| Verification of realty: Scientific experiment, hypothesis, theory & law|
|11 Feb 2006 @ 16:55, by Shreepal Singh|
The business of science is to study all forms of "reality". The reality may be defined as "one that exists" and "of which existence is verifiable by proof". The ‘realty’ that ‘exists’ has nothing to do with the ‘proof’ showing that it really exists. Proof of reality is no more than making available symmetry of the claimed reality to Mind that it understands and insists for..
Hypothesis is Mind’s reconstruction of the interrelations of nature’s realty. Scientific mind takes for granted this nature’s realty as an ordered whole wherein the components of the whole also are ordered. These ordered components are further assumed to be integrated with the whole in an ordered manner. This assumption is the very first condition to search scientifically the existing realty. It is often expressed by vouchsafing that nature is not capricious in its working.
Hypothesis, if endures with time, matures into scientific Theory and Theory, if persists with this endurance with time, further matures into scientific Law. Scientific Law, and therefore scientific Theory and Hypothesis as well, contain three elements: There is a set of parametric Conditions present; when an Event happens in those conditions; and a Principle operating in nature is hypothesized that explains the logic of happening that event in those conditions.
Before a Hypothesis, and much more than that a Theory and Law originating there from, is accepted as the scientific, certain preconditions are absolutely necessary to be complied with by the claimant Hypothesis. Firstly, the set of parametric conditions in which the event in question happens must be defined with mathematical accuracy; also these conditions must be in a position to be created artificially, controlled experimentally and repeated any number of times at will by any body possessing required skill. Secondly, the event in question that happens in those conditions must always happen without a single exception. It is referred to as the experimental proof of the Hypothesis. And, thirdly, there must be only one explanation available – that is, the Hypothesis in question – which explains the happening of that event in those conditions. A Hypothesis that meets these reconditions is categorized as scientific one. And, if this Hypothesis endures with the challenge of new observations and discoveries in the course of time, is elevated to the new status of scientific Theory. If it continues with success this process of verification by time, it is further elevated to the status of scientific Law.
This is the sum and substance of the claim of an explanation – a Principle – of being scientific. How much ‘scientific’ is this process of discovering principles operating in nature? How much efficacious is this method of verification of ‘realty’ that exists and operates in nature? Is this method foolproof against the possibility of committing error – error arising out of its own inherent and inbuilt defects in this process? Is this method ‘scientific’ enough to claim the status of an infallible judge to denounce or approve the ‘truth’ of a claim arrived at by a method other than its own?
This method is superb in its depth of approach to the problem of uncovering secret ‘realty’ existing in nature. It is marvelous in its yield of results. Our glittering civilization is founded on the light of knowledge revealed by this sole method – the principle of Mind and Mind’s reason and logic. Still, this method is inherently weak to proceed further beyond a certain limit in unveiling ‘realty’ existing and operating in nature. This weakness is inbuilt in its own process. This weakness is being exposed now with the rapid march of science, and particularly after the discovery of the universal principle of Relativity operating in nature. Let us see what these inbuilt deficiencies of method are and how they weaken its claims like being ‘scientific’, ‘sole arbitrator of truth’ etc.
There are countless events that happen with each passing moment. And, each one of these events happens within definite and precise parametric conditions. With the knowledge already at our disposal, is it ever possible for us to detect them in their complex and interconnected entirety? If ever we are able to detect them all, is it possible for us to ascertain the cumulative effect that these parametric conditions exert on the event in question? And more than this, assuming that we are able to detect them all, and ascertain their cumulative effect being exerted by them on the event in question, is it possible for us to control them while performing the relevant experiment? Also, assuming that we are able to comply with all these preconditions for making a scientifically correct experiment, is it possible for us to duplicate their required parametric conditions in a series of repeated experiments?
All these requirements – preconditions – are the sine qua none of making a scientific experiment. Before explaining an event by offering a hypothesis, it is absolutely necessary to ensure the compliance of these preconditions for making a scientifically correct experiment and offer this experiment as the scientific proof of the hypothesis in question. Here assumptions have been made in favor of the claimed scientific nature of the method followed by science, but the truth is contrary to these assumptions.
There is another aspect to this problem of ‘scientific’ nature of science. Supposing we are able to detect, ascertain cumulative effect on an event, control and duplicate in repeated experiments these parametric conditions, can the suggested explanation – the offered hypothesis – be the only one explanation possible to satisfy the logic of that event happening in those conditions? Obviously, it is not so. The history of development of science is the history of changing explanations of a single event.
These are inevitable difficulties in the path of science and they limit the ‘scientific’ nature of scientific truth offered by its hypothesis, theory and law. There is no scope and justification for science to become arrogantly intolerant towards other claims of truth and usurp to itself the seat of sole arbitrator of truth.
Let us point out an illustration of these difficulties and limitations of science.
As we said, there are countless events happening each moment. An apple falls down from a tree to the ground. We take for granted that here there is an apple, an entity - a fruit - that is an isolated thing unconnected with the remainder of universe and its forces operating everywhere, many of which still remain unknown to us and that this apple has come off a branch of the tree, and has fallen to the ground. We make repeated observations and confirm that it always happens this way only. We explain this phenomenon by hypothesizing that there is a force of attraction in Earth (that is, gravity). Have we recounted here that the apple in question is not an isolated thing unconnected with the remainder of universe? No, we have not. We fail to account that apple is made up of atoms and, in turn, of quanta of energy-field. Also, we fail to account that these quanta of energy-field are only formations – like waves formed of water in ocean – in the Unified Field of energy that is present every where, even in vacuum. Further, we fail to appreciate the fact that it is not the Earth alone whose force acting on apple has to be accounted for. We fail to account that Earth is revolving around Sun and there is a neutralized position present every where on Earth of the two counterbalancing forces: the centrifugal force (due to gravity of Sun) and centripetal force (due to elliptical motion around Sun). And, it is not the only factor that has to be accounted for. There are nine planets that revolve around Sun and their gravitational fields overlap each other. Earth is a part of this integrated gravitational whole. The sum total of this effect on Earth has to be calculated and accounted for if we are to carry any meaningful scientific experiment. And, it is not these planets alone there. Beyond the planet Pluto, there is Kuiper Belt of asteroids. These may be smaller in diameter and mass, nevertheless they have a part to play in the complex gravitational field present every where within the Solar system. Earth is within the Solar system and we do not calculate and account their minute impact that they exert on our falling apple.
And, to make the matter more complex, our Sun is revolving around our galaxy – Milky Way – and this galaxy is revolving around our Black Hole. Certainly, the cumulative effect of Sun, Milky Way and our Black Hole has to be calculated precisely and accounted for while explaining the fall of the apple in question on Earth. The problem does not end here. Today, we know that ninety percent of the calculated mass that must exist in universe is not visible and accounted for. It is referred to as the Black Matter. It must exist somewhere and be impacting on Earth also (effecting the apple in question). To perform a really scientific experiment on the falling apple, we must be able to determine this complex effect precisely and account that completely. Obviously, the claim of science of being scientific is not so scientific.
And, it is not the end of problems for science. Inadequacy of science and its scientific method is further exposed with every major advance of our knowledge. Assuming (in our case of apple falling to the ground) we have calculated the cumulative effect of the exerting forces on this apple and accounted the same precisely in our hypothesis, is there only one explanation for this event of falling apple on the ground? No, it is not so. The simple explanation by hypothesizing an attracting force present in Earth – that was revolutionary when it was proposed by Newton – has been substituted today by the explanation hypothesized by Einstein. It explains that in the presence of Earth’s mass the space around it becomes curved and the apple in our case does not fall to the ground but follows this curved path by moving through the shortest route – the geodesic path – that looks like apple being attracted by Earth. Is this the final explanation? The history of science tells us it should not be so.
There are many kinds of events. A child claims he remembers his past birth (please refer to the case of Naresh Kumar in these pages). Do we know all the conditions wherein this event takes place? Are we able to artificially control those conditions? Is it possible to duplicate those conditions at will? No. A man foretells that a particular event would happen at the stated time and place and the foretold event happens in that manner. Are we able to manipulate the concerned conditions ‘scientifically’? No. It is truth but how would you prove it scientifically? With whom the fault lies: science or truth? A man comes into ‘contact’ with a person who is now dead and obtains from this dead person a piece of verifiable information. This information is verified to be true. It is truth. But how would science prove this truth scientifically? With whom the fault lies: truth or scientific method? Science would rule out the happening of such an event. It is a mean excuse. It is sheer hypocrisy on the part of science. It does no credit to scientific method of science.
There is no problem with truth. Truth can always be verified for its veracity. It is always open to all to come forward and verify its veracity. The problem lays with the insistence of science to put every truth under its scientific scanner and label the ones that do not conform to its scientific method as false.
Let science in pursuit of truth replace its arrogance with enlightenment. Let science not denounce truth for the sake of its method that is flaunted as scientific.
12 Feb 2006 @ 07:42 by : I have studied
and been part of many religions in my time here on earth. The religion I like at the present is secular humanism with no doctrine or dogma.
We human beings live here on Earth. It seems that a human being is a composite of body, mind, spirit. The mind being partly in the body and part in spirit. The spirit, the being itself, us, we is that which leaves the body at point of body death. It is good to be specific. And brief.
12 Feb 2006 @ 10:47 by : Response
Your liking for secular humanism as a religion without doctrines and dogma is really appreciating. Humanism with or without doctrines is much better than dogmatic religions that discriminate between person and person simply because one belongs to 'another' religion. Humanism can be reached as a conclusion by many routes. I like your simple and true approach to the whole problem with which people on our Earth are afflicted.
12 Feb 2006 @ 17:41 by swanny : Humaneism
I would go further to "humaneism".
13 Feb 2006 @ 15:27 by : Humanism, humaneism and compassion
Compassion is a great virtue. Compassion is the veiled voice of our heart. If this virtue is observed in our dealings with fellow human being, it is really commendable. And if this compassion is further extended beyond human beings to animals etc., then it is much more commendable. Often our interests clash with that of animals. Then, sometimes our compassion intervenes in the clash of interests and takes the side of hapless intended victiom of our selfish act. Humanism, humaneism and compassion are the graded virtues, the last being the best. But the best is the difficult. It is an ascent of human being, whatever he or she is. It is struggle with oneself, with one's demands. It is part of the process of evolution. Going down, sliding back, is easy but rising further is difficult. And, we are here on Earth to move further. This the basic principle of New Civilization, the concept we all are trying to define in this Network.
13 Feb 2006 @ 16:10 by swanny : Ubuntu
Ubuntu is an "ancient" word or concept
meaning "humanity to others"
I find it rather fitting.
Although some even "exploit" compassion
and I suppose that is where "grace" and "mercy"
enter. Mercy is an interesting concept as well.
God apparently sits upon the "Mercy Seat".
I don't know how that figures in the New Testament
though. That is the Hebrew God of Old as I recall.
14 Feb 2006 @ 13:17 by : Compassion, mercy and grace
Grace and mercy are much above compassion because compassion is within our reach and we can observe it in our conduct. When mercy is used in relation to human conduct, it seems to comensurate with compassion but when used in relation to God, it is much above compassion. To have mercy and grace upon ourselves we can only pray Him. However, God is always said to be merciful and bestows His grace who sincerely prays for it. In all such matters 'sincerity' is the key. Without sincerity there would be no result. It is good to be humanist; it is better to be humane in our conduct to others. But it is one more grade good to have compassion on all living beings. That is within our reach and our choice. If we are compassinate, we can be sure to have grace of Almighty, because He is really merciful. Ubuntu is, then, right and powerful word and it is appropriate for God who sits on the seat of mercy.
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