Re: Religion and evidence

From: Dace (
Date: Wed 18 Jan 2006 - 22:19:24 GMT

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    > I do see this as similar in a sense to Ted's fields: Two
    > explanations that would result in identical outcomes cannot be
    > distinguished one from another by reference to that outcome,
    > leaving the way open to (over/mis)interpet at will, but I think
    > they are kind of seperable in that yours _remains_ firmly in the
    > realm of the unknowable because happenstance is unpredictable at
    > our level (I'm a superdeterminist so it should be knowable at
    > some level but without 'god-like' knowledge of the system in
    > practice it is pseudorandom), whereas Ted's aims to counter the
    > testable (if incomplete) with the untestable (by any reasonable
    > expectation). Although as a rule in those circumstances one's
    > hand should always be on one's wallet...

    Untestable by any reasonable expectation? That's an odd assertion, given that a major portion of our recent discussion was Miroslav Hill's experimental evidence in favor of a "nonlocal" connection between closely related but physically separated cells.

    If cells exposed to a selection pressure rapidly adapt by way of the appropriate genetic mutation, this demonstrates nonrandom mutation. If the same mutation, after numerous generations, begins cropping up in related but isolated cells, this demonstrates nongenetic inheritance within a given species. Such inheritance has also been demonstrated in learning experiments on rats, mice, pigeons and most recently, chicks. Rising IQ scores in the absence of rising intelligence seem to indicate the inheritance of enhanced aptitude at IQ test-taking. Whether it's falsified or not, clearly nongenetic inheritance is a testable proposition.

    We've been over this many times on this list, including just last month, so why your statement to the contrary? It's awfully convenient, isn't it, to be able to set aside the notions of nonrandom mutation and nongenetic inheritance as untestable and therefore safely beyond the realm of scientifi c inquiry. This is called wishful thinking. You have a particular habit of thought, and you don't want to let go of it, so you deny reality in order to maintain your preferred beliefs. Since your habit is culturally reinforced rather than merely your own, that makes it memetic. To deny reality is of course insane. But the insanity is collective, which is why it's so powerful. It's bigger than any one person. In short, it's a meme, and your mind is only one more of its colonized territories.

    I think you're in conflict with the collective delusion, and this is what fuels your need to keep bringing this up. It's an unresolved issue. The autonomous Chris, buried under mounds of memetically mediated garbage, keeps trying to re-establish his authority. Meanwhile memetic Chris keeps repeating the neo-Darwinian superdeterminist catechism. Incidentally, this is exactly what I did back in the 80s as a teenager. Absent any faith in a god, I went for the next best thing, the atheist variant of Calvinism. I had to keep repeating, over and over again, the narcotizing notion that everything is determined, that it's all just a bunch of atoms obeying eternal physical laws, that we have no true self or responsibility for our actions, because deep down I knew it was all a load of crap.

    (autonomous) ted

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