reserved Science

What Do I Like Most About Science?

Science is pure. Unlike many areas of study, science self examines and corrects itself. It’s mission is to seek knowledge and to seek truth.

It is true that recently there have been some scientists who have tarnished the reputation of science by falsifying their data and claiming false results. But science requires the ability of others- impartial others – to replicate results.

love of scienceUnderstand.  If the results are unable to be replicated the claim falls flat. Science checks and verifies. So some of the people in science may have had character flaws, but science seeks to be flawless.

It does not matter if the result of science is popular, it still seeks the truth.

Many of the things we commonly call theories in ordinary conversation are really hypotheses. That is, they are a conjecture based upon some observation or idea and a scientist puts together a statement of that conjecture he believes may be true.

At that point it is not a theory. We–  the public use the word in a different way than scientists use it.

Scientists use theory to mean the next step- a PROVEN hypothesis.

When we use the word in common parlance, most of the time we  actually MEAN hypothesis.

The Theory of Evolution is a proven hypothesis. It is NOT conjecture. It is provable. It can be replicated. It can be demonstrated. Does it end there? No.

Theories are constantly revised to conform with better methods of testing them. Things we know now allow us to devise better ways of challenging what we thought of as facts.

For example before Edmund Hubble – for whom the space telescope was named-astronomers believed that our Milky Way Galaxy was the only Galaxy in the universe. The Andromeda Galaxy was then called the Andromeda Nebula- a gas cloud with stars.

We did not have an accurate way to measure distance beyond a certain point, so within those limits, we thought all the gassy spots of light we saw in space were distant parts of our own  galaxy.

[newsletter_lock] We had a theory. It was in need of revision. It wasn’t correct. Hubble ( the man) made some discoveries. Hubble used a type of star known as a Cepheid Variable star to expand our knowledge. All Cepheid variable have common characteristics- they all have the same intrinsic brightness (referred to as magnitude).

Since they are essentially all the same- they are like a “standard candle”

(where the flame and brightness are also all about the same).

By measuring that difference in how bright those stars appear from earth, it was possible to accurately estimate the distance to that star.

Hubble then created a rule known as Hubbles Law. He could show that many objects were NOT part of the Milky Way and were much farther away.

There are other “standard candles” as well. It is a way (among others) we measure vast distances in our universe .

So science evolves along with knowledge and better methods of measurement and with new ways of testing.

What are your thoughts on science?

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