Re: Bayes Destroyed?

From: marc.geddes <>
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 23:09:09 -0700 (PDT)

On Aug 29, 5:30 am, Brent Meeker <> wrote:
> marc.geddes wrote:

> > See for example ‘Theory and Reality’  (Peter Godfrey Smith) and
> > debates in philosophy about prediction versus integration.  True
> > explanation is more than just prediction, and involves *integration*
> > of different models.  Bayes only deals with prediction.
> That depends on what interpretation you are assigning to the
> probability measure.  Often it is "degree of belief", not a
> prediction.  But prediction is the gold-standard for understanding.

*Before* you can even begin to assign probabilities to anything, you
first need to form symbolic representations of the things you are
talking about; see Knowledge Representation:

This is where categories come in – to represent knowledge you have to
group raw sensory data into different categories, this is a
prerequisite to any sort of ‘degrees of belief’, which shows that
probabilities are not as important as knowledge representation. In
fact knowledge representation is actually doing most of the work in
science, and Bayesian ‘degrees of belief’ are secondary.


> >
> This is obviously written by an advocate of Bohm's philosophy - of
> which his reformulation of Schrodinger's equation was on a small,
> suggestive part.  Note that Bohmian quantum mechanics implies that
> everything is deterministic - only one sequence of events happens and
> that sequence is strictly determined by the wave-function of the
> universe and the initial conditions.  Of course it doesn't account for
> particle production and so is inconsistent with cosmogony and relativity.
> Brent

This is not a failing of the Bohemian interpretation, because *every*
interpretation of quantum mechanics suffers from it ; no one has yet
succeed in producing a consistent quantum field theory for the simple
reason that general relatively contradicts quantum mechanics.

> > Associations are causal relations.  But  true explanation is more than
> > just causal relations, Bayes deals only with prediction of causal
> > relations..  
> Bayes deals with whatever you put a probability measure on.  Most
> often it is cited as applying to degrees of belief, which is what
> Cox's theorem is about.

But what justifies Cox's theorem? Ultimately, to try to justify math
you can’t use ‘degrees of belief’, but have to fall back on deep math
like Set/Categoy theory (since Sets/Categories are the foundation of
mathematics). This shows that Bayes can’t be foundational

> One may invent analogies and categories, but how do you know they are
> not just arbitrary manipulation of symbols unless you can predict
> something from them.  This seems to me to be an appeal to mysticism
> (of which Bohm would approve) in which "understanding" becomes a
> mystical inner feeling unrelated to action and consequences.
> Brent-

Pure mathematics is a science which is not based on prediction,
instead it is about finding structural relationships between different
concepts (integrating different pieces of knowledge). Categories form
the basis for knowledge representation and pure mathematics, which is
prior to any sort of prediction. Category/Set Theory is utterly
precise science, the opposite of mysticism.

Bohm's interpretation of QM is utterly precise and was published in a
scientific journal (Phys. Rev, 1952). In the more than 50 years
since, no technical rebuttal has yet been found, and it is fully
consistent with all predictions of standard QM. In fact the Bohm
interpretation is the only realist interpretation offering a clear
picture of what’s going on – other interpretations such as Bohr deny
that there’s an objective reality at all at the microscopic level,
bring in vague ideas like the importance of ‘consciousness’ or
‘observers’ and postulate mysterious ‘wave functions collapses, or
reference a fantastical ‘multiverse’ of unobservables, disconnected
from actual concrete reality. Bohm is the *only* non-mystical

In fact from;

"Bohm’s paradigm is inherently antithetical to reductionism, in most
forms, and accordingly can be regarded as a form of ontological

Since Bohm's views are non-reductionist and still perfectly
consistent, this casts serious doubt on the entire reductionist world-
view on which Bayesian reasoning is based.

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Received on Fri Aug 28 2009 - 23:09:09 PDT

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