10th Edition
ISBN: 9781305967359




10th Edition
ISBN: 9781305967359
Textbook Problem

Once there was a highly intelligent turkey that had nothing to do but reflect on the world's regularities. Morning always started out with the sky turning light, followed by the master's footsteps, which were always followed by the appearance of food. Other things varied, but food always followed footsteps. The sequence of events was so predictable that it eventually became the basis of the turkeys theory that footsteps bring food. One morning, after more than 100 confirmations of this theory, the turkey listened for the master's footsteps, heard them, and had its head chopped off. Scientific theories can be revised upon the discovery of inconsistent evidence. Suggest a modification to the turkey's theory that the remaining members of the flock would find more useful for making accurate predictions.

Summary Introduction

To determine:

A modification in the theory proposed by the turkey that can be more useful by the other flock members to make correct predictions.


A turkey observed a regular pattern and believed that the world follows the same pattern to live. According to this pattern, the sky brightens in the day and after this, a footstep brings food for the flock of turkey. All the turkey feed on it. The turkey gave a theory that the “footsteps bring food”. However, one day the turkey noticed that it was not the footstep that brings the food but a human. This indicates that the theory stated by the turkey was not completely accurate.


A theory is produced on the basis of continuous observations. These observations can change due to a number of factors. A phenomenon occurs in certain optimal conditions. The changes in these conditions bring changes in the process. This indicates that a theory can modulate on the basis of changes in the observations.

Similarly, the theory proposed by the turkey does not holds true for universal conditions. It can vary according to the observations made by the turkey. For example, if the turkey would have observed a human bringing the food. In this case, it would not have assumed that footsteps are the one that brings food for them.

The theory proposed by the turkey can be modified to make it more useful for the other turkeys of the flock...

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