**Previous message:**Stein A. Strømme: "Re: Rational Methodology for Evaluating Supernatural Claim"**Maybe in reply to:**SHinrichs9@aol.com: "Rational Methodology for Evaluating Supernatural Claims"**Next in thread:**David F Siemens: "Re: Rational Methodology for Evaluating Supernatural Claims"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

*>GM1 The big problem comes in the 3rd paragraph. You write:
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"As explained in 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
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never heard of such a 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
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been falsified, 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.
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Aristotelian mechanics 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
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reasons. Continental 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
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may not have been 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
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the true theory. 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 involves 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
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actually cause 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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