Re: PHIL: Dynamic Optimism as a tool in logical reasoning

Date: Sat Jan 15 2000 - 09:09:38 MST

In a message dated 1/14/2000 9:13:00 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

> I.e., calling a theory X
> 'true' does not say we cease having doubts about theory X>>

Sure it does, that is what "true" means and that is the problem . . . because
it _mutates the meme_ (and concept definition) "true" far out beyond a
Popperian non-dogma of critical rationalism and the evolutionary epistemology
of comprehensively critical rationalism. It is unnescessarily confusing in
science. Now we will have to define (re-define) that we really don't mean
"true" in the everyday sense? I don not think that is wise. Better to
simply not call theories true, avoid that use of the misleading concept

Make up a new word for this concept or call them "survivors." Call them
anything BUT "true." Lets not confuse the issue by using inflammatory
word-concepts like "true" or "fact" or "truth." That is what the
fundumentalists religions do.

The word concept "fact" is just as bad. Here is some of what I wrote on
this subject:

In an article entitled: "Kansas and Evolution As Fact: The Scientist's
Error" I said:

    "Carl Sagan, unfortunately, proved to be an example, when he said that
evolution was not a theory: 'Evolution is not a theory, it is a fact,' in his
corporation for public broadcasting television program _Cosmos_. That was a
dangerously dogmatic thing to say. The show, _Cosmos_, was his popular
science series and perhaps he really did not mean to make such an
unscientific and emotional statement. He was frustrated with irrational
religious dogma of the creationists. He should have known better, but he
chose to fight dogma, with dogma -- but that was not a good strategy."

" . . . the evolution-as-fact, argument is 1) a matter of personal opinion,
2) an irrational faith in the scientific method, 3) is a matter of
interpretation of evidence by inductive not deductive reasoning, 4)
circumvents science's open mindedness of such philosophies as pancritical

"A theory by definition, is an explanation for a group of facts, not a fact
itself. Neither is it "true" because every theory changes, that is, theories
"evolve" -- they are not static and do not meet the definition of a static or
final "truth."

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