Tag Archives: DNA

Why Would YOU Think Like Aristotle?

26 Oct

So why would anyone, you, I, or the person down the street, the big shot in the office, the bag person pushing a shopping cart  — Why would they, or anyone else, think like, or want to think like Aristotle?

The reason is simple: Because we are human.

Aristotle no doubt believed he came up with a higher form of reasoning. His followers, even to this day, tend to believe that Aristotlean Logic is a higher form of reasoning, largely due to the complex nature of its exceptions.  Fallacies, they are called.

So what is a Fallacy?

Its simplest definition is an error in reasoning: On the surface the argument looks as though it is reasonable and logical, but when compared to empirical data the answer simply does not fit.

The easiest fallacy to uncover results from not closely defining the terms being used. Often these are accidental. If you don’t realize that bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast, and protozoa, are all called germs: If you don’t realize that some of these are good for you, then you are prone to making fallacies about them yourself or to accepting fallacies about them from others.

This is where questions come in. Even when you know that germs are a category, not things themselves, and even when you know that some are good for you and some are bad for you and some are indifferent — it does not hurt to ask yourself, or the person you are talking too, “Exactly what do we mean by that?”

Why Logic is so difficult to master is because there are so many potential fallacies that have been identified. The lowest number of known fallacies I have ever heard is ninety-nine.  The largest number is over a thousand.

In order to be a logician you need to not only recognize a fallacy, you need to be able to implement it; that is find it and correct it.

The reason why there are so many exceptions in Logic; the reason why there are so many fallacies is not because Logic is complex, but because it is simplistic. It way over simplifies so that our minds, which are incapable of handling the full extent of reality, can deal with, manipulate, and understand reality.

Once we understand that Logic is simplified reasoning, one that is not in any way connected too, or representative of reality, then we can use it to good effect. We take a tiny piece of our insanely complex universe, make it bite size so our brain can deal with it, and then discuss it as though it were real. We can refine our definition to the point where it can be understood and manipulated. We can discuss specific bacteria strains, or domestic cats, without constantly worrying that this small segment of reality is not representative of all reality, even though we are aware of the fact.

Once that is done we can use Logic.

Basically Logic is a system of drawing lines around the various parts of the universe and declaring “This is This and That is That”.

It is important to realize that neither This nor That really exist in and of themselves.

A dog is NOT a dog. There is a self animated fur-bearing thing out there in reality that we call a dog. Dogs share DNA with cats and humans. When we talk about dogs we often do not even realize we are discussing domestic dogs and much of what we say does not apply to their wild cousins. So we can discuss German Shepherds or Border Collies as opposed to Tea Cup Poodles or Chihuahuas.

I am aware I am beating a point in the head here, but it needs to be absorbed.

When we are using Logic we are not talking about “Things” we are talking about our definitions of “Things”. The things themselves do not exist independently or out of context with any of the other things the universe is composed of. The fact things can be treated as though they are separate entities allows humans the ability “Think” about them: To manipulate ideas about them: To, as far as humanly possible, understand them.

We never really know, no can we ever know, exactly what we are talking about. But we can arrange our definitions is such a way that we can discuss them as though we did know.

The problems of reasoning happen when we forget that Logic, Things, or Events, and our understanding of them, are all artificial constructs that allow us as humans to function within a universe we cannot fully comprehend.

© 2013 All Rights Reserved.

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The law of Non-Contradiction.

27 Jul

The law of Non-Contradiction.

 

Nothing can both exist and not exist at the same time and in the same respect; or no statement is both true and false.

 

Let us start with the easy one.

 

To a Map Thinker™ truth is virtually nonexistent. Those truths that do exist are ephemeral. This state of being existed at this specific time at this specific place. The most enduring truths are relationships and they are complete abstractions.

For example Pi.

Unfortunately the exact truth of Pi can never be known to the final digit and if it were it would be useless knowledge.

 

As Steven Hawking points out: In mathematics it is often the case where two different, even opposite, models can explain the same phenomena. Which one you use is a matter of choice or convenience. One of his sentences I love is that all P-branes are created equal.

Truth is not an issue.

Usefulness is.

To a Map Thinker the simplest solution that yields a useful result is the best solution.

 

Now on to: Nothing can both exist and not exist at the same time and in the same respect.

 

Aristotle expressed this as A(A and not A).

 

Lets examine this a bit. In poor Aristotle’s defense, ( I do pick on him a LOT) he had no way of guessing our formula for A: An = Rn = (RsiRpi )n -> Q = I <- Pn . Science of the time, while more advanced than many people believe, was not what it is today.

What he was looking at as A was Q = I.

In simple words he saw the forest and thought it was the thing itself. He did not see the trees that made it up. Sort of the opposite of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

In complexer terms he saw the qualities expressed by(RsiRpi )n and thought this I(dentity) was in fact the thing itself.

 

And yes, I do know “proper grammar” does not include “complexer”. Someday I will write a “Map Thinker’s Guide to Creative Grammar™” Just because I can.

 

R -> Q = I <- P

 

R = Ripn

 

 

Lets take a closer look at R.

 

R = (RsiRpi )n means that A (Tree for example) is both the sum of its parts and the proportion of those parts. Thus to reiterate what was said before: It is possible to hold a rock in one hand and a glass of sea water in the other that both contain exactly the same ingredients. The only difference being the proportions of those ingredients.

 

But just like a stew can contain salt or not contain salt, or contain oregano or not contain oregano and still be identifiable as stew, so can sea water and a rock can contain or not contain different ingredients and still be identifiable as both a rock and sea water.

 

Tiny differences in the DNA of trees tells a scientist which tree was involved in the crime.

 

Some scientists tell us an interesting possibility about emus.

 

It seems that birds and reptiles are virtually the same creatures. Every feathered friend that exists is a potential scaly monster from bygone eras — If you knew how to flip the right switch.

Therefore an Emu is a potential tiny dinosaur of the same size and shape.

 

Is that true?

It remains to be proven.

 

Gene splicing, cloning, DNA fiddling… this could get confusing.

 

So the law of non-contradiction that Aristotle was so fond of is in reality a pleasant fiction that bears no relationship to the world of reality — Only the world of appearance.

 

Once we replace A = A with  we are forced to replace  NOT (A and not A) with A = An and Rn where An equals slight variations in A (possibly over time) Rn. When Rip as perceived by Aristotle had a large enough difference he saw A as something entirely different.

Let us say A = grass.

If grass is given the right nutrients it will provide your lawn with a richer, more bountiful color to show off your skill and your house.

Thus A = An.

Very slight variations in the same grass over time and environment (a hefty word meaning place / space).

Your neighbor has a different breed of grass.

A = Aªn.

Where A is A but shows a wide variation. Enough to be a separate variety.

A = (RsiRpi )

Where A = any potential state of A both known and unknown.

An example of this could be instead of feeding the lawn a diet that produces a more robust color the homeowner instead forgets to water the grass and it becomes dry and brown and eventually dies off.

Or it could be the neighbor’s cow eats it and it changes state completely.

 

Aristotle never considered time, space, or process in any of his laws. With modern knowledge of how the world works we cannot ignore them. Any change, even the slightest, in time, space, or process, will have an effect on A no matter what A is.

 

A is only A at a specific place, during a specific time, while no process is happening.

Thus A is ONLY A while you are pointing at it.

As soon as you have turned your back on it it has changed.

 

The grass, A, is changing at some microscopic level even as you point at it.

Thus An -> I <-P.

 

I will name the Perceiver George.

This comes from an enjoyable Fantasy novel titled “The Dragon and the George”  by Gordon R. Dickson.

It is a reply to The Ultimate Prisoner Riddle. ( I will get into the Ultimate Prisoner Riddle and its social aspects another time.) The oldest of these I know of is Sinbad. But Sinbad the Sailor and Sinbad the wealthy and Sinbad the Pauper are all the same. And this is very transparent.

Jim Eckert on the other hand enters a world of magic as the Dragon Gorbash. And is forced into another Point of View entirely.

George is a suitable name for our Perceiver.

We, as does George, must face constant change in our Point of View.

 

An -> I <-P.

Where there is a slight difference, even a profoundly noticeable difference such as color change or growing too tall, George is able to maintain continuity. He can say, “My grass sure looks better after I added that new ingredient to it. But it is growing faster so I got to cut it this weekend.”

 

 

Thus George can think about, and talk about, the grass in front of his house that he calls a lawn as though it existed in Aristotle’s simplistic universe.

 

And there is nothing wrong with that.

 

Remember a basic principle of Map Thinking:

Always use the simplest map that serves the purpose.

 

Just because George knows, or should know, that at some level A -> I <- P does not mean that he has to use it every time he draws a breath.

 

Here is another basic principle of Map Thinking.

 

The human mind, in order to function, simplifies everything. There is no way the human mind can encompass all the complexities of the universe. Even if it could it would have to focus on one aspect at a time in order to function as a human being.

 

In art you are taught the basic shapes. Circle, square, rectangles, triangles, ovals, — None of these shapes exist in nature.

They are mental simplifications the mind uses to deal with all the complex information presented by a confusing universe.

Does not matter.

If you learn to draw, and learn to see, basic shapes, you will always be able to produce a picture.

No tree or bush that ever existed was ever exactly ball-shaped or exactly triangular-shaped — But the mind will process them as such. Even houses built by humans do not form exact squares and rectangles, but the mind sees them as such.

 

Thus the law of non-contradiction must be replaced with,

A ≠ -> I <- P

A does not equal the Identity it projects to the Perceiver.

 

A is both A and Not A.

 

At one and the same time.

 

You should notice that nowhere in here have I directly discussed particle physics or quantum physics / mechanics. Both are implied. It would be hard for me to discuss reason or science without some references. But everything I have discussed has been on the macro level.

Aristotle could have seen it.

Anyone since Aristotle could have seen it.

Some did.

Those who did were quickly drowned out by those who worshipped Aristotle as the Thinker of all Thinkers. Just last week I met a man whose basic attitude is, “Aristotle said it. I believe it. That settles it.”

 

Had Aristotle not been so simplistic, or had his adherents not been so fanatical, Quantum Physics would not be such a shock to the average person. Because the activity at the Macro level is NOT that different from that at the Micro level — If you take the time to look.

 

 

 

(C) 2013, All Rights Reserved

 

Aristotle is an idiot (part one)

18 May

Aristotle was an idiot (part one)

He was probably an idiot in his own time

When compared to real thinkers such as Socrates

And it is certainly idiotic to follow his lead 2300 years after his death.

Lets look at the three laws of thought:

#1: THE LAW OF IDENTITY:

OR:

A = A

Everything is itself and the same as itself.

That sentence does have meaning, although in today’s world, full of scientific knowledge, we know that the only thing that is itself and only itself is whatever you are able to stand and point to / at.

And this is problematical.

But that thing is only itself for as long as it is there and not changed. A tree may outlive us for a thousand years but someday it too will be gone. And it will, in all likely hood not be the same tree after a thousand years. It will have grown taller, fatter, may have been trough a fire and lost twenty per cent of its foliage or half of its limbs. It may have been topped for a Christmas tree.

Hey, lets propagate that tree, which means the new tree will in effect be the same tree — but let’s do some science. How about we inject a little human DNA to the new growth.

Not sure how that could be done but I’m willing to bet there will come a time when someone does it.

Wait a minute, humans already share what, 50%, 70% of their DNA with trees — and a company called Biopresence will put YOUR DNA into a tree as a memorial.

Come to think of it eating a banana is cannibalism.

Using that criteria one must wonder just how much difference there is between a vegetarian and a carnivore or an omnivore?

How would you feel if the tree created using your DNA was used someday to build a house? Would it matter which house was built? Would it matter if it were used in a housing project or a funeral home or an orphanage?

There would appear serious evidence exists that meteorites carry the basic building blocks of DNA with them trough space.

So you can think of meteorites as space sperm looking for a fertile female planet to impregnate.

The next time you skip a rock across a lake think of the idea you may be drowning a distant cousin.

There is a tiny bit more to the law of identity.

A final point of absurdity:

“A statement cannot remain the same and change its truth value.”

WTBDTM? ™

For Aristotle it meant a lot. He believed in an absolute, independent, truth.

For a Map Thinker this makes no sense.

A map thinker knows truth is an accurate statement of a specific event at a specific place that lasts a specific length of time. Last Tuesday at ten a.m. The stop light was green.

The big dipper will be recognizable in its present form for the next thousand years.

Okay, the point of all this:

We need to rewrite the Law of Identity for use today.

A thing is distinguishable as itself to the extent it is different from everything else.

We are going to abolish the whole thing about truth value.

For example Aristotle believed the human species was the unquestionably superior creature of all creation.

This, to him, was an absolute truth.

Most people today would have at least a degree of doubt that humans are in fact the perfect species.

The biggest problem with the Law of Identity, as Aristotle promulgates it, is that it separates things completely from all other things they relate too and from time. That is a thing in Aristotle’s world has no connections to any thing else, has no past and no future.

Such a thing cannot exist in our reality.

Lets apply this to you as a person.

Your identity depends on those things that distinguish you from all other people in the world.

Part of that is genetics.

Part of that is your past.

Part of that is how you see yourself today.

Part of that is what you wish, or believe, you will, or may become in the future.

You don’t have to strive to do any of this. All you have to do is strive to be yourself and strive to create yourself into the future person you would wish to become.

Nice to meet you. 🙂

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