# Thread: The Science Game (demonstrating the scientific method)

1. This is a game that demonstrates the scientific method. In real science, we try to work out the rules by which the universe functions. In the game, you try to work out the rules by which the game universe functions.

For this game, the universe will be transformations from English words to numbers. At any time, you can run an experiment by submitting one (or more) words, and you'll get a number back for each one. The goal is to guess the rule by which the number is generated.

In real life, there's no one to tell us we're right, so we keep trying to find better rules. In the game, I'll tell you when you've got the rule right. In real life, people look for experiments that shows a rule fails. If you guess wrong, I'll show you a word where the rule fails.

An example:
rabbit -> 2

Have fun!

Edit: I suppose I should mention one place where this isn't similar to real science. In real science, the experiments must be conducted within the universe. In this game, the experimenters/apparati/etc exist outside of it.

Edit again: Oh yeah. I forgot to mention, if anyone else has any more appropriate ideas for a universe, I'd like to hear them. My universes never seem all that interesting.

Status:
Game 1 winner: gc. Rule: The number of consecutive letters, in either direction
Game 2 winner: gc. Rule: Turn the letters into numbers (a=1, z=26) and sum the digits until you get a single digit number
Game 3 winner: Arcane_Mathematician. Rule: +1 for each consonant following a consonant, and -1 for each vowel following a vowel.
Game 4, no winner. Rule: Number of letters minus number of syllables
Game 5 in progress.

2.

3. I once played a similar game as part of an English course. The teacher invited us to ask him if he likes this or that (anything we could think of), and his answers were quite surprising:

- Yes I like apples. I like all apples.
- No I don't like Idared. Or McIntosh.
- Yes I like swimming.
- No I don't like water.

The instructions were that, should anybody guess what is going on, they should not tell the others but join the teacher's game.

Before long, people were saying (and getting their notions confirmed by the teacher):

- So you like rubbish, but you don't like nonsense?
- You like the skipper, but you don't like the captain?
- You like shooting, and killing, and splitting skulls, and ripping bellies, but you don't like violence?

The solution to the mystery was that the teacher "liked" anything with a double letter in it.

4. It does sound like a very similar game. The general concept is called inductive reasoning, which, for anyone who doesn't already know, is working out the rules from a set of examples. Since all of science is built on inductive reasoning, I thought it'd be a fun and informative game to play here (if only I could come up with a more relevant universe that was still simple enough to be useable). Anyway, care to run some experiments?

5. More than one, eh?

Rabbit
be
a
cat
attack
rabbit

6. Results:
Rabbit -> 2
be -> 1
a -> 1
cat -> 1
attack -> 1
rabbit -> 2

7. Hm. This isn't very scientific, for I won't waste time trying to conclusively falsify a prediction. Better try one prediction after another, with additional experiments thrown in to boot... i guess. :?

I predict the result will be 0:

Luchowski

(yes I know that's not an "English word")

8. As a counter-hypothesis, I predict that the result for my last name will be 2.

9. Er, hypothesis: last name = 6 consonants divided by 3 vowels. Prediction :first name = 2 by the same rule

Experiment: Guitarist = 5/4.

Theorem: There is no string of alphabetics, or concatenation of such strings, however long, that cannot be expressed as a rational number where the numerator is a consonant and the denominator is vowel.

10. Experiment:

Aeon
Aqua
Eaux
Southern
Zulu
John

11. Originally Posted by Guitarist
Er, hypothesis: last name = 6 consonants divided by 3 vowels.
But then cat would be 2, whereas it is a 1, wouldn't it?
How about the number of unique vowels. That would make "Luchowski" a 3.

12. (Let me know if I miss anything)

Results:
Luchowski -> 1
Guitarist -> 1
Aeon -> 1
Aqua -> 1
Eaux -> 1
Southern -> 2
Zulu -> 1
John -> 1

13. robots
northern
robber

I predict (with low confidence!) northern -> 2 for being first longest word in list.

14. robots -> 2
northern -> 1
robber -> 1

15. Any other experiments or guesses at the rule? I was hoping that this wouldn't die out so quickly. Does anyone have any suggestions for a more appropriate game universe, or any suggestions at all?

16. I have a couple experiments:

Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism
Antidisestablishmentarianism

(from the list of longest words in Wikipedia, in case you are curious)

17. Oh boy... I hope I don't mess these up...

Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism -> 2
Antidisestablishmentarianism -> 2

18. In this universe the voice of God is heard!
Originally Posted by The Creator
Oh boy... I hope I don't mess these up...
That revealed much. The transformation very likely works on words in isolation. It increases in difficulty or complexity with word length. The transformation might not be done at a glance.

Also, "guess the rule by which the number is generated" suggests simplicity.

Still I'm stumped. :?

Just gathering data:

rabbit
no
on
eat
ate
tea
oat
tao
taco
coat
rabbit

19. rabbit -> 2
no -> 2
on -> 2
eat -> 1
ate -> 1
tea -> 1
oat -> 1
tao -> 1
taco -> 1
coat -> 1
rabbit -> 2

I'll say that, yes, to be a playable game, the rule can be stated in one sentence, and that it transforms one english word to one number. (That should have been clearer in the initial post.)

Edit: Also, I can't think of many rules that wouldn't be harder to apply to words that long, just because it gets easier to overlook things.

20. Hmmm, I think Pong may be onto something with the anagrams so let's try a few more:

conversationalists
conservationalists
undefinability
unidentifiably

and a few more experiments:

Sequoia
Rythyms
Aardvark
Xylophone

21. conversationalists -> 2
conservationalists -> 2
undefinability -> 3
unidentifiably -> 2

Sequoia -> 1
Rythyms -> 1
Aardvark -> 1
Xylophone -> 2

22. Hmmm, interesting, the first number 3...and yet I'm still stumped.
So more experiments:

late
later
elate
latte
slate
relate
related
lateral
acetylate

23. late -> 1
later -> 1
elate -> 1
latte -> 1
slate -> 1
relate -> 1
related -> 2
lateral -> 1
acetylate -> 1

24. I'm going to take a huge stab in the dark, and even though I know this is probably wrong I am going to predict 4 for the word understudy.

25. I'm going to guess that the rule is that magi master, being the ineffable rule master, just picks a number. The only evidence that one could hope to aquire to support this hypothesis is if we flood magi master with requests, so that he forgets what he previous denoted a word.

Of course magi master is not ineffable, and might accidently denote a number to a word differently than before, and then "correct" himself when it is pointed out, thus this hypothesis of mine is unfalsifiable.

I will play in hopes that I am wrong about that aforementioned hypothesis, as it would make this universe so meaningless... lol

a
as
at
all
an
and
ant
ants
bat
bats
battle
battles
battalion
battalions
battling
battled
dab
dabs
abduct
abducts
duct
ducts
duck
ducks

26. a
b
c
d
e
f
g
h
i
j
k
l
m
n
o
p
q
r
s
t
u
v
w
x
y
z

27. Indeed the game would be pointless if the numbers didn't mean something, but since I'm trying to make a point, that'd defeat the purpose. Also, I'm big on rules and fair play.

understudy -> 4 (Good job)

(any single letter) -> 1

as -> 1
at -> 1
all -> 1
an -> 1
and -> 1
ant -> 1
ants -> 2
bat -> 2
bats -> 2
battle -> 2
battles -> 2
battalion -> 2
battalions -> 2
battling -> 2
battled -> 2
dab -> 2
dabs -> 2
abduct -> 2
abducts -> 2
duct -> 1
ducts -> 2
duck -> 1
ducks -> 1

Phew.

28. Interesting. I think that means I'm on the right track, and yet the rule that I was thinking of does not work every time, so clearly there's more to it.

edit:
the words that don't fit my prediction are
guitarist - 1
aeon - 1
northern - 1

I would have predicted each one would be a 2.

29. What's an example it doesn't work on? (Just so I can make sure I got it right.)

30. MagiMaster, please see my edited post above.

31. Err, yeah, you'd be right. All three should have been a 2.

32. Scrabble score calculator didn't help me... but maybe something there. :?

Pong
nope

I predict 3, 3, 3.

33. Pong -> 3
nope -> 3

34. Ok, in that case I think I've pretty much got it. There is one last (hopefully) experiment that I need to run though:

monopoly

My prediction is either 3 or 5, but considering the results of a previous experiment I'd go with 3.

As for Pong's experiment, my predictions are:
Pong - 3
nope - 3

edited to add: oops, I swear I didn't cheat, I must have been in the middle of writing this post when the answers were posted.

35. Your understudy snagged it, gc. I just had to guess what you were thinking. Curiously although I think my intuition performed well, I'm at a loss to state the rule concisely. My brain doesn't work that way. :?

Let's not forget science:

rabbit

36. monopoly -> 3
rabbit -> 2

Edit: Yeah, yall probably figured it out. If either of you want to take over the role of universe for a new round, that'd be fine by me (I think gc got there first, so I think he'd get dibs). Otherwise, I'll start another round after someone states the rule.

37. zen
Zulu
zit
zero
zoo
zap
zeal
zed
oz

xylophone
axe
tuxedo
tax
taxation

a
dame
deal
tuba

38. Sounds like fun. Let me just think of a good rule.

I won't state the rule for the first game in case people still want to keep playing. You can just write game #1 or game #2 so we don't get confused between experiments. I could just start a new thread, but I don't think the moderators would be too happy if we started multiple threads for this game.

39. zen -> 1
Zulu -> 1
zit -> 1
zero -> 1
zoo -> 1
zap -> 1
zeal -> 1
zed -> 2
oz -> 1

xylophone -> 2
axe -> 1
tuxedo -> 2
tax -> 1
taxation -> 1

a -> 1
dame -> 1
deal -> 2
tuba -> 2

gc (and Pong), you can PM me what you've got. Also, if your rule takes a different kind of input, it shouldn't get too confusing (if you want to take that route). And yeah, the game may be related to science, but it's probably not worth having more than one thread for it.

40. Got it. Damn!! That took awhile to catch.

41. i've been going about my experimentation all wrong... give me one last try in Magi's universe and then if i don't get it whatever, start the next round if you'd like

lemon
melon

lived
devil

42. lemon -> 2
melon -> 2

lived -> 2
devil -> 2

43. sent 2 pms, without realizing I'd sent one earlier, I thought for some reason it didn't go through. My bad

mole
live

45. prediction:

mole-1
live-1

46. I only got one PM, so it must not have gone through.

mole -> 1
live -> 1

47. ok i'm lost... but i have another idea to test

scratched
screeched
scrounged
scrunched
strengths
Aeolian

48. I have a good rule, pretty hard to figure out, but I'm willing to be God if you will try to figure out my method

Function: My function is U. U takes strings of letters and turns them into a single digit number.

Examples of U are: , ,

The rule is simple, but complicated. Any takers? Oh, and like magi's it can be stated in one sentence. (maybe two)

edit: I apologize, over zealous and made a transcription error. Caught it way late.

49. alright, if someone wants to calculate my priveous experiment for magi's universe, that will be my last attempt at solving his... this is for arcane's universe

aye

50. For my universe:

scratched -> 2
screeched -> 2
scrounged -> 2
scrunched -> 2
strengths -> 2
Aeolian -> 1

Arcane, I think gc was going to go next, but if no one gets too confused, I suppose it doesn't hurt to have multiple games running.

51. I don't mind letting Arcane play God for this round. Unless you want to have more than one game running at a time, either way is cool with me.

52. Experiments for Arcane's universe:

a
apple
apples
applesauce
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

53.

54. Originally Posted by MagiMaster
For my universe:

scratched -> 2
screeched -> 2
scrounged -> 2
scrunched -> 2
strengths -> 2
Aeolian -> 1

Arcane, I think gc was going to go next, but if no one gets too confused, I suppose it doesn't hurt to have multiple games running.
sorry for stealing the spotlight, I was really excited and couldn't contain myself. my bad

55. For Arcane's universe:
bookkeeper
coffee
tablet
battle

56.

57. If gc doesn't mind, neither do I. It'd be up to the people wanting to play whether or not 2 games would be too confusing.

Anyway, experiments:
bat
cat
fat
hat
mat
pat
rat
sat
vat

hag
ham
has
hat

58. Arcane your rule scares me. Well, you said strings not words, so here goes..

babe
and
rabbit

babeandrabbit

(I can use true words instead if you prefer.)

59.

60. good experiments pong and GC, i think we've confirmed that letters have the same value no matter how they are arranged, at least when the same number of consonants and vowels are used

however arcane, this allowing strings of letters instead of words might make this too easy depending on the formula

cantaloupe
Lou
can't
ape

another
anther
atone
near
nor
ant
no
an
a

amides
dimes
dime
dim
i'm
I

61.

62. Some predictions for Arcane:

predict - 3
universe - 5
test - 1
guess - 8
gc - 1

How'd I do?

63. 7 for 7. I think you know the rule

64. gc, either you're very good at this, or I'm overlooking something obvious.

Experiments (edit: with predictions, though I know some have been given already):
a - 1

And something tougher:

Hmm... My theory seems to work for everything but bookkeeper, which I would have predicted would be a 4.

65. Looks like you've solved it :-D

Yeah, I just tried bookkeeper and I got 4 as well, so maybe it's just a mistake (either that or we're both wrong :wink: ).

66. yes, bookkeeper should have been 4, my mistake. Thanks for catching it. and yes, all correct magimaster.

67. Ok, I have an idea for a universe, I just hope it's not too hard (or too easy).
To start things off:

universe: 1
apple: 2
physics: 2
science: 1
Einstein: 0

68. Gc's universe

a
abba
and
ant
ants
anti

69. Ok. To start off with:
I
a

eat
ate
tea
eta

hag
ham
has
hat

bag
rag
sag
tag

70. a: 0
abba: 1
and: 1
ant: 1
ants: 2
anti: 1
eat : -1
tea: -1
eta: 0
hag: 0
has: 0
ham: 0
hat: 0
bag: 0
rag: 0
sag: 0
tag: 0

71. Rhythmic - 5 or 2

72. Rhythmic: 3

73. Rhythms
Rhyme
Shy
my
aeolian

74. eats - 0
teas - 0
rags - 1

sand - ?

75. Rhythyms: 3
Rhyme: 1
Shy: 1
my: 0
aeolian: -3
eats: 0
teas: -1
rags: 1
sand: 1

76. and
hand
sand

eel
feel
peel

ale
bale
sale
tale
stale

ate
fate
gate
late
mate
sate
slate
spate
state

has
hat
hot
not
hots
shot
slot

77. and: 1
hand: 1
sand: 1
eel: -1
feel: -1
peel: -1
ale: 0
bale: 0
sale: 0
tale: 0
stale: 1
ate: 0
fate: 0
gate: 0
late: 0
mate: 0
sate: 0
slate: 1
spate: 1
state: 1
has: 0
hat: 0
hot: 0
not: 0
hots: 1
shot: 1
slot: 1

78. My predictions:

aeon: -2
eon: -1
Rhomboid: 1
Schizophrenic: 4

and my letter strings (not words, if that's okay)

aeiouy: -5
aeiouym: -5
gaeiouym: -5
mhtgrq: 5
umhtgrq: 5
umhtgrqa: 5

79. aeon: -2
eon: -1
Rhomboid: 1
Schizophrenic: 4
aeiouy: -5
aeiouym: -5
gaeiouym: -5
mhtgrq: 5
umhtgrq: 5
umhtgrqa: 5

Good job. Looks like you've figured it out :-D

80. Man, I'm just not getting this one. Anyway, I've added a status section to the original post. I'll add the rule for game 3 once I figure it out, or give up and ask.

Speaking of: Some more experiments.
aeiou
eioua
iouae
uoiea
oieau
ieauo

Edit: Aha! I predict that all of those are -4.

BTW, any lurkers reading this: feel free to join in at any time. A new round should be starting soon.

81. ok, i'm no good at this, but i'm having fun following... here's a universe(words only, no strings)

attack = 4
home = 3
lemons = 4
tiger = 3
vagina= 3

82. aeiou: -4
eioua: -4
iouea: -4
uoiea: -4
oieau: -4
ieauo: -4

Good job.

83. Arcane won the last round, so he'd have first dibs on the next. We can carry on with marcus's game if he doesn't mind though.

84. I'm fine with mister Marcus taking a turn. I honestly think the participation is awesome, so more power to him!

85. Alright. Then some experiments:
a
an
and
sand
stand
stands
strands

hat
hit
hot

ham
has

86. a=0
an=1
and=2
sand=3
stand=4
stands=5
strands=6

hat=2
hit=2
hot=2

ham=2
has=2

87. (this is way too easy, i wasn't thinking much when i made it)

88. I'd have it pegged if home=2

that's throwing me off :?

89. I would have predicted home should be worth 2 points as well. I think Arcane has figured it out.

90. home=3

one more experiment and you should be able to figure it out

91. I predict 3 for the word "den"

92. Experiments and predictions:
hate - 3
hope - 3
tome - 3
team - 3
tame - 3
tomb - 3
soar - 2
oar - 1

Anyway, easier is usually better since the difficulty of games like this ramp up very quickly as the rule gets more complex.

93. den = 2

magi, you got them all right except these two

soar = 3
oar = 2

which is understandable... if you understand the rule, which i think you do, you might want to reference a dictionary to see how you erred

94. Some predictions (I have no idea if these are right or not):

tea: 2
real: 3
here: 3
forum: 3
circus: 4
teeth: 4
agenda: 3

95. My theory was "the number of consonants plus the number of e's," which mostly works, but no, I don't really understand yet.

Ah, but your dictionary comment has me thinking of something else. Let's see:
shove - 3
thyme - 3
time - 3
tomb - 3
auction - 5

96. GC, these are all correct, good job. Simple, enough for you?
tea: 2
real: 3
here: 3
forum: 3
circus: 4
teeth: 4
agenda: 3

Magi
shove - 4
thyme - 4
time - 3
tomb - 3
congradulate - 8 (and it's spelled congratulate, which would also be an 8)
auction - 5

97. interesting, you have been correct, but for the wrong reason GC

i've given a major hint, did anyone catch it?

98. Eh spelling

Anyway, I think I've got it. I'll PM you to check.

99. sadly, I can't figure it out at all... I'm totally stumped this round :?

100. Hmmm that is interesting...and the hint doesn't seem to relate to what I was thinking. So, more experiments:

hi
hit
to
tot
flu
fly

101. no, there was another hint magi... it apparently made you think

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