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Author Topic:   Science: A Method not a Source
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 166 of 177 (590178)
11-06-2010 3:03 PM
Reply to: Message 156 by Straggler
11-06-2010 7:12 AM


Re: Testing BY Prediction
jar writes:

And strictly rational is irrelevant.

It obviously isn't irrelavant to the question of whether the conclusion under consideration is derived from "reason logic and reality" as you asserted rather than the more human qualities I have argued in favour of.

But it isn't either/or.

You can use reason, logic and reality... and imagination to come to a conclusion. Just because you're using imagination doesn't mean that you're not using reason, logic and reality, and visa versa.

Now when you say strictly rational, I think the imagination has to be removed so then you're no longer talking about what jar was talking about.

If you agree with the above it is difficult to see how you reconcile this with your previous statement that the Aztec belief that without sacrifice the world would end is "both reasonable and logical".

How were the Aztecs not assigning anthropomorphic traits to nature in the forms of gods in order to come to their conclusions regarding the need for human sacrifice?

Just because they were doesn't mean that they couldn't have had reason, logic, and reality thrown in as well.

I'm gonna combine my reply to Message 158

No. I asked one in the context of the other and both you and jar decided to answer the latter in a way that had no bearing on the primary question.

I chimed in just to correct a simple misunderstanding. But I have since answered both those questions.

They make absolute sense in the context of jar's example.

Well I'm not seeing it.

I thought I agreed that seeking causal relationships was a perfectly rational thing to do?

Oh. Well then your questions make even less sense. As above, you seem to think this is an either/or thing. Because its not, you're questions don't make sense.

But how does that pertain to the world ending if a sacrifice isn't made? How does one causally conclude that without a rather large dose of imagination of the more creative variety?

That was my question to jar and frankly he seems unable to answer it without contradicting himself.

I think jar's answer would be that it isn't without imagination.

So having tidied that up I will ask whether or not you still think dancing angels should be considered no more or less likley to be the cause of gravitational effects than space-time curvature? As you have previously claimed.

Are you still wedded to your ridiculous notion that it is the unfalsified status of a proposal alone that matters?

I don't think I've ever taken the postion that simply having an unfalsified status was all that matters.

The position on the dancing angels was that you couldn't rationally conclude that one was more likely that the other. I never said that I thought that the liklihoods were equal.

Can you tie this old shit to the topic?

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 156 by Straggler, posted 11-06-2010 7:12 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 169 by Straggler, posted 11-06-2010 4:39 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16096
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 167 of 177 (590179)
11-06-2010 3:06 PM
Reply to: Message 163 by Jon
11-06-2010 12:46 PM


Re: Religious science vs. real science
But there is evidence:

The Bible.

I think in normal usage a statement isn't considered evidence for itself.

If I tell you that I own a purple unicorn, have I thereby, just by saying so, simultaneously produced evidence that I own a purple unicorn?

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 163 by Jon, posted 11-06-2010 12:46 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by Jon, posted 11-06-2010 10:29 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 168 of 177 (590185)
11-06-2010 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 165 by Jon
11-06-2010 1:15 PM


Re: Competing Theories
Jon writes:

Straggler writes:

But we are not talking about proving that theories are true. We are talking about verifying that our theories are accurate models of reality and the method by which we we can determine which of our theories is the most accurate.

Huh? Then what in the hell do you mean by 'accurate models of reality'?

If (for example) General Relativity is not a more accurate model of reality than Newtonian gravity how do you explain the fact that GR is able to make predictions and derive results that the Newtonian theory cannot?

Jon writes:

In fact, I have repeatedly argued this pointthat we cannot get one theory in front of the other without falsifying one of them.

Of course we can. You yourself have already conceded that a theory which can make successful predictions is a superior theory to one that cannot. Regardless of whether either of them are falsified.

Telekinetic aliens are responsible for gravitational effects. GR is wrong despite all it's successful predictions. The telekinetic alien theory is unfalsified. But is falsifiable because if we find these pesky aliens and cut off their heads gravity will cease to operate.

Do you consider the telekinetic alien theory to be on par with General realtivity as an explanation for gravitational effects?

If not why not?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : Fix quote


This message is a reply to:
 Message 165 by Jon, posted 11-06-2010 1:15 PM Jon has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 169 of 177 (590189)
11-06-2010 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 166 by New Cat's Eye
11-06-2010 3:03 PM


Re: Testing BY Prediction
CS writes:

But it isn't either/or.

If you are pointing out that humans can be logical and imaginative simultaneously again then I will simply agree with you. Again.

CS writes:

Now when you say strictly rational, I think the imagination has to be removed so then you're no longer talking about what jar was talking about.

I am talking about the scientific method. As per the topic. What was jar talking about?

CS writes:

Straggler writes:

How were the Aztecs not assigning anthropomorphic traits to nature in the forms of gods in order to come to their conclusions regarding the need for human sacrifice?

Just because they were doesn't mean that they couldn't have had reason, logic, and reality thrown in as well.

In this thread I have been talking about the role of prediction in the scientific method. Jar decided to chip in with his human sacrifice example.

Scientific predictions are derived from the logical consequences of theories which are themselves based on observation. Right?

Do you think the conclusion that the world will end if a human sacrifice is not made can be derived scientifically?

You can, as Jar has already pointed out, observe that bad things happen. Based on this you can then make the giant leap of imagination to conclude that A) Gods make bad things happen and B) If you sacrifice someone to them they won't do the ultimate bad thing of ending the world.

But I would suggest that the balance between logic-reason and human creativity in making this leap is weighted on the side of the latter. And that as such this doesn't qualify as the sort of scientific prediction under discussion.

Hopefully this clears things up for you.

CS writes:

The position on the dancing angels was that you couldn't rationally conclude that one was more likely that the other.

So, according to you, we cannot rationally or scientifically conclude that gravitational effects are more likely to be caused by space-time curvature than dancing angels. Is that correct?

CS writes:

Can you tie this old shit to the topic?

Sure. Prediction. Gravity as space-time curvature allows us to make all sorts of incredibly detailed and accurate predictions. Dancing angels (even aside from being an entirely baseless proposition) doesn't. Thus I would argue that gravity as caused by space-time curvature is a more accurate model, and more likely to be representative of reality, than dancing angels being responsible for gravitational effects.

I am intrigued to know which part of this you disagree with?
I am also intrigued to know why you think the dancing angels might not just stop dancing and thus gravity cease to operate sometime next week?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 166 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-06-2010 3:03 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 175 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-08-2010 10:28 PM Straggler has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 170 of 177 (590230)
11-06-2010 10:29 PM
Reply to: Message 167 by Dr Adequate
11-06-2010 3:06 PM


Re: Religious science vs. real science
I think in normal usage a statement isn't considered evidence for itself.

Well; we can look within the Bible if you'd like. Or outside of it, lot's of folk have written about things in the Bible. So, there's more evidence if you are not fond of using statements to evidence their own truth.

Still think there's no evidence?

Jon


Check out Apollo's Temple!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 167 by Dr Adequate, posted 11-06-2010 3:06 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 171 by Dr Adequate, posted 11-06-2010 10:39 PM Jon has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16096
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 171 of 177 (590232)
11-06-2010 10:39 PM
Reply to: Message 170 by Jon
11-06-2010 10:29 PM


Re: Religious science vs. real science
Well; we can look within the Bible if you'd like. Or outside of it, lot's of folk have written about things in the Bible. So, there's more evidence if you are not fond of using statements to evidence their own truth.

Still think there's no evidence?

Well, where is it?

If I tell you that I own a purple unicorn, is that evidence that I own a purple unicorn?

In ordinary English as it is usually understood, the fact that someone has made a statement is not in and of itself considered evidence for that statement.

The book of Genesis is not evidence for the book of Genesis. It's the very thing that we want to have evidence for or against.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by Jon, posted 11-06-2010 10:29 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by Jon, posted 11-07-2010 11:14 AM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 172 of 177 (590279)
11-07-2010 11:14 AM
Reply to: Message 171 by Dr Adequate
11-06-2010 10:39 PM


Re: Religious science vs. real science
Well, where is it?

In the writings of thousands of religious folk. Their writings seem to back up a lot of the statements in the Bible.

In ordinary English as it is usually understood, the fact that someone has made a statement is not in and of itself considered evidence for that statement.

The book of Genesis is not evidence for the book of Genesis. It's the very thing that we want to have evidence for or against.

Okay; so, we have found that some things aren't allowed to serve as evidence: statements as proof of their own truth.

I think we're starting to get somewhere.

Jon


Check out Apollo's Temple!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 171 by Dr Adequate, posted 11-06-2010 10:39 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 173 by Admin, posted 11-07-2010 11:36 AM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 174 by Straggler, posted 11-08-2010 1:31 PM Jon has not yet responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12600
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 173 of 177 (590283)
11-07-2010 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 172 by Jon
11-07-2010 11:14 AM


Re: Religious science vs. real science
Jon writes:

In the writings of thousands of religious folk. Their writings seem to back up a lot of the statements in the Bible.

Some clarification might be helpful.

Did you mean to say that if, for example, someone writes that Jesus was born in Bethlehem after reading in the Bible that Jesus was born in Bethlehem that this would provide support for the Bible's account of Jesus's place of birth?

Or did you mean to say that there are many ancient writings that provide independent verification of statements in the Bible?

Or did you mean something else?

Please, no replies to this message.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by Jon, posted 11-07-2010 11:14 AM Jon has not yet responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 174 of 177 (590500)
11-08-2010 1:31 PM
Reply to: Message 172 by Jon
11-07-2010 11:14 AM


Predictions (Again)
Jon writes:

Okay; so, we have found that some things aren't allowed to serve as evidence: statements as proof of their own truth.

I think we're starting to get somewhere.

Not everything qualifies as evidence - I am thrilled to see that you consider this realisation to be progress on your part. I had no idea you were starting from such a low base.

FYI there are also many things that don't qualify as predictions Jon. "Predictions" that don't predict anything. Like the ones you are advocating in Message 76 and beyond.

Jon writes:

I argued umpteen posts ago that 'predictions' are merely 'implications'

Yes and this is where you are going badly wrong.

All scientific predictions are the logically derived consequences of a theory. But not all the logically derived consequences of a theory are predictions.

If Newton had said that apples would fall towards Earth rather than away from it this would hardly have been a vindicating prediction of his theory now would it?

Jon writes:

None of this addresses the questions presented to you, nor does it help to clarify your position.

Where we have competing unfalsified explanations the theory that results in the most accurate predictions can be considered the most accurate model of reality.

That in a nutshell is my position. Your objections to this remain as muddled as ever.

Jon writes:

I've no intention of continuing to try to understand you.

If the above is simply too difficult for you to comprehend then I guess there is little more to be said.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by Jon, posted 11-07-2010 11:14 AM Jon has not yet responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 175 of 177 (590575)
11-08-2010 10:28 PM
Reply to: Message 169 by Straggler
11-06-2010 4:39 PM


Re: Testing BY Prediction
I've lost track of where I was at in this thread, and I'm getting tired so I won't be able to offer a proper reply, but I do have a question:

Gravity as space-time curvature allows us to make all sorts of incredibly detailed and accurate predictions. Dancing angels (even aside from being an entirely baseless proposition) doesn't. Thus I would argue that gravity as caused by space-time curvature is a more accurate model, and more likely to be representative of reality, than dancing angels being responsible for gravitational effects.

Can you run me through the logic on how the ability to make a predication makes an explanation more likely to be representative of reality?

And then, what about the unpredictable?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 169 by Straggler, posted 11-06-2010 4:39 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 176 by Straggler, posted 11-09-2010 6:41 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 176 of 177 (590624)
11-09-2010 6:41 AM
Reply to: Message 175 by New Cat's Eye
11-08-2010 10:28 PM


Re: Testing BY Prediction
CS writes:

Can you run me through the logic on how the ability to make a predication makes an explanation more likely to be representative of reality?

Where an explanatory model more accurately describes reality it should lead to conclusions about as yet unobserved aspects of reality in a way that an inaccurate model will not. I have talked about gravity already. So as another example consider Tiktaalik.

Example
The paleontologists in question made the prediction that a fish-amphibian transitional form must exist in order to bridge the gap between fish and amphibians (obviously). More impressively they predicted that such a species should exist in the late Devonian period, about 375 million years ago.

So they spent several years digging through the earth on Ellesmere Island in Northern Canada, because geological and paleontological evidence suggested that exposed strata there was from the late Devonian. They predicted that, according to evolutionary theory, at this time in history a creature should have existed that was morphologically transitional between fish and amphibians. They found Tiktaalik - a fishopod, beautifully transitional between fish and amphibians.
End Example

Unless our model of evolution and geology is accurate to some degree how could that prediction have made and verified? Luck?

Nonsense like creationism or omphalism will twist and turn and wriggle and contort in order to explain things like the Tiktaalik. But will never be able to predict. For this reason they can be considered as relatively unlikely to be accurate models of reality.

I am intrigued to know which part of this you disagree with?
I am also intrigued to know why you think that those dancing gravity angels might not just stop dancing and thus gravity cease to operate sometime next week?

CS writes:

And then, what about the unpredictable?

Such as?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-08-2010 10:28 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Tram law
Member (Idle past 2869 days)
Posts: 283
From: Weed, California, USA
Joined: 08-15-2010


Message 177 of 177 (593664)
11-28-2010 12:32 PM


I see science as both a source and a method, because without using that method, you can't get the information and you might not even discover that information.

Things can be discovered by accident, but that way of discovering things is usually a small part.


  
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