All ravens are black. Yep. The question is, how do you prove this?
The scientific method amounts to:
- Make observations
- Form an inductive hypothesis
- Experimentation to confirm or refute
The problem is, to prove
the hypothesis, one has to observe
as many ravens as possible, and confirm that they are all black.
It is impossible to observe every
raven - many of them have
died, many of them haven't existed yet, and there could be ravens in
inaccessible locations. However, each time we see a black raven,
it tends to confirm the hypothesis that all ravens are black.
Yet, there is a part of this that is missing - only one side of the
test has been performed. A -> B is equal to
its contrapositive: not B -> not A.
"If its a raven, then it is black" is equivalent to "if its not black,
then it is not a raven". Therefore, every sighting of a non-black
non-raven equally confirms the hypothesis. The red coffee cup
on your desk is helping prove that all ravens are black.
Yes, it is silly, but by the laws of logic, if you accept
an inductive hypotheses and confirmation by experiment, then
every observation except the one that refutes the
hypothesis confirms it - no matter how irrelevant.