Knowledge without the scientific method

Al G. Funguy
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Knowledge without the scientific method

Human beings have secured some kinds of knowledge without using the scientific method.

Can you think of any examples beyond what I've thought of? Are there any of these that you think aren't true knowledge?

Examples include:

1. Mathematical knowledge

Mathematicians may employ a kind of scientific method - e.g. manually computing the elements of a sequence to see whether a given conjecture is experimentally true. But usually the mathematician will go back and try to prove the result with deduction. Experimentally, it seems the basics of mathematics - starting with subitizing, i.e. counting small numbers - appears to be inwrought in the infant mind and the minds of some animals.

2. Logic

I don't know anyone who has really disputed the basic logic employed by the human mind. Even non-Boolean logics are basically a mathematical toy, sometimes for quantum theorists, but the meta-logic remains Boolean logic. The faculty of logic also seems to be inwrought in the human mind.

3. Austrian Economics

The Austrian school of Economics has historically varied in status between being orthodox and heterodox. It is a verbally and argumentatively deduced body of knowledge comprising praxeology or the science of human action, based on the axiom "humans act purposively", and catallactics, which involves additional axioms (such as an empirical one, "humans value leisure&quotEye-wink allowing the study of human action in market conditions. The action axiom is taken to be an a priori, apodictic truth, and anyone trying to dispute it is merely providing additional evidence of the axiom's truth. One of the many interesting results of this school is the "economic calculation problem" where von Mises showed in the 1920's that there was no means for a socialist government to rationally organize production of heterogeneous consumption and capital goods in the absence of a market price system enabling the calculation of profits and losses.

4. Biology

It is arguable that propositions like this one are tautological and unfalsifiable: that the fittest genes are aided in their propogation by natural selection.

5. Geology

Geology invokes many a priori rules of thumb such as the law of superposition, the cross-cutting relationships, law of included fragments, principle of original horizontality, principle of lateral continuity, and the principle of faunal succession.

6. Climatology

A lot of stuff here, like anthropogenic global warming, is pretty much unfalsifiable, unless you have two copies of Earth to run experiments on and you have a lifespan of hundreds of years. (And personally I think this field is wholly corrupted by Big Government money and statist ideology and I don't believe its results.)

 


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Well I just ran a bunch of

Well I just ran a bunch of scientific experiments for all of your categories in my head.  I'll let the rest of our crew speak at length.

 

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What he said. Nothing you

What he said. Nothing you mentioned is incapable of being verified through the scientific method, and in fact the scientific method WAS used on all of them to verify the concepts.

Hell, you practically quoted the definition of the scientific method word for word in your first category!

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Al G. Funguy
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Some more on

Some more on mathematics.

Numerical experimentation is certainly useful to falsify conjectures. For example, in "EXEMPLUM MEMORABILE INDUCTIONIS FALLACIS" (a notable example of false induction), Euler finds two series that agree for the first nine terms but differ starting at the tenth. Source: see E326 at http://www.math.dartmouth.edu/~euler/ or http://www.maa.org/editorial/euler/How%20Euler%20Did%20It%2022%20False%20induction.pdf

However, confirming experiments do little to establish confidence in a conjecture. There are 10^13 data confirming the Riemann hypothesis, but it still not accepted as "true". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riemann_hypothesis#Zeros_on_the_critical_line

Some of these conjectures end up being falsified at absurdly large values. There is one conjecture that ends up failing at about 10^316 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skewes_number

So I'm not saying scientific method or numerical experimentation is unused in mathematics, only that it plays a very different role. Proof and deduction are the main ways to gain mathematical knowledge.

 

 

 


Al G. Funguy
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Vastet wrote:What he said.

Vastet wrote:
What he said. Nothing you mentioned is incapable of being verified through the scientific method, and in fact the scientific method WAS used on all of them to verify the concepts. Hell, you practically quoted the definition of the scientific method word for word in your first category!

I know of no logic laboratories. In fact, it's not even clear how to devise a scientific experiment on logic without using elements of logic at the outset. Per von Mises http://mises.org/books/ultimate.pdf

"If we qualify a concept or a proposition as a priori, we want to say: first, that the negation of what it asserts is unthinkable for the human mind and appears to it as nonsense; secondly, that this a priori concept or proposition is necessarily implied in our mental approach to all the problems concerned, i.e., in our thinking and acting concerning these problems. The a priori categories are the mental equipment by dint of which man is able to think and to experience and thus to acquire knowledge. Their truth or validity cannot be proved or refuted as can those of a posteriori propositions, because they are precisely the instrument that enables us to distinguish what is true or valid from what is not."

Regarding economics, the theorems of Austrian economics cannot be refuted by experiment because they are basically all "ceteris paribus". It is a science incapable of making precise predictions about the world by itself; to make predictions one must augment it with historical knowledge (thymology) and this is more of an art form. Knowledge gained in Austrian economics is apodictically true and enables understanding of the market. It is logically prior to and provides a means of interpreting historical market data.

BTW predictions from climatology often will be of a "ceteris paribus" nature. The prediction that the temperature will rise X degrees 50 years from now will prove to be false if a travelling black hole impinges on the Earth tomorrow, or if someone invents an economically viable fusion reactor tomorrow.

Much can be gained through the scientific method. My point is that it is not the only means of gaining knowledge, and in some fields it is an inappropriate epistemology. The proposition "knowledge must consist of experimentally falsifiable propositions" is a metaphysical dogma and it is not itself falsifiable; therefore it is self-contradictory and false.


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I think you need to first

I think you need to first define "scientific method".  I'm not sure where you're going with this, but it has the stink of an argument against empiricism, or an attempt to put science and religion on the same category.  Frankly it doesn't matter because you are attempting to define scientific method as falsifiable at every step, speaking of tautology Smiling  Let's look at a few definitions.

 Oxford English Dictionary wrote:

scientific method: a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

[quote = Wikipedia]

Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.[1] To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning

I believe you are confusing scientific method with scientific hypothesis.  A hypothesis needs to be falsifiable, not the method itself.  That's a fallacy of division, you're applying the necessary attribute of "falsification" that scientific knowledge has, to every step in the process.  

Even ignoring all of that (nobody should ignore all that), I LOVE how you throw the biology thing in the center, and call it a TAUTOLOGY?... I'm getting creationists vibes...  how is evolution not falsifiable and a tautology? can you elaborate on that?

 

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Al G. Funguy wrote:I know of

Al G. Funguy wrote:
I know of no logic laboratories.

Why would you need a lab? Testing the veracity of an idea doesn't necessarily need a lab.

Creating circular arguments doesn't help you. Even the economic system you're preaching about wouldn't be known to you without testing and comparing knowledge. AND it isn't accepted by all anyway, so it fails to qualify as meaningful information in the first place. They are hypothesising an unproven concept. If the scientific method ever verifies it through testing, it will be more useful. But as it stands it's effectively no different from the views of any economist: opinion.
And nothing about it is untestable.

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Al G. Funguy
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Some knowledge can't be tested

Vastet wrote:
Even the economic system you're preaching about wouldn't be known to you without testing and comparing knowledge.

If the axioms are acceptable, and the deduction proceeds without error, then the conclusions have to be accepted.

There are things in mathematics that cannot conceivably be tested. Consider the Banach-Tarski paradox (actually a theorem) where a ball is disassembled into a finite number of pieces and then these are assembled to form two balls identical to the original. It is a true theorem of mathematics but I see no way of testing it.

How do you go about "testing" Cantor's diagonal argument in mathematics?

How do you "test" Godel's theorem?

Ktulu wrote:
it has the stink of an argument against empiricism, or an attempt to put science and religion on the same category... I'm getting creationists vibes...

Empiricism is not the source of ALL knowledge. I'm sorry if this is "stinky" to you. If empiricism is your god, maybe you would benefit from reading Kant or taking a class in mathematical proofs.

Also, I never mentioned religion or creationism. I'm not theist, if that's what you were thinking.

Ktulu wrote:
how is evolution not falsifiable and a tautology?

I only said that one proposition appears to be a tautology, not ALL of evolution.

It seems to be impossible to falsify the statement "the fittest traits/genes are selected" since I see no way of defining "fit" ahead of time except to say it is an attribute of those things which prove to be selected in the end. If you view the proposition as merely a definition for "fitness" then I see no problem.

If you think what I'm saying is nutty, just look what Popper had to say! "Popper (1976, 151) said, "Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research programme."" - http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA211_1.html

I think Popper later retracted this opinion, but I find some of his argumentation to be hard to follow.


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Al G. Funguy

Al G. Funguy wrote:

Empiricism is not the source of ALL knowledge. I'm sorry if this is "stinky" to you. If empiricism is your god, maybe you would benefit from reading Kant or taking a class in mathematical proofs.

Also, I never mentioned religion or creationism. I'm not theist, if that's what you were thinking.

I said I didn't know where you were going with this.  Empiricism is the only fundamental way to gain ALL knowledge.  You may arrange that knowledge in different patterns to correspond to abstract equivalent such as mathematics, but unless you can define some mechanism by which knowledge "magics" into your brain you don't have an alternative.

I didn't know what your inclination was, usually theists attack the scientific method as "conspiracy" and empiricism as flawed... therefore GOD Smiling  it was an assumption on my part.

Al G. Funguy wrote:

I only said that one proposition appears to be a tautology, not ALL of evolution.

It seems to be impossible to falsify the statement "the fittest traits/genes are selected" since I see no way of defining "fit" ahead of time except to say it is an attribute of those things which prove to be selected in the end. If you view the proposition as merely a definition for "fitness" then I see no problem.

If you think what I'm saying is nutty, just look what Popper had to say! "Popper (1976, 151) said, "Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research programme."" - http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA211_1.html

I think Popper later retracted this opinion, but I find some of his argumentation to be hard to follow.

I'm not familiar with Popper, nor do I have the time to follow up on that link, I'm sorry.  The issue, however, is probably the most common misconception regarding evolution.  Fit, or fittest is not meant as in "I go to the gym, and I'm very FIT" or "Al G. Funguy is a very fit individual, he can climb 10 sets of stairs".  Fit, in this context is meant as BEST FITS within a particular environment.  For example, if an airborne virus that turned one's immune system against itself were to become an epidemic, the FITTEST people, by your definition, would be the fist to die.  However, the hypothesis that evolution puts forth to be "FALSIFIABLE" is that the individuals with weak immune systems will be the ones to survive to pass on their genes.  They do that because they best FIT within their environment.

I'm sure that what Popper has to say is very intelligent and supported, but I fail to see how it would make any difference.  

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Al G. Funguy

double post


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Al G. Funguy

Al G. Funguy wrote:

Empiricism is not the source of ALL knowledge. I'm sorry if this is "stinky" to you. If empiricism is your god, maybe you would benefit from reading Kant or taking a class in mathematical proofs.

Also, I never mentioned religion or creationism. I'm not theist, if that's what you were thinking.

I said I didn't know where you were going with this.  Empiricism is the only fundamental way to gain ALL knowledge.  You may arrange that knowledge in different patterns to correspond to abstract equivalent such as mathematics, but unless you can define some mechanism by which knowledge "magics" into your brain you don't have an alternative.

I didn't know what your inclination was, usually theists attack the scientific method as "conspiracy" and empiricism as flawed... therefore GOD Smiling  it was an assumption on my part.

Al G. Funguy wrote:

I only said that one proposition appears to be a tautology, not ALL of evolution.

It seems to be impossible to falsify the statement "the fittest traits/genes are selected" since I see no way of defining "fit" ahead of time except to say it is an attribute of those things which prove to be selected in the end. If you view the proposition as merely a definition for "fitness" then I see no problem.

If you think what I'm saying is nutty, just look what Popper had to say! "Popper (1976, 151) said, "Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research programme."" - http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA211_1.html

I think Popper later retracted this opinion, but I find some of his argumentation to be hard to follow.

I'm not familiar with Popper, nor do I have the time to follow up on that link, I'm sorry.  The issue, however, is probably the most common misconception regarding evolution.  Fit, or fittest is not meant as in "I go to the gym, and I'm very FIT" or "Al G. Funguy is a very fit individual, he can climb 10 sets of stairs".  Fit, in this context is meant as BEST FITS within a particular environment.  For example, if an airborne virus that turned one's immune system against itself were to become an epidemic, the FITTEST people, by your definition, would be the fist to die.  However, the hypothesis that evolution puts forth to be "FALSIFIABLE" is that the individuals with weak immune systems will be the ones to survive to pass on their genes.  They do that because they best FIT within their environment.

I'm sure that what Popper has to say is very intelligent and supported, but I fail to see how it would make any difference.  

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Al G. Funguy

maybe a mod can delete the all the duplicate posts.


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triple post

triple post


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I can tell when theists know

I can tell when theists know they have nothing when their first posts are not about their particular book, but attack science.

Lets cut to the chase here.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A NON MATERIAL THINKING ENTITY by any name.

Thoughts require a material process, just like running requires legs. Thus claims of disembodied brains with no brain and no material, are ALL absurd claims. Dress the skunk up in a tux it is still a skunk(bad claim).

If one can accept that there is no ocean god named Neptune, and one can accept that there is no god creating lightening and thunder named Thor, then it should not be a stretch for one to consider that they are doing what humans have always done, invent god/s because the idea of having a super hero save them is appealing.

Attacking science does not work. Trying to retrofit it to suit your own personal desires does not work. If others here don't mind the walk down the Yellow Brick Road, they can pick this apart. I don't like the convoluted dance.

I look at it quite simply. If someone has something credible to demonstrate, they would be at the patent office, they could teach it like DNA and entropy and mitosis, and they could get a Nobel Prize in science.

What we do have in reality is a continuing graveyard of gods that humans invent and later discard for newer myth.

And that is just the scientific absurdity of postulating an invisible friend. The morally bankrupt god of the bible, is enough, by itself, to reject the idea of worshiping such a being, even if we could prove it to be real.

Short and sweet, no need to dance around the core of any issue with convoluted needless tripe.

I have knowledge that people claim they have been abducted by UFOs. I have knowledge of people claiming Big Foot. And people have written books and shows about those myths. So what.

Woo is woo, be it the ancient monotheistic god/s of Abraham, to the more current claptrap of pantheism.

When a theist tries to argue science to me would be like a Star Trec fan trying to convince me that Klingon's are real.

Elaborate junk is still junk.

 

 

 

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Just because you can't

Just because you can't conceive a way to test something does not mean there is no way to do so.

Also, prove the axioms of this economic hypothesis. Many people smarter than we have laughed it away. I look at it and know it's bs.

Laissez faire economics are inherently flawed.

Without any way to test the veracity of a concept, promoting such a concept is literally stupid.

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Vastet wrote:Also, prove the

Vastet wrote:
Also, prove the axioms of this economic hypothesis. Many people smarter than we have laughed it away. I look at it and know it's bs. Laissez faire economics are inherently flawed. Without any way to test the veracity of a concept, promoting such a concept is literally stupid.

I think this is astonishingly close-minded. As I mentioned, Austrian economics has occupied an orthodox position in the past, though it might not currently be mainstream. The Nobel prize in economics was awarded for this "BS" to Hayek who was one of the few economists to predict the great depression. If you want to see real BS, look to mainstream economics; one of the major guys actually advocated having a housing bubble. Their application of the scientific method is laughable. Through your dogmatic bias you are denying yourself access to economic understanding and it's a shame. I can't force you, but I recommend you read Economics In One Lesson, Human Action, and finally The Ultimate Foundation of Economics and come back here and tell me it's "BS".

In opposing theism you should strive for truth, not retreat into a cargo cult scientism worship http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism


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Your dogmatic view that the

Your dogmatic view that the scientific method is incapable of proving theorems undercuts your position into irrelevance. Just because someone got a nobel prize does not validate the hypothesis. It worked once. Out of how many dozens or thousands of times? There's a reason it isn't mainstream, and that reason is that it doesn't adequately predict the market. The scientific method proved it is not a valid hypothesis.

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Vastet wrote:There's a

Vastet wrote:
There's a reason it isn't mainstream, and that reason is that it doesn't adequately predict the market.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block168.html

"Austrian Thymologists Who Predicted the Housing Bubble"

I think the main reason it isn't mainstream is that, unfortunately, many people share your fascination with scientism and are addicted to mathsturbation (maths = mathmatics; turbation from Latin turbidis meaning to to mix up, make cloudy or muddy), i.e. childishly playing with numbers. Every science has to be modeled after physics. Every field has to use positivist epistemology or it isn't "real science". The problem in economics is that there are no fundamental constants and no fixed relations. There is no means to compare or sum the subjective valuations of two different people or even to compare the subjective valuations of the same person at different times. An empirically verified formula is valid only for the group of people and heterogenous goods and market conditions present at a particular time and place in history.

I'm curious why you're focusing on economics but are silent on the subject of mathematics. Cantor and Godel didn't appear to use the scientific method. Does that not make them mystic crackpots? Or do you agree with me that the epistemology of physics is not the correct epistemology for mathematics?

 

 


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I have no problem with that.

Economics isn't a science and doesn't use the scientific method.
 

Fine.

That just tells me that economics doesn't yield knowledge (the point of your OP), it yields opinion.

LC >;-}>

 

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But what about mathematics?

Sigh... of course people bash economics, the subject they understand little about, but have a giant blind spot when thinking about how the scientific method is used in mathematics.

I actually think the scientific method is undervalued in mathematics. Euler had a number of intuitive techniques for summing divergent series like the Gompertz constant 1 - 1 + 2 - 6 + 24 - 120 + ... = 0.69... or Zeta values like 1 + 2 + 3 +4 + ... = -1/12 (frequently appearing in quantum physics). While not "rigorous", and rejected by most modern mathematicians, they nonetheless produce useful, verifiable results. For the alternating factorial series actually Euler listed 5 or 6 methods that produced consistent results.

I find this rather amusing:

"In a short period of less than a year, two distinguished physicists, A. Slavnov and F. Yndurain, gave seminars in Barcelona, about different subjects. It was remarkable that, in both presentations, at some point the speaker addressed the audience with these words: 'As everybody knows, 1 + 1 + 1 + · · · = −12'. Implying maybe: If you do not know this, it is no use to continue listening" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_%2B_1_%2B_1_%2B_1_%2B_%E2%80%A6

 


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Louis_Cypher wrote:Economics

Louis_Cypher wrote:

Economics isn't a science and doesn't use the scientific method.
 

Fine.

That just tells me that economics doesn't yield knowledge (the point of your OP), it yields opinion.

LC >;-}>

 

Bingo.

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Economics is a science

>Economics isn't a science and doesn't use the scientific method.

So you can explain why a rock rolls down a hill (caused by gravity), but your positivist dogma leaves you powerless to explain other natural phenomena, like why a person walks down a hill and enters the McDonalds below, or why the owner of the restaurant had the building constructed. I'm assuming you don't believe in magic souls or something, and that human brains are elements of the natural world. But it's like you are blinkered and pretend these phenomena don't exist.

BTW I think the repeated failure to engage me on any mathematics topics is a sign that either (a) you simply don't know much or care much about mathematics or (b) you know that deduction based on axioms doesn't fit in with your positivist dogma; it is a painful cognitive dissonance that you must strive to avoid confronting.


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Al G. Funguy

Al G. Funguy wrote:

>Economics isn't a science and doesn't use the scientific method.

So you can explain why a rock rolls down a hill (caused by gravity), but your positivist dogma leaves you powerless to explain other natural phenomena,



I would say that economics is NOT a natural phenomena, it's the result of decidedly abstract mathematics.

Quote:
like why a person walks down a hill

Well, if he started at the top, then the only way he could walk is down.

Quote:
and enters the McDonalds below,

Hunger? and from personal opinion, A death wish?

Quote:
or why the owner of the restaurant had the building constructed.

Perhaps he didn't feel like trying to cook outdoors in the rain?

Quote:
I'm assuming you don't believe in magic souls or something, and that human brains are elements of the natural world. But it's like you are blinkered and pretend these phenomena don't exist.

Ok, now you are beginning to lose me, what the hell are you talking about?

Quote:
BTW I think the repeated failure to engage me on any mathematics topics is a sign that either (a) you simply don't know much or care much about mathematics or (b) you know that deduction based on axioms doesn't fit in with your positivist dogma; it is a painful cognitive dissonance that you must strive to avoid confronting.

An axiom is only as valid as the evidence that supports it... For instance, how often do creationist claim "everything that has a beginning has a cause". It's not a truth... but it's offered up over and over as axiom.

As far as cognitive dissonance, I do sense it... in someone whose claims have not been accepted and who is beginning to have just a little spittle around the corner of the mouth when this is pointed out...

LC >;-}>

 

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Look at Al G. Funguy running

Look at Al G. Funguy running in circles of desperation. Like the reason someone went into a restaurant wasn't because they were HUNGRY. Like hunger can't be tested. Like a high traffic area can't be compared with a low traffic area to determine which is more profitable.

You're talking out your ass.

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Louis_Cypher wrote:An axiom

Louis_Cypher wrote:
An axiom is only as valid as the evidence that supports it...

I don't agree. One mathematician is free to choose X as an axiom while another is free to choose ~X. Both yield valid mathematical knowledge - for example, Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries. Whether and in which cases there is an application to the natural world is a separate question.

I'm curious whether you believe "pi = 4 - 4/3 + 4/5 - 4/7 + 4/9 - ..." or not. I do believe it. Its truth comes from axioms. It is true in any possible universe.

But I've never seen a perfect circle in the real world, only approximations. Per General Relativity, I can errect a coordinate system that is flat (Minkowski metric like) but it is only flat for an infinitesimal 4-volume. I cannot construct an infinitesimally small circle and measure pi exactly.

If you can only draw an approximation to a circle and measure the ratio circumference/diameter to 10 digits of precision, do you believe the mathematician who tells you what the 1 millionth digit of pi is? Why do you have faith in things that can't be measured? It's because you know the deductive method used in the epistemology of mathematics is valid; it yields knowledge.

Vastet wrote:

Like the reason someone went into a restaurant wasn't because they were HUNGRY.

Hmm... that sounds like a possible explanation. But doesn't it need empirical verification? Stand inside a McDonalds restaurant and measure what portion of people who commence eating also report being hungry. Hopefully they won't simply ignore you for standing their with a clipboard like an idiot. Hopefully they can respond in English. Hopefully, they aren't economics-haters who intentionally deceive you with false answers. Please, report your results back here. Economics depends on your verification if it is to be a real science.

Also, please ask they guy who exchanges $5 for a burger, whether he ex ante valued having the burger more than he valued having the $5. Ask the manager whether he ex ante valued having the $5 more than he valued having the burger. Someday we'll get to the bottom of this mysterious phenomenon.


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Perfection is irrelevant. Pi

Perfection is irrelevant. Pi has been tested. Every circle in existence can be measured to find it. Even imperfect circles. The scientific method proved the validity of the concept of Pi. By measuring it repeatedly. Then coming up with formulae to utilise the concept, proving it further. Then devising a formula to calculate Pi without actually measuring a circle, and comparing the results to actual measurements.

And it isn't necessarily true in any possible universe. That's self refuting. By definition of any possible universe, there could be a universe where Pi is actually 2.51424 exactly.

All in all, you really don't know what you're talking about.

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Hmm... that sounds like a possible explanation. But doesn't it need empirical verification? Stand inside a McDonalds restaurant and measure what portion of people who commence eating also report being hungry.

Provide me a grant and I will.

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Ultrafinitism

Vastet, is it true that exp(exp(exp(exp(100)))) + 1 > exp(exp(exp(exp(100))))?

How can we be sure in this universe that the theorems of arithmetic don't break down for large numbers, without testing?

I guess the only choice is to be an ultrafinitist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultrafinitism

 


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How are we unable to test

How are we unable to test large numbers?

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Al G. Funguy wrote:Vastet,

Al G. Funguy wrote:

Vastet, is it true that exp(exp(exp(exp(100)))) + 1 > exp(exp(exp(exp(100))))?

How can we be sure in this universe that the theorems of arithmetic don't break down for large numbers, without testing?

I guess the only choice is to be an ultrafinitist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultrafinitism

 

So what is it that you are driving at with this whole post?  You define scientific method incorrectly, and then claim that these SCIENCES do not use scientific method.  I'm not sure what you're attempting to gain from this.  Let's assume you're correct (which is by no means the case) for the sake of the argument, so what?

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Vastet wrote:How are we

Vastet wrote:
How are we unable to test large numbers?

Compute the value of exp(exp(exp(exp(100)))) and get back to us.
I'll even let you use scientific notation. It will take more particles than there are in the universe to write the answer.

Ktulu wrote:
So what is it that you are driving at with this whole post?

I'm driving at the fact that some knowledge can be obtained without needing empirical testing. For example, the knowledge that exp(exp(exp(exp(100)))) + 1 > exp(exp(exp(exp(100))))

No one suggested additional examples beyond what I suggested, and people attacked my ideas mostly on the basis of misguided and demonstrably false positivist dogma, which I have seen before in "rational" people. As a result, I didn't learn much from this thread. I guess I have slightly improved my ability to gather evidence to support my argumentation. It's unfortunate that some who fear theism end up jumping in the positivist deep end.

The worst kind of positivist is one who totally discounts the role of the human mind in distinguishing truth from falsehood. Regarded as an element of natural science, the human mind is a lump of matter that is enjoined by the laws of physics and its structure to produce ideas, i.e. neural patterns. But a consistent positivist cannot say that the brain produces true or false ideas any more than the liver can secrete true or false bile. To fully embrace positivism is to embrace the destruction of all meaning and the destruction of science.

In regards to theism, it is possible that someone constructs a correct argument starting from a priori truths from which the existence of God is necessary, without needing empirical evidence supporting it. However, no one has done this to date. I believe Kant took a swing at it, and failed. It is also possible that someone might construct an ironclad proof of atheism. I think both are doubtful. As it is, I do not believe in God, just as I do not believe in blue-haired aliens living on Pluto. There's no proof and no evidence.

 


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Algorithms are something

Algorithms are something that can be proven to be correct for every value of the variables without having to compute every possible value. In your example, x+1>x you need not compute every value of x for this to be correct.  I have also explained why you incorrectly believe that the theory of evolution is not falsifiable and have yet to get an answer from you.  

Science doesn't deal in absolutes, I'm still not sure what you are trying to come up with... 

 

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Ktulu, I believe I explained

Ktulu, I believe I explained my position on evolution above.

Let me reassure you that I fully believe in theory of evolution, though I'm not very well versed in that subject.

Let me also share something with you. I find it interesting that the concept of "fittest" is defined by teleonomy, "the quality of apparent purposefulness and of goal-directedness of structures and functions in living organisms that derive from their evolutionary history, adaptation for reproductive success, or generally, due to the operation of a program" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleonomy

(How do you falsify "purposefulness"?)

This is interesting because the idea of "purposefulness" or "goal-directedness" features prominently in economics, which you some of you guys proceeded to bash above. At heart, the science of human action is teleological rather than causal. While a rock rolls down a hill - caused by gravity - a person walks down a hill to get a pail of water.

I wonder if there are any scholarly articles that deal with the teleology present in economics and in biology.

 


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Al G. Funguy wrote:Vastet

Al G. Funguy wrote:

Vastet wrote:
There's a reason it isn't mainstream, and that reason is that it doesn't adequately predict the market.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block168.html

"Austrian Thymologists Who Predicted the Housing Bubble"

I think the main reason it isn't mainstream is that, unfortunately, many people share your fascination with scientism and are addicted to mathsturbation (maths = mathmatics; turbation from Latin turbidis meaning to to mix up, make cloudy or muddy), i.e. childishly playing with numbers. Every science has to be modeled after physics. Every field has to use positivist epistemology or it isn't "real science". The problem in economics is that there are no fundamental constants and no fixed relations. There is no means to compare or sum the subjective valuations of two different people or even to compare the subjective valuations of the same person at different times. An empirically verified formula is valid only for the group of people and heterogenous goods and market conditions present at a particular time and place in history.

I'm curious why you're focusing on economics but are silent on the subject of mathematics. Cantor and Godel didn't appear to use the scientific method. Does that not make them mystic crackpots? Or do you agree with me that the epistemology of physics is not the correct epistemology for mathematics?

I missed this post.  I think I see what you are trying to get at now, and in part I agree with you.  I just think you are going about it the wrong way.  

I will admit economics is not something that I'm familiar with as a "science".  As a layman, I see it as evaluating odds based on a given matrix.  I see it more in the same category as meteorology, with the predictions' degree of certainty indirectly proportional to the size of the frame of reference given.  For example.  Knowing that a company's CEO will be found be guilty of inside trading, and their projected profits fall short, I can predict with a high degree of certainty that their stocks are going to go down considerably.  However if you increase the size of the frame of reference to include a whole country's economy, or increase it in time for more then a few weeks even, the degree of certainty indirectly decreases.  

This doesn't make it a science in any way, shape or form.  It is much like playing poker, you use mathematics to calculate odds.  This doesn't fit any definition of scientific method that I know of.  

Now, epistemology I like Smiling  Epistemology is the study of knowledge.  That my friend, is a long and twisted discussion, but for the purpose of your post, suffice it to say that there is no such thing as specific epistemology for every science, physics or mathematics.  Epistemology is only concern with how you perceive and process knowledge.  I think you may have been referring to a paradigm, or an epistemological context.  And then yes, I agree with you that a physics paradigm does indeed differ from a mathematical paradigm.  

They refer to completely different frames of reference.  In mathematics, you have a nice neat small frame of reference defined by specific laws.  You can define natural numbers as a set of elements incrementally decreasing, or increasing by a constant with the value of 1 unit.  That is a very small frame of reference that allows you to make predictions with an extremely high degree of certainty.  You can say stuff like, 2+3=5.  Well, let's break that down.  You have an element two spaces away from 0, define by 2, and an element that's one away from that same element, defined by 3, so if you move down the series, 3 places you will always arrive at 5, due to the small frame of reference provided by the definition of natural numbers...  

If you try to predict stuff in economics, it gets a little muddy for the same reason.  

I also happen to believe there's quite a bit of scientism out there.  But you have to trust the scientific establishment to a certain degree for no other reason other then the fact that they don't trust themselves at all.  The experts in that area will jump at the smallest chance to prove a fellow wrong on a new theory, experiment or observation. 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Ktulu wrote:This doesn't

Ktulu wrote:
This doesn't make it a science in any way, shape or form.  It is much like playing poker, you use mathematics to calculate odds.  This doesn't fit any definition of scientific method that I know of.  

Poker odds are true knowledge deduced from mathematics and they are empirically verifiable. I'm not sure what's bothering you here. Is it just the fact that this is a mere application of science (i.e. that of mathematics)?

Is it statistics that bothers you? I would say anything that proves to predict reality correctly with 50.1% accuracy, but is wrong 49.9% of the time, has some predictive power and it might be an acceptable kind of science. It would be revolutionary if parapsychology produced a controlled experiment where someone has clarivoyant powers 50.1% of the time in "seeing" the results of remote coin tosses.

In any case, the praxeology (science of human action) of Austrian Economics is unlike what you are describing. It is axiomatic and deductive, similar to mathematics:

"Praxeology rests on the fundamental axiom that individual human beings act, that is, on the primordial fact that individuals engage in conscious actions toward chosen goals. This concept of action contrasts to purely reflexive, or knee-jerk, behavior, which is not directed toward goals. The praxeological method spins out by verbal deduction the logical implications of that primordial fact. In short, praxeological economics is the structure of logical implications of the fact that individuals act. This structure is built on the fundamental axiom of action, and has a few subsidiary axioms, such as that individuals vary and that human beings regard leisure as a valuable good. Any skeptic about deducing from such a simple base an entire system of economics, I refer to Mises's Human Action. " - http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard38.html

 


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Al G. Funguy wrote:Ktulu

Al G. Funguy wrote:

Ktulu wrote:
This doesn't make it a science in any way, shape or form.  It is much like playing poker, you use mathematics to calculate odds.  This doesn't fit any definition of scientific method that I know of.  

Poker odds are true knowledge deduced from mathematics and they are empirically verifiable. I'm not sure what's bothering you here. Is it just the fact that this is a mere application of science (i.e. that of mathematics)?

Is it statistics that bothers you? I would say anything that proves to predict reality correctly with 50.1% accuracy, but is wrong 49.9% of the time, has some predictive power and it might be an acceptable kind of science. It would be revolutionary if parapsychology produced a controlled experiment where someone has clarivoyant powers 50.1% of the time in "seeing" the results of remote coin tosses.

In any case, the praxeology (science of human action) of Austrian Economics is unlike what you are describing. It is axiomatic and deductive, similar to mathematics:

"Praxeology rests on the fundamental axiom that individual human beings act, that is, on the primordial fact that individuals engage in conscious actions toward chosen goals. This concept of action contrasts to purely reflexive, or knee-jerk, behavior, which is not directed toward goals. The praxeological method spins out by verbal deduction the logical implications of that primordial fact. In short, praxeological economics is the structure of logical implications of the fact that individuals act. This structure is built on the fundamental axiom of action, and has a few subsidiary axioms, such as that individuals vary and that human beings regard leisure as a valuable good. Any skeptic about deducing from such a simple base an entire system of economics, I refer to Mises's Human Action. " - http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard38.html

 

What is this argumentation all supposed to ultimately lead to?

Is it supposed to lead to Allah existing? Yahweh existing? Jesus existing? Pink unicorns existing?

I really hate convoluted indirect dodges in regards to one's ultimate conclusions or starting points.

If you are a theist it goes like this.

My god exists=argument here=therefor my god exists.

Or

A god exists(generic possibility)=argument here=therefor this generic god exists

Or

God cannot exist=argument here=therefor there is no possibility of a god existing.

So please state your intent and position FIRST before making your arguments.

This is all coming across as a dodge to whatever real intent you are hiding behind. Maybe I am missing something, but I have no clue where all this is supposed to end up as far as where you stand.

 

 

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Brian37 wrote:

What is this argumentation all supposed to ultimately lead to?

Is it supposed to lead to Allah existing? Yahweh existing? Jesus existing? Pink unicorns existing?

I really hate convoluted indirect dodges in regards to one's ultimate conclusions or starting points.

If you are a theist it goes like this.

My god exists=argument here=therefor my god exists.

Or

A god exists(generic possibility)=argument here=therefor this generic god exists

Or

God cannot exist=argument here=therefor there is no possibility of a god existing.

So please state your intent and position FIRST before making your arguments.

This is all coming across as a dodge to whatever real intent you are hiding behind. Maybe I am missing something, but I have no clue where all this is supposed to end up as far as where you stand. 

Al G. Funguy is trying to show that scientism is foolish.

 


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Philosophicus wrote:Brian37

Philosophicus wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

What is this argumentation all supposed to ultimately lead to?

Is it supposed to lead to Allah existing? Yahweh existing? Jesus existing? Pink unicorns existing?

I really hate convoluted indirect dodges in regards to one's ultimate conclusions or starting points.

If you are a theist it goes like this.

My god exists=argument here=therefor my god exists.

Or

A god exists(generic possibility)=argument here=therefor this generic god exists

Or

God cannot exist=argument here=therefor there is no possibility of a god existing.

So please state your intent and position FIRST before making your arguments.

This is all coming across as a dodge to whatever real intent you are hiding behind. Maybe I am missing something, but I have no clue where all this is supposed to end up as far as where you stand. 

Al G. Funguy is trying to show that scientism is foolish.

 

No really? REALLY? Another person trying to make science a religion? So I was understanding all this for the dodge it was?

"Science is a religion" so "therefor my god exists".

I smell this coming a mile away. Whenever an OP starts off by saying "we don't know everything" or "this part of science is wrong", you know well where they are leading.

"Poof" "My god exists".

They hate it when I won't let them get away with hiding their real intent and final goal..

 

 

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Brian37 wrote:

Philosophicus wrote:

Al G. Funguy is trying to show that scientism is foolish.

No really? REALLY? Another person trying to make science a religion? So I was understanding all this for the dodge it was?

"Science is a religion" so "therefor my god exists".

I smell this coming a mile away. Whenever an OP starts off by saying "we don't know everything" or "this part of science is wrong", you know well where they are leading.

"Poof" "My god exists".

They hate it when I won't let them get away with hiding their real intent and final goal.. 

If I remember correctly, he's a polytheist.  This is the guy who said he thinks he's living in a computer simulation.   

 


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Philosophicus wrote:Brian37

Philosophicus wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Philosophicus wrote:

Al G. Funguy is trying to show that scientism is foolish.

No really? REALLY? Another person trying to make science a religion? So I was understanding all this for the dodge it was?

"Science is a religion" so "therefor my god exists".

I smell this coming a mile away. Whenever an OP starts off by saying "we don't know everything" or "this part of science is wrong", you know well where they are leading.

"Poof" "My god exists".

They hate it when I won't let them get away with hiding their real intent and final goal.. 

If I remember correctly, he's a polytheist.  This is the guy who said he thinks he's living in a computer simulation.   

 

There are different types of nuts. Peanuts, wallnuts, and just plain nuts, but nuts are nuts.

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Brian37 wrote:"Science is a

Brian37 wrote:

"Science is a religion" so "therefor my god exists".

I smell this coming a mile away. Whenever an OP starts off by saying "we don't know everything" or "this part of science is wrong", you know well where they are leading.

"Poof" "My god exists".

They hate it when I won't let them get away with hiding their real intent and final goal..

Dang. I guess you found me out. I ostensibly came here for an intelligent discussion on epistemology, but secretly I was trying to spread the word of the invisible Sky Daddy and his combustible shrubberies.

And I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling kids.

Congratulations. You win.

Brian37 wrote:

There are different types of nuts. Peanuts, wallnuts, and just plain nuts, but nuts are nuts.

Actually a peanut is a legume. I'm not sure what a "wallnut" is.

Brian37 wrote:
"this part of science is wrong"

Questioning science or scientists is wrong. Peer review is the greatest sin.

Philosophicus wrote:
If I remember correctly, he's a polytheist. This is the guy who said he thinks he's living in a computer simulation.

I discussed it, but do not believe in it. And I'm not sure that's theism anyway. No one in the Matrix worships the pasty-faced Architect.

 


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Al G. Funguy wrote:Brian37

Al G. Funguy wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

"Science is a religion" so "therefor my god exists".

I smell this coming a mile away. Whenever an OP starts off by saying "we don't know everything" or "this part of science is wrong", you know well where they are leading.

"Poof" "My god exists".

They hate it when I won't let them get away with hiding their real intent and final goal..

Dang. I guess you found me out. I ostensibly came here for an intelligent discussion on epistemology, but secretly I was trying to spread the word of the invisible Sky Daddy and his combustible shrubberies.

And I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling kids.

Congratulations. You win.

Brian37 wrote:

There are different types of nuts. Peanuts, wallnuts, and just plain nuts, but nuts are nuts.

Actually a peanut is a legume. I'm not sure what a "wallnut" is.

Brian37 wrote:
"this part of science is wrong"

Questioning science or scientists is wrong. Peer review is the greatest sin.

Philosophicus wrote:
If I remember correctly, he's a polytheist. This is the guy who said he thinks he's living in a computer simulation.

I discussed it, but do not believe in it. And I'm not sure that's theism anyway. No one in the Matrix worships the pasty-faced Architect.

 

Someone getting pissy because I didn't waste time in calling them out?

"God" or "simulation" both smack of credulity making love to Cool Aid producing the love child of crap they are.

And no, peer review keeps both God, Klingons, and Ouija Boards from lagit classrooms. So peer review is not a "sin", it is mandatory for those seeking the truth beyond personal bias.

Questioning science is MANDATORY so that it self corrects. Woo, be it religious woo, or si fi woo, only depends on marketing, not testing.

 

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Brian37 wrote:"God" or

Brian37 wrote:

"God" or "simulation" both smack of credulity making love to Cool Aid producing the love child of crap they are.

Your logical argumentation sounds convincing. Maybe you should be the Oxford philosopher instead of Nick Bostrom.

BTW, I love how you hide little spelling errors as a challenge to entertain your readers. It's "Kool-Aid", not "Cool Aid".

Brian37 wrote:
Questioning science is MANDATORY

Why would you want to question science? Now you are the one sounding like a theist!

 


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Al G. Funguy wrote:Brian37

Al G. Funguy wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

"God" or "simulation" both smack of credulity making love to Cool Aid producing the love child of crap they are.

Your logical argumentation sounds convincing. Maybe you should be the Oxford philosopher instead of Nick Bostrom.

BTW, I love how you hide little spelling errors as a challenge to entertain your readers. It's "Kool-Aid", not "Cool Aid".

Brian37 wrote:
Questioning science is MANDATORY

Why would you want to question science? Now you are the one sounding like a theist!

 

So if I misspell "Crap" and say "Krap" then that means Tribbles are real and Big Foot is real?

I also transpose "their" with "there", so does that mean the Loc Ness Monster is real?

And of course we should question science, anything less is science fiction . Science that is proven doesn't demand faith or taboos, it demands scrutiny and thrashing. Science is why both you and I are typing on computers and not stuck on smoke signals.

What you have been peddling is what cable companies market to sell cheap Chinese crap to reality show fans. You might as well be a guest on Dr Phil with John Edward and Silvia Brown.

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Brian37 wrote:I also

Brian37 wrote:
I also transpose "their" with "there", so does that mean the Loc Ness Monster is real?

No, but the Loch Ness Monster might be.

With all due respect, I don't think rabidly accusing all and sundry of theism is a good strategy for helping atheism. You remind me of the Witchsmeller Pursuivant http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witchsmeller_Pursuivant


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Al G. Funguy wrote:Brian37

Al G. Funguy wrote:

Brian37 wrote:
I also transpose "their" with "there", so does that mean the Loc Ness Monster is real?

No, but the Loch Ness Monster might be.

With all due respect, I don't think rabidly accusing all and sundry of theism is a good strategy for helping atheism. You remind me of the Witchsmeller Pursuivant http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witchsmeller_Pursuivant

You came in here with an OP which is as flaky as any theist tripe posted here. And your best argument is to pick on my spelling?

Then you should have a problem with Furry too, she spells "God" "G-d".

Not that it matters that invisible friends don't exist. As long as we buy into your X-Box Matrix claptrap blindly like any other theist expects we should all piss ice cream and shit peaches.

Sorry. Crap is crap. Now if you want to convince me that you sell Porta Potties, that I might have an easier time buying,

 

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Al G. Funguy wrote:Brian37

Al G. Funguy wrote:

Brian37 wrote:
I also transpose "their" with "there", so does that mean the Loc Ness Monster is real?

No, but the Loch Ness Monster might be.

With all due respect, I don't think rabidly accusing all and sundry of theism is a good strategy for helping atheism. You remind me of the Witchsmeller Pursuivant http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witchsmeller_Pursuivant

You came in here with an OP which is as flaky as any theist tripe posted here. And your best argument is to pick on my spelling?

Then you should have a problem with Furry too, she spells "God" "G-d".

Not that it matters that invisible friends don't exist. As long as we buy into your X-Box Matrix claptrap blindly like any other theist expects we should all piss ice cream and shit peaches.

Sorry. Crap is crap. Now if you want to convince me that you sell Porta Potties, that I might have an easier time buying,

 

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Al G. Funguy wrote:Ktulu

Al G. Funguy wrote:

Ktulu wrote:
This doesn't make it a science in any way, shape or form.  It is much like playing poker, you use mathematics to calculate odds.  This doesn't fit any definition of scientific method that I know of.  

Poker odds are true knowledge deduced from mathematics and they are empirically verifiable. I'm not sure what's bothering you here. Is it just the fact that this is a mere application of science (i.e. that of mathematics)?

Is it statistics that bothers you? I would say anything that proves to predict reality correctly with 50.1% accuracy, but is wrong 49.9% of the time, has some predictive power and it might be an acceptable kind of science. It would be revolutionary if parapsychology produced a controlled experiment where someone has clarivoyant powers 50.1% of the time in "seeing" the results of remote coin tosses.

In any case, the praxeology (science of human action) of Austrian Economics is unlike what you are describing. It is axiomatic and deductive, similar to mathematics:

"Praxeology rests on the fundamental axiom that individual human beings act, that is, on the primordial fact that individuals engage in conscious actions toward chosen goals. This concept of action contrasts to purely reflexive, or knee-jerk, behavior, which is not directed toward goals. The praxeological method spins out by verbal deduction the logical implications of that primordial fact. In short, praxeological economics is the structure of logical implications of the fact that individuals act. This structure is built on the fundamental axiom of action, and has a few subsidiary axioms, such as that individuals vary and that human beings regard leisure as a valuable good. Any skeptic about deducing from such a simple base an entire system of economics, I refer to Mises's Human Action. " - http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard38.html

 

I admit I may have had a bit too much wine for that post, but I wonder why that is the only point out of the post you chose to respond to? 

At this point I fail to see any focus in this post, it seems as though you are throwing random ideas at the same issue, namely scientific method.  The OP gave me a theistic vibe, in retrospect I see that was not your intent, but as the discussion progressed it actually seemed as though it had potential.  

I'm not so sure anymore, your initial attempt at classifying epistemological process as "scientific method" or other was a little vague.  I would classify it as a false dichotomy except for fact that you have yet to identify this other.  As things progressed the focus shifted to defining scientific method, and then it sort of got lost. 

So, if you want to discuss epistemology I would gladly oblige and we can start over, perhaps build from the ground up and then arrive at a consensus regarding scientific method.  Let me know what you think, btw I share your opinion regarding approach to atheism. Smiling some people are a bit rougher then others.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


Ktulu
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Al G. Funguy wrote: Ktulu

duplicate


Vastet
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Al G. Funguy wrote:Compute

Al G. Funguy wrote:
Compute the value of exp(exp(exp(exp(100)))) and get back to us. I'll even let you use scientific notation. It will take more particles than there are in the universe to write the answer.

Do you like going into debates and failing to accomplish anything? Because that's what you're doing now.

Again, since you apparently missed it, how are we incapable of testing large numbers?

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Al G. Funguy
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>Again, since you apparently

>Again, since you apparently missed it, how are we incapable of testing large numbers?

Well, you are incapable. That's why you ignored my request to compute exp(exp(exp(exp(100)))). Did you even the read the article on ultrafinitism that I linked to?

>Do you like going into debates and failing to accomplish anything?

I like debating with participants who contribute to the discussion - not those who strive to decrease the signal-to-noise ratio.


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 What a thread! What began

 What a thread! What began as a discussion of rationalism verses empiricism turned into theist witch hunt. Being new to this forum, I must ask, is this how discussions are usually conducted?

I went down to the Piraeus yesterday...