Fool’s Gold: Teleology in Science

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Mefiante (July 28, 2009, 13:36:43 PM):
Mine, yours, other minds...
So the mere existence of intentionality itself makes ID and creationism plausible to you? It’s a good thing then that science demands significantly more rigorous standards of proof than loose and uninformed jumping from ignorance to a conclusion, isn’t it?



A reasonable argument can be made that chance alone won't explain the fine-tuned universe.
As I said before, “Oh, look at all the coincidences! I can’t explain them therefore a greater intelligence must be at work!” And you call that “reasonable.” Oh dear me. How about saying instead, “We don’t exactly know why the universe is as it is, so let’s find out. It looks like it may have come about by pure chance – maybe it’s a special universe among quadrillions – or maybe a more comprehensive cosmogony will shed light on why it is as it is.” That’s a much more honest approach than pretending to know “answers” that actually answer nothing, now isn’t it?



Someone throws the die.... Nice analogy.
No, nice rhetorical dodge.



[Much stuff about “information,” a sizeable part of it irrelevant and/or obfuscatory.]
See, you’re being thoroughly uncivil again because you’re deliberately setting out to deceive your audience. You know nothing about QM. That just gets clearer every time you fabricate something self-serving about it. The experiments by Salart et al. extend the earliest ones of the 1980s by Alain Aspect et al. about the same phenomenon. It emphatically had nothing to do with any “teleportation” or “transmission of bits of information.” To say this is either to be ignorant of the facts or purposely to misrepresent them. The experiment was a test of Bell’s Theorem, and it showed that non-locality is at work in correlated quantum states. This means only that no gauge theory using local variables alone can adequately model QM reality. All of the rest that you conjure out of the results is unsupported by anything in the paper or by its authors.

Besides all of which, the definitions of “information” you have given fail to meet my request. Nothing in them suggests what experiments I can perform to distinguish information itself from non-information. More than that, by those definitions, you may as well ask whether “symbology” is a “fundamental category of Nature” – a question you can surely answer yourself. Then again, maybe not. Nor are “information” and “meaning” properly separable by those definitions.



[Much stuff about “intentionality” and “intention,” plus a SEP link to “Propositions.”]
Again, your definitions are inadequate (you really should try to read more carefully what I ask for), but it looks like you would attribute matter with consciousness and an ability to abstract, despite no-one knowing what these things really are.



Science is a teleological endeavour... An endeavour with a purpose and an end.... the search for truth. It is carried out by teleological agents (scientists)... searching for the truth. So perhaps you have found teleogy [sic] in science and your fool's gold in the scientists that do the actual science but not in scientific explanations.
Another cool rhetorical dodge.



Do you think it can not be argued that Metaphysical Materialism is so throroughly [sic] anti-scientific that it does not even warrant any consideration?
Sure it can, but so what? Much the same can be said of any metaphysical starting position – and has been. That’s why philosophy is both humanity’s oldest intellectual endeavour and its most divided one. As for “not even warrant[ing] any consideration,” admit you just made that up because it has warranted consideration, and the rejection of the supernatural as an explanatory force has delivered more and better results than any other approach. Or do you perhaps think all of our modern knowledge and conveniences were “teleologised” before being prayed into existence?

'Luthon64
Teleological (July 28, 2009, 14:34:36 PM):
Mine, yours, other minds...
So the mere existence of intentionality itself makes ID and creationism plausible to you? It’s a good thing then that science demands significantly more rigorous standards of proof than loose and uninformed jumping from ignorance to a conclusion, isn’t it?
Which conclusion straw man did you just build and burn?

A reasonable argument can be made that chance alone won't explain the fine-tuned universe.
As I said before, “Oh, look at all the coincidences! I can’t explain them therefore a greater intelligence must be at work!” And you call that “reasonable.” Oh dear me. How about saying instead, “We don’t exactly know why the universe is as it is, so let’s find out. It looks like it may have come about by pure chance – maybe it’s a special universe among quadrillions – or maybe a more comprehensive cosmogony will shed light on why it is as it is.” That’s a much more honest approach than pretending to know “answers” that actually answer nothing, now isn’t it?

Apply that kind of logic to forensic science...


Someone throws the die.... Nice analogy.
No, nice rhetorical dodge.
Sooo, nobody throws the die? Does it throw itself? Do elaborate on your analogy.



[Much stuff about “information,” a sizeable part of it irrelevant and/or obfuscatory.]
See, you’re being thoroughly uncivil again because you’re deliberately setting out to deceive your audience. You know nothing about QM. That just gets clearer every time you fabricate something self-serving about it. The experiments by Salart et al. extend the earliest ones of the 1980s by Alain Aspect et al. about the same phenomenon. It emphatically had nothing to do with any “teleportation” or “transmission of bits of information.” To say this is either to be ignorant of the facts or purposely to misrepresent them. The experiment was a test of Bell’s Theorem, and it showed that non-locality is at work in correlated quantum states. This means only that no gauge theory using local variables alone can adequately model QM reality. All of the rest that you conjure out of the results is unsupported by anything in the paper or by its authors.

Besides all of which, the definitions of “information” you have given fail to meet my request. Nothing in them suggests what experiments I can perform to distinguish information itself from non-information. More than that, by those definitions, you may as well ask whether “symbology” is a “fundamental category of Nature” – a question you can surely answer yourself. Then again, maybe not. Nor are “information” and “meaning” properly separable by those definitions.

Nothing to do with transmission of bits of information? Tell that to the people who uses this non-locality to encrypt sensitive information... eg. MagiQ Technologies Inc.

Nothing to do with transfer of information?
Tell me, if you have two entities A and B that can switch between two states x and y. A(x) and B(y) exist. Upon changing B(y) to B(x), you find that A(x) turns to A(y) and the exact opposite happens if B(y) is changed back to B(x). Can you come to the conclusion that A carries information about B and visa versa, non-local or not?

[Much stuff about “intentionality” and “intention,” plus a SEP link to “Propositions.”]
Again, your definitions are inadequate (you really should try to read more carefully what I ask for), but it looks like you would attribute matter with consciousness and an ability to abstract, despite no-one knowing what these things really are.
Are you anything else than matter? Do you have intentionality?

Science is a teleological endeavour... An endeavour with a purpose and an end.... the search for truth. It is carried out by teleological agents (scientists)... searching for the truth. So perhaps you have found teleogy [sic] in science and your fool's gold in the scientists that do the actual science but not in scientific explanations.
Another cool rhetorical dodge.
Dodge from what?


Do you think it can not be argued that Metaphysical Materialism is so throroughly [sic] anti-scientific that it does not even warrant any consideration?
Sure it can, but so what? Much the same can be said of any metaphysical starting position – and has been. That’s why philosophy is both humanity’s oldest intellectual endeavour and its most divided one. As for “not even warrant[ing] any consideration,” admit you just made that up because it has warranted consideration, and the rejection of the supernatural as an explanatory force has delivered more and better results than any other approach. Or do you perhaps think all of our modern knowledge and conveniences were “teleologised” before being prayed into existence?

'Luthon64

You seem to confuse methodological naturalism with metaphysical materialism. The one has yielded wonderful scientific results, the other is not scientific in any way, and merely a philosophical outlook on life.
Rigil Kent (July 28, 2009, 14:48:20 PM):
Hey again Mechanist,

First off, let it be said that I admire your tenacity and dedication to whatever it is you are trying to bring across. From what I gather from all the posts with a Biochemical flavour you are indeed an ID enthusiast. ;)

To answer your question on wether scepticism also applies to materialism and naturalism, I would think yes. Honest scepticism is not affiliated to any particular philosophy or subject matter. Rather, the methods of science have scepticism at its roots. As do the methods of purchasing a second hand washing machine. Any claim that requires a leap of faith will come under scrutiny of the sceptics, be it from an astrologer or a physicist, a naturalist or a naturist.

But getting back to the answers to my questions on God's intentions that you kindly provided earlier:

To summarize, you are willing to accept as probable that God had a plan, hatched billions of years ago, to bring the crown of His creation, human beings, onto earth by means of evolution.

The next logical question, which you have no doubt preempted, is how do you know that God intended human beings as his ultimate goal? For example, if God's plan was to ultimately come up with the chihuahua, then man would be no more than a clever instrument in the Big Plan. So is it not a bit presumptuous to assume that humans are an evolutionary aim?

Mintaka



Teleological (July 28, 2009, 15:09:55 PM):
Hey again Mechanist,

First off, let it be said that I admire your tenacity and dedication to whatever it is you are trying to bring across. From what I gather from all the posts with a Biochemical flavour you are indeed an ID enthusiast. ;)

To answer your question on wether scepticism also applies to materialism and naturalism, I would think yes. Honest scepticism is not affiliated to any particular philosophy or subject matter. Rather, the methods of science have scepticism at its roots. As do the methods of purchasing a second hand washing machine. Any claim that requires a leap of faith will come under scrutiny of the sceptics, be it from an astrologer or a physicist, a naturalist or a naturist.

But getting back to the answers to my questions on God's intentions that you kindly provided earlier:

To summarize, you are willing to accept as probable that God had a plan, hatched billions of years ago, to bring the crown of His creation, human beings, onto earth by means of evolution.

The logical next question, which you have no doubt preempted, is how do you know that God intended human beings as his ultimate goal? For example, if God's plan was to ultimately come up with the chihuahua, then man would be no more than a clever instrument in the Big Plan. So is it not a bit presumptuous to assume that humans are an evolutionary aim?

Mintaka
Hi,

Thanks.

With regards to your summary, either an original plan, or an ongoing work of art can be argued for I guess. With humans having free will having their way as well... chosing whatever reality they wish to bring upon themselves.

Your question? I can't know without any doubt that we are God's ultimate goal. You might argue that it is a bit presumptuous to make such a claim. Perhaps it is. Perhaps chihuahuas are and we are not. Although I have not heard a chihuahua make that belief or argued why it is so... Does that mean they are not and we are. No. Until other beings other than humans come to argue they are the ultimate goal, I think it is not beyond reason to believe we might just well be...part of a plan. Whether the plan is that we have sufficient reason to believe our cognitive faculties are designed reliable enough to freely understand and seek truth, just to have free will, just to have intentionality etc. remain open questions... Who knows, perhaps we have not reached the global optimum on the evolutionary fitness landscape (like sharks and crocodiles) with regards to Reproduction success and Intelligence (Ability to process information - genetics, proteomics, metabolomics) Agency (Ability to manipulate information) and complexity ?
cyghost (July 28, 2009, 16:08:30 PM):
Fair enough. The "we don't mind answering questions." above just does not apply to you it seems ;). Who is this "we" you are refering to again?


I answered your question loudly and clearly and explained why I'll be vague on this one. In so many words. Only a complete moron wouldn't get it the first time.

And it is the royal "we" of course.

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