Beyond Belief: Randomness, Prediction, and Explanation in Science
How can we predict and explain the phenomena of nature? What are the limits to this knowledge process? The central issues of prediction, explanation, and mathematical modeling, which underlie all scientific activity, were the focus of a conference organized by the Swedish Council for the Planning and Coordination of Research, held at the Abisko Research Station in May of 1989. At this forum, a select group of internationally known scientists in physics, chemistry, biology, economics, sociology and mathematics discussed and debated the ways in which prediction and explanation interact with mathematical modeling in their respective areas of expertise.
Beyond Belief is the result of this forum, consisting of 11 chapters written specifically for this volume. The multiple themes of randomness, uncertainty, prediction and explanation are presented using (as vehicles) several topical areas from modern science, such as morphogenetic fields, Boscovich covariance, and atmospheric variability. This multidisciplinary examination of the foundational issues of modern scientific thought and methodology will offer stimulating reading for a very broad scientific audience.
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algorithm analysis anthropic anthropic principle argument attractor average behavior biological biologists birds Boscovich breeding season Brock broods Busy Beaver calcium cellular automata Chaitin's chaos chaotic chartist Church's Thesis clutch complexity concept correlation dimension correlation information cycle deterministic deterministic chaos dimensionality Diophantine equation discussed distribution dynamical systems economic entailment Entscheidungsproblem estimated evolution example existence explanation fact Figure finite forecast formal system Godel's Theorem Hence Hilbert hypothesis hypothetico-deductive integer inventory LeBaron linear Lyapunov exponent mathematical methods metric entropy morphogenesis morphogenetic motion Murray nature nonlinear Number Theory observer parameter patterns physics possible prediction principle probability problem produce quantum mechanics question random relative result Rossby wave rules scientific sequence shows simulation solutions space spacetime spatial species stable statistical stock returns structure supply line symbols tion trajectory Turing machine University unstable unstable manifold variables variance vorticity