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Author Topic:   Working Hypothesis -- what is the value?
RAZD
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Posts: 18471
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 46 of 92 (735633)
08-19-2014 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by NoNukes
08-19-2014 9:31 AM


for the purpose of discovering further evidence
So you would agree that such a working hypothesis would be unfalsifiable.

Good question. I am taking you at your word that you want to use an unfalsifiable hypothesis. In any event, you are describing using it in a way where you won't notice or allow falsification. I suggested forming a null hypothesis and you indicated that you would not be doing that and that you would not be doing a scientific investigation.

Would you agree that such an hypothesis could lead to the discovery of further evidence (possibly which would not otherwise be found), and that this could lead to a formal scientific hypothesis?

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by NoNukes, posted 08-19-2014 9:31 AM NoNukes has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Straggler, posted 08-19-2014 11:14 AM RAZD has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10195
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 47 of 92 (735634)
08-19-2014 11:14 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by RAZD
08-19-2014 10:36 AM


Re: for the purpose of discovering further evidence
With regard to the abominable snowman and bears as per the OP One could hypothesise that the abominable snowman is a myth borne of human invention combined with the embellishment of some genuine, but highly misinterpreted, bear sightings.

This hypothesis has the benefit of:

A) Being falsifiable (by the discovery of a creature that is consistent with the legend rather than just a bear)
B) Leading to verifiable predictions (e.g. proclaimed sightings of the creature conform to observable migration patterns of bears in the region, physical evidence of the creature is analysed and found to be bear fur/droppings/whatever))
C) Being based on the wealth of evidence that human beings have a tendency to create such myths and make such embellishments

Evidentially supported, falsifiable and with potentially verifiable predictions.

Isnt that a better hypothesis?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by RAZD, posted 08-19-2014 10:36 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by NoNukes, posted 08-19-2014 12:18 PM Straggler has not yet responded
 Message 79 by RAZD, posted 09-07-2014 5:39 PM Straggler has responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9546
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 48 of 92 (735636)
08-19-2014 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Straggler
08-19-2014 11:14 AM


Re: for the purpose of discovering further evidence
With regard to the abominable snowman and bears as per the OP One could hypothesise that the abominable snowman is a myth borne of human invention combined with the embellishment of some genuine, but highly misinterpreted, bear sightings.

I would like RAZD to indicate what lines of inquiry he believes would not be followed if this hypothesis were used. RAZD seems to believe that there is evidence of yetis that only non-skeptics have a chance of finding.


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 47 by Straggler, posted 08-19-2014 11:14 AM Straggler has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by RAZD, posted 08-20-2014 10:12 PM NoNukes has responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9546
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 49 of 92 (735637)
08-19-2014 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by RAZD
08-19-2014 10:21 AM


Re: working hypothesis is a hypothesis used as a basis for further inquiry or design
You don't KNOW what the actual loading will be or how the bridge will be used in the future, so you develop several hypothetical scenarios of loading to use as a basis for the calculations.

Why don't you point out where I said anything that disagrees with your statement.


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 42 by RAZD, posted 08-19-2014 10:21 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

    
Taq
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Posts: 6455
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.2


(1)
Message 50 of 92 (735638)
08-19-2014 12:55 PM


The Art of Science
The true art of science is a well designed experiment. Some of my favorite examples are the Luria-Delbruck fluctuation experiment and the Rutherford gold foil experiment. These were simple yet profound experiments that were compelling because they tested a hypothesis so well and so thoroughly.

Having an idea and being inspired by that idea are great. However, what separates the idea-people from the great scientists is the ability to test that idea in a compelling manner. So not only should it test your hypothesis, but it should test it in such a way that it makes the conclusion obvious as day.

To the specific hypothesis at hand, your hypothesis should not be "yeti sightings are fake", as others have mentioned. What you want are experimental observations and tests that are so compelling for an alternative that the yeti explanation simply falls by the wayside.

I also use the word "compelling" a lot because it is an extremely important characteristic of good science. In scientific arguments between hypothesis, it is the strength of the experiments that compels acceptance.


  
Tangle
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Posts: 4642
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 51 of 92 (735639)
08-19-2014 2:02 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by RAZD
08-19-2014 9:27 AM


Re: Example 4 -- bridge design
RAZD writes:

Not quite right. Currently I am a designer, but In the past I have been a structural engineer and I have run some biological experiments (in a lab, with a lab coat ... ), complete with forming hypothesis and validating them ...

Well yes, but as you are not a practicing scientist, surely you have to rule yourself out? Or is having once held a test tube and owned a white coat enough? (if so, I qualify as a chemist, a biologist, a physicist a couple of other ists two ologies and a chef.)


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 37 by RAZD, posted 08-19-2014 9:27 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by RAZD, posted 08-20-2014 9:58 PM Tangle has responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9546
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 52 of 92 (735644)
08-20-2014 9:37 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by RAZD
08-19-2014 10:27 AM


Re: Example 4 -- bridge design
And, curiously, that is why engineers in general are not scientists, because "the point is that the design is not being done for the purpose of verification of the principles, the purpose is to provide a practical use of those principals"

I'm not sure that distinction works in practice. If I were trying to find a novel to synthesize a particular organic molecule that is already known to produce a particular affect, would I be an engineer simply because I was working for a company that was looking to exploit the compound? Surely that cannot be correct.


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 44 by RAZD, posted 08-19-2014 10:27 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by RAZD, posted 08-20-2014 9:51 PM NoNukes has responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18471
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 53 of 92 (735659)
08-20-2014 9:51 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by NoNukes
08-20-2014 9:37 AM


Re: Example 4 -- bridge design
... . If I were trying to find a novel to synthesize a particular organic molecule that is already known to produce a particular affect, would I be an engineer simply because I was working for a company that was looking to exploit the compound? Surely that cannot be correct.

No that would not be correct. You would be a lab technician. You are confusing all A are in the set B with all B are in the set A ... the logical fallacy of Affirming the Consequent.

Here you are saying that all engineers produce things of practical use

Person A produces something of practical use, therefore they are an engineer ...

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by NoNukes, posted 08-20-2014 9:37 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by NoNukes, posted 08-21-2014 12:35 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18471
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 54 of 92 (735660)
08-20-2014 9:58 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Tangle
08-19-2014 2:02 PM


Re: Example 4 -- bridge design
Well yes, but as you are not a practicing scientist, surely you have to rule yourself out? Or is having once held a test tube and owned a white coat enough? (if so, I qualify as a chemist, a biologist, a physicist a couple of other ists two ologies and a chef.)

The point is that when I talk about what an engineer does versus what a scientist does I speak from a basis of experience in those areas.

Failure of their design is the last thing an engineer wants to see, while falsification of their hypothesis is near, if not at, the top of what a scientist wants to see.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Tangle, posted 08-19-2014 2:02 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Tangle, posted 08-21-2014 3:28 AM RAZD has responded
 Message 59 by Stile, posted 08-21-2014 9:24 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18471
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 55 of 92 (735661)
08-20-2014 10:12 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by NoNukes
08-19-2014 12:18 PM


Re: for the purpose of discovering further evidence
I would like RAZD to indicate what lines of inquiry he believes would not be followed if this hypothesis were used. RAZD seems to believe that there is evidence of yetis that only non-skeptics have a chance of finding.

Consider the hypothesis as a guide to discovery of new information, for instance:

Message 47: B) Leading to verifiable predictions (e.g. proclaimed sightings of the creature conform to observable migration patterns of bears in the region, physical evidence of the creature is analysed and found to be bear fur/droppings/whatever))

Another would be comparing the times of the year when sightings occur and whether that would fit a pattern of (similar to polar) bear behavior in traveling to and from hibernation sites from lower elevations.

To my mind it is much more compelling to consider that an unknown member of the bear family is behind the legends than some unknown member of the ape\hominid family.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by NoNukes, posted 08-19-2014 12:18 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by NoNukes, posted 08-21-2014 12:55 AM RAZD has responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9546
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 56 of 92 (735662)
08-21-2014 12:35 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by RAZD
08-20-2014 9:51 PM


Re: Example 4 -- bridge design
No that would not be correct. You would be a lab technician.

You are wrong RAZD.

A lab technician can be assigned the task of running experiments, but the person designing the novel process for synthesis and perhaps directing the experiments would not be a technician. And of course there is nothing stopping a scientist or engineer from doing his own lab work. Of course in this case, you simply jumped to the conclusion that the process designer was handling the glassware. I did not say any such thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemist

quote:
A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms. Chemists carefully measure substance proportions, reaction rates, and other chemical properties.

Chemists use this knowledge to learn the composition, and properties of unfamiliar substances, as well as to reproduce and synthesize large quantities of useful naturally occurring substances and create new artificial substances and useful processes.


And regarding chemical engineers:

quote:
The work of chemists is often related to the work of chemical engineers, which are primarily concerned with the proper design, construction and evaluation of the most cost-effective large-scale chemical plants and work closely with industrial chemists on the development of new processes and methods for the commercial-scale manufacture of chemicals and related products.

As far as the logical fallacy you named, no I did not make that error either.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Edited by NoNukes, : fix up some technican/scientist mixup stuff.


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 53 by RAZD, posted 08-20-2014 9:51 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by RAZD, posted 08-21-2014 6:37 PM NoNukes has not yet responded
 Message 61 by RAZD, posted 08-21-2014 6:41 PM NoNukes has responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9546
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 57 of 92 (735663)
08-21-2014 12:55 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by RAZD
08-20-2014 10:12 PM


Re: for the purpose of discovering further evidence
Another would be comparing the times of the year when sightings occur and whether that would fit a pattern of (similar to polar) bear behavior in traveling to and from hibernation sites from lower elevations.

The above is not an example of something that requires deviating from the scientific method. The experiment might be done as part of a verification of h1 or in an attempt to reject h0.

quote:
To my mind it is much more compelling to consider that an unknown member of the bear family is behind the legends than some unknown member of the ape\hominid family.

Yes, I've noticed the compelling of your mind. But surely there are some alternatives far more likely than the ape\hominid possibility. How about the possibility that no single species is involved and that while some sightings may have been bears, others may have been other animals, while others may have been humans or hoaxes. It's entirely possible that there really is no yeti.


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 RAZD, posted 08-20-2014 10:12 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by RAZD, posted 08-21-2014 7:43 PM NoNukes has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 4642
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 58 of 92 (735664)
08-21-2014 3:28 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by RAZD
08-20-2014 9:58 PM


Re: Example 4 -- bridge design
RAZD writes:

The point is that when I talk about what an engineer does versus what a scientist does I speak from a basis of experience in those areas.

I'm sorry, your experiences are worthless unless you're a 'true scientist' - I find myself unable to take any notice of what you say. This is rather unfortunate as before I knew that you were not a 'true scientist' I thought you had a lot of useful information and ideas.


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 RAZD, posted 08-20-2014 9:58 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by RAZD, posted 08-21-2014 7:45 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 2870
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 59 of 92 (735665)
08-21-2014 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by RAZD
08-20-2014 9:58 PM


Engineer vs Scientist?
RAZD writes:

The point is that when I talk about what an engineer does versus what a scientist does I speak from a basis of experience in those areas.

The terms "engineer" and "scientist" are just too broad to make such a generalized comparison.

It's like saying you've been both a swimmer and a runner so your experience is proof that runners are better athletes.

The massive possible differences across "all engineers" or "all scientists" or "all runners" or "all swimmers" is just so obviously huge that it's kind of ridiculous to attempt such an all-encompassing conclusion.

It just makes it look like you have an axe to grind, but I can't even think of what that might be.
Given the realities of the broad terms that makes such a statement useless... I am totally lost as to what actual point this line of argument could possibly have.

Maybe instead of talking of "engineers" vs. "scientists" you might want to speak of an individual's possible motivation... that is "someone who is focused on a specific, practical design" vs. "someone who is focused on investigating possible truths about reality."

The numbers of engineers and scientists are pretty much split 50/50 in each of those categories.
The facts are simply that any given engineer would do both as well as any given scientist would also do both... depending on whatever project and phase they're currently focused on.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by RAZD, posted 08-20-2014 9:58 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18471
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 60 of 92 (735674)
08-21-2014 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by NoNukes
08-21-2014 12:35 AM


Re: Example 4 -- bridge design
dbl post

Edited by RAZD, : dble post


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by NoNukes, posted 08-21-2014 12:35 AM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
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