Science

[ 12/11/20 Bruno Stated “Science cannot prove any of it”… and Walter asked “Why can’t prove anything?”]

Science only ever deals in probabilities, never “proof” in the classical sense.

In science things are only ever proven to the “beyond reasonable doubt given current evidence sets” standard. And that gets really complex as there is a very real sense in which evidence sets always vary for different individuals (we all have our unique sets of life experience).

In science there is always a sense in which a scientist must be willing to question any assumption if there is evidence that doing so seems necessary. That is one of the reasons Einstein is held in such high regard, he took the evidence (speed of light always the same) and rearranged everything else to make that possible – breaking many of classical assumptions in the process (introducing curved space-time and removing the universality of time).

[followed by Walter wrote “Do not underestimate induction”…]

Hi Walter,

People use induction to generate hypotheses. I do that all the time.

But one should not confuse that with the process of gathering evidence to test a hypothesis.

In the final measure, it is the probabilities that one puts on the many levels of evidence that shift the balance of probabilities on any particular set of interpretations.

A good scientist will use every logical, mathematical, and intuitive tool available to generate and test every aspect of the process of hypothesis generation, test design, test performance, test evaluation. And individuals will tend to have learned different lessons about which of the tools they have available in their toolset are most useful in any particular set of circumstances.

So Yeah – induction can be a great tool in the generation and filtering of hypotheses, but it is no substitute for actual testing in reality. And there are always an infinite number of possible hypotheses, and we all need to have suits of tools that allow us to narrow those infinities down to – What do I do NOW ???

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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