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Resolving Five of the Most Common Mistakes People Make About Science

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posted on Jun, 9 2015 @ 01:25 PM
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originally posted by: GetHyped
a reply to: gpawnday
Can you show an example of this supposed inconsistency between the definitions of 'theory' and 'law'?


science.kennesaw.edu...

There are other websites as well that describe their different definitions; it can especially be seen in different high school textbooks.




posted on Jun, 9 2015 @ 05:14 PM
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a reply to: gpawnday

You haven't answered my question, though. You've only posted one source, and the definitions inside are the same as defined elsewhere in academic sources.



posted on Jun, 10 2015 @ 01:16 PM
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originally posted by: GetHyped
a reply to: gpawnday

You haven't answered my question, though. You've only posted one source, and the definitions inside are the same as defined elsewhere in academic sources.


I did answer your question. The link provides 3 or four different definitions from several sources and two different ways to interpret those defintions.



posted on Jun, 10 2015 @ 04:02 PM
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a reply to: gpawnday

3 different phrasings for the same thing. Go google the definition of any word and you'll get different phrasings for each dictionary. Doesn't mean the definitions are different.



posted on Jun, 10 2015 @ 05:19 PM
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originally posted by: GetHyped
a reply to: gpawnday

3 different phrasings for the same thing. Go google the definition of any word and you'll get different phrasings for each dictionary. Doesn't mean the definitions are different.


Straight from the link: . The difference between a "law" and a "theory" often confuses people. This happens, in part, because even among scientists there can be different usage of these terms.

Theory

3) A scientifically accepted general principle supported by a substantial body of evidence offered to provide an explanation of observed facts and as a basis for future discussion or investigation (Lincoln et al., 1990).

 4) 1. The abstract principles of a science as distinguished from basic or applied science. 2. A reasonable explanation or assumption advanced to explain a natural phenomenon but lacking confirming proof (Steen, 1971). [NB: I don't like this one but I include it to show you that even in "Science dictionaries" there is variation in definitions which leads to confusion].

Those are different definitions. There are notable differences.



posted on Jun, 10 2015 @ 05:35 PM
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originally posted by: GetHyped
a reply to: gpawnday

3 different phrasings for the same thing. Go google the definition of any word and you'll get different phrasings for each dictionary. Doesn't mean the definitions are different.


Also:

The term "law" in physics has gone out of style. Physicists still use the term for older concepts that were labeled as laws. Ohm's law, for example, is still called Ohm's law. Ohm's law is V=IR. Using a more modern lexicon, that would be better labeled as "Ohm's equation". Newton's Principia (a theory) included a small number of underlying equations, his laws of motion and law of gravitation. Einstein's theory of general relativity also includes a small number of underlying equations. Physicists just call those equations the Einstein field equations. In days of yore, those field equations would most likely have been called Einstein's law of gravitation.

In physics, a law typically is an equation, one which may have limited applicability. Ohm's law is a good example. Batteries, capacitors, inductors, and rectifiers don't follow Ohm's law. Neither do resistors after having had too much current pushed through them. Resistors become non-ohmic once they start emitting smoke.

A scientific theory is a tested body of knowledge that typically cannot be summarized in a tweet. (In contrast, most laws can be stated in full in a single tweet on twitter.com.) Oftentimes a book (e.g., Newton's Principia, Darwin's On the Origin of Species) is needed to convey the concepts of a scientific theory.

Regarding Popper, his idea of falsification, while good, also misses the mark. Despite the fact that many electrical devices are markedly non-ohmic, electrical engineers still use Ohm's law to describe resistors. Despite the fact that relativity theory and quantum mechanics falsify Newtonian mechanics, civil engineers still use Newtonian mechanics in designing bridges, roads, and buildings, and aerospace engineers still use Newtonian mechanics in designing and operating spacecraft. Falsification is a naive concept. Relativity theory and quantum mechanics didn't falsify Newtonian mechanics. They instead showed that Newtonian mechanics is not universally true. It is still quite valid in a limited (but very useful) domain.

Another area where Popper's falsification fails is when a theory is shown to disagree with reality. More often than not, the theory is tweaked rather than discarded. Darwin's theory of evolution has been tweaked a number of times, first with the modern synthesis, then with genetics, and more lately with epigenetics and horizontal gene transfer. Quantum theory similarly has been tweaked a number of times. Quantum mechanics supplanted the old quantum theory, protons and neutrons moved from the class of elementary particles to composite particles with quantum chromodynamics, and quantum electrodynamics added even more weirdness to quantum theory.

Reference www.physicsforums.com...

edit on 10-6-2015 by gpawnday because: post was incomplete



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 06:40 PM
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originally posted by: GetHyped
a reply to: purplemer

In this context, observer = instrument. Anything else is erroneous semantics.


semantics are not always erroneous, as in the case where the observer was not an actual instrument but rather a variation in time we could measure,

more accurate would be to say observer = measurement.



posted on Aug, 31 2015 @ 08:02 AM
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originally posted by: gpawnday

Double-slit experiment?


The oddity in that experiment was caused by the presence of the measuring instrument next to the slits, instruments whose presence interfered with the wavefunctions of the particles and thus produced a different result than in the presence of no instruments next to the slits.



posted on Nov, 3 2015 @ 01:26 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



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