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Author Topic:   Helping a Friend about the Nature of Science
Member (Idle past 1579 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003

Message 19 of 41 (575889)
08-21-2010 3:24 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Tram law
08-21-2010 3:16 PM

Re: The way science works
It's better to be mostly right, and getting righter, than to be eternally and unchangingly wrong.
Your friend is just scared to death by the notion that our knowledge is provisional and subject to revision. He has an unreasonable demand of certainty in all forms of knowledge, but if you really think through it, there's no reason why we have to be perfectly and absolutely certain about anything.
For almost any application, provisional certainty subject to revision in the light of better knowledge is good enough. Better, because it doesn't put you in the position of being committed to a dogma that later turns out to be flawed.
Perfect certainty is an illusion. The problem your friend has isn't with science, it's with certainty. He has an unreasonable need for it.
Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Tram law, posted 08-21-2010 3:16 PM Tram law has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by nwr, posted 08-21-2010 3:46 PM crashfrog has not replied

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