The principles of science – v7

Every day, we see and hear numerous statements about how things work – about how things relate to each other. Science is normally thought of as the way of conduct that provides certainty about such relationships. However, both statements that are not sufficiently substantiated and beliefs can often be seen – also within science.

So what are the principles of science then? It is hard to say. One might imagine that such set of principles already exists. I dare say that it don´t. It seems like many people think they have some kind of understanding about the principles of science, but a well-defined and compact set of principles does not seem to be readily available.

This work is nothing less than an attempt to provide a set of fundamental principles that can be used to distinguish knowledge from beliefs. The principles provided here have not been taken out of thin air. Some principles may be recognised as sound scientific principles phrased in various ways in various sources. Other principles are distilled from existing international standards. However, this is an original work that provides a unique and essential set of well-defined principles.

This work itself, or parts thereof can be proven wrong simply by identifying a logically invalid principle or definition. The work can also be proven wrong by identifying a concept that is known to be true, that can not be put forward in a way that complies with relevant principles, or by identifying a concept known to be wrong that complies with relevant principles.

The first section of this work provides the principles and the associated definitions. The first section is self-contained. The second part of this work provides the essential arguments for each principle.

If you like this set of principles – hit the “like” button and spread the word about this work. If you find something wrong, have an idea about an improvement or just want to discuss a particular aspect – tell me about it by leaving a comment.

This work may be reproduced on the condition that the principles are not detached from the definitions and that the reproduction includes a link to the original work:
https://rulesofscience.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/the-principles-of-science-v7

1 The principles of science v7

§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 already 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, axiom, definitions or theorems.

§6 A scientific concept is a well-defined concept that has 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 measurement results. Whenever predictions differ from measurement results, by more than the combined uncertainty of the measurement results 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. Whenever data are corrected or disregarded, both uncorrected and corrected data are provided together with a scientific argument for the correction.

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

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

https://rulesofscience.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/the-principles-of-science-v7

Definitions for The principles of science v7

 

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 measured or 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 based on true premises
hypothesis: a propounded statement, concept that has not been verified or validated
independent: not under influence of the party propounding a concept
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 by a measurement
measurement result: a measurand quantified by a value and an associated unit
nature: any thing and any relation between things in the universe
non-contradictory: either true or not true
precise information: sufficient for replication by an independent person 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 device or procedure that have 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 or validate
theorem: a concept which has been proven and which 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 by a logically valid statement based on true premises
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

2 Arguments for the principles of science

Introduction

It should be noted that the intentions with this work have been to provide the fundamental principles of science in a comprehensive but still compact manner. A significant effort has been invested in limiting the amount of text to an essential minimum. Therefore the arguments in this section are not extensive but still regarded to be sufficient.

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

The constituents of an argument should be recognisable in §1 and the associated definitions. The essential part of §1 is that all parts of a scientific argument should be clearly stated.

Without a clearly stated argument, other interpretations than the intended interpretation will be possible. It can then be expected that judgement of the argument will be suspended, or that the argument will be questioned or disregarded. If on the other hand the argument is accepted, it will be on the basis of some kind of fallacy – some kind of belief.

 

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

If a premise can not be verified, the argument can only be accepted on the basis of a belief in the authority of the proponent of the argument. The intention with §2 is to emphasise that a premise can only be verified if it is properly referred to. Both the premise itself and the source containing the premise should be identified, and the source should be available for verification. If not, the premise can not be verified, hence it can only be accepted on the basis of some kind of belief.

Regarding §3 A scientific inference is logically valid.

If an inference is not logically valid, it follows from the definitions that the truth of the premises does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion – it is possible for the premises to be true and the conclusion nevertheless to be false. Hence, the conclusion can then only be accepted as true on the basis of some kind of belief.

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

Any collection of words, numbers and symbols is an abstract construction that may or may not correspond with observations of nature.

In the case of science, this collection of words, numbers and symbols will have to be a non-contradictory construction – a logically valid construction – simply because knowledge can not both be true and not true at the same time. We can not know if a statement is true if, at the same time, it is both true and not true.

A logically valid construction that ends up in a conclusion has to be based on something, a basis. That basis is here identified as axioms, definitions, theorems or measured properties and scientific concepts that have already been verified or validated.

In the case of abstract constructions like theoretical mathematics, the basis for the construction will be axioms, definitions and theorems.

In the case of constructions intended to provide a correspondence between an abstract construction and observations of nature (like physics), the axioms, definitions and theorems may be about nature or about the correspondence between the abstract construction and nature. In this case, the construction may also be based on measured properties or scientific concepts that have already been verified or validated.

As an example, it will normally be acceptable to base a scientific conclusion on a concept like Newton´s laws of motion within their validated context. It will normally also be acceptable to base scientific conclusions on a measured property like the gravitational acceleration (approximately 9,8 m/s^2 on earth). The application of a property will dictate how accurate that measured property will have to be – whether 9,8 m/s^2 is sufficiently accurate or if a more accurate value is required.

A scientific conclusion may be applied in an argument for or against a propounded concept, or as part of a scientific concept.

 

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

The intention with this principle is to emphasise that the entire concept will have to be a logically valid construction that has a well-defined and true basis. The intention with this work has been to provide principles that can distinguish knowledge from belief. If there are any logical fallacies in a construction, the result will be that the concept can only be accepted as true on the basis of some kind of belief.

A concept that is under construction and has not yet been validated should be clearly identified as an hypothesis to avoid premature application of the concept.

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

Even if a concept complies with §5, there is no guarantee that a concept is a complete construction without any errors in it and that it also provides a correspondence between the concept and observations of nature.

To facilitate independent judgement, the concept itself will have to be well-defined. If the concept is not well-defined it can not be tested by an independent party. The independent party would not know what to test and how to test it. Further, if it can not be tested by an independent party, the concept can only be accepted on basis of a belief in the party propounding a concept.

Many concepts are only valid within a context. For example classical physics: “Beginning at the atomic level and lower, the laws of classical physics break down and generally do not provide a correct description of nature.” (Ref.: Wikipedia; classical physics; at the date of publishing this work). Hence, to facilitate judgement of a concept by an independent party, the context for which the concept is claimed to work well will have to be defined by the party propounding a concept.

Many concepts got a capability of prediction of the value of a measurand, but not exactly. A concept may have a capability of prediction with some uncertainty. To facilitate judgement of a concept, the capability of the concept will have to defined by the party propounding that concept. If not, there is no way to tell if the concept performs as claimed or not, or whether it is useful for an intended use or not.

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

A concept may or may not correspond with observations of nature. Within many areas of human expressions, like in politics, religion, love, hate, humour or whatever; it may not matter if an expression corresponds with nature. Within science, on the other hand, an essential characteristic of a useful scientific concept is that of a non-contradictory correspondence between predictions of that concept and measurements of nature.

A scientific concept that is supposed to correspond with nature will have to be true in its correspondence with nature. A concept that can be contradicted by a logically valid statement based on true premises can not be true – that follows from the definition of true used in this work.

There are many possible errors in a concept. Even if a concept complies with §1 to §6, there is no guarantee that the concept is a complete construction that also provides a correspondence between that concept and observations of nature. We can not know that the concept is complete, that there are no errors in it, that the concept is correctly constructed or that the concept has the claimed capability of prediction.

The only way to know that a concept actually performs within the claimed capability within a defined context is to deduce predictions from that concept, measure nature at the same context and see if the difference between predictions and measurements is within the claimed capability of the concept. In judging the results of the test, the uncertainty of the measurement will have to be taken into account. Repeated tests are required to ensure that the results are representative.

It is worth mentioning that there are may ways to adjust a concept to match observations. Many kinds of curve fit, parameterisation, change of definitions or addition of theorems can be used to adjust a concept to measurements. Basically, that is what many scientists do while making a concept. The problem is that adjustment of a concept to match measurements will hide that the concept does not have the claimed capability within the applicable context. If a concept has the claimed capability to predict the value of a measurand, there is no reason to adjust the concept so that it match measurements.

The reason why it is so useful to compare predictions with measurement is that all kinds of adjustments to the concept to match observations are logically impossible. It is impossible to adjust a concept to something that is not yet known. Prediction excludes all kinds of adjustments of the concept to match the measured values. There may be other ways to validate a concept, but all other ways leave a possibility that the concept has been adjusted to match observations. Hence all other ways to validate a concept should also be followed by a scientific argument proving that the concept has not been adjusted to match the measurements of the test.  Without such proof, the concept can only be accepted on the basis of a belief that the concept has not been adjusted to match measurements.

There may be other ways to validate a concept, but all other ways leave a possibility that the concept has been adjusted to match measurements. Hence all other ways to validate a concept should also be followed by a scientific argument that proves that the concept has not been adjusted to match the measurements of the test.  Without such proof, the concept can only be accepted on the basis of a belief that the concept has not been adjusted to match measurements.

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

A test is performed within a context. Obviously, the test is only valid for that context.  As a principle, the concept can only be referred to as validated for the context covered by the validating test. However, the party propounding a concept might be able to put forward a scientific argument for the validity of interpolation of extrapolation, and it might be that no opponents are able to put forward a scientific counterargument.

It may be that interpolation or even extrapolation can not be contradicted by a logically valid statement, but that is not normally the situation. However, the party propounding a concept might be able to put forward a scientific argument for the validity of interpolation of extrapolation, and it might be that no opponents are able to put forward a scientific counterargument. Anyhow, extrapolation or interpolation should always be followed by a scientific argument.

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

Whenever a statement is based on predicted or measured values or a relationship between measurands, the data should be readily available for independent verification. If not, the statement can only be accepted on the basis of a belief.

Further, errors may have been made in the experiment that produced the data. Such errors can possibly be revealed by an investigation into how the data was obtained or by independent replication of the experiment. Anyhow, the statement can only be verified if precise information about how that data was obtained is readily available. If not, the statement can only be accepted on the basis of a belief in the proponent of the statement.

Finally, it can be irresistible to disregard or correct data. There may be scientific arguments for doing that. If so, those arguments should be verifiable. If not, data should not be corrected, discarded or disregarded.

Regarding §10 A scientific measurement report contains traceable values, units and stated uncertainty for well-defined measurands in a well-defined context.

Obviously, a measurand will have to be well-defined, how else can anybody know exactly what has actually been measured? Obviously, the measurement result will also have to be provided with a value and the associated unit. A value without a unit is meaningless.

By using a unit in accordance with the International System of Units, the unit will already be well-defined. If the unit is a non-standard unit or even a hitherto unknown unit, the unit will have to be properly defined in the measurement report.

Whenever a measurement is performed by some kind of measurement device, the measurement device should be traceable by an unbroken chain of calibrations to the definition of the unit. Without a traceable measurement device, there is no way to know if the measurement is accurate, there is no way to quantify the uncertainty of the measurement.

Regarding the uncertainty of a measurement, the introduction to the following freely and readily available guideline: “Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement;  JCGM 100:2008 explains why quantification of uncertainty is essential: “When reporting the result of a measurement of a physical quantity, it is obligatory that some quantitative indication of the quality of the result be given so that those who use it can assess its reliability. Without such an indication, measurement results cannot be compared, either among themselves or with reference values given in a specification or standard.”

In the principles provided here, it is regarded sufficient to state that it is essential that the uncertainty of a measurement is provided in the measurement report. Obviously, there are benefits in providing the uncertainty in accordance with an international standard or guideline. By not providing the uncertainty in accordance with a standard or guideline, there is a risk that the measurement report is regarded insufficient and that no judgements can be made on basis of that report.

Finally, it is also essential that the context for the measurement is well-defined. All the things that are known to have an influence on the value of the measurand should be identified.

Regarding §11 A scientific prediction report contains values, units and claimed capability for well-defined measurands in a well-defined context.

This principle is an analogue to §10 about measurement reports, this should be no surprise since predictions are supposed to be comparable with measurements. A claimed capability may be expressed and documented in the same way as the uncertainty of a measurement.

This work can only be reproduced on the condition that the original source is identified by a link to:
https://rulesofscience.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/the-principles-of-science-v7

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41 thoughts on “The principles of science – v7

  1. We can not know if a statement is true if, at the same time, it is both true and not true.
    (a self contradiction is false – always. i know that 100%)

    in the glossary:
    non-contradictory: either true or not true
    what it means is that a true statement may not contradict itself because any self contradiction falsifies the statement

    sections 4 & 5 are virtually identical- i can’t even tell what distinction you wish to draw to suggest a fix.

    one of the real gems in your glossary is this:
    False = -True
    it looks simple but it’s a little brother of fundamental axiom #2
    #1 = existence exists
    #2 = anything else does not. there’s no such thing as nothing. there is no continuum between existence and nothingness. it’s purely binary. in a universe of infinities, this is where our reason hangs its hat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • §4 and §5 have become some kind of a Gordian knot to me.

      I have made uncountable attempts to merge §4 and §5 or to get rid of one of them.
      Every attempt has failed – every time I try – I lose something essential.

      I think the reason why I need them both is that:
      – a scientific conclusion (conclusion: a statement inferred from one or more premises) does not have to be a scientific concept (concept: any expression of a relationship between two or more measurands) ; but
      – a scientific concept must consist of a logically valid structure of scientific conclusion(s), axioms, definitions or theorems.

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      • hrm.. ok… let me see if i can help
        (between refers to 2 entities. more than 2 is ‘among’ so it is not necessary to specify ‘among’ because there is no set of alternatives that can not be represented as a binary decision tree)
        therefore,
        being that any concept, scientific or otherwise, is an expression of the relationship between entities –
        you want to draw a distinction between ‘scientific’ brand of concept and other kinds of concepts.
        is that correct? for example, are you wishing to emphasize a distinction between concepts unicorns and concepts of horses? please elucidate this.

        being that science is the systematic discovery of truth (my dictionary) then adjective ‘scientific’ applied to the concept ‘concept’ has taken care of that distinction. (redundancy invites false distinctions – so if it’s not needed, don’t litter on your pristine structure.)

        a conclusion is the proposition that a certain deduction (which implies logic already) can be made from certain evidence.
        a ‘scientific’ conclusion distinguishes between conclusions about reality and conclusions about everything else in that it must be explicitly validated on the basis of certain axioms, theorems or (that’s a logical or- all 3 at once are fine!) definitions.

        does that help? i got loads of answers- if this one doesn’t fit, maybe some other one will match. 🙂
        worst case- i annoy you so badly you just get real serious and figure it out to shut me up.

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        • Let me see if I can get this pig on the wings:

          science: formulation of true statements that can be verified by an independent person
          scientific: independently verifiable
          thing: whatever can be defined
          definition: identification of the set of properties that distinguish a thing from all other things
          property: one of the things that define
          entity: a well-defined thing that exists
          exists: can be observed or measured
          observe: conclude if a property is in accordance with a definition
          measure: quantify by a assigning a value and a unit to a property
          whatever: anyone having raised a teenager knows what that means

          §6 A scientific concept about entities is a well-defined concept that and have a well-defined capability of prediction within a well-defined context.
          §7 A scientific concept about entities can only be validated by comparison of predictions deduced from that concept with measurement results. Whenever predictions differ from measurement results, by more than the combined uncertainty of the measurement results and the claimed capability of the concept, there must be something wrong with the concept – or the test of it.
          §8 A scientific concept about entities can only be referred to as validated for the context covered by the validating tests.

          I´m pretty close to the fundament now – I think – ref.:
          existence exists
          a thing is itself (the law of identity)
          a thing is a kind of thing

          There are a few axioms – I know – I am not sure how deep I have to go – what do you think?

          I´m open to the idea that this pig won´t fly – tell me if it won´t – and I will adjust it until it flies like a bald eagle.

          The little old lady was wrong – it is not turtles all the way down – it is definitions all the way down.

          And – I think Popper was wrong – definitions are not unimportant – definitions matters – ref:
          “It is, I now think, the fact that most philosophers regard definitions as important, and that they have never taken my assurance seriously that I do regard them as unimportant. I neither believe that definitions can make the meaning of our words definite, nor do I think it worth bothering about whether or not we can define a term (though it may sometimes be moderately interesting that a term can be defined with the help of terms of a certain kind); for we do need undefined primitive terms in any case.” – The logic of scientific discovery

          Fantastic constructions can be based on axioms – but words without definitions are just grunts.

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        • hi.
          i think you are overworking it
          no ‘whole’ may be contradicted by its ‘parts’…. damn- i don’t want to commit any analogy… restart…

          “definition: identification of the set of properties that distinguish a thing from all other things”
          the act of defining something is called ‘identification’
          you are trying to nest supersets within sets… it will confuse any argument.

          “A scientific concept about entities”
          there are concepts which are not scientific but there are no concepts that are not about entities.
          this redundancy (‘about entities’) invites the notion of ‘scientific concepts about nonentities’.
          since there are none- the redundancy is extremely inelegant and verges on assertion of self contradiction.

          there are concepts about things which are not true, so if that’s what you want to address- it’s automatically a property of science which is the systematic discovery of truth.

          concept is a set of implications – which can be highly abstract.
          number theory is special in that there is no physical referent at all.
          unicorn is a concept that is unreal.
          heaven is a concept that is surreal.

          Science: the systematic discovery of truth.
          i can say: unicorns look like horses but have one horn in the middle of the forehead- that’s a true statement but there are, nevertheless, no existing unicorns so it is not science.
          how can this be? because unicorns are in the set of ‘fantastic creatures’ and ‘fantasy’ is a separate set that is not required to intersect ‘science’.

          an entity is something which exists whether the thing has been defined or not – whether anybody even knows it or not. the existence of an entity does not require that anybody even be aware of it.
          therefore “entity: a well-defined thing that exists” is falsified.
          you have almost defined ‘word’ except that there is no requirement that a word represent anything real.
          the word ‘hole’ most specifically identifies something which ain’t. but we know what it means so we can use it
          nouns represent things that exist and things that don’t. adjectives represent properties which have no existence outside of the noun that embodies the property.

          you have to comb out these tangles .
          it still looks to me like you would do well to make a clone of your thesis with all reference to ‘science’ removed.
          then, when you have it stripped to essentials, dress it in a lab coat.
          but truth, naked, is what you need to start with. clean and well groomed is good. clothing is optional.

          property: in this sense: an attribute of an entity or of the relationship between (or among) entities

          hmm….
          maybe set this aside for a bit and take a look at this to see if it can help you organize your thoughts better:
          http://www.manuelugarte.org/modulos/biblioteca/b/G-Spencer-Brown-Laws-of-Form.pdf

          Like

        • “an entity is something which exists whether the thing has been defined or not – whether anybody even knows it or not. the existence of an entity does not require that anybody even be aware of it.
          therefore “entity: a well-defined thing that exists” is falsified.”

          Well, strictly speaking your definition of entity is another than my definition of entity – that does not falsify my definition of entity.

          Whether it is a wise definition or not is another thing.

          Regarding your definition of entity – how do you know if something exists if it can not be observed or measured?
          And how do you know that it exists as an entity if you can not distinguish it from all other things?

          Such a thing sounds mystic to me.

          Like

        • ““A scientific concept about entities”
          there are concepts which are not scientific but there are no concepts that are not about entities.
          this redundancy (‘about entities’) invites the notion of ‘scientific concepts about nonentities’.
          since there are none- the redundancy is extremely inelegant and verges on assertion of self contradiction.”

          Agree – I defined concept as: any expression of a relationship between two or more measurands
          Definitions used since at least V5:
          “measurand: well-defined property that can be quantified by a measurement
          property: an attribute of an entity or of the relationship between entities”

          It was a mistake to include the term: “about entities” in the principles.

          Like

        • “it still looks to me like you would do well to make a clone of your thesis with all reference to ‘science’ removed.”

          I did that – mentally – it worked fine.

          By the way – scientific is also defined by the way that word is used in the principles.

          Like

        • “science which is the systematic discovery of truth.”

          That is your definition – in which systematic and discovery remain undefined and open to various various interpretations.

          I don´t think systematic discovery are the right words. It might be that a core idea is stumbled upon. It, doesn´t really matter. However, once it has been stumbled upon it will have to be constructed in a way that meet the principles I constructed. If not, I can not judge if is just an idea of yours or if it is a scientific concept that corresponds with independent observations and measurements of things that exists.

          Einstein, Feynman and Popper all praised imagination as the first step in finding out how things work.
          However, they all stated that knowledge rests on testing:

          «In the case of science – I think one of the things which makes it very difficult – is that it takes a lot of imagination – It´s really hard to imagine all the crazy things that things really are like!»
          – Richard Feynman

          “In general, we look for a new law by the following process. First, we guess it (audience laughter), no, don’t laugh, that’s really true. Then we compute the consequences of the guess, to see what, if this is right, if this law we guess is right, to see what it would imply and then we compare the computation results to nature, or we say compare to experiment or experience, compare it directly with observations to see if it works.
          If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
          – Richard Feynman

          The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
          – Albert Einstein

          “The only source of knowledge is experience.”
          – Albert Einstein

          “I said above that the work of the scientist consists in putting forward and testing theories.
          The initial stage, the act of conceiving or inventing a theory, seems to me neither to call for logical analysis nor to be susceptible of it. The question how it happens that a new idea occurs to a man— whether it is a musical theme, a dramatic conflict, or a scientific theory—may be of great interest to empirical psychology; but it is irrelevant to the logical analysis of scientific knowledge. This latter is concerned not with questions of fact (Kant’s quid facti?), but only with questions of justification or validity (Kant’s quid juris?). Its questions are of the following kind. Can a statement be justified? And if so, how? Is it testable? Is it logically dependent on certain other statements? Or does it perhaps contradict them? In order that a statement may be logically examined in this way, it must already have been presented to us. Someone must have formulated it, and submitted it to logical examination.”
          – Karl Popper;

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        • i had an idea just now-
          let’s, together, work on a little dictionary of most basic terms

          this would be nothing more than a set of definitions for words that are important in the construction of your thesis, though we would strive for completeness rather than mere adequacy because having excess does no harm.

          i would get this started with a text file which you would review. then, one word at a time, critique the definition and agree on a final one. then you add in additional terms to produce a set of cognitive tools for the job.

          then you would have all the best building blocks ready to go and be able to focus on the construction of the conceptual edifice ‘principla sapientiae’

          Like

        • That is a generous offer, thank you very much. 🙂

          I will be very happy to work with you on the fundamental terms. Keep in mind that the scope of interest to me at this stage will only be what is necessary and sufficient to get this pig on the wings – whatever is necessary and sufficient to be able to distinguish science from fiction . knowledge from belief. I´m not yet at the “principia sapientiae” level.

          Obviously, I will be reluctant to definitions that make my construction fall apart. unless there is a fundamental weakness of course. Every change takes me many, many hours to process. And the last changes has not been very successful.

          However, I will have to keep an eye around me so that I don´t paint myself into a corner with something that is incompatible with related — – – – – – things (I was about to say concept).
          That might be why it is relevant to define what kind of concepts I´m concerned with in this work. Whether it is concept about nature, entities, or simply – things that can be observed or measured.

          The more I think of it my choice of alias turned out to be highly relevant for what engage me. 🙂

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        • i’ll reply to all of that in bits thru the night…
          “Regarding your definition of entity – how do you know if something exists if it can not be observed or measured?”
          it would be mystical claim that an entity can not exist until somebody observes and measures it, no?
          the existence of an entity does not require that anybody even be aware of it.
          microbes were there before leeuwenhoek saw them in a drop of water.

          “And how do you know that it exists as an entity if you can not distinguish it from all other things?”
          indeed.
          if something exists it will be possible to observe it. first one must discover it. the first time one becomes aware of something is not what brought about its existence.
          awareness of an entity is a relationship between an observer and that entity which may or may not occur.

          to make a deliberate effort to discover things – is that not the definition of science?

          now it’s coffee time – go0o0d morning!

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        • “awareness of an entity is a relationship between an observer and that entity which may or may not occur.”

          Exactly.

          My work is not about everything – it is just about how we can distinguish if a propounded concept is science or fiction. If it is verifiable, if it has been verified and validated or if I just have to believe in it – or not.

          “to make a deliberate effort to discover things – is that not the definition of science?”

          That is one definition of “science” among many possible definitions of science. However – I might discover things with a gun pointing at my head as well.

          My point is that I don´t care about why or how scientific ideas come about. I don´t care about all ideas. I care about one idea at the time. What I care about is if I´m able to distinguish knowledge from beliefs. If not – I will be fooled.

          Enjoy your coffee – and otherwise do what is good for you – no rush – enjoy every minute of this journey. I don´t have a deadline. 🙂 🙂

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        • “I don´t think systematic discovery are the right words. It might be that a core idea is stumbled upon. It, doesn´t really matter. However, once it has been stumbled upon it will have to be constructed in a way that meet the principles”

          if one wants to stumble on things, there is a way to go about it deliberately. is it science to simply rephrase what is already known or is discovery an essential property of science?
          http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/la-specola
          once upon a time, people didn’t know much about human anatomy. some deliberately sought to discover truths about it that they didn’t know and knew they didn’t know- but wanted to know and took steps to find out.
          is this not science?
          would you argue that their discoveries were ‘stumbled upon’ when they deliberately planted their noses in the corpses with every intention of discovering the unknown?
          would you argue that it was not science if they had not produced documents or models but only did dissections for their own personal education and satisfaction?

          i don’t know how your thesis is going to end up but i’m making an effort to find out even before the anticipated entity has achieved a final form. we are discussing the procedure and the tools to be used in the experiment in a scientific manner (my definition). will it only be science if you complete the job?

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        • will it only be science if you complete the job?

          “Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.” – Wikipedia

          The only thing I care about is that the product is verifiable by independent persons. Hence it will have to be propounded in such a way that it facilitates independent verification.

          If not, we can only base or acceptance of the concept on a belief in the proponents?

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  2. starting a new thread just to get out of the crowd…
    “My work is not about everything – it is just about how we can distinguish if a propounded concept is science or fiction.”
    “What I care about is if I´m able to distinguish knowledge from beliefs.”

    and so i’m here to help you make occam’s veg-o-matic that slices, dices, chops and juliennes.
    there’s some ‘grunt work’ involved in the preparation. one of the things a programmer does is create his library of subroutines that are used as function calls in his program.
    we create that dictionary and debug it thoroughly and then the program built with it will perform as desired.
    that’s where i may be useful. whatever you want to do with it then – it will serve you well.
    definitions may be idiosyncratic as long as they are non-contradictory. we can use millimeters or inches
    as long as the ruler isn’t made of rubber everything will end up correct.

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  3. ok. well, if you ask me what time it is i’m liable to tell you how to build a clock cuz that’s me…
    to amplify on the analogy- i see that a clock will require gears and so i’ll ramble on about how to generate involutes for the tooth shape and so forth – because i can’t separate the parts from the whole- not even temporally- so yeah- i’ll also ramble on about casting brass and rolling it into sheets and grinding cutters and relief angles and jeez… i don’t know where to stop cuz it’s all connected…lol

    but no part may contradict the whole. nature does not permit self contradiction. and i have the same ‘vision’ about ideas about ideas – i can’t separate the parts from the whole. the end is implied by the means.

    this looks like i may step over from assistance to interference- so perhaps i’d better stfu and wait for a question?

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    • people who give explanations that were unsolicited are hard to distinguish from preachers…
      guru syndrome is something i especially fear, too.
      but i do have a thing about minds. i worship them.
      i may try to feed one if it’s hungry. i don’t want it in a cage or on a leash – it must be free to fly.

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    • There is almost a clock in front of you right now will it work?

      If not – I guess you are able to identify exactly which lines contains a bug.

      I´m concerned about things that can be observed and measured.

      Is there a better word than entity for something that can be observed and measured?

      Obviously I could just say concepts about things that can be observed and measured but it would be nice to have a well known word for such things.

      Gooood night.

      (It seems like we are on the opposite sides of the globe. 🙂 )

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    • I appreciate your perspectives. I really want to finish this of as a working clock. I think what remains is just small adjustments. I don´t want to reconstruct this thing, If it works I will not try to fix it.

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    • I like your definitions a lot. Many of them are really to the point with just a few words. I like that.

      “we can skip any you find irrelevant for your project but it won’t hurt if there are more than you need.”

      The intention with my work has only been to develop the principles necessary and sufficient to distinguish knowledge from beliefs.

      Through many years with design of systems I have learned to only put in the components that are required for the intended function. If I put in components that are not absolutely required, I have experienced that I may find that these components steal resources and attention from those components that are essential for the function of the system. I will not risk ending up discussing terms that are not essential for the function of the principles. I don´t want to end up saying that a term isn´t important to which the reply might be – “So why did you included it then?”

      So even though I like many of your definitions I see that I can do without them in this work. I will save them for later though. And I will not start on a new clock before this one has been completed to my full satisfaction. 🙂

      After having a brief look through your definitions I see that there are a few that are relevant. I will read carefully through all of them and give you a proper feed-back.

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      • something i aim for in my work is what i call ‘teh elegant’.
        (see definition of ‘art’)
        when i find it, it almost screams ‘beauty’
        i always know it when i find it.

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    • Regarding cause and effect.

      The reason why I avoid cause and effect and rather use relationship can be illustrated by the ideal gas law.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideal_gas_law

      You can solve that for any of the variables pressure, temperature or volume.

      It is more reasonable to say that it is a relationship than a cause and effect.

      Often, it is relevant to speak about a cause and effect many times is is not that relevant. The term “relationship” will also cover the term “cause and effect”

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      • yeah- when i did that i emphasized cause/effect because i tied it down to the ‘law of implication’ which is the root of all logic. that’s where falsification that popper loved so well originates and where the arrow of time is found.
        you can substitute a more general ‘relationship’ without harm, i think.
        if A then B
        if not A then not B
        that’s how we know what we know.
        and if the variables can be swapped – you have an identity.

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    • I love these:

      Humor: the art of assembling contradictory elements into an apparently consistent entity

      Joke: an idea that appears self-consistent until enlargement of the context reveals a contradiction

      That is a masterpiece. I have never seen humor and joke defined before. I guess very few are able to do that.

      I would really like to use them, but unfortunately they are outside the scope of my work.

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  4. when i invent something, i don’t dictate the terms. i solicit affirmations from nature.
    force and mind are opposites and nature won’t be coerced. so i beseech it. i inquire, i attend to the answers revealed. sometimes i get frustrated and yell ‘wtf do you want, biatch!’

    give your project the time it requires. it will tell you when it is done.

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  5. Pingback: The principles of science – v7.1 | The rules of science

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