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Talk:Falsifiability

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Creationism IS Falsifiable[edit]

This article claims creationism cannot be tested, and is therefore not science. I disagree: creationism (based on the bible) does make predictions such as evidence of a global flood, the immutability of biological "kinds" (i.e. speciation is impossible, read in Genesis about each "kind" only bringing forth after its own "kind"), ect.

These claims have been tested and investigated, and found to be false. That is why creationism is not science. User:Reasonable/sig 65.14.22.224}}

But creationism does not make those claims. Creationism only claims that god created man/life. *some* creationists also add that the world was made in 6 days, or that Jesus was the son of man, but that is only the belief of *some* creationists. Others say things like "you only think the world was made in 4.5 billion years, cause god wanted to make it that way to test you". that fact, that god can make a flood that acts outside of the scope of all geolgical water engineering, or can make the earth **look** ** as if ** it's so old, is what makes creationism at its core, unfalsifiable.Pink mowse.pngGodot Warning, chocolate will make your clothes shrink 23:26, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
Doesn't it then follow then that certain creationist claims can be falsified and others can't? Similarly to how parts of marxist's theory (such as his predictions of socialism in advanced capitalist societies) are falsifiable and how other parts (such as historical materialism) is not falsifiable? — Unsigned, by: Watapon / talk / contribs

Falsifiability on Conservapedia[edit]

I just found this bit of lulz on Conservapedia's article about falsifiability. Choice quotes:

Many atheists claim that religious beliefs are inherently unfalsifiable. However, on the contrary, very many religious beliefs are capable of being falsified. Many religions predict a particular sort of afterlife; if, after death, one encountered a rather different sort of afterlife, that would falsify that religion. For example, Islam would claim that in the afterlife, one will be told that Muhammad was a true prophet and the Quran a true scripture. If, upon dying, one was not told these things - and, on the contrary, was told that Muhammad was a false prophet - that experience would falsify Islam. Thus, once we are dead, such claims will be easily falsifiable. However, the living cannot ask the dead because God prohibits the dead from coming back to testify.

How, exactly, is someone supposed to falsify an afterlife belief before they die (especially if, according to them, the dead are prohibited from coming back and telling us)? One must go on faith, which they early admit, is an unfalsiable and thus unscientific thing.

Also, many religions make assertions about matters within our ability to observe. If those assertions are falsifiable through observation, then so are the religions making the assertions. Examples of falsifiable religious assertions are assertions that the world would end within the lifetime of a certain religious figure who is now dead and assertions about the characteristics of various animals. Furthermore, if a religion makes mutually exclusive claims, falsifying that religion is a simple matter of applying a reductio ad absurdum.

How, fitting, then, that their very own Christianity has both these things. Matthew 16:28 claimed some of the disciples would die before the end of the world, while Leviticus 11:13-19 put bats into the same description as birds. As for reductio ad absurdum-this entire comment is an exercise in it. Congratulations, Conservapedia-you falsified Christianity according to your own standards. Mcc1789 (talk) 09:20, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Added a deductive argument for the falsifiability criterion[edit]

I added a deductive argument for the Popperian concept of falsifiability, and presented it in both formal and informal forms. --EternalSkeptic (talk) 19:25, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

Falsifiability is the ability of a theory to be disproved by an experiment or observation.[edit]

How do you ever disprove something by an experiment or observation? How can you ever be absolutely certain about experimental results? — Unsigned, by: 12:54, 10 May 2016‎ Kittycat / talk / contribs

Well, pretty easily. You can disprove that objects fall at different rates in a vacuum by removing the air and dropping them, then it is disproven. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 13:52, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
How can you be absolutely certain that you have actually set up the experiment correctly? Are you saying your experimental result is "unfalsifiable" (hehe)?Kittycat (talk) 13:59, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Well, scientists usually record the steps they did in order to document and reduce error as much as possible in order to be reasonably certain. Experiments are also repeated to verify that it was done correctly, and the more times it is done the less likely it's a small sample error, and to find errors. This one has been done thousands of times across many decades, yearly in many elementary schools, and has even been done on the moon. What requirement is needed to you in order to have any sort of reasonable certainty? -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 14:23, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
What is "reasonable" certainty? That means there's still a chance that the results of falsification experiments are false? So how do you ever actually falsify something in the first place? Kittycat (talk) 14:28, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
You go by "overwhelming evidence". If your evidence shows that the answer is X with 95% chance, you go with X. But you have peer review to also repeat the experiment, review your work, etc. Enough experiments and you can assume the probability of being wrong is effectively 0. Sure there's the "brain in a jar" question, where you can't prove you aren't hooked up in the matrix, but I'm going to cut you off because those questions have the fundamental problem that they are BORING. StickySock (talk) 14:48, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
[EC] How about this, instead of playing 20 questions frustrating both of us as we talk past each other why don't you explicitly tell me what question you are looking to answer? -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 14:57, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps that should be clarified in the article. You can never actually "disprove" something by experiment, you can only show "overwhelming evidence" that something is false. (Assuming the evidence iself is valid to begin with!)Kittycat (talk) 15:17, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
That is what the disprove means in more words. It is to prove false, and showing the overwhelming evidence is that proof. What does disprove mean to you? -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:29, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
lol. That just says "to prove to be false or wrong". Well, what does "prove" mean? To leave absolutely no doubt? Obviously, that can never be done in science! And if you leave no doubt, then any falsification would itself be unfalsifiable!Kittycat (talk) 15:37, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Boooooring. Boring boring BORING.StickySock (talk) 15:53, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
The issue for Popper is whether something is falsifiable in principle. If a hypothetical experiment or observation would (if conducted perfectly) allow something to be disproved, then it is falsifiable. A theory that the world will end in 1000 years is falsifiable; a theory that could be disproved only with better instruments than those which currently exist is falsifiable. A theory which allows ad hoc explanations to justify any failure is not falsifiable.Read Popper's Science as Falsification In real life, we have to use common sense or Bayesian probability or whatever to judge if something is likely to be true or false. Annquin (talk) 15:59, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
You can never falsify something "in principle", unless you want to admit that a falsification result is itself unfalsifiable and therefore not scientific itself. This is why science can never deal with absolutes. "The world will end in 1000 years" is not falsifiable, because you can't even prove the world exists in the first place (so how can it end? You have a meaningless statement that can never even be true or false, so how do you falsify it?), and you can't prove that your measurement of time is accurate. "The world exists" has to be falsifiable itself!Kittycat (talk) 16:07, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
BORING. Standard response: blah blah blah assumptions about reality existing true blah blah blah gather information through your senses blah blah blah. Now talk about something less fucking boring. Or is this some segue into "since we can't prove science, my pseudoscience with no evidence whatsoever is just as valid! StickySock (talk) 16:16, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Except, I never said that! I just want you to clearly define what "disprove" means. Wow, you are so rational. /s "Popper is god, Popper's philosophy is unfalsifiable" (LOL)! /sKittycat (talk) 16:21, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
That makes absolutely no sense. I know because I told you this, with you using a different example, on the Argument from Ignorance talk page that you have yet to reply to. If we are just going to be going around in nonsensical circles where you ignore replies then why should anyone waste time with obvious bad faith? -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 16:27, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Oops sorry, I didn't know I was supposed to reply to your non-argument about me "proving" that the argument from ignorance is actually a logical fallacy. But you would rather have a huge page "falsifying" it instead of defeating it in a couple of lines through logic.Kittycat (talk) 16:33, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── From dictionary.com. Prove = To subject to a test, experiment, comparison, analysis, or the like, to determine quality, amount, acceptability, characteristics, etc. Now stop being so damn boring and get to your point. StickySock (talk) 16:45, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

lol. That definition is absolutely useless. All I have to do is subject something to an experiment, and when I determine the properties of the result I have proven it. lol. But I'm wasting my time because Popper's falsificationism is clearly unfalsifiable.Kittycat (talk) 17:10, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
1) That definition means "prove". Not "prove true or false". It means "test" and so forth.
2) What's your point in the boring? StickySock (talk) 17:31, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Ok. So how do you disprove something, if prove just means test? "Don't test it, let's distest it this time!" Fail.Kittycat (talk) 17:35, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
You prove it true or prove it false. Stop arguing over semantics. StickySock (talk) 17:42, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
"That definition means "prove". Not "prove true or false"." "You prove it true or prove it false" So it means one thing one time, and then when I find a problem with that definition you change the definition! Are you sure you're not a pseudoscientist or something? lol Kittycat (talk) 17:56, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
You "prove" something to be true or you "prove" that its false. The definition doesn't mean that "prove" itself means that something is true. You could take an IQ test, but taking it doesn't mean you are smart or an idiot; the test RESULTS are your proof one way or the other. StickySock (talk) 18:04, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Ok, since "prove" only means "test", I can prove anything just by testing it. I can prove the statement "Bigfoot exists" by testing that "statement" (yeah, I won't even call it a hypothesis) and not finding Bigfoot! I still tested it! I walked outside and didn't see Bigfoot. I just proved "Bigfoot exists." Kittycat (talk) 18:22, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
You did sufficient tests to prove he doesn't exist. What's so difficult to understand? StickySock (talk) 18:29, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
All I have to do is test it, and I proved it. It doesn't matter what the result is, I still tested it and proved it!Kittycat (talk) 18:49, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
That's tautology. "Proof means test therefore test means test". You are just being stupid at this point. StickySock (talk) 18:58, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
If you tested for bigfoot, and found that they don't exist, then concluding you just proved bigfoot exists is literally part of the definition of psychosis (loss of contact with reality). It is completely nonsensical to prove something doesn't exist and conclude that they exist...and you are the only person making this claim. In reality proving something doesn't exist means it doesn't and it's really just as extremely simple as that. No wonder you seem to think people using the basic logical reasoning expected of a 10 year old are brainwashed into repeating things by what you claim are "infallible philosopher-god" scientists.
This is in direct opposition to constructive edits you have added to articles even 2 months ago, and I can see your comments history getting strange even in April. I am actually worried about you with this sudden change to a very distorted of a view of really basic pieces of every day life. I really honestly encourage you to find some medical help as soon as you can. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 20:11, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm not the one who defined "prove" to mean "test" (and so forth, whatever that means), the other poster did! That's why it's a completely stupid definition of "prove". All I have to do is "test" and gather the results, (no matter what the results are!), and that is a proof. So obviously, that definition of "prove" doesn't work! You have me totally wrong man. I'm not crazy at all.Kittycat (talk) 20:33, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
And actually, you do treat philosophers as though they were infallible. All I have to do is go on here and make a slight criticism, and I get people who call me all sorts of shit. "Oh I'm bored" instead of answering the question. "Prove means test and so forth", wtf kind of definition is that? Hey, Popperian falsificationism is also unfalsifiable, no problem. Or how about Alder's razor cannot be settled by experiment, so Alder's razor is not worth debating! These are actually serious problems if the philosophy of science cannot even be consistent with itself! But that's apparently boring, according to everyone else!Kittycat (talk) 20:44, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
1) It's not my fault you can't understand English. "Prove" doesn't mean "prove correct". When you prove something, you can prove it false. It's the informal definitions you are getting caught up on. This is called Equivocation.
2) I called you boring because you are going on the track about how we can never know anything for certain. These discussions have been done to death and are BORING. Can't prove your memories and senses are real! We all have assumptions we can't prove! Blah blah blah, argue you all you want about whether the chair exists, if I can sit in it that's all the proof I need. StickySock (talk) 20:54, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Testing means evaluation of those results, not make up whatever you feel like, as has been stated many times that you have ignored. This also is a collection of individuals like any wiki and each have their own opinion. Attacking me or thinking science is wrong because sticky was an asshole to you on the internet is absurd and doesn't make your point stronger. We have that fallacy documented here and it makes it look like you are looking for any out to keep your beliefs. I know I have said the same things because we see this all the time and WE SPENT 8 FUCKING HOURS TRYING TO DESCRIBE A CONCEPT 10 YEAR OLDS GET. With just insults for payment. So fuck you for that.
These aren't serious problems in science, they are serious problems with your understanding of how basic reality actually works and understanding what people are explicitly saying to you. So far I would have better results teaching my dog to do taxes. He may not understand what he's doing but he at least gets when he doesn't understand and tries to correct it. If you don't get it, fine, there's these things called community colleges and universities where you can get the type of one on one attention we cannot seem to give you in order to understand. I'm done being kind to an shithead for much longer than they deserved. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 22:10, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

The falsifiability criterion is itself unfalsifiable[edit]

Problem?Kittycat (talk) 17:16, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

the problem is your inability to accept that you lost the argument above. starting a new section doesn't mean it never happened. Flannan Isle (talk) 18:20, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Except no, I already had this on my mind too. This is a totally separate criticism.Kittycat (talk) 18:26, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
It's even more boring. Go back to arguing about how we can't prove we aren't in a computer simulation. StickySock (talk) 18:33, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
And I haven't "lost" anything. I already forced the opposition to concede that "disprove" means to "show overwhelming evidence demonstrating the falsity of", not "demonstrate absolute certainty of the falsity of" like in math. Only overwhelming evidence without absolute certainty still leaves the possibility that what you disproved is actually true.Kittycat (talk) 18:34, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
You are still boring the fuck out of us. StickySock (talk) 18:42, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Yeah? Then how about just don't respond. No wonder most people think of this site as a joke.Kittycat (talk) 18:49, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Did you read the comic? Tell me what it was about. StickySock (talk) 18:59, 10 May 2016 (UTC)