The Religion of Scientific Game Announcements


  • mod

    @xaade said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    I always wanted to make a bumper sticker that read:

    This bumper sticker will change your opinion on religionpolitical party, social justice... recycling........ kittens … …science.

    But I'm too lazy and also the print would be too small.

    I don't get why people think that the things religious people do, are unique.

    I just had to add that last one. [1], [2], [3]



  • But science doesn't require proof.

    It only requires that it isn't disproven and that it correlates to observation.

    Anyone who actually believes in theories, is doing just that, believing.

    Science considers predicting to be the ultimate form of Truth. So a theory like relativity that predicts the results of a black hole, must be true.

    But the problem is that older concepts predicted to a certain degree of accuracy as well.


  • sockdevs

    @abarker said:

    [1], [2], [3]

    While there may be a couple of good points among those, 80+% is just bullcrap.

    Science isn't a religion for three reasons:

    1. It's verifiable
    2. It's not afraid to be wrong
    3. The default position is 'We just don't know'

    @xaade said:

    But science doesn't require proof.

    TDEMSYR
    @xaade said:
    It only requires that it isn't disproven and that it correlates to observation.

    So, proof.
    @xaade said:
    Anyone who actually believes in theories, is doing just that, believing.

    A theory by definition is something that has been shown to be true.
    @xaade said:
    But the problem is that older concepts predicted to a certain degree of accuracy as well.

    That's not a problem. In fact, it's one of the best things about science: you use the simplest thing that is correct for your situation.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    TDEMSYR

    Again, it depends on how you define TRUTH and PROOF.

    It doesn't require being 100% accurate,

    Wikidpedia

    scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory capability.

    That's the definition of TRUE according to science.

    Which means it doesn't actually require being TRUE, but being accurate at predicting. The results that correlate doesn't make it TRUE, but only accurate.

    @RaceProUK said:

    A theory by definition is something that has been shown to be true.

    No, it's shown to be accurate at prediction, and also be a rational and possible explanation.

    @RaceProUK said:

    That's not a problem. In fact, it's one of the best things about science: you use the simplest thing that is correct for your situation.

    Unless the simpler and more complex theories are not compatible and disagree.

    It's going to be interesting to see when they create a universal theory. Because I find it hard to imagine that the current theories on cosmic and particle levels are going to agree with the universal one.

    Because, if you insist that it's ok that these two theories are accurate and yet possibly contradictory, then you'll have to accept that some people are going to look at that and say, that's not TRUTH.



  • GAME ANNOUNCEMENTS! <poooooo>



  • @boomzilla jeff it then.


  • sockdevs

    @xaade said:

    Unless the simpler and more complex theories are not compatible and disagree.

    Then one of them is not a theory.
    @xaade said:
    It's going to be interesting to see when they create a universal theory. Because I find it hard to imagine that the current theories on cosmic and particle levels are going to agree with the universal one.

    At which point the old theories will be dropped and new ones will take their place.

    That's how science works.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    At which point the old theories will be dropped and new ones will take their place.

    That's how science works.

    But then it's more like a approximation function. That's not TRUTH.


  • sockdevs

    Then you have a seriously fucked definition of truth


  • mod

    @xaade said:

    It only requires that it isn't disproven and that it correlates to observation.

    Bloodletting was considered good science at one time, despite the verifiable observation that most people who were subjected to bloodletting actually got worse.

    You were saying?



  • @RaceProUK said:

    It's verifiable

    This point is actually not a good one. Some things are verifiable, but for the most part natural philosophy moved to purely trying to disprove things a long time ago, because that gets you stuck in less corners.

    @RaceProUK said:

    A theory by definition is something that has been shown to be true.

    Shown to be true != not yet disproved, where the second is what theories actually are. We have string theory, general relativity, and a mess of quantum theories, but since we don't know how gravity works, we don't know which one is what's really going on, or if several are.

    Verifiability is obviously the wrong way to go about things, since we can't prove that anything exists outside our own minds.

    If fuzzily true is true for you (as if a furry could think anything else) then that's good enough I guess?



  • Ok, thought experiment.

    Let's say our current atomic model is the pudding model, that we never found out about protons and neutrons being in the nucleus, and electrons not being in the nucleus.

    Let's say that the reality is exactly what we are not aware of, as above, with a nucleus and so on.

    If TRUTH is simply defined by accurate approximations of reality, then which model is true?

    The model we know, or the model we are not aware of?

    Are they both TRUE? Because they contradict, that's a paradox.


    Therefore, science requires a level of faith, in the theories. If you are believing them to be true.


    If you say, science is not concerned with TRUTH, and only with accurately approximate predictions based on correlation with observation, then I'd agree with you. This seems to be the most rational line of thought. That science is not trying to describe TRUTH, but trying to approximately predict it.

    But that doesn't line up with what I've experienced from people that religiously follow science and assert that science is TRUTH.



  • The problem is that I'm conversing with people who do not believe in a TRUTH, but insist they do


  • mod

    @xaade said:

    But that doesn't line up with what I've experienced from people that religiously follow science and assert that science is TRUTH.

    This is the jist of the articles/blogs I linked. Science has become a religion because – for many – it is no longer about improving our understanding; It is ultimate TRUTH and shall not be questioned. That is a bad place for science to go.


  • sockdevs

    @Magus said:

    If fuzzily true is true for you (as if a furry could think anything else) then that's good enough I guess?

    I assume that was meant to be humour :stuck_out_tongue:

    Anyway, since Gödel showed maths (the language of science) will never be able to answer every question, there will always be an element of fuzziness. So yes, that's good enough for me ;)


    @xaade said:

    Are they both TRUE? Because they contradict, that's a paradox.

    Yes, they are true, to different extents. And there is no paradox; the plum pudding model works in many circumstances just as well as the current model. And where plum pudding fails, the current model takes over.

    @xaade said:

    If you say, science is not concerned with TRUTH, and only with accurately approximate predictions based on correlation with observation, then I'd agree with you. This seems to be the most rational line of thought. That science is not trying to describe TRUTH, but trying to approximately predict it.

    And now we get to what you mean by truth, which is absolute truth; I don't subscribe to that, for the reason outlined above ;)



  • @RaceProUK said:

    I assume that was meant to be humour

    I shall ever endeavor not to pass up such perfect opportunities.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    which is absolute trut

    How do you envision a consistent reality?


  • sockdevs

    I use my senses and interpret what they sense



  • @RaceProUK said:

    Science isn't a religion for three reasons:

    That's stupid. Science (that S is capital not just because it's the beginning of the sentence) is a religion to a lot of people. They don't understand it and they are hostile to lots of branches of knowledge and are far more certain than the scientific method should allow.


  • sockdevs

    And I was talking about science, not Science



  • Well, stop changing the subject then.

    ObMaddox: http://thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=youre_not_a_nerd

    You're not a nerd, geeks aren't sexy
    and you don't "fucking love" science.


  • sockdevs

    I didn't change any fucking subject



  • But you just said that you were talking about science when @abarker was talking about Science. In which post did you lie?

    :trolleybus:


  • sockdevs

    Anything else you want to fabricate?



  • The point is that science can be a religion for a great deal of people. Especially people that want to use it to limit other ideas.

    I've been told even so much that a parent should not be allowed to inform a kid of which religion the parent follows, that this is abuse.

    Some people are offended by the existence of other ideas, and these people have no business controlling what science means.



  • @boomzilla said:

    ObMaddox: http://thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=youre_not_a_nerd

    Wow, that person is really high-strung. Why do they spend so much time on Facebook if they dislike it so much?

    Being a nerd is a byproduct of losing yourself in what you do, often at the expense of friends, family and hygiene. Until or unless you've paid your dues, you haven't earned the right—or reason—to call yourself a nerd.
    Hahaha, great read though.

    Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I wouldn't say science has become a religion. I would say there are a lot of people that have trouble grasping nuance (or don't care to, like reporters), and want to believe we know things to a higher degree of certainty than anyone can honestly give them. But the people doing actual science don't generally fall in that category.

    Unfortunately, I don't see that there's much that can be done about it. Some people want to believe things, and some people are ready to take advantage of that. The only people that see it as a problem are the people that are not treating science as a religion in the first place. The people that do won't listen because science is just how they rationalize their own biases, and the people that stand to gain from it won't listen because they're happy taking advantage.

    It's like telling the people that are mindful about picking up after themselves not to litter. No matter how much you tell them, you won't lower the amount of litter because they're not causing it.

    Also, differentiating a subject by capitalization (ie. science vs Science) is ridiculous. Please use actual words to describe your meaning.


  • sockdevs

    @Kian said:

    Why do they spend so much time on Facebook if they dislike it so much?

    Ask Blakey why he keeps using Discourse despite wanting to see it crash and burn because Jeff was a bit mean that one time* ;)

    *Disclaimer: I actually have no idea why he hates Atwood



  • @RaceProUK said:

    Ask Blakey why he keeps using Discourse despite wanting to see it crash and burn because Jeff was a bit mean that one time*

    I thought he has been pretty outspoken about it already. He didn't seek out Discourse, Discourse came into his house and decided to redecorate the living room. Facebook has always been terrible. Going to a terrible place and complaining about how terrible the people there are is kind of dumb. The people want to be terrible, that's why they are in Facebook in the first place.


  • sockdevs

    @Kian said:

    He didn't seek out Discourse, Discourse came into his house and decided to redecorate the living room

    No-one here sought out Discourse. Well, except @apapadimoulis, who pays for the server and stuff. Which of course makes it his house. And if he wants to redecorate, then that's his choice. The rest of us can bitch and moan, but we're merely guests on someone else's turf.

    Besides, Blakey has the old forum on his own EC2; he could, at any time, reopen it and use that instead. He won't, because it's a stupid idea; the possibility is there though.



  • At the risk of putting words in Blakey's mouth (and he's welcome to correct me if they don't fit), I think one of his biggest gripes (it was certainly a complaint by some users, and I think Blakey was among them) is that Alex asked for feedback on Discourse before rolling it out. The feedback was generally, it has some nice features, but also some terrible ones (specifically, infiniscroll); unless we can override the terrible ones, Do Not Want! Alex disregarded that feedback and drank the Discourse Kool-Aid® anyway. As the forum owner, that's Alex's prerogative, but it's understandable that people were upset by it.



  • There's also the fact that his complaints about Discourse are objectively right :trolleybus:

    The rant in that link complained that a chart that mapped rocky planets, gas planets and dwarf planets counted dwarf planets as "planets" so that 8 or 13 were possible counts of planets. It makes sense objecting if the classification isn't specified, but grouping something called "xxx planet" ( :giggity: ) as a planet isn't rant-worthy.


  • sockdevs

    At no point have I said anything about whether complaints are valid or not



  • And at no point did I say you had said anything about the validity of complaints. Simply answering the question: I don't ask Blakey because his reasons for complaining are well documented. They're also valid. That's unrelated to the question you asked, but I thought it was worth pointing out as a further distinction from the other rant I was talking about.

    In any case, the original question is rhetoric in nature: Rants are cathartic, even when they're pointless. It was simply a literary device to point out the pointless nature of the rant in question. I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition.



  • @xaade said:

    But science doesn't require proof.

    It only requires that it isn't disproven and that it correlates to observation.

    You should read up on "falsifiability". The problem is that we live in a universe where the rules are unknown to humans -- perhaps unknowable to humans.

    So we make theories. It is true those theories are never really proven; but if they are falsified, they are dead in that form. By this means we have developed theories that give us tremendous ability to predict the behavior of the universe, even without knowing the actual rules.

    Those who do not see the difference between religion and science, don't see the enormous heap of falsified theories upon which science currently stands. Religion, on the other hand, falsifies nothing: it is true therefore it is true; it must be accepted on faith. I don't discredit the faith or the religion, merely point out how science and religion differ.

    Now you're correct that older concepts predicted things to a great degree of accuracy, but they were discredited by greater accuracy. That doesn't mean they were dumb or are dead forever, just that they have been falsified. The best example I've seen is of the curved Earth -- long ago, it was thought to be flat instead of round, but that has been falsified. It is definitely round.

    Yet almost nothing ordinary humans do takes that into account: You don't account for it when driving your car, building your house, building a fence, taking family pictures, or growing your garden. For those purposes, a working assumption of "flat" is good enough; but flat is still falsified.

    @boomzilla said:

    That's stupid. Science (that S is capital not just because it's the beginning of the sentence) is a religion to a lot of people. They don't understand it and they are hostile to lots of branches of knowledge and are far more certain than the scientific method should allow.

    That is true, and very unfortunate, particularly when the "lot of people" includes those who are supposed to be scientists. But it is actually unfortunate at all levels, since it leads people to weigh evidence equally that should not be weighed the same: On one side of the scale, we have tens of thousands of scientists who have worked diligently (in most cases for pittances of public money) to determine the truth on a subject of great concern; on the other we have a handful of scientists who do no research, no falsification, no testing, no investigation, but yet maintain all of the other tens of thousands are wrong. It's sad to see people weigh them equally because the money of vested interests gives the latter a loudspeaker far out of proportion to their value.


  • sockdevs

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    falsifiability

    That's the word I should have used!



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    You don't account for it when driving your car, building your house, building a fence, taking family pictures, or growing your garden. For those purposes, a working assumption of "flat" is good enough;

    I don't know where you live, but around here a working assumption of "flat" is not good enough for any of those, except maybe taking family pictures. Ok, the deviation from "flat" is much more due to hills than spheroidal Earth, but nobody assumes anything is flat.



  • He lives in Houston.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    It is true those theories are never really proven; but if they are falsified, they are dead in that form. By this means we have developed theories that give us tremendous ability to predict the behavior of the universe, even without knowing the actual rules.

    Please don't misunderstand that I'm throwing away the value, or underestimating the accuracy to which we can predict, due to the value of our scientific understanding of the universe.

    Trust me, I :headdesk: because of religious people, far more than because of secular people.

    @CoyneTheDup said:

    That is true, and very unfortunate

    These are the people that I'm talking about.

    It is very easy to become arrogant due to the level of knowledge we have.

    But you also have to understand that the majority of people who defend Science and belittle religion, cannot see that they merely have a different religion. They cannot see that they didn't come up with the theories, and have very little understanding of both scientific theory and religion, and therefore do not deserve their soapbox.

    I am not saying that all scientists treat their knowledge as a religion. But a good majority of people who hate religion, do treat their understanding of science as a religion. And the irony is not wasted on me.

    That is all.


  • mod

    @xaade said:

    I am not saying that all scientists treat their knowledge as a religion. But a good majority of people who hate religion, do treat their understanding of science as a religion.

    Exactly the point I was trying to convey at the start. Have a like.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    A theory by definition is something that has been shown to be true

    Errrr........no.

    It could be said of a fact that it was a theory for which a proof could be reliably demonstrated.

    Theory = could / should
    Fact = does / will



  • Science is a System whereby reasons are found. By postulating a theory, devising an experiment to prove or disprove said theory. There used to be a time when scientist done this by reading all previous opinions, and then deciding which was correct. A system that worked perfectly until some idiot said "...Ok, let's actually find out what happens to water if you heat it...."

    Religion is a System whereby you accept as an absolute truth whatever crap theory is offered. Quite often made worse by the Offerer promising Hell and Damnation if you didn't. Which is quite ironic really.



  • Scientology - thought I'd just chuck that in from the left field



  • @RaceProUK said:

    So, proof.

    No, reliability is a better term.

    You have to show that you can reliably expect an outcome given input.

    In mathematics you actually prove the outcome to be true.

    Mathematics is abstract, science is not.

    Therefore there always exists the possibility that there is some value of input that can have a different outcome than your expectations based on your hypothesis/theory.

    But in math you've abstracted out all other possibilities by having a fixed set of variables. Then you just prove 1, 1 -> 2, and n + 1.

    Scientific law is a little different in that it abstracts out these other possibilities by giving you a limited range of input. Under these conditions. Like Newton's laws. Under certain conditions they effectively work. And these laws are directly based on observations. So, laws are closer to math. Law predictions are always based on direct observations.

    Theory predictions don't have to be completely formed of direct observations. See theory of relativity, which predicted the existence of black holes, but could not be tested until much later. There has to be enough correlation of existing observations to form a theory. Which means that you have to have a correlation. And law uses correlation to predict outcome. But theory answers the question of 'why' and law does not. 'Why' does this correlation exist? Because X. Well if that correlation exists under these circumstances, then we can reliably predict it will exist under these other circumstances. But law limits the set of circumstances such that the prediction is abstract. So Newton's law is still usable, even though it doesn't hold in particle or celestial level, because those possibilities are outside its scope.

    The problem with defining these words, is that not everyone agrees on their definitions. My definitions are based on the common denominator of several sources.

    So there is no truth in science. There is only the reliability of the predictions of outcomes. And whether you limit the set of possibilities under a scientific law, or make a set of hypothesis a theory and propose that you can predict things you have not directly observed using theory, either case is an approximation of reality, and not truth.

    In truth, reality can have strange and undiscoverable 'reasons' for its outcomes, such that science is completely wrong. Yet, science is still practical for its accurate approximation of reality.



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    Those who do not see the difference between religion and science, don't see the enormous heap of falsified theories upon which science currently stands.

    That's true for the practical application of science.

    But that doesn't explain the behavior of people that hold to science as the ultimate truth for explaining the universe. At which point it becomes a religion for that person, and that person alone.

    It becomes a substitute for religion, a role it does not actually perform.


    So, I think we're disagreeing because you are arguing for it's practical application.

    And I am arguing about the behavior of people that put their faith in it as a truth of reality.


    Faith and science are not mutually exclusive.

    Because faith is trying to explain things we cannot falsify, like WHY we exist. Not what brought us about existing, but whether or not there is a reason for us to exist.

    Two completely different forms of 'why'.


    Both have their uses.

    Science allows us to practically predict based on correlation, and have an understand that allows us to explore and perform in the universe. In other words, it becomes a multiplying force to enhance our mental productivity.

    Faith allows us to put aside the questions of the reason for our existence, so we can have mental room to explore and perform in the universe. In other words, give us the mental peace to handle difficulties and move forward.


    Some people have tried to replace faith with more science, and produced theories that really serve no practical purpose in either helping our mental productivity, or reducing barriers to our mental peace and clarity.

    Those people that see faith in opposition to science, have merely developed another form of faith.


  • BINNED

    @xaade said:

    I because of religious people, far more than because of secular people.

    You can be religious and secular. Secularism is about freedom of, and from, religion i.e. people being able to practice any or no faith with on one system having a special place above the others. At least in theory


  • BINNED

    ITT: People confusing theories with hypotheses



  • I kid you not. There's a .edu saying that hypothesis are not guesses based on existing observations.

    Hypotheses are proposed explanations for a fairly narrow set of phenomena. These reasoned explanations are not guesses — of the wild or educated variety. When scientists formulate new hypotheses, they are usually based on prior experience, scientific background knowledge, preliminary observations, and logic. For example, scientists observed that alpine butterflies exhibit characteristics intermediate between two species that live at lower elevations. Based on these observations and their understanding of speciation, the scientists hypothesized that this species of alpine butterfly evolved as the result of hybridization between the two other species living at lower elevations.

    Um, that makes it a guess. It's not anything more until you have tested the correlation.

    It could be that the "hybrid" is actually an ancestor.


  • :belt_onion:

    @xaade said:

    Um, that makes it a guess. It's not anything more until you have tested the correlation.

    No, it's a proposed explanation. A hypothesis must be based on at least some existing data and must propose a way in which it can be tested. A hypothesis is a (part of) future theory, if it turns out to be true, if you will.

    A guess would be a conjecture:

    1. (formal) A statement or an idea which is unproven, but is thought to be true; a guess.
      I explained it, but it is pure conjecture whether he understood, or not.
    1. (formal) A supposition based upon incomplete evidence; a hypothesis.
      The physicist used his conjecture about subatomic particles to design an experiment.
    2. (mathematics, philology) A statement likely to be true based on available evidence, but which has not been formally proven.
    3. (obsolete) Interpretation of signs and omens.


  • ?

    @Onyx said:

    A guess would be a conjecture:

    @Onyx said:

    A supposition based upon incomplete evidence; a hypothesis.

    guess -> conjecture -> hypothesis

    Or did you typo?

    Because I call that an informed guess. Granted it also specifies a method of testing.



  • @loose said:

    fact

    I feel compelled to apologise in advance for any possible semantic wars that, seeing as they are so prevalent at the moment, may break out over the use of this word.

    The word I should have used was TRUTH. But seeing, in this context, TRUTH is an Absolute and has no equal or opposite; and for this Community truth is Boolean. Where Boolean is LAW and Scalar is CHAOS in a world where HEAVEN is Compiled and HELL Undefined (or FILE_NOT_FOUND). I did not want to cause an ambiguity that could cause an Overflow Condition that would Cascade into a Race Condition causing the brain to freeze / fry / explode / implode / convert itself into a single point singularity.......etc etc etc.


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