20 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 Defining "Uncertainty"

‘Uncertainty’ is a complex and multifaceted property, sometimes originating in a lack of information, and at other times from quite fundamental disagreements about what is known or even knowable (Moss and Schneider, 2000). Furthermore, scientists often disagree about the best or most appropriate way to characterize these uncertainties: some can be quantified easily while others cannot. Moreover, appropriate characterization is dependent on the intended use of the information and the parti...
Folksonomies: uncertainty definitions
Folksonomies: uncertainty definitions
  1  notes

From the IPCC report. Interesting for including different definitions of terms in its description.

07 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Scientists Must Always Stand at the Drawing Board

Do I believe in UFOs or extraterrestrial visitors? Where shall I begin? There's a fascinating frailty of the human mind that psychologists know all about, called "argument from ignorance." This is how it goes. Remember what the "U" stands for in "UFO"? You see lights flashing in the sky. You've never seen anything like this before and don't understand what it is. You say, "It's a UFO!" The "U" stands for "unidentified." But then you say, "I don't know what it is; it must be aliens from ou...
  1  notes

Ready to revise hyptheses and embrace uncertainty.

01 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Admit When You Don't Know

There are things that not even the best scientists of today can explain. But that doesn't mean we should block off all investigation by resorting to phoney 'explanations' invoking magic or the supernatural, which don't actually explain at all. Just imagine how a medieval man - even the most educated man of his era - would have reacted if he had seen a jet plane, a laptop computer, a mobile telephone or a satnav device. He would probably have called them supernatural, miraculous. But these dev...
  1  notes

It is more honest to admit ignorance, to admit that something is a puzzle, than to invoke the supernatural to explain it.

03 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 Scientists Create More Questions

The scientist, by the very nature of his commitment, creates more and more questions, never fewer. Indeed the measure of our intellectual maturity, one philosopher suggests, is our capacity to feel less and less satisfied with our answers to better problems.
  1  notes

Intellectual maturity "is our capacity to feel less and less satisfied with our answers to better problems."

30 AUG 2011 by ideonexus

 Reduce Phenomena to the Proximate Causes and Primitive Fo...

I think that considerable progress can be made in the analysis of the operations of nature by the scholar who reduces rather complicated phenomena to their proximate causes and primitive forces, even though the causes of those causes have not yet been detected.
  1  notes

Sounds a little like Occam's Razor, with an additional acceptance of some uncertainty.

03 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Leave Room for Uncertainty

What then is the meaning of the whole world? We do not know what the meaning of existence is. We say, as the result of studying all of the views that we have had before, we find that we do not know the meaning of existence; but in saying that we do knot know the meaning of existence, we have probably found the open channel--if we will allow only that, as we progress, we leave open opportunities for alternatives , that we do not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute tru...
  1  notes

Science doesn't have the meaning of life, but we are muddling through it and that's a good thing.