Category: logic


It’s completely implausible and a violation of common-sense intuition to think that not-P. Therefore P.

“It is usual to call an inference ‘inductive’ if it passes from singular statements (sometimes also called ‘particular’ statements), such as accounts of the results of observations or experiments, to universal statements, such as hypotheses or theories.
Now it is far from obvious, from a logical point of view, that we are justified in inferring universal statements from singular ones, no matter how numerous; for any conclusion drawn in this way may always turn out to be false: no matter how many instances of white swans we may have observed, this does not justify the conclusion that all swans are white.”

Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery

Comments of the Week #158: from event horizons to time travel

From Frank on proving Einstein wrong: “I had read somewhere that one time a reporter said to Einstein “There are hundred professors who say you are wrong.”
Einstein answered “If I was really wrong just one professor would be enough.””

Is time travel real, or even better, inevitable? We’ve got a new podcast for you to check out! In addition, don’t miss out on all the bonus science available this week, on topics from scientific activism to relativity to black holes, planetary masses, and how philosophy can lead you away from scientific discovery if you adhere to your notions of “logic” too steadfastly.

Come take a journey into the greatest in-depth discussions available this week about the hottest science topics on this edition of our Comments of the Week!