The Limits of Science

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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skakos
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The Limits of Science

Post by skakos » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:41 pm

Science is a great tool. But can science ("exact science" to be exact) investigate everything? Can it investigate things which cannot be replicated in a laboratory? Can it investigate things which cannot be measured? Can it investigate things which happen only once? What do you think are limits of Science?

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by jinx » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:53 am

Anything in the past (even yesterday) is forever lost to observational science and so falls into the category of forensic/historical science. The further back in time/less historical records there is for an event the more 'inferences' have to be made and so the more possibility there is of being wrong. Even in the present though science starts with faith, faith that the world is real, faith that mans senses are not deceiving him, faith that the laws of the universe will not change tomorrow without those first faith based assumptions science doesnt get done.

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by skakos » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:24 pm

jinx wrote:Anything in the past (even yesterday) is forever lost to observational science and so falls into the category of forensic/historical science. The further back in time/less historical records there is for an event the more 'inferences' have to be made and so the more possibility there is of being wrong. Even in the present though science starts with faith, faith that the world is real, faith that mans senses are not deceiving him, faith that the laws of the universe will not change tomorrow without those first faith based assumptions science doesnt get done.
You are right. And I would add more: For example Faith that logic actually works is one of them...

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by jinx » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:07 pm

Yep totally.

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by Arising_uk » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:17 pm

jinx wrote:Anything in the past (even yesterday) is forever lost to observational science and so falls into the category of forensic/historical science. The further back in time/less historical records there is for an event the more 'inferences' have to be made and so the more possibility there is of being wrong. Even in the present though science starts with faith, faith that the world is real, faith that mans senses are not deceiving him, faith that the laws of the universe will not change tomorrow without those first faith based assumptions science doesnt get done.
The problem of Induction is well known in philosophy as are the metaphysical underpinnings of science as it came from philosophy. If you mean "faith" as confidence then I think you correct but if you mean it in the religious sense, which given your beliefs I suspect you do, then no science does not work without a reason for its beliefs.

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by jinx » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:26 am

The problem of Induction is well known in philosophy as are the metaphysical underpinnings of science as it came from philosophy. If you mean "faith" as confidence then I think you correct but if you mean it in the religious sense, which given your beliefs I suspect you do, then no science does not work without a reason for its beliefs.
I dont want to putrefy up this thread with 'evolution'. No i am not referring to the kind of faith the atheism cult has (in the sense of blind ignorant dogmatic faith in a process that has never been observed). The faith in science is faith in those starting axioms.

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by Ginkgo » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:04 am

jinx wrote:
The problem of Induction is well known in philosophy as are the metaphysical underpinnings of science as it came from philosophy. If you mean "faith" as confidence then I think you correct but if you mean it in the religious sense, which given your beliefs I suspect you do, then no science does not work without a reason for its beliefs.
I dont want to putrefy up this thread with 'evolution'. No i am not referring to the kind of faith the atheism cult has (in the sense of blind ignorant dogmatic faith in a process that has never been observed). The faith in science is faith in those starting axioms.

One can argue that natural selection is an axiom or postulate of biology and evolutionary theory. So yes, it is a belief in choosing a particular starting point. Theoretical physics makes use of mathematical axioms as a starting point. The difference when it comes to science is that regardless of the type of axiom used these postulates are not set in stone. If the evidence becomes intolerable then the postulates are rejected in favour of a difference set of 'beliefs'

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by jinx » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:55 am

N/M

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by Arising_uk » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:36 pm

jinx wrote:... The faith in science is faith in those starting axioms.
Agreed, as long as you mean confidence when you say faith.

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by jinx » Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:40 am

Atheists have a hypochondriac moment when they realise they have 'faith'

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith

confidence or trust in a person or thing

Everyone on earth has faith when they are driving their car, faith the brakes will work when they push them. You have faith right now that the light travel time from the screen to your eyes is getting the message across correctly.

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by Dunce » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:42 pm

But this 'faith' we are talking about could be a working assumption that a scientist might be quite happy to have proved wrong. Of course this is rarely the case. Discovering the theoretical basis of your branch of science to be flawed would result in a loss of pride, prestige and funding. There is a difference, however, between having the basis of your profession undermined and having the basis of what you believe to be human morality undermined. Any implied equivalence between science and religion when it comes to what they place faith in is therefore simplistic. We need to understand qualitative differences between different manifestations of faith if we are to to understand the nature of faith.

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by Arising_uk » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:59 pm

jinx wrote:Atheists have a hypochondriac moment when they realise they have 'faith'
Not at all, as you've confirmed that you're talking about "faith" as "confidence" I agree and have always known this kind of faith, as its based upon reason.
everyone on earth has faith when they are driving their car, ...
I do have confidence when I am driving a car and the reason is that I've learnt to drive.
faith the brakes will work when they push them. ...
I do have confidence that the brakes will work when I push them and the reasons are that I test them as soon as I pull away and I have confidence that I keep them maintained, of course there is always malfunctions but I have reason to believe that I've done all I can in this respect.
You have faith right now that the light travel time from the screen to your eyes is getting the message across correctly.
Ah! Now, I have confidence that I am seeing a message and I believe its due to light but with respect to the actual message I'm suspicious, as given your beliefs I suspect you wish to equate the faith of confidence in a person or thing that you agree the scientists has is the same as the religious persons and I doubt this, unless of course you can produce this person or thing? As the faith of the religious is confidence without reason, i.e. reason plays no part in such a faith or belief.

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by skakos » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:14 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
jinx wrote:Anything in the past (even yesterday) is forever lost to observational science and so falls into the category of forensic/historical science. The further back in time/less historical records there is for an event the more 'inferences' have to be made and so the more possibility there is of being wrong. Even in the present though science starts with faith, faith that the world is real, faith that mans senses are not deceiving him, faith that the laws of the universe will not change tomorrow without those first faith based assumptions science doesnt get done.
The problem of Induction is well known in philosophy as are the metaphysical underpinnings of science as it came from philosophy. If you mean "faith" as confidence then I think you correct but if you mean it in the religious sense, which given your beliefs I suspect you do, then no science does not work without a reason for its beliefs.
"Faith" is different from what we call "blind faith". A huge difference actually.
Most religious people, as well as most scientists, use "faith", NOT "blind stupid faith".
When you say something based on some evidence, indications and/or logical arguments, then you are using "faith".
When you wake up in the morning and out of the blue say "I will rain frogs today", well... this is another thing...

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by skakos » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:16 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
jinx wrote:Atheists have a hypochondriac moment when they realise they have 'faith'
Not at all, as you've confirmed that you're talking about "faith" as "confidence" I agree and have always known this kind of faith, as its based upon reason.
Would the sentence "the Universe has a First Cause/ Primary Mover" be logical for you?

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Re: The Limits of Science

Post by skakos » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:18 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
You have faith right now that the light travel time from the screen to your eyes is getting the message across correctly.
Ah! Now, I have confidence that I am seeing a message and I believe its due to light but with respect to the actual message I'm suspicious, as given your beliefs I suspect you wish to equate the faith of confidence in a person or thing that you agree the scientists has is the same as the religious persons and I doubt this, unless of course you can produce this person or thing? As the faith of the religious is confidence without reason, i.e. reason plays no part in such a faith or belief.
Would Gödel count as a "logical" person?
He even wrote a proof for the existence of God.
And he was the greatest logician in this planet, second only to the founder of Logic Aristotle (who also believed in things like... "First Cause" - see my question above)...

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