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“All theories are subject to revision as new knowledge is discovered.”

I think I’ve said that . . . many times, but lately in #512, this thread.

“Echoing the scientific philosopher Karl Popper, Stephen Hawking . . . ”

Really?! You’ve previously informed us (in #512 and #520) that you had never heard of Karl Popper. (“Karl Popper is almost unknown among scientists. I do not recall ever hearing his name before”)

Thanks to the Internet, I can quickly look up Popper (and just about anyone else). My assessment is that he was attempting to describe the scientific method from an outsider's point of view; his view of it was rather simplistic and inaccurate. I have also learned that he, like many others, is often quoted out of context by advocates of "creation science".

Apparently this thread has made you acquainted with the mysterious and obscure Karl Popper. Further, it would appear that even so eminent and acclaimed a modern scientist as Stephen Hawking knows of the nebulous Mr. Popper (as do most all scientists, if the truth be acknowledged).

Actually, that quote did not indicate whether Dr. Hawking is aware of Popper. The author of that Wikipedia article was comparing a statement of Dr. Hawking's to a statement made by Popper. I would not make any assumptions about whom other scientists may have heard of; by the paucity of mentions of Popper in the scientific literature, the failure of any of my colleagues to ever mention him, and the utter lack of mention in any science course, seminar, meeting, etc., I have ever attended, I would guess that he is as unknown to most scientists as he was to me just a few days ago.

Now you’re having a continuing discussion on Mr. Popper with a few other correspondents, so I will leave you to your discussions, following its progress with interest.

In the meantime, the observations you attribute to Mr. Hawking represent a brief summation of two thousand years’ thinking of Western Civilization Philosophy on the subject of the ‘Scientific Method’ upon which hangs the entire future of your chosen career.

The scientific method was not developed by philosophers, but by scientists. Science and philosophy are, as far as I can tell, diametric opposites. Throughout undergraduate and graduate school, the subject of philosophy never came up.

549 posted on 03/16/2012 5:35:44 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom
Throughout undergraduate and graduate school, the subject of philosophy never came up.

Nor, doubtless, did you feel any curiosity, since the subject never came up. You were born on a cloudless Tuesday afternoon, and then suddenly everything went blank? When next you opened your eyes, there you were, along with thousands of other scientists, all busily going about your various science projects? A brand new world?
Remember E=mc2?
You were asked which part of Einstein’s magnificent inspiration impelled the Truman Administration to go into days of agonizing “Existentialist nonsense” before the decision was made to drop the bomb that ended WWII. Further, you were reminded that there was no scientific reason to not just go ahead and drop the bomb without a moment’s hesitation beyond the technical considerations involved in the bomb’s effective delivery. What, then, caused the Truman Administration to hesitate?
No reply . . . although you seem more than willing to preach the standard doctrine about what’s “testable” and what’s “falsifiable.”
Remember the Tuskegee Experiment? What protocol violation or breach of scientific practice brought about the abrupt termination of that experiment?
Again, no reply.

Likewise, we might inquire, as we already have, what part of “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” is to be thought of as “existentialist nonsense”? Is “In the beginning” to be thought “existentialist nonsense”? Is “freedom of inquiry” to be thought “existentialist nonsense”? Or “freedom of association”? Or, are they, instead, all to be regarded as “thought meandering”?

Thanks to the Internet, I can quickly look up Popper (and just about anyone else).

Yeah . . . except when your internet is buggy.

The scientific method was not developed by philosophers, but by scientists.

How would you know? The subject never came up. You’ve not ever heard of Thomas Aquinas? Of Roger Bacon? Aristotle? Ibn al-Haytham? Isaac Newton? Euclid? Galileo Galilei? No more so than Karl Popper, I imagine? Yet, save the redoubtable Karl Popper, the term ‘Science,’ or ‘Scientist,’ properly understood, did not even exist during their days. These men, and others such as they, were scholars, from whom came what is our understanding of philosophy, science and its methodology, logic, geometry, ethics, and many another intellectual skill (such as political philosophy), and from whom the foundation of Western Civilization was built.

In the meantime, no doubt clouds your mind, no question disturbs your thoughts, and I continue to be without invitation.

612 posted on 03/19/2012 7:52:02 PM PDT by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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