10 theorems for ideas about how things work

I have been missing a neat summary of Karl Popper´s scientific method. I have also been thinking, that a neat set of theorems representing his method would be useful. Both as a guide for development and scrutiny of ideas, but also to be able to reveal weaknesses in any idea claimed to represent the truth. This is my summary of Popper´s method into a neat set of theorems.


OK -little girl from North Carolina – the stage has been set!

Make place in history for honorable judge Andrew Scott Hanen.

The man who had the cojones to rule that United States Attorney general Loretta Lynch will have to take steps to ensure that the Office of Professional Responsibility effectively polices the conduct of the Justice Department lawyers and appropriately disciplines those whose actions fall below the standards that the American people rightfully expect from their Department of Justice.


Texas sharpshooter fallacy 1

IPCC got all bets covered!

IPCC covers a wide range of possible warming of the oceans from 0 – 2000 m, but don´t provide a best estimate.

IPCC can´t possibly miss!

This post contains relevant figures, references to the IPCC report, step by step calculations and link to a spread sheet with easy to follow calculations of:
– The deduced amount of warming
– The observed amount of warming

Missing warming

The fact is that I was wrong!

Update 2016-01-26
There is an error in the calculations in this post as “increase in outgoing radiation inferred from changes in the global mean surface temperature.” Has not been taken into account. The conclusion is not valid.

Here is a new post without that error – it turns out that:

IPCC got all bets covered!

Karl Popper And The logic of scientific discovery

How to arrive at a reliable model

By inductive reasoning, and imagination, many possible explanations can be provided for a series of events. However, most of these explanations will be wrong.

Knowledge on the other hand is characterized by the ability to repeatedly predict a particular range of outcome for a particular set of conditions.

Dead parrot

How to avoid being proven wrong!

“… it is always possible to find some way of evading falsification, for example by introducing ad hoc an auxiliary hypothesis, or by changing ad hoc a definition. It is even possible without logical inconsistency to adopt the position of simply refusing to acknowledge any falsifying experience whatsoever. Admittedly, scientists do not usually proceed in this way, but logically such procedure is possible”
– Karl Popper

Standard uncertainty

IPCC don´t even know how to quantify uncertainty!

Simply put, the result of an estimate should be reported by:
– giving a full description of how the measurand Y is defined
– stating the result of the measurement as Y = y ± U and give the units of y and U
– giving the approximate level of confidence associated with the interval y ± U and state how it was determined;

Inductive reasoning monument

The IPCC report is a monument over inductivism!

“The degree of certainty in key findings is based on the author teams’ evaluations of underlying scientific understanding and is expressed as a qualitative level of confidence. (from very low to very high)

Confidence in the validity of a finding is based on the type, amount, quality, and consistency of evidence (e.g., data, mechanistic understanding, theory, models, expert judgment) and the degree of agreement.”

IPCC didn´t even define terminology related to disagreement!

The International Panel on Climate Change made some effort to define terminology. This is how the Panel defined terms to describe the degree of agreement: Box TS.1 | Treatment of Uncertainty “The following summary terms are used to describe.. the degree of agreement: low, medium, or high.” Everything should be just fine then – or…