The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by Philo Sofee »

fetchface wrote:
Philo Sofee wrote:I'm truly curious about how the Dales handle the ritual of penis piercing in Mesoamerica and how this ties in with the Book of Mormon.... seriously. They say there is correspondences, but would this one not count against the Book of Mormons complete silence on such a powerful Mesoamerican ritual?! Am I just too thick mentally to see the lack of correspondence and parallel here? Does Bayes allow him to skip over this obvious miss with the Book of Mormon?

It is obviously a corruption of the HEBREW practice of circumcision so it counts as a hit!

Maybe I should offer my services to the Dales to help them write their responses. :wink:


Oh! Wellllll, that Joseph Smith..... he was a subtle one wasn't he!
Is Midgely serious? Peterson's blog is a patty-cake, surface only, all too frequently plagiarized bit of ephemeral nonsense. Why would anyone suppose avatars must be real? Midgley has lost his tiny little mind. Maybe he can go over to never-neverland and harass Peter Pan for not really knowing how to fly. -Lemmie-

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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by Lemmie »

So I would like to invite anyone who wishes to do so to respond to these specific questions:

1. Do you think that a single reading, over 45 years ago, of the Book of Mormon qualifies Dr. Coe as an expert on the Book of Mormon and how it might relate (or not) to ancient American Indian cultures?

2. No matter how weakly we weight the evidence for the Book of Mormon, or how strongly we weight the evidence against the Book of Mormon, our conclusion is unchanged. The Book of Mormon is an authentic record set in ancient Mesoamerica. Do you have a suggestion for a fair and reasonable sensitivity analysis that we have not done?

3. If the Book of Mormon is a product of the 19th century and of that century’s understanding of ancient American Indian cultures, why does the Book of Mormon compare so well with The Maya and why do the two other 19th century books focused on ancient American Indian cultures compare so badly with The Maya?

4. If you want to eliminate specific pieces of evidence from Appendix A which you think are NOT valid points of correspondence between the Book of Mormon and The Maya, which specific pieces of evidence are those?


What is going on in the Dales' minds? Are they writing a new paper?

From the first section of the paper:
The numbers 2, 10, and 50 are the strength of the evidence for the hypothesis, that is, the hypothesis that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction. The numbers 0.5, 0.1, and 0.02 are the corresponding strength of the evidence against the hypothesis; that is, these are points of evidence that support the historicity of the Book of Mormon.


H-0: Book of Mormon fiction.

H-1: Book of Mormon not fiction.

In light of their own hypotheses, I'd like to look at their four questions again, and give my answers:

1. Do you think that a single reading, over 45 years ago, of the Book of Mormon qualifies Dr. Coe as an expert on the Book of Mormon and how it might relate (or not) to ancient American Indian cultures?


Answer: This question is UTTERLY IRRELEVANT to the topic, and does not belong in an academic journal.

2. No matter how weakly we weight the evidence for the Book of Mormon, or how strongly we weight the evidence against the Book of Mormon, our conclusion is unchanged. The Book of Mormon is an authentic record set in ancient Mesoamerica. Do you have a suggestion for a fair and reasonable sensitivity analysis that we have not done?


Answer: IRRELEVANT. It is mathematically impossible to conclude the Book of Mormon is nonfiction set in Mesoamerica, by evaluating likelihood ratios of your hypotheses: H-BoM fiction and H-BoM not fiction. If you've concluded that "the Book of Mormon is an authentic record set in ancient Mesoamerica," no matter how weakly or strongly you evaluate your (cherry-picked) evidence in face of your two hypotheses, then you are not doing any statistical analysis at all, and this belongs in the faith and testimony section.

3. If the Book of Mormon is a product of the 19th century and of that century’s understanding of ancient American Indian cultures, why does the Book of Mormon compare so well with The Maya and why do the two other 19th century books focused on ancient American Indian cultures compare so badly with The Maya?


Answer: Why do any coincidences happen and others don't? Why is outside information about OTHER books' fictional properties being used to evaluate data points with respect to your hypotheses about a separate book?

And more specifically, why does assessing fictional or nonfictional properties now include the requirement that those properties must also match mesaoamerican properties? In a paper that egregiously overvalues coincidences and defines related events as independent, this question is particularly IRRELEVANT.

4. If you want to eliminate specific pieces of evidence from Appendix A which you think are NOT valid points of correspondence between the Book of Mormon and The Maya, which specific pieces of evidence are those?


Answer: This question is also IRRELEVANT, because it bypasses the issue completely. Cherry-picking fewer data points, out of a set of data points chosen because they were ALL true statements in the Maya that the authors assumed were also in the Book of Mormon, and then insisting that all true points are by definition counted in favor of 'H -BoM not fiction,' is not any more mathematically sound than the original cherry-picking.


So in the end, none of those questions are related to the paper in question, and question one is completely and embarrassingly unprofessional. I just cringe inside at that. The reputation of the Interpreter Journal is taking hit after hit after hit with this paper and now these comments.

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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by Gadianton »

Lemmie wrote:Answer: This question is UTTERLY IRRELEVANT to the topic,


If there's one thing the Dales have proven to be the masters of, it's to restrict the probability space to the "utterly irrelevant".
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by Lemmie »

Gadianton wrote:
Lemmie wrote:Answer: This question is UTTERLY IRRELEVANT to the topic,


If there's one thing the Dales have proven to be the masters of, it's to restrict the probability space to the "utterly irrelevant".

And at the same time to the non-stochastic! :lol: You really have to be committed to an idea to manage that. And not in a good way.

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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by Philo Sofee »

Gadianton wrote:
Lemmie wrote:Answer: This question is UTTERLY IRRELEVANT to the topic,


If there's one thing the Dales have proven to be the masters of, it's to restrict the probability space to the "utterly irrelevant".


:lol: :lol: :lol:
Is Midgely serious? Peterson's blog is a patty-cake, surface only, all too frequently plagiarized bit of ephemeral nonsense. Why would anyone suppose avatars must be real? Midgley has lost his tiny little mind. Maybe he can go over to never-neverland and harass Peter Pan for not really knowing how to fly. -Lemmie-

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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by aussieguy55 »

Some years ago there was a paper on the Book of Mormon

Reassessing authorship of the Book of Mormon using delta and nearest shrunken centroid classification
Matthew L. Jockers, Daniela M. Witten, Craig S. CriddlePublished in LLC 2008
DOI:10.1093/llc/fqn040
Mormon prophet Joseph Smith (1805-44) claimed that more than two-dozen ancient individuals (Nephi, Mormon, Alma, etc.) living from around 2200 BC to 421 AD authored the Book of Mormon (1830), and that he translated their inscriptions into English. Later researchers who analyzed selections from the Book of Mormon concluded that differences between selections supported Smith's claim of multiple authorship and ancient origins. We offer a new approach that employs two classification techniques: 'delta' commonly used to determine probable authorship and 'nearest shrunken centroid' (NSC), a more generally applicable classifier. We use both methods to determine, on a chapter-by-chapter basis, the probability that each of seven potential authors wrote or contributed to the Book of Mormon. Five of the seven have known or alleged connections to the Book of Mormon, two do not, and were added as controls based on their thematic, linguistic, and historical similarity to the Book of Mormon. Our results indicate that likely nineteenth century contributors were Solomon Spalding, a writer of historical fantasies; Sidney Rigdon, an eloquent but perhaps unstable preacher; and Oliver Cowdery, a schoolteacher with editing experience. Our findings support the hypothesis that Rigdon was the main architect of the Book of Mormon and are consistent with historical evidence suggesting that he fabricated the book by adding theology to the unpublished writings of Spalding (then deceased)

One of the respondents to this paper was a guy from BYU Stats Department G. Bruce Schaalje He does not seem to be at BYU. He with others wrote a response to the above. I wondered why he has not jumped in with this Interpreter paper.
https://scholarsarchive.BYU.edu/cgi/vie ... ontext=msr
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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by Gadianton »

One of the respondents to this paper was a guy from BYU Stats Department G. Bruce Schaalje He does not seem to be at BYU. He with others wrote a response to the above. I wondered why he has not jumped in with this Interpreter paper.


there's a chance he did. The above posted on this forum IRL when the Late War stuff came out and he used Bayesian reasoning to diffuse the significance of that find -- it was kind of an eye roll, but he was an okay kind of guy. And then a "Bruce" showed up on the Interpreter thread to briefly comment on the Late War incident and so it's pretty coincidental if it wasn't him. But that Bruce did not defend the Interpreter Paper (or comment on it at all if I recall). So far, nobody who knows anything about math has commented favorably on the paper.
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by honorentheos »

It appears I've been banned from the Interpreter's comment section or cannot post a reply, anyway. It's unfortunate but probably inevitable.

It seems nearly impossible to make the point any more simple to Dr. Dale that he made at least two fatal admissions in this latest series of comments.

The first is that they never claimed any of their correspondences were unique in any way. The argument this makes against their paper (besides the obvious that being "unique" is one of the three categories used to identify the likelihood ratio to be used) is that it makes a strong case for their methodology failing to account of the Book of Mormon having nothing to do with the Maya as Dr. Coe claimed. In other words, if the following three conditions are true:

1) The Book of Mormon does not describe the Mayan people.

2) The Maya by Dr. Coe includes a number greater than zero instances of a description of a feature of the Maya as a culture or people that is unique to them and only them

3) The Dale's paper only allows correspondences that include some reference in the Book of Mormon and The Maya

- then no uniquely Maya cultural details will be identified in the Book of Mormon through this comparison effort. Or, In other words, the results they obtained. While it's possible that the Book of Mormon could have been describing the Maya and still failed to include a single uniquely Mayan cultural correspondence of significance that is so infinitesimally small that the odds that occurring should have been considered in establishing their skeptical prior.

Which brings up the second point. Their second of four questions asks critics of their paper what sensitivity analysis they should have used given:

1) No matter how weak the weighting of evidence for the Book of Mormon containing correspondences to the Maya were there by knowledge, and;

2) No matter how strongly any evidence that contradicted the Book of Mormon describing the Maya culture or people was weighted

- the primary conclusion of their paper remained unchanged.

The answer to number 2, then, was that they should have recognized this as failed sensitivity analysis and adjusted their likelihood ratios such that strong evidence could overcome very weak superficial evidence. I believe Physics Guy or Lemmie had said something along those lines early on in the discussion. But to have the Dales come out and ask critics to explain this to them as if it proves how strong the evidence is for the Book of Mormon describing the Maya? Simply unbelievable. On top of which, he seems oblivious to the points made using the information in Coe to show his correspondences were superficial but contradicted when The Maya was examined for details.

Oh well. The board has been tossed, the pieces scattered. Draw from that what conclusions one will.
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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by malkie »

It seems as if the Dales have moved on without answering outstanding questions.

For example, I commented on Monday that they seemed to be ignoring issues that perhaps should be dealt with before it makes sense to consider any of the 4 features from Dale's post earlier that day.

Were my comments among those that they find contentious? I thought I was quite mild. :cry:

It also seems that they are not going to reply to comments on these 4 features provided by Brad Anderson on Tuesday (copied from this board).

I take it that this means that those who have disagreed with the Dales are now considered to have been answered if they deserved an answer, and ignored if they were deemed to be contentious.

This must be how things are done in the scientific communities to which the Dales belong.


ETA: or perhaps I'm just impatient?
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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by honorentheos »

I don't think you're impatient, malkie. But I hold no better guesses than you do as to what determined a response that gets a reply and one that does not.

I am being contentious, so they have that right in at least the case of one dubious commenter. It's silly that Bruce is dismissing comments as not having used The Maya as comparison to the Book of Mormon. One has the sense he isn't comprehending the arguments raised against the paper on any front. I may have had a post accepted, though. So perhaps it was a technical issue preventing my post from being accepted. We will see. I asked if he thought having the area covered in enough CO2 to prevent any source of light for three days might not be swallowing a spider to catch a fly? Or, perhaps the Maya speaks of developing the ability to go without oxygen for multiple days and it's actually a unique, specific.detailed hit to say volcanos could prevent light through CO2 generation?
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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by honorentheos »

It appears my comments were not accepted. I assume at this point there isn't an interest in explaining how CO2 levels sufficient to extinguish flames that covered the inhabitants of the Book of Mormon narrative for three suffocating days is a solution to a question previously asked? Or why the failure of their analysis to identify unambiguous specific unique elements of Mayan civilization while Coe contains numerous instances is not a compelling reason to question the methodology's impartiality? Especially given the sensitivy analysis failed by demonstrating the weakest evidence possible could overcome the strongest evidence possible by simply accruing a few dozen superficial correspondences in favor of their pro-history hypothesis, whichever one they are currently standing by. And it required they break from the stated sources and go outside the Book of Mormon and The Maya to find counter evidence to fabricate the pretense they had been fair in the analysis. As Billy rightly noted, even without the benefit of their bias their methodology resulted in The View of the Hebrews showing a strong correspondence with The Maya. They dismiss this as insignificant because it failed to overcome their arbitrary skeptical prior yet failed to see how blatantly it exposed the only mechanism available to overcome the bias in their analysis was prejudice. Unbelievable.
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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by Lemmie »

Bruce Dale said this to Honorentheos:
Bruce E. Dale
on June 24, 2019 at 6:17 pm said:

...So prove your point. Compare the Book of Mormon with what you think is a typical 19th century religious document, or any other document you think “represents” the 19th century. State your hypothesis. State your Bayesian skeptical prior. Identify all the evidence, pro and con, relevant to your hypothesis. You must include both positive and negative correspondences…not just a handful of cherry-picked points.Weight the evidence. Do a rigorous statistical analysis of your findings, as we have done.

Bolding added because I CANNOT believe what I am reading. In their paper, the Dales defined correspondences as items that are mentioned in both books, which means by definition the correspondences between the two books were limited to POSITIVE correspondences ONLY.

Even though their own cherry-picking was perverse, they still asserted the following in the paper:
The Dales wrote:It is a common error (deliberate or otherwise) to consider only a few pieces of evidence when examining the truth or falsity of a given hypothesis. In the extreme, this practice is called cherry-picking. In cherry-picking, evidence against one’s existing hypothesis is deliberately excluded from consideration. This practice is, of course, dishonest.


In spite of stating the above, note that the addition of what the Dales defined as negative correspondences were taken from and limited to only those items specifically mentioned by Coe in one or two interviews, and were not based upon the book.

So why do they NOW insist to a commenter that they "must include both positive and negative correspondences..." from the two documents being considered?

Do they now recognize that a comparison between two books requires that ALL correspondences, positive and negative, must be considered, in order to avoid misrepresenting the possible correlations or lack thereof between the two books?

This flip-flop is incredible. What a farce.

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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by Lemmie »

honor wrote:Or why the failure of their analysis to identify unambiguous specific unique elements of Mayan civilization while Coe contains numerous instances is not a compelling reason to question the methodology's impartiality?


But note that if you do your own analysis, Dale expects impartiality from you:
bruce dale wrote:Compare the Book of Mormon with what you think is a typical 19th century religious document, or any other document you think “represents” the 19th century. State your hypothesis. State your Bayesian skeptical prior. Identify all the evidence, pro and con, relevant to your hypothesis. You must include both positive and negative correspondences…not just a handful of cherry-picked points.


Unbelievable that Dale is still arguing he isn't obligated to weigh ALL positive and negative correspondences, but others must, or they are cherry-picking. His bias is beyond unprofessional.

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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by Res Ipsa »

Lemmie, I think the Dales use the concept of positive and negative correspondences in an odd way that created some confusion. They use “positive correspondence” to mean that something is mentioned in both sources and that the text is consistent. A “negative correspondence” means that text is inconsistent. So, the Book of Mormon says there are horses. The Maya says horses had died out. Both mention horses, but the text is inconsistent.

They don’t consider something mentioned in one but not the other to be a correspondence of any flavor. Of course, this categorically excludes the bulk of evidence that would be expected to show that the Book of Mormon is fiction.

Using their terminology, they have examined all the correspondences, whether positive or negative. What he stubbornly refuses to recognize is that they failed to consider all the evidence.
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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by grindael »

Lemmie,

This is how Mopologists roll. They are ALL hypocrites. From the Maxwell Institute to Farms to FAIRMORMON to The Mormon Interpreter and Book of Mormon Central, all of it is hypocritical ____. They have made an art form out of lying through their teeth. The Dales are only the latest to come along, with d__a__ C Penisbreath and Ludicrous Midgetmind among the founders of the modern Mopologist movement. Only the most rabid and self serving witless wonders join their ranks.

Remember Lowered Expectations from Mad TV? Think of that when you read anything by these creeps. You will do what I do, get a big smile on your face and then begin laughing hysterically at their silly antics. They are not scholars, but moronic messengers of the inane. What they produce is so ridiculous that one can only laugh at it.

Image

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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by malkie »

Is it worthwhile, do you think, to suggest an independent review of methodology by a recognized expert?

Could such an expert be persuaded to undertake a review?
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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by Lemmie »

Billy Shears summarizes:
Summary
1- Your heuristic of “specific, detailed, and unique” as an approximation of Bayesian likelihood ratios is fundamentally flawed, and your subjective judgment as to what constitutes something being “specific, detailed and unique” is incredibly biased—especially by how you insist that under the “fiction” hypothesis the author was making guesses about the Maya rather than writing fiction inspired by the Bible and speculations about the mound builders.

2- Your assumption that these various points are statistically independent exasperate the above problem exponentially.

3- The way you insist that only details mentioned in both books may be included for analysis causes your results to systematically biased in favor of historicity. This bias is illustrated by how your analysis of the View of the Hebrews indicating that the entirety of the evidence indicates “strong evidence” in favor of historicity.

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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by malkie »

Lemmie wrote:Billy Shears summarizes:
Summary
1- Your heuristic of “specific, detailed, and unique” as an approximation of Bayesian likelihood ratios is fundamentally flawed, and your subjective judgment as to what constitutes something being “specific, detailed and unique” is incredibly biased—especially by how you insist that under the “fiction” hypothesis the author was making guesses about the Maya rather than writing fiction inspired by the Bible and speculations about the mound builders.

2- Your assumption that these various points are statistically independent exasperate the above problem exponentially.

3- The way you insist that only details mentioned in both books may be included for analysis causes your results to systematically biased in favor of historicity. This bias is illustrated by how your analysis of the View of the Hebrews indicating that the entirety of the evidence indicates “strong evidence” in favor of historicity.

I wish he had written "exacerbate" :(
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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by SteelHead »

Once again
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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by honorentheos »

Lemmie wrote:
honor wrote:Or why the failure of their analysis to identify unambiguous specific unique elements of Mayan civilization while Coe contains numerous instances is not a compelling reason to question the methodology's impartiality?


But note that if you do your own analysis, Dale expects impartiality from you:
bruce dale wrote:Compare the Book of Mormon with what you think is a typical 19th century religious document, or any other document you think “represents” the 19th century. State your hypothesis. State your Bayesian skeptical prior. Identify all the evidence, pro and con, relevant to your hypothesis. You must include both positive and negative correspondences…not just a handful of cherry-picked points.


Unbelievable that Dale is still arguing he isn't obligated to weigh ALL positive and negative correspondences, but others must, or they are cherry-picking. His bias is beyond unprofessional.

Hey Lemmie,

Very good points that it would benefit Bruce to take into consideration. But then, that would require his having you or another person of excellent judgement as a peer. :smile:

I don't know what delayed them, but the comments I had posted before were ultimately posted. They had disappeared this morning, not showing they were pending approval nor having been posted. So I assumed given the other troubles I was encountering with the site they had been rejected.

I think at this point there isn't much else to say.
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Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Post by Gadianton »

And in the same vein as Steelhead, I’d like to remind everyone that nobody who knows anything about math or stats has endorsed the article publicly. Not even the most dyed in the wool M2C smoking mopologist with a single college stats course would dare to support it.
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

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