Posted: Oct 09, 2019 11:59 am
by Hermit
Spearthrower wrote:Observation precedes hypothesis...

Yes. We agree on that. Have I ever denied it? If not, why bring it up yet again?

Spearthrower wrote:...and is therefore more fundamental to scientific method...

No science without observation. This is as far as our agreement goes. Where we disagree is that while observations are essential for science, they are not sufficient on their own to constitute science. The epicycles Fenrir mentioned enabled predictions - as did the Antikythera mechanism - but neither did anything to reveal an underlying principle explaining the phenomena. For that we had to wait until Newton came up with a theory based on the data. That is science. Yes, the theory of gravity turned out to be provisional, and only approximate at that, but scientific theories can only ever be provisional.

Spearthrower wrote:...the original notion you put forth is in contradiction to your later point. Being interested in the data doesn't logically represent a disinterest in the fundamentals of science.

You got that arse backwards, possibly thinking of my comment in reply to Ginckgo, whom I mistook as a proponent of the expanding earth rubbish (and for which I have apologised). The exchange began with me noting that "Nobody who supports the expanding earth hypothesis has managed to explain where the extra material for such expansion comes from." Ginckgo replied; "I honestly don't care about the mechanism." Are you really surprised that I mistook the comment to mean he is not interested in observations on which theories are based and therefore cannot be interested in actual science as it is practised?