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Author Topic:   Induction and Science
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1548 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 691 of 744 (593807)
11-29-2010 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 688 by nwr
11-29-2010 2:22 PM


Re: What would induction in science look like
Apparently, you are unable to see it.
Someone who was interested in genuine debate would remove all ambiguity about their position by responding to misunderstandings by making a clear and concise restatement of it.
But someone who is just interested in playing games would respond as you've been doing - by asserting that nobody understands what you mean, but not doing anything that would help them understand.
It's clear which one you are.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 688 by nwr, posted 11-29-2010 2:22 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 693 by nwr, posted 11-29-2010 6:05 PM crashfrog has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 146 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 692 of 744 (593808)
11-29-2010 5:23 PM
Reply to: Message 690 by nwr
11-29-2010 2:55 PM


Re: Everyone But You.......
Nwr writes:
Straggler writes:
If I put a piece of potassium in a glass of water what does science tell us will happen?
Completely off topic for this thread, so I shall continue to ignore it.
Your false description of science makes it impossible for science to answer this question beyond "guessing" or "opinion". Yet you will find the answer to this question clearly stated in any school level chemistry text book.
So now you have resorted to "Off topic" as a method of avoiding the questions that make your position so untenable that even you might be forced to recognise it's deficiencies.
Nwr writes:
Straggler writes:
I refer you to Message 642. You remain refuted.
I was not refuted there, nor elsewhere.
Oh really? Are you referring to your vague, ambiguous and rather meaningless metaphor for scientific theories as scaffolding? Message 480
Or are you referring to your relentless retreat from initially claiming that science doesn't use induction to your position now which demands that it be logically proven that scientific principles cannot be derived any other way?
Nwr writes:
I am still waiting for the proof that they can be derived by no method other than inductive reasoning. Message 635
When all else fails simply cry "but you cannot prove it" huh? And then you have the gall to tell others that they are exhibiting creo style behaviour.
Incredible.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 690 by nwr, posted 11-29-2010 2:55 PM nwr has seen this message but not replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6419
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.1


(1)
Message 693 of 744 (593815)
11-29-2010 6:05 PM
Reply to: Message 691 by crashfrog
11-29-2010 4:39 PM


Re: What would induction in science look like
crashfrog writes:
But someone who is just interested in playing games would respond as you've been doing - by asserting that nobody understands what you mean, but not doing anything that would help them understand.
I am not playing games.
I have not suggested that "nobody understands." Rather, I have said that it appears to be invisible to them.
I make clear statements that nobody responds to. Then I later point out the message, and still nobody responds.
I don't know why it is invisible. I suspect that it is drowned out by the unstated assumptions that you and others are making - and you are probably not even aware that you are making unstated assumptions.
I recognize that I have not been a successful communicator on this topic. I'm moving on. I suggest you do likewise.

Jesus was a liberal hippie

This message is a reply to:
 Message 691 by crashfrog, posted 11-29-2010 4:39 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 694 by Straggler, posted 11-29-2010 6:34 PM nwr has seen this message but not replied
 Message 695 by crashfrog, posted 11-29-2010 9:19 PM nwr has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 146 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 694 of 744 (593822)
11-29-2010 6:34 PM
Reply to: Message 693 by nwr
11-29-2010 6:05 PM


Re: What would induction in science look like
Nwr in the OP writes:
Why do people still cling to the myth that science uses induction? Why is there an appearance that induction seems to work, and why are people misled by this appearance?
It has been demonstrated to you that science does use induction. It has been demonstrated to you that deductive logic is unable to derive universal laws and principles of the sort science indisputably concludes. It has been demonstrated to you that philosophers of the significance of Popper have tried to eliminate induction from science because it is not an intellectually satisfying or concrete method of drawing conclusions. It has been demonstrated to you that these attempts have failed. It has been demonstrated to you that your own confused, contradictory and ambiguous mutterings result in a description of science that denies science the ability to draw reliable and accurate (albeit tenative) conclusions about the future behaviour of specific aspects of nature. It has been demonstrated to you that despite your assertions that such conclusions are "guesses" or personal "opinions" science can and does draw such conclusions. It has been demonstrated to you that science does indeed utilises inductive reasoning in it's methods and that it does so to great practical effect.
In short you have been refuted.
Nwr writes:
I recognize that I have not been a successful communicator on this topic.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 693 by nwr, posted 11-29-2010 6:05 PM nwr has seen this message but not replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1548 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 695 of 744 (593851)
11-29-2010 9:19 PM
Reply to: Message 693 by nwr
11-29-2010 6:05 PM


Re: What would induction in science look like
I am not playing games.
Well, but you are. Straggler gives a great example of someone who's actually engaged in the debate, not playing a game:
quote:
It has been demonstrated to you that science does use induction...It has been demonstrated to you that science does indeed utilises inductive reasoning in it's methods and that it does so to great practical effect.
Do you think anybody is going to misunderstand what Straggler is saying, here? I don't. (I've redacted for space, what with Stragger's post being directly above mine, and all.)
That's what it looks like when someone is serious. This is what it looks like when someone is playing games:
I make clear statements that nobody responds to. Then I later point out the message, and still nobody responds.
I don't know why it is invisible. I suspect that it is drowned out by the unstated assumptions that you and others are making - and you are probably not even aware that you are making unstated assumptions.
I recognize that I have not been a successful communicator on this topic. I'm moving on. I suggest you do likewise.
Debaters talk about their positions. Game-players talk about the debate.
Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 693 by nwr, posted 11-29-2010 6:05 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 697 by nwr, posted 11-29-2010 11:04 PM crashfrog has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1486 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 696 of 744 (593853)
11-29-2010 9:21 PM
Reply to: Message 687 by Stephen Push
11-29-2010 1:53 PM


Re: induction vs deduction elements
Hi Stephen Push,
I apologize if I misinterpreted your post.
May I apologize?
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 came in late to the discussion, and my initial responses on this thread were a little muddled. Subsequently, I have been putting some time\effort into reconciling what I see as problems with them. As I see it, there are both deductive and inductive elements involved in the scientific process, and that they are easily confused if care is not taken with the semantics.
Initial phase - deductive: evaluate the available evidence and deduct common traits\elements, things that are true\fact about the available evidence, hopefully organized into some new perspective that leads one to wonder if it is true in a more general sense.
Second phase - inductive: make a generalization\hypothesis from the (re)structured available evidence based on the deduced common traits\elements to predict what should be observed if true and not observed if false.
Third phase - deductive: evaluate the results of testing to see if the results (a) invalidate the inductive generalization\hypothesis or (b) adds new evidence to the group of available evidence with the original common traits\elements (increases the pool of true\fact elements of available (now including new) evidence that is the foundation for the generalization\hypothesis.
In this regard, only the elements of the first and third phase can be considered as factual\true (the deductive contribution) while the second phase can be either falsified or possibly true (the inductive contribution).
No matter how well established a theory is, it can never be more than possibly true, because inductive logic does not give you a conclusion of true\fact. This holds even when a theory is called a law. I believe that this is, in essence, your argument (or a major portion thereof) in this thread, yes?
In this regard, the inductive element in science is not to determine what is fact\true, but to show what should be tested to see if it can help define what is fact\true.
The important thing, as I see it, is that this process sifts evidence and concepts and eliminates falsified concepts while organizing facts into an explanatory framework -- our "best guess" or "best known explanation" of the evidence -- and that the pool of known evidence\facts is increased whether a theory is falsified or not. In this way the process is an incremental approximation of truth that continually gets closer to reality, even if it can't arrive at a definitive conclusion.
In this regard it is not important what the theory states, or what your presuppositions are, as what is important is what is determined in the course of the process to be false (and discarded) and what is determined to be additional facts to incorporate into the fund of knowledge to use in the process of making more tests and theories.
(By the way, I don't know why you included the third premise. It seems unnecessary.)
It was intended as an observation of new evidence that had not yet been evaluated - in essence a prediction. The kind of new evidence that is provided by the dog-like foxes.
Reply to Message 682
I agree. The point I am trying to make is that this evidence-based and highly tested theory has been developed largely with non-deductive 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 non-deductively.
Is it? As we see above, the facts\truths that we can know are determined deductively from the original evidence and the added information from the testing. This knowledge is discovered by the testing and deductive evaluation parts of the process, not by the inductive process. Let's try an analogy:
I have a rifle set up on a fixed mount 1000 yards from a target. With the gun-sight I make my first approximation of aiming the rifle at the target. I take 10 shots with that setting, then measure the results. The scatter in the shots from their mean value determines how effectively the rifle reproduces the same results from a test, the difference between the mean value and the target center determines the accuracy of the initial approximation. I make a vertical adjustment in the rifle setup in the direction that the mean value was vertically off from the target center and repeat the shots and measurements, then make another vertical adjustment towards the center in proportion to the remaining delta to the center and the difference in the two shot patterns. I do the same thing in the horizontal adjustments. All else being equal, and not having any other variables that are not controlled by the rifle setting (variable cross-wind etc), I should be able in fairly short order to reach a reasonable accuracy within the ability of the rifle to reproduce the same results in repeated tests, regardless of where my initial shots ended up.
It is the deductive process in the evaluation of the evidence that brings the pattern closer to the target center. If I just relied on induction then I could go back and forth with varying degrees of success, but never approaching the center in the way that deductive analysis does.
Imagine that one of these dog-like 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.
Good question.
Looking at it morphologically, we should determine that it had many elements of foxes (bones, skeletal proportions, teeth, organs, etc) and several elements of dogs (tail shape, skin & fur coloring). By behavior we should also see a mixture of fox and dog behaviors (as evidenced in the videos), while genetics should show that it had many elements of foxes (homologies) but some of not-foxes (derived), and that elements consistent with dogs would also be consistent with wolves and wild foxes, and more elements should be shared with wild foxes than either wolves or dogs. In biochemistry we should see lowered levels of adrenaline (again as documented in the studies) compared to wild foxes, and that dogs would have similar (analogous) lowered levels of adrenaline compared to wolves (this apparently - though not confirmed - is one of the effects of domestication on domesticated species according to the study) and that this affects the development of the fetus\young to produce the changes in morphology observed (again as shown in many domesticated species, according to the study, showing that this is an analogous element rather than a homologous element between dogs and dog-like foxes). {phase one}
From the morphology you could conclude that the dog-like fox could be a hybrid between fox and dog. From the behavior your could also conclude that the dog-like fox could be a hybrid between fox and dog or that the dog-like fox had been raised in a dog-like environment. From genetics you could conclude that the dog-like fox is a descendant from wild foxes. From the biochemistry you could conclude that the dog-like fox is a descendant from wild foxes with development modified by lower adrenaline. {phase two}
Using cladistics to compare all the common and different elements you should then find that the most parsimonious explanation was that the dog-like fox was a descendant of wild foxes. {phase three}
This would be a statistically deduced most likely answer:
Cladistics - Wikipedia
quote:
Cladistics is also distinguished by its emphasis on parsimony and hypothesis testing (particularly falsificationism), rather than subjective decisions that some other taxonomic systems rely upon.[3]
This is the kind of rigorous empirical testing and deductive evaluation used in biology to validate common descent in the larger picture.
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 non-deductive methods.
If we were to start by assuming special creation of the dog-like fox, then we would test for elements that are not consistent with dogs, foxes, canines or mammals. Not finding any we would conclude that there is no evidence of any process other than common descent from existing species. This leaves special creation as god-directed evolution causing what we see as natural processes, and that still results in the most parsimonious explanation being that the dog-like fox was a (directed) descendant of wild foxes. As such
your complaint is irrelevant.
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.
Yet it is the deductive evaluation of the evidence that either invalidates the theory or shows that we have additional evidence that is consistent with the evidence used to formulate the theory. The deductive analysis of the results of testing brings us closer to reality, and this refines the inductive hypothesis for the next round of testing.
Enjoy.
Edited by RAZD, : )

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 687 by Stephen Push, posted 11-29-2010 1:53 PM Stephen Push has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 698 by Straggler, posted 11-30-2010 6:19 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied
 Message 699 by Straggler, posted 11-30-2010 6:20 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied
 Message 701 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-30-2010 10:35 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied
 Message 742 by Stephen Push, posted 12-03-2010 2:40 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6419
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 697 of 744 (593871)
11-29-2010 11:04 PM
Reply to: Message 695 by crashfrog
11-29-2010 9:19 PM


Re: What would induction in science look like
crashfrog writes:
Straggler gives a great example of someone who's actually engaged in the debate, not playing a game:
quote:
It has been demonstrated to you that science does use induction...It has been demonstrated to you that science does indeed utilises inductive reasoning in it's methods and that it does so to great practical effect.
However, no such thing has been demonstrated.
I have no doubt that you believe it has been demonstrated. Most of the people in this forum are true believers in the religion of inductionism. What's sad, is that you have abandoned your critical thinking skills. You present pseudo-arguments that are based on jumping to conclusions, and claim that you have demonstrated something.
That you believe induction is used is fine. You are entitled to believe that if you think it gives the best explanation. That you present wishy washy non-demonstrative arguments, and claim that they are demonstrations - well that's a problem.

Jesus was a liberal hippie

This message is a reply to:
 Message 695 by crashfrog, posted 11-29-2010 9:19 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 700 by Straggler, posted 11-30-2010 7:01 AM nwr has seen this message but not replied
 Message 704 by crashfrog, posted 11-30-2010 3:41 PM nwr has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 146 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 698 of 744 (593881)
11-30-2010 6:19 AM
Reply to: Message 696 by RAZD
11-29-2010 9:21 PM


Re: induction vs deduction elements
Double post. See below.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 696 by RAZD, posted 11-29-2010 9:21 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 146 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 699 of 744 (593882)
11-30-2010 6:20 AM
Reply to: Message 696 by RAZD
11-29-2010 9:21 PM


Re: induction vs deduction elements
RAZD writes:
As I see it, there are both deductive and inductive elements involved in the scientific process.....
In this regard you have come to the same conclusion as everyone except Nwr in this thread. Even Jon got there in the end.
But the question remains - Do you accept that ALL 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 inductive methods into one's investigations and resulting conclusions?
RAZD writes:
But a high degree of confidence that all A is B, does not mean that it is highly likely that all A is B
If I was asked whether or not a perpetual motion machine exists I would give the answer (based on the evidence) "Almost certainly not".
Are you saying that this answer is unjustified? And what answer would you give to that question bearing in mind that certainty is not an option with regard to scientific universal principles.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 696 by RAZD, posted 11-29-2010 9:21 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 146 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 700 of 744 (593885)
11-30-2010 7:01 AM
Reply to: Message 697 by nwr
11-29-2010 11:04 PM


Re: What would induction in science look like
Do you really think that you have succeeded where Hume, Popper et al have failed? Are you not swayed at all by the arguments of those practicing scientists who have taken part in this thread and who have described their methods as incorporating inductive reasoning?
Nwr writes:
However, no such thing has been demonstrated.
To quote you "Apparently, you are unable to see it."
Nwr writes:
That you present wishy washy non-demonstrative arguments, and claim that they are demonstrations - well that's a problem.
The irony of you making this statement will no doubt also be lost on you......

This message is a reply to:
 Message 697 by nwr, posted 11-29-2010 11:04 PM nwr has seen this message but not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 701 of 744 (593899)
11-30-2010 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 696 by RAZD
11-29-2010 9:21 PM


Re: induction vs deduction elements
Hey RAZD,
My Thanksgiving was awesome, thanks.
A bit of a side point, but this is the same point I entered this debate with...
No matter how well established a theory is, it can never be more than possibly true, because inductive logic does not give you a conclusion of true\fact. This holds even when a theory is called a law.
I thought other's were saying that you cannot have scientific theories without induction, and now I see you looking like you're on a slippery slope.
I brought up the law "F = m*a" earlier so lets just use that again. I see laws like this as descriptive definition rather than an explanatory theory. I don't think it really relies on induction and that it can be said to be true/fact. I mean, F cannot be anything other than m*a.
So yeah, theories that are laws can possibly be said to be true/fact.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 696 by RAZD, posted 11-29-2010 9:21 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 702 by Straggler, posted 11-30-2010 12:55 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 146 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 702 of 744 (593929)
11-30-2010 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 701 by New Cat's Eye
11-30-2010 10:35 AM


Re: induction vs deduction elements
So Newtons second law is unfalsifiable as far as you are concerned?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 701 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-30-2010 10:35 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 703 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-30-2010 2:46 PM Straggler has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 703 of 744 (593938)
11-30-2010 2:46 PM
Reply to: Message 702 by Straggler
11-30-2010 12:55 PM


Re: induction vs deduction elements
So Newtons second law is unfalsifiable as far as you are concerned?
No, theoretically it could be falsified. Besides, doesn't Special Relativity muck it up?
But F cannot be anything other than m*a, otherwise it wouldn't be F. That's what "=" means.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 702 by Straggler, posted 11-30-2010 12:55 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 705 by Modulous, posted 11-30-2010 4:24 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied
 Message 711 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 6:25 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1548 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 704 of 744 (593942)
11-30-2010 3:41 PM
Reply to: Message 697 by nwr
11-29-2010 11:04 PM


Re: What would induction in science look like
However, no such thing has been demonstrated.
If it was wrong, and you were someone who debated instead of playing games, you would show that it was wrong.
But because you're a game-player and not a debater, you just assert that you've already shown that it was wrong, leaving us in a situation of competing characterizations of the debate instead of competing positions to be argued.
I have no doubt that you believe it has been demonstrated. Most of the people in this forum are true believers in the religion of inductionism. What's sad, is that you have abandoned your critical thinking skills.
These are games, not anything that supports your contentions. These are playground taunts, not evidence.
Disappointing.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 697 by nwr, posted 11-29-2010 11:04 PM nwr has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 706 by nwr, posted 11-30-2010 4:54 PM crashfrog has replied

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 705 of 744 (593952)
11-30-2010 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 703 by New Cat's Eye
11-30-2010 2:46 PM


Re: induction vs deduction elements
But F cannot be anything other than m*a, otherwise it wouldn't be F. That's what "=" means.
Newton asserted that applying a force to a mass will always result in a change in velocity.
This is in contrast to idea that applying a force to a mass can sometimes result in a maintenance of velocity.
Force is proportional to the product of an objects mass and its acceleration (or in other words the force required to accelerate an object is proportional to its mass).
It is only equal to the product of mass and acceleration if you choose Newtons as the unit of force and kilogrammes as units of mass and ms-2 as the units of acceleration. Newtons ARE defined as having the units of 1kg.ms-2.
Towards the theme of the topic:- we could predict that a certain action will generate a certain specified force (release of a coiled spring, rocket engine etc). Then we could test that force against various masses. It is, in principle, possible that all the tests could show the acceleration was proportional to the highest amplitude wavelengths of light reflected from the objects and not its mass.
Believing that this won't happen requires an inductive leap, yes?
Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
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