Re: [SystemSafety] Logic

From: Martyn Thomas < >
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:48:38 +0000


On 18/02/2014 16:10, Derek M Jones wrote:
> Some of the points in this article on QuackWatch provide good advice
> to anybody who wants to evaluate the claims of formal methods
> proponents:
> http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/pseudo.html

Derek

That feels to me like abuse. If you want to discuss the merits of formal methods, let's do it professionally.

I see this table in the article that you reference. I think that the work on formal methods by computer scientists meets the definition of Science in the table (except that we are not discussing physical processes, so /mutatis mutandis)/, whereas the criticisms of formal methods seem more closely to correspond with Pseudoscience. I can give you examples to match most of the boxes in the left-hand column. Can you do the same for your claim that formal methods do not scale to more than the simplest problem?

Martyn

*Science* *Pseudoscience*
Their findings are expressed primarily through scientific journals that are peer-reviewed and maintain rigorous standards for honesty and accuracy. The literature is aimed at the general public. There is no review, no standards, no pre-publication verification, no demand for accuracy and precision.
Reproducible results are demanded; experiments must be precisely described so that they can be duplicated exactly or improved upon. Results cannot be reproduced or verified. Studies, if any, are always so vaguely described that one can't figure out what was done or how it was done.
Failures are searched for and studied closely, because incorrect theories can often make correct predictions by accident, but no correct theory will make incorrect predictions. Failures are ignored, excused, hidden, lied about, discounted, explained away, rationalized, forgotten, avoided at all costs.
As time goes on, more and more is learned about the physical processes under study. No physical phenomena or processes are ever found or studied. No progress is made; nothing concrete is learned. Convinces by appeal to the evidence, by arguments based upon logical and/or mathematical reasoning, by making the best case the data permit. When new evidence contradicts old ideas, they are abandoned. Convinces by appeal to faith and belief. Pseudoscience has a strong quasi-religious element: it tries to convert, not to convince. You are to believe in spite of the facts, not because of them. The original idea is never abandoned, whatever the evidence. Does not advocate or market unproven practices or products. Generally earns some or all of his living by selling questionable products (such as books, courses, and dietary supplements) and/or pseudoscientific services (such as horoscopes, character readings, spirit messages, and predictions).



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systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Received on Tue Feb 18 2014 - 17:49:06 CET

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