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Re: VMs: Viola tricolor
At 19:59 24/05/2004 +0200, Petr Kazil wrote:
And I'm going to say something that could draw some flames :
4) Each time the theory is aired that the VMS might not be a meaningful
document, I feel a lot of resistance in the comments from the group. But
isn't *understanding* the VMS just as much fun as *decoding* the VMS? If
someone makes a plausible theory of how the VMS was hoaxed I'll be just as
happy as when someone deciphers the VMS. Wouldn't both be a victory?
We have lots of suggestive (if often confused) evidence, and no shortage of
plausible theories (hoax or otherwise). Personally, I find it particularly
disappointing when people conclude on-list that the VMs must be a hoax
because if it was a code or cipher it would have been broken by now - but
it's not quite that simple, is it?
BTW, as for the proliferation of plausible theories, it's possible we might
blame the Quine-Duhem thesis for that. This sees knowledge as a vast web of
connected ideas and supporting evidence, allowing an almost unlimited
capacity for tweaking at any point (and hence an almost unlimited capacity
for theory formation & reformation). Study of the VMs is possibly a
textbook example of the Quine-Duhem thesis (AKA "confirmation holism") in
As my old mate Michael Caine might say, "not a lot of (non-philosophers)
know that". :-)
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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