If hypothesis were a dream.

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Beaconator, Sep 2, 2021.

  1. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

    If the scientific method evolved what more could it become?

    if science was defeated and based it’s last resort not on observation, but to show how an experiment could lead to an observation.

    an experiment with no hypothesis can exist if we look only to observe the reaction.

    without an hypothesis we rely on pure observation. Not two observations or a control group.

    without a control group we are left with pure observation.

    that is the way science should be done from now on pure observation. Observing a problem and experimenting a solution.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
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  3. Ssssssss Registered Senior Member

    Tell me how to measure the length of a rod without using a hypothesis.
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  5. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

    An hypothesis.
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  7. Ssssssss Registered Senior Member

  8. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

  9. Ssssssss Registered Senior Member

    Well I'll answer then: "I'd measure it with a ruler".

    Why didn't I tell you the time of day when I made the measurement? Because I relied on the hypothesis that the length of a rod doesn't vary significantly through the day.
    Why didn't I tell you what material the ruler I used was made of? Because I relied on the hypothesis that length of a rod doesn't depend on the material being used in the measurement.
    Why didn't I tell you...? Because I relied on the hypothesis that ... doesn't affect the length of a rod. [Fill in the blanks with whatever parameter takes your fancy]

    Actually I'm fundamentally relying on a model of nature in which "length" is a meaningful parameter that several observers can measure using the same process and come to the same answer. I can't prove that any measurement actually obeys that model so I'm relying on a lot of hypotheses about the world continuing to operate by understandable laws that are the same today as they were yesterday and the same here as they are over there. It's an issue with any physical measurement that you have to have a theory of some kind even a really crude one just to conceive of measuring something so "no hypotheses" is an idea that's dead on arrival.

    I'm throwing up all of these objections about a measurement you learned how to do in primary school and the philosophical issues don't go away as you make more and more complex measurements depending on more and more complex machines.
    sideshowbob likes this.
  10. Ssssssss Registered Senior Member

    You're hardly the first person to want to have physics without all those preconceived narrow-minded theories that blinker all us poor physicists and blind us to the truths that lie in the raw measurements Beaconator but you cannot do measurement without theory because the idea of there being meaningful measurable quantities is a theory itself.
  11. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

    • This post is off topic for this thread and has already been spammed across several different threads. The member posting this has been previously asked not to do this.
    So what’s your hypothesis about all tangible elements being put in the same spot?
  12. Ssssssss Registered Senior Member

    Not even Beaconator believes his nonsense in this thread because at the same time I was posting here before he added post #19 to his other thread which is an entirely observationless claim about the nature of fundamental particles.
    You still haven't specified it accurately.
  13. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

    Just because I don’t believe in the future of particle physics doesn’t mean I don’t believe in lava lamps.
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    One does not experiment things.
    Were defeated. (Unless you mean to argue from the premise that science was in fact defeated at some time in the past, you want the subjunctive).
    - - - - -
    Probably the first thing that would happen is that people would quit checking their assumptions against observation - that's a lot of work.
    btw: How did you identify something as a "problem"? As a thing in the first place?
    You can't identify a "reaction" without a hypothesis.
    Ssssssss likes this.
  15. Beaconator Valued Senior Member

    But a reaction is not a “product” and does not tell us much about the product’s properties.
  16. Beaconator Valued Senior Member


    musical interlude
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Moderator note: Beaconator has been warned for spamming this topic into yet another thread, following previous warnings not to do so.

    Due to accumulated warning points, Beaconator will be away from sciforums for quite a long time.
  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    A better account of what scientists actually do when they are doing science?

    I'm not sure what you mean there. Confronted with a problem that science can't solve?

    That latter sounds like a question from the philosophy of science. There's quite a bit of interest in the epistemology of experiment and in what observations actually are. (Just think quantum mechanics.)

    Yes, I think that quite a bit of scientific work isn't really a matter of trying to confirm hypotheses. (What does confirm mean?) There are all kinds of initial surveys for example, in geology, astronomy or ecology, that are just trying to describe what's out there, without trying to confirm any hypotheses about it.

    Yes, I agree.

    But there will be preconceptions that go into it, about what will likely be observed and how best to observe whatever it is. And scientific observations often require instruments and methods, all of which have lots of theory already baked into them. So it already starts to form into loops and circles of reasoning right out of the gate. The so-called "theory-ladenness of perception". It's a philosophical question to determine whether a pure observation is even possible. Perhaps the closest that we can come there is everyday "anecdotal" experience.

    An ecologist might want to observe the numbers and diversity of insects living in a particular area, in a rainforest floor or something. He or she will already have the idea of observing insects and have some means to identify them however roughly. That will depend crucially on what is already known about insects and their taxonomy.

    But our ecologist might not have any hypotheses about what he of she will find, beyond the expectation that insects will be present. The purpose of the survey is to determine how many insects are present and what kinds of insects they are. That work might then enable hypothesis generation about what kind of insect ecology is happening there, what the insects are eating, what is eating them. and what sort of lives they lead.

    I wouldn't go that far. Surveys are just an initial step. They are indeed science despite the fact that they don't conform to the "scientific method", but I don't think that it would be advantageous to eliminate hypotheses entirely.

    For example, a Mars rover like Perseverance can roll around taking rock samples and making preliminary analyses of what kind of rocks they are. Igneous? What kind of minerals are observed? Sedimentary? All kinds of stuff like that, without any preexisting hypotheses about what it will find. Observation in your sense. Of course all kinds of assumptions will be built in such as the assumption that the rover will encounter rocks, rocks that are close enough to Earth rocks as to be identifiable by standard methods.

    But hypotheses are bound to start popping out of planetary scientists' heads about what kind of geological (is that the right word on another planet?) processes gave rise to what the rover found. So subsequent rovers (and eventually humans) will be tasked with trying to confirm those hypotheses so as to generate a better picture of Mars' history.

    That sounds like the standard orthodox 'scientific method', where the proposed 'solution' is the hypothesis.

    I personally think that there's a preliminary stage that is nevertheless undeniably part of science, in which problems originally arise.

    Observe (the survey stage), ask questions about what is observed (a problem generation stage), then start generating hypotheses and start thinking of ways to differentiate between them.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
    Beaconator likes this.
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    How can you defeat curiosity and inquiry? OK, perhaps an Orwellian 1984 might accomplish that.

    Come to think of it, we are well on the way to defeating science in favor of "freedom of thought", i.e. dreaming up alternative realities, such as rejecting vaccination, in favor of drinking bleach to kill Covid.

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