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Scientific Method, Groundless Guesswork - Same Thing?

Victor Aguilar

posted on 18 December 2014

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Retraction Watch is doing a good thing by notifying us of papers that have been retracted because of fraud, plagiarism and other legerdemain.  But the message is that the process itself is fundamentally sound if it were not subverted by these few bad apples.


I argue here that the process is unsound.  Francis Bacon pulled off an advertising coup that would make Madison Avenue blush when he named his own methodology the “scientific” method, thus tacitly implying that everyone else is unscientific.  In this paper I present an alternative to the scientific method.


The Real-World Economics Review editorial staff responds to my paper (emphasis in original):


“Math and Science have ENTIRELY different methodologies which are suitable to them. Because of the spectacular success of the axiomatic method in Mathematics, people naturally started using the same method for science. This proved to be an equally spectacular failure. The scientific method involves making observations about nature and then GUESSING at laws which generate the observed patterns — that is induction. Later, one can verify these guesses by the means of experiments.”


Posting their reply on their own website is a blatant attempt to draw internet traffic away from this site.  Bad form!  The discussion should take place here at the Econophysics Forum where I initially posted my paper.  

Lars Syll goes berserk!


Axiomatic Economics –Total Horseshit


Click on the link if you want, but the title alone should tell you of the tone he takes.  Lars Syll writes of my book, Axiomatic Economics, that I “really should not be surprised if people say that this is not science, but autism!”


The behavior of Lars Syll reminds me of the first guy I ever knocked out in the boxing ring.  He was stronger than me but, like a lot of body builders, he could not go a round without starting to hyperventilate.  When he lost his composure his eyes bugged out like a frog’s – until you have actually seen this you will not believe how accurate the frog analogy is – and he charged me with his arms windmilling.  I barely had time to plant my feet solidly and throw a jab.  He ran into my jab with such force that he knocked himself out.


Later, when I told people that I had knocked someone out with a jab, they said that I must be very strong.  But I told them that I was not – he had knocked himself out.


Knock yourself out, Lars!