Truth

Please comment on the following proposition:

Science and the scientific method are necessary and sufficient guides to truth.

i think they are, done properly yes. but it is VERY VERY difficult to actually put the scientific method to work the way it is designed to be. When your doing an experiment and you are changing only one variable while keeping the rest the same, how can you be so sure that you are infact keeping all other variables the same. the world is ever changing and is constantly in flux. While it may seem on the surface that nothing else is changing other then what you want, you may be totally wrong.

lets say you have object A, B and C which all have the same mass which is one notch above no mass at all. all are at rest in a TOTALLY empty universe. object A is then pushed at 5 m/s at object B. object A then hits object B, stops moving, and object B begins to move at 5 m/s in the same direction. you then re-do the experiment with object C moving 5 m/s at object B. and the same thing happens.

is it not now a truth that when an object hits anouther object its motion is transferd to the second object? You might argue that this is an inductive argument. but seeing as this is an empty universe with only 3 objects existing in it, its as good as a deductive i thinks.


If science (and its method) aren’t then what is? Now, I don’t know just what you have in mind by “guide to truth.” Nothing is an infallible guide to truth. Scientists make mistakes too. So nothing is an infallible guide to truth, or even could be.

Reply to Frighter

You said: “i think they are, done properly yes. but it is VERY VERY difficult to actually put the scientific method to work the way it is designed to be.” The scientific method was not designed – it evolved. You asked: “When your doing an experiment and you are changing only one variable while keeping the rest the same, how can you be so sure that you are infact keeping all other variables the same.” It is a matter of judgement. You added: “the world is ever changing and is constantly in flux. While it may seem on the surface that nothing else is changing other then what you want, you may be totally wrong.” I agree that scientists are human and have been known to err. However, we also hold scientists to a high standard of veracity.

I don’t get the point of your last paragraph. You ask: “is it not now a truth that when an object hits anouther object its motion is transferd to the second object?” I suppose so. I would add that inductive and deductive arguments are human ideas meaningful to humans but not to the real world.

Reply to: Kennethamy

You say: “If science (and its method) aren’t then what is?” Aren’t what? You continue: "Now, I don’t know just what you have in mind by “guide to truth.” " I mean a way to arrive at truth. You say: “Nothing is an infallible guide to truth.” I didn’t say there was one. You add: “Scientists make mistakes too. So nothing is an infallible guide to truth, or even could be.” So?

Reply to: Kennethamy

You say: “If science (and its method) aren’t then what is?” Aren’t what? You continue: "Now, I don’t know just what you have in mind by “guide to truth.” " I mean a way to arrive at truth. You say: “Nothing is an infallible guide to truth.” I didn’t say there was one. You add: “Scientists make mistakes too. So nothing is an infallible guide to truth, or even could be.” So?
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Sorry. Thought it was obvious:

If science and its method aren’t guides to truth, then what is (or even could be?)

Is science and its method a guide to truth? Of course. How on earth do you suppose we got the knowledge that enables us to correspond on a computer? Asking whether science is a way to truth is like asking whether eating is a way to being nourished.

I pointed out that science is not an infallible guide to truth because I thought that is what you must have meant by your question. I couldn’t imagine anyone seriously asking only whether science was a way to truth when the answer is so obviously, yes (To use the same example, your question is like, is eating a way to being nourished? Of course!)

Reply to Kennethamy

Typically, people don’t consider a guide necessary, and so rely on intuition, bias and gossip to decide what is true.

A way to truth is a guide to truth.

You say: “I couldn’t imagine anyone seriously asking only whether science was a way to truth when the answer is so obviously, yes (To use the same example, your question is like, is eating a way to being nourished? Of course!)” Most people don’t understand what science is about and cannot tell what is science and what is not. Many distrust science, and are steeped in religious bias.