Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Peering into the future: does science require predictions?

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there” L. P. Hartley

Geraint Lewis

While the past may seem like a foreign country, the future is a more mysterious land. Full of potential and promise, tragedy and heartache, people have always sought glimpses of a map of the future. Visions of Christmases-Yet-to-Come terrified Scrooge in Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, while less fictional, and more powerful, characters have sought future insight from the dances of the planets and stars.
But while science is about astronomy, not astrology, and the entrails of animals are about biology, not fortune-telling, gazing into the future is central to science.   What really is science? .......Science is driven by predictions, but scientific revolutions are made when predictions fail. This is why “that’s funny” will always trump “Eureka!”...........To Read More....

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