FE vs. SE--Where's the Rationale Really?

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FE vs. SE--Where's the Rationale Really?
« on: April 18, 2008, 04:29:04 PM »
As a believer in SE (spherical Earth theory), it's difficult to approach FE'ers. It's not like a debate between the ekpyrotic model with string theory and the Big Bang model with inflation. This is a debate that challenges deeply rooted common sense in secular society: it says, "The Earth is flat, and it's more scientifically justified than the spherical model!". It not only flies in the face of the scientific norm, it is literally thought of by the majority of the scientific community as a belief tantamount to a belief in gods and goddesses inhabiting Mt. Olympus (not mons!).

I've been thinking about his site, and the challenges it brings to scientific epistemology, and here is the clearest way I can think of going about answering the question of whether or not FE is more rationally justified than SE:

What observed data can FE explain that SE (spherical Earth) cannot?

It seems that both theories at least EXPLAIN these things:

(1) The occurrence of seasons.
(2) The falling of objects when released from outside forces prior-to holding it in place (e.g. the falling of a ball when I let it go).
(3) The success of the longitude and latitude coordinate system (e.g. the success of air travel using them).
(4) The appearance (veridical or delusive--this is the evidence, no theory yet!) of the Earth being flat when humans look up close (e.g. either in airplane or at the plains of the Midwest).

Those are just some of the things that both theories explain or can account for.

My point is this: there seems to be equality in explanatory power for both theories. If there is not, then it must be shown that a piece of evidence that we all agree on, such as shown in (1)-(4), is explained by the one theory and not the other. On the other hand, if there is an equality of explanatory power, then how else can we rationally justify one theory over the other? Do we consider simplicity (how simple the theory is)? Parsimony (how many different types of entities it supposes to exist)? Conservatism (how well it accords with already well-established theories of science)?

I think it's clear enough that the scientific method does not rely solely on explanatory power. This is clear in the case that we mathematically generalize data points on a graph to simplify and gain theoretical value about the data. If we did not, then a line would have to be drawn point-to-point, and no patterns would emerge (e.g. Hubble's constant or temperature's relation to pressure). Graphs of data would close to never be so clean as y=mx+b (i.e. they would never come close to having linear or parabolic patterns). They would be entirely erratic, and at the least severely retard progress in scientific discovery.

So, in other words, we know things like simplicity are important for scientific arguments. Assuming FE and SE are equal in explanatory power, how do they rate against each other when considering simplicity, parsimony, and conservatism? And if the explanatory powers are unequal, why exactly are they? And might other considerations (e.g. simplicity) affect the rational decision between the two, say if explanatory power favors the less probable one in the end? If so, how?

I know this may seem to be a lot to ask, but I find the current debate between FE and SE to be indolent, and perhaps an appeal to how science is best performed, using clear methodology and being clear about its application, we can enter a more scientifically fruitful discourse. I don't mean to say FE is useless, I just mean a focus on methodology and how it is being specifically used in either justifying SE or FE, would be overall more beneficial in getting FE more respected (or perhaps more rightfully rejected, as I think it should be).

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Colonel Gaydafi

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Re: FE vs. SE--Where's the Rationale Really?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2008, 02:22:34 PM »
boring
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Re: FE vs. SE--Where's the Rationale Really?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2008, 04:32:43 PM »
I know. Actually asking for FE to pass the criterion of adequacy, as do all well-established theories of science, is utterly unexciting. I must admit it's more fun to try and scientifically argue against a pseudo-scientific theory.

?

narcberry

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Re: FE vs. SE--Where's the Rationale Really?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2008, 04:45:54 PM »
As a believer in SE (spherical Earth theory), it's difficult to approach FE'ers. It's not like a debate between the ekpyrotic model with string theory and the Big Bang model with inflation. This is a debate that challenges deeply rooted common sense in secular society: it says, "The Earth is flat, and it's more scientifically justified than the spherical model!". It not only flies in the face of the scientific norm, it is literally thought of by the majority of the scientific community as a belief tantamount to a belief in gods and goddesses inhabiting Mt. Olympus (not mons!).

I've been thinking about his site, and the challenges it brings to scientific epistemology, and here is the clearest way I can think of going about answering the question of whether or not FE is more rationally justified than SE:

What observed data can FE explain that SE (spherical Earth) cannot?

It seems that both theories at least EXPLAIN these things:

(1) The occurrence of seasons.
(2) The falling of objects when released from outside forces prior-to holding it in place (e.g. the falling of a ball when I let it go).
(3) The success of the longitude and latitude coordinate system (e.g. the success of air travel using them).
(4) The appearance (veridical or delusive--this is the evidence, no theory yet!) of the Earth being flat when humans look up close (e.g. either in airplane or at the plains of the Midwest).

Those are just some of the things that both theories explain or can account for.

My point is this: there seems to be equality in explanatory power for both theories. If there is not, then it must be shown that a piece of evidence that we all agree on, such as shown in (1)-(4), is explained by the one theory and not the other. On the other hand, if there is an equality of explanatory power, then how else can we rationally justify one theory over the other? Do we consider simplicity (how simple the theory is)? Parsimony (how many different types of entities it supposes to exist)? Conservatism (how well it accords with already well-established theories of science)?

I think it's clear enough that the scientific method does not rely solely on explanatory power. This is clear in the case that we mathematically generalize data points on a graph to simplify and gain theoretical value about the data. If we did not, then a line would have to be drawn point-to-point, and no patterns would emerge (e.g. Hubble's constant or temperature's relation to pressure). Graphs of data would close to never be so clean as y=mx+b (i.e. they would never come close to having linear or parabolic patterns). They would be entirely erratic, and at the least severely retard progress in scientific discovery.

So, in other words, we know things like simplicity are important for scientific arguments. Assuming FE and SE are equal in explanatory power, how do they rate against each other when considering simplicity, parsimony, and conservatism? And if the explanatory powers are unequal, why exactly are they? And might other considerations (e.g. simplicity) affect the rational decision between the two, say if explanatory power favors the less probable one in the end? If so, how?

I know this may seem to be a lot to ask, but I find the current debate between FE and SE to be indolent, and perhaps an appeal to how science is best performed, using clear methodology and being clear about its application, we can enter a more scientifically fruitful discourse. I don't mean to say FE is useless, I just mean a focus on methodology and how it is being specifically used in either justifying SE or FE, would be overall more beneficial in getting FE more respected (or perhaps more rightfully rejected, as I think it should be).

I've highlighted the important parts.

Re: FE vs. SE--Where's the Rationale Really?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2008, 04:47:54 PM »
As a believer in SE (spherical Earth theory), it's difficult to approach FE'ers. It's not like a debate between the ekpyrotic model with string theory and the Big Bang model with inflation. This is a debate that challenges deeply rooted common sense in secular society: it says, "The Earth is flat, and it's more scientifically justified than the spherical model!". It not only flies in the face of the scientific norm, it is literally thought of by the majority of the scientific community as a belief tantamount to a belief in gods and goddesses inhabiting Mt. Olympus (not mons!).

I've been thinking about his site, and the challenges it brings to scientific epistemology, and here is the clearest way I can think of going about answering the question of whether or not FE is more rationally justified than SE:

What observed data can FE explain that SE (spherical Earth) cannot?

It seems that both theories at least EXPLAIN these things:

(1) The occurrence of seasons.
(2) The falling of objects when released from outside forces prior-to holding it in place (e.g. the falling of a ball when I let it go).
(3) The success of the longitude and latitude coordinate system (e.g. the success of air travel using them).
(4) The appearance (veridical or delusive--this is the evidence, no theory yet!) of the Earth being flat when humans look up close (e.g. either in airplane or at the plains of the Midwest).

Those are just some of the things that both theories explain or can account for.

My point is this: there seems to be equality in explanatory power for both theories. If there is not, then it must be shown that a piece of evidence that we all agree on, such as shown in (1)-(4), is explained by the one theory and not the other. On the other hand, if there is an equality of explanatory power, then how else can we rationally justify one theory over the other? Do we consider simplicity (how simple the theory is)? Parsimony (how many different types of entities it supposes to exist)? Conservatism (how well it accords with already well-established theories of science)?

I think it's clear enough that the scientific method does not rely solely on explanatory power. This is clear in the case that we mathematically generalize data points on a graph to simplify and gain theoretical value about the data. If we did not, then a line would have to be drawn point-to-point, and no patterns would emerge (e.g. Hubble's constant or temperature's relation to pressure). Graphs of data would close to never be so clean as y=mx+b (i.e. they would never come close to having linear or parabolic patterns). They would be entirely erratic, and at the least severely retard progress in scientific discovery.

So, in other words, we know things like simplicity are important for scientific arguments. Assuming FE and SE are equal in explanatory power, how do they rate against each other when considering simplicity, parsimony, and conservatism? And if the explanatory powers are unequal, why exactly are they? And might other considerations (e.g. simplicity) affect the rational decision between the two, say if explanatory power favors the less probable one in the end? If so, how?

I know this may seem to be a lot to ask, but I find the current debate between FE and SE to be indolent, and perhaps an appeal to how science is best performed, using clear methodology and being clear about its application, we can enter a more scientifically fruitful discourse. I don't mean to say FE is useless, I just mean a focus on methodology and how it is being specifically used in either justifying SE or FE, would be overall more beneficial in getting FE more respected (or perhaps more rightfully rejected, as I think it should be).

I've highlighted the important parts.

I concur.