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Author Topic:   So I Wrote A Book On The Scientific Method
herebedragons
Member (Idle past 964 days)
Posts: 1517
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009


Message 13 of 168 (730199)
06-25-2014 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dr Adequate
06-25-2014 1:14 AM


Sounds interesting.
Would you be willing to post a general outline, perhaps the topics that each chapter covers, how long the book is; something like that?
HBD

Whoever calls me ignorant shares my own opinion. Sorrowfully and tacitly I recognize my ignorance, when I consider how much I lack of what my mind in its craving for knowledge is sighing for... I console myself with the consideration that this belongs to our common nature. - Francesco Petrarca
"Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe." - another Petrarca gem.
Ignorance is a most formidable opponent rivaled only by arrogance; but when the two join forces, one is all but invincible.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-25-2014 1:14 AM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
herebedragons
Member (Idle past 964 days)
Posts: 1517
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009


Message 14 of 168 (730200)
06-25-2014 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by NoNukes
06-25-2014 10:49 AM


quote:
even Ken Ham admits that the distinction is entirely a creationist invention,
Do you know what Ham actually said, because I find it hard to believe that he would openly, and distinctly admit that since it is so crucial to the YEC position.
HBD

Whoever calls me ignorant shares my own opinion. Sorrowfully and tacitly I recognize my ignorance, when I consider how much I lack of what my mind in its craving for knowledge is sighing for... I console myself with the consideration that this belongs to our common nature. - Francesco Petrarca
"Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe." - another Petrarca gem.
Ignorance is a most formidable opponent rivaled only by arrogance; but when the two join forces, one is all but invincible.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by NoNukes, posted 06-25-2014 10:49 AM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by NoNukes, posted 06-25-2014 1:16 PM herebedragons has not replied

  
herebedragons
Member (Idle past 964 days)
Posts: 1517
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009


(1)
Message 119 of 168 (733435)
07-17-2014 8:19 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by Tangle
07-16-2014 4:01 PM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
Hi Tangle,
I am not completely sure what the controversy is all about, I really haven't disagreed with anything you have said or got the impression that you don't understand the scientific method. But I'll throw my two cents worth in anyway.
Look, I agree that the ability to make a prediction is pretty core to the whole scientific method. But at what stage? It seems to me that it's at the testing of hypothesis stage that prediction is mostly used.
I agree with this statement. As written, theories are pretty much descriptive. They provide a framework from which to develop hypotheses. A strong theory is basically assumed to be true and has already undergone rigorous testing - that is what has allowed it to be considered a theory.
However, the thing that makes a good theory is its ability to provide a framework that makes useful predictions. "The sky is blue." may very well be a true statement and may very well be thoroughly tested, but it doesn't provide any type of framework with which to build new hypotheses and make worthwhile predictions. It would simply be a statement of fact rather than a theory.
You are right, the hypothesis is where the rubber meets the road, where the work of verification and testing occurs; not the theory. Theories typically are too broad and generalized to provide a testable statement, so it is reduced to a simpler, more focused, more directed statement - the hypothesis - in the form of IF (X) THEN (Y).
The problem is that hypotheses are rarely specifically spelled out and it can appear that the theory is no longer being tested and is simply assumed true. However, if you are working within a particular theoretical framework, then you ARE making predictions and testing those predictions even though they may not be blatantly obvious.
An example from my own research. I am characterizing a soil borne fungus (Rhizoctonia) that causes root rot on sugar beet, dry been and corn (there are others too but those are the hosts I am focused on). As part of this characterization, I will be doing a screen for host resistance. When I write this up I will say something to the effect of "I screened each isolate for resistance on nine host varieties by rating root damage on a scale of 1 to 4." For that type of statement it may not be clear what the hypothesis is and what theory I am actually testing.
However, if I wrote it like this: "IF a host variety is resistant to Rhizoctonia infection THEN it will suffer statistically significant less root damage than the control variety" and alternately "IF a host variety is not resistant THEN it will suffer an equal or greater amount of damage than the control variety." it becomes a bit clearer as to what theory I am actually testing and what the predictions are. This screen is actually working within the framework of the Germ Theory of Disease and will provide a direct test for the theory, even though it is not immediately evident to be so. In fact, part of the screen will have to be back test the infected host to confirm the organism that caused the disease was the organism being screened (Koch's Postulates).
But when you get to the theory stage the prediction issue is mostly over.
I wouldn't say that the prediction issue is "over," just serves a different role. Rather than making predictions in order to verify the hypothesis, the predictions become more applied, more useful; they allow us to work within that framework without having to justify every step. For example, I don't have to justify that it is a microorganism causing the root rot disease rather than spontaneous generation every time I do a disease screen. The Germ Theory of Disease provides the prediction I need to justify the disease screen.
What's happening there is that you have a whole pile of observations and tested hypotheses which have become established fact. Established theories - rather than hypothese - never get disproved, at best they get modified. The idea that a theory is at risk by a prediction is true, but not actually remotely likely.
Agreed. Usually good, strong theories are incomplete at worst and need additional modifications to be able to better explain ALL evidence. It would be almost unimaginable to think that some discovery will come along and completely over turn any established theory. But the possibility remains that it could.
HBD

Whoever calls me ignorant shares my own opinion. Sorrowfully and tacitly I recognize my ignorance, when I consider how much I lack of what my mind in its craving for knowledge is sighing for... I console myself with the consideration that this belongs to our common nature. - Francesco Petrarca
"Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe." - another Petrarca gem.
Ignorance is a most formidable opponent rivaled only by arrogance; but when the two join forces, one is all but invincible.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Tangle, posted 07-16-2014 4:01 PM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by NoNukes, posted 07-17-2014 8:44 AM herebedragons has replied
 Message 125 by Tangle, posted 07-17-2014 2:21 PM herebedragons has not replied

  
herebedragons
Member (Idle past 964 days)
Posts: 1517
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009


Message 122 of 168 (733462)
07-17-2014 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by NoNukes
07-17-2014 8:44 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
Now he claims that the testability of theories is some pedantic point which can generally be ignored because once a theory is already established, then its predictions are now facts.
Seems to be a common misconception because we do typically apply theories as fact and the testing / prediction aspect is not explicitly stated, but they do go on behind the scenes, so to speak. No one says "If the ToE (or whatever theory) is true ... THEN ..." Instead they investigate phenomena based on the application of accepted theories, which implicitly provide testing and confirmation.
HBD

Whoever calls me ignorant shares my own opinion. Sorrowfully and tacitly I recognize my ignorance, when I consider how much I lack of what my mind in its craving for knowledge is sighing for... I console myself with the consideration that this belongs to our common nature. - Francesco Petrarca
"Nothing is easier than to persuade people who want to be persuaded and already believe." - another Petrarca gem.
Ignorance is a most formidable opponent rivaled only by arrogance; but when the two join forces, one is all but invincible.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 120 by NoNukes, posted 07-17-2014 8:44 AM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 123 by NoNukes, posted 07-17-2014 1:56 PM herebedragons has not replied
 Message 128 by Taq, posted 07-17-2014 5:48 PM herebedragons has not replied

  
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