Rainbows and reasoning

by webmaster on April 22, 2009

A rainbow is a classic example of ex suppositione reasoning – reasoning which provides an explanation of a phenomenon that is not always verifiable by experimentation.

Rainbows form the refraction and reflection of light through water droplets in a particular position with respect to an observer, but they don’t form after every rain shower, so the reasoning is correct but it is not verifiable.
Galileo was a practitioner of such reasoning – observing first, his reasoning then explaining his observations.

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