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Old 09-06-2012, 03:23   #1
High-Gear
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It's just a "Theory"

In a previous thread which is now closed, a member here had a terrible time understanding the use of the word "Theory" in scientific terms. I hope this video helps.

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Old 09-06-2012, 05:46   #2
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Here is how Theory is used in Science:
In modern science, the term "theory" refers to scientific theories, a well-confirmed type of explanation of nature, made in a way consistent with scientific method, and fulfilling the criteria required by modern science. Such theories are described in such a way that any scientist in the field is in a position to understand and either provide empirical support ("verify") or empirically contradict ("falsify") it. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge,[2] in contrast to more common uses of the word "theory" that imply that something is unproven or speculative.[3] Scientific theories are also distinguished from hypotheses, which are individual empirically testable conjectures, and scientific laws, which are descriptive accounts of how nature will behave under certain conditions.[4]


You see when a scientific theory stands the test of time and peer review, it becomes proven, i.e. fact. The Theory of Evolution is as much Fact as is the Theory of Gravity.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:30   #3
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It is the THEORY of Evolution and the LAW of Gravity! Two seperate scientific principles.

"The test of time and peer review" DOES NOT PROVE a theory!
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:34   #4
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'Facts' based solely on faith cannot be tested (unless you count a lack of proof, proof.)

Only one's own faith can be tested. And proven only to oneself.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:15   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wizard View Post
It is the THEORY of Evolution and the LAW of Gravity! Two seperate scientific principles.

"The test of time and peer review" DOES NOT PROVE a theory!
Ok, let's just throw out Maxwell's Theory of Electromagnetism and while we are at it let's toss all this technology that we use every day that relies on it. Afterall, it can never be definitively proven since it's just a theory and all this stuff may just randomly stop working one day as the theory could be flawed.

Right?
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:42   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eracer View Post

'Facts' based solely on faith cannot be tested (unless you count a lack of proof, proof.)


The one's who have true faith don't need or want proof.
God's word, as written in the Bible, is good enough.

..

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Old 09-06-2012, 10:43   #7
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WRONG! Theories have their place in the scientific method. But they are not FACT, yet. They do an excellent job of explaining the evidence we have already observed. A good example of this is the Geocentric Theory (which by the way was not started by The Church but by a Greek named Ptolemy). It explained the movements of the planets very well and stood "the test of time and peer review". Even Galileo's Heliocentric Theory wasn't completely correct and was not PROVEN until 1838 (F. W. Bessel) using the principle of parallax.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:53   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wizard View Post
It is the THEORY of Evolution and the LAW of Gravity! Two seperate scientific principles.
Good point! Newton's law of gravity isn't even as strong as the theory of evolution.

"Laws differ from scientific theories in that they do not posit a mechanism or explanation of phenomena: they are merely distillations of the results of repeated observation. As such, a law is limited in applicability to circumstances resembling those already observed, and may be found to be false when extrapolated."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_law
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBnTX View Post
The one's who have true faith don't need or want proof.
So you willingly want to stand in blinding ignorance?



Quote:
God's word, as written in the Bible, is good enough.
..
How do you know it is god's word?
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:03   #10
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Originally Posted by High-Gear View Post

You see when a scientific theory stands the test of time and peer review, it becomes proven, i.e. fact. The Theory of Evolution is as much Fact as is the Theory of Gravity.
The Bible has stood the test of time and peer review. Must be a fact that it is the Word of God.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:18   #11
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The Bible has stood the test of time and peer review. Must be a fact that it is the Word of God.
You obviously don't understand how the scientific peer review and theories work.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:25   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wizard View Post
It is the THEORY of Evolution and the LAW of Gravity! Two seperate scientific principles.

"The test of time and peer review" DOES NOT PROVE a theory!
Right and wrong, but mostly wrong, given the context you're thinking.

A scientific law describes a specific event in a specific situation. Newtons Law of Universal Gravititation lets us describe how an object falls, which way it will go, and how fast it will accelerate. What it does not tell us is why gravity acts, what creates gravity, or what is gravity. That is what the Theory of Quantum Gravity is being developed for.

You're thinking that the process of science is a progression from hypothesis --> theory --> law. That's not correct. There is no amount of evidence that turns a theory into a law. One is a pattern, the other is an explanation of how and why it works.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:30   #13
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Originally Posted by Altaris View Post

You obviously don't understand how the scientific peer review and theories work.
So, explain it to us ignorant believers.

Start with the once accepted theory that the Earth was flat.
Then tell us about how it was believed that the Earth was the center of the universe.
Please include the theory that an airplane could not fly faster than the sound barrier.
Don't forget the theory of "man made" global warming.

And finish up your presentation with the theory about how man evolved from animals and that there is no God.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:44   #14
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There is no amount of evidence that turns a theory into a law. One is a pattern, the other is an explanation of how and why it works.
Heliocentric Theory 1838 F. W. Bessel the Pprinciple of Parallax.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:12   #15
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Quote:
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Heliocentric Theory 1838 F. W. Bessel the Pprinciple of Parallax.
Which scientific law is he credited with?
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:33   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wizard View Post
It is the THEORY of Evolution and the LAW of Gravity! Two seperate scientific principles.

"The test of time and peer review" DOES NOT PROVE a theory!
Your profile says you are an engineer?
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:43   #17
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When I went to college for Manufacturing Engineering Technology it was 50% hands on Machine Tool Practice and 50% Theory. Theory included college algebra, physics, statics, ect. Theory is the science that backs the practice.


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Old 09-06-2012, 12:45   #18
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Quote:
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Heliocentric Theory 1838 F. W. Bessel the Pprinciple of Parallax.
Are you making a point?
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Old 09-06-2012, 13:32   #19
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Quote:
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It is the THEORY of Evolution and the LAW of Gravity! Two seperate scientific principles.

"The test of time and peer review" DOES NOT PROVE a theory!
Please state the LAW of gravity.
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Old 09-06-2012, 13:47   #20
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Good point! Newton's law of gravity isn't even as strong as the theory of evolution.
Depends on the mass.
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Old 09-06-2012, 13:53   #21
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A lot of talk of drawing analogies (or disanalogies) between evolution and gravity, but nobody has taken me up on Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism. It is most definitely a theory and yet we rely on its predictions in almost every electronic device we use today. Should we abandon the modern world since a theory must always be considered unproven and unreliable or do we acknowledge that we can be so certain on some theories that they should be accepted as fact?

I'll take the coming silence as an implicit concession that this point is fallacious.
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Old 09-06-2012, 13:55   #22
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Originally Posted by JBnTX View Post
So, explain it to us ignorant believers.
It's been tried, but when you revere ignorance and revile science, it can be difficult to make any progress.
Quote:
Start with the once accepted theory that the Earth was flat.
When was this ever widely accepted based on scientific investigation?
Quote:
Then tell us about how it was believed that the Earth was the center of the universe.
This is worthy of discussion to show the error of rejecting observation in favor of dogma. As pointed out above, the geocentric system was largely developed by Claudius Ptolemy based on earlier works by Aristotle and others. However, if you take the time to read the Almagest, you find that it is primarily a work of philosophy, not science. Thus the conclusion that orbits must be circular, based not on observation but on the belief that circles are perfect geometric bodies and the heavens must be perfect.

By the time systematic, scientific observations made it possible to track the motions of the celestial bodies that belief had become embedded as dogma and was defended on religious and philosophical grounds, not with arguments based in science.
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And finish up your presentation with the theory about how man evolved from animals and that there is no God.
I'm not aware of any scientific theory arguing for or against the existence of God or gods, but the conclusion that H.Sapiens developed from earlier hominids is firmly based in observation and resisted only on religious and philosophical, not scientific, grounds.
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Old 09-06-2012, 14:02   #23
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Originally Posted by High-Gear View Post
Here is how Theory is used in Science:
In modern science, the term "theory" refers to scientific theories, a well-confirmed type of explanation of nature, made in a way consistent with scientific method, and fulfilling the criteria required by modern science. Such theories are described in such a way that any scientist in the field is in a position to understand and either provide empirical support ("verify") or empirically contradict ("falsify") it. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge,[2] in contrast to more common uses of the word "theory" that imply that something is unproven or speculative.[3] Scientific theories are also distinguished from hypotheses, which are individual empirically testable conjectures, and scientific laws, which are descriptive accounts of how nature will behave under certain conditions.[4]


You see when a scientific theory stands the test of time and peer review, it becomes proven, i.e. fact. The Theory of Evolution is as much Fact as is the Theory of Gravity.
It becomes fact when it goes from theory to law. The theory of evolution doesn't explain how it is possible that it was only in the Cambrian period (the Cambrian Explosion) that multicellular organisms evolved from unicellular organisms. There was no evolution in the Cambrian period, there was an explosion of new and different phyla of existence, none of which evolved from another, and some of which still exist today. That's why it's still a theory and not a law.
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Old 09-06-2012, 14:05   #24
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Originally Posted by eracer View Post
'Facts' based solely on faith cannot be tested (unless you count a lack of proof, proof.)

Only one's own faith can be tested. And proven only to oneself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JBnTX View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by eracer View Post
'Facts' based solely on faith cannot be tested (unless you count a lack of proof, proof.)
The one's who have true faith don't need or want proof.
God's word, as written in the Bible, is good enough.

..
You find it so easy to willfully ignore large chunks of what someone says. Such as:

Quote:
Originally Posted by eracer View Post
Only one's own faith can be tested. And proven only to oneself.
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Old 09-06-2012, 14:12   #25
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It becomes fact when it goes from theory to law. The theory of evolution doesn't explain how it is possible that it was only in the Cambrian period (the Cambrian Explosion) that multicellular organisms evolved from unicellular organisms.
That isn't the case.
Quote:
There was no evolution in the Cambrian period, there was an explosion of new and different phyla of existence, none of which evolved from another, and some of which still exist today.
Also not the case.
Quote:
That's why it's still a theory and not a law.
It's a theory because that's the proper classification for an overarching explanation like the Modern Synthesis. Laws are statements of observed causal relationships, they don't include explanatory attempts for phenomena, only a statement of the observation.
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