Pop Culture Scientists

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Re: Pop Culture Scientists

Postby TheVat on August 4th, 2018, 2:30 pm 

Another aspect of evidence that suggests caution is that it tends to fall into the categories of direct and indirect. If you board a rocket and travel several hundred miles above the earth's surface you will have direct evidence for earth's roundness. If you remain earthbound and notice that, wherever you roam on the earth's surface, the horizon line for a pair of eyes that are 5/7 above the ground is 2.9 miles away, you will have indirect evidence for same. As one can see in this example, indirect evidence tends to require many repeated measurements and also the ability to sensibly discard other explanations -- e. g. It's a light-bending optical illusion, boats just naturally start to sink when they get 2.9 miles from shore, the earth is shaped like a barbell and we just happen to be on a round end, etc. This process of discarding bad explanation often rests on other indirect evidence. Like the sun shining down on Athens at a 7 degree angle while it's shining straight down a deep well in Egypt.

So evidence must not only be relational in the sense of being "for," but it must dovetail neatly with other lines of evidence... and I am really just rehashing Quine here.
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Re: Pop Culture Scientists

Postby TheVat on August 4th, 2018, 2:35 pm 

Sorry, that would be Alexandria in the example not Athens.
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Re: Pop Culture Scientists

Postby mitchellmckain on August 4th, 2018, 5:26 pm 

Reg_Prescott » July 29th, 2018, 3:39 am wrote:I submit to our members that anyone who objects to the propagation of exaggerated, unjustified, or just plain false, claims about science -- as Mitchell habitually does -- ought to give a crap.

And I suggest that everyone who does not want to live in the filthy ignorance of the middle ages to take science more seriously than the hot air rhetoric of ideological philosophers and religions.
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Re: Pop Culture Scientists

Postby wolfhnd on August 4th, 2018, 5:50 pm 

mitchellmckain » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:26 pm wrote:
Reg_Prescott » July 29th, 2018, 3:39 am wrote:I submit to our members that anyone who objects to the propagation of exaggerated, unjustified, or just plain false, claims about science -- as Mitchell habitually does -- ought to give a crap.

And I suggest that everyone who does not want to live in the filthy ignorance of the middle ages to take science more seriously than the hot air rhetoric of ideological philosophers and religions.


The beauty of free speech is over time natural selection is likely to make ideologies go extinct.
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Re: Pop Culture Scientists

Postby Reg_Prescott on August 4th, 2018, 8:26 pm 

Braininvat » August 5th, 2018, 3:30 am wrote:Another aspect of evidence that suggests caution is that it tends to fall into the categories of direct and indirect. If you board a rocket and travel several hundred miles above the earth's surface you will have direct evidence for earth's roundness. If you remain earthbound and notice that, wherever you roam on the earth's surface, the horizon line for a pair of eyes that are 5/7 above the ground is 2.9 miles away, you will have indirect evidence for same. As one can see in this example, indirect evidence tends to require many repeated measurements and also the ability to sensibly discard other explanations -- e. g. It's a light-bending optical illusion, boats just naturally start to sink when they get 2.9 miles from shore, the earth is shaped like a barbell and we just happen to be on a round end, etc. This process of discarding bad explanation often rests on other indirect evidence. Like the sun shining down on Athens at a 7 degree angle while it's shining straight down a deep well in Egypt.

So evidence must not only be relational in the sense of being "for," but it must dovetail neatly with other lines of evidence... and I am really just rehashing Quine here.



It seems to me, BiV, more natural to simply say "The Earth is round", or roundish, than to appeal to what seems an unnecessary and unfamiliar (to me anyway) distinction that you're carving between "direct" and "indirect" evidence.

After all, we tend not to hear it said, for example, that "there is strong evidence that elephants exist". The existence of said pachyderms is not disputed, at least not by anyone not receiving treatment from Nurse Ratchet.

Surely it's only in cases where a particular claim is, at least to some degree, disputed or inherently unprovable -- scientific theories, for instance -- that we speak of evidence at all.

As you know, I'm not religious myself, yet never cease to be amazed when reading some Internet forum on the existence of God, say, and the skeptics demand "Show us your proof or stfu!!!!".

It's precisely because God's existence has not been proven to the satisfaction of all that such threads exist in the first place in order to weigh up the evidence for and against.

And presumably this is why we seldom see Internet forum threads devoted to examining the question "Do elephants exist?"
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Re: Pop Culture Scientists

Postby TheVat on August 5th, 2018, 12:20 pm 

I think we can make evidentiary claims on almost any matter, but I was getting at the use of science to adduce evidence for some state of affairs where a causal inference is made. It's not disputed that we all see the same moon in the sky, and that when it hits your eye like Dean Martin's pizza pie, that's amore. But what are tides evidence for? They are indirect evidence for a big satellite, which, once the mechanism is understood, is even more compelling evidence for the moon being a real solid object. Of course, in a purely epistemic sense all evidence is indirect, except the basic Cartesian evidence for my own consciousness. So I am willing, in a philosophic chat, to toss out the distinction.
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Re: Pop Culture Scientists

Postby TheVat on August 5th, 2018, 12:25 pm 

viewtopic.php?nomobile=1&f=55&t=34627

Just for fun. I couldn't help myself.
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Re: Pop Culture Scientists

Postby Reg_Prescott on August 5th, 2018, 12:39 pm 

Braininvat » August 6th, 2018, 1:25 am wrote:http://sciencechatforum.com/viewtopic.php?nomobile=1&f=55&t=34627

Just for fun. I couldn't help myself.



Haven't clicked on the link yet (but I will)

Let me guess "Do elephants exist?"

hahahha
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Re: Pop Culture Scientists

Postby Reg_Prescott on August 5th, 2018, 12:43 pm 

Hey BiV, you know what REALLY worried me?

I thought you might refute my last post with appeal to the Flat Earth Society.

I didn't think of them till later.

Love your wit, pal. You made me giggle :)
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Re: Pop Culture Scientists

Postby Reg_Prescott on August 5th, 2018, 12:49 pm 

So, Mr Braininvat, smarty pants....


Do you have any evidence that pizzas are round?

Pfft!
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Re: Pop Culture Scientists

Postby mitchellmckain on August 5th, 2018, 2:40 pm 

Reg_Prescott » August 4th, 2018, 7:26 pm wrote:Surely it's only in cases where a particular claim is, at least to some degree, disputed or inherently unprovable -- scientific theories, for instance -- that we speak of evidence at all.

As you know, I'm not religious myself, yet never cease to be amazed when reading some Internet forum on the existence of God, say, and the skeptics demand "Show us your proof or stfu!!!!".

It's precisely because God's existence has not been proven to the satisfaction of all that such threads exist in the first place in order to weigh up the evidence for and against.

And presumably this is why we seldom see Internet forum threads devoted to examining the question "Do elephants exist?"


Precisely! And that is really all I have been saying. I am no empiricist. When the topic has come up I have refuted its overly simplistic claims. My defense for the epistemic superiority of science is not excessive but minimal. I am after all, unlike you, one of the religious -- a theist. So I am hardly going to the extreme of claiming that all our truth and understanding of reality must come from science. I simply demand that the religious like myself accept the limitations which require them to respect a diversity of thought where they have no objective evidence.

It really is kind of laughable, for we seem to be coming at the same position from two different directions -- I from the more subjective worldview demanding a recognition of the objective validity of science and you from the more objective worldview demanding caution about exaggerating the reality claims of science. And we both end up talking past each other we defend our front lines in opposite direction.

I have ALWAYS refuted the idea that science is the be all and end all of human knowledge. Yet I think we must recognize some sort of epistemic superiority there, at least to the degree of accepting that there are reasons for agreement on its findings which religion does not have. It is a foundation for accepting a diversity of thought where we must rationally do so.
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