Many people know about Deductive reasoning and Inductive reasoning, it's weird however that they talk about these as if they are a choice, either you choose to apply deductive reasoning OR inductive reasoning. Not only is this not correct but there is also another form of reason, abductive reasoning.
Recently I have heard claims that deductive reasoning makes for bad science and inductive reasoning must be used (also claims that math isn't needed in science, but I don't see the need to address that comical position). There are several problems with these comments.
1. Science uses ALL 3 types of reasoning and none of them should ever be thrown out.
2. Inductive reasoning alone will never get you a logically sound or complete or accurate conclusion. It won't even give you a solid hypothesis to go on without other information, data, analysis, and other forms of logic applied.
and 3. In the examples I was exposed to upon further reflection of the claims made I noticed something odd.... The person claiming you needed to look at "other forms of evidence not accepted by...." made a major error. The position he was promoting used almost NO inductive reasoning to form its conclusions, it was in fact built almost entirely on abductive reasoning.
for any that don't know what it is
Another form of scientific reasoning that doesn't fit in with inductive or deductive reasoning is abductive. Abductive reasoning usually starts with an incomplete set of observations and proceeds to the likeliest possible explanation for the group of observations, according to Butte College. It is based on making and testing hypotheses using the best information available. It often entails making an educated guess after observing a phenomenon for which there is no clear explanation.
Abductive reasoning is useful for forming hypotheses to be tested. Abductive reasoning is often used by doctors who make a diagnosis based on test results and by jurors who make decisions based on the evidence presented to them.
However, if you really want to understand it I would recommend a more complete source found here
Now as a guy who fixes stuff I am quite skilled at abductive reasoning, it's a skill that was honed in years of college along with the other forms of reasoning applied through the scientific method. But for fixing things you use that more than any other form, as its the fastest most efficient way to get you kinda close, but ONLY if you have a strong sound base to build upon. This means that I can use abductive reasoning almost exclusively in my work and be totally ok with it. I know I won't likely run into too many problems or ever be very far off. Why? Because I have studied computer science and electronic engineering to such a degree that the short hand methods I use only exist to save time, I already understand in great detail what is really going on inside the computer, I can then take short cuts to get to where I need to go quickly.
This cannot be done to create new scientific theory or a full hypothesis. It only works like that in my case because I know so much about computers. No joke I can do this in my sleep. A scientific hypothesis about a topic you don't understand, because no one yet understands, requires much more than surface level logic applied to it.
Again, I use all 3 in my work, but when troubleshooting the 3rd one tends to be more useful for working quickly. I still switch my tools as the need arises and I understand what constitutes a sound logical structure.
What happens when armatures try to get involved in my work? Well they also apply one or more of these logic functions to their methodology (even when they don't understand the logic they are attempting to use). However, they fail to understand which to use and when, or how to use them effectively and efficiently. The end result are wild speculations that likely are completely impossible, or so improbable they are not worth serious consideration. Not without strong evidence to point in that direction (see where this is goin?). Thankfully with my line of work few people would have the guts to try and tell me I'm wrong because they think they know better (though some still do). And on the rare occasions someone tries to challenge me with a bizarre string of half-baked attempts at logic or science they are usually quite easily able to be shown wrong.
The problem arises when people are prone to this. They refuse to accept reality when faced with it. Even after I show them how they are wrong, where they are wrong, why they are wrong in a field I'm well studied and experienced in, I still hear them later revert back to their wrong conclusions. They often try to push parts of their wrong process or conclusions into reality. Like trying to shove a square peg in a round hole. In the end, no one can help them, no one taught them how to think (quite literally this is the problem), instead people told them what to think and let them struggle to try and work the rest out on their own. This is similar to the brokenness of a schizophrenic mind, or a conspiracy theorist mind, or even a religious mind, there are differences in each of course, but this can be quantified and understood with relative ease. However, they all share a fundamental commonality. They are all formed from an impaired ability to apply all of the logic tools in their toolbox to the world around them.
Personally, I think the solution to this is to force all children as soon as they get into school to learn programming. This would by default inoculate people from easily picking up wrong methodologies as they try to figure out the world. It would reduce the overall sophistry in the world, though not eliminate it. After all, never underestimate the power of stupid people, right?
The reason for this, I think, is simple. Programming, at its core, is the study of logical structures. Many people say one of the best ways to learn is to teach, because in teaching you are forced to apply what you have learned and translate it. It forces you to apply higher order thought process' to the subject you are trying to teach. Well, ideally it does anyway. Some people try very hard to do nothing but parrot what they've heard. The point is though, when you program you are also teaching. In fact, you are teaching at a level far more fundamental than what you would find in say a 4th grader. Learning to program in a way is learning tools to teach blind people what color is, to teach deaf people what sound is. Until you've taught the computer these concepts it has literally no idea anything about them, it's like taking a blind person, teaching them that they have eye's (webcam) then teaching them about color and how to organize and express it (what it spits out on your computer screen). Will forcing programming prevent everyone from being stupid? prolly not, but it would help a lot.