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.
  20. Luchito Registered Senior Member

    Scientific experiments are not ruled by hypothesis but by results obtained from the best method, which is trial and error.

    You can avoid the step of hypothesis and perform the experiments just to find out the result.

    For example, you want to know the length of a street block in your neighbourhood. If you want, only if you want, you can start with the hypothesis that its measurement is similar to the rest of blocks, that is 300 times the length of your body, and so forth.

    With trial and error you just need a tool. You stand backwards to a wall, mark a line using a lever over the top of your head and against the wall, and later you use a straight stick and cut it the same length. Later you use a long string hold on the edge of the sidewalk and run it straight to the other edge of the sidewalk at the end of the block. Using your invented rule, you will count how many times the ruler is used between both extremes. The result will give you the measurement of the block.

    No hypothesis was needed, just to find the way to obtain a result.

    Someone will tell you, that you can use a recognized standard measure unit, like the yard, and you say yes, but such is if you want to, because your unit of measure is valid for you and can be easily compared with a yard and also obtain the results in yards. Such is not an inconvenience at all but an easy step to be done.

    Point is that for many observations we made looking at the universe, hypothesis is not necessarily a rule, a mandatory step to find an answer.

    Do you want to find if time dilates? Then you don't need a hypothesis to find out about this phenomenon. You just need to observe time, find out its physical status, and from here send a fast object and see how time is affected. This is a very simple procedure where trial and error will give you the accurate results without worrying it if you were right or wrong with your predictions.

    Now well, you want to perform science in base of observations, and you can observe the street block and do as many trials and errors you want to. However, if you want to make experiments with time because time can't be perceived by any means, here you find out that you have been trying to perform trial and error on a hypothesis and not so using a physical means. At the end you will only perform "thought experiments" and such is not science territory but philosophy.

    Science is about the physical universe, the observable universe, the detected by instruments universe, while hypothesis might or might not related to the physical universe but to the ideas and imaginations of others. You are in the right path when you give more importance to observation first and after that finding results doing experiments without the need of the hypothesis as the first step. I support that idea.
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    An experiment is pointless without a hypothesis.

    You don't seem to appreciate the difference between raw data, hypothesis and theory.

    Raw data is just facts about the world, like "This city block needs 342 sticks of a particular uniform length to measure it from one end to the other."

    A hypothesis says something like "On average, city blocks are 300 times the average height of a human body". The hypothesis is something you could test by collecting raw data on lots of different city blocks, and lots of different human bodies.

    Finally, a theory (in its scientific sense) is something that explains why city blocks are, on average, 300 times the average height of a human body, in terms of other established theories and accepted data.

    Stamp collecting is not science. If you're just going out and looking at things with no particular ideas in mind, then you're not doing science. Doing science means trying to make sense of the world. It means organising the raw data and finding the patterns in it. That can't be done without hypotheses and theories.
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Scene 1:
    Scientist 1; "Lets find out how it works!"
    Scientist 2: "How what works?"
    Scientist 1: "Huh?" Oh, we'll find out when we start finding out how it works.....hehe...

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