What do we know in science?

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

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Philosophy Explorer
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What do we know in science?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:35 am

No question that science is fluid. This leads to the next question: how do we tell the difference between science and nonscience or science and pseudoscience? Does science have limits?

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wtf
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Re: What do we know in science?

Post by wtf » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:10 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:35 am
No question that science is fluid. This leads to the next question: how do we tell the difference between science and nonscience or science and pseudoscience? Does science have limits?
The limits of science are undergoing profound reevaluation. In physics we've reached the end of our ability to do experiments. The energies required are too large to fund, let alone build.

As a result, highly speculative and un-falsifiable theories have proliferated. String theory and multiverse theory being two that come to mind. Physicists say the equations are "too beautiful to be wrong." But that's not science. It's mistaking math for science.

I believe contemporary philosophers of science are on the case. This is a lively topic of discussion these day. The question of whether falsifiability should be or already has been replaced by mathematical beauty.

I can't give you references because I don't follow the subject. I'm sure Wiki has plenty of links.

One New Yorker cartoon comes to mind. Let me see if I can find it. Yes here it is. I love the Internet.

Image

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Re: What do we know in science?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:22 am

WTF said

"The limits of science are undergoing profound reevaluation. In physics we've reached the end of our ability to do experiments. The energies required are too large to fund, let alone build."

Here I disagree as I keep running across articles and stories about experiments that keep going on and I see no problems about raising funds for these experiments.

You'll have to specify which physics experiments you're referring to. Again it seems to me you're cherry picking as I can't imagine you mean all physics experiments.

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Re: What do we know in science?

Post by wtf » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:46 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:22 am
You'll have to specify which physics experiments you're referring to. Again it seems to me you're cherry picking as I can't imagine you mean all physics experiments.
The experiments at the forefront of knowledge. The ones that require building larger and larger colliders to reach ever higher energies. We're at the limit of our funding and technology. If you don't know that, you could look it up.

Of course you can buy a couple of dime-store ring-shaped magnets (if you can find a dime store), put them positive-to-positive and put a pencil through their respective holes, stand the pencil upright, and thereby demonstrate that the entire gravitational field of the earth can be balanced by a small cheap magnet. You can do that experiment for a couple of bucks.

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Re: What do we know in science?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:52 am

wtf wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:46 am
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:22 am
You'll have to specify which physics experiments you're referring to. Again it seems to me you're cherry picking as I can't imagine you mean all physics experiments.
The experiments at the forefront of knowledge. The ones that require building larger and larger colliders to reach ever higher energies. We're at the limit of our funding and technology. If you don't know that, you could look it up.

Of course you can buy a couple of dime-store ring-shaped magnets (if you can find a dime store), put them positive-to-positive and put a pencil through their respective holes, stand the pencil upright, and thereby demonstrate that the entire gravitational field of the earth can be balanced by a small cheap magnet. You can do that experiment for a couple of bucks.
Last I heard, a more powerful collider will replace the LHC.

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Re: What do we know in science?

Post by wtf » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:05 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:52 am

Last I heard, a more powerful collider will replace the LHC.
Well I guess that negates everything I said then.

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Re: What do we know in science?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:25 am

wtf wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:05 am
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:52 am

Last I heard, a more powerful collider will replace the LHC.
Well I guess that negates everything I said then.
More colliders are either being built or being planned. The LHC I think is in the middle of its life and there are plans to eventually replace it. Next time I catch a good, noncopyrighted article, I'll add it.

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Re: What do we know in science?

Post by OuterLimits » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:10 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:35 am
No question that science is fluid. This leads to the next question: how do we tell the difference between science and nonscience or science and pseudoscience? Does science have limits?
Are the methods of science fluid? Science is not a body of truths, but a method for evaluating models of the world. Something is nonscience if it has not been tested using scientific methods or if it just plain cannot be. Pseudoscience involves dishonesty - making claims regarding what has undergone some scientific testing which has not - or cannot.

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Re: What do we know in science?

Post by -1- » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:50 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:35 am
No question that science is fluid. This leads to the next question: how do we tell the difference between science and nonscience or science and pseudoscience? Does science have limits?

PhilX 🇺🇸
I don't understand the question: Does science have limits? It's like asking, does your aunt's voice have colour (not figuratively speaking)? Does your car have Dorian columns, or Ionian colums? How is the gas mileage of your books? Why does gravity have emotions? Etc.

The difference between science and pseudoscience is this: Scientific finds are stated so that they are falsifiable. Pseudoscientific facts are stated so that they are either not falsifiable or else they have been proven to be wrong, yet people still pay as much attention to it as if they were true.
Last edited by -1- on Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What do we know in science?

Post by -1- » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:58 am

wtf wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:46 am

... highly speculative and un-falsifiable theories have proliferated. String theory and multiverse theory being two that come to mind. Physicists say the equations are "too beautiful to be wrong." But that's not science. It's mistaking math for science.
Theories are just one part of science. A scientific theory is falsifiable. A philosophical theory can be proven wrong or proven to be right.

It is important to establish the difference between "unfalsifiable" and "not yet falsified".

Also: Are String Theory and the multiverse theory unfalsifiable? I don't know, but if they are, then they are not scientific theories. They are theories, but not scientific.

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Re: What do we know in science?

Post by Necromancer » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:56 pm

-1- wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:50 am
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:35 am
No question that science is fluid. This leads to the next question: how do we tell the difference between science and nonscience or science and pseudoscience? Does science have limits?

PhilX 🇺🇸
I don't understand the question: Does science have limits? It's like asking, does your aunt's voice have colour (not figuratively speaking)? Does your car have Dorian columns, or Ionian colums? How is the gas mileage of your books? Why does gravity have emotions? Etc.

The difference between science and pseudoscience is this: Scientific finds are stated so that they are falsifiable. Pseudoscientific facts are stated so that they are either not falsifiable or else they have been proven to be wrong, yet people still pay as much attention to it as if they were true.
Science may be said to have limits by the Scientific Method (See also Hypothetico-Deductive Method) and by Falsification and Fallibilism. Theories also go into this by being scientific description and as such theories, also String Theory, face plausibility demands! Discoveries on the side of experimental science is thus straightforward, the simplest of science, such as the description of animals and plants up to today. 8)

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Re: What do we know in science?

Post by -1- » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:44 am

Necromancer wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:56 pm

Science may be said to have limits by the Scientific Method (See also Hypothetico-Deductive Method) and by Falsification and Fallibilism. Theories also go into this by being scientific description and as such theories, also String Theory, face plausibility demands! Discoveries on the side of experimental science is thus straightforward, the simplest of science, such as the description of animals and plants up to today. 8)
I am sorry, Necromancer, I don't understand your answer. No need to worry about that, I am just saying it for the record.

One part of it I understood: " Theories ..., also String Theory, face plausibility demands! " Right you are. I agree. The String Theory, if it lacks plausibility, then it is not scientific, that's about the size of it. I am repeating this, because you seem to have glided over that same earlier remark by me.

(But I can't say for sure, because I don't know the string theory. Neither the Stringent String theory, nor the General String theory.)

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Re: What do we know in science?

Post by -1- » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:49 am

Necromancer, if you refer to the constraints of scientific method, as its limits, that is a misnomer. The constraints are limiting factors, not limits.

I don't know of any limits to science... in fact, the very concept does not jive with me. What does it mean to have limits of science, or no limits to science? I can't see what that could possibly mean, or how it could manifest itself in just one example.

"We can't learn about sub-atomic particles, because that's the limit of science." Surely this does not make sense.

Or you mean by "limit" not a restrictive limit, but the current outer-edge of the newest, most recently found scientific findings?

Which do you mean in the first place? Cutting-edge science, or "to here and no further" of the progress of science?

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