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5) Does the hypothesis correctly predict new data?
A "hypothesis" that only predicts old data is useless and called an over fit (In machine learning).

@Jotham Bessey: I find it difficult to answer "What is science?" One can certainly enumerate what isn't. Probably equally difficult to answering to "What is art?"
 
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There are a lot of long replies in this very important thread, so I thought I'd try and post something short and specific for those of us with shorter attention spans!

A couple of the ways permaculture could be much more scientific:
- being specific about the circumstances in which something has worked and not overgeneralising. This is why science is accused of being 'reductionist', because it designs experiments which remove as many variables as possible to get specific about what works where and how. Test if results are repeatable.

- say how we know that something works

If we could get clear about this two things it would help a lot. Otherwise, people try things from PC, find they don't work for them and get skeptical about PC.
 
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Sebastian Köln wrote:5) Does the hypothesis correctly predict new data?
A "hypothesis" that only predicts old data is useless and called an over fit (In machine learning).

@Jotham Bessey: I find it difficult to answer "What is science?" One can certainly enumerate what isn't. Probably equally difficult to answering to "What is art?"



#5 points back to the fact that an hypothesis has to be falsifiable to be scientific. An hypothesis doesn't have to contain predictions of new data, but it will be inferred by the very nature of what is hypothesized.

Example: "hugelkultur installation will increase yields" is an hypothesis. One that has been confirmed and excepted. It doesn't point to new data but.... I know the conditions here in Newfoundland and I believe, if I tried one, it would not increase yields and may even decrease yields! Knowing local conditions, I can predict new data but someone living in other environments cannot predict the same and therefore the hypothesis leaves out the new data prediction. It is, however, still falsifiable.

Art is the expression of ones mental or physical abilities in a way that is, hopefully, pleasing to other individuals. It is art even if someone does not except it as art. Art is inherently bias.
Science is the collection and analysis of data to understand events and conditions we see around us. There is no such thing as good or bad science, just more in-depth and less in-depth. Science, as well, can be bias.
 
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This has been an interesting and informative thread for me as the discussion topic is NOT how my brain works  
I wonder what thoughts are about Traditional ecological knowledge
Not a science? or just not by Western standards?  To me, it seems like a good fit with permaculture.
 
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Judith Browning wrote:This has been an interesting and informative thread for me as the discussion topic is NOT how my brain works  
I wonder what thoughts are about Traditional ecological knowledge
Not a science? or just not by Western standards?  To me, it seems like a good fit with permaculture.


Science builds knowledge. Knowledge is not the science. Traditional ecological knowledge may or may not have been arrived at thru reasonable scientific means.
IMO. TEK is, at best, useful in suggesting an initial hypothesis because the method at which that knowledge was gained is not recorded.
 
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Jotham Bessey wrote:
Science builds knowledge. Knowledge is not the science. Traditional ecological knowledge may or may not have been arrived at thru reasonable scientific means.



I think this is important to repeat.  Science is a method of attempting to understand reality, and share that understanding.  It is not the only method of attempting to understand reality.  Some people may claim that science is the only method of understanding reality, but they probably don't actually live their lives that way, for instance they do not use the scientific method to decide what to eat for lunch, or who to fall in love with.
 
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I think this is important to repeat.  Science is a method of attempting to understand reality, and share that understanding.  It is not the only method of attempting to understand reality.  Some people may claim that science is the only method of understanding reality, but they probably don't actually live their lives that way, for instance they do not use the scientific method to decide what to eat for lunch, or who to fall in love with.



Right on, Tyler.
 
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Probably shouldn't jump in w/o reading the whole thread, but some folks interested in the topic might be interested in the Wiki articles on 'Decline Effect' and 'Replication Crisis'.  Also, google 'Lancet Sigma 5' for a very blunt editorial on the trustworthiness of medical research.  (I personally love the idea of science, because I love mysteries and questions...and science is supposed to be working in this wheelhouse, plus also constantly disproving 'itself' ... but 'scientism' is another story.... sigh. )

(Hope I'm not being redundant here)
 
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nancy sutton wrote:Probably shouldn't jump in w/o reading the whole thread, but some folks interested in the topic might be interested in the Wiki articles on 'Decline Effect' and 'Replication Crisis'.  Also, google 'Lancet Sigma 5' for a very blunt editorial on the trustworthiness of medical research.  (I personally love the idea of science, because I love mysteries and questions...and science is supposed to be working in this wheelhouse, plus also constantly disproving 'itself' ... but 'scientism' is another story.... sigh. )

(Hope I'm not being redundant here)



The problem with science, is not really a problem with science. It is corruption that is the problem. Universities turn science into a industry, that runs with extreme political bias, designed to make money off mostly people who are to stupid to be able to contribute anything worthwhile (not denying they also do lots of good work). Also as mentioned many times, political and economic influences lead to extreme bias, using science as a tool of dishonest propaganda. Most people have an extremely low 'scientific intelligence' and the result is high quantity, high corruption and low quality. IMO biology is probably the field with the highest amount of stupid people and it is obviously the most relevant to permaculture.

IMO most of the best innovators and teachers in permaculture, have some sort science or engineering background. This does not mean it is a causal factor, but I would suspect it helps. Even if most higher education is primarily an inefficient scam.
 
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