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Good video. Brings up the idea of faith. Do not both men in the video have faith that their hypothesis is true? They run with it until it is proven false. You profess that you do not believe there is a god, but do not necessarily believe there is no god, yes? In talking to you, you seem to only accept something if it is provable, but this video demonstrates that nothing is actually provable, only disprovable, so do you accept nothing as true, and only that something is not true?
There’s a problem with saying that falsification absolutely rules out a hypothesis. Not even Popper ascribed to that “strict falsificationism.” For instance, there is nothing barring the “dead cat hypothesis” from including, say, a dead cat with tributes that make clinking noises. While this may be an ad hoc adjustment of the original hypothesis, what is missing is the fact that falsification can only apply to specific elements of a hypothesis. If the box contained only a dead cat, and nothing else, then it is falsified by the experiment. However, if we have a hypothesis consisting of a finite conjunction of various claims, the falsification poses no threat to this hypothesis because we don’t know what was refuted. Instead, one would have to subscribe to a theory of falsification such that “if a joint hypothesis claims X and X is refuted, then the hypotheses are jointly refuted, even if some subset may not be false.” In other words, “p and q and r” can be false while some of p, q or r are still true. It is no doubt that falsification plays a significant role in scientific practice, but I think this video makes it out to play way too big a role than it actually does. The 50 some ought years after falsification was popularized is testament to that.
Quote Karl Popper on science and you lose credibility, to me.
Lack of falsifiability does not entail a logical falsehood. To say that it does is a logical contradiction.”It is possible that God exists” is a true statement.”It is certain that God exists” is a false statement.”It is certain that God does not exist because we cannot verify His existence” is a logically invalid statement.Also, I, for one, am willing to accept certain facts as axiomatic. For example, “I exist” is and axiom I am willing to accept, because my capacity to accept it or not accept it both entail that statement. The law of identity is another one I’m willing to accept as self-evident.Just for example.
@TheBlueNinjaTiger – “Do not both men in the video have faith that their hypothesis is true? They run with it until it is proven false.” No, that’s not how science–properly performed (I have recently seen usually good scientists do this improperly lately)–works, quite the opposite actually. We never assume an assertion to be true just because it hasn’t been empirically disproven. That leads inevitably to logical contradiction: simply assert some statement A that is constructed to be untestable, then some other statement B that contradicts A that is also untestable. We would then be lead to accepting inherently contradictory statements. There is also a disparity with how the word “assumption” is used colloquially vs. in science. We do not “assume” hypotheses to be true without rigorous verification; rather, we say “suppose we ‘assume’ this hypothesis to be true, then what would be the consequences of that assumption and does it match the data….”
What if I put the cat in the box, locked it, lost the key, then a monkey took it from me and stuck it in the tree. I could know what is in the box, but be unable to prove it.
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