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Old 14-07-2003, 04:43 AM
Richard Alexander
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?

Al Klein wrote in message . ..

[snip]

The definition of "scientific" doesn't include "testable".


I think we should at least settle this question; Can an hypothesis,
theory, principle, claim or statement be scientific if it is not
testable?

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Old 14-07-2003, 05:02 AM
James Curts
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?


"Richard Alexander" wrote in message
om...
Al Klein wrote in message

. ..

[snip]

The definition of "scientific" doesn't include "testable".


I think we should at least settle this question; Can an hypothesis,
theory, principle, claim or statement be scientific if it is not
testable?


Rather speculative I would think as "scientific" only relates to exhibiting
the methods or principles of science. However, one definition of science
follows: 3 a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths
or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through
scientific method.

With the above evidence in mind I believe if someone expounded on a topic
relating to a conclusion that conclusion should be testable.

Hmmm, Yes.

James Curts


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Old 14-07-2003, 06:23 AM
Jeremy
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?

"Richard Alexander" wrote in message
om...

Uhg... Something scientific *must* be testable, by definition. Learn how to
do twelve seconds of googling. Take your ADD meds.




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Old 14-07-2003, 10:42 AM
JTEM
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?


"Richard Alexander" wrote

I think we should at least settle this question; Can
an hypothesis, theory, principle, claim or
statement be scientific if it is not testable?


It depends on how literal you are.

For example, we can determine the dimension of the sun
using certain scientific methods. We can test these
methods under controlled conditions here on earth, but
we can't fly out into space with a measuring tape and
"test" their accuracy against more...errr... "conventional"
means.






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Old 14-07-2003, 10:52 AM
Mike Dubbeld
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?


"Richard Alexander" wrote in message
om...
Al Klein wrote in message

. ..

[snip]

The definition of "scientific" doesn't include "testable".


I think we should at least settle this question; Can an hypothesis,
theory, principle, claim or statement be scientific if it is not
testable?


The Big Bang can't be re-created/duplicated but there are indirect ways
to test it. Many things don't fit anything except
statistics/probability. There you have to go by the weight of the
evidence. The notion of 'testable' is not a binary yes or no answer. It
may be testable with a certain percent confidence level or have a
certain correlation coefficient. On the other hand, you could plot
bubble gum sales as a function of meteors seen in the southern
hemisphere and might find a pretty good correlation...... This gets
into sample size etc fast. Testable to how many places past the decimal
point?

In something called Late-Post-Modern-Non-Classical-Foundationalism
(LPMNCF) a hypothesis or theory is innocent until proven guilty/is true
if there appears to be no evidence and until such time as it is found
not to be true.
Just about everything you know is based on this idea. Instead of a
scientific 'causal explanation' like F = MA with a 'Covering Law' LPMNCF
explanations are based on 'reasons explanations.' Science is the only
enterprise on the planet that is NOT required to provide reasons
explanations. All other knowledge is based on this. Smith is not found
guilty of murdering Jones by an equation. There may be circumstantial
evidence based on scientific knowledge like ballistics and fingerprints
that add up to weight of evidence one way or another but the jury is
going to want more than that in many cases - they want to know Smith's
motivation/reasons for killing Jones.

When you tell someone that is a chair, - if it half way looks like it
might be, chances are your idea will be accepted and the matter ended.
You do not need to say the photons bouncing off the chair formed an
image on the retina of my eye blah blah blah. LPMNCF is a response to
the failure of Logical Positivism as a be all end all. Most things do
not have scientific causal explanations. Things that make an event
historical for instance do so because they are one-time events. They can
not be empirically studied. You can not dress up a bunch of short guys
with 3-cornered hats that like to stick their hands in their vest and
conduct 'Battles of Waterloo.' Or the 2002 State of the Union address -
one time events. Does that make one-time events not possible to be
studied empirically? If you smoke a cigarette the smoke and ashes can
not be put back into tobacco and paper again. So while smoking similar
cigarettes is testable, repeated testing of a single cigarette is not.

LPMNCF is based on a pyramid structure. If a few blocks are defective
the whole pyramid does not fall down. But Classical Foundationalism (CF)
is based on Descartes ground up approach of a skyscraper. A skyscrapper
has a very strong foundation where a hundred floors may go straight up.
If anything is wrong on a lower floor the whole thing could come down -
much like if there was a theorem wrong in geometry - chances are your
whole basis of math is flawed/defective.

Test those ideas,,,,
Mike Dubbeld






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Old 14-07-2003, 02:02 PM
Joe Bugeja
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?

When Einstein raised relativity, it was not all immediately testable, that
came later.


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Old 14-07-2003, 03:23 PM
Gregory L. Hansen
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?

In article ,
Richard Alexander wrote:
Al Klein wrote in message
...

[snip]

The definition of "scientific" doesn't include "testable".


I think we should at least settle this question; Can an hypothesis,
theory, principle, claim or statement be scientific if it is not
testable?


It needn't be immediately testable with current technology and the
resources humans are willing to put into it. Those are just practical
considerations.

But, among other qualities, a theory must say something definite about
nature, must make concrete predictions of observables that will be either
right or wrong. Theory aids the understanding, but science is
fundamentally empirical.

--
"When fighting with sharpened Bronze, or harder Metals from the Heavens,
it is Wise to kick thy Opponent, be he a Chaldean or a man of Uruk, in his
Man Sack, that thou mayst defeat him more handily than by Arms. So sayeth
INNAMURUTUSHIMMILODEK, who hath slain threescore Ammelekites."
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Old 14-07-2003, 03:23 PM
Torsten Brinch
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?

On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 03:58:38 GMT, "James Curts"
wrote:


"Richard Alexander" wrote in message
. com...
Al Klein wrote in message

...

[snip]

The definition of "scientific" doesn't include "testable".


I think we should at least settle this question; Can an hypothesis,
theory, principle, claim or statement be scientific if it is not
testable?


Rather speculative I would think as "scientific" only relates to exhibiting
the methods or principles of science. However, one definition of science
follows: 3 a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths
or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through
scientific method.

With the above evidence in mind I believe if someone expounded on a topic
relating to a conclusion that conclusion should be testable.

Hmmm, Yes.


Indeed, looking at things along those lines, James, 'testable' would
seem to put the bar too low. I'd raise it to 'tested' :-). To be
sure, this would imply that a hypothesis is not in that sense of the
word scientific, a scientific statement.



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Old 14-07-2003, 04:02 PM
Uncle Al
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?

Richard Alexander wrote:

Al Klein wrote in message . ..

[snip]

The definition of "scientific" doesn't include "testable".


I think we should at least settle this question; Can an hypothesis,
theory, principle, claim or statement be scientific if it is not
testable?


1) Is M-theory testable? No.
2) Do high temp ceramic supercons have associated theory? No.

Is M-theory science? No, its current status is that of mathematics.
Science requires empirical constraint. Are high temp supercons
science? Sure! Science does not demand theoretical modeling.
Classical biology is the archetype of collected facts with no unifying
basis. DNA analysis eventually appeared. Biology did not change its
status as a science - but it did become predictive given a model.

MBA domination of funding carefully erected the hallucination that
research has a PERT chart and guaranteed results. 98% of that result
is journals bursting with Least Publishable Units and a flood of
second-rate MS and PhDs whose disciplines cannot absorb them.
Discovery cannot be managed, nor is it subject to statistical quality
control. The big discoveries are invariably made by undeserving
personal in wretched circumstances, by "accident." This then
justifies the MBA system. See? It works!

Bullshit. It is a disaster. Funding is funneled to safely
scientifically unproductive senior faculty who have eaten their
brains. They voluminously publish papers and disgorge second rate
degreed personnel. The statistics roll and MBAs get performance
bonuses. Young faculty starves because its ideas are "too risky" to
fund. Anybody can do a parameterized discounted cashflow/return on
investment sheaf of scenarios and prove beyond argument that young
faculty should not be funded at all - certainly not until they
establish themselves as being safely, acceptably productive.

Bottom line: Basic resarch should be abolished and its funding
redirected into higher-yielding investments. With no need for such
research, there is no need for its personnel and its infrastructure to
be maintained or created in the first place. Downsizing of science
with concomittant substantially increased oversight to optimize what
remains should be a national priority.

Uncle Al says, "The goal of Accounting is to value a corporation for
liquidiation; but corporations are not run to be liquidated."

--
Uncle Al
http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/
(Toxic URL! Unsafe for children and most mammals)
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" The Net!
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Old 14-07-2003, 04:02 PM
Oz
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?

Torsten Brinch writes

Indeed, looking at things along those lines, James, 'testable' would
seem to put the bar too low. I'd raise it to 'tested' :-).


The usual word is 'falsifiable'.
That is, you can devise an experiment to test it.
Preferably lots of them.

To be
sure, this would imply that a hypothesis is not in that sense of the
word scientific, a scientific statement.


A hypothesis is an untested scientific statement.
For some level of tested.

--
Oz
This post is worth absolutely nothing and is probably fallacious.
Note: soon (maybe already) only posts via despammed.com will be accepted.

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Old 14-07-2003, 04:02 PM
Oz
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?

Joe Bugeja writes

When Einstein raised relativity, it was not all immediately testable, that
came later.


1) It 'explained' quite a few puzzling experimental results.

2) There was no counter experiment that contradicted it.

At which point it was really a good hypothesis.

3) Various tests were devised that it explained very much better than
competing hypotheses.

When it slowly became a theory.

--
Oz
This post is worth absolutely nothing and is probably fallacious.
Note: soon (maybe already) only posts via despammed.com will be accepted.

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Old 14-07-2003, 04:59 PM
Albert Briggs
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?



Joe Bugeja wrote:
When Einstein raised relativity, it was not all immediately testable, that
came later.


It was always testABLE, just not testED. There is a difference.

If it were not at all testABLE, (like the theory that an invisible god
may exist, since there is nothing specified to search for), then it
could never have been testED. Please try to learn the difference, and
please show how you know that an invisible god may in reality exist (if
that is what you are driving at).


Here is how the theory that "ETs (not in evidence) may exist" is being
tested using the scientific method:



Null : of, being, or relating to zero
www.m-w.com
(as in, "There are no ETs.")


---
Testing the Null Hypothesis
by John Marcus, MD
email

http://www.setileague.org/editor/null.htm

SETI is perhaps the most highly interdisciplinary of sciences,
encompassing not only astronomy, biology, engineering and physics, but
also psychology, metaphysics, probability, and belief. But it is, first
and foremost, a science, one to which we hope to apply the scientific
method.

[...]

The Scientific Method for the Argus search is this:

There are no ET's. (null hypothesis).

.... [W]e now design an experiment (Project Argus, for example) to try to
prove that statement wrong, recognizing that it takes only one clear,
unambiguous counter-example to reject the null hypothesis. ...

---

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Old 14-07-2003, 05:13 PM
Mike Ruskai
 
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Default Do Theories Have to be Testable to be Scientific?

On 13 Jul 2003 20:43:01 -0700, Richard Alexander wrote:

Al Klein wrote in message . ..

[snip]

The definition of "scientific" doesn't include "testable".


I think we should at least settle this question; Can an hypothesis,
theory, principle, claim or statement be scientific if it is not
testable?


Depends on what you mean by "testable". For a theory to be scientific, it
must at least be falsifiable. Whether that's the same as "testable" or
not is mostly a matter of semantics.


--
- Mike

Remove 'spambegone.net' and reverse to send e-mail.




 
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