posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 01:23 PM
Their seems to be a lot of confusion based on the language we use here in this forum. I felt like we needed to clarify some terms that are commonly
misconstrued. Now, by no means am I an authority but a little reading goes a long way. I'm sure we all can benefit from a little bit of
clarification. Of course this is not a comprehensive list but I do think it's a good start. Feel free to suggest some definitions of terms you may
feel are being taken out of context. In addition, let's not have this devolve into the usual debate. This is more of a resource as opposed to a
Now, to start, SCIENCE seems to be one of the most misused terms here. Some people tend to think its synonymous with "belief" or "philosophy".
Science is also NOT some sort of object outside of ourselves.
1 : the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding 2 a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of
study b : something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge 3 a : knowledge or a system of knowledge
covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b : such knowledge or such a
system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science
Now, classic philosophy was a way to systematically describe the world we live in through logic. It was mainly a mental exercise until sufficient
empirical evidence was found. Another definition is more so how you view and live your life. That does not necessarily mean what you believe is
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and
Science does not tell you what to do. Other people tell you what to do. Many times it would be a good idea to heed the advice science lends but
that's on you if things go wrong.
a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds
To arrive at a conclusion that is provable we use....
The Scientific Method
The scientific method is the process by which scientists, collectively and over time, endeavor to construct an accurate (that is, reliable, consistent
and non-arbitrary) representation of the world. Recognizing that personal and cultural beliefs influence both our perceptions and our interpretations
of natural phenomena, we aim through the use of standard procedures and criteria to minimize those influences when developing a theory. As a famous
scientist once said, "Smart people (like smart lawyers) can come up with very good explanations for mistaken points of view." In summary, the
scientific method attempts to minimize the influence of bias or prejudice in the experimenter when testing an hypothesis or a theory.
This next term is used to describe the most current and workable versions of an observed phenomenon.
systematic ideational structure of broad scope, conceived by the human imagination,
that encompasses a family of empirical (experiential) laws regarding regularities existing in objects and events, both observed and posited. A
scientific theory is a structure suggested by these laws and is devised to explain them in a scientifically rational manner.
This way, below, of using "theory" is frequently confused with what is a "scientific theory".
abstract thought : speculation
A hypothesis is the precursor to a scientific theory once sufficient evidence is gathered and agreed upon.
b : an interpretation of a practical situation or condition taken as the ground for action
2 : a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences
The next 3 basically are the whole base on which we exist and are pretty immutable.
that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
Empirical evidence is information that is acquired by observation or experimentation. This data is recorded and analyzed by scientists and is a
central process as part of the scientific method.
something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is whether it can be proven
to correspond to experience. Standard reference works are often used to check facts. Scientific facts are verified by repeatable experiments.
To get to the point of agreement that all facts have been accounted for there is the process of....
formally it is a process of self-regulation by a profession or a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals within the relevant field.
Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility. In academia peer review is often used to
determine an academic paper's suitability for publication.
I felt like I needed to add this one here because many people here have mistrust in experts. Although it's good to have a healthy dose of skepticism,
there do exist people who know more than others. Put it this way, would you be offended if you've been in your profession for a number of years and
feel like you've attained a vast knowledge and skill of it and someone with less knowledge comes in and tries to tell you what to do? Of course
everyone is capable of error but wouldn't you trust the person who's immersed themselves in a specific profession over the person who hasn't?
characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2) : exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally
businesslike manner in the workplace