TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: FTC Do Not Call List

Re: FTC Do Not Call List

Mark Crispin (MRC@CAC.Washington.EDU)
Sun, 18 Dec 2005 02:36:34 -0800

On Sat, 17 Dec 2005, wrote:

>> Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.

> Actually, it does. Scientific theories don't become "facts" until an
> idea is published and debated among scientists, who test out the
> theories in their own labs and will debate them. Perhaps it is not
> "public" debate, but an open debate is vital to science.

That is a misunderstanding of science and the scientific method.

Facts are not subject to debate. Debate does not render a falsehood true;
nor does it make truth be false.

Nor do theories ever "become" facts. A theory is an explanation of a
fact (generally the processes behind that fact).

A theory can never be proven to true. It can only be proven false
(disproven). Consequently, an essential part of what defines a theory
is that a theory can be tested.

For example, "God created the universe" is not a scientific theory
because it is impossible to test. Science does not, can not, and will
never prove (*nor* disprove) the existance of any god. Faith is
immune to science, especially if faith avoids making any predictions
that can be tested by science.

Theories can be, and frequently are, amended or even abandoned as new
empirical evidence is collected that disproves portions of the theory.
Note that new evidence that agrees with the predictions of the theory
does not prove the theory.

But this does not happen through debate. This happens through the
collection of empirical evidence.

If debate decides "fact", there is no science; just pseudo-science.

-- Mark --
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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