Methodology refers to the systematic application of rational
procedures to elucidate the rules governing the uses of evidence,
arguments and hypotheses
in the substantiation of real versus imagined events; including people, behavior,
places and things. An expected outcome of a methodology
is to dispel uncertainty.
the logical or formal analysis of cases where the
data from a variety of specific instances are compared and contrasted
in order to determine a general rule arising from actual events.
The rule explains or is sustained by this specific
0% certain, doubtful
A case does not sustain
The rule is contradicted
by the evidence in this case.
to determine; remains uncertain
set is undetermined, indeterminate.
of this case remains in doubt.
stands for want of evidence to the contrary.
Either form of reasoning, inductive
or deductive, can be applied to criteria to establish
varying degrees of certainty between absolutely not certain (0% likelihood
of something occurring or having occurred) to absolutely certain (100%
likelihood of something occurring or having occurred.)
Criteria: a means by which to judge, evaluate, or determine a desired outcome.
Criteria used in any examination
of the certainty, reliability, and outcomes of three different kinds of didactic means to verify what is known.
Nicod's Criterion, from
Jean Nicod, early 20th century French mathematician, concerns inductive
reasoning and comparable entities.
Nicod is concerned with how to classify evidence. For
example does one class called "a" match another class called
"b". This is pertinent say to a discussion of a population of
black bears east of the Rocky Mountains (a) and another population
west of the Rockies (b).
The question arises as to what sort
of evidence do you need to prove that they are members of the same
or different species? (Ursus americanus as opposed to Ursus maritimus )
is not b
evidence is not a
but is b
evidence is not a
and is not b
may lend support
Commentary: Nicod was convinced of the first three
findings as an outcome of his inductive method.
Subsequently his critics have raised questions about
the fourth possible finding. The argue against Nicod, who said the outcome
of such a finding is that it is "irrelevant." Instead his critics
contend that such evidence "may lend support" to the
generalization, broader theory or accepted law.
For example, the following categories or types of information
differ with respect to the quality of their certainty and the role they
play in evaluating data.
is the way, or process and the outcome based
on the means we employ for investigating the veracity of our facts,
the accuracy of their meaning and their lasting significance.
from from a variety of verifiable and authentic sources of data: observations,
accounts, documents, records or testimony, signals or tracks. The
support used to convey a wider or deeper assumption. (Cross reference
any means we employ including the measures taken to explain the evidence.
Arguments are the context into which the data is placed. Arguments represent
an angle of view, or viewpoint expressed in which facts or verifiable
information is given perspective. The support
for interpretations of the facts.
any means, based on arguments, verifiable data and contrasting evidence
and counter arguments, used to explain what we do not know, based on
what we may know. A thesis testing process by
which assumptions based on facts are framed, organized and clarified
for testing or further evaluation.
Methods are means used to push back, dispel, or limit, uncertainty.
Our confusion arises from the uncertainty we have about
the mysteries all cultures possess concerning the world, their identity,
the relationship of humans to the larger whole and ultimately the meaning
of the universe.
This next step is the application of
the hypothesis broadly to as many cases
and facts in those cases as can be explained by the working thesis. In
this sense you have a theory formulated as a thesis which can be verified
or at least denied.
Strictly speaking a theory is a body of hypothetical
assumptions, which when tested, still explains accurately the evidence
Laws are established when a theory,
based on an investigative process of hypotheses,
or suppositions has been confirmed by cross examination. Unlike theories,
laws are found to hold up under a wide range of circumstances so that
they are said to have universal application to any and all evidence.
Ohm's Law of acoustics,
(in 1843) for example, all tones are regular or periodic functions analyzed
by the ear into simple harmonic tones. Hermann von Helmholtz, in 1863,
justified Ohm's law by using mechanical resonators to confirm the conjecture.
Acoustics is the study of pitch,
tone, harmonics, vibration, frequency, interference and other characteristics
of sound. Sound is the underlying principles at work in all of the sounds
(disturbances) we sense (hear) with our ears (auditory organs).
Laws in science thus emerge from
a synthetic and analytical process by which inductive reasoning is applied
to the tests made on analytically derived data, or evidenced deduced from
Laws or rules have a Level of certainty emerging from
a skeptical process that allow them to be deductively applied and relied
upon as less uncertain than untested hypotheses, unexamined arguments,
or alleged assumptions.