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Posted on August 24 at 3:38 p.m.
Tam Hunt: "What is a fact? "
Consider this example: People (astronauts) in space are subject to a greater level of radiation coming from the Sun, than people walking on the surface of the Earth (due to the shielding provided by Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere). It's not a feeling or opinion. It's a scientifically proven fact.
Tam Hunt: "What is a theory or a scientific law? Something that a lot of scientists feel has merit in explaining observed phenomena. But theories change all the time, and even laws change over time. It's all a moving process of judgment based on feelings and opinions. "
The process isn't based on feelings and opinions by any means. Scientific theories change in the face of new observations and evidence.
On Something from Nothing?
Posted on August 23 at 11:47 a.m.
"All human judgments are feelings and opinions - yes, all. "
No, not at all. Not in science. A scientist may for example find a flaw in a scientific study during a peer-review process, but such an observation isn't just a feeling or opinion. No one would stop a scientific paper from being published on the grounds of some fuzzy feeling of a reviewer. The reviewer has to explain where exactly the problem is, is it with data collection, improper use of statistics, etc
Posted on August 23 at 2:50 a.m.
TamHunt, you misunderstood my point. Scientists are human but scientific reasoning has basis in our current understanding of science, not our feelings or opinions.
Let me give you an example, if a philosopher has no deep knowledge of microwave background radiation, or the deep knowledge about the expansion of space he may only have feelings about whether the universe is static/eternal or has a beginning and end. It's the scientific knowledge obtained through scientific methods which gives scientific theories about the creation of the universe/planets/stars etc their value and catapults them way above a feeling or opinion of anybody else (in particular, that of a philosopher or religionist).
Posted on August 22 at 4:03 p.m.
"My main point was that there is no real dividing line between science and philosophy and that every scientist is implicitly a philosopher."
"My feeling is that it is more plausible that there has always been something, rather than a literal nothing, and our universe sprang in some manner from this eternal something."
I think that the dividing line between science and philosophy is that science isn't anybody's feeling. In other words, to construct a scientific argument, a feeling is not enough. Same for the apparent plausibility. The new theories in science are grounded in our current understanding of science (our ever-expanding body of knowledge about particles, fields, waves, etc), not our feelings or biased notions of plausibility. A person with deep understanding of physics, astronomy, evolution, biology, chemistry has an inherently far greater chance of pushing the boundary of our understanding of the world, than someone who lacks this knowledge. There are no shortcuts to the furtherance of our understanding of the world. Scientific inquiry is the only way...
Posted on August 22 at 3:04 p.m.
Many thanks for doing the interview with Prof. Krauss. Wish more scientists could not only communicate their scientific knowledge with the public so clearly and succinctly, but also show people what it means to reason scientifically.
As for the science vs spirituality (supernatural stuff) debate, let's be honest about it - humanity has come up with 10000 religions, a thousand gods, and countless myths seeking to explain the natural phenomena, but if it weren't for the advent of science (mathematics, algebra, physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, scientific method...) our understanding of the world would be non-existent.