NCSE: When Is purported Science not Science? | Watts Up With That?



by Patrick Frank

In his excellent book, “Galileo,” [1] Stillman Drake points out Galileo’s very modern understanding of science praxis, writing, “In his book on Hydrostatics, Galileo remarked that the authority of Archimedes was worth no more than the authority of Aristotle; Archimedes was right, he said, only because his propositions agreed with experiments.” Galileo, writing this in 1612, conveyed an understanding of science identical to Einstein’s, expressed almost exactly 300 years later: “If the red-shift of spectra lines due to the gravitational potential should not exist, then the general theory of relativity will be untenable.”

Einstein’s statement about theory and observation is recounted by Karl Popper in his autobiographical “Unended Quest,” [2]. Popper goes on to say that Einstein’s critical observation was a revelation, and opened the way to his own career-spanning argument that science is the interplay of falsifiable theory and empirical results (conjectures and refutations). Theory must produce unique and falsifiable predictions by way of analytical deductions. Data, replicable by any and by all, pronounces its verdict. Only those two activities together constitute valid science. Either apart, is not science.

via NCSE: When Is purported Science not Science? | Watts Up With That?.

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