Sunday, November 20, 2005

Bacon II - Which Comes First, the Chicken or the Egg

[The other Francis Bacon, self portrait]

Back to "Truth arises more readily from error than confusion." This aphorism seems to contradict what Bacon stands for, which is inductive thinking from observation of the natural world. Historically Bacon might have been fighting scholastics who deduced natural phenomena from Aristotle's writings, rather than the world around them.

The Dodger is only marginally literate in philosophy of science; [for example, Popper gets a lot of play in the intelligent design debate, and in musings about Daubert, but the Dodger's never tasted his corn.] The Dodger, who claims to have practiced science at one point, thinks that a paradigm - theory - must exist for observations to even be observations. Kind of like framing. And people operating with different paradigms or frames may not even recognize the others' observations as observations.

Bench scientists collect particles of knowledge. Metaphorically, they aggregate observations. It takes the cement of a paradigm, theory, or frame, to create a concrete structure.

Regarding the chicken and egg, it's pretty simple. The first animal which laid a chicken's egg was not a chicken. And of course, the chicken is only the eggs way to make another egg, just like a building a car is just a dollar's way to make another dollar.

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