Hard science.

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Pappadave, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Pappadave
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    Pappadave Member

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    Hard science rests on a soft foundation. How many times have the castles of stone produced by "hard" science crumbled to dust when science really examines the details? How many times have the "Laws" of science been shattered by further investigation? There are only two "hard" laws in science, Somehow, somewhen our universe came to be. Somehow, somewhen it will end. All the rest are theory, working hypotheses, and our best guess. All of them are based on observation, anecdotal evidence, and have limits we conveniently leave out of the "law". The speed of light is a constant. Yes, but only in the part of the universe we can observe, What is the speed of light when approaching the event horizon of a black hole? What is the speed of light in a black hole? What is the speed of light exiting a white hole (if they do in fact exist)? If you insist on calling them laws at least add all the qualifiers and corollaries to the laws. 2 plus 2 always equals four (only in the decimal system). Two human females plus two human males usually adds up to more than four. (And I'm glad it does).

    If science can admit that we don't have all the answers and we never will (my unabridged book of questions stretches to infinity), maybe we can accept their work as imperfect, but the best explanation based on incomplete data. Maybe then we wouldn't be in such a hurry to enforce or impose them on ourselves. Its time to admit that the quest for knowledge is neverending and our conclusions are always subject to change (like everything else). Pappadave.
     
  2. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    They DO. This is just another post furthering the "scientists don't know what they're talking about" meme. I've worked in the scientific arena all my working life and that kind of analysis would get you laughed out of town. They're smart people. Like they don't know all of this, esp. the uncertainty part! This post is only useful as a means to confuse or misdirect the scientifically unsophisticated.
     
  3. Truthmatters
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    Truthmatters BANNED

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    Science is our best information.

    Its the people who spit on science who want us to act with our second best information.
     
  4. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Then there are people like you.
     
  5. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    It always amazes me how people who don't know anything about science either think it is worthless, or want to point to it as being perfect. It has been a few years since anyone in the science field though that science had all the answers, but some people still want to think they do.
     
  6. Pappadave
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    Pappadave Member

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    I don't recall anything in this post that "spits" on science. I spent 35 years in environmental science and ,yes, science is still the best game in town. All I ask is that we admit it is imperfect, subject to change, and not infallible. I also think, given that the future of all things is "this, too, shall pass" that we may be better off not attempting to keep everything at some static level that we think is best. I do not plan to go tilting at windmills, especially since they may be generating my power needs in the near future. Pappadave.
     
  7. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Seems to me that you are not presenting a good arguement for anything concerning science, Pappa. Science is always 'the best explanation we have at present'. It is never considered an absolute truth. Newtonian Physics still works for most applications. However, one cannot use it for dealing with atomic physics, or physics dealing with matters that involve speed near C.

    I have never met a scientist that claimed we had the whole truth. Not even in the field that is their specialty. However, most scientists get in a bit of high dungeon when some layman, such as Limpbaugh, tries to tell them that they are presenting false evidence or outright fraud.
     
  8. IanC
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    IanC Gold Member

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    Not all science is Hard Science. Some areas are driven by the experimental side, some by the theoretical side. All fields need a large history of data to draw upon. And time for theories to mature and become more sophisticated.

    How many fads have there been in Medicine? Or any complex field with unknown or poorly understood feedback systems? Climate science is an example of an immature field where proclimations of knowledge and accuracy are out of whack with the available data and understanding of the mechanisms involved. Genetics is an example of a field with tremendous amounts of data waiting for theoretical explanations and practical usages.
     
  9. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    That depends on what you mean by 'our universe,' it may just be that the laws of science extend to the universe in the same way they extend to matter and the universe in its vast billion light year size - always was and always will be. A rather religious viewpoint maybe. The only certainty is our demise after our good fortune to be born. http://www.usmessageboard.com/writing/50677-life-chance-eternity.html

    A quick search of my quote db turned up a few gems.

    "Impossibility statements are the very foundation of science. It is impossible to: travel faster than the speed of light; create or destroy matter-energy; build a perpetual motion machine, etc. By respecting impossibility theorems we avoid wasting resources on projects that are bound to fail. Therefore economists should be very interested in impossibility theorems, especially the one to be demonstrated here, namely that it is impossible for the world economy to grow its way out of poverty and environmental degradation. In other words, sustainable growth is impossible." Herman E. Daly / Kenneth N. Townsend

    "If all the problems of science were solved, it would not touch any of life's problems." Wittgenstein

    "But in the end, science does not provide the answers most of us require. Its story of our origins and of our end is, to say the least, unsatisfactory. To the question, "How did it all begin?", science answers, "Probably by an accident." To the question, "How will it all end?", science answers, "Probably by an accident." And to many people, the accidental life is not worth living. Moreover, the science-god has no answer to the question, "Why are we here?" and, to the question, "What moral instructions do you give us?", the science-god maintains silence." Neil Postman

    "In science, 'fact' can only mean confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." Stephen Jay Gould

    "The interesting thing that most lay people and even scientists don’t understand is how unbiased knowledge as a whole emerges from individual scientists who are biased. It is still one of the greatest mysteries of science." Ian Mitroff

    "In science, all facts, no matter how trivial or banal, enjoy democratic equality." Mary McCarthy
     
  10. eagleseven
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    eagleseven Quod Erat Demonstrandum

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    Scientists, more than anyone else, are acutely aware of what we do not know.

    With this sort of thinking, we would still be in the Stone Age, thinking storms are caused by angry gods.
     
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