This will be a little loose but I want to get the thought down. I have some friends, peers, acquaintances, and randoms (perhaps even celebrities) I come across from time to time that like to espouse the “belief” or view that they are atheist, rational, scientific, logical etc.
It is often said by these people “It is science” or “Science says” or “A study shows…”
I take great issue with these statements especially from these certain types of people (I might explain further below) who typically are not very atheist, rational, scientific, logical at all.
If my view on their view is correct, then they become sort of infinitely hypocritical for no real reason at all (other than sheer ignorance to their own hypocrisy). In other words there is no real reason as an atheist, rational, scientific, logical person to go around stuffing it in peoples face that these are the correct “behavioural” categories to fall in while not falling in them themselves.
I have much to say about this but not the time, and also of course the more I push such a point the more danger I have of falling into the exact same trap.
The point of this writing is to deal with one specific aspect of this, that is the meaning and purpose of the conjecture that turns to theory and finally to the experiment or the empirical data that produces results that one can gain a conclusion from.
There seems to be a common myth shared among “learned” peoples that an experiment provides evidence that a conjecture is probably correct or probably incorrect. Thus either strengthening or weakening the conjecture.
This is not really at all true you see.
A solid conjecture is in itself quite perfectly strong. There is no real experiment that can prove something true for all time.
We might refer to the evolution of Newtonian physics for higher level orders of physics in order to understand this.
It doesn’t stand to reason that because a certain experiment works, 1, 10, or 1 million times that we can be absolutely certain that the conjecture and theories that the experiment was born from are more solid or perfectly solid (I’ll leave out “less” solid for the average readers understand-ability).
The trick here is that it is SOCIALLY USEFUL to suggest that because the sun comes up every day it will come up tomorrow. This is an important distinction.
Experiments are not proving anything, they are EFFECTIVELY proving things.
This is something I think some readers might understand, but I’m not sure we have collectively re-solved the power and meaning (and usefulness) of conjectures.
This all means and suggests something I even think very “high level” thinkers may not immediately see or agree on…
A solid conjecture is IN ITSELF robust.