The Laws of Science

 

This idea of ‘Not’ has a very long reach, a reach not fully appreciated by most of us. Here’s just one more example which might give you reason to give it its due respect. It’s an old Post from my file-box, trimmed to a quarter of its original length.  

‘Scientific-Law’ is a  forgivable exaggeration by the scientific-community. They are in fact generalizations from limited observations, tentatively affirmed hypothesis leading a precarious existence. 

A hypothesis is never proved. It only stands unrejected. Via Negativa-Lite.

The Mother Principle of Experimental-Science is the Principle of Induction. And along with the Contradiction Principle, it holds up much of what we know as modern Science.

The Principle says: ‘Like tomorrow’s sunrise, what is happening will continue happening until it doesn’t happen.’ The Induction Rule is formalized in the Mathematics of ‘Probability Theory’.

And the First Affirmation of Experimental Science is that a hypothesis can never be proved. It is impossible to prove that a man always speaks the truth, but easy to test if he never lies [One lie is proof].

[There are other affirmations. With Induction, there is no requirement for consistency between derivations. Thermodynamics does not have to jive with Molecular Biology in its final results. Each God gets his own space. I’ll get to this wonderfully liberal rule in later.] 

And Induction’s ‘Rejection-Machine’ becomes functional, takes life, because of the word ‘Not’. And its sidekicks, ‘Always’ and ‘Never.

Things work, but not for the reasons you think they do. And they could stop working, again not for the reasons you think they might.

As with the Principle of Contradiction, the early Greeks refused to give the Induction-Rule the status of ‘Law’ [Irascible party-poopers, these early Greeks. ‘Random’ is a complicated idea. I’ll get to it in a later Post]

It was a helpful rule, an informed conjecture,  but no, it was not ‘Law’. For a conjecture to become law it is required that it ‘Always Work’. The Laws of Motion cannot turn off at night, nor stop working when you are not looking.

Or do they?