Reflections cont'd (3)

Mark P. Line mark at
Fri Mar 24 01:10:26 UTC 2006

Diane Frances Lesley-Neuman wrote:
> Direct falsifiability is not the only method of proof.

Proof is for mathematics and other kinds of philosophy, not for science.
Falsifiability is an uncircumventable criterion of scientific hypotheses.

Should I follow your style and suggest that you read up on the philosophy
of science before trying to debate it?

> You have made other claims that images have nothing to do with
> experience--easy ones to test and dismiss.

Where did I claim that?

> Right now the evidence for direct realism is deduced through converging
> operations from many different fields of investigation.

The "evidence" for the Language Acquisition Device was "deduced", too.
How is any of this science? And what good is it anyway, looking for
evidence for something that can only be postulated?

Scientific models have to be built on hypotheses, which are falsifiable,
not on postulates, which are not. It suffices for hypotheses to be
falsifiable *in principle*: many very successful models are rooted in
hypotheses (e.g. the existence of electrons) that cannot yet be falsified
empirically due to technological limitations. But statements that cannot
be falsified even in principle, such as, say, that electrical current can
flow only in accordance with the divine will of members of the Greek
pantheon, are not hypotheses and are not a useful part of scientific
progress (except by virtue of their exposure as non-hypotheses, which of
course is progress in almost anybody's book).

-- Mark

Mark P. Line
San Antonio, TX

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