# TED Community ยป John Edser

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• #### A reply onConversation: Falsifiability

Jun 13 2012: MRU is not needed. A definition of "white" can be anything you like as long as it is logically valid. All that matters is that the definition remains irreversibly linked to the subject (swan).The definition stands minimally falsifiable via the simple, logical reverse. Poorer definitions quickly refute in favor of better ones. For example defining "white" as just a chosen color tone quickly falsifies in favor of "white" being the result the reflection of all light. As you know, the colors of objects are due to the wavelengths of light that they reflect. All objects absorb some wavelengths making them appear something less than perfect white, disallowing swans to be a perfect white. Better predicates (frames of reference) evolve from more primitive predicates, if and only if, they remain falsifiable (non tautological ) and are tested against nature without prejudice. This last requirement is the hardest because all of us are prejudiced for our own beliefs.

Completeness is not unlike the problem of induction. Just as nobody can claim to have observed every swan to verify that they are all white, nobody can reasonably claim to provide a complete definition of white. However, both of these problems CAN be solved via an application of the Traditional Square Of Opposition (TSO):

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/square/

The A proposition (all swans are white) is obviously falsified via a verification of the O proposition (some swans are NOT white). No other proposition in the square can possibly falsify A because they have the same predicate. Falsification within the square absolutely requires the same S (swan) to become a valid deduction from a different and therefore contradictory predicate. The only falsification not included is the proper subset reversal of S and P. The fact that the predicate within O is not named does not matter. Allowing it removes both the problem of induction and definitional completeness via natural selection on contesting predicates.
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#### A comment onConversation: Falsifiability

Jun 12 2012: Bernard,

Yet again I cannot reply directly to your most recent posting so I will quote in within my text:

"My falsifiable frame of reference in this example: "all swans are white" is:
- An axiom (one of them by experience) that, there is white color (to be more specific) of something (should be >asserted), feathers, legs, or skin of swan = An axiom version of any possible falsifiable frame of reference = (IN ESSENCE) a complete (informative & consistent) version of any falsifiable frame of reference. In this case, a complete version (informative & consistent) of "white"."

JE:-
My point: nobody can claim to know if a definition of "white" is "complete" BEFORE we test it empirically via NON reversibly linking each contesting definition to a subject e.g. "swan". All we can do is make an INDUCTIVE assumption (just a guess) of what we think a complete definition of white is and then go ahead and test this against nature. While contesting definitions of white cannot be falsified (because they are only tautological) irreversibly linking each to a subject makes each exclusive predicate minimally testable via each reverse contradiction: all white (things) are swans. This is easily empirically falsified bringing us back to our original definition of white. IOW, any search for absolute truth falls; all we can possibly do is provide many testable (constant) frames of reference and proceed to test them. In this case they are different definitions of white which must freely compete such that only NATURE is the final judge. In this way contesting but entirely falsifiable frames of reference evolve to better ones.

> Without a complete falsifiable frame of reference (informative & consistent), we are not pointing to anywhere.

JE:- "Sufficient", not "complete".

> ...(in my opinion) "all swan are white" is not a complete (informative & consistent) statement.

JE:-
It is SUFFICIENT to falsify the predicate which acts as the frame of reference so it is sufficiently complete
• #### A reply onConversation: Falsifiability

Jun 12 2012: At this point I must bring you back to the original question: with regards to "all swans are white" what is your proposed falsifiable frame of reference for this example ?

Regards,

John Edser
• #### A reply onConversation: Falsifiability

Jun 11 2012: Mathematics is not sufficient to conduct reasoning. The mathematician Kurt Godel proved mathematics will always remain insufficient disallowing a complete and consistent set of axioms for mathematics. The net result: a proposition NOT of mathematics is absolutely required to make sense of mathematics. This is not surprising because mathematics is entirely circular (an expanded tautology). Logic comes in two flavours: reversible and non reversible. Mathematics only employs the reversible type. Reasoning employs both where however, only NON reversible logic can possibly supply a minimal falsification (via a simple, subject/predicate reversal as previously discussed).

To be able to state ANYTHING that can be deemed reasonable a subject S must remain deductive from a predicate P such that their reversal provides a falsifying contradiction. Note that this does not apply to definitions which are entirely reversible. Of course, only providing a list of definitions is not reasonable. To make definitions reasonable at least two have to connect in a logically NON reversible way, e.g. " all swans are white" necessarily excluding "all white (things) are swans". This example non reversibly connects a definition of "swan" to a definition of "white" thereby allowing a falsification via the reverse. As previously discussed, the predicate from which the subject is always a deduction forms the falsifiable frame of reference. What this means is that while "white" must remain a constant the subject is allowed to vary e.g. while you can have many types of swans (as long as they are white) there is only one type of white. Allowing many whites allows anybody to "ad hoc" change their frame of reference fitting up the facts to the theory via removing falsifiability. Thus, any reasonable mathematical representation must provide an algebraic constant to which all defined variables remain dependent.

Regards,

John Edser
• #### A comment onConversation: Falsifiability

Jun 10 2012: Bernard,

None of your recent posts can be directly replied to (no " reply" link appears in red at the top of any of your recent postings). This being the case, I can only reply using a separate posting. My comments to your most recent communication appear under my initials JE within your text (please write "then" not -> because it is more readable to all).

"x" -> "y" = "x" then "y"
all "x" -> "y" = all "x" then "y"
swan is white = if swan then white = if "x" -> "y" or if "s" -> "w"

JE :
No , it is the reverse: if "white" then "swan" as long as all the other criteria of a swan have been met. This is only because "white" predicates and therefore acts as a falsifiable frame of reference for "swan" which is a deduction from "white" (NOT the reverse). Unlike mathematics, subject and predicate within a proposed non tautology CANNOT be reversed.

there is black swan = if swan then not white = if "x" -> -"y" or if "s" -> - "w" or if "s" ->

JE:
Again you have this in reverse: there is observed a black swan requires as a prerequisite: if "white" then "swan " . The subject (swan) does NOT determine the predicate (white) the predicate determines the subject. Subjects are always a deduction from a predicate. The falsification requires "swan" to be a deduction from a DIFFERENT i.e. entirely contradictory predicate: e.g. "black". Note that the evolution of swans as both white and black was not at all possible until swans were only defined white on however, an entirely falsifiable basis. IOW, without a possible verification/non verification and at least one possible falsification the swan proposition is not reasonable (even if it was logical).

The critical difference between science and mathematics is that only science can provide falsifiable propositions; mathematics can only provide validity/invalidity.
• #### A reply onConversation: Falsifiability

Jun 8 2012: Bernard,

For some reason no facility is displayed on my computer for me to be able to reply to any of your recent posts. I repeat, I cannot understand your notation. For example I do not know what -> -y means.
• #### A reply onConversation: Falsifiability

Jun 8 2012: The experiment that I proposed artificially maintains the final fitness of each parent within an experimental population to remain the same. This could be done with the fruit fly by only allowing each parent to raise a single young to fertile adulthood. When this is accomplished each parent would be removed. Each fly would be able to breed freely but exactly the same situation is repeated for as long as each member of the population successfully raises a single replacement. The experiment terminates when just a single member of the population fails to raise an adult replacement allowing selection to finally act. Darwinian selection is the result of a simple default comparison of each parents Darwinian fitness (the total number of adults reproduced per parent per population) such that only the parent with the largest fitness is naturally selected. While the experiment lasts, each parent has a TDF of 1. Since flys are sexual this means each pair must raise two adult forms into the next generation. The reason why immatures are NOT counted (they are within Neo Darwinism) is because they cannot possibly pass on any of their genes because they remain sterile until reaching adulthood. What I predict terminates the experiment is the random action of genetic drift and mutation. Eventually genomes not subject to selection will become more and more degenerate eventually resulting in a single pair not being able to raise the required two offspring to adulthood. Neo Darwinists continue to insist that drift and mutation are evolutionary forces on a par with selection reducing evolutionary theory to non falsifiable simply because random forces cannot be halted. The experimental population is controlled by a population treated similarly except an intense form of selection is provided e.g. a trait for eye color is selected for. At the termination of the experiment the prediction is that the experimental population does not evolve.

Regards,

John Edser
• #### A reply onConversation: Falsifiability

Jun 8 2012: The most important point to make is that Darwinian evolutionary theory is not dependent on fossil evidence. While fossils can provide amazing evidence that is highly motivational, falsifiability lies elsewhere. The reason why TDF remains crucial is because it alone can provide a falsifying fitness constant for evolutionary theory. My proposed, simple, reproductive total of adults reproduced per parent per population represents what has to be compared within a population in order to provide a FINAL selective result. Neo Darwinism never provides a FINAL result because it does not allow a single fitness constant, i.e. it only compares variables with other variables to produce natural selection. To be falsifiable, it must provide at least one fitness constant to act as a frame of reference.

Natural selection is the only falsifiable cause of evolution that has been proposed. Darwinism argues that random mutation withiin organisms provides what is termed "heritable variation". This is acted on by non random natural selection to produce the evolution of populations of organisms. The other random force is sampling error, i.e. what is termed "genetic drift". Neither of these are causative to evolution; they are only causative to the heritable variation on which non random natural selection acts. Clearly, any evolution predicated on a random process acting alone, cannot be falsified.

Regards,

John Edser
• #### A reply onConversation: Falsifiability

Jun 8 2012: You are employing mathematical notation to make your point. This is not a mathematical discussion group. Please rewrite what you mean in words so that all of us can understand your argument

I do not understand your last sentence which summed up your main point. Are you saying that it is not necessary to provide another axiom that contradicts in order to falsify a proposed axiom?

Regards,

John Edser
• #### A reply onConversation: Falsifiability

Jun 8 2012: The test for falsifiability is not difficult: if you state something such that when the subject S and predicate P are reversed this changes the meaning entirely then the proposition is minimally falsifiable via this reversal. For example, you proposed " we are aware therefore we exist" (as a non mathematical axiom ). Does "we exist therefore we are aware" mean the same ? If so, then the axiom is not falsifiable because it is absolutely self referential. If the meaning is not the same then reversing the proposition provides a contradiction such that if it is observed in nature it falsifies your proposition.

Your point that faslsifiability is entirely subjective is not true. The reason why science can be clearly understood in any culture demonstrates this.

Regards,

John Edser