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Richard Taylor
Member since Feb-14-05 · Last seen Jul-30-16
Here are some of my games on Chess games .com -

Richard Taylor

Please discount my games in the recent NZ Champs I was AWOL...lol...VERY AWOL !!!!!!!!!!

AGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I live in New Zealand. I was born in the 1940s. So I am now 68.

I have have a Blog - no Chess there as yet but some may find it interesting - it is called "Eyelight"

http://richardinfinitex.blogspot.com/

Here is an interesting political/ poetical / historical/N.Z - Blog - but it also has history about NZ and many other matters it is run by a good friend of mine

http://www.readingthemaps.blogspot....

But I have quite wide interests. (In fact I had about 50 or more jobs in my life!) I have only been to Fiji in 1973 and New York in 1993. Both fascinating places in different ways. But most of my life I have lived here in Auckland.

I like all styles of play - sometimes in OTB I enjoy the complexities of double-edged tactical stuff - but also enjoy the 'Karpovian' manouevres in slower games - always learning.

As to a favourite players: all the greats are there - Alekhine, Rubinstein, Keres, Capa, Lasker...Fischer of course, Tal, Botvinnik, Smyslov and many others. I have a penchant for Smyslov's and Karpov's games. Fischer and Tal are all important and I have used ideas of both, obviously not at a high level but in average club games.I see some similarities between Fischer and Karpov whose play I like. Kasparov's huge obsession with theory is too much for me, but of course many of his games are very great. There are many good chess players.

I learned with Reinfeld's books and Capa's 'Chess Fundamentals'. I discovered chess while reading 'Through the Looking Glass' by Lewis Carrol. I was about 9 or 10. I then asked my father.."What is chess..." and he didn't really know so we went to libraries to get books and learnt the game and we both became addicts...but not my brother who was actually really naturally talented at chess and mathematics etc. (Not me. I am a "slogger" and learn slowly). He played soccer instead! He is the sane one of the two boys in my family!

I am not a very highly rated player - I have played in two NZ Correspondence Championships and an International Teams Tournament for NZ about 1986.

Chess is a struggle (but when playing try to feel for your opponent -he/she is also struggling) - it is rarely clear who is winning (we know the obvious positions) - most positions it is best to examine "strengths and weaknesses" - improve the position of pieces and so on. Be confidant but VERY wary while playing. Chess is infinite!

Below is a good link to Australian and New Zealand live events. Link:

http://www.aucklandchesscentre.co.n...

>> Click here to see Richard Taylor's game collections.

Chessgames.com Full Member

   Richard Taylor has kibitzed 11337 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Jul-30-16 Richard Taylor chessforum (replies)
 
Richard Taylor: <Wayne Power: <Richard> What with all this Philosophy stuff, I've (literally) dusted off an old paperback that I haven't read for decades: "The Central Questions of Philosophy" by A J Ayer. I remember being impressed by it 40 years ago, so it will be an interesting ...
 
   Jul-30-16 Kenneth Rogoff (replies)
 
Richard Taylor: <keypusher: <Richard Taylor> I guess everyone fights fascists in their own way, but yours is definitely one of the more economical I have heard of. Letting your subscription lapse! If only you'd been around in '33. I decided to let my daughter stay up to watch HRC's ...
 
   Jul-24-16 Jonathan Sarfati chessforum
 
Richard Taylor: <Jonathan Safarti> Watson has been playing consistently (he plays most weeks at the ACC) but plays in only a few tournaments as he mows lawns etc He is one of NZ's best players. He is a very good player. Kulashko has come back the last couple of years to our club. And ...
 
   Jul-22-16 S D Swapnil vs M Narciso Dublan, 2015 (replies)
 
Richard Taylor: This was a nice attacking game by Black.
 
   Jul-22-16 Carlsen vs Karjakin, 2016 (replies)
 
Richard Taylor: Carlsen takes opening theory seriously but he probably avoids the lines his thinks his opponents want to go down. This means he steers for positions where it is perhaps less position. He also seems to be able to play any kind of opening or position or he plays attacking or ...
 
   Jul-22-16 Benzol chessforum
 
Richard Taylor: I lost to Punsalam due to a silly error on move 9. (9. Bg5? which I knew was wrong I meant to play 9.Qf3). So after that it wasn't very good for me. A bit disappointed but I did well for an old fellow.
 
   Jul-15-16 Daniel Naroditsky
 
Richard Taylor: I read part of his book. It's good except the first part only has 3 or 4 problems (positional with tactics sometimes) based on the chapter. [I failed them all!] But otherwise it is very good, I had it from a local library, so had to return it. He wrote it partly as he was ...
 
   Jul-12-16 D Svetushkin vs Z Kozul, 2006
 
Richard Taylor: Kozul must have played 41. ... Ke3 which wins.
 
   Jul-10-16 S Williams vs D Howell, 2015 (replies)
 
Richard Taylor: I played in the same tournament as Howell once. He is a quietly spoken and quite nice fellow. He of course stayed in the top boards while after one game near the top I fell to grovel among the sodomites!
 
   Jul-10-16 Carlsen vs Harikrishna, 2007
 
Richard Taylor: I cant play blindfold chess. I cant even remember positions I had a few moves ago. Or the game I played. I need a score sheet. I can recall the gist of it but miss intermediate moves and so on. But trying to visualize a whole board is nearly impossible for me. Not that it ...
 
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: There is also the problem of the simulacrum. Lol!! (That is a la Baudrillard). His statement was that: "The Gulf War didn't happen."

Of course this cant actually be taken literally, but he is talking about the complex way knowledge is mediated through various communication and other methods, creating a kind of simulacrum of reality that isn't reality. It is a bit more complex than that: but anyone exposed to endless television and endless movies and so on, can have some idea of it. He was critical of that culture but not all "postmodernists" shared his view. It is interesting though.

It is also a problem of phenomenology. The various events in the world to many are, if you like, simply phenomena. However the whole thing is complicated as it comes via Husserl (who started out like Russell in mathematics trying to 'prove' the basis of mathematics. Derrida's first writing was in fact a long essay on and introduction of one of Husserl's mathematic books. He shared being an intellectual and an 'exile" (Jewish Algerian in Derrida's case)...Husserl was sacked by his protegy Heidegger (who had joined the Nazi Party which is a worry...Husserl was not harmed physically but being an old man it meant the end of his career) who used phenomenology in his Being and Time.

Ironically all these influenced the Marxist and resistance fighter Jean-Paul Sartre, who took the position that there is no subconscious and no excuses for moral failings. He is a great writer and thinker but I cant concur with him on this nor quite with Heidegger.

Russell was a good old flog and very bright but he is in the Logical Positivist camp....

Jul-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wayne Power: Richard, you've raised a huge number of things here and I can't do them all justice in this one reply, late at night.

But I'll make a rather piecemeal start for now:

It looks like I was studying Physics (up to MSc level) at the same time you were studying Philosophy, so there should be a good deal of common ground.

But, I've also read Bertrand Russel's History of Western Philosophy and a number of other popular books like it. Russell and Whitehead tried to prove that the axioms of Mathematics followed from the laws of logic but along came Kurt Godel and proved with his incompleteness theorems:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%...

- which left Russell fuming! Basically Godel's Theorems were to Mathematics what the Quantum Theory and Relativity were to Classical Physics - bombshells!

Then we, Richard Dawkins and many others might say that Darwin's Theory of Evolution was also a bombshell to Genesis. I certainly think that the Earth and Universe are billions of years old and so there was plenty of time for Evolution to occur but I'm also aware that Jonathan Sarfati, who can beat both of us at chess and has very expert knowledge in bio-chemistry doesn't agree.

Much more on all this but not right now - its 1am!

Jul-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wayne Power: Hello Again Richard,

I'm just looking at the Wikipedia article about the Gettier Problem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getti...

Its interesting to see it formalised as a subject in Philosophy and only comparatively recently but surely counter-examples like this have been the basis of countless who-dunnit and similar detective-like stories for as long as they have been in print. Thus Sherlock Holmes's would typically realise that what appeared to be true to Inspector Lestrade was not really so or was an incomplete picture or was true but not for the reasons Lestrade assumed, etc. Likewise virtually all of the magician's art (which goes back thousands of years) is based on deliberately setting up a Gettier problem for the audience. Likewise the art of the con-man and many other tricksters.

So I'm saying that intelligent people have had an informal understanding of this branch of Philosophy for thousands of years. And other branches, too, I'd venture to say (but will look at later).

Anyway, on Creation and Evolution, I should say that I have read Bill Bryson's book "A Short History of Nearly Everything" and have adopted it as my working hypothesis as the solution to what we might call the "grand ultimate cold case".

More later.

Jul-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wayne Power: It seems to me that one of the key points that Creationist Biology makes is illustrated by the Island Rule: http://creation.com/island-rule

In this, if I have it correctly, an isolated population of a given species may variously grow or contract in overall size or in some other measurable parameter but only because of a reduction in genetic diversity, and not increased complexity. Only pre-existing genes are involved.

So what might have appeared to Darwin and others as evolution was really only the genetic narrowing of the same species.

Creationists, as I understand their argument, maintain that one species cannot evolve or mutate into another - or, at least that none yet has.

More later

Jul-23-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wayne Power: If we look at the Wikipedia article on Creationism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creat... - we see that there are a number of schools of thought (or belief) about it. These progress from the most extreme Young Earth Creationism, through Gap Creationism, Progressive Creationism and Intelligent Design to Theistic Evolution, aka Evolutionary Creationism - the least extreme.

Jonathan Sarfati is a strong advocate of the first - Young Earth - but I simply can't go that far because there is so much evidence that my Physics and Astronomy background informs me of about the age of the age of the Earth being in the billions of years (4.5 approx).

But, over the years, I've studied enough about "modern" Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and other Easter religions and philosophies to be receptive enough to the idea of a creator having set up the whole universe and then slowly guided its evolution, which I assume is the basic idea behind Evolutionary Creationism.

I would certainly part company with Richard Dawkins and his brand of very "devout" atheism. I could never be that devout about anything! I think there is a huge amount of evidence for the existence of the soul, including outside the body. That would include ghosts and re-incarnation. Yes, granted, there are plenty of bogus Psychics who use cold reading but about 5% of them do seem to achieve insights that, tricks aside, are far beyond what cold reading and guesswork could achieve.

More later

Jul-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Re Godel, Russell himself was stopped by his own paradox. Wittgenstein knew that the problem was language. He also wrote a book about mathematics: or the philosophy of...I have a copy here.

No I wasn't studying philosophy I went back to University and studied Literature, Philosophy, Ancient History etc but it was epistemology and a few other subjects that interested me...but also I have read a lot of commentaries on philosophy.

I wasn't much good at mathematics or science but was always interested in the ideas of mathematics. And I still am.

Jul-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: [I mean at the same time. I dropped out of university, then worked for about a year as a roading tech, then had a about 50 jobs as a labourer or factory worker then trained as a Lineman. I did get an NZCE in Telecom and electronics etc and I worked for a couple of years as an engineering technician for the then NZED. My reading of such as Jacob Bronowski (and his TV series), J D Barrow and others and some philosophy commentaries with some primary texts has happened more recently althoug I studied some philosophy at AU between 1990 - 1994]

The Gettier problem is only one that arises in Epistemology. Now that area of philosophy goes back thousands of years but nothing has changed and very little has been added by science as such. I mean it hasn't contributed to the philosophic search shall we say. Godel't theorem is only one of the problems.

Actually, the stumbling block is the second criteria for knowledge. That of belief.

Jul-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Its interesting to see it formalised as a subject in Philosophy and only comparatively recently but surely counter-examples like this have been the basis of countless who-dunnit and similar detective-like stories for as long as they have been in print. Thus Sherlock Holmes's would typically realise that what appeared to be true to Inspector Lestrade was not really so or was an incomplete picture or was true but not for the reasons Lestrade assumed, etc. Likewise virtually all of the magician's art (which goes back thousands of years) is based on deliberately setting up a Gettier problem for the audience. Likewise the art of the con-man and many other tricksters.>

No its only a part of the problem of knowledge which has never been solved and probably never will. It isn't a trick. It is just one of those objections that arise and give pause. You have to be careful. It isn't a magic trick! The problem is that we are relying say on some kind of testing system. That system is unreliable or may be. This is the problem. In fact, nothing on this earth made by man is sufficiently reliable.

Yes, for all practical purposes if you are building a bridge or something like that you can be fairly certain your knowledge is knowledge, mostly (or maybe always, you've been lucky as an engineer!) the bridges you build don't fall down:but we are looking for certainty (absolute) of knowledge: not expecting it, but trying to attain it.

Jul-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Re Bryson, I got or put aside about 6 of his books when my friend Peter Hunter who is a bio Engineer mentioned he liked them. That book is good. I haven't read it all but it is good for sure with a lot of handy hints in it...as they say.
Jul-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I think the Theory of Evolution, regardless of Creationism and all the rest, is a kind of red herring. It is irrelevant in discovering or understanding the 'whatness' of the world and religious people who concern themselves with it are missing the point. [They can rely on revelation,or their feelings that there is a God. If a dog could speak and it told (one, me, someone else), I KNOW THERE IS A GOD, it would ring more true to me than if someone who had been "brainwashed" into religion (this is rather crude terminology of course) told me they know. But for the person who believes, for whatever reason, that there is a God, that is something he or she THINKS they know. If it is true that there is a God, than according to the criteria or model I am using for now, then they KNOW that there is a God, and there is a God. If, against that, it is TRUE that there is NO GOD, then they don't know it, but they cant know that there isn't a God as they believe there is one!!] It in no way proves or disproves or goes anywhere near affecting religion or philosophy in a deep sense at all. [Of course it has deeply affected the culture, the ethos, and much else. It is a beautiful theory and, as Dawkins has shown can be proven nowdays quite easily. Creationism isn't needed for scientists -as long as they believe in the various logical theories. If, for whatever reason, someone 'loses faith' in this, that person has no knowledge of it.

A simple example would be if Dawkins, one day, suffers some kind of trauma, he has to live in poverty, or something quite stressful and unusual happens to him, or he starts having hallucinations as he listens to his Bach (which he loves) and starts to think, that Bach, the greatest composer ever, some think, was right to dedicate ALL (and this is true, he dedicated ALL no exceptions, as well as to be in the 'religion' or mystery of his work he coded his own name in there as the H is a note in German): Dawkins is convinced. He cant repudiate his love of evolution and the marvels of biology, but now he has a deep doubt....he starts asking. Am I so right? Perhaps it was all a test by God, as in fact that WOULD give some reason for being. That would indicate that the (over) complexity of the nervous system of the Giraffe for example (a bad design if designed by God as he says) is all a trick: and that we are simply being tested....

By the way I have had such thoughts. It has occured to me that thus the Fall is the central issue in our society and in the world as it supposes that we have been given free will...Evolution takes away free will. Possibly a non-contingent universe allows free will. [Although of course there are problems with that also. Free will, as something that is existent, seems to me to be impossible to prove....these are also old but ongoing philosophical problems.]

Jul-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Wayne Power: If we look at the Wikipedia article on Creationism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creat... - we see that there are a number of schools of thought (or belief) about it. These progress from the most extreme Young Earth Creationism, through Gap Creationism, Progressive Creationism and Intelligent Design to Theistic Evolution, aka Evolutionary Creationism - the least extreme. Jonathan Sarfati is a strong advocate of the first - Young Earth - but I simply can't go that far because there is so much evidence that my Physics and Astronomy background informs me of about the age of the age of the Earth being in the billions of years (4.5 approx).

But, over the years, I've studied enough about "modern" Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and other Easter religions and philosophies to be receptive enough to the idea of a creator having set up the whole universe and then slowly guided its evolution, which I assume is the basic idea behind Evolutionary Creationism.

I would certainly part company with Richard Dawkins and his brand of very "devout" atheism. I could never be that devout about anything! I think there is a huge amount of evidence for the existence of the soul, including outside the body. That would include ghosts and re-incarnation. Yes, granted, there are plenty of bogus Psychics who use cold reading but about 5% of them do seem to achieve insights that, tricks aside, are far beyond what cold reading and guesswork could achieve.>

I take your points here. I think Hume is useful. He basically realised that we can know nothing (as reportedly did Protagoras, but he added that even if the did, he wouldn't be able to convey it...which is an important idea to bear in mind and here Plato...well I recently read his Republic which is a brilliant but flawed book....now Plato attacks Protagoras...but I'll leave that aside). In saying we cannot know anything, he is saying there is no way of predicting anything in the future. Because Newton shows how the planets orbit, that things fall to the earth doesn't meant that one day we will all wake up to a world where things don't fall, or they fall only if the feel like, or whatever: thus he defaulted to 'common sense' as the only way. It is more or less that. So did Wittgenstein. He realised that Russell project, wonderful as it was, was never going to succeed, well before Russell's Paradox or Godel's theorem etc....

Derrida is more complex, he deconstructs which doesn't mean he disrespects those the deconstructs but he get's in and questions and shows contradictions etc etc

But if we are to know things or use science we have to realize it is a social truth or truths (or knowledge) that we are relying on (given that we accept a less than absolute truth).

So, re creationism, the problems are the obvious ones: but if people have some good evidence or ideas as to why they are thus it is easier to discuss it, but some people simply default to it as "they told us, or it's in the Bible or something"....But if they do that we have to ask the silly old questions: if the world was kicked off by Aliens (as my son believes) where did the Aliens come from and how did they either get created or evolve or whatever...

Mind you I have some admiration for these eccentric views. I suppose I cant say they are eccentric...perhaps agasint the grain is the term....

Jul-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: re Dawkins and his "religion of Atheism" that is what I don't like. For me there are no such certainties either way. And evolution doesn't "prove" or "disprove" the existence or not of God....or whatever. In fact it makes it all more mysterious.

Science is what humans do, they keep making better things (and sometimes worse things like atomic bombs) as, well, it is how we are.

Possibly our own intelligence will destroy us.

Well, evolution and science hasn't stopped the ongoing slaughter and madness in the world, despite the optimism of those who are "enlightened"...knowledge for me is not going to solve anything. It is more like a huge and fascinating game...like a transfinite chess game!!

Jul-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: No, for me Creationism doesn't even get off the ground.[I saw that site , link you gave) and heard that typical cheesy "religious" voice....sorry, if they get back all the time to the Bible, and how infallible that book is, well, no, it's not for me...] I think it is a way for people who are Christians (or other) to live with some kind of evolution or pattern and then show the holes in Evolutionary Theory. Now Dawkins is right when he says "there are no missing links" and so on. For me, if we take evolution as a closed system, it is completely proven. No questions.

But take it out of the closed system. This means the debate about Creationsism versus Evolution is irrelevant.

If someone KNOWS there is a God, loving or not (No one can pre-assume that God is not in fact evil, for example): whatever, it is a sidetrack that has nothing to do with the serious stuff in philosophy!!

I just read Jim Holt's 'Why Does the World Exist' it is very good. He comes to no conclusion but it is a fascinating book as is J D Barrow's 'Impossibilty: the Science of Limits and the Limits of Science" Barrow is ascientist (and a philosopher -look you CANNOT be a scientist unless you are also a philosopher...as humans we are all thinkers, thus philosophers...It you care about science part of what is science for you is feeling, that mysterious thing)....

The same impulse that makes us question whether there is a God etc makes us wonder what magnetism is and so on, so if we separate these disciplines it is fatal...read also 'The Age of Wonder' by Holmes. A poet, Colderidge, was responsible for getting the word science into more common use. Huygens was a musician and composer who saw the skies in musical terms, Davey wrote a long philosophic poem as well as his scientific work...and so on.

Now, the vast majority of people dont even need to add numbers up. People can survive without any of that or much of the science we have. That the world goes around the sun or the other way around is of no interest or use to millions of people: life is very interesting without knowing that or knowing that commons salt is sodium chloride....we are in danger of making mathematics and science into religions.

But if science or philosophy is not believed in, then no one (who doesn't believe, that is at step 2 of the truth-belief-justification model I used above) can have knowledge of either.

Remind me to tell you the example of a science fiction story I read years ago that is relevant to all this.

My son made a point, much as we laugh at David Icke, he makes people think. I laughed, but, yes, I suppose he does. I rather like such rather eccentric mavericks and also I used to like reading the books of Thor Heyerdal...He actually proved one thing...he showed that ordinary men with strong staves of wood and manpower could move one of the Easter Island statues to a vertical position.

By the way, do you know an expositin on line, a good one, of how the Egyptians built their Pyramids?

They are so vast and old it is not surprising some people think aliens put them there.

Jul-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wayne Power: Yes, with that wide ranging set of jobs and study, you've probably been left with a better perspective on everything than some of those more cloistered lecturers at uni.

I also followed Jacob Bronowski's TV series and then bought the book also. Very good stuff.

But Science (or Natural Philosophy as they used to call it) only requires us to hold provisional beliefs about things based on the best tested data and theories of the moment. If better fitting data and theory comes along we then shift our working hypothesis to them. So a scientist (versus a believer) must be prepared to live in a perpetual state of uncertainty about everything.

That's why I must describe myself as an agnostic about science, religion and everything else. Of course, on a day-to-day basis, my actions and decisions are mostly indistinguishable from someone with at least some fixed beliefs. I act as though I believe that the Sun will (effectively) rise in the morning and that it will keep doing so for a billion or two more years to come. But that is really because I find the relevant astronomy strongly supportive of that thought.

Then again, a huge great asteroid might suddenly change all that. It is improbable in the short term but more likely in the longer term. So I might need to amend my working set of quasi-beliefs to that of a set of probabilities but, again, ones based on science - based calculations.

Jul-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Wayne Power: It seems to me that one of the key points that Creationist Biology makes is illustrated by the Island Rule: http://creation.com/island-rule In this, if I have it correctly, an isolated population of a given species may variously grow or contract in overall size or in some other measurable parameter but only because of a reduction in genetic diversity, and not increased complexity. Only pre-existing genes are involved.

So what might have appeared to Darwin and others as evolution was really only the genetic narrowing of the same species.

Creationists, as I understand their argument, maintain that one species cannot evolve or mutate into another - or, at least that none yet has>

This seems to me to be quite erroneous. Darwin used those isolated places to show how certain species acquire specific characteristics. He didn't know that constant mutations were at work. But that doesn't matter. The way he collated the information pointed clearly to a non-designed process. The finches with certain beak sizes and shapes fitted certain places and so on. So if the whole thing is looked at, together with the work of Wallace, and then later (or earlier really) Mendel, and now Watson and Crick and later Bodmer and others...these show that evolution is basically proven....BUT the problems of knowledge remain...

For me, it is only if we keep evolution in what I call a "closed system" [no outsider who is going to reach in and change the rules of chess just as you, Wayne, are about to deliver checkmate to Peter Stuart of Bob Smith!! This magic is seen in that great philosophic work 'The Tempest' by Shakespeare...who I am pretty certain by the way, was at least a strong agnostic...the influence of Montaigne and the beautiful and strange works of Ovid with all those transformations had a dark influence on his work. Montaigne is a great thinker. He understands ambiguity and uncertainty. But he is the first great essayist. He invented the word for it, as his works he called "Essays" or tries I suppose. He will put forward one argument, then subtley demolish it in the course of the essay which is: (almost) like:

Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?'
Let us go and make our visit.

[T.S. Eliot 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.]

Jul-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wayne Power: - Blimmin' heck Richard - just in the time I took to write my last piece, you fired off all those ones above!

But, again, let me have a go at answering at least some of them:

Starting with the pyramids, someone reckons that the ancient Egyptians used concrete! That makes sense if you consider that the gap between the stones is less than a cigarette paper thickness. It would be that if an already cast and set stone was used as boxing for the next one. I suppose that means that, for some stones without a neighbour, researchers could expect to find the impressions of the boxing - supposedly wooden.

But, yes, probably like Victor, I'm also a bit of a junkie for the Ancient Alien stuff on the Sky documentary channels. And, to complete the confession, I also watch the UFO stuff as well. Actually, I'm right in the middle of reading "UFOs - myths, conspiracies, and realities" by John B Alexander, PhD. Its a very well researched book and from someone who is basically an insider. What he keeps on saying, though, is that every agency of the US government thinks that some other agency is investigating them but that none is. I'm only halfway through it but I think the bottom line is that private organisations like MUFON can do and are doing a far better job at this. Another thing he repeatedly notes is that the Condon Report - which unjustifiably concluded that there was nothing in them - has done very lasting damage to the whole on-going investigation. Anyone, scientist or politician, who expresses a serious interest in UFOs automatically becomes a victim of the "tar baby" that the Condon Report effectively created. Another phrase, coined recently by Prof Huw Price, the Bertrand Russell professor of Philosophy, is "Reputation Trap". He applied that to Cold Fusion research (which I also follow) but, I'd say, it applies equally to UFOs.

That means that I am thoroughly inside that same Reputation Trap but, since I am now retired I don't really care and its a lot of fun!

Jul-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wayne Power: <Richard Taylor: This seems to me to be quite erroneous. Darwin used those isolated places to show how certain species acquire specific characteristics. He didn't know that constant mutations were at work.>

- No, the Island Rule does not require mutations to occur, only narrowing of the existing, un-mutated gene pool. The same effects have been achieved by dog breeders who have variously produced very large and very small dogs, as well as pug-faced ones, etc all by just selective breeding. The underlying genes of all breeds of dog are the same as those of the wolves they all came from. I'm not an expert on this branch of science but that's my take on what I've read.

Jul-25-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: No that has to be wrong. In general evolution always requires mutations. This Island rule seems a nonsense to me. Even if there is a "narrowing" it is still part of the same selective (I forget the terminology that they use) but it is just a variation of the same process.

The mutations in this case occurred and then any new mutations which would have occurred would not be selected for the environment as they don't show an advantage over time (more survival per capita etc) so it is still the same process...Here it is the Creationists who are playing Tricksters!! And I am defending Religion...what I am defending is the possiblity of God or Something despite science....Science, which is and can be great, doesn't address these issues as such, but part of my point is that it HAS to be tied to human emotions, the "socious", even the political, and so on. It is a social thing.

When I talk about knowledge I am not talking about everyday useable knowledge that obviously we all need to operate by (or we would die or go mad) these knowledge criteria are for, really, philosophy in...hmm... special cases...such as say number theory as Godel etc of of Cantor's interest in the continuum or how to talk about why is there something rather than nothing, was David Bain guitly, was 9/11 and inside or outside job etc....

Re conspiracies: good stuff, but take the Kennedy one. For me I default to it seems likely that Oswald done it. For me it is a kind of Okham's razor (Okham used his razor though, in my view, erroneously, he was dealing with what is called nominalism, and also he wanted to separate religion, science and philosophy which I think was wrong: however he is interesting): so that is how I work with that...arguments for or against are irrelevant for me on that one as I don't see it as critical...whereas 9/11 is still important and of course we need or would like a good knowledge verification system or at least be able to show the flaws in most logical arguments (which is why all such arguments for or against God fail)...And they are all old (but still interesting). Someone who is religious really, to know that there is a God, must come to that via revelation. The trouble is only that person "knows"...I have had moments when I have felt I know that there is a great Something etc but for me I am still wary of what my own mind is doing...An Huxley points this out, how we cant be sure these "mystical revelations" are not hallucinations, another general and well known issue in psychology and philosophy...

But science, such as astronomy can enhance that sense we have of the beauty or the terrible but fascinating nature of the universe. That is one of it's values, and there it has something in common with art.

Jul-25-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: I think that a major weakness in the Creationist argument that evolution cannot lead to greater complexity, is that they ignore the phenomenon of gene duplication.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_...

The ability to produce "excess" genetic material provides raw material for the evolution of new proteins with novel capabilities, and can increase the complexity of the organism. Over time, this leads to the formation of new species with adaptions not found in their ancestors.

Jul-26-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wayne Power: <Gregor Samsa Mendel> Thanks Gregor. You are obviously an expert on this and it looks OK to me so I'll "vote" for Evolution.
Jul-26-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wayne Power: <Richard> What with all this Philosophy stuff, I've (literally) dusted off an old paperback that I haven't read for decades: "The Central Questions of Philosophy" by A J Ayer. I remember being impressed by it 40 years ago, so it will be an interesting re-read. Anyway, if I start suddenly start sounding wiser than before, you'll know why.
Jul-30-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Gregor Samsa Mendel: I think that a major weakness in the Creationist argument that evolution cannot lead to greater complexity, is that they ignore the phenomenon of gene duplication. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_...

The ability to produce "excess" genetic material provides raw material for the evolution of new proteins with novel capabilities, and can increase the complexity of the organism. Over time, this leads to the formation of new species with adaptions not found in their ancestors.>

I'll look at this. Well it also always leads to the chicken and the egg problem...But it looks interesting...The problem I am addressing is really quite simple. The problem of knowing something. But thanks it is still an interesting debate, my son thinks that aliens had a hand in evolution...and that is an interesting idea but for me it "begs the question"...

Jul-30-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Wayne Power: <Richard> What with all this Philosophy stuff, I've (literally) dusted off an old paperback that I haven't read for decades: "The Central Questions of Philosophy" by A J Ayer. I remember being impressed by it 40 years ago, so it will be an interesting re-read. Anyway, if I start suddenly start sounding wiser than before, you'll know why.>

Not wiser, whoever gets wiser? Maybe more cautious!

But I have a book by Ayer which I read years ago in fact I was intending to look (reread his book) called 'The Problem of Knowledge'...as it is on epistemology. He is a little dry.

Nietzsche is great to read (he is more or less on the opposite side to such as Ayer who is more of a "Logical Positivist" like Russell et al) and Wittgenstein, I just read bits and pieces of him and commentaries...for Sartre they recommend reading his novels and plays. Some of his short stories are very good: like thrillers. There are some good commentaries on philosophy and cheap editions of introductory books some of which are very thorough. Of course you can only read parts of these things.

By the way there was a modern philosopher called Richard Taylor. I actually quoted him in an essay I wrote once in an attempt I made to refute Descartes (hypothetical!) idea that we are in a world created by "an evil genius"...or to use the modern equivalent we are in a virtual reality created by some kind of super hackers...that is hard to refute by the way, and I failed (according to my tutor)....Taylor "clashed" with the writer David Foster Wallace and Wallace's thesis was in logic trying to refute Taylor's slightly tongue in cheek theory that there is no freedom of choice: and in fact that is also something still in doubt! You have, so to speak, to go on faith in your day job as a philosopher...at night you can be anything from a nihilist to a logical positivist to some religion, whatever...but logic on its own leads down some twisting paths as Lewis Carol showed...read his Alice booksL they are very sophisticated philosophy showing logical absurdities and language conundrums...remember he was a mathematician and a chess player as well as a great writer.

Jul-30-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wayne Power: <Not wiser, whoever gets wiser? Maybe more cautious!>

I'd like to think that plenty of people are getting wiser. They may not include me but that goal is surely one good reason for studying Philosophy.

Philosophy literally translates to "The Love of Wisdom", so we might then ask what is Wisdom? The beginning of an answer to this might lie in trying to contrast the actions of a wise person with those of someone who is less so. So we might say that someone who undertakes to learn from his mistakes is wiser than someone who does not. The wiser person might also do more reading and advice seeking than the other.

The list goes on. But, as Plato obviously believed, a dialog may be the ultimate method. That is what we are having now, so I would submit that as this dialog progresses, both our "Wisdom Quotients" should rise.

Jul-30-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: https://cdn.boldomatic.com/content/...
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