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How accurate is science?

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Male
terry  Male  West Yorkshire
17-Nov-2020 21:23 Message #4798204
I'm not a scientific person, and there are so many branches of science, but how accurate is it? best example I can think of is computers and mobile technology...all developed by scientists and as many of us will bear witness to, both have a tendency to not work when you need them, yet science is often proclaimed as the one true fact....or am I misunderstanding?
Male
persona_non_grata  Male  North London
18-Nov-2020 08:50 Message #4798227
The science itself might be faultless but others have difficulty in producing goods based on that science. Most things produced will include short cuts to reduce prices.
Male
Pboro Trevor  Male  Cambridgeshire
18-Nov-2020 10:24 Message #4798232
It is accurate until science itself disproves it

Trevor
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset
18-Nov-2020 11:41 Message #4798242
The Father of Science?

Although Sir Isaac Newton once, (in an out of character act of praise), stated that he had been “standing on the shoulders of giants” who had come before him when it came to making his own discoveries, he was also being rather modest.

Newton is regarded by many to represent or be “The Father of Science” because, not only did he have a similar genius to previous pioneers of discovery and exploration, but he also had, (and employed), something entirely different.

Analytical thought.

Newton is regarded to have developed and invented “analytical thought”, a process that in today’s parlance includes the hip phrase the applying of first principles that folk like Mr Elon Musk (or you's truly), is so fond of reiterating.

Thing is though; without Newton’s prior art; without analytical thought and the ideas of building new discoveries upon tried and tested existing discoveries, science, as a discipline would not provide the kind of empirical data that it clearly does. For many of us, we thank Sir issac Newton for that paradigm shift in thinking.

How accurate is science?

Science is not some rigid doctrine or formula. Science exists in a cauldron of thought and experiment that is forever simmering and being improved upon and yes, one set of problems or challenges may be met by several scientific chefs, all concocting their own particular recipes and, as is often the way in science, debates and acrimonious arguments can go on for years, decades or centuries before one particular recipe is proven to solve a particular mathematical or scientific problem. The unravelling of nature and the universe is not a spectator sport. It, typically, takes years, decades or a person’s lifetime to even lay down the bedrock of some new idea or principle.

Peer review

Peer review, the discipline of encouraging others to review and complete their own findings of a scientific discovery, via what may be called a white paper, adds to the bonafide nature of a claimed discovery and is, often, the rubber stamp that either confirms or discredits any claimed philosophy or idea that represents some new discovery.

What would the world be without science and Newton’s analytical thought and first principles? Well. We’d be back in the days of staring into crystal balls, believing in myth, magic and witchcraft or allowing any charismatic charlatan seduce us with their patter or their snake oil.
Male
Jeff  Male  East Sussex
18-Nov-2020 11:53 Message #4798243
Science has amazing accuracy, as shown in the 3 examples below. But good scientists admit when they don't know or understand things, and science advances when previous ideas are reliably shown to be wrong.


In thread "What scientific theory or natural phenomena did you get completely wrong?" http://www.midsummerseve.com/fora/thread.aspx?threadid=194142&page=5 on 08-Jul-20 at 13:21 I posted including "Newton's laws are accurate enough to have sent the New Horizon spacecraft in 2006 to go near Mars, be swung around near Jupiter in 2007, cross the orbits of Saturn (2008) & Uranus (2011) & Neptune (2014), to arrive near (7,750 miles from) Pluto in 2015, and then continue. ... On Earth terms, that’s like a flight traveling from Los Angeles to New York and landing within four milliseconds of its scheduled time. On top of that, the probe had to get close enough to Pluto (within 7,800 miles) and be no more than 60 miles off course. "This was the equivalent of hitting a golf ball from L.A. to New York and landing it in a target the size of a soup can!" [mission leader] Stern and [astrobiologist] Grinspoon wrote."

Einstein's 1915 Theory of General Relativity predicts gravitation waves. Wikipedia on First observation of gravitational waves in September 2015 by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) includes:-
"The waves given off by the cataclysmic merger of GW150914 reached Earth as a ripple in spacetime that changed the length of a 4 km LIGO arm by a thousandth of the width of a proton, proportionally equivalent to changing the distance to the nearest star outside the Solar System by one hair's width."

Going back 8 years, in thread "the universe if" http://www.midsummerseve.com/fora/thread.aspx?threadid=170910&page=3 on 28-Oct-12 at 18:38 I posted including:- "In 1965 Feynman and colleagues won the Physics Nobel Prize for Quantum Electrodynamics (QED). In his 1985 book "QED The Strange Theory of Light and Matter" he wrote:- Page 7: "experiments have Dirac's number at 1.00115965221 (with an uncertainty of about 4 in the last digit); the theory puts it at 1.00115965246 (with an uncertainty of about five times as much) ... Things have been checked at distance scales that range from one hundred times the size of the earth down to one-hundredth the size of an atomic nucleus.""
That post has other interesting points.
Female
Aely  Female  Hampshire
18-Nov-2020 16:46 Message #4798260
Newton also believed in magic and the Philosopher's Stone. Still, I suppose it meant he had an open mind.
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
18-Nov-2020 18:46 Message #4798266
People forget that Newton was a mystic as well as a scientist, although I'm not sure that science as we think of it really existed during Newtons time.

Is engineering the same as science? They're often talked of together, but I've always had the impression that engineers have lower status than scientists, could that be because they're the ones who make the scientific discoveries work in the every day world? For example scientists discover waterborn infections, but it the engineers that build the sewers and clean water systems that prevent things like typhoid and cholera being as prevalent as they were.
Female
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
18-Nov-2020 18:57 Message #4798270
If you accept the following definition of science, it might be:
"the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment".
It's only as accurate as the observations you make, the data you record, good design of the experiment and unbiased interpretation of the data.
But on balance, I have a lot more faith in peer reviewed science than the random ramblings of some of the prominent decision makers I see in positions of power and responsibility.
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset
18-Nov-2020 20:01 Message #4798274
Yes. Newton returned to alchemy in his later years.

I've always been fascinated by that intriguing fact and often wondered if he, (and Nostrodamus separately), had tapped into the parallel science of quantum physics to continue experimenting and striding forth where Newton's classical understandings of the world and science would have met a brick wall. The same wall we have found before us here in the 21st century as we strive to, (hopefully), merge our understanding of our Newtonian world of big things like planets and stars with the quantum world of the sub atomic where our traditional rules of science no longer apply.

I'm convinced that Newton, given time, would have lifted the veil of the mysteries of quantum theory and possibly found the unification theory our current scientists and philosophers are trying to merge to bring those two worlds together.

And who knows? Maybe he did.
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset
18-Nov-2020 20:05 Message #4798275
"People forget that Newton was a mystic as well as a scientist, although I'm not sure that science as we think of it really existed during Newtons time."

No, Hen. Back then; It didn't exist in the classical analytical way we now associate science as representing.

That is ...

It didn't exist in Newton's time ... until he, himself, invented the discipline!
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset
18-Nov-2020 20:40 Message #4798279
I'd also be reticent and uncomfortable about even using the word "accurate" when attempting to gauge or monitor any experiment in the natural or physical world we inhabit; particularly when we know know that aspects of this world are, somehow influenced by a quantum universe working at such a vast distance, time and size wise and within a fuzzy environment very alien to our own one. (Or at least very alien and counter-intuitive to how us humans expect matter to function).

The blurred laws of probabilities being only blurred until a computer runs a simulation a billion times ... and then all those blurred possibilities, (forming in patches of probability getting bigger or denser), delivers us incredibly accurate results, not by precision as we might think or expect but by sheer probabilities of events gauged by a mass of numbers. That's what I mean about not relying on accuracy to gauge natural occurences or physical results.

Currently unfathomable quantum events influence our world.

It transpires that the common Robin has a process of quantum entanglement happening inside its retina where sensitive electrons, influenced by the direction of the earth's magnetic field, executes the phenomenum of entanglement in such a way as to enable the bird to know where it is and what direction it needs to use to migrate to, for example, France or Spain.

Biologists are now beginning to understand that the "weird science" and otherworldly effects of quantum mechanics, where matter pops in and out of existence and a wave can also be a particle, depending if it is observed, influences nature more than we have ever realised.

So I think it is no surprise that Newton retired to life of alchemy though, perhaps, it is we who must open our eyes a lot further and not allow ourselves to merely write off alchemy as some lesser discipline.

I said earlier, that Newton's Principia forced an ancient world into the scientific age. I used the example of the crystal ball representing an older oracle of some kind.

Funny though, (Isn't it?), that classical Newtonian science suits our world just fine ... while the mysterious, quirky, impossible world of quantum mechanics suits the "spooky" and the unexplained world of ghosts and appartitions and the realm where classical science is tipped on its head.

I believe Newton was investigating such phenomena in his later years.
Female
Gilpin  Female  Middlesex
19-Nov-2020 16:06 Message #4798348
The accuracy of science is surely only as far as it's last proven stage of study/research. It's ongoing.

Which is why I find the phrase 'follow the science' somehow micky mouse. A phrase first coined I believe by Jennifer Aniston in a shampoo advert. I would believe them if they said 'according to most recent research', but health sec. repeating we follow the science continually in their press briefings, to me, just sounded like cartoon language. A catch phrase, tossed across to Joe public, to repeat 'we're following the science'. what science exactly.
Female
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
19-Nov-2020 18:25 Message #4798368
Well, Jennifer Aniston also said "Because you're worth it", though I'm not too sure how that particular phrase helps, now that I've typed it. ;)
Female
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd
19-Nov-2020 18:42 Message #4798372
Is technology which is lumped together in schools as a subject the same as science andor engineering?

Beech I don't think there was such a thing as chemistry in Newtons time, it was all alchemy.

Female
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
19-Nov-2020 19:37 Message #4798383
According to Wiki, Robert Boyle was aruably the first modern day chemist and he popped his clogs in 1691. Newton popped his in 1727, so on that basis, I would say that chemistry did indeed exist in newton's time.
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset
19-Nov-2020 19:37 Message #4798384
You're not appreciating what I've written above, Hen. You're missing a fundamental point.

Isaac Newton CREATED the concept of science as he unravelled the mysteries of gravity, celestial mechanics, optics, light, etc.

Before his birth, yes, there was only alchemy but with his birth, (and over his life), he brought the world "science" for all the reasons I've written in my previous posts on this thread.

So, sure, there was only alchemy, (or magic or whatever you might wish to lavbekl it), but, once Newton began his work, all that earlier "method" of learning became just ... well ... nothing compared to what Newton revealed in his studies and explorations.

So ... one last time. :-)

It is generally accepted, (though there are always some who will think otherwise), NEWTON created "science" as it is practised and pursued as we now know it!
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset
19-Nov-2020 19:55 Message #4798385
Biography dott comm states; (Mis-spelled to avoid the site bots holding back this post)

"Sometimes called the father of modern science, Isaac Newton revolutionized our understanding of our world. He was a real Renaissance man with accomplishments in several fields, including astronomy, physics and mathematics. Newton gave us new theories on gravity, planetary motion and optics."

Wiki says

"Sir Isaac Newton PRS (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author (described in his own day as a "natural philosopher") who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution."

New Scientist

"Why Newton is the greatest scientist?
New Scientist once described Isaac Newton as “the supreme genius and most enigmatic character in the history of science.” His three greatest discoveries — the theory of universal gravitation, the nature of white light and calculus — are the reasons why he is considered such an important figure in the history of science ..."

Futurism dott comm.

"Sir Isaac Newton: Father of Modern Science

In Newton’s late life, he wrote a lot on theology. He was knighted by the Queen of England in 1705 (the second scientist to have been knighted in England). Newton later died in 1727 from mercury poisoning, likely caused by Newton’s work in alchemy. Newton never married.

Newton is widely regarded as one of the most important people who ever lived. Many of his ideas still hold true and his equations are still used to this day (when sending a probe to the outskirts of the solar system, NASA doesn’t use relativity to work out the math, they use Newtonian physics). Newton has secured his place in history."

Newton is my hero and role model, along with Socrates and Marcus Aurelius.
Female
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire
19-Nov-2020 20:02 Message #4798386
*arguably, even
Female
Aely  Female  Hampshire
20-Nov-2020 15:14 Message #4798459
By the way, in answer to the original question - Science is accurate until the scientists decide it isn't. Science is a best guess based on and supported by experimentation. there is always more to know. The best scientists are those who realise they aren't infallible and that don't know everything.
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset
20-Nov-2020 17:56 Message #4798475
Thalidomide, Shuttle ‘O’ rings. Cold fusion. Piltdown man. Chernobyl. Silicone boob implants. The year 2000 bug.

Truth is; there are as many scientific cock ups as great discoveries.
Male
MrQuiet  Male  Northamptonshire
21-Nov-2020 23:06 Message #4798584
Science has attracted some of the most intelligent, inventive imaginative and resourceful men and women.
Female
Sea  Female  Essex
22-Nov-2020 15:48 Message #4798653
Science is accurate to a degree but does not in all cases necessarily tell the whole story. For example at one time it would have been considerted fact that there was only the sun and moon and tiny stars in the sky, as that is all that would be seen to the naked eye. However in 1781 William Hersche discovered Uranus so another planet in the sky as well as Earth and that was it and all that would have been believed... until gradually more and more planets were discovered. And just when we thought we knew all the names and no more planets to find or learn there is another. In January 2020, scientists announced the discovery of TOI 700 d, the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone detected by TESS. Not sure when they will give it a proper name though, or why it is called TO1 700 d at the moment? But are there still even more planets to find? Another interesting fact until fairly recently was that as we aged out brain cells decreased and gradually died. I can remember arguing with a frined over this, who was adament that it was true as written by scientist etc. and was a well known fact. I maintained that I couldn't see how that was possible as I was continuing to learn more things each day, so my knowledge was expanding rather than retreating etc. etc. Anyway there was then an article written regarding this, backing my theory that our knowledge can indeed continue to grow and we do not necessarily end up gradually becoming brain dead. A case of use it and it will continue to grow but if you just allow it to go to sleep it will gradually forget how to function. Sometimes it is better to go with your own instincts, rather than believe everything written by a scientist as being true facts, as in some cases it can be little more than an opinion of a scientist that is believed, just because of the position he holds, rather than any scientific evidence as such.
Male
AndyMacG  Male  the West Midlands
22-Nov-2020 21:12 Message #4798687
Despite all the long posts by those who think they know better than everyone else or try to blind us with pages and pages of cut and paste that means fu*k all to those who don't bother to read it ... the question we should be asking ourselves is "what if the known science is actually wrong"?





Andy Mac
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset
22-Nov-2020 21:22 Message #4798689
"Despite all the long posts by those who think they know better than everyone else or try to blind us with pages and pages of cut and paste that means fuk all to those who don't bother to read it ... the question we should be asking ourselves is "what if the known science is actually wrong"?"*

Andy Mac. Ignorant and thick as mince as usual.
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset
22-Nov-2020 21:23 Message #4798690
"Despite all the long posts by those who think they know better than everyone else or try to blind us with pages and pages of cut and paste that means fuk all to those who don't bother to read it ... the question we should be asking ourselves is "what if the known science is actually wrong"?"*

Andy Mac. Ignorant and thick as mince as usual.

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