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Category Archive: Logic of science

Jul 21 2011

The logic of science-7: The burden of proof in science

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) The logic used in arriving at scientific conclusions closely tracks the legal maxim that ‘the burden of proof rests on who asserts’. It should be noted that the word proof used here does not correspond the way it is used in mathematics, but more along the lines …

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Jul 18 2011

The logic of science-6: The burden of proof in law

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) For a long time, religion claimed to reveal eternal truths. No one except true believers seriously says that anymore because science has become the source of reliable knowledge while religion is increasingly seen as being based on evidence-free assertions. So some believers tend to try and devalue …

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Jul 15 2011

The logic of science-5: The problem of incompleteness

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) As I discussed in the previous post in this series, our inability to show that an axiomatic system is consistent (i.e., free of contradictions as would be evidenced by the ability to prove two theorems each of which contradicted the other) is not the only problem. Godel …

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Jul 13 2011

The logic of science-4: Truth and proof in mathematics

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) Within mathematics, Euclidean geometry is the prototypical system that demonstrates the power of proof and serves as a model for all axiomatic systems of logic. In such systems, we start with a set of axioms (i.e., basic assumptions) and a set of logical rules, both of which …

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Jul 11 2011

The logic of science-3: The demise of infallibility

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) The idea of scientific infallibility, that the knowledge generated by science should be true and unchanging, suffered a series of blows in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that saw the repeated overthrow of seemingly well-established scientific theories with new ones. Even the venerable Newtonian mechanics, …

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Jul 07 2011

The logic of science-2: Determining what is true

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) An important question in any area of knowledge is being able to identify what is true and what is false. The search for what is true and the ability to know when we have discovered truth is, after all, the Holy Grail of epistemology, because we believe …

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Jul 06 2011

The logic of science-1: The basic ideas

In the course of writing these blog posts, especially those dealing with religion, atheism, science, and philosophy, I have often appealed to the way that principles of logic are used in science in making my points. But these are scattered over many posts and I thought that I should collect and archive the ideas into …

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