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Any theory is true until proven wrong?

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posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 11:44 AM
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In another thread, a discussion has broken out about the nature of science. It began with this exchange here.


Originally posted by bsbray11

Sorry but that's nowhere near how real science works. Prove me wrong, or else I'm right. Nope. By that logic, thermite also brought down the towers. And so did Christians, and every other religion of the world, simultaneously.




to which, we got this as a response.


Originally posted by TrickoftheShade
Actually it kind of is.

You might find this article interesting.

www.stephenjaygould.org...


It goes on for a couple more posts but it seemed quite off topic so I invite all parties involved to pick it up here. Since when is it true that all you have to do is say something, ANYTHING and it is true until someone can PROVE it is wrong?




posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 11:46 AM
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I need to look up the proper deffinition, I thought a theory was only a theory until proven right or wrong.
Theory=idea=hypothesis



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 11:50 AM
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You forgot about the "EDUCATED GUESS" part....one doesn't have to prove a theory wrong if it's complete nonsense to begin with!

Just sayin'



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 11:50 AM
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Flawed as it may be, it's not that unusual of an approach ...



Having said that, some theories are based on knowledge, others based on belief.
Nothing inherently wrong with either, as long that the above are acknowledged accordingly.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by TrickoftheShade

Originally posted by Lillydale

Originally posted by TrickoftheShade
Oh dear. Do you know who Karl Popper is Lily?

He's probably the most important philosopher of science of the twentieth century. His ideas form the basis of significant parts of modern scientific method.


Goody, I cannot wait for my lesson. Which part of the scientific method involves, any crazy ass thing I want to say becomes true until someone else proves it wrong. Please educate me. Want a whole thread for this?


p.s. it does not matte WHO wrote it. It is still one paper basically refuting Astrology. It is not anything that proves what you are trying to claim. Einstein wrote about the existence of God but his name on those papers did not make them relevant to anything else either.

[edit on 12/21/09 by Lillydale]



So Karl Popper's wrong.

Oooookay.


[Popper held] that scientific theories are abstract in nature, and can be tested only indirectly, by reference to their implications.

He also held that scientific theory, and human knowledge generally, is irreducibly conjectural or hypothetical, and is generated by the creative imagination in order to solve problems that have arisen in specific historico-cultural settings.

Logically, no number of positive outcomes at the level of experimental testing can confirm a scientific theory, but a single counterexample is logically decisive: it shows the theory, from which the implication is derived, to be false. Popper's account of the logical asymmetry between verification and falsifiability lies at the heart of his philosophy of science.


Which bit of that do you disagree with?


The part where you think you understood it.

None of what you have provided says that science is based on the idea that any theory is true until someone proves it is wrong. Maybe you need to bold it or underline it for me. I have read this post and your link TWICE now and I still cannot figure out how you think it backs up this insane idea of science you have. Help me out. Just narrow it down to the one single part that explains this principle. It certainly is not part of the scientific method.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 11:53 AM
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Thanks
Apparently this is the case
it should not be but it is
What ever MSM says is true
What ever the official story is its true
what ever the government says is true
list goes on
all tho i dont agree with it



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 11:54 AM
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Originally posted by Aggie Man
You forgot about the "EDUCATED GUESS" part....one doesn't have to prove a theory wrong if it's complete nonsense to begin with!

Just sayin'


You better check that with my little friend. He is saying that ANY theory is CORRECT, no matter what - UNTIL it is proven wrong. So even if you want to say that the earth is floating in a bowl of Jello, then according to him and according to what he thinks Poppler said, that is correct until someone proves it wrong.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by Doc Holiday
I need to look up the proper deffinition, I thought a theory was only a theory until proven right or wrong.
Theory=idea=hypothesis


You would think but apparently you are as wrong as I am. I have just learned today that any theory you want to come up with is then a fact until someone proves it is wrong. Look, even Poppler agrees. Well, not in words or context but, oh I guess I will just have to let TotS explain it.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by Lillydale

Originally posted by Aggie Man
You forgot about the "EDUCATED GUESS" part....one doesn't have to prove a theory wrong if it's complete nonsense to begin with!

Just sayin'


You better check that with my little friend. He is saying that ANY theory is CORRECT, no matter what - UNTIL it is proven wrong. So even if you want to say that the earth is floating in a bowl of Jello, then according to him and according to what he thinks Poppler said, that is correct until someone proves it wrong.


That, my friend, would be impossible. One can not speak of "educated guess" when speaking to the uneducated.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by blankduck18
Thanks
Apparently this is the case
it should not be but it is
What ever MSM says is true
What ever the official story is its true
what ever the government says is true
list goes on
all tho i dont agree with it


Neither does the source TotS supplied to back his theory up but what do you know, you are right. Anything the Government says and tells the MSM to say must be true.

According to many 9/11 OS supporters, it is true until we prove it is not.

According to many of these 'look it is a city on Mars' folks, they are right until proven wrong.

Many of these UFO followers have even adopted this brand of critical unthinking.

I guess I am confused then why this would seem to hold true for the masses when we know it is not how science works and the one person trying to argue it is, supplies a source that belies his premise. ATS is fun.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 12:01 PM
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Okay, here's where the discussion began:

Original post -- The conclusion corrosion causing sulfur came primarily ftom gypsum drywall material is not only a reasonable assumption, there is no indication this is not the case. With nothing conflicting and there being no alternative explanation - by default it is considered to be correct.


Bsbray's response -- Sorry but that's nowhere near how real science works. Prove me wrong, or else I'm right. Nope. By that logic, thermite also brought down the towers. And so did Christians, and every other religion of the world, simultaneously.



The original assertion (theory) has not been adequately "falsified" under Popper's terms, so it remains reasonable.

Nowhere have I suggested that any theory "becomes true" if it remains unfalsified. Just that it remains potentially true. If rigorous attempts are made to falsify it, and they fail, then the likelihood is that it is true.

You are getting confused because you misunderstand the nature of scientific method. You assume that a scientific hypothesis is proved when it accrues an enormous amount of evidence in its favour, but as Popper contends

no number of positive outcomes at the level of experimental testing can confirm a scientific theory, but a single counterexample is logically decisive: it shows the theory, from which the implication is derived, to be false

If you disagree with that then perhaps you could explain an alternative?



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 12:03 PM
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The steps of the scientific method are to:

* Ask a Question
* Do Background Research
* Construct a Hypothesis
* Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
* Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
* Communicate Your Results


Anything short of this process is NOT a theory.



[edit on 21-12-2009 by Aggie Man]



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 12:05 PM
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Thats why its still
"the theory of eveolution"
"the theory of gravity"
"the theory of relativity"
"the big bang theory"

There are so many generally accepted theories that are just that. Theories, and theories exist until they are either proven or idsproven and replaced with another theory.
To illustrate the point i found this fascinating when it came out, it is the list fo the top 100 questions still unanswered by science. It was released by Science Magazine in celebration of the 125th anniversary of science.
Some of them that are still un proven are passed along all the time as facts. Which they are not. Some included which may seem like they have been answered but are not are as follows:

How did flowers evolve?
How do general anesthetics work?
Why do we sleep?
Why doesn't a pregnant woman reject her fetus?
How do proteins find their partners?
What causes reversals in Earth's magnetic field?
How do planets form?
What is the nature of the glassy state?
What is the structure of water?
What is the nature of gravity?

These are just a few visit the link for more. I find it fascinating to research all these "facts" that are passed around as common knowledge. When in fact most of them are still theories or unproven hypothesis. There is sooo much of this world we do not know.

www.sciencemag.org...



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 12:12 PM
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reply to post by Hack28
 


I do not disagree with you but what we are arguing here is that ANY theory you want to have is just plain true until it is proven wrong and that is the scientific method. I think TotS is a little confused about what a theory is and what the scientific method is. He sure seems to be a bit lost on 'fact.'



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 12:18 PM
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reply to post by Lillydale
 


Quite the opposite, im saying theories are inheritanly that a theory, neither right nor wrong. Right and wrong are absolute states and not subject to gradation, you cant have a little right theory and call it a fact the same way you cant have a little wrong theory and call it a fact.
Thats why such theories as evolution are accepted as truths because they have much more right than wrong, but it is the presence of even a little wrong that bumps a fact back to a theory.

Theories are neither right nor wrong they are theories. And since theories are not proven to be right or wrong they can only be labelled as both.

Schrödinger's cat: until it can be calssified as one or the other a theory can be thought of as both right and wrong. The same way in which Schrodingers cat can be thought of as both alive and dead.
en.wikipedia.org...'s_cat



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 12:19 PM
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Originally posted by Lillydale
reply to post by Hack28
 


I do not disagree with you but what we are arguing here is that ANY theory you want to have is just plain true until it is proven wrong and that is the scientific method. I think TotS is a little confused about what a theory is and what the scientific method is. He sure seems to be a bit lost on 'fact.'


No - it is you who is confused.

Nowhere have I suggested that any unfalsified theory is "true" until disproven. Just that it remains potentially true.

With regard to the discussion being held between bsbray and the poster that I mention above, bsbray is incorrect in his assumption (note - his assumption, not mine) that the poster is suggesting that any theory is "true" until proven false. The poster is in fact claiming that no good evidence exists to falsify his theory, and it is therefore likely to be correct.

That's how the scientific method works, and I do have some understanding of it. Until half an hour ago you hadn't actually heard of Karl Popper, so it's unlikely to be me that has less grasp of it than you.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 12:23 PM
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I think the guy is right, but only partially so.

A scientific theory came from a hypothesis (an educated guess or idea) which has been backed by repeatable 3rd party experimentation, notes, observations and proof of the theory. So inherently, a theory is true until it is shown to be false. BUT... here's the big BUT in all of it... it takes a lot to get to the status of a theory. A lot of work has to be put in to show that it is 'correct'

Now, this is entirely different from the common man 'theory' which is at best an educated guess or idea. people don't have hypothesis in their vocabulary unless they're trying to look intelligent. It is this misapplication of the term 'theory' that creates the confusion.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 01:14 PM
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I think a more accurate statement would be any theory is possible until proven otherwise.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 01:32 PM
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Originally posted by Philosopher Saint
I think the guy is right, but only partially so.


So...prove me wrong or else I am right. That is how science works is it? Even partially? Which part? I did not see it in your lengthy explanation. This is the EXACT CONTENTION - science works like this "Prove me wrong or else I am right."

Sorry but no one has offered up one thing that actually supports that yet.

Your brain works because little elves inside your head are moving levers.
Prove me wrong or else I am right.

Thanks Mr. Wizard for showing me how I can be a real scientist too.

Mr Wizard would be my little friend that started this premise but will not come defend outside of the safety of the "off-topic alert" button, not you.

[edit on 12/21/09 by Lillydale]



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 01:32 PM
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Theories are a gnostics truth......

"We don't know for certain, but this seems plausible...."

It works like this...any theory, based in the scientific tools of reason and logic, is PLAUSIBLE until proven otherwise...then it is adapted to become plausible again....

[edit on 21-12-2009 by Agree2Disagree]




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