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JakobVirgil
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10 Nov 2013, 7:29 pm

I am going with valuing theory over data.

any other views


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10 Nov 2013, 7:45 pm

It's all right here: http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt227931.html

You're welcome.

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10 Nov 2013, 8:22 pm

Thank you

Fnord wrote:
It's all right here: http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt227931.html

You're welcome.

Fnord


I know I should hang out here more.

your definition was comprehensive but I would like to posit mine is quite a bit shorter.


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10 Nov 2013, 8:50 pm

Calling it Theory is being generous.

A lot of it is bullshit with advanced scientific terms like Quantum or Matrix sprinkled on it.


The worst of it is rather Cult-like stuff.



JakobVirgil
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10 Nov 2013, 8:56 pm

VIDEODROME wrote:
Calling it Theory is being generous.

A lot of it is bullshit with advanced scientific terms like Quantum or Matrix sprinkled on it.


The worst of it is rather Cult-like stuff.


Yes I think this a broader definition it includes the truly wacky and stuff. (chupacabra, psychic surgery, horoscopes).
that most folks even most scientists believe (inevitable strong AI and Neo-classical economics).


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11 Nov 2013, 5:16 am

If one were to describe the distinction between science and pseudo-science with one word, it would be "falsifiability".

Here is a list of scientific theories.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miasma_theory
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamarckism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocentrism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth

They all make claims about the physical world which are capable of being tested by observation... They are also all wrong, but they are nonetheless scientific.

On the other hand, theories like Historical Materialism (Marx and co.), Praxeology (Mises and co.), Psychoanalysis (Freud and co.) are not falsifiable, and thus not scientific.

Other theories are falsifiable in principle, but not falsifiable in practice with current technology. Many aspects of theoretical physics, like String Theory and Hawking Radiation, likely suffers from this, because we are unable to observe the entities described in those theories. And any theory about what existed prior to the Big Bang would face the same problem.

Anyway, if a theory exists within the context of discovery (the formulation of ideas), it is irrelevant to point out its unscientific character. It is only when it moves into the context of justification (and starts to make claims about the real world) that the logic of falsifiability holds.


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JakobVirgil
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11 Nov 2013, 11:15 am

GGPViper wrote:
If one were to describe the distinction between science and pseudo-science with one word, it would be "falsifiability".



GGPViper wrote:
If one were to describe the distinction between science and pseudo-science with one word, it would be "falsifiability".
....


Very nice, if there is on word to describe your post it would Popperism?
It is a good (the best?) rubric for finding pseudo-science although not without fault.
Homeopathy is falsifiable and falsified. but I would call it pseudo-science wouldn't you?
The Theory of Evolution is not falsifiable whilst we are sans-Tardis but it is surely the best bet going
in biology eh?
Lakatos does a better job than me on this sort of critique.
[url=crl.ucsd.edu/~ahorowit/lakatos.pdf‎][[crl.ucsd.edu/~ahorowit/lakatos.pdf‎]][/url]

I am not entirely sold on his take either but I do like the idea that science predicts novel truths.


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11 Nov 2013, 1:32 pm

JakobVirgil wrote:
Very nice, if there is on word to describe your post it would Popperism?

It is a good (the best?) rubric for finding pseudo-science although not without fault.

I would use the word falsifiability, because Popper is not the only author of the concept. David Hume initially touched upon the concept in 1748 in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (see my signature) and Popper acknowledged Hume's great influence on his work himself. And Hans Reisenbach (a contemporary of Popper) is actually considered the originator of the context of discovery/context of justification distinction. And Imre Lakatos is generally also considered a proponent of falsification, and provided the primary solution for the main problem of Popper's earlier theory (see below).

JakobVirgil wrote:
Homeopathy is falsifiable and falsified. but I would call it pseudo-science wouldn't you?

Strictly speaking, no. I would just call it a useless theory. Of course, when you ask a practitioner of homeopathy how the treatment can work when a solution has been diluted to the point where not a single molecule of the original substance remains, the reply you get is likely to be within the realm of pseudo-science.

The reason why falsified theories should not be rejected a priori is because the falsification itself could be wrong.

This is most commonly illustrated with the discovery of the planet Neptune. In the 19th century, it was observed that the planet of Uranus did not follow the orbit around predicted by Newtonian Physics. Thus, using a naive version of the logic of falsification, Newtonian Physics should be considered falsified. In reality, scientists had so much faith in Newton that they instead postulated the existence of another planet influencing the orbit of Uranus. In the end, their skepticism and reluctance to throw out the prevailing theory of the day turned out to be correct when they discovered Neptune.

A more recent example was the CERN experiment where a subatomic particle was observed travelling faster than the speed of light. This would violate one of the most fundamental concept of physics: Mass-Energy Equivalance, and make Albert Einstein look like a schmuck... Turned out the results were due to a loose cable and a poorly-calibrated clock.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faster-tha ... no_anomaly

Which is where Imre Lakatos comes in. Among those theories that a falsifiable, successful research programmes will simply out-compete unsuccessful research programmes. When science is done today (at least by serious scientists), the shortcomings of "naive" falsification are implicitly known, even though people simply refer to Popper or "falsifiability". That is why replication is crucial to establishing the validity of a theory.

JakobVirgil wrote:
The Theory of Evolution is not falsifiable whilst we are sans-Tardis but it is surely the best bet going
in biology eh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escherichi ... experiment

Null hypothesis: Bacteria will not acquire more complex traits in subsequent generations.

Alternative hypothesis: Bacteria will acquire more complex traits in subsequent generations.

Result: Bacteria acquire more complex traits in subsequent generations.

It is true that Popper himself expressed doubts about the falsifiability of evolution, but he eventually changed his mind. There is also chromosome fusing and the entire fossil record. And last time I checked, no fossil rabbits have been found in the Precambrian era.


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JakobVirgil
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11 Nov 2013, 5:01 pm

GGPViper wrote:
JakobVirgil wrote:
Very nice, if there is on word to describe your post it would Popperism?

It is a good (the best?) rubric for finding pseudo-science although not without fault.

I would use the word falsifiability, because Popper is not the only author of the concept. David Hume initially touched upon the concept in 1748 in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (see my signature) and Popper acknowledged Hume's great influence on his work himself. And Hans Reisenbach (a contemporary of Popper) is actually considered the originator of the context of discovery/context of justification distinction. And Imre Lakatos is generally also considered a proponent of falsification, and provided the primary solution for the main problem of Popper's earlier theory (see below).

JakobVirgil wrote:
Homeopathy is falsifiable and falsified. but I would call it pseudo-science wouldn't you?

Strictly speaking, no. I would just call it a useless theory. Of course, when you ask a practitioner of homeopathy how the treatment can work when a solution has been diluted to the point where not a single molecule of the original substance remains, the reply you get is likely to be within the realm of pseudo-science.

The reason why falsified theories should not be rejected a priori is because the falsification itself could be wrong.

This is most commonly illustrated with the discovery of the planet Neptune. In the 19th century, it was observed that the planet of Uranus did not follow the orbit around predicted by Newtonian Physics. Thus, using a naive version of the logic of falsification, Newtonian Physics should be considered falsified. In reality, scientists had so much faith in Newton that they instead postulated the existence of another planet influencing the orbit of Uranus. In the end, their skepticism and reluctance to throw out the prevailing theory of the day turned out to be correct when they discovered Neptune.

A more recent example was the CERN experiment where a subatomic particle was observed travelling faster than the speed of light. This would violate one of the most fundamental concept of physics: Mass-Energy Equivalance, and make Albert Einstein look like a schmuck... Turned out the results were due to a loose cable and a poorly-calibrated clock.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faster-tha ... no_anomaly

Which is where Imre Lakatos comes in. Among those theories that a falsifiable, successful research programmes will simply out-compete unsuccessful research programmes. When science is done today (at least by serious scientists), the shortcomings of "naive" falsification are implicitly known, even though people simply refer to Popper or "falsifiability". That is why replication is crucial to establishing the validity of a theory.

JakobVirgil wrote:
The Theory of Evolution is not falsifiable whilst we are sans-Tardis but it is surely the best bet going
in biology eh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escherichi ... experiment

Null hypothesis: Bacteria will not acquire more complex traits in subsequent generations.

Alternative hypothesis: Bacteria will acquire more complex traits in subsequent generations.

Result: Bacteria acquire more complex traits in subsequent generations.

It is true that Popper himself expressed doubts about the falsifiability of evolution, but he eventually changed his mind. There is also chromosome fusing and the entire fossil record. And last time I checked, no fossil rabbits have been found in the Precambrian era.


So you did not read the Latakos?
Falsifiability, regardless of its pedigree is not sufficient to distinguish Science from Pseudo-Science. (ATA)

Pseudo-medicine especially is mostly the clinging to out-dated theories Homeopathy, Humors, Energy meridians, Philosophy of Chiropractic, etc. Which are all highly falsifiable.

The major Pseudo-sciences fall into the same category highly falsifiable (and falsified) Creation Science, Horoscopes, Climate Denial, Psychic surgery etc. So this is the Issue Falsifiability (while helpful in identifying what is science) fails to be useful at identifying what is Pseudo-science.

On evolution your examples are examples of the Fallacy of Composition* does Popper have proper arguments?
* when presented as ,proofs of, rather than, arguments for, the theory of evolution which I hold to be true.


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11 Nov 2013, 5:18 pm

JakobVirgil wrote:
I am going with valuing theory over data.

any other views


Valuing hypotheses over data would be preferential, but neither is exact. We need to also include the kind of 'science' invented by science fiction writers for TV, movies or literature. Presumably, then, pseudo-science has more than one definition.



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11 Nov 2013, 6:01 pm

JakobVirgil wrote:
So you did not read the Latakos?
Falsifiability, regardless of its pedigree is not sufficient to distinguish Science from Pseudo-Science. (ATA)

Of course I did not read the Latakos. Lakatos is much more interesting.

And you completely disregarded my lengthy description of what falsifiability means in a modern scientific context. Falsifiability is *not* generally considered in the same narrow way in the scientific community as when Popper initially published Logik der Forschung in 1934.

JakobVirgil wrote:
Pseudo-medicine especially is mostly the clinging to out-dated theories Homeopathy, Humors, Energy meridians, Philosophy of Chiropractic, etc. Which are all highly falsifiable.

The major Pseudo-sciences fall into the same category highly falsifiable (and falsified) Creation Science, Horoscopes, Climate Denial, Psychic surgery etc. So this is the Issue Falsifiability (while helpful in identifying what is science) fails to be useful at identifying what is Pseudo-science.

Creation science is not falsifiable (An omnipotent deity could accommodate any observation through his/her omnipotence). Climate change denial is not a pseudo-science, it is the rejection of scientific evidence.

JakobVirgil wrote:
On evolution your examples are examples of the Fallacy of Composition* does Popper have proper arguments?
* when presented as ,proofs of, rather than, arguments for, the theory of evolution which I hold to be true.

By the standards of The Fallacy of Composition, *any* evidence would be an example of the fallacy of composition. Ball falls to the ground on Earth? Evidence of gravity on Earth only. Plants grow on Earth? Evidence of photosynthesis on Earth only. So, strictly speaking, you are right. We do not know if it is possible to achieve greater speed than the speed of light, because we would have to observe every single object in the universe ever to arrive at such certainty. But this is neatly managed by using the words "failed to reject the null hypothesis" instead of "confirming the null hypothesis".

Anyway, the theory of evolution provides testable hypotheses which can be investigated in an experimental setting (as the E coli experiment) or by studying the historical fossil record. Still no Precambrian Fossil Rabbits.


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11 Nov 2013, 10:04 pm

JakobVirgil wrote:
I am going with valuing theory over data.

any other views

Einstein once said that if a theory is beautiful it must be true. And the data must be made to comply.
"Beautiful " in this context means elegant, occram's razor. He did not mean "beautiful " in the sense that physical reality is composed of lets say diamonds.
In Einstein's case, he daydreamed about what reality would look like if he went the speed of light. Of course,one cannot ride a photon. That was not the point. The point was that from the simple relativity of motion (no absolute reference ) one can incorporate the data into a new paradigm.


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11 Nov 2013, 10:12 pm

The theory of evolution is elegant. One can see that it works, even without the data.
1. Random mutations.
2. Those best adapted have a greater chance of survival.
3. Longer survival spans, mean a more likelihood of offspring.
However, to seal the deal, empirical evidence was necessary. Similarly, even tho relativity (as a theory) seems inevitable, it was not until astronomical observations proved it that it was accepted as fact.


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12 Nov 2013, 2:52 am

GGPViper wrote:
JakobVirgil wrote:
So you did not read the Latakos?
Falsifiability, regardless of its pedigree is not sufficient to distinguish Science from Pseudo-Science. (ATA)

Of course I did not read the Latakos. Lakatos is much more interesting.

And you completely disregarded my lengthy description of what falsifiability means in a modern scientific context. Falsifiability is *not* generally considered in the same narrow way in the scientific community as when Popper initially published Logik der Forschung in 1934.

JakobVirgil wrote:
Pseudo-medicine especially is mostly the clinging to out-dated theories Homeopathy, Humors, Energy meridians, Philosophy of Chiropractic, etc. Which are all highly falsifiable.

The major Pseudo-sciences fall into the same category highly falsifiable (and falsified) Creation Science, Horoscopes, Climate Denial, Psychic surgery etc. So this is the Issue Falsifiability (while helpful in identifying what is science) fails to be useful at identifying what is Pseudo-science.

Creation science is not falsifiable (An omnipotent deity could accommodate any observation through his/her omnipotence). Climate change denial is not a pseudo-science, it is the rejection of scientific evidence.

JakobVirgil wrote:
On evolution your examples are examples of the Fallacy of Composition* does Popper have proper arguments?
* when presented as ,proofs of, rather than, arguments for, the theory of evolution which I hold to be true.

By the standards of The Fallacy of Composition, *any* evidence would be an example of the fallacy of composition. Ball falls to the ground on Earth? Evidence of gravity on Earth only. Plants grow on Earth? Evidence of photosynthesis on Earth only. So, strictly speaking, you are right. We do not know if it is possible to achieve greater speed than the speed of light, because we would have to observe every single object in the universe ever to arrive at such certainty. But this is neatly managed by using the words "failed to reject the null hypothesis" instead of "confirming the null hypothesis".

Anyway, the theory of evolution provides testable hypotheses which can be investigated in an experimental setting (as the E coli experiment) or by studying the historical fossil record. Still no Precambrian Fossil Rabbits.


whatever you say big guy :lol:
but lets not explore your ego it has always proved boring in the past.


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12 Nov 2013, 3:07 am

I thought this was interesting.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc ... ty/281219/


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