• bogdan9310
    18
    I’m going to start off by asking a simple question: What is science? Some might say it’s the only way to arrive at knowledge. But what questions does science answer? Science only analyzes existing concepts, and there is no scientific research before a concept is created. It is widely known that philosophy is preoccupied with concept creation, and it’s not until a concept is declared by philosophy, when a scientific field spawns to study it.

    Does science rely on philosophy to exist?

    Science is nothing more than the gradual progress and discoveries based on previous work, and we can describe the source of our current understanding of science as the product of a collective mind of scientists working together, but in different timelines. Albert Einstein did not come up with relativity from scratch, the concept of time was already there. Isaac Newton based his absolute space and time theory on top of Johannes Kepler’s work, and so on.

    My point is that we mostly make up knowledge, then build it up, rather than discovering it.

    Source: The problems with science
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    My point is that we mostly make up knowledge, then build it up, rather than discovering it.bogdan9310
    It ever seems to me that the more closely you look at something - anything - the less it is, or appears to be, what you first thought it was. But there is or can be a distinct functioning - description, understanding - associated with how and at what level you're looking. And changing how you look doesn't change that. Perhaps it is made up of atoms, and thus is mostly profoundly empty space, but it's still a chair, and you still sit in it.

    This puts teeth into the criticism of category error. In a sense, then, depending on an adequate degree of rigor, you can describe science in any self-consistent way you like, just don't expect anyone else to buy it. And if your description doesn't make sense, then no one will buy it. Curiously, though, less sense often correlates with how much an author wants others to buy.
  • karl stone
    430
    In the UK Houses of Parliament they have a register of member's interests - such that any potential biases MP's bring to the debate are known to others. Perhaps that might be a good practice for philosophers.
  • bogdan9310
    18

    So, what part didn't make sense to be more precise?
  • bogdan9310
    18

    So.... Where is the bias in this situation?
  • karl stone
    430
    You tell me. You said:

    My point is that we mostly make up knowledge,bogdan9310

    ...using the computer that science derived from mathematical reason, and built using ever more sophisticated engineering techniques. Is your computer imaginary? Does it work on ideas that are just made up? Or must there be a truth relation between scientific knowledge and reality - because technology based on scientific understanding works?

    Science works because it's true, right? So it's not just made up, is it? So why would you say that? I'm just asking you to be honest about where you're coming from on this.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    So, what part didn't make sense to be more precise?bogdan9310
    Sorry, I wasn't clear. Not that you didn't make sense, but at a first cut, it's useful to ask what we're about, where we're going, and why? You wish to put science to the question and make it answer - or test it with your own answer? You can do that. And what I read in your OP I think holds much truth. But I wonder if you know what truth you've encountered? For example, science makes up knowledge and then builds on it (slightly different from yours; do you accept the difference?). But it still counts as knowledge. Why do you suppose that is?
  • bogdan9310
    18

    What if you start from the wrong idea? You would be just building a structure, and it will make sense to you because that how structures function. How would you know if you are wrong?
    I'm not out to expose science, just to point out some of its flaws.
    Science is generally good, but people treat it as a religion nowadays, if you are interested you can read the whole article. It's not about what science is, it's how it's being applied.
  • bogdan9310
    18

    Computers are built, right? Science works in the same way, knowledge keeps building up, and you build a structure. And it will make sense to you, and it will work, because that's how structures work. Unless it's a poor one.
    I'm not saying all science is bad, just that people treat it more like a religion. The problem is the way it's applied.
  • hachit
    198
    Every idea has a postulate. When the postulates don't apply the idea becomes wrong or irelivent. Science has two postulats I know of. One. what we observe is what is true. Two. Everything has an explanation that can be rooted in previously known science. More postulates are required to explain anything.
  • karl stone
    430
    Computers are built, right? Science works in the same way, knowledge keeps building up, and you build a structure. And it will make sense to you, and it will work, because that's how structures work. Unless it's a poor one. I'm not saying all science is bad, just that people treat it more like a religion. The problem is the way it's applied.bogdan9310

    But science isn't "just built up." Science proceeds by tearing down what's proven wrong, to rebuild what's right. It's a method of doubt, as opposed - I suspect, to your method of faith. You're taking pot shots at science for God, are you not?
  • Christoffer
    543


    Science also features discovery and exploration that can end up creating new fields. Philosophy is not the only thing that "creates" new fields, it can happen organically.
  • Christoffer
    543
    I'm not saying all science is bad, just that people treat it more like a religion.bogdan9310

    Only those who do not know what science is or what the scientific process and its methods are would treat it like a religion. On both sides, those who criticize it and those who believe too strongly in it. It is what it is and it's the best way for us to arrive at new knowledge detached from human corruption. It's the closest we have to arrive at "truths".
  • Banno
    5.6k
    The problem is not with science, but with philosophical musing.

    My point is that we mostly make up knowledge...bogdan9310

    If that were so, then anything would do. But it doesn't. You can't make an iPhone from wood and feathers.
  • tim wood
    2.9k
    What if you start from the wrong idea? You would be just building a structure, and it will make sense to you because that how structures function. How would you know if you are wrong?bogdan9310

    Well, you get into axioms and absolute presuppositions. The main point of which is if your science appears to work, you're done. And this you have to think on long and hard. At the foundational level of your science there is no right or wrong. You presuppose X not because X is right - actually you usually do not know, are not aware, that you presuppose X - but because it is a ground or the ground of your system.

    An example is the idea, the presupposition, that every event has a cause (which apparently was Kant's presupposition, and was not held by Newton or by modern science). Anyway, how do you know every event has a cause? How do you prove it? Answer: you don't - you can't. You simply presuppose it.
  • Echarmion
    477
    What is science?bogdan9310

    A method that generates functional predictions about the relations between events

    But what questions does science answer?bogdan9310

    The questions "how should I expect this to behave", "what should I expect to happen if I do X" and "what should I do to arrive at Y".

    Science only analyzes existing concepts, and there is no scientific research before a concept is created.bogdan9310

    Science arguably relies on theories in order to then compare them to experience, buy it's not analytical.

    Does science rely on philosophy to exist?bogdan9310

    Yes, insofar as science, the method, is philosophy.

    Science is nothing more than the gradual progress and discoveries based on previous work, and we can describe the source of our current understanding of science as the product of a collective mind of scientists working together, but in different timelines. Albert Einstein did not come up with relativity from scratch, the concept of time was already there. Isaac Newton based his absolute space and time theory on top of Johannes Kepler’s work, and so on.

    My point is that we mostly make up knowledge, then build it up, rather than discovering it.
    bogdan9310

    That is essentially the argument of constructivism. The notion of "discovering" knowledge is certainly at least skewed. But where do you want to go from here?

    What if you start from the wrong idea? You would be just building a structure, and it will make sense to you because that how structures function. How would you know if you are wrong?bogdan9310

    You would know if the structure did not do what you expected it to do. When you learn to walk, you make it up as you go along. You can organize your limbs any way you like, but not all ways get you anywhere.

    Science is generally good, but people treat it as a religion nowadaysbogdan9310

    I think you may be confusing science and metaphysical realism. Anyways how people treat something tells us about the people. Is this a thread about science or about people?

    But science isn't "just built up." Science proceeds by tearing down what's proven wrong, to rebuild what's right. It's a method of doubt, as opposed - I suspect, to your method of faithkarl stone

    That's a nice way to put it!

    An example is the idea, the presupposition, that every event has a cause (which apparently was Kant's presupposition, and was not held by Newton or by modern science).tim wood

    Did Kant presuppose that? I suppose he might, but his argument had the form "if there is only natural causation, then". And the experience of causality exists.
  • TheMadFool
    3.4k
    Everything has problems. Nothing is perfect. If there's anything good in science, it's falsifiability and if there's anything bad it's falsifiability.

    The primary mission is to get to the truth but one can't hope to do that without an error detection system in place (falsifiability) but that makes all scientific truths provisional and subject to modify/delete.

    It's like the tragic Greek demi-god, his flaw is his appeal and also the cause of his donwnfall.
  • bogdan9310
    18
    I don't think all you observe is true. We could be looking at the same thing, and all of us will interpret that in a different way.
  • bogdan9310
    18
    I don't want to take down science, and I am an atheist. Just pointing out some of its obvious flaws. People treat science like a religion nowadays, and use it in arguments to back them up, even if they don't know why.
  • hachit
    198
    one. This is why we test the ideas or imputations, two you missed the point. Science only works as long as it's postules do. If you start with a different set of postules you would get different answers. So science is just as logically valid as magic. It just has more approval.
  • Echarmion
    477
    So science is just as logically valid as magic. It just has more approval.hachit

    Science does not just randomly have more approval though. It is more useful.
  • hachit
    198
    how if i may ask.
  • karl stone
    430
    I don't want to take down science, and I am an atheist. Just pointing out some of its obvious flaws. People treat science like a religion nowadays, and use it in arguments to back them up, even if they don't know why.bogdan9310

    Science is several things:

    it's an epistemology: a philosophy of knowledge.
    it's a method: the scientific method of testing hypotheses with reference to evidence.
    It's a practice: conducting scientific experiments.
    and it's a conception of reality: an increasingly valid and coherent worldview.

    So everything you said in your opening post is wrong - so much so that you come across as a religious person seeking to undermine science to maintain religious belief, and not at all like someone who understands science such that they could point out its "obvious flaws."

    Here's an obvious flaw with what you've said. Atheism is not a scientific conclusion. The scientifically correct position on the God hypothesis is agnosticism, not atheism. It's 'I don't know.' There's insufficient reliable evidence to test the hypothesis. The questions 'what are we able to know?' and 'how are we able to know it?' are what epistemology is all about - and scientific method is the world's best answer to those questions.
  • Echarmion
    477
    how if i may ask.hachit

    The answer seems rather self-evident, given that you are asking the question via an Internet forum.

    But the answer is because the scientific method provides functional predictions. It allows us to, to an extent, see the future.
  • Echarmion
    477
    The scientifically correct position on the God hypothesis is agnosticism, not atheism.karl stone

    If we are taking about empirical science then I think the scientifically correct position on God is atheism. God is not part of any scientific theory of the universe, so it doesn't exist.
  • Jake
    1.4k
    It ever seems to me that the more closely you look at something - anything - the less it is, or appears to be, what you first thought it was.tim wood

    Good point. One explanation is that all definitions are inherently flawed given that they are built upon a process of division which doesn't exist in the real world.

    We look at a tree, and it seems obvious what it is. And the standard definition has it's uses of course. But we don't see the gas exchanges happening around the tree, the sunlight triggering photosynthesis, the roots underground, the insect and microbe populations which are essential to the tree etc. That is, we see a separate distinct "thing" and not the larger system it is a part of.

    If we don't look closely, a tree is an object. Simple, easy, useful.

    If we do look closely there is no object, in the sense of being separate and divided from other objects.
  • hachit
    198
    but that is circular reasoning resoning. It is true that science is useful but if you going to say it's the more useful without a comparison it creates a feed back loop.
  • Echarmion
    477
    but that is circular reasoning resoning. It is true that science is useful but if you going to say it's the more useful without a comparison it creates a feed back loop.hachit

    Oh, I see. But other methods, e.g. magic, do not work as well for the same purpose.

    You could make a general argument that what is "more useful" is entirely subjective. But the scientific method is still what we should be using if we want to answer questions about experienced reality.
  • hachit
    198
    yes more useful is subjective base on the goal. We have to remember it was not science that gave us gunpowder and the printing press that was alchemy. It was also not modern science that gave us modern medicine that was christianity. If the goal of science is to find the truth, how can it without excepting all the parts.

    Secondly we don't know if magic is good or not because as science became more popular it led to more discoverys wich made it more popular leading to more research in it wich made it more discoverys. It then became a run away sinario. It became popular because of the cristians than people cut its ties to christianity. Again it is not using all the parts.
  • Echarmion
    477
    yes more useful is subjective base on the goal.hachit

    But given the goal I have stated, science is the most useful method.

    We have to remember it was not science that gave us gunpowder and the printing press that was alchemy. It was also not modern science that gave us modern medicine that was christianityhachit

    Are "Alchemy" and "Christianity" methods? If so, how do they work?

    If the goal of science is to find the truth, how can it without excepting all the parts.hachit

    Is the goal of science to "find the truth"? What truth do you mean? Science makes predictions about observable reality. Whether or not you think these predictions are "truth" doesn't change the fact that they work, and that is all that matters for the purpose of science.

    Secondly we don't know if magic is good or not because as science became more popular it led to more discoverys wich made it more popular leading to more research in it wich made it more discoverys. It then became a run away sinario. It became popular because of the cristians than people cut its ties to christianity. Again it is not using all the parts.hachit

    So science became popular because it works. Which begs then question: if there are other methods that work, why aren't they popular? You're welcome to try "magic". I am sure people will be interested if it works.
  • karl stone
    430
    If we are taking about empirical science then I think the scientifically correct position on God is atheism. God is not part of any scientific theory of the universe, so it doesn't exist.Echarmion

    I disagree. Given a scientific understanding of the universe - there's sufficient reason to form a God hypothesis. Logically, there's first cause, and physically, there's the fine tuning argument - neither of which constitute proof, but are certainly sufficient to support a God hypothesis. If you would entertain ideas like multiple universes, or the universe as a computer simulation - ruling out the idea of an intelligent, intentional cause is a double standard.

    The fact is we don't know. No-one knows if God exists or not. Admitting what we do and do not know is important, because the really interesting thing that follows from such an admission is that, if there is a God - then science is effectively the word of God made manifest in Creation, and through discovering and being responsible to scientific truth, we can secure a sustainable future, and survive in the universe - maybe long enough to find out.

    Adhering to the faith that there is a God, the human species is doomed - for faith undermines reason, denies a scientific conception of reality its rightful authority, and sets one faith group against another. As a tool of pre-scientific, religious and political ideology, science gives us the power to destroy the world, but denies us the reason to save it.
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