**Previous message:**george murphy: "Re: silicon life?"**Next in thread:**Stein A. Strømme: "Re: Rational Methodology for Evaluating Supernatural Claim"**Reply:**Stein A. Strømme: "Re: Rational Methodology for Evaluating Supernatural Claim"**Reply:**george murphy: "Re: Rational Methodology for Evaluating Supernatural Claim"**Reply:**Glenn Morton: "RE: Rational Methodology for Evaluating Supernatural Claim"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

*>GM1 The big problem comes in the 3rd paragraph. You write: "As explained in
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Ref. 1, a key logical principle typically used in science is proof by

elimination, "PE". According to PE, if there is a theory that describes a

certain real event and all other possible natural hypothesis for explaining

that certain event are false except for one specific natural hypothesis,

then this one non-false natural hypothesis is the correct theory. "

*>GM1 I have been in science for 30 years or so and have never heard of such a
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method.

You claim you have never heard of it, but in your discussion you work with

the PE idea. For example, you present examples where one had thought they

proven a theory true, but turned out to be false when other theories not yet

determined false turned out to be correct. Perhaps you do agree with me that

PE is a valid logical concept for determining the truth about reality. You

just wanted to point out that people still often make premature conclusions

before they objectively rule out all the other possible hypothesis. I would

certainly agree with this point.

A key logical concept used in Science for determining the truth about reality

is called Proof by Elimination (PE). If there is a theory that describes a

certain reality and all possible hypothesis for explaining that certain

reality are false except for one hypothesis, then PE implies that this one

non-false hypothesis is true. For example, if there were 10 different

possible hypothesis for explaining a certain event and it was shown that 9

out of the 10 were implausible, implying they were false, then there would be

a logical case that the one remaining plausible hypothesis was true.

The two assumptions PE is based upon is that there is a correct theory for

explaining the reality being investigated and that reality follows the law of

no contradiction. Without these two assumptions reason could not determine

the truth about any reality, supernatural or natural. If there is a correct

theory that describes a certain reality and all possible hypothesis for

explaining that certain reality are false except for one hypothesis, then PE

implies that this one non-false hypothesis is true. If the remaining

hypothesis was also false then there would be no correct theory which would

contradict the premise that there is a correct theory. Thus, if the premise

that there is a correct theory is true then the one non-false hypothesis must

be true otherwise the premise would be contradicted. Thus, PE is derived from

the requirement for no contradiction which is a fundamental logical

principal. Since PE is derived from a logical concept PE is also a logical

concept. Science attempts to use PE and other logical concepts to determine

the truth about reality; thus, the scientific procedure has the potential to

logically determine something true about reality.

Making a scientific case for some claim involves showing all possible

hypothesis are false except for one. Thus, the scientific procedure involves

determining what are all the possible hypothesis and collecting relevant data

from observations to check if the data implies any of the possible hypothesis

false. Observation of reality plays a key role in the scientific process

because observation is the one source of information humans themselves have

about reality. Thus, a scientist job involves collecting as much relevant

observations through experiments or research to see if any of the information

implies any of the possible hypothesis false. If it can be definitely shown

that all possible hypothesis are false except for one, then a case has been

made that the one hypothesis that is not false is true. Hypothesis are shown

false by either deterministic criterion or indeterministic criterion.

*>GM1 The problem is that if all known theories save one has been falsified,
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this is no guarantee that the remaining is correct. It also might be wrong

and the case may fall into one of several possibilities:

I did not claim all known theories except one falsified, but I claimed all

possible theories except one falsified. Depending upon human knowledge there

can be a big difference between the two. I agree that for especially

continuous phenomenon in most cases it is not possible to determine all the

possible hypothesis nonetheless rule all of them out except for one. However,

especially for discrete phenomenon it is more possible to identify all

possible hypothesis and rule out all except for one. For example, the number

off large moons orbiting earth involves a discrete phenomenon. There are

either 1, 2, 3, â€¦ I think it is possible to rule out the theory that there

are 2 or more. It is evident there is at least one, thus, PE determines there

actually is only one.

*>GM1 1. no one has thought of the correct theory. Aristotelian mechanics
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was falsified by Galileo, but his theory (not falsified) wasn't quite

correct either. Newton came along and fixed it, but his wasn't quite correct

either so Einstein corrected that. To date, there is little reason to correct

Einstein, but that doesn't mean that in the future we won't see a need.

*>GM1 2. People reject the wrong theory for inadequate reasons. Continental
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drift is an example of this. Wegner, Du Toit and others argued long and hard

that the continents had been connected and then moved apart. In the 20's the

AAPG held a conference in which they questioned everything about drift

including Wegener's parentage. They rejected it based upon the notion that

there was no mechanism which could account for the continental motion. They

were wrong. In the 1960s evidence was found which resurrected the theory and

provided a new mechanism Thus their falsification of drift was false.

*>GM1 3. The mathematics for the development of the theory may not have been
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invented yet. General relativity could not be invented until Riemannian

algebra was invented in the 1800s. If anyone had suggested General

Relativity to a friend in 1750, it would have been rejected as the creation

of a mad man.

Those that claimed the planet orbit was a circle were proved wrong when it

was found the actual orbit matched the ellipse better. Those that claimed the

circle orbit theory was correct never proved there was no other possible

orbit theory such as the elliptical one. Those that claimed the planet orbit

was an ellipse were proved wrong when it was found the relativity

perturbation to the ellipse matched the actual orbit better. Those that

claimed the elliptical orbit theory was correct never proved there was no

other possible orbit theory. I could go on, but the point is clear, your

examples do not show that PE incorrectly determined a theory true rather it

was the human individual who made incorrect presumptions.

*>GM1 4. Our minds very well might not be able to comprehend the true theory.
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This is becoming a worry among physicists trying to develop a theory of

everything. When we begin to work with math of 10-11 dimensions and attempt

to deal with non-linearities in those dimensions, we may never truly

understand the full implications of what we have wrought.

Fundamental physics involve evaluation of fields which are defined by

continuous complicated mathematical functions. Certainly scientist have made

great strides in rejecting false theories and getting closer to the correct

one; however, it is difficult if not humanly impossible to determine all the

possible hypotheses for Fundamental physics nonetheless reject all the

possible but one.

*>GM1 5. One can never rule out that invisible leprechauns actually cause
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everything to happen in the universe. Thus by your methodology, this becomes

the correct theory because one can find difficulties with every other theory

of man. But this one can't be so falsified and must therefore be true.

If all possible natural hypothesis have been ruled out then PE implies the

supernatural intervened which may be some supernatural being like leprechauns

or God. This is the point I developed in detail in the following URL.

http://members.aol.com/SHinrichs9/spntid.htm

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