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Old 7th March 2011, 07:35 PM   #94
kenkoskinen
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Originally Posted by stevea View Post
Agreed, that one "act of faith" is that we assume our observation (not reality) is consistent enough to test.



Science merely produces a model of what we subjectively observe, and "the scientific method" is nothing more than a statement of principals for model-building. The concept of "objective knowledge" is not relevant, since all observations are subjective. We may be modeling a shared delusion.

The relative success (with notable failures and setbacks) of the scientific model is no proof that it is the only, or best means to create models from observations. There is no evidence that future observation will be predicable in any way. That's where faith in the model building scheme and the consistency of observation comes in. The scientific method has little foundation aside from the "mostly works" characteristic. So this is a reasonably successful scheme for building models that can currently predict future subjective observation, from past subjective observation. It's an error to confuse the models predictive methods with the actual mechanisms underlying the observations, or the observations with "reality".
"The relative success (with notable failures and setbacks) of the scientific model is no proof that it is the only, or best means to create models from observations."

Yes it is, at least until something better comes along. Whatever it might be, its superiority would have to be proven (did I use that word?).

"Science merely produces a model of what we subjectively observe, and "the scientific method" is nothing more than a statement of principals for model-building."

We don't subjectively observe models. Models or theories are concepts we develop via reason i.e. including mathematics and observation/detection. We then use the models to continue comparing them to observations/detections and experimental data. If it continues to be accurate, then okay. If anomalies appear ... it's time to do some checking. It might lead to amendments to the model, scrapping it and/or creating a new model.

""the scientific method" is nothing more than a statement of principals for model-building."

No so, model building in only the conceptual part of the process.

"It's an error to confuse the models predictive methods with the actual mechanisms underlying the observations, or the observations with "reality"."

True ... the detection/observation methodologies/equipment etc. are not the same as the theory. However if the theory accurately and consistently predicts/describes/explains the data it's hitting something. We call it things in the real world.

If I follow you ... you would like to delete the terms "objective" & "reality." I fail to see how the world or science would benefit from doing that. Admittedly science isn't the pursuit of perfect truth but rather is very much a process of refinement of models and observations. The goal is to make corrections along the trail to find better models/theories and observations of objective reality! Yes ... the term "objective reality" is a fine concept and the term "subjective" is not superior.
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