Home » Intelligent Design » LNC: “Yes or No”

LNC: “Yes or No”

Let’s clear up this law of noncontradiction issue between StephenB and eigenstate once and for all. StephenB asks eigenstate: “Can the planet Jupiter exist and not exist at the same time in the same sense? That’s a “yes or no” question eigenstate. How do you answer it?

Further update: Eigenstate has run for cover.
The genesis of this post was StephenB’s accusation that eigenstate refused to concede the law of noncontradiction: “For you [i.e.,eigenstate], the law of non-contradiction is a “useful tool” except on those occasions when it reveals the poverty of your non-arguments, at which time, it can be safely discounted. That position alone renders you unfit for rational dialogue.”

Surely not, I thought to myself. No one can argue logically and at the same time ever deny the law of noncontradiction, because the law of noncontradiction underlies ALL logical arguments. So I put this post up to give eigenstate a chance to refute StephenB’s accusation. I know eigenstate came back onto this site after I put up this post, because he commented on another string after this post went up. Yet he refused to answer the question. I can only conclude from this that StephenB is correct. Eigenstate and his ilk are not acting in good faith. They feel free to spew their nonsense, but when they are confronted with a challenge they cannot meet they run away. He is not, as StephenB points out, fit for rational dialogue, and you will not see him on this site again.

Another update: At another site Eigenstate says he responded here, which is an outrageous lie. At that same site he put up an idiot’s answer to the question which is not worth responding to. Suffice it to say it was neither “yes” nor “no.”

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135 Responses to LNC: “Yes or No”

  1. Ah, but you’re conveniently missing the point! Every losing argument actually possesses eigenstates, in which it is sometimes brilliantly cogent, obviating the need for anything as trivial as a response; in other eigenstates the challenge is brilliantly refuted; and in still others, the challenging question has never been asked.

    By demanding an answer to whether Jupiter exists, you’re brutally threatening to collapse a beautiful, elegant wave function. Shame on you! ;-)

  2. Querius, poetic reply! :)

  3. Mr Arrington:

    I believe ES has asserted in the original thread, that he submitted an answer that he claimed to be in some sort of moderation:

    eigenstate February 12, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Oh, and here’s as good a place to note as any: Barry, I’ve replied on the LNC thread, it’s on your moderation queue or whatever.

    I would be interested to see such, if it exists.

    (Just possibly, if the wrong button, post, is hit it may send the comment to I believe the most recent thread, if that WP bug/feature is still doing its thing.)

    KF

  4. PS: For sure, there is no credible evidence that ES is in moderation! If his original answer is lost in cyberspace, he can always repost.

  5. PPS; Or, is this a case where we have “A and NOT-A” being true in the same sense at the same time? ;-)

  6. I see eigenstate is involved in a rather interesting discussion at Dr Liddle’s blog, so he may have become distracted and pressed the wrong button.

    Or something.

    I can’t see why he should say he’s posted if he hasn’t – he would assume that someone would check, surely.

    I mean, it’s not like anyone would “disappear” a post, now is it?

  7. The easy answer of course would be to repost. (And, pardon, the wrong button is the reply in the WYSIWYG box below.)

  8. Since he has been banned it will be difficult for him to re-post.

  9. The whole problem with Stephen’s ideas about logic is that underlying them is the metaphysical position that there is actually a world out there independent of our minds. So by Jupiter, he means a “something” that has independent existence. In that philosophical system, of course Jupiter cannot both exist and not exist at the same time.

    However, in other metaphysical systems, the answer is not so clear cut.

    By one interpretation of quantum physics, for example, when no conscious mind is observing it, Jupiter is a very complex probability distribution of where its constituent particles will show up upon observation. It could be said in that case that it both exists (as a probability distribution) and does not exist (as an entity with a particular location).

    In my own philosophy, which is similar to Bishop Berkeley’s, Jupiter only exists as a complex of sense impressions, and then only when someone is looking at it. Reality, that which has actual existence, is mind, or spirit. So it could equally well be said that Jupiter both exists (as a complex of sense impressions, like the rest of the physical universe) and does not exist (in the sense that it has no inherent reality).

  10. 10

    He did not respond. He was never in moderation.

  11. 11

    P, I would modify that to “Since he has been banned it would be difficult for him to post.”

  12. Bruce David:

    By one interpretation of quantum physics, for example, when no conscious mind is observing it, Jupiter is a very complex probability distribution of where its constituent particles will show up upon observation. …

    In my own philosophy, which is similar to Bishop Berkeley’s, Jupiter only exists as a complex of sense impressions, and then only when someone is looking at it.

    Given that Jupiter’s age is estimated at some 5 Billion years, just what “conscious mind” was observing it back then, and what is the point of having planetary formation models if mere “observation” is required for Jupiter to exist (or not)?

    Or perhaps gas & dust particles need to be “observed” so something exists to acrete into a planet, as well as the “observation” of the gravitational forces which do the acreteing?

    Well, that and of course, observed slowly over 5 Billion years. After all, we wouldn’t want to “observe” it into existance all at once would we, as the sudden “observation” of a planet the mass of Jupiter would upset the orbital balance of the entire solar system… then where would we observers be.

    OTOH, perhaps there is something to this Law of Non-Contradiction thingy.

  13. 13

    @Bruce David. “By one interpretation of quantum physics, for example, when no conscious mind is observing it, Jupiter is a very complex probability distribution of where its constituent particles will show up upon observation.”

    And as Dr. Johnson said when refuting Berkeley over 200 years ago, “I refute it thus!” [metaphorically kicking Jupiter]. Idealism is just as useless now as it was then.

  14. Bruce David,

    By one interpretation of quantum physics, for example, when no conscious mind is observing it, Jupiter is a very complex probability distribution of where its constituent particles will show up upon observation. It could be said in that case that it both exists (as a probability distribution) and does not exist (as an entity with a particular location).

    But see the post’s qualification, “In the same sense.” That’s not at all what you’re giving here.

    Idealism does not entail any denial of the LNC as far as I’m aware. Really, imagine that Jupiter was blinking in and out of existence constantly: the LNC is still not violated. The answer of ‘Does Jupiter exist?’ is just shifting between “yes” and “no” over and over.

  15. I think Bruce David isn’t on the right track when it comes to LNC and Idealism. However, regarding ‘who was observing Jupiter’ and so on, I recall this being the idealist reply to a similar question:

    There was a young man who said, “God
    Must think it exceedingly odd
    If he finds that this tree
    Continues to be
    When there’s no one about in the Quad.”
    REPLY
    Dear Sir:
    Your astonishment’s odd:
    I am always about in the Quad.
    And that’s why the tree
    Will continue to be,
    Since observed by
    Yours faithfully,
    God.

  16. Bruce, one of the reasons we are asking people to answer the question, as asked, is to encourage them to think the matter through prior to making any comments.

    [a] The law of non-contradiction is not synonymous with one’s ultimate notion of reality. It is binding on a hylermorphic dualist or an idealistic monist, or a materialist monist.

    [b] Meanwhile, after being told that Jupiter cannot both exist and not exist at the same time and IN THE SAME SENSE, you respond with the profound observation that Jupiter can exist and not exist IN A DIFFERENT SENSE, which is news to no one. Even I, as a dualist, recognize that Jupiter can, at the same time, exist in my mind as a thought and, in the solar system as a planet.

    Let me put it in language that an idealist can understand: Jupiter cannot exist as complex sense impressions and NOT exist as complex sense impressions. Think, “in the same sense,” “in the same sense,” “in the same sense”……….

  17. He did respond. The response is reproduced at AtBC.

  18. “The whole problem with Stephen’s ideas about logic is that underlying them is the metaphysical position that there is actually a world out there independent of our minds. So by Jupiter, he means a “something” that has independent existence. . . . In my own philosophy, which is similar to Bishop Berkeley’s, Jupiter only exists as a complex of sense impressions, and then only when someone is looking at it.”

    The problem with this philosophy is that it denies all objective reality and makes everything a figment of our imagination. There are very good reasons for thinking there is an objective reality (despite our occasional limitations in observing it), but we can set that aside for now because there is a simpler way to deal with the old question of whether reality exists or whether we are just brains in a jar. All we have to do is slightly rephrase the question: Rather than talking about whether Jupiter exists, we can ask whether Bruce David’s “distribution of constituent particles” exists, or whatever proxy the particular person happens to be using for reality.

    Incidentally, notice that when describing Jupiter’s lack of existence Bruce David had to refer back to Jupiter by saying “its” constituent particles. In other words, there is a concrete, accepted concept of the thing observed — the “it” — that we are calling Jupiter. This back door incorporation of the objective reality always occurs when someone tries to deny objective reality — they have to describe the lack of reality by self-referencing back to the very thing the existence of which is being denied.

  19. The point is that when physicists kick the rock at the particle level, it may or may not be there. The more particles, the more likely the object will meet the expectations of classical physics. But it never reaches certainty, even if it’s a safe bet.

  20. The point is that when physicists kick the rock at the particle level, it may or may not be there.

    ‘May or may not be there’ doesn’t capture the problem. If I call someone on the phone, they may or may not answer. If they both answer and don’t answer, in the same sense, there’s a problem.

  21. The problem is that what physics measures doesn’t always conform to the elements of formal logic.

    Since the OP is a lawyer, I’m sure he understands the problem faced by a jury when testimony is contradictory. There may be a reality out there in which the call was either answered or not answered, but that absolute reality is not accessible to the jury, so the jury must weigh probabilities.

    What physicists might say is that the jury’s dilemma is an inescapable feature of our reality. There are things which we cannot ever know, even in principle. The probability that Jupiter exists may be so high that we can bet out lives, even the lives of out children on it, but it never reaches certainty.

    If the object is a subatomic particle, it’s best not to wager any serious money.

    The point is that the objects of the physical world cannot be substituted into formal logical propositions. They are, after all, part of the shadow world, not the world of ideas. A=A is not quite the same as Jupiter=Jupiter.

  22. The problem is that what physics measures doesn’t always conform to the elements of formal logic.

    I take it you’re talking principally about superposition here?

  23. –Petrushka: “The point is that when physicists kick the rock at the particle level, it may or may not be there.”

    You are confusing the metaphor with which Barry refuted idealism, with the subject of quantum mechanics, which he did not address. Meanwhile, you remain silent about the question that is on the table.

  24. ogreMk5 is no longer with us.

  25. My understanding is that Eigenstate was banned BEFORE this post was made.

    Doesn’t seem correct, since Eigenstate said in another thread: “Oh, and here’s as good a place to note as any: Barry, I’ve replied on the LNC thread, it’s on your moderation queue or whatever.”

  26. Consider for example, the question, “can a circle be imperfect?”

    At the logical level it is impossible for a circle to be imperfect, but in the world of physical circles, all are imperfect.

    Substitute for Jupiter and ask if Betelgeuse exists. Consider that it’s 640 light years away and likely to go supernova in the “near” future. Maybe it already has.

    Language is tricky. What does it mean to ask if Betelgeuse exists? Does it mean anything beyond the fact that we can see it?

  27. –Petrushka: “The problem is that what physics measures doesn’t always conform to the elements of formal logic.”

    That is not true at all. Don’t believe everything that uneducated, postmodern scientists tell you. If you will summon up the courage to answer the question on the table, as asked, I, or perhaps someone else will take you through the process, from macro marvels to micro marvels. To scrutinize, you must be willing to be scrutinized, especially since the latter element is consistent with the theme of Barry’s post, which is, I hasten to remind you, a question.

  28. I had a crisis at work this week and missed the acrimonious thread. I also admit missing in the OP, the phrase, “in the same sense.”

    Formal logic is formal logic. If one defines the rules of logic such that A=A, then A not equal A breaks the rules as defined.

    What I missed was the discussion in which formal logic has any applicability to the world of empirical science. I suspect the application is subject to exceptions, because objects in the real world have fuzzy boundaries.

  29. What I missed was the discussion in which formal logic has any applicability to the world of empirical science. I suspect the application is subject to exceptions, because objects in the real world have fuzzy boundaries.

    Sorry, not clear on what you’re saying here.

    Are you saying that “A = A” isn’t applicable in empirical science? And/or that the LNC has no application?

    I also asked if you’re talking principally about superposition with regards to ‘what physics measures’.

  30. nullasalus:

    Certainly there is some scriptural justification for the interpretation of God being the observer who sustains all (Heb 1:3) and holds all things together (Col 1:17).

    However, at the quantum level, our earthly experiments demonstrate that we mere mortals can by “observation” (i.e measurement) alter the outcome of a photon’s passage through a slit. But that would seem to necessitate that while we “observe”, God ‘looks away’ so as to not disrupt our observation. And regardless, our observation only results in one outcome, albeit a surprising one, but not two contradictory outcomes.

    Yes, God might be “the (ultimate)” observer, and yes, observation can alter quantum outcomes, but no, neither seems to produce simultaneous contradictory outcomes.

    Jupiter at one time did not exist, then came into existence seemingly by acretion rather than our observation, and continues to exist, with or without our “observations”.

    I dare say, somewhere there are other extra-solar objects coming into existence even now, without our knowing (or ability) to “observe” them either.

  31. Charles,

    However, at the quantum level, our earthly experiments demonstrate that we mere mortals can by “observation” (i.e measurement) alter the outcome of a photon’s passage through a slit.

    Part of my concern here is that I’m wondering if there’s a line between ‘interpretations of quantum mechanics’ and ‘the science of quantum mechanics’, and if so, whether that line is being crossed or confused in this conversation.

    The question of measurement and its effects, if any, in quantum level experiments is something I understood to be pretty open.

    Regarding ‘two contradictory outcomes’, I think I agree. Part of my point with Bruce David is that I thought he misunderstood the question – his own example seems to conflict with the ‘in the same sense’ reply.

  32. StephenB,
    What do you make of eigenstates answer over at Atbc?

  33. I don’t know about the timing of his answer, but I do know about its non-validity (based on his answer at the website in question). As always, he avoided a Yes OR No question and responded by saying, Yes AND No, that is, he said the answer was “Theoretically yes, and statistically No.” That comment makes absolutely no sense.

    Put another way, he is saying that theoretically, Jupiter can exist and not exist at the same time and under the same formal circumstances, but statistically, the answer is almost No, but not quite.

    Keep in mind that I had to wade through answers like that for days.

    I’ll make this quick. Statistics cannot measure the “probability” that something can exist and not exist at the same time and under the same formal circumstances. It isn’t a probability question at all; it is a yes or no question based on logical “possibilities.”

    Imagine trying to gather a statistically significant sample of Jupiters existing and not existing at the same time, if you can stretch your imagination that far. What could one possibly observe to get the numbers needed? (Only one Jupiter exists) How does one observe a Jupiter that doesn’t exist and compare it with the Jupiter(s) that does (do). What about the fact that you might be observing a Jupiter that appears to exist, but doesn’t, owing to the insane theory it may be able to exist and not exist at the same time.

    This is nonsense at the highest possible level. As I often point out, the lights are going out in Western Civilization. I really don’t know how much time we have left.

  34. nullasalus:

    Part of my concern here is that I’m wondering if there’s a line between ‘interpretations of quantum mechanics’ and ‘the science of quantum mechanics’, and if so, whether that line is being crossed or confused in this conversation.

    I would certainly grant you that both are often conflated and misinterpreted, by theologian and scientist alike. There are not sufficent facts, IMO, from which to conclude either doctrine or theory. At best, at present, all we can do is identify what is disproven, unproven, or self-contradictory.

    Regarding ‘two contradictory outcomes’, I think I agree.

    I understood you to agree. I didn’t see you argue that.

    Part of my point with Bruce David is that I thought he misunderstood the question – his own example seems to conflict with the ‘in the same sense’ reply.

    I don’t think it was given a lot of thought. It seemed somewhat automatic arguendo. Certainly pointing out his response also failed the “same sense” criteria was well worth making.

  35. I’m afraid I’m not qualified to argue quantum physics. My understating is that superposition poses difficulties for traditional ways of thinking, but I’m not qualified to debate the point.

    Quantum physics posits that an object can move from one position to another without traversing the intervening space. It also posits that electrons orbiting a nucleus have positions that can only be expressed as a probability distribution.

    All this stretches traditional thinking about what matter is and how it exists.

  36. I provided a brief response @9.1.

  37. Quantum physics posits that an object can move from one position to another without traversing the intervening space. It also posits that electrons orbiting a nucleus have positions that can only be expressed as a probability distribution.

    All this stretches traditional thinking about what matter is and how it exists.

    Right, but I’m trying to see where, specifically, we’re getting – if you were saying this or something like this – ‘physics shows the LNC is false’. Greater questions about what matter is or is not (or, with a nod to Bruce David, whether it even exists) is interesting, but that’s a different question.

  38. Incidentally, a blogger named Keiths (didn’t he hang out with us for a while), at the website in question, points out that a five-year-old would know that a physical object cannot exist and not exist at the same time. Indeed.

    That same blogger challenges Barry to learn some quantum mechanics, arguing that superposition can invalidate the laws of logic. Well, I am prepared to debate that point, but I would first ask Keiths the following question: How does the five year old KNOW (rightly so) that a physical object cannot exist and not exist at the same time? Anybody?

  39. Same way they can know red paint makes a car go faster.

  40. Whoops, pardon. I read that as ‘can exist and not exist at the same time’.

  41. Incidentally, notice that when describing Jupiter’s lack of existence Bruce David had to refer back to Jupiter by saying “its” constituent particles. In other words, there is a concrete, accepted concept of the thing observed — the “it” — that we are calling Jupiter. This back door incorporation of the objective reality always occurs when someone tries to deny objective reality — they have to describe the lack of reality by self-referencing back to the very thing the existence of which is being denied.

    When communicating in this blog, I am constrained to the use of the English language. This does not imply any particular metaphysical position, only that I must use the structures inherent in language to communicate.

  42. Bruce,

    You seem to be the same person who made this same argument on this blog a year or so ago. Or does that Bruce David in your mind, not exist anymore?

  43. Superposition is about probabilities. I.e, it’s about what *we* can say about, say, the states (e.g, position and volocity) of a particle. There’s nothing whatsoever in any actual equation of any branch of QM that says “an entity (take your pick) can exist and not exist at the same time.” Anyone who says otherwise is full of crap.

  44. Mike,

    My understanding is that there are interpretations of quantum mechanics that may say something like that, but there’s also a problem with actually deciding between any of those interpretations.

    The favorite response, if not interpretation, I’ve heard about the whole thing is ‘shut up and calculate’.

  45. LNC is a rule within formal logic. It is axiomatic. What is the point of discussing whether it is true or false?

    As an axiom it is irrelevant to matters decided empirically.

    If one axiomatically asserts that Jupiter exists, then it cannot axiomatically not exist.

    But physical objects do not exist axiomatically. Their existence is assumed as a result of empirical evidence, and physics currently suggests that such evidence is probabilistic.

  46. Interpretations of QM are not QM. Schrodinger came up with his famous Cat to show why the Copenhagen interpretation violated our common sense and intuition. But the bottom line is, the interpretations are not QM. Just want to make that crystal clear.

  47. But physical objects do not exist axiomatically. Their existence is assumed as a result of empirical evidence, and physics currently suggests that such evidence is probabilistic.

    So you’re evaluating the evidence without any axioms?

  48. Petrushka:

    If one axiomatically asserts that Jupiter exists, then it cannot axiomatically not exist.

    But physical objects do not exist axiomatically. Their existence is assumed as a result of empirical evidence, and physics currently suggests that such evidence is probabilistic.

    Nominated for the “Elizabeth Liddle Memorial Goal Post Redefinition” award.

  49. Evaluating evidence without axioms? Probably not.

    But evidence can lead to modifying ones axioms. Plane geometry, for example, does not describe reality on the surface of sphere, and more complex geometries are required for other surfaces.

    The axioms required to rationalize quantum superposition and quantum tunnelling are not the same as the axioms we derive from everyday experience.

  50. nullasalus is right — some interpretations of QM allow that a particular entity may neither exist, nor not-exist, but is in a superposition of existence and non-existence.

    At high-school I learned that a single photon really can go through two separate slits at the same time. Does the photon exist, or not-exist, at slit 1? The answer is: neither. To my mind this does cast some doubt on the law of non contradiction.

    As far as I recall the only interpretation of QM that allows all entities to actually exist is the “many-worlds” interpretation. This really means “infinite worlds”, as I understand it, which seems to me to be as much of a metaphysical absurdity as violating the LNC.

    Cheers

  51. Well, I’m right about there being interpretations (but who was denying that?) – but I think mike is right that interpretations and QM itself are distinct things.

    If that’s the case, then no, you learned wrong in high school that “the photon neither exists nor does not exist at slit 1″. What you have is an equation that describes and predicts the behavior – saying “it neither exists nor does not exist” isn’t something observed. It’s an interpretation – maybe even a popular one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I....._mechanics gives an overview of some (and I think, not all) of the interpretations of quantum mechanics, and I don’t think it’s correct that the ‘many-worlds’ interpretation is the only one which avoids a LNC violation.

    I think there’s a problem when people regard axioms, certainly laws of logic, as the sort of things which can get proved or disproved in the lab.

  52. When communicating in this blog, I am constrained to the use of the English language. This does not imply any particular metaphysical position, only that I must use the structures inherent in language to communicate.

    Of course we are constrained by language. And what does that conventional language construct convey? Well, it conveys the concept of an existing planet, something that is there and that we can talk about. So we can just slightly rephrase the initial question to talk about what most people understand as the existing object or what normal language conveys when we discuss an object, and the substance of the initial question stands.

    Our language isn’t perfect to convey everything. I agree on that point. But in this case I think the very fact that the description of the alleged non-existence is self-referential is noteworthy and should at least give pause.

    Now we could suppose that our language tricks us into thinking that these things actually exist, but that these things are in fact non-existent until someone observes them. All these new planets we are discovering, new species discovered in the deep sea, all these things just pop into existence when they get observed. But wait a minute. What is it again exactly that is being observed? Well it is something — some thing. Why would something that wasn’t there suddenly be there when someone starts observing?

    If we are just “observing” in the abstract, then there is no rational reason why some things should pop into existence and not others. On the other hand, if we are observing in the concrete – namely observing a particular object, like Jupiter – then the very act of the observing belies the fact that we are observing “something.” That something is, by necessity, real and existing.

  53. Evaluating evidence without axioms? Probably not.

    Well, then that’s a pretty big problem.

    You say that evidence ‘can lead to modifying ones axioms’. But at no point is the evidence of quantum physics “We observed X both existing and not existing at the exact same time”, even with the more macroscopic experiments. The best we ever get are somewhat strange, but more mundane results, we give mathematical descriptions of those results, and we interpret from there.

    But it’s not as if there aren’t LNC compatible interpretations available – so what’s the point of giving them up? The answer had better be something more than “well if you retain them, reality seems weird”.

  54. To clarify, ‘Somewhat strange’ meaning in terms of formula. ‘More mundane’ meaning ‘what’s actually observed’.

    It’s like walking into a room, and each time you walk in there’s a basketball there. You never see anyone put a basketball in the room. You have the room completely secured, and you take the basketball out each time. Yet each time you go in, basketball.

    So did you observe that a basketball spontaneously appears from nothing, uncaused, into this room each and every time? Well, no. You never observed that, nor can you. You may suggest that that’s what’s happening. In a way, that may be compatible with what you’re seeing. But that’s not an observation itself.

  55. I beg your pardon, Stephen. I didn’t see the “in the same sense” in your original question. My mistake.

  56. Barry,

    And as Dr. Johnson said when refuting Berkeley over 200 years ago, “I refute it thus!” [metaphorically kicking Jupiter]. Idealism is just as useless now as it was then.

    I had a dream the other night. I dreampt that I kicked a rock and it hurt. Then I woke up and realized that the rock didn’t exist except in my mind, even though when I was in the dream, it was as real to me as Dr. Johnson’s was to him.

    I am after the truth. Usefulness is not a criterion that matters much in that quest.

  57. CannuckianYankee,

    Ah, good question. It can be said that that person both does and does not still exist, but not, however, in the same sense.

  58. To nullasalus @ 13.3.1.1.2

    I was correctly taught that an undisturbed photon passes through both slits, which is demonstrated by its forming a predictable interference pattern. However, if you place a detector to see which slit the photon passes through, hey presto! it only goes through one slit and does not form an interference pattern.

    In the first case, with no detectors, does the photon exist at slit 1? It seems to me our common sense notions of non-contradiction do not apply neatly to this situation. Why shouldn’t we use such empirical findings to refine and improve our methods of logic?

    Cheers

  59. I was correctly taught that an undisturbed photon passes through both slits, which is demonstrated by its forming a predictable interference pattern.

    Are you aware of the various interpretations of quantum mechanics? Do you know how they – even on an amateur level, even for only a few – differ from one another? Do you realize that if there are other viable interpretations for that pattern, and if there is no experiment which can (currently, and possibly in principle) decide which of those interpretations is right or most likely, what you were ‘correctly taught’ is an interpretation – not the truth of why that pattern formed?

    Again, this is similar to saying, “Well, every time I go into that room, a basketball appears, uncaused, from nothingness. If that’s what’s happening, then that is precisely what I should be seeing each and every time.” Which is great – unless there are alternate interpretations of the data that would also explain the outcome.

    It seems to me our common sense notions of non-contradiction do not apply neatly to this situation.

    Nor to the hypothetical basketball scenario – so long as we’re using the stated interpretation. But if that’s not the only interpretation available, then we have a problem.

    Why shouldn’t we use such empirical findings to refine and improve our methods of logic?

    I suppose one reason would be, “For the same reasons we don’t embrace solipsism even though it could explain all of our experience: because there are other explanations that are available, and which may well be superior.”

    Likewise, there’s no putting logic and axioms aside entirely, then ‘doing science’ and crafting logic and axioms from what we find. The logic and the axioms are always there with science – remove them, and you’ve removed science along with them.

    Also, is your logic really updated? Is your opinion on the truth of, say… common descent, “Well, we can’t rule out the possibility that common descent is both true and false at the same time, in the same sense”? (And before anyone asks, I accept common descent. But it’s a way to sharpen the point here.)

  60. Barry, he must have been in moderation for this thread because the only way to give him first right of reply is to moderate all comments for this thread until his appears and can be published first.

  61. Onlookers:

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to OBFUSCATE.

    To clear up the distractive quantum arguments and whatnot, let us recall that QM is expressed using equations and based on observations by an observer. Proverbially, scratched out with chalk on chalk-boards, then scratched out with pens and finally published in Journals.

    Are the symbols, relationship, rules of interpretation and manipulation and placement in those equations BOTH there AND not there in the same sense and time?

    Are the meter indications, dots in a quantum double slit experiment, lab equipment, and objects under investigation both there and not there in the same sense and time?

    Is the physicist-observer there and not there in the same sense and time?

    Is the knowledge base s/he is using there and not there in the same sense and time, and do the symbols, terms, rules, relationships etc that he or she has studied both mean and not mean what they are commonly held to mean?

    Do you not see the chaos of self-referential absurdities that stem from denial of the principle of non-contradiction, that if one asserts A AND NOT-A in the same sense and time, then one ends with as a logical consequence that any and every assertion follows as having truth value, True?

    That is, by swallowing the premise of a core self-contradiction in our reasoning, we reduce ourselves to increasingly losing the ability to discern the true from the false, save where we unconsciously revert to the old fashioned way of thinking.

    Let’s call it straight: reduction to absurdity by self referential incoherence, presented as wisdom. “Professing themselves to be wise . . . ”

    And, no, it is not just a matter of imposing arbitrary rules of manipulating symbols and calling them axioms.

    The law of non-contradiction was a matter of reality and the human condition of experience of having to live with it, long before it was ever reduced to symbols. Indeed, it is a case of self-evident truth.

    Truth, that, in light of our experience of the world and understanding, we see as not just what happens to be so but could have been otherwise, but instead what must be so, on pain of obvious and blatant in-your-face absurdities and contradictions leading to radical chaos of incoherence.

    I assure you, that the self same ones appealing to quantum double slit exercises, entanglement, wave functions and probabilities, etc, would never dream of walking out into a busy highway on the assumption that the cars and trucks zipping by were and were not there in the same sense and time.

    They cannot live with the pretty arguments on the ground, a sure sign that something is drastically wrong.

    Look, a few days ago, I was looking up at planets in the night sky, as I have since my childhood when I first wondered about the Evening Star.

    The planet Jupiter is there to be seen in the night sky, along with its companions, as wandering stars — planetos means wanderer — that is what drew them to the attention of our remote ancestors, these were the moving stars that wandered against the backdrop of the so-called fixed stars.

    So, when you see anyone trotting out obfuscatory rhetoric to make it seem it is both there and not there in the same sense, that person is playing games with blue smoke and mirrors, or has been enmeshed in the mind-game webs of those who are.

    Indeed, I am now inclining to the view that that is a root problem, people are getting tangled up in mind-game webs spun by those who hope to profit from our confusion.

    If you are dealing with someone willing to try to argue that Jupiter is there and not there at the same time and sense, and feel mental webs reaching out for you, run!

    So, let us get back to the original statement of the first principles of right reason, from Aristotle:

    . . . if it is impossible at the same time to affirm and deny a thing truly, it is also impossible for contraries to apply to a thing at the same time; either both must apply in a modified sense, or one in a modified sense and the other absolutely.

    Nor indeed can there be any intermediate between contrary statements, but of one thing we must either assert or deny one thing, whatever it may be. This will be plain if we first define truth and falsehood. To say that what is is not, or that what is not is, is false; but to say that what is is, and what is not is not, is true; and therefore also he who says that a thing is or is not will say either what is true or what is false.

    Notice how carefully Ari spoke of what we say in relation to the world of things, and in regard to existence or non existence and conformity of assertion with reality. He was not speaking about “things” which cannot exist, but of a world of things that are, or may be, i.e., of candidate or actual members of occupied sets.

    It is in that context that to say what is, and what is not is not is accurate to reality, reality as we or another intelligence may experience it.

    When he therefore argues:

    Socrates is a man

    Men are mortal
    _____________

    Socrates is mortal

    . . . he is speaking of a class that has actual members: men, similarly, mortals. Men, for various reasons, are mortal. Mortals, per observation are or may become, dead. A given case –Socrates — is a man, so he is also mortal.

    This is not a matter of clouds of confusion and quantum superposition, this is a matter of the nature of what it is to belong to a set, and what it is to have certain relationships of sets.

    Without these relationships, Mathematics becomes impossible, and the whole project of physics, including quantum physics, collapses.

    Kindly, explain to me, what happens to:

    E_k [photoelectron] = h*f – phi

    Where also, E-photon = h*f

    And where also, save f exceeds a certain level, no photoemission is possible.

    (Onlookers, I choose this case as it is the case that established quantum mechanics, and it is the case that was a key factor in Einstein’s Nobel Prize.)

    . . . if there are no rules of mathematical reasoning, phsyical reasoning and objective observation and measurement, in light of reality, like this.

    KF

  62. PS: Ari in Metaphysics, 1011b.

  63. PS: Since we are plainly dealing with those who will gleefully snip words out of context and maliciously twist them to try to deride, denigrate and dismiss –as we saw so plainly across the week and weekend past, let me explain. Do, be patient; we are dealing with willful, hostility driven twisters at sites like AtBC and Anti Evo, not fair minded and civil participants in dialogue.

    By 1905, quantum phenomena had been observed for decades — spectra, specific heat capacity variation with temperature etc — but no one had a good explanation until the UV catastrophe was addressed by Planck in 1900. But his suggestion was controversial and deemed dubious: quantisation of energy in the radiation field of a cavity radiator. It is Einstein’s use of the quanisation to explain the threshold aspect of the photoelectric effect that established Quantum as here to stay.

  64. Hi nullasalus

    I’m aware of many interpretations of QM.

    C: It seems to me our common sense notions of non-contradiction do not apply neatly to this situation.

    n: Nor to the hypothetical basketball scenario – so long as we’re using the stated interpretation. But if that’s not the only interpretation available, then we have a problem.

    I agree – a problem worth looking into! As I see it, for now, an “actual” superposition of existence/non-existence remains a live possibility – one that may not sit easily with the LNC.

    n: Likewise, there’s no putting logic and axioms aside entirely, then ‘doing science’ and crafting logic and axioms from what we find. The logic and the axioms are always there with science – remove them, and you’ve removed science along with them.

    Also, is your logic really updated?

    Aye, there’s the rub. Identity and LNC are indeed the bedrock of rationality — as currently understood. Nonetheless, logicians are developing paraconsistent logical systems that are not exploded by contradiction; maybe such will form part of the future of rationality in physics.

    I don’t claim to possess any final answers here. I’m open to possibilities.

    Cheers

  65. Bruce David, usefulness is a criterion that matters if you need to determine whether the waking state and the dream state should have equal priority.

    The waking state recognizes, assesses, and interprets the dream state; not the reverse. So when we prioritize the waking state as a source of information, we find it useful.

    Information about rocks gained in the waking state meant that in the dream state, you expected the rock to hurt.

    The reason dreams seem so real at the time is that he relationship between the dream state and the waking state is hierarchical. the former depends on the latter for the content of its reveries and can only reflect on the latter in a symbolic way.

  66. Hi Bruce David-

    Please visit http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/

    Elizabeth was asking about you….

  67. ME: My understanding is that the thread was reserved for ES to make a reply as comment no 1. In that context — with no malice — my own comment and one by BA were removed. I went to church after that and apart from sometime later y/day, came by again this morning. I was astonished at what transpired overnight, and my response is below. KF

  68. I find it the height of irony that materialists/atheists, since they dogmatically operate under the reductive materialist framework, despite falsification of local realism (reductive materialism) itself by quantum mechanics (Aspect; Zeilinger) would appeal to quantum superposition to try to undermine transcendent ‘laws of logic’, for quantum mechanics has revealed, far more than General Relativity has, that we live in a universe governed by higher dimensional transcendent ‘laws of logic’.

    The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality – Gauss & Riemann – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6199520/

    3D to 4D shift – Carl Sagan – video with notes
    Excerpt from Notes: The state-space of quantum mechanics is an infinite-dimensional function space. Some physical theories are also by nature high-dimensional, such as the 4-dimensional general relativity.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VS1mwEV9wA

    For instance in Wheeler’s Delayed Choice experiment we find a clear example of ‘laws of logic’ dictating how reality itself will behave:

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    Or even in the Schroedinger Equation itself we find:

    Finely Tuned Big Bang, Elvis In The Multiverse, and the Schroedinger Equation – Granville Sewell – audio
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4233012

    At the 4:00 minute mark of the preceding audio, Dr. Sewell comments on the ‘transcendent’ and ‘constant’ Schroedinger’s Equation;

    ‘In chapter 2, I talk at some length on the Schroedinger Equation which is called the fundamental equation of chemistry. It’s the equation that governs the behavior of the basic atomic particles subject to the basic forces of physics. This equation is a partial differential equation with a complex valued solution. By complex valued I don’t mean complicated, I mean involving solutions that are complex numbers, a+bi, which is extraordinary that the governing equation, basic equation, of physics, of chemistry, is a partial differential equation with complex valued solutions. There is absolutely no reason why the basic particles should obey such a equation that I can think of except that it results in elements and chemical compounds with extremely rich and useful chemical properties. In fact I don’t think anyone familiar with quantum mechanics would believe that we’re ever going to find a reason why it should obey such an equation, they just do! So we have this basic, really elegant mathematical equation, partial differential equation, which is my field of expertise, that governs the most basic particles of nature and there is absolutely no reason why, anyone knows of, why it does, it just does. British physicist Sir James Jeans said “From the intrinsic evidence of His creation, the great architect of the universe begins to appear as a pure mathematician”, so God is a mathematician to’.

    i.e. the Materialist/Atheist is at a complete loss to explain why this should be so, whereas the Christian Theist presupposes such transcendent ‘logical’ control of our temporal, material, reality,,,

    John 1:1
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    of note; ‘the Word’ is translated from the Greek word ‘Logos’. Logos happens to be the word from which we derive our modern word ‘Logic’.

    Further note:

    Moreover advances in quantum mechanics have allowed the argument for God from consciousness to be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    further notes:

    Quantum Theory’s ‘Wavefunction’ Found to Be Real Physical Entity: Scientific American – November 2011
    Excerpt: David Wallace, a philosopher of physics at the University of Oxford, UK, says that the theorem is the most important result in the foundations of quantum mechanics that he has seen in his 15-year professional career. “This strips away obscurity and shows you can’t have an interpretation of a quantum state as probabilistic,” he says.
    http://www.scientificamerican......vefunction

    The quantum (wave) state cannot be interpreted statistically – November 2011
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1111.3328

    Wave function
    Excerpt “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....ctor_space

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entr.....tcomp/#2.1

    Thus the ‘necessary consciousness’ that is collapsing the wave packet to each central point of unique conscious observation in the universe, is found to be a ‘infinite dimensional consciousness’ which possesses the attribute of control over infinite information to bring the infinite dimensional/infinite information state to quantized state of 1 or 0, i.e. God!

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation:

  69. So did you observe that a basketball spontaneously appears from nothing, uncaused, into this room each and every time? Well, no. You never observed that, nor can you. You may suggest that that’s what’s happening. In a way, that may be compatible with what you’re seeing. But that’s not an observation itself.

    I think you are just defining the problem away. By definition you cannot observe two states simultaneously, and by definition you cannot observe tunnelling.

    But you are left with other, perhaps unspoken, axioms violated. You preserve the definitional rules of logic, but you are still left with physical phenomena that violate our ordinary understanding of how matter exists and behaves.

  70. CLAVDIVS: nullasalus is right — some interpretations of QM allow that a particular entity may neither exist, nor not-exist, but is in a superposition of existence and non-existence.

    Of course he is. I never said he wasn’t. But you’re missing my point: interpretations of QM are not QM. I just wanted that to be crystal clear.

    Nullasalus: I think there’s a problem when people regard axioms, certainly laws of logic, as the sort of things which can get proved or disproved in the lab.

    Well put. I find it humorous when people interpret science in a way that undermines the very rationality they are using to interpret science. (And no matter how much non-rationality they are willing to accept about reality, they always manage to sneak their own rationality back into the process, at both ends.)

  71. 71

    Not true Max, as KF points out below.

  72. Clavdivs, the laws of non-contradiction and causality inform all of science, quantum mechanics included. Indeed, QM would not even have been conceived (discovered) except by honoring those laws as scientists interpreted evidence. In other words, they assumed (rightly) going in, that nothing can exist and not exist at the same time and under the same formal circumstances. They also assumed (rightly) that nothing can begin to exist without a cause. Their logic informed the evidence; the evidence did not inform their logic.

    Please take note of the point–evidence does not inform the rules of right reason; the rules of right reason inform evidence. The reverse principle is also true: Evidence does not lead one to irrational conclusions about logic; irrational assumptions about logic lead one to interpret evidence irrationally. So when an irrational, postmodern scientist intrudes his irrational assumptions on the evidence, he will draw irrational conclusions such as the absurd notion that new evidence could invalidate reason’s rules.

  73. mike 1962, you are right on all counts. Evidence does not lead one to irrational conclusions about logic; irrational assumptions about logic lead one to interpret evidence irrationally. So when an irrational, postmodern scientist intrudes his irrational assumptions on the evidence, he will draw irrational conclusions such as the absurd notion that new evidence could invalidate reason’s rules.

  74. Weird, I thought it would be below, it is above, and no number appears. Bugs/features to your heart’s content. KF

  75. The REPLY gets a number though . . . whadzup?

  76. Logic? Or have I missed something/everything?

  77. “To my mind this does cast some doubt on the law of non contradiction.”

    CLAVDIS

    Would ‘muddy’ the picture be more accurate? The impression I get – not a criticism – is that you are all trying to tease out whether ostensibly contradictory propositions are paradoxes or oxymorons? Would that be correct?

  78. “Nominated for the “Elizabeth Liddle Memorial Goal Post Redefinition” award.”

    Charles, I’m putting your name forward for a Nobel Prize. I’m just not sure at the moment, for what field it should properly be recommended.

  79. Axel:

    Charles, I’m putting your name forward for a Nobel Prize.

    Hmmm…. considering the company I’d be keeping, I’d rather be Fed Chairman :-/

  80. Consider for example, the question, “can a circle be imperfect?”

    At the logical level it is impossible for a circle to be imperfect, but in the world of physical circles, all are imperfect.

    If, in the world of physical circles, all (known) circles are imperfect, then the answer is yes, a circle can be imperfect.

    The abstract definition of a circle does not include any imperfections. Why would it? That is not the same as saying that the definition disallows imperfect circles.

    If all physical circles are imperfect then you could examine each up close and decide that they are technically not really circles. If you really want to split hairs you could say that all those rounds things we call “circles” really aren’t – they are just circular. (I’m going to file that away in case I ever want to annoy someone for no good reason. ‘You know, that’s not technically a circle if you look close enough. Circles are perfect and don’t really exist. That’s circular.’)

    There’s no contradiction.

  81. “Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics.“

    Well, bornagain77, does not the absolute speed of light suggest that photons have their own reference- frame exogenous to space-time, presumably beyond the one event horizon of the Big Bang, even though they interact with space-time, and submit to it (in a spirit of subsidiarity favoured by Pope Benedict, nae doot), in that they can be at least partially absorbed by solid surfaces? So that, despite this absolute quality, their speed through space-and the distance they travel through it, can be measured according to the latter’s reference-frame. This seems to me to be the case, and to evoke thoughts of Christ’s Incarnation. Does it not seem that the quantum level of matter might actually already be beyond an immanent event horizon, so that we may shortly arrive at a limit, beyond which analytical reasoning will simply encounter absolute imponderables.

  82. axel, for me to make sense of the delayed choice experiment, I had to realize that ‘photons’ do not travel as particles in the universe but travel, if ‘travel’ is even a appropriate term to use, as ‘uncollapsed quantum waves’ in the universe:

    i.e. The fact that photons are shown to ‘travel’ as uncollapsed quantum information waves in the double slit experiment, and not as collapsed particles, is what gives us a solid reason for proposing the mechanism of the universal quantum wave collapse of photons to each unique conscious observer in the universe.

    Double-slit experiment
    Excerpt: In quantum mechanics, the double-slit experiment (often referred to as Young’s experiment) demonstrates the inseparability of the wave and particle natures of light and other quantum particles. A coherent light source (e.g., a laser) illuminates a thin plate with two parallel slits cut in it, and the light passing through the slits strikes a screen behind them. The wave nature of light causes the light waves passing through both slits to interfere, creating an interference pattern of bright and dark bands on the screen. However, at the screen, the light is always found to be absorbed as though it were made of discrete particles, called photons.,,, Any modification of the apparatus that can determine (that can let us observe) which slit a photon passes through destroys the interference pattern, illustrating the complementarity principle; that the light can demonstrate both particle and wave characteristics, but not both at the same time.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....experiment

    Double Slit Experiment – Explained By Prof Anton Zeilinger – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6101627/

    Further notes here:

    Centrality of Each Individual Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Very Credible Reconciliation Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/17SDgYPHPcrl1XX39EXhaQzk7M0zmANKdYIetpZ-WB5Y/edit?hl=en_US

  83. Maybe I was dreaming, but I could have swore I saw someone post what was purported to be ES response to the OP. I was on my way out the door and didn’t have time to read it. But, it is not here now. Was I just imagining that? I really wanted to read it, but I really don’t want to dirty myself over at the fever swamp to find it. ;)

    Thanks!

  84. 84

    I deleted it ben. if ES does not have the guts to post his idiocy here (and he did not), I will not let one of his surrogates do it for him.

  85. But, what is the sense of him replying elsewhere rather than here? I could see if he had no answer to give that he would run away. But, to post it at (apparently) two different sites that are frequented by many of the regular posters here, but not here, has no logic to it. Our regular commenters are going to see his reply anyways, so there is no reason for him to not reply here. It seems more likely that his reply got lost in the ether somewhere. Expecially, given the problems kairosfocus having posted.

    Given that likelihood, it seems odd not to give him a chance to try and get the post up here again.

  86. It’ OK, ben h

    There’s a copy at Liz Liddle’s blog, The Skeptical Zone. You could eat your dinner off the floor there!

  87. SB: I would suggest, rather that the foundational point is not causality but that for what is, there is a sufficient reason, of which cause is one type; for that which is contingent. KF

  88. Thank you! I found it. Hopefully, Stephen and Barry will go over and continue the discussion with him. It looked like it was going to be an interesting one.

  89. Theoretically, it is possible that Barry didn’t even exist at the time he banned eigenstate, but statistically speaking, the chance that it happened that way is virtually zero.

  90. ben h, you have not been around here for long, have you.

  91. I’ve been on this site since last summer, but I mainly just lurk. So, if you are wondering why you don’t see much of me, that is the reason.

  92. No, I was just wondering if your suggestion at 20.2.1 was intentionally funny.

  93. KF, Over at EL’s blog the current consensus appears to be that while the LNC certainly applies to logic, it does not necessarily apply to physics. My question is: how would anyone doing physics know that it might not apply to physics without first applying the law in their interpretation of physical properties and interactions? It seems to me that one could not determine that the LNC might not apply to physics without first applying the law to what they are observing and/or calculating.

    To assert that the LNC does not apply to certain aspects of physics is simply guess work IMHO. It’s intended to avoid having to commit to the obvious when it’s inconvenient.

  94. CY, I think what they are saying is that LNC is part of a system of formal logic that is used as a tool to investigate and understand the natural world. However, it is possible that discoveries in the natural world (and to a certain degree this seems to be the case for QM) will be more usefully understood and investigated by using a different system of logic. And in fact there already exist different systems of logic that have been developed because they yield useful results in the investigation of some phenomena.

  95. I think you are just defining the problem away. By definition you cannot observe two states simultaneously, and by definition you cannot observe tunnelling.

    “By definition”? What definition? I mean, I get that it’s in principle impossible, or at the very least taken to be in principle impossible. But “by definition”?

    I’m not defining any problem away. I’m pointing out the very real limits with regards to observation and experiment, and the variety of possibilities that remain over.

    Here, I think, is the key problem for you:

    You preserve the definitional rules of logic, but you are still left with physical phenomena that violate our ordinary understanding of how matter exists and behaves.

    So? It’s not like ‘physical phenomena that violate our ordinary understanding’ goes away, if only we sacrifice logic. We’re getting that either way.

    So what’s the advantage of sacrificing the LNC again? Is it something other than “I don’t really like the LNC, at least sometimes – I’d like an exception”? Is it “this phenomena is pretty odd compared to classical physics – I can sacrifice whatever I want”?

  96. F/N: I have marked up ES’ claims as EL has displayed them at her blog. KF

  97. Ah well, the numbering scheme strikes again. My markup of ES is here.

  98. This has to be the weirdest thread I have ever seen at UD, for where comments go!

  99. CY: You can see my markup. Just start with physicists playing games with their equations where symbols mean and don’t mean, and relationships and operations mean and don’t mean, and you see the chaos. Besides, I took time to mark up ES, and it looks like something is not adding up with the sort of way the results are being reported. Why is it that the common garden variety explanation that we have superposition happening and being observed is not being seriously considered, isn’t that what you are evidently actually seeing? But A + B –> C, is not to be equated to A and not A etc. KF

  100. And in fact there already exist different systems of logic that have been developed because they yield useful results in the investigation of some phenomena.

    You mean those systems of logic where consistency is optional, and what would be a reductio ad absurdum elsewhere is viewed as not a problem there?

    Also, what are the useful results you speak of? I mean, it’s got to be something more than just, “well, if we throw out the LNC, that means we can say this thing both exists and does not exist at the same time in the same sense”, right?

  101. kf,

    Why not run with it?

    Apparently, the fact that quantum physics is weird emboldens some people to say that the LNC is optional and can be given up. That’s pretty severe.

    I suppose, then, we can’t rule out – if we permit sacrificing the LNC and the like – that some supernatural cause is at work at each and every quantum event, especially if it would allow us to retain the LNC, yes?

    Which would seem to suggest that – if we can claim “I will interpret quantum events as LNC violations” as “there is scientific evidence the LNC is wrong”, we can also claim “I will interpret quantum events as supernatural acts” as “there is scientific evidence for the supernatural”, eh?

    If we’re going to play, let’s play.

  102. Nullasalus,

    No, as I understand it, all systems of logic have their own internal consistency.

    And yes, I agree its got to be something more than just throwing something out. Interestingly, you have added the words “in the same sense” into your version of LNC, which I assume indicates you are adapting the rule to deal with quantum superposition?

  103. No, as I understand it, all systems of logic have their own internal consistency.

    So all systems of logic uphold the LNC in your view?

    And yes, I agree its got to be something more than just throwing something out. Interestingly, you have added the words “in the same sense” into your version of LNC, which I assume indicates you are adapting the rule to deal with quantum superposition?

    Why would I be ‘adapting the rule’ just by adding “in the same sense”? It’s not an addition to the rule but a clarification of communication, to avoid nonseqs like “See, this coin is both worth 25 cents and worth nothing at the exact same time. Because it’s an American dollar, but this machine only takes bills.”

  104. No, I was just wondering if your suggestion at 20.2.1 was intentionally funny.

    I am not sure I follow. Since this thread was supposed to be about ES response to a specific question, I am assuming there was an interest in having a discussion about that response. As illogical as I find his subsequent exclusion from this thread, I have to believe the interest in having that discussion still exists. So, if it isn’t allowed to take place here, why wouldn’t the participants continue over at Dr. Liddle’s site? It seems a much more congenial place than antievolution.org.

  105. I totally agree with you, but I think your assumption is ungrounded.

  106. Ben,

    I won’t speak for others, but frankly I have enough trouble keeping up with what happens on UD.

    However, by all means, bring up whatever you like in this thread if you’ve got questions or arguments about the LNC. We’re at what – 104 responses? So clearly there’s good activity on this very subject. The questions are interesting, even important. The particular people providing the responses, far less so.

  107. Timbo, it would appear that the LNC is a basic assumption in logic that applies to all forms of it; even that which one would apply to quantum phenomena.

    We theists believe that God is in the present, past and future (i.e., eternal or timeless). That would seem to some to be a logical absurdity, similar to the odd characteristics found in QM, yet it does not defy the LNC. I find it hard to fathom that anything in physics, quantum or otherwise defies the very basics of our logic. It could be that we don’t understand the phenomena to fully understand it; but that does not lead one to assume that it defies logic altogether. It may be that there are properties that defy space and time; yet still maintain adherence to basic principles of logic such as not “not existing and existing at the same time and in the same sense.”

  108. My comment at 89 was calculated to be totally absurd and illogical. I simply employed eigenstate’s template, as expressed in his answer the question about Jupiter, and plugged in my comments to match the logic he employed.

  109. KF,

    Your markup appears to be similar to one you made a year or two ago with regard to the same misunderstanding. It’s a keeper.

  110. wow. I see that missing eigenstate’s articulate incoherence is something I will have to endure.

  111. News:

    Bruce David, usefulness is a criterion that matters if you need to determine whether the waking state and the dream state should have equal priority.

    The waking state recognizes, assesses, and interprets the dream state; not the reverse. So when we prioritize the waking state as a source of information, we find it useful.

    Information about rocks gained in the waking state meant that in the dream state, you expected the rock to hurt.

    The reason dreams seem so real at the time is that he relationship between the dream state and the waking state is hierarchical. the former depends on the latter for the content of its reveries and can only reflect on the latter in a symbolic way.

    The point of my comment was that there is no way to determine empirically or by any other means that one is not dreaming at this moment. The movies, The Matrix and Vanilla Sky played on this fundamental “problem”.

    What this points up is the fact, and it is a fact, that the only source of knowledge that we have of the existence of a physical world “out there” is our sense impressions, which exist entirely within our minds. If this reality we inhabit is actually virtual reality a la The Matrix, or, as I hold, created and orchestrated by God, or if we are all in a dream right now, there is absolutely no test that can reliably verify or refute that condition.

    Given this state of affairs, given the apparently fundamental inextricable interconnection between quantum reality and a conscious observer, given the fact that there is no way that anyone can even imagine how a physical object such as a brain could give rise to qualia, or conversely, how a non-corporeal substance (spirit or soul) could possibly influence physical matter, and given the innumerable documented and scientifically verified instances in which consciousness appears to violate physical laws, including having the capacity to perceive future events, my conclusion is that the only internally consistent metaphysical position in which all these anomalies can be explained and in which all experience is accounted for is that the reality which we appear to inhabit is in fact a kind of virtual reality in which God assumes the role of the computer that controls the virtual reality so that all our perceptions are coordinated in such a way that it seems we all inhabit the same reality.

    I and Bishop Berkeley are not the only ones to have reached this conclusion. Richard Thompson, a Ph.D. mathematician who has done research in Quantum Mechanics has written a book, Maya: the World as Virtual Reality which brings Berkeley’s ideas into sync with modern physics. Bruce Gordon reaches the same conclusion in his essay, “A Quantum Theoretic Argument against Naturalism” in The Nature of Nature. There are also a number of quantum physicists who have reached this conclusion as well.

    And lest I be accused of an appeal to authority, I do not claim that the support of these thinkers makes my position true, only that it is a valid intellectual position, that the support of a number of intellectually gifted, knowledgeable thinkers shields it from being dismissed out of hand as “absurd” or “ridiculous”. It is worthy of being taken seriously.

  112. So, the quantum-wave, shadow/duppy* Barry is asymptotically identical to the real world Barry?

    *In J/can folklore the duppy [comparable to ghost] comes from the shadow . . .

  113. To Axel @ 77

    A: Would ‘muddy’ the picture be more accurate? The impression I get – not a criticism – is that you are all trying to tease out whether ostensibly contradictory propositions are paradoxes or oxymorons? Would that be correct?

    Sure, that’s one way to look at it. Is QM truly governed by LNC? Or is it perhaps genuinely governed by some kind of “paraconsistent” logic where LNC does not hold? I believe the question is still an open one.

    To my mind, quantum weirdness — like nonlocality and superpositions of inconsistent states — do significant damage to the materialist view of mind, consciousness and reality. So I’m not really sure why so many here appear to side with the materialists on this subject.

    Just my 2c. Cheers.

  114. Hey, we are back to numbers in chronosequence, YAY!

  115. CY: I marked this problem up before? Totally forgot! I’ll bet I said much the same last time around too. Let’s not forget, in a quantum double slit expt, with the rate tuned down so only one particle at a tie is emitted, SOMETHING is superposing and giving rise to a pattern such that the cumulative effect is of an interference pattern. Wavicles, it has been called. And of course superposition is a characteristic wave phenomenon. The classic Copenhagen interpretation is that the waves are linked to probabilities. And as a result, we have real chance injected into physics. (The Dr Quantum video is instructive.) KF

  116. I won’t speak for others, but frankly I have enough trouble keeping up with what happens on UD.

    However, by all means, bring up whatever you like in this thread if you’ve got questions or arguments about the LNC. We’re at what – 104 responses?

    Yet, none of those responses are the very one this thread was presumably created for. If you aren’t a gifted multi-tasker, why not move the discussion temporarily over to The Skeptical Zone? Spending 115 comments now discussing a person not allowed to respond and not allowed to participate is unproductive and just a little weird.

  117. Okay,

    We are about to embark on the terror fitted depths of paraconsistnt and fuzzy logic frames of thought, folks. (Problem being, we are looking already at the fundamental issue that if we assert X true then we are not also asserting X false.)

    I suggest a survey tutorial here, lest we be blinded and snowed by “science,” so called.

    What I will say coming out the starting gates that a logic that defines an ideal range for a variable, and then a band in which the variable grades up, is not an incoherent concfept. And that is the heart of fuzzy logic. Notice, we have say a given temp of a part that affects function, and can blend responses to its being at several ideal values through a weighted average of some kind to give a good control input.

    At no point in this little exercise of fuzzy logic control, have we asserted A and NOT-A, never mind colourful representations like, a certain temp T is for this controller to be acted on by blending 30% cold, 10% warm, 1% hot, or the like.

    Similarly, in a lesser of evils situation, where we know that each option is a bad, but some are worse, e.g. how do we stop German ball bearing production, knowing that B 17′s at this time have no viable long range escort, that many in and around the plant at Schweinfurt are civilians, that bombing is rather apt to be smeared out never mind the Norden Bomb sight’s performance under ideal circumstances, and given that unless someone stops the new wave of German tanks and other equipment dependent on the ball bearings, a LOT more people are going to die.

    Yes, we face moral dilemmas and choices of the bad and the worse, but that is not the same as saying that A AND NOT_A ARE SIMULTANEOUSLY SO IN THE SAME SENSE.

    Likewise, when we shoot electrons at double slits, even slowing down rates until one at a time goes, we get an interference pattern save when we try to identify the slit the electron passes through, in which case we get a marbles and slots pattern. Some sort of superposition of possibilities is credibly occurring, and we have matter-waves. That means that our particles vs waves view of teh world is not applicable to sufficiently small systems, and we can show that we have a fuzzy spectrum that brings us tothe classic view asymptotically for big enough systems.

    We even have the situation of molecular orbitals theory that leads to the concept that organic molecules have superposed hybrid orbitals that are delocalised. Indeed, it is conventional wisdom that we do not have orbits like planets around the sun, but smeared out wavelike orbitals.

    Statistical distributions, probabilities, matter waves, uncertainty, entanglement and chance are in the door, like or lump it.

    But none of that translates into: A AND NOT_A ARE SIMULTANEOUSLY SO IN THE SAME SENSE.

    And, going further, the very fact that we reason and are not determined on chance distributions and mechanical necessity implies that we have responsible mindedness.

    In short, let us pause and rethink carefully before we swallow the notion that A and its denial are simultaneously true, must be allowed into our thought world, never mind the implications that we lose ability to discern true and false.

    Have fun looking at paraconsistent logics and speculations connected thereto, but appreciate the cost price paid in terms of what has to be done to block the explosive loss of ability to discern truth and falsity. But in so doing, notice how carefully the reasoning process involved adheres to . . . LNC, LEM etc. (Much, as I pointed out at what is now 61, how those who claim QM for dismissing LNC, are forced to live by LNC etc in their mathematics.)

    KF

  118. F/N: I have added a note on logic to the mark-up (as well as Dr Quantum’s video, 12 minute version with flatland and a charming circle), and a link to IEP on paraconsistent logic. KF

  119. –ben h: “Yet, none of those responses are the very one this thread was presumably created for. If you aren’t a gifted multi-tasker, why not move the discussion temporarily over to The Skeptical Zone? Spending 115 comments now discussing a person not allowed to respond and not allowed to participate is unproductive and just a little weird.”

    What is wierd is that after all this fuss you and your colleages, regardless of where the discussion takes place, still refuse to answer the question.

  120. What is wierd is that after all this fuss you and your colleages

    My colleagues? I am not quite sure what you mean by that. I am just me, a lurker interested in following a discussion. I am a frequent reader, but infrequent poster here.

    regardless of where the discussion takes place, still refuse to answer the question.

    Well, I am no physicist, but it seems that ES has answered in what I saw over at Dr. Liddle’s site. I also see that kairosfocus has provided a response and directs responders here, where the most appropriate responder is forbidden to participate. I would never question a fellow brother in Christ’s honesty, so I am sure there is a good reason to not directly engage ES mano a mano. But, another onlooker might not interpret it so generously.

  121. BH: A moment. I am pretty sure that ES has ample opportunity to respond, and I am pretty sure as well that there are any number who could take things up here as well. FYI, EVERY event here is closely monitored. And, the prob is, some of those follower sites are so abusive that those who involved themselves there are tainted; soon enough I will make a comment on that. ES seems to have posted his primary response there at one of those abusive sites. As for the debate over what he posted to this thread or did not, let’s just say that it is possible something went wrong, to be charitable. I decided to spend a bit of time yesterday evening to go through his response point by point, as you can see. The most that I can see is that some cases of the sort of superposed outcomes that are common even with classical waves and are used in organic chemistry to explain things like the benzine molecule, or the carboxylic acid functional group, may be happening. But a superposition is not a contradiction, not in the relevant sense. For sure, a “paddle” that is vibrating at an intermediate frequency is vibrating, not both vibrating and not vibrating. A circuit with a current that is explicable on mixing modes is no more a contradiction than that several sounds can pass through the same body of air at the same time. Where there may be a surprise is that we seem to be seeing superposed-mode outcomes, but then, the particle beam double slit experiment has always been known to be a superposed outcome. That’s why there has been talk of “wavicles.” And equally, ever since Einstein, Bohr and co, when theoretical physicists got up to scratch on their proverbial chalk-boards, the mathematics of quantum theory — the symbols, the combinations, the operations, the relationships are through and through riddled with reliance on the first principles of right reason. And quantum uncertainty in the location of Jupiter is negligible. As to the notion that quantum theory can ground the idea that Jupiter does and does not exist in same sense at same time, I don’t think that is even on the cards, given the correspondence principle on how q- results trend to classical ones as scales go tot the right level. KF

  122. –ben h: “Well, I am no physicist, but it seems that ES has answered in what I saw over at Dr. Liddle’s site.”

    ES has NOT answered the question, and it has nothing to do with physics. Can Jupiter exist and not exist at the same time and in the same sense? Any rational person can easily answer the question, without equivocation, without fanfare, and without appealing to irrelevant subjects such as quantum mechanics.

  123. Kairosfocus: ES, EL, CH, and other materialist/Darwinists insist that the logic for micro events is DIFFERENT from the logic of macro events. They may not, therefore, appeal to micro events (quantum mechanics) as a means of answering my question about a macro event. Granted, your explanation about the relationship between reason’s rules and QM was superb in every way and it fulfills a desperate need. However, I want these folks to answer the question AS ASKED.

  124. Kairosfocus: ES, EL, CH, and other materialist/Darwinists insist that the logic for micro events is DIFFERENT from the logic of macro events. They may not, therefore, appeal to micro events (quantum mechanics) as a means of answering my question about a macro event.

    Sure they can. The calculations can be done, and the probabilities are finite. Here’s a reference to the calculation of tunnelling for an ordinary macro object. In this case, the calculation that a penny balanced on edge will spontaneously fall over.

    This estimated lifetime is an inconceivably large number, not only stretching the powers of our imagination but also pushing the limits of decent mathematical notation. The lifetime of this upright penny against the force of thermal agitation is not merely a number with 13 zeros after it but a number with 10^13 zeros after it! In practical terms this number is an extremely good approximation for “forever”. Balanced on its edge, perturbed only by thermal agitation, the penny will never fall.

    http://quantumtantra.com/penny.html

  125. kairosfocus:

    I am pretty sure that ES has ample opportunity to respond, and I am pretty sure as well that there are any number who could take things up here as well.

    Well, that is the rub, isn’t it? ES has been banned and Barry has stated, in comment 84, that he will not let any surrogate comment for him either.

    As far as abusive sites, I certainly understand with regard to one site. But, Dr. Liddle’s site is hardly what I would call abusive. In fact, one of the regulars here, William Murray, is a regular participant at The Skeptical Zone. I just don’t get why you and StephenB refuse to participate there where you might actually be able to interact with ES.

  126. –Petrushka: “The calculations can be done, and the probabilities are finite. Here’s a reference to the calculation of tunnelling for an ordinary macro object. In this case, the calculation that a penny balanced on edge will spontaneously fall over.”

    Calculations about tunneling have absolutely nothing to do with the logical question on the table. Perhaps you will step up and answer the question: Can Jupiter exist and not exist at the same time and in the sense? Yes or No.

  127. Petrushka: you have presented a point made by SB as though it were made by me. Having noted that, the issue is not tunnelling, but existence. Sure, we can work out odds that a macro-object would break through a potential barrier, the answer will be all but zero, given the correspondence principle. The discovery that small enough objects could break through wells they did not officially have energy enough to climb, was one of the shocker discoveries for q-mech and the microscale; though it is also related to the possibility of transfer of light waves across a barrier, yes there is a classical tunnelling case and it has to do with things like frustrated total internal reflection by bringing a surface close enough; again, we see WAVE properties in action. But that is distractive yet again, the actual question on the table is not a quantum question but a metaphysical one: can the planet Jupiter be and not be in the same sense, time and place? Y/N, and why so. KF

  128. –ben h: “I just don’t get why you and StephenB refuse to participate there where you might actually be able to interact with ES.”

    I, for one, have already interacted with eisengate many times. He refuses to answer my questions and ignores my refutations, just as he refused to answer Barry’s question on my behalf.

    Indeed, at the website that you allude to, the administrators and participants allude to my question many times without providing a response, laboring endlessly over the irrelevant subject of quantum mechanics.

    After over 100 posts on this present thread, no one has been courteous enough to address the matter. I am only interesting in interacting with those who dialogue in good faith. Perhaps you would like to step up and answer the question.

  129. Indeed, at the website that you allude to, the administrators and participants allude to my question many times without providing a response, laboring endlessly over the irrelevant subject of quantum mechanics.

    Well having read that thread it seems pretty clear to me that quantum mechanics are quite relevant. However, I am beginning to suspect that you wish to wave it away because you are ill qualified to argue on those grounds.

    Perhaps you would like to step up and answer the question.

    As I have said, I was just interested in reading the discussion between the various participants. I don’t pretend to knowledge I don’t possess. I do, however, have enough education, to differentiate betweens someone speaking from a place of knowledge and someone blowing smoke. You have no cause to be belligerent towards me and I am offended that you would so easily strike such a tone. I guess I will just head over to Dr. Liddle’s place and observe over there. There is something slightly embarassing about watching someone claim victory in an argument with an empty chair.

  130. Petrushka:

    What Mr Arrington has banned is for surrogates putting in the post by ES en bloc [after a reasonable time limit passed in which ES was reserved the right of first comment for this thread -- and comments by BA 77 and I were removed to make sure that was possible . . . ], not trying to defend his ideas.

    In any case all of that is moot as the post in all its glory is here at UD, as put up — not in a mere comment but in a full UD original post by me — with onward links.

    Of course the rub is, I have added my own notes on it.

    (But I am sure, if you want, you can jut follow the links back to where the post appears without my notes.)

    I would like to see an answer to SB’s challenge: can Jupiter the planet be and not be in the same sense, time and place? Y/N, and why so.

    And I think I can speak for myself: I am sick of the filth, and have had enough of dealings with those who reek of filth and seem to not see that wallowing and glorying in filth is a problem.

    Those who have threatened my family, have tried to “out” me in hopes that this would do me damage, have cyberstalked, have taken unrelated pictures and smeared slanders across them, have twisted my words to make me out to be a hater of women and worse, have filled my comment inbox with slanders and foul, obscene slurs, or have meekly gone along with those doing so, and so on and so forth, month after month, should know that there is a price to doing such.

    When one of these made the mistake of using an obscenity to the owner of this blog, he understandably went livid and decided enough is enough.

    You now have to live with the consequences of your side’s action, sustained in the teeth of requests to cease and desist, month after month.

    Such have disqualified themselves from civil dialogue by proving that, by manifest and persistent habit, they are the foulest of reprobate-minded nihilists and abusive bully-boys.

    Yes, NIHILISTS.

    THEY HAVE TRIED TO LIVE BY THE NOTION THAT IF THEY THINK THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH IT, THEY ARE FREE TO DO AS THEY PLEASE.

    By might and manipulation makes ‘right’, in short.

    By exactly what they were so hot to deride and dismiss when it was pointed out: namely, that if your worldview has in it no foundational IS that can objectively ground OUGHT, thereafter you are left only to might and manipulation make ‘right’.

    Such are a menace, not dialogue partners.

    And if you doubt me, you can go and look at what happened over the past year whenever I took a moment to try to interact on objector sites and sites open to such without effective restraint and policing. Almost, the first resort was to fling filth or smears around and try to abuse.

    It came to such a level that I decided that it would be enough to state for record, when something came to my attention as sufficiently in need of correction.

    Such habitual abusers cannot be dialogued with, they can only be exposed and contained.

    The real discussion on such from henceforth, therefore, is what to do about such, who are a patent threat to civil dialogue, and to much more than civil dialogue in our civilisation.

    So, P, you will understand why save under very exceptional circumstances, I will not be visiting the fever swamps to try to have a civil dialogue with the patently uncivil.

    There has been a full year’s opportunity to engage issues on the merits, just look here, but it is patent that the uncivil have no such intention.

    So, sorry, it is your side that have decided by persistent uncivil and outright abusive behaviour that they do not want civil dialogue; kindly, do not try to twist this about to now accuse me — “he hit back first” is its own refutation.

    G’day.

    KF

  131. BH:

    In fact, insofar as QM has any relation, SB has expressed support for my response.

    Boiled down, superposition is not equivalent to A and NOT-A being true in the same sense and context; regardless of how some try to put such a construction on it. However, those who reject LNC seem to find appeals to QM a refuge from the issue on the merits.

    Further, insofar as ES has given an answer, he rejects LNC, then tries to all but accept it on grounds that Jupiter is big. In short, he realises that an outright rejection would be absurd.

    So, let me ask you to stretch a string and then pluck it.

    You will see a standing wave with nodes at the ends. Are those fixed ends still or moving or both?

    They are the result of supposition of waves reflected with phase inversion and the opposed forces lead to what we see.

    But, that is most definitely not a contradiction.

    Superposition is not contradiction.

    KF

  132. F/N: Let me note that since we all have implanted consciences, we are responsible to live by that light, and not by the counsels of might makes right. KF

  133. Good one, Charles? Even even Ayn Rand’s chum, Greenspan?

  134. –ben h:

    “You have no cause to be belligerent towards me and I am offended that you would so easily strike such a tone.”

    You mean that you don’t know whether Jupiter can exist and not exist at the same time in the same way? Wouldn’t it be easier for you to just say, “I don’t know. Teach me how that works and why it matters.

  135. Same conversation on two threads, so here’s a link to my post on the other thread on the subject:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-420703

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