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Revisited question, can we trust science?

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posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 05:59 PM
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Hi everyone. Some of you may remember a while back when I asked the question... "Can science ever be irrefutable?" in a thread. www.abovetopsecret.com...

This resulted in some great interesting discussion (at least for me). So today I would like to revisit this idea after the recent discoveries about the neutrinos as I feel it’s a good example of what I was trying to put across in the thread though perhaps not so clearly.

So my point is can science ever be irrefutable (unquestionable (absolute fact))? I still believe the answer is no. A few months ago most scientists would tell you that faster than light was simply not possible, even the great mind of Einstein believed this. However did Einstein know a fact, or did he in fact have a belief that was false; A belief many scientist "knew" (though actually wrongfully believed). Do you see where I'm coming from, science relies on belief as does religion, even with evidence to something happening there should never be a 100% certainty.

I’m not religious and in no way am I suggesting there are any alternatives or that science hasn’t helped human kind. I do however belief scientists are wrong to criticise or ridicule others if scientific fact can become fiction. Any scientific fact of today could potentially be false a few years down the line so am I correct to conclude science does not determine facts but rather logical beliefs?
edit on 29-9-2011 by OwenGP185 because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 06:09 PM
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Firstly, I find it annoying that one has to so quickly claim no religious affiliation when discussing this question.

Science is belief in facts as we now understand them. But no matter how one tries to disguise it, as with the faster-than-light being impossible...science requires belief.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 06:23 PM
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Originally posted by kalunom
Firstly, I find it annoying that one has to so quickly claim no religious affiliation when discussing this question.

Science is belief in facts as we now understand them. But no matter how one tries to disguise it, as with the faster-than-light being impossible...science requires belief.


I find it annoying myself however this is simply to avoid the debate turning into a science vs religion debate that I find happens to often. That was the idea I was trying to put across but I guess I over explained making things a little confusing. So if science requires belief how do we go beyond as a belief has its limitations especially when our goal is to get a true understanding of the world around us. I just find it odd of us to rely so heavily on a system that offers little more than relgion or simply making something up.
edit on 29-9-2011 by OwenGP185 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 06:24 PM
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science has always been restricted by funding, investors don't want to hear about your infinate lasting anti-friction motors, they want planned obsolecense.

there is also a great deal of dogma, the most obvious being einstin and refering to him at any given moment.

ed: the religion side of things is more than alarming aswell, for example feynmans policy of removing students with a belief of a higher power from his lectures. as long as you don't conclude "the only explaination for this particular quantum mechanical effect is god" without evidence you should in theory be fine, but this isn't the case from what i've seen.
edit on 29/9/2011 by whatsinaname because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 06:32 PM
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reply to post by OwenGP185
 


Yes, it is good to not let things go the science vs. religion route. There is nothing there.

I am not sure how we can go beyond belief in search of an absolute truth. Were an absolute truth attainable we would no longer need to seek. If we had no need of seeking we would have no need for existing at all.

But that brings in religion or philosophy, now doesn't it? Sorry, best I can do


Good questions you raise!



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 06:48 PM
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Originally posted by kalunom
reply to post by OwenGP185
 


Yes, it is good to not let things go the science vs. religion route. There is nothing there.

I am not sure how we can go beyond belief in search of an absolute truth. Were an absolute truth attainable we would no longer need to seek. If we had no need of seeking we would have no need for existing at all.

But that brings in religion or philosophy, now doesn't it? Sorry, best I can do


Good questions you raise!


Good point, it does certainly start to enter the realms of philosophy which I guess is why I enjoy thinking about this kind of thing. What if absolute truth does not exist because there can never be an end point where other possibilities are not present? Living in a world where there is no fact but simply possibility is an interesting concept I think. Hmmm...



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:00 PM
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this topic reminds me of the simpsons episode where lisa finds an 'angel' on an archeological dig. later in the episode the townsppl form a mob and wage a war on science. moe is one of the mob w/ his archetypal flaming torch. he gets crushed by some large object and yells "Ow! I hope medical science can help me!"



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:07 PM
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Originally posted by kalunom
Firstly, I find it annoying that one has to so quickly claim no religious affiliation when discussing this question.

Science is belief in facts as we now understand them. But no matter how one tries to disguise it, as with the faster-than-light being impossible...science requires belief.



Faith/belief and blind faith are not one and the same.

to the OP:

Science is never irrefutable, nor should it be (as you pointed out). It is constantly adapting and correcting itself in light of new evidence. To say otherwise would be quite ignorant.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:10 PM
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The problem isn't Science. It is the inherent property of the weak human mind that gets in the way.

Humans are inherently spiritual - we need some kind of faith that this world has meaning or purpose (note: even "we are just here, it's all random chaos" is a meaning and purpose - it sets a context for our existence).

While many are quick to slam religion, I find it a most useful tool in maintaining an objective approach to science and theories thereof. I believe it's all "God's doing" ... whatever God is. All I'm doing is coming along in an attempt to figure out how. Science will never be able to prove or disprove the existence of a higher being; and it's a rather frivolous debate to have with anyone.

The difference between that standpoint and that of quite a few scientists (religious or not), is that they begin to get caught up on the specifics regarding the mechanics. Actually... I shouldn't say scientists - science-proponents are more guilty of this than the boots-on-ground lab operators and researchers. When someone tries to poke holes in the Big Bang theory, or question the notion that the universe is expanding based upon red-shift detection... some of these guys get pretty bent out of shape, regardless of the line of questioning or evidence mounted against it.

The issue is worst in the world of indirect measurements, 'verification by implication,' etc. In other words - where we haven't directly gone out and measured or confirmed something (impossible in many historical contexts), many simply choose to hit the "I believe" button and stick behind a theory like one would stick behind a spiritual idiom. Challenges to this are direct challenges to their understanding of the world and their place in it.

We can trust Science. All it does is provide a process by which to test a hypothesis, which allows us to develop and support theories. As we see in the world of Quantum Mechanics - where even the most arrogant of intellects are reduced to a level of humility, many separate theories are allowed to co-exist with many physicists well versed in two or more theories.

Even some of the most "crack pot" theories regarding the behavior of subatomic particles are treated with more dignity than similarly crack-pot theories on the cosmic level of things. The community seems far more open to uncertainty in their own theory than other communities within applied science.

At least, that's my take on all of it.

Like I said - I like to anchor myself around the "I believe in something that Science can't really jeopardize" - and work from evidence and thought. The biggest test of any theory is whether or not it can be used to predict a yet-to-be-discovered phenomena (that can then be looked for and discovered).



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:11 PM
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I for one am glad to see that theory put to bed at last. I actually never believed it to be absolute and have often stated to family and friends that one day we would find out. In the monster quake documentary, one scientist said that much of what we know today will be wrong tommorow. History has shown over and over again that as we inquire and research further, along with new technologies, we discover that previous scientific beliefs were indeed false. If this discovery can also serve the purpose of changing the "scientific fact" to "what we know to date" it would surely help future scientific discovery. How many times have we heard of new findings being ridiculed or disregarded because it doesn't conform to already accepted science. How much bigger can it get? Scientist need to be encouraged to push the boundries of what seems impossible. If everyone just accepted present theories than we would never advance. Yes, science should be more of a belief than absolute fact.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:14 PM
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if i'm not mistaken, the faster than light thing is still being reviewed by peers

if science teaches you anything, it's that we are always learning new things, and will never know it all

each discovery just raises new questions



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by theserpent
this topic reminds me of the simpsons episode where lisa finds an 'angel' on an archeological dig. later in the episode the townsppl form a mob and wage a war on science. moe is one of the mob w/ his archetypal flaming torch. he gets crushed by some large object and yells "Ow! I hope medical science can help me!"




I do see what you’re saying and I don’t think I have seen that one. Anyway science certainly has its uses, it saves lives, it advances technology which I do not doubt. The issue I have is the lack of advancement into other fields that could potentially hold more truth than that of science. For Instance, as long as people like Moe continue to call out for science we won’t move to the next stages of understanding with more accuracy. It is not a matter of looking to destroy science but rather better it.

*Edit* I guess you could say I think a lot of great minds are so wrapped up in their scientific beliefs that as mentioned before, they forget to push boundaries. It’s like trying to fit as many footballs into a room and ignoring the empty warehouse to the left. :lol.*
edit on 29-9-2011 by OwenGP185 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:25 PM
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At the moment I can't think of anything that is irrefutable. The sun will shine tomorrow? maybe, maybe not, its not irrefutable. Kind of like a murder trail with no witness's but a ton of evidence, irrefutable? no, but the facts will probably result in a conviction in most cases.

I believe science tries to channel its version of facts and evidence into a coherent stream that encourages a logical standard to work from and improve upon. Otherwise we would probably still be afraid to sail the sea's of a flat earth or be earthbound instead of floating above the home planet.

From what I read about the speed of light discovery is that it is still under testing and verification and not a fact as of yet. Einstein's theories (flawed as some are) were still good enough to get man and machine off the planet and to prove some of his work on space/time. Atomic clocks aboard satellites proved some of his theories on time as did lensing using massive objects to see beyond our capabilities ( might be off a little as I am using my suspect memory).

Einstein was not irrefutable and even said at times he goofed. But I would rather have a disputable plan that fits most but not all of a model than running around screaming that witches were causing the crops to fail and demanding their demise or a sacrifice to the volcano gods to appease him for the upcoming planting season.

Give me logical order first with facts or theory and lets make it as irrefutable as we can rather than the opposite scenario .
edit on 29-9-2011 by dcmb1409 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by OwenGP185
Do you see where I'm coming from, science relies on belief as does religion, even with evidence to something happening there should never be a 100% certainty.


The mechanics that create the belief are different.

In a religion:
* you can't question the central tenant (the Christian deity is the supreme deity, for example)
* it has a rigid set of rules (ten commandments, for example)
* the method of proving the religion is right is channeled/given prophecies
* there are no fixed rules for testing the beliefs.
* does not build up new beliefs out of old ones.
* new technology does not affect it.

In science:
* relies on constant new information. It's not stagnant. It's all about learning new things.
* the "scientific method" is a process but not a rigid rule
* the method of proving it right is by reproduction of the results by independent sources
* has rigid rules for determining truth ("truth tables")
* builds up new hypotheses from old ones
* new technology creates new opportunities to find out more about the universe


I do however belief scientists are wrong to criticise or ridicule others if scientific fact can become fiction. Any scientific fact of today could potentially be false a few years down the line so am I correct to conclude science does not determine facts but rather logical beliefs?

No.



posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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Despite what our highly esteemed Byrd may say, I am of the opinion that science is, indeed, "logical belief". That is such a great, great way to state it.

"Fact" is only truly fact in theory. In practice we find that fact is often subjective. At best it will be subject to the whims of perceptive difference. And it is why new "facts" redefined old "facts", as our ability to perceive creates noise in the communication of what is true fact.



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 03:52 AM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
Despite what our highly esteemed Byrd may say, I am of the opinion that science is, indeed, "logical belief". That is such a great, great way to state it.


Science is magic that works.



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 05:16 AM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
Despite what our highly esteemed Byrd may say, I am of the opinion that science is, indeed, "logical belief". That is such a great, great way to state it.

Define "logical belief". Science has a very specific definition for the word 'fact'.


"Fact" is only truly fact in theory. In practice we find that fact is often subjective. At best it will be subject to the whims of perceptive difference. And it is why new "facts" redefined old "facts", as our ability to perceive creates noise in the communication of what is true fact.

Scientific facts are not subjective.



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:35 AM
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Originally posted by john_bmth

Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
Despite what our highly esteemed Byrd may say, I am of the opinion that science is, indeed, "logical belief". That is such a great, great way to state it.

Define "logical belief". Science has a very specific definition for the word 'fact'.


"Fact" is only truly fact in theory. In practice we find that fact is often subjective. At best it will be subject to the whims of perceptive difference. And it is why new "facts" redefined old "facts", as our ability to perceive creates noise in the communication of what is true fact.

Scientific facts are not subjective.


Not all of them, no. But many of them.

"Scientific fact" is limited by our ability to observe. If you cannot observe it, then there is a good chance that you remain ignorant of it. Compounded ignorance is the plight of mankind, and what fills our lives with wonder.

"Scientific fact" has been proven wrong time and time again, each time being replaced with a new "scentific fact". Take GR and Quantum Theory. Those two "facts" are unable to be reconciled in the face of each other. They are obviously not actual "fact" but rather "logical beliefs" (or, in otherwords, our best understanding to date).

Logical belief: a belief you espouse due to careful use of logic and consideration.



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 06:54 AM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
Not all of them, no. But many of them.

They are, else they do not meet the requirements for a scientific fact.


"Scientific fact" is limited by our ability to observe. If you cannot observe it, then there is a good chance that you remain ignorant of it. Compounded ignorance is the plight of mankind, and what fills our lives with wonder.

If you cannot observe it, you cannot measure it. Science deals with the observable. It does not care for the unobservable and immeasurable. These are not the realms of science.


"Scientific fact" has been proven wrong time and time again, each time being replaced with a new "scentific fact". Take GR and Quantum Theory. Those two "facts" are unable to be reconciled in the face of each other. They are obviously not actual "fact" but rather "logical beliefs" (or, in otherwords, our best understanding to date).

Those are scientific theories. Scientific theories and scientific facts are not the same thing. A scientific theory explains and interprets the scientific facts. You are correct, however, that scientific theories represent our best understanding to date but they are not mere speculation, they are supported by scientific facts.


Logical belief: a belief you espouse due to careful use of logic and consideration.

Science is evidence-based acquisition of knowledge. Logic and critical thought are part of it, but they are nothing without evidence. That is what differentiates science from other pursuits.



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 07:16 AM
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So my point is can science ever be irrefutable (unquestionable (absolute fact))? I still believe the answer is no.


When you get down to the riveted joints, it's still all a matter of faith because unless you live in the lab or the observatory or alongside the deep space probe, you are taking someone else's word for the material offered.

Some of us trust our religions to hold the truth. Others trust that science is the owner of that truth. But in the end, it's all about trust, or faith, in what someone else tells you is so.




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