The rules of science v5

The set of rules presented herein has been established as a tool to distinguish what we know from what we do not know for sure – to distinguish science from beliefs.

§1 A scientific argument consists of clearly stated premises, inferences and conclusions.

§2 A scientific premise is verifiable. Premises and their sources are identified and readily available for independent verification.

§3 A scientific inference is logically valid.

§4 A scientific conclusion is deduced by an explicit application of axiom, definitions and theorems or measured properties and scientific concepts that have been verified or validated.

§5 A scientific concept consists of statements that are logically valid conclusions deduced from premises that are themselves logically valid conclusions, definitions or axioms.

§6 A scientific concept is a well-defined concept having a well-defined capability of prediction within a well-defined context.

§7 A scientific concept can only be validated by comparison of predictions deduced from that concept with measurements. Whenever predictions differs from measurements, by more than the combined uncertainty of the measurement and the claimed capability of the concept,  there must be something wrong with the concept – or the test of it.

§8 A scientific concept can only be referred to as validated for the context covered by the validating tests.

§9 A scientific statement is based on verifiable data. Data and precise information about how that data was obtained are readily available for independent verification.

§10 Whenever data are corrected or disregarded, both uncorrected and corrected data are provided together with a scientific argument for the correction.

§11 A scientific measurement report contains traceable values, units and uncertainty for well-defined measurands in a well-defined context.

§12 A scientific prediction report contains values, units and claimed capability for well-defined measurands in a well-defined context.

argument: a conclusion inferred from a set of premises 
axiom: a statement that is self-evidently true and accepted as a true starting point for further deduction
calibration: comparison of a measurement with a reference having a known uncertainty
capability: maximum difference between predictions and measurements
comparison: quantification of the difference between
concept: any expression of a relationship between two or more measurands
conclusion: a statement inferred from one or more premises
context: a set of those things that have an influence on a predicted value
corrected: replace a measured or predicted value with another value
data: measured or predicted value of a measurand or relationship between measurands
deduction: logically valid combination of premises into a conclusion by means of mathematics and logic
definition: identification of the set of properties that distinguish a measurand or a concept from all others
disregard: remove a value from a series of data used as a premise
document: an identified collection of words, numbers and symbols
explicit: stated in a manner that is only open to the intended interpretation
false: a statement that can be contradicted, within the defined context, by a logically valid statement
hypothesis: a propounded statement or concept that has not been verified or validated
inference: logical connection between premises and conclusion
logically valid: the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion – it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion nevertheless to be false.
mathematics: a consistent and logically valid system of symbols and operations on these symbols
measurand: well-defined property that can be quantified
measurement: a measurand quantified by a value and a unit
precise information: sufficient for replication by an independent persons using equal tools
prediction: quantification of a measurand without any foreknowledge about an eventual measurement result
premise: a statement used to infer a conclusion
property: an attribute of an entity or of the relationship between entities
prove: verify a statement by means of theorems.
readily available: available without further request
reference: a measurement having an unbroken chain of calibrations to the definition of the unit.
relationship: a quantified change in measurand A is followed by a quantified change in measurand B
source: identified document containing the premise
statement: a logical proposition that can be either true or false within the defined context
test: an activity that can verify a part of a concept or validate a concept
theorem: a concept that has been proven and that can now be used as the basis of other proofs.
traceable: having an unbroken chain of calibrations to the definition of the unit
true: a statement that can not be contradicted, within the defined context, by a logically valid statement
uncertainty: quantified accuracy
unit: a well-defined quantity that has one unique value
validate: demonstrate the truth of a concept within a well-defined and applicable context
verify: demonstrate the truth of
wrong: not true

This work is still under construction, and can only be reproduced on the condition that the original source is identified by including a link to:



11 thoughts on “The rules of science v5

  1. heh- the dna came uncoiled…lol well, the better to access the codons, eh?

    the glossary is awesome.

    if the holidays get you time for yourself that you don’t ordinarily have- enjoy them extraordinarily.
    every day is a holiday for me. entropy hasn’t whipped me yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m on a mobile phone now. Cut of from proper commenting. However, I see from site statistics that your comment at WUWT resulted in about 50 views.
      I’m working on a new version with a proper introduction to the rules. I also think that the rules should have a section putting forward an argument for each rule and address likely counter arguments. The concept of truth deserves some explanation I guess. Anyhow, I think might be interesting to develop this further and see if it will eventually get some interest. Anyway, happy new year to you, and thank you for this year. ☺


      • well, i tried to make my taunt compelling – i guess that was win.
        but no comments out of 50 visitors is also data of interest…
        maybe too small a sample size?

        maybe, just going by the data so far, to get a broader sample you should use taunting in the title?
        name the site: SMARTNESS FOR DUMMIES.
        or maybe a little stronger: Did Your Mom Raise an Idiot?
        or maybe not taunting but clickbait flavored: Prove You’re Not a Moron With This One Simple Trick!
        or maybe take a page from the doomsday evangelists: Catastrophic Global Gormlessness – It’s Worse Without Thought.

        or maybe there just aren’t that many people who actually know or care what reason is all about.

        Liked by 1 person

      • i just noticed that a person named Aphan commented on your work at wuwt in a way that indicates excellent comprehension.
        Also a person named Chimp commented in a way that indicates a scotoma in need of remediation – for which your work is eminently suitable.

        i estimate the Aphan person may be able to give useful criticism.


        • I invited Aphan to comment but got no response. I also left a rather discreet link at Judith Curry´s climate etc. In total, this site has had 110 visitors and 170 views over two weeks. It seems to evoke some interest.

          Anyhow, I´m almost through with version 6. Guess I will have it ready in a few days. I look forward to showing it. Not much changes to rules and definitions, but I have added an argument for each rule, and an argument for the work. I will let you know when I publish version 6. If it is good, I may consider to propose it as a guest post somewhere.


  2. i never said anything before, but as you approach a final version, plz consider that ‘rules’ imply obedience while ‘principles’ imply reasoning
    they really are opposites in this respect.
    imo, the glossary is the real gold.
    a return to a proper prescriptive dictionary would serve rationality like nothing else i can imagine right now…


    • I was going to ask you about the title, I like principles a lot better than rules.

      Do you have a favorite?
      The principles of science
      The basic principles of science
      The fundamental principles of science
      Or another one?

      I think that: “The principles of science” might be an appropriate title.


      • well, you can play on the titles of works yours supplants, maybe…
        “The Structure of Scientific Reasoning” for example.
        do it in latin if you want to sell it at starbucks…lol
        i know your focus is ‘scientific experimentation and analysis’- but to do justice to that you were obliged to produce a fairly comprehensive “Introduction to Absolutist Epistemology”

        i dunno… the pendulum is swinging again and ppl are craving ‘simple certainties’, having become fed up on second hand thinking regurgitated and spun by zombie like creatures howling in the fog…

        it’s not like ‘science’ is the province of some 1337 crew that has a lock on it- the opposite is the case, i think.

        so what market are you pitching at? whom do you wish to equip with the intellectual armory you’ve started on?

        this is your project- nobody contracted it. your reward is what you get out of it. what do you hope to get and what will signify completion of the project?


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