Soft Sciences Vs. Hard Sciences

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teo123
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Re: Soft Sciences Vs. Hard Sciences

Post by teo123 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:35 am

You need to apologize if you want me to continue to respond to you.
OK, I am sorry if I misinterpreted your behavior. It's possible that I've learned the wrong lesson from my experience on the Internet forums.
Fancy ridiculous prism-kinda sky dome could refract light from sun and stars in pretty much whatever way you want, and then you have the overt hologram claims.
Then, just like with the Flat Earth Theory, the constellations would have different shapes depending on where we look at them from. That is, assuming that prism-kind sky obeys the laws of physics.
Then that shows disagreement in the field (lack of consensus) apparently.
It's more of an attempted falsification. It's a necessary part of science, right? The fact that it's done ensures there is a good reason to believe the consensus, that the apparent consensus is not just group-thinking. That's not done in pseudoscience.
Are you, or are you not, going to do a statistical analysis of published papers to prove your claims?
Why would I, when you basically agree now that economics is likely not more reliable than linguistics is?
OR... another ad hoc exception was fabricated.
OK, now you are just being ridiculous. An ad-hoc hypothesis is:
A: I have a dragon in my garage.
B: I would like to see it.
A: That won't work. It's invisible.
B: OK, then, let's spray it with paint.
A: That won't work either. It's incorporeal.
B: OK, let's then measure the temperature of the fire in his mouth.
A: That won't work either. That fire is heatless.
Ad-hoc hypotheses are, by definition, not testable, and they are made not to be testable.
This was like this:
A: I think the Havlik's Law is incorrect. Here is a relatively long list of words that appear to contradict it (a Proto-Slavic yer appears to be vocalized even though the Havlik's Law would predict it not to be).
B: Great! Let's analyze it... Those words don't really appear random. The vast majority of them are demonstrably ultimately from the Chakavian dialect of Croatian, and all or almost all of them have that unexpectedly vocalized yer in the first syllable. Instead of assuming the Havlik's Law is incorrect, we will have far better explanatory power if we assume it's correct, but that another sound change operated in the Chakavian dialect that made the yers in the first syllable vocalized regardless of the Havlik's law.
A: That would imply all the Chakavian words that had a yer in the first syllable in Proto-Slavic have the yer in the first syllable vocalized.
B: Are you aware of any counter-examples?
A: Not really.
B: Then maybe we have discovered another law. Let's publish it to see what other linguists who have studied it have to say about it.
It's like if you tried to predict the movements of charged balls. The Coulomb's Law will correctly predict it in most of the cases. However, once they are moving too fast, there will be apparent exceptions to it. And the magnetic force laws capable of explaining those apparent exceptions are in no way ad-hoc hypotheses.
Now, the special relativity is capable of explaining that the magnetic forces exist for the exactly same reason electrical forces exist. In linguistics, there is no such theoretical framework yet.
I just do not hold the kind of certainty as I would hold for chemistry or physics.
I mostly agree with that. Basic physics is without a doubt more certain than basic linguistics is.
You can test the Torricelli's law with the equipment you have in your kitchen, and it's very hard to get the data wrong. You can also test the Havlik's Law yourself, however, you can't be as certain that the data you are dealing with isn't wrong.
Now, is the modern physics more certain than basic linguistics is? I don't really think so. Doing proper experiments about the subatomic particles is very hard, both because you need to have a complicated machinery for that, and because the only laws we have about how they move are probabilistic. So, why is it that we should believe that the physicists are likely to get things right? Maybe we should say that basic linguistics is about as certain as advanced physics is.
You should tentatively stick with the consensus NOT just until you decide there's not a lot of good evidence for it, but until you have an actual alternative with BETTER evidence.
Like when I thought the horizon appearing to be rising as I climb is better evidence for the Earth being flat than the ships appearing to sink as they approach the horizon is for the Earth being round?
That's true, but consensus doesn't have to be that precise.
Consensus that isn't precise can be very misleading. Like, almost all the climate scientists agree that global warming is real and at least partly caused by humans. But, if people take it to mean all of the climate scientists agree global warming is more dangerous than a tyrannical government (as many people appear to), that's pretty dangerous.
Economics is also more politically charged than linguistics, which would be expected to motivate higher levels of disagreement.
So, you basically agree with me now?
Why do you think DNA analysis couldn't have predicted that?
How could it? Languages move way faster than genes do. If I get married, my wife and I can simply decide to speak English to our children despite both of us being Croatians, the genes can't stop us.
Also, there are some 1st and 2nd century CE sources that mention Croatians as a Scythian tribe. Croatians gave up their language in favor of a Slavic dialect, which was a more prestigious language where they ended up being. Today, Croatian is a Slavic language with few, if any, loan-words from the language of the Scythian (Indo-Iranian) Croatians.
Similarly, the language of the ancient Bulgarians was a Turkic language, yet the language of modern Bulgarians is a Slavic language with few, if any, loanwords from the Turkic Bulgarian.
What do you think happened to the ancient languages of modern-day Romania? That Romans killed all men and raped all the wives so that people would start speaking Latin there? People gradually dropped their languages in favor of the distantly related but culturally more prestigious Latin.
Why can't you just be agnostic to varying degrees?
Why aren't you an agnostic about it being necessary to eat meat?
That assumes a world without those things in some form is magically possible. There's no reason to believe it is.
If you claim something is necessary, the burden of proof is on you. Especially if you want to force it onto other people.
Besides, isn't the fact that Somalia was an anarchy for decades without anything terrible happening (if anything, it got better), and that Ireland was an anarchy for more than a century without anything terrible happening enough reason to think it's possible?
We need to push government to use more science and less dogma.
Which, if it's impossible for government to use science because of the way science works, is going to be very counter-productive.
which is that a new one pops up that's usually (but not always) worse.
Sounds to me much more like what's going on in Venezuela (where there is a very powerful government controlling everything) than what would be going on in an actual anarchy.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:27 pm

teo123 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:35 am
Then, just like with the Flat Earth Theory, the constellations would have different shapes depending on where we look at them from. That is, assuming that prism-kind sky obeys the laws of physics.
The stars could be very far away. Or the stars could be an uncountable number of tiny lasers that each serve one person. There's also a way to make a screen where each dot has a complex prism on it that sends light out in different directions.
There are a few ways to create an apparently unmoving image with a near-by surface. They're all pretty high-tech, but within the scope of physics.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:35 am
It's more of an attempted falsification. It's a necessary part of science, right? The fact that it's done ensures there is a good reason to believe the consensus, that the apparent consensus is not just group-thinking. That's not done in pseudoscience.
How was that claim shown to be false? Or did others simply reject it for no good reason? (Perhaps as they reject your own theory)
Rejection of theories in softer sciences sometimes have more to do with group thinking than actual evidence.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:35 am
OR... another ad hoc exception was fabricated.
OK, now you are just being ridiculous. An ad-hoc hypothesis is:
A: I have a dragon in my garage.
B: I would like to see it.
A: That won't work. It's invisible.[...]
This was like this:
A: I think the Havlik's Law is incorrect. Here is a relatively long list of words that appear to contradict it (a Proto-Slavic yer appears to be vocalized even though the Havlik's Law would predict it not to be).
B: Great! Let's analyze it... Those words don't really appear random. The vast majority of them are demonstrably ultimately from the Chakavian dialect of Croatian, and all or almost all of them have that unexpectedly vocalized yer in the first syllable. Instead of assuming the Havlik's Law is incorrect, we will have far better explanatory power if we assume it's correct, but that another sound change operated in the Chakavian dialect that made the yers in the first syllable vocalized regardless of the Havlik's law.
A: That would imply all the Chakavian words that had a yer in the first syllable in Proto-Slavic have the yer in the first syllable vocalized.
B: Are you aware of any counter-examples?
A: Not really.[...]
This is fundamentally the same thing. You're working backwards from observations and making exceptions to the original claim.

1. There's a dragon/Havlik's Law is correct
2. Here's an observation that doesn't seem to fit that (can't see it or whatever)
3. Well that must be because of X correlation, so that's an exception that changes our expected observations of 1 such that 2 doesn't disprove it.

You aren't helping your case here, you've basically just written a how-to of pseudoscience...
teo123 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:35 am
It's like if you tried to predict the movements of charged balls. The Coulomb's Law will correctly predict it in most of the cases. However, once they are moving too fast, there will be apparent exceptions to it.
That's not just an exception at "too fast", it's wrong for any relative motion because it doesn't account for the effects of relativity. This isn't ad-hoc, it's experimentally verified in too many ways to count, and we know precisely why that is.

Relativity upended physics. Everything dealing with relative motion was just wrong, and at a fundamental level. Not very wrong at low speeds, but still wrong. Coulomb's can only be used at low speeds as an approximation, it's not actually true. It's like assuming a cow is a sphere.

We also don't consider Newtonian physics to be a true representation of reality, just a useful approximation.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:35 am
Now, the special relativity is capable of explaining that the magnetic forces exist for the exactly same reason electrical forces exist. In linguistics, there is no such theoretical framework yet.
That's what's missing, and that's what makes it ad hoc. Both the theoretical framework and the experimental verification (not just working backward).
teo123 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:35 am
Now, is the modern physics more certain than basic linguistics is?
If you're talking something like string theory, maybe not, but I think I've said enough about how that's more of a model that doesn't really make verifiable predictions.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:35 am
Doing proper experiments about the subatomic particles is very hard, both because you need to have a complicated machinery for that, and because the only laws we have about how they move are probabilistic.
You're mixed up there, confusing wave form probability with the colloquial sense of probability as unknowns (unknown unknowns too); the former is a rigorous mathematical system with equations that explain it very clearly (uncertainty principle), the later is immeasurable; you can't figure out the probability of something mathematically in that colloquial sense.
You can actually get very reliable results with a clear p-value from a collider, so that's a very very hard science, even if it's also hard to do (and expensive).
teo123 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:35 am
So, why is it that we should believe that the physicists are likely to get things right?
See above.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:35 am
Maybe we should say that basic linguistics is about as certain as advanced physics is.
No. Although you could compare it to string theory if you wanted.
teo123 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:35 am
You should tentatively stick with the consensus NOT just until you decide there's not a lot of good evidence for it, but until you have an actual alternative with BETTER evidence.
Like when I thought the horizon appearing to be rising as I climb is better evidence for the Earth being flat than the ships appearing to sink as they approach the horizon is for the Earth being round?
Only if you had made your model of that and shown it to be true by experiment.
A hypothesis isn't a good reason to reject consensus.

I'll try to answer the rest later. Might be a while.

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Post by teo123 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:42 am

There are a few ways to create an apparently unmoving image with a near-by surface. They're all pretty high-tech, but within the scope of physics.
OK, maybe. I don't have the knowledge needed to evaluate that statement.
Even then, the theory that says the sky is like that wouldn't really be a coherent theory (the way Bradley defines coherence), it would at best be merely a consistent theory.
How was that claim shown to be false?
Simply, the Havlik's Law makes unambiguous predictions about which yer (short 'i' or short 'u') in some Proto-Slavic word will become vocalized in modern Slavic languages and which one will disappear. Thankfully, it's a lot easier to test than "'Issa' meant 'health-giving spring' in Illyrian." or "'Issa' meant 'island' in Pelasgian.".
It's the only law that determines what happens to the Proto-Slavic yers in, as far as I am aware, all Slavic languages and dialects except the Chakavian dialect of Croatian. In the Chakavian dialect of Croatian, the Havlik's law appears to be invalid... unless you take into account that there was another sound law operating in that dialect that made all the yers in the first syllables vocalized.
Perhaps as they reject your own theory
Just... no.
Like I've said, my theory was rejected primarily because I, back then, hadn't done my homework of specifying what sound laws I think operated when an Illyrian word was borrowed into Old Croatian. That has to be specified, unless I assume Old Croatian and Illyrian somehow happened to have the same phonology. If I don't specify that, my theory only makes predictions about the ancient Croatian toponyms, and it predicts nothing about the modern Croatian toponyms, and it's therefore a lot harder to falsify.
Rejection of theories in softer sciences sometimes have more to do with group thinking than actual evidence.
This can hardly ever be stated for certain. Flat-Earthers often cite group thinking as the reason why astronomers reject their supposed evidence.
This is fundamentally the same thing. You're working backwards from observations and making exceptions to the original claim.
No, ad-hoc hypotheses are unfalsifiable assertions about why some way of testing a claim won't work. Claim "All the Proto-Slavic yers in the first syllable became vocalized (turned into 'a' rather than disappearing) in the Chakavian dialect of Croatian." is not unfalsifiable.
I am really confused about how you think science works. The heart of science is that theories are being tested and modified if they don't make correct predictions, and rejected if they can't be modified to be consistent with the observations while staying falsifiable.
That's not just an exception at "too fast", it's wrong for any relative motion because it doesn't account for the effects of relativity.
I meant, the discrepancies won't be visible unless the measurements are very precise. The words in the languages can be thought of as some sort of discrete measurements of the sound laws that operate or have operated in the language or the dialect that word is from. A single measurement can't tell us about all the laws that operated, since any particular word will not be of the shape necessary to be affected by all the laws that operate of have operated in a language (and, even if it were, there would be many possible explanations for what happened to it so that it sounds the way it sounds). But, if we have many words, we can discern those laws.
That's what's missing, and that's what makes it ad hoc.
So, the theory of electromagnetism was ad-hoc before the special relativity was discovered?
You can actually get very reliable results with a clear p-value from a collider, so that's a very very hard science, even if it's also hard to do (and expensive).
Fine, maybe you can. I don't have the knowledge needed to evaluate that claim. But, even so, that requires way more than the basic understanding of the laws. So, again, why should we trust physicists to be able to do that more than we should trust the linguists to be able to figure out the sound laws?

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Post by Red » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:20 pm

Teo, it's rude to respond to someone else's post when they say they aren't finished responding to your other post. It makes things unorganized, makes it more of a hassle for the person you're responding to, and might just be a way for you to direct the focus away from other subject matter.
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Post by teo123 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:20 am

Red wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:20 pm
Teo, it's rude to respond to someone else's post when they say they aren't finished responding to your other post. It makes things unorganized, makes it more of a hassle for the person you're responding to, and might just be a way for you to direct the focus away from other subject matter.
But nothing in my last post was off-topic. That is, unless you think trying to explain how linguistics works to somebody who insists it's a typical pseudoscience (based on ad-hoc hypotheses) is off-topic, which it might be. I was curious how such a conversation would end up. But, when I think about that, I think I can predict it based on what happened earlier in this thread:

Brimstone: How on Earth is the claim that all the historical yers in the first syllables in the Chakavian dialect turned into 'a', rather than disappearing, falsifiable? Again, you don't understand what that word means, because you haven't studied any boring hard science...

Me: Well, for instance, in the standard Croatian, the plural of "san" (dream) is "sni" (dreams). The 'a' disappears in the plural due to the Havlik's Law, because it comes from a Proto-Slavic yer. IN the Chakavian dialect, however, the plural of "san" (also meaning "dream") is "sani", and the 'a', coming from a Proto-Slavic yer, didn't disappear because it is in the first syllable. If you find a word in which there is an 'a' in the first syllable which disappears in the plural, you've falsified that claim.

Brimstone: That doesn't matter. One who formulated that law may have been aware of the lack of existence of such words in the Chakavian dialect, so that is a Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy.

Me: So, do you think nothing can be learned from history? You seem rather keen of claiming history proves anarchy can't work.

Brimstone: That's different! [some long-worded nonsense] If you want to reply to this, please start another thread!
...

I don't want to get into such a conversation again, I will rather not respond here further.

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Post by Red » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:32 pm

teo123 wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:20 am
But nothing in my last post was off-topic.
I didn't say you said anything was off topic, I was saying that it might be a way to draw attention away of the other topics of debate.
teo123 wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:20 am
Brimstone: How on Earth is the claim that all the historical yers in the first syllables in the Chakavian dialect turned into 'a', rather than disappearing, falsifiable? Again, you don't understand what that word means, because you haven't studied any boring hard science...

Me: Well, for instance, in the standard Croatian, the plural of "san" (dream) is "sni" (dreams). The 'a' disappears in the plural due to the Havlik's Law, because it comes from a Proto-Slavic yer. IN the Chakavian dialect, however, the plural of "san" (also meaning "dream") is "sani", and the 'a', coming from a Proto-Slavic yer, didn't disappear because it is in the first syllable. If you find a word in which there is an 'a' in the first syllable which disappears in the plural, you've falsified that claim.

Brimstone: That doesn't matter. One who formulated that law may have been aware of the lack of existence of such words in the Chakavian dialect, so that is a Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy.

Me: So, do you think nothing can be learned from history? You seem rather keen of claiming history proves anarchy can't work.

Brimstone: That's different! [some long-worded nonsense] If you want to reply to this, please start another thread!
...

I don't want to get into such a conversation again, I will rather not respond here further.
You're projecting here, and you're being quite salty.

Your arrogance here is palpable; Maybe you shouldn't assume you're right?
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Post by teo123 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:28 am

Red wrote:I was saying that it might be a way to draw attention away of the other topics of debate.
I don't quite see how it could. I don't even see why it would be rude. I can see how my last post could be rude (implying that the person I speak to speaks like a possessed robot), although it was not really intended that way.
Red wrote:Your arrogance here is palpable
Maybe a little, but the person I speak to also sounds quite arrogant, right?
I mean, he or she is basically insisting that historical linguistics as a science can't possibly work, that the vast majority of claims it makes (being about the unattested and long-dead languages) are necessarily not falsifiable and are therefore not even wrong, all without showing even the basic understanding of how it all works.
Some of his or her arguments are straw-mans (like that the relatedness of languages is determined primarily by the DNA), most of them are not even that, they are simply blind assertions.
People have some intuitive notions about how languages work, like that the sound laws are full of exceptions, and the phonosemantic hypotheses probably also stem from those intuitive notions. Those intuitive notions are, as preconceptions usually are, simply incoherent. Also, in the case of sound laws, it's easy to understand just how precise they are simply by looking at the modern languages. Every sound law I've looked into has a striking number of examples of it being applicable. And I really mean striking. And the apparent counter-examples are almost never counter-examples once you look slightly deeper into them. The Croatian word "kiša" (rain), for example, appears to contradict the law of the Third Slavic Palatalization (that 'k' turns into 'c' before 'i'), but it doesn't actually do that, because the 'i' here demonstrably comes from the Proto-Slavic long 'u'. But some of the notions Brimstone presented here are even worse than those intuitive notions, the notion that the examples you can plausibly be aware of when you formulate the sound law can't affect the probability of a sound law being correct is worse than common sense.

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Post by Red » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:35 pm

teo123 wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:28 am
I don't quite see how it could.
The person responding to you might lose track, and forget about the other arguments that have to be made (or disregard them entirely, since they often lose relevance.
teo123 wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:28 am
I don't even see why it would be rude.
:roll: Of course you don't.
It's called COMMON COURTESY.

I assume the children aren't raised with proper manners in Croatia, which explains a lot about your country, and a lot of your past actions. :lol:

What if I were to come into your house, make a mess of everything, let you clean up a little, then just made a mess of what you cleaned up?
teo123 wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:28 am
Maybe a little, but the person I speak to also sounds quite arrogant, right?
I'm not all that arrogant you're all that arrogant, myeh!

You constantly fail to comprehend your arrogance. Try learning some humility.
teo123 wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:28 am
I mean, he or she is basically insisting that historical linguistics as a science can't possibly work, that the vast majority of claims it makes (being about the unattested and long-dead languages) are necessarily not falsifiable and are therefore not even wrong, all without showing even the basic understanding of how it all works.
Some of his or her arguments are straw-mans (like that the relatedness of languages is determined primarily by the DNA), most of them are not even that, they are simply blind assertions.
People have some intuitive notions about how languages work, like that the sound laws are full of exceptions, and the phonosemantic hypotheses probably also stem from those intuitive notions. Those intuitive notions are, as preconceptions usually are, simply incoherent. Also, in the case of sound laws, it's easy to understand just how precise they are simply by looking at the modern languages. Every sound law I've looked into has a striking number of examples of it being applicable. And I really mean striking. And the apparent counter-examples are almost never counter-examples once you look slightly deeper into them. The Croatian word "kiša" (rain), for example, appears to contradict the law of the Third Slavic Palatalization (that 'k' turns into 'c' before 'i'), but it doesn't actually do that, because the 'i' here demonstrably comes from the Proto-Slavic long 'u'. But some of the notions Brimstone presented here are even worse than those intuitive notions, the notion that the examples you can plausibly be aware of when you formulate the sound law can't affect the probability of a sound law being correct is worse than common sense.
Well Teo, if you think you know so much, you should write a book about this stuff. Maybe you can call it 'Grammar School Linguistics' or something equally patronizing, since we're all so beneath your level.
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