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Author Topic:   So I Wrote A Book On The Scientific Method
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(5)
Message 1 of 168 (730177)
06-25-2014 1:14 AM


Unlike my geology book, I'm not going to post it here in installments, because I would like this one to be published by a real publisher on laminae fabricated from the corpses of innocent trees.
However, if anyone here would like a look at it in advance, so as to supply me with some criticism before I start submitting it to publishers, I would be grateful for the feedback.
And the rest of you can just wish me luck.

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by nwr, posted 06-25-2014 1:26 AM Dr Adequate has not replied
 Message 3 by Pressie, posted 06-25-2014 2:45 AM Dr Adequate has not replied
 Message 4 by Faith, posted 06-25-2014 5:19 AM Dr Adequate has replied
 Message 10 by Stile, posted 06-25-2014 10:05 AM Dr Adequate has not replied
 Message 13 by herebedragons, posted 06-25-2014 11:01 AM Dr Adequate has not replied
 Message 15 by Tanypteryx, posted 06-25-2014 11:22 AM Dr Adequate has not replied
 Message 16 by 1.61803, posted 06-25-2014 11:22 AM Dr Adequate has not replied
 Message 17 by NosyNed, posted 06-25-2014 11:22 AM Dr Adequate has replied
 Message 18 by CosmicChimp, posted 06-25-2014 12:36 PM Dr Adequate has not replied
 Message 38 by CosmicChimp, posted 06-29-2014 5:21 PM Dr Adequate has replied
 Message 130 by Trump won, posted 07-18-2014 4:56 PM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 26 of 168 (730232)
06-25-2014 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Faith
06-25-2014 5:19 AM


I hope you are honest about the fact that the historical sciences that purport to know things about the past, that can't be known because they can't be tested, aren't really subject to scientific method.
But when I've briefly persuaded you to be honest on this subject, you have admitted that we can, for example infer living stegosauruses in the past from their bones in the present.
Faith writes:
I've also acknowledged that some things about the past are knowable such as the sorts of creatures that once lived.
In explaining the scientific method, then, it is my job to explain why and how this is the case, not to deny that it's the case.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Faith, posted 06-25-2014 5:19 AM Faith has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(3)
Message 27 of 168 (730233)
06-25-2014 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Faith
06-25-2014 6:15 AM


By now you ought to know that I'm deadly serious about this, am certainly not being dishonest, believe it absolutely that historical science is not testable science but just a tissue of assumptions and conjectures.
Except when you wish to make assertions about the past, when you post stuff like this:
Faith writes:
The worldwide billions of fossils are terrific evidence for a worldwide catastrophe that buried them all at one time; the strata could only have been formed in water, and their immensity and existence throughout the world suggest an immense and worldwide catastrophe. This is so obvious it takes dishonesty to deny it. Or stupidity.
When we point to terrestrial sediments with footprints in, and say that it's terrestrial, then all statements about the past are mere conjecture. When you wish to point to the same sediment and pretend that it's aqueous, this is so certain that it takes dishonesty to deny it. Sometimes, one standard is not enough.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Faith, posted 06-25-2014 6:15 AM Faith has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by vimesey, posted 06-26-2014 5:41 PM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 28 of 168 (730234)
06-25-2014 5:10 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by NosyNed
06-25-2014 11:22 AM


Re: Glad to offer opinions
Since I am full of ... them. I'd enjoy trying to do a critical read.
Send me your email address. And I'll want your good opinions, not the ones about whether it's fun to glue dwarfs together.
Thanks.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by NosyNed, posted 06-25-2014 11:22 AM NosyNed has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 29 of 168 (730236)
06-25-2014 5:13 PM


OK, that's nwr, NosyNed, NoNukes, CosmicChimp, and Tanypteryx.
Have I missed anyone who's volunteered so far? If not, that's enough people, thanks.
---
If I'm keeping count, I have emailed copies to Tanypteryx and CosmicChimp, who have supplied email addresses, but not to the others, who haven't. PM me, guys.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-25-2014 5:58 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(2)
Message 30 of 168 (730237)
06-25-2014 5:58 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Dr Adequate
06-25-2014 5:13 PM


I repeat, that's enough people. Thanks. I have made the last exception I'm going to. (Modulous. You're welcome.) Beyond a certain point, it'll just become a nuisance to add more people and then wait to see what they say.
I think I've now emailed everyone except NoNukes and NosyNed, is that right?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-25-2014 5:13 PM Dr Adequate has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-25-2014 9:02 PM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 32 of 168 (730239)
06-25-2014 9:02 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Dr Adequate
06-25-2014 5:58 PM


And that should be everyone.
---
I have been mentioned in a published book. Alas, I am by no means the only one to have been recognized in this way by the phone company, and I feel that this cheapens the honor.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-25-2014 5:58 PM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 40 of 168 (730685)
06-29-2014 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by CosmicChimp
06-29-2014 5:21 PM


Dr. A, should I just forgo any punctuation or spelling? Do you have any time to discuss in spoken English some of the details I'm finding? Skype maybe? If not, should I PM or just post here on thread? Am only at 6 so far but should get a little faster as I put the PDF on my Kobo e-reader.
It's as well to have it properly spelled and punctuated, it makes me look like I know what I'm doing. It's terribly hard to proof-read one's own work, though I did read the whole thing out loud, which is a big help.
You can skype me if you want, PM me, email me, whatever suits you best.
How are you liking it so far?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by CosmicChimp, posted 06-29-2014 5:21 PM CosmicChimp has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by CosmicChimp, posted 07-07-2014 8:39 AM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 45 of 168 (732377)
07-07-2014 12:51 AM


You've all gone very quite. Is that the sound of awed silence, or ... ?

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by NoNukes, posted 07-13-2014 4:31 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 47 of 168 (732403)
07-07-2014 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by CosmicChimp
07-07-2014 8:39 AM


I don't see how you can soy such a mutable thug, my style is perfucktly fnurdible mangrove poop.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by CosmicChimp, posted 07-07-2014 8:39 AM CosmicChimp has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 62 of 168 (733074)
07-13-2014 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by NoNukes
07-13-2014 4:31 PM


I read the first chapter and have some questions relating to style and choice of examples. I am off all next week and I will give you some comments by Tuesday.
Cool. Thanks.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by NoNukes, posted 07-13-2014 4:31 PM NoNukes has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 68 of 168 (733101)
07-14-2014 5:24 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by Tangle
07-14-2014 4:44 AM


I'm not arguing that predictions are not good and useful things for a theory to have, I'm asking whether they are necessary and, if so, can someone point me to a formal definition which includes it. I would have thought that someone who wrote a book on the scientific method might have included such a thing ;-)
Well, very briefly what I say about it is as follows:
* A theory is a collection of laws and facts.
* When we talk of the "predictions" of a theory, we mean its logical consequences.
* These predictions divide conceivable observations into things which can happen if the theory is true and things which can't.
* We gain confidence in a theory if we go on seeing the things it says we can see and not the things it says we can't see. And, of course, we lose confidence if we see the things it says we can't see.
* This is the only test of a theory. Although a theory can do other things for us --- in particular, it can explain things --- its utility in this respect can't be used to judge whether a theory is true. (In those instances where you think its explanatory power is so impressive as to confirm the theory, it can always be shown that there is an equivalent and related aspect of its predictive power which is what is really making the theory credible.)
Now these last few facts don't appear in the definition of a theory --- just as the definition of a good wine doesn't appear in the definition of wine. But they're still true.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Tangle, posted 07-14-2014 4:44 AM Tangle has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 72 of 168 (733188)
07-14-2014 8:14 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Tangle
07-14-2014 5:08 PM


Quite so. So I expect you will be able to demonstrate that rather than simply assert it. That's all I'm asking. Point me to an authorative source.
Try this.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Tangle, posted 07-14-2014 5:08 PM Tangle has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 73 of 168 (733190)
07-14-2014 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Tangle
07-14-2014 5:08 PM


Quite so. So I expect you will be able to demonstrate that rather than simply assert it. That's all I'm asking. Point me to an authorative source.
Or here's a nice short argument; if people like it I'll add it to the appropriate place in my book.
On the one hand, for every prediction there is a test: if a theory predicts something, then by seeing if that something is the case, we'd be testing the theory.
But on the other hand, for every test there is a prediction. Because if some procedure really does put a theory to the test --- that is, if failing the test would discredit the theory --- then to affirm the truth of the theory is to predict that it will pass the test.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Tangle, posted 07-14-2014 5:08 PM Tangle has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 391 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 116 of 168 (733421)
07-17-2014 4:38 AM
Reply to: Message 115 by Tangle
07-17-2014 3:10 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
All theories are the best explanation of the facts we have and all are 'theoretically' falsifiable. What I'm trying to say is that in practice, anything that has been elevated to the grand state of a real theory will never be found to be totally false; they may be modified by new information and some parts may be shown to be incomplete and even wrong, but the theory will stand.
For example, the change from "atoms are indivisible" to "atoms aren't indivisible" required the modification of only a single word.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by Tangle, posted 07-17-2014 3:10 AM Tangle has not replied

  
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