Forums Archive Non RPG Chatter Non Gaming Chat Do you Believe in Ghosts?

Viewing 9 posts - 16 through 24 (of 24 total)
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  • #580660
    Dragonkin
    • Posts : 485
    • Thri-kreen
    Sinister-Ornament wrote:
    Wow, what a link!

    As I read it I felt my eyelids getting heavier! 😆

    So what your saying (Sinister Ornament screws his face up in an act of extreme concentration) is that;

    lets tackle this a chunk at a time and try to translate it into English favouring short words over all this long trying-to-sound-posh hocus-pocus for shorter more lucid wordage.

    The trouble is, when people write science articles they try to blind people with jargon – surely the point in writing it down is trying to communicate your ideas clearly.

    Quote:
    Falsifiable does not mean false. For a proposition to be falsifiable, it must be possible in principle to make an observation that would show that the proposition was false, even if that observation is not actually made.”

    Falsifiable does not mean false. For a theory to be falsifiable, it must be possible to see something that would show that the theory was wrong, this applies if the observation hasn’t been made .

    This last bit of this would be like trying to prove that Newton’s Laws or another physical law was valid in all parts of the universe without having to visit all parts of the universe. You have to dream up a set of circumstances where the theory wouldn’t work in order to examine it fully.

    I would assume by this then, that falsifiable would be a special version of the word flawed that is used when discussing theories?

    No, falsifiable doesn’t mean flawed at all – falsifiable means “can be shown to be false”. That is, there should be an observation to be made that means the theory isn’t correct.

    Falsifiable: “All crocodiles are green.” – if you see a pink crocodile somewhere, you know the theory of all crocodiles being green to be false.

    Not (really) falsifiable: “I say that the moon is actually pushed around the earth by a herd of invisible undetectable unicorns, and their droppings are sometimes mistaken for shooting stars.” – if they’re undetectable, you can’t really see (or fail to see) something that proves they’re not there. Note that falsifiability applies to empirical theories mainly, and is basically so you can’t come up with a theory like the invisible unicorn one and go “and I dare you to prove me wrong – I’ll be right until you do!”

    In order to make sure an observation is true, there has to be a case where it’s not.

    Sinister-Ornament wrote:
    Quote:
    “It is in any case useful to know if a statement or theory is falsifiable, if for no other reason than that it provides us with an understanding of the ways in which one might assess the theory. One might at the least be saved from attempting to falsify a non-falsifiable theory, or come to see an unfalsifiable theory as unsupportable.”

    So it helps a theory if you can concoct a set of circumstance where the theory would not be valid – this helps you aassess the theory by attacking it.

    Basically, yeah – Newton’s theory of gravity would be falsified by randomly levitating fruit, for example. But yeah, there basically needs to be some way for it to be wrong, or there’s really no way in stating that it’s right.

    Sinister-Ornament wrote:
    Quote:
    “Finally, falsifiability is a necessary property of empirical statements — it is not a sufficient property. This means that it takes more properties for a proposition to qualify as being empirically meaningful.”

    (Sounds like the meshing of gears comes from Sinister Ornament’s head)

    Groan

    🙁

    I need to lie down.

    Is this some new form of torture?

    So, Centauri how many shares do you have in Paracetamol companies? 😡

    Anyway back to ghosts – has anyone here seen anything weird and ghost like? 🙂

    It’s mainly big words saying that the burden of proof is in asserting the theory is correct, not in disproving the claim that it is.

    #580661
    Sinister-Ornament
    • Posts : 935
    • Gelatinous Cube
    Quote:
    It’s mainly big words saying that the burden of proof is in asserting the theory is correct, not in disproving the claim that it is.

    Well because it is a theory, isn’t the fact that it might be one day proved untrue actually (inherent) built in to the word theory ?

    Because a theory that’s proved true ceases to be a theory and becomes a mechanic or a law or even a rule of thumb

    I would take issue with the statement below;

    Quote:
    In order to make sure an observation is true, there has to be a case where it’s not.

    I think this discussion could drag on for a long time.

    Quote:
    levitating fruit

    There’s a germ of a idea for a Comedy Dungeon Encounter somewhere in there.

    #580662
    Dragonkin
    • Posts : 485
    • Thri-kreen
    Sinister-Ornament wrote:
    Quote:
    It’s mainly big words saying that the burden of proof is in asserting the theory is correct, not in disproving the claim that it is.

    Well because it is a theory, isn’t the fact that it might be one day proved untrue actually (inherent) built in to the word theory ?

    Because a theory that’s proved true ceases to be a theory and becomes a mechanic or a law or even a rule of thumb

    You’d think so, yes. But the reason for falsifiability to even exist as a concept is probably because it’s possible to word a theory in such a way that there’s no plausible way to actually prove it wrong.

    Not to go out on a limb, but wouldn’t that be why the existance of a God isn’t really seen as a scientific theory? There’s no way to test whether one exists or not, and as such the theory cannot be falsified.

    And if you can’t do a test to prove whether the theory is correct or whether it is false, then it’s not a falsifiable theory.

    That’s basically what falsifiability boils down to.

    Sinister-Ornament wrote:
    I would take issue with the statement below;

    Quote:
    In order to make sure an observation is true, there has to be a case where it’s not.

    I think this discussion could drag on for a long time.

    Quite probably – but basically, that’s the nature of the beast.

    Sinister-Ornament wrote:
    Quote:
    levitating fruit

    There’s a germ of a idea for a Comedy Dungeon Encounter somewhere in there.

    Newton’s Nightmare…

    #580663
    EegahInc
    • Posts : 904
    • Gelatinous Cube

    😯

    Instead of doing the sensible thing and letting this go, I’m gonna pretend I’m following every bit of this and keep going. This strikes me as one of those scientific principles that’s great for science, but has limited use outside of science. (Which I think was mentioned already, both here and in the link.)

    I suppose I just don’t have the intellectual capacity to accept that a person can function on a day to day basis if they only accept what science has proven, or at least can theoretically prove. Forget ghosts and religion for the moment; simple human love appears ultimately to defy science. You can run all the biological and neurological models you want, and there’s a couple somewhere that will blow it out of the water. I defy any branch of science to adequately explain why my wife has stayed with me for 20 years. 😀

    #580664
    Thing
    Admin
    • Posts : 4512
    • Drider
    EegahInc wrote:
    This strikes me as one of those scientific principles that’s great for science, but has limited use outside of science. (Which I think was mentioned already, both here and in the link.)

    Yeah, and it really isn’t that useful in Science as you can’t prove a negative.

    It is a philosophical case model, not an imperical science tool.

    #580665
    centauri
    • Posts : 1275
    • Owlbear
    EegahInc wrote:
    Instead of doing the sensible thing and letting this go, I’m gonna pretend I’m following every bit of this and keep going.

    Er, sorry about dumping that dense link on this thread. I don’t understand all of it myself. My favorite part was the part about the birdies.

    My intention was to make my point as clear as possible, since my explanation, played over in my head, was just going to sound like I was pulling it out of my… er, Bag of Holding.

    Quote:
    This strikes me as one of those scientific principles that’s great for science, but has limited use outside of science. (Which I think was mentioned already, both here and in the link.)

    Perhaps so, but the science card had been played, so I thought we were in science territory.

    Quote:
    I suppose I just don’t have the intellectual capacity to accept that a person can function on a day to day basis if they only accept what science has proven, or at least can theoretically prove.

    I don’t think anyone’s suggesting that, or if they are what they mean by “accept” is “treat in a scientific manner.”

    Quote:
    Forget ghosts and religion for the moment; simple human love appears ultimately to defy science. You can run all the biological and neurological models you want, and there’s a couple somewhere that will blow it out of the water.

    That’s okay, create a new model and try it out. The possibility of a couple of black swans out there is part of what makes the model worth testing. But if the explanation for love is simply that there’s an invisible flying toddler bunging arrowing into people – well, that’s fine if one doesn’t really want to explain love. And not everyone needs or wants an explanation – unless their unfalsifiable model is causing them undue unhappiness.

    Quote:
    I defy any branch of science to adequately explain why my wife has stayed with me for 20 years. 😀

    I heard that. My marriage is actually a sort of quantum phenomenon. Look at it too closely and POOF!

    #580666
    EegahInc
    • Posts : 904
    • Gelatinous Cube

    So, ghosts? To quit dodging the question and stop belaboring the point that I like to leave the door open a little (cause I’m just so garsh darn open minded), I suppose I really don’t believe in ghosts in the traditional “BOO” sense. There’s probably another less interesting explanation. 🙁

    #580667
    centauri
    • Posts : 1275
    • Owlbear
    EegahInc wrote:
    So, ghosts? To quit dodging the question and stop belaboring the point that I like to leave the door open a little (cause I’m just so garsh darn open minded),

    Just bear in mind that “skeptical” doesn’t mean the same thing as “close-minded” any more than “open-minded” means the same thing as “gullible.”

    Quote:
    I suppose I really don’t believe in ghosts in the traditional “BOO” sense. There’s probably another less interesting explanation. 🙁

    Would it really be that sad, though, to learn that it’s just our own brains and instincts playing silly buggers with us, not shades out for revenge or solace or anything else? Science isn’t as mudane and dull as all that, and it can have the advantage of dispelling the occasional unnecessary fear.

    For some reason this all makes me think of something Arthur C. Clarke supposedly said:

    “Sometimes I think we’re alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we’re not. In either case the idea is quite staggering.”

    #580668
    EegahInc
    • Posts : 904
    • Gelatinous Cube
    centauri wrote:
    Just bear in mind that “skeptical” doesn’t mean the same thing as “close-minded” any more than “open-minded” means the same thing as “gullible.”

    Hope I didn’t imply that. I was more or less taking a shot at myself just in case I was beginning to come across like one of those goofs who believes his thinking is so far elevated above everyone else’s. (A quick scan of my posting history over the past year would disprove that quickly.)

    centauri wrote:
    Would it really be that sad, though, to learn that it’s just our own brains and instincts playing silly buggers with us, not shades out for revenge or solace or anything else? Science isn’t as mudane and dull as all that, and it can have the advantage of dispelling the occasional unnecessary fear.

    No, of course not. I like my scientific advances as much as the next guy, even though it does take some of the fun away. You know how hard it is to get a decent exorcism these days now that most “demons” are recognized as psychosis. 😉

    I just don’t believe in the all-sufficiency of the scientific method, that’s all. There are some situations that only poetry or hyperbole can handle.

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