The Folly of Modern Science

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

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:33 am

Systematic wrote:There is the insistence that everything that is not proven beyond the shadow of a doubt by the scientific method already is not up for discussion. The thing about all new hypotheses is that they are hypothetical. Ironically a new scientific idea would have more luck with the Pope.

I'm sure that pre-Darwin scientists had plenty of proofs for why God created all of the diverse species.
All mathematical proofs are self referral and so are beyond doubt.

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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by thedoc » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:00 pm

Systematic wrote: I think I might be getting into the territory of education in this topic. Too bad. And I'll tell you why "too bad". Modern schools are often authoritarian. You agree with the professor, or you get a bad grade and fail. So basically you probably get at least some resonant ignorance (i.e. their professor was told by their professor was told by their professor, and so on).
And this is one of the reasons I got out of teaching, but I can see the advantage in the class room, it avoids the endless "what if's" that follow, if you let the subject open. When my older daughter was in HS we were discussing her school work, and on one subject I told her that there was more to it, but she insisted that the information she had was all there was.

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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:02 pm

Systematic wrote:What I am saying is this: science can do experiments and observe, but in order to cross over into theoretical knowledge, there is this extra step--interpretation. And not every interpretation is created equal. So they should be open to diverse interpretations even if they are accustomed to one or a few. EDIT: Some of their theories are imperfect. For example special relativity doesn't fit with quantum mechanics.

I think I might be getting into the territory of education in this topic. Too bad. And I'll tell you why "too bad". Modern schools are often authoritarian. You agree with the professor, or you get a bad grade and fail. So basically you probably get at least some resonant ignorance (i.e. their professor was told by their professor was told by their professor, and so on).
Yes. Interpretation is indeed the issue. One can have "evidence" and not recognize it as "evidence," or one can have something that is not "evidence" but suppose that it is. To illustrate: that's the task of the coroner at a murder scene. He has to ask himself if the presence of a can opener and a puddle of water on the floor is to be regarded as part of the "evidence" of a murder, or are those items merely incidental and, say, the picture on the dresser and the knife in the drawer "evidence"? Well, it depends on what actually happened, doesn't it? It depends on one's theory of the crime, but also on whether or not there was a crime in the first place.

So in the same way, it seems possible to look at creation and see design. Or it seems possible to look at it and see nothing but natural forces plus the effects of protracted time. It can be seen as "evidence" or not. But the basic question remains the same: has a "crime" -- or in this case, a "creation" -- actually taken place here.

Yet one caveat: we need to note that the sides are not balanced. For IF there actually is the property of design in what we are observing -- say, complex, purposeful arrangements with teleological possibility -- then it gets harder to argue that one is looking at a random event instead of a deliberate creation....just as if we find a smoking gun in the room, and a bullet in the victim's head, deliberate death looks more likely than accidental death. The intuition may not be conclusive -- after all, perhaps the victim was cleaning his gun and it discharged -- but such evidence is most leading, and suggests the right kind of hypothesis to try out first. And if there were multiple "smoking guns" in the room, both accident and suicide would become more unlikely explanations...again, not impossible, but even less likely as a hypothesis.

The design argument points to just that: a billion "smoking guns" (indicators of design) in a single "room" (the cosmos). And it asks what is most plausible for us to suppose by way of a first hypothesis. It does not, therefore, have to exclude or prove false the non-design hypothesis, but only to point out that that hypothesis is far less likely and reasonable than the alternative.

In other words, it asks what "interpretation" is most reasonable here.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:08 pm

thedoc wrote:
Systematic wrote: I think I might be getting into the territory of education in this topic. Too bad. And I'll tell you why "too bad". Modern schools are often authoritarian. You agree with the professor, or you get a bad grade and fail. So basically you probably get at least some resonant ignorance (i.e. their professor was told by their professor was told by their professor, and so on).
And this is one of the reasons I got out of teaching, but I can see the advantage in the class room, it avoids the endless "what if's" that follow, if you let the subject open. When my older daughter was in HS we were discussing her school work, and on one subject I told her that there was more to it, but she insisted that the information she had was all there was.
That's too bad. I'm sure you were a good teacher, because you don't foreclose questions. The system needs more of that, and less of the other.

Interestingly, I find that kids themselves want to foreclose questions. They want "the answer," and they want it now. They want to know they "got it right" and will "get the mark." That's why many of them prefer things like science and maths to the humanities or arts...the former has predictability, and the latter has openness.

Philosophy is perhaps the most "dangerously open-ended" kind of subject for them, which may be part of the reason it's so rarely offered in schools. Teachers tend to fear its inconclusiveness and openness to question, and students fear its unpredictability as a producer of the mark. But it's too bad: for wherever philosophical issues do arise in the curricula, I have found that some kids are passionately interested to a level of interest they have for no other subject.

Just my view.

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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by socratus » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:24 pm

Systematic wrote:There is the insistence that everything that is not proven beyond the shadow
of a doubt by the scientific method already is not up for discussion.
The thing about all new hypotheses is that they are hypothetical.
Ironically a new scientific idea would have more luck with the Pope.

I'm sure that pre-Darwin scientists had plenty of proofs for why God created all of the diverse species.
Lee Smolin “ The trouble with Physics”

“ . . . . . at least one big idea is missing.
How do we find that missing idea? “
/ Page 308. /
===============…

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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by socratus » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:56 am

socratus wrote:
Systematic wrote:There is the insistence that everything that is not proven beyond the shadow
of a doubt by the scientific method already is not up for discussion.
The thing about all new hypotheses is that they are hypothetical.
Ironically a new scientific idea would have more luck with the Pope.

I'm sure that pre-Darwin scientists had plenty of proofs for why God created all of the diverse species.
Lee Smolin “ The trouble with Physics”

“ . . . . . at least one big idea is missing.
How do we find that missing idea? “
/ Page 308. /
===============…
What is “the big missing idea”?
The big missing idea is the Vacuum, the Zero Vacuum: T=0K.

When the next revolution rocks physics,
chances are it will be about nothing—the vacuum,
that endless infinite void.
http://discovermagazine.com/2008/aug/18 ... everything
==============…

‘ The problem of the exact description of vacuum, in my opinion,
is the basic problem now before physics. Really, if you can’t correctly
describe the vacuum, how it is possible to expect a correct description
of something more complex? ‘
/ Paul Dirac /
#
"Vacuum -- the very name suggests emptiness and nothingness –
is actually a realm rife with potentiality, courtesy of the laws
of quantum electrodynamics (QED). According to QED,
additional, albeit virtual, particles can be created in the vacuum,
allowing light-light interactions."
http://www.aip.org/pnu/2006/768.html
#
The most fundamental question facing 21st century physics will be:
What is the vacuum? As quantum mechanics teaches us, with
its zero point energy this vacuum is not empty and the word
vacuum is a gross misnomer!
/ Prof. Friedwardt Winterberg /
#
"Now we know that the vacuum can have all sorts of wonderful effects
over an enormous range of scales, from the microscopic to the cosmic,"
said Peter Milonni
from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
#
etc . . . . .
===============…

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Cerveny
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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by Cerveny » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:43 pm

socratus wrote:
Systematic wrote:There is the insistence that everything that is not proven beyond the shadow
of a doubt by the scientific method already is not up for discussion.
The thing about all new hypotheses is that they are hypothetical.
Ironically a new scientific idea would have more luck with the Pope.

I'm sure that pre-Darwin scientists had plenty of proofs for why God created all of the diverse species.
Lee Smolin “ The trouble with Physics”

“ . . . . . at least one big idea is missing.
How do we find that missing idea? “
/ Page 308. /
===============…
You need a big idea? It is quite easy: "Theory of relativity is wrong" - but It is "Too big to fail":(

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socratus
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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by socratus » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:23 am

Today the “official physics” does not recognize the absolute,
endless and infinite kingdom of vacuum: T=0K.
Book : ‘Dreams of a final theory’ by Steven Weinberg. Page 138.
‘ It is true . . . there is such a thing as absolute zero; we cannot
reach temperatures below absolute zero not because we are not
sufficiently clever but because temperatures below absolute zero
simple have no meaning.’
/ Steven Weinberg. The Nobel Prize in Physics 1979 /
But . . . .
S. Weinberg wrote another book: “The First Three Minutes”
(A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe . . . after big bang)
So, he know very well that in 1973 the temperature of the Universe
as whole was 2,7K and in the time “X” it will come to absolute zero.
But if the “temperatures below absolute zero simple have no meaning”
then . . . “ Big Bang” also doesn’t have meaning.
Someone must decide: “Where is logic in our Alice's Wonderland?”
===============…

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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by Cerveny » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:51 am

Substantial differences between physics and mathematics is just that in physics (in reality) do not exist any "limits"...

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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by Reflex » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:32 am

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
All mathematical proofs are self referral and so are circular.
There. Fixed it for you. :wink:

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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by sthitapragya » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:32 am

Systematic wrote:There is the insistence that everything that is not proven beyond the shadow of a doubt by the scientific method already is not up for discussion. The thing about all new hypotheses is that they are hypothetical. Ironically a new scientific idea would have more luck with the Pope.

I'm sure that pre-Darwin scientists had plenty of proofs for why God created all of the diverse species.
There is an insistence that everything that is not proven beyond the shadow of a doubt by the scientific method cannot be accepted as a conclusion. Big difference. It is always up for discussion as a hypothesis.

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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by sthitapragya » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:44 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
So in the same way, it seems possible to look at creation and see design. Or it seems possible to look at it and see nothing but natural forces plus the effects of protracted time. It can be seen as "evidence" or not. But the basic question remains the same: has a "crime" -- or in this case, a "creation" -- actually taken place here.

Yet one caveat: we need to note that the sides are not balanced. For IF there actually is the property of design in what we are observing -- say, complex, purposeful arrangements with teleological possibility -- then it gets harder to argue that one is looking at a random event instead of a deliberate creation....just as if we find a smoking gun in the room, and a bullet in the victim's head, deliberate death looks more likely than accidental death. The intuition may not be conclusive -- after all, perhaps the victim was cleaning his gun and it discharged -- but such evidence is most leading, and suggests the right kind of hypothesis to try out first. And if there were multiple "smoking guns" in the room, both accident and suicide would become more unlikely explanations...again, not impossible, but even less likely as a hypothesis.

The design argument points to just that: a billion "smoking guns" (indicators of design) in a single "room" (the cosmos). And it asks what is most plausible for us to suppose by way of a first hypothesis. It does not, therefore, have to exclude or prove false the non-design hypothesis, but only to point out that that hypothesis is far less likely and reasonable than the alternative.

In other words, it asks what "interpretation" is most reasonable here.
Assuming an intelligent designer, the evidence also seems to suggest that the designer didn't really know what he was doing and so started with the simplest of forms of life. It also suggests that it took him millions of years of trial and error to develop more complex designs. So the mental capacity of the designer evolved with time and grew which also suggests he knew less when he began than he does now. Which means the intelligent designer is also evolving as he learns but definitely didn't know it all when he started. Can you accept that about the intelligent designer? If yes, your theory becomes plausible to some extent.

But then we have the question does it require more knowledge to create the first life or more knowledge to modify it? Evidence does seem to suggest that it would take more knowledge to create life than to modify it. In which case the evolution from single cell organisms to complex organisms of today should not have taken so long.

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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by Cerveny » Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:38 pm

You can see the evolution as some kind of polymerization / synthesis of the mind....

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Immanuel Can
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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by Immanuel Can » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:44 pm

sthitapragya wrote:There is an insistence that everything that is not proven beyond the shadow of a doubt by the scientific method cannot be accepted as a conclusion. Big difference. It is always up for discussion as a hypothesis.
"There is an insistence" is perhaps a misleading way to phrase it. It makes it sound like some unreasonable person is asking for something we should not reasonably grant. And "beyond a shadow of a doubt" is definitely a misleading wording, especially when applied to "the scientific method."

Science Is inductive, not deductive. It is empirical, not merely conceptual. It assesses the real world, not a closed system of symbols. And as such, it produces only probabilistic assessments, never "beyond a shadow of doubt" results. For the complete set of scientific tests can never be performed; so it can only show us things that are more highly probably true.

Science helps us find what it more likely to be true, and gives us reason to decline hypotheses that are less likely to be true -- it does not give us pure, truthful, indisputable conclusions but probabilistic improvements. Now, that is no small advantage: I don't think any reasonable person, if given two hypotheses, one certain 99.9999 percent and one only certain .0001 percent will choose the latter over the former, and would not regard it better to run our lives on the former rather than the latter. Science is great, and it gives us that sort of higher confidence...at least sometimes.

But all that being said, the right question to ask is not just which hypothesis is presently favoured, but by what percentage, and over what. If two hypotheses both have a 50% chance of being true, then there's really nothing to choose. Even if one is 70% and another is 30%, there would be circumstances where we'd still make our choice based on the 30%. (For example, if we found out that 30% of the meal we were about to eat was poison, we'd still be well advised not to regard the 70% as decisive.) So probability must be weighed based not just on the relative numbers but on the nature of the issue being considered as well.

The upshot: science is probabilistic, not absolute. It's wonderful, but it's not airtight in its findings. It deals with improving probability, based on the evidence in hand. And so it's only ever as good as its evidence...

...or what it will, for political, disciplinary, state-of-the-field or other reasons, regard as evidence.

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Re: The Folly of Modern Science

Post by Sheepy » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:20 pm

Dalek Prime wrote:Says who?

All science asks is that a phenomenon be measureable, and repeatable. If it is, it's a proven hypothesis. If not, it's junk. Just like your knowledge of world affairs, and now, apparently, your understanding of how science is done.
Science asks only that but it professes a lot more that just that. A "theory" is a often just a story that seems to explain all the phenomena. The theory of Phlogiston, a substance that exists in all flammable things, used to explain almost everything for scientists in the 18th century, and that theory was hard to get rid of because it worked so well. (Yes I'm reading Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions now.) There is always a gap between observation and theory.

But exactly for that reason it probably wouldn't be so fruitful to take every potential theory seriously unless it was pretty solid. We are just making stuff up to fit how nature behaves and if there is little coherence (or evidence) that a theory works isn't it quite likely to be bullshit and a waste of time?

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