Zeteticism
« on: December 07, 2019, 07:53:38 AM »
From the wiki,
"Zeteticism differs from the usual scientific method in that using zeteticism one bases his conclusions on experimentation and observation rather than on an initial theory that is to be proved or disproved. A zetetic forms the question then immediately sets to work making observations and performing experiments to answer that question, rather than speculating on what the answer might be then testing that out."

First of all, I'd like to be slightly pedantic and point out that, in the scientific method, one doesn't initially form a theory. The first step is a hypothesis, I think that might be the term you intended.

Second, I wanted to ask some FE'rs who believe things like Universal Acceleration while claiming to follow the zetetic method, how do these beliefs not conflict with each other?

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2019, 05:56:56 PM »
If you follow the Scientific Method as it is written you will get half-truths and fallacies. The Scientific Method has us coming up with a hypothesis and then performing an experiment around that hypothesis to prove it to be true or false. If it is true, and the experiment comes out in your favor, the next step is to declare yourself to be correct, communicate your results, and it ends there.

However, this is not sufficient. As an example consider Aristotle's theory of spontaneous generation which mankind accepted as true for upwards of 2000 years. If you perform an experiment and put out a piece of meat and find that it eventually rots and flies and maggots develop on it, you would be prone to believe that the prevailing theory of spontaneous generation is true.

We see that a single experiment to confirm a hypothesis is not enough, and deeper and basic investigation is necessary to validate the underlying hypothesis. The Zetetic philosophy is conceived as a method of inquiry, where tests are tried and investigation is performed, not to corroborate any particular theory, but where all theories are discarded and the goal is to uncover basic truths about nature, with experience itself as the guiding force.

Many inventors and researchers already perform a Zetetic form of inquiry without knowing it. When Folding@Home systematically tests many different protein folding combinations across a distributed network to see what works and what does not, the Zetetic method is applied. When the Wright Brothers wrote that they had discarded scientific theories and began from experiment to experience, and that only then could they invent the airplane, they were performing the Zetetic method. Knowledge does not come from the 'logically sound' theories and models of man that are built up in academia, but from experience and nature.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 07:06:17 PM by Tom Bishop »
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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2019, 07:04:00 PM »
When the Wright Brothers wrote that they had discarded scientific theories and began from experiment to experience, and that only then could they invent the airplane, they were performing the Zetetic method. Knowledge does not come from the 'logically sound' theories and models of man that are built up in academia, but from experience and nature.

So, when Norwood set out from the Tower of London to York, in the 1600s, armed with his chain and notebook, you would agree that he was following Zetetic method?

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=t69WAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA2&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false
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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2019, 07:30:19 PM »
The Scientific Method has us coming up with a hypothesis and then performing an experiment around that hypothesis to prove it to be true or false. If it is true, and the experiment comes out in your favor, the next step is to declare yourself to be correct, communicate your results, and it ends there.
This is absolutely not what the scientific method does.

The scientific method is about coming up with a hypothesis and then doing an experiment to test that hypothesis. No single test is said to prove anything.

If the results of the test are inconsistent with the hypothesis then it is discarded - unless there was some flaw with the test.
If the test results are consistent with the hypothesis then no, you don’t declare yourself to be correct, you publish your method and your results so that other people can check your work. If other people manage to reproduce your results then it builds confidence in your hypothesis. People may devise different ways of testing your hypothesis. All this serves to check your work. A theory is never said to be proven and the process never “ends”. But the more tests that are done and the more different ways of testing the hypothesis which gives results consistent with it, the more confidence there is in the theory which is built on the hypothesis.

Let’s take an example. Galileo had a hypothesis that objects fall at the same rate no matter what their mass is. To test that he (allegedly) dropped two cannonballs from the Leaning Tower of Pisa at the same time and observed that they hit the ground at the same time. Does that prove the hypothesis? Absolutely not. It builds confidence in it but it’s only one test. But the more tests people do with different pairs of objects the more confidence is built in the hypothesis. You could also vary the test - drop more than 2 objects, drop them from various heights. Drop them in different times of day or in different temperatures. And so on.

Now, let’s say one day someone drops a cannonball and a feather. Hang on a minute, what’s going on here? The cannonball falls a lot faster than the feather. Galileo was wrong!
So what happens then in science is we look at the original hypothesis - is it completely wrong or does it just need modification? In this case, modification. Earth has an atmosphere which means there is air resistance which needs to be taken into account. For cannonballs the effect is negligible, for feathers it is not. So now we have to say that objects in a gravitational field fall at the same rate if no other forces are acting on them. In effect this means that on earth objects fall at the same rate in a vacuum. You can find a video of a Brian Cox show in which they drop a bowling ball and a feather in a large vacuum chamber and show they fall at the same rate.

This is how science works. Hypotheses are tested, methods and results are published. Other people peer review what you did, repeat your tests or devise their own and the results can either see theories modified or even abandoned if they are shown conclusively to be wrong.

The issue with the method articulated on here - proceeding by personal enquiry alone - is that you miss the vital step of publishing your method and results. You miss the important feedback of peer review. You are not checking each other’s work. So you believe in a FE because of The Bishop Experiment. But you have provided no evidence for having even done it, you haven’t published details about your method or your results. Yes, I could do my own tests but I can’t exactly repeat what you did or know if my results are consistent with yours. And what if I did my own test which I declare similar enough to yours based on what I know of your test. What if I get different results? What happens then? How do we know who is wrong?
The principle of checking things out for yourself is sound up to a point but we have to consider our own limitations in understanding or ability to do tests.
I’d say the heart of the scientific method is peer review and this is a step you miss and it leads you to wrong conclusions.
Your shows a massive misunderstanding of what the scientific method is.

If you are making your claim without evidence then we can discard it without evidence.

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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2019, 07:32:26 PM »
When the Wright Brothers wrote that they had discarded scientific theories and began from experiment to experience, and that only then could they invent the airplane
You like that quote a lot, I’ve seen you use it on here before. I’ve yet to see a credible source for it.
If you are making your claim without evidence then we can discard it without evidence.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2019, 07:40:20 PM »
The scientific method is about coming up with a hypothesis and then doing an experiment to test that hypothesis. No single test is said to prove anything.

The tests are thought to confirm the hypothesis, which is treated as proven true. Do you think that when people believed that spontaneous generation was true, that they thought it wasn't proven?

Standards of "proof" have always been very low in science.

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If the test results are consistent with the hypothesis then no, you don’t declare yourself to be correct, you publish your method and your results so that other people can check your work. If other people manage to reproduce your results then it builds confidence in your hypothesis.

That would just lead to the same flawed conclusion of spontaneous generation.

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People may devise different ways of testing your hypothesis.

That's beyond what the Scientific Method says. The Scientific Method just says to perform a test to confirm that your hypothesis is true. That's it. There is no further investigation on your subject matter.

I would recommend reading the steps of the Scientific Method. They do not involve multiple tests in different fundamental ways of a hypothesis. It just says to perform a test to confirm whether it is true or false. It is your understanding of what the scientific method says which is flawed. The scientific method says none of that.

If people "may" test the hypothesis in different ways, that's beyond what the scope of the scientific method says to do, and is closer to the Zetetic method.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 07:50:40 PM by Tom Bishop »
"The biggest problem in astronomy is that when we look at something in the sky, we don’t know how far away it is" — Pauline Barmby, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy

Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2019, 08:23:01 PM »
The tests are thought to confirm the hypothesis, which is treated as proven true.
No, it isn't. Were that true we wouldn't have relativity, if Newton's ideas were thought to be "Proven True" then why would anyone ever have challenged them?
The reason it took so long for Newton to be shown to be wrong is because in most circumstances his theory does work fine, it's only in certain circumstances that his theories break down and it took a long time for us to have instruments sensitive enough to notice.
Science is always open to the possibility that it might not be correct and the models might need to be modified or discarded entirely and replaced.

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Do you think that when people believed that spontaneous generation was true, that they thought it wasn't proven?

Did they believe it because of rigorous scientific, peer reviewed experiments? Remember you're talking about theories which have been disproved for hundreds of years ago. But how was it disproved? With a controlled scientific experiment

https://www.microbiologytext.com/5th_ed/book/displayarticle/aid/27

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That would just lead to the same flawed conclusion of spontaneous generation.
If the conclusion was based on controlled but flawed scientific experiments then maybe. Was it?
Ultimately, when a controlled scientific experiment was done to test the hypothesis of spontaneous generation, it was shown to be false.

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That's beyond what the Scientific Method says. The Scientific Method just says to perform a test to confirm that your hypothesis is true. That's it. There is no further investigation on your subject matter.

Well, it's up to you whether you do further investigation but the end of the method is "Report results". This is the key part which allows others to review and attempt to repeat your result either using your method or different method which may test things you missed. Nowhere in the scientific method does it say this is not allowed, it's how progress has been made down the years.

As for the Wright brothers, they certainly did work in a scientific way:

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The Wright brothers were much more scientific and methodical inventors. They believed in testing their ideas in smaller or safer versions before building an actual plane. Scientists today, like the Wright brothers, don't just build things and see what happens; they make observations, then form a hypothesis or guess, and then do more tests to see if their hypothesis is correct. This is known as the "scientific method." For example, the Wright brothers built a wind tunnel to compare wing shape ideas By attaching an old shop fan to a 6-foot-long wooden box, they could blow "wind" on hundreds of different miniature wings and measure with a scale exactly how much lift each wing produced. The Wright brothers also flew countless kites as well as motor-less gliders to test their designs. They studied the way birds move through the air and tried to duplicate it with their models. Throughout all their experiments, Orville and Wilbur took careful notes and measurements so they could analyze what worked and what didn't.

http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/flight/wright/invent.htm
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 09:13:48 PM by AllAroundTheWorld »
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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2019, 10:30:26 PM »
The Scientific Method just says to perform a test to confirm that your hypothesis is true.

Where is this "said"?

I would recommend reading the steps of the Scientific Method.

From which books?
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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2019, 10:53:13 PM »
The tests are thought to confirm the hypothesis, which is treated as proven true.
No, it isn't. Were that true we wouldn't have relativity, if Newton's ideas were thought to be "Proven True" then why would anyone ever have challenged them?
The reason it took so long for Newton to be shown to be wrong is because in most circumstances his theory does work fine, it's only in certain circumstances that his theories break down and it took a long time for us to have instruments sensitive enough to notice.
Science is always open to the possibility that it might not be correct and the models might need to be modified or discarded entirely and replaced.

Funny statements there, but the word "proven" is widely used by academia when a hypothesis is allegedly tested to be true.

Search term: "relativity was proven" site:.edu

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In 1919 his theory of General Relativity was proven correct from measurements taken during a total solar eclipse and he instantly became a ...

Oct 25, 2018 · Shortly before the Versailles treaty was signed in 1919, Einstein received good new when his theory of relativity was proven by a British ...

Aug 4, 2017 · ... and how Einstein's theory of relativity was proven true to a skeptical world when, during the eclipse of 1919, scientists collected photographic ...

TOTALITY also looks back to a fascinating period in scientific discovery when general relativity was proven with the photographic recording of a total solar eclipse.

Mar 12, 2019 · Look back to a fascinating period in scientific discovery when general relativity was proven with the photographic recording of a total solar  ...

Quote from: AllAroundTheWorld
Well, it's up to you whether you do further investigation but the end of the method is "Report results". This is the key part which allows others to review and attempt to repeat your result either using your method or different method which may test things you missed. Nowhere in the scientific method does it say this is not allowed, it's how progress has been made down the years.

The Scientific Method says nothing about testing a hypothesis with different methods to better determine a truth.

"Well it's up to you" --- That's not a method.

Quote from: AllAroundTheWorld
As for the Wright brothers, they certainly did work in a scientific way:

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The Wright brothers were much more scientific and methodical inventors. They believed in testing their ideas in smaller or safer versions before building an actual plane. Scientists today, like the Wright brothers, don't just build things and see what happens; they make observations, then form a hypothesis or guess, and then do more tests to see if their hypothesis is correct. This is known as the "scientific method." For example, the Wright brothers built a wind tunnel to compare wing shape ideas By attaching an old shop fan to a 6-foot-long wooden box, they could blow "wind" on hundreds of different miniature wings and measure with a scale exactly how much lift each wing produced. The Wright brothers also flew countless kites as well as motor-less gliders to test their designs. They studied the way birds move through the air and tried to duplicate it with their models. Throughout all their experiments, Orville and Wilbur took careful notes and measurements so they could analyze what worked and what didn't.

http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/flight/wright/invent.htm

Looks like investigating from experiment to experience to me.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 01:59:52 PM by Tom Bishop »
"The biggest problem in astronomy is that when we look at something in the sky, we don’t know how far away it is" — Pauline Barmby, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy

Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2019, 12:07:12 AM »
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The Scientific Method says nothing about testing a hypothesis with different methods to better determine a truth.

You’d benefit from some study of Karl Popper.

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The game of science is, in principle, without end. He who decides one day that scientific statements do not call for any further test, and that they can be regarded as finally verified, retires from the game.

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Those among us who are unwilling to expose their ideas to the hazard of refutation do not take part in the scientific game.

http://strangebeautiful.com/other-texts/popper-logic-scientific-discovery.pdf

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2019, 12:36:42 PM »
Is that the Scientific Method, or is it someone's commentary from a book?
"The biggest problem in astronomy is that when we look at something in the sky, we don’t know how far away it is" — Pauline Barmby, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy

Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2019, 05:01:25 PM »
Is that the Scientific Method, or is it someone's commentary from a book?

Karl Popper was one of the most influential philosophers of science in the twentieth century and some would say of all time. "The Logic of Scientific Discovery" is hardly "commentary".  His teaching and contributions to the philosophy of science are considered the cornerstone of the modern scientific method.

The fact that you apparently don’t know even who he is much less have familiarity with his work, or with the various criticisms of it, show how utterly superficial your understanding of the scientific method is. "The Scientific Method in Practice by Hugh Gauch" is also a good resource.  I believe you can download a pdf of it as well, so there really is no excuse not to educate yourself.

But typically, you’d rather reduce the profound to what you find in a 6th grade science book. 
 

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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2019, 05:39:20 PM »
Popper's contributions to philosophy were largely hypothetical, and commonly dismissed - he made no claim that anyone actually employs them, and presented them as a recommendation. To suggest that critical rationalism and the scientific method are one and the same is disingenuous to say the least.

In short, you took someone who proposes a method similar to Zeteticism, except you chose to pretend that his proposed methodology is representative of what his contemporaries did, or what's being done now. How foolish.

In your credit, you did bring to attention the fact that Popper agreed with us on this particular issue. It's just a shame that you did that by attempting to sneak through a lie.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 05:40:52 PM by Pete Svarrior »
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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2019, 08:07:26 PM »
Popper's contributions to philosophy were largely hypothetical, and commonly dismissed - he made no claim that anyone actually employs them, and presented them as a recommendation. To suggest that critical rationalism and the scientific method are one and the same is disingenuous to say the least.

In short, you took someone who proposes a method similar to Zeteticism, except you chose to pretend that his proposed methodology is representative of what his contemporaries did, or what's being done now. How foolish.

In your credit, you did bring to attention the fact that Popper agreed with us on this particular issue. It's just a shame that you did that by attempting to sneak through a lie.

your interpretation of popper as i understand it from this post is really not very accurate.

for one thing, popper was an absolute giant in the philosophy of science, and he's still taken very seriously.  popper's falsification theory dominated the field until thomas kuhn rocked everybody's tits off talking about paradigms.

for another, popper was the opposite of a zetetic.  the wiki says that "using zeteticism one bases his conclusions on experimentation and observation rather than on an initial theory that is to be proved or disproved."  contra zeteticism, he argued that the only statements with scientific meaning are those that can be falsified with respect to some prior theory or framework.  even beyond that, popper explicitly argued against newtonian 'pure observation.'  he believed that observations/empirical statements themselves are always and necessarily 'theory-laden.'

apropos of this argument about whether or not science tells you to stop doing science after a single experiment (lol), popper says this in the logic of scientific discovery:

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We do not take even our own observations quite seriously, or accept them as scientific observations, until we have repeated and tested them. Only by such repetitions can we convince ourselves that we are not dealing with a mere isolated ‘coincidence’, but with events which, on account of their regularity and reproducibility, are in principle inter-subjectively testable.
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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2019, 08:49:13 PM »
Popper's contributions to philosophy were largely hypothetical, and commonly dismissed - he made no claim that anyone actually employs them, and presented them as a recommendation. To suggest that critical rationalism and the scientific method are one and the same is disingenuous to say the least.

Right, which is why the concept of falsifiability never really took off.  ::)


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n your credit, you did bring to attention the fact that Popper agreed with us on this particular issue. It's just a shame that you did that by attempting to sneak through a lie.

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The doctrine that the empirical sciences are reducible to sense perceptions, and thus to our experiences, is one which many accept as obvious beyond all question. However, this doctrine stands or falls with inductive logic, and is here rejected along with it. p. 103 "The Logic of Scientific Discovery"

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In contrast, that Zetetics "[learn] from experience and observation" (Rowbotham 1) implies that they make logical deductions based on data they have themselves experienced or observed, and that there must be a direct connection between the data and the person drawing logical conclusions from it. Otherwise, Zetetics would not be making logical deductions on the basis of "experience and observation", but rather from reported experiences or reported observations. In short, the Zetetic Method requires that logical deduction be based upon direct sensorial evidence.

http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php?topic=48821.0

Wow, you caught me.  Obviously, Popper was a proponent of the Zetetic method.

And for the record, I didn't mention any particular issue...so I don't know what you think I was "lying" about.  I simply suggested that Tom would benefit from studying his ideas.


Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2019, 07:12:57 AM »
If you follow the Scientific Method as it is written you will get half-truths and fallacies. The Scientific Method has us coming up with a hypothesis and then performing an experiment around that hypothesis to prove it to be true or false. If it is true, and the experiment comes out in your favor, the next step is to declare yourself to be correct, communicate your results, and it ends there.

However, this is not sufficient. As an example consider Aristotle's theory of spontaneous generation which mankind accepted as true for upwards of 2000 years. If you perform an experiment and put out a piece of meat and find that it eventually rots and flies and maggots develop on it, you would be prone to believe that the prevailing theory of spontaneous generation is true.

We see that a single experiment to confirm a hypothesis is not enough, and deeper and basic investigation is necessary to validate the underlying hypothesis. The Zetetic philosophy is conceived as a method of inquiry, where tests are tried and investigation is performed, not to corroborate any particular theory, but where all theories are discarded and the goal is to uncover basic truths about nature, with experience itself as the guiding force.

Many inventors and researchers already perform a Zetetic form of inquiry without knowing it. When Folding@Home systematically tests many different protein folding combinations across a distributed network to see what works and what does not, the Zetetic method is applied. When the Wright Brothers wrote that they had discarded scientific theories and began from experiment to experience, and that only then could they invent the airplane, they were performing the Zetetic method. Knowledge does not come from the 'logically sound' theories and models of man that are built up in academia, but from experience and nature.

Because others have already explained your misconceptions about the scientific method better than I could on my best day, I’ll leave it at that.

I do want to ask though, do you seriously think the Wright brothers didn’t form a hypothesis? I’m skeptical of your claim, as it doesn’t have a source, but even if it’s correct, they knew to make wings, they must have understood the basic concept of lift, so even if they didn’t realize it, that is a hypothesis. They tested it, and it worked.

Also, are you deliberately trying to derail topics? I’ve seen you do it in other threads, but maybe you aren’t trying to do it, or don’t realize you’re doing it.
This post had nothing to do with the validity of the scientific method, yet you dedicated the whole post to pointing out what you think are it’s flaws.

My point is, ironically, that many people who claim to follow Zeteticism might be unknowingly following the scientific method, contradicting your claim to the contrary.
Universal acceleration is a blinding example. The whole idea that the world is flat is a presumption in itself. It’s a contradiction to zeteticism.

Tom, I know you like the zetetic method, but I’m not sure your positions on FE hypotheses like UA.
How about it, what do you think?

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2019, 09:18:59 AM »
for one thing, popper was an absolute giant in the philosophy of science, and he's still taken very seriously.
I didn't say he wasn't. I'm merely pointing out that his proposed methodology is not followed to the letter (not even remotely), and never was. Parts of it were influential, which is a good thing, but to propose that reading Popper will give you an authoritative manual on how2science is to argue in bad faith.

he argued that the only statements with scientific meaning are those that can be falsified with respect to some prior theory or framework
Or, as he more succinctly put it himself, myths. I suspect the issue here is a poor understanding of Zeteticism. This may be something for us to work on - it's clear that the current documentation of Zetetic inquiry inspires misconceptions and misinterpretations. Newcomers to the ideology seem to think that it exclusively comprises observation in some sort of unachievable vacuum, rather than merely emphasising it. I view it as a similar failure as some of our prior work on the Ice Wall leading to people expecting an actual, literal wall of ice surrounding the South. It's not surprising that a lot of work remains to be done, and some of it is clearly just patching up past failures.

Obviously, Popper was a proponent of the Zetetic method.
If you're going to strawman me, please do so in AR so I can express my opinion of you appropriately. Alternatively, please stick to discussing arguments that were actually made, and not ones you've conjured in your head.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 09:27:24 AM by Pete Svarrior »
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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2019, 11:24:12 AM »
Funny statements there, but the word "proven" is widely used by academia when a hypothesis is allegedly tested to be true.
You know, I'm going to concede that one. Yes, the word is used.
But I think most people understand that outside of the world of mathematics nothing can be truly proven in the strictest sense.
In court they talk about things being proven beyond reasonable doubt to reflect that.

In science the word may well be used but where you are misunderstanding (or deliberately misrepresenting) things is to claim that scientific ideas, once "proven", stand for all time.
They don't. Science is always open to the possibility that models may need tweaking or even replacing completely.

How do you think we ended up with the heliocentric becoming accepted? By your logic, the geocentric model was "proven" so nothing could ever replace it.
Obviously that model was well ingrained so it took a long time and lots of evidence for a different model to replace it. And people did initially make attempts to reconcile the geocentric model with observations which cast doubt on it. Ultimately though the evidence won out and the model was completely replaced.

Same with Relativity - Newton's model of gravity had been accepted for centuries, Einstein's model was revolutionary but, again, the evidence won out.
I note that you accept parts of Relativity which fit your agenda so UA doesn't see us whizzing past light speed.
If you want to try some introspection you might want to consider how dishonest it is for you to decry science and the scientific method but then cherry-pick parts of scientific theories which fit your agenda.

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The Scientific Method says nothing about testing a hypothesis with different methods to better determine a truth.

Neither does it say you can't. All it says is report your results. Other people can then do what they want with them. And this is how progress is made.
People checking each other's results to make sure no mistakes were made.
You can sneer at the scientific method if you like but it's hard to argue that it hasn't been a success.

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Looks like investigating from experiment to experience to me.

Call it what you like, your original quote claims that they explicitly rejected the scientific method - a quote you've used before and never provided a credible source for.
Can I suggest you stop repeating this lie unless you can provide any credible evidence that they actually said or wrote that.
If you are making your claim without evidence then we can discard it without evidence.

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Offline BillO

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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2019, 05:15:06 PM »
As an example consider Aristotle's theory of spontaneous generation which mankind accepted as true for upwards of 2000 years.
I don't think this is a great example, Tom.  Aristotle formed his "theory" strictly from observation and experimentation.  He would observe life emerging from environments where they did not exist before, either existing environments, like pools of water that later produced fish, or created environments, like leaving raw meat out to later observe flies and maggots emerge.  Then formulated spontaneous generation as an explanation.  He strictly followed the Zetetic method, not the scientific method.
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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2019, 09:22:22 PM »
If you follow the Scientific Method as it is written you will get half-truths and fallacies. The Scientific Method has us coming up with a hypothesis and then performing an experiment around that hypothesis to prove it to be true or false. If it is true, and the experiment comes out in your favor, the next step is to declare yourself to be correct, communicate your results, and it ends there.

I agree with this. The current scientific method really does have some flaws.

However, this is not sufficient. As an example consider Aristotle's theory of spontaneous generation which mankind accepted as true for upwards of 2000 years. If you perform an experiment and put out a piece of meat and find that it eventually rots and flies and maggots develop on it, you would be prone to believe that the prevailing theory of spontaneous generation is true.

I don't think this is a fair example to show the flaws in the scientific method. Aristotle came up with this idea over 2000 years ago. Then, as a result of the scientific method, created many tests to this spontaneous generation. Some provided evidence for and some provided evidence against. Eventually, through hundreds of iterations through the scientific method, enough experiments had provided evidence against spontaneous generation to largely reject it.

In this specific example it took something like 2000 years to test these ideas. The modern scientific method, while still able to provide evidence toward an erroneous concept or idea, are tested much sooner than 2000 years.

For example X rays were used in shoe stores from 1920 to 1970. In 1927 the scientific method started providing evidence suggesting that these were harmful. By the end of the 70's enough evidence had been compiled that the machines were all but extinct.

While a glaring example of the flaws of the scientific method that such machines were allowed in stores in the first place it didn't take thousands of years to come up with substantial evidence against.





Many inventors and researchers already perform a Zetetic form of inquiry without knowing it. When Folding@Home systematically tests many different protein folding combinations across a distributed network to see what works and what does not, the Zetetic method is applied. When the Wright Brothers wrote that they had discarded scientific theories and began from experiment to experience, and that only then could they invent the airplane, they were performing the Zetetic method. Knowledge does not come from the 'logically sound' theories and models of man that are built up in academia, but from experience and nature.

very good point I didn't know about that. I feel the best approach may be some sort of hybrid.

There are pros and cons to having the experiment lead to a hypothesis



and there are pros and cons to having the hypothesis lead to the experiment