15
   

Science Theory Is a Misunderstood Concept

 
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2016 08:16 am
To further illustrate this, consider the following:

One of the few reasons why GR was initially preferred to the Newtonian notion of gravity was that it better predicted the precession of Mercury's orbit.

It had previously been mathematically determined that Mercury's inexplicable patterns would be completely understandable if a theretofore undetected material body (dubbed "Vulcan") was influencing its motions.

The problem was that, despite exhaustive tests and searches, Vulcan was never "found."

Well, so what?, one might ask. Who the hell says that Vulcan has to be "detectable." Maybe it's just a chunk of "dark matter." If that's the case, then GR has no superiority in that respect.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2016 08:26 am
@wandeljw,
I think you might be describing engineers....
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2016 08:27 am
@DrewDad,
Also, rarely have I encountered a thread where it was so quickly apparent that some of these kooks need to be put on "ignore."
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2016 09:10 am
@layman,
layman wrote:
Who the hell says that Vulcan has to be "detectable." Maybe it's just a chunk of "dark matter." If that's the case, then GR has no superiority in that respect.


At last count, I think they were saying that only 5% of the universe consisted of "regular" matter. If you believe such "facts" about "dark matter" would you expect it to be so pervasive throughout the universe, but completely absent from the solar system?

Of course, if you don't believe in dark matter, then GR itself appears to have been falsified, so any "advantages" it claims over Newtonian gravity would be insignificant.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2016 10:48 am
@layman,
Quote:
Popper's criterion of "falsifiability" as a line of demarcation between science and pseudo-science is purely illusory.
Dont spoil my illusions. I think it a very workable construct as valid as the ""Lemon Test" in cases involving our First Amendment rights and duties. Many of the Thumpers herein would like it stricken since their "Science is a religion " bullshit has been nicely debunkulated.
And me a total skeptic that Philosophers are even able to wash their own hands without adult help.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2016 10:52 am
@layman,
To me, String Theory is a scientific hypothesis dressed up for Prime Time TV shows. It does Nat Geo much better than does surface chemistry of ligands and epigenetics.
Most people couldnt do dimensional analyses if their lives depended on it, but watch a few shows and read some natty web sites , and everyones an expert.

I havent heard or seen anyone here who works in the field so lets say that today's employability of theoretical"String Theory" physics is much like getting a PhD in "Museum STudies" its a small priesthood.

Whereas marketability of applied Relativity theory is quite open. "Gizmology", system clocks, satellites,ICAP,SHRIMP,Edax, GAs Chromatographs , GPS, international TV reception, Astrophysics , geophysics of earth as a fluid, etc etc have relativistic aspects of their stuff built in. Jobs go searching for applied theory people.

Even the obstetricians of String theory feel that theres a bit of woo hoo in there
layman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2016 11:05 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

To me, String Theory is a scientific hypothesis dressed up for Prime Time TV shows. It does Nat Geo much better than does surface chemistry of ligands and epigenetics.
Most people couldnt do dimensional analyses if their lives depended on it, but wath a few shows an read some natty web sites , and everyones an expert.

Even the obstetricians of String theory feel that theres a bit of woo hoo in there
Yeah, Farmer, as I already said, I completely agree with you. It's not "science" at all; it's math with a bunch of ludicrous, almost whimsical, assumptions (such as 11 dimensions) built into it.

I would just laugh if they hadn't been touting it as "cutting edge science" for the last 30 years. But, come to find out, it's not a joke.

But it's far from alone. "Theories" positing an infinite number of "unseen" alternate universes are likewise treated as bona fide science by the professionals.

To preface a claim with the assertion that "scientists say," is virtually meaningless these days, even if accurate.

The notion that all so-called "science" is based on fact is absurd. Even moreso the claim that scientific theories qualify to be called "facts.

farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2016 11:11 am
@layman,
I think youve gone over the edge to the land of unicorns a bit. As Stephen J said back in 1981
Quote:
A " fact" in science means data, not absolute certainty but "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of such facts.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2016 11:18 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

Dont spoil my illusions. I think it a very workable construct as valid as the ""Lemon Test" in cases involving our First Amendment rights and duties. Many of the Thumpers herein would like it stricken since their "Science is a religion " bullshit has been nicely debunkulated.
And me a total skeptic that Philosophers are even able to wash their own hands without adult help.


Heh. Well, as I said, what I am calling "philosophers of science" here includes many theoretical scientists. If you wanted to be fair, you might want to consider the problems and concepts which lead them to reject Popper's criterion, rather than just reject them based on personal preference
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2016 11:21 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

I think youve gone over the edge to the land of unicorns a bit. As Stephen J said back in 1981
Quote:
A " fact" in science means data, not absolute certainty but "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of such facts.



"Over the edge?" He, like me, is making a clear distinction between what a fact is, and what a theory is. Like the poster I agreed with said, a "theory" is a suggested explanation of facts. It is not, itself, a fact.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2016 06:40 pm
@layman,
and is not , therefore, a fact in itself? I think thats what Gould meant as the thesis of his article

farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Nov, 2016 06:48 pm
@farmerman,
Further, from Gould's same article
Quote:
The basic attack of modern creationists falls apart on two general counts before we even reach the supposed factual details of their assault against evolution. First, they play upon a vernacular misunderstanding of the word "theory" to convey the false impression that we evolutionists are covering up the rotten core of our edifice. Second, they misuse a popular philosophy of science to argue that they are behaving scientifically in attacking evolution. Yet the same philosophy demonstrates that their own belief is not science, and that "scientific creationism" is a meaningless and self-contradictory phrase, an example of what Orwell called "newspeak."

In the American vernacular, "theory" often means "imperfect fact"—part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus creationists can (and do) argue: evolution is "only" a theory, and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is less than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): "Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science—that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was."

Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret these facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2016 12:34 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:


Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret these facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them.


Well, Farmer, I'm not sure what you trying to get at. Gould here is once again making a clear distinction between theory and fact. So, what does he mean, when he says this?: "Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact."

Well, let's start with what he DOESN'T mean (as he makes clear). He is not saying "The theory of evolution is identical to the fact of evolution."

He illustrates the difference himself using Newton. It is a "fact" that "things fall." That won't change. I'm not going to drop a coin, just to see it float motionless in mid-air and never hit the floor. We call that "gravity." But it's just a label. In truth nobody has ever been able to explain what gravity "is." We have mathematical formulas which describe (but NOT explain) how "gravity"' works.

A quote from Newton here might help:

Quote:
That gravity should be innate, inherent, and essential to matter, so that one body may act upon another at a distance through a vacuum, without the mediation of anything else, by and through which their action and force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an absurdity that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking can ever fall into it.


Hypothesis non fingo, he said (I make no pretense to explaining how and why gravity "works"). Math is not physical science, and he was well aware of that. He had no "theory of gravity" at all, only a (mathematical) "law of gravity."
layman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2016 01:05 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

and is not , therefore, a fact in itself? I think thats what Gould meant as the thesis of his article


I don't know how much clearer he can make it that theories are not facts. He says:

Quote:
... facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty.


The "fact" of gravity might be stated as "things fall"
The "fact" of evolution might be stated as "things change."

Those are observable facts. But they are NOT theories.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2016 03:49 am
@layman,
.
Quote:
He is not saying "The theory of evolution is identical to the fact of evolution."
Actually he sorta IS. The title of his article is "Evolution, theory and fact". The theory is supported by the underlying facts. Therefore the Theory is also a fact. (Not all facts are identical but they are equivalent in their support of the theory)

The point that the Thumpers have tried to make is that, in science, a theory is just speculation. Thats the bullshit. Also, a LAW is a provable statement that can be expressed by an equation. Thats all
layman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2016 03:56 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

Quote:
He is not saying "The theory of evolution is identical to the fact of evolution."
Actually he IS. The title of his article is "Evolution, theory and fact".


Farmer, I'm afraid you are just once again proving your lack of reading comprehension. You're just embarrassing yourself now, homey. Try reading more than the title sometime, eh?

Well, at least you're helping Ed prove the claim he made when entitling this thread, eh? "Science Theory Is a Misunderstood Concept"
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2016 04:12 am
@layman,
So you are saying that the theory of evolution sits at a level different from that of the facts that support it?.

All the available evidence (so far) supports the theory, and NONE refutes it.


layman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2016 04:19 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

So you are saying that the theory of evolution sits at a level different from that of the facts that support it?.

All the available evidence (so far) supports the theory, and NONE refutes it.


I'm sure your devout expression of faith is appreciated by some, Farmer, but, tell me, what is THE theory of evolution, as you're using the term?

Since you can't discern the difference between fact and theory to begin with, my question is strictly rhetorical. It is designed to help you clarify your own concepts. But, truth be told, I don't expect it to help any.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2016 04:25 am
@farmerman,
My theory is that grass is green.
My theory is that the sky is blue.
My theory is that life forms have changed over time.

These are all similar, and they share a common trait. NONE of them qualifies as a "scientific theory."

Are you using "theory" is the sense I used it in my third example there?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Nov, 2016 04:25 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
I'm afraid you are just once again proving your lack of reading comprehension. You're just embarrassing yourself now, homey. Try reading more than the title sometime, eh?

Back atcha Lamont. The neat thing about being a scientist is that we hold on to facts and theories fairly lightly. Ignorance is a gift as it gives us space to wander about and learn. I dont claim inerrancy because everything I deal with is subject to further understanding and clarification. But if you wish to dispute Gould's own summation maybe Im not the one with any "comprehension issues"
. You seem to be getting more and more strident and insulting with your replies and contributions.
 

Related Topics

New Propulsion, the "EM Drive" - Question by TomTomBinks
The Science Thread - Discussion by Wilso
Why do people deny evolution? - Question by JimmyJ
Are we alone in the universe? - Discussion by Jpsy
Fake Science Journals - Discussion by rosborne979
Controvertial "Proof" of Multiverse! - Discussion by littlek
 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 11/27/2021 at 04:38:48