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Thread: O'Donnell Questions Separation of Church, State in Senate Debate

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    Re: O'Donnell Questions Separation of Church, State in Senate Debate

    And yet you still don't understand that saying something is fallible, is subjective.. You can try debating this with me forever, and I'll never agree because I already have my own opinion. It's a very strong and justified opinion.

    I won't say it's either fallible or infallible to avoid this silly debate, because it's a debate that means nothing about how science really works. Why argue about something subjective? It's not important.

    The only mechanism that has folly in science is human judgement, and that is well understand in all sciences... even computer sciences. Math, equations, measurements, chemical reactions etc. etc., are not falliable. It's not fallible that 1+1 = 2, nor is it subjective. It may be preceived fallible if a human says, "2 is a number high in value," or "2 is a number low in value."

    It depends on what is being valued.. and human subjectivity is also a factor. Not all humans place the same amount of value on things, very rarely do.

    Even an objective, scientific fact can be fallible and shown to be incorrect or incomplete.

    Incomplete is one thing... wrong is another. When has science ever had a fact wrong? Objective facts cannot be wrong.

    1 + 1 = 100 is objectively wrong.. it can be proven wrong.

    When has science ever had an objectionable fact wrong? When was science ever PROVEN wrong?

    I already tried explaining this with Galileo.. it's always a theory until proven it's fact. The planet does revolve around the sun.. even though he was right, and almost died for saying it, it wasn't scientific fact until human technology advanced to prove he was right.

    That was his theory during his life.. it was a theory because it had criticism, and there was debate. The only thing that ended the debate was advancing our technology. Now if anybody challenges the idea that the planet revolves around the sun, we can send them satellite imagines as proof of their ignorance.

    Science figures things out for itself. You can't expect science to know everything before we have the technology to prove it right or wrong.. that is a unrealistic expectation to have of science. And knowledge is always incomplete.. big deal. People in the sciences have a natural instinct to ask questions.

    Ask people like Stephen Hawking if he will always want to know more. He is a great scientists.. because he makes others think and question. There is always going to be more to challenge, to learn, and explain.. not having all the answers, doesn't make it a fallibility. Science is always progressing and new theories are always being written.. that is how it works
    Last edited by SheWolf; 10-25-10 at 02:27 PM.

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    Re: O'Donnell Questions Separation of Church, State in Senate Debate

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    And yet you still don't understand that saying something is fallible, is subjective.. You can try debating this with me forever, and I'll never agree because I already have my own opinion. It's a very strong and justified opinion.

    I won't say it's either fallible or infallible to avoid this silly debate, because it's a debate that means nothing about how science really works. Why argue about something subjective? It's not important.
    I'm not going to let you off that easily

    Yes of course there is subjectivity, but it’s easily isolated and addressed through logic. I’m making a very simple deductive argument with two premises. The premises are subjective, but the argument itself is not (if the premises are true, the conclusion MUST follow).
    P1: To be capable of error is to be fallible
    P2: Science is capable of error
    C: Therefore, science is fallible.
    Given that P1 is the standard definition of fallible, the only part of the argument you can really challenge is P2. Logically and objectively, the only way you can prove that science is not fallible is to show that science is incapable of error. Science is either capable of error or it is incapable of error.

    Granted there are lots of errors that occur in science – we both agree there – you nonetheless hold the belief that science itself is not fallible. So the question really is – how do you define science? It will be easy to compare that definition with accepted definitions of science to see how far out your view is from the mainstream. It will also be interesting to consider the logical implications.

    For example, you have conceded that theories are prone to error “until proven it’s fact” so logically and objectively, Atomic Theory, Cell Theory, Evolution, the Big Bang, Chaos Theory, String Theory, Quantum Mechanics, Climate Change – none of that – is science by your definition (ostensibly because they haven’t been “proven as facts”) – and few will ever likely be “science” since few are likely to become a “scientific fact.”

    Once you’ve defined science in a way to show it is incapable of error, I’m confident I can show that science, no matter how it is defined, is fallible.

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    Re: O'Donnell Questions Separation of Church, State in Senate Debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    I'm not going to let you off that easily

    Yes of course there is subjectivity, but it’s easily isolated and addressed through logic. I’m making a very simple deductive argument with two premises. The premises are subjective, but the argument itself is not (if the premises are true, the conclusion MUST follow).
    P1: To be capable of error is to be fallible
    P2: Science is capable of error
    C: Therefore, science is fallible.
    Given that P1 is the standard definition of fallible, the only part of the argument you can really challenge is P2. Logically and objectively, the only way you can prove that science is not fallible is to show that science is incapable of error. Science is either capable of error or it is incapable of error.

    Granted there are lots of errors that occur in science – we both agree there – you nonetheless hold the belief that science itself is not fallible. So the question really is – how do you define science? It will be easy to compare that definition with accepted definitions of science to see how far out your view is from the mainstream. It will also be interesting to consider the logical implications.

    For example, you have conceded that theories are prone to error “until proven it’s fact” so logically and objectively, Atomic Theory, Cell Theory, Evolution, the Big Bang, Chaos Theory, String Theory, Quantum Mechanics, Climate Change – none of that – is science by your definition (ostensibly because they haven’t been “proven as facts”) – and few will ever likely be “science” since few are likely to become a “scientific fact.”

    Once you’ve defined science in a way to show it is incapable of error, I’m confident I can show that science, no matter how it is defined, is fallible.

    I am not making the argument that science is fallible or not fallible. In some cases, we will never know the correct or incorrect areas of a theory... so you're just appealing to ignorance. Since we don't know the correct or incorrect areas of a theory, then it is a subjective disagreement and not an objective disagreement. If all you are doing is speaking about subjective or possible errors in theory, then you or nobody else can fairly judge a theory as being fallible or objectively wrong, or science as a whole as being wrong. It's just appeal to ignorance, because you are guessing something is wrong somewhere.. but you can't prove it is wrong or right, nobody can. Appealing to ignorance is a logical fallacy.

    The goal of science isn't to find objective truth, so science isn't failing itself.. science isn't being illogical in the sense that it is collapsing on top of itself because it's not meeting it's own goals or objectives.

    Somebody else can make an equally simple deductive argument.

    P1: To be trustworthy and objectively accurate is to be infallible
    P2: Science is trustworthy and objectively accurate
    C: Therefore, science is infallible.

    So you tell me... WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE ERROR? What error has science made before in terms of OBJECTIVE FACT? If you try to claim that there is objective error in theory, then please read about appealing to ignorance.

    If you know of science being objectively fallible, in terms of getting objective fact wrong.. then show me, because I have honestly never seen an example of it..
    Last edited by SheWolf; 10-25-10 at 07:17 PM.

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    Re: O'Donnell Questions Separation of Church, State in Senate Debate

    Or this is you prefer a negative deduction

    P1: To be capable of objective error is to be fallible
    P2: Science is incapable of objective error
    C: Therefore, science is infallible.

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    Re: O'Donnell Questions Separation of Church, State in Senate Debate

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    Or this is you prefer a negative deduction

    P1: To be capable of objective error is to be fallible
    P2: Science is incapable of objective error
    C: Therefore, science is infallible.
    I think one issue may be that there is sometimes a somewhat blurred line between actual science and what is claimed to be science.

    Those (probably including myself) who cannot easily separate the two may connect some (subject to interpretation) provably wrong (with actual science) non-science claims with actual science, and vice-versa.

    One of the reasons for this, IMO, is that science can be both politically and financially advantageous – and disadvantageous.
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    Re: O'Donnell Questions Separation of Church, State in Senate Debate

    The Mark,

    You probably have a good point.

    The Taylor,

    Just to clarify... I don't really expect you try and find where science had an objective fact wrong- as I don't think that is possible. I am trying to make a point that is probably going to get lost in my posts, and that is that you can say science is fallible and somebody else can say science is infallible, and both feel saying it is logical, reasonable, and correct. I am not trying to argue one is right or wrong.. (neither one is accurate imo - subjective opinion) but my point is that both can be argued because it's subjective. It can argued to no end.

    Philosophical Dictionary: Fallibilism

    Fallibilism*[Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
    Last edited by SheWolf; 10-25-10 at 10:26 PM.

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    Re: O'Donnell Questions Separation of Church, State in Senate Debate

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    And yet you still don't understand that saying something is fallible, is subjective.. You can try debating this with me forever, and I'll never agree because I already have my own opinion. It's a very strong and justified opinion.

    I won't say it's either fallible or infallible to avoid this silly debate, because it's a debate that means nothing about how science really works. Why argue about something subjective? It's not important.

    The only mechanism that has folly in science is human judgement, and that is well understand in all sciences... even computer sciences. Math, equations, measurements, chemical reactions etc. etc., are not falliable. It's not fallible that 1+1 = 2, nor is it subjective. It may be preceived fallible if a human says, "2 is a number high in value," or "2 is a number low in value."

    It depends on what is being valued.. and human subjectivity is also a factor. Not all humans place the same amount of value on things, very rarely do.

    Even an objective, scientific fact can be fallible and shown to be incorrect or incomplete.

    Incomplete is one thing... wrong is another. When has science ever had a fact wrong? Objective facts cannot be wrong.

    1 + 1 = 100 is objectively wrong.. it can be proven wrong.

    When has science ever had an objectionable fact wrong? When was science ever PROVEN wrong?

    I already tried explaining this with Galileo.. it's always a theory until proven it's fact. The planet does revolve around the sun.. even though he was right, and almost died for saying it, it wasn't scientific fact until human technology advanced to prove he was right.

    That was his theory during his life.. it was a theory because it had criticism, and there was debate. The only thing that ended the debate was advancing our technology. Now if anybody challenges the idea that the planet revolves around the sun, we can send them satellite imagines as proof of their ignorance.

    Science figures things out for itself. You can't expect science to know everything before we have the technology to prove it right or wrong.. that is a unrealistic expectation to have of science. And knowledge is always incomplete.. big deal. People in the sciences have a natural instinct to ask questions.

    Ask people like Stephen Hawking if he will always want to know more. He is a great scientists.. because he makes others think and question. There is always going to be more to challenge, to learn, and explain.. not having all the answers, doesn't make it a fallibility. Science is always progressing and new theories are always being written.. that is how it works
    So As I read this, you would also have to agree that religion is infallible. Correct?
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    Re: O'Donnell Questions Separation of Church, State in Senate Debate

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    Somebody else can make an equally simple deductive argument.
    Yes, but neither of your logical arguments are sound and can be easily dismissed.

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    P1: To be trustworthy and objectively accurate is to be infallible
    P2: Science is trustworthy and objectively accurate
    C: Therefore, science is infallible.
    Logic is valid but unsound because your first premise is false. To be infallible means to be incapable of error. A stopped clock is "trustworthy and objectively accurate" twice a day, but is hardly infallible.

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    Or this is you prefer a negative deduction

    P1: To be capable of objective error is to be fallible
    P2: Science is incapable of objective error
    C: Therefore, science is infallible.
    Again, logic is valid but unsound because your first premise is false - to be fallible requires only that you are capable of error, whether it is objective or not is irrelevant, it's fallible either way.

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    Re: O'Donnell Questions Separation of Church, State in Senate Debate

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    I am not making the argument that science is fallible or not fallible. In some cases, we will never know the correct or incorrect areas of a theory... so you're just appealing to ignorance. Since we don't know the correct or incorrect areas of a theory, then it is a subjective disagreement and not an objective disagreement. If all you are doing is speaking about subjective or possible errors in theory, then you or nobody else can fairly judge a theory as being fallible or objectively wrong, or science as a whole as being wrong. It's just appeal to ignorance, because you are guessing something is wrong somewhere.. but you can't prove it is wrong or right, nobody can. Appealing to ignorance is a logical fallacy.
    No, that's precisely where you're wrong. By definition there need only be the possibility of errors for something to be fallible. To be fallible means to be capable of error. There is no need to "guess that something is wrong" -there is only the need to recognize the possibility of being wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by SheWolf View Post
    So you tell me... WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE ERROR? What error has science made before in terms of OBJECTIVE FACT? If you try to claim that there is objective error in theory, then please read about appealing to ignorance.
    Following from above, this is again not relevant to the issue of fallibility as one need only prove that error is a possibility to show something is capable of being wrong. But there are of course examples, here's a couple from a book I was reading: "Consevation of Mass" was an accepted, scientific fact that was refuted by Einstein. The "inert gases" had to be renamed to the "noble gases" after it was discovered they could form compounds - until then they were considerd practically devoid of chemical properties.
    Last edited by Taylor; 10-26-10 at 02:50 AM.

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    Re: O'Donnell Questions Separation of Church, State in Senate Debate

    Science and Truth?
    Science, as a human activity, is done precisely because we don't know the truth, or even if such a thing exists for that mater. This ever expanding frontier of ignorance is a wonderful place for any curious mind.
    The Theory of Evolution is, like other theories, so far a working explanation for observed phenomena. If it is to be replaced, it will be done by people know the difference between the scientific method and "truths" handed down from some Bronze Age herdsmen. Science class is no place for "Some spook must have done it!"
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