Talk:Origin of the Moon

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Better. Explained the iron problem and its solution. Removed all mention of Canup, as it is very confusing to refer to: "This scientist said X, which supports my position. But then they said they were wrong, their computer model was off, X is not true at all. Still, they said X, so im going to cite them as supporting my claim."


Who wrote this? It has about as much scientific accuracy as claiming the moon is made of green cheese. Further, the article contradicts the same source it claims support from regarding angular momentum! --—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Suricou (talk)

The history of the Moon Theories, and the reason for their rejection, has been censored from this content page. Why? We're not going to allow censorship of history here. No one disputes this history, so why are folks trying to censor it?--Aschlafly 20:50, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

...wha? The source you cited explained why the current theory is generally accepted and why the previous theories are most likely wrong. The article reflects that. Please explain what is being "censored". --Sid 3050 20:54, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
What was censored is that the prevailing, accepted theories of the origin of the Moon were disproven by the lunar landings, and then scientists convened to deveop a new theory. That is historical fact. No one disputes it. Why do liberals insist on censoring it???--Aschlafly 21:19, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
Uh... there is one currently accepted theory. And that is not disproven by the lunar landing. The article mentions the three old theories that are in the source AND says what speaks against them. It's right there. In fact, the first three items of the list were left almost completely untouched.
And what do you expect scientists to say when something speaks against their current theory? Something like "Wow, the new findings go against our theory! So we must not develop a new theory, but instead we should embrace the fact that God the Almighty did it!" maybe? So of course they developed a new theory based on new observations. Welcome to science.
The current theory (number 4) is not disproven. The source argues in favor of it. Trying to cite it to "prove" or even "suggest" that it's wrong would be extremely deceiving. --Sid 3050 21:33, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

Contents

Honest question from a frustrated user

Aschlafly, are you going to ban me if I rephrase/expand the current "article" and take some of your anti-scientific spin and quote-mining out it to make it a bit more neutral and balanced? This would normally be a no-brainer, but the article and site history (especially the reverts) show that this is not a trivial question, so I'd rather have permission before I get infinitely banned as a vandal. --Sid 3050 15:47, 18 March 2007 (EDT)

Everything in the content page is factual and thoroughly supported. Be specific about what you think is wrong. Obviously this challenges your personal opinions but the point here is to set forth the scientific and historical facts.--Aschlafly 19:20, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
Andy, I don't think you should let him change a thing. It is a really, really good article as is everything you contribute to this site. Your students are very lucky to have you. --Jack 19:26, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
Let's see... I didn't read into your more recent changes, but let's start with a few cases of conveniently selective quoting:
Three such tests are discussed here. None of these is supportive of the Giant Impact model, but neither do they disprove it.
Unfortunately, researchers have had trouble getting the giant-impact model to work without the contrivances that scuttled earlier theories. "Putting enough material into orbit to form the moon seemed to require a rather narrow set of impact conditions," says Robin M. Canup of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo. But a new study by her and Erik Asphaug of the University of California at Santa Cruz may have broken the logjam.
Four facts and three parameters is a recipe for contradiction. To explain the moon's low iron content, you need to avoid a grazing collision (corresponding to a large impact angle), lest too much of the impactor's iron spill into orbit. Then, to explain the angular momentum, you need to compensate for the smallish angle with a hefty impactor. Then, to explain the moon's mass, you need to adjust the proto-Earth's mass. In the end, you might find that the total mass is incorrect.

In 1997 Alastair G. W. Cameron, one of the fathers of the giant-impact theory, now at the University of Arizona, arrived at a total mass that was a third too low. He suggested that subsequent asteroid impacts made up the difference. But few liked the idea, as the asteroids would have added extra iron.

Canup and Asphaug argue that the fault lies not in the stars but in our simulations. The calculations rely on a technique known as smoothed-particle hydrodynamics, which subdivides the bodies and applies the laws of physics to each piece. Early runs tracked 3,000 pieces--leaving the iron core of the moon to be represented by just a single piece. Even the slightest computational imprecision could vastly overstate the iron content, in which case the computer compensated by reducing the impact angle. The result was a bias toward heavy impactors and light proto-Earths. Because Canup and Asphaug use 30,000 particles, they get by with a much smaller impactor. Everything--mass, iron, momentum--clicks into place.
I'm not trying to say that there are no problems with the theory (and criticism should be mentioned in the article, of course), but you try to make things look as if scientists only cling to a completely silly theory that has been effectively disproven already.
No, I say it is impossible to disprove this theory, and therefore the theory is not even science. The theory is no different from saying that a UFO placed the Moon by hand there 4 billion years ago. That cannot be disproven, no matter how silly it is.
Funny, I see this argument being used against creationism. Yes, the UFO theory is silly. Just as silly as the "God created it. The end." theory. The criticism could lead to a prove against the impact theory. Right now, we have a bunch of scientists who voice their concern. Research has to be done to see if it actually shows that the theory is wrong or not. If it is wrong (this is, of course, quite possible), then they have to work on a new theory, based on the new observations. This is science. Just not the "Let's quotemine articles and label it proof!" sort of science that is used on this site. --Sid 3050 21:17, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
I'm quite clear that the tests that people have done are "not supportive of the theory," just as I say (and even quote the scientists.--Aschlafly 20:32, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
The only thing I credit you for is the omission of any overly "Of course, the only truth is that God created the Moon during Creation Week, and Answers in Genesis shows undeniable proof." bias... yet.
That's a silly comment.--Aschlafly 20:32, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
No. If you want "silly comment", look at Moon, for example: "Only one sun and only one moon: this uniqueness may reflect the existence of only one God." --Sid 3050 21:17, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
An attempt to balance things would begin with a rewrite the condensed list with things that speak for the impact theory (which you "expanded" by a slightly biased view of the events leading to it - you really couldn't resist inserting the "non-creationist scientists" bit, could you?).
There is nothing factual that supports the theory. It's pure speculation by a few scientists whose prior theories have been completely disproven. I don't even see evidence that most scientists even support this new theory. They didn't for ten years after it was proposed, and the scientists who wrote those articles that I cite plainly don't support it now.--Aschlafly 20:32, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to create an ultra-super-"Why that theory has been proven without doubt!" article. I just want a bit of fairness and a bit of style correction to make the article look halfway presentable. --Sid 3050 19:51, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
Everything in the article is factual, and no significant facts have been left out of the article. Really, you have be specific about what you propose adding or deleting.--Aschlafly 20:32, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
Weren't the huge quote blocks specific enough? You left out anything that speaks in favor of the theory. No wonder you think that Theory of evolution is a good article. --Sid 3050 21:17, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
Actually... nevermind. Judging from your replies (here and at the top of the page) and edits, I sense that this would be way more trouble than it's worth. I'll leave the article to you. --Sid 3050 20:12, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
OK, fine. But you really shouldn't be complaining then. The facts are not always what we expect or want, and clearly your preconceived views have been challenged. I urge you to reconsider you views rather than oppose the facts.--Aschlafly 20:32, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
Okay, serious case of WTF here. I'm not leaving the article because of "the facts" or because "my views" have been challenged. Look at my long post (which you butchered up into many small posts). Look at where I stated that I didn't want to turn this into an ultra-pro-this-theory playground and that I acknowledge the criticism. I was aiming for BALANCE. You know, FAIRNESS. Unlike your little propaganda piece that only tries to aim as much doubt at the current theory as possible.
The reason why I'm leaving the article (and quite possibly the site soon enough) is YOU. Your completely inane posts and "articles" drive me crazy. Blogs and news sites in several countries openly mock you and your site, yet you are completely immune to any sort of criticism. Of course, you are not alone there. Don't worry. I don't just think that you alone are a sad joke on this site. Conservative gets to be your first mate on the S.S. Flawed Perception. Didn't you ever consider that you might be wrong and that the several news sites (and the whole bunch of blogs) around the world may actually have a point or two?
The Moon Theory article was doomed the second you decided that the currently accepted theory is wrong. I could try to add balance to the article, but my efforts would instantly be neutralized; either through reverts or by bloating the criticism section even more. I apologize for wasting your time. I had assumed for a minute that you'd actually be interested in anything but complete bias. In retrospec, I honestly don't know why I ever assumed such a silly thing.
Why don't you just deliver the coup de grâce and "protect" it against liberal vandalism? You could even give control over it to Conservative, I'm sure he'll be delighted. --Sid 3050 21:17, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
That was one of the funniest exchanges yet on this site. --Redscare 22:19, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
I enjoy reading arguements from someone who refuses to listen to another viewpoint by telling people they're not listening to theirs. There are several users on this site who do it all the time. Jrssr5 13:33, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

The criticism section is incoherent. If the Giant-Impact theory fail lacks testability and falsifiability, then why does it matter that the Moon lacks in siderophilic elements? The article goes on to discuss other tests. RSchlafly 20:14, 18 March 2007 (EDT)

Once I realized that the Giant-Impact theory isn't science, the other articles don't matter to me. But obviously some people insist on clinging to the Giant-Impact theory even though it isn't science. To them, these other facts might matter.--Aschlafly 20:32, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
So what is the point of citing the evidence if Giant-Impact theory is not scientific anyway? I really don't understand your position. Why are you willing to say that the other models were disproven? Does the evidence show that the Giant-Impact theory is better than the other models or not? If yes, then the Giant-Impact theory must be scientific. If not, then I guess the other models weren't really disproven. Either way, you make no sense. RSchlafly 21:53, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
If a theory can be proven wrong (as is alledged in the article), then it is by definition "falsifiable". Nematocyte 09:45, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

Following is incorrect

From the article "This new theory fail lacks testability and falsifiability",

The theory is falsifaiable if future mineral analysis detects materials which could not have originated from Earth, or if closer examination of Earths mineral content produces results which are inconsistant with the theory.

The theory can be tested by carrying out mineral analysis upon the moon (for example in deep moon bores), which would either support the theory or falsify it.

Thus this sentence is factually incorrect. Nematocyte 09:32, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

Furthermore, in the Criticisms section there is actually a report quoted which details three possible tests! If something can be proved wrong, that means it is "falsifiable", it isn't really all that difficult to understand. Nematocyte 09:38, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

Clinging to unsupported theories

  • The current theory was the result of the scientists not being able to think of any other atheistic explanation. That's all.

This, unfortunately, has been the norm throughout scientific history. In the 1860s, nobody had been able to come up with the germ theory of disease. More soldiers died of communicable illnesses in the Civil War than of wounds suffered in battle.

I look forward to a renaissance in science, wherein scientists are able to say, "We just don't know." Then maybe they'll be open to alternatives to their methodological naturalism. --Ed Poor 17:16, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

...and what comes after the "We just don't know"? --Sid 3050 17:40, 19 March 2007 (EDT)


We say that all the time, and then we develop hypotheses to test in order to learn more. We, as scientists (yes im one of those) do not first try to come up with a supernatural explanation, when a natural one is more proper. A "Renaissance" like you describe is more properly called the "Dark Ages". Palmd001 17:46, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

Er, no, by renaissance I did not actually mean the death of curiosity and objectivity. I had in mind something more like conservatives and liberal honestly sharing their insights and working together to improve the world. You have to say "I don't know" before you can say "Let's find out." --Ed Poor 23:31, 19 March 2007 (EDT)
But fighting with each other is more rewarding and fnu! --Crackertalk 23:35, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

Well, scientific advances have improved the world tremendously, with the obvious exceptions of WMDs, etc. I'm not sure what avoiding the scientifc method has done for the world. Palmd001 23:41, 19 March 2007 (EDT)


New Scientist Article

This article in New Scientist would seem to be relevant: http://space.newscientist.com/article/mg19325875.700-did-the-new-moon-lose-its-iron-heart.html --British_cons (talk) 06:17, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Quite interesting! I've got some time on my hands, so unless you're on it, I'll include it and do some rephrasing along the way. --Sid 3050 06:49, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Go for it Sid. I'm off to work.--British_cons (talk) 06:52, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Decided to go with a full rewrite (got a bit sidetracked by other issues here), now I just have to source it and then I'll post. I also included AmesG's edits to some degree (thanks for pointing out the bit about the impactor's contribution). --Sid 3050 11:56, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
Sid, the joys of LexisNexis know no bounds.--AmesG 11:57, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
I'll keep that in mind in the future, thanks for the tip! But my current "problem" isn't the lack of sources - I wrote the whole thing based on them - but the fact that I rephrased stuff so often that I figured it'd be easier to write first and add Ref-tags later :P --Sid 3050 12:03, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Sid, I await your edits with bated breath.--AmesG 12:04, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

There you go. --Sid 3050 12:28, 20 March 2007 (EDT)
I like it Sid.--British_cons (talk) 13:40, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Suggested move

Since the title is somewhat misleading, I suggest a move to Origin of the Moon. Opinions? --Sid 3050 12:28, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

I like the move. All of the theories discussed in the article relate to the moon's origin, so that's a much more descriptive title. Land Dweller 14:02, 20 March 2007 (PDT)

Went ahead with it since there doesn't seem to be anything speaking against it. --Sid 3050 17:15, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

AustinM!!!

Next time you plan to revert HOURS of hard work that involved looking up new and insightful articles and actually READING a few of the cited sources, USE THE TALK PAGE!

I left in all the criticism that was in the original article. I merely put it into the context of the sources (read: I was actually being honest and not just mining for convenient quotes.) and moved things around so that they actually make some structured sense. There was quite a bit of nonsense in Aschlafly's version, such as the "completely disproven" bit (The fact that somebody RECENTLY revived one of the discarded theories KINDA speaks against that, doesn't it?). --Sid 3050 17:24, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

swap article and discussion pages for superior treatment, more fun

"Look at the moon, look at the moon...." (from HAIR)

Forget about how old the moon is. Article needs substantial changes, mainly for stylistic reasons. Currently (7 APRIL, 2007 AD)article springs current scientific theory half way thru, which is not a good pedagogical technique.(But then neither is employing "pedagogical" when "educational" would have sufficed.)Here below are the first 2 pars as I see them. If no one objects, I will put them when next I am around these parts.


There is not (blah blah)coalesce as the Moon over a period of time.


MylesP

I didn't do a deep-down analysis of your changes so far, but they look nice! From what I see, you add a more professional tone to it. I'm not quite sure what you want to do with the above paragraphs. Do you want to insert them into the intro (above the ToC)? If so, I'm all for it - they're a nice summary of the article that comes after it. --Sid 3050 13:24, 7 April 2007 (EDT)
Thanks Sid, I have rewritten intro, and first 2 pars are changed to incorporate initial ref to new theory "Big Whack" at very start. Normal stylistic changes made to body of article. No change in content. Would suggest writers use brackets sparingly - they are not commas. Also, frowned on appearance of terms FeO and “siderophilic” without definition. Turns out former is Ferrous Oxide, and latter means “iron loving”. Have incorporated that as well. All this could be made a little clearer. From what I rem from my own casual reading, reason Moon is poor in iron is because in collision and subsequent heat, most of the heavy stuff sank to Earth’s core. Moon ended up with very little. Basically, Moon is a lot of sterilised accreted dust, fairly boring, and that’s why we stopped going there after we found out what it was made of. Question of angular momentum is dealt with in VERY shallow way. Once again, I’m no expert, but I think there are some big misconceptions here. Will leave note in another section here. MylesP
You're my personal hero for your walk-through there! Excellent points regarding style and usage of words, too. I'll try to keep them in mind.
The whole issue with the lack of iron of the moon is not really trivial from what I gathered. Depending on the "when", much/most of the iron had sunk to the core already, thus leaving lots of non-iron-y material in the mantle to form the Moon. But then there are the issues of how much material and force you'd need to form the moon in the first place.
I'm definitely no expert in this field, and I agree that a few things could/should be covered in more detail. Angular momentum being one of them. I just went with the sources I found during an afternoon, and they didn't really go into detail there. It's a start, but it of course needs more work. --Sid 3050 15:53, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

Young Earth Creation Hypothesis

Let me explain what is the problem with this section.

(i) The reference is NOT to a paper written by "Astronomer Dr Don DeYoung (Professor of Physics, Grace College, Indiana), ... presented at the Second International Conference on Creationism in Pittsburgh, USA, in 1990", but to the website ttp://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v14/i4/moon.asp which is basically a blog, or at best a re-interpretation of someone else's material.

About half way down the article, we find:

"Because the presence of the moon over any part of the earth does not cause an immediate bulging response, this slight delay results in a continuous, slight, forward 'pull' on the moon, causing it to spiral slowly outwards, away from the earth. The rate at which the earth-moon distance is presently increasing is actually being measured at about 4 centimetres a year. It would have been even greater in the past.

This immediately raises the question as to whether the earth-moon system could be 4.5 billion years old, as most evolutionists insist. Would we not have lost our moon a long time ago? Using the appropriate differential equation (which takes into account the fact that the force of gravity varies with distance), Dr DeYoung shows that this gives an upper limit of 1.4 billion years." (my emboldenment)

The emboldened claim is actually crucial for the argument that the moon is only 10,000 years old at most. Now, I have no idea whether or not DeYoung has any evidence for the the emboldened claim, and nowhere in the blog is it explained why the rate of increase should have been greater in the past rather than less, the same or even variable over time. More to the point, I do not think the author of the blog has such evidence, or even considered the possibility. What is clear, is that this whole section is based on a claim taken from something which is little more than a blog, and which, in itself, has no academic credibility. If you wish this section to be credible, search out DeYoung's actual paper and use his argument and his evidence; not someone's assertions based on his or her potentially flawed interpretations of them.

--CatWatcher 13:33, 7 April 2007 (EDT)


... oh and by the way; try to find someone who refutes his arguments, and clarify why, and if you can find a response where deYoung refutes the refutations, even better!--CatWatcher 13:34, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

In my experience, AiG has (so far) been pretty much a dead end in terms of sources. However, I would applaud the finding of the original paper and maybe a few better-researched claims (or just better research and reasoning for that one claim at least). What I find odd is that AiG (didn't check if it's that source link or another one) basically echoes most things that are being said in this article and then adds the distance calculation. Sorta makes me wonder why they even bother with the other things when the distance argument supposedly is the ultimate proof. --Sid 3050 13:43, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

Expansion of revert summary

The revert summary didn't let me write my point fully. From what I gather, all of the "Big Three" have been proven "wrong" (in the sense of needing better explanations that take the new evidence into account - if that is possible). The arguments against it come later on, but the first part seems to be meant to show what had been assumed back then, and I think the source says just that (and also gives the countering explanation). Tectonics isn't exactly my special field, so I won't touch it much, but I invite you to include the argument in the "problems with the big three" section, it appears to me critical for full understanding of the problems with that theory. --JLindon 19:21, 11 May 2007 (EDT)

Atheism & scientists

Does the term "atheistic scientists" mean that the theories they made were atheistic or the scientists themselves? The latter should have no place in a non-religious/science article. The former makes more sense. Personal attacks on respected scientists are unwarranted.

Keep in mind that "atheism" simply refers to a disbelief in gods, not Abrahamic religions solely. Many theistic religions have beliefs about the origin of the moon. "God is not a deciever." LyraBelaqua 00:36, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

It would mean the scientists themselves, and is relevant because their views affect their hypotheses. Specifically, a scientist who is an atheist is not even going to consider the possibility that God created the moon. I agree that God is not a deceiver, and therefore, when God said that he created the moon on the fourth day of creation, he wasn't being deceptive, but actually meant just that. Philip J. Rayment 08:28, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

Is it falsifiable or not?

It has now been two years (!) since some of the above exchanges regarding the falsifiability of the giant impact hypothesis. For some reason, the article still claims that "This new theory lacks testability and falsifiability" and then, two lines later, states that the article has been falsified! Both of these cannot be true. The theory cannot be both unfalsifiable and falsified. Unless there are any complaints, I will amend the article to reflect this. TaKess 22:22, 31 March 2009 (EDT)

There is no contradiction. People (perhaps yourself?) cling to the new theory despite the failure of the tests. The new theory is impossible to falsify, but ever test to prove it true has failed. It's not science.--Andy Schlafly 23:52, 31 March 2009 (EDT)
There is no contradiction? Here's the relevant quote from the article:
"This new theory lacks testability and falsifiability, which are essential aspects of science as explained by Karl Popper.
Scientists did find that none of three proposed tests are "supportive of the Giant Impact model."
Another article noted that the Moon is lacking in siderophilic elements (Au, Co, Fe, Ir, Mn, Mo, Ni, Os, Pd, Pt, Re, Rh, Ru) found on Earth, and this indicates that the Moon was not formed by materials broken off of Earth, thereby falsifying the theory."
How can something be falsified if it lacks falsifiability? By definition, both of these cannot be true. --SStaples 01:24, 1 April 2009 (EDT)
You raise a valid semantic point. I've improved the wording accordingly.--Andy Schlafly 09:49, 1 April 2009 (EDT)
The wording is now better. But with respect, the problem is not an issue of mere wording. The article claims that the theory is not testable or falsifiable; it then lists things which contradict the theory. If the theory is not falsifiable, then no observation could possibly be taken as "contradictory" to the theory; no potential piece of evidence could make it appear implausible. That's part of what lacking falsifiability implies. The article also claims that the theory lacks testability, but you have just stated here that there have been tests performed to check it! Clearly both of those cannot be true, either. TaKess 16:19, 1 April 2009 (EDT)
No, you're getting tangled up in semantics. Your objections could be easily satisfied by minor modifications to the wording, which you could easily do yourself. I suggest you focus on opening your mind to the substance first.
Thanks for taking it this far, Andy. I'm sure TaKess will be able to come up with a revision that satisfies all of us. --SStaples 22:18, 2 April 2009 (EDT)
I added a sentence. It seems that the real problem with the theory is not that it's unfalsifiable as it stands, but that it will merely be amended in the event that evidence appears to contradict it, as has been done in the past. I disagree that this makes the theory unfalsifiable but have left that implication in the article, respecting the intent of the author. "has been criticized" may seem weasel-wordy so feel free to revert that if you think so. TaKess 14:31, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
Your edit is heavy-handed, perhaps even a parody of your view of others. If you think the theory is falsifiable, then how would you propose falsifying it?--Andy Schlafly 14:36, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
I think the issue of siderophilic elements is a legitimate one, and possibly a falsifier. I'm not up-to-date on the literature but I am guessing planetary scientists are working on ways to amend the giant impact hypothesis which incorporate the lack of such elements. Evidence that the earth has never had a magma ocean would also be a falsifier, but maybe scientists will find a way around that one, too. On a more obvious level, direct evidence that the earth-moon system isn't billions of years old (for example) would also completely be a falsifier. I don't think that a theory being subject to amendment in the light of new discoveries renders it unfalsifiable, but it's your encyclopedia and not mine (and that is an interesting debate in the philosophy of science). TaKess 15:34, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
Your points cast doubt on the theory, but I doubt many would see them as falsifying it entirely.
By the way, black holes and the theory of extraterrestrial life are also not falsifiable, and hence not science.--Andy Schlafly 17:33, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

(unindent) I think your opinion on black holes is based on a misunderstanding of the common statement: "'Black holes do not exist' is not falsifiable". Some would argue that this is true (I disagree), but this statement is an argument that falsifiability is not a good demarcation of science from non-science, not that black holes are somehow unscientific. There are serious problems with falsifiability alone. TaKess 18:08, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

edit: I meant to say "'Black holes exist' is not falsifiable." Sorry! TaKess 18:39, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
How would you falsify the claim that black holes exist???--Andy Schlafly 18:55, 3 April 2009 (EDT)
That's the point. "Black holes exist" may not be falsifiable per se, but that clearly doesn't mean it suddenly isn't scientific to state that, because obviously that is a scientific statement. This is one of the serious problems with falsifiability as a criterion.
Anyway, I'd say that if we do plenty of looking, especially where black holes are expected to be, and find none, that is close enough to being a falsifier. TaKess 19:12, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

Surely this is all the wrong way round. The null hypothesis would naturally be that 'no black holes exist'. This is of course falsifiable if black holes are detected. From our understanding of the laws of physics and observations made, the only reasonable conclusion as it stands is that black holes do exist. RobertWDP 19:22, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

Exactly. In this sense, "black holes exist" needn't be falsifiable (in the absence of evidence, there's no reason to think it is true instead of the null hypothesis) in order to be scientific. TaKess 19:33, 3 April 2009 (EDT)

Could we just say scientists?

I keep seeing references to "atheistic scientists", would it be more accurate to simply say "scientist"? Maybe even "secular scientist", although the former is preferred. There is no information on the scientists' belief systems who proposed various Moon Origin hypotheses, it would be misleading to call them all atheists. -- BMcP 15:33, 18 June 2009 [EDT]

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