Elliott Sober's Evidence and Evolution: The Logic Behind the Science PDF

By Elliott Sober

ISBN-10: 0511393687

ISBN-13: 9780511393686

ISBN-10: 0511395043

ISBN-13: 9780511395048

ISBN-10: 0521692741

ISBN-13: 9780521692748

ISBN-10: 0521871883

ISBN-13: 9780521871884

How may still the concept that of proof be understood? and the way does the idea that of facts observe to the talk approximately creationism in addition to to paintings in evolutionary biology approximately common choice and customary ancestry? during this wealthy and wide-ranging e-book, Elliott Sober investigates common questions on chance and facts and exhibits how the solutions he develops to these questions observe to the specifics of evolutionary biology. Drawing on a collection of attention-grabbing examples, he analyzes no matter if claims approximately clever layout are untestable; whether or not they are discredited through the truth that many diversifications are imperfect; how facts bears on even if current species hint again to universal ancestors; how hypotheses approximately common choice may be demonstrated, and plenty of different concerns. His publication will curiosity all readers who are looking to comprehend philosophical questions on facts and evolution, as they come up either in Darwin's paintings and in modern organic examine.

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Extra resources for Evidence and Evolution: The Logic Behind the Science

Sample text

It once was hoped that logic and language would somehow ground the principle of indifference, but this no longer seems even remotely plausible; logic and language do not furnish prior probabilities, at least not if prior probabilities are to have some authority in arguments in which people disagree. So do not fall into the trap of reasoning thus: Either God exists or he does not. : Therefore; PrðGod existsÞ ¼ Pr(God does not exist) ¼ 12 This is a trap because the pie can also be divided in three: Either God exists and Christianity is true, God exists and Christianity is false, or there is no God.

Note that the hypothesis p ¼ 14 says that the actual observations were more probable than the hypothesis p ¼ 34 says they were. In fact, the p ¼ 14 hypothesis makes the data more probable than any assignment of a point value to p does; it provides the estimate of maximum likelihood. 4 When the coin lands heads in five of twenty tosses, the maximum likelihood estimate of p ¼ Pr (the coin lands heads j the coin is tossed) is p ¼ 14. The likelihood of the estimate p ¼ 34 is lower. 24 Evidence whether you observe one head in four tosses, or five in twenty, or 100 in 400 – the maximum likelihood estimate is the same.

However, this terminology is confusing, since in ordinary English, ‘‘likely’’ and ‘‘probably’’ are synonymous. So, beware! You need to remember that ‘‘likelihood’’ is a technical term. The likelihood of H, Pr(O j H), and the posterior probability of H, Pr(H j O), are different quantities and they can have different values. The likelihood 10 Evidence of H is the probability that H confers on O, not the probability that O confers on H. Suppose you hear a noise coming from the attic of your house.

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Evidence and Evolution: The Logic Behind the Science by Elliott Sober

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