Does science have a clear definition?
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29-10-2012, 08:25 AM
RE: Does science have a clear definition?
(29-10-2012 08:18 AM)I and I Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 08:00 AM)Chas Wrote:  There is only one scientific method. It is creative. We create a concept and then test it against reality. This generates knowledge.

does gaining knowledge mean one is closer to a truth?

Yes, but the path is infinitely long.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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29-10-2012, 08:59 AM
RE: Does science have a clear definition?
(29-10-2012 08:25 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 08:18 AM)I and I Wrote:  does gaining knowledge mean one is closer to a truth?

Yes, but the path is infinitely long.

So what you are saying is, there is a truth but we will never reach it since the path is infinitely long?

How does one know one is on the right path or getting closer to it?
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29-10-2012, 10:29 AM
RE: Does science have a clear definition?
(29-10-2012 08:59 AM)I and I Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 08:25 AM)Chas Wrote:  Yes, but the path is infinitely long.

So what you are saying is, there is a truth but we will never reach it since the path is infinitely long?

How does one know one is on the right path or getting closer to it?

Because we make progress. Our explanations get better. Today's misconceptions are replaced by better misconceptions tomorrow.

Science is the search for good explanations.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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29-10-2012, 11:30 AM (This post was last modified: 29-10-2012 11:39 AM by fstratzero.)
RE: Does science have a clear definition?
(29-10-2012 01:46 AM)I and I Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 12:56 AM)fstratzero Wrote:  In science knowledge is also published, shared, and experiments reproduced. In this way one persons subjective claim must also be subjectively verified by many different minds by reproducing their experiments. We grab their information, reproduce their experiments and work hard at ripping it apart. Looking for biases, fallacies, and other errors.

You could say by offering up all the data, experimentation methods, and reviewing it all. We prevent subjective errors that lead to erroneous conclusions as much as possible.

We store these results in external data stores. These data stores are simply written words, on stone tablets, paper,or in computers.

if observing things and making theories about what we observe and then ripping old theories apart, so a tribe of people thousands of years ago were observing and making the best guesses or what seemed the most logical to them at that time, was that early scientific method? Historically, knowledge about anything has never been static or absolute, a groundbreaking idea in 1300's means very little today.
By subjective I meant humans in general, example: a society in the 1300's with all it's economic and political influences on society and culture would have a different way of thinking than todays society, so what we call truth or what we call science is always changing.

Sure you could call it the first stages or attempts at science. A hypothesis with out verification.

(29-10-2012 01:46 AM)I and I Wrote:  Earlier I commented on your comment about reality and how what reality means or is, is also influenced by or determined by a historical time and place. So far, in history science hasn't been static or unchanging, and like any other form of thought like politics or economics or philosophy, it is always changing and isn't predicated on some external "reality" or "truth"

It wasn't just the time or culture in which they were in. It was also the information available.

The history of science is really interesting, and at times really funny with the concepts of reality they had at the time.

(29-10-2012 01:46 AM)I and I Wrote:  I am not dissing modern science because that is the best way of looking at the world we have right now, but lets be honest about what it is and what isn't and what it can or can't do. Basically, what is reality, or what is truth are subjective but real at the same time, we humans decide what constitutes reality and truth, there is no external absolute static non changing "reality" or "truth" or "gods" out there to look for or to get closer to or to reveal.

That's an interesting philosophical point. How ever that is what the scientific method is. A way to weed out subjectivity as much as possible.

If the what we call reality were really subjectivly experienced uniquely between minds experiments and data would all be different to each person. The fact we can agree, shows that reality is independent of our minds.

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29-10-2012, 11:43 AM (This post was last modified: 29-10-2012 11:49 AM by fstratzero.)
RE: Does science have a clear definition?
(29-10-2012 08:59 AM)I and I Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 08:25 AM)Chas Wrote:  Yes, but the path is infinitely long.

So what you are saying is, there is a truth but we will never reach it since the path is infinitely long?

How does one know one is on the right path or getting closer to it?

Through falsification and peer review, by constantly questioning our ideas and revising them.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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29-10-2012, 11:56 AM
RE: Does science have a clear definition?
(29-10-2012 11:30 AM)fstratzero Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 01:46 AM)I and I Wrote:  if observing things and making theories about what we observe and then ripping old theories apart, so a tribe of people thousands of years ago were observing and making the best guesses or what seemed the most logical to them at that time, was that early scientific method? Historically, knowledge about anything has never been static or absolute, a groundbreaking idea in 1300's means very little today.
By subjective I meant humans in general, example: a society in the 1300's with all it's economic and political influences on society and culture would have a different way of thinking than todays society, so what we call truth or what we call science is always changing.

Sure you could call it the first stages or attempts at science. A hypothesis with out verification.

(29-10-2012 01:46 AM)I and I Wrote:  Earlier I commented on your comment about reality and how what reality means or is, is also influenced by or determined by a historical time and place. So far, in history science hasn't been static or unchanging, and like any other form of thought like politics or economics or philosophy, it is always changing and isn't predicated on some external "reality" or "truth"

It wasn't just the time or culture in which they were in. It was also the information available.

The history of science is really interesting, and at times really funny with the concepts of reality they had at the time.

(29-10-2012 01:46 AM)I and I Wrote:  I am not dissing modern science because that is the best way of looking at the world we have right now, but lets be honest about what it is and what isn't and what it can or can't do. Basically, what is reality, or what is truth are subjective but real at the same time, we humans decide what constitutes reality and truth, there is no external absolute static non changing "reality" or "truth" or "gods" out there to look for or to get closer to or to reveal.

That's an interesting philosophical point. How ever that is what the scientific method is. A way to weed out subjectivity as much as possible.

If the what we call reality were really subjectivly experienced uniquely between minds experiments and data would all be different to each person. The fact we can agree, shows that reality is independent of our minds.

Of course there is reality independent of our minds like real objects, but the methods of categorizing them or conceptualizing objects into notions of "truth" or "reality" are subjective. Humans in a particular culture generally agree on things like concepts and ideas like "truth" or "reality" because we generally are influenced by the world around us, like the particular culture we live in or societal structure we live in, our views are subjective but not on an individual example, due to the influence from society around us and past history of societies before us.

Not too many years ago many people believed that capitalism was an eternal system that will never die or be ended and many people today still have this view, and they were making a logical (but wrong) statement in saying such things, they looked around them and saw that capitalism was on the rise in the 90's while communism was on the decline, however today the reality of things going on around the globe are different, and people are re-evaluating past notions of truth or reality. Or another example: A hammer hammers nails, can be called a truth today, it wouldn't be a truth before hammers or nails (and the things they are used for) were invented.
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29-10-2012, 12:09 PM
RE: Does science have a clear definition?
(29-10-2012 11:56 AM)I and I Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 11:30 AM)fstratzero Wrote:  Sure you could call it the first stages or attempts at science. A hypothesis with out verification.


It wasn't just the time or culture in which they were in. It was also the information available.

The history of science is really interesting, and at times really funny with the concepts of reality they had at the time.


That's an interesting philosophical point. How ever that is what the scientific method is. A way to weed out subjectivity as much as possible.

If the what we call reality were really subjectivly experienced uniquely between minds experiments and data would all be different to each person. The fact we can agree, shows that reality is independent of our minds.

Of course there is reality independent of our minds like real objects, but the methods of categorizing them or conceptualizing objects into notions of "truth" or "reality" are subjective. Humans in a particular culture generally agree on things like concepts and ideas like "truth" or "reality" because we generally are influenced by the world around us, like the particular culture we live in or societal structure we live in, our views are subjective but not on an individual example, due to the influence from society around us and past history of societies before us.

Not too many years ago many people believed that capitalism was an eternal system that will never die or be ended and many people today still have this view, and they were making a logical (but wrong) statement in saying such things, they looked around them and saw that capitalism was on the rise in the 90's while communism was on the decline, however today the reality of things going on around the globe are different, and people are re-evaluating past notions of truth or reality. Or another example: A hammer hammers nails, can be called a truth today, it wouldn't be a truth before hammers or nails (and the things they are used for) were invented.

Exactly! You are getting it now!

It doesn't matter what any culture thinks. Galileo made painstaking observations of planetary bodies. From the data he concluded the sun was the center not the earth.

The culture didn't accept it, but it came to accept it as observations and explanations kept pointing to the same conclusion.

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29-10-2012, 12:10 PM
RE: Does science have a clear definition?
(29-10-2012 11:43 AM)fstratzero Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 08:59 AM)I and I Wrote:  So what you are saying is, there is a truth but we will never reach it since the path is infinitely long?

How does one know one is on the right path or getting closer to it?

Through falsification and peer review, by constantly questioning our ideas and revising them.

this just repeats what the question was asking, how does one know that these peer reviewed studies are closer to a truth?

my belief is that there is no such thing as an eternal truth or some truth out there that our minds are going towards, science proves that no idea is ever static or eternal in and of itself, but that as humans evolve so does our understanding along with our notions of what a truth is.

Hypothetically, if humans ever did reach this ultimate eternal truth out there somewhere, it would by definition cease to be science and become a religious belief. If a group of people believe that they have all the answers like what would happen if we hypothetically reached this external, eternal truth, then this belief is no longer backed by a scientific process because there wouldn't be any need for more scientific processes, this belief would be based solely on belief. Religions are generally formed when a society believes they have found all the answers and truths that are possibly out there, kinda sounds like that new age religious stuff, like the belief there is a theory of everything woo woo bullshit.
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29-10-2012, 12:20 PM (This post was last modified: 29-10-2012 12:23 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Does science have a clear definition?
(29-10-2012 12:10 PM)I and I Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 11:43 AM)fstratzero Wrote:  Through falsification and peer review, by constantly questioning our ideas and revising them.

this just repeats what the question was asking, how does one know that these peer reviewed studies are closer to a truth?

my belief is that there is no such thing as an eternal truth or some truth out there that our minds are going towards, science proves that no idea is ever static or eternal in and of itself, but that as humans evolve so does our understanding along with our notions of what a truth is.

Hypothetically, if humans ever did reach this ultimate eternal truth out there somewhere, it would by definition cease to be science and become a religious belief. If a group of people believe that they have all the answers like what would happen if we hypothetically reached this external, eternal truth, then this belief is no longer backed by a scientific process because there wouldn't be any need for more scientific processes, this belief would be based solely on belief. Religions are generally formed when a society believes they have found all the answers and truths that are possibly out there, kinda sounds like that new age religious stuff, like the belief there is a theory of everything woo woo bullshit.

You are right in a sense. Even if we eventually got it all correct, we'd still have to question it. That's why even if we are correct ,we can only be 99% correct in case something happens that makes us revisit our theories and ideas.

Whether or not it develops into a religion has yet to be seen.

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29-10-2012, 12:28 PM
RE: Does science have a clear definition?
(29-10-2012 12:09 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 11:56 AM)I and I Wrote:  Of course there is reality independent of our minds like real objects, but the methods of categorizing them or conceptualizing objects into notions of "truth" or "reality" are subjective. Humans in a particular culture generally agree on things like concepts and ideas like "truth" or "reality" because we generally are influenced by the world around us, like the particular culture we live in or societal structure we live in, our views are subjective but not on an individual example, due to the influence from society around us and past history of societies before us.

Not too many years ago many people believed that capitalism was an eternal system that will never die or be ended and many people today still have this view, and they were making a logical (but wrong) statement in saying such things, they looked around them and saw that capitalism was on the rise in the 90's while communism was on the decline, however today the reality of things going on around the globe are different, and people are re-evaluating past notions of truth or reality. Or another example: A hammer hammers nails, can be called a truth today, it wouldn't be a truth before hammers or nails (and the things they are used for) were invented.

Exactly! You are getting it now!

It doesn't matter what any culture thinks. Galileo made painstaking observations of planetary bodies. From the data he concluded the sun was the center not the earth.

The culture didn't accept it, but it came to accept it as observations and explanations kept pointing to the same conclusion.

What society thinks does matter, science has often been used by society to advance society or kill another society (weapons). Society also determines what questions are asked, a society of hunter gatherers wouldn't ask the same questions as we would today.

Again the issue in the topic is whether or not there is an absolute truth. Galileos discoveries certainly weren't absolute, they were then added on to by other scientists who came along and stated the planets revolve in an elliptical orbit.

We can learn from older beliefs which ones to weed out, but ultimately we humans are the ones weeding out what we deem false or true claims, and we humans are historically shaded by our current beliefs, prejudices, notions that may or may not be true in the future.

People a couple of hundred years ago made up bullshit science to prove that a race was inferior their false beliefs, shaded they used the same criteria for science as mentioned earlier and now to us today it is not considered a truth that one race is inferior to another. What they thought certainly did matter to many people.
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