Prediction is working out what a person feels is likely to happen.
We all try and use our skill and judgement to work out what we feel is likely to happen. Example:-
- Jimbo Wales developed Wikipedia into something very large and impressive although it is controversial. Jimbo Wales is involved in Wikia. Therefore it is reasonable to predict that Wikia could well become large. Wikia may well become controversial as well.
- If the above prediction becomes true it will help demonstrate the power of human reason.
- If the above prediction turns out false it will help demonstrate the fallibility of human reason.
In science prediction is part of testing a hypothesis. Scientists work out what will happen if the given hypothesis is correct. Scientists try and work out how an experiment will turn out if the hypothesis is right. Scientists try and work out what types of observations they can expect if the hypothesis is right. If there is experimental or observational confirmation the hypothesis is strengthened. If the hypothesis is incompatible with experimental or observational evidence scientists will modify the hypothesis or discard it.