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Criteria of validity in empirical sciences

 
Speakpigeon
 
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Speakpigeon
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22 December 2018 09:16
 
burt - 20 December 2018 09:34 AM
Speakpigeon - 20 December 2018 08:44 AM


I think Newton’s theory was no longer a valid scientific theory once it had been falsified by the repeated observation that Mercury wasn’t quite where Newton’s theory predicted. I think that’s a pretty good reference. Whether scientists themselves at the time admitted to it quite speedily enough is another matter. That people lie all the time doesn’t mean truth is a meaningless concept or that there are no truths at all.

This is not the case. Newtonian gravitational theory remains a valid scientific theory, just not the one that is accepted as the best theory given current information. It is recognized as the limiting case of general relativity when dealing with weak gravitational fields and is still used when computing planetary orbits, or computing the orbits for space probes. So regardless of what you think, the actual scientific standing of Newtonian theory remains.You could equally well say that Newtonian theory of motion was falsified once quantum mechanics was developed, but again the actual fact is that it remains in use and is seen as a limiting case of quantum theory. And the conceptual background of Newtonian theory remains the conceptual background of both general relativity and quantum theory. So to be precise, in terms of validity criteria, Newtonian physics is a valid scientific theory for conditions of weak gravitational fields and situations where the action involved is large compared to the Planck constant.

Yes, Newton’s gravitational theory is a valid scientific theory for a subset of the known facts. It’s not a valid scientific theory for the whole set.

burt - 20 December 2018 09:34 AM
Speakpigeon - 20 December 2018 08:44 AM

Still, this thread is about the criteria for validating scientific theories, not whether or why scientists choose not to develop a theory to begin with.
EB


Schrodinger chose to modify his initial equation (which was developed within the bounds of the existing theory, including special relativity) because of one set of empirical measurements. Dirac didn’t make any observations, but he pointed out much later in his article that had Schrodinger instead kept his initial equation he would have created a situation where there would have been a contradiction between an existing empirical result and a theoretical result and, based on that, would have been able to predict that there was something else about electrons that was not being taken into account. That would have led to further experiments attempting to resolve the contradiction and resulted in empirical validation of Schrodinger’s theorizing. As it happened, Schrodinger chose to modify his equation so that a later modification was required. Dirac was more theoretically confident (recalling his statement, “it’s better to have beauty in ones equations than to have them agree with experiment,” an when he developed the Dirac equation for the electron, this equation had two solutions with no obvious way to chose between them. One solution corresponded to the usual electrons that had been observed but the other corresponded to something that had never been empirically observed, something that was an electron except with a positive instead of a negative charge. Dirac stuck to his guns and said that such a particle must exist and sure enough experiments later discovered the positron.

Sorry, that’s not what this thread is about.

burt - 20 December 2018 09:34 AM

I think that rather than asking about criteria for validation of scientific theories you might want to focus more on reasons for tentative acceptance of theories on the one hand, and reasons why theories have been rejected (e.g., phlogiston or Lamarkian inheritance) on the other.

I ask to get the answers that interest me.
Your comments are interesting but not news to me. I’m sure I’ve already read this at some point in the past.
EB

 
burt
 
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burt
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22 December 2018 10:03
 
Speakpigeon - 22 December 2018 09:16 AM
burt - 20 December 2018 09:34 AM

I think that rather than asking about criteria for validation of scientific theories you might want to focus more on reasons for tentative acceptance of theories on the one hand, and reasons why theories have been rejected (e.g., phlogiston or Lamarkian inheritance) on the other.

I ask to get the answers that interest me.
Your comments are interesting but not news to me. I’m sure I’ve already read this at some point in the past.
EB

In that case we have nothing more to say to each other and you can stroke your ego in ignorance.

 
Speakpigeon
 
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Speakpigeon
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22 December 2018 13:14
 
burt - 22 December 2018 10:03 AM
Speakpigeon - 22 December 2018 09:16 AM

I ask to get the answers that interest me.
Your comments are interesting but not news to me. I’m sure I’ve already read this at some point in the past.
EB


In that case we have nothing more to say to each other and you can stroke your ego in ignorance.

It’s quite clearly not a matter of ego. The question in the OP is clear enough as it is but you’re not interested in answering it. Your choice. So don’t try to rewrite the story. We can all look at the OP and at your posts. And as to ignorance, you’re the one to have displayed his ignorance on the subject at hand by not answering the OP. Again, your choice.
EB

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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25 December 2018 09:43
 
Speakpigeon - 22 December 2018 01:14 PM
burt - 22 December 2018 10:03 AM
Speakpigeon - 22 December 2018 09:16 AM

I ask to get the answers that interest me.
Your comments are interesting but not news to me. I’m sure I’ve already read this at some point in the past.
EB


In that case we have nothing more to say to each other and you can stroke your ego in ignorance.

It’s quite clearly not a matter of ego. The question in the OP is clear enough as it is but you’re not interested in answering it. Your choice. So don’t try to rewrite the story. We can all look at the OP and at your posts. And as to ignorance, you’re the one to have displayed his ignorance on the subject at hand by not answering the OP. Again, your choice.
EB

Pay attention here patrons! The OP is hereby declaring his first post in this thread to be clear. If it’s not clear to you, apparently that’s your problem. wink

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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25 December 2018 10:56
 
Speakpigeon - 22 December 2018 01:14 PM
burt - 22 December 2018 10:03 AM
Speakpigeon - 22 December 2018 09:16 AM

I ask to get the answers that interest me.
Your comments are interesting but not news to me. I’m sure I’ve already read this at some point in the past.
EB


In that case we have nothing more to say to each other and you can stroke your ego in ignorance.

It’s quite clearly not a matter of ego. The question in the OP is clear enough as it is but you’re not interested in answering it. Your choice. So don’t try to rewrite the story. We can all look at the OP and at your posts. And as to ignorance, you’re the one to have displayed his ignorance on the subject at hand by not answering the OP. Again, your choice.
EB

You consistently defend your positions with reference to how intuitive they are to YOU. You simultaneously solicit input and then reject that input categorically on your own authority. I wish you could appreciate how utterly impossible it is to have a conversation in this fashion.

 
Speakpigeon
 
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Speakpigeon
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Joined  01-10-2017
 
 
 
25 December 2018 11:59
 
Brick Bungalow - 25 December 2018 10:56 AM
Speakpigeon - 22 December 2018 01:14 PM
burt - 22 December 2018 10:03 AM
Speakpigeon - 22 December 2018 09:16 AM

I ask to get the answers that interest me.
Your comments are interesting but not news to me. I’m sure I’ve already read this at some point in the past.
EB


In that case we have nothing more to say to each other and you can stroke your ego in ignorance.

It’s quite clearly not a matter of ego. The question in the OP is clear enough as it is but you’re not interested in answering it. Your choice. So don’t try to rewrite the story. We can all look at the OP and at your posts. And as to ignorance, you’re the one to have displayed his ignorance on the subject at hand by not answering the OP. Again, your choice.
EB

You consistently defend your positions with reference to how intuitive they are to YOU.

You are merely forgetting here my detailed justifications as to why your input was irrelevant. Basically, your posts have all been derails. Again, it seems you’re just not interested in addressing the OP.
You could still try that. Go on, try. You’ll see whether I respond on the substance of what you say.

Brick Bungalow - 25 December 2018 10:56 AM

You simultaneously solicit input and then reject that input categorically on your own authority.

This is just grouching. Otherwise, you would provide specific quotes. As it is, what am I to say? How is one supposed to respond to grouching? Provide the relevant quotes and argue your points properly, if you have one,

Brick Bungalow - 25 December 2018 10:56 AM

I wish you could appreciate how utterly impossible it is to have a conversation in this fashion.

I’m not interested in “conversations”. This thread is clearly an invitation to debate. Debate requires arguments, i.e. logic and and facts. Facts include facts about the world as well as the facts of what posters have already posted, which is made possible by quoting people. Try it. Try logic and facts. It works.
And address the OP.
EB

 
Speakpigeon
 
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Speakpigeon
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Joined  01-10-2017
 
 
 
25 December 2018 12:04
 
icehorse - 25 December 2018 09:43 AM

Pay attention here patrons! The OP is hereby declaring his first post in this thread to be clear. If it’s not clear to you, apparently that’s your problem. wink

Go on, explain yourself. What’s not clear in the OP in your view?

Speakpigeon - 13 December 2018 06:45 AM

As I see it, the unique criterion of the validity of a theory in empirical sciences, say, physics, is that the theory should produce results in line with our observation of the physical world, ranging from our direct visual observation of nature to experiments involving possibly, and increasingly so, complex installations, machines, apparatuses and sometimes a large team of scientists working months to agree on an interpretation of the results.
Do you agree with this presentation of this criterion, including with the suggestion that it is not only the main but that it is also the only criterion admissible in empirical sciences like physics.
If you think that there are other criteria necessary to assessing the validity of a theory in empirical sciences, what are they?
EB

 
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