Ricky, I do not get the impression you have a very strong background in science.
Strong is a relative term. I've two bachelors degrees (math and computer science) and have taken a few graduate courses. I don't have a phd in anything. I've forgotten the details of most of my math courses, except for the one's applying to computer science.
Your impressions could in fact simply be based on miscommunication. I'm perfectly aware of how the scientific method works. What i'm talking about is however complexity
. As a race, we have a massive body of information that nobody as an individual can independently verify.
A lot of what I say, when I'm not making bad jokes, contains some degrees of subtlety but I've never taken a course in philosophy tho and some of my terminology on that isn't standard. The weakness in my discourse has more to do with a lack of formal grounding there than a lack of training in the scientific method.
Checks and balances exist. I think they work but they aren't always perfect.
You switched from "materialism" to "science".
They are related. Obviously, in theory, you can have science without materialism but at the end ofALo the day, if you only believe in the material, your truths are mostly scientific ones for questions about reality.
I think that is an observation, not an assumption. If the universe did not follow observable laws, we would not be observing them and we would know it. I agree
but sometimes we don't readily find the answers and we look for them assuming they exist. Science hasn't answer "everything"; it does seem to answer quite a lot of things and possibly most things to some extent.An awesome example would be "miracle" cancer cures
, it many cases it was impossible to validate whether they happened or not but apparently they do. While some people "assumed" miracles (aka God did it), science has, after much effort, found explanations. I'm unsure if any of those explanations are definite or not.
If the laws were not regular, that would show up in our observations. We would not be able to come up with relationships like
Again, we are in agreement but your example about Emc2
is a good one; in fact, that was a case where, "science appeared to break down"; i.e., our previous 400 year old science (Newtonian physics) failed to make some predictions. However, as you correctly observe, the failures occurred consistently
1. As a whole, the scientific establishment has integrity and employs the scientific method, accurately reporting results and correcting ones that are wrong.
I think it is more assumed this is not the case. That is why we have the scientific method. Part of that method says results must be repeatable. So if a scientist is either dishonest or incompetent, another scientist somewhere else will try to replicate the experiment. If that fails, the first scientist will be revealed. Science ferrets out these types of problems.
I agree and disagree completely. My point was, we, as ordinary mortals still don't check it. If scientists were for example as corrupt as church leaders
It is sort of like natural selection. Only the best ideas and best thought out experiments make it through the gauntlet or peer review.
I agree but in the short term at least, other factors have sometimes consistantly interfered with the process. It sorted things out for the reasons you mentioned but sometimes money is thrown consistantly at scientists to tempt corruption. In some cases, this has happened; e.g., there is some contraversy about tobacco, drug research, global warming research where some interferences may have been involved in some cases. In Russia, the government interfered with some biological output.
In addition, political factors can play a part. For example in the global warming debate, which crosses a large number of fields, there could be political pressure to make the "right" conclusions. Very few people are qualified to judge some of the results.
It gets ironed out eventually but sometimes the convergence is painful.
2. Reasonably reliable sources of information exist.
? I don't see the connection.
When people make arguments, they by necessity have to supply information that they didn't gather themselves.