forum 8: week of 5 March: tests and evidence

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Last edit: 01:20, 7 March 2012

First of all, I should say that I am even less sure than usual which parts of this reading may be difficult to you and for which reasons. So be uninhibited in asking for clarification, on this forum and in class.
Staley and Cobb state their central claim as follows:
"... justification in science is externalist* in character insofar as the evidential relations that are of concern in addressing the problem of misleading evidence are objective ..., and internalist* in character insofar as addressing the problem of justification requires the capacity to access and provide reasons that support one’s inferences from the data."
You might disagree with this either because (a) you are not convinced that scientific tests and the process of checking them are objective and truth-conducive, or (b) you suspect that expecting scientists/us to understand and manage the ways conclusions are inferred from the data is asking too much.
Does either of these attract you?

23:36, 3 March 2012

I am interested in both a) and b),but from a particular perspective which involves a question of definition.Are we talking about truth-seeking as pragmatic,which to me would mean seeking victory at securing a desired outcome? (as in the warfare examples posted by Jim and myself in the last forum)That would be a competitive model, more subjective in nature,would necessarily involve the practice of deceit, and would be a war of contending truths in which ultimately might is right. Or are we talking about the seeking of some sort of common ground,which would involve an unavoidable and contingent ethical component and the requirement to disclose (to use Al Gore's phrase) inconvenient truths, regardless of its implications for or against self-interest?

20:06, 5 March 2012
 

could we spend two minutes on ES and Mis-specified model. I know that stuff is more the science end of this paper but I think it would help me understand things a bit better.

22:32, 5 March 2012

Glad to hear that someone else is interested in the science-y stuff other than me! Maybe I can briefly go over the ES and Mis-specified model with you (and anyone else who is interested) after class?

00:27, 6 March 2012

I'm also interested in the mis-specification testing, especially in the context of respecifying a statistical model (on p. 9). From the way the authors put it, it almost sounds like one should look for a statistical test that fits the data in a way that confirms the hypothesis, even if several other models have already failed to provide good results. I may be misunderstanding this, but, from personal experience, when the data fails to be informative, it seems counterintuitive to "assess a candidate model considered for use in drawing a primary inference"; that just sounds like trying to make the data provide the results I wanted, instead of whatever I actually got.

07:14, 6 March 2012
 
 

I am probably over-simplifying (in which case I assume I missed something important) but I really don't see why there needs to be an entire paper for the simple statement that "you cannot use evidence to support a claim if you don't believe it/have access to it and-or everyone else that may have to use that claim doesn't have access to that evidence." If I cannot logically and consistently set out my evidence then I don't actually have an argument at all, right?

06:15, 6 March 2012

What you call the "simple statement" is not so simple for the following reasons: (1) the scientific/experimental setting is evidently different from the traditional epistemological/philosophical setting; (2) defining accessibility in the various contexts is not quite as simple as you would (like to) think due to the nontrivial differences between the scientific/experimental setting and the traditional philosophical setting. Putting those two reasons together, justification and accessibility are key concepts that have not been paid much attention to in science, and appropriate definitions of those key concepts really need to be spelled out in detail in order for us to make any sense of those differences in my first reason (1).

You say, "If I cannot logically and consistently set out my evidence then I don't actually have an argument at all, right?" My response is: The big problem that still exists today is that it's not generally agreed upon what counts as "good" evidence vs. "bad" evidence! This lack of agreement could play a role in what the requirements are to have an argument! Hence, once again, it does not seem quite as simple (in my opinion) as you think it is.

07:08, 7 March 2012
 

No, none of these attract me! I agree with their (Staley and Cobb's) conclusion that justification, in the scientific setting, requires both internalist* and externalist* elements. The only problem I have with their argument is in the introduction, when they claim that their main argument "would plausibly apply equally well to other objective theories such as likelihood accounts (Royall 1997; Lele 2004; Sober 2008), objective Bayesian theories (Jaynes 2003; Williamson 2008), or Peter Achinstein's explanatory-probabilistic hybrid (Achinstein 2001)." (emphasis mine)

The reason that their claim in the introduction is so troubling for me is because I actually don't count the likelihood account (by Richard Royall) as an objective theory at all, and at the same time have many doubts about the Bayesian theories (both objective and subjective)! In my term paper for PHIL 520 (Probability, Confirmation and Representations of Uncertainty), I explained and gave reasons for rejecting Royall's likelihood account, and instead strongly advocated Mayo's error-statistical account, especially the concept of severity. Also, I noticed that Ange brought up in class discussion earlier today the case when someone does not understand statistics/probability very well. My response to that charge is: "The ES account is meant to apply not only in cases where one quantitatively evaluates these probabilities using a statistical model of the data-generating process, but also in experimental settings that take a more casual or intuitive approach to statistical analysis." (emphasis mine, section 3 in Staley and Cobb, shortly after they introduce the error-statistical (ES) account)

Lastly, the fact that many people who use statistical methods do not have a solid grasp of them demonstrates the need to more carefully study the philosophical aspects of statistical methods! This is precisely the research area I am most interested in, and that Deborah Mayo is heavily involved in (with Aris Spanos).

01:52, 7 March 2012

In the PHIL 440A March 1, 2012 lecture, in terms of epistemology, an expression was uttered in the sense: most of the things one believes on the authority of wise old men in holy books have been discredited. Is there a way in the method of Kent Staley and Aaron Cobb, in their paper titled Internalist and externalist aspects of justification in scientific inquiry, to couple the externalist aspects of justification in scientific enquiry, with the internalist aspects of beliefs based on the authority of wise old men in holy books.

05:47, 7 March 2012

I am not sure if I understand your question. It seems to me that the question you are asking relates to the topic of the relation between Science and Religion, which is another area I am truly interested in. (Yes, I have multiple research interests in several different areas!) The short attempt to answer your question is: justification and beliefs are separate concepts, and I think those concepts should be treated separately. Thus, when you talk about coupling externalist aspects with internalist aspects, these aspects should all be part of the same concept, whether it be justification or belief.

07:17, 7 March 2012

a) Scientific tests are unable to objectively test experiments, although within it's nature is to test them with non-objective aims. I feel that yes, this is impossible and unavoidable to a certain extent. Behind experiments is the original purpose which indicates a direction the scientist predicts. Through this purpose of conducting the experiment, it seems to contradict a notion of purely truth-conducive alternatives. Also, acknowledging a gap in the ability to access the entirety of data (Higgs Boson?) at certain points in time. Externalist frames on scientific results seem constrained by time, and only in subsequent tests will it be evident that the experiment is truth-conducive or not, relative to the capacity accessibility of reasons to support the data.

06:56, 8 March 2012
 

My first link is via the notion of epistemic possibility, to link internalism based on authority, with the internalism based on scientific experimentation. Staley and Cobb, page 22, include: … “Hintikka, whose (1962) provides the origins for contemporary discussions, there takes expressions of the form ‘It is possible, for all that S knows, that P’ to have the same meaning as ‘It does not follow from what S knows that not-P.’12.” My second link is physicist Freeman Dyson’s personal theology as expressed in the following excepts from a Polkinghorne book review: The universe shows evidence of the operations of mind on three levels. The first level is elementary physical processes, as we see them when we study atoms in the laboratory. The second level is our direct human experience of our own consciousness. The third level is the universe as a whole. Atoms in the laboratory are weird stuff, behaving like active agents rather than inert substances. They make unpredictable choices between alternative possibilities according to the laws of quantum mechanics. It appears that mind, as manifested by the capacity to make choices, is to some extent inherent in every atom. The universe as a whole is also weird, with laws of nature that make it hospitable to the growth of mind. I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension. God may be either a world-soul or a collection of world-souls. So I am thinking that atoms and humans and God may have minds that differ in degree but not in kind. We stand, in a manner of speaking, midway between the unpredictability of atoms and the unpredictability of God. Atoms are small pieces of our mental apparatus, and we are small pieces of God's mental apparatus. Our minds may receive inputs equally from atoms and from God. This view of our place in the cosmos may not be true, but it is compatible with the active nature of atoms as revealed in the experiments of modern physics. I don't say that this personal theology is supported or proved by scientific evidence. I only say that it is consistent with scientific evidence.

I am myself a Christian, a member of a community that preserves an ancient heritage of great literature and great music, provides help and counsel to young and old when they are in trouble, educates children in moral responsibility, and worships God in its own fashion. But I find Polkinghorne’s theology altogether too narrow for my taste. I have no use for a theology that claims to know the answers to deep questions but bases its arguments on the beliefs of a single tribe. I am a practicing Christian but not a believing Christian. To me, to worship God means to recognize that mind and intelligence are woven into the fabric of our universe in a way that altogether surpasses our comprehension. When I listen to Polkinghorne describing the afterlife, I think of God answering Job out of the whirlwind, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?… Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding…. Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?” God’s answer to Job is all the theology I need. As a scientist, I live in a universe of overwhelming size and mystery. The mysteries of life and language, good and evil, chance and necessity, and of our own existence as conscious beings in an impersonal cosmos are even greater than the mysteries of physics and astronomy. Behind the mysteries that we can name, there are deeper mysteries that we have not even begun to explore.

My third link is to subject Dyson’s personal theology concept of mind, at the quantum level, to the Externalist aspects of justification in scientific enquiry of Staley and Cobb, page 10, defined as: “Externalism*: the assertion of an experimental conclusion (h) is justified if and only if that which justifies h is truth-conducive.” Quantum physics is claimed to be the most tested theory, and to never have failed a test.

08:53, 8 March 2012
 

Parallel Submission on Staley and Cobb paper titled Internalist and Externalist Aspects of Justification in Scientific Inquiry.

Assumption:

The *method* of believing things because they come from wise old men and holy books has been discredited (and might be undiscredited); and, the method of believing things because they come from wise old men and holy books has only been discredited in that we now need other reasons if we are to believe them. [concept, Dr. Adam Morton]

Question 1

Can the internalist *method* of believing things because they come from wise old men and holy books be included in the Internalist method of Kent Staley and Aaron Cobb, in their paper titled Internalist and Externalist Aspects of Justification in Scientific Inquiry. The basis of this question is Staley and Cobbs’ use, page 22, of the notion of epistemic possibility, …“Hintikka, whose (1962) provides the origins for contemporary discussions, there takes expressions of the form ‘It is possible, for all that S knows, that P’ to have the same meaning as ‘It does not follow from what S knows that not-P.’12.” If the internalist *method* of believing things because they come from wise old men and holy books cannot be included in the form of Hintikka’s construct, why not?

Question 2

Can physicist Freeman Dyson’s personal theology be included in the Internalist method of Kent Staley and Aaron Cobbs’ paper.

Freeman Dyson’s personal theology is expressed in the following excepts from:


[1] Dyson’s acceptance speech for the Templeton Foundation 2000 Prize for Progress in Religion. Retrieved from: http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge68.html

[2] Dyson’s The New York Review of Books, book review of physicist Sir John Polkinghorne’s book titled The God of Hope and the End of the World.

Retrieved from : http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2002/mar/28/science-religion-no-ends-in-sight/?pagination=false

Sir John Polkinghorne was awarded the Templeton Foundation 2002 Prize for Progress in Religion.

Dysan excerpts:

[1] My personal theology is described in the Gifford lectures that I gave at Aberdeen in Scotland in 1985, published under the title, Infinite in All Directions. Here is a brief summary of my thinking. The universe shows evidence of the operations of mind on three levels. The first level is elementary physical processes, as we see them when we study atoms in the laboratory. The second level is our direct human experience of our own consciousness. The third level is the universe as a whole. Atoms in the laboratory are weird stuff, behaving like active agents rather than inert substances. They make unpredictable choices between alternative possibilities according to the laws of quantum mechanics. It appears that mind, as manifested by the capacity to make choices, is to some extent inherent in every atom. The universe as a whole is also weird, with laws of nature that make it hospitable to the growth of mind. I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension. God may be either a world-soul or a collection of world-souls. So I am thinking that atoms and humans and God may have minds that differ in degree but not in kind. We stand, in a manner of speaking, midway between the unpredictability of atoms and the unpredictability of God. Atoms are small pieces of our mental apparatus, and we are small pieces of God's mental apparatus. Our minds may receive inputs equally from atoms and from God. This view of our place in the cosmos may not be true, but it is compatible with the active nature of atoms as revealed in the experiments of modern physics. I don't say that this personal theology is supported or proved by scientific evidence. I only say that it is consistent with scientific evidence.

[2] I am myself a Christian, a member of a community that preserves an ancient heritage of great literature and great music, provides help and counsel to young and old when they are in trouble, educates children in moral responsibility, and worships God in its own fashion. But I find Polkinghorne’s theology altogether too narrow for my taste. I have no use for a theology that claims to know the answers to deep questions but bases its arguments on the beliefs of a single tribe. I am a practicing Christian but not a believing Christian. To me, to worship God means to recognize that mind and intelligence are woven into the fabric of our universe in a way that altogether surpasses our comprehension. When I listen to Polkinghorne describing the afterlife, I think of God answering Job out of the whirlwind, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?… Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding…. Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?” God’s answer to Job is all the theology I need. As a scientist, I live in a universe of overwhelming size and mystery. The mysteries of life and language, good and evil, chance and necessity, and of our own existence as conscious beings in an impersonal cosmos are even greater than the mysteries of physics and astronomy. Behind the mysteries that we can name, there are deeper mysteries that we have not even begun to explore.

Question 3

Can Dyson’s personal theology of the operations of mind, at the quantum level, be included in Staley and Cobbs’ method of Externalist aspects of justification in scientific enquiry. Staley and Cobb, page 10, define Externalist aspects of justification in scientific enquiry as:

“Externalism*: the assertion of an experimental conclusion (h) is justified if and only if that which justifies h is truth-conducive.”

Can Dyson’s personal theology of mind concept, at the quantum level, be considered Externalist justification in scientific enquiry as truth-conducive by Staley and Cobbs’ method, if confirmed by quantum mechanics research. As a theory, quantum mechanics is claimed to be the most tested theory, and to never have failed a test.


Six selected quotations on this claim on quantum mechanics as the most tested theory are as follows:


[1] “Yes, the Theory of Relativity (just like the Theory of Quantum Mechanics too) can be physically tested: you can demonstrate its truth, by means of the apparent impossibility of ever proving it untrue. This is to say that science has indeed put relativity to many, many tests: those trying to prove it incorrect (when appropriately applied). Irrefutably, the Theory of Relativity (again, just like the Theory of Quantum Mechanics) has NEVER once failed ANY test that science has EVER subjected it to – NOT A Single One – making it as true as anything in the universe can ever be, because no one has ever successfully demonstrated, or better stated, no one has ever even come close to demonstrating, its incorrectness - not even once.”


 Chongo in collaboration with Jose. January, 2010. Conceptual Reality. Page, preface. Retrieved from: http://chongonation.com/nutshell.htm   March 10, 2012.


[2] “Quantum Mechanics has been around since the thirties and is the basis of essentially all modern physics. It is a clean theory and has been tested, retested, and verified more than any other physical theory in history.”


The Mathematician. April 18, 2010. Ask a Mathematician / Ask a Physicist. Retrieved from http://www.askamathematician.com/?p=2310 March 10, 2012.


[3] “Quantum mechanics has never been shown to be incorrect and has never failed experimentally.”

Hooper, Dan. Fermilab. Quantum Physics. Slide 72. Retrieved from:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:so_g035GLTUJ:smp.fnal.gov/slides/hidden/DanHooperQuantumMechanics.ppt+Hooper,+Dan+Quantum+Mechanics+slide+presentation&hl=en&gl=ca&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESih4RlVUe7Prhgj5m8YUofB_8H1yjiCGvFvch03UDifQ59FA4j4PnkVsgWN59gb2stPJb81xZdGihnw8Zng6eBL_llmGM6yLCgTmJ-fm7eQNWuVLfi8ueWTW7yT0roiZExlgqbb&sig=AHIEtbTDeo5ArkdDfUSWmALLWWzJJEc4AQ March 10, 2012.

[4] ”Quantum theory works. It never fails.”

Bjorken, James. The Future of the Quantum Theory. Beam Line. Summer/Fall 2000. Page 2.


Retrieved from: http://www.slac.stanford.edu/pubs/beamline/30/2/30-2-bjorken.pdf March 10, 2012.


5. “Since its final formulation in terms of Schrodinger wave mechanics, quantum mechanics has claimed to have never failed any conceivable experimental test [1]” Reference [1] = A. Peres, Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. 1995).”


 Budiyono, July 24, 2009. The most probable wave function of a single free moving particle. Institue for the Physical and Chemical research, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.


 Peres, Asher, Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht / Boston / London, 1993.


[6] “In fact, Feynman once wrote, ‘I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.’ But quantum physics agrees with observation. It has never failed a test, and it has been tested more than any other theory in science.”


Hawking, Stephen; Mlodinow, Leonard, 2010. The Grand Design. Bantam Books. New York. Page 74.

08:23, 11 March 2012
 

Parallel Submission on Staley and Cobb paper titled Internalist and Externalist Aspects of Justification in Scientific Inquiry.

The purpose of this submission is to confirm that any Internalist belief based on authority, can be tested on the basis of the notion of epistemic possibility, as the Internalist component of the Staley and Cobb Internalist and Externalist aspects of justification in scientific inquiry.

Assumption: The *method* of believing things because they come from wise old men and holy books has been discredited (and might be undiscredited); and, the method of believing things because they come from wise old men and holy books has only been discredited in that we now need other reasons if we are to believe them. [assumtion source, Dr. Adam Morton].

Question 1

Can the internalist *method* of believing things because they come from wise old men and holy books be included in the Internalist method of Kent Staley and Aaron Cobb, in their paper titled Internalist and Externalist Aspects of Justification in Scientific Inquiry. The basis of this question is Staley and Cobbs’ use, page 22, of the notion of epistemic possibility, …“Hintikka, whose (1962) provides the origins for contemporary discussions, there takes expressions of the form ‘It is possible, for all that S knows, that P’ to have the same meaning as ‘It does not follow from what S knows that not-P.’12.” If the internalist *method* of believing things because they come from wise old men and holy books cannot be included in the form of Hintikka’s construct, why not?

Question 2

Can physicist Freeman Dyson’s personal theology be included in the Internalist method of Kent Staley and Aaron Cobbs’ paper.

Freeman Dyson’s personal theology is expressed in the following excepts from:


[1] Dyson’s acceptance speech for the Templeton Foundation 2000 Prize for Progress in Religion. Retrieved from: http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge68.html

[2] Dyson’s The New York Review of Books, book review of physicist Sir John Polkinghorne’s book titled The God of Hope and the End of the World.

Retrieved from : http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2002/mar/28/science-religion-no-ends-in-sight/?pagination=false

Sir John Polkinghorne was awarded the Templeton Foundation 2002 Prize for Progress in Religion.

Dysan excerpts:

[1] My personal theology is described in the Gifford lectures that I gave at Aberdeen in Scotland in 1985, published under the title, Infinite in All Directions. Here is a brief summary of my thinking. The universe shows evidence of the operations of mind on three levels. The first level is elementary physical processes, as we see them when we study atoms in the laboratory. The second level is our direct human experience of our own consciousness. The third level is the universe as a whole. Atoms in the laboratory are weird stuff, behaving like active agents rather than inert substances. They make unpredictable choices between alternative possibilities according to the laws of quantum mechanics. It appears that mind, as manifested by the capacity to make choices, is to some extent inherent in every atom. The universe as a whole is also weird, with laws of nature that make it hospitable to the growth of mind. I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension. God may be either a world-soul or a collection of world-souls. So I am thinking that atoms and humans and God may have minds that differ in degree but not in kind. We stand, in a manner of speaking, midway between the unpredictability of atoms and the unpredictability of God. Atoms are small pieces of our mental apparatus, and we are small pieces of God's mental apparatus. Our minds may receive inputs equally from atoms and from God. This view of our place in the cosmos may not be true, but it is compatible with the active nature of atoms as revealed in the experiments of modern physics. I don't say that this personal theology is supported or proved by scientific evidence. I only say that it is consistent with scientific evidence.

[2] I am myself a Christian, a member of a community that preserves an ancient heritage of great literature and great music, provides help and counsel to young and old when they are in trouble, educates children in moral responsibility, and worships God in its own fashion. But I find Polkinghorne’s theology altogether too narrow for my taste. I have no use for a theology that claims to know the answers to deep questions but bases its arguments on the beliefs of a single tribe. I am a practicing Christian but not a believing Christian. To me, to worship God means to recognize that mind and intelligence are woven into the fabric of our universe in a way that altogether surpasses our comprehension. When I listen to Polkinghorne describing the afterlife, I think of God answering Job out of the whirlwind, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?… Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding…. Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?” God’s answer to Job is all the theology I need. As a scientist, I live in a universe of overwhelming size and mystery. The mysteries of life and language, good and evil, chance and necessity, and of our own existence as conscious beings in an impersonal cosmos are even greater than the mysteries of physics and astronomy. Behind the mysteries that we can name, there are deeper mysteries that we have not even begun to explore.

Question 3

Can Dyson’s personal theology of the operations of mind, at the quantum level, be included in Staley and Cobbs’ method of Externalist aspects of justification in scientific enquiry. Staley and Cobb, page 10, define Externalist aspects of justification in scientific enquiry as:

“Externalism*: the assertion of an experimental conclusion (h) is justified if and only if that which justifies h is truth-conducive.”

Can Freeman Dyson’s personal theology of mind concept, at the quantum level, qualify as Externalist justification in scientific enquiry as truth-conducive, by Staley and Cobbs’ method, if confirmed by quantum mechanics research. As a theory, quantum mechanics is claimed to be the most tested theory, and to never have failed a test.


Six selected quotations, on the claim that quantum mechanics is the most tested theory, and has never failed a test, are as follows:


[1] “Yes, the Theory of Relativity (just like the Theory of Quantum Mechanics too) can be physically tested: you can demonstrate its truth, by means of the apparent impossibility of ever proving it untrue. This is to say that science has indeed put relativity to many, many tests: those trying to prove it incorrect (when appropriately applied). Irrefutably, the Theory of Relativity (again, just like the Theory of Quantum Mechanics) has NEVER once failed ANY test that science has EVER subjected it to – NOT A Single One – making it as true as anything in the universe can ever be, because no one has ever successfully demonstrated, or better stated, no one has ever even come close to demonstrating, its incorrectness - not even once.”


Chongo in collaboration with Jose. January, 2010. Conceptual Reality. Page, preface. Retrieved from: http://chongonation.com/nutshell.htm, March 10, 2012.


[2] “Quantum Mechanics has been around since the thirties and is the basis of essentially all modern physics. It is a clean theory and has been tested, retested, and verified more than any other physical theory in history.”


The Mathematician. April 18, 2010. Ask a Mathematician / Ask a Physicist. Retrieved from http://www.askamathematician.com/?p=2310


[3] “Quantum mechanics has never been shown to be incorrect and has never failed experimentally.”

Hooper, Dan. Fermilab. Quantum Physics. Slide 72. Retrieved from:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:so_g035GLTUJ:smp.fnal.gov/slides/hidden/DanHooperQuantumMechanics.ppt+Hooper,+Dan+Quantum+Mechanics+slide+presentation&hl=en&gl=ca&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESih4RlVUe7Prhgj5m8YUofB_8H1yjiCGvFvch03UDifQ59FA4j4PnkVsgWN59gb2stPJb81xZdGihnw8Zng6eBL_llmGM6yLCgTmJ-fm7eQNWuVLfi8ueWTW7yT0roiZExlgqbb&sig=AHIEtbTDeo5ArkdDfUSWmALLWWzJJEc4AQ March 10, 2012.

[4] ”Quantum theory works. It never fails.”

Bjorken, James. The Future of the Quantum Theory. Beam Line. Summer/Fall 2000. Page 2.


Retrieved from: http://www.slac.stanford.edu/pubs/beamline/30/2/30-2-bjorken.pdf March 10, 2012.


[5] “Since its final formulation in terms of Schrodinger wave mechanics, quantum mechanics has claimed to have never failed any conceivable experimental test [1]” Reference [1] = A. Peres, Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. 1995).”


Budiyono, July 24, 2009. The most probable wave function of a single free moving particle. Institue for the Physical and Chemical research, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.


Peres, Asher, Quantum Theory: Concepts and Methods. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht / Boston / London, 1993.


[6] “In fact, Feynman once wrote, ‘I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.’ But quantum physics agrees with observation. It has never failed a test, and it has been tested more than any other theory in science.”


Hawking, Stephen; Mlodinow, Leonard, 2010. The Grand Design. Bantam Books. New York. Page 74.

03:07, 12 March 2012

Jim, I appreciate you contributing to the forum. However, what you're asking and writing about does not relate very much to Fisher's reading. Hence, I suggest you focus on Fisher's book, as that is the topic for this week. Focusing on Fisher and the design of experiments will make this week go much smoother because I will be able to accommodate more requests from the audience, if they are willing to tell me what they have trouble understanding.

04:36, 12 March 2012
 
 
 
 

This whole week was a little confusing for me, but I'm not sure why. Hopefully next week's reading will clarify things for me a bit. Something about Staley's style made the paper difficult to read.

04:51, 9 March 2012

Thomas, exactly what part of Staley's argument was most confusing for you? Or, is it not possible for you to pinpoint one thing that was most confusing this week? The reason for asking those questions is because if what confused you this week directly relates to next week's reading, then I will try to accommodate for your confusion in my presentation next Tuesday.

06:11, 9 March 2012

I also found this reading to be rather confusing. I don't know how significant this part of the reading is, but I was confused by the idea of a degree of security in forming inferences. Staley & Cobb said that researchers can have secure inferences without having to state how secure they are. I don't quite understand why this is, it seems to weaken the strength of internalism. If you could clarify this a bit more that would be helpful!

23:26, 9 March 2012

Andrea, security is a concept that is very much related to Fisher's work but is not something that Fisher (explicitly) addressed. I will see if I can say at least a few words about security, in the context of Fisher's reading. Thanks for your comment! To everyone else: keep these comments coming! My suggestion to all of you is to start looking ahead to next week's reading (Fisher) in light of the concepts discussed in this week's reading.

00:03, 10 March 2012
 
 
 

My issue with Staley and Cobb's paper is that in attempting to apply internalism and externalism to scientific methodology they change the definitions (internalism* and externalism*) to the point that they are almost unrecognisable from their original forms.

I am mostly concerned with internalism*. I took internalism in standard epistemology to mean that justification is based on internal evidence (i.e. evidence must be directly available to and recognized by the subject). Staley and Cobb frame internalism* around an epistemic community or epistemic situation (which could contain many subjects) which, to me, contradicts the whole idea of internalism. Their internalism* also entails security and being able to defend an assertion based on "internal" evidence and collaboration within a community. This seems to go against the internalist idea. They assume that everyone within a "relevant epistemic community" holds the exact same evidence and will operate in identical ways to defend their claims.

I do see a relationship between what I took externalism to be in conventional epistemology (that justification is based on if the evidence is objectively true and doesn't need to be directly accessible for an epistemic subject) and what Staley and Cobb call externalism* in that knowledge or assertions of experimental conclusions are judged based on "truth-conduciveness". I just don't see the necessity of making the distinction when all that changed was "knowledge claim" to the "the assertion of an experimental conclusion."

The argument that justification in science is both internalist and externalism is problematic to me because of my understanding of internalism and externalism. To me they are mutually exclusive options and instead of changing the definitions entirely, Staley and Cobb might as well have used their own terms to describe their notions of internalism* and externalism*.

20:44, 9 March 2012
 

Both of what they are saying makes sense to me because i believe in scientific experimentation ones results must not only explain what is going on in the world but also be properly set up. In experimental method we say internal and external validity. Internal being that your experiment is set up in such a way that protects you from coming up with a wrong conclusion (things such as having a control group and also random assignment all help to increase you internal validity). External validity on the other hand are things such as having a experiment which can be similar to what actually goes on in the world. Having a truth or reality component. For example just because people in a experiment acting in a certain way does that mean that the same goes for in the world when there are no experiments and they are not in a lab for example. Both components are necessary and neither alone is sufficient to tell us if the answer we got from the experiment is in fact correct. So the externalist says that your results must be able to apply to real world situations while the internalist says that you must have reason to defend that and that can come from a experimental design that has been conducted properly.

04:37, 13 March 2012
 

Truth conducive sounds like a powerful term, and a good feature for an experimental design to have, perhaps the best feature. But it rings hollow in this article because what it means is never really explained. How do you know? do you look at the truth and then see if your experiment matches it? I just don't quite get it.

07:07, 20 March 2012