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Re: VMs: Viola tricolor

Hi Petr,

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 action! :-)

As my old mate Michael Caine might say, "not a lot of (non-philosophers) know that". :-)

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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