[extropy-chat] what is probability?

John K Clark jonkc at att.net
Mon Jan 8 18:12:56 UTC 2007

>>It's not just a good idea for there to be a 50% probability of this  atom
>>decaying in the next hour, it's THE LAW.

"Benjamin Goertzel" <ben at goertzel.org>

> That is silly ... it is not a "law" legislated by some legislative
> body

True, it's just the way the universe works, rather like the LAW of gravity.

> scientific statements (like "this atom will decay in the next hour with
> 50% probability") are not even **defined** outside of the language of some
> particular scientific research programme.  This leads to the notion of
> "incommensurability" between rival research programmes,
> and the need to compare rival programmes via criteria like
> productivity and generativity rather than comparison to
> "objective truth".  Which is how science has worked in reality
> -- not via "objective truth" being used to decide between
> research programmes...

Presumably the above means something, but if you put a gun to my head I
couldn't tell you what.

  John K Clark

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