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Faith in Science: Opening Agenda

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posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: DeadCat



I have a hunch that if I continue my goal, I will find AT LEAST 1 "Scientific fact" that is in fact, not scientific at all, or at the very least questionable in regards to how this "fact" became truth.


This is a scientific fact:


In science, a fact is a repeatable careful observation or measurement (by experimentation or other means), also called empirical evidence. Facts are central to building scientific theories. Various forms of observation and measurement lead to fundamental questions about the scientific method, and the scope and validity of scientific reasoning.

In the most basic sense, a scientific fact is an objective and verifiable observation, in contrast with a hypothesis or theory, which is intended to explain or interpret facts.[20]


en.wikipedia.org...

Please post concrete examples to support your claims.

My fear was that this thread would be like all the other threads that "question" from a position of dubious scientific literacy.
edit on 12-11-2016 by GetHyped because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:22 AM
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originally posted by: GetHyped
a reply to: DeadCat



I have a hunch that if I continue my goal, I will find AT LEAST 1 "Scientific fact" that is in fact, not scientific at all, or at the very least questionable in regards to how this "fact" became truth.


This is a scientific fact:


In science, a fact is a repeatable careful observation or measurement (by experimentation or other means), also called empirical evidence. Facts are central to building scientific theories. Various forms of observation and measurement lead to fundamental questions about the scientific method, and the scope and validity of scientific reasoning.

In the most basic sense, a scientific fact is an objective and verifiable observation, in contrast with a hypothesis or theory, which is intended to explain or interpret facts.[20]


en.wikipedia.org...

Please post concrete examples to support your claims.

My fear was that this thread would be like all the other threads that "question" from a position of dubious scientific literacy.


Nail me with the terminology. Replace "Scientific fact" with "Widely accepted"

Problem solved.

I see now you cannot prove "scientific fact" to be wrong, because if it was wrong.. it wouldn't be "Scientific fact.." But even then.. one should question the inner workings of said fact.

My hunch, then, is that we are being told/taught something that is widely accepted as true but in reality, it is not.
edit on 12-11-2016 by DeadCat because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:26 AM
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a reply to: DeadCat

A scientific fact is "a repeatable careful observation or measurement (by experimentation or other means)". Experiments can change, but the facts do not. Scientific facts are still scientific facts, even if more accurate facts come along.

Redefining "scientific fact" to mean "widely accepted" doesn't aid in the discussion seeing as the proper definition is the one used in science.


one should question the inner workings of said fact.


And that's what happens when independent experimenters attempt to repeat the experiment. When the same experiment produces the same result regardless of who performs it that data is the scientific fact(s).
edit on 12-11-2016 by GetHyped because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:28 AM
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originally posted by: GetHyped
a reply to: DeadCat

A scientific fact is "a repeatable careful observation or measurement (by experimentation or other means)". Experiments can change, but the facts do not. Scientific facts are still scientific facts, even if more accurate facts come along.

Redefining "scientific fact" to mean "widely accepted" doesn't aid in the discussion seeing as the proper definition is the one used in science.


Well, go to Harvard then mate, but this is the internet, and I have merely a highschool diploma, so disclaimer: Try to interpret my words as a normal person, not a professor.



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:32 AM
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a reply to: DeadCat

So if we're not going to stick to the actual definition of terms used by the method you're making an argument about, what exactly is the point?



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:37 AM
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a reply to: GetHyped

My point is I'm not going to mold my posts to your precious standards.. when it is obvious that I'm not referring to it in that way.

"Widely accepted" in this context something a majority of PEOPLE believe.(Likely because it is taught in schools, or said to be true for so long.)

Trying to find something that is said by most to be true, aka, widely accepted, but not necessarily factual when you look into it.

Something that could perhaps have been studied in the wrong way, or taken at face value, or maybe even out of laziness was over looked because someone like Einstein said it, and no one wanted to take the time to challenge it.

A very minor fault of mine in the grand scheme of things.. It's obvious what I'm trying to do. I don't need big headed posters trying to be politically correct around every corner.
edit on 12-11-2016 by DeadCat because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:40 AM
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a reply to: DeadCat

Ok then, let's talk concrete examples...



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:42 AM
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originally posted by: GetHyped
a reply to: DeadCat

Ok then, let's talk concrete examples...


If I wasn't so sure you were biased to the situation, I would ask you for a topic you feel may have incongruities. Or for starters: Do you even think any exist?



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:45 AM
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a reply to: DeadCat

I'm more than happy to discuss concrete examples but if this is going to be another one of those threads where OP forms an entire narrative based on faulty assumptions and vague suggestions of something being wrong without mentioning specifics then I'm out.



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:51 AM
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originally posted by: GetHyped
a reply to: DeadCat

I'm more than happy to discuss concrete examples but if this is going to be another one of those threads where OP forms an entire narrative based on faulty assumptions and vague suggestions of something being wrong without mentioning specifics then I'm out.


Okay, I'll use the mass of the atom as an example then. (I said in a previous post the following.)

"For the record, I did not plan on finding such things in the topic of the atom. (Maybe in the structure, or mass though.) They did not literally weigh the atom, or the proton, ect, on a scale and say "Ahh yess this is the mass" It was not observed to be so. There is only formulas, to provide such information. (To my knowledge.) "

So we do not know exactly, FOR SURE, the mass of the atom. I can only be "ball park at best" when talking about precision of the numbers they give.

I was guestimated, using (From my understanding) Their best guess of how many atoms were in a gram of an element. Then divided 1gram by the number of atoms they guessed would be in it. (Or maybe the amount of atoms they all came to agree upon is in a gram of said element.)

edit on 12-11-2016 by DeadCat because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:53 AM
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a reply to: DeadCat




A good example of what I knew, or feared rather, would come up about my terminology, since ATS is so anal about things when it comes to it. Yes, I am questioning peoples IDEAS about how science works, not science itself...


That's why you have to get your terminology right, as you know people will attempt to pull apart your posts an nit pick any faults they can find in them, usually they are the first few posters on any given thread. Whats happens then is that new viewers of thread read these follow up posts and go ahh another pointless thread and move on to something else. I've done it myself! If your going to create a new thread it's best to make your ideas as clear as possible right from the get go to avoid any confusion down the line.
Sorry if I sound like I'm lecturing you or was being anal, just trying to be helpful really.



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:55 AM
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a reply to: DeadCat
I think I understand what you want to convey here, even if the terms are very general.
I think that "the science" tends to be more precise in what we call the exact sciences like mathematics, physics, chemistry and so on. While the human sciences like sociology, anthropology, economics or even medicine are more fluid and constantly change as they discover new things to support or dismiss their present "truths".
Scientific theories are only that, theories; and they are useful only until a new theory comes up to confirm it or invalidate it.
So about faith in science I would say I trust science when it comes to practical things like building a car, or a house or even an atomic bomb. But not so much when it comes about more meaningful things like creation of life, life after death, what is our purpose in life, existence of God and so on.
This is only my opinion, of course, and I wait to see what you find out.



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: DeadCat

Theory arises from observation of effect. Gravity is a fantastic example. Newton observed an effect, and wrote a theory to explain it, based on his observations of the force in action, a theory which defined in broad terms, the actual reality, codified it in terms which allowed for a greater understanding of the subject in general, than would have been possible without it.

His understanding of gravitation only encountered trouble when dealing with particles moving at the speed of light, and on scales so small as to be atomic or subatomic. It is perhaps worth mentioning that it was a VERY long time between his penning his theory, and the first instance in which Newtonian explanations of gravity as a force fell apart, precisely because the atom was only discovered in fact relatively recently in historical terms.

The Principa, the book in which he published his work on gravitation, was first issued in 1687, but the discovery itself was made in 1665, sometime during summer. It was near to three hundred years later that it first came across a hurdle that it, by itself could not overcome. The atom and the scales below that size range, beneath which Newtonian understandings of things break down completely.

Essentially, theory follows observation, demands experiment, which offers results (observations) which result in theory, which demand experimentation and so on and so forth.

Its a big cycle, not a static situation.

Now, on the subject of deliberate manipulation of data to provide a certain result, the whole idea of the scientific method is, that results which have value ought to be reproducible by another experiment, run by other scientists, in a different location, even by scientists who question the original experiment or results authenticity. Peer review also plays a part, although it has its own pitfalls. But reproducible results are what generally tends to lend authenticity to a given set of results.

And finally, on the subject of Nikola Tesla...

He was a man well ahead of his time, one for whom I have much admiration and respect. However, it must also be said that this was a man who eventually went mad, fell in love with a pigeon, then died. While I have nothing but love for the man, it is important to realise that real love does not make a person ignorant of faults with that which they love, but makes them capable of passion for it despite those faults. The same is true with Mr Tesla. And it must be said also that Albert Einstein, Paul Dirac, and others, were men who simply saw further, deeper, and in more detail, than others around them at the time, which is why their insights into the realm of deep physics were so astoundingly impressive when compared with their contemporaries.

Now, I will grant you that it is possible to come up with mathematical problems which mean absolutely nothing in and of themselves, they are mere logic puzzles as opposed to equations designed to describe a thing or answer a question with. But there is a significant difference between these things, and the equations which describe physical processes in the universe, and that difference is intent.



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 11:58 AM
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I think the issue with this debate is that the debate is always from a position of someone on the outside of the topic looking in, and having assumptions which they do not try to be unbiased or open about. Be prepared for lots of text!

The example about the atom is that it is clear from your own research you have stumbled across a couple of big recognizable names and then stopped and thought "How did they know! why did research stop there! OMG FRAUD!" when the truth is that there were more than 3 scientists working on the structure of the atom. Going way back to the early 1800s a few guys where experimenting on things in their spare time, most scientists in those days took science up as a hobby or past time rather than dedicating 100% of their time to it. The proton itself wasn't even named until the 1920s, so there is a huge problem with your analysis since you are taking modern knowledge and looking back at history without the notion of trying to understand what the state of thinking was back at that time.

As for measurements and weighing particles, the point is that all methods should be independent but consistent. And even if you were unable to find details of the experiments done and detailed write ups, those experiments were performed, and you should look harder for hows, whys and what they did along with how the equipment works, before assuming that they are wrong, which appears to be a trend with these kinds of threads.

Let me give you an example.

How do we know the charge of the electron. Well, the oil drop experiment was the perhaps the first very very successful first method. You basically spray a fine mist of oil droplets and levitate them between charged plates. Do some calculations and boom you have it.

Not happy with that explanation...nope? well you shouldn't be... but the issue is that most laymen are not willing to understand the experiment or how it works or the reasoning behind the steps. They simply read a paragraph and say "Bull pap!"

These things are always progressive, it started out with an experiment where a beam of electrons was produced and experimented with resulting in a determination of charge / mass ratio for electrons. There were open questions, such as, was this value fundamental? or was it a product of the equipment used?

The experiment was then changed and in the late 1890s the same people looked at water droplets forming in air around beam when the air was very humid. This allowed a number of things to be tested, namely the movement of the droplets, the mass and the same charge/mass ratios. It was determined that the earlier measurement could be fundamental because even though the experiment was quite different, it gave a very similar result. The next successful experiment was performed by someone else using oil rather than water, and using an electric field in order to change the control parameters of the experiment and generally investigate and control more about the experiment.

This was the famous oil drop experiment (iv done it, and its hard to do the first few run throughs... believe me)

It requires many steps, knowing the viscosity of air, the electric field strength produced by your equipment, the local force of gravity, the physical properties of your oil, accurate determination of dimensions... It is complex but not impossible. en.wikipedia.org... The first results in 1909 were within about 1-2% of the accepted value today.
Did Millikan do the experiment and then the whole of science sat back and said "Ahhhh well thats one box ticked" and never look at it again? No, what happened is people tried to recreate the experiment, improve upon it.

So it is easy to simply dismiss that measurement and say "Oh but how do you know?" Well I know because not only do we get taught the history of physics and the measurements made, but also perform those experiments also.

The issue is how physics is taught in highschool classrooms which is as far as most people get, and in those classrooms only very basic fluff experiments get performed. Such, most people come out of highschool and later in life start to think "Oh how do these boffins know what they are talking about, they just read it all from text books!" Truth is, anyone who has done a physics degree will tell you that you spend a lot of time in the lab, and you spend a lot of time learning about the history.

NOW going back to touch upon True Brits comments. I am a PhD in Particle physics and id say that in my experience of physics in the UK and North America, the situation (at least in Particle physics) is a little different as you describe.

Theoretical Physicists have a very strong push to publish, the attitude is publish or perish. Being successful in theoretical physics is very difficult, because the moment you stop churning out papers, your usefulness is determined as over and you will quickly find your university support pulled. (Most theory groups don't take huge government grants, and are based mostly on university support only)

Experimental physics is a bit different, here depending upon the country there are a number of things that determine successful grant proposals... 1) Can the work you are doing be commercialized 2) How much money do you want 3) What is the impact in the field, 4) Do you have what it takes to do the job.

Point 1
This is a little bit of a shame since a lot of fundamental, or blue skies research doesn't have a direct commercial product as a predicted outcome. This means that LHC style physics is actually not as well funded as people think. The experiment I did my PhD on had to beg for about £100k in order to build part of a detector system... we didnt get all the money so had to cut back on the performance goals. Still when the experiment (T2K) was ultimately successful, the funding agencies where still not in the business of throwing money around and upgrades to the stunted detector are still under discussion... So... success? no reward.
Some research agencies put point 1 at their top priority... which is bad for fundamental science.

Point 2
This is an obvious one... if your experiment is ridiculously expensive, you are less likely to win a grant.... money is limited and has to be spread around... but if your experiment is cheap, its not guaranteed either, see points 1 and 3

Point 3
Is your experiment worth doing. Typically experiments in particle physics have to have a useful point in the field. Just performing an experiment for the sake of it, doesn't typically get you funded. So is your idea viable and is it worth while in extending the knowledge of the field.
In my own case, iv worked on a Neutrino beam experiment looking at neutrino oscillation, Iv helped build one of the worlds largest dark matter experiments, and now i am moving on to looking at highly detained neutrino interaction cross sections in order to improve the fields understanding of neutrino interactions at low energy.

All are worth while ventures

Point 4
They will make a determination of if you can perform the experiment you aim to do. If you want to build the LHC but are a lone person with only theoretical backing... you wont get funded. If you have already had a history of working on experiments like the one you want to build... you are more likely to get funded. This is were papers comes in.



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 12:15 PM
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a reply to: ErosA433

I was going to read the rest but I stopped reading when you assumed I called them a fraud. I merely pointed out that the way the conclusion of the mass and structure of an atom was first realized, was through equation, rather than observation.

I have not yet stated (Other than the mass of the atom.) that anything said was untrue/inaccurate.

I am not going into these topics with the mind set "Lets take it apart and see if I can discredit it." I'm researching.. and my studies lead me to the fact that WE DO NOT KNOW FOR CERTAIN THE MASS OF THE ATOM. Nor the proton, or anything smaller. It is an obvious guess, which happens to be scientifically accepted. Dispite the fact that we do not know.

This is just one example. A small example, of what I predict I will find threw my reading.
edit on 12-11-2016 by DeadCat because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 12:21 PM
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a reply to: DeadCat

No what you should do, is actually read what i said, If you read it you should see that i am referring to the general trend of such threads, it is good to question science, we absolutely love it, and need to be questioned, but it is not true that the structure and mass of the atom was purely theoretical, it came from about a century of experimentation.

You can choose to ignore the information if you like on the basis of one single word if you like... it would be a mistake since if you didnt read it, you got about 2 paragraphs and gave up... thus is your Third sentence really correct?


On your follow up... you must also conclude that your research is infact not detailed enough (which is what my opening statement was referring too) ... you have a proportion and you are biased to see that proposition. This is not research. Im a PhD researcher, and find your approach kind of troubling.
edit on 12-11-2016 by ErosA433 because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-11-2016 by ErosA433 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 12:24 PM
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originally posted by: ErosA433
a reply to: DeadCat

No what you should do, is actually read what i said, If you read it you should see that i am referring to the general trend of such threads, it is good to question science, we absolutely love it, and need to be questioned, but it is not true that the structure and mass of the atom was purely theoretical, it came from about a century of experimentation.

You can choose to ignore the information if you like on the basis of one single word if you like... it would be a mistake since if you didnt read it, you got about 2 paragraphs and gave up... thus is your Third sentence really correct?


So explain to me then, or push me in the right direction, of how we know for sure that an election weighs 9.1 x 10-31 kg. Without any assumptions being made.



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 12:34 PM
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a reply to: DeadCat

What assumptions are made?



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 12:41 PM
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a reply to: DeadCat
1 Look at the actual history regarding the development of electromagnetism AND the experimental results and postulations.
2 Look at the actual history regarding thermodynamics, AND the experimental results and postulations
3 Look at the actual history of chemistry and how it switched from alchemy and developed the periodic table
4 Look at the history of Atomic physics, and how physics and chemistry came together thanks to observations to fill in the periodic table for a few elements that had never been observed in the lab (which were later then found)

THEN you should start to be able to look at how these determinations can come to the measurements and determinations of electron mass and proton mass.

The burden of proof is not on me... you are the one questioning the postulation, the burden is upon your shoulders for the most part.

Theory and experiment work together, there are not many numbers that are simply pulled out of thin air without self constancy. Best example of this i can think of off hand is planks constant. It looks like a number, a simple ratio conversion of the frequency/wavelength of photons to Energy... How can we possibly accept this? Well you do lots of experiments in which that number is a fundamental part in determining the outcome and you try and catch it out... and ultimately fail.

Planck actually looked at blackbody radiation to determine the value of that constant. So is that invalid? No, it is an important thing to test... so lets then look at independent experiments and if that theory is incorrect then it should give issues.

Photoelectric effect... gives the same constant
Atomic physics... gives the same constant
Compon scattering... gives the same constant.

I know the point you are trying to make which is "Show me the proof! Its all just maths and unless you can show me i can toss it out"

Again, this is not how science works... everything needs checking and needs to be consistent.
edit on 12-11-2016 by ErosA433 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2016 @ 12:48 PM
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originally posted by: ErosA433
a reply to: DeadCat
1 Look at the actual history regarding the development of electromagnetism AND the experimental results and postulations.
2 Look at the actual history regarding thermodynamics, AND the experimental results and postulations
3 Look at the actual history of chemistry and how it switched from alchemy and developed the periodic table
4 Look at the history of Atomic physics, and how physics and chemistry came together thanks to observations to fill in the periodic table for a few elements that had never been observed in the lab (which were later then found)

THEN you should start to be able to look at how these determinations can come to the measurements and determinations of electron mass and proton mass.

The burden of proof is not on me... you are the one questioning the postulation, the burden is upon your shoulders for the most part.

Theory and experiment work together, there are not many numbers that are simply pulled out of thin air without self constancy. Best example of this i can think of off hand is planks constant. It looks like a number, a simple ratio conversion of the frequency/wavelength of photons to Energy... How can we possibly accept this? Well you do lots of experiments in which that number is a fundamental part in determining the outcome and you try and catch it out... and ultimately fail.

Planck actually looked at blackbody radiation to determine the value of that constant. So is that invalid? No, it is an important thing to test... so lets then look at independent experiments and if that theory is incorrect then it should give issues.

Photoelectric effect... gives the same constant
Atomic physics... gives the same constant
Compon scattering... gives the same constant.

I know the point you are trying to make which is "Show me the proof! Its all just maths and unless you can show me i can toss it out"

Again, this is not how science works... everything needs checking and needs to be consistent.


Okay then aside from particle physics, or the atom (which I never expected to find fault in in the first place), do you believe that in some frame of science, there is a better example of what I am trying to find here?

I don't disagree, I was merely looking for an example (Which I honestly thought I had found with the mass of an atom.) which turned out to be insufficient, but should give you a good idea of what kind of "non proof" I am trying to spot.
edit on 12-11-2016 by DeadCat because: (no reason given)



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