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Author Topic:   Helping a Friend about the Nature of Science
straightree
Member (Idle past 4867 days)
Posts: 57
From: Near Olot, Spain
Joined: 09-26-2008


Message 16 of 41 (575450)
08-20-2010 3:30 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Tram law
08-17-2010 12:37 PM


The way science works
Well, it's gotten to the point that I am going to tell him that for the sake of our friendship there are some things we shouldn't talk about.
This, of course, solves the problem of your relationship. It maybe that for your case is the most sensible approach. I, nevertheless, will venture an advice, since me being a theist evolutionist, can help to assist your friend.
There is a very good Wiki article on scientific method, explaining its history and "evolution"
(History of scientific method - Wikipedia)
After an attentive reading you arrive to these conclusions:
- The method that has been more instrumental for science advance has been the experimental-inductive, based in experimentation.
- Deductive method has worked, but only if based on knowledge gained through inductive method.
- Mathematics has been a very potent tool to organize reasoning.
- Though many of the great scientists that helped develop scientific method were theists, none used the Bible or any sacred text as foundation for science.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Tram law, posted 08-17-2010 12:37 PM Tram law has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Tram law, posted 08-21-2010 3:16 PM straightree has replied

  
Tram law
Member (Idle past 4820 days)
Posts: 283
From: Weed, California, USA
Joined: 08-15-2010


Message 17 of 41 (575884)
08-21-2010 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by straightree
08-20-2010 3:30 AM


Re: The way science works
Thank you, I've actually shown him that link, and others that say the same thing. He brings up the Diplodocus and Kennewick man as an indictment against this process to show that it's wrong and therefore must be changed.
There is no such thing as the Diplodocus because that was a mistake of misidentifying other bones from other Dinosaurs.
And the problem with Kennewick man is the bronze dagger.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by straightree, posted 08-20-2010 3:30 AM straightree has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Coyote, posted 08-21-2010 3:21 PM Tram law has replied
 Message 19 by crashfrog, posted 08-21-2010 3:24 PM Tram law has not replied
 Message 25 by straightree, posted 08-23-2010 3:38 PM Tram law has not replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 2222 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 18 of 41 (575887)
08-21-2010 3:21 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Tram law
08-21-2010 3:16 PM


Re: The way science works
And the problem with Kennewick man is the bronze dagger.
What bronze dagger? Can you fill me in (PM if necessary).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Tram law, posted 08-21-2010 3:16 PM Tram law has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Tram law, posted 08-22-2010 12:59 PM Coyote has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1583 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


(1)
Message 19 of 41 (575889)
08-21-2010 3:24 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Tram law
08-21-2010 3:16 PM


Re: The way science works
It's better to be mostly right, and getting righter, than to be eternally and unchangingly wrong.
Your friend is just scared to death by the notion that our knowledge is provisional and subject to revision. He has an unreasonable demand of certainty in all forms of knowledge, but if you really think through it, there's no reason why we have to be perfectly and absolutely certain about anything.
For almost any application, provisional certainty subject to revision in the light of better knowledge is good enough. Better, because it doesn't put you in the position of being committed to a dogma that later turns out to be flawed.
Perfect certainty is an illusion. The problem your friend has isn't with science, it's with certainty. He has an unreasonable need for it.
Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6445
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 20 of 41 (575894)
08-21-2010 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by crashfrog
08-21-2010 3:24 PM


Re: The way science works
crashfrog writes:
Perfect certainty is an illusion.
Just become a mathematician. Then you can have perfect certainty within mathematics.

This message is a reply to:
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Tram law
Member (Idle past 4820 days)
Posts: 283
From: Weed, California, USA
Joined: 08-15-2010


Message 21 of 41 (576002)
08-22-2010 12:59 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Coyote
08-21-2010 3:21 PM


Re: The way science works
I'm sorry, I'm dyslexic and sometimes gets things confused.
There was a body that was found a number of years ago in an unusual place on a mountain range. When it was dated, it was dated before the Bronze Age. The problem with it is that there was a bronze dagger that was found with the body, which couldn't be because it was made several centuries before the Bronze age began, according to him. After reading the Wiki Kennewick man is not this one.
I don't remember the proper name of the find.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Coyote, posted 08-21-2010 3:21 PM Coyote has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Coyote, posted 08-22-2010 1:06 PM Tram law has replied
 Message 23 by jar, posted 08-22-2010 1:13 PM Tram law has not replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 2222 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 22 of 41 (576006)
08-22-2010 1:06 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Tram law
08-22-2010 12:59 PM


Re: The way science works
You are probably thinking of tzi the Iceman.
Look it up on Google.

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Tram law, posted 08-22-2010 12:59 PM Tram law has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Tram law, posted 08-22-2010 2:02 PM Coyote has not replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 34136
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 23 of 41 (576009)
08-22-2010 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Tram law
08-22-2010 12:59 PM


Re: The way science works
If Oetzi, there is also information here but I know of no bronze age dagger found with him.
You need to remember though that the Bronze Age can be as early as 3000 BCE and so contemporary with the accounts of Adam.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
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Tram law
Member (Idle past 4820 days)
Posts: 283
From: Weed, California, USA
Joined: 08-15-2010


Message 24 of 41 (576021)
08-22-2010 2:02 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Coyote
08-22-2010 1:06 PM


Re: The way science works
It might be Oetzi, but I am uncertain. I'll have to ask him for further clarification.
I've been searching on Google but haven't been able to find anything on it, so like usual, I think he's misinformed.
Not that he'd ever admit to it.

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Replies to this message:
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straightree
Member (Idle past 4867 days)
Posts: 57
From: Near Olot, Spain
Joined: 09-26-2008


Message 25 of 41 (576288)
08-23-2010 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Tram law
08-21-2010 3:16 PM


Re: The way science works
I can not put it better than Crashfrog, only will add a quotation from Karl Popper, that goes in the same direction: "Scientific theories are neither true, nor false, they are approximations to truth"
Edited by straightree, : substitution of wrong by false

This message is a reply to:
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2813 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 26 of 41 (576301)
08-23-2010 4:27 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Tram law
08-22-2010 2:02 PM


tzi and Diplodocus
Hi, Tram law.
I remember learning about the "Iceman" in class when he was first discovered. I was in fourth grade. Unfortunately, I didn't remember any of the details, so I had to go and read the Wikipedia article.
It contains this gem:
quote:
tzi's copper axe was of particular interest, as it was the only complete prehistoric axe ever discovered. About two feet long, the axe's shaft was made from yew tree bark, while the handle of the axe was made from yew branch and leather binding. The copper axe blade extended out of the leather binding and was about one inch long. tzi was 5,300 years old, and humans were not thought to have discovered copper for another 1,000 years, forcing archaeologists to re-date the copper age.
A couple of things to note are that (1) copper and bronze are not the same thing, nor are the "Copper Age" and the "Bronze Age."; (2) when humans developed copper technology really has very little (if anything) to do with the Theory of Evolution.
-----
And, in response to your friend's comments about dinosaurs, Diplodocus did exist. He must have been thinking about Brontosaurus: this was a case in which a paleontologist described two dinosaur fossils as two different species, then later found out that they were the same species. Thus, Brontosaurus, the more popular name for the dinosaur, is not considered a valid name in science, because it is predated by Apatosaurus.
On top of that, when Brontosaurus was first found, the specimen lacked a head, so, museum personnel who were trying to make the first ever display of a sauropod dinosaur used the head of similar dinosaurs as a model. As it turns out, the head design they had used was wrong. But, the display had been so popular (it was, at the time, the biggest dinosaur ever known), that the name "brontosaurus" and the conjectural anatomy, became more well-known than the correct name and anatomy.
I think this must have been what your friend was talking about. And, as you can see, it really has nothing to do with the validity of the Theory of Evolution, either.

-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Tram law, posted 08-22-2010 2:02 PM Tram law has not replied

  
Yrreg
Member (Idle past 5040 days)
Posts: 64
Joined: 11-21-2006


Message 27 of 41 (581895)
09-17-2010 11:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tram law
08-15-2010 12:53 PM


What is the role if any of chance in science?
Science is built on the idea that there is order in the physical universe.
What is the role of chance in science?
Yrreg

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Rrhain, posted 09-18-2010 2:18 AM Yrreg has replied
 Message 35 by Taq, posted 09-20-2010 6:12 PM Yrreg has not replied
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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 123 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 28 of 41 (581908)
09-18-2010 2:18 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Yrreg
09-17-2010 11:51 PM


Yrreg asks:
quote:
What is the role of chance in science?
Um, I'm not sure what you're getting. I can only provide a couple of directions to go looking. Check into quantum mechanics and chaos theory.
From quantum mechanics, we come to the conclusion that at the smallest levels, existence is really more of a probability curve rather than an exact thing. Something exists at a certain place not because it really does but simply because it is highly probable that it is.
From chaos theory, we recognize that complex systems can be incredibly sensitive to initial conditions. For example, weather systems become more and more difficult to forecast into the future due to the random interactions of the various parts of the system (air masses, water masses, land masses, energy output, etc.) Because of that, slightly different starting positions can lead to vastly different outcomes.
I guess what would help is if you could define what you mean by "chance" and why you think science doesn't include it as a factor.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Yrreg, posted 09-17-2010 11:51 PM Yrreg has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Yrreg, posted 09-19-2010 4:38 PM Rrhain has replied

  
Yrreg
Member (Idle past 5040 days)
Posts: 64
Joined: 11-21-2006


Message 29 of 41 (582070)
09-19-2010 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Rrhain
09-18-2010 2:18 AM


Something exists on the quantum level and in chaos.
Rrhain writes:
Yrreg asks:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What is the role of chance in science?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Um, I'm not sure what you're getting. I can only provide a couple of directions to go looking. Check into quantum mechanics and chaos theory.
From quantum mechanics, we come to the conclusion that at the smallest levels, existence is really more of a probability curve rather than an exact thing. Something exists at a certain place not because it really does but simply because it is highly probable that it is.
From chaos theory, we recognize that complex systems can be incredibly sensitive to initial conditions. For example, weather systems become more and more difficult to forecast into the future due to the random interactions of the various parts of the system (air masses, water masses, land masses, energy output, etc.) Because of that, slightly different starting positions can lead to vastly different outcomes.
I guess what would help is if you could define what you mean by "chance" and why you think science doesn't include it as a factor.
There is something that exists even on the quantum level, that is admitted by scientists, no?
There is something that exists even in chaos as postulated by scientists.
What is chance in science?
Answers - The Most Trusted Place for Answering Life's Questions
Chance is frequently regarded as unreal, a mere reflection of human ignorance, due to be eroded by the onset of deterministic science. In ancient and medieval philosophy chance could be contrasted with divine purpose, and until the 18th century the concept was of little application, since nothing is strictly due to chance when God's purpose is shown in all creation. The equally ancient opposition between chance and science was eroded after the rise of statistics and probability theory in the 17th century. Probability became the ‘guide of life’ providing the tools with which to assess chances in insurance and gambling, discovering causal connections, finding rates of mortality, crime, and marriage, even before the onset of probabilistic theories in physics, such as statistical mechanics and then quantum mechanics. The problem of interpretation is that of deciding whether probabilities measure something ‘real’ or whether they merely reflect the beliefs of reasonable persons faced with various quantities of data (see personalism). The widespread view that quantum mechanics is irreducibly probabilistic, so that quantum events do not merely manifest superficial randomness overlaying a deterministic basis, is the main stimulus to attempts to give theories of what chance ‘really is’, or of how fundamental laws of nature can have a probabilistic form. One difficulty lies in seeing how two universes that are the same in respect of the events that occur, might yet differ in the chance with which those events came about.
If no one believes that chance is any cause of anything at all, that is fine by me.
You bring in chaos, I would like to ask you what you mean by chaos in science.
Yrreg

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Rrhain, posted 09-18-2010 2:18 AM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
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frako
Member (Idle past 421 days)
Posts: 2932
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 30 of 41 (582073)
09-19-2010 5:28 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Yrreg
09-19-2010 4:38 PM


Re: Something exists on the quantum level and in chaos.
What is chance in science?
probability
what is the chance that a coin will land on its head 50:50 throw it a 100 times and it will come close to that number or not it could show 70:30 but the more times you throw it the closer it will get to a 50:50 ratio you can get multiple heads in a row but thrown enough times your bound to get a tail
the chance of winning the lottery is very small but if enough people buy lottery tickets at one time one is bound to win.
chance dose not cause anything it is only a probability that something will happen given the circumstances

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Yrreg, posted 09-19-2010 4:38 PM Yrreg has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Yrreg, posted 09-20-2010 5:41 PM frako has replied

  
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