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The Scientific Method


G Anthony
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The Scientific Method

 

The scientific method requires scientists and all others who claim to thinkrationally to answer knotty questions by means of experiment (or carefulobservation). In order to do this effectively, one must formulate a hypothesis,a statement of the putative principle that engages all the known implications.These implications must be rather direct. Circumstantial consequences are justthat - circumstantial and cannot PROVE a hypothesis. Those better formerimplications must suggest experiments that will verify them or not. It is goodif there are direct elements of principle and subservient implications of thehypothesis. It is better if a complete and utter negative statement of thehypothesis can be formulated. Then, the net sum of the original hypothesis andthe negative hypothesis should be zero. Logically, the negative completelycancels the positive hypothesis. This negative hypothesis is called the"null" hypothesis because it would nullify the other if it proves tobe true and it would tend to validate the positive hypothesis, at least itwould fail to PROVE it false, if it was shown to be false in any way. Then, ifdirect evidence can be found that tends to corroborate the original positivehypothesis, we can begin to regard it as a good logical beginning. THEN, ifthis positive hypothesis can be combined with statements that have already beenproven and the combined implications can be verified, we have the beginnings ofproof.

 

The key to this process is our ability to form an experimentally testable NullHypothesis. The evidence FOR the positive statement of the hypothesis isinsufficient in itself because circumstances may combine to fool our littleexperiments. We are human. If an appropriate robust Null Hypothesis cannot beformulated, the original hypothesis is unsuitable to merit the attention of thescientist.

 

This is relevant to the debates about Dark Energy, quintessence and DarkMatter. Dark energy is the reservoir of potential energy that is supposed toexist as an underlayment or foundation of the universe. Quintessence issupposed to be a new force field that is just another component of the universe.All fundamental force fields have an associated particle. So, if there isquintessence, there should be a quintessence particle also. Invisible DarkMatter is supposed to account for the anomalous rotation velocity distributionseen in galaxies and galactic clusters.

 

To call one's self a scientist, one must respect the scientific method. It isnot a scientist's dogma any more than is it such to follow a firefighter'scode; one must respect the power of fire - or else you die.

 

An unfalsifiable hypothesis has no business occupying the time of thescientist. Whole theories have often been constructed from unfalsifiablehypotheses. Such theories are often fun to think about, even edifying andinspiring - but they certainly are not science.

 

There is a place for faith. But, if a person of faith needs experimental proof,he will have little of either. We all need faith. We all use faith in some way.In times of trouble and sorrow, sometimes it is all we have. God loves us, webelieve. Our belief makes it so. If we can say sincerely that a principle ofhuman conduct or relations should be true, then it is. Human reality is what wecan say it should be. This is called Primary Christian Existentialism. All menand women of faith are Christian existentialists.

 

All scientists hew to a code of honor as well as to the scientific method.Truth is not just a buzzword. Truth is meaning. Truth is the scientist's life.Truth is noble.

 

In a very real sense, to the scientist, "Truth" is the next bestthing to God.

Edited by G Anthony
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There is a place for faith. But, if a person of faith needs experimental proof,he will have little of either. We all need faith. We all use faith in some way.In times of trouble and sorrow, sometimes it is all we have. God loves us, webelieve. Our belief makes it so. If we can say sincerely that a principle ofhuman conduct or relations should be true, then it is. Human reality is what wecan say it should be. This is called Primary Christian Existentialism. All menand women of faith are Christian existentialists.

 

Not sure why this section is here - but X'ian Esistentialism is normally associated with the work of Soren Kierkegaard and does not really tie in with your claims. Your claim that "All men and women of faith are Christian existentialists" is arrant nonsense (many still-practised religions predate Christ let alone Kierkegaard) and insulting to other religions

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The scientific method requires scientists and all others who claim to thinkrationally to answer knotty questions by means of experiment (or carefulobservation). In order to do this effectively, one must formulate a hypothesis,a statement of the putative principle that engages all the known implications.These implications must be rather direct. Circumstantial consequences are justthat - circumstantial and cannot PROVE a hypothesis. Those better formerimplications must suggest experiments that will verify them or not. It is goodif there are direct elements of principle and subservient implications of thehypothesis. It is better if a complete and utter negative statement of thehypothesis can be formulated. Then, the net sum of the original hypothesis andthe negative hypothesis should be zero. Logically, the negative completelycancels the positive hypothesis. This negative hypothesis is called the"null" hypothesis because it would nullify the other if it proves tobe true and it would tend to validate the positive hypothesis, at least itwould fail to PROVE it false, if it was shown to be false in any way. Then, ifdirect evidence can be found that tends to corroborate the original positivehypothesis, we can begin to regard it as a good logical beginning. THEN, ifthis positive hypothesis can be combined with statements that have already beenproven and the combined implications can be verified, we have the beginnings ofproof.

 

The key to this process is our ability to form an experimentally testable NullHypothesis. The evidence FOR the positive statement of the hypothesis isinsufficient in itself because circumstances may combine to fool our littleexperiments. We are human. If an appropriate robust Null Hypothesis cannot beformulated, the original hypothesis is unsuitable to merit the attention of thescientist.

 

This is relevant to the debates about Dark Energy, quintessence and DarkMatter. Dark energy is the reservoir of potential energy that is supposed toexist as an underlayment or foundation of the universe. Quintessence issupposed to be a new force field that is just another component of the universe.All fundamental force fields have an associated particle. So, if there isquintessence, there should be a quintessence particle also. Invisible DarkMatter is supposed to account for the anomalous rotation velocity distributionseen in galaxies and galactic clusters.

 

To call one's self a scientist, one must respect the scientific method. It isnot a scientist's dogma any more than is it such to follow a firefighter'scode; one must respect the power of fire - or else you die.

 

An unfalsifiable hypothesis has no business occupying the time of thescientist. Whole theories have often been constructed from unfalsifiablehypotheses. Such theories are often fun to think about, even edifying andinspiring - but they certainly are not science.

 

There is a place for faith. But, if a person of faith needs experimental proof,he will have little of either. We all need faith. We all use faith in some way.In times of trouble and sorrow, sometimes it is all we have. God loves us, webelieve. Our belief makes it so. If we can say sincerely that a principle ofhuman conduct or relations should be true, then it is. Human reality is what wecan say it should be. This is called Primary Christian Existentialism. All menand women of faith are Christian existentialists.

 

All scientists hew to a code of honor as well as to the scientific method.Truth is not just a buzzword. Truth is meaning. Truth is the scientist's life.Truth is noble.

 

In a very real sense, to the scientist, "Truth" is the next bestthing to God.

 

Hmm, this whole truth business is dangerously close to dogma. Such matters are usually best left to philosophers and theologans.

 

Science is more about being less wrong. It's the only knowledge-seeking discipline where it is implicit that the explanations/theories are wrong.

In fact that's the whole point if you think about it.

A good scientist doesn't sit back and say, 'There, I have a hypothesis. It looks pretty much right; it must be the truth. Time to go home.'

Instead they sit and poke it. Trying to find the rough edges or outright prove it wrong.

In light of this the null hypothesis is just the simplest possible explanation of: "There's nothing interesting happening here."

If we manage to disprove this, we run with the best available explanation (whatever the alternative to the null hypothesis) until we can disprove it. Hopefully by then something better will have shown up.

 

This being said: A long standing theory -- while being wrong -- is usefully wrong. If we can find the edges of the wrongness, we have a fairly good idea of when it's good enough.

I use the flat-earth model all the time. From informing my short distance travel plans, to building things (by assuming things at right angles to a line of constant gravitational potential are parallel).

Newtonian physics is sufficient for 99% of human endeavour (a bit less now with constant use of computers and GPS, I suppose).

 

There's nothing special about general relativity and the standard that mean they are any more likely to be The Truth than any of the preceeding theories.

I don't need Truth. I'm perfectly satisfied with being less wrong, and peeling away another layer to see what lies underneath.

 

 

This is the true wonder of science.

It's wrong.

Gloriously, wonderfully wrong.

But a little less wrong all the time.

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Not sure why this section is here - but X'ian Esistentialism is normally associated with the work of Soren Kierkegaard and does not really tie in with your claims. Your claim that "All men and women of faith are Christian existentialists" is arrant nonsense (many still-practised religions predate Christ let alone Kierkegaard) and insulting to other religions

 

 

Bulloney. I define my own terms, not Kierkegaard or you! Insult is in the eye of the beholder. I respect all religion. See Theosophical Society founders' tracts. I am not a Theosophist. I am a Christian. I believe in God. Everybody believes in God or some god. I know that there is already a term called "Christian Existentialism. I said "Primary" Christian Existentialism just for this reason. It is as though key words do not count with you. If your shirt gets any more stuffed, we will have to mount you on a pole as a scarecrow.

 

Hmm, this whole truth business is dangerously close to dogma. Such matters are usually best left to philosophers and theologans.

 

Science is more about being less wrong. It's the only knowledge-seeking discipline where it is implicit that the explanations/theories are wrong.

In fact that's the whole point if you think about it.

A good scientist doesn't sit back and say, 'There, I have a hypothesis. It looks pretty much right; it must be the truth. Time to go home.'

Instead they sit and poke it. Trying to find the rough edges or outright prove it wrong.

In light of this the null hypothesis is just the simplest possible explanation of: "There's nothing interesting happening here."

If we manage to disprove this, we run with the best available explanation (whatever the alternative to the null hypothesis) until we can disprove it. Hopefully by then something better will have shown up.

 

This being said: A long standing theory -- while being wrong -- is usefully wrong. If we can find the edges of the wrongness, we have a fairly good idea of when it's good enough.

I use the flat-earth model all the time. From informing my short distance travel plans, to building things (by assuming things at right angles to a line of constant gravitational potential are parallel).

Newtonian physics is sufficient for 99% of human endeavour (a bit less now with constant use of computers and GPS, I suppose).

 

There's nothing special about general relativity and the standard that mean they are any more likely to be The Truth than any of the preceeding theories.

I don't need Truth. I'm perfectly satisfied with being less wrong, and peeling away another layer to see what lies underneath.

 

 

This is the true wonder of science.

It's wrong.

Gloriously, wonderfully wrong.

But a little less wrong all the time.

 

 

I have no bone to pick with you.

 

Actually, though, I have a revised version of this essay that is a bit more pithy. As a matter of fact, many will insist that science itself is dogma as sure as the Pope sits in the Vatican. Yeah, yeah. Science evolves and truth is relative. Bull honkey. To me, as a Christian, there is Truth. Truth is next to Godliness. Cleanliness is over rated.

 

Not sure why this section is here - but X'ian Esistentialism is normally associated with the work of Soren Kierkegaard and does not really tie in with your claims. Your claim that "All men and women of faith are Christian existentialists" is arrant nonsense (many still-practised religions predate Christ let alone Kierkegaard) and insulting to other religions

 

 

This section is here because there certainly is a place for faith to any open minded scientist. This is an essay about the scientific method, after all. I want to make a distinction between science and faith. Is that wrong?

 

The Scientific Method

 

The scientific method requires scientists and all others who claim to think rationally to answer knotty questions by means of experiment (or careful observation). In order to do this effectively, one must formulate a hypothesis, a statement of the putative principle that engages all the known implications.These implications must be rather direct. Circumstantial consequences are just that - circumstantial and cannot PROVE a hypothesis. Those better former implications must suggest experiments that will verify them or not. It is good if there are direct elements of principle and subservient implications of the hypothesis. It is better if a complete and utter negative statement of the hypothesis can be formulated. Then, the net sum of the original hypothesis andthe negative hypothesis should be zero. Logically, the negative completely cancels the positive hypothesis. This negative hypothesis is called the "null" hypothesis because it would nullify the other if it proves to be true and it would tend to validate the positive hypothesis, at least it would fail to PROVE it false or true, if it was shown to be false in any way. Then, if direct evidence can be found that tends to corroborate the original positive or alternate hypothesis, we can begin to regard it as a good logical beginning. THEN, if this positive hypothesis can be combined with statements that have already been proven and the combined implications can be verified, we have the beginnings of proof.

 

The key to this process is our ability to form an experimentally testable Null Hypothesis. The evidence FOR the positive statement of the hypothesis is insufficient in itself because circumstances may combine to fool our little experiments. We are human. If an appropriate robust Null Hypothesis cannot be formulated, the original hypothesis is unsuitable to merit the attention of the scientist.

 

This is relevant to the debates about Dark Energy, quintessence and Dark Matter. Dark energy is the reservoir of potential energy that is supposed to exist as an underlayment or foundation of the universe. Quintessence is supposed to be a new force field that is just another component of the universe. All fundamental force fields have an associated particle. So, if there is quintessence, there should be a quintessence particle also. Invisible Dark Matter is supposed to account for the anomalous rotation velocity distribution seen in galaxies and galactic clusters.

 

To call one's self a scientist, one must respect the scientific method. It is not a scientist's dogma any more than is it such to follow a firefighter's code; one must respect the power of fire - or else you die.

 

An unfalsifiable hypothesis has no business occupying the time of the scientist. Whole theories have often been constructed from unfalsifiable hypotheses. Such theories are often fun to think about, even edifying and inspiring - but they certainly are not science.

 

There is a place for faith. But, if a person of faith needs experimental proof, he will have little of either. We all need faith. We all use faith in some way. In times of trouble and sorrow, sometimes it is all we have. God loves us, we believe. Our belief makes it so. If we can say sincerely that a principle of human conduct or relations should be true, then it is. Human reality is what we can say it should be. This is called Primary Christian Existentialism. All men and women of faith are Christian existentialists.

 

All scientists hew to a code of honor as well as to the scientific method. Truth is not just a buzz word. Truth is meaning. Truth is the scientist's life. Truth is noble.

 

In a very real sense, to the scientist, "Truth" is the next best thing to God.

 

 

 

Scientific Method (revised)

Wolfram Math World: A null hypothesis is a statistical hypothesis that is tested for possible rejection under the assumption that it is true (usually that observations are the result of chance). The concept was introduced by R. A. Fisher. The hypothesis contrary to the null hypothesis, usually that the observations are the result of a real effect, is known as the alternative hypothesis.

 

Most science knowledge is statistically validated. The scientific method requires scientists and all others who claim to think rationally to answer knotty questions by means of EXPERIMENT or careful direct observation. In order to do this effectively, one must formulate a hypothesis, a statement of the putative principle that engages all the known implications (an alternative hypothesis) . These implications must also be rather direct. Circumstantial consequences are just that - circumstantial and cannot PROVE a hypothesis. These better implications must suggest experiments that will verify them or not. It is good if there are subservient implications of the alternative hypothesis that can be tested. It is better if a complete and utter negative statement of the hypothesis can be formulated as well that has testable implications (null hypothesis).

 

Then, the net sum of the original hypothesis and the negative hypothesis should be zero, a "zero sum" result in Game Theory terms. Logically, the negative completely cancels the positive hypothesis when the statements are added together. This negative hypothesis is called the"null" hypothesis not only because it would nullify the other if it proves to be true but, it would otherwise tend to validate the positive or "alternative" hypothesis if it is iteself proven to be "null". Still, it would fail to PROVE the alternate to be true, if Null was shown to be false in small ways..

 

Then, if direct evidence can also be found that tends to corroborate the original positive alternative hypothesis, we can begin to regard it as a good logical beginning. THEN, if this confirmed positive hypothesis can be combined with statements that have already been proven and the combined implications can be verified experimentally or by observation, we have the beginnings of proof.

 

The key to this process is our ability to form an experimentally testable Null Hypothesis. The evidence FOR the positive alternative statement of the hypothesis is insufficient in itself because circumstances may combine to fool our little experiments. We are human. If an appropriate robust Null Hypothesis cannot be formulated, the original alternative hypothesis is unsuitable to merit the attention of the scientist.

 

This is relevant to the debate about Dark Energy, quintessence and Dark Matter.

 

To call one's self a scientist, one must respect the scientific method. It is not a scientist's dogma any more than is it such to be a fireman; one must respect the power of fire - or else you die.

 

An unfalsifiable hypothesis (unable to be cast in terms of a null statement) has no business occupying the time of the scientist. Whole theories have often been constructed from unfalsifiable hypotheses. Such theories are often fun to think about, even edifying and inspiring - but they are not science.

 

There is indeed a place for faith. But, if a person of faith needs experimental proof, he has little of either. We all need faith. We all use faith in some way. In times of trouble and sorrow, sometimes it is all we have. God loves us, we believe. Our belief makes it so. If we can say sincerely that a principle of human conduct or relations should be true, then it is. Human reality is what we can say it should be. This is called Primary Christian Existentialism. All men and women of faith are Primary Christian (or Hindu, or whatever) existentialists.

 

Since this post is ultimately about the scientific method, it does really belong somewhere. It belongs here because the science of cosmology is in dire need of being reminded. Some have said the scientific method should be suspended when Dark Energy is discussed. Those who suggest this should rejoice. The Pope shall now re-ascend to the Throne!

 

 

Cosmologists are always wrong, but never in doubt. – Lev Landau

Edited by G Anthony
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Bulloney. I define my own terms, not Kierkegaard or you! Insult is in the eye of the beholder. I respect all religion. See Theosophical Society founders' tracts. I am not a Theosophist. I am a Christian. I believe in God. Everybody believes in God or some god. I know that there is already a term called "Christian Existentialism. I said "Primary" Christian Existentialism just for this reason. It is as though key words do not count with you. If your shirt gets any more stuffed, we will have to mount you on a pole as a scarecrow.

 

The is a science forum and if you put forward an argument with known terms then you should use the accepted meaning, If you choose to use terms that have been in use for a hundred years or so you should be prepared for readers to think that you intended a certain usage to apply; if not - be a little more specific.

 

Everybody believes in God or some god.
Unproven, untested, untrue. And the least said of the Theosophical Society the better,

 

You respect all religion,you claim - but you state that any adherents must hold to a Christian Existentialist view; that is a contradiction. To assert that all non-Xian religious are, in fact, subscribing to a Xian view would be insulting to them

If your shirt gets any more stuffed, we will have to mount you on a pole as a scarecrow.
Please do not make any more personal attacks
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Everybody believes in God or some god

 

Are you serious?

 

I know plenty of people who do NOT believe in a god or gods. Including myself!

In fact, most people I know are atheists, who don't beleive in a god.

Edited by Jensen
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!

Moderator Note

This is posted in the science section, so any discussion of religion and/or philosophy is OT. Bring it up in the religion/philosophy section. It's not possible (AFAIK) for me to split individual posts, so separating the religious discussion from the philosophy from the science into new threads is not a moderator option.

I hope that sticking to science will address this, but in case it doesn't: Knock off the personal comments.

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@ G Anthony.

I voted that your opening post was badly written. A simple vote does nothing to help you improve. This is why I voted negatively:

 

1) No central theme evident in the post.

2) No beginning, middle and end.

3) Numerous, disconnected pronouncements.

4) Verbose.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Are you serious?

 

I know plenty of people who do NOT believe in a god or gods. Including myself!

In fact, most people I know are atheists, who don't beleive in a god.

 

 

You do not believe in Science? (Upper case "S") Science has always been embroiled with religion. Not so long ago, they were hardly distinguishable. Isaac Newton justified doing his kind of work by appealing to Scripture. But this misses the whole point of my post which is to outline some initial version of the scientific method. Please, may we not address this?

 

 

 

 

@ G Anthony.

I voted that your opening post was badly written. A simple vote does nothing to help you improve. This is why I voted negatively:

 

1) No central theme evident in the post.

2) No beginning, middle and end.

3) Numerous, disconnected pronouncements.

4) Verbose.

 

 

This post is written for a discussion forum. It is written in a conversational style deliberately. It is not intended for an English rhetoric professor to grade. Please address the actual content of this post, not its style. I intended to get a discussion going on the implications of the Scientific Method. I should not have even included the poll.

 

 

 

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You do not believe in Science? (Upper case "S") Science has always been embroiled with religion. Not so long ago, they were hardly distinguishable.

Science is not an ideology, it is a methodology. This is a very important distinction with which you would do well to familiarize yourself.

 

 

This post is written for a discussion forum. It is written in a conversational style deliberately. It is not intended for an English rhetoric professor to grade. Please address the actual content of this post, not its style. I intended to get a discussion going on the implications of the Scientific Method.

If your goal is to encourage others to participate and interact, then perhaps you should not be so quick to dismiss their suggestions that your style is off putting and is turning people away.

 

We all need faith. We all use faith in some way.

This is untrue, to the point of being absurd. You're most likely conflating the term "faith" with the concept of "accepting an idea based on evidence available."

 

God loves us, webelieve. Our belief makes it so.

God is little more than an ill-defined three letter word, and you look silly making comments like this with an educated audience.

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Science is not an ideology, it is a methodology. This is a very important distinction with which you would do well to familiarize yourself.

 

 

Very many people do not believe that science is actually practiced this way. Many believe that Science is not only ideological, it is Myth. The problem is with scientists themselves. Too often, they forget that all math, all science, is metaphor. All language is ultimately just metaphor. It is impossible to fully capture reality with any kind of human language. This is what many people mean when they claim that scientists are insufferably arrogant and naive. These critics go too far though, when they claim science is Myth. They create the Myth. We should endeavor not to do so ourselves.

 

 

If your goal is to encourage others to participate and interact, then perhaps you should not be so quick to dismiss their suggestions that your style is off putting and is turning people away.

 

 

I do not dismiss good suggestions. My style is what it is. Take it or leave it. Off putting? What kind of style is this? No style.

 

This is untrue, to the point of being absurd. You're most likely conflating the term "faith" with the concept of "accepting an idea based on evidence available."

 

 

Read it again. I do not necessarilly endorse faith. I simply say that it is a reality and those who dismiss it make a big mistake. For starters, they dismiss 5 or 6 billions of people worldwide. I do not say Science is faith, although this is exactly what many critics of Science say. In a way, I think they have a point. But, do I have faith that if I jump out the window, Isaac Newton's gravity will drag me down to my most dismal fate? Do I have faith that there is dangerous electricity all around my house? I do have faith in Faraday's laws, so I avoid electectrocuting myself. I have faith in the rules governing radioactivity so that I can faithfully depend on the nuclear power that lights up my home. We all operate largely on faith. We do not have time to personally verify the science that we accept, often blindly. Such blind acceptance is faith. Evidence? We must accept evidence for ideas based on our faith in the integrity and competence of the scientists who present said "evidence". There is an element of some sort of faith in all that we do. What is the difference, and who should care, and who should judge if faith is in an ill defined God or in The Bomb?

 

God is little more than an ill-defined three letter word, and you look silly making comments like this with an educated audience.

 

 

We are not all atheists, thank God. Education does not mean Godlessness. But, SwansonT will be here shortly because we are not supposed to talk religion on this forum.

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Very many people do not believe that science is actually practiced this way. Many believe that Science is not only ideological, it is Myth.

Very many people believe all sorts of stupid things. That doesn't make those beliefs true.

 

The problem is with scientists themselves. Too often, they forget that all math, all science, is metaphor. All language is ultimately just metaphor.

And philosophy and semantic ramblings like this are a waste of all of our time.

 

My style is what it is. Take it or leave it.

Indeed.

 

do I have faith that if I jump out the window, Isaac Newton's gravity will drag me down to my most dismal fate? Do I have faith that there is dangerous electricity all around my house? I do have faith in Faraday's laws, so I avoid electectrocuting myself. I have faith in the rules governing radioactivity so that I can faithfully depend on the nuclear power that lights up my home. We all operate largely on faith.

No, we don't. You are simply conflating the term "faith" with the concept of "acceptance based on evidence and experience."

 

We do not have time to personally verify the science that we accept, often blindly. Such blind acceptance is faith.

There is nothing blind about it. Your assertion is without merit.

 

Evidence? We must accept evidence for ideas based on our faith in the integrity and competence of the scientists who present said "evidence".

We must do no such thing. That is the beauty of the scientific method. We can verify for ourselves whether or not the presenter of the idea is wrong or right, and we can test the idea independently. No faith required, nor is there required any trust in the integrity or competence of others.

 

There is an element of some sort of faith in all that we do.

This is true only if you broaden the term "faith" so widely and so far beyond its actual usage as to make it functionally useless and without meaning.

 

 

We are not all atheists, thank God. Education does not mean Godlessness.

No, but usually reasonable people who demonstrate intellectual honesty and academic integrity have no choice but to reject the god conjecture as without substance, impact, and validity.

 

But, SwansonT will be here shortly because we are not supposed to talk religion on this forum.

Indeed again. WTF is your nonsense doing in the Astronomy forum?

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Many believe that Science is not only ideological, it is Myth.

 

Many believe that extremely dilute remedies are powerful cures. Or that magnets have healing powers. Or holograms improve your balance... it doesn't stop them from being incorrect. The scientific method is, rather by definition, a method, which also, by definition, contains inherent fallibility - hence the term scientific theory.

 

Do such critics visit medical practitioners? Do they use the practical outcomes of scientific research such as the internet/computers to convey their displeasure with the "religion" of science? Is the ironing delicious when they do?

 

Too often, they forget that all math, all science, is metaphor.

 

Do you acknowledge the metaphorical nature of observationally supported conclusions when deciding to exit the fifth floor of a building via the window or the elevator?

 

We do not have time to personally verify the science that we accept, often blindly. Such blind acceptance is faith. Evidence? We must accept evidence for ideas based on our faith in the integrity and competence of the scientists who present said "evidence". There is an element of some sort of faith in all that we do. What is the difference, and who should care, and who should judge if faith is in an ill defined God or in The Bomb?

 

The observationally supported proof of concept is publicly available to anyone who cares to learn about any scientific theory ever put forward. In the event that the current explanation for electricity or radiation, the scientific explanations can, without ideological impediment, be changed. When there's a null hypothesis and a p-value for God then the the two are equatable - until then, any attempt to do so is logically fallacious.

 

 

We are not all atheists, thank God. Education does not mean Godlessness.

 

97% of Royal society members and 93% of National academy of sciences members answer "No" to the question "Do you believe in a personal god?"

http://www.humanreli...telligence.html www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

 

But, SwansonT will be here shortly because we are not supposed to talk religion on this forum.

 

 

You post with a hidden agenda and then pull the moral persecution card when rule violations are potentially enforced? Really? There's even a sub-forum dedicated to religion.

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The Scientific Method

 

The scientific method requires scientists .....

In a very real sense, to the scientist, "Truth" is the next bestthing to God.

 

It is quuite obvious that you have never performed, or indeed been seriously involved in, any significant scientific research.

 

This is just plain rubbish and undeserving of any serious rebuttal.

 

To top it off it is difficult to read because you seem to be unacqainted with the device known as a "spell checker".

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We are not all atheists, thank God. Education does not mean Godlessness. But, SwansonT will be here shortly because we are not supposed to talk religion on this forum.

 

!

Moderator Note

Showing that you think something is against the rules and then doing it anyway is not a good sign. It does not bode well.

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G Anthony my friend,

 

We are not all atheists, thank God. Education does not mean Godlessness.

We aren't? It doesn't? :blink: For me they are synonyms :)

 

But seriously I think your general idea has merit in that I also think that all theories should be required to formulate null-hypothesis, at least for them to be considered a valid theory. But who in the mainstream will ever agree to this great idea? Only those most enlightened who are very rare individuals.

 

I agree that nearly all theories today do not meet this criteria. :( Although no theories can be easily proven, I try diligently to put together clear ways by which my own theories might be disproved. I believe this is one clear distinction between a well proposed theory and today's hypothesis. Realize that a mal-formed theory will probably have a much greater longevity if they do not have a null-hypothesis, and if they are not making any new consensus predictions.

 

Some poor examples of theory IMHO are a Big Bang beginning, dark matter, dark energy, warped space, since none of these, like astrology, can ever be proved or disproved -- IMO. :) All instead might be considered valid hypothesis until something better comes along :)

 

But in the same way, and for the same reasons I think you should form a null-hypothesis concerning religion for your own sake so that you may know the sad truth before we do not meet our maker. :blink:...................:) In this vain don't count on Paskal's wager. Enlightenment by one's own mind in contradiction to whatever stands in the way of logic, is far above all else regardless of the multitudes that profess otherwise IMHO. Please excuse the little bit of philosophy thrown in here with good intent. --------Happy New year to all. It's only 10:30 PM here Dec. 31, on the west coast of the North American colonies -- upon this writing :)

 

with regards, Forrest Noble

Edited by pantheory
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No, but usually reasonable people who demonstrate intellectual honesty and academic integrity have no choice but to reject the god conjecture as without substance, impact, and validity.

 

 

That is an absurd statement, that simply demonstrates your lack of acquaintence with science and scientists.

 

There are world-class scientists who are devout. There are world-class scientists who are atheists.

 

There are idiots who are atheists. There are idiots who are devout.

Edited by DrRocket
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That is an absurd statement, that simply demonstrates your lack of acquaintence with science and scientists.

 

There are world-class scientists who are devout. There are world-class scientists who are atheists.

 

There are idiots who are atheists. There are idiots who are devout.

And, as made clear in my post, I find those individuals as being neither intellectually honest nor showing academic intergrity when they hold those beliefs in the absence of (and sometimes in direct opposition to) evidence.

 

Frankly Dr.R, the absurdity lies with the believers, not with me or my comment. I don't disagree with the rest of your post, and accept that a great many rather brilliant people are theists, and that a great many nonbelievers are idiots. That was never in question here, nor does your pointing it out negate the fact that to maintain such beliefs shows how willing they are to live with cognitive dissonance, hypocrisy, and double standards... All things which are not intellectually honest or signs of academic integrity.

 

At some point will this thread be moved to a more appropriate home, like the trash can?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Let us talk about the scientific method and why it is so important.

 

This is really a philosophical discussion pertaining to the philosophy of science. There is already a philosophy forum. So, we can avoid going off the reservation by sticking to nuts and bolts.

 

The key to my essay is the point made about the Null Hypothesis. Most scientific results are expressed statistically and the Null Hypothesis is supposed to be an expression of how apparently positive statistical tests could have been fooled by random noise or just plain chance. Then if a major source of noise is found or if chance is confirmed, Null is true and the alternate hypothesis is false. This is just insurance against bias: looking at the other side of the coin.

 

All scientists are biased, but only a few admit it. Yet, if they hew to the scientific method, their conclusions may still be trusted. Motivation is irrelevant. Even biased scientists can remain ethical.

 

The scientific method is a framework or skeleton upon which may be hung the musculature of such ethics.

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Is not the concept of a 'Null hypothesis' already part of the scientific method?

More commonly referred to as a counter hypothesis. For example: I could hypothesize that if I let go of an object I'm holding, it will hover in the air. The corresponding counter-hypothesis could be that it will fall to the ground. The enormous amount of experimental data available shows us that the Counter hypothesis is true. in this instance, hypothesis and counter-hypothesis are interchangeable.

More recently, scientists at CERN have data which suggests sub-atomic particles traveling faster than the speed of light, when current scientific understanding says that this is impossible. The hypothesis that stuff is traveling at this speed would indeed be considered a counter - or null - hypothesis to the universal constant.

Scientists from all over the world are studying the data to see of noise or chance could be involved.

Null hypotheses are being investigated all the time.

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G Anthony my friend,

 

 

We aren't? It doesn't? :blink: For me they are synonyms :)

 

But seriously I think your general idea has merit in that I also think that all theories should be required to formulate null-hypothesis, at least for them to be considered a valid theory. But who in the mainstream will ever agree to this great idea? Only those most enlightened who are very rare individuals.

 

I agree that nearly all theories today do not meet this criteria. :( Although no theories can be easily proven, I try diligently to put together clear ways by which my own theories might be disproved. I believe this is one clear distinction between a well proposed theory and today's hypothesis. Realize that a mal-formed theory will probably have a much greater longevity if they do not have a null-hypothesis, and if they are not making any new consensus predictions.

 

Some poor examples of theory IMHO are a Big Bang beginning, dark matter, dark energy, warped space, since none of these, like astrology, can ever be proved or disproved -- IMO. :) All instead might be considered valid hypothesis until something better comes along :)

 

But in the same way, and for the same reasons I think you should form a null-hypothesis concerning religion for your own sake so that you may know the sad truth before we do not meet our maker. :blink:...................:) In this vain don't count on Paskal's wager. Enlightenment by one's own mind in contradiction to whatever stands in the way of logic, is far above all else regardless of the multitudes that profess otherwise IMHO. Please excuse the little bit of philosophy thrown in here with good intent. --------Happy New year to all. It's only 10:30 PM here Dec. 31, on the west coast of the North American colonies -- upon this writing :)

 

with regards, Forrest Noble

 

 

Hi Forrest,

 

Let's keep to the thread! So the ability to formulate a Null Hypothesis is the key to crafting a theory according to the rigor of the scientific method. Not all of our thoughts require this rigor. Only the ones that we intend to publish so that others can figure out what we mean and duplicate our actions and thoughts in order to come to the same conclusions (to within some tolerance, I guess). Much that passes for science today fails when we can find no evidence that a proper Null was ever cobbled together. When it is suggested that the scientific method should be suspended in order to accept Dark Energy, I get worried.

 

 

 

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Let us talk about the scientific method and why it is so important.

Let's do that. Why do you think it is important?

 

Most scientific results are expressed statistically

You think? Would you provide evidence that substantiates this claim please.

 

Then if a major source of noise is found or if chance is confirmed, Null is true and the alternate hypothesis is false.

Am I missing something? You seem to be saying that in some circumstances the null hypotheis can be proven. My understanding is that it can be disproven, or rejected, or not rejected only.

 

All scientists are biased, but only a few admit it. Yet, if they hew to the scientific method, their conclusions may still be trusted. Motivation is irrelevant. Even biased scientists can remain ethical.

The scientific method is a framework or skeleton upon which may be hung the musculature of such ethics.

Why are the ethics of the matter important? I fail to see what you are driving at. The scientific method is blind, therefore only conclusions reasched via the scientific method need t be considered.

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