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Re: The Scientific method

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  • kurt31416
    If science can do anything, it can identify explicit superstition. Seems any theory would have to be compatible with the location of superstition. And when it
    Message 1 of 20 , Apr 30, 2010
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      If science can do anything, it can identify explicit superstition. Seems any theory would have to be compatible with the location of superstition.

      And when it comes to explicit superstition, from the viewpoint of science, the Gospel of Thomas stands alone. Lots of incomprehensible stuff, but no miracles or supernatural creatures other than a rather abstract Father, and his Life Force, that never says or does anything, that you don't pray to, and is no big deal to cuss. And you can reel off no Judgment Day, no Virgin Birth, no rising from the dead, on and on, all explicit superstition from the viewpoint of science.

      Doubting Thomas indeed.

      Seems any theory of a Gospel of Thomas evolving over time, would need to explain how no explicit superstition from the viewpoint of science was ever added to it.

      Rick Van Vliet
    • Rick Hubbard
      Hi Bob- Just for the record, I see from the changed subject line on your post that you thought you were replying to my remarks, but you in fact were replying
      Message 2 of 20 , May 1 5:17 PM
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        Hi Bob-

        Just for the record, I see from the changed subject line on your post that
        you thought you were replying to my remarks, but you in fact were replying
        to Kurt, instead.

        Rick



        ||-----Original Message-----
        ||From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On
        ||Behalf Of Bob Schacht
        ||Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2010 2:08 PM
        ||To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
        ||Subject: Rick Re: [GTh] Re: The Scientific method
        ||
        ||
        ||
        ||At 11:09 PM 4/30/2010, kurt31416 wrote:
        ||
        ||
        ||
        ||
        || Hi Bob, thanks for the thoughtful reply,
        ||
        || My point is a general one that if we can identify the parallels, it
        gives us
        ||the ability to put a mathematical handle on it, to be able to test
        theories' ability
        ||to predict experiments. One hypotheisis would be that the parallels in
        Mark are
        ||random.
        ||
        ||
        ||What do you mean by random? Do you mean that the composer of a saying in
        ||GTh decides at random whether or not to include a Markan parallel? Or that
        ||existing "sayings" were selected for inclusion in the list of sayings at
        random,
        ||with respect to whether or not there is a Markan parallel? Please clarify
        what
        ||you mean by "random" in this context.
        ||
        ||
        ||
        || That one you can get a hard math answer to, by looking at that big
        Mark
        ||gap between 66 and 99. Less than 1% the way the Jesus Seminar broke apart
        ||the sayings, about 1.2% by saying, would have a gap that large or larger
        if you
        ||rolled dice. You can take that to Las Vegas. A universal system to test
        the
        ||randomness of the distribution of things by looking at the largest gap. I
        posted
        ||it here before, I'll go get it. It's never been published elsewhere that
        I'm aware
        ||of.
        ||
        ||
        ||Well, then chances are(!) that your method is poppycock. If no one has
        done it
        ||before, there's probably a reason. Or perhaps your literature search has
        not
        ||been effective.
        ||
        ||The better parallel is not rolling dice, but tossing a coin, in which,
        say, "Heads"
        ||means a Markan Parallel, and "Tails" means no Markan parallel.
        ||"Gaps" of the kind you point to are not uncommon in coin toss sequences.
        But
        ||you can't just look at the gap; you have to look at the entire sequence.
        For
        ||example, a "gap" of 33, such as you point to, would be very rare in a run
        of 33,
        ||but in a run of, say, a million, the odds are much greater of finding such
        a
        ||"gap" somewhere in the sequence. The mathematics of this have been the
        ||object of many studies. Avoid reinventing the wheel, when this particular
        wheel
        ||has been well studied.
        ||
        ||There are also standard statistical tests that could apply to this
        situation,
        ||regarding Ordinal Testing (see, for example,
        ||http://www.quantitativeskills.com/sisa/statistics/ordhlp.htm
        ||<http://www.quantitativeskills.com/sisa/statistics/ordhlp.htm> ) This
        requires
        ||that the sayings in GTh be divided into two groups: those with Markan
        Parallels,
        ||and those without. It is an ordinal test because the sayings in GTh are
        ||presented in a certain order that is fixed. These are usually described as
        runs
        ||tests because the sayings in GTh can be described as a "run" in which each
        ||saying can be represented by a letter indicating whether or not each
        saying has
        ||a Markan parallel. So, for example, if M designates a Markan parallel, and
        X
        ||means no Markan parallel, GTh could be represented by a string such as
        ||XXMMXMXXXXMMXMXM....
        ||
        ||But you still need to play close attention to exactly what your hypothesis
        is.
        ||
        ||
        ||
        || You'd think someone had already done the math to calculate the
        ||probability of a gap of a certain size for this kind of case, but
        apparantly they
        ||never have.
        ||
        ||
        ||Baloney. See above.
        ||
        ||
        ||
        || It's harder than it looks. By saying, I took it as far as proving
        it was
        ||smaller than one out of 40. And experimentally, by having a computer roll
        the
        ||dice hundreds of thousands of times, which consistantly produce a result
        of
        ||about 1 in 80. (Less than 1 in 100 by partial sayings) I'll go bump it
        with brief
        ||commentary.
        ||
        ||
        ||You're barking up the wrong tree.
        ||
        ||
        ||
        ||
        || There's plenty more strange about Mark. Ratio of Mark to Q before 66
        is 7
        ||times higher than after #66. (Five Gospels parallels, Q defined as Matthew
        plus
        ||Luke, but not Mark, per saying.)
        ||
        || One could defend the position that before #66 is the Mark part of
        Thomas,
        ||and after #66 is the Q part.
        ||
        ||
        ||Now you're getting into more interesting territory. You're dabbling in
        hypotheses
        ||about the source for *blocks* of text
        ||
        ||
        ||
        ||
        || In addition to the math, it also gives the human brain, a picture,
        that we
        ||are very good at sorting out intuitively, so we know where to go do the
        math.
        ||One could calculate the odds there the ratio would be at least seven times
        ||higher, etc, but good to know where to look. For instance, here's the Mark
        and
        ||Q sayings in Thomas, before and after #66, according to the Jesus Seminar.
        ||Intuitively, does that look random?
        ||
        || http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/Mark-QInThomas.html
        ||<http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/Mark-QInThomas.html>
        ||
        || The one hypothesis I want to test with it, the one that's
        interesting to me
        ||lately, is that there was a Christianized version of Thomas, a lot like
        the notion of
        ||Q, except Mark saw it too. But that's another whole ball of wax.
        ||
        ||
        ||Yes. For starters, you'll have to define what a "Christianized" saying
        looks like.
        ||
        ||Always, always be clear about exactly what your hypothesis is.
        ||
        ||Bob Schacht, Ph.D.
        ||Northern Arizona University
        ||
        ||
      • Bob Schacht
        ... I guess I should address him as Kurt, even though he signs as Rick Van Vliet Or maybe RickVV? Bob
        Message 3 of 20 , May 1 5:57 PM
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          At 05:17 PM 5/1/2010, Rick Hubbard wrote:
           

          Hi Bob-

          Just for the record, I see from the changed subject line on your post that
          you thought you were replying to my remarks, but you in fact were replying
          to Kurt, instead.

          Rick

          I guess I should address him as Kurt, even though he signs as "Rick Van Vliet"
          Or maybe RickVV?

          Bob


          ||-----Original Message-----
          ||From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [ mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On
          ||Behalf Of Bob Schacht
          ||Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2010 2:08 PM
          ||To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
          ||Subject: Rick Re: [GTh] Re: The Scientific method
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||At 11:09 PM 4/30/2010, kurt31416 wrote:
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||Hi Bob, thanks for the thoughtful reply,
          ||
          ||My point is a general one that if we can identify the parallels, it
          gives us
          ||the ability to put a mathematical handle on it, to be able to test
          theories' ability
          ||to predict experiments. One hypotheisis would be that the parallels in
          Mark are
          ||random.
          ||
          ||
          ||What do you mean by random? Do you mean that the composer of a saying in
          ||GTh decides at random whether or not to include a Markan parallel? Or that
          ||existing "sayings" were selected for inclusion in the list of sayings at
          random,
          ||with respect to whether or not there is a Markan parallel? Please clarify
          what
          ||you mean by "random" in this context.
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||That one you can get a hard math answer to, by looking at that big
          Mark
          ||gap between 66 and 99. Less than 1% the way the Jesus Seminar broke apart
          ||the sayings, about 1.2% by saying, would have a gap that large or larger
          if you
          ||rolled dice. You can take that to Las Vegas. A universal system to test
          the
          ||randomness of the distribution of things by looking at the largest gap. I
          posted
          ||it here before, I'll go get it. It's never been published elsewhere that
          I'm aware
          ||of.
          ||
          ||
          ||Well, then chances are(!) that your method is poppycock. If no one has
          done it
          ||before, there's probably a reason. Or perhaps your literature search has
          not
          ||been effective.
          ||
          ||The better parallel is not rolling dice, but tossing a coin, in which,
          say, "Heads"
          ||means a Markan Parallel, and "Tails" means no Markan parallel.
          ||"Gaps" of the kind you point to are not uncommon in coin toss sequences.
          But
          ||you can't just look at the gap; you have to look at the entire sequence.
          For
          ||example, a "gap" of 33, such as you point to, would be very rare in a run
          of 33,
          ||but in a run of, say, a million, the odds are much greater of finding such
          a
          ||"gap" somewhere in the sequence. The mathematics of this have been the
          ||object of many studies. Avoid reinventing the wheel, when this particular
          wheel
          ||has been well studied.
          ||
          ||There are also standard statistical tests that could apply to this
          situation,
          ||regarding Ordinal Testing (see, for example,
          || http://www.quantitativeskills.com/sisa/statistics/ordhlp.htm
          ||< http://www.quantitativeskills.com/sisa/statistics/ordhlp.htm> ) This
          requires
          ||that the sayings in GTh be divided into two groups: those with Markan
          Parallels,
          ||and those without. It is an ordinal test because the sayings in GTh are
          ||presented in a certain order that is fixed. These are usually described as
          runs
          ||tests because the sayings in GTh can be described as a "run" in which each
          ||saying can be represented by a letter indicating whether or not each
          saying has
          ||a Markan parallel. So, for example, if M designates a Markan parallel, and
          X
          ||means no Markan parallel, GTh could be represented by a string such as
          ||XXMMXMXXXXMMXMXM....
          ||
          ||But you still need to play close attention to exactly what your hypothesis
          is.
          ||
          ||
          ||
          || You'd think someone had already done the math to calculate the
          ||probability of a gap of a certain size for this kind of case, but
          apparantly they
          ||never have.
          ||
          ||
          ||Baloney. See above.
          ||
          ||
          ||
          || It's harder than it looks. By saying, I took it as far as proving
          it was
          ||smaller than one out of 40. And experimentally, by having a computer roll
          the
          ||dice hundreds of thousands of times, which consistantly produce a result
          of
          ||about 1 in 80. (Less than 1 in 100 by partial sayings) I'll go bump it
          with brief
          ||commentary.
          ||
          ||
          ||You're barking up the wrong tree.
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||There's plenty more strange about Mark. Ratio of Mark to Q before 66
          is 7
          ||times higher than after #66. (Five Gospels parallels, Q defined as Matthew
          plus
          ||Luke, but not Mark, per saying.)
          ||
          ||One could defend the position that before #66 is the Mark part of
          Thomas,
          ||and after #66 is the Q part.
          ||
          ||
          ||Now you're getting into more interesting territory. You're dabbling in
          hypotheses
          ||about the source for *blocks* of text
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||In addition to the math, it also gives the human brain, a picture,
          that we
          ||are very good at sorting out intuitively, so we know where to go do the
          math.
          ||One could calculate the odds there the ratio would be at least seven times
          ||higher, etc, but good to know where to look. For instance, here's the Mark
          and
          ||Q sayings in Thomas, before and after #66, according to the Jesus Seminar.
          ||Intuitively, does that look random?
          ||
          || http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/Mark-QInThomas.html
          ||< http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/Mark-QInThomas.html>
          ||
          ||The one hypothesis I want to test with it, the one that's
          interesting to me
          ||lately, is that there was a Christianized version of Thomas, a lot like
          the notion of
          ||Q, except Mark saw it too. But that's another whole ball of wax.
          ||
          ||
          ||Yes. For starters, you'll have to define what a "Christianized" saying
          looks like.
          ||
          ||Always, always be clear about exactly what your hypothesis is.
          ||
          ||Bob Schacht, Ph.D.
          ||Northern Arizona University
          ||
          ||

        • kurt31416
          Hi Bob, By random, I mean how close to algorithmically random the statistical sample is. Algortihmically random being random with the lucky rolls removed, what
          Message 4 of 20 , May 2 4:33 PM
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            Hi Bob,

            By random, I mean how close to algorithmically random the statistical sample is. Algortihmically random being random with the lucky rolls removed, what you approach if you roll the dice a lot.

            In this case, we could use sophisticated techniques like fuzzy k clustering or whatever to test the randomness of Thomas, but I'm not so sure the results would be as strong. Lots of arbitrary choices, and far from intuitively clear you've accomplished anything.

            But, given the number of possibilities, (number of sayings or partial sayings in Thomas), and number of instances, (number of Mark sayings or partial sayings), you can calculate the probability the largest gap (those 32 between 66 and 69) would happen if you rolled dice.

            In other words, what is the probability that 32 saying gap would happen by random chance, and it's less than 1 in 100.

            -------

            As for it being Poppycock, I'll turn the other cheek, even though I don't think Jesus ever said it, and it comes to us from Paul, through the Didache.

            I looked pretty hard, because I had a hard time getting a handle on it, and it sure seemed to be something someone would have done before. I did find a site with a "Mister Statistics" where people would ask obscure statistics questions and he would answer them. He came up with a solution, but it was wrong, which one of the posters pointed out, to his embarrassment, so he said he'd get back with the answer, but never did. So, it's relatively obscure, at least.

            But it's there, and it's hard pure math, and anyone comfortable with math can point out any error, certainly after my clarifying it, and determine if it's poppycock. Who knows, perhaps their literature search and/or knowledge of statistics will find a case of someone else doing it before. Hard for me to say about that, but I'm pretty certain the math is correct. For what it's worth, it wouldn't be the first time I solved a logic puzzle others seemed to find difficult.

            -

            Flipping a coin doesn't work logically, Bob, because the probability of a saying being a Mark saying in Thomas isn't 50/50. And, as Mark sayings are used up in your dice rolling, the odds change, depending on the luck of the dice in the first part. It's a more difficult puzzle than it first appears.

            The bottom line, Bob, is that less than 1 out of 100 cases, with that many Mark sayings out of 114, if random, will have a gap of 32 or more. Mathematical fact. Easy money at Las Vegas if they will bet against it.

            And no, from what I've seen, Biblical scholarship is rather weak on the math. Still waiting for one person to even be able to follow the relatively simple math/logic I presented. Granted I probably did a poor job of explaining it, but I'm here to answer questions. It's a universal system for testing randomness, not just Mark in Thomas.

            I hope that addressed all your points, if I missed one, let me know.

            Rick Van Vliet
          • kurt31416
            I ll answer to anything, no problem. I ll start signing Richard . Richard Van Vliet
            Message 5 of 20 , May 2 4:51 PM
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              I'll answer to anything, no problem. I'll start signing "Richard".

              Richard Van Vliet
            • Bob Schacht
              ... This is not a dice roll problem. By your framing, this would be a die with only two faces, and that makes it a coin toss. [snip] ... Most statistics can
              Message 6 of 20 , May 3 10:26 AM
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                At 04:33 PM 5/2/2010, kurt31416 wrote:
                 

                Hi Bob,

                By random, I mean how close to algorithmically random the statistical sample is. Algortihmically random being random with the lucky rolls removed, what you approach if you roll the dice a lot.

                This is not a dice roll problem. By your framing, this would be a die with only two faces, and that makes it a coin toss.

                [snip]

                ...Flipping a coin doesn't work logically, Bob, because the probability of a saying being a Mark saying in Thomas isn't 50/50.

                Most statistics can handle this, using appropriate probabilities for each category (parallel/not parallel)

                And, as Mark sayings are used up in your dice rolling, the odds change, depending on the luck of the dice in the first part. It's a more difficult puzzle than it first appears.

                Here you make a good point, but wind up hoist on your own petard. This is the reason your dice analogy won't work, but it is a good point against my coin toss analogy. At the risk of provoking our list moderator's complaint against technicalities, this is covered in statistics by "sampling without replacement." But I shall eschew further discussion of the statistical details.

                I hope that addressed all your points, if I missed one, let me know.

                Richard Hubbard raised a series of excellent questions for you to ponder, regarding definition of terms.

                Bob Schacht
              • kurt31416
                Hi Bob, Well, if the equation says 99% of the time, if random, there wouldn t be a sequence that long, I ll bet on it. Sayings, sub sayings, sentences, words,
                Message 7 of 20 , May 3 9:43 PM
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                  Hi Bob,

                  Well, if the equation says 99% of the time, if random, there wouldn't be a sequence that long, I'll bet on it.

                  Sayings, sub sayings, sentences, words, or individual characters.

                  And since the probability of a Mark (or anything in general) isn't 50/50, I just don't see your point about preferring a coin toss vs. dice. A fair dice/coin produces statistically random numbers, and if you roll/flip them a lot, it approaches maximum algorithmic randomness/maximum entropy/maximum complexity/largest compressed file size.

                  Richard Van Vliet
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