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Science, truth, and knowledge


Reg Prescott
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47 minutes ago, Carrock said:
  6 hours ago, NortonH said:

So are you saying that 'observable' means that 'it sends photons to your eye'?

That seems to be a very narrow definition.

It depends under which rule set you are playing.

In any case under, Trivetts Amendment, you cannot claim Mornington Crescent from a second line on the diagonal.

 

Right so I have tracked down the original quote:

On 31/10/2018 at 11:40 AM, Carrock said:

Euston station is six stops away from Kings Cross station"

That was it.

One single line which you most definitely DID write. How do we know? Two reasons.

Reason 1. The board provides an automatic mechanism to describe the time the original quote was made.

Reason 2. It is still on the board.

I just wonder why you crammed FOUR (4) lines in there and claimed INCORRECTLY that I had attributed them to you when it is clear that they were NOT all from you.

 

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16 hours ago, beecee said:

 

"There is no statement so absurd that no philosopher will make it": Cicero, Marcus Tullius : 

Now that I have that out of the way......The problem as I see it with regards to our philosophical inebriated friends, is twofold, in that they see the years spent at Uni studying philosophy, as slipping into oblivion when compared to the practical institution of science. This in my opinion has prompted this seemingly derision of science and the scientific method by one in particular. The other problem of course is underlying agendas despite denials. As a non philosopher and a non scientist, I believe I can approach this continuing saga with some even handiness. 

Despite the many derisive quotes re philosophy I have posted in reply to the many examples of philosophical ramblings that have taken place of late, philosophy is certainly an underlying part of the foundation of science and the scientific method. It forms most of the framework in fact with regards to the practical discipline of science. But as  Laurence Krauss' adequately explained, it now seems to have had its day. Even some of the great philosophers of bygone eras have alluded to that observation, and whose quotes I have used in reply to some of the philosophical ramblings that have occurred.

The more amateurish philosophers that we have seen on this forum and whose outlandish claims and thoughts are sprinkled through threads [some closed for obvious reasons] continue with ramblings of invalid and limited analogies, metaphors, and supposed similes, that go on and on and on and on......all dealing with the hairy fairy, or the pedantic, or invalid attempts to somehow misconstrue science.

Science will continue unabated. It will continue with the search for explanations of the universe around us......It has advanced now to such a stage, that it now legitimately broaches and asks and has explanations to questions that were at one time, just philosophical....questions like how did the universe arise from nothing....or what is this nothing? https://www.astrosociety.org/publication/a-universe-from-nothing/ Certainly science as yet has no evidence or knowledge to answer these questions with any real degree of confidence, but what answers are we left with ignoring of course the unscientific mythical ID explanations.

I see somewhere [can't find it now, possibly another thread] some comment about scientific realism and the existence of electrons, compared to other scientists who prefer to see electrons simply as an explanation on the observed. This in my opinion is "splitting hairs"  and pedantic in the extreme...Do electrons actually exist? Does a magnetic field actually exist? Is space real? Is time real? is spacetime real? Myself I as a lay person say yes, they all exist...they all are needed to explain what we see...we don't really need to touch, or feel something to be real....it does not need to be physical. Am I in conflict with some other scientists that prefer looking at such, as  merely explanations? I say no. To use an analogy much as our philosophical friends often like to use...some say tomato, some say tomato, if you get my drift.

Science at any one time, is as close to any supposed truth that we can get...We go to reputable science books for knowledge re a particular scientific subject...we don't go to some rambling philosopher, or go to the fairy tale section of a children's library...or pick up some mythical obscure book by some obscure person in an obscure age.

I must now finish off as this is getting to be more like a philosophical ramble similar to those so called philosophers that I am actually criticising.  While I have offered many quotes critical of philosophy, I have yet to offer any quotes that are praise worthy of the scientific discipline. Let me now change that....

"There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance": Hippocrates:

"Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?": Oliver Heaviside 

"Science is organized knowledge".Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) English philosopher. Education.

 

"Science is facts; just as houses are made of stone, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house, and a collection of facts is not necessarily science". Jules Henri Poincaré 

"Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition".Adam Smith (1723-90) Scottish economist. 

A poor analogy and obviously false. Can we verify the Earth is round? Not sure how any philosophy can be actually interpreted to mean what you say...absurd again comes to mind.

 

I accept science, because I accept logic, evidence, facts, and the scientific method.

I must say that I am more accustomed to arguments that contain premises and conclusions than to long screeds by grammar-challenged posters who veil their personal attacks in off topic statements littered with factually inaccuracies and logical fallacies. The post goes off the rails almost immediately as the poster accuses us of being "philosophical inebriated friends" rather than "philosophically inebriated." What does he mean, exactly? Does he mean that we are both philosophical and drunk or does he mean that we are drunk on philosophy? He then follows up by comparing the years we spent at UNI (Universidad Nacional de Ingenería?) to the practical institution of science. I fail to see how years can be compared to an institution of science.

So let's just skip over the rambling quotes and the guilt-by-association logical fallacy to the real question: Can we verify that the Earth is round? No, we cannot and there are two important reasons. The first is that the Earth is not round (not even spherical, which is probably what he meant). Even experts will say that the Earth has a tendency to bulge somewhat at the equator because of the spinning action of the Earth. What our poster fails to realize is that my brief summary of the problem of verificationism is just a paraphrase of Karl Popper's essay on the subject, large portions of which can be found at http://www.criticalrationalism.net/2010/02/02/karl-popper-on-the-empirical-base-of-science/ where he points out:

Quote:

There are at least two next steps. One would be to reflect that ‘I have read it in The Times’ is also an assertion, and that we might ask ‘What is the source of your knowledge that you read it in The Times and not, say, in a paper looking very similar to The Times?’ The other is to ask The Times for the sources of its knowledge. The answer to the first question may be ‘But we have only The Times on order and we always get it in the morning’, which gives rise to a host of further questions about sources which we shall not pursue. The second question may elicit from the editor of The Times the answer: ‘We had a telephone call from the Prime Minister’s office.’ Now according to the empiricist procedure, we should at this stage ask next: ‘Who is the gentleman who received the telephone call?’ and then get his observation report; but we should also have to ask that gentleman: ‘What is the source of your knowledge that the voice you heard came from an official in the Prime Minister’s office?’, and so on.

There is a simple reason why this tedious sequence of questions never comes to a satisfactory conclusion. It is this. Every witness must always make ample use, in his report, of his knowledge of persons, places, things, linguistic usages, social conventions, and so on. He cannot rely merely upon his eyes or ears, especially if his report is to be of use in justifying any assertion worth justifying. But this fact must of course always raise new questions as to the sources of those elements of his knowledge which are not immediately observational.

This is why the programme of tracing back all knowledge to its ultimate source in observation is logically impossible to carry through: it leads to an infinite regress. (The doctrine that truth is manifest cuts off the regress. This is interesting because it may help to explain the attractiveness of that doctrine.)

Endquote.

As our poster has already pointed out, he is a layman with no formal training in either science or logic. This is not necessarily a problem as there are large numbers of books and online sites that might enable him to educate himself somewhat. Apparently, however, he is content with merely dropping out of context quotes throughout posts that insult others.

How sad.

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15 hours ago, Reg Prescott said:

Hi again,
 

If you read through my last reply to you again, I think you'll see I'm saying pretty much the same thing, except eschewing that abominable term "absolute truth". What you call an absolute truth is what I call a true proposition. Thus:

Well, I'm not here to argue about semantics. It appears that we do agree to a greater or lesser extent.

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Well, these guys are an eclectic bunch. Some antirealists of an instrumentalist persuasion would say pretty much what you just did, viz., talk about unobservables (e.g. electrons) in scientific theories is not to be taken literally. Antirealism of this kind is based on semantic concerns: terms such as "electron" are not meant to refer, thus statements about electrons are not truth evaluable at all.


Bas van Fraassen, on the other hand, whose constructive empiricism I'm sympathetic to myself, holds that talk of unobservables is to be read literally; the term "electron", for example, is not a metaphor. His particular form of antirealism is epistemic in nature. That is to say, the term "electron" (and all their brethren) is meant to refer, thus statements about electrons are truth evaluable, but the epistemic warrant -- on his account -- is insufficient for us to claim any knowledge of unobservables.

The point is that we are aware that an atom is NOT a positively charged ball at the middle with large numbers of negatively charged balls swarming around it. Anyone familiar with quantum mechanics will inform you that every time an electron is accelerated it releases energy. Accordingly, if electrons really were small balls swarming around a nucleus, they would lose all energy and crash into the nucleus in a fraction of a second. We are informed that electrons are actually wave functions with particle-like properties including spin. This is all quite ridiculous, of course, and just goes to show that we have a very limited understanding of what atoms are and how they work. Nevertheless, scientific realists will eagerly proclaim that light is both a wave and a particle as a real and unquestionable truth and one post later will insist that the idea that Jesus is his own father is too absurd to consider.

Of course, the above is a paraphrase of Richard Feynman's quip.

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Here you seem to imply that there are such things as good inductions. This being the case, is the production of true propositions, at least in some cases, not the result? 

Remember that I labeled the inductions as 'good' vs 'bad.' As far as I'm concerned, there are no good inductive conclusions. That is not to say that a person cannot make an inductive leap and have it work out. This is comparable to a woman glancing at a stopped clock, seeing that it shows 7:50 (when the real time is 7:30) and rushing out the door believing that she is late only to arrive at work on time. Yes, it is true that the stopped clock helped her to get to work on time, but that does not mean that consulting stopped clocks is a good idea. Similarly, most of what people consider the triumphs of science are nothing of the sort. For example, a man designing a sub that has to go to 100m of depth may well design the sub to withstand 200m of water pressure. People unfamiliar with the matter may then gush at how exacting science is when in reality the engineer was simply being extra careful.

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We can all agree your Peruvian buddy's conclusion ("everyone 2+ years old speaks Spanish") is false. One of two tacks could be taken here, though:


(i) Deny that his sample was large and varied enough. It was not a case of good induction. Or

(ii) Concede that the sample was adequately large and varied, thus it was a good induction. But, alas, it was one of these good inductions that resulted in a false conclusion. No one is claiming that good inductions invariably yield a true conclusion; just some of them.

The point of the story is that it may seem perfectly reasonable to the person to think that everyone speaks Spanish because he has yet to see a counter example. Yet, the base problem is that his entire experience is with people living in his city in one small country in one corner of the planet. His experiences are not representative of the planet as a whole. Yet, this obvious insight is ignored when science is contemplated. Our entire experience with gravity is limited to what happens on our planet or in our solar system. Then we observe galaxies light years away and see what said galaxies don't obey Kepler's laws. Rather than admitting that our understanding of gravity is based entirely on observations in and around our solar system, observations that may not be valid in other places in the universe, we instead postulate invisible 'dark' matter that we can drop in anywhere we want willy nilly so that we can pretend that we understand things that we obviously do not.

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Just to get clear here, Zosimus: Is your own position that induction never yields true conclusions? You did seem to imply earlier that there are such things as good inductions. Don't some of them, at least, yield true statements?
 

No, it is not my contention that induction (and other logical fallacies) cannot yield true conclusions. We can easily construct horribly bad logical sequences with true conclusions. For example:

P1: All dogs are cats.

P2: Pigs can fly.

C: Therefore, Donald Trump is the president of the United States.

 

Here we can see that we have two false premises (dogs aren't cats and pigs don't fly) plus the conclusion does not follow from the premises, yet the conclusion may well be true. What I would object to is someone saying, "Well, if the conclusion came out true then obviously the logical process of arriving at that conclusion is not as bad as you make it out to be." I completely disagree.

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Here I can certainly sympathize. Around these parts any attempt to correct grossly exaggerated or just plain false claims about scientific practice immediately incurs the wrath of Khan. One is liable to be accused of harboring some nefarious agenda, and in all likelihood will be labelled anti-science (an epithet thrown around as carelessly and irresponsibly as "anti-semite"), a Creationist luddite, a destroyer of rationality, and quite possibly the assassin of John F Kennedy to boot.

 

It is indeed a cause for concern that so many people pick up catchy slogans from the likes of Dawkins and Krauss, slogans that are manifestly and outrageously false, then, without subjecting them to the merest whiff of critical analysis which would reveal their falsity, repeat them ad nauseum, ad infinitum, ad vacca come hometh.


My own personal fave, from the sneering atheist to the Christian or Moslem, is "You're an atheist, too (with respect to Zeus, Thor, etc.). I just believe in one god fewer than you do".


Parallel "reasoning" makes me a virgin  ... with respect to Anne Hathaway.


 


Aye, it's a problem with no easy solution.

 

12 hours ago, beecee said:

You actually have an terrible understanding of what people are telling you...knowledge is science...we gain knowledge through observation, experiment and experience...truth and/or reality is what may be beyond our grasp, and obviously as has been shown to you, is not the object specifically of any scientific model or theory...if it falls into our lap, all well and good.

Again electrons like magnetic fields are certainly real, irrespective of how one observes or understands it.

 

Your claim seems to be that observation, experience, and experimentation are the source of knowledge. Yet, we have adequate reason to doubt this assertion. From Einstein imagining what it would be like to ride on a photon or from Feynman's double-split THOUGHT experiment, we can see that much of what is today taken as truth was a result not of observation but rather of rational thought processes. Similarly, we need not engage in experiments to confirm the truth of the idea: If John is taller than Mary and Mary is taller than Michael, then John is taller than Michael. It would be ridiculous to scour the Earth for a large number of Johns, Marys, and Michaels so that we could experiment with the idea and calculate an adequate p-value for subsequent publication in a scientific journal. We can simply use our brains (well, at least some of us can) to verify through pure thought the truth value of the proposition at hand.

11 hours ago, Sensei said:

Electron's traces are observable in e.g. Cloud Chamber..

 

 

The problem with this statement is that it's not developed. I will flesh your statement out more so that we can see exactly what is occurring.

P1: If electrons exist, then we should be able to see their traces in a cloud chamber.

P2: We can see electron traces in a cloud chamber.

C: Therefore, electrons exist.

 

Unfortunately, this is a textbook example of the "affirming the consequent" logical fallacy.

 

Fundamentally, this is no different from saying: If Bill Gates owns a gold mine he will be rich. Bill Gates is rich. Therefore, he must own a gold mine. (Except, of course, we know that a gold mine is not the source of Bill Gates wealth).

 

Now don't get me wrong. That doesn't mean that electrons definitely don't exist. They might. It's just that your reasons for believing in them are unconvincing.

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5 hours ago, Zosimus said:

I must say that I am more accustomed to arguments that contain premises and conclusions than to long screeds by grammar-challenged posters who veil their personal attacks in off topic statements littered with factually inaccuracies and logical fallacies. The post goes off the rails almost immediately as the poster accuses us of being "philosophical inebriated friends" rather than "philosophically inebriated." What does he mean, exactly? Does he mean that we are both philosophical and drunk or does he mean that we are drunk on philosophy? He then follows up by comparing the years we spent at UNI (Universidad Nacional de Ingenería?) to the practical institution of science. I fail to see how years can be compared to an institution of science.

So let's just skip over the rambling quotes and the guilt-by-association logical fallacy to the real question: Can we verify that the Earth is round? No, we cannot and there are two important reasons. The first is that the Earth is not round (not even spherical, which is probably what he meant). Even experts will say that the Earth has a tendency to bulge somewhat at the equator because of the spinning action of the Earth. What our poster fails to realize is that my brief summary of the problem of verificationism is just a paraphrase of Karl Popper's essay on the subject, large portions of which can be found at http://www.criticalrationalism.net/2010/02/02/karl-popper-on-the-empirical-base-of-science/ where he points out:

Quote:

There are at least two next steps. One would be to reflect that ‘I have read it in The Times’ is also an assertion, and that we might ask ‘What is the source of your knowledge that you read it in The Times and not, say, in a paper looking very similar to The Times?’ The other is to ask The Times for the sources of its knowledge. The answer to the first question may be ‘But we have only The Times on order and we always get it in the morning’, which gives rise to a host of further questions about sources which we shall not pursue. The second question may elicit from the editor of The Times the answer: ‘We had a telephone call from the Prime Minister’s office.’ Now according to the empiricist procedure, we should at this stage ask next: ‘Who is the gentleman who received the telephone call?’ and then get his observation report; but we should also have to ask that gentleman: ‘What is the source of your knowledge that the voice you heard came from an official in the Prime Minister’s office?’, and so on.

There is a simple reason why this tedious sequence of questions never comes to a satisfactory conclusion. It is this. Every witness must always make ample use, in his report, of his knowledge of persons, places, things, linguistic usages, social conventions, and so on. He cannot rely merely upon his eyes or ears, especially if his report is to be of use in justifying any assertion worth justifying. But this fact must of course always raise new questions as to the sources of those elements of his knowledge which are not immediately observational.

This is why the programme of tracing back all knowledge to its ultimate source in observation is logically impossible to carry through: it leads to an infinite regress. (The doctrine that truth is manifest cuts off the regress. This is interesting because it may help to explain the attractiveness of that doctrine.)

Endquote.

As our poster has already pointed out, he is a layman with no formal training in either science or logic. This is not necessarily a problem as there are large numbers of books and online sites that might enable him to educate himself somewhat. Apparently, however, he is content with merely dropping out of context quotes throughout posts that insult others.

How sad.

Thank you for actually proving my point.

 

4 hours ago, Zosimus said:

Well, I'm not here to argue about semantics. It appears that we do agree to a greater or lesser extent.

 

 

:D:rolleyes: I don't think much more needs to be said about that ironic statement.

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 Nevertheless, scientific realists will eagerly proclaim that light is both a wave and a particle as a real and unquestionable truth and one post later will insist that the idea that Jesus is his own father is too absurd to consider.

That's why one is science and knowledge based on evidence, while the other is essentially unsupported drivel and myth. You can't see the difference? 

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Similarly, most of what people consider the triumphs of science are nothing of the sort. For example, a man designing a sub that has to go to 100m of depth may well design the sub to withstand 200m of water pressure. People unfamiliar with the matter may then gush at how exacting science is when in reality the engineer was simply being extra careful.

:o What can one say to that apparent nonsensical conclusion, except resurrect that great quote, "There is no statement so absurd that no philosopher will make it". Cicero, Marcus Tullius (106-43 BCE) Roman statesman.

 

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Our entire experience with gravity is limited to what happens on our planet or in our solar system. Then we observe galaxies light years away and see what said galaxies don't obey Kepler's laws. Rather than admitting that our understanding of gravity is based entirely on observations in and around our solar system, observations that may not be valid in other places in the universe, we instead postulate invisible 'dark' matter that we can drop in anywhere we want willy nilly so that we can pretend that we understand things that we obviously do not.

When our models/theories etc be overwhelmingly supported by observational and experimental data, and then we find some apparent anomaly, it really is not wise to then drop all that we apparently know and supported overwhelmingly by mountains of data, as against that one single anomaly. Rather, science continues research and the implementation of new ideas and such. In that vane, DM was originally a fudge factor, but since those early days evidence has been forthcoming supporting the concept of DM....the bullet cluster observation being one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullet_Cluster and another lesser known piece of evidence at https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/five-reasons-we-think-dark-matter-exists-a122bd606ba8"The existence of dark matter leaves a characteristic imprint on CMB observations, as it clumps into dense regions and contributes to the gravitational collapse of matter, but is unaffected by the pressure from photons.

We can predict these oscillations in the CMB with and without dark matter, which we often present in the form of a power spectrum. The power spectrum of the CMB shows us the strength of oscillations at different sizes of the photons and matter. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) was the first instrument to measure the CMB power spectrum through the first peak of oscillations, and showed that the existence of dark matter is favored".

That's how science works my friend, and we can all be thankful that it does. Isn't that far better then imagining some magical spaghetti monster playing tricks? Nothing else much interesting in your post other then the usual philosophical rambling on and on and the usual questionable analogies, metaphors and similes. 

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Now don't get me wrong. That doesn't mean that electrons definitely don't exist. They might. It's just that your reasons for believing in them are unconvincing.

Science doesn't believe in electrons....science has the evidence that something exists that causes certain effects that they have labelled electrons. The model fits...the model works...in that regard it is scientific truth and knowledge. Far better then the questionable ramblings, probably influenced by some agenda, of a couple of obviously poor philosophers.

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16 hours ago, Reg Prescott said:

Yes, the trace is observable. The electron is not (at least as van Fraassen defines "observable").

And here, of course, we assume the trace that we do see is caused by an electron that we don't see.

It's actually not any different when you're observing yourself in the mirror. Any observation is indirect. You don't really see object, just how it interacts with other particles.

Natural or artificial light source is emitting photons. They are colliding and interacting with electrons and nuclei (reflection, refraction, scattering, absorption and emission). Photon is absorbed by electron in atom, atom is excited for a while, then photon is reemited, or couple new photons will be reemitted. To your eye there is arriving photon, exciting electrons in your retina. Millions or billions such events per second.

Electron (or any other charged particle) with high kinetic energy passing through medium is decelerated by collisions with medium, and gives part of its kinetic energy to medium. Thus medium is excited or accelerated as a result (which is visible as trace). We can verify electron charge, rest-mass, momentum and kinetic energy using well-known external electric and/or magnetic fields.

Edited by Sensei
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1 hour ago, beecee said:

Thank you for actually proving my point.

Your point being what exactly? That when you quote someone it's proof of something but when I quote someone it's proof of nothing?

https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/163/Special_Pleading

 

1 hour ago, beecee said:

:D:rolleyes: I don't think much more needs to be said about that ironic statement.

That's why one is science and knowledge based on evidence, while the other is essentially unsupported drivel and myth. You can't see the difference? 

Now I'm confused. You think that the theory that a photon is both a wave and a particle is unsupported drivel and myth but you accept that Jesus is his own father? What gives?!

1 hour ago, beecee said:

:o What can one say to that apparent nonsensical conclusion, except resurrect that great quote, "There is no statement so absurd that no philosopher will make it". Cicero, Marcus Tullius (106-43 BCE) Roman statesman.

Well, I'm sorry that you cannot follow a simple argument. Nevertheless, you have not answered the fundamental question. It's essentially the same reason that one cannot define one's terms because there is never an end to the defining. If we want to define light, we might say: "A form of electromagnetic radiation that can be detected by our eyes." As soon as you say that you have to define electromagnetic, radiation, detected, and eyes. But when we try to define eyes we say "a pair of globular organs in the head through which people and vertebrate animals see" oops! Now we have to define pair, globular, organs, head, people, vertebrate, and animals. The definition of terms will never end.

1 hour ago, beecee said:

When our models/theories etc be overwhelmingly supported by observational and experimental data, and then we find some apparent anomaly, it really is not wise to then drop all that we apparently know and supported overwhelmingly by mountains of data, as against that one single anomaly.

Right. So if someone says, "All swans are white" and is shown a picture like Black_Swan.jpg 

then the most sensible thing in the world is to say, "the theory that all swans are white is supported overwhelmingly by mountains of data, so we should just choose to believe that this is not actually a swan."

1 hour ago, beecee said:

Rather, science continues research and the implementation of new ideas and such. In that vane...

It's in that vein... referring to a vein of ore.

1 hour ago, beecee said:

, DM was originally a fudge factor, but since those early days evidence has been forthcoming supporting the concept of DM....the bullet cluster observation being one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullet_Cluster and another lesser known piece of evidence at https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/five-reasons-we-think-dark-matter-exists-a122bd606ba8"The existence of dark matter leaves a characteristic imprint on CMB observations, as it clumps into dense regions and contributes to the gravitational collapse of matter, but is unaffected by the pressure from photons.

 

Again, you don't seem to get it, but here's the problem. You theorize that dark matter exists, you go searching for it, and you find things that are consistent with the theory, so you think (falsely) that the theory has been supported. In reality, you are only dealing with the problem of scientific underdetermination. There are an infinite number of explanations for every observed phenomenon.

1 hour ago, beecee said:

 

We can predict these oscillations in the CMB with and without dark matter, which we often present in the form of a power spectrum. The power spectrum of the CMB shows us the strength of oscillations at different sizes of the photons and matter. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) was the first instrument to measure the CMB power spectrum through the first peak of oscillations, and showed that the existence of dark matter is favored".

 

So your own quote refutes you. It claims that the existence of dark matter is "favored" which is far from saying that it is known to exist. A hundred years from now, everyone will laugh at all your cherished scientific ideas and wonder aloud how anyone could have been so silly as to believe them — just as you would if you encountered someone from 1918 sharing his knowledge of science. 

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53 minutes ago, Zosimus said:

Your point being what exactly? That when you quote someone it's proof of something but when I quote someone it's proof of nothing?

My point being exactly what I said...science is based on evidence, knowledge and observation, under the auspices of the scientific method. Rather then just philosophical musings and tiresome irrelevant metaphors, similes, analogies and such.

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Now I'm confused. You think that the theory that a photon is both a wave and a particle is unsupported drivel and myth but you accept that Jesus is his own father? What gives?!

Don't be so obtuse my friend. We have observational evidence of what a photon is and does. We have nothing about the other, other then some obscure book written in an obscure age, by obscure men...a total myth in other words, with absolutely nothing to do with science, knowledge or any supposed truth. 

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Well, I'm sorry that you cannot follow a simple argument.

Oh, I certainly follow your argument and also your obvious agenda. It just as certainly has nothing to do with the thread title of science, knowledge and truth.

 

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Right. So if someone says, "All swans are white" and is shown a picture like  

Perhaps if you were more attentive you would understand that science is always progressing and adding to or changing or modifying as new observations and evidence comes to light. That is the beauty of science rather then concocting  nonsense based on myth.

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then the most sensible thing in the world is to say, "the theory that all swans are white is supported overwhelmingly by mountains of data, so we should just choose to believe that this is not actually a swan."

The theory that all swans are white was based on observational data at that time. New evidence came to light and the theory was modified...that's science... that's progression based on observational knowledge and data. Again far better then concocting some mythical entity that is unobserved, unevidenced, superfluous to explain that which science will admit is unknown.

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It's in that vein... referring to a vein of ore.

:rolleyes: Whatever 

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Again, you don't seem to get it, but here's the problem. You theorize that dark matter exists, you go searching for it, and you find things that are consistent with the theory, so you think (falsely) that the theory has been supported. In reality, you are only dealing with the problem of scientific underdetermination. There are an infinite number of explanations for every observed phenomenon

No, I think logically that the theory of DM has been supported by observation and other data as was detailed. If you believe there are other explanations that invalidate this DM, then write up an appropriate paper for professional peer review. 

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So your own quote refutes you. It claims that the existence of dark matter is "favored" which is far from saying that it is known to exist.

Your obtuseness is raising its ugly head again! :rolleyes: Science proceeds on what it knows and observes. DM is the favoured model...it's that simple. And as I continually say, any scientific theory is always open for change or modification...a beauty and necessity of science and the scientific method. But just as certain is the fact that scientific theories and models do grow in certainty over time, and as they continue to make successful predictions and continue to align with observational and other data. eg: GR, the BB, the theory of evolution, all based on science, scientific truth, and knowledge.

 

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A hundred years from now, everyone will laugh at all your cherished scientific ideas and wonder aloud how anyone could have been so silly as to believe them — just as you would if you encountered someone from 1918 sharing his knowledge of science. 

Such an absolute statement again reflects on an agenda afoot. Let me modify it for you......a hundred years from now, we may be laughing at the suggestion of DM, or alternatively we may have uncovered the true nature of DM with even more evidence and perhaps new revealing discoveries. Just as in 1918 before the first great test of GR, started a whole new view and revelation of the big wide wonderful universe we inhabit and yet this 100 year old view is even further validated today and still stands as a tribute to that great man more then a 100 years ago. But yeah, some things have changed, just as some things will change in another 100 years, and you can bet your short and curlies that science will be the reason for that change and again at the forefront of further and continued advancements.

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2 hours ago, Sensei said:

It's actually not any different when you're observing yourself in the mirror. Any observation is indirect. You don't really see object, just how it interacts with other particles.

I disagree. When I look at a ring-tailed lemur, I'd argue, following common sense, what I see is the object itself - the lemur. (I'm planning a trip to Madagascar right now. Yippee!)
The position is known as direct realism, sometimes pejoratively referred to as naive realism. Blame it on my youth.

 

2 hours ago, Sensei said:

Natural or artificial light source is emitting photons. They are colliding and interacting with electrons and nuclei (reflection, refraction, scattering, absorption and emission). Photon is absorbed by electron in atom, atom is excited for a while, then photon is reemited, or couple new photons will be reemitted. To your eye there is arriving photon, exciting electrons in your retina. Millions or billions such events per second.

Electron (or any other charged particle) with high kinetic energy passing through medium is decelerated by collisions with medium, and gives part of its kinetic energy to medium. Thus medium is excited or accelerated as a result (which is visible as trace). We can verify electron charge, rest-mass, momentum and kinetic energy using well-known external electric and/or magnetic fields.

You're taking a great deal of theory for granted here. Two hundred and fifty years ago we were told light was composed of corpuscles. Later the story changed quite radically to light being a wave of one kind or another. These days photons are all the rage. But you think we've finally nailed it now? The buck stops here?


But let's suppose for the sake of argument, Sensei, that everything you say above is true. Does this mean I don't see the lemur? I don't think so.


What you've done is to provide a causal account of how it is that I see what I see; what you have not done is to refute that I see what I claim to see. To argue otherwise is, in my view, to run afoul of the genetic fallacy. Providing a causal account for why X obtains does not, in and of itself, refute X.


I think what you're trying to articulate above is some version of the old "sense data" theory of perception. To wit, we never actually see the real world; all we ever see is our impressions, or sense data. And, whether you realize it or not, it's a recipe for skepticism; a sad farewell to knowledge of an external reality. I suspect Zosimus might like it; I don't think you would, though.


Our old chum Bertrand Russell has a neat (but fallacious IMO) argument you might enjoy:

Premise 1: Science presupposes direct realism
Premise 2: Science shows that direct realism is false
Conclusion 1: Therefore direct realism, if true, is false
Conclusion 2: Therefore direct realism is false.
 

 

But let's not forget how we got started on all this. You claimed "Electron's traces are observable in e.g. Cloud Chamber".

So the trace is observable, even if the electron is not.

Lately, though, you tell us: "Any observation is indirect. You don't really see [the] object".

In which case, we do not even see the trace on the Cloud Chamber screen, right? (Let alone the cloud chamber itself)

Well, which is it? Do we see the trace (and the cloud chamber) or not?

Edited by Reg Prescott
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23 minutes ago, Reg Prescott said:

You're taking a great deal of theory for granted here. Two hundred and fifty years ago we were told light was composed of corpuscles. Later the story changed quite radically to light being a wave of one kind or another. These days photons are all the rage. But you think we've finally nailed it now? The buck stops here?

Actually waves and particles, called the duality nature of  light. Yes, I'probably reasonably sure that we have now nailed it as far as photons go anyway...but I could be wrong.

Quote

 

But let's not forget how we got started on all this. You claimed "Electron's traces are observable in e.g. Cloud Chamber".

So the trace is observable, even if the electron is not.

 

The trace is the evidence that something exists. We call it an electron..that is the scientific truth, based on the scientific knowledge we have at this time.

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8 hours ago, Zosimus said:

Your claim seems to be that observation, experience, and experimentation are the source of knowledge. Yet, we have adequate reason to doubt this assertion. From Einstein imagining what it would be like to ride on a photon or from Feynman's double-split THOUGHT experiment, we can see that much of what is today taken as truth was a result not of observation but rather of rational thought processes. Similarly, we need not engage in experiments to confirm the truth of the idea: If John is taller than Mary and Mary is taller than Michael, then John is taller than Michael. It would be ridiculous to scour the Earth for a large number of Johns, Marys, and Michaels so that we could experiment with the idea and calculate an adequate p-value for subsequent publication in a scientific journal. We can simply use our brains (well, at least some of us can) to verify through pure thought the truth value of the proposition at hand.

 

See also the proposition "In any given ecology, those organisms with traits advantageous to survival and reproduction will tend to ... er, survive and reproduce more successfully than those without".

Oh gosh, now I've done it! Just when my neg-rep points had leveled off at a fairly respectable minus sixty-seven.

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26 minutes ago, Reg Prescott said:

See also the proposition "In any given ecology, those organisms with traits advantageous to survival and reproduction will tend to ... er, survive and reproduce more successfully than those without".

Oh gosh, now I've done it! Just when my neg-rep points had leveled off at a fairly respectable minus sixty-seven.

Perhaps the obvious trait with evolution of man is the desire to knowledge, scientific truth and the advancement in science to facilitate that knowledge. I mean isn't this an evolution of sorts from the days of ancient and stone age man, needing some mythical deity in mountains, rivers, the Sun, Moon etc, to proper knowledgable scientific truth and explanation that is generally achieved today? And always ready to modify and advance that knowledge when new data and observations come to light. 

In essence, without science and knowledge and a desire to know, we would all still be swinging in the trees.

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If you treat everything as a unit or variable then you must define observable absolutes in order to work with those newly developed variable. Such as observing a car. If it is your first time seeing it then you must define it as type of unit in reference to dimensional analysis like how voltage is a unit which describes an observed phenomenon. However these defined units are not in anyway absolute. They are simply describers. Saying that they are absolute would present a paradox where, "which came first; the definition or the observed thing being defined. One would, I would bet, argue for the second. However in making the statement, " this thing exists because of it being able to be observed and some how "knowing" that it will always be there even without observation is a error in reasoning due to very fundamental levels of defining existance. Like if a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound. Well one would answer "yes" however if I had never told you that the tree fell would it make a sound then. One would again argue yes on the grounds of someone knowing that the tree had fallen. Well what if no one had ever existed to define what a tree was or even what a sound was. Would the tree have made a sound. My arguement would be that at that point then no. Because the things defining the things that they observe are no longer present. Existance is dependent upon observation. If you are not observing it then you cannot define it and therefore it does not exist. Even if you argue that it still does exist then I would formulate a rebutle asking you to, " show me something that does not exist using something that does not exist " or simply "show me nothing using nothing and tell me how you made that nothing something using that nothings nothingness.

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3 hours ago, beecee said:

My point being exactly what I said...science is based on evidence, knowledge and observation, under the auspices of the scientific method. Rather then just philosophical musings and tiresome irrelevant metaphors, similes, analogies and such.

That's partially right. Science is based on evidence and observation even though we know that relying on evidence and observation flies in the face of established rules of logic.

3 hours ago, beecee said:

Don't be so obtuse my friend. We have observational evidence of what a photon is and does. We have nothing about the other, other then some obscure book written in an obscure age, by obscure men...a total myth in other words, with absolutely nothing to do with science, knowledge or any supposed truth. 

Oh, I certainly follow your argument and also your obvious agenda. It just as certainly has nothing to do with the thread title of science, knowledge and truth.

I certainly do have an agenda, and it has everything to do with science, knowledge, and truth. My agenda is to criticize empiricism and to promote rationalism.

3 hours ago, beecee said:

Perhaps if you were more attentive you would understand that science is always progressing and adding to or changing or modifying as new observations and evidence comes to light. That is the beauty of science rather then concocting  nonsense based on myth.

Yes, I've heard that before. When theism or rationalism is wrong, that's proof that they don't work. When empiricism is wrong, that's proof that it does work. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/special-pleading

3 hours ago, beecee said:

The theory that all swans are white was based on observational data at that time. New evidence came to light and the theory was modified...that's science... that's progression based on observational knowledge and data. Again far better then concocting some mythical entity that is unobserved, unevidenced, superfluous to explain that which science will admit is unknown.

Yes, that's the point. No finite amount of data will ever establish something as true. It will always be conjectural. We might say that it is all just a theory in search of falsification.

3 hours ago, beecee said:

:rolleyes: Whatever 

No, I think logically that the theory of DM has been supported by observation and other data as was detailed. If you believe there are other explanations that invalidate this DM, then write up an appropriate paper for professional peer review. 

Your obtuseness is raising its ugly head again! :rolleyes: Science proceeds on what it knows and observes. DM is the favoured model...it's that simple. And as I continually say, any scientific theory is always open for change or modification...a beauty and necessity of science and the scientific method. But just as certain is the fact that scientific theories and models do grow in certainty over time, and as they continue to make successful predictions and continue to align with observational and other data. eg: GR, the BB, the theory of evolution, all based on science, scientific truth, and knowledge.

This is rather silly. Do you think that merely because you jutted your jaw out while you said it that we would all believe you? Where I come people need reasons to back up arguments. It's not enough to just say "nyah, nyah, nyah, I'm right."

By the way — what's the difference between scientific truth and non-scientific truth?

3 hours ago, beecee said:

 

Such an absolute statement again reflects on an agenda afoot. Let me modify it for you......a hundred years from now, we may be laughing at the suggestion of DM, or alternatively we may have uncovered the true nature of DM with even more evidence and perhaps new revealing discoveries. Just as in 1918 before the first great test of GR, started a whole new view and revelation of the big wide wonderful universe we inhabit and yet this 100 year old view is even further validated today and still stands as a tribute to that great man more then a 100 years ago. But yeah, some things have changed, just as some things will change in another 100 years, and you can bet your short and curlies that science will be the reason for that change and again at the forefront of further and continued advancements.

Yet copious numbers of advancements were obtained before scientists existed and long before science as we know it was even dreamed up. How do you reconcile your claims that science is the one true reason for progress and the fact that progress occurred pre-science?

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There once was a man who said "God 
Must think it exceedingly odd 
If he finds that this tree 
Continues to be 
When there's no one about in the Quad." 
 

 

32 minutes ago, ALine said:

If you treat everything as a unit or variable then you must define observable absolutes in order to work with those newly developed variable. Such as observing a car. If it is your first time seeing it then you must define it as type of unit in reference to dimensional analysis like how voltage is a unit which describes an observed phenomenon. However these defined units are not in anyway absolute. They are simply describers. Saying that they are absolute would present a paradox where, "which came first; the definition or the observed thing being defined. One would, I would bet, argue for the second. However in making the statement, " this thing exists because of it being able to be observed and some how "knowing" that it will always be there even without observation is a error in reasoning due to very fundamental levels of defining existance. Like if a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound. Well one would answer "yes" however if I had never told you that the tree fell would it make a sound then. One would again argue yes on the grounds of someone knowing that the tree had fallen. Well what if no one had ever existed to define what a tree was or even what a sound was. Would the tree have made a sound. My arguement would be that at that point then no. Because the things defining the things that they observe are no longer present. Existance is dependent upon observation. If you are not observing it then you cannot define it and therefore it does not exist. Even if you argue that it still does exist then I would formulate a rebutle asking you to, " show me something that does not exist using something that does not exist " or simply "show me nothing using nothing and tell me how you made that nothing something using that nothings nothingness.

 

This all sounds confused to me, ALine. Is it your position, then, that prior to the discovery of the planet Uranus, say, it did not exist?

 

 

Dear Sir, 
              Your astonishment's odd. 
I am always about in the Quad. 
And that's why the tree 
Will continue to be 
Since observed by 
                          Yours faithfully, 
                                                  God

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1 hour ago, Zosimus said:

That's partially right. Science is based on evidence and observation even though we know that relying on evidence and observation flies in the face of established rules of logic.

Nonsense. Observation and attention have shown us conclusively that forming models/theories based on evidence and observation, is generally successful. eg: Discovery that light follows geodesics in curved spacetime as per GR and as observed first in 1919....discovery of gravitational radiation as predicted by GR in recent times.... The universe need not conform to what you see as logic. Science can only conform to what we know at any one time. In the end as science, knowledge is gathered, the scientific truth is 

Quote

I certainly do have an agenda, and it has everything to do with science, knowledge, and truth. My agenda is to criticize empiricism and to promote rationalism.

Science is knowledge, so on that score, congratulations...truth on the other hand, is in many cases a reference to some almighty deity up in the sky somewhere. More correctly if this supposed deep underlying truth even exists, it may in reality be unobtainable and is certainly not necessarily the prime goal of science. Scientific truth of course is that situation that holds at anyone time. 

Quote

Yes, I've heard that before. When theism or rationalism is wrong, that's proof that they don't work. When empiricism is wrong, that's proof that it does work. 

Nothing to do with special pleading, just a fact of life, that science is always an ongoing situation, and depends on the scientific methodology and further and better observational data. Far better and far more honest then pleading any god of the gaps nonsense, which is unobservable, unevidenced, unscientific, and superfluous to boot. 

Quote

Yes, that's the point. No finite amount of data will ever establish something as true. It will always be conjectural. We might say that it is all just a theory in search of falsification.

It is scientifically true despite your misgivings and general philosophically prancing around the fact that this is why science, and the knowledge that goes with it, will always prevail, and improve and is its overwhelming advantage over myth and philosophical questions that may never be answered.

Quote

This is rather silly. Do you think that merely because you jutted your jaw out while you said it that we would all believe you? Where I come people need reasons to back up arguments. It's not enough to just say "nyah, nyah, nyah, I'm right."

I'm sure most educated scientists and those interested in science on this forum do agree totally with what I have said. So your "we" should be "I" .It may interfere with whatever agenda you really have but it is accepted as correct, and all without any "jaw jutting" pretentious accusations by yourself. Again,  "it's that simple. And as I continually say, any scientific theory is always open for change or modification...a beauty and necessity of science and the scientific method. But just as certain is the fact that scientific theories and models do grow in certainty over time, and as they continue to make successful predictions and continue to align with observational and other data. eg: GR, the BB, the theory of evolution, all based on science, scientific truth, and knowledge".

Quote

Yet copious numbers of advancements were obtained before scientists existed and long before science as we know it was even dreamed up. How do you reconcile your claims that science is the one true reason for progress and the fact that progress occurred pre-science?

Certainly, and due to a raw science of sorts. Science and scientific reason has probably always existed, as has the general search for knowledge that is bound hand in hand with science. Otherwise probably, you and I would still be swinging in the trees.

But also just as certainly, the mythical beliefs in the supernatural and paranormal also hindered the advancement of the evolution of mankind, illustrated most vividly with the persecution of Galileo by a church dominated society. But science, scientific truth, again in the end prevailed. 

Even today, to some extent, and despite the enormous advancements made because of science, it is still in parts hog tied. But that's another subject.

Perhaps at this stage now with two or three obviously philosophically learned members on board, I may add another notable quote.....

"Do not commence your exercises in philosophy in those regions where an error can deliver you over to the executioner". ~ Georg Lichtenberg

Again let me say, that with the philosophical ramblings of late, it is understandable why the likes of Professor Laurence Krauss, and the late Professor Stephen Hawking, saw the need to take a few pot shots at philosophy as it is today. Perhaps we could say philosophy has had its day? 

Quote

By the way — what's the difference between scientific truth and non-scientific truth?

http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228966.001.0001/acprof-9780199228966-chapter-23

Scientific truth

Louis A. Girifalco

DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228966.003.0023

"Scientific truth is based on facts. Philosophy, religion, feelings, and prejudice have nothing to do with science. Only facts matter. Verified, reproducible facts are the bedrock of scientific truth. The facts are used to construct theories which describe the detailed relations among large numbers of facts and their origin from common roots. Each element of a theory corresponds to some part of nature and, in this sense, scientific theories describe nature".

or if you like....https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_is_a_scientific_truth

A scientific truth is a truth which is the object of a repeated experimental demonstration which leads to the same result.

"Scientific “truth” is simply knowledge that is compiled bit by bit, in the form of theories or “models” to give us meaningful explanations of our universe, including our small chunk of living earth. Although there may be setbacks and corrections along the way, science is nonetheless responsible for the enormous material progress we have seen over the last few centuries..."

 

"Scientific truth is a state of minimum discrepancy between theoretical prediction and observed reality.
Never absolute, scientific truth improves as theories evolve and/or measurement accuracy increases to improve the correlation between prediction and observation".

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

 

I have no real argument against any of those. All precise answers, pretty close to the mark, without any prolonged philisophical ramblings, metaphors, similes, or analogies.

 

Edited by beecee
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As an ex-rationalist I can sympathise with those who mistake habits of thought for a priori truths.   But thought experiments are composed of memories and are ultimately a form of empirical simulation.  Einstein was only able to perform successful thought experiments in lieu of observing actual experiments.

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10 hours ago, Reg Prescott said:

When I look at a ring-tailed lemur, I'd argue, following common sense, what I see is the object itself - the lemur.

[...]

But let's suppose for the sake of argument, Sensei, that everything you say above is true. Does this mean I don't see the lemur? I don't think so.

Imagine three situations:

1) lemur is alive in front of you

2) lemur is on the LED screen

3) lemur is printed on the paper

In the first case photons from light source are absorbed, some of them with the right energy are reflected (diffused in the all directions), some of them are absorbed, therefor from white light source photons there are remaining and arriving to your eye details of lemur body instead of just white light. Your brain is interpreting billions of photons as known image of lemur from the past experiences.

In the second case photons are emitted by LED screen itself. Pixels are so close each other and blend together that your eye and brain are just interpreting it as lemur. You don't see true lemur. It's just your brain which is interpreting thousands or millions of red, green and blue light-emitting diodes as image that you know from the past experiences. When resolution of computer screens was lower than 1920x1080 majority of people without eye problems could easily tell difference between lemur on the screen with 640x480 resolution and true one. The larger resolution, the larger quantity of colors, the easier for brain to interpret it and fool it.

In the third case photons from external light source like lamp, or the Sun, are absorbed by piece of paper and ink, and some are reflected toward your eye and brain just interprets it as lemur. You don't see true lemur.

 

Edited by Sensei
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@ Sensei (post directly above)

 

In cases (2) and (3), as you admit yourself, I do not see a lemur. For there is no lemur in front of me to be seen.

In case (1) I do see a lemur. I see the flesh-and-blood cute li'l lemur right in front of my eyes.

Granting all the physics of vision you've provided, you still haven't explained how this entails that in the veridical case (i.e. case 1) I am not seeing a lemur. All you've done is provide a scientific explanation for how I am able to see what I see.

What do you think I see in case 1 if not a lemur?

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@Reg Prescott

You don't know whether you're looking at alive lemur, remote controlled robot with fur of lemur, LED screen, or lemur image printed on the paper. Your brain is interpreting photons that arrive to retina in your eye. If there will be not enough of information e.g. you would never see LED screen in your life, and would not know how it works, you could think somebody put lemur inside of this device (and claim it is "magic" because of lack of knowledge). The first people watching TV screens at the beginning of XX century were amazed and were searching for people in the box. Some armies fooled enemies making carton tanks. From airplanes they looked like the real one tanks.

I described you how physics works. If it would not work this way, how 2) and 3) cases could fool people that they see lemur.. ?

 

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23 minutes ago, Sensei said:

 

You don't know whether you're looking at alive lemur, remote controlled robot with fur of lemur, LED screen, or lemur image printed on the paper.

It's hardly news that we can be fooled about these things, Sensei, mistaking a robot lemur for the real thing, say. Now, unless they're all robots, there are nonetheless veridical cases -- presumably the vast majority -- where we do see a real, flesh-and-blood lemur.


And even if they all turn out to be robots, it's debatable whether we'd still choose to call them lemurs or not. Either way, we'd still be seeing an object of some kind or another, regardless of what we choose to call it, contra your assertion "You don't really see object" (3 posts ago).


In typical cases, where the real McCoy lemur is directly in front of you (with all the usual caveats: standard lighting, normal vision, etc.), what do you think we see?

 

30 minutes ago, Sensei said:

 

 If there will be not enough of information e.g. you would never see LED screen in your life, and would not know how it works, you could think somebody put lemur inside of this device (and claim it is "magic" because of lack of knowledge).

Then you'd simply be mistaken. There is no lemur inside the device.
 

30 minutes ago, Sensei said:

 

The first people watching TV screens at the beginning of XX century were amazed and were searching for people in the box. Some armies fooled enemies making carton tanks. From airplanes they looked like the real one tanks.

Ditto.

 

31 minutes ago, Sensei said:

 

I described you how physics works. If it would not work this way, how 2) and 3) cases could fool people that they see lemur.. ?

In cases (2) and (3), as you described them, I don't think people, by and large, are fooled. Most of us are perfectly capable -- except in the kind of deviant cases you alluded to -- of telling a real lemur from a picture of a lemur. Otherwise why waste all that hard-earned dosh on a trip to Madagascar?

 

Now, it's your turn to answer my question: What do YOU think I see when there's a bona fide lemur sitting in front of me?
 

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Cases 1, 2 and 3 demonstrate that the public meaning of a noun is structural.  The so-called "realness" of a lemur  refers to an non-quantifiable set of empirical associations between an open set of stimuli and an open set of responses to said stimuli, as ambiguously  and implicitly laid-out by public conventions that dictate the appropriate use of the word.

In contrast, one's private meaning of "Lemur!"  when shouted in response to whatever one is experiencing, would constitute a behavioural expression which could either be said to be necessarily correct, or  to be said to not be truth apt.

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23 hours ago, NortonH said:

Right so I have tracked down the original quote:

On 31/10/2018 at 11:40 AM, Carrock said:

Euston station is six stops away from Kings Cross station"

That was it.

One single line which you most definitely DID write. How do we know? Two reasons.

Reason 1. The board provides an automatic mechanism to describe the time the original quote was made.

Reason 2. It is still on the board.

I just wonder why you crammed FOUR (4) lines in there and claimed INCORRECTLY that I had attributed them to you when it is clear that they were NOT all from you.

 

Quote

 

Euston Station is two stops away from Camden Town station.

This particular statement is true.

Euston Station is one stop away from Camden Town station.

This particular statement is true.

 

!

Moderator Note

Reg Prescott is the one who said

"Euston station is six stops away from Kings Cross station" and acknowledged that it was a false statement
https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/116782-science-truth-and-knowledge/?tab=comments#comment-1077796

Please get your attributions straight. 

 

 
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10 hours ago, beecee said:

Nonsense. Observation and attention have shown us conclusively that forming models/theories based on evidence and observation, is generally successful. eg: Discovery that light follows geodesics in curved spacetime as per GR and as observed first in 1919....discovery of gravitational radiation as predicted by GR in recent times.... The universe need not conform to what you see as logic. Science can only conform to what we know at any one time. In the end as science, knowledge is gathered, the scientific truth is 

So, basically, your argument is that we can use observations from the past to guide us in the future because in the past, this method has been generally successfully. Thus, presumably, this method will be generally successful in the future. Isn't that circular logic? 

10 hours ago, beecee said:

Science is knowledge, so on that score, congratulations...truth on the other hand, is in many cases a reference to some almighty deity up in the sky somewhere. More correctly if this supposed deep underlying truth even exists, it may in reality be unobtainable and is certainly not necessarily the prime goal of science. Scientific truth of course is that situation that holds at anyone time. 

So you admit that science doesn't find truth, isn't even trying to obtain truth, but rather invents its own version of "truth" which it calls "scientific truth" but which we all know is not actually true?

10 hours ago, beecee said:

Nothing to do with special pleading, just a fact of life, that science is always an ongoing situation, and depends on the scientific methodology and further and better observational data. Far better and far more honest then pleading any god of the gaps nonsense, which is unobservable, unevidenced, unscientific, and superfluous to boot. 

So, in short, science is better because alternatives are unscientific?

10 hours ago, beecee said:

It is scientifically true despite your misgivings and general philosophically prancing around the fact that this is why science, and the knowledge that goes with it, will always prevail, and improve and is its overwhelming advantage over myth and philosophical questions that may never be answered.

And by "scientifically true" you mean not actually true, but rather merely a "situation that holds at anyone (sic) time?"

10 hours ago, beecee said:

I'm sure most educated scientists and those interested in science on this forum do agree totally with what I have said. So your "we" should be "I" .It may interfere with whatever agenda you really have but it is accepted as correct, and all without any "jaw jutting" pretentious accusations by yourself. Again,  "it's that simple. And as I continually say, any scientific theory is always open for change or modification...a beauty and necessity of science and the scientific method. But just as certain is the fact that scientific theories and models do grow in certainty over time, and as they continue to make successful predictions and continue to align with observational and other data. eg: GR, the BB, the theory of evolution, all based on science, scientific truth, and knowledge".

So, basically science "works" because scientists have decided that it works. And when it doesn't work, scientists circle the wagons and claim that models grow in certainty over time. Of course, this flies in the face of what we know -- https://bigthink.com/neurobonkers/believe-it-or-not-most-published-research-findings-are-probably-false and the reasons for this are well known.

10 hours ago, beecee said:

Certainly, and due to a raw science of sorts. Science and scientific reason has probably always existed, as has the general search for knowledge that is bound hand in hand with science. Otherwise probably, you and I would still be swinging in the trees.

But also just as certainly, the mythical beliefs in the supernatural and paranormal also hindered the advancement of the evolution of mankind, illustrated most vividly with the persecution of Galileo by a church dominated society. But science, scientific truth, again in the end prevailed. 

Here we go again with the Great Atheist Myth. Let's set the record straight.

1. Galileo wasn't a scientist. In fact, there were no scientists before the 1830s. Galileo was a medical school dropout turned amateur mathematician who got his university position because he calculated the dimensions of Satan using Dante's Inferno as a source.

2. Galileo was a devout Catholic who went to mass every day, even when he was so old and weak that he had to be carried there.

3. Galileo's discoveries (all three of them) were confirmed by Jesuit priests, and Galileo was celebrated in Catholic circles. He was a personal friend of the Pope.

4. Galileo had absolutely zero evidence to back up the idea that he was most fervent about, namely that the Sun is the center of the universe. The consensus of every natural philosopher of the time was that Tycho Brae's system was far superior. In fact, no evidence that the Earth moved would be found for more than a century later.

10 hours ago, beecee said:

Even today, to some extent, and despite the enormous advancements made because of science, it is still in parts hog tied. But that's another subject.

Perhaps at this stage now with two or three obviously philosophically learned members on board, I may add another notable quote.....

"Do not commence your exercises in philosophy in those regions where an error can deliver you over to the executioner". ~ Georg Lichtenberg

Again let me say, that with the philosophical ramblings of late, it is understandable why the likes of Professor Laurence Krauss, and the late Professor Stephen Hawking, saw the need to take a few pot shots at philosophy as it is today. Perhaps we could say philosophy has had its day? 

http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228966.001.0001/acprof-9780199228966-chapter-23

Scientific truth

Louis A. Girifalco

DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228966.003.0023

"Scientific truth is based on facts. Philosophy, religion, feelings, and prejudice have nothing to do with science. Only facts matter. Verified, reproducible facts are the bedrock of scientific truth. The facts are used to construct theories which describe the detailed relations among large numbers of facts and their origin from common roots. Each element of a theory corresponds to some part of nature and, in this sense, scientific theories describe nature".

So, only verified, reproducible facts produce scientific truth? Can you describe the procedure by which you verified and reproduced that claim? Or do you just take it on faith?

10 hours ago, beecee said:

or if you like....https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_is_a_scientific_truth

A scientific truth is a truth which is the object of a repeated experimental demonstration which leads to the same result.

So if someone invests in stocks in 2015 and makes money, invests in stocks in 2016 and makes money, and invests in stocks in 2017 and makes money, then stock investing has become a scientific truth? I suppose you will tell me that stocks never go down?

10 hours ago, beecee said:

"Scientific “truth” is simply knowledge that is compiled bit by bit, in the form of theories or “models” to give us meaningful explanations of our universe, including our small chunk of living earth. Although there may be setbacks and corrections along the way, science is nonetheless responsible for the enormous material progress we have seen over the last few centuries..."

You're not answering the question. The question was this: What's the difference between scientific truth and unscientific truth?

10 hours ago, beecee said:

"Scientific truth is a state of minimum discrepancy between theoretical prediction and observed reality.

Never absolute, scientific truth improves as theories evolve and/or measurement accuracy increases to improve the correlation between prediction and observation".

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I have no real argument against any of those. All precise answers, pretty close to the mark, without any prolonged philisophical ramblings, metaphors, similes, or analogies.

 


Argument by quotation. Isn't that the appeal to authority logical fallacy?

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