Is Science a Self-Sealing Process?

Is Science a Self-Sealing Process?:

from bblais on the web


About brianblais

I am a professor of Science and Technology at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI, and a research professor in the Institute for Brain and Neural Systems, Brown University. My research is in computational neuroscience and statistics. I teach physics, meteorology, astonomy, theoretical neuroscience, systems dynamics, artificial intelligence and robotics. My book, "Theory of Cortical Plasticity" (World Scientific, 2004), details a theory of learning and memory in the cortex, and presents the consequences and predictions of the theory. I am an avid python enthusiast, and a Bayesian (a la E. T. Jaynes), and love music.
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4 Responses to Is Science a Self-Sealing Process?

    • brianblais says:

      I hadn’t seen this, but I just posted a response to the first one where I moved my blog here:

      what do you think?

      • M says:

        Thanks for your reply.

        That makes sense to me, but I’m also looking at Jayne’s in a more practical sense for social science data analysis.

        I’m working through a hard copy of your book and I stumbled upon Gelman’s criticism that Jayne’s for more messy datasets (people vs physics) without objective parameters might not work well.

        Gelman seems to take issue with Jayne’s in that:

        1. The prior or model cannot be falsified and there isn’t enough model checking. He is more falsificationist

        2. Gelman has a more frequentist definition of probability

        3. Cannot change, adjust or add new priors.

        4. Often impossible to know true prior…then is it ok to have a subjective one?

        5. All models are wrong in social science, but some are less wrong or more useful, so important to cycle through models.

        Jayne’s seems to be purist and justified, whereas gelman has pragmatic approach from practice and incorporation of other philosophies.

        Since you have cited Gelman’s book, what are your thoughts on these points? The practical implication is that I’m going to be analyzing social science data, and Gelman per those dimensions seems to make more sense, but Jayne’s is more philosophically grounded.

        Is your book Pure Jayne’s or would it work for a social scientist? I’m particularly interested in the idea of subjective priors incorporating theory or other non statistical experiments like ABM, falsifying and cycling through models etc


  1. M says:

    Or incorporating expert intuition that is sometimes very helpful.

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