Posted: Oct 09, 2019 12:31 pm
by Spearthrower
Hermit wrote:
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.

That's a nearly empty phrase.

How do you formulate hypotheses in the absence of observation?

If you can't formulate hypotheses in the absence of observation then observation is just as much a part of scientific method as is hypothesis formation. The loss of either makes science infertile, however as you necessarily start with collecting data, then your argument seems to suggest that the entire period of data collection isn't science up until the moment it is employed as evidence towards a hypothesis: I think that's nonsensical and isn't really how anything works.

Further, as I've already pointed out in this thread: a vast number - probably the majority of professional scientists aren't involved in any hypothesis formation at all: they are field researchers or laboratory assistants collecting data.

However, they are scientists, they are conducting science according to its methodology, and so your claim is wholly inconsistent with this.

Hermit wrote:The epicycles Fenrir mentioned enabled predictions - as did the Antikythera mechanism - but neither did anything to reveal an underlying principle explaining the phenomena.

Doesn't matter. Underlying principles may well be goals, but they aren't required to be conducting science.

Hermit wrote:For that we had to wait until Newton came up with a theory based on the data. That is science.

You're mistaken.

Hermit wrote: Yes, the theory of gravity turned out to be provisional, and only approximate at that, but scientific theories can only ever be provisional.

All this is basically a red herring.

Hermit wrote:
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?


I think I'll leave it there and defer back to Ginckgo:

ginckgo wrote:If that's your view of how science must work, then you're quite naive about both the philosophy and the practicality of the scientific method.

I concur wholeheartedly.