So much for settled science

by Bill O’Keefe, Washington Examiner

The prevailing narrative by members of the climate establishment is the assertion that the science is settled. This is a tactic to stifle debate and informed discussion. Anyone who challenges the narrative is subject to pejorative characterizations — denier, skeptic.

What these advocates avoid discussing is the fact that science is never settled. Newton’s theory of gravity was replaced after almost 300 years by Einstein’s theory of relativity in the early 1900s. Scientists are still trying to identify its limits and extend it. An article in Physics Today stated, “Einstein’s gravity will never be proven wrong by a theory. It will be proven wrong by experimental evidence showing that the predictions of general relativity don’t work.” That is an important statement about all science.

Experimental evidence is the criterion for confirming or rejecting a theory, according to the scientific philosopher Sir Karl Popper. The general premise is that no theory is completely correct, but if not falsified, it can be accepted as truth. Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman in his famous lectures on physics made the point very clear. First, we make guesses about the new theory, then we compute the consequences of the guesses and compare them with observations. “If it (the guess) disagrees with the experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”

These two points about falsifiability and comparing experiments with observations are the Achilles heel of the settled science assertion and it underlying assumptions. Read all >>>


Elsewhere: [Boggart Blog]…[Little Nicky Machiavelli]… [ Ian’s Authorsden Pages ]… [Scribd]…[Wikinut] … [ Boggart Abroad] … [ Grenteeth Bites ] … Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] … [ Tumblr ] … [Ian at Minds ] … [ The Original Boggart Blog] … [ Authorsden blog ]


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