In “The Importance of Not Being Certain: Understanding why the science is never settled,” Charlie Martin writes
There’s this thing “science” that people talk about a lot. Climate science, political science, social science, and not to leave out my own field, computer science. And, of course, areas of study that don’t need to have “science” in their names, like chemistry and physics. But what is this thing “science”? I’ve been thinking a lot and reading a lot about it, and no, I don’t have a final answer… and then it occurred to me that “I don’t have a final answer” is really the key to understanding “science.”
I think the perfect example is in mechanics. In scientific terms, “mechanics” is the study of objects in motion. Sir Isaac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, (“Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”) published in 1687, and for the next 200 years, everything in mechanics was based on Newton, with his Three Laws of Motion and the Law of Universal Gravitation – and with (arguably) the first version of calculus. It was seen as probably the one absolute of science; the absolute consensus among physicists was that Newton was correct.
And then along came Einstein.
Readers? Is “I don’t have a final answer” really the key to understanding “science”?
Follow UD News at Twitter!