Saturday, December 13, 2008

Godel and Falsifiability of Evolution

Falsifiability in science is a very important concept. For me, a scientific theory deserves serious consideration only if it is falsifiable. Simply put, assume the theory to be false, can we have a method of verifying this physically by experiment or observation? OK, I am Popperian ( Karl Popper another Lutheran) in this regard, I offer no apologies and not ashamed of it because I believe his requirement of falsifiability is common sense.

Example of what is falsifiable: Theory of Gravity: It says what goes up must come down ( spinning wheel ... I won't sing it). Assume this theory is false, is there a way of confirming its falsehood? Yes, throw an object in the air and if it does not land down, you can say - heck Newton was wrong. Ergo: Theory of Gravity is scientific.

Take the case of Theory of Evolution - is this falsifiable? No. There is no physical method of validating its falsehood. Why? You need ions and ions of time and by that time, the experimenter is already dead before he sees evidence of this. So, sorry this is not science. I don't buy it for that reason - it does not meet falsifiability. There is no physical way of observing this phenomenon in action

Aha, but maybe there is!

Enter Kurt Godel (my patron logician - see my picture? another Lutheran , OK you get it I am biased). Godel brought Einstein's Theory of Relativity (ETR) to its final conclusion. Godel calculated that by virtue of ETR, it is possible to do time travel, if you travel at the speed of light.

So how does Godel help falsifiability of Evolution?

Simple, we ask the Evolutionary Theorist when she thought a particular specie evolved to another - she says , this happened according to carbon dating, for the sake of argument, 10Billion years ago.

Easy. We set the time machine to year = -10,000,000,000 years and go there and observe Evolution in action. You can even see that specie giving birth and even die.

Sounds good? Ya with me? No? You think this is nonsense? Well at least deep nonsense.

41 comments:

steve martin said...

Good stuff, LPC!

Personally, I am more inclined to believe in devolution...when I look at human history and when I look in the mirror...I am more and more convinced.

L P Cruz said...

That is my naive rendition of Popper and Godel.

Hope it is understandable. I think lay men get sucked into Evolutionary Theory because they do not know the scientific issues.

LPC

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Evolution isn't Science?

My, you ¨Murcans a r e in trouble!

L P Cruz said...

Evolution isn't Science?

My, you ¨Murcans a r e in trouble!


Do you have a method of falsifying Evolution? I want to hear it.

Trouble? With whom? Evolution is a modern theory, ancient people were ignorant of it and got along with life well.

Try to say something even half intelligent before buggering off.

LPC

Raggedy Lamb said...

I was wondering why you changed your photo!

I peek in here a lot, though I have to admit I can hardly keep up with much of the insights or discussion. ;-)

Am very thankful for your blog!

L P Cruz said...

RL,

Some people in the net could not detect my gender based on the 3 year old photo and my age. I am in my early 50s and I do not know if I should be insulted or take it a complement when folk think I am only late 30s.

They do not click on the profile.

I reverted to Godel's photo to help with that and to inspire me to get on finishing my studies. I will get a more recent photo one day.

Am very thankful for your blog!

You are the kind of people I write for, you are worth the time and effort, thank you too.

Shalom,

LPC

Past Elder said...

Theoretically it sounds good.

However, you know how we are, I have some suggestions for further though.

1) Let us assume time travel is possible at the speed of light. However, unlike light, we are not able to attain anything even remotely close to the speed of light, nor is there any indication of our being able to do so in the future. Can we therefore speak of time travel at the speed of light as a falsifiable proposition?

2) The only thing we know of that travels at the speed of light is light. Light behaves both as a beam and a particle, which is outside our experience. If we were able to attain the speed of light, would our material condition be such as to allow us to make obervations, and if we can not say except theoretically, does that become not falsifiable too?

3) Can we also apply the logical principle of post hoc ergo propter hoc to this matter -- that it is a logical error to think that because one even happened after another that the second was because of the first; causation if posited, not proven.

On a related matter, if matter and energy are related across the speed of light, would it not be scientific, not necessaily in the sense of falsifiable, but in the sense of consistent with what we know, to think that a massive disruption of the normal operation of matter, like say a resurrection from the dead, would at the same time involve a massive disruption in its temporal occurence, like say a presence in, with, and under bread and wine. IOW, does relativity support the Real Presence?

L P Cruz said...

PE,

Nicely done! Great points. I hope we can state the issue on the level with our lay bros and sis reading this so they can participate.

Can we therefore speak of time travel at the speed of light as a falsifiable proposition?

Good point! From what I read, philosophers are mad about Godel because he proved mathematically that time is an ideal, it does not exists if ETR is true. So mathematically, calculations are heading towards the non-existence of time. So falsifiable only mathematically, but not physically, so falling short still of Popperian criteria. That is why I suppose Godel is more of a philosopher (though they hate him) rather than a scientist.

thus it is a human construct (or it can be said, God's baby talk to us). Godel i.e. saying now is eternity.

Having said this PE, Godel's time travel theory (TTT) is still more scientific than evolution, because I do not think there is a mathematical model that supports evolution. Some have tried but when they do the maths, I read it rather comes up with preposterous results that it denies evolution itself!

If we were able to attain the speed of light, would our material condition be such as to allow us to make obervations, and if we can not say except theoretically, does that become not falsifiable too?

Another good point and fair question; indeed, would my biological condition handle traveling at the speed of c? I could disintegrate leaving my molecules behind, i.e. my soul could leave my body behind etc.

like say a resurrection from the dead, would at the same time involve a massive disruption in its temporal occurence, like say a presence in, with, and under bread and wine. IOW, does relativity support the Real Presence?

Bingo! I believe this is why he is so hated by philosophers, his results support the validity of faith. First his Incompleteness theorem says - there are true statements but you have no proof of it in your system e.g. what about existence of God? That could be a true statement but I have no proof of it!

Secondly, his contention that time is nothing means there we are living eternity now - i.e. there is life after death and Judaeo_Christian world view is true.

I am jumping here of course by spelling out what I believe are the final end points when you take Godel's findings to its final conclusion.

Therefore (I am sorry for my long reply but this gets me going) if time is not existent , then the Real Presence is true by implication of ETR. HE, Jesus, is here where he said he wants to be - in the bread and wine! In effect, he went to heaven, but he has not really left us!

Now, only Godel was crazy and truthful enough to carry Einstein's TR to where it leads. Scientists and Philosophers are silent about this. We can guess why. They will lose their jobs.

LPC

Doorman-Priest said...

Now look what you did: I got a headache!

L P Cruz said...

DP.

Sorry about that ;-)

Falsifiability is a good thing.


Take the case for Christianity, Christianity is falsifiable.

All you do is produce the body/bones of Jesus, i.e. he died but did not rise from the dead.

Any assertion that is not falsifiable should not pass as science.

LPC

J. K. Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. K. Jones said...

Interesting post, LP.

As to the falsifiability thing, is there a way to prove that the laws of logic are inapplicable? Logic applies because if you say “The laws of logic do not apply to all situation,” you have to assume the Law of Noncontradiction applies to your very sentence. Otherwise, I can take your sentence to mean, “The laws of logic apply to all situations.” You take certain abstract truths to be true based on the impossibility of the contrary, not based on some form of hypothesis test on the real world. Science itself is not possible without those abstract notions.

As to evolution, why do we expect a universe governed by the random actions of physical particles to result in a situation where natural selection would work? It’s a little like a computer program I read about while I was in college.

A student had written a computer program that produced part of the text of one of Shakespeare’s plays by randomly generating a letter and then keeping the letter if it was the one that was needed next. If the wrong letter was generated randomly, the algorithm threw out that letter and randomly generated another. The random letter was then given as an analogy of random mutation, and the logical algorithm was given as an analogy of natural selection keeping the mutations that gave survival benefit. But the computer program worked that way only because an intelligent person wrote the program to function as she designed it to.

In a truly random universe, why should we expect natural selection to be in effect? Particles in random motion do not give rise to things that can function non-randomly. Randomness does not “keep” things that work toward some purpose. (This could relate to the Incompleteness Theorem you mention. By the way, that theorem sounds allot like Presuppositional Apologetics – Cornelius Van Til, Greg Bahnsen and company - to me.)

“…philosophers are mad about Godel because he proved mathematically that time is an ideal, it does not exist if ETR is true. So mathematically, calculations are heading towards the non-existence of time.”

So, time is an abstraction used because it correlates with the sequential changes we observe in physical things. Does this mean God is unlimited by time because (!) He is unchanging?

What implications does this have for contemporary Christian Apologetics (e. g. the kalaam cosmological argument – that the universe had a beginning and that only an independent being could have produced it)? What implications does this have for the vertical form of the cosmological argument (that the universe needs a continuing cause of its current existence)?

I do not follow how time as an abstract measure correlated to change in physical beings can lead us to the real presence of Christ in the sacraments. It would seem that something could only be two things at once if it were moving at the speed of light and approximating the attributes of light. The sacraments are not moving at the speed of light, or we could not catch them for our communal feast. (I can’t believe I just referred to the ordinances as ‘sacraments.’ I have been hanging out here to long.) ;)

JK

Augustinian Successor said...

Mike Grieger is an idiot. Why the heck include a book in the database if it's out of print?

L P Cruz said...

JK.

There is much to think about in your post.

Re: falsifiability of laws of logic. What is needed is to demonstrate a method for finding out if this is not true. So is there a way to find out should the laws of logic be false? I think the answer here is yes. More should be spelled out.

The concept of randomness is a bit bucket. It is a statistical concept for saying what we do not know. For example tossing the coin up in the air - it may land, head or tails. Randomness says that this will land 50% tail/heads. But that is true if randomness is true. We do not know if there is a bias on the coin, if the wind will blow a certain direction when it is tossed etc. There really is no such thing as randomness. It is random from our perspective - it is a place to attribute what we do not know.

But the computer program worked that way only because an intelligent person wrote the program to function as she designed it to

Exactly!

I do not follow how time as an abstract measure correlated to change in physical beings can lead us to the real presence of Christ in the sacraments.

If I take Godel's conclusion that time is an ideal then eternity is now. This means that space is static too. JK, as an engineer imagine the 4th axis not being there. Movement only happens in time, right?

Jesus says "I will never leave you nor forsake you", "I will be with you always to the very end of the age".

So at the Supper, that is where he is with you physically.

I am glad you are hanging around!

LPC

L P Cruz said...

AS,

The Erlangen book? Judy said it was yet to be printed and she saw in the computer that it is to be distributed by the late Jan '09.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Kuya,

Mikey the goobledegook said that the book is out of print. This guy doesn't speak clearly. If Judy said the book is due to be out in 2009, then why does Mikey the retard says something different. This guy is a director of ACR? he doesn;t even communicate properly, that damn bastard. Sorry, Kuya, but I'm disappointed with his nonchalant attitude.

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Kuya,

Mikey the goobledegook said that the book is out of print. This guy doesn't speak clearly. If Judy said the book is due to be out in 2009, then why does Mikey the retard says something different. This guy is a director of ACR? he doesn;t even communicate properly, that damn bastard. Sorry, Kuya, but I'm disappointed with his nonchalant attitude.

L P Cruz said...

AS,

I am sorry indeed for the disappointment.

I just had a words with Judy and they did some digging in as to what happened with this book.

It all started at CPH, they were told by CPH that this book was going to be released. In good faith they believed CPH and so published in their catalogs and web site. As it turn out CPH is not publishing it at all.

Based on your input, they have taken the item off from their catalog and web pages.

It is disappointing that CPH did not get to print it because just based on the title, I can see it would be an interesting read and perhaps show how the German Confessionalists are different from the English speaking ones.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Kuya,

Keep up the good work with Godel, Popper! I just love it when from time to time you would post something about philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of science and apply and relate these to theology. This is one of the reasons why i like this blog! ;-) I respect Popper for his frank acknowledgement of the (*epistemic*) limitations of science. i would like to read up about Godel. And i like the fact that both had Lutheran upbringing!! As a Lutherano-phile, i like all things Lutheran!

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Kuya,

i'm a fan of the theologians of the Luther Renaissance and would therefore like to delve more into their insights, contributions, be it in Germany with the Erlangen school with names such as Hans Joachim Iwand; in Sweden of the Lundian school (Lund) with names such as Gustav Wingren, in Finland of the Helsinki school with names such as Lauri Haikola, in the US with the names such as Gerhard Olaf Forde. Although I do not accept their views on Scripture, and accommodation to higher criticism in certain or limited or qualified areas, their reappropriation, reappreciation, reclamation of Luther's Law-Gospel distinction and critical application in the contemporary context as evinced by e.g. Seminex in the persons of the late Robert Bertram and Ed Schroeder is most helpful and the theological "counterblast" to the Finnish revisionism of Tuomo Mannermaa, JDDJ etc.

L P Cruz said...

AS,

You should write something on these guys, perhaps some useful snippets from their works.

email me so I can post.

LPC

Anonymous said...

Firstly, learn to spell. You destroy your own argument and demonstrate your own idiocy when you can't spell the words "species" or "eons". Secondly, throwing a ball up in the air and watching it fall is not in the slightest evidence for Albert Einstein’s General Relativity. That is absolutely the most ignorant and moronic thing I have ever heard in my life. Listen, before Einstein wrote his theory, moreover, before Einstein was even born, actually, before any creature graced the earth – things that went up into the air came back down. Gravity had been completely quantified by Isaac Newton well before Einstein, and all that was proved by things falling back to earth was his law of gravitation.
Secondly, evolution is completely and utterly falsifiable, in the same way that general relativity is, and has been demonstrated many times. It’s been observed in infectious diseases like malaria, AIDS, and Streptococcus pneumonia, which all had treatments - quinine, AZT, and penicillin respectively – but under intense selection pressure from the treatments evolved resistant strains. There are many more examples, but I’m not going to waste my time. You patently demonstrated your own ignorance and unwillingness to read on evolution AND general relativity in one fell swoop, and hence if you’re not willing to honestly try and teach yourself I’m not going to waste my time teaching you. You aren’t interested in the truth. You don’t deserve it. You are a pathetic charlatan: now stop name dropping genius’s like Kurt Gödel so people like me don’t end up on your abyssal blog.

L P said...

Anonymous,

Agree with the spelling, my mistake.

Your excitement precedes your sense of justice. Firstly, learn to read the context of the post. I never mentioned anything about Einstein discovering relativity through gravity. What are you talking about I even mentioned Newton in relation to gravity.

But by the way speaking of gravity, this is one single concept that does not fit the theories of modern day cosmologists/physicists.

Secondly, your argument for the resistant strain is no argument for evolution, it may be for
mutation but that is different.

BTW, read up on Godel's theory of time. You seem to be ignorant of his relationship with Einstein.

Lastly, I only take lessons from people who are brave enough to sign their name.

You are a joke, you want to teach me about the truth and you won't even identify yourself in this encounter. What kind of truth will you be teaching me, but some wishful thinking you wish to believe?

I am not sorry you are pissed off, because you deserve it.


LPC

Anonymous said...

Gödel admits P=NP

I linked to your post. Keep up the good work.

http://meami.org/blog/?p=1

Anonymous said...

http://meami.org/blog/?p=1

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. I messed up the html. Here it is. Please feel free to delete my other posts.

Gödel admits P=NP

Augustinian Successor said...

Who is this Anon, frothing at the mouth and raving and ranting like a lunatic roaming freely in his asylum? Listen, Anon, gravity PER SE until today is UNOBSERVABLE. in other words, it's a Newtonian INFERENCE. Just like an electric field.

And listen carefully: Go and read Leibnitz's refutation of Newtonian physics. You'll learn a lot from that, and dispel the self-delusion hovering around your brain.

L P said...

A.S.

The first Anon, does not know what he is talking about.

The second Anon, is John (I donot know if he is the same as the 1st) who seems to have some interesting conjectures on the philosophical issues Godel left the world.

If only John could say more on his theory of reducing complexity to simplicity. He seems to be in track, if we say recall what Da Vinci said - "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication".

The 1st Anon, has no clue and is a pseudo intellect, a pretender.

LPC

L P said...

A.S.

BTW, spot on re:gravity!!!

That is the one that is giving physicist the headache.

It is untameable. They do not know why it does not fit their computations.

LPC

M-Wave said...

Just in case, I thought I should be on record with my name.

Gödel admits P=NPMartin Michael Musatov
m.mm@vzw.blackberry.net
marty.musatov@gmail.com
tel: 818.430.4586
430 Burnside Avenue
38, 8K
Los Angeles, CA 90036
MeAmIMeAmI.org/blog[P Versus NP]

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Kuya,

I know that Newton once said, hypotheses non fingo (I make no conjectures). But hypothesised he did, which is why he posited an fixed 'immovable' frame of reference in the first place, inter alia! Talk about things invisible!

John said...

"My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.(John 7:16 NIV) Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me."

...

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L P said...

Marty,

Thanks for identifying your self.

Are you also a student of Godel?

“A theory is the more impressive the greater is the simplicity of its premises, the more different are the kinds of things it relates and the more extended the range of its applicability.”
-A. Einstein

LPC

Martin Musatov said...

LPC,

You're welcome. (Absolutely no offense, but, Martin, please!). I will say this: your take on Godel was absolutely resfreshing and as you can gather different than what I have seen! I appreciate how you handled that first anonymous poster.

I am not a student of Godel, I have studied Einstein. I favor the classics: St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Euripedes. I have studied quantum and read up on it as a hobby and no one quite sits right with me. I will say this having seen your attitude toward Godel and how you handled yourself Christ-like(Lite), I may revisit. Have a good one. You should stop by the Sci.Math boards on Google groups if you have the time. I could use a wingman.

Martin Musatov said...

Oh, almost forgot, my favorite Einstein quote: "Imagination is more important than intelligence."

Martin Musatov said...

LPC,

I will simply say this: "I am open to possibilities of truth and I value it nearly above all else."

Best,

Martin

L P said...

Martin,

Thank you for your kind words. As a Christian, I say peace to those who enter here. So peace to you my friend.

Yes, re:sci.math board, I know. Once I get more time which should be fairly soon, I will look around.

Being sinners as we are - I cannot also confess that I value truth always.

But this whole world is not about me but it is about Christ's payment for me.

LPC

Martin Musatov said...

LPC,

Peace to you. My favorite verse (off the top of my head I cannot cite the book even!) but it is: "Worship the Lord Your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind." The argument can be made to the intellectually inclined we are commanded by the words of Christ to "think"! (Imagine that, a religious doctrine says: "use your brain!"I admittedly have more appreciation for truth than makes me comfortable sometime. But you are right our lives our to honor Christ, who said, "John baptized you with(^b) water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit" b16 Or in
Acts:11

L P said...

Martin,

In the last few post of recent times, you might notice a discussion emerged around the way the Bible is read vs the what scientists say about the world.

Have you read some on philosophy of science?

M-Wave said...

Yes. I find it to the be case there will be times in Human History where mankind has struggled, and there will be kinds of Human History wherein mankind will excel. The Philosophy of Science, is one where I believe the change will demarcate. The more we believe our fundamental approaches to science are just as important to science itself, the sooner we will reap the greater reward of this realization. The time is coming when mankind will be greatly blessed and we will wonder what it is we ever did to deserve to wallow in such a dark state as we are in at the present. In comparison to 1,000 years ago we might seem civilized, but today, we are the same thing to a 1,000 years from now, likely sooner in terms of advanced science and physics. To touch on a point of philosophical mathematics, and instinctively, science, as the two must relate I could agree why it does make sense to ask whether "1+1=2" is true? Yes, it does. But on an equally valid and computational basis inside quotes "1 is 0, + is 1, 1 is 2, equals is 3, 2 is 4" is also valid when you consider different values must be assigned based on the occurred quantity of each repetition of a number or symbol.

nanahuatzin said...

Falsibility is a concept, it´says that you need to imagen a way to prove your hipotesis (or theory is false). You do not need to carry on the experiment, you just need to imagine it.

As the bologist Stephen Jay Gould (anglily) remarked... "to falsify evolution you only need to find a precambric rabit".

Let my explain. Evolutions say that change ocurred slowly by organism that were transforming. It does not ocurr in big steps. a Moneky gives birth to a human, or a fish gives birth to a reptile.

Also evolution need a sequences of events, a rabit... a placental mammal, can not exists before reptiles and anfibians.

So, if you find the fosil of a placental mammal, like the rabit, form the cambric, or precambric, you will disprove evolution.

One day Jay Gould and other biologist took Popper and locked with him... after that, Popper usued and apology por saying that evolution is not falsable...

But we are not sure what arguments (or methods) were used for that... :)