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Author Topic:   What is science? (ROB and STRAGGLER only)
Straggler
Member (Idle past 84 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 81 of 106 (460546)
03-16-2008 1:39 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Rob
03-16-2008 11:03 AM


Re: Refutation II - Logical Coherence RIP
So from all of this can we assume that your proposed methodology is just unable to reach any conclusions if applied to find the causes of the sort of basic everyday problems that the scientific method can be so successfully employed to do?

After all your fine words are you simply unable to meet the challenge laid out in Message 72?

If your car would not start would you solve the problem by means of a test for logical coherence or would you progress by means of empirical testing and the conventional scientific method? When it comes to your own theory are you a practitioner or a hypocrite?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 11:03 AM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 4:15 PM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 84 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 84 of 106 (460558)
03-16-2008 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by Rob
03-16-2008 1:07 PM


Drug Trials and Other Absurdities
Just to highlight the absurdity of your position can I just verify that you are proposing that we do away with all empirical testing of scientific conclusions/hypotheses?

So when a pharmaceutical company proposes a new medicine on the basis of theoretical biochemistry you would check for logical coherence instead of running drug trials?

Where a physicist has developed a theory regarding alternative energy sources (e.g. cold fusion) you would judge his theory in terms of logical coherence rather than whether or not his proposed method could be shown to actually produce any energy or not?

In which areas of science do you suggest that we actually replace empirical testing and the conventional scientific method with your proposed test for logical coherence?
Or is your theory only applicable in the areas of science where you happen to dispute the findings of empirical testing and conventional science on purely religious grounds?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 1:07 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 4:21 PM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 84 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 87 of 106 (460561)
03-16-2008 4:31 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by Rob
03-16-2008 4:15 PM


Re: Refutation II - Logical Coherence RIP
You just cannot show how your method would be applied to a simple cause and effect problem can you?
You are simply unable to refute the key allegation made against your theory that it is unworkable in any practical sense at all.

In Message 72 the sort of detail that is required to demonstrate the deductive processes involved for a given methodology were explicitly stated. Plese either apply this level of detail to an example of your methodology in action so that we can all see which aspects of your theory gives rise to which thought processes or just concede that you are unable to do so.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 4:15 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 4:32 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 90 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 4:48 PM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 84 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 91 of 106 (460566)
03-16-2008 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by Rob
03-16-2008 4:21 PM


Re: Drug Trials and Other Absurdities
And you are again confuting observational sciences with the historical sciences.

So am I to take it that empirical testing is a perfectly acceptable means of validating theories except in some very specific cases?

What are those cases and why is empirical testing of conclusions insufficiant for these cases whilst perfectly valid and workable for others?

So the question is really whether it is needed for you to believe in a materialistic explanation?

Could it be that your method of logical coherence is only to be used in cases where predetermined conclusions of your subjective choosing need to be given the same scientific credence that established theories validated by conventional science already enjoy?

That is very much what it sounds like at the moment.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 4:21 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 92 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 5:04 PM Straggler has not yet responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 84 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 93 of 106 (460570)
03-16-2008 5:12 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by Rob
03-16-2008 4:48 PM


Re: Refutation II - Logical Coherence RIP
The only place logical coherence rests in peace, is in your incoherent posts Straggler.

:laugh: Pots and kettles Rob. Pots and kettles.

I've witnessed you get into this sort 'delerious posting' mode perviously at EvC when losing an argument. It is a pity that things have descended to this.
Whatever I may have said in the course of this debate I have nothing personal against you and on the whole I think EvC is more interesting with you here than without.

As far as I am concerned the entire theoretical basis of your thesis has been comprehensively debunked. The practical inadequacies and deficiencies of your proposed methodology have also been laid bare for all to see. We have now reached a point where you are making it up as you go along.
If anyone has been mad enough to try and follow this debate it is now up to them to make their judgements as to the quality and validity (the two do not always go hand in hand) of the arguments on show.

At this point I am certain that I understand your theory, it's inconsistencies, it's inadequacies and it's limitations better than you do yourself. Whether I have successully demonstrated this or not is not for me to judge.

We should either throw this open to the masses or end things here. Your thread. Your thesis. Your call (Admin willing that is).

Seeya again sometime. Stay happy.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 4:48 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by Rob, posted 03-23-2008 5:57 PM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 84 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 95 of 106 (460588)
03-16-2008 9:13 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by Rob
03-16-2008 4:32 PM


One Final Thing.......
In all the excitement I nearly missed this little gem -

So we move from assumiing and applying the methodology of logical coherence, to the hypothesis, to the testing, to the confirmation or contradiction, upon contradiction to further testing, unto conclusion, and varification, so as to arrive at a coherent conclusion.

:laugh: Hypothesis? Testing? :laugh:

Hypothesis: As in an 'unreliable conclusion' that itself needs to be empirically tested? Hypothesis as per Message 59?

In which case your proposed methodology and your whole definition of science is as inherently limited to material testable conclusions as is conventional science.

Rob - It appears that your theory of 'Logical Coherence' is little more than a pointless and futile attempt at rebranding Methodological Naturalism after all. Oh well.

Better luck with your next thesis. ;)

(AbE) But seriously...
Your definition of science either incorporates the validation of hypotheses by means of prediction and verification of empirical results or it does not.
If it does you are necessarily constrained to material naturalistic explanations for all the same practical reasons that apply to conventional science.
If your theory does not incorporate the testing of hypotheses against the realities of nature by means of prediction and verification then it will only ever produce unreliable and unscientific assumptions.
You cannot have it both ways.
Nor can you meaningfully or sensibly claim that the definition and methodologies of science should be changed from theory to theory depending on whether or not the reliable and empirically tested conclusions of conventional science happen to disagree with your deeply held but subjective, unreliable and illogical religious beliefs.
In your frenzied bid to avoid defeat in this debate you have managed only to shoot yourself in the foot with regard to your argument as a whole.

Logical Coherence RIP. (End AbE)

Edited by Straggler, : Add note

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by Rob, posted 03-16-2008 4:32 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by Rob, posted 03-23-2008 5:22 PM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member (Idle past 84 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 99 of 106 (461382)
03-25-2008 6:30 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by Rob
03-23-2008 5:57 PM


Last Chance Saloon
Rob you are intentionally misrepresenting what I said by selectively quoting. This is what I actually said -

If anyone has been mad enough to try and follow this debate it is now up to them to make their judgements as to the quality and validity (the two do not always go hand in hand) of the arguments on show.

I do think your thesis has been exposed as intrinsically flawed. I do think that you are now changing the very basis of your theory in response to these exposed flaws. I do think that this is a last ditch attempt to salvage the debate. However I am not claiming that I have the last word on this. Others are free to decide whether I am right or wrong. I guess that is the point of a public debate.

In your original thesis there was no mention of the term hypothesis. Nor was there any mention of the term experiment. The concept of prediction was also notably absent. In fact any suggestion of empirically testing theories (i.e. not basing theories on empirical evidence but subjecting the theories themselves to empirical tests in the form of prediction and verification) was treated as a subversive, unwarranted and irrational means of introducing philosophical bias in the form of methodological naturalism. This all makes absolute sense if you restrict yourself to the narrow confines of legitimising Intelligent Design as science without once considering how actual science progresses and operates. This is exactly what you did is it not? Can you honestly claim otherwise?

After consistently failing to demonstrate your proposed deductive thinking in detail you suddenly declare yourself to be a passionate advocate of the standard scientific method without addressing how you will overcome the obvious practical limitations this necessitates (i.e. that theories must be empirically testable thus excluding supernatural explanations as scientific).

Rather than simply cite an obvious everyday example of your proposed methodology in action you have resorted to intentionally getting yourself suspended, suggesting that I am in league with the devil, deliriously posting random biblical links and quotations, numerous attempts at introducing tangential topics, suggestions of personal persecution, declarations of righteousness, quoting me out of context, references to other discussions you are having elsewhere and various other debating strategies, evasion tactics and ploys to avoid the simple fact that your theory just does not work.

After nearly 100 messages we are still no clearer as to the detailed deductive thought processes that are required to apply your theory of logical coherence to a simple day to day problem.

As a result of this I have concluded that whatever it’s other more theoretical and philosophical flaws your proposed redefinition of science results in a methodology that even you recognise as fatally flawed and effectively unworkable.

Of course, as you so rightly state, this is my subjective and personal opinion. Others are free to interpret your absolute inability to apply your own theory to a practical example as they see fit. I am merely exposing and highlighting this fact ;)

EXAMPLE PLEASE - LETS TRY ONE LAST TIME

  • In the simple everyday case of a car that won’t start or a computer that won’t work what is the first step in the deductive process that is specific to your theory of logical coherence?
  • What specific two elements are compared for contradiction and thus tested for logical coherence?
    This is a simple question that should have a simple, generic and practical answer that is obvious to all.
    Unless you can provide such an answer I see no point in I or anyone else spending any more time considering this matter.

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 97 by Rob, posted 03-23-2008 5:57 PM Rob has not yet responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 100 by Ken, posted 03-26-2008 3:19 PM Straggler has not yet responded

    Straggler
    Member (Idle past 84 days)
    Posts: 10332
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 103 of 106 (461605)
    03-26-2008 4:13 PM
    Reply to: Message 102 by Admin
    03-26-2008 3:40 PM


    Re: Closing Remarks
    Hi Admin
    I will write up a short closing remarks post specifically addressed to Rob regarding the nature of science and the nature of evidence as I see it in the next day or two.

    I would like to do this as a reply to Rob's last message rather than as a reply to yours or Ken's (who is Ken? I have never seen him here) so that Rob gets notified of this message.

    Is this OK?

    After that the closing of this thread seems inevitable given the permanent suspension of Rob.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 102 by Admin, posted 03-26-2008 3:40 PM Admin has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 104 by Admin, posted 03-26-2008 5:20 PM Straggler has not yet responded

    Straggler
    Member (Idle past 84 days)
    Posts: 10332
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 105 of 106 (461698)
    03-27-2008 6:56 AM
    Reply to: Message 96 by Rob
    03-23-2008 5:22 PM


    Nature is "God" - Final Remarks
    Rob
    You are obviously a pretty intelligent guy. You have also obviously thought quite deeply about the nature of science and religion. However I suspect that you have little practical experience of scientific investigation. This combined with the fact that you are blinded by faith and driven by the desire to legitimise a preconceived conclusion has resulted in you placing yourself in an impossible position. I think you know this. I also think that although you may not agree as to why exactly your thesis is flawed deep down and in a very practical sense you know that it is.

    I hope that you read this. I also hope, perhaps naively, that if you do read this it will change your mind about why conventional science is what it is. The message below is what I actually believe to be true. It is not just a debating strategy or ideologically driven attempt to dismiss ID, God or anything else as unscientific. If it does nothing else it should give you a genuine insight into the mind of the “enemy” if you do decide to promote your thesis elsewhere.

    BEST FIT
    Science is not merely the best fit explanation of the known facts as is asserted as the very basis of your thesis. It is true that science incorporates and utilises evidence, logic and contradiction. It is also true that, as your thesis advocates, these components lie at the very heart of what science is. However there remains one fundamental piece missing from the puzzle. This missing piece is one that your thesis at best ignores and at worst dismisses. The missing piece is the test of nature.

    THE TEST OF NATURE
    We are imperfect illogical desire driven beings. Our evidence is necessarily imperfect and incomplete. As such, ‘best fit explanations’ that remain untested against nature are too open to interpretation, too prone to error and too susceptible to the selective use of evidence to support preconceived ideological ‘truths’, to be considered at all reliable. Without testing our theories of nature against nature itself our theories are nothing more than philosophical or ideological interpretations of known facts. We can always fool ourselves but we cannot fool nature. She will not succumb to our theories no matter how much we may wish them or even believe them to be true. The test of nature is the ultimate test of any theory no matter how logically coherent it may appear to our subjective and desire driven imperfect selves.

    Consider science outside of the narrow confines of the whole EvC debate for one moment – Can you honestly think of a single area of scientific investigation where expected or predicted results are not used to measure the worth of a theory? Would you trust any scientific theory in the less contentious areas of medicine, chemistry or solid state physics (for example) that had not been empirically tested via means of prediction and verification? Why on Earth would we choose to be less rigorous in our investigations into the deepest questions of all?
    Do not be fooled into thinking that some areas of science are empirically un-testable because they relate to events long past. This is a false claim. There is always new evidence to be found. It is always possible to measure the logical consequences of our theories against this new evidence through prediction and verification. The very limits of human ingenuity have been reached and extended in order to test our theories of nature and they will no doubt be extended further in the future. To dismiss this fact is to misunderstand the very basis of scientific experimental investigation. Even as I write, particle accelerators that will simulate ever more closely the state of the very early universe are being built so that our theories of cosmology, space, time and matter can be better tested by means of prediction and verification. These are marvels of engineering costing millions of dollars and employing some of the keenest minds on the planet. Why do we do this? We do this because the test of nature is the only thing that can ultimately decide the true worth of our scientific theories.

    LIMITATIONS
    The test of nature is our guiding light as we stumble through the corridors of uncertainty but it comes with a price. We are only able to test that which is natural. We can only test that which is empirical. The exclusion of immaterial and supernatural beings and phenomenon from scientific investigation is down to the simple fact that they are conclusions that are just impossible to test. Being un-testable they are unable to be rendered reliable by any scientific measure. The test of nature is the key to the authority, success, objectivity and reliability of scientific conclusions. We cannot separate non-empirical theories from potential bias or misinterpretation. We cannot apply the test of nature to that which is not natural. There is no philosophical bias in excluding immaterial conclusions. Only inherent practical limitation.
    This is not to deny God. This is not even to deny Intelligent Design by an immaterial being. The practical limitations of science mean that science cannot even begin to meaningfully investigate such conclusions.

    Science may provide us with the answers we seek regarding life the universe and everything. Or it may not. The practical limitations of science mean that we may never have reliable scientific answers to such questions. I personally believe and hope that we will. But we have to acknowledge that it is perfectly possible that these things are essentially scientifically unknowable. Acknowledge the possibility yes. But not accept in any practical sense for that way lies only ignorance. Whether there are scientific answers available or not we have to keep trying to find such answers on the assumption that empirical material and truly scientific explanations are available. Whether there are scientific answers available or not un-testable speculation of any sort, religious or otherwise, should never be considered a replacement for rigorously tested scientific explanations. Sometimes we just have to admit that we don’t know. Yet ;)

    CONCLUSION (and Farewell)
    Nature, not logic, is ultimately the judge, jury, and where necessary executioner of our scientific theories. In this respect at least nature is indeed “God”.

    Farewell Rob. Good luck. I wish you well wherever you end up.

    To Admin - I guess that's that then. Feel free to do your closing thing.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 96 by Rob, posted 03-23-2008 5:22 PM Rob has not yet responded

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