Dubious wrote: ↑Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:03 am
Dubious wrote: ↑Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:52 pm
That idea, it seems to me, is self-evident. Falsification implies negation which is absolute when referring to that whose main or upholding thesis has been disproven.
Also, in my view, the one thing still called a theory but no-longer within a probability range to justify calling it that is evolution of which Earth is both evidence and manifestation. What remains theoretical are some of its details, those functions which drive the process onward...or backward.
TimeSeeker wrote: ↑Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:48 am
I can agree with that, and want to add that by the same criteria by which evolution was nominated a theory and deemed “true” then one can make the case for “the universe is a computer simulation” and prove it true.
Neither is falsifiable. But the latter has better explanatory AND predictive utility and far more supporting evidence.
Not certain whether I completely understand your post. Also when you say "latter" don't you mean "former" referring to evolution?
You are right that neither are falsifiable but for very different reasons.
Evolution is a fact; it cannot be falsified. The goings on in a petri dish already proves as much.
The universe as a computer simulation cannot be falsified since that is pure speculation. Between speculation and fact there exist no theories unless some evidence accrues to turn, as of yet, an unsupported supposition into a theory amenable to testing.
As far as I know, that hasn't happened yet but I could be wrong.
No. I mean the latter. Anything unfalsifiable is unscientific. The moment you declare something a fact you have cast it in stone. You can never undo it. It effectively becomes a religion. Unless you think facts can be falsified?
I don’t like the idea of not being ever able to change my mind. That smells like epistemic arrogance, so I try to keep my mind clear of absolutes. As part of diligent epistemic housekeeping - I strive hard to keep no category in my head that I call 'facts'.
And so juxtapose Einstein’s general relativity and Newton’s theory of gravity - which one is fact and which one is theory?
They are both theories! The difference is only in their predictive precision and domain of applicability.
Quantum mechanics and quantum chemistry is on the way to show us how abiogenesis (Evolution’s missing link) could work, then Evolution could just become a subset of physics. But there is a non-zero chance that physics could show us that abiogenesis is impossible (perhaps it violates some law?). Or maybe - highly improbable. And then what happens to Evolution's factuality?
Without a “Theory of everything” all we have are theories. And they are all subject to falsification!
Even quantum field theory!
Even general relativity!
So - to circle back. Quantum physics is all about computation. This is not speculation. It is empirically backed to the point where quantum information is assumed to be a fundamental property of the universe. It has been tested and reproduced over and over.
So if one could say Evolution is a fact, then one should also be able to say “the universe is a quantum computer simulation” is also a fact.
I am not even sure that's sufficient though. QFT is a quantitative theory. Evolution is a qualitative theory. QFT has been empirically and mathematically backed. It makes ridiculously precise predictions. Evolution doesn't.
The problem is but one of scale/complexity.
QFT makes accurate predictions at very small spacetime scales. It's just way too computationally expensive (to humans)
Evolution makes very crude, qualitative predictions at very large spacetime scales. But it is computationally cheap (to humans)
Which is exactly the same distinction between Einstein's General Relativity vs Newton's universal law of gravitation: precision and computational cost.
And computational cost is a function of complexity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_O_notation
This is also the very reason for the aphorism in quantum physics: Shut up and calculate! ( http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=9649