Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Progressively Adaptable Science

From Wikipedia

Recent decades have seen fascinating advances in Progressively Adaptable Science (PAS), but many people appear to be unsure of the details. Let’s drill down beyond the journalistic hype and tease out the core aspects of PAS.

PAS theory can be somewhat technical, but the basic idea is that science should be modular and all modules should be reusable. In effect, a kind of structured recycling has been applied to scientific concepts, somewhat analogous to recycling waste.

Climate science is usually cited as the most forward-looking example of PAS. Take the climate science module below for example. Originally an inflexible scientific assertion poorly adapted to changing circumstances, it has been parsed into a PAS-compliant reusable module.

Global temperatures are [likely] to undergo a [catastrophic] [increase] of between [a] and [b] degrees centigrade over the next [thirty] years.

PAS structural rules require what are called progressive adaptability elements (PAE). These narrative elements allow any correctly formulated scientific assertion to be recycled into a more appropriate narrative should a key situation change.

As you will have noticed, by convention PAEs are enclosed in square brackets to indicate exactly where the module may be adapted to changing circumstances and differing contexts without altering the underlying settled science.

However the beautiful flexibility of PAS doesn’t end there. Some PAEs may be expressed as algebraic terms such as [a] and [b] in the above real-life module. In this case the algebraic elements refer to numeric temperature variables or [data]* as climate [scientists]* often call their favourite numbers.

* As you will have noticed, one of the attractions of PAS is that even statements about PAS, may be compliant. In other words, what we say about PAS can also be recycled by amending one or more PAEs. Powerful and beautifully simple as I’m sure you will agree.

In this ingenious manner, the essential [truths] of science are [preserved] and the scientific [method] is handed down [intact] for future generations.


Demetrius said...

In modern education is Al Gebra now an extremist organisation?

Woodsy42 said...

Sounds like a sort of virtual Lego for ideas.
Alternately it could be used as a game similar to Scrabble where each tile has not a letter but a PAS module. The object of each move is to build a complete scientific statement.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - yes because it confuses politicians.

Woodsy - we already have enough tiles to keep ourselves busy without inventing anything new. Maybe that's the idea!