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Author Topic:   So I Wrote A Book On The Scientific Method
Straggler
Member (Idle past 177 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 76 of 168 (733199)
07-15-2014 7:30 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by Tangle
07-15-2014 3:38 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
Tangle writes:
My request was to find an authoritative source for the definition of a theory that includes prediction as being a necessary part.
You do agree that prediction is a necessary part of the scientific method - No?
If a theory has been constructed in accordance with the scientific method then prediction will play a key role.
I'm not sure that playing a game of definitions with the term "theory" is particularly relevant unless you:
A) Dispute that scientific theories are borne by the application of the scientific method.
OR
B) Prediction is not a necessary component of the scientific method.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 3:38 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 8:25 AM Straggler has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 77 of 168 (733200)
07-15-2014 8:25 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by Straggler
07-15-2014 7:30 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
I guess this means you can't find one either

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 76 by Straggler, posted 07-15-2014 7:30 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by Straggler, posted 07-15-2014 8:41 AM Tangle has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 78 of 168 (733202)
07-15-2014 8:39 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by Tangle
07-15-2014 3:38 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
What do you consider authoritative?

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 75 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 3:38 AM Tangle has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 177 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 79 of 168 (733204)
07-15-2014 8:41 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Tangle
07-15-2014 8:25 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
I haven't looked......
A scientific theory is produced as the result of applying the scientific method. Right?
The scientific method incorporates prediction as a key element. Right?
Ergo - Predictions are a necessary component in the formulation of scientific theories.
I'm baffled as to which part of the above you think some definition will trump. Can you think of a scientific theory in which prediction plays no part whatsoever? Just one example....?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 8:25 AM Tangle has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 80 of 168 (733205)
07-15-2014 8:44 AM


Thanks to Dr A. I was reminded of Karl Popper - who, to answer NN, I do regard as authoritative.
The fourth and final step is the testing of a theory by the empirical application of the conclusions derived from it. If such conclusions are shown to be true, the theory is corroborated (but never verified). If the conclusion is shown to be false, then this is taken as a signal that the theory cannot be completely correct (logically the theory is falsified), and the scientist begins his quest for a better theory. He does not, however, abandon the present theory until such time as he has a better one to substitute for it. More precisely, the method of theory-testing is as follows: certain singular propositions are deduced from the new theorythese are predictions, and of special interest are those predictions which are ‘risky’ (in the sense of being intuitively implausible or of being startlingly novel) and experimentally testable. From amongst the latter the scientist next selects those which are not derivable from the current or existing theoryof particular importance are those which contradict the current or existing theory. He then seeks a decision as regards these and other derived statements by comparing them with the results of practical applications and experimentation. If the new predictions are borne out, then the new theory is corroborated (and the old one falsified), and is adopted as a working hypothesis. If the predictions are not borne out, then they falsify the theory from which they are derived. Thus Popper retains an element of empiricism: for him scientific method does involve making an appeal to experience. But unlike traditional empiricists, Popper holds that experience cannot determine theory (i.e., we do not argue or infer from observation to theory), it rather delimits it: it shows which theories are false, not which theories are true. Moreover, Popper also rejects the empiricist doctrine that empirical observations are, or can be, infallible, in view of the fact that they are themselves theory-laden.
Karl Popper (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Somewhere in there is probably the source quote I'm looking for.

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 82 by NoNukes, posted 07-15-2014 8:59 AM Tangle has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 81 of 168 (733206)
07-15-2014 8:53 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by Tangle
07-15-2014 3:38 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
My request was to find an authoritative source for the definition of a theory that includes prediction as being a necessary part.
Yes, and I have explained that your request, as stated is nonsense. The scientific method requires prediction. Every source that discusses the scientific method in detail provides that information. Do any of us care about theories that are not compliant with the scientific method? Do you consider non scientific explanation to be a theory?
I provided two quotes which don't contain it and a book which has a whole chapter dedicated to describing a theory which does not mention predictive ability at all.
You provided two non-authoritative sources by your own definition. Your sources do not say that theory does not require prediction or even raise a question about that proposition. They simply do not say anything at all on the subject. My references were at least as authoritative as yours. And your web page did not even associate theory with the scientific method.

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 75 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 3:38 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 10:24 AM NoNukes has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 82 of 168 (733208)
07-15-2014 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by Tangle
07-15-2014 8:44 AM


Thanks to Dr A. I was reminded of Karl Popper - who, to answer NN, I do regard as authoritative.
So there are individual scientists who can speak to a proposition and be considered authoritative, and others whom you can dismiss?
I will note here, that Popper talks about the topic because he discusses scientific method, including experimentation, testing of hypothesis and falsification.

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 80 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 8:44 AM Tangle has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 83 of 168 (733210)
07-15-2014 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by NoNukes
07-15-2014 8:53 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
NN writes:
You provided two non-authoritative sources by your own definition. Your sources do not say that theory does not require prediction or even raise a question about that proposition. They simply do not say anything at all on the subject. My references were at least as authoritative as yours. And your web page did not even associate theory with the scientific method.
It does get quite tedious having to say the same thing over and over. But hey-ho.
The whole point of the two references was to show that some definitions of a scientific theory do not include anything about prediction - and they are from people well regarded n their field.
This prompted me to find a formal definition of a scientific theory - I am looking for a definition of a theory that specifically includes the word in its primary definition. It's proving remarkably hard.

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 81 by NoNukes, posted 07-15-2014 8:53 AM NoNukes has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by New Cat's Eye, posted 07-15-2014 10:42 AM Tangle has replied
 Message 87 by Straggler, posted 07-15-2014 11:14 AM Tangle has replied
 Message 97 by sfs, posted 07-15-2014 8:18 PM Tangle has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 84 of 168 (733218)
07-15-2014 10:42 AM
Reply to: Message 83 by Tangle
07-15-2014 10:24 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
This prompted me to find a formal definition of a scientific theory - I am looking for a definition of a theory that specifically includes the word in its primary definition. It's proving remarkably hard.
Did you try wiki?
quote:
A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation. As with most (if not all) forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory force.
Scientific theory - Wikipedia
Their link #4 goes to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where HERE they say under the section "Science Explains and Predicts":
quote:
The essence of science is validation by observation. But it is not enough for scientific theories to fit only the observations that are already known. Theories should also fit additional observations that were not used in formulating the theories in the first place; that is, theories should have predictive power. Demonstrating the predictive power of a theory does not necessarily require the prediction of events in the future. The predictions may be about evidence from the past that has not yet been found or studied.
Bolding was added for emphasis.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 10:24 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 11:05 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 85 of 168 (733222)
07-15-2014 11:05 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by New Cat's Eye
07-15-2014 10:42 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
Yes, I started with the wiki - but I'm looking for an authoritative original source that has prediction as part of its definition. Along the lines of:
A scientific theory makes statements about relationships between observable phenomena. For a theory to be scientific, these statements must be predictive, testable and falsifiable. (Wanker, 2014)

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 84 by New Cat's Eye, posted 07-15-2014 10:42 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by New Cat's Eye, posted 07-15-2014 11:13 AM Tangle has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 86 of 168 (733225)
07-15-2014 11:13 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by Tangle
07-15-2014 11:05 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
but I'm looking for an authoritative original source that has prediction as part of its definition.
Why?
And what was wrong with the AAAS?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 11:05 AM Tangle has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 177 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 87 of 168 (733226)
07-15-2014 11:14 AM
Reply to: Message 83 by Tangle
07-15-2014 10:24 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
Tangle writes:
This prompted me to find a formal definition of a scientific theory - I am looking for a definition of a theory that specifically includes the word in its primary definition. It's proving remarkably hard.
That is probably because it's similar to asking 'What is the scientific method?' It looks like there should be a snappy yet all encompassing single sentence answer to that question. But really there isn't.
How about this for starters - A scientific theory is a theory arrived at through the application of the scientific method.....

This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 10:24 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 12:43 PM Straggler has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 88 of 168 (733240)
07-15-2014 12:43 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by Straggler
07-15-2014 11:14 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
I think I have the authoritive work, but in doing so I've found a 500+ page document with prediction dealt with on pages 9 & 10. However, Popper says that empirical testing - falsifying predictions - is only one of three methods that can be used. No doubt this is disccussed in far greater detail than I'm up for at the moment.
http://strangebeautiful.com/...ogic-scientific-discovery.pdf

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 87 by Straggler, posted 07-15-2014 11:14 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Straggler, posted 07-15-2014 1:01 PM Tangle has not replied
 Message 100 by ringo, posted 07-16-2014 1:45 PM Tangle has replied
 Message 105 by NoNukes, posted 07-16-2014 3:36 PM Tangle has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 177 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 89 of 168 (733257)
07-15-2014 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by Tangle
07-15-2014 12:43 PM


Modern Physics - Predictions
It's not just about falsification (although that is important). There is also the issue of verified predictions giving credence (sometimes considerably so) to a theory.
If a prediction is highly specific - E.g. if a particular theory predicts the existence of a specific particle with very specific measurable properties - and that prediction is verified then the theory in question gains considerable traction. Even in a situation where there are two competing theories and neither has been falsified the one that can make predictions would "win".
Most modern physics has followed that route. Everything from the Big Bang (prediction of the CMB) and General Relativity (various predictions pertaining to mass bending light etc.) to anti-matter (predicted by Dirac on the basis of mathematical extrapolation) and QED right up to the Higgs Boson.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by Tangle, posted 07-15-2014 12:43 PM Tangle has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by NoNukes, posted 07-15-2014 1:44 PM Straggler has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 90 of 168 (733265)
07-15-2014 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by Straggler
07-15-2014 1:01 PM


Re: Modern Physics - Predictions
It's not just about falsification (although that is important). There is also the issue of verified predictions giving credence (sometimes considerably so) to a theory.
This is important in finding acceptance in the "marketplace of ideas", but I would not call it essential to providing verification of a theory. Eddington's confirmation of Einstein's theory resulted in Einstein becoming world famous even among those without a clue about science. But the actual data Eddington obtained was not enough to verify Einstein's work to a satisfactory degree of confidence. Eddington himself was highly motivated to prove Einstein correct for reasons that were largely noble but unscientific.
The flip side of that is that Einstein had made earlier predictions of the amount of deflection that were wrong. A number of events including a 'serendipitous' World War prevented Eddington from completing his observations of a solar eclipse at a time when those observations would have might have ruined Einstein's reputation.
I think falsification is the most important part. I believe that GR would have survived the hit to Einstein's reputation, but of course, I am only guessing.

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 89 by Straggler, posted 07-15-2014 1:01 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by Straggler, posted 07-15-2014 4:05 PM NoNukes has replied

  
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