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marnixR
Post  Post subject: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:06 pm
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came across this article, which clearly makes the case for what we expect in this forum, and should be a minimum requirement for any science forum worth the name :

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A useful way to think about this is to apply it to courtroom scenarios. The prosecution is the one making the claim or assertion (i.e., “person X is guilty”), so it is their responsibility to provide the evidence. The defense only has a responsibility after the evidence has been presented. In other words, the defendant does not need to prove their position (i.e., they don’t need to prove that they are innocent), rather they simply need to show that the prosecution’s evidence does not prove guilt. So the defense only bears a burden to defeat the prosecution’s evidence, rather than bearing a burden to provide evidence supporting their innocence. To be clear, there is certainly nothing to stop them from providing that evidence, but they aren’t required to do so. In other words, the prosecution must provide evidence of guilt, whereas the defense does not have to provide evidence of innocence.


for the full article, see "Don't tell people to Google it. That's your job, not theirs"

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Dywyddyr
Post  Post subject: Re: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:22 pm
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Exactly.
And - as noted in the link - a common crank tactic is to (attempt to) shift that burden with the cry "Prove me wrong".
That's not only fallacious it's verging on the dishonest (and, in many cases, shows a pitiful lack of knowledge with regard as to what "proof" is).


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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:41 am
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I dunno if discussion forums should become courtrooms.

Anyway that example is backwards, because on forums it's typically the one accused of being wrong (guilty) who's told to prove themselves right (innocent).

Contrast the scientific process, where we try to make falsifiable claims which we then try to prove wrong.

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Imagine, for example, that I said, “studies have found X,” but I refused to actually provide you with such studies. How would you prove that I was wrong? Quite frankly, you couldn’t.

...Well, no, a scientist can disprove something, almost anything. Everyone, including the claimant, is supposed to find (or engineer) a conflicting study that rather finds Y instead.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:52 am
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no one stated that forums are like courtrooms - it's more the specific case of someone making an assertion who will find him/herself in a position to justify their claim, and that's where this specific case looks a bit like court case : you have to provide sufficient evidence to convince your audience that there is a case to answer

as for proving that someone is wrong, yes it can be done to some extent, but it does help when someone actually gives specifics of the evidence in support of their position, so that there is no misunderstanding which evidence is being discussed

besides, challenging someone "to prove me wrong" only works from time to time - at other times it amounts to proving a negative, which we all know can't be done in the majority of cases

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Pong
Post  Post subject: Re: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:31 am
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I reckon a discussion in good faith and in the spirit of science, follows different rules than a squirming contest. I hinted above that if we've really got our scientist hats on tight we even try to disprove ourselves... i.e. "prove myself wrong."


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:06 pm
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in an ideal world, every scientist should attempt to find ways that could disprove his/her pet theory
in practice this happens all too infrequently

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:12 am
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Biggest problem in science is that flawed humans are the ones practicing it

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:45 pm
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iNow wrote:
Biggest problem in science is that flawed humans are the ones practicing it


Off topic, but you could argue that is the biggest problem with government too.

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wegs
Post  Post subject: Re: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:03 am
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On point, but since this is being posted in the philosophy section, it's a rather subjective subject, in a broad sense. It's hard to really ''prove'' without a reasonable doubt, someone's...philosophy. It's not like you can take the scientific method and test a theory, philosophy is different. You can debate over it, but subjectivity is a bit more allowable when it comes to philosophy, no?

Unless this topic was just posted here, and my answer has no bearing. lol :lol:


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scire
Post  Post subject: Re: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:19 pm

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iNow wrote:
Biggest problem in science is that flawed humans are the ones practicing it

I believe the bigger problem in science is that far too few are using the principles of science to guide their rational thought processes.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:31 pm
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wegs wrote:
On point, but since this is being posted in the philosophy section, it's a rather subjective subject, in a broad sense. It's hard to really ''prove'' without a reasonable doubt, someone's...philosophy. It's not like you can take the scientific method and test a theory, philosophy is different. You can debate over it, but subjectivity is a bit more allowable when it comes to philosophy, no?

Unless this topic was just posted here, and my answer has no bearing. lol :lol:


that you may not be able to prove your philosophical stance is one thing, making sure that your statements are factually correct and verifiable is another completely

I maintain that if someone makes a statement without evidence to back it up, and then when challenged argues that the challenger should prove him/her wrong, then that's an intolerable situation, since the first essential step, where the first party backs up a statement with evidence, has not been met

in Christopher Hitchen's words : what is posited without evidence can be dismissed without evidence

just because of the plain truism that there is no initial evidence to examine and discuss, just an empty statement of opinion

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wegs
Post  Post subject: Re: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:10 am
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marnixR wrote:
wegs wrote:
On point, but since this is being posted in the philosophy section, it's a rather subjective subject, in a broad sense. It's hard to really ''prove'' without a reasonable doubt, someone's...philosophy. It's not like you can take the scientific method and test a theory, philosophy is different. You can debate over it, but subjectivity is a bit more allowable when it comes to philosophy, no?

Unless this topic was just posted here, and my answer has no bearing. lol :lol:


that you may not be able to prove your philosophical stance is one thing, making sure that your statements are factually correct and verifiable is another completely

I maintain that if someone makes a statement without evidence to back it up, and then when challenged argues that the challenger should prove him/her wrong, then that's an intolerable situation, since the first essential step, where the first party backs up a statement with evidence, has not been met

in Christopher Hitchen's words : what is posited without evidence can be dismissed without evidence

just because of the plain truism that there is no initial evidence to examine and discuss, just an empty statement of opinion


I'd agree that a solid foundation of ''truth'' needs to be the platform of all philosophies, but with philosophy, one can't really ''prove'' a truth through physical experimentation. So, what constitutes facts and accuracy, when it comes to philosophy?


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: the burden of proof  |  Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:17 pm
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when it comes to science, we deal not with absolute proof but with probabilities
some weak theories have rather low levels of probability backing their case, whereas others are so strongly backed by evidence that it would be perverse to withhold consent as if it was proven

when it comes to starting a topic on a science forum the OP has to show that there is a case to answer, meaning that the level of probability is sufficiently high for a discussion of the evidence and the corollaries that follow from it

but first the OP has to bring sufficient meat to the party for a discussion to be started

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