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Re: Cladistics (was Sci. Am. - present)
> You may in fact be deluding yourself into believing you are converging toward
> the goal of Truth but really are not. How will you know that you are "coming
> closer"? What measurement are you making of "closeness" to Truth, if you
> cannot grasp Truth itself to take its measure? Why would you think that it is
> worthwhile to pursue such a goal, anyway?
> I DON'T know, that's my point. However, I make certain assumptions and act
> on what, on
the basis of those assumptions and my own experience, seems most likely. What
worthwhile to pursue ANY goal, whether achievable or not? Obviously, it's
me; that should be enough.
> << I believe it's probably impossible to absolutely prove anything;>>
> Then you lack an understanding of mathematics. What is "probably impossible"?
Actually, my statement is BASED on mathematics. In math, you can only prove
BASED ON A SET OF ASSUMPTIONS. You ultimately cannot prove all the
science, the primary assumption is that our scenses are, in fact, feeding us
about the world around us. This is an untestable assumption, since any test we
relies on those same senses. That doesn't mean we should all curl up in balls
decide that nothing matters. I believe our senses are probably giving
on the world around us, and I choose to assume that they are. This does not
mean I rule
out the possibility that they are not.
> << I also believe that pursuit of real knowledge is the most
> worthwhile activity. I see no contradiction in this.>>
> What is "real knowledge," anyway? Why is it worthwhile to pursue it, if such a
> thing exists? Who has it, if anybody?
By "real knowledge" I simply meant objective knowledge of the universe. We are
subjective creatures; we cannot look at anything entirely objectively. We
things from our own points of view. However, there are diferent degrees of
subjectivity, and it is certainly worthwhile to try to see things "as they
whatever that may mean. Don't you want to know things?
> << To a certain extent, it's the
> search that's important, and ultimately what one is looking for is the most
> "truth" about something, rather than some absolute "truth". If you can't
> this point of view, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with either it
> or your own
> point of view. It just means diferent people see things diferently. >>
> This sounds like something parroted out of a philosophy textbook.
I've never read a philosophy textbook in my life. All of my view were
developed by ME,
from my own experiences and thoughts. Your comment sounds a bit insulting. I
great respect for your posts on this list, but if you assume that anyone who
diferently from you must be mindlessly parroting someone else then you lose a
of that respect.
> Yes, different people seem to see things differently. For example, some people
> seem to think they are aliens from space who have come to earth to enlighten
> us. At least, this is what they say. If they really believe this and aren't
> simply con artists, then they are wrong. Even if they >are< con artists,
> they're wrong.
There's a diference between open-minded, rational people coming to diferent
based on a reasonable consideration of the evidence, on the one hand, and
simply go around believing things because it's what they want to believe, on
The world's a complicated place; two reasonable people can come to completely
conclusions about the same things without either person being irrational.
I appologize for my part in taking this discussion away from dinosaurs.