Scientific Proof is Unproven

To remember

  • common misconceptions of science = idea of “scientific proof.” > Science =not in the business of “proving” theories (or laws).
  • Everything in science is tentative
  • Facts are based on our best understanding and if our understanding changes tomorrow so will our facts.

Panoptic Discourse

One of the common misconceptions of science (that even those with science degrees fall prey to) is the idea of a “scientific proof.” Science is not in the business of “proving” theories (or laws). Anyone that says science has “proved” so and so in their discussions does not really understand science. When we say something has been “proven” we are in effect claiming finality, that is to say, there is nothing in the future that can overturn the status of the theory.

But that is not how science works. Everything in science is tentative. And yes, I mean EVERYTHING. When we judge competing theories we do so by evaluating and analyzing the evidence for it and contrasting it with the alternative theories. The theories we accept are contingent on the best available evidence. As such, with new evidence the accepted theories can be challenged and/or replaced. Thus regardless of our…

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