Re: Useless hypotheses

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Thu Dec 20 2001 - 05:39:22 MST

From: "Louis Newstrom" <>
> Actually, I liked the phlogiston theory. It said that burning was caused by
> a single substance. That substance is released by burning. (Evidence for
> this was that burned objects are almost always lighter than the original.)

Yes, that's an excellent comparison. The same kind of faulty reasoning prompts
some people to imagine that cognition is caused by a mystical entity called
"mind" which they try to create evidence for by claiming that dead bodies are
lighter than alive ones.

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Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI,
non-sensory experience, SETI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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