Sunday, March 12, 2017

False Premises and Logic- How Scientists Go Wrong

False Premises and Logic- How Scientists Go Wrong

Some self evident and axiomatic truths are surprisingly ignored by scientists, physicists in particular. The most flagrant and fundamental of these truths is this. Whatever actually surrounds our mind, whatever is beyond our minds on a time space continuum, before, beyond or after, we can only speculate. What came before our minds began to record memories, what happens after our minds cease to record memories, can only be assumed, no matter how likely  we believe the assumption to be.

What exists beyond the registration of our perceptions can only be speculation. What is obvious is that whatever is going on in our minds, it appears to be only a partial reflection, a fraction, of what is actually going on outside our minds. All of research and science is an attempt to know what happened before we began to have memories as individuals- and historical records as a society, what is presently going on beyond our present perceptions of the space and time we assume surrounds us, and what will happen to ourselves and the selves of future generations. We have developed magnificent instruments that appear to extend our senses to the far reaches of the cosmos. We have developed the means to record the behavior of what we deem to be the infinitesimal building blocks of all the matter we perceive, we have mapped the ocean floors and dug out the ruins of ancient civilizations all over the planet.

    Our desire to know the nature of the universe we presume surrounds us extends beyond the practicalities of controlling it to ensure our own survival. Long before we developed the modern technologies of research we have today, philosophers used the tools innate to their own humanity to speculate about the nature of the universe of which we are a part. This overwhelming curiosity of the intellect to know what is really happening around one's self as well as in one's self, is sometimes stronger an instinct than procreation and the pleasures of the senses, for men have been know to leave far behind all kinds of pleasure seeking and worldly affluence and self propagation so as to clear their minds and contemplate the truth of what it means to exist at all, what influences our existence and how can we ourselves influence our own experience towards the attainment of wisdom and peace of mind.

Having said all this, what remains is the indisputable fact that we know nothing for certain except our own assumptions. 

   Yes, I allow myself to say that I know for certain that I am seeing the color red, or listening to music, or feeling hunger or sad. I know the tenderness of holding a baby and I choose to believe with the same certainty that there is really a baby out there beyond my own skin, a baby with a mind that works very similarly to mine. These are the things I know, what my senses perceive without interpretation or assumption. I do recognize though, that I know these things because they exist in my mind and my mind is so constructed as to contain a dynamic and partial reflection of what surrounds my physical being.

       The fundamental truth ever remains that I truly only know the contents of my own mind and my mind is so constructed that I accept the reality of what I perceive around me as being there as much as I am. I also accept as fundamental knowledge that there is far more out there than I perceive with my senses. Curiosity is a primal instinct and it comes along with the primal knowing that there is more out there than meets the eyes, or can be heard or smelled or tasted or felt with the skin. The seeking after new sensations is what feeds our minds with new information about the world around us and is the process of learning itself.

      In the absence of pathology, the mind constructs itself with mathematical precision and is characterized for the most part, by an ever growing collection of coherent ideas. These ideas serve a tools in the acquirement of more ideas. The ideas one constructs about reading allow one to read new ideas. When we acquire a new idea, it comes together in our own mind as a duplication of an idea we might assume exists external to our own mind. It is as if there is knowledge out there which we assimilate in the process of learning. If what we experience in our own mind is an imperfect duplication of the idea "out there", we are unable to use it as a tool in the acquirement of more new ideas. Until our own mind duplicates exactly the knowledge deemed to be held in common, it is unlikely that we will be able to add to it, let alone make use of it for our own interests. We are all ignorant to some degree and helpless in some field of endeavor.

       One thing remains true, the laws of logic and language that dictate the construction of ideas, the rules of mathematics, determine to what degree ideas can be passed from one mind to another, because the laws of logic and mathematics are common to all minds. When there is a failure of logic in an idea, when an idea is incoherent, it is rejected by those who see in it faulty reasoning. Logic is as innate to the mind as the senses are to the body. It is logic that strings the perceptions of the body into strings of significance and weaves them together as experience, and then stores the experiences in the mind as memory.

      Logic allows us to extrapolate that when three dots appear in a sequence at the same intervals, it is logical to assume if a fourth dot appears, it will most likely do so at the same interval and the same angle of progression. This is fine as long as we don't insist on it's being true before it happens. When it does appear as we predict, we can be even more certain of the fifth dot doing the same. But when the sixth dot appears sooner than we expect and at a divergent angle, we must recognize our assumption about the pattern of the emerging dots is wrong.There was a fault in our logic and that fault is, one can never know the final nature of a pattern until it repeats itself and when it repeats itself as an exact duplicate, we can call it a pattern. How significant the pattern is can only be determined by the duration of its recurrence, its resonance with other patterns and its relevance to communication.

It is the enhancement of communication that determines the ultimate value of all pattern recognition.

     And so our minds share the same innate rules concerning their growth and resonance with other minds. Minds are constantly coming and going. Some resonate with many and some resonate with few. The less a mind is assumed to be logical and coherent in the fields of its endeavors, the less it will resonate with those in contact with it. Now it is completely possible and self evident that minds that congregate and communicate together as a group in what appears to the members of the group to be perfectly logical and coherent ideas, can be deemed by other groups to be illogical and incoherent. Groups don't always resonate with each other, and that is a significant understatement.

      Groups in which the members do resonate, through communication, become more homogeneous to the degree their communications with outsiders becomes limited. Differences dissipate and similarities spread. Cohesion strengthens and bonds are reinforced. This is particularly true for groups fighting for survival against outsiders who are trying to rid the world of such illogical, incoherent, and what is deemed to be of such- mentally pathological symptoms as those displayed by a group whose ideas are deemed illogical and unfounded on truthful experience and logical extrapolation from those experiences.

The Jews are a study for research of these phenomena.

    Their history and the development of their culture is founded on experiences that defy logic, on miracles. All of Judaism is based on the essential and fundamental premise that there were in the past, before our own memories came to be, men and women who were created by an intelligent deity that also created the universe that surrounds us all. The Jews believe that the world with the heavens around it was created by One God and that same God created man and endowed him with both logic and free choice. They believe that so started a narrative that continues till this day. They believe that it has been their duty to preserve that narrative as their highest calling, the reason for their existence. They believe that narrative to be a direct and faithful replication of what was communicated to their prophet Moses, by their Creator Deity.

    They have always admitted that they don't understand as a nation the full significance and implications of this sacred narrative and The Divine Laws they believe it contains. Their faith in the Divine value and ultimate historical importance of this narrative has weathered the trials and tribulations of 3500 years of its being challenged, in every torturous, sadistic, murderous, abusive, degrading, insulting way imaginable for individual Jews as an example before the nation and for vast amounts of members of the nation itself, Jews horrifically put to death, men, women and children across the ages.

      Yet with varying degrees of homogeneity, themselves split into sub groups with deep divisions between them selves in their interpretative doctrines of the Narratives significance, they are still here declaring an invisible God really spoke to their ancestors and told them something of absolute and extreme importance to humanity. Only problem is, they don't really know themselves any more how true the stories are, how to finally interpret them.

      The most orthodox of the Jews are the most homogeneous in outward appearances. They wear clothes that set them apart from the rest of humanity, clothes that are uniform and for the men and boys, lack any individual self expression. The most extreme of the orthodox believe that their only function in the world, is to learn how Moses's narrative as he recorded it from God, was interpreted by those who came after him. They readily profess that no one today can really comprehend the mysteries of Moses's revelation on Mount Sinai, they say its impossible to know the final truth of what Moses meant the Jews to do, other than wait for their Messiah to come, who will explain what it all means to them and the world. The most extreme of the Orthodox believe that nothing at all should be done by Jews except keep the Laws they believe in and study aforementioned interpretations. They deny the legitimacy of Zionism and ostracize any one who they believe tries to water down their fanatic adherence to practices that produce nothing of exchange value with the world around them. They believe themselves to be entitled to financial support from any source it comes from, including the Israeli government they deny the legitimacy of, though there is a minority among them that refuses government money and lives completely in poverty off charities.

     This hard core nucleus of self declared fatalist fanaticism grows exponentially because they marry very young in arranged marriages and have as many children as nature allows over the course of the woman's childbearing age. Around this fanatic nucleus of unwavering blind belief in events they have no personal memories of, these Jews are surrounded by a layer of similarly dressed ultra orthodox believers who are somewhat more open minded in their approach to the modern world. They see Israel as a means to the end of their financial support and would use The State of Israel in any way possible to further their own interests of expanding their influence over the nation as a whole. They are far more proactive and participate in politics as government Ministers. They are not Zionists but they are in active participation with Zionists in affairs of common interest to Jews as a nation. Like the most fanatic orthodox they don't interpret the rise of Israel after the holocaust as the realization of prophecies in The Hebrew Bible outwardly, but privately many of them seem to like the idea and even express a desire to see Israel flourish and prosper as the mostly secular state it is. And then there are the ultra religious Zionists who are few, and the less fanatic religious Jews who believe that the state of Israel is a sign of Israel's redemption and they are supposed to settle the lands God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the narrative written by Moses and even rebuild the Temple on The Temple Mount in Jerusalem. In the story these Jews tell themselves, they aren't supposed to wait for the messiah who probably isn't really coming anyway because things like that no loner happen and God helps those who help themselves. These Jews, while religious, are very rational and don't really believe in miracles where God breaks the laws of nature he created the world with. Many of them are scientists and doctors and lawyers and Zionists. And then there are the traditional Jews who believe the Jews are special as a people because they are after all an historical anomaly and the creation of Israel after the holocaust seems like something the God of The Jews would do, perhaps....they aren't too sure about the truth of the Bible stories but they are proud to be Jews and Israelis and unique among the nations.

     There are many non believing Jews who are simply patriotic Zionists, they don't believe in the Narrative of Moses and believe the Hebrew Bible to be a work of national myths, they might take pride in it as a contribution to western civilization but they find it boring and difficult to read themselves. Satire programs on television in Israel openly ridicule and scorn the Bible stories and those who believe in them. These shows are applauded by the many secular Jews in Israel who don't believe in God or destiny at all. They believe in science and the survival of the fittest and see themselves as being very fit by reason of their survival as secular .Jews. I have by no means exhausted the different kinds of groups among Jews and in Judaism.

       What I believe holds them all together despite their vast differences in faith, beliefs and narratives, is that they all share a belief that the Jews are unique as as a people and a historical phenomenon, albeit for different reasons, and this idea that they all belong to a unique nation is such a harmonizing idea in their minds. gives them so much significance and self value, that the resonance of this idea between them is of far greater power to cause them to coalesce than the repulsive energy of their mutual accusations that the other parties are irrational and lack integrity of mind.

That is what logic produces, integrity of mind.

     No matter how unfounded are one's initial premises, no matter how anti intuitive or against common sense are the propositions upon which one builds a paradigm of beliefs and ideas one adheres to, if there is internal logic- then doctrines and dogma will be adhered to, to the degree doing so maintains and enhances one's existing social relationships.

     If I accept the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and He came and gave his life so as to free me from sin, well then I am freed and will experience the logical emotional consequence which is a great feeling of relief at my release from the burden of guilt and the consequences of my sins. It makes perfect sense that once I choose to believe in the foundation premise other people believe in and then experience the same emotional consequence of such a belief, we will resonate with each other and become a group that attracts any one else seeking such release and relief. In order to feel a release from pain or to prevent the pain of disillusion and the loss of social integration with a group with which one no longer shares beliefs, or have a chance of happiness, people will believe the most outrageous things imaginable.

        Those who credit themselves as being too objective and intelligent and scientific and rational and don't consider themselves capable of adhering to outlandish beliefs that have no logical foundation adhere to that very same belief despite glaring evidence that their theories and formulas and equations simply don't make sense in light of recent evidence gleaned in laboratories and from instrumental registrations of what is going on in deep space.

    The observations of the workings of the mind are the principles of logic and logic describes how the mind works, not the universe.

     For a long time, logic and math seemed to describe very efficiently that part of the universe which is reflected in our own minds. So much so that philosophers and scientists assumed that the workings of the mind and the universe are the same. Therefor it seemed to make sense that man's mind is potentially capable of understanding completely the workings of the universe. At the same time many scientists believed and believe today, that the universe exists in complete independence of the mind that perceives it and operates on the mind's logic without the mind being involved or party to the external reality that gave birth to the mind, because that independent external reality existed and came together countless eons before the mind did.

       Despite all the implicit fine tuned order in the universe it still doesn't obey the theorems of modern science in a way that makes consistent coherent sense. Every time they think they have figured out a formula to predict the recurrence of a pattern they have observed on one scale of matter, matter behaves differently, anyway. Despite their use of the intelligence of their own minds to figure out the universe that they believe gives birth to their minds, they won't concede that the universe's intelligence is greater than their own and might not be subject to the same logic and math that governs human minds.

      The thinking of secular scientists, of atheists who believe in science but not an intelligent universe, of those who believe that chaos gives birth to reason that can then encompass and comprehend the inconceivable chaos of a purposeless and innately meaningless universe, the thinking of these people is founded on irrational premises, the first being that logic and mathematics describes anything but the working of the human mind and how it processes information about whatever there is around it. Whatever it is that surrounds the human mind outside it, can't be known as it never makes full entrance into the mind without shedding it's substance and assuming symbols of sensation that can only superficially represent what is really going on out there.

        The color red represents a reality of a postulated wavelength "out there" like the word tree represents a reality out there. No matter what one does with the letters of the word tree, one knows nothing at all of the true nature of a tree outside one's mind. We only know the tree that enters our mind as a collection of symbolic perceptions and then we can stick the word tree on that package of perceptions and then only assume that that has anything to do with what is going on out there. No one has a clue what the wavelength of the color red is really like out there, as a reality that can be perceived as itself. The color red is neither particles or waves. It is a sensation that acts as a symbol for what we presume is a character of electromagnetic waves that don't exist as such in our minds, but represents these waves we presume exist outside our minds and even in our brains. Red doesn't exist in any way we can imagine it as such, except as a property of the mind we share with others as we share the mechanism of logic that hold our minds together.

A Catastrophic Tragedy. Maybe Not!


Jonathan Michael Robbins

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יונתן מיכאל רבינס

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