Re: Prediction

Michael Thomas Carson (mcarson@HAWAII.EDU)
Mon, 11 Sep 1995 15:59:40 -1000

On Sun, 10 Sep 1995, Richard Spear wrote:

> Seems to me that a "law" that is applicable only in a particular time
> and place is hardly a law ... this sounds awfully close to historical
> particularism. This thread on predictability, science and
> anthropology and another thread here on cultural evolution will have
> an interstice soon, I think.

Right - good point. I guess I wasn't using my terms properly. Something
bound by temporal and spatial boundaries is a particular observation, not
a law. Perhaps it is an explanation of pheneomena, buyt it is not a law.

> Physics has to take into account the variables when it makes
> "predictions", and they are aware of and in control of these
> variables. Social scientists are *not* aware of or in control of all
> the variables effecting their "experiments". This may be why you
> attempt to place temporal and spacial boundaries around predictions,
> but as the caveats grow, these then become observations of an
> incident, and not predictions.

Thanks for the comments. I think you phrased things better than I ever

- Mike Carson