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Post Reply Why is science just theories? Is there anything absolute?
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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17
I feel like science is mostly theories and guesses. Nobody knows for sure. Evolution, The human body and space are all just theories. I have been trying to do research on certain scientific topics but I keep finding articles and "scientific evidence" claiming different things. All from people who have PHDs and wrote books about their topic. I don't know who I should believe. Will we ever understand the world with 100% accuracy?
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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17
Science works best when we have doubts versus an undue confidence we know anything for certain. Although perhaps not science, mathematics largely works on deductive reasoning at its core, from what I understand.
mxdan 
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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17
Why be overwhelmed by uncertainty when everything you stand on and enjoy is due to us building something from uncertainty?

Because that's what the scientific method is essentially.
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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/28/17
Pop usage of the word theory compared to its meaning when used in the term scientific theory are almost polar opposites in definition.
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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17

oneouts123 wrote:

I feel like science is mostly theories and guesses. Nobody knows for sure. Evolution, The human body and space are all just theories. I have been trying to do research on certain scientific topics but I keep finding articles and "scientific evidence" claiming different things. All from people who have PHDs and wrote books about their topic. I don't know who I should believe. Will we ever understand the world with 100% accuracy?


You are actually quite right in believing what you do. Most of everything that is taken as fact is essentially guesswork. But a lot of theories hold weight because they haven't been disproven. It leaves the door open for further experimentation and maybe someone in the future with better technology or just smarter will finally prove/disprove said theory.

I don't have much experimental experience in hard sciences such as physics/biology but what I do have is intimate knowledge of the experimental process for psychology. And I can 100% vouch that 99% of "proof" that studies find is based on guesswork that is substantiated through statistical analysis.

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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/28/17
The word "theory" has a specific definition in science, as opposed to the other ways it is commonly used in everyday speech

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqk3TKuGNBA

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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17
The fun thing about "Scientific Theory" is that it has a slightly different definition from Normal Theory.

Scientific Theory: "a coherent group of propositions formulated to explain a group of facts or phenomena in the natural world and repeatedly confirmed through experiment or observation"

Regular Theory: "a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained."

Basically the same but Scientific Theory is regarded as "Fact." They call it theory because they're always finding something new and needs a flexible title.
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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17
That's just the nature of inductive knowledge. We base science off of what we observe, and we can never be sure that we've observed everything we need to in order to get the full picture. That's why it's so important to be skeptical in scientific fields, and assume you might have something wrong. It only takes one instance of something the current model doesn't explain to demand that model be expanded, reworked or even scrapped.

You could say that logic (including math) is infallible, since it deals with the nature of information rather than observable phenomena. Even if there is some kind of exception to logical rules, such a thing might not be possible for humans to perceive: if you think of it as a sort of species-wide subjective truth - "logic is inherently and absolutely ubiquitous to the way humanity experiences the world" - then I like to believe it flies. Even so, I like to try and conceive of ways that it could turn out to be untrue.

In the end, I personally believe that questions are infinitely more interesting than answers, and though I'm not a scientist myself, I like to believe that that's a healthy point of view for a scientist to have. If you're working not for the end goal (finding the absolute truth) but for the work itself (exploring different possibilities and making workable structures out of them), then you'll have an easier time staying motivated. If you find conflicting information, the next thing you'll do is to decide whether or not you want to do further research, or maybe experiments of your own, to try and figure out which information is more supportable. I think it's that decision ("I don't know who to believe, so I'll find out myself.") that sets many scientists apart from others. For any given uncertainty, some people are happy to choose the proposed model that makes the most sense to them, and others are happy to leave it up in the air and admit they don't know. There's nothing wrong with either of those: people have a lot of things that require their attention, so if the interest isn't there, there's no shame in not paying it much mind. But, if your itch to know for sure leads you to take action, then science is probably a good fit for you.
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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17

keeton52 wrote:

The fun thing about "Scientific Theory" is that it has a slightly different definition from Normal Theory.

Scientific Theory: "a coherent group of propositions formulated to explain a group of facts or phenomena in the natural world and repeatedly confirmed through experiment or observation"

Regular Theory: "a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained."

Basically the same but Scientific Theory is regarded as "Fact." They call it theory because they're always finding something new and needs a flexible title.


What if there are 2 scientific theories that oppose each other. If they are both fact then who is right?
Posted 10/26/17 , edited 11/1/17
this is why I believe in the word of the great lord jesus christ, peace be upon him, he always shows me the light and truth.
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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17

oneouts123 wrote:


keeton52 wrote:

The fun thing about "Scientific Theory" is that it has a slightly different definition from Normal Theory.

Scientific Theory: "a coherent group of propositions formulated to explain a group of facts or phenomena in the natural world and repeatedly confirmed through experiment or observation"

Regular Theory: "a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained."

Basically the same but Scientific Theory is regarded as "Fact." They call it theory because they're always finding something new and needs a flexible title.


What if there are 2 scientific theories that oppose each other. If they are both fact then who is right?


That isn't how it works. If someone comes up with a conflicting theory, regular theory, they begin to examine what evidence there is. If it has merit then they add it to the existing scientific theory. If it doesn't have merit, they disregard it.
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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17
Actually, theories are all the staff that are fun to read in science, like what is gravity, how atoms look, how life was made and so on,
there are laws, those are the boring stuff, usually, you cant even speak them with words so you use math for them. There are very few laws though, and most of them are pretty general and very very simple stuff, like you cant create a rabbit in your hat, your room won't clean itself if you unless you wave your wand for it or clean ti, and you cant live without eating something (well not your natural lifespan at least)
Pretty much everything else is fair game, as long as there is a cause an effect,
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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/27/17

asharka wrote:

The word "theory" has a specific definition in science, as opposed to the other ways it is commonly used in everyday speech

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqk3TKuGNBA



Thank you for pointing that out. That said, mathemeticians always did it better:

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/38973/difference-between-theorem-and-theory#38975

Theory - Verifiable Explanation.
Theorem - Demonstrable Explanation.

Verifiable will mean that you can show that there is evidence for it. Demonstrable means that you can do it again to show people the evidence, and that they can do it too.

The concept of a theorem is therefore fundamentally deductive, in contrast to the notion of a scientific theory, which is empirical


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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17
"If you tried to doubt everything you would not get as far as doubting anything.
The game of doubting itself presupposes certainty."

"We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered,
the problems of life have still not been touched at all."

Ludwig Wittgenstein



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Posted 10/26/17 , edited 10/26/17

karatecowboy wrote:


asharka wrote:

The word "theory" has a specific definition in science, as opposed to the other ways it is commonly used in everyday speech

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqk3TKuGNBA



Thank you for pointing that out. That said, mathemeticians always did it better:

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/38973/difference-between-theorem-and-theory#38975

Theory - Verifiable Explanation.
Theorem - Demonstrable Explanation.

Verifiable will mean that you can show that there is evidence for it. Demonstrable means that you can do it again to show people the evidence, and that they can do it too.

The concept of a theorem is therefore fundamentally deductive, in contrast to the notion of a scientific theory, which is empirical




Wow, no wonder there are nearly no theories in math! They are all theorems!
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