Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

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Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby scottchat on November 17th, 2015, 6:00 pm 

Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus
Any sentient being anywhere in the cosmos who sees a pattern of events in the universe flowing on down to its world and states these events led to its existence is accused of circular anthropic reasoning. If the same sentient being sees a similar pattern in the cosmos flowing down to its world that leads to an extremophile (in our case no oxygen, water or sunlight needed), this sentient is a scientist and has recognized an important natural pattern. But if the extremophile becomes sentient and sees the exact same pattern, it is guilty of a circular anthropic argument. The true circular reasoning is that which states “if you see a pattern of events that lead to your existence and you so state, you are guilty of circular anthropic reasoning”. Better you should state that these events lead to monkeys and let evolution take it from there.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby wolfhnd on November 17th, 2015, 7:15 pm 

I enjoyed the post and would very much like to hear the philosophical arguments against your position. I have tried to make a similar argument in the past but it simply gets to confusing for me. I appreciate the need for objectivity but it seems at times we go a bit overboard.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby scottchat on November 17th, 2015, 8:17 pm 

We are lucky we don't "talk" ourselves out of existence.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby mtbturtle on November 18th, 2015, 7:49 pm 

circular reasoning is basically assuming the point (conclusion) you are supposed to be proving. I don't know what that has to do with anything said so far in this thread either.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby wolfhnd on November 18th, 2015, 9:37 pm 

I think this has something to do with anecdotal evidence and speculation but I'm not sure.

It's an interesting topic for me because we have hashed over what constitutes sufficient evidence many times.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby Eclogite on November 19th, 2015, 2:31 am 

scottchat » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:00 pm wrote:Any sentient being anywhere in the cosmos who sees a pattern of events in the universe flowing on down to its world and states these events led to its existence is accused of circular anthropic reasoning.
I do not believe this is the case. On the contrary the consensus view among all biologists/exobiologists that I am aware of would argue exactly what you say receives an accusation of circular anthropic reasoning. This consensus extends into the relevant fields investigated by astronomers, geochemists and the like.

Can you provide a sound example to support your assertion?

scottchat » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:00 pm wrote: If the same sentient being sees a similar pattern in the cosmos flowing down to its world that leads to an extremophile (in our case no oxygen, water or sunlight needed), this sentient is a scientist and has recognized an important natural pattern.
This statement appears to support my position.

scottchat » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:00 pm wrote: But if the extremophile becomes sentient and sees the exact same pattern, it is guilty of a circular anthropic argument. .
Again, please provide a sound example of this happening.


scottchat » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:00 pm wrote: The true circular reasoning is that which states “if you see a pattern of events that lead to your existence and you so state, you are guilty of circular anthropic reasoning”. Better you should state that these events lead to monkeys and let evolution take it from there.
I still cannot establish a relationship between your statements and reality.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby wolfhnd on November 19th, 2015, 3:33 am 

There is a certain justification to the idea that when I look at the world around me I see me because I am a reflection of the universe.

Konrad Lorenz captured the idea when he said that you could see what the sun was like by examining the eye.

That the universe's laws are consistent with our being here seems obvious, outcomes are expected to be consistent with laws and initial conditions. It is also trivial to say if I didn't exist then the universe wouldn't exist because I do exist. While you can imagine multiple universes where you do not exist those are not the ones we live in.

This topic is probably more relevant to physics than philosophy. When I made my second post I didn't really consider how it is related to the multi universe theory etc.

Opponents of the idea apparently believe that a mathematical model of the universe does not rely on there being an observer. That however only applies to the "strong" antropic position.

I'm going to need help sorting this out.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby scottchat on November 19th, 2015, 3:16 pm 

The post after the one you responded to states that these natural patterns in the universe down to our planet "trend toward life." There are two such Earth examples discussed and a third (Mars) which may be on the horizon. The question is why do these patterns trend toward life without using language like "predisposed to" or "favors" life. Your words above "I am a reflection of the universes " caught my interest as a possible direction. Thanks.
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Circular Arguments and a Mathematical Universe

Postby GaryCGibson on November 21st, 2015, 7:53 pm 

The anthropic principle seems to have an aspect of Nietchian recursion about it. In physics at least, the conscious awareness of a deterministic evolution in a steady state Universe leading to life is held to be what-true, untrue? Philosophers perhaps would want to examine the terms and language accurately in order to determine what sort of premises are concerned and if they have at least syllogistic validity.

Circular arguments were invented in logic before the era of multi-verse theories; hence the concept may not itself be valid except in a Universe where the geometry is consistent with circles and further that circles traveled return one to where one started in space-time (thus the eternal recursion) as improbable as it seems. I suppose therein is the difference between nominalist points that may be valid outside of space-times as quasi-real tings such as one might regard neo-Platonist nouns in a Kripkian context and the steady state field itself that does not work in reverse presently, nor return the money that typed a circular argument back to the space-time point where he or she started writing it.

I enjoyed reading Tegmark's 2014 book 'The Mathematical Universe'. Ultimately all of the quantum Universe may be no more than pure math. I suppose if one regards Leibnitz's monads as math infinitesimals (tiniest possible points) then one-dimensional monads could be representative of a fundamental quantum structure that would perhaps be equally well regarded as a field of pure thought of God.

Monkeys with typewriters enabled to exist in a deterministic steady state quantum Universe sustained by the will of God might be irreducible to being a circular argument in-themselves even if they evolved in space-time.

Here is a book with some of the topics I wrote on the subject (it's free to download). I am Christian, and I tried to cover many of the questions people have about the existence of God today...

http://www.lulu.com/shop/garrison-cliff ... 99175.html
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby wolfhnd on November 21st, 2015, 8:25 pm 

"Circular arguments were invented in logic before the era of multi-verse theories; hence the concept may not itself be valid except in a Universe where the geometry is consistent with circles and further that circles traveled return one to where one started in space-time (thus the eternal recursion) as improbable as it seems. I suppose therein is the difference between nominalist points that may be valid outside of space-times as quasi-real tings such as one might regard neo-Platonist nouns in a Kripkian context and the steady state field itself that does not work in reverse presently, nor return the money that typed a circular argument back to the space-time point where he or she started writing it."

Sometimes it saddens me that I can almost understand these kind of statements. Honestly it would take a lifetime to understand even one of the proposition but your style is excellent.

Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby vivian maxine on November 22nd, 2015, 8:21 am 

Gary, only a student of languages could love those $20 words and I do. You use them beautifully.

Wolfhnd, I am still working on "Circular Anthropic Argument". Circular reasoning used to be so simple.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby Eclogite on November 22nd, 2015, 9:01 am 

vivian maxine » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:21 am wrote:Gary, only a student of languages could love those $20 words and I do. You use them beautifully.
I am fascinated by language, but I note that its main use is to communicate. Gary could have used a bit more anglo-saxon and the result would have made sense to a wider audience without losing any elegance.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby vivian maxine on November 22nd, 2015, 9:51 am 

Eclogite » November 22nd, 2015, 8:01 am wrote:
vivian maxine » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:21 am wrote:Gary, only a student of languages could love those $20 words and I do. You use them beautifully.
I am fascinated by language, but I note that its main use is to communicate. Gary could have used a bit more anglo-saxon and the result would have made sense to a wider audience without losing any elegance.


True and the purpose was to explain something which he also did. Sometimes, something just stands out as special. We could carry on about such writing but not on this thread. Perhaps not even in science chat.

You know what? I'll bet every scientist on this thread understood him.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby dandelion on November 22nd, 2015, 10:32 am 

Would circular anthropic argumentation include all reasoning?
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby TheVat on November 22nd, 2015, 10:39 am 

Nietsche's doctrine is eternal recurrence, not "recursion," which is a concept is math and cognitive science. This confusion of terms somewhat undermines the whole post. And "circular" in the thread title refers to a logic structure, not to a spatial loop in spacetime.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby TheVat on November 22nd, 2015, 10:42 am 

"The anthropic principle (from Greek anthropos, meaning "human") is the philosophical consideration that observations of the universe must be compatible with the conscious and sapient life that observes it. Some proponents of the anthropic principle reason that it explains why the universe has the age and the fundamental physical constants necessary to accommodate conscious life. As a result, they believe it is unremarkable that the universe's fundamental constants happen to fall within the narrow range thought to be compatible with life.[1][2]

The strong anthropic principle (SAP) as explained by John D. Barrow and Frank Tipler states that this is all the case because the universe is compelled to eventually have conscious and sapient life emerge within it. Some critics of the SAP argue in favor of a weak anthropic principle (WAP) similar to the one defined by Brandon Carter, which states that the universe's ostensible fine tuning is the result of selection bias: i.e., only in a universe capable of eventually supporting life will there be living beings capable of observing and reflecting upon fine tuning. Most often such arguments draw upon some notion of the multiverse for there to be a statistical population of universes to select from and from which selection bias (our observance of only this universe, compatible with life) could occur." -- wiki
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby TheVat on November 22nd, 2015, 10:47 am 

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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby vivian maxine on November 22nd, 2015, 11:27 am 

Braininvat » November 22nd, 2015, 9:42 am wrote:"The anthropic principle (from Greek anthropos, meaning "human") is the philosophical consideration that observations of the universe must be compatible with the conscious and sapient life that observes it. Some proponents of the anthropic principle reason that it explains why the universe has the age and the fundamental physical constants necessary to accommodate conscious life. As a result, they believe it is unremarkable that the universe's fundamental constants happen to fall within the narrow range thought to be compatible with life.[1][2]

The strong anthropic principle (SAP) as explained by John D. Barrow and Frank Tipler states that this is all the case because the universe is compelled to eventually have conscious and sapient life emerge within it. Some critics of the SAP argue in favor of a weak anthropic principle (WAP) similar to the one defined by Brandon Carter, which states that the universe's ostensible fine tuning is the result of selection bias: i.e., only in a universe capable of eventually supporting life will there be living beings capable of observing and reflecting upon fine tuning. Most often such arguments draw upon some notion of the multiverse for there to be a statistical population of universes to select from and from which selection bias (our observance of only this universe, compatible with life) could occur." -- wiki


Thank you, BIV, for the quote. I'd read that and I do follow it. My quandary is a bit different. Perhaps the phrase "it is unremarkable" that this happens is what is slowing me down. In other words, what are we arguing about?

By the way - and I suppose I am wrong again - Gary's use of the word "recursion" fits right into my dictionary's definition of the word.. I think Gary is saying the argument uses first one to prove the other and then uses the other to prove the first. I am probably wrong and you'll straighten me out. Just saying how I understand it. I'll re-read it.

As I said originally, I am still working on the entire idea. I know what I believe but I'm in no position to present and defend that position.

By the way, why the word "bogus" on the topic. IS the OP saying the whole theory is false?
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby TheVat on November 22nd, 2015, 12:34 pm 

Though not clear to me, I am guessing the OP means the SAP is circular, but the WAP is not (and simply a result of selection bias). The SAP, of Tipler et al, is circular in the sense that it presumes an improbable universe as one of its premises.

1. We inhabit a universe fine-tuned for life.
2. Such a universe is extremely unlikely.
3. Unlikely universes must be forced to exist by some conscious design.
4. We're here, so we're in a designed universe, because the alternative is too improbable.

As you see, they presume that there can be no wide selection of possible universes. Unsupported conjecture, really.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby vivian maxine on November 22nd, 2015, 1:28 pm 

Braininvat » November 22nd, 2015, 11:34 am wrote:Though not clear to me, I am guessing the OP means the SAP is circular, but the WAP is not (and simply a result of selection bias). The SAP, of Tipler et al, is circular in the sense that it presumes an improbable universe as one of its premises.

1. We inhabit a universe fine-tuned for life.
2. Such a universe is extremely unlikely.
3. Unlikely universes must be forced to exist by some conscious design.
4. We're here, so we're in a designed universe, because the alternative is too improbable.

As you see, they presume that there can be no wide selection of possible universes. Unsupported conjecture, really.


Mark Twain once said "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt." If I had any sense at all, I'd not do this but I feel daring. About those premises:

1. By whom?
2. Why?
3. By whom or what?
4. Why?

So far as I know, no scientist has yet proven how the universe developed. If I am not mistaken, even the Big Bang is not a proven fact. I only know one group of people who are absolutely certain how the universe came into being and had a planned, "forced", design inputted into it. Bless those who can be certain. I am not touching that.

Now, to ignore Mr. Clemens, my notion is as good as anybody's. I do not know how the universe was formed or why it developed the way it did. But this I do know. If I put together all the right ingredients and bake them in an oven, I will have a cake - barring human errors. Somehow this universe came together with all the right ingredients to end up with life (and a lot of other non-life). (And an after-thought: I think we may be threatening human errors but that's another topic.)

My problem here is "my" problem. Whenever I try to read something I do not understand, I am swamped with a challenge to understand. So, I stick with it. With your explanation here, I think I begin to understand SAP and just had my say about it, Mark Twain notwithstanding. I was not seeing his two companrisons - hence, 'bogus'. Thanks much.

And, yes, I'm ignoring the possibility of multi-verses. I like the idea but enough is enough for now.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby wolfhnd on November 22nd, 2015, 6:39 pm 

Braininvat » Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:34 pm wrote:Though not clear to me, I am guessing the OP means the SAP is circular, but the WAP is not (and simply a result of selection bias). The SAP, of Tipler et al, is circular in the sense that it presumes an improbable universe as one of its premises.


4. We're here, so we're in a designed universe, because the alternative is too improbable.

As you see, they presume that there can be no wide selection of possible universes. Unsupported conjecture, really.


Number 4 was only implied so I decided to ignore that :-) I once worked with a geologist that was a creationist. He was a pretty good geologist so it was easy to ignore his rantings, I even considered investing money in a side business he was thinking of starting. Some science forums I visit outright ban these kinds of discussions that hint at "unsupported conjecture" but I don't see the point in that when people can simply ignore the threads.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby GaryCGibson on November 23rd, 2015, 6:33 pm 

Braininvat » Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:39 am wrote:Nietsche's doctrine is eternal recurrence, not "recursion," which is a concept is math and cognitive science. This confusion of terms somewhat undermines the whole post. And "circular" in the thread title refers to a logic structure, not to a spatial loop in spacetime.


I have used some philosophical language in my post, yet philosophy is about discovering truth as a kind of wisdom so one wants to write descriptively and objectively even though, or perhaps, while aware of the problem of implicit subjectivity in any quantum observational system (i.e. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle).

Certainly circular arguments were intended by the author of this thread to refer to logical tautology. I was aware of that and intended to place the phenomena of thought and logic within a proper metaphysical context (such as Ortega y Gasset described in 'An Essay on Metaphysics) wherein thought is within a monistic field continuum.

Thought is a part of the physical Universe comprised of extremely complex relationships of neurons with trillions of possible relationships denoting data. There are more possible configurations of connections in a human brain that their are stars in the galaxy. Our Universe is one of four dimensions where circles may exist not only in thought yet also in reality. Einstein's friend Paul Erhenfrest invented the idea that only in a four dimensional Universe could atomic structures exist such as can form life (at least physical life based on atoms and molecular structures) because orbits require three dimensions of space and one of time.

Paradoxically max Tegmark; the brilliant M.I.T. physicist expositor of multiverse theory, wrote in his 2014 book ;' The Mathematical Universe', that their may be no actual dimensions of time, and that it could instead be another dimension of space in which every possible worldline or form of atomic structure might be embedded or exist. So there is really not time, motion, or evolution; (I inferred that not Tegmark). Instead human conscious awareness actualizes within a present embodiment of all those possible configurations in 'spacetime'.

The concept is rather advanced. It is also consistent with principles of a holographic Universe as well as a completely deterministic mathematical Universe and one that exists only 'in the mind of God'.

Obviously there are several philosophical approaches to cosmology, epistemology and Christian teleology. It is rare than anyone finds concurrence with others on all of those principles. Modal logic has different theoretical Universes with different laws, and so might any Universe that exists be one within an infinite number of Universes that creates a new Universe each time even one tiny particle (such as a quark) take a different course. The sum of all that infinite number of Universes may be known only to God, as a set of all sets containing itself cannot exist outside of the mind of God (probably).

It is a fun topic to consider the idea of logic, tautology and cosmology. It is possible to create loops that return only negative answers I suppose or loops that return only positive answers in math and cosmology. What if defining any sort of response as positive automatically negated it? I think the problem of certainty that relies on one's own finite knowledge is inherently subject to circularity. It is possible to make infinite reductions of verifications requiring further proof of proof ad infinitum or temporal recursions of logic as loopy go to statements (in programming) that have an eternal recurrence until the power runs out.

I have thought that Neitschze's eternal recurrence mind experience he had walking along the shore of Lake Lucerne one evening was a cognitive problem stimulated by syphilis. It is possible under stress to view external reality perceived as a recursion, and make an inference that it is infinitely loopy. One may also understand that if the Universe is embedded in an infinite deterministic continuum and that it is actually experience as mind that travels through it (perhaps as a vast atemporal deterministic continuum of God like a neural network structured hologram), Neitschze may have short-circuited his proximal perceptions a little and experience some of the field of infinite permutations of universe and made the mistake of believing it infinitely recurrent without change.
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby GaryCGibson on November 23rd, 2015, 6:46 pm 

[*]
Eclogite » Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:01 am wrote:
vivian maxine » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:21 am wrote:Gary, only a student of languages could love those $20 words and I do. You use them beautifully.
I am fascinated by language, but I note that its main use is to communicate. Gary could have used a bit more anglo-saxon and the result would have made sense to a wider audience without losing any elegance.



"Old English literature (sometimes referred to as Anglo-Saxon literature) encompasses literature written in Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon) in Anglo-Saxon England from the 7th century to the decades after the Norman Conquest of 1066."

The hymn of Caedmon mentioned God as his moge panc (modgidanc) (mind plans). The issue of His teleology actualizing in linear, non-circular history is ancient. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A6dm ... ranslation
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Re: Circular Anthropic Argument – bogus

Postby wolfhnd on November 23rd, 2015, 7:19 pm 

Eclogite » Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:01 pm wrote:
vivian maxine » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:21 am wrote:Gary, only a student of languages could love those $20 words and I do. You use them beautifully.
I am fascinated by language, but I note that its main use is to communicate. Gary could have used a bit more anglo-saxon and the result would have made sense to a wider audience without losing any elegance.


I have to agree here that maybe we have wondered into an area that requires a lot of background information. Nothing wrong with that but perhaps a wider audience could be fun as well. I'm actually out of here because I don't want to look up every second term.
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