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Topic: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable  (Read 746 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Brother Daniel
  • Global Moderator
  • predisposed to antagonism
Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #75
There's a memescape entry that was originally addressed to Atheistoclast, but could equally well be addressed to BSB:
Quote
Do you have any understanding of ... anything at all?  Or do you just like to throw words together in a crude imitation of intellectual discourse?

Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #76
Newtonian gravity makes predictions about what the orbit of Mercury should look like. It does not match the observations. Newtonian gravitation is therefore falsified. Einsteinian gravity accounts for it, and makes further predictions which Newtonian gravity does not. These again can be observered. However Einsteinian gravity breaks down at certain points, so is clearly incomplete, but it is sufficient for all the situations we've needed to use it in for practical purposes. (Just as Newton will get you to the moon just fine).
Why do I bother?

Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #77
There's a memescape entry that was originally addressed to Atheistoclast, but could equally well be addressed to BSB:
Quote
Do you have any understanding of ... anything at all?  Or do you just like to throw words together in a crude imitation of intellectual discourse?
Again, how one would falsify The Big Crunch over the Big Bang is beyond me. (but feel free to call this nonsense!)
Self-censorship is the lamest form of censorship.

Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #78
Newtonian gravity makes predictions about what the orbit of Mercury should look like. It does not match the observations. Newtonian gravitation is therefore falsified. Einsteinian gravity accounts for it, and makes further predictions which Newtonian gravity does not. These again can be observered. However Einsteinian gravity breaks down at certain points, so is clearly incomplete, but it is sufficient for all the situations we've needed to use it in for practical purposes. (Just as Newton will get you to the moon just fine).
This means there are parts of Newtonian gravity which have been proven true.
Self-censorship is the lamest form of censorship.

  • Fenrir
Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #79
Newtonian gravity makes predictions about what the orbit of Mercury should look like. It does not match the observations. Newtonian gravitation is therefore falsified. Einsteinian gravity accounts for it, and makes further predictions which Newtonian gravity does not. These again can be observered. However Einsteinian gravity breaks down at certain points, so is clearly incomplete, but it is sufficient for all the situations we've needed to use it in for practical purposes. (Just as Newton will get you to the moon just fine).
This means there are parts of Newtonian gravity which have been proven true.

How backarsewards can you get.

Newtonian gravity (or Einstinian gravity) doesn't exist. It is not a physical thing. It is a model, a description, of observed reality.

It makes accurate enough predictions for most purposes. Relativity makes better predictions, which are useful in some situations. Whatever comes next will need to make even better predictions and be useful for things relativity isn't good at.

Not a thing. Not "true", whatever that's supposed to mean here. Useful.
It's what plants crave.

Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #80
Very nice nod to solipsism, but when a theory is so close to the really existing reality outside of our senses, we call that proved. You are being a bit too technical. I am assuming the senses to be accurate.
Self-censorship is the lamest form of censorship.

  • MikeB
Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #81
There's a memescape entry that was originally addressed to Atheistoclast, but could equally well be addressed to BSB:
Quote
Do you have any understanding of ... anything at all?  Or do you just like to throw words together in a crude imitation of intellectual discourse?
Again, how one would falsify The Big Crunch over the Big Bang is beyond me. (but feel free to call this nonsense!)
A big crunch seemed possible, even probable some decades ago, when we thought that gravity would slow and eventually reverse the expansion of the universe.  But in the big bang "reset" all information leading up to it was believed destroyed.  But now that we have determined that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, big crunch seems much more uncertain.

  • nesb
Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #82
On the subject of falsifiability, I've been listening to Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe on audiobook, and he claims that the predictions and/or consequences of theories don't have to themselves be falsifiable. Which is how he tries to get away with saying his multiverse claims are scientific: he claims they simply follow from inflation. Which, maybe? I think I'd need to know more about physics/cosmology to properly evaluate it.

  • Brother Daniel
  • Global Moderator
  • predisposed to antagonism
Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #83
On the subject of falsifiability, I've been listening to Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe on audiobook, and he claims that the predictions and/or consequences of theories don't have to themselves be falsifiable. Which is how he tries to get away with saying his multiverse claims are scientific: he claims they simply follow from inflation. Which, maybe? I think I'd need to know more about physics/cosmology to properly evaluate it.
To the first half of that, I'd agree with Tegmark.  To the second half, I don't know enough physics either.

  • F X
  • The one and only
Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #84
Relativity makes better predictions, which are useful in some situations. Whatever comes next will need to make even better predictions and be useful for things relativity isn't good at.
A theory is more than just an explanation of reality.   It's how we try to understand how reality works, or behaves.  It is an "understanding" of nature.

Quote
When Einstein proposed his theory of general relativity in 1915, he was throwing out a direct challenge to Isaac Newton, whose theory of gravity had defined our understanding of the universe since 1687. Einstein argued that Newton was wrong about what the force of gravity actually moves. According to Newton, space is just a fixed background, against which objects' gravity pushes and pulls other objects in predictable ways. But according to Einstein, space and time together form a four-dimensional thing called spacetime, and objects' gravity actually warps spacetime itself. It's the warping of spacetime that causes objects' paths to curve in the presence of gravity.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kionasmith/2017/08/19/the-solar-eclipse-that-proved-albert-einstein-right/#7c94d0686869

The issue of "proves" or "proved" is partly semantics and partly a problem with how pure science talks about things, including science.
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man."
― Mark Twain 🔭

Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #85
[No, Loren, just because it has passed many tests does not mean it is true. The Big Bang or the Big Crunch could be true. Falsifiability (at least on with our current technology) will not help us here, but for some reason the Big Bang is the number one theory!

Let me put it another way, Loren: Newtonian math is not accepted as true just because mathematicians agree to its validity. It is accepted because we can see that it is true in the real world, as you pointed out. That is evidence. Absolute proof. Now, I have no idea if there is a possibility that we could find evidence that would falsify the Big Bang or falsify the Big Crunch, but it does seem rather unlikely to me. It would seem to me that we would have to exist near the end of the universe (if there is an end) to falsify one of these theories.

The falsifiability test is about rejecting "theories" that can't be tested.  For example, religion.  How can you prove God doesn't exist?  It is a minimum requirement, not a proof.

Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #86
Testable predictions that could be the result of something else.
That's why you can't prove a theory true in science. But the Big Bang would still be falsified if those predictions were wrong.
So, you are telling me that huge swaths of Newtonian mathematics that correspond over and over and over again with observable phenomena  are not considered proven? Surely, you jest..

We know Newtonian math is wrong.  I don't believe there's any situation in which it gives the right answer.

The thing is that for the realms we normally deal with the error of Newtonian math is tiny compared to the measurement errors involved and thus irrelevant.  Thus we continue to use it since it's much easier than the Einsteinian answers.  Einsteinian math is for the physicists.

Re: The Big Bang Theory is Unfalsifiable
Reply #87
Newtonian gravity makes predictions about what the orbit of Mercury should look like. It does not match the observations. Newtonian gravitation is therefore falsified. Einsteinian gravity accounts for it, and makes further predictions which Newtonian gravity does not. These again can be observered. However Einsteinian gravity breaks down at certain points, so is clearly incomplete, but it is sufficient for all the situations we've needed to use it in for practical purposes. (Just as Newton will get you to the moon just fine).

You just have to think ahead about the realm in which you are going to be operating.

The Huygens mission as originally scheduled would have been a complete face-full-of-egg failure.  The problem was the Doppler shift.  The frequencies involved were precise and neither the transmitter nor the receiver had much flexibility.  Fortunately, someone realized the problem before they arrived at Saturn.  Cassini had to be rerouted so it wasn't going so fast compared to Huygens when it hit Titan.