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  1. TheRuss is offline
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    is badder than you

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    Posted On:
    8/09/2008 6:53pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Oh, and since I'm on a library kick...

    Quote Originally Posted by Telum
    If you want to get into the philosophy of science, instead of reading commencement speeches, read some writing from Popper.
    Any suggestions as to particular books?
  2. Telum is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/11/2008 2:28am


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    Quote Originally Posted by JKDChick
    Actually it is logically impossible to prove a negative. Most Scientists know this.
    Its a good thing that scientific conclusions arent held to the same standard as math (that is, logic), or we would have no science at all.

    Experiment:
    Lets have two theories: 1) All objects fall at the same rate. 2) Objects fall in direct proportion to their masses

    Data:
    Mass(kg) Time to fall 5 meters(s) (average, 10 trials)
    1 1.01
    1.5 1.05
    2 0.97
    2.5 1.03
    3 0.99


    Now, we can see that 2) does not fit the data. But does that prove 1?

    The answer is no. There are more theories (infinitely many). Perhaps objects fall according to some sinusoidal function of mass. Or according to the iterated logarithim of mass, or any arbitrary function.

    So all we can say from this experiment is that it is very unlikly that objects fall in proportion to their masses. We then choose the simplest theory that explains the data, which in this case, is that mass has no influence on acceleration due to gravity. (Which is wrong, but the error involved is orders of magnitude less than we can detect)


    Any suggestions as to particular books?
    Logic of Scientific discovery. But I woudnt exactly read it for fun.
  3. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/11/2008 11:26am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Telum
    Logic of Scientific discovery. But I woudnt exactly read it for fun.
    I had a conversation a few years back that was remarkably similar to this one. I took great offense to what I felt was the other party's insinuation that until I'd read works by a few authors (I went back and checked, and Popper was one of them), I was unqualified to discuss the philosophy of science. Things got personal, and the long and short of it is that we no longer speak, and that still bothers me to this day.

    It seems logical to me that I can solve the problem of being told to go read some Popper by going and reading some Popper. Maybe I'll learn some things I hadn't thought of, or maybe I'll pick up some terminology to better describe my own ideas, or maybe I'll fall asleep halfway through and give up. Either way, at least I won't lose any more acquaintances over it.
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