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Author Topic:   Do science and religion have rights to some "explanatory space"?
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1491 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 31 of 37 (494048)
01-13-2009 7:45 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by erikp
01-13-2009 6:41 AM


A Serious Misunderstanding of the Logic
hey ericp, a simple test for your logic
If it is not possible to make any observations for the theory, it is not possible to make them for the antithesis too. Consequently, the antithesis is also true....So, in this borderline case, both the thesis as the antithesis are true.
There is one thing missing in this evaluation. That is that as they cannot both be true, one contradicting the other, one of your premises must be false. This is a standard test of logic.
If it is not possible to make any observations for the theory, all possible observations necessarily concur with it, and therefore, the theory must be considered to be true.
This is your false premise: if you can make no observations you cannot conclude whether they would concur or invalidate the theory.
You have assumed that they "necessarily concur with it" rather than show how this must be the case. Observations could invalidate the theory just as easily as concur with it.
The proper conclusion then is that you do not know.
Science if full of strange results in borderline cases. What's so new about that?
There is a lot we don't know.
Enjoy.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by erikp, posted 01-13-2009 6:41 AM erikp has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by erikp, posted 01-13-2009 11:48 AM RAZD has replied

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2784 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 32 of 37 (494059)
01-13-2009 10:03 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by erikp
01-13-2009 6:41 AM


Topic Check?
Hi, Erik.
erikp writes:
A theory is false, if at least one observation contradicts it.
A theory is true, if all possible observations concur with it.
If it is not possible to make any observations for the theory, all possible observations necessarily concur with it, and therefore, the theory must be considered to be true.
This is the logic equivalent of "innocent until proven guily," I suppose?
From a practical point of view, what use is this definition? You are aware that "explanatory space" refers to practicality, right?
Can your method be used to answer questions about reality?
If not, then I submit that your opinion has neither any rights to any explanatory space, nor any rights to space on this thread.

I'm Bluejay.
Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by erikp, posted 01-13-2009 6:41 AM erikp has not replied

  
erikp
Member (Idle past 5636 days)
Posts: 71
Joined: 12-23-2008


Message 33 of 37 (494066)
01-13-2009 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by PaulK
01-13-2009 7:04 AM


Re: A Serious Misunderstanding of the Scientific Method
quote:
That definition of "true" is in fact the definition of "unfalsifiable".
A fact by itself is also true, since the observation obviously cannot contradict itself. Therefore, my hypothesis is indeed that only facts and unfalsifiable theories can be true.
quote:
the definition is obviously faulty
This the standard definition in science for truth/untruth. The benchmark for truth/untruth is necessarily: reality, that is, facts. But then again, according to the same definition, unfalsifiable theories are simply true.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by PaulK, posted 01-13-2009 7:04 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by PaulK, posted 01-13-2009 12:09 PM erikp has not replied
 Message 36 by Coyote, posted 01-13-2009 12:43 PM erikp has not replied

  
erikp
Member (Idle past 5636 days)
Posts: 71
Joined: 12-23-2008


Message 34 of 37 (494068)
01-13-2009 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by RAZD
01-13-2009 7:45 AM


Re: A Serious Misunderstanding of the Logic
Given the stated definitions of "true" and "false", the remainder simply follows. The proper way to discard the remainder, consists in rejecting the stated definitions. On what grounds can you reject these definitions?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by RAZD, posted 01-13-2009 7:45 AM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by RAZD, posted 01-14-2009 10:20 PM erikp has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 35 of 37 (494071)
01-13-2009 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by erikp
01-13-2009 11:30 AM


Re: A Serious Misunderstanding of the Scientific Method
quote:
A fact by itself is also true, since the observation obviously cannot contradict itself.
But since observing the contrary is also a "possible observation", it fails to fit your definition of "true".
A definition of "true" which includes falsehoods while excluding true statements is no good at all.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by erikp, posted 01-13-2009 11:30 AM erikp has not replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 2192 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 36 of 37 (494078)
01-13-2009 12:43 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by erikp
01-13-2009 11:30 AM


Re: A Serious Misunderstanding of the Scientific Method
This the standard definition in science for truth/untruth. The benchmark for truth/untruth is necessarily: reality, that is, facts. But then again, according to the same definition, unfalsifiable theories are simply true.
Truth: This is a word best avoided entirely in physics [and science] except when placed in quotes, or with careful qualification. Its colloquial use has so many shades of meaning from ”it seems to be correct’ to the absolute truths claimed by religion, that it’s use causes nothing but misunderstanding. Someone once said "Science seeks proximate (approximate) truths." Others speak of provisional or tentative truths. Certainly science claims no final or absolute truths. Source

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by erikp, posted 01-13-2009 11:30 AM erikp has not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1491 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 37 of 37 (494208)
01-14-2009 10:20 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by erikp
01-13-2009 11:48 AM


Re: A Serious Misunderstanding of the Logic
oh ericp, this will not do.
Given the stated definitions of "true" and "false", the remainder simply follows. The proper way to discard the remainder, consists in rejecting the stated definitions. On what grounds can you reject these definitions?
Because I am not dealing with the definitions, but your premise:
Message 28
If it is not possible to make any observations for the theory, all possible observations necessarily concur with it, and therefore, the theory must be considered to be true.
This statement is false. We have a theory: "all invisible unicorns are pink" and according to your argument this theory is true.
We have another theory: "all invisible unicorns are blue" and according to your argument this theory is true.
Because both of these arguments are contradictory, one of the premises must be false. It could be the premise\theory that "all invisible unicorns are pink" - in which case your premise quoted above is false, or it could be the premise\theory that "all invisible unicorns are blue" - in which case your premise quoted above is false, or it could be that your premise itself is false.
Either way you end up with the premise quoted above being false.
So you see, it has nothing to do with the definitions. It has to do with the "all A is B" logical fallacy as I pointed out earlier:
Just because all true statements cannot be falsified does not mean that all statements that cannot be falsified are true.
Enjoy.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by erikp, posted 01-13-2009 11:48 AM erikp has not replied

  
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