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  Topic: Cornelius Hunter Thread< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2007,07:59   

Quote (Cornelius Hunter @ Feb. 18 2007,03:41)
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
1 .Isn't the very claim that "theory-laden" observations are somehow "less than" or inferior to   "theory-UNladen" observations...itself a theory-laden hypothesis? How does your view qualify as "better?" when it is also laden with theory?

Trust me, your evidential argument for a theory is going to be stronger if it does not entail conclusions that flow from the theory itself. If you disagree, then so be it. But I’m looking for justifications that are free of such theory laden-ness. More below.
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 05 2007,14:59)
I'd also like you to show me an example of scientific observation that is not theory-laden.

It is not a matter of whether or not theory-free observations are possible. Perhaps all observations are theory-laden, but the theory-laden-ness need not be particular to the theory one is trying to advocate. Here’s an example. An astronomer makes observations of distant galaxies and constructs a new theory about galaxies. His observations are laden with assumptions about the universality of natural laws, for instance. But such assumptions are generally accepted by his audience, though his new theory is not. The theory-laden-ness of his observations is not the problem. Rather, his new theory does not fit all the observations very well, though no one objects to the theory-laden-ness of the observations.

On the other hand, let’s look at an evolution example. An evolutionist uses DNA sequence data to construct phylogenies. First, the data are processed to cull homologous sequences, thus rejecting differences. Then the analysis is rerun several times to hone the results, and remaining outliers are explained as a consequence hypothetical evolutionary scenarios. The results are published, and later become strong evidence for evolution and we use them to confirm our flimsy conclusions.

Ah, I see.  You've concluded that the conclusions are flimsy, and no matter how much confirmatory evidence is found, you will continue to contend that the conclusions are still flimsy.  So, it doesn't matter how many times the theory turns out to be right.  You've already decided that it isn't right, so all those confirmations of the theory are therefore "theory-laden" and therefore wrong.  Nice one.

  502 replies since Jan. 26 2007,15:35 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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