reply to post by Titen-Sxull
With respect, we begin.
I'm pretty sure professional scientists grasp what science is and how it works and I've never seen a single legitimate scientist claim that
ancient astronaut "theory" is credible or compelling on any level. In fact I've seen quite the opposite from the scientific community.
This is not necessarily the case. It is perfectly possible for a scientist to participate in the institution of science without understanding the
broader nature of what it is she is doing. The key notion here is self-awareness. A scientist can do science without reflecting on the implications of
the assumptions within the institution that guides her work.
Science is not a set of theories, its a method and that method has very strict guidelines on what is admissible as evidence.
I know that this is what they taught you in school, but it is false. In fact, if you ask a scientist what the Scientific Method is, you're likely to
get a different answer from each scientist. Why? Because practical use demonstrates that it's much more complex and ad hoc
than the textbooks
Science is a collaborative institution (though it is often driven hierarchically by Big Business and Big Government interests) which has (1) enforced
conformity within its ranks by insisting upon the Scientific Method (nebulous though it can at times be) and upon -- as you say -- "very strict
guidelines on what is admissible as evidence"; (2) encouraged the generation of diverse possibilities through experimentation and theorization; (3)
judged the worth of differing theories based on many factors, including: experimental evidence, practical value, and internal coherence; (4) shifted
resources to theories that are stronger (according to those standards of judgment) by numerous means including: damaging the reputation of
marginalized scientists, and reducing or eliminating funding; and (5) encouraged intergroup tournaments by supporting the generation of multiple
theories which explain the same phenomena and then pitting these refined theories against each other to see which is left standing.
Science is far more than just the Method used. It is an institution whose purpose is to develop useful theories. The Scientific Method is just the
means of getting from an idea to a theory.
None of the things claimed as evidence by ancient astronaut "theorists" are actually evidence of aliens. Pyramids, myths, monuments, etc,
they ARE all evidence of human creativity and ingenuity though.
This is where your vision of science as a Method runs into trouble. Why does science have such strict guidelines for what is admissible as
Wrong. Bias is the reason.
Scientists have adopted a vision of the world in which only material and material events count as evidence. In short, scientists have assumed
that the world has one level and one level only: the level of the material. This is why "creativity and ingenuity" (whether human or not) is not
admissible as evidence: these are non-material
phenomena. In fact, until the institution of science discovers that it has made this assumption
(which is categorically false -- witness, for example, the intricacies of language itself), then it will be doomed to continue blundering about within
its own false assumptions, attempting to explain a multi-dimensional Universe in terms of its material aspect alone. And scientists who do not realize
this assumption will be doomed to doing science without self-awareness of what it is they are doing.
Rigor can be found in levels of existence beyond the merely physical, as some rogue (and thus marginalized) scientists have already done. It has also
been done by mystics, if you care to research such things as the Kabbalah and eastern (i.e. not pop) Tai Chi. Of course, these two fields command a
kind of rigor which is unfamiliar to science, so there is still much work to be done to connect the two to the institution of science.
Remove this unnecessary bias and you will discover that the purpose of science is only to explain the phenomena as they are experienced, as is the
purpose of any theoretical venture.
By the way I'd also like to take the time to point out that ancient astronaut "theory" is not a theory at all, it is merely a hypothesis.
Again, this is a textbook response. Linguistically speaking, there isn't very much difference between a hypothesis and a theory. Even the textbooks
will tell you that the difference is the amount of evidence supporting the hypothesis. If you reject all of the evidence that supports AAT as
evidence, then you reject it as a theory. Fine. But that very rejection demonstrates that you accept the false assumption of science without
Ancient man is perfectly capable of coming up with the concept of gods and to them, as it is today, the sky was likely a source of awe and
wonder, the sort of place supernatural beings might descend from. They are also perfectly capable of building monuments and incredible feats of
engineering as well. We have no evidence, no alien spacecraft, no alien technology, no alien bodies, no alien languages - nothing suggests ancient
aliens except to those who WANT to believe and who will interpret ANYTHING they think can bolster their bias.
We're not talking about divine intervention here. You can build strawmen all you want, but AAT theory is about intelligent beings (like us) who came
to Earth and sharply affected both the culture and the technology of humankind within a very short period of time. A good theory will account for all
of the evidence, and that includes the evidence that is absent.
Your entire worldview is built up around theories which serve to explain the phenomena. Christians, for example, often refuse to consider any other
worldview because their theory of reality is sufficient to explain many of their experiences. Because these Christians have been taught to be
closed-minded, they ignore the ways in which their worldview fails them. This tendency applies to any worldview which harbors assumptions that are not
to be questioned. The institution of science is no different.
Everything you experience is evidence, if only you are capable of establishing what kind of evidence it is and how it fits into your worldview (i.e.
your own personal theory of everything).
Originally posted by iterationzero
Because Aziroth has absolutely zero proof of what he's asserting.
Then the question is whether you believe his story. We live in a world where proof is impossible. Everyone has zero proof. There are assumptions and
there are consequences of those assumptions. You name to me one thing that has been proven throughout all of history, and I will show you how the
conclusion of that proof is entirely dependent upon the assumptions with which it began.
I think it's your concept of what science is that's a little bit lacking. Scientific theories are intended to accurately explain and predict
features of the natural world. Those theories are drawn from hypotheses which are verified or falsified through the gathering of empirical and
measurable evidence. So, for AAT to stand up to the rigors of being a scientific theory, it has to make predictions which can then be tested.
I agree. Your description is the narrow view of science -- the view science has of itself. My description is the broad view of science -- the category
of institutions in which science falls. I have a habit of hyperbole, so forgive me for allowing myself to fall into that habit. ATSers like you will
greatly assist me in becoming more skilled at writing and less knee-jerk in my responses. Thank you.
Perhaps what I ought to have said is that science, insofar as it is useful to the average human being, is as I have described it. And what is more
important for theorization the usefulness?
However, following what was stated earlier, I do not see any significant merit in AAT being considered a scientific theory because it is impossible
for it to be so. The institution of science does not have the tools to mathematically describe any interactions except physical ones. This is why
science so desperately seeks to explain human action and interaction by physical means: this is the only tool science has for explaining human action
(although the so-called "social sciences" may disagree).
Nevertheless, AAT, regardless of how you want to define the words, is a hypothesis/theory which has a large body of evidence. That this theory is not
yet predictive has much to do with the kind of theory that it is. Suppose you come home from work to find your front door kicked in, your shelves and
dressers emptied onto the floor, and your laptop missing. You would theorize that your house was broken into and your laptop stolen. This theory has
very little predictive power due to the nature of the theory. You might be able to predict fingerprints on your furniture which do no belong to anyone
you know. You might be able to predict that there is also some jewelry missing. But even if these predictions did not materialize, you would still
feel confident that someone broke into your house and stole your laptop.
The evidence that AAT uses is surely archeological and anthropological in nature. However, the major reason that we cannot predict new evidence for
AAT is because the evidence we already have is still not very well understood. This evidence is far more complex than evidence that scientific
theories typically use, and in order to really make use of it, one must understand human beings better. Interestingly enough, science does not have
the tools to understand human beings very well because it seems to think that only the physical level counts, so it relies on anthropology and
archeology to do all the understanding.
In short, scientifically speaking, AAT is still a "hypothesis". Again, not that this matters because science (as it is now) is incapable of making
any statements about AAT. However, the very context of this thread suggests that science is not really what is at stake here. Religion is. The OP
wanted to explain how AAT is sufficiently robust to explain much of what religion has previously served to explain. (If you think that religion exists
in spite of science
, then I ask you to reconsider. Religion exists to explore the realms that science is incapable of exploring, crude though
religion's methods are.) The very fact that we can even mention science and AAT in the same sentence as if the two might one day be in agreement is,
I think, a testament to the power of AAT.
So is AAT not a more believable, more rational alternative to religion, with more evidence to boot? Who cares if the evidence fits within the strict
parameters of the institution of science? This institution does not reflect on the usefulness of its parameters anyway.
If you really believe that the Big Bang Theory doesn't make predictions, you need to go back and reacquaint yourself with what a theory is in
general and the Big Bang Theory specifically. Cosmic microwave background radiation was predicted by the BBT in 1948 by Alpher and Herman. That
background radiation was discovered in 1964 by Penzias and Wilson. So please explain how the BBT is not a predictive tool.
You're right again. I sometimes generate examples too quickly for my own good. My mind races forward, glossing over things that seem relatively
unimportant. You and your ilk shall teach me rigor in communication. I knew in using BBT as an example that I was probably wrong about that one, so I
retract the suggestion that prediction is not necessary for a theory to be scientific. In retrospect, this issue is unimportant to the conversation at
hand. Forgive me for mentioning it at all.