Sunday, 8 April 2012

The null hypothesis

From Wikipedia

Science is supposed to be about formulating and testing hypotheses, but there is one hypothesis we must always consider first – the null hypothesis. The null hypothesis simply says our new hypothesis is wrong.

Whole swathes of modern science fail as science because they don’t test their hypotheses against the null hypothesis. If they did they would be out of work, climate science being the first through the door and good riddance I say.

The null hypothesis is basic to all science – or rather it should be. So what do we want? Do we want full employment for scientists or good science? Well surely scientists who don’t understand the null hypothesis shouldn’t be scientists – mainly because they aren’t doing science.

So here’s a hypothesis - climate scientists are crap.

The null hypothesis says climate scientists are not crap. Hmm – but it’s not getting warmer and CO2 is increasing.

Good job it’s so easy!

So the null hypothesis fails.
And my hypothesis that climate scientists are crap is not false.
Therefore we need to kick climate scientists into touch.

So that’s cleared that up. Next problem please.


Demetrius said...

If a really big earthquake sets off a really big volcano and that sets off other volcanoes it is possible the climate might change. But when, I am not entirely sure.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Those chaps off Mythbusters are proper scientists, they're never embarrassed to admit that they guessed wrong, they want to find out one way or another regardless.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - I think it could change drastically for long enough to be a genuine catastrophe. Solar panels no good either - with the sun obscured by dust. Would they still get their subsidy though?

Mark - never seen it. I suppose they need good myth-makers for it to work.

noiln said...

Hypothesis Testing
Define Hypothesis, what is Hypothesis? Define Hypothesis Testing, null Hypothesis,

A K Haart said...

noiln - define "define".