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Re: [OM] In case you hadn't heard....

Subject: Re: [OM] In case you hadn't heard....
From: Andrew Fildes <afildes@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2014 17:46:09 +1100
I can't accept that, I'm afraid. 
Trial and error is a legitimate experimental technique which implies testing 
various likely scenarios until one works. And trying more of them to see if 
another one works even better. It's not just 'having a go and hoping for the 
I'm reading a novel at present about someone trying to develop an artificial 
intelligence (AI computer). Nothing special but entertaining. The essence of it 
is that AI should at least partly mimic the usual human routine rather than the 
usual digital processing  - the first response is a fast reaction based on 
prior knowledge and it may be wrong or at least only partly right. The second 
part is the the close reasoning informed by it,  involving the collection of 
data, compiling it into evidence, developing an hypothesis and proceeding to 
test it to develop an explanatory theory.
'Guesswork' is only the first, reactive part of the process. You should not 
stop there and it is demeaning to style all scientific hypotheses and theories 
as such.  By your definition, the design of the roof over your head or the air 
beneath your wings is based on a guess and I'd find that…threatening. You 
really, really need a better word. 

Andrew Fildes

The SLR Compendium: 
revised edition - 
The TLR Compendium

On 22/03/2014, at 9:25 AM, Chris Barker wrote:

> I can imagine that it is academically interesting, Andrew, but I describe the 
> current (and previous) attempts to analyse the Big Bang as guesswork.  This 
> description is based on watching documentaries on TV and on listening to 
> their reasoning during that sort of show.  I’d admit to its being informed 
> guesswork, really.  I remember the day at school when I realised that maths 
> in some instances was trial and error . . .

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