The Conception of "real" in science and general discourse

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The Conception of "real" in science and general discourse

Postby BadgerJelly on February 21st, 2018, 6:31 am 

A mouthful of a title, but not quite sure how else to put it! Also, maybe not "ideal" as a science topic, but I would like to get a scientific perspective (so behavioral, psychological and perhaps "cultural".)

The point of this is what I have raised previously about the growing need for public speakers in the sciences. What seems to me to be the most important blind-spot for the rational and scientific minded person is the unwillingness to reconcile the differences people have in the concept of "reality" and the "real."

I think more progress could be made if scientists came to theologians with an openness to amending and bridging the gap between differing concepts of "real".

As an example is someone believes this or that is "real" without empirical evidence we're not in a position to say they are misusing the term "real," because to them it has meaning. I have seen this happen numerous times and really think there is benefit if the more "rational" scientifically minded person assumed the other s persons view of "real" was being spoken with more emphasis of subjective experience and personal meaning - an emotional and purposeful representation of the world for everyday life.

Like those people who attend a football game and scream at the players on the pitch, or those who go to a movie, listen to music and become emotionally engaged. Here for the "religious" person I feel they mean precisely this kind of cosmological perspective that lies beyond any kind of precise empirical measurements.

So if we loosen up the concept of "real" as a means to actively create a more productive dialogue with those outside of scientific knowhow who view it as "robotic" or "immoral", could we not then bring them into the fold and help them grasp the ideas behind scientific data without the need to dictate what they should refer to as "real" or otherwise?
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Eodnhoj7 on May 14th, 2018, 11:02 am 

BadgerJelly » February 21st, 2018, 6:31 am wrote:A mouthful of a title, but not quite sure how else to put it! Also, maybe not "ideal" as a science topic, but I would like to get a scientific perspective (so behavioral, psychological and perhaps "cultural".)

The point of this is what I have raised previously about the growing need for public speakers in the sciences. What seems to me to be the most important blind-spot for the rational and scientific minded person is the unwillingness to reconcile the differences people have in the concept of "reality" and the "real."

I think more progress could be made if scientists came to theologians with an openness to amending and bridging the gap between differing concepts of "real".

As an example is someone believes this or that is "real" without empirical evidence we're not in a position to say they are misusing the term "real," because to them it has meaning. I have seen this happen numerous times and really think there is benefit if the more "rational" scientifically minded person assumed the other s persons view of "real" was being spoken with more emphasis of subjective experience and personal meaning - an emotional and purposeful representation of the world for everyday life.

Like those people who attend a football game and scream at the players on the pitch, or those who go to a movie, listen to music and become emotionally engaged. Here for the "religious" person I feel they mean precisely this kind of cosmological perspective that lies beyond any kind of precise empirical measurements.

So if we loosen up the concept of "real" as a means to actively create a more productive dialogue with those outside of scientific knowhow who view it as "robotic" or "immoral", could we not then bring them into the fold and help them grasp the ideas behind scientific data without the need to dictate what they should refer to as "real" or otherwise?


If we look at the nature of "real" it is generally dependent upon:

1) Empirical Objective evidence where the phenomenon is experienced through the 5 senses.

2) Abstract definition where the phenomenon is defined through symbols which mediate the phenomenon's inherent relations into a "rule" or "form".

3) A dual nature of empirical and abstract "boundaries" where one is just not necessitated by the other but inevitably results in the other.

3a) An example of "one resulting in the other" can be observed from a premise of physics. If physicality, or materiality (but physics either cannot agree on what constitutes material or denies it as a premise of physics altogether), is the beginning point of measurement to what constitutes reality, then what is "physical" inevitably leads to what is "abstract" [ie degrees of the measurement process such as quantification].

3b) Assuming point 3a, this nature of "abstract" from which physics inevitably ends as a "limit", in turn alternates back into the physical universe where the act of physical measurement causes change in the nature of "material". In simpler terms, the abstract can be argued as the limits through which the physical universe cycles through itself.

4) The question of "real", inevitably results into a meta version of physics (ie metaphysics), where what we understand of reality is merely "boundaries".

ex1: Physics is the observation of change through boundaries (particles, fields) which relate to eachother. Each of these phenomenon are a structure in and of themselves.

ex2: The observation of the inherent abstract and empirical rotation necessary within the field of physics, which can be extended to all of science in general, is in itself a boundary dependent on an inherent degree of alternation.

a) This alternation between the linear structure of reasoning through the hypothesis extending into the concrete empirical application of measurement through time (as these processes of measurement [ie using a telescope or microscope] in themselves extend in a linear manner) provide a boundary of "alternation" as frequency which mirrors back to not just the inherent physical phenomenon being observed but the subjective personal states of the observer mediating through them.

5) Observing point 4 we can observe a universal reality of alternation from and through which the nature of reality as subjective and objective phenomenon is universalized.

6) Observing point 5 we can observe inherent boundaries which move through boundaries as "being qua being" and a necessary foundation of metaphysics is not just observed but implied as necessarily needing to be reformulated to maintain a congruency with modern empirical observation. Where metaphysics primarily was the chief premise which led to the movement of "empiricism", we can observe this "alternation" (as premised in points 4 and 5) as necessary in advent of the limits we are discovering in the strict empirical only approach. Emphasis on "strict" is needed as while empiricism, or observation through the 5 senses, is necessary it inevitably contradicts itself if left to its own terms.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby mitchellmckain on May 14th, 2018, 12:11 pm 

BadgerJelly » February 21st, 2018, 5:31 am wrote:A mouthful of a title, but not quite sure how else to put it! Also, maybe not "ideal" as a science topic, but I would like to get a scientific perspective (so behavioral, psychological and perhaps "cultural".)

The point of this is what I have raised previously about the growing need for public speakers in the sciences. What seems to me to be the most important blind-spot for the rational and scientific minded person is the unwillingness to reconcile the differences people have in the concept of "reality" and the "real."

I think more progress could be made if scientists came to theologians with an openness to amending and bridging the gap between differing concepts of "real".

"Real" is a topic for philosophy not science. If a scientist is talking about this then he is not doing science. What is a topic of science is what the objective evidence shows. Thus the scientists may, in the role of scientist make the observation that there is no objective evidence for God. But to go from there as say that God is not real, is not a scientific conclusion, nor does this even follow as a logical conclusion. If he does then this would be more properly classified as a discussion between an atheist and a theist, and BOTH are doing theology not science.

The most typical discussion between scientist and theologian are when the theologian crosses the line to talk about evolution versus creationism. Then if they simply don't talk past each other with the different methodologies of science (objective evidence) and theology (quoting scripture), then the theologian is probably indulging in pseudoscience or the scientist is stepping out of science to spout theological opinions.

BadgerJelly » February 21st, 2018, 5:31 am wrote:As an example is someone believes this or that is "real" without empirical evidence we're not in a position to say they are misusing the term "real," because to them it has meaning. I have seen this happen numerous times and really think there is benefit if the more "rational" scientifically minded person assumed the other s persons view of "real" was being spoken with more emphasis of subjective experience and personal meaning - an emotional and purposeful representation of the world for everyday life.

Like those people who attend a football game and scream at the players on the pitch, or those who go to a movie, listen to music and become emotionally engaged. Here for the "religious" person I feel they mean precisely this kind of cosmological perspective that lies beyond any kind of precise empirical measurements.

So if we loosen up the concept of "real" as a means to actively create a more productive dialogue with those outside of scientific knowhow who view it as "robotic" or "immoral", could we not then bring them into the fold and help them grasp the ideas behind scientific data without the need to dictate what they should refer to as "real" or otherwise?

So what this is probably about, I think, is atheists and other philosophers, possibly with a science background indulging in pseudoscience themselves. This means that the methodology they are using is pure rhetoric and yet they seek to maintain the deception that what they are doing is science.

The only other possibility is that the OP is simply confused about the nature of science, possibly due to pseudo-scientific behavior just mentioned. Certainly a request to loosen up the concept of "real" is nonsensical when addressed to science proper. Issues of rhetoric like this has no place in science and never will. Science will and should only be about what the objective evidence shows and that will only ever be about what we can expect to observe and measure not about what is "real."
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby mitchellmckain on May 14th, 2018, 12:25 pm 

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 10:02 am wrote:
If we look at the nature of "real" it is generally dependent upon:

1) ...


It was my suggestion recently, in a thread discussing Descartes observation "I think therefore, I am," that there are as many ways of existing (or equivalently "being real") as there are ways of doing. So maybe the mistake here (or rather what is creating confusion and conflict) is the treatment of "being real" as a singular thing. At the very least, this should boil the conflicts down to the more concrete question of whether there can any reasonable expectation for others to accept claims that the entity(s) under discussion do the things which are being claimed. For example, we may all agree that God (or gods) exist, at least as a human beliefs and as object(s) of worship, but is it reasonable to expect others to accept claims they actually cure bodily diseases in response to prayer?
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Eodnhoj7 on May 14th, 2018, 12:28 pm 

mitchellmckain » May 14th, 2018, 12:11 pm wrote:
BadgerJelly » February 21st, 2018, 5:31 am wrote:A mouthful of a title, but not quite sure how else to put it! Also, maybe not "ideal" as a science topic, but I would like to get a scientific perspective (so behavioral, psychological and perhaps "cultural".)

The point of this is what I have raised previously about the growing need for public speakers in the sciences. What seems to me to be the most important blind-spot for the rational and scientific minded person is the unwillingness to reconcile the differences people have in the concept of "reality" and the "real."

I think more progress could be made if scientists came to theologians with an openness to amending and bridging the gap between differing concepts of "real".

"Real" is a topic for philosophy not science. If a scientist is talking about this then he is not doing science. What is a topic of science is what the objective evidence shows. Thus the scientists may, in the role of scientist make the observation that there is no objective evidence for God. But to go from there as say that God is not real, is not a scientific conclusion, nor does this even follow as a logical conclusion. If he does then this would be more properly classified as a discussion between an atheist and a theist, and BOTH are doing theology not science.

The most typical discussion between scientist and theologian are when the theologian crosses the line to talk about evolution versus creationism. Then if they simply don't talk past each other with the different methodologies of science (objective evidence) and theology (quoting scripture), then the theologian is probably indulging in pseudoscience or the scientist is stepping out of science to spout theological opinions.

BadgerJelly » February 21st, 2018, 5:31 am wrote:As an example is someone believes this or that is "real" without empirical evidence we're not in a position to say they are misusing the term "real," because to them it has meaning. I have seen this happen numerous times and really think there is benefit if the more "rational" scientifically minded person assumed the other s persons view of "real" was being spoken with more emphasis of subjective experience and personal meaning - an emotional and purposeful representation of the world for everyday life.

Like those people who attend a football game and scream at the players on the pitch, or those who go to a movie, listen to music and become emotionally engaged. Here for the "religious" person I feel they mean precisely this kind of cosmological perspective that lies beyond any kind of precise empirical measurements.

So if we loosen up the concept of "real" as a means to actively create a more productive dialogue with those outside of scientific knowhow who view it as "robotic" or "immoral", could we not then bring them into the fold and help them grasp the ideas behind scientific data without the need to dictate what they should refer to as "real" or otherwise?

So what this is probably about, I think, is atheists and other philosophers, possibly with a science background indulging in pseudoscience themselves. This means that the methodology they are using is pure rhetoric and yet they seek to maintain the deception that what they are doing is science.

The only other possibility is that the OP is simply confused about the nature of science, possibly due to pseudo-scientific behavior just mentioned. Certainly a request to loosen up the concept of "real" is nonsensical when addressed to science proper. Issues of rhetoric like this has no place in science and never will. Science will and should only be about what the objective evidence shows and that will only ever be about what we can expect to observe and measure not about what is "real."


The problem occurs, in respect to the scientific method, is that it is not just dependent upon but relates through "pseudo-scientific" behavior:

1) The hypothesis/conjecture is dependent upon, but not limited to, inherent subjective experiences upto but not concluding: the question, what the individual experiences/observes, etc.

2) The testing of the hypothesis is further referenced as a framework determining by the individual. While a group or community may observe the "symmetry" or "reason" to where the test and the hypothesis may maintain a congruency this in itself is still dependent upon agreement. Experiments are extensions of the individual's perception in the respect they provide the framework from which a truth or falsity comes into being.

3) The analysis, as the observation and breaking down into "relations", again is dependent on abstract definition of empirical phenomenon. So while the empirical phenomenon may exist for what it is, the degree of truth is dependent upon its interpretation; hence abstract boundaries are applied to determine its nature further contradicting a strict empirical approach.

4) The conclusion may reference point 3 leading to a general observation that may or may not cycle back to point 1.

5) This potential cycling back to point 1 observes that the scientific method is dependent upon the aquisition of knowlegde by applying forms to them, in this case circular or alternation of linear forms, and in these respects is merely a form of perception in itself extending from a general set of forms (ie; line, circle, point).
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Eodnhoj7 on May 14th, 2018, 12:42 pm 

mitchellmckain » May 14th, 2018, 12:25 pm wrote:
Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 10:02 am wrote:
If we look at the nature of "real" it is generally dependent upon:

1) ...


1) It was my suggestion recently, in a thread discussing Descartes observation "I think therefore, I am," that there are as many ways of existing (or equivalently "being real") as there are ways of doing.

2) So maybe the mistake here (or rather what is creating confusion and conflict) is the treatment of "being real" as a singular thing.

3) At the very least, this should boil the conflicts down to the more concrete question of whether there can any reasonable expectation for others to accept claims that the entity(s) under discussion do the things which are being claimed. For example, we may all agree that God (or gods) exist, at least as a human beliefs and as object(s) of worship, but is it reasonable to expect others to accept claims they actually cure bodily diseases in response to prayer?


Solid points. Response:

1) In regards to point 1 you are correct, but this stems back to a universal problem of measurement in regards to the 1 and the many, or unity and multiplicity. While the scientific method is a justifiable means to knowledge, and only a fool would argue against the results it has provided the problem still remains as to what these results are when cycled back to the method itself. For example we may observe the relation of x and y particle through the scientific method (although the framework in which these relations are measured may cause a difference in interpretation when compared to other frameworks) but this relation only justifies the scientific method in the respect as an "extradimensional" projection of knowledge.

Let me simplify the point further, because of the scientific method we can observe certain means of change (again applying the general relation of x and y particles) but this knowledge only projects away from the scientific method itself and does little to explain the origin of the methodology itself. In simpler terms again, it lacks a self-reflective quality to justify its extradimensional nature. Hence it ignores the very same question of origins it seeks solutions to as it causes a multiplicity in relations by localizing a key piece of knowledge.

2) In regards to the nature of "unity" and "being real", if we are to look at the simple premise of looking at the relation of parts in order to gain an understanding of a whole we can see that:

1) These relations still depend on an observation of an inherent unity under a concept, law or localized phenomenon (let's say a bug or molecule)

2) This understanding of multiplicity, by observing inherent relations of parts, requires each part as 1 to relate or move through eachother to form 1. Hence what we understand of as multiplicity is 1 merely "folding" or "moving" through itself.

3) In regards to point 3 the question would be dependent upon the evidence and the framework in which the study existed (considering the experiment determines the nature of the results). Now this point is abstract, but it is justified. A truth is determined by the boundaries which are applied to it and from this the question would be (at least one of many): Is is rational to force scientific claims on people when the frameworks of the experiments were determined by subjective experiences?
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby mitchellmckain on May 14th, 2018, 1:50 pm 

The methodology of science is not up for negotiation and never will be -- not without a return to the middle ages. The most you can expect is an acknowledgment that the methodology of science is not itself a product of the methodology of science. But that will never be admitted as an acceptable justification for changing the definition of modern science.

Rhetoric has its place and is in fact the main methodology of human civilization. But no pretense will ever make the use of this fit the definition of science, it will always be nothing but pseudo-science.

Perhaps now would be a good time to go over what the science consists of. It consist of the following ideals which scientists strive for, and the degree to which they succeed is measure of how good their science is.

1) Honest Inquiry: This is the standard presentation of the scientific method which includes the formulation of an hypothesis and then testing it to come to a conclusion of whether this is to be accepted or rejected. The point here is quite opposite that of the methods of rhetoric which looks for evidence to prove a thesis. This is good enough for a court of law, politics, religion and used car salesmen, but the honest inquiry of science does not do this.

2) Objectivity: To make its results independent of who does it or what they believe, the results of science is put in the form of a written procedure which anyone can follow to get the same results. This is what makes science a method and activity, NOT a system of belief, NOT a way of life, NOT a religion or ideology. This makes science something which anyone can do, no matter what they believe.

One of the consequences of these ideals defining the methodology of science is that they produce criterion for what questions/hypotheses are a proper matter for scientific inquiry.

1. Is it falsifiable? Some claims practically make themselves true by definition and any test made of the claim simply moves the line/boundary of the claim so that the claim cannot ultimately be proven false.
2. Is it testable? If there is no conceivable measurement or observation which can give a verdict on whether the claim is true or not then this not a matter for scientific inquiry.
3. Is it verifiable? The objectivity which science aims for requires its claims to be demonstrated to people on demand in some way or another.

These are not separate criterion but linked and layered and the point is that they filter out things which the methodology of science is not applicable to.

Now if someone comes along and makes these criterion for what is real then they have left science behind and are now pushing a philosophy of naturalism.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby doogles on May 14th, 2018, 6:28 pm 

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a real duck. Two of our senses have identified it as real because its properties are those which we've been trained to identify as those of a duck. We not need a scientific experiment to identify a duck every time we see one

A better explanation of reality and what is real is the following:

PLACE A BAR OF CHOCOLATE, A BOWL OF DISINFECTANT AND A HAND TOWEL ON A TABLE AND SIT FACING IT. You can see the bar of chocolate, feel it, smell it, hear it snap as you break off a piece and you can taste a piece if you place it in your mouth. There is no doubt that to you the chocolate bar is real. Five of your senses in contact with the outside world have registered positive. This is hard reality. No argument!

Now, rinse your fingers in the disinfectant and dry them to remove the smell of the chocolate on your fingers.

Turn your chair around so that you face the other way, and then hold your nose. You cannot see, touch, taste or smell the chocolate, but you know it’s there. There is no doubt that the bar of chocolate is real, whether you are actually looking at it or not. Your senses have left impressions of it in your brain.

Similarly, you also know that there is a bed in your bedroom, and a refrigerator in your own kitchen. This is reality; you do not have to have these things within the immediate range of your senses to know that they are real.

You know there are other houses in your street; you’ve seen them many times. But what about all the other things you know are real but have never seen?

You may have never travelled abroad, but you know there are many other countries apart from your own. You accept this. You know there was a First World War yet you most probably were not around at the time. All you really know is what other people have told you. You believe it occurred because you’ve seen a variety of evidence suggesting that it happened. There are references to the First World War; there are annual remembrance ceremonies, books and memorials.

The lesson from this is that we do not have to witness things directly with our senses to believe that they are real.

In essence, reality is what we believe to be real. It is difficult to divorce the notion of reality from the notion of a belief system. The notion of reality can only exist in the mind of a person. And these notions in our minds can change if they are not too strongly embedded.

I like Badger's concept about reality, and believe that the terms are quite okay to use in general discourse even if that discourse is about scientific discoveries.

But I also agree with mm that the words have no place in a discussion of scientific results between scientists about any given scientific experiment.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Eodnhoj7 on May 14th, 2018, 7:33 pm 

mitchellmckain » May 14th, 2018, 1:50 pm wrote:

A The methodology of science is not up for negotiation and never will be -- not without a return to the middle ages. The most you can expect is an acknowledgment that the methodology of science is not itself a product of the methodology of science. But that will never be admitted as an acceptable justification for changing the definition of modern science.

Rhetoric has its place and is in fact the main methodology of human civilization. But no pretense will ever make the use of this fit the definition of science, it will always be nothing but pseudo-science.

Perhaps now would be a good time to go over what the science consists of. It consist of the following ideals which scientists strive for, and the degree to which they succeed is measure of how good their science is.

B1) Honest Inquiry: This is the standard presentation of the scientific method which includes the formulation of an hypothesis and then testing it to come to a conclusion of whether this is to be accepted or rejected. The point here is quite opposite that of the methods of rhetoric which looks for evidence to prove a thesis. This is good enough for a court of law, politics, religion and used car salesmen, but the honest inquiry of science does not do this.

C2) Objectivity: To make its results independent of who does it or what they believe, the results of science is put in the form of a written procedure which anyone can follow to get the same results. This is what makes science a method and activity, NOT a system of belief, NOT a way of life, NOT a religion or ideology. This makes science something which anyone can do, no matter what they believe.

DOne of the consequences of these ideals defining the methodology of science is that they produce criterion for what questions/hypotheses are a proper matter for scientific inquiry.

1. Is it falsifiable? Some claims practically make themselves true by definition and any test made of the claim simply moves the line/boundary of the claim so that the claim cannot ultimately be proven false.
2. Is it testable? If there is no conceivable measurement or observation which can give a verdict on whether the claim is true or not then this not a matter for scientific inquiry.
3. Is it verifiable? The objectivity which science aims for requires its claims to be demonstrated to people on demand in some way or another.

These are not separate criterion but linked and layered and the point is that they filter out things which the methodology of science is not applicable to.

Now if someone comes along and makes these criterion for what is real then they have left science behind and are now pushing a philosophy of naturalism.


Arguments with points corresponding to points (A to A, etc.):

A) I never argued that it would or would not be up for negotiation, many religions have been around for thousands of years and the scientific method has only been here for a few hundred.


Science is an institution and as such is subject to the inherent regulations and group think that all institutions are subject to up to but not limited too: funding, political climates, internal groups, etc. The foundation of these institutions is premised on communication as "rhetoric". Even the base methodology itself, that being the act of questioning, is premised on linguistic capacity. The act of analyzing a property or result, by putting it into "categories", is dependent upon the categories themselves being designed through the act of "rationalization" and in itself is not strictly scientific but rather an observation and manifestation of boundaries.

Considering these categories in turn determine the nature of the relations, hence the results, science is fundamentally an observation between applied measurements with no rule or regulation, other than group consensus, as to what these measurements are...a quick observation of this can be applied to fields such as biology with animal classification, psychology, etc. In regards to physics the base question goes to the standard particle-wave interpretation...again one of classification.

B) There are not standards of ethics that science proves without reverting past something which is either based on strict reason or metaphysics. The "honest" pursuit of truth only implies an inherent subjective element inherent within it. In regards to "court cases, politics, etc." many use scientific facts to back up their claims with these facts existing dually because of funding from these government or corporate institutions....I am making no deep or controversial statement.

While evidence may be "looked for to prove a thesis" how does that different from interpretting results in light of a hypothesis? Considering the evidence is strictly an extension of the hypothesis itself? The questions lie less in a problem of "rhetoric" as you claim, but rather the inherent nature of "linguistic logic" that is universally prevalent in regards to all activities of definition and communication. Logic appears to be the premise from which science is rooted, and while they may alternate through and between eachother, to argue a strict scientific approach to truth is not entirely possible considering the nature of its methodology.

C) The written system is subject to group opinion as, correct me if I am wrong, their is no science to the manifestation of writing systems. Because science is dependent upon writing systems in order to define truth, the manifestation of these writing systems provides the boundaries through which truth not just is defined but exists as "axiomatic". Science by nature is based upon definition, with this definition maintaining a non-scientific standard of the writing system used to define it. In these respects, science quite literally is dependent upon the rhetoric you accuse other institutions of.

D1) The nature of the "falsifiability" is dependent upon the hypothesis and questions applied to the problem. The nature of falsity, in these regards, is dependent upon an observation of a framework of reason and its congruency to another framework (either abstract or empirical). In these respects a system of logic is necessitated to determine the nature of interpretation and the scientific method extends from logic.

D2) "If their is not "concievable", implies an inherent aspect of subjective interpretation and imagination that in itself is not scientific.

D3) Objectivity is group consensus if dependent upon its efficiency in demonstrability to any number of people at any time.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Reg_Prescott on May 14th, 2018, 8:05 pm 

In a thread aimed at adding some measure of clarity to the concept of reality, and in which all participants seem genuinely committed to the rational derivation of conclusions based on the available evidence, I find it more than a little disturbing that, time and time again, appeal is made to The Scientific Method -- a beast whose putative existence is supported by evidence to a degree which I would personally (and I'm far from alone in this) characterize as exiguous.

From the perspective of a person of my own skeptical bent, this apparent uncritical faith invested in the existence of The Scientific Method appears decidedly unscientific: you might as well be slapping your crystal balls on the table instead!

I presume we can agree on this much: one's degree of belief ought to be proportionate to the evidence at hand.

If so, what would our members deem to be the appropriate degree of belief assigned to the existence of The Scientific Method (TSM)?

Low? (like myself, a TSM atheist); Middling? (making you a TSM agnostic); or unmitigated certainty? (Oh come all ye faithful)
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby CaryTyson on May 14th, 2018, 9:08 pm 

I feel often like a freshman wandering into a graduate lecture, as my education and experience in the field of science and philosophy is not nearly developed enough to easily understand all of the concepts, arguments, and statements previous posters have made. One thing that strikes me, though, is that there was a lot of talk of evience and things being quantifiable or verifiable. I wonder, though, if we just do not have the ability yet, as scientifically minded beings, to properly observe certain phenomena? And we have not yet hit upon the proper way to either qualify or quantify certain phenomena.

For example, how can one measure how MUCH feeling/emotion is in a crowd of football fans? There IS emotion. It is real. But how can we measure it? Can we see it? We can see the effects of it. We can use behaviors to measure level of emotion, but what we are really measuring is how many punches lets say a Ranger fan delivers to a Celtic fan, NOT how many units of hate exists.

Bottom line - do we know what we do NOT know? So before we say with such certainty what is "real" or not, perhaps we could consider allowing for, as the OP suggests, a "loosening" of the concept of what is real simply to facilitate more productive collaboration between thinkers (yes, I use that term loosely as well).
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby TheVat on May 14th, 2018, 9:28 pm 

We had a couple threads over in PCF, a couple of years back, that might provide some useful review of some of the issues, for newer members. This one...

viewtopic.php?nomobile=1&f=10&t=28336&p=273895&hilit=Scientific+method#p273895

...and a couple others that might turn up in a search. This 28 page behemoth....

viewtopic.php?nomobile=1&f=10&t=32607

No time right now, but people should always keep in mind that TSM doesn't make ontological claims. It's an array of methods that vary from one field to another, with the object of finding practical ways to gather data, formulate testable hypotheses, etc. Charles Sanders Peirce is helpful.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Reg_Prescott on May 14th, 2018, 9:43 pm 

No time right now, but people should always keep in mind that TSM doesn't make ontological claims. It's an array of methods that vary from one field to another, with the object of finding practical ways to gather data, formulate testable hypotheses, etc. Charles Sanders Peirce is helpful.

Hi Braininvat,

It seems I wasn't clear enough earlier, possibly due to mention of crystal balls. My fault.

My claim does not pertain to what The Scientific Method can or cannot do, does or does not do, etc. (which would already be to presuppose its existence). My claim, rather, is that there is no such thing (at least as traditionally construed, and without reducing the idea to utter triviality).

My invocation of crystal balls may have been misleading. Given the audience, our members probably harbor misgivings about the efficacy of crystal ball readings; the existence of crystal balls, though, is not in doubt.

Here lies the disanalogy: I claim not that TSM (exists but) is ineffective; I claim, rather, that it does not exist.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby mitchellmckain on May 15th, 2018, 12:07 am 

Reg_Prescott » May 14th, 2018, 7:05 pm wrote:In a thread aimed at adding some measure of clarity to the concept of reality, and in which all participants seem genuinely committed to the rational derivation of conclusions based on the available evidence, I find it more than a little disturbing that, time and time again, appeal is made to The Scientific Method -- a beast whose putative existence is supported by evidence to a degree which I would personally (and I'm far from alone in this) characterize as exiguous.

From the perspective of a person of my own skeptical bent, this apparent uncritical faith invested in the existence of The Scientific Method appears decidedly unscientific: you might as well be slapping your crystal balls on the table instead!

I presume we can agree on this much: one's degree of belief ought to be proportionate to the evidence at hand.

If so, what would our members deem to be the appropriate degree of belief assigned to the existence of The Scientific Method (TSM)?

Low? (like myself, a TSM atheist); Middling? (making you a TSM agnostic); or unmitigated certainty? (Oh come all ye faithful)

I suggest that despite being quoted here so that everyone can see it, the evidence that this post actually exists is rather inadequate and thus to respond to it would be an exercise of uncritical faith. Shall we not employ a minimum of skepticism and treat it as something which does not exist?

Thus we demonstrate the kind of skepticism which goes to absurd extremes. We cannot prove that the universe did not come into existence this morning with all our memories as they are. Thus what is reasonable is not founded upon what can be proven but upon the meaningful consistencies which we accept in the living of human life. So to be reasonable we do not indulge in a degree of skepticism which renders meaningless all our memories, the things in front us present to our collective senses, and that which can be readily demonstrated. Such is understood to be skepticism which is absurd and unreasonable. The scientific method is certainly just as remembered, present to our collective senses in the above posts as well as numerous books, films and websites, and readily demonstrated as to its content and effectiveness.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby TheVat on May 15th, 2018, 12:14 am 

Sorry, was a bit distracted earlier. Regarding the No Method stance.... It's a position that was explored in that earlier thread I linked, by a clever fellow who has multiply incarnated here and gotten us to examine the reality of our magic eight ball more carefully. Or Feyerabendily just dismissed it as an ocular floater, a bit of gristle floating in the vitreous humour. In recent times, I've had more doubts myself, coming to see the array of techniques more as the Scientific Habits. When the results of observation and experiment are widely repeatable and reproducible, then they seem to be Good Habits. A certain animal faith keeps us believing in Doogle's chocolate bar. But we need a science Picasso every so often to break out of the habitual and frame our observations differently. Classical habits of observation displaced by quantum blinks perhaps.

What a swell party this is! :-)
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Reg_Prescott on May 15th, 2018, 1:16 am 

The scientific method is certainly just as remembered, present to our collective senses in the above posts as well as numerous books, films and websites, and readily demonstrated as to its content and effectiveness.

-- MitchellMcKain


So, it's a bit like God, you mean? After all, there's no paucity of books, films, and websites about Him either, eh?


Erm, would it help if I quoted Nobel prize-winning scientists who say exactly what I do; viz., that The Scientific Method (as traditionally construed) is a myth; a myth that you, for one, have apparently obediently and uncritically guzzled with some alacrity.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby mitchellmckain on May 15th, 2018, 1:19 am 

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:A) I never argued that it would or would not be up for negotiation, many religions have been around for thousands of years and the scientific method has only been here for a few hundred.

Indeed, and yet science has learned so much more about the universe so much more quickly, bringing more success to our endeavors and more changes to our lives, that a failure to see the effectiveness of science at uncovering the truth about things, would indicate a rather obvious degree of willful ignorance.

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:Science is an institution and as such is subject to the inherent regulations and group think that all institutions are subject to up to but not limited too: funding, political climates, internal groups, etc. The foundation of these institutions is premised on communication as "rhetoric". Even the base methodology itself, that being the act of questioning, is premised on linguistic capacity. The act of analyzing a property or result, by putting it into "categories", is dependent upon the categories themselves being designed through the act of "rationalization" and in itself is not strictly scientific but rather an observation and manifestation of boundaries.

Argument rejected.

By a similar argument you can say that the art is a feature of the solar system and subject to solar flares and asteroids and thus easily transformed into molten rock and ashes. But does this really have anything whatsoever to do with what the word "art" refers to? No it does not.

And yes art can be declared an institution subject to funding, political climates, blah, blah, blah... But will legislation saying that art consists of chewing your toenails really change the thing itself or simply distort our means of communication? If funding and politics declares that the sun refers to men in costumes doing silly things to make us laugh, will this have any effect on what the sun is? Such nonsense does not alter either art nor the sun but only the words.

Perhaps those enamored of the middle ages when ignorant religion ruled will get their way and make theology "queen of the sciences" once again. But that will not really change what modern science is but only mark the end of participation in this human activity of science. Modern science is NOT an institution but a methodology.

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:Considering these categories in turn determine the nature of the relations, hence the results, science is fundamentally an observation between applied measurements with no rule or regulation, other than group consensus, as to what these measurements are...a quick observation of this can be applied to fields such as biology with animal classification, psychology, etc. In regards to physics the base question goes to the standard particle-wave interpretation...again one of classification.
D3...

Consensus is indeed an import part of the functionality of science in practice but it is not the measure of science itself, which I have already explained lies in how well those two ideas of honest inquiry and objectivity are realized.

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:B) There are not standards of ethics that science proves without reverting past something which is either based on strict reason or metaphysics.

Ethics is not a function of science but of the administration and oversight over scientific activities. It is like the use of referees in games, which are not part of the rules of the game itself but simply a means of seeing that the rules of the game are adhered to.

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:The "honest" pursuit of truth only implies an inherent subjective element inherent within it. In regards to "court cases, politics, etc." many use scientific facts to back up their claims with these facts existing dually because of funding from these government or corporate institutions....I am making no deep or controversial statement.

Incorrect. The meaning of "honest inquiry" is NOT a matter of subjective interpretation but one of clear and objective definition in the scientific method. It means you test an hypothesis rather than seek to prove one. This is an effective quality control measure by which peers judge the work of other scientists.

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:In regards to "court cases, politics, etc." many use scientific facts to back up their claims with these facts existing dually because of funding from these government or corporate institutions....I am making no deep or controversial statement.

The use of scientific facts, terminology or equipment does not make something science. That is a smokescreen often used to make rhetoric superficially look like science, but the word for this is pseudo-science. The methodology of the courtroom is rhetoric. The job of the lawyer is not to test an hypothesis. His job is to seek evidence and arguments to prove a fixed hypothesis: the defense that the defendant is innocent, and the prosecution that the defendant is guilty. It is only a hope that in the battle between these two that the truth will become more clear to the judge and jury.

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:While evidence may be "looked for to prove a thesis" how does that different from interpretting results in light of a hypothesis? Considering the evidence is strictly an extension of the hypothesis itself?
D1...
D2...

A scientist may employ all sorts of abilities like imagination to visualize and interpret things but the results of scientific inquiry remain the testing of an hypothesis. And this works so well that such has forced scientists to accept things they would very much rather not.

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:The questions lie less in a problem of "rhetoric" as you claim, but rather the inherent nature of "linguistic logic" that is universally prevalent in regards to all activities of definition and communication. Logic appears to be the premise from which science is rooted, and while they may alternate through and between eachother, to argue a strict scientific approach to truth is not entirely possible considering the nature of its methodology.

Yes, logic is a certainly a premise of all human activities and communication which are considered meaningful -- including both rhetoric and science. As explained above the methodology of science implies a restriction upon what science is applicable to.

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:C) The written system is subject to group opinion as, correct me if I am wrong, their is no science to the manifestation of writing systems. Because science is dependent upon writing systems in order to define truth, the manifestation of these writing systems provides the boundaries through which truth not just is defined but exists as "axiomatic". Science by nature is based upon definition, with this definition maintaining a non-scientific standard of the writing system used to define it. In these respects, science quite literally is dependent upon the rhetoric you accuse other institutions of.

Science does not define "truth" any more than it determines what is "real." You are confusing the understanding of what science says (particularly by the non-scientist) with the science itself. That is the only things which depends on definitions -- for the actually results of science does not. This is the objectivity of scientific results: you get a written procedure which anyone can follow to get those same results -- definitions and beliefs are thus made completely irrelevant.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby mitchellmckain on May 15th, 2018, 1:29 am 

Reg_Prescott » May 15th, 2018, 12:16 am wrote:
The scientific method is certainly just as remembered, present to our collective senses in the above posts as well as numerous books, films and websites, and readily demonstrated as to its content and effectiveness.

-- MitchellMcKain


So, it's a bit like God, you mean? After all, there's no paucity of books, films, and websites about Him either, eh?

This was already covered above. Read the thread. We can all agree that God and gods exists as beliefs and object of human worship. That is what we see described and demonstrated in this "no paucity of books, films and websites." What cannot be demonstrated so effectively is the ability to cure people of disease by praying to these deities. Likewise we see the methodology of science described, explained and demonstrated as well. Thus instead of wasting our time with silly arguments that certain things do not exist, you would be more fruitfully employed addressing a more meaningful question such as "what is the scientific method, really?"


Reg_Prescott » May 15th, 2018, 12:16 am wrote:Erm, would it help if I quoted Nobel prize-winning scientists who say exactly what I do; viz., that The Scientific Method (as traditionally construed) is a myth; a myth that you, for one, have apparently obediently and uncritically guzzled with some alacrity.

I am not the one using an argument from authority -- that would be you. Therefore the evidence tells us that it is in fact YOU who have done the uncritical guzzling.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby mitchellmckain on May 15th, 2018, 1:48 am 

Braininvat » May 14th, 2018, 11:14 pm wrote:Sorry, was a bit distracted earlier. Regarding the No Method stance.... It's a position that was explored in that earlier thread I linked, by a clever fellow who has multiply incarnated here and gotten us to examine the reality of our magic eight ball more carefully. Or Feyerabendily just dismissed it as an ocular floater, a bit of gristle floating in the vitreous humour. In recent times, I've had more doubts myself, coming to see the array of techniques more as the Scientific Habits. When the results of observation and experiment are widely repeatable and reproducible, then they seem to be Good Habits. A certain animal faith keeps us believing in Doogle's chocolate bar. But we need a science Picasso every so often to break out of the habitual and frame our observations differently. Classical habits of observation displaced by quantum blinks perhaps.

What a swell party this is! :-)


Certainly there is good reason to doubt many descriptions of the scientific method. Describing it as a formula, recipe, or certain number of steps to follow will likely lead to a great deal of misunderstanding or confusion. But this is only reason to do a better job at describing it in order to GET AT what makes it different than other human activities BECAUSE it is demonstrably different! History shows this beyond all reasonable doubt!
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Reg_Prescott on May 15th, 2018, 1:57 am 

"We can all agree that God and gods exists as beliefs and object of human worship."

-- mitchellmckain

No, we can't. We might all agree that the concept of a deity or deities is extremely common in human culture, perhaps even a universal. Where many, myself included, would demur is to the suggestion that this concept corresponds to anything in reality (i.e., as an object).

Ditto for The Scientific Method. Yes, open any elementary science textbook and you'll likely see a characterization thereof (c.f., the concept of God). For good measure, why not open ten elementary science textbooks and I daresay you'll find ten characterizations thereof (c.f., God is many things to many people).

Whether or not these characterizations correspond to anything in reality (i.e., is this indeed a method, and do scientists, by and large, and only scientists, actually follow it?) is an empirical matter.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby mitchellmckain on May 15th, 2018, 2:32 am 

Reg_Prescott » May 15th, 2018, 12:57 am wrote:
"We can all agree that God and gods exists as beliefs and object of human worship."

No, we can't. We might all agree that the concept of a deity or deities is extremely common in human culture, perhaps even a universal. Where many, myself included, would demur is to the suggestion that this concept corresponds to anything in reality (i.e., as an object).

So you believe that concepts are not real? Or are you just playing a game of semantics, so I can simply add your word to my list... LOL to say, yes we all agree that God and gods exist as concepts, beliefs and/or things which people worship and/or pray to. Again I think you have not read the thread. The point was that there are as many ways of existing or being real as there are ways of doing. God and gods don't seem live in a city or write responses to fan mail -- so they don't exist in that way. But neither do rocks. What rocks can do are things like being held or thrown for example, which again seem to be things which God and gods don't do. But God and gods can apparently be believed in, thought about, talked about, written about -- so they do seem to exist in that way, much the same as fairies, vampires and aliens. BUT as such they certainly do correspond to things in real books, real films, real beliefs, etc.


Reg_Prescott » May 15th, 2018, 12:57 am wrote:Ditto for The Scientific Method. Yes, open any elementary science textbook and you'll likely see a characterization thereof (c.f., the concept of God). For good measure, why not open ten elementary science textbooks and I daresay you'll find ten characterizations thereof (c.f., God is many things to many people).

There is no ditto here. Both gods and the scientific method exist in some way, but the way in which they exist is different because there are things which the scientific method does which gods do not do. What the scientific method does has been demonstrated repeatedly and it is not at all what gods can be demonstrated to do.

Reg_Prescott » May 15th, 2018, 12:57 am wrote:Whether or not these characterizations correspond to anything in reality (i.e., is this indeed a method, and do scientists, by and large, and only scientists, actually follow it?) is an empirical matter.

No matter what we are talking about, be it gods, the president of France, New York City, the duck-billed platypus, aliens, or the planet Venus, we know many things have been written about them and accuracy of those things naturally vary considerably, including some things which can be demonstrated to be true, some demonstrated to be false, and some things which cannot be demonstrated either way.

Like I said and will repeat, if you would not waste our time then you would rather address more meaningful questions about the scientific method like: what is it really? What is it that scientists actually do? What are the explanations of the so called scientific method describing? These are the sort of questions I have been addressing above. OR.... you can put those quotes you talked about out there to be examined. Here... I will do one for you:

Stephen Weinberg:
The fact that the standards of scientific success shift with time does not only make the philosophy of science difficult; it also raises problems for the public understanding of science. We do not have a fixed scientific method to rally around and defend.

I cannot disagree. The description I have given for the Scientific method is certainly not quoted from some official dogma from a hundred years ago and I definitely have seen the changes. All I can say is that I have excellent reasons to stand by what I have written above because it shows quite well what sets the activity of science apart from other human activities.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Reg_Prescott on May 15th, 2018, 3:08 am 

@ mitchellmckain,

I'm afraid we've reached the point where ratiocination breaks down: you insist on telling me about all the wonderful things that The Scientific Method can do; I insist there is no such thing to begin with.

In other words, you continue to presuppose the existence of the entity whose very existence, or lack thereof, is the issue under examination (between you and me, at least).

Therefore, I find myself somewhat in the position of a Jesus skeptic who keeps being reassured ad nauseum by his interlocutor "Jesus loves you". The fact -- if indeed it is a fact -- that Jesus loves you, is unlikely to have any persuasive force whatsoever against an interlocutor who denies the very existence of Jesus in the first place.

But finally, before a tearful farewell, I'd like to pose once again to you the question I asked in my first post: "what degree of belief do you feel is appropriate to assign to the existence of The Scientific Method?"

100%? Because that's the impression I'm getting from you. If not, how much?

Are you willing to entertain the possibility to even the minutest degree that what, as far as I can discern, a growing number of philosophers and scientists now consider to be something of a platitude hardly worthy of discussion (i.e., The Scientific Method, as traditionally conceived, is pure fairy-tale) might in fact be correct?

Or would your belief in The Scientific Method be better regarded as something of an article of faith on your part?
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Eodnhoj7 on May 15th, 2018, 11:09 am 

CaryTyson » May 14th, 2018, 9:08 pm wrote:I feel often like a freshman wandering into a graduate lecture, as my education and experience in the field of science and philosophy is not nearly developed enough to easily understand all of the concepts, arguments, and statements previous posters have made. One thing that strikes me, though, is that there was a lot of talk of evience and things being quantifiable or verifiable. I wonder, though, if we just do not have the ability yet, as scientifically minded beings, to properly observe certain phenomena? And we have not yet hit upon the proper way to either qualify or quantify certain phenomena.

For example, how can one measure how MUCH feeling/emotion is in a crowd of football fans? There IS emotion. It is real. But how can we measure it? Can we see it? We can see the effects of it. We can use behaviors to measure level of emotion, but what we are really measuring is how many punches lets say a Ranger fan delivers to a Celtic fan, NOT how many units of hate exists.

Bottom line - do we know what we do NOT know? So before we say with such certainty what is "real" or not, perhaps we could consider allowing for, as the OP suggests, a "loosening" of the concept of what is real simply to facilitate more productive collaboration between thinkers (yes, I use that term loosely as well).


I agree with your observation.

The question breaks down to what is the nature of quality and quantity in regards to the "axiom" (self-evident truth).

Because of science's, and logic/mathematics even further, dependence upon the axiom the nature of "subjectivity" and "objectivity" play a dual role in science and any argument for a strictly objective (or even subjective) approach is in itself faulty.

What we understand of as "real", for how abstract this may sound, is strictly an observation of "boundaries" and nothing more or less. All physical and abstract phenomenon are defined by the boundaries which give structure to them as phenomenon. Regardless of the degree of "truth", we are left with an observation of "x" having specific boundaries, "y" having specific boundaries and the relation of "x" and "y" having its own set of boundaries.

It is this premise on the necessity of observing boundaries that we are led to the question of what a boundary is in and of itself. Space appears to be the foundation of all abstract and physical phenomenon as it seems to be the unifying median which ties them together. Even at the most abstract of levels, looking at the premise boundary of all form (the line) we observe it as "space" itself when broken down or folded through itself.

Even the space around the line, exists because of the form of the line and is merely potential forms in itself. So what we understand of all boundaries are fundamentally locality as active boundaries and non-locality as potential boundaries.

This relationship between locality and non-locality observes all structure as merely a cause in itself for further structure. Take for example the line. All lines are merely ratios of an infinite line which exists through itself as "line". Hence one line is merely an approximation of much larger line folding through itself to form its own standard of measurement. Ratios are merely a process of boundary folding through itself as its own form of measurement.

In these respects boundaries maintain a causal nature where structure causes further structure with this further structure both the effect of the prior structure and cause for further structure. The effect as an approximation of the original cause is fundamentally a limit to this original cause and because of this is a deficiency of the unity of the original cause as "multiplicity". All effects, as limits, contains a degree of randomness as a deficiency of the original cause in one respect, through approximation, while simultaneously maintaining itself as the original cause ad-finitum.

So what we can "briefly" argue about the nature of reality really is:

1) Boundaries, or "limits", which give structure as structure.
2) Possible Limits which from which structure comes from structure.
3) Limits as the localization of a reality which exists relative to other localities as movement.
4) Limits as the potential localization of a reality through which a localize reality exists.
5) Limits as causal in nature in which structure is "cause" in itself.
6) Limits as random in nature in which structure is bound by randomness as a deficiency of itself.

This nature of Limit, No-Limit (possible limit), Actual Moving Relations (locality), Potential Moving Relations (non-locality), Cause as Maintainence of Structure, and Randomness as Deficiency in Cause observes what can be argued as a minimum of six universal degrees inherent within reality both subjectively and objectively.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Eodnhoj7 on May 15th, 2018, 11:24 am 

mitchellmckain » May 15th, 2018, 12:07 am wrote:
Reg_Prescott » May 14th, 2018, 7:05 pm wrote:In a thread aimed at adding some measure of clarity to the concept of reality, and in which all participants seem genuinely committed to the rational derivation of conclusions based on the available evidence, I find it more than a little disturbing that, time and time again, appeal is made to The Scientific Method -- a beast whose putative existence is supported by evidence to a degree which I would personally (and I'm far from alone in this) characterize as exiguous.

From the perspective of a person of my own skeptical bent, this apparent uncritical faith invested in the existence of The Scientific Method appears decidedly unscientific: you might as well be slapping your crystal balls on the table instead!

I presume we can agree on this much: one's degree of belief ought to be proportionate to the evidence at hand.

If so, what would our members deem to be the appropriate degree of belief assigned to the existence of The Scientific Method (TSM)?

Low? (like myself, a TSM atheist); Middling? (making you a TSM agnostic); or unmitigated certainty? (Oh come all ye faithful)

I suggest that despite being quoted here so that everyone can see it, the evidence that this post actually exists is rather inadequate and thus to respond to it would be an exercise of uncritical faith. Shall we not employ a minimum of skepticism and treat it as something which does not exist?

Thus we demonstrate the kind of skepticism which goes to absurd extremes. We cannot prove that the universe did not come into existence this morning with all our memories as they are. Thus what is reasonable is not founded upon what can be proven but upon the meaningful consistencies which we accept in the living of human life. So to be reasonable we do not indulge in a degree of skepticism which renders meaningless all our memories, the things in front us present to our collective senses, and that which can be readily demonstrated. Such is understood to be skepticism which is absurd and unreasonable. The scientific method is certainly just as remembered, present to our collective senses in the above posts as well as numerous books, films and websites, and readily demonstrated as to its content and effectiveness.


Did the universe come into existence with the scientific method as the median from which observation operates? This is considering the universe itself, and all consciousness as an extension of it, would require the scientific method to be inherent within its very fabric as an abstract unify force from which symmetry is both maintained and propagated. Considering the universe, without doubt, observes the "replication of boundaries" which must extend from and original boundary, this "replication" of boundaries (whether those that are very simple or complex) are an inherent form of "memory" in itself as "movement through time".

Is the scientific method a boundary of consciousness ever present? Or is it strictly a form of consciousness replicated from other forms? Either way we are left with boundaries, as limit and no-limits, being the universal concept of what is real and not-real. In these regards, at minimum, space is axiomatic and observes a quantitative and qualitative nature to observation dependent on geometric axioms (which included by are not limited by Euclidian and Non-Euclidian spaces).

The question occurs in the respect that space forms the basis of quality as boundary, where is number (as quantity) unified in this phenomenon? In simpler terms hows does quality extend from quantity and vice versa?
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby TheVat on May 15th, 2018, 12:11 pm 

I'm disappointed when an attempt to elucidate a method, of any kind, becomes so polarized. There seems to be some consensus that there is not THE method in science, but an array of methods of probing, testing, watching, recording, measuring, and so on. Weinberg is quite right that the standards of scientific success have shifted over time...the hope is of course for the better, for more precision, for the least number of assumptions, for greater understanding of a web of beliefs about the universe, and so on.

Rudimentary science has easy standards and there is little debate about method. Watch a pot of water being heated, eventually it boils. The hypothesis "A watched pot never boils," has been falsified successfully. No need to worry much about an invisible reality with that sort of classical science. But many modern investigations offer more of a moving target, methodologically. Method, such as it is, must evolve and transform in order to understand subjects like dark energy or quantum gravity or the neurological correlates of seeing the color red or feeling spooked by clowns. Would it be possible that our word "method" is not adequate for a shifting blend of techniques that might better be called an art? Is a science virtuoso required to penetrate the nature of mind or the mysteries of energy fields?
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Eodnhoj7 on May 15th, 2018, 12:56 pm 

Eodnhoj7 » May 15th, 2018, 12:18 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » May 15th, 2018, 1:19 am wrote:
Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:A) I never argued that it would or would not be up for negotiation, many religions have been around for thousands of years and the scientific method has only been here for a few hundred.

Indeed, and yet science has learned so much more about the universe so much more quickly, bringing more success to our endeavors and more changes to our lives, that a failure to see the effectiveness of science at uncovering the truth about things, would indicate a rather obvious degree of willful ignorance.

Pardon the quotation method, I will repost in different manner if it seems obscure. With that being said:

That is a subjective statement with no evidence:

1) More "facts" relative to what previous "facts" exactly? For example "x" facts allow us to pursue a course of industrialization. This industrialization however causes "a" problems because "y" facts are not present. "y" facts may have been present prior to the observation of "x" facts resulting in a more agrarian style of living, however because of "y" facts having "b" problem we chose "x" facts with "a" problems. The problem, of the problems (pardon the pun), is that "a" and "b" rotate so where we see "progress" in one respect a deficiency in another respect occurs.

The "changes" scientific "progress" makes are not scientific in themselves considering luxury, pleasure, etc. are highly subjective and do not have a strict scientific backing. If the premise for scientific discovery is "change" then on what grounds is this change given objective certainty as necessary?


Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:Science is an institution and as such is subject to the inherent regulations and group think that all institutions are subject to up to but not limited too: funding, political climates, internal groups, etc. The foundation of these institutions is premised on communication as "rhetoric". Even the base methodology itself, that being the act of questioning, is premised on linguistic capacity. The act of analyzing a property or result, by putting it into "categories", is dependent upon the categories themselves being designed through the act of "rationalization" and in itself is not strictly scientific but rather an observation and manifestation of boundaries.

Argument rejected.

By a similar argument you can say that the art is a feature of the solar system and subject to solar flares and asteroids and thus easily transformed into molten rock and ashes. But does this really have anything whatsoever to do with what the word "art" refers to? No it does not.

If all consciousness extends from matter in the solar system, and consciousness replicates these various forms of matter, then art is merely a form of replication where a "form" manifests itself through various degrees. Art under these terms is a form of replication.

The "categories" of science follow this similar form of replication; however are premised in the very same subjective expression (with the group level being the "objective" means) as "art" considering these categories or analysis it is dependent upon replicate through time as various abstract forms. In simpler terms, the categorization science is dependent upon, while having an original form still is subject to time and changes (relative to chaos as all adaptation has an inherent random element as expressed in the field of genetics) where "what was true today because of the relation of categories x and y" may not be true tomorrow because of the application of various other measurements.

The question occurs in regards to the problem of measurement: What is the correct, or most original to the source, means to measure reality? Science, as approximately relating forms, appears to be having a problem of "multiplicity" where (as observed in previous threads) there are multiple manners of measurement. The problem occurs if we observe that there are "multiple manners" of measuring reality we are left we observe "1" truth that contradicts itself.


And yes art can be declared an institution subject to funding, political climates, blah, blah, blah... But will legislation saying that art consists of chewing your toenails really change the thing itself or simply distort our means of communication? If funding and politics declares that the sun refers to men in costumes doing silly things to make us laugh, will this have any effect on what the sun is? Such nonsense does not alter either art nor the sun but only the words.

Perhaps those enamored of the middle ages when ignorant religion ruled will get their way and make theology "queen of the sciences" once again. But that will not really change what modern science is but only mark the end of participation in this human activity of science. Modern science is NOT an institution but a methodology.

All institutions are merely a form of symmetrical group think with the symmetry of these subjective axioms maintaining the unity and congruency of the whole. The simple truth is that a rejection of the scientific method as being the supreme means of truth (I am not arguing for its rejection as I believe much good came from it) does not lead us back to the middle ages.

The Babylonians and Egyptians, as evidenced by their construction and advance medical theories (which did not require the technology we need today in order to "work" but synthesized this knowledge with the human condition), were able to accomplish feats that we cannot accomplish yet without the strict understanding of the scientific method we use today. They used different measurement systems than the ones we use, and in doing do were able to synthesize a different manner of living than we are accustomed to today...this is one example. The standard "anti-middle ages" retort is way to common and over used.


Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:Considering these categories in turn determine the nature of the relations, hence the results, science is fundamentally an observation between applied measurements with no rule or regulation, other than group consensus, as to what these measurements are...a quick observation of this can be applied to fields such as biology with animal classification, psychology, etc. In regards to physics the base question goes to the standard particle-wave interpretation...again one of classification.
D3...

Consensus is indeed an import part of the functionality of science in practice but it is not the measure of science itself, which I have already explained lies in how well those two ideas of honest inquiry and objectivity are realized.

Considering science is dependent upon the expression of truth, consensus is an inherent element. How much research or even discoveries were either avoided or gotten ridden of because of the communities lack of comfort in over turning their own basic assumptions of reality? Do you want historical facts?

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:B) There are not standards of ethics that science proves without reverting past something which is either based on strict reason or metaphysics.

Ethics is not a function of science but of the administration and oversight over scientific activities. It is like the use of referees in games, which are not part of the rules of the game itself but simply a means of seeing that the rules of the game are adhered to.

But science, as you claim in the above, moves according to administrations which in themselves are not bound by the scientific method so you are inevitably stuck with universal boundary of "alternation" giving structure to all phenomenon.

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:The "honest" pursuit of truth only implies an inherent subjective element inherent within it. In regards to "court cases, politics, etc." many use scientific facts to back up their claims with these facts existing dually because of funding from these government or corporate institutions....I am making no deep or controversial statement.

Incorrect. The meaning of "honest inquiry" is NOT a matter of subjective interpretation but one of clear and objective definition in the scientific method. It means you test an hypothesis rather than seek to prove one. This is an effective quality control measure by which peers judge the work of other scientists.

"Peers JUDGE the work of scientists" observes judgement as a trait which you previously argued against in various facets of other institutions. This judgement is dependent upon the framework applied with this framework itself being a synthesis of boundaries, that while dependent upon objective means (universality of the line as constant reoccuring example) has strictly subjective proportions that scientific community "claims" are not inherent...yet they are. The question I have of the scientific community is less the results they observe but rather the contradictory form in which they maintain them. In many respects they function as a modern priest class which in the pursuit of knowledge:

They say the sacrificial system is dead but both systems modern and old:

1) Still practice ritual: Ancient in forms of mediation and prayer, Modern in the form of the scientific method.

2) Both practiced animal sacrifice in attempts to gain knowledge and alleviate suffering.

3) Both build idols as extension of the natural world: Ancient in the form of "statues", Modern in the form of Social media technology. Both are rooted in stone and metal.

4) Both are systems of measurement with which to understand the nature of the world.

5) Both pray and contemplate towards altars: Ancient with a table of metal and stone, Modern with a table of metal and stone as "social media" technology.

6) Both seek to control the natural world: Ancient within the will of [the] God[s], Modern within the will of Man as God.

7) Both have hierarchies rarely question.

8) Both are systems of belief as their is no "full evidence" that either system entirely "works". This is considering that both contain as foundations the "axiom" as self-evidence. In this respect both are extensions of man's will. The ancients sought to work with or appease [the] God[s], the moderns seek to overcome [the] God[s].

9) The ancient's viewed everything as a Mystery. The Modern view everything as a Problem.

10) The ancient's valued circular reasoning as a form of self-reflection through which we are not only better able to understand ourselves and the world around us but maintain a median with it. The modern's value linear reason as a form of continual self-projection without self reflection. In this respect they divided both themselves and the environment around them as the "line" exists as a form of "deficiency" or "subtraction/division".


Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:In regards to "court cases, politics, etc." many use scientific facts to back up their claims with these facts existing dually because of funding from these government or corporate institutions....I am making no deep or controversial statement.

The use of scientific facts, terminology or equipment does not make something science. That is a smokescreen often used to make rhetoric superficially look like science, but the word for this is pseudo-science. The methodology of the courtroom is rhetoric. The job of the lawyer is not to test an hypothesis. His job is to seek evidence and arguments to prove a fixed hypothesis: the defense that the defendant is innocent, and the prosecution that the defendant is guilty. It is only a hope that in the battle between these two that the truth will become more clear to the judge and jury.

Strict mathematical theories people are not trained to understand, except a strict few, in itself is a form of rhetoric in the respect it creates a division in knowledge and definition.

Einstein created a non-existent variable for his theory to work...Euler created (if I remember, I might have to be corrected by someone here) much of the symbolic language for mathematics. How is the synthesis of language not in itself a form of rhetoric.

In regards to the court room analogy proving whether something exists or not is testing it.


Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:While evidence may be "looked for to prove a thesis" how does that different from interpretting results in light of a hypothesis? Considering the evidence is strictly an extension of the hypothesis itself?
D1...
D2...

A scientist may employ all sorts of abilities like imagination to visualize and interpret things but the results of scientific inquiry remain the testing of an hypothesis. And this works so well that such has forced scientists to accept things they would very much rather not.

The grounds of testing are subject to the framework "imagined" by the very same scientists.

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:The questions lie less in a problem of "rhetoric" as you claim, but rather the inherent nature of "linguistic logic" that is universally prevalent in regards to all activities of definition and communication. Logic appears to be the premise from which science is rooted, and while they may alternate through and between eachother, to argue a strict scientific approach to truth is not entirely possible considering the nature of its methodology.

Yes, logic is a certainly a premise of all human activities and communication which are considered meaningful -- including both rhetoric and science. As explained above the methodology of science implies a restriction upon what science is applicable to.

Well if logic is the unifying median of rhetoric and science then rhetoric cannot be claimed as being completely faulty.

Eodnhoj7 » May 14th, 2018, 6:33 pm wrote:C) The written system is subject to group opinion as, correct me if I am wrong, their is no science to the manifestation of writing systems. Because science is dependent upon writing systems in order to define truth, the manifestation of these writing systems provides the boundaries through which truth not just is defined but exists as "axiomatic". Science by nature is based upon definition, with this definition maintaining a non-scientific standard of the writing system used to define it. In these respects, science quite literally is dependent upon the rhetoric you accuse other institutions of.

Science does not define "truth" any more than it determines what is "real." You are confusing the understanding of what science says (particularly by the non-scientist) with the science itself. That is the only things which depends on definitions -- for the actually results of science does not. This is the objectivity of scientific results: you get a written procedure which anyone can follow to get those same results -- definitions and beliefs are thus made completely irrelevant.


Definitions are what science is about considering it is the collection of data as the relation of symbols.

And for the record, in regards to the little of what I have read of Pierce I would have to agree that he is one of the philosophical "greats" and appears, in my subjective opinion, to be on the correct path in regards to triadic logic.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby mitchellmckain on May 15th, 2018, 2:47 pm 

Reg_Prescott » May 15th, 2018, 2:08 am wrote:I'm afraid we've reached the point where ratiocination breaks down: you insist on telling me about all the wonderful things that The Scientific Method can do; I insist there is no such thing to begin with.

In other words, you continue to presuppose the existence of the entity whose very existence, or lack thereof, is the issue under examination (between you and me, at least).

Therefore, I find myself somewhat in the position of a Jesus skeptic who keeps being reassured ad nauseum by his interlocutor "Jesus loves you". The fact -- if indeed it is a fact -- that Jesus loves you, is unlikely to have any persuasive force whatsoever against an interlocutor who denies the very existence of Jesus in the first place.

But finally, before a tearful farewell, I'd like to pose once again to you the question I asked in my first post: "what degree of belief do you feel is appropriate to assign to the existence of The Scientific Method?"

100%? Because that's the impression I'm getting from you. If not, how much?

You seem to be consistently missing the point, which is that existence questions like this are meaningless or at the very least are highly contextual. Let's try a mathematical example since that seems particularly clear cut.
Suppose I give you the following math problem:
1) x is a number. Does x exist?
As a math problem this is practically inane. What can you say except... yes, numbers exist. So to make the math problem more meaningful we add descriptions of the number in the form of equations like
2) x is a number. squareroot(x-4) = 1. x+3 = 8. Does x exist?
This seems more to the point, right? The question then is whether various descriptions given for the number x are consistent so that there is such a number which satisfy them all.
3) x is a number. 5/x = 0. Does x exist?
In this case however the description/equations present us with a difficulty. There is no number which can be put into the equation which will work. Therefore we can say that this number does not exist.

So my contention here is that your declaration "The scientific method does not exist" is much like the first math problem above. To say x does not exist in that case is simply ridiculous, which is why I attempted to redirect you to the question of appropriate descriptions as given in number 2, or at the very least you can give the sort of descriptions in number 3 and show why these lead us to the conclusion why such a thing does not exist. But as you can see regardless, it remains a question of what descriptions work and which do not work.

Reg_Prescott » May 15th, 2018, 2:08 am wrote:Are you willing to entertain the possibility to even the minutest degree that what, as far as I can discern, a growing number of philosophers and scientists now consider to be something of a platitude hardly worthy of discussion (i.e., The Scientific Method, as traditionally conceived, is pure fairy-tale) might in fact be correct?

I am certainly willing to entertain the possibility that your mind is enthralled with a set of descriptions of the scientific method which give you the conclusion that such a thing does not exist. But this possibility of what is going on in that head of yours hardly warrants much serious consideration on my part, and I have NEVER been very much concerned with or given much thought to things traditionally conceived (though to tell the truth I must seriously question whether that is a thing which has ever really existed to the degree you imagine). What has always concerned me and engages my mind is how to sort through whatever loose and fragmented descriptions have been hanging around and see what of them has actual value, what should be discarded, and what needs to be added in order to make something which is actually useful.

Reg_Prescott » May 15th, 2018, 2:08 am wrote:Or would your belief in The Scientific Method be better regarded as something of an article of faith on your part?


Yes and no. On the one hand, I am absolutely convinced it has been demonstrated there is something about scientific inquiry which sets it quite apart from other human activities like religion, philosophy, and idle barstool BS -- even to the extent that this gives it a superior epistemological status which should be taken more seriously in the governance of a free society. On the other hand, I make no claim whatsoever that science holds itself up by its own bootstraps and frankly assert that the the scientist's work is not only founded upon faith but is among the most stellar examples of faith in modern times. Hell, this is a faith which actually WORKS!
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby mitchellmckain on May 15th, 2018, 3:15 pm 

Braininvat » May 15th, 2018, 11:11 am wrote:I'm disappointed when an attempt to elucidate a method, of any kind, becomes so polarized. There seems to be some consensus that there is not THE method in science, but an array of methods of probing, testing, watching, recording, measuring, and so on. Weinberg is quite right that the standards of scientific success have shifted over time...the hope is of course for the better, for more precision, for the least number of assumptions, for greater understanding of a web of beliefs about the universe, and so on.

Rudimentary science has easy standards and there is little debate about method. Watch a pot of water being heated, eventually it boils. The hypothesis "A watched pot never boils," has been falsified successfully. No need to worry much about an invisible reality with that sort of classical science. But many modern investigations offer more of a moving target, methodologically. Method, such as it is, must evolve and transform in order to understand subjects like dark energy or quantum gravity or the neurological correlates of seeing the color red or feeling spooked by clowns. Would it be possible that our word "method" is not adequate for a shifting blend of techniques that might better be called an art? Is a science virtuoso required to penetrate the nature of mind or the mysteries of energy fields?


It seems to me that the problem derives primarily with equating the word "method" in "scientific method" with procedure or recipe, and since procedure is indeed a synonym for it, then one may ask whether we should not use a different word. But before we do that, we might ask the alternate question of why we SHOULD use this word? Because, you see there is a very good reason why we should. It is because of what defines the human activity of science and especially what does not.

It is extremely important to understand that science is distinguished from other human activities by methodology even if the description of this methodology isn't as simple as a recipe for pot roast or the 12 step program in Alcoholics Anonymous. And thus I keep trying to call attention to the fact that I have not described it in such a manner above, where I explain the scientific method as an adherence to a set of two ideals -- both of which are essential and do indeed provide the basis by which the scientific community judges what is good science.

It is important to understand that science is not defined by a set of beliefs. Things are eventually accepted as scientific fact when they are consistently used over and over again in new scientific inquiry but these are always subject to verification and testing in case there are exceptions in unusual circumstances. It is important that what you believe doesn't matter in the work of science.

This is not to say that there are no assumptions or things which are a matter of faith in science. Science certainly assumes there are no demons or aliens out there arranging the evidence to deceive us, and thus we accept what the objective evidence tells us to be the case. We have faith in the ideals of honest inquiry and objectivity (if you don't like the words scientific method), that these will eventually lead us to the truth about things.
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby Reg_Prescott on May 15th, 2018, 6:55 pm 

[Seems, as a newbie, I'm not allowed access to the potentially life-threatening quote function: what follows is primarily in response to Braininvat's most recent post.]

Pleased to hear your thoughts on this as always, Biv. My own take on the matter, though, is somewhat different, as I'll try to explain below.

Let me/us assume (or simply stipulate if ye dinnae like it) two things:

(a) The Scientific Method (TSM), as traditionally construed, is a timeless, invariant method unique to science which serves to (i) unite the sciences, (ii) demarcate science from non-science, pseudoscience, metaphysics, and whatever other ghouls, and (iii) explain the undisputed (by me anyway) success of science.

(b) What you say is true; viz., there is not one eternal, immutable method of science but "an array of methods [...] that shift over time".

Granted these two assumptions, we can now say not only that TSM (as defined in (a) ) is a mere skeleton, but worse: it does no useful work whatsoever -- a bone-idle skeleton!

If, as you assert, there is not one but an array of methods in a continual state of flux then the claim that all of science is united by a single, unchanging method collapses immediately; the claim that method is what demarcates science from pseudoscience turns a whiter shade of pale; and the claim that the success of science can be explained by her unique method looks decidedly precarious.

Why, drat, double drat, and even a triple drat!

(c.f. mitchellmckain above: "Modern science is NOT an institution but a methodology.", etc. passim)

Most of all, though, it just gets my tighty-whities in a twist that scientists, at least those who are aware of all this, continue to act in such a dishonest fashion; knowing full well there is no method of science, yet disingenuously perpetuating the myth of The Scientific Method to an unsuspecting Joe Sixpack and his seventeen kids all named Parker Bohn III.

Children were so much more well mannered when I was a boy.

Boo hiss! Get off!
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Re: The Conception of "real" in science and general discours

Postby CaryTyson on May 15th, 2018, 7:06 pm 

I can’t access the quotes either. But I don’t need to. Reg- the concept of the scientific method is not TOTALLY useless. Come on. It provides a framework for approaching questions and thoughts in a structured manner. Loosen up, boy. I agree there is no ONE “scientific method” but if you get the stick out of your butt (since you appreciate colorful imagery), you would (should) agree that the thought process that the concept of TSM informs is beneficial to structured, objective investigation. No?

Maybe I was just feeling left out and wanted you to jump on me. (Grin)
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