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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 3, The Beast Marches On...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 2040
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2009,00:12   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Oct. 18 2009,16:22)
Now, I'm a not a logician, but it sounds like (in both these cases) that you're trying to find evidence of the positive case, when the only way to verify the positive case is to test every possible case.

I may be off the mark here, but that's why we don't prove positives in science, we can't test every conceivable situation.


I addressed that point yesterday in this comment:
If ravenhood and blackness are well-defined, then the hypothesis "all ravens are black" is either true or false. However (and this is the problem of induction), the only way to establish the hypothesis with certainty is to examine every object in the universe and to observe that none of them are non-black ravens.

Because we can't observe every object in the universe, this kind of certainty is impossible for us. We therefore consider some hypotheses to be more likely than others, depending on the evidence we've accumulated so far, but we don't claim absolute certainty for any of them.

And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number. †-- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that donít belong there and thoughts into my mind that donít belong there. -- KF

  15001 replies since Sep. 04 2009,16:20 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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