Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Science is religion

Thomas Kuhn probably said it best. Karl Popper removed any question.

They probably would have argued, Kuhn for more religion so that knowledge acquisition would accelerate, Popper for less so that science would not be corrupted.

All I can say is, you can't invoke the scientific method without faith: the steps that we might call hypotheses, predictions, and conjectures.

Interesting article and table here (via TheBrowser).

Some famous (and infamous) predictions
1869 Dmitri Mendeleev’s periodic table left spaces for elements that he predicted would be discovered. Three of these (gallium, scandium, and germanium) were subsequently discovered within his lifetime. RIGHT
1964 Physicists predict the existence of the Higgs Boson. If CERN’s Large Hadron Collider finds no evidence for the existence of this massive fundamental particle, working models of the material universe might require a fundamental rethink. PENDING
1965 Intel cofounder Gordon E. Moore predicts that the number of transistors on a computer chip would double every two years. The industry has so far managed to keep up (despite many predictions over the years about the law’s imminent demise). RIGHT
1968 Entomologist Paul Ehrlich predicts that hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in the next two decades. WRONG
2002 At the website, astronomer Sir Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society, predicts that “By 2020, bioterror or bioerror will lead to one million casualties in a single event.” Also at Long Bets, entrepreneurial engineer Ray Kurzweil bets $10,000 that by 2029 a computer will have passed the Turing Test for machine intelligence. PENDING
2003 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory sponsored GeneSweep, a sweepstakes on the number of human genes. While bids averaged around 60,000 genes, it was eventually won by a bid of 25,947—the lowest of the hundreds received. WRONG
2007 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 4th Assessment Report projects that global surface air temperatures will increase by between 1.1 and 6.4°C over preindustrial levels by the end of the century.

No comments:

Post a Comment