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General Discussion >> Technically Speaking >> Is falsifiability concept scintific?
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Message started by tallowood on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:02pm

Title: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:02pm
Is there any experiment possible to disprove falsifiability concept?


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:05pm
No. It is not a theory.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:08pm

freediver wrote on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:05pm:
No. It is not a theory.


I did not call it theory, it is concept. But is it scientific?

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:09pm
No. It is philosophical.

The standard of falsifiability is usually only applied to theories.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:16pm

freediver wrote on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:09pm:
No. It is philosophical.

The standard of falsifiability is usually only applied to theories.



Is philosophy of science scientific or metaphysical?

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:24pm
It's not metaphysical or scientific. It is philosophical. Questions like what is maths, what is science, what is history, what is truth, what is religion etc are philosophical. Asking whether the definition of, or philosophy of maths is mathematical kind of misses the point.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:32pm
What is philosophy does it have any practical use?


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:34pm
Philosophy is the broadest term for knowledge or understanding. People usually use it to describe those issues that don't fit neatly into boxes, like maths, science, history etc.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 3:59pm
If philosophy is broader then science because it asks "what is science etc." then by analogy there have to be something that is broader then philosophy because this something questions about "what is philosophy".
But that means that statement that philosophy "is the broadest term for knowledge or understanding" is incorrect.

Of course it also may mean that philosophy itself is beyond questioning rather like a faith.


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 4:03pm
I think that 'what is philosophy?' would be considered a philosophical question. It is probably the first one that is answered in the formal study of philosophy. In that respect it is probably the only field of study that can answer questions about itself.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 4:13pm
"Self regulation for some but not for others", "elitism", "Animal Farm", etc., etc., etc.?


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 4:20pm
Life's unfair, isn't it?

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by helian on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 4:37pm
And here we are in the realm of Socratic wild goose chases asking the Socratic questions What is justice, or truth, or morality in itself such that the resultant defintion is irrefutable.

The most famous dialogue in its attempt to define and prove the superiority of philosophy over sophism is The Protagoras where Plato has Socrates take on Protagoras ("man is the measure of all things") the great Sophist teacher of the day. Socrates defence of philosophy is not convincing.

In the Dialogues it's clear that Plato fails in defining these concepts. Plato believed that what we experience as justice or truth etc was a pale reflection of the metaphysical entities he called Forms (or Idea in Greek) which were perfect in themselves. So Justice was a reflection of the form "justiceness". What he never overcame was the argument (called the "third man argument", I think) that suggested that justiceness partook of JUSTICENESS and so on ad infinitum.

I think the tangle that Platonism got itself into was the reason Aristotle deviated from it, declaring "I love Plato, but I love the truth more".


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 4:45pm
I didn't intend to distinguish philosophy from sophism.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by helian on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 5:00pm

freediver wrote on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 4:45pm:
I didn't intend to distinguish philosophy from sophism.

Oh, OK. Back to discussing Popper's theory of falsification, then?

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 5:03pm

NorthOfNorth wrote on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 5:00pm:

freediver wrote on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 4:45pm:
I didn't intend to distinguish philosophy from sophism.

Oh, OK. Back to discussing Popper's theory of falsification, then?


Trying to, yes. Though I'm still not convinced that my argument is the same as Popper's. I'd also hesitate to call it a theory, given the current discussion.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by muso on Dec 4th, 2008 at 1:55pm
How do you define life, and what does falisifiable mean?  :P ;D

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 4th, 2008 at 2:21pm
?

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by helian on Dec 4th, 2008 at 2:35pm

muso wrote on Dec 4th, 2008 at 1:55pm:
How do you define life, and what does falisifiable mean?  :P ;D

Sounds like one of them 3:AM questions.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 4th, 2008 at 2:48pm
They are actually standard questions in biology and the philosophy of science. We covered them both in high school science.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by helian on Dec 4th, 2008 at 2:56pm

freediver wrote on Dec 4th, 2008 at 2:48pm:
They are actually standard questions in biology and the philosophy of science. We covered them both in high school science.

Waall that depends on whether or not you're asking an existential question.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by locutius on Dec 4th, 2008 at 3:49pm
Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

Quote:
Falsifiability (or "refutability") is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment. That something is "falsifiable" does not mean it is false; rather, that if it is false, then this can be shown by observation or experiment. Falsifiability is an important concept in science and the philosophy of science. The term "Testability" is related but more specific; it means that an assertion can be falsified through experimentation alone.

Some philosophers and scientists, most notably Karl Popper, have asserted that a hypothesis, proposition, or theory is scientific only if it is falsifiable.


So what is it if it is not falsifiable ?.

Did Popper assume that there were no ultimate answers. Did he build into his statement a presupposed metaphysical elusiveness that did not allow the acceptance of a truth.

Surely it is also logical to extend this to include arriving at the final logical conclusion that being immutably correct and unfalsifiable, is no longer a theory but a truth.

Is that what you are saying FD, that Evolution is a truth. I'll go out on a limb and say I believe it to be such. The mechanisms at work that create the variety of life that has, does and will exist may be refined or exchanged for better mechanisms but Evolution is simply the title of the study of these mechanics. The same as Space Travel is the title of the mechanics of space travel.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 4th, 2008 at 3:56pm
I am trying to avoid saying whether evolution is truth. That issue seems to distract people from the question of whether it is a scientific theory, to the extent that they will simply assume you are saying it is true or untrue, or at least insist that is a hidden motivation.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by locutius on Dec 4th, 2008 at 4:23pm
The problem with that tact though is that people percieve you to be saying that it is just mysticism when saying that it is not a scientific theory.

It is one of the most extraordinary scientific discoveries of all time. Epiphanous in the pursuit of reason and knowledge without negatively exposing or contradicting religious belief in my opinion, or Darwin's for that matter. He also wrote beautifully. The final chapter of ORIGINS is stunning.


Quote:
It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 4th, 2008 at 4:38pm

Quote:
The problem with that tact though is that people percieve you to be saying that it is just mysticism when saying that it is not a scientific theory.


What else am I supposed to do? I point out all the time when people misinterpret my argument.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by locutius on Dec 5th, 2008 at 1:17pm
I found this and it is what I was driving at yesterday but probably put better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_theory_and_fact


Quote:
The potentially confusing statement that "evolution is both a theory and a fact" is frequently seen in biological literature. The point of this statement is to distinguish the two meanings of evolution. First, the "fact of evolution", the observed changes in populations of organisms over time. Second, a shortcut for the "theory of evolution", namely the modern evolutionary synthesis, which is the current scientific explanation for why these changes occur. Which meaning of evolution is intended, if it is not explicit, can be discerned by the context.



Quote:
Fact
Fact is often used by scientists to refer to experimental data or objective verifiable observations. "Fact" is also used in a wider sense to mean any hypothesis for which there is overwhelming evidence.

Evolution is a fact in the sense of it being overwhelmingly validated by the evidence. Frequently evolution is said to be a fact in the same way as the Earth revolving around the Sun is a fact. The following quotation from H. J. Muller, "One Hundred Years Without Darwin Are Enough" explains the point.

There is no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea. When we say a thing is a fact, then, we only mean that its probability is an extremely high one: so high that we are not bothered by doubt about it and are ready to act accordingly. Now in this use of the term fact, the only proper one, evolution is a fact.  
The National Academy of Science (U.S.) makes a similar point:

Scientists most often use the word "fact" to describe an observation. But scientists can also use fact to mean something that has been tested or observed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing or looking for examples. The occurrence of evolution in this sense is fact. Scientists no longer question whether descent with modification occurred because the evidence is so strong.

Philosophers of science argue that we do not know anything with absolute certainty: even direct observations may be "theory laden" and depend on assumptions about our senses and the measuring instruments used. In this sense all facts are provisional.



Quote:
Theory
Scientific theories describe the coherent framework into which observable data fit. The scientific definition of the word "theory" is different from the colloquial sense of the word. Colloquially, "theory" can mean a conjecture, an opinion, or a speculation that does not have to be based on facts or make testable predictions. In science, the meaning of theory is more rigorous: a theory must be based on observed facts and make testable predictions.

In science, a current theory is a theory that has no equally acceptable alternative theory, and has survived attempts at falsification. That is, there have been no observations made which contradict it to this point and, indeed, every observation ever made either supports the current theory or at least does not falsify it. A revision of the current theory, or the generation of a new theory is necessary if new observations contradict the current theory, as the current findings are in need of a new explanation (see scientific revolution or paradigm shift). However, the falsification of a theory does not falsify the facts on which the theory is based.


Of course it should be taught in schools as science. It is probably the most accepted scientific concept on the planet today amongst scientists and the common man both.

Creation Science should only be taught as examples of bad science but I'm not sure if it should be discussed in religion, political studies or science.

So like I said, and maybe you were driving at this as well. EVOLUTION is not a theory but a fact. Popper's rule does not seem to apply. Then there are theories of HOW evolution takes place.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 5th, 2008 at 1:34pm
This is more evidence that it is not a scientific theory. No genuine scientist would confuse a scientific theory with a fact. Only historians use the term fact, yet they are still usually honest enough to admit that there is uncertainty.


Quote:
Fact is often used by scientists to refer to experimental data or objective verifiable observations. "


This is a tricky one, as you cannot separate a fact from the paradigm through which you interpret your obervations. That is why scientists try to avoid the term, as it implies an objectivity which is illusionary.


Quote:
"Fact" is also used in a wider sense to mean any hypothesis for which there is overwhelming evidence.


That is just plain wrong. That is what the terms theory and law are for. Note that evolution is not regarded as a law, even by those who mistake it for science. A law is what a theory becomes as it gains broader acceptance.


Quote:
There is no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea.


This is getting out of science into the general meaning of the words.


Quote:
Philosophers of science argue that we do not know anything with absolute certainty: even direct observations may be "theory laden" and depend on assumptions about our senses and the measuring instruments used. In this sense all facts are provisional.


That is putting it mildly. To put it more accurately, all of science - hypotheses, theories and laws - is almost certainly wrong, and will be disproved at some time in the future. This is why science is so powerful, because it inevitably discards our knowledge as being wrong.


Quote:
In science, the meaning of theory is more rigorous: a theory must be based on observed facts and make testable predictions.


Again, he gets it wrong. Basically, hypotheses, theories and law are separated by the degree of consensus. To insert terms like fact discards the reality of science.


Quote:
That is, there have been no observations made which contradict it


Not necessarily true.


Quote:
every observation ever made either supports the current theory or at least does not falsify it


Wrong. Thomas Kuhn goes into some detail of how the reality of science differs significantly from this ideal.


Quote:
It is probably the most accepted scientific concept on the planet today amongst scientists and the common man both.


Wrong. There are plenty of polls to disprove your claim. In any case, argumentum ad populum is a logical fallacy.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by locutius on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:10pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution


Quote:
The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, anthropology, and others. One 1987 estimate found that "700 scientists ... (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) ... give credence to creation-science". An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters states that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution". A 1991 Gallup poll of Americans found that about 5% of scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists.


This is not merely argumentum ad populum, this is a community of what is recognised as our prominate thinkers who have (I assume) given a considered vote.


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by locutius on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:28pm
I may struggle with this argument as I only ever went to level 10 science and that was 27 years ago. But I would like to persist as I find the assertion that it should not be taught in schools as science extraordinary. Excuse me if I am a little remedial.

Firstly maybe Popper got it wrong! All respect to Popper as he was an remarkable thinker but not infallible. There are plenty of equivalent or better thinkers in history that have flaws in their ideas. Plato, Kant, Newton etc.

His own idea of the methodology of science is a theory is it not. Maybe the concept of evolution is his methodology's Achilles heel. I don't know.

The fact that a scientific theory is not certain is hardly an excuse to exclude it from science that is being taught in school, especially considering the universial acceptance that is probably the envy of every other scientific theory that could be named.

I am trying here to touch on the question as stated in the topic. Is falsifiability concept scientific?

Also while I understand the purpose of testability in increasing knowledge and understanding, as well as the valuable side effect of suggesting more difficult and better questions. What did Popper have to say about a theory that defies the tests to falsify it. Was it to be just fobbed off, because I would have thought the opposite would be the case. That the idea be graduated to another level of prestige.

Do you know why that is not the case?

There are some responses I would like to make to your previous reply but we need to set some ground work I think.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:31pm
The evolution theory is scientific and falsifiability concept can be discounted because it is unscientific as we found out in this very thread.


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:53pm

locutius wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:10pm:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution


Quote:
The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, anthropology, and others. One 1987 estimate found that "700 scientists ... (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) ... give credence to creation-science". An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters states that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution". A 1991 Gallup poll of Americans found that about 5% of scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists.


This is not merely argumentum ad populum, this is a community of what is recognised as our prominate thinkers who have (I assume) given a considered vote.


Right, but it has nothing to do with whether evolution is a sicentific theory.


Quote:
I may struggle with this argument as I only ever went to level 10 science


We covered the scientific method in grade 10 science I think.


Quote:
Firstly maybe Popper got it wrong!


Maybe, but you'll have to do better than that. Maybe he was right!


Quote:
His own idea of the methodology of science is a theory is it not.


I'm not sure if that is a suitable description.


Quote:
Maybe the concept of evolution is his methodology's Achilles heel.


If we have to change the definition of science just for the sake of the theory of evolution, maybe it's time we took another look at evolution, rather than science. Most practicing evolutionists acknowledge this issue in calling themselves natural historians.


Quote:
The fact that a scientific theory is not certain is hardly an excuse to exclude it from science


That is not my reason.


Quote:
What did Popper have to say about a theory that defies the tests to falsify it. Was it to be just fobbed off, because I would have thought the opposite would be the case. That the idea be graduated to another level of prestige.


Not sure what you are asking.


Quote:
The evolution theory is scientific and falsifiability concept can be discounted because it is unscientific as we found out in this very thread.


That doesn't make sense Tallow. This is philosophy, not science. We are not doing experiments to test who is right.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by muso on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:54pm
How do you falsify the theory that time progresses at a steady rate for a single observer at rest?

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by Django on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:55pm

tallowood wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:31pm:
The evolution theory is scientific and falsifiability concept can be discounted because it is unscientific as we found out in this very thread.

Oh please what nonsence. Seeing Popper seems to be popular here, this is what he has to say:

"When speaking here of Darwinism, I shall speak always of today's theory - that is Darwin's own theory of natural selection supported by the Mendelian theory of heredity, by the theory of the mutation and recombination of genes in a gene pool, and by the decoded genetic code. This is an immensely impressive and powerful theory. The claim that it completely explains evolution is of course a bold claim, and very far from being established. All scientific theories are conjectures, even those that have successfully passed many severe and varied tests. The Mendelian underpinning of modern Darwinism has been well tested, and so has the theory of evolution which says that all terrestrial life has evolved from a few primitive unicellular organisms, possibly even from one single organism. "

All scientific theories are are only one piece of contrary evidence away from being refuted. Evolution is one of the strongest, and has stood against not only the strongest scientific scrutiny but also the nitpicking of numerous religious detractors, and evidence in support of it mounts daily.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by muso on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:57pm

Django wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:55pm:

tallowood wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:31pm:
The evolution theory is scientific and falsifiability concept can be discounted because it is unscientific as we found out in this very thread.

Oh please what nonsence. Seeing Popper seems to be popular here, this is what he has to say:


I don't think Popper is all that popular here. There have been a lot of assumptions made about the validity of his claims, which I'd consider to be unmerited.


Quote:
All scientific theories are are only one piece of contrary evidence away from being refuted. Evolution is one of the strongest, and has stood against not only the strongest scientific scrutiny but also the nitpicking of numerous religious detractors, and evidence in support of it mounts daily


I'd agree almost 100%, except that there are other minor mechanisms that come into play. There has been recent research that shows that inheritance of bacterial resistance can be transmitted from mother to child across the __ membrane.


I'll have to research this a bit more (any biologists care to expound?)

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:00pm

freediver wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:53pm:
...

Quote:
The evolution theory is scientific and falsifiability concept can be discounted because it is unscientific as we found out in this very thread.


That doesn't make sense Tallow. This is philosophy, not science. We are not doing experiments to test who is right.


But a philosophical concept can be wrong and the longer we look at this one the more it seems to be wrong.


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:04pm

Django wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:55pm:

tallowood wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:31pm:
The evolution theory is scientific and falsifiability concept can be discounted because it is unscientific as we found out in this very thread.

Oh please what nonsence. Seeing Popper seems to be popular here, this is what he has to say:

"When speaking here of Darwinism, I shall speak always of today's theory - that is Darwin's own theory of natural selection supported by the Mendelian theory of heredity, by the theory of the mutation and recombination of genes in a gene pool, and by the decoded genetic code. This is an immensely impressive and powerful theory. The claim that it completely explains evolution is of course a bold claim, and very far from being established. All scientific theories are conjectures, even those that have successfully passed many severe and varied tests. The Mendelian underpinning of modern Darwinism has been well tested, and so has the theory of evolution which says that all terrestrial life has evolved from a few primitive unicellular organisms, possibly even from one single organism. "

All scientific theories are are only one piece of contrary evidence away from being refuted. Evolution is one of the strongest, and has stood against not only the strongest scientific scrutiny but also the nitpicking of numerous religious detractors, and evidence in support of it mounts daily.



That argument of yours is rubbish because Poppers notion simply can be wrong if it is not prove it.


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:10pm

Quote:
How do you falsify the theory that time progresses at a steady rate for a single observer at rest?


Ask Einstein.


Quote:
But a philosophical concept can be wrong and the longer we look at this one the more it seems to be wrong.


How does it seem to be wrong? Just because it excludes evolution (but not natural selection) from science? It is the only approach that successfully excludes mysticism and all the other nutcase theories.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by Django on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:12pm

tallowood wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:04pm:
Poppers notion simply can be wrong if it is not prove it.


Rather take Poppers word for it than an anon on a mailing list! So what you are saying is that biological science, and a good chunk of the earth sciences, are a mirage, and made up?

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:24pm

freediver wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:10pm:

Quote:
How do you falsify the theory that time progresses at a steady rate for a single observer at rest?


Ask Einstein.

[quote]But a philosophical concept can be wrong and the longer we look at this one the more it seems to be wrong.


How does it seem to be wrong? Just because it excludes evolution (but not natural selection) from science? It is the only approach that successfully excludes mysticism and all the other nutcase theories.[/quote]

Why not ask Darwin about his theory is it scientific or not?

I'm not so sure about "It is the only approach that successfully excludes mysticism and all the other nutcase theories" for example outlawing all theories will "excludes mysticism and all the other nutcase theories" as well. Of course it will be like throwing a gold away with washy water but that is what seems to be happening in this particular case though may be somewhat more selectively.  Theory of evolution is a pretty useful and practical framework for biology so why discard it on somebody's hearsay?


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:30pm

Django wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:12pm:

tallowood wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:04pm:
Poppers notion simply can be wrong if it is not prove it.


Rather take Poppers word for it than an anon on a mailing list! So what you are saying is that biological science, and a good chunk of the earth sciences, are a mirage, and made up?


It is obvious that you said it not me if I did and forgot please show me where I did say exactly that.
Why should I take Poppers or anybody's word for it? Give me the irrefutable proof if you can and if you can't just say so.



Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:30pm
Welcome to OzPolitic Django.


Quote:
Why not ask Darwin about his theory is it scientific or not?


I hate to break it to you Tallow, but Darwin is dead. Or did you mean the member by that name? Why would either be an authority on the philosophy of science?


Quote:
I'm not so sure about "It is the only approach that successfully excludes mysticism and all the other nutcase theories" for example outlawing all theories will "excludes mysticism and all the other nutcase theories" as well. Of course it will be like throwing a gold away with washy water but that is what seems to be happening in this particular case though may be somewhat more selectively.


What I meant was, it does that successfully, while including almost all of what is generally regarded as science and modern technology. Evolution is the exception, although the natural historians don't seem especially bothered by it.


Quote:
Theory of evolution is a pretty useful and practical framework for biology so why discard it on somebody's hearsay?


I am not calling it hearsay or suggesting it be discarded.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by Django on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:39pm

tallowood wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:30pm:

Django wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:12pm:

tallowood wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:04pm:
Poppers notion simply can be wrong if it is not prove it.


Rather take Poppers word for it than an anon on a mailing list! So what you are saying is that biological science, and a good chunk of the earth sciences, are a mirage, and made up?


It is obvious that you said it not me if I did and forgot please show me where I did say exactly that.
Why should I take Poppers or anybody's word for it? Give me the irrefutable proof if you can and if you can't just say so.

Irrefutable proof of what?

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by locutius on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:40pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory#Currently_unverifiable_theories



Quote:
Essential criteria
The defining characteristic of a scientific theory is that it makes falsifiable or testable predictions. The relevance and specificity of those predictions determine how potentially useful the theory is. A would-be theory that makes no predictions that can be observed is not a useful theory. Predictions not sufficiently specific to be tested are similarly not useful. In both cases, the term "theory" is inapplicable.

In practice a body of descriptions of knowledge is usually only called a theory once it has a minimum empirical basis, according to certain criteria:
It is consistent with pre-existing theory, to the extent the pre-existing theory was experimentally verified, though it will often show pre-existing theory to be wrong in an exact sense.
It is supported by many strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation, ensuring it is probably a good approximation, if not totally correct.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:42pm

freediver wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:30pm:
Welcome to OzPolitic Django.


Quote:
Why not ask Darwin about his theory is it scientific or not?


I hate to break it to you Tallow, but Darwin is dead. Or did you mean the member by that name? Why would either be an authority on the philosophy of science?

[quote]I'm not so sure about "It is the only approach that successfully excludes mysticism and all the other nutcase theories" for example outlawing all theories will "excludes mysticism and all the other nutcase theories" as well. Of course it will be like throwing a gold away with washy water but that is what seems to be happening in this particular case though may be somewhat more selectively.


What I meant was, it does that successfully, while including almost all of what is generally regarded as science and modern technology. Evolution is the exception, although the natural historians don't seem especially bothered by it.


Quote:
Theory of evolution is a pretty useful and practical framework for biology so why discard it on somebody's hearsay?


I am not calling it hearsay or suggesting it be discarded.[/quote]


Don't you know that Einstein is dead too or do you mean Yahoo Serious but as far as I'm aware even him last time was Ned Kelly and not Einstein. :)

Almost is not good enough but I suppose that Popper could expand the notion of falsifiability by creating list of exceptions or  defining an algorithm for generating an exception in exceptional cases.




Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:45pm

Django wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:39pm:

tallowood wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:30pm:

Django wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:12pm:

tallowood wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:04pm:
Poppers notion simply can be wrong if it is not prove it.


Rather take Poppers word for it than an anon on a mailing list! So what you are saying is that biological science, and a good chunk of the earth sciences, are a mirage, and made up?


It is obvious that you said it not me if I did and forgot please show me where I did say exactly that.
Why should I take Poppers or anybody's word for it? Give me the irrefutable proof if you can and if you can't just say so.

Irrefutable proof of what?


Irrefutable proof of Popper's notion of falsifiability is correct any time and every time and will always be so.


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:46pm

locutius wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:40pm:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory#Currently_unverifiable_theories



Quote:
Essential criteria
The defining characteristic of a scientific theory is that it makes falsifiable or testable predictions. The relevance and specificity of those predictions determine how potentially useful the theory is. A would-be theory that makes no predictions that can be observed is not a useful theory. Predictions not sufficiently specific to be tested are similarly not useful. In both cases, the term "theory" is inapplicable.

In practice a body of descriptions of knowledge is usually only called a theory once it has a minimum empirical basis, according to certain criteria:
It is consistent with pre-existing theory, to the extent the pre-existing theory was experimentally verified, though it will often show pre-existing theory to be wrong in an exact sense.
It is supported by many strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation, ensuring it is probably a good approximation, if not totally correct.


That seems to support my position.

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by Django on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:54pm

tallowood wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:45pm:
Irrefutable proof of Popper's notion of falsifiability is correct any time and every time and will always be so.


Sorry I was replying to the assertion that Evolution is somehow unscientific. I've no real interest in debating Popper's notion of falsifiability. :)

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by tallowood on Dec 5th, 2008 at 4:00pm

Django wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:54pm:

tallowood wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 3:45pm:
Irrefutable proof of Popper's notion of falsifiability is correct any time and every time and will always be so.


Sorry I was replying to the assertion that Evolution is somehow unscientific. I've no real interest in debating Popper's notion of falsifiability. :)



It's OK. Actually this topic is about "falsifiability concept" while evolution is here as well as probably in another few threads.  :)

Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by locutius on Dec 5th, 2008 at 4:03pm

freediver wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:53pm:


Quote:
I may struggle with this argument as I only ever went to level 10 science


We covered the scientific method in grade 10 science I think.


Yes, and like I said 27 years ago. I try not to be dumb but sometimes I can be.


freediver wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:53pm:

Quote:
Firstly maybe Popper got it wrong!


Maybe, but you'll have to do better than that. Maybe he was right!


And maybe his process of methodology is as equally rock solid as the unexpected completeness of the TRUTH of evolution. Thus both being unfalsifiable share a unique status, until another mind of Kant's calibre arrives on the scene. The Irresistable force meeting the immovable object.


freediver wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:53pm:

Quote:
His own idea of the methodology of science is a theory is it not.


I'm not sure if that is a suitable description.[quote]

It may not be a scientific theory, but it is a philosophical theory. It is testible by logic I assume.


freediver wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:53pm:
[quote]Maybe the concept of evolution is his methodology's Achilles heel.


If we have to change the definition of science just for the sake of the theory of evolution, maybe it's time we took another look at evolution, rather than science. Most practicing evolutionists acknowledge this issue in calling themselves natural historians.[quote]

Why assume that a field of knowledge can't turn the definition of science on it's head. It seems that you are giving credence to a Definition that should also be forthcoming to a Description.


freediver wrote on Dec 5th, 2008 at 2:53pm:
[quote]What did Popper have to say about a theory that defies the tests to falsify it. Was it to be just fobbed off, because I would have thought the opposite would be the case. That the idea be graduated to another level of prestige.


Not sure what you are asking.


I think I have asked this before. What is concept called (if not theory) when it science is not up to the challange of testing it, and falsifying it but that it has a huge body of real world evidence as opposed to conjectural science such as string theory.

Again. I am talking about Evolution the concept as a scientific TRUTH. The mechanisms involved in explaining the process or mechanics of Evolution are theories. Theories that involve real science and testing and prediction where possible.


Title: Re: Is falsifiability concept scintific?
Post by freediver on Dec 5th, 2008 at 5:05pm

Quote:
It may not be a scientific theory, but it is a philosophical theory. It is testible by logic I assume.


Not exactly. It is ultimately a semantic issue - what is science. This is answered by 'judging a tree by it's fruit'. You consider difference 'definitions' of science, and see how well they reflect both the reality of the practice of science as well as the preception of science. My approach is the only one that captures the essence of science, while preventing a flood of mysticism, crackpotism and various clearly unscientific pursuits in the door. The claim that evolution is scientific is not supported by practicing academic evolutionists themselves, who prefer to be called natural historians. Rather, it is a tactic by those involved in a senseless battle between evolution and creationism, to try to put evolution out of reach. Ironically, in doing so, they make it very hard to eliminate as unscientific other theories such as intelligent design (or freediver's theory of sufficient genetic potential). The result is a huge academic mess, thrust upon researchers by extremists who see the various fields of study as pawns in an epic battle.


Quote:
Why assume that a field of knowledge can't turn the definition of science on it's head.


Because it is a definitional identity.


Quote:
It seems that you are giving credence to a Definition that should also be forthcoming to a Description.


Huh?


Quote:
What is concept called (if not theory) when it science is not up to the challange of testing it


I didn't say it wasn't a theory. I said it wasn't scientific. It is a historical theory.


Quote:
Again. I am talking about Evolution the concept as a scientific TRUTH.


There is no such thing as scientific truth. Genuine scientists would never be so arrogant as to claim to have reached truth.


Quote:
The mechanisms involved in explaining the process or mechanics of Evolution are theories. Theories that involve real science and testing and prediction where possible.


Natural selection is scientific. The rest isn't.

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