On Solving The Problem of Induction, Revisited

Many times I'm accused of not understanding a particular problem merely because I disagree with how it's best answered. In today's case I'm accused of being ignorant about the problem of induction. I understand a great deal about the philosophical quandaries involved, which I briefly wrote about earlier, and which can be read at the Online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. My Christian self reveled in this problem along with other apologists, since our goal was to show that science is only possible given a creator god of the Christian kind, and that even scientists need faith. I now vehemently disagree with my former Christian self on these counts.

I think the problem of induction is just a philosophical puzzle for philosophers interested in solving philosophical puzzles, and that's it. The philosopher who can solve it wins, you see. But solving it in it's current form means coming up with a theory of everything and/or in explaining the problem of our existence itself, that is, why this particular universe exists rather than nothing at all. Philosophers will never solve these problems because only scientists can solve them, if they can be solved at all.

Does inductive reasoning work? Most emphatically it does. In fact, no scientist has ever documented a single case where it didn't work to increase our knowledge of the universe. Could good inductive reasoning fail to work? I don't see how it could, for to show it didn't work at a given time means using inductive reasoning to show that it didn't work. At the very best, the odds of my being wrong about inductive reasoning are almost infinitesimally small (and even if I'm wrong about this, it doesn't change the fact that scientists should continue reasoning inductively).

Faith is not involved in reaching this conclusion, nor do I need certainty before claiming to know something, anything. All that reasonable people must do is the one thing most believers cannot bring themselves to do. They should think exclusively in terms of the probabilities based on solid objective evidence. When reasonable people think this way there's no room for faith, nor any need for certainty which usually goes with it.

So can I explain why inductive reasoning works in our particular universe? Basically, yes.

Inductive reasoning works in this universe
because it works in this universe, and that's it.
In other universes it might not work.


Any questions?