princejavier.github.io

Why Science is Flawed. But that’s alright.

Science is about finding the rules for things we observe. It’s a form of reasoning called inductive reasoning.

If all ducks that one observes are white, then one rule one can think of is “if the animal is a duck, then it is white.” But that does not mean it’s correct. There could be one duck out there that’s black but we haven’t seen it yet.

Finding generalizations or rules out of observations is inherently limited in this sense.

This is why we can never prove a theory. This is because we can never account for all things. We only make use of what we observe.

This is what happened with Newton’s theory of gravity where the assumption is time is fixed. It works to explain most things we see every day.

Then Einstein came along and showed us Newton’s theory doesn’t work for very fast and heavy things and gave us a different set of rules for explaining them. His theory is used to predict things we find valuable. And that keyword: “predict” is what matters.

So, in a sense, science is easier seen as not being about “truth” whatever that means but about making predictions of value.

Contrast this to say, Mathematics that works through deductive reasoning – finding conclusions based on some initially set rules and applying logic on them. It’s more robust because hey, you set the rules in the first place and just mechanically used those rules.

Notice how we still use mathematical formulas made by Pythagoras and Archimedes thousands of years ago? But our model of the atom has changed many times over a hundred years?

Einstein’s theories are definitely useful for prediction. And that’s the contribution of science.

But it’s only a matter of time before someone “proves Einstein wrong.” And that’s alright.