6
   

Proving Negatives

 
 
CTD
 
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 03:36 am
Over and over people claim "It is impossible to prove a negative." What gives?

If people believed it impossible to prove a negative, they'd have to throw out Einstein. We're told he proved no two events could be simultaneous. We're told he proved no two lines could be parallel, but rather they'd eventually be forced to meet.

(I notice that in spite of his reputation for mathematical superiority, he never managed a proper, acceptable proof, and any geometry teacher can explain how come parallel lines do exist. They can even demonstrate special curves which approach ever closer and closer to a straight line without ever touching it.)

So what's the deal, huh?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 4,313 • Replies: 48
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 03:51 am
@CTD,
I don't believe Einstein was considered to be a great mathematician. His strength seemed to be in theoretical vision.

Also, I'm not sure just putting the word "no" in front of things really addresses the idea of "it's impossible to prove a negative".
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 03:57 am
@rosborne979,
Don't waste your time - this bozo's some kind of Christer with an agenda. Possibly has mental health problems; certainly has an attitude problem.
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 04:02 am
@CTD,
There is a problem in that modern mathematics and logic are based on the wrong belief that there is such a thing as proving ANYTHING, positive, negative, or anything else. In real life, there is only such a thing as proving something to somebody's satisfaction.

If the intended audience is too thick or too ideologically committed to some other way of looking at things to buy off on the proof, then the proof will fail, no matter how logically perfect it might be; the erroneous way of doing things will go on being taught and in cases such as that of evolution vs intelligent design, proponents of the new theory will be legally barred from so much as mention in classrooms and academia.


CTD
 
  0  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 04:08 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
I don't believe Einstein was considered to be a great mathematician. His strength seemed to be in theoretical vision.

Also, I'm not sure just putting the word "no" in front of things really addresses the idea of "it's impossible to prove a negative".

Well his press friends published it widely that there were only perhaps ten mathematicians in the entire world capable of coping with his theories, and other nonsensical hype.

In spite of your lack of historical knowledge about the man, the issue remains: either it is possible or it is not possible to prove negatives. Someone needs to get their story straight. If you don't know how to resolve it, that's fine.

I don't expect too many will honestly deal with this simple question. Lots of people are reluctant to think, and there is surely nothing prepared which they might regurgitate here.
0 Replies
 
CTD
 
  0  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 04:11 am
@contrex,
Quote:
Don't waste your time - this bozo's some kind of Christer with an agenda. Possibly has mental health problems; certainly has an attitude problem.
Am I to conclude I've discovered yet another Satanic hate site which lacks the courage to present itself as such up front?
CTD
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 04:15 am
@gungasnake,
Quote:
There is a problem in that modern mathematics and logic are based on the wrong belief that there is such a thing as proving ANYTHING, positive, negative, or anything else. In real life, there is only such a thing as proving something to somebody's satisfaction.

If the intended audience is too thick or too ideologically committed to some other way of looking at things to buy off on the proof, then the proof will fail, no matter how logically perfect it might be; the erroneous way of doing things will go on being taught and in cases such as that of evolution vs intelligent design, proponents of the new theory will be legally barred from so much as mention in classrooms and academia.

No. Your absurd contentions don't cut it. They aren't even a start. Things can be proven to you or anyone else just fine. Refusing to confess does not bar the knowledge from your mind, I'm pleased to say.

Indeed, people actions continually betray that they know things they deny. Probably this is never more clear than when dealing with fruit loop liars who insult us by denying non-contradiction.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 04:18 am
@CTD,
Your religious thread suggests you have little understanding of the meaning of "proof" or "truth". In laymen's terms (yours) they imply a reference to "an independent reality", whereas in science they refer to consistency of working paradigms.

In terms of ordinary logic, the statement "If P then Q" is valid in all cases except where P is "true" and Q is "false". Thus any "true observation"Q,cannot prove the truth or otherwise of its "proposed cause" P.
CTD
 
  0  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 04:18 am
@gungasnake,
Quote:
There is a problem in that modern mathematics and logic are based on the wrong belief that there is such a thing as proving ANYTHING, positive, negative, or anything else. In real life, there is only such a thing as proving something to somebody's satisfaction.

If the intended audience is too thick or too ideologically committed to some other way of looking at things to buy off on the proof, then the proof will fail, no matter how logically perfect it might be; the erroneous way of doing things will go on being taught and in cases such as that of evolution vs intelligent design, proponents of the new theory will be legally barred from so much as mention in classrooms and academia.

This dodge also fails on grounds of context. Those who claim Einstein's negatives are proven are not generally observed denying the potential for proof outright, as you have done. There may be exceptions, but the meaning of my question has not been blurred, and you have not addressed it.
CTD
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 04:30 am
@fresco,
Quote:
Your religious thread suggests you have little understanding of the meaning of "proof" or "truth".

Untrue. I have said nothing indicating I have problems with these terms. These assertions are yours and yours alone. Are you not man enough to own up to them?
Quote:
In laymen's terms (yours) they imply a reference to "an independent reality", whereas in science they refer to consistency of working paradigms. For example, the functional requirement of "a luminiferous aether" was shown to be inconsistent with experiments on the speed of light which could be accounted for by other postulates. In THAT sense, a "negative requirement" was "proved". In scientific terms there is no functional requirement for "a creator", meaning there is no crucial test of such a postulate. In THAT sense, statements about the existence or thenon-existence of a deity is "unprovable".

In terms of ordinary logic, the statement "If P then Q" is valid in all cases except where P is "true" and Q is "false". Thus any "true observation"Q,cannot prove the truth or otherwise of its proposed cause P.

Your screwball philosophical nonsense is far removed from science, and not by accident.

The "If P then Q" line is a bluff, for those who know absolutely nothing about logic. The form you present is a KNOWN FALLACY, in fact.

Employing the actual "If P then Q form," we most assuredly do prove Q any time P is established.

There are several forms available in logic. "If D then not E" is perfectly valid, and once D should be established, the negation of E is certain.

Indeed, the MOST STRICT AND CERTAIN form of logic is Deductive Reasoning. Without the capacity to prove negatives, no deductive reasoning would be possible.

------------------------
Now the issue remains: we're told it is impossible to prove negatives, yet we're also told Einstein proved multiple negatives.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 04:32 am
@CTD,
CTD wrote:
Am I to conclude I've discovered yet another Satanic hate site which lacks the courage to present itself as such up front?


wait, we're satanists?

i thought we we're santa-ists

or at least sandinistas
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 04:46 am
I wonder who is telling "us" all these things. Could it be . . . SATAN ? ! ? ! ?
0 Replies
 
CTD
 
  0  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 04:48 am
@djjd62,
Quote:
wait, we're satanists?

I asked first. You tell me.

Rolling Eyes
Oh, that's right! Nobody can read my question mark. They can only see your question and will be forced to assume it's justified and makes sense.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 04:54 am
@CTD,
so if folks think you're a nut, it's because satan is directing them

what a wonderfully deluded life you lead
CTD
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 05:08 am
@djjd62,
Are you telling me, or attempting to put words in my mouth? You are lazy and unclear in your posting.
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 06:33 am
@CTD,
I see you've been banned from "Philosophy Forums" ! Twisted Evil !

Satan has obviously got your number !
CTD
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 06:40 am
@fresco,
Quote:
@CTD,
I see you've been banned from "Philosophy Forums" ! Twisted Evil !

Well thanks for telling me. They didn't.

I mean, it isn't any surprise. When the PM box just keeps popping off to inform one one's posts are being deleted wholesale, the cowardice is difficult to miss.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 07:05 am
@CTD,
I could be wrong about this but I believe there are at least a couple of math "proofs", most likely in arcane areas like Galois theory or algebraic topology, which have never been accepted because nobody other than the author has ever claimed to understand them. It should be obvious enough however that proving something is a social activity, if everybody agreed to whatever it was apriori, there should be no need for proving it.
CTD
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 07:31 am
In case anyone's somehow losing track, just look at the stubborn attitudes, the arrogance: nobody is willing to admit negatives are susceptible to proof. Even having it spelled out to them that something's got to give, they just can't bear to acknowledge it.

Either it is impossible to prove negatives, as the lie-by-repetition strategy attempts to condition us to believe, OR it is possible that Einstein proved a negative.

What? We're all just supposed to forget? How stupid do they think you are?
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 May, 2012 07:36 am
i can't understand why anyone needs anything proved to them

i've lived quite happily for almost 50 years and nobody has ever been able to prove anything to me
 

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