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What's so special about falsification anyway?

SubterFugitive
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10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/3/2013 2:12:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Because science only advances via the modification or overturning of previously established concepts.

This requires the ability to falsify existing theories.
SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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10/3/2013 2:14:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 2:12:07 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Because science only advances via the modification or overturning of previously established concepts.

This requires the ability to falsify existing theories.

o-O ... how does the subtractive nature of falsifying "advance" anything?
drafterman
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10/3/2013 2:35:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 2:14:37 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:12:07 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Because science only advances via the modification or overturning of previously established concepts.

This requires the ability to falsify existing theories.

o-O ... how does the subtractive nature of falsifying "advance" anything?

I didn't say it did. The mere act of falsification does nothing other than to let us know that our current thinking is wrong in some fashion. Though falsification alone is not sufficient to advance science, it is still necessary.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

That is, you cannot advance science without falsification.
SubterFugitive
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10/3/2013 5:02:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 2:35:48 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:14:37 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:12:07 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Because science only advances via the modification or overturning of previously established concepts.

This requires the ability to falsify existing theories.

o-O ... how does the subtractive nature of falsifying "advance" anything?

I didn't say it did. The mere act of falsification does nothing other than to let us know that our current thinking is wrong in some fashion. Though falsification alone is not sufficient to advance science, it is still necessary.

You said, "science only advances via the modification or overturning of previously established concepts." I guess I thought you meant that falsification advances science, or makes it progressive in some way.

Ok but then why think it's necessary for science if it "does nothing other than to let us know that our current thinking is wrong in some fashion"? Wouldn't verification of a theory accomplish this just as well?


http://en.wikipedia.org...

That is, you cannot advance science without falsification.
SubterFugitive
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10/3/2013 5:05:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 2:35:48 PM, drafterman wrote:

That is, you cannot advance science without falsification.

Why? .. Regardless over whether or not we falsified Newton's concept of time, physics still seemed to have advanced with Einsteins special and general theory...
SubterFugitive
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10/3/2013 5:07:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Drafterman.. would you like to debate the question of whether or not falsifiability, as Popper defined it, is a necessary condition for considering something scientific?
drafterman
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10/3/2013 6:14:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 5:07:28 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Drafterman.. would you like to debate the question of whether or not falsifiability, as Popper defined it, is a necessary condition for considering something scientific?

For Popper, science was falsifiable by definition. If you wished this to be a debate at all, we'd have to agree on a starting definition that didn't include falsifiability.
drafterman
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10/3/2013 6:15:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 5:05:16 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:35:48 PM, drafterman wrote:


That is, you cannot advance science without falsification.

Why? .. Regardless over whether or not we falsified Newton's concept of time, physics still seemed to have advanced with Einsteins special and general theory...

Really? Seems to me that relativity was rooted in the falsifiability of Newtonian physics.
SubterFugitive
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10/3/2013 6:16:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 6:14:16 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 5:07:28 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Drafterman.. would you like to debate the question of whether or not falsifiability, as Popper defined it, is a necessary condition for considering something scientific?

For Popper, science was falsifiable by definition. If you wished this to be a debate at all, we'd have to agree on a starting definition that didn't include falsifiability.

Yes I agree. We want to know whether Popper was right.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/3/2013 6:17:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 6:16:10 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:14:16 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 5:07:28 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Drafterman.. would you like to debate the question of whether or not falsifiability, as Popper defined it, is a necessary condition for considering something scientific?

For Popper, science was falsifiable by definition. If you wished this to be a debate at all, we'd have to agree on a starting definition that didn't include falsifiability.

Yes I agree. We want to know whether Popper was right.

Right or wrong doesn't make sense when it comes to definitions. Regardless, what is your definition?
Poetaster
Posts: 587
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10/3/2013 6:38:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Suppose 3 hypotheses come forward, each proposing different mechanisms by which to explain some data set: M1 and M2 are mutually exclusive logically speaking, but make some of the same predictions beyond the existing data. M3 is different from both and makes different predictions from either, but explains the existing data also.

So we test some of the predictions against experiment. We observe a set of events predicted by both M1 and M2, but not M3. This falsifies M3, but the verification of these events leaves no way for us to discriminate between M1 and M2. Only falsification can eliminate one of them; we need to design a test in which one of them fails; success is not sufficient to advance the pruning process. Thus, falsification is the principle means by which we must discriminate between hypotheses experimentally.
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
wrichcirw
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10/3/2013 6:38:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Without falsification you are precluding the ability to improve.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Poetaster
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10/3/2013 6:44:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
... falsification is the principle means by which we must discriminate between hypotheses experimentally.

That is to say, the "principal" means.
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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10/3/2013 7:49:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 6:17:36 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:16:10 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:14:16 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 5:07:28 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Drafterman.. would you like to debate the question of whether or not falsifiability, as Popper defined it, is a necessary condition for considering something scientific?

For Popper, science was falsifiable by definition. If you wished this to be a debate at all, we'd have to agree on a starting definition that didn't include falsifiability.

Yes I agree. We want to know whether Popper was right.

Right or wrong doesn't make sense when it comes to definitions. Regardless, what is your definition?

I believe we're asking whether falsification is a necessary criteria for considering something science. That's our debate right? Popper thought it was.

I think science is picked out of the crowd by its methodology and focus, that focus being on physical reality and so on.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/3/2013 7:51:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 7:49:04 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:17:36 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:16:10 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:14:16 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 5:07:28 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Drafterman.. would you like to debate the question of whether or not falsifiability, as Popper defined it, is a necessary condition for considering something scientific?

For Popper, science was falsifiable by definition. If you wished this to be a debate at all, we'd have to agree on a starting definition that didn't include falsifiability.

Yes I agree. We want to know whether Popper was right.

Right or wrong doesn't make sense when it comes to definitions. Regardless, what is your definition?

I believe we're asking whether falsification is a necessary criteria for considering something science. That's our debate right? Popper thought it was.

I think science is picked out of the crowd by its methodology and focus, that focus being on physical reality and so on.

What do you mean, picked out of the crowd?
What methodology?
SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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10/3/2013 7:53:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 6:38:01 PM, Poetaster wrote:
Suppose 3 hypotheses come forward, each proposing different mechanisms by which to explain some data set: M1 and M2 are mutually exclusive logically speaking, but make some of the same predictions beyond the existing data. M3 is different from both and makes different predictions from either, but explains the existing data also.

So we test some of the predictions against experiment. We observe a set of events predicted by both M1 and M2, but not M3. This falsifies M3, but the verification of these events leaves no way for us to discriminate between M1 and M2. Only falsification can eliminate one of them; we need to design a test in which one of them fails; success is not sufficient to advance the pruning process. Thus, falsification is the principle means by which we must discriminate between hypotheses experimentally.

See my private message to you sir.
SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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10/3/2013 7:55:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 6:38:03 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Without falsification you are precluding the ability to improve.

Well again I guess I'll ask, what is it about the subtractive nature of falsifiability that improves or progresses anything in science? This implies an idea of progress that Popper was against.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/3/2013 7:58:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 7:55:36 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:38:03 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Without falsification you are precluding the ability to improve.

Well again I guess I'll ask, what is it about the subtractive nature of falsifiability that improves or progresses anything in science? This implies an idea of progress that Popper was against.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "subtractive nature". As it is, I recall a quote from George Soros, who was an avid follower of Popper - I paraphrase - that we are all fallible, but it is through our fallibility that we have the potential for infinite improvement.

In this sense, I don't see anything "subtractive" about falsifiability, unless you are assuming that what we are now and what we know is somehow "perfect" and that to admit error would be "subtractive" from such a stance.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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10/3/2013 7:59:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 7:51:52 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:49:04 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:17:36 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:16:10 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:14:16 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 5:07:28 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
Drafterman.. would you like to debate the question of whether or not falsifiability, as Popper defined it, is a necessary condition for considering something scientific?

For Popper, science was falsifiable by definition. If you wished this to be a debate at all, we'd have to agree on a starting definition that didn't include falsifiability.

Yes I agree. We want to know whether Popper was right.

Right or wrong doesn't make sense when it comes to definitions. Regardless, what is your definition?

I believe we're asking whether falsification is a necessary criteria for considering something science. That's our debate right? Popper thought it was.

I think science is picked out of the crowd by its methodology and focus, that focus being on physical reality and so on.

What do you mean, picked out of the crowd?
What methodology?

I mean stands our from other subjects like theology, philosophy, art, sociology, etc.

The methodology of science is eclectic but sometimes hypothetico-deductive or inductivistic, instance confirmation, induction by enumeration, etc. All of which are largely based on empirical methods of testing and observation. These methods have a common core of empiricism which stands out from other subjects.
SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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10/3/2013 8:03:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 7:58:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:55:36 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:38:03 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Without falsification you are precluding the ability to improve.

Well again I guess I'll ask, what is it about the subtractive nature of falsifiability that improves or progresses anything in science? This implies an idea of progress that Popper was against.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "subtractive nature". As it is, I recall a quote from George Soros, who was an avid follower of Popper - I paraphrase - that we are all fallible, but it is through our fallibility that we have the potential for infinite improvement.

And Popper would vehemently disagree. For instance, just take a look at his Glowing Holy grail analogy. If you're in a room wherein every holy grail glows for a time then fades out except the true holy grail, which perpetually glows, then at best you can only pick out which one ISN'T the holy grail, not which one IS the holy grail. This is Popper's picture. And it's not one of improvement in the sense that we're getting closer to accurately affirming one truth over another.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/3/2013 8:06:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 8:03:07 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:58:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:55:36 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:38:03 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Without falsification you are precluding the ability to improve.

Well again I guess I'll ask, what is it about the subtractive nature of falsifiability that improves or progresses anything in science? This implies an idea of progress that Popper was against.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "subtractive nature". As it is, I recall a quote from George Soros, who was an avid follower of Popper - I paraphrase - that we are all fallible, but it is through our fallibility that we have the potential for infinite improvement.

And Popper would vehemently disagree. For instance, just take a look at his Glowing Holy grail analogy. If you're in a room wherein every holy grail glows for a time then fades out except the true holy grail, which perpetually glows, then at best you can only pick out which one ISN'T the holy grail, not which one IS the holy grail. This is Popper's picture. And it's not one of improvement in the sense that we're getting closer to accurately affirming one truth over another.

I suppose my response would be that I don't see the significance of Popper's specific thoughts on this matter. Popper's is not the final word on falsification. I see no reason to strictly adhere to this particular argument from authority.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/3/2013 8:07:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 8:03:07 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:58:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:55:36 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:38:03 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Without falsification you are precluding the ability to improve.

Well again I guess I'll ask, what is it about the subtractive nature of falsifiability that improves or progresses anything in science? This implies an idea of progress that Popper was against.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "subtractive nature". As it is, I recall a quote from George Soros, who was an avid follower of Popper - I paraphrase - that we are all fallible, but it is through our fallibility that we have the potential for infinite improvement.

And Popper would vehemently disagree. For instance, just take a look at his Glowing Holy grail analogy. If you're in a room wherein every holy grail glows for a time then fades out except the true holy grail, which perpetually glows, then at best you can only pick out which one ISN'T the holy grail, not which one IS the holy grail. This is Popper's picture. And it's not one of improvement in the sense that we're getting closer to accurately affirming one truth over another.

Really? Because as fake grails fade out, it seems a mathematical tautology that our accuracy in finding the real one increases.

And, yeah. I'll debate you on this.
SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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10/3/2013 10:42:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 8:06:39 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 8:03:07 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:58:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:55:36 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:38:03 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Without falsification you are precluding the ability to improve.

Well again I guess I'll ask, what is it about the subtractive nature of falsifiability that improves or progresses anything in science? This implies an idea of progress that Popper was against.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "subtractive nature". As it is, I recall a quote from George Soros, who was an avid follower of Popper - I paraphrase - that we are all fallible, but it is through our fallibility that we have the potential for infinite improvement.

And Popper would vehemently disagree. For instance, just take a look at his Glowing Holy grail analogy. If you're in a room wherein every holy grail glows for a time then fades out except the true holy grail, which perpetually glows, then at best you can only pick out which one ISN'T the holy grail, not which one IS the holy grail. This is Popper's picture. And it's not one of improvement in the sense that we're getting closer to accurately affirming one truth over another.

I suppose my response would be that I don't see the significance of Popper's specific thoughts on this matter. Popper's is not the final word on falsification. I see no reason to strictly adhere to this particular argument from authority.

Are you aware of any other type of falsification than what Popper expounded?
SubterFugitive
Posts: 255
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10/3/2013 10:44:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 8:07:24 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 8:03:07 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:58:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:55:36 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:38:03 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Without falsification you are precluding the ability to improve.

Well again I guess I'll ask, what is it about the subtractive nature of falsifiability that improves or progresses anything in science? This implies an idea of progress that Popper was against.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "subtractive nature". As it is, I recall a quote from George Soros, who was an avid follower of Popper - I paraphrase - that we are all fallible, but it is through our fallibility that we have the potential for infinite improvement.

And Popper would vehemently disagree. For instance, just take a look at his Glowing Holy grail analogy. If you're in a room wherein every holy grail glows for a time then fades out except the true holy grail, which perpetually glows, then at best you can only pick out which one ISN'T the holy grail, not which one IS the holy grail. This is Popper's picture. And it's not one of improvement in the sense that we're getting closer to accurately affirming one truth over another.

Really? Because as fake grails fade out, it seems a mathematical tautology that our accuracy in finding the real one increases.

You would think that right? That's the tragedy of the man in the cave trying to find the true holy grail. ut just because the fake ones fade out, doesn't increase our knowledge that the true one is "right over there" .. for that one just hasn't faded out yet. Right?

And, yeah. I'll debate you on this.

I'll set it up by the end of the week! :-)
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/3/2013 11:05:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 10:42:18 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 8:06:39 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 8:03:07 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:58:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:55:36 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:38:03 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Without falsification you are precluding the ability to improve.

Well again I guess I'll ask, what is it about the subtractive nature of falsifiability that improves or progresses anything in science? This implies an idea of progress that Popper was against.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "subtractive nature". As it is, I recall a quote from George Soros, who was an avid follower of Popper - I paraphrase - that we are all fallible, but it is through our fallibility that we have the potential for infinite improvement.

And Popper would vehemently disagree. For instance, just take a look at his Glowing Holy grail analogy. If you're in a room wherein every holy grail glows for a time then fades out except the true holy grail, which perpetually glows, then at best you can only pick out which one ISN'T the holy grail, not which one IS the holy grail. This is Popper's picture. And it's not one of improvement in the sense that we're getting closer to accurately affirming one truth over another.

I suppose my response would be that I don't see the significance of Popper's specific thoughts on this matter. Popper's is not the final word on falsification. I see no reason to strictly adhere to this particular argument from authority.

Are you aware of any other type of falsification than what Popper expounded?

According to you, I just proffered one, yes?
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/3/2013 11:07:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 10:44:32 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 8:07:24 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 8:03:07 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:58:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:55:36 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:38:03 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Without falsification you are precluding the ability to improve.

Well again I guess I'll ask, what is it about the subtractive nature of falsifiability that improves or progresses anything in science? This implies an idea of progress that Popper was against.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "subtractive nature". As it is, I recall a quote from George Soros, who was an avid follower of Popper - I paraphrase - that we are all fallible, but it is through our fallibility that we have the potential for infinite improvement.

And Popper would vehemently disagree. For instance, just take a look at his Glowing Holy grail analogy. If you're in a room wherein every holy grail glows for a time then fades out except the true holy grail, which perpetually glows, then at best you can only pick out which one ISN'T the holy grail, not which one IS the holy grail. This is Popper's picture. And it's not one of improvement in the sense that we're getting closer to accurately affirming one truth over another.

Really? Because as fake grails fade out, it seems a mathematical tautology that our accuracy in finding the real one increases.

You would think that right? That's the tragedy of the man in the cave trying to find the true holy grail. ut just because the fake ones fade out, doesn't increase our knowledge that the true one is "right over there" .. for that one just hasn't faded out yet. Right?

Given a finite set of grails, the probability of finding the "true grail" increases the more grails you can dismiss as fakes. This is basic probability.

And, yeah. I'll debate you on this.

I'll set it up by the end of the week! :-)
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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10/3/2013 11:11:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

So you want scientific theories to include propositions that are non falsifiable ?

Well then, I say to you, we all live in the matrix.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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10/4/2013 5:34:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 10:44:32 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 8:07:24 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 10/3/2013 8:03:07 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:58:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 7:55:36 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
At 10/3/2013 6:38:03 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2013 2:09:22 PM, SubterFugitive wrote:
It's no better than verification, nor does science only imply ideas that have just never been falsified. There are some things that are pretty well established. Why think that all scientific theories or any proposal ought to be falsifiable?

Without falsification you are precluding the ability to improve.

Well again I guess I'll ask, what is it about the subtractive nature of falsifiability that improves or progresses anything in science? This implies an idea of progress that Popper was against.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "subtractive nature". As it is, I recall a quote from George Soros, who was an avid follower of Popper - I paraphrase - that we are all fallible, but it is through our fallibility that we have the potential for infinite improvement.

And Popper would vehemently disagree. For instance, just take a look at his Glowing Holy grail analogy. If you're in a room wherein every holy grail glows for a time then fades out except the true holy grail, which perpetually glows, then at best you can only pick out which one ISN'T the holy grail, not which one IS the holy grail. This is Popper's picture. And it's not one of improvement in the sense that we're getting closer to accurately affirming one truth over another.

Really? Because as fake grails fade out, it seems a mathematical tautology that our accuracy in finding the real one increases.

You would think that right? That's the tragedy of the man in the cave trying to find the true holy grail. ut just because the fake ones fade out, doesn't increase our knowledge that the true one is "right over there" .. for that one just hasn't faded out yet. Right?

Wrong. It does increase our knowledge.

And, yeah. I'll debate you on this.

I'll set it up by the end of the week! :-)
chui
Posts: 507
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10/4/2013 6:08:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Don't forget that scientific theories also need to be constructed based on some evidence as well as being falsifiable. So progress is made both by verification and falsification.

But the bottom line is that we cannot prove anything to 100% certainty but we can disprove it 100%.

Going back to Poppers Grail analogy we need to remember that the Grails are actually made by us based on the evidence we have so there is for any given subject a very small number that need to be tested.

Perhaps it would make sense more if we say that a theory must be testable, which is the essence of saying it is falsifiable, because tests can be failed. The corollary to this is that science can only cover subjects that are amenable to testing.