Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
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28-12-2017, 04:24 AM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(27-12-2017 10:04 AM)surreptitious57 Wrote:  All scientific theories have to be capable of potential falsification...

This is a good point, and one that people often misunderstand. A scientific theory can only be defined as "falsifiable" in the sense that, say, a belief on God or gods can't be. It's simply a differentiator, but not a definer.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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28-12-2017, 06:55 AM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(27-12-2017 07:15 AM)Huggy Wrote:  
(14-12-2017 07:39 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  The thing about appealing to scientific theory is that you're always appealing to a falsifiable claim. That means that everyone who has seen it will have had the chance to prove it wrong, including any peer review that has gone on beforehand. So it's always possible it may be wrong, but so far no one has noticed or been able to show this. This gives you the best chance you can reasonably expect for being right. Appealing to conspiracy theories that anyone who finds out a theory is wrong is somehow silenced worldwide is a desperate gambit.

On the other hand, appealing to some supernatural nonsense that someone has spouted is referring to something which is almost always unfalsifiable and so untestable. This is no kind of comparison. It is mere assertion at best. No one can get their teeth into it to try and prove it wrong, like they can with the science.
*Emphasis mine*

Question, if all scientific theory is falsifiable, how do you explain abiogenesis?

There is no scientific theory regarding abiogenesis. There are hypotheses. It's the study of how life may have arose from non-life.

Do I believe life arose from non-life? Yes, since we have reason to believe life didn't always exist in our (sub)reality. I don't know exactly how it happened, but scientists are getting closer to understanding it.

Do I believe it happened without the aid of some agent outside our subreality? Yes, because there's never been any evidence of such an agent getting involved, ever. The knowledge gap in understanding how abiogenesis happened is closing all the time. I expect eventually scientists will crack it, and "God" will have nowhere else to hide. Of course, religious people will credit him regardless, like they do for evolution.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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28-12-2017, 11:32 PM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
I get the feeling a lot of people (in general) aren't familiar with what "scientific theory" is. This has probably been said already here, if so, apologies. Here's my layman's description.

In a formal context, a scientific theory is some sort of (falsifiable) hypothesis about our reality that has been put forward for general review, and has passed a considerable level of scrutiny. Once every other scientist involved has given up being able to falsify the hypothesis, after trying as hard as they can, it is promoted to being a theory. It is considered to be an accurate (but not perfect, of course) model of reality.

Once it has been promoted, things don't stop there. Once it's made public, scientists all over the world have huge incentives to try and show this theory to be wrong. There is massive acclaim for this. So the longer a theory remains, the stronger it shows itself to be. Of course, problems can be found with theories, and they can then be refined and made more accurate. They are never put forward as perfect, or the final word. They are our best understanding so far, until such time that it can be improved.

This video I saw recently explains it better.




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29-12-2017, 07:13 PM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(27-12-2017 03:25 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Where does religion define life? Citation please.

Why is a citation needed? Are you not familiar with the concept of a spirit/soul?
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29-12-2017, 08:55 PM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(29-12-2017 07:13 PM)Huggy Wrote:  
(27-12-2017 03:25 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Where does religion define life? Citation please.

Why is a citation needed? Are you not familiar with the concept of a spirit/soul?

What criteria do you apply to distinguish between living things and non-living things? Do any of your criteria involve spirits/souls and if so how?

No gods necessary.
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30-12-2017, 06:55 AM (This post was last modified: 30-12-2017 06:59 AM by TheInquisition.)
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(29-12-2017 07:13 PM)Huggy Wrote:  
(27-12-2017 03:25 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Where does religion define life? Citation please.

Why is a citation needed? Are you not familiar with the concept of a spirit/soul?

That's not a definition, it's meaningless word salad and unfalsifiable.

Here is a more meaningful definition:

The condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.

So maybe you need clarification on this, if ancient religious texts do not provide a meaningful falsifiable definition, then there is no point using religious definitions to discuss what life is or isn't, you are immediately left to vague interpretations that are unfalsifiable and only an uninformed opinion.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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30-12-2017, 12:05 PM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(29-12-2017 07:13 PM)Huggy Wrote:  Are you not familiar with the concept of a spirit/soul?
Define spirit/soul.

Sapere aude
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04-01-2018, 04:25 AM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(29-12-2017 08:55 PM)brunumb Wrote:  
(29-12-2017 07:13 PM)Huggy Wrote:  Why is a citation needed? Are you not familiar with the concept of a spirit/soul?

What criteria do you apply to distinguish between living things and non-living things? Do any of your criteria involve spirits/souls and if so how?
Are you asking what I believe personally?



(30-12-2017 06:55 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(29-12-2017 07:13 PM)Huggy Wrote:  Why is a citation needed? Are you not familiar with the concept of a spirit/soul?

That's not a definition, it's meaningless word salad and unfalsifiable.
Since when did a belief need to be unfalsifiable? As pointed out earlier, abiogenesis is unfalsifiable, yet it is accepted as likely making it really no different than any other belief.

(30-12-2017 06:55 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Here is a more meaningful definition:

The condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.

Would you say that definition can be used to define all life in the universe?
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04-01-2018, 06:33 AM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
Abiogenesis referring to natural processes could be falsified by evidence of a non-natural process being involved.

What that even means is unclear to me, though. Non-natural things are normally defined so as to be hidden from science, making evidence impossible. That’s a problem for the claim that anything non-natural exists.

It could also be falsified by finding evidence that life has always existed, and that life cannot come from non life.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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04-01-2018, 06:42 AM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(04-01-2018 04:25 AM)Huggy Wrote:  
(30-12-2017 06:55 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  That's not a definition, it's meaningless word salad and unfalsifiable.
Since when did a belief need to be unfalsifiable? As pointed out earlier, abiogenesis is unfalsifiable, yet it is accepted as likely making it really no different than any other belief.

Abiogenesis is falsifiable, all that has to be done is to demonstrate that DNA cannot be formed from RNA, every process leading up to the natural formation of RNA and cell walls has been shown to occur naturally in lab experiments.

The RNA World and the Origins of Life

There's only a few steps of biochemistry needed until we can actually demonstrate in a lab environment the entire chain of non-living chemicals to the formation of the first cells.

(04-01-2018 04:25 AM)Huggy Wrote:  
(30-12-2017 06:55 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Here is a more meaningful definition:

The condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.

Would you say that definition can be used to define all life in the universe?

It's a workable definition of life as we know it, if life operates in some other way, then it will have to be demonstrated by evidence.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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