Well, too bad. You'll never
I have been seeing a lot of people during my time here, and specifically from this thread
lately, claim that they choose not to believe something because it lacks
"scientific proof". It is really quite embarrassing too, because most of the people screaming for "proof!" are, what I would judge as, quite
You do realize that the term "scientific proof" is some what a form of oxymora, right?
There is no such thing as "proof" when it comes to science, because there are no final results in science. If you want finality you will have to
partake in mathematics or logic as those are the only subjects where proof exists.
I'd love to go on and write my reasoning for this but this article sums it up much better than I ever could:
misconceptions about science I: “Scientific proof”
Proofs have two features that do not exist in science: They are final, and they are binary. Once a theorem is proven, it will
forever be true and there will be nothing in the future that will threaten its status as a proven theorem (unless a flaw is discovered in the proof).
Apart from a discovery of an error, a proven theorem will forever and always be a proven theorem.
In contrast, all scientific knowledge is tentative and provisional, and nothing is final. There is no such thing as final proven knowledge in
science. The currently accepted theory of a phenomenon is simply the best explanation for it among all available alternatives. Its status as
the accepted theory is contingent on what other theories are available and might suddenly change tomorrow if there appears a better theory or new
evidence that might challenge the accepted theory. No knowledge or theory (which embodies scientific knowledge) is final. That, by the way, is why
science is so much fun.
We can look at history and see this all the time. You know this to be true. I'm not going to give the cliché example of how people used to think the
world was flat (oops I just did hehe), but there has obviously been a lot of this in the past and when someone says that "I don't believe something
just because I choose to, I believe it because of facts" they are most certainly wrong.
In the end, it really does come down to your own personal belief. Unless, of course, you are a nihilist and don't believe in anything.
For example, a few scientists in today's world come to an agreement on something. This claim gets brought to the public and now it is generally
accepted as a standard and is considered "right" by the public. However, did the mass public do these experiments themselves? Did they calculate
everything? Do all the measurements? Most certainly not, but since it is generally agreed by everyone, they believe it. I've talked about this before
in a thread of mine and in logic this is known as an argumentum ad populum
, which basically means "people believe something to be true merely
because everybody else believes it". This is a fallacy, mind you.
The article sited above then goes on to state this:
In contrast, there is no such binary evaluation of scientific theories. Scientific theories are neither absolutely false nor absolutely true.
They are always somewhere in between. Some theories are better, more credible, and more accepted than others. There is always more, more credible,
and better evidence for some theories than others. It is a matter of more or less, not either/or. For example, experimental evidence is better and
more credible than correlational evidence, but even the former cannot prove a theory; it only provides very strong evidence for the theory and against
That being said, if we look at science from a logical
standpoint, we would have to conclude that nothing is neither false nor true. However, we
know that logic is contradictory to belief. A belief is something thought to be true by means of a opinion, where as logical truths come from facts.
So, what that comes down to again is that, at some point, you are believing something based on your own opinion.
Also, with the above text linked, one could conclude that any
piece of substantial evidence would be enough for someone to believe that
something scientific is "true" or, at least, agreeable with them. If we simply can not prove anything scientific, that would mean the same regardless
for the amount of "evidence" that was released. You could have 1000's of pages released saying "this is true" or you could have One page released
saying "this is true" but neither one will prove that the theory is final. So, the amount of evidence should not matter either when deciding for
yourself that something scientific is provable.
Remember the example I wrote above? Involving the argumentum ad populum? Well, let's say that this information was released to the public and they
mass agreed on it. What then if another group of scientists had came out with completely equal amounts of information proving it to be "fasle"? Now
you have 50% saying that "this is what is" and 50% saying "this is not what is". Who do you choose then? It merely comes down to your opinion, once
Consider this a rant if you wish, but the statement stands the same: "You can't prove anything scientific
edit on 12-1-2012 by ErroneousDylan because: This text is green and italic.