists. The observation that science is thus far unable to explain human self-awareness, consciousness, etc. as unique from animals is one clear demonstration of the limits of science in these why questions. This lack of even one iota should cause one to see the limits of science to these questions.
    Yes science can't answer many questions our native evolved imagination can conjure--most of the same questions are completely invalid or we simply find the objective answer somehow unsatisfying because of their cold impersonal nature.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  36. #35  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    Yes science can't answer many questions our native evolved imagination can conjure--most of the same questions are completely invalid or we simply find the objective answer somehow unsatisfying because of their cold impersonal nature.
    You knowingly overstate your case (fib) when you proclaim that evolutionary processes account for why humans ask such questions. It is precisely because natural processes and the scientific study of them do not account for our imagination and these questions that they continue to be asked.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  37. #36  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    Yes science can't answer many questions our native evolved imagination can conjure--most of the same questions are completely invalid or we simply find the objective answer somehow unsatisfying because of their cold impersonal nature.
    You knowingly overstate your case (fib) when you proclaim that evolutionary processes account for why humans ask such questions. It is precisely because natural processes and the scientific study of them do not account for our imagination and these questions that they continue to be asked.
    There's really no connection between the two. Our ability to imagine something, whether that be the material, value or purpose doesn't mean any of them are real. On the other hand there are obvious survival advantages to that same degree of imagination; if you imagine a tiger in the bush and it isn't there, there's little loss other than a bit of stress and a few minutes versus not imagining some predator that turns out to be real--of course imagining some higher purpose probably doesn't' cost much either and might even once upon a time served to keep groups of individual motivated and organized enough to out compete other groups.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  38. #37  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    "What cause so and so to die?" He was a drug addict. Perhaps the ultimate cause of death was heart failure due to his drug addiction. But "He was a drug addict," is a legitimate response.
    It is legitimate, but it is also inaccurate, and demonstrates my point. The accurate and proper response would be "an overdose of Heroin caused his heart to stop" Or something to that effect.

    The use of the word "why" in the question you want to ask is an inaccurate use of the word, and as such can be restated more precisely to get a more specific answer.

    "How did so and so die?" By not taking care of himself. Same thing, a legitimate response which is absolutely subjective.
    Yes, but again, it's also inaccurate. I'm not saying that there aren't multiple answers that are legitimate, more that there is a single response that is most appropriate. A question leading with "why" desires a subjective response, unless the person posing the question is using the word "why" inaccurately, and could have used a different word in it's place.

    Why is the Earth form?
    How did the Earth form?
    What caused the Earth to form?

    All three questions have different goals. Why wants to know purpose, How wants to know process, and What wants to know the instigator of the process
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  39. #38  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,231
    I agree why implies purpose, and purpose can imply an intelligent cause. I'm not sure purpose requires a designer though.
    How could it not?

    I am quite happy to to say the the why question is very similar to asking "What is the purpose/meaning of ...." if that is what you are driving at.
    It means the same, but it is not what I am driving at. To state it AGAIN: I am saying that "why" questions implicitly and exclusively assumes an intelligent actuator.

    Hmm... I understand your reluctance to admit evidence for a non-physical cause. I had intended to focus on the complete absence of evidence for a natural cause, as compared to the evidence for a designer without regard to the designer's properties or presence. I presume any cause should have physical properties. Specifically it seems silly to think that the cause for the origin of life on earth was not physical. As for the properties of a transcending cause for this universe, well an answer to that is out of reach right now.
    So basically a "how' question deals with physical causes like the laws of nature and "why" questions deal with "spiritual" causes? Either that, or you seem to be saying that God has to be physical or it would be silly to posit him as the cause?

    See, and I find this question interesting too.
    Yeah, yeah, why were the rules made that way and all. Your answer is for us. It is your answer to all the why questions, no?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  40. #39  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    I'm still struggling with Arcane's seeming claim that why always leads to a subjective reply.

    Why is a question which usually has the answer because. . .

    Why did the doctor prescribe that particular medication for you? You could not ask how he did it and what caused him to prescribe that medication would be the same question.

    The answer could be either subjective or objective. I could say, "because he thinks that is the best treatment." Or I coujld say, "because statistics show this is the best treatment for my condition." I fail to find any subjective element in the latter reply.

    I can agree that there are preferred ways to ask questions but we do not always ask them that way. You are correct that why, how and what are designed elicit slightly different replies. (As an ex-newspaper person, who, what, when, where, why and how are quite familiar to me. Usually, you seek to find which of these is the most important part of the story.)

    I think, perhaps, what is more designed to elicit the effect of some action while who would seek the perpetrator of the action.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  41. #40  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I agree why implies purpose, and purpose can imply an intelligent cause. I'm not sure purpose requires a designer though.
    How could it not?
    I find purpose and function nearly interchangeable and life especially is filled with purpose and function, if we go with your view, life must be designed right? since it very clearly has purpose and function. No, of course that is not correct. What is correct in my view is that purpose does not necessarily require a designer.

    Now let's not be silly and say that blood or a kidney or a tree has no purpose. I am fairly sure you will disagree, so we will simply have to disagree.

    I am quite happy to to say the the why question is very similar to asking "What is the purpose/meaning of ...." if that is what you are driving at.
    It means the same, but it is not what I am driving at. To state it AGAIN: I am saying that "why" questions implicitly and exclusively assumes an intelligent actuator.
    Yes, I picked up on that about three posts ago.

    So basically a "how' question deals with physical causes like the laws of nature and "why" questions deal with "spiritual" causes? Either that, or you seem to be saying that God has to be physical or it would be silly to posit him as the cause?
    No, I don't think so.... What I am saying is the the ground rules set up by scientists for scientific study explicitly limits science to how and what. I don't see why as the exclusive providence of spirit.

    See, and I find this question interesting too.
    Yeah, yeah, why were the rules made that way and all. Your answer is for us. It is your answer to all the why questions, no?
    I see them as being for me. To try to answer the questions I have.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  42. #41  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Why did the doctor prescribe that particular medication for you? You could not ask how he did it and what caused him to prescribe that medication would be the same question.
    How did the doctor come to his decision to perscribe this medication?

    What did the doctor consider when choosing a medication to prescribe?

    The same question, voiced 3 ways.

    Notice how the last two elicit, or rather, clearly aim to have an objective answer given in return. "Why did he do it?" wants a purpose, a meaning, something subjective and in the eye of the beholder. It can be changed to show what it really wants through the same method I used to convert your last question. Why, superlatives, and qualifying words all, usually, indicate a subjective underlying desire.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  43. #42  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Well, they are all the same question and the same answer would suffice for each of them. Sooooooo?

    My point is that each of these forms of questions is multifacited and elicit numerous possible responses. Still, I agree with your contention that each of these question words are intended to elicit a specific aspect of information. Unfortunately, we do not strictly adhere to those purposes when we use them to ask nor do we strictly adhere to those purposes when we reply.

    Sometimes, the context of the question is more indicative what we really want to know and directs the manner in which we reply.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  44. #43  
    Forum Sophomore schiz0yd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Warwick, RI
    Posts
    171
    There is nothing to understand other than our own curiosity. The question of why can be applied in any situation; there is no perfect and sensible universe where why would be meaningless as a question. I think a place to start any time you ask 'why?" is to at least first ask yourself 'why do I ask?'. Philosophy is the basic art of understanding reality, or questioning it at least. To things untestable, the nature that they are unable to be tested proves that we are unable to interact with the subject we are unable to test, and it is therefor important to us to know the answer because we want to rather than just need to. As is known by many throughout history, the answer to such questions is found within yourself, rather than externally.
    I prefer to use my right brain to study the universe rather than my left brain.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  45. #44  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    schiz0yd said:

    there is no perfect and sensible universe where why would be meaningless as a question.
    If that is true, then both Newton and Einstein were opratineg the wrong basic premises. Both based their calculations on the idea that the universe was both perfect and sensible and, because of that, predictable.

    Were they wrong? If so, it is time to toss out all applications of Newtonian physics and, at least, relativity. The law of gravity has been repealed.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  46. #45  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    schiz0yd said:

    there is no perfect and sensible universe where why would be meaningless as a question.
    If that is true, then both Newton and Einstein were opratineg the wrong basic premises. Both based their calculations on the idea that the universe was both perfect and sensible and, because of that, predictable.

    Were they wrong? If so, it is time to toss out all applications of Newtonian physics and, at least, relativity. The law of gravity has been repealed.
    They were not wrong, and hold up under appropriate conditions--their theories (and descriptive equations) were subsummed (included) into broader theories that also consider other conditions.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  47. #46  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    Yes science can't answer many questions our native evolved imagination can conjure--most of the same questions are completely invalid or we simply find the objective answer somehow unsatisfying because of their cold impersonal nature.
    You knowingly overstate your case (fib) when you proclaim that evolutionary processes account for why humans ask such questions. It is precisely because natural processes and the scientific study of them do not account for our imagination and these questions that they continue to be asked.
    There's really no connection between the two. Our ability to imagine something, whether that be the material, value or purpose doesn't mean any of them are real. On the other hand there are obvious survival advantages to that same degree of imagination; if you imagine a tiger in the bush and it isn't there, there's little loss other than a bit of stress and a few minutes versus not imagining some predator that turns out to be real--of course imagining some higher purpose probably doesn't' cost much either and might even once upon a time served to keep groups of individual motivated and organized enough to out compete other groups.
    These sorts of speculations fail when one critically evaluates the sufficient and necessary conditions required for the explanation to account for our uniform experience and observations. Our mind/consciousness is of course a product of many processes including signal processing, information and knowledge capture, storage and recall, transcription, and many others. These processes necessarily are independent of the material that contains them. Our mind is a type of turing machine, it has elements of a computational device with an instruction set and it can be shown that these computational instructions cannot be reduced to the material that contains them.

    The idea that our mind is a product of material processes only, in order to be considered valid must first provide a demonstration that computational instruction can be reduced to material. This is a necessary requirement.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  48. #47  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Which brings to my mind the question, "How does science explain imagination?"
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  49. #48  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    3,499
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Which brings to my mind the question, "How does science explain imagination?"
    Evolution. Those organisms with a propensity of solving problems creatively did better on average than those lacking in that propensity. Also, imagination is strongly related to mental rehearsal, and organisms which could mentally rehearse interactions with unseen others tended to be better prepared for encounters (fights, mating, etc) than whose lacking in that ability.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  50. #49  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Which brings to my mind the question, "How does science explain imagination?"
    Evolution. Those organisms with a propensity of solving problems creatively did better on average than those lacking in that propensity. Also, imagination is strongly related to mental rehearsal, and organisms which could mentally rehearse interactions with unseen others tended to be better prepared for encounters (fights, mating, etc) than whose lacking in that ability.
    In other words it doesn't.

    To say that imagination happened through changes in material configurations simply turns a blind eye to the reality of necessary requirements. We could know the placement of every molecule in a computer chip and the flow of every electron and still have no idea what it is doing without the source code. This is because the instruction set is not reducible to the mater that it executes on. Before some vague notion of selection acting on random chemic errors can be considered an adequate scientific explanation, one must show how mind is reducible to matter. A first step would be to demonstrate that a turing machine can be reduced to material.

    Furthermore, there is no indication how these propensities first arose. Do you just assume them into existence in the same way those you ridicule assume a leprechaun into existence? Finally the narrative violates the scientific method, because it is not testable and not falsifiable. It is religion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  51. #50  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Evolution? Evolution?? EVOLUTION???

    Isn't this a lot like saying, "God did it. I believe it. That settles it."

    I am trying to figure out what scientific method was used to come to this conclusion which seems to me to amount to a great leap of faith that even religious people do not take.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  52. #51  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    3,499
    Except, there's mountains of objective evidence for evolution. Golly.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  53. #52  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Uhhhhmmm, I don't think I have ever seen anything in any evolution writing that related to imagination. But then, I do think a lot of writing about evolution does show a lot of imagination. Imagine that!!!!
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  54. #53  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    3,499
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Uhhhhmmm, I don't think I have ever seen anything in any evolution writing that related to imagination.
    An argument from incredulity is a fallacious argument to put forth.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  55. #54  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Evolution? Evolution?? EVOLUTION???

    Isn't this a lot like saying, "God did it. I believe it. That settles it."

    I am trying to figure out what scientific method was used to come to this conclusion which seems to me to amount to a great leap of faith that even religious people do not take.
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Uhhhhmmm, I don't think I have ever seen anything in any evolution writing that related to imagination. But then, I do think a lot of writing about evolution does show a lot of imagination. Imagine that!!!!
    wow, your writing voice took a dive in the last day or so... You use to be more articulate and convincing.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  56. #55  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    While not as yet a well consolidated field, there certainly is quite a bit of science surrounding the evolution of imagination. It is contained in archaeological studies of other hominid species; extensive studies of our closest living relatives; and of course in studies of the value of mental rehearsals, one aspect of imagination, to perform well in a wide range of physical or mental challenges.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  57. #56  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,191
    And it is all quite interesting study though its unlikely to address the current subject here which is how, that is by what processes did mind and imagination arise. A companion question is how can information, knowledge and instructional code be derived from material and thus reduced to material?

    Archeology will of corse tell us something about when and in what ways social norms and behavior patterns changed over time. The other studies will likely provide insight into how various organisms brain function today. Interesting, but not the sortof questions being asked here.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •