Hypothesis

OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
How can one hypothesise a certainty?

(Yes, I have been to Dawlish)

I don't know what you mean by "hypothesis", but what I mean by it is an explanation which appears to fit current observations, from which predictions about future observations can be drawn. If the predictions are then not contradicted by rigorous experiment, the hypothesis becomes elevated to the status of "theory".

Hypothesis: gravity operates on an inverse square law.

Prediction: the paths of celestial bodies will be found to be conic sections.

Observation: Kepler's laws of orbital motion.

Conclusion: the Theory of Universal Gravitation F = G.M.m/r^2

Hypothesis: the axial orientation of the HD-FOX remote control affects the reception.

Prediction: the "double press" required for turn-on will be relieved by orientating the RC vertically.

Observation: it doesn't.

Conclusion: the hypothesis is binned.
 

Mike2

Scrat
How can one hypothesise a certainty?

(Yes, I have been to Dawlish)

I don't know what you mean by "hypothesis", but what I mean by it is an explanation which appears to fit current observations, from which predictions about future observations can be drawn. If the predictions are then not contradicted by rigorous experiment, the hypothesis becomes elevated to the status of "theory".

Hypothesis: gravity operates on an inverse square law.

Prediction: the paths of celestial bodies will be found to be conic sections.

Observation: Kepler's laws of orbital motion.

Conclusion: the Theory of Universal Gravitation F = G.M.m/r^2

Bad example. That hypothesis was binned when it was discovered that the elliptical orbits advance around the sun. A hypothesis, despite WikiPedia, is just a conjecture that may be proved right or wrong to a degree of certainty. The exceptions are mathematical hypotheses, which can often be proved right with absolute certainty.

 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Newtonian Gravitation held until General Relativity took over. Newtonian Gravitation is still used for most orbital mechanics, because (in most situations) the relativistic deviation is minuscule. Thus, Newtonian Gravitation was not ditched, just refined.

"Black swans exist" is a statement that could be true or false, and is neither a hypothesis nor a theory. "There is a hole in the Earth at the North Pole which explains the hole in the ozone layer" is a hypothesis, but so counter to common knowledge it would require extreme evidence to support it.
 

Mike2

Scrat
Newtonian Gravitation held until General Relativity took over. Newtonian Gravitation is still used for most orbital mechanics, because (in most situations) the relativistic deviation is minuscule. Thus, Newtonian Gravitation was not ditched, just refined.

It is still a failed hypothesis. The hypothesis that bullets move in straight lines is good enough under certain circumstances.

"Black swans exist" is a statement that could be true or false, and is neither a hypothesis nor a theory.
It is, and was, and probably is in some cultures still, a hypothesis, which is easy to prove true.
"There is a hole in the Earth at the North Pole which explains the hole in the ozone layer" is a hypothesis, but so counter to common knowledge it would require extreme evidence to support it.
On a par with "stuff happens, so God exists?" Yet many live their lives believing that hypothesis to be true, despite evidence so threadbare that your hypothesis sounds plausible in comparison, and overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

My father used to believe that gravity was caused by the Earth's spin. I couldn't convince him that if that were true, we would all be walking about the Earth upside down, and would float away at the poles.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
On a par with "stuff happens, so God exists?" Yet many live their lives believing that hypothesis to be true, despite evidence so threadbare that your hypothesis sounds plausible in comparison, and overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Hang on, what overwhelming evidence? As far as I know, it is impossible to prove either way whether God exists. In a primitive civilisation where they have no explanation for natural events other than to say "it is the will of God", then the God hypothesis is as plausible as any other. In a scientifically enlightened civilisation where most occurrences can be explained in a rational scientific way, the God hypothesis is an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence - but cannot be disproved.
 

Mike2

Scrat
Hang on, what overwhelming evidence? As far as I know, it is impossible to prove either way whether God exists. In a primitive civilisation where they have no explanation for natural events other than to say "it is the will of God", then the God hypothesis is as plausible as any other. In a scientifically enlightened civilisation where most occurrences can be explained in a rational scientific way, the God hypothesis is an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence - but cannot be disproved.


<rant>
The overwhelming evidence coming from our billions of physical observations of non-miracles, that the world doesn't work like that, that if God existed and didn't interact with the world then it would be irrelevant to it and could be ignored, that nobody can define what a God is, etc.

You treat disproof in a too rigorous way here. There are many things you could say, and many of them would be discounted by you without question. (Unless you are a Pastafarian!) The onus is on others proving that God exists, not on us proving that it doesn't. If there is no evidence, if it never interacts with this world, we can safely ignore it. If it does, we can study it scientifically and it is part of this world. However, saying that a God is in another domain, so cannot be known to exist or not, just begs the question of what exactly a God is and what another domain is.

If I said to you that all the evidence of science, a considerable evidence, pointed to people not rising from the dead, walking on water, etc, why believe that happens? It is just as likely that you will disappear in the next moment in a puff of smoke, or a tyrannosaur will materialize next to you and eat you, and all the other things we discount as nonsense, because they are just so improbable, given all the evidence to the contrary of how the world works?

Anyway, The God Hypothesis is just a phrase that has no meaning, just like many other nonsense phrases, such as "Black holes walk blue" etc etc. They cannot be disproved because not every syntactically correct statement is true or false. How would you test if God is a black hole or a cabbage? How can you know that an afterlife exists if that thing in the afterlife doesn't have your brain, your body, your memories? In what sense, then, is it you?

</rant>

 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
You're wrong. It is vanishingly unlikely that God exists, but not completely impossible. Anything that can be considered evidence of natural (as opposed to creationist) origin could have been created to appear that way.

Which is why you can never win an argument with a Jehovah's Witness (although I have come close).
 

Mike2

Scrat
Your wrong. It is vanishingly unlikely that God exists, but not completely impossible. Anything that can be considered evidence of natural (as opposed to creationist) origin could have been created to appear that way.

But you beg the question of what exactly "God exists" means! How can something be possible/impossible if nobody knows what it means?

Define what a God is.
Define what exists means. (Certainly no ordinary definition, not in this Universe anyway!)
Define what created means. (Assumes a sort of potter and jug analogy, but totally inappropriate in this context.)

Even after all that, the question circles back to What created that God? If you assume things need creators, then that non-meaningful, anthropomorphic, ephemeral God does too.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Even after all that, the question circles back to What created that God? If you assume things need creators, then that non-meaningful, anthropomorphic, ephemeral God does too.
I entirely agree, but it ain't proof. :devil:

(minor typographic errors in my previous post corrected)
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
Which is why you can never win an argument with a Jahovah's Witness (although I have come close).
I have a friend who managed it once because he had studied the bible in detail purely out of interest. For every bible quote the visitors came up with he managed a couple that contradicted it : )
 
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