Robert Howard Kroepel
Copyright © 2006
20 South Shore Road
New Durham, New Hampshire USA 03855
Identifying Great Minds
If P, Then Q Logical Arguments
The Three Stages of a Theory
of Great Scientists
The Opposition to Great minds
by Mediocre Minds
Religionist Fundie Tactics
Identifying Mediocre Minds
In every field of human endeavor there is a constant struggle between or
among individuals for power and control of other individuals: he who has
the power has the control--when you have the power you have the control.
Great minds create new ideas and theories and mediocre minds struggle mightily
to challenge and refute those ideas and theories and thereby gain power
over and therefore control of great minds.
Great minds are easily identified (A) by their use of operational definitions
for the important concepts and principles and techniques they use in developing
and presenting their new ideas and theories and (B) by their use of If P,
Then Q Logical Arguments to present premises which are verifiable/falsifiable/verified
directly or indirectly by physical evidence which are relevant to and which
justify conclusions which are valid because they are relevant to the premises
and true because the premises are verified directly or indirectly by physical
Concept = Mental representation/idea of a person, an organism, or an object.
Principle = Mental representation/idea of an event--a relationship between
or among objects.
Object = A group or set or system of elementary particles, subatomic particles,
atoms, molecules, etc. which form a unity which retains its identity for
a longer duration in time than relevant events. [NOTE: People and organisms
are technically objects.]
Examples of Objects: A woman named Jane, a ball, and a man named Dick.
Event = A relationship between or among objects, especially a causal relationship
in which objects/events who/which are causes and who/which cause/create
the effects of (A) changes in the inertial states (motions) and inertial
reference frames of pre-existing objects or (B) new objects/events.
Causality = Causes causing effects = objects/events who/which are causes
and who/which cause/create the effects of (A) changes in the inertial states
(being either at rest or in motion) and inertial reference frames (the condition
of traveling at a specific velocity) of pre-existing objects or (B) new
Example of an Event: The woman named Jane throws the ball to the man named
Dick; Jane is the person who is the cause of the effect of the ball traveling
through the air to the man named Dick; the relationship among Jane, the
ball and Dick is a causal relationship.
Technique = Application of a principle to solve a problem.
Problem = Learning/determining how to achieve a desire or avoid a fear.
Desire = Wanting an object/event.
Example of a Desire: Jane wants the event of getting the ball to Dick.
Fear = Not-wanting an object/event.
Example of a Fear: Jane does not want to not the event of not getting the
ball to Dick.
Examples of Techniques: Jane can solve the problem of achieving the desire
to get the ball to Dick (1) by the technique of throwing the ball to Dick
or (2) by the technique of (A) giving the ball to her dog, Spot, (B) commanding
Spot to take the ball to Dick, and (C) hoping Spot will excecute the command
and therefore will take the ball to Dick.
Operational definitions define terms and phrases by describing or measuring
objects/events who/which are comprised of matter and energy and who/which
are therefore actual/real in contrast to being the content of ideas and
who/which are relevant to the terms/phrases being defined.
By operational definitions, abstract concepts/principles can be made concrete
by descriptions of actual/real objects/events comprised of matter/energy
who/which are relevant to the terms/phrases being defined.
Children often use operational definitions of the terms/phrases they use
for the concepts/principles/techniques they use.
Example: Love [term being defined operationally] is when
someone says they like you and they do nice things for you and with you
[description of the objects/events relevant to the term being defined operationally].
Knowledge = A set of true/accurate concepts/principles and practical techniques.
True Concept = Concept which is an accurate mental representation of a
False Concept = Concept which is an inaccurate mental representation of
True Principle = Principle which is an accurate mental representation of
False Principle = Principle which is an inaccurate mental representation
of an event.
Practical Technique = Effective/workable application of a principle.
Impractical Technique = Ineffective/unworkable application of a principle.
If P, then Q Logical Arguments
If P, then Q logical arguments consist of two premises and a conclusion.
Premise #1: If P, then Q.
Premise #2: P.
If P, Then Q logical arguments function as descriptions of causality: The
P functions as a set of conditions/causes of the Q consequence(s)/effect(s).
Premise #1: If (P/Conditions/Causes) Jane throws this ball with this sufficient
force in the direction of Dick, then (Q/Consequence/Effect) Dick will get
Premise #2: (P/Conditions/Causes) Jane throws this ball with this sufficient
force in the direction of Dick.
Conclusion: (Q/Consequence/Effect) Dick gets the ball.
If P, Then Q logical arguments are causal predictions, predictions of causality,
wherein if the P/Conditions/Causes are present then those P/Conditions/Causes
are predicted to cause the Q/Consequence(s)/Effect(s).
Logical arguments are valid if their premises are relevant to their
conclusions, and, in reverse, if their conclusions are relevant to their
premises; logical arguments are true if their premises are verifiable/falsfiable/verified
directly or indirectly by physical evidence or the conclusions of other
Philosophy, literally, from Greek "philo" = love and "sophy" = knowledge,
the "love of knowledge," is the study of the concepts (mental representations/ideas
of objects), principles (mental representations/ideas of events--causal
relationships between/among objects) and techniques (applications of principles
to solve problems inre achieving desires--wanting objects and events--and
avoiding fears--not-wanting objects/events) for creating operational definitions
of, and logical arguments which verify the accuracy of, an individual's
or organization's set of concepts and principles and the practicality
of an individual's or organization's techniques (applications of principles
to solve problems inre achieving desires and avoiding fears).
Philosophy is the study and development of the accurate concepts and principles
and practical techniques necessary for the creation of an individual's or
organization's philosophy or set of concepts, principles and techniques.
A philosophy is a set of concepts, principles and techniques.
To philosophize is to create concepts, principles and techniques which
can be used for solving problems--achieving desires and avoiding fears.
The value of philosophy is the study and development of the accurate concepts
and principles and practical techniques which are the standards and guidelines
for the development of other accurate concepts, principles and techniques.
1. Generic Philosophy: The generic concepts and principles and the generic
techniques which function as standards and guidelines for the development
of an individual's or organization's philosophy or set of specific concepts,
principles and techniques--concepts, principles and techniques which are
generic to and therefore relevant to any individual's or organization's philosophy
or set of specific concepts, principles and techniques.
[Generic = Applicable to any philosophy; Specific = An individual's or
organization's set of concepts, principles and techniques]
2. Specific Philosophy: An individual's or organization's philosophy or
set of specific concepts, principles and techniques--concepts, principles
which are unique to and therefore relevant to a specific individual or organization.
Intelligence is using concepts and principles and techniques for solving
problems--achieving desires for objects/events and avoiding fears of objects/events.
The hallmark of intelligence is using a practical technique for using known
concepts/principles for solving problems; inre intelligence, it is not what
you know but how you use what you know to solve problems that counts.
The Three Stages of a Theory
I fully expect to see the pragmatist view of truth run through the classic
stages of a theory's career. First, you know, a new theory is attacked as
absurd; then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insignificant; finally
it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim that they themselves
[William James: Pragmatism: A New Name For Some Old Ways of Thinking; Lecture
6, paragraph 2]
The Characteristics of
The Dancing Universe
Plume, Published by The Penguin Group, Peguin Putnam, Inc., 375 Hudson
Street, New York, NY10014, USA 1998
[One] of the most important characteristics of great scientists is freedom
of thought. This independence brings with it a flexibility that allows them,
with help from that elusive trait called genius, to find new and unexpected
links where others see only dead ends. But finding new links is not enough;
to chart new territory, scientists must also have the courage to let go
of old, established notions. They must believe in their ideas.
The Opposition to Great Minds
by Mediocre Minds
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre
minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses
to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his
opinions courageously and honestly."
--letter to Morris Raphael Cohen, professor emeritus of philosophy at the
College of the City of New York, defending the controversial appointment
of Bertrand Russell to a teaching position, March 19, 1940.
Religionists are people whose personal philosophies include a belief in
the existence of evidence of the existence of gods.
Religionist fundies are people who attempt to defend the indefensible--to
defend the unverified principle that physical evidence exists which prove
gods exist. [NOTE: Defending the indefensible is a G. Gordon Liddy
Gods can be conceived as beings comprised of matter/energy of some kind--including
kinds which have not been observed or identified by humans--who/which have
more knowledge and capablities for using that knowledge than mankind.
The only proof of the existence of gods can be the gods themselves--in
some form of matter/energy mankind can detect/perceive--performing stunts
which prove they have more knowledge and capabilities for using that knowledge
Without the gods themselves as proof of the existence of gods, religionist
fundies attempt various logical arguments consisting of premise and conclusions
which are intended and thereby supposed to prove the existence of gods but
which typically suffer from the fallacy of the begged question--the question
which is implied and begging for an answer: Is this premise true? or Is
this premise verifiable/falsifiable/verified by physical evidence?
Example: The First Cause Logical Argument for the Existence of Gods.
Premise #1: If (P/Conditions/Causes) all effects have causes, then (Q/Consequence/Effect)
there must be a first cause.
Premise #2: (P/Conditions/Causes) All effects have causes.
Conclusion #1: (Q/Consequence/Effect) There is a first cause.
Premise #3: If (P/Conditions/Causes--from Conclusion #1) there is a first
cause, then (Q/Consequence/Effect) that first cause has to be a god.
Premise #4: (P/Conditions/Causes--from Conclusion #1) There is a first
Conclusion #2: (Q/Consequence/Effect) The first cause is a god.
Premise #5: If (P/Conditions/Causes--from Conclusion #2) the first cause
is a god, then (Q/Consequence/Effect) gods exist.
Premise #6: (P/Conditions/Causes--from Conclusion #2) The first cause is
Conclusion #3: (Q/Consequence/Effect) Gods exist.
Begged Question inre Premise #1: Is This premise true: Are some effects
Physical Evidence: Matter and energy are causes of effects; m/e cannot
be destroyed but only changed in form: m<->e, from the Law of the
Conservation of Matter and the Law of the Conservation of Energy and Einstein's
m = e/c2 and e = mc2; therefore m/e is without cause, and is the source
of causality--causes causing effects: m/e is indestructible and eternal/infinite
in duration/existence in time and space.
Begged Answer inre Premise #1: Because (P/Conditions/Causes) some effects--m/e--are
without cause, then (Q/Consequence/Effect) there not need be a first cause.
Because some effects are without cause and therefore there not need be
a first cause, the remaining premises of the logical argument(s) are falsified
and their conclusions are thereby falsified/unverified by their premises.
Religionist fundies use tactics which include ...
Religionist Fundie Tactics:
Fundies will deny the Law of Conservation of Matter and the Law of the
Conservation of Energy prove that m/e is indestructible and therefore eternal/infinite
in duration/existence in time and space and therefore without cause (also
without a beginning or creation).
Fundies will evade by asking Who/What created matter and energy? without
admitting that the physical evidence--the Law of the Conservation of Matter
and the Law of the Conservation of Energy--proves that m/e is indestructible
and therefore eternal/infinite in duration/existence in time and space and
therefore without a cause (also without a beginning or creation).
If asked Who/What created/caused the gods? fundies will deny that gods
could have been created/caused, will evade the question by claiming that
there has to be a first cause and that first cause has to be a god--which
is what they have been trying to prove and are now assuming to be proof which
proves what they have been trying to prove, obfuscate the question by claiming
that gods are beyond cause/creation--whatever that means, and will attack
by claiming that the challenger has no right--whatever that means--to question
whether or not gods could have been created/caused, that the challenger
is a ____ (?) [fill in the blank] for not agreeing with them/for not understanding
the simple and clear logic of their argument/etc.
How can mediocre minds be detected and thereby identified?
Here is a proposed starter list of characteristics of mediocre minds:
1. Mediocre minds immediately dismiss a new idea as "crackpot" or "kook."
2. Mediocre minds do not bother to read completely the exposition of a
3. Mediocre minds do not bother to read and study how the premises of a
new idea might be verifiable/falsifiable/verified directly or indirectly by
physical evidence and thereby are relevent to the conclusion that is the new
4. Mediocre minds incessantly quote pre-existing mantras that supposedly
refute the new idea regardless of whether or not the new idea has verifiable/falsifiable/verified
premises for its conclusion and therefore might require either modifying
or eliminating the pre-existing mantras.
5. Mediocre minds cite experiments which confirm the pre-existing mantras
regardless of whether or not the new idea has predictions which can be confirmed
by actual experiments and which therefore challenge effectively the pre-existing
6. Mediocre minds refuse to believe that the theorist who offers the new
idea has actually read books which supposedly justify the pre-existing mantras
and has therefore actually studied the subject of the new idea.
7. Mediocre minds cite examples which support their contentions but which
ignore the concepts and principles and premises and conclusion(s) presented
in the new idea.
8. Mediocre minds never present operational definitions of the terms/phrases
they use to challenge the premises of the conclusion which is the new idea.
especially when asked to present operational definitions of the terms/phrases
9. Mediocre minds conduct ad hominem attacks against the theorist who presents
a new idea.
10. Mediocre minds fail to challenge the conclusion which is a new idea
by challenging--proving false, by physical evidence--the premises which are
relevant to and justification for the conclusion.
11. Mediocre minds fail to demonstrate that they understand the basic rules
of logical arguments, especially the If (P/Conditions/Causes), Then (Q/Consequence/Effect)
Logical Argument, which is the logical basis of scientific inquiry, and
which presents a new idea as a conclusion as a prediction of consequences/effects
which can be confirmed when the conditions/causes are present/presented
in an experiment.
12. Mediocre minds challenge the setups of gedankenexperiments--German:
thought experiments, mind experiments--with endless mantra quotings which
are irrelevant to the premises and conclusions generated by the gendankenexperiments
when the setups for gedankenexperiments by their nature are granted allowances
for the concepts/principles/techniques inre their P/Conditions/Causes and
13. Mediocre minds too often do not present operational definitions of the
important terms/phrases they use, and/or are being used, in a discussion;
and if mediocre minds attempt to present operational definitions of important
terms/phrases, too often those definitions are either pseudo-operational
definitions or otherwise are inadequate and therefore ineffective.
14. Mediocre minds too often use religionist fundie deny/evade/obfuscate/attack
tactics, therefore mediocre minds often can be identified by their use of
religionist fundie tactics.
When an individual is observed to fit several if not most if not all of the
proposed characteristics of mediocre minds, then observers are justified
in concluding the individuals has/is a mediocre mind.
Where we are all good for some purpose, or otherwise are good for some people,
mediocre minds in specific endeavors may be superior minds in other endeavors.