StarCraft® II

Is there nothing science can't explain?

Posts: 1,737
Just food for thought. When a theory is developed does that mean science explained something or does it have to be a fact. I just want clarification I'm not arguing for anything here.

Theories are only possible not necessarily absolute.
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Posts: 12,350
01/27/2014 08:05 PMPosted by Luftwaffe
Just food for thought. When a theory is developed does that mean science explained something or does it have to be a fact. I just want clarification I'm not arguing for anything here.

Theories are only possible not necessarily absolute.


Just going to go through the basic rundown of scientific terminology here, hopefully to clears things up.

A law is a concise mathematical statement about a phenomenon. It describes how the phenomenon behaves.

An example would be the Ideal Gas Law; Pv=nRT

This describes a relationship between pressure, volume, the number of moles and the temperature, using the gas proportionality constant R.

Laws are not explanatory, but rather are descriptive.

A theory is a comprehensive explanation for a phenomenon which takes into account all the available evidence. Theories are only considered theories when they have a huge body of work behind them, and can only stay theories as long as there's no evidence to contradict them.

Theories are not, however, facts. They're models which are built in order to provide predictive capability.

The theory of something is independent from the fact of something. Using evolution as an example, as it's the classic one; there's the fact of evolution, which is that species change over time. Then there's the theory of evolution, which explains the methods by which this change occurs and allows for predictions to be made about this change.
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Posts: 1,737
01/28/2014 05:19 AMPosted by Hylozoist
01/27/2014 08:05 PMPosted by Luftwaffe
Just food for thought. When a theory is developed does that mean science explained something or does it have to be a fact. I just want clarification I'm not arguing for anything here.

Theories are only possible not necessarily absolute.


Just going to go through the basic rundown of scientific terminology here, hopefully to clears things up.

A law is a concise mathematical statement about a phenomenon. It describes how the phenomenon behaves.

An example would be the Ideal Gas Law; Pv=nRT

This describes a relationship between pressure, volume, the number of moles and the temperature, using the gas proportionality constant R.

Laws are not explanatory, but rather are descriptive.

A theory is a comprehensive explanation for a phenomenon which takes into account all the available evidence. Theories are only considered theories when they have a huge body of work behind them, and can only stay theories as long as there's no evidence to contradict them.

Theories are not, however, facts. They're models which are built in order to provide predictive capability.

The theory of something is independent from the fact of something. Using evolution as an example, as it's the classic one; there's the fact of evolution, which is that species change over time. Then there's the theory of evolution, which explains the methods by which this change occurs and allows for predictions to be made about this change.


Thanks for the clearup. Although there is one thing i wish to adress which is a tactic you like to use for things pertaining to things we dont know of such as the supernatural etc.

You seem to have this idea that if we cannot measure something in any way then we can automatically dismiss it as fictional.

Is this dismissal permanent or until we can (possiblY) find evidence of its existence?
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Posts: 12,350
01/29/2014 11:34 AMPosted by Luftwaffe
Thanks for the clearup. Although there is one thing i wish to adress which is a tactic you like to use for things pertaining to things we dont know of such as the supernatural etc.

You seem to have this idea that if we cannot measure something in any way then we can automatically dismiss it as fictional.

Is this dismissal permanent or until we can (possiblY) find evidence of its existence?


My approach to everything is conditional.

Things are assumed to be nonexistent until evidence of their existence is demonstrated. Once there's evidence, then they can be said to exist conditionally as long as that evidence remains valid.

Absent evidence, however, things are indistinguishable from not existing.
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Posts: 1,737
01/29/2014 02:34 PMPosted by Hylozoist
01/29/2014 11:34 AMPosted by Luftwaffe
Thanks for the clearup. Although there is one thing i wish to adress which is a tactic you like to use for things pertaining to things we dont know of such as the supernatural etc.

You seem to have this idea that if we cannot measure something in any way then we can automatically dismiss it as fictional.

Is this dismissal permanent or until we can (possiblY) find evidence of its existence?


My approach to everything is conditional.

Things are assumed to be nonexistent until evidence of their existence is demonstrated. Once there's evidence, then they can be said to exist conditionally as long as that evidence remains valid.

Absent evidence, however, things are indistinguishable from not existing.


I half agree on that I guess. I agree on the fact that I love empirical evidence that cannot be argued against but at the same time using that logic when the europeans didnt discover the americas it was basically non existent and we know that was wrong.

So I agree on the idea of the need for evidence but i disagree with the dismissing as fiction, I'd rather it be labelled simply "unknown" until then. That could just be an error in your wording and you didnt mean it but as it is right now I'd hope you relabel it as unknown.
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Posts: 12,350
01/29/2014 04:56 PMPosted by Luftwaffe
So I agree on the idea of the need for evidence but i disagree with the dismissing as fiction, I'd rather it be labelled simply "unknown" until then. That could just be an error in your wording and you didnt mean it but as it is right now I'd hope you relabel it as unknown.


I'm not suggesting dismissing it as fiction, but rather treating it as if it doesn't exist because it is indistinguishable from not existing.

I don't have evidence, for example, that states that leprechauns do not exist. I have no way to disprove their existence.

But due to the lack of evidence to support their existence, if they do exist it is indistinguishable from them not existing, so I'm happy enough to act as if they don't exist.
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