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Offline Venus

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Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« on: June 10, 2016, 01:19:20 PM »
In the "About" section on the Home page of this website it says
"This is the home of the world-famous Flat Earth Society, a place for free thinkers and the intellectual exchange of ideas.
This website hosts information and serves as an archive for Flat Earth Theory.
It also offers an opportunity to discuss this with the Flat Earth community on our forums."

As a scientist I am offended by your use of the phrase "Flat Earth Theory" in the 3rd sentence of your "About" statement.
The word "Theory" in a Scientific context means ...
"A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation.
Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge.
A scientific theory can also be used to make predictions"

In everyday life a theory means a guess or a hunch, but in science, a theory is neither. In Science a THEORY is a well-substantiated, well-supported, well-documented explanation for our observations. It ties together all the facts about something, providing an explanation that fits ALL the observations, and can be used to make predictions about future phenomena.
I might add that a scientific theory never "invents" explanations (such as the 'Shadow Object', 'gears' in the sky, or maps which distort the sizes of countries, continents and seas and their relationship to each other in terms of size.
And in general a scientific theory does not disregard existing scientific theories (such as the Theory of Relativity, and the Universal Theory of Gravitation etc) without first providing observational evidence and repeated testing and confirmation of these observations. And of course having these refutations accepted by peer reviewers and publication in an acceptable scientific journal.

In science, a theory is the ultimate goal, the explanation. It's as close to proven as anything in science can be.
In fact, if there was a hierarchy of science, theories would be higher than laws. There is nothing higher, or better, than a theory. In Science Laws describe, Theories explain.
In science the Theory of Evolution is as solid as the Germ Theory, and the Copernican Theory is as solid as the Cell Theory

Scientific theories are usually supported by many peer reviewed papers which are published in respectable and acceptable Scientific Journals (the list of currently acceptable journals can be found at http://www.omicsonline.org/scientific-journals.php )
I cannot find any published papers supporting the flat earth model on OMICS

The process of peer review is daunting ... and can take years ... but to give you an idea of how difficult it is to achieve publication of the latest scientific research, and for your entertainment ... here's a little look at what scientific review means ...


The phrase "Flat Earth Theory" is a misnomer.
At best ... it is a model, and should be noted as such !!

So perhaps the FE'ers should get out and actually do some observations and experimentation (perhaps even buy a telescope!!), write some research papers, have them peer reviewed, and published on one of the scientific journals listed on OMICS.
You could start by organising someone in San Francisco and someone else in Seattle to repeat Eratosthenes measurements of the shadows from a stick on the equinox, then find some mathematician to do the calculations.
This is how Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth ... with amazingly accuracy !!


Perhaps then we might start to take you seriously.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 01:27:28 PM by Venus »
Because I live on the 'bottom' of a spinning spherical earth ...
*I cannot see Polaris, but I can see the Southern Cross
*When I look at the stars they appear to rotate clockwise, not anti-clockwise
*I see the moon 'upside down'
I've travelled to the Northern Hemisphere numerous times ... and seen how different the stars and the moon are 'up' there!
Come on down and check it out FE believers... !!

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Offline Pongo

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Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2016, 02:07:16 PM »
I moved this from Suggestions and Concerns because that forum is really more for site improvement rather than debating semantics.

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Offline Pongo

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Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2016, 02:14:51 PM »
In Science a THEORY is a well-substantiated, well-supported, well-documented explanation for our observations. It ties together all the facts about something, providing an explanation that fits ALL the observations, and can be used to make predictions about future phenomena.
This is how we use the word "theory" as well. Our explenations meet all observations and we use the model to predict things. If I let go of this hammer, I predict it will fall.

I might add that a scientific theory never "invents" explanations
If you think so, then might I suggest you look into String Theory.  Also, this is exactly how round-earth scientists invented dark matter. The galaxies couldn't work in their model so they invented something to increase their mass and fit their model. We may hypothesis things from time to time, but don't pretend for an instance that round-earth scientists don't do it as well.

Perhaps then we might start to take you seriously.
I doubt it. Experience has shown that round-earthers almost never change their beliefs when presented with facts. They take the dogma from their scientists like a religious zealot and cling to it hard as they can.

Rama Set

Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2016, 02:22:16 PM »
I might add that a scientific theory never "invents" explanations
If you think so, then might I suggest you look into String Theory.

I agree, String Theory should be called a hypothesis.

Quote
  Also, this is exactly how round-earth scientists invented dark matter. The galaxies couldn't work in their model so they invented something to increase their mass and fit their model. We may hypothesis things from time to time, but don't pretend for an instance that round-earth scientists don't do it as well.

I have never seen Dark Matter labelled as a theory, even though it is much much much more substantiated than String Theory.  They have mapped dark matter distribution, and claims that WIMPS have been detected in Rome, are being investigated at the LHC. 

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Offline Venus

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Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2016, 02:29:11 PM »
I moved this from Suggestions and Concerns because that forum is really more for site improvement rather than debating semantics.

All good ... I wasn't quite sure where to post it but I saw it as a problem with your home page...

However I doubt whether you will ever be considered serious by the scientific community when you continue to use scientific terms incorrectly.
Science is a process which has a fairly rigid order, structure and process. The Scientific Method is quite strictly adhered to by Scientists around the world.

Also science is open-minded - when a better explanation comes along which fits all of the observations, scientists are happy to modify or change their theories.
For example the Germ Theory replaced the Miasma Theory of Disease (bad air causes disease)
Because I live on the 'bottom' of a spinning spherical earth ...
*I cannot see Polaris, but I can see the Southern Cross
*When I look at the stars they appear to rotate clockwise, not anti-clockwise
*I see the moon 'upside down'
I've travelled to the Northern Hemisphere numerous times ... and seen how different the stars and the moon are 'up' there!
Come on down and check it out FE believers... !!

Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2016, 02:56:56 PM »
This is how we use the word "theory" as well. Our explenations meet all observations and we use the model to predict things. If I let go of this hammer, I predict it will fall.

*ahem* I don't want to completely derail this thread, but this just isn't true. Here is one example of an observation that contradicts the flat earth "theory". There are many more examples if you are curious.

Also, in establishing the usefulness/correctness of an alternative theory, the only useful predictions are those that are different from the mainstream theory. No one doubts that the hammer will fall, regardless of the shape of the earth.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 03:01:26 PM by TotesNotReptilian »

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2016, 03:06:23 PM »
This is how we use the word "theory" as well. Our explenations meet all observations and we use the model to predict things. If I let go of this hammer, I predict it will fall.

*ahem* I don't want to completely derail this thread, but this just isn't true. Here is one example of an observation that contradicts the flat earth "theory". There are many more examples if you are curious.

Examples of enlarged headlights were provided in that thread.

Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2016, 03:11:03 PM »
Examples of enlarged headlights were provided in that thread.

Examples of headlight glare that appear smaller with distance were provided. This contradicts your theory. I'm not sure how this is difficult to understand. Regardless, you should probably make your arguments in the relevant thread.

Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2016, 03:59:15 PM »
Then evolution isn't a theory, it's just a hunch. But mainstream science doesn't give a damn as long as it fits their narrative.

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Offline Jura-Glenlivet

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Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2016, 04:04:03 PM »
Then evolution isn't a theory, it's just a hunch. But mainstream science doesn't give a damn as long as it fits their narrative.

Don't even go there Truthy, you got pawned on your own thread with this shit, anyway I thought you were quitting. (Well I would but my ego won't let me)
Just to be clear, you are all terrific, but everything you say is exactly what a moron would say.

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Offline Pongo

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Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2016, 04:19:20 PM »
Also, in establishing the usefulness/correctness of an alternative theory, the only useful predictions are those that are different from the mainstream theory. No one doubts that the hammer will fall, regardless of the shape of the earth.

...What? By your definition round-earth theory cannot make any useful predictions because it's not different from the mainstream theory, it IS the mainstream theory.

Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2016, 04:23:08 PM »
Also, in establishing the usefulness/correctness of an alternative theory, the only useful predictions are those that are different from the mainstream theory. No one doubts that the hammer will fall, regardless of the shape of the earth.

...What? By your definition round-earth theory cannot make any useful predictions because it's not different from the mainstream theory, it IS the mainstream theory.
Except round earth theory isn't a theory, but observable, so a fact.

That you have trust issues with the authority that made these observations publicly available to begin with doesn't change that
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Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2016, 04:38:04 PM »
Also, in establishing the usefulness/correctness of an alternative theory, the only useful predictions are those that are different from the mainstream theory. No one doubts that the hammer will fall, regardless of the shape of the earth.

...What? By your definition round-earth theory cannot make any useful predictions because it's not different from the mainstream theory, it IS the mainstream theory.

No, that's not what I meant.

In this context, by "useful", I mean "useful for determining which theory is correct". If both theories predict that the hammer will fall, then that prediction is useless for determining which theory is correct. The useful predictions are those that differ from the other theory. We can use the different predictions to test which theory is correct.

Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2016, 04:45:06 PM »
Then evolution isn't a theory, it's just a hunch. But mainstream science doesn't give a damn as long as it fits their narrative.

Don't even go there Truthy, you got pawned on your own thread with this shit, anyway I thought you were quitting. (Well I would but my ego won't let me)

Puh-lease... that was more like a George Bush Jr. exclaiming Mission Accomplished style victory than anything else.

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Offline Pongo

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Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2016, 04:58:58 PM »
Except round earth theory isn't a theory, but observable, so a fact.

Do you feel good about that? Would you consider that to be an A-game argument? Would you like to retry or shall I shred this one?



Also, in establishing the usefulness/correctness of an alternative theory, the only useful predictions are those that are different from the mainstream theory. No one doubts that the hammer will fall, regardless of the shape of the earth.

...What? By your definition round-earth theory cannot make any useful predictions because it's not different from the mainstream theory, it IS the mainstream theory.

No, that's not what I meant.

In this context, by "useful", I mean "useful for determining which theory is correct". If both theories predict that the hammer will fall, then that prediction is useless for determining which theory is correct. The useful predictions are those that differ from the other theory. We can use the different predictions to test which theory is correct.

I was merely trying to demonstrate that flat-earth theory makes predictions. To say it doesn't is preposterous. If you want to debate the validity or uniqueness of these predictions, then may I recommend you starting a new thread? This one is about whether or not flat-earth theory is a theory or not.

Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2016, 05:00:52 PM »
I might add that a scientific theory never "invents" explanations
If you think so, then might I suggest you look into String Theory.

I agree, String Theory should be called a hypothesis.

Different fields of study have different definitions of theory. String theory is a theory in the mathematical sense: an internally consistent set of rules. Whether or not it represents reality is up for debate.

Keep in mind, as far as I know, there isn't any governing body that determines what gets labelled a theory and what doesn't. It's more a matter of consensus within the respective field. It can be inconsistent.

Rama Set

Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2016, 05:03:49 PM »

Do you feel good about that? Would you consider that to be an A-game argument? Would you like to retry or shall I shred this one?

I would like to see you "shred" this one personally.


Different fields of study have different definitions of theory. String theory is a theory in the mathematical sense: an internally consistent set of rules. Whether or not it represents reality is up for debate.

It is unfortunate though because it constantly gets represented as a physical theory.  If it were called a mathematical theory, then I would have no problem.

Quote
Keep in mind, as far as I know, there isn't any governing body that determines what gets labelled a theory and what doesn't. It's more a matter of consensus within the respective field. It can be inconsistent.

This is also unfortunate.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 05:05:39 PM by Rama Set »

Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2016, 05:07:04 PM »
Except round earth theory isn't a theory, but observable, so a fact.

Do you feel good about that? Would you consider that to be an A-game argument? Would you like to retry or shall I shred this one?



Also, in establishing the usefulness/correctness of an alternative theory, the only useful predictions are those that are different from the mainstream theory. No one doubts that the hammer will fall, regardless of the shape of the earth.

...What? By your definition round-earth theory cannot make any useful predictions because it's not different from the mainstream theory, it IS the mainstream theory.

No, that's not what I meant.

In this context, by "useful", I mean "useful for determining which theory is correct". If both theories predict that the hammer will fall, then that prediction is useless for determining which theory is correct. The useful predictions are those that differ from the other theory. We can use the different predictions to test which theory is correct.

I was merely trying to demonstrate that flat-earth theory makes predictions. To say it doesn't is preposterous. If you want to debate the validity or uniqueness of these predictions, then may I recommend you starting a new thread? This one is about whether or not flat-earth theory is a theory or not.
Indeed I do, and be my guest. You did forget to quote the rest of my reply I might add.
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Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2016, 05:27:26 PM »
Quote
Also, in establishing the usefulness/correctness of an alternative theory, the only useful predictions are those that are different from the mainstream theory. No one doubts that the hammer will fall, regardless of the shape of the earth.

...What? By your definition round-earth theory cannot make any useful predictions because it's not different from the mainstream theory, it IS the mainstream theory.

No, that's not what I meant.

In this context, by "useful", I mean "useful for determining which theory is correct". If both theories predict that the hammer will fall, then that prediction is useless for determining which theory is correct. The useful predictions are those that differ from the other theory. We can use the different predictions to test which theory is correct.

I was merely trying to demonstrate that flat-earth theory makes predictions. To say it doesn't is preposterous. If you want to debate the validity or uniqueness of these predictions, then may I recommend you starting a new thread? This one is about whether or not flat-earth theory is a theory or not.

In Venus's original post, he stated some requirements for a theory. One was that it makes reliable predictions. No one is arguing that FET makes no predictions. It even makes many correct predictions. Mainly, those predictions that agree with RET. (falling hammer)

However, it doesn't make reliable predictions. The predictions that we are primarily interested in are those that differ from RET. If RET and FET disagree in their predictions, which one can we rely on to be correct?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 05:34:23 PM by TotesNotReptilian »

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Offline Pongo

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Re: Definition of a Scientific "Theory"
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2016, 06:20:06 PM »
Indeed I do, and be my guest. You did forget to quote the rest of my reply I might add.

No, I did not forget, I neglected to quote it. However, if you insist, I'll address that disparate comment at the end.



This is for Andruszkow and Rama Set (Who should really know better. I can forgive this noob, but you disappoint me, Rama):

Except round earth theory isn't a theory, but observable, so a fact.
Do you feel good about that? Would you consider that to be an A-game argument? Would you like to retry or shall I shred this one?

One need look no further than this very post to see what constitutes a "theory." Venus laid it out quote nicely when she said, "In Science a THEORY is a well-substantiated, well-supported, well-documented explanation for our observations. It ties together all the facts about something, providing an explanation that fits ALL the observations, and can be used to make predictions about future phenomena."  This is what constitutes a theory and I say that flat-earth meets these requirements. However, that's beside the point. I'm here to shred your argument, Andruszkow.

In science, being observable doesn't graduate something from a theory to a fact. As Venus points out, a theory is an explanation of observations. The theory of evolution is undeniably true, but it will never (correctly) be called "the fact of evolution" because it's an explanation for a set of observations.

By definition, round-earth theory is a theory. Even if it was conclusively demonstrated to everyone in the world, it would still be called round-earth theory because (say it with me now) it's an explanation for a set of observations.

So in this light, saying, "...round earth theory isn't a theory, but observable, so a fact," is mind-boggling. It's not that it's wrong, it's that it's a statement so deeply flawed of that it betrays a strong degree of ignorance to the use of scientific terms.



That you have trust issues with the authority that made these observations publicly available to begin with doesn't change that

To address your second non sequitur ad hominem... Well I sort of just did. But because you seem to think it's a valid argument I suppose I'll explain why it's a non sequitur ad hominem.

Non sequitur: This does not logically track. Me having trust issues with the source data does not make the source data valid. Nor does it in any way lend credibility to the source data. Restated, it reads, "Because I have trust issues with the data, it does not change that flat-earth theory is a fact." It's a conclusion (round-earth is a fact) that does not follow it's premise (I have trust issues). My level of trust does not effect the validity of the data.

Ad hominem: You are attacking me, not the argument. The notion that I have trust issues with the source data does not mean that the source data is valid or invalid and it certainly does not mean that the world is round or flat.