# Science, truth, and knowledge

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15 hours ago, Zosimus said:

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?!

That's what happens when you're down the rabbit hole...

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1 hour ago, Zosimus said:

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?

When you drop a ball on this planet, presuming a normal ball of usual material and normal STP.....  when you release the ball from your hand it falls to the floor. This we know based on it falling to the floor the past 20 zillion times we tried it. It falls to the floor with the same acceleration every time. Every time. EVERY TIME. Can we use these observation to predict that next week, when I drop my ball, it will fall to the floor at around 9.8m2/s?

1 hour ago, Zosimus said:

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?

.... it finds the most repeatable, best explanation we can make with the information we have accumulated.  If new data turns up then whatever model that went before is revised to better reflect reality.

1 hour ago, Zosimus said:

Galileo wasn't a scientist. ....... Galileo was a medical school

How was he NOT a scientist if he went to Med school?

1 hour ago, Zosimus said:

Galileo was a devout Catholic who went to mass every day

So did most people go to church in those days - the human race knew no better explanation at the time other than what was in the bible, which we now know to be factually wrong.

1 hour ago, Zosimus said:

So, basically science "works" because scientists have decided that it works

...  no  - it works not because we say so but because it does actually work.   Look at the ball dropping....   EVERY TIME it does the same thing unless new or outside forces act on it. Look at our satellites - they work because we put Einstein's theory into practice. If it didn't work then nor would our machines and devices that are based on theories that came out of science.

1 hour ago, Zosimus said:

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?

... No - It doesn't work like that. This misconception explains a lot.  Either you know this and are deliberately trying to be misleading or  maybe your lack of understanding of what science is or does is the problem here - if you think this statement of yours is true then you need to start from scratch and just learn some science to see for yourself how it works.  Do/did you study it a school? What level are you at?

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Is scientific truth inferred via replication, or is scientific truth equivalent to replication?

A problem with the former realist conception  of truth is that  it understands justified  true belief  in terms of  predictive accuracy.   But  this is problematic, because our identification of predictive behaviour is relative to our cultural conventions.

For example, ordinarily we might consider buying a lottery ticket to constitute a lottery prediction.    But what has a mere guess concerning tomorrow's lottery numbers got to do with tomorrow's actual lottery outcome?   If the answer is "physically nothing"  then  our pairing of  predictions with their physical outcomes is purely decided  post-hoc after the outcome has physically occurred, according to cultural convention.  Does the realist really want to say that "he was wrong in his prediction" is merely a figure of speech of post-hoc linguistic convention?

On the other hand, if we restrict our notion of  a prediction to a  known statistical correlate of an outcome then we have eliminated scepticism concerning induction, since there is no longer a conceptual gap separating  our notions of induction and prediction for justification to fill. We have also eliminated  the cultural relativism  of convention, since mere guesses  are no longer considered to constitute predictions.   Yet the resulting conception of objective truth is now trivial, for our predictions are now definitionally equivalent to inductive bias that speaks nothing of the future.

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OK guys would someone like to analyse these statements and tell me if they are right or wrong, true or false and also if there is any difference between the categorisatiosn right/wrong and true false.

The period (T) of a simple pendulum is given by the equation

$T = 2\pi \sqrt {\frac{L}{g}}$

The sine of of 35 degrees is 0.5736.

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2 hours ago, DrP said:

When you drop a ball on this planet, presuming a normal ball of usual material and normal STP.....  when you release the ball from your hand it falls to the floor. This we know based on it falling to the floor the past 20 zillion times we tried it. It falls to the floor with the same acceleration every time. Every time. EVERY TIME. Can we use these observation to predict that next week, when I drop my ball, it will fall to the floor at around 9.8m2/s?

This is nonsense and you know it. It's like saying, "Every time a woman runs for the office of the president of the United States, she is defeated. Every time. EVERY TIME. Can we use these observation (sic) to predict that next year, when a woman runs for president, she will be defeated?" Well, of COURSE you can make that prediction. Will that prediction be true? You have no idea.

The napkin religion is the one true religion because I've read this napkin and it's said so the past 20 zillion times I've tried it.

P.S. It's 9.8 m/s2 not m2/s

2 hours ago, DrP said:

.... it finds the most repeatable, best explanation we can make with the information we have accumulated.  If new data turns up then whatever model that went before is revised to better reflect reality.

So, science is often wrong but that's a good thing?

2 hours ago, DrP said:

How was he NOT a scientist if he went to Med school?

Yes, Galileo went to Medical School. That made him an astrologer. In addition, the word scientist wasn't even invented until 1834. So how can you claim that a person who was born before the word even existed was a scientist? We might as well claim that Moses was the first Muslim.

2 hours ago, DrP said:

So did most people go to church in those days - the human race knew no better explanation at the time other than what was in the bible, which we now know to be factually wrong.

...  no  - it works not because we say so but because it does actually work.   Look at the ball dropping....   EVERY TIME it does the same thing unless new or outside forces act on it. Look at our satellites - they work because we put Einstein's theory into practice. If it didn't work then nor would our machines and devices that are based on theories that came out of science.

I think you need to take a serious look at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/12/13/the-truth-wears-off

2 hours ago, DrP said:

... No - It doesn't work like that. This misconception explains a lot.  Either you know this and are deliberately trying to be misleading or  maybe your lack of understanding of what science is or does is the problem here - if you think this statement of yours is true then you need to start from scratch and just learn some science to see for yourself how it works.  Do/did you study it a school? What level are you at?

And I think you should take a remedial logic class.

Induction—from the false everything follows. For example, I plan to prove that Richard Dawkins does not exist.

The statement "Richard Dawkins does not exist" is logically equivalent to the statement "Every thing that exists is not Richard Dawkins."

Now, I have been to the beach. I have seen endless grains of sand. Not one of them was Richard Dawkins. I have looked into the sky and seen endless stars. Not one of them was Richard Dawkins. I have met thousands of people in my life. Not one of them was Richard Dawkins. I have eaten countless bites of food. Not one of them was Richard Dawkins. I have breathed in countless molecules of air. Not one of them was Richard Dawkins. In short, the entire data set that I have provides overwhelming evidence that Richard Dawkins does not exist.

Induction — it's great.

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zosimus

3 hours ago, DrP said:

When you drop a ball on this planet, presuming a normal ball of usual material and normal STP.....  when you release the ball from your hand it falls to the floor. This we know based on it falling to the floor the past 20 zillion times we tried it. It falls to the floor with the same acceleration every time. Every time. EVERY TIME. Can we use these observation to predict that next week, when I drop my ball, it will fall to the floor at around 9.8m2/s?

This is nonsense and you know it. It's like saying, "Every time a woman runs for the office of the president of the United States, she is defeated. Every time. EVERY TIME. Can we use these observation (sic) to predict that next year, when a woman runs for president, she will be defeated?" Well, of COURSE you can make that prediction. Will that prediction be true? You have no idea.

If you can't tell the difference between a few trials (or even zero trials)  and many trials in a statistical experiment then your knowledge of Mathematics is seriously defective.

So I suggest you refrain from such contemptuous and discourteous remarks about the thoughts of others as with this example and your shallow unthinking comments om post whilst I was away.

On 10/11/2018 at 5:13 PM, studiot said:

You missed  at least one.

Any worthwhile listing of such  possibilities will automatically include "some combination of these"

Once again pigeonholing fails.

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Zosimus

Let's dispense with this nonsense for once and for all. Skepticism, obviously, doesn't pair with any of the other methods. One cannot say, "I'm skeptical that God exists, yet God is the source of all knowledge and through reading the Bible we can know His truth." Ditto for skepticism and empiricism.

Can theism be reconciled with empiricism? Perhaps, but I'm somewhat skeptical. Yes, we can say that Einstein believed in God and Max Planck too. However, I have yet to hear of a situation in which someone was reading the Bible, came up with a new physics concept and tested it out in the lab.

Can rationalism be reconciled with empiricism? No. Rationalists quickly point out all the logical flaws of science. Scientists don't like that very much.

Perhaps theism and rationalism can be reconciled. I hadn't really given it much thought.

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7 hours ago, Zosimus said:

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?

My argument is simply that science, the scientific method and scientific truth, progress as new observations and data dictate. We still accept the discoveries of Galileo through his observations of Jupiter and its moons, that the Earth centred view of the solar system is wrong...We exclusively use Newtonian mechanics every day of our lives here on Earth and still for near all space endeavours because they give the right answers with sufficient accuracies, despite SR and GR.

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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?

And again your rather childish obtuseness raises its ugly head. But hey! I have plenty of time to correct your nonsense. Science constructs theories and models under the auspices of the scientific method, based on observation and experiment, and validated predictions. Any so called truth if it at all exists, is not necessarily the goal, and of course often is used by those critical of science to mean some imaginary scientifically unsupported deity or ID of some sort...which we all know is unscientific as well of course as unevidenced, unnecessary, and superfluous.

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

I believe we have revealed your agenda!

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

Let me repeat, as your continued prancing and agenda is rather tiresome...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. Particularly relevant is the highlighted part.

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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.

Science works because it is not incalcitrant and based on myth or fear driven nonsense, rather observation and knowledge at anyone time, and of course logically as a scientific theory or model stands up to scrutiny, continues to align with new and further observations, and continues making predictions, it certainly does grow in certainty over time, as per examples previously given...unless of course you have discovered something that invalidates some incumbent model? Then you know what to do, don't you.

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

Yes lets.

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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.

Galileo practised science...astronomy to be exact, and even constructed his own telescope after a discovery by another named Hans Lippershey. We all practise science and always have to some degree or other. That's why the scientific method is so widely used and accepted as the best we have.

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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.

The father of the BB model of the evolution of the universe/spacetime was a Catholic Jesuit priest....So?

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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.

Yep, so?

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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.

Galileo, Brahe [not Brae ] and Copernicus all had evidence and all had a hand in showing that the Sun was the centre of the universe [which of course we know today is wrong and that it is actually the centre of the solar system. You are correct though that actual evidence that the earth rotates and orbits was not found until much later, but of course the three mentioned as well as another even more ancient astronomer did have legitimate thoughts re the Earth's movements. Obviously all practised science despite some errors that we know of today.

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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?

I take it on experience and the logic of the scientific method despite your crusade against those terrible Atheists. Why would we use religious myth to construct or formulate scientific truth? I of course agree though that some very important philosophical postulates and valid thoughts are at the foundation of the scientific method, but again as Professor Krauss has alluded to, perhaps philosophy has had its day.

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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?

A nonsensical analogy at best....Again [ho hum] science, scientific theories, and the knowledge and data that evolves with them, are not nor ever will be fixed and absolute. Science is in the business of progression and advancement, based on observation, and experiment under the auspices of the scientific methodology..Theories maybe  scrapped, modified, or added to...that's science and the scientific method...theories also grow in certainty over time, as they continue to be successful. Who in their right mind and without some agenda, can logically doubt the certainty of the evolution of life. That doesn't mean that more knowledge and more scientific truth cannot be added to Darwin's great theory and revelation. ps: You need not remind me that Darwin was also a religious man.

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

The question was answered, though the problem may be that it was not the answer aligning with what you wanted to hear.

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

The way I understand the argument from authority fallacy, is someone say asking a professor of medicine, about some aspect of relativity. Certainly it is 100% acceptable for anyone to say ask Professor Einstein, or another Professor of physics versed and educated in SR/GR about that very subject.

Most of the quotes I believe are from gentleman that are philosophers, although I am not sure and really at this time too lazy to check out....

You have a good day.

Edited by beecee

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2 hours ago, studiot said:

If you can't tell the difference between a few trials (or even zero trials)  and many trials in a statistical experiment then your knowledge of Mathematics is seriously defective.

If by "a few trials (or even zero trials)" you mean 46 times that women have run for the presidency and failed, then I can't help but wonder what you consider a large number of trials. Wasn't it you who claimed that it was zillions? I'm sure you must know that zillions is not an actual number.

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10 minutes ago, Zosimus said:

then I can't help but wonder

If you want to quote Mathematics, you shouldn't wonder you should know.

Further the author of zillions is hiding in plain sight  in the thread.

Edited by studiot

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52 minutes ago, beecee said:

My argument is simply that science, the scientific method and scientific truth, progress as new observations and data dictate.

So you accept that science is continuously wrong but ever changing. This is progress.

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

We still accept the discoveries of Galileo through his observations of Jupiter and its moons, that the Earth centred view of the solar system is wrong...

First of all, you cannot say that an Earth-centered view of the solar system is wrong. Only relative motion can be described. Second, an observation of Jupiter and moons doesn't prove anything about the solar system.

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

We exclusively use Newtonian mechanics every day of our lives here on Earth and still for near all space endeavours because they give the right answers with sufficient accuracies, despite SR and GR.

Yes, as I said, you know that the theory is wrong but you use it anyway because it's good enough for government work.

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

And again your rather childish obtuseness raises its ugly head. But hey! I have plenty of time to correct your nonsense. Science constructs theories and models under the auspices of the scientific method, based on observation and experiment, and validated predictions. Any so called truth if it at all exists...

Let's stop you right there and prove that truth exists. If you believe that truth does not exist, then you must hold that the statement "truth does not exist" is true. Therefore, you must hold the belief that truth does exist otherwise you will hold self-contradicting ideas. http://zimmer.csufresno.edu/~larryc/proofs/proofs.contradict.html

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

...is not necessarily the goal, and of course often is used by those critical of science to mean some imaginary scientifically unsupported deity or ID of some sort...which we all know is unscientific as well of course as unevidenced, unnecessary, and superfluous.

No, I get it. You hate logic because you're bad at it, but you want to pretend to be logical. So you try to pretend that rationalists are theists.

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

I believe we have revealed your agenda!

Let me repeat, as your continued prancing and agenda is rather tiresome...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. Particularly relevant is the highlighted part.

Please indicate the scientific experiment you conducted that demonstrated that "science...will always prevail and improve." Please also indicate the peer-reviewed journal I can read said experiment in.

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

Science works because it is not incalcitrant and based on myth or fear driven nonsense, rather observation and knowledge at anyone time, and of course logically as a scientific theory or model stands up to scrutiny, continues to align with new and further observations, and continues making predictions, it certainly does grow in certainty over time, as per examples previously given...unless of course you have discovered something that invalidates some incumbent model? Then you know what to do, don't you.

Oh, I see. The burden of proof is on me to prove science false. Whereas if a theist showed up, the burden would be on him to prove that God exists. Never does the burden fall upon you. I believe this is called the argument from ignorance.

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

Yes lets.

Galileo practised science...astronomy to be exact, and even constructed his own telescope after a discovery by another named Hans Lippershey. We all practise science and always have to some degree or other. That's why the scientific method is so widely used and accepted as the best we have.

Let's start right there. Astronomy involves no experiments. It only involves observation and conjecture.

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

The father of the BB model of the evolution of the universe/spacetime was a Catholic Jesuit priest....So?

The point is that all of the discoveries that you hold so dear were provided not by scientists but rather by priests.

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

Yep, so?

Galileo, Brahe [not Brae ] and Copernicus all had evidence and all had a hand in showing that the Sun was the centre of the universe [which of course we know today is wrong and that it is actually the centre of the solar system.

Again, these statements are factually incorrect. The Sun is not the barycenter of the solar system. Neither Galileo nor Copernicus had any kind of evidence showing that the Sun was the center of the universe. And Brahe believed that the Earth was the center of the universe with the Sun going round it and the planets going round the Sun.

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

You are correct though that actual evidence that the earth rotates and orbits was not found until much later, but of course the three mentioned as well as another even more ancient astronomer did have legitimate thoughts re the Earth's movements. Obviously all practised science despite some errors that we know of today.

As already established, there were no scientists before the 1830s and science as we know it was invented in 1933. Even if we assume that natural philosophers (such as Sir Isaac Newton) were merely scientists by another name, none of the people you have mentioned were natural philosophers.

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

I take it on experience and the logic of the scientific method despite your crusade against those terrible Atheists. Why would we use religious myth to construct or formulate scientific truth? I of course agree though that some very important philosophical postulates and valid thoughts are at the foundation of the scientific method, but again as Professor Krauss has alluded to, perhaps philosophy has had its day.

There is no logic to the scientific method. It is based on a logical fallacy. The in-vogue attempt to gloss that over is to pretend that Bayesian statistics can overcome that problem. Unfortunately, you don't seem to be able to make that argument. You just ignore the problem.

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

A nonsensical analogy at best....Again [ho hum] science, scientific theories, and the knowledge and data that evolves with them, are not nor ever will be fixed and absolute. Science is in the business of progression and advancement, based on observation, and experiment under the auspices of the scientific methodology..Theories maybe  scrapped, modified, or added to...that's science and the scientific method...theories also grow in certainty over time, as they continue to be successful.

Please indicate the scientific experiment that you undertook to demonstrate the above.

52 minutes ago, beecee said:

Who in their right mind and without some agenda, can logically doubt the certainty of the evolution of life. That doesn't mean that more knowledge and more scientific truth cannot be added to Darwin's great theory and revelation. ps: You need not remind me that Darwin was also a religious man.

The question was answered, though the problem may be that it was not the answer aligning with what you wanted to hear.

The way I understand the argument from authority fallacy, is someone say asking a professor of medicine, about some aspect of relativity. Certainly it is 100% acceptable for anyone to say ask Professor Einstein, or another Professor of physics versed and educated in SR/GR about that very subject.

No, you are quite wrong. An appeal to authority is the claim that something must be true because it is believed by some authority. If an expert on Buddhism thinks that Buddhism is true, does that mean that it must be?

17 minutes ago, studiot said:

If you want to quote Mathematics, you shouldn't wonder you should know.

Further the author of zillions is hiding in plain sight  in the thread.

You seem to be missing the point. Perhaps I can help you: Here is a sequence of numbers. What's the next number in the sequence?

1, 3, 5, 7 … ?

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8 hours ago, Zosimus said:

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

Appeal to Authority is when someone uses their authority in one field in another unrelated field.

Edited by StringJunky

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55 minutes ago, Zosimus said:

So you accept that science is continuously wrong but ever changing. This is progress.

And it gets more and more right as our observations improve. I see no progress though in your continued obtuseness and misunderstandings. Scientific truth remains as determined by observation under the auspices of the scientific method.

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First of all, you cannot say that an Earth-centered view of the solar system is wrong. Only relative motion can be described. Second, an observation of Jupiter and moons doesn't prove anything about the solar system.

Nonsense. The observations of Jupiter and its moons showled that everything does not revolve around the Earth and lead to the heliocentric model.

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Yes, as I said, you know that the theory is wrong but you use it anyway because it's good enough for government work.

It is scientifically adequate and correct when used in its zone of applicability, as per all scientific models including GR.

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Let's stop you right there and prove that truth exists. If you believe that truth does not exist, then you must hold that the statement "truth does not exist" is true. Therefore, you must hold the belief that truth does exist otherwise you will hold self-contradicting ideas. http://zimmer.csufresno.edu/~larryc/proofs/proofs.contradict.html

I'm really not interested in your philosophical clap trap. My claims stand and are generally accepted by scientists.

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No, I get it. You hate logic because you're bad at it, but you want to pretend to be logical. So you try to pretend that rationalists are theists.

I'm pretending nothing other then your inadequate attempted use of philosophy to attempt to invalidate science, the scientific methodology, and progressive scientific truth. Keep trying.

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Please indicate the scientific experiment you conducted that demonstrated that "science...will always prevail and improve." Please also indicate the peer-reviewed journal I can read said experiment in.

If you chose to ignore history and logic in favour of your hairy fairy philosophical learning, then I certainly understand why Krauss and Hawking took your nonsense to task....Note carefully, I don't denigrate all philosophy'just that as preached by yourself and another on this forum and the fact that even you two cannot agree....

"Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself". :Henry Louis Mencken

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Oh, I see. The burden of proof is on me to prove science false. Whereas if a theist showed up, the burden would be on him to prove that God exists. Never does the burden fall upon you. I believe this is called the argument from ignorance.

Actually again you fail to see. Science itself shows its own errors when relevant and is self correcting. Not interested in discussing any non scientific myth though.

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Let's start right there. Astronomy involves no experiments. It only involves observation and conjecture.

let's actually start where you are again wrong. Plenty of experiments starting with Focaults pendulum. I suggest you now start to stop trying to defend your silly philosophical stance against the practical application of science and the scientific method.

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The point is that all of the discoveries that you hold so dear were provided not by scientists but rather by priests.

So? I'm not prejudiced against any religious person, despite your own prejudices against the scientific discipline for having disposed of ID as unnecessary, and superfluous. Not sure why you find that an issue really.

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Again, these statements are factually incorrect. The Sun is not the barycenter of the solar system. Neither Galileo nor Copernicus had any kind of evidence showing that the Sun was the center of the universe. And Brahe believed that the Earth was the center of the universe with the Sun going round it and the planets going round the Sun.

Oh for Christ's sake stop being so silly and pedantic. You know exactly what I'm inferring and mean and what I said.

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As already established, there were no scientists before the 1830s and science as we know it was invented in 1933. Even if we assume that natural philosophers (such as Sir Isaac Newton) were merely scientists by another name, none of the people you have mentioned were natural philosophers.

Is obtuseness a staple requirement of philosophy? Again science has been practised for eons, despite not being called scientists or philosophers. I suggest at this time, along with your other obvious agendas, that you look up the definition of science.

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There is no logic to the scientific method. It is based on a logical fallacy. The in-vogue attempt to gloss that over is to pretend that Bayesian statistics can overcome that problem. Unfortunately, you don't seem to be able to make that argument. You just ignore the problem.

Yeah sure, and as I have already said, that also is the general view held by many who chose mystical, mythical beliefs over science, the scientific method and the knowledge that goes with it. The scientific methodology is the most logical system available and I doubt if it will ever be improved upon.

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Please indicate the scientific experiment that you undertook to demonstrate the above.

It's available and observed everyday at every opportunity for anyone that is not blinded by some agenda. I don't intend to pander to your nonsensical question in that regard.

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No, you are quite wrong. An appeal to authority is the claim that something must be true because it is believed by some authority. If an expert on Buddhism thinks that Buddhism is true, does that mean that it must be?

To the contrary I'm absolutely right and as I explained in detail.

Edited by beecee

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2 hours ago, StringJunky said:

Appeal to Authority is when someone uses their authority in one field in another unrelated field.

Are you sure of that, StringJunky?

What you Posted seems more like the the definition of an Appeal to False Authority.

" Appeal to False Authority  (also known as: appeal to unqualified authority, argument from false authority)

Description: Using an alleged authority as evidence in your argument when the authority is not really an authority on the facts relevant to the argument. As the audience, allowing an irrelevant authority to add credibility to the claim being made. Also see the appeal to authority."  - https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/244/Appeal-to-False-Authority

A couple of definitions : Appeal to Authority

" Appeal to authority is a common type of fallacy, or an argument based on unsound logic.

When writers or speakers use appeal to authority, they are claiming that something must be true because it is believed by someone who said to be an "authority" on the subject. Whether the person is actually an authority or not, the logic is unsound. Instead of presenting actual evidence, the argument just relies on the credibility of the "authority." " - http://www.softschools.com/examples/fallacies/appeal_to_authority_examples/430/

" Appeal to Authority  argumentum ad verecundiam  (also known as: argument from authority, ipse dixit)

Description: Insisting that a claim is true simply because a valid authority or expert on the issue said it was true, without any other supporting evidence offered. Also see the appeal to false authority.

Logical Form:

According to person 1, who is an expert on the issue of Y, Y is true.

Therefore, Y is true.

Example #1:

Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and perhaps the foremost expert in the field, says that evolution is true. Therefore, it's true.

Explanation: Richard Dawkins certainly knows about evolution, and he can confidently tell us that it is true, but that doesn't make it true. What makes it true is the preponderance of evidence for the theory. " - https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/21/Appeal-to-Authority

Edited by et pet

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A few cheery remarks inspired by reading through the posts above...

7 hours ago, Zosimus said:

And I think you should take a remedial logic class.

Induction—from the false everything follows. For example, I plan to prove that Richard Dawkins does not exist.

The statement "Richard Dawkins does not exist" is logically equivalent to the statement "Every thing that exists is not Richard Dawkins."

Now, I have been to the beach. I have seen endless grains of sand. Not one of them was Richard Dawkins. I have looked into the sky and seen endless stars. Not one of them was Richard Dawkins. I have met thousands of people in my life. Not one of them was Richard Dawkins. I have eaten countless bites of food. Not one of them was Richard Dawkins. I have breathed in countless molecules of air. Not one of them was Richard Dawkins. In short, the entire data set that I have provides overwhelming evidence that Richard Dawkins does not exist.

Induction — it's great.

Here Zosimus alludes to Carl Hempel's notorious "raven paradox". The uninitiated will no doubt find it explained on Google, and the problem it raises for any account of evidence and confirmation in science, namely, granting two rather innocuous assumptions [ (i) any instance of an F that is G constitutes confirming evidence for the hypothesis "all Fs are G", and (ii) any evidence that confirms a hypothesis H also confirms any hypothesis logically equivalent to H] we derive the disturbing conclusion that almost any observation constitutes evidence for almost any hypothesis. Hardly a trivial result!

Given the overriding importance assigned to "evidence" by our members in appraising scientific claims to truth and knowledge, Hempel's paradox is ignored at one's own peril.
Lacking any understanding of what evidence is in science, and exactly how it serves to support a theory or hypothesis (if indeed it does at all - Zosimus is skeptical), a "We have lots of evidence" defense is hardly superior to "It's all in scripture".

Zosimus, cogent and intelligent argumentation notwithstanding, takes skepticism further than I'd be willing to go myself, though his presence here, in my opinion, constitutes a sorely needed corrective to the wildly inflated and frequently ill informed hyperbole of those raised on self-congratulatory Whig history of science and the simple-minded Dawkins/Krauss type pablum obediently and uncritically consumed by those who prefer their portraits wart-free.

On a different note, to the myth of "the scientific method" we may now add the legend of the "unique self-corrective mechanism" of science often alluded to implicitly or explicitly.

First, there is no unique "mechanism" of self-correction, that I'm aware of anyway. When scientists come across something they consider to be an error they amend it. Far from being unique, that puts them on a par with pretty much every other institution and individual on the planet.

Second, the term "self-corrective" is wont to beguile us, implying as it does that what is incorrect is replaced with what is correct, or falsity gives way to truth. Taking the example of light again for illustration, it's far from obvious that light construed as a wave constitutes a "correction" of light as corpuscles, especially given that light as a wave itself subsequently succumbed to "correction".

Finally, in spite of the usual panegyrics, proselytizing, and propaganda from the devout, scientific knowledge (more properly, putative knowledge) probably ranks among the least secure knowledge that we have, or think we have.

The reasons for this are not hard to discern. First of all, surely the briefest reflection will reveal that simple everyday knowledge (e.g. "Donald Trump is the 45th president of the USA", "There are six Grolsch beers in my fridge") is far less vulnerable to the vicissitudes of time than, say, "The top quark has a mass of 173.34 ± 0.27 (stat) ± 0.71 (syst)10⁰ GeV/c²".
(Take it up with google if my info is inaccurate).

And which do you think is more likely to turn out true: the astrologer's "something will happen today" or the physicist's assessment of quark properties?
Lest I be misconstrued, this is no criticism of science. It is, rather, simply to point out that scientific knowledge claims, in striving for accuracy, exposes itself to mutability.

Just to help us keep our feet on terra firma...

"If there is one thing we can learn from the history of science, it is that the scientific theorizing of one day is looked on by that of the next as flawed and deficient. The clearest induction from the history of science is that science is always mistaken - that at every stage of its development, its practitioners, looking backward with the wisdom of hindsight, will view the work of their predecessors as seriously deficient and their theories as fundamentally mistaken. And if we adopt (as in candor we must) the modest view that we ourselves and our contemporaries do not occupy a privileged position in this respect, then we have no reasonable alternative but to suppose that much or all of what we ourselves vaunt as "scientific knowledge" is itself presumably wrong." -- Nicholas Rescher

"For in formulating the question as to how to explain why the methods of science lead to instrumental success, the realist has seriously misstated the explanandum. Overwhelmingly, the results of the conscientious pursuit of scientific enquiry are failures: failed theories, failed hypotheses, failed conjectures, inaccurate measurements, inaccurate estimations of parameters, fallacious causal inferences, and so forth. If explanations are appropriate here, then what requires explaining is why the very same methods produce an overwhelming background of failures and, occasionally, also a pattern of successes. The realist literature has not yet begun to address this question, much less to offer even a hint of how to answer it." -- Arthur Fine

30 minutes ago, et pet said:

Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and perhaps the foremost expert in the field, says that evolution is true. Therefore, it's true.

Explanation: Richard Dawkins certainly knows about evolution, and he can confidently tell us that it is true, but that doesn't make it true. What makes it true is the preponderance of evidence for the theory. " - https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/21/Appeal-to-Authority

Personally, I think it makes no sense whatsoever to speak of evolutionary theory being true or false. The term is so hopelessly vague, and encompasses such a welter of heterogeneous claims, that an attribution of truth or falsity is misplaced -- much as it would be peculiar to characterize the Encyclopedia Britannica as either "true" or "false".

Philosopher of science Elliott Sober frames the problem this way:

"Creationists often talk of 'testing evolutionary theory', and biologists sometimes talk this way as well. The context of their remarks sometimes reveals which specific proposition the authors have in mind, but often this is not the case. It is important to recognize that the phrase 'evolutionary theory' is too vague when the subject of testing is broached. There are a number of propositions that evolutionary biologists take seriously. The first step should be to specify which of these is to be the focus."

Edited by Reg Prescott

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27 minutes ago, et pet said:

Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and perhaps the foremost expert in the field, says that evolution is true. Therefore, it's true.

Explanation: Richard Dawkins certainly knows about evolution, and he can confidently tell us that it is true, but that doesn't make it true. What makes it true is the preponderance of evidence for the theory. " - https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/21/Appeal-to-Authority

As most reasonable scientists would say, and I'm pretty sure the same view is held by Dawkins, is that the theory of the evolution of life is overwhelmingly supported by the evidence and therefor the accepted explanation by scientists. And of course being the only real scientific answer based on those observations. Abiogenesis also fits the same bill, as the only scientific answer available with the proviso of Panspermia.

20 minutes ago, Reg Prescott said:

Philosopher of science Elliott Sober frames the problem this way:

"Creationists often talk of 'testing evolutionary theory', and biologists sometimes talk this way as well. The context of their remarks sometimes reveals which specific proposition the authors have in mind, but often this is not the case. It is important to recognize that the phrase 'evolutionary theory' is too vague when the subject of testing is broached. There are a number of propositions that evolutionary biologists take seriously. The first step should be to specify which of these is to be the focus."

The point is that the theory of evolution is as close to certain as any scientific theory can be...Even this Elliot Sober being a critic of ID must agree with that. Thanks Reg, finally something positive from you....

"Sober has been a prominent critic of intelligent design.[14][15][16] He also has written about evidence and probability,[17] scientific realism and instrumentalism,[18] laws of nature,[19] the mind-body problem[20]and naturalism.[21]"

Scientific realism of course is the opinion that the universe as detailed and described by science and the observational evidenced entailed, is real regardless of how it may be interpreted.

Edited by beecee

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20 minutes ago, Reg Prescott said:

Personally, I think it makes no sense whatsoever to speak of evolutionary theory being true or false. The term is so hopelessly vague, and encompasses such a welter of heterogeneous claims, that an attribution of truth or falsity is misplaced -- much as it would be peculiar to characterize the Encyclopedia Britannica as either "true" or "false".

Philosopher of science Elliott Sober frames the problem this way:

some might think that it makes no sense whatsoever to speak of any theory being true or false

10 minutes ago, beecee said:

As most reasonable scientists would say, and I'm pretty sure the same view is held by Dawkins, is that the theory of the evolution of life is overwhelmingly supported by the evidence and therefor the accepted explanation by scientists. And of course being the only real scientific answer based on those observations. Abiogenesis also fits the same bill, as the only scientific answer available with the proviso of Panspermia.

A couple of Logical Fallacies :

Appeal to False Authority.

" Appeal to False Authority  (also known as: appeal to unqualified authority, argument from false authority)

Description: Using an alleged authority as evidence in your argument when the authority is not really an authority on the facts relevant to the argument. As the audience, allowing an irrelevant authority to add credibility to the claim being made. Also see the appeal to authority."  - https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/244/Appeal-to-False-Authority

Appeal to Authority

" Appeal to authority is a common type of fallacy, or an argument based on unsound logic.

When writers or speakers use appeal to authority, they are claiming that something must be true because it is believed by someone who said to be an "authority" on the subject. Whether the person is actually an authority or not, the logic is unsound. Instead of presenting actual evidence, the argument just relies on the credibility of the "authority." " - http://www.softschools.com/examples/fallacies/appeal_to_authority_examples/430/

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32 minutes ago, Reg Prescott said:

Personally, I think it makes no sense whatsoever to speak of evolutionary theory being true or false. The term is so hopelessly vague, and encompasses such a welter of heterogeneous claims, that an attribution of truth or falsity is misplaced -- much as it would be peculiar to characterize the Encyclopedia Britannica as either "true" or "false".

Not really Reg. Forgetting the philosophical grandstanding, and your "true or false" edict,  and speaking scientifically, the theory of the evolution of life is as near certain as anyone can claim based on the science and data and knowledge gained. What is debatable and perhaps not properly detailed  is the finer details and such. Again, if anyone dares claim evolution as false [looking at the large picture] then he or she has a tremendous amount of explaining to do. Again as I have informed you many times, even the Catholic church, being aware of the observational data and knowledge that exists to support the theory of evolution, has finally agreed that it sees no conflict with the creation myth and evolution, as well as the BB, and simply installed their version of "the god of the gaps" to cover the regions that science is devoid of knowledge of. A shifty way out of their obvious predicament.

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3 minutes ago, et pet said:

Some might think that it makes no sense whatsoever to speak of any theory being true or false

Quite so. This would be the position of the instrumentalist, alluded to earlier in the thread.

On this account, scientific theories, at least those which postulate unobservables, are not truth-evaluable at all. "Properly understood" theories are more like tools (i.e. instruments) or rules which we can use to derive statements about observable phenomena. Those derived statements may be assessed for truth/falsity; the theory itself cannot.

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26 minutes ago, et pet said:

some might think that it makes no sense whatsoever to speak of any theory being true or false

A couple of Logical Fallacies :

My post was not in relation to any logical fallacies. It was your misinterpretation of Dawkins. You said.....

1 hour ago, et pet said:

Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and perhaps the foremost expert in the field, says that evolution is true. Therefore, it's true.

Explanation: Richard Dawkins certainly knows about evolution, and he can confidently tell us that it is true, but that doesn't make it true. What makes it true is the preponderance of evidence for the theory. " - https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/21/Appeal-to-Authority

I replied......

Quote

"As most reasonable scientists would say, and I'm pretty sure the same view is held by Dawkins, is that the theory of the evolution of life is overwhelmingly supported by the evidence and therefor the accepted explanation by scientists. And of course being the only real scientific answer based on those observations. Abiogenesis also fits the same bill, as the only scientific answer available with the proviso of Panspermia".

The theory of evolution is accepted mainstream theory of the evolution of life. And near certain. In fact there is nothing scientifically alternative to it.

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It really is quite astonishing how, on a site that purportedly emphasizes evidential support, one manifestly preposterous claim is advanced blithely after another.

First of all, "certainty" is a psychological state, not a degree of objective epistemological warrant. A science fan may proclaim certainty, or near certainty, that such-and-such a theory is true. A Creationist, on the other hand, is unlikely to share this confidence. Certainty, then, or near certainty, is a pretty myopic guide to truth. The loonie bins are full of wackos who enjoy certainty in their having prevailed at the Battle of Waterloo.

Well, perhaps we can appeal to some objective measure of confirmation in order to show that the former's near-certainty is justified and the latter's lack of confidence is misplaced. Can we show, for example, that the objective probability of evolutionary theory (whatever that is today) being true is 99%? Or 80%? 60%? 10%?

In other words, if this can be shown, then the degree of subjective confidence  -- the degree of belief -- a rational person ought to assign to the theory will be exactly the same as the objective probability of its being true.

If anyone out there can do this, I'd like to see it. And don't forget to show your working.

Edited by Reg Prescott

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3 minutes ago, beecee said:

My post was not in relation to any logical fallacies.

Mine was.

5 minutes ago, beecee said:

It was your misinterpretation of Dawkins.

I made no interpretation of Dawkins.

6 minutes ago, beecee said:

You said.....

No.

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38 minutes ago, et pet said:

Mine was.

I made no interpretation of Dawkins.

No.

OK, my apologies on that score...One can only conclude your link in an effort to explain logical fallacy and/or appeal to authority, most certainly misinterpeted Dawkin's view on the theory of evolution.

Quote

"Basically, expert opinion is (or should be) a shortcut for obtaining legitimate evidence. So the assumption is that the experts obtained their evidence for their expert opinion legitimately".

42 minutes ago, Reg Prescott said:

It really is quite astonishing how, on a site that purportedly emphasizes evidential support, one manifestly preposterous claim is advanced blithely after another.

Claims are only preposterous if and when they have absolutely no evidence to support said claim...On that score they remain simply speculation, hypothesis. eg: ID. Evidence backed claims that make successful prdictions...eg: the BB, GR, are scientific claims and scientific truth in relation to those claims and their zones of applicability.

Quote

First of all, "certainty" is a psychological state, not a degree of objective epistemological warrant. A science fan may proclaim certainty, or near certainty, that such-and-such a theory is true. A Creationist, on the other hand, is unlikely to share this confidence. Certainty, then, or near certainty, is no guide to truth. The loonie bins are full of wackos who enjoy certainty in their having prevailed at the Battle of Waterloo.

Again truth is neither here nor there and not the goal of scientific theory. Creationists though while denying scientific theories and models, based on observational evidence and the scientific method, then through probable brain washing as a kid, accept without question some unsupported, unevidenced, and superfluous deity of one sort or another.

Quote

Well, perhaps we can appeal to some objective measure of confirmation in order to show that the former's near-certainty is justified and the latter's lack of confidence is misplaced. Can we show, for example, that the objective probability of evolutionary theory (whatever that is today) being true is 99%? Or 80%? 60%? 10%?

The theory of the evolution of life over the big  generally well understood picture would be around 99.99999% certain...the smaller details of the process I'm unable to determine.

Quote

In other words, if this can be shown, then the degree of subjective confidence a rational person ought to assign to the theory will be exactly the same as the objective probability of its being true.

In other words if the vast bulk of evidence supports a theory, it is safe to accept it as scientific truth.

Quote

If anyone out there can do this, I'd like to see it. And don't forget to show your working.

Better still, you show me your workings on why it isn't so.

Edited by beecee

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A fact is thought to be a fact until another fact which is thought to be a fact proves the first fact to be an unfact.

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11 minutes ago, coffeesippin said:

A fact is thought to be a fact until another fact which is thought to be a fact proves the first fact to be an unfact.

Well, this is redolent of certain dubious claims made around here to the effect that knowledge is not always knowledge of that which is true, and that a "scientific truth" may be superseded by a new scientific truth.

Now, "scientific truth" construed as a true proposition pertaining to scientific subject matter is entirely unobjectionable.

On the other hand, the suggestion that some scientific truths may not be true is just plain silly.

Edit P.S. - Beware of the ambiguity in the word "fact".

1. a state of affairs that obtains in reality

2. a statement of fact

The former is extra-linguistic, thus not truth-evaluable (i.e., the predicates true and false do not apply).

The latter is a linguistic entity. And if it is indeed a statement of fact, then it is true by definition. There are no untrue facts.

Edited by Reg Prescott

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12 hours ago, DrP said:

So did most people go to church in those days - the human race knew no better explanation at the time other than what was in the bible, which we now know to be factually wrong.

Your statement is too sweeping to have value . . it is in the bible that Jesus Christ was born, the science of history is said to prove he was born.  The bible says, "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing."  If you can say the earth hangs on something you're welcome to.  There are many examples.

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