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"Belief has no place in science" 
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Post "Belief has no place in science"
Would you agree or disagree with this statement?



Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:27 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
Doesn't mean much without elaboration.

Are you talking about believing evidence that you read about? Making assumptions to construct a theory? Having an opinion that is not backed by evidence? Inductive reasoning?



Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:11 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
Scientific knowledge rests in a framework of axiomatic beliefs. The basic axioms of science are existential statements about being in the world. For example, scientists believe that the universe exists, and that rigorous observation that provides consistent, coherent and predictive explanations of reality is trustworthy.


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Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:31 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
Quote:
Doesn't mean much without elaboration.

Are you talking about believing evidence that you read about? Making assumptions to construct a theory? Having an opinion that is not backed by evidence? Inductive reasoning?


Good question(s).

Let me try to amplify a bit more.

When a scientific claim is made, say for instance, any and all copper conducts electricity, it is a universal claim about copper. But our experience and observation of copper is miniscule and nonrandom as compared to universality.
Having said that, how would we falsify this scientific claim to establish confirmation when falsification is dependent on observation and deductive affirmation?

I know about inference to the best yada, yada, yada.., BUT, in this instance, our inductive conclusion is based on what about copper everywhere in existence? Based on conclusive evidence or belief that our theory about copper holds true everywhere regardless of its untestability?



Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:07 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
Robert Tulip wrote:
Scientific knowledge rests in a framework of axiomatic beliefs. The basic axioms of science are existential statements about being in the world. For example, scientists believe that the universe exists, and that rigorous observation that provides consistent, coherent and predictive explanations of reality is trustworthy.



See my attempt to amplify for Dexter.



Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:08 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
the statement "Belief has no place in science" is pretty wide open, i think i know what you may mean but dont really care to comment without an understanding of which belief and what science if you get what i'm driving at.

but there is a similar statement i would be quicker to agree with. ...and that is

"belief in a literalist orthodox personal god who is concieved of in various ways under such names as yahweh and allah has no place in a rational coherent worldview that is consistent with reason and a healthy state of mind."

that is not to say belief in yahweh or allah makes a person a bad person but that insistence on yahweh as god for example in the literalist sense that you must accept his only son historical jesus or be tortured for an eternity in a literal lake of fire is tantamount to signing up for a miserable insane existence not to mention causing people who care about you to worry a lot and have to suffer a lot of crap preaching.

it's a long winded clumbsy statement for sure but it has more specific content.



Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:44 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
The copper example illustrates the point I made about the scientific assumption that the universe is self-consistent. This cannot be proved, but is accepted as an axiom. Science assumes that proven inconsistency is evidence of error or incompleteness in scientific theory. Scientists believe the universe is consistent as a necessary principle of science. Consistency means that the laws of physics operate in far galaxies just as they do on earth, that they are universally true.

Atomic structure is a field of science that flows from consistent application of the laws of physics. It means that the copper atom appears to have a universally consistent relation to electricity, as a conductor. If scientists did not make such assumptions, the astronomical study of distant galaxies, looking at redshift, lensing, dark matter, CMBR, etc, would be impossible.

Kant explored this problem of consistency in terms of necessary truth. He argued that logically we should accept as true any statement that is a necessary condition of experience, something without which our life would not be possible as we live it. For example, if matter, space, time and causality did not exist, our experience would be impossible, therefore these phenomena do exist. Science builds upon this framework with the observation, developed through Newtonian mechanics, that the laws of nature appears to work the same everywhere.

Newton’s idea of gravity as universally consistent was refined with Einstein’s discovery of relativity, which now produces highly exact predictions about gravity. Scientists tend to believe that the theory of relativity is true, because of its predictive power. Global positioning systems would not work without the mathematics of relativity, the same mathematics that measures the lensing of distant galaxies. Mathematics is the language of reality.


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Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:42 am
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
Disagree. You SHOULD believe that which is adequately supported.

Faith has no place in science.

Quote:
When a scientific claim is made, say for instance, any and all copper conducts electricity, it is a universal claim about copper. But our experience and observation of copper is miniscule and nonrandom as compared to universality.


In the case of copper we are talking about the exhaustive study of a material and cataloguing of it’s behaviors. We also understand the atomic structure of copper and the way it bonds with other atoms. It is the underlying structure of the electrons and how they are shared between atoms that accounts for the conductive properties of copper.

There is a thing to recognize about this. Copper has properties A, B, and C. If you find a substance somewhere that has properties A, B, and F… then that’s not copper. And if it has different properties that will be because it has a different nucleus.

But how do we know what is far away is the same as what is close to us? Well, it starts with a guess. Any guess will do and it doesn’t matter how you come up with the guess. What’s important is the follow up.

You could say, “What causes this pencil to fall down is the same thing that causes the planets to circle the sun, and that same thing is responsible for the structure of the galaxy. And those spots we noticed out there, we noticed they look like our galaxy. They seem really small, but that is really the effect of the propagation of light, and actually, they are galaxies just as large as ours. And what holds THOSE together is the same thing that makes this pencil fall to the ground.”

That’s just a guess. How does it become more than a guess? You quantify exactly what you mean by “the thing that pulls the pencil down” into an equation that says something very specific. Not just “pulls down” but “a force toward the center of mass inversely proportional to the square of the distance”. Now you can make calculations and the guess goes from something vague which always leaves you a loop hole to escape the question of whether you were right or not to a very specific and quantifiable prediction, that can be duplicated by anyone (show your work!) to state explicitly what should be observed if your guess about how things work is correct.

Newton’s guess about gravity was really close. So close that people couldn’t tell the difference between his calculation and the actual orbit of mercury for a couple hundred years. Einstein refined that guess and interpreted what it meant in a different way. As a result we’ve not only calculated the orbits of our solar system to such success as to be able to launch a craft from earth and hit every planet in our system, but also to accurately describe the way the galaxy should hold together so that our guess is accurate to a very high degree.

How do we know that those tiny spots are galaxies, and that they are held together by gravity behaving exactly like our gravity behaves? Because when you do the math it describes what you see in a telescope perfectly, so long as you interpret what you see to be just like where we are. If those galaxies behaved differently, then it would be evident that our theory of gravity doesn’t have a full grip on what’s going on elsewhere.

But you’ve got to extend your guesses as far as they go, then CHECK to see if it’s right as best you can.

Quote:
Having said that, how would we falsify this scientific claim to establish confirmation when falsification is dependent on observation and deductive affirmation?


The statement about copper is dependent on what you are talking about: copper. Copper is made of atoms, which are made of electrons, neutrons and protons. The behavior of these objects is very well understood through a very wide range of environmental conditions, including accelerating and colliding at near the speed of light.

There are certainly conditions these objects can be in that we haven’t been able to study, such as past the event horizon of a black hole, in which case our statements about their behavior might well break down. But in all conditions that we’ve studied these objects it is only reasonable to imagine they behave the same way elsewhere as they do here. Why is that reasonable? Because we see them over a very wide range of conditions, and distances. We can study the light emitted by distant galaxies and the only way to explain the way that light behaves is that it was emitted by matter just like ours. Since our equations continue to explain the behavior of the phenomena then it is evident the equations are still correct at that distance. And it evidently doesn’t change with distance, to the extent we’ve been able to observe. Why should we imagine the rules suddenly stop working when we aren’t looking?


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:28 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
Quote:
I know about inference to the best yada, yada, yada.., BUT, in this instance, our inductive conclusion is based on what about copper everywhere in existence? Based on conclusive evidence or belief that our theory about copper holds true everywhere regardless of its untestability?


Uniformity of nature is based on induction. It's an axiom that if we decide to do without, we're only left with nihilism.


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Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:40 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
string makes a lousy fuse :D

and nylon strings are hopeless on an electric guitar :lol:

and you cant rewire your house with it either 8)

am i jumping to conclusions ?

perhaps in ursa major they have a whole nother thing going on :lol:



Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:26 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
I completely disagree. You can't believe everything that science has to say either :P I'm just thinking that if there is a God, and I do believe, but know that many don't...but if there is... then belief has everything to do with science...

You would consider that a being already knows everything... So you can't really make a statement that isn't known... Therefore everything else is false... Things are as they are, right down to the molecular level... and anything outside that is a lie.


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Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:00 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
yeah for me "god" means everything that exists both known and unknown, particularly the currently unknowable, the mystery behind all things. tat tvam asi.



Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:00 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
Quote:
Scientific knowledge rests in a framework of axiomatic beliefs. The basic axioms of science are existential statements about being in the world. For example, scientists believe that the universe exists, and that rigorous observation that provides consistent, coherent and predictive explanations of reality is trustworthy.



So,
It is first belief that sets the stage for the development of hypothesis that are testable and open to falsification.
What does science base belief on and how is it justified prior to the examination of the natural world?

No beliefs should ever be insulated from the possibility of revision. Agree or disagree?

Conversely, most any belief can be maintained no matter what observation demonstrates, as long as science modifies enough aspects of a particular theory. Commitment to the truth of any statement can be maintained. Correct?

How do the limits of observation effect predictions? And what impact do those limits have on our understanding of reality?



Last edited by ant on Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:39 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
Interbane wrote:
Quote:
I know about inference to the best yada, yada, yada.., BUT, in this instance, our inductive conclusion is based on what about copper everywhere in existence? Based on conclusive evidence or belief that our theory about copper holds true everywhere regardless of its untestability?


Uniformity of nature is based on induction. It's an axiom that if we decide to do without, we're only left with nihilism.



Our scientific conclusions about laws/regularities of nature are inductive and can never be deductive.

If our inductive conclusions always outrun our observational evidence, the guarantee that we will never obtain deductive proof cancels our goal of complete understanding about the nature of reality. Hence, we are highly limited in our understanding of the natural world (what is possible? what is impossible?)
Agree or disagree?



Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:56 pm
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Post Re: "Belief has no place in science"
"Belief" should be replaced by a more specific term like "theistic belief" as every opinion held in one's mind is held there by "belief", i.e. no one runs around testing common assumptions because we trust someone somewhere has double-checked the facts. It is our "belief" this has been done since we don't do the leg work ourselves. This seems to be a very hard concept for atheists to accept because it damages their attack on theism by showing the truth that even science facts are held in our minds as beliefs they are true.

The ancient Greeks were smarter than moderns in using two words to identify "knowledge'. One was "science" which dealt with the study of the way the material world works, and the other was "gnosis", "knowledge of God", and was the organization of spiritual knowledge brought through direct spiritual experience, the "knowing" that comes as epiphanies of enlightenment about spiritual matters. In a very real way this division marks the way our brains process information with the left brain being analogous to the way "science" organizes information and the right brain being analogous to the way "gnosis" organizes information. As one experienced in both ways of viewing reality I would urge anyone who cares about critical thinking to see that strictly "science" information processing doesn't do it, doesn't accurately map reality or give appropriated responses to it because of leaving out the whole spiritual dimension, the one the Greeks knew existed and influenced human thought and behavior that they divided the terms for knowledge to reflect the two methods of attaining it.

I've decided that I am going to have to establish a new standard of knowledge authority: Biomystical Authority which I claim is superior to all other methods of describing the workings of the universe and our place in it because of being holistic bicameral consciousness. The biological part mirrors the physical aspects of material reality. The mystical part mirrors the spiritual transmission of information meant to guide humanity's evolution in consciousness to the aim of becoming one with God, one and the same. In Biomystical consciousness humanity at the "End of Days" has evolved in material powers to the point of being able to create matter out of pure thought, i.e. the basic power of God and it is this, our future form that has created itself through Creation, i.e. through the whole universe's Big Bang beginning to Black Hole annihilation. Within Creation's evolving historical time-line for human beings are embedded what we know and call "spiritual" events that act as triggers for unlocking further knowledge that helps humanity further evolve towards higher consciousness. People who are receptive to spiritual embedding are called "prophets" in the Jewish tradition. I am one of these people and my posted beliefs reflect both my science training as a physical anthropology major at one time and my spiritual revelations, so many now they comprise a good book's worth and could easily form the basis of a new religion or two..if God had directed me to do so which thank your lucky stars God didn't do. I mean look what happens when people don't take my delusions of grandeur seriously now. Imagine thousands of Sonomanites running loose in the world. Not a pretty picture.

But still I am and do claim point for establishing a new form of ultimate authority: Biomystical Authority. Maybe I'll put BMA initials after my name, be all collegie and everything, if I cared enough to impress others with silly scholars way of designating authoritative rankings. But I'll let my posted knowledge speak for itself. Belief may not belong in science but it most certainly does in gnosis. Belief is hope actually that whatever one thinks is true is really true. And for complex phenomena we really should avoid jumping to conclusions at our early childhood stage of science knowledge. Even gnosis has changed greatly now with the recovery of ancient astro-theological conception.



Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:47 pm
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