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Re: [Escape_from_the_Fellowship] Re: About agnosticism

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  • Renae Farrington
    No Perry, you re missing what I m trying to say. I m saying these conclusions (or hypotheses) are not DISprovable. You can t currently DISPROVE that the
    Message 1 of 126 , Oct 1, 2009
      No Perry, you're missing what I'm trying to say.

      I'm saying these conclusions (or hypotheses) are not DISprovable.

      You can't currently DISPROVE that the universe is expanding. That may be possibly in the future.

      You can't DISPROVE the evolution hypothesis. 

      And how do you currently prove that the universe is finite?

      THe only constraints I'm placing on the hypotheses are modern technology.

      Heh. I've gotten a bee in your bonnet about Einstein.
      Remember, I said he was AS MUCH a philosopher as a scientist. So if he was a great scientist, he was also a great philosopher.
      When I said special relativity was just a theory, you're right, i probably shouldn't have "left it at that". It is an incredible theory based on observations and really complicated and fascinating equations. It's so good that it's most probably correct.


      On 01/10/2009, at 3:03 AM, Loki wrote:


      True science? Is there another type?

      The "modern concept of science" is more easily described as the general misconception of what science really is. There's true science and there's what people think science is.

      You're not grasping the concept of falsifiability. You're stating that evolution is not a falsifiable hypothesis because you can't prove evolution conclusively. But finding conclusive proof has nothing to do with falsifiability. Falsifiability is about making suggestions and providing a framework within which the suggestions can be refuted.

      You're confusing falsifiability with provability.

      Any quack can come up with unassailable arguments. All you have to do is impose so many constraints on your ideas that nobody can refute them. But that's not science.

      Again, you state that it's impossible to prove that the universe is infinite. It clearly shows that you haven't understood what falsifiability means. What you're talking about is provability. The statement "the universe is infinite" is definitely falsifiable. In order to falsify it, all you have to do is prove that it's finite.

      But I agree with you that the suggestion is not scientific. You're correct on that, but your reasoning is flawed. Right conclusion, wrong reasoning.

      Again, proving something is a certain distance away is not falsifiability. It's provability. But then, stating that a celestial object is a certain distance away is not a hypothesis to begin with -- it's an observation.

      Einstein's theory of special relativity provides a framework for experimentation and observation which can be used to refute the predictions made by Einstein. So far nobody has been able to contradict special relativity. Therefore objections to it are irrelevant. It's so "easy" to disprove special relativity: just provide one valid observation that contradicts it. Just one. Go on.

      This is where you completely miss the point of science. You say that special relativity is "just" a theory, but could you also provide evidence of anyone who has ever refuted it? It's not like it isn't falsifiable. It doesn't mean it's true. Einstein may well have been wrong, but we haven't found any evidence of that so far.


      > True science, yes.
      > But the modern "concept" of science has a lot more to do with
      > philosophy ;)
      > The theory of evolution is not scientific. It's not a falsifiable
      > hypothesis - because it would be impossible to find evidence of every
      > stage of evolution, which would be required to prove the theory. It's
      > a philosophical conclusion based on suggestions inferred by
      > discoveries of stuff.
      > Saying that the universe is infinite is not a falsifiable conclusion.
      > If it truly is infinite, you would never be able to prove it.
      > Even saying that a certain object in the solar system is a certain
      > amount of lightyears away (as a concept of distance) is not really a
      > falsifiable hypothesis at the moment, because you can't actually go
      > from here to there to measure the distance. You can say that a certain
      > object APPEARS TO BE a certain amount of lightyears away.
      > People don't even realise that special relativity is a theory.
      > Einstein was as much a philosopher as an actual scientist.
      > You can use "scientific evidence" to argue "scientific philosophy" as
      > easily as you can use it to argue "religious philosophy".
      > I would love to be able to debate with people who truly understand the
      > difference between fact and philosophy.
      > Renae
      > On 01/10/2009, at 1:01 AM, Loki wrote:
      > > Thanks Ken. Your position is pretty similar to mine.
      > >
      > > To simplify my understanding of things, I separate philosophical
      > > debate from scientific debate according to the basic principles of
      > > science. Falsifiability is one of those principles.
      > >
      > > The statement "all men are mortal" is a classical logical argument.
      > > But it's not scientific, because it's not falsifiable, because in
      > > order to falsify it, we would simply have to find just one man who
      > > is immortal, but to do so would take an infinite amount of time.
      > > I.e. we would never reach the end of eternity and hence could never
      > > falsify the proposition. So while it is a reasonable proposition to
      > > make, it is not scientific. And that's not to say that it's worthless.
      > >
      > > I put the religious debates into the "philosophical" category. They
      > > can be argued quite reasonably from the philosophical viewpoint, by
      > > it's just plain silly to suggest that they are scientific.
      > >
      > > This is why I scoff at suggestions that belief in science requires
      > > as much faith as belief in God. It's absurd to make such a
      > > suggestion. Religious belief and scientific belief exist on entirely
      > > different planes. People who attempt to argue on both planes
      > > simultaneously have no real concept of reality.
      > >
      > > P.
      > >
      > > --- In Escape_from_ the_Fellowship@ yahoogroups. com, kenhaining777
      > > <no_reply@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Perry said:
      > > >
      > > > [Ken's the resident agnostic here. Here's a question for you, Ken.
      > > >
      > > > The Latin phrase "ignoramus et ignorabimus" is an old phrase used in
      > > > philosophical debates and is translated as "we do not know, and we
      > > will
      > > > not
      > > > know". This sounds similar to what you say about agnosticism. I.e.
      > > if we
      > > > cannot
      > > > know, then by logical extension, we will not know. So do you
      > > ascribe to
      > > > the
      > > > ignorabimus? ]
      > > >
      > > > We do not know, and currently there is no way to know, would be
      > > more of
      > > > what I would say. However, someday we may have the means to know
      > > what
      > > > we don't know now. Take life after death, for example. We may come
      > > to
      > > > a place to where we know that there is life after death, and means
      > > to
      > > > know that would be dying. However, if there is no life after death,
      > > > then we will be the last to know.
      > > >
      > > > As you say, Renae presented a falsifiable hypothesis. You can test
      > > it,
      > > > and find it to be false. Getting into religious, spiritual, and
      > > > metaphysical concepts, we cannot really test most of them. Let's
      > > take
      > > > reincarnation. There are young children who have recalled previous
      > > > lives of people who died a short time before they were born, and
      > > many
      > > > times amazing facts are correlated, that would have been
      > > impossible for
      > > > the young child to know by normal means. However, there is no way to
      > > > prove, or disprove, that this ability to "remember past lives" is
      > > not
      > > > some other kind of psychic phenomenon. Some Christians will even
      > > jump
      > > > in and say it is demons trying to deceive people into thinking that
      > > > reincarnation is a reality. So all we can conclude is that something
      > > > beyond our understanding of the physical Universe is at work.
      > > >
      > > > My position is more, "We do not know, we may not ever know, but we
      > > might
      > > > find out." I separate science from personal belief. I believe in
      > > > reincarnation, but I know I cannot prove it in the scientific
      > > sense. It
      > > > is amazing how offended some religious people become when I point
      > > out
      > > > that they cannot prove their religion is "truth" in the pure
      > > scientific
      > > > sense. I have one book that presents some pretty compelling evidence
      > > > for reincarnation. However, the scientist who was conducting the
      > > > research made the comment that mathematics is the only thing that
      > > you
      > > > can really prove scientifically. That is, something that can be
      > > > measured by mathematics. When a religion makes doubting that
      > > religion a
      > > > sin, then that precludes a scientific attitude.
      > > >
      > > > Live Long and Prosper
      > > > Ken
      > > >
      > >
      > >

    • kenhaining777
      Renae said: [Don t say that only the religious do that Ken.The pseudo-scientificeligious do it too!] The key is whether or not any given research scientist
      Message 126 of 126 , Oct 6, 2009
        Renae said:

        [Don't say that only the religious do that Ken.
        The pseudo-scientificeligious do it too!]

        The key is whether or not any given research scientist allows for truly critical review by peers.  It is also a test of those doing the reviews.  It takes a real scientist to admit that one of his pet theories just got thoroughly trashed. 

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