Science

From: Steve Rennell (software@spis.co.nz)
Date: Fri 08 May 1998 - 02:28:14 EEST


Lord Julian wrote:
> Common sense definition: science is knowledge.

Not exactly. Science is an approach to getting knowledge.
Rather than just observation, the very essence of science
is prediction.

The general process of science tends to run
1) observe phenomenon
2) try to explain phenomonon
3) extrapolate other effects we would expect if the explanation is
correct, (i.e. make predictions)
4) test to see if our prediction is right.
5) try to explain the bits that are wrong (new theory or change to
old one)

Scientists keep thinking up other consequences of their theories
looking for where their predictions do not match the real world, and
then update their theories.

At least, that's the theory :-) RW scientists can be just as
pig-headed and unwilling to look at the real world as your average
religious fundamentalist - In the past I have argued the
case that physics could be seen as a religion.

But then, I'm a philospher, not a scientist.

Steve

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