The Scientific Method Versus Faith
61 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2020 Last revised: 12 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 11, 2021
"If you toss a coin seven times, and all tosses come up heads, what is the probability of the eighth toss also turning up head?" I show that the answer depends on how sure one is about the prior valuation of the probability that the coin is fair. I extend the analysis to valuation of the probability of gender-neutrality of birth on the basis of the observed number of female and male births, using Bayes Theorem. I prove that updating one's valuations on the basis of new information is scientific, and since the criterion of falsifiability is essential to a scientific theory, that faith or dogma consists of a degenerate prior whereas the scientific method requires a non-degenerate prior.
Keywords: Uncertainty; Coin Tosses; Gender Proportions; Bayes Theorem; Non-Degenerate Prior; Degenerate Prior; Falsifiability; Scientific Method; Faith.
JEL Classification: B4; C6; D8
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation