Playing the implications game

As we shop for ideas and decide to choose foothold principles, a critical part of learning to be a scientist is learning to work out what the implications are of our choices. We choose gears for this icon since turning the small blue gear clockwise means that the yellow gear must turn counter-clockwise and the red on clockwise again. Assuming the blue gear turns clockwise has rigorous implications for the other parts of the system.

Following the implications of our foothold ideas and principles is a critical process of science. Sometimes these reasonings lead us to reject previously accepted principles. Sometimes they lead up to new and surprising phenomena.

And sometimes it's challenging, since we may sometimes want to assume something we know not to be true in order to see what it would imply. This is important, because sometimes things we "think we know" from one-step thinking turn out not to be true when we consider it more carefully! Following the implications of our assumption is a great way to see this.

Joe Redish 7/3/11

Article 238
Last Modified: July 5, 2018