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Author Topic:   The Scientific Method For Beginners
Arphy
Member (Idle past 2595 days)
Posts: 185
From: New Zealand
Joined: 08-23-2009


Message 61 of 138 (521140)
08-26-2009 7:11 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by RAZD
08-25-2009 10:00 PM


Re: Creationists Versus The Scientific Method
First thanks for being a bit more civil, it is really refreshing
quote:
Curiously, reality is completely unaffected by what you think and say, and it continues to evolve and proceed according the the natural laws of the universe.

Yip, true (although depends on how you define evolve, but you know my position on that already).
quote:
Interestingly, if you view things differently, does that mean that you accept lies about the evidence as a valid argument, or do you test the validity of an argument by how completely it explains all the evidence? Do you believe the evidence lies?

No evidence doesn't lie. Yes to testing the validity of an argument by how completly it explains all the evidence.
quote:
Fascinatingly, what creationists accept or don't accept also has no effect on reality. Reality is not a democracy or a Chinese menu (one from column A and two from column B) where you can pick and choose what you accept as true.

Absolutly True. Same goes for any other person on earth whether creationist, evolutionist, or ...ist.
quote:
if you want to pursue this topic see Age Correlations and An Old Earth, Version 2 No 1.

Thanks, I'll go have a look.
quote:
Which, sadly, fails to explain all the evidence, and which is incoherent at making any kind of predictions for what we keep finding based on predictions based on evolution.

hmm... as you can guess i disagree with this statement. An example is the prediction made by Russell Humphreys a creationist using a creation model, He predicted the strength of the magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune. These were then proven correct by Voyager II, unlike any of the secular predictions.

Edited by Arphy, : oops, typo.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by RAZD, posted 08-25-2009 10:00 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Theodoric, posted 08-26-2009 9:59 AM Arphy has not yet responded
 Message 65 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-26-2009 10:08 AM Arphy has not yet responded
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Percy
Member
Posts: 18473
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 62 of 138 (521151)
08-26-2009 8:43 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by Arphy
08-25-2009 9:27 PM


Re: Creationists Versus The Scientific Method
Arphy writes:

quote:
The belief of some of us in "kind" boundaries that define the limits of evolutionary change is not suggested by any evidence.

The problem here is that we view the process differently. We do not say that there are limits to evolutionary change but that this change is degenerative rather then producing more and more complex organisms and systems.

Again, this view of evolutionary change is not suggested by any evidence. The term "degenerative" is especially not descriptive of the mutational and selection processes of evolution.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by Arphy, posted 08-25-2009 9:27 PM Arphy has not yet responded

    
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 860 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 63 of 138 (521154)
08-26-2009 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Arphy
08-25-2009 9:07 PM


Re: Creationists Versus The Scientific Method
Hi, Arphy.

Arphy writes:

What???, I think you have misunderstood the position of creationists and IDers.

No, I have not.

-----

Arphy writes:

In fact creationists do accept mutations just not the notion of information increasing beneficial mutations, there is a difference between the two.

But this is an entirely different view of evolution than the Theory of Evolution presents, which means you were wrong that the two are not in conflict.

-----

Arphy writes:

Just because my nickname is Arphy doesn't refute my argument.

This is what's commonly referred to as a "parody argument."

You said that we should change our terminology because of the popular viewpoint.
I said you should change your avatar because of the popular viewpoint.

They are, in principle, the same argument. If you accept one, you should have no problem with the other.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


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 Message 53 by Arphy, posted 08-25-2009 9:07 PM Arphy has not yet responded

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6263
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 64 of 138 (521161)
08-26-2009 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by Arphy
08-26-2009 7:11 AM


Re: Creationists Versus The Scientific Method
Off Topic Material Hidden


An example is the prediction made by Russell Humphreys a creationist using a creation model, He predicted the strength of the magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune. These were then proven correct by Voyager II, unlike any of the secular predictions.

Oh please, please please, give us your source on this.

Now can I tell you a little about Dr. Russell Humphreys?

From Discover magazine.

quote:
This statement is a total mess, but what I think he means is the prediction by creationist Russel Humphries, before Voyager got to Uranus and Neptune, of their magnetic fields. But his guess was that they were intermediate in strength between Earth’s and Saturn’s, which is a pretty safe bet given their masses. Also, while it’s true that the magnetic fields of those two planets are weird, Humphrey’s model (that God made the planets from water which was then transformed into various other substances) doesn’t predict any of the other odd features (like the tilt of the fields and that they are off-center). He claims it does, but his claim on how some of the odd features formed isn’t really any different than a model assuming the planets are old; in other words, his model doesn’t actually predict those features.

Even a randomly fired gun will sometimes hit the target… by accident.

Years ago my science textbook had illustrations suggesting that our sun gave birth to the Earth and other planets, but this was not the apparent case in a section of the Orion nebula known as M22, where “orphan” planets exist, some orbiting each other without any nearby star.

He either misread his textbook, or it was woefully wrong. Planets and stars form together, with the planets forming in a disk around the star. It’s not uncommon to get gravitational interactions between forming planets which can kick them out of the system; "rogue" planets have been predicted for quite some time and are a successful prediction of the disk-formation theory (which has many dozens or hundreds of other successes).


Where is his peer-reviewed research published?

quote:
How about Impact (a journal of the Institute for Creation Research which employs Humphreys), Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Creationism, and Creation Research Society Quarterly.

Source

More

quote:
Physicist Tim Thompson concisely demonstrates that Dr. Humphreys' aquatic alchemy and its "predictions" amount to nothing. He shows that Dr. Humphreys' equations and variables are so plastic that they could be used to support any planetary magnetic field hypothesis. To be exact, Humphreys (1984) was only willing to "predict" that the current magnetic moments of Uranus and Neptune would be "on the order of 1024 J/T" (joules/tesla). These "predictions" are nothing more than obvious guesses that could have been made by anyone that recognized that the magnetic moment of a planet is often related to its mass. Because the masses of Neptune and Uranus are similar to each other and intermediate between the masses of Saturn and the Earth, we would expect the magnetic moments of Uranus and Neptune also to be similar and somewhere between those of the Earth and Saturn.

All of Humphreys work has been severely criticized by the scientific communuity.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/helium/appendixd.html

Here is how Humphreys responds to criticism.

quote:
Because of his flight from Scripture, Henke has to keep reassuring himself that it can’t possibly be true. That is why he has so much spleen to vent when he encounters someone saying, “Here’s scientific evidence that the Biblical 6,000-year timescale is correct!” Henke cannot abide it; he must expunge it from his mind. His battle is not so much with creationists as with Christ himself. I’m glad that the Spirit of God may be using some of this crystal-clear zircon evidence to convict one who has fallen away from the truth.

You might want to look for a different example . I don't think Humphreys strengthens your case at all.

On more minor suggestion. You probably shouldn't just get your info from creationists sites. They lie. All this info took me 5 minutes on "the Google". You might want to try looking for some corroborating evidence before you present these guys.

oh and source for this please.

unlike any of the secular predictions.

Edited by AdminNosy, : No reason given.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Arphy, posted 08-26-2009 7:11 AM Arphy has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16095
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 65 of 138 (521165)
08-26-2009 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by Arphy
08-26-2009 7:11 AM


Re: Creationists Versus The Scientific Method
hmm... as you can guess i disagree with this statement. An example is the prediction made by Russell Humphreys a creationist using a creation model, He predicted the strength of the magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune. These were then proven correct by Voyager II, unlike any of the secular predictions.

Please give references and quotations.

Please give them on another thread, because the first interesting thing you have said on this thread is still off topic.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Arphy, posted 08-26-2009 7:11 AM Arphy has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 66 of 138 (521168)
08-26-2009 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 65 by Dr Adequate
08-26-2009 10:08 AM


Magnetic fields are also not the topic here.
Thanks for the note Dr A. Maybe you can help by starting another thread?

Edited by AdminNosy, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-26-2009 10:08 AM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16095
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 67 of 138 (521172)
08-26-2009 10:49 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by kbertsche
08-25-2009 10:15 PM


Hooray! An on-topic post!

You are wrong.

In the first place, I chose my words very carefully. I did not say that if reality corresponds with the predictions of the hypothesis, then the hypothesis was proven. I said that in that case we are obliged to regard it as proven until and unless we find contrary evidence. And we are. If you will not agree that it has been proved that the Earth is not flat, then you must admit that, unless and until we find contrary evidence, we must regard it as proven. For example, we must direct the navigation of our shipping according to the theory that the Earth is not flat. Also, we must write in our science textbooks that the Earth is not flat.

In the second place, you speak of "the philosophy of science", as though there was only one. Now, according to the terminology used by the philosopher of science Karl Popper, we cannot say that we have proved that the Earth is not flat. However, according to the philosophy of science that I adhere to, we can say that we have proved that the Earth is not flat.

I compromised between these two views by using the precise wording that I chose --- that we are obliged to regard this proposition as proven.

The title of this thread is not "The Terminology Of Science Invented By Karl Popper For Beginners", it is "The Scientific Method For Beginners". If Wikipedia wants to conflate the two, that is not my problem, that is theirs.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by kbertsche, posted 08-25-2009 10:15 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by kbertsche, posted 08-26-2009 11:08 AM Dr Adequate has responded

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 294 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 68 of 138 (521179)
08-26-2009 11:08 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by Dr Adequate
08-26-2009 10:49 AM


quote:
In the second place, you speak of "the philosophy of science", as though there was only one. Now, according to the terminology used by the philosopher of science Karl Popper, we cannot say that we have proved that the Earth is not flat. However, according to the philosophy of science that I adhere to, we can say that we have proved that the Earth is not flat.

I compromised between these two views by using the precise wording that I chose --- that we are obliged to regard this proposition as proven.



This terminology is not restricted to Karl Popper. Every explanation of the scientific method that I've seen, except yours, is careful not to claim theories as proven.

To most people, the word proven implies certain, absolute, unshakeable. But in science, every theory that we hold must be held somewhat tentatively. There is always the possibility that it may be disproved in the future. It is important for people to understand this, but your use of the word proven confuses it.

Can you point to any well-known philosophers of science who use your terminology? Or any subfields of science where your terminology is standard?

We certainly do not use the word proven this way in physics. I refer you to an excellent recent article in Physics Today, "What is Science?" by Helen Quinn. As Helen writes,

Scientific theories, even when generally accepted after much testing and refinement, are still never complete. Each can be safely applied in some limited domain, some range of situations or conditions for which it has been well tested. Each might also apply in some extended regime where it has yet to be tested, and has little or nothing to offer in still more distant domains. That is the sense in which no theory can be proven to be true; truth is too complete a notion.

Edited by kbertsche, : No reason given.

Edited by kbertsche, : added Helen Quinn reference and quote


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-26-2009 10:49 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-26-2009 1:33 PM kbertsche has responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6263
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 69 of 138 (521186)
08-26-2009 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Theodoric
08-26-2009 9:59 AM


Re: Creationists Versus The Scientific Method
Original post hidden.

Why is this off topic?

Arphy used Russell Humphreys as a source claiming that creationism uses the scientific method. I was responding to him showing that this is not what the scientific method is?

The topic is "The Scientific Method for Beginners". My post is showing Arphy that his interpretation of the scientfic method is flawed.

ABE
OK, ok I get it. I should not have responded in this thread to an off topic part of the post.

Sorry

Edited by Theodoric, : No reason given.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16095
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 70 of 138 (521207)
08-26-2009 1:33 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by kbertsche
08-26-2009 11:08 AM


This terminology is not restricted to Karl Popper. Every explanation of the scientific method that I've seen, except yours, is careful not to claim theories as proven.

To most people, the word proven implies certain, absolute, unshakeable. But in science, every theory that we hold must be held somewhat tentatively. There is always the possibility that it may be disproved in the future. It is important for people to understand this, but your use of the word proven confuses it.

No, your use of the word "proven" confuses it.

According to the Popperian use of the word "proven", I cannot prove that I have two legs. For I might in principle be a ten-legged lobster-like creature trapped in a Matrix-style virtual reality designed to convince me that I have only two legs.

I admit that. And yet I should like to be able to say to people that I can prove that I have two legs, because if "prove" doesn't relate to that sort of proposition, then what does it mean?

Can you point to any well-known philosophers of science who use your terminology? Or any subfields of science where your terminology is standard?

In the first place, I would point out that in the English language, my terminology is indeed "standard". Is there anyone in the world --- apart from philosophers --- who would deny that I can prove that I have two legs?

Count 'em. Philosophers may say what they choose, but I shall still regard it as "proven" that I have two legs according to the meaning of that word in standard English rather then in philosophical jargon.

In the second place, I should like you to read my post more carefully. I am well aware of the stuff that philosophers say, and so I was very careful to write: "we are obliged to regard it as proven until and unless we find contrary evidence". I made a very careful compromise between Popperian philosophical jargon and the English language as it is spoken.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by kbertsche, posted 08-26-2009 11:08 AM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Percy, posted 08-26-2009 1:50 PM Dr Adequate has responded
 Message 74 by kbertsche, posted 08-26-2009 4:36 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18473
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 71 of 138 (521211)
08-26-2009 1:50 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by Dr Adequate
08-26-2009 1:33 PM


Use of the word "prove" in its various forms is problematic in debates like this. Claiming that something has been proven connotes removal of uncertainty, and this can never be the case in science. No finding in science is ever either proven or unproven. There can only be a scale of certainty or uncertainty, depending upon how you want to look at it.

Scientists use words like prove and proven all the time, but they only mean "supported by a convincing and persuasive amount of evidence," and they don't mean to imply certainty. It complicates language to stop using the word prove, and maybe a disclaimer similar to one Gould claimed for the word fact could be employed where proven would mean, "Supported by evidence to the point where it would be perverse to withhold at least provisional assent," which is what I think your position is.

But such uses of the word prove are probably best considered informal. Where precision is required, being explicit and clear about the degree of evidential support is perhaps best.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-26-2009 1:33 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-26-2009 2:03 PM Percy has responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16095
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 72 of 138 (521214)
08-26-2009 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Percy
08-26-2009 1:50 PM


Use of the word "prove" in its various forms is problematic in debates like this.

Sure, but only because in debates like this, people introduce philosophical jargon. Which is what I should like to avoid.

In plain English, I can prove that I have two legs, I can prove that the Earth is more than 6000 years old, and I can prove that I have a common ancestor with monkeys.

I can also explain why there is a philosophical question-mark over all these statements, and I shall be happy to do so.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Percy, posted 08-26-2009 1:50 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Percy, posted 08-26-2009 4:02 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18473
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 73 of 138 (521249)
08-26-2009 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Dr Adequate
08-26-2009 2:03 PM


Dr Adequate writes:

In plain English, I can prove that I have two legs, I can prove that the Earth is more than 6000 years old, and I can prove that I have a common ancestor with monkeys.

Informally, sure. And when conversing with those who in large measure agree with you this is fine, but in discussions like this it helps to be clear that you can only support these positions with evidence. You can't prove things that are only tentatively true. Proving things is not within the provenance of science.

I can also explain why there is a philosophical question-mark over all these statements, and I shall be happy to do so.

Tentativity isn't mere philosophy. It's foundational to science.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-26-2009 2:03 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
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kbertsche
Member (Idle past 294 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 74 of 138 (521257)
08-26-2009 4:36 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by Dr Adequate
08-26-2009 1:33 PM


You still have not answered my questions from Message 68:
Can you point to any well-known philosophers of science who use your terminology? Or any subfields of science where your terminology is standard?

I'm looking for some solid external support for your use of terminology. (What field of science are you active in or trained in, BTW?)

quote:
According to the Popperian use of the word "proven", I cannot prove that I have two legs. For I might in principle be a ten-legged lobster-like creature trapped in a Matrix-style virtual reality designed to convince me that I have only two legs.
...
In the first place, I would point out that in the English language, my terminology is indeed "standard". Is there anyone in the world --- apart from philosophers --- who would deny that I can prove that I have two legs?

Count 'em. Philosophers may say what they choose, but I shall still regard it as "proven" that I have two legs according to the meaning of that word in standard English rather then in philosophical jargon.



We can never prove a scientific theory. This language is not restricted to Popperian philosophy; it is the standard terminology and a foundational principle in the physical sciences. Most physicists are careful not to use proof the way that you do in their writing, whether writing for the general public or for specialized journals.

quote:
In the second place, I should like you to read my post more carefully. I am well aware of the stuff that philosophers say, and so I was very careful to write: "we are obliged to regard it as proven until and unless we find contrary evidence". I made a very careful compromise between Popperian philosophical jargon and the English language as it is spoken.

I did read your post very carefully. What you propose is disingenuous. We would not "regard something as true" when it is really false. Likewise, we should not "regard something as proven" when it cannot, in fact, be proven.

I again recommend Helen's article in Physics Today. She uses terminology correctly, yet explains it clearly enough for a layman to understand:

Scientific theories, even when generally accepted after much testing and refinement, are still never complete. Each can be safely applied in some limited domain, some range of situations or conditions for which it has been well tested. Each might also apply in some extended regime where it has yet to be tested, and has little or nothing to offer in still more distant domains. That is the sense in which no theory can be proven to be true; truth is too complete a notion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-26-2009 1:33 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-26-2009 5:26 PM kbertsche has responded
 Message 82 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-27-2009 6:40 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16095
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 75 of 138 (521272)
08-26-2009 5:26 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by kbertsche
08-26-2009 4:36 PM


You still have not answered my questions from Message 68:

To which I will reply with another question.

Can you name any person who is not a philosopher, who speaks the English language, who has access to the relevant evidence, and who will maintain that I cannot prove that I have two legs?

We can never prove a scientific theory. This language is not restricted to Popperian philosophy; it is the standard terminology and a foundational principle in the physical sciences. Most physicists are careful not to use proof the way that you do in their writing, whether writing for the general public or for specialized journals.

And will any of them really claim that I cannot prove that I have two legs? Except in the special philosophical sense in which this is true?

And in any case, let me say again: I did not claim that the fact that all the evidence agrees with the theory that I have two legs proves that I have two legs. What I said about such propositions was that "We are obliged to regard it as proven until and unless we find contrary evidence".

I did read your post very carefully.

Evidently you didn't. Let me quote myself again: "We are obliged to regard it as proven until and unless we find contrary evidence".

What you propose is disingenuous.

And your mother is a whore.

What, did you find that insulting?

Well, I am equally insulted by you telling me that I'm "disingenous".

No, I am not. I may possibly be wrong, but I have been honestly saying what I think in the clearest way that I can think of right now. Perhaps I am mistaken, in which case I hope that you will make this clear to me by lucid argument rather than name-calling, but everything I have said is as true as is within my limited capacity to make it.

I again recommend Helen's article in Physics Today.

And I recommend that you read the words in that article: "this is the sense in which".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by kbertsche, posted 08-26-2009 4:36 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
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