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Science: Minimum Knowledge Needed?

RuvDraba
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2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.

Often, members want to know what evidence 'conclusively proves' these results, why science isn't 'open-minded' to alternatives, and why certain alternatives are rejected without evidence, while others might still be in contention, and why it is that scientific confidence in newer theories remains high, when older, previously-accepted theories have been abandoned.

Here are my questions:

1) What is the minimum understanding of scientific methods and a scientific approach to knowledge needed for a member to understand the answers to these questions?
2) Can you explain the process simply and clearly to help members who don't understand it?
3) How can members be confident that this process has occurred?

It seems to me that offering a link to such a post could be a lot more practical than explaining the same matters over and over, while if members don't accept key premises underlpinning a scientific approach, the evidence pertaining to a specific theory is irrelevant.

I have my own ideas about how we might approach this, but am interested in the opinion of other members.

(Please note that for those members who enjoy critiquing empiricism, leveling allegations of scientific conspiracy theories, or other attacks on scientific credibility, this thread is not for that. It's for improving science understanding and accountability.)
Fly
Posts: 2,046
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2/10/2016 4:07:00 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.

Often, members want to know what evidence 'conclusively proves' these results, why science isn't 'open-minded' to alternatives, and why certain alternatives are rejected without evidence, while others might still be in contention, and why it is that scientific confidence in newer theories remains high, when older, previously-accepted theories have been abandoned.

Here are my questions:

1) What is the minimum understanding of scientific methods and a scientific approach to knowledge needed for a member to understand the answers to these questions?
2) Can you explain the process simply and clearly to help members who don't understand it?
3) How can members be confident that this process has occurred?

It seems to me that offering a link to such a post could be a lot more practical than explaining the same matters over and over, while if members don't accept key premises underlpinning a scientific approach, the evidence pertaining to a specific theory is irrelevant.

I have my own ideas about how we might approach this, but am interested in the opinion of other members.

(Please note that for those members who enjoy critiquing empiricism, leveling allegations of scientific conspiracy theories, or other attacks on scientific credibility, this thread is not for that. It's for improving science understanding and accountability.)

I'm not exactly sure of what you are after, but I would suggest that defining certain terms is in order. People so often say, "it's JUST a theory"-- having explanations of what constitutes objective evidence, scientific fact, law, hypothesis, and theory would be helpful. Also, explaining the differences between pseudoscience and science, and how proceeding from a statement of faith, positing unfalsifiable claims, lack of rigor, etc. do not constitute valid science.

These are things that were not well hammered into me as a student (or perhaps I just wasn't listening), and I have much reason to believe I am not the only one. These things I learned about well after my formal schooling.
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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2/10/2016 4:53:48 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 4:07:00 AM, Fly wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
1) What is the minimum understanding of scientific methods and a scientific approach to knowledge needed for a member to understand the answers to these questions?
2) Can you explain the process simply and clearly to help members who don't understand it?
3) How can members be confident that this process has occurred?
having explanations of what constitutes objective evidence, scientific fact, law, hypothesis, and theory would be helpful. Also, explaining the differences between pseudoscience and science, and how proceeding from a statement of faith, positing unfalsifiable claims, lack of rigor, etc. do not constitute valid science.
Thank you for your thoughts, Fly. You mentioned that these topics weren't covered well for you in school, and they weren't for me either. Although I undertook a science undergraduate degree, followed by a science postgrad degree and eventually a science research career, I doubt I could have explained scientific validation until my postgraduate years -- and it was only much later that I understood how it was that intellectual constructions like math and logic didn't compromise a discipline whose notion of knowledge came from observation.

Yet it sounds like you've managed to pick such stuff up independently, since you now know it's important. My compliments for doing so, since it's sometimes quite subtle.

May I ask how you acquired it?
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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2/10/2016 5:06:57 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 4:07:00 AM, Fly wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.

Often, members want to know what evidence 'conclusively proves' these results, why science isn't 'open-minded' to alternatives, and why certain alternatives are rejected without evidence, while others might still be in contention, and why it is that scientific confidence in newer theories remains high, when older, previously-accepted theories have been abandoned.

Here are my questions:

1) What is the minimum understanding of scientific methods and a scientific approach to knowledge needed for a member to understand the answers to these questions?
2) Can you explain the process simply and clearly to help members who don't understand it?
3) How can members be confident that this process has occurred?

It seems to me that offering a link to such a post could be a lot more practical than explaining the same matters over and over, while if members don't accept key premises underlpinning a scientific approach, the evidence pertaining to a specific theory is irrelevant.

I have my own ideas about how we might approach this, but am interested in the opinion of other members.

(Please note that for those members who enjoy critiquing empiricism, leveling allegations of scientific conspiracy theories, or other attacks on scientific credibility, this thread is not for that. It's for improving science understanding and accountability.)

I'm not exactly sure of what you are after, but I would suggest that defining certain terms is in order. People so often say, "it's JUST a theory"--

But isn't what makes a scientific claim, is that it is falsifiable. Maybe when people claim it's just a theory are trying to imply it could be overturned if not at the least refined.

having explanations of what constitutes objective evidence, scientific fact, law, hypothesis, and theory would be helpful. Also, explaining the differences between pseudoscience and science,

The difference between Science and Psuedo-science is not a question for scientific inquiry. If you knew Science you would know that. It is a question for the Philosophy of Science.

and how proceeding from a statement of faith, positing unfalsifiable claims, lack of rigor, etc. do not constitute valid science.

In a general sense I agree, but intuition and creativity are not to be squashed in the scientific mind less exploitation supersede exploration.


These are things that were not well hammered into me as a student (or perhaps I just wasn't listening), and I have much reason to believe I am not the only one. These things I learned about well after my formal schooling.

Well if the education system wasn't so concerned with creating a mindless worker force, you might have been taught history and the classical trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Then instead of relying on a computer with a deep learning algorithm to find answers for you, you would be capable of some deep learning yourself.
Fly
Posts: 2,046
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2/10/2016 5:29:44 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 4:53:48 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/10/2016 4:07:00 AM, Fly wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
1) What is the minimum understanding of scientific methods and a scientific approach to knowledge needed for a member to understand the answers to these questions?
2) Can you explain the process simply and clearly to help members who don't understand it?
3) How can members be confident that this process has occurred?
having explanations of what constitutes objective evidence, scientific fact, law, hypothesis, and theory would be helpful. Also, explaining the differences between pseudoscience and science, and how proceeding from a statement of faith, positing unfalsifiable claims, lack of rigor, etc. do not constitute valid science.
Thank you for your thoughts, Fly. You mentioned that these topics weren't covered well for you in school, and they weren't for me either. Although I undertook a science undergraduate degree, followed by a science postgrad degree and eventually a science research career, I doubt I could have explained scientific validation until my postgraduate years -- and it was only much later that I understood how it was that intellectual constructions like math and logic didn't compromise a discipline whose notion of knowledge came from observation.

Yet it sounds like you've managed to pick such stuff up independently, since you now know it's important. My compliments for doing so, since it's sometimes quite subtle.

May I ask how you acquired it?

Via Internet debate on a dating site forum, of all things, which is largely why I am here on DDO. I used to be an ID/old earth creationist and debated people over evolution. Mainly, though, I read what posters like yourself had to say to other staunch creationists. They had an informed rebuttal to every "gotcha" thrown at them. It was only then, after engaging and reading science literate posters over the course of about 2 years, that I came to truly understand and admire science as a whole-- at the ripe age of about 35. The last straw for my creationist view was the debunking of irreducible complexity. Sadly, I also came to see how much creationists are willing to engage in trickery and deception-- mainly self deception. I continue to see it not only with evolution, but also cosmology and climatology, as I'm sure you do as well. It appears that Sunday school is holding the upper hand over science curriculum in the US.

Listening to charismatic scientists such as Neil deGrasse Tyson does give me hope, though. And keep doing what you're doing in this forum, if your sanity can hold out...
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
Fly
Posts: 2,046
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2/10/2016 5:42:54 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 5:06:57 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 2/10/2016 4:07:00 AM, Fly wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.

Often, members want to know what evidence 'conclusively proves' these results, why science isn't 'open-minded' to alternatives, and why certain alternatives are rejected without evidence, while others might still be in contention, and why it is that scientific confidence in newer theories remains high, when older, previously-accepted theories have been abandoned.

Here are my questions:

1) What is the minimum understanding of scientific methods and a scientific approach to knowledge needed for a member to understand the answers to these questions?
2) Can you explain the process simply and clearly to help members who don't understand it?
3) How can members be confident that this process has occurred?

It seems to me that offering a link to such a post could be a lot more practical than explaining the same matters over and over, while if members don't accept key premises underlpinning a scientific approach, the evidence pertaining to a specific theory is irrelevant.

I have my own ideas about how we might approach this, but am interested in the opinion of other members.

(Please note that for those members who enjoy critiquing empiricism, leveling allegations of scientific conspiracy theories, or other attacks on scientific credibility, this thread is not for that. It's for improving science understanding and accountability.)

I'm not exactly sure of what you are after, but I would suggest that defining certain terms is in order. People so often say, "it's JUST a theory"--

But isn't what makes a scientific claim, is that it is falsifiable. Maybe when people claim it's just a theory are trying to imply it could be overturned if not at the least refined.

You give such glib statements way too much credit. More likely they are confusing theory with hypothesis-- two very different things.

having explanations of what constitutes objective evidence, scientific fact, law, hypothesis, and theory would be helpful. Also, explaining the differences between pseudoscience and science,

The difference between Science and Psuedo-science is not a question for scientific inquiry. If you knew Science you would know that. It is a question for the Philosophy of Science.

This is an irrelevant criticism with some snarkiness added for flavor.

and how proceeding from a statement of faith, positing unfalsifiable claims, lack of rigor, etc. do not constitute valid science.

In a general sense I agree, but intuition and creativity are not to be squashed in the scientific mind less exploitation supersede exploration.

Intuition and creativity are fine as a launching point, but they have no place in the scientific conclusion-- and preexisting conclusions and agendas are not constructive at all.

These are things that were not well hammered into me as a student (or perhaps I just wasn't listening), and I have much reason to believe I am not the only one. These things I learned about well after my formal schooling.

Well if the education system wasn't so concerned with creating a mindless worker force, you might have been taught history and the classical trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Then instead of relying on a computer with a deep learning algorithm to find answers for you, you would be capable of some deep learning yourself.
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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2/10/2016 7:27:58 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 5:29:44 AM, Fly wrote:
At 2/10/2016 4:53:48 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/10/2016 4:07:00 AM, Fly wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
1) What is the minimum understanding of scientific methods and a scientific approach to knowledge needed for a member to understand the answers to these questions?
2) Can you explain the process simply and clearly to help members who don't understand it?
3) How can members be confident that this process has occurred?
having explanations of what constitutes objective evidence, scientific fact, law, hypothesis, and theory would be helpful. Also, explaining the differences between pseudoscience and science, and how proceeding from a statement of faith, positing unfalsifiable claims, lack of rigor, etc. do not constitute valid science.
Thank you for your thoughts, Fly. You mentioned that these topics weren't covered well for you in school, and they weren't for me either. Although I undertook a science undergraduate degree, followed by a science postgrad degree and eventually a science research career, I doubt I could have explained scientific validation until my postgraduate years -- and it was only much later that I understood how it was that intellectual constructions like math and logic didn't compromise a discipline whose notion of knowledge came from observation.

Yet it sounds like you've managed to pick such stuff up independently, since you now know it's important. My compliments for doing so, since it's sometimes quite subtle.

May I ask how you acquired it?

Via Internet debate on a dating site forum, of all things, which is largely why I am here on DDO. I used to be an ID/old earth creationist and debated people over evolution. Mainly, though, I read what posters like yourself had to say to other staunch creationists.

That's funny and interesting, Fly. :) It raises a whole bunch of questions that aren't on-topic, and which, if I ask them, are likely to offer an excuse for other members to go off-topic too.

So rather than do that, could I warmly encourage you offer an AMA in the Science forum? I.e. I'm an ex-creationist: ask me anything.

I'd certainly take advantage of that opportunity if you offered it, but I suspect some of our stronger creationist members might be interested too. :D

Back on topic though... as a scientist I find that a lot of scientific epistemology -- that is, the use of systematic empiricism, and best-practice improvement of the research paradigm itself... is driven by practicality and to some extent by professional ethics -- do the most good while doing no harm.

So while I can cite references to How Things are Done, the references aren't going to explain why they should be done that way. Explanation of why scientific research has developed the way it did can be found in part in science history, but the rationales behind specific decisions are based on practical experience, some of which is shareable, but some of which amounts to 'Just trust me'.

For example, in another thread I recently tried to explain the importance of expert judgement in forming conjectures, designing models and experiments, and interpreting intermediate or inconclusive results -- stuff scientists do every day. I was trying to explain why modern science isn't very amenable to working alone in your garage -- why it's immesurably useful to do it in a community of skeptical peers with a range of different experiences.

The reason that relates to topic is that (for example), members see Darwin's The Origin of Species as having a single author -- which of course it did. But they don't realise just how much the science community took ownership of the question of validation and verification -- and how many precursor ideas are attributable to other scientists -- including creationists of the day. I often hear a narrative explaining how The Origin of Species was just parachuted into biology, and scientists yielded to peer pressure, when the reality was nothing of the sort.

From your perspective, is there more to be said about how science is examined, tested and accepted? If so, what?
TREssspa
Posts: 567
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2/10/2016 8:06:46 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
"Imagine a person who comes in here tonight and argues "air isn't true" but continues to breathe it while he argues. In their daily lives, Creationists continue to breathe-- they take medicine, fly on planes, watch TV, use computers and the Internet for communication and countless tasks, electrical lights when it's dark... all these are scientific developments which would not be possible via the Creationist worldview. They are breathing science's air all the time they argue against it." (Me)
--------------------
Air has nothing to do with evolution.

Medicine has nothing to do with evolution.

Planes have nothing to do with evolution.

TV has nothing to do with evolution.

Computers have nothing to do with evolution.

Internet has nothing to with evolution.

Electrical lights have nothing to do with evolution.

All these are man made just like the theory of evolution.

Do not label theory of evolution as 'science'.

After so many citations, so much media hype, peer reviewed magzines etc etc etc if something is not going down people's throat, one thing is for sure.

There is something terribly wrong with TOE, that it needs so much convincing but no proof.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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2/10/2016 9:20:27 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 5:06:57 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
The difference between Science and Psuedo-science is not a question for scientific inquiry. If you knew Science you would know that. It is a question for the Philosophy of Science.
Mhykiel, I realise you're pushing a barrow here instead of answering the question in the original post, but you might be onto something useful nonetheless.

We've seen arguments here in Science and in Religion that while scientists are in charge of the process, philosophers should somehow have authority over the concepts.

You seem to believe that, and in this thread it's not my intention to persuade you otherwise.

My question: what has made you believe that, and what would persuade you that scientists are and should be more accountable to one another for their epistemology than to philosophers?

Finally, to whom do you feel philosophers are accountable? How and why? And what would persuade you that such accountability was ineffective?

In a general sense I agree, but intuition and creativity are not to be squashed in the scientific mind less exploitation supersede exploration.
We've discussed recently in another thread how important the role of intuition (I called it expert judgement, so please think of it as informed intuition), and creativity are to the identification of key questions, conjectures, and the design of experiments and models in science.

Yet I've tried in that thread (perhaps more implicitly than explicitly) to separate the role of creativity in design from the importance of rigour in validation.

What would persuade you to accept the separation, so that innovation is accountable to what might work, while validation is accountable to a history of what has failed and why?

These are things that were not well hammered into me as a student (or perhaps I just wasn't listening), and I have much reason to believe I am not the only one. These things I learned about well after my formal schooling.
Well if the education system wasn't so concerned with creating a mindless worker force, you might have been taught history and the classical trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
Were you so trained in the liberal arts, Mhykiel? May I ask when and how?

I personally think a study of the humanities is of great value to science communication and (to an extent) to science itself.

But are you aware of why science abandoned philosophy (and the Mediaeval trivium) as inadequate? And what would persuade you that this was a legitimate decision? How can we discuss what, if anything may have been lost from that decision without incorporating huge amounts of circular dogma and abandoning rigour?
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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2/10/2016 9:22:55 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 8:06:46 AM, TREssspa wrote:
"Imagine a person who comes in here tonight and argues "air isn't true" but continues to breathe it while he argues. In their daily lives, Creationists continue to breathe-- they take medicine, fly on planes, watch TV, use computers and the Internet for communication and countless tasks, electrical lights when it's dark... all these are scientific developments which would not be possible via the Creationist worldview. They are breathing science's air all the time they argue against it." (Me)
There is something terribly wrong with TOE, that it needs so much convincing but no proof.

Whether that is true is irrelevant to this thread, TREssspa. Please respect this forum, members, and the topic.
Floid
Posts: 751
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2/10/2016 12:27:00 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.

Often, members want to know what evidence 'conclusively proves' these results, why science isn't 'open-minded' to alternatives, and why certain alternatives are rejected without evidence, while others might still be in contention, and why it is that scientific confidence in newer theories remains high, when older, previously-accepted theories have been abandoned.

Here are my questions:

1) What is the minimum understanding of scientific methods and a scientific approach to knowledge needed for a member to understand the answers to these questions?
2) Can you explain the process simply and clearly to help members who don't understand it?
3) How can members be confident that this process has occurred?

It seems to me that offering a link to such a post could be a lot more practical than explaining the same matters over and over, while if members don't accept key premises underlpinning a scientific approach, the evidence pertaining to a specific theory is irrelevant.

I have my own ideas about how we might approach this, but am interested in the opinion of other members.

(Please note that for those members who enjoy critiquing empiricism, leveling allegations of scientific conspiracy theories, or other attacks on scientific credibility, this thread is not for that. It's for improving science understanding and accountability.)

The problem is most posts I see asking these questions are just posters being disingenuous. There is enough information online already about these subjects that you could spend weeks reading it and they know that. They just want to ignore well developed arguments and ideas found elsewhere and troll people on this forum.

So it is fun to respond to them a few times and then it gets very boring when they start to sound like a broken record. But unfortunately that is pretty much the state of discussions on the internet except on well moderated forums (like say https://www.physicsforums.com...) where these types of questions would just be deleted.
Fly
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2/10/2016 3:59:15 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 7:27:58 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/10/2016 5:29:44 AM, Fly wrote:
At 2/10/2016 4:53:48 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/10/2016 4:07:00 AM, Fly wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
1) What is the minimum understanding of scientific methods and a scientific approach to knowledge needed for a member to understand the answers to these questions?
2) Can you explain the process simply and clearly to help members who don't understand it?
3) How can members be confident that this process has occurred?
having explanations of what constitutes objective evidence, scientific fact, law, hypothesis, and theory would be helpful. Also, explaining the differences between pseudoscience and science, and how proceeding from a statement of faith, positing unfalsifiable claims, lack of rigor, etc. do not constitute valid science.
Thank you for your thoughts, Fly. You mentioned that these topics weren't covered well for you in school, and they weren't for me either. Although I undertook a science undergraduate degree, followed by a science postgrad degree and eventually a science research career, I doubt I could have explained scientific validation until my postgraduate years -- and it was only much later that I understood how it was that intellectual constructions like math and logic didn't compromise a discipline whose notion of knowledge came from observation.

Yet it sounds like you've managed to pick such stuff up independently, since you now know it's important. My compliments for doing so, since it's sometimes quite subtle.

May I ask how you acquired it?

Via Internet debate on a dating site forum, of all things, which is largely why I am here on DDO. I used to be an ID/old earth creationist and debated people over evolution. Mainly, though, I read what posters like yourself had to say to other staunch creationists.

That's funny and interesting, Fly. :) It raises a whole bunch of questions that aren't on-topic, and which, if I ask them, are likely to offer an excuse for other members to go off-topic too.

So rather than do that, could I warmly encourage you offer an AMA in the Science forum? I.e. I'm an ex-creationist: ask me anything.

I'd certainly take advantage of that opportunity if you offered it, but I suspect some of our stronger creationist members might be interested too. :D

I will consider it, Ruv. I have to admit, though, I would rather field questions from science literate people than creationists. I have already been told on this site that I must not have been a "real" Christian, and that was highly offensive to my former yet quite genuine Christian identity. Some people don't handle the cognitive dissonance of these matters in a polite fashion...
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,633
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2/10/2016 5:09:18 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.

Often, members want to know what evidence 'conclusively proves' these results, why science isn't 'open-minded' to alternatives, and why certain alternatives are rejected without evidence, while others might still be in contention, and why it is that scientific confidence in newer theories remains high, when older, previously-accepted theories have been abandoned.

Here are my questions:

1) What is the minimum understanding of scientific methods and a scientific approach to knowledge needed for a member to understand the answers to these questions?

Big Bang Theory falls under General Relativity, a difficult subject to understand, usually requiring a few years of post-secondary physics education and a good grasp of the math.

2) Can you explain the process simply and clearly to help members who don't understand it?

Unfortunately, words can't adequately describe and explain the math of GR. For example, to talk about gravity, it is necessary to explain that everything is in free fall, that no external forces are acting on them and that the Earths surface is accelerating up towards them. This is quite counter-intuitive, yet that is exactly the effect.

3) How can members be confident that this process has occurred?

No problem there, as long as one can grasp the math.

It seems to me that offering a link to such a post could be a lot more practical than explaining the same matters over and over, while if members don't accept key premises underlpinning a scientific approach, the evidence pertaining to a specific theory is irrelevant.

I have my own ideas about how we might approach this, but am interested in the opinion of other members.

(Please note that for those members who enjoy critiquing empiricism, leveling allegations of scientific conspiracy theories, or other attacks on scientific credibility, this thread is not for that. It's for improving science understanding and accountability.)
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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2/10/2016 5:41:00 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 3:59:15 PM, Fly wrote:
At 2/10/2016 7:27:58 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Could I warmly encourage you offer an AMA in the Science forum? I.e. I'm an ex-creationist: ask me anything.
I'd certainly take advantage of that opportunity if you offered it, but I suspect some of our stronger creationist members might be interested too. :D
I will consider it, Ruv. I have to admit, though, I would rather field questions from science literate people than creationists.
I can well understand that. :)

I have already been told on this site that I must not have been a "real" Christian, and that was highly offensive to my former yet quite genuine Christian identity. Some people don't handle the cognitive dissonance of these matters in a polite fashion...
That's appalling, Fly, and you're right -- the rudeness of people disparaging your integrity to preserve their prejudices is nothing you're obliged to tolerate. :p

On the other hand, you know they're probably thinking it the moment you acknowledge your former beliefs. And besides...

I would just love to see a member assert that 'real' Christians are never allowed to doubt, admit dogmatic error, or lose their faith.

I would absolutely itch to explore the corruption, intellectual bankruptcy, historical ignorance and barbaric immorality of that proposition. >:D

So with that in mind, if you do decide to post this thread, please post it in Religion rather than Science, and if you do it within this calendar month, I undertake to engage each and every such accusation on your behalf, and thank you for the privilege of doing so -- and I suspect I wouldn't be alone. :)
v3nesl
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2/10/2016 5:44:58 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.


Yeah, nice try, but evolution does not belong with the other two. Big Bang and GR require expensive equipment and esoteric skills, but are based on the scientific method (especially GR). Evolution is rejected because it is fanciful speculation that can't be demonstrated by any means.
This space for rent.
Fly
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2/10/2016 6:07:39 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 5:44:58 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.


Yeah, nice try, but evolution does not belong with the other two. Big Bang and GR require expensive equipment and esoteric skills, but are based on the scientific method (especially GR). Evolution is rejected because it is fanciful speculation that can't be demonstrated by any means.

Yes, evolution is merely a Trojan Horse to sneak an agenda disguised as valid science into science curriculum.

More on that here:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
Fly
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2/10/2016 6:26:16 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 5:41:00 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/10/2016 3:59:15 PM, Fly wrote:
At 2/10/2016 7:27:58 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Could I warmly encourage you offer an AMA in the Science forum? I.e. I'm an ex-creationist: ask me anything.
I'd certainly take advantage of that opportunity if you offered it, but I suspect some of our stronger creationist members might be interested too. :D
I will consider it, Ruv. I have to admit, though, I would rather field questions from science literate people than creationists.
I can well understand that. :)

I have already been told on this site that I must not have been a "real" Christian, and that was highly offensive to my former yet quite genuine Christian identity. Some people don't handle the cognitive dissonance of these matters in a polite fashion...
That's appalling, Fly, and you're right -- the rudeness of people disparaging your integrity to preserve their prejudices is nothing you're obliged to tolerate. :p

On the other hand, you know they're probably thinking it the moment you acknowledge your former beliefs. And besides...

I would just love to see a member assert that 'real' Christians are never allowed to doubt, admit dogmatic error, or lose their faith.

I would absolutely itch to explore the corruption, intellectual bankruptcy, historical ignorance and barbaric immorality of that proposition. >:D

So with that in mind, if you do decide to post this thread, please post it in Religion rather than Science, and if you do it within this calendar month, I undertake to engage each and every such accusation on your behalf, and thank you for the privilege of doing so -- and I suspect I wouldn't be alone. :)

Ah, you prefer the Religion forum for that thread? Right into "the belly of the Beast" as it were? While that would invite just the sort of negative attention I would rather avoid, the truth is that the Science and Religion forums have far too much fluidity between them as it stands now. Realistically speaking, it probably wouldn't make much difference either way from my perspective, so alright.

You are much more patient with the dogmatic than I am, and I am a patient guy. So, I appreciate your offer to intercede in the face of the inevitable unreasonable and snarky posts. I, on the other hand, once I have decided that an online personality cannot be reasoned with as a mature adult, I resort to mockery-- not because I feel it is "the right thing to do," but because I feel no compunction if I have concluded it is well deserved, and because it provides me with a fleeting moment of entertainment and hopefully other like-minded posters as well.
"You don't have a right to be a jerk."
--Religion Forum's hypocrite extraordinaire serving up lulz
Ramshutu
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2/10/2016 8:02:17 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:

I'm going to answer with a vacuous and yet uncontentious analogy; hopefully that will answer all three questions, and explain why those answers are question.

Lets consider the question:

Is Ramshutu currently wearing pants.

The first piece of scientific understanding to acknowledge, is:

1.) TRUTH is not KNOWLEDGE.

I am aware of my current Pant state (PS). And whether I am wearing Pants (P) or wearing no Pants (NP) is definitely in one or other state. What Pant state I am in, is what the truth is. (This is obviously ignoring whether my pants adhere to the Copenhagen interpretation which obviously cannot be resolved unless you can determine wither P != NP).

Knowledge, on the other hand, is the ability to TELL what pant state I am in. If can derive whether PS = P, or PS = NP; you don't know.

In this regard, science is about knowledge, rather than truth; as without being able to tell, you won't know.

So, how do you tell; how would tell scientifically?

At the start, you don't know either way because you have no further information. So lets say I provide you some additional facts:

1.) I am currently at work.
2.) My pants are blue.
3.) I am willing to share a photo of me right now.

How would that influence which state you can determine I am i?

If I'm at work, it's unlikely that I'm not wearing pants, and if I was not wearing pants, it's unlikely that I'd send a picture. So that may indicate what the truth is. Now, you may think that my pants being blue indicates that I'm wearing them, but my pants could be blue whether I'm wearing them or not.

So, the second piece of understanding is this:

2.) Some facts indicate a greater probability, some facts appear to offer a greater probability, but when you look at the detail, they don't

So, upon further analysis, there are two relevant facts; me being at work, and being willing to take a picture.

Now, you may seem to think that should show I'm wearing pants until you consider a) I could be working from home, b) I could be working as a model, life guard, or some other occupation that doesn't require pants. Importantly c) I could be unashamed of my herculean physical form, d) I could be lying.

These things mean that while on first appearance the facts it appears more likely that I'm wearing pants but P and NP could plausibly be true in either case.

Which leads to another critical piece of understanding you need:

3.) understanding the possibilities that would cause you to be wrong, and how plausible those possibilities are, is more important than establishing that the facts that agree with you.

So, you and a friend take opposite positions on the P or NP state; how do you separate who is right. The only answer you can think of, is to ask more questions to eradicate those possibilities. Between the two of you, you ask:

Q. What I do for work: A. I'm a software Engineer
Q. Do you like your body, do you think it's awesome: A: kinda, yes to both.
Q. Are you lying: A. No. Why would I?

So, we've reasonably eliminated B: that I am in an occupation that requires pants, but not A. C seems like it's a possibility. D is possible, but on balance you can't find a motivation or reason for that to be so; so you assume I'm telling the truth.

So you say, I'm wearing pants; I'm in a job that requires pants, and it fits the facts. Your friend says I'n not wearing pants and it fits the facts, because I like my body (so could send pictures), and that I could still be working from home.

You both agree that the body question was the wrong question to ask. Which leads to the third one:

4.) You need to recognize that answers to questions could be just as possible for any explanation

So, you buckle, have the eye wash, wire wool and vim on standby, and ask for a picture. I send one.

Your friend immediately says, it's obvious I'm wearing no pants; you look at the picture and seem to think that I am wearing pants. You can't agree whether I am or am not wearing pants in the picture.

5.) You need objective information to make a decision. Subjective interpretations can go both ways.

So you ask a friend to mediate. They say they it's not entirely clear from the image (part of me that would be revealing or not, is not revealed), but it's more likely that I am wearing pants, because it looks like I'm in an office, there are other people around that would have a clear view of my P or NP state and they don't look aghast (or impressed), and the clock on the wall says 3pm.

From this you both agree that it's clear that I am in an office, during day time, no one is shocked; which makes it starts making it more clear that I am wearing pants.

Your friend objects, saying that I could just be a bit insane and everyone is used to me that there is another explanation for that evidence.

You point out that while that's possible, it seems rather unlikely given what happens in the normal, every day world.

6.) There are ALWAYS other explanations for the evidence to support a given position regardless of how wrong that position is

So, you and a friend both decide to make a prediction to try and work out once and for all. You find out where I work, and hack into the CCTV camera's around my office, and notice that there is a police man minding his own business near a public payphone. You know roughly the distance from my desk to the payphone, and you ask me if I can ring you on that payphone. You tell your friend, that if I'm wearing pants, the policeman won't react. If I'm not wearing pants, the policeman will say something and we can see it.

I agree, and I call you from the payphone a few minutes later; the policeman shows no reaction. So you conclude I'm wearing pants.

Your friend objects, claiming that I had enough time to put on pants, even though I had no pants on before; or that the police officer may be fake, or unconcerned (see 6.)

So you ask for the policeman number and ask him what he would do if he saw someone with no pants; to which you determine he would have arrested me had I been wearing no pants, concluding that I probably was wearing pants. You also record the time it took me to go from my desk to the door and conclude If I was walking at a normal regular pace, I probably didn't have time to change.

7.) Tests and predictions can be wrong, and have alternative explanations, but you can normally work out whether these are likely or unlikely by investigating them.

So, you come up with a bunch more predictions along these lines, including mental records, HR records, recording discussions of my colleagues concerning me, everyone work out exactly as you expect were I wearing no pants although due to 6, have alternative explanations. This includes one final prediction: You call the police on me, claiming a man in no pants is in the office and needs to be remove. The police turn up and leave, and you get arrested for wasting police time.

Your friend reluctantly agrees:

7.) At some point, the combination of things that need to be true for a position to be wrong are so convoluted and impossible when taken together, that you have to discount them.

As your friend bails you out of jail. He says while you were away, he asked me to bend over in one of my colleagues, and he recorded the reaction which was "aghast", thus being compatible with the no pants conclusion. You point out (7).

8.) Sometimes facts don't fit the explanation, while you can't always show why a fact is there, it can have another explanation, but because of (7) you know your basic conclusion has to be accurate.

And just so everyone knows, I AM wearing pants.
RuvDraba
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2/10/2016 8:38:35 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 5:44:58 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.
Yeah, nice try, but evolution does not belong with the other two.
Whether it does or not, V, the question for this thread is what is the minimum knowledge needed to understand whether evolution is a legitimate product of modern, best scientific practice, and how that generalises to how we validate and verify science at all.

To that extent, I think you have may something constructive to contribute to my question, V, since you often comment on what you believe is or is not valid science.

Hence, I invite you to return to topic and answer the question I have asked.
v3nesl
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2/10/2016 8:53:16 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 8:38:35 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/10/2016 5:44:58 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.
Yeah, nice try, but evolution does not belong with the other two.
Whether it does or not, V, the question for this thread is what is the minimum knowledge needed to understand whether evolution is a legitimate product of modern, best scientific practice, and how that generalises to how we validate and verify science at all.

To that extent, I think you have may something constructive to contribute to my question, V, since you often comment on what you believe is or is not valid science.

Hence, I invite you to return to topic and answer the question I have asked.

It's not complicated - you test your ideas. You evolve something, in the case of evolution.

That's the thing - it may take great skill to devise suitable demonstrations, but demonstrations, well, demonstrate. One did not have to be anywhere as smart as the Wright brothers to know whether they got off the ground or not.

So your premise is bogus in that it lumps what would be everyday occurrence (evolution) with the most extreme limit of human physics inquiry, the big bang.

So in case I'm not making myself clear - no, it generally does not take great education to know if a science or technology has been tested or not. The average joe may have no clue what tunneling electrons are, but he knows it's incredible to squeeze 100s of hi-rez pictures into a little flash drive. It's not just talk, not just "you must believe me because I'm smarter than you"
This space for rent.
Ramshutu
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2/10/2016 8:59:33 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 8:53:16 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 8:38:35 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/10/2016 5:44:58 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.
Yeah, nice try, but evolution does not belong with the other two.
Whether it does or not, V, the question for this thread is what is the minimum knowledge needed to understand whether evolution is a legitimate product of modern, best scientific practice, and how that generalises to how we validate and verify science at all.

To that extent, I think you have may something constructive to contribute to my question, V, since you often comment on what you believe is or is not valid science.

Hence, I invite you to return to topic and answer the question I have asked.

It's not complicated - you test your ideas. You evolve something, in the case of evolution.

Does the same hold for Creationism?
RuvDraba
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2/10/2016 9:06:35 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 6:26:16 PM, Fly wrote:
At 2/10/2016 5:41:00 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/10/2016 3:59:15 PM, Fly wrote:
At 2/10/2016 7:27:58 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Could I warmly encourage you offer an AMA in the Science forum? I.e. I'm an ex-creationist: ask me anything.
I'd certainly take advantage of that opportunity if you offered it, but I suspect some of our stronger creationist members might be interested too. :D
I will consider it, Ruv. I have to admit, though, I would rather field questions from science literate people than creationists.
I can well understand that. :)
I have already been told on this site that I must not have been a "real" Christian, and that was highly offensive to my former yet quite genuine Christian identity. Some people don't handle the cognitive dissonance of these matters in a polite fashion...
That's appalling, Fly, and you're right -- the rudeness of people disparaging your integrity to preserve their prejudices is nothing you're obliged to tolerate. :p
On the other hand, you know they're probably thinking it the moment you acknowledge your former beliefs. And besides...
I would just love to see a member assert that 'real' Christians are never allowed to doubt, admit dogmatic error, or lose their faith.
I would absolutely itch to explore the corruption, intellectual bankruptcy, historical ignorance and barbaric immorality of that proposition. >:D
So with that in mind, if you do decide to post this thread, please post it in Religion rather than Science, and if you do it within this calendar month, I undertake to engage each and every such accusation on your behalf, and thank you for the privilege of doing so -- and I suspect I wouldn't be alone. :)
Ah, you prefer the Religion forum for that thread? Right into "the belly of the Beast" as it were?

It's not confrontationalism so much as pedantry, Fly.

If someone argued you were not a 'true Christian' in Science, it's not possible to answer who is a 'true Christian' scientifically, and hence off-topic to explore it. So they'd potentially get to skate on being a snarky, closed-minded little prat under guise of offering a 'scientific hypothesis' (which it isn't, but still...)

However, if they argued that in Religion, then any member is free to examine that position philosophically, historically, theologically and morally, which means anyone could point out through multiple lines of argument just what a spiteful pair of diminutive airless buttocks they are. :D

You are much more patient with the dogmatic than I am, and I am a patient guy.
In fiction-writing there a famous adage: 'show don't tell' [https://en.wikipedia.org...'t_tell]. A misquote from the playwright Chekhov, it explains that you can do a better job of depicting the moon shining brightly if the reader can imagine the chiaroscuro shadows and its glint on broken glass.

The point being, fools and hypocrites are both vain creatures, and won't be told of their shortcomings. Yet given the chance, they'll rush to parade them in lurid detail. :D
v3nesl
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2/10/2016 9:08:51 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 8:59:33 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 2/10/2016 8:53:16 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 8:38:35 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/10/2016 5:44:58 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.
Yeah, nice try, but evolution does not belong with the other two.
Whether it does or not, V, the question for this thread is what is the minimum knowledge needed to understand whether evolution is a legitimate product of modern, best scientific practice, and how that generalises to how we validate and verify science at all.

To that extent, I think you have may something constructive to contribute to my question, V, since you often comment on what you believe is or is not valid science.

Hence, I invite you to return to topic and answer the question I have asked.

It's not complicated - you test your ideas. You evolve something, in the case of evolution.

Does the same hold for Creationism?

Yes, in the sense that creationism better be able to show that things can be designed. Which obviously has been done, so we have shown that design is a viable option, at a very generic level. Raw materials can be assembled into functional devices. And in the case of computer code, man has created something that has remarkable similarities to the gene.

But creationism doesn't claim it is science, it claims that this is how life came to be. Very different claim. In the context of this thread, the equivalent question is "Does it take a lot of education to know when something is creationism or not"? And I'd generally say, "no"
This space for rent.
Ramshutu
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2/10/2016 9:44:29 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 9:08:51 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 8:59:33 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 2/10/2016 8:53:16 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 8:38:35 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/10/2016 5:44:58 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.
Yeah, nice try, but evolution does not belong with the other two.
Whether it does or not, V, the question for this thread is what is the minimum knowledge needed to understand whether evolution is a legitimate product of modern, best scientific practice, and how that generalises to how we validate and verify science at all.

To that extent, I think you have may something constructive to contribute to my question, V, since you often comment on what you believe is or is not valid science.

Hence, I invite you to return to topic and answer the question I have asked.

It's not complicated - you test your ideas. You evolve something, in the case of evolution.

Does the same hold for Creationism?

Yes, in the sense that creationism better be able to show that things can be designed. Which obviously has been done, so we have shown that design is a viable option, at a very generic level. Raw materials can be assembled into functional devices. And in the case of computer code, man has created something that has remarkable similarities to the gene.

In your typical disingenuous style, you are claiming that something is a viable option that isn't shown.

Any macroscopic thing that can occur in nature can be replicated whether it's natural occurrence is designed or not. So in reality, you're not showing that it's viable for us to design life, rather than life was actually designed.

This should be obvious as, quite honestly, I could design a hole that looks exactly like the grand canyon; but that has no bearing on whether the grand canyon was designed or not.

But creationism doesn't claim it is science, it claims that this is how life came to be. Very different claim. In the context of this thread, the equivalent question is "Does it take a lot of education to know when something is creationism or not"? And I'd generally say, "no"

Okay, good, Creationism is not science; at least we agree on something.

But fundamentally, your problem is and always has been your unwillingness to understand the nature of how falsification, prediction and science itself establishes whether something is true; and your fixation on unilaterally deciding that the only way of showing evolution is the only thing that likely couldn't ever be shown no matter how true evolution is.

Indeed, the position science takes, as alluded to in my reply to the question Ruv asked. Is that with a combination of testing, analysis and comprehensive prediction, the sheer insanity of what has to be true for evolution to be false is so unlikely as to be discounted whether we can evolve perform a long term evolutionary experiment or not.

This includes, a massive number of unevidenced and unsupported processes, together with an unending list of contrived decisions the designer must have made that all wrap themselves together in a conglomeration of insane coincidence (many of which go against the known laws of physics) that explain fossil order, radiometric and other dates, that the designer just so happened to only create fossils that conform to common descent (though it's trivially easy to do anything else, as humans have shown with artificial life), that genes, and taxonomy, and embryology the chronology of the fossil record and genetic markers just so happen to require positions, code differences, point mutations, traits, characteristics and orders that are solely and unanimously concordant with common descent in every single way, even though there does not seem to be any requirement on physics, the designer, life, or anything else that implies that it need be that specific way rather than any other.

You know this too; which is why you never acknowledge what any of those patterns are; nor do you attempt to provide an explanation, nor do you provide any argument in support of explaining those things. If you did they'd be far too hard to explain.
v3nesl
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2/10/2016 9:53:27 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 9:44:29 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 2/10/2016 9:08:51 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 8:59:33 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 2/10/2016 8:53:16 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 8:38:35 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/10/2016 5:44:58 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.
Yeah, nice try, but evolution does not belong with the other two.
Whether it does or not, V, the question for this thread is what is the minimum knowledge needed to understand whether evolution is a legitimate product of modern, best scientific practice, and how that generalises to how we validate and verify science at all.

To that extent, I think you have may something constructive to contribute to my question, V, since you often comment on what you believe is or is not valid science.

Hence, I invite you to return to topic and answer the question I have asked.

It's not complicated - you test your ideas. You evolve something, in the case of evolution.

Does the same hold for Creationism?

Yes, in the sense that creationism better be able to show that things can be designed. Which obviously has been done, so we have shown that design is a viable option, at a very generic level. Raw materials can be assembled into functional devices. And in the case of computer code, man has created something that has remarkable similarities to the gene.

In your typical disingenuous style,

oh, shove it. The question of this thread is 'valid science', I forget how it was worded. So once again you go of on some sermon, but it's the wrong spiel for the subject at hand.
This space for rent.
Ramshutu
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2/10/2016 10:06:49 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 9:53:27 PM, v3nesl wrote:
oh, shove it. The question of this thread is 'valid science', I forget how it was worded. So once again you go of on some sermon, but it's the wrong spiel for the subject at hand.

Yes; you asserted that the way to establish evolution as valid science was to fully evolve an organism.

You didn't describe why this, and no other ways are valid; how this pertains to other scientific investigations, nor does it take into consideration other empirical methods that can determine or rule out whether which methods explain the evidence better.

You also used an argument that a particular type of evidence lends credibility to design, that would almost certainly be true regardless of whether design is true or not (thus making it clear that it doesn't support it).

Moreover, I then went to point out the reason why evolution can be considered tested and valid; by explaining that the thing that need to be true (in your case, Creationism, but it equally applies to other fields of study, if not more so), in order for evolution to be false.

Indeed, regardless of whether you claim evolution is plausible or not; the fact remains that anything else but evolution at this time are even more implausible that they must be discounted.

All this ties into the scientific validity; and indeed the problem is that your fixating solely on 100% validity, rather than what science has done, which is not only to establish that evolution fits all the facts, but that any alternative but evolution and common descent is so much more unlikely and implausible that it should not be considered.

What is doubly disingenuous; is that you were the one who brought evolution into this in the first place; rather than actually providing anything related to what Ruv actually asked; simply launched into a short rant about how invalid evolution is, and are now blaming me for pointing out your assertions about what is an isn't scientifically valid are irrational, illogical and disingenuous.

But it seems, as normal, the self appointed bastion of scientific understanding and rigor and the gatekeeper of what can be deemed scientific validation throws his toys out of the pram and metaphorically storms off in a huff when we don't simply "take his word for it", and point out the specifics of how he's wrong.
RuvDraba
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2/10/2016 10:08:42 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 8:53:16 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 8:38:35 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/10/2016 5:44:58 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Often, this forum gets legitimate questions about the validity and veracity of accepted scientific results like Big Bang Theory, Evolution or General Relativity.
Yeah, nice try, but evolution does not belong with the other two.
Whether it does or not, V, the question for this thread is what is the minimum knowledge needed to understand whether evolution is a legitimate product of modern, best scientific practice, and how that generalises to how we validate and verify science at all.

To that extent, I think you have may something constructive to contribute to my question, V, since you often comment on what you believe is or is not valid science.

Hence, I invite you to return to topic and answer the question I have asked.

It's not complicated - you test your ideas. You evolve something, in the case of evolution.

That's the thing - it may take great skill to devise suitable demonstrations, but demonstrations, well, demonstrate. One did not have to be anywhere as smart as the Wright brothers to know whether they got off the ground or not.

So your premise is bogus in that it lumps what would be everyday occurrence (evolution) with the most extreme limit of human physics inquiry, the big bang.

So in case I'm not making myself clear - no, it generally does not take great education to know if a science or technology has been tested or not. The average joe may have no clue what tunneling electrons are, but he knows it's incredible to squeeze 100s of hi-rez pictures into a little flash drive. It's not just talk, not just "you must believe me because I'm smarter than you"
V, despite your continued off-topic barrow-pushing, I think you're also arguing something pertinent, so thank you...

I think you're arguing that it's science if using it, you can induce practical, transparent results; not-science if you can't. So quantum mechanics is science because you can demonstrate quantum entanglement effects, even if the math is beyond most people. and science is still exploring mechanisms.

May I ask: do you think it's science if you cannot yourself directly produce those results; only predict them, and they're significant and cannot be predicted some other way?

Why or why not?

For example, most of the features predicted by relativity are hard to induce, but straightforward to observe. Scientists adapt to this with a concept called a 'natural experiment' -- that is, an experiment that isolates the necessary variables, but which you find, rather than constructing and running yourself. Another reason for natural experiments regards scientific ethics: we can't inject dangerous viruses into fellow humans, or level a city with a simulated earthquake, yet nature does just that.

Are you suggesting that the results of natural experiments should not be used as evidence, and that there's no good reason for lay people to accept them?
RuvDraba
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2/10/2016 10:37:51 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 8:02:17 PM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 2/10/2016 2:38:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
I'm going to answer with a vacuous and yet uncontentious analogy; hopefully that will answer all three questions, and explain why those answers are question.

Ramshutu, coming as I do from an informatic background, I found your reference to the unsolved P = NP problem very resonant [https://en.wikipedia.org...]. While I had no idea that this vexing problem had anything to do with pants, my dry-cleaner now assures me it's a pressing matter!

Setting aside the questions of just how bare your buttocks might be, and acknowledging too how well you've illustrated the amorality of scientific inquiry, I think you've hit on many important points. If I can summarise, I think you picked up on the:

* Role of knowledge vs truth in scientific epistemology;
* Importance of probability (and you implied it but didn't mention it, correlation too) in establishing confidence;
* Role of confidence (assurance) vs certainty;
* Importance of transparency of mechanisms and accountability to all the evidence in establishing confidence;
* Primacy of falsifying evidence over supporting evidence;
* Use of repetition to assure accuracy;
* Confidence in eliminating alternative possibilities leading to confidence in conjecture;
* Difference between the conceivable (I can imagine it) and possible (I can reproduce it); and the
* Need to reason indirectly when mechanisms are opaque, while being transparent about the mechanisms one assumes.

Does that cover it?

Assuming so, could I pick up on a point V3nesl has made in this thread, and others in th epast? He hasn't confirmed it but I think he's suspicious of natural experiments. I think his suspicion revolves around the concern that natural experiments aren't very transparent: you can't always control the mechanisms that occur, and it's hard to control the variables well enough to reproduce the experiment.

It might almost be a side-topic in itself, but how do you persuade a layman that a natural experiment is legitimate evidence and not cherry-picked pseudoscience? And just as importantly, how can you explain how to detect when it's not?
Floid
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2/11/2016 3:17:33 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/10/2016 10:37:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Assuming so, could I pick up on a point V3nesl has made in this thread, and others in th epast? He hasn't confirmed it but I think he's suspicious of natural experiments. I think his suspicion revolves around the concern that natural experiments aren't very transparent: you can't always control the mechanisms that occur, and it's hard to control the variables well enough to reproduce the experiment.

It might almost be a side-topic in itself, but how do you persuade a layman that a natural experiment is legitimate evidence and not cherry-picked pseudoscience? And just as importantly, how can you explain how to detect when it's not?

You have to draw a distinction between a layman and an ignorant man. A layman is convinced because they see that other scientist (non-layman) constantly question the research of others. Given the size of the community, this leads to plenty of self-correction when seemingly valid scientific theories (or even worse cherry-picked pseudoscience) is proposed. There are numerous examples of this occurring.

An ignorant man thinks there is some grand conspiracy where tens of thousands of scientist from different countries, different background, often across different generations (evolution for example is over 150 years old) and many of whom have never met are all conspiring to fool the general public.

And furthermore, it would take willful ignorance to not realize the extent to which scientific experimenters go to "control variables", "control mechanisms that occur", and to "reproduce" experimental results. Such willful ignorance could easily be dispelled by reading the processes used in any particular experiment which are generally detailed in painstaking detail to promote reproduction of the results or noting that important theories are often verified experimentally by multiple independent experiments each of which are reproduced multiple times.
RuvDraba
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2/11/2016 3:33:45 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/11/2016 3:17:33 AM, Floid wrote:
At 2/10/2016 10:37:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Assuming so, could I pick up on a point V3nesl has made in this thread, and others in th epast? He hasn't confirmed it but I think he's suspicious of natural experiments. I think his suspicion revolves around the concern that natural experiments aren't very transparent: you can't always control the mechanisms that occur, and it's hard to control the variables well enough to reproduce the experiment.

It might almost be a side-topic in itself, but how do you persuade a layman that a natural experiment is legitimate evidence and not cherry-picked pseudoscience? And just as importantly, how can you explain how to detect when it's not?

You have to draw a distinction between a layman and an ignorant man. A layman is convinced because they see that other scientist (non-layman) constantly question the research of others. Given the size of the community, this leads to plenty of self-correction when seemingly valid scientific theories (or even worse cherry-picked pseudoscience) is proposed. There are numerous examples of this occurring.
Yes, that's true.

An ignorant man thinks there is some grand conspiracy where tens of thousands of scientist from different countries, different background, often across different generations (evolution for example is over 150 years old) and many of whom have never met are all conspiring to fool the general public.
Yes, that's improbable because evolution is better tested and scrutinised than many other ideas trusted without question. (For example you might accept without question that you shall never be killed by a bright pink truck full of wombats, yet based on what else we know to date, the probability that you will die to that historical one-off event is vastly greater than the probability the species on Earth don't have common ancestry. :D)

However, it has been true in the past that science has accommodated unrecognised biases for a time. An example is confirmation bias, which can result in premature dismissal of unfavourable data, and which is now addressed in some experiments through double-blind testing.

A layman can say (quite correctly) that while science is diligent in seeking to eliminate known biases, it cannot be diligent in eliminating biases it doesn't recognise. Therefore, isn't it true that any falsified hypothesis might be falsified prematurely, while any accepted hypothesis might be more contested than is recognised?

So is it irrational to hold out hope of an unrecognised bias, or even to conjecture that such a bias may have occurred?