Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2007, 10:24:34 pm »
Drm970 wrote: That's true. But we cannot possibly know something doesn't have an overdetermined supernatural explanation without being omniscient either. Not much follows.



Is there any scenario in which every potential natural explanation can be ruled out?
I would say no, and you would seem to agree, as to make such a statement one must be omniscient.
Therefore one cannot prove the supernatural as a cause for any event through PE, as the OP's .pdf suggests.

While we are able to rationally conclude a phenomena is of natural origin when we have repeatable methods and empirical data demonstrating an effect of a natural mechanic, can the same be said for the supernatural?
Since PE fails as a method for proving the supernatural, is there some other method by which we may logically arrive at a supernatural cause?
Serious as a heart attack...
... and twice as deadly.

1

Drm970

  • Guest
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2007, 10:50:09 pm »
I don't agree necessarily. If some phenomenon runs contrary to the deliverances of an established physical theory, we would be rational in ruling out natural explanations for that phenomenon. We could always say that some other understanding of what it is to be "natural" would account for said phenomenon naturally, but then the analogous fact is that we could always await some account of the universe where "natural" phenomenon becomes "supernatural."

A rational methodology is not a methodology of certainty, or should not be, in any case. We could rationally conclude something was of supernatural origin and be wrong about it. The same goes for the natural. In fact, the same goes for every area of inquiry and almost every type of explanation.


2

steve hinrichs

  • **
  • 25 Posts
    • View Profile
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2007, 11:34:11 pm »
Proof by elimination (PE) is the key logical principal of science.  PE is valid for natural or supernatural if the evidence and reasoning is there to rule out all hypothesis except for one.  There is no other logical concept that can do what PE does for science.  In other words, without PE there can be no logical basis to determine somehting true through science.

PE does not fail.  The failure is in the lack of reasoning or evidence to rule out all other hypothesis.





3

steve hinrichs

  • **
  • 25 Posts
    • View Profile
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2007, 11:37:58 pm »

In the Incarnation forum I do have a post "Messianic Prophecy" where I do provide reasoning to show that I have considered all possible natural explanations.  I will not debate it here, but will debate it there. Here is the place to debate the general method not a specifc argument about real evidence.


4

steve hinrichs

  • **
  • 25 Posts
    • View Profile
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2007, 06:10:22 am »

As explained in Ref. 1, scientist typically go through a process of eliminating false hypothesis. According to proof by elimination "PE", if there is an all-natural theory that explains a certain real event and all other possible natural hypothesis for explaining that certain event are false except for one specific natural hypothesis, then this one remaining non-false natural hypothesis is the correct theory. The approach for identifying supernatural intervention proposed in my article makes use of this logical principle, by just extending it to the case where there is no plausible natural hypothesis. If there is a correct hypothesis and all possible natural hypothesis for explaining a certain real event are false, then there is a logical argument that the cause involves non-natural phenomenon; thus, the supernatural was involved with causing the event to occur.


5
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2007, 06:44:44 am »
rrr333 wrote:
PE does not fail.  The failure is in the lack of reasoning or evidence to rule out all other hypothesis.



I was saying that PE fails to prove the supernatural in any instance for the reason you just stated: "lack of reasoning or evidence to rule out all other hypothesis".

Essentially, this is my point:
1. PE is only valid where every explanation can be ruled out except for one.
2. In order to rule out every potential natural explanation, man would have to know every single mechanic, law, force, and phenomenon in nature and would need to know that there are no others... essentially being omniscient.
3.  Man does not know every single mechanic, law, force, and phenomenon in nature, and if he did he would not know for certain that no others exist, for he is not omniscient.
4. Therefore man cannot use PE to prove the supernatural occurred in any circumstance.
Serious as a heart attack...
... and twice as deadly.

6
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2007, 06:51:39 am »
rrr333 wrote:

As explained in Ref. 1, scientist typically go through a process of eliminating false hypothesis. According to proof by elimination "PE", if there is an all-natural theory that explains a certain real event and all other possible natural hypothesis for explaining that certain event are false except for one specific natural hypothesis, then this one remaining non-false natural hypothesis is the correct theory. The approach for identifying supernatural intervention proposed in my article makes use of this logical principle, by just extending it to the case where there is no plausible natural hypothesis. If there is a correct hypothesis and all possible natural hypothesis for explaining a certain real event are false, then there is a logical argument that the cause involves non-natural phenomenon; thus, the supernatural was involved with causing the event to occur.




The problem is we can make probability statements regarding the natural, but we cannot do so for the supernatural.

As an example, I can cast a standard six-sided die.  If I tell you it does not land on one, two, three, five, or six it would not be an unreasonable assumption to assume that it landed on side four, as that is by far more probable than the die balancing on an edge, corner, or all of its molecules suddenly disappearing or rearranging themselves into a non-die object (though theoretically there is always a non-zero chance of this happening).
However, how can one measure the relative probability between the natural and supernatural, even given the statistically unfavorable result of the die balancing on a corner with every cast?  We can say that it naturally COULD occur, though the odds may be one in trillions.
Serious as a heart attack...
... and twice as deadly.

7

steve hinrichs

  • **
  • 25 Posts
    • View Profile
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2007, 07:49:22 am »
References

1.   http://sites.google.com/site/s2hinrichs/jesustomb1.pdf
2.   http://sites.google.com/site/s2hinrichs/spntid1.pdf
3.   http://sites.google.com/site/s2hinrichs/critic71.pdf
4.   http://sites.google.com/site/s2hinrichs/reason1.pdf

There are phenomenon such as discrete phenomenon that require just a finite analysis to consider all possible explanations.  There are phenomenon such as continuous phenomenon that could require an infinite analysis or knowledge to consider all possible explanations.  So while it may be true for some cases this it is not possible to consider all possible explanations, there also may be cases where it is possible to consider all possible explanations.  So it is not appropriate to generally say it is never possible to consider all possible explanations.  That is just useless generalizing.  Rather scientist should focus the discussion on understanding what type of problems require finite knowledge or analysis and what type require all knowledge which humans do not have. 

It is true the probability for the supernatural occurring cannot be directly calculated.  But by PE it is not required to calculate the probability of the supernatural to determine if the supernatural has intervened.  In fact it is common for science in evaluating just natural phenomenon to not calculate the probability for something occurring, rather the probability is calculated for the other natural alternatives occurring.  If the other natural alternatives are all shown to have a low probability, then an inference through PE is made that the remaining explanation must be true. 

For example, Plate tectonics or the movement of the continental plates was inferred by probability before there was any known evidence that the continental plates were moving.  I have read this was accomplished by calculating a nonextont probability of ~0.000001 (not a extont probability) for the match between the shapes of the continents in how they would have fit together as Pangaea, the original super continent.  So the probability of Pangaea forming was not and could not be calculated.  Rather the probability of the alternative explanation (just a coincidence of the perimeters matching) was calculated to be small inferring Pangaea. So in the same way supernatural intervention could be inferred in a valid way without directly calculating the probability for the supernatural occurring.   Section 4.3 of Ref. 1 explains why for probabilities of the nonextont type, the probability for something true cannot be calculated rather only the probabilities for the alternative being false can be calculated.  This is done all the time in valid natural science, so not being able to the calculate the probability for the supernatural does bnot make it impossible to show by science that the supernatural intervened.

The false reasoning, we do not know everything; therefore, we cannot determine anything is true can be applied to not just the supernatural, but also the natural.  Often Religious fundamentalist claim this when they say, “well, the universe may really by just thousands of years old like archbishop usher thought rather than billions, because we do not know everything and we may someday discover something new that proves it.”  All the stars in the universe could come together and spell out spell out “God Exists” and SRH could just say  “we do not know everything; therefore, we cannot determine anything about the supernatural is true”; therefore, I will not believe the supernatural intervened.  A 1 ton object could float up on Earth by command of a Guru and SRH would not believe the supernatural intervened even though it has been verified that the air nor any other natural field of force such as electrical or magnetic caused it. 

Whether from naturalist or supernaturalist I know Science does not have an interest in these types of approaches that are what I have documented as artificial invincible defense in Section 5.4 of Ref. 4.  They are not falsifiable.  The famous Philosopher of Science, Popper, was famous for pointing out that unfalsifiable approaches do not belong to science.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 10:41:30 am by steve hinrichs »

8

steve hinrichs

  • **
  • 25 Posts
    • View Profile
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2007, 07:51:47 am »
Section 5.4 of Ref. 4

5.4   Presuppositionalism and Invincible Artificial Defenses

Trying to use PE to prove something true about reality is an approach that really tries to make a case for something about reality with the least amount of assumptions about reality. The two assumption that PE makes is that there is a correct theory about the reality being considered and reality is self-consistent. Without this assumption, it would be impossible to develop a logical argument for anything about reality. Thus, PE involves the most minimal assumptions about reality, in other words, it make the most minimal amount of presuppositions.

Arguments for reality that do not make the most minimal amount of assumptions about reality, presume as true things that may not be necessary for determining the truth about some reality. Presuppositionalism is a category that describes these approaches where extra unnecessary assumptions are made for determining true something about reality. For example, a Presuppositionalist would assume planetary orbits were circular before making sure that the orbits did not follow another pattern such as an ellipse. A Presuppositionalist is one who gives presuppositions priority over the implications of observations. For an extreme example, if one presumed there were six apples in a basket and after seeing there were only four in the basket, still believed there were six in the basket, then he would be thinking as a Presuppositionalist. An unbiased scientist is one who tries to minimize presuppositions and tries as best possible to use logic such as PE and observations to determine the truth about reality. Note the "unbiased" adjective because there are those who claim to be scientists but are biased.

Presuppositionalism is quite common in many different parts of human society. Presuppositionalist often use invincible approaches to maintain their beliefs. A good sign of a Presuppositionalist is an unwillingness to admit to or follow legitimate rational criterion for determining (especially their personally preferred) hypotheses false. Not adhering to the implications of legitimate criterion for determining hypotheses false is an approach that allows one's beliefs to be disconnected from observations of reality that would imply their belief false. This could allow one to maintain their belief regardless of what is real; thus, such an approach would be invincible. This makes such approaches tempting because one can maintain the position they personally prefer. However, such approaches do not involve legitimate reasoning, in fact such approaches avoid legitimate reasoning because they are unfalsifiable, so such approaches are called Artificial Invincible Defenses. Scientific approaches are supposed to be falsifiable and open to consideration of any data that might show a hypothesis wrong. Thus, invincible or unfalsifiable approaches for the hypothesis selection process for determining belief do not deserve to be considered as scientific approaches. Popper is a philosopher who is famous for promoting the idea that the scientific process should be falsifiable (Ref. 6).

Humans are often highly motivated and when the motivation is for a good cause, the motivation can be a good thing. However, motivation can also make one biased in their hypothesis selection process for determining belief. For example, often people want to maintain a certain beliefs for personal reasons because of the consequence from changing their beliefs such as negative emotions. For example, they may want to be able to deny they have a problem such as alcoholism when it would be painful to admit it. Often in these cases in order to maintain their belief, people develop an artificial invincible defense where they can avoid the implications of the evidence. For example, they may claim there is no reason to believe any scientific argument that contradicts their personally preferred beliefs.

If someone is not interested in questioning their presuppositions when they can question them, then it is at least questionable what is their primary motivating interest; a personal interest of wanting to hold onto their presuppositions or an objective interest in determining the truth.

I do not think anybody is a perfect Presuppositionalist or unbiased scientist; however, I think a honest thing to do whenever one is considering their beliefs is to honestly ask if they are thinking more like a Presuppositionalist or an unbiased scientist. This should give better insight into themselves as they better understand their own presuppositions and why they hold onto them.



9
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2007, 12:55:01 pm »

I think you misunderstand my points of conflict with your argument.
Let me first say we are in agreement that when every potential explanation except for one can be eliminated, the remainder must be true.  I do not contest that in the least.
I therefore agree that PE in theory is perfectly sound.
I, however, believe that in most instances possibilities cannot be absolutely ruled out, but only found to be of low probability (often astronomically so).  However, PE still remains a powerful tool for establishing knowledge, as you can still say that the remaining choice is vastly likely to be true, so long as you can establish relatively likelihoods.
Additionally I do not think we can possibly know every possible explanation for a given phenomena without infinite knowledge, unless we introduce some arbitrary constraints.
Because of this I find PE to only be useful in instances where the mechanics are generally understood.

However, before we can have a useful dialog I will need you to provide your definition of "supernatural".


rrr333 wrote:

There are phenomenon such as discrete phenomenon that require just a finite analysis to consider all possible explanations.



Could you provide an example?  Your analogy with the cubes seems to me flawed, as you introduce the arbitrary constraint that the explanation must involve cubes of a certain dimension.  Were you not to make this assumption that the box contains cubes in the first place, the number of possible contents would approach the infinite.


rrr333 wrote: There are phenomenon such as continuous phenomenon that could require an infinite analysis or knowledge to consider all possible explanations.



I personally do not believe that is true, as I expect both time and matter to be at the most fundamental level discrete, I will agree that for all practical purposes the number of permutations is infinite.


rrr333 wrote:

It is true the probability for the supernatural occurring cannot be directly calculated.  But by PE it is not required to calculate the probability of the supernatural to determine if the supernatural has intervened.  In fact it is common for science in evaluating just natural phenomenon to not calculate the probability for something occurring, rather the probability is calculated for the other natural alternatives occurring.  If the other natural alternatives are all shown to have a low probability, then an inference through PE is made that the remaining explanation must be true.



All I can say to this is that I hope it is not actually accepted practice, for it is absurdly wrong.  If the odds of all other alternatives are 10%, clearly the remaining explanation has 90% probability, and therefore it would be inaccurate to say that it "must be true".  


rrr333 wrote: So in the same way supernatural intervention could be inferred in a valid way without directly calculating the probability for the supernatural occurring.



Only if man knew all of nature.  Otherwise the unknown is all that could be inferred in a valid way.


rrr333 wrote:

The false reasoning, we do not know everything; therefore, we cannot determine anything is true can be applied to not just the supernatural, but also the natural.  Often Religious fundamentalist claim this when they say, “well, the universe may really by just thousands of years old like archbishop usher thought rather than billions, because we do not know everything and we may someday discover something new that proves it.”



That reasoning is perfectly sound, though utterly impractical.  Hence why it always falls to probabilities to determine what is likely an accurate reflection of reality, though we may never be absolutely certain.


rrr333 wrote: A 1 ton object could float up on Earth by command of a Guru and SRH would not believe the supernatural intervened even though it has been verified that the air nor any other natural field of force such as electrical or magnetic caused it.



That is no other KNOWN natural field of force caused it.  Again, I sense that our disagreement may only be arising on semantical grounds, and for that reason would like to hear your definition of "supernatural".  If you use supernatural and unknown interchangeably we are actually in agreement.



Serious as a heart attack...
... and twice as deadly.

10

steve hinrichs

  • **
  • 25 Posts
    • View Profile
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #40 on: November 23, 2007, 08:15:06 am »
The definition of the supernatural is obvious, that which is not natural.  Whether or not the supernatural is known depends upon whether or not there is evidence for supernatural intervention.

One can call any hypothetical example arbitrary.  The cube example is fine for making the point.  It is not wrong to categorize extont and nonextont probabilities.  The categories as explained below have a logical basis.

SRH or anybody else can build an invincible defense for dismissing any claim with the reasoning, we do not know everything; therefore, we cannot determine anything is true.  This reasoning does not interests scientist because it is unfalsifiable; therefore, I label it an artificial invincible defense that SRH appears to have an interest in using in this discussion so I see no evidence of SRH interest in investigating the question of supernatural intervention scientifically.  In Ref 2, I presented the scientific approach for determining if the supernatural has intervened and SRH has dismissed it.

If all the stars in the universe except our sun coalesced in the sky and spelt “SRH God exist”, SRH could still dismiss this evidence by an artificial invincible defense.  Until SRH presents some approach that is not invincible to even the most extreme hypothetical example, then there is no reason for one to think that SRH has more than an artificial interest in determining if the supernatural has intervened.

References
1.   http://sites.google.com/site/s2hinrichs/jesustomb1.pdf
2.   http://sites.google.com/site/s2hinrichs/spntid1.pdf
3.   http://sites.google.com/site/s2hinrichs/critic71.pdf
4.   http://sites.google.com/site/s2hinrichs/reason1.pdf

« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 10:37:47 am by steve hinrichs »

11

steve hinrichs

  • **
  • 25 Posts
    • View Profile
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #41 on: November 23, 2007, 08:18:21 am »

Excerpt from Ref. 1.

1.1     Initial Probability Description

This section discusses what I call the initial probability, but the more technical terminology is the naïve probability or prior probability.  This probability is just a basic probability not modified by conditions.  It is called the initial probability because it is the first probability calculation.  Subsequently it may be adjusted to produce the final probability.   There are two different types of basic probabilities which I call the extont and nonextont probability.  They are based on the two different types of finite probability sample spaces.  Extont probability as explained in Section 4.3.1 is based on a sample space that consists of outcomes that existed.  Nonextont probability as explained in Section 4.3.2  is based on a sample space that consist of outcomes that did not necessarily existed, but could have occurred.  

1.1.1     Extont Probability

The extont probability is based on a sample space that consists of a set of outcomes that occurred or are expected to have occurred.  The extont probability is calculated by dividing the number of actual outcomes that qualify as matching by the number of all the outcomes that could have occurred or are expected to have occurred.  It is the probability that a certain item is a specific unique item out of possible set of items which does contain that specific unique item.  In the following discussion are examples of extont probabilities.

Consider the case where there are 10 balls in a bucket labeled 1 through 10.  So these 10 possible outcomes all exist.  Suppose you randomly select a ball out of the bucket, the extont probability that it is ball #5 is 10%.  In this example there is 100% certainty that ball #5 and the other 9 balls do exist in the bucket so the probability is the extont type.  

Consider the case where you see two identical ossuaries both inscribed with Jesus son of Joseph and you know for sure one of them contains the Gospel Jesus.  In this case the extont probability that one of them contains the Gospel Jesus is 50%.  

The extont probability is the probability of one specific outcome divided by the sum of the probability of all the possible outcomes which do exist or occurred.  So the extont probability is a percentage that the probability for one outcome is of a total probability.  If the total probability is a measure of all the outcomes that exist or occurred, then the extont probability is a direct measure the % chance of a identifying a specific outcome.  Thus, only with extont probability is it appropriate to state the odds such as 2:1 for something being true or 1:2 against something being true.

1.1.2     Nonextont Probability

The nonextont probability is based on a sample space that consists of a set of outcomes that could occur, but did not necessarily occur.  The nonextont probability is calculated by dividing the number of potential outcomes that qualify as matching by the number of outcomes that could have occurred.  Since the nonextont probability is not based on a sample space of outcomes that existed or occurred, there is no direction relation of the nonextont probability to the chance of something being true.  In the following discussion are examples of nonextont probabilities.

Assume no special natural phenomenon occurring.  Consider you are investigated a coin and flipped it many times and found it to land 50% of the times head and 50% tales.  Then your friend came along and said by his supernatural powers he could make it land heads every time.  So you flip it once and it lands head.  The chance for this is a nonextont probability of 0.500.  So is 0.500 nonextont probability enough evidence to be convinced that your friend is supernaturally causing the coin to land heads?  Obviously not because a nonextont probability of 0.500 for an event means the event is just about what is expected to occur in a perfectly random world.  What if you flipped it again and it lands head a second time in a row?  The  chance for this set of events is a nonextont probability of 0.250.  Three times would be 0.125 etc ....  The chance is one divided by the number of the possible permutations which keep growing as you do more coin flips.  We often observe many events with probabilities quite low and do not assume the match was not just a random occurrence.  

The following is an example of the value of a nonextont probability that the whole world can appreciate.  Plate tectonics or the movement of the continental plates was inferred by probability before there was any known evidence that the continental plates were moving.  I have read this was accomplished by calculating a nonextont probability of ~0.000001 (not a extont probability) for the match between the shapes of the continents in how they would have fit together as Pangaea, the original super continent.  This is a one time event that has no freedom for biased selection of opportunities for matches, but there would be some subjectivity in interpreting how well the contour of the edges matched. In fact this was the initial clue that got the scientist looking for more evidence for continental plate movement and they sure found plenty of corroborating evidence.  

So the nonextont probability is just the probability of a match occurring by random.  The value for the nonextont probability is not directly related to something being true.  However, the smaller the nonextont probability for a certain hypothesis, the greater the chance for that hypothesis being false.  Also, nonextont probability argument strengths can be compared directly be comparing the nonextont probability values.

1.1.3     Comparison of Extont and Nonextont Probability

For both the extont and nonextont probability, the evidence is evaluated based on how well the evidence matches with the item the theory is trying to identify.  For the extont probability, the probability calculation is based on a sample space of outcomes that existed or occurred or are expected to have existed or occurred.  For the nonextont probability the probability calculation is based on a sample space of outcomes that could have occurred, but did not necessarily occur.  This difference makes the meaning of the value for the extont probability quite different from the meaning of the value for the nonextont probability.  As explained in Section 4.3.1, the value for the extont probability can be directly related to the chance of a hypothesis being true.  As long as the extont probability is less than 0.50 there is no justification for claiming the hypothesis is true.  The more the extont probability is over 0.50 and closer to 1.00 the more justification for claiming the hypothesis is true or the greater the argument strength.  As explained in Section 4.3.2, the value for the nonextont probability is not directly related to the chance of a hypothesis being true.  However, the smaller the nonextont probability for a certain hypothesis, the greater the chance for that hypothesis being false.  Thus, the higher the extont probability value, the stronger the argument that something is true and the lower the nonextont probability the stronger the argument that something is false.

The extont and nonextont probability types are the two basic type of probabilities so they cover the two basic ways of probabilistic analysis.  Both are important and are suited for addressing different issues.  If you are trying to identify something that you know exists, then the extont probability is appropriate because you can calculate the chance of the thing you found is that unique thing of interest.  For a sample space of things that exist, one can also calculate a nonextont probability; however, it would not be as useful as the extont probability because the value of the nonextont probability cannot be directly related to the chance that you have actually identified the unique item of interest.  If you are trying to check if something exist, then the nonextont probability is more appropriate because it does not assume the thing exists.  It is a calculation for the chance of the thing found matching the item of interest.  If there is a low nonextont probability of the thing not existing, then an inference can be made that the thing must exists.  An extont probability cannot be calculated for the chance of
    finding something existing whose probability for existence is unknown, because the total probability for the sample space would not be related to probability for something existing.  However, it would be conservative to assume the item of interest does exist and calculate a probability assuming it is part of a sample space of other similar items that are known to exist.  Thus, one could calculate a conservative estimate for the extont probability for identifying the item of interest.  One could assume the probability for existence which is the Fgj factor mentioned in Section 5.1.1; however, the Fgj value could be arbitrary.  The true strength can be no greater than that determined by a correct conservative extont probability calculation.

1.2     Inductive Reasoning using Proof by Elimination

Inductive reasoning uses probabilities and logic so the arguments typically never have 100% certainty.  Deductive reasoning just uses logic so the arguments typically have 100% certainty.  However, for any argument about something in reality being true, there is usually always some uncertainty.  Since the nonextont probability is not directly related to something being true, the question is how can it be used to determining if something is true.  Well the key theory used in science for determining if something is true is proof by elimination (PE).  This logical concept is explained fully in Ref. 4 and 20.  If there is a theory that describes a certain reality and all possible hypothesis for explaining that certain reality are false except for one hypothesis, then PE implies that this one non-false hypothesis is true. For example, if there were 10 different possible hypothesis for explaining a certain event and it was shown that 9 out of the 10 were implausible, implying they were false, then there would be a logical case that the one remaining plausible hypothesis is true.

Science typically does not prove anything true directly.  It only shows things false directly by showing an explanation has a low probability so it is implausible.  The way to show something true through science is to show all other possible explanations false implying the one remaining explanation must be true.  The is called proof be elimination.  In dealing with nonextont probabilities there is no definite way to define the % chance of something being true.  It is just the chance of something occurring by random.  The smaller the chance for something happening, the more likely a theory that it happened by chance is false.  

As explained in Ref. 4, in my experience scientist are not even interested in dismissing that a match occurred by random unless the nonextont probability is less than 0.01.  A significant match would be less than 0.0001 and a compelling match would be 0.000001.  If you want to see an objective way of determining this nonextont probability threshold read my explanation in Ref. 4 Section 2.2.5.  It basically depends upon the amount of  potential for theories inferred true to contradict that you are willing to accept.  

For example, in the coin flipping example in section 4.3.2 of just two heads in a row, obviously the 25% chance of this occurring by random does not mean that the chance of supernatural involvement is 75% or that there is a 75% chance of somehow a double headed coin was snuck in.  If you considered 25% chance as the threshold, then if you reran the hypothetical example of two flip coins many times, you would conclude 25% of the time the supernatural intervened and 75% of the time it did not.  This shows if you want an approach the does not make false conclusions or contradictions, then you would use very low probability thresholds for determining something false in order to get the point of determining something true by the process of elimination.

If you show an explanation has a logical contradiction, then consider it as having a zero probability for being true and 100% probability for being false.  Contradiction cannot be true.  Scientist do not like approaches that are likely to produce contradictions because they know that two things that contradict cannot both be true.  So they use low probabilities threshold for determining something false, so that way they will not mistakenly infer something is true that is false.  This applies to nonextont probabilities, the threshold is different for extont probabilities.

If you are 100% sure that your objective analysis has considered all possible explanations and you have correctly shown that all possible explanation except one has a low nonextont probability, then the nonextont probability is a
   measure of how much you have reduced the risk of being wrong that the one remaining explanation is the true explanation.

In Matthew 12:25-29 the Gospel Jesus uses the idea of proof be elimination to respond to the Pharisees who claimed that Jesus cast out demons by using Satan’s power.  Jesus explains that a partner of Satan would not cast out Satan’s demons; thus, Jesus power must not be from Satan.


12
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2007, 12:27:29 pm »
rrr333 wrote:

The definition of the supernatural is obvious, that which is not natural.  Whether or not the supernatural is known depends upon whether or not there is evidence for supernatural intervention.


Ah!  But this is my core question!
If we have direct evidence for supernatural intervention we do not need to resort to PE.
Your definition remains vague, if you just define it as that which is not natural, you must define natural as well.  What would be an example of evidence for the supernatural?

rrr333 wrote:

One can call any hypothetical example arbitrary.  The cube example is fine for making the point.  It is not wrong to categorize extont and nonextont probabilities.  The categories as explained below have a logical basis.

SRH or anybody else can build an invincible defense for dismissing any claim with the reasoning, we do not know everything; therefore, we cannot determine anything is true.  This reasoning does not interests scientist because it is unfalsifiable; therefore, I label it an artificial invincible defense that SRH appears to have an interest in using in this discussion so I see no evidence of SRH interest in investigating the question of supernatural intervention scientifically.  In Ref 2, I presented the scientific approach for determining if the supernatural has intervened and SRH has dismissed it.



It is true that we cannot know anything with utter certainty... as even our senses are given to failure.  Of course solipsism is not a practical philosophy, so it is sensible and reasonable to grant some base assumptions in order to operate in our world.

Given this most fundamental assumption, that our senses on average accurately reflect reality, we can base all empirical science.

We run into a problem, as the supernatural is not a question of observation, but rather causality.  A rock flying through the air is not supernatural, but the force ultimately responsible for it may be.  Empirical science cannot collect relevant data, so it cannot make any statements regarding relative probabilities.



rrr333 wrote:

If all the stars in the universe except our sun coalesced in the sky and spelt “SRH God exist”, SRH could still dismiss this evidence by an artificial invincible defense.  Until SRH presents some approach that is not invincible to even the most extreme hypothetical example, then there is no reason for one to think that SRH has more than an artificial interest in determining if the supernatural has intervened.




Given these circumstances I would first ask others if they could see the same thing, as I would question the reliability of my own senses.  If I establish that I am indeed seeing what is actually there, I will have determined that some being or force capable of manipulating light, moving stars, or blotting out others and creating artificial points of light has sent someone or something called SRH a message, though the truth of the message could not so easily be determined.
Serious as a heart attack...
... and twice as deadly.

13
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2007, 09:56:52 pm »

Supernatural or not, thats a very intence proability... by chance, anyone know the chance of jesus predicting his resurection n it happning? concidering it was exactly right with how many days ect.

I'll take the rapture for 100$ alex.

14
Rational Methodology for Identifying Supernatural Intervention
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2007, 10:21:49 pm »

A long shot, but wouldnt supernatural be something Science can never be able to have a reason for? I mean look at the word, Super- more, extream, Natural- occurs in nature, thus bound by physics, quantum physics, math, and in general all of the Laws of the universe. Something that ecced's the abilities of rationalization, that we could never possibly be able to explain, such as how god has always existed, or "popped" into existance. If a tennis ball levitated n hit you in the head, supernatural, science cant explain that... but if someone hurdles a tennis ball at you, u have intertia, gravity, accelleration, mass, ect. in account, heres the kicker, is teh conscience natural? You cant touch it, you cant even describe where it is... its like a non-existant existance...

I'll take the rapture for 100$ alex.