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  1. #1
    Paroxysm's Avatar
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    Fundamentalism and The Rise of Scientific-Illiteracy

    Here is short and simple explanation of the difference between a hypothesis and a scientific theory, this is for all of you scientific-illiterates.

    "Lay people often misinterpret the language used by scientists. And for that reason, they sometimes draw the wrong conclusions as to what the scientific terms mean.

    Three such terms that are often used interchangeably are "scientific law," "hypothesis," and "theory."

    In layman’s terms, if something is said to be “just a theory,” it usually means that it is a mere guess, or is unproved. It might even lack credibility. But in scientific terms, a theory implies that something has been proven and is generally accepted as being true.

    Here is what each of these terms means to a scientist:

    Scientific Law: This is a statement of fact meant to describe, in concise terms, an action or set of actions. It is generally accepted to be true and univseral, and can sometimes be expressed in terms of a single mathematical equation. Scientific laws are similar to mathematical postulates. They don’t really need any complex external proofs; they are accepted at face value based upon the fact that they have always been observed to be true.

    Specifically, scientific laws must be simple, true, universal, and absolute. They represent the cornerstone of scientific discovery, because if a law ever did not apply, then all science based upon that law would collapse.

    Some scientific laws, or laws of nature, include the law of gravity, Newton's laws of motion, the laws of thermodynamics, Boyle's law of gases, the law of conservation of mass and energy, and Hook’s law of elasticity.

    Hypothesis: This is an educated guess based upon observation. It is a rational explanation of a single event or phenomenon based upon what is observed, but which has not been proved. Most hypotheses can be supported or refuted by experimentation or continued observation.

    Theory: A theory is more like a scientific law than a hypothesis. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. One scientist cannot create a theory; he can only create a hypothesis.

    In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology.

    In fact, some laws, such as the law of gravity, can also be theories when taken more generally. The law of gravity is expressed as a single mathematical expression and is presumed to be true all over the universe and all through time. Without such an assumption, we can do no science based on gravity's effects. But from the law, we derived Einstein's General Theory of Relativity in which gravity plays a crucial role. The basic law is intact, but the theory expands it to include various and complex situations involving space and time.

    The biggest difference between a law and a theory is that a theory is much more complex and dynamic. A law describes a single action, whereas a theory explains an entire group of related phenomena.

    An analogy can be made using a slingshot and an automobile.

    A scientific law is like a slingshot. A slingshot has but one moving part--the rubber band. If you put a rock in it and draw it back, the rock will fly out at a predictable speed, depending upon the distance the band is drawn back.

    An automobile has many moving parts, all working in unison to perform the chore of transporting someone from one point to another point. An automobile is a complex piece of machinery. Sometimes, improvements are made to one or more component parts. A new set of spark plugs that are composed of a better alloy that can withstand heat better, for example, might replace the existing set. But the function of the automobile as a whole remains unchanged.

    A theory is like the automobile. Components of it can be changed or improved upon, without changing the overall truth of the theory as a whole.

    Some scientific theories include the theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, the atomic theory, and the quantum theory. All of these theories are well documented and proved beyond reasonable doubt. Yet scientists continue to tinker with the component hypotheses of each theory in an attempt to make them more elegant and concise, or to make them more all-encompassing. Theories can be tweaked, but they are seldom, if ever, entirely replaced.

    A theory is developed only through the scientific method, meaning it is the final result of a series of rigorous processes. Note that a theory never becomes a law unless it was very narrow to begin with. Scientific laws must exist prior to the start of using the scientific method because, as stated earlier, laws are the foundation for all science. Here is an oversimplified example of the development of a scientific theory:

    Development of a Simple Theory by the Scientific Method:

    Observation: Every swan I've ever seen is white.
    Hypothesis: All swans must be white.
    Test: A random sampling of swans from each continent where swans are indigenous produces only white swans.
    Publication: "My global research has indicated that swans are always white, wherever they are observed."
    Verification: Every swan any other scientist has ever observed in any country has always been white.
    Theory: All swans are white.
    Prediction: The next swan I see will be white.

    Note, however, that although the prediction is useful, the theory does not absolutely prove that the next swan I see will be white. Thus it is said to be falsifiable. If anyone ever saw a black swan, the theory would have to be tweaked or thrown out. (And yes, there are really black swans. This example was just to illustrate the point.)

    Real scientific theories must be falsifiable. So-called "theories" based on religion, such as creationism or intelligent design are, therefore, not scientific theories. They are not falsifiable and they do not follow the scientific method."

    Hopefully the notion of this enlightening you doesn't frighten you.

    ~The Always Hopeful Parox
    "We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter." ~ Denis Diderot

  2. #2
    Obey's Avatar
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    Explain how Jesus did the things he did? :l

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    Zeinland's Avatar
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    Damn, I still remember this, my Science teacher told me about this in my 7th grade.

    Anyways, why are you posting this?

  4. #4
    Paroxysm's Avatar
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    Because some people seriously don't understand the difference between a scientific theory and a random guess, those things are the complete opposite.

    Quote Originally Posted by imsohoooood View Post
    Explain how Jesus did the things he did? :l
    1: This is not an argument about Jesus' divinity

    2: We have no evidence to support Jesus' doing the things the bible claims he did.

    3: Why must you bring religion into everything we talk about? This a thread about scientific knowledge.
    Last edited by Paroxysm; 03-15-2009 at 01:15 PM.
    "We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter." ~ Denis Diderot

  5. #5
    radnomguywfq3's Avatar
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    At the moment, I'm not sure what to believe. But I strongly disagree with many of the beliefs. Anything that tries to revoke my freedom on thought and action without a reasonable reason I strongly disagree with. And unfortunately, the bible states things like "Don't do this or you'll go to hell" Well to me that's bullshit. Fuck that, I'll do what I want.



    There are two types of tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want, the other is getting it.

    If you wake up at a different time in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?


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    Zhellbound's Avatar
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    You know. Religion wasnt always around.
    Its just people following a leader. Thinking that there is a greater power.
    Deutschland wird wieder Reign!

    Ganja King
    Thank me if i helped

  7. #7
    Paroxysm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetamay View Post
    At the moment, I'm not sure what to believe. But I strongly disagree with many of the beliefs. Anything that tries to revoke my freedom on thought and action without a reasonable reason I strongly disagree with. And unfortunately, the bible states things like "Don't do this or you'll go to hell" Well to me that's bullshit. Fuck that, I'll do what I want.
    Can we move this discussion away from religion? We have plenty of time to discuss our belief structures, this is about the denial of scientific evidence.
    "We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter." ~ Denis Diderot

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    EndRiT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imsohoooood View Post
    Explain how Jesus did the things he did? :l
    Wait hold on, you don't seriously believe what is written in the bible... DO YOU?

  9. #9
    Paroxysm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugmenot View Post
    Wait hold on, you don't seriously believe what is written in the bible... DO YOU?
    While yes his beliefs are silly and juvenile, this is not a discussion about religion.
    "We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter." ~ Denis Diderot

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    Sharpe's Avatar
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    Lol im gonna get us back on topic...

    I was tought that a hypothesis was an educated guess, then when it got some substantial evidence to support it, it was considered a theory and when it was proven it became a law.
    Sexy sig ujelly?

  11. #11
    Inna's Avatar
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    Jesus fucking owns.

    But religion is fake.

  12. #12
    tednugent's Avatar
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    I could be Jesus, if I made some followers follow me through a random journey, and started my own branch of Christianity and stuff...oh wait, isn't that what the Waco shootings were about?

  13. #13
    EndRiT's Avatar
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    I am jesus.
    I just shaved.

  14. #14
    Paroxysm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _(0_o)_ View Post
    Lol im gonna get us back on topic...

    I was tought that a hypothesis was an educated guess, then when it got some substantial evidence to support it, it was considered a theory and when it was proven it became a law.
    Scientific Laws are mathematical: E=MC^2, MxA=F. Theories like Evolution or Germ Theory cannot be described in a short mathematical statement so they become the second best thing, a scientific theory.
    "We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter." ~ Denis Diderot

  15. #15
    ClapBangKiss's Avatar
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    what is e = mc2 really all about ?

    https://www.worsleyschool.net/science...emc2/emc2.html


    lol its a bomb


    If you're not in the group, don't wear the seal.

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