Debates on scientific dating
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Often, observation also involves uncertainties, such as random fluctuations; and data collection may involve subjective decisions such as assigning specimens into categories.For many experiments, a reliable estimate for degree of agreement requires the use of sophisticated techniques for data analysis that take into account the sample size, variability, and representativeness, and the statistical nature of predictions and observations.
The overview describes the ISM framework with minimal elaboration., scientists collect data (such as an x-ray photograph) that is labeled "observations" in ISM.THEORIES are humanly constructed representations intended to describe or describe-and-explain a set of related phenomena in a specified domain of nature. Composition includes a model's parts and their organization into larger structures.In this "details" page there is lots of elaboration, but much of this is a discussion of concepts that I consider a part of the ISM framework because they are essential for accurately describing science.Therefore, includes everything in the overview, and more.SUPPLEMENTARY THEORIES include, but are not limited to, theories used to interpret observations. By using a model that is based on a specified experimental system and relevant theories (main supplementary), scientists can make predictions in more than one way: by logical deduction beginning with a composition-and-operation model, by making model-based calculations, by "running a model" mentally or in a computer simulation, or by inductive logic that assumes the results will be similar to those in previous experiments with similar systems.
Shapere (1982) analyzes an "observation situation" as a 3-stage process in which information is released by a source, is transmitted, and is received by a receptor, with scientists interpreting this information according to their corresponding theories of the source, the transmission process, and the receptor. If predictions can be made in several ways for the same system, this will serve as a cross-check on the predictions and on the predicting methods. Thinking in terms of a domain-theory and a system-theory is also useful for the retroductive generation of ideas for a theory.
Due to this inconsistency, I have been forced to choose among competing alternatives.
Despite the linguistic confusion, over which I have no control, in the context of ISM I have tried to use terms consistently, in ways that correspond reasonably well with their common uses by scientists, philosophers, and educators. The framework of ISM is divided into nine sections: three for evaluation factors (empirical, conceptual, and cultural-personal), three for activities (evaluating theories, generating theories, and experimental design), and one each for problem solving, thought styles, and productive thinking.
An example of an explanatory theory is atomic theory, which postulates unobservable entities (protons, electrons,...) and interactions (nuclear, electromagnetic,...) in an effort to explain observable properties.
Questions about the legitimacy of postulating "unobservables" has been one source of conceptual constraints for the types of components used in scientific theories.
For a background foundation, read An Overview of Scientific Method, Section 1. In my model of ), an experimental system is defined as everything involved in an experiment.