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Author Topic:   What is a Theory?
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 211 of 249 (496003)
01-25-2009 6:33 PM
Reply to: Message 210 by prophet
01-25-2009 6:19 PM


prophet responds to me:

quote:
That "now" of yours was written when?

"Previously."

I'm reminded of the scene from Spaceballs where they're looking for Lonestar and decide to go to the videotape of the movie. The latest in advertising technology, the videotape is made before the movie is even finished. They fast forward through the credits and get to the exact moment in the film that they are in:

quote:
However, "then" must be given liberal understanding

Incorrect. It has a very strict understanding: Some time other than now. If we're dealing with the past, previous to now. If we're dealing with the future, after now.

quote:
21st century (using USA's dating techniques and only remans accurate for a time)

Incorrect. The metric, once established, is accurate forever. The "21st Century" is an artificial construction, to be sure, but just because it is artificial doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

We're back to my Monopoly analogy: Monopoly is a man-made game, completely artificial. And yet, there are rules. Those rules are arbitrary and change from venue to venue. One popular "house rule" is that all money collected from Chance and Community Chest cards is placed under Free Parking. Whoever lands there gets any money that's there at the time. This rule has become so popular that it is now included as an official "variant" in the boxed set.

But despite the fact that these rules are all made up, they still exist. There are still real consequences for breaking them. Cheat, and you get kicked out of the game.

That humans have put our own metric upon the universe doesn't mean the metric is of no use and doesn't actually do what it is meant to do.


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.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 210 by prophet, posted 01-25-2009 6:19 PM prophet has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 214 by prophet, posted 01-25-2009 8:16 PM Rrhain has responded

    
prophet
Member (Idle past 3602 days)
Posts: 54
From: Florida
Joined: 01-19-2009


Message 212 of 249 (496015)
01-25-2009 7:17 PM
Reply to: Message 208 by Percy
01-25-2009 8:32 AM


Re: Standards (Prophet, from the Ark Volume thread)
Actually, I'm trying to keep it simple.

Truth: This is a word best avoided entirely in physics [and science]

This is taken from the first line of his post. The problem is it is taken insultingly, by my use of "lie." It was a way of expressing the diminished capisity of the so called "gray area" being so well developed by modern understanding that is attempting to corrupt truth. Just because science has yet to reach truth does not mean (by me) that it does not aspire to.

Edited by prophet, : Yes, it is posted incorrectly and so removed... to be posted properly.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 208 by Percy, posted 01-25-2009 8:32 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 213 by Percy, posted 01-25-2009 8:13 PM prophet has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18307
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 213 of 249 (496022)
01-25-2009 8:13 PM
Reply to: Message 212 by prophet
01-25-2009 7:17 PM


Re: Standards (Prophet, from the Ark Volume thread)
prophet writes:

Just because science has yet to reach truth does not mean (by me) that it does not aspire to.

Coyote provided various definitions of the word truth. If you're going to insist on using the word truth, and if you're also going to insist on not specifying which definition you're using, then no one can be sure what you're saying. Certainly if you're saying that science is searching for the supreme reality and the ultimate meaning, then you're wrong.

Science seeks to understand the natural world. By way of the scientific method it creates theories that make sense of and explain the evidence we find, allowing us to better understand the universe in which we live.

Just as discussion of the nature of science and the role of theory within science was off-topic in the Noah's Ark thread, topics from Noah's Ark are off-topic here. I suggest you repost the part of your post about Noah's Ark over in the other thread.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 212 by prophet, posted 01-25-2009 7:17 PM prophet has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 216 by prophet, posted 01-25-2009 10:14 PM Percy has responded

    
prophet
Member (Idle past 3602 days)
Posts: 54
From: Florida
Joined: 01-19-2009


Message 214 of 249 (496023)
01-25-2009 8:16 PM
Reply to: Message 211 by Rrhain
01-25-2009 6:33 PM


Incorrect. It has a very strict understanding: Some time other than now. If we're dealing with the past, previous to now. If we're dealing with the future, after now.


The past and future are relative to the distance in time allowed. If "now" is considered this century, this year, even this day, you are right. If now is considered "now" in which even the time to type it, puts it in the past - you are wrong... for I wrote the previous now - then. However, I do understand from "where" you are comming.

Cute... Spaceballs, (I've never really cared for woody.) I remember a simular display of the difficulties concerning reading words... by Festus Hagen. It can easily be found on UTube by a search of Festus Hagen when; Festus Parts the Waters. Go to 2:26 and start there. :)



Incorrect. The metric, once established, is accurate forever. The "21st Century" is an artificial construction, to be sure, but just because it is artificial doesn't mean it doesn't exist.



The "once it is established" is invalidated as it continues to change with time when the operative is "now" for that "now" becomes "then."
Of course, consider many variances of the "now"s use as an adverb, a noun, a adjective or a conjunction its meaning can be validated variously. All this exercise displays is; we are selecting our own prejudices as our foundation and that since your base is an ever moveable "now" and mine, a fixed position "now" we will probably not arrive at the same conclusion... then. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 211 by Rrhain, posted 01-25-2009 6:33 PM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 220 by Rrhain, posted 01-26-2009 5:47 AM prophet has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19754
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 6.3


Message 215 of 249 (496024)
01-25-2009 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 204 by prophet
01-24-2009 10:20 PM


posting tips
hello prophet, welcome to the fray.

"I clearly have no idea of science?" You know not what you think.

... as you are new here, some posting tips:

type [qs]quotes are easy[/qs] and it becomes:

quotes are easy

or type [quote]quotes are easy[/quote] and it becomes:

quote:
quotes are easy

also check out (help) links on any formating questions when in the reply window.

Since you got me here... I'll clue you in on something. truth, Truth TRUTH - and so on... is truth and anything short of that is not truth! An almost truth is still and untruth and an untruth is still a lie.

Except you cannot know if what you believe is true or not.

You also cannot know if a theory is true or false if there is no evidence contradicting it. It could be

===>> TRUTH <<===

or it could be
||| FALSE |||

Because you don't know, means that it cannot be a lie, as a lie is an intentional falsehood.

Ya'll sound so much cooler on-line.
By the way... I am so much cooler off line!

Curiously, your opinion on this matter is totally irrelevant to the issue of the truth of scientific theories.

Science tests concepts against reality and derives approximations of truth by the process of educated trial and error: predicting what we think will be true, and testing to see if it is false.

Science eliminates false concepts, but it is incapable of distinguishing between truth and what just is not known yet.

An almost truth is still and untruth and an untruth is still a lie.

As pointed out by Coyote, you don't know science. It is also apparent that you don't know logic.

This is known as the "all {A} is {B}, {B} therefore {A}" logical fallacy:

What is unknown is not a lie, there is the {B} that is not{A}. An unfalsified theory could be true, but the answer is unknown.

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 204 by prophet, posted 01-24-2009 10:20 PM prophet has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 217 by prophet, posted 01-25-2009 10:31 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
prophet
Member (Idle past 3602 days)
Posts: 54
From: Florida
Joined: 01-19-2009


Message 216 of 249 (496038)
01-25-2009 10:14 PM
Reply to: Message 213 by Percy
01-25-2009 8:13 PM


Re: Standards (Prophet, from the Ark Volume thread)
Just as discussion of the nature of science and the role of theory within science was off-topic in the Noah's Ark thread, topics from Noah's Ark are off-topic here. I suggest you repost the part of your post about Noah's Ark over in the other thread.


I moved it there. However, part of the reason for that post was to express the scientific method of obtaining results in a scientific manner. The integrity of scienctific investigations to maintian its accuracy during an investigation should not be compromised with the pedestrian methods I have witnessed.


The truth of which I discuss allows science to achieve resolve without the need of the supernatural, supreme reality or ultimate meaning as pertaining to God. However, Ultimate meaning can be confined to the purpose at hand, for example: discovering the feesability of the Ark. Could it have housed and fed the animals within the confines of the natural world and in accordance to its boundaries of time and space as given in the Bible? - excluding God's hand except under certain circumstances ie; The animals were "tamed" and they arrived at the Ark due to God's actions... any others?


Just as diverse institutions use their own language, example: lawyers
So to, does it seem science uses its own definitions at its will. This in no way validate them, but rather detracts from their own veracity. It is not good to impart obstructions in language to impair others. Either my dictionary is in error, or your dictionary is in error. In either case it is not our error only that of the foundation. See "Festus parts the waters," on Utube.


From Wikipedia:

the·o·ry
Function:noun
1: the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another
2: abstract thought : speculation
3: the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art
4 a: a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action b: an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances —often used in the phrase in theory
5: a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena
6 a: a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b: an unproved assumption : conjecture c: a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject
synonyms see hypothesis
----------------------------------------------
I take it this is not the definitions you prefer?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 213 by Percy, posted 01-25-2009 8:13 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 218 by Coyote, posted 01-25-2009 10:36 PM prophet has not yet responded
 Message 219 by Granny Magda, posted 01-25-2009 10:38 PM prophet has not yet responded
 Message 222 by Percy, posted 01-26-2009 8:34 AM prophet has responded

  
prophet
Member (Idle past 3602 days)
Posts: 54
From: Florida
Joined: 01-19-2009


Message 217 of 249 (496039)
01-25-2009 10:31 PM
Reply to: Message 215 by RAZD
01-25-2009 8:25 PM


Re: posting tips
thankx for the tip. because time here is spent without heat it is not as easy as it used to be, or will be once winter is over. The context of "lie" I used was to express the falling short of truth. Maybe, I probably should have offered that understanding as well, but their assumption was in error. A lie need not be intentional. Have a good evening I must retire...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 215 by RAZD, posted 01-25-2009 8:25 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 179 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 218 of 249 (496041)
01-25-2009 10:36 PM
Reply to: Message 216 by prophet
01-25-2009 10:14 PM


Definitions of "theory" and other terms
You still have not adequately addressed the detailed post I sent you with definitions of these terms as they are used in science.

Why should science care how the layman, or you, define these terms? Or a dictionary that includes all uses of the terms?

Science has the right, and the obligation, to precisely define the terms it uses so there is less confusion.

You seem to be doing just the opposite.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 216 by prophet, posted 01-25-2009 10:14 PM prophet has not yet responded

  
Granny Magda
Member
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 219 of 249 (496042)
01-25-2009 10:38 PM
Reply to: Message 216 by prophet
01-25-2009 10:14 PM


Re: Standards (Prophet, from the Ark Volume thread)
Hi Prophet,

quote:
So to, does it seem science uses its own definitions at its will. This in no way validate them, but rather detracts from their own veracity. It is not good to impart obstructions in language to impair others.

Science does not use it's terminology to obfuscate. In fact, the reverse is true. Science involves a lot of specialised terminology because science is a very complex business. Scientists are very particular in the way that they use such terms, not because they want to confuse anyone, but because they want to make sure that they are all talking about the same thing.

An example is Latin taxonomy in naming species. It may be a little intimidating, but using the Latin name as a universal standard way of naming a creature does away with the confusion that could be caused by differing use of common names around the world.

When scientists use the term "theory" to describe a body of knowledge, they are not using it in the same way that you or I might use it to describe an idea or hunch.

Let's be certain that we all understand each other here. The only way to achieve this is to agree on terminology, otherwise we will get nowhere.

quote:
Either my dictionary is in error, or your dictionary is in error.

I don't see any error. Look;

5: a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena

That is a brief potted version of what scientists mean by theory. It is certainly not the last word on the subject, but it is a start.

Too often, when creationists say something like "Evolution is only a theory.", they seem to be comparing the ToE to definition 2 from the Wiki;

2: abstract thought : speculation

That is most certainly not the sense employed in the phrase "Theory of Evolution". To conflate these two distinct meanings of the word "theory" is misleading. It is essentially a dishonest tactic. I hope that you will prove yourself to be above such behaviour.

Mutate and Survive


"The Bible is like a person, and if you torture it long enough, you can get it to say almost anything you'd like it to say." -- Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade
This message is a reply to:
 Message 216 by prophet, posted 01-25-2009 10:14 PM prophet has not yet responded

    
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 220 of 249 (496088)
01-26-2009 5:47 AM
Reply to: Message 214 by prophet
01-25-2009 8:16 PM


prophet responds to me:

quote:
The past and future are relative to the distance in time allowed.

Irrelevant. I never suggested otherwise. You have yet to provide any evidence that my response of what time it was was in any way inaccurate.

quote:
If "now" is considered this century, this year, even this day, you are right.

Huh? What does the metric have to do with anything? I certainly didn't provide one. I simply said that the time is "now." Are you telling me that I am not at "now" but am at some other point in time?

Please, let us not play dumb and start talking about the moment you receive this message in relation to the moment I wrote it.

quote:
(I've never really cared for woody.)

Huh? Do you mean Bill Pullman? Woody Harrelson wasn't in Spaceballs.

quote:
The "once it is established" is invalidated as it continues to change with time when the operative is "now" for that "now" becomes "then."

Incorrect. "The 21st Century" will still parcel out the same period of time no matter how many thens become now and then become thens again. An artificial metric is still a metric which describes an actual thing.

Hint: The universe is not dependent upon semantics. It really doesn't care about parts of speech.


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.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 214 by prophet, posted 01-25-2009 8:16 PM prophet has not yet responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 221 of 249 (496092)
01-26-2009 6:48 AM
Reply to: Message 204 by prophet
01-24-2009 10:20 PM


Re: Standards (Prophet, from the Ark Volume thread)
"I clearly have no idea of science?" You know not what you think.
Since you got me here... I'll clue you in on something. truth, Truth TRUTH - and so on... is truth and anything short of that is not truth!
An almost truth is still and untruth and an untruth is still a lie.

"When people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together." --- Dr Isaac Asimov

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by prophet, posted 01-24-2009 10:20 PM prophet has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18307
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 222 of 249 (496104)
01-26-2009 8:34 AM
Reply to: Message 216 by prophet
01-25-2009 10:14 PM


Re: Standards (Prophet, from the Ark Volume thread)
prophet writes:

From Wikipedia:
the·o·ry
Function:noun
1: the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another
2: abstract thought : speculation
3: the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art
4 a: a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action b: an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances —often used in the phrase in theory
5: a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena
6 a: a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b: an unproved assumption : conjecture c: a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject
synonyms see hypothesis

That isn't from Wikipedia. That's from a dictionary, it appears to be Merriam-Webster's definition of Theory. I don't see anything wrong with this definition, and I haven't quoted a dictionary definition to you in the past, so I have no idea why elsewhere in your post you say that one of our dictionaries must be wrong.

If you go the to subsection on science in the Wikipedia article on theory you'll see that for this discussion you want definition #5 from Merriam-Webster.

So too, does it seem science uses its own definitions at its will. This in no way validate them, but rather detracts from their own veracity.

Can you be more specific?

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Fix typo, I meant definition #5 from Merriam Webster.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 216 by prophet, posted 01-25-2009 10:14 PM prophet has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 223 by prophet, posted 01-26-2009 12:54 PM Percy has not yet responded
 Message 224 by prophet, posted 01-26-2009 2:53 PM Percy has responded
 Message 232 by prophet, posted 01-26-2009 9:31 PM Percy has not yet responded

    
prophet
Member (Idle past 3602 days)
Posts: 54
From: Florida
Joined: 01-19-2009


Message 223 of 249 (496133)
01-26-2009 12:54 PM
Reply to: Message 222 by Percy
01-26-2009 8:34 AM


Re: Standards (Prophet, from the Ark Volume thread)
Sorry, rick moranis... I thought it was woody allen. Yes I need glasses!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 222 by Percy, posted 01-26-2009 8:34 AM Percy has not yet responded

  
prophet
Member (Idle past 3602 days)
Posts: 54
From: Florida
Joined: 01-19-2009


Message 224 of 249 (496152)
01-26-2009 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 222 by Percy
01-26-2009 8:34 AM


Re: Standards (Prophet, from the Ark Volume thread)
Yes, you are right; it was from merriam webster dictionary and was provided by the wikipedia link.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 222 by Percy, posted 01-26-2009 8:34 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 225 by Percy, posted 01-26-2009 3:07 PM prophet has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18307
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 225 of 249 (496155)
01-26-2009 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 224 by prophet
01-26-2009 2:53 PM


Re: Standards (Prophet, from the Ark Volume thread)
Why are you putting your own words in quote boxes? If you need help with the dBCodes, click on dBcode Help.

There's no need to respond to corrections you agree with anyway. Why don't you respond to the substance of what people said?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 224 by prophet, posted 01-26-2009 2:53 PM prophet has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 228 by prophet, posted 01-26-2009 8:20 PM Percy has responded

    
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