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Post Reply Why is science just theories? Is there anything absolute?
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17

Secret-of-Terra wrote:


Ejanss wrote:

Wow: So, your feelings were hurt, and Saint Albert was spat upon, when someone pointed out that Science doesn't allow you to wipe nasty things out of existence with a wave of your hand, free of consequence or debate.
Too bad, but that's actually what you signed up for with Science, no matter into what little bitty pieces you try to dice and slice words up trying to look for a loophole.

Let's put it in less sliceable terms--Science DOESN'T know everything. That's not to say it doesn't know anything, but if it did know everything, it would be out of a job.
Fortunately, that's not likely to happen within the next few millennia of man's existence. Which gives it a lot to do in the meantime.


I'm sorry I don't think I really get your point, maybe it's a language barrier here. I don't really understand what that loophole you are taking about would be?
Technically science doesn't know anything because it is not an entity that can have knowledge, but words aside, I agree that the scientific community doesn't know everything and that that does not mean that it doesn't know anything.
My main point was that what science actually is and how it should work are not questions that can be answered by scientific research. To say that the only way to gain knowledge is through empirical studies (observations and repeatable results), is not a statement that is in itself scientific because it is not empirically testable. The foundation of science has to lie outside science itself.



Theoretical physicist here. Secret-of-Terra should be thanked - for being the only one here who actually knows what science is (amejia0 and Potentsaliva also said the correct thing).

All of you here complaining about how strong the notion of a theory is - that a theory isn't "'just' a theory" - and saying science deals in "facts" and contains no guesswork are absolutely wrong. Pick up Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, read it in its entirety, and then come back and talk about what science is and how it works. Even better, read Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery as well, and learn about the perspective of science that considers empirical verification - i.e., data - cheap. Otherwise you're just spouting off what someone else sold you.


morte111 wrote:

Science is not emotional in any form. Science in and of itself does not have a moral aspect [...]

Exactly as Dark Alma states, scientific theory is NOT guesswork, and the technological advancement of our current civilisation from the invention of the wheel owes its existence to known, proven scientific principles, not 'mostly guesses'.

Scientific process & methodology relies on strict disciplined adherance to multiple stages, from observed phenomena being recorded in detail, procedural examination, classification & categorisation into specialties, theories developed from rational thought using already experimentally proven fact, and principles being postulated & submitted to the scientific community.
An iterative cycle of peer review, experimental corroboration/proof/disproof, & refinement then begins.



All these are false. Science is human - and as a human enterprise, it is invested with emotion, morality, and guesswork. Further, the scientific community hasn't always functioned that way, and it doesn't necessarily function that way today, either. Even the meanings of very words you used above have changed. We have myths of apples hitting people in the head, Dirac staring into a fire, and Galileo vs. the Church; we're "made of star stuff", we look to Einstein for inspiration, and we use religion as a cautionary tale; we use our best methodologies and come up with things like phrenology and eugenics, phlogiston and ether, and those fall as our methodologies and societies change. What will fall next, no one knows. I'm kind of expecting scientific quality to fall, given how market- and success-oriented academia has become. But I hope the next thing to fall is atheist-memelord chest-thumping, because it's retarded and makes science look bad.

Read this, too, if you want something smaller than a book. It's the "Philosophy of Science" section of Wikipedia's page on Paul Feyerabend.

Finally, go watch the "Entrusting Dreams and Romance to the Stars! Taiki's Transformation" episode of Sailor Moon, and listen to Ami say the smartest thing about science I've ever heard in an anime.
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17

auroraloose wrote:

Theoretical physicist here. Secret-of-Terra should be thanked - for being the only one here who actually knows what science is (amejia0 and Potentsaliva also said the correct thing).


Don't make me blush here jokes aside, while it is not my focus, I was a scientist and occasionally do philosophy of science every now and then - so I hope to get at least some things right


auroraloose wrote:
we use our best methodologies and come up with things like phrenology and eugenics, phlogiston and ether, and those fall as our methodologies and societies change. What will fall next, no one knows. I'm kind of expecting scientific quality to fall, given how market- and success-oriented academia has become.


how dare you question phlogiston :-O
But yeah, science is becoming a business with all the ugly consequences related to it.

I will look into that anime part you suggested though
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17

Secret-of-Terra wrote:


auroraloose wrote:

Theoretical physicist here. Secret-of-Terra should be thanked - for being the only one here who actually knows what science is (amejia0 and Potentsaliva also said the correct thing).


Don't make me blush here jokes aside, while it is not my focus, I was a scientist and occasionally do philosophy of science every now and then - so I hope to get at least some things right



Fighting the anti-intellectualism of both science "enthusiasts" and science "deniers" is a thankless task. When I saw this thread a few days ago, I sighed; I figured I'd have to do it all myself - which, in my experience in academia, is how it usually goes. So I think it's important to combat such thanklessness with solidarity.
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17
Chemist here. Science is fun. Go blow stuff up.
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17
spoken like a true chemist
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17

RavingDragon wrote:

Chemist here. Since is fun. Go blow stuff up.


i think baking stuff like bread or cake is more useful then blowing stuff up
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17

dragonlord1234 wrote:


RavingDragon wrote:

Chemist here. Since is fun. Go blow stuff up.


i think baking stuff like bread or cake is more useful then blowing stuff up


Useful maybe but fun? Hardly. I will have you know that blowing up nitroglycerin with a hammer is more fun than watching dough rise.
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17

RavingDragon wrote:


dragonlord1234 wrote:


RavingDragon wrote:

Chemist here. Since is fun. Go blow stuff up.


i think baking stuff like bread or cake is more useful then blowing stuff up


Useful maybe but fun? Hardly. I will have you know that blowing up nitroglycerin with a hammer is more fun than watching dough rise.


Why do you two act like 'bomb' and 'cake' cannot coexist? Molecular gastronomy is a thing you know.
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17

Nification wrote:


RavingDragon wrote:


dragonlord1234 wrote:


RavingDragon wrote:

Chemist here. Since is fun. Go blow stuff up.


i think baking stuff like bread or cake is more useful then blowing stuff up


Useful maybe but fun? Hardly. I will have you know that blowing up nitroglycerin with a hammer is more fun than watching dough rise.


Why do you two act like 'bomb' and 'cake' cannot coexist? Molecular gastronomy is a thing you know.


That sounds entropically unfavorable. And I imagine that the reaction time for baking is a bit longer than for exploding. But I suppose that means that, if you blow up cake batter, some of the product becomes cake.
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I think that there will be raw cake batter splattered everywhere plus some burnt cake batter near the explosion center. I must test this hypothesis.
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17
Science is basically an adult version of a 3 year old kid asking why.

Once you answer one question, you failed to explain some small bit, and have to dive deeper into the rabbit hole to explain even more stuff.

why is the sky blue? Because sunlight is actually multiple colors combined to make white light, and the air from the earth scatters all the blue light.

from there...

why does the air scatter the blue light?
how does 7 colors make white?
how does the sun make light anyway?
how can we see the blue when the blue is scattered?
how can we even see?

This is why Santa, the Easter Bunny, and religion exist. It's a lot easier to have a give all explanation then to keep explaining ever finer, ever branching details THAT NEVER END! (as far as we are aware so far.)

Why is the sky blue? Because god made it that way. Why did god make it that way? Because god made it that way because he likes it that way. OMG, the simplicity. :p
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17

Lance_Clemings wrote:
This is why Santa, the Easter Bunny, and religion exist. It's a lot easier to have a give all explanation then to keep explaining ever finer, ever branching details THAT NEVER END! (as far as we are aware so far.)

Why is the sky blue? Because god made it that way. Why did god make it that way? Because god made it that way because he likes it that way. OMG, the simplicity. :p


Actually, no, it's more like:

"Why does the sun rise and fall?"
"It doesn't, it's a perception caused by the earth's rotation."
"What creates a rainbow?"
"Prismatic reflection of sunlight through residual water mist in the atmosphere after a rainfall."
"What happens after we die?"
"Um.....we don't know that. "
"What is man's ultimate purpose on this earth?"
"Er....sorry, got nothing on that either."
"How do we end war and foster goodwill, peace and brotherhood among all men?
"Look....that's not exactly our area either. There are some other guys trained in that area, you could try asking them. We can theoretically explain how the atom works, though, wouldja like that?"
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17

Ejanss wrote:


Lance_Clemings wrote:
This is why Santa, the Easter Bunny, and religion exist. It's a lot easier to have a give all explanation then to keep explaining ever finer, ever branching details THAT NEVER END! (as far as we are aware so far.)

Why is the sky blue? Because god made it that way. Why did god make it that way? Because god made it that way because he likes it that way. OMG, the simplicity. :p


Actually, no, it's more like:

"Why does the sun rise and fall?"
"It doesn't, it's a perception caused by the earth's rotation."
"What creates a rainbow?"
"Prismatic reflection of sunlight through residual water mist after a rainfall."
"What happens after we die?"
"Um.....we don't know that. "
"What is man's ultimate purpose on this earth?"
"Er....sorry, got nothing on that either."
"How do we end war and foster goodwill among all men?
"Um....that's not our area either. There are some other guys trained in that area, you could try asking them. We can theoretically explain how the atom works, though, wouldja like that?"


That's science and philosophy for ya, always in an eternal search to find out.

What can't be answered by science, may have upwards of 80 different answers in philosophy, so just pick the one that sounds the coolest.

for me, those answers are.

"What happens after we die?" You cease to exist, kind of like the same way as everything before you were born didn't exist. Also, all of your physical bits get eaten by worms and beetles. (science)

"What is man's ultimate purpose on this earth?" (philosophy)
There is none. Do what you want, you only got so much time to do it anyway.

"How do we end war and foster goodwill among all men?" (philosophy, and maybe some science)
Ironically, kill everyone else. People need to argue with people to start shit. Now for a non-violent way... I guess people just need to have a strong enough military so that people don't attack, but the people with the strong military need to not be dicks and use their strength to bully others. It's a catch 22, because there will always be dicks in humanity. So the real question is.

"how do we remove all the dicks?" (stupidity :P)
Again, catch 22, be a dick yourself and remove all of them forcefully, or pray that evolution somehow breeds out all the dicks. So don't have sex with assholes.

Note, these are just MY philosophical (if you can even call them that:P) interpretations. For questions that don't have actual answers (YET! that is the key thing. We may never find out, or find out tomorrow), or are morality based and can have more then one, there is theories and philosophy in that order.
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17

Lance_Clemings wrote:
What can't be answered by science, may have upwards of 80 different answers in philosophy, so just pick the one that sounds the coolest.

for me, those answers are.

"What happens after we die?" You cease to exist, kind of like the same way as everything before you were born didn't exist. Also, all of your physical bits get eaten by worms and beetles. (science)

"What is man's ultimate purpose on this earth?" (philosophy)
There is none. Do what you want, you only got so much time to do it anyway.


So....opinions basically. And you know what "Opinions" can be, don't you?
(Hint: It's not "Science". It's a five-letter word that starts with W, and it's not "Whoops.")
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Posted 10/29/17 , edited 10/29/17

Ejanss wrote:
(Hint: It's not "Science". It's a five-letter word that starts with W, and it's not "Whoops.")


Is it "Whoop"?
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