I'll try and think of a better word, Andrew, but "guessword" encapsulates my
general scepticism towards science at the moment. It's one reason that I won't
accept GM as a way to produce foodstuffs.
On 22 Mar 14, at 06:46, Andrew Fildes <afildes@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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.
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