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Monday

Faith and Science, Myths and Facts

Faith and Science, Myths and Facts

Let's start with some definitions of certain words and phrases:

Faith: n.
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
6. A set of principles or beliefs.
[Middle English, from Anglo-Norman fed, from Latin fid─ôs; see bheidh- in Indo-European roots.]

Fact–noun
1. something that actually exists; reality; truth: Your fears have no basis in fact.
2. something known to exist or to have happened: Space travel is now a fact.
3. a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true: Scientists gather facts about plant growth.
4. something said to be true or supposed to have happened: The facts given by the witness are highly questionable.
5. Law. Often, facts. an actual or alleged event or circumstance, as distinguished from its legal effect or consequence. Compare question of fact, question of law.
—Idioms
6. after the fact, Law. after the commission of a crime: an accessory after the fact.
7. before the fact, Law. prior to the commission of a crime: an accessory before the fact.
8. in fact, actually; really; indeed: In fact, it was a wonder that anyone survived.

Hypothesis–noun,
1. a proposition, or set of propositions, set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena, either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture to guide investigation (working hypothesis) or accepted as highly probable in the light of established facts.
2. a proposition assumed as a premise in an argument.
3. the antecedent of a conditional proposition.
4. a mere assumption or guess.

Data-noun
1. a pl. of datum.
2. (used with a plural verb) individual facts, statistics, or items of information: These data represent the results of our analyses. Data are entered by terminal for immediate processing by the computer.
3. (used with a singular verb) a body of facts; information: Additional data is available from the president of the firm.

Opinion–noun
1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
3. the formal expression of a professional judgment: to ask for a second medical opinion.
4. Law. the formal statement by a judge or court of the reasoning and the principles of law used in reaching a decision of a case.
5. a judgment or estimate of a person or thing with respect to character, merit, etc.: to forfeit someone's good opinion.
6. a favorable estimate; esteem: I haven't much of an opinion of him.

Scientific Method:Scientific method refers to bodies of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[1] A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.[2]

Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methodologies of knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps must be repeatable in order to dependably predict any future results. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many hypotheses together in a coherent structure. This in turn may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.

Among other facets shared by the various fields of inquiry is the conviction that the process be objective to reduce biased interpretations of the results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, thereby allowing other researchers the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established.

Empirical
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the concept in science. For other uses, see Empirical (disambiguation).

The word empirical denotes information gained by means of observation, experience, or experiment.[1] A central concept in science and the scientific method is that all evidence must be empirical, or empirically based, that is, dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses. It is usually differentiated from the philosophic usage of empiricism by the use of the adjective "empirical" or the adverb "empirically." "Empirical" as an adjective or adverb is used in conjunction with both the natural and social sciences, and refers to the use of working hypotheses that are testable using observation or experiment. In this sense of the word, scientific statements are subject to and derived from our experiences or observations. Empirical data are data that are produced by experiment or observation.

The standard positivist view of empirically acquired information has been that observation, experience, and experiment serve as neutral arbiters between competing theories. However, since the 1960s, Thomas Kuhn has promoted the concept that these methods are influenced by prior beliefs and experiences. Consequently it cannot be expected that two scientists when observing, experiencing, or experimenting on the same event will make the same theory-neutral observations. The role of observation as a theory-neutral arbiter may not be possible. Theory-dependence of observation means that even if there were agreed methods of inference and interpretation scientists may still disagree on the nature of empirical data.

Variations

In a second sense "empirical" in science may be synonymous with "experimental." In this sense, an empirical result is an experimental observation. In this context, the term semi-empirical is used for qualifying theoretical methods which use in part basic axioms or postulated scientific laws and experimental results. Such methods are opposed to theoretical ab initio methods which are purely deductive and based on first principles.

In statistics, "empirical" quantities are those computed from observed values, as opposed to those derived from theoretical considerations.

In economics, "empirical" generally refers to statistical or econometric analysis of numeric data. Other forms of observation-based hypothesis testing are not considered to be "empirics."

The use of the adjective empirical, especially in scientific studies using statistics, may also indicate that a particular correlation between two parameters has been found, but that so far, no theory for the mechanism of the connection is known.

Core Beliefs: Core beliefs are your most basic assumptions about your identity in the world. For instance, they depict you as beautiful, or ugly, worthy or unworthy, lovable or unlovable. From these beliefs you create rules to regulate your behavior.

Conspiracy theory: A conspiracy theory is a term that has come to refer to any tentative theory which explains a historical or current event as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful Machiavellian conspirators,such as a "secret team" or "shadow government".

Conspiracy theories are often viewed with scepticism because they contrast with institutional analysis of historical or current events, and are not supported by conclusive evidence.[2] The term is therefore often used dismissively in an attempt to characterize a belief as outlandishly false and held by a person judged to be a crank or a group confined to the lunatic fringe. Such characterization is often the subject of dispute due to its possible unfairness and inaccuracy.

In the late 20th and early 21st century, conspiracy theories have become commonplace in mass media, which has contributed to conspiracism emerging as a cultural phenomenon. Belief in conspiracy theories has therefore become a topic of interest for sociologists, psychologists and experts in folklore.

For an overview on Critical Thinking go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method
www.dictionary.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empirical
Thoughts and Feelings-Matthew MckKay, Ph.D, Martha Davis, Ph.D, Patrick Fanning
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism

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