Science isn't what most people think it is. I actually found out that science really isn't about finding truth. I can't begin to explain in a summary of how this works but here is a video for you. This video is by the Youtuber TheMessiacManic, who is a theological non-cognitivist, igtheist, and philosopher who seems to put many things into light and has some really butt-whooping arguments against theism in general. He is also a break from the typical and successfully expands upon subjects that many skeptics/atheists don't target when combating theists. I highly suggest checking his videos out. :)
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What is the difference between "I have 5 apples and take away 2 apples leaving 3 apples" and the forumula 5 (apples) added to -2 (apples) leaves 3 (apples)?
Literally none, since 5 - 2 = 3 is the same as 5 + (-2) = 3. But in apple terms, to add 2 apples is the opposite of taking away 2 apples.
Modern electronics routinely does mathematical computations with something called a "complex number" like (for example) 2 + 3j, where j is the square root of -1. They come into play when discussing oscillating currents or voltages, since you can raise e to the power of a complex number times time, vary the value of time, and get a cosine wave--if, of course you take only the real part of the result (or only the "imaginary" part, gives you a sine wave, off by 90 degrees in phase.)
If you know much about mathematics you might object, what the hell is this "j" bullshit; the square root of -1 is i. Problem is electrical engineers for some reason use i for electrical current and that's too basic a concept and too prevalent to risk confusion (or supplant in favor of a mathematical symbol) so we use j. (And math teachers would chide us in class for using j...)
Realistically we *could* probably just use paired numbers for our quantities, an x-y pair, and follow similar rules of 2-d rotation, but it's tremendously easier to just work with complex numbers. Multiplying them by each other is isometric to rotating a vector in 2-d space (provided their magnitudes are both 1).
yeah, I took years of calculus, only to find out that we will do anything, (including expanding a linear system and it's sinusoidal stimulus into the "complex/imaginary realm") to avoid it.
Truth be told, orthogonal basis functions do allow us to focus on the important things: cost and schedule. ;)
I succeeded in avoiding even trigonometry, much less calc. I'm one of those people who's good with concepts but not numbers and/or formulas. I breezed through topology and geometry but barely stumbled through algebra. Funny thing is, I became quite competent at symbolic logic and even taught it as part of Logic 101. No numbers were involved; it is all conceptual.
I think the conceptual stuff is more interesting.
The Scientific Method, the tool that Science uses to discover if a hypothesis has any merit is not concerned with the truth. Science does not care if something is true. A spade can dig a hole in the ground and find a rock or a horde of treasure. Science, like the spade, has no interest or bias towards what it discovers. It is up to the people with the spades to access the merits of the discovery.
Gaps predicted by Mendeleev in his Periodic table were later discovered to be correct. Science later confirmed his (educated) guesswork of missing elements to be present. The best theories make predictions, like the recent discovery of gravitational waves from the Big Bang. It adds to our knowledge and understanding of the Inflation model of our Universe.
So the discoveries of Science lead to what we call “Consensus” rather than the “Truth”. They become the accepted truth once we cannot falsify them. If the Consensus changes in the future due to further scientific endeavours then we can alter our views on what we had previously accepted as the truth.
This is because Science, unlike Religion, does not claim absolute Truth. The religious start out with a prior assumption that their God did it all. To them that is the absolute truth. The basic premise never changes. Therefore religion has nothing to discover. If you don’t agree then please write down all the religious discoveries of the last 1000 years, or as Sam Harris asks - can you think of any subject today that religion offers a better answer to than Science?
"can you think of any subject today that religion offers a better answer to than Science?" - everyday hope and faith. This is because religion deals in a subject area that science doesn't deal in (apart from religion's attempts to re-write science) - God's love, the Healing Principle, nature's urge to survive and flourish that is a result of the evolutionary arms race.
This guy relies heavily on the philosophy of science of Popper up to about 4:00. Then it becomes neo-pragmatist like the philosophy of Nicolas Rescher. A very interesting fusion of two philosophies. Ari...if you are interested in the philosophy of science (all of us should be VERY interested in it) I'd recommend getting an introductory book on the topic. If you're at university now the library should have some. If not...I can send you a pdf file with a few books.
I don't think any study of the philosophy of science would be complete without reading Dr. Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (PDF), an attempt to show that through a series of scientific revolutions, the sciences are tending toward a unified body of knowledge (science without borders).
In my graduate level philosophy of science course (about four decades ago), we studied this book and our professor presented a common criticism of Kuhn's thesis: the sciences may use similar terminology, but often the same word means something different to different sciences (a molecule is one thing to a chemist but something a little different to a physicist). Even within the same science, the same term can mean different things to different scientists. Here's an example I found in Wikipedia:
Field takes the example of the term "mass", and asks what exactly "mass" means in modern post-relativistic physics. He finds that there are at least two different definitions:
Indeed. That is but one of many criticisms of just one of Kuhns theses.
Science is about the truth. Insofar as its methods are either true or are the closest possible approximation to the truth at any given moment in time. Bertrand Russell put science on the top rung of a ladder of truth, with philosophy in the middle and theology on the bottom rung ( this was too generous in my view).
The point is that science gets the job done in a way no other enterprise can. Planes fly and computers compute because the science behind these things needs to be true..... or in other words..... ..It is true because it works.
Science has all sorts of tools to get at the truth, from peer review to double blind tests. I don't see any of this with religion or philosophy. So, I would say that science cares about the truth more than any other enterprise.