Sunday, 5 May 2013

No science…

Some reading a couple people here need... There is a vast distinction between science and the so called mysticism that some people ascribe to the pseudo science that has continued into this modern time.

"so-called 'refutations' are not the hallmark of empirical failure, as Popper has preached, since all programmes grow in a permanent ocean of anomalies. What really counts are dramatic, unexpected, stunning predictions: a few of them are enough to tilt the balance; where theory lags behind the facts, we are dealing with miserable degenerating research programmes." [1]

Science predicts and can be tested. To have science, you do not speculate, you set up a path to test a hypothesis and you gather evidence to support or refute it, but it is never proven. All that occurs is that we create better models of the Universe.

Newton was not "wrong". Even now, his theory of gravity is used for many calculations over Relativity even though we know that Relativity is a better and more accurate model.

Why?

The Newtonian calculations are simpler. Even though we can obtain more accurate results when using the Relativistic Newtonian formula, the Newtonian one suffices for many things. We only need to use the more accurate (and more difficult) equations when it is warranted. For instance, in satellite deployment the time drift from the velocity differential is sufficient to make vast errors in the GPS system. These need to be calculated relativistically. That stated, all we use to place a man on the moon is Newtonian calculations.

More, we often choose to use the lower grade older model as it IS better. We know that Newton was approximately correct and that Einstein was closer to the truth, but we cannot always measure the accuracy to a sufficient level to warrant the changes. Sometimes, we cannot calculate all the variables in the model we know to represent the best model of truth as we know it and the only option is to use the older model.

Science is a process of modelling the "truth". This is not who made the Universe. It is not is there something "before" time [2]. It is reality as we perceive it. Kurt Gödel in 1931 with his incompleteness theorems demonstrated mathematically that only the simplest of arithmetic calculations can be complete.

Science is a model of the world. We create better models over time, and we replace some models and keep others with reminders of their inconsistencies even know we know they are not "true". The reason comes when they offer a solution. 

Science is an incomplete model. We do not solve it and we cannot make a hypothesis scientifically about things we cannot test.

What it does offer is a means to see through mysticism and pseudo science.

Formally, Gödel's theorem states, "To every omega-consistent recursive class kappa offormulas, there correspond recursive class-signs r such that neither (v Gen r) nor Neg(v Gen r) belongs to Flg(kappa), where v is the free variable of r" (Gödel 1931).


[1].  http://www2.lse.ac.uk/philosophy/about/lakatos/scienceandpseudosciencetranscript.aspx
[2]. By definition there can be no "before" to the start of the Universe as time is a function of the Universe. It there is a prior to the universe and something that we have "derived" from - it is not a function of time per se.
[3]. http://www.amazon.com/Incompleteness-Proof-Paradox-Godel-Discoveries/dp/0393327604

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