Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Truths of Science require Belief

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." -- Neil DeGrasse Tyson
I've only just seen this snippet of a quote circulating on Google+, so I don't know its context and what Tyson intends by it. However, many of those circulating it are wishing to contrast faith and reason, religion and science, and are using it to denounce faith/religion. They seem to think anything which requires belief is a subjective construction, and that somehow science/reason is a surer route to truth.

The status of many theoretical entities and laws that science postulates depends upon belief in the scientific theory from which they come. How many of us now think that it is true that combustible materials contain phlogiston? That Baer's laws of embryology is indeed the case? The celebrated scientist, Isaac Newton held that light is transmitted at a finite speed by the "Luminiferous Aether Wind," but no one holds that to be true anymore. Why not? Because no one believes that theory anymore. See and

Furthermore, science requires some very basic epistemological commitments: for example, the belief in the uniformity of nature and the belief that our perceptions match reality.

"Credo ut intellegam," whether it is to understand God, the world, or myself.

1 comment:

Newtspeare said...

The worst religions are science and secularism, because their followers are so convinced that these things are the one true faith, that they cannot accept them as religions at all, and also they seem to feel a religious duty to incite hatred against unbelievers.

The point about science, is that it is always partly right and partly wrong. It then progresses when scientists manage to figure out which parts are correct and which need improving. Phlogiston is an excellent example. It is no longer required because physicists now realise that everything is made of protons, neutrons and electrons; and when things burn what happens is that electrons and protons rearrange themselves such that they are closer to each other, and emit energy in the form of photons of light.

The wonders of nature, are created from only a few basic units, and it is greatly to their credit that physicists have figured some of this out. However it is also true that physicists routinely believe in complete nonsense, merely because everybody else in the community does, and the worst example of this is time travel, which is the most ridiculous creation of any religion in the whole history of mankind.

The aether is certainly a correct description of the universe, and Newton thought it existed because he realised that space must be full of some kind substance in order to allow the gravitational attraction between the planets and the sun. Up until the beginning of the 20th century, all physicists accepted the existence of the aether. Modern physicists reject the idea, because they prefer to worship the nonsense of Einstein. It was known as luminiferous, as for most people its primary function was to carry light around the universe. The ’wind’ bit, just refers to a confusing description of a famous experiment.

I am fed up with physicists, because I have spent a long time coming up with my theory of everything, Squish Theory, only to find that physicists will not consider it, because they are unable to accept that any part of their religion could be wrong.