## LESSWRONGLW

I don't disagree with the second statement, I find parts of it meaningless or tautological. For example:

These formulae describe a model of whatever it is that's supplying my experimental results

The part in bold is redundant. You would normally say "of Higgs decay" or something to that effect.

, and this model predicts future results correctly 99.999999% of the time, so it can't be entirely wrong.

The part in bold is tautological. Accurate predictions is the definition of not being wrong (within the domain of applicability). In that sense Newtonian physics is not wrong, it's just not as accurate.

The part in bold is tautological. Accurate predictions is the definition of not being wrong

The instrumentalist definition. For realists, and accurate theory can still be wrong because it fails to correspond to reality, or posits non existent entities. For instance, and epicyclic theory of the solar system can be made as accurate as you like.

1Bugmaster7yI meant to make a more further-reaching statement than that. If we believe that our model approximates that (postulated) thing that is causing our experiments to come out a certain way, then we can use this model to devise novel experiments, which are seemingly unrelated to the experiments we are doing now; and we could expect these novel experiments to come out the way we expected, at least on occasion. For example, we could say, "I have observed this dot of light moving across the sky in a certain way. According to my model, this means that if I were to point my telescope at some other part of sky, we would find a much dimmer dot there, moving in a specific yet different way". This is a statement that can only be made if you believe that different patches of the sky are connected, somehow, and if you have a model that describes the entire sky, even the pieces that you haven't looked at yet. If different patches of the sky are completely unrelated to each other, the likelihood of you observing what you'd expect is virtually zero, because there are too many possible observations (an infinite number of them, in fact), all equally likely. I would argue that the history of science so far contradicts this assumption of total independence. This may be off-topic, but I would agree with this statement. Similarly, the statement "the Earth is flat" is not, strictly speaking, wrong. It works perfectly well if you're trying to lob rocks over a castle wall. Its inaccuracy is too great, however, to launch satellites into orbit.

# 27

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