Re: Pasteur quote

From: bivalve (
Date: Tue Jan 01 2002 - 18:04:17 EST

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    >Is it possible for you to sketch out how one might try to validate a theory which is neither quantitave nor predictive in nature?<

    Many theories that are qualitative rather than quantitative can easily be subjected to experimental testing. If predictive does not include retrodictive, then it is also possible to test the retrodiction without having a prediction. For example, I observe that my window seems dark and theorize that the sun has set. This theory addresses what has already happened. I can predict that, based on my theory, I would observe certain things if I looked out the window. However, the theory does not predict what will happen in the future, except in the case of future examination of evidence of past events. In contrast, the theory that the window will seem dark every time the sun goes down provides a more strictly predictive element.
       However, a theory that does not produce detectable effects of some sort, either past or future, does seem scientifically untestable. Such theories might be assesed using other data, e.g. theological criteria.

        Dr. David Campbell
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    That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at Droigate Spa

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