Is science truth?

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Explorer
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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Explorer » 14 Aug 2012, 10:17

That is why I prefer humanist arts as everybody would know that what I am saying can be fiction or truth. :boggle:
Jeez, remind me never to ask you about which mushrooms are edible or poisonous, or about any other subject where it is important to distinguish between fact and fiction.
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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Forest Dryad » 14 Aug 2012, 11:17

Jeez, remind me never to ask you about which mushrooms are edible or poisonous, or about any other subject where it is important to distinguish between fact and fiction.
But is fact, or knowledge (in the scientific sense of the word) the same thing as truth? And if not, then what is?

For example, this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth defines truth as being in accord with fact and reality, but from a different philosophical viewpoints you can argue for different interpretations of reality, fact, and knowledge. Is there more than one kind of truth?
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Re: Is science truth?

Postby DaRC » 14 Aug 2012, 12:39

remind me never to ask you about which mushrooms are edible or poisonous,
Which is an interesting point ( :hug: honest I'm not picking on you - but you bring up good points).
In the books many mushrooms are recorded as poisonous when only a few will kill you, similarly many are recorded as edible but are really horrible / tasteless to eat.
If we take the Liberty Cap/Psilocybe semilanceata as an example - many books record it as poisonous when it is, in fact, a hallucanogenic mushroom.
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Re: Is science truth?

Postby DJ Droood » 14 Aug 2012, 13:06

Is there more than one kind of truth?
The version of reality that interests me the most is the one that we share, and can explore and experience together. People's "personal truths" generally bore me and are none of my concern anyway. The game of reductio ad absurdum gets old for me pretty fast, too..."row row row your boat" is not my mantra.
Last edited by DJ Droood on 14 Aug 2012, 13:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is science truth?

Postby DJ Droood » 14 Aug 2012, 13:07

If we take the Liberty Cap/Psilocybe semilanceata as an example - many books record it as poisonous when it is, in fact, a hallucanogenic mushroom.
Hallucanogenic, DaRc, or a gateway to your own special truth?

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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Hennie » 14 Aug 2012, 13:33

DJ, there is a part of physics that states that all possible states that the Universe can be in, are right here and now - I don't get the math, but it results in very many truths/realities objectively existing.

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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Hennie » 14 Aug 2012, 13:59

I really hate to give you a wikipedia link, but it is reasonably comprehensible.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation

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Re: Is science truth?

Postby DJ Droood » 14 Aug 2012, 14:38

I really hate to give you a wikipedia link, but it is reasonably comprehensible.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation

Does this link involve math, Hennie?...because that won't work on me...Mr.Reba failed me in Grade 11 and I have never looked back. But to my high school-delayed brain, the "many worlds" theory is about the same as my reductio ad absurdum complaint above...once we rationalize and square root our (imagined?) shared reality away to meaninglessness, we will then have to trudge our way back here anyway, to report about it on facebook or the DHP, so I am going to just stay put in this dimension.

Speaking of math links, I've been looking for a way to shoehorn this link in, because I find it hilarious and insightful...this is as good a time as any.

Miss USA 2011 - Should Math be Taught in Schools
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QBv2CFTSWU
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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Hennie » 14 Aug 2012, 15:08

Well, the link isn't directly about math, but it presupposes basic knowledge of quantum mechanics, which is a very mathematically, especially in the field of the math of probabilities.

Yes, the one miss in your link who recognised numbers, came close to a very practical use of math : a house-number shows you where your friend lives...

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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Explorer » 14 Aug 2012, 18:59

remind me never to ask you about which mushrooms are edible or poisonous,
Which is an interesting point ( :hug: honest I'm not picking on you - but you bring up good points).
In the books many mushrooms are recorded as poisonous when only a few will kill you, similarly many are recorded as edible but are really horrible / tasteless to eat.
If we take the Liberty Cap/Psilocybe semilanceata as an example - many books record it as poisonous when it is, in fact, a hallucanogenic mushroom.
hahaha, I give up!
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Re: Is science truth?

Postby WrenWyrd » 21 Aug 2012, 08:01

Great discussion!

If I may bother you again with the radio show, one interesting aspect is that Rancourt says that science should make sense in your daily life or it will be of little use: "If the science that is of interest to you is not helping you to understand yourself, then what's the use? What's the point of it? … What you need to know is how to figure yourself out."

This is because he believe in the importance of praxis for personal liberation. In opposition, trusting scientific claims usually means subjecting oneself to a knowledge that cannot be directly questioned. Big theories that you cannot verify yourself (because you need a computer model to verify it, or you cannot do the math in spite of trying, or the foundational claims seem wrong) are simply a form of endoctrination: "It's hogwash primarily because you can't figure it out for yourself [...] You can't figure this out. There is no way you can use your brain and logic and it would take you a long time and you'd have to go step by step. And I think the best guide in this is: If you don't understand it, if it doesn't make sense to you and your being as objective and coherent with yourself and honest with yourself as possible, then it's probably not important to you in your life, and it's probably also not true."

What interests me in these ideas is that he judges the validity of science at the level of the individual, not as an absolute expert truth. Also,the fact that he is a physicist and has attempted (and failed) to verify major claims - and then analyzed political and economic reasons why such claims were being made - shows a willingness on his part to construct knowledge rather than give up simply because research seems out of reach.

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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Hennie » 21 Aug 2012, 08:10

If you don't understand it, if it doesn't make sense to you and your being as objective and coherent with yourself and honest with yourself as possible, then it's probably not important to you in your life, and it's probably also not true."
Many of us (perhaps everybody) don't understand electricity. Yet, it is very real, very deadly, and very useful. So, I guess this statement is a bit too far.

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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Bart » 21 Aug 2012, 18:12

Hennie,

You may find the multiverse theory equally fascinating. for every reality there is probably an universe out there.

Or you can take the holographic theory, which is on fate: All time-space information is accumulated at the edge of the universe, but since there is no reason time cannot regress: it may also define the universe. So me being fluffy is just a speck of dust cluttering my hologram.

Physicists have a lot of theories floating around, I stick with the one reality which is in front of me.

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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Hennie » 21 Aug 2012, 18:25

So do I. But the word 'reality' does define something else than the word 'truth'.

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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Forest Dryad » 21 Aug 2012, 19:49

So do I. But the word 'reality' does define something else than the word 'truth'.
If you see truth as being an absolute, then yes. However, is reality is relative, then can truth be relative too? Is it not that case that real is synonymous with true?
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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Hennie » 21 Aug 2012, 20:07

I think reality is a personal experience. Science dropped the search for the truth around 1860. Since then science is about probabilities and about creating instruments to manipulate things, like in physics, or people, like in psychology, or societies, like in sociology and a whole lot more. I really doubt if people are equipped with a mind or something to know truth, so yes I guess there can be more than one truth, but we wouldn't know.

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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Al Hakim » 21 Aug 2012, 20:56

Be optimistic, Hennie!
We will know, sooner or later. However, truth will remain what the majority of contemporary people is considering as truth. All those who have no voice will be regarded as impostors. Nothing has changed throughout the centuries. I like your statement.

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Re: Is science truth?

Postby DJ Droood » 21 Aug 2012, 21:56

However, truth will remain what the majority of contemporary people is considering as truth.
So when the vast majority of people thought the Earth was flat, that was, in fact, the truth? Or is it possible for the majority of people to be wrong?

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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Forest Dryad » 21 Aug 2012, 22:23

Or is it possible for the majority of people to be wrong?
No, not possible. Quite probable. :D
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Re: Is science truth?

Postby Al Hakim » 22 Aug 2012, 17:58

So when the vast majority of people thought the Earth was flat, that was, in fact, the truth? Or is it possible for the majority of people to be wrong?
Now we have returned to the begining and the way of thinking. From a philosophical point of view the majority was right because they were convinced of that special form of the Earth. Furthermore, they based lots of decisions on what was a scientific error.

Another example: Since the 1980s we know that there are no human races. Genetics made it obvious that just one single race of the present homo sapiens exists. A hundred years ago anthropologists were convinced of the existence of at least 5 different human races, an opinion that had vast implications as most "white" people felt superior and claimed the right to suppress or remove the inferior ones.

However, if a crowd declared the Earth flat today despite the better knowing we would consider them as stupid. Thus, the bottom line is that a majority of people is able to declare a truth as long as there are no more objective facts speaking against that opinion.


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