The Science of Deduction

I try to observe people closely, every minor detail possible. Then I ponder about my observations for maybe a couple of minutes to some hours, finally I come to a deduction. But the story doesn’t end here, we must test this deduction and see if it is the truth…

Observation is the easiest part, which involves the use of your senses. But when you come to deduction it gets tricky. Deduction involves your inner mind to piece together something meaningful from your observations. This is the most crucial part where you put most of your time and effort. If you get your deduction wrong then come up with another or recheck your observations, to become an expert one has to leave room for mistakes and learn from them.

 Consider Tycho Brahe, the man famous for his observations of the Heavens. He made the best measurements that had yet been made in the search for stellar parallax. Upon finding no parallax for the stars, he correctly concluded that either

  • the earth was motionless at the center of the Universe, or
  • the stars were so far away that their parallax was too small to measure.

He formulated a pivotal question correctly, but then made the wrong choice of possible answers: Brahe did not believe that the stars could possibly be so far away and so concluded that the Earth was the center of the Universe and that Copernicus was wrong. His observations are celebrated but not as much as Kepler who derived the Laws of Planetary Motion with Brahe’s observations.

  I would like to share one such experience of mine in which I I tried to play ‘Doctor’. My brother went out for lunch and came back with an itchy rash. The next day while he was at work he called up saying the condition got worse. So I went straight to the computer and started my first diagnosis. I could only remember that the rash which spread all over his hands looked similar to mosquito bites in appearance. So to keep my options wide I for rashes in general. I got over 10 results and I took me a while to finally end my diagnosis with Hives. My brother went to a dermatologist who said it was Acute Urticaria. I Googled this and found that it is also commonly known as Hives. Even though my deduction was right it took me little more than an hour than the doctor who took less than a minute (If you do try this be sure to consult a doctor to confirm and only the doctor may prescribe the necessary medicines).

After many trials with the Science of Deduction we may end up with getting a handful correct. According to me that is remarkable, don’t let the shadows of your failures fall on you but instead learn from them.