Intelligent Design

Denying the Truth is not the Same as Not Knowing it

Spread the love

Highlighting an exchange in a prior post:

Phinehas

As a result of your [i.e., ES’s] metaphysics, you are unable to describe in any meaningful way the difference between a mound of dirt and a sand castle.

Silver Asiatic

It’s amazing how difficult this concept is for some people.

Well, Silver, yes and no.

No, in the sense that it is no more difficult for them to apprehend a self-evident truth than anyone else. That is what it means for the truth to be “self-evident.” Don’t let them fool you into believing they genuinely do not perceive the self-evident. They do.

Yes, in the sense that as Phinehas has noted, ES’s prior metaphysical commitments force him to deny self-evident truths. The cognitive dissonance that is necessarily entailed by denying self-evident truths must be a difficult burden to bear.

106 Replies to “Denying the Truth is not the Same as Not Knowing it

  1. 1
    tintinnid says:

    Barry, you wield self-evident truths as if they were weapons. Declaring that something is a self-evident truth does not make it so. Is it a self-evident truth that the sparkling point of light in the night sky is a star? 99% of the time (or more, I don’t really know), this extrapolation may be correct. Except when it is a plant or a galaxy.

    In many cases, what somebody calls a self-evident truth is nothing more than opinion. For a theist, the presence of god is self-evident; the ultimate nature of morality is self-evident, the uniqueness of man is self-evident. But they aren’t.

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    ES, strawman. The blatant, screaming from the housetops, recognisable by any child difference between a volcano dome and a sand castle is in functionally specific complex organisation and associated information. This, sadly, you are not prepared to acknowledge based on a zero concessions policy, even at the price of clinging to patent absurdity. Please, think again. KF

  3. 3
    Barry Arrington says:

    Tintinid:

    Barry, you wield self-evident truths as if they were weapons.

    Self-evident truths are powerful things, but they are not weapons. I don’t doubt that denying them is psychologically painful and it may seem like they are.

    Declaring that something is a self-evident truth does not make it so.

    I could not agree more. A self-evident truth is such only if, as KF has already pointed out, one must descend into patent absurdity to deny it. Sadly, ES has demonstrated not only a willingness, but seemingly an eagerness, to do just that.

    Is it a self-evident truth that the sparkling point of light in the night sky is a star?

    No, it is not. You don’t seem to understand the concept of self-evident truth. You should study it.

    99% of the time (or more, I don’t really know), this extrapolation may be correct. Except when it is a plant or a galaxy.

    Again, you don’t seem to understand the nature of self-evident truth. A self-evident truth, by its very nature, is never perceived by means of an extrapolation. In other words, if you have to extrapolate to get to it, it may be true, but is not self-evidently true.

    In many cases, what somebody calls a self-evident truth is nothing more than opinion.

    That may be so. I am not sure what your point is. Are you suggesting that just because some people commit category errors, that everyone always commits an error when they categorize? If so, surely you can see that your conclusion does not follow from your premise.

    For a theist, the presence of god is self-evident;

    No it isn’t. Only someone who does not understand what a self-evident truth is would make this statement.

    the ultimate nature of morality is self-evident,

    Close. Some moral truths are self-evident. From this we infer that there is an ultimate foundation for morality. The moral truth is self-evident. The inference requires, well, an inference.

    the uniqueness of man is self-evident.

    Yes, that is correct.

    But they aren’t.

    See the OP.

  4. 4
    tintinnid says:

    What about the superiority of man over other life? Is that a self-evident truth? Warning: if your answer is yes then it is opinion.

  5. 5
    Barry Arrington says:

    I think I may see tintinid’s problem. He seems to think that “self-evident truth” is a synonym for “strongly held belief.” It is not.

  6. 6
    tintinnid says:

    Barry: “I think I may see tintinid’s problem. He seems to think that “self-evident truth” is a synonym for “strongly held belief.” It is not.”

    You may be correct. Maybe if you gave some concrete examples, I might understand better. But see if he can stay away from the “sun rises” type examples. It is the more esoteric ones that are in the grey zone.

  7. 7
    Box says:

    tintinnid,
    for me a crystal clear self-evident truth is that I exist. A materialist, like yourself, is forced by his metaphysical commitments to deny his own existence. Is that indeed psychologically painful, as Barry suggests?

    FOR SOLID EVOLUTIONARY REASONS, WE’VE BEEN tricked into looking at life from the inside. Without scientism, we look at life from the inside, from the first-person POV (OMG, you don’t know what a POV is?—a “point of view”). The first person is the subject, the audience, the viewer of subjective experience, the self in the mind.
    Scientism shows that the first-person POV is an illusion. Even after scientism convinces us, we’ll continue to stick with the first person. But at least we’ll know that it’s another illusion of introspection and we’ll stop taking it seriously. We’ll give up all the answers to the persistent questions about free will, the self, the soul, and the meaning of life that the illusion generates.
    The physical facts fix all the facts. The mind is the brain. It has to be physical and it can’t be anything else, since thinking, feeling, and perceiving are physical process—in particular, input/output processes—going on in the brain. We can be sure of a great deal about how the brain works because the physical facts fix all the facts about the brain. The fact that the mind is the brain guarantees that there is no free will. It rules out any purposes or designs organizing our actions or our lives. It excludes the very possibility of enduring persons, selves, or souls that exist after death or for that matter while we live. (….)
    The neural circuits in our brain manage the beautifully coordinated and smoothly appropriate behavior of our body. They also produce the entrancing introspective illusion that thoughts really are about stuff in the world. This powerful illusion has been with humanity since language kicked in, as we’ll see. It is the source of at least two other profound myths: that we have purposes that give our actions and lives meaning and that there is a person “in there” steering the body, so to speak. To see why we make these mistakes and why it’s so hard to avoid them, we need to understand the source of the illusion that thoughts are about stuff.

    [Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide To Reality, ch.9] – [my emphasis]

  8. 8
    tintinnid says:

    Box: “tintinnid,
    for me a crystal clear self-evident truth is that I exist. A materialist, like yourself, is forced by his metaphysical commitments to deny his own existence. Is that indeed psychologically painful, as Barry suggests?”

    Well, then Barry is full of it. I am a materialist and I consider it self-evident that I exist. Why should that be a problem? Can you find another example?

  9. 9
    Barry Arrington says:

    Tin

    “It is the more esoteric ones that are in the grey zone.”

    Not a problem, because anything that is even remotely close to esoteric cannot possibly be a self-evident.

    Here is the classic example: 2+2=4. A person perceives the truth of the proposition merely by understanding it. Interestingly 587X264=154,968 is not self-evidently true.

    Here’s another: I am conscious. If I deny that statement I have descended into patently absurd self-referential incoherence.

  10. 10
    tintinnid says:

    Barry, how about this one. If someone publicly, and falsely, claims that I am incapable of rational argument, is it self-evident that this person should apologize? Just asking?

  11. 11
    Barry Arrington says:

    Tin,

    Don’t dismiss Box so quickly. There may be an equivocation at play here.

    Of course a materialist such as yourself admits that he “exists” in the sense that the physical stuff of which your body is made is not an illusion. Box is not denying that. His argument is a little more subtle.

    Read and contemplate the lengthy quotation Box has provided.

    It is called the “hard problem of consciousness” for a reason my friend. Actually, for theistic dualists such as Box and myself, the problem is not hard at all. For materialist it is well-nigh insoluble.

    You experience subjective self-awareness. That cannot be denied. Yet a materialists’ metaphysical premises utterly exclude the possibility of a “real” subjective self that is not a “physical” thing. It is called a “hard problem” because there is no good answer to how a “physical thing” can have subjective self-awareness. How can a bag of chemicals have subjective self-awareness? This does not mean that materialists don’t try to answer the question. Indeed they do. And their answers are stupid. Just this week News has highlighted a materialist spewing the hoary “we only think that we think” idiocy. The other dodge is to say that “consciousness” is an “emergent property” of the brain system, as if that is an explanation instead of a confession of ignorance.

    So yes, the professor who is the subject of this post is denying that he exists (in the second sense of the word). And that is what Box is getting at. And I am not “full of it” when I point it out.

  12. 12
    tintinnid says:

    Barry: “Don’t dismiss Box so quickly. There may be an equivocation at play here.”

    I don’t dismiss Box. Yes, I believe that I am conscious, but I also know that any number of physical or chemical interventions can affect this. So, is my consciousness physical and chemical, or god given? I have to go with the former until evidence suggests otherwise. And I haven’t seen any evidence (other than BA77’s link blasts).

  13. 13
    Box says:

    tintinnid #11: If someone publicly, and falsely, claims that I am incapable of rational argument, is it self-evident that this person should apologize? Just asking?

    According to your metaphysics, there are blind particles in motion behind the ‘steering wheel’ of your thoughts. Why would particles in motion be capable of – or even be interested in – rational argument?

  14. 14
    Barry Arrington says:

    Tin

    I also know that any number of physical or chemical interventions can affect this

    You most certainly do not “know” that your consciousness results solely from chemical reactions in the brain system. You assume it because your metaphysical commitments require you to assume it. If you “knew” it you would explain it to everyone, thereby utterly destroying dualism, ID and probably theism as well. When you head off to Stockholm to collect your prize maybe then I will believe you “know” it.

    Why is it so hard for materialists to distinguish between their assumptions based on little more than their a priori metaphysical commitments and a posteriori knowledge? Do our schools no longer teach the difference?

  15. 15
    Daniel King says:

    Box:

    According to your metaphysics, there are blind particles in motion behind the ‘steering wheel’ of your thoughts. Why would particles in motion be capable of – or even be interested in – rational argument?

    Explain yourself. What are tintinnid’s metaphysics that compel your characterization?

    Rule of argumentation: Putting words in other peoples’ mouths is misrepresentation. (A lot – really a lot – of that goes on here.)

  16. 16
    tintinnid says:

    Barry, I will even draft it for you:

    I, Barry Arrington, being of sound mind and body, do apologize to Tintinnid for erroneously declaring that he was incapable of rational argument…

    Feel free to modify this draft as you see fit. Unless, of course, you don’t think that someone who falsely accuses someone else of something, should apologize. But please remember this the next time that someone accuses you of lying.

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    “I have to go with the former”

    And why do you have to go with the former? Because the former is amenable to your metaphysical commitments. For the reasons I explained above, the former is most certainly not the most rational position to hold. Indeed, until someone can explain how a “thing” can have subjective self-awareness, it is totally irrational to “go with the former.”

  18. 18
    Barry Arrington says:

    Tin @ 16. Now you are boring me. At least before you were committing somewhat interesting errors to expose. So long.

  19. 19
    Daniel King says:

    Banning rule #842:

    Don’t bore Barry.

  20. 20
    tintinnid says:

    Barry: “Tin @ 16. Now you are boring me. At least before you were committing somewhat interesting errors to expose. So long.”

    Why am I boring you? Because I am requesting an apology for a false statement you made about me? I have watched while you banned people for refusing to apologize to you for making far weaker transgressions against your character. Are you really so shallow that you will not hold yourself to the same standard you hold everyone else?

    Am I to assume that “so long” mean that I am banned?

  21. 21
    Box says:

    Daniel King: Explain yourself. What are tintinnid’s metaphysics that compel your characterization?

    Why don’t you explain yourself? Explain why you ask for the sake of asking.

  22. 22
    StephenB says:

    Tintinned

    Am I to assume that “so long” mean that I am banned?

    No, it means that he regrets the error and has nothing more to say. Your perception of the justice or injustice of previous bannings is not really relevant since you don’t know the complete history of interactions that prompted them. What may seem frivolous on your end may have been the last straw on the other end.

  23. 23
    Barry Arrington says:

    “So long” means “goodbye.” It does not mean “you’re banned.” Sheesh.

  24. 24
    StephenB says:

    Daniel King to Box

    Explain yourself. What are tintinnid’s metaphysics that compel your characterization?

    Rule of argumentation: Putting words in other peoples’ mouths is misrepresentation. (A lot – really a lot – of that goes on here.)

    Box is not putting words in tintinned’s mouth. The latter has said explicitly that he is a materialist.

  25. 25
    tintinnid says:

    Barry: ““So long” means “goodbye.” It does not mean “you’re banned.” Sheesh.”

    I’m also pretty sure that it doesn’t mean “I apologize”, but I could be wrong.

  26. 26
    Mark Frank says:

    Barry

    Here is the classic example: 2+2=4. A person perceives the truth of the proposition merely by understanding it. Interestingly 587X264=154,968 is not self-evidently true.

    Are you not confusing “self-evidently” with “obviously”? Whatever the grounds are for the truth of mathematical equations (a famous condundrum), surely they are same grounds for both these equations. It is just that in one case it is more obvious.

  27. 27
    Turbokid says:

    And to a savant, 587×264= 154,968 might be just as obviously true as 2+2=4 meaning what is self evidently true depends on the individual.

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    MF (& T-K, TT etc):

    It has long been discussed in and around at UD (and long before that, elsewhere . . . ), that self evident truths, ON UNDERSTANDING such, are directly seen as true, and as necessarily true; typically on pain of PATENT absurdity on attempted denial. Notice, not merely a synonym for obviousness . . . a very common caricature or misunderstanding that easily becomes a strawman set up to be knocked over.

    As you know there are results in say logic calculus, that can be shown to be so on pain of self contradiction (and others that subtly self-refer and contradict), but such will be seen only after significant effort. These are not self-evident. Self evidence will require actual truth, necessary truth easily seen based on our experience of the world as rational creatures, and patent absurdity or error on attempted denial.

    Aquinas long ago gave the refining point that such may be so in themselves, but for one not in a position to understand, they will not be seen as such. (IIRC, he gave as an example, truths of Plane Geometry.)

    For the cases above, something like 2 + 3 = 5 is simply seen once the direct substitution from the Indo-Arabic numerals to representative “stick” counters is made:

    || + ||| —> |||||

    But in your attempted objection, no such direct simple process is at work.

    First, there is a complex involvement of the place value notation system, which when I had to teach it for digital electronics, showed itself very involved. Second, the operation of multiplication (repeated addition) is so involved that people usually simply memorise — with considerable effort — the times tables over the course of a few years in school. This is taken basically on authority.

    Then, in the attempted undermining case, the feasible mechanism is one or more of the long multiplication algorithms, again usually accepted on authority with maybe a simple example or two to make it palatable.

    In short, your attempted counter example is haring away on a tangent, after a red herring.

    The point is brought out in BA’s second case:

    I am conscious. If I deny that statement I have descended into patently absurd self-referential incoherence.

    TT tried to assert emergence of consciousness as a known effect of brain chemistry, not realising — thanks to today’s ever so pervasive indoctrination in unreflective, lab coat clad a priori evolutionary materialism — that in fact this view is not only not warranted by any chain of scientific evidence, but that it ends directly in self-referential absurdity. As famed evolutionary theorist J B S Haldane pointed out over eighty years ago:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes [–> including of course self-aware, perceiving, rational, reasoning, warranting, knowing, understanding consciousness] are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]

    Oops.

    (Cf here on in context, especially the sections on the Smith model and the challenge to evolutionary materialism. The onward note on grounding of morality will help also.)

    Of course, the longstanding root problem for you MF and others of like ilk is, that self evidence is a grounding issue, setting limited, certain start-points for reasoning that serve as plumbline tests for worldviews, cf. here on.

    Here, there be dragons — FIRST PRINCIPLES OF RIGHT REASON and CORE KNOWABLE, UNDENIABLE TRUTHS (such as the classic one from Josiah Royce via Elton Trueblood: Error exists).

    Long time UD regulars know all about the vapours ever so many materialists get when we start, behold, a bright red ball on the table (or in the sky . . . ), A, such that we see the world-partition:

    W = { A | NOT_A }

    Hence, identity, A is A, not NOT_A, and hence the immediate concomitants LNC that (A AND ~A) = 0 and LEM (A X-OR ~A) = 1. And no, Q-mech is not an out (it rests on these first principles), and no you are not free to go on demanding turtles all the way down or in a circle.

    The buck stops here.

    And, such first principles of reason do great execution across the various post-/ultra-modernist schemes of thinking as well as to a priori evolutionary materialism, as such turn to deny self evident truth and land in absurdities.

    Denying the patent truth is not the same as not knowing it, or having a duty to acknowledge it. (And no, per the same patent absurdities in moral form, might and manipulation do not and cannot make ‘right.’ which points like a compass needle where so many would not go, the only serious candidate for an IS capable of grounding OUGHT at world-foundations level, is the inherently good creator God who is a necessary, maximally great being the root and sustainer of reality. Not a proof beyond all doubts and hyperskepticism, but a strong indicator as to the nature of a reality in which we find ourselves inescapably governed by ought.)

    It is high time for fresh thinking.

    KF

  29. 29
    E.Seigner says:

    KF

    As usual, you miss both the point and context by a wide margin, but I’m trying to see if you have any ability to focus on what is actually happening here.

    The OP says “Denying the Truth is not the Same as Not Knowing It”. Question: What is the truth that is being denied? The OP does not say.

    This is the context where the above remarks were taken from:

    1. ES is being faced with images of a dump of sand and a sand castle and is asked to explain the difference.

    2. ES explains based on the paradox of the heap, using the terminology of classical metaphysics common throughout history from Aristotle to Aquinas and beyond.

    3. ES asks in return how the persons who posed the question at stage #1 would describe the same difference.

    4. Answer from them: “As a result of your metaphysics, you are unable to describe in any meaningful way the difference between a mound of dirt and a sand castle.” Plus a series of OP’s, including this one, on “Darwinian Debating Devices” of ES.

    As we are, I still have no answer. So, focus now, KF, and give the answer:

    What is the “striking and obvious” difference between a dump of sand and a sand castle? In what scientific sense are you using “striking and obvious”? Is it from information theory, physics, or art criticism? And since it’s all supposedly a self-evident truth, then let’s see you answer briefly to the point.

  30. 30
    Box says:

    Materialist: I hold that all that is, is “material”, which means that I hold our observed universe to be “nothing but” the result of blind forces of nature acting on matter-energy in space-time, in light of chance circumstances across time.

    Theist: Does it follow from your metaphysics that ‘blind forces of nature acting on matter-energy’ are, so to speak, behind the driving wheel of your reasoning?

    Materialist: Absolutely

    Theist: Are ‘blind forces of nature acting on matter-energy’ capable of (or even interested in) rational argument?

    Materialist: Of course not!

    Theist: Does it follow that you are incapable of rational argument?

    Materialist: …. [crickets chirping]

    It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.
    [J.B.S. Haldane, “When I Am Dead”]

  31. 31
    Joe says:

    E Seigner:

    s usual, you miss both the point and context by a wide margin, but I’m trying to see if you have any ability to focus on what is actually happening here.

    LoL! Nice projection.

    What is the “striking and obvious” difference between a dump of sand and a sand castle?

    The arrangement of the sand, duh.

  32. 32
    Joe says:

    Barry:

    Here is the classic example: 2+2=4. A person perceives the truth of the proposition merely by understanding it. Interestingly 587X264=154,968 is not self-evidently true.

    My apologies but I do not understand that. 587X264=154,968 may not be self-evidently true to someone who cannot multiply but it is to someone who can.

  33. 33
    Joe says:

    tintinnid:

    Yes, I believe that I am conscious, but I also know that any number of physical or chemical interventions can affect this. So, is my consciousness physical and chemical, or god given? I have to go with the former until evidence suggests otherwise.

    Wow, so tintinnid accepts something for which there isn’t any evidence and rejects something else because she/ he feels that there isn’t any evidence.

    Unbelievable how our opponents employ double-standards without blinking.

  34. 34
    Upright BiPed says:

    ES at 29,

    It is not in the least bit difficult to answer the questions you ask, and you’ve already been given most of the answers (by me) in previous exchanges. The issue here is that the answers to your questions are entirely too coherent, and coherent answers do not serve your purposes. Consequently, you are immediately forced into the debating tactics that you’ve rightly been accused of.

  35. 35
    E.Seigner says:

    @Upright BiPed

    Point me to your answer. It belongs to this thread now.

  36. 36
    Joe says:

    Yes Upright Biped- point ES to your answer(s) so she can ignore them again. 😉

  37. 37
    Joe says:

    Turbokid:

    And to a savant, 587×264= 154,968 might be just as obviously true as 2+2=4 meaning what is self evidently true depends on the individual.

    It doesn’t take a savant to multiply 587×264 in their head.

  38. 38
    Upright BiPed says:

    It simple ES. The “striking and obvious” distinction is that the perceived image of the sandcastle meets a specification in the world of the humans, no differently that the perceived smell of raw meat meets a specification in the world of wolves. They function.

    Is the fact that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of vertebrates an objective reality, or is this merely the interpreted projection of an observer?

  39. 39
    Joe says:

    Some people are so dense that they can be considered walking black holes. E Seigner fits into that category. 😛

  40. 40
    Mark Frank says:

    I think I am about to be criticised for the Darwinian Debating Tactic of asking for precise definitions – but I really think there is a genuine confusion here between

    1) self-evident in the sense of not requiring evidence

    2) self-evident in the sense of being obviously true. 

    1) is about the truth conditions for a proposition – what makes it true – and is independent of people’s reactions to it. 2 ) is about people’s perception of the proposition and will very from one person to another. As TK writes some savant’s will find 587×264= 154,968 obviously true while an infant might not find 2+2=4 obviously true.

    I can see no reason why the truth conditions for a complicated mathematical equation differ from a simpler one.  They are both the consequence of deductions from axioms. Anyone who wants to assert that 2+2=4 is self-evident (in sense 1) while 587×264=154,968 is not has to find some fundamental difference between them and deal with borderline cases e.g. is 17+18 = 35 self-evident?

  41. 41
    E.Seigner says:

    Upright BiPed

    It simple ES. The “striking and obvious” distinction is that the perceived image of the sandcastle meets a specification in the world of the humans, no differently that the perceived smell of raw meat meets a specification in the world of wolves. They function.

    I suppose this is in response to What is the “striking and obvious” difference between a dump of sand and a sand castle?

    You say about the sand castle that it “functions”. Okay, let’s suppose it functions. Does this mean that a heap of sand dumped from a truck does not function in the world of humans? Or that even a natural dune does not function? Do they not have specifications?

    Upright BiPed

    Is the fact that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of vertebrates an objective reality, or is this merely the interpreted projection of an observer?

    Now, which question of mine is this supposed to answer? Obviously none.

    You answered the first question question-beggingly, and you looked completely past the followup: In what scientific sense are you using “striking and obvious”? Is it from information theory, physics, or art criticism?

    Normally I would consider your attempt a non-answer, but given the rotten atmosphere of this site, I will simply note this as the UD kind of answer by UB. Thanks for trying. I have no further questions to you.

  42. 42
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I think I am about to be criticised for the Darwinian Debating Tactic of asking for precise definitions

    I think you’re using a Darwin Debating Device that has been used before but I don’t know which one it is or what it’s called (maybe we need a new one?). It’s “chasing an irrelevant tangent”. This happened with the Shallit threads.

    A point was made about the difference between randomly generated text and an excerpt from Shakespeare. Instead of dealing with the point in question (how we recognize the difference), the topic chased after an irrelevant tangent and went on for days. The tangent was “Barry’s text isn’t random”. As I said at the time, this is like arguing about a spelling error in an argument (then going on about the history of the misspelled word, etc) and using that to score a point against the entire argument – and ultimately claim a victory.

    Something like …
    “You misspelled a word, and therefore your argument is false”.
    “Your example of random text is not really random, and therefore we ignore the point you were making.” (Why not offer truly random text instead?)

    In this case, the tangent is that one of Barry’s examples of self-evident truths comes under debate.

    Barry’s point is that there are self-evident truths and that a person’s metaphysical commitment can cause that truth to be denied, even though the truth is known.

  43. 43
    Upright BiPed says:

    Does this mean that a heap of sand dumped from a truck does not function in the world of humans?

     
    No, those images perceived by humans serve a function as well. But they do not meet the specification that a castle made of sand does. Is this subject matter difficult to understand?
     

    UB: Is the fact that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of vertebrates an objective reality, or is this merely the interpreted projection of an observer?
     
    ES: Now, which question of mine is this supposed to answer? Obviously none.

     
    You have argued that an inference to design in biology is illegitimate, partly because design is projected onto objects by human observers. But that which organizes inanimate matter into biological function is not determined by human observation. So, again, is the fact that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of vertebrates an objective reality, or is this a projection of an observer?

  44. 44
    Mark Frank says:

    #42 SA

    Barry’s point is that there are self-evident truths and that a person’s metaphysical commitment can cause that truth to be denied, even though the truth is known.

    Is it not relevant to clear up misunderstandings over what “self-evident” means? The example Barry provided was a good opportunity to explain the potential misunderstanding.

  45. 45
    Silver Asiatic says:

    ES #41

    “given the rotten atmosphere of this site”

    You seem to spend quite a lot of time here.

  46. 46
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Is it not relevant to clear up misunderstandings over what “self-evident” means? The example Barry provided was a good opportunity to explain the potential misunderstanding.

    It becomes irrelevant if the discussion focuses on tangents and re-definitions rather than the primary point of the post.

    The difference between a sand castle and a mound of sand is self-evident. You haven’t said that you either agree or disagree with that.

    Barry gave the example “I am conscious” as a self-evident truth. There have been other examples. To argue about one of those examples without offering better ones and without referring to the main point that Barry made is moving the discussion towards irrelevant tangents.

    Sure, as a side topic, the best examples of self-evident truths can be given. As a side topic, the means to create the most truly random set of characters can be discussed.

    But those are diversions from the main topic – which often does not get addressed at all by the people arguing about the tangent. Why is that?

  47. 47
    E.Seigner says:

    SA

    Instead of trying to evade the point by going on about some tangent and whatever, you are welcome to answer the topical questions anytime. The questions: What is the “striking and obvious” difference between a dump of sand and a sand castle? In what scientific sense are you using “striking and obvious”? Is it from information theory, physics, or art criticism?

  48. 48
    Barry Arrington says:

    Instead of trying to evade the point by going on about some tangent

    Ironic.

  49. 49

    MF said:

    Is it not relevant to clear up misunderstandings over what “self-evident” means? The example Barry provided was a good opportunity to explain the potential misunderstanding.

    It’s not irrelevant, it’s just impossible to explain it to those that are immune (via denial) to the explanation. A self-evident truth is a statement that, once one understands the statement, it is immediately recognizable as such and it would lead to absurdity to deny the statement.

    “2+2=4” = self evidently true; denial leads to irrationality (absurdity).

    “I am self-aware” = self-evidently true, denial leads to irrationality (absurdity).

    “A=A, A is not equal to not-A” = self-evidently true, because denial leads to irrationality (absurdity).

    Asserting that the sun doesn’t actually orbit the earth doesn’t lead to absurdity, but rather to questions about what kind of alternate physical mechanics could rationally make it appear as if the sun was orbiting the earth, while in fact it was not.

    The question is, is there a self-evident, significant difference between a pile of sand and a sandcastle? Does denying the difference lead to irrationality (absurdity)?

    Yes. That denial of anything but “incidental” differences would mean that you could not tell the difference between an organized, functional string of letters and gibberish, a random pile of rocks and the Great Pyramid, or any natural mountain face and Mount Rushmore. Denial of the difference leads to absurdity because you simply cannot act or function in any capacity without being able to distinguish the significant difference between a pile of sand and a sandcastle (so to speak).

  50. 50
    Upright BiPed says:

    ES,

    ….you are welcome to answer the topical questions anytime. The questions: What is the “striking and obvious” difference between a dump of sand and a sand castle?

    I’ve answered this question, as well as your follow-up question.

    Instead of responding in earnest, you’ve issued an irrelevant distraction which has no application to the answers I gave you. Also, you are very clearly avoiding my question back to you, which is directly related to your stated objections to ID
    .

    So, again, is the fact that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of vertebrates an objective reality, or is this a projection of an observer?,

  51. 51
    Mark Frank says:

    #49 WJM

    I am glad you agree that my comment was relevant (please explain this to SA).

    587×264=154,968 – denying this can be shown to lead to the identical absurdities that denying 2+2 =4 does. So presumably this is also self-evident?

  52. 52

    Mark Frank,

    I would call it a necessary truth that can be inferred from prior self-evident truths. The reason I wouldn’t call it self-evident is because I cannot apprehend the validity of the answer on sight even after understanding the nature of the statement – I must work it out according to mathematical principles in order to see if the answer is correct.

  53. 53

    MF;

    I don’t agree that it’s relevant. I think it’s just you trying to plumb a statement of Barry’s for dissent. That particular statement is entirely irrelevant to the main issue.

    I’m just (probably fruitlessly) responding to your query. Without self-evident truths, there is no mathematics. There is no logic. There is no debate. There is no science.

    There are categorical differences (though not always obvious) between self-evident truths, necessary truths, and conditional truths. Equivocating between them gains nothing but confusion.

    It is self-evidently true that there is a fundamental difference between a pile of sand and a sandcastle. Extrapolating beyond that specific example, you cannot live your life as if the difference between chance complexity and functional, specified complexity is “incidental”. That would be absurd.

    And the existence of god is not a self-evident truth, it is a necessary (even if inconvenient for some) truth.

  54. 54
    E.Seigner says:

    WJM

    It is self-evidently true that there is a fundamental difference between a pile of sand and a sandcastle. Extrapolating beyond that specific example, you cannot live your life as if the difference between chance complexity and functional, specified complexity is “incidental”. That would be absurd.

    So, we must live our lives as if the difference between a pile of sand and a sand castle was substantial rather than incidental? We have to acknowledge the self-evident truth that the sand castle is a castle rather than sand? Therefore we can go live in the sand castle? Referring to the other example I brought in the original context, we must acknowledge the striking resemblance of plastic fruits to real fruits, and treat them both the same because they look the same?

    Those who see what’s absurd in this reasoning see it based on the distinction of incidental and substantial. The OP denies the truth of the necessary distinction of substantial and incidental. The denial is not obvious from the OP, because the OP is not giving the full context of what prompted it. But nevermind. Misrepresentation is the UD kind of normalcy.

  55. 55
    Alan Fox says:

    It is self-evidently true that there is a fundamental difference between a pile of sand and a sandcastle.

    Say I give you two test tubes of sand taken from a pile on a beach and a beach sculpture on the same beach. You can’t tell the difference, can you? I’d think a pile of sand on a beach was the result of human activity, as it is not how sand lies on a deserted beach.

    Where’s the fundamental, self-evident difference?

  56. 56
    Turbokid says:

    WJM @52, so what you have affirmed is that self-evident truths can vary between individuals. You cannot apprehend the validity of 587×264=154,968 on sight therefore it is not self-evident. There are many people in the world that would be able to apprehend the validity of that mathematical statement on sight. So to them it is self-evident. Equally there are many that would not apprehend the validity of 2 + 2 = 4, so to them that is not a self-evident statement (by your definition).

    This is not a tangent as SA says, as it goes to an issue at the heart of self-evident truths (which is there universality).

  57. 57
    tgpeeler says:

    Maybe this wasn’t the thread I should have looked at to get reacquainted with what’s going on at UD. Some people can’t tell the difference between a pile of sand and a volcano without explanation of some kind… Really??? And they can’t understand the fundamental principles that make it so??? Some things never change, apparently. Aaaaah, the insanity of arguing with people who reject the rule of reason in matters of truth. It’s good to be back…

  58. 58
    rich says:

    2+2=4 would trouble children.

  59. 59
    Alan Fox says:

    Some people can’t tell the difference between a pile of sand and a volcano without explanation of some kind… Really???

    Volcanoes aren’t made of sand as far as I am aware, Tom. (And that wasn’t the question.)

    But wait!

  60. 60
    tintinnid says:

    A lot of talk about the difference between a pile of sand and a sandcastle. But I think that I have lost what the point of this whole discussion is. Is Sa trying to draw an analogy to being able to detect design in natural systems? I assume that this is what is being attempted. A pile of sand and a sandcastle (or a pile of lego and a lego castle) make it appear to be self-evident that one is designed and one isn’t, and that, therefore, design in nature can be detected in the same manner. But we are only able to detect the design in a sandcastle and a lego castle because we know, in advance, that they are designed.

    What about the difference between a pile of quartz sand and complex quartz crystal formations. To the uninformed, the crystal formation, which can be as ordered and structured as any sand castle, would appear to be just as designed as the sandcastle, but it is not. Which is why trying to draw an analogy between human design and ID is impossible because it requires the a-priori assumption that design in nature exists.

  61. 61
    tgpeeler says:

    Whatever. I did not plow through this entire thread post by post. But thanks for letting me know that volcanoes aren’t made out of sand. Evidently I picked out volcano and sand from different posts. Regrets for offending anyone’s intellectual sensibilities.

    Back to the salient point about what is “self-evident.” Let me suggest something. Let’s take something as self-evident if it’s denial involves a self-contradiction. For example. I do not exist. I would have to exist to deny my existence. Here’s another. Rational thought is the only way to know propositional truth. To deny that requires, presumably, a rational argument. There is no such thing as absolute truth. But that is an absolute truth claim. There are many others. Another characteristic of self=evident truths is that they don’t admit of proof. Again, using my existence, if some one were to ask me to prove that I exist I would reply that I do not need to do that. My existence proves or demonstrates itself. There are no premises that lead to the conclusion “I exist.” I simply do.

  62. 62
    Alan Fox says:

    But we are only able to detect the design in a sandcastle and a lego castle because we know, in advance, that they are designed.

    It’s easier than that. E. Seigner points out that everything is designed. Beats me why we need an explanatory filter or a FSCIAO* detector.

    *I’m rusty on the latest acronym, sorry.

  63. 63
    Joe says:

    If everything is designed then all deaths are murders, there are no accidents and all rocks are artifacts.

    Or perhaps ES and Alan are just deluded.

  64. 64
    tgpeeler says:

    Might help to revisit the different kinds of causes.
    Material, formal, efficient, final, instrumental, and exemplar. I believe this would clear up the confusion about what is designed and what is not.

  65. 65
    Joe says:

    fatman Fox:

    Say I give you two test tubes of sand taken from a pile on a beach and a beach sculpture on the same beach. You can’t tell the difference, can you?

    Perhaps we could. What is your point?

    I’d think a pile of sand on a beach was the result of human activity, as it is not how sand lies on a deserted beach.

    So no non-human force can pile sand up on a beach? Really?

  66. 66
    StephenB says:

    Tintinned:

    But we are only able to detect the design in a sandcastle and a lego castle because we know, in advance, that they are designed.

    It is precisely that claim, which was also made by E. Seigner, the theist, and which is also made by many atheists, that Barry characterized as being staggeringly stupid. He was right. It is a staggeringly stupid claim. We need no advance notice or historical references to detect the design in a sand castle.

  67. 67
    StephenB says:

    Alan Fox

    It’s easier than that. E. Seigner points out that everything is designed. Beats me why we need an explanatory filter or a FSCIAO* detector.

    This is another example of ignorance asserting itself. ID has no quarrel with the faith claim that everything is designed. The issue is which of those artifacts/organisms (all of which may well have been designed) leave the kinds of evidential clues in nature that can be detected in the absence of that faith claim.

  68. 68
    rich says:

    @StephenB –
    Shouldn’t they *all* leave those evidential clues if they are in fact designed?

  69. 69
    Joe says:

    No, Rich. Fingerprints can be wiped clean. Evidence of a crime can be washed away. Intelligent designers can hide all clues as to their involvement. That is why it is as StephenB says.

  70. 70
    rich says:

    Do you agree with that, StephenB?

  71. 71
    Joe says:

    LoL! Rich cannot put 2 + 2 together

  72. 72

    Turbokid said:

    WJM @52, so what you have affirmed is that self-evident truths can vary between individuals.

    No. The capacity to recognize self-evident truths varies between individuals. Nobody has said otherwise.

    You cannot apprehend the validity of 587×264=154,968 on sight therefore it is not self-evident.

    I don’t have the capacity to apprehend it as such, which is why I wouldn’t call it a self-evident truth. It may be a self-evident truth for someone who can comprehend the totality of the mathematical statement. Nobody said that everyone can recognize all self-evidently true statements.

    There are many people in the world that would be able to apprehend the validity of that mathematical statement on sight.

    Just as there are many people that would be able to recognize the self-evident nature of certain phrases uttered in German, but I would not be able to. Comprehension is required for any self-evident truth to be self-evident.

    So to them it is self-evident. Equally there are many that would not apprehend the validity of 2 + 2 = 4, so to them that is not a self-evident statement (by your definition).

    As far as I know, I’m not talking to them. I think most people here are capable of comprehending 2+2=4 as a self-evident truth.

    This is not a tangent as SA says, as it goes to an issue at the heart of self-evident truths (which is there universality).

    Nobody claimed that any statement, whether mathematical or in any particular language, has the magic capacity in and of itself to force understanding on anyone who sees it or hears it, regardless of their level of intelligence or cognitive ability.

    Your point seems to be that because some people deny, or fail to apprehend a self-evident truth as such, this means that the self-evident truth is not a self-evident truth (or else this would be a tangent, and you insist it is not). If a blind man fails to see a wall, does it not exist for him? If I fail to understand the inverse-square law, will it not apply to lighting sources I set up in order to take pictures?

    There are self-evident truths that everyone here can apprehend. You might as well say that you do not recognize “I am self-aware” or “A=A” or “2+2=4” as self-evident truths as to claim that it is not self-evidently true that there is a fundamental difference between a random pile of sand and a sandcastle.

    Which is why this is all a tangent. That there may be some debate about whether or not some statements are self-evidently true doesn’t call into question all self-evidently true statements.

  73. 73
    tintinnid says:

    StephenB: Stagerringly stupid comment alert: “It is precisely that claim, which was also made by E. Seigner, the theist, and which is also made by many atheists, that Barry characterized as being staggeringly stupid. He was right. It is a staggeringly stupid claim. We need no advance notice or historical references to detect the design in a sand castle.”

    The fact that you refer to it as a “sandcastle” proves my point. It is a structure known by humans, made of sand. If an alien with absolutely no knowledge of humans and human construction, or sand and sand dunes, saw a sand castle, would they automatically jump to the “design” conclusion? I would expect much more from an intelligent being.

    I notice that you only responded to a part of my comment (quote mine?). You failed to address the question if a complex quartz crystal formation, which can be as ordered and structured as a sand castle, is detectable as design.

  74. 74
    Silver Asiatic says:

    ES #47

    I answered this for you already and you said nothing. I’ll do it again:

    St. Thomas offers this:

    … if we enter a well-ordered house we gather therefrom the intention of him that put it in order, as Tullius says (De Nat. Deorum ii), quoting Aristotle [Cleanthes].

    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1103.htm

    We see a well-ordered house as evidence of design/intent.
    We see a sand castle, as evidence of design. We do not see the same in a pile of sand.

    What is the “striking and obvious” difference between a dump of sand and a sand castle? In what scientific sense are you using “striking and obvious”? Is it from information theory, physics, or art criticism?

    – Mathematical/geometric symmetry. This can be measured for each. We observe and measure a difference in each.
    – Pattern matching. The sand castle matches references to sophisticated architecture the pile of sand does not.
    – Physics. We look for the origin or source of both.

    The sand dump can be created by a blind, random, unintelligent process.
    The sand castle cannot be created by a blind, random, unintelligent process.

  75. 75
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM #72

    Which is why this is all a tangent. That there may be some debate about whether or not some statements are self-evidently true doesn’t call into question all self-evidently true statements.

    Exactly. It’s taking up a debate on an irrelevant topic. Self-evident truths exist. If someone here denies that, then they should say it. Arguing about a certain example of a self-evident truth is chasing after a tangent. It’s like wanting to argue about a misspelled word in the text.

  76. 76
    Silver Asiatic says:

    #60 tintinnid

    But I think that I have lost what the point of this whole discussion is.

    The point here is that there is a difference between knowing the truth about something and actually affirming it (or denying it).

    But we are only able to detect the design in a sandcastle and a lego castle because we know, in advance, that they are designed.

    This brings us to the problem that ES had — not being able to describe the difference between the sand castle and pile of sand.

    We do not need to know if either was designed in advance to observe the differences in the two. Right? Why not give a try to explain the differences that you would observe?

  77. 77
    StephenA says:

    But we are only able to detect the design in a sandcastle and a lego castle because we know, in advance, that they are designed.

    How did you know in advance that this particular sandcastle was designed? Did you observe the creators building it? Did you see the photo posted on the internet beforehand along with a comment saying “Look what I made!”?

    Or did you make an inference to the best explanation? (i.e. In all cases where you know the origin of sandcastles, that origin has involved design. Therefore, wherever you observe sandcastles where you do not have direct evidence of their origin you conclude that they were designed.)

  78. 78
    Upright BiPed says:

    ES, hemoglobin was isolated in the 1840’s and its function within the bloodstream was suggested by Claude Bernard as far back as the 1870’s. We teach this function in all biology courses around the world, in all languages, without exception. My question to you was hardly controversial, yet you refuse to answer it.

    If taken solely at your word, and by your actions, you have a wholly confused, disastrously confused, idea about the rationale behind ID. You protect this state of confusion because it profits you to do so.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Turbokid says:

    SA @75, it is not like arguing about a misspelled word. It goes to the heart of whether self-evident truths exist and what they are. I believe that a lot of things that get called self-evident truths are just things where the truth seems obvious (but may in fact not be).

    Barry’s examples of the mathematical equations are interesting (and remember he presented them as examples). What WJM has said (I think) is that 587×264=154,968 is a self-evident truth, it’s just that he doesn’t have the capacity to apprehend it as such (and that what varies is people’s ability to recognise self-evident truths, but not the self-evident nature of the truths themselves).

    This puts him in disagreement with Barry who says 587×264=154,968 is not a self-evident truth (not just that he doesn’t recognise it as such).

  81. 81
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Turbokid

    It goes to the heart of whether self-evident truths exist and what they are.

    OK but the fact that you haven’t made a commitment about whether SE truths exist is a problem. I think you need to make your position on this known. Otherwise why criticize the mathematical example?

  82. 82
    tintinnid says:

    SA: “We do not need to know if either was designed in advance to observe the differences in the two. Right? Why not give a try to explain the differences that you would observe?”

    Again, everybody is ignoring the complex quartz crystal structure. How do you distinguish between this non intelligent design and the intelligent design of a sand castle. Especially if you have no knowledge of human ingenuity and experience. A rational person would acknowledge that detecting design would be biased by past biases and experiences. Anyone who doesn’t know this is staggeringly stupid and incapable of rational thought.

  83. 83
    Mung says:

    Turbokid: “I believe that a lot of things that get called self-evident truths are just things where the truth seems obvious (but may in fact not be).”

    Therefore, there are no self-evident truths.

    We’ll just ignore for the sake of convenience the self-evident truth that self-evident truths ought to be self evident!

    Or not.

  84. 84
    Mung says:

    tintinnid:

    How do you distinguish between this non intelligent design [the complex quartz crystal structure] and the intelligent design of a sand castle.

    So you agree the sand castle is intelligently designed? Why?

    So you think complex quartz crystal structure is not intelligently designed? Why?

  85. 85
    franklin says:

    mung:

    Oxygen transport of hemoglobin in high-altitude animals (Camelidae)

    Great! Now we find that oxygen transports hemoglobin!

    kidding aside what did you think of the article, mung?

  86. 86
    Joe says:

    I noticed a mutation in the first “alpacas”- I was reading it and thought “what the heck are “apacas”?”

  87. 87
    E.Seigner says:

    Silver Asiatic #76

    St. Thomas offers this: “… if we enter a well-ordered house we gather therefrom the intention of him that put it in order…”

    Actually, he offers this: “First, by observation of things themselves: for we observe that in nature things happen always or nearly always for the best; which would not be the case unless some sort of providence directed nature towards good as an end; which is to govern. Wherefore the unfailing order we observe in things is a sign of their being governed; for instance, if we enter a well-ordered house we gather therefrom the intention of him that put it in order…” And: “Secondly, this is clear from a consideration of Divine goodness, which, as we have said above (44, 4; 65, 2), was the cause of the production of things in existence.”

    He is making an analogy to argue that the entire universe is designed.

  88. 88
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Thomas offers this: “… if we enter a well-ordered house we gather therefrom the intention of him that put it in order…”

    When we observe a well ordered house we recognize the intention or design. You might notice this is an argument against a chance origin of the world.

  89. 89
    E.Seigner says:

    Silver Asiatic

    You might notice this is an argument against a chance origin of the world.

    You might notice this is an argument against a chance origin of the world, not of a house or a dump of sand. It has no bearing when arguing about the distinction of a dump of sand and a sand castle.

  90. 90
    Silver Asiatic says:

    You claimed to not know what chance is.

  91. 91
    E.Seigner says:

    Silver Asiatic

    You claimed to not know what chance is.

    Surely you can back this up with references.

    If I asked for a definition, then because I noticed an ID theorist use it weirdly, and my question was to ensure what he means by it. For my own purposes I have a very good idea what it is.

  92. 92
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Thomas offers this: “… if we enter a well-ordered house we gather therefrom the intention of him that put it in order…”

    When we observe a well ordered house we recognize the intention or design.

  93. 93
    Mung says:

    E.Seigner, is the fact that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of vertebrates an objective reality, or is this a projection of an observer?

  94. 94
    franklin says:

    mung

    E.Seigner, is the fact that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of vertebrates an objective reality, or is this a projection of an observer?

    all vertebrates do not have hemoglobin so your statement cannot represent an objective reality.

  95. 95
    Mung says:

    franklin, nice to see where on the side of reality you weigh in. Or are you just trolling?

  96. 96
    franklin says:

    mung

    Or are you just trolling?

    Is posting factual information now considered trolling by ID proponents?

    mung

    franklin, nice to see where on the side of reality you weigh i

    are you questioning the factual nature of my statement that not all vertebrates have hemoglobin?

  97. 97
    Acartia_bogart says:

    “Is posting factual information now considered trolling by ID proponents?”

    When has it not been considered trolling by the ID proponents? No, seriously. When? Why else would they have to train their flock on identifying the Darwinian Debating Devices? A list of “devices” that has made UD a laughing stock in the rational world.

    Sorry. Was that trolling behaviour?

  98. 98
    Mung says:

    franklin,

    I’m willing to consider that you jumped in with both feet without first testing the water. Care to try again?

    Are you asserting that your “facts” are descriptions of objective reality?

    Or are you just “projecting” your “facts”?

    Aw heck. Encouraging people in their folly is not charitable.

    franklin:

    …all vertebrates do not have hemoglobin so your statement cannot represent an objective reality.

    I made no claim about all vertebrates.

    So your argument is a non-sequitur.

    Let’s lay it out for the casual observer:

    all vertebrates do not have hemoglobin

    therefore,

    it is not an objective reality that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of vertebrates

  99. 99
    franklin says:

    mung

    Are you asserting that your “facts” are descriptions of objective reality?

    Yes the simple fact I posited can be determined by anyone and there is only one conclusion that is viable.

    mung

    I made no claim about all vertebrates.

    Well, mung, if I were studying a species of vertebrate that has hemoglobin I could make the correct, and true, statement that one of the functions of hemoglobin, in that species, is to transport, and supply, oxygen to metabolically active tissue.

    If you, on the other hand, were studying a species of vertebrate that had no hemoglobin is seems like an obvious error to state that hemoglobin transports oxygen to the metabolically active tissue of that species.

    mung

    all vertebrates do not have hemoglobin

    therefore,

    it is not an objective reality that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of vertebrates

    you almost got it right, mung. Here would be the correct form:

    all vertebrates do not have hemoglobin

    therefore,

    it is not an objective reality that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of allvertebrates.

    mung

    s the fact that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of vertebrates

    this is where you go wrong, mung, vertebrates that have no hemoglobin do not have oxygen transported to their tissue by something they don’t have. No where here have you qualified which vertebrate species are to be considered and which are not. Your general statement is false.

    If you wish to argue that hemoglobin, in vertebrates that posses this respiratory pigment, functions (one of many functions) to transport oxygen it is trivially true but it is not an objective reality since the statement is species-dependent in the vertebrate linage.

  100. 100
    Mung says:

    franklin:

    …if I were studying a species of vertebrate that has hemoglobin I could make the correct, and true, statement that one of the functions of hemoglobin, in that species, is to transport, and supply, oxygen to metabolically active tissue.

    good for you

    what are the other functions of hemoglobin

    does the function of hemoglobin change depending the species

    are there multiple functions for hemoglobin in a single species

    what determines the objective function of hemoglobin

  101. 101
    franklin says:

    mung

    what are the other functions of hemoglobin

    You don’t know what the other functions of hemoglobin are?

    mung

    does the function of hemoglobin change depending the species

    yes

    mung

    are there multiple functions for hemoglobin in a single species

    yes

    mung

    what determines the objective function of hemoglobin

    I don’t know why don’t you tell me.

    I notice (and the onlookers as well) that you have appeared to back away from your claim that “ithe fact that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of vertebrates an objective reality”

    wise move, actually.

  102. 102
    E.Seigner says:

    Mung

    E.Seigner, is the fact that hemoglobin functions by carrying required oxygen to the tissues of vertebrates an objective reality, or is this a projection of an observer?

    That blood is running in bloodvessels is an objective reality, but what it carries (it carries many things besides hemoglobin) and whether it’s required (required for what? for life? for death? which one is the purpose?) is open to interpretation.

  103. 103
    franklin says:

    where is mung?

  104. 104
    Mung says:

    where is franklin?

  105. 105
    franklin says:

    franklin has been waiting for mung to post a response and I guess #104 is the most substantial he can muster on the subject we were discussing.

  106. 106
    Mung says:

    response posted

Leave a Reply