The Occam's Razor argument

  • 63 Replies
  • 9026 Views
*

DonaldC

  • 194
  • Physics & Philosophy guy, teach science in China
Re: The Occam's Razor argument
« Reply #60 on: April 15, 2015, 12:25:32 AM »
Wading in after several days away. Occam's Razor was the topic right?   ;) 

The Tamarak experiment vs a ton of other evidence. Well let us apply the razor shall we? The Tamarak has been shown to have troubles in many ways. And on the other side at this point thousands of experiments that confirm gravity and a basically spherical, spinning Earth. Guess which OR suggests is the winner?

Vauxhall, last I checked Earth contains lead, so it is indeed made of lead. Definitely not exclusively, nor even in majority. But it is not devoid of the stuff.

The Cavendish experiment has been replicated with other materials, not just lead. The same results occur. The moon orbiting the Earth was Newton's main inspiration for the basic equation F=(G*M*m)/r^2. If you think lead is a problem then fine, the Earth is made up of many different things, all of which have been shown to have MASS and mass is the relevant property here. See the two m's in the equation? Those stand for mass. And we also know what the sun is composed of and those also have mass, therefor there was no illogical assumption made. Now I am sure you will now go on about assumptions of mass or some other tomfoolery. Have at it.

I see that Mikey mentioned he is not a physicist. Well I am. No one will do the Tamarak experiment again, see above. There is no reason for working scientists and engineers to want to. There was a time when the idea of universal gravitation was a new and relatively weak idea. The preponderance of evidence that is now in hand would require some incredible event to occur for engineers and scientists to question it. Because there is a plethora of evidence.

Flat Earth types seem to come in two flavors. Those who are clueless as to how science really functions. It is primarily a set of methods that are used to determine the way nature works and to produce hypotheses and to test those. An experiment is not done once and never replicated, especially one that is relatively easy to replicate and has important value, as the Cavendish one did. Something costing billions might not be replicated. But even at the LHC two different detectors were involved in the search for the Higgs Boson and the discovery of it was only accepted after the results from both detectors (essentially two different experiments) were show to confirm one another. The second flavor of Flat Earthers are the same as a great number of anti-scientific types. Their mantra is, "this is too hard for me to understand therefore it must be incorrect." Well tough. Accept that some people are brighter than you and have worked for years to acquire the knowledge and know how to become scientists and engineers.
"Think of the average person. Now remember how stupid he is. Now realize half of them are dumber than that." George Carlin

*

Son of Orospu

  • Jura's b*tch and proud of it!
  • Planar Moderator
  • 37820
  • I have artificial intelligence
Re: The Occam's Razor argument
« Reply #61 on: April 15, 2015, 12:40:46 AM »
Donald C, I hate to break the news to you, but, Occam's Razor is not a popularity contest.  It is not about the most popular or most widely accepted theory being the most likely to be correct.  You are using the Argumentum ad Numerum fallacy to try to bend Occam's Razor to your side.  You would think a physicist would know a thing or two about Occam's Razor. 

*

Mikey T.

  • 2419
Re: The Occam's Razor argument
« Reply #62 on: April 15, 2015, 07:10:42 AM »
argumentum ad numerum ("appeal to the number").  Also Bandwagon fallacy means that you are saying more people believe it because it is true.  This is not technically what Donald is using.  It is used quite a bit here, but just using a fallacy argument doesn't make it untrue.  Occam's Razor is misused for FET purposes in your faq by comparing basically two different levels of explanation.  If two competing arguments equally explain something, then Occam's Razor is used to take the simplest, least amount of assumptions, etc. argument as possibly the correct one.
I refer you to my earlier comment
Quote
I love the way its used to argue gravity.  If they walk off their chair and fall to the ground, would it be an undiscovered graviton particle or would it be easier to say the earth rushed up to meet your face.
So they can take the most minute theorized only part of a fundamental force and compare it to an effect. 
The occams razor argument should have been this.

So I fall from a chair,
What is the most simple answer?  Which answer has the least assumptions?

That mass attracts mass, and the Earth has a gravitational force attracting me to its surface.  Being a fundamental force, we do not know what quantum field may cause gravity.  Many scientist have tested and verified its effects, and the math can predict celestial bodies movements through the sky. 
Or
The Earth is accelerating upwards, possibly being pushed by an unknown force/energy/matter.  Being a totally assumed thing with no mathematical data that cannot be attributed to gravitational effects, and possibly no mass yet it imparts force, hasn't been observed at all, and was thought up just to replace gravity since the world looks flat from my living room window.

Here is the exact quote from the FAQ
Quote
When I walk off the edge of a chair and go into free fall while observing the surface of the earth carefully the earth appears to accelerate up towards me. What's the simplest explanation; that there exists hypothetical undiscovered Graviton puller particles emanating from the earth which allows them to accelerate my body towards the surface through unexplained quantum effects; or is the simplest explanation that this mysterious highly theoretical mechanism does not exist and the earth has just accelerated upwards towards me exactly as I've observed?

*

DonaldC

  • 194
  • Physics & Philosophy guy, teach science in China
Re: The Occam's Razor argument
« Reply #63 on: April 16, 2015, 10:47:25 PM »
Jroa my argument was about the amount and quality. One experiment that has not been replicated and shown to have many problems associated with it vs. thousands of experiments that have replicated the Cavendish experiments results, new ones that also tested the idea in new ways, and so forth.

You are correct Occam's Razor does not apply, as it is used for two theories that both adequately plain an idea and make similar predictions. An accelerating flat earth and mass exerting an attractive force on other mass are not on par.

As Mikey said I am not using the bandwagon fallacy. If you cannot see the difference between confirming experiments and empirical evidence, and the fallacy then you will never understand how science works. If there were only one experiment on each side, and then all the scientists voted you would be correct. This is emphatically not what happened. Many experiments were conducted, some of a similar nature, many more that tested gravity in different ways, and the theory has been shown to be robust.
"Think of the average person. Now remember how stupid he is. Now realize half of them are dumber than that." George Carlin