Just like there is only a theory of gravity.There is just a theory of evolution.
Wouldn't it be better to actually educate yourself before you speak? Theories of evolution explain the mechanisms by which organisms change over time. Would you like to learn about the mechanisms of evolution?If organisms change over time, it is understood through the theory of evolution.
What do you mean by verified?Facts are just verified observations that anyone can make.
Only those who are ignorant of what science is and how it works talk about proof of scientific theories. It's just not logical.To prove evolution,
Sweetie, the observations are the facts. Those facts are used to formulate an hypothesis. The hypothesis is used to make a prediction of an unobserved phenomena that is a logical consequence of the hypothesis. An experiment is then designed to test the prediction. In other words, the experiment has the power to support or falsify the hypothesis.you must make many observations, therefore you must gather many facts.
No, it's not. But I am impressed that you actually tried to educate yourself. Perhaps you lack the the underlying requisite in biology, evolutionary theory, genetics, and philosophy to understand what Dr. Scott was saying.This isn't my philosophy, many people accept this. It's actually the same philosophy of science that Eugenie Scott explains in her book, "Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction."
Indeed there is. I explained that above and in several previous posts. Have you missed the point?There is a clear distinctions to be made between facts, laws, and theories.
I guess that you don't understand that scientific laws are no more than observations that have always been found to be true in a specified set of circumstances.But she seems to leave out the understanding about how laws and hypotheses are logically connected due to the problem with induction, but I don't think she cares about that.
I have no idea why you think that Dawkins has anything to do with your misunderstanding of science and how it works. I suspect that Dr. Dawkins understands the topic by quantums more than you or I, you more than I.I blame Richard Dawkins, again, for making it proverbial that "evolution is a fact" without paying any attention to overall logic involved with this claim. He completely disregards the proper usage of the terms. Anyway, theories are more important than facts. Anyone who studies science knows this.
I think that Richard (Dawkins) knows more than you about either side of the argument. But then, he made an effort to educate himself.
You know Gallo, I'm not going to spend my time responding to all of your comments, because they bore me.
Whatever "discrepancies" you are finding in my view of evolutionary theory...so be it.
I understand perfectly well how a scientific theory is constructed. You are pretending like I haven't spent years studying the philosophy of science to know where I stand.
Regardless on how my views reflect evolutionary theory. It is irrelevant. So, let me explain how I think a scientific theory is constructed. (You talk as if there is some consensus on how this is done). When discussing: "What is a scientific theory?" It is important to understand how the components of facts of experience, induction, laws, theories, deduction, and predictions/explanations fit into the picture. So let me elaborate on all these. Gallo, you seem to be circling around all of these terms without any clear picture of how they all connect.
Everybody can observe how facts are linked to other facts. Examples:
day follows night
fire is hot
If we observe these facts at all times and places, then we can go ahead and label it a law.
If we observe facts linked with other facts at a certain frequency, then we call this a statistical law.
Furthermore, a fact is a singular event or thing. Facts do not tell us anything until we express it as a law. Therefore, scientific laws are explanations by which we can derive predictions.
This is where it gets interesting. Laws are accepted based on inductive logic. Because this is the case, it seems that laws do not ever really get proven. We assume them to be universal, because their regular occurrence is constantly happening through our experience. But the reason why we shouldn't care too much about this "problem of induction," is because theories use laws to build an overall picture of reality. Laws alone cannot do this. This is why theories are the most important parts of the scientific enterprise.
The law of gravity was not used as an essential part of the Newtonian theoretical framework (the three principles). Newton's three principles were universal, while his gravitational theory was not. For instance, you could use Newton's three principles to derive Boyle's Law. Although you could understand Newtonian gravitation through the inverse square law, it didn't too much to build a basic theoretical framework behind "gravity." Einstein threw away the scalar Newtonian force and used a mathematical framework of gravity (Riemann curvature tensor) to build an overall picture of what gravity actually was.
This example builds the basic difference between laws based on facts and an actual theoretical framework that elaborates on the laws thoroughly.
In the case of Quantum Mechanics, we have the same story. We have a basic theoretical framework that gives a mathematical account of the said laws to yield specific predictions. It gets a bit hazy here, since Quantum Mechanics begs us, overall, to not pay close attention to objects, but to the basic information within a system (such as the "dynamical" quantities of position, velocity, etc, and they are corresponded with "self-adjoint operators").
Facts and Laws would make no sense without our Scientific Theories. That's pretty obvious if you actually use scientific theories to deduce predictions.
So far I went over the basic naive notions of science, and left out some of the most important aspects. It turns out that some people think that scientific theories aren't true at all. Many people view scientific theories mainly as tools to derive predictions, and think that they have nothing to say about reality per se. If you follow this view, you are said to fall into the school of thought known as scientific anti-realism or instrumentalism. People who tend to be realists of scientific theories, like me, do think they are true. And the reason why realists regard the theories as true is because we can't just get our heads around the extremely accurate predictions that are given. The basic theoretical frameworks must have some inherent reflection to our physical reality. In the case of General Relativity, the reflection is obvious, albeit there are anomalies. For Quantum Mechanics, the reflection isn't so obvious, but the predictions it yields are so accurate and universal that it begs me to interpret the formalism in some way (and I have to a point of contentment).
One of the basic tenets of a scientific theory is that it has to be falsifiable (Popper). Even though falsfiability is definitely a necessary condition for a theory to be scientific, it isn't a sufficient condition. Meaning, just because we accept a theory is falsifiable, we shouldn't accept as being a scientific theory. In order for a theory to be scientific, it must coherently fuse a multitude of laws into an overall framework (just like General Relativity and QM do). Additionally, it must make accurate predictions of physical phenomena.
It is also worth mentioning how falsfiability can be neglected in science. Theories can be made compatible with observations by the use of ad hoc hypotheses. Historically, our failed prediction of Uranus' orbit in the 19th century led to the hypothesis that there must be an 8th planet (Neptune). Instead of rejecting Newtonian gravitation, we decided to come up with an ad hoc hypothesis.
Another issue is when we have alternative theories that can't be decided from the observational data we have. In cases like this we usually use, a priori, the principle of Occam's Razor.
The last point I want to make deals with the theory-dependence of observations. Observations are not made passively, but through both perception and cognition. While ancient scientists observed the sun moving, later scientists deduced that the earth was rotating. Scientists claim all the time that observations confirm their specific hypotheses. When you ask to justify this claim, it follows by reference to the theory (operational definitions and hypotheses) where the observation is couched. Moreover, the observation is based on the terms within the theory that also contains the hypothesis it is supposed to verify or falsify. Therefore, the observation cannot serve as the deciding factor between alternative hypotheses--but can only be the deciding factor between alternative hypotheses within the underlying theory.
Here's your naive outlook:
the related theoretical background/paradigm
Last edited by LanguageGames86; 31st August 2010 at 04:22 AM.
If you noticed it...There are facts about evolution. Evolution, as a term, doesn't make sense if we do not understand it by the scientific theory of evolution. The term evolution can apply to quantum mechanics also. We understand these terms differently based on the theories they are a part of.
It would have saved you the trouble of "trying" to educate me on how a scientific theory works.
If you will permit a personal aside.
I am interested in sea serpents. The accounts are numerous and many witnessess are/were highly credible. There have also been some very interesting reports of documented echolocation in lakes where some of these creatures have been seen. All very interesting stuff.
Do I believe in sea serpents? No. Until the time comes when there is better evidence that they exist I won't answer "yes" to that question. Am I on the fence? No. Would I like it if it turns out that Champ in Lake Champlain or the Gloucester Sea Serpent were real? Of course I would.
What the folks at Genesis Park are doing is running a con game by playing to people's fascination with mystery and trying to use that fascination to sell their whole package of mythology. They are trying to sell the package deal of "wouldn't it be interesting if plesiosaurs exist?" with "turn you life over to the baby Jesus." In the end it is nothing but a badly produced scam.
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis
It appears that once again it's necessary to ask members to re-read the forum rules and understand that civility is required of every member. Debate the topic and refrain from posting comments about the other members.
[do not respond]
The Forum Rules
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
[John F. Kennedy]
The principal value of debate lies in the development of logical thought processes, and the ability to articulate your positions publicly.
[Senator Dick Clark of Iowa]
The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.
ahhh....once again the thread's intelligent members degrade the quality of debate. I guess debate is not what we are here for, but rather to show to other computer dwellers that we know everything.