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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Do you believe in science? (12 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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silvercup
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On Jan 28, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
Science is not always final and what is accepted as a fact today may be modified or even discarded tomorrow. Time changes many things.

That’s why some smart man finally figured out that you can’t count your chickens before they hatch.

Tom


That's the great thing about Science, it's not final.

Do I believe in Science?
I'm thankful Science doesn't require or solicit my belief.
TomBoleware
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I believe in science I just don’t trust all those that start every sentence with ‘science has proven’

Fact is, science has proven that you can prove nearly any statement by beginning it with science has proven.Smile

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

www.tomboleware.com
TonyB2009
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As Bob stated at the start, I too believe in the scientific method. It is a method of investigation that has gotten us closer and closer to the truth about how the universe works, and produced tremendous benefits for mankind. In four centuries it has done more for us than all the thousands of years of thought before the scientific method.

As for science itself, most times it is right, sometimes it is wrong. It is a constantly evolving thing. But when it is wrong, that eventually becomes clear, and is rectified. It is the self-correcting nature of scientific enquiry that makes it so powerful.
Ian McColl
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On Jan 28, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
I believe in science I just don’t trust all those that start every sentence with ‘science has proven’

Fact is, science has proven that you can prove nearly any statement by beginning it with science has proven.Smile

Tom


Where has science every said 'science has proven’ ? It usually journalist who make wild claims. At least science is open minded, evolving and changes with the times.
LobowolfXXX
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Science is very powerful...people can make fun of silly, stupid superstitious people who believe in things like Psychic phenomena, then if those phenomena ever become proven, those people can blithely jump on the bandwagon and incorporate those exact same beliefs but sacrifice none of their smugness and still feel far superior about doing so, because after all, it's science now!
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Ian McColl
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On Jan 28, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Science is very powerful...people can make fun of silly, stupid superstitious people who believe in things like Psychic phenomena, then if those phenomena ever become proven, those people can blithely jump on the bandwagon and incorporate those exact same beliefs but sacrifice none of their smugness and still feel far superior about doing so, because after all, it's science now!



Wouldn't it be a better start position to say "I don't know" and let science try to find out the answer.
Your method suggests, "Here is a far fetched idea, lets believe it until it's disproven or confirmed."

Science looks for answers. Other beliefs say, "we all ready know, so don't look , examine or question."
LobowolfXXX
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What's my method?
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Ian McColl
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Did I read it wrong?
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
On Jan 28, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 28, 2015, Michael Daniels wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 28, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
Oh, and Mike? I am a thoroughgoing non-relativist.


Ah, the challenge of post-postmodernism - how to be non-relativist yet not a fundamentalist.

Mike


:)

I am tempted to suggest that such a challenge might be met by returning to the ancients, but I would be accused of Straussianism.

Regarding definitions: by "science" I usually mean what philosphers used to call "natural philosophy." By "belief" or "faith" I mean "holding something to be true." I'm not a complicated guy.

Regarding Descartes: remember that I'm not a Cartesian. The mathematical example is a good one, however, because mathematics brings us back to Gödel--and no one commented on Gödel.

I once read a fascinating discussion on Gödel over at Randi's forum. I forget what the forum is called these days.

I've been patiently sitting here waiting...

For Gödel!
magicfish
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On Jan 28, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
I really want to know.

Modern "science" has produced a mind-bogglingly effective method for understanding how things work and are put together, and how to put new things together to make cool things (like drugs and Blu-Ray players.

But it requires a little bit of faith. We can say something like, "it's the BEST method we have", and that may be true. And we can rejoice in our potential release from superstitious belief. But we still have to believe in science. Science cannot prove that science is good. Science doesn't question itself.

This bothers me, because while I am not really much of a believer in anything, I choose to approach an understanding of the world through reason rather than superstition. Yet I see the limits of science, and my fellow skeptics do not. Everyone who calls themselves a "skeptic" seems to believe in science. They are limited skeptics: they aren't skeptical enough.

So thread after thread pops up in which the skeptics debate those who are believers in one thing or another, and they don't realize that they are believers themselves. They believe in science!

I don't.

Science is a tool, and nothing more. It's VERY cool, and I love it, and I'm glad we have it. But it is flawed--seriously flawed. It is self-limiting by design (which is a good thing!); but those who believe in it seem to ignore that limit.

So: do you believe in science?

Science is great. I revere science. But it is our science. In our universe. It is all we know. It is infinitesimally small and limited.
stoneunhinged
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On Jan 29, 2015, magicfish wrote:

Science is great. I revere science. But it is our science. In our universe. It is all we know. It is infinitesimally small and limited.


Brilliant! Thank you.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On Jan 29, 2015, stoneunhinged wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 29, 2015, magicfish wrote:

Science is great. I revere science. But it is our science. In our universe. It is all we know. It is infinitesimally small and limited.


Brilliant! Thank you.


The skeptical problem cuts across this two.Where could we possibly stand to pronounce that science is merely our parochial view on the universe? It's exactly the same problem as trying find a vantage point that lets us declare our science to be universal.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
tommy
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It is a limited tool for understanding all that is.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
MobilityBundle
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I'm kind of surprised nobody has taken the following position yet. (Sorry, wish I could have done this sooner, but I don't read the forum that much these days.)

To me, the most accurate characterization of the scientific method has nothing to do with discovering or proving truth -- at least not in its most fundamental sense. Instead, the scientific method is fundamentally about rejecting falsehood. To be sure, this idea isn't mine originally. It goes back to Karl Popper (a philosopher from the early 20th century), but I first was exposed to it from Richard Feynman (a Nobel prize winning physicist and talented writer from the mid-20th century).

As a bit of an aside, here's a wonderful video of Feynman discussing the nature of science:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYPapE-3FRw

The idea I mentioned above starts at about the 3:55 mark, and goes on for about one minute.

Now, back to the context of Stone's original question: do I "believe in" science? That could get parsed out two ways: do I believe in its accuracy or its completeness?

I absolutely believe in its accuracy. I believe that a proposition that is inconsistent with empirical data is false. Although arguably this requires some small scintilla of faith in... something... I'm not sure it's very significant. (Indeed, I don't even need to come with a pre-defined notion of false... one can simply take "inconsistent with empirical data" as the definition.)

I'm not sure I have a position on its completeness. That is, I don't have a position as to whether all worthwhile statements are NECESSARILY scientific or falsifiable. I mean, I PERSONALLY am uninterested in contemplating unfalsifiable statements. But I don't see how to objectively convince someone else who is inclined to consider such statements that he's making some kind of mistake.

(Stone, hopefully that's responsive. I'm a bit bleary-eyed at the moment...)
tommy
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The empirical data is sometimes false or rather anything can lied about by man.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
LobowolfXXX
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On Jan 29, 2015, MobilityBundle wrote:
I'm kind of surprised nobody has taken the following position yet. (Sorry, wish I could have done this sooner, but I don't read the forum that much these days.)

To me, the most accurate characterization of the scientific method has nothing to do with discovering or proving truth -- at least not in its most fundamental sense. Instead, the scientific method is fundamentally about rejecting falsehood. To be sure, this idea isn't mine originally. It goes back to Karl Popper (a philosopher from the early 20th century), but I first was exposed to it from Richard Feynman (a Nobel prize winning physicist and talented writer from the mid-20th century).

As a bit of an aside, here's a wonderful video of Feynman discussing the nature of science:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYPapE-3FRw

The idea I mentioned above starts at about the 3:55 mark, and goes on for about one minute.

Now, back to the context of Stone's original question: do I "believe in" science? That could get parsed out two ways: do I believe in its accuracy or its completeness?

I absolutely believe in its accuracy. I believe that a proposition that is inconsistent with empirical data is false. Although arguably this requires some small scintilla of faith in... something... I'm not sure it's very significant. (Indeed, I don't even need to come with a pre-defined notion of false... one can simply take "inconsistent with empirical data" as the definition.)

I'm not sure I have a position on its completeness. That is, I don't have a position as to whether all worthwhile statements are NECESSARILY scientific or falsifiable. I mean, I PERSONALLY am uninterested in contemplating unfalsifiable statements. But I don't see how to objectively convince someone else who is inclined to consider such statements that he's making some kind of mistake.

(Stone, hopefully that's responsive. I'm a bit bleary-eyed at the moment...)


A useful bifurcation!
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
tommy
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Bi is the problem with science because sometimes things are not either one thing or another but both at the same time.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Magnus Eisengrim
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Mobility, Popper's falsification criterion has been shown to be inadequate for a number of reasons. The most important is usually known as the Quine-Duhem thesis. In short, scientific propositions are usually far to robust to be defeated by falsification. This is because science is an enormous web of theory, models, empirical evidence etc. When a crucial experiment fails, it can usually be explained by making little tweaks somewhere in the web, while leaving the original conjecture intact.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
tommy
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One of which is that it does not suit the warmers.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
RNK
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Quote:
On Jan 28, 2015, Ian McColl wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 28, 2015, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Science is very powerful...people can make fun of silly, stupid superstitious people who believe in things like Psychic phenomena, then if those phenomena ever become proven, those people can blithely jump on the bandwagon and incorporate those exact same beliefs but sacrifice none of their smugness and still feel far superior about doing so, because after all, it's science now!



Wouldn't it be a better start position to say "I don't know" and let science try to find out the answer.
Your method suggests, "Here is a far fetched idea, lets believe it until it's disproven or confirmed."

Science looks for answers. Other beliefs say, "we all ready know, so don't look , examine or question."


No, actually Ian it's better to form a hypothesis and then use science to prove the hypothesis. That's how science works. One forms an opinion (hypothesis) and then they work towards proving the hypothesis and making it into a theory.
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