Tag: #Metaphysics

Comparing Minneapolis wages to wages in North Minneapolis

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As Aristotle explored in his Metaphysics: Book Delta, the parts of something, say the parts of a city, are divisions of the whole that can be differentiated from one another by quantification or by qualification. In the sense of quantifying, North Minneapolis can be differentiated from Minneapolis by observational data, for example, unemployment rates, education rates, and wages.

In the sense of qualifying, North Minneapolis can be differentiated by recognition of area. But it should be noted that the geography of North Minneapolis is still the geography of Minneapolis. It is just a recognition of a specified area, which is not Northeast Minneapolis, South Minneapolis, or Southwest Minneapolis.

Furthermore, North Minneapolis is broken down further by quantification and qualification into area codes: 55411 and 55412. Thus, the 55411 and 55412 zip codes are distinguishable by name and specific geography, this is obvious, and by observational data.

For example, previous articles in this blog have shown the 55411 zip code to be the zip code with the highest number of reported crimes in North Minneapolis; whereas, previous articles in this blog have shown the 55412 zip code to be the zip code with the highest number of foreclosures over the past decade.

Graph 1

Utilizing this systemic approach, the wages between Minneapolis and North Minneapolis, specifically the 55411 zip code, can be differentiated and analyzed.

Thus, are the dynamics of the wages (how wages change over time) shown to be relatively equal to one another? Are the dynamics of the wages of the 55411 zip code shown to be greater than Minneapolis? Or are the dynamics of the wages of the 55411 zip code shown to be less than Minneapolis?

As Graph 1 illustrates, we can see that the wage rate of Minneapolis is steeper than the wage rate of the 55411 zip code in Graph 2. And we’re not just eyeing this. We can see this distinctly via the linearization equations in Graph 1 and Graph 2.

The linearization equation in Graph 1 (y = 6.4152x + 1083.1) shows a rate of 6.4 and the linearization equation in Graph 2 (y = 2.2805x + 823.6) shows a rate of 2.3, if both rates of change are rounded-off. Obviously, 6.4 is greater than 2.3, and by quite a bit. Why is this important?

Graph 2

Dynamically (how wages change over time), this shows the wages of Minneapolis are growing at a greater rate than the wages of the 55411 zip code. Of course, these equations also show that the average weekly wages of Minneapolis are between $250 and $300 higher than the 55411 zip code.

This little bit of information ought to provide policy makers with some much-needed direction to create and apply economic policy. Of course the operative modal verb is “ought to.”

So do you think local policy makers would consider differentiating between the part and the whole when creating economic policy? Or do you think local policy makers would just create and apply the same policy for both the part and the whole?

 

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Copyright ©2017 – The Systems Scientist

An Agnostic Case for an Intelligent Designer: The Intelligent Designer’s Workshop

Editors Note: This is part 3 of a three-part series taken from a philosophical paper. Part 1 was published on January 7th, and part 2 was published on January 14th. This is the fourth blog for the EID Blog, which is the Evolution/Intelligent Design Blog. Remember, a primary focus of The Systems Scientist is to provide a platform where different and contrasting ideas have direct access to each other. Our bubble is everything! Enjoy the EID Blog! 

By Matt Johnson 

The Objectors

Certainly, Bill Nye and Ken Ham would object to parts of this new argument, i.e., this new option. In the case of Nye, what objection would he use from this short, third option argument? How would he address the Creation Hypothesis? How would he address the Computational Hypothesis? And how would he address the Mind-Body Hypothesis? Which hypothesis is the one he would find most disturbing to his belief system? And what would Ham object to?

What objection would he use from this short, third option proposal? How would he address the Creation Hypothesis? How would he address the Computation Hypothesis? And how would he address the Mind-Body Hypothesis? For both of these orators, which hypothesis would be the most likely, disagreeable hypothesis?

As a consequence of the Matrix Hypothesis thus far, both Nye and Ham’s world views would not be interrupted if the Metaphysical Hypothesis were found to be true. Only a few underlying metaphysical beliefs would need to change in order for them both to continue their respective perspectives. For example, like the science of relativity and natural selection, the fossil record and the process of discovering and understanding the fossil record wouldn’t be affected. With the exception of a few metaphysical beliefs, Nye would continue to believe his story about the fossil record and Ham would continue to believe his story about the fossil record; and they would continue to disagree.

Bill Nye would continue to agree with the notion that natural laws that happened in the past still happen today. In other words, the laws of physics are roughly the same now as they were a few hundred million years after the Big Bang (It is believed that the laws of physics operated a bit differently just after the Big Bang). And natural selection along with the other evolutionary mechanisms would still be the prevailing explanations for how and why species on this planet evolved. In addition, Ken Ham would take the position, as a biblical creationist, that the world began about 4,000 BCE. Placed in the context of Chalmers’ paper, the creation simulation began about 4,000 years ago with the simulated world already established. Thus, in this case, the Computational Hypothesis wouldn’t have much of an effect on either other than a small, subtle change in metaphysical beliefs. So how would Nye and Ham view the Creation Hypothesis and the Mind-Body Hypothesis?

For Ham, the Creation Hypothesis wouldn’t change much other than he would view the Creation Hypothesis as evidence for a creator. In other words, he would not view the creator as some innocuous scientist running the simulation in the next universe up. Rather, he would view the creator as a biblical creator. However, it is likely Nye would have issues with this hypothesis. This is because Nye comes from the point of view of an empiricist. In short, one can’t know for sure if the creator is a biblical God or an innocuous scientist who likes beer. Thus, the empirical evidence suggests it is probably neither.

But again, if the Creation Hypothesis were true, it wouldn’t change much of Nye’s belief system other than a few metaphysical beliefs, and that’s assuming it would change any of his metaphysical beliefs at all. Remember, the hypothesis doesn’t require his belief in it. In addition, like Chalmers’ indicated in his paper, no one knows if it is true or not; but just the same, no one knows if it is false or not. Whatever the entity is, it exists outside space-time and cannot be falsified or verified by contemporary scientific methods or technologies.

For Nye, the Mind-Body Hypothesis wouldn’t change much. Again, if he accepted the Creation Hypothesis, and that’s a big “if,” he would more than likely accept the notion of the scientist in the next universe up, not the biblical creator. But as for Ham, he certainly wouldn’t accept the Mind-Body Hypothesis in its current form. This is because of his logic tree. For him, biblical evidence is used to conclude his biblical ideology. That is, the book of Genesis is specific about Man being created in the image of God. This means that the mind-body of Man exists in the simulation itself, although it is not known for sure if Ham would disagree with this notion of existing in a simulation. Either way, the mind would still exist outside of space-time, receiving inputs, and outputting information into the simulated universe in an interactive way.

This is certainly not how Ham would think about this interaction between the universe outside of space-time and the universe inside space-time. Only the biblical God would be able to move back and forth between the “spiritual” world and this world, hence the stories of Moses, Daniel, Jesus, etc. However, Ham’s beliefs do not affect the Mind-Body Hypothesis and the Mind-Body Hypothesis, if true, probably won’t affect his metaphysical beliefs.

In short, Ken Ham would still be directing operations at Answers In Genesis in Kentucky, and he would still have his hair. And he and Bill Nye would still disagree on the things they disagree on without realizing they would probably agree on some of the conditions of the Matrix Hypothesis, or at least they would both agree to disagree with this modest proposal.

Final Thoughts

I am not an empiricist. I am more than likely a Kuhnian, so Chalmers’ is not out of reach for me. I find his proposal to be fascinating. And if it were to be true, it would not affect my world other than a change in a few metaphysical beliefs. So other than the metaphysical consequences of the Creation Hypothesis, i.e., some innocuous, beer drinking scientist running the simulation in the next universe up, my world and my beliefs in the world would not be shattered. Rather, I would have gained greater understanding and knowledge of my world.

With respect to the Computational Hypothesis, it wouldn’t influence my world much at all. I’m not a quantum physicist so I can only assume that finding out that bits are the foundation of the universe would have a negligible impact on my life similar to that of finding out about the Higgs-Boson. Yes! It was cool. But it didn’t change my world much. The laws of nature are still the laws of nature and the scientific process works just fine. And in regards to the Mind-Body Hypothesis, receiving inputs from outside space-time wouldn’t change much for me either. The only difference is, if the hypothesis were to be found true, I would know, and that’s if I were privy to the new-found information. Thus, it would be possible for me to believe in an Intelligent Designer while being a non-believing agnostic who happens to be a mathematical scientist.

 

Matt Johnson is a writer for The Systems Scientist and the Urban Dynamics blog; and is a mathematical scientist. He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook

You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook as well. 

Photo credit: Pixabay

 

 

 

Copyright ©2017 – The Systems Scientist

An Agnostic Case for an Intelligent Designer: The Argument and the Scientist

Editors Note: This is part 2 of a three-part series taken from a philosophical paper. Part 1 was published on January 7th, and part 3 will be published on January 21st. This is the second blog for the EID Blog, which is the Evolution/Intelligent Design Blog. Remember, a primary focus of The Systems Scientist is to provide a platform where different and contrasting ideas have direct access to each other. Our bubble is everything! Enjoy the second EID Blog! 

 

The Argument

Because of David Chalmers and other philosophers, it is possible to make an argument that a mathematical scientist who also happens to be an agnostic can indeed believe in an intelligent designer while accepting that the laws of nature – the Big Bang, and galactic and biological evolution – are processes that have continued since the birth of the universe as is. That is, the notion set forth by Chalmers makes this unusual paradigm possible; and as will be shown, not much changes other than a few subtle changes in metaphysical beliefs. But again, this is not a usual case. The current perceptions of who ought to believe in an Intelligent Designer are much different from the argument that will be presented in this short paper.

The perception of an intelligent designer is that it is religiously motivated. For example, those who attempt to make an argument for science supporting the existence of the Judeo/Christian God range from Young Earth Creationists such as Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis to such scientists as Francis Collins who heads the BioLogos foundation. However, their positions are quite different from each other on the matter and thus illustrate the range in belief systems throughout the intelligent design community.

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For instance, Ken Ham’s premise is that the Earth is about 6,000 years old and the Christian Bible can be used as a guide for the science. In contrast, Francis Collins and others like him accept the natural processes of the universe such as the Big Bang, and galactic and biological evolution. However, Collins would agree that God initiated the process.

Conversely, the prevailing argument by those who do not believe in an Intelligent Designer, or who are not Creationists, is that science does not explain the existence of God. In fact, this group would state science has no opinion on the matter, although some voices do take liberties that could be perceived as stating that science says God does not exist. The most recognizable voices in this public debate are Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins, and Lawrence Krauss. Both Bill Nye and Ken Ham’s hypothetical objections to the Agnostic’s intelligent designer argument will be addressed later in this paper.

Science Values

As Richard Feynman once iterated, science is a process and it is best understood through its processes, not by its definition. There is wisdom in this idea because in the Matrix Hypothesis, it is still a process. Contrary to some beliefs, the scientific process is still applicable in the Matrix Hypothesis. This is because actualization of the Matrix Hypothesis doesn’t change the dynamical and probabilistic forces of the universe. For example, finding out that the universe is made by a creator in the next universe up doesn’t change the fundamental processes of natural selection. This is because natural selection was working before; it is still working now, and will continue to work.

Rather, the lack of actualization of the Matrix Hypothesis was merely an epistemic gap between how one viewed the universe and how one now views the universe. The only thing that changed was a few metaphysical beliefs, and these beliefs had nothing to do with the scientific process itself.

In addition, finding out that the foundation of the universe is composed of bits doesn’t change the fundamental processes of quantum physics. Those processes are still the same. In fact, discovering that bits comprise the foundation of reality would be like finding out the Higgs-Boson is responsible for mass. It would only add to the knowledge and understanding for the scientist and thus civilization. Quantum processes would still be the same and physicists would still try to find the one little tiny equation that links the quantum universe with the gravitational universe.

And finally, finding out that the foundation of the universe is composed of a mind-body connection wouldn’t change other than metaphysical beliefs. Ken Ham would still be directing Answers In Genesis in Kentucky, and he would still have hair, while Bill Nye would still be known as the Science Guy, and he would still have hair as well. But the process of science would not have changed or even have been influenced by these small, subtle changes in metaphysical beliefs.

A Systems Scientist’s Motivation

Much of Systems Science is about being able to recognize and understand different perspectives. In regards to the discipline of Urban Dynamics, it is recognizing cities are built out of different systems levels. There is the general system, which is the city itself; there is the district or ward, which is a politically established system; and there is the neighborhood, which in most instances is the system that is not politically established but rather emerged through the interaction between an economic system, a cultural system, and a political system. These are just a few of the systems that exist in cities. But this idea of distinctions and perspectives leads to the motivation of taking a different perspective from that of a new atheist or a creationist.

With the help and guidance of Chalmers’ what would a third option look like? That is, would it be possible for an agnostic who is a mathematical scientist to believe in an Intelligent Designer? Would it be possible to take a different position than that of Ham or Nye? And if so, what would it look like? And could it be a competitive, yet compelling notion?

A Subtle Disagreement with Chalmers

Before addressing the objections, a few tweaks with Chalmers’ reasoning need to be addressed. He states in his paper when discussing the Creation Hypothesis,

…most of my ordinary beliefs are still true. I still have hands, I am still in Tucson, and so on. Perhaps a few of my beliefs will turn out false: if I am an atheist, for example, or if I believe all reality started with the Big Bang. But most of my everyday beliefs about the external world will remain the same.

However, this short paper has established that the laws of nature, relativity and natural selection for example, are congruent with the Matrix. They are a part of the environment that exists inside the system; and like being in Tucson or having hair, the Big Bang is still true from the point of view of cosmologist. The cosmology being conducted by the cosmologist is still the cosmology. For example, the cosmologist is in Tucson. The Matrix Hypothesis would not change this belief.

The cosmologist also has hair. This is quite the assumption because he could have pulled it out over frustration, but for these purposes it will be assumed he had a good week and still has his hair. The Matrix Hypothesis would not change this belief. And the cosmologist sitting in Tucson, who has hair, is studying the cosmos, specifically the Big Bang. The Matrix Hypothesis would not change this belief. Thus this scenario, and its respective parts, is still true.

Finally, it could be the case that the cosmologist learns about the Matrix Hypothesis and accepts it in totality. But this wouldn’t change his belief in the Big Bang. It would maybe change some of his underlying metaphysical beliefs about the universe, but the Big Bang would still be true because the laws of nature have not changed.

 

Matt Johnson is a writer for The Systems Scientist and the Urban Dynamics blog; and is a mathematical scientist. He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook

You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook as well. 

Photo credit: Pixabay

 

 

 

Copyright ©2016 – The Systems Scientist

An Agnostic Case for an Intelligent Designer: Introduction and the Matrix Hypothesis

Editors Note: This is part 1 of a three-part series. Part 2 will be published on January 14th, and part 3 will be published on January 21st. This is the first blog for the EID Blog, which is the Evolution/Intelligent Design Blog. Remember, a primary focus of The Systems Scientist is to provide a platform where different and contrasting ideas have direct access to each other. Our bubble is everything! Enjoy the first EID Blog! 

 

By Matt Johnson

Is it possible for a mathematical scientist who is a non-believing agnostic to accept the notion of an Intelligent Designer? If so, what conditions would need to be satisfied? And is there an already existing hypothesis from which to construct and present this most unusual position?

For the last question, the answer is yes and the philosophical paper from which this argument derives will be addressed first along with the conditions that will make this argument possible. And then second, this short paper will address how it could be possible for a non-believing agnostic, who happens to be a mathematical scientist, to accept the notion of an Intelligent Designer. And finally in this blog, a couple of minor tweaks in the Matrix Hypothesis will be addressed along with objections from a new atheist (free-thinker) and a Young Earth Creationist.

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The Matrix as Metaphysics

In his paper The Matrix of Metaphysics, the philosopher David Chalmers puts forth the argument that humanity just may exist in a vatted environment not that different from Neo’s reality in the beginning of the Matrix movie. However, as interesting and awesome as the movie and its premise are, Chalmers’ hypothesis is a bit different and obviously much more methodical and meticulous in its construction and consequences. This is because the philosopher gets into the “meat and potatoes” of what makes the universe – our existence – and if this new knowledge and understanding of the world would change any beliefs.

As Chalmers illustrates, his Matrix Hypothesis is equivalent to that of a “three-part” Metaphysical Hypothesis,

…the Matrix Hypothesis should be regarded as a metaphysical hypothesis with all three of these elements. It makes the claim about the reality underlying physics, about the nature of our minds, and about the creation of the world.

In particular, I think the Matrix Hypothesis is equivalent to a version of the following three-part Metaphysical Hypothesis. First, physical processes are fundamentally computational. Second, our cognitive systems are separate from physical processes, but interact with these processes. Third, physical reality was created by beings outside physical space-time.

If this Matrix Hypothesis is true, then some fascinating yet disturbing consequences arise not only for the non-supernatural believing scientific practitioner, but for the supernatural, creation believing practitioner as well. But first, a summary of the Matrix Hypothesis must be explained.

As Chalmers describes in his paper, the Metaphysical Hypothesis is the same as the Matrix Hypothesis, and the Matrix Hypothesis is the same as the Metaphysical Hypothesis. It is bi-conditional. Furthermore, the Metaphysical Hypothesis, from which the proposal begins, is composed of the Creation Hypothesis, the Computational Hypothesis, and the Mind-Body Hypothesis. What does this mean?

With respect to the Creation Hypothesis, it is the idea that some entity, or being, exists outside of the known universe. To the creationist, this entity would be the Christian “God.” As Chalmers’ explains,

A version of [this hypothesis] is believed by many people in our society, and perhaps by the majority of the people in the world. If one believes that God created the world, and if one believes that God is outside physical space-time, then one believes the Creation Hypothesis.

However, it could be the case that what is believed to be “God” by many could just be some every day, regular scientist running a simulation in the next universe up from this one.

With respect to the Computational Hypothesis, it states that the underlying foundation of the universe is built out of bits; that is, the most fundamental thing, even more fundamental than subatomic particles including the recently discovered Higgs Boson, is zeros and ones. In this case, the foundation of the universe would be much like the foundation of the “Matrix” in the Matrix movie.

And finally and with respect to the Mind-Body Hypothesis, it states that the mind is separate from the body, and the mind interacts with processes outside of space-time, receiving inputs from the outside source and outputting that information into the physical world of space-time, or the Chalmers’ Matrix in this case. Again, this idea is similar to what Neo experiences in the movie. However, it could be the case that the inputs being received derive from the innocuous scientist running the simulation in the next universe up.

Together, these three hypotheses comprise the Metaphysical Hypothesis which implies the Matrix Hypothesis. And again, the Matrix Hypothesis implies the Metaphysical Hypothesis. Thus it follows that the three hypotheses – Creation, Computational, and Mind-Body – comprise the Metaphysical Hypothesis, and the Metaphysical Hypothesis is the Matrix Hypothesis.

 

Matt Johnson is a writer for The Systems Scientist and the Urban Dynamics blog; and is a mathematical scientist. He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook

You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook as well. 

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

Copyright ©2016 – The Systems Scientist