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Reply #137: Evidence? There is plenty [View All]

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The Traveler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-05 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #107
137. Evidence? There is plenty
Edited on Mon Jul-18-05 10:00 PM by The Traveler
What is difficult to establish is experimental control. The significant factors in this case have much to do with quality of subjective experience yielding a result, and that is difficult to quantify and impossible to control.

Consider, for example, the case of the Sioux medicine man Fools Crow. In the seventies, a man was diagnosed with terminal cancer ... had a tumor in his gut about the size of a football. He visited Fools Crow, a healing was done, and he was re-examined a day or two after the first batch of (cancer positive) films were taken. They were unable to discover any evidence that a tumor had ever existed.

Scientifically, we put these cases in the category of "spontaneous, unexplained remissions". This is not, as some claim, a case of scientists ignoring data that does not fit in with their models. Rather, it is an acknowledgement that a) the phenomena cannot be reliably repeated under controlled conditions and b) there is no way to apply the scientific method given the available information.

This is the flip side of the Genesis/Evolution debate. Genesis and other creation myths are not scientific documents. The body of work based on Darwin does not pertain to metaphysics. The apparently contradictory statements address different realms of human experience. Confusion occurs when we require that our models of these different realms agree.

Goedel's Theorem teaches us that there are fundamental limits to the power of human reason. We can develop formal systems that are complete (e.g. algebras) or we can develop formal systems that are consistent. We cannot develop a formal system that is both complete and which produces no contradictory statements.

This provides a fascinating clue ... we expect to be able to explain all of human experience through rational means, through the development of formal systems. But our study of formal systems shows that cannot happen ...

One is forced to the conclusion that our brains are too small to understand it all. But it is still fun and profitable to try, to explore, to understand ... we will probably never know the answers but we can certain improve our understanding.

One of my favorite writers on this subject is the Ranier Rilke, who observed that the really important questions have no answers ... so you must learn to love the questions anyway.
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