archive: SETI FW: [ASTRO] The sentencing of Galileo and the Big Bang

SETI FW: [ASTRO] The sentencing of Galileo and the Big Bang

Larry Klaes ( lklaes@zoomtel.com )
Mon, 14 Sep 1998 11:12:47 -0400

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From: Bill Arnett
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 1998 11:19 PM
To: astro@lists.mindspring.com
Subject: RE: [ASTRO] The sentencing of Galileo and the Big Bang

At 11:53 PM -0700 9/10/98, Steve wrote:

>Just because you can't think of anything better, does that make the
>original model right? I don't think so.

Science isn't about finding the Truth. It is about making models and
showing that they are WRONG and then coming up with better models. At any time, we usually have one model that best fits the data. (Sometimes there
are two or more more or less equally good models but that is relatively
rare and certainly not the case with the Big Bang.) That is all we can do.
Anyone who tells you that he has found the ultimate and final truth is
selling religion, not science.

Of course, sometimes was have zero models that fit all the data. That
occurs when the current best is found to be wrong by virtue of some new
data. This is the goal of most experiments, to falsify the hypothesis.
When that happens it is usually possible to fix up the original theory to
match the new data. But sometimes, someone gets a bright idea for a whole
new model and a scientific revolution is born.

But just because you don't like the current best model doesn't make it
false. You have to come up with some evidence, some data, some observation that is contrary to the hypothesis. Until that happens, you've
gotta go with what works.

---Bill Arnett                             "Science is a way of tryingEmerald Hills, CA  USA            not to fool yourself."      -- Feynmanbilla@zNet.com                              <URL:http://www.seds.org/billa/>