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Author Topic:   So I Wrote A Book On The Scientific Method
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 121 of 168 (733439)
07-17-2014 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 118 by Tangle
07-17-2014 7:04 AM


Re: Certainty about tentativeness...
Of course all theories are thought to be tentative and of course the scientific method requires prediction and of course Popper talks of prediction. But never mind, the nuances of all this seems to escape you.
You made the argument that Popper did not use the word prediction. What was the point of that argument? Instead it turns out to be that Popper says prediction is required for all four of the lines of inquiry used to test a theory. But you could not seem to find that even after turning to the page on which Popper wrote it.
Who missed the nuance?

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 118 by Tangle, posted 07-17-2014 7:04 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by Tangle, posted 07-17-2014 2:19 PM NoNukes has replied

  
herebedragons
Member (Idle past 936 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

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 123 of 168 (733476)
07-17-2014 1:56 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by herebedragons
07-17-2014 12:39 PM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
Seems to be a common misconception because we do typically apply theories as fact and the testing / prediction aspect is not explicitly stated
I think there is a less subtle issue involved. Surely the theory subsumes the hypothesis or hypothesis that were tested, which it seems everyone agrees were evaluated by looking at predictions in one way or another. How then can the resulting theory not make those same predictions? The scientific method for formulating and theories ensures that those theories make predictions.
I am certainly not claiming that every time we use the inverse square law to calculate the trajectory of a body in the solar system that we are "testing" either Newton's law of gravitation or General Relativity. That would be somewhat pedantic. But when we start our calculation by assuming that the unperturbed orbit is a conic section, we are certainly using a conclusion deductively derived from Newton's law of gravitation. Those conclusions are exactly what we all mean by predictions. And if we manage to apply it to obtain a new solution of the three-body problem, then we have yet another conclusion or prediction.
I also understand that prediction can be used in another sense, namely foretelling a yet to be discovered phenomenon. But apparently that issue is not what we are wrestling with here.
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 122 by herebedragons, posted 07-17-2014 12:39 PM herebedragons has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9530
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 124 of 168 (733480)
07-17-2014 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 121 by NoNukes
07-17-2014 9:05 AM


Re: Certainty about tentativeness...
NN writes:
You made the argument that Popper did not use the word prediction. What was the point of that argument? Instead it turns out to be that Popper says prediction is required for all four of the lines of inquiry used to test a theory. But you could not seem to find that even after turning to the page on which Popper wrote it.
Tangle writes:
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 121 by NoNukes, posted 07-17-2014 9:05 AM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 126 by NoNukes, posted 07-17-2014 3:18 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9530
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 125 of 168 (733481)
07-17-2014 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by herebedragons
07-17-2014 8:19 AM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
I agree with pretty much all of that.

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 119 by herebedragons, posted 07-17-2014 8:19 AM herebedragons has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 126 of 168 (733487)
07-17-2014 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by Tangle
07-17-2014 2:19 PM


Re: Certainty about tentativeness...
However, Popper says that empirical testing - falsifying predictions - is only one of three methods that can be used.
You demonstrate here, as I acknowledged, that you can find page 9. What I note here, as I did before, is that on that same page, Popper also says that predictions (deductive conclusions) are a part all of the four of the methods that can be used, and are always required.
So you miscounted the methods, and you missed the point entirely. And there was no need to search for any further detail. You simply needed to read the detail that you had already found.
And you still haven't addressed the argument I mention, namely insisting that not finding the word "prediction" in a chapter actually means something.
From Message 103:
Tangle writes:
But if he's writing a whole chapter on the what a theory is and doesn't mention prediction?
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 124 by Tangle, posted 07-17-2014 2:19 PM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by Tangle, posted 07-17-2014 4:00 PM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9530
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 127 of 168 (733494)
07-17-2014 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by NoNukes
07-17-2014 3:18 PM


Re: Certainty about tentativeness...
I'm done here.
I now understand why it has not been possible for anyone to find a simple definition of a theory that refers to predictions and why it is possible for a chapter of a book describing what a theory is, to omit the word prediction and all its similes and still be correct. I'll leave you to progress with Popper and try to understand what he's actually saying.

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 126 by NoNukes, posted 07-17-2014 3:18 PM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.7


(1)
Message 128 of 168 (733507)
07-17-2014 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by herebedragons
07-17-2014 12:39 PM


Re: Please provide an authoritative source for F=ma...
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.
Another way to say it is that the application of theory gives us knowledge we can build on. If the foundation of our knowledge is bad, then the whole house will come crumbling down. If the house continues to stand upright, and withstands massive storms from new data, then the foundation is strong.
From an idealist perspective, this is not how we should do science. However, from a pragmatic perspective we don't have all the time in the world, so we make leaps and forge ahead.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by herebedragons, posted 07-17-2014 12:39 PM herebedragons has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 144 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 129 of 168 (733566)
07-18-2014 11:34 AM
Reply to: Message 110 by Tangle
07-16-2014 4:48 PM


Paradigm Shifts
Well, no. Anomolies, behaviours that do not fit with the predictions of otherwise highly validated theories, are in part how science progresses.
Why are we looking for dark matter? Because the results predicted by our otherwise highly successful theories don't fit with the observed facts. So we know something is missing from our overall theory.
How did Newtonian physics get superseded by relativity and quantum mechanics? Again - Anomolies in expected results (AKA predictions). But Newtonian mechanics didn't suddenly change it's status from fact to theory or vice versa because of this did it?
That we can successfully predict a lot of things doesn't suddenly make our theory a fact. And the discovery of anomoloies where observation doesn't fit theory doesn't suddenly make facts into theories either.
Tangle writes:
Sure, a theory is open to disproof, it has to be, but no-one really doubts that it will be.
As per the examples above in the case of well established theories with a track record of successful predictions it is rarely a case of disproof so much as paradigm shift
quote:
An epistemological paradigm shift was called a "scientific revolution" by epistemologist and historian of science Thomas Kuhn in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
A scientific revolution occurs, according to Kuhn, when scientists encounter anomalies that cannot be explained by the universally accepted paradigm within which scientific progress has thereto been made. The paradigm, in Kuhn's view, is not simply the current theory, but the entire worldview in which it exists, and all of the implications which come with it. This is based on features of landscape of knowledge that scientists can identify around them.
There are anomalies for all paradigms, Kuhn maintained, that are brushed away as acceptable levels of error, or simply ignored and not dealt with (a principal argument Kuhn uses to reject Karl Popper's model of falsifiability as the key force involved in scientific change).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by Tangle, posted 07-16-2014 4:48 PM Tangle has not replied

  
Trump won 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1318 days)
Posts: 1928
Joined: 01-12-2004


Message 130 of 168 (733589)
07-18-2014 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dr Adequate
06-25-2014 1:14 AM


good luck

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

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 363 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 131 of 168 (735641)
08-20-2014 1:16 AM


Thanks for the feedback so far. I hope that soon I can produce a final draft --- if anyone who's read the book has anything further to say, could they say it soon, please?

Replies to this message:
 Message 132 by NosyNed, posted 08-20-2014 8:00 AM Dr Adequate has not replied
 Message 133 by NoNukes, posted 08-20-2014 9:26 AM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 9006
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 132 of 168 (735642)
08-20-2014 8:00 AM
Reply to: Message 131 by Dr Adequate
08-20-2014 1:16 AM


Nuts
I was away and forgot about it. I'll get back to it this week.
Sorry

This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-20-2014 1:16 AM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 133 of 168 (735643)
08-20-2014 9:26 AM
Reply to: Message 131 by Dr Adequate
08-20-2014 1:16 AM


I gave you my comments about the first half of the book. I'll do my best to finish up before Nosy Ned does.

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 131 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-20-2014 1:16 AM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 363 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 134 of 168 (735645)
08-20-2014 9:44 AM


Thank you both. I don't want to hassle you, you are, after all, doing me a favor. And yet I do feel a certain sense of keen anticipation ...

Replies to this message:
 Message 135 by Faith, posted 08-20-2014 11:04 AM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1523 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


(3)
Message 135 of 168 (735646)
08-20-2014 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 134 by Dr Adequate
08-20-2014 9:44 AM


Hi, Dr. A. I don't know how much experience you've had with publishers, and my own is rather outdated, but unless things have changed drastically in the last thirty to forty-odd years, once your manuscript is accepted you can expect to get tons of expert help with it. A good editor will check every detail for accuracy and be knowledgeable about the trends in the field and their publishing history. It's always good to submit the best draft you can muster of course, but don't expect to present the publisher with a finished product. It can happen but it would be unusual. I wish you the best with your book, and especially that you find the perfect publisher.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-20-2014 9:44 AM Dr Adequate has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 136 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-20-2014 12:07 PM Faith has replied

  
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