Best layman's explanation for Scientific Theory I have ever seen.

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Comment by Dienekes on July 29, 2012 at 12:23am

Well, if you want to get technical, "String Theory" is a framework, not an individual theory, but I do see your point. :-)

I also agree with your "strawman fallacy" point as well.  Presenting evidence that disproves someone else's assertion does not automatically make your assertion correct, which I think really gets into the meat of the issue.  I think the underlying assertion is that scientific theories *can* be disputed and disproved, and when they are, they are abandoned, whereas religious theories are *always* disputed and easily disproved, yet are only abandoned as slowly and carefully as necessarily so as not to disturb the rest of their delusional superstitions.

I'm not sure I understand your statement "therefore Scientific Theories are bolstered to levels of surety that it does not deserve." though. How does creationists trying to compare their crazy speculations and suppositions to scientific theories "bolster" the surety of those scientific theories? As far as I know, scientific theories are accepted or rejected based on the evidence that supports or disputes them, their acceptance has nothing to do with disproving anything else.  Just as any religious assertion assertion being disputable based on the fact that there is no evidence to support any of them.

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on July 29, 2012 at 4:09am

@Keith Pinster - I wouldn't worry abut it too much, this guy is just another one of those theists who feels he's rationalized his delusion through use of rhetoric.  It's like trying to have a conversation with a contrarian - it's just wordplay and he'll never actually define his position.

Comment by Dienekes on July 29, 2012 at 1:10pm

@Heather - Ya, I kind of assumed that when he misused the term "raison d'etre". He obviously doesn't understand exactly what is required for a Scientific Hypothesis to be promoted to a Scientific Theory. He also doesn't understand the basics of science, which is that EVERY theory is constantly challenged, which is one of the biggest strengths of science.  it's amazing that xians actually claim that allowing Theories to change is actually a weakness of science.  After all, very recently in the news there was an observation that could have easily disproved Einstein's Theory of General Relativity if the result not come out exactly as expected.

He could also research String Theory and easily find the predictions that it makes that have been confirmed, yet he apparently refuses to do so, requiring others to do the research for him. He is completely oblivious to the fact that, even though some predictions have not yet been confirmed, neither have those predictions been invalidated. Just because a prediction has not been confirmed, doesn't mean it is invalid.  As long as it is logically sound, it is still considered conceivably valid.  This is in direct opposition to religious assertions, especially from xians, where the absolute underlying claim is that the bible being a valid source of information, which has been proved beyond all reasonable doubt (from hundreds of different directions) to be completely unreliable and fallacious.

On the positive side, I think I may have him stumped, since he hasn't responded to my comment about his assertion, so maybe he can't come up with a rebuttal that even he thinks is in any way plausible.  LOL

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on July 29, 2012 at 7:38pm

@Pinster - they are never stumped; if all else fails they'll just say you don't know the ultimate truth that awaits in the love of Jesus, LOL!

Comment by John Abramson on January 2, 2014 at 4:28pm

Germ theory? That's a fucking stretch. 

Comment by Michael on January 3, 2014 at 7:29am

@ Keith Pinster 

Just to be clear. In your previous post were you pointing to the moneyed interests that attempt to use pseudoscience to discredit anthropogenic climate change so as to avoid any action that may bite into their profits or were actually stating that you think that anthropogenic climate change is junk science?

Comment by Teri G on January 3, 2014 at 7:48am

I wish I had come across this a year or 2 ago. I have a much better understanding of this now and had the opportunity to discuss it and correct another's "it's just a theory" belief a while ago, and tried to explain my - then skewed - understanding of the scientific theory. 

Though I am glad to have a better understanding full stop! Always happy to learn new things!

Comment by David Smith on January 3, 2014 at 8:11am

Very eloquent and factual.  I wouldn't imagine you'd have to hard a job finding someone still couldn't grasp the concept though, to much fact, not enough bible quotes.

I think what will always convince me in an argument where science Vs. mysticism is this.  We commend a scientific statement based on how well it explains its topic.  The religious community, in contrast, look for the poetic in their statement, if the point being made is made by a charismatic person then it must be correct. and how well the edges of it (in a jig saw analogy) fit those that came before. In fact, if is so supportable of your per existing views that it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, well that's a sign straight from god!

Comment by Dienekes on January 3, 2014 at 3:31pm

@Michael - I'm not sure what you're talking about, it's been about a year and a half since I posted on this thread and don't see the comment you are referring to.  However, to answer your question, I think anthropogenic climate change is questionable.  I'm still open to both sides of the issue, but I've seen enough compelling evidence against it to seriously question it.

That being said, there is still a LOT that needs to be done that, if it were indeed true, would have a very positive effect regardless.  We need to get off of fossil fuels (and stop pumping money and lives into the middle east to support our FF hunger), we need to move people toward solar energy (there is a lot that can be done with passive solar, such as water and space heating that is not dependent on advancements in photovoltaic technology), we need to get people moved to electric cars (because even coal burning power plants are substantially more efficient and cleaner than gas vehicle exhaust) and we need to continue pumping money into photovoltaic research and advancements so that they can replace other energy sources.  So, in short, although I seriously question ACC, I certainly support initiatives that would have the side effects of reducing carbon footprints anyway, as long as that is not the only thing that they do.

Comment by Pope Beanie on January 3, 2014 at 7:36pm

I, too, wish I'd seen this explanation years ago. I must correct some of my blogs to make as much sense as this does.

Meanwhile, I see @Jerome's point about String "Theory". I don't think the original poster would have mentioned that as an example, because it hasn't been worked out as much or become as useful as gravity, germ, evolutionary, or even social theory, for that matter. String Theory is still more of a work in progress, as are theories about the multiverse, big bang, and so on.

Still, even the work-in-progress theories strive to scientifically answer with integrity questions that religion chooses to apply and be content with "God did it". I.e., they're right that science doesn't know all the answers, but they're wrong that strong belief and absolute certainty are more effective at ultimately discovering truth. Even science requires everyone to be skeptical of theories and bring forth observable evidence and useful predictions, but faith requires everyone to accept revelations without evidence, doubt, or repeatable experiments to test their faith.


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