I'll attempt to address your various points.
the monks intrusted with this important task of selecting the successor believe there is a 'something' they can identify in the 13th Dalai Lama that transfers to the 14th.Otherwise why the charade of keeping the 13th's possesions to then parade before potential future Dalai Lamas? They are looking for a link,evidence of a 'transference' that they can then recognise in the 14th.
I don't think your analysis covers all possibilities. There could be a link in that the succeeding Dalai Lama has some kind of paranormal connection with the previous Dalai Lama that enables him to recognize people & objects from the other's life. Whether or not this is the case, it's a possibility other than the transmigration of 'something'.
If you want to ask me how this works, I don't know, but I don't know that it's impossible either.
If there is no 'transference' then you or I are just as likely to be the 14th Dalai Lama as the one ordained.
What does the concept 'be the 14th Dalai Lama' mean if you don't believe in reincarnation? You or I are not just as likely to be chosen by those who do the choosing or searching or whatever it is. Part of what's confusing about what you write is that you sound as if you simultaneously believe & disbelieve in the idea of reincarnation.
1.The monks CAN identify/recognise /observe this 'something' in the 13th Dalai Lama.If they can indentify it,then it is something tangable,a 'science'.If it is this thing then it cannot 'transfer'-it is like kevin's 'fountain'.
2.If this 'something' is not indentifiable(by the monks)in the 13th Dalai Lama-it is a non-tangable/non-science
Thus, they wont be able to recognise it in the 14th, potential new Dalai Lama.
Neither scenario can lead to the correct identification of the the future Dalai Lama
It looks as though you are using 'tangible' to mean 'real'. What about the possibility of a connection which is not tangible (material) but nevertheless existent? Do you think that's possible?
Personally I lean toward the 2nd scenario being the more likely.If the Dalai Lama HIMSELF is unwilling to commit categorically and say "yes,i am am the reincarnation of previous dalai lamas,I have memory of that 'something' from my former life",then how on earth can these less enlightened monks who are also 'others' to the Dalai Lama say it is true?
Well I would point out the logical possibility that the Dalai Lama is not telling everything he knows to whoever asks. It is also not the case that he is considered (even by Tibetan Buddhists) to be 'more enlightened' than everybody else. He is the political leader & cultural symbol of the Tibetan Government in Exile &, as religion & culture were greatly intertwined in Tibet, for most Tibetans he is considered to be a great spiritual leader. The hierarchies of Tibetan Buddhism have to do with lineage rather than realization. (I'm not suggesting that this is a good thing, by the way.)
As far as your other questions go.No i don't believe in reincarnation(at least not the reincarnation posited by Tibetan Buddism and Dr Berzin) however, I'm still open to QSR idea of it- but as yet haven't proved/disproved it to myself.This is one of my goals.
Either way it is immaterial to me forming a belief to whether the 14th Dalai Lama is in fact the reincarnation of previous Dalai Lamas in my view.
If you don't believe reincarnation is possible, then whether some particular person is the reincarnation of some other particular person is not a question with a complicated answer. It's just no.
In hindsight it was silly of me to add the word 'science' or 'non-science' to that of tangible.It implies only the materialistic, which was not my intention.I don't believe,for the purpose of my thought process,that whether its materialistic or otherwise is of relevance.
What in your view is the difference between tangible & material?
The question of "can it be recognized?".If it is something recognizable, then it has to be considered within the realms of cause and effect.
Yes of course. But how does alleged recognition of a child as being in some way connected with the dead Dalai Lama violate cause & effect?
The monks use the word 'divination' as being part of the process used to ascertain the whereabouts of the future Dalai Lama.The word divine is of no use to us.It is an appeal to the idea of 'gods' or the mystical.
I think that in spite of what you said about distinguishing tangibility from materialism, you are actually talking about materialism. 'Divination' involves non-material (wrongly called 'supernatural') knowledge as opposed to scientific materialist knowledge. This reminds me of the quote by science fiction author Robert Heinlein to the effect that anything outside of the conventional paradigm of knowledge will apear to be magic. Perhaps what we now label as supernatural will one day just be another aspect of physics.