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** THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE ** Print E-mail
Written by Oshea Davis   
Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Philosophy of Science

  THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

 [ This was a short essay question—which I expounded on—for one of my philosophy classes at school. The direct subject of chiropractic medicine was chosen by the teacher. I have no experience in this practice and so I have no partiality toward it either way. I just don’t care. But it did make for an interesting foothold to talk about the “philosophy of science” itself. And so, I decided to defend or discredit chiropractic medicine on the standard of the philosophy of science itself—an important presupposition many overlook; however, I will not play their game. I will not overlook it.]

 

QUEST. Is chiropractic medicine legitimate?

 

ANS. If medicine is “science,” then it must admit chiropractic medicine as genuine.

If medicine is defined as “the SCIENCE of restoring or preserving health,” and legitimate is defined as “conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards,” then yes it would be.

 

SCIENCE A LOGICAL FALLACY

Medicine’s definition is based on it being science. By science, I mean scientific experimentation. Now, by scientific experimentation I mean how a scientist looks to confirm their hypotheses for what is a “cause,” by controlled tests.  Logically this is called “affirming the consequent.” The problem with “affirming the consequent,” which is the basis for all scientific experimentation, is that it is a logical fallacy. Experimentation logically means, affirming the consequent.  It logically works backwards from result to cause. If one gets the result, the assertion is that there must be some truth behind it. However, Correlation does not infer causation.  For now, I will just skip over science’s other fatal flaws such as empiricism and induction and just focus on this.

Affirming the consequent is stated as such—“If (P) happens then (Q) will result. (Q) is present, or did occur, therefore, (P) happened.”

This fallacy flips the order of cause and effect. Example: “(P) If it rains, (Q)my yard gets wet; (Q) my yard is wet; (P)therefore, it did rain.” This is pragmatically useful and might even be a good guess.  But!  This is irrational. It could be that my yard is wet because I watered my yard or some other reason. Even if the (Q) is true, it does not infer that the (P) is true. There could be an infinite numbers of other things that could be exchanged for the (P).

If one knows a cause, then they certainly know the result will occur, because the cause, well, causes/makes/produces it. Therefore, affirming the antecedent (modus ponens) is a valid form of reasoning.  “(P) If an electrostatic discharge (lightning) occurs in the clouds, (Q) then light in the form of plasma is released. (P) An electrostatic discharge (lightning) did occur in the clouds, therefore, light in the form of plasma was released.” Or. “(P) If it rains, (Q) then water drops hit the ground. (P) It did rain. (Q) Therefore, water droplets did hit the ground.” This is valid, for it works from cause to effect.

However, if I do not know the cause but only see a result happening, then there is no logical way, even under control experimentation, to eliminate an infinite amount of other possibility’s that could have caused the result to happen. Correlation does not indicate causation. Yet, does science even establish a correlation?

With categorical logic the phrase used is “a necessary inference.” That is, the conclusion is necessarily true if the premises are. If all A is B and all B is C, then it is a necessary inference (it must be) that A is in the category of C.  With hypothetical syllogisms the focus is slightly different. Because hypothetical syllogisms are interchangeable with categorical syllogisms it means that even with hypothetical syllogism it is correct to say the conclusion is a “necessary inference” if sound. However, with hypothetical syllogisms the focus is more so on the “CONNECTION,” of the antecedent (P) and the consequent (Q). The big idea is a “necessary connection” that must occur or be there.  This FIRST, and then this absolutely follows.

One is able to see how this works from the terms themselves: Antecedent(first/origin) and the result is the Consequence(necessarily follows).  So then, with hypothetical syllogism the idea is not a “maybe” will follows, but absolutely and necessarily will follows (it must follow)! Thus, an antecedent is naturally a cause/first, and the consequent it the result that follows due to the necessary connection

Logical mistakes happen if one takes a result(follows) and forces into the antecedent(first). One can force the terms into the logical form, but it does not magically make a consequent an antecedent, and vis versa.  Or to be it differently, taking a first/origin and placing it into the second/result and vis versa does not magically change reality.  To say (P) If Johnny faces hurts, (Q) then I slapped Johnny in the face (P) thus (Q). This not correct. It is not a necessary connection. It is not an absolutely “must be so,” connection. Could it not be that Johnny fell and hit is head, which is why his face hurts?  Now on the other hand, “(P) if Johnny did fall hard and hit his face on the pavement, (Q) then his face will hurt/damaged. (P) thus (Q).” Or “(P) If there are people with God now, (Q) then the doctrine of the resurrection is true. (P) thus (Q).” Jesus quotes the burring bush passages to prove the (P) antecedent. The connection is a necessary connection. It must be so. The antecedent here is a true origin/producer and the consequent is a necessary connection that follows as a result.

 

Experimentation is to start with the result and try to find the necessary connection to the antecedent. It is logically working backwards from what follows to what started it. This is because scientists are not omni-knowing and are looking to find knowledge about something. If one is all knowing there is no need to conduct an experiment, for one already knows all true antecedents and the necessary results that follows.  Thus, experimentation starts with the consequent. But to start with the result is always a fallacy.

Now, Scientist often hide the fallacious nature of their systematic affirmation of the consequent(experimentation) by putting their pervious affirming the consequent (experimentation) into the reversed logical order which is called affirming the antecedent.  It is one thing for one to be looking at an effect—trying to determine the cause—and God reveals in divine revelation what the cause/producer/origin is, which one might find in Scripture. This will equate to epistemological certainty or a justified true belief. And so, at this point one knows the cause, therefore, their thinking—logically speaking—on this point is affirming the antecedent.  The Christian scientist has many revealed antecedents and a consequences from Scripture to begin their scientific experimentations. This does not make their experiments logically sound, but it begins the pragmatic process on more certain grounds. 

Scientist use induction and repeated us of affirming the consequent; therefore, when they restate their experiment in the affirming the antecedent format they are being naïve and moronic. They have no epistemology grounds for such certainty and their logical system of a combined induction and experimentation makes it far worse. It’s nothing less than an imaginary game of pretend.  And I, will not pretend with them.

 

Take this for example. Syllogism A is the logical process for experimentation, which this affirming the consequent—or working from effect to cause. Syllogism B is how the scientist often presents his findings. The issue is that syllogism B is in the form of affirming the antecedent, which is logically valid, but in this case, is UNSOUND because it relies on syllogism A for its first premise.

 

Syllogism #A
A1. If chemical X is present (P), then this solution will begin to boil (Q).
A2. The solution has begun to boil (Q).
A3. Therefore, chemical X is present (P).

 

Syllogism #B
B1. If the solution has begun to boil (P), then chemical X is present (Q).
B2. The solution has begun to boil (P).
B3. Therefore, chemical X is present. (Q)[1]

Syllogism A is a fallacy. It is the attempt to discover cause/producer from the effect/result by suggesting hypotheses and testing them. It is an appeal to the result. Now, the fallacy is often covered-up in an application of the conclusions of scientific experimentation. That is, after syllogism A is done in the science lab, the scientist will state this experimentation in an affirming the antecedent type of conclusion. The problem with this is that the first premise of syllogism B is a fallacious premise carried over from the syllogism A. Again, this first premise from syllogism B was produced fallaciously through affirming the consequent from syllogism A. Therefore, even though this second syllogism is valid, it is unsound. 

If the solution boils, it does not necessarily mean chemical (X) was added—maybe another chemical was added, or maybe heat caused it, or an infinite number of other possible persons or objects, in an infinite number of possible combinations, caused it. Maybe Casper the Ghost caused it. This might sound strange to some, but the nature of science itself does not have the logical footing to rule out the absurd. The only way is if the scientist has Omniscience. Maybe this is how some scientist see themselves, but they have no warrant for it based upon their own failed standards. The problem here is the scientist must have more knowledge then their experiment, but they don’t.  There is no getting around this incurable logical fallacy for experimentation.

 

ITS LIKE MAGIC.

This is a quote from (skepdic.com). They attempt the very thing above, which is trying to hide the fact that the original presupposition/experimentation is based upon “Affirming the Consequent,” and then just restate it as “Affirming the Antecedent(modus ponens).” Aren’t fairy-tales nice?

In a more general way of saying, they are begging the question in their (P), "as predicted by our hypothesis." This phrase indicates they are in fact working from result to cause/origin.  They think merely restating experimentation in the logical form of, affirming the antecedent, makes the inherent problem go away. It assumes a truth about a necessary connection from Cause/correlation to Result is now known, based firstly from appealing to the result.

However, unless they have more knowledge than the experiment, then they cannot justify the claim they have discovered a cause from an effect. Just restating it in modus ponens does not take away that they are presupposing a cause from an effect/result.  Affirming the antecedent is meant to place a known ““necessary” connection/correlation” (i.e. cause) in the (P -antecedent) and the necessary result in the (Q). Their (P) is originally established by induction and by affirming the consequent first. To the restate it in affirming the antecedent is a joke and moronic and naïve thinking—if it is meant to logically establish they have in fact discovered a cause.

I will insert my own comments into with brackets [].

 

QUOTE

“Some might wonder: are not all conclusions from experimentation invalid on this ground from the point of view of formal logic?

[They recognize the problem, but then try to magically wish it way with flipping the logic—which does not make the effect to cause problem go away. That is, the logical issue which made it “invalid” is still there.]

 Don't scientists commit this fallacy when they reason that (P) if my hypothesis is correct, (Q) then we will observe x, y, and z when we do experiment E; (Q) we observed x, y, and z when we did experiment E; (P) so our hypothesis is correct? [Yes! science does.]  Yes, they would, but that is not how competent scientists reason. They reason by the valid form of modus ponens:

[That is, according to them competent scientist pretends the logical fallacy of experimentation away by simply restating it as affirming the antecedent. It’s like magic. LOL! Professional Morons!]

(P) If x, y, and z occur in experiment E as predicted by our hypothesis [ “as predicted” means they are “logically” working backwards despite putting it modem ponens] , (Q) then our hypothesis is confirmed.

(P) X, y, and z occurred in experiment E as predicted by our hypothesis.

(Q) So, our hypothesis is confirmed"[2]

 

I can play this silly pretend game too. It’s my turn.  I first state the argument in Affirming the Consequent and then restate it in Affirming the Antecedent—the way the quote says scientist ought to state predicted experimentation—to see if the restating fundamentally makes the fallacy of effect to cause reason go away.

 

K1. (P) When I eat lots of bread, (Q) then my stomach gets full.

K2. (Q) My stomach is full. 

K3. (P) Therefore,  I ate lots of bread. [3]

 

But let us play their game. I can as easily restate this fallacious affirming the consequent above, into affirming the antecedent(modus ponens) below; however, it still does not make the fallacious logic of appealing the result go away. The modus ponens is established on the invalid affirming the consequent first.  The modus ponens below presented by itself might appear logically convincing to some because the form is valid. However, the problem is that the first premise is established by invalid logic first.

The slight of hand is this phrase or ones like it called proof by verified prediction, which is just a fancy name for the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent. “Proof by verified prediction” = “affirming the consequent.” That is, the thermology of “prediction” is a giveaway for affirming the consequent fallacy.  To rearrange such phrases, “prove by prediction,” or “as predicted by our hypothesis,” in modus ponens does not mystically make the fallacy of reasoning from effect to cause go away. 

 

M1. (P) If my stomach gets full (as predicted by our hypothesis. LOL), (Q) then I ate a large amount of bread (our hypothesis is confirmed!).

M2. (P) My stomach is full (our hypothesis is confirmed!).

M3. (Q) Therefore, I ate a large amount of bread (as predicted by our hypothesis.).  MAGIC!!!!

 

 

SUMMARY.

APPEAL TO THE RESULT.

Science is simply an appeal to the result. The supposition is that if you see the result you predict, then there must be some truth behind it. This is always a logical fallacy. Correlation does not infer causation. People seem to equate science’s pragmatic benefits to suppose it gives knowledge or truth. It would be an equivocation to go from pragmatic usefulness to truth, yet many make this moronic mistake due to their love-affair with science’s usefulness.

 

The scientific method suggests that you must identify variables and perform controlled experiments. But the problem of infinite alternatives remain the same.

Suppose a scientist swings a pendulum, makes some objects bump into one another, or performs some kind of experiment like this. He identifies certain variables such as altitude, weight, temperature, and so on. However, he can never say that he has identified all variables, such as an alien messing with his experiment from space, or an unruly and invisible spirit tempering with his project for its own amusement.

These latter possibilities may seem absurd, but according to what standard are they absurd? Only according to the scientist’s own assumptions. Also, even if we admit that these are absurd, there are still an infinite number of variables that may or may not be present. The scientist may be missing an entire category of variables. For example, what if the scientist has no concept of temperature? He cannot then possibly measure and control it in an experiment. Yet it might be a decisive factor. If he does not know about it, he cannot even say that he does not know about it. Neither can he say that he knows this category of variables does not exist. There is an infinite number of possible categories of variables that he is missing. Therefore, a scientist can never say that he has accounted for all relevant variables, and he can never claim to have “constructed properly” any experiment.

The scientist simply does not know — he assumes without argument, without evidence, and without proof. He can do what he wishes, but if he claims that this whole thing is rational, then he is just arbitrarily calling it so. In fact, from even a simple analysis of science, there is no way that a scientist can claim to have any rational contact with reality at all. And certainly, he would have no right to call the Christian irrational.

The idea is simple. To know that any experiment is “constructed properly” the scientist’s knowledge must be “bigger” than the experiment. But if his knowledge is already “bigger” than the experiment, then he hardly needs to perform the experiment to gain knowledge that is limited by the experiment. The only way to be sure that one has identified and controlled all variables that may affect the experiment is to possess omniscience. The conclusion is that only God can tell us about the universe.[4]

 

Furthermore, INDUCTION.

Some try to rescue induction by saying it can give probable outcomes. This is misleading.  To establish probability one needs a numerator and a denominator. For the sake of argument I will pretend science/induction is able to give a numerator; but what about the denominator? To establish this, one needs a universal proposition and often one needs to have omniscience to establish this. Since induction cannot establish a universal, then to say induction is able give probability it is nonsense.

 

In addition, EMPIRICISM.

Empiricism is the epistemology that says all knowledge comes from senses. There are hybrid epistemologies that say that some knowledge comes from the senses, but they face the same logical problems.

Then there are the issues of universal presuppositions that one must have first in order to think and comprehend anything such as, (1) laws of logic, and (2) the ideas of space, of measurement, time and a unit. Empiricism cannot give universals, but one must already have them to think.  Empiricism is a childish superstition.

If by empiricism there is no possible way for knowledge to be in the mind, then there is no worldview. In fact, there is nothing. No knowledge means there is nothing to talk about. Nothing. It poses no logical threat to my worldview, or to any worldview for that matter.

 

Clark on Empiricism

(Clark) Empiricism: No self

“Berkeley was quite sure that there must exist a mind to have these impressions. A mountain is something perceived, and a perception can exist only in a mind. But Hume was acute enough to see the next step. If material substance is an absurdity because it is an abstract idea, so too is the spiritual substance or the mind. Experience consists entirely of images, impressions, and their resulting combinations. No one has experienced a Self. What common opinion calls a person is simply a bundle of images. And this, as was argued above, results in skepticism. If all knowledge is based on experience, we may conclude, there is no knowledge.”[5]

(Clark) Empiricism: Time, Space & Math

“All this may be so, but it is a poor defense of empiricism. The trouble lies deeper. If knowledge is a result of sensory experience, or even of internal experience – if after Hume there can be any internal experience – how could the ideas of space and time be obtained? Time has never been impressed on the senses so that we might have an image of it. If anyone thinks he has an image of time, let him describe its color, its shape, and smell. But more profoundly Kant argues,

The idea of time does not originate in our senses, but is presupposed by them. For sensory impressions can be represented as simultaneous or successive only through the idea of time. Succession does not produce the concept of time, but presupposes it.

Similarly, with respect to space Kant argues that the idea of space is not abstracted from external sensations, for I cannot conceive anything external to me except by representing it as in a place where I am not. Therefore external perceptions do not originate but presuppose the idea of space.

Space and time, for Kant, give the basis for mathematics – for geometry and arithmetic respectively. And the truths of mathematics are examples of truths that cannot be derived from experience. Teachers of small children may think that “two and two are four” is taught by playing with marbles. Does not the teacher show the pupil how two marbles and two marbles make four marbles? Roll them together into a corner and see that there are four marbles. Then, after this is done with different colored marbles, and different sized marbles, and with pencils and erasers, the child generalizes or abstracts from his experience the truth that two and two are four. However, this explanation of the learning process seems to be unsatisfactory. In the first place, the child would have to recognize one marble before he could count two of them. Where did the concept of a unit come from? From the marble also? But would not the pupil have to have the concept of a unit before he recognized a marble as one? If he did not know one, he could not count one. He has to know the numbers in order to count. And in the second place, this consideration holds for four as well as for one. He must know four before he can count four marbles. Perhaps this can more clearly be seen if large numbers are used. Let the teacher try to teach the young child that 356 marbles and 791 marbles are 1147 marbles. Everyone has heard children say their numbers: one, two, three, four, seven, sixteen, five, twentyone, sintillion. The young child who so counts cannot learn the example by counting marbles because he cannot count numbers. He can count marbles only after he can count numbers. And since numbers are not marbles or anything else sensory, it follows that arithmetic is not abstracted from experience. So much for mathematics.”[6]

 

(Clark) Empiricism: Logic

“Hume’s analysis of causality also points up essentially the same difficulty in empiricism. While Hume treated the subject more or less in isolation, Kant saw that a general principle was involved. Physics as well as mathematics requires necessary and universal judgments, and these are impossible on an empirical basis. All images, sensations, or experiences are unique occurrences….

 No doubt we are accustomed to this sequence of events just as we expect the Sun to rise in the east tomorrow; but there is no logic by which we may begin with a few experiences of the past and arrive at a judgment about the future…

If all knowledge is based on experience, no statement can validly be made about the future, for experience is always past. Even if it were possible to learn by experiment that two and two have always been four, and that the Sun has always risen in the east, there would be no conclusive reason for supposing that these things would be the same tomorrow. But not only does this principle of universality and necessity prevent an empirical knowledge of the future; it applies to the past as well. Since no one can have experienced every case, empiricism cannot consistently assert that the Sun has always risen in the east, that two and two have always been four, or, to use one of Kant’s examples, that all bodies are heavy. Similarly, no experience necessitates the conclusion that every change requires a cause.

More important still, the validity of syllogistic reasoning can never be based on experience. The laws of logic may well be called more important than the propositions of mathematics and physics because logic underlies them both. In all our conversation and writing, the forms of logic are indispensable: Without them discussion on every subject would cease. But if empiricism cannot establish the truth that two and two will always be four, neither can it assert that the conclusion of Barbara always and necessarily follows from the premises. Empiricism, therefore, is conclusively shown to be skeptical, because the law of contradiction cannot be abstracted or obtained from temporally conditioned particulars. And without the law of contradiction it is impossible to say anything meaningful. Scientists like Pearson, Carlson, or Bridgman, and liberal theologians like Brightman, may produce complicated and persuasive systems of thought; but if they claim to be empiricists, their systems contradict their epistemological principles, for if all knowledge is based on experience, there is no knowledge.”[7]

(Clark) Empiricism: Equivocation from God to man

If empiricism is used to prove God from nature to man’s knowing God then the fallacy of equivocation or a 4 term fallacy occurs.  The definition of existence(is) if constructed through empiricism, cannot produce the same definition of (is) in what the Bible means by it: “Must believe that God is.” (Hebrews 11:6).

St. Thomas and other modern philosophers (Van Til) try to rescue this by using the idea of analogy. There is a logic and a fallacious way to use an analogy.  The point that makes analogies valid or invalid is if the terms in the syllogism are the same. Using empiricism in this context to know God’s existence makes the terms not the same and so invalid.

There is the more basic problem of empiricism not being able to validly go from an “is” to a “proposition” in the mind. What is indirectly or directly sensed and the copies of these sensations as an indirect images of the so-called real things, to then concepts in the mind.  Famous philosophers in history such as Locke, Berkeley to Hume recognized this issue. But as Hume concluded, it is an inescapable fallacy that empiricism is stuck with. Empiricism creates an abyss of skepticism. 

Then there is more particular problems related to this such as empiricism going from an “is”(what is) to an “ought(what ought to be).”

But as for analogies here is Clark again.

“It follows, therefore, that the Thomistic proofs of the existence of God are invalid on two counts. First there are the previous empirical difficulties with causality, abstraction, and logic; but now there is this second. Even if no other fallacy were to be found in the arguments, and if we should arrive validly at the conclusion, God exists, this existence at which we have arrived would not be God’s existence. Syllogisms and valid arguments require their terms to be used univocally. If this has been done, the “analogical” and actual existence of God has not been obtained. All through the argument the term exist or is has been used in a human or temporal sense; and if the argument is valid, the term in the conclusion must also have the same temporal sense. But in this sense of the word exist, God does not exist. Once more, empiricism has failed.”[8]

 

(Clark) Empiricism: Categories, Classification

 

If the arguments of the last few paragraphs are sound, along with the considerations on empiricism that occurred in several of the earlier chapters, a satisfactory theory of epistemology must be some sort of apriorism with or without intellectual intuition. The notion that a blank mind can learn must be repudiated.

 

Of all the modern philosophers it is Immanuel Kant who is naturally thought of first as a representative of a priori theory. For him experience gives us a rather indefinite, even chaotic manifold of sensation, and the mind arranges, or imposes unity on, this manifold by the application of innate categories so that knowledge results. All items of knowledge are judgments or predications. A term, such as triangle, by itself cannot be either true or false. But if one says, “the triangle is an isosceles triangle,” or, “the triangle is a four-sided figure,” one has said something either true or false. All judgments are classifications. This triangle is classified under the species of isosceles triangle, or, falsely, under the class of foursided figures. Two terms, therefore, the subject and the predicate, are brought together. Thus the mind imposes unity on experience by judging or classifying. Since judgments or propositions are the products of the mind’s unifying activity, the several types of judgment are witnesses to several functions of unity. These are the categories, the nonempirical contribution of the mind to knowledge – the prerequisites of learning. They are not based on or derived from experience, but rather the possibility of meaningful experience depends on them.

To one who has been impressed by the universal and necessary factors in knowledge, in particular the law of contradiction and the validity of implication, and who sees clearly the epistemological skepticism and ontological nihilism implied in empirical philosophy, this a priori view is inescapable. And yet when one comes to work out the details, there is danger of emulating Kant’s many selfcontradictions. At any rate, Kant’s categories cannot be accepted as they are. ……

Kant might continue to object that no one should be allowed to have his cake and his penny, too. The categories are either derived from experience or they are innate. By this decisive disjunction, so Kant might argue, the preformation theory is proved to be unfair to organized philosophy. However, preformationism does not repudiate the disjunction as just stated: The categories are indeed innate, but in addition God has fashioned both the mind and the world so that they harmonize. And some such scheme must be accepted if the Kantian a-priori is no less skeptical than empiricism. That the cake and penny illustration is inapplicable may be seen by asking the question, Does the law of contradiction hold in thought or does it hold with things? The objector would have to choose one and reject the other. But is it not more plausible to say that the law of contradiction applies both to thought and to things? Even a Ding-an-sich, unknowable as and if it is, cannot also be a Not-Ding-an-sich.”[9]

 

 

Empiricism: UNSOUND and INVALID.

How does one show in formal validity sensation to a proposition in the mind? I ask anyone to show me how a sensation deduces into a proposition in the mind? It cannot be done in formal validity.  Even if one wishes to say there is no incorporeal mind, then the same argument must be shown going from sensation to information in the physical brain. No one can do this.

 

How would one logically argue for empiricism? Let us put such an argument in a valid AAA syllogism. We will home in on sensation from the eye or seeing.

 

A1. [What is sensed by the eye] is [that which is a picture in the mind].

A2. [A picture in the mind] is [true and false propositional knowledge in the mind].

A3. THUS. [What is sensed by the eye] is [true and false propositional knowledge in the mind].

 

The are 2 major problems that make this syllogism unsound or invalid. First are the premises themselves. How can empiricism defend such assertions to begin with? The second problem is dealing with four term fallacy or equivocation.

 

Empiricism: Unjustifiable premises.

 “What is sensed by the eye is a picture in the mind.” How can it be empirically proven—as a universal truth—that what is sensed by the eye is a picture in the physical brain? Is not the purpose of the sensation to bring external input into the brain to think about? If there is no way to show a picture in the brain of what is sensed then empiricism fails.  If a doctor shows parts of the brain lighting up on their computer screens when one thinks, then so what? This is still not showing that the brain actually sees a picture from the sensation of the eye. Even if a physical picture can be shown to be in the brain somehow or somewhere on their “instruments,” this still is not a proof but an unsound conclusion. It would be an effect. It is still working from effect to cause. It is still affirming the consequent. It is the same with radio waves being heard as music in your radio. The music as produced by the radio instrument are only effects of the radio waves, which I cannot sense. Now, because the music is an effect of radio waves, then how does one know the cause? If one infers result to cause, then how does one logically prove the inference is valid? It cannot be done of course.

However, there must be a mind, for without an immaterial mind that thinks in propositions there is not truth and skepticism—which is self-refuting would result.

Gordon Clark says,

 

The idealistic philosophers have argued plausibly that truth is also mental or spiritual. Without a mind truth could not exist. The object of knowledge is a proposition, a meaning, a significance; it is a thought. And this is necessary if communication is to be possible. If a truth, a proposition, or a thought were some physical motion in the brain, no two persons could have the same thought. A physical motion is a fleeting event numerically distinct from every other. Two persons cannot have the same motion, nor can one person have it twice. If this is what thought were, memory and communication would both be impossible. The reply might be made that although the motions are numerically distinct, they are generally similar; therefore, today I have the motion, Columbus discovered America, and tomorrow I have another one like it. This reply, however, is faulty. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that two motions can be similar: A baseball pitcher can throw a curve and later a second curve like it; and one cortical quiver could be like a second. But how could anyone tell that the two motions were similar…..

Or, more to the point, how could any motion connect two other motions that no longer exist? When the second motion occurs, the first thought of Columbus is gone. In its absence how can the second be compared with it and pronounced similar? If only we could remember it! But memory, the making present of the past, is impossible on a physical theory. The first motion as a physical event in time and space is completely and irretrievably gone. It may as a cause initiate a second motion, but it itself no longer exists; and to say that a nonexistent motion is similar to an existing motion is hardly more intelligible than to say they are the same. It is a peculiarity of mind and not of body that the past can be made present. Accordingly, if one may think the same thought twice, truth must be mental or spiritual. Not only does it defy time; it defies space as well, for if communication is to be possible, the identical truth must be in two minds at once. If, in opposition, anyone wishes to deny that an immaterial idea can exist in two minds at once, his denial must be conceived to exist in his own mind only; and since it has not registered in any other mind, it does not occur to us to refute it.[10]

 

Then there are all the logically absurdities that results such as: does one know they are having a sensation? How can this be other than by a sensation? What is the sensation that senses a sensation? And how do we know this sensation senses a sensation other than by a sensation that senses the sensation that senses the first sensation? Is the lack of a sensation a sensation? How does one know this? By sensation?

Therefore, how can empiricism escape begging the question and infinite regress?

 

Moreover, an invisible concept of a true and false proposition is not a physical thing.  A propositional thinking is not physical. But sensation is physical.  Sensation is not understanding of the sensation. But understanding a true and false propositions of a sensation is not the sensation itself. Now one can just arbitrary and without justification assert something at this point to make the leap from physical sensation to an invisible understanding in the mind, but a child can widely assert without justification.  If invisible knowledge comes by sensation is true, then where is the justification? Where is the logically valid argument to prove it?

To have a picture in the mind of Mt. St. Helens is a copy of it; it is not the actual Mountain. But then to think propositional thoughts about the indirect copy of the real Mt. St. Helens is another step in being indirect.  And if empiricism is the first principle for knowledge, then there is no way to validly to go from sensation to knowledge.

To understand a concept about a picture one needs the laws of logic, but how does one sense the law of noncontradiction? If one saw the LoC used or applied but then inferred the LoC from this, then how is one’s knowledge from sensation? If it is sensation plus logical inference then how does one get the logic to begin with if knowledge comes by sensation?  If one uses the sensation before they had the invisible universal LoC—so that all sensation could mean both one thing and its contradictory—then was not all sensation nonsense?  If one did apply the LoC to their senses, then how could one do it before they had the invisible universal LoC? This is important because one cannot have an invisible proposition about a picture sensed by the eye if there is was LoC or laws of logic. That is, in order to think a thought one needs the invisible universal LoC first, so that one might have an invisible true or false proposition, “I like this apple I see.”

 

B1. [A picture in the mind] is [physically coded information].

B2. [Conceptual information] are [true and false propositional knowledge in the mind].

B3. Thus. [A picture in the mind] is [a true and false propositional knowledge in the mind].

 

The problem with syllogism B is also two-fold.

FIRST. How is promise B1. proven? Let us for sake of argument say DNA is a code based language (by physical symbols) for complex operations for the body. So what?  Stepping aside the presuppositional issues how readable code got there and issue of logic of the code and how one validly infers from this with only sensation (etc), let us focus on the immediate issue. If I think a proposition right now, “Empiricists are dumb, can it be seen on my physical brain the logic used and the actual proposition, “Empiricist are dumb.” Even if this could be seen on an instrument on my physical brain, then how does this avoid reasoning from effect to cause? How does one know the inference was valid?

 The law of noncontradiction (and all universals) and propositional concepts that I think right now are invisible. How does one validly infer physical to invisible? Also, how does one validly infer the universal invisible LoC from physical inductive transit sensations? Empiricism is only physical, inductive and not universal; and so, by its own foundation it divorces itself from “all” knowledge. From All knowledge.

 

SECOND. As already been shown to go from Premise B1. “physically coded information,” to B2. “Conceptual information” is an equivocation or (four term fallacy) because the first term is about physical symbols that then changes into concepts, which by definition are invisible.  There is no way to validly prove empiricism. 

 

INCURABLY FALLACIOUS

To suppose that science yields truth is nothing less than blind superstition.  Some might wish more could be said of science. Yet, the impossibility for science to produce truth is built into its epistemology, assumptions and method. There is no way to salvage empiricism, induction and affirming the consequent from irrationality. It is incurably fallacious.

The beauty of science, which is also its cage of limitation, is that while it cannot give truth, or even rationally prove correlation, is that it is rather pragmatically useful. This means that even if it is wrong, it can still produce a useful repeatable result that men may apply for their benefit.

 

 

 

SCIENCE WAS WRONG, But it Sill Cured the Cow

 

Gordon Clark, in “A Christian View of Men & Things,” (2005, pg.118) says this,

“Naturally a great many people, steeped in nineteenth-century scientific traditions, react violently to the idea that science is all false. Did we not make the atom bomb, they say? Does not vaccination prevent smallpox? Cannot we predict the position of Jupiter and an eclipse of the Sun? Verified prediction makes it forever ridiculous to attack science. This reaction is, of course, understandable, however irrational it may be. The argument has not “attacked” science at all; it has insisted that science is extremely useful – though by its own requirements it must be false. The aim nowhere has been to attack science; the aim is to show what science is.

How science can be useful though false is illustrated in a delightful textbook on inductive logic. Milk fever, the illustration goes, until late in the nineteenth-century, was a disease frequently fatal to cows. A veterinarian proposed the theory that it was caused by bacteria in the cow’s udder. The cure, therefore, was to disinfect the cow, which the veterinarian proceeded to do by injecting Lugol solution into each teat. The mortality under this treatment fell from a previous ninety percent to thirty. Does not this successful treatment prove that the bacteria were killed and that Lugol cured the disease? Unfortunately, another veterinarian was caught without the Lugol solution one day, and he injected plain boiled water. The cow recovered. Had water killed the bacteria? What is worse, it was found later that air could be pumped into the cows’ udders with equally beneficial results. The original science was wrong, but it cured the cows nonetheless.

A closer examination of the logic of verification should be made. In the example above, the first veterinarian probably argued: (P) If bacteria cause milk fever, (Q) Lugol solution will cure; (Q) the disinfectant does cure it; (P) therefore, I have verified the hypothesis that bacteria cause milk fever.[11] This argument, as would be explained in a course on deductive logic, is a fallacy. Its invalidity may perhaps be more clearly seen in an artificial example: If a student doggedly works through Plato’s Republic in Greek, he will know the Greek language; this student knows Greek; therefore, he has read Plato’s Republic. This is the fallacy of asserting the consequent, and it is invalid whenever used.

It is precisely this fallacy that is used in every case of scientific verification. If the law of gravitation is true, a freely failing body will have a constant acceleration, and the eclipse will begin at 2:58:03 p.m.; but freely falling bodies do have a constant acceleration, and the eclipse did begin at 2:58:03 p.m.; therefore, the law of gravitation is true. Or, if the periodic table of atomic weights is true, a new element of such and such a weight must exist; this new element has now been discovered; therefore, the periodic table is verified. And, if I eat roast turkey and plum pudding, I lose my appetite; I have lost my appetite; therefore, we had roast turkey for dinner.

All these arguments are equally invalid. But sometimes there is an adverse reaction if it is claimed that verification never proves the truth of a scientific law. Is it worse to “attack” science or to “murder” logic?[12] [13]

 

Below we will observe the above example in basic propositional logic to scrutinize in detail the fallacy (effect to cause restated as modus ponens). Next the problem of science from Clark’s example will be also be shown in denying the consequent. Then it will be shown in affirming the consequent. 

 

FIRST. It will first be stated as a scientist will state it going from affirming the consequent to then restating it in affirming the antecedent.

 

Syllogism #G – Invalid

G1. If the Lugol solution is injected into cow’s udders (P), then the lugo solution will kill the bacteria and the cows will have a better morality rate. (Q).
G2. The bacteria has decreased in the udders and the cow’s mortality rates have been improved.  (Q).
G3. Therefore, the lugol solution was injected and by this verified our prediction. (P).

 

The Veterinary tries this syllogism several times; he repeats this in many different farms and many different cows with great success. After this he believes he has enough controlled repeated tests to establish his hypotheses as truth. He proceeds to published his findings in Veterinarian Weekly magazine. He restates his experimentation( the logically fallacious Affirming the Consequent – Syllogism G)  in the logic of Affirming the Antecedent (Syllogism H). This again is a mistake logically speaking. This restated Modus Ponens still starts off with a premise that was established to begin with by a logical fallacy. The logical problem is still there.  One cannot wave a wand and make it disappear by simply restating it. 

Syllogism #G is logically invalid. Syllogism #H although it valid because it is a modus ponens form, yet because it depends on Syllogism G it is still unsound

 

Syllogism #H – Unsound

H1. If the bacteria has decreased in the udders and the cow’s mortality rates have been improved (as predicted by our hypothesis) (P), then Lugol solution was injected into cow’s udders (Q).
H2. The bacteria has decreased in the udders and the cow’s mortality rates have been improved (P).

H3. Thus, the Lugol solution was injected into the cows udders. (Q)

 

 

SECOND. Denying the Consequent.

Karl Popper

Denying the Consequent works well for falsifying a scientific experiment and conclusions drawn from it—for multi part theory it would falsify just the one aspect involved. This is another reason why science can disprove a theory or be consistent with a “theory” but NEVER “prove,” it. It is also why science is never true.

This works well for an immediate falsification. The famed Karl Popper is correct, in that just one observation of a black swan falsifies the categorical claim that all swans are white. This happens often in science, which is one of the reasons it is constantly changing.  Here is the question. Does, 2 + 2 = 4, ever change? No. If the truth is already known, then there is no change. Professional morons (non-Christians) call this “progressivism,” however, it is just a smoke screen to cover up the problem that they do not have the truth.

“Although in science we do our best to find the truth, we are conscious of the fact that we can never be sure whether we have got it….In science there is no "knowledge," in the sense in which Plato and Aristotle understood the word, in the sense which implies finality; in science, we never have sufficient reason for the belief that we have attained the truth.…

Einstein declared that his theory was false – he said that it would be a better approximation to the truth than Newton's, but he gave reasons why he would not, even if all predictions came out right, regard it as a true theory.”[14] (Karl Popper)

Denying the consequent is essentially a “contrapositive” of affirming the antecedent. In categorical form, it would be something like: Oshea is a man. The contrapositive would be, All non-man is non-Oshea. In propositional form it would be, “If oshea is something, then he is a man.” The contraposition would be, “If something is not a man, then it is not Oshea.”

 

Syllogism #C.

 

C1. (P) If the Lugol solution is injected into cow’s udders, (Q) then the lugo solution will kill the bacteria and the cows will have a better morality rate.

C2. ~(Q) (i.e. not Q) It has been shown that air injected into the udder will kill the bacteria and give the cows a better morality rate.

C3.  Therefore, ~(P) It is not necessarily true that Lugol solution was injected into the cow’s udders, it could have been air or something else.

 

 

Charles Bennett (Phd who is the Principal Investigator of NASA's highly successful Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe), reminds us of this topic in this letter to Science magazine.

“The title of the 6 May News of the Week story ‘At long last, Gravity Probe B satellite proves Einstein right’ (p. 649) made me cringe. I find myself frequently repeating to students and the public that science doesn’t ‘prove’ theories. Scientific measurements can only disprove theories or be consistent with them. Any theory that is consistent with measurements could be disproved by a future measurement. I wouldn’t have expected Science magazine, of all places, to say a theory was ‘proved’.”[15]

 

Science magazine editors responded back admitting Bennet was correct.

 

Let us examine the actual syllogism of experimentation Clark put together and then try the valid use of falsification (denying the consequent ) on it.  Clark’s syllogism starts one more step back from the syllogism I constructed. This is a good illustration to show that at every step of the way a scientist must fallaciously use affirming the consequent, because in many cases the are many steps of cause and effect which the science must work backs in logic.

 

Syllogism L

L1. (P) If bacteria cause milk fever, (Q) then Lugol solution will cure;

L2. (Q) the disinfectant does cure it;

L3. (P) therefore, I have verified(consistent) the hypothesis that bacteria cause milk fever.

 

This is fallacious reasoning; the consequent is affirmed. As said before, my belly might be full due to me eating a large portion of watermelon rather than bread.

 

Syllogism N

N1. (P) If bacteria cause milk fever, (Q) then Lugol solution will cure;

N2. ~(Q) (not Q) Air cured it;

N3. (P) therefore, I have falsified the hypothesis that bacteria cause milk fever.

 

 

 

THIRD. Affirming the Consequent.

Affirming the consequent focuses—not on the immediate falsification of the scientific experiment and thus showing in a pragmatic why induction is fallacious—rather it focuses on the inherent problem/fallacy of working from effect to cause (which is the issue of affirming the consequent). To reason from effect to cause is to irrationally think one has more information than the experiment gives. The scientist must assume a type of omni-knowing divine mind, but at this point with omni-knowledge there is no need to do the experiment because all is already known.  The scientist tries to avoid this issue by controlled tests, which is to construct properly an environment that limits factors that could affect the experiment. But again, the only way to do this is to have more knowledge than the experiment itself. If this is the case then there is no need for an experiment, for he already has more knowledge than his experiment.

 

It is affirming the consequent, and so a fallacy. 

Syllogism #D.


D1. If the Lugol solution is injected into cow’s udders (P), then the lugo solution will kill the bacteria and the cows will have a better morality rate. (Q).
D2. The bacteria has decreased in the udders and the cow’s mortality rates have been improved.  (Q).
D3. Therefore, the lugol solution was injected [and so is alleged to be the cause/correlation] (P).

 

The problem with this, as the example before showed, it could have been water or air that was injected into the udder. Also, this shows that there is nonecessary” connection that the lugol solution is even a correlation let alone a cause. Trying to find a necessary connection by working backwards from result to origin is always a logical fallacy.

 

Therefore, I deny any philosophy/worldview or system of thinking about the world that relies on empiricism, induction and affirming the consequent to produce propositional knowledge has any rational grounds to say anything, let alone the origins of the world. Such a system of thinking is so incurably fallacious that is cannot even give knowledge about something so basic as, “there is an apple on my desk.” If a philosophy cannot produce any knowledge it is not merely that it is a failure, but that it is nothing.   Such intellectually inferiority is to be mocked and dismissed. 

 

And so, because medicine is based upon science, then chiropractic medicine is a valid medicine if the chiropractic doctors and patients get the pragmatic results they are looking for. Maybe it is the true cause; OR, maybe it is just a correlation to something indirectly related to the cause. Maybe chiropractic medicine has no connection to cause or correction of the problem; however, as long as the patients get the pragmatic results they are looking for—just as with the cow’s udders and the Lugol solution—then it is a legitimate medical SCIENCE.  Because medicine is defined as “science” then it must admit chiropractic medicine as genuine medicine.



[1] The basic outline for these two syllogisms I got from Vincent Cheung, A Gang of Pandas. Web. 2010. Or from Sermonettes Vol. 1. 2010.

[2]  From Skepdic.com. Article, “Affirming the Consequent.” Web. 2017.   http://www.skepdic.com/affirmingtheconsequent.html

Emphasis and [] added by author.

[3] Premise 1 is fine as a modus ponens because the antecedent (P), “when I eat lots of bread,”  it is starting with the cause and then moving to a necessary connection/result, “my stomach gets full.” It is appealing to the cause. In fact, it can be shown from the Bible that eating—at least normally—fills the stomach up, as a truth about a normally occurring cause and effect in the world—which is controlled God’s direct and absolute sovereignty.

 

[4] Vincent Cheung, A Gang of Pandas. Web. 2010. Or from Sermonettes Vol. 1. 2010.

[5] Gordon Clark, Vol.1, “A Christian View of Men & Things,” (2005, pg.214).  Published by The Trinity Foundation, Unicoi TN.

[6]  Clark. Ibid. pg.214

[7] Clark. Ibid. Pg. 215-216

[8] Clark Ibid. Pg. 218.

[9] Clark. Ibid. pg.219, 221.

[10] Gordon Clark, “A Christian View of Men & Things,” (2005, pg.223).  Published by The Trinity Foundation.

[11] Here Clark, unlike www.skeptic.com, use the phrase for experimentation, “verified the hypothesis”, or “verified prediction,” in the syllogism correctly in the affirming the consequent form and not restated in modus ponens to hide the irrational nature of reasoning from effect to cause.

(P) If bacteria cause milk fever, (Q) Lugol solution will cure;

(Q) the disinfectant does cure it;

(P) therefore, I have verified the hypothesis that bacteria cause milk fever

[12] Gordon Clark, “A Christian View of Men & Things,” (2005, pg.118).  Published by The Trinity Foundation.

      Emphasis and (P) (Q) added by Author.

[13] Indeed, is it worse to attack science or kill logic, or that is, to kill the LOGOS—who was God and is God?  How can one kill the Logos when they cannot even deny the law of noncontradiction without using it?  Has not God made foolish those who deny Him? They try and suppress the truth of God written on their hearts, but the very things they condemn others of they themselves do it.  That is, because God is man’s epistemology, then whether it is denying the law of noncontradiction written on their souls or God’s power written, or God’s ethics written on their souls they cannot rationally deny God’s truth. They have no rational way out to deny God.

[14] Popper Selections, edited by David Miller; Princeton University Press, 1985; p. 90, 91, 121

[15] Charles L. Bennett, “Science Title Misstep”, Science 332:1263, 2011.

 
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