15
   

Science Theory Is a Misunderstood Concept

 
 
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 05:35 am
I thought this one factoid deserves a thread of its own. While I am far from being a scientist and I have a poor educational background, even I know that a theory is based in fact, not in speculation or faith-like belief. I am continually astounded that so many posters on able2know don't know this. The theory of evolution is composed of facts that cannot be reasonably disputed.
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 06:40 am
@edgarblythe,
With respect, naive use of the word "fact" implies that "reality" is independent of the existence or actions of "observers". At a deeper level, the etymology of the word "fact" is from the Latin facere (to construct), from which we can argue that "theories based on facts" are agreed constructions of observers working within a mutual self consistent paradigm. Thus, for example, what were considered"facts" about the "humours of the body" in the Middles ages, have in recent times been deconstructed/reconstructed in terms modern "physiological" paradigms. In short a theory involves the perception of "reality" through a particular set of selective spectacles which covertly define what constitutes "facts".
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 06:44 am
@fresco,
Reality is independent of observers. As always, you conflate descriptions of reality with reality itself. You do this because you have a polemical stake in making such a claim, not because you claim is founded in anything more substantial than a silly philosopher's word game.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 09:08 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.

Werner Heisenberg.

Quote:
Physics is to be regarded not so much as the study of something a priori given, but rather as the development of methods of ordering and surveying human experience.

Niels Bohr (Italics mine).


Quote:
Quantum physics says goodbye to reality

Some physicists are uncomfortable with the idea that all individual quantum events are innately random. This is why many have proposed more complete theories, which suggest that events are at least partially governed by extra "hidden variables". Now physicists from Austria claim to have performed an experiment that rules out a broad class of hidden-variables theories that focus on realism -- giving the uneasy consequence that reality does not exist when we are not observing it

(Nature 446 871)
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 09:15 am
Sorry i offended your religion, Fresco . . . it's good to see you have some scripture to consol you.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 09:23 am
@Setanta,
Naah!...For "scripture" you needed me to quote "silly" (sic) philosophers, rather than celebrated physicists who have worked at the cutting edge of theory development.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 09:37 am
The first two are just preaching your religious message, and willfully or otherwise equating descriptions of reality with reality itself--just what you always do. The Nature quote concerns quantum reality, which may indeed involve an interaction between observer and matter and energy--which is not evidence that the same obtains at all levels of reality and observation.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 10:20 am
@Setanta,
Boring !....You are following the traditional naive realism route! When you have worked out how "perception" does NOT involve an interaction between observer and observed, or how "an event" can be defined independent of an observer, let us know ! Wink
wandeljw
 
  4  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 10:34 am
There are fundamental scientific facts that remain the same no matter who the observer is. 2.01588 grams of hydrogen combined with 15.9994 grams of oxygen will produce 18.01528 grams of water.

Science theories are explanations. It is possible to judge whose theory is more accurate.
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 10:43 am
@fresco,
You're pretty boring yourself--when you work out how perception is not a description of reality, let us know. It still won't constitute evidence that reality has no existence independent of perception, or obsesrvation, or language, whatever sacred words you wish to play with. I am gratified to see that you have a religious faith to console you.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 10:50 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Quote:
We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.

Werner Heisenberg.
That looks to me as if Heisenberg is saying nature exists without us observing it. It's just our observations only reveal the parts we question.
gungasnake
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 10:50 am
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
The theory of evolution is composed of facts that cannot be reasonably disputed.


You expect to be taken seriously when spouting bullshit like that??
fresco
 
  0  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 10:56 am
@wandeljw,
CORRECTION:

There are fundamental scientific facts that remain the same PROVIDED THE OBSERVER IS RECENT MEMBER OF THE SPECIES HOMO SAPIENS. 2.01588 grams of hydrogen combined with 15.9994 grams of oxygen will produce 18.01528 grams of water.

All is relative to agreed developing paradigms....e.g the meaning of "hydrogen"," gram" and even "matter" and "energy".

And note that "sameness" is about the pre-occupation of our species to "predict and control". The problem is that such prediction and control is ultimately limited because we ourselves are an inextricable component of that "reality" we aspire to control.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 11:01 am
@fresco,
Reality doesn't give a damn about which word you want to use to describe it fresco. Nor does it care about which system of mass you use.

Quote:
The problem is that such prediction and control is ultimately limited because we ourselves are an inextricable component of that "reality" we aspire to control.
That seems to describe your psychosis rather well.
fresco
 
  0  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 11:03 am
@parados,
No. Reference to Heisenberg's "uncertainty principle" should clarify the point that "is-ness" depends on the interests of the observer. i.e. If you want to know about "position" you cannot know about "momentum" and vice versa. And in answer to the delimiting of this principle to the quantum level (which btw is relative to humans) the principle is also valid in other fields such as frequency versus amplitude analysis of waveforms.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 11:08 am
@parados,
Quote:
That seems to describe your psychosis rather well

Laughing
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 11:12 am
@fresco,
Quote:
If you want to know about "position" you cannot know about "momentum" and vice versa
Gosh. You mean you can only find out about the part you question? If I take a car engine apart to see how it works, you mean I can't tell how fast the car goes at the same time? What a revelation fresco. Glad you could be the one to reveal that to us.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 11:22 am
@parados,
No dear, it means that by electing to observe the one, the other is rendered progressively MEANINGLESS/ HAS NO EXISTENCE.

(BTW I note from your gravity comment that your understanding of mathematical modelling is somewhat limited. Newton did not provide the mathematical model but a mathematical model which successfully predicted the observations of bodies which were of a certain size and velocity relative to humans. The limited acceptance of Newtons laws has more to do with functional elegance than it has to do with "reality". )
parados
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 11:30 am
@fresco,
BTW your comment about my comment about Newton shows you have limited abilities when using the English language. Doesn't that mean your reality is limited by your failure to understand what you observe?
wandeljw
 
  4  
Reply Tue 26 Jun, 2012 11:33 am
@fresco,
Most scientists are not interested in the philosophical definition of reality. Scientists are interested in useful explanations and practical solutions.
 

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