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Old 13th January 2021, 09:17 AM   #318
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
You are making a common mistake and confusing physical (hard) with social (soft) science.

I have a masters in anthropology and presented two papers on behalf of NMSU back in the 1990s and the anthropology/archeology you are describing is Historical Particularism also known as Boasian anthropology. That from of anthropology/archeology faded from the US mindset in the 1960s. Howard Carter's account of Tut's Tomb its textbook Boasian - lot of detail but next to no interpretation.

Also there is nothing in the scientific methods that says the models have to be mathematical:
Logic is also a subset of maths, and in fact of bayesian reasoning. You're just dealing with probabilities of 1.0 and 0.0.

If you actually have a testable prediction, you either have a "X => Y" proposition, or some version of probabilistic correlation between the two. Preferably at a correlation level where it disproves the null hypothesis. Which is a mathematical model.

If you're not at the very least qualifying that way, then no, you're not doing science.

Originally Posted by maximara View Post
Observe - Look at the world and find a result that seems curious. As Isaac Asimov put it, "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'Hmm... that's funny...'"

Hypothesize - Come up with a possible explanation.

Predict - The most important part of a hypothesis or theory is its ability to make predictions that have yet to be observed. A hypothesis that makes no new predictions is scientifically worthless. Predictions must be falsifiable (theoretically, new evidence can show the prediction to be false) and specific (what is predicted must not be open to interpretation after the experiment begins, or else the only thing you're testing is your ability to reinterpret your incorrect theory).

Test Predictions (in physical sciences this is called Experiment) - Compare the predictions with new empirical evidence (usually experimental evidence, often supported by mathematics). This step is the reason why a hypothesis or theory has to be falsifiable — if there's nothing to falsify, then the experiment is pointless because it's guaranteed to tell you nothing new. Information from the experiment can disprove the original hypothesis, which might be refined into a better one.

Reproduce - ensure the result is a true reflection of reality by verifying it with others

Heck there is even Mathematical anthropology.

I would like to point out that despite their many detractors psychology and psychiatry are sciences but because they are in the social side of things they do have many issues.
Very well. Now please explain to us laymen exactly what testable predictions did that article do. Since, you know, it's even in your list above for what it would need to do to qualify as science.
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Last edited by HansMustermann; 13th January 2021 at 09:33 AM.
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