Should we believe what scientists say? (Page 10)
Enkidu2017: well its a good things things try to make themselves comprehensible to us humans cause we sure need to know ............. or at least like to think we know .
Blackshoes: All very interesting points Ac. However, It pretty much leaves science as little more than just a guess or assumptions in general?
AchillesSinatra: No, I wouldn't say that, Blackshoes.
I'd be confident the next sample of copper we test will conduct electricity.
Wouldn't you be?
Blackshoes: I 'm confident about a number of things within Science 'many disagree with my opinions. There again it seems that perception shouldn't be allowed to play any role. How does science make such decisions without upsetting the apple cart?
Note : that I often agree with your take on such matters.
(Edited by Blackshoes)
AchillesSinatra: "There again it seems that perception shouldn't be allowed to play any role." - Blackshoes
I haven't a clue what that means.
How would empirical science be conducted without perception?
Closing one's eyes and thinking of lemurs?
zeffur: Re: "Achilles942: @ Zeffur In your two most recent posts, by demanding that scientific claims be verifiable (i.e. provable) it seems to me you'd be pretty much emasculating science....
We can certainly verify that this particular sample of copper conducts electricity, or that particular lump of sodium burns with a yellow flame. We cannot verify generalizations of the kind more quintessentially scientific such as "(all) copper conducts electricity"."
I defined a suitable solution in science as essentially:
A. Verified claims
B. Speculation claims
C. A clear line dividing A & B
It isn't emasculating science to expect truth & clarity. It is useful for all of humanity to expect what I've suggested above. Nothing is left out--all that it does is create a clear separation between what is proven to be true & what is not proven. Of course, I'm sure we'd have to nail those standards down too, because there will always be weasels who will try to make it seem like their speculations are true when they are not.
One would hope phrases such as "(all) copper conducts electricity"
would be redefined as something like: "The electrical conductivity of copper depends upon it's purity for a given shape/geometry." Then show a table of electrical conductivities based on various standardized samples of copper: e.g.: copper ores, smelted copper of a given purity, oxygen free copper, etc.
re: "Were we to follow your advice, science would be little more than a catalogue of particular facts, stripped of all predictive power."
That ^^ is totally false. What I've described would hold them more accountable & still give them the ability to be predictive within their speculation writings. Engineers would of course love the proven bits & enjoy intuitively reading their speculations as well.
zeffur: Using your Einstein analogy with respect to 'science' writings:
It matters not that the scientist can't see inside the watch. The watch is real, it's functions are real, & both can be defined, tested, & proven to be true.
As for the speculations of how the inner mechanism 'may' work or even how to make a mechanism/s that would work--I have no problem with any scientist making such speculations or even predicting how a mechanism of his/her own imagination might or would likely work--hell--even if s/he built one that functioned exactly as the watched functioned--but, without being able to open the watch & see exactly how it actually functions--we can't say such a scientist's ideas or designs or even working prototype/s are the same as what happens inside the watch--and I'm perfectly ok with that. If the scientist watch designer/maker makes an equivalent functioning device that now allows mankind to make it's own watches--then we've all advanced & benefited from her/his genius--even if we don't know the truth about the inner workings of the original watch...
I reiterate my position again--keeping truth & speculation clearly separated is best for clarity, imo. It would eliminate the evolutionists who go on about with their 'evolution is fact' claims--and rightfully so, imo.
theHating: " I had a ring-tail (with baby) on my back this morning "
That is all I needed to confirm my belief in god. <3
theHating: When I was young, we used to go to the zoo and I always remember being fascinated by the furry cat-apes
zeffur: Re: Einstein's theories as a tool for our 'science' practices discussion:
re: "This is a gross distortion, I'm afraid. None of Einstein's theories has been proven, indeed none of them CAN be proven."
I disagree. Start here: http://www.astronomy.com/news/2018/09/5-times-einstein-was-wrong and then here: https://www.newsweek.com/three-einsteins-100-year-old-scientific-theories-have-been-proven-right-weeks-1029558
re: "What we can conclude, then, is that certain predictions have been borne out; not that the theory has been proven."
Agreed. Sometimes that's just the best that we can achieve at a given moment in time. We may never be able to prove or disprove all of the claims offered in a theory--but, it's far better than listening to the twaddle from ToE munchkins about how the ToE is 'fact'--when there is ZERO credible proof that life on earth evolved from a single organism to today's complex organisms primarily via mutations & natural selections that can't be tested or shown to have EVER occurred. That kind of drivel needs to be stopped in it's tracks! It's making a mockery out of science.
re: "Well, what if we were to test ALL the predictions that can be derived from GR and they were ALL borne out?"
Well, first off, we need to ensure the testing methods & conclusions are not the next things to be gamed by weasel scientists. We already see misrepresentation of the evidence & false claims offered as true. There needs to be a serious tightening up in science in that regard.
re: "...let's pretend for a while and imagine that we have tested all the consequences of GR and they were all borne out. Is the theory NOW proven? Nope!"
No, not necessarily. If there are 100 tests & we can only really accurately test 10 of them with modern tech, then there may be other tests that cause those confirmations to be on shaky ground. It's about like asking a person to define the truth by giving her/him one clue at a time. The better the clues s/he gets the better her/his chance of getting the truth right. That's why we shouldn't leap to conclusions in science when we have a very limited amount of certainty in our confirmations. We should also do the most important tests first, whenever possible--because testing order can certainly make a difference, too.
re: "...Now we have the problem of "underdetermination of theories by evidence"[--i.e.:] any given body of evidence (e.g. all the predictions we derived and tested from GR) is compatible with a plurality of theories[--] there may be other, perhaps unthought of, theories which yield exactly the same predictions as GR does, but are logically incompatible with GR...And if they're logically incompatible, they can't all be true.. "
Super, I'm all for eliminating any confirmation errors that we might realize after the fact. Whether they be bias errors, methodology errors, or any other type of errors. The point is the more we learn that can help us to improve our confirmation accuracies, the better. I don't see it as a problem--we just have to ensure the latest information is available to all that need/want access to it.
Also, the haphazard manner in which information (especially corrections) is made available to the public needs to be greatly improved. Personally, I prefer a single internet repository for all scientific knowledge that is publicly available free of charge. Poorly distributed news stories via TV, radio, & papers, often poorly informs people--and we rarely hear/see science errors being corrected until long after the fact. That should be improved also.
If we can't rely on science to define what is true & communicate it to us effectively as well as share their speculations about what they think might be true & their reasons why they think as they do, then what is their purpose or benefit to society--and why should we continue to fund their endeavors with taxpayer funds??
AchillesSinatra: @ Zeffur
On page 8 you tell us: (similar remarks can be found elsewhere)
"As before, science ought to be about what is real, true, & provable."
Thus, in your view, that which is not "real, true, & provable" is not science.
Most recently, in response to my comment...
"Were we to follow your advice, science would be little more than a catalogue of particular facts, stripped of all predictive power."
... you reply with outrage (your first post on this page):
"That ^^ is totally false. What I've described would hold them more accountable & still give them the ability to be predictive within their speculation writings."
So, by your own criteria, given that these "speculative writings" are not proven to be true, the predictive power thus yielded has nothing to with bona fide science. Whatever it is they're doing to gain this predictive power, on your own account, it's not science.
You're contradicting yourself.
I repeat once more: ""Were we to follow your advice, science would be little more than a catalogue of particular facts, stripped of all predictive power."
AchillesSinatra: "I disagree. Start here: http://www.astronomy.com/news/2018/09/5-times-einstein-was-wrong and then here: https://www.newsweek.com/three-einsteins-100-year-old-scientific-theories-have-been-proven-right-weeks-1029558" - Zeffur
Einstein's theories have been proven right?
I haven't even looked at the links (maybe later), but I hereby suggest whoever wrote the article doesn't know what he he/she is talking about.
As I've noted before, scientists, with a few exceptions, tend to be somewhat clueless about and indeed hostile to, the philosophy of science.
The upshot of all this is that the uninformed tend to produce one howler after another.
Wanna hear a scientist voice one screaming absurdity after another -- one demonstrably false claim after another -- on metascientific issues?
Just listen to Richard Dawkins or Lawrence Krauss.
AchillesSinatra: Ok, Zeffur, I just took a look at the link you posted about Einstein's theories being "proven true".
Just a glance at the first paragraph is a dead giveaway...
"In recent weeks, several groups of scientists have published studies testing some of Albert Einstein's famous theories, finding that they work in previously untested situations."
Read that as "Certain CONSEQUENCES of Einsten's theories that were hitherto untested have been borne out".
Let's assume all the test results are as claimed (I've no idea if they are).
We're back to "All copper conducts electricity" again, I'm afraid. What they're telling you is tantamount to "Certain samples of copper we'd never tested before (on the Moon, perhaps) do indeed conduct electricity".
What we might reasonably conclude, then, (and even this is controversial), is that we now have further evidence to confirm (not prove, mind you) the hypothesis that all copper conducts electricity.
Have you tested copper on the nearest star for electrical conductivity? Have you tested copper samples from the Jurassic period for conductivity? How about copper in the year 3000 AD?
No? Then we cannot even begin to speak of your theory having been proven.
Likewise, assuming the new test results for Einstein's theories are kosher, what we might reasonably conclude is that said theories now enjoy a greater degree of evidential support than they did previously.
And to repeat, even to say this much is disputed. Remember David Hume and Karl Popper, for example?
theHating: "what we might reasonably conclude is that said theories now enjoy a greater degree of evidential support than they did previously."
This is called, "letting it ride".
zeffur: re: "You're contradicting yourself."
No, you err in your thinking. Both the proofs & the speculations can & should be based on scientific inquiry & rigorous scientific investigation & testing--but, only some of it will have been proven & meet the proper criterion for being allowed in the 'Proofs' section. The rest of it should be in a separate section & clearly labeled as "Speciulations", which includes unproven beliefs, predictions, further areas of inquiry, etc. They both exist in the same document & both are based on science principles, methods, & practices.
And then, when we encounter twaddle from the likes of Dawkins going on & on about evolution did thus & such or this evolved into that, we can all just say to him..."What you claim is inconsistent with proven 'evolution theory'. Perhaps you should put together your best evidence & attempt to get it added as a proof of the theory--otherwise, what you've stated is mildly interesting but mostly warrants the impulse to tell you to 'push off, you charlatan'.
AchillesSinatra: I give up
First you tell us real science is about that which is true and provably so.
Then you tell us real science can still enjoy predictive power -- based on unproven speculation.
You can't have it both ways, pal.
zeffur: re: ""...real science is about that which is true and provably so."
Science should be focused on truth as best we can define it--but, that doesn't imply that we should ignore other useful ideas that intelligent people can offer based on their other findings. If fact, I've stated as much in my previous writing & the benefits from having such information available to others. But, what we need is to get science out of the science fiction realm & back to reality...