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John Edser

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Falsifiability

Today's era is Post Modern. This means that a frame of refernce is not necessarily required or if one is employed it can be changed mid argument. IOW, today it appears valid to move your goal posts to kick a goal removing falsifiability from most arguments, even within the sciences. Mathematically this means that a defined constant to which all the variables within a theory must remain dependent is no longer required reducing Post Modern science to nothing more than reversible (tautological) mathematics. It was Galileo who proposed that only comparing variables without a constant to act as a falsifiable frame of reference prohibits any meaningful concept of cause and effect. We cannot tell if the sun goes around the earth or vice versa without a valid, i.e. constant frame of reference which of course, cannot change except via falsification allowing the evolution of a new theory contradictory to the old one. For example, Einstein's c, which Newton thought was just a variable was shown to be a constant reducing M and T (mass and time) to just variables within Special Relativity. Likewise, Darwin reduced species to evolving variables allowing a combination of survival and reproduction to be maximized providing a new falsifiable frame of reference for the biological sciences in contradiction to religious dogma.

In a world overburdened by massive debt, a science of climate change entirely dependent on mathematical modeling, theory within the physical sciences dominated by non falsifiable infinities and a Neo Darwinism that cannot be empirically falsified only non verified, I ask: what is your FALSIFIABLE frame of reference?

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  • Jun 12 2012: Bernard,

    Yet again I cannot reply directly to your most recent posting so I will quote in within my text:

    "My falsifiable frame of reference in this example: "all swans are white" is:
    - An axiom (one of them by experience) that, there is white color (to be more specific) of something (should be >asserted), feathers, legs, or skin of swan = An axiom version of any possible falsifiable frame of reference = (IN ESSENCE) a complete (informative & consistent) version of any falsifiable frame of reference. In this case, a complete version (informative & consistent) of "white"."

    JE:-
    My point: nobody can claim to know if a definition of "white" is "complete" BEFORE we test it empirically via NON reversibly linking each contesting definition to a subject e.g. "swan". All we can do is make an INDUCTIVE assumption (just a guess) of what we think a complete definition of white is and then go ahead and test this against nature. While contesting definitions of white cannot be falsified (because they are only tautological) irreversibly linking each to a subject makes each exclusive predicate minimally testable via each reverse contradiction: all white (things) are swans. This is easily empirically falsified bringing us back to our original definition of white. IOW, any search for absolute truth falls; all we can possibly do is provide many testable (constant) frames of reference and proceed to test them. In this case they are different definitions of white which must freely compete such that only NATURE is the final judge. In this way contesting but entirely falsifiable frames of reference evolve to better ones.



    > Without a complete falsifiable frame of reference (informative & consistent), we are not pointing to anywhere.

    JE:- "Sufficient", not "complete".

    > ...(in my opinion) "all swan are white" is not a complete (informative & consistent) statement.

    JE:-
    It is SUFFICIENT to falsify the predicate which acts as the frame of reference so it is sufficiently complete
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      Jun 12 2012: Hi

      I am going to make summaries:

      FFR = Falsifiable frame of reference
      MRU = informative with Minimum Requirement for Understanding & consistent (TO MAKE CLEAR DISTINCTION FOR BETTER COMPARISON)

      1. It doesn't mean "white" should be within complete definition. As i already mentioned, there isn't way we could make complete definition. "A complete version" as i told you, it should be informative (it has MRU)

      2. An example:

      People 1: all humans are THINKER (FFR) = H -> T
      People 2: human is FOLLOWER = H then not -> T ?
      People 3: "what? should it be like this, that follower are thinker? or what?

      Above example, there is no MRU in FFR, generally. Since we don't have clear distinction of "think" compared to "follower". BUT IF THERE IS, THE PROBLEM IS SOLVED.

      3. I am not criticizing "all swans are white". But i just made an additional assertions to this forum, that:

      - Someday we could deal with FFR without MRU (generally), while we are making a conversation.
      - And if someday we deal with this issue (for example: "thinker" as FFR without MRU) while making conversations, we could accept an alternate method to fulfill FFR with MRU
      - one of the methods to give FFR with MRU, is by converting (redefine) an FFR as an axiom (ONLY IF WE CONSIDER IT HAS POSSIBILITY). Axiom has MRU, and again it could be considered consistent.
      - I gave transitional explanation, how axiom could be adopted into the structure of falsifiability as FFR with MRU

      The points are:

      - There is an issue, (FFR without MRU)
      - I proposed examples of axiom as FFR
      - I gave transitional explanation, how to adopt axiom as FFR to conduct MRU.

      4. Not for all FFR could be converted (defined) to axiom. Once we could convert (define) an FFR as an axiom, I myself, consider this as an FFR with MRU. I proposed this. It's an optional.

      5. Falsifiability using axiom as falsifiable frame of reference (by redefine falsifiable frame of reference as an axiom) is possible

      Warmest
      • Jun 13 2012: MRU is not needed. A definition of "white" can be anything you like as long as it is logically valid. All that matters is that the definition remains irreversibly linked to the subject (swan).The definition stands minimally falsifiable via the simple, logical reverse. Poorer definitions quickly refute in favor of better ones. For example defining "white" as just a chosen color tone quickly falsifies in favor of "white" being the result the reflection of all light. As you know, the colors of objects are due to the wavelengths of light that they reflect. All objects absorb some wavelengths making them appear something less than perfect white, disallowing swans to be a perfect white. Better predicates (frames of reference) evolve from more primitive predicates, if and only if, they remain falsifiable (non tautological ) and are tested against nature without prejudice. This last requirement is the hardest because all of us are prejudiced for our own beliefs.

        Completeness is not unlike the problem of induction. Just as nobody can claim to have observed every swan to verify that they are all white, nobody can reasonably claim to provide a complete definition of white. However, both of these problems CAN be solved via an application of the Traditional Square Of Opposition (TSO):

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/square/

        The A proposition (all swans are white) is obviously falsified via a verification of the O proposition (some swans are NOT white). No other proposition in the square can possibly falsify A because they have the same predicate. Falsification within the square absolutely requires the same S (swan) to become a valid deduction from a different and therefore contradictory predicate. The only falsification not included is the proper subset reversal of S and P. The fact that the predicate within O is not named does not matter. Allowing it removes both the problem of induction and definitional completeness via natural selection on contesting predicates.

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