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Switch to Forum Live View Why bother with evolution?
4 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 11:07AM #131
Fodaoson
Posts: 11,166

Logic is systematic reasoning. It is applied in Philosophy, Mathematics, Computer science, semantics, and many other disciplines.  It is also defied in some philosophies,  in politics and BN postings   


 

“I seldom make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.” Edward Gibbon
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4 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 11:11AM #132
TemplarS
Posts: 6,962

Well, this is fascinating, and I am delighted, Mindis1, to be in the company of people who can intelligently discuss Godel's Theorem. 


 


But what this has to do with evolution, I'm not quite sure.


The main job of these big brains people have is to make sense of what goes on in the world.  So sure, in many case we have this tendency to break what is actually a continuum into discrete elements.  We label arbitrarily label people adult/minor, black/white (see the Halle Berry thread), smart/dumb, liberal/conservative, master/apprentice whereas in reality all these are continua.  Some of this is outright absurd (black/white) whereas in other cases (adult/minor) it would seem to be necessary to make this sort of distinction for a complex society to function- but the boundaries are always somewhat arbitrary and fuzzy.


Even in scienctific endeavor one sees this: in biology (and, evolution) species can blend into each other at the edges, so what we mean by species is not always so clearcut.


I suspect that the old mind-body problem is similar.  It is natural from the viewpoint of scientific enquiry to take a materialist (reductionist) view, but Hofstadter, for one, has written that this may not be the most efficient way to describe things.  One can borrow a page from the thermodynamists who describe things in terms of aggregate properties of matter, so we talk about the temperature of a gas and not the individual velocities of every molecule in a gas.  For all intents and purposes, temperature is a very real thing; I do not see why various of the "soft" attributes ascribed to human minds (love, hate, intelligence) are not just as real for the purposes of describing the human condition.  What seems clear, though, is that, as in the case of temperature, they arise from the physical matter of the brain; in that sense (and in that sense only), the old notion of mind-body duality seems now defunct.

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 11:13AM #133
Christianlib
Posts: 21,848

Feb 10, 2011 -- 10:42PM, Erey wrote:

Feb 10, 2011 -- 7:05PM, Christianlib wrote:

Erey,
The topic of P not P is not "ancient philosophy".  It is logic, a branch of mathmatics.  Although it was first postulated by ancient philosophers, and therefore some systems and parts bear their names, it is not a matter of "philosophy" as in "opinion."

What mindis is saying is that whether you are asian or not, two absolutely diametrically opposed facts cannot both be true.   A number cannot both be 1 AND 3.   (Well, there are some systems of theoretical math where that could be postulated, but for we everyday folks, it is true.)  You can have either one apple, or three apples.

(Unless you want to play word games and say, "I have 10 apples.  Here is one, I also have these three."  But that is semantical, not logical.)



I know about logic and I was always under the impression it was a branch of philosophy.

I do dissagree that two opposed facts cannot both be true, they can.  Typically only one fact is true but that is not always the case.   I understand why people come to the assumption because A is true not A is false  but that is just their assumption based on limited logic. 




 


Wow! You disagree.  And because of that, all of logic should be ignored or discarded?


Your personal opinion just doesn't carry much weight in academic matters.  Sorry.

Democrats think the glass is half full.
Republicans think the glass is theirs.
Libertarians want to break the glass, because they think a conspiracy created it.
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4 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 4:04PM #134
mindis1
Posts: 8,142

Feb 11, 2011 -- 9:54AM, arielg wrote:

The rational mind can be a good servant but a lousy master. 


I like that, Ariel.

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 4:07PM #135
mindis1
Posts: 8,142

Feb 11, 2011 -- 11:11AM, TemplarS wrote:


Well, this is fascinating, and I am delighted, Mindis1, to be in the company of people who can intelligently discuss Godel's Theorem.



My husband is a mathematician, so I’ve had a heightened interest in philosophy of mathematics these past few years. We have discovered that the best way to solve a problem in philosophy of mathematics is to arm-wrestle.


What, if anything, do Godel’s incompleteness theorems or his completeness theorem (or, for that matter, the Löwenheim–Skolem theorem) demonstrate about the relationship between logic and mathematics? In particular, do these theorems demonstrate or provide evidence that mathematics is prior to logic?


Christianlib said above that logic is a branch of mathematics. I agree, but that is not something that is usually stated about the relationship between logic and mathematics. It implies that mathematics is primary to logic.


The main job of these big brains people have is to make sense of what goes on in the world. So sure, in many case we have this tendency to break what is actually a continuum into discrete elements. We label arbitrarily label people adult/minor, black/white (see the Halle Berry thread), smart/dumb, liberal/conservative, master/apprentice whereas in reality all these are continua. Some of this is outright absurd (black/white) whereas in other cases (adult/minor) it would seem to be necessary to make this sort of distinction for a complex society to function- but the boundaries are always somewhat arbitrary and fuzzy.


Even in scienctific endeavor one sees this: in biology (and, evolution) species can blend into each other at the edges, so what we mean by species is not always so clearcut.


I suspect that the old mind-body problem is similar. It is natural from the viewpoint of scientific enquiry to take a materialist (reductionist) view, but Hofstadter, for one, has written that this may not be the most efficient way to describe things. One can borrow a page from the thermodynamists who describe things in terms of aggregate properties of matter, so we talk about the temperature of a gas and not the individual velocities of every molecule in a gas. For all intents and purposes, temperature is a very real thing; I do not see why various of the "soft" attributes ascribed to human minds (love, hate, intelligence) are not just as real for the purposes of describing the human condition. What seems clear, though, is that, as in the case of temperature, they arise from the physical matter of the brain; in that sense (and in that sense only), the old notion of mind-body duality seems now defunct.



How does experience (phenomenal consciousness) or, more importantly, volition (the ability to choose between options) “arise from the physical matter of the brain”?


Obviously one cannot claim that one lacks volition while maintaining that one’s utterances have any truth-value. It is volition that enables one to accept true statements and reject false ones. Without volition, one’s claims are just noise that one cannot avoid making, like the sound a combustion engine cannot avoid making when running. Without volition, the whole enterprise of science or the scientific method is meaningless, i.e., it does not provide truth about reality.


There has never been a discovery that either experience or volition is produced by “physical matter,” has there? There is no mathematical formula by which either experience or volition can arise from “physical matter”. “Physical matter” has no properties that can conceivably produce either experience or volition.


BTW: all that has even been discovered about the nature of empirical reality is mathematics, specifically mathematical relations--e.g., E=mc2, F=ma, the law of conservation of energy, the law of conservation of momentum, Coulomb’s inverse-square law, etc., etc. These are all relations between quantities. If a thing isn’t mathematical, then it isn’t empirical. Empirical means mathematical.


P1: What physicists discover is objectively real.


P2: What physicists discover are mathematical relations.


C: Therefore, mathematical relations are objectively real.


Any objections?

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 4:09PM #136
mindis1
Posts: 8,142

CL, when you said that logic is a branch of mathematics, were you implying that mathematics is primary to logic--i.e., that logic is a subset of mathematics?

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2011 - 4:17PM #137
Christianlib
Posts: 21,848

Mindis, as I'm sure you understand, it isn't really simple.  For one thing, one must make a distinction between "formal logic" with it's notations and truth tables, and "informal logic" with its "classical rhetorical fallacies" such as non sequitor, post hoc, and (favorite around here) ad hominem.


 


I posted as I did because it seemed the poster to whom I replied was trying to simply dismiss logical construction with a "oh, that's YOUR philosophy" hand wave.  Using the term "philosophy" as a synonym for "opinion."


I was trying to point out that, in the kind of use you were promoting, logic is much more math than "philosophy" (opinion), in that it uses immutable rules, and does not lead to conclusions like "one way to look at it."

Democrats think the glass is half full.
Republicans think the glass is theirs.
Libertarians want to break the glass, because they think a conspiracy created it.
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4 years ago  ::  Feb 12, 2011 - 10:41AM #138
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

WWSD?


What Would Spock Do?

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2011 - 7:53PM #139
NATAS
Posts: 970

I am not suprised that most teachers in the US and most people in the US do not "believe" in evilolution.  It is my understanding that according to the latest polls most people in the US "believe" in God.  Now believing in God and in the theory of naturalistic evilolution are not neccessarily exclusive.  As someone has pointed out the Catholic Church has given its stamp of approval to the theory.  If I understand their position correctly they take a dualistic approach.  They agree that human beings as a speices have evolved from other species.  However they feel that "human beings" are God's special little creature because the have SOULS.  It is the "ensoulment" of the human species that makes them "in the image of God". 


The naturalistic theory of evilolution is a valid scientific theory that seeks to explain how not only have the human speices came to exist on this planet but how ALL speicies have evolved from earlier species.  That is why it should be taught in biology classes. 


Creationism is a SUPER-natural theory of evolution.  It claims that all speicies, espeically the human speices were created individually by God.  They might concede that "micro-evolution" does occur "naturally"  but firmly deny that "macro-evolution" occurs "naturally"  espeically those who were created "in his image"  aka human beings.  That is why is could be taught in a religion class. 


It appears to me that it is the more conservative-fundamentalist-literalist monotheists of the Abrahamic traditions that have a problem with this naturalistic scientific theory.  That includes not only Christians but Muslims as well as Jews. 


I really don't know what the Buddhist or Hindu or othere so-called "eastrern" position is on the theory of evilolution by natural selection. 


There are hundreds, if not thousands of scientific theories.  I don't think that the conservative-fundamentalist-literalist monotheists of the Abrahamic traditions have much of a problem with those theories.  It is just this scientic theory that they object. 


However the questions I want answered as clearly as possible is


Should natural eviloution be taught in biology classes? 


Is it really neccessary to be taught the theory?


Couldn't biology be taught without mentioning it? 


Is there any practical reason to learn it? 


 


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2011 - 8:00PM #140
mountain_man
Posts: 40,581

Feb 16, 2011 -- 7:53PM, NATAS wrote:

...Should natural eviloution be taught in biology classes?


Absolutely.

Is it really neccessary to be taught the theory?


Absolutely.

Couldn't biology be taught without mentioning it?


Asolutely not!

Is there any practical reason to learn it?


All of modern mediciine and biology is based on the facts of evolution. To leave it out would be like teaching only grammar but leaving out spelling. They kids would know where the words go but not how to spell them correctly. Evolution is the "spelling" for biology.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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