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Author  Topic: Induction and Science  
crashfrog Member (Idle past 1553 days) Posts: 19762 From: Silver Spring, MD Joined: 
However, it is hard to think of alternatives that would count as induction. Would you consider drawing conclusions about populations based on samples of the population to be "inductive"? It strikes me as fairly inductive to say "this randomlyselected subpopulation had this distribution of characteristics; thus we conclude that the population as a whole has the same distribution, to a certain percent of confidence." Or, is your argument that the provisional, statistical qualification of the conclusion ("we're 95% certain that our sample population accurately represents the whole") disqualifying for true induction?
"Induction" is the name of a way of getting propositions from propositions. Don't you think it's more a way of getting propositions from observations?


nwr Member Posts: 6421 From: Geneva, Illinois Joined: Member Rating: 4.1 
crashfrog writes:
I consider that kind of statistical inference to be deductive. It is done, after all, in accordance with some mathematical theorems in the field of probability theory.Would you consider drawing conclusions about populations based on samples of the population to be "inductive"? Jesus was a liberal hippie


crashfrog Member (Idle past 1553 days) Posts: 19762 From: Silver Spring, MD Joined: 
I consider that kind of statistical inference to be deductive. Well, ok. What are the axioms?
It is done, after all, in accordance with some mathematical theorems in the field of probability theory. I've done mathematical induction, many times, and I can assure you that theorems are used. So I don't see the mere presence of mathematical theorems as disqualifying induction. If this were the case  how could mathematicians produce inductive proofs? Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.


nwr Member Posts: 6421 From: Geneva, Illinois Joined: Member Rating: 4.1 
nwr writes: I consider that kind of statistical inference to be deductive. crashfrog writes:
It is based on Lebesgue integration, where a probability is a measure (as used in Lebesgue integration theory).Well, ok. What are the axioms? I don't think you really want a full discussion of that.
crashfrog writes:
Mathematical induction is very different from the philosophical induction that we are talking about here. Mathematical induction is deductive.I've done mathematical induction, many times, and I can assure you that theorems are used. Jesus was a liberal hippie


crashfrog Member (Idle past 1553 days) Posts: 19762 From: Silver Spring, MD Joined: 
It is based on Lebesgue integration, where a probability is a measure (as used in Lebesgue integration theory). Not the axioms for the math, the axioms for the science.
Mathematical induction is deductive. *sigh* If you insist. So, then, what are the axioms?


nwr Member Posts: 6421 From: Geneva, Illinois Joined: Member Rating: 4.1 
crashfrog writes:
Presumably that depends on the science.Not the axioms for the math, the axioms for the science. The statistical inference is just using a mathematical modeling tool to handle data.
nwr writes: Mathematical induction is deductive. crashfrog writes:
The Peano axiomsIf you insist. So, then, what are the axioms? Jesus was a liberal hippie


Stephen Push Member (Idle past 4945 days) Posts: 140 From: Virginia, USA Joined: 
RAZD writes: The fact remains that common descent is highly tested, and has not yet been falsified for a single species. As such, it is not "presupposed" but evidence based and a highly tested theory. I agree. The point I am trying to make is that this evidencebased and highly tested theory has been developed largely with nondeductive methods. Your deductive syllogism seemed to take that prior work for granted and thus appeared to give deduction credit for knowledge that had been discovered nondeductively.
In this experiment wild foxes were bred into doglike foxes, but they are still foxes by common descent:
Link Imagine that one of these doglike foxes escaped and you found it without knowing what it was or where it came from. How would you determine its origins? Could you do so by a completely deductive method? I think not. You might look at morphology, behavior, biochemistry, and genetics. You might try to breed it with other canids to see with which species it produced viable, fertile offspring. I submit that you would be using induction and/or inference to the best explanation more than deduction in this research.
Which, in essence, falsifies special creation, via deductive logic, as we see that they (a) are canines (posses the characteristics of canines), (b) are mammals (posses the characteristics of mammals), and (c) bear the evidence of common descent in DNA and fossil records. There it is again. A facile deductive argument is given credit for the really interesting work that was done to establish (a), (b), and (c) using mostly nondeductive methods.
Presupposition is a bad way to do science, because it is not based on evidence but on wishing based on opinion. Unfortunately, for presuppositionists, opinion has little effect on reality. Please forgive me if I didn't explain my position clearly. I never meant to imply that presupposition is a good way to do science. By "presupposes" I meant that your deductive argument assumed the truth of the premises without explaining why that assumption was justified. I'm not trying to nitpick. I believe it is important to disclose the justifications for the premises because I think doing so will reveal that this supposed deductive reasoning is basically nondeductive reasoning in disguise. Once we have established  largely though nondeductive methods  that dogs are canines, canines are mammals, and this new mystery animal is a kind of dog, the deductive argument seems to me to be nothing more than a tautology. Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.


crashfrog Member (Idle past 1553 days) Posts: 19762 From: Silver Spring, MD Joined: 
Presumably that depends on the science. Funny  I'm a semester away from a BS in biochemistry and I've still not been taught anything I would consider axiomatic (except in the math curriculum.) Everything I've learned is the result of practical experimentation and observation  the specific. I don't perceive science as anything even close to a process where specifics are derived from general axioms assumed (not proven) to be true. Could you explain how it is that you seem to?


nwr Member Posts: 6421 From: Geneva, Illinois Joined: Member Rating: 4.1 
You seem to be arguing against a position that nobody actually holds.
Jesus was a liberal hippie


crashfrog Member (Idle past 1553 days) Posts: 19762 From: Silver Spring, MD Joined: 
I'm disappointed that, four years in, you're not yet prepared to actually advance and defend a position.
Troubling. Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.


Straggler Member (Idle past 152 days) Posts: 10333 From: London England Joined: 
RAZD writes: Yes you can reach a high degree of confidence that a theory is (tentatively) correct, but you cannot make the final claim that it is true. Excellent. So do you agree that scientific theories, even the most highly tested of theories, which make universal or general statements are tentative conclusions derived (at least in part) from inductive reasoning as opposed to statements of logical certitude? Do you agree that high confidence yet tentative and falsifiable theories can be derived by incorporating such methods into one's investigations and resulting conclusions? Conclusions like that being discussed in the bluegenes Challenge (bluegenes and RAZD only)Great Debate[/bgcolor] the bluegenes Challenge


Stephen Push Member (Idle past 4945 days) Posts: 140 From: Virginia, USA Joined: 
RAZD writes: All dogs are observed to be caninesAll canines are observed to be mammals A new (species) is observed to be a dog subspecies Deductive conclusion\prediction: Any new dog species will still be a canineAny new canine species will still be a mammal When I first read this statement, I thought you had constructed a formally correct but trivial deduction. I guess I did that because I consider dogs to be canines, and canines to be mammals, by definition. If these phylogenetic relationships are definitive, then there is no possibility of finding a dog that is not both a canine and a mammal. On rereading your post, however, I now realize that you apparently were not considering these relationships to be definitive. You seem to be saying that all dogs observed so far are canines, allowing for the possibility that one might find a dog that is not a canine or a canine that is not a mammal. (By the way, I don't know why you included the third premise. It seems unnecessary.) If the latter is what you meant, then your argument is inductive rather than deductive, because you have drawn generalized conclusions from specific observations. The terms "any new dog species" and "any new canine species" may seem specific, but those terms are synonymous with "all dog species" and "all canine species." I apologize if I misinterpreted your post. Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given. Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.


nwr Member Posts: 6421 From: Geneva, Illinois Joined: Member Rating: 4.1 
crashfrog writes:
I have been presenting a position throughout the discussion. You, like the other participants, have ignored it. Apparently, you are unable to see it.I'm disappointed that, four years in, you're not yet prepared to actually advance and defend a position. Jesus was a liberal hippie


Straggler Member (Idle past 152 days) Posts: 10333 From: London England Joined: 
If I put a piece of potassium in a glass of water what does science tell us will happen?
Nwr writes: You, like the other participants, have ignored it. I refer you to Message 642. You remain refuted.
Nwr writes: I have been presenting a position throughout the discussion. 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.
Nwr writes: Apparently, you are unable to see it. That you think you have succeeded where Popper and numerous other philosophers of significance have failed is laughable. So Nwr what broad and meaningless philosophical label are you going to apply to yourself today? Before rapidly backtracking on anything concrete that this position will imply. As per your usual tactic of vagueness, ambiguity, vacuousness and general pseudointellectual philosobabble.


nwr Member Posts: 6421 From: Geneva, Illinois Joined: Member Rating: 4.1 
Straggler writes:
Completely off topic for this thread, so I shall continue to ignore it.
If I put a piece of potassium in a glass of water what does science tell us will happen?
I was not refuted there, nor elsewhere. Jesus was a liberal hippie



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