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Common ancestry of apes

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Common ancestry of apes
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leroy
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Posts: 1894Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

Sparhafoc wrote:

No, you make no such assumption as I've already educated you.


......


leroy wrote:
Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes,
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Methodological_naturalism
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:42 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1895Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

leroy wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:
But do try and drag the goalposts away, I'll be more than happy to quote the numerous instances of you arguing as I've said, plus I'll chuck in a previously written prediction that you'd do exactly this! :D


Again it is all in your imagination, the method does exclude any supernatural cause by default, ...



No, you are wrong.

Any time you feel the need to muster a shred of credibility, feel free to address my posts, Rumraket's posts, Hack's posts.... all of which show you have it arse-about-tit as usual.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:23 am
SparhafocPosts: 1895Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

leroy wrote:Granted, science doesn’t exclude anything, but methodological naturalism does.


Science is methodological naturalism.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:26 am
SparhafocPosts: 1895Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

hackenslash wrote:
leroy wrote:Methodological naturalism excludes any supernatural explanation by default


No it doesn't. What it does do is only include that with which it can make contact. Since the supernatural is, as far as we can ascertain, an entirely empty set with no explanatory power and no means of testing, it isn't included.

Science excludes nothing. It goes where the evidence leads. If you have any evidence that there is any such class of things that could reasonably be described as supernatural, science will be all ears, and you'd probably be a shoo-in for a Nobel prize. I could even put you in touch with some scientists of you can deliver the goods on this, as I number many among my friends.

When you're ready.



Rumraket wrote:
leroy wrote:Apart from Aronra, is there anyone in this forum who believes in Methodological naturalism?

As long as your hypotheses are observationally falsifiable and easily distinguished from other hypotheses, I don't care what you call them(supernatural or otherwise).

If you can come up with a testable prediction from a supernaturalist hypothesis, then I think pretty much all scientists would be happy to test it. And I'm pretty much certain AronRa would agree with that.



Sparhafoc wrote:Methodological naturalism, as it's name implies, seeks only for natural explanations because, methodologically, we only actually possess real tools, not magical ones LEROY, no special goggles to see into the alleged spirit realm, no pixies footsteps can be counted, nor angels on pinheads seen. We can inquire about only what we know with only the tools we have, not what we are definitionally unable to know with the tools we have.



Sparhafoc wrote:Methodological naturalism, on the contrary, is not trying to prove itself. What it's trying to do is explain what factually is there, shit that's real and shit that happens. The data starts the process: X exists, Y occurs, Z seems to happen when I do this.... in each instance, there is something factually, undeniably there to be explained, an empirical quantity, and thus explanation of it proceeds.



Sparhafoc wrote:In fact, many researchers try to use methodological naturalism to assess supernatural claims - there are even dozens of journals dedicated to it, i.e. parapsychology.


http://www.parapsych.org/section/17/jou ... ology.aspx


Sparhafoc wrote:the fact is that methodological naturalism operates solely on EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE



Keep twisting and gyrating as much as you like, all you're doing is showing exactly why you're held in such disdain.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:33 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2434Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

All this rolling around in the semantic weeds is exactly what Feynman was talking about with his famous quote about ornithology. It's also why Matt Dillahunty has no patience with discussions about labels.

Philosophers of science do all sorts of things with labels, and vast swathes of it is utter bollocks.

The label 'methodological naturalism' has exactly fuck all to do with science. Science investigates whatever it can find some way to test. It doesn't exclude anything, it just doesn't include what it can't test.

Talk to most scientists, and they may talk about methodological naturalism as the basis for their investigations but, in reality, they've mostly never given it a moment's thought. Such concepts only have utility on one side of the laboratory door, and it isn't the side on which anything useful gets done. What scientists actually do has little, if anything, to do with the labels that appear on Wikipedia. They observe a phenomenon and see if they can build a testable model to describe it. There are no 'isms' involved, just phenomena, predictions and observations.

All this bullshit has nothing to do with how science is conducted.
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:17 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1895Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

hackenslash wrote:Talk to most scientists, and they may talk about methodological naturalism as the basis for their investigations but, in reality, they've mostly never given it a moment's thought.


The only dispute I'd have with this is that, even if they've never thought about it, they're still doing it and they learned it unconsciously while developing their relevant research/laboratory skills.

The label itself is valueless, especially when used as a stalking horse, but the process it so labels is absolutely vital to the 4 centuries of success of the modern scientific endeavour.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:31 pm
Nesslig20User avatarPosts: 263Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:44 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

One minor disagreement.

hackenslash wrote:The label 'methodological naturalism' has exactly fuck all to do with science. Science investigates whatever it can find some way to test. It doesn't exclude anything, it just doesn't include what it can't test.


That's why it has to exclude the things that cannot be tested, that are unfalsifiable. Supernatural "explanations" are excluded from science for this very reason. Methodological naturalism has everything to do with science, because without it, it wouldn't' be science anymore.

https://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/natural
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."
Charles Darwin
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:39 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2434Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

Except that it doesn't, because we have no idea of what's testable until we devise some means for testing. We talk about excluding, but this is a misstatement, because what actually happens is that we don't include what we can't test.

As is often the case, this is an issue with the way we express these ideas, not with the nature of the ideas themselves. As soon as we can make some sort of contact with something that we can reasonably define as supernatural, we'll test it, and we'll use science to do it. This isn't science excluding anything, it's simply not including what we can't test.

Methodological naturalism is a shorthand for a notion that we only study the natural, and it's lazy and dogmatic. It has fuck all to do with science. What science actually studies is not the natural, but phenomena, whatever class they may fall under.
Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:09 pm
SparhafocPosts: 1895Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

hackenslash wrote:Except that it doesn't, because we have no idea of what's testable until we devise some means for testing. We talk about excluding, but this is a misstatement, because what actually happens is that we don't include what we can't test.

As is often the case, this is an issue with the way we express these ideas, not with the nature of the ideas themselves. As soon as we can make some sort of contact with something that we can reasonably define as supernatural, we'll test it, and we'll use science to do it. This isn't science excluding anything, it's simply not including what we can't test.

Methodological naturalism is a shorthand for a notion that we only study the natural, and it's lazy and dogmatic. It has fuck all to do with science. What science actually studies is not the natural, but phenomena, whatever class they may fall under.


For me, there's an element underpinning all your points which re-unifies them all under methodological naturalism - (what is the nature and format of the test? what form does the input to the test take? are there things we know a priori that are not testable within a scientific paradigm? what does it mean to 'make contact with' etc.) which is that science's remit is wholly empirical, and it has to adhere to the empirical at each and every stage of the scientific process - the internal inferences and deductions must be repeatedly corroborated by the external.

Thus there is actually only one class of phenomena that is admissible scientifically, and that's physical: whatever the phenomenon is, it has to occur or behave in the physical realm, and there's only one class of evidence admissible, and that's also physical. That criterion of admissibility is methodological naturalism.

I joked earlier about needing magical tools, but it is analogous in many ways to what supernatural claimants ask of science. Whether it's Jesus belief or chi energy, the claimant invariably appeals to special knowledge that is outside the realm of the empirical, and there is often a consequent contention that one just needs to believe, or to perform X technique for a period of time to achieve mastery and therefore knowledge of the claim, thereby ensuring that not only is the claim outside of scientific inquiry, but the alleged way to perform a test and arbitrate that test are outside of scientific/physical inquiry and wouldn't, even if practiced by a scientist, be considered of scientific merit.

Methodological naturalism employed in the modern scientific method does actively exclude those other purported ways of knowing, of testing and of arbitrating. It doesn't say anything about whether they exist or not, whether they're valid or not, it just says they're not admissible because there's nothing physically there to be measured.

This is why, in my opinion, so much of the early Enlightenment's effort was focused on standardizing measurements, weights, and lengths. Armed with such formidable tools as scales, thermometers and measuring tapes, modern science took its first steps.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:08 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2434Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Common ancestry of apes

It's a valid point and, as you say, it revolves around precisely how we define terms. I know that some will define natural in terms of testability, which does indeed remove the problem, but it seems open to the sort of sticky ambiguity that derails all these kinds of discussion and gets them floundering in the semantic long grass.

My way of dealing with it removes the possibility of being accused of dogmatism, and puts the burden of proof firmly where it belongs.

In essence, It's the difference between saying 'I'm not looking at that', and saying, 'sure, I'll look; whaddya got?'
Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:36 pm
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