Science is Dead?...Epistemologically Speaking...

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Seems like a lot of posts of late have been of an epistemological nature, that is, how do you know what you know? What is the "truth". For example, beyond telling us something extremely obvious such as whether the oil is being contaminated by coolant, can a UOA be extrapolated to a point where the supposed "wear numbers" provide a "scientific" basis for predicting anything? My question is simply this, is there any consensus on this board as to what "science" is or what the "scientific method" is? As background food for thought, I'd like to offer the following quote: "Supposing truth to be a woman - what? is the suspicion not well founded that all philosophers, when they have been dogmatists, have had little understanding of women? that the gruesome earnestness, the clumsy importunity with which they have hitherto been in the habit of approaching truth have been inept and improper means for winning a wench? Certainly she has not let herself be won - and today every kind of dogmatism stands sad and discouraged. If it continues to stand at all! For there are scoffers who assert it has fallen down, that dogmatism lies on the floor, more, that dogmatism is at its last gasp." Nietzsche - "Beyond Good and Evil" (preface) Epistemologically speaking, is not "science" but a form of "dogmatism"? [Confused] [ July 26, 2003, 08:51 AM: Message edited by: ex_MGB ]
 
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Nietzsche was not a scientist; he was a philosopher who attacked Christianity, Christian morality and democracy. His ideas were used by the Nazis to justify their whole "master race" concept. If we want to bring the philosophers into a discussion of scientific methodology, let's start with Rene Descartes and his assertion that all theoretical science should be based first on principles which were discovered and validated through the systemiatic analysis of intuitive ideas. Contrast this with Francis Bacon who believed that instead of analyzing intuitive ideas, scientists should first empty their minds of all preconceptions and then simply make observations. By using inductive logic, one could generalize from these observations about particular cases. And then Immanuel Kant, who realized that it is impossible to make observations that are free of preconceptions, because all observational reports go beyond what has actually been perceived. I would have to say that there is a greater consensus on methods that scientists should NOT use. It is easier to prove that a theory is false than to prove that one is true. How about this for an all encompassing philosophy for this forum: "Use good oil and filters. Change them often."
 
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I don't recall that science has ever "proved" anything to be true or false. Scientists, here defined as the practicioners of science, simply accumulate fields of evidence to support specific notions of what is presupposed or thought to be true but remains readily falsifiable, eg hypotheses. If a hypothesis stands the test of time and academic rigor it may graduate to become a theory. If a theory in turn shows itself to be supportable over time it may well become a "law," however outside of physics it seems that laws are hard to come upon. Even if something were a theory or a law it may still be "disproved" or amended by the weight of the evidence showing that it does not explain observable phenomena. So, the simplest kind of science is in effect very natural: a man who bites into a hot slice of pizza (or who sips engine oil while it is still hot) quickly learns that it will burn his mouth. So he creates the hypothesis, "if you eat hot pizza it will burn your mouth." If he repeats this action he observes that the hot pizza will *always* burn his mouth, yet by allowing the pizza or oil to cool for varying lengths of time before tasting it he can vary the degree of the burn from 3rd to 1st to none at all. The hypothesis is amended to, "the degree of burns in one's mouth when eating hot pizza/oil are dependent upon the temperature of the pizza/oil at the time of consumption." If over some time [unspecified], he continues to observe this phenomena, his hypothesis may become a theory...if over scores of years it may become a law. That is, until Dirk Ironjaw comes along and eats hot pizza without being burned. The point is that "scientific" ideas are not really "provable" in the sense that we think of them, rather the bulk of the evidence either supports the notion or not. Repeatability is the primary mover of hypotheses. UOA's and their ilk allow repeatability, but the problem is that we are only looking at the *result* of an engine's interaction with the oil, and the rest is a black box--kind of like finding out about the nature of electrons by smashing them together then looking at the contrails because we can't observe them directly.
 
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"For example, beyond telling us something extremely obvious such as whether the oil is being contaminated by coolant, can a UOA be extrapolated to a point where the supposed "wear numbers" provide a "scientific" basis for predicting anything?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I always suspected my doctor of being a Quack. He is always asking about my families history and whats up with all the blood test. I think he is just running all them UBAs and guessing from the trends.
 
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[Off Topic!] <---- [Razz]
quote:
I always suspected my doctor of being a Quack. He is always asking about my families history and whats up with all the blood test. I think he is just running all them UBAs and guessing from the trends.
[LOL!] A diet rich in premium fish oil will clean out those clogged arteries in no time. Blood is auto-cleaning! [ July 26, 2003, 03:02 PM: Message edited by: moribundman ]
 
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Originally posted by Mike242GT: Nietzsche was not a scientist; he was a philosopher who attacked Christianity, Christian morality and democracy. His ideas were used by the Nazis to justify their whole "master race" concept.
That doesn’t make him any less important to scientific methodology—if one would like to bring him into that discussion. [Off Topic!] Remember, Christianity and its teachings are now currently used to justify the absurd positions of groups such as the KKK, Neo-nazis, and White supremacists.
 
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Mike 242GT Nietzches' philosophy was, correctly, twisted by the Nazi Party by means of Georges Sorels "Reflections On Power". Nietzche would have detested Hitler much as he came to detest the racist ideas of Wagner. I realize this is a bit off topic, but wanted to set the record straight. If we're going to bring up Nietzche lets at least treat him fairly.
 
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More importantly for this board, what kind of grease did Nietszche (I can't even spell his name right) use to lubricate the bearings in his...um, horse? Deutche Ubersyntec?
 
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Well ...I can see that several of you here have done your homework (for at least a semester or two [Big Grin] ) What of the assertion that all is theory and that anything other than the actual observed event is imaginary = that is, can only be represented by imaginary numbers, etc.???? ..down speak to the plebe [Razz]
 
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Was Deutsche Ubersyntec grün, almost like Frostschutzmittel, and did it smell like gummibears (excuse me, Gummibären); if so I may have a major collector's item...the materiel Nietzche used to Ölen die ball tragt on his horse (excuse me, sein Pferd)! [Big Grin] [ July 26, 2003, 04:25 PM: Message edited by: pscholte ]
 
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[Off Topic!]
quote:
Was Deutsche Ubersyntec grün, almost like Frostschutzmittel, and did it smell like gummibears (excuse me, Gummibären); if so I may have a major collector's item...the lubricant Nietzche used on his horse (excuse me, sein Pferd)! [Big Grin]
I wonder if Catherine the Great died under her horse because she used the wrong oil. !!! [Razz] PS: "Haribo macht Kinder froh, und Erwachsene ebenso!" [ July 26, 2003, 04:29 PM: Message edited by: moribundman ]
 
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[Off Topic!] No, M'man, I think she died under her horse because it was heavy. From what I hear, she may have been Catherine the Great but in terms of bulk her horse was...the GreatER. Ihre Bemerkung am Boden hat mich wie ich deutschem Fernsehen wieder gemacht fühle zuschaute
 
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[Off Topic!]
quote:
No, M'man, I think she died under her horse because it was heavy. From what I hear, she may have been Catherine the Great but in terms of bulk her horse was...the GreatER. Ihre Bemerkung am Boden hat mich wie ich deutschem Fernsehen wieder gemacht fühle zuschaute
Yeah, a pony would have been lighter. (!!!) [Wink] PS: That Bable Fish is a riot.
 
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PScholte, yes I do think it was green and smelled like gummibarenjaeger [Big Grin] However it was also made to transcend the banality of the everyday-oil. Regular oil lubricates, Deutsche oil Uber[alle]cates! [Big Grin]
 
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