This conversation is closed.

## How do we prove an answer

that it How do we prove an answer

I just want to clarify that I do love science and the understanding of the universe that it has brought us. As well as the tech

**Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.**

**Showing single comment thread.
View the full conversation.**

## Letitia Falk 10+

A reductionist and scientific perspective on this:

Statistically speaking, you come up with a hypothesis (what you guess the answer is), and then you forget that, and try and prove the opposite: you try and prove the null hypothesis (that nothing happens, or that there is no effect). If you fail to prove the null hypothesis, only then do you conclude that the alternate hypothesis (what you guessed) was right Keeping in mind that some uncertainty is inevitable: 95% certainty is usually considered good enough.

The nice thing about science as a method for generating answers is that the field is so concerned with being unbiased, that statistical tests are designed so that you can prove yourself wrong if it all possible - before considering that you are right. Then add into this the need for replication of results and peer review and you have a pretty elegant system for answering questions (at least ones that are testable - and "provable").

## Arkady Grudzinsky 50+

Another paradox of life. To prove ourselves right, we need to do our best to prove ourselves wrong.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Arkady Grudzinsky 50+

## Scott Armstrong 50+

it's like you can't gauge happiness without sorrow, light without darkness, male without female. the duality behind the singularity. full circle back to where we started. life is very neat and tidy in that way.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

see ted convo

http://www.ted.com/conversations/14605/is_evolution_religion_everythi.html

## Arkady Grudzinsky 50+

"Meaning is exclusion." http://logictutorial.com/

When you say something, the more your statement excludes, the more you say. E.g. saying that "the sky is blue" excludes all other colors from consideration. To say this is more meaningful than to say that "the sky is not green". To prove that "the sky is blue", essentially, you need to prove that it does not have any other color. The more colors you exclude, the more confident you are in your answer.

If you deal with known and limited amount of possibilities, you can get your confidence level up to 100%. But this is rarely the case. Confidence level is 1 - estimated probability of being wrong. This is uncertain world. Probability is all we've got.

So, it's not "self-fulfilling", but self-refuting.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

So could that be seen as equals but opposite?

## Arkady Grudzinsky 50+

Yes. Coincidentia oppositorum. The concept is not new.

## Casey Christofaris 10+

## Arkady Grudzinsky 50+

## Arkady Grudzinsky 50+