Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by steeven91, Jan 23, 2011.
if there's no different theories, how will that be interresting? :/
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Science can and does address the issue of the existence of an invisible, illogical supernatural universe, full of creatures and other forces that capriciously interfere with the behavior of the natural universe. Specifically, when evidence for the existence of this supernatural universe (or any of its creatures or forces) is presented, scientists peer-review it to assess its validity.
However, the Rule of Laplace is customarily invoked: Extraordinary assertions must be supported by extraordinary evidence before anyone is obliged to treat them with respect. The assertion that a supernatural universe exists contradicts the scientific method, which has been exhaustively and recursively peer-reviewed by its own principles for half a millennium and never come close to being falsified. Therefore any assertion which claims that the scientific method is false (it is based on the solid, well-tested premise that the natural universe is a closed system whose behavior can be predicted by theories derived logically from empirical observation of its present and past behavior) is one of the most astoundingly extraordinary assertions ever made. It had better be accompanied by some very good evidence before science has to pay any attention to it.
So far that has never happened.
Arguably the most important task of the scientist is to peer-review the work of other scientists. This is the key to the integrity of the entire system. Therefore a scientist must, indeed, satisfy some minimal criteria regarding (in what is arguably decreasing order of importance) integrity, intelligence and education.
A person who claims that the scientific method is false, without any extraordinary evidence to support that belief, suffers from a lack of integrity, intelligence or education.
That is science as a career. Doing it for money.
However, science itself is something anyone can do, as long as they follow its basic principles. Of course, the fact that anyone can do it does not mean they will do it well. Most people who try will end up doing it very badly. Like everything worthwhile, to do it excellently takes training, and experience.
and there you have part of it
anything performance based is "allowed" by training and experience
The only thing required of scientist is objectivity.
Because Scientist are essentially "lone guns" in their fields admits heavy competition...that objectivity rarely exist but they are human like anyone else and humans aren't inclined to be objective.
I do not think the only thing a scientist needs is objectivity, though this is a vitally important quality.
It comes from initial talent, training and experience. It may not be a normal human attribute, but it is something that we can create, and keep to through personal discipline.
As far as creationists are concerned, there are a number of them who work as scientists, though in fields well clear of evolutionary biology. In these fields, they can be disciplined, objective, innovative, and excellent scientists.
There are also a few creationists who set out to become evolutionary biologists in order to attack evolution. These few may be sponsored by other creationists, and end up with Ph.D.s in biology. They then work for organisations opposed to evolution. However, they are not scientists, because their values and methods are totally unscientific.
Fraggle, science has already been used to study things like prayer, ghosts, telekinesis, telepathy, and precognition. You just need a good experiment.
That is true. End result in each case is to say that the phenomena described are not detectable.
How does this relate to religion, since the topic is creationism, which is religious? Does science end up saying that the deity is also not detectable?
Not in each case. There is some evidence for precognition that is statistically significant.
ESP Study Gets Published in Scientific Journal
There have been literally thousands of scientific tests of various paranormal phenomena. Some have turned up with results that are positive and statistically significant, when seen on their own. When all the tests are combined, these anomalies disappear.
The problem is an artifact of statistics. Scientists usually work with 0.05 confidence limits. The following are averages - only attainable with numerous studies. This means that, if the studies are scientifically rigorous, then on average 18 out of 20 tests will give the 'correct' result. One in 20 will give the wrong result and one in 20 will give the wrong result in the opposite direction.
In the case you referenced, 18 out of 20 tests will give about 50 : 50 as expected due to chance. 1 in 20 will give more than 50%, as if ESP was operating, and 1 in 20 will give less than 50% as if ESP was causing people to get the wrong answer.
So, we can expect, out of thousands of tests, the occasional one which tends to suggest ESP 'works'. Another problem is that, when researchers get results due to chance alone, they tend not to publish the result. This means that the published tests are disproportionately skewed towards the false positives.
Only when scientists carry out a "meta-study" does this get compensated for. This happened, for example, with a paper published a couple years back in The Lancet on homeopathy. 110 studies were combined. The end result showed clearly that homeopathic treatments equal placebo.
It got published in a peer-reviewed journal, that makes it consistent with the scientific method.
To nit-pick: if such a thing were possible, then would the 'supernatural' universe still be supernatural, or would it now be a new natural universe with different rules than our own? Can science test/model the truly supernatural?
The supernatural would have to violate some natural law, which means that there would have to be a new science of the supernatural, in order to establish what the rules are.
Lightening was originally thought off as divine intervention. Benjamin Franklin showed it was electricity and invented the lightening rod which showed it could be controlled to some extent. So, lightening moved from supernatural to natural. "Supernatural" is a code word for "we don't understand". I assume (just an assumption) that science could productively study anything even god if one exists.
Yes, but one thing science cannot study is that which is purely imaginary.
Remember that's likely how Darwin and Lyle got started. An agenda. I'm not saying these scientist against evolution are any better than scientist against creation. It's merely the same failure of objectivity.
A good scientist should not be against anything. A good scientist should be for the truth, and set out to discover it.
So in this case, if the supernatural broke natural laws, we should be able to detect it, measure it. If the actions were taken by some consciousness which adhered to logic in some fashion, we should be able to identify a pattern and parse out note which natural phenomenon were the result of some undetectable force existing outside our natural world. Possibly even predict future actions if they were regular enough.
Would being able to model and predict the behavior of this being cause it to become part of our defined universe like lightening, and thus make it 'natural'?
What if the being did not use logic, or was completely random, such that no pattern was possible to discern?
But how does a scientist determine truth from theory?
Scientists don't determine truth, they just build models.
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