Re: The straw man.

Phillip Bigelow (
27 Oct 1995 13:16:52 -0700

I wrote:
>> In science, whatever is UNKNOWN is held to be suspect until proven true,
>>or until falsified.
>> Therefore, a theory is not held to be is held suspect.
>> <pb> (H. M. Hubey) responded:

>As for definition
>of truth, it actually seems to be of a provisional nature. Something
>is true at best provisionally or temporarily.

That's bunk. If you walk into an auditorium full of people and tell your
friend, "I believe there are over 200 people in this auditorium", and
you then count each and every person in that room, you will know the TRUE
number of people there. Only your hypothesis or theory is held suspect.
Once the count is completed, you will know whether your statement was proven
true or proven false. There is no "provisionality" or "temporary" truth in
this case.
I think you are confusing *experimental results* with theories and
hypotheses. Theories and hypotheses don't follow the "whatever is not false
must therefore be true" flow-chart that you espouse.
AAT-ers' insistence on claiming that "because the AAT is the only theory
floating around, it should be considered true until proven false"
is not only poor logic, but it is also horrible science.