The principles of science (v7.4)

Every day, numerous statements about how things relate to each other can be seen and heard everywhere. Science is normally thought of as the way of conduct that provides certainty about such relationships. However, beliefs and unsubstantiated statements can often be seen, also within science.

So, what are the principles of science then?
It is hard to say, as a well-defined set of principles for science does not seem to be readily available.

That position is supported by the following quote from National Academy of Sciences: “The basic and particular principles that guide scientific research practices exist primarily in an unwritten code of ethics. Although some have proposed that these principles should be written down and formalised, the principles and traditions of science are, for the most part, conveyed to successive generations of scientists through example, discussion, and informal education.” Ref.: Responsible Science, Volume I: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process; Panel on Scientific Responsibility and the Conduct of Research” http://www.nap.edu/catalog/1864.html

What can be found in abundance, however, are codes of conduct like Singapore Statement on Research Integrity,  EPA’s Principles of Scientific Integrity, Max Planck Society – Rules of good scientific practice or  The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. But none of these provides a well-defined set of basic principles for science.

It also seems that even a highly influential work within the philosophy of science: “The logic of scientific discovery”, by Karl Popper, does not provide a set of well-defined principles. See section “3 Perspective on definitions and truth” in this work for an elaboration of this view.

The many controversies about scientific issues indicate that it would be beneficial to have the basic principles of science defined. Unfortunately, it is not obvious what these principles should be.

This work is based on the basic assumption that a set of principles can be defined – and is nothing less than a bold attempt to provide a set of fundamental principles for science. Principles that can be used to distinguish knowledge from beliefs – or to recognise “fake news” or “alternative facts” for that matter.

The principles provided here have not been taken out of thin air. Some principles may be recognised as 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 set of well-defined principles for science.

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

The idea that a set of well-defined principles for science does not already exist may also be wrong since it is hard to prove that something does not exist. Anyhow, that idea can also be proven wrong simply by providing a link to such principles.

 The reason why most terms are defined within this work is that there are many different dictionaries available at the fingertips of any reader. This work cannot rely on undefined terms or terms having various definitions, as even slightly different definitions will change the conclusions that can be drawn on the basis of this work and possibly make it inconsistent or logically invalid.

The first section of this work is self-contained and provides the principles and associated definitions. The second part of this work provides the essential arguments for each principle. The third section contains the perspective on definitions and truth that is applied in this work.

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 site:
https://rulesofscience.wordpress.com

1 The principles of science

§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 application of axioms, 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, axioms, definitions or theorems.

§6 A scientific concept is well-defined and 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.

Definitions for The principles of science

argument: a conclusion inferred from a set of premises 
attribute: a characteristic used to describe or define a thing
axiom: a statement that is self-evidently true and accepted as a true starting point for further deduction
belief: an acceptance that something is true without proof
calibration: comparison of a measurement with a reference having a known uncertainty
capability: maximum difference between predictions and measurements
clearly stated: stated in a manner that is only open to the intended interpretation
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 an observed, measured or predicted value
contradict: demonstrate that a statement is not true
correct: replace a measured or predicted value with another value
data: measured or predicted value of a measurand or relationship between measurands
deduction: a combination of premises into a conclusion by means of mathematics and logic
definition: a set of distinguishing characteristics
disregard: remove a value from a series of data that is used as a premise
document: an identified collection of words, numbers and symbols
false: a statement that can be contradicted by a sound argument within the defined context
hypothesis: a propounded statement or 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 observed or quantified by a measurement
measure: quantify a measurand by establishing the ratio between that measurand and a reference that serves as a unit – and assign a number representing that ratio, and the associated unit, to that measurand
measurement (result): a measurand quantified by a value and an associated unit
nature: any thing and any relation between things
observe: conclude if an attribute is in accordance with a definition
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 that can be observed or measured
prove: demonstrate the truth of a statement by means of axiom, definitions and theorems.
readily available: available without further request
reference: a measurement device or procedure that has 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
science: systematic discovery of truth
sound: a conclusion that is logically valid and based on true premises
source: identified document containing a 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 conclusion that has been proven and that can now be used as the basis of other proofs.
thing: whatever that can be defined
traceable: having an unbroken chain of calibrations to the definition of the unit
true: a statement that can not be contradicted by a sound argument within the defined context
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 one of the ideas with this work has been to provide fundamental principles of science – in a compact manner. A significant effort has been invested in limiting the amount of text to an essential minimum.

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

The constituents of an argument can be recognised in §1 and the associated definitions.

Within science, it should be possible to verify that an argument is sound – that the argument is based on true premises, and that the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion. 

An essential characteristic of science is that arguments should be independently verifiable. To be able to verify that an argument is sound, the intended interpretation must be clear.  An argument that is open to multiple interpretations can not be verified by an independent party as it can not be known which interpretation is the correct one to verify.

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

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 a premise can not be verified, the premise can only be accepted on the basis of a belief in the proponent of the argument.

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 on the basis of some kind of belief.

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

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

A logically valid construction that ends up in a conclusion has to be based on something. In the case of abstract constructions like 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 and measurements of nature (like physics), the axioms, definitions and theorems may be about nature or about the correspondence between an abstract construction and nature. In this case, the construction may also be based on observed or 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, or on a measured property like the gravitational acceleration (approximately 9,8 m/s^2 on earth). The application 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.

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

The entire concept will have to be a logically valid construction that has a well-defined and true basis. If there are any logical fallacies in a construction, the result will be that the concept can only be accepted on the basis of some kind of belief.

A concept that is under construction, or 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 well-defined and has a well-defined capability of prediction within a well-defined context.

To facilitate independent judgment, 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. An independent party will not know what to test and how to test it. 

Concepts are only valid within a context. One example of this is 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). To facilitate judgment of a concept, the context for which the concept is claimed to work well will have to be defined.

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 judgment of a concept, the capability of the concept will have to be defined. 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.

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

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

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 and measurements of nature. Without testing it, it can not be known for sure that the concept is complete, that there are no errors in it, that the concept is correctly constructed or that the concept actually has the claimed capability of prediction.

The only way to know that a concept performs within the claimed capability, within a defined context, is to deduce predictions from that concept, measure nature within 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 measurements will have to be taken into account. Repeated tests are required to ensure that the results are representative.

There are many ways to adjust a concept to match observations and measurements. Many kinds of curve fit, parameterisation, change of definitions or addition of hypotheses can be used to adjust a concept. The problem with adjustments, however, is that adjustments may hide that the concept does not have the claimed capability of prediction.

Some concepts may need some kind of basic calibration and adjustment, but if a concept really has the claimed capability to predict the value of a measurand, there should be no reason to adjust the concept to a particular test.

The reason why it is so useful to compare predictions with measurements is that all kinds of adjustments of the concept to match measurements are logically impossible. It is impossible to adjust a concept to match 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 measurements. 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 that particular test.  Without such proof, the concept can only be accepted on the basis of a belief that the concept has not been adjusted particularly for that test.

If a concept is not tested by an independent party, the concept can only be accepted on basis of a belief in the party propounding a concept.

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.

It may be that interpolation or extrapolation to some extent can not be contradicted by a sound argument, 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 or extrapolation, and it might be that no opponents are able to put forward a counter argument. Anyhow, extrapolation or interpolation should 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 observations of measured or predicted values, the data should be readily available for independent verification. If not, the statement can only be accepted on the basis of a belief.

There might be errors in the experiment that produced the data. Such errors can possibly be revealed by an investigation into how the data was obtained or by an 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.

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 been measured?Also, the measurement result will also have to be provided as a value together with the associated unit. A value without a unit is meaningless.

Also, the measurement result will also have to be provided as a value together with 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 free 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.”

For the principles provided in this work, 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 judgments 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.

(This principle has been based on section 7.2.1 in the freely available international guideline: JCGM 100:2008; GUM 1995 with minor corrections; Evaluation of measurement data — Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement.)

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 analog 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.

3 Perspective on definitions and truth

As mentioned in the introduction to this work, even a highly influential philosophical work like “The logic of scientific discovery” by Karl Popper does not provide a set of well-defined principles for science.

The first version of this work (“10 theorems for ideas about how things work”) started out as an attempt to identify a set of principles, or methodical rules, as established by Karl Popper. That turned out to be a bit challenging, as his methodical rules were not defined and identified in a clear manner.

The following quote may shed some light on why:
“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.”
Ref.: The logic of scientific discovery; Page 463; (Addendum, 1968)

In this work, that view is opposed by the position that definitions are of uttermost importance for an evaluation of the truth of a premise, inference or conclusion. Take for example the symbol: “+” in mathematics. Without a definition, it would just be a meaningless cross.

Even though it may seem that a definition can never be precise enough for all possible readers, the set of principles provided in this work is based on the axiom that: It is possible to define terms so precisely that a propounded statement is only open to the intended interpretation. If that is not the case for a particular statement in a particular context, a meaningful argument about that statement will not be possible.

Another issue with The logic of scientific discovery is the  perspective on truth, as illustrated by the following quotes:
“It should be noticed that a positive decision (test result) can only temporarily support the theory, for subsequent negative decision (test results) may always overthrow it. So long as theory withstands detailed and severe tests and is not superseded by another theory in the course of scientific progress, we may say that it has ‘proved its mettle’ or that it is ‘corroborated’*1 by past experience. Nothing resembling inductive logic appears in the procedure here outlined. I never assume that we can argue from the truth of singular statements to the truth of theories. I never assume that by force of ‘verified’ conclusions, theories can be established as ‘true’, or even as merely ‘probable’.” 

The perspective on the term truth that has been taken in this work is that, if all definitions are in place and relevant tests have been performed, we are able to conclude concluded if it is true that a well-defined concept really has the defined capability within a well-defined context.

Engineers will probably be familiar with this definition of truth. Engineers will be used to demonstrate the truth of their constructions – to verify and validate that a construction has a defined capability within a defined context. In particular, verify and validate are both terms that are also used in the widely used international quality standard ISO 9001.

It should be noted, however, that even though a concept can be true by the definition used in this work, another concept that has a better capability of prediction or is valid for a broader context may be eventually be discovered or invented.

By this definition, Newton´s law of universal gravitation can still be regarded to be true in the sense that the concept has a definable capability of prediction within a definable context. While Einstein´s general relativity can also be regarded to be true, but that concept has a better capability of prediction within a wider context.

It should also be noted that even if a concept is true, it can still be useless. It may be a true prediction that the precipitation at a defined location on a defined date will be between 0 and 1000 mm, but that prediction will also be of no value.

An example of this perspective on truth can be a television system. A television system can transmit a movie via a fiber and display it on a screen (whenever everything in that system performs in accordance with its design). That functionality is true – it can not be contradicted by sound argument.

It is remarkable that a lot of things have to be true for television system to work properly, more things will have to be true than an individual person can fully understand. However, even a kid can tell if it is true that it works.

This work can only be reproduced on the condition that the original source is identified by a link to  https://rulesofscience.wordpress.com

This is a work by: “Science or Fiction?” with invaluable support and scrutiny by “Gnomish”.

Advertisements

140 thoughts on “The principles of science (v7.4)

  1. very nice.
    imo, fwiw, bbq …
    the dictionary is a set of very fine and useful cognitive tools – but only a tool user cares about that…

    if you were to prepare a ‘guest post’, ‘principles of science’ might exceed the attention span of 99.9% of the human population.
    i don’t know where you’d find better odds. 340 experts from 51 countries couldn’t manage…

    it might be better served in slices.
    imo, debunking popper would be a service to humanity because his (ancient and poorly formed ideas) have gained a following among those who won’t accept the notion that breathing kills planets.
    however, what popper aimed for and achieved was not critical thinking but meme promotion.
    all the little jedis who imagine he’s taught them how to use the force are useful as examples to the very few who know something better but as far as presenting cognitive tools goes, his intellectual arms are a thalidomide octopus of useless blather.

    but maybe you want to move on and conquer new frontiers. i guess that nobody is likely to reward you so it’s up to you to find the joy in it.. it can only be earned by exercise of reason and you only have ownership of your own faculties (and partially, for a brief span of years, your own children). neither can a person be forced to think because force is the negation of a person’s will and thinking is only voluntary. obedience is death for a conscious entity.

    Like

  2. the smallest element of your thesis that is most fraught with implications is the refutation of popper’s notion that true things can not be proven.
    nothing else that anybody can ever do would wreak as much havoc on mysticism.

    Like

    • watch me do my pirate thing to churchill:
      “Individuals may show splendid qualities, but the influence of mysticism paralyses the intellectual development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mysticism is a relentlessly proselytizing psychopathology.”
      P-} yarr!

      Like

    • The notion that we can not know for sure if a theory is true has always puzzled me.

      If I drop a rock it will fall to the ground – that is true – period.

      I know that it is a matter of definitions. But, the notion that we can falsify but not never verify is a bit odd.

      Like

      • that is the door that admits the supernatural.
        it’s the popperian trojan horse that sneaks in an army of mystics to kill reason in the crib.
        can’t type more atm – new lizard sleeping in my shirt.

        Like

        • popper says you can falsify something but not prove it to be true.

          which is, of course, a lie. just parse it down and it’s self evident:
          “it is true that truth is unprovable”
          (how convenient that he doesn’t think he has to prove it, right?)

          this is the inbred brother of ‘everything i say is a lie’ – a spinner..
          [snip]

          Like

      • if you want to be really generous, you cn say that popper didn’t think so because he was not able to discover the proof. it’s that pons asinorum. popper is having beers at the near side with hegel, kant, hume, nietsche…
        you’ve already crossed and had a picnic with darwin, rand, shannon.
        if you’re not so generous, you can say popper preferred to dine with mohammed, adolph, the borgia popes…
        i find intentions irrelevant.
        results, however, must always be evaluated.

        Like

        • Poppers perspective of truth is elaborated in the following section:

          84 Remarks Concerning the Use of the Concepts ‘True’
          and ‘Corroborated’

          http://strangebeautiful.com/other-texts/popper-logic-scientific-discovery.pdf

          “The use of the concepts ‘true’ and ‘false’ is quite analogous to the use of such concepts as ‘tautology’, ‘contradiction’, ‘conjunction’, ‘implication’ and others of the kind. These are non-empirical concepts, logical concepts. They describe or appraise a statement irrespective of any changes in the empirical world. Whilst we assume that the properties of physical objects (of ‘genidentical’ objects in Lewin’s sense) change with the passage of time, we decide to use these logical predicates in such a way that the logical properties of statements become timeless: if a statement is a tautology, then it is a tautology once and for all. This same timelessness we also attach to the concepts ‘true’ and ‘false’, in agreement with common usage. It is not common usage to say of a statement that it was perfectly true yesterday but has become false today. If yesterday we appraised a statement as true which today we appraise as false, then we implicitly assert today that we were mistaken yesterday; that the statement was false even yesterday—timelessly false—but that we erroneously ‘took it for true’. Here one can see very clearly the difference between truth and corroboration. The appraisal of a statement as corroborated or as not corroborated is also a logical appraisal and therefore also timeless; for it asserts that a certain logical relation holds between a theoretical system and some system of accepted basic statements. But we can never simply say of a statement that it is as such, or in itself, ‘corroborated’ (in the way in which we may say that it is ‘true’). We can only say that it is corroborated with respect to some system of basic statements—a system accepted up to a particular point in time. ‘The corroboration which a theory has received up to yesterday’ is logically not identical with ‘the corroboration which a theory has received up to today’. Thus we must attach a subscript, as it were, to every appraisal of corroboration—a subscript characterizing the system of basic statements to which the corroboration
          relates (for example, by the date of its acceptance).

          Corroboration is therefore not a ‘truth value’; that is, it cannot be placed on a par with the concepts ‘true’ and ‘false’ (which are free from temporal subscripts); for to one and the same statement there may be any number of different corroboration values, of which indeed all can be ‘correct’ or ‘true’ at the same time. For they are values which are logically derivable from the theory and the various sets of basic statements accepted at various times.

          The above remarks may also help to elucidate the contrast between my views and those of the pragmatists who propose to define ‘truth’ in terms of the success of a theory—and thus of its usefulness, or of its confirmation or of its corroboration. If their intention is merely to assert that a logical appraisal of the success of a theory can be no more than an appraisal of its corroboration, I can agree. But I think that it would be far from ‘useful’ to identify the concept of corroboration with that of truth.*3 This is also avoided in ordinary usage. For one might well say of a theory that it has hardly been corroborated at all so far, or that it is still uncorroborated. But we should not normally say of a theory that it is hardly true at all so far, or that it is still false.”

          I think he fell for his aversion to definitions.

          Like

        • are you gonna put on your popper stomping boots and parse that to smithereens?
          it’s just beggin for a steel toe sammich. 🙂
          when someone tries to use logic to prove that logic can’t prove anything, is it:
          A cute as my little pony
          B too deep for mortal men
          C a divine revelation
          D the perfect person to raise your children

          Like

        • oh man- it would be so fun and easy. lemme get a sporkful of smartass to sprinkle on the first paragraph-

          ““The use of the concepts ‘true’ and ‘false’ is quite analogous to the use of such concepts as ‘tautology’, ‘contradiction’, ‘conjunction’, ‘implication’ and others of the kind. These are non-empirical concepts, logical concepts. ”

          oops- he forgot to add ‘falsification’ to the list, eh?

          [analogy – a comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.]
          if one uses the 2 and only 2 values that exist in Boolean Logic, ‘true’ and ‘false’, it resembles the use of logic, does it?
          that’s not just phD stuff- that’s nobel quality shit, man.
          i wish i had a great mind like that…

          srsly? he’s grasped the notion of virtual vs literal? didn’t plato already cover the ground with greek beer cans and candy wrappers?

          these words that emerge from popper’s suck hole- if they’re empirical, who cleans them up?
          is there a special brush to clean dirty thoughts from his mind? they can be stubborn once baked on…

          and from his loins sprang michael mann

          Like

        • truth uses many bathrooms and it is insensitive to assume (check ur rational privilege) that a fact has a cisboolean identity.

          if you debunked popper, children would think it was perfectly normal and acceptable to insult the BARF (Belief in Alternate Reality Freedom) segment of the population by cruelly demanding proof of things indiscriminately. That’s harassment of a protected population – a hate crime.
          do you really want your kids to grow up thinking it’s ok to be sane?

          Like

        • Popper refers to Tarski. I found one article on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy about Tarski’s Truth Definitions. But I can not even read past the premise in the first sentence before thinking: Why on earth do they make this so complicated?

          “1.1 Object language and metalanguage
          If the language under discussion (the object language) is L, then the definition should be given in another language known as the metalanguage, call it M. The metalanguage should contain a copy of the object language (so that anything one can say in L can be said in M too), and M should also be able to talk about the sentences of L and their syntax.”

          I have seen it in my profession, people can really make a living of complicating things.

          Or – are we just being too simple minded?

          (To the extent that we can call it simple minded to use hours on each definition and each sentence just to simplify things – for our own pleasure of it. You certainly got stamina – I must say.)

          Like

        • ” if a statement is a tautology, then it is a tautology once and for all.”
          [tautology – a statement that is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form.]

          can you spot the monstrous definition hiding in the drapery?
          his name is time and he’s always part of the context.
          mystics hate him for that one simple trick but experimental scientists give him a whole axis on the chart

          Liked by 1 person

        • and lo, the pixels on the monitor grouped into patterns and the shapes of words appeared – popper’s ineffability theorem was revealed.
          how the digital computer performed this miracle is a mystery, because his royal popperness assures me that logic is not empirical.
          fortunately, if i turn it off, what he said is no longer true.
          i guess that makes him a terminal liar.

          Like

        • Shannon – is that Claude Shannon?
          I would not understand a bit of what he did, and I would not even reach up to the toe-nails of the other ones. I just like to understand things, and since I´m not that smart, I have to simplify things.

          Like

        • there’s nothing shannon said that you don’t already understand. it’s just a matter of a few vocabulary words.

          Like

    • Sorry for late response. I have been busy the last few days.

      I have now provided my thesis, for the second time, to two professors that I know. Two scientists who has a background within mathematics, physics and engineering. They also gave me some feedback on version 4.

      Last time, they seemed to be a bit puzzled that something like my thesis doesn´t already exist. But, they should know that it doesn´t. Because they are supposed to guide their students within these things. I think that eventually – they will realize that a proper written material for that guidance is really missing. 🙂

      Like

      • do yu remember what kuhn’s big idea boiled down to?
        a paradigm shifts when 2 conditions exist:
        1 – the current paradigm is known to be inadequate/incompetent
        2 – there is an alternative known to work better.

        the alternative exists
        what next?

        Like

        • If you mean what next for this work:

          Peoples urge to believe seems to be just as strong as the urge to know.

          My work is unbelievable.

          People will not believe that something like my work does not already exist, and people will no believe that it can be that simple.

          So what next?

          I will see if the two professors, that really should know, can point me to something existing – if they caught interest at all.

          Understand me correctly, I got the greatest respect for these two scholars, and my experience is that they work by proper principles.

          And then, I will see if I can get it published as a guest post.

          Like

        • Here is a quote from my daughter when she was about 8 years old:
          “Daughter: Is it true that you can get blood cancer by writhing on your hand?

          Mom – no!

          Daughter: Argh – mothers that are not doctors tell their kids so many strange things”

          And that is a good observation.

          People tell many strange things to their kids – and to each other.

          Like

        • see how useful is the concept of a pons asinorum?
          once you cross the first bridge, you start effing the ineffable and scruting the inscrutable.
          so get used to understanding what humans thru history have been actively steered away from by gurus who feed on the benefit of the doubt that blossoms in the confusion they generate.
          it is just this simple – and clear.
          now you know things few others do and most won’t get it no matter how you try to explain it because they already believe something that contradicts it – ideas implanted during their formative years and rehearsed by the gurus who groom them.
          that’s not your problem, now. you’ve solved your problem. now you are the problem. you are now the universal heretic. expect to be burned at stake as your reward.
          debunking popper would probably cause a riot.
          if you promote the meme ‘truth is provable’ you kill all the gods.
          that’s a ton of ricebowls to kick over.

          Liked by 1 person

        • very scholarly discussion of failures.
          totally interesting to a student of the history of pschopathology.
          does it supply anything useful to resolve the topic of ‘wtf is scientific’?
          heh- how could it? it’s a study of pathology, not of rational ontology.

          Liked by 1 person

        • and you’ll learn to get used to people telling you that you can not do things you’ve already done.
          for example, monitor lizards are mindless eating machines, impossible to tame. they hate humans but are otherwise incapable of emotions.
          http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/User-Submitted-Videos/2008/Chocolate-Chooses-Door-2/
          except when they are raised by somebody who respects intelligence, eh?
          they can even talk. how believable is that? and yet…lol
          if it’s true, it can be proven. but that only makes it believable where reason is currency.
          let me know if you find such a place. i want to visit.

          Like

    • there are lots of things to notice about this-
      they are spaced so each print is distinct.
      there are (going by the index/ring finger length ratio) males and a female
      there are grown ups and children (sizes)
      each of the prints has been identified by markings so they are not simple ‘drawings’ but representations of individuals- perhaps even signatures.
      there is a branching structure (and, apparently leaves to suggest it is a tree or vine) that connects the individuals
      (it suggests a family tree)

      Like

  3. well, that was quite fine.
    it will be interesting to see how he quibbles and squirms.
    he won’t be able to understand, i think.
    when a lie has been accepted as true, the mind rejects anything contradictory.
    that may not be the only explanation for the pons.asinorum phenomenon, but when it really is something any 3 yr old child of 2 can understand, then i’m not aware of any other explanation.

    i mentioned once about ‘syntactic analysis’ but didn’t go into any detail of particular techniques- it might be a good time to touch on that now-

    when somebody makes an assertion, for the sake of economy, underlying premises or context may be not explicitly stated.

    once i started a taxonomy of psychoviruses but soon learned that there are only 2 varieties.
    you’re well acquainted with the ‘spinners’, which resolve to simple self contradictions.

    the second family is characterized by context dropping. context dropping is the means by which premises are hidden. when something is masked in this way, i use the term ‘occulted’, so my names for the 2 families are ‘spinners’ and ‘occultations’

    nevertheless, when a psychovirus is de-occulted, it always exposes a spinner at the heart of it- something that is axiomatic for rational epistemology but it won’t hurt to say it out loud once, will it?
    it couldn’t be a psychovirus if it didn’t ultimately resolve to a lie.

    your reply to rcourtney demonstrates excellence in de-occulting to expose a spinner.

    any statement, whether it’s explicitly affirmed or not, it is presented as truth.
    for an example, let’s take the statement ‘the sky is blue’.
    first step of deoccultation expands the form to “it is true that the sky is blue”

    sometimes that’s all it takes to prove a statement is a self contradiction (a spinner, if you want to use my label) [[btw, for all the popperazi, n.b. falsification means proving a self contradiction…lol]]
    for an example of this, take the statement “there is no such thing as truth”
    deocculted: ‘it is true that there is no such thing as truth’
    snicker snack. galumph. too freakin easy, right?

    let’s see how you did that recently:
    ORIGINAL FORM:
    “…proving that a concept must be correct is virtually impossible.”
    rcourtney can’t quibble about removing the ‘virtually’ qualifier which would otherwise make things a bit messier, so let’s go with that:
    you flipped the equation:
    “… it is impossible to prove that a concept is correct…”
    this is proper by law of identity. the verb ‘is’ functions as a symbol of equality, the verbal form of ‘=’
    you deocculted the hidden assertion of truth:
    “It is correct ||||| it is impossible to prove that a concept is correct”

    and walla. any healthy child can see it now. i’ll still bet a nickel rcourtney won’t.

    Like

    • Interesting that your taxonomy project resulted in these two categories:
      – Spinner – contradiction
      – Occultation – dropping context or premises

      When these two flaws occur together in an argument all the principles we identified are violated in one way or another.

      Like

      • i was kind of hoping to discover a bestiary but how many kinds of false are there – so duh on me.
        their capsids can be such a blend, it’s very not obvious they might be useful for categorizing..

        Like

    • ´correct´ was not defined by anybody in the discussion at WUWT.

      I kind of agree with Richard and company if a ´correct concept´ is defined as something like:
      correct concept: a true representation of nature that can never be improved

      Dropping definitions is also a very common flaw, remember where I was when we started.

      Like

      • the discussion concerns logic. logic is how proofs are done.
        the statement refers to an implicit alternative correct vs incorrect.
        proof or falsification (which is the proof of contradiction) always and only evaluate to true or false.
        correct vs incorrect can only mean true vs false – there is no other option available.

        Like

        • I´m trying to understand the flaw, the hidden premise, the flaw that Popper made and so many adopted. He used a lot of words but he dropped definitions. I think that was a major flaw. He did not define ´true concept´ or ´correct concept´.

          Like

        • i agree with the premise that popper was not determined to destroy reason but simply made some mistake.
          it might be possible to identify his scotoma.
          i’ll bet a nickel he was infected by some other goatse brained guru.
          the culture doesn’t breed so much as recruits.
          in any case, i am really finding the concept of pons asinorum to be fun and useful…lol

          Like

        • either of the ones in his main thesis or hes denial of the definition of definition would be sufficient, imo.
          but there have been 3 described so far, right?

          Like

        • oh, it just occurred to me how many bazillion logic gates had to alternate between all 2 of the possible states in order to bring forth popper’s wisdom that logic has no meaning because it’s not empirical…lol.

          Like

  4. Doing Math in Base 2 1/2……

    many bazillion logic gates
    alternate between all 2 states
    to deliver Popper’s keening:
    “logic has no meaning,
    because it’s not empirical”
    it surely is a miracle!

    Like

  5. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/03/11/uh-oh-g-20-poised-to-signal-retreat-from-paris-climate-deal-pledge/comment-page-1/#comment-2448710
    so what do you think will happen?
    he seems like he should be great sport but you may have stunned him.
    you didn’t leave him any wiggle room…lol

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_(roadside_attraction)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Another_Roadside_Attraction

    rcourtney is The Thing – for the lulz

    if he does try to hiss and puff up, will you prolong the sport? anything he says that defends his mistake must necessarily present a new absurdity 2 b mocked – so you might not even get around to the second self contradiction for a while…
    or will you put him down mercifully fast?
    would you like him on exhibit here?

    Like

    • I´m not sure I can see the second contradiction, is it:
      if any exception to a concept can be proven by observation, the concept is wrong hence, if no exception to a concept can be proven by observation the concept is right?

      But that rest on the premise that validating tests has been performed within a stated context. If not, judgement about the concept should be suspended in lieu of test results.

      Like

      • the exact quote from mr easterbrook was:
        “We can probably all agree with Feynman and Einstein that “if any exception to a concept can be proven by observation, the concept is wrong,” but proving that a concept must be correct is virtually impossible.,”
        (he is paraphrasing popper’s monumental thesis (from aristotle) of ‘falsification’)

        pruning off the irrelevant:
        “if any exception to a concept can be proven by observation, the concept is wrong”
        AND
        “proving that a concept must be correct is virtually impossible.,”

        we already simplified the latter of the 2 statements, thus:
        “… it is impossible to prove that a concept is correct…”

        a little more syntactic reformation:
        “nothing can be proven true”

        next, reduce the former thus:
        “if any exception to a concept can be proven by observation, the concept is incorrect”
        ‘if any contradiction is proven true, it falsifies the concept’

        so it yields the second self contradiction:
        *it is true that *
        ‘if any contradiction is proven true, it falsifies the concept’
        and
        “nothing can be proven true”
        (must include contradictory statements, too)

        popperian pretzel logic in a nutshell:
        you can’t prove anything but the unprovability of proof
        it’s an inbred cousin of ‘everything i say is a lie’

        Like

        • Popper provided one of the reasons for his view on page 444 in The logic of scientific discovery.

          “For quite generally in assuming the truth, or the falsity, of some test-statement, we can only establish the falsity of the statement under test, but not its truth. The reason is that the latter entails an infinite number of test statements.”

          He refers to his Postscript for a fuller explanation. Did not have time to look into that now. Bedtime at my longitude.

          Like

        • “For quite generally in assuming the truth, or the falsity, of some test-statement, we can only establish the falsity of the statement under test, but not its truth. The reason is that the latter entails an infinite number of test statements.”

          sounds like
          you can’t know everything so you can’t know anything!
          I know this! and that’s because i know everything!

          Like

  6. well, it looks like you have all the ingredients for a nice first chapter in your book “It’s OK to Be Sane”,
    Professor Popper Was a Pickled Pecker…

    Like

      • he really didn’t need to define his terms because he was simply paraphrasing popper’s words which were very simply refuting the existence of truth even as they assert that the refutation be true.

        that a concept is not the nature it represents is trivially true and does not contradict the existence of or proof of true things. (this is all a rerun of plato’s ‘essence’ crap).
        platonic essence argument is used to deprecate reason per se. it is evil because its purpose is to cripple consciousness itself.
        it’s simply the nature of things that a brain must use digitized chunks. (labels with definitions = words)
        this is not a defect and does not negate the concept of truth. this is the nature of conceptualization and the means by which we discover truth.
        note that all who attempt to degrade intelligence must assert truth to deny it, must use logic to refute logic, these arguments can not be valid because they require self contradiction and you have the ability to see through them now.

        Liked by 1 person

    • the platonic essence argument is an exploit that impairs reasoning by directly deprecating the law of identity.
      the core assertion is that nothing can be known.
      (at the same time, the assertion is delivered as a known (proven) truth.)

      somehow it works on some people, which is not funny, but reminds me of a joke we used to pull as kids-
      one of us would point at some kid and tell him ‘your epidermis is showing!’ and we’d snicker about it.
      the victim would look himself all over trying to figure out what was responsible for his humiliation.
      eventually we’d define ‘epidermis’ for him and he’d help do it to the next kid and all was well.

      somebody like plato or popper never supplies the resolution – they use it to extort tribute and gain power.
      after all, when somebody is convinced that he can’t know anything, that’s when he is ready to give up everything to the guru who will reveal the ineffable truth, the hidden meaning.
      (and then mr guru never does – cuz if he did, there’d be no mystery and no more tribute)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. if you have not yet made the acquaintance –
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Lies_(Crowley)
    (just one of a long parade of gurus who have specialized in these exploits)

    crowley was an influential mystic in his time
    another one was madam blavatsky.
    more recent ones are guru maharaj ji, l.ron.hubbard, billy graham, oral roberts, hegal, kant, hume, kuhn, popper…

    (if you read the whole wiki page on crowley, you might wonder which chapter really reveals the guru’s secret.
    it’s 88, GOLD BRICKS http://www.sacred-texts.com/oto/lib333.htm )

    ” Teach us Your real secret, Master! how to become
    invisible, how to acquire love, and oh! beyond all,
    how to make gold.”

    and then he does – really.
    read page 6 first, tho.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. i’m very surprised that mr rcourtney just fled. it makes me wonder about his health, tbh. i did not imagine he could ever just walk away from a confrontation he instigated himself.
    he’s a level 6 troll and you just poof! gone!
    even tho your strike was swift and true, i had expected a lot of thrashing around.
    yeah… he should have been exciting but it looks like he just got pithed.
    poleaxed. clobbered. squelched. destroyed. splashed. nuked.

    well, you were just invulnerable. now it turns out you might be invincible.
    i hear there are positions available for dragon slayers.
    breitbart has an opening i know of.

    Like

      • so you solved the problem you had set for yourself.
        in the process you acquired the means to achieve full immunity to falsehood.
        you’ve proven to yourself that your mind is adequate to solve the puzzles that thwart human progress.
        and for the cherry on top, you learned:

        well, that’s not entirely true.
        those who traced the same path get it.
        but mostly it’s about you. because that large S tattooed on your chest stands for Self.

        what the market demands, today, is mic.drop soundbite trollery.
        people want an intellectual version of dirty harry who doesn’t negotiate with villainy but simply extinguishes it – makes it go away definitively. no hugs for thugs.
        people want to see the good guys win. they want to be reassured that there is such a thing.
        but the systematic destruction of all the heroic icons, from baby burning soldiers to faggot football players to brokeback ridge has left the world bereft.
        there’s a market for heroes – always has been and always will be- but people right now would happily settle to see a villain obliterated with no further discussion.

        breitbart recently lost milo. milo was no hero but he was good at splattering.
        they are probably looking hard for somebody to fill that job.
        so if you wanted a possible path out of the silence, that’s my suggestion.

        but first, teach your kids what heroism really is.
        it’s not about sacrifice; it’s about the ultimate virtue and the standard of value.
        that ‘S’ stands for ‘sapiens’, too.

        howbow dah?

        Like

        • Entirely true, down to that Breitbart thing. ( I´m not sure I understand the ´heroic icon´ part by the way. Check if that came out right. ) I don´t think Breitbart would fit with the next goal that I have set for myself – to become a charming old man.
          ( I´m 50 now. 🙂 )

          I just happen to think that it would be a good thing to have proper principles of science identified and defined.

          Else than that, I´m happy staying in the dark and wearing a mask, no need for me personally to come out of silence. My blog was primarily established just to come clean about my position and my opinions. Besides I needed a site to publish supporting material for my comments.

          And, I´m a lousy author – I use hours to write a single paragraph or a single comment.

          Like

        • ( I´m not sure I understand the ´heroic icon´ part by the way. Check if that came out right. )

          once upon a time there were whole classes of people who were held up as examples worthy of emulation.
          about the only bunch that hasn’t been denigrated are the astronauts.
          if you think about it, your ‘Principles of Science’ is no work of praise but arises from the destruction of such a class.

          scientists used to be regarded as the embodiment of human virtue – heroic.
          (heroic: possessing the mental or moral rectitude to prevail over danger, difficulty or opposition.)
          now, whenever i read in the news : “scientists say…” i am conditioned to expect a load of bollocks.

          there used to be many individuals one could point out to one’s children and say ‘try to be like that person’.
          there used to be ready examples of human beings who were good or great.
          heh- you’re ‘it’, now. do it yourself if you want it done, right? besides, whatever you practice you get good at.

          all righty, then.
          congratulations on a job well done.
          the world is a little bit better.

          Like

        • “whatever you practice you get good at”

          I remember this one:

          gnomish August 25, 2016 at 8:32 pm

          “heh- play with the ideas more- you’ve had an introduction but i don’t see that you’ve become particularly proficient – and don’t expect to without practice. anything you think, say or do is a rehearsal – what you rehearse, you get good at it. rehearse critical thinking enough and thinking becomes a habit – a habit is very easy to repeat any time and very hard to break. your consciousness is your means of survival. if your survival is a good thing for you – you know what to do. exercise your consciousness.
          moar!”

          I guess the principles of science will not be popular because:

          The No. 1 Contributor to Happiness

          “Guess what’s been reported to be the number one contributor to happiness?

          Money? No.

          Good looks? Nope.

          Popularity? Still nope.

          A hot sex life? Guess again!

          According to a report by The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, all these mentioned life goodies were topped by the biggest life goodie of them all: “autonomy” – defined as “the feeling that your life – its activities and habits — are self-chosen and self-endorsed.”

          Or – maybe far fetched.

          Anyhow – these principles can be wrapped in many ways – eventually we might get a meme going. 🙂

          Like

        • “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”
          – Leo Tolstoj

          Like

        • ” the biggest life goodie of them all: “autonomy” – defined as “the feeling that your life – its activities and habits — are self-chosen the biggest life goodie of them all: “autonomy” – defined as “the feeling that your life – its activities and habits — are self-chosen”

          true for most if not all vertebrates, too, suspect.
          it’s sort of like air or food – something without which living things can’t exactly flourish.
          there is the great thrill when one recovers from an illness, but very soon after, it is perfectly normal to take health for granted (well, we did evolve on this planet, right?)

          Liked by 1 person

  9. another thing is the substitution of semiotics for language.
    without words, critical thinking is not possible.
    (word: a symbol that has a definition)

    Like

      • Everything we have discussed is simple in principle, but there is a number of terms and definitions to grasp. A 10 year old kid might get it.

        Kids might understand these principles rather easily, but our school system does not teach our kids critical thinking.

        Reminds me of a comment from my 10 old kid a few years back:
        “Dad, that brain of yours is not very good”

        🙂 🙂 🙂

        Like

        • “Kids might understand these principles rather easily, but our school system does not teach our kids critical thinking.”

          all righty- shall we have some fun with ethics?
          any ethical issue can be resolved in terms of ‘ownership’ and ”damage’
          some axioms:
          if there is no damage, there is no claim.
          owner has exclusive rights regarding a property

          the easy part is to identify what it alleged as damage:
          the crippling of a particular child’s intellectual development

          equally simple, really, but another one of those pons asinorums is to identify the owner of the property.
          care to give that one a go?
          maybe start by defining ‘child’
          pro tip: for any implicit value in any premise, double check for missing context. always ask ‘to whom’ and ‘for what’.

          Like

    • “The Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ levelled to every understanding, and too plain to need explanation, saw, in the mysticisms of Plato, materials with which they might build up an artificial system which might, from it’s indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power & pre-eminence.”

      That goes for every kind of religion.

      Like

      • of course.
        and popper is the son of plato with his unknowable reality that can only be divinely revealed through him.
        see how that works? popper simply repackaged the soul of mysticism so it could be fed to scientists.

        Like

  10. Science or Fiction March 19, 2017 at 12:43 am
    I might have a discussion going. Have a look:

    want to do a semantic analysis of his comment?
    “Countless disputes in science were settled long before any of those “principles” were formulated. They’re abstract rules, almost irrelevant to the actual social processes of scientists and their institutions.”

    i’ll go first:
    the ‘scare’ quotes are the same as describing a statement as an unsubstantiated allegation.
    substitute ‘alleged principles’ and for ‘alleged principles’ substitute ‘let me draw attention to the fact that i do not stipulate that those statements are, in truth, principles and wish to preserve an option to dispute that later.’

    that’s quite a lot for a couple of punctuation marks, eh?

    your turn!

    Like

      • i didn’t notice any scare quotes around “scientists”, so he wasn’t talking about the fakes even though if the term ‘unprincipled’ were applicable, it would definitely belong to the fakes

        Like

      • heh- ‘not curious’ doesn’t properly characterize our larry – he’s telling you to sit at popper’s feet and soak up the wisdom…lol
        i don’t have any way to reply there (i don’t have social media accounts and won’t get one) but if i did, i might say:

        larry says: ” I suggest reading Karl Popper”
        so you think I have not read popper, is it? to which the reply must be: you guessed wrong and I countersuggest that you have failed to understand what he said.
        popper is a mystic. he repackaged plato’s unknowable essence so it could be fed to the gullible and cripple their cognitive abilities. popper is anti-science.
        it’s already done a job on you. look at all the assertions you are presenting as if they were true.
        with popper as your guru of choice (and only crippled minds seek gurus) how can you claim to know that anything is true?
        didn’t popper tell you that the only thing you can prove is that proof is unprovable?
        and didn’t you utterly fail to recognize the self contradiction?
        or did you have some divine revelation? do you have supernatural powers?
        don’t look now, but there’s a noumenal essence under your bed – you know it’s there because you can’t prove it.

        Like

  11. ah- i can’t resist…
    ‘Countless disputes in science were settled long before ‘
    means:
    ‘there are innumerable examples that falsify the notion that a bunch of alleged principles are necessary to resolve any rational disagreement’
    reduces to
    ‘scientists have no use for a list of ‘principles’
    absurdly:
    ‘we don’t need no steenkin principles!’

    Liked by 1 person

    • logic much?

      formal principles… hah!
      wut r they gud 4? absolutely nothin! huh!

      nothing you can know is true
      and what you can is false.
      and somewhere in between the 2
      there be teh mystic curse

      nothing can be proven true
      except for lies, you see?
      divinely, it’s revealed to you
      that you depend on me.

      think about it:
      what point is there in thinking much
      when knowledge can’t be known
      reality is just a crutch
      in The Twilight Zone.

      the ineffable is complicated- way above your pay grade
      so you must rely on experts. trust me.
      my name is larry and i approved this message.
      so do curly and moe

      Liked by 1 person

  12. you got another response over at kummer’s squat:
    “Doug Norman (@ComplexSE)
    With regards to the priciples of scientific pursuit listed above, while these are good, they are not sufficient. They rely on formal systems, and any formal system will be incomplete (Godel’s incompleteness theorem).”

    it’s just making noise to indicate presence and begs for no reply beyond ‘hi, i see you too’… lol
    but if you would toss it in the mouth of moloch, seek its wisdom on how, exactly, goedel’s incompleteness theorem was proven.
    (he’s misrepresenting goedel, too)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. wanna show them some pope of science? let’s have an inquisition, then.
    if you roast popper, you will get an audience, i’m sure.
    the monkeys can’t resist reaching into holes.

    THE INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH:

    TRAINING THE ELOI
    when someone tries to use logic to prove that logic can’t prove anything, is it:
    A cute as my little pony
    B unfathomable by mere mortals
    C a divine revelation of the ineffable
    D the perfect person to raise your children

    which one is popper and which one is kummer?

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/nov/14/how-to-avoid-monkey-trap-oliver-burkeman

    Like

      • other ones are not so funny – when the man wants to eat the monkey – when the monkey’s error in thinking is fatal.
        did you ever watch the Dan Pearl beheading?
        that’s even more interesting because at the last minute he is able to understand that his beliefs are in error.
        then he doubles down on stupid.

        Like

    • I think that these are the significant Popperian seeds that monkeys will have to drop.
      – definitions are unimportant
      – nothing else than tautologies can be true
      – that a degree of corroboration can be assigned to a theory
      Any more?

      Like

      • popper is fashionable among the wuwt crowd because it’s easy to understand the concept of falsification.
        (also, the process of evolution is hardly based on survival of the fittest ((nature only requires adequacy)) but on rejection of the unfit. this is falsification of a genetic line = crossing out a wrong answer)
        and the idea that [a concept which can not be proven false (by its nature) can not be logical] is an easy way to feel the satisfaction of refuting a warmist.
        but accepting the rider that nothing can be proven true is the hook in that bait and it directly contradicts the nature of truth. it devalues knowledge, per se. it is corrosive to the intellect and reduces sapiens to erectus.

        falsification requires proving the truth of something contradictory so this poisoning affects all mental efforts.

        whatever else you care to demolish, do that 2 headed monstrosity because if you splatter it to its elements, you nuke all the gurus by proving that truth proceeds from proof. yeah, it also proves there is no supernatural anything. that’s not exactly trivial.

        Like

      • Popper’s Pons Asinorum.
        “Thales’ second theorem generally known by its medieval name, pons asinorum (bridge of asses), because stupid, or stubborn geometry students could not master its proof. ” [1]
        AB≅AC given isosceles
        ∠BAC≅∠CAB same angle
        AC≅AB given isosceles
        ∴△BAC≅△CAB by SAS
        ∴∠ABC≅∠ACB by congruence

        For Popper, the existence of proof itself was a bridge too far….

        [1] http://new.math.uiuc.edu/public403/greekgeometry/intro.html

        Like

    • Sorry for being absent

      Science or Fiction | March 24, 2017 at 7:11 pm |

      A lost sole – he will never learn – I guess. He catched the bait though – I´m just practicing to deal with mystics.

      It takes a lot of time. I´m wasting my time on him – I know – but that is not why I spend that time. I spend that time becasue I learn from it – there might be a nother occational reader – and I keep what I learn for later.
      He will not respond. Maybe others will start thinking.

      Learned from you – I think:
      “heh- play with the ideas more- you’ve had an introduction but i don’t see that you’ve become particularly proficient – and don’t expect to without practice. anything you think, say or do is a rehearsal – what you rehearse, you get good at it. rehearse critical thinking enough and thinking becomes a habit – a habit is very easy to repeat any time and very hard to break.”

      Like

      • mosher is very articulate and experienced at rhetoric.
        he may not be interested in science as much as selling himself.
        he is his product, you know. it’s common in the bay area.

        Like

      • i was just having fun with statistics.
        the one about the statistician found dead with his feet in the freezer and his head in the oven (but on the average he felt fine) is really hackneyed
        and the one about the average person having one testicle and one ovary is a rerun,
        so, questing for new material to mock numerologists (even if i have to make them up myself)
        some leaves were red and some were green- what was the average color?

        Like

        • Sobering:
          The Nature of Science in Science Education

          “One element of the survey examined individuals’ views about how science is conducted. The study designers formulated a series of questions aimed at classifying respondents’ positions on a four level hierarchy of nature of science understanding.

          Those at the highest level (Level I) understand that science is concerned with the development and testing of theory. Those responding who lack this degree of sophistication, but still have an awareness that experiments require a control group would be classified as Level II. Individuals at Level III do not have the comprehension of those in the higher two groups but still see scientific findings based on a foundation of careful and rigorous comparison with precise measurements. Those lacking any understanding of the nature of science were classified as Level IV.

          These findings are sobering. Two percent of the two thousand adult respondents were at Level I, 21 percent were at Level II, 13 percent were at Level III and 64 percent were at Level IV. This finding is sobering. Even as measured by the basic nature of science elements contained in this study, more than 60 percent of the American public effectively had no knowledge of how science works.”

          I guess that is why John Cook´s consensus argument seem to work.

          Like

  14. it’s really quite silly how little it takes to make the top 2% – to the degree that failure to do it requires some concerted effort. the outcome you remark on above is the result of parents’ efforts.
    that 2% may breed true – you can raise your kids your way.

    Like

    • So many refer to “the scientific method”.
      I have been searching a bit at Google scholar the last few day to see if I can find anything useful on the so-called scientific method. Maybe I´m incredibly bad at searching – I don´t know. Anyhow, I can´t find anything that is really useful and well-defined – how come?

      I know I´m a nerd – that should be very well documented by now. I understand that you might be the wrong person to ask. Anyhow, I imagine that you would not have invested so much in this project if you just as easily could have pointed out something similar to the principles we have been working with. Even though I believe you enjoyed the process, you could have pointed something out to me if you knew about something similar.

      It seems that everybody thinks that “the scientific method” is well known and settled – but no one took the effort to define the basic principles – beats me. I know that many engineers learn it the hard way. But well-defined principles are nowhere to be found. You got any clues?

      Like

      • heh- that’s exactly what i’m not going to do even though it’s almost trivial exercise.
        i could give a great long dissertation on my reasoning but that’s totally not public concern even if anybody did care.

        you made this your mission because you determined it was important to you for some purpose.
        what you really were after was to prove to yourself that your mind was adequate to do it.
        you did. you did great. therefore you are great. and it’s all yours, legitimately.
        That was the point and i knew it.
        i’m an enabler, not a guru.
        you’re self possessed, not a minion.
        that much is right with the world.

        that said, where do you want to go today?
        start by defining the status quo and then the desired destination.
        if it is possible to do, your mind is adequate to the task.

        Like

        • «Where do you want to go today?»

          I´m thinking that ethical guidelines in the pursuit of knowledge might be worth some consideration.

          E.g. the principle §1: 

          «A scientific argument consists of clearly stated premises, inferences and conclusions.»
          has an ethical implication:
          A scientist states clearly all premises, inferences, and the conclusion of his argument.

          The code of conduct that I refer to in the principles v7.4 (e.g. Singapore Statement on Research Integrity) typically care about things that are irrelevant to truth, but relevant to policy

          2. Adherence to Regulations: Researchers should be aware of and adhere to regulations and policies related to research.
          
(Comment: What if the policy related to research imply a certain outcome? Or what if the policy is based on false premises?)

          5. Research Findings: Researchers should share data and findings openly and promptly, as soon as they
          have had an opportunity to establish priority and ownership claims.
          (What if the researcher feel like the priority and ownership claims are not established?)

          6. Authorship: Researchers should take responsibility for their contributions to all publications, funding applications, reports and other representations of their research. Lists of authors should include all those and only those who meet applicable authorship criteria.
          (That is really irrelevant to the pursuit of knowledge).

          7. Publication Acknowledgement: Researchers should acknowledge in publications the names and roles of those who made significant contributions to the research, including writers, funders, sponsors, and others, but do not meet authorship criteria.
          (That is really irrelevant to the pursuit of knowledge.)

          8. Peer Review: Researchers should provide fair, prompt and rigorous evaluations and respect confidentiality when reviewing others’ work.
          (A fair principle in a community of scientists, but irrelevant in the pursuit of true concepts)

          9. Conflict of Interest: Researchers should disclose financial and other conflicts of interest that could compromise the trustworthiness of their work in research proposals, publications and public communications as well as in all review activities.
          (Cute, but all scientists are biased – if not by something external they will be biased all by themselves.)

          As you stated somewhere: Intellectual properties are irrelevant to the truth of a statement.

          Like

        • ok. starting with some definitions, then. you might get the final answer down to 3 words but you won’t get there without a page full of definitions…lol
          ethics: application of morality to personal interaction.
          morality: science of choice
          value: that which furthers the existence of a living thing in a way consistent with its nature
          (morality is a value. this is recursion, not circularity)
          (and here is where you define the standard of values by which one will measure alternatives)
          virtue: the means by which one gains or keeps something of value

          right: ethical ownership of a property
          (here is where you find the only form of intellectual property is a secret)
          ownership: exclusive control of a property
          property: (in this sense) a material object (something which can not be in 2 places at once)

          all ethical issues are resolved in terms of ownership and damage.
          if there is no damage, there is no claim
          only the owner has a right to make a claim

          you can achieve the same outcome by various routes… there’s no doubt about that.
          it would be more theatrical to leave a trail of debunked gurus. going ‘duterte harry’ on a few dead greeks and germans could produce an entertaining byproduct.
          makes the journey memorable (memogenic? like photogenic if it were a jungle tour?)
          the alternative can be mighty soporific – but it all depends on what’s the real point of the exercise.

          on the other matter,there are a few ways i can get ‘the scientific method’ down to 2 or 3 words, but it requires the glossary. can’t do a job without the right tools.

          Like

        • I will start with being mighty soporific, that is a necessary basis for being able to reveal absurdities. 🙂

          These are the ethical guidelines that follow from the principles:

          “§1 A scientist clearly states the premises, inferences, and conclusions of his arguments.”
          §2 A scientist identifies premises and their sources and makes sure that these are readily available for independent verification.
          §3 A scientist use logically valid inferences. Whenever the truth of the premises does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion, the argument is clearly identified as a belief, opinion, or hypothesis.

          §8 A scientist only refers to concepts as validated for the context covered by the validating tests
          §9 A scientist base statements on verifiable data and makes sure that data and precise information about how that data was obtained are readily available for independent verification. Whenever data are corrected or disregarded, a scientist provides both uncorrected and corrected data together with a scientific argument for the correction.
          §10 A scientist ensure that measurement reports contain traceable values, units and stated uncertainty for well-defined measurands in a well-defined context.
          §11 A scientist ensures that prediction reports contain values, units and claimed capability for well-defined measurands in well-defined contexts.”

          Ethical guidelines of science: Identification of behaviors that promote identification of truths

          Like

        • a little of what you say is properly ‘morality’ but a lot of it is more a matter of contractual obligations (which are, indeed, part of ethics but only qua contract)
          if somebody is hired to produce a study of how water damages electronic components, it would not be acceptable for the employee to instead produce a study of how water can be beneficial. if keeping a promise is an ethical value, then breaking a promise is unethical.
          lying is evil when you do it to yourself – that’s a moral issue. it might not be so when you do it to somebody else. it may be unethical or not, depending on context.
          recently i have solved all the major issues about FFF 3d printing technology. i don’t have to publish shit. I don’t have to report or document or anything at all for anybody else. i hired myself and those were the terms.
          i am under no obligation to ‘share’ (that means give it up for free).
          were i employed by somebody else, the somebody else has the right to dictate the terms of my employment and i have the right to accept or refuse.

          there is a tense in the romance languages called ‘subjunctive’
          the entire purpose of this tense is to manipulate fictions.
          when one says ‘the sun should shine’ it means ‘the sun is not shining’
          wishes are subjunctive. one wishes that somebody ‘may’ do something. that is to say he is not doing it.
          if you must resort to subjunctive tense, you are asserting the fallacy of the contention.
          so, in summary:
          there is no shoulda, woulda, coulda.
          it is what it is.
          that can not be wrong.
          it can be bad for somebody or good for somebody or irrelevant.
          the question of values Always presupposes an answer to the question ‘to whom?’ and ‘for what?’.
          whole lots of context has to be dropped like a bad habit for the sort of writings you’ve been citing to exist.
          they are not ethical manifestos in any sense. they are employee rules, pretty much. the employer has all the rights to choose what he wants to buy and not buying what he doesn’t want.

          Liked by 1 person

        • As a scientist is free to do whatever he likes for himself and to himself I gather that ethics only becomes relevant the moment a scientific statement, argument or concept in the name of science is applied or published in a way that directly or indirectly can cause harm to or curb the freedom of other humans.

          In that case, a person that applies the scientific result has an ethical responsibility to ensure that the scientific result is verified, and remain verifiable to those affected.

          Like

        • my mission in life is to make sense… i’m gonna go ahead and post something ‘in my own internal language’ by way of contrast to an elaborate tapestry of verbiage – see if you can make sense of it:

          autonomic:
          consciousness: identification
          inquiry – what is it?

          voluntary:
          logic: noncontradictory identification
          definition = distinction

          science: systematic discovery of truth

          the function libraries
          1. inquire.dll
          2. postulate.dll
          3. prove.dll

          scientific macarena:
          observe
          label
          define
          rinse
          wash
          repeat

          scientific method: systematic refinement of a definition.
          a bird grooms his feathers cuz he’s a bird; so man grooms his cognition.

          Like

  15. Science or Fiction April 11, 2017 at 4:21 pm
    “As a scientist is free to do whatever he likes for himself and to himself I gather that ethics only becomes relevant the moment a scientific statement, argument or concept in the name of science is applied or published in a way that directly or indirectly can cause harm to or curb the freedom of other humans.

    In that case, a person that applies the scientific result has an ethical responsibility to ensure that the scientific result is verified, and remain verifiable to those affected.”

    That is a well formed statement and the perfect opening statement for your thesis. Really nice.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s