Langan was right!

#21
(Nov 11, 2017 04:25 PM)Ostronomos Wrote: It isn't an infinite regress, it can be reduced to a definite meaning, and "seemingly" shows you to care in noticing this. And Langan is not taking pains at wasting time to act in a sophisticating and condescending manner. It would be gullible not to attempt comprehension.

The CTMU is a philosophical work on par with such works as Gray's Anatomy and should be regarded as such. It has been well received by those who could enter the game of reason. The wording aims at extreme precision and this is why you encounter these obstacles. Not because of obscurity and over-complication in some mysterious jargon that is subjective.

Then point me to ONE definition of a CTMU term that doesn't use a single idiosyncratic term. IOW, a definition where all the words used can simply be looked up in a dictionary. Can you? Does even one such definition exist?
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#22
(Nov 11, 2017 05:59 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: It appears Langan CAN speak in layman's terms. It just doesn't sound as impressive as his esoteric jargon. [video]


Also: http://megafoundation.org/CTMU/Q&A/Archive.html

excerpt

QUESTION: Chris, I'm not a mathematician or physicist by any stretch, but I am a curious person and would like to know more about the CTMU (Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe). I am particularly interested in the theological aspects. Can you please explain what the CTMU is all about in language that even I can understand?

ANSWER: Thanks for your interest, but the truth is the CTMU isn't all that difficult for even a layperson to understand. So sit back, relax, kick off your shoes and open your mind...

Scientific theories are mental constructs that have objective reality as their content. According to the scientific method, science puts objective content first, letting theories be determined by observation. But the phrase "a theory of reality" contains two key nouns, theory and reality, and science is really about both. Because all theories have certain necessary logical properties that are abstract and mathematical, and therefore independent of observation - it is these very properties that let us recognize and understand our world in conceptual terms - we could just as well start with these properties and see what they might tell us about objective reality. Just as scientific observation makes demands on theories, the logic of theories makes demands on scientific observation, and these demands tell us in a general way what we may observe about the universe.

In other words, a comprehensive theory of reality is not just about observation, but about theories and their logical requirements. Since theories are mental constructs, and mental means "of the mind", this can be rephrased as follows: mind and reality are linked in mutual dependence at the most basic level of understanding. This linkage of mind and reality is what a TOE (Theory of Everything) is really about. The CTMU is such a theory; instead of being a mathematical description of specific observations (like all established scientific theories), it is a "metatheory" about the general relationship between theories and observations…i.e., about science or knowledge itself. Thus, it can credibly lay claim to the title of TOE.

Mind and reality - the abstract and the concrete, the subjective and the objective, the internal and the external - are linked together in a certain way, and this linkage is the real substance of "reality theory". Just as scientific observation determines theories, the logical requirements of theories to some extent determine scientific observation. Since reality always has the ability to surprise us, the task of scientific observation can never be completed with absolute certainty, and this means that a comprehensive theory of reality cannot be based on scientific observation alone. Instead, it must be based on the process of making scientific observations in general, and this process is based on the relationship of mind and reality. So the CTMU is essentially a theory of the relationship between mind and reality.

In explaining this relationship, the CTMU shows that reality possesses a complex property akin to self-awareness. That is, just as the mind is real, reality is in some respects like a mind. But when we attempt to answer the obvious question "whose mind?", the answer turns out to be a mathematical and scientific definition of God. This implies that we all exist in what can be called "the Mind of God", and that our individual minds are parts of God's Mind. They are not as powerful as God's Mind, for they are only parts thereof; yet, they are directly connected to the greatest source of knowledge and power that exists. This connection of our minds to the Mind of God, which is like the connection of parts to a whole, is what we sometimes call the soul or spirit, and it is the most crucial and essential part of being human.

Thus, the attempt to formulate a comprehensive theory of reality, the CTMU, finally leads to spiritual understanding, producing a basis for the unification of science and theology. The traditional Cartesian divider between body and mind, science and spirituality, is penetrated by logical reasoning of a higher order than ordinary scientific reasoning, but no less scientific than any other kind of mathematical truth. Accordingly, it serves as the long-awaited gateway between science and humanism, a bridge of reason over what has long seemed an impassable gulf.


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(Nov 10, 2017 02:59 PM)Ostronomos Wrote: Stephen Hawking was in favor of an evolving universe, and this is compatible with an evolving God. As the universe evolves in time, we change.


Is Langan himself literally claiming proof of God, or "proof" in any way beyond the very mitigated context below?

Stephen J. Gould: The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world.

Likewise, the constructs of metaphysics or hidden / abstract existence can at best only be "proved" with respect to demonstrating that the elements of the system are consistent with each other and it being similarly validated as belonging to another framework that it budded-off from (whenever that's applicable). By the very character of what metaphysical projects often propose, there is no immediate, phenomenal presence to confirm the "realness" of _X_ in the way that a speeding truck bearing down on one is tangible and public.

With the exception of those physicists who specifically deal with General Relativity, most scientists don't even believe that spacetime is real (or have suspended belief about the matter). Despite GR having passed one predictive test after another over the decades. That's the problem with "hidden" forms of being or supersensible origins for affairs of the experienced world -- they resist being "proved" in a commonsense or everyday manner.

After the "ultimate knowledge" pessimism of Hume and Kant[1], the role of metempirics (used here to avoid that semantically fuzzy "metaphysics" word) should not be to futilely seek verifying a _X_ proprosal and any backdrop for it to a degree that leaves no doubts. But to merely secure its very possibility at all in the face of other dominating, philosophical doctrines that seem detrimental to it (usually the latter "enemy" might be philosophical naturalism and its many accessories, but not always).

Back in the 18th century, Kant emphasized the possibility of "God, freedom, and immortality"[4][5][6] as factors essential to human psychological well-being or in holding civilization together. Items like that projected upon the refuge of a transcendent level prior in rank to the experienced or contingent world. But those were just the fads or priorities of his era. Whatever one can justify or make a good argument for as being necessary can be projected upon such.[2][3] But first the latter "refuge" itself must be secured or carved-out as a possibility.

footnotes [Kant quotes]

[1] For we are brought to the conclusion that we can never transcend the limits of possible experience, though that is precisely what this science [metaphysics] is concerned, above all else, to achieve. (CPR, NKS trans.)
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[2] But when all progress in the field of the supersensible has thus been denied to speculative reason, it is still open to us to enquire whether, in the practical knowledge of reason, data may not be found sufficient to determine reason's transcendent concept of the unconditioned, and so to enable us, in accordance with the wish of metaphysics, and by means of knowledge that is possible a priori, though only from a practical point of view, to pass beyond the limits of all possible experience. Speculative reason has thus at least made room for such an extension; and if it must at the same time leave it empty, yet none the less we are at liberty, indeed we are summoned, to take occupation of it, if we can, by practical data of reason. This attempt to alter the procedure which has hitherto prevailed in metaphysics, by completely revolutionising it [...] (CPR, NKS trans.)
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[3] But as will be shown, reason has, in respect of its practical employment, the right to postulate what in the field of mere speculation it can have no kind of right to assume without sufficient proof. For while all such assumptions do violence to [the principle of] completeness of speculation, that is a principle with which the practical interest is not at all concerned. In the practical sphere reason has rights of possession, of which it does not require to offer proof, and of which, in fact, it could not supply proof. The burden of proof [when not involving trivial / farcical proposals] accordingly rests upon the opponent. But since the latter knows just as little of the object under question, in trying to prove its non-existence, as does the former in maintaining its reality, it is evident that the former, who is asserting something as a practically necessary supposition, is at an advantage (melior est conditio possidentis).

For he is at liberty to employ, as it were in self-defence, on behalf of his own good cause, the very same weapons that his opponent employs against that cause, that is, hypotheses. These are not intended to strengthen the proof of his position, but only to show that the opposing party has much too little understanding of the matter in dispute to allow of his flattering himself that he has the advantage in respect of speculative insight. Hypotheses are therefore, in the domain of pure reason, permissible only as weapons of war, and only for the purpose of defending a right, not in order to establish it. But the opposing party we must always look for in ourselves. For speculative reason in its transcendental employment is in itself dialectical; the objections which we have to fear lie in ourselves. We must seek them out, just as we would do in the case of claims that, while old, have never become superannuated, in order that by annulling them we may establish a permanent peace.(CPR, Norman Kemp Smith translation)
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[4] With regard to nature, it is experience no doubt which supplies us with [practical] rules, and is the foundation of all [verifiable or warranted] truth. With regard to moral laws, on the contrary, experience is, alas! but the source of illusion; and it is altogether reprehensible to derive or limit the laws of what we ought to do according to our experience of what has been done. (CPR, Max Müller translation)
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[5] Nature therefore and freedom can without contradiction be attributed to the very same thing, but in different relations-on one side as a phenomenon, on the other as a thing in itself. (Prolegomena To Any Future Metaphysics)
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[6] In its intelligible character, however (though we could only have a general concept of it), the same subject would have to be considered free from all influence of sensibility, and from all determination through phenomena: and as in it, so far as it is a noumenon, nothing happens, and no change which requires dynamical determination of time, and therefore no connection with phenomena as causes, can exist, that active being would so far be quite independent and free in its acts from all natural necessity, which can exist in the world of sense only. One might say of it with perfect truth that it originates its effects in the world of sense by itself, though the act does not begin in itself. And this would be perfectly true, though the effects in the world of sense need not therefore originate by themselves, because in it they are always determined previously through empirical conditions in the previous time, though only by means of the empirical character (which is the phenomenal appearance of the intelligible character), and therefore impossible, except as a continuation of the series of natural causes. In this way freedom and nature, each in its complete signification, might exist together and without any conflict in the same action, according as we refer it to its intelligible or to its sensible cause. (CPR, Müller trans.)

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#23
(Nov 11, 2017 08:12 PM)Syne Wrote:
(Nov 11, 2017 04:25 PM)Ostronomos Wrote: It isn't an infinite regress, it can be reduced to a definite meaning, and "seemingly" shows you to care in noticing this. And Langan is not taking pains at wasting time to act in a sophisticating and condescending manner. It would be gullible not to attempt comprehension.

The CTMU is a philosophical work on par with such works as Gray's Anatomy and should be regarded as such. It has been well received by those who could enter the game of reason. The wording aims at extreme precision and this is why you encounter these obstacles. Not because of obscurity and over-complication in some mysterious jargon that is subjective.

Then point me to ONE definition of a CTMU term that doesn't use a single idiosyncratic term. IOW, a definition where all the words used can simply be looked up in a dictionary. Can you? Does even one such definition exist?

The theory is written in english with special technical jargon used. For example, it may say that the mind of God communicates information in the form of SCSPL.
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#24
Quote:In explaining this relationship, the CTMU shows that reality possesses a complex property akin to self-awareness. That is, just as the mind is real, reality is in some respects like a mind. But when we attempt to answer the obvious question "whose mind?", the answer turns out to be a mathematical and scientific definition of God. This implies that we all exist in what can be called "the Mind of God", and that our individual minds are parts of God's Mind. They are not as powerful as God's Mind, for they are only parts thereof; yet, they are directly connected to the greatest source of knowledge and power that exists. This connection of our minds to the Mind of God, which is like the connection of parts to a whole, is what we sometimes call the soul or spirit, and it is the most crucial and essential part of being human. 

I fail to see any difference between this and any other theist religion. We live, we die, our souls depart for interrogation, then Omniscient God tells us how good we were, checks ledger, accepts/disregards/ etc. 

I'm a bit befuddled that he can say reality is like a mind and all of sudden proclaim it is a mind, God's mind. A quantum leap I suppose. If individual minds are part of God's mind then is His mind in a perpetual state of incompletion or construction? Also not sure of what purpose this serves..... does God benefit, does anyone benefit? I mean if God is getting smarter, then what was he before all this started, dumb as a bag of hammers? Besides,  Omniscient God wouldn't need my info or anyone else's, so perhaps He's just feeding.

God's mind the greatest source of knowledge and power that exists, souls most crucial and essential? Declarations with zero proof when it really is only to the best of Langan's knowledge/logic( and of many more like him). Why didn't Langan substitute Universe for God? It fits perfectly.
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#25
(Nov 11, 2017 09:02 PM)C C Wrote: ANSWER: Scientific theories are mental constructs that have objective reality as their content.

Ok.

Quote:According to the scientific method, science puts objective content first, letting theories be determined by observation.


Ok. (I'm skeptical about the so-called 'scientific method', but that's a quibble at this point.)

Quote:But the phrase "a theory of reality" contains two key nouns, theory and reality, and science is really about both.

I notice that where the sentences above were about "scientific theories", now the topic seems to have shifted to "a theory of reality". That may or may not indicate a shift over to broader metaphysics.

But sure. Every description of objective reality, scientific or not, involves the extra-linguistic object whose accurate description is the point of the whole exercise, along with the conceptual vocabulary in which the description is stated. I'm not convinced that examining the conceptual vocabulary is really part of the content of science though. That's more the province of the philosophy of science I guess. The history of science is typically the area of scholarship that's most interested in tracing the historical development of the conceptual apparatus.

Quote:Because all theories have certain necessary logical properties that are abstract and mathematical, and therefore independent of observation

They do? What 'necessary logical properties' are those? I don't think that science, or human understanding in general, should be collapsed together with theoretical physics which indeed is hugely mathematical. I don't think that most thinking in biology is 'abstract and mathematical'.

Quote:- it is these very properties that let us recognize and understand our world in conceptual terms - we could just as well start with these properties and see what they might tell us about objective reality.  Just as scientific observation makes demands on theories, the logic of theories makes demands on scientific observation, and these demands tell us in a general way what we may observe about the universe.

I'm not convinced that scientific theories all have a single logical structure. There probably are 'logics of theories' (where 'logic' is being used in a vague and informal sense) but it's plural. Science understands its natural world material in multiple ways.

But yes, I agree that attending to the kind of features that the theories address does tell us something about how reality presumably needs to be, so that the theories can be true. (That's the point of Quine's theory of ontological commitment, I think.) How must reality be so that a theory like quantum mechanics can be true of it? That's the origin of the problems of "interpreting" quantum mechanics.

Quote:In other words, a comprehensive theory of reality is not just about observation, but about theories and their logical requirements.

Ok, I agree. I don't want to push that idea too hard though. Our ordinary language and the language of science are generally about the objects of propositions. Geology is about rocks and landforms, it isn't about the concepts 'rock' and 'landforms'. If we start focusing on the conceptual apparatus, it becomes a much more philosophical 'meta-science' sort of thing. Most scientists (along with most people in everyday life) aren't comfortable or happy doing that and resist it. It's why they bleat, "That's just semantics!"  

But sure, epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophy of science obviously arise and are relevant to understanding whatever it is that science is doing. It's why philosophers of science pay so much attention to things like modeling.

It's also why the revolutions in physics of the early twentieth century were revolutions. They forced scientists to re-address seemingly settled parts of the classical conceptual vocabulary like the nature of 'simultaneity', the standing of determinism, or wave-particle duality.

Quote:Since theories are mental constructs, and mental means "of the mind", this can be rephrased as follows: mind and reality are linked in mutual dependence at the most basic level of understanding.

I'm sure they are, 'at the level of understanding'.  

Quote:This linkage of mind and reality is what a TOE (Theory of Everything) is really about.

That seems to be redefining it a bit. In physics a 'theory of everything' is "is a hypothetical single, all-encompassing, coherent theoretical framework of physics that fully explains and links together all physical aspects of the universe." (from Wikipedia).

Langan seems to be using 'theory of everything' to mean something like 'all encompassing epistemological-metaphysical system' that conflates everything that can be known with everything that is.

Quote:The CTMU is such a theory; instead of being a mathematical description of specific observations (like all established scientific theories), it is a "metatheory" about the general relationship between theories and observations…i.e., about science or knowledge itself.  Thus, it can credibly lay claim to the title of TOE.

Assuming that CTMU has content and that it is true. That still needs explication and argument.

The most obvious problem that I see at this point is that Langan seems to be quietly and implicitly collapsing together (mathematized) scientific theories with the more psychological/epistemological question of what can be known, and both of those seem to be further conflated with the ontological scope of reality itself.

Quote:Mind and reality - the abstract and the concrete, the subjective and the objective, the internal and the external - are linked together in a certain way and this linkage is the real substance of "reality theory".

Kant already beat Langan to that project. Except that even Kant admitted that the limits of human cognition aren't necessarily the limits of reality itself, hence his 'noumenon'.

Quote:Just as scientific observation determines theories, the logical requirements of theories to some extent determine scientific observation.

At least they partially determine what we are prepared to recognize and how we describe and conceptualize it.

Quote:Since reality always has the ability to surprise us, the task of scientific observation can never be completed with absolute certainty, and this means that a comprehensive theory of reality cannot be based on scientific observation alone.  Instead, it must be based on the process of making scientific observations in general, and this process is based on the relationship of mind and reality.  So the CTMU is essentially a theory of the relationship between mind and reality.

I sense Langan is starting to go off the rails here.

Quote:In explaining this relationship, the CTMU shows that reality possesses a complex property akin to self-awareness.

"CTMU shows"?? That's just an assertion of what's supposed to be a grand metaphysical truth. It doesn't follow from the proceeding discussion at all.

Certainly given that human beings are self-aware and that they are certifiably real, reality obviously includes self-awareness among its many contents and potentialities. But that doesn't begin to suggest that reality as a whole is self-aware.

Quote:That is, just as the mind is real, reality is in some respects like a mind.  But when we attempt to answer the obvious question "whose mind?", the answer turns out to be a mathematical and scientific definition of God.

We've just made a huge leap there, from describing the intellectual context of "the CTMU" in the text I've already quoted up above, to assuming the conclusions of the CTMU.

The obvious question isn't "whose mind?", the obvious question is 'Why should anyone believe these grandiose crypto-theological metaphysical speculations in the first place?'

Quote:This implies that we all exist in what can be called "the Mind of God", and that our individual minds are parts of God's Mind.  They are not as powerful as God's Mind, for they are only parts thereof; yet, they are directly connected to the greatest source of knowledge and power that exists.  This connection of our minds to the Mind of God, which is like the connection of parts to a whole, is what we sometimes call the soul or spirit, and it is the most crucial and essential part of being human.

Except that there isn't any implication there. The whole thing is a non-sequitur.

Quote:Thus, the attempt to formulate a comprehensive theory of reality, the CTMU, finally leads to spiritual understanding, producing a basis for the unification of science and theology.  The traditional Cartesian divider between body and mind, science and spirituality, is penetrated by logical reasoning of a higher order than ordinary scientific reasoning, but no less scientific than any other kind of mathematical truth.  Accordingly, it serves as the long-awaited gateway between science and humanism, a bridge of reason over what has long seemed an impassable gulf.

That sounds like rank bullshit to me.
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#26
Quote:That sounds like rank bullshit to me.


Yaz....you're a lot more articulate than I am but the scholars and the hillbillies are not averse to agreeing on some points Big Grin
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#27
(Nov 10, 2017 09:01 PM)Syne Wrote:
(Nov 10, 2017 04:19 PM)Yazata Wrote: The thing with Langan is that he's hard. He's almost impossible to follow. And that appears to be entirely intentional on his part, given his use of idiosyncratic vocabulary of his own invention and the most abstruse technical terms lifted from multiple fields. If he was half as smart as he claims to be, he should be able to explain himself better.

Yep. No one can be expected to put any more effort into understanding you than you put into being understood. Langan fails miserably. And I agree that it can only be intentional. Use enough science-babble jargon and ignorant people will feel smart for agreeing with you.

Anyone who has ever taught knows that you don't really understand something until you can explain it to somebody else.
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#28
(Nov 12, 2017 06:31 PM)Yazata Wrote: Anyone who has ever taught knows that you don't really understand something until you can explain it to somebody else.

I guess that's where Ostro wants to be.  

Langan's soul is in more trouble with God than any of ours by my account.  Wink
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#29
(Nov 12, 2017 06:31 PM)Yazata Wrote:
(Nov 10, 2017 09:01 PM)Syne Wrote:
(Nov 10, 2017 04:19 PM)Yazata Wrote: The thing with Langan is that he's hard. He's almost impossible to follow. And that appears to be entirely intentional on his part, given his use of idiosyncratic vocabulary of his own invention and the most abstruse technical terms lifted from multiple fields. If he was half as smart as he claims to be, he should be able to explain himself better.

Yep. No one can be expected to put any more effort into understanding you than you put into being understood. Langan fails miserably. And I agree that it can only be intentional. Use enough science-babble jargon and ignorant people will feel smart for agreeing with you.

Anyone who has ever taught knows that you don't really understand something until you can explain it to somebody else.

True. But Langan does not terribly divert from efficiency in communication and anyone who can penetrate this cannot deny that the CTMU proves the existence of God.

(Nov 12, 2017 05:49 PM)Yazata Wrote: "CTMU shows"?? That's just an assertion of what's supposed to be a grand metaphysical truth. It doesn't follow from the proceeding discussion at all.

Certainly given that human beings are self-aware and that they are certifiably real, reality obviously includes self-awareness among its many contents and potentialities. But that doesn't begin to suggest that reality as a whole is self-aware.
Actually it does. By adding 2 and 2 together, you will know that my threads in sciforums have succeeded in demonstrating this. It's really quite simple. "Reality is self-distributed." "Reality is not external to itself." "Reality is mind". "Reality is One." "Reality is axiomatizable". "Reality is real." "Reality is hard to see." etc. I am truly sorry that you failed to perform a simple addition of these axiomatic truths.

I apologize if I do not handle your ignorance very well. But grace is rarely easy to show when challenged by blindness.
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#30
(Nov 12, 2017 03:06 PM)Ostronomos Wrote:
(Nov 11, 2017 08:12 PM)Syne Wrote: Then point me to ONE definition of a CTMU term that doesn't use a single idiosyncratic term. IOW, a definition where all the words used can simply be looked up in a dictionary. Can you? Does even one such definition exist?

The theory is written in english with special technical jargon used. For example, it may say that the mind of God communicates information in the form of SCSPL.

Just as I thought. You can't even give me ONE CTMU definition in plain English. Rolleyes

(Nov 11, 2017 09:02 PM)C C Wrote: Also: http://megafoundation.org/CTMU/Q&A/Archive.html

excerpt

...Because all theories have certain necessary logical properties that are abstract and mathematical, and therefore independent of observation - it is these very properties that let us recognize and understand our world in conceptual terms - we could just as well start with these properties and see what they might tell us about objective reality. Just as scientific observation makes demands on theories, the logic of theories makes demands on scientific observation, and these demands tell us in a general way what we may observe about the universe.

At best, he's only talking about epistemology and philosophy of science here. While these effect how we can justify conceptualized theories, they do not, themselves, limit "what we may observe".

Quote:This linkage of mind and reality is what a TOE (Theory of Everything) is really about. The CTMU is such a theory; instead of being a mathematical description of specific observations (like all established scientific theories), it is a "metatheory" about the general relationship between theories and observations…i.e., about science or knowledge itself. Thus, it can credibly lay claim to the title of TOE.

No. Again, he's just describing epistemology and philosophy of science. IOW, he's making wholly unjustified claims, based on what he's giving here.

Quote:Mind and reality - the abstract and the concrete, the subjective and the objective, the internal and the external - are linked together in a certain way, and this linkage is the real substance of "reality theory".

As if the term "reality theory" has any meaning beyond the one he just fabricated without justification. It didn't take him long to introduce unjustified and poorly defined jargon.

Quote:Just as scientific observation determines theories, the logical requirements of theories to some extent determine scientific observation.


No, they don't. You could have a completely logically consistent theory that describes some set of observations. Then a new observation could introduce something that theory could not consistently handle. It happens all the time. The theory thus could not determine observation.

Quote:Since reality always has the ability to surprise us, the task of scientific observation can never be completed with absolute certainty, and this means that a comprehensive theory of reality cannot be based on scientific observation alone. Instead, it must be based on the process of making scientific observations in general, and this process is based on the relationship of mind and reality. So the CTMU is essentially a theory of the relationship between mind and reality.

Unsupported, and seemingly non-sequitur, claim...once again referring to his previously undefined "theory of reality".

Quote:In explaining this relationship, the CTMU shows that reality possesses a complex property akin to self-awareness.

From here on it's just a string of unjustified claims.


So what did he communicate?

A few well-known ideas in existing fields of study, and quite a few unjustified claims. Rolleyes
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