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Re: [ontolog-forum] Data Models v. Ontologies (again)

To: "Barker, Sean (UK)" <sean.barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 28 May 2008 12:01:49 -0400
Message-id: <483D81ED.1050502@xxxxxxxx>
Barker, Sean (UK) wrote:    (01)

>       If I might remind you of the traditional definition of an
> engineer "Someone who can do for sixpence what any fool can do for a
> shilling" ...
>       Also, the yardstick of whether something is a scientific theory
> is whether it makes testable predictions, not whether it has, say, a
> mathematical basis. Better theories are those that make more or more
> precise (& true) predictions. For example, there is a theory that "there
> are three ways of loosing a fortune - women, horses and engineers; the
> first two are the most pleasurable, the last most certain". Although it
> may not embed any explanatory principle, it does have some predictive
> value.    (02)

Thanks, Sean, we needed that! :-)    (03)

There is also the old joke about distinguishing mathematicians, 
scientists and engineers:  Ask them to consider the theory that all odd 
numbers are prime.  The mathematician considers, 1 is "prime", 3 is 
prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is not prime; the theorem is false.
The scientist considers, 1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 
9 is not prime, 11 is prime, 13 is prime; the theory may be valid, but 
there is unexplained experimental deviation.  The engineer considers,
1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime, 11 is prime ...    (04)

-Ed    (05)

Edward J. Barkmeyer                        Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
National Institute of Standards & Technology
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8263                Tel: +1 301-975-3528
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263                FAX: +1 301-975-4694    (06)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST,
  and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (07)

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