khuram

Scientific Principles:

Posted by khuram on August 28, 2006

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Scientific Principles:

Scientific principles are those ‘objective principles’ that have been verified to be objectively accurate as per the results of the ‘objective verification’ with the help of the application of scientific methodology. ‘Objective principles’ may be proved to be ‘true’ or ‘false’ as a result of such objective verification. ‘Truth’ or ‘falsity’ does not affect the status of ‘objectivity’, of the objective principles in this way. Scientific principles are a sub-set of objective principles. Since ‘truth’ or ‘falsity’ does not affect the status of ‘objectivity’ in case of objective principles, so ‘truth’ or ‘falsity’ also cannot affect the status of objectivity in case of scientific principles. Thus theories of physical sciences are all objective because not only that they are ‘considered’ objectively true, but even if we doubt in the truth of these theories, still then these are ‘objective’ because these are ‘objectively verifiable’. So if I doubt in the truth of some scientific theory, it does not mean that I do not consider this theory ‘objective’. The only meaning is that I have doubt in the ‘objective accuracy’ of that scientific theory.

What is objective verifiability?

A principle or statement, if can be supported by an objective (i.e. independent – on which all persons, in case of principles, or at least persons to whom such statement is put – can agree) evidence – it means that the principle or statement is objectively verifiable.

Exclusive Nature of Scientific Principles:

In case of scientific principles, the series of events as are described by the principle would occur automatically in the presence of required objective conditions provided there is no difference between ‘objective truth’ and ‘real truth’. The performance of scientific principles can take place wherever required objective conditions can exist.

Principles of physical sciences cannot be violated. We can overcome certain principles of physical sciences but only through violating the underlying assumptions of that principle. For example, the physical principle is that within the range of the field of gravity of earth, objects fall towards the center of the earth. The underlying assumption here is that there is no upward positive net force operating on that object.

So we cannot overcome the principle unless first we violate the underlying assumptions of the principle. In this way, actually we have not violated the principle, we only have overcome the principle by violating the underlying assumptions of the principle. So actually, the principles of physical sciences are impossible to be violated.

Other objective rules, such as law, can be easily violated. People can violate civil laws and even can escape themselves from the consequences. Even if they have to face the consequences, still then after all, the so called ‘objective rules’ have been violated. Similarly we can use wrong grammar (i.e. another example of violation of ‘objective rules’) and we have to face no consequences.

Principles of physical sciences are objective for all people, for all societies and for all the world and universe. These principles are verifiable all the time. These principles, however, may prove to be wrong at some future time, due to the evolvement and involvement some new and better information. In this way, the status of ‘objectivity’ has not been changed; only the status of ‘objective accuracy’ has been changed.

If certain principles of social sciences are also objectively verifiable using the laboratory method, then these are also objective in nature. For example certain principles of Economics are objectively verifiable using the laboratory method, so these principles are also objective.

In case, however, that any ‘social science’ uses statistical analysis, instead of laboratory method, as an objectively verifying tool for its ‘principles’, these ‘principles’ would not be considered objective due to the following reasons:

i. Statistical analysis just gives the means and variances etc. of the diverse nature of so many but limited numbers of subjective opinions. An average of lets say 100 or 1000 diverse subjective opinions can be considered ‘more reliable’ subjective information but cannot be considered to be ‘objective’.

ii. The results of such statistical analysis cannot pass the test of ‘falsification principle’. So it does not come up to the definition of objectivity on which all persons have to agree.

iii. Such statistical analysis only shows the tendency to which the sample size population can agree. It does not give the guarantee that the results will remain the same if they are applied to whole population.

iv. If sample size is taken to be 100 and we get a particular tendency – now if we take another sample of 100 – we may not get the same particular tendency. So the results of statistical analysis still may not be true even if they are applied only to another same size population.

v. The nature of the results of statistical analysis is that the tendency so resulted is only the subjective opinion of that particular sample population. This ‘subjective’ opinion of that particular sample population may be different from the ‘subjective’ opinion of another particular sample (same size) population.

vi. There are differences in opinions within the sample and between same size populations.

vii. The resultant statistical tendency cannot be considered to be the conclusive evidence that the tendency shall remain the same over time, or shall remain the same for all the population or even, shall remain the same with another same size sample population.

viii. Personal opinions of different people cannot be assigned same weight. Most of the people shall fill the survey form without in depth consideration into the issue involved. In this way actually they are providing such information to which their own minds are not clear.

ix. In such survey forms the response of some or many respondents may be wrong/ false. But under this approach, wrong information is given the same weight as is given to the true information. So the effects of that wrong information reaches up to the level of final results. This is the most serious drawback of this approach.

Generally following types of theories are studied in these ‘social sciences':

i. ‘Behavioral aspects’ of individuals, groups, whole society and culture etc.

ii. ‘Nature’ of ‘relationships’ between individuals, groups or various types of institutions.

iii. ‘Nature’ of various types of social institutions.

Among these types of theories, it seems that only the behavioral aspects up to a limit, can be studied under laboratory settings/ environment. So only the behavioral types of social theories can be objective in nature.

The study of the ‘nature’ of institutions or the ‘nature’ of relationships between individuals, groups or institution always require the subjective theories (opinions) of the scholars.

In fact the theories (i.e. principles) of physical sciences which are objective in nature also only (or mostly, at least) discuss the behavioral aspects of the physical entities (including psychological entities) of the physical world. The study of the ‘nature’ of the physical world, for the most part at least, is also a subjective matter.

The philosophies that talk of behavioral aspects also can be objectively verifiable and so can acquire the status of science as well. For example ‘structure of mind and knowledge’ (i.e. ‘nature’ of mind and knowledge) is subjective issue but ‘idea generation theory’ and ‘growth in knowledge theory’ (i.e. behavioral aspects) are objectively verifiable.

As a result of this discussion, we can differentiate between ‘objective principles’ and ‘objective rules’ in the following manner:

‘Objective principles’ may include behavioral type physical as well as social sciences whereas ‘objective rules’ include religious principles as well as man made principles i.e. law, grammar etc.

The nature of ‘objective principles’ is different from that of ‘objective rules’. Objective principles are universal. These principles cannot be violated by any segment of the related entities. In fact it is impossible (more rigidly in case of physical sciences and less rigidly in case of social sciences) to violate these principles.

‘Objective rules’ on the other hand, usually have limited jurisdiction. Pakistani laws are enforceable in Pakistan only. Here jurisdiction is limited but the ‘objectivity’ still is universal. An American, for example if needs to quote the reference material from Pakistani law, he has to quote exactly what the Pakistani law says on that issue. Jews, although they do not follow Geeta, (i.e. Geeta’s jurisdiction does not cover Jews) but if they have to refer to some text of Geeta they have to quote it in objective manner otherwise the quotation would be wrong.

If a Jew wants to ‘convince’ a Hindu and for this purpose he uses reference material for argumentation purpose, from Geeta, in this case reference material is subjective for Jew (a better view however is that the reference material is still objective for Jew. The only thing is that he does not consider it to be true.) but he has used it in objective manner. This reference material is objective for Hindu because he accepts it to be true. In this case we have seen that an objective rule which is not required to be followed by a person, can still be objectively utilized by that person for the sake of argumentation with the person who is required to follow the objective rule.

In a similar case, an objective rule, if required to be accepted and followed by both the persons, then both of them can utilize that objective rule for argumentation but in the example of the previous paragraph, the Hindu cannot use statements of Geeta in order to convince the Jew because statements of Geeta are not required to be followed by the Jew. There may, however be certain exceptions due to the nature and kind of debate involved.

If Muslims want to convince other Muslims that ‘interest’ is wrong etc. they can argue with the references of Quran and Hadith. But if Muslims have to convince the rest of the world, then they have to use the material, which is currently considered acceptable for all the rest of world.

The objectivity of the objective rules is universal. This statement can be elaborated in the following way:

–> If an Arab person says that, “She is sewing a frock” is an example of present continuous tense. This statement is objective in nature even if an Arab person gives the statement.

–> To say English is better language than Arabic or vice versa, these statements would be subjective in nature. These are just statements and are not the rules. But to describe the rules of either English or Arabic would be objective in nature. The truth of those described rules can be objectively verified.

Other types of Objectivity i.e. other than Principles and Rules:

–> Statements that describe certain facts, if objectively verifiable, then these statements are objective in nature. In the case of statements, there is no restriction as to the nature of facts involved. These facts can be scientific or can be non-scientific.

–> To say that a particular statement is written in lets say page 150 of a particular book. This fact is objectively verifiable. We can open the page No.150 of that particular book and can see whether that statement is present there or not. See that this type of statement is not scientific in nature.

–> Objectively verifiable historical facts are also objective but in limited sense due to various points of view involved.

Objectivity

Principles + Tendencies

Rules

Statements

Physical sciences

Social sciences (i.e. only

behavioral aspects in case of principles and attitudes etc.

in case of tendencies.)

Religious code + man made rules (do

not need to be behavioral only i.e. whatever type or nature of any

entity is described in religious code have to be accepted in as it

is form)

Simple facts (only that are

objectively verifiable)

Subjectivity

Tendencies

Simple facts i.e. non-verifiable facts.

Nature of objective evidence:

Sr. No.

Type of Objectivity

Independent/ External Evidence

1

Simple facts as well as objective

rules.

Some referenced document or other referenced material etc.

2

Principles of physical sciences

Laboratory/ Experimental method

3

2nd type cause effects related to physical sciences

Right explanation of all the related observable phenomenon.

4

Verifiable principles of social

sciences

Laboratory setting approach.

Following entity is generally considered to be objective but does not seem to be.

1

Theories of social sciences based on statistical analysis.

No evidence available

In the theories of social sciences, which are said to be based on findings of the statistical analysis – in fact these theories cannot be supported by independent objective evidence.

The nature of objective evidence for all the identified types of objectivity are that these types of objectivity can be tested for the corresponding evidences (i) as and when needed and (ii) for as many number of times as we choose.

Whereas the social sciences’ those theories which are based on statistical type of analysis cannot be proved to be true (i) as and when needed and (ii) for as many number of times as we choose.

The only ‘evidence’ in this case is the result of statistical analysis upon which these theories have been formulated. The result of the statistical analysis can be considered to be ‘more reliable subjective information’ but it cannot be considered to be ‘objective’. This ‘more reliable subjective information’ is not objective because it cannot be proved to be true/ false (i) as and when needed & (ii) for as many number of times as we choose.

Thus the definition of ‘objectivity’ that can be derived out of this discussion would be the following:

“A given fact or principle is objective if it can be proved to be true or false or can be proved to be on a particular level between truth and falsity (i) as and when needed and (ii) for as many number of times as we choose.”

The given fact or principle, in order to be ‘objective’, does not need to be true also. But it does need to be objectively verifiable for its precise truth value (i) as and when needed & (ii) for as many number of times as we choose.

The nature of statistical analysis for the sake of formation of theories about social issues is similar to that of ‘consultation’. In my opinion, for these purposes, extensive consultation should be preferred over statistical analysis.

Both activities give impartial subjective information. Consultation is different from statistical analysis in that in consultation activities analysis is done by each person who is giving the opinion in the consultation process. This analysis is done on the issue itself. In the case of statistical analysis, on the other hand, the respondents actually do not analyze the issue itself. They just fill the survey forms without any in depth consideration on the issue involved. Statistical analysis is actually an analysis of these ‘un-analyzed’ subjective opinions for the sake of finding out various types of averages of these ‘un-analyzed’ subjective opinions. So in statistical analysis, individual opinions are not analyzed opinions. These are just ‘un-contemplated’ type of opinions and the ‘statistical analysis’ is not the analysis of issue itself but is the analysis of ‘un-contemplated’ opinions. As previously has been described that both consultation and such statistical analysis give ‘impartial’ subjective opinion. Here another important distinction needs to be made between the type of impartiality given by consultation and that of such statistical analysis.

True meanings of Impartial Opinion:

By definition, impartial opinion is one which is not one sided. Here, not being one sided, does not necessarily means that input from more than one different opinions have to be part of the resulting impartial opinion. To be ‘impartial’ means only that while finalizing our opinion on the issue we have positively analyzed and considered all the different and opposing available opinions. As a result of this activity, we can get such a finalized impartial opinion which may contain input from more than one different or opposing opinions or the resulting impartial opinion may be such that only one of the opinions has been taken to be the finalized opinion. If we have chosen only one of the opinions as finalized one even then, in this case, this chosen finalized opinion is ‘impartial’ in nature because we have chosen it after proper evaluation of all other different and opposing available opinions. In fact, we have preferred this single opinion to all the others because after proper analysis and evaluation of all the available opinions, we have concluded that this single opinion is the accurate one as well as it is sufficient for our purpose.

If we finalize only one opinion without proper analysis and evaluation of all the available opinions, then our choice, in such manner cannot be termed as ‘impartial’. In this case, our choice is simply one sided. But if we select the same opinion but after proper analysis and evaluation of all the available opinions, then our same choice, in this way shall become impartial. So impartiality in fact does not necessarily require input from more than one different opinions but it does require proper and positive analysis and evaluation of all the available opinions on the issue, before deciding about the selection of the most appropriate opinion.

As we have seen that the statistical analysis which is used to form theories about social issues, actually also gives a form of ‘impartial’ subjective opinion. The ‘impartiality’ in this case, however, cannot be considered to be included in the true concept of the ‘impartial opinion’. We have concluded earlier that impartiality does not necessarily require input from more than one different opinions. If there are only two opposing opinions and only one of the opinions is true, the impartial approach here is that to analyze and evaluate both the opinions and then to decide in favor of only one of the opinions. In this case if we select input from both the opinions and in this way form a new synthesized opinion, our new synthesized opinion would be wrong and misleading because it would include input from a wrong/ false opinion also. And this is exactly what threat is associated with such types of statistical analysis. Statistical analysis in fact cannot lead us towards the truth or towards the actual factual position, as far as theoretical nature issues are concerned. Such statistical analysis, actually would take us to the various types of averages of a bundle of true and false opinions. These averages are quite useless in case of theoretical issues but however, are useful in cases other than theoretical issues such as the averages of liking/ disliking etc. or the averages of demographic data etc. In general terms, we just cannot ask from a sample population about the definition of culture or civilization. If we statistically analyze these kinds of theoretical issues then actually we are moving in a wrong direction. It should be noted that most of the theories of so called ‘social sciences’ are not behavioral in nature. For example the theory of culture and civilization are the major theories of Sociology. These theories are not behavioral in nature and so cannot be studied in laboratory settings. We know that theories, other than objective rules, can be considered to be objective only if the theories can be studied in laboratory setting. We also know that statistical analysis actually does not result in objectivity. We also know that it is quite wrong to ask about the nature of culture and civilization from general public through survey forms. The only way left to form theories about the nature of culture and civilization is through the efforts of scholars who shall form subjective theories about these issues after deeply considering the related issues. So we have seen that major theories of Sociology have to be subjective in nature. But practically the subject of Sociology is considered to be objective in nature and Sociology is considered to be a “social science” for unknown reasons. We can acknowledge that Sociology also have ‘applied aspects’. In fact ‘Applied Sociology’ is a separate field of Sociology. So maximum what we can accept would be that we can acknowledge only ‘Applied Sociology’ to be an objective subject and so we can accept only ‘Applied Sociology’ to be a “social science”. It is also another fact that the ‘applied theories’ of ‘Applied Sociology’, mostly are applicable to too much micro a level. In fact most of the ‘theories’ have been formed for only particular settings and these theories cannot be generalized. But however, the analysis of ‘Applied Sociology’ is an independent and separate issue which is not coverable right here. We only shall conclude that most of the “social sciences” are not “sciences” at all. These subjects are ‘subjective’ in nature. The applied aspects are of too much minor in nature that only on the basis of these minor applied aspects, these subjects cannot be considered objective.

Again come to the ‘statistical analysis’. What is typically done in these kinds of statistical analysis is that a questionnaire is filled by a selected number of people. The questionnaire usually asks close ended questions and a limited choice of answers is given. Respondents only have to choose the answers from the given limited choice. Usually the choice of the respondent is based on instant and immediate ‘feelings’ about the question. The respondent typically does not properly analyze or evaluate the issue in question before making choice of answer. So actually the response of the respondent is an un-analyzed subjective opinion. In this way similar kind of other un-analyzed subjective opinions are collected from all the selected respondents. Then statistical analysis is performed and various kinds of statistical averages, of the un-analyzed subjective opinions, are calculated. The average opinion calculated in this way is considered objective in nature by the “social scientists”.

Obviously the average of selected ‘un-analyzed subjective opinions’ cannot become objective. The real situation would be that the average of a number of ‘un-analyzed subjective opinions’ is such a subjective opinion which has taken input information from all those ‘un-analyzed subjective opinions’ involved. And since some or many of those ‘un-analyzed’ subjective opinions may be totally wrong so the effects of those wrong opinions also shall be included in the average calculated opinion. In this way not only that such an average opinion cannot be considered ‘objective’, it also cannot be considered to be ‘impartial’ in the true sense of ‘impartiality’. So the “social scientists” are wrong in considering this average opinion to be objective in nature. The ultimate consequence is that these so called “social sciences” in fact are subjective in nature and since the research method, which has been used in order to formulate the theories of these so called social sciences, contains a serious flaw that the facts which are considered objective by this type of research method, actually these facts cannot even be given the status of ‘impartial subjective opinion’ because these so called ‘objective’ facts contain effect of false input information also. So the ‘facts’ as described in these so called ‘social sciences’ actually contain the effects of wrong and false information also and therefore can be considered to be totally un-reliable. The status of these ‘social sciences’ also cannot be considered to be that of ‘science’ because actually these theories are subjective in nature. And since due to serious drawback present in the research method, there is need to review all the theories of these so called “social sciences”.

In my opinion, the nature of social issues, mostly, cannot be objectively analyzed so in order to study these issues, we have to formulate a better subjective approach as a research method for such kind of issues. Such a subjective approach should be impartial in true sense of ‘impartiality’. In these issues, we cannot be objective but we can be impartial. Under present situation, in fact we not only are not objective, in fact we are also not impartial. Actually we need to be, at least, impartial because we cannot be objective but we can be impartial.

The best approach that can be used as research method for these issues, in my opinion, is to logically analyze and evaluate, in impartial manner, all the well considered opinions on the issue and finally to reach at a conclusion which should be the theoretical representative of the real situation.

We must understand that objective theories cannot be formulated for most of the social issues and we have to rely on ‘impartial and comprehensive subjective theories’. The other thing that we should understand is that nothing is a final word in such kind of subjective approach so the theories so formulated shall remain in continuous and infinite process of improvement.

Nature of Objective Facts & Rules (i.e. excluding Principles):

The objective facts & rules may or may not be compatible with the reality. In fact, the truth-value of the objective facts and rules can be misleading or even can be illogical. For example a government can enforce an illogical law. These differences can be known. The scientific principles cannot be known to be misleading or illogical unless a better explanation for that principle has been evolved as a result of the application of a new information about the issue. Since these principles cannot be known to be misleading so we have to take their truth-value in as it is form.

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2 Responses to “Scientific Principles:”

  1. Janet Gaye said

    This is actually a request for a formula that awoke me from a dream I had and left me on a quest for an answer. The formula given me was Time is relative to the subjective objectivity. I am not a scientist, doctor etc. I am a house wife that has many answeres given me in my dreams, some I have never asked for however perhaps someone else did, who can use this knowledge. I have no understanding of what this means but I do know that time is not what we perceive, and the third and fourth dimensions are only a limited earthly understanding of time and motion. Dimensions are limitless, and space and time are at opposite ends of the spectrum of motion. I wish somebody could advice me as to what all this means, as I am totally perplexed. I am a conservative by nature, but I realize the mind especially when it is in harmony with motion has no limits and is a receiver for what is traveling in time and space. Knowledge is power, and it knows not who will receive it, yet it is received by the universal gray matter of the brain for the common link of mankind. Please advice if you can, and I thank you

  2. POA Class…

    […]Scientific Principles: « khuram[…]…

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