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Thread: Rethinking…Classification of Scientific Theory

  1. #1 Rethinking…Classification of Scientific Theory 
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    Theory is an essential idiom that cannot be absent in any science forums.
    However, almost members of these forums have a tendency that support for a theory, which they thought it is a best theory rather than try to find out some disadvantage of this theory. In its definition, theory is not the truth and then the theory must have some disadvantages beside a lot of its advantages. Therefore, there is not "The Best Theory" because each theory having its special value that another theory cannot have. "The Best Theory" just is a relative name that all members of any science forums should accepted it in their debates.

    There are so many theories around the world, but these theories should be classified into two styles as following:
    1/ Independent Theory: Shows some fundamental theories such as Quantum Theory (Max Planck, 1900), Relativity Theory (Albert Einstein, 1905), and Unified Field Theory (Albert Einstein, 1920).
    2/ Dependent Theory: Shows some theories that are a combination of independent theories such as Theory of Everything (TOE), and The Final Theory (TFT). TOE is a combination between both of Quantum, Relativity Theory while it recognizing some ideas of Unified Field Theory with Grand Unification Theories (GUTs). TFT is a combination between both of Quantum, Relativity Theory while it rejecting the value of Unified Field Theory.

    In principle, Dependent Theory will be corrupted if one of its Independent Theories false; therefore, Independent Theory would be an important theory of science rather than Dependent Theory. Independent Theories may be related together by three ways:
    a/ Opposition: Unified Field Theory versus Quantum Theory.
    b/ Collaborator: Relativity Theory allied itself to Quantum Theory.
    c/ Improvement: Unified Field Theory is an upgrade of Relativity Theory.

    Which others style of theory do you think more?

    HiLe


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Many of the theories referred to by participants in science forums are not theories at all. At best they are conjecture, with minimal justification. More often they are nothing more than idle speculation, which ignores genuine established theory and mountains of evidence that is contrary to the speculation. Their promoters prefer instead to rely upon imagination and warped understanding of scientific principles.
    The logic appears to be that the promoter wants their speculation to be true, therefore it is true and any evidence to contrary is wrong.

    I realise this is not the aspect of theory you intended to discuss, but it is an aspect of the use of the word that I dislike.


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    Forum Isotope Zelos's Avatar
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    i agree with opie
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Many of the theories referred to by participants in science forums are not theories at all. At best they are conjecture, with minimal justification. More often they are nothing more than idle speculation, which ignores genuine established theory and mountains of evidence that is contrary to the speculation. Their promoters prefer instead to rely upon imagination and warped understanding of scientific principles.
    The logic appears to be that the promoter wants their speculation to be true, therefore it is true and any evidence to contrary is wrong.

    I realise this is not the aspect of theory you intended to discuss, but it is an aspect of the use of the word that I dislike.
    i wonder what something is before it becomes theory. surely the theory wasn't born in a first thought. maybe a whole lot of conjecture even with no justification but with a passion that says something can explain this, that seems better than the current explanation.

    as to the novice you think should, be quiet, i suggest they voice an opinion
    and learn or establish that opinion. i especially like hearing from the younger ones, whom you no doubt would prefer watch TV...one or many of that group will produce the next great idea or produce the product that
    could generate a revolution in science, while you sit and relish in that mountain of truths.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    reply to original comment; theory is just that...theory. the degree it has evolved is determined by its acceptance, true (justified) or not. when it
    is proved in science, it becomes law or fact and no longer theory. there are several example, but because of my response to "ophiolite" and some of the younger folks......

    some folks in the mid-1400's felt the scientific and established and accepted theory the earth was flat and the sun, stars and all else revolved around this place were wrong. scientist, mostly religious by profession, dismissed any notion of this as unfounded conjecture and there were mountains of facts to substantiate their findings. one fellow came along, grew up and couldn't get the idea of a round earth, out of his mind. he reasoned it (curvature of horizon) couldn't understand where water was going, if it just fell off the edges and so on. he reasoned that if he, kind of a simple person, with no means to achieve action himself, devised a motive to gain funds to try and prove, what what not even accepted theory, but to him very much a good theory.

    we all know the rest of this story and Columbus became all any one could
    become, his theory, became scientific law or fact and a good many things are still named after him and everybody knows his name.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    i wonder what something is before it becomes theory. surely the theory wasn't born in a first thought. maybe a whole lot of conjecture even with no justification but with a passion that says something can explain this, that seems better than the current explanation. .
    You appear to have completely missed my point. This is likely because of my poor communication skills.

    The word theory is an honoured one in science, accorded to concepts that have been carefully tested and validated. I am objecting to the casual and inaccurate use of the word. This devalues and confuses the very process of developing a theory, from a hypothesis, based upon a conjecture, derived from a speculation.

    Speculate all you wish. It should be encouraged and welcomed. But speculations should not be called theories.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    i wonder what something is before it becomes theory. surely the theory wasn't born in a first thought. maybe a whole lot of conjecture even with no justification but with a passion that says something can explain this, that seems better than the current explanation. .
    You appear to have completely missed my point. This is likely because of my poor communication skills.

    The word theory is an honoured one in science, accorded to concepts that have been carefully tested and validated. I am objecting to the casual and inaccurate use of the word. This devalues and confuses the very process of developing a theory, from a hypothesis, based upon a conjecture, derived from a speculation.

    Speculate all you wish. It should be encouraged and welcomed. But speculations should not be called theories.
    i certainly agree that to much is called theory, that lacks little to no logic and that was the original word used to explain theory, especially when there is no current way to prove even a hypothetical conclusion. the problem is, speculation is what many will call any theory and theory implies speculation. i use the words- opinion, feeling or thought, way to often, to avoid being mis-understood, as to offering theory, even though in my mind they may hold more logic than an accepted theory.

    i will contend however, if a theory is "tested and validated" it no longer is theory and becomes scientific law. this is what should be and then becomes a motive for pride and honor.

    the distinction of the words used before "theory" were my issue and how can conjecture, speculation or even logic be separated from something not proved, tested or validated, when the word itself means all those things.
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    Forum Isotope Zelos's Avatar
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    whats most annoying with the word theory is that common people think its not proven then
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelos
    whats most annoying with the word theory is that common people think its not proven then
    you might be surprised how many accept theory, period. it probably goes to education and everything was referenced, something was theory of some one. of course they have generally all become laws of science. then you have all in "time and space" which is true speculation, but considered theory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelos
    i agree with opie
    You can destroy the planet if you know about the planet!
    How do you know about the planet?
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  11. #10  
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    I like Asimovs concept of "Relativity of Wrong".

    While all theories are incomplete in some way, some more accurately fit the observational evidence than others.

    New science builds on what came before and the more we learn, the more questions we can ask. Science is a process that is neverending, which is why you need to be careful when you talk about "Scientific Laws".
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    of course they have generally all become laws of science.
    No they don't. We have practically abandoned the use of the word Law for well validated theory, because we now recognise that all theories are subject to amendment and even overthrow.
    The word Law is now reserved for theories established a long time ago and named as Laws. Or, flaky concepts in sociology and the like, where use of the word can help shore up an ill-founded idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    of course they have generally all become laws of science.
    No they don't. We have practically abandoned the use of the word Law for well validated theory, because we now recognise that all theories are subject to amendment and even overthrow.
    The word Law is now reserved for theories established a long time ago and named as Laws. Or, flaky concepts in sociology and the like, where use of the word can help shore up an ill-founded idea.
    having checked, i am again in error. apparently if theory is complex, but accepted, it is construed as law, though called theory and can be amended. logical and factual, no longer have any meaning in science, so long as a mathematical solution or consensus of minds agree. since, the BB can be shown in a mathematic formula and is accepted by a good many it is the same as law and called theory. never mind the components in the formula are based on assumptions and the assumptions based on viewpoints. hence logic and factual no longer exist. what is going on...???

    think my Dad was right..."don't believe anything you read and little of what you see"....
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    of course they have generally all become laws of science.
    No they don't. We have practically abandoned the use of the word Law for well validated theory, because we now recognise that all theories are subject to amendment and even overthrow.
    The word Law is now reserved for theories established a long time ago and named as Laws. Or, flaky concepts in sociology and the like, where use of the word can help shore up an ill-founded idea.
    having checked, i am again in error. apparently if theory is complex, but accepted, it is construed as law, though called theory and can be amended. logical and factual, no longer have any meaning in science, so long as a mathematical solution or consensus of minds agree. since, the BB can be shown in a mathematic formula and is accepted by a good many it is the same as law and called theory. never mind the components in the formula are based on assumptions and the assumptions based on viewpoints. hence logic and factual no longer exist. what is going on...???

    think my Dad was right..."don't believe anything you read and little of what you see"....

    Here is some food for thought Jackson;

    Think of Newton's "law of gravity" (F = GmM/r<sup>2</sup>). This is referred to as a "law" yet was unable to provide an explanation in certain circumstances (e.g., it couldn't explain Mercury's observed perihelion precession). As a theory, it is not complete - Einstein's general relativity is the successor. And... GR may indeed be incomplete also, but GR did provide the explanation for the precession of Mercury.

    But feel free to use Newton's law of gravity for most "everyday" uses because it will give an answer that is so close to the "true" answer that you can consider it correct. You see, incomplete theories still have their uses.

    For a "theory" to become a theory, it is not required that it be accepted by the majority - only that it never fails to predict the correct results. That is, if experiment/observation provide contradictory results to that of what the theory predicts, then the theory is wrong. And if experiment/observation provide results that are close to but not exactly that of what the theory predicts, then the theory is probably incomplete and needs some tweaking (like Newton's LoG).

    In other words, if a theory provides a fairly accurate answer, then the theory is probably on the right track and may need some additional terms or something of the like. But if it has it's uses, then it will not be thrown out.

    Another point is that many theories cannot be proven. They can be disproven by experimental evidence, but sometimes the best one can say about a theory is that it has agreed with experiment so far. Such is the case with most theories.

    One criterion that I think Ophie will agree with me on is that a good theory should be testible. If we can't test it, then how can we ever know if it is correct or not. So far, no one has thought of a way to test string theory. I personally think string theory is still a worthwhile endeavor, but we must concede that we may never be able to "hold it to the fire."

    Finally, if you are concerned that there are no such things as "facts" anymore, you may indulge yourself as taking the experimental/observational evidence as facts. The only caveat is that there is a certain amount of uncertainty involved with experimental results. But a good experimental result will describe in detail how the measurement was taken, the degree of uncertainty (e.g., "x" = 58.36 +/- 0.04 with a 99% confidence level ("3-sigma")), and describe the possible statistical, experimental, and systematic errors involved.

    As far as your Dad's quote, I think it is a good one. But here's how I would apply it;
    Say the ("x" = 58.36 +/- 0.04 with a 99% confidence level) I gave above was my estimate (after doing the "science" on your vehicle) of how many gallons of gas you'd need to drive to someplace. You could plan to buy as much as 58.40 gallons or as little as 58.32 gallons, but you better bring along some "emergency money" because there is a 1% chance my figure could be wrong. On average, one out of a hundred of such trips you would either spend a little more than 58.40 or a little less than 58.32.

    And I agree with Ophie on how the term "law" is used nowadays.

    I hope this sheds some light on your dilemma.

    Cheers,
    william
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
    ~Footnote in Goldstein's Mechanics, 3rd ed. p. 202
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    The concept of a “scientific law” is probably one of the most commonly misunderstood ideas in science. It doesn’t help that the misunderstanding has apparently crept into many textbooks.

    Briefly put, a scientific law is an observation about the natural world, while a theory is an explanation for an observation. The law of universal gravitation, for example, states that all objects are attracted to other objects with a certain force that depends on certain variables. It simply points out that it happens, without attempting to offer any sort of explanation for how or why it happens. So, to explain the law of universal gravitation we develop things like the theory of relativity.

    In general you know that a law is correct because it’s been observed to be correct, so there isn’t really any way to gather supporting evidence for it beyond observing that it holds true. Since it doesn’t go any deeper than pointing out that a thing happens, all you need to do to prove your law valid is observe that what it says should happen does indeed happen. With theories, on the other hand, you need to try to gather supporting evidence because now you’re trying to explain why something happened, rather than making statements about what you have observed to happen.

    There is a popular misconception (that you often even find in low-level textbooks) that a theory can become a law if you gather enough supporting evidence for your theory, but that’s not the case. Under the strictest definitions of the philosophy of science a theory can never be “promoted” to the status of a law, because theories and laws are fundamentally different things. Laws point out what happens, while theories try to explain why things happen.
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    William and scifor; certainly i understand what you both say and will not question either you two. frankly i don't care and most all i comment on, i issue as opinion, thought or as a suggestion. the pups out there getting their feet wet, need simple explanations or a good prospect for a future
    Einstein or Newton, could be lost. what i wrote as to what a law or theory was taken from a science dictionary, up dated July 06, the same as these pups read and frankly read like "nonsense" to me. by the way they also mention "today" as you all, as if at some point what the meaning is, was not....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Many of the theories referred to by participants in science forums are not theories at all. At best they are conjecture, with minimal justification. More often they are nothing more than idle speculation, which ignores genuine established theory and mountains of evidence that is contrary to the speculation. Their promoters prefer instead to rely upon imagination and warped understanding of scientific principles.
    The logic appears to be that the promoter wants their speculation to be true, therefore it is true and any evidence to contrary is wrong.

    I realise this is not the aspect of theory you intended to discuss, but it is an aspect of the use of the word that I dislike.
    Technicians don't need theory for their jobs, but current scientists need theory for their researches. I would like to invite you visit the website of LISA [Home Page] http://lisa.jpl.nasa.gov/, which stands for The Light Interferometer Space Antenna. LISA is cooperation between EGA and NASA. Scientists who working in LISA are using General Relativity Theory for a program that they named "Prediction of Gravitational Waves (1916) in General Relativity Theory (1915)."
    This topic just is an introduction for my next topic and I wish the next topic would gather some interest from you and our members.
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