digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

This article deals with predictive power in the context of the philosophy of science. For the statistical measure of predictive power, see mean squared prediction error.
The New York Times of November 10, 1919, reported on Einstein's confirmed prediction of gravitation on space, called the gravitational lens effect.

The concept of predictive power differs from explanatory and descriptive power (where phenomena that are already known are retrospectively explained or described by a given theory) in that it allows a prospective test of theoretical understanding.

Examples[edit]

A classic example of the predictive power of a theory is the discovery of Neptune as a result of predictions made by mathematicians John Couch Adams and Urbain Le Verrier, based on Newton's theory of gravity.

Other examples of predictive power of theories or models include Dmitri Mendeleev's use of his periodic table to predict previously undiscovered chemical elements and their properties (though largely correct, he misjudged the relative atomic masses of tellurium and iodine), and Charles Darwin's use of his knowledge of evolution by natural selection to predict that because there existed a plant (Angraecum) with a long spur in its flowers, a complementary animal with a 30 cm proboscis must also exist to feed on and pollinate it (twenty years after his death Xanthopan morgani, a form of hawk moth, was found which did just that).[citation needed]

Another example of predictive power is the prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity that the path of light would bend in the presence of a strong gravitational field. This was experimentally verified by an expedition to Sobral in Brazil and the Atlantic island of Príncipe to measure star positions during the solar eclipse of May 29, 1919, when observations made by the astrophysicist Arthur Eddington seemed to confirm Einstein's predictions.[1] Although the measurements have been criticized by some as utilizing flawed methodology,[2] modern reanalysis of the data[3][4] suggests that Eddington's analysis of the data was accurate. Later, more precise measurements taken by radio interferometry confirmed the predictions to a high degree of accuracy.

Applications[edit]

The predictive power of a theory is closely related to applications. [according to whom?]

General relativity not only predicts the bending of light, but also predicts several other phenomena. Recently, the calculation of proper time of satellites has been a successfully-measured prediction, now incorporated into the method used to calculate positions via GPS.

If a theory has no predictive power, it cannot be used for applications.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ F. W. Dyson, A. S. Eddington, and C. Davidson, "A Determination of the Deflection of Light by the Sun's Gravitational Field, from Observations Made at the Total Eclipse of May 29, 1919," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Volume 220 (1920) pp. 291-333 (available online from the Royal Society)
  2. ^ Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch, The Golem: What Everyone Should Know About Science, Cambridge University Press, 1993. (ISBN 0521477360)
  3. ^ Daniel Kennefick, "Not Only Because of Theory: Dyson, Eddington and the Competing Myths of the 1919 Eclipse Expedition," Proceedings of the 7th Conference on the History of General Relativity, Tenerife, 2005; available online from ArXiv
  4. ^ Phillip Ball, "Arthur Eddington Was Innocent," Nature, 7 September 2007, doi:10.1038/news070903-20 (available online 2007)

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictive_power — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

11309 news items

Barron's

Barron's
Fri, 22 Jan 2016 21:26:15 -0800

Misforecast: Copper has lost its predictive power by shedding 50% of its value, while the global economy continues to grow. Illustration: William Waitzman for Barron's. Dr. Copper may be losing his credentials. The metal has long held a position among ...

Forbes

Forbes
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 08:58:36 -0800

Tom Brady performs the coin toss before the start of Super Bowl XL between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field on February 5, 2006 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images). Does it matter who wins the coin toss ...

NPR

NPR
Sun, 31 Jan 2016 04:00:17 -0800

Iowa and New Hampshire get a lot of attention, but their records in picking presidents, let alone nominees, is spotty (as you can see from the chart above). But that doesn't mean the states don't matter. They have been effective at weeding the field of ...

Washington Post (blog)

Washington Post (blog)
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 09:17:35 -0800

New Hampshire's predictive power is limited by its open-primary format. Thus John McCain can beat George W. Bush (2000) despite doing poorly among registered Republicans. My advice is to look closely at the partisan vote totals in New Hampshire (as ...
 
Zacks.com
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 12:37:30 -0800

O'Reilly Automotive Inc. (ORLY - Analyst Report) is set to report fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 results on Feb 10. In the last quarter, the company had posted a positive earnings surprise of 11.86%. Let us see how things are shaping up for this ...
 
Zacks.com
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 10:22:30 -0800

Zacks Rank: Natural Resource Partners carries a Zacks Rank #2. Though a favorable Zacks Rank increases the predictive power of the ESP, a 0.00% ESP makes a surprise prediction uncertain this season. We note that Sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 or 5) ...
 
Zacks.com
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 10:53:04 -0800

Zacks ESP: Henry Schein has an earnings ESP of 0.00%. That is because both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are pegged at $1.65. Zacks Rank: Henry Schein has a Zacks Rank #3 which increases the predictive power of ESP ...
 
Zacks.com
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 09:22:15 -0800

Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (PPC - Analyst Report) is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2015 results on Feb 10 after the closing bell. A renowned diversified food company, Pilgrim's Pride is engaged in production, distribution and sale of frozen ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight