A collation on the scientific method

A forum for the discussion of heuristic questions relating to Druidry using verifiable methods. Fo-fúair!
Life is short, the art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment treacherous, judgment difficult. — Hippocrates

Sturgeon's Law: Ninety percent of everything is crap.

This is a public forum, viewable by guests as well as members, and is cataloged by most search engines.
Forum rules
If you find a topic of interest and want to continue the discussion then start a new topic under The Hearthfire with a similar name and add a link back to the topic you want to continue.
User avatar
cursuswalker
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1076
Joined: 26 May 2004, 20:29
Gender: Male
Location: Airstrip One.
Contact:

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by cursuswalker » 15 Nov 2008, 02:54

Aelfarh wrote:Theories are meant to fill the gaps of what we don't know for certain, it's human nature try to explain it's surroundings, and actually, the emergence of that hypothesis are fundamental part of society in both philosophical and scientific way. As with the promising materialism, that fill the gaps with the "but in the future will be possible" statements.
I know of no such "but in the future will be possible" statements. "but in the future MAY be possible" is all I have heard.
ImageTHE DRUIDIC ORDER OF NATURALISTS
http://www.caerabred.org/

User avatar
Aelfarh
OBOD Bard
Posts: 2033
Joined: 24 Nov 2007, 03:26
Gender: Male
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by Aelfarh » 15 Nov 2008, 03:19

Anyway, is just speculation
Bennacht Dé ocus ainDé fort!
(The blessings of the gods and the non-gods upon you!)

http://al-tirnanog.blogspot.com/
http://www.losceltas.org

"We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no
idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to
comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos"


Image Speaker's Corner February 2009

User avatar
Kernos
OBOD Druid
Posts: 5152
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 16:19
Gender: Male
Location: Lost in the Woods in the Ozarks, USA
Contact:

Re:

Post by Kernos » 15 Nov 2008, 21:00

Well done Lily!!

Though said in other words, I would like to see the word reproducibility used somewhere in the collation. It is fundamental to the scientific method.
FallingLeaves wrote:Some questions from my unscientific mind!
Can knowledge ever be complete? If this is true then isn't science always making decisions based on incomplete evidence?
It depends on what you mean by knowledge, but if you mean scientific "knowledge" the answer is No! If you are referring to mathematical theorems, the answer is yes, eg. A scientific theory has the property of being falsifiable. Math theorems are by definition true at least for the "trivial" systems most of us had been introduced to like arithmetic and geometry. [ see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theorem ]. However, Gödel's incompleteness theorems add a big conundrum when dealing with Mathematics as a whole.

But we are talking about science. Some have philosophically expanded Gödel's theorems to science: There are things [of scientific interest] that are true, that cannot be proved to be true. See the works of Douglas R. Hofstadter

An example of this is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle which most of us have heard of which in its simple form says one one can't simultaneously measure both the position and velocity of a particle. Thus, in experimental science we cannot know everything. Of course in Star Trek, they got around this by using Heisenburg compensators :-)

What Star Trek reminds me of is that scientific knowledge is always an approximation of reality. All theories will be modified tomorrow.
Can science ever be whole without compassion and wisdom?
This question is outside the realm of science and the scientific method. It IS of concern to scientists as humans or members of societies. Thus, medical science has ethics committees.
Is it possible for science to free itself from the observer being the observed or the analyser being the analysed?
Depends. Science can in the macro world, but cannot in relativistic and quantum worlds.

Scientists are always fighting to be objective. It is a common fallacy to confuse science, a discipline, with scientists, humans with the flaws of all humans. It is why experimentation, reproducibility and confirmation are fundamental to the scientific method. It is also why your penultimate question cannot be of concern to the scientific method.

:zen:
ImageImageImageHelp I'm Falling Thru A Hole in the Flag

"Time is the Image of Eternity."

Time is the Fire in which we burn.

User avatar
Kernos
OBOD Druid
Posts: 5152
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 16:19
Gender: Male
Location: Lost in the Woods in the Ozarks, USA
Contact:

Re:

Post by Kernos » 15 Nov 2008, 21:27

Azrienoch wrote:lol, oh Lily! You silly girl. Of course there are aliens! I've had first hand experience, and therefore it must be so!

Actually, I disagree with my above statement. Firstly, I've not had an alien encounter...not even illegal aliens. Secondly, even if I did, my first hand experience does not automatically mean that it's true...much less scientific.
Wrong AZ, you have met me :hug:

I also consider the existence of aliens (ETs, non-human sentients on other world, non-terrestrial life) to be eminently verifiable, but it cannot be disproved. Experiments are being done now to find evidence of them.

:zen:
ImageImageImageHelp I'm Falling Thru A Hole in the Flag

"Time is the Image of Eternity."

Time is the Fire in which we burn.

Corvin
Posts: 959
Joined: 29 Oct 2008, 02:53
Gender: Male

Albert Einstein Quotes

Post by Corvin » 16 Nov 2008, 06:05

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein, "Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium", 1941 US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. Albert Einstein US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Albert Einstein US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. Albert Einstein US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

Quotes taken form here: http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Albert_Einstein/


Also:

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/einsci.htm

http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/science/

So, I like what Steven Hawking says about there being reality and Reality, but I'm not always sure which is which...

User avatar
cursuswalker
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1076
Joined: 26 May 2004, 20:29
Gender: Male
Location: Airstrip One.
Contact:

Re: Albert Einstein Quotes

Post by cursuswalker » 17 Nov 2008, 00:48

Corvin wrote:Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein, "Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium", 1941 US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. Albert Einstein US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Albert Einstein US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. Albert Einstein US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

Quotes taken form here: http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Albert_Einstein/


Also:

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/einsci.htm

http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/science/

So, I like what Steven Hawking says about there being reality and Reality, but I'm not always sure which is which...
All the above is good stuff, but I would STRONGLY recommend reading the section of the God Delusion on Einsteinian religion. This is what Wiki has to say on this:
Since there are a number of different theistic ideas relating to the nature of God(s), Dawkins defines the concept of God that he wishes to address early in the book. He coins the term "Einsteinian religion", referring to Einstein's use of "God", as a metaphor for nature or the mysteries of the universe.[15] He makes a distinction between this "Einsteinian religion" and the general theistic idea of God as the creator of the universe who should be worshipped.[16]
ImageTHE DRUIDIC ORDER OF NATURALISTS
http://www.caerabred.org/

Corvin
Posts: 959
Joined: 29 Oct 2008, 02:53
Gender: Male

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by Corvin » 18 Nov 2008, 09:17

Einstein has not told me Dawkins has interpreted everything he said correctly. Perhaps he is unavailable for comment...

I didn't say I disagree with "Einsteinian religion" or that I agree.

I consider some of his (Einstein's) thinking worthy of consideration, though I don't profess expertise in things like particle physics...

I have heard of Dawkins already, and listened.

Thank you for you for being concerned enough to point something out.

God(s) of faith and God(s) of fact or "God(s)" or science may not be the same, granted. Human consciousness is variable from what I think I understand...

Past science may have also been mythology of a sort as well ie: tomatoes are poisonous being nightshade veggies*, you'll suffocate riding the railway forwards, for example...

Dawkins may have figured some things out, granted. Perhaps not enough for some of us, too much for others, I am happy this works for you...

I like to do more than debate some times. Though I am not a sky clad Numa Numa Druid, not yet anyway... This may change however. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60og9gwKh1o This too is a phenomenon in time and space from what little I understand...

Every thing I say could be wrong...

Is there someone here who knows about particle physics, string theory, ect?

Can someone write about the types of research methods (ie: naturalistic observation and so on) in more specific detail and their weakness?

Also write about things like "God's" equation please.

Now more Einstein:

We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.
Albert Einstein US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. Albert Einstein, (attributed) US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods.
Albert Einstein, (attributed) US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.
Albert Einstein, (attributed) US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater. Albert Einstein
US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

Quotes taken from here: http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Albert_Einstein/

* Yes, I understand tomatoes are classified as fruit.

Peace all.
Last edited by Corvin on 21 Nov 2008, 08:13, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
joey_bernard
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 234
Joined: 19 Mar 2003, 18:37
Gender: Male
Location: Fredericton, NB - Canada
Contact:

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by joey_bernard » 18 Nov 2008, 15:27

Corvin wrote:Einstein has not told me Dawkins has interpreted everything he said correctly. Perhaps he is unavailable for comment...

I didn't say I disagree with "Einsteinian religion" or that I agree.
Actually, this isn't Dawkin's interpretation. If you read Einstein's essays and other writings, he clarifies this matter up for himself. Of course, agreeing or disagreeing with the concept is up to each individual.
Corvin wrote:Is there someone here who knows about particle physics, string theory, ect?

Can someone write about the types of research methods (ie: naturalistic observation and so on) in more specific detail and their weakness?

Also write about things like "God's" equation please.
My first degree is in physics, especially general relativity and theoretical physics. If you have specific questions, please ask away. I am curious as to what you mean by "God's" equation?

User avatar
Aelfarh
OBOD Bard
Posts: 2033
Joined: 24 Nov 2007, 03:26
Gender: Male
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by Aelfarh » 18 Nov 2008, 15:45

Yes, Einstein was clear that he didn't believe in a personal God; saying that he rather believe in the Spinoza's definition of God, than the mainstream religion concept; but Albert Einstein was a expert on physics, not in spiritual matters, and his personal believes are his own; as valid and respectable as anyone's.
Bennacht Dé ocus ainDé fort!
(The blessings of the gods and the non-gods upon you!)

http://al-tirnanog.blogspot.com/
http://www.losceltas.org

"We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no
idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to
comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos"


Image Speaker's Corner February 2009

Corvin
Posts: 959
Joined: 29 Oct 2008, 02:53
Gender: Male

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by Corvin » 19 Nov 2008, 07:53

joey_bernard wrote: My first degree is in physics, especially general relativity and theoretical physics. If you have specific questions, please ask away. I am curious as to what you mean by "God's" equation?
Just wondered if some one could outline the pros and cons so to speak, on various research methods. I have some knowledge, but someone such as yourself may likely do a better job. Sometimes people are anti-science because of how it is used or represented in my view. This might help here.

From what I understand, which is not much... God's equation is a series of numbers which may have a tendency to show up in nature. http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Equation-Ein ... 0385334850 this is a link to a book. I would also be interested on your take on the "observer effect" and books like the Tao of Physics. I think this may be helpful and interesting to others too. Thanks for your response.

User avatar
cursuswalker
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1076
Joined: 26 May 2004, 20:29
Gender: Male
Location: Airstrip One.
Contact:

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by cursuswalker » 19 Nov 2008, 17:45

Corvin wrote:Einstein has not told me Dawkins has interpreted everything he said correctly. Perhaps he is unavailable for comment...
Well in an odd kind of way he is, as Dawkins includes quotes from Einstein that are often ommited in any discussion of his attitude towards the G-word. You can judge the meaning of those quotes for yourself.
ImageTHE DRUIDIC ORDER OF NATURALISTS
http://www.caerabred.org/

User avatar
cursuswalker
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1076
Joined: 26 May 2004, 20:29
Gender: Male
Location: Airstrip One.
Contact:

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by cursuswalker » 19 Nov 2008, 17:48

joey_bernard wrote: My first degree is in physics, especially general relativity and theoretical physics. If you have specific questions, please ask away. I am curious as to what you mean by "God's" equation?
Do you know the Astronomy Cast podcast? They recently has a question session on Relativity, in which Dr. Pamela Gay had the most mind-twisting questions to try and answer.

Fascinating and confusing stuff...
ImageTHE DRUIDIC ORDER OF NATURALISTS
http://www.caerabred.org/

User avatar
joey_bernard
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 234
Joined: 19 Mar 2003, 18:37
Gender: Male
Location: Fredericton, NB - Canada
Contact:

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by joey_bernard » 19 Nov 2008, 18:02

I have not heard that podcast. I'll have to add it to my list of downloads.

A few people have asked for a discussion about the "observer effect". I'm going to sit down tonight and write something up and I'll start a new thread for that discussion. I just want to be sure I get the wording as precise as possible, because it is very easy to get into sloppy thinking when trying to explain quantum effects.

User avatar
cursuswalker
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1076
Joined: 26 May 2004, 20:29
Gender: Male
Location: Airstrip One.
Contact:

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by cursuswalker » 19 Nov 2008, 18:13

My favourite answer was the one to a question asking why we do not see galaxies that are moving away from us at faster than the Speed of Light, due to the expansion of the Universe, going backwards in time.

Answer: Because the light from them can never reach us and is acutally moving away from us even if it is headed straight towards us. Thus it would still appear to run forwards even if we could see it.

:o :o :o :o
ImageTHE DRUIDIC ORDER OF NATURALISTS
http://www.caerabred.org/

Corvin
Posts: 959
Joined: 29 Oct 2008, 02:53
Gender: Male

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by Corvin » 19 Nov 2008, 21:47

joey_bernard wrote:I have not heard that podcast. I'll have to add it to my list of downloads.

A few people have asked for a discussion about the "observer effect". I'm going to sit down tonight and write something up and I'll start a new thread for that discussion. I just want to be sure I get the wording as precise as possible, because it is very easy to get into sloppy thinking when trying to explain quantum effects.

Thank You.

Corvin
Posts: 959
Joined: 29 Oct 2008, 02:53
Gender: Male

Re: A collation on the scientific method, Statistics

Post by Corvin » 21 Nov 2008, 08:22

Correlation does not imply causation is a phrase used in the sciences and the statistics to emphasize that correlation between two variables does not imply that one causes the other. Its negation, correlation proves causation, is a logical fallacy by which two events that occur together are claimed to have a cause-and-effect relationship.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlatio ... _causation

Before you can begin to understand statistics, there are four terms you will need to fully understand. The first term 'average' is something we have been familiar with from a very early age when we start analyzing our marks on report cards. We add together all of our test results and then divide it by the sum of the total number of marks there are. We often call it the average. However, statistically it's the Mean!

http://math.about.com/library/weekly/aa020502a.htm

n probability and statistics, the standard deviation is a measure of the dispersion of a collection of numbers. It can apply to a probability distribution, a random variable, a population or a data set. The standard deviation is usually denoted with the letter σ (lowercase sigma). It is defined as the root-mean-square (RMS) deviation of the values from their mean, or as the square root of the variance. Formulated by Galton in the late 1860s,[1] the standard deviation remains the most common measure of statistical dispersion, measuring how widely spread the values in a data set are. If many data points are close to the mean, then the standard deviation is small; if many data points are far from the mean, then the standard deviation is large. If all data values are equal, then the standard deviation is zero. A useful property of standard deviation is that, unlike variance, it is expressed in the same units as the data.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_deviation

Quotes clipped from sites.

In case I missed something and this is already here, please just delete this.
Last edited by Corvin on 26 Nov 2008, 04:21, edited 1 time in total.

Corvin
Posts: 959
Joined: 29 Oct 2008, 02:53
Gender: Male

Magical Thinking & Cargo Cults

Post by Corvin » 22 Nov 2008, 23:12

In anthropology, psychology, and cognitive science, magical thinking is nonscientific causal reasoning that often includes such ideas as the ability of the mind to affect the physical world, correlation equaling causation, the law of contagion, the power of symbols, and the meaningfulness of synchronicity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_thinking

A cargo cult may appear in tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced, non-native cultures. The cult is focused on obtaining the material wealth of the advanced culture through magical thinking, religious rituals and practices, believing that the wealth was intended for them by their deities and ancestors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult


Quotes clipped fro Wikipedia

Corvin
Posts: 959
Joined: 29 Oct 2008, 02:53
Gender: Male

List of psychological research methods

Post by Corvin » 25 Nov 2008, 02:55


Alastor
Posts: 20
Joined: 14 Dec 2008, 23:17
Gender: Male
Location: A not very secret energy inefficient nuclear unbunker - typical dwelling of later 20th century
Contact:

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by Alastor » 20 Dec 2008, 15:04

Hi, I am a bit confused, I came to this board to find out about Druidry but got to reading this. I have a few opinons about science, I've had a bit of scientific training, but I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but here goes...

My key opinion is that science is misused because it is not understood.

(1) Scientific method can be applied to any inquiry, it might not be fruitful though. I can improve a recipie by being systematic - that's Scientific method. I could research telepathy by experiments - just as good science. But what is often missed is that there may be conditions in which a result is true that tell you nothing about the truth beyond those conditions. My recipie may have been perfected by countless exeriments, but my cake so extensively tested on the British might be repulsive to the Polish. I might find telepathic ability in say a pair of twin amoebas, but that doesn't tell me about wether you and I could communicate - it would only suggest the possibility. Similarly if I do not find proof of telepathy it does not mean it does not exist in some other set of conditions.

(2) Scientific facts have authority, and people being physchologically motivated, will use things to shore up their belief. This seems to be especially true of Quantum Physics. The name itself is great, it's evocative, mystical, authorative. It has great things, to list a few Einstien, Schrodinger's Cat, The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and Parallel Universes. Now people quote these things, they think they know about them, they have watched a TV programme, perhaps read a popular book, to become authorative they can Google it, get Wiki quotes, and hey presto graft the ultimate authority of science onto their belief. Now I often fall into this trap. I do not know what Maxwells equations are, I could not solve them, I don't know how to measure the speed of light, but I can quote big science with the best of them. Does quantum physics really support the truth or otherwise of the Hindu belief system? I don't honestly believe so, but it sounds good, I don't know know enough about Hindu cosmology, or physics to be able to judge, but it is an argument advanced by earnest inteligent people who I doubt know much more than I do.

(3) There is one bit of Science that can be applied, it was referred to by someone on this board. Godel's Theorum, he showed that there must exist statements that are true, but not provably so. This is true in any system that is complex enough to express arithmetic. That is a pretty low level of complexity. So Science has shown that we cannot know everything.

(4) In relation to religions science is a god killer. Christianity is the only religion I really know a lot about, so that's the one I'll use as the example. Christians used to have an authority figure- priests - with strange and wonderful knowledge - like the Latin Mass. Now Christians attested the world had a special place, essentially the centre of the universe, that it was 4000 years old etc, these statements have been falsified by science. So for people like me, all that's left is a book. Others try to wriggle with various interpretations, but in the end it's no longer possible to believe as people in the past seem to have that the Bible is literally the word of God, absolute truth.

(5) Because science does not know, does not mean we do. There are many places that science has not established any authority. Conscience for example, is that where god(s) is/are? We come to god(s) on the retreat, no longer the creator(s) - ousted by evolution, no longer the sun or moon - a nuclear furnace and a lump of rock - no longer in the sky, perhaps he/she/they hide in dark matter? or another dimension? Perhaps in some explanation of conscience - who knows? What we do have is a history that shows that whenever arcane knowledge is open to test it has often been falsified.

I don't really want to draw a conclusion, I came to this board hoping to find out about Druidry. I love the mystery in life, I have stood alone in stone circles, seemingly experienced becoming one with the wind, and feel there is a place for another kind of truth. I don't need to invoke some quantum dimension, some parallel universe, I don't need to experiment, I don't need to know, these are the experiences of a normal(ish) person. So if anyone can point out the right place to find out about druidry - a few paragraphs - I'd like to know. I am no more going to wade through an 18 month course I know nothing about than I will spend hours learning about Tensor calculus - a fair invocation of a mysterious god like name from Physics.

User avatar
Dryadia2
OBOD Druid
Posts: 10055
Joined: 02 Jun 2005, 18:10
Gender: Female
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, USA
Contact:

Re: A collation on the scientific method

Post by Dryadia2 » 20 Dec 2008, 20:50

Greetings and Welcome Alastor!

May you find here, that which you seek.
Have you seen the OBOD Homepage?
http://www.druidry.org/

Please make yourself comfy, and enjoy your stay!

Peace and Blessings,
:dryadia: /|\
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than any city on earth - Steve McQueen

Locked

Return to “The Skeptical Druid”