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Thread: Scientific knowledge

  1. #316
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    This is moderately interesting.

    Aquinian, I fully admit that this is not something I think about very often, and I'm making it up as I go along. I am certainly not a student of medieval philosophy, and very likely there are obvious things I'll miss. I am, OTOH, reasonably well-acquainted with science and the physical world, and I'm unlikely to make too many gross mistakes in that area. The major reason I participate in these discussions is to learn something new and to understand better how other people think, and I honestly don't give a flying f*ck if I am 'applauded by the mob' or not.

    The longer this goes on, the more I become convinced that there's a fundamental mistake here, possibly based on language. All languages I'm familiar with convert many kinds of things that are not 'things' as such to nouns for convenience in speaking. Examples: motion, running, speed, strength, acceleration, tenacity, brightness . . . With only a little thought one could probably come up with hundreds, if not thousands more. All of them are very real, but none of them are actually 'things'. Some of them are actions, verbs converted to nouns, some are qualities, adjectives or adverbs converted to nouns. Motion is change in position over time, speed is the rate of change of position over time, acceleration is the rate of change of speed over time. Running is a process, an action. Tenacity is a description of behavior. Courage is a combination of behavior and and the mental states that produce this behavior, and cannot exist apart from a person acting in a certain way. All real enough, but none of them an immaterial thing separate from the physical world.


    About evolution: I don't see any point to involving religion at all. Unless one is a biblical literalist, there is absolutely no necessary connection between the truth or falsehood of evolution, and the truth or falsehood of any particular religion. Any God capable of creating a universe could certainly have life develop on this planet by means of ordinary natural processes, i.e. Darwinian evolution through natural selection. It's quite an elegant way to do things, in fact. From observing the world, one sees that the vast majority of the time things proceed according to orderly predictable physical law; 'miracles' (in the normal sense of a violation of natural law caused by supernatural action), whether they exist or not, are certainly uncommon. Any plausible religion does not tell God what to do, but observes what exists and works with it. And the well-established fact of evolution is neither evidence for or against any halfway-plausible religion (the sillier forms of fundamentalism aside). No conflict here.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 09-12-2017 at 09:36 AM.
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  2. #317
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    "Let's review our conclusions so far:
    1)god/gods do not exist regardless what we might believe.
    2)evolution does exist regardless what we might believe." [#339]

    I'd rephrase with more metaphysical modesty and precision:

    1) God or gods exist or do not exist regardless of human belief, unless of course god or gods exist only as expressions of human belief.
    2) Evolution is a scientific theory which, like all science, is subject to constant revision and refinement and like all thoughts and feelings only exists in the expressions from human minds.

    But not all expressions of human belief, human minds, work the same way. Scientific theories are corrigible, can be supported or disproven by experiment and controlled observation. Notions of god, whether those of theists or those of atheists, cannot be proven and, more importantly, are incorrigible and thus cannot be disproven.

  3. #318
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    How a sail generates lift is controversial among scientists? You aren't really saying that, are you?

    The simple fact is that I can EASILY write down the equations that govern air flow over a sail to generate lift. It's the Navier-Stokes equation with suitably (moderately complex) boundary conditions. The problem is that the turbulence, which is essential, is too complicated to yield analytical answers. Turbulent flow is ergodic at the very least. Therefore, engineers parameterize it and physicists simulate it numerically. I can simulate it in at least a dozen different ways. There is nothing controversial other than how best to optimize flow over changing conditions and how best to optimize sail shape which requires multiple simulations to test the parameterization. The only controversy is how best to win races and we all know how to settle that controversy.
    So, you too can measure, define relations, and use this childlike knowledge practically, but you can't say why sails generate lift. If you could, you would, and then I would point out that your theory is only one of the proffered explanations, which is the truth.

  4. #319
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    So, you too can measure, define relations, and use this childlike knowledge practically, but you can't say why sails generate lift. If you could, you would, and then I would point out that your theory is only one of the proffered explanations, which is the truth.
    You now deign to dispense truth? <much bowing down in abasement>

    Since you already know the outcome of your query, your OP really is all the contribution needed from you. But you ask why the sails generate lift: the sails don't generate lift. That's the job of the wind. The sails merely want to be blown.
    "... the door was ajar, and the game was afoot." Lawrence Block

  5. #320
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post

    why sails generate lift
    Somewhere around age six or seven most of us learn the difference between "why" and "how," and when it is appropriate to use one word rather than the other.

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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Anybody see the neat pictures I almost died trying to procure and post?

    Tastes great!
    Less filling!

    Peace,
    Robert

  7. #322
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    So, you too can measure, define relations, and use this childlike knowledge practically, but you can't say why sails generate lift. If you could, you would, and then I would point out that your theory is only one of the proffered explanations, which is the truth.
    The how is so complicated that you need powerful programmes running on computers to do the analysis
    Modern analysis employs fluid mechanics and aerodynamics airflow calculations for sail design and manufacture, using aeroelasticity models, which combine computational fluid dynamics and structural analysis.[8]
    so we do know how, but it would take months to teach you, if you were mentally up to the maths.

    After all if someone did not know how, they could not have written the programme code, now could they?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  8. #323
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    So, you too can measure, define relations, and use this childlike knowledge practically, but you can't say why sails generate lift. If you could, you would, and then I would point out that your theory is only one of the proffered explanations, which is the truth.
    I can't waste any more time on you.

  9. #324
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wright View Post
    Somewhere around age six or seven most of us learn the difference between "why" and "how," and when it is appropriate to use one word rather than the other.
    Why do sails generate lift?

    Because Almighty God tells them to!



    On the other hand, I understand how you gents are giving this benighted troll any air, but the why has me stumped.
    Rattling the teacups.

  10. #325
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Seriously, everyone go read the Vonnegut thread. He describes this to a TEE.

    Peace,
    Robert

  11. #326
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodot View Post
    That is what never ceases to be fascinating about Dunning-Kruger's, that there is nothing, NOTHING, that can be done to make the incurious realize that they are incurious. They just can't see that what they think is clever, isn't. Ideas that they think are exotic, pedestrian. Not even a facial tic of recognition flickers across their face. This post will be viewed as me showing anger, and dismissed.
    Maybe it's D-K, or maybe I just don't understand D-K! I think we live in a world where roughly half the population (at least of the US) has been encouraged to be stupid while being told they are brilliant. If you told me 40 years ago our country would go down this path I would have thought you nuts. I grew up during the space race when science and engineering were held as a lofty goal. Now we have nuts shooting at hurricanes and pundits putting the lives of their "true believers" at risk in the name of debunking what we worked a generation to build for the good of all society.

    I have to tell you that I just can't find any respect in me anymore for this carefully cultivated blend of denial and stupidity.

  12. #327
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    So, you too can measure, define relations, and use this childlike knowledge practically, but you can't say why sails generate lift. If you could, you would, and then I would point out that your theory is only one of the proffered explanations, which is the truth.
    Childlike? Hooooo boy. The math for turbulent flow is way beyond the capability of most adults, and all children except for an occasional mathematical prodigy. But please clarify here; are you talking about how sails generate lift; i.e. a description of the way airflow at certain velocities over a solid of a particular shape produces certain forces - or why they generate lift - i.e. the reason the physical laws governing airflow and lift are as they are. The former's a scientific/engineering question, the latter a philosophical one. I suspect you're talking about the latter. The former is fairly straightforward, and the answer is useful. Answering the latter is currently beyond the capabilities of human beings, and our guesses are pretty much useless.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 09-12-2017 at 11:32 AM.
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    for nature cannot be fooled."

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  13. #328
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Childlike? Hooooo boy. The math for turbulent flow is way beyond the capability of most adults, and all children except for an occasional mathematical prodigy. But please clarify here; are you talking about how sails generate lift; i.e. a description of the way airflow at certain velocities over a solid of a particular shape produces certain forces - or why they generate lift - i.e. the reason the physical laws governing airflow and lift are as they are. The former's a scientific/engineering question, the latter a philosophical one. I suspect you're talking about the latter. The former is fairly straightforward, and the answer is useful Answering the latter is currently beyond the capabilities of human beings, and our guesses are pretty much useless.
    Just as framing the question in a coherent way is beyond the capability of some here. Nine pages just amazes me.
    David G
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  14. #329
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    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Just as framing the question in a coherent way is beyond the capability of some here. Nine pages just amazes me.
    Seven rattles on that rattleysnake. Seven.

    Peace,
    Am Not! No Matter WHAT You Say

  15. #330
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    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Seven rattles on that rattleysnake. Seven.

    Peace,
    Am Not! No Matter WHAT You Say
    Depends on how many posts per page you have set.
    Rattling the teacups.

  16. #331
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    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    Depends on how many posts per page you have set.
    Hehe. The rattleysnake I picturefied and posted on the trees thread.

    Peace,
    Robert

  17. #332
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Childlike? Hooooo boy. The math for turbulent flow is way beyond the capability of most adults, and all children except for an occasional mathematical prodigy. But please clarify here; are you talking about how sails generate lift; i.e. a description of the way airflow at certain velocities over a solid of a particular shape produces certain forces - or why they generate lift - i.e. the reason the physical laws governing airflow and lift are as they are. The former's a scientific/engineering question, the latter a philosophical one. I suspect you're talking about the latter. The former is fairly straightforward, and the answer is useful. Answering the latter is currently beyond the capabilities of human beings, and our guesses are pretty much useless.
    For those who don't understand Bernoulli's principle, they should educate themselves. Should tell you both how and why - and why you cannot head upwind.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  18. #333
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Seven rattles on that rattleysnake. Seven.

    Peace,
    Am Not! No Matter WHAT You Say
    Nonsense... you have been since birth. Some would say since first incarnation and thru many births. If you weren't, you'd have long since been reincarnated as something sensible. Like a porpoise. Or a platypus. <G>
    David G
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  19. #334
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    So, you too can measure, define relations, and use this childlike knowledge practically, but you can't say why sails generate lift. If you could, you would, and then I would point out that your theory is only one of the proffered explanations, which is the truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    Always the insult.



    Would you care to try again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Nonsense... you have been since birth. Some would say since first incarnation and thru many births. If you weren't, you'd have long since been reincarnated as something sensible. Like a porpoise. Or a platypus. <G>


    Peace,
    Flipper

  21. #336
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Originally Posted by amish rob
    Seven rattles on that rattleysnake. Seven.

    Peace,
    Am Not! No Matter WHAT You Say


    The number of buttons on a rattlesnake are how many times the snake has shed it's skin and not the age of the snake.




  22. #337
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    Formal logic and mathematics exist in the mind, which you have just described as having flawed processes capable only of arriving at an approximation of truth.

    Would you care to try again?
    Nope, I'm comfortable with flawed processes and approximations. They're all we've got, whether you realize it or not.

    What are you doing about it?




  23. #338
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    You're not just writing for the braying crowd of Bilgers who have bullied all the normal people into silence, creating an artificial environment by pure noise and hostility, you're writing for the rational and cool people who lurk and don't post.
    yeah right I'm writing for cool people.
    Cool!
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  24. #339
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    We infer the existence of God Himself.
    How?
    Why is 'Politically Approved' speech better than 'Politically Correct' speech?

  25. #340
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    Default Re: Scientific knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    So, you too can measure, define relations, and use this childlike knowledge practically, but you can't say why sails generate lift. If you could, you would, and then I would point out that your theory is only one of the proffered explanations, which is the truth.
    soooo true Aquinian, Scientists do not have a clue how sails generate lift, speaking as a boat builder and someone who has built my own sails, it is a complete mystery, we have a general idea, a basic bare bones approximation of what history and experience tell us, but even todays most sophisticated computer models can only give a rough guestimate and are pathetically crude at that, compared to the actual milisecond by milisecond micro effects of real time wind and wave movements flowing aroud a rig and sails over the course of one race never mind the sails usefull life time...


    but why consider something as esoteric as sails?... Scientist do not even know what gravity is, they know how it affects objects and can model it's affects... but what it IS that makes the apple fall ... is a mystery to them.

  26. #341
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    Let me know when you have a species that changed into another. A species changing colour hardly qualifies, does it? We know all domestic dogs are the same species, they can interbreed, but we can change their appearance in a few generations by selection. What we cannot do is create a new species, one that cannot breed with its predecessors and yet which can reproduce itself. We've never seen such a thing, and yet it's exactly what evolution means, if it means anything. If it means one species adapting in ways that retain its essential identity as a species, then it can't explain protozoa becoming elephants, can it?
    And here we see Aquinian, declaring what evolution is, or isn't, by fiat.

    I can take that same device and make you pray for anything but.

    Ask anybody.



    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    At some point you're going to realise that calling God a mythical creature (that's insulting to all believers, as you must know, and if you don't, you need to get out into the fresh air more often) and talking about all the proof you have for evolution won't cut it. You'll need to cite the proof. You're not just writing for the braying crowd of Bilgers who have bullied all the normal people into silence, creating an artificial environment by pure noise and hostility, you're writing for the rational and cool people who lurk and don't post.
    Well, until he shows up for lunch, he's a mythical creature.

    There are a lot of believers who are not insulted. It's mainly the uptight, whitey, insecure blowhards, in my experience.

    Their faith is so delicate that it can't withstand any challenge, much less take a joke.

    As to this mythical 'braying crowd of bilgers who have bullied all the normal people into silence', that would be you, the braying bully.

    You wield your considerable ignorance like a cudgel.
    Rattling the teacups.

  27. #342
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    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    And here we see Aquinian, declaring what evolution is, or isn't, by fiat.

    I can take that same device and make you pray for anything but.

    Ask anybody.





    Well, until he shows up for lunch, he's a mythical creature.

    There are a lot of believers who are not insulted. It's mainly the uptight, whitey, insecure blowhards, in my experience.

    Their faith is so delicate that it can't withstand any challenge, much less take a joke.

    As to this mythical 'braying crowd of bilgers who have bullied all the normal people into silence', that would be you, the braying bully.

    You wield your considerable ignorance like a cudgel.

    evolution is the cumulative effect of "Chance Mutations" over time... Chance... aka LUCK... Evolution is the theory that Humans happened by Luck... but Christians read in their holy book that there is no such thing as "luck"... Christians say that Luck is what unbelievers who do not know any better call the workings of God in the world, this is why many Christians have no problem with evolution...

    the Theory of evolution essentially says all creatures came to be by the workings and will of GOD.
    Last edited by Daniel Noyes; 09-13-2017 at 10:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    evolution is the cumulative effect of "Chance Mutations" over time... Chance... aka LUCK... Evolution is the theory that Humans happened by Luck... but Christians read in their holy book that there is no such thing as "luck"... Christians say that Luck is what unbelievers who do not know any better call the workings of God in the world, this is why many Christians have no problem with evolution...

    the Theory of evolution essentially says all creatures came to be by the workings and will of GOD.
    using evolution to shape said creatures and plants to the ever changing environment they live in.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  29. #344
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    evolution is the cumulative effect of "Chance Mutations" over time... Chance... aka LUCK... Evolution is the theory that Humans happened by Luck... but Christians read in their holy book that there is no such thing as "luck"... Christians say that Luck is what unbelievers who do not know any better call the workings of God in the world, this is why many Christians have no problem with evolution...

    the Theory of evolution essentially says all creatures came to be by the workings and will of GOD.
    So what you are saying is god purposely designed a parasite that would burrow out of a child's eye and blind them in the process? That he designed the Ebola virus?
    My take is that if you poke someone with a sharp stick they'll get annoyed, if you smile and shake their hand they will be your friends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wright View Post
    Somewhere around age six or seven most of us learn the difference between "why" and "how," and when it is appropriate to use one word rather than the other.
    True, but then we go to school and the teachers use "why" when they're telling us "how" and we get confused. See above for several examples of this confusion right here.

    It's astonishing, really, how a bunch of mathematical relations, such we see commonly in physics, get confused with an explanation of why something happens. We can measure, define the relations between the different measurements, and apply these factual data in useful ways, but it doesn't mean that we understand anything about what's actually happening. We don't know why things fall (gravity) we just know that they do, and we observe that this fall is an acceleration, not a constant. We don't know much else! But what we know suffices for practical purposes, and modern man is satisfied with that, generally.

    The confusion about what this knowledge constitutes is so total in some cases, however, that some "thinkers" proceed to claim that our knowledge is indeed a knowledge of "why" and "proves" all sorts of things that don't follow at all. Cue Dawkins and his ilk.

  31. #346
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    The how is so complicated that you need powerful programmes running on computers to do the analysis
    so we do know how, but it would take months to teach you, if you were mentally up to the maths.

    After all if someone did not know how, they could not have written the programme code, now could they?
    Exhibit B: The modern mind at work.

    Math doesn't explain "why" Nick, it just tells us "what" in one narrow aspect - i.e. "number" or "quantity". It's incredibly useful, of course. It just isn't everything, it's only something. Partial truth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    Scientist do not even know what gravity is, they know how it affects objects and can model it's affects... but what it IS that makes the apple fall ... is a mystery to them.
    This may be true, but the fact that something is unknown does not prove God exists. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps

    Your argument appears to go something like; Gravity manifestly exists. We don't fully understand it. Therefore God must exist.
    It effectively amounts to - there's a gap in my knowledge, therefore God must exist.

    Which is clearly nonsensical.
    Last edited by gypsie; 09-13-2017 at 11:00 PM.
    Why is 'Politically Approved' speech better than 'Politically Correct' speech?

  33. #348
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    True, but then we go to school and the teachers use "why" when they're telling us "how" and we get confused. See above for several examples of this confusion right here.

    It's astonishing, really, how a bunch of mathematical relations, such we see commonly in physics, get confused with an explanation of why something happens. We can measure, define the relations between the different measurements, and apply these factual data in useful ways, but it doesn't mean that we understand anything about what's actually happening. We don't know why things fall (gravity) we just know that they do, and we observe that this fall is an acceleration, not a constant. We don't know much else! But what we know suffices for practical purposes, and modern man is satisfied with that, generally.

    The confusion about what this knowledge constitutes is so total in some cases, however, that some "thinkers" proceed to claim that our knowledge is indeed a knowledge of "why" and "proves" all sorts of things that don't follow at all. Cue Dawkins and his ilk.
    Now you're making up stuff.

  34. #349
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquinian View Post
    True, but then we go to school and the teachers use "why" when they're telling us "how" and we get confused. See above for several examples of this confusion right here.

    It's astonishing, really, how a bunch of mathematical relations, such we see commonly in physics, get confused with an explanation of why something happens. We can measure, define the relations between the different measurements, and apply these factual data in useful ways, but it doesn't mean that we understand anything about what's actually happening. We don't know why things fall (gravity) we just know that they do, and we observe that this fall is an acceleration, not a constant. We don't know much else! But what we know suffices for practical purposes, and modern man is satisfied with that, generally.

    The confusion about what this knowledge constitutes is so total in some cases, however, that some "thinkers" proceed to claim that our knowledge is indeed a knowledge of "why" and "proves" all sorts of things that don't follow at all. Cue Dawkins and his ilk.
    All very wordy and self referencing and circular - but none of it means God exists.
    Why is 'Politically Approved' speech better than 'Politically Correct' speech?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WX View Post
    So what you are saying is god purposely designed a parasite that would burrow out of a child's eye and blind them in the process? That he designed the Ebola virus?
    As they say,"God has a weird sense of humor".
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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