Saturday, September 3, 2011

Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of science: The philosophical discipline dealing with the assumptions, methodology and implications of science
The several myths about science whuch are that scientists are unbiased observers they use the scientific method to confirm or falsify their theoriesm they have no preconceptions in collecting data and deriving theories and science is self-correcting because scientists readily abandon theories, when they don’t fit the facts.

This view of science is wrong.

Thesw myths are quite easy to bust. Data itself can not confirm or falsify theories becausedata is not self it needs to be interpreted through a theoretical system. Furthermore the scientific method is a generalization of how science is suppose to work but it is not a fixed rule.

Scientists have shown on ocassion tremendous loyalty to their theories. The Steady State Cosmology is a classic example of this where some its original adherents are still holding out on it. Finally their theories are always influenced by philosophical assumptions.
Doing science requires making starting assumptions, this necessary for it work because our knowledge is incomplete. It is also contrary to the myth of Scientists having no preconceptions. So the results of scientific inquiry are greatly influenced by starting assumptions and having wrong starting assumptions results in wrong theories.

 The bigest question in philosophy of Science is “What is science?”  This is not as easy a question to answer as it may seem because Science dose not fit easily into a box because it is simply impossible to draw a clear line between science and non-science.
The accepted key concepts of Science are observation, falsification and repeatability. Unfortunately even these are not absolute because not everything fits into them.  There are things in universe can be seen such as atoms, subatomic particles, black holes and dark mater. Things that can not be tested such as an unbounded universe and the Cosmological Principle. Some things can not be repeated such as the origin of life, and the origin of the universe it self.
 Part of the problem is ta desire on the part of the scientific establishment to eliminate from science areas they don’t like such as Creation Science, and Intelligent design.
So the question of  “What is science?” remains an open question.

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