Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Science of Science

What is science? It is the study of nature. Science is the study of the difference components of nature, like forces, chemicals, the structure of matter, the way that objects interact with one another, how those objects are made, and how and why they behave the way that they do.

Science is Theory

One of the criticisms of evolution is that it is just a theory.That is right, evolution is a theory. But all science, that is ALL science is theory. But there are supporting facts that make it relevant and real. Without the supporting facts, it would be a hypotheses. Which is what the critics of evolution really are trying to say, and they confuse theory with hypothesis.

Science is About Facts,  A Hypothesis is About Observation

A hypothesis is not about making predictions, it is about trying to explain certain actions, certain observations. Take for example, the Michelson Morley the late 1800's. At that time physicists were very comfortable with Newtonian physics. They could explain about 90% of all occurrences in nature. But one event was a mystery. How did light travel across space? That is, was there an underlying structure that light traveled through, much like water wavers traveled over water.

Their experiment tried to measure the speed of light and see if there was some impact on the speed by comparing the speed across different directions. They measured it by comparing the speed as it traveled north to south, east to west, north-east to south-west, up and down, and so on. If it changed it was because the light traveled on an ether. That was their hypothesis. To their surprise, the speed was constant, it never changed.

This was not a fact, it was an observation, because no one knew what it meant. How could light always travel at the same speed?

It was not until Einstein, in 1905, published his special theory of relativity, that explained how the constancy of light speed affected the force of time, that the observation about the constancyof the speed of light became a fact.

Later on, in 1917, Einstein published the general theory of relativity. One of the remarkable incidents, that is observations, was used to verify that the theory was correct. It had been know for some time that Newton's theory of gravity could not explain stars with light rays that passed near the Sun would appear to have been slightly shifted. This was a well known observation, but they could not rely of Newtonian physics for an explanation. But the General Theory of Relativity did offer an explanation. But could the observations be verified and explained by the theory?

The astro-physicist, Arthur Eddington, travelled to the Principe island near Africa to watch the solar eclipse of My 29, 1919. During the eclipse, Eddington took pictures of the stars in the region around the Sun. According to the theory of general theory, stars with light rays that passed near the Sun would appear to have been slightly shifted because their light had been curved by its gravitational field. This effect is noticeable only during eclipses, because the Sun's brightness otherwise obscures the affected stars. Eddington showed that Newtonian gravitation could be interpreted to predict half the shift predicted by Einstein. So the observation became a fact, and it supported the theory of general relativity.

Science is About Making Predictions

A hypothesis is an observation or idea but one that has no supporting facts to make it a theory. Furthermore, a hypothesis cannot be used to make predictions. A theory not only explains how certain sciences act and behave, they have a predictive element. For example, a baseball pitcher throws a baseball at a batter in a baseball game. The batter hits the ball. Sometimes it is caught, sometimes it is not. But scientists can predict certain elements about the speed of the ball before and after it is hit, where it will go, and how far the ball will travel. These predictions come from understanding the basic function of force, which is matter times acceleration.

That is not to say that a scientist will predict when the batter will strike out, when he will hit a fly ball or a ground ball or a fowl ball or a home run. These elements have variables. The speed of the ball, the direction of the pitchers ball, whether it is a curve or straight ball, the reaction of the batter, the location of the baseball bat.  If all of the variables are known and  the aspects of the variable are also known, then predictions can occur. But with enough details, and instruments to measure the force and direction of the ball it may eventually become possible to make such predictions. But that is the point. If there are variables that scientists cannot take into account they cannot make a prediction. Science can make predictions about the behavior of objects when the variables are known. To make a prediction there have to be facts and how those facts play out in the theory.

Science is About Verifiability

Once a theory is put into public attention, that is scientific attention, where other scientists view the theory and try to confirm it or to falsify it.

But verifying it means that the same theory is confirmed by more than one scientist, this makes it a more reliable theory because it can be replicated. If a new experiment confirms the theory, then there is another supporting fact. This explains the reason why scientists feel sure about the theory and its results. They can also add predictive features. it explains the conditions under which the theory is applied.

Science is About Falsifiability

In any science, the details which show the structure of the operation of science, there is the possibility that the explanation is wrong. Science is not about perfection, it is about explanation, and there may be events for which there is insufficient explanation about what happened. The two examples, the Michaelson-Moreley experiment, and the Eddington photographs showed that the existing theory of physics was false. The Newtonian theory of physics could not explain the speed of light behavior, nor the shifting geometry where light was concerned. So yes the Newtonian theory of  physics was false...or was it?

What these experiments showed was that there are different areas that cannot be explained by the current theory, which leaves open to have another theory be created to explain. those events.

Since the bulk, say 95% of Newtonian physics, was still workable it is hard to dismiss it. What has to happen is that a new theory has to come into play to account for the areas that can't be explained by the current theory. That falsifiability leads to the sense of improvement of the theory by adjusting and showing its limitations. This falsifiability element is the reason that science grows. The observations need to become facts. To become facts, you need a theory. The theory explains the facts, and can make predictions. That is science.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

How to Prove That god Exists

Any time anyone asks an atheist who says that god does not exist, the remark is...Prove it.

Of course, the problem is that you cannot prove a negative. That is you cannot prove that god does not exist. That is a problem of logic, not evidence. In other words, you cannot prove a negative. From a logical point of view, you can only prove that god exists...not that god does not exist. You can only prove a positive, not a negative.

A clear example of this comes from the fact that if a person is accused of committing a crime, the prosecution has to prove that the defendant committed the crime; the defendant does not have to prove that he/she did not commit the crime.

And if that is not clear, try this. Suppose you said that you were a good cook, and I said you were not. What would I have to do to prove that your are not a good cook?


I don't have to do anything to show that your are not a good cook. But on the other hand, you would have to cook meals; you have to show your cooking talent. You have to prove that you are a good cook. That is the positive side of logic. Proving that you are not a good cook is a negative side of logic. You can't prove a negative, only the positive. So if you are a good cook, prove it.

What does this have to do with talking about the existence of god? Well if god exists, then prove it. If I say god does not exist, I don't have to do anything. If you believe that god exists, the you have to prove it.

So there we have it. If god exists, then prove it.
So now we can go ahead a prove that god exists. To do so I will show five examples which can be used to prove that god exists.

To prove that god exists, there has to be some showing of how god can modify the rules of science. In other words, if you can show that a normal operation of science will be modified under normal circumstances, then there is a good likely hood that the change in science originated from outside of science; from some ad-normal operation. If we can show that a normal operation, under normal science rules is now being changed then we can support the view that an outsider modified the scientific operation. So science can be changed from the outside. This could be from an outsider, like god.

Proof #1. Gasoline.
In this view, take a person and cover their body with a cloak full of gasoline. Put the person into a box that also is filled with gasoline, then light a match and put it into the box where the person is. Now, if the gasoline starts to burn and the person does not get burned, then this would violate the rules of chemistry. In such a case if the person survives, completely intact without harm, then this would show that god interfered with the laws of science; specifically with the laws of chemistry. That would be proof that god exists.

Proof#2. Flight
Take a 747 jet airplane with about 400 passengers in the plane. They are flying at over 50,000 feet and at about 500 miles per hour. So then if the jet engines stop working but the jet plane continues to fly, that is it doesn't fall from the sky and hit the ground, but it continues to fly for 10, 50, or 200 hundred miles, then it is operating with out the laws of chemistry (jet fuel), physics (force), and evolutionary biology (human pilot). If it continues to fly and then lands, that would show that three laws of science are compromised; if they are compromised then something or someone compromised them. Then this would be proof than an outsider affected these laws. That could be proof that god exists.

Proof #3. Drowning.
Take a person and put that person into a boat and go to a deep part of a lake. Put a couple of 100 lb objects on the persons legs and then tie the person's arms around their back and throw them into the lake without any air support to their lungs. When the person delves under the water the chance of drowning has 100% probability. So if the person is brought back up to the surface after two days underwater, without any human or device support and is still alive, then there is a high likely hood that an outsider made that possible, made that survival possible, because the laws of chemistry and biology were affected. The laws were changed for this event. So that could be proof that god exists.

Proof#4. Gun control
Take a person who is contemplating suicide. The person has a guns with multiple bullets. The person starts shooting himself in the head, over and over again. If the bullets make a connection into the person's head, and the person continues to shoot again and again, with the bullets entering the brain so that the person does not die, then there is a violation of the laws of physics. The laws of physics show that the force created by the exploding bullet should create damage into the brain, and kill the person. But without the damage, the rules of physics are affected, making the person free of the laws of physics. So that could be proof that god exists.

Proof#5. Parachute
Take a person who is jumping out of a airplane at 10,000 feet. The person jumps out of the plane without a parachute and with his hands and legs tied together and falling over the ocean . Furthermore, the person is falling without any device that would slow the download to the water. So when the person hits the water, and goes under and stays there for hours, and later comes back up alive, then there is a violation of the laws of physics (the force hitting the water didn't kill the person) and chemistry (the drowning of the person didn't kill the person). So that could be proof that god exist.

Having made the case the science is the determining factor about the existence of god, one thing comes to mind though, what about a miracles? If they occur, doesn't that prove that god exists?

Indeed, what is a miracle?

A miracle is an event that occurs for which there is no rational or scientific explanation; at least not now. Take, for example, the situation where a hundred years ago, someone drowned in a lake. The body was recovered, and the person was dead. But it may have occurred that the person woke up and came back to life. A miracle? Yes. At least then, because there would not have been a scientific explanation for the event.

But now it is possible to say that that the recovery event may have been due to the fact that the lungs were not filled with water, and that the brain and heart continued to function, even if under a very limited form. But they functioned enough for the person to recover.

Was that a miracle then? Now there seems to be a rational and scientific explanation for the occurrence. So, no, it was not a miracle. And such events have been reported over the last several decades.

Similarly, 2000 years ago, if a person recovered from leprosy, it would have been called a miracle, but now we know that there is medicine drugs used like dapsone, clofazimine, and refampicin to cure leprosy. This is not a miracle, it is science.

So from the five examples mentioned above, is it possible that the events could occur, and not lead to a disaster? Could a jet plane fly for 200 hundred miles without power? Could a person shoot themselves in the head and still survive? Could a person survive a gasoline fire on their entire body for an extended period of time? Could a person survive a fall of 10,000 feet, into an ocean or lake and not have their body break apart? For these five examples, the answer is no, but if it did happen, wouldn't that be a miracle? It would be an event that we would not have a scientific explanation or rational explanation for. But in due time, it could be explained.

Does god Exist?
So now, with these five examples, it shows that a clear proof that god exists is possible, but it also shows that these examples do not have a probability of success.  So does god exist? Well these examples do not show that it is possible. The answer is not likely. Although a violation of the rules of science makes it a possible...but it is unlikely. If an atheist says god does not exist, it would be very hard to prove that such an entity does exist.

Is it possible that god exists? Logically possible? Under those circumstances, sure. But that is opening up a Pandora's box of possibilities. Is is logically possible for god to exist and not exist at the same time? If god can do anything, then god can do anything that is possible. See? It is not the kind of entity that we are accustomed to talking about.