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Buttercup
2016-Oct-28, 09:47 PM
Someone recently asked another person here if they think Forensic Pathology is an exact science.

How is "exact" defined?

I've seen that phrase so many times; it occurred to me that I don't know (or maybe did in school, and forgot).

Help? :)

ShinAce
2016-Oct-28, 10:29 PM
Exact can't be defined.

Sure, you have the so called 'hard' and 'soft' sciences. Hard essentially meaning pure and removed from human interpretation. Things like mathematics and physics. Then you can have soft sciences which rely on human interpretation, like the social sciences and archaeology.

I always cringed in philosophy when the prof would always use mathematical examples(bad ones too) to demonstrate logic. If the only thing you can logically work through and get sensible results is math, then why are doing philosophy?

Chuck
2016-Oct-29, 12:48 AM
How can I be sure that a mathematical proof has no errors? I can have other people check it, but they might overlook the same errors that I did. Is there really no highest prime number, or has everyone so far failed to notice the flaws in the proofs? How can we be sure that a proof has no unnoticed errors?

grant hutchison
2016-Oct-29, 12:59 AM
You can find a fair number of useful definitions of exact in dictionaries - they vary with application. But according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the exact sciences are "those which admit of absolute precision in their results; esp. the mathematical sciences".
Two things to note in that definition:
1) The phrase "admit of" indicates that absolute precision is deemed possible, but might not be attained in every instance.
2) The phrase "absolute precision" doesn't indicate that the results are accurate, or even correct, just that precision is possible - you can give a result to as many decimal places.

Grant Hutchison

Buttercup
2016-Oct-29, 01:23 AM
How can I be sure that a mathematical proof has no errors? I can have other people check it, but they might overlook the same errors that I did. Is there really no highest prime number, or has everyone so far failed to notice the flaws in the proofs? How can we be sure that a proof has no unnoticed errors?

Don't ask me; I'm lousy with math. :hand: :lol:

Grant - that's part of the problem (varies with application).

Solfe
2016-Oct-29, 01:42 AM
I think that is a turn of phrase. "Bob Ross made wet-on-wet painting an exact science." True, perhaps. But it isn't very specific and doesn't have anything to do with science.

Noclevername
2016-Oct-29, 03:17 AM
It was a joke.

Solfe
2016-Oct-29, 03:21 AM
It was a joke.

No! I love Bob Ross! :)

DaveC426913
2016-Oct-29, 04:31 AM
Someone recently asked another person here if they think Forensic Pathology is an exact science.

How is "exact" defined?

I've seen that phrase so many times; it occurred to me that I don't know (or maybe did in school, and forgot).

Help? :)

Forensic pathology can point to things, and provide inroads to more investigation but it cannot determine many things.
You can measure the temp of the liver, or the presence of bot flies and calculate a likely time of death, but there are many confounding factors. All you can get is a window, and a degree of confidence.

Chemistry is an exact science.
You can put a mole of O and 2 moles of H together, touch a match to it and know that you will get water.

John Mendenhall
2016-Oct-29, 08:40 AM
Forensic pathology can point to things, and provide inroads to more investigation but it cannot determine many things.
You can measure the temp of the liver, or the presence of bot flies and calculate a likely time of death, but there are many confounding factors. All you can get is a window, and a degree of confidence.

Chemistry is an exact science.
You can put a mole of O and 2 moles of H together, touch a match to it and know that you will get water.

How . . . much waer?

profloater
2016-Oct-29, 09:23 AM
trichology (knitting)

grant hutchison
2016-Oct-29, 10:56 AM
Grant - that's part of the problem (varies with application).Well, not in the phrase "exact science" - I thought that was pretty clearly the sciences that predominantly use maths in a precise (rather than statistical) way: astronomy, chemistry, physics. The phrase had its origin in philosophy, I believe.
More used metaphorically (for any activity that a person conducts with precision) nowadays, because people have stopped trying to pigeonhole scientific activity according to techniques used.

Grant Hutchison

grant hutchison
2016-Oct-29, 11:00 AM
trichology (knitting)That's hair. Tricotology?

Grant Hutchison

profloater
2016-Oct-29, 11:26 AM
That's hair. Tricotology?

Grant Hutchison

Oops I must have picked up too many dropped aitches, instead of dropped stitches. It's those tricoweave fabrics that are exact.

Noclevername
2016-Oct-29, 11:28 AM
Oops I must have picked up too many dropped aitches, instead of dropped stitches. It's those tricoweave fabrics that are exact.

But not a science. It's a crafting skill.

Buttercup
2016-Oct-29, 04:43 PM
Forensic pathology can point to things, and provide inroads to more investigation but it cannot determine many things.
You can measure the temp of the liver, or the presence of bot flies and calculate a likely time of death, but there are many confounding factors. All you can get is a window, and a degree of confidence.

Chemistry is an exact science.
You can put a mole of O and 2 moles of H together, touch a match to it and know that you will get water.

Ah. :) Gotcha.

Thanks all (and I'll continue reading what else might be posted).

grapes
2016-Oct-29, 08:31 PM
How . . . much wa'er?
FTFY

One mole of oxygen plus two miles of hydrogen equals one mole of wa'er

01101001
2016-Oct-29, 08:59 PM
One mole of oxygen plus two miles of hydrogen equals one mole of wa'er

I had to ask Google about moles per mile. Surprisingly, it had an answer: 1 mole per mile =
0.000621371192 mol / m.

So I'm still calculating. I would have thought it would be moles per cubic mile, but maybe the dimensions will work out.

Buttercup
2016-Oct-29, 09:27 PM
I had to ask Google about moles per mile. Surprisingly, it had an answer: 1 mole per mile =
0.000621371192 mol / m.

So I'm still calculating. I would have thought it would be moles per cubic mile, but maybe the dimensions will work out.

Mole races? I've seen turtle races.

Millimoles per deciliter. That's from my work. I have no idea what it means (aside from a standard of measure), but then I don't have to. :p

Chuck
2016-Oct-30, 12:01 AM
0.000621371192 is the number of miles in a meter.

Hornblower
2016-Oct-30, 12:11 AM
I had to ask Google about moles per mile. Surprisingly, it had an answer: 1 mole per mile =
0.000621371192 mol / m.

So I'm still calculating. I would have thought it would be moles per cubic mile, but maybe the dimensions will work out.

The quantity of material can be reckoned in units per running meter of a thin tube or hose or in units per square meter of a shallow flat bottomed tank just as well as in units per cubic meter.

Buttercup
2016-Oct-30, 12:36 AM
Chuck - Hornblower; STOP! You're stealing my answers before I can post them. :mad:

Trebuchet
2016-Oct-30, 11:31 PM
I'm astounded nobody has posted this (https://xkcd.com/435/) yet.

Buttercup
2016-Oct-30, 11:35 PM
I'm astounded nobody has posted this (https://xkcd.com/435/) yet.

:)

Why does the Biologist have an octopus?