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Thread: Philosophy of science

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    Default Philosophy of science

    My insights based on my interest in history of science, and the evolution of scientific thought:

    - I come down on the side of scientific realism, inference, and corroboration.

    - Empiricism and determinism has slipped a notch in the grand scheme of things. Quantum theory has deflated the promise of a deterministic universe.

    - Wrapping up: science cannot be done without some invoking of metaphysics. Even Einstein indulged in metaphysical arm-waving.

    Philosophy of science

    Key Concepts:

    corroboration: This is philosopher of science Karl Popper's term for theories or hypotheses that have survived serious attempts to refute them. Because Popper insists that corroboration has nothing to do with confirmation, he claims that we have no reason to think corroborated theories more likely to be true than untested ones.

    demarcation criterion: A demarcation criterion would provide a basis for distinguishing science from pseudoscience. The search for a demarcation criterion, however, does not look promising. Science probably cannot be done without some kind of metaphysical picture or conception lurking in the background. The inescapability of metaphysics emerges most clearly in notions of categories, kinds, properties, and so on.

    determinism: Determinism holds if the state of the universe at a given moment suffices to exclude all outcomes except one. Generally, determinism is understood as causal determinism; the state of the universe at a given moment causally determines the outcome at the next moment. Quantum mechanics suggests that the universe is not deterministic.

    empiricism: A wide range of views can lay claim to this label. They all have in common some conception, according to which experience is the source of some cognitive good (for example, evidence, meaningfulness). John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume constitute a tradition united by its empiricism-the idea that experience sets the boundaries of, and provides the justification for, our claims to knowledge.

    falsificationism: Karl Popper's demarcation criterion and his conception of scientific testing are generally combined under this term. Science is distinguished from pseudoscience by the readiness with which scientific claims can be falsified. In addition, scientific testing can falsify but can never confirm theories or hypotheses.

    inference to the best explanation: This encompasses a range of inferential practices (such terms as abductive inference and explanatory inference are sometimes used to mark differences within this range). The general idea is that a theory's explanatory success provides evidence that the theory is true. This style of argument is crucial to scientific realism but is regarded with some suspicion by empiricists.

    logical positivism: In this course, logical positivism and logical empiricism are used interchangeably. These terms refer to an ambitious, language centered version of empiricism that arose in Vienna and Berlin and became the standard view in philosophy of science through the middle of the 20th century. Under the pressure of criticism (largely from within), the positivist program became somewhat more moderate over the years.

    metaphysics: This term was generally used pejoratively by the positivists to refer to unscientific inquiries into the nature of reality. These days, most philosophers see room for a philosophical discipline worth calling metaphysics, which addresses such issues as personal identity, the reality of universals, and the nature of causation.

    scientific realism: Another idea that comes in several flavors, scientific realism has at its core the claims that scientific theories aim to correctly depict both unobservable and observable reality and that, in general at least, adopting a scientific theory involves believing what it says about all of reality. Realism (roughly) asserts that scientific theories can and sometimes doprovide an accurate picture of reality, including unobservable reality.

    teleological explanation: An explanation that makes reference to a purpose is said to be teleological. Such explanations are prevalent in biology (creatures have hearts for the purpose of pumping blood) and psychology (we explain behavior as goal-directed). Philosophers have worked hard to reconcile teleological explanation with non-purposive explanation.

    Source credit: Professor Jeffrey Kasser, Colorado State University

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    I put the Creation Science Museum and the Noah's Ark Theme Park in the category of Trumpist scientific intellectual achievement

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    The scientific method is humanity's gold standard of acquiring knowledge about nature and about some social phenomena.

    But that does not render science beyond critical evaluation concerning the explanatory nature of science. The best physicists in history were philosophically-inclined individuals, and practiced skepticism and introspection about the power and explanatory nature of science.

    Issac Newton was fully cognizant that his universal laws of motion were elegant mathematical constructs, which had impressive predictive ability -- but they told us nothing about causation.

    Einstein improved on this, by constructing a theory of curved space-time as a mechanism for perceived gravitational forces. This solved the problem of a mechanism, but still does not explain ultimate causation.

    Quantum theory is the ultimate theory which has had remarkable success concerning predictive power, but leaves us at the mercy of a probabilistic universe. Einstein went to his grave resisting the idea of quantum theory, because Einstein was metaphysically-inclined to believe the universe should be deterministic. He was reticent to abide the proposition that God plays dice with the universe.


    "Science probably cannot be done without some kind of metaphysical picture or concept lurking in the background." --Jeffrey Kasser, Philosopher of Science

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    I put the Creation Science Museum and the Noah's Ark Theme Park in the category of Trumpist scientific intellectual achievement
    But even little fundie children deserve a theme park that will reinforce their parents' distrust of reality and science, right? lol

    Isn't at least one science class a requirement for graduating from h.s. now? Or is that left up to the individual states to decide?
    “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” -- Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOwlWoman View Post
    But even little fundie children deserve a theme park that will reinforce their parents' distrust of reality and science, right? lol

    Isn't at least one science class a requirement for graduating from h.s. now? Or is that left up to the individual states to decide?
    To be honest, I would really like to visit the Jesus Land theme park in Florida -- strictly as a sociological experiment.


    I do not know what current science requirements are for high school, but undoubtedly there has to be a bare minimum requirement. I recall taking biology, chemistry, physics in HS, but that must have been optional because I fancied myself on the college track.

    The arm chair sociologist in me would like to witness how evolutionary biology is currently being taught in Alabama public schools. I wonder if bible thumper parents are still getting outraged?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    To be honest, I would really like to visit the Jesus Land theme park in Florida -- strictly as a sociological experiment.

    I do not know what current science requirements are for high school, but undoubtedly there has to be a bare minimum requirement. I recall taking biology, chemistry, physics in HS, but that must have been optional because I fancied myself on the college track.

    The arm chair sociologist in me would like to witness how evolutionary biology is currently being taught in Alabama public schools. I wonder if bible thumper parents are still getting outraged?
    It's hard to say. My g-kids who live in Louisiana (Baton Rouge area) who attend(ed) public schools learned the truth, not "creationism."
    “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” -- Gandhi

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    Default Who appraise your house? The engineer.

    How long have you lived in this country? Over 40 years. Two people
    with broken English on the phone. Last year she just started ordering
    Chinese food delivery.





    How do you want to get this in the basement? I brung down bigger ones
    in a abandoned building with squatters living there.
    There's a guy underneath guiding the hoist. (scab employees) The thing
    tips over and slams into the peoples air conditioner. If it didn't hit the air-
    conditioner there's a chance that it could of KILLED THE GUY.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    To be honest, I would really like to visit the Jesus Land theme park in Florida -- strictly as a sociological experiment.


    I do not know what current science requirements are for high school, but undoubtedly there has to be a bare minimum requirement. I recall taking biology, chemistry, physics in HS, but that must have been optional because I fancied myself on the college track.
    back in my day if you had a college track science curriculum in high school you only needed a single semester in college unless you were majoring in one of the sciences.......as I recall the high school alternative t a year of biology, a year of chemistry and a year of physics was a course called "earth sciences"......I believe they covered some meteorology, some geology, astronomy and the what was the introductory material in the biology, chemistry and physics classes.....
    Isaiah 6:5
    “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOwlWoman View Post
    It's hard to say. My g-kids who live in Louisiana (Baton Rouge area) who attend(ed) public schools learned the truth, not "creationism."
    I went to public schools in Metairie. We learned evolution.
    "Where the people fear the govt. you have tyranny. Where the govt. fears the people you have liberty."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOwlWoman View Post
    It's hard to say. My g-kids who live in Louisiana (Baton Rouge area) who attend(ed) public schools learned the truth, not "creationism."
    They went to public schools in Baton Rouge????? Child neglect. You should have helped out for quality school tuition. Shame on you.
    "Where the people fear the govt. you have tyranny. Where the govt. fears the people you have liberty."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    My insights based on my interest in history of science, and the evolution of scientific thought:

    - I come down on the side of scientific realism, inference, and corroboration.

    - Empiricism and determinism has slipped a notch in the grand scheme of things. Quantum theory has deflated the promise of a deterministic universe.

    - Wrapping up: science cannot be done without some invoking of metaphysics. Even Einstein indulged in metaphysical arm-waving.
    Be careful, metaphysics isn't science it's make-believe.
    Why Trump? Because Fuck You that's why.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guille View Post
    Be careful, metaphysics isn't science it's make-believe.
    Nonsense.

    Einstein's cosmological constant, Linnaean taxonomy, dark energy, the modern definitions of life are all deeply metaphysical scientific concepts. They run far astray of traditional empiricism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymoose View Post
    I went to public schools in Metairie. We learned evolution.
    You can pause to thank liberals that you were taught real science in Louisiana.

    Social conservatives in Louisiana passed a mandate to teach creationism in public school science classes, and liberals routinely have to spend a lot of time and effort getting these state laws overturned in federal court.

    THE RISE AND FALL OF THE LOUISIANA CREATIONISM LAW

    In the summer of 1981, creationists in Louisiana secured the enactment of a statute authorizing the teaching of “creation-science” in the schools of that state. The term creation-science denotes a pseudoscience that creationists have been using as a strategic device since the early 1970s. This pseudoscience purports to furnish technical validation for prominent episodes in the Bible and hence for various fundamentalist doctrines. It also purports to refute evolutionary views of the universe, of Earth, and of living things.

    https://ncse.ngo/rise-and-fall-louis...reationism-law

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    Nonsense.

    Einstein's cosmological constant, Linnaean taxonomy, dark energy, the modern definitions of life are all deeply metaphysical scientific concepts. They run far astray of traditional empiricism.
    by its very name, meta-physics is not physics......
    Isaiah 6:5
    “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

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