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Any theory is true until proven wrong?

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posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by Philosopher Saint
 

Excellent Post.

To further the hypothesis, laboratory tests would need to be run to show that it's possible for decomposing gypsum board and water under similar conditions as Ground Zero could result in corroded steel similar to what was found. Then it could be theorized that this is what occurred at Ground Zero, as the lab experiment conditions approximated perceived conditions at Ground Zero. This would then be the theory that would stand as correct until proven otherwise.

At least that's the way I see it working, and to this date I don't see any of this, at least not from NIST, FEMA or these boards.




posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 01:40 PM
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Just to add my 2 cents.

The person claiming an affirmative must provide proof.
A Theory comes from a hypothesis (candidate explanation of an event or scenario.) The Hypothesis includes the concepts of why it is true with evidence backing. If experiments show the hypothesis correct. It turns into a Theory and put out for peer review. Others in the field attack it. If they find flaws with it, it goes back to hypothesis for modification.

So in one sens a Theory is true until disproved BECAUSE it has already been challenged, weighed and vetted. Nothing has been able to refute the evidence cited within the Theory.

This being said an idea is NOT a Theory. To say "My theory is that ____." is bad usage. A Theory has so far withstood the rigors of testing.

If you can refute the evidence in the theory, then you call it into question and it needs to be addressed, the Theory becomes version 2.0 and it is challenged again.

If the evidence is circumstantial or corellative in nature instead of hard proof, it is much harder to become a theory. "9/11 was done by Bush and company." is not a Theory in this sense because it is so speculative. It cannot be experimented on. Only certain aspects can be examined for testing: The way buildings come down under condition X compared to Y. Is a good testing method, the result though only adds more speculation/correlation to the hypothesis. The Theory of Relativity however can be tested with a wide range of methods.

So it boils down to this: Scientific Theories are NOT the same thing as conjectural theories. The Theory of Evolution is a scientific theory because we can see speciation at work as traits are passed down to the next generation and old traits phase out. We can consistently test the traits passed down, we can directly measure the results etc. etc. Intelligent Design is Not a scientific Theory because nothing within it can be measured, tested, quantified or qualified-it is a conjectural theory.

To break the comparison down more.

Evolution:
Observation: We have 3 birds that appear to be the same creature (same plummage, same songs), but one has a longer beak, one has short stout beak, one longer legs. We can test in labs to see if they are genetically similar enough to bread.
Explanation: Each bird sub-species had original dominate traits which allowed that bird to get at a favored food easier or give additional defense. (long beak allows getting nector and further reach into insect dens. Thick beak allows cracking nuts, and stripping bark for bugs. Long legs to avoid certain hazards etc.). At one time they were all very similar in proportions. Due to conditions in the envirionment (such as weather causing some plant to die off) made it so longer beaks prospered more. Greater prosperity = greater reproduction. Over time they stopped mating with those with stubbier beaks. The result is over time the beaks got longer. etc. etc.
Testing: One can create an artificial envirionment to measure which traits ensure longer survival within the contained area. Those with traits beneficial to the area means they will eventually outnumber those without the trait. A good example are the grey and brown moths hiding on treebark as birds eat those who are less hidden.

Intelligent Design:
Observation: Life is too complex to have happened on it's own.
Explanation: A creative force created existence and life as we see it.
Testing: none possible.

Evolution qualifies as a Scientific Theory where as I.D. is a Conjectural Theory. Until something occurs to make I.D. Testable-it just isn't a Theory in any useful context.

Lastly: Theories change as more information is added in, as new conditions make it so a Theory as we understand it is somehow non-applicable. Scientific Theories are living things that are always being ratified. People just don't hear about it because all the big famous ones are pretty damn stable.

[edit on 21-12-2009 by lordtyp0]



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by Lillydale


So...prove me wrong or else I am right. That is how science works is it?



No, prove me wrong or there's a good chance that I'm right.





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



This is a foolish example, because it's very easy to prove false.



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]


If you mean me, I've responded to your reply above, and you've ignored me. I invite you to respond.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 01:46 PM
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You come home to find one of your windows broken.

The glasses are all over the floor.

You notice a baseball ball on the floor as well.

What is your theory?

Some kids played baseball and accidentally broke your window.
Your ex-wife broke the window and placed the ball there to make it look like an accident.
Aliens abducted you and made it look like an accident.
The ball was always there. It was just the wind that broke the window.
Etc.
Etc.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 01:52 PM
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reply to post by lordtyp0
 


Thanks for your input.

Your thoughts on the differences between scientific and what might be called "investigative" theories are interesting. Indeed I've had difficulties when trying to show that stone-cold scientific "proof" cannot be provided for historical non-scientific assertions in the past, on occasion with some of the respondents in this thread.


But I would just point out that this discussion is concerned only with "science" as framed by this original exchange:


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.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by TrickoftheShade
 


Yeah...I can see how that isn't science...that's just the process of elimination and the process of defaulting...nothing scientific about it really....



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 01:57 PM
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This thread is silly. The answer is simple:

Not guilty until proven guilty. False until proven true.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 01:59 PM
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Originally posted by TrickoftheShade
reply to post by lordtyp0
 


Thanks for your input.

Your thoughts on the differences between scientific and what might be called "investigative" theories are interesting. Indeed I've had difficulties when trying to show that stone-cold scientific "proof" cannot be provided for historical non-scientific assertions in the past, on occasion with some of the respondents in this thread.


But I would just point out that this discussion is concerned only with "science" as framed by this original exchange:


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.


Ah, my apologies, I was reading it as a question on theory formation spawned by that statement.

I am somewhat conflicted on that paragraph. On the one hand: Technically it is only a hypothesis. That being said-if there are no plausible conflicting answers one can presume it is correct until proven wrong. The phrasing of "No indication this is not the case" though is a bit of an apologist approach that makes it shady. The real question I suppose is the evidence supporting the conclusion. The other statements seem like conjecture to me instead of helping or hindering the thesis statement.
(edit)
The last bit about "correct until disproven" is not accurate. One can ACT like something is correct without affecting actual validity. At it's core though a theory is something that is correct because it has not been disproved. It is not presumed correct until proof.

[edit on 21-12-2009 by lordtyp0]



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by above
This thread is silly. The answer is simple:

Not guilty until proven guilty. False until proven true.


The justice system doesn't work the same way as scientific method.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 02:05 PM
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There is a difference between a lay man's theory, which is more of a suspicion or idea, and a scientific theory, which is a statements of observation following repeated testing of a hypothesis.

Theory's can be right, however they are not necessarily so, they are the best explanations for the observations done.

Theories go through repeated testing by peers and opponents, and must have solid evidence before becoming a theory.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 02:05 PM
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Originally posted by TrickoftheShade

Originally posted by above
This thread is silly. The answer is simple:

Not guilty until proven guilty. False until proven true.


The justice system doesn't work the same way as scientific method.


Wait,,, The justice system works? I demand proof or it never happened.


The statement is fairly valid though. Most scientists dream of finding the flaws in theories-thats how they make names for themselves. Imagine the fame of correcting an error in E=MC2. You're name would be known forever.

Is the gypsum sulfur thing related to the "Tainted sheetrock stock" that came out a few months ago in, I think Florida?



posted on Dec, 22 2009 @ 03:37 AM
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Originally posted by lordtyp0


I am somewhat conflicted on that paragraph. On the one hand: Technically it is only a hypothesis. That being said-if there are no plausible conflicting answers one can presume it is correct until proven wrong. The phrasing of "No indication this is not the case" though is a bit of an apologist approach that makes it shady. The real question I suppose is the evidence supporting the conclusion. The other statements seem like conjecture to me instead of helping or hindering the thesis statement.



Absolutely. But I hold no brief whatsoever for the content of the post - indeed I don't know much about it. It may well be completely incorrect, or a barefaced lie.



The last bit about "correct until disproven" is not accurate. One can ACT like something is correct without affecting actual validity. At it's core though a theory is something that is correct because it has not been disproved. It is not presumed correct until proof.

[edit on 21-12-2009 by lordtyp0]


Actually I don't think he quite says that. He contends that in the absence of counter theories or persuasive falsification it's likely that what he's saying is correct. The OP would like him to be saying that anything is true until disproven, but I don't think that's what he means. Nor is it what I mean.



posted on Dec, 22 2009 @ 04:31 AM
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Hello all,

This is my first post on the site, I wanted to include my own opinion so i joined up.

My understanding of theories is that a theory is what is most likely to be true but never true with absolute certaincy because for any theory to be truly certain you would have to know everything there was to know about everything, which i'm pretty sure is impossible. A theory does how ever become false as soon as it is proven wrong once but then that aspect of the theory is re-evaluated and a new version of the theory brought to the table to further our understanding.

Going back to what Popper held, this is also my interpretation of what he was saying.

With that on the table, most people will take the theory most likely to be true and assume it is true for the sake of ease, so progress can be made in a direction that needs a theory on that topic as a base to start from (rather than researching everything again themselves). I also believe this to be the same in everyday life for most people since if you didn't assume things were true you would never do anything but constantly check that it was still true. At the same time nothing can be truly certain.

Hope i make sense and haven't just waffled



posted on Dec, 22 2009 @ 09:16 AM
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I have a theory-

The 9/11 Conspiracy Forum is SOOOOO ABRASIVE!

Prove me wrong!

(I do my best to stay away)



posted on Dec, 22 2009 @ 09:38 AM
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I have always thought of a theory in the scientific sense as a collection of data/evidence that confirms a hypothesis with no other evidence to the contrary.


[edit on 22-12-2009 by Solomons]



posted on Dec, 22 2009 @ 09:39 AM
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double post

[edit on 22-12-2009 by Solomons]



posted on Dec, 22 2009 @ 11:10 AM
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A thought does not make something real. We are not in Dreamland.

A theory is a tangible thought - ergo it is still not real.

A theory only becomes real once it has been proven. 'Proof' is never incontestable, but through the act of contention, we validate its' worth as a measure of truth.

Therefore, no theory can ever be truly, and incontestably validated.

However, this does not mean that people can pick and choose which theories (in their view) are false. It all comes down to the contention, the testing. The more a theory has been tested and found sound, the closer it is to 'truth'.

For example, evolution is constantly being tested, and is tested in various different ways. Those who would deny the 'truth' associated with evolution, would deny the EVIDENCE presented by this constant contention. Deniers of this 'truth' use falsehoods and ignorant arguments to try and rubbish the theory, even though these people have been proven wrong a thousand times. This is called 'conviction', and is the enemy of 'truth'.

The annoying thing about 9/11 deniers, is that they let their convictions get the better of their reasoning. Religious numpties are especially fond of doing this.

A theory can only be considered by the burden of proof weighing on the Pro and Con sides to it. For example, there is NO proof to the existence of a god or any form of the entity described as 'Jesus'. Therefore, we must consider those theories as false for the time being, until proper evidence is presented.

In short, something is not true until it is proven to be true, using scientific methodology to show this. Convictions mean absolutely nothing, anyone who tries to use conviction to prove a point is a moron.

Parallex.



posted on Dec, 23 2009 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by Parallex
A thought does not make something real. We are not in Dreamland.

A theory is a tangible thought - ergo it is still not real.

A theory only becomes real once it has been proven. 'Proof' is never incontestable, but through the act of contention, we validate its' worth as a measure of truth.

Therefore, no theory can ever be truly, and incontestably validated.



Nope. Sorry, you are way off here. Did you not read the OP????

According to TotS, science works like this. "Any theory I have is right until you prove it wrong."

It is right there in black and white. I thought maybe he would come and explain to us all how that is even remotely true but I guess on ATS, some people just say things that are not true and just hope they will be believed.



posted on Dec, 23 2009 @ 03:20 PM
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reply to post by Lillydale
 


You're getting stuck on the nature of what a theory is in a technical context. As I find myself constantly explaining, theory, as a technical term used in science, the arts, and the humanities, does not mean "any old guess". it is a conclusion drawn from the facts and evidence, and is, by its nature, necessarily the most concise and reasoned conclusion available from those facts.

In other words, a technical theory is true, because it has mountains of evidence and testing and experimentation saying "this is true"

Another portion of theory is that there needs to be a way for it to be false as well. This is not the same as "proving a negative." Rather it is producing contrary evidence. Some examples of theories that have been falsified in this way are Lamarckism (organisms pass on nonhereditary traits to their children), phlogiston theory (objects burn because of a substance called phlogiston), emission theory (we see by emitting rays from our eyes) and several others.



posted on Dec, 23 2009 @ 07:53 PM
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Originally posted by TrickoftheShade


No, prove me wrong or there's a good chance that I'm right.


Sorry but you cannot change the rules midgame. That is not what you said. Let's go with this one though, just to humor you. You are stating that science works like this - "Prove me wrong or there is a good chance that I am right?" That is your quote, correct?

Cool, so then please come and prove the dragon in my garage does not exist. I say he does. I have many working theories as to why and the scientific method went into full swing on that.

So, according to you, the dragon must be real.



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



This is a foolish example, because it's very easy to prove false.


LOL. You are too cute sometimes.It is very easy to prove false? When did it become easy to prove false? Has this always been easy to prove false?

Could you please show me when and where this was proven false? There are two main issues with you claim.

1-They could be really really small and no one has seen them yet.

2-We can accept that it is easy to prove but according to your assertion, according to your idea of how science works - until that proof shows up, my theory about the elves was apparently true?

Sorry but you cannot have it both ways. Yes, that is easy to prove, now. There was a time when it was not so easy to prove though wasn't there? So, according to you, my theory was true allllllllllllllll the way until they proved it wrong.




If you mean me, I've responded to your reply above, and you've ignored me. I invite you to respond.


ah yes, I did mean you. I have ignored you have I? Funny that I had to ask 3 times in the other thread for you to come try and explain yourself. How many times have I ignored you now?

[edit on 12/23/09 by Lillydale]




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