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Author Topic:   Theory Evolution (not "Theory of Evolution")
Shamgar 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 31 of 49 (267559)
12-10-2005 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by AdminNosy
12-10-2005 2:42 PM


Re: A second polite warning
AdminNosy, well you see I have a Bachelors degree in biology and a minor in Chemistry so obviously I do know what I am taking about. . .so I don't need to sit back and "hold my tongue" on biology topics. ..thank you very much. .. .

This message has been edited by Shamgar, 12-10-2005 02:48 PM


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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 32 of 49 (267561)
12-10-2005 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Shamgar
12-10-2005 2:47 PM


Re: A second polite warning
This isn't a biology topic per se; in addition you seemed to be introducing more scripture than biology.

We'll all be interested in your views of the biology of course, but in the appropriate place.

This message has been edited by AdminNosy, 12-10-2005 02:50 PM


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nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 33 of 49 (267569)
12-10-2005 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by JustinC
12-09-2005 3:01 PM


Re: On Kuhn's ideas
I never really understood why people say gravity isn't a force. I understand that gravity is just the motion of objects travelling in a straight line (longest proper time) through space time, but does that really mean it isn't a force?

I'm not sure how physicists talk about it. If you were in free fall, then you would not see other objects around you as accelerating.

If you want to say it is a force, it would seem to be something analogous to centrifugal force which most physics texts say does not actually exist. Rather, they prefer to say that there is centripetal force, which keeps things in circular motion and resists movement in the path the object would naturally take.

Even if people refer it to a force, it would not be an attraction between masses, but a force due to the curvature of space-time.

Einstein expanded on the concepts of time, space, mass, etc. but I don't see that as causing an incommensurability in any non-trivial sense.

"Incommensurability" is Kuhn's term, so we are stuck with it. If I were picking terminology, I would prefer "concept change".

I first heard the term "incommensurable" in high school mathematics, where we learned that the diagonal of a square is incommensurable with the sides of the square, due to the ratio being irrational. This indicated that logic, together with the ruler-compass methods of Euclidean geometry, could not get from one to the other. I take "incommensurable" only to mean that there is not an exact logical translation from one to the other. That you can get very close approximations would not seem to contradict incommensurability.

But then I'm a mathematician and computer scientist, not a philosopher. So I don't really know how philosophers want to use these terms.

Do you see incorperating previous theories into grander theories the same as going from phlogiston to oxygen theories of combustion? Or going from Aristotolean physics to GR?

Newtonian mechanics is a limiting case of GR from the point of view of the mathematics and the methodology. The change to GR is a total upheaval from the perspective of its metaphysics. Copernican astronomy is mainly a changed in coordinates from Ptolemaic astronomy, when considered from the perspective of the mathematics and methodology. It is a total upheaval in terms of its metaphysics. J.B. Priestley developed some pretty good predictive empirical science on the basis of phlogiston, leading to Lavoisier's discovery of oxygen. In terms of the mathematics and methodology, the change from phlogiston to oxygen is quite small. We make phlogiston the butt of science jokes because we reject its metaphysics.

Personally, I am an agnostic with respect to metaphysics. It is clear that Kuhn took metaphysics to be the main thrust of science, and that's why incommensurability, and his comments about living in different worlds, seemed to Kuhn to address the important issues.

The change from Aristotlean science to modern science is profound, not so much because of the change in mathematics and metaphysics, but because of the introduction of systematic empirical methodology.

I don't really get this. Does GR really make any statements about conventions of measurements?

It provides the theoretical framework under which we develop measurement conventions.

By "world" I mean our perceptions.

I doubt that. We don't perceive X-rays, but I suspect that you consider them to be part of the world. What we mean by "world" is a complex issue, and perhaps best left for some other discussion.

In a sense, I think theories are declared false by failed predictions if the data is sure to be correct.

That makes the rejection of a theory a matter of declaration, rather than a matter of its truth or falsity. It is considered false, only because we declare it so. I don't have any particular problem with that.

We are quick to declare proposed theories false. In some cases we may later accept them as true, after originally declaring them false (roughly what happened with plate tectonics). But what about an established theory? Is an established theory ever declared false before there is a successor theory available to replace it? I cannot think of any examples where this has happened.

According to you (I may be wrong), it seems we can never convict someone of a crime that wasn't observed. All we have is the data and the model, but this in no way indicates whether the defendent actually committed the crime. Is this a right interpretation of your view?

No, that would not be my view at all. In any case the analogy is bad. But pretending that it is similar, the conclusion would only be that we cannot conclusively prove guilt. We can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but not beyond all doubt.

You seem to be taking me as opposed to science because it does not provide conclusive proof. That's not my position at all. I'm a pragmatist. I see "absolute truth" as a myth. We do our best to thrive in this world, and our science is part of how we do this. We need not be concerned with whether they provide absolute truth (or metaphysical truth). It suffices that they work very well, and that they work better than the alternatives that we have tried. Keep in mind that I am agnostic with respect to metaphysics, and therefore I am agnostic with respect to the existence of metaphysical truth.


What shall it profit a nation if it gain the whole world, yet lose its own soul.
(paraphrasing Mark 8:36)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by JustinC, posted 12-09-2005 3:01 PM JustinC has responded

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Shamgar 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 34 of 49 (267572)
12-10-2005 3:51 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by AdminNosy
12-10-2005 2:50 PM


Re: A second polite warning
AdminNosy, hahahahaha I can talk theory in chemistry, biology, speech, medicine/health, and the Scriptures. . . oh it appears I am "introducing more scripture than biology" since it trumps what you have said. . .go figure. . .
This message is a reply to:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2092 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 35 of 49 (267577)
12-10-2005 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Shamgar
12-10-2005 3:51 PM


Re: A second polite warning
stop being an asshat and find a new thread to post your unrelated garblings.
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AdminNWR
Inactive Member


Message 36 of 49 (267579)
12-10-2005 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by macaroniandcheese
12-10-2005 4:08 PM


Follow the forum guidelines
Please stay on topic, and address content without personal insults.


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    macaroniandcheese 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 2092 days)
    Posts: 4258
    Joined: 05-24-2004


    Message 37 of 49 (267580)
    12-10-2005 4:18 PM
    Reply to: Message 33 by nwr
    12-10-2005 3:33 PM


    go with what i know...
    international relations is divided into several theory groups. the old standards are realism, idealism, marxism, and a few others.

    realism is an understanding based on states acting as rational units with a set state goal. these states interact according to each's power. some theorists like the idea of hegemonic power and some like a balance. these internal arguments are progressive developments based on a paradigm formed by assumptions.

    idealism is a view of a global system with independent actors who interact based on power and economics and culture and stuffs.

    marxism is kinda like realism except everything is based on economics and specifically the internal contradictions of capitalism that will lead to its failure.

    each of these broad theory bases is an extreme standard which forms the entire basis for how theoreticians look at the world. they qualify as paradigms. so do deconstructivism, etc. however. the ideas as to when war will occur and other things are smaller theories that occur within each of the paradigms.

    it's really only a word for "larger theory". however, people have gotten carried away with it in the quest for the holy grail that overturns all previous thought.. even in subjects where you're just not gonna get it. then you end up with a discourse that is something like a sieve with a million little gaps in it. i am hoping to fill in those gaps in my career.


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    JustinC
    Member (Idle past 3008 days)
    Posts: 624
    From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Joined: 07-21-2003


    Message 38 of 49 (267747)
    12-11-2005 10:17 AM
    Reply to: Message 33 by nwr
    12-10-2005 3:33 PM


    Re: On Kuhn's ideas
    quote:
    "Incommensurability" is Kuhn's term, so we are stuck with it. If I were picking terminology, I would prefer "concept change".


    I don't think that's a valid equation, i.e., incommensurability=concept change.

    Everyone agrees there are concept changes, but not everyone agrees the new concepts are incommensurable with the previous ones. Kuhn is trying to say that the Newtonian physicist and the GR physicist will basically be talking past each other when trying to communicate their ideas on physics.

    quote:
    Newtonian mechanics is a limiting case of GR from the point of view of the mathematics and the methodology. The change to GR is a total upheaval from the perspective of its metaphysics.


    Why is it a "total upheaval?" Is any concept change a total upheaval? The new metaphysics, which I'm not sure can be seperated from the mathematical formalisms, shows why are previous assumptions were only approximations. How can you seperate the metaphysics from the math? It's not that we just changed from "absolute space" to "relative space," we changed from "absolute space" to "space which is viewed differently depending on one's frame of reference, in a very specific manner governed by equation E1, E2, etc."

    quote:

    Copernican astronomy is mainly a changed in coordinates from Ptolemaic astronomy, when considered from the perspective of the mathematics and methodology. It is a total upheaval in terms of its metaphysics.


    Again, I don't think the mathematics and the metaphysics can necessarily be seen as mutually exclusive. Copernican astronomy's metaphysics and math doesn't reduce to Ptolemaic astronomy.

    quote:

    J.B. Priestley developed some pretty good predictive empirical science on the basis of phlogiston, leading to Lavoisier's discovery of oxygen. In terms of the mathematics and methodology, the change from phlogiston to oxygen is quite small. We make phlogiston the butt of science jokes because we reject its metaphysics.


    I really don't like the term metaphysics because it seems so vague and undefined. Can you maybe clarify what you mean? Can metaphysics be mathematical in nature?

    For instance, were the metaphysics of quantum mechanics derived from the mathematical formalisms or vice versa?

    I have to admit that I don't use the word metaphysics to much, nor have studied what it means extensively so I could be way off with regard to this.

    quote:
    I doubt that. We don't perceive X-rays, but I suspect that you consider them to be part of the world. What we mean by "world" is a complex issue, and perhaps best left for some other discussion.


    "World" is used in several different way. All we have access to is our perceptions, so in a sense that is the "world." The rest, like electromagnetic radiation, is apart of a theoretical framework for how we interpret the world, and may be indicative of some deeper underlying reality.

    quote:
    We are quick to declare proposed theories false. In some cases we may later accept them as true, after originally declaring them false (roughly what happened with plate tectonics). But what about an established theory? Is an established theory ever declared false before there is a successor theory available to replace it? I cannot think of any examples where this has happened.


    It's not that we declare them false, it's that we declare we think they are false.

    During times of "crisis" a lot of communities begin to believe the previous theories are false even though there is no alternative theory. Before the whole QM framework was layed down, people saw serious deficiences in Newtonian mechanics at microscale, and I would think many thought that Netwonian mechanics was indeed not the whole story.

    Many people began to believe that Ptolemaic astronomy was false when it got to the point that adding an epicycle created problems in another part of the orbits, so another epicycle had to be added, etc. I remember a quote by some scientist at the time who said something to the effect of "if God created such a system, he should have consulted me first."

    I think scientists certainly believe the way a theory is formulated at a given time is false before a new theory can replace it. That doesn't mean they'll stop using the previous one though.

    quote:
    No, that would not be my view at all. In any case the analogy is bad. But pretending that it is similar, the conclusion would only be that we cannot conclusively prove guilt. We can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but not beyond all doubt.


    Why is the analogy bad? We use inductive logic in both. With regard to scientific theories, you say that "goodness of fit" is not an indicator of any "truth value." In criminal case, you say it is an indicator of "truth value." Why the difference? I can maybe think of one significant one, but let me hear what you come up with first.

    I'm not saying scientific theories will ever conclusively prove they are correct, that goes against inductive logic. You can only support hypothesese through inductive logic.

    Sorry, I have to go again. I will get to the rest of this post and the rest of the previous post ASAP. I want to some reading before I respond to your the rest of your previous post and can't find the time til finals are over (Wed).

    Thanks for your patience.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 33 by nwr, posted 12-10-2005 3:33 PM nwr has responded

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    johnfolton 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 3756 days)
    Posts: 2024
    Joined: 12-04-2005


    Message 39 of 49 (267759)
    12-11-2005 12:28 PM
    Reply to: Message 38 by JustinC
    12-11-2005 10:17 AM


    Evolution of science spin?
    If lasers lights can be made to go faster than light, then perhaps the entire universe has different light speeds. Scientists are able to slow the speed of light and speed it up in the natural (smoke and mirrors). The evidence of science evolving is that light can be made to go faster in the natural. Is gravity but evidence too that there is light waves undetectable supporting string theory.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/841690.stm

    The bible within the book of Job says that God is able to bind or loosen these bands. That he alone is responsible for the expansion of the heavens. That he treadeth the waters, that the Lord was able to walk on the waters. This too me is all about string theory the visible being created from the invisible.

    Perhaps in time scientists will find scientific evidence that the galaxies are spreading away from each other. If there is any visible evidence that lights speed is violated between the galaxies, then the sciences would be evolving.

    It would be supernatural evidence in the natural confirming the theological evidences that God alone is spreading out the heavens.

    Is there any visible evidence supporting lights speed is violated in the heavens. The bible suggests that the heavens are expanding, and that God alone is responsible.

    ID is simply Science evolving its theory and TOE devolving based on the scientific evidences. ID is the Evolution Theory evolving in agreement with Theological evidences. Evolution Theory has simply evolved into ID based on the scientific evidences.

    TOE is still a theory but appears based on the scientific evidence its devolving(becoming unravelled by the Scientific evidence).

    This thread appears to be all about Theory Evolution not being the TOE. An example being how ID evolved from the TOE.

    This message has been edited by The Golfer, 12-12-2005 09:19 PM


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    AdminNosy
    Administrator
    Posts: 4754
    From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Joined: 11-11-2003


    Message 40 of 49 (267764)
    12-11-2005 12:46 PM
    Reply to: Message 39 by johnfolton
    12-11-2005 12:28 PM


    Topic!
    If you continue to find it hard to stick to the topic of the threads you will be suspended for a time .

    This is not on topic!

    This message has been edited by AdminNosy, 12-11-2005 12:46 PM


    This message is a reply to:
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    nwr
    Member
    Posts: 5585
    From: Geneva, Illinois
    Joined: 08-08-2005


    Message 41 of 49 (267774)
    12-11-2005 1:31 PM
    Reply to: Message 39 by johnfolton
    12-11-2005 12:28 PM


    Re: Evolution of science spin?
    This thread appears to be all about Theory Evolution not being the TOE. An example being how ID evolved from the TOE.

    You may have misread that.

    As I read it, this topic is about the fact that theories evolve, about how they evolve.

    It is also about how some religious groups appear to be confused by the evolving of scientific theories. Apparently some religious groups see change in scientific theory as evidence that the science is wrong, while most scientists see it as evidence that the scientific method is converging toward providing a true account of the natural world.


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    johnfolton 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 3756 days)
    Posts: 2024
    Joined: 12-04-2005


    Message 42 of 49 (267778)
    12-11-2005 1:40 PM
    Reply to: Message 40 by AdminNosy
    12-11-2005 12:46 PM


    Re: Topic!
    Message 1 of 40
    12-07-2005 02:33 PM

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This message first appeared here, where the message subtitle was "Typical yes/no black/white fundamentalist-creationist reasoning".
    How is it a great thing about science that they prove themselves wrong in every generation?

    It is not that scientific theories are discarded wholesale. They are modified to be improved versions. Much/most of the previous content remains being considered valid.

    It is not that scientists show ("prove") themselves to be completely wrong. It's that scientists show themselves to be less than completely right. There is alway room for improvement in a theory.

    Many mainstream Christians also have found that there is room for improvement in their theology. It is the fundamentialists that are stuck in the "it's all right or it's all wrong" line of reasoning.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Whats off topic by suggesting ID evolved from the TOE. And for suggesting that ID is an improvement of the TOE based on evolution theory. ID is not addressing theology but the sciences. Meaning not stuck in the fundamentialists all right or its all wrong line of reasoning Minnemooseus credited to the fundamentalists.

    TE is about is about Minnemooseus belief that scientists are not completely right (not a black and white thing) and that science is evolving. (Theory Evolution not Theory of Evolution) Science is evolving.

    An example of science evolving is the theory of relativity, now that light speed has been broken. Its not about its all right or wrong, because ID too is evolving based on the scientific evidence.

    I hear you though. That the theolgical evidence supporting the scientific evidences is not the premise of this thread. Its more about the sciences evolving not on a black and white premise of fundementalists theologies but based on the scientific evidences.

    This message has been edited by The Golfer, 12-12-2005 09:15 PM


    This message is a reply to:
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    ringo
    Member
    Posts: 16627
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005
    Member Rating: 3.0


    Message 43 of 49 (267786)
    12-11-2005 2:17 PM
    Reply to: Message 42 by johnfolton
    12-11-2005 1:40 PM


    Re: Topic!
    The Golfer writes:

    ... suggesting that ID is an improvement of the TOE based on evolution theory.

    The topic is about how scientific theories move toward better explanations. ID brings in an unknown "designer" which science can never explain. It is not a better explanation, it is a stone-wall barrier to explanation.

    Therefore, ID is not an improvement to ToE, it's an impediment. Turning science into pseudoscience is not an "improvement".

    The topic is about trying to explain to you (and others) why scientific theories change and why those changes are a good thing. It is not about any change - e.g. a step backward like ID - being a good thing.


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    AdminNosy
    Administrator
    Posts: 4754
    From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Joined: 11-11-2003


    Message 44 of 49 (267790)
    12-11-2005 2:40 PM
    Reply to: Message 42 by johnfolton
    12-11-2005 1:40 PM


    Re: Topic!
    Golfer, I can see how you are confused (very).

    It may be helpful to point to specific examples (as others have done) but there is a risk of dragging the thread off the core topic if we do too much of that.

    This is especially true when you have your facts very muddled. If you wish to discuss differences in light speed (in the cosmology thread perhaps )and the other separate examples you brought (many would be interested in the idea that ID is evolving based on scientific evidence -- that should be in the Intelligent Design forum I think) you can add them to suitable topics or PNT a new one.

    The individual examples are either very obvious (relativity over newtonian physics e.g.) and having one or two of them to make the point about the kind of changes is ok or they are not so obvious at all and will drag the thread all over the map.

    In my opinion your ID evolving based on evidence and the idea about light speed are both very contentious and so should not be discussed here.


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    nwr
    Member
    Posts: 5585
    From: Geneva, Illinois
    Joined: 08-08-2005


    Message 45 of 49 (267792)
    12-11-2005 2:56 PM
    Reply to: Message 38 by JustinC
    12-11-2005 10:17 AM


    Re: On Kuhn's ideas
    Kuhn is trying to say that the Newtonian physicist and the GR physicist will basically be talking past each other when trying to communicate their ideas on physics.

    He took that from history. It was a consequence of the Newtonian concept of time, that you could talk of the simultaneity of events. The relativistic concept of time ruled that out when events occur in different inertial frames. Quite a few physicists found it difficult to accept this change.

    Kuhn overstated the problem. People do learn to translate between statements made under one conceptual framework, and those made under another.

    Why is it a "total upheaval?"

    We had to change our ways of thinking about the world.

    Is any concept change a total upheaval?

    No. Some change is just a refinement.

    Again, I don't think the mathematics and the metaphysics can necessarily be seen as mutually exclusive. Copernican astronomy's metaphysics and math doesn't reduce to Ptolemaic astronomy.

    Mathematically, the change from Ptolemaic astronomy to Copernical astronomy is simply a change of coordinates. The ptolemaic system used polar coordinates with the earth as center, while the copernical system used the sun as the center. Mathematically, this is a simple transformation.

    I'm not much of a student of history. Those who are say that Copernicus avoided problems with the Church by emphasizing the mathematics, and not insisting on a changed metaphysics. Galileo did insist on a changed metaphysics, and ran into a serious dispute.

    Granted, it is easier to think about the solar system if one makes the change in metaphysical assumptions. But it seems clear that the mathematics and metaphysics can be separated if one wishes to do so.

    I really don't like the term metaphysics because it seems so vague and undefined.

    I agree with you on that. I don't know what "metaphysics" means either, I'm just pretending that I understand it. As best I can tell, metaphysics has to do with the way the world really is, independent of human perception and observation. I suppose it is something like a God's eye view of the universe. It is what it would look like to an observer standing outside the universe.

    Keep in mind that I'm making this up as I go along. Anyone who really knows what "metaphysics" means is invited to step in and correct me.

    For instance, were the metaphysics of quantum mechanics derived from the mathematical formalisms or vice versa?

    It is my impression that there is no generally accepted metaphysics of QM. The various interpretations are attempts at providing a metaphysics.

    "World" is used in several different way.
    It's not that we declare them false, it's that we declare we think they are false.

    I see no important disagreements in those parts of your message, so I won't further comment.

    Why is the analogy bad? We use inductive logic in both.

    Science often creates new concepts, new kinds of information. Criminal investigation is usually based on existing concepts and existing measurement tools. Where it does create new kinds of information, it often fails to test this with the thoroughness of science. We are seeing this now in the case of fingerprints, where scientific investigation is showing them not nearly as perfect as criminal investigators had assumed them to be.

    As for inductive logic, I suppose it depends on what is meant by that term. Lots of things are said to be inductive logic, but aren't. As described by philosophy, inductive logic is exclusively based on using existing concepts. Where the science is based on the use of new concepts, it cannot be merely inductive logic.

    What typically happens in a criminal investigation is that there is partial evidence. Then a case is built on interpolation and extrapolation from that evidence. Perhaps that counts as inductive logic. You can call that "goodness of fit" if you like. There is uncertainty, due to the use of interpolation and extrapolation. However judgements of truth or falsity, admittedly using uncertain data, are still based on well accepted criteria for assessing truth.

    Science often introduces completely new concepts and new ways of measuring. It makes predictions based on these completely new concepts. So that is using a very different notion of "goodness of fit". When you introduce new concepts, there are no well accepted criteria for assessing the truth of accounts that use the new concepts.

    Thanks for your patience.

    Take your time. There is no hurry.
    This message is a reply to:
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