Tuesday, September 30, 2014

541: A Clearer View on Science

Since the start of our project “Why Science is Right” we have encountered some interesting features of the phenomenon Science.

It shows not to be as easy as just saying “facts are facts”, but in our latest lecture something interesting came up, which might be of help.

People all over the world claim to know things. When two claims are contradictory, people sometimes defend themselves by saying “Well, that is your opinion. I think different”.

But is knowing things just a matter of opinions? No, that can’t be true. That we know that antibiotics work and can make you healthy again is not just an opinion of some pharmaceutical company, which wants to make money.

And that brings us to our observation in our previous lecture: I do not believe in science, but I believe science, because it shows evidence for the justification of its claims.

This leads us to the next question. In a Court of Law the prosecutor can show evidence to proof the justification of his indictment, but the judge can overrule him and call certain pieces of evidence impermissible.

Is this in science also the case? Is there impermissible evidence in science and if so, what are the criteria to properly distinguish impermissible from permissible evidence.

An interesting example of this discussion is the Kitzmiller versus Dover Area School District case.

Tammy Kitzmiller,  versus Dover Area School District was the first direct challenge brought in the United States federal courts testing a public school district policy that required the teaching of Intelligent Design.

For those of you, who are not familiar with the details of the Intelligent Design theory, Intelligent design (ID) is the pseudoscientific view, 

that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."

Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have demonstrated that ID is a religious argument, a form of creationism which lacks empirical support and offers no tenable hypotheses.

Proponents argue that it is "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins" that challenges the methodological naturalism inherent in modern science,while conceding that they have yet to produce a scientific theory.

I took this from Wikipedia and it is a correct description and it teaches us a lot. To begin with:

1. Evidence that is used in religion is of no use at all in science. An interesting point: science and religion seem to be incompatible, or no use to eahother.

2. Science demands empirical support of knowledge claims.

3. Methodological naturalism is a too limited approach to generate permissible evidence for a theory.

Methodological naturalism concerns itself not with claims about what exists but with methods of learning what nature is. 

It is strictly the idea that all scientific endeavors, all hypotheses and events, are to be explained and tested by reference to natural causes and events.

The ID proponents admit, that they still have to come up with a scientific theory to prove that they are right and evolutionists are wrong.

What is a scientific theory? 

A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation, according to Wikipedia.

Not a bad description, but of course we run into the question here “What is The Scientific Method?”, because methodological naturalism seems to be too limited according to these ID proponents.

As you see, now we are right in the middle of the debate about the question “What is science” or “What makes statements to statements of scientific knowledge?” Enough for a few more lectures on the subject, I would say.

Thank you…. ^_^

The Discussion

[13:22] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:22] argus Portal: Thank you. A very interesting topic
[13:23] argus Portal: We mentioned R.Dawkins in an earlier debate. He has much to do, to explain that to religious people
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: ID to me seem to be a hybrid between science and religion, one idea is that aliens many times more advanced then us can create entire worlds with life and these aliens would then be "God"
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: sort of
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: but seems unlikly to me
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: The problem is that science cannot explain changing things - so i disagree with Herman’s point 1
[13:24] herman Bergson: Well you got it right, yes....religion and science don’t seem to go together that well....Dawkins is an example
[13:24] herman Bergson: What do you mean with "changing things" Ciska?
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: like societies and so on - all social "science" which alters due to time and cultural alterations
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: "hard" science cannot explain that
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: and yet we need some explanations to organize us
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: as human beings
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: religion filled that space for long
[13:26] argus Portal: there is the system theory as example
[13:26] herman Bergson: and you think religion has todo that?
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: no
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: they did it
[13:27] herman Bergson: and failed
[13:27] argus Portal: Sure can science explain social mechanisms
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: well science failed too
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: on that subject
[13:27] herman Bergson: Hold on...!
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: true
[13:27] herman Bergson: There is also the human option to say "I do not know"
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: of course - but that does not organize people
[13:28] herman Bergson: And just have to live with it
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: and we needed a minimum to organzise us
[13:28] argus Portal: religious people don’t say that... "I do not know"
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: now we have the religion of economics doing that ofr us
[13:28] herman Bergson: In that situation only common sense is the only resource...
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: nope
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: aa indeed
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: today al is about money it seems
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: all
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes indeed Ciska...
[13:29] herman Bergson: and the other religion is the Health religion...
[13:29] herman Bergson: The name of god is Health...
[13:29] herman Bergson: the priests are the doctors
[13:30] herman Bergson: and the sinners are the people with overweight, the smokers and drinkers
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: and as for the: I don't know - a lot of scientist claimed knowledgein the past which did turn out differentl ylater
[13:30] Beertje Beaumont: and the devil is called McDonalds..
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: lool
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: hahah beertje
[13:30] argus Portal: "religion" for me simply ignore open questions. And states , there are no open questions
[13:30] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje..MacDonnalds is Hell on earth indeed :-))
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: and the devil is Ronald Mcdonald
[13:31] herman Bergson: True Argus...
[13:31] Bejiita Imako:
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: thats a too narrow sight on religion for me argus - thats just another way of saying: you are wrong - not I don't know ,)
[13:31] argus Portal: not sure, what you mean, Ciska
[13:31] herman Bergson: The debate with religion is an epistemological one....
[13:32] herman Bergson: the empiricist says that only his sensory system can register information from which he can deduce things
[13:32] herman Bergson: or induce things..
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: not all of religion ignores questions -
[13:32] herman Bergson: the religious person claims to have an extra source of information...
[13:32] argus Portal: ok, Ciska. But then I don’t call that people "religious"
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: well but they are ;)
[13:33] herman Bergson: called "faith"
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: thats just your definition then
[13:33] argus Portal: we all need faith for some short periods to be able to act and learn. We need solid fundaments. But we need the ability to let go, when the time is come
[13:33] herman Bergson: Religion goes beyond the empirical world with its knowledge claims
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: well - we all have faith - wether we call ourselves religious or not - no?
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: faith in the dax ;)
[13:34] herman Bergson: no...I disagree...
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: you are free of faith?
[13:34] herman Bergson: We assume certain things...not (yet) knowing whether they are true or not...
[13:35] herman Bergson: I am indeed...
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: we do things because we assume things
[13:35] herman Bergson: yes....
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: and there is no faith involved in that?
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: i guess so
[13:35] argus Portal: thats what i meant above
[13:35] herman Bergson: Because we lack sufficient empirical data to tell us whether we are right or wrong
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: ok - we disagree on that
[13:35] Beertje Beaumont: how can you have faith in something you don't know?
[13:36] herman Bergson: No...there is hope involved...the hope that we are empirically right
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: one thing i realized today is many people today dont even check facts but goes on totally what foryms like 4 chan ex says
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: i read about a case where they fooled people that IOS 8 make your mobile chargeable in the microwave oven
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: and many actually tried it!
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: POFF!
[13:37] herman Bergson: lol
[13:37] argus Portal: lol
[13:37] argus Portal: I saw a picture hehe
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: they didn’t seem to know all about the fact microwave ovens induce high voltage in everything u put in it
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: cause they haven;t read about anything like that even it seems like common sense to know this
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: know how things actually work before using it
[13:38] argus Portal: the smartphone needs energy. and the microwave have lots energy. so what ?
[13:38] herman Bergson: That, Bejiita , is a matter of lack of education....
[13:38] herman Bergson: Lack of knowledge
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: well the problem is you basically connect the phone to a high voltage line with several 10000 V in it
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: way to much for any electronic component
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: at least inside a phone or computer
[13:39] herman Bergson: That isn’t philosophy bejiita :-)
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: the issue here is people believe stuff without checking facts inn general
[13:40] herman Bergson: What you say only shows lack of knowledge with some persons
[13:40] herman Bergson: Yes....there you are right!
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: this is a general issue today
[13:40] argus Portal: The question for is here: Why should one trust an person and his / her sayings
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: this was just one extreme example
[13:41] herman Bergson: Always has been.....
[13:41] argus Portal: *for me is here
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: showing how bad it can be
[13:41] herman Bergson: That is why education is the only future for this planet
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: when people believe hard in the wrong facs problems will arise
[13:41] argus Portal: "I saw god" and "I charged my iphone in a microwave" is almost the same problem :-)
[13:41] herman Bergson: You see that happen in Africa...the ebola outbreak...
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: can be argus cause they really believe its true and will work even its not
[13:42] herman Bergson: Some believe that the medication just causes it and hide the sick people and wait for the tribalmedicine man
[13:43] Beertje Beaumont: they also believe the white man brings ebola to them
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: yes same thing here or that it is gods punishment and they refuse to take in what doctors ect say
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: hat know how it really is
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: that
[13:43] herman Bergson: Or they believe the story that the medication makes people sterile.
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:43] herman Bergson: And here science may be right, but ignorance  still prevails and beliefs
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: it seems so
[13:44] Beertje Beaumont: problem is in Africa too....too little education
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:44] argus Portal: yes
[13:44] herman Bergson: I still assume that there is a range of questions where we just have to answer...I DO NOT KNOW
[13:45] herman Bergson: and a range of questions were we can give a statistical answer
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: (which is interpreted )
[13:45] herman Bergson: and a range of questions were we can give a hard scientific answer
[13:46] argus Portal: "hard" as long, as it is not disproved
[13:46] herman Bergson: And in that situation people have big problems with the I DO NOT KNOW solution....and there they make up stories and so on suggesting they DO know something
[13:47] herman Bergson: Sure Argus...but then according to scientific methosd
[13:47] argus Portal: "I don’t know" is not giving up. It means: Wait, we are learning step by step
[13:48] herman Bergson: Of course it isn’t a "giving up" Argus....It it just an incentive to study nature more
[13:48] argus Portal: I saw an debate between an atheist and an christ. The christ tried to disproof the atheist, because he said: I dont know (yet)
[13:48] argus Portal: He showed people the bible and said: I know.
[13:48] herman Bergson: That is because the christian claims to have another...extra...epistemological source...
[13:49] herman Bergson: The claim is nice but hasn’t brought  us anywhere
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: ow - it organized a lot of people in history
[13:49] herman Bergson: But as Ciska says...it helped people to organize socially
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: i bet he have never really seen god, only heard stories and read the bible and you don’t get proof from that
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: thats a fact
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: its just a story he believes hard
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: wether we like it or not
[13:50] herman Bergson: sure thing Ciska...I agree
[13:50] argus Portal: For those of you, who are interested: This is a series of debates:
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: our wealth is built on that
[13:50] argus Portal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zll7Ey3sZEA&html5=1
[13:50] herman Bergson: But it isn’t the organizing factor anymore....except in the Islamic world
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: so it does not help to condemn it - one must learn to understand it differently - thats at least what i would conclude
[13:50] herman Bergson: and we see the results of it every day on TV...
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: if i see god for real i believe he exist but then i also must be sure im not hallucinating or something like that, with all that ruled out i can then scientifically say god exist
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: can any christian do that? i think not
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: still they believe hard on it
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: and any other religious people btw
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: no- but thats the point Bejiita - we do not know yet
[13:51] herman Bergson: It is not a matter of condemning it Ciska....just the observation that it no longer works...
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: we at least need some kind of trace
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: but thats what happens with "hardly "Science too
[13:52] herman Bergson: and this MIGHT be due to the fact that science is right
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: philosophy as well
[13:53] herman Bergson: Science also can say....we do not know the answer...which is a sincere scientific conclusion then
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: so the only thing to solve this - is to define evidence in such a way that we can say - ok - then we don't know much ;)
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: but thats not happening
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: doctors tell you swallow that pill your better then
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: because statistically it works
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: if it does not work for me i'm unlucky
[13:53] Ciska Riverstone: but thats not a scientific fact for me
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: thats just we try to help you
[13:54] herman Bergson: yes,,,that us why I said that Health has become a religion....
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: and most people can be helped with this one
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:54] argus Portal: (medicine) doctors for me are not scientists
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: so true
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: well - so in the end we know nothing but a lot of knowledge is claimed everywhere
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: but we condemn the religion
[13:54] herman Bergson: People have to accept that there is a CHANCE that th epill works....
[13:54] Ciska Riverstone: interesting
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: hmmm
[13:55] herman Bergson: there is no reason at all to condemn religion...for what?
[13:55] herman Bergson: It just doesn’t work...
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: well thats what happens
[13:55] herman Bergson: not here in this class
[13:55] Ciska Riverstone: society wise
[13:55] argus Portal: for me religion not only has to do with the god-question
[13:56] herman Bergson: Dawkins cum suis does....
[13:56] argus Portal: It is an mind-state to be religious
[13:56] herman Bergson: a waste of time and energy in my opinion
[13:56] herman Bergson: Yes Argus....
[13:56] herman Bergson: so condemning it is nonsense...
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: a bad one argus?
[13:56] Ciska Riverstone: ,)
[13:56] herman Bergson: a factual one Ciska :-)
[13:57] argus Portal: my football-club is the biggest one, for me is the same, like "my god is the only one"
[13:57] herman Bergson: whether it is bad or good depends on the consequences of this state...
[13:57] herman Bergson: And in the Islamic world at the moment Ithink it is a real bad stat of mind
[13:58] argus Portal: Ciska, depends. If one is able to let go, religious periods of time are useful
[13:58] herman Bergson: It brings people to decapitate fellowmen....
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: like with science the question is how it is used
[13:58] Ciska Riverstone: Einstein wasn’t happy about the bomb either
[13:58] herman Bergson: as I said...it is all decised by its consequences...
[13:59] herman Bergson: There is some theory in ethics called Consequentialism, I believe...
[14:00] herman Bergson: It determines a deed on its consequences for being right or wrong
[14:00] Ciska Riverstone: the problem is its easy to say - religion and science do not go together as long as we know so little
[14:00] argus Portal: sounds like the idea of karma
[14:00] herman Bergson: Doesn't work of course...for how to decide what is right etc. :-)
[14:00] Ciska Riverstone: but it does not help
[14:01] Beertje Beaumont: Sorry I have to go.....the consequesnences of too much good Cider takes his toll....
[14:01] herman Bergson: No Ciska....I mean something different with that obervation...
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[14:01] argus Portal: Bye Beertje
[14:01] Ciska Riverstone: good night Beertje
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: night Beertje
[14:01] Beertje Beaumont: goodnight :)))
[14:01] argus Portal: :-)
[14:02] herman Bergson: I mean that religious people claim to have an epistemological source which epiricist do not have
[14:02] herman Bergson: Bye Beertje
[14:03] Ciska Riverstone: and that differs how - when you compare it with the assumption scientific theories lay down and take for granted? done for example in economical theories?
[14:03] herman Bergson: I guess..time to dismiss class ^_^
[14:04] Ciska Riverstone: well - yes - we won't agree on that one herman ,)
[14:04] argus Portal: Thank you, Herman for this great discussion
[14:04] Ciska Riverstone: thank you
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[14:05] herman Bergson: economical theroies are based on statistics....so all claims are never fool proof, contrary to chemistry for instance
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: nice again
[14:05] herman Bergson: Was a pleasure Argus :-)
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: cu soon again and don’t microwave your mobiles
[14:05] argus Portal: Goodnight all
[14:05] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[14:05] Ciska Riverstone: hahah bejiita
[14:06] Ciska Riverstone: sleep well everyone
[14:06] herman Bergson: and an iPad, Bejiita...can I put that in the Microwave? :-))
[14:06] Bejiita Imako: om going to microwave something to eat though
[14:06] Bejiita Imako: im hungry
[14:06] Bejiita Imako:
[14:06] Bejiita Imako: cu

[14:06] herman Bergson: ok

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