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  #26  
Old 12-04-2022, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

:dddp:

Or similar.
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  #27  
Old 12-04-2022, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

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People using those words with other definitions are rarely scientists in my experience
Oh my.

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On the other hand, I also got into an argument with my gen chem professor who said that theories grow up to become laws, so yeah, there isnít 100 percent consistency.
Indeed.
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Old 12-04-2022, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

The line between theory and law does get muddled. and sometimes a ""law of gravitational attraction" is used rather than the word theory.

Then later, when somebody breaks the law, they call it "the theory of general relativity", while still referring to the old theory as a "law", so one must consider the larger issues.

Also, there is no Supreme Court of science
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  #29  
Old 12-04-2022, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

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Sidetrack from the topic. A good sidetrack, but still, go start your own topic lol
IMO many online science discussions suffer from being between people who don't even have a clear common understanding of epistemology, let alone methodology.
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  #30  
Old 12-04-2022, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

Or even the scientific method
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  #31  
Old 12-04-2022, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

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I do disagree.
Maybe we should have a philosophy of science thread or two; unfortunately I don't really have the patience or inclination to hash through the details right now.

But here's one thing: IMO a theory-derived scientific hypothesis and a statistical hypothesis aren't really the same, yet they've been routinely conflated in scientific papers, at least in some fields.

e.g. "... deriving from theory A we predict the hypothesis that X > Y..." later followed by "... we reject the null hypothesis of X = Y with p < 0.01"

The word "hypothesis" just isn't referring to the same kind of thing in those two snippets. One is a statement about how things might actually be in the world, the other is a technical part of a particular statistical procedure.

We might be getting away from this type of published science now, but the inertia is massive.
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  #32  
Old 12-04-2022, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

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People using those words with other definitions are rarelyscientists in my experience
Oh my.

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On the other hand, I also got into an argument with my gen chem professor who said that theories grow up to become laws, so yeah, there isn’t 100 percent consistency.
Indeed.
It is pretty funny how you can misconstrue things by stripping out all context.

I included one of the few times that so can remember someone making a similar mistake in order to be honest and charitable.

I get why it would seem odd to such as you.
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  #33  
Old 12-04-2022, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

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The line between theory and law does get muddled. and sometimes a ""law of gravitational attraction" is used rather than the word theory.

Then later, when somebody breaks the law, they call it "the theory of general relativity", while still referring to the old theory as a "law", so one must consider the larger issues.

Also, there is no Supreme Court of science
Nope, this is just a common misconception often espoused by the ignorant and willfully ignorant.

The law of gravitational attraction is the relationship itself and it always hold true if itís a law.

Laws donít become theories if they are disproven.
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  #34  
Old 12-04-2022, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

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I do disagree.
Maybe we should have a philosophy of science thread or two; unfortunately I don't really have the patience or inclination to hash through the details right now.

But here's one thing: IMO a theory-derived scientific hypothesis and a statistical hypothesis aren't really the same, yet they've been routinely conflated in scientific papers, at least in some fields.

e.g. "... deriving from theory A we predict the hypothesis that X > Y..." later followed by "... we reject the null hypothesis of X = Y with p < 0.01"

The word "hypothesis" just isn't referring to the same kind of thing in those two snippets. One is a statement about how things might actually be in the world, the other is a technical part of a particular statistical procedure.

We might be getting away from this type of published science now, but the inertia is massive.
I think you are conflating a standard statistical method used in science (the statistical likelihood of the null hypothesis) with what a hypothesis actually is.

A thing and proof of a thing are different things :tmgrin:

P-hacking is a very real problem though which illustrates the problem with such conflation and suggests scientists are indeed de facto guilty of it.
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  #35  
Old 12-04-2022, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

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I think you are conflating a standard statistical method used in science (the statistical likelihood of the null hypothesis) with what a hypothesis actually is.
Isn't this just what I was saying?

Anyway, we should get rid of (or at least severely restrict and rename) null hypothesis significance testing, and not just because of p-hacking.
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  #36  
Old 12-05-2022, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

I tend to use 'law' when there's a succinct formula that expresses a relationship:

F = ma (one of Newton's laws. Force equals mass times acceleration).

Even when it's known to be not completely correct, but is still useful in restricted domains, I think it's okay to still call it a law. So although relativity superceded Newtonian theory, we can still talk about Newton's laws of motion.

Actually, the F = ma one, is still correct under relativity - it's just that m and a are no longer constants, as Newton believed.
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  #37  
Old 12-05-2022, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

The hardest part, in my opinion of course, is to understand that "it" is a scientific theory. A "scientific theory" is very different than "a theory", and with the nebulous and very hostile nature of science, understanding how and why and even when a scientific theory starts, how it grows (or dies), and then once it is "accepted". possibly mutates, grows some more, becomes established, then maybe maybe maybe get's killed by a better theory much much later in time.

Or a theory can be rejected, then come back from the dead, get killed again, then come back once more, then take over the world. I'm not joking about any of this, even when it sounds like it.

The examples from the past are abundant, and far safer to discuss than any current theory, especially one that might be experiencing the death throes and the thrashing about, damaging a lifetime career, crushing authorities beneath it, wrecking lives and causing chaos.

There are several fields where the "science" is not settled, and of course that's where the quiet but serious fights are going on. Sometimes quite noisy fighting, but everybody involved usually is civil about it, don't want the funding to dry up, or the donors to feel they may have made a serious mistake.
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  #38  
Old 12-05-2022, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

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First, do you agree there is no entry on Google or Wikipedia that explains the basic global warming theory?
I could agree to that.
In fact, you are the only human with whom I have ever interacted that I can recall ever uttering that particular phrase.
After seeing that post, my first act was to go to those places and search for " basic global warming theory"
Hence, my question.
I linked to sources that use "the basic global warming theory". Until I read them I never heard that particular phrase either.

And as you discovered, you can't Google it or find it explained on Wikipedia. This was even more true in 2010 when I first encountered the phrase.

Usually, in scientific matters, if you ask a researcher, or a scientists about what they are passionate about, perhaps their life's work in fact, you can't get them to shut up about it.

When you ask somebody a question, about something they wrote, and they refuse to answer, it means there is something seriously fucked up going on.

Either with them personally, or with what they wrote.
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  #39  
Old 12-06-2022, 03:13 AM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

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...
There are several fields where the "science" is not settled, and of course that's where the quiet but serious fights are going on. Sometimes quite noisy fighting, but everybody involved usually is civil about it, don't want the funding to dry up, or the donors to feel they may have made a serious mistake.
It's been my observation that Science is almost never "settled"

Sure, almost nobody ever takes issue with Newton, but you can usually find some paper arguing just about any of the Laws and Theories that have been worked up over the last couple of centuries.
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Old 12-06-2022, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

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It's been my observation that Science is almost never "settled"
Most hard science is settled. Physics, math, even nuclear physics, most of that kind of science is settled. Sure there will be MORE discoveries, more tech advances, but nobody is challenging or researching settled science. All the conflict is where it's definitely not "settled". Archaeology, Biology, medicine, astronomy, anthropology, climate, probably a few I left out.

I like to start a science topic and hammer punch people with the FACTS!


If you do use factual evidence, logic, reason, then the person you are arguing with will get this look of realization on their face and say, "Thank you, kind stranger, for helping me learn something new! And correcting my false view of you!

That has literally never happened in the history of human conversation.

Quote:
They keep fighting to defend their position even after it is factually shown to be untrue. But what's really weird is that process -- of sticking to your guns even after you've been proven definitively wrong -- is apparently the entire reason humans invented arguing.
Now that we have that out of the way, we can proceed with the science, but with nobody under the slightest illusion it will matter at all. Not even a single little tiny bit.

If we look at a "recent" theory, it might be educational, even insightful, maybe even fun. (that all depends on you of course)

Plate Tectonic Theory: A Brief History- Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology

History of plate tectonics

What's so fascinating to my humble self is that I lived through that shit.
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  #41  
Old 12-06-2022, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

You have already used this copypasta here before. :warning:
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  #42  
Old 12-27-2022, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: The importance of understanding a scientific theory

And I might do it again
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