Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 78 (8960 total)
87 online now:
GDR, Heathen, Minnemooseus (Adminnemooseus), PaulK (4 members, 83 visitors)
Newest Member: Mikee
Upcoming Birthdays: AlexCaledin
Post Volume: Total: 869,795 Year: 1,543/23,288 Month: 1,543/1,851 Week: 183/484 Day: 1/105 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Doubt and Science
sidelined
Member (Idle past 4296 days)
Posts: 3435
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Joined: 08-30-2003


Message 1 of 9 (63824)
11-01-2003 3:27 PM


I found this item that I thought might interest the believers here as to the methods of understanding of the world presented by science.

"The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn't know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darned sure of what the result is going to be, he is in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize the ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain.
Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure - that it is possible to live and not know. But I don't know whether everyone realizes that this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle. Permit us to question -- to doubt, that's all -- and not to be sure. ...

Through all ages, men have tried to fathom the meaning of life. They have realized that if some direction or meaning could be given to our actions, great human forces would be unleashed. So, very many answers must have been given to to the question of the meaning of it all. But they have been of all different sorts, and the proponents of one answer have looked with horror at the actions of the believers in another. Horror, because from a disagreeing point of view all the great potentialities of the race were being channeled into a false and confining blind alley. ... The dream is to find the open channel.

What, then, is the meaning of it all? What can we say to dispel the mystery of existence ?

If we take everything into account, not only what the ancients knew, but all of what we know today that they didn't know, then I think we must frankly admit that we do not know.

But in admitting this, we have probably found the open channel.

This is not a new idea; this is the idea of the age of reason. This is the philosophy that guided the men who made the democracy that we live under. The idea that no one really knew how to run a government led to the idea that we really should arrange a system by which new ideas could be developed, tried out, tossed out, more new ideas brought in: a trial and error system. This method was a result of the fact that science was already showing itself to be a successful venture at the end of the 18th century. Even then it was clear to socially minded people that the openness of the possibilities was an opportunity, and that doubt and discussion were essential to progress into the unknown. If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar. ...

It is our responsibility to leave the men of the future with a free hand. In the impetuous youth of humanity, we can make grave errors that can stunt our growth for a long time. This we will do if we, so young and ignorant, say we have the answers now, if we suppress all discussion, all criticism, saying, 'This is it, boys! Man is saved!' Thus we can doom man for a long time to the chains of authority, confined to the limits of our present imagination. It has been done so many times before.

It is our responsibility as scientist, knowing the great progress and great value of a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, the great progress that is the the fruit of freedom of thought, to proclaim the value of this freedom, to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed, and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations."
Richard P.Feynman


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by nator, posted 11-02-2003 9:57 AM sidelined has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 558 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 2 of 9 (63926)
11-02-2003 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by sidelined
11-01-2003 3:27 PM


Love it.

Mike the Wiz needs to read this.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by sidelined, posted 11-01-2003 3:27 PM sidelined has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by mike the wiz, posted 11-02-2003 11:45 AM nator has not yet responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4667
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 3 of 9 (63937)
11-02-2003 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by nator
11-02-2003 9:57 AM


I have already read it. What do you want me to say?

Does Sidelined want to hear believers in the statement, or believers in God?
I admitt I am young and deny evolution, or disagree with it. Is that such a crime. if it means so much to you Schraff then I will go back and read what you posted for me.

[This message has been edited by mike the wiz, 11-02-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by nator, posted 11-02-2003 9:57 AM nator has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by kjsimons, posted 11-02-2003 12:00 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded
 Message 5 by sidelined, posted 11-02-2003 1:09 PM mike the wiz has responded

  
kjsimons
Member
Posts: 670
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 4 of 9 (63939)
11-02-2003 12:00 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by mike the wiz
11-02-2003 11:45 AM


I admitt I am young and deny evolution, or disagree with it.

Why do you deny or disagree with science? Do you have a better supported theory? Arguing from ignorance is a very weak position.

Is that such a crime.

Yes, it is a crime against rationality!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by mike the wiz, posted 11-02-2003 11:45 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
sidelined
Member (Idle past 4296 days)
Posts: 3435
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Joined: 08-30-2003


Message 5 of 9 (63949)
11-02-2003 1:09 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by mike the wiz
11-02-2003 11:45 AM


Mike

Sorry old man.It was not my internt to upset you but,rather,to allow you to sort out the issues you present between facts and theory in another forum.This is something that quite a few people on these forums do not make a point of understanding.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by mike the wiz, posted 11-02-2003 11:45 AM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by mike the wiz, posted 11-02-2003 1:11 PM sidelined has responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4667
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 6 of 9 (63951)
11-02-2003 1:11 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by sidelined
11-02-2003 1:09 PM


Fair enough. You were not unreasonable anyway. If you read the recent posts you will see my retreat and submission.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by sidelined, posted 11-02-2003 1:09 PM sidelined has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by sidelined, posted 11-03-2003 9:15 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
sidelined
Member (Idle past 4296 days)
Posts: 3435
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Joined: 08-30-2003


Message 7 of 9 (64242)
11-03-2003 9:15 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by mike the wiz
11-02-2003 1:11 PM


I was not hoping for a retreat but rather an understanding that science cannot be held on the same basis as a belief since we are more than accomodating of new evidence and do try our best to maintain an open mind.
There is another story by Feynman that is also interesting for the humour as well as the lesson. http://wwwcdf.pd.infn.it/~loreti/science.html

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by mike the wiz, posted 11-02-2003 1:11 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Brad McFall, posted 11-03-2003 9:41 PM sidelined has not yet responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3421 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 8 of 9 (64243)
11-03-2003 9:41 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by sidelined
11-03-2003 9:15 PM


both
Sure it can be. If you would like me to discuss Feynman I am happy to discuss both the Tree he slept under and the cafeteria he ate in questioning how all Cornell students get the same degree. I couldnt get one. Maybe, IT IS because I can and do hold both on the same basis. Matchette wrotep62 "This difference in divergence between two Relative existents we call MINOR polarity. The relation and status of these terms may be given diagrammatically as follows:

(a)### Absolute #####(a)
-----------------------
+ #####################+
+######################+
+######################+
+######################+
Relative state1############+
-D##############*######+
-E###############*#####+
-L################*####+
-T#################*###+
-A##################*##+
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&Relatvive State 2

The connection to Feynmman be accessed via p62 "It is in this sesne that the entire activity and processional character of the relative world is the release of energy, the degradation of energy by the transition of energy from one form to another. To put it differently, the nature of the Zero-Atom Unit as energy-divergence striving for reduction of this energy-divergence, is the source of all the activity in the relative world - this is that we call the incluence and effect of MAJOR POLARITY

1.'Distance' between 1 and the Absolute is the degree of divergence of 1, and similarity for 2.
2.'/\DELTA' is the difference in divergence between 1 and 2
3.Urge from 1 and 2 toward the Absolute (along 1a(bar)) and (2a(bar)) is Major Polarity
4.Tension "along the line" 1*****2, is what we designarte as Minor Polarity - a polar tension between any two disparate relative entities, the more divergent manifesting a tension or urge toward the less divergent."
The Outline of Metaphysics but the Philosophical Library.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by sidelined, posted 11-03-2003 9:15 PM sidelined has not yet responded

  
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3912
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 9 of 9 (64411)
11-04-2003 4:52 PM


Thread moved here from the Free For All forum.

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2020