Logic and laws in life science


From David Hume1 to Karl Popper2, science theoreticians have struggled with the problem of induction: Scientists usually are convinced that conclusions deduced from scientific methodology, if they have proven to be correct over and over in the past, will continue to hold true in the future. Philosophers, in contrast, insist that according to the principles of formal logic one can never be sure about the validity of an empirically deduced scientific fact at a later time or another place. The best one can say is that among the many possible theories that can be deduced from empirical evidence, the one that has proven the most successful in the past is likely to continue being successful in the future3. As a way out of the dilemma, Popper has suggested that scientists should refrain from declaring their theories, even the most successful ones, absolute facts. They should rather accept them as long as they are successful, and be prepared to drop them if they fail to deal successfully with upcoming recalcitrant evidence4. As discussed in Part I, subsequent theoreticians have realized that science does not work that way, and so the lack of a logical foundation of inductive knowledge remains a dilemma.


Classical Logic Euclidian Geometry Idiotypic Network Pure Logic Inductive Theory 
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  1. Popper KR (1963) Conjectures and Refutations. Routledge and Kegan Paul, LondonGoogle Scholar
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