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Author Topic:   So I Wrote A Book On The Scientific Method
CosmicChimp
Member
Posts: 311
From: Muenchen Bayern Deutschland
Joined: 06-15-2007


Message 46 of 168 (732392)
07-07-2014 8:39 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Dr Adequate
06-29-2014 7:23 PM


The weather here has been rocking and so have been out quite a bit. Have been reading your book too. Still reading, nice stuff.
I like your book well enough; have some picky points on details mainly about style. Have to finish it first. Back with more later.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-29-2014 7:23 PM Dr Adequate has replied

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 398 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 47 of 168 (732403)
07-07-2014 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by CosmicChimp
07-07-2014 8:39 AM


I don't see how you can soy such a mutable thug, my style is perfucktly fnurdible mangrove poop.

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 Message 46 by CosmicChimp, posted 07-07-2014 8:39 AM CosmicChimp has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9539
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 48 of 168 (733008)
07-13-2014 12:19 PM


Can anyone put me straight - does a scientific theory HAVE to be predictive? Is explanatory enough? I need a credible reference either way.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android
"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by ramoss, posted 07-13-2014 1:24 PM Tangle has not replied
 Message 50 by NoNukes, posted 07-13-2014 1:26 PM Tangle has replied
 Message 59 by RAZD, posted 07-13-2014 5:20 PM Tangle has replied

  
ramoss
Member (Idle past 726 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 49 of 168 (733010)
07-13-2014 1:24 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Tangle
07-13-2014 12:19 PM


Here is a reference you might want to look at.
21st Century Scientist: Predictive power and explanatory power

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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 50 of 168 (733011)
07-13-2014 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Tangle
07-13-2014 12:19 PM


Can anyone put me straight - does a scientific theory HAVE to be predictive? Is explanatory enough? I need a credible reference either way.
A description that makes no predictions is untestable. And the central part of applying the scientific method is testing of hypotheses.
For what part of the above do you require a reference?
Scientific method - Wikipedia
quote:
Prediction: This step involves determining the logical consequences of the hypothesis. One or more predictions are then selected for further testing. The more unlikely that a prediction would be correct simply by coincidence, then the more convincing it would be if the prediction were fulfilled; evidence is also stronger if the answer to the prediction is not already known, due to the effects of hindsight bias (see also postdiction). Ideally, the prediction must also distinguish the hypothesis from likely alternatives; if two hypotheses make the same prediction, observing the prediction to be correct is not evidence for either one over the other. (These statements about the relative strength of evidence can be mathematically derived using Bayes' Theorem.)
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
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 Message 51 by Tangle, posted 07-13-2014 1:43 PM NoNukes has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9539
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 51 of 168 (733015)
07-13-2014 1:43 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by NoNukes
07-13-2014 1:26 PM


NoNukes writes:
A description that makes no predictions is untestable.
Is it? It seems to me that geological theories are explanations of the past that can not be tested by looking to the future. At the moment lots of social science's theories seem only capable of explaining past events. And a theory can be disproved by past evidence coming to light.
BUT, I agree, a good theory should provide predictions; my question is whether that is a requirement.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android
"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by NoNukes, posted 07-13-2014 1:26 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by ringo, posted 07-13-2014 2:54 PM Tangle has replied
 Message 56 by NoNukes, posted 07-13-2014 4:27 PM Tangle has not replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 526 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 52 of 168 (733028)
07-13-2014 2:54 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Tangle
07-13-2014 1:43 PM


Tangle writes:
It seems to me that geological theories are explanations of the past that can not be tested by looking to the future.
You don't predict our future; you predict the future of the events you are trying to explain, which are in our past. Or, as Fred Flintstone would say, "This week was next week last week."
Edited by zombie ringo, : Spellng.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Tangle, posted 07-13-2014 1:43 PM Tangle has replied

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 Message 53 by Tangle, posted 07-13-2014 3:18 PM ringo has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9539
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 53 of 168 (733033)
07-13-2014 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by ringo
07-13-2014 2:54 PM


dead ringer writes:
You don't predict our future; you predict the future of the events you are trying to explain, which are in our past. Or, as Fred Flintstone would say, "This week was next week last week."
We can show that the planets follow a particular rule by predicting their movements, where they will be at a particular time in the future. It's a very strong form of evidence. Theoretical physicists predict the existence of various particles and experiments find them - sometimes many years later.
My question is whether prediction is necessary.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android
"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by ringo, posted 07-13-2014 2:54 PM ringo has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by ringo, posted 07-13-2014 3:33 PM Tangle has replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 526 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 54 of 168 (733037)
07-13-2014 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Tangle
07-13-2014 3:18 PM


Tangle writes:
My question is whether prediction is necessary.
The scientific method is a cycle of predictions and testing predictions.
So yes.

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 Message 53 by Tangle, posted 07-13-2014 3:18 PM Tangle has replied

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Tangle
Member
Posts: 9539
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 55 of 168 (733040)
07-13-2014 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by ringo
07-13-2014 3:33 PM


ZR writes:
The scientific method is a cycle of predictions and testing predictions.
Well I tend to agree and that has always been my understanding, but, I have so far been unable to find an authoritative source that says it's a requirement. have found a few that don't seem to require it.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android
"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by ringo, posted 07-13-2014 3:33 PM ringo has seen this message but not replied

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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 56 of 168 (733047)
07-13-2014 4:27 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Tangle
07-13-2014 1:43 PM


It seems to me that geological theories are explanations of the past that can not be tested by looking to the future.
Predictions means outcomes required by a hypothesis. Those predictions need not be of the future. For example, when Einstein showed that his theory of gravity reproduced the anomalies of Mercury's orbit, where those anomalies were not explained by Newtonian gravitation, Einstein was providing verification of his hypothesis. Einstein showed that his hypothesis fit past data.
If the predictions are of the future, that is great. That would increase the chance that the prediction was legitimate and not developed by fudging. Some cranks even today insist incorrectly that Einstein put in fudge factors to get Mercury's orbit correct. But the fudge factors simply are not there. Einstein's equations are about as elegant as science gets.
A purely descriptive hypothesis, as I understand it, would have no ability to anticipate something we did not already know, regardless of whether that something was in the future or had happened in the past. It would merely explain what we see. There would be no way to scientifically examine such a hypothesis.
Perhaps our difference is merely about the meaning of prediction.
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Tangle, posted 07-13-2014 1:43 PM Tangle has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 57 of 168 (733049)
07-13-2014 4:29 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Tangle
07-13-2014 3:40 PM


have found a few that don't seem to require it.
Could you provide some examples? That would seem to be the quickest way to resolve the question.
My personal view, for the reasons I have given, is that non-predictive means untestable.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Tangle, posted 07-13-2014 3:40 PM Tangle has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 58 of 168 (733051)
07-13-2014 4:31 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Dr Adequate
07-07-2014 12:51 AM


I read the first chapter and have some questions relating to style and choice of examples. I am off all next week and I will give you some comments by Tuesday.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass

This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Dr Adequate, posted 07-07-2014 12:51 AM Dr Adequate has replied

Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1519 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 59 of 168 (733064)
07-13-2014 5:20 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Tangle
07-13-2014 12:19 PM


Just a thought ...
Can anyone put me straight - does a scientific theory HAVE to be predictive? Is explanatory enough? I need a credible reference either way.
It seems to me that if a theory has explanatory ability, that coupled with the premise that, all things being equal, it should continue to accurately explain the evidence, that this is a prediction, and that each new instance of evidence is a test of that prediction that the explanation will continue to hold.
Is this not how the theory of evolution explains the fossil evidence and predicts that any new fossil finds will be explained by the theory?
Enjoy.
Edited by RAZD, : clrty

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Tangle, posted 07-13-2014 12:19 PM Tangle has replied

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Tangle
Member
Posts: 9539
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 60 of 168 (733066)
07-13-2014 5:35 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by RAZD
07-13-2014 5:20 PM


Re: Just a thought ...
RAZD writes:
Is this not how the theory of evolution explains the fossil evidence and predicts that any new fossil finds will be explained by the theory?
I don't think so. What it does is explain the fossils we find. Finding another fossil tomorrow has no predictive ability. (Except, of course, the rabbit in the wrong strata which is cool but not necessary to explain the theory).
I thought that I would find something definitive at talkorigins - but see if you can find the word 'prediction' on this page:
Evolution is a Fact and a Theory

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android
"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by RAZD, posted 07-13-2014 5:20 PM RAZD has replied

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