Exegesis Volume 3 Issue #67

From: "Mark A. Melton"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #66

Exegesis Digest Tue, 08 Dec 1998

Date: Mon, 07 Dec 1998 13:06:37 -0800
From: "Mark A. Melton"
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #66

Metalog wrote:
 > Exegesis Digest Mon, 07 Dec 1998 Volume 3 Issue 66
 > Contents
 > -----e-----
 > From: Andre Donnell
 > Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #65
 > From: "William D. Tallman"
 > Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #65
 > I wish wtallman would boil the rest of his thesis down to a couple of
 > short paragraphs so we could get a better handle on it.
 > [snip]
 > Mark A. Melton
 > Well, in my experience, a couple of short paragraphs become regarded as
 > enigmatic and eventually too ambivalent (subject to too many different, even
 > mutually exclusive, interpretations) to be useful. Our use of language has
 > become a matter of imprecision, lest said language threaten to become too
 > restrictive, or so we are told. Words change their meaning in imperceptible
 > increments until whole sentences and paragraphs are required to insure that
 > an intended meaning remains accessible.

This is a problem in all sorts of sciences too, especially geology and other historical subjects where you have to deal with what you're given by nature or history --no two instances are exactly the same, etc. I still think it is always worthwhile to define one's terms carefully --then stick with it to the extent one can. I said this in my first note to this List and probably have not honored it sufficiently myself, so I am not casting aspersions at anyone.

 > I define Astrology as a working model of our universe that has the form of a
 > construct.

?? The whole universe or just the part we can see? ?? Aren't all models by definition constructs, i.e. artificial, man-made objects that are simplifications and abstractions of the real thing?

 > The model is, thus, a virtual reality, a reflection of the
 > actual reality of interest to us. The supporting hypothesis for this is, in
 > my view, what I have called the fundamental theorem of astrology, and it is
 > in the quoted material above, set off by triple asterisks. So, the basic
 > structure of the model is the predetermined celestial configuration, and an
 > interpretation of terrestrial phenomenon based thereon. However, the model
 > does not specify, nor does it imply, the mechanism that links the
 > configuration to the interpretation,

?? Something like a "black-box" model? You know the input and output, but only a transforming function but not the mechanism.

 > We will only be able to ascertain the validity of the model when we discover
 > the real nature of that linking mechanism, such that it can also be
 > represented in the model.

?? I need a def. of validity here. If you mean metaphysical validity, I probably agree. If you mean something like utility, I think we know something about that already.

 > In short, until the linking mechanism is
 > understood in reality, it cannot be represented in the model, and so the
 > model must until that time remain incomplete and therefore unverifiable.

?? Again, I quibble with "unverifiable." In the exact sense of scientific verification, you are right. In the practical sense of verifying whether some particular version of the model works i.e. yields predictable results (define that anyway you like!), then you should be able to refine the model by trial and error.

 > No amount of tinkering with the model itself will reveal that linking
 > mechanism, I think; it can only be discovered in actual, as opposed to
 > virtual, or astrological, reality itself.

?? Gravity is such a thing. For a long time we did not know what it "is" and Newton himself said "Hypotheses non fingo," (I would not make hypotheses) but we could experiment with it and see how it worked. I am out of my field here, but I believe that until Einstein came along with a more comprehensive theory that implied Newton's laws, we didn't make much progress.

I think this is an important dialog because it might help put astrology into a familiar scientific context; by that I do NOT mean the familar reductionist approach where all phenomena are reduced to examples of known physics and chemistry. I think that's been tried without much success.
 > ----------------------------
 > Does that work?

Yes, thanks. Mark Melton

 > Comments?
 > wtallman


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