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Where have all the Empiricists gone?

Ipsofacto
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2/14/2014 10:05:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Once upon a time Science was thought as an empirical enterprise. Observe, Generalize, lather, repeat.

Recently, Science has taken on rather fairy tale like qualities. Black holes, dark matter, multiverses.

Such entanglement.

Why not admit it. Science has become more about storytelling then anything remotely attached to the five senses.
phantom
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2/14/2014 11:53:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm not sure a break from empiricism is such a bad thing.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Ipsofacto
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2/15/2014 12:30:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/14/2014 11:53:50 PM, phantom wrote:
I'm not sure a break from empiricism is such a bad thing.

Phantom,

I would be the last one to disagree with you on such an assertion.

But what I find most curious is the insistence that Science, writ large, is still empirically justified.

How do some scientists say -with a straight face- that they are empiricists, yet find someone like Michio Kaku persuasive?
Sswdwm
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2/15/2014 4:00:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/14/2014 10:05:00 PM, Ipsofacto wrote:
Once upon a time Science was thought as an empirical enterprise. Observe, Generalize, lather, repeat.

Recently, Science has taken on rather fairy tale like qualities. Black holes, dark matter, multiverses.

Such entanglement.

Why not admit it. Science has become more about storytelling then anything remotely attached to the five senses

... We actually have good empirical backing on the first 2, and I don't regard a multiverse as scientific until it can be tested in some way - right now it's just really, really, really hard math
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johnlubba
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2/15/2014 4:07:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/14/2014 10:05:00 PM, Ipsofacto wrote:
Once upon a time Science was thought as an empirical enterprise. Observe, Generalize, lather, repeat.

Recently, Science has taken on rather fairy tale like qualities. Black holes, dark matter, multiverses.

Such entanglement.

Why not admit it. Science has become more about storytelling then anything remotely attached to the five senses.

There is a reason that it's called theoretical physics, perhaps. lol
johnlubba
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2/15/2014 4:12:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 4:00:47 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 2/14/2014 10:05:00 PM, Ipsofacto wrote:
Once upon a time Science was thought as an empirical enterprise. Observe, Generalize, lather, repeat.

Recently, Science has taken on rather fairy tale like qualities. Black holes, dark matter, multiverses.

Such entanglement.

Why not admit it. Science has become more about storytelling then anything remotely attached to the five senses

... We actually have good empirical backing on the first 2, and I don't regard a multiverse as scientific until it can be tested in some way - right now it's just really, really, really hard math

An empirical backing for dark matter. lol. also the multiverse being a matter to be resolved via a math's equation is causing my sides to split. as if that is empirical.
Sswdwm
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2/15/2014 4:18:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 4:12:49 AM, johnlubba wrote:
At 2/15/2014 4:00:47 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 2/14/2014 10:05:00 PM, Ipsofacto wrote:
Once upon a time Science was thought as an empirical enterprise. Observe, Generalize, lather, repeat.

Recently, Science has taken on rather fairy tale like qualities. Black holes, dark matter, multiverses.

Such entanglement.

Why not admit it. Science has become more about storytelling then anything remotely attached to the five senses

... We actually have good empirical backing on the first 2, and I don't regard a multiverse as scientific until it can be tested in some way - right now it's just really, really, really hard math


An empirical backing for dark matter. lol. also the multiverse being a matter to be resolved via a math's equation is causing my sides to split. as if that is empirical.

Maybe you should google 'Gravitational lensing' For dark matter. And I already told you the multiverse theory is nothing more than a well-motivated guess until it had empirical backing (like the proposed Higgs field, until they found the predicted boson)
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johnlubba
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2/15/2014 4:33:28 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 4:18:41 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 2/15/2014 4:12:49 AM, johnlubba wrote:
At 2/15/2014 4:00:47 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 2/14/2014 10:05:00 PM, Ipsofacto wrote:
Once upon a time Science was thought as an empirical enterprise. Observe, Generalize, lather, repeat.

Recently, Science has taken on rather fairy tale like qualities. Black holes, dark matter, multiverses.

Such entanglement.

Why not admit it. Science has become more about storytelling then anything remotely attached to the five senses

... We actually have good empirical backing on the first 2, and I don't regard a multiverse as scientific until it can be tested in some way - right now it's just really, really, really hard math


An empirical backing for dark matter. lol. also the multiverse being a matter to be resolved via a math's equation is causing my sides to split. as if that is empirical.

Maybe you should google 'Gravitational lensing' For dark matter. And I already told you the multiverse theory is nothing more than a well-motivated guess until it had empirical backing (like the proposed Higgs field, until they found the predicted boson)

So gravity has an empirical attribute, how so, enlighten me. or do you simply mean the effects of gravity, just as the effects of dark matter are assumed without actually anything empirical that can be designated as dark matter.

I am glad you realise it is a guess, maybe well motivated by a math's formula but that's all it is right now, and a math's formula which is not an empirical substance anymore than gravity. Also the Higgs Bosun anology is nothing but a straw man, just because they predict something and it came true, doesn't mean all the other predictions are destined to come true either. Granted it doesn't mean that some predictions can come true. but as of yet, that's all they are, predictions. and arguing otherwise is well, arguing otherwise.
Sswdwm
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2/15/2014 4:55:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 4:33:28 AM, johnlubba wrote:
At 2/15/2014 4:18:41 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 2/15/2014 4:12:49 AM, johnlubba wrote:
At 2/15/2014 4:00:47 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 2/14/2014 10:05:00 PM, Ipsofacto wrote:
Once upon a time Science was thought as an empirical enterprise. Observe, Generalize, lather, repeat.

Recently, Science has taken on rather fairy tale like qualities. Black holes, dark matter, multiverses.

Such entanglement.

Why not admit it. Science has become more about storytelling then anything remotely attached to the five senses

... We actually have good empirical backing on the first 2, and I don't regard a multiverse as scientific until it can be tested in some way - right now it's just really, really, really hard math


An empirical backing for dark matter. lol. also the multiverse being a matter to be resolved via a math's equation is causing my sides to split. as if that is empirical.

Maybe you should google 'Gravitational lensing' For dark matter. And I already told you the multiverse theory is nothing more than a well-motivated guess until it had empirical backing (like the proposed Higgs field, until they found the predicted boson)


So gravity has an empirical attribute, how so, enlighten me. or do you simply mean the effects of gravity, just as the effects of dark matter are assumed without actually anything empirical that can be designated as dark matter.

Um, we don't know what dark matter looks like if that's what you're asking, it's clearly not the baryonic matter we are familiar with. The gravitational lensing experiments have shown where dark matter can be distributed, and how much of it there is in the universe. It's pretty cool stuff.

I am glad you realise it is a guess, maybe well motivated by a math's formula but that's all it is right now, and a math's formula which is not an empirical substance anymore than gravity.

You seem to have a very deluded concept of what empirical evidence is. Any measurement is empirical evidence. Redshift measurements, decay rates etc are all empirical. Maybe you should google it?

Also the Higgs Bosun anology is nothing but a straw man

Wtf? Maybe you should google what a straw man fallacy is too and compare it with an analogy.

, just because they predict something and it came true, doesn't mean all the other predictions are destined to come true either.

Agreed, but it tests the theory, and has provided the basis to falsify it. A well-tested theory follows that it's a good description of reality, perfect or not.

Granted it doesn't mean that some predictions can come true. but as of yet, that's all they are, predictions. and arguing otherwise is well, arguing otherwise.
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Sidewalker
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2/15/2014 5:27:38 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/14/2014 11:53:50 PM, phantom wrote:
I'm not sure a break from empiricism is such a bad thing.

It probably isn't a bad thing, but it is an unscientific thing.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
johnlubba
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2/15/2014 5:32:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 4:55:40 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 2/15/2014 4:33:28 AM, johnlubba wrote:
At 2/15/2014 4:18:41 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 2/15/2014 4:12:49 AM, johnlubba wrote:
At 2/15/2014 4:00:47 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 2/14/2014 10:05:00 PM, Ipsofacto wrote:
Once upon a time Science was thought as an empirical enterprise. Observe, Generalize, lather, repeat.

Recently, Science has taken on rather fairy tale like qualities. Black holes, dark matter, multiverses.

Such entanglement.

Why not admit it. Science has become more about storytelling then anything remotely attached to the five senses

... We actually have good empirical backing on the first 2, and I don't regard a multiverse as scientific until it can be tested in some way - right now it's just really, really, really hard math


An empirical backing for dark matter. lol. also the multiverse being a matter to be resolved via a math's equation is causing my sides to split. as if that is empirical.

Maybe you should google 'Gravitational lensing' For dark matter. And I already told you the multiverse theory is nothing more than a well-motivated guess until it had empirical backing (like the proposed Higgs field, until they found the predicted boson)


So gravity has an empirical attribute, how so, enlighten me. or do you simply mean the effects of gravity, just as the effects of dark matter are assumed without actually anything empirical that can be designated as dark matter.

Um, we don't know what dark matter looks like if that's what you're asking, it's clearly not the baryonic matter we are familiar with. The gravitational lensing experiments have shown where dark matter can be distributed, and how much of it there is in the universe. It's pretty cool stuff.

I am glad you realise it is a guess, maybe well motivated by a math's formula but that's all it is right now, and a math's formula which is not an empirical substance anymore than gravity.


You seem to have a very deluded concept of what empirical evidence is. Any measurement is empirical evidence. Redshift measurements, decay rates etc are all empirical. Maybe you should google it?


Redshift measurements, decay rates these are things that are observed, we can observe red shift, we can observe decay rates, we can only observe the effects of gravity there is no such empirical proof of an actual objective object called gravity, only it's effects.

The same is with dark matter, and almost everybody will declare they can only observe the effects and not dark matter itself.

Also the Higgs Bosun anology is nothing but a straw man

Wtf? Maybe you should google what a straw man fallacy is too and compare it with an analogy.

This is actually known as a straw man, you reflected on an idea that has no real concern with our original discussion, and as I mentioned and you agreed upon. Something being true for one prediction doesn't make all the other prediction automatically true. and that is exactly what you tried to do by claiming the Higgs Bosun Predictions came true thus attempting to give further weight that the mutilverse predictions are thus likely to come true on the strength that the Higgs Bosun predictions came true. When in fact neither are related


, just because they predict something and it came true, doesn't mean all the other predictions are destined to come true either.

Agreed, but it tests the theory, and has provided the basis to falsify it. A well-tested theory follows that it's a good description of reality, perfect or not.

Granted it doesn't mean that some predictions can come true. but as of yet, that's all they are, predictions. and arguing otherwise is well, arguing otherwise.
Sswdwm
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2/15/2014 5:45:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
So gravity has an empirical attribute, how so, enlighten me. or d
You seem to have a very deluded concept of what empirical evidence is. Any measurement is empirical evidence. Redshift measurements, decay rates etc are all empirical. Maybe you should google it?


Redshift measurements, decay rates these are things that are observed, we can observe red shift, we can observe decay rates, we can only observe the effects of gravity there is no such empirical proof of an actual objective object called gravity, only it's effects.

Sure, just like the fact we can observe the touch and feel of an object via its electrical repulsive effects on the flesh of our skin, or the effects the light bouncing on it has on our retinas. Empirical observations are simply studying the effects things have and inferring their existence and properties from those Empirical observations.

The same is with dark matter, and almost everybody will declare they can only observe the effects and not dark matter itself.

That's right, and this breaks down to anything (unless the I think therefor I am argument is valid) we can postulate the existence of, I don't see your problem. The existence of something is always an inference to the best possible explanation.



Also the Higgs Bosun anology is nothing but a straw man

Wtf? Maybe you should google what a straw man fallacy is too and compare it with an analogy.

This is actually known as a straw man, you reflected on an idea that has no real concern with our original discussion, and as I mentioned and you agreed upon. Something being true for one prediction doesn't make all the other prediction automatically true.

I already agreed with that last point, I was trying to point out that the Higgs field, like the multiverse theory, had precisely zero empirical evidence for it. Therefore is not a scientific theory. Now they have found the predicted Higgs boson, and therefore the theory is now a scientific one. All theories can be wrong, they are just an explanation of the facts, or models, as they stand.

and that is exactly what you tried to do by claiming the Higgs Bosun Predictions came true thus attempting to give further weight that the mutilverse predictions are thus likely to come true on the strength that the Higgs Bosun predictions came true. When in fact neither are related

Now THAT is a flagrant straw man. Read what I wrote properly!

, just because they predict something and it came true, doesn't mean all the other predictions are destined to come true either.

Agreed, but it tests the theory, and has provided the basis to falsify it. A well-tested theory follows that it's a good description of reality, perfect or not.

Granted it doesn't mean that some predictions can come true. but as of yet, that's all they are, predictions. and arguing otherwise is well, arguing otherwise.
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Sidewalker
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2/15/2014 6:34:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
You"ve gone and elicited my favorite rant.

No doubt this is an alarming trend, and yes, it isn"t about science, it"s about human arrogance, it"s pure hubris, and we"ve known about it for at least 2,500 years, we just keep forgetting it. Over 2,500 years ago it was very clearly explicated in the Book of Genesis which describes it as our having eaten from the tree of "knowledge", and in so doing, we have come to think "as if" we were gods, "as if" we can stand outside of the reality we are part of and look upon it from outside it, in order to comprehend the whole, as if we were gods.

And that is what we do whenever we see that the theory doesn"t fit the observations, our laws of gravity don"t hold up unless we find something that is holding the galaxies together, so there must be something else, something unobserved and perhaps unobservable " some kind of unseen matter that emits no radiation, and we say we know it by its secondary effects, it is an "inferred" phenomena. And what is that secondary, inferred phenomena? It is only the fact that the current theoretical framework doesn"t explain the observations.

But we are just too arrogant to think our theoretical framework could be wrong, we can never accept that our theories might be wrong or at least incomplete, so we stand in the judgment of hubris and say it must be the universe that is wrong or incomplete. We decide that the universe that the conceptual framework was supposed to explain is only 1% of reality, there must be another 99% of it that is unobserved and unobservable, and we will call it dark matter, and mask out hubris we define it as unobserved and unobservable.

The facts didn"t fit the conceptual framework, so we change the facts. And it goes on and on, Galaxies spin in contradiction of Newton"s laws, so there must be invisible dark matter, the expansion appears to be accelerating so there must be dark energy, Beta decay violates the conservation law so we invent invisible neutrinos, a single proton at a time still displays an interference pattern in the double slit experiment so we say that a single proton travels every possible path simultaneously and therefore it interferes with itself, the universe appears to be fine-tuned so we say there are an infinite number of undetectable universes and we just happen to live in one that looks fine tuned.

Somewhere along the way, in the last few decades, the observed universe we were trying to understand with our theories became subordinate to the theories, and rather than adjusting the theories to fit the facts, we began adjusting the facts to fit the theories. Somewhere along the way, the observed universe we were trying to understand was no longer reality, it was just 1% of reality, and that contrivance wasn"t even the universe anymore, it was just one of an infinite number of universes, all of them unobserved and unobservable, and all so our sacred theories can remain intact.

Today, it seems we have gone from a quantum realm of pure possibility that goes unrealized until it is "collapsed" by an observer, who apparently conjures a particle into existence out of a mathematical haze, to an entire realm of pure abstraction, that goes unrealized until it is "collapsed" by a theory, and that apparently conjures entire universes into existence out of a mathematical haze.

The OP is correct; the enterprise of science has largely abandoned its reliance on observations and gone into the business of manufacturing unobserved and unobservable realities in order to support its theories. I"m not really sure what this process is, but I know what it isn"t, it isn"t science, it"s something else, and because it is based on unobserved and unobservable realities, it"s completely faith based.

Einstein said "It is the theory that allows us to see the facts", but I don"t think he ever said anything about inventing facts to fit the theory. I"m sure he never said anything about the theory being what is most real, and that an appropriate reality should be invented to fit the theory. In the end, if you really think about it rather than just accept what the High Priests of theoretical bring down from the mountain of complexity on their stone tablets, it"s not hard to see that science has built a self-sustaining system, a mathematical tissue of concepts, it"s gone way beyond the interpretation of observations to become a tower of abstraction that is almost completely detached from the reality it was meant to interpret.

And that was the message imparted by Genesis, that it is inherent in the very act of partaking of "knowledge, it is because of the way we think that it is easy to get carried away, taking our symbols for reality instead of as mere tools of description, to think that our abstractions become reality "as if" we were gods creating reality by thinking.

Are quarks and dark matter discoveries or are they inventions, artifacts of the arrogant brain"s hunger for symmetry? Are we uncovering a preexisting order, converging on the way the universe really is, or is it all a glorious human construction, an artful fitting of the data into a carefully crafted mental framework? When are we doing physics? When are we just conjuring with numbers? Could our maps have been drawn differently? The answer is clear, we just don"t know, and it is becoming harder and harder to tell how much of the order is truly woven into the world and how much is imposed by the brain"s hunger for pattern. We build these systems to represent the world, and then we are left to wonder what they mean. What is map, what is territory? Is there really any difference at all? Why would we assume that a part can fully encompass the whole mentally? Why should the universe be comprehensible to us at all?

But we are just too arrogant to think we can"t know everything and it never occurs to us that our theories themselves could be a kind of triangulation in which complementary pairs of imperfect theories " Classical Physics/Quantum Physics, electroweak theory (QED)/theory of the strong force (QCD), Standard Model/ General Relativity " are used to home in, as best we can, on phenomena beyond the reach of human ability to observe, and it"s just the best we can do.

It"s certainly in our nature to take a hard look, to try to find the ultimate answers, and to look for certainty, but in context, we aren"t gods, we are just an animal whose mind is still awakening, one that is confronted by and pondering this vast and complex thing in transformation, who can see groups of connected realities but cannot truly and fully understand what they represent. Maps are not territory, and there are definite limits to our mental powers and our mathematics, and maybe we should get past our arrogance by waking up to the fact that we are finite beings pondering the infinite, and that a part cannot circumscribe the whole.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
AnDoctuir
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2/15/2014 6:49:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I especially liked the bit about the multiverses because I've always found that a hilariously dumb objection to the fine-tuning argument.
Sidewalker
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2/15/2014 7:00:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 6:40:14 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Sidewalker I think u are a cool guy but can I have the tl;dr version pls

The tl;dr version is...well, it's I don't know what tl;dr means.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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2/15/2014 7:12:33 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 6:40:14 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Sidewalker I think u are a cool guy but can I have the tl;dr version pls

I have two sons, a biochemist and a physicist, and as scientists, they will both tell you that based on empirical evidence, I am not, nor have I ever been, cool.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sswdwm
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2/15/2014 7:17:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Errr"
I really struggle to see what you are getting at, or what your problem is. Human arrogance? And
And that is what we do whenever we see that the theory doesn"t fit the observations
Well if the theory doesn"t fit the observations then it is wrong or incomplete. That"s how empiricism works.
Our laws of gravity don"t hold up unless we find something that is holding the galaxies together, so there must be something else, something unobserved and perhaps unobservable
1.)Our evidence for dark matter is more than just the discrepancy of galaxy rotation
2.)Our existing theory of gravity (Einstein"s) has been shown to be stupendously good description of space-time on large scales. Furthermore, I have already mentioned that dark matter has also been tested via. gravitational lensing (a prediction of our existing theory) " And it has passed that test which indicates it"s much more reasonable to expect dark matter is exactly what the name says. Matter, that is dark. We don"t know much else about it except it has mass and most likely isn"t a manifestation of matter we already know about.
3.)The forefront of science is trying to determine what the matter is, and is right now a very interesting research topic, I don"t see how this is arrogance when we admit we just don"t know much about it.
But we are just too arrogant to think our theoretical framework could be wrong, we can never accept that our theories might be wrong or at least incomplete
False:
The facts didn"t fit the conceptual framework, so we change the facts. And it goes on and on, Galaxies spin in contradiction of Newton"s laws, so there must be invisible dark matter, the expansion appears to be accelerating so there must be dark energy, Beta decay violates the conservation law so we invent invisible neutrinos, a single proton at a time still displays an interference pattern in the double slit experiment so we say that a single proton travels every possible path simultaneously and therefore it interferes with itself, the universe appears to be fine-tuned so we say there are an infinite number of undetectable universes and we just happen to live in one that looks fine tuned.
I honestly don"t know what you are getting at, nobody is claiming to know everything about dark matter or dark energy, there"s a reason why we call them "dark". We just do not know much about them. We have made some good progress in beginning to understand them in cosmology, and the next few decades will be an interesting time as we explore them further.

Somewhere along the way, in the last few decades, the observed universe we were trying to understand with our theories became subordinate to the theories, and rather than adjusting the theories to fit the facts, we began adjusting the facts to fit the theories. Somewhere along the way, the observed universe we were trying to understand was no longer reality, it was just 1% of reality, and that contrivance wasn"t even the universe anymore, it was just one of an infinite number of universes, all of them unobserved and unobservable, and all so our sacred theories can remain intact.
Um, scientific theories are descriptive, not prescriptive. Any scientist will tell you this. So this is just nonsense. Science is just an inference to the best explanation. I really don"t see your problem.

Today, it seems we have gone from a quantum realm of pure possibility that goes unrealized until it is "collapsed" by an observer, who apparently conjures a particle into existence out of a mathematical haze, to an entire realm of pure abstraction, that goes unrealized until it is "collapsed" by a theory, and that apparently conjures entire universes into existence out of a mathematical haze.
Okay this is starting to sound like a lot of "Woo". And anyone who has done a day of quantum mechanics will understand it"s strange counter-intuitive properties. It"s so ridiculously counter-intuitive that it took a long time before the best scientists at the time accepted the theory, and even after it was accepted, these same scientists freely stated that it makes no sense.
The reason why QM had to be accepted was due to ridiculously overwhelming empirical evidence. It had, has and continues to be pass every single test imaginable with flying colours. That theory superseded existing theories of particles and waves, and provided us of our best current understanding of light.
So, I ask again, what"s your problem? Empiricism is an inference to the best explanation. The best explanation for the empirical observations at hand. If we do not have a good explanation for an empirical observation, when we admit we do not know what it is and that"s all.

The OP is correct; the enterprise of science has largely abandoned its reliance on observations and gone into the business of manufacturing unobserved and unobservable realities in order to support its theories. I"m not really sure what this process is, but I know what it isn"t, it isn"t science, it"s something else, and because it is based on unobserved and unobservable realities, it"s completely faith based.
" Okay, I don"t follow you here, but whatever.
And that was the message imparted by Genesis, that it is inherent in the very act of partaking of "knowledge, it is because of the way we think that it is easy to get carried away, taking our symbols for reality instead of as mere tools of description, to think that our abstractions become reality "as if" we were gods creating reality by thinking.
I don"t take much wisdom from a bronze age alleged holy book, I"m sorry so you"re wasting your time preaching it to me.
But we are just too arrogant to think we can"t know everything and it never occurs to us that our theories themselves could be a kind of triangulation in which complementary pairs of imperfect theories " Classical Physics/Quantum Physics, electroweak theory (QED)/theory of the strong force (QCD), Standard Model/ General Relativity " are used to home in, as best we can, on phenomena beyond the reach of human ability to observe, and it"s just the best we can do.
If the theories are wrong, it will be scientists that will demonstrate it. We already know the shortcomings in several of the theories (e.g. we know Relativity cannot possibly hold at quantum scales).

It"s certainly in our nature to take a hard look, to try to find the ultimate answers, and to look for certainty, but in context, we aren"t gods, we are just an animal whose mind is still awakening, one that is confronted by and pondering this vast and complex thing in transformation, who can see groups of connected realities but cannot truly and fully understand what they represent. Maps are not territory, and there are definite limits to our mental powers and our mathematics, and maybe we should get past our arrogance by waking up to the fact that we are finite beings pondering the infinite, and that a part cannot circumscribe the whole.
I should have just said tl;dr. You lack any coherent point, I don"t know why I bothered reading this, I somehow gather you think we arrogantly assume we know the answers without acknowledging we could be wrong. Which is just false
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2/15/2014 7:40:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 7:17:56 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
Errr"
I really struggle to see what you are getting at, or what your problem is. Human arrogance? And
And that is what we do whenever we see that the theory doesn"t fit the observations
Well if the theory doesn"t fit the observations then it is wrong or incomplete. That"s how empiricism works.
Our laws of gravity don"t hold up unless we find something that is holding the galaxies together, so there must be something else, something unobserved and perhaps unobservable
1.)Our evidence for dark matter is more than just the discrepancy of galaxy rotation
2.)Our existing theory of gravity (Einstein"s) has been shown to be stupendously good description of space-time on large scales. Furthermore, I have already mentioned that dark matter has also been tested via. gravitational lensing (a prediction of our existing theory) " And it has passed that test which indicates it"s much more reasonable to expect dark matter is exactly what the name says. Matter, that is dark. We don"t know much else about it except it has mass and most likely isn"t a manifestation of matter we already know about.
3.)The forefront of science is trying to determine what the matter is, and is right now a very interesting research topic, I don"t see how this is arrogance when we admit we just don"t know much about it.
But we are just too arrogant to think our theoretical framework could be wrong, we can never accept that our theories might be wrong or at least incomplete
False:
The facts didn"t fit the conceptual framework, so we change the facts. And it goes on and on, Galaxies spin in contradiction of Newton"s laws, so there must be invisible dark matter, the expansion appears to be accelerating so there must be dark energy, Beta decay violates the conservation law so we invent invisible neutrinos, a single proton at a time still displays an interference pattern in the double slit experiment so we say that a single proton travels every possible path simultaneously and therefore it interferes with itself, the universe appears to be fine-tuned so we say there are an infinite number of undetectable universes and we just happen to live in one that looks fine tuned.
I honestly don"t know what you are getting at, nobody is claiming to know everything about dark matter or dark energy, there"s a reason why we call them "dark". We just do not know much about them. We have made some good progress in beginning to understand them in cosmology, and the next few decades will be an interesting time as we explore them further.

Somewhere along the way, in the last few decades, the observed universe we were trying to understand with our theories became subordinate to the theories, and rather than adjusting the theories to fit the facts, we began adjusting the facts to fit the theories. Somewhere along the way, the observed universe we were trying to understand was no longer reality, it was just 1% of reality, and that contrivance wasn"t even the universe anymore, it was just one of an infinite number of universes, all of them unobserved and unobservable, and all so our sacred theories can remain intact.
Um, scientific theories are descriptive, not prescriptive. Any scientist will tell you this. So this is just nonsense. Science is just an inference to the best explanation. I really don"t see your problem.

Today, it seems we have gone from a quantum realm of pure possibility that goes unrealized until it is "collapsed" by an observer, who apparently conjures a particle into existence out of a mathematical haze, to an entire realm of pure abstraction, that goes unrealized until it is "collapsed" by a theory, and that apparently conjures entire universes into existence out of a mathematical haze.
Okay this is starting to sound like a lot of "Woo". And anyone who has done a day of quantum mechanics will understand it"s strange counter-intuitive properties. It"s so ridiculously counter-intuitive that it took a long time before the best scientists at the time accepted the theory, and even after it was accepted, these same scientists freely stated that it makes no sense.
The reason why QM had to be accepted was due to ridiculously overwhelming empirical evidence. It had, has and continues to be pass every single test imaginable with flying colours. That theory superseded existing theories of particles and waves, and provided us of our best current understanding of light.
So, I ask again, what"s your problem? Empiricism is an inference to the best explanation. The best explanation for the empirical observations at hand. If we do not have a good explanation for an empirical observation, when we admit we do not know what it is and that"s all.

The OP is correct; the enterprise of science has largely abandoned its reliance on observations and gone into the business of manufacturing unobserved and unobservable realities in order to support its theories. I"m not really sure what this process is, but I know what it isn"t, it isn"t science, it"s something else, and because it is based on unobserved and unobservable realities, it"s completely faith based.
" Okay, I don"t follow you here, but whatever.
And that was the message imparted by Genesis, that it is inherent in the very act of partaking of "knowledge, it is because of the way we think that it is easy to get carried away, taking our symbols for reality instead of as mere tools of description, to think that our abstractions become reality "as if" we were gods creating reality by thinking.
I don"t take much wisdom from a bronze age alleged holy book, I"m sorry so you"re wasting your time preaching it to me.
But we are just too arrogant to think we can"t know everything and it never occurs to us that our theories themselves could be a kind of triangulation in which complementary pairs of imperfect theories " Classical Physics/Quantum Physics, electroweak theory (QED)/theory of the strong force (QCD), Standard Model/ General Relativity " are used to home in, as best we can, on phenomena beyond the reach of human ability to observe, and it"s just the best we can do.
If the theories are wrong, it will be scientists that will demonstrate it. We already know the shortcomings in several of the theories (e.g. we know Relativity cannot possibly hold at quantum scales).

It"s certainly in our nature to take a hard look, to try to find the ultimate answers, and to look for certainty, but in context, we aren"t gods, we are just an animal whose mind is still awakening, one that is confronted by and pondering this vast and complex thing in transformation, who can see groups of connected realities but cannot truly and fully understand what they represent. Maps are not territory, and there are definite limits to our mental powers and our mathematics, and maybe we should get past our arrogance by waking up to the fact that we are finite beings pondering the infinite, and that a part cannot circumscribe the whole.
I should have just said tl;dr. You lack any coherent point, I don"t know why I bothered reading this, I somehow gather you think we arrogantly assume we know the answers without acknowledging we could be wrong. Which is just falsev

Sswdm,

Interesting points.

One contention I'd like to zero in on is the notion of science as "descriptive not prescriptive" . I infer you are arguing for an anti-realist position, right?
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2/15/2014 7:47:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Sswdsm,

Another curio If you would indulge me. The notion of "scientific inference" echoes verification. Am I correct to infer this as your epistemological ground?
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2/15/2014 7:52:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Sswdm,

Interesting points.

One contention I'd like to zero in on is the notion of science as "descriptive not prescriptive" . I infer you are arguing for an anti-realist position, right?

Sure, science is inductive reasoning, the process goes something like this:

1.) Existing empirical data can be described with a (preferably simple) explanation (a descriptive one)
2.) This simple explanation can be logically, deductively extended to make predictions (preferable beyond the limits of the conditions already tested. e.g. at faster velocities, higher gravity fields, etc.)
3.) Testing of these predictions (experiment, empirical evidence) to see if the predictions follow from the explanation
4.) If prediction conforms to experiment, it re-enforces the explanation, if it contradicts explanation then the explanation is false, or incomplete.

Via this process, the explanation becomes a more and more likely to be an accurate description of the truth. It could always be falsified (since it's descriptive), any theory can be. But the objective is to converge on the truth (proscriptive explanation, if it exists). This process appears to be a good one to go by for trying to understand reality, and I'm happy at that.

I don't really see the problem?
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2/15/2014 7:58:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 7:52:20 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
Sswdm,

Interesting points.

One contention I'd like to zero in on is the notion of science as "descriptive not prescriptive" . I infer you are arguing for an anti-realist position, right?

Sure, science is inductive reasoning, the process goes something like this:

1.) Existing empirical data can be described with a (preferably simple) explanation (a descriptive one)
2.) This simple explanation can be logically, deductively extended to make predictions (preferable beyond the limits of the conditions already tested. e.g. at faster velocities, higher gravity fields, etc.)
3.) Testing of these predictions (experiment, empirical evidence) to see if the predictions follow from the explanation
4.) If prediction conforms to experiment, it re-enforces the explanation, if it contradicts explanation then the explanation is false, or incomplete.

Via this process, the explanation becomes a more and more likely to be an accurate description of the truth. It could always be falsified (since it's descriptive), any theory can be. But the objective is to converge on the truth (proscriptive explanation, if it exists). This process appears to be a good one to go by for trying to understand reality, and I'm happy at that.

I don't really see the problem?

Sswdsm,

Hume's classical critique would then apply. The problem of induction.
AnDoctuir
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2/15/2014 8:12:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 7:58:22 AM, Ipsofacto wrote:
At 2/15/2014 7:52:20 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
Sswdm,

Interesting points.

One contention I'd like to zero in on is the notion of science as "descriptive not prescriptive" . I infer you are arguing for an anti-realist position, right?

Sure, science is inductive reasoning, the process goes something like this:

1.) Existing empirical data can be described with a (preferably simple) explanation (a descriptive one)
2.) This simple explanation can be logically, deductively extended to make predictions (preferable beyond the limits of the conditions already tested. e.g. at faster velocities, higher gravity fields, etc.)
3.) Testing of these predictions (experiment, empirical evidence) to see if the predictions follow from the explanation
4.) If prediction conforms to experiment, it re-enforces the explanation, if it contradicts explanation then the explanation is false, or incomplete.

Via this process, the explanation becomes a more and more likely to be an accurate description of the truth. It could always be falsified (since it's descriptive), any theory can be. But the objective is to converge on the truth (proscriptive explanation, if it exists). This process appears to be a good one to go by for trying to understand reality, and I'm happy at that.

I don't really see the problem?

Sswdsm,


Hume's classical critique would then apply. The problem of induction.

Where in scientific investigation doesn't the problem of induction apply?
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2/15/2014 8:13:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 7:58:22 AM, Ipsofacto wrote:
At 2/15/2014 7:52:20 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
Sswdm,

Interesting points.

One contention I'd like to zero in on is the notion of science as "descriptive not prescriptive" . I infer you are arguing for an anti-realist position, right?

Sure, science is inductive reasoning, the process goes something like this:

1.) Existing empirical data can be described with a (preferably simple) explanation (a descriptive one)
2.) This simple explanation can be logically, deductively extended to make predictions (preferable beyond the limits of the conditions already tested. e.g. at faster velocities, higher gravity fields, etc.)
3.) Testing of these predictions (experiment, empirical evidence) to see if the predictions follow from the explanation
4.) If prediction conforms to experiment, it re-enforces the explanation, if it contradicts explanation then the explanation is false, or incomplete.

Via this process, the explanation becomes a more and more likely to be an accurate description of the truth. It could always be falsified (since it's descriptive), any theory can be. But the objective is to converge on the truth (proscriptive explanation, if it exists). This process appears to be a good one to go by for trying to understand reality, and I'm happy at that.

I don't really see the problem?

Sswdsm,


Hume's classical critique would then apply. The problem of induction.

And I agree, but it is demonstrably the best method we have. We can look at the empirical data to see if the same theories, or explanations would have held true in the past, and therefore give us reasonable confidence of them holding true in the future

One example is radioactivity.

Some YEC's assert that radioactivity could have been much higher in the past. This is a logically testable claim. One can make logical, numerical predictions about what the concequences of a higher rate would have led to if they were higher. Which in this case include a much higher rate of heat generation. This prediction contracts the empirical data (namely, the Earth hasn't boiled away any life since it generates heat internally by this process).

For such a claim to be true, then multiple theories would have needed to change concordantly, which one can judge is an unreasonable conclusion.

Another example is the speed of light in distant objects, similar deductive tests & experiments can be made to see if this hold constant at other places. If they pass then we can even form a theory, explanation, that predicts that this holds constant everywhere, and always has in the past. So far they have passed every experimental verification put to them.

It could be proven wrong, but that's the theory.

Also, since the theory extends to the past, it would not be unreasonable to expect thhem to extend at least into the near-future. In fact one can predict the consequences of underlying truths (nature itself) changing, and one can quickly conclude life will immediately cease to exist if some of them did change (electrostatic charge, strong binding force, etc).

Therefore one can conclude if the underlying laws, or truths of nature change in the future, then we probably won't be around to care about it anyway. :-p
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2/15/2014 8:23:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 8:05:51 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Funny thread. Sswdwm, are you a scientist?

Yes, why do you ask?

This is way outside my field though so it's not like I'm any sort of authority on the philosophy of science, nor dark matter or energy.
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2/15/2014 8:25:08 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I like how you threw in the bit about "deductive tests" but I'm pretty sure that the entirety of science falls to the problem of induction, its saviour being that the problem of induction isn't really a problem at all so long as the television works, just a metaphysical consideration.
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2/15/2014 8:25:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 8:23:49 AM, Sswdwm wrote:
At 2/15/2014 8:05:51 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Funny thread. Sswdwm, are you a scientist?

Yes, why do you ask?

You got a bit heated, I was just wondering :3

This is way outside my field though so it's not like I'm any sort of authority on the philosophy of science, nor dark matter or energy.

What is your field, if you wouldn't mind?
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2/15/2014 8:27:33 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/15/2014 8:25:08 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
I like how you threw in the bit about "deductive tests" but I'm pretty sure that the entirety of science falls to the problem of induction, its saviour being that the problem of induction isn't really a problem at all so long as the television works, just a metaphysical consideration.

"Look, we're pretty sure things will orbit each other because of gravity and whatnot, so we're just gonna YOLO and put this satellite into orbit even though our empirical evidence of the existence of gravity does not, and cannot satisfy the problem of induc-- ah sh*t the satellite just floated away into space."

Problem of Induction - 1, Science - 0