Mark My Words 3.0

"[Machinery] will never be a substitute for the face of a man, with his soul in it, encouraging another man to be brave and true." — Charles Dickens

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What Scientists Do

Here’s two summaries from two scientists on what scientists actually do:

  1. Formulate theory, do experiment, show hypothesis wrong then use data from last experiment (and all the ones before) to formulate new theory
  2. We observe, we hypothesise, we test to break… We start from where we are and work outwards… But scientists do not work TO norms & values; we work WITH norms & values, and break them too… in proper science you can be *wrong*.

These summaries are extracted from a larger discussion on the philosophy of science. (This discussion does lead into exploring social science which is defined as “essentially how apes understand how apes behave in groups of apes”.) The first summary is a classic deductive approach of theory-hypothesis-observation-confirmation. The second summary is loosely based on an inductive approach of observation-pattern-tentative hypothesis-theory but includes an element of deduction whereby the theory is “tested” ad infinitum. Both approaches are cyclical but have different, to me, starting points.

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