The problem with certainty
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10-05-2012, 07:23 AM
The problem with certainty
http://theunconverted.com/the-problem-with-certainty/

Deals with a common misconception about science but my main takeaway is how beautiful life can be when you stop seeking/believing that you have or can achieve 100% certainty or "proof." (outside of the domain of mathematics).

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11-05-2012, 09:28 AM (This post was last modified: 13-05-2012 10:20 AM by Thomas.)
RE: The problem with certainty
This is my beef as well.
We can only go with what is reasonable to believe and be prepared to change our position with new evidence.
Justified True Belief (JTB) is what we should strive for, especially when it comes to profound claims of truth.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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11-05-2012, 09:29 PM
RE: The problem with certainty
(11-05-2012 09:28 AM)Thomas Wrote:  This is my beef as well.
We can only go with what is reasonable to believe and be prepared to change our position with new evidence.
Justified True Belief (JTB) is what we should strive for, especially when it come to profound claims of truth.
I think that Sagan said it best when he stated that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (e.g. empirical evidence, no subjective and anecdotal information masquerading as real evidence).

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12-05-2012, 01:17 AM
RE: The problem with certainty
While I agree with the idea of constantly revisiting and testing to see if a scientific theory can be falsified, is it your position that there are no scientific certainties? Is there any credible scientist actively working to disprove the "theory" that the Earth revolves around the Sun? It's difficult for me to accept that nothing has been proven 100%.

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12-05-2012, 01:26 AM
 
RE: The problem with certainty
I like what you said in your blog about probability.
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12-05-2012, 02:23 AM
RE: The problem with certainty
(12-05-2012 01:17 AM)Quidsane Wrote:  While I agree with the idea of constantly revisiting and testing to see if a scientific theory can be falsified, is it your position that there are no scientific certainties? Is there any credible scientist actively working to disprove the "theory" that the Earth revolves around the Sun? It's difficult for me to accept that nothing has been proven 100%.
That is the sense in which, in GR, it is equally true to say that the Sun moves around the Earth as vice-versa. Which makes it a question of Relativity, which leads to a question of quantum gravity, which may be a question of strings , or loops , or...



Besides, the Earth doesn't revolve around the sun. It revolves around the center of gravity of the solar system. Most likely. Wink

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12-05-2012, 03:32 AM
RE: The problem with certainty
Now I am really confused!
I was just beginning to realise that everything revolved around Gwyneth Paltrow and now you're giving me this astronomical nonsense?

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12-05-2012, 04:36 AM
RE: The problem with certainty
(12-05-2012 03:32 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Now I am really confused!
I was just beginning to realise that everything revolved around Gwyneth Paltrow and now you're giving me this astronomical nonsense?
I wasn't giving you this astronomical nonsense, I was giving it to Quidsane. And Gwynnie's my sweet everything, get yer own. Tongue

Might I recommend, Ashley Greene?
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12-05-2012, 04:56 AM (This post was last modified: 12-05-2012 05:29 AM by ALovelyChickenMan.)
RE: The problem with certainty
I like not knowing everything with certainty. It gives me a better excuse to enjoy learning. If I was omniscient I would be really bored.

"The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty damn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress, we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty — some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain. Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know. But I don’t know whether everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question — to doubt — to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained." - Richard Feynman

Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding!
Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.


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12-05-2012, 05:07 AM
RE: The problem with certainty
(12-05-2012 04:36 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(12-05-2012 03:32 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Now I am really confused!
I was just beginning to realise that everything revolved around Gwyneth Paltrow and now you're giving me this astronomical nonsense?
I wasn't giving you this astronomical nonsense, I was giving it to Quidsane. And Gwynnie's my sweet everything, get yer own. Tongue

Might I recommend, Ashley Greene?

Nice choice.
But I caught, as the locals put it, "yellow" fever many years ago.
Have you got an Asian version of Ms Greene?

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