<quote from Real Faith & Reason, vol 2>
Predictions and Science
Scientists sometimes tell a story about predictions, and it’s partly true but completely confused. It’s confused because it doesn’t explain the difference between types of predictions. Below is a list of several types of predictions:
- Tables of data that make it possible to predict what will work to build a car, a plane, a wiring circuit, a chemical formula, a building, or anything else we’ve made before
- Tables of data that make it possible to predict what might work to make something we’ve never made before
- Tables of data and historical documents from which we can make predictions that we can test
- Postdictions that someone calls “predictions”
- Phantom predictions using some form of flimflam
- Affirming the consequent fallacies and Texas sharpshooter fallacies, thinking that predictions prove theories
We’ll investigate these thoroughly in the section called Predictability as a Way of Knowing.
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