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Falsification

Dirty.Harry
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12/7/2015 4:05:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
During a discussion about "evidence for evolution" Ramshutu in post #73 of the thread http://www.debate.org..., made this statement

"Newtons theory wasn't falsified. Not in the way you imply. It's still taught, and it's still used throughout the world. So is Relativity, so is quantum theory; two theories that we also know aren't complete explanations of the facts."

If people with a declared knowledge of science do not understand what falsification means, then it's no wonder that so many discussions and debates about things like evolution often go around in circles.

I think Ramshutu makes the error of confusing completeness with falsifiable. This is all elementary science yet time and again these kinds of fundamental misunderstandings derail honest discourse about evolution.

Here's just one article for the benefit of this who like Ramshutu do not actually understand the falsification of Newton's gravitational model:

https://malagabay.wordpress.com...

Unless one understands this aspect of the scientific method, I fail to see how they can confidently defend a hypothesis like natural selection. Unless an explanation for something in science is truly falsifiable, then that explanation can never be elevated to the status of a theory.

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
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12/7/2015 5:33:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
An additional falsification is the deviation of the precession of Mercury's perihelion from that predicted by Newton's inverse square law (the deviation is accounted for by general relativity).

See: http://physics.ucr.edu...
Ramshutu
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12/7/2015 7:25:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 4:05:32 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
During a discussion about "evidence for evolution" Ramshutu in post #73 of the thread http://www.debate.org..., made this statement

"Newtons theory wasn't falsified. Not in the way you imply. It's still taught, and it's still used throughout the world. So is Relativity, so is quantum theory; two theories that we also know aren't complete explanations of the facts."

If people with a declared knowledge of science do not understand what falsification means, then it's no wonder that so many discussions and debates about things like evolution often go around in circles.

I think Ramshutu makes the error of confusing completeness with falsifiable. This is all elementary science yet time and again these kinds of fundamental misunderstandings derail honest discourse about evolution.

Here's just one article for the benefit of this who like Ramshutu do not actually understand the falsification of Newton's gravitational model:

https://malagabay.wordpress.com...

Unless one understands this aspect of the scientific method, I fail to see how they can confidently defend a hypothesis like natural selection. Unless an explanation for something in science is truly falsifiable, then that explanation can never be elevated to the status of a theory.

Harry.
For someone making bold claims about how someone doesn"t understand Falsification; your position on the matter is wholly incoherent and in most cases, on the verge of dishonesty: I can make that second claim as your contentions seem to indicate you understand what falsification is, yet misusing it so entirely in this post indicates that you either don"t really know, yet claim you do; or you do know, yet are trying to present it differently anyway.

So lets start at the beginning.

Falsification is simply the ability to show that a theory, hypothesis is wrong. Newton had this, Evolution has this, Gravity has this. The primary form of falsification occur in the testing of predictions; which can either pass or fail.

For example, if light didn"t curve around the sun during an eclipse, this would have falsified general relativity in it"s entirety. If it were shown that the equations of gravity and motion were incorrect; in that if you applied the same force to two objects; one with half the mass of the other and one didn"t accelerate at twice the acceleration as the other; that would pretty much have invalidated all the laws of motion and gravity.

Likewise, with Evolution, if the nested hierarchy were systematically invalidated; the Chronology was systematically violated, or genetics showed vastly different indicative patterns than it has; evolution in it"s entirety would have needed to have been thrown away.

What you seem to be trying to present, however, is falsification as a reason to completely throw away a theory. You seem to imply that evolution has been falsified and thus has to be completely thrown away. However, in trying to present this, you cite examples of theories that were not thrown away. Hence my statement "Newton was not falsified. at least not in the way you suggest"

Fundamentally, one of two things can happen when a theory is falsified. Firstly, it can be discarded. Secondly, it can be amended.

In the case of Newton, it was amended by the addition of GR, and amended by the addition of a caveat that it only holds in certain non-relativistic scenarios. In the case of Einstein, with the advent of Quantum theory, GR was amended by the addition of a caveat that it only holds at non-quantum scales.

The reason these theories, and indeed evolution, have not been discarded are solely because of the amount of concordant predictions and accurate modeling of these theories. In such scenarios with such a vast amount of concordant data, and fundamental and complete lack of wholly discordant data, theories are considered incomplete and are not rejected out of hand.

Indeed, one of the citations in your source was that of rotation of galaxies; as Newton held primarily true in all other examples, science did not simply discard it. Additional explanations have been cited (including non-newtonian mechanics and Dark Matter); both of which are amendments to Newtonian Gravitation and General Relativity. One did not simply view the rotation of galaxies and then declare newton is wrong and stop using it. The laws of motion and gravity still hold.

In this respect, Evolution works and has worked in exactly the same way; it has been falsified and has been modified accordingly; with the inclusion of Population Genetics, Mendelivian inheritance, Endosymbiotic theory, Horizontal gene transfer, Embryological development and genetics. Indeed, only a portion: including common descent and the basics of natural selection still hold from Darwin's original work, and the rest of evolution is now unrecognizable in comparison. This has been done in EXACTLY the same way as has been done with Newton, demonstrably so with the above.

So in reality, your claims that Evolution has been falsified are true; it has been shown to be wrong, and it has been modified to correct where it was wrong; in the same way Newton has. It was modified as a result of how concordant that theory was to reality; something that you agree with, and that changes to the processes and mechanisms were sufficient to explain the falsifying data AND describe and explain why the theory appeared to be correct before.

This renders your fundamental conclusion or implication that Evolution should be thrown away as a result of falsification holds absolutely no water; and the examples you cite demonstrate this at a fundamental level. Your use of Newton, Einstein, and your description of falsification is incoherent as a result: Painting Newton as if it has been thrown away is demonstrably wrong; painting falsification always requiring a theory to be thrown out is obviously wrong; painting evolution as if it has been falsified yet not modified; is again obviously wrong.

Like many other arguments I have heard, this is simply trying to argue that a theory can be 100% right, or 100% wrong; and that falsification means a theory should be discarded. This is obviously not the case, and in most cases, theories are always incomplete and tentative; they are constantly being amended in the face of data, and rarely, if ever, is a predictive theory that explains the evidence consistently thrown away in the way you seem to be expecting, and the way you are misrepresenting with Newton.
Dirty.Harry
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12/7/2015 8:28:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 7:25:36 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
So lets start at the beginning.

Falsification is simply the ability to show that a theory, hypothesis is wrong. Newton had this, Evolution has this, Gravity has this. The primary form of falsification occur in the testing of predictions; which can either pass or fail.


For example, if light didn"t curve around the sun during an eclipse, this would have falsified general relativity in it"s entirety. If it were shown that the equations of gravity and motion were incorrect; in that if you applied the same force to two objects; one with half the mass of the other and one didn"t accelerate at twice the acceleration as the other; that would pretty much have invalidated all the laws of motion and gravity.

I agree and I see no reason to treat Newton's inverse square law any differently, the perihelion drift of mercury isn't what Newton's laws predict so likewise it's falsified in it's entirety, it's wrong, nature doesn't obey that law, objects under gravity do not move according to that law, its wrong.

Likewise, with Evolution, if the nested hierarchy were systematically invalidated; the Chronology was systematically violated, or genetics showed vastly different indicative patterns than it has; evolution in it"s entirety would have needed to have been thrown away.

Surely any failure to observe something that we'd fully expect to observe were evolution true - is a falsification not just the list you've thrown together above?

What you seem to be trying to present, however, is falsification as a reason to completely throw away a theory. You seem to imply that evolution has been falsified and thus has to be completely thrown away. However, in trying to present this, you cite examples of theories that were not thrown away. Hence my statement "Newton was not falsified. at least not in the way you suggest"

Never once did I write 'completely thrown away' or anything like that - I used the term 'falsified' as you'll see if you read what I wrote. If you've inferred that then that's your concern.

Fundamentally, one of two things can happen when a theory is falsified. Firstly, it can be discarded. Secondly, it can be amended.

Ha! are you serious? the act of amending a theory is the same as discarding it and replacing it with a different theory surely?

In the case of Newton, it was amended by the addition of GR, and amended by the addition of a caveat that it only holds in certain non-relativistic scenarios. In the case of Einstein, with the advent of Quantum theory, GR was amended by the addition of a caveat that it only holds at non-quantum scales.

This is dead wrong there's no way any physicist will support what you claim! Considering GR as a modification to Newton's action-at-a-distance is absurd! One is action at a distance with absolute time and 3D euclidean space the other is non-euclidean geometry in a 4D space-time continuum, I've never heard anything so absurd.

The reason these theories, and indeed evolution, have not been discarded are solely because of the amount of concordant predictions and accurate modeling of these theories. In such scenarios with such a vast amount of concordant data, and fundamental and complete lack of wholly discordant data, theories are considered incomplete and are not rejected out of hand.

What does 'discard' mean to you? you keep bringing this up but it's irrelevant. Theories are used to make predictions, if one or more predictions go unobserved under circumtances where we'd expect them to be observed we deem the theory falsified - that's it, that's all I've said, you keep going on about 'discarding' not me.

Indeed, one of the citations in your source was that of rotation of galaxies; as Newton held primarily true in all other examples, science did not simply discard it. Additional explanations have been cited (including non-newtonian mechanics and Dark Matter); both of which are amendments to Newtonian Gravitation and General Relativity. One did not simply view the rotation of galaxies and then declare newton is wrong and stop using it. The laws of motion and gravity still hold.

Again I never said Newton was discarded - please show me where I said that if you can? I never once said that a falsified theory has no utility, you are making a strawman argument.

In this respect, Evolution works and has worked in exactly the same way; it has been falsified and has been modified accordingly; with the inclusion of Population Genetics, Mendelivian inheritance, Endosymbiotic theory, Horizontal gene transfer, Embryological development and genetics. Indeed, only a portion: including common descent and the basics of natural selection still hold from Darwin's original work, and the rest of evolution is now unrecognizable in comparison. This has been done in EXACTLY the same way as has been done with Newton, demonstrably so with the above.

If a theoretical prediction based on natural selection is not observed and no reasonable explanation for this can be found - would that falsify natural selection? It would any other theory.

So in reality, your claims that Evolution has been falsified are true; it has been shown to be wrong, and it has been modified to correct where it was wrong; in the same way Newton has. It was modified as a result of how concordant that theory was to reality; something that you agree with, and that changes to the processes and mechanisms were sufficient to explain the falsifying data AND describe and explain why the theory appeared to be correct before.

Well I know it's been falsified why tell me I'm right? Once again Newton's theory wasn't 'modified'. Now you seem to be saying that every observed falsification is no longer a falsification - is that true? are you claiming there are no extant contemporary observations in nature that falsify natural selection?

This renders your fundamental conclusion or implication that Evolution should be thrown away as a result of falsification holds absolutely no water; and the examples you cite demonstrate this at a fundamental level. Your use of Newton, Einstein, and your description of falsification is incoherent as a result: Painting Newton as if it has been thrown away is demonstrably wrong; painting falsification always requiring a theory to be thrown out is obviously wrong; painting evolution as if it has been falsified yet not modified; is again obviously wrong.

Well something MUST be thrown away with respect to explaining that failed observation. Whatever proposed process in a theory is used to predict something that's not observed MUST be thrown away yes? that aspect of the theory MUST be wrong and some OTHER explanation, some OTHER process must be sought - yes?

Like many other arguments I have heard, this is simply trying to argue that a theory can be 100% right, or 100% wrong; and that falsification means a theory should be discarded. This is obviously not the case, and in most cases, theories are always incomplete and tentative; they are constantly being amended in the face of data, and rarely, if ever, is a predictive theory that explains the evidence consistently thrown away in the way you seem to be expecting, and the way you are misrepresenting with Newton.

Again I've not used the term 'thrown away' you are and your repeated attacks based on this are strawmen.

If some line of reasoning leads to a prediction and that prediction is never observed under circumstances that we'd expect it to be observed then that line of reasoning must be wrong yes or no?

Harry.
SM2
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12/7/2015 10:09:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Newtonian Physics wasn't "falsified". It was intended to describe everyday objects, and still does so with reasonable accuracy. It just can't be applied to planets or particles, because they violate the assumptions surrounding "everyday objects".
slo1
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12/7/2015 11:03:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 10:09:10 PM, SM2 wrote:
Newtonian Physics wasn't "falsified". It was intended to describe everyday objects, and still does so with reasonable accuracy. It just can't be applied to planets or particles, because they violate the assumptions surrounding "everyday objects".

It would be appropriate to call Newtonian Physics a reasonably accurate estimate, but an estimate it indeed is.
Ramshutu
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12/8/2015 12:17:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 8:28:17 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

In seemingly contesting the minutae of everything I"m saying, you"ve done a remarkably poor job in actually arguing against anything at all. What you seem to be doing, is providing an argument of extreme pedantry and hair splitting.

Fundamentally, there are a certain number of things that are true:

1.) Falsified theories can be adjusted and modified; and can still be used.
2.) Few, if any theories are "junked", if they are strongly positively predictive and they have passed a number of falsification tests.
3.) Evolution (even though you confuse it with natural selection here), is one of these theories that has changed and been adjusted.
4.) Newton, is also one of these theories that is still true, despite having been falsified because what it applies to has changed.

Indeed, these 4 points are irrefutable in that they are factually true.

We"re not even arguing about the nature of falsification, what it entails and how it works; you seem to be simply haggling over the definition of "wrongness".

You may want to argue that not being 100% correct is the same as wrong; and you may want to also argue that "technically" an amended theory is the same as replacing it with a new one.

These arguments, largely, are irrelevant; because it"s not really relevant to the argument I am making; nor does it really affect the core facts that I listed above.

Indeed, the fundamental part of my argument is that Evolution, as it stands now is an amended and corrected theory; it has been modified to incorporate more facts, and even though there are some facts that do not fully fit within the theory yet (although these are few and far between), it is likely just as accurate a description of what has occurred in the history of life as General Relativity is an accurate description of Gravity; although given the levels of predictivity and weight of evidence, probably more so.

You may claim that you are not suggesting that the theory should be scrapped, junked or otherwise thrown away; and suggest that as a result, I am committing a straw man.

Do I take this to mean that you believe the theory of evolution is a relatively accurate representation of reality, with some adjustments or amendments required in order for it to be both more accurate and more complete? Or do you believe that evolution is a completely inaccurate representation of reality, and should be discarded?

If it"s the latter, there is no straw-man committed, if it"s the former; then why are you making such significant suggestions about how falsified evolution is, yet science still clings to it in this and the originating thread?
RuvDraba
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12/8/2015 1:13:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 4:05:32 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Unless one understands this aspect of the scientific method, I fail to see how they can confidently defend a hypothesis like natural selection.
Harry, unfortunately you've managed to mess up scientific epistemology twice in one statement.

1) Natural selection is both an historical conjecture, and a statistically observed consequence of sexual competition, disease, predation and competition for food and other resources. Having been observed, it is factual, and would remain factual, even were it discovered that mutation (also observed) were not a major mechanism for speciation. So it's incorrect to call it an hypothesis.

2) The scientific method is fundamentally quality assurance methodology for the verification of scientific theories and models. It is not a mechanism for developing new theories and models, nor a sufficient mechanism for deciding whether a new theory or model is valid (and if you're unclear on the difference between validation and verification, please ask.) Consequently, you cannot say from the Scientific Method alone what should happen to a theory such as Darwinian Evolution or Newton's model for Universal Gravitation if it should fail verification in key predictions.

In fact, what actually happens to scientific theories following some falsified verification step is complicated. A theory can remain valid for many uses even if it fails verification for some purposes. A valid, but superseded theory may be extended by additional models, revised to remove inaccuracies, or may be incorporated into a later theory, or may prove to be a special case of some competing but more general idea.

In this manner, Darwinian evolution can continue to be valid even if it transpires (as it has) that the mechanisms of mutation and species diversification, for example, are more complicated than originally thought. Newtonian mechanics can remain applicable to the areas where it was first verified -- i.e, human-scale mechanics -- while remaining a special case of Einsteinian mechanics which itself can be used for the very large and the very fast, but not the very small.

Validation and verification tend to be seen as identical outside the STEM disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math -- however, they are very different in these disciplines. It's not uncommon for people working outside STEM disciplines to conflate them, and therefore conclude (erroneously) that a single counter-example would invalidate the whole of Evolution or Big Bang, like some complex calculation hinging on perfect arithmetic.

As to how questions of validation work in STEM disciplines, and how STEM avoids dogmatism, as I mentioned, it's complicated and has to do with more than just the Scientific Method.

However it's incorrect to assume some conspiracy theory in which science is imagined to adopt the same kind of evasion and deceit that we often see in religious apologetics. Scientific validation is far more rigorous: transparent, accountable, pragmatic, and evidentiary, and if you haven't looked into how it works, I'd be happy to share what I know.
tejretics
Posts: 6,093
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12/8/2015 2:25:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 4:05:32 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

It is a logically possibility -- if theory 'A' is falsified -- for 'A' to be modified into a variation 'B', such that 'B' is most likely correct.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Dirty.Harry
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12/8/2015 4:00:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 12:17:40 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/7/2015 8:28:17 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

In seemingly contesting the minutae of everything I"m saying, you"ve done a remarkably poor job in actually arguing against anything at all. What you seem to be doing, is providing an argument of extreme pedantry and hair splitting.

Fundamentally, there are a certain number of things that are true:

1.) Falsified theories can be adjusted and modified; and can still be used.

Of course I never said a falsified theory has no utility - once again a strawman.

2.) Few, if any theories are "junked", if they are strongly positively predictive and they have passed a number of falsification tests.

No, they're falsified.

3.) Evolution (even though you confuse it with natural selection here), is one of these theories that has changed and been adjusted.

In every case?

4.) Newton, is also one of these theories that is still true, despite having been falsified because what it applies to has changed.

It was applied to the orbits of the planets from its inception. It incorrectly computes the motion of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit.
"what it applies to" (behavior of bodies under gravity) didn't change. People first noticed the peihelion precession error in 1859 some 170 years after the theory was published, before then the ability to measure such things was too limited.


Indeed, these 4 points are irrefutable in that they are factually true.

See above!


We"re not even arguing about the nature of falsification, what it entails and how it works; you seem to be simply haggling over the definition of "wrongness".

You may want to argue that not being 100% correct is the same as wrong; and you may want to also argue that "technically" an amended theory is the same as replacing it with a new one.


I'm arguing (I'll say this once again) that if we have observations that are at odds with what natural selection requires, then it has been falsisfied. If I have a theory that says "You'll therefore observe X and Y and Z" and then we never actually find X and Y and Z no matter how hard we look, the original line of reasoning (the theory) that gave rise to that prediction MUST be wrong.

These arguments, largely, are irrelevant; because it"s not really relevant to the argument I am making; nor does it really affect the core facts that I listed above.

Indeed, the fundamental part of my argument is that Evolution, as it stands now is an amended and corrected theory; it has been modified to incorporate more facts, and even though there are some facts that do not fully fit within the theory yet (although these are few and far between), it is likely just as accurate a description of what has occurred in the history of life as General Relativity is an accurate description of Gravity; although given the levels of predictivity and weight of evidence, probably more so.

If one ignores real world observations that contradict theoretical expectations then yes. You seem to think that because there are many many observations which are consistent with the expectations of natural selection that this somehow serves as proof for the theory but it doesn't.

You may claim that you are not suggesting that the theory should be scrapped, junked or otherwise thrown away; and suggest that as a result, I am committing a straw man.

Do I take this to mean that you believe the theory of evolution is a relatively accurate representation of reality, with some adjustments or amendments required in order for it to be both more accurate and more complete? Or do you believe that evolution is a completely inaccurate representation of reality, and should be discarded?


I mean that there are a great many observations that are consistent with the predictions of natural selection I don't then infer from this that the theory must be correct, the true explanation for how life developed.

If it"s the latter, there is no straw-man committed, if it"s the former; then why are you making such significant suggestions about how falsified evolution is, yet science still clings to it in this and the originating thread?

Let me ask you, what do you consider to be the biggest problem with natural selection? What in your opinion in the real world of observations poses the biggest threat to the theory? Of all the areas that the theory is criticized, which area is the most troublesome?

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
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12/8/2015 4:01:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/7/2015 10:09:10 PM, SM2 wrote:
Newtonian Physics wasn't "falsified". It was intended to describe everyday objects, and still does so with reasonable accuracy. It just can't be applied to planets or particles, because they violate the assumptions surrounding "everyday objects".

OK, give me an example of some theory in physics that you would say has been falsified and tell me why.

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
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12/8/2015 4:05:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 2:25:37 AM, tejretics wrote:
At 12/7/2015 4:05:32 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

It is a logically possibility -- if theory 'A' is falsified -- for 'A' to be modified into a variation 'B', such that 'B' is most likely correct.

I'll accept that I suppose, I can envisage where a theory might contain some specific area that is erroneous and requires updating, I agree there are scales of failure here. Transistor theory fits this description where earlier mathematical models from the 50s have been enhanced and improved.

So perhaps its better to talk about specific claims of a theory then, because then we can talk about this or that claim in the theory being falsified if that's preferred by everyone here?

Harry.
Ramshutu
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12/8/2015 4:30:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 4:00:43 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:17:40 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/7/2015 8:28:17 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

In seemingly contesting the minutae of everything I"m saying, you"ve done a remarkably poor job in actually arguing against anything at all. What you seem to be doing, is providing an argument of extreme pedantry and hair splitting.

Fundamentally, there are a certain number of things that are true:

1.) Falsified theories can be adjusted and modified; and can still be used.

Of course I never said a falsified theory has no utility - once again a strawman.

If I were stating this was your position; I'm stating a fact; and it is a true fact.

2.) Few, if any theories are "junked", if they are strongly positively predictive and they have passed a number of falsification tests.

No, they're falsified.

Are they junked? No. This is the point; and you don't seem to be contesting it, only haggling over terminology.

3.) Evolution (even though you confuse it with natural selection here), is one of these theories that has changed and been adjusted.

In every case?

In every case; thus far when facts are at odds with evolution, it has been either changed, adjusted, or an additional explanation consistent with has been produced.

4.) Newton, is also one of these theories that is still true, despite having been falsified because what it applies to has changed.

It was applied to the orbits of the planets from its inception. It incorrectly computes the motion of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit.
"what it applies to" (behavior of bodies under gravity) didn't change. People first noticed the peihelion precession error in 1859 some 170 years after the theory was published, before then the ability to measure such things was too limited.

Is Newton still true and still used? If yes, then this fact is still true and you haven't contested it.


Indeed, these 4 points are irrefutable in that they are factually true.

See above!

In all 4 cases, you have not contested the fact, but instead are trying to argue about definitions.


We"re not even arguing about the nature of falsification, what it entails and how it works; you seem to be simply haggling over the definition of "wrongness".

You may want to argue that not being 100% correct is the same as wrong; and you may want to also argue that "technically" an amended theory is the same as replacing it with a new one.


I'm arguing (I'll say this once again) that if we have observations that are at odds with what natural selection requires, then it has been falsisfied. If I have a theory that says "You'll therefore observe X and Y and Z" and then we never actually find X and Y and Z no matter how hard we look, the original line of reasoning (the theory) that gave rise to that prediction MUST be wrong.

What you're doing, again, is primarily arguing over terminology, what wrongness is and the difference between "junking" and "falsification". It's a pretty abstract argument, which as I stated, I'm trying to bring back to how it is applied to reality.

These arguments, largely, are irrelevant; because it"s not really relevant to the argument I am making; nor does it really affect the core facts that I listed above.

Indeed, the fundamental part of my argument is that Evolution, as it stands now is an amended and corrected theory; it has been modified to incorporate more facts, and even though there are some facts that do not fully fit within the theory yet (although these are few and far between), it is likely just as accurate a description of what has occurred in the history of life as General Relativity is an accurate description of Gravity; although given the levels of predictivity and weight of evidence, probably more so.

If one ignores real world observations that contradict theoretical expectations then yes. You seem to think that because there are many many observations which are consistent with the expectations of natural selection that this somehow serves as proof for the theory but it doesn't.

There is a difference between contradiction and inconsistency. There are some facts inconsistent with evolution, but none that contradict it.

You may claim that you are not suggesting that the theory should be scrapped, junked or otherwise thrown away; and suggest that as a result, I am committing a straw man.

Do I take this to mean that you believe the theory of evolution is a relatively accurate representation of reality, with some adjustments or amendments required in order for it to be both more accurate and more complete? Or do you believe that evolution is a completely inaccurate representation of reality, and should be discarded?


I mean that there are a great many observations that are consistent with the predictions of natural selection I don't then infer from this that the theory must be correct, the true explanation for how life developed.

Again, you are confusing evolution with natural selection.

And you didn't answer the question. Do you believe Evolution should be discarded as an explanation?

If it"s the latter, there is no straw-man committed, if it"s the former; then why are you making such significant suggestions about how falsified evolution is, yet science still clings to it in this and the originating thread?

Let me ask you, what do you consider to be the biggest problem with natural selection? What in your opinion in the real world of observations poses the biggest threat to the theory? Of all the areas that the theory is criticized, which area is the most troublesome?

There are no observations that thus far pose a threat to Evolution in that they are contradictory observations. There are some explained inconsistencies, and there are area's where we lack understanding, but nothing that is contradictory,

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
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12/8/2015 5:22:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 4:30:50 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:00:43 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/8/2015 12:17:40 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/7/2015 8:28:17 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

In seemingly contesting the minutae of everything I"m saying, you"ve done a remarkably poor job in actually arguing against anything at all. What you seem to be doing, is providing an argument of extreme pedantry and hair splitting.

Fundamentally, there are a certain number of things that are true:

1.) Falsified theories can be adjusted and modified; and can still be used.

Of course I never said a falsified theory has no utility - once again a strawman.

If I were stating this was your position; I'm stating a fact; and it is a true fact.

2.) Few, if any theories are "junked", if they are strongly positively predictive and they have passed a number of falsification tests.

No, they're falsified.

Are they junked? No. This is the point; and you don't seem to be contesting it, only haggling over terminology.

3.) Evolution (even though you confuse it with natural selection here), is one of these theories that has changed and been adjusted.

In every case?

In every case; thus far when facts are at odds with evolution, it has been either changed, adjusted, or an additional explanation consistent with has been produced.

4.) Newton, is also one of these theories that is still true, despite having been falsified because what it applies to has changed.

It was applied to the orbits of the planets from its inception. It incorrectly computes the motion of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit.
"what it applies to" (behavior of bodies under gravity) didn't change. People first noticed the peihelion precession error in 1859 some 170 years after the theory was published, before then the ability to measure such things was too limited.

Is Newton still true and still used? If yes, then this fact is still true and you haven't contested it.


Indeed, these 4 points are irrefutable in that they are factually true.

See above!

In all 4 cases, you have not contested the fact, but instead are trying to argue about definitions.


We"re not even arguing about the nature of falsification, what it entails and how it works; you seem to be simply haggling over the definition of "wrongness".

You may want to argue that not being 100% correct is the same as wrong; and you may want to also argue that "technically" an amended theory is the same as replacing it with a new one.


I'm arguing (I'll say this once again) that if we have observations that are at odds with what natural selection requires, then it has been falsisfied. If I have a theory that says "You'll therefore observe X and Y and Z" and then we never actually find X and Y and Z no matter how hard we look, the original line of reasoning (the theory) that gave rise to that prediction MUST be wrong.

What you're doing, again, is primarily arguing over terminology, what wrongness is and the difference between "junking" and "falsification". It's a pretty abstract argument, which as I stated, I'm trying to bring back to how it is applied to reality.


These arguments, largely, are irrelevant; because it"s not really relevant to the argument I am making; nor does it really affect the core facts that I listed above.

Indeed, the fundamental part of my argument is that Evolution, as it stands now is an amended and corrected theory; it has been modified to incorporate more facts, and even though there are some facts that do not fully fit within the theory yet (although these are few and far between), it is likely just as accurate a description of what has occurred in the history of life as General Relativity is an accurate description of Gravity; although given the levels of predictivity and weight of evidence, probably more so.

If one ignores real world observations that contradict theoretical expectations then yes. You seem to think that because there are many many observations which are consistent with the expectations of natural selection that this somehow serves as proof for the theory but it doesn't.

There is a difference between contradiction and inconsistency. There are some facts inconsistent with evolution, but none that contradict it.

You may claim that you are not suggesting that the theory should be scrapped, junked or otherwise thrown away; and suggest that as a result, I am committing a straw man.

Do I take this to mean that you believe the theory of evolution is a relatively accurate representation of reality, with some adjustments or amendments required in order for it to be both more accurate and more complete? Or do you believe that evolution is a completely inaccurate representation of reality, and should be discarded?


I mean that there are a great many observations that are consistent with the predictions of natural selection I don't then infer from this that the theory must be correct, the true explanation for how life developed.

Again, you are confusing evolution with natural selection.

And you didn't answer the question. Do you believe Evolution should be discarded as an explanation?

If it"s the latter, there is no straw-man committed, if it"s the former; then why are you making such significant suggestions about how falsified evolution is, yet science still clings to it in this and the originating thread?

Let me ask you, what do you consider to be the biggest problem with natural selection? What in your opinion in the real world of observations poses the biggest threat to the theory? Of all the areas that the theory is criticized, which area is the most troublesome?

There are no observations that thus far pose a threat to Evolution in that they are contradictory observations. There are some explained inconsistencies, and there are area's where we lack understanding, but nothing that is contradictory,

Harry.

1. The title of the tread is "Falsification" and that's the topic I hoped to explore and discuss. I've repeatedly said that I do not claim a theory has no utility if it has been falsified so I do not claim it should automatically be "junked" or "scrapped" (whatever that means).

2. How do you know there are no facts which contradict evolution? There are many scientists who disagree with you on this point.

3. Please state some facts that are not consistent with evolution yet do not contradict it either?

I'm not trying to focus on definitions here, but if you repeatedly introduce additional things like "scrapped" or "junked" then I'm going to restate my position which is that I'm trying to discuss the concept of falsification, what it means, when it happens, what we do about it etc.

If natural selection (and fine, I'll focus on this rather than evolution just to be clear) is unfalsifiable then it's unscientific (so says Karl Popper anyway) so I'm assuming it's falsifiable in principle.

Harry.
Ramshutu
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12/8/2015 6:15:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 5:22:33 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Harry.

1. The title of the tread is "Falsification" and that's the topic I hoped to explore and discuss. I've repeatedly said that I do not claim a theory has no utility if it has been falsified so I do not claim it should automatically be "junked" or "scrapped" (whatever that means).

The thread title is Falsification; however you referenced a thread where I posted, and called me out about not understanding falsification; whereas in reality here, and there I am talking about the actual reality of what happens with falsification, and how it affects theory, which was the context of the previous discussion.

I asked you to confirm whether you feel Evolution should be scrapped, or not. I would still like you to answer that question.

2. How do you know there are no facts which contradict evolution? There are many scientists who disagree with you on this point.

There are many mainstream scientists who call into question current explanations of aspects of evolution; however none of these mainstream scientists, that I am aware of, posit any detailed facts or evidence that contradict the concept of common descent via modification: effectively the evolutionary narrative, or contrive to assert that descent with modification, evolution in general is anything more than incomplete.

There are many scientists who are not part of the scientific mainstream, who make arguments as you do; who do not provide peer reviewed support, and whose arguments are not particularly compelling and are generally affiliated with organizations or movements that are theological in nature; profess their own implicit bias and assert that they already know what the answer is; indeed demonstrate far greater adherence to their own personal agenda than they do science.

3. Please state some facts that are not consistent with evolution yet do not contradict it either?

Evolution uses the nested hierarchy to demonstrate descent with modification; and posits a series of processes to provide explanations the modifications.

The hypothesis that the hierarchy is heredity is a key validated principle (validated by chronology, taxonomy, embryology and genetics).

To contradict evolution; that hierarchy must be invalidated, or the principle mechanisms of validating the hierarchy (as listed) are grossly flawed.

This has occurred before; primarily with Horizontal Gene Transfer, Endosymbiotic theory and several others that show mechanisms and processes that explain the discovered inconsistencies (however, in most cases, these inconsistencies are in the pre-eukaryotic establishment where descent with modification takes over. In such cases, evolution has been modified and accounts for the contradiction.

Indeed, thus far there are no remaining clear violations of the nested hierarchy; nor is there any argument that holds any water concerning the methods of validating it with those additional methods; hence evolution is not contradicted.

However, there is a general understanding that evolution will work a particular way; this is not evolution itself, but our application of it.

For example, you like to use the Cambrian explosion. I will point out the following facts:

1.) Life in the Cambrian is still concordant the nested hierarchy.
2.) There is evidence of species and animal diversification before the Cambrian.
3.) There are transitional forms within the Cambrian, and before.
4.) It occurs over 40 million years; and statistically doesn't appear to be significantly faster than adaptive radiations afterwards.

In this respect, the inconsistency appears to be the nature of diversification there was at the time, how much and how fast; as at first glance there appears to be greater diversification, and a little faster at that time than at any other; and one would expect with a basic application of evolution, it should be no different than at any other point.

However, many reasonable hypotheses; plausible, realistic, understandable and consistent with evolution can be put forward (and may all be true at the same time), that provides a detailed explanation of why the Cambrian was different than at other times; that explain both the evidence and brings it in line with evolution.

I'm not trying to focus on definitions here, but if you repeatedly introduce additional things like "scrapped" or "junked" then I'm going to restate my position which is that I'm trying to discuss the concept of falsification, what it means, when it happens, what we do about it etc.

The last part, you have not talked about at all; indeed this is what I have been arguing because that is the only part that is really relevant, and the only part that is more than terminology and not subject to equivocation.

I have been clear from the start; in this thread and the previous, as to what Falsification means to the application of theories. You have seem to be more fixated with trying to establish that Evolution has been falsified, by arguing terminology, rather than the fundamental implications of what that would mean to the theory; and you have been contesting me at every stage when I tried to explain what the consequences of falsification actually are.

If natural selection (and fine, I'll focus on this rather than evolution just to be clear) is unfalsifiable then it's unscientific (so says Karl Popper anyway) so I'm assuming it's falsifiable in principle.

The following aside:

"The theory of natural selection may be so formulated that it is far from tautological. In this case it is not only testable, but it turns out to be not strictly universally true. There seem to be exceptions, as with so many biological theories; and considering the random character of the variations on which natural selection operates, the occurrence of exceptions is not surprising."

"It does appear that some people think that I denied scientific character to the historical sciences, such as palaeontology, or the history of the evolution of life on Earth. This is a mistake, and I here wish to affirm that these and other historical sciences have in my opinion scientific character; their hypotheses can in many cases be tested"

- Karl Popper

Natural selection can be falsified mathematically, statistically, programmatically by showing the mathematical principle of selection (generational change with pruning affects the frequency of traits in the next generation), or observationally: by observing species that are subject to selection pressure due to the environment and seeing if they adapt; which they do.

In actuality, Natural Selection is based on statistical maths; of which the test of it's validity is partially mathematically (IE: it can be proven), and whether reality conforms to the assumptions of that statistical maths (which can be observed and measured, and it does).

Even so, and even if I conceded that Natural Selection is unfalsifiable; that does not render evolution the same, because we know that natural selection actually does occur, and we know that evolution can be independently falsified, and contains more to it as motivating processes than simply natural selection.
Dirty.Harry
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12/8/2015 6:58:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 6:15:10 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/8/2015 5:22:33 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Harry.

1. The title of the tread is "Falsification" and that's the topic I hoped to explore and discuss. I've repeatedly said that I do not claim a theory has no utility if it has been falsified so I do not claim it should automatically be "junked" or "scrapped" (whatever that means).

The thread title is Falsification; however you referenced a thread where I posted, and called me out about not understanding falsification; whereas in reality here, and there I am talking about the actual reality of what happens with falsification, and how it affects theory, which was the context of the previous discussion.

I asked you to confirm whether you feel Evolution should be scrapped, or not. I would still like you to answer that question.

2. How do you know there are no facts which contradict evolution? There are many scientists who disagree with you on this point.

There are many mainstream scientists who call into question current explanations of aspects of evolution; however none of these mainstream scientists, that I am aware of, posit any detailed facts or evidence that contradict the concept of common descent via modification: effectively the evolutionary narrative, or contrive to assert that descent with modification, evolution in general is anything more than incomplete.

There are many scientists who are not part of the scientific mainstream, who make arguments as you do; who do not provide peer reviewed support, and whose arguments are not particularly compelling and are generally affiliated with organizations or movements that are theological in nature; profess their own implicit bias and assert that they already know what the answer is; indeed demonstrate far greater adherence to their own personal agenda than they do science.

3. Please state some facts that are not consistent with evolution yet do not contradict it either?

Evolution uses the nested hierarchy to demonstrate descent with modification; and posits a series of processes to provide explanations the modifications.

The hypothesis that the hierarchy is heredity is a key validated principle (validated by chronology, taxonomy, embryology and genetics).

To contradict evolution; that hierarchy must be invalidated, or the principle mechanisms of validating the hierarchy (as listed) are grossly flawed.

This has occurred before; primarily with Horizontal Gene Transfer, Endosymbiotic theory and several others that show mechanisms and processes that explain the discovered inconsistencies (however, in most cases, these inconsistencies are in the pre-eukaryotic establishment where descent with modification takes over. In such cases, evolution has been modified and accounts for the contradiction.

Indeed, thus far there are no remaining clear violations of the nested hierarchy; nor is there any argument that holds any water concerning the methods of validating it with those additional methods; hence evolution is not contradicted.

However, there is a general understanding that evolution will work a particular way; this is not evolution itself, but our application of it.

For example, you like to use the Cambrian explosion. I will point out the following facts:

1.) Life in the Cambrian is still concordant the nested hierarchy.
2.) There is evidence of species and animal diversification before the Cambrian.
3.) There are transitional forms within the Cambrian, and before.
4.) It occurs over 40 million years; and statistically doesn't appear to be significantly faster than adaptive radiations afterwards.

In this respect, the inconsistency appears to be the nature of diversification there was at the time, how much and how fast; as at first glance there appears to be greater diversification, and a little faster at that time than at any other; and one would expect with a basic application of evolution, it should be no different than at any other point.

However, many reasonable hypotheses; plausible, realistic, understandable and consistent with evolution can be put forward (and may all be true at the same time), that provides a detailed explanation of why the Cambrian was different than at other times; that explain both the evidence and brings it in line with evolution.

I'm not trying to focus on definitions here, but if you repeatedly introduce additional things like "scrapped" or "junked" then I'm going to restate my position which is that I'm trying to discuss the concept of falsification, what it means, when it happens, what we do about it etc.

The last part, you have not talked about at all; indeed this is what I have been arguing because that is the only part that is really relevant, and the only part that is more than terminology and not subject to equivocation.

I have been clear from the start; in this thread and the previous, as to what Falsification means to the application of theories. You have seem to be more fixated with trying to establish that Evolution has been falsified, by arguing terminology, rather than the fundamental implications of what that would mean to the theory; and you have been contesting me at every stage when I tried to explain what the consequences of falsification actually are.

If natural selection (and fine, I'll focus on this rather than evolution just to be clear) is unfalsifiable then it's unscientific (so says Karl Popper anyway) so I'm assuming it's falsifiable in principle.

The following aside:

"The theory of natural selection may be so formulated that it is far from tautological. In this case it is not only testable, but it turns out to be not strictly universally true. There seem to be exceptions, as with so many biological theories; and considering the random character of the variations on which natural selection operates, the occurrence of exceptions is not surprising."

"It does appear that some people think that I denied scientific character to the historical sciences, such as palaeontology, or the history of the evolution of life on Earth. This is a mistake, and I here wish to affirm that these and other historical sciences have in my opinion scientific character; their hypotheses can in many cases be tested"

- Karl Popper

Natural selection can be falsified mathematically, statistically, programmatically by showing the mathematical principle of selection (generational change with pruning affects the frequency of traits in the next generation), or observationally: by observing species that are subject to selection pressure due to the environment and seeing if they adapt; which they do.

In actuality, Natural Selection is based on statistical maths; of which the test of it's validity is partially mathematically (IE: it can be proven), and whether reality conforms to the assumptions of that statistical maths (which can be observed and measured, and it does).

Even so, and even if I conceded that Natural Selection is unfalsifiable; that does not render evolution the same, because we know that natural selection actually does occur, and we know that evolution can be independently falsified, and contains more to it as motivating processes than simply natural selection.

Consider David Berlinski:

https://www.youtube.com...
Ramshutu
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12/8/2015 7:17:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 6:58:19 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/8/2015 6:15:10 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/8/2015 5:22:33 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Harry.

1. The title of the tread is "Falsification" and that's the topic I hoped to explore and discuss. I've repeatedly said that I do not claim a theory has no utility if it has been falsified so I do not claim it should automatically be "junked" or "scrapped" (whatever that means).

The thread title is Falsification; however you referenced a thread where I posted, and called me out about not understanding falsification; whereas in reality here, and there I am talking about the actual reality of what happens with falsification, and how it affects theory, which was the context of the previous discussion.

I asked you to confirm whether you feel Evolution should be scrapped, or not. I would still like you to answer that question.

2. How do you know there are no facts which contradict evolution? There are many scientists who disagree with you on this point.

There are many mainstream scientists who call into question current explanations of aspects of evolution; however none of these mainstream scientists, that I am aware of, posit any detailed facts or evidence that contradict the concept of common descent via modification: effectively the evolutionary narrative, or contrive to assert that descent with modification, evolution in general is anything more than incomplete.

There are many scientists who are not part of the scientific mainstream, who make arguments as you do; who do not provide peer reviewed support, and whose arguments are not particularly compelling and are generally affiliated with organizations or movements that are theological in nature; profess their own implicit bias and assert that they already know what the answer is; indeed demonstrate far greater adherence to their own personal agenda than they do science.

3. Please state some facts that are not consistent with evolution yet do not contradict it either?

Evolution uses the nested hierarchy to demonstrate descent with modification; and posits a series of processes to provide explanations the modifications.

The hypothesis that the hierarchy is heredity is a key validated principle (validated by chronology, taxonomy, embryology and genetics).

To contradict evolution; that hierarchy must be invalidated, or the principle mechanisms of validating the hierarchy (as listed) are grossly flawed.

This has occurred before; primarily with Horizontal Gene Transfer, Endosymbiotic theory and several others that show mechanisms and processes that explain the discovered inconsistencies (however, in most cases, these inconsistencies are in the pre-eukaryotic establishment where descent with modification takes over. In such cases, evolution has been modified and accounts for the contradiction.

Indeed, thus far there are no remaining clear violations of the nested hierarchy; nor is there any argument that holds any water concerning the methods of validating it with those additional methods; hence evolution is not contradicted.

However, there is a general understanding that evolution will work a particular way; this is not evolution itself, but our application of it.

For example, you like to use the Cambrian explosion. I will point out the following facts:

1.) Life in the Cambrian is still concordant the nested hierarchy.
2.) There is evidence of species and animal diversification before the Cambrian.
3.) There are transitional forms within the Cambrian, and before.
4.) It occurs over 40 million years; and statistically doesn't appear to be significantly faster than adaptive radiations afterwards.

In this respect, the inconsistency appears to be the nature of diversification there was at the time, how much and how fast; as at first glance there appears to be greater diversification, and a little faster at that time than at any other; and one would expect with a basic application of evolution, it should be no different than at any other point.

However, many reasonable hypotheses; plausible, realistic, understandable and consistent with evolution can be put forward (and may all be true at the same time), that provides a detailed explanation of why the Cambrian was different than at other times; that explain both the evidence and brings it in line with evolution.

I'm not trying to focus on definitions here, but if you repeatedly introduce additional things like "scrapped" or "junked" then I'm going to restate my position which is that I'm trying to discuss the concept of falsification, what it means, when it happens, what we do about it etc.

The last part, you have not talked about at all; indeed this is what I have been arguing because that is the only part that is really relevant, and the only part that is more than terminology and not subject to equivocation.

I have been clear from the start; in this thread and the previous, as to what Falsification means to the application of theories. You have seem to be more fixated with trying to establish that Evolution has been falsified, by arguing terminology, rather than the fundamental implications of what that would mean to the theory; and you have been contesting me at every stage when I tried to explain what the consequences of falsification actually are.

If natural selection (and fine, I'll focus on this rather than evolution just to be clear) is unfalsifiable then it's unscientific (so says Karl Popper anyway) so I'm assuming it's falsifiable in principle.

The following aside:

"The theory of natural selection may be so formulated that it is far from tautological. In this case it is not only testable, but it turns out to be not strictly universally true. There seem to be exceptions, as with so many biological theories; and considering the random character of the variations on which natural selection operates, the occurrence of exceptions is not surprising."

"It does appear that some people think that I denied scientific character to the historical sciences, such as palaeontology, or the history of the evolution of life on Earth. This is a mistake, and I here wish to affirm that these and other historical sciences have in my opinion scientific character; their hypotheses can in many cases be tested"

- Karl Popper

Natural selection can be falsified mathematically, statistically, programmatically by showing the mathematical principle of selection (generational change with pruning affects the frequency of traits in the next generation), or observationally: by observing species that are subject to selection pressure due to the environment and seeing if they adapt; which they do.

In actuality, Natural Selection is based on statistical maths; of which the test of it's validity is partially mathematically (IE: it can be proven), and whether reality conforms to the assumptions of that statistical maths (which can be observed and measured, and it does).

Even so, and even if I conceded that Natural Selection is unfalsifiable; that does not render evolution the same, because we know that natural selection actually does occur, and we know that evolution can be independently falsified, and contains more to it as motivating processes than simply natural selection.

Consider David Berlinski:

https://www.youtube.com...

Yes. He's the discovery institute and falls into the second category.

I would also like a response to all my other arguments.
Dirty.Harry
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12/8/2015 7:56:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 1:13:28 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 12/7/2015 4:05:32 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Unless one understands this aspect of the scientific method, I fail to see how they can confidently defend a hypothesis like natural selection.
Harry, unfortunately you've managed to mess up scientific epistemology twice in one statement.

1) Natural selection is both an historical conjecture, and a statistically observed consequence of sexual competition, disease, predation and competition for food and other resources. Having been observed, it is factual, and would remain factual, even were it discovered that mutation (also observed) were not a major mechanism for speciation. So it's incorrect to call it an hypothesis.

Natural selection has only been observed as a highly localized process leading to small adaptations like beaks on finches or the color of wings on a moth or resistance to pesticides and so on. Natural selection as a process which can account for today's complex life as the long term consequence of the same process starting with much simpler life is a hypothesis supported only by extrapolation not direct observation.

2) The scientific method is fundamentally quality assurance methodology for the verification of scientific theories and models. It is not a mechanism for developing new theories and models, nor a sufficient mechanism for deciding whether a new theory or model is valid (and if you're unclear on the difference between validation and verification, please ask.) Consequently, you cannot say from the Scientific Method alone what should happen to a theory such as Darwinian Evolution or Newton's model for Universal Gravitation if it should fail verification in key predictions.

True but every theory must be falsifiable to be considered a scientific theory and when a theory is used to predict observations and those do not materialize then it has been falsified surely? I've not been arguing that anything should "happen" to such a theory.

In fact, what actually happens to scientific theories following some falsified verification step is complicated. A theory can remain valid for many uses even if it fails verification for some purposes. A valid, but superseded theory may be extended by additional models, revised to remove inaccuracies, or may be incorporated into a later theory, or may prove to be a special case of some competing but more general idea.

Perhaps but the theoretical process as described originally in such a theory will have been shown to be incorrect inasmuch as it failed to correctly match observation.

In this manner, Darwinian evolution can continue to be valid even if it transpires (as it has) that the mechanisms of mutation and species diversification, for example, are more complicated than originally thought. Newtonian mechanics can remain applicable to the areas where it was first verified -- i.e, human-scale mechanics -- while remaining a special case of Einsteinian mechanics which itself can be used for the very large and the very fast, but not the very small.

This sounds like the utility question raised elsewhere and I have nothing to say about utility of any theory that becomes falsified that's a different question. The key issue surely though is that such a theory will have been shown to have no utility within the domain of the disobliging observations.

Validation and verification tend to be seen as identical outside the STEM disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math -- however, they are very different in these disciplines. It's not uncommon for people working outside STEM disciplines to conflate them, and therefore conclude (erroneously) that a single counter-example would invalidate the whole of Evolution or Big Bang, like some complex calculation hinging on perfect arithmetic.


As to how questions of validation work in STEM disciplines, and how STEM avoids dogmatism, as I mentioned, it's complicated and has to do with more than just the Scientific Method.

However it's incorrect to assume some conspiracy theory in which science is imagined to adopt the same kind of evasion and deceit that we often see in religious apologetics. Scientific validation is far more rigorous: transparent, accountable, pragmatic, and evidentiary, and if you haven't looked into how it works, I'd be happy to share what I know.

Well I may not consider it a conspiracy either more of systemic dogma, but I think you'll have no trouble identifying a list of individuals (mainly educators) who've lost their jobs because they didn't adhere to the evolutionary catechism. Removing such people from the profession results in a dilution of people who remain skeptical and so reinforces an "official" view of truth - much as in Orwell's 1984.

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
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12/8/2015 8:01:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 7:17:56 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/8/2015 6:58:19 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/8/2015 6:15:10 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/8/2015 5:22:33 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Harry.

1. The title of the tread is "Falsification" and that's the topic I hoped to explore and discuss. I've repeatedly said that I do not claim a theory has no utility if it has been falsified so I do not claim it should automatically be "junked" or "scrapped" (whatever that means).

The thread title is Falsification; however you referenced a thread where I posted, and called me out about not understanding falsification; whereas in reality here, and there I am talking about the actual reality of what happens with falsification, and how it affects theory, which was the context of the previous discussion.

I asked you to confirm whether you feel Evolution should be scrapped, or not. I would still like you to answer that question.

2. How do you know there are no facts which contradict evolution? There are many scientists who disagree with you on this point.

There are many mainstream scientists who call into question current explanations of aspects of evolution; however none of these mainstream scientists, that I am aware of, posit any detailed facts or evidence that contradict the concept of common descent via modification: effectively the evolutionary narrative, or contrive to assert that descent with modification, evolution in general is anything more than incomplete.

There are many scientists who are not part of the scientific mainstream, who make arguments as you do; who do not provide peer reviewed support, and whose arguments are not particularly compelling and are generally affiliated with organizations or movements that are theological in nature; profess their own implicit bias and assert that they already know what the answer is; indeed demonstrate far greater adherence to their own personal agenda than they do science.

3. Please state some facts that are not consistent with evolution yet do not contradict it either?

Evolution uses the nested hierarchy to demonstrate descent with modification; and posits a series of processes to provide explanations the modifications.

The hypothesis that the hierarchy is heredity is a key validated principle (validated by chronology, taxonomy, embryology and genetics).

To contradict evolution; that hierarchy must be invalidated, or the principle mechanisms of validating the hierarchy (as listed) are grossly flawed.

This has occurred before; primarily with Horizontal Gene Transfer, Endosymbiotic theory and several others that show mechanisms and processes that explain the discovered inconsistencies (however, in most cases, these inconsistencies are in the pre-eukaryotic establishment where descent with modification takes over. In such cases, evolution has been modified and accounts for the contradiction.

Indeed, thus far there are no remaining clear violations of the nested hierarchy; nor is there any argument that holds any water concerning the methods of validating it with those additional methods; hence evolution is not contradicted.

However, there is a general understanding that evolution will work a particular way; this is not evolution itself, but our application of it.

For example, you like to use the Cambrian explosion. I will point out the following facts:

1.) Life in the Cambrian is still concordant the nested hierarchy.
2.) There is evidence of species and animal diversification before the Cambrian.
3.) There are transitional forms within the Cambrian, and before.
4.) It occurs over 40 million years; and statistically doesn't appear to be significantly faster than adaptive radiations afterwards.

In this respect, the inconsistency appears to be the nature of diversification there was at the time, how much and how fast; as at first glance there appears to be greater diversification, and a little faster at that time than at any other; and one would expect with a basic application of evolution, it should be no different than at any other point.

However, many reasonable hypotheses; plausible, realistic, understandable and consistent with evolution can be put forward (and may all be true at the same time), that provides a detailed explanation of why the Cambrian was different than at other times; that explain both the evidence and brings it in line with evolution.

I'm not trying to focus on definitions here, but if you repeatedly introduce additional things like "scrapped" or "junked" then I'm going to restate my position which is that I'm trying to discuss the concept of falsification, what it means, when it happens, what we do about it etc.

The last part, you have not talked about at all; indeed this is what I have been arguing because that is the only part that is really relevant, and the only part that is more than terminology and not subject to equivocation.

I have been clear from the start; in this thread and the previous, as to what Falsification means to the application of theories. You have seem to be more fixated with trying to establish that Evolution has been falsified, by arguing terminology, rather than the fundamental implications of what that would mean to the theory; and you have been contesting me at every stage when I tried to explain what the consequences of falsification actually are.

If natural selection (and fine, I'll focus on this rather than evolution just to be clear) is unfalsifiable then it's unscientific (so says Karl Popper anyway) so I'm assuming it's falsifiable in principle.

The following aside:

"The theory of natural selection may be so formulated that it is far from tautological. In this case it is not only testable, but it turns out to be not strictly universally true. There seem to be exceptions, as with so many biological theories; and considering the random character of the variations on which natural selection operates, the occurrence of exceptions is not surprising."

"It does appear that some people think that I denied scientific character to the historical sciences, such as palaeontology, or the history of the evolution of life on Earth. This is a mistake, and I here wish to affirm that these and other historical sciences have in my opinion scientific character; their hypotheses can in many cases be tested"

- Karl Popper

Natural selection can be falsified mathematically, statistically, programmatically by showing the mathematical principle of selection (generational change with pruning affects the frequency of traits in the next generation), or observationally: by observing species that are subject to selection pressure due to the environment and seeing if they adapt; which they do.

In actuality, Natural Selection is based on statistical maths; of which the test of it's validity is partially mathematically (IE: it can be proven), and whether reality conforms to the assumptions of that statistical maths (which can be observed and measured, and it does).

Even so, and even if I conceded that Natural Selection is unfalsifiable; that does not render evolution the same, because we know that natural selection actually does occur, and we know that evolution can be independently falsified, and contains more to it as motivating processes than simply natural selection.

Consider David Berlinski:

https://www.youtube.com...

Yes. He's the discovery institute and falls into the second category.

I would also like a response to all my other arguments.

If you'd care to decompo
Dirty.Harry
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12/8/2015 8:10:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 8:02:20 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/8/2015 8:01:01 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

I'm not sure what you were asking in your previous post.

Apologies - the big post you made is really, really big I'd be happy to respond to all points if you care to decompose that post into smaller ones.

Thanks,

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
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12/8/2015 8:14:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 8:02:20 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/8/2015 8:01:01 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

I'm not sure what you were asking in your previous post.

Incidentally it is entirely reasonable for Berlinski to align himself with ID. The Discovery Institute is somewhere that welcomes academics who are skeptical of Darwinism so it's only natural such people will gravitate toward it.

You may find this of interest - It's Berlinski making a case for ID to Krauss, who as you'll see ends up on the back foot since Berlinski is not garden shed scientist.

https://www.youtube.com...

Of course you'll probably dismiss him on the basis of him being a member of that evil institute!

Harry.
Ramshutu
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12/8/2015 8:24:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 8:10:11 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/8/2015 8:02:20 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/8/2015 8:01:01 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

I'm not sure what you were asking in your previous post.

Apologies - the big post you made is really, really big I'd be happy to respond to all points if you care to decompose that post into smaller ones.

Thanks,

Harry.

Well, lets start with these:

- I have been arguing, throughout and consistently how falsification, or being shown to be "wrong" affects theories and how they are used. I presented 4 key facts; which you no longer see to contest. Do you continue to contest that the 4 points I stated concerning theories and falsification are facts?

- Would you agree that your primary arguments here have been concerning establishing a specific definition of falsification and whether it is logical to claim various theories are "falsified"; and that you have not argued much about the consequences such falsification may, or may not have to the applicability of theories once they are falsified?

- Would you agree that "falsified" theories, by whatever strict definition you care to use, include Newton, Einstein, Quantum Theory and Evolution and as such "Falsification" are still valid and still used today; meaning falsification in the way you use it, does not necessarily mean a theory should not be used, is completely invalid, or not applicable to reality?

- Do you believe evolution is completely invalid and should be thrown away?
Ramshutu
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12/8/2015 9:07:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 8:14:37 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/8/2015 8:02:20 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/8/2015 8:01:01 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:

I'm not sure what you were asking in your previous post.

Incidentally it is entirely reasonable for Berlinski to align himself with ID. The Discovery Institute is somewhere that welcomes academics who are skeptical of Darwinism so it's only natural such people will gravitate toward it.

You may find this of interest - It's Berlinski making a case for ID to Krauss, who as you'll see ends up on the back foot since Berlinski is not garden shed scientist.

https://www.youtube.com...

Of course you'll probably dismiss him on the basis of him being a member of that evil institute!

Harry.

Actually, as an aside, he makes 3 points in your first video:

1.) The fossil record doesn't show anything. This is a very common argument, and one that has consistently and repeatedly dealt with as it is simply a gross distortion, if not an outright lie when you consider what the evidence actually is.

2.) That evolutionary processes can't be shown to generate biological complexity. Again, this is one of the most common objections made by any creationists; and quite simply doesn't stack up with the facts, genetic analysis, or observed understanding of the processes themselves. What is true, is that we are not in the position where we can emulate millions of years of evolution in the lab, but the underpinning principles of those processes, what they can do, and evidence that they occurred in genetics is well established.

3.) That we can't appropriately emulate evolution in software. Even were this true, does it say anything more about evolution than it does about our software capabilities. Indeed, I suspect that given the advances in AI (which are almost invariably based on evolutionary algorithms), and the ability of evolutionary algorithms to generate meaningful solutions is exceptionally powerful. I've written them myself and haven't added any of the objections he cited into them.

You see, these are not new arguments, and there is consistent and logical rebuttals of them that show that they are, on the whole, fairly dishonest.

He is not a biologist; rather a philosopher and a mathematician; he doesn't appear to have any notable peer reviewed studies in the realms of biology either from what I can see.

So to claim he is a biologist raising objections to Evolution would be incredibly dishonest. Indeed, only one of the above items you cited would count as a demonstrable refutation of evolution, and it's a lie; and all of them have detailed and compelling arguments that completely undermine them.

Given these facts, and given that there are an innumerable set of refutations of his position in these arguments; none of which appear to be addressed or dealt with by him; and given that the Discovery institute is a political organization with a stated aim of overturning biological evolution as the ruling paradigm in biology: IE; an inherent political bias, have attempted to hide this fact from people in order to further their agenda, and have a history of misleading, distorted and incorrect interpretations; there isn't really much you can say to defend it.

Indeed, the whole Creation Evolution debate (and that IS what this is), is not really a debate at all. The reason should be pretty self evident; one side makes a set of claims, the other provides a scientific and well evidenced explanation of why the other one is wrong; and the first one either ignores this refutation, or simply makes a new set of claims.

For exmaple, I explained in a reasonable amount of detail why the Cambrian Explosion isn't incompatible with evolution, and this has been a primary point of argument on your behalf that I have seen.

You didn't answer this at all, yet you posted a video that claimed it is incompatible with evolution.

If Creationists are unwilling to engage in a debate about the facts, and the science; because they ignore, or argue dishonestly when the facts are presented which disagree with them and can be shown to do so; you cannot call it a debate. It is merely rhetorical theatre.
RuvDraba
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12/8/2015 9:21:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 7:56:55 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/8/2015 1:13:28 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 12/7/2015 4:05:32 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Unless one understands this aspect of the scientific method, I fail to see how they can confidently defend a hypothesis like natural selection.
Harry, unfortunately you've managed to mess up scientific epistemology twice in one statement.
1) Natural selection is both an historical conjecture, and a statistically observed consequence of sexual competition, disease, predation and competition for food and other resources.
Natural selection has only been observed as a highly localized process leading to small adaptations like beaks on finches or the color of wings on a moth or resistance to pesticides and so on.
No, natural selection affects the distribution of traits within species. However, by itself it produces no traits in individuals; it simply influences the distribution of traits that occur.

What you seem to be asking is whether key mechanisms of sexual reproduction -- the meiotic creation of sex cells, genetic recombination during fertilisation, mutation itself, and the creation of excess sex cells and progeny -- are enough to produce speciation and new species traits.

They are. For example, they're enough to create new organs, and to split a species into new species which cannot reproduce with one another. This isn't conjecture -- these effects have been induced, observed and verified.

However, they may not be enough to explain everything in biology. For example, some effects may be produced epigenetically (environmental factors that can switch genes on and off), or symbiotically (for example, the appearance of cellular mitochondria.) These influences are still being explored. And the pace of speciation is also being explored, since sometimes it goes very rapidly indeed.

Biology is more complex than when Darwin sought to understand it, but his basic mechanisms were valid, and have been repeatedly verified as key.

Moreover, the common ancestry of terrestrial species has now been verified beyond all reasonable doubt, e.g. by studying the genes of nuclei and mitochondria (poke for more info.)

So even if the mechanisms and rate of speciation are still being explored, and the question of abiogenesis (e.g. the spontaneous appearance of life on earth) is still unresolved, the conclusion of common ancestry is now not contested by any serious biologist, and major churches (e.g. RC, Anglican) have acknowledged that.

2) The scientific method is fundamentally quality assurance methodology for the verification of scientific theories and models. It is not a mechanism for developing new theories and models, nor a sufficient mechanism for deciding whether a new theory or model is valid (and if you're unclear on the difference between validation and verification, please ask.)
True but every theory must be falsifiable to be considered a scientific theory and when a theory is used to predict observations and those do not materialize then it has been falsified surely?
You seem to be equating a failed prediction with a failed exam, Harry. As I've been saying, it doesn't work that way.

Science is different from other contests of ideas like (say) religion or politics. Religion and politics both seek influence as a primary goal. So they set out to seem knowledgeable and right as soon as possible, and thus obfuscate methods, and evade accountability for ignorance and error as long as they can. (See: apologetics.)

But science seeks accuracy as its primary goal, so it works at its best when it admits ignorance and seeks error as soon as possible. Paradoxically, a benefit of doing so is that when inaccuracies are detected in an accepted theory, they tend not to damage the theory much. If you build quality in early and frequently, you may have to fix cracks in the walls, but you don't have to tear everything down and rebuild nearly as often.

Also, real science (I have worked as a research scientist) is much more about the gradual convergence of good ideas than sweeping revolutions. When Einstein proposed Special Relativity for example, he wasn't the only one thinking about it. Poincare', Planck, and Minkowski had all been thinking along the same lines, and the whole physics community had been aware for some 15 years that Newtonian mechanics had problems.

The same is true with history of evolution in biology. Darwin didn't 'invent' the idea that species might 'transmute' -- that idea had been batted around before he was born. What made his take on evolution work was that he (correctly) conjectured common ancestry, and proposed (essentially) sexual reproduction and competition as key adaptation/speciation mechanisms.

Those elements have been repeatedly validated and verified, whatever else we might find out about biology.

In this manner, Darwinian evolution can continue to be valid even if it transpires (as it has) that the mechanisms of mutation and species diversification, for example, are more complicated than originally thought.
The key issue surely though is that such a theory will have been shown to have no utility within the domain of the disobliging observations.
As I said it's complicated. This might be more detail than you want, but we can view a scientific paradigm as built on three legs:

1) Ontology: what exists and how to classify it;
2) Methodology: how to observe, predict and experiment with it (the scientific method is part of this, but not the only part); and
3) Epistemology: how to recognise validation and verification.

All three elements work in a virtuous circle that makes each other accountable. If the ontology or epistemology change, the methodology must change. If methodology improves, that opens new avenues for exploring alternative ontologies, and setting new epistemological bars. And naturally this stuff affects any theory built in that paradigm.

So the validity of a theory hinges on the utility (e.g. scope, precision, accuracy, relevance, parsimony) of its underlying paradigm. Newton's mechanics remain valid within their original scale because at that scale, he got the paradigm right. Outside that scale, it's not valid ontologically (space, time, matter and energy don't classify as anyone in Newton's day conceived them), so its paradigm fails, and hence his predictions also fail. We don't say Newton is falsified at that scale -- it's invalid. You don't want to use a Newtonian paradigm when talking about black holes.

Similarly, the reason Darwinian evolution survived is he got its ontology and epistemology right. Consequently, the explosion of biological methods have extended the Darwinian paradigm, but not replaced it. Biology is now used through agriculture, environment management and medicine, and virtually all of it uses evolutionary premises.

However it's incorrect to assume some conspiracy theory in which science is imagined to adopt the same kind of evasion and deceit that we often see in religious apologetics.
Well I may not consider it a conspiracy either more of systemic dogma, but I think you'll have no trouble identifying a list of individuals (mainly educators) who've lost their jobs because they didn't adhere to the evolutionary catechism.
Firstly that's not a problem, because Intelligent Design isn't science, while evolution is. Evolution may be incomplete science, or even partially wrong science -- and it's fine to teach that -- but ID shouldn't be taught as science at all. (Why? Because its paradigm is scientifically invalid. Poke for more info)

Secondly, it overlooks the greater problem: when will clergy lose their jobs for claiming authority on 'facts' that are provably false, harmful, and not in keeping with best scientific understanding?
SM2
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12/8/2015 10:01:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 4:01:34 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/7/2015 10:09:10 PM, SM2 wrote:
Newtonian Physics wasn't "falsified". It was intended to describe everyday objects, and still does so with reasonable accuracy. It just can't be applied to planets or particles, because they violate the assumptions surrounding "everyday objects".

OK, give me an example of some theory in physics that you would say has been falsified and tell me why.

Harry.

Aristotelian Physics.
slo1
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12/9/2015 1:45:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Well something MUST be thrown away with respect to explaining that failed observation. Whatever proposed process in a theory is used to predict something that's not observed MUST be thrown away yes? that aspect of the theory MUST be wrong and some OTHER explanation, some OTHER process must be sought - yes?

I think this is where the contention is. Newtonian physics is technically falsified, it however, is very practical in many situations. It can predict behavior of many things to a high degree of accuracy. (There are many things it can't)

If it has that much utility and can be used in many practical situations with a degree of accuracy that is well with in tolerance, there is no need to toss it out, which is why it is used today in many applications.

In other words it is an extremely close approximation in many circumstances. Use of it in those circumstances is perfectly acceptable because the other option of using quantum mechanics is very impractical.
Dirty.Harry
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12/9/2015 2:49:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/8/2015 10:01:45 PM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:01:34 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/7/2015 10:09:10 PM, SM2 wrote:
Newtonian Physics wasn't "falsified". It was intended to describe everyday objects, and still does so with reasonable accuracy. It just can't be applied to planets or particles, because they violate the assumptions surrounding "everyday objects".

OK, give me an example of some theory in physics that you would say has been falsified and tell me why.

Harry.

Aristotelian Physics.

where's the "why" part of my question asnwered?

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
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12/9/2015 3:12:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/9/2015 1:45:36 PM, slo1 wrote:
Well something MUST be thrown away with respect to explaining that failed observation. Whatever proposed process in a theory is used to predict something that's not observed MUST be thrown away yes? that aspect of the theory MUST be wrong and some OTHER explanation, some OTHER process must be sought - yes?

I think this is where the contention is. Newtonian physics is technically falsified, it however, is very practical in many situations. It can predict behavior of many things to a high degree of accuracy. (There are many things it can't)

If it has that much utility and can be used in many practical situations with a degree of accuracy that is well with in tolerance, there is no need to toss it out, which is why it is used today in many applications.

In other words it is an extremely close approximation in many circumstances. Use of it in those circumstances is perfectly acceptable because the other option of using quantum mechanics is very impractical.

But physics strives to gain insight into "the way things work" a theory in physics is more than a set of equations, laws, it is an insightful attempt to represent reality (however asymptotic such an undertaking may be), to "model" reality in terms of concepts that make sense and are self consistent.

Newton described gravitation as an action-at-a-distance a "force field" whose influence on matter obeys an inverse square law that was also a result of the theory in addition to the raw ability to compute and predict planetary orbits.

Newton was the first to formally state that nature includes this characteristic of action at a distance (that is non-material influence). The concept was later used to help theorize about electric and magnetic fields.

All of this was highly successful uniting areas of nature mathematically that had hitherto been vaguely understood, the theories had and still have great utility because calculations are almost always close enough to reality to be still practical.

However - and here is the part that perhaps I haven't stressed enough - when Newtons gravitational law was falsified (which it was with respect to the precession of Mercury's perihelion) it was not just the equation that was falsified it was the underlying model of a "force field" and "action at a distance".

General relativity is a more complex theory but in simple cases the equations simplify to almost the same as Newton's inverse square law (the slight difference in the equations then accounts for Mercury) however even though these different theories compute almost identical answers in many scenarios they are fundamentally very different.

General relativity completely eliminates the concept of action-at-a-distance and replaces it with "curved" space-time, where geodesics in that space-time become the trajectories of particles under the saw of gravitation.

So when Newton's gravitation was falsified and GR developed it was not just the mathematics that changed, the very nature of reality as described by Newton was tossed out, it simply cannot describe reality, the model of action-at-a-distance and force fields no longer played any role in describing reality (until that is GR might get replaced one day!).

So this is the importance of falsification, it does not just have a utilitarian impact it can have a deep philosophical impact on our perception of what nature is "really like" with once cherished concepts being completely thrown away to be replaced by new ones.

Harry.
toretorden
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12/9/2015 3:17:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/9/2015 2:49:43 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/8/2015 10:01:45 PM, SM2 wrote:
At 12/8/2015 4:01:34 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/7/2015 10:09:10 PM, SM2 wrote:
Newtonian Physics wasn't "falsified". It was intended to describe everyday objects, and still does so with reasonable accuracy. It just can't be applied to planets or particles, because they violate the assumptions surrounding "everyday objects".

OK, give me an example of some theory in physics that you would say has been falsified and tell me why.

Harry.

Aristotelian Physics.

where's the "why" part of my question asnwered?

Harry.

If I may provide another example, consider the ptolemic model of the universe. It places the earth at the center of the universe. The heavenly bodies orbit the earth along different "spheres" which are perfectly spherical - that is the orbits are circular.

Simple illustration : http://www.ontargetpartners.com...

This model of the universe does not fit with observations, nor predictions about the universe. For example, planets were sometimes seen to move backwards for a little while. At first, this was accounted for by modifying the theory. Instead of merely going in circular orbits, some heavenly objects were assumed to be on two orbits, a spherical orbit around the earth and a spherical orbit around the sphere itself.

See this illustration : http://www.hellenicaworld.com...

When Galileo started looking through his telescope, he discovered that planets had moons. These moons seemed to be orbiting other planets, not earth, and this also violated the ptolemic model. The ptolemic model could have been modified to account for the orbits of moons so that their orbits just seemed like incredibly complex orbits around earth rather than around other planets, but you can probably imagine how cumbersome this model would become.

Instead, it was abandoned for the copernican and later models of our solar system which at first placed the sun at the center of the universe and later replaced circular orbits with elliptical ones. Subsequent models have explained the movements of celestial objects with lesser need for exceptional, complicated rules (a lot of what makes a good, elegant theory about the universe has to do with parsimony). They also make better predictions for where celestial objects will be in the future and so are more useful.

As a side note, I'd say a major general fault of many in the science forums is that they don't understand parsimony (occam's razor), how it prevents false beliefs and thus fail to understand critical thinking which is integral to science.