more on the nature of science…

… & another excellent blog for you to visit. I’ve just discovered OpenParachute. Its author writes a fair bit about the nature of science & I’d like to share one of these posts with you.

He begins by saying:

Intelligent design (ID) often gets rejected out of hand as just not science. However, I think that is a bit harsh. I think we should accept that ID is at least a scientific idea.

After all, science is more than just proven theories (like natural selection, the standard model of particle physics, etc.). Science also includes facts (e.g., fossils, DNA patterns, atomic and molecular spectra, etc.) and speculative (yet to be proved) ideas (eg., string ‘theory’). We have got to encourage speculation and novel ideas in science. There must be room to dream. After all, how else we will get hypotheses for testing?

Of course most ideas in science are actually wrong – and we know that because they are proven wrong by testing. There’s no shortage of examples but here is one. In the early 1960s a colleague proposed the idea that the dark areas on the moon (the ’seas’) were actually composed of organic material – a sort of ashphalt. He had his reasons for this. However, within a few years we knew that was not the case. So another idea bit the dust. He accept the fact that his idea was not good – but it didn’t stop him going on to propose other ideas.

That’s how science works.

Want to read more? Then click here for the rest of the article.

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