I wound up with too much time to think this’s week. I came up with a categorization of science, four classes of scientific Truth.
Class 1 I call science fiction. Basically speculation without actual data. Thinking about what faster than light travel might mean.
Class 2, wild guessing. What you do when you have @ mass of data and no idea what it means. At its best hypothesis forming might be its name.
Class 3, lies to children. Generally these are super ceded models used for instruction purposes. Think of teaching simple counting as if it were math. Or the “lie” we teach early college students as if Newtonian mechanics were true. Santa Clause and the tooth fairy might also fit here.
Class 4, current theory. Which we all know will probably be replaced someday but which is the best available explanation of all relevant data.
The other side of the coin are lies. Such as lies, damned lies and statistics.
My favorite type of lie is My dog did it, as in creationism “science”. Sometimes stated as m6 dogma did it. These tend to be “explanations” devoid of any useful startin* points fir study
Then we have “the gospel truth” which appears to be content with no actual evidences or data and generally easily shown evidence of it’s falsity. Often presented to justify hatred, misogyny, bigotry, racism, etc. our president’s pronouncements seem to fit this description and, therefore, are immediately accepted by those trained to always believe similar comments
Anyone have any thoughts on these categories?
I'm reading a book at the moment that proposes that science is really just an extension of the rational thinking of the church. Most of us think of science as objective and religion as intuitive but religion actually promoted the growth of scientific investigation through the centuries and was always a way of rationalising the world according to what it knew. Nowadays we see the worst excesses of religion - the dogma, smug superiority and bullying repeated by science. Richard Dawkins, a great mind by my thinking, is a good example of the superior attitude of science today. Science, for all the benefits we get in terms of knowledge, is as self-reflective as a hall of mirrors in that it is great at explaining how a system sustains itself when it is up and running but useless at stepping outside itself and telling us how it got started and what's it is all about.
Science means knowledge from Latin, so how do we class knowledge?
Knowledge is known. Indisputable. That's number one.
Then we may extapilate the knowledge we have and see if that works. If it does, keep doing it until proved otherwise. Call this theory.
Everything else, we assume it works or believe it is known when perhaps it isn't.
Basically with all that happens around us doing our collective life times, we know shit.
Interesting, but do i detect a trace of cynicism there ?.
I think theoretical physics should get a class of it's own. The maths (please not math) show it to be true but much of it we are unlikely to be able to prove.
I dislike to use of "gospel" to quantify known facts as we now know the gospels to be nothing more than fairy stories.