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Miracle or Coincidence?
#26

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 12:14 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(02-02-2020, 03:49 PM)Minimalist Wrote: There is bad luck, too.  Happens all the time.  Just ask Boeing.

The Max 8 was not bad luck, it was an accident waiting to happen -- or two, in this case. The lack of redundancy in the pitots, combined with a piss-poor training regimen (a PowerPoint video? Really?) was not bad luck. It was corner-cutting taken to the point that 346 people died for a company's willingness to put the bottom-line above lives.

Ask Ford or GM about this, with their Pinto or Corvair models, respectively.

How many flights took off and landed successfully without splattering all over the countryside.  Sure, they cut corners.  But something else had to go wrong on those crashes and there was no divinity involved.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#27

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 02:20 AM)Minimalist Wrote: How many flights took off and landed successfully without splattering all over the countryside.  Sure, they cut corners.  But something else had to go wrong on those crashes and there was no divinity involved.

In the case of the Max800, Boeing's design team dropped the ball. Boeing engineers warned that having only a single pitot for angle-of-attack metrics, combined with a software override that was a little complicated to disengage, combined with company-sponsored training that didn't even allow for simulator time, was not a good idea.

That wasn't bad luck. That was program mismanagement.
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#28

Miracle or Coincidence?
Now who listens to engineers!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#29

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 02:49 AM)Minimalist Wrote: Now who listens to engineers!

[Image: engineers-the-oompa-loompas-of-science1-1024x383.jpg]
[Image: giant%20meteor%202020.jpg]
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#30

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 02:49 AM)Minimalist Wrote: Now who listens to engineers!

You don't have to listen to them, and can save some up-front money. What got saved then will come back to haunt a company. How many months have those Boeing planes been sitting on the ground instead of generating revenue?

One of my favorite stories. A device was installed and one of the fasteners (a nut) stripped. The part was made in Germany (no fault on the manufacturer's part). We had too high a torque requirement on our side, and I had pointed that out at least a year before this happened. That value exceeded the manufacturer's spec on the fastener that failed. The analytical types were all over the maximum allowable torque (of the titanium screw). OK, I've been an analyst, and I try to make sure that what I'm analyzing doesn't get focused down so far that the real problem gets missed. I had to email them to say that the part that failed wasn't the screw. You would have thought that I had farted in an elevator. Fortunately my supervisor on that project backed me up. Dafuq? I don't need back up when the facts are laying right there, still smoking. A $250k problem- that is chump change compared to that Boeing problem.
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#31

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-02-2020, 09:46 AM)airportkid Wrote: The following is a true account.  Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.  I'm airportkid, licensed aircraft inspector.  This week, another episode of Miracle or Coincidence; tonight's story:  The Pilot Who Saved His Own Life By Forgetting The Towbar.

First: My late father was a private aircraft mechanic and I thoroughly enjoyed this story on that level. It was almost like my Dad spinning the yarn.

Second: since there's no way to tell if this was coincidence or divine intervention, the most economical explanation obtains: it's coincidence. At least we know for sure that coincidences happen. We can never know for sure if miracles happen.

And now one of my father's stories.

A guy hops into his Cessna 411 (most expensive twin engine model at the time, probably still is) and is in a goddamn hurry to get wherever he's going. Slams the door and takes off.

Unknown to him, he had slammed the door on his seat belt, the buckle of which now began noisily banging on the fuselage in the slipstream.

He panics and turns right around and lands. Without lowering his landing gear.

It's a Saturday, and my Dad is the only person working at the airport. He rushes out to find the guy sitting dejectedly on the wing, the bottom of the plane annihilated, the props bent. The cabin door is open and the computer is still bellowing, "pull up! pull up! landing gear!".

My Dad asks, why didn't you put the landing gear down. "I thought the wing was coming off", the pilot replied. "All I cared about was getting it on the ground before that happened."

That plane was in the back of the hangar for over a year getting a new skin, TWO engine tear-downs and new props, etc.

There's no coincidental discovery in this story that made the pilot error serendipitous, but it's still my favorite Dad story.

Occasionally, my Dad would take me to work with him on a Saturday; I wish this had been one of them. He's been gone for almost 20 years now but he remains the coolest Dad ever.
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#32

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 02:20 AM)Minimalist Wrote:
(02-03-2020, 12:14 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(02-02-2020, 03:49 PM)Minimalist Wrote: There is bad luck, too.  Happens all the time.  Just ask Boeing.

The Max 8 was not bad luck, it was an accident waiting to happen -- or two, in this case. The lack of redundancy in the pitots, combined with a piss-poor training regimen (a PowerPoint video? Really?) was not bad luck. It was corner-cutting taken to the point that 346 people died for a company's willingness to put the bottom-line above lives.

Ask Ford or GM about this, with their Pinto or Corvair models, respectively.

How many flights took off and landed successfully without splattering all over the countryside.  Sure, they cut corners.  But something else had to go wrong on those crashes and there was no divinity involved.

Most accidents are a comedy of errors, a confluence of unusual factors. Where software is involved, it can work fine in testing because testing doesn't anticipate some weird confluence of factors that are never tested. Indeed, it can be a simple as a race condition of some kind that overwhelms an algorithm or hardware that works 99.9999% of the time. Problem is, the 0.0001% scenario may be fatal.
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#33

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-02-2020, 09:46 AM)airportkid Wrote: But here's the thing - how would you tell?  By what measure could anyone point to this and say it had to be a miracle?  There are certain theist contributors here of whom I'd bet a large sum they'd call this not just a miracle but an obvious miracle, had it been them the fortunate pilot.

Then you would be parted with your large sum of money.

Just so we are all talking about the same thing, I define miracle as an natural effect with a supernatural cause.

You can't know it was a miracle. Why? Because the only one that would know for sure would be the supernatural cause (kind of by definition). It is not as if an event happened and we are driven to consider supernatural causes because we know of no natural causes or a context existed that must be considered.

So, it was either a miracle or not. A person should not be making any claims either way--because they could not possibly know.
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#34

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 07:48 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(02-02-2020, 09:46 AM)airportkid Wrote: But here's the thing - how would you tell?  By what measure could anyone point to this and say it had to be a miracle?  There are certain theist contributors here of whom I'd bet a large sum they'd call this not just a miracle but an obvious miracle, had it been them the fortunate pilot.

Then you would be parted with your large sum of money.

Just so we are all talking about the same thing, I define miracle as an natural effect with a supernatural cause.

You can't know it was a miracle. Why? Because the only one that would know for sure would be the supernatural cause (kind of by definition). It is not as if an event happened and we are driven to consider supernatural causes because we know of no natural causes or a context existed that must be considered.

So, it was either a miracle or not. A person should not be making any claims either way--because they could not possibly know.

There is no evidence for such 'miracles' as you describe, and they are easily explained by natural causes.  Every time.

And that is the clincher: every time.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#35

Miracle or Coincidence?
Whereas "god" is never to be found!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#36

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 08:33 PM)Chas Wrote:
(02-03-2020, 07:48 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(02-02-2020, 09:46 AM)airportkid Wrote: But here's the thing - how would you tell?  By what measure could anyone point to this and say it had to be a miracle?  There are certain theist contributors here of whom I'd bet a large sum they'd call this not just a miracle but an obvious miracle, had it been them the fortunate pilot.

Then you would be parted with your large sum of money.

Just so we are all talking about the same thing, I define miracle as an natural effect with a supernatural cause.

You can't know it was a miracle. Why? Because the only one that would know for sure would be the supernatural cause (kind of by definition). It is not as if an event happened and we are driven to consider supernatural causes because we know of no natural causes or a context existed that must be considered.

So, it was either a miracle or not. A person should not be making any claims either way--because they could not possibly know.

There is no evidence for such 'miracles' as you describe, and they are easily explained by natural causes.  Every time.

And that is the clincher: every time.

How do you know that the story was not a miracle? Be precise.
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#37

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 07:48 PM)SteveII Wrote: Just so we are all talking about the same thing, I define miracle as an natural effect with a supernatural cause...

Then your definition is erroneous.  There are no such things as "supernatural" causes.
At any rate, you cannot conflate "natural" with supernatural.  They're diametrically opposite.

Quote:...So, it was either a miracle or not. A person should not be making any claims either way--because they could not possibly know.

Of course it wasn't a miracle.  Miracles don't exist, and never have in the recorded history
of mankind. No matter how hard you try to prove they occur, you'll inevitably be thwarted,
due to a lack of any empirical evidence.  Reported "miracles" are just fantasies or delusions.

Quote:How do you know that the story was not a miracle? Be precise.

In precisely the same way that I know leprechauns don't exist.  Or vampires, or unicorns, or fairies etc.

And as a matter of interest Steve, if you were asked to disprove the existence of leprechauns,
how exactly would you go about it?  I only ask because you expect us to prove the non-existence
of gods and miracles etc, so it's only fair you answer this question in return.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#38

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 08:56 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(02-03-2020, 08:33 PM)Chas Wrote:
(02-03-2020, 07:48 PM)SteveII Wrote: Then you would be parted with your large sum of money.

Just so we are all talking about the same thing, I define miracle as an natural effect with a supernatural cause.

You can't know it was a miracle. Why? Because the only one that would know for sure would be the supernatural cause (kind of by definition). It is not as if an event happened and we are driven to consider supernatural causes because we know of no natural causes or a context existed that must be considered.

So, it was either a miracle or not. A person should not be making any claims either way--because they could not possibly know.

There is no evidence for such 'miracles' as you describe, and they are easily explained by natural causes.  Every time.

And that is the clincher: every time.

How do you know that the story was not a miracle? Be precise.

Which part of "easily explained by natural causes.  Every time." do you not understand? Consider 

How do I know that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow?  Because it does every time.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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#39

Miracle or Coincidence?
Miracle..

an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.
Those who ask a lot of questions may seem stupid, but those who don't ask questions stay stupid.
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#40

Miracle or Coincidence?
[Image: ignorance-is-the-soil-in-which-belief-in...185986.jpg]


Stevie will have a bumper crop!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#41

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 07:48 PM)SteveII Wrote: ... I define miracle as an natural effect with a supernatural cause ...

Without getting into the many logical/semantic conundrums this presents, what is the biblical guidance here?  Where does scripture set this forth?

If there's no scriptural direction leading to this specific definition, then what fund of data are you referencing to take you here?  And is scripture missing the "SteveII Epistles" that it should therefore have but were left out because you hadn't been born when the last scriptural committee fossilized their last revision?

It does seem a peculiar definition in that it severely constrains the miracle producing agent who is consistently described as having no constraints.
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#42

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 03:07 PM)mordant Wrote: Most accidents are a comedy of errors, a confluence of unusual factors. Where software is involved, it can work fine in testing because testing doesn't anticipate some weird confluence of factors that are never tested. Indeed, it can be a simple as a race condition of some kind that overwhelms an algorithm or hardware that works 99.9999% of the time. Problem is, the 0.0001% scenario may be fatal.

Single-factor accidents happen -- AA191 at O'Hare in 79, TWA 800. But many if not most Class-A losses have multiple factors involved in bringing about the crash.
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#43

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 07:48 PM)SteveII Wrote: You can't know it was a miracle.

What is the difference between not being able to discern a miracle, and a miracle never happening?
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#44

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-03-2020, 11:36 PM)Chas Wrote:
(02-03-2020, 08:56 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(02-03-2020, 08:33 PM)Chas Wrote: There is no evidence for such 'miracles' as you describe, and they are easily explained by natural causes.  Every time.

And that is the clincher: every time.

How do you know that the story was not a miracle? Be precise.

Which part of "easily explained by natural causes.  Every time." do you not understand? Consider 

How do I know that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow?  Because it does every time.

Well, that's your reason for believing it was not a miracle.

The sun and the east is not analogous. The specific set of events/circumstances the pilot went through have never occurred before and will never again.

Do you know for sure that it wasn't a miracle? Why?
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#45

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-04-2020, 02:52 AM)airportkid Wrote:
(02-03-2020, 07:48 PM)SteveII Wrote: ... I define miracle as an natural effect with a supernatural cause ...

Without getting into the many logical/semantic conundrums this presents, what is the biblical guidance here?  Where does scripture set this forth?

If there's no scriptural direction leading to this specific definition, then what fund of data are you referencing to take you here?  And is scripture missing the "SteveII Epistles" that it should therefore have but were left out because you hadn't been born when the last scriptural committee fossilized their last revision?

It does seem a peculiar definition in that it severely constrains the miracle producing agent who is consistently described as having no constraints.

No, that's pretty much the dictionary definition.

I understand your point to be that you like wasting time writing long posts and then not responding when you don't get the response you thought you would--the one you could mock. Did I get that wrong?
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#46

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-04-2020, 02:44 PM)SteveII Wrote: ... The specific set of events/circumstances the pilot went through have never occurred before and will never again ...

Broadly classed, this event was "Error forces discovery of a hidden progressing deterioration in time to stop its progression to potentially lethal failure".  This strikes me as the sort of event that probably happens every day somewhere in the world, if not more often than that.  Replace the word "Error" with "Unrelated activity" and its occurrence would be even more common.

In the 70s I was passenger in a Waco biplane I'd helped restore whose pilot, inexperienced in taildraggers, yanked it off the ground prematurely because he didn't know how to counter a crosswind and the airplane stalled and plunged back onto the runway, destroying the propellor and smashing a wing and tearing off a landing gear leg.  I vividly recall thinking, watching the runway in front of the airplane rush up at us as we dived back toward it, "people get hurt when this kind of thing happens" and then whump.  We climbed out unhurt and a week later trucked the wreck back to its home field to be rebuilt again.  The prop strike required engine teardown and during the teardown the main thrust bearing was discovered to be in an advanced state of disintegration.  The ball cage had completely gone to pieces and the roller balls themselves were leaving the race.  The estimate was that in another 30 minutes of running the bearing would have so completely failed the engine would lose all its oil and seize up.  Incompetently smashing it on the runway and walking away was a considerably more favorable outcome than being in the air 30 minutes later crossing a forested ridgeline with no place to deadstick the airplane - which, if the engine did seize - could potentially have fallen out of sky uncontrollable after the abruptly seized engine ripped itself completely off the airplane, changing the weight and balance beyond the elevator's power to overcome.  Ar the time I was conceited enough to regard the occurrence as a miracle, but when you're a teenager you think all kinds of foolish things and are immortal.

So I've been party to this kind of "one time" occurrence at least twice in my life, and I'm just one person among 7 billion.
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#47

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-04-2020, 04:05 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(02-03-2020, 07:48 PM)SteveII Wrote: You can't know it was a miracle.

What is the difference between not being able to discern a miracle, and a miracle never happening?

Waiting for an answer, Steve.
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#48

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-04-2020, 03:42 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(02-04-2020, 04:05 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(02-03-2020, 07:48 PM)SteveII Wrote: You can't know it was a miracle.

What is the difference between not being able to discern a miracle, and a miracle never happening?

Waiting for an answer, Steve.

As to the effect? Nothing. I said as much when I said "So, it was either a miracle or not. A person should not be making any claims either way--because they could not possibly know."

But to expound, the difference is only in the cause. If the supernatural caused the effect, then their are questions of why--and that would make a heap of difference. Of course you might never know the why either.
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#49

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-04-2020, 03:34 PM)airportkid Wrote:
(02-04-2020, 02:44 PM)SteveII Wrote: ... The specific set of events/circumstances the pilot went through have never occurred before and will never again ...

Broadly classed, this event was "Error forces discovery of a hidden progressing deterioration in time to stop its progression to potentially lethal failure".  This strikes me as the sort of event that probably happens every day somewhere in the world, if not more often than that.  Replace the word "Error" with "Unrelated activity" and its occurrence would be even more common.

In the 70s I was passenger in a Waco biplane I'd helped restore whose pilot, inexperienced in taildraggers, yanked it off the ground prematurely because he didn't know how to counter a crosswind and the airplane stalled and plunged back onto the runway, destroying the propellor and smashing a wing and tearing off a landing gear leg.  I vividly recall thinking, watching the runway in front of the airplane rush up at us as we dived back toward it, "people get hurt when this kind of thing happens" and then whump.  We climbed out unhurt and a week later trucked the wreck back to its home field to be rebuilt again.  The prop strike required engine teardown and during the teardown the main thrust bearing was discovered to be in an advanced state of disintegration.  The ball cage had completely gone to pieces and the roller balls themselves were leaving the race.  The estimate was that in another 30 minutes of running the bearing would have so completely failed the engine would lose all its oil and seize up.  Incompetently smashing it on the runway and walking away was a considerably more favorable outcome than being in the air 30 minutes later crossing a forested ridgeline with no place to deadstick the airplane - which, if the engine did seize - could potentially have fallen out of sky uncontrollable after the abruptly seized engine ripped itself completely off the airplane, changing the weight and balance beyond the elevator's power to overcome.  Ar the time I was conceited enough to regard the occurrence as a miracle, but when you're a teenager you think all kinds of foolish things and are immortal.

So I've been party to this kind of "one time" occurrence at least twice in my life, and I'm just one person among 7 billion.

Setting aside that you took my sentence way out of it's context, your point is that this type of thing happens--no one would disagree. But you seem to have set this thread in motion to discuss if such events could be a miracle. Offering a similar story is to miss my point. It either was or it was not. It could be the case that your first story was not and this new one was. A person should not be making any claims either way--because they could not possibly (in the logical sense) know.
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#50

Miracle or Coincidence?
(02-04-2020, 04:22 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(02-04-2020, 03:42 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(02-04-2020, 04:05 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: What is the difference between not being able to discern a miracle, and a miracle never happening?

Waiting for an answer, Steve.

As to the effect? Nothing. I said as much when I said "So, it was either a miracle or not. A person should not be making any claims either way--because they could not possibly know."

Which relegates this, too, to a matter of faith, much like your god, much like your belief in an immaterial soul. It's a just-so story you tell yourself -- "I cannot tell the difference, but I'm sure my god was behind me getting over the flu," or whatever.

(02-04-2020, 04:22 PM)SteveII Wrote: But to expound, the difference is only in the cause. If the supernatural caused the effect, then their are questions of why--and that would make a heap of difference. Of course you might never know the why either.

If the Spaghetti Monster decided to change the weather with a sweep of a Noodly Appendage, would you feel compelled to wonder why? Of course not. You'd look to the atmospheric conditions pertaining at the time and see what they had to do with it. You know why you'd do that? Because you don't believe in the FSM. Yet by your "logic", you would have no way at all of knowing it was or was not a miracle. You'd dismiss it based on your personal feelings and beliefs alone.

What you see as "miracles" seems to me, therefore, to be an arbitrary injection of your god into an event which needs no such entity. Naturalism scares many believers precisely because it implies that there is no one looking out for us, and that the Universe doesn't give a damn whether we live or die. They inject their gods into natural events as a means to console themselves.

If you cannot tell the difference between a natural occurrence and a miracle, it follows that your assertion of a "miracle" is baseless. The only thing it explains is your ability to avoid the cognitive dissonance of living in a world that doesn't care if you live or die even as you believe in a god who is allegedly good and loves you. Your point has exactly no explanatory power.
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