What is a good theory in science?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Philosophy Explorer
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What is a good theory in science?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:28 am

What characteristics does it have? Should it account for everything? How do we know that it does account for everything? Or is it perpetually fluid and how do we know that?

Which theory is most reliable in science (and how do we know that?)

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Greta
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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by Greta » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:56 am

All theories are "good" in that they have been tested many times, questioned repeatedly, backed by solid evidence.

However, theories are necessarily limited - unless we think it credible that a civilisation 10,000 years more advanced than ours would not have progressed beyond our models.

Note that, while results may be repeatable, that does not necessarily mean that the perceived emphases of those events are accurate. For instance, Ptolomy's geocentric solar system yielded correct predictions:
The predictive power of a model does not always mean that it is accurately represents the true nature of what it is trying to explain. The geocentric model of the solar system is an example of such a case. Geocentric models dominated astrology and astronomy for almost 2000 years before scientists realised that these models, despite their predictive power, did not correctly describe the nature of the stars, the planets, and their movement.
http://quantitativepeace.com/blog/2010/ ... f-mod.html

Dubious
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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by Dubious » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:50 am

One that contains a greater distribution of probability than that contained in an hypothesis.

uwot
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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by uwot » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:49 pm

It really depends on what you want it to do. If, for instance, you want to know how much fuel to put in a rocket to reach escape velocity, Newton's theory of universal gravitation will do the trick. If you want to create a GPS system, you need Einstein's field equations. In applied physics, it's horses for courses. As I keep saying, the philosophical theory that underpins a mathematical model makes no difference to the usefulness of the maths; it is only useful if it helps to develop more advanced theories; as Greta says above. But don't take our word for it, here's Richard Feynman explaining in his peerless style. You can trust him, Philosophy Explorer; he was American: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM-zWTU7X-k
If on the other hand you want a philosophical model that explains the big bang, relativity and quantum mechanics, look no further than the "Highly recommended"* book by yours truly. Or check out the blog: https://willijbouwman.blogspot.co.uk


*"Former Philosophy Now contributor Will Bouman has just published a beautifully illustrated book which with the help of 'stickman' takes you on a journey through the big bang, relativity and quantum mechanics. Highly recommended!" https://www.facebook.com/PhilosophyNow/

Philosophy Explorer
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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:22 pm

uwot wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:49 pm
It really depends on what you want it to do. If, for instance, you want to know how much fuel to put in a rocket to reach escape velocity, Newton's theory of universal gravitation will do the trick. If you want to create a GPS system, you need Einstein's field equations. In applied physics, it's horses for courses. As I keep saying, the philosophical theory that underpins a mathematical model makes no difference to the usefulness of the maths; it is only useful if it helps to develop more advanced theories; as Greta says above. But don't take our word for it, here's Richard Feynman explaining in his peerless style. You can trust him, Philosophy Explorer; he was American: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM-zWTU7X-k
If on the other hand you want a philosophical model that explains the big bang, relativity and quantum mechanics, look no further than the "Highly recommended"* book by yours truly. Or check out the blog: https://willijbouwman.blogspot.co.uk


*"Former Philosophy Now contributor Will Bouman has just published a beautifully illustrated book which with the help of 'stickman' takes you on a journey through the big bang, relativity and quantum mechanics. Highly recommended!" https://www.facebook.com/PhilosophyNow/
Doesn't matter to me about the nationality, e.g. I trust Einstein who certainly wasn't born American.

I have a sales model for verbal selling which I developed even further. Kept me going for over ten years - I regard myself as an analyst.

PhilX 🇺🇸

uwot
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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by uwot » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:51 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:22 pm
I regard myself as an analyst.
Great. So what's your analysis of the Feynman clip?

Philosophy Explorer
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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:10 pm

uwot wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:51 pm
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:22 pm
I regard myself as an analyst.
Great. So what's your analysis of the Feynman clip?
I'll counter with a question of my own. As predicted by a sales tip, sales moved up substantially when the name of the company the rep worked at was included in his greeting. Why? (this experiment ran for two months)

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uwot
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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by uwot » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:33 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:10 pm
As predicted by a sales tip, sales moved up substantially when the name of the company the rep worked at was included in his greeting. Why? (this experiment ran for two months)
Well, as Feynman explains in the clip, I could make up any number of theories, all of which account for the data you have provided. If I were to assume that one of them was true, I might plan my future strategy on that model. If sales increase, it's a good model, whether or not it is true. In effect, that is the position that physicists are in.

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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:37 pm

uwot wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:33 pm
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:10 pm
As predicted by a sales tip, sales moved up substantially when the name of the company the rep worked at was included in his greeting. Why? (this experiment ran for two months)
Well, as Feynman explains in the clip, I could make up any number of theories, all of which account for the data you have provided. If I were to assume that one of them was true, I might plan my future strategy on that model. If sales increase, it's a good model, whether or not it is true. In effect, that is the position that physicists are in.
Actually it's a bad model. How would I know this?

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uwot
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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by uwot » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:57 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:37 pm
Actually it's a bad model. How would I know this?
Again, I could make up any number of theories, but not being privy to the information you are party to, I don't know. A physicist would not necessarily discard it, though. Should exactly the same conditions arise again, it might still be a useful model.

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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:04 pm

uwot wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:57 pm
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:37 pm
Actually it's a bad model. How would I know this?
Again, I could make up any number of theories, but not being privy to the information you are party to, I don't know. A physicist would not necessarily discard it, though. Should exactly the same conditions arise again, it might still be a useful model.
It is a bad model. My customers were already electronically greeted with the name of the company. So why would sales move up dramatically? Any ideas?

PhilX 🇺🇸

uwot
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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by uwot » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:25 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:04 pm
It is a bad model. My customers were already electronically greeted with the name of the company. So why would sales move up dramatically? Any ideas?
Depends. How much do you pay your business consultants​?

Philosophy Explorer
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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:07 pm

uwot wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:25 pm
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:04 pm
It is a bad model. My customers were already electronically greeted with the name of the company. So why would sales move up dramatically? Any ideas?
Depends. How much do you pay your business consultants​?
Consultants!!! What consultants?

It's apparent that the purpose of that sales tip is to let the customers know they've reached the right place. But the customers already knew they've reached the right place before I said a word. Yet my sales doubled from a rate of 8% to 16% in two months time (btw the quota was 3%).

I'll let you take one more guess.

PhilX 🇺🇸

PS 7 hours later and no response. I'll wait until tomorrow before continuing.

uwot
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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by uwot » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:14 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:07 pm
Consultants!!! What consultants?
The ones in the joke.
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:07 pm
It's apparent that the purpose of that sales tip is to let the customers know they've reached the right place. But the customers already knew they've reached the right place before I said a word. Yet my sales doubled from a rate of 8% to 16% in two months time (btw the quota was 3%).

I'll let you take one more guess.
That's very gracious of you.
The point that Richard Feynman is making is that there could be any number of theories that account for the facts. I have already said I don't know, but if it will speed things up, I guess it's because the information was printed on signed cheques made out to the company.

So, what did you think of the Feynman clip? Did you learn anything from one of the most brilliant scientists of the 20th century?
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:07 pm
PS 7 hours later and no response. I'll wait until tomorrow before continuing.
Part of me is curious to see how you will continue if you receive no response. Ah well, we'll never know.

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Re: What is a good theory in science?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:16 am

uwot wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:14 am
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:07 pm
Consultants!!! What consultants?
The ones in the joke.
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:07 pm
It's apparent that the purpose of that sales tip is to let the customers know they've reached the right place. But the customers already knew they've reached the right place before I said a word. Yet my sales doubled from a rate of 8% to 16% in two months time (btw the quota was 3%).

I'll let you take one more guess.
That's very gracious of you.
The point that Richard Feynman is making is that there could be any number of theories that account for the facts. I have already said I don't know, but if it will speed things up, I guess it's because the information was printed on signed cheques made out to the company.

So, what did you think of the Feynman clip? Did you learn anything from one of the most brilliant scientists of the 20th century?
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:07 pm
PS 7 hours later and no response. I'll wait until tomorrow before continuing.
Part of me is curious to see how you will continue if you receive no response. Ah well, we'll never know.
Since I don't want to risk creating monopolies, I can only say so much. The company I worked for was a cable company. I had a guess that what happened related to another experiment I did about 10 years before when I telemarketed newspaper subscriptions. This meant I had to run another experiment at the cable company which lasted six months. In this experiment I deleted the name of the cable company, but I included my sales idea from ten years prior. I raised my sales rate to 30.01 which is 10 times the quota.

The cable company had two-tiered packages because most customers were grandfathered with older packaging (when the company was under former management) while the new packages were cheaper so I don't regard it as a very significant sales achievement even though the branch gave me a sales trophy award for having the most sales of anybody. There are other elements that are part of my sales model.

Through careful analysis, you can try to whittle down the theories. I've known about Richard Feynman for years. He pioneered in nanotechnology and many other branches of science.

I converted selling into much more of a science. I've concluded that mentioning the name of the company isn't a factor in sales and that sales tip was wrong.

PhilX 🇺🇸

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