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#161 Ron

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 11:06 AM

Really?  What specifically?
Again, I am curious to know specifics.

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You may well be, but most of my work is in National Defense and proprietary research and design. I also instruct in this arena, so don’t feel bad if I cannot (and will not) go into any detail to satiate your desires.

You claim to work in science and yet you say something bizarre like this.  Science does not prove anything - proofs are a mathematical formalism.  Science strives for theories that explain observed phenomena - thats it

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Can you show me where I said such nonsense? This should be interesting… The true scirentific method either proves or disproves. positing time to prove your thesis is faith, not science.

They are called black holes for a reason.  And again, you obviously do not understand the philosophy of science.  Black holes are extreme curved regions of space-time.  In other words, they are theoretical objects that explain observable facts.  I can show you the effects that black holes have on matter in its vicinity - but I cannot show you a black hole because you wouldn't be able to see it anyway.  If science was restricted to only what could be seen with your eyes then germ theory, micro electronics (which depend on quantum mechanics), GPS, and many other things would never have come about.

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Ahhhh, theoretical applications… I see! You do understand that germ theory, electronics, GPS etc… Are provable here and now, and you can theoretically and practically apply them. But, you are using the excuse of black holes in an attempt to explain phenomena that you can only observe from a great distance (far outside the realm of the actual scientific method).
The philosophy of science and the scientific method are applicable with phenomena that are tangible and applicable. Whereas black holes (which are yet to be empirically evidenced) can only be assumed. In other words, I can give you a great shock with electricity, or empirically prove gravity beyond all doubt. To the point that if you verbalize any doubt to their veracity, you’ll do so by denial and faith alone.

Therefore, you are basing your science on dogmatism and faith, not the scientific method.

#162 A.Sphere

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 11:14 AM

Because you are assuming that by the appearance of light bending, that space bends as well.


I am doing no such thing. I am using the theory that space-time is curved to explain why light bends around mass. Do you understand what space-time is Ron? Do you understand what is meant by space-time curvature?

Though you have absolutely no empirical evidence for the bending of space, and only the appearance of light bending.


I thought I had explained this already - here it goes again. The theory is that space-time has curvature - one of the observable consequences is that light will appear to "bend" around masses. A theory cannot be observed.

This is nothing like proving gravity. To prove gravity, all you gave to do is drop a heavy stone (let’s say a boulder of fifty pounds or more) on your foot.


Again - you do not prove in science. Proofs are for mathematics. Dropping a heavy stone does not show gravity - it shows that a stone fell from your hand to the floor. Gravity is a theoretical concept that explains why the stone fell to the floor.

Not only do you erase any doubt or assumption by seeing it, but you do so by feeling it crushing the bone as well. And you will have the evidence of the medical bills as a constant reminder.


Aghhh violence. How charming.

Plus, if you decide to make this an inductive experiment (using the scientific method), you’ll have repeated reminders of said scientific evidence.


Nope. You would only repeat the observation that the stone fell to the floor. You have not shown gravity. You have shown that a stone falls to the floor. You come up with a gravitational theory to explain why it occurs. But you have no idea what it actually is.

Now, you can fervently defend gravity with the same enthusiasm that you are defending the bending of space. But the defense of gravity will be supported, and the defense of bent space will still be dogma.


You my friend sound like a broken record. Repeat after me, space-time curvature is a theory that explains things like the appearance of light bending about a mass. The theory of space-time curvature cannot be seen with your eyes. Only the observable consequences of it can be seen. For example, the appearance of light bending can be observed but curved space-time cannot be observed.

#163 A.Sphere

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 11:29 AM

You may well be, but most of my work is in National Defense and proprietary research and design. I also instruct in this arena, so don’t feel bad if I cannot (and will not) go into any detail to satiate your desires.


Well then - I was just curious. Geesh- no need to be a jerk.

Can you show me where I said such nonsense? This should be interesting… The true scirentific method either proves or disproves. positing time to prove your thesis is faith, not science.


Well you keep asking me to show you empirical evidence that proves that space-time has curvature. I keep telling you that the curvature of space-time is theory which has observable consequences that should be able to be seen in reality if the theory is good. We see those observable consequences predicted using General Relativity.

The scientific method PROVES NOTHING. The scientific method progresses ideas to theories by testing and verifying the consequences of the theory. It does not prove or disprove a theory. A valid theory is one that hold up against all new observations - it is never stamped as proven or true because observation never stop coming in.

Ahhhh, theoretical applications… I see! You do understand that germ theory, electronics, GPS etc… Are provable here and now, and you can theoretically and practically apply them.


No the observable consequences of the theories can be observed here and now. But you cannot prove Germ Theory. The observable consequences of General Relativity can also be observed here and now.

But, you are using the excuse of black holes in an attempt to explain phenomena that you can only observe from a great distance (far outside the realm of the actual scientific method).


I have never heard that distance invalidates the scientific method :o . Which distance specifically is the cut-off?

The philosophy of science and the scientific method are applicable with phenomena that are tangible and applicable. Whereas black holes (which are yet to be empirically evidenced) can only be assumed.


The indirect evidence of these theoretical objects are tangible and applicable. We can observe the effects that they have on their surroundings. Just like we could observe the effects that germs had on their surroundings prior to being able to photograph them. No difference.

In other words, I can give you a great shock with electricity, or empirically prove gravity beyond all doubt. To the point that if you verbalize any doubt to their veracity, you’ll do so by denial and faith alone.


You are clueless. Does shocking me prove electromagnetism? Does dropping a rock on my foot prove Newtonian Gravity or General Relativity? Nope. You cannot prove a theory. Shocking me only tells me that one of the observable consequences of electromagnetism is valid and real - after that we have to look for others. When we find those we keep looking and we never, ever, stop. Science asymptotically approaches truth but by definition it never proclaims it.

Therefore, you are basing your science on dogmatism and faith, not the scientific method.


This conclusion does not follow and you have yet to make this point.

#164 Ron

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 03:54 PM

Well then - I was just curious.  Geesh- no need to be a jerk.

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Let’s see… I was being a jerk because I was stating facts… Okay, I suppose I can live with that.

Well you keep asking me to show you empirical evidence that proves that space-time has curvature.  I keep telling you that the curvature of space-time is theory which has observable consequences that should be able to be seen in reality if the theory is good.  We see those observable consequences predicted using General Relativity.

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Let me explain something that I hope you’ll attempt to understand. I don’t have a problem with GR. It is, in fact, just another theory. It cannot do anything in conjunction with the scientific method, because you cannot use the scientific method to test it outside of our reach. So, to dogmatically defend it, as if it could be anything more, requires a great deal of faith on your part. The curvature of space-time model is just opinion outside of inductive experience… Period.
But, if you want to place your faith in it, that’s fine.

The scientific method PROVES NOTHING. 

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Would you like to conduct an experiment or two that will render your above hypothesis as the naked and transparent lie that it is?

A few experiments in empirical science that will so quickly disprove your hypothesis, that you won’t dare attempt the inductive processes it takes to build consensus, because the first time will so thoroughly convince you of your wrongness?

Just a few experiments that will assist you in no longer being clueless about the scientific method?

#165 A.Sphere

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 12:07 AM

Let’s see… I was being a jerk because I was stating facts… Okay, I suppose I can live with that.

Let me explain something that I hope you’ll attempt to understand. I don’t have a problem with GR. It is, in fact, just another theory.  It cannot do anything in conjunction with the scientific method, because you cannot use the scientific method to test it outside of our reach.  So, to dogmatically defend it, as if it could  be anything more, requires a great deal of faith on your part. The curvature of space-time model is just opinion outside of inductive experience… Period.
But, if you want to place your faith in it, that’s fine.
Would you like to conduct an experiment or two that will render your above hypothesis as the naked and transparent lie that it is?

A few experiments in empirical science that will so quickly disprove your hypothesis, that you won’t dare attempt the inductive processes it takes to build consensus, because the first time will so thoroughly convince you of your wrongness?

Just a few experiments that will assist you in no longer being clueless about the scientific method?

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Ron, you still do not get it. In order to prove something to be true there must be a sense of finality it that something's validity. If you have a hypothesis you should be able to make predictions about what should be observed in nature based on that hypothesis. If you find this observations you have simply confirmed that your hypothesis is able to lead to an actual observation. This simply means that the hypothesis (now a theory) is a valid theory given your current knowledge. You haven't proved your hypothesis. You then proceed to use your theory to predict more observational consequences that must be true if your theory is to remain valid. If you find those then your theory is still valid given the knowledge known to you - however it is not proved. Theories are in a constant state of trying to be invalidated. The ones that survive are not proven to be true, they are simply "still valid". "Still valid" is what every theory strives to obtain. A theory is never proved because we cannot have ultimate knowledge of the processes under consideration. So we use the theory as long as it works - once it stops working we stop using it.

For example, Newton's theory of gravitation was not proven to be true. If it was, then why did it eventually fail to predict the proper percession in Mercury's orbit? If it was proven true then it must always be true - do you understand what I mean? Newton's law of gravitation was simply shown to be a valid formulation that works under certain conditions but fails if you extend it to much. General Relativity is a more valid formulation of gravitation than Newton's because it works in the domains were Newton's laws work and where they don't work. However, GR fails to properly define gravity for very massive tiny objects so it begins to lose its validity in that domain - thus GR, like Newton's laws, were never proven because they were not a total final explanation of reality.

#166 falcone

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 03:14 AM

...If it was proven true then it must always be true...

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I'm in no way a scientist, and even I get this. If science had 'truths' or 'proofs', then no-one would be doing science any more!

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 03:19 AM

Would you like to conduct an experiment or two that will render your above hypothesis as the naked and transparent lie that it is?

A few experiments in empirical science that will so quickly disprove your hypothesis, that you won’t dare attempt the inductive processes it takes to build consensus, because the first time will so thoroughly convince you of your wrongness?

Just a few experiments that will assist you in no longer being clueless about the scientific method?

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I'll play along; what experiments should I do?

#168 Ron

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 03:56 AM

...If it was proven true then it must always be true...

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That is correct... Unless you change the parameters of the experiment. Then it takes on a whole new complexity that has to be proven. Therefore, you need to re-think your objection.



I'm in no way a scientist, and even I get this. If science had 'truths' or 'proofs', then no-one would be doing science any more!

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Two things:

1- If science has no 'truths' or 'proofs', then what would be the use of science because it proves nothing and is then a waste of time. That would be quite discouraging to the seeker because there would be nothing to find. And is why you are incorrect, and your line of logic fails. Science does have proofs and truths.

2- No one, at anytime said "science proves everything" or that "science always proves truths". Real science does prove or disprove. And, we will NEVER know everything. But the fallacy that science doesn't prove things is incorrect.

#169 Ron

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 05:58 AM

I'll play along; what experiments should I do?

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Fantastic, we have a voulnenteer!

Here’s an easy way to prove “Absolute Proofs” in science: This experiment will take conviction on your part, So if you’re absolutely convinced the science cannot prove anything, this experiment will convince everyone around you that you were incorrect: Simply jump off the Empire State Building, and fall unimpeded to the concrete below, you will absolutly die… A crushed and bloody pulp of a carcass of your former self. And if we extend this out-and-out inductively (if it were it possible), you would die again and again; thus providing absolute empirical evidence using the scientific method.

Now, you ask, why I am being so graphic? Because this is an absolutely undeniable evidence that you cannot possibly wriggle out of. (No matter how hard you try… Though you will try [that is a prediction on my part]).

And there are plenty of other experiments, if you’re willing to try!

#170 jason78

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 04:09 PM

That is correct... Unless you change the parameters of the experiment. Then it takes on a whole new complexity that has to be proven. Therefore, you need to re-think your objection.
Two things:

1- If science has no 'truths' or 'proofs', then what would be the use of science because it proves nothing and is then a waste of time. That would be quite discouraging to the seeker because there would be nothing to find. And is why you are incorrect, and your line of logic fails. Science does have proofs and truths.

2- No one, at anytime said "science proves everything" or that "science always proves truths". Real science does prove or disprove. And, we will NEVER know everything. But the fallacy that science doesn't prove things is incorrect.

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Are you saying GR is absolutely true? Astronomers see evidence of gravitational lensing all over the sky. You can empirically repeat those observations again and again.

#171 Ron

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 04:25 PM

Are you saying GR is absolutely true?  Astronomers see evidence of gravitational lensing all over the sky.  You can empirically repeat those observations again and again.

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Absolutely jason. Grab all your friends and we'll practice some inductive experimentation. Meet me at the Empire State building...

Its actually undeniable :o

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 04:39 PM

Fantastic, we have a voulnenteer!

Here’s an easy way to prove “Absolute Proofs” in science: This experiment will take conviction on your part, So if you’re absolutely convinced the science cannot prove anything, this experiment will convince everyone around you that you were incorrect: Simply jump off the Empire State Building, and fall unimpeded to the concrete below, you will absolutly die… A crushed and bloody pulp of a carcass of your former self. And if we extend this out-and-out inductively (if it were it possible), you would die again and again; thus providing absolute empirical evidence using the scientific method.

Now, you ask, why I am being so graphic? Because this is an absolutely undeniable evidence that you cannot possibly wriggle out of. (No matter how hard you try… Though you will try [that is a prediction on my part]).

And there are plenty of other experiments, if you’re willing to try!

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I already responded to this in the other thread, but since some readers of this thread might not look at the other one, I'll reply here too:

You haven't provided evidence. You're only asserting that something will always happen, which doesn't equate to scientific proof. Even if we went to the Empire State Building right now and I jumped off and died, that wouldn't prove that it would happen every time in the future. It would only be further reason to think that it would be very likely.

#173 Ron

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 06:13 PM

I already responded to this in the other thread, but since some readers of this thread might not look at the other one, I'll reply here too:

You haven't provided evidence.  You're only asserting that something will always happen, which doesn't equate to scientific proof.  Even if we went to the Empire State Building right now and I jumped off and died, that wouldn't prove that it would happen every time in the future.  It would only be further reason to think that it would be very likely.

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:o This is just another example of excessive denial, and the lack of any cogent response. The sad part is that he most likely believes what he just said.

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 06:28 PM

Once again, you are simply and utterly wrong about this. Science doesn't offer proof. No matter how many times you push people off of a tall building you can't prove that they'll die every time. You can only build up an impressive amount of evidence to support the theory that they'll die every time. But you just can't prove it.

#175 scott

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 06:52 PM

Once again, you are simply and utterly wrong about this.  Science doesn't offer proof.  No matter how many times you push people off of a tall building you can't prove that they'll die every time.  You can only build up an impressive amount of evidence to support the theory that they'll die every time.  But you just can't prove it.

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Saying you can't prove it... is stating an absolute by default. You have utterly disproven your very own claim, by stating what you deny.

Science offers proof, just watch any Scientific program on the TV, and they'll discuss how " are we going to prove so and so happens".

You act as if the word proof is a cuss word, or that it should be thrown out of the English language all together. The fact is that Absolutes exist, and you just can't get around that fact. If you deny absolutes, then you even go as far as simply believeing that you don't exist either.

This is why I take anything a none-absolutist says with a grain of salt, because anything they claim about not being able to prove anything is just plain illogical, and none factual.

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 07:01 PM

I'm not denying absolutes. I'm denying scientific proof. I can prove that the square root of 2 is irrational, but that's math. I can't, however, prove that you'll die if you fall off the Empire State Building. I believe that you'll die, I expect that you'll die, because I have the evidence of other people who have died from falling from high places, and I also have the theory of classical mechanics to support the idea - but I simply can't prove it.

#177 scott

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 07:05 PM

I'm not denying absolutes.  I'm denying scientific proof.  I can prove that the square root of 2 is irrational, but that's math.  I can't, however, prove that you'll die if you fall off the Empire State Building.  I believe that you'll die, I expect that you'll die, because I have the evidence of other people who have died from falling from high places, and I also have the theory of classical mechanics to support the idea - but I simply can't prove it.

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But you see martemius, when we use the Scientific Method, while we do the experiment. By using a human, to fall off the building.

If the human dies when they hit the ground our theory is then, no longer a theory but a fact, and a proven fact at that.

At least it was with that experiment, now if you want to make another theory, with another person to see if they will die or not... then go ahead. The results of your experiments may vary.

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 07:32 PM

But you see martemius, when we use the Scientific Method, while we do the experiment.  By using a human, to fall off the building.

If the human dies when they hit the ground our theory is then, no longer a theory but a fact, and a proven fact at that.

Well, okay. You can postulate a theory and then run an experiment once and then if your experimental outcome matches your theory, you've effectively proven that for that run of the experiment your theory was correct. I can buy that. But that's not of much use as a scientific theory, since you want to be able to make predictions about the next time you run the experiment.

Let's take a simple example: your theory is that when you hold your computer over the ground and let go, it'll drop to the ground in more or less an exactly straight line. You test your theory by dropping your computer a bunch of times. After dropping it once and seeing that it fell, you think, cool, my theory is working so far. You drop it again and it falls again. You do it ten more times. Each time it falls. Then you think "wow, my theory was valid for each of the twelve times I tested my theory - neat!" Have you proven that it'll fall on the thirteenth drop? No. But now you think it's extremely likely to drop - that's a fair guess, no doubt. You try it and it works. You drop it a million more times, and each time your theory is successful. Have you proven your theory yet? No - but it's now looking like an excellent scientific theory, since you've had the chance for your theory to be falsified a million times, and each time it's failed to be proven false. But you still haven't proven it universally true. Do you know without the slightest, foggiest, shadow of a doubt that it'll fall on the billionth time you drop it? No, but again, you think it's likely. But wait, you think, I don't have to limit myself to experimentation - I have theory! You set up the differential equations for the motion of the computer, even including a factor for air resistance if you want. Your equations predict that your computer will fall in a straight line to the ground. You have proven something here - you've proven that according to your differential equations the computer will fall straight to the ground. But you don't know how well your differential equations correspond to reality; however, that can be verified by experiment in the same way as described above. But at no point have you proven that no matter how many times you drop it, the computer will continue to fall in a straight line towards the ground. You've only constructed what seems to be a very good approximation to what the truth of the situation probably is.

If you think you have a method to absolutely, 100% prove that each time the computer will fall straight down, then I'm all ears. But, quite frankly, I doubt that you can do it.

#179 scott

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 07:33 PM

Well, okay.  You can postulate a theory and then run an experiment once and then if your experimental outcome matches your theory, you've effectively proven that for that run of the experiment your theory was correct.  I can buy that.  But that's not of much use as a scientific theory, since you want to be able to make predictions about the next time you run the experiment.

Let's take a simple example: your theory is that when you hold your computer over the ground and let go, it'll drop to the ground in more or less an exactly straight line.  You test your theory by dropping your computer a bunch of times.  After dropping it once and seeing that it fell, you think, cool, my theory is working so far.  You drop it again and it falls again.  You do it ten more times.  Each time it falls.  Then you think "wow, my theory was valid for each of the twelve times I tested my theory - neat!"  Have you proven that it'll fall on the thirteenth drop?  No.  But now you think it's extremely likely to drop - that's a fair guess, no doubt.  You try it and it works.  You drop it a million more times, and each time your theory is successful.  Have you proven your theory yet?  No - but it's now looking like an excellent scientific theory, since you've had the chance for your theory to be falsified a million times, and each time it's failed to be proven false.  But you still haven't proven it universally true.  Do you know without the slightest, foggiest, shadow of a doubt that it'll fall on the billionth time you drop it?  No, but again, you think it's likely.  But wait, you think, I don't have to limit myself to experimentation - I have theory!  You set up the differential equations for the motion of the computer, even including a factor for air resistance if you want.  Your equations predict that your computer will fall in a straight line to the ground.  You have proven something here - you've proven that according to your differential equations the computer will fall straight to the ground.  But you don't know how well your differential equations correspond to reality; however, that can be verified by experiment in the same way as described above.  But at no point have you proven that no matter how many times you drop it, the computer will continue to fall in a straight line towards the ground.  You've only constructed what seems to be a very good approximation to what the truth of the situation probably is.

If you think you have a method to absolutely, 100% prove that each time the computer will fall straight down, then I'm all ears.  But, quite frankly, I doubt that you can do it.

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I never stated that either... such is why you didn't respond ( edit: or quote for better words, so that you could play with what I said) to the rest of my post.

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 07:34 PM

I believe I replied to that in my first paragraph.




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