What Science Is .. and Isn't

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What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby James S Saint » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:08 am

It is a common misunderstanding that Science provides truth of some kind. That isn't what Science does.

Science is specifically a method for observationally verifying that a proposed ontological construct, "a hypothesis", is not untenable. Science does not ever proclaim that anything is true. It merely proclaims that certain thoughts have not been observationally proven to be false.

In the cases of classical physics and quantum physics, it is the duty of Science to verify that each ontological theory isn't necessarily false. In so doing, each proposed theory is adjusted such as to avoid such condemnation and thus each theory becomes more observationally true. The limit of such a method for forming a completely true ontology (a proposed conceptual picture of reality) is in its ability to be evaluated by independent and repeatable observation.

A fairly recent concern and issue in Science is that independent observation concerning very expensive experiments has become impossible. In addition, there are military and political concerns involving revealing any truth concerning potentially dangerous details, such as simple means for creating weapons of mass destruction, or political revolution. In the case of the recent Higgs boson experiment, it took 10 years of observing, billions of dollars spent, to merely find evidence lasting for only a microsecond or so of something that resembled the proposed Higgs boson. But the foundation involved became in jeopardy of losing its justification for such extreme expenditures and thus something had to be found immediately. Such doesn't actually qualify as Science.

The construction of ontologies to be proposed is actually the business of actual philosophers and metaphysicists. Scientists are the technicians that carry out proposed falsifiable tests on such proposed hypotheses. When the technicians begin making their own proposals, very many irrational proposals get into the picture. This is literally no different than electronic technicians proposing the theories that electronic engineers are supposed to be the experts at understanding. The techs are not necessarily wrong merely because they are techs, but a great many technician misunderstandings get into the picture very quickly.

Science is merely a means for verification of ontological proposals. The only truth that Science proposes is that a submitted ontological hypothesis (and there can be very many independent yet true ontologies) has been independently and repeatably demonstrated to not conform the hypothesized observation.

In other words, "What you predicted to be seen, wasn't what was seen".
And that is ALL that can be called Science.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Gain is obtained by giving a lot and keeping a little.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby Atthet » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:47 pm

"Great post, would read again!" :D

8/10 =D>
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby Moreno » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:57 pm

That is certainly some scientists conception of what science does. And if we label any act that contradicts this as not science, then it can be consistent. But actually I see nothing remotely like consensus on this issue or poppers falsification being primary, etc.

If we stay at the level of reified processes, like Science, in some ideal realm, I don't know what use the proclamations are, really.

If we look at what is actually happening with science, I find that regular assertions of what is are being made, in research abstractions, textbooks, scientist statements, scientific theories as presented in different media, and so on. Extensions from models are also made regularly in various media including official science ones, about what this means about other ideas, the likelihood of certain phenomena heretofore not verified and so on.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby Atthet » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:45 pm

One obvious observation, easy to see about science from the philosophy perspective, is that science does not merge meaningful statements with explanatory statements. Science only concerns itself with explanation, not meaningful descriptions.

Therefore, anything beyond "common sense" or even poetic science, is useless to the masses and the average mind.

This is why N called it the "Gay Science".


Any "pure" science is completely impractical and useless, from the onset. Science and pragmatism are separated at the beginning of science. It is religion that merges science and practice (pragmatism) together.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby statiktech » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:54 pm

Atthet wrote:One obvious observation, easy to see about science from the philosophy perspective, is that science does not merge meaningful statements with explanatory statements. Science only concerns itself with explanation, not meaningful descriptions.


Ever heard of descriptive science?
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby Atthet » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:59 pm

Descriptive science is linguistics, poetry, art, N's "Gay Science", neuroscience, neurology, theology, theosophy.

I personally plan on developing a mastery in Theosophy after I finish with philosophy, move onto a more artistic and creative avenue for ideals.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby statiktech » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:11 pm

Descriptive science is linguistics, poetry, art, N's "Gay Science", neuroscience, neurology, theology, theosophy.


...what? Most of those things have nothing to do with science.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby Atthet » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:15 pm

And what makes you think description has anything to do with science???

Science does not describe the world, the universe, or reality. Science has very little to do with reality.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby Stuart » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:16 pm

I'm not familiar with all your references James, but for the most part I agree.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby statiktech » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:18 pm

And what makes you think description has anything to do with science???

Science does not describe the world, the universe, or reality. Science has very little to do with reality.


Science is heavily descriptive. That's what it does. It can only be considered explanatory insofar as it accurately describes reality.

I don't think you know what you're talking about.
Last edited by statiktech on Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby Stuart » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:19 pm

I used to talk about the idea that philosophy is what lies between science and art, I haven't thought much about that lately, so I'm open to changing my mind, but I mentioned it because it might be useful to this discussion.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby Atthet » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:40 pm

Statik, wanna give me a go and see who knows more, or less about this???

I've been studying the difference between descriptive and explanatory (explicative) language for a long time. I know what I'm talking about here.

Science does not "describe" reality. Science explains reality. You need to learn this difference. Science explains the world, the "how". Science does not describe the world, the "why". Philosophy and religion are much more apt and useful to describe the world and the "whys".

Description trends toward art, not science. Science does not make for good poetry. Trust me on this one.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby statiktech » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:24 pm

Explanation is just a matter of linking descriptions. You can't explain without describing. Descriptions do not necessarily answer "why?" - that is a matter of purpose. I still think you don't know what you're talking about.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby James S Saint » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:41 pm

Atthet wrote:Statik, wanna give me a go and see who knows more, or less about this???

I've been studying the difference between descriptive and explanatory (explicative) language for a long time. I know what I'm talking about here.

Science does not "describe" reality. Science explains reality. You need to learn this difference. Science explains the world, the "how". Science does not describe the world, the "why". Philosophy and religion are much more apt and useful to describe the world and the "whys".

Description trends toward art, not science. Science does not make for good poetry. Trust me on this one.

I would agree with the distinction that you are making, except that you claim that it is "Science" that is making these descriptions. The point to the OP is that such is NOT Science. Philosophers of one type or another make such descriptions. The sole task of Science is to verify that any such theories are not observationally false.

Science makes NO truth claims.

Science is often presented, just as the various religions, as "saying" things when those things were never claimed by the authorities or experts involved. Science has a great many evangelists, preachers, and pastors. But in reality, those are not scientists.

All religions came about by that same mistake. Someone proposes a theory concerning reality. Others later, often misinterpreting what had been stated, preach their version to the crowd for sake of gaining a following, a "religion". For religions to do that is at least honest in that they openly state that it is a matter of Faith for them.

The Christian notion of a 6000 year-old Earth is one of those notions that was never actually in the scriptures. The religious leaders allowed such a notion, perhaps some of them believing it themselves, because maintaining the gathering is their job as a religion.

But Science claims the opposite. Science is specifically the claim that they only believe what has been observed. Yet the Science evangelists preach of things that they could never observe and call it Science. Quantum Physics is filled with purely imaginary entities and speculations that could never be observationally proven and are often logically disproven. Yet it is called Science merely because it involves mathematics and technology. It is "Scientism", a false religion and a false Science.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Gain is obtained by giving a lot and keeping a little.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 16703
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby phyllo » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:48 pm

Statik, wanna give me a go and see who knows more, or less about this???
Okay, I'll bite. Show us your wisdom.
Science does not "describe" reality. Science explains reality. You need to learn this difference. Science explains the world, the "how". Science does not describe the world, the "why". Philosophy and religion are much more apt and useful to describe the world and the "whys".

Science describes and in the process answers both 'how' and 'why' questions.

Why does light bend when traveling from air to water?
This asks 'what interactions of energy and matter cause the bending?'

How does light bend when traveling from air to water?
This asks 'what is the angle of bending and in what way does it relate to the configuration of light , water and air?'

'Why' identifies cause. 'How' maps structure.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby James S Saint » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:49 pm

phyllo wrote:Science describes and in the process answers both 'how' and 'why' questions.

Why does light bend when traveling from air to water?
This asks 'what interactions of energy and matter cause the bending?'

How does light bend when traveling from air to water?
This asks 'what is the angle of bending and in what way does it relate to the configuration of light , water and air?'

'Why' identifies cause. 'How' maps structure.

No Science does NOT.

Science ONLY "says", "We don't see any evidence that you are wrong... yet."

"Why" and "How" are up to metaphysicists and philosophers.
And there can be many different yet very correct answers.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Gain is obtained by giving a lot and keeping a little.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 16703
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby phyllo » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:09 pm

Science ONLY "says", "We don't see any evidence that you are wrong... yet."
That sums up every human endeavor.

Philosophy says : We have not yet seen evidence that our philosophy is wrong.

When it is shown to be wrong, then there is a reworking of the philosophy.

This is necessary because there is no flag that pops up when something is 'absolutely right'. On the other hand, negative consequences pop up when something is wrong. We function with tentative adequacy until the error of our ways becomes obvious.
Nothing is a dream until you wake up - FM
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby James S Saint » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:26 pm

phyllo wrote:
Science ONLY "says", "We don't see any evidence that you are wrong... yet."
That sums up every human endeavor.

Not at all true.

phyllo wrote:Philosophy says : We have not yet seen evidence that our philosophy is wrong.

But it also SAYS; "This is what is true (within THIS particular ontology).

phyllo wrote:When it is shown to be wrong, then there is a reworking of the philosophy.

In philosophy statements are made that define the particular philosophy. When those statements are shown to be false, logically incoherent, the entire philosophy is forfeit.

phyllo wrote:This is necessary because there is no flag that pops up when something is 'absolutely right'.

Again, not true. That which is true "by definition of the ontology" is precisely and exactly true... period.
That doesn't mean that the ontology is observationally correct or useful. But it cannot be disputed as being true for that ontology.
Each and every ontology declares the concepts and definitions involved. They are not up for truth debate. If they change, it is a new and different ontology and philosophy. Solipsism cannot evolve into empiricism, except by name through misuse of the label. Otherwise, nothing could ever be said to be false.

Science on the other hand, is a method, not a proclaimed truth ontology. Thus the only way for Science to be declared "untrue" is to find that the method of observation is untrue, which doesn't even make sense. The method can have limits, but it is merely a method for something. There is no "truth" involved.

Science: "You proposed that if I did this, I would get that. I did this and I didn't get that."
Science does not say that anything is true, merely that you have or have not proposed something logically coherent with observation.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Gain is obtained by giving a lot and keeping a little.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 16703
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby statiktech » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:52 pm

Each and every ontology declares the concepts and definitions involved. They are not up for truth debate.


The hell they aren't. If they aren't up for debate you're not doing philosophy. You're practicing religion.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby James S Saint » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:08 pm

statiktech wrote:
Each and every ontology declares the concepts and definitions involved. They are not up for truth debate.


The hell they aren't. If they aren't up for debate you're not doing philosophy. You're practicing religion.

Bullshit.
You are merely building an understanding that is to be tested for usefulness.
The components of the understanding are whatever they are... period.
If the understanding is that circletoids are round, then circletoids, in that understanding, are round.
End of story. There is no testing to "see if circletoids are round". They are declared to be round.

How do you know that a circle is really round?
Have you actually ever seen a perfect circle?
How do you know that what you were looking at was actually a circle of any kind?
Maybe they got it wrong?
How do observationally test to see if what you are calling a circle really is a circle?
Last edited by James S Saint on Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Gain is obtained by giving a lot and keeping a little.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 16703
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby Atthet » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:11 pm

Science does not answer "why" questions (sufficiently). It answers "how" questions (sufficiently).

If you confuse why for how, then you're going to misunderstand the basic essence and function of science.

Science specializes in logical truisms (math) and finds applications for these truisms through experimentation and empirical premises. However, science does not actually apply scientific discoveries or inventions in practice. This is the difference between morality (dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima), religion, and invention (building a bomb and seeing if it works), science.

Philosophy is deciding and justifying the use of the bomb, before dropping it. Philosophy, science, and religion are all separated distinctly.

Science is horrible at descriptive language. Science describes nothing well. But science explains everything very well. This is why everybody loves science, because it explains everything. But it does not "describe" everything.

Religion and artistry describes "everything". This is poetry. And philosophy dabbles in this too. But religion is best fit for definition, since is a straight appeal to emotion.

Description appeals to emotions, and this is one of its best and most useful functions. Descriptive language binds the subjective world with the objective world. It keeps humanity attached to nature.


My words are on fire. Metaphors. Do you feel burned by them?

This is completely anti-science and anti-scientific, yet meaningful and purposeful.

In the news, Bill O'Reilly routinely uses fiery rhetoric to inflame his opponents.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby James S Saint » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:14 pm

Atthet wrote:Science does not answer "why" questions (sufficiently). It answers "how" questions (sufficiently).

If you confuse why for how, then you're going to misunderstand the basic essence and function of science.

You don't seem to be getting it.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Gain is obtained by giving a lot and keeping a little.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 16703
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby statiktech » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:15 pm

James S Saint wrote:The components of the understanding are whatever they are... period.


Again, that's a religious notion.

If the understanding is that circletoids are round, then circletoids, in that understanding, are round.
End of story. There is no testing to "see if circletoids are round". They are declared to be round.


Since when does declaring something make it true? If the understanding is wrong, it can be modified. There is no need to accept, or adhere to, a strict ontological framework in such an absolute sense.
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby phyllo » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:17 pm

That doesn't mean that the ontology is observationally correct or useful.
There is the rub.

It's possible to construct an ontology which is precise and true by definition.

However, any system which seeks a correspondence with existence is only tentative ... always subject to falsification by brute reality. That's science in operation.

I think we basically agree on those bits.
"Why" and "How" are up to metaphysicists and philosophers.

Philosophers of one type or another make such descriptions. The sole task of Science is to verify that any such theories are not observationally false.
I don't see philosophers submitting their theories for testing by science. I don't see a 'why' formulated by philosophers. The 'why' is defined in terms of cause and effect and the interaction of objects and energy in a vast machine. It's done by scientists. What can philosophers add?
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Re: What Science Is .. and Isn't

Postby James S Saint » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:29 pm

statiktech wrote:
James S Saint wrote:The components of the understanding are whatever they are... period.


Again, that's a religious notion.

No. That is rational thought and definitions of words.

If the understanding is that circletoids are round, then circletoids, in that understanding, are round.
End of story. There is no testing to "see if circletoids are round". They are declared to be round.
statiktech wrote:Since when does declaring something make it true?

Since the invention of declared definitions.

statiktech wrote:If the understanding is wrong, it can be modified.

Which immediately makes it a DIFFERENT understanding.
What else does "different" mean?

statiktech wrote:There is no need to accept, or adhere to, a strict ontological framework in such an absolute sense.

The need is language and rationality.
Else we can just say that Christianity stands for the same thing a quantum physics.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Gain is obtained by giving a lot and keeping a little.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 16703
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

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