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Sunday, April 4, 2010

What is True Science?

"The sad confession which every true scientific man learns to make is, 'I am ignorant; I want to learn'" - Louis Agassiz

The history of science is one of my primary interests. What constitutes science, how scientific opinion and data has changed or appeared, and what sort of influence the whole field of science has on culture, as well as vice versa. Despite all its glory, science is, after all, a very narrow vacuum of understanding when viewed in a historical context. It can only tell us so much, and when the majority of society places upon it burdens and responsibilities it cannot live up to, distortion is inevitable.

Hmm, perhaps a chiseling of definitions is in order. After all, science can apply to different things when used in a general context (i.e., historical science). In the comments on my last article, a debate erupted over whether or not Creation and Evolution are falsifiable and therefore “real science.” I tried to explain that Creation and Evolution are scientific worldviews whose sub-hypotheses constitute predictions, which are falsifiable, which thus constitute “real science.” After thinking things through for awhile and looking things up, I realized why there was so much confusion over what is true science.

Empirical science, technically, is true science. Empirical science is a system of study which deals with observable and repeatable – and therefore testable or experimental – evidence. I suppose we could call it the “useful science,” because it is from empirical science that we get medical advancements. Sounds like the sort of material that should be able to solve all the world’s problems, right? Before you place your faith in it, consider this...

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