What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
Erribert
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What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Erribert » May 5th, 2018, 6:04 pm

Historically, science was distinguished from philosophy through the scientific method. This method is a circular process by which a hypothesis is proposed then experiments are created and executed. Following data analysis, the hypothesis is rejected, modified, or restested with another set of experiments. Refinement of the hypothesis, through this method, may result in an accepted theory. No theory can ever e proven since science is intended to test theories, and such testing can happen forever; thus the idea of acceptance. At least that was how science was supposed to be able to distinguish itself. Newton and his colleagues conducted many hundreds of experiments, back in the day. The math was a result of such experiments.

There are ideas that are called theories that were never arrived at through the scientific method. It would seem that such theories still belong in the discipline of philosophy.

A well known example of this is the Theory of Evolution. This theory proposes a model for species differentiation. However, this theory has never been transferred to the scientific method of experimental design and testing. It is purely based on observation and model fitting of such observations. This intentional fitting of observations is unethical in the discipline of science. Observational theories have resulted in constellations in the sky. There is no intention to test the Theory of Evolution. Therefore it remains strictly a philosophy. I personally have no problem with such philosophy except when it is categorized as science.

Another great example of metaphysics disguised as science is much current cosmology. For example, both of Einstein’s theoriesof relativity cannot be experimentally tested. If they pretend to be, the maths of relativity are used in such data analysis. This again is unethical since one cannot solve a problem using the same methods which created it to begin with. Much of these theories lie within theoretical math, which is not science, but metaphysics. Math, in physics, was a method to describe experimental results and the implications of the math could be tested. Today, much math is completely divorced from the science of physics. For example, a black hole (of which there are four distinct mathematical models) cannot be scientifically (experimentally) tested. Therefore black holes lie outside of science and are metaphysics. They are things we cannot directly measure. The Big Bang “Theory” is another example of pure metaphysics, there are three competing mathematical models for the Big Bang and none of them can be tested. Hundreds of mathematical models could be developed in this way..

I could go on with many examples, however I will wait and hope for feedback. Why is Evolution taught in schools as a science when it belongs in the philosophy department? What is wrong with teaching it as a philosophy? Again, I believe it to be an illuminating philosophy.

If today’s science includes ideas which are untestable, what differentiates them from a philosophy such as metaphysics?

Cheers

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Count Lucanor
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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Count Lucanor » May 5th, 2018, 7:52 pm

Stephen J. Gould dealt with both (now outdated) arguments against evolution and theoretical physics in "Evolution as Fact and Theory":

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/ ... heory.html
Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

Moreover, "fact" doesn't mean "absolute certainty"; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by LuckyR » May 6th, 2018, 1:44 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 7:52 pm
Stephen J. Gould dealt with both (now outdated) arguments against evolution and theoretical physics in "Evolution as Fact and Theory":

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/ ... heory.html
Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

Moreover, "fact" doesn't mean "absolute certainty"; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
It never ceases to surprise me that on technical topics, where folks without experience feel perfectly comfortable disputing out of hand, the knowledge and experience of professionals in the field.
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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Justintruth » May 6th, 2018, 3:05 am

Erribert wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 6:04 pm
....The math was a result of such experiments.
The physical sciences are natural sciences, knowing of nature. Nature is “what is". “What is” happens to be sensory. The experimets of natural science revealed certain symmetries in what is.

Mathematics is not based on experiment. Our instinctive conceptual apparatus admits a distinction between being and nothingness. Nothing is introduced into the plenum of being and objects are conceived, exerienced, and imagined as being in space. Space is nothing and things are something in it.

This conceptual apparatus is fused with perception as you can see with a line drawing of a cube where different allocations of being and nothingness result in the experience of one or the other side being forward. It also admits counterfactuals or possibilities to be imagined.

The imaginative instinctual apparatus is a augmented by another instinctive apparatus which allows counting and quantification. A third apparatus is logic.

These instinctive cognitive apparatus form the foundations of geometry and the rest of mathematics.

The result of scientific investigation of sensory experience resulted in the fact that there exist symmetries in it that can be expressed mathematically that constrain the possibilities in some cases to one outcome. The result is prediction for which science is famous.

Math therefore is not the result of exeriment. Physical laws expressed as mathematical equations and geometrical objects are.
There are ideas that are called theories that were never arrived at through the scientific method.

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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Erribert » May 6th, 2018, 10:45 pm

Hi Count,
Unfortunately Facts are agreements. The is nothing divine a bout a fact. We agree that the earth is a sphere since that makes predictions easier.

Evolution is far from a fact in science, it is a philosophical agreement. No experiment can be devised that would try to disprove evolution. Remember, science works by trying to disprove theories. I am sure you already knew that. The mess that Einstein created is rapidly falling apart. Just read some journals in physics in cosmology. There are too many disproving sets of data. They have to keep making up exotic excuses.

I am assuming you are not a scientist. However, if you hear of scientific studies that attempt to disprove evolution let me know. No theism please! Science.

Thank you for your opinion, and your response. Be careful what you read and approach the subject philosophically, for that is what it is. I have a doctorate degree in the biological sciences, by the way.

Cheers

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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Erribert » May 6th, 2018, 10:49 pm

Hi Justin,
I liked your reply until you went astray. Math is a form of description in the same way a painting describes a landscape. We cannot walk into the painting, just like we cannot exist in mathematical equasions. Remember, a map is not the city.

Cheers

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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Erribert » May 7th, 2018, 1:02 am

LuckyR said “It never ceases to surprise me that on technical topics, where folks without experience feel perfectly comfortable disputing out of hand, the knowledge and experience of professionals in the field.” (I haven’t figured out how to copy and paste in yellow...).

I have no idea what this means or how it addresses the topic. I have a doctorate in the biological sciences, does that make me a professional in the field of what science is? I am an experimental scientist with 40 years of pertinent knowledge, does that give me experience? Perhaps you are referring to the replies so far?

I am new to this forum. My take from the responses I have received to several questions I have posted are amusing. It would appear that responders do not care to read what I have written, instead they grab one quote, completely out of context, and then pretend to respond. Perhaps I was hoping for something philosophical in reply.

I thought JustinTruth started out alright, but then got completely lost logically. For example, last I checked, man was natural. So, man studying Nature is actually Nature studying Nature. An objective study has to come from a place which lies outside of the subject being studied. Philosophically Ilogically) speaking, man studying in nature is: “a finger pointing at itself”. Maybe Justine thinks he can do such pointing, but it is logically impossible. The only way that man could study nature is if he were divine, and I don’t believe in theistic arguments. But who knows, perhaps Justine is a God.

In terms of facts, let’s use the following example: “The sky is blue”. Is this a fact, or an agreement? At an early age we learn which color is which. This learning is so that we can agree on colors and know what somebody means by “the sky is blue”. That’sit, it is an agreement, through and through, not a fact. The visual cortex does not produce colors, it is dark in there. Who knows, if we were to somehow tap into somebodies brain, the sky would look green to us.

Facts are also very personal. Yes, my Being is personal. Nobody else could possibly know what Being is looking through my eyes. All they have is my outward appearance. I am butan object to others. How would they know if it were not another being looking through these eyes of mine. They wouldn’t.

Many don’t seem to know that theories are tested by trying to disprove them. No theory can ever, ever be proven. That is how science works.

My question was intended to explore the distinction between metaphysics and what often passes as science these days. Science used to be a branch of philosophy (that is why we still have Ph.D.s). Now it has become something different. The term Scientism is thrown about. This is the belief by a laymanin something just because Scientists say so. Much of the stuff taught in science classes these days is pure Scientism propaganda, no different from what is taught in seminaries. There is no separation between church and state, religions are taught in science classes. I mean a Judeo Christian Big Bang? Really?

Perhaps we need to review what the term metaphysics means, to start with? If Evolution is not metaphysics, then nothing is. As it is, I happen to like the metaphysics unless it is abused to promote a dominant race.

In my opinion, I am just trying to get an honest answer to the entirety of my question. Not some semantic nitpicking. I am always ready to change my opinion by way of a convincing argument. Truly. I change opinions every day.

Cheers

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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Felix » May 7th, 2018, 4:01 am

LuckyR said: "It never ceases to surprise me that on technical topics, where folks without experience feel perfectly comfortable disputing out of hand, the knowledge and experience of professionals in the field."

Erribert replied: "I have no idea what this means or how it addresses the topic."

Only that, based on your statements, it was reasonable for LuckyR to presume that you are uninformed about the subjects on which you opined.

Erribert: "There are ideas that are called theories that were never arrived at through the scientific method. It would seem that such theories still belong in the discipline of philosophy. A well known example of this is the Theory of Evolution. This theory proposes a model for species differentiation. However, this theory has never been transferred to the scientific method of experimental design and testing."

How would you propose one experimentally test a process that took place over millions of years on a planetary-wide scale?

Erribert: "Another great example of metaphysics disguised as science is much current cosmology. For example, both of Einstein’s theories of relativity cannot be experimentally tested."

His theories can be and in fact have been experimentally verified by astrophysicists.

Erribert: "For example, last I checked, man was natural. So, man studying Nature is actually Nature studying Nature. An objective study has to come from a place which lies outside of the subject being studied."

"I am just trying to get an honest answer to the entirety of my question."

You just said that you believe that human beings cannot make an objective scientific study of Nature because they are part of Nature, which would mean human science is a sham. One should not expect to receive "honest answers" to pretentious propositions.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Londoner » May 7th, 2018, 5:43 am

Erribert

You write: Evolution is far from a fact in science, it is a philosophical agreement. No experiment can be devised that would try to disprove evolution.

No scientific theory is a fact in science. 'Gravity' is a description of the way objects behave; it is not a thing in itself. As a word, it serves to aggregate a mass of separate empirical observations. If we wanted to go further, if we ask 'Why gravity?' as if it was something in itself then we are indeed doing metaphysics. And as with all metaphysical questions, since our answers no longer concern the empirical, there are multiple possible answers and no way to distinguish between them. If we wanted to say 'gravity exists because it is God's will' there is no experiment we could do that would either prove or disprove it.

Similarly, 'Evolution' is not itself a scientific fact. It is a description of changes in heritable populations and is reducible to a set of empirical observations. We could replace the word 'evolution' with 'how do life forms change?' In which case we would answer by referring to a set of empirical observations. As with 'Gravity', 'Evolution' does not assert the existence of some sort of metaphysical force that organises the empirical. So it is true that no experiment can be devised to disprove 'Evolution', but we can and do change our understanding of aspects of evolution, like genetics.

Regarding 'facts' you write: Facts are also very personal. Yes, my Being is personal. Nobody else could possibly know what Being is looking through my eyes. All they have is my outward appearance. I am butan object to others. How would they know if it were not another being looking through these eyes of mine. They wouldn’t.

That is certainly true, but science does not - and cannot - address that problem. It deals with appearance, with phenomena. It cannot say what might lie behind phenomena. If I see the apple fall from the tree and you and everyone else confirms the observation, that is the best we are ever going to get. Perhaps everyone except me is a robot, perhaps this is all a dream, perhaps the Matrix is deluding us... there is nothing science can say about such ideas.

So I would disagree that science - any science - is testable to the standard you seem to require for evolution or cosmology.

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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Thinking critical » May 8th, 2018, 7:38 am

Erribert wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 1:02 am

I have a doctorate in the biological sciences, does that make me a professional in the field of what science is? I am an experimental scientist with 40 years of pertinent knowledge, does that give me experience?

I am new to this forum. My take from the responses I have received to several questions I have posted are amusing. It would appear that responders do not care to read what I have written, instead they grab one quote, completely out of context, and then pretend to respond. Perhaps I was hoping for something philosophical in reply.
You have stated your credentials more than once on this forum, however I see no evidence that this is the case. You attempted to debunk the theory of relativity in a previous thread yet failed to demonstrate any competent understanding of its basic principles and now you are attempting to refute the theory of evolution, yet you clearly don't comprehend what the theory of evolution actually means.
Many don’t seem to know that theories are tested by trying to disprove them. No theory can ever, ever be proven. That is how science works.
Ok, so the theory of evolution is built from a body of evidence established by facts which have been proven to be true by rigorous testing, research and experiments.
The hypothesis was that the diversity of species is caused from a process described by evolution which is driven by natural selection, an that all species could be shown to have originated from a common ancestor.
The evidence, facts and data which have been accumulated over the past 150 years all contribute towards the body of knowledge which is referred to as the theory of evolution.
So what point are you trying to make?
It appears that you are simply confusing the definition of the term "theory" and "scientific theory".
It would almost appear that you are trying to say the because we can't observe species litterally evolving from one species to the next that evolution is a metaphysical claim......is this what you're trying to prove?
In terms of facts, let’s use the following example: “The sky is blue”. Is this a fact, or an agreement? At an early age we learn which color is which. This learning is so that we can agree on colors and know what somebody means by “the sky is blue”. That’sit, it is an agreement, through and through, not a fact. The visual cortex does not produce colors, it is dark in there. Who knows, if we were to somehow tap into somebodies brain, the sky would look green to us.
This is a poor analogy, the spectrum of light from short to long waves and there respective names are objectively true, it is the experience of the color (perspective) which is subjective. Therefore we could simply state the sky is illuminated by the 3rd shortest wave length and the 3rd shortest wave length is the one we call blue. This demonstrates that as a matter of fact the sky is objectively blue. If 2 seperate individuals experienced the colour differently it wouldn't change which length light ray causes the sky to illuminate the colour it does, it means that one persons photo receptors maybe less or more sensitive to the different wave lengths than the other persons.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Eduk » May 8th, 2018, 2:54 pm

Erribert I am curious. Would you entertain the following thought experiment?
I assume your religion is very important to you? Possibly the most important thing to you?
Would you rather live in a world where in reality you knew your religion to be man made or in the same world where you didn't know it was man made?
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by ThomasHobbes » May 8th, 2018, 4:26 pm

Erribert wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 6:04 pm
Historically, science was distinguished from philosophy through the scientific method. ...

If today’s science includes ideas which are untestable, what differentiates them from a philosophy such as metaphysics?

Cheers
Two things.
First, you are setting up a false dichotomy between scientific theory and metaphysics. They are not compatible in meaning to draw differentiation.
Secondly, I think you will need to give examples of scientific ideas that are 'untestable'.

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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Consul » May 9th, 2018, 2:52 pm

Erribert wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 6:04 pm
Historically, science was distinguished from philosophy through the scientific method. This method is a circular process by which a hypothesis is proposed then experiments are created and executed. Following data analysis, the hypothesis is rejected, modified, or restested with another set of experiments. Refinement of the hypothesis, through this method, may result in an accepted theory. No theory can ever e proven since science is intended to test theories, and such testing can happen forever; thus the idea of acceptance. At least that was how science was supposed to be able to distinguish itself. Newton and his colleagues conducted many hundreds of experiments, back in the day. The math was a result of such experiments.
There are ideas that are called theories that were never arrived at through the scientific method. It would seem that such theories still belong in the discipline of philosophy.
I agree with Jack Smart:

"Metaphysics is the conjectural end of science."

(Smart, J. J. C. "Methodology and Ontology." In Imre Lakatos and Theories of Scientific Change, edited by Kostas Gavroglu, Yorgos Goudaroulis, and Pantelis Nicolacopoulos, 47-57. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1989. p. 51)

"I came to reject a sharp line between metaphysics and science. Metaphysics is the more conceptual and relatively untestable end of science. Many scientific theories are only very indirectly testable and there is no sharp line between the testable and the untestable."

(Smart, J. J. C. Introduction to Essays Metaphysical and Moral: Selected Philosophical Papers, 1-8. Oxford: Blackwell, 1987. p. 2)

"I regard metaphysics as continuous with science. Science gets metaphysical when it gets very general and controversial and relates itself also to humanistic and other non-typically scientific concerns. A criterion for metaphysical truth is plausibility in the light of total science."

(Smart, J. J. C. "Physicalism and Emergence." 1982. In Essays Metaphysical and Moral: Selected Philosophical Papers, 246-255. Oxford: Blackwell, 1987. p. 248)
Erribert wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 6:04 pm
A well known example of this is the Theory of Evolution. This theory proposes a model for species differentiation. However, this theory has never been transferred to the scientific method of experimental design and testing. It is purely based on observation and model fitting of such observations. This intentional fitting of observations is unethical in the discipline of science. Observational theories have resulted in constellations in the sky. There is no intention to test the Theory of Evolution. Therefore it remains strictly a philosophy. I personally have no problem with such philosophy except when it is categorized as science.
Cut the crap! The Darwinistic theory of evolution is certainly and definitely not a conjectural or speculative metaphysical theory. It's a perfectly scientific theory which is empirically confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt.

"[E]volution is as solidly established as any scientific fact[.]"


(Coyne, Jerry A. Why Evolution is True. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. p. xvi)

"Evolution is not merely an idea, a theory, or a concept, but is the name of a process in nature, the occurrence of which can be documented by mountains of evidence that nobody has been able to refute." (p. 303)

"Are not the 'facts' of evolutionary biology something very different from the facts of astronomy, which show that the Earth circles the sun rather than the reverse?

Yes, up to a point. The movement of planets can be observed directly. By contrast, evolution is a historical process. Past stages cannot be observed directly, but must be inferred from the context. Yet these inferences have enormous certainty because (1) the answers can very often be predicted and the actual findings then confirm them, (2) the answers can be confirmed by several different lines of evidence, and (3) in most cases no rational alternative explanation can be found.

If, for instance, in a chronological series of geological strata a series of fossil therapsid reptiles is found that become more and more similar to mammals in successively younger strata, finally producing species about which specialists argue whether they are still reptiles or already mammals, then I do not know of any other reasonable explanation than that mammals evolved from therapsid ancestors. Actually, there are thousands of such series in the fossil record, even though admittedly there are occasional breaks in most of these series, owing to breaks in the fossil-bearing stratigraphy.

Frankly, I cannot see why such an overwhelming number of well-substantiated inferences is not scientifically as convincing as direct observations. Many theories in other historical sciences, such as geology and cosmology, are also based on inferences. The endeavor of certain philosophers to construct a fundamental difference between the two kinds of evidence strikes me as misleading."
(p. 303)

"How can we establish theories concerning the causes of historical evolutionary processes when the most common method of science, the experiment, cannot be employed?

It is obvious, for example, that we cannot experiment with the extinction of the dinosaurs. Instead, one applies the method of 'historical narratives' to explain historical (including evolutionary) processes. That is, one proposes an assumed historical scenario as a possible explanation and tests it thoroughly for the probability of its correctness. In the case of the extinction of the dinosaurs, a number of possible scenarios were tested (such as a devastating virus epidemic or a climatic disaster) but rejected because they were found to be in conflict with the evidence. Finally, the Alvarez extinction theory (caused by an asteroid impact) was so convincingly supported by the existing evidence and by all subsequent research that it is now universally accepted (…)."
(pp. 303-4)

(Mayr, Ernst. What Evolution Is. London: Phoenix, 2002.)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Count Lucanor » May 11th, 2018, 11:11 pm

Erribert wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 10:45 pm
Hi Count,
Unfortunately Facts are agreements. The is nothing divine a bout a fact.
I don't see why it would be unfortunate. Well, sure, facts are agreements, aligned with the agreement of what is not a fact, what's a theory, what is nonsense baloney, etc. And that's what the SJG quote stands for.
Erribert wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 10:45 pm
We agree that the earth is a sphere since that makes predictions easier.
Nope. We agree that the Earth is a sphere because a pile of evidence leaves us with no other option, if we care about the accurate description of reality.
Erribert wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 10:45 pm
Evolution is far from a fact in science, it is a philosophical agreement. No experiment can be devised that would try to disprove evolution.
You said up there that facts are agreements, so it seems you shouldn't have a problem with evolution being agreed as a fact. Calling it "philosophical" is just a rhetorical trick. As evidence of evolution has piled up, it has become harder and harder to disprove, but that is no good reason to deny that the concept of natural selection is falsifiable or that evolution per se can be falsified.
Erribert wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 10:45 pm
Remember, science works by trying to disprove theories. I am sure you already knew that.
So then you admit that science works, and it does when it reaches an agreement of what proposals work and which don't. The theory of natural selection works pretty well and yet it could be improved. It could even be replaced if new facts emerged or some other interpretation gave a better account of the existing facts. Nothing close to that has happened, so we can stick to the well established theory of natural selection and the well established fact that current living beings had common ancestors.
Erribert wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 10:45 pm
The mess that Einstein created is rapidly falling apart. Just read some journals in physics in cosmology. There are too many disproving sets of data. They have to keep making up exotic excuses.
That may be possible to say about cosmology because compared to the scales of the universe, the data available is scarce and hard to manipulate with our instruments. Not so with evolution.
Erribert wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 10:45 pm
I am assuming you are not a scientist. However, if you hear of scientific studies that attempt to disprove evolution let me know. No theism please! Science.
Well, I'm not sure what you mean by "no theism". I wonder if it means that a scientist cannot hold religious views or be motivated by them, since Darwin and a good bunch of top rated scientists are known for holding theistic beliefs. Or is it that no theistic explanation can be introduced in the scientific theories themselves? Now, if you hear of scientific studies that attempt to disprove the heliocentric model, let me know, so that we can figure out if heliocentrism is just a non-falsifiable philosophical view.
Erribert wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 10:45 pm
Thank you for your opinion, and your response. Be careful what you read and approach the subject philosophically, for that is what it is. I have a doctorate degree in the biological sciences, by the way.
Good for you, cheers for that!! However, I'm sure you know that doesn't give you any advantage over other biologists. In any case, I just wonder, is it part of the curriculum in that doctorate to teach that evolution is not a fact? That is just a philosophical view?

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Re: What is the difference between an untestable scientific theory and metaphysics

Post by Erribert » May 22nd, 2018, 10:33 pm

Eduk wrote:
May 8th, 2018, 2:54 pm
Erribert I am curious. Would you entertain the following thought experiment?
I assume your religion is very important to you? Possibly the most important thing to you?
Would you rather live in a world where in reality you knew your religion to be man made or in the same world where you didn't know it was man made?
If I understand your question correctly, you consider there to be a religion that is not man made. I am curious what kind of religion that would be. I have looked at a lot of religions, and so far they are all man made so far as I can tell. The religion of Scientism is a great example.

Do you have faith in science. Do you accept its teachings without personally experiencing what the books say? Do you believe in Evolution or lack holes? As a scientist I am vey sceptical. I am an agnostic when it comes to Scientism. Whenever I read a publication that describes an experiment and results, I first try to repeat the experiment. There are no experiments regarding black holes. There are four conflicting mathematical models for black holes. I guess believers get to choose which one to believe in.

There is a big problem in science with unrepeatable experiments. Amgen recently published a paper that at least half of the biotechnology experiments they studied in the literature could not be repeated. That is a big blow for Scientism. Of course no experiment exists for the Big Bang. So there is no way to test it scientifically. There is also no experimental test for evolution. Unless you can come up with one. It is hard to improve a “theory” if it cannot be tested. Testing requires a transfer to the scientific method. I suppose the term “theory” no longer applies to some “sciences”.

Could you provide me with a non-man made religion? Then perhaps I could answer your question.

Are you a scientist? Or, are you more interested in metaphysics?

Cheers

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