Fundamentals of Science

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
Lunalle
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Fundamentals of Science

#1

Post by Lunalle » Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:15 am

Hey all, it seems that a lot of people have a misunderstanding of the fundamentals of science. I lay blame for this entirely on the education system. I know I was shocked at the inaccuracy of my "science education" when I got out of high school.

First of all, I would like to present some terminology.

Hypothesis - Untested idea about the nature of how things work.
Theory - Verified (by multiple tests) idea about the nature of how things work, including method of verification.
Law - Verified mathematical equation used to make predictions as accurately as possible.

Now, for some fundamentals.

Scientific theories are published explanations of our best understanding of how things work.
Scientific theories are the pinnacle of enlightenment in science.
Scientific theories are not regarded as "true", but as "the best way to explain it given our current understanding".

Scientific hypothesis, theories, and laws are all open to question, and are updated as new information is presented (so long as this new information meets certain requirements).

Scientific hypothesis, theories, and laws are not static. Ex. They are not equally accurate in every setting in this universe.

Hopefully this helps some people better understand the fundamentals of science. :)
Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. (from Greek atheos, from a- 'without' + theos 'god').

Are you an atheist or a theist? If you're a theist, move a little closer to the truth, and become an atheist! :)

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#2

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:25 pm

Not sure why you are posting this as everyone here already understand these principles.
1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#3

Post by Lunalle » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:21 pm

Danieltwotwenty wrote:Not sure why you are posting this as everyone here already understand these principles.
Lunalle wrote:... it seems that a lot of people have a misunderstanding of the fundamentals of science.
Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. (from Greek atheos, from a- 'without' + theos 'god').

Are you an atheist or a theist? If you're a theist, move a little closer to the truth, and become an atheist! :)

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#4

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:45 pm

Lunalle wrote:
Danieltwotwenty wrote:Not sure why you are posting this as everyone here already understand these principles.
Lunalle wrote:... it seems that a lot of people have a misunderstanding of the fundamentals of science.
:shakehead:
1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#5

Post by Seeker » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:34 pm

I thank you Lunalle for I am in highschool and am currently on that subject and what you have just stated is a little different from what I am currently being taught.

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#6

Post by TheArtfulDodger » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:01 pm

Lunalle wrote:Hey all, it seems that a lot of people have a misunderstanding of the fundamentals of science.
Do you have specific examples?

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#7

Post by Lunalle » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:21 am

I think Seeker's post is a perfect example. I could find another one if you really want me to.

Seeker: I hope I have helped your education, and not hindered it. I encourage you to get good grades, and follow your curriculum to the best of your ability. I'd also encourage you to pursue science further than high school, and be open minded to my claim that post secondary science is somewhat different than "high school science". Which, apparently, everybody else already knows. :roll:
Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. (from Greek atheos, from a- 'without' + theos 'god').

Are you an atheist or a theist? If you're a theist, move a little closer to the truth, and become an atheist! :)

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#8

Post by TheArtfulDodger » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:27 pm

Lunalle wrote:I think Seeker's post is a perfect example. I could find another one if you really want me to.

Seeker: I hope I have helped your education, and not hindered it. I encourage you to get good grades, and follow your curriculum to the best of your ability. I'd also encourage you to pursue science further than high school, and be open minded to my claim that post secondary science is somewhat different than "high school science". Which, apparently, everybody else already knows. :roll:
Could you link to or give context to that quote? I don't really see his or your point without the context.

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#9

Post by Lunalle » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:21 pm

TheArtfulDodger wrote:Could you link to or give context to that quote? I don't really see his or your point without the context.
I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're asking for. Please be more specific, and I will do my best to provide the information you're looking for.
Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. (from Greek atheos, from a- 'without' + theos 'god').

Are you an atheist or a theist? If you're a theist, move a little closer to the truth, and become an atheist! :)

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#10

Post by TheArtfulDodger » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:03 pm

Lunalle wrote:
TheArtfulDodger wrote:Could you link to or give context to that quote? I don't really see his or your point without the context.
I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're asking for. Please be more specific, and I will do my best to provide the information you're looking for.
I asked for an example of someone displaying a misunderstanding of science and I can't see that in your example post without knowing what Seeker was responding to.

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#11

Post by Lunalle » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:55 am

Hi Dodger,

Here is the post which motivated me to start this thread:
TheArtfulDodger wrote:Ah, I see...so you only credit other's experience as determining objective truth?

Science is based off of experience. If theoretical models did not have to match up with our observations (experience!), then there would be no way to discriminate between them.

Similarly, science is also based on faith. If theorists did not have some kind of faith in the way they think the world should work, for example, that everything obeys physical laws, that causality should not be violated, and that physics should remain invariant under certain transformations, very little would have been accomplished in the past hundreds of years. To give a very specific example of this, when Dirac was deriving the relativistic wave equation of Quantum Field Theory he demanded that certain terms would cancel out so that the equation would have a certain quality (namely that if you know the description of particle at one time you will be able to systematically evolve that description in time). This lead to a whole bunch of conclusion, such as the postulate of antimatter, which turned out to fit with observations (experience).

Let me ask you this Lunalle: do you think Einstein's theory of relativity is an accurate description of reality? What about quantum mechanics? Electromagnetism?
Specifically, this bit:
TheArtfulDodger wrote:Similarly, science is also based on faith. If theorists did not have some kind of faith in the way they think the world should work, for example, that everything obeys physical laws, that causality should not be violated, and that physics should remain invariant under certain transformations, very little would have been accomplished in the past hundreds of years.
I am very sad that you hold faith in such a high regard, that you have concluded that scientists base their work on it.

If theorists had faith in the physical laws, they would not doubt them, and they would never be improved upon. This would directly hinder progress.

Scientific progress is made because of curiosity, and because of doubt. I would like to encourage you to read the work of Stephen Hawking. He is a theorist (among other things) who makes it very clear that everything does NOT obey physical laws.

The answer to all your questions is the same. "In most cases, but not all." It is interesting you start with Einstein's Theory of Relative, as Hawking has demonstrated that it is not completely accurate in all circumstances.

Cheers!
Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. (from Greek atheos, from a- 'without' + theos 'god').

Are you an atheist or a theist? If you're a theist, move a little closer to the truth, and become an atheist! :)

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#12

Post by 1over137 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:50 pm

What according to Hawking does not obey phisical laws?
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
-- Philippians 1:6

#foreverinmyheart

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#13

Post by Lunalle » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:12 pm

1over137 wrote:What according to Hawking does not obey phisical laws?
I can't answer that question directly. I'm not gifted or trained enough in mathematics to follow his work. However, I have read him stating that Einstein's Theory of General Relativity is not accurate at the quantum level. A short quote from his lecture "The Beginning of Time" to further demonstrate:

"...The density would have been infinite. It would have been what is called, a singularity. At a singularity, all the laws of physics would have broken down." (Emphasis added).
Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. (from Greek atheos, from a- 'without' + theos 'god').

Are you an atheist or a theist? If you're a theist, move a little closer to the truth, and become an atheist! :)

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#14

Post by TheArtfulDodger » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:56 pm

Lunalle wrote:Hi Dodger,

Here is the post which motivated me to start this thread:


Specifically, this bit:


I am very sad that you hold faith in such a high regard, that you have concluded that scientists base their work on it.

If theorists had faith in the physical laws, they would not doubt them, and they would never be improved upon. This would directly hinder progress.

Scientific progress is made because of curiosity, and because of doubt. I would like to encourage you to read the work of Stephen Hawking. He is a theorist (among other things) who makes it very clear that everything does NOT obey physical laws.

The answer to all your questions is the same. "In most cases, but not all." It is interesting you start with Einstein's Theory of Relative, as Hawking has demonstrated that it is not completely accurate in all circumstances.

Cheers!
I find it funny that I was the one to prompt you to educate us all on science, as I'm a scientist myself(Well, I'm a graduate student, but I've done and am doing scientific reasearch).

I realize that relativity as it stands cannot provide a complete description of the universe, but that wasn't the point.

I asked you about relativity, E&M, etc., because I wanted to show you how much "faith" (call it what you will) you actually held. Have you ever gone through the derivations of special relativity? Do you understand what Maxwell's Equations tell us? Reproduced the experiment that showed that electrons diffract through slits like waves (when we look at them)?

I'm willing to bet the answer to at least one of those questions is no (or other similar questions). So why do you hold to the idea that they are a reasonable description of our universe in most cases?

To Fine Structure Constant ( :wave: ): I think he means to say is that Hawking admits that we know the standard model is not complete.

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Re: Fundamentals of Science

#15

Post by Lunalle » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:29 pm

TheArtfulDodger wrote:I find it funny that I was the one to prompt you to educate us all on science, as I'm a scientist myself(Well, I'm a graduate student, but I've done and am doing scientific reasearch).
To re-iterate, I find it sad.
TheArtfulDodger wrote:I realize that relativity as it stands cannot provide a complete description of the universe, but that wasn't the point.
Ok, cool.
TheArtfulDodger wrote:I asked you about relativity, E&M, etc., because I wanted to show you how much "faith" (call it what you will) you actually held. Have you ever gone through the derivations of special relativity? Do you understand what Maxwell's Equations tell us? Reproduced the experiment that showed that electrons diffract through slits like waves (when we look at them)?
Why are you trying to show me how much faith I hold? I know how much faith I hold, and what I hold it in. I've also already stated that too little faith has bad results, and too much faith has bad results, like any other tool, or source of power.
TheArtfulDodger wrote:I'm willing to bet the answer to at least one of those questions is no (or other similar questions). So why do you hold to the idea that they are a reasonable description of our universe in most cases?
Correct, I primarily study social science. I hold the idea they are a reasonable description of our universe in most cases, because the majority of experts in the relative fields agree they are (At least, last time I checked). But hey, I'm human, not God. My information could be out of date or inaccurate.
TheArtfulDodger wrote:To Fine Structure Constant ( :wave: ): I think he means to say is that Hawking admits that we know the standard model is not complete.
Uh, yeah.... I'm fairly certain it is not complete. I'm more certain his work is a lot more than coming to that conclusion.
Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. (from Greek atheos, from a- 'without' + theos 'god').

Are you an atheist or a theist? If you're a theist, move a little closer to the truth, and become an atheist! :)

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