**1. Let us find out what "scientific proof" really means**

**. . . and what it doesn't**

**We can relate this to**

**daily life**

**Earth 2100**

**or whatever we feel like discussing**

**A starting point:**

**What is the difference between**

__science__**and**

__mathematics__?**2. Math:**

**prove new things**

**based on**

**existing knowledge**

**Mathematical reasoning is:**

**deductive**- 1+1=2
- 2+2=4
- Therefore,
- 1+1+1+1=4
- (proof by substitution)

- All men are mortal
- Socrates is a man
- Therefore,
- Socrates is mortal
- (proof by "syllogism")

**Deduction can prove things**- Mathematics uses deduction
- Therefore,
- mathematics can prove things
- (proof by syllogism again!)

**3. Science is different from math!**

- Science is based on:
- induction
- (not deduction)
- All apples that break off the tree,
- fall down
- Therefore, if I shake this apple tree,
- and an apple breaks off,
- it will fall down
- Not a proof!
- Can you think of a counterexample?

- That which goes up has always come down
- Therefore, if I throw this up, it will come down
- Not a proof! Can you think of a counterexample?

**4. Science needs more than induction**

Humankind has always sought

*reasons*

Scientists call those reasons

"

**theories**" and "

**hypotheses**"

__are the__

**Theories****ones**

__BIG__- relativity
- evolution
- continental drift/plate tectonics

__are the >__

**Hypotheses****little<**ones

- If the ground gets waterlogged,
- water will get into my basement
- IFSC majors
- are more employable
- than physics majors

Conclusion. . .

**Math proves;**

**science does not prove!**

Science

**disproves**

**(by refuting inductive "truths")**

Science

**explains**

(using theories)

Science

**predicts**

(because the theories predict)

**5. The phrase "scientific proof" makes no sense!**

- Science does not prove things!
- It explains things and finds evidence
- If only everyone actually knew that
- Not just you, but also
- reporters,
- spokespeople,
- politicians
- the average person

6. Example: Global Warming

7. Example: Various medical advice

8. Example: US legal system

9. Example: More speculative science

("Do toxoplasma germs control humanity?")

## No comments:

## Post a Comment