August 31st, 2014
Whenever we are considering two competing hypotheses, an observation counts as evidence in favor of the hypothesis under which the observation has the highest probability.
The Likelihood Principle of Confirmation theory states as follows. Let h1 and h2 be two be competing hypothesis (in this case the existence of X and ~X, with X being a first cause, fine-tuner, a particle, etc.). According to the Likelihood Principle, an observation e counts as evidence in favor of hypothesis h1 over h2 if the observation is more probable under h1 than h2. Thus, e counts in favor of h1 over h2 if P(e|h1) > P(e|h2), where P(e|h1) and P(e|h2) depict a conditional probability of e on h1 and h2, respectively. The degree to which the evidence counts in favor of one hypothesis over another is proportional to the degree to which e is more probable under h1 than h2: particularly, it is proportional to P(e|h1)/P(e|h2) . The Likelihood Principle seems to be sound under all interpretations of probability. This form is concerned with epistemic probability.
read more »
May 3rd, 2014
Philosophical Fragments is a blog with Patheos and there was a guest post (don’t hold it against he actual blog owner, it’s a guest) named Mark Goldblatt (I’m not certain that’s the author but notice his employer and notice what he’s writing on… I’m just saying…) titled “Bad Epistemology.” Let me begin by telling you what I really think… I think this post is full of bad science, bad philosophy, bad semantics, quibbling over spilled milk, and botches the multiverse is an embarrassingly bad way. Aaaand, yes, there are some good things and I won’t forget to highlight them either.
If you want to argue against the multiverse [or quantum issues], fine, but do so in an informed and more educated manner than this.
Goldblatt begins his epic rant by discussing contemporary science’s search and desire to discover the truth about the cosmos and the origin of life. Quoting Neil deGrasse Tyson from the reinstatement of Cosmos:
“If you take the universe all the way back to the Big Bang, well, the entire universe was really small. So now you take the shotgun wedding – quantum physics and general relativity. In that shotgun wedding, if you follow through with all the predictions quantum physics gives you, it allows multiple bubbles to form – one of which is our universe. These are sorts of fluctuations in the quantum foam. Quantum physics fluctuates all the time. But now the fluctuations are not just particles coming into and out of existence, which happens all the time. It’s whole universes coming into and out of existence.”
read more »
November 17th, 2013
The odds against an event is a ratio of the probability that the event will fail to occur (failure) to the probability that the event will occur (success).
Most of the time you hear about “odds”, they are referring to the odds against.
read more »
November 15th, 2013
Below is a brief introduction to theoretical probability. Probability is something that is used very, very frequently in philosophy and science. I would encourage further research and familiarity with it than just this.
Definition: If each outcome of an experiment has the same chance of occurring as any other outcome, they are said to be equally likely outcomes.
Let E be an event having equally likely outcomes, then the probability of E may be calculated with the following formula:
- The probability of an event that cannot occur (impossible event) is 0. p(ø) = 0
- The probability of an event that must occur is 1. p(S) = 1
- Every probability is a number between 0 and 1, inclusive. 0 < p(E) < 1
- The sum of the probabilities of all possible outcomes of an experiment is 1.
read more »
October 8th, 2012
When considered in the range possible explanans for the origin of information in the universe/multiverse the options must meet the conditions of causal efficacy and specificity. The first condition states that origin of information must be causal. Information does not arbitrarily pop in and out of existence but requires a source. The second condition states that the origin must sufficiently explain the specificity in information and must provide more than mere Shannon information.
Consider a computer as an example for information relay (a phenomenal entity). The computer is and can be used as a channel, it can be a receiver, and it can be a source of information. However, to say that the information in the computer no longer needs an explanation for its origin would suffer the problem of information displacement. What begs the question is from where did the information in the computer come? The answer would inevitably become a software engineer or a programmer. Undirected material processes have not demonstrated the capacity to generate significant amounts of specified information. Information can be changed via materialistic means. The computer can change the initial coding from the programmer and introduce noise on the sending and receiving ends.
read more »