Author Topic: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)  (Read 19925 times)

Ex_Nihil0

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2010, 11:27:09 PM »
@Ex_Nihil0:  I would also like that I'd really like to see some examples of UPB being based in logical positivism (with citations of course).

Also, going back to your counterargument to Lord T Hawkeye's statements about "square circles" and stuff regarding the existence of gods and your talk about using logic and the issues with that.
Why is it that gods get that pass, yet I see you using logic and not accepting logically fallacious arguments for the legitimate authority of the state?

As Lord T Hawkeye said when I showed him your reply, "and that same question crops up, how come only gods get to use that argument?"
and, "when people say it's better to withhold absolute judgment on Gods, it begs the question...how come only gods get that excuse?"

What's more in a response to me about Shane's video on the Null Hypothesis, you gave me this:
Again, where did Shane say that?  It becomes clear later in his video:
when he talks of maybe one day proving the existence of what could be called a 'god'.

You want a citation that UPB is based on Verification?  Here you go:

Its the basic thesis of his argument and you can see it 26 seconds into the video above.  "All theories must be logically consistent and conform to available evidence..." is a statement that does not meet its own standard of evidence, thus it is invalid by its own standard of evidence.

I would not say that gods get a free pass in that we can accept them as true because we cannot say with certainty that they do or do not exist.  I simply say that we cannot know for sure, either way because gods, unlike religions and states, are not falsifiable.  States are a lot more like a religion then a god is because religions and states have common ancestry and they both make positive truth claims that can be falsified.  In fact, both states and religions make the positive claim of authority based on self declared authority.  Is self declaration of authority legitimate?  It could be, save for the fact that authority is a fictional concept, and we know it is fiction because it exists only as a perception.  Individual humans recognize the authority of Congress and Obama because the idea that they have authority is a pervasive meme in the population, so it is assumed to be truth, and because Congress and Obama are part of an established memeplex known as the Federal Government.  In other words, a cop only has authority because everybody believes he has authority.  If nobody believed in his authority, he would have none.  So, if the cop's authority was real, and not imagined, where did it go?  Religions, like States, only exist because people believe they exist.  If people stopped believing in them, they would be seen for what they really are: paper with words written on them no different then any other fiction.  Authority has no object permanence, so it isn't real.

The existence or non-existence of gods, however, is not dependent on popular belief or the lack thereof.  

The way the Null Hypothesis works in science is: You go with the Null Hypothesis until the positive hypothesis is proven.

If you have a new medicine, you can't just claim that the new medicine works, and then that must be falsified before we fall back to H0. No, lack of evidence for a claim is not the same as falsifying it, but it still means that we go with H0 until such time as the case for the positive hypothesis is demonstrated. To do anything else would be to shift the burden of proof.

Really, a lot of these things CAN'T be falsified. If I claim, "Eating french fries gives me the ability to fly," I can test that hypothesis by eating french fries and jumping off a platform. But if I fall, does that falsify the hypothesis? No, it just means that it didn't work THIS TIME, and there may have been other reasons for the failure. But it's still H0--in this case, "Eating french fries won't help you to fly one bit"--that stands.

Going with H0 does NOT rule out the possibility of the positive hypothesis being confirmed at a later date, but until it is, H0 rules.

I can understand that somebody who is a modern skeptic would agree with this, but assuming H0 is still an assumption and cannot be accepted as fact or be said to "rule" or "stand" in any epistemic sense.  It may be necessary to go with H0 for practical reasons, but I would hardly call that scientific.  

If I were a classical Greek skeptic, I would reserve judgment and assume neither the positive nor the NULL until more evidence can be brought to the table to give a definitive answer.  Similar to this, I am an anti-skeptic.  This means that I require equal evidence for both doubt and belief, so like the classical skeptics I cannot accept the NULL nor the positive in the total absence of evidence, so I assume nothing.  I believe this to be the only epistemic correct position to have when dealing with an unknown.

If I go with your example, Shane, regarding the claims of effectiveness for new drugs on the market I honestly can't assume the claim is true nor false if I want to be scientifically correct.  Practically speaking, however, I assume that the drug is ineffective, because I don't want to waste my money on a sugar pill and I assume that the drug is potentially deadly, because the could be unsafe.  This is argument against using the new drug is, of course, an argument over personal ethics, what a person should do regarding a drug.  It is not an argument of fact.  

I think the lack of distinction between the epistemological and ethical arguments regarding the NULL hypothesis is what made me not like your video very much, but for the longest time I couldn't fully understand why.  Now I know.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 11:31:10 PM by Ex_Nihil0 »

Virgil0211

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2010, 12:18:51 AM »
Oh so you remember that virgin remark. :P

Well, actually, I did post it here, but changed my mind and replaced it with the MaoistRebelNews2 video.

This was what I deemed the fail quote from you that I promised:
"Considering how far we are from even minarchy, anarchy doesn't seem to be a viable option by now."--Virgil0211 in the comment section of this video

The reasons:
The statement came off as a non-sequitor.
It was like the equivalent, (at least to me) of saying something like, "Considering how far we are even from decriminalization of pot and LSD, the legalization of all drugs doesn't seem to be a viable option by now."
Very very defeatist, really.
Also, minarchy had a chance to work in this plot of land wherein people conscientiously threw out the old gov't and set up a constitutional republic.
So for the sake of comparing apples to apples, why shouldn't a stateless society get the chance of having people purposely dismantle the gov't without the intent of replacing it with another?

Yes, I remember anytime I had the occasion to post a comment of a fellow bogosity.tv forum member in the fail quotes. It's a rarity, you know. =P

Non sequitur(sic?): I was describing the values of Shanedk, myself, and you as far as I perceived them, and providing a little bit of extrapolation where I thought it would either help or I had access to verifiable information. I'm not exactly psychic, so I don't feel as comfortable extrapolating on the positions of others unless I have more tangible proof of their positions. Whether through my rather irregular posting/viewing habits and so on, or some other mechanism, I don't feel I'm familiar enough with yours and Shane's reasoning to speak for you, making my comments little more than speculative.

As for the rest, that wasn't really my point. To make something of an analogy, I'm currently capable of deadlifting 415 lbs. I know that, through training, I can deadlift 750 someday. I don't know how well I'd be able to reach my eventual goal of 1,000 lbs, as that has more to do with my future free time, regularity of training, etc. I'll keep pushing for 750 right now, and set my new goal of 1,000 when I reach 750. It's easier for me to set a goal of 750 and work for that right now.

I hope that helps a bit. As part of my commitment to full disclosure, I must admit that I've consumed an unknown (because I didn't measure) amount of 151 proof rum (yes, they make the stuff, and it tastes like rubbing alcohol mixed with piss if you don't mix it with something), and may not be quite as articulate as I'd like. =P
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 12:21:12 AM by Virgil0211 »

Travis Retriever

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2010, 01:44:33 PM »
Yes, I remember anytime I had the occasion to post a comment of a fellow bogosity.tv forum member in the fail quotes. It's a rarity, you know. =P

Non sequitur(sic?): I was describing the values of Shanedk, myself, and you as far as I perceived them, and providing a little bit of extrapolation where I thought it would either help or I had access to verifiable information. I'm not exactly psychic, so I don't feel as comfortable extrapolating on the positions of others unless I have more tangible proof of their positions. Whether through my rather irregular posting/viewing habits and so on, or some other mechanism, I don't feel I'm familiar enough with yours and Shane's reasoning to speak for you, making my comments little more than speculative.

As for the rest, that wasn't really my point. To make something of an analogy, I'm currently capable of deadlifting 415 lbs. I know that, through training, I can deadlift 750 someday. I don't know how well I'd be able to reach my eventual goal of 1,000 lbs, as that has more to do with my future free time, regularity of training, etc. I'll keep pushing for 750 right now, and set my new goal of 1,000 when I reach 750. It's easier for me to set a goal of 750 and work for that right now.

I hope that helps a bit. As part of my commitment to full disclosure, I must admit that I've consumed an unknown (because I didn't measure) amount of 151 proof rum (yes, they make the stuff, and it tastes like rubbing alcohol mixed with piss if you don't mix it with something), and may not be quite as articulate as I'd like. =P

OK, so it was an honest interpretation.
My bad.
Yes, I did misspell "non sequitur" because for some reason FireFox doesn't recognize it as a word, blah. :P
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Travis Retriever

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Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2010, 01:50:48 PM »
You want a citation that UPB is based on Verification?  Here you go:
[insert video here; not quoted for sake of brevity]

Its the basic thesis of his argument and you can see it 26 seconds into the video above.  "All theories must be logically consistent and conform to available evidence..." is a statement that does not meet its own standard of evidence, thus it is invalid by its own standard of evidence.
Noted and sent to Stefan on YouTube via private message.  I want to hear what his response, as the creator of UPB (the book and the theory), is.


I would not say that gods get a free pass in that we can accept them as true because we cannot say with certainty that they do or do not exist.  I simply say that we cannot know for sure, either way because gods, unlike religions and states, are not falsifiable.  States are a lot more like a religion then a god is because religions and states have common ancestry and they both make positive truth claims that can be falsified.  In fact, both states and religions make the positive claim of authority based on self declared authority.  Is self declaration of authority legitimate?  It could be, save for the fact that authority is a fictional concept, and we know it is fiction because it exists only as a perception.  Individual humans recognize the authority of Congress and Obama because the idea that they have authority is a pervasive meme in the population, so it is assumed to be truth, and because Congress and Obama are part of an established memeplex known as the Federal Government.  In other words, a cop only has authority because everybody believes he has authority.  If nobody believed in his authority, he would have none.  So, if the cop's authority was real, and not imagined, where did it go?  Religions, like States, only exist because people believe they exist.  If people stopped believing in them, they would be seen for what they really are: paper with words written on them no different then any other fiction.  Authority has no object permanence, so it isn't real.

The existence or non-existence of gods, however, is not dependent on popular belief or the lack thereof.
Alright.

I can understand that somebody who is a modern skeptic would agree with this, but assuming H0 is still an assumption and cannot be accepted as fact or be said to "rule" or "stand" in any epistemic sense.  It may be necessary to go with H0 for practical reasons, but I would hardly call that scientific. 

If I were a classical Greek skeptic, I would reserve judgment and assume neither the positive nor the NULL until more evidence can be brought to the table to give a definitive answer.  Similar to this, I am an anti-skeptic.  This means that I require equal evidence for both doubt and belief, so like the classical skeptics I cannot accept the NULL nor the positive in the total absence of evidence, so I assume nothing.  I believe this to be the only epistemic correct position to have when dealing with an unknown.

If I go with your example, Shane, regarding the claims of effectiveness for new drugs on the market I honestly can't assume the claim is true nor false if I want to be scientifically correct.  Practically speaking, however, I assume that the drug is ineffective, because I don't want to waste my money on a sugar pill and I assume that the drug is potentially deadly, because the could be unsafe.  This is argument against using the new drug is, of course, an argument over personal ethics, what a person should do regarding a drug.  It is not an argument of fact. 

I think the lack of distinction between the epistemological and ethical arguments regarding the NULL hypothesis is what made me not like your video very much, but for the longest time I couldn't fully understand why.  Now I know.
Question:  Then why do you do this, "assuming the NULL is true" etc, regarding the arguments for the existence of the state's legitimacy?
E.G. your debate with franks2732 on C0ncordance's raw milk video.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 01:54:25 PM by surhotchaperchlorome »
"When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world—'No. You move.'"
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MrBogosity

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Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2010, 04:39:11 PM »
I split this off into a different topic because it's become a proper discussion in its own right, and no longer just Fail Quotes.

Ex_Nihil0

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Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2010, 06:13:20 PM »
I split this off into a different topic because it's become a proper discussion in its own right, and no longer just Fail Quotes.

Thanks, this will be helpful.

Ex_Nihil0

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Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2010, 07:03:05 PM »
Noted and sent to Stefan on YouTube via private message.  I want to hear what his response, as the creator of UPB (the book and the theory), is.

Alright.
Question:  Then why do you do this, "assuming the NULL is true" etc, regarding the arguments for the existence of the state's legitimacy?
E.G. your debate with franks2732 on C0ncordance's raw milk video.

1) The NULL hypothesis is true because state legitimacy is false.
2) Because this argument of legitimacy is a moral argument as well as being an epistemic one, I fall back on the NULL because regardless of it being potentially true or not, government power has the potential for great harm, and indeed, we know that it does because we have seen it in the past.  This poses a real problem for government because not only must they do the impossible (prove their legitimacy), but they must also make the claim that they can do no wrong in order to prevent defaulting to the NULL on moral grounds.  Again, that is impossible. 


MrBogosity

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Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2010, 07:08:59 PM »
1) The NULL hypothesis is true because state legitimacy is false.

Question: is it up to the state to prove its own legitimacy, or is it up to others to falsify it?

Ex_Nihil0

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Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2010, 08:33:05 PM »
Question: is it up to the state to prove its own legitimacy, or is it up to others to falsify it?

Morally, the state must prove legitimacy (which is impossible).  Epistemologically, it is up to others to falsify the legitimacy of government and I will even go so far as to say that it is up to Government to falsify its own legitimacy if it is to be philosophically honest (which it isn't).  This does not mean that state legitimacy is assumed to be true until falsified.  Falsification means that you never assume the state's claim is true or false under any circumstances because, even if it has never been falsified, the possibility of falsification in the future still exists.  Epistemologically speaking, you can't assume anything until you have falsified something.  Government loses simply because of how falsification works, not just because it has been falsified.

Morally, government also loses because it must have positive proof that it can do no moral wrong, but this is impossible to obtain because truth is inherently unknowable.  Therefore, the only moral assumption one can have is Liberty because it has no potential for moral wrong, unlike government. One does not wish to assume government's moral legitimacy only to find that it is capable of evil later on and had been doing evil since it was assumed moral.

Government loses on both moral and epistemic grounds.  Is it any wonder why they need guns in order maintain and hold their power?  If they can't use sound logic and sophistry fails to get their point across, they can always resort to brute force to get their way, even when they are shown to be morally and intellectually bankrupt.  Every day, I realize more and more that anarchy or the night watchman state are the only morally justifiable systems we could every put into place, and the only reason why I relent on the nigh watchman state is to avoid the freeloader problem regarding the financing of a civil defense force.  Until the entire world has become anarchic, a military will always be necessary.  I'm going off into a rabbit trail hear, but I think this is at least worth mentioning regarding a practical issue a Libertarian nation would face.

MrBogosity

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Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2010, 08:02:05 AM »
Morally, the state must prove legitimacy (which is impossible).

Why is that impossible? I mean, other than in the sense that it's impossible to 100% prove that the Earth is round.

Quote
Epistemologically, it is up to others to falsify the legitimacy of government

Sorry, but that's a Shifting Burden Fallacy.

Let's go back to first principles:

Person A wants to do something that affects no one else--or, if it does, they're willing and informed participants.

Person B wants to do something that initiates force or otherwise imposes costs on third parties.

Person A doesn't have to justify what he's doing to anybody. Person B damn well does!

What is government, if not one gigantic Person B?

Quote
Falsification means that you never assume the state's claim is true or false under any circumstances because, even if it has never been falsified, the possibility of falsification in the future still exists.

But that's a double-standard! Above, you said that it's impossible for the state to prove its legitimacy, presumably because the door is always open for it to be falsified in the future. Now, here you're saying that, even falsifying something doesn't let you assume it's false (presumably because the falsification itself could be falsified)!

While I agree with the rest of your post, I firmly believe that, in each and every case, the burden of proof should be on the government to justify what it's doing.

Ex_Nihil0

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Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2010, 02:25:16 AM »
I think the confusion is that we are working off of two different scientific paradigms.  I see you and most skeptics, well, still being attached to the verification principle.  Of course, under a modern skepticism, one would say that the burden of proof is always and only on the proponents of a truth claim.  However, proof with 100% certainty is not possible because the possibility of future falsification always exists.  Regarding the history and structure of scientific revolution, you must always be prepared to scrap the old theory and replace it with a new one.  And yes, it is entirely possible for a falsification to later be falsified, which is what much of peer review is all about.  Different groups with differing opinions and biases go back and forth like a game of tennis.  In the end, the closest thing to proof a theory has is the consensus of experts after numerous attempts to falsify and modify theories.  Maybe it is a double standard somehow, but this is how science seems to work as far as I can tell.  English may frown upon double negatives for aesthetic reasons, but philosophy loves them.  It is possible that I made the error above that falsification gives 100% certainty to falsity.  Clearly, it does not, making science far less certain then I had previously stated.  Scientific consensus is, after all, an argument from popularity if you assume the consensus is truth.  If you accept the consensus as a theory subject to revision and rejection, then it isn't.

This understanding of the scientific process leads me to anti-skepticism, which states that doubt and belief both require equal proof.  With modern skepticism, there is a clear bias towards doubt; this is not the case with anti-skepticism, which I feel is more fair minded.  With the rejection of the verification principle in favor of falsification and the adoption of anti-skepticism, the problem of induction in science more or less goes away, however it is at the cost of certainty.  Of great tragedy for science is that human have an emotional need for certainty.  That was the appeal of verification and logical positivism.  The verification principle states that in order for a statement to be cognitively meaningful, it must be both non-contradictory and verifiable by positive evidence.  Unfortunately, the verification principle cannot meet its own standard of evidence, making it a self contradiction statement.  In other words, modern skepticism is based on a fallacy.

This is where you've got to be very careful, because apologists are more then well aware of verification's status as a failure and its importance to skepticism.  That's why guys like William "Lame" Craig think they can poke a whole in skepticism and insert what ever crazy idea they want without any scrutiny whatsoever and call it the truth because they had a "revelation".  They think that "revelation" is there get out of scrutiny free card.  Little do the apologists realize that many scientists moved on to anti-skepticism and falsification where you simply can't just say what ever you want and demand that it sticks.  People voluntarily accept theories and claims as what works best after attempting to falsify it first, but those theories and claims are never said to be absolute truth.  

Under the paradigm of anti-skepticism, there is no sifting of the burden of proof for lack of falsification, because the burden is equally shared on both sides.  So, when I say the opposition to an idea is responsible for falsification, I don't mean that failure to falsify it is a liability for them, where failure defaults the positive claim as the winner.  What I mean is that the opposition has an academic obligation to falsify an idea so that it can be refined or possibly rejected after rigorous peer review.  This would also be true for theories of government legitimacy, which are remarkably easy to debunk.

I agree with your first principles argument, however, I see it as a moral argument, not an epistemological one.  In fact you even use the word "should" in your statement "While I agree with the rest of your post, I firmly believe that, in each and every case, the burden of proof should be on the government to justify what it's doing."

It is a good moral reason NOT to accept or assume positive truth claims that could lead to potential harms to others, its just not a good epistemic reason.  Using that argument as part of your epistemology to debunk religion and government would be an argument from consequence, making it a fallacy.  All it does is prove that Obama and the Pope are gigantic cocks.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 02:44:31 AM by Ex_Nihil0 »

MrBogosity

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Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2010, 06:43:51 AM »
However, proof with 100% certainty is not possible because the possibility of future falsification always exists.

But as I pointed out, by the same token, falsification with 100% certainty isn't possible, either. So you can't use this as a point to prop up falsification over verification.

Not to mention the fact that falsification is an important part of verification.

Quote
Scientific consensus is, after all, an argument from popularity

No, it isn't; it's not a vote or a poll, it's the convergence of multiple independent lines of reasoning.

Quote
This understanding of the scientific process leads me to anti-skepticism, which states that doubt and belief both require equal proof.

Which makes no sense: since there are an infinite amount of claims that COULD be true, but only a finite amount of claims that actually ARE true, the extreme probability of a new claim is that it is false. They're just not on equal ground.

Quote
Little do the apologists realize that many scientists moved on to anti-skepticism and falsification where you simply can't just say what ever you want and demand that it sticks.

You're misunderstanding what science is doing, and switching the meaning of falsification. You've been arguing for falsification in the negationist sense, while science uses falsification in the Popperian sense. The Null Hypothesis is very much a part of Popperian falsification--and of modern science.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 09:42:18 AM by MrBogosity »

Ex_Nihil0

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Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2010, 08:21:50 AM »
But verification says that no statement is valid if it contradicts itself and can be backed up by evidence.  Since it cannot meet its own standard of evidence, it couldn't possibly be a valid statement by its own standard, either.  Because the principle self refutes, so I don't need anything special to prop up falsification as long as it is a valid and sound concept.  Further, the Poperian concept of falsification is in contrast to verification, so I don't see the point saying that falsification is an important part of verification. 

I agree, and I think I agreed in the last post, that falsification does indeed NOT give you 100% certainty.  I can fully concede that point.  But if you want to go with the Popper version of Falsification, yes, it would mean that a concept is only scientific if it is falsifiable.  Granted, that is also true, but I don't see how this is in conflict with my previous statements.  Popperian falsification does not mean that metaphysical and unfalsifiable statements are invalid or untrue, it just means that falsifiable statements have a higher standard of criticism available to them.   Further, the agreement of experts on a theory does not confirm its true.

By the way, I fail to see the difference between "multiple independent lines of reasoning" is not a matter of popular opinion.  Yeah, if you say that popular opinion is the same as a poll or vote, you are correct, but communities of people, be they scientists or not, to reach popular opinions through social interaction.  In order for your argument to work that popular opinion is the same as polls, you'd also have to say that the opinions of the individuals are based on votes and polling data, even though votes and polling data are based on opinions already formed.  What's worse, polls don't allow for nuanced and excluded middle answers that free floating collective opinions could more accurately be described as.  There is just no getting around the fact that scientific consensus is not a standard of truth.  Corroboration is not confirmation.

My understanding of the Popperian falsification would be negation.  If I observe nothing but white swans, and I make the universal claim that all swans are white, I've made an inductive argument, and we all know about the problem of induction.  In order to make the positive claim that all swans are white, you'd have to find every single swan in the world to verify that it is white.  At first sight of a black swan, however, the statement "All swans are white" has been falsified.  Thus, we get the universal statement, "Not all swans are white."  To me, this seems to be the exact opposite of what verification tried to do.  According to Popper, you don't get universally positive statements in science because of induction's problem, instead you get universally negative statements via falsification.  I must say, I am unclear what you think my mistake is.  Unless maybe you would point out that Popper rejected ad hoc hypotheses as part of the scientific.  Lakatos, and I believe Kuhn as well, thought the ad hoc hypothesis had its place in science.

As a moral argument, I would agree that it isn't wise to investigate the infinite possibly theories to every observable phenomenon, but, again, that alone doesn't make them invalid or untrue.  As a matter of scientific conduct, you go with what is falsifiable, because that's all you have to work with.  Indeed, any given testable hypothesis is as much a guess an untestable one, its just open to criticism.  Unfalsifiable claims aren't a bad thing, either.  The ancient Greeks had metaphysical ideas concerning the atom, the big bang and evolution, yet they later reemerged thousands of years later as highly sophisticated and rigorously tested theories.  I don't think you can use a probabalistic arguments to say that a scientist should never look at metaphysical claims for inspiration or even to see if they have become falsifiable as technology and scientific theories evolve.  But again, you are making a moral argument, not a epistemic one.  I can't disagree with it, because I to believe this is how a scientist should professionally conduct his or her self as well, but I cannot agree that this is a scientifically testable conclusion.

[quote[Little do the apologists realize that many scientists moved on to anti-skepticism and falsification where you simply can't just say what ever you want and demand that it sticks.

You're misunderstanding what science is doing, and switching the meaning of falsification. You've been arguing for falsification in the negationist sense, while science uses falsification in the Popperian sense. The Null Hypothesis is very much a part of Popperian falsification--and of modern science.

I actually think I understand what science is doing pretty well, so I may have not made myself clear.  In science, yeah, you can falsify a falsified statement by finding out that the evidence used to falsify the original claim was faulty in some way, such as the exposure of bad methodology and repeated independent experiments that yield different results.  Or, it may turn out that what appeared to be falsified later becomes accepted again because the paradigm shifted. 

I think I understand the factual error I made, though.  I'm actually mixing Poperian falsification with American neopragmatism, which is where I believe I get the idea of antiskepticism.  It goes along with falabilism, which I've found dovetails nicely with the philosophy of both Popper and Kuhn.  Actually, Popper was a proponent of falabilsm (part of neopragmatism), as well as his falsificationism. 
 

MrBogosity

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Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2010, 10:03:56 AM »
Further, the Poperian concept of falsification is in contrast to verification, so I don't see the point saying that falsification is an important part of verification.

Why don't we hear it from Popper himself: "In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality."

I think it should be obvious that a statement that does not speak about reality should not even be considered as valid. So, as a vital part of validating one's concept, one must show how that concept could, at least in theory, be falsified. If you haven't done that, then you cannot be said to have validated anything.

"Popperian falsification does not mean that metaphysical and unfalsifiable statements are invalid or untrue, it just means that falsifiable statements have a higher standard of criticism available to them."

No, as I just quoted, it means that statements that cannot be falsified are not speaking about reality.

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By the way, I fail to see the difference between "multiple independent lines of reasoning" is not a matter of popular opinion.

If you don't understand the difference between facts and opinions, then perhaps you should go back to grade school. My daughter just covered it in third grade; maybe she can help you.

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There is just no getting around the fact that scientific consensus is not a standard of truth.  Corroboration is not confirmation.

Which is EXACTLY why the verification principle is false!

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My understanding of the Popperian falsification would be negation.

Then you understand it incorrectly. Negationism can lead to things like holocaust denial, while Popperian falsification would tell you why the holocaust deniers do not speak of reality (since many of their statements are not falsifiable, and of the ones that are, they have been falsified).

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If I observe nothing but white swans, and I make the universal claim that all swans are white, I've made an inductive argument, and we all know about the problem of induction.

Without induction, there is no science, reason, or progress. "All swans are white" is perfectly falsifiable: find a black swan, or a red or purple one for that matter. The act of falsification causes the theory to be modified to better fit reality.

Your concept would also negate, for example, Euclid's proof of infinite primes, since infinite primes cannot be observed. But Euclid did it by falsifying finite primes.

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To me, this seems to be the exact opposite of what verification tried to do.

No, that's EXACTLY it: the statement was falsified, and therefore revised. But if all we ever saw were white swans, and you were to say, "A black swan exists somewhere," how could that statement be falsified? It could only be verified--but since the statement verified was not falsifiable, it doesn't tell us anything about reality anyway.

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As a matter of scientific conduct, you go with what is falsifiable, because that's all you have to work with.

No, it's because all other concepts are useless or even meaningless.

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Unfalsifiable claims aren't a bad thing, either.  The ancient Greeks had metaphysical ideas concerning the atom, the big bang and evolution, yet they later reemerged thousands of years later as highly sophisticated and rigorously tested theories.

And what does that say about the Greeks, other than the fact that they were lucky? It's also cherry-picking, as you are required to ignore other things like Humorism which have been completely discredited.

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I think I understand the factual error I made, though.  I'm actually mixing Poperian falsification with American neopragmatism, which is where I believe I get the idea of antiskepticism.

The problem with neopragmatism is that it ignores the distinction between doubt and rejection.

Travis Retriever

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Re: Statism and the Null Hypothesis (from Fail Quotes)
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2010, 05:07:55 PM »
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FlowCell:  There is just no getting around the fact that scientific consensus is not a standard of truth.  Corroboration is not confirmation.
Shane: Which is EXACTLY why the verification principle is false!

Shane, I'm confused.
Does this mean that peer review is a part of the verification principle, and that because the verification principle is false, peer review is invalid?
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