Friday, February 19, 2021

The Karl Popper Proof That Lockdowns Are Not Always a Sound Scientific Method and Only Scientific Method to Battle COVID-19

Karl Popper

Here is what the Stanford Encyclopedia says about Karl Popper:
Karl Popper is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century. He was also a social and political philosopher of considerable stature, a self-professed critical-rationalist, a dedicated opponent of all forms of scepticism, conventionalism, and relativism in science and in human affairs generally and a committed advocate and staunch defender of the ‘Open Society’.
In the below video, Ivor Cummins uses the observation of Popper that logical asymmetry holds between verification and falsification: it is logically impossible to conclusively verify a universal proposition by reference to experience, but a single counter-instance conclusively falsifies the corresponding universal law. 


RW note: COVID-19 is not a controlled laboratory experiment so it is not a totally conclusive falsification but it comes pretty damn close when comparing Florida and California.

Supposedly "follow the science" California politicians such as Gavin Newsom and London Breed would have a very difficult time trying to explain why Florida isn't in as bad a shape or worse than California.


  1. Sweden also already falsified this, but Ivor is great and spot on here. According to Imperial College style modeling, Sweden was predicted to have by June 1st, 2020:
    96k deaths with no restrictions
    81k deaths with some
    48k deaths with a full lockdown!!!

    So yea. Falsified.

    "We employed an individual agent-based model based on work by Ferguson et al"

    David B.

  2. Central planning, particularly societal destroying notions from the CCP, re: "lockdowns" or house arrest, is always insane.

  3. "RW note: COVID-19 is not a controlled laboratory experiment". It very much has the stink of an experiment and the world is the laboratory.

  4. The Imperial College model about Sweden was falsified, but not asymetrically. The asymetric argument of comparing California to Florida is like comparing oranges (Florida) to avacodos (California) thus asymetrical. Asymetrical disproof is nonsense.

    Comparing Imperial Collece's model for Sweden to actual results in Sweden is symetical (not asymetrical) because Sweden is the subjecct in the Ipmerical College model and the actual results.

  5. One of the few things that Trump got right was to not impose a federal quarantine/lockdown/mask mandate on the states. Now we get to see, in what is almost a massive scale lab experiment, how wildly varying "safeguards" produce relatively small differences in outcome. Not only that, but the less panicky the response, the more favorable the outcome.

  6. Wikipedia definiton of Poppers theory of asymmetry: "Logically, no number of positive outcomes at the level of experimental testing can confirm a scientific theory, but a single counterexample is logically decisive;"

    If by asymmetrical he means that it only takes one example of falsification to disprove a theory while the theory may have many positive examples, then I have misinterpreted his use of the term.

    However, comparing oranges (Florida) to avocadoes (California) is an improper use of his definition because oranges are not avocadoes.

    His theory applies to an experiment in which the positive outcomes and falsification refer to the same elements in the experiment. Comparing Florida to California does not apply to his use of the term.

    1. Actually, this is not a single isolated example. Check, for example, Sweden. And other states which didn't go all apesh1t on lockdowns. There's a large and growing body of evidence that lockdowns have zero benefit as far as controlling SARS2 virus is concerned. This idiocy needs to stop, now.

    2. Are not FL and CA both oranges? Different oranges but so are the model of an orange and the actual orange.

      Both comparisons – FL to CA and the model of Sweden to actual Sweden – have symmetries and asymmetries. Very few comparisons comparisons are going to have perfect symmetry. The best we can do is try to identify and address the asymmetries. IMO the asymmetries between FL and CA are not quantifiably different from those of model Sweden and Sweden.