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YouTube warns us against questioning consensus science

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Sad Sun Icon Further to kairosfocus’s thoughts yesterday on the digital empire suppressing the free flow of ideas:

Buzzfeed reported August 7 that “YouTube Is Fighting Back Against Climate Misinformation.”

As of July 9, “YouTube is now adding fact checks to videos that question climate change … as a part of its ongoing effort to combat the rampant misinformation and conspiratorial fodder on its platform.”

YouTube’s decision might be defensible if it were evenhanded.

If, on all videos addressing climate change, from any perspective, YouTube placed a notice that climate change is the subject of vigorous ongoing debate and that equally qualified scientists hold a variety of views on the magnitude, causes, and consequences of human-induced climate change and on the best responses to it, and if it provided links to the two sites providing the most in-depth information from competing perspectives—the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change—it would be doing a real public service.

Instead, it posts its notice only on videos that challenge some part of the conventional wisdom—call it “scientific consensus,” if you like, despite the dubious claim to such. Those that embrace the conventional wisdom get a free pass. William D. Balgord and Calvin Beisner, “YouTube Is Fighting against Scientific Inquiry and the Expansion of Human Knowledge” at Townhall

Most critics of consensus science on climate change are critiquing the methodology of influential papers; they are not claiming that there is a vast conspiracy to mislead the public.

Michael Crichton (1942–2008) said it best: “I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet because you’re being had.”

Put less elegantly, a consensus does not start out as bunk but it quickly degenerates into bunk when it is put beyond critique.

Some think Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc., will run the world but others see them as spinning into an authoritarian black hole. That’s the view of tech guru (and ID sympathizer) George Gilder, author of Life after Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy. Hear why he thinks so.

See also: The ID issue vs Digital Empire/Cartel concerns: information utilities/ “superhighway” vs shadow-censoring, de-platforming information gatekeepers kairosfocus: BTW, consider the premise that if a service that costs considerable money to set up and sustain is free to you, you — more specifically, market research information you provide — will be the product being sold. Ask, who is buying, why, for how much, and where you draw the line.

George Gilder: Life after Google will be okay People will take ownership of their own data, cutting out the giant “middle man”

30 Replies to “YouTube warns us against questioning consensus science

  1. 1
    asauber says:

    the rampant misinformation

    Let’s stop right there.

    Anyone care to guess what you might call all the colored squiggly lines that are supposed to represent something imaginary called “the earth’s climate”.

    Andrew

  2. 2
    asauber says:

    See, the only thing about the weather system that actually changes is the weather.

    Climate is a concept. The concept may change, but it’s all in your head.

    Andrew

  3. 3
    polistra says:

    Warnings tend to backfire. Movie producers figured this out a long time ago with the G / PG / PG13 stuff. A properly placed warning increases the audience.

    I’ve already found YT’s warnings to be a useful guide for likely truth. When I see a heresy warning, I’m more inclined to watch and trust the speaker.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    News, anything that appeals to consensus as decisive and claims to be science is self-discrediting. Science advances by consensus-breaking. Have we forgotten terms like, paradigm shift? KF

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    Is the scientific consensus concerning the predictive power and accuracy of quantum theory a “pernicious development”?

    Is the same consensus concerning relativity theory a “pernicious development”?

    Is the scientific consensus that vaccines do not cause autism a “pernicious development”?

    Should a scientist deny the persuasiveness of the available evidence for a theory just to avoid having his or her reputation being tarnished by accusations of belonging to a despised consensus?

    Is Crichton right to imply that the maverick is always more likely to be right or is he guilty of a populist oversimplification?

    If you want an apposite quote, how about Sagan: “The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, quantum theory is not presented as true or effectively and unquestionably true due to consensus. It is its degree of empirical support as accurate and reliable which grounds a high confidence in such reliability. As opposed to ultimate truth. When by contrast there is appeal to consensus to persuade the lay public of truth, in a context of suppressing and discrediting one side on a controversial and far less well supported claim, that raises serious questions about manipulative imposition. Further to this, we see agit prop techniques such as terming dissenters “denialists,” in willful echo of holocaust denialism. Notice, that the hurricane season projection on statistical models just was downgraded (thankfully), which shows difficulties of projecting across a season, much less decades or centuries. Where I must note too that climate is effectively a moving average across 33 years or so, i.e. it is a convenient fiction that stands in for trend patterns and projections, but which is inherently changing or “moving,” and not just in the time window used. There are questions of observation base, proxies, significance of the medieval and Roman period warm periods, and more, just on trends. As for driving dynamics, feedback factors (even +/-) and more, as well as granularity of data and models, we should be a lot more modest in claims than is often projected. The recent long pause is a further sign of our limited understanding. Some serious re-thinking on the nature and limitations of inductive reasoning and warrant for empirically based knowledge claims is in order, including specifically scientific ones. Most important, we each have a right to a range of information and perspectives, especially when policy measures are on the table, where due to the significance of the work-energy physical and economic relationships, we have to consider the degree of confidence in managing trends vs damaging economies. And, a good yardstick on degree of balance in the wider discussion is, willingness to embrace a test case low carbon alternative for energy: nuclear technologies including novel fission and fusion technologies. Consider pebble bed, molten salt Thorium reactors (the ones you just turn off and go home), fusion (including say exploring Bussard’s polywell) and more. KF

  7. 7
    aarceng says:

    History has shown us that the scientific consensus is often wrong.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, I note that the Wrights went against and broke the dominant view of the day (with considerable support among leading lights) that heavier than air flight was dubious, Similarly, it actually took many years for Einstein’s novel ideas to find acceptance. And of course Semmelweis went against consensus on antiseptics. One of the interesting results out there is the pessimistic induction on the passing nature of scientific theories leading to the inference that the current crop are likely to ultimately fail or need drastic revision, too. KF

  9. 9
    Bob O'H says:

    kf – of course current scientific thinking will be revised, and some of it is wrong. But some of it is right, and it’s certainly less wrong than in the past. Science isn’t about finding the Truth (that’s for mathematics), it’s about finding better approximations to the truth. And it’s the very nature of approximations that they can be improved.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H, on track record, we have no basis for estimating that theories and similar model constructs are more or less approximately true. What we have is a test of so far empirical reliability, though ability to integrate across various domains that may seem otherwise disconnected may be of help in our confidence. However, that may simply mean there is an in-common error. T => O, O so T is strictly fallacious. Scientific theories on the whole are not going to be morally certain as truth though they may be as empirically reliable, hence how Newtonian dynamics gets used in a lot of engineering almost a century after limitations were clear. Observations have a much better truth claim, and they can be mistaken — where, that predictions of a given model are empirically reliable is an observation. Even Math, post Godel, cannot guarantee truth of “big” constructs though I take things like the Euler relationship between five keystone quantities as speaking to vast, deep coherence for domains of interest. Going back to key point, none of this gives us reason to be confident that arguments from alleged consensus which often suppress significant controversy among the informed have merit as grounding truth claims for theories. I particularly note that any probability other that certainties [0, 1] will automatically be an index of ignorance which peaks for flat random distributions or cases where we do not know enough to even guess at a distribution. This becomes highly relevant to claims regarding statistical trends and the like. KF

  11. 11
    asauber says:

    some of it is wrong. But some of it is right

    B’Oh, I suspect you don’t know what is wrong and what is right, since you admittedly refuse to examine the relevant information.

    Andrew

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob O’Hara you state,

    “Science isn’t about finding the Truth (that’s for mathematics), it’s about finding better approximations to the truth. And it’s the very nature of approximations that they can be improved.”

    First off, all ‘true’ science is based upon mathematics.

    “No human investigation can be called true science without passing through mathematical tests.”
    Leonardo Da Vinci

    How the Recent Discoveries Support a Designed Universe – Dr. Walter L. Bradley – paper
    Excerpt: Only in the 20th century have we come to fully understand that the incredibly diverse phenomena that we observe in nature are the outworking of a very small number of physical laws, each of which may be described by a simple mathematical relationship. Indeed, so simple in mathematical form and small in number are these physical laws that they can all be written on one side of one sheet of paper, as seen in Table 1.
    1. Mechanics (Hamilton’s Equations)
    2. Electrodynamics (Maxwell’s Equations)
    3. Statistical Mechanics (Boltzmann’s Equations)
    4. Quantum Mechanics (Schrödinger’s Equations)
    5. General Relativity (Einstein’s Equation)
    http://www.leaderu.com/offices.....dence.html

    “Occasionally I’ll have a bright engineering student who says, “Well you should see the equations we work with in my engineering class. They’re a big mess.”, The problem is not the fundamental laws of nature, the problem is the boundary conditions. If you choose complicated boundary conditions then the solutions to these equations will in fact, in some cases, be quite complicated in form,,, But again the point is still the same, the universe assumes a remarkably simple and elegant mathematical form.”
    – Dr. Walter Bradley – Creation of the Cosmos – video (24:10 minute mark; Five foundational equations)
    https://youtu.be/T4_SQzM-1AY?t=1453

    Moreover, the very fact that all ‘true’ science is based upon immaterial ‘platonic’ mathematics refutes the reductive materialism that Darwinian evolution is based upon as being a ‘true’ science.

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: Mathematics is certainly something we do. Is mathematics “included in the space-time continuum [with] basic elements … described by physics”? It seems a stretch. What is the physics behind the Pythagorean theorem? After all, no actual triangle is perfect, and thus no actual triangle in nature has sides such that the Pythagorean theorem holds. There is no real triangle in which the sum of the squares of the sides exactly equals the square of the hypotenuse. That holds true for all of geometry. Geometry is about concepts, not about anything in the natural world or about anything that can be described by physics. What is the “physics” of the fact that the area of a circle is pi multiplied by the square of the radius? And of course what is natural and physical about imaginary numbers, infinite series, irrational numbers, and the mathematics of more than three spatial dimensions? Mathematics is entirely about concepts, which have no precise instantiation in nature,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    Active Information in Metabiology – Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, Robert J. Marks II – 2013
    Except page 9: Chaitin states [3], “For many years I have thought that it is a mathematical scandal that we do not have proof that Darwinian evolution works.” In fact, mathematics has consistently demonstrated that undirected Darwinian evolution does not work.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2013.4

    In fact, both Albert Einstein and Eugene Wigner are on record as to regarding it as a ‘miracle’ that we can even describe nature with mathematics in the first place:

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    But Bob O’Hara, besides the fact that you, with your Darwinian worldview, have no grounding for explaining why the universe should even be describable by the ‘miracle’ of mathematics in the first place, you go on to claim that,

    “(Science is) about finding better approximations to the truth. And it’s the very nature of approximations that they can be improved.”

    Now Bob, while everyone knows that Newton’s theory of gravity was an ‘approximation’ that was improved upon by Einstein’s General Relativity, I would certainly like to know exactly where you think this supposed ‘approximation’ is, experimentally, to be found for Einstein’s General Relativity, (and for Quantum Mechanics).

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)

    To the best of our experimental testing of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, thus far, we simply can find no variance whatsoever from what the mathematics predict, i.e. we can find no ‘approximation’.

    Most precise test of Lorentz symmetry for the photon finds that the speed of light is indeed constant – by Lisa Zyga – September 15, 2015
    Excerpt: “Lorentz symmetry”,,, is a cornerstone of Einstein’s special relativity theory. According to special relativity, there is no absolute space or absolute time.,,,
    The cavity test here involves two cavities containing sapphire crystals. The researchers excited an electromagnetic resonance in the crystals at a specific frequency, and supercooled them with liquid helium to stabilize the frequency and improve sensitivity. Like the mirrors of the interferometer, the cavities are carefully aligned orthogonal (at right angles) to each other to detect any tiny change in the speed of light along different axes. In the case of the cavities, a change in the speed of light would induce a change in the resonance frequency of the crystals. But after analysis of a full year of data, no such change was found.
    “This is the first direct test of polarization-independent effects for Lorentz invariance violations of the photon that has reached the level of the Planck-suppressed electroweak unification scale,” Parker told Phys.org. “The energy scale of electroweak unification (about 100 GeV) suppressed by the Planck scale (about 1.2 x 10^19 GeV) gives the dimensionless ratio of about 8 x 10^-18, so perhaps naively one might expect to start seeing Lorentz symmetry of the photon being broken in this regime, yet we didn’t see any evidence for this.”,,,
    These improved bounds could prove very useful for experimentally testing (falsifying) theories that (try to) unify general relativity and the standard model while predicting Lorentz symmetry violations. Some of these theories, for example, include string theory-based models and quantum gravity theories, among others.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2015-09-p.....stant.html

    Quantum Foam Paper Suggests Einstein Was Right About Space-Time Being ‘Smooth’ – January 2013
    Excerpt: It appears Albert Einstein may have been right yet again.
    A team of researchers came to this conclusion after tracing the long journey three photons took through intergalactic space. The photons were blasted out by an intense explosion known as a gamma-ray burst about 7 billion light-years from Earth. They finally barreled into the detectors of NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in May 2009, arriving just a millisecond apart.
    Their dead-heat finish strongly supports the Einsteinian view of space-time, researchers said. The wavelengths of gamma-ray burst photons are so small that they should be able to interact with the even tinier “bubbles” in the quantum theorists’ proposed space-time foam.
    If this foam indeed exists, the three photons should have been knocked around a bit during their epic voyage. In such a scenario, the chances of all three reaching the Fermi telescope at virtually the same time are very low, researchers said.
    So the new study is a strike against the foam’s existence as currently imagined,,, “If foaminess exists at all, we think it must be at a scale far smaller than the Planck length,”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....49734.html

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity – April 30, 2018
    New observations of extreme astrophysical systems have “brutally and pitilessly murdered” attempts to replace Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
    Excerpt: The neutron-star collision was just the beginning. New data in the months since that discovery have made life increasingly difficult for the proponents of many of the modified-gravity theories that remain. Astronomers have analyzed extreme astronomical systems that contain spinning neutron stars, or pulsars, to look for discrepancies between their motion and the predictions of general relativity — discrepancies that some theories of alternative gravity anticipate. These pulsar systems let astronomers probe gravity on a new scale and with new precision. And with each new observation, these alternative theories of gravity are having an increasingly hard time solving the problems they were invented for. Researchers “have to sweat some more trying to get new physics,” said Anne Archibald, an astrophysicist at the University of Amsterdam.,,,
    All attempts to directly detect dark matter and dark energy have failed, however. That fact “kind of leaves a bad taste in some people’s mouths, almost like the fictional planet Vulcan,” said Leo Stein, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. “Maybe we’re going about it all wrong?”,,,
    “The business of alternative gravity theories is a messy one,” Archibald said. Some would-be replacements for general relativity, like string theory and loop quantum gravity, don’t offer testable predictions. Others “make predictions that are spectacularly wrong, so the theorists have to devise some kind of a screening mechanism to hide the wrong prediction on scales we can actually test,” she said.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/troubled-times-for-alternatives-to-einsteins-theory-of-gravity-20180430/

    Introduction to The Strange World of Quantum Mechanics
    Excerpt: quantum mechanics is the most successful theory that humanity has ever developed; the brightest jewel in our intellectual crown. Quantum mechanics underlies our understanding of atoms, molecules, solids, and nuclei. It is vital for explaining aspects of stellar evolution, chemical reactions, and the interaction of light with matter. It underlies the operation of lasers, transistors, magnets, and superconductors. I could cite reams of evidence backing up these assertions, but I will content myself by describing a single measurement. One electron will be stripped away from a helium atom that is exposed to ultraviolet light below a certain wavelength. This threshold wavelength can be determined experimentally to very high accuracy: it is
    50.425 929 9 ± 0.000 000 4 nanometers.
    The threshold wavelength can also be calculated from quantum mechanics: this prediction is
    50.425 931 0 ± 0.000 002 0 nanometers.
    The agreement between observation and quantum mechanics is extraordinary. If you were to predict the distance from New York to Los Angeles with this accuracy, your prediction would be correct to within the width of your hand. In contrast, classical mechanics predicts that any wavelength of light will strip away an electron, that is, that there will be no threshold at all.
    http://www.oberlin.edu/physics.....intro.html

    The Most Precisely Tested Theory in the History of Science – May 5, 2011
    Excerpt: So, which of the two (general relativity or QED) is The Most Precisely Tested Theory in the History of Science?
    It’s a little tough to quantify a title like that, but I think relativity can claim to have tested the smallest effects. Things like the aluminum ion clock experiments showing shifts in the rate of a clock set moving at a few m/s, or raised by a foot, measure relativistic shifts of a few parts in 10^16. That is, if one clock ticks 10,000,000,000,000,000 times, the other ticks 9,999,999,999,999,999 times. That’s an impressively tiny effect, but the measured value is in good agreement with the predictions of relativity.
    In the end, though, I have to give the nod to QED, because while the absolute effects in relativity may be smaller, the precision of the measurements in QED is more impressive. Experimental tests of relativity measure tiny shifts, but to only a few decimal places. Experimental tests of QED measure small shifts, but to an absurd number of decimal places. The most impressive of these is the “anomalous magnetic moment of the electron,” expressed is terms of a number g whose best measured value is:
    g/2 = 1.001 159 652 180 73 (28)
    Depending on how you want to count it, that’s either 11 or 14 digits of precision (the value you would expect without QED is exactly 1, so in some sense, the shift really starts with the first non-zero decimal place), which is just incredible. And QED correctly predicts all those decimal places (at least to within the measurement uncertainty, given by the two digits in parentheses at the end of that).
    http://scienceblogs.com/princi.....sted-theo/

    etc.. etc.. etc..

    Thus Bob O’Hara, since the best mathematical descriptions of the universe thus far, as far as we can tell by experimentation, are not ‘approximations’ as you claim that they are, then you have no experimental basis for claiming that the equations of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are only ‘approximations’.

    Thus exactly how (and why) are you claiming them to be only ‘approximations’ aside from your a-priori Theistic philosophical predisposition? (i.e. aside from your “hidden” Theistic philosophical predisposition that there should be just one single overarching mathematical ‘theory of everything’, i.e. a single “Truth” that describes the universe?)

    “So you think of physics in search of a “Grand Unified Theory of Everything”, Why should we even think there is such a thing? Why should we think there is some ultimate level of resolution? Right? It is part, it is a consequence of believing in some kind of design. Right? And there is some sense in which that however multifarious and diverse the phenomena of nature are, they are ultimately unified by the minimal set of laws and principles possible. In so far as science continues to operate with that assumption, there is a presupposition of design that is motivating the scientific process. Because it would be perfectly easy,, to stop the pursuit of science at much lower levels. You know understand a certain range of phenomena in a way that is appropriate to deal with that phenomena and just stop there and not go any deeper or any farther.”,,, You see, there is a sense in which there is design at the ultimate level, the ultimate teleology you might say, which provides the ultimate closure,,”
    Professor of philosophy Steve Fuller discusses intelligent design in Cambridge – Video – quoted at the 17:34 minute mark
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nd-others/

    Stephen Hawking’s “God-Haunted” Quest – David Klinghoffer – December 24, 2014
    Excerpt: Why in the world would a scientist blithely assume that there is or is even likely to be one unifying rational form to all things, unless he assumed that there is a singular, overarching intelligence that has placed it there? Why shouldn’t the world be chaotic, utterly random, meaningless? Why should one presume that something as orderly and rational as an equation would describe the universe’s structure?
    I would argue that the only finally reasonable ground for that assumption is the belief in an intelligent Creator, who has already thought into the world the very mathematics that the patient scientist discovers.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92351.html

    “Our monotheistic traditions reinforce the assumption that the universe is at root a unity, that is not governed by different legislation in different places.”
    John D. Barrow – New Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation – pg. 18

    Moreover, Bob O’Hara, you also specifically claimed that,

    “Science isn’t about finding the Truth (that’s for mathematics)”

    And yet Gödel proved, with his incompleteness theorem, that “the Truth” is not to be found within mathematics alone.

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    A BIBLICAL VIEW OF MATHEMATICS
    Vern Poythress – Doctorate in theology, PhD in Mathematics (Harvard)
    15. Implications of Gödel’s proof
    B. Metaphysical problems of anti-theistic mathematics: unity and plurality
    Excerpt: Because of the above difficulties, anti-theistic philosophy of mathematics is condemned to oscillate, much as we have done in our argument, between the poles of a priori knowledge and a posteriori knowledge. Why? It will not acknowledge the true God, wise Creator of both the human mind with its mathematical intuition and the external world with its mathematical properties. In sections 22-23 we shall see how the Biblical view furnishes us with a real solution to the problem of “knowing” that 2 + 2 = 4 and knowing that S is true.
    http://www.frame-poythress.org.....thematics/

    Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 1, 2012
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
    1. Validity … all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
    2. Consistency … no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
    3. Completeness … all statements made in the system are either true or false.
    The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He (Godel) summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
    Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
    Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
    http://www.answersingenesis.or...../equation#

    Even Hawking himself admitted. in his book that was ironically entitled “The Grand Design”, that “Gödel’s incompleteness theorem (1931), proves that there are limits to what can be ascertained by mathematics. Kurt Gödel halted the achievement of a unifying all-encompassing theory of everything”,,

    “Gödel’s incompleteness theorem (1931), proves that there are limits to what can be ascertained by mathematics. Kurt Gödel halted the achievement of a unifying all-encompassing theory of everything in his theorem that: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”. Thus, based on the position that an equation cannot prove itself, the constructs are based on assumptions some of which will be unprovable.”
    Cf., Stephen Hawking & Leonard Miodinow, The Grand Design (2010) @ 15-6

    Moreover, Godel’s incompleteness has now been extended to physics and “challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description”.

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Godel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    A small spectral gap – the energy needed to transfer an electron from a low-energy state to an excited state – is the central property of semiconductors. In a similar way, the spectral gap plays an important role for many other materials.,,,
    Using sophisticated mathematics, the authors proved that, even with a complete microscopic description of a quantum material, determining whether it has a spectral gap is, in fact, an undecidable question.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover Bob, “an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.”

    The Limits Of Reason – Gregory Chaitin – 2006
    Excerpt: Unlike Gödel’s approach, mine is based on measuring information and showing that some mathematical facts cannot be compressed into a theory because they are too complicated. This new approach suggests that what Gödel discovered was just the tip of the iceberg: an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.
    http://www.umcs.maine.edu/~chaitin/sciamer3.pdf

    Thus Bob, since “an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms” exactly how are you, or anybody else, to know exactly which mathematical theorem, or combination thereof, are to be considered “the Truth” as you termed it?

    I hold that we need the “Agent Causality” of God in order, (besides explaining why the universe is describable by mathematics in the first place), to find “the Truth” from that infinite number of true, but ‘incomplete’, mathematical theorems.

    As Dr. Gordon stated, “The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world.,,, Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.,,,”

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world. Neither is it the case that “nothing” is unstable, as Mr. Hawking and others maintain. Absolute nothing cannot have mathematical relationships predicated on it, not even quantum gravitational ones. Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.,,, the evidence for string theory and its extension, M-theory, is nonexistent; and the idea that conjoining them demonstrates that we live in a multiverse of bubble universes with different laws and constants is a mathematical fantasy. What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale.
    For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    Moreover, if we rightly let the Agent Causality of God “back’ into the picture of modern physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, (Newton, Maxwell, Faraday, Planck, to name a few), then “the Truth”. i.e. the “theory of everything”, readily pops out for us in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NziDraiPiOw

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  15. 15
    Bob O'H says:

    asauber @ 11 – I actually have read some of the evidence – both the theoretical work in philosophy of science, and history of science too. I wouldn’t claim to be an expert, but I do at least have more knowledge than the layman.

    kf –

    Now Bob, while everyone knows that Newton’s theory of gravity was an ‘approximation’ that was improved upon by Einstein’s General Relativity, I would certainly like to know exactly where you think this supposed ‘approximation’ is, experimentally, to be found for Einstein’s General Relativity, (and for Quantum Mechanics).

    The fact that QM and GR haven’t been reconciled with each other suggests that neither is fully correct.

    And yet Gödel proved, with his incompleteness theorem, that “the Truth” is not to be found within mathematics alone.

    Oh, rubbish. If a theorem has been proved, it is true (within that formal system, of course). What Gödel showed was that not all statements can be proved to be true or false.

    Thus Bob, since “an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms” exactly how are you, or anybody else, to know exactly which mathematical theorem, or combination thereof, are to be considered “the Truth” as you termed it?

    Through formal proof. Pythagoras’ theorem is true (for Euclidean geometry, of course), and Gödel has no impact on that.

  16. 16
    ET says:

    To Bob O’H:

    Linus Pauling, winner of 2 Nobel prizes wrote,

    “It is sometimes said that science has nothing to do with morality. This is wrong. Science is the search for truth, the effort to understand the world; it involves the rejection of bias, of dogma, of revelation, but not the rejection of morality.”

    And Albert Einstein

    “But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding.”

    “A healthy science is a science that seeks the truth.” Paul Nelson, Ph. D., philosophy of biology.

    The truth need not be an absolute truth. Truth in the sense that Drs. Pauling, Einstein and Nelson are speaking is the reality in which we find ourselves. We exist. Science is to help us understand that existence and how it came to be.

    As I like to say- science is our search for the truth, i.e. the reality, to our existence via our never-ending quest for knowledge.

    definition of truth

    also the truth That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.

    So perhaps Bob has some other definition of “truth”- other than what Pauling, Einstein and Nelson were talking about. I always thought science was about uncovering reality- separating the real from the fantasy and fake and finding/ figuring out the truth behind some phenomena, object or event. That is what investigations are all about- at least the thousands of investigations I have conducted or been a part of were about that.

  17. 17
    ET says:

    CO2 is not a driver of climate change. It is a simple molecule that only absorbs 8% of what the Earth emits. And given that the CO2 radiates randomly in all directions only less than 4% of what the CO2 emits is headed back towards the earth.

    Why don’t the climate alarmist scientists tell the public that fact? It is because if the people knew then their chicken-little scare tactics wouldn’t work.

    We need to stop attacking fossil fuel use and start going after real solutions- one is to cut our meat consumption I half. Why meat? Because the land use for grazing and raising for those animals costs the lives of millions upon millions of trees. Plastics? We need to get rid of those too. First we have to clean up what we have.

    Glaciers melt because they are dirty. Dirty snow melts even in below freezing temps because the dirt absorbs the Sun’s rays, heats up and melts what is below it.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob O’Hara,

    I stated:

    Now Bob, while everyone knows that Newton’s theory of gravity was an ‘approximation’ that was improved upon by Einstein’s General Relativity, I would certainly like to know exactly where you think this supposed ‘approximation’ is, experimentally, to be found for Einstein’s General Relativity, (and for Quantum Mechanics).

    Then you stated:

    The fact that QM and GR haven’t been reconciled with each other suggests that neither is fully correct.

    And that is precisely the point,,, you have no experimental basis for your claim that they are only ‘approximations, only an a-priori “hidden” Theistic philosophical belief.,,, as I stated previously, but you apparently did not fully appreciate:

    Thus Bob O’Hara, since the best mathematical descriptions of the universe thus far, as far as we can tell by experimentation, are not ‘approximations’ as you claim that they are, then you have no experimental basis for claiming that the equations of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are only ‘approximations’.

    Thus exactly how (and why) are you claiming them to be only ‘approximations’ aside from your a-priori Theistic philosophical predisposition? (i.e. aside from your “hidden” Theistic philosophical predisposition that there should be just one single overarching mathematical ‘theory of everything’, i.e. a single “Truth” that describes the universe?)

    “So you think of physics in search of a “Grand Unified Theory of Everything”, Why should we even think there is such a thing? Why should we think there is some ultimate level of resolution? Right? It is part, it is a consequence of believing in some kind of design. Right? And there is some sense in which that however multifarious and diverse the phenomena of nature are, they are ultimately unified by the minimal set of laws and principles possible. In so far as science continues to operate with that assumption, there is a presupposition of design that is motivating the scientific process. Because it would be perfectly easy,, to stop the pursuit of science at much lower levels. You know understand a certain range of phenomena in a way that is appropriate to deal with that phenomena and just stop there and not go any deeper or any farther.”,,, You see, there is a sense in which there is design at the ultimate level, the ultimate teleology you might say, which provides the ultimate closure,,”
    Professor of philosophy Steve Fuller discusses intelligent design in Cambridge – Video – quoted at the 17:34 minute mark
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nd-others/

    Stephen Hawking’s “God-Haunted” Quest – David Klinghoffer – December 24, 2014
    Excerpt: Why in the world would a scientist blithely assume that there is or is even likely to be one unifying rational form to all things, unless he assumed that there is a singular, overarching intelligence that has placed it there? Why shouldn’t the world be chaotic, utterly random, meaningless? Why should one presume that something as orderly and rational as an equation would describe the universe’s structure?
    I would argue that the only finally reasonable ground for that assumption is the belief in an intelligent Creator, who has already thought into the world the very mathematics that the patient scientist discovers.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92351.html

    “Our monotheistic traditions reinforce the assumption that the universe is at root a unity, that is not governed by different legislation in different places.”
    John D. Barrow – New Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation – pg. 18

    Bob, you simply have no basis, other than hidden Theistic presuppositions, for believing there should even be just one mathematical theory of everything.

    Your use of the word ‘approximation’, especially in regards to GR and QM, is a grossly inaccurate description of the present state of affairs as they currently sit in science.

    I then stated:

    And yet Gödel proved, with his incompleteness theorem, that “the Truth” is not to be found within mathematics alone.

    Then you stated

    Oh, rubbish. If a theorem has been proved, it is true (within that formal system, of course). What Gödel showed was that not all statements can be proved to be true or false.

    I did not say that “A” truth cannot be ascertained by mathematics, I stated that “THE” Truth, (which is the exact term that you used), cannot be ascertained by mathematics.

    As Jaki pointed out:

    “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49

    You mentioned Euclidean geometry,,,

    Through formal proof. Pythagoras’ theorem is true (for Euclidean geometry, of course), and Gödel has no impact on that.

    Yet Hawking himself noted that:

    “Note that despite the incontestability of Euclid’s postulates in mathematics, (ref. on cite), Gödel’s incompleteness theorem (1931), proves that there are limits to what can be ascertained by mathematics. Kurt Gödel (ref. on cite), halted the achievement of a unifying all-encompassing theory of everything in his theorem that: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”. Thus, based on the position that an equation cannot prove itself, the constructs are based on assumptions some of which will be unprovable.”
    Cf., Stephen Hawking & Leonard Miodinow, The Grand Design (2010) @ 15-6

    To reiterate:

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    and,

    Dr. Gordon stated, “The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world.,,, Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.,,,”
    – Bruce Gordon

  19. 19
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 – as far as I understand it, there is experimental evidence for the dis-connect between QM and GR. Basically, both of them predict nonsense when extrapolated into each others’ domain:

    Relativity gives nonsensical answers when you try to scale it down to quantum size, eventually descending to infinite values in its description of gravity. Likewise, quantum mechanics runs into serious trouble when you blow it up to cosmic dimensions. Quantum fields carry a certain amount of energy, even in seemingly empty space, and the amount of energy gets bigger as the fields get bigger. According to Einstein, energy and mass are equivalent (that’s the message of E=mc2), so piling up energy is exactly like piling up mass. Go big enough, and the amount of energy in the quantum fields becomes so great that it creates a black hole that causes the universe to fold in on itself. Oops.

    kf (again):

    I did not say that “A” truth cannot be ascertained by mathematics. I stated that “THE” Truth. which is your term that you used, cannot be ascertained by mathematics.

    And you’re wrong. If a theorem has been proven, it is THE truth that the theorem is true. This really shouldn’t be difficult to understand (although I know that at least one lawyer has had difficulty recently).

    You mentioned,,,

    Through formal proof. Pythagoras’ theorem is true (for Euclidean geometry, of course), and Gödel has no impact on that.

    Yet Hawking himself noted that:

    … exactly the same thing as I wrote. There are limits to mathematics: there are some statements that cannot be proved (within a formal system, of course).

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H, several times above you suggested or implied that I made comments I have not made, at 15 and 19. I agree, the issues between QM and Relativity are troubling. The state of strings etc is not so healthy either. Months ago I pointed out that there is a large body of math facts antecedent to the waves of axiomatisation which serve as implicit restraints on axiom systems. I also pointed out that systems in Math set up logic model worlds as abstract domains accessed through rational contemplation [big issue there], and that if things discovered in such are necessary, framework entities (beings) they will obtain in all possible worlds, e.g. distinct identity so two-ness and natural numbers thus extensions from those that take in a lot of Math. Such necessary beings will be truths beyond reasonable doubt. I note, truth, even necessary truth is not confined to Mathematics, there are many other necessary beings and necessary truths, so whoever said ““the Truth” is not to be found within mathematics alone” as cited in 15 is correct, this point is not rubbish. Godel showed incompleteness of axiomatisation for sufficiently complex domains of Math. In 19, “I did not say that “A” truth cannot be ascertained by mathematics. I stated that “THE” Truth. which is your term that you used, cannot be ascertained by mathematics” is not me. Math does not exhaust truth, but does contain truths, many of them, it is at a different level of warrant than sciences and statistically oriented computer models. I didn’t say again but note that a proved theorem is a logical consequent of first principles or axioms in some logic model world. It may be a truth but theorems individually or collectively do not even exhaust mathematical truth much less truth in other domains. And more but gotta go. KF

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob (and weave) O’Hara. I had hoped that you may have grown beyond your pointless propaganda and would now focus on fact. Apparently not. You are still without integrity.

    You state:

    “both of them predict nonsense when extrapolated into each others’ domain”

    So what??? The equations are doing exactly what they were devised to do. Precisely describe their specific areas of description. GR and QM were not devised to describe each others areas of domain. It should not a-priorily be ‘expected’ for them to do so.

    And again, to expect them to do otherwise is to import ‘hidden’ Theistic presuppositions about how nature should operate.

    You then again demonstrate your propensity to (mis)use semantics in order to try to misconstrue the clear distinction that was made between “A” truth within mathematics and “The” Truth about the entirety of reality.

    Shameless and pathetic on your part!

    As to Euclidean geometry in particular, I would like to note the title of Wigner’s paper, “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences”.

    Wigner’s main point in his paper is,,,

    “The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.

    You, as an atheistic materialist, simply have no explanation for why the universe should be describable by math. Again as Einstein noted, “I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way”

    “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein

    For example, and in regards to Euclidean geometry in particular, the reason why Euclidean geometry is applicable in our science, engineering, and such as that, is because the 4-Dimensional space-time of our universe is exceptionally, and unexpectedly “flat”. As Fraser Cain stated “We say that the universe is flat, and this means that parallel lines will always remain parallel. 90-degree turns behave as true 90-degree turns, and everything makes sense.,,,’

    How do we know the universe is flat? Discovering the topology of the universe – by Fraser Cain – June 7, 2017
    Excerpt: We say that the universe is flat, and this means that parallel lines will always remain parallel. 90-degree turns behave as true 90-degree turns, and everything makes sense.,,,
    Since the universe is flat now, it must have been flat in the past, when the universe was an incredibly dense singularity. And for it to maintain this level of flatness over 13.8 billion years of expansion, in kind of amazing.
    In fact, astronomers estimate that the universe must have been flat to 1 part within 1×10^57 parts.
    Which seems like an insane coincidence.
    https://phys.org/news/2017-06-universe-flat-topology.html

    How do we know the universe is flat? Discovering the topology of the universe – by Fraser Cain – June 7, 2017
    Excerpt: With the most sensitive space-based telescopes they have available, astronomers are able to detect tiny variations in the temperature of this background radiation.
    And here’s the part that blows my mind every time I think about it. These tiny temperature variations correspond to the largest scale structures of the observable universe. A region that was a fraction of a degree warmer become a vast galaxy cluster, hundreds of millions of light-years across.
    The cosmic microwave background radiation just gives and gives, and when it comes to figuring out the topology of the universe, it has the answer we need. If the universe was curved in any way, these temperature variations would appear distorted compared to the actual size that we see these structures today.
    But they’re not. To best of its ability, ESA’s Planck space telescope, can’t detect any distortion at all. The universe is flat.
    https://phys.org/news/2017-06-universe-flat-topology.html

    “The Universe today is actually very close to the most unlikely state of all, absolute flatness. And that means it must have been born in an even flatter state, as Dicke and Peebles, two of the Princeton astronomers involved in the discovery of the 3 K background radiation, pointed out in 1979. Finding the Universe in a state of even approximate flatness today is even less likely than finding a perfectly sharpened pencil balancing on its point for millions of years, for, as Dicke and Peebles pointed out, any deviation of the Universe from flatness in the Big Bang would have grown, and grown markedly, as the Universe expanded and aged. Like the pencil balanced on its point and given the tiniest nudges, the Universe soon shifts away from perfect flatness.”
    ~ John Gribbin, In Search of the Big Bang

    If you were honest Bob (and weave) (instead of a troll) you would readily admit that this correspondence between nature and the applicability of mathematics is a ‘miracle’ and that you, as an atheist, have absolutely no coherent explanation for why the universe should be so precisely finely-tuned in such a way so as to make the applicability of Euclidean geometry to our (4-Dimensional) world possible.

    “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.”
    – Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) quoted from his book Harmonices Mundi:

  22. 22
    Bob O'H says:

    kf – my apologies, I sometimes get you mixed up with bornagain77.

    If bornagain77 feels slighted by this, then my apologies to him too.

  23. 23
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 @ 21 –

    So what??? The equations are doing exactly what they were devised to do. Precisely describe their specific areas of description. GR and QM were not devised to describe each others areas of domain. It should not a-priorily be ‘expected’ for them to do so.

    If they are not approximations of reality, i.e. they are exact, then they have to be extrapolatable beyond their realm of explanation. The fact that when you extrapolate them you get silly answers shows that they are not exact.

    You then again demonstrate your propensity to (mis)use semantics in order to try to misconstrue the clear distinction that was made between “A” truth within mathematics and “The” Truth about the entirety of reality.

    Shameless and pathetic on your part!

    Mathematics (as a subject) isn’t about reality: it’s about manipulating mathematical constructs. And my point was that within that, there are statements which one can prove is true (or false!). Connecting these to the real world is another matter entirely. One could argue that the universe is regular enough that we can find mathematical approximations that work well enough to describe it. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, but I’m not sufficiently versed in epistemology to know.

  24. 24
    ET says:

    That’s OK Bob. We sometimes get you mixed up with someone who cares about reality and science. 😛

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    Touche ET!

    No more needs to be said.

    For the benefit of unbiased observers, the zero-infinity conflict between GR and QM is touched upon in this following video:

    Gödel, Infinity, and Jesus Christ as the Theory of Everything – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1Jw5Y686jY

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H, could you kindly address the substantial points on the table? This is not a matter for rhetorical one upmanship; it is far too serious for such tactics. KF

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The core of that substance is this from the OP:

    Michael Crichton (1942–2008) said it best: “I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet because you’re being had.”

    Put less elegantly, a consensus does not start out as bunk but it quickly degenerates into bunk when it is put beyond critique.

    Issues on strengths and limitations on scientific methods and on computer based statistical modelling vs Mathematics arise from that, and I have cause to stand by my remarks above, such as:

    4: anything that appeals to consensus as decisive and claims to be science is self-discrediting. Science advances by consensus-breaking. Have we forgotten terms like, paradigm shift?

    6: quantum theory is not presented as true or effectively and unquestionably true due to consensus. It is its degree of empirical support as accurate and reliable which grounds a high confidence in such reliability. As opposed to ultimate truth. When by contrast there is appeal to consensus to persuade the lay public of truth, in a context of suppressing and discrediting one side on a controversial and far less well supported claim, that raises serious questions about manipulative imposition. Further to this, we see agit prop techniques such as terming dissenters “denialists,” in willful echo of holocaust denialism. Notice, that the hurricane season projection on statistical models just was downgraded (thankfully), which shows difficulties of projecting across a season, much less decades or centuries. Where I must note too that climate is effectively a moving average across 33 years or so, i.e. it is a convenient fiction that stands in for trend patterns and projections, but which is inherently changing or “moving,” and not just in the time window used. There are questions of observation base, proxies, significance of the medieval and Roman period warm periods, and more, just on trends. As for driving dynamics, feedback factors (even +/-) and more, as well as granularity of data and models, we should be a lot more modest in claims than is often projected. The recent long pause is a further sign of our limited understanding. Some serious re-thinking on the nature and limitations of inductive reasoning and warrant for empirically based knowledge claims is in order, including specifically scientific ones. Most important, we each have a right to a range of information and perspectives, especially when policy measures are on the table, where due to the significance of the work-energy physical and economic relationships, we have to consider the degree of confidence in managing trends vs damaging economies. And, a good yardstick on degree of balance in the wider discussion is, willingness to embrace a test case low carbon alternative for energy: nuclear technologies including novel fission and fusion technologies. Consider pebble bed, molten salt Thorium reactors (the ones you just turn off and go home), fusion (including say exploring Bussard’s polywell) and more.

    8: I note that the Wrights went against and broke the dominant view of the day (with considerable support among leading lights) that heavier than air flight was dubious, Similarly, it actually took many years for Einstein’s novel ideas to find acceptance. And of course Semmelweis went against consensus on antiseptics. One of the interesting results out there is the pessimistic induction on the passing nature of scientific theories leading to the inference that the current crop are likely to ultimately fail or need drastic revision, too.

    [This is where you popped up]

    10: on track record, we have no basis for estimating that theories and similar model constructs are more or less approximately true. What we have is a test of so far empirical reliability, though ability to integrate across various domains that may seem otherwise disconnected may be of help in our confidence. However, that may simply mean there is an in-common error. T => O, O so T is strictly fallacious. Scientific theories on the whole are not going to be morally certain as truth though they may be as empirically reliable, hence how Newtonian dynamics gets used in a lot of engineering almost a century after limitations were clear. Observations have a much better truth claim, and they can be mistaken — where, that predictions of a given model are empirically reliable is an observation. Even Math, post Godel, cannot guarantee truth of “big” constructs though I take things like the Euler relationship between five keystone quantities as speaking to vast, deep coherence for domains of interest. Going back to key point, none of this gives us reason to be confident that arguments from alleged consensus which often suppress significant controversy among the informed have merit as grounding truth claims for theories. I particularly note that any probability other that certainties [0, 1] will automatically be an index of ignorance which peaks for flat random distributions or cases where we do not know enough to even guess at a distribution. This becomes highly relevant to claims regarding statistical trends and the like.

    20: several times above you suggested or implied that I made comments I have not made, at 15 and 19. I agree, the issues between QM and Relativity are troubling. The state of strings etc is not so healthy either. Months ago I pointed out that there is a large body of math facts antecedent to the waves of axiomatisation which serve as implicit restraints on axiom systems. I also pointed out that systems in Math set up logic model worlds as abstract domains accessed through rational contemplation [big issue there], and that if things discovered in such are necessary, framework entities (beings) they will obtain in all possible worlds, e.g. distinct identity so two-ness and natural numbers thus extensions from those that take in a lot of Math. Such necessary beings will be truths beyond reasonable doubt. I note, truth, even necessary truth is not confined to Mathematics, there are many other necessary beings and necessary truths, so whoever said ““the Truth” is not to be found within mathematics alone” as cited in 15 is correct, this point is not rubbish. Godel showed incompleteness of axiomatisation for sufficiently complex domains of Math. In 19, “I did not say that “A” truth cannot be ascertained by mathematics. I stated that “THE” Truth. which is your term that you used, cannot be ascertained by mathematics” is not me. Math does not exhaust truth, but does contain truths, many of them, it is at a different level of warrant than sciences and statistically oriented computer models. I didn’t say again but note that a proved theorem is a logical consequent of first principles or axioms in some logic model world. It may be a truth but theorems individually or collectively do not even exhaust mathematical truth much less truth in other domains. And more but gotta go.

    Now, do tell us, what in the above (given the sobering developments afoot) is not speaking to serious issues that need substantial focus?

    In a world where digital empires are imposing ideological censorship, such matters need to be soberly faced on the merits. The potential for injustice and for pulling our civilisation down the terrible vortex of having to fight a 4th gen civil war for liberty in the face of the latest ideological threats and blatant agendas, censorship-enabling behaviour is utterly telling.

    KF

  28. 28
    Bob O'H says:

    kf 2 26 – I’ve been addressing the substantial points.

    Or did you mix me up with ET? 🙂

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: on fair comment for cause your last remark above, regrettably, is a second successive a wholly unnecessary barbed comment rather than addressing the substantial matter; in response to a corrective on misattribution. Where, given the gravity of the underlying issue as was raised in the OP, we are entitled to draw suitable conclusions. KF

  30. 30
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    Or did you mix me up with ET?

    Doubtful. You don’t appear to know anything about evolutionism and can only equivocate.

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