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Science, The Scientific Method & Their Application to September 11th, 2001

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posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 06:57 PM
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Contents

Introduction

i. Science in general principle

What is 'The Scientific Method'?

i. Basic tenets of the scientific method
ii. The proper procedure of experimentation

What is 'Deductive Reasoning'?

i. Deduction vs Induction
ii. Occam's Razor
iii. Establishing reasonable certainty
iv. Non-sequitor fallacies

Applying Science & Reason to the Events of September the 11th, 2001

i. The Twin Towers: Looking at the Mainstream Hypothesis
ia. The Twin Towers: Looking at Common Alternative Hypothesis's
ii. The Pentagon: Looking at the Mainstream Hypothesis
iia. The Pentagon: Looking at Common Alternative Hypothesis's
iii. WTC 7: Looking at the Mainstream Hypothesis
iiia. WTC 7: Looking at Common Alternative Hypothesis's
iv. Shanksville: Looking at the Mainstream Hypothesis
iva. Shanksville: Looking at Common Alternative Hypothesis's

Drawing Reasonable Conclusions About September the 11th, 2001



INTRODUCTION

Salutations,

This is a very brief dissertation intended simply to inform people of what science is, how science works and why, in a general sense, most people with engineering and/or physics credentials assert that the mainstream accounts of the events of September the 11th, 2001 (that hijacked aircraft were crashed into WTC towers 1 & 2, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania) are factual. I am not myself an accredited academic and do not claim to speak for the scientific community - but the vast majority (in fact, all) of the academics I've discussed this topic with were unambiguously in agreement:

There was nothing terribly unusual (though there were many things that came as a shock) about the physical aspects the building collapses or aircraft dynamics during the attacks in question.


I. Science in General Principle

Science is simply knowledge. It encompasses every process we use to discover how the universe around us works. Every one of us uses science (in principle) on a daily basis, likely hundreds of times, to direct our actions and make helpful judgements - it's an intuitive part of being an intelligent animal.

It's important that this is understood up front: science is not about playing with beakers in a laboratory or getting a doctorate, as it is often portrayed. Laboratory work and academia are important aspects of modern science and building scientific expertise, but science does not (and should not) limit itself to the hands of some intellectual elite.


WHAT IS 'THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD'?

The Scientific Method is the time and experience-hardened process of experimentation that scientists have used throughout history to explore our world, our solar system, our galaxy and our universe and all of their underlying mechanics to the best of their ability. The scientific method is responsible for spawning every piece of technology our civilization takes advantage of, establishing the physical laws and principles of the universe and uncovering everything from the origins of life to the origins of the universe itself.

It's a refined way of exploring the general principle that is science.

If you prefer a multimedia explanation to a textual explanation of the scientific method, I recommend this excellent overview provided by YouTube's PotHoler54 as part of his 'Made Easy' series:





posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 07:26 PM
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I. Basic Tenets of the Scientific Method

The scientific method employs a number of well-established golden rules to ensure fair testing, accurate results and, most importantly, the production of practical applications:



- All conclusions must be based on evidence. Conclusions that are presupposed, and then have evidence made to fit them, are neither scientific or valid.

- Objective measurements are expected to be made; guesswork establishes nothing

- All testing must be blind

- Sample numbers must be sufficiently large

- Controls and variables must be established and made obvious

- Sources of information must be cited, and said information must be verifiable, reliable and backed-up by it's own evidence.

- Fact and opinion are not the same thing, and one should be made clearly separate from the other.


II. The Proper Procedure of Experimentation

Keeping the above rules in mind, the scientific method follows a rigorous and linear procedure in order to establish a claim as a valid scientific theory:



1. A problem is identified (often one that a researcher has an interest in: for example, 'Where did humans come from?')

2. A hypothesis is proposed that the researcher thinks may resolve the problem (for example, 'I think humans were created by a magical deity,')

3. A prediction is made to explain how the researcher's hypothesis works (for example, 'I predict that the magical deity creates life on a whim, out of nothing, so we will see that animals have no relation to each other both at a DNA level and in the fossil record')

4. Testing of the prediction is then rigorously done, often taking-up many years worth of work. If the data and experimentation proves the prediction wrong, the researcher will need to start all over again with another hypothesis (for example, 'the fossil record and DNA evidence show that animal species all descend from common lineages, so my hypothesis needs to be changed because the evidence does not show it is correct'), but this is not a negative thing; it simply means he is opening-up new channels of insight (for example, 'my hypothesis is now that humans descended from an animal, like all other species') that can now be explored for their own veracity.

5. A prediction that passes the researcher's tests is then submitted to publication and subjected to peer review. Experts throughly examine it for any mistakes.

6. If peer review is successful, the results of the tests are published in a scientific journal.

7. Other experts, reading the publication, will then try to replicate the researcher's results / observations. If they cannot be replicated, the claim will be discarded as erroneous.

8. The claim must also be shown to be falsifiable (that is, the claim can possibly be proven false if certain conditions are proven factual in another test with stronger results)

9. After all of the prior criterion are met, the researcher's work is considered a scientific theory (the highest level of establishment possible for a scientific claim).


WHAT IS 'DEDUCTIVE REASONING'?

Deductive reasoning is the process of using argumentative statements known as premises (which are known as being true) to reach a final argument known as a conclusion - which must be true if the premises preceeding it are true.

This philosophical approach (as should be obvious enough) is immediately analogous to the scientific method in principle, and has largely replaced it's antecedent competitor (inductive reasoning) in modern science.


I. Deduction vs Induction

Inductive reasoning is the process of forming generalized principles based on a number of individual instances observed of that principle. Unlike deduction, which uses established premises to reach a conclusion, an inductive approach assumes that a given observation will always be true and uses patterns of these assumptions to formulate it's laws.



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 07:38 PM
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yes, but to the truthers everyone is lying except other truthers, which is the basis of their conspiracy.


and they claim that we are flat earthers.



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 08:25 PM
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II. Occam's Razor

Occam's Razor is a simple philosophical argument used in modern science that states that, 'entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity'; in otherwords, the explanation that contains fewer unknown assumptions for any given argument is the more rigorous.

This rule holds the basic foundations of science together. If arguments were considered to have equal validity regardless of how many assumptions and unknowable factors they contained, they would be no way to establish reasonable certainty about anything.


III. Establishing Reasonable Certainty

If science is about developing knowledge about our surroundings, reasonable certainty is paramount to the endeavor. How do we establish such a key concept? Through consistency.

Let's same, for example, you wish to catch a bus downtown from a house you just moved into in a city you aren't familiar with. How woud you know what stop to go to? Looking in a transit brochure, you might find it lists stop #21 - right across the street - as being on the downtown route. Going over to the stop, you find that the stop has 'Downtown' printed on it's sign. Call the transit call centre, you are told that stop #21 will get you downtown.

Taken individually, these statements amount merely to observations that may be unreliable for any number of reasons (misprints, incompetence, etc). As a deductive whole, however, their consistency turns them into very compelling evidence that, yes, stop #21 will get you downtown.


IV. Non-Sequitor Fallacies

A non-sequitor ('Does Not Follow') fallacy is what lies at the heart of the problem of induction. Non-sequitors occur when an argument's conclusion does not follow from it's premises, often because a generalized assumption is made about the qualities of a specific observation.

Going back to our previous example, let's say you took your deduced conclusion a step further and stated that because stop #21 got you downtown in this case, every #21 bus stop must lead downtown. This would be non-sequitor; not every city has planned it's transit routes the same way.


Applying Science & Reason to the Events of September the 11th, 2001

I. The Twin Towers: Looking at the Mainstream Hypothesis

Hypothesis: Hijacked aircraft crashed into the upper floors of the World Trade Center Towers. As a result of the impact damage and ensuing fires, the buildings collapsed.

There are two parts to this hypothesis:

A) That hijacked aircraft crashed into the buildings

B) That the damage and fires caused the buildings to collapse


'A' is certain beyond reasonable doubt. Photographic evidence, video evidence, physical evidence in the form of human remains, aircraft components, flight recorder data and ATC data all paint a very solid, consistent picture for it.

What about 'B'? Here again, we're left to look for consistencies: the corroboration of expert testimony, the photographic and video evidence, the seismic data, the building debris...

Every single credible observation with very few exceptions points to a single conclusion, and one perfectly in line with the suggestion of the hypothesis. The hypothesis predicts a collapse initiated at the building's weakest point, and this is what we see. The hypothesis predicts that the collapse will be chaotic and progressive, and this is what we see.


IA. The Twin Towers: Looking at the Common Alternative Hypothesis's

Hypothesis: The building was brought down via controlled demolition.

A controlled demolition involves the use of shaped charges to cut-away a building's support structures, causing it to fall in on itself. Such a hypothesis should predict obvious signs of explosives use (large flashes, most prominently), obvious remnants of the explosives themselves (wiring, bomb components, triggering mechanisms, adhesives, etc) and a very uniform destruction of the building.

All are untrue



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 08:36 PM
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I usually don't butt into the 9/11 forum, but this thread is...

Are you at least going to discuss paradigmatic thought and how that underlies differing scientific methods? You talk about science and define its method under the mainstream paradigm, then make very short application to the problem and conclude that the official story must be correct. Give me a break. You are obviously trying to give yourself credibility only to completely disregard the actual methods so that you can support the official version of the story.

I sure hope you are going to supply further 'evidence' for your quick 'conclusions', rather than just state they are correct... And don't forget to mention the nature of evidence being dependent on the mode of paradigm within the scientific method, i.e. how the same piece of evidence can be used to support various theories dependent on the world view of the person assembly the theory.

I am hoping I came into this thread too early because if this is all you are going to post, it smells of paid shill material.



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 08:48 PM
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and next we should create a post about the basic fallacies. such as the red haring. like claiming that this person has a devious ulterior motive.

And I would assume that the most widely used paradigm of science would be the best applied. If you have a better one please spell it out for a person that would be ignorant to the ideas and theory (like me)



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 09:13 PM
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Hypothesis: A Microwave Beam Destroyed the Towers

Again, we look to what such a hypothesis would predict: We should see obvious signs of extreme external heating on the building prior to collapse. We should see extraordinary interference and noise with communications equipment near such a beam. We should see obvious signs of disturbed clouds and smoke. Perhaps most importantly, we should have even the remotest evidence of such weaponry existing in the first place.

All of this is also untrue.

Hypothesis: A Mini-Nuke Destroyed each Tower

Signs of radioactivity? Signs of extreme heat? The presence of such a weapon's flash? The telltale sign of a mushroom cloud? Signs of a shockwave? Seismic readings?

Again, every single prediction fails the test of the observed evidence.


II. The Pentagon: Looking at the Mainstream Hypothesis

Hypothesis: A hijacked airliner impacted one face of the building, causing extensive localized damage and fire and a partial collapse.

We would predict to find aircraft debris. Passenger remains. Kerosene residue. Collateral damage to nearby obstacles. Impact damage on the building facade that matches the profile of an airliner.

Again, every prediction matches the evidence perfectly.


IIA. The Pentagon: Looking at Common Alternative Hypothesis's

Hypothesis: The aircraft flew over the Pentagon, and planted explosives / agents working on the ground caused the damage

We would predict to find remnants of the explosives. We would expect overwhelming testimony that the aircraft missed the building. We would predict that the DNA of remains at the scene at the DNA of passengers would never match. We would expect personal effects to be missing, and very little aircraft debris (no more than could be reasonably concealed) to be present at the scene.

None of the above match the observations.

Hypothesis: The aircraft was nowhere near the Pentagon; a missile hit the building.

We would predict to find debris of the missile. We would predict to find residue from the explosives in the warhead. We would predict to find severe anomalies in the ATC radar reports. We would predict collateral damage to be minimal, with the damage concentrated primarily on the building facade and the space immediately after it.

Again, none of the predictions match our observations.


III. WTC 7: Looking at the Mainstream Hypothesis

Hypothesis: Thermal expansion as a result of uncontrolled fires set by the debris of the tower collapse slowlyweakened the structure to the point of collapse.

We should see obvious signs of out of control fire (not all of the fires are obvious, but it clear from video and photographic evidence in many instances that the building was ablaze through and through - the sheer volume of smoke is the indicator. Note that nearly every window on the structure is completely obscured by smoke on the inside in many videos). We should have past examples of buildings becoming unstable after burning for prolonged periods (and, of course, we do. Many who invoke the 'inside job' rhetoric actually point-out examples of such structures, claiming 'Well, THIS ONE didn't collapse...', which is often stretching the truth. Many such buildings have to be demolished due to their instability afterward). We should see a progressive, chaotic collapse. We should have expert testimony corroborating the hypothesis (and in this case, we have it both before and after the building has fallen).


IIIA. WTC 7: Looking at Common Alternative Hypothesis's

Hypothesis: The Building Was Destroyed Via Controlled Demolition

We would predict seeing the flashes of explosives. We would predict finding the remnants of explosives. We would predict a uniform, symmetrical collapse, with the roof of the building resting on top of the debris pile.

Again, no prediction is met by the evidence.



[edit on 16-9-2008 by Kevin R Brown]



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 09:35 PM
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IV. Shanksville: Looking at the Mainstream Hypothesis

Hypothesis: A jetliner crashed into a field in Shanksville, leaving a crater in the ground

We would predict to find aircraft debris. Remains. Personal effects. Kerosene residue. Etc.

I hope you'll note the trend by now of how these predictions match our observations.


IVA. Shanksville: Looking at Common Alternative Hypothesis's

Hypothesis: The jetliner allegedly crashed in Shanksville actually landed at a nearby airport; the crater was dug-up as a cover.

We would predict to find signs of the digging operation. Anomalies in the alleged airport's daily operations and ATC reports. A lack of collateral damage to the surrounding landscape. Etc.

I think you get the idea by now (Or you don't, but that's alright too. As I've said before when dealing with YECs, science works whether you happen to believe in it or not).


DRAWING REASONABLE CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE EVENTS OF SEPTEMBER THE 11th, 2001

The predictions of the mainstream hypothesis match the evidence, all of which is consistent with the story that what damaged was caused and life was lost that day was the result of airliner crashes.

There are still a few really important points to make at this juncture, for the sake of completeness:

You'll note that the 'Controlled Demolition' hypothesis's, in particular, are non-sequitor. Because a controlled demolition may have certain characteristics does not mean that all building collapses with such characteristics are controlled demolitions.

Every alternative hypothesis is also not only more complex than the mainstream hypothesis, but many elements of them are unfalsifiable. This leads to many instances of special pleading fallacies, where one party argues that their theory is the most likely simply on the merit of having put it together themselves, and arguments from ignorance, where one party argues that because there are unknown variables, their theory must be correct.

Any good theory can be thoroughly tested to the point of confirmation or dismissal. If it can't be, it's not a good theory.



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by Ionized
 



Are you at least going to discuss paradigmatic thought and how that underlies differing scientific methods?


*Sigh*

No, I am not. Why? Because this is ethereal nonsense.


You talk about science and define its method under the mainstream paradigm, then make very short application to the problem and conclude that the official story must be correct. Give me a break.


Science does not exist in multiple 'paradigms'.

My application here is very brief because my intent was far more to lay out how science works rather than simply recycle the same evidence that's already been so well documented over again. If you've got the conspiracy meme, you've got the conspiracy meme; I can't help you there.

This is information for the benefit of those who haven't caught it yet.



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 09:45 PM
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reply to post by irongunner
 



and next we should create a post about the basic fallacies. such as the red haring. like claiming that this person has a devious ulterior motive.


Excellent idea. I might elaborate on them later.



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 10:58 PM
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First of all, I would like to congratulate you on a well organized thread. Your organization lends credibility, which is likely intended.


Originally posted by Kevin R Brown
This is a very brief dissertation intended simply to inform people of what science is, how science works...

I am not myself an accredited academic and do not claim to speak for the scientific community...


I am glad you state up front that you are not speaking for the scientific community. A true scientist, one who has also studied the history of the subject and its methodology, would never state the following:


Originally posted by Kevin R Brown
Science does not exist in multiple 'paradigms'.


However, I can't harp on you too bad, because truth be told, a majority of mainstream accredited 'scientists' have ALSO not studied the history of the scientific method. Most are so spoon-fed and trained in the technician mindset nowadays, that they don't even understand what a paradigm is as applied to the scientific method.

I can recount when I was studying in the physics curriculum at university, and barely a word was spoken about the underlying methodology behind science. Oh, you can bet that enough was spoken to reinforce the mainstream viewpoints, such things as studying a little about the lives of some of the more well known periodic figures. However the actual thought processes, the very fundamental influences, the metaphysics, was left untouched beyond the rudimentary understanding needed to complete the coursework while reinforcing the mainstream viewpoints. One had to have enough interest on their own to supplement the curriculum with further research. There are various authors that should be read in such an undertaking, but we might as well start with the one who first used the word paradigm in relation to scientific process. I would start with reading the book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. That should give enough of an introduction to the subject to at least establish the fact that indeed, science does work within a paradigmatic frame set.

I applaud your attempt to illustrate to the uninformed the basic structure of the mainstream scientific paradigm. However I find your further attempt to apply the method towards analysis of mainstream and alternate 9/11 theories in such a summary fashion, quite improper.

You also state:

Originally posted by Kevin R Brown
most people with engineering and/or physics credentials assert that the mainstream accounts of the events of September the 11th, 2001 are factual...

the vast majority (in fact, all) of the academics I've discussed this topic with were unambiguously in agreement:

There was nothing terribly unusual (though there were many things that came as a shock) about the physical aspects the building collapses or aircraft dynamics during the attacks in question.


Having also interacted with engineers and physicists and having asked their opinions on all of the facts, I can state the opposite:
The majority that I have talked to believe that it was a controlled demolition.

I also find it interesting that you state a contradiction: that all the academics you talked with found there was nothing terribly unusual about it, yet at the same time some found it quite shocking. In my opinion, the two are somewhat mutually exclusive; I don't know many people who are shocked by something they find quite usual. If I am shocked by something it would indicate that something about it was unusual.


Originally posted by Kevin R Brown
Science is simply knowledge.


On this point I disagree. I would recommend books by David Bohm (one can start with Wholeness and the Implicate Order), as he was able to elucidate quite well that science is a process of discovery based on acquiring insights. Those insights are not to be taken as the universe 'as it is', but rather a useful approach to understanding our place. In other words, science does not bring 'knowledge', as that implies that the universe is fixed in form. Science does bring a process for gaining insight which is used to guide us to further insights, but these insights are not meant to be concrete, but rather a continual evolution of understanding.


Originally posted by Kevin R Brown
It encompasses every process we use to discover how the universe around us works. Every one of us uses science (in principle) on a daily basis, likely hundreds of times, to direct our actions and make helpful judgements - it's an intuitive part of being an intelligent animal.

It's important that this is understood up front: science is not about playing with beakers in a laboratory or getting a doctorate, as it is often portrayed. Laboratory work and academia are important aspects of modern science and building scientific expertise, but science does not (and should not) limit itself to the hands of some intellectual elite.


On the above text in bold point I wholeheartedly agree! I also generally agree with the rest of the above portion.


Originally posted by Kevin R Brown
If you've got the conspiracy meme, you've got the conspiracy meme; I can't help you there.

This is information for the benefit of those who haven't caught it yet.


My good sir, the official story itself is also a conspiracy theory.

I'm going to leave it at that. I commend your attempt to elucidate the scientific method, but I would be complicate with your agenda if I left untouched the fact that some parts of your analysis are lacking. I would not want the general reader to be led completely astray and come from this thread believing that your analysis is 100% without fault. I will leave it to others to further expound on the details of your lacking statements.

[edit on 16-9-2008 by Ionized]



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 11:14 PM
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You know, no one really needed to wait for any investigation, when we all saw the second tower get hit. It was obvious and self-evident. Most of us also knew when we saw OJ SIMPSON years ago, with a cut on his finger that it seemed a little too coincidental. Didn't really have to wait for the Scientific Method for most of us to reach conclusions.

So, the fact that the Bush Family knows the Bin Laden family seems a little to unbelievable to me, one family has son's that Rule the most powerful nation on earth and in the other corner in a cave the other family has a son that goes on to rule the most powerful terrorist organization on earth!

The two son's pitted against eachother for world domination!! One in a cave with a laptop the other in a school with a book about goats~!


Not only that but the fact that Pakistani Intelligence was well aware before Sept that in October the United States was going to invade Afghanistan, and the fact that Iraq was already spoken of by Mccain in October of 2001 as the "Second Phase". It is pretty well self-evident to this person, that this whole event was used for a foreign policy that is out of control.

Some things are just clearly too coincidental.






[edit on 16-9-2008 by talisman]



posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 11:40 PM
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Originally posted by Kevin R Brown
II. Occam's Razor

Occam's Razor is a simple philosophical argument used in modern science that states that, 'entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity'; in otherwords, the explanation that contains fewer unknown assumptions for any given argument is the more rigorous.


This is irrelevant to 9/11 because it is only preferred when theories are equally able to predict phenomena. Having to use this razor implies that there is just as much actual evidence for one theory as there is another, which we would both agree is untrue no matter what particular opinion we hold. And regardless of our personal opinions, the US government was charged to find the reason those buildings fell and neither of the contradictory theories they have produced have supporting empirical data to accompany them.


Btw, you'll still find a lot of disagreement here with your opinion that the mainstream account could be accurate, despite the fact that many of us have been through 5th grade science class.

[edit on 16-9-2008 by bsbray11]



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 12:24 AM
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reply to post by Ionized
 




However, I can't harp on you too bad, because truth be told, a majority of mainstream accredited 'scientists' have ALSO not studied the history of the scientific method. Most are so spoon-fed and trained in the technician mindset nowadays, that they don't even understand what a paradigm is as applied to the scientific method.


And this is, of course, rubbish. The history of the refinement of the scientific method is irrelevant; as a principle, science has always been about the deduction of the real world based on observation and a willingness to admit ignorance of phenomena not yet fully understood.

In times of antiquity, when people felt that the whole universe could be deduced from deep philosophical thought, this was not science. In the bronze age, when people turned to making-up inventive allegories to explain things around them, this was also not science.

Arguing that science has had multiple paradigms over the course of human history is like arguing that mathematics has had multiple paradigms: it's simply not true.

We've had less understanding and we've had greater understanding - the gradual piling-on of contemporary thought does not somehow 'reinvent' science (which was never 'invented' to begin with).



Having also interacted with engineers and physicists and having asked their opinions on all of the facts, I can state the opposite:
The majority that I have talked to believe that it was a controlled demolition.


Really? How fascinating. You wouldn't at all mind directing me to the articles they've published on such thoughts in scientific journals, then?



On this point I disagree. I would recommend books by David Bohm (one can start with Wholeness and the Implicate Order), as he was able to elucidate quite well that science is a process of discovery based on acquiring insights. Those insights are not to be taken as the universe 'as it is', but rather a useful approach to understanding our place. In other words, science does not bring 'knowledge', as that implies that the universe is fixed in form. Science does bring a process for gaining insight which is used to guide us to further insights, but these insights are not meant to be concrete, but rather a continual evolution of understanding.


I was actually making a direct translation from the latin term, scientia, which literally means 'knowledge' or 'to know'. Curious that you would claim to have expertise on the history of science and yet apparently miss this simple fact?

Moreover, this is a semantics quibble. I largely agree with the assertion that science is an ongoing process that is constantly fine-tuning our understanding of how things work, but claiming that 'insight' and 'knowledge' (two synonomous terms) are mutually exclusive is ridiculous.


My good sir, the official story itself is also a conspiracy theory.


If the 'official story' was also a conspiracy theory in it's own right, you wouldn't be calling it the 'official story'.

That's a big part of the conspiracy meme.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 12:29 AM
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This is irrelevant to 9/11 because it is only preferred when theories are equally able to predict phenomena. Having to use this razor implies that there is just as much actual evidence for one theory as there is another, which we would both agree is untrue.


You are, of course, wrong.

Take the following scenario:

There is an electrical storm outside. During the electrical storm, there is a bright flash of light, and immediately following it you notice a nearby tree is ablaze and several of it's limbs have been stripped-off.

Your delusional roommate claims that a flying saucer must've zapped the tree while it was hiding in the storm clouds; you, of course, argue that - more likely - the tree was hit by lightning.

Is evidence for the flying saucer theory and the lightning bolt theory 'equal'? Of course not. But Occam's Razor still applies to the situation, given that mutually exclusive positive claims have been made about what happened to the tree (as does falsification, which completely destroys the flying saucer theory, but we'll leave that out of it for the moment). One explanation requires far more assumptions and unknowables, and is therefore far weaker than it's simpler adversary.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 12:32 AM
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Btw, you'll still find a lot of disagreement here with your opinion that the mainstream account could be accurate, despite the fact that many of us have been through 5th grade science class.


I'm not terribly concerned. This issue is hardy worth yawning at; if it were, there would be peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals that I could read instead of internet forum nonsense.

I'm not here to change the mind of conspiracy theorists - they've already set their minds in stone.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 12:41 AM
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Originally posted by Kevin R Brown
You are, of course, wrong.


Of course.


Take the following scenario:


I know what Occam's Razor is, thank you. Now go and re-read what I posted.


Occam's razor (sometimes spelled Ockham's razor) is a principle attributed to the 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar, William of Ockham. The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory. The principle is often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae ("law of parsimony" or "law of succinctness"): "entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem", roughly translated as "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity".

This is often paraphrased as "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best." In other words, when multiple competing theories are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities. It is in this sense that Occam's razor is usually understood.


link

Or in other words, what I just said:


Originally posted by bsbray11
This is irrelevant to 9/11 because it is only preferred when theories are equally able to predict phenomena.


The two "theories" (more like vague sets of beliefs -- there is no single "MIHOP" theory just as NIST and FEMA contradict each other in places) are not equal in all other respects than simplicity.


So are you going to be one of those "debunkers" that doesn't even read what he's responding to?

[edit on 17-9-2008 by bsbray11]



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 01:38 AM
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...You cite a Wikipedia article (and one that doesn't even contain sources, at that!) to back yourself up?

Humorous.

(To avoid embarassing yourself in the future, you might care to take your own advice as far as reading is concerned. Take a look at the top of the section of the article you quoted from:

'This article needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2007)' )


...Since you know Occam's Razor so well, though, surely you wouldn't mind answering just a couple of simple questions about it?

- What fields of study are contemporary scientists using to formulate a more 'general' rule for Occam's Razor to operate on, given the equal-handed limitations of it's original coining?

- What industry is the are the above formulations of Occam's Razor yielding huge practical applications in?

- Detail the differences between contemporary understanding of 'Objective Razor' and 'Subjective Razor' (in layman's terms)


Assuming we do that, and can therefore establish that you actually know what you're talking about, we can continue this discussion.



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 02:15 AM
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Jesus, unwad your panties, here is another source that says the exact same thing:


Of two alternative explanations for the same phenomena, the more complicated is more likely to have something wrong with it, and therefore, other things being equal, the more simple is the more likely to be correct.


cgiss.boisestate.edu...

Seriously, what do you think the part in bold means, exactly? Should I try to summarize it again while I'm at it or has the repetition given it enough time to sink in now? I know it's really damned hard to pay attention when you're so eager to tell me how wrong I am, that you don't even have time to read my posts. The two "theories" under consideration are not equal unless they have equal supporting evidence. The principle is therefore not applicable here. Empiricism overrules simplicity.

If you knew what you were talking about, you wouldn't have even needed me to post the Wikipedia page to understand my point (despite all the noise you make, what it says is consistent with every other source I can find
). I don't like adolescent pissing contests. You have an ego, that's great. But are you going to show that the "official story" and its alternative (whatever that may be) have equal supporting evidence, like you keep implying? Or are you just going to strain yourself trying to keep talking down to me as if you're so much smarter than I am?

[edit on 17-9-2008 by bsbray11]



posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 04:50 AM
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Or are you just going to strain yourself trying to keep talking down to me as if you're so much smarter than I am?


Me:

'I am not myself an accredited academic and do not claim to speak for the scientific community'

You:

'Btw, you'll still find a lot of disagreement here with your opinion that the mainstream account could be accurate, despite the fact that many of us have been through 5th grade science class.'


Me:

'I'm not terribly concerned. This issue is hardy worth yawning at'

You:

'I know what Occam's Razor is, thank you. Now go and re-read what I posted.'


If you're offended that I told you you were incorrect, this is not my problem. I was not beng condescending - I was correcting your error. When you became confrontational and accused me of disregarding your statement (ignoring the example I posited in response to your statement, I assume because doing so reinforced your denial?), I asked you to demonstrate your alleged knowledge.

And, of course, you can't, can you?

*Sigh*

I know it's hard to admit when you've made a mistake, but it's still disheartening to see how infrequently it's done. It's okay to say, "Oops. I shouldn't have said that," you know.

In any case, I have no interest in engaging in a back-and-forth argument over a nit-picky issue that, at the end of the day, aims to derail a thread into a tangent about the trappings of Occam's Razor in contemporary science. So, sure, let's leave Occam's Razor out of it - I'll go ahead and nix it from this discussion pertaining to 9/11.

So, what's your hypothesis regarding (for starters) the World Trade Center disaster? Outline your theory to me using the empirical methodology you just finished claiming to champion: Explain what your hypothesis is, and how you formulated it. Explain what predictions your hypothesis makes. Explain how your predictions can be tested, and how they can be falsified.




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