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Author Topic:   Induction and Science
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 721 of 744 (594099)
12-01-2010 5:49 PM
Reply to: Message 720 by nwr
12-01-2010 3:48 PM


Re: Why You Are Wrong
Nwr writes:

Which key feature? If you mean falsification, then that is usually taken as intended to help decide between science and pseudo-science.

Nwr writes:

I'll agree that Popper's claim to having solved the induction problem rests on his falsification thesis.

Falsification was the method by which Popper sought to eliminate induction. As conceded by you previously.

Yet you deny this key aspect of Popper's thesis. You deny this whilst simultaneously denying inductive reasoning in science and offering nothing as an alternative. The fact that Popper's thesis ultimately relied on inductive reasoning despite his best attempts does not detract from your failings to provide any positive alternative.

Nwr writes:

You are making stuff up.

I challenge you to provide a positive position. Something you have failed to do in 700+ posts.

Rather than cite an ambiguous and broad philosphical position by linking to somewhere else which you will then, in the face of questioning, deny any concrete adherance to - Why don't you clearly and unequivocally state your non-inductive version of science, including an explanation of the ability of science to make highly accurate and reliable (albeit tentative) conclusions about the future behaviour of natural phenomena.

Explain how your description of science is consistent with the remarkable accuracy and reliability of those conclusions regarding the future behaviour of natural phenomena which you have thus far referred to as guesses and opinions (e.g. the timing of eclipses, the physical behaviour of my soon to be dropped pen, the observed reaction of potassium in water etc. etc.).

Give us your account of science that is consistent with the facts of science as opposed to the one so far espoused by you which is utterly inconsistent with such facts.

I don't think you will be able to.

Nwr writes:

When was the last time that an accepted scientific theory was falsified?

The last time? It occurs in a minor way regularly. But here is an example of the scientific ideal as quoted by Dawkins:

Richard Dawkins writes:

quote:
"I do remember one formative influence in my undergraduate life. There was an elderly professor in my department who had been passionatly keen on a particular theory for, oh!, a number of years and one day an American visiting researcher came and he completely and utterly disproved our old man's hyphothesis. The old man strode to the front, shook his hand and said "My dear fellow, I wish to thank you, I've been wrong these fifteen years". And we all clapped our hands raw. That was the scientific ideal. Of somebody who had a lot invested, a lifetime almost invested in a theory and he was rejoicing that he had been shown wrong and that scientific truth had been advanced"

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 720 by nwr, posted 12-01-2010 3:48 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 722 by nwr, posted 12-01-2010 6:36 PM Straggler has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 722 of 744 (594105)
12-01-2010 6:36 PM
Reply to: Message 721 by Straggler
12-01-2010 5:49 PM


Re: Why You Are Wrong
Straggler in Message 717 writes:
You advocate Poppers view of non-inductive science but without the key feature of his thesis required to overcome the need for induction.
Straggler writes:
I'll agree that Popper's claim to having solved the induction problem rests on his falsification thesis.

You are mixing two things. If induction is not actually used, then falsification is not required in order to overcome the (non-existent) need for induction.

On the other hand, Popper did claim that his falsification solves the induction problem, and I have agreed that he was wrong about that.

Straggler writes:
I challenge you to provide a positive position.

It's there in Message 513 of thread Peanut Gallery.

nwr writes:
When was the last time that an accepted scientific theory was falsified?
Straggler writes:
But here is an example of the scientific ideal as quoted by Dawkins: ...

You don't say which theory. I'm guessing that it was actually an hypothesis that was falsified, rather than a theory. Theories are not hypotheses, and hypotheses are not theories, though sometimes a successful hypothesis can lead to a theory.


Jesus was a liberal hippie
This message is a reply to:
 Message 721 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 5:49 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 723 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 7:31 PM nwr has responded
 Message 724 by crashfrog, posted 12-01-2010 7:32 PM nwr has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 723 of 744 (594109)
12-01-2010 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 722 by nwr
12-01-2010 6:36 PM


Re: Why You Are Wrong
Nwr writes:

If induction is not actually used, then falsification is not required in order to overcome the (non-existent) need for induction.

Nwr writes:

I'll agree that Popper's claim to having solved the induction problem rests on his falsification thesis.

So you agree with non-inductive form of science advocated by Popper whilst also agreeing that Popper himself considered this description of science to be incomplete without an alternative to induction. Yet you deny his alternative to induction and offer none of your own.

Fail.

Straggler writes:

I challenge you to provide a positive position. Something you have failed to do in 700+ posts.

Rather than cite an ambiguous and broad philosphical position by linking to somewhere else which you will then, in the face of questioning, deny any concrete adherance to - Why don't you clearly and unequivocally state your non-inductive version of science, including an explanation of the ability of science to make highly accurate and reliable (albeit tentative) conclusions about the future behaviour of natural phenomena.

Explain how your description of science is consistent with the remarkable accuracy and reliability of those conclusions regarding the future behaviour of natural phenomena which you have thus far referred to as guesses and opinions (e.g. the timing of eclipses, the physical behaviour of my soon to be dropped pen, the observed reaction of potassium in water etc. etc.).

Give us your account of science that is consistent with the facts of science as opposed to the one so far espoused by you which is utterly inconsistent with such facts.

Nwr writes:

It's there in Message 513 of thread Peanut Gallery.

Absolute fail.

Explicitly explain how you account for the ability of science to do the things it demonstrably does very adeptly.

If I put a piece of potassium in a glass of water what does science tell us will happen?

You have presented nothing that is able to explain the fact that science can and does make reliable and accurate (albeit tentative) conclusions about specific as yet unobserved events without invoking induction in the form of basing such conclusions on the uniformity of nature and past observations. You are left only with guesses and opinions (to use your nomenclature) regarding the future behaviour of natural phenomena.

Either cite in detail your solution to this problem or just concede that you cannot. No games. No links. Put up or shut up.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 722 by nwr, posted 12-01-2010 6:36 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 725 by nwr, posted 12-01-2010 8:25 PM Straggler has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 724 of 744 (594110)
12-01-2010 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 722 by nwr
12-01-2010 6:36 PM


Re: Why You Are Wrong
When was the last time that an accepted scientific theory was falsified?

Accepting a theory because it has not yet been falsified is a form of induction.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 722 by nwr, posted 12-01-2010 6:36 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 726 by nwr, posted 12-01-2010 8:27 PM crashfrog has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 725 of 744 (594116)
12-01-2010 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 723 by Straggler
12-01-2010 7:31 PM


Re: Why You Are Wrong
Straggler writes:
So you agree with non-inductive form of science advocated by Popper ...

No.

I agree with Popper's claim that induction is not actually used. However, I don't otherwise agree with his philosophy of science.

nwr writes:
It's there in Message 513 of thread Peanut Gallery.
Straggler writes:
Absolute fail.

You reject that without even saying why. Your commitment to your religion of inductionism is really really deep.


Jesus was a liberal hippie
This message is a reply to:
 Message 723 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 7:31 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 730 by Straggler, posted 12-02-2010 9:04 AM nwr has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 726 of 744 (594117)
12-01-2010 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 724 by crashfrog
12-01-2010 7:32 PM


Re: Why You Are Wrong
crashfrog writes:
Accepting a theory because it has not yet been falsified is a form of induction.

You have just made religion a form of induction.


Jesus was a liberal hippie
This message is a reply to:
 Message 724 by crashfrog, posted 12-01-2010 7:32 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 728 by crashfrog, posted 12-01-2010 10:34 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 727 of 744 (594124)
12-01-2010 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 716 by Straggler
12-01-2010 12:59 PM


Re: Nope... That's not the Point Either
So you cannot reconcile your original position with your latest one then. Didn't think so.

There is no reconciliation necessary. If you believe there is, then point out where you feel there to be disagreement and I will attempt to clear it up.

Jon


Check out Apollo's Temple!
Ignorance is temporary; you should be able to overcome it. - nwr

This message is a reply to:
 Message 716 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 12:59 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 728 of 744 (594131)
12-01-2010 10:34 PM
Reply to: Message 726 by nwr
12-01-2010 8:27 PM


Re: Why You Are Wrong
You have just made religion a form of induction.

Many religious claims are inductive. For instance "intelligence has been observed to be a source of complexity; thus, complexity in living organisms is the result of intelligence."

No claim has been made that induction always produces truth. Science produces accurate models by using a form of induction constrained by scientific rigor.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 726 by nwr, posted 12-01-2010 8:27 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 729 of 744 (594151)
12-02-2010 3:26 AM


Lets see if I can sum up the entire knot of this thread:

Science seemingly operates on the logical fallacy of induction, by observing a subset of events and extrapolating that behavior to other events; even future events. However, inductive reasoning demonstrates great success given a sufficiently large sample size and duration of observation.

How do we reconcile these things? Simple; science does not claim absolute certainty and thus does not commit the fallacy of induction. If science shows that 999 times an object falls down due to gravity it would be a logical fallacy to conclude that the 1000th time the object is dropped it will, with absolute certainty, fall down. Instead science concludes that it is reasonable to assume that the 1000th time the object is dropped it will fall down, but that if it does not the theory will need to be modified or scrapped entirely.

This is the crux of the matter, centering around observation of future events and their comparison with our previous models. Science doesn't render conclusions about the absolute nature of reality, it renders expectations of the behavior of reality.

Religion suffers from the unwillingness to tentative conclusions, and thus necessarily commits the inductive fallacy. A Christian for instance does not read about prayer in the Bible and conclude that they can expect their prayers to come true, and then compare future observations against this expectation and modify it as indicated. They instead conclude from accounts in the Bible or anecdotally from friends that prayers come true, period. And in doing so commit inductive fallacy.

To sum things up:
"Everything seems to happen this way according to historical data set."

Inductive Reasoning (scientific, and A-OK): "We can reasonably expect other things in the future to happen that way. If they don't, modify or discard this expectation."

Inductive Fallacy (religious, unsound thinking): "Things in the future will always happen this way."


  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 730 of 744 (594162)
12-02-2010 9:04 AM
Reply to: Message 725 by nwr
12-01-2010 8:25 PM


Re: Why You Are Wrong
Epic fail. Again.

You have yet to present ANYTHING that is able to explain the fact that science can and does make reliable and accurate (albeit tentative) conclusions about specific as yet unobserved events without invoking induction in the form of basing such conclusions on the uniformity of nature and past observations. You are left only with guesses and opinions (to use your nomenclature) regarding the future behaviour of natural phenomena.

Hume identified this problem. Popper sought to solve it through his falsification thesis and is widely regarded as having failed. Apparently you have resolved it where they were unable to.

Wiki on the problem of induction writes:

2. presupposing that a sequence of events in the future will occur as it always has in the past (for example, that the laws of physics will hold as they have always been observed to hold). Hume called this the Principle of Uniformity of Nature.

The problem calls into question all empirical claims made in everyday life or through the scientific method. Although the problem arguably dates back to the Pyrrhonism of ancient philosophy, David Hume introduced it in the mid-18th century, with the most notable response provided by Karl Popper two centuries later.

Either cite in detail your solution to this problem or just concede that you cannot. No games. No metaphors. No links. Put up or shut up.

Nwr writes:

You reject that without even saying why.

I have repeatedly told you why. Here it is again:

Straggler writes:

Can science reliably and accurately make conclusions about things which have not yet occurred based on the principles derived from what has gone before?

Nwr writes:

No.

But science can and does do this very effectively. And this is why the description of science you are advocating continues to be refuted.

In a 700+ post thread in which you have blamed the inadequacy of your arguments on poor communication, in which you claim to have solved a problem that has eluded significant figures in philosophy for centuries and in which you have repeatedly stated that science is unable to do that which it demonstrably does very well Do you really think a link to an ambiguous post in a different thread is a sufficient response when challenged to actually present a clear and definitive position which addresses the problems you have been confronted with?

Either cite in detail how you explain the abilities of science to accurately and reliably predict without relying on the inductive "Principle of Uniformity of Nature" or just concede that you cannot. No games. No metaphors. No links. Put up or shut up.

Nwr writes:

Your commitment to your religion of inductionism is really really deep.

Your commitment to your pet theory is utterly astonishing.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 725 by nwr, posted 12-01-2010 8:25 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 731 by nwr, posted 12-02-2010 12:23 PM Straggler has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 731 of 744 (594175)
12-02-2010 12:23 PM
Reply to: Message 730 by Straggler
12-02-2010 9:04 AM


Re: Why You Are Wrong
Straggler writes:
Epic fail. Again.

Bare assertion, with no supporting evidence.

Straggler writes:
Hume identified this problem. Popper sought to solve it through his falsification thesis and is widely regarded as having failed. Apparently you have resolved it where they were unable to.

Wiki on the problem of induction writes:

2. presupposing that a sequence of events in the future will occur as it always has in the past (for example, that the laws of physics will hold as they have always been observed to hold). Hume called this the Principle of Uniformity of Nature.

The problem calls into question all empirical claims made in everyday life or through the scientific method. Although the problem arguably dates back to the Pyrrhonism of ancient philosophy, David Hume introduced it in the mid-18th century, with the most notable response provided by Karl Popper two centuries later.

Either cite in detail your solution to this problem or just concede that you cannot.


I have not claimed to solve that "problem". It's a pseudo-problem. Science doesn't work that way at all.

But thanks for clearly demonstrating that you haven't even been reading what I have been posting.

Edited by nwr, : No reason given.


Jesus was a liberal hippie
This message is a reply to:
 Message 730 by Straggler, posted 12-02-2010 9:04 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 732 by Modulous, posted 12-02-2010 12:40 PM nwr has responded
 Message 733 by Straggler, posted 12-02-2010 1:54 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 185 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 732 of 744 (594178)
12-02-2010 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 731 by nwr
12-02-2010 12:23 PM


Why are you right?
I have not claimed to solve that "problem". It's a pseudo-problem. Science doesn't work that way at all.

I think the 'problem' is describing science in such a way as to avoid using induction, and this is what people are saying you haven't really done in the 209 posts you've made here. Instead of saying you've done it could you try dedicating 500(or more) of your own words in one post to presenting this version of science.

Otherwise the debate has ended and we're just left with repeating 'you're wrong' at each other. I've followed the debate from its inception and am not yet in a position where I feel I could reiterate your position as to how science (as done by scientists not philosophers) actually goes about doing things without induction.

I understand some of the arguments 'out there' by other people in support of the position that science doesn't use induction - but I really have difficulty understanding your argument - and it appears I'm not alone.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 731 by nwr, posted 12-02-2010 12:23 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 734 by nwr, posted 12-02-2010 3:48 PM Modulous has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 733 of 744 (594188)
12-02-2010 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 731 by nwr
12-02-2010 12:23 PM


Re: Why You Are Wrong
Talking to you on this topic is too pointless for even me to pursue.

You have too much invested in your pet project to ever concede that you are wrong. You keep telling us what your position isn't. You keep telling us that you agree with a variety of broad philosophical positions and then backtracking out of all the things that define those philosophical positions as things that makes logical sense. You use meaningless metaphors. You bandy around words like "standard" and then deny that "standards" have anything to say about the behaviour of nature.

Whatever exactly your position is it fails because you are clearly advocating a description of science that cannot in any way account for the ability of science to do the things it demonstrably does very adeptly. You are left only with guesses and opinions (to use your nomenclature) regarding the future behaviour of natural phenomena.

If I put a piece of potassium in a glass of water what does science tell us will happen?

Nwr writes:

Straggler writes:

Can science reliably and accurately make conclusions about things which have not yet occurred based on the principles derived from what has gone before?

No.

But science can and does do this very effectively. And this is why the description of science you are advocating (whatever exactly that is) continues to be refuted.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 731 by nwr, posted 12-02-2010 12:23 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 734 of 744 (594205)
12-02-2010 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 732 by Modulous
12-02-2010 12:40 PM


Re: Why are you right?
Modulous writes:
I think the 'problem' is describing science in such a way as to avoid using induction, and this is what people are saying you haven't really done in the 209 posts you've made here.

But I have.

When I do so, people could ask for further explanation. Instead, they assert (without evidence) that I am wrong, and then ask questions about potassium.

Here's an example of what science actually does:

  • All the millions of observations have reported that the sun and stars move around a stationary earth;
  • therefore the earth is not at all stationary; it is the sun and stars that are closer to being stationary.


Jesus was a liberal hippie
This message is a reply to:
 Message 732 by Modulous, posted 12-02-2010 12:40 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 735 by Modulous, posted 12-02-2010 4:00 PM nwr has responded
 Message 736 by Panda, posted 12-02-2010 4:36 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 185 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 735 of 744 (594210)
12-02-2010 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 734 by nwr
12-02-2010 3:48 PM


Re: Why are you right?
But I have.

So you say. And so you keep saying. I was just suggesting that rather than repeat that you have while others repeat that you haven't, you either let what you have said stand or you try to bring all the disparate posts in this thread together into one specific post that describes in depth your thoughts on this issue.

As I said: I understand the objections to induction in science from other sources but I'm having difficulty understanding your objections because they are fragmentary, split over numerous posts with varying metaphors and some frankly mysterious statements. If you don't want to clear this up for me, or for anyone else, do you see any reason to continue participating in the discussion?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 734 by nwr, posted 12-02-2010 3:48 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 737 by nwr, posted 12-02-2010 7:07 PM Modulous has responded

  
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