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Author Topic:   Induction and Science
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 706 of 744 (593957)
11-30-2010 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 704 by crashfrog
11-30-2010 3:41 PM


Re: What would induction in science look like
crashfrog writes:
If it was wrong, and you were someone who debated instead of playing games, you would show that it was wrong.

No actual "demonstration" has been provided, so there is nothing to show wrong.

How about you present a real argument. Start with clearly stated premises, so that there is something asserted that could be challenged. Then provide the logical deduction from those premises to the conclusion.

All that has been presented are woo woo arguments with no actual evidence. They are argument of the form "it just must be so".

crashfrog writes:
Debaters talk about their positions. Game-players talk about the debate. [Message 695]

I'll take that as an admission that you are playing games.


Jesus was a liberal hippie
This message is a reply to:
 Message 704 by crashfrog, posted 11-30-2010 3:41 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 707 by crashfrog, posted 11-30-2010 5:25 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply
 Message 708 by bluegenes, posted 11-30-2010 6:04 PM nwr has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 707 of 744 (593958)
11-30-2010 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 706 by nwr
11-30-2010 4:54 PM


Re: What would induction in science look like
How about you present a real argument.

It's your thread - how about you present one?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 706 by nwr, posted 11-30-2010 4:54 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 650 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 708 of 744 (593968)
11-30-2010 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 706 by nwr
11-30-2010 4:54 PM


Try attacking inductive reasoning in science without using it.
nwr writes:

No actual "demonstration" has been provided, so there is nothing to show wrong.

How are you supporting the claim you made in the O.P.? You claim that it is a myth that science uses induction.

So, can you demonstrate that no inductive reasoning is ever used in science without using inductive reasoning?

Here's your O.P. again.

nwr writes:

Yesterday, I bumped into Betty Crowe. She was wearing black shoes.

Two weeks ago, I was introduced to John Crowe. I happened to notice that he was wearing black shoes.

Bob Crowe was one of my high school friends. As I recall, he wore black shoes.

All the Crowes I have observed have been wearing black shoes. Therefore all Crowes are wearing black shoes.

The above is an example of the "reasoning" principle known as inductive logic. It is absurd. Nobody would jump to the conclusion that all Crowes are wearing black shoes. There is nothing logical about so-called inductive logic.

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?

What you do here is give a non-real-world example. No scientist would form a hypothesis based on three people wearing the most common colour of shoe. It's not even a remarkable coincidence, and no-one would notice it.

Then, from your particular example, you reason inductively to the general, and give your conclusion that it is a myth that science uses inductive reasoning.

Either you are presenting an inductive theory that science doesn't use inductive reasoning, or you've read every scientific paper ever written and confirmed that there's no induction present.

Which is it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 706 by nwr, posted 11-30-2010 4:54 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 709 by nwr, posted 11-30-2010 8:22 PM bluegenes has not yet responded

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


Message 709 of 744 (593978)
11-30-2010 8:22 PM
Reply to: Message 708 by bluegenes
11-30-2010 6:04 PM


Re: Try attacking inductive reasoning in science without using it.
bluegenes writes:
So, can you demonstrate that no inductive reasoning is ever used in science without using inductive reasoning?

I am not trying to prove a negative. I gave reasons to doubt induction. I'm awaiting evidence from induction supporters, that it is actually used.

The reason to doubt induction is there in the text I quoted from SEP, in Message 600. Namely, "all observation is selective and theory-ladenthere are no pure or theory-free observations." If induction is used to form a theory, then the observations must have been made before the theory emerged. That requires that observations be theory-free. If observation is theory-laden, then the theory is used in making the observations, so the observations did not precede the theory.


Jesus was a liberal hippie
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 710 by crashfrog, posted 11-30-2010 8:30 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply
 Message 712 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 6:57 AM nwr has acknowledged this reply
 Message 717 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 2:40 PM nwr has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 710 of 744 (593979)
11-30-2010 8:30 PM
Reply to: Message 709 by nwr
11-30-2010 8:22 PM


Re: Try attacking inductive reasoning in science without using it.
Namely, "all observation is selective and theory-ladenthere are no pure or theory-free observations." If induction is used to form a theory, then the observations must have been made before the theory emerged.

Sorry, but that doesn't follow. That's like saying that because paint is used to make a painting, all paint must have been made before the existence of any paintings.

If observation is theory-laden, then the theory is used in making the observations, so the observations did not precede the theory.

Not so. The observations may simply have been laden with a different theory, or, Popper may be wrong.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 709 by nwr, posted 11-30-2010 8:22 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 711 of 744 (594007)
12-01-2010 6:25 AM
Reply to: Message 703 by New Cat's Eye
11-30-2010 2:46 PM


Truth By Definition
CS writes:

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.

Straggler writes:

So Newtons second law is unfalsifiable as far as you are concerned?

CS writes:

No, theoretically it could be falsified.

Then it cannot be something that is true simply by definition as you previously asserted can it?

CS writes:

But F cannot be anything other than m*a, otherwise it wouldn't be F. That's what "=" means.

Except when it's not.

Wiki writes:

Newton's second law requires modification if the effects of special relativity are to be taken into account, because at high speeds the approximation that momentum is the product of rest mass and velocity is not accurate.

Or as you so eloquently put it:

CS writes:

Besides, doesn't Special Relativity muck it up?

Netwon's laws apply to inertial frames. They are exceptionally good approximations to almost all practically encountered situations.

But the fact that they are not true by virtue of simply being defined to be so rather mucks up your point doesn't it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 703 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-30-2010 2:46 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 713 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-01-2010 9:51 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 712 of 744 (594008)
12-01-2010 6:57 AM
Reply to: Message 709 by nwr
11-30-2010 8:22 PM


Re: Try attacking inductive reasoning in science without using it.
Nwr writes:

The reason to doubt induction is there in the text I quoted from SEP, in Message 600.

Nwr writes:

I'll agree that Popper's claim to having solved the induction problem rests on his falsification thesis. But his claim that scientists don't actually use induction does not rely on falsification. Message 633

So you agree that Poppers claim to have solved the induction problem failed. Yet in your last post to Crashfrog you are once again citing Popper's argument as the solution to the problem of induction.

Are you stupid? Or have you changed your mind on something since then?

Edited by Straggler, : Fix message links


This message is a reply to:
 Message 709 by nwr, posted 11-30-2010 8:22 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 713 of 744 (594021)
12-01-2010 9:51 AM
Reply to: Message 711 by Straggler
12-01-2010 6:25 AM


Re: Truth By Definition
But the fact that they are not true by virtue of simply being defined to be so rather mucks up your point doesn't it?

Equivocally, I suppose.

As you said: "They are exceptionally good approximations to almost all practically encountered situations."

I guess if you want to say that because there an exception then we shouldn't be calling it "true", then you're right.

But then, if F=ma is not true, doesn't your point about the inductive applications of it also fail?

Regardless, isn't it still a decent example of a way that science can yield theories without needing induction?

Straggler writes:

Without induction how is it possible to have anything that could even be called a universal principle?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 711 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 6:25 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 715 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 12:52 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 714 of 744 (594025)
12-01-2010 10:12 AM
Reply to: Message 631 by Straggler
11-26-2010 12:36 PM


Re: Nope... That's not the Point Either
Can you explain how your latest stance regarding the inevitable role of inductive reasoning in science is compatible with this:

Jon writes:

"There is, of course, no such thing as 'induction'. All conclusions are arrived at deductively" The Myth of Induction (Message 178)

I have already addressed this, Straggler. Please go back and reread my response. You can find it in Message 557.

Jon


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 631 by Straggler, posted 11-26-2010 12:36 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 716 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 12:59 PM Jon has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 715 of 744 (594059)
12-01-2010 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 713 by New Cat's Eye
12-01-2010 9:51 AM


Re: Truth By Definition
CS writes:

But then, if F=ma is not true, doesn't your point about the inductive applications of it also fail?

No. Because it's limitations are considered by science to be as universal as the law itself. We wouldn't say that the second law of thermodynamics is not a universal principle in science because it is limited to closed systems would we?

CS writes:

Regardless, isn't it still a decent example of a way that science can yield theories without needing induction?

As long as we are applying laws such as the one in question to specific as yet unobserved situations and expecting nature to operate in accordance with these laws we are doing so on the basis of inductively concluding the uniformity of nature.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 713 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-01-2010 9:51 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 718 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-01-2010 2:52 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 716 of 744 (594061)
12-01-2010 12:59 PM
Reply to: Message 714 by Jon
12-01-2010 10:12 AM


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

If I throw a stick will you just go away?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 714 by Jon, posted 12-01-2010 10:12 AM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 727 by Jon, posted 12-01-2010 9:05 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 717 of 744 (594069)
12-01-2010 2:40 PM
Reply to: Message 709 by nwr
11-30-2010 8:22 PM


Why You Are Wrong
Let me be more explicit about the deficiencies in your position.

You advocate Poppers view of non-inductive science but without the key feature of his thesis required to overcome the need for induction. You advocate instrumentalism without the key tenet of instrumentalism which is that a theory should be judged solely on it's ability to accurately and reliably predict the behaviour of nature in a way that is useful

The failure of your position is derived from the fact that by picking and choosing disparate elements of different philosophical positions which you think support your false view of science you end up with 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 continues to be refuted.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 709 by nwr, posted 11-30-2010 8:22 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 720 by nwr, posted 12-01-2010 3:48 PM Straggler has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 718 of 744 (594071)
12-01-2010 2:52 PM
Reply to: Message 715 by Straggler
12-01-2010 12:52 PM


Re: Truth By Definition
No. Because it's limitations are considered by science to be as universal as the law itself. We wouldn't say that the second law of thermodynamics is not a universal principle in science because it is limited to closed systems would we?

Nope, which is why its wierd that you're doing that to F=ma.

CS writes:

Regardless, isn't it still a decent example of a way that science can yield theories without needing induction?

As long as we are applying laws such as the one in question to specific as yet unobserved situations and expecting nature to operate in accordance with these laws we are doing so on the basis of inductively concluding the uniformity of nature.

I'll take that as a yes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 715 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 12:52 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 719 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 2:55 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 719 of 744 (594073)
12-01-2010 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 718 by New Cat's Eye
12-01-2010 2:52 PM


Re: Truth By Definition
Straggler writes:

No. Because it's limitations are considered by science to be as universal as the law itself. We wouldn't say that the second law of thermodynamics is not a universal principle in science because it is limited to closed systems would we?

Nope, which is why its wierd that you're doing that to F=ma.

Huh? I have explained to you where Newton's second law universally applies and where it doesn't. So what are you taking about?

CS writes:

I'll take that as a yes.

Except that if we consider Newton's second law to be a universal principle as applied to inertial frames it is actually a "No".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 718 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-01-2010 2:52 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

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


Message 720 of 744 (594086)
12-01-2010 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 717 by Straggler
12-01-2010 2:40 PM


Re: Why You Are Wrong
Straggler writes:
You advocate Poppers view of non-inductive science but without the key feature of his thesis required to overcome the need for induction.

Which key feature? If you mean falsification, then that is usually taken as intended to help decide between science and pseudo-science. If it doesn't work for that (and it doesn't), we should abandon it.

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

Straggler writes:
You advocate instrumentalism without the key tenet of instrumentalism which is that a theory should be judged solely on it's ability to accurately and reliably predict the behaviour of nature in a way that is useful

You are making stuff up.


Jesus was a liberal hippie
This message is a reply to:
 Message 717 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 2:40 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 721 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 5:49 PM nwr has responded

  
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