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  • #21
    Originally posted by atomsymbol View Post
    One can choose any interpretation of reality that leads to results.
    Reality, i.e., that there's something beyond our conscience, is already an assumption (and this is against Descartes).


    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pseudo-science/. The question is broader than mere falsificationism.


    Originally posted by atomsymbol View Post
    The distinction is based on the number of useful results delivered to mankind.
    Not only. Many liberals also distinguished science as being genuinely founded on rational grounds, which ultimately is not. Moreover, usefulness depends on the objective that's seeked, so a distinction based on usefulness assumes an objective, and we all know people seek many different (and often conflicting) objectives regarding their societies or even all societies, such that many different such distinctions could be made.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by kalrish View Post
      Not only. Many liberals also distinguished science as being genuinely founded on rational grounds, which ultimately is not. Moreover, usefulness depends on the objective that's seeked, so a distinction based on usefulness assumes an objective, and we all know people seek many different (and often conflicting) objectives regarding their societies or even all societies, such that many different such distinctions could be made.
      In my understanding, usefulness does not necessitate an objective. A measurement of usefulness can happen after many years, even when the authors are long after their death.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by kalrish View Post
        Sciences are based on assumptions anyway,
        You probably missed the part where science requires proof of any assumption before it is accepted as true. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

        Also, please fix your keyboard's return key.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by kalrish View Post
          To assume that events cause other events (causality), which is one of the assumptions of physics, is not any less an assumption than to assume that everything happens at God's will (which appears, though not as an assumption, in e.g. Malebranche).
          I'm not sure where you want to go with this bullshit.

          All scientific assumptions are tested and validated by each and everything you build upon them and actually works in real life. Causality is tested and validated each time something works exactly as designed or a theory based on it shows proof it's describing the reality.

          Non-scientific bullshit isn't even tested with a method that excludes bias, go figure how well it is validated.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
            You probably missed the part where science requires proof of any assumption before it is accepted as true. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

            Also, please fix your keyboard's return key.
            You certainly missed learning to think (and some basic English philosophical-scientific terminology and or etymology). To assume something is to believe it (a synonym in this context is «suppose»), usually as a preparation step for further theoretical claims. Some mundane definitions you'll find for «assume», given that you're not only capable of using pedantic language, but also of performing web searches: “suppose to be the case, without proof” (Google's define feature), “to think that something is true or probably true without knowing that it is true” (Merriam-Webster). As I said above, assumptions cannot be proven, for proving anything, including them themselves, would assume them, and this would be tautological, as is called nowadays. Science supposes, among other things, that there's an objective reality and that events cause other events, and it does not, nor can it, prove that.

            By the way, truths, in the sense of absolute truths, would obviously be atemporal (which is practically equivalent to, albeit not the same as, eternal), while scientific theories change. That, along with the fact that science is based on assumptions, should be enough for anyone to notice that science doesn't yield absolute truths, which is what I first said.

            Now, the course of philosophy in the last hundred years (approximately) has lead to the general consensus that it is not possible to set out to know without assumptions or to get rid of them, and that many assumptions are not chosen or that one is not even aware of them (our biology and culture being the most studied). Thus, if «truth» meant «absolute truth», there wouldn't be any truths. Philosophers, especially English and American ones of the analytic branch, dislike that, and have fiercely tried to redefine «truth» to mean something that's related to the traditional concept of truth and possible for us to achieve. This I dislike and in turn combat in troll nests such as these forums against the worst kind of ignorant: the pedantic. Such is life.

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            • #26
              Maybe you are arguing with philosophical zombies or your are a solipsist

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              • #27
                Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                What is fully accepted as genuine religious statement may be seen as poor superstition by those who do not share the same faith. Since there are no generally agreed proper or accepted religious standards among people of different cultural backgrounds, the very notion of what is a superstitious behavior is relative to local culture.
                there is no difference between religion and superstition

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by kalrish View Post
                  It seems you didn't understand anything.
                  it seems that you are idiot

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by kalrish View Post
                    To assume something is to believe it (a synonym in this context is «suppose»), usually as a preparation step for further theoretical claims.
                    Yes, and if the child theoretical claims are proven true by repeatable experiments, also the assumptions are proven true, within the conditions tested by the experiment.

                    For very basic stuff like causality, they have been validated in pretty much every experimental condition in the last centuries, so it is very safe to say that it is "absolute truth" or very close to it.

                    Because if you find something where causality is invalidated it must be in a condition that was not tested repeatedly every second in the last few centuries. And pretty much all experimental conditions for causality are tested by now.

                    By the way, truths, in the sense of absolute truths, would obviously be atemporal (which is practically equivalent to, albeit not the same as, eternal), while scientific theories change. That, along with the fact that science is based on assumptions, should be enough for anyone to notice that science doesn't yield absolute truths, which is what I first said.
                    If you actually knew something about science and weren't an imbecile with moderate philosophical knowledge trying to pose as some kind of prophet, you would know that new scientific theories don't invalidate older ones.
                    New theories are better because they cover more conditions than the older ones, but what was proven true before is still true now, WITHIN THE EXPERIMENTAL CONDITIONS that proved it true.

                    The usual example is Newton's gravity laws and Einstein's gravity laws.

                    Newton's gravity laws are still 100% valid even now, within the same constraints where his laws were deemed valid by experimentation. (i.e. these laws fail to give results consistent with real-life measurements when the objects go at relativistic speeds, that is with objects that run at like 20% or more of lightspeed). But as long as you deal with non-relativistic stuff, you can use Newton's laws without ill effects.

                    Einstein's gravity laws give the exact same results as Newton's laws while within the same experimental conditions, BUT they also give results consistent to real-life measurements in areas where Newton's laws failed (relativistic objects).

                    The latter is an EXPANSION of the former, it does not mean the old is invalid.

                    Now, the course of philosophy in the last hundred years (approximately) has lead to the general consensus that it is not possible to set out to know without assumptions or to get rid of them, and that many assumptions are not chosen or that one is not even aware of them (our biology and culture being the most studied).
                    The assumptions are tested and if they aren't validated they are discarded, what is deemed true enough can be used again in the future. Welcome to scientific method.

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                    • #30
                      Hi,

                      Very fitting for the "final bits" of mesa to invoke a discussion about the merits of the scientific method. So much so I registered to this forum!
                      Alright, let me try to explain the scientific method in a fashion, that perhaps, has not been explain in this manner before..

                      The scientific method isn't, in fact, about "proving" 'things' as it is about "disproving" 'things'. Rather the scientific method isn't really concerned with the notion of "proving" at all and is more analogous to a statistical paradigm over one with absolute determinism. In fact, statistical methods are exactly the mechanism employed with dealing with the analysis of experimental outcomes.

                      When a scientific study is designed, it is constructed in a manner that allows for primarily two hypotheses, the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. The point here is to find *evidence towards* (key words here) *rejection* of the null hypothesis. This basically means you find evidence to "disprove" one possible explanation out of a sea of possibly infinite explanations towards "why" something occurred in some way. In other words, we don't "prove" or "disprove" anything in the strictest sense of the words and this is critically important to make note of! Further, we are only interested in getting rid of the highly unlikely ( above 95% confidence ) explanation and leaving us with a suggested alternative *not* proven alternative, just a suggested one coupled with a *plausible interpretation* such that further predictive modeling can be deduced.

                      This method of reducing out the highly unlikely and suggesting plausible alternative that construct workable models with predictive capacity has been the quintessential element of the success of the scientific method as it is known today.

                      As a motivating example, quantum mechanics actually says nothing what-so-ever about _why_ things act in the way they do however explains precisely the mechanics of exactly _how_ they do indeed behave in a computational manner. The subtle distinction of the _why_ and _how_ is of the most highest order of importance to understand as this is the kernel of a real understand what the whole point of science even is. I simply cannot stress this detail enough.

                      I think it is unfortunate that the words "prove" and "disprove" get mixed up and confuse a great number people. The confusion is also compounded by mixing in how pure mathematics works over how statistical studies are done in the scientific method. Folks sometimes say things to the effect of "but isn't physics just mathematics?" actually no they are nothing to do with one another. It would be like saying "isn't shakespeare just english?".. I'll endeavor to explain that last bit now:

                      Mathematics isn't so much a science as it is a language in the truest scene. In the case of mathematics there are two domains of thought, mine is from one known as constructivism and so I shall define from this paradigm. In constructivism, we define/pick/make-up a axiom or a set of axioms, these axioms can not be proven nor dis-proven we simply assert them to be true for the purposes of obtaining useful results. If the axioms you assert are well thought out you may obtain very useful and fruitful results. You may actually "prove" your results this time in the true sense of the word "prove" unlike the scientific method because we can either directly derive the result from the axioms in a deterministic manner by a set of rules or conversely assume some result to be true and then show it conflicts with the axioms and thus must then be false.

                      A motivating example for the reader would be the proof of the square root of any prime is not a rational number. We can do this for the special case of p=2 by assuming that the square root of 2 is indeed rational and so cab be written as n/d where n and d are integers and d cannon be zero and that n and d are co-prime. If you follow this though for yourself you will see this becomes a contradiction. Thus this is a "formal proof" which is a very different thing to the scientific method.

                      In fact, Mathematics does not care in the slightest about reality, it is agnostic of reality while Physics/Biology/Chemistry care exclusively about reality.

                      I hope this is a useful and clear explanation to folks and helps clear up some of the misconceptions and terminology that is so often thrown about.

                      Kind Regards,
                      Edward.

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