Science is based on faith?

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funnydude6556:
I mean without faith do you think Sir Issac Newton could have spent so long locked up in a lab trying to find a way to prove a magical entity like Gravity keeping everything on earth was actually a form of science?

Some scientists had faith in what they were trying to prove, but that doesn't mean science requires faith. In fact, a lot of the times faith is detrimental to science. Johannes Kepler worked very hard to prove that the solar system is in fact based on the perfect solids. When he realized that none of his faith-based calculations were consistent, he abandoned this belief and later came up with the laws of planetary motion.

So faith can actually be detrimental to science, as EC explains in the last episode with Einstein and his refusal to believe in the uncertainty principle. Newton had an idea, and set out to see if anything he found fit with what he thought. He did not, however, make up the theory of gravity and then went looking for things that proved it.

xPixelatedx:
I know mentioning Extra Credits here is somewhat taboo, but I am not so much interested in them as much as the can of worms they just inadvertently opened. In their recent two videos they pointed out that some of science's roots were grounded in belief, because we are dealing with things we cannot prove (however likely they may be). This started a discussion that caused a lot of people to become rather defensive and upset. They recently made their closing statement on the argument and I have to say I agree with them.
Science is still based on evidence, it just so happens the evidence we currently have for any given topic could be wrong, we might not be seeing the whole picture or the limitation of us being human is whats causing us to error (in other words we will never know the answer). Because of all that we have to take some degree of faith into it to make many of our theories work at all. I just think people are frightened at the idea that science might not be entierly infallible, even though it's usually not a big deal when our facts turn out to be wrong. After all, if we knew everything, we wouldn't learn anything.

What do you guys think?

Well, since you are asking nicely and since freaking DotA 2 queue doesn't want to pop:

1) In "hardcore siences" (physics, chem, etc.) when you say you have "proved" something it means just one thing: you have a complete mathematical proof of it.

2) Almost all the mathematical proves require arithmetic, certanly all the ones applied to the "real world" and having any kind of usefulness.

3) Gödel proved almost a century ago that you can't formulate a complete and consistent theory capable of expressing arithmetic in natural numbers ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del's_incompleteness_theorems ). That is either you know how to do operations in numbers OR you are sure those are the correct operations derivated from your theory.

4) With that you can prove that with curren math and sience, you can't prove that arithmetic is right ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilbert%27s_second_problem ).

5) Thus you just showed that using math you can't be sure if arithmetic is right, therefore anything that uses arithmetic might be wrong.

Alternatively you can just go the physics way:

1) To do sience and be sure there's no error you need perfect messures.

2) You can't messure at quantic level the position and energy of anything ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle ).

3) Therefore any sience you do is a well learnt guess.

I will gladly clarify any obscure parts and would love to know if this solves your question. In short, yeah, sience uses "faith", but saying that is BS right of a dipshit ass! Because if you call sience "faith based" then EVERY FREAKING THING IN THE UNIVERSE IS FAITH BASED, including your exsistence and every freking thing you have think, been, feel, see, taste, etc, making the word meaningless. TBH the argument is just a some words that can be argued to make sense, but full of crap.

funnydude6556:
I mean without faith do you think Sir Issac Newton could have spent so long locked up in a lab trying to find a way to prove a magical entity like Gravity keeping everything on earth was actually a form of science? But I'm not saying religious faith, like Shepard said in Serenity ""When I talk about belief, why do you always assume I'm talking about God?"

Humm... good news, I think writing that sentence makes you elegible to recive a cash refound from your history teacher. At a quick glance and not having deep knolwedge about Newton:

- He had TONS of faith but not especially in sience, he was a fervent alchemist and a man of God. However he seemed to belive that God created the world and then he GTFO, that he had little to no invervention, that spirits and devils were bs and satan didn't exsist.

- He spend lot's of time in a lab, but that time was alchemy time, not sience time at all.

- His work with gravity is purely (AFAIK) theoretical, he didn't do anything of it in a lab or proved anything, just did theorical framework.

- He didn't spend his time doing it because he wanted. He was quarentined due a epidemic.

- His work is only tangencially about gravity. In general the principia mathematica is made to use a new mathematical tool that he created (the calculus) on mass, motion and related subjects, since gravity (in the newtonian framework) is just a byproduct of mass that affects the motion it was one of the chapters.

Souplex:
Unless you do the studies/experiments yourself, you're taking someone else's word for it on the results.
That's taking it on faith.

That's the way I look at it as well.

It's all well and good saying that something has been proven via science to be correct, but the vast majority of the people believing in it haven't actually witnessed these results for themselves. So they are believing in them based upon faith.

mechashiva77:
Not trying to censor your discussion and it's totally your choice, but don't you think this would be better in Religion and Politics?

Nope it is about science. Faith does not imply religion.

Souplex:
Unless you do the studies/experiments yourself, you're taking someone else's word for it on the results.
That's taking it on faith.

As a person involved in research I can say that even if you are doing the studies yourself you are taking it on faith.

Actually science is based on disbelief. Not accepting facts for what they are, asking questions about established facts and questioning reality.

I believe in science so I can say that faith is a good part of it. A scientist isn't satisfied with that. A scientific statement means that it's possible to prove it wrong and that's what a scientific experiment is supposed to accomplish.

xXGeckoXx:
As a person involved in research I can say that even if you are doing the studies yourself you are taking it on faith.

And again, you could say that, but then you would have to admit that every perception and every tought you ever had, every action, every motion and ever feeling, every freaking aspect about anything in the whole creation and outside needs to be taken on faith.

And among those, among everyfukingthing, sience is among the ones that requires the lest faith.

So, using the word without consideration yeah... you could say that, but in context? Lulz, no.

Asita:

Before anyone jumps on this, it's worth pointing out that a Theory is the highest level of explanation in science and that no, a 'proven theory' does not become a 'Law'. The two are distinct concepts, the difference between which is perhaps best described thusly: Laws are observations, Theories are explanations for observations, which is why we have both the Law and Theory of Gravity. The former does not replace the latter, nor does the latter invalidate the former. It's also worth noting that contrary to popular usage, the word "Theory" in science is not used to describe uncertainty (on the contrary, a theory must be very well vetted with the available data to be described as such). Point of fact, the colloquial use of the word 'theory' better fits the scientific term 'hypothesis' than it does the scientific use of the word 'theory'.

I'm certainly glad you brought this point up!
I really start to grind my teeth when I'm confronted by people who say thing's like, "That's just a theory, you don't have proof!"
It may be "just a theory," but so is gravity and I don't see you trying to disprove it by jumping off of buildings and floating away!

But I'm the kind of person who thinks that people shouldn't even be allowed to know about a word's existence without knowing its meaning(s)and how to use it PROPERLY.

To answer the question posed by the title:
Short answer, no. Long answer: NO NOW FUCK OFF IT'S 3AM! (It wasn't really I just needed some flavour context)

Here's the TLDR basis of faith: "I believe in X despite seeming really really implausible, because I have faith."
Here's the TLDR basis of science: "I am pretty certain that X is causing Y because despite sounding crazy, hundreds of my peers have shown that it happens through testing."

Science isn't based on faith any more than religion is. Faith is simply belief without understanding. You can have faith in science, and you can have faith in religion, but science is based on observation and experimentation while religion is based on written and oral transmission of past testimony.

Laymen have faith(or do not) that scientists are conducting experiments properly and thoroughly before reporting their findings. Theists have faith that the testimony they take their wisdom from is based on true events and has been been transmitted accurately and without secular tampering. So no, science is not based on faith, but people put their faith in science everyday. For my part, I think XKCD puts it better than I can:

image

Not only can we never really be certain about many things (the specifics of evolution comes to mind), for the majority of people who are not themselves scientists or researchers, we are effectively having to take their word on such things. It is in effect, no different than religion, childrens' learning from their parents or most forms of education...we trust that what we are being told is true.

Unless one is him or herself doing the testing/research and observing the results, we are taking the conclusions presented based on faith alone.

Many things are easily observable and are difficult to dispute. Gravity, water displacement, electricity, combustion, etc are among those that we can easily observe the results of ourselves. However, a random person who we've never met telling us XYZ is beneficial to the heart or ABC is a carcinogen should always be taken a pinch of salt. I don't know the person, how can I know that they or their research has any credibility?

In particular, I'm usually sceptical about most discoveries in very specific fields, particularly those with no tangible or quantifiable outcome. Astrophysics, archaeology, meteorology, applied physics to name a few, are fields in which almost everything is guesswork and/or built only on previous discoveries which themselves have a questionable basis. Add to this media and government agenda and/or bias (this, for example) and I personally find cause to question the vast majority of reports with which the public are presented daily.

I'm not sure if I'm talking about the same thing as the OP (which seems to be about the philosophical differences between faith and empiricism), but from a historical perspective, science was very much grounded in religion.

As the best educated in medieval European society, monks often were at the fore front of scientific study. Names like Copernicus, Mendel, and Eilmer of Malmesbury (a lesser known, but nevertheless inspiring individual) crop up. There was never any concern about "science vs religion", as God was unquestionably seen as the creator. Their mentality was that science was simply a means of better understanding what God had created, so there was nothing to worry about at all - a far cry from the stupid Creationist debates you have in this day and age.

Meanwhile, religious doctrine in other nations required scientific and technological developments. In muslim countries, for instance, there was a need to accurately determine where Mecca was, no matter how many hundreds or thousands of miles away you happened to be standing. Thus, a great deal of advancements in charts, astronomy, astrolabes and compasses came as a consequence of trying to maintain this religious practise.

Scars Unseen:
Science isn't based on faith any more than religion is. Faith is simply belief without understanding.

Shall I explain to you where faith comes into science? Well, it all comes from the foundation of science which is philosophy.

Solipsism is one of the first. We have to take it on faith that the world outside of our mind is real and not a dream or simulation. Without believing in that nothing we do in science, no matter how rigorous, is pointless. Science relies on our observations of the world being valid in order to function.

As explained in the extra credits video, there are several postulates in geometry that cannot be proven and must be taken on faith. We use them because they work, but we have nothing beyond that to support them, therefore we have to have faith in these postulates in order to apply these geometrical rules.

A more recent example is the Schrodinger equation. We know it works, an with it we are able to extract a wealth of useful information about a quantum system. But how was it formulated? Why is it how it is? Well we don't really know. We use it because the results we get from it correspond with observations.

Much of science is supported by logic and observations, but there are several fundamental ideas that one must take on faith in order to be able to use science otherwise the whole thing crumbles. On the bright side if these ideas turn out to be untrue science will adjust, or the whole of reality has no meaning so it wouldn't matter anyway!

Tanakh:

xXGeckoXx:
As a person involved in research I can say that even if you are doing the studies yourself you are taking it on faith.

And again, you could say that, but then you would have to admit that every perception and every tought you ever had, every action, every motion and ever feeling, every freaking aspect about anything in the whole creation and outside needs to be taken on faith.

And among those, among everyfukingthing, sience is among the ones that requires the lest faith.

So, using the word without consideration yeah... you could say that, but in context? Lulz, no.

Exactly what I am saying. Yes it requires the least faith but faith never the less. Everything requires faith therefore science being part of everything requires faith, to deny that would not be particularly scientific.

Yopaz:
Actually science is based on disbelief. Not accepting facts for what they are, asking questions about established facts and questioning reality.

I believe in science so I can say that faith is a good part of it. A scientist isn't satisfied with that. A scientific statement means that it's possible to prove it wrong and that's what a scientific experiment is supposed to accomplish.

That's quite a good way to put it. I was going to say something about the need for scientists to at least take some faith, in the sense that they are required to go out on a limb, defying common knowledge or common sense to make progress (like asking if heavier objects don't fall faster), but your explanation makes more sense.

Faith is belief without evidence, and science doesn't roll like that. Science runs tests, multiple trials, etc, so as to know with more certainty. While we can never be 100% sure of something, we can be 95%, or even 99%, and that makes the likelihood of something being incorrectly said as true to be very false as low. As science does more tests and trials, the % chance of something false being claimed to be true becomes smaller.

To believe something on faith is to hold something to be true, and never test it. When someone says that they take something on faith, it means that they believe without evidence, and/or in the face of evidence showing them wrong. So no, science does not rely on faith. Some philosophers say science is required to take on faith that they exist, but that is getting into the idea of us living in what is the Matrix, and even if that were the case, the Matrix would be the reality we can observe. EC shot themselves in the foot, and I find it more than a little insulting to academia that a man working in an accredited college could write something like that and then keep it in.

I got halfway through their retort episode and decided it best not to open the can of worms further. This is not an argument about faith and confidence as much as the definition of the words in natural language. Faith is not a technical term and does not have a single understood definition. Likewise, it can be philosophically argued if any of the definitions even apply to science at all given how science works. Faith isn't inherently required for science to operate: instead what is required is merely an assumption that can be built into a testable hypothesis.

However, I will not argue the fact that people do in fact have faith in science. Blind faith, in fact. In my opinion, this is caused by a lack of knowledge in how to properly assess the results of an individual study and news outlets not accurately presenting the significance of the study. If some study proves chocolate is good for people the outlet will rarely ever mention what the study was comparing chocolate to or how much it actually helps in regards to a condition. Maybe the study is saying it's healthy in comparison to Toffee, or that it plays a barely statistically significant role in heart health.

To put things simply: trying to argue faith into science is like trying to dig a strait path to the bottom of the map in Terraria: Even if somehow you manage to not hit water, magma pockets, or a chasm, you'll still eventually hit the massive sea of magma at the bottom.

Edit: Conviction is probably a better word than faith anyway.

One way that I've found to help explain this whole thing is this: Do we live in the Matrix? Are we just living a computer simulation? Does anyone outside of yourself actually exist?

All of these questions are completely unknowable. The very existence of the computer in front of you could be false, your computer could merely be a hallucination or a dream or a simulation.

That said, science is essentially working on this premise: IF there is an objective universe with rules, AND we accept that it can never be known for certain, then let's play along and see if we can discover these rules for ourselves to as high of a degree of certainty as possible. Every test in science is falsifiable, and this is where faith and science differ. You think that gravity, or the existence of atoms, or evolution doesn't exist? Disprove them, then.

Any scientist worth his weight in salt will, if being strict and literal, agree that nothing in the real world is certain or absolute. When they say something like, "gravity exists," they are really meaning "gravity exists in *this* universe with near-absolute certainty." But the common man wouldn't understand this philosophical concept unless it is explained in detail.

Other science-inclined posters, please, correct any problems you see with my post. (Another facet of science is that we would much rather be proven wrong and learn the truth than to continue believing in falsehoods. There is no use in perpetrating lies.)

Did anyone even watch the episode? It seems to be a lot of people just got angry and wrote a response to the thread title.

Or maybe skipped philosophy class.

Arluza:
Faith is belief without evidence, and science doesn't roll like that. Science runs tests, multiple trials, etc, so as to know with more certainty. While we can never be 100% sure of something, we can be 95%, or even 99%, and that makes the likelihood of something being incorrectly said as true to be very false as low. As science does more tests and trials, the % chance of something false being claimed to be true becomes smaller.

To believe something on faith is to hold something to be true, and never test it. When someone says that they take something on faith, it means that they believe without evidence, and/or in the face of evidence showing them wrong. So no, science does not rely on faith. Some philosophers say science is required to take on faith that they exist, but that is getting into the idea of us living in what is the Matrix, and even if that were the case, the Matrix would be the reality we can observe. EC shot themselves in the foot, and I find it more than a little insulting to academia that a man working in an accredited college could write something like that and then keep it in.

While in general science does do tests on hypotheses in order to advance our knowledge there are things that must be taken on faith not because we haven't or don't want to test them, but simply because we can't. As I've said before, Solipsism is one of the foundations of science, that we have to take on faith and without being able to test it, that the reality we perceive outside of our minds is real and not a dream or the entirety of science becomes nothing more than a farce.

People seem to think that when someone says science is based on faith that all of it is faith which anyone can see is wrong. The simple fact of the matter is that there are some foundational ideas that must be taken on faith for not only science, but life to have any kind of meaning.

Not really. Science openly acknowledges it could be wrong and calls its deeply held ideas theories, if someone presents an alternative it is reviewed, assessed and incorporated by the community. Religion calls its deeply held ideas universal truths and reacts to questioning in a variety of ways, from retrenching and claiming the inital tenent was a "metaphor", to outright aggression and repression. "Faith" in the religious sense is rejecting all other explanations even in the face of overwhelming evidence, "faith" in a scientific sense is a repeatedly tested best guess open to reassessment.

texanarob:

MeChaNiZ3D:
There is a difference between what is reasonable to assume and what is possible. Science does not suggest some wild pie in the sky explanation and then say "Well you can't prove that isn't true", they look at evidence to determine the best explanation they can come up with. If a better one that fits the EVIDENCE more closely comes along, they go with that. But faith isn't even that, it's a belief in something whether or not the evidence is there, and that has no place in science.

I believe in many things without evidence. I believe the people posting on this thread to be separate individuals behind computers around the world posting their opinions. Alternative explanations include that someone somewhere is messing with me, using multiple accounts to generate a lot of nonsense, or that this is merely a dream.

Of course, two of those opposing ideas are patently ridiculous.

I also believe that God not only exists and created us, but that he has given His Son as our path to salvation. A much bigger claim, but one I feel science will either never manage to prove, or the proof would take so long I'd be dead before they got there. I don't try to claim my belief is science, but merely observe that all evidence supports my belief.

What evidence would that be, exactly?

hahahaha... that's funny.
no science is not based on faith. science is based on evidence.
/thread

Cyfu:
hahahaha... that's funny.
no science is not based on faith. science is based on evidence.
/thread

You, sir, need to brush up on your philosophy. Start with Solipsism and work your way out from there.

dvd_72:

Cyfu:
hahahaha... that's funny.
no science is not based on faith. science is based on evidence.
/thread

You, sir, need to brush up on your philosophy. Start with Solipsism and work your way out from there.

'

Wait, is this really a scientific belief? I mean, has this been accepted by the scientific community? if it has then I withdraw my previous statement.

Cyfu:

dvd_72:

Cyfu:
hahahaha... that's funny.
no science is not based on faith. science is based on evidence.
/thread

You, sir, need to brush up on your philosophy. Start with Solipsism and work your way out from there.

'

Wait, is this really a scientific belief? I mean, has this been accepted by the scientific community? if it has then I withdraw my previous statement.

well science has to accept without evidence (on faith) that the world outside our minds is reality and not a dream or simulation. Without that, nothing science does has a point.

dvd_72:

Cyfu:

dvd_72:

You, sir, need to brush up on your philosophy. Start with Solipsism and work your way out from there.

'

Wait, is this really a scientific belief? I mean, has this been accepted by the scientific community? if it has then I withdraw my previous statement.

well science has to accept without evidence (on faith) that the world outside our minds is reality and not a dream or simulation. Without that, nothing science does has a point.

I guess.... but this is just fucking ridiculous though. they guy that came up with shit had to be bat-shit crazy xD

That's not faith. Not in the religious sense at least. Faith, from my google search I just did, has two definitions. The second one is the religious kind, where the certainty comes from "spiritual apprehension" rather than proof. The first one is the kind EC is referring to which is "Complete trust or confidence in someone or something". I'd emphasise that first word there, "complete". We're never 100% sure in science, we have statistical measures in places so we can get to within 99.9999999% surety that something is correct but it's impossible to be 100% certain (because MATHS), therefore we cannot have COMPLETE trust or confidence in anything in science. Reasonable confidence, like 99.99% certainty, does us just fine. That's why we use the word theory a lot. It's not faith, it's just knowledge of the odds.

That isn't to say we don't have an element of faith in the lead up to science, that's how we generate a hypothesis, but a hypothesis on it's own can't be called science, and in fact has nothing really to do with science. I get huffy when people say "I don't believe in God, I believe in Science" because that's like saying "I believe 1 + 1 = 2". The problem is language really, there's no other appropriate word. It's why words like "theory" get so much unnecessary bloody debate.

Debate would be a lot simpler if we didn't have such a colourful bloody language with so much intrinsic emotion and history attributed to words. This is why I like science, because everything else seems like just arguing semantics.

Darken12:

That's the difference between science and religion. Science questions the things it takes on faith constantly, and keeps questioning and testing over and over again. In religion, questioning your faith is a big no-no.

Actually the process you describe is basically the same that has created most of the present understanding of christianity.
There is a reason why most "scientist" of the enlightenment was theologians. It was the only higher education that existed in Europe at the time and the people who became great theologians at the time was the people who could look at something (nature/scripture) and say if A is.. and B is... then there must be a C.

There is a huge difference between blind faith in something and well thought faith in something and you find that on both sides of the argument.

Most religious people who don't put their heads up their asses and go lalalalalala see science as another form of contact with the divine not something to work against. That is why they get annoyed whenever they are told that they are wrong because science says so. (I am well aware that that is not necessarily what science says but it is often used as such) Especially when the arguments that are used to use science like that is flawed.

Jacco:
I don't watch EC so I don't know the context in which they said that but science as science can never TRUELY be proven. We can be 99.99999999999 ad nauseum % sure but we can never be 100% sure.

For instance, we know gravity works because we interact with it every day. But its still a "theory" as we don't completely understand it, hence the name "Theory of Gravity." Evolution is the same way. We think it happened and is happening and have evidence to support that, however we can never proof 100% that evolution is real. That's what science is. A constant revision of what we think we understand to something more likely.

NO.

That is not what the word Theory means in regards to the Theories of Evolution and Gravity.

I'm sorry, but I have no faith in doing my SDS-PAGE.
I know it works.
It worked before, not just once but millions of times.
It's results match the calculated and expected results all the time.

People who make the argument "if you don't do the tests yourself, you have to have faith he's right!"
NO!
The whole point of science is that before any of those tests are considered valid, is when someone replicated it.
AKA, the default position is "You messed up, or did something wrong!"
Only after the results can be replicated AND used as a model to predict a valid outcome, THEN it becomes a valid experiment.
And at that point I no longer needs faith, because it's not one person that did the experiment, sceptics did it as well, and had no other choice to agree.

Da Orky Man:
I think I have a suitable quote for this:

'Science knows it doesn't know everything; otherwise, it would stop.'

I like that. To anyone who cares, here's a quote that I like (and isn't as callous as you think):

"Religion is the emulation of the adult by the child." - Frank Herbert, in Children of Dune

Ranorak:
I'm sorry, but I have no faith in doing my SDS-PAGE.
I know it works.
It worked before, not just once but millions of times.
It's results match the calculated and expected results all the time.

People who make the argument "if you don't do the tests yourself, you have to have faith he's right!"
NO!
The whole point of science is that before any of those tests are considered valid, is when someone replicated it.
AKA, the default position is "You messed up, or did something wrong!"
Only after the results can be replicated AND used as a model to predict a valid outcome, THEN it becomes a valid experiment.
And at that point I no longer needs faith, because it's not one person that did the experiment, sceptics did it as well, and had no other choice to agree.

I've been saying this several times but I'll say it again, while most of science requires rigorous tests in order for a hypothesis to become an expected theory there are some fundamental ideas about reality that one MUST accept on faith not because we don't want to question it, but because it is impossible to engineer a test for. Solipsism is one of these where we must accept that the world outside of our mind is reality. (At this time at least) we cannot test if the outside world is a dream or not, we cannot know that our mind isn't being fed information to make us think we experience reality. All we can do is accept that what we see is real without evidence, or deny the outside world as real in which case nothing really matters does it?

Not all of science has come about by faith, but there are some fundamental issues that we need to accept without evidence because they cannot be tested.

No, science is not dependant on or based on faith. Science is essentially the process of creating an ever more complex and accurate MODEL for how our universe works. All models are wrong, at least to a certain degree, so I doubt our models will ever be completely correct. That said however, a model's purpose is to provide a tool which can be used to measure and predict the response to a given change in a certain variable and for that purpose, science is quite good at finding relatively simple mathematical formulae which do a pretty good job of approximating and predicting what actually happens.

Basically all science is is a process that goes as follows:
1. Observe a phenomenon you do not understand.
2. Study the phenomenon and try to determine if it is consistent and repeating.
3. Attempt to determine reasons why the phenomenon is occuring.
4. Make some kind of mathematical model which will help predict the outcome if this phenomenon occurs.
5. Test the model to make sure it works.
6. Refine the model when new technologies arrive or higher accuracy is needed.

Remember Newton's Laws of motion that you probably learned in high school? Those laws don't hold true any longer on a quantum scale. An atom or electron do not obey Newton's Laws. Now you might say that that means that Newton's Laws are wrong and that we should toss them out now, right? Well, no because Newton's Laws provide a simple, elegant model that CAN accurately predict the movement of most objects, it just falls apart on a quantum scale, so we come up with new models to fit that part and let Newton's Laws remain.

No faith required. Move along.

I'm a science groupie myself. I love the shit out of it. It's the best method to finding the truth (little t) since forever, and it's probably the reason I'm here right now instead of, say, my mother miscarrying seven times before she successfully reproduced and wound up with someone entirely different.

But, unfortunately, yes, science has its foundations in faith. It's an epistemological quirk that exists because we cannot prove with 100% certainty that we're not a brain in the jar or a computer simulation or a figment of someone's very good, very wild imagination. The upside is, it's a faith of the gaps. Science, reason, logic, philosophy and our own minds have done an excellent job of reducing the relevance of this fundamental uncertainty to the .1 after so many 9.9999999999999999 as mentioned in that deplorable video, and once you've accepted it, you can get right back to functioning in the 'real' world, with the full knowledge that you are genuinely interested in accepting reality as it is, not as you want it to be. So yes, reality might be an illusion, and you have to accept that it isn't in order to accept the notion that science itself exists or may provide useful results.

Beyond that, any hardcore solipsist, assuming there is such a thing, would have a hard time telling you what to do with this information even if we did meditate really hard and realize we were brains in jars. For all tents and porpoises, it appears irrelevant.

At the deepest reaches of instrumental physics, science itself doesn't even deal with deterministic causality. The core tenet of Quantum Electrodynamics is that, ultimately, the universe is probabilistic, not deterministic(cause and effect still apply too though). This, too, is something we probably don't have to worry about, because if you actually do the calculations, the likelihood that a grain of sand will jump out of a box of matches of its own accord is so low that it would take something like 6x10 to the ten times the current age of the universe. Phew!

By all accounts, Extra Credits still sucks. While technically correct, the last two episodes exploited that epistemological technicality for the sole purpose of appearing holistic and profound. It instead came off like a hipster doofus nodding his head in sage agreement with some hippie platitude. Solipsism isn't really that profound. It's merely a decent metric for gauging the veracity of other philosophies(ie, if it claims to overcome, or flat out ignores solipsism, you're probably safe to dismiss it). I say this because no one actually takes it seriously, not even those who use it to stroke their vanity, and within the scope of arguing, say, science v religion, it's about as relevant as Ralph Nader.

Someone quoted Tim Minchin's Storm earlier in the thread, but since they left out my favorite part, I'll leave you with it:

So I resist the urge to ask Storm whether knowledge is so loose-weave of a morning when deciding whether to leave her apartment by the front door
Or the window on her second floor.

dvd_72:

Ranorak:
I'm sorry, but I have no faith in doing my SDS-PAGE.
I know it works.
It worked before, not just once but millions of times.
It's results match the calculated and expected results all the time.

People who make the argument "if you don't do the tests yourself, you have to have faith he's right!"
NO!
The whole point of science is that before any of those tests are considered valid, is when someone replicated it.
AKA, the default position is "You messed up, or did something wrong!"
Only after the results can be replicated AND used as a model to predict a valid outcome, THEN it becomes a valid experiment.
And at that point I no longer needs faith, because it's not one person that did the experiment, sceptics did it as well, and had no other choice to agree.

I've been saying this several times but I'll say it again, while most of science requires rigorous tests in order for a hypothesis to become an expected theory there are some fundamental ideas about reality that one MUST accept on faith not because we don't want to question it, but because it is impossible to engineer a test for. Solipsism is one of these where we must accept that the world outside of our mind is reality. (At this time at least) we cannot test if the outside world is a dream or not, we cannot know that our mind isn't being fed information to make us think we experience reality. All we can do is accept that what we see is real without evidence, or deny the outside world as real in which case nothing really matters does it?

Not all of science has come about by faith, but there are some fundamental issues that we need to accept without evidence because they cannot be tested.

Solipsism is a philosophical thought experiment that really has no footing in science or any practical use to scientists. If its true that all of reality is an illusion or fake then it doesn't matter what the scientists are doing because they're all imaginary. Even still, this illusion of reality appears to have consistent laws and patterns that it follows which are testable. If it's not true and this reality is in fact real, then the scientists are still doing what they always do, making testable, predictive and repeatable models for reality.

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