Notices
Results 1 to 46 of 46
Like Tree9Likes
  • 1 Post By Ellatha
  • 1 Post By DrRocket
  • 1 Post By Ellatha
  • 1 Post By epidecus
  • 1 Post By Ellatha
  • 1 Post By xiand
  • 1 Post By epidecus
  • 1 Post By DrRocket
  • 1 Post By xiand

Thread: CTMU - B.S. or Brilliant?

  1. #1 CTMU - B.S. or Brilliant? 
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    http://www.megafoundation.org/CTMU/A...TMU_092902.pdf

    Most people consider the paper circumlocutory and gobbledygook, but it would be interesting to know what forum members think. I don't mind if it's moved to the trashcan.
    Last edited by Ellatha; 03-11-2013 at 09:52 PM.
     

  2. #2  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    112
    The abstract looks like a parody of a bad social science paper.
     

  3. #3  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    This is what a Ph.D. physicist on another forum said:

    "Let me see if I can clarify why no intelligent, educated people can think of Chris Langan as anything except a fool, a charlatan, or, possibly, a prankster with a somewhat eccentric sense of humor.

    The problem is not his polysyllabic jargon per se. The various sciences and mathematics all have a lot of jargon. But the jargon serves a legitimate purpose there: it is easier for a topologist to refer to “homologous cycles” than repeat each time the hundreds (or thousands) of words encapsulated in that phrase of jargon. Most importantly, other practitioners in the field know what the jargon is shorthand for, and newcomers to the field can find out what the jargon means from standard textbooks. If someone in the field finds it necessary to introduce new jargon, he has an obligation to explain to everyone what it means, and he should not introduce new jargon unless it is really needed.

    That’s Langan’s problem: his CTMU masterpiece consists largely of undefined jargon, not known to real experts and not explained by Langan himself.

    That is the sure sign of a crackpot.

    The other problem is that those of us who have some real expertise in some of the fields about which he pontificates find his musings to be nonsense.

    I have a Ph.D. from Stanford in elementary particle theory: I know a great deal about quantum mechanics. I also am co-patentholder on several patents that apply information theory to various problems in computer and communication systems.

    Quantum physics and information theory are two of the subjects Langan appeals to in his CTMU work. Part of the point is to make it sound as if you would recognize the profundity of his writing if only you understood all of the technical background as he does. Well, in those two fields, I do understand the technical background, and his use of those subjects is a sham: it only seems impressive to people who are as ignorant of those subjects as Langan is.

    Personally, my guess is that it is all a big joke, like Mencken’s bathtub hoax: Langan is running an experiment to see how many gullible fools there really are in the country (answer: hundreds of millions – just watch the election!).

    The only interesting question is whether there is any truth to Langan’s claims of extra-high scores on real IQ tests. If he really has scored that high, it is one more sign of the very real limits to the usefulness of IQ. I recommend James Flynn’s recent book, “What Is Intelligence?” to anyone interested in the meaning and limits of IQ tests (they are not completely meaningless, but their value is somewhat limited).

    Dave Miller"

    Christopher Langan - Page 2
    Strange likes this.
     

  4. #4  
    Senior Member AlexG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    161
    That seems to be a fairly comprehensive answer to the question.
     

  5. #5  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha View Post
    This is what a Ph.D. physicist on another forum said:

    "Let me see if I can clarify why no intelligent, educated people can think of Chris Langan as anything except a fool, a charlatan, or, possibly, a prankster with a somewhat eccentric sense of humor.

    The problem is not his polysyllabic jargon per se. The various sciences and mathematics all have a lot of jargon. But the jargon serves a legitimate purpose there: it is easier for a topologist to refer to “homologous cycles” than repeat each time the hundreds (or thousands) of words encapsulated in that phrase of jargon. Most importantly, other practitioners in the field know what the jargon is shorthand for, and newcomers to the field can find out what the jargon means from standard textbooks. If someone in the field finds it necessary to introduce new jargon, he has an obligation to explain to everyone what it means, and he should not introduce new jargon unless it is really needed.

    That’s Langan’s problem: his CTMU masterpiece consists largely of undefined jargon, not known to real experts and not explained by Langan himself.

    That is the sure sign of a crackpot.

    The other problem is that those of us who have some real expertise in some of the fields about which he pontificates find his musings to be nonsense.

    I have a Ph.D. from Stanford in elementary particle theory: I know a great deal about quantum mechanics. I also am co-patentholder on several patents that apply information theory to various problems in computer and communication systems.

    Quantum physics and information theory are two of the subjects Langan appeals to in his CTMU work. Part of the point is to make it sound as if you would recognize the profundity of his writing if only you understood all of the technical background as he does. Well, in those two fields, I do understand the technical background, and his use of those subjects is a sham: it only seems impressive to people who are as ignorant of those subjects as Langan is.

    Personally, my guess is that it is all a big joke, like Mencken’s bathtub hoax: Langan is running an experiment to see how many gullible fools there really are in the country (answer: hundreds of millions – just watch the election!).

    The only interesting question is whether there is any truth to Langan’s claims of extra-high scores on real IQ tests. If he really has scored that high, it is one more sign of the very real limits to the usefulness of IQ. I recommend James Flynn’s recent book, “What Is Intelligence?” to anyone interested in the meaning and limits of IQ tests (they are not completely meaningless, but their value is somewhat limited).

    Dave Miller"

    Christopher Langan - Page 2
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha View Post
    http://www.megafoundation.org/CTMU/A...TMU_092902.pdf

    Most people consider the paper circumlocutory and gobbledygook, but it would be interesting to know what forum members think. I don't mind if it's moved to the trashcan.
    It is pure crap, and the physicist that you quote is being very, very kind.

    I don't give a damn what Langman may have scored on some I.Q. test. If this is not some absurd joke, then Langman is an idiot.
    Ellatha likes this.
     

  6. #6  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    Thanks Dr. rocket; I'm convinced if a reputable physicist and mathematician both confirm it to be crap. Langan's IQ is not as high as he purports either.
     

  7. #7  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha View Post
    That’s Langan’s problem: his CTMU masterpiece consists largely of undefined jargon, not known to real experts and not explained by Langan himself.

    That is the sure sign of a crackpot.
    A rant about a theory without a single specific reference to the actual theory.

    A sure sign of yet another CTMU criticism.

    All I can say for interested parties is to read his 56-page paper for yourself. Ignore the overwhelming white noise that surrounds it.

    To put it in perspective, the last time one of these online debunkers had at it, Chris Langan ended up having to explain to the guy, who was a self-proclaimed math expert, the difference between a "set" and "Set theory". (You read that right.)

    I don't wanna diminish an achievement like a Ph.D in a field like physics, but as laudable as that achievement is, it doesn't qualify you as an ace in Model Theory, Computational Theory, or any of the other multitude of fields that underpin the CTMU.

    I'm not ready to fall on one knee and kowtow to the CTMU nor am I convinced Langan has the highest IQ on planet earth, but I hesitate to dismiss someone whose understanding of logic is as comprehensive and deep as I've come across. Especially when everyone who has tried to "debunk" Langan, expose him as a crackpot, etc. has failed miserably in that pursuit and in the process, was revealed to be so riddled with misconceptions about basic, non-CTMU material, I'm surprised they know how to breathe and type at the same time.

    In my own experience in dealing with CTMU criticisms, I had to explain the notion of an algebraic field to someone who couldn't get his head around the idea that the 0 of integers isn't the same 0 of natural numbers, even though we usually denote those two (distinct) additive identities with the same character. This may be a subtle and unnecessarily pedantic point for someone uninterested in these matters, but if you set out to disprove a theory like the CTMU with math, it would probably help if you knew the ABCs of either the CTMU or math (preferably both).
     

  8. #8  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    A rant about a theory without a single specific reference to the actual theory.

    A sure sign of yet another CTMU criticism.

    All I can say for interested parties is to read his 56-page paper for yourself. Ignore the overwhelming white noise that surrounds it.

    To put it in perspective, the last time one of these online debunkers had at it, Chris Langan ended up having to explain to the guy, who was a self-proclaimed math expert, the difference between a "set" and "Set theory". (You read that right.)

    I don't wanna diminish an achievement like a Ph.D in a field like physics, but as laudable as that achievement is, it doesn't qualify you as an ace in Model Theory, Computational Theory, or any of the other multitude of fields that underpin the CTMU.

    I'm not ready to fall on one knee and kowtow to the CTMU nor am I convinced Langan has the highest IQ on planet earth, but I hesitate to dismiss someone whose understanding of logic is as comprehensive and deep as I've come across. Especially when everyone who has tried to "debunk" Langan, expose him as a crackpot, etc. has failed miserably in that pursuit and in the process, was revealed to be so riddled with misconceptions about basic, non-CTMU material, I'm surprised they know how to breathe and type at the same time.

    In my own experience in dealing with CTMU criticisms, I had to explain the notion of an algebraic field to someone who couldn't get his head around the idea that the 0 of integers isn't the same 0 of natural numbers, even though we usually denote those two (distinct) additive identities with the same character. This may be a subtle and unnecessarily pedantic point for someone uninterested in these matters, but if you set out to disprove a theory like the CTMU with math, it would probably help if you knew the ABCs of either the CTMU or math (preferably both).
    Dr. Rocket is a reputable and respected mathematician, and he obviously thought the use of math in the paper was a sham as well.
     

  9. #9  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha View Post
    Dr. Rocket is a reputable and respected mathematician, and he obviously thought the use of math in the paper was a sham as well.
    And his pithy critique doesn't 'add up' to jack you-know-what until he actually indicates exactly where Langan's math runs afoul.

    In fact, Langan's CTMU would be immediately invalidated if he could show a contradiction in any part of the paper (something of the form x = ~x).

    Good luck.
     

  10. #10  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    How can you show anything in a paper filled with undefined terminology? What on Earth is an "infocognitive syntatic operator," "monic," "supertautology," or "metacybernetic"? Langan undoubtedly has the potential to contribute something of significance, but unfortunately because he grew up in poverty he lacks the social and emotional skills to succeed in society. For example, it's clear that Langan's IQ is over 160, but he has never scored over 190 on an IQ test (his scores on the Mega Test were 177 and 190 respectively, the first he took under a false alias), yet he claims his IQ is within the range of 190 to 210. These megalomaniac tendencies and egocentricity make Langan nearly impossible to deal with no matter what environment he is in. It's probable that Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, J. S. Mill, Blaise Pascal, Leonardo da Vinci, and Thomas Wolsey all had IQs in excess of 200 (higher than Langan's), yet their writing is remarkably lucid and demonstrates excellent wordplay. On the other hand, Langan's use of phraseology often carries on far past the working memory level of bright or even gifted students, and there is an obvious reason for this: Langan is merely interested in showing how smart he is, not of producing something of true significance for the vast majority of scientific, mathematical, or even philosophical audiences to understand.
    Markus Hanke likes this.
     

  11. #11  
    Administrator Markus Hanke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    1,378
    Ok, I have attempted to read the first few pages of this "paper" ( I am hesitant to call it that ). To me, this is pure and simple hogwash. This guy just invents meaningless terms ( "telic feedback", anyone ?? ) and strings them together into walls of words. This entire document is devoid of any scientific content whatsoever - no point to even waste time discussing this.
     

  12. #12  
    Administrator Markus Hanke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    1,378
    CTMU has no place in the main sections of a science forum. Moved to trash, where it belongs.
     

  13. #13  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post

    In my own experience in dealing with CTMU criticisms, I had to explain the notion of an algebraic field to someone who couldn't get his head around the idea that the 0 of integers isn't the same 0 of natural numbers, even though we usually denote those two (distinct) additive identities with the same character. This may be a subtle and unnecessarily pedantic point for someone uninterested in these matters, but if you set out to disprove a theory like the CTMU with math, it would probably help if you knew the ABCs of either the CTMU or math (preferably both).
    Wrong.

    Go study the construction of the integers, and in fact the rationals, reals, and complex numbers. You will find that the 0 of the integers is in fact the 0 of the other number systems that are constructed from it, at least up to obvious indentifications that occur in the course of the construction.
    You can find this construction in books on elementary real analysis, notably Foundations of Analysis by Landau and Principles of Mathematical Analysis by Rudin. This is material that I have taught to sophomores, so it is not too difficult.

    Moreover, since the natural numbers are usually viewed as a subset of the integers, rationals, reals and complex numbers it should be obvioius to
    anyone with the slightest knowledge of group theory (you don't need field theory for this one) that the zeros are the same.

    Langans gibberish is the mark of a charlatan and a fool, not some genius. Even more foolish are people who pay attention to someone like that, and that most certainly includes 20/20.
     

  14. #14  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    Wrong.

    Go study the construction of the integers, and in fact the rationals, reals, and complex numbers. You will find that the 0 of the integers is in fact the 0 of the other number systems that are constructed from it, at least up to obvious indentifications that occur in the course of the construction.
    You can find this construction in books on elementary real analysis, notably Foundations of Analysis by Landau and Principles of Mathematical Analysis by Rudin. This is material that I have taught to sophomores, so it is not too difficult.

    Moreover, since the natural numbers are usually viewed as a subset of the integers, rationals, reals and complex numbers it should be obvioius to
    anyone with the slightest knowledge of group theory (you don't need field theory for this one) that the zeros are the same.
    To give you the full context, he said ambiguity occurs in such a statement " The number x for which S(x) = 0". He said there was an inherent ambiguity, because for integers that statement denotes "-1", but it fails to denote anything in the context of integers.

    In this case, you could simply view the 0 of naturals and the 0 of integers to be two different entities (0_n or 0_z), or extend the domain of the successor function (i.e., create a new extended function). Neither version is "wrong". What's more "natural" is whatever is appropriate to the conversation. If we're talking the construction of integers, then yes, it is more natural to view it as the same zero. Your sophomores must be really lucky...

    "Langans gibberish is the mark of a charlatan and a fool, not some genius. Even more foolish are people who pay attention to someone like that, and that most certainly includes 20/20. "

    More pithy chatter...

    Feel free to find a flaw in the paper
     

  15. #15  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    To give you the full context, he said ambiguity occurs in such a statement " The number x for which S(x) = 0". He said there was an inherent ambiguity, because for integers that statement denotes "-1", but it fails to denote anything in the context of integers.
    This is an absolutely trivial statement, devoid of any significant content at all. The fact that 0 has no successor in the natural numbers falls right out of the Peano Axioms, and if one thinks about it for a microsecond, is not very deep. That is not an ambiguity at all. It is perfectlly clear to almosts anyone.


    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    In this case, you could simply view the 0 of naturals and the 0 of integers to be two different entities (0_n or 0_z), or extend the domain of the successor function (i.e., create a new extended function). Neither version is "wrong". What's more "natural" is whatever is appropriate to the conversation. If we're talking the construction of integers, then yes, it is more natural to view it as the same zero. Your sophomores must be really lucky...
    The importantce of the successor function lies in the context of the natural numbers. By the time one is constructing the integers, the successor is not particularly important, since one already knows what "+1", means. My sophomores understand this quite well. Maybe you ought to take a similar class.

    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    "Langans gibberish is the mark of a charlatan and a fool, not some genius. Even more foolish are people who pay attention to someone like that, and that most certainly includes 20/20. "

    More pithy chatter...

    Feel free to find a flaw in the paper
    Some people, like Langans, and apparently you, are simply not worth the time to address in detail.

    The use of undefined gibberish terms is a sufficient flaw.
     

  16. #16  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    Edit.
     

  17. #17  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    This is an absolutely trivial statement, devoid of any significant content at all. The fact that 0 has no successor in the natural numbers falls right out of the Peano Axioms, and if one thinks about it for a microsecond, is not very deep. That is not an ambiguity at all. It is perfectlly clear to almosts anyone.

    The person I was arguing was saying it was ambiguous. Not me. I never said that the successor function was important. It was his example. I explained to him also that it was a trivial statement. So who exactly you're arguing with, only you know for sure.

    If you take a moment to stop foaming at the mouth, you'd be better prepared to respond.

    BTW, it's clear you're not a reputable mathematician. I'd be surprised if you're not a 16 year-old kid on March break with a little extra free time to surf the web.
     

  18. #18  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    Xiand so you claim you can refute any argument made against the CTMU in representation of Langan? BTW we've all known Dr. Rocket for years and his knowledge of mathematics is voluminous, certainly surpassing that of Langan's.
     

  19. #19  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha View Post
    Xiand so you claim you can refute any argument made against the CTMU in representation of Langan? BTW we've all known Dr. Rocket for years and his knowledge of mathematics is voluminous, certainly surpassing that of Langan's.
    I don't make any such claim.

    I'm someone who is very interested in the CTMU and I've yet to come across a substantive refutation of it. I'm very open to the possibility that Langan is dead wrong, but it's going to take more than ad hominem attacks and unfounded criticisms to convince me of it.

    Has anyone in this thread besides myself actually read the CTMU paper in its entirety?
     

  20. #20  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    I don't make any such claim.

    I'm someone who is very interested in the CTMU and I've yet to come across a substantive refutation of it. I'm very open to the possibility that Langan is dead wrong, but it's going to take more than ad hominem attacks and unfounded criticisms to convince me of it.

    Has anyone in this thread besides myself actually read the CTMU paper in its entirety?
    Do you have enough knowledge of the CTMU to defend its points when addressed specifically? By the way I've taken the time to read the CTMU through the SCSPL and found some versimilitude in it, but found it overall specious.
     

  21. #21  
    Member epidecus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    90
    Quote Originally Posted by Ethalla
    How can you show anything in a paper filled with undefined terminology? What on Earth is an "infocognitive syntatic operator," "monic," "supertautology," or "metacybernetic"?
    It appears several of those strange terms correspond to phrases within the paper's abstract, possibly definitions or clarifications. For example...

    By the nature of its derivation, this theory ... CTMU, can be regarded as a supertautological reality-theoretic extension of logic.
    Not much to the mind. Then on pg. 15, in detail...

    The way to build a theory of reality is to identify the properties that it must unconditionally possess in order to exist, and then bring the theory into existence by defining it to possess these properties without introducing merely contingent properties that, if taken as general, could impair its descriptive relationship with the real universe ... In other words, the means by which the theory is constructed must be rational and tautological, while those by which it is subsequently refined may be empirical. Since we want our theory to be inclusive enough, exclusive enough and consistent enough to the job of describing reality, these properties will certainly include comprehensiveness..., closure, and consistency. To these properties, the "3 C's", we shall assign three principles that are basically tautological in form; that way, adjoining them to logic-based reality theory will preserve the tautology property of logic, rationally precluding uncertainty by the same means as logic itself. A theory of reality constructed in this way is called a supertautology.
    Of course, I have no idea what any of this is to mean, not that it makes this any more right or wrong.

    Other unorthodox terms which I haven't gotten into include "telic recursion" and "monic cognition". I've done a little searching through the paper on "metacybernetic" but I see no clarifying introduction. I don't know... Maybe some of the terminology is trivial for those who are well-versed in Langan's interests, whatever subject this may be (hyper-abstract metaphysical tautologics?). Or maybe Langan just has some tidying up to do.

    xiand, if you know, please enlighten us to a simplistic meaning of these terms and their significance. I don't mean it as a rude challenge, but because of this strange terminology I can't tell if the paper is either extremely technical or purely hogwash.
    Ellatha likes this.
     

  22. #22  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    epidecus: I also recommend Teleologic Evolution - Intelligent Design

    It is a good, succinct resource that clarifies some of the key terms.
     

  23. #23  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    Xiand,

    Langan writes that the dualistic nature of physics, i.e., the separation of mind and matter is reducible to perception (as noted by Berkeley and ramified by Kant). Langan calls this "dual aspect monism," but is perception ultimately mental or material in nature? I would expect it to be the former, but than why doesn't Langan merely state that he is an idealist?
    epidecus likes this.
     

  24. #24  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha View Post
    Xiand,

    Langan writes that the dualistic nature of physics, i.e., the separation of mind and matter is reducible to perception (as noted by Berkeley and ramified by Kant). Langan calls this "dual aspect monism," but is perception ultimately mental or material in nature? I would expect it to be the former, but than why doesn't Langan merely state that he is an idealist?
    Perception is the nexus. If it was ultimately mental, reality wouldn't consist of a dual aspect monism (infocognition).
    Ellatha likes this.
     

  25. #25  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    Perception is the nexus. If it was ultimately mental, reality wouldn't consist of a dual aspect monism (infocognition).
    So reality is monistic, where the fundamental substance is perception and from which cognition and sensory phenomena ramify and deviate from one another. I think it would make more sense to call the "mind equals reality" principle the "perception equals reality" principle, in that case; it certainly clears up a lot of confusion for me. If we agree that perception is not mental, that it would imply that the mind is not mental, which, at least superficially, appears to be a semantic contradiction.
     

  26. #26  
    Member epidecus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    90
    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    epidecus: I also recommend Teleologic Evolution - Intelligent Design

    It is a good, succinct resource that clarifies some of the key terms.
    Many thanks. If a paper is riddled with cryptic terminology, then it should include a descriptive glossary or have one follow shortly behind wherever it goes.
    Ellatha likes this.
     

  27. #27  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha View Post
    Xiand,

    Langan writes that the dualistic nature of physics, i.e., the separation of mind and matter is reducible to perception (as noted by Berkeley and ramified by Kant). Langan calls this "dual aspect monism," but is perception ultimately mental or material in nature? I would expect it to be the former, but than why doesn't Langan merely state that he is an idealist?
    If perception were ultimately material, then we would not have crazy people. This is no way means that the perception of most of us does not reflect an independent physical reality, else why would most people agree on it.

    The thing is, crazy people generally do not consider themselves crazy. Langan leaps to mind here.

    As soon as one involves the philosophers in debating idealism vs realism there is precisely zero probability of any sort of conclusion occurring.

    This thread is in the right place. It is doing the expected augering into the ground, with no hint of any useful end product. But it started with a piece by Langan and GIGO prevails.
    Ellatha likes this.
     

  28. #28  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    If perception were ultimately material, then we would not have crazy people. This is no way means that the perception of most of us does not reflect an independent physical reality, else why would most people agree on it.

    The thing is, crazy people generally do not consider themselves crazy. Langan leaps to mind here.

    As soon as one involves the philosophers in debating idealism vs realism there is precisely zero probability of any sort of conclusion occurring.

    This thread is in the right place. It is doing the expected augering into the ground, with no hint of any useful end product. But it started with a piece by Langan and GIGO prevails.
    But isn't it impossible to avoid philosophical problems no matter what field you are interested in? For example, a person that studies physics may be more interested in determining whether reality is causal or stochastic than he or she is interested in learning the Einstein Field Equations? Or a person that studies biology may be more interested in comparing his or her particular montheistic religion with Darwinianism? It seems that you are more concerned with using the philosophical method to answer philosophical problems? I can't help but feel that such minds as Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, Descartes, Berkeley, Humen, Kant, and others have contributed so much to the field. Still, I couldn't agree more that philosophy has become more or less a joke among academic circles.
     

  29. #29  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha View Post
    But isn't it impossible to avoid philosophical problems no matter what field you are interested in? For example, a person that studies physics may be more interested in determining whether reality is causal or stochastic than he or she is interested in learning the Einstein Field Equations? Or a person that studies biology may be more interested in comparing his or her particular montheistic religion with Darwinianism? It seems that you are more concerned with using the philosophical method to answer philosophical problems? I can't help but feel that such minds as Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, Descartes, Berkeley, Humen, Kant, and others have contributed so much to the field. Still, I couldn't agree more that philosophy has become more or less a joke among academic circles.
    Anyone pndering the questions that you suggest has left science and is chasing philosophical ghosts.

    Philosophers have done more damage than good to the cause of science. There was a time when virtually all serious thought came under the heading of "philosophy" (hence the PhD degree which is a "Doctor of Philosophy" degree). That time is long past, and (with the exception of logicians) those who are usually called philosophers have proven themselves to be pretty much worthless with regard to science. My personal opinion is that Aristotle did more to limit scientific progress than anyone in the history of the planet. His notion of logic is fine, but not deep. His ability to ignore what is seen in the world and reach ridiculous conclusions did a great deal of damage -- heavier objects do not fall faster than light objects. Moreover, any fool can see that the horse exists.

    http://depts.washington.edu/ssnet/Weinberg_SSN_1_14.pdf

    "My son is taking a course in philosophy, and last night we were looking at something by Spinoza and there was the most childish reasoning! There were all these attributes, and Substances, and all this meaningless chewing around, and we started to laugh. Now how could we do that? Here's this great Dutch philosopher, and we're laughing at him. It's because there's no excuse for it! In the same period there was Newton, there was Harvey studying the circulation of the blood, there were people with methods of analysis by which progress was being made! You can take every one of Spinoza's propositions, and take the contrary propositions, and look at the world and you can't tell which is right."
    Richard P. Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
     

  30. #30  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    Anyone pndering the questions that you suggest has left science and is chasing philosophical ghosts.

    Philosophers have done more damage than good to the cause of science. There was a time when virtually all serious thought came under the heading of "philosophy" (hence the PhD degree which is a "Doctor of Philosophy" degree). That time is long past, and (with the exception of logicians) those who are usually called philosophers have proven themselves to be pretty much worthless with regard to science. My personal opinion is that Aristotle did more to limit scientific progress than anyone in the history of the planet. His notion of logic is fine, but not deep. His ability to ignore what is seen in the world and reach ridiculous conclusions did a great deal of damage -- heavier objects do not fall faster than light objects. Moreover, any fool can see that the horse exists.

    http://depts.washington.edu/ssnet/Weinberg_SSN_1_14.pdf

    "My son is taking a course in philosophy, and last night we were looking at something by Spinoza and there was the most childish reasoning! There were all these attributes, and Substances, and all this meaningless chewing around, and we started to laugh. Now how could we do that? Here's this great Dutch philosopher, and we're laughing at him. It's because there's no excuse for it! In the same period there was Newton, there was Harvey studying the circulation of the blood, there were people with methods of analysis by which progress was being made! You can take every one of Spinoza's propositions, and take the contrary propositions, and look at the world and you can't tell which is right."
    Richard P. Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
    Feynman was also an atheist, and Newton wrote more than a million words on theology. By that logic, was Newton a crank, or does Feynman only apply such standards to those who aren't members of his ilk?

    I think that philosophy has contributed more to society than any other given field; the judicial system is an application of a philosophical field called "ethics," the arts (literature, sculpture, painting, music, and architecture) are an application of a philosophical field called "esthetics," science is derived from a philosophical field called "metaphysics," while mathematics is an extension of a philosophical field called "logic."
     

  31. #31  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha View Post
    Feynman was also an atheist, and Newton wrote more than a million words on theology. By that logic, was Newton a crank, or does Feynman only apply such standards to those who aren't members of his ilk?
    There is no logic in your analysis. Yes, Feynman was an atheist, and Newton, like virtually everyone of his time was a theist. Religion has nothing to do with science. Newton also held other ideas that have been shown to be wrong, as with alchemy. Yet alchemy gave birth to chemistry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha View Post
    I think that philosophy has contributed more to society than any other given field; the judicial system is an application of a philosophical field called "ethics," the arts (literature, sculpture, painting, music, and architecture) are an application of a philosophical field called "esthetics," science is derived from a philosophical field called "metaphysics," while mathematics is an extension of a philosophical field called "logic."
    You can think anything that you wish to think. But your opinion does not have the force of fact.

    As I said, in ancient times virtually all serious thought fell under philosophy. But in more modern times no one pays much attention to philosophers, except other philosophers. That is largely because their more recent musings are rather inane and deserve to be ignored.

    I do not agree with Feynman and Weinberg on everything, but I do agree with them on the value of philosophers to science.
     

  32. #32  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    Ellatha, I agree.

    And science must answer to logic. Not the other way around.

    That silly, misguided philosopher that the reputable DrRocket mentioned, Aristotle, once distilled three laws of thought. These three laws actually determine valid cognition and hence perception.
    Ellatha likes this.
     

  33. #33  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    Ellatha, I agree.

    And science must answer to logic. Not the other way around.

    That silly, misguided philosopher that the reputable DrRocket mentioned, Aristotle, once distilled three laws of thought. These three laws actually determine valid cognition and hence perception.
    Logic and perception are quite different things.

    Aristotle was rather well known for believing that which perception clearly shows to be false -- heavy bodies do not fall faster than light bodies. That is not the sort of "logic" that is conducive to good science.

    Aristotle's "three laws of thought" -- the law of identity, the law of non-contradiction, and the law of the excluded middle -- are not really laws of thought but merely rather evident tenets of binary logic, and are usually accepted with much debate (or even attribution to Aristotle) at the start of any discussion of logic or mathematical proof. But there is clearly quite a bit more to logical argument, mathematical proof, or the development scientific theories than these three basic "rules". In fact they are so simple and self-evident that only philosophers waste much time discussing them. Thought requires a great deal more ... thought.

    These "rules" have essentially nothing to do with cognition or perception. Little children do quite well in perception and cognition without ever having heard of them.

    Science answers to experiment, not to introspection, as was the case with Aristotle.

    I believe that I will stick with the side of Feynman, Weinberg and DrRocket rather than the side of xiand and Ellatha. I don't feel particularly adventurous is doing that.
     

  34. #34  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    Dr. Rocket,

    This reminds me a lot of Dr. Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligence. "Mathematical-logical" intelligence is separated from "metaphysical" intelligence because there are clearly some, like Feynman, that are high in the former and low in the latter. Einstein would score exceptionally high in the former and moderate to high on the latter, and a genius like Leibniz would score exceptionally well on both.

    Feynman is correct in saying that philosophy has its own vocabulary, so does mathematics and science. This in no way validates his brusque criticism of philosophy by looking at his son's homework. He than goes on to make the ridiculous statement that one can look at Spinoza's statements and consider their antithesis and not determine which one is correct; if everything were so easy there would be no proof for the Riemann Hypothesis, the paradoxes that bedevil extant physics, or the problem of finding a cure for cancer!

    You also made the amazing statement that religion and science have nothing to do with each other, when that would be tantamount to saying that philosophy and science cannot be compared and invalidates your coarse critique of philosophy. You don't have to believe Xiand and Ellatha; there are many intellectuals in history, and yes, some far smarter than Feynman that disagree with him.
     

  35. #35  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    Logic and perception are quite different things.
    Is this just a non sequitur or are you implying that I identified logic with perception? If the latter, I'm going to advise you to re-read.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    Aristotle was rather well known for believing that which perception clearly shows to be false -- heavy bodies do not fall faster than light bodies. That is not the sort of "logic" that is conducive to good science.
    Logic is in quotations implying something, but I'm not exactly sure what. Once again, do you believe someone made the statement along the lines of "logic=perception"?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    Aristotle's "three laws of thought" -- the law of identity, the law of non-contradiction, and the law of the excluded middle -- are not really laws of thought but merely rather evident tenets of binary logic, and are usually accepted with much debate (or even attribution to Aristotle) at the start of any discussion of logic or mathematical proof. But there is clearly quite a bit more to logical argument, mathematical proof, or the development scientific theories than these three basic "rules". In fact they are so simple and self-evident that only philosophers waste much time discussing them. Thought requires a great deal more ... thought.
    These "rules" (the quotation marks are once again confusing, since you introduced the term) aren't up for debate.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    These "rules" have essentially nothing to do with cognition or perception. Little children do quite well in perception and cognition without ever having heard of them.
    This statement is so stupid I hesitate to respond.

    You don't learn cognition by reading the rules that govern it. You similarly don't need to understand the cardiac cycle to have a pulse.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    Science answers to experiment, not to introspection, as was the case with Aristotle.
    Wrong.

    Experiments are a method science uses to obtain perceivable data, which itself answers to binary logic (I assume by "introspection" you mean "logic", otherwise we have yet another non sequitur).

    This data either confirms or disconfirms the model. This entire process including the model itself is constrained by--you guessed it--logic.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    I believe that I will stick with the side of Feynman, Weinberg and DrRocket rather than the side of xiand and Ellatha. I don't feel particularly adventurous is doing that.
    I'm not so sure Feynman and Weinberg appreciate the company...
     

  36. #36  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by Ellatha View Post
    there are many intellectuals in history, and yes, some far smarter than Feynman that disagree with him.
    An unsupported and unsupportable statement, given the clear lack of any useful definition of "smarter".
     

  37. #37  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post


    Wrong.

    Experiments are a method science uses to obtain perceivable data, which itself answers to binary logic (I assume by "introspection" you mean "logic", otherwise we have yet another non sequitur).
    Introspection is not logic. Aristotle often formulated his ideas regarding natural behavior by purely internal thinking -- istrospection. And he was often very far wrong.

    There is no non sequitur here, but only your own fuzzy thinking.

    Your perception of how science treats experiment is absolutely wrong.

    While mathematics may make use of formal logic from time to time, science very often does not.

    There is no rigorous formulation of quantum field theory, for instance, yet physics somehow muddles through and makes good use of it nonetheless. NO ONE can even define in rigorous, logical mathematical terms what a Feynman path integral is. The sole arbiter of the "truth" of a scientific theory is agreement with experiment, even when there are logical inconsistencies in the foundations of the theory.
     

  38. #38  
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    An unsupported and unsupportable statement, given the clear lack of any useful definition of "smarter".
    I mean smarter both in terms of sheer cognitive ability (general intelligence) and genius.

    I see that this discussion is growing fairly contentious, and will agree to disagree. Your aid in the knowledge of mathematics and physics to many that use these internet boards is extremely kind and helpful, and it would be foolish to lose that over a silly argument.
     

  39. #39  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    Introspection is not logic. Aristotle often formulated his ideas regarding natural behavior by purely internal thinking -- istrospection. And he was often very far wrong.

    There is no non sequitur here, but only your own fuzzy thinking.
    I said science answers to logic. Why invoke introspection?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    Your perception of how science treats experiment is absolutely wrong.

    While mathematics may make use of formal logic from time to time, science very often does not.

    There is no rigorous formulation of quantum field theory, for instance, yet physics somehow muddles through and makes good use of it nonetheless. NO ONE can even define in rigorous, logical mathematical terms what a Feynman path integral is. The sole arbiter of the "truth" of a scientific theory is agreement with experiment, even when there are logical inconsistencies in the foundations of the theory.
    Science would literally halt to a complete stop without binary logic. It could not proceed. Forget "rigor" or "formal logic", we're talking about the nut-and-bolts of perception itself (the inviolable laws of thought).

    But even if we could obtain data without these "rules" (which we can't), we could not formulate a theory, model or anything resembling science without this overriding logic to guide us.
     

  40. #40  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    I said science answers to logic. Why invoke introspection?

    To try (apparently with little success) to point out to you that Aristotle relied on introspection and ignored logic in his own statements regarding the behavior of nature.

    Since science does not answer to logic, you are wrong on all counts.

    You haven't done muich science, have you ?



    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    Science would literally halt to a complete stop without binary logic. It could not proceed. Forget "rigor" or "formal logic", we're talking about the nut-and-bolts of perception itself (the inviolable laws of thought).
    There are no "inviolable laws of thought". Aristotle's so called "rules of thought" are merely obvious statements regarding rules for formal logic, nothing more.

    Furthermore, science does not typically use formal logic. Were science to use formal logic, then, since ALL scientific laws are known to be contradicted by either experimental data or other scientific laws under some conditions, ALL scientific laws would be labeled as "false". But we obviously do not do that. Our scientific "laws" are merely approximations (here we eschew binary logic quite clearly) that are reasonably close under some known conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    But even if we could obtain data without these "rules" (which we can't), we could not formulate a theory, model or anything resembling science without this overriding logic to guide us.
    Wrong. Completely totally and utterly wrong. Formal binary logic plays almost no role in scientific discovery. It doesn't even play an important role in research mathematics, where the most important element is guessing the solution to a problem and only later using logic in the crafting of a proof to show that the guess is correct.

    Whatever makes you think that one cannot obtain data without using the formal rules of logic ?

    I'm now quite sure that you have not done much science. I'm done here. This is just silly.
     

  41. #41  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    To observers of this thread, all I can state is you have two widely different viewpoints to choose from.

    I'm going to be generous to the reputable mathematician DrRocket and assume he doesn't have a clear understanding of what he's even arguing, because if he does actually understand the implications of what he says, he holds a viewpoint that's at once so radical there's not even a name for it (namely, science doesn't need binary logic to proceed) and a belief that's demonstrably false in some regard (namely, science doesn't actively rely on binary logic).

    It's demonstrably false because to date, there hasn't been one--not one--reported incident of a human perceiving something without employing binary logic. And as far as I know, perception is a necessary ingredient in science (who knows, maybe DrRocket denies this as well). Do I need to point out the irony that that the reputable mathematician who was just demeaning these simple "laws of thought" (i.e., binary logic) doesn't even fully grasp them? This very fact means he doesn't fully grasp any mathematical content (this includes arithmetic, basic algebra, etc.).

    It's also demonstrated to be false by the multitude of scientific theories that exist that conform to binary logic. In fact, scientific theories are revised when the data reveals a violation of binary logic within the model. This is one of the ways science progresses. We make new observations that require us to revise our theory. This point is so simple it defies belief that I actually have to spell this out.

    Since this notion of binary logic existing outside a computer is clearly beyond the comprehension of DrRocket, I'll draw out my point for the rest of you that are interested.

    Scientific models have structure and intelligibility because of its conformity to binary logic. If it didn't conform to it, scientific theories would look like a Jackson Pollock painting.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    Were science to use formal logic, then, since ALL scientific laws are known to be contradicted by either experimental data or other scientific laws under some conditions, ALL scientific laws would be labeled as "false". But we obviously do not do that. Our scientific "laws" are merely approximations (here we eschew binary logic quite clearly) that are reasonably close under some known conditions.
    Science is constrained by binary logic. Binary logic is universal, i.e., it governs over all scientific theories due to its generality. Just because a scientific theory conforms to the constraints of binary logic doesn't in any way mean that theory assumes the generality of binary logic.
     

  42. #42  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    To observers of this thread, all I can state is you have two widely different viewpoints to choose from.

    I'm going to be generous to the reputable mathematician DrRocket and assume he doesn't have a clear understanding of what he's even arguing, because if he does actually understand the implications of what he says, he holds a viewpoint that's at once so radical there's not even a name for it (namely, science doesn't need binary logic to proceed) and a belief that's demonstrably false in some regard (namely, science doesn't actively rely on binary logic).

    It's demonstrably false because to date, there hasn't been one--not one--reported incident of a human perceiving something without employing binary logic. And as far as I know, perception is a necessary ingredient in science (who knows, maybe DrRocket denies this as well). Do I need to point out the irony that that the reputable mathematician who was just demeaning these simple "laws of thought" (i.e., binary logic) doesn't even fully grasp them? This very fact means he doesn't fully grasp any mathematical content (this includes arithmetic, basic algebra, etc.).

    It's also demonstrated to be false by the multitude of scientific theories that exist that conform to binary logic. In fact, scientific theories are revised when the data reveals a violation of binary logic within the model. This is one of the ways science progresses. We make new observations that require us to revise our theory. This point is so simple it defies belief that I actually have to spell this out.

    Since this notion of binary logic existing outside a computer is clearly beyond the comprehension of DrRocket, I'll draw out my point for the rest of you that are interested.

    Scientific models have structure and intelligibility because of its conformity to binary logic. If it didn't conform to it, scientific theories would look like a Jackson Pollock painting.
    rubbish.

    I not only understand binary logic, I have (obviously) employed it in research mathematics. I sugges that you are in an extremely poor position to make conclusions as to what I understand.

    Your assertion that binarry logic is the basis for all thought and all scientific reasoning is ludicrous. Science is not mathematics, and mathematics is not science. A scientist, acdting in a professional capacity, must, of necessity, reason in a less formal manner than does a mathematician.

    Take, for instance the statement "John is tall." Were one to proceed to employ formal binary logic this statement would be unequivocally either true or false (law of the excluded middle). Yet one person might believe that John is tall while another might not. This sort of somewhat vage comparison and the associated reasoning are commonplace in science. This is a result of the fact that science does not deal in absolute truth, but rather in "goodness" of approximation. This fact has not only been recognized in science and technology but has been studied and exploited. Fuzzy logic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    Science is constrained by binary logic. Binary logic is universal, i.e., it governs over all scientific theories due to its generality. Just because a scientific theory conforms to the constraints of binary logic doesn't in any way mean that theory assumes the generality of binary logic.
    Bold added.

    Now here is piece of total illogic. A self-contradiction in only two sentences.

    If this is evidence of your grasp of logic, then I see that any further conversation is futile.

    I give up.
     

  43. #43  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    Bold added.

    Now here is piece of total illogic. A self-contradiction in only two sentences.

    If this is evidence of your grasp of logic, then I see that any further conversation is futile.

    I give up.
    A contradiction is something of the form x = ~x. The self-contradiction you think exists is your own shortcomings with respect to reading comprehension.

    The first sentence in bold states: Binary logic is universal. And by virtue of this fact, every scientific theory answers to it. Outside this thread, this fact is uncontroversial, except possibly among radical postmodernists.

    The second sentence in bold states: Just because a scientific theory is beholden to binary logic doesn't mean that the scientific theory has the same generality as binary logic. It's a logical fallacy to think otherwise.

    If you don't grasp this concept, then how could you possibly understand the difference in generality between a set and a topology?
     

  44. #44  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by xiand View Post
    A contradiction is something of the form x = ~x. The self-contradiction you think exists is your own shortcomings with respect to reading comprehension.


    The second sentence in bold states: Just because a scientific theory is beholden to binary logic doesn't mean that the scientific theory has the same generality as binary logic. It's a logical fallacy to think otherwise.
    Bold added.

    The problem is not in my reading comprehension but rather in your ability to write with precision, a necessity in logic.

    With the change that you made in the statement that you falsely implied was a quote, your sentence is now correct.
     

  45. #45  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    Bold added.

    The problem is not in my reading comprehension but rather in your ability to write with precision, a necessity in logic.

    With the change that you made in the statement that you falsely implied was a quote, your sentence is now correct.
    No, it's a misunderstanding over the word "assumes". Obviously, I mean scientific theories don't assume/receive/adopt the same level of generality as binary logic. assume - definition of assume by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    You're intentionally trying to twist my words and give them untenable interpretations to desperately try to find a flaw in them. I figure it will be as close I'm gonna get to an admission of defeat.

    DrRocket continues to retreat on almost every point he has made up to this point. Just keep jumping from point to point, maybe nobody will notice the reputable mathematician taking lessons on logic and science from a nobody such as myself.
     

  46. #46  
    Administrator Markus Hanke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    1,378
    Please note that there has been of change of forum rules - with immediate effect, The Physics Forum no longer permits the presentation and discussion of personal theories which are not based on current scientific understanding :

    http://www.thephysicsforum.com/annou...e-changes.html

    This thread is therefore now locked.
     

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