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Skirmish: ilovepizza V Winston Smith: Scientific Method

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posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 11:12 AM
The topic for this debate is "The Scientific Method is always Applicable in explaining what we Observe."

ilovepizza will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
Winston Smith will argue against this proposition.

Each debator will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debator posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom count as part of the post.

Editing is Strictly forbidden.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image or link may be included in any post. Opening and Closing statement must not carry either images or links.

As a guide responses should be made within 18 hours. However if the debate is moving forward then I have a relaxed attitude to this.

The winner will receive 1000 ATS points the loser (on condition of completion) will receive 500 ATS points. This on top of generous points allocation for Debate forum posts.

The debate will be judged by an anonymous and independant judging panel after the closing statements. Results and comments will be posted when the decision has been made.

This debate is now open, good luck.

posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 11:55 PM
Is "The Scientific Method is always Applicable in explaining what we Observe."?

Science can always explain what happens in every day life. Everything has an explination and science helps describe the reason behind everything. Webster defines science as ": knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method" Knowledge is not knowledge unless it is first tested through scientific method. So we would not be able to explain what we observe without scientific method. Without testing a hypothesis, it stays a hypothesis and never becomes a fact. If we do not use science to explain what we observer then there is nothing else to use.

posted on Jan, 9 2004 @ 07:39 PM
Thank you Mr. Kano for another opportunity to engage in wonderful debate here on ATS. And to you Mr. Pizza, an honor, fair well and parry high.

A wonderful summary of science and how it "explains what happens in every day life" from Mr. Pizza. Well spoken and well thought, my regards to you sir.

But we have what appears to be a subtle disconnect from the given topic, shall we examine? Our given task is to examine, "The Scientific Method is always Applicable in explaining what we Observe." Mr. Pizza has seen fit to generalize this to "what happens in every day life", which we now see, is not the task of our battle of prose.

I'm sure my kind readers and esteemed judges know the scientific method is composed of four critical steps;
1) Observation and description of a phenomenon
2) Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena
3) Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena
4) Performance of experimental tests of the predictions, by several independent experimenters

So now we must use this summary of our topic-at-hand to theorize on whether or not these critical steps apply to always explaining what we observe. A very different focus than stated within the opening statement of my worthy adversary.

I shall show how the critical analysis of the scientific method is very often to be avoided, nay, renounced like a vile irritating fool, when considering what we observe.

Mr. Pizza? The thread is yours.

posted on Jan, 13 2004 @ 09:43 AM
Sorry it has taken me so long to reply, i have just been busy and my internet has been down.

The first step of the Scientific method is to observe something. If we want to explain what we observe what better way then to use a process that the first step is to observe. Next you form a hypothesis. We have to come up with a guess as to why something happens before we can find out if that guess is true. Then we have to test the hypothesis multiple times until we find out if it is in fact true. This method is the best way to explain what we observe. Everything we do in life is observed by someone or something. So this method can be used to explain what we observe and what we do. Knowledge is obtained by using this method, and without this method much less knowledge would be obtained, if any was obtained.

posted on Jan, 13 2004 @ 02:44 PM
Thank you for not forgetting about me Mr. Pizza... but your delay is certainly forgivable as I have been similarly detained in a previous debate.

On to the topic, and thank you for your considered retort.

(If I were speaking, I would have a very nice dramatic pause at this point.)

I find myself bemused at the response from Mr. Pizza. I believe that all he has done is regurgitate (with more verbiage) my summary of the scientific method. However, he has added a rather interesting statement that I believe requires further examination. Mr. Pizza stated, "Knowledge is obtained by using this method, and without this method much less knowledge would be obtained, if any was obtained."

Upon close examination of his statement, I am unable see how it contributes to the assignment at hand, "The Scientific Method is always Applicable in explaining what we Observe." He certainly has not convinced me by his summary, and I hope he has not swayed our jury.

My statement to our jury and readers is very simple, even more so than Mr. Pizza's who attempted to synthesis an uncomplicated and lucid position in agreement.

The scientific method cannot explain everything we observe.

The assumption in this statement, that is important for all to understand is the all-encompassing statement of "always" as presented by our moderator, Mr. Kano. "Always" is a strong statement, it implies that each occurrence of any observation, experience, event, and happenstance can, in each and every time, be completely and absolutely explained, with unequivocal certainty and predictable reliability, by the so-called "Scientific Method". I find this rather difficult to swallow.

And speaking of the swallow. What of it? Did you just now swallow? I think you did, and if you didn't, wouldn't you like to? How often during the day do you inexplicably evoke the reflex of swallow for no real reason? Here, let me swallow now.

Did you too? How many of you did? Can our heralded "Scientific Method" explain this? Can it predict how many times today you, with dry mouth and no food or saliva, will engage in a reflex to swallow? No.

Oh certainly we can hypothesis on the biological reasons behind our body's need for this reflex, why it happens, and what might be triggers. But, oh... I digress.

(Another dramatic pause, and if I were in front of an audience, I lean forward with an intense look upon my face.)

The point being, there are innumerable observations for which the "Scientific Method" is a hinderance, a bastion of the enlightened academicians from which they gain self-congratulatory comfort as they praise each other on the eloquence of their hypotheses and bath in the glow of proven theories.

My next contribution will provide concrete examples of every day events, for which the "Scientific Method" will be hard pressed to provide an explanation, if at all.

posted on Jan, 14 2004 @ 07:40 PM
The Scientific Method is always Applicable for what we observe. It may not be necessary to use every step all the time, but one or more steps of the Scientific Method is always Applicable in explaning what we observe. The first step of the method is to observe something that is happening. This step is always used when someone wants to explain what they have observed, because without the observation there is nothing to explain.

The next step is to come up with a hypothesis. When people see something they do not understand they immediately start to think about what they just saw. This is like coming up with a hypothesis except it is less complex.

Testing your hypothesis is not used as much in normal day to day activites but it is still used. People may see something they do not understand but not have the time to test a hypothesis. With the proper time people would be a lot more likely to test out their ideas on what they just saw. Afterall most people are inquisitive and want to know the basic questions about things: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Getting an answer to those questions is the way people "test the hypothesis".

The last step is taking down the results. No, people do not walk around with a pad of paper and a pencil to write down everything they learn, people store the information in their brain. We learn something and then it is in our brain, so we do not need to write down results.

It is clear that Scientific Method is applicable in explaning what we observe.

posted on Jan, 15 2004 @ 07:24 AM
Let us deconstruct the argument we've been given, and it seems painfully clear we must revisit it once again. Please reflect on the statement given to us by Mr. Kano -- "The Scientific Method is always Applicable in explaining what we Observe".

The "always" aspect is been neglected in the response of my opponent.

Let us consider what is not "always" describable by the "scientific method".


(Allow poor Winston another dramatic pause. You may swallow if you wish.)

Nothing has caused more confusion, strife, error, and anguish throughout history than our emotions. Songs have been written, poems penned, books published, psychologists analyze, and in the end, this attribute of our every day lives defies description by anything other than itself. The observance of emotion is only describable by additional displays of emotion!

And we need not generalize emotion to uncover a specific example germane to our task. The recognition of beauty in another of our species is an aspect of our emotions that is so broad with wide variance, that no method of science can ever hope to describe it, much less quantify the range of variety.

Take, for example, this fine photo from the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art:

The photographer, Elliot Elisofon, has capture an African woman at the peak of her elegance and beauty.

What a fine picture of an obviously wonderful woman. However, the vast majority of cultures on this planet will not see the grace and beauty of this woman in that picture. And, the men of this woman's culture would find extreme distaste in the photos of women our western culture feels are outstanding.

Now we can certainly, through science, attribute this effect to the variance of cultural influence on beauty. But it is impossible to measure, quantify, and predict this effect with the scientific method. We see this in our own society today with men and women who inexplicably prefer rotund members of the opposite sex, despite all the contrary clues and mores our society has imposed.

And here we have it my fine readers and judges, one very simple, very easy to follow explanation of how the scientific method is unable to explain this every-day observance, which is a deep part of who we are, and who we have been for centuries.

Despite the attempt at simplicity from my opponent, he has not offered any argument other than to simply repeat, over and over again, the process of the scientific method, in the hopes that by simply overstating it, it will become absolute. It will not, and cannot.

posted on Jan, 17 2004 @ 11:51 PM
Can emotions really be seen? An emotion is something you feel inside and express. When someone is happy we can see a facial expression that shows the person is happy, but we can not actually see the feeling happy. The debate question says, "explaining what we Observe" which makes emotions non applicable to the question at hand.

The Scientific Method can not always be applicable because nothing can be proven to always happen. In order to prove something is always applicable you would have to test it an infinite ammount of times, which is impossible. For example the Scientific Method can be used to mostly prove that if something is dropped off a cliff it will fall, but nothing can prove that it will always fall. Each time an object was dropped off a cliff would have to be tested but future instances of this happening can not be tested.

I have shown to the best of my ability that the Scientific Method can be applicable 99.9% of the time, but like I said nothing can be proven to be always true.

posted on Jan, 18 2004 @ 11:55 PM
I see that my opponent has conceded this debate by successfully arguing my stance for me. He said, "I have shown to the best of my ability that the Scientific Method can be applicable 99.9% of the time" which supports the position that "The Scientific Method is not always Applicable in explaining what we Observe." Obviously 0.01% of the time is not "always".

I believe there is little more I can say to further support my position.

Would you like a closing argument, or should we simply stop?

posted on Jan, 19 2004 @ 02:56 AM
Here is my closing statement

I did not say it is not applicable 100% of the time. I just said it is impossible to prove that it is. I said you can only prove that it is applicable 99% of the time, although the Scientific Method is applicable 100% of the time. I think you should stop taking words out of context.

Winston Smith, it was fun debating this topic with you. I hope we can debate again!!! Good luck

posted on Jan, 20 2004 @ 07:55 AM
In reviewing the debate, I can't help but wonder why there is a need for a closing statement.

(dramatic pause for effect)

My opponent has offered no evidence for his assertions, other than to simply repeat the process of the scientific method in the hope that may be enough.

I've helped you understand how one easily observable and documented occurrence cannot be defined and explained by the scientific method, our differing responses to beauty within the opposite sex.

Mr. Pizza has even admitted that the scientific method cannot always explain what we observe, a stance contrary to his given task.

So, my judges, I shall leave it at that. Any further words on my part would simply be a waste of your time.

posted on Jan, 20 2004 @ 11:55 AM
Well done to both of you. I'll unleash the Judges.

posted on Jan, 22 2004 @ 01:20 PM
Thankyou to both ilovepizza and Winston Smith for competing in this debate.

The winner, by a 7-0 decision, was Winston Smith. Judges comments below:

In my opinion, Winston wins because he debated the subject at hand and made a better argument. ILP made his argument, but kept it at that, he should have better addressed the points made by Winston and expanded his own a little further.

I encourage ILP to continue debating, to keep trying and learning. Take what you gained from this and apply it to the next time.

Winston is a delightful orator and a pleasure to read, I look forward to future debates involving him.

Well done to both of you. Apologies for the delay in posting this result, I meant to last night but somehow managed to stuff it up.

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