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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 3, The Beast Marches On...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10094
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2009,21:07   

Quote (keiths @ Oct. 17 2009,20:22)
Quote (khan @ Oct. 17 2009,16:42)
"Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

a) Lewis Carroll: Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is nevar put with the wrong end in front!

b) Sam Loyd: Poe wrote on both.

Because neither are a yellow banana, apparently.



Edited by Lou FCD on Oct. 18 2009,19:54

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5377
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2009,21:11   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 17 2009,22:07)
Quote (keiths @ Oct. 17 2009,20:22)
Quote (khan @ Oct. 17 2009,16:42)
"Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

a) Lewis Carroll: Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is nevar put with the wrong end in front!

b) Sam Loyd: Poe wrote on both.

Because neither are a yellow banana, apparently.

I think I love you.

:D

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Henry J



Posts: 4039
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2009,21:28   

Quote
didymos, posted 10/17/09 11:26 AM
[...] What it is is that, in principle, computational operations can be performed in such a way that total entropy doesn't increase.  It doesn't decrease either, though, so no SLoT violation. [...]

Ah. It isn't the computation itself, it's the moving around (of electrons if nothing else) of stuff in order to perform the computation. Maybe if all the steps were done via superconductors or quantum effects or something along those lines? But even then, reading the result would drain some of the energy from the system.

Henry

  
Henry J



Posts: 4039
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2009,21:29   

Quote
ETA: WTF is it with creationists and bananas anyway?

They have a peel? (The bananas, that is.)

  
didymos



Posts: 1822
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2009,21:34   

Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 17 2009,19:28)
Quote
didymos, posted 10/17/09 11:26 AM
[...] What it is is that, in principle, computational operations can be performed in such a way that total entropy doesn't increase.  It doesn't decrease either, though, so no SLoT violation. [...]

Ah. It isn't the computation itself, it's the moving around (of electrons if nothing else) of stuff in order to perform the computation. Maybe if all the steps were done via superconductors or quantum effects or something along those lines? But even then, reading the result would drain some of the energy from the system.

Henry

That's basically my understanding of it. And about the extent of my understanding, too.  I'm sure olegt could explain possible mechanisms for actually pulling off a reversible computation.

--------------
I wouldn't be bothered reading about the selfish gene because it has never been identified. -- Denyse O'Leary, professional moron
Again "how much". I don't think that's a good way to be quantitative.-- gpuccio

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2009,21:42   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 17 2009,19:07)
Quote (keiths @ Oct. 17 2009,20:22)
Quote (khan @ Oct. 17 2009,16:42)
"Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

a) Lewis Carroll: Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is nevar put with the wrong end in front!

b) Sam Loyd: Poe wrote on both.

Because neither are a yellow banana, apparently.

Heh.

--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
sparc



Posts: 1684
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2009,23:41   

Quote (olegt @ Oct. 17 2009,08:10)
niwrad summarizes the discussion on the 2nd law of thermodynamics:

         
Quote
It seem to me an important questions is: Maxvell’s demon does violate or does not violate SLoT? Just here not all commenters agree. In my opinion Maxvell’s demon can be considered in two main senses: (1) a machine, an artificial system (one-way filter); (2) a thermodynamic metaphor of intelligence.

(1) Maxvell’s demon as a machine. But there are many kinds of machines, and then we have again to distinguish.

(A) Maxvell’s demon as a mechanical-thermo machine. In this case I agree with Monastyrski #71 when says “the decrease in entropy caused by the intelligent demon is more than compensated for by an increase in the demon’s own entropy”. SLoT is not violated.

(B) Maxvell’s demon as a computer. If the Maxvell’s demon is a computer for which the Landauer’s principle is involved, according to givemeabreak #75, there is no increase of entropy because computation per se does not consume energy. SLoT is violated.

(2) Maxvell’s demon as intelligence. But what is intelligence in the first place? This is one of the above fundamental and difficult questions. Without knowing what intelligence is how can we to speak about Maxvell’s demon, which is one of its symbols? Intelligence can be considered in two main senses: (A) physical intelligence; (B) pure intelligence or metaphysical intelligence.

(A) If intelligence is a physical agent then energy is involved. SLoT is not violated.

(B) If intelligence is a metaphysical entity then no energy is involved. SLoT is violated.
(...)


Could it be that niwraD comes from eastern Europe? Googling "Maxvell" and "dilema" resulted rather in Russian than in Italian sites.

eddited to correct tags.

--------------
"[...] the type of information we find in living systems is beyond the creative means of purely material processes [...] Who or what is such an ultimate source of information? [...] from a theistic perspective, such an information source would presumably have to be God."

- William Dembski -

   
didymos



Posts: 1822
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,00:24   

Quote (sparc @ Oct. 17 2009,21:41)
Quote (olegt @ Oct. 17 2009,08:10)
niwrad summarizes the discussion on the 2nd law of thermodynamics:

           
Quote
It seem to me an important questions is: Maxvell’s demon does violate or does not violate SLoT? Just here not all commenters agree. In my opinion Maxvell’s demon can be considered in two main senses: (1) a machine, an artificial system (one-way filter); (2) a thermodynamic metaphor of intelligence.

(1) Maxvell’s demon as a machine. But there are many kinds of machines, and then we have again to distinguish.

(A) Maxvell’s demon as a mechanical-thermo machine. In this case I agree with Monastyrski #71 when says “the decrease in entropy caused by the intelligent demon is more than compensated for by an increase in the demon’s own entropy”. SLoT is not violated.

(B) Maxvell’s demon as a computer. If the Maxvell’s demon is a computer for which the Landauer’s principle is involved, according to givemeabreak #75, there is no increase of entropy because computation per se does not consume energy. SLoT is violated.

(2) Maxvell’s demon as intelligence. But what is intelligence in the first place? This is one of the above fundamental and difficult questions. Without knowing what intelligence is how can we to speak about Maxvell’s demon, which is one of its symbols? Intelligence can be considered in two main senses: (A) physical intelligence; (B) pure intelligence or metaphysical intelligence.

(A) If intelligence is a physical agent then energy is involved. SLoT is not violated.

(B) If intelligence is a metaphysical entity then no energy is involved. SLoT is violated.
(...)


Could it be that niwraD comes from eastern Europe? Googling "Maxvell" and "dilema" resulted rather in Russian than in Italian sites.

eddited to correct tags.

Well, we may be getting some more data in the near future:

osteonectin pokes a tard:
Quote

niwrad @76:
Are Italian keyboards different from American? Otherwise I would suggest that you try at least to spell Maxwell’s name correct while discrediting physics.


--------------
I wouldn't be bothered reading about the selfish gene because it has never been identified. -- Denyse O'Leary, professional moron
Again "how much". I don't think that's a good way to be quantitative.-- gpuccio

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3282
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,01:00   

I just read the thread at UD that you guys have been discussing.  

If you had told me that there were that many people that were that stupid about science, yet trying to claim they were scientists... I'd have called you a liar to your face.

Jesus, America is fucked.  Is there any country that has a decent science program, educational program, and let's me keep my guns?

--------------
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
Aardvark



Posts: 134
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,01:59   



What do I win?

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,02:05   

Quote (Aardvark @ Oct. 17 2009,23:59)


What do I win?

I knew something like this was gonna happen.  :p

--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5377
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,02:05   

Quote (Aardvark @ Oct. 18 2009,02:59)


What do I win?

A Yellow Banana.

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Rrr



Posts: 146
Joined: Nov. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,02:39   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Oct. 18 2009,02:05)
Quote (Aardvark @ Oct. 18 2009,02:59)


What do I win?

A Yellow Banana.

Bah dum-hark

  
Raevmo



Posts: 235
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,03:39   

you're right, mr yankee-nekulturny keiths, I should have said if the proportion of ravens and N is known then observing a yellow banana is not evidence.  :angry:

--------------
After much reflection I finally realized that the best way to describe the cause of the universe is: the great I AM.

--GilDodgen

  
Quack



Posts: 1751
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,04:03   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 18 2009,01:00)
Jesus, America is fucked.  Is there any country that has a decent science program, educational program, and let's me keep my guns?

Agreed, but since you asked. Having no education myself I cant vouch for the system but wrt guns you may keep what you need for hunting and practice by registering with a legitimate shooting club and proving your shooting is acceptable for hunting. But no assault weapons or things like that.

We don't keep firearms in our bedrooms here; we keep them locked in a steel cabinet.

So I guess we don't quite fit your bill...

--------------
YEC creationists denigrate science without an inkling of what their lives would be without it. YEC creationism is an enrageous, abominable insult to the the human intellect.
                                                         Me.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,05:01   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 18 2009,01:00)
I just read the thread at UD that you guys have been discussing.  

If you had told me that there were that many people that were that stupid about science, yet trying to claim they were scientists... I'd have called you a liar to your face.

Jesus, America is fucked.  Is there any country that has a decent science program, educational program, and let's me keep my guns?

Switzerland? Plenty of guns there, a decent standard of education and CERN.

  
Raevmo



Posts: 235
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,06:13   

Quote
Jesus, America is fucked.  Is there any country that has a decent science program, educational program, and let's me keep my guns?

Finland comes to mind. They even have school shootings to make the Yankee immigrants feel right at home, and almost
everybody seems to be a hunter. Personal observation: even some biologists go shooting grouse after spending their working day observing them.

Warning: do not walk in the forest on the first day of the moose hunting season without wearing fluorescent garb. Drunk hunters will mistake you for a moose.

--------------
After much reflection I finally realized that the best way to describe the cause of the universe is: the great I AM.

--GilDodgen

  
Quack



Posts: 1751
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,06:41   

Quote
Warning: do not walk in the forest on the first day of the moose hunting season without wearing fluorescent garb. Drunk hunters will mistake you for a moose.


Judge: Why did you shoot him?

- I thought he yelled "I am a moose"

--------------
YEC creationists denigrate science without an inkling of what their lives would be without it. YEC creationism is an enrageous, abominable insult to the the human intellect.
                                                         Me.

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3282
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,08:20   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Oct. 18 2009,05:01)
Switzerland? Plenty of guns there, a decent standard of education and CERN.

hmmm... access to decent cars, winding mountain roads, meets listed requirements... but dagnabit, I'm from Texas, that place is cold.

--------------
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
CeilingCat



Posts: 1659
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,09:08   

Quote
As I note in THE END OF CHRISTIANITY, I would be a young-earth creationist in a heart-beat if I didn’t see the evidence for an old earth as so strong.  

The young-earth old-earth debate, however, is only about 20 percent of the book.

I wonder if this is going to get Dembski in any kind of trouble at Southwestern Bible and Barbeque.  That place is totally controlled by the Southern Baptists, its president is Paige Patterson, who was a biggie in the conservative revolt that kicked all the "liberals" out of the various Baptist seminaries and ol' Paige himself fired the only female professor at Southwestern B&B.

And now we find that Dembski apparently doesn't believe that Genesis is inerrant ...

Which means, of course, that God isn't inerrant, since He wrote that particular book ...

--------------
Like every other academic field, philosophy of religion has its share of hacks and mediocrities.   Edward Feser

‘Anything is a “real possibility” in the mind of one seeking to deny the obvious.’ – William J Murray

  
JonF



Posts: 571
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,09:25   

Feynman on Computation

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4237
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,10:17   

Keiths/Ravemo

There seems to be a bit of sleight of hand in the Ravens/Marbles example to which intuition also objects, and I'd be interested in your thoughts on same. (I'm thinking aloud).

Consider the marbles. In your example you drew a marble from the truck and found that it was a non-cracked red marble. That supplied incremental evidence for the proposition that all blue marbles are cracked because there is now one less opportunity for disconfirmation of the cracked-blue hypothesis.

However, suppose you draw more red marbles and some are cracked. Each draw of a cracked red marble also reduces by one the number of opportunities for disconfirming the cracked-blue hypothesis. Therefore it seems to me that information regarding the crackedness or red marbles (or the yellowness of bananas) is entirely superfluous - drawing any red marble will do, cracked or not, and we needn't observe whether is is cracked.

Knowing that any draw of a red marble (cracked or not) increases the probability that our cracked-blue hypothesis is correct to an equal degree, and having time to kill, we proceed to draw only red marbles. Per above, we needn't observe whether they are cracked. We simply remove them and discard. With every removal our excitement grows, as with each (per the logic above) it is becoming more likely that all blue marbles are cracked. Ultimately we are left with an unknown quantity of blue marbles, only. We can't be sure every blue marble is cracked, but the probability of same has incrementally increased, because the number of possible disconfirming observations is reduced.

Something is obviously wrong with the above. Having removed all red marbles from the truck we are no closer to knowing whether all blue marbles are cracked than before we started. What has happened (still thinking aloud) is that when we are able to select marbles on the basis of color, a deliberate draw of a red marble is not observation with relevance to the cracked-blue hypothesis, and therefore does not reduce the pool of such possible observations by one. A given draw is in the pool of observations relevant to that hypothesis - one that could possibly disconfirm the cracked-blue hypothesis - only so long as the we draw marbles blindfolded. Similarly, vis ravens and non-ravens, a given observation of an object remains in the the class of observations that are potentially relevant to the black-raven hypothesis (therefore, upon making it, reducing the pool of observations by one) only so long as we remain ignorant of whether or not the object is a raven prior to making the observation. But, at least vis bananas versus ravens, that level of ignorance is implausible.

What am I missing?

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
JLT



Posts: 740
Joined: Jan. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,10:25   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Oct. 18 2009,16:17)
Keiths/Ravemo

There seems to be a bit of sleight of hand in the Ravens/Marbles example to which intuition also objects, and I'd be interested in your thoughts on same. (I'm thinking aloud).

Consider the marbles. In your example you drew a marble from the truck and found that it was a non-cracked red marble. That supplied incremental evidence for the proposition that all blue marbles are cracked because there is now one less opportunity for disconfirmation of the cracked-blue hypothesis.

However, suppose you draw more red marbles and some are cracked. Each draw of a cracked red marble also reduces by one the number of opportunities for disconfirming the cracked-blue hypothesis. Therefore it seems to me that information regarding the crackedness or red marbles (or the yellowness of bananas) is entirely superfluous - drawing any red marble will do, cracked or not, and we needn't observe whether is is cracked.

Knowing that any draw of a red marble (cracked or not) increases the probability that our cracked-blue hypothesis is correct to an equal degree, and having time to kill, we proceed to draw only red marbles. Per above, we needn't observe whether they are cracked. We simply remove them and discard. With every removal our excitement grows, as with each (per the logic above) it is becoming more likely that all blue marbles are cracked. Ultimately we are left with an unknown quantity of blue marbles, only. We can't be sure every blue marble is cracked, but the probability of same has incrementally increased, because the number of possible disconfirming observations is reduced.

Something is obviously wrong with the above. Having removed all red marbles from the truck we are no closer to knowing whether all blue marbles are cracked than before we started. What has happened (still thinking aloud) is that when we are able to select marbles on the basis of color, a deliberate draw of a red marble is not observation with relevance to the cracked-blue hypothesis, and therefore does not reduce the pool of such possible observations by one. A given draw is in the pool of observations relevant to that hypothesis - one that could possibly disconfirm the cracked-blue hypothesis - only so long as the we draw marbles blindfolded. Similarly, vis ravens and non-ravens, a given observation of an object remains in the the class of observations that are potentially relevant to the black-raven hypothesis (therefore, upon making it, reducing the pool of observations by one) only so long as we remain ignorant of whether or not the object is a raven prior to making the observation. But, at least vis bananas versus ravens, that level of ignorance is implausible.

What am I missing?

Your marbles?




ETA: I'm soo sorry, I tried to resist, honestly. Here, let me help you:



--------------
"Random mutations, if they are truly random, will affect, and potentially damage, any aspect of the organism, [...]
Thus, a realistic [computer] simulation [of evolution] would allow the program, OS, and hardware to be affected in a random fashion." GilDodgen, Frilly shirt owner

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4237
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,10:46   

Quote (JLT @ Oct. 18 2009,11:25)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Oct. 18 2009,16:17)
Keiths/Ravemo

There seems to be a bit of sleight of hand in the Ravens/Marbles example to which intuition also objects, and I'd be interested in your thoughts on same. (I'm thinking aloud).

Consider the marbles. In your example you drew a marble from the truck and found that it was a non-cracked red marble. That supplied incremental evidence for the proposition that all blue marbles are cracked because there is now one less opportunity for disconfirmation of the cracked-blue hypothesis.

However, suppose you draw more red marbles and some are cracked. Each draw of a cracked red marble also reduces by one the number of opportunities for disconfirming the cracked-blue hypothesis. Therefore it seems to me that information regarding the crackedness or red marbles (or the yellowness of bananas) is entirely superfluous - drawing any red marble will do, cracked or not, and we needn't observe whether is is cracked.

Knowing that any draw of a red marble (cracked or not) increases the probability that our cracked-blue hypothesis is correct to an equal degree, and having time to kill, we proceed to draw only red marbles. Per above, we needn't observe whether they are cracked. We simply remove them and discard. With every removal our excitement grows, as with each (per the logic above) it is becoming more likely that all blue marbles are cracked. Ultimately we are left with an unknown quantity of blue marbles, only. We can't be sure every blue marble is cracked, but the probability of same has incrementally increased, because the number of possible disconfirming observations is reduced.

Something is obviously wrong with the above. Having removed all red marbles from the truck we are no closer to knowing whether all blue marbles are cracked than before we started. What has happened (still thinking aloud) is that when we are able to select marbles on the basis of color, a deliberate draw of a red marble is not observation with relevance to the cracked-blue hypothesis, and therefore does not reduce the pool of such possible observations by one. A given draw is in the pool of observations relevant to that hypothesis - one that could possibly disconfirm the cracked-blue hypothesis - only so long as the we draw marbles blindfolded. Similarly, vis ravens and non-ravens, a given observation of an object remains in the the class of observations that are potentially relevant to the black-raven hypothesis (therefore, upon making it, reducing the pool of observations by one) only so long as we remain ignorant of whether or not the object is a raven prior to making the observation. But, at least vis bananas versus ravens, that level of ignorance is implausible.

What am I missing?

Your marbles?




ETA: I'm soo sorry, I tried to resist, honestly. Here, let me help you:


I can't hear you. I've got a raven in my ear.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
tsig



Posts: 320
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,12:52   

Quote (Raevmo @ Oct. 17 2009,18:32)
If we know the universe consists of N<inf objects, and we don't know what proportion of those objects are ravens, then it is true that observing a yellow banana is evidence supporting the proposition that all ravens are black. However, if we know the proportion of objects in the universe that are ravens, then observing a yellow banana is not evidence. But since we are unlikely to know the proportion of ravens, it's reasonable to accept that a yellow banana adds evidence to the black raven hypothesis. Of course, if N is large - and it is very large - observing a yellow banana has almost no effect at all on our posterior (O(1/N))

Finding a banana is proof Ray Comfort is in the area.

  
Reg



Posts: 112
Joined: Dec. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,12:57   

Oh my, O'Leary's mathematics thread. What a mess...

Denyse O'Leary, on 17th October, not a creationist:
   
Quote
Even though I am not a creationist by any reasonable definition, I sometimes get pegged as the local gap tooth creationist moron. ...


Denyse O'Leary, later the same day, all of creation is the work of God:
   
Quote
Peter, well, the Cambrian explosion was doubtless the work of God, in my view, but I would say that of all creation. ...

But not a creationist by any reasonable definition. Right.

But she's very clear on something:
 
Quote
Guys, I am no mathematician and don’t use well-defined terms, as I don’t know any.

You got that right, sister.

--------------
"Even though I am not a creationist by any reasonable definition ... the Cambrian explosion was doubtless the work of God in my view but I would say that of all creation." - Denyse O'Leary, Oct 17, 2009.

  
tsig



Posts: 320
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,12:58   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Oct. 18 2009,10:17)
Keiths/Ravemo

There seems to be a bit of sleight of hand in the Ravens/Marbles example to which intuition also objects, and I'd be interested in your thoughts on same. (I'm thinking aloud).

Consider the marbles. In your example you drew a marble from the truck and found that it was a non-cracked red marble. That supplied incremental evidence for the proposition that all blue marbles are cracked because there is now one less opportunity for disconfirmation of the cracked-blue hypothesis.

However, suppose you draw more red marbles and some are cracked. Each draw of a cracked red marble also reduces by one the number of opportunities for disconfirming the cracked-blue hypothesis. Therefore it seems to me that information regarding the crackedness or red marbles (or the yellowness of bananas) is entirely superfluous - drawing any red marble will do, cracked or not, and we needn't observe whether is is cracked.

Knowing that any draw of a red marble (cracked or not) increases the probability that our cracked-blue hypothesis is correct to an equal degree, and having time to kill, we proceed to draw only red marbles. Per above, we needn't observe whether they are cracked. We simply remove them and discard. With every removal our excitement grows, as with each (per the logic above) it is becoming more likely that all blue marbles are cracked. Ultimately we are left with an unknown quantity of blue marbles, only. We can't be sure every blue marble is cracked, but the probability of same has incrementally increased, because the number of possible disconfirming observations is reduced.

Something is obviously wrong with the above. Having removed all red marbles from the truck we are no closer to knowing whether all blue marbles are cracked than before we started. What has happened (still thinking aloud) is that when we are able to select marbles on the basis of color, a deliberate draw of a red marble is not observation with relevance to the cracked-blue hypothesis, and therefore does not reduce the pool of such possible observations by one. A given draw is in the pool of observations relevant to that hypothesis - one that could possibly disconfirm the cracked-blue hypothesis - only so long as the we draw marbles blindfolded. Similarly, vis ravens and non-ravens, a given observation of an object remains in the the class of observations that are potentially relevant to the black-raven hypothesis (therefore, upon making it, reducing the pool of observations by one) only so long as we remain ignorant of whether or not the object is a raven prior to making the observation. But, at least vis bananas versus ravens, that level of ignorance is implausible.

What am I missing?

Your marbles?/

(it had to be said)

ETA: and I see it was...with pictures:p

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3282
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,13:07   

I'd really like to get on that board and talk to some of these people... but like the great philosopher once said, "Ya can't fix stupid."

--------------
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,13:07   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Oct. 18 2009,08:17)
Therefore it seems to me that information regarding the crackedness of red marbles (or the yellowness of bananas) is entirely superfluous - drawing any red marble will do, cracked or not, and we needn't observe whether is is cracked.

Hi RB,

Information about crackedness is superfluous only when you already know that the marble is red.  If you don't yet know the color, crackedness is still salient.  A cracked marble cannot falsify the hypothesis.  An uncracked marble might turn out to be blue, thus falsifying the hypothesis.
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Knowing that any draw of a red marble (cracked or not) increases the probability that our cracked-blue hypothesis is correct to an equal degree, and having time to kill, we proceed to draw only red marbles. Per above, we needn't observe whether they are cracked. We simply remove them and discard. With every removal our excitement grows, as with each (per the logic above) it is becoming more likely that all blue marbles are cracked. Ultimately we are left with an unknown quantity of blue marbles, only. We can't be sure every blue marble is cracked, but the probability of same has incrementally increased, because the number of possible disconfirming observations is reduced.

Something is obviously wrong with the above. Having removed all red marbles from the truck we are no closer to knowing whether all blue marbles are cracked than before we started. What has happened (still thinking aloud) is that when we are able to select marbles on the basis of color, a deliberate draw of a red marble is not observation with relevance to the cracked-blue hypothesis, and therefore does not reduce the pool of such possible observations by one. A given draw is in the pool of observations relevant to that hypothesis - one that could possibly disconfirm the cracked-blue hypothesis - only so long as the we draw marbles blindfolded.

What's happening in your scenario is that you're essentially drawing twice: you look at a marble -- that's the first draw -- and if it's red, you remove it from the truck -- that's the second draw.  The first draw establishes that the marble is red, reducing the number of possible disconfirmations by one.  It therefore strengthens the hypothesis.  The second draw is irrelevant, since we now know that the marble cannot disconfirm the hypothesis.
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Similarly, vis ravens and non-ravens, a given observation of an object remains in the the class of observations that are potentially relevant to the black-raven hypothesis (therefore, upon making it, reducing the pool of observations by one) only so long as we remain ignorant of whether or not the object is a raven prior to making the observation.

That's right.  Once we know that an object is a banana, further observation cannot strengthen the hypothesis that all ravens are black. (I love that sentence.)  But determining that the object is a banana -- or more precisely, determining that the object is not a raven -- does strengthen the hypothesis.  
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But, at least vis bananas versus ravens, that level of ignorance is implausible.

It's implausible only if you already know something about the object.  Seeing an object, hearing an object, touching an object, or learning the location of an object are all observations that tell you something about the object.

If I ask you whether object X is a raven, but give you no other information about object X, then you have no way of reliably delivering the correct answer.

I should add that even if you do have information about the object, further observations can still be relevant.  If you know that a particular object is in the produce section of your local grocery store, but you haven't observed it yet, you will sensibly conclude that it is far more likely to be a banana than a raven, but there is still a finite probability that it is a raven, and a smaller but still finite probability that it is a non-black raven. Observing that it is, in fact, a banana therefore strengthens the hypothesis that all ravens are black, though by a very small amount.

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2009,13:26   

Quote (Raevmo @ Oct. 17 2009,16:32)
Of course, if N is large - and it is very large - observing a yellow banana has almost no effect at all on our posterior

Speak for yourself.  Richardthughes feels a tingling in his posterior when he sees a yellow banana, particularly if it is large.

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
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