Proposal: Science and the nature of observation.

Discussion in 'Formal debates' started by BenTheMan, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    Outline: The current cosmological model (called Lambda-CDM) suggests that a Big Bang occured 13.7 billion years ago, followed immediately by a period of rapid expansion, called Inflation. This model is based on roughly 100 years of observation, and includes so-called ``dark matter'' and ``dark energy''.

    Also, it seems that 250 years of empirical evidence supports the idea that species change slowly over time, and undergo an evolution to adapt to a changing environment, as outlined initially by Charles Darwin and developed further in the late nineteenth and twentieth century.

    Nonetheless, there are those who would replace the current cosmology and evolution with their own constructions.

    Resolved: That replacing established scientific theories with such ad hoc constructions is a gross violaiton of the basic tenets of the scientific method.

    Participants: I challenge anyone to take the other side of this argument. While I am much more comfortable talking about the cosmology side of things, the argument is not specific to physics. This will be a debate more of values than of actual policy.

    Rules: The debate will procede as follows. Each side will make one post outlining their position as it relates to the resolution. The Pro will make the first post. There will be a cross-examination post in which the Con can ask the Pro no more than ten specific questions regarding his argument.

    The Con will make the second post, in which he presents his case. This wil be followed by a cros examination post, in which the Pro asks the Con no more than ten specific quesitons regarding his points.

    There will be one final post by each of the sides, starting with the Pro. The Pro may take this opportunity to respond to specific points raised in Con's arguments, along with anything from the cross examination thread.

    Likewise, the Con will have one final post.

    Note that, all points of debate must be raised in the initial post, where both sides state their cases. No additional points can be made in the responses that weren't outlined in the initial posts.
     
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  3. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Will you be defending the scientific method itself...or the cosmoslogical and evolutionary theories arising from it?

    Will you be defending them as theories, or as indisputable laws?

    How do you define 'ad hoc constructions'?
     
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  5. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    Just the scientific method itself---the value of the scientific method as it relates to our understanding of nature, I guess.

    I struggled with the wording here. I mean to say things which aren't constructed using the scientific method but by some other means.
     
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  7. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Ok, but isnt much of the current cosmology based on some very wild and untestable mathematical speculation that falls outside of the classical scientific method.
     
  8. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Can you give an example of "other means"?
     
  9. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    Well, no

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    That's why I didn't volunteer for the other side.
     
  10. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    Well, it depends on the interpreation of ``untestable''. It is true that we cannot directly test the Big Bang, but it has a number of observable consequences that are unique to that theory. So, it is ``testable'' because it has predictions, but it is ``untestable'' because we can't watch it happening.
     
  11. Gustav Banned Banned

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    welcome to sci
    welcome to a semantical state of being

    /rotfl
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Gus, this is an Alpha Rules thread. It was not explicitly stated but you've been around long enough to know that. Alpha Rules means stay on topic, no wisecracks. If you want to get your knickers in a knot over semantics, come and start your own Alpha Rules discussion in Linguistics.
     
  13. Gustav Banned Banned

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    apologies
    will not happen again
     
  14. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    It's very hard not to make this comment but....

    Isn't the Big Bang only a hypothesis anyways? There are just as many justifications for other hypothesis as there are for the Big Bang.

    What I'm saying is that it seems that science often begins with speculation and then with experiementation to support the speculations. Thus:

    Is a misinterpretation of the process of coming up with hypothesis to explain natural phenomena..... (that is, such alternative hypothesis are not a violation of the scientific method, but a natural part of the scientific process- and they don't automatically replace the other hypothesis).

    Sorry about discussing in the proposal thread. Should we start a debate thread, I guess... LOL!!

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  15. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    TruthSeeker---

    The Big Bang is an hypothesis, but it is an hypothesis that can be tested.

    Ummm no? Unless you believe that a bunch of Jewish folk tales are the word of God

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    No experimental evidence contradict the Big Bang, or if you like, no other theories explain the evidence as well as the Big Bang.
     
  16. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    The Big Bang hypothesis is a speculation, just like Brane theory. (Even if there's more "evidence" supporting Big Bang then Brane theory, that doesn't make the Big Bang any less then a speculation.)
     
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    It seems people are attempting to discuss a topic in this thread, rather than organising a debate on a topic.

    What you need to do is this:

    • Agree on what the topic will be.
    • Agree as to who will be debating.
    • Agree as to the format of the debate.

    Don't discuss the topic of the debate in the Proposal thread; do it in the debate thread.
     
  18. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    oooh ok. We've been breaking the rules. I see.

    Perhaps we should first agree to a resolution that will actually set up some sort of dichotomy.

    Any ideas TruthSeeker? I don't exactly know how to phrase something that I would be comfortable debating.
     
  19. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry... it just seemed like a flawed proposition to me... :shrug:
     
  20. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    No. Maybe we should debate whether the hypothesis process is unscientific or not.... :shrug:
     
  21. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    If you really want to... But hypothesis is one of the criteria of science, so i think it is ruled out by the definition.
     
  22. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Not according to your first post.
     

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