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"You've been Debunked.."

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posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 02:11 PM
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Originally posted by andre18
Empirical evidence is scientifically based research from fields such as psychology, sociology, economics and especially from research in educational settings.

If you've got evidence that doesn't fit this sort of standard it's simply not worth looking at. Alien abduction eyewitness testimony does not.

[edit on 18-3-2009 by andre18]


I do not strongly dispute what you are saying, but you are making an assumption that the scientific field is some continious and monolithic body, when in realtiy the scientific field consists of multiple scientists who present varying data and varying models. One scientists research will contradict anothers research. Thus, while I am not saying one should reject empirical data altogether, one does need to be aware that nothing within scientific research is ever conclusive or unanimous.

I do get the impression that most people who swear by science, really do not understand science and its limitations, especially by the comments made by some in this thread. Indeed, many here are treating science as some kind of religion. That is really sad, especially for genuine scientists who have to answer for misrepresentations by scientific believers.

[edit on 18-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]




posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 03:58 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
Intelligent design is no more or less scientific than evolution. They both try to account for the empirical data, but using completely different models to explain it. Intelligent design adopts scientific theories of intelligent-pattern recognition, which tries to show that the design of the human body is irreducibly complex, such as the stomach and cannot be accounted for by evolution.


Perhaps I have misunderstood your original post. I really don't want to get into an argument over whether ID or evolution is right, or even on their relative merits as scientific theories. My only point was that they both claim to be scientific theories, not belief systems, and therefore can be compared and the same evidence used to support or debunk both of them.

My personal feeling is that the evidence for evolution is a lot stronger than that for ID, but that's irrelevant to the philosophy of science issue that I thought you were addressing.


To be honest our way of doing science is ironically unscientific in my opinion because of the fallacy of psychologism.


I agree with you here, but maybe not on the same basis that you're taking.


A theory at the end of the day is just a hypothetical construct and consists of a set of arbitary assumptions. Science can only make observations, and draw inferences, but as soon as it starts making assumptions that is when it stops being scientific.


No, a theory is a hypothetical contruct consisting of a set of hypotheses that are mutually consistent and that account for a large collection of data or observations. Not arbitrary, not assumptions. Inferences, as you say, and also predictions. But a scientific theory by definition must always remain open to testing.



But as soon as Intelligent Design claims to be a scientific theory so that it can be introduced into the classroom in public schools, it becomes a legitimate target of "debunking" by science.


You are probably aware that what is scientific is a debatable matter itself. Is Psychology science? Is Sociology Science? Is Theoretical physics science?


I should have been more specific: ID claims to be a scientific theory so that it can be introduced into the biology curriculum in public schools.


I am by no means anti-scientific, I am very much pro-science and consider myself a scientist, but that does not mean I ignore the limitations of science and the problems of how science is done. Basically, for all its strengths, science is not really a legitimate method of debunking anything.


So are you saying there is no legitimate method of debunking anything ever and science cannot even debunk scientific claims? I don't get this claim at all.

Maybe it's just the word, in which case I'm happy enough to use "disprove" or even the less absolute "show to be inconsistent with observation". But what is science if not the process of posing a hypothesis and then trying to disprove (i.e. debunk) it?

ID claims to be a theory in biology (and chemistry and physics, but it usually ends up in biology). All I'm saying is that as a scientific theory it is open to the same questioning as every other scientific theory (yes, including evolution) -- which means having a bunch of scientists try to find evidence that it's not consistent with (ie, debunk it).

[edit on 3/18/2009 by americandingbat]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 04:11 PM
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Originally posted by InfaRedMan

Originally posted by ExPostFacto
Sometimes I wish there were a feature on boards that would allow you to select a profile setting that you can only change once every so often. You may be able to set your profile as Philosopher, Debunker, Truth Seeker, etc. The person posting a new thread could then indicate which people should be allowed to view and comment on your thread so that conversations are kept on topic and without distraction.


That wouldn't work. The idea is to exchange ideas and theories from both sides of the fence in order to find the truth... which is often somewhere in between. You say you wish to ponder the 'truth' but in an undemocratic way?

ATS isn't about back slapping and blowing wind up someones proverbial. When claims are made, they need to be substantiated otherwise it can simply be looked upon as trolling by a lot of members.

If a person wants a particular subject taken seriously, then the only way to get that is to provide substantial proof.

I can't see labels working on this site such as believer, bebunker and so on. It's just a way to marginalize someone.



IRM

[edit on 18/3/09 by InfaRedMan]


You have a point. This thread though addresses such topics as this. Neither of us are right. Neither of us are wrong. Both are a matter of opinion. Although, I do wish sometimes I could at least exclude some posters from high jacking a thread and claiming their opinion is final, that everyone else needs to change. And yes I wish to ponder the truth of a subject including opposing views free from distraction of the question. In other words, you ask a question to the forum, and the forum responds with their opinion. Maybe the system I described is less than ideal, but there is on every forum those that are there to move the discussion away from the actual question or theory being discussed.



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 04:53 PM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


Yeah, perhaps getting into a debate here on ID vs evolution is not really wise. What I do want to discuss though is your demarcation between science and belief. I do not think that this demarcation is a valid one. I am sure you remember the famous quote of Einstein, "science without religion is blind". I do not agree that science could ever be neutral, and really in everyday practice of science, it is not neutral. Even the very act of doing science presupposes a belief in an objective and real world out there for you to do science in. This was a famous criticism by Husserl.

So science is not neutral, it's basically just another model of the world, and there really is nothing more special about it. As Wittgenstein said, "I could use numbers as wallpaper" Numbers have no more special ontological status than anything else. So using science to disprove something is just like using a belief to disprove another belief. So nothing can be deunked by any kind of scientific dogma.

The Vedic Aryans believe the age of the universe is 155 trillion years. In front of which modern estimates look young, so shall we say that Science has debunked the Vedic Aryans? Indeed, couldn't we say that Science have used a scientific method to arrive at their estimates and the Vedic Aryans have just postulated it without providing any empirical evidence, thus science has more credence. No, because the scientific method is not deductive, there is no entailment between the predicates of science and what is truth. Science can only say the universe is 15 billion years or so based on the measurements it can make and the model it uses, later on it may use another model and make more measurements which may give 155 trillion years.

So again science cannot be used to debunk or disprove anything. Instead, as I proposed earlier, the closest we have to an objective method is using logical analysis. That is because logic is common to every model. Every model is a logical construct. Thus one can test for validity and consistency of a model, whether it is theological, physical, cosmological, psychological, but cannot test for truth. Hence, yes, most the claims made on ATS are unfalsifiable and cannot be proven nor disproven. This is a difficult pill for most people to swallow. But read Nagarjuna, Hume and Kant and you will find similar conclusions on the unknowability of anything.



[edit on 18-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]

[edit on 18-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
reply to post by americandingbat
 


So again science cannot be used to debunk or disprove anything. Instead, as I proposed earlier, the closest we have to an objective method is using logical analysis. That is because logic is common to every model. Every model is a logical construct. Thus one can test for validity and consistency of a model, whether it is theological, physical, cosmological, psychological, but cannot test for truth. Hence, yes, most the claims made on ATS are unfalsifiable and cannot be proven nor disproven. This is a difficult pill for most people to swallow. But read Nagarjuna, Hume and Kant and you will find similar conclusions on the unknowability of anything.


This is the part of your OP that I agree with (you will remember that I said the ID example was the only part I disagreed with).

But within a given logical construct, hypotheses can be disproved (or debunked) by the laws of that construct. ID places itself within the "scientific" logical construct. Assessing whether it is consistent with data and evidence within that construct according to the rules of the construct is perfectly legitimate.

That doesn't mean that the scientific model is "right", it just means that if debunked by scientific methods, ID is a failure as a scientific theory.


[edit on 3/18/2009 by americandingbat]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


Certainly scientific model can be falsified and replaced with new one to account for inconsistencies in another, but I still don't see how ID has been debunked to be honest. If there is an intelligence directing evolution, how is science going to measure it? The theory evolution has major inconsistencies. How does a stomach evolve for example, the acids contained inside the stomach would burn a hole through your stomach, but it just happens that the stomach lining contains it or how do animals actually develop entire natural radar systems or why is it that animals will develop exactly those biological charactristics that will allow it to survive in a given environment. The theory of natural selection does not explain this. Some animals for example such as certain species of bees actually fart out tiny explosions(funny, I know!) how can that be explained by natutal selection? Every failed attempt would lead to it exploding.

The problem with theory of evolution is that there does seem be a high level uniformity in organisms which it cannot explain. It makes unfalsifiable claims that given infinite time such could happen, but this is an infinite time deferal fallacy, and as science cannot measure what happens in infinite time, it cannot make any such claims. Likewise, ID makes an unfalsifiable claim that high complexity cannot occur by chance. So ultimately both are bad as each other and neither are truly scientific. It's just one dogma vs another dogma.

[edit on 18-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:01 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
reply to post by americandingbat
 


Certainly scientific model can be falsified and replaced with new one to account for inconsistencies in another, but I still don't see how ID has been debunked to be honest. If there is an intelligence directing evolution, how is science going to measure it?


Two things: I didn't mean that ID has been debunked, just that it could be debunked in a scientific framework, since it claims to be a scientific theory. I'm not interested in the argument between ID and evolution as to which is "right" (at least not in this thread, there are plenty of others out there where people are arguing stomachs vs fossils and all the rest of it).

And second, when I refer to ID, I mean the whole system developed as a rival to Big Bang / abiogenesis / evolution and promoted by the Discovery Institute, not just the idea that a higher power directs evolution (which could be thought of a little-i intelligent little-d design theory). That's usually called Theological Evolution, and as I said in my first post, it's the official Catholic position and is what is taught in Catholic schools, at least here: evolution in biology class, the driving force behind evolution (God) in religion class.



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:26 PM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


Yes, I can agree that the predicates of a theory can be falsified and thereby "debuked" ID as a theory could be debunked. I really don't see the difference between theological evolution as you say, and ID though. This is what an ID site says in its faq in response to whether ID is compatible with evolution:


It depends on what one means by the word "evolution." If one simply means "change over time," or even that living things are related by common ancestry, then there is no inherent conflict between evolutionary theory and intelligent design theory. However, the dominant theory of evolution today is neo-Darwinism, which contends that evolution is driven by natural selection acting on random mutations, an unpredictable and purposeless process that "has no discernable direction or goal, including survival of a species." (NABT Statement on Teaching Evolution). It is this specific claim made by neo-Darwinism that intelligent design theory directly challenges.


I cannot really see the difference really between this and theological evolution. They both are based on the idea that an intelligence cause is behind evolution. You can debunk a certain type of ID theory which has inconsistences, but you cannot debunk the idea that there is an intelligence underlying evolution.

Evolution and ID both have inconsistences, which only suggests to me that another model is required altgoether. But to say evolution is better than ID or ID is better than evolution can hardly be called scientific. The whole fuss over ID being taught at schools kicked up by so-called scientists is pathetic to be honest. ID has as much right to be heard, as does evolution.
Again, nobody has ownership of the truth, so its an open discussion. Moreover, teaching evolution and not teaching ID is not at all critical, it shows clear preference for one version. Rather give both versions and then let the student decide which one they prefer. Not giving one the freedom to think for themselves is more characteristic of religion than it is science.



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:30 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child

I cannot really see the difference really between this and theological evolution. They both are based on the idea that an intelligence cause is behind evolution. You can debunk a certain type of ID theory which has inconsistences, but you cannot debunk the idea that there is an intelligence underlying evolution.


The big difference is that ID proponents want to have it taught as part of the science curriculum in public schools, whereas theological evolution is taught as part of the religion curriculum in Catholic schools.



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:47 PM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


Again I see no problem with that. As you recall I said that the demarcation between faith and science is a false one. It assumes that one is neutral and one is not neutral, but neither are actually neutral. In QM, or at certain theories in QM the observer(the conscious aspect) and matter(the material aspect) cannot be separated from another. If you look at some other cultural forms of doing Science such as in the Vedic Aryan tradition mind and consciousness(they are two different things in Vedic parlance) form a part of their naturalist school(Vaiseshika) What one includes, and what ones exclude, itself will reveal ones beliefs.

Science, as it practiced in modern times, is the result of modernist philosophy and it by no means neutral. It excludes consciousness, but there is no science without consciousness to begin with. It selects what it thinks is scientific by the power of authority(peer reviews) and thus some models are rejected and some are accepted. That is similar to how the Church operates. There is nothing about science as it is practised today which gives it any special status above anything else. The biggest myth of education is that Science is objective.

I think we are veering of course into a discussion of ID vs evolution, but its still quite relevant to the topic. It relates to my OP that one can only have contrasting perspectives, interpretations and different possibitiles, nobody actually has ownership of truth.

[edit on 18-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:53 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
reply to post by americandingbat
 


Again I see no problem with that. As you recall I said that the demarcation between faith and science is a false one. It assumes that one is neutral and one is not neutral, but neither are actually neutral.


You're saying that's the difference between faith and science; I didn't say that. I don't think either is "neutral" or "purely objective" either. I do think each has a consistent set of constructs in terms of what it does and doesn't look at, and what sorts of causes it looks for, and I think that's a useful distinction especially in an education curriculum for schools that don't have the luxury of providing a holistic education tailored to individual students because of the lack of funds and teachers.



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 07:42 PM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


I don't think any kind of science which starts with hypothesis then proves its hypothesis by finding the data that supports its hypothesis is scientific. That is a form circular reasoning. It is also a method we are indoctrinaed with by education.

Science is full of narratives that are not at all scientific, but are taught under the banner of science: Consciousness is in the brain; We evolve through natural selection from bacteria; the dinosaurs were giant stupid animals; the universe began in a big bang; you cannot travel faster than the speed of light. The human appeared on Earth 200,000 years ago. At one point it was you cannot travel faster than the speed of sound. How is that scientific? None of that is scientific. It's a bunch of beliefs disguised as science.

What science does is jump to conclusions when it has no right to make those conclusions. So what we do as science is not a legitimate form of science at all. So what is a legitimate form of science? First to have a valid epistemological method, to base all your conclusions only within the ambit of your empirical data. The Vedic Aryan scientific method does this the best. The foundation of all of its scientific conclusions are based on 1) perception and 2 inference. It is the opposite of the hypothetical-syllogism we use. I will go through an example of how it derives scientific conclusions:

1. Perception shows that there is smoke issuing from the mountain
2. A previous rule of observation shows that where there is smoke, there is fire
3. Inference. Therefore, there is reason to believe that there is fire on the moutain.

This tradition analyses the criteria for all relationships based on a complex and and strict set of criteria and gives a whole list of fallacies on which reasons are valid and which reasons are invalid, which are consistent and which are inconsistent. Thus giving a very sophisticated scientific method of producing knowledge. I won't go into that here.

It declares the existence of atoms using similar syllogism

1. Perception: Perception shows that all things have different size and form, such as a grain of rice and a mountain.
2. Inference: If all things have different size and form, then it follows that matter cannot be continuous, and must have a limit in the form of an indivisible particle. If not, it would be possible to divide a grain of rice into infinite parts and then form a moutain of those parts. But this is absurd, therefore atoms exist.

Its arguments on the existence of vector forces is ingenius

1. Perception: Perception shows that an arrow when released from a bow has a horizontal force component, but perception also shows that the arrow begins to fall.
2. Inference: The arrow should continue in a straight line, but it doesn't because gravity is acting downwards on it.

This school using this scientific method is able to declare many amazing scientific facts: states of matter differ because of kinetic energy of atoms, the sun causes water to evaporate, heat and light are the same, light consists of particles, matter and energy are the same. At no single point does it fabricate grande narratives as modern science does. Easily, for me at least, this ancient scientific method is far superior to the modern scientific method and the closest one could get to objectivity.

This way of doing science can teach us a lot of how to do science. Instead of teaching our children big narratives that we could not possibly prove, teach them how to observe and draw inferences based on those observations. This will allow them to think independently and critically about the world and free them from all the scientific indoctrination that is fed to them by modern education.

[edit on 18-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 07:52 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
reply to post by americandingbat
 


I don't think any kind of science which starts with hypothesis then proves its hypothesis by finding the data that supports its hypothesis is scientific. That is a form circular reasoning. It is also a method we are indoctrinaed with by education.


Science may be taught starting with theories and then filling in with data, but that's not how it's done.

Maybe someone better versed in these things could take over my side, because I think you have the potential for an interesting thread (even if we've taken it pretty far away from your OP) here but I'm not going to be able to go any farther with you.

I can say that what I learned as the scientific method was:

1) make observations
2) formulate a hypothesis
3) make a prediction based on that hypothesis that is falsifiable
4) test that prediction
5) adjust or replace hypothesis depending on outcome of experiment

A theory would be a coherent group of hypotheses that together explain a variety of observations.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 10:40 AM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


Unfortunately this is a flawed method. I think the best criticism of this method comes from Hume's discourse on the problem of induction.

The 5 step method you described fails at step 2 itself. For any observation there can exist multiple hypothesis, by selecting one hypothesis out of multiple hypothesis you are already bringing the observers bias into the picture. Again working on our ID vs evolution example. One scientist could hypothesise on the initial observation of special similarity: "These species have evolved from one another, through a process of natural selection of gene mutations" and another ""These species have evolved from one another, through a process of intelligence directing their gene mutations" and indeed these are just two of all possible hypothesis.

The part where one then selects evidence to support their hypothesis begins from the observers bias itself. They will only look for evidence that supports their hypothesis, or relate evidence to their hypothesis. One piece of evidence can be interpreted in several ways.

This is why I said that our method of doing science is fundamentally flawed and we are indoctrinated into doing science like this. Even when writing essays we begin from stating our thesis, and then all we do in the essay is find arguments to support that thesis. Academia then becomes an institution not about finding truth, but about who can best argue their case and the politics of selection.

I can agree with you that a hypothesis can be refined with new data and measurements and made stronger, but still it does not verify the hypothesis. Thus neither in the beginning, because of the observer bias or at the end because of the non-demonstrativity is this method valid. This only means that we find a new method of doing science.

[edit on 19-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 10:45 AM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
The 5 step method you described fails at step 2 itself. For any observation there can exist multiple hypothesis, by selecting one hypothesis out of multiple hypothesis you are already bringing the observers bias into the picture.

This would be the case if only one hypothesis were considered.

In real life, many hypotheses are considered.

That is why experiments have to be so rigorously designed. An experiment has to be set up to rule out the effect of possible other causes of the data besides the one being investigated. Those 'other causes' are your alternative hypotheses, right there.


The part where one then selects evidence to support their hypothesis begins from the observers bias itself.

I am reminded of Nietzsche:


It has gradually become clear to me what every great philosophy has hitherto been: a confession on the part of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir; moreover, that the moral (or immoral) intentions in every philosophy have every time constituted the real germ of life out of which the entire plant has grown.

- Beyond Good and Evil, 1.vi

Science has many ways of dealing with observer bias; a multiplicity of observers, interpreting the same results differently according to their lights, is one of these.

Science is not some sermon carved in stone, a 'controlling narrative' as a Postmodernist might describe it; it is a conversation. Often the conversation becomes an argument, often the argument gets heated. All part of the process of ensuring that multiple hypotheses are considered and eliminated.

Besides, science is not like philosophy as Nietzsche describes it. Neither is science in any way like religion. It does not draw moral lessons from the world or impose morality upon it.

[edit on 5/4/09 by Astyanax]



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